At dinnertime, the three members of the Baruch clan and their housekeeper, Hiri, all shared dinner together. Little Wharton raised a cute ruckus at the dinner table, filling it with laughter. By the time dinner came to an end, the old housekeeper carried Wharton back to his room, while Linley and his father, Hogg, began to chat.
“Right. Father, which one is stronger? A magus, or a warrior?” Linley was curious.
Hogg glanced at Linley. Chuckling, he shook his head and said, “Linley, magi and warriors each have their own strengths. At the same rank, a magus is perhaps slightly stronger than a warrior. But the most important thing is that the status of a magus is a full rank higher than that of an equivalent warrior. For example, that dual-element magus of the eighth rank, in terms of social standing, is perhaps slightly superior to even a warrior of the ninth rank.”
“If they are only slightly more powerful, why is there such a big discrepancy in status?” Linley was curious.
Hogg laughed. “Before discussing this, first you should understand the ranking system of the magi. There are nine ranks. First rank and second rank magi are considered junior magi. Third and fourth rank magi are considered mid-level magi. Fifth and sixth rank magi are considered senior magi. The three ranks above them; seventh, eighth and ninth? These are all terrifyingly powerful people. And of course, above the magi of the ninth rank are the Saint-level magi!”
“The reason why magi have such social standings is because the destructive potential their spells have is enormous.” Hogg picked up a glass of juice and continued talking while sipping at it.
“Destructive potential?” Linley looked at his father.
Putting down the glass of juice, Hogg nodded. “A single warrior, even a Dragonblood Warrior, can at most kill a hundred people with the swipe of a sword. When faced with a million man army, at best he could kill their leader, but when a leader dies, he can simply be replaced. But a Saint-level magus? If he chooses to utilize one of those powerful forbidden spells, he can annihilate an entire town or wipe out an army of hundreds of thousands. With an entire army destroyed, even if its leader survived, what’s the use? Thus, to a kingdom, a Saint-level magus is more terrifying than an entire enemy army.”
Linley immediately understood.
“Let’s not discuss Saint-level magi for now. Even a magus of the eighth or ninth rank would be capable of using spells which contain shocking power and are able to change the course of a battle. This is why magi have such a high social standing.” Hogg said with a light chuckle.
Linley quietly nodded.
In the war-torn land of the Yulan continent, one could imagine how important the magi were to a kingdom.
“Oh, right. Father, I read in one of the books that compared to a warrior, a magi’s physical strength is much weaker. But just then, I watched that magus jump down from the back of the Velocidragon with ease. How could his body be physically weak?” Linley pursued.
Hogg replied, “Let’s discuss this question later. Linley, you should know that in the Yulan continent, an average person’s lifespan is around 120-130 years. Powerful magi and warriors can live for longer, usually up to two or three hundred years, or sometimes even four hundred years. The absolute limit to a person’s lifespan is five hundred years. Only those who have attained the legendary power of Saint-level combatants can live eternally, unbound by the dictates of time.”
He had read of this in his books as well.
“But Linley, do you know the reason why powerful warriors and magi enjoy such a long life-span?” Hogg followed with a question.
Linley was startled.
Linley had always considered it to be a fact of life that powerful warriors and magi could live for three or four hundred years. He had never considered the reason.
Looking at the expression on Linley’s face, Hogg couldn’t help but laugh. “Linley, first of all, I must tell you that in this world, there are elemental powers. Fire-type element, water-type element, wind-type element, earth-type element, lightning-type element, light-type element, and darkness-type element. Warriors and magi both rely on absorbing these elements from nature as part of their training. Both magic spells and battle-qi are fueled by and determined by a specific elemental type. If you had carefully observed, you would have been able to notice that in the adventuring party you saw earlier today, for the four warriors, the red-headed leader had fire-type battle-qi. The other three had either wind-type battle-qi, or water-type battle-qi. And just like battle-qi, the spells of magi also have elemental types!”
This was the first time that Linley had ever heard about this. Only now did he learn that both magi and warriors relied on absorbing natural energy from the elements.
