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Out of all of the teachers, the students had their eyes on one in particular. He was sitting on the right most part of the circle, and was resting his chin on his fist with a bored expression on his face. This teacher was Oliver Sternwind, and he was known as an eccentric teacher whose research was primarily focused on intangible magic. Intangible magic was something that even rich people could only dream about comprehending, so the chance to learn under an expert in it was like a dream come true. The only problem was, he hadn't accepted any students in the last 5 years.
'The students this year are nothing special, why do I need to waste my time on this?' Oliver complained to himself. He would much rather spend his time with his research. He knew what it took to learn any of the intangible magics, and he was certain that none of the students here stood a chance. His time was being wasted here.
The truth was that the school had gotten fed up with Oliver eating up their resources, and not even teaching a single student, so they gave him an ultimatum. If he didn't accept a student this year they would stop supporting his research. Oliver was tempted to just leave, but he knew that without the schools abundant resources it would be a lot harder to continue researching intangible magic, which ordinarily was close to impossible anyway.
The students kept stepping up in groups of 10 to demonstrate their current proficiency in magic, but most of them walked away disappointed. Occasionally one or two of the teachers would ask a student for their ID card that every student got when the entered the campus. In an attempt to make it fair for the teachers, the school gave each student an ID so that if a teacher was interested in them they could record their ID, and invite them to learn under them on the second day. The school hoped that this would help a student to be exposed to as many teachers as possible, so that if they were highly sought after the teachers could each try and win over the student on the second day.
There was a constant stream of students coming, and going from the gymnasium. Some students demonstrated the types of magic that they could already use, fire, water, metal, earth, etc... Other students could only manipulate mana to some extent. Multiple times throughout the day a student would try to condense mana in in a ball, and it would violently blow up. Oliver was not impressed with any of the students so far, and felt as if this was a comedy show that he was being forced to sit through.
A new group stepped up just like every other had before, and began showing off their magic. However, this time something caught Oliver's attention, causing him to sit up. Among the students was a young man who from the perspective of most people would have seemed to be using very average magic. He was just tossing a hunk of metal back and forth between his hands, which was nothing impressive. Only a handful of the teachers even noticed the abnormality. Those who did felt a burning desire to s.n.a.t.c.h him up themselves.
Oliver was particularly excited. Thanks to his trained eyes, he immediately noticed how the mana surrounding this young man was being greedily sucked into him from every pore in his body. It was unthinkable for a student of his age to be able to control this much mana by himself. Most people never managed to control half as much mana as he was, and those who did enjoyed abundant resources, and plenty of time. The reason that Oliver was so excited was that having a good understanding of mana was crucial in studying intangible magics, and because of this he had the most in depth understanding of it among all the teachers in the school.
By the end of the demonstration, excitement was visible on Oliver's face. "What is your name young man?" He immediately asked. He had decided then and there that he would settle for no other student.
"Umm, I'm Leon" the young man appeared to be somewhat startled by the sudden question.
The other students were clearly surprised as well. That was only to be expected though, he hadn't taught a student in the last 5 years, so him suddenly showing interest in such an average looking student was somewhat strange.
"Here, give me your ID. I'll bring out your true potential." Oliver had a childish grin on his face, his excitement was evident.
Leon awkwardly handed over his ID card. Of course he had heard the rumours about this particular teacher while he was waiting for his turn to demonstrate his ability, but he didn't expect to catch his attention. After seeing the level of magic that the other students were using, he realised that he was helplessly average at best. He wouldn't have dreamt of being accepted by such a teacher, and was almost worried that he had inadvertently revealed something about the Legacy Shard.
When Oliver got his card he quickly wrote down the string of digits onto a piece of paper, and after handing Leon his ID card back, he promptly left the gymnasium. He immediately went to see the headmaster to give him the piece of paper with the students ID written on it. He wasn't interested in watching the demonstrations any more, and now that he found a student of such potential, and fulfilled his obligations of finding a single student, he had no intentions of finding a second one.
When Oliver arrived at the headmasters office he knocked twice, and then immediately entered without waiting for an answer.
"Ah, Mr. Sternwind, what brings you here, have you found some students?" The headmaster greeted Oliver with a warm smile. They were old acquaintances, but Olivers obsession with intangible magic had prevented him from getting close to anyone.
