《CHRONICLES of a PC Gamer Stuck Inside an RPG (Book Two: Successor)》Chapter 4 - Magical Rivalries


Once we were outside the office, the rest of our companions rejoined the two of us. However, several other mages were waiting as well.

One man in a black robe stepped up. He was tall but looked extremely pale. The robe draped over his thin body like curtains. "I congratulate you on becoming a guild member," he said with a polite nod. "My name is Hopineb, and my main affinity is dark. If you wish to explore this powerful element, please contact me."

I nodded back. The guy had slick black hair and his accent was thick. He reminded me of a vampire for some reason.

"The last thing our guild needs is another bloody necromancer!" a woman snorted as she pushed Hopineb aside. She wore a red robe. She had wavy brown hair and dark brown eyes. Her body was thick and strong like an ox; her robe only accentuated her womanly curves. "I'm Viroloa, and my primary affinity is fire. My focus is on spectacular battle magic like fireballs. Learn from me and you won't be needing bodyguards anymore."

I nodded politely.

A green robed mage gently stepped around her and stood before me. The person was female and had the pointy ears of an elf. She regarded me intently with her crystal blue eyes. "I knew I recognized you from somewhere," she smiled. "You were part of the awards ceremony for the Melee Tournament. If you're looking to become a dual-class fighter-mage, the earth is the perfect element for you. My name is Yenyia and I can teach you to strengthen your body and manipulate the battlefield to your advantage."

I nodded again.

Rijana waited patiently for anyone else to approach but the other mages stayed a distance back, preferring to be mere observers rather than intervene. "Brother Mulligan has agreed to accept me as his first magic instructor. If he decides to learn from your respective affinities, he will let me know and I will contact you on his behalf," she said.

The trio nodded again and walked away from us. Tradition demanded that they allow Rijana some time to instruct her new pupil. If I found her lessons less than satisfactory, then I could return to the Registrar and ask for his help to locate any one of them for further training.

Rijana took me by the hand and we walked back into the corridor. She turned around and said, "Everyone holds hands." When we did so, she said a secret power word and we teleported.

My world turned dark for a moment and I felt nauseated. Thankfully, the terrible sensations left as quickly as they arrived.

"I hate teleporting," Bjoukia muttered.

I took a deep breath to clear my head and then began to check my new surroundings. We were inside a dome! It was about half the size of a football field. We stood on an open field with no trees or animals. I turned to my instructor and asked, "Where are we?"

Rijana smiled. "We're on the Plane of Air," she replied. "When we arrived in Bristol this morning and separated, I went to the guild and reserved a private room."

"This is a room?" I asked skeptically while throwing my arms out.

The mage grinned. "Actually, yes. The Magic Guild firmly supports and encourages instruction in magic. And each branch is allotted a number of these private class rooms. We only have an hour, though, so I want to focus on teaching you some beginner level spells first," she explained. "The first spell I want to teach you is 'Magic Missile' because it draws from the air element and we have plenty of air mana inside this dome to increase your chance of a successful casting."


"We'll practice swordplay on the other side of the field," Kalistra interrupted.

"That's fine," Rijana waved her hand dismissively. "I'll get you guys when we're ready to leave." She waited patiently until they walked away and then started her lecture. "Spellcasting may have three components: verbal, written, and/or physical. Certain spells require the invocation of words of power but the proper pronunciation may be difficult to master. Other spells require the use of runes in written form because this focuses and channels the mana all around us to create a specific effect. Lastly, some spells require the use of physical components which may be rare and difficult to obtain. Do you follow me so far?"

"Yes, Master," I nodded.

Rijana smiled. "Now, I'm going to inscribe the symbol for Magic Missile. Traditionally, this is the very first spell taught to new mages. The reason is that it requires only one symbol which is relatively easy to recreate." My master used the flat end of her staff to create the symbol on the ground. She used only three strokes. When she was done, Rijana backed away to allow me to take a better look at the symbol.

