Under the Oak Tree - Chapter 267
Translator – LF
Proofreader – Nymeria
Max felt goosebumps all over her body and wrapped herself with her arms. The stories about terrifying warlocks, that her nanny told her back when she was a child, had always lingered in her mind. Stories about evil warlocks who waged war against the great church, but were brutally defeated and exiled to the north… fear gradually grew in her stomach as she realized that those were not mere legends, but actually existed.
She spoke in a shaking voice.“Does that imply that the exiled warlocks…were the ones leading the war from behind?”
“Nothing is certain just yet. Although it is true that they found traces of the existence of what is believed to be warlocks, it seems that they left the place a long time ago. However, records and various relics that they left behind remain. The great church wishes for us to investigate them ourselves. They think that it will lead to clues where the monsters could be hiding.”
“This is a very grave matter.” Calto said bitterly. “If it turns out that warlocks are indeed behind the war, the persecution of wizards may just begin again. In order to prevent that from happening, the World Tower has decided to actively cooperate with the great church.”
“Why would a trainee like me… be recruited to s-such an important mission? It would be better… to form a dispatch team involving veteran wizards.
“As you already know, high-ranking wizards have restrictions on leaving the tower. Right now, there are only three high-ranking wizards in Urd who are allowed to leave the island: that is me, Celic, and Anton. Other than us, the rest of the high-ranking wizards are either too old to withstand the journey to Pamela Plateau or they are vehemently refusing to leave the island. The three of us are not enough to form a team to investigate and so we decided to recruit a few skillful ones among the trainees.”
“And in particular, we need a wizard who has affiliations with the earth element.” Landon heaved a heavy sigh. “Earth element wizards who are currently living on the island are all from the Umli tribe. Unfortunately, Umli wizards are strictly reluctant on going outside Nornui and I highly doubt that the church would be willing to accept wizards coming from a different race.”
“And so… you want me, an ordinary human, to join the dispatch team.”
Max nodded her head understandingly. She didn’t want to undermine her skills, but there were several wizards in the World Tower who were far more superior than her. That was the reason why she did not understand why such an offer was being given to her.
“If I had deemed that you are lacking skills and ability, I wouldn’t have suggested recruiting you.” Landon said in a disappointed tone as if he was offended by Max. “I have thought of giving the opportunity to another trainee, but I have decided that you are best fit for this mission. You are one of the best trainees of Gnome Hall.”
Max’s face turned red. Joy and surprise welled up inside her for being valued so worthy. Although she was not able to present her magic formula for creating Golems, Landon appeared to be deeply impressed with it.
“Now, how should we move on from here? Will you be joining the dispatch team?”
Calto asked, leaning his back against the chair as if he was exhausted from the long conversation. Max hesitated to utter an answer. It was a very dangerous mission after all, the journey alone to Pamela Plateau would take at least a couple months. However, if she didn’t grab that opportunity, she would have to stay another year and a few months more on that island. Max bit her lips. She thought that it was too selfish of her to go on a very grave mission because of her intention of seeing Riftan much sooner. However, she longed to return to him even if she had to swim across the sea. As time passed, it felt like his feelings would go further away from her and she felt more and more anxious.
After a long silence, Max finally opened her mouth to speak. “Yes. I will be… joining the team.”
A week later, Max headed to the 7th floor of Urd to receive her magic attribute. Among the trainees who were also there were Kiehl, who was a modest boy, two male students from Undaim whom she barely knew and spoke to a few times, Miriam, Sidina, Annette Godrick, and Armin Dolph. After saying her greetings to Miriam, who wished her well, and Sidina, who greeted her cheerfully, she walked over to Annette and Armin who were sitting at a distance.
“Did the both of you decide to join the dispatch team?”
Max’s eyes looked astonishedly between them, well-aware of how reluctant the Umli tribe are to leave this island.
“You will be living among the Holy Knights throughout the journey to Pamela Plateau… will that be alright?”
“There were no other suitable wizards.” Armin replied bluntly. “As you can see, I am the tallest among the Umli trainees. If no one will reveal that I am from Umli tribe, the priests won’t be able to notice that I’m a descendant from a different race.”
“I’m also one of the tallest among the Umli tribe. Moreover, I’m a woman. There would be plenty of room for someone of this height, right?”
Annette grinned as she pointed a finger on the crown of her head. Indeed, Annette’s height is just a little less than 5 kvet (about 150 centimeters) which was taller than those of the average Umli men, and Armin was about a finger taller than Max. Both of them were too big for their height and appeared a little out of proportion, but not enough to be suspected that they did not appear like ordinary humans.
“More than us, I’m worried about you. Will you be able to make the journey all the way to Pamela Plateau given your clumsiness?”
Annette sneered as she looked up and down at Max, who glared at her furiously. “I-I’m the only wizard here who had an experience in expeditions.”
Besides Annette and Armin, the other wizards who were chattering among themselves, turned to look at Max, her loud voice catching their attention. She felt a little daunted by their doubting glances, but she continued to build her reputation.
“That makes me different from all the trainees here.”
“Oh my, I see.”
Annette mocked her openly. As soon as she was about to retaliate, the door opposite to the room where they were waiting opened. Calto Serbel and four other wizards assisting him entered.
Calto approached them and spoke in a calm tone. “Everyone has arrived. From here on, you will receive your magic attribute that will help generate mana in your body. This ceremony will also serve as an oath that will make you a member of the World Tower for the rest of your life.”
He carefully observed each of the trainee’s faces. “Once the ceremony has completed, your names shall be engraved on the tower’s pillars. As long as you do not do anything that is against the tower’s rules, the tower will always take your side and any mistreatment against you, the tower shall take the step forward instantly. Now, I hope that you will promise to abide by the tower’s laws no matter what happens.”
All the trainees opened their mouths in unison and solemnly swore not to do anything against the interests of wizards and to strictly follow all the World Tower’s laws and ethics. Then, the wizards who were waiting behind Calto, recorded each of their names on stone plates and guided them into separate rooms according to their attributes. Max entered through a narrow room hidden in a thick draping veil as she waited for her turn. Each of the trainees were made to stand in the middle of a room, surrounded by candles as The Urd wizards performed a ritual that would grant them their attributes.
The procedure was more painful than she thought it would be. Two wizards drew tattoos on both of her wrists, the markings would serve as the inscription for the magic spell and by blowing magic into those, mana would begin to generate in her body. As her mana pool grew, Max felt a strong dizziness. She clenched her teeth and swallowed her screams from the pain. It was as if fire was flowing through her whole body. Finally, when the magic path from her palms to her heart was finally created, her whole body was completely covered in sweat.
“In the next two days, your magic attributes will be fully established. If you use it properly, you will be able to generate mana that is incomparable in volume than before.” The wizard said and wiped off the dye that was used to mark the tattoo with a towel. “You should make sure to get enough rest for the day. It will take some time for your body to adapt to the amplified volume of magic.”
Max staggered as she left the room, just as all the other trainees, who also appeared exhausted. After she rested with them for a little while, she returned to her room and instantly fell asleep. As the Urd wizard had warned her, it seemed like it would take some time for her body to adapt to the magic path that was created in her body. Max then stayed in bed all day, and in the evening, she barely came to her senses to feed Roy.
Note – LF: Our girl finally got her attribute 😊