9 The Magus Test 1
Within the cathedral.
The great hall of the cathedral had a floor paved with marble, and hanging above was a massive crystal chandelier. It could easily fit the hundreds of people who entered yet still feel spacious.
In the very front of the great hall, there was a line of chairs, seated upon which were representatives and recruiters of each of the great magus academies. Directly in the middle of the great hall was the testing location.
The black-robed church official smiled and said in a clear voice, "The testing location is right in the center. All testers, please come one at a time. No one else can enter the circle in the center. All testers, please get in line. Family and friends, please step to one side."
The central circle was ten or so meters wide, and there were three adults within it. Two of them were responsible for administering the test, while one was responsible for recording the results. The testing equipment consisted of a crystal sphere and a complicated, six-sided magical formation.
The bald old man pointed at the crystal ball and said, "Place your hand atop the crystal ball. We will test your elemental essence affinities."
The first testee was a twelve or thirteen-year-old young man. That young man nervously placed his right hand atop the crystal ball. Immediately, the entire crystal ball began to emanate a hazy, light red glow, with the occasional hint of green mixed in.
The bald elder glanced at a scrap of paper in his hands, and emotionlessly said, "Age, twelve. Elemental essence affinities – Fire, average affinity. Wind, low affinity.
"Now, step into the magical formation. Time to test your spiritual essence. Remember, stand there. Don't kneel or fall down. Let's see how long you can take it." The bald elder remained as cold as ever. The young man nodded, then stepped into the six-cornered magical formation. A holy white aura immediately emanated from the bald elder, which shot into the middle of the magical formation.
Light - style magic - Overawe!
In a short period of time, the youth in the middle of the magical formation could no longer hold on.
"Spiritual essence, two times stronger than the average person of the same age. Not qualified to become a magus." The bald elder coldly announced as the magical formation deactivated, and the youngster quietly departed.
A burst of noise from nearby.
"Silence." The bald elder coldly said, and immediately a large group of nobles no longer dared to speak. "Next."
One after another youngster was tested. Of the first ten, none met the requirements. Right now, there was a young lady in the magical formation, who had been able to hold out for longer than any of the ten before her.
"Hrm?" The bald elder's eyes shone, and he immediately increased the power of the magical formation.
After a long period of time, the young lady finally dropped down to one knee.
The bald elder nodded in a satisfied manner. A hint of a smile on his face, he said, "Spiritual essence, eight times stronger than most people your age. The minimum qualifications for becoming a magus have been met. You also possess average elemental essence affinity. You can become a magus!" The judgment of the bald elder had just determined the fate of this young woman.
"Oh, how wonderful!" The first person to shout with joy was not the young woman. Rather, it was the young woman's father, a bald, middle-aged, gentlemanly looking person.
"Quiet!" The bald elder snapped in a cold, unhappy voice.
Immediately, the ushers came and escorted the girl and her father to where the line of magus academies recruiters sat.
Many envious eyes were cast towards the young woman.
As time went on, the people in the main hall grew more and more numerous. The magical testing event would go on for seven days, so most people didn't see the urge to come right away at the beginning.
A brown-haired boy then calmly stepped forward into the center. He seems to be at the age of nine-ten, and this boy was none other than Linley.
Linley placed his right hand on the crystal ball.
The crystal ball suddenly burst forth with light, as though it were the sun! Earthen rays of light intersecting with green rays of light, and there were even some thin lines of red spaced in between. That eye-piercing brightness forced even the people nearby to squint their eyes.
Seeing the sun-like brightness emanating forth from the crystal globe, everyone in the great hall was stunned.
The bald elder quivered as he stared at the piece of paper in his hands. It was written clearly on top that Linley was eight years old.
"Age, eight. Elemental essence affinities – Earth and Wind, affinity level of exceptional for both! Fire affinity, average." That bald elder felt his heart thumping wildly. Most magi had average elemental essence affinity. Even high elemental essence affinities were quite rare, and as for exceptional affinity…exceptional affinity was ridiculously rare!
By way of explaining, an ordinary magus might take ten hours to produce a certain amount of Mageforce, but Linley would only require a single hour to get the same result.
The entire hall was shocked. Not only was the kid's elemental essence affinity of the exceptional level, but it was also for two different elements! This was simply too terrifying.
Everyone was all shocked at this event as they would have never expected that an ordinary looking boy would get a great result.
After the elemental essence affinity test, the spiritual essence test.
"Please enter the magical formation." The bald elder actually used the word 'please' in addressing Linley.
Even the nearby nobles began to look at Linley with a new light in their eyes. For a person to have exceptional elemental affinity meant that they could generate mageforce in an extremely short period of time. The rest of the time could be spent on cultivating spiritual energy. His future prospects would, therefore, be unlimited.
Linley stepped into the magical formation.
The magical formation immediately glowed with a white aura, and then a sense of pressure immediately flooded into Linley's spirit.
