Chapter 30: Magic and the Divine Arts
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
"When this book has lost its value for you, please give it to someone in need of it. The truth must be preserved."
That was the first sentence Benjamin saw after he flipped open the cover page. As expected, the content after that was the mages version on how the magic and the divine arts originated. It was another version of Cain and Abels story.
In this story, there was no devil. There was only the God of Magic and the God of Light. They blessed two mortals each with the power of magic and divine arts. The antagonist in this story was the perilous environment and the mighty magical beasts. Cain and Abel cleared the wastelands and led the human race to build a place that they could call their home.
However, as stories go, good times will never be long. The brothers had a conflict over the sacrificial ceremony, where the God of Magic favored grains and vegetables, so Cain insisted that all sacrifices should be grains and vegetables. On the other hand, the God of Light preferred cows and lambs, so Abel wanted all sacrifices to be likewise. The followers of both parties had increasing clashes too. One day, the brothers finally broke apart, and they had a battle in a valley.
When the battle reached its climax, two beams of holy light descended from the sky. The God of Light and God of Magic made themselves known. They were saddened by the fratricidal behaviors of the humans, and thus killed Cain and Abel with the divine punishment. They declared that they would never step foot on this land ever again, which was why the land was called the Abandoned Land of Gods, the battlefield named The Abandoned Valley of Gods.
Lost without their leader, Cain and Abels followers fought with each other, fueled by their long-constrained resentment. Since then, the two factions went into a great war. Abels followers were more skilled in winning over the support of the people. They built the church and expanded on the land; Cains followers gradually became isolated, and was dismissive towards the practice of banding together. Hence, the church took the advantage and started a massacre of the mages. Finally, the land became what it is today.
After he finished the mages story, Benjamin felt that this version was more objective than the churchs version. It did not contain any discredits to the opposing faction too. However, the Rashomon effect dictated that as long as someone was involved in the story, his narrative will never be totally objective. Therefore, he finished the story with the spirit of investigation and query.
At this moment, his mind was no longer wandering in this mayhem of a legend.
This Bible was not thick, and it used up half of its pages to illustrate the story. Benjamin was slightly bothered by how little the sections on magic would be. Thankfully, Benjamin came across a multitude of spells as he read through the pages: Fireball Spell, the Water of Life, the Land Subsidence Spell. Among them were the familiar Waterball Spell and the frustrating Binding Spell.
These spells were written phonetically using similar sounding words, and it was as easy as translating "good morning" into mandarin literally according to the pronunciations. If it was not for the detailed analysis of the pronunciations of the spell under the transcriptions, Benjamin would be very suspicious of the accuracy of the spells. Additionally, as Benjamin knew the incantations of the Waterball Spell and the Binding Spell, he inferred that he would be able to grasp the pronunciations of the other spells without making any mistakes.
The rest of the book was all used to introduce these spells one by one. There were more than 50 spells introduced, and the mess was apparent. Besides, according to the explanation of magic given by the book, these were all Beginner Level magic, easy to master but has no actual threat. Some could even be symbolized with chicken ribs - tasteless but a waste to throw away. Facewashing Spell? Face Moisturizing Spell? Did the person who invented these spells work for Watsons in their past lives?
Benjamin was quite disappointed.
He had hoped that the book would explain some magic theories to him, or maybe tell him the purpose of the space of his consciousness, or detail the elements, energy and the others. The result? This book only knew how to stuff spells down his throat.
He did not mean to say that spells are bad, but he had higher expectations.
He was slightly worried too. What if under the long period of suppression by the church, the standard of magic on all lands was only empirical? What if the mages only knew how to memorize and regurgitate spells, but did not manage to innovate an advanced methodology? What can he do then?
If that was really the case, he would be the bellwether in the field of magical theory....
After a brief period of disappointment, Mr. Bellwether decided to retain his spirit of academic pursuit. He went into the space of his consciousness, and started experimenting the 50+ spells he just learnt.
He started with the spells that had no relations with water. One by one he chanted: Fireball Spell, Numbing Spell, Latent Image Spell. The results were the same. A repelling force was felt from the space, and sometimes even the wandering particles started to protest, as if they were saying, "The one youre chanting is my enemy! Shut up, or else Ill choke you to death!"
He was left with no choice but to pick a Water Barrier Spell, and chanted after confirming the pronunciations and focused all of his attention. A wave propagated from his body.
The surrounding water particles stirred and slowly had a tendency to gather. However, when the particles were halfway through the gathering process, Benjamin suddenly felt an immense pain in his brain as the energy wave dissipated and the water particles stopped gathering.
The spell failed.
Benjamin did not give up. He had a hunch that there was something going on with this spell. Therefore, he repeatedly summoned the water barrier, and he finally succeeded after more than 10 failures.
It was a steaming thin membrane that enveloped him like a bubble. He felt a refreshing feeling as if his heart and mind connected. He gazed at this barrier that looked so fragile, and could not help but poke at it with his finger.
The bubble popped as it burst.
Damn, it was really fragile.
That could not be helped either. This was the first time he had casted the spell, and it was very tiring due to its unfamiliarity. Benjamin could only comfort himself using this line of reason. Then, with the determination he had when he looped the spells before, he started practicing this spell again and again.
It was very exhausting for him to repeat an unfamiliar spell, especially after numerous failures. After another round of failures, he was once again ejected from the space of his consciousness.
The success rate for this spell was 5 out of uncountable trials. It was obvious that it would be impossible for him to deploy this spell in actual combat when the success rate was so low.
