10/01/ ADW 118

Jay's eyes opened to a white ceiling. It wasn't the cleanest white, but it was a familiar white. Morning used to be a slow business but Jay dealt with it a lot better now. He simply got up earlier to give himself more time, still hated it though.

Breakfast was sunny side eggs as usual. He turned to his mom to thank her for the food…

Jay woke up tearing up; he never got to say good bye that day. The ceiling he saw now was Jax's, a dark dirty brown. He shook his head as though to shake away the sadness.

Master's house was destroyed so they were both staying at Jax's. Mage Silvia had a house seed to build another but completion would take a day at least.

Jay supposed he should get back to stabilizing his mana intake. He was already coached in how to reach his core, so he might as well try to get some progress on his own. He simply had to reach inside himself, easy enough. Should have been at least. Without soaking in the barrel Jay took five tries before he successfully reached his core.

From how he was connected to the swords, Jay could pull and release mana through them almost like limbs, but they constantly leaked mana so sheathes were crafted from mana wood as a solution. Normally the insulatory effects of the wood would be lost when cut down but they could stay fresh from absorbing mana from Jay's swords. He would have to be careful to not send surges down his swords though.

Master told him properly regulating his mana intake would naturally lead him to realize how he was passing along thoughts in his mana, but he had no luck so far. Probably something that would only be apparent once he practically perfected his regulation. Giving up, Jay fell on his back. Today he would finally get some answers. Like why the year was ADW 118. Had to learn the language properly to use magic apparently according to what Silvia said right before she knocked him out before. Who knew? Maybe the 'common language' was an altered form of the 'magic language,' from how weird the written form looked.

[You are correct. The common language is indeed an altered form of the language of magic. I thought I told you to consider me as your master? Come outside.]

Jay couldn't wait for when he managed to regain his privacy.

A surreal sight was set up right outside. Almost straight out of a classroom, a white board and rows of chairs were set up. Even a couple kids from the village were gathered.

[Well I thought my favorite student would like company.]

[What about the fact that I probably don't know things any native to this world would probably know?]

[You're fine. You came from the north and also happen to look like a kid. I will start in 5 minutes, go get to know some of these kids.]

Jay wanted to retort but he thought it pointless. He scanned the crowd for Jax figuring he should start with someone he knew and go from there. Ahh Jax was apparently relatively tall because his head stuck out above most.

"Hello Jax I am gonna hang out with you a bit. Can you introduce me to some of your friends?"

"Sure Jack. Hey guys this is the dude who saved me from the 10 wolves."

Huh Jax must have messed with the story to make himself look better. Maybe he could salvage it.

"Was it actually that many wolves?"

"Well the wolves were certainly cunning, they almost got me."

"How cool! But were there 10 wolves?"

"... not when I got there."

Not wanting to antagonize a potential ally, Jay quickly amended, "but the other 7 might had been drawn away by a mage for a fight. I only saw the aftermath but there were easily over a thousand wolves. Jax, you thought I was the one who drew away those wolves right?"

"Yeah."

He could see some doubt in their eyes but otherwise they were brimming with excitement. Well what he said wasn't a lie, it was speculation that could actually be true. Still unpleasant though. Everyone seemed to be at rapt attention to his description of the fight; it was rather exciting with all said and done. Jay wondered how many others would join with Jax with the same intentions for adventure. He probably would do the same though so he could actually see how things were.

They spent time getting to know each other. Standard things like likes and dislikes. Jay had forgotten how much more pure children were compared to adults. If only people could keep that, at the very least a sense of wonder would probably help.

Jafta and Jefus wouldn't shut up about food; Gina seemed to want to be a warrior since she pestered for the details of the fight; Jax simply listened to everyone; Dakus remained skeptical and also asked for the details; everyone else listened just like Jax.

[Oh I forgot to mention that you aren't my only mage trainee.]

Wait didn't that mean that some of these kids were hearing his thoughts? Oh come on!

"Kids I am going to start so get seated. I plan on furthering your education."

Jefus blurted out, "is that something delicious?"

Not losing a step, master replied, "it could help you get more delicious things, but stop joking Jefus. Let me start with one question: do any of you know what the ADW of ADW 118 stands for?"

Dakus's hand shot up. "Well it stands for After the Divinity War. Year 0 is the year the otherworlder successfully toppled the gods."

"Very good Dakus. Everyone should read like him." Jay would have to find out where the library is.

That explains why the elf wanted his death. Jay didn't really pay much attention after that, didn't need to. He caught how there were 12 kingdoms on the continent but it was quickly apparent that this was simply an overview. The gist was that these kingdoms had been various states of hostility ever since the age of the gods ended. Apparently the gods were rather destructive so not many records survived, basically. Master lengthened explaining this with pretty illusions, probably to grab more attention.

Jay was more interested in gauging what kinds of people he was surrounded with. They were all already literate so they would actually have interesting quirks. He was worried about the implications though; a ruler who used poison as part of his iron fist shouldn't be interested in educating peasants. This was more likely master's work. It wasn't safe to draw any conclusions though.

"… people even say that the mana tax's purpose is to make gods out of the kings…"

What? That would definitely be a highly classified secret if that was true!

[It's fine that was just me playing tricks with your mind. Don't worry; you will be able to prevent tricks on your mind if you learn to properly intake your mana. Hmm we will have to go over the tiers of magecraft.]

"... and as you well know there is a mana tax to go along with the normal tax at the moment. You're dismissed."

Jay would have to find out who the trainees were.