Light-style elemental magic – Overawe!
When the spell was cast Linley felt a slight pressure but it was not enough for him to make him kneel.
As time went on, the aura of the magical formation grew stronger and stronger, and the overawing presence grew stronger and stronger as well. Everyone in the great hall held their breaths, as everyone watching knew very clearly that in the future, this plainly dressed youngster would definitely become a powerful magus.
The entire group of magus academy recruiters, who had previously been sitting there, smiling, all ran over en masse to watch. Which magus academy would not want to recruit a genius such as this?
Standing alone in the magical formation, Linley continued to resist the overawing presence.
Linley was breathing heavily, and at the moment, his entire mind felt hazy. That powerful spiritual pressure was pressing down on him like a mountain, and the strength of the pressure was continuing to rise. But Linley was continuing to persevere….
"The longer I can hold on, the better an academy I can enter." Linley gritted his teeth.
And then, when the pressure had reached a certain height, Linley finally could no longer resist. He dropped to one knee, his hands clenching into fists on the floor.
Everyone's gaze turned to the bald elder.
His face suffused with a happy red glow, the bald elder announced in a clear voice, "Spiritual essence, eighteen times that of his peers, high-level. High spiritual essence, exceptional elemental affinity."
At this point in time, all of the magus recruiters charged forth. "Hello, Linley. I come from the Lander [Lan'de] Magus Academy. Our Lander Magus Academy sincerely would like to admit you into our school. As long as you enroll with us, your entire tuition will be free, and every year we will even provide you with a thousand gold coins for living expenses. We will also invite an especially skilled magus teacher to personally train you."
"Linley, I come from the Welling [We'lin] Magus Academy. We…"
Seeing the swarm of people around him and how warmly they were treating him, Linley was stunned for a long moment, while in his heart, he sighed with amazement. In the blink of an eye, so many recruiters had learned his name. This was really too amazing.
"Hey, everyone, please return to your seats. We need to continue the test." The bald elder said in a kind voice.
He could be arrogant towards those common folk, but he had to be courteous to the representatives of mighty magus academies.
"Linley. Our Ernst Institute would sincerely like to invite you to become one of our students." From far away, another voice sounded out, and when it did, the entire hall went silent. Even the bald elder stopped speaking.
Linley turned around.
A white-robed middle-aged man walked over. Smiling, he said, "Exceptional elemental affinity, high spiritual essence, and dual-element. Linley, our Ernst Institute would very much welcome you to join us. I don't know if you would be willing to enter our Ernst Institute?"
Hillman, nearby, had been staring in stunned silence. He immediately ran over next to Linley, so excited that his hands were quivering.
The Ernst Institute?
Enter the Yulan continent's number one magus academy, the Ernst Institute? What did that represent?
That represented that immediately upon graduation, even if he was just an average student, he could easily become an earl in any of the nearby kingdoms. If he was a superior student, even the four great empires would sincerely welcome him to join them.
Across the entire massive Yulan continent, each year the Ernst Institute only enrolled a scant hundred students!
A hundred students a year. What did this mean?
Every single student who enrolled in the Ernst Institute could be described as a genius!
"Linley, agree to him." Hillman excitedly said.
Linley also felt extremely excited, but his head was extremely clear, and he also looked very calm on the outside. Linley knew very well that upon becoming a member of the Ernst Institute, and with the guidance of Doehring Cowart, in just a few decades, it would not be too difficult to become a magus of the seventh or eighth ranks.
His clan would once again flourish.
"Sir, it would be my honor to enroll within the Ernst Institute," Linley said courteously.
Surprised at Linley's equanimity, the white-robed man still smiled. "Linley, I will inform the Institute of your biographical details. When the time comes, just bring your proof of identity to the Institute and take a second, correlating test. Then, you will become an official student of our Institute."
It was pointless to try and get someone else to take the test for you because each school would do a backup test as well.
"Each academic year is divided into two semesters, with the first semester beginning on February 9th. As long as you arrive by February 9th, you will be fine. This is your proof of identity. It can also be considered your proof of admission." The white-robed man withdrew a sealed red envelope from within his sleeves.
In fact, immediately upon knowing Linley's test results, he had recorded Linley's details into the paperwork in the envelope. Because the white-robed man believed without a doubt – no one would refuse an offer from the Ernst Institute!
"Thank you." Linley accepted the envelope.
Linley didn't look too excited on the outside, but Hillman was uncontrollably excited. A student at the Ernst Institute. Who amongst them were not venerated? Linley's future accomplishments could already be predicted.
Linley was already planning to leave when he caught a glimpse of the person who was at the center. It was a red-haired girl who is familiar with.
His eyes brightened as he looked around and surely, standing in front of the line was a certain black-haired boy.
"Uncle Hillman let's watch first," Linley said to Hillman.
Hillman looked at the center and saw who it was and he immediately understood what Linley meant.