“The reason why powerful magi can live so long is because when magi absorb natural elemental energy into their body to generate pure mageforce, when the elemental energy flows through their body, it will naturally refine their apertures, their joints, and their flesh, making their bodies stronger and stronger. With a stronger body, naturally they will live longer. By the same logic, when warriors cultivate their battle-qi, they also absorb natural energy, which flows through their body and strengthens it. The more powerful a warrior is, the stronger his body will be. Naturally, he will live a long life.” Hogg explained everything in detail.
Linley felt as though only now did everything become crystal clear.
Based on his father’s words, the bodies of magi had also been strengthened by elemental power and would therefore naturally be very strong.
“But father, why is it that people say magi have weak bodies?” Linley was confused.
Hogg shook his head. “Can’t you think this through yourself? Magi only have weak bodies in comparison to warriors of the same rank, and not in absolute terms. For example, a magi of the eighth rank might have the same physical strength of a warrior of the second or third rank, even if he never engaged in any physical training. But of course, compared to a warrior of the eighth rank, his body would be very weak indeed!”
Linley slapped himself on the head, then laughed, somewhat embarassed.
How could he not have realized this simple logic? His thoughts really had been too rigid.
“Although, despite the fact that magi are vulnerable in melee combat, they do have their own ways to address this deficiency. One method is utilizing magical protective spells, such as the ‘shield of earth’, ‘shield of ice’, ‘shield of wind’, or ‘shield of light’ spells. First, they would use their magic to defend; then, they would use their magic to strike back!”
“And truly powerful magi have another method. Using ‘magical beasts’!”
Hearing these words, Linley’s eyes shone.
Linley wanted a magical beast of his own as well, such as a powerful Velocidragon.
“A powerful magical beast can protect the body of his magus, preventing enemies from getting close. This way, the magus can immediately cast his attacking spells to kill his opponents.” Hogg smiled as he spoke.
Linley immediately asked, “Father, how can a person acquire a magical beast companion?”
Seeing the expression on Linley’s face, Hogg couldn’t help but laugh. “There’s only two ways to acquire a magical beast companion. The first is to make the magical beast willingly subordinate himself to you and serve you. The second way is to use a soul-binding magical array to enslave the magical beast.”
“The requirements for the former are very difficult. For a magical beast to willingly subordinate himself to you, perhaps the only way is to defeat the magical beast in direct combat. Only then would he willingly follow you. For example, if you wanted to subdue a Velocidragon, you would first have to be able to defeat that Velocidragon in battle.” His father’s words rendered Linley speechless.
He wanted a Velocidragon of his own, but how could he possibly have the power to defeat one?
“As for the second method, it is extremely complicated to set up a soul-binding magical array. Only a magus of the seventh rank, at the very least, could set up such an array.” Hogg said in a composed voice.
Linley was stunned. “Father, by what you say…only a magus of the seventh rank or higher can enslave a magical beast?”
“No, not necessarily. If you have enough money, you can purchase a soul-binding scroll. When the time comes, all you have to do is to tear it apart, and it will automatically generate a soul-binding magical array. However, a soul-binding scroll is amazingly expensive,” Hogg said with a self-deprecating laugh.
“How expensive is it?” Linley pursued the topic.
“Last I heard, the going price was around ten thousand gold coins. And what’s more is, even if you had the money, there’s almost no market for it due to its rarity.” Hogg’s words forced Linley to laugh bitterly at himself.
The hardest part to acquiring a magical beast companion was in defeating it.
Of course, you could always acquire a weak magical beast as a companion, but what would be the point? But for a powerful magical beast, do you have enough power of your own to subdue it? If you were to defeat it using traps and trickery, how could the magical beast possibly be willing to serve?”
It isn’t an easy thing to convince someone to whole-heartedly subordinate themself to you.
As for the second method of using a soul-binding array, it was clear that this option was only available to powerful magi or to wealthy people. Not even many noble clans would be willing to part with the extravagant sum of ten thousand coins for a single soul-binding scroll.
Chewing on his lips, Linley furrowed his brows in thought.
“If I really want to acquire a magical beast companion, based on my family’s economic situation, I would have to become a magus of the seventh rank first. That’s the only way.” Linley secretly pondered all the possibilities, but he knew very well how difficult this would be.
And the first barrier to this plan? The question of whether or not he even had the natural talent to use magic!
After all, he only had a ten-thousand in one chance. If he didn’t have the natural talent for it, then there was no way he could become a magus.