I saw a vertical line perpendicular to the equal sign.

"Now watch me inscribe the symbol and cast it," Rijana said. With simple flickers of her wrist, she recreated the symbol and cast the spell.

I felt air movement past my right ear, as the small, dart-like missile flew by.

"Okay, now I want you to copy my symbol. Write it ten times on the ground. Also, please tell me if you receive a pop-up message," Rijana instructed.

"Aren't you going to party with me?" I asked.

My master frowned at my question and shook her head. "Listen carefully, Lawrence. Mages are inherent rivals with one another and knowledge is power. If we party together, then you will learn what my level is in my mage profession, my Intelligence score, and other important information. This information is considered to be closely guarded secrets. Mages avoid partying together unless they are in a real adventuring party; that's why you rarely have more than one mage in a party," she explained.

"I see," I replied politely. It was a vastly different approach from Kalistra when I trained as a swordsman under her instruction.

My teacher took note of my disappointment. "My refusal to party with you isn't due to a lack of trust in you, per se. I need you to understand and follow our customs as mages. If other mages ask to party with you, it is important that you decline. If you learn nothing else from me today, this is your most important lesson as a student in magic," Rijana said.

"Yes, Master," I nodded.

"Okay, please copy the symbol on the ground ten times," she ordered.

I sat cross-legged on the ground in front of the symbol and started tracing it with my finger. Once I felt comfortable that I had committed the strokes to my muscle memory, I started writing my own copies of the symbol with my finger. When I finished the first one, I received a pop-up message which read, "Professional skill ACQUIRED: Read Magic, Level 1. +100 XP." I looked up at my teacher and read her my notification.

"Very good. Only took you one try," she nodded with approval. "After you copy the symbol ten times, I want you to cast the spell," she ordered.

"Yes, Master!" I hurriedly copied the symbol on the ground and finished a minute later. Then I rose to my feet and slowly cast the spell for the first time. When I traced the first stroke, I felt a warm sensation deep inside me. When I traced the second stroke, the sensation spread out through my entire body. When I finished the third stroke, energy rushed out of me. The magic missile flew in a straight line and then dissipated four feet away. "Spell of air ACQUIRED: Magic Missile, Level 1. + 100 XP." I smiled broadly at my teacher.


"Congratulations," she smiled back. "How does it feel being a mage?" Rijana asked.

I took a moment to consider the question. "Happy, excited, and confused."

"Why confused?" my teacher asked.

"The spell seemed quite easy to learn," I answered honestly.

Rijana laughed. "You're only learning the basic spells right now. The difficulty in learning magic will steadily rise as you try to learn higher tier spells," she replied.

"How many tiers are there?" I asked.

"For us mortals, there are nine tiers. There is a rumored tenth tier for the Gods, but the mana required to cast such spells are astronomical and beyond anything that mortals have access to," my teacher explained.

"What about ley lines?" I asked.

Rijana frowned and waved for me to step closer to her. When I stood in front of her, my teacher said, "Listen, ley lines are not officially recognized by the Mage Guild. It is part of what we call 'hedge magic.' There are NO teachers for hedge magic because it is considered to be the province of monsters. And if you insist on publicly learning or teaching hedge magic, the Guild will ostracize you for it."

I took a deep breath. Joining the Magic Guild was bringing me a number of unexpected burdens and restrictions.

"But to answer your original question: Yes, if you have access to ley lines, then you can use it to cast tenth tier magic. The Magic Guild does not want its members to experiment with tenth tier magic but I'm certain there are some members researching it anyway. If you do decide to pursue research in the ley lines and tenth tier spells, I strongly urge you to do so quietly in your own mage tower," she advised.

I nodded. "This is why you brought me here," I realized and waved my arms again.

Rijana smiled. "Indeed. We can talk about any taboo topics here without fear of eavesdroppers. So any other questions for me before we continue? I would like to teach you at least one more spell before we leave," she said.