Oliver nodded once in response to the headmasters question, then handed him a folded piece of paper that had a single string of numbers on it.
After unfolding the paper, the headmaster frowned at Oliver. "You only found one student? What if he doesn't accept?" The headmaster was well aware of Olivers reputation. After all he had personally invited him to teach at the school hoping that his presence would be able to draw more students to the school, but to his disappointment over the last 5 years, he hadn't taught a single student. On top of that he was eating up just as many resources as some of the other teachers were. Alas, a reputation didn't mean that a student was certain to accept, especially if he was talented enough to catch even Olivers eye.
"I won't accept a student who has no chance of comprehending intangible magic, and he has an advantage over even me or you. It would be a waste for any other teacher to teach him, as they would only squander his potential."
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Olivers stubbornness was nothing new to the headmaster, but this time it seemed different. He actually seemed fond of this student. After Oliver discovered his love for magic, he stopped interacting with anyone who he didn't think would help him improve his comprehension of magic. For him to praise a student so highly, that must mean that this student was very promising.
The headmaster knew Olivers temperament fairly well, and he knew that he wasn't interested in teaching to begin with. He had hoped that after Oliver taught a few students he would learn the joy of teaching the younger generations. It was something that the headmaster felt Oliver would be good at if he put in effort, but he even after becoming a teacher in t.i.tle, he didn't bother to teach a single student! The headmaster realised that this very well may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for him to use Olivers prestige to increase the schools reputation if he played his cards right.
A smile crept to the headmasters lips as he thought up a devious scheme. "All right, I will get this student to accept you as his teacher, but in return you will have to do something for the school. And if you fail then you're resources will be cut in half, but if you succeed, then we will double them. Do we have a deal?"
The thought of doubling his resources, and getting his hands on a potential gold mine like Leon was enough to make Oliver's mouth water, and he was tempted to accept on the spot. However, Oliver knew the headmaster enough to know that he wouldn't be willing to offer him more resources for nothing. He had been trying for 4 years to get more resources to no avail. This caused his suspicion to fester, and he finally asked "what do I have to do?"
To this the headmaster smiled, as he knew that Oliver had taken the bait. "Well that's simple..."
Throughout the day Leon was dealing with a strange phenomenon. Many of the highly ranked teachers were asking for his ID card while almost all of the lower ranked teachers were completely ignoring him.
"G.o.dd.a.m.nit Leo, how much are you paying them?" Michael asked Leon after he finished his umpteenth demonstration. Michael was understandably surprised with Leon's strange success, and was beginning to doubt the character of his new friend.
"I swear I don't know why they would be interested in me either." Leon was waving his hands in front of him while he tried to clear his name. If he didn't know better he would have suspected something similar, so he didn't hold it against him.
After this happened a few times they began a habit of having Michael demonstrate first, so that the higher ranked teachers wouldn't be too distracted by Leon. Thanks to these countermeasures, Michael had gotten himself quite a few invitations himself. He was definitely more skilled than Leon currently was, so he was able to easily catch the attention of a few teachers.
"Come on, what's your secret?" Michael pried, over the course of the previous week the two had grown pretty close considering the amount of time that they had spent together, and Michael wouldn't have expected Leon to be so underhanded from what he had seen. Other than seeming somewhat ignorant about this school, there was nothing strange about him, and Michael even thought that Leon was a good guy.
While this conversation was happening, the two were walking across the campus to the next learning complex. In the middle of their walk they were intercepted by an important looking young man.
"Excuse me sir, are you by chance Leon?" the man asked in a polite voice.
"Yeah, do you need something?" Leon was caught off guard, and immediately worried that he might have come across as rude.
"May I see your ID to confirm this?" The man asked without explaining why he needed it.
Michael leaned in towards Leon's ear and whispered, "That is the headmaster's secretary, you should do what he says."
After hearing this from Michael, Leon decided to hear him out, and he handed over his ID card.
After studying the card for a few moments, the secretary said "Alright, the headmaster would like to see you, please follow me."
After exchanging a look with each other, they both began to follow after the secretary. Leon didn't have a choice, but Michael immediately thought that Leon's secret might be forced out into the open, so he mischievously followed along.