Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
“My knowledge could only explain so much. Your physical condition has led to your current situation.” The elf queen said, “Prepare yourself to be in this way for the rest of your life.”
“So to speak,” I stared at Winslet’s mother, “I can never use spells higher than Lvl.3, right?
“Positive.” She said, “This isn’t good news for you, I hope you could handle it right.”
“I’m OK.” I scratched my head, “It is so much better than none.”
“I’m glad you can think it through.” She said, smiling, “As of now, what I can do is to make do with your current situation.”
“Are you suggesting there are other ways to somehow improve me?”
“Yes, although it’s a bit early for you.” The queen said, “I wish you the best.”
“What is it?”
The elf reached to a yellowish booklet and handed it to me solemnly. I couldn’t read the writings on the paper.
“What is this, auntie?”
“It is a note written by former elf queens and matriarchs. It doesn’t have many advanced spells,” She said, “but each and every elf leader had written down her knowledge and understanding of magic, from Lvl.1 to level infinity. It is a notebook of knowledge.”
“Then, this… this… is?”
“This is the Elf Note.”
“Such a treasure.” I asked confusedly, “Why are you offering it to me?”
“This is not my decision to make.” My elf queen blinked her gentle eyes, “It was a collective decision of all the elders. Don’t overthink, start reading!”
“I don’t understand the language.”
“Winslet will help you.”
Thus I stayed there with Winslet, and she had the book read word for word for me.
“What language is it written in?” I asked.
“You do want to know?”
“Sure I do.”
“Hehhe, nope. I… am… not… telling… you!”
“Err! I am mad!” I acted.
“I’m kidding!” Winslet chuckled at my amusing face, “Do you know, the female elves are more respected than male elves in every elf clan?”
“I know that.”
“Since all the queens, elders, and matriarchs are females, a set of language exclusively dedicated to she-elves had been developed. This note is written in the female letter.
“Yeah, because this language is designed for female elves, nobody will be able to read it even if it was stolen.”
“I see. Then let’s start from Lvl.1.”
Winslet read carefully, and she would stop wherever I had trouble understanding, then she will show me if language alone won’t dispel my question. For the problems even she couldn’t explain, she’ll invite her mother over, or other elders if her mother was not around until I could understand.
With all the help, I was finally able to comprehend the core of magic. For mages, the ability to cast a spell did not lie within their physical strength or any sorts of conventional power, if that was the case then, even an arch-mage couldn’t last long.
Mana was the key to releasing spells. By consuming mana, one needed to summon existing natural elements around and make use of them. For example, to release a fire spell, one needed to make sure there was enough element of fire around, then decide what form of fire spell to create. A more sophisticated type of magic will demand more mana.
Since I was low on mana, I was frustrated with using anything higher than Lvl.3, so the elders have focused on training me lv.1~3 magics. It’s like going back to the days I was trained by Webster, even more so. However, training with these many gracious female elves had made days went fast. My progress was evident.
First, my skills in both combat and magic went harmoniously. Now I could easily swing swords and in the meantime use magic. Affected by my previous changeful tactics and physics knowledge, I was quick in both releasing and defending.
Speaking of which, I had an epiphany. That was rules and authority were dominating this world. As long as one created rules, others will follow and work hard to climb up accordingly. People never question the right and wrong or fitness or regulation, neither will they dare to surpass them. Such was nearly identical to modern Chinese society. As a result, five thousand years of eastern culture was defeated by the westerners in only several hundred years.
During my elementary, junior, high school, and days in the army, my previous life was taught to make progress, to create doubt, to go further! We were trained to question authority, which was the obstacle to development. No advancement will achieve without growth. If there’s no development, then someone in somewhere will.
As of now, with abundant training partners and explicit reading materials, there was no reason for me not to put my heart into the study. I forgot to eat or to sleep. Time has passed, my clothes have gotten thicker. Winter was coming.
