41 A pleasant surprise
"This subject seems to be a good seedling for normal knighthood training, his master seems to know some a good deal about anatomy in contrast to Beryl's teacher that trash. There is a cloud in his mind, blocking a certain part of his memory, it has the characteristics of man-made tools. I have seen some of these patterns within Link's consciousness beforehand. I should learn the basics of magic from their minds after this operation. I can break the fog, but it may lead to an increase in the number of variables, it is better to dissolve it slowly, giving time to this vessel to digest the materials. That way I can analyze this abnormal phenomenon"
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John then looked at the final member of his small group, Link the intermediate mage apprentice. Scanning through his body, he found many clots formed by strange tissues. It was similar to the ones made of blood yet had a light blue hue to it. The did not appear to be dangerous so he had overlooked them in the initial exam. However, the investigation now had to be complete and thorough, no room for mistakes was allowed. Slowly penetrating the surface, a small burst of mana busted out, but it seemed different. Upon close inspection John found the released force to be twisted, as if only a portion of mana was used, discarding the rest. This situation was similar to how a sick digestive system failed to completely absorb the nutrients in a meal, rather it discarded them as waste.
Under normal circumstances, the body should have used up the amount needed for operations, saving the rest. But for Link, the mana was not used properly, so the excess of it was released inside the body where it reacted with existing cells, pushing them harder than what they were capable of, forming tumors. This would increase the consumption of mana for skills, many times over. Aside from physical issues caused by this phenomenon, the part of the brain responsible for energy channeling was under immense pressure. In short, the poor man was on the verge of losing his life without knowing, as the mana was twisted, it was difficult to know the debt of problem without opening one of them up.
John moved to the mind, as he figured the source of the issue should lie within the mind. However, since Link was a mage apprentice his brain the process of decoding it was more sensitive, so after a while, John gained access. Going through the particles, he found the cause to be an incomplete inheritance. Link had followed the instructions like a mindless lamb, putting himself in such strain without noticing.
People hardly shared good tools, which gave them an edge over others, this was more so for the legacy of old mages. Most though the older knowledge had more power and profoundness, if one thought clearly, finding fault in such theory would not be hard. If old teachings were superb, they would be improved upon rather than tossed out. Even though strong organizations limited the flow of information, those who fled or got lost, leaving behind their findings were a rare breed. Thus, it was wise to do more research in any gains, as having heaven-defying luck in one instant of life sounded rather suspicious.
Probing more inside his brain, John found a connection going from the mind palace to a pendant around Link's neck. John followed suit, examining the accessory, finding a pleasant surprise. A fraction of soul was left behind, alongside a method of training magical perception. Studying the method, he found it to be problematic in some parts, the calculations did not align, and as an expert in energy manipulation, he could understand many flaws. However, the basics and the derived details helped him greatly in forming an image of magical studies. But most importantly was the soul fraction left behind, it was akin to the last will of the previous owner, showing itself once the entire manual learned, pushing the inheritor to take revenge. The previous owner had likely calculated the value of his teaching was enough for the student to risk ruffling some feathers.
Yet, the broken spirit was similar to a grand gift for John, he could conduct as many experiments as needed without alarming anyone! Just like that, the last hope of a dead mage was destroyed.
John thought: "I can now conduct my risky experiments on this subject, which is not bound by imprint or a vessel. Although it is fractured and deteriorated, the size is rather large and it belonged to a human, it can fast track my research. However, once my business is concluded it will most likely break down, which is no loss for anyone, the dead should stay out of the way of living"
He immediately started his sessions, a brutal round that could raise the hair of any demon who heard the descriptions. If the mage knew of such outcome, she would have not done such a foolish thing in a million years, yet settling scores made many lose their minds.
As a newly attained ability of his reinforced core, Jonathan could manage many tasks at the same time with superb processing power, similar to supercomputers of his past life. He created a perfect replica of the soul fragment, filled up with slightly twisted materials, he had changed them to create a hack for himself, in the mind of all who studied them.
Another part was responsible to thoroughly examine the broken spirit until it was destroyed.
5 more were left behind, in the mind of the adventurer group, surveying every brain wave. While the two assistants were taken over by him.
No part was assigned to dissolve mana clots inside the body of Link, as John had left them for when the host tried his new manual, then by clearing them out, Link would assume that improvement is made, getting him hooked on the instructions; giving John ore data.
Overnight; a capable company of experienced daredevils, who had defeated a dozen goblins earlier, and were courageous enough to take spines; were reduced to guinea pigs!
From the time the hobgoblin arrived to run a full diagnostic of situation a short span passed. With John's abilities, he could do the same for more than dozens of specimens in no time.
He then took the time to read their minds, breaking the most sacred form of privacy. However, as he did not want to pressure their brains, he took his time, not pressing older or protected parts. He learned a great deal about the outside world from their memories, most of his hypothesis was correct.
The world of mortals consisted of many races, each with their own advantages and weaknesses. There was no harmony or love between different kinds, rather they were always leaning towards violence as a solution. But there were kingdoms were monsters and humans lied in peace, protected by a group of strong individuals. Unsurprisingly, the fanatics had more power, as hate was an easier method in controlling the masses.
The hierarchy was formed by the strong, they proclaimed themselves law, striking down any opposition. Besides the existence of nobility, the rest was similar to most brutal civilizations. There were also many professions; Warrior, mage, martial artist, archer, thief, assassin, hunter, priest, etc. They could train in or few to gain strength, they could also pray, asking for assistance from their god.
There were many churches and gods outside, gathering believers, making a business about it. However, even with the limited finding of these few, John could see that the so-called gods were not creators, rather a bunch of overpowered individuals, who liked to manage mortals.
John felt that could not be the entire story, they should get something in return of caring about those who are weaker, but he needed more data to form a clear picture.
This group was seemingly consisted of few faiths, from the goddess of war Ozra to goddess of hunt Mika, but none was a true believer, gaining the mark of their deity. They only cared about the blessings and healing opportunities inside churches.