2. 30 Years Back to the Past
Translated by End
As Ian was regaining conscience, the very first thing he felt was nausea. The nausea was so bad, he felt like vomiting.
Hurriedly, he searched his chest. Blood, wounds, pain, he did not feel any of it. He was certain something unusual happened.
“Ian, what is wrong with you?”
Ian’s heart skipped a beat. Even nausea disappeared for the moment. Such unforgettable, familiar voice. That memorable voice, that voice he missed so terribly, tickled his left ear.
His mother that departed long ago. The voice of ‘Vanessa Page.’ Never could Ian have known that a day would come that he would meet her again.
‘Did I succeed?’
Or did I fell into world of the dead? Clasping his mother’s hand tightly, Ian looked around.
“Je, Jess from Lloyd Village!”
“Lloyd? There is a village named Lloyd?”
“The village is very far apart and rural…….”
“Hmph! No matter, go in.”
“A, a, a is there really, a true Mage inside?”
“Well, you will know if you go in, ain’t it?”
A row of thousands of children seem to have lined up for this. Mixed in this line was Ian and Vanessa. Controlling the surging crowds were the rough, ugly looking soldiers from the lord’s castle. A flag with an Ivory Tower symbol fluttered atop the pure white tent.
Drinking in the scenery, Ian could judge his current situation.
‘I seem to have …… succeeded.’
His small-er hands were further proof of his success.
He had travelled exactly 30 years back. Back before the Continent was Unified under Greenriver’s name. He could guess the exact number of years because of the current situation. All the children were lined up to be ‘examined,’ every region was enforced to do the ‘Mana Reaction Test.’
‘It was mandatory test for every child who turned 10 years old.’
Before coming back, Ian was forty years old. By the consequence of logical deduction, he had travelled back 30 years into the past.
‘I have come back further than I thought possible.’
Not 10, not 20, but 30 years. Of course, this was not a bad result. No, it was rather fantastic.
‘I only tried to erase the blood on my hand.’
The reason he had delved into Dragon Chant, his pursuit of Time Magic, was to erase any evidence of the destruction he wrought with his magic. To pull out the root and branch of history, and change it completely. Such was his vindication before he was poisoned by the Emperor.
‘Well, I simply can’t let it end again with a knife in my back.’
By the pretext of being friend, he had made many concessions. By the virtue of being loyal, he had been more than tolerant. This had lead to the unlimited misery. His best of friend, Emperor Ragnar, turning traitor. Being used of his life, in the end, all it lead to was his death.
‘This life I have been given, I shall not be lead by anyone.’
For such conviction to be proven true, he had to find it again. The Power of the 8th Class Mage, and advance above that power. Why not? For he had already walked that path once. He would run toward it in a breath of a moment and aim much further forward.
As Ian came to the resolution of the heart, it was his turn for the Mana Reaction Test.
“I will be back.”
Ian tried to comfort his mother, whose face was full of worry.
Walking forward to the soldier in front of the tent, he spoke, “Ian, from Mogrian Village. ”
“Mogrian…… Ah, are you the son of our Vanessa?”
Ian’s mother was the kitchen maid in the lord’s castle. For a kitchen maid, she was beautiful to a fault that many soldiers fawn over her. They saw her as an easy target, as she was a widow and a kitchen maid.
“Go ahead and don’t bother the Mage with useless questions.”
The soldier’s eye was clammy as he had his sight focused on Ian’s mother. Something Ian could have never noticed in his youthful ignorance.
‘I should probably fix his gaze very soon.’
Vowing, Ian entered the tent. In the tent was a young delegate Mage and three Knights, who stood guard.
“Sir Aaron, how many children are left?”
“I believe you still have to spend severals hours on this task.”
Was it because the Mage had already tested several hundred children? The Mage’s voice was full of tiredness.
‘This brings me back to the good old times.’
During his time as an apprentice Mage, Ian was dispatched to conduction one of these tests. Though he wasn’t as fatigued as the Mage in front of him, it must have been due to the village being rural and quiet.
‘The situation here must be different.’
This was Mogrian province. One of the four largest regions in the Empire, it was a so-called ‘Great Province.’ The region was vast enough that there must be thousands of children who had to take the test.
“Right, boy. Come closer.”
With a gentle voice, the Mage called Ian. Other than him being a Mage, he seems to be a well mannered noble. Though Ian was a Mage, the arrogance of most Mages knew no bound.
‘If they could be worse than the nobles than they did it.’
Mages were precious. So rare were they, that most common folks could hardly meet one in their lifetime. With the value of a Mage, their headcount were small in itself.
Among the Mages, 90% stayed in 1st Class for the rest of their lives. The authority of the 1st Class Mage was the next best thing to being a minor noble. From 4th Class onward, they did not even fear the power of the greater nobility.
‘They do say the number of Mages is proportional to the strength of the nation.’
Therefore, they conducted the mandatory Mana Reaction Test. To find and nurture just one more Mage for their nation.
“For now, won’t you bow your head for a bit?”
