Chapter 1 - Zwei
Alyssa walked through the village's central pathway, carrying a small bamboo basket.
Despite the recent disaster, the village seemed to have regained its former vitality already.
As Alyssa made her way out of the village, the working villagers she passed by would halt their work to greet her. Despite her young age of 13, Alyssa already had the makings of a beauty.
Although the villagers had watched Alyssa grow up from a little baby, the girl was now the disciple of that Lord Magician. Once she completed her studies, she might draw the appreciation of some noble and join the upper-class society.
Not to mention, that Lord Magician was also the village's benefactor. It was only natural that they behaved politely with his pupil.
Meanwhile, the girl, who had her blonde hair tied into two simple braids, also politely returned the villagers' greetings.
However, even while respectfully returning the greetings she received, Alyssa had not once slowed her footsteps. She wasted no time traversing the lively village pathway. And soon, she reached the outskirts of the village.
Large wheat fields covered the plains outside the village. The fields were currently a lush green. If nothing untoward happened, this year's harvest should be bountiful.
Without the hindrance of the village houses, Alyssa could now see the tall stone tower in the middle of the nearby Rockdoor Mountain.
That was the mage tower her teacher resided in—even though said mage tower currently did not have anything in it.
Regardless, even though Rockdoor Mountain looked close to the village, the girl still spent half an hour walking to its foot. She then trotted up a flight of stone stairs toward the mage tower.
Before Alyssa arrived at the mage tower, she saw a man resting on a recliner under the tree next to the mage tower. The man wore a black cloak, and with the dense canopy protecting him, the afternoon sun only managed to dapple a few specks of light on him.
The man's exposed arms and legs were wrapped in a layer of white bandages. Against the man's black cloak, the bandages looked exceptionally eye-catching.
This man was Alyssa's teacher, a magician rumored to have traveled here from the East. He came to Alyssa's village half a year ago. And because he had taken a fancy to Alyssa's talent, he had decided to remain in this no-name village to teach her.
Initially, the villagers did not think much of this magician's decision to stay. Although they indeed felt some aversion toward outsiders, the other party did not choose to live in the village. Instead, he had built a mage tower outside the village. Moreover, the other party was a mysterious magician. The simple villagers felt a certain degree of fear toward people that wielded supernatural powers. Hence, they naturally didn't poke the hornet's nest.
Over time, apart from Alyssa, who would frequently visit her teacher to learn about magic, the villagers had gradually forgotten about the existence of this reclusive magician.
That was until a month ago, when a frenzied arrow porcupine had barged into the village and wreaked havoc.
The village lay near the foot of Rockdoor Mountain. Originally, the village's hunters, who relied on hunting and gathering near the mountain, should've had no problem taking down a Level 3 Arrow Porcupine if they worked together. However, for some reason, this particular arrow porcupine was unexpectedly ferocious. Not only was it several times stronger than ordinary arrow porcupines, but the defensive capabilities of its hide were also extraordinary. Normal arrows couldn't even mark its hide.
Only a team of heavily armored knights could possibly take on such a monster. Ordinary people would only serve as cannon fodder against it.
After the arrow porcupine had destroyed a portion of the village's buildings and casualties started piling up, Alyssa finally managed to persuade her teacher to come and help.
Sure enough, the Lord Magician was extraordinary. After a series of fireballs and electric shocks, the rampaging arrow porcupine reluctantly collapsed while twitching.
However, just when everyone thought that it was safe, the unconscious arrow porcupine momentarily regained consciousness and used the last of its strength to rain arrows on the Lord Magician. Caught off guard, he won the lottery and got struck all over his body. If not for a few smart villagers immediately bandaging the Lord Magician's wounds, with that weak body of his, he would've long since died from excessive blood loss.
Even so, the Lord Magician, named Zwei, still had to recuperate for about a month before he managed to reach his current state.
However, apart from Zwei himself, most likely, no one else was aware that the 21-year-old unlucky bastard already had his body taken over by someone else.
"Teacher, are you feeling any better?" Alyssa asked as she set her basket on a stone table nearby. She then lifted the linen cloth covering the basket, revealing a few pieces of dry bread, a large chunk of bacon, and a bottle of milk.
The girl first spread a clean linen cloth over the table, then took out the food in the basket one after another. "This is the lunch my mother prepared for you."
Alyssa's family wasn't wealthy. The lunch prepared was already the best her family could provide.
"Sorry for the trouble, Alyssa," Zwei said as he opened his eyes. When he looked at the little girl standing respectfully beside him, he revealed a smile that he himself considered amiable.
If I transmigrated, so be it. In any case, I no longer have any relatives I need to be concerned about. Moreover, transmigrating isn't necessarily a bad thing since it came with a cute and obedient loli.
While gnawing on the dry bread, Zwei looked at the innocent smile on Alyssa's face. The little girl seemed to be pleased because a noble magician had deemed her family's humble food edible.