“Cohen, have a rest.” Winslet dried my sweaty skin.
I inserted the machete into the earth and gasped.
“Mother was here,” Winslet said, “Your father has a letter for you.”
“What about it?” I was satisfied battling against an elf marksman for nearly an hour.
“He said,” Winslet poked my head, “You are going home.”
“Em?” I frowned, “Why so soon?”
“Soon? It’s almost spring!”
“Right… huh, indeed.”
“I think, they might need time to get used to your change when you come home.”
“Why is that?”
“Didn’t you notice that?” Winslet’s smile was like a blossom of roses, “You have become stronger.”
“I do? Well in that case…” I came closer to her and whispered, “Am I strong enough to snatch you away with me…”
“Ah! What are you talking about!” Winslet blushed, “Have you been drinking?”
This time around, my previous personality had revealed itself little by little day by day. And naturally, I made more implicit jokes about Winslet.
“You’ve grown prettier, and I’ve sensed a crisis.” I said, “I think I might just as well ask Her Grace sooner to marri…”
“You are drunk!” Winslet jumped and pushed on my back, “My mother wants to see you!”
“Right!” I laughed, “Nice timing.”
“I dare you! If you tell mom anything other than what brought you there,” Winslet snapped, “I’m not talking with you no more…”
The elf queen has prepared a long talk to offer me a basic idea of the current situation on this continent. The Holy Temple had tripled taxes for all empires. Such could only be explained by one reason, that your faithful Gods are preparing for war.
“About your title and your future land. They are important to you, and us.” She said, “Current Swabia does not have much free land to offer. Thus during your trip to Divine City, you have to try your best to get a domain as good and as large and far away from the battlefield.”
“But will the king give me a land like that?” I asked, “My two brothers got a tiny land to rule.”
“The king trusts your family like no other. In the month of your birthday, there will be only two people for titling. If you do well, then you should get this place.” The Elf Queen crossed her finger over on the map, “Between the Dark Forest and the Ocean of Death; your land will overlook your fathers. Do you know what that means?”
“Means…” I gazed at her carefully, “My land will be joining my fathers with nothing in between!”
“Indeed!” The queen looked at me admirably, “If so, not only the elf, the wingman, dwarf, sandman, vampire clan along with other races who live here will have a chance to avoid this war.”
“Will they?” I asked, “Who’s the other guy being titled along?”
“Your father told me,” Winslet’s mother paused a moment, “he is your old acquaintance, cousin of the Prime Minister’s daughter, Laika.”
“How’s his foot?” For a moment, I was sorry for him, “Why do he and I always have to fight over things.”
“Word had that he graduated with honor from the Royal Academy.” Her language became serious, “You need to be cautious.”
“I know… I know…” I stood up, hands gripped on a piece of window bar, and stared at the setting sun, “I know…”
I murmured meaninglessly and pointlessly as I glanced down. Suddenly I discovered a familiar face.
Winslet looked at me, frightened then she vanished.
I was ready to go.
I kept on chuckling which seemed to target no one but Winslet, which she ignored.
“Your Grace!” I said, “I look forward to see you next time!”
“Take care.” She said, “I’ll have Winslet escort you out, don’t get lost.”
Winslet walked ahead, lips pouted. I couldn’t help tittering for her kitten-like face down the window on that day.
“It’s all your fault I got caught!” She turned and said.
“Don’t be silly!”
“You went there yourself!” I suppressed my eagerness to laugh again.
“You!” She turned and wouldn’t look at me, “There is the exit, you are good to go!”
“Easy now.” I walked by her, “Look, I’ve kept the gem you give me on my necklace the whole time.”
She touched the stone that was left with my body warmth and ceased being angry with a hint of a smile.
“Hmm,” She said, “If you lose it… you’d be sorry!”
“I would never!” I held her hand, “Now, do you have anything to say to me?”
“I do!” She grinned, “Goodbye!”