The first attribute, ‘Mana Brain,’ A part of the brain that took charge in manifesting the magic. This attribute could not be acquired, the person was inherently born with it.
“I will prod your head slightly with Mana. You could feel dizzy, but it’s momentary so do not worry.”
Speaking as such, the Mage laid his hand on Ian’s head. As he describes, Ian started to feel dizzy. This was an obvious outcome, a side effect of the Mana Brain being stimulate
“Good. Now, turn so that your back is facing me.”
The second attribute, ‘Mana Heart.’ The place that stored, generated and circulated Mana, an all-inclusive organ. The place that he pierced the spell engraved dirk.
The test ended after the proof of the existence of Mana Heart. If both attributes were proven, the examinee was given the immediate privilege of attending the Magic Academy.
Like in the past, Ian did not feel confident. He felt something was ‘lacking.’
“Why did you stand?”
Ian was hesitant seeing the Mage hurrying about. As if it reminded him of something, the Mage began spewing out words.
“Ah, I just discovered your Mana Brain. What does it mean? It means that life is about to turn about right in front of your nose. But only if, you have Mana Heart. So hurry about, and turn around.”
The Mage never did imagine that a reaction would appear this year.
Hearing the part about his “life is about to turn about”, Ian hurriedly turned about to proceed with his Mana Heart test, but he stopped as he had a higher ambition than a simple change in life.
‘A simple Academy admission is not enough.’
Ian needed the best possible head start, right from the starting line. While he was lacking in Mana, that did not mean there were no other means. Should he be a bit more bold?
“Uh, Mr. Mage.”
Decided, Ian opened his mouth. His childish voice still felt strange.
“There is something I want to show you.”
“A letter? Well, something like that……..”
Yes, there were many like that. Children bringing ‘letters’ or ‘gifts’ as respect. The even minded Ian also had experienced such. Without a doubt, this noble also had similar situations.
“Nothing like that.”
But, what Ian wanted to show was something completely different. Something that will increase his value exponentially.
Magic. What else?
In Ian’s hand, a small fist sized fire erupted. A basic magic belonging to the 1st Class, ‘Fireball.’
At the Mage’s reaction, Ian was satisfied. In his other hand, Ian made a tear shaped water ball. This time, it was ‘Aquaball.’
The Mage’s eye popped wide open. The Knights watching nearby was of similar disposition. This small boy was using magic? Not having entered the very door sill of the Academy, this boy was using magic during his Mana Reaction Test? And on top of that, Double Casting?
This was positively a huge incident with no such precedent in history.
“I don’t really know.”
The Mage’s face was longing for answers, and Ian looked straight at the Mage’s face without flinching. Without dropping one syllable, Ian continued.
“It just started working one day.”
What preposterous nonsense was this boy speaking?
This boy, he was suspicious.
“Perhaps, did someone teach you such skill?”
“Not really. I don’t recall something like that happening.”
The Mage cast Interrogation Magic as he asked his questions. The magic checked the instinctive biological response such as the spike in heart beat or the dilation of the pupil.
“Think clearly before you answer. Any lies can have you declared for treason. What I mean is you, your family, even your neighbours could be executed. ”
The Mage’s word were not those to incite fear. With the benefits beyond one’s imagination, so too were Mage’s existence strictly governed. Every Mage was under the administration of the Empire and the Ivory Tower. Every unregistered Mage was considered a traitor. So too, was teaching magic without permission. This extended to dedicated organization setup to observe their every actions.
“What reason do I have to lie to you?”
Ian knew the reality of it all better than anyone else. He even acknowledged the Interrogation Magic that the Mage invoked. But he still carried on with his falsehood.
‘Because I truly did not learn it from anyone.’
The basic invocation of Mana and several magic spells. All of it, he had realised through self-study in his previous life. All of it, in exactly 3 month period between passing the Mana Reaction Test and waiting for the new season of Magic Academy.
‘Peerless genius doesn’t sound so bad.’
The first Ian was a certified genius. Was he not the first 8th Class Mage humanity ever seen? Just that in his previous life, he was an ordinary genius. In this new life, he would be a legendary existence among the Mages, a genius among genius that would associate him with the ‘First Mage.’
The Mage’s mouth split open and out of it, laughter came. There were so many suspicious angles with the story the child was spewing. But the problem was, the Interrogation Magic was not working. Could the child somehow control his basic instincts intentionally? To fool the Interrogation Magic?
‘But that’s preposterous.’
The Mage could affirm, such act was impossible. Only spies who assimilated daily and the utmost, extreme training could be this unresponsive.
‘There are two conclusions to this.’
Either this boy was history’s most premier spy.
‘He possesses talent of the ‘First Mage.”
A legend any Mage would have heard at least once. To the common folks, they believed magic had its root in the Dragons. For the Mages, they believed in the ‘First Mage.’
‘Both side is beyond my wildest imagination.’
As the Mage’s inmost thought was beginning to skew to the later….
“Ple, please stop this!”
“Shu, shu! Don’t you know there are important people inside?”
The sound of squabble could be heard outside. From the soldier guarding the flap of the tent, and Ian’s mother.