The only problem I have is, why did my body suddenly gain a Magic Academy System?! Which God placed me in this third-rate novelesque situation?!
However, what Zwei really wanted to complain about wasn't this system.
In reality, when he first discovered that his transmigration seemingly came with a golden spoon, he inwardly celebrated. However, he soon realized that his golden spoon wasn't very kind.
While swallowing down the hard bread with some milk, Zwei happened to glance at his right hand, which was holding the milk bottle.
His right hand was bare, so he could clearly see that its back had a tattoo of a clock. There was only one hand on this clock, and it was currently pointing at the sector representing "1."
He remembered that when he first arrived in this world, the hand was pointing toward the sector that represented 12 or 0. After a month of recuperation, however, it had moved by one block.
For some reason, he had a strange feeling that once the pointer made a full circle, his life would come to an end.
Treating the slightly hard bacon as the God that pulled this trick on him, Zwei took a big bite and chewed it as if he was chewing gum.
What a joke! He had a lifespan of only one year. Moreover, he had wasted one month doing nothing. How could he possibly complete the goal of the Magic Academy System—establishing the world's best Magic Academy—in the remaining 11 months?!
However, Zwei hadn't exactly done nothing during his one month in bed. He had at least confirmed that only he could see the tattoo on his hand. In addition, he had nearly fully integrated the unlucky magician's memories with his own.
The unlucky magician was only an itinerant mage. The average magician would normally specialize in a specific magic system based on their elemental affinity. However, this unlucky bastard did not do so because he lacked opportunities to learn orthodox magic. Instead, he had dabbled in every elemental magic system while cobbling together jumbled-up magic theories that were full of holes. Moreover, aside from elemental magic, the guy had even touched upon the basics of magicraft and potion-making.
Unfortunately, despite his efforts, the unlucky magician ended up only a jack-of-all-trades.
To make matters worse, after transmigrating into this Basic Magician's body, Zwei found that he could use only the most basic Magic Bullet when it came to magic, despite having the magician's body.
Well, at least I can now cast Magic Bullet instantly. That unlucky bastard still had to chant a spell to cast it even after reaching the Basic rank.
Occasionally, Zwei would also use this line of thought to console himself.
All in all, based on his current progress, establishing the world's best Magic Academy in 11 months was a pipe dream. In fact, even raising himself to the level of a Master Magician was an impossible task already.
Since there was no hope for success, he might as well enjoy the 11 months he had left.
Zwei, who was optimistic by nature—or dull beyond description—had accepted this setting like so. He also planned to pass everything he learned from the unlucky magician on to Alyssa, thoroughly training, ahem, educating her into a promising magician! Doing so could also be regarded as fulfilling the wish of that unlucky magician.
While the unlucky bastard's skills were mediocre, his eye for talent was excellent. Alyssa's aptitude for magic far surpassed that of the unlucky magician. She could understand most magic patterns and spells at a glance. She even managed to quickly memorize and recite complicated potion recipes. Although her magic standard currently remained at the mana perception level, so long as she had a solid theoretical foundation, she would undergo a qualitative improvement once she got through this level.
As a side note, a certain predecessor had taken three whole years to reach this step. On the other hand, despite having become the original Zwei's student half a year ago, Alyssa had truly come into contact with magic only two months ago.
After Zwei finished his meal, Alyssa diligently tidied up the linen cloth and basket. She also made sure to wipe the table once. Looking at this girl, who would've only been attending middle school in his original world, Zwei felt an indescribable feeling in his heart.
After sorting out his thoughts, Zwei asked casually, "Alyssa, do you remember where we left off yesterday?"
"Teacher, we talked about the basic matters we need to pay attention to when composing magic, as well as several taboos in the use of mana," Alyssa, who had finished tidying up, replied obediently as she stood upright beside Zwei.
The girl's meticulous expression filled Zwei with an inexplicable sense of accomplishment. It was no wonder teachers favored good and obedient students.
"In that case, I'll talk about the differences in magical attributes today. This relates to which path you will choose to specialize in, so listen carefully."
Truthfully, a live demonstration would definitely be more helpful for understanding. However, theoretical knowledge was about the only thing Zwei could show off now.
Moreover, according to Alyssa's current progress, she would soon suck dry even the little theoretical knowledge he had.
"Yes, Teacher. I understand." Alyssa naturally didn't know that the teacher in front of her had long since been reduced to an Apprentice Magician like herself. Instead, she continued listening earnestly to Zwei's instructions.
Faced with her earnest attitude, Zwei nodded in satisfaction and said, "After learning the theory, it will be the usual meditation time. Although you are still at the mana perception stage, remember that stability is more important than speed. Now is the time for you to build a solid foundation. Only with a solid foundation can you construct buildings tens of thousands of meters tall."
"I understand." Tilting her head, Alyssa asked curiously, "But, Teacher, is there really such a tall building in this world?"
"Uh, if floating islands count, then yes…"