At first, Benjamin was dismayed. Despite all that, he managed to calm himself down thanks to his thirst for knowledge, which was instilled in him by modern education. He thought about the cause for the failures. The Waterball Spell was deployed for an infinite amount of times in his space, and the success rate was 100% with minimal drainage of energy. Although the Water Barrier Spell was slightly complicated than the Waterball Spell, it was impossible for it to be so arduous!
What was the problem?
When he compared the incantations for the Waterball Spell and the Water Barrier Spell, Benjamin finally found his answer.
Everything was due to the glittering blue symbol in the space of his consciousness.
When he was chanting the Waterball Spell, the symbol would vibrate and emit waves to guide these water particles. And when he was casting the Water Barrier Spell, the symbol was not involved in the process, and he could only rely on himself to give out a wave. Thus, his control over the water particles dropped drastically too.
Once he understood this, another bigger problem surfaced. Why did the symbol not react when he chanted the symbol? In other words, what should he do to let the symbol help him in casting spells aside from the Waterball Spell?
As he returned to the space, he tried the other spells that were related to water: the Water of Life, the Freezing Spell, Ice-Breaking Spell, the Misting Spell . All of them had similar results with the Water Barrier. The triangular symbol was just like the door in the story of Alibaba, the Waterball Spell its Open Sesame. Other than that, it would not bother reacting.
Now, he was at a loss on what he should do.
If he was honest, how could it be possible for him to understand the mechanisms of the symbol when he had no idea what the symbol even was? As the bellwether of the field in magical theory, his research was all on the process of magic. He still needed to investigate more in order to know how everything works.
Basically, he was a mere common folk. He knew that the hands of the clock relied on electric power to move, and that if the clock ran out of electric power, he would know how to change the batteries. However, if a gear broke within the clock, only a clockmaker would know the more detailed parts of a clock and thus be able to fix it.
Where could he find the clockmaker for magic?
Benjamin sighed, feeling slightly dejected. He switched back to reality and flipped the Holy Bible in his hand to the last page. Aside from the story and the 50+ spells, the last page on the book also had a sentence written on it.
You are the 56th person to finish this book. Please pass this book to the next person who needs it, and pass the magic forwards.
Not long after he flipped to this page, the numbers in the sentence shifted in a spooky way. It changed from 56 to 57.
Benjamin was amazed for a moment, but once he confirmed that that was just a tiny magic trick that would not even have a magic ripple, he was composed again.
This line, however, did touch him a little.
Under the draconian raid and arrests done by the church, these mages took shelter in the darkness and strove for survival. However, never did they forget to pass the magic on to the next generation of mages. Because of that, they wrote and edited this simplistic Holy Bible to pass the message on, one mage at a time.
It finally landed in his hands.
No wonder Michelle did not mention about this book when she spoke about equal exchange. This book was not a gift she gave to Benjamin. Michelle was only fulfilling a promise, a promise that all 56 people already fulfilled.
Woot! Benjamin shrugged helplessly. What was with all this sense of purpose for one book? Were they really planning for a revolution? He could not even fend for himself!
He set his emotions aside and returned his attention onto the triangular symbol again. Or else, despite learning all these spells, he could only hug the Waterball Spell and tremble in the corner when he was under attack.
How did Michelle and the others learn magic? Was it as strenuous as he experienced?
Could he only wait for Michelle to appear again and ask her about this? That was too passive for his taste. No matter if he asked or not, the power would still lie in Michelles hands, and he also had no patience to wait for that time.
Think! Do he have anything else that he did not use?
"I found it! Im a genius! Im the most genius and unrivalled super artificial intelligence system!"
Suddenly, the System that was silent for a long time jumped up and screamed madly in Benjamins brain, and it shocked him so much he nearly threw the book in his hand.
".... Before you launch a sudden attack like this next time, could you please turn down the volume first?" Benjamin deadpanned before he continued, "Wait, just put yourself to mute, and Ill deliver a letter of appreciation to your supplier."
The tone of the System was proud, "Really now? I just had a groundbreaking research, though, are you sure that you dont want to know about it?"
Benjamin was too tired to make up a retort. In this day and age, even a System started doing its own research?
"Dont want to know it? Alright then, I wont say anything." The System was trying to be cool.
"Oh, please dont say anything. Ill thank your ancestors for that." Benjamin nearly cheered and applauded the Systems decision.
The System was furious, "What the hell is wrong with you? Stick to the script! Nope, youll still need to listen even if you dont want to! I spent so much time on this. Now, listen carefully," after it said that, he feigned coughing a few times to clear his throat.
What business a System has clearing its throat.
Benjamin wanted to spite the System, but before he could get the words out, the System continued saying, "Do you still remember the time Grant nearly used divine arts in the castle to save you?"
Benjamin could not do anything but nod and followed, "Yes I do. He did not use it, though. I wanted to see how divine arts looked like, to be honest, its posture looked strong."
The System then said, "Oh, theres no need for you to be curious. Youve seen it before."
Benjamins eyebrows raised to his hairline, "Did I? I never witnessed the divine arts after I teleported here. Anything before the teleportation cannot be taken into account."
The System did not answer immediately. Instead, he was happy being a tease, and only answered boastfully when Benjamin was seconds away from scolding it.
"Not only did you see it, you even used it yourself," the System dragged on, "According to my analysis, magic and divine arts are basically the same thing. Magic is divine arts, divine arts is magic, you dont even need to separate the two."
When A Mage Revolts Chapter 30
Chapter 30: Magic And The Divine Arts
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