Halls was 54 years old this year, an intermediate rank 6 magician who was skilled at water elemental spells. At the same time, he was also quite talented at potion-making. On the side note, he was the same age as Lord Kontos and coincidentally, their birthdays were on the same day.
Magician Halls was a pretty gentle person, at least compared to other magicians who were obsessed with magic. Those magicians were unsociable, constantly cooped up in the laboratory to discover the secrets of magic. They despised most of the worldly matters.
However, Halls was different. After becoming a certified magician, he stayed and worked with the Magician’s Association, being one of the few hired magicians in the association. There were perks to working at the Magician’s Association, for instance, he could get the newest updates through the association and also get some materials at a good price. Other than that, he could use a laboratory for free and read all the articles about ancient magic freely.
Even so, this job still had downsides. As the Executive Magician, Halls had to complete some tasks in the association. Although they were fairly easy, they had to spend a few days in the office where they deal with administrative works and also teach the Fundamentals of Magic and Potion-Making at the Magical Academy.
Even though there were 20 Executive Magicians in the association, most of them were uninterested in mundane jobs. Some of them might put in effort when teaching at the academy, but when it came to dealing with paperwork, they would slack off as much as they could.
Lafre set a rule to prevent this whereby those who skipped work three times would be penalised. They would not be allowed to read articles for a month which somehow kept them on their toes.
Even with such tempting perks, not a lot of powerful magicians would work for the association. They preferred to live a carefree and unrestricted life and this was why all the magicians in the association were intermediate ranked magicians.
Halls’ main task in the association was to teach potion-making and handle paperwork in the office for two days per month. His magic was at the pinnacle of rank 6 and with his current rate, he might be able to ascend into rank 7 and become an advanced rank magician but this was highly dependent on luck and cultivation.
He was contemplating if he should quit this job since being an advanced rank magician before turning 55 would grant him the title ‘Grand Magician’. This would be an honourable title for any magicians but Halls couldn’t muster the courage to bring this up Lafre because of all the help he had been getting from Lafre.
Today was the day for Halls to deal with the paperwork and while he was getting ready to meditate after signing some purchase orders for the herbs, someone interrupted him.
The person pronounced himself as Tatara and it took Halls some time to be reminded about this name.
Halls’ initial attitude towards Tatara was pretty friendly but his face immediately fell when he was reminded of Tatara’s identity. He was a disgrace to magicians!
“What?” Halls listened to him impatiently and asked with a frown, “Mister Tatara, are you here to request the association to restore your reputation?”
“Yes.” Tatara sounded respectful and it didn’t seem like an act, “Honourable Sir Halls, I’ve collected sufficient money to repay my debts. I’ll take care of everything and I wish for the association to restore my reputation as a magician…After all, I’m a certified magician and I graduated from the Magical Academy.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t accept your request,” Halls furrowed his brows, “You’ve caused a lot of trouble to the association for the things you did a few months ago. According to the regulations, your actions have brought shame to the association and we have revoked your certificate. This was a unanimous decision made by the association. I regret to inform you that your certificate has been revoked and we tried to retrieve your badge but we couldn’t find you at that time.”
Tatara felt the awkwardness. He had already escaped to Primal Wildfire by then.
“How about this?” Halls waved his hands impatiently, “You can reapply for a new certificate but according to the penalty, you have to skip ranks, so…if you’d like to apply, submit a report and we’ll arrange for an evaluation within a month.”
After saying this, Halls glanced at the door, gesturing to him to leave immediately.
Tatara was dumbfounded.
Each time a magician breached the regulations set by the association, their certificates would be revoked and if they wanted to regain their certificates, they would have to retake the evaluation for a higher rank. In fact, they had to skip two ranks!
For Tatara’s case, his 1st rank magician certificate was revoked, so if he wanted to become a magician again, he had to take the evaluation for 3rd rank magicians!
<i> You’ve gotta be kidding me! I worked so hard for the first evaluation and I barely passed it! Now you’re asking me to take the 3rd rank evaluation?! Would I still be struggling like this if I had the ability?! But…if I don’t do it, I don’t have a certificate anymore… </i>
A true Sir might not care about official ranks. No one would care about the official badge as long as your ability was real.
But for someone like Tatara, having an official ranking was extremely important.
Firstly, certified magicians could claim an allowance from the Magician’s Association each year (Tatara was planning to use this to redeem himself from Shaar). Secondly, only certified magicians could receive special treatments from churches and association branches, such as free room and board. They could also use magic arrays at the branches for free and purchase ingredients at a low price (some of the banned ingredients could only be bought at the association. The black market had them too but they would be much more expensive. Besides, the supply was low and could go out of stock any time.)
Moreover, only certified magicians can enter the association to read articles. For someone like Tartara who didn’t have a teacher, this was a critical criterion to improve his skills.
Most, most importantly, only certified magicians had legal immunity and protection! They could get away with ordinary crimes which were also extremely important for Tatara! He was able to get to the Primal Wildfire by himself because of his badge. The bandits didn’t even dare to provoke him.
Tatara was dejected. He looked at Halls and saw the annoyance on his face. After some hesitation, he finally made up his mind and spoke with a hoarse voice, “Then…Sir Halls, can I choose to undergo the…trial?”
Halls was startled and he straightened his body subconsciously to look at Tatara.
Trial? Did he choose the trial?
From his records, this 1st rank magician was a coward, a sly and greedy person that tarnished the association’s reputation.
When did he become so courageous?!
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” Tatara took a deep breath.
Halls’ eyes glinted with suspicion.