"How many spells can I learn as a level one in the mage profession?" I asked.

"As a level one, you can learn only first level spells right now. The total number of spells you can learn is limited to your Intelligence score. So let's say you have 15 points in Intelligence. You can technically learn 15 spells. However, if you fill up your 'memory slots' with low tier spells, then you won't be able to learn the higher tier spells when you gain access to them. As a rule of thumb, most mages set aside at least a handful of slots to learn new spells. This rule becomes more important as you advance in your level and experience points become much harder to earn," my teacher explained.

"So you don't put spells down in spellbooks?" I asked.

"Actually, we do. Spellbooks are a great way to record the symbols that you learn and also the words and components for spells. Mages often trade spells with each other by allowing the partner to read from their own spellbook. The Read Magic skill will determine whether you can understand the information well enough to transfer the new spell to your own spellbook. We're going to visit the guild store to buy you a spellbook before we leave the building," Rijana said.

"I'm dual-classing as a mage-fighter. Can I still wear armor and use my long sword?" I asked.

"No and no. You cannot wear armor like your chest piece because it will constrict your movements for spell casting. You can wear bracers and clothes that are enchanted with protective magic. I will be the first to admit that this is a drawback if you wish to be a melee fighter. Fighter-mages often specialize in earth magic to harden their bodies in lieu of wearing armor. Secondly, until you unlock your swordsman profession again, you will be treated as unskilled with the sword. Normal weapons for mages are staves and daggers. You would need to spend a memory slot for proficiency in one of these weapons," she said.

"But that would reduce a slot to learn a spell," I realized.

"Correct," Rijana nodded. "However, there are times when you will need to use a melee weapon because you run out of mana to cast spells or you were interrupted in your spell casting. Okay, let's teach you the second spell and then we'll need to leave this class room. Would you like to learn Shield or Fire Bolt?" she asked.

"What do they do?" I responded with another question.

"Shield is a spell of air that creates a shield to protect you from normal melee and ranged attacks. The number of hits it will block is tied to your level in the mage profession. Fire Bolt is a medium-range spell that creates a fire arrow. It does more damage and has a chance to cause burn damage," my teacher explained.

"I think I'll pick Fire Bolt," I replied.

"Why?" Rijana asked.

"I already have a spell from the air element. It would be more prudent to take a spell from a different element," I explained. "In addition, Shield wouldn't be that useful since I'm traveling with Kalistra and she's my bodyguard."

"You're very confident in her abilities," she remarked.

"I trust her with my life," I answered.

Rijana nodded. She then used her staff to write a symbol on the ground. This time it was only two strokes.

When I peered down at her drawing, I saw two wavy lines that were parallel to each other but vertical. It resembled how artists from my world would depict the presence of smoke. I quickly sat down and traced the symbol with my finger several times to memorize it. Then I recreated the symbol on my own. I looked up at my teacher and nodded.

"Now show me," she requested.

I got off the ground and quickly recreated the symbol in the air. A fiery arrow shot out and flew in a straight line until it dissipated. I noted that it disappeared about six feet away from me. "Spell of fire ACQUIRED: Fire Bolt, Level 1. +100 XP."

Rijana clapped her hands. "Very good, Lawrence. We'll have to relinquish the class room now. Let's go to get our companions and then teleport back to the corridor," she said. She grabbed my hand and we walked quickly to our companions, who were having a mock two-against-one fight.

I saw that Bjoukia was crossing swords with Kalistra, while Bjoukin tried to shoot arrows at the cat girl. However, Kalistra was smartly using the fighter as a shield and the cat girl's smaller frame made it nearly impossible for the ranger to take aim at Kalistra.

"We're leaving now," Rijana announced.

The trio quickly sheathed their weapons.

The five of us linked our hands together and then Rijana used the power word to teleport us out of the dome.

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