Lin Li stayed in the Sunset Mountains for the following month. Other than occasionally guiding Andoine in pharmaceutics, he spent most of his time learning magic. He discovered he had a gift in magic, and even old Andoine, who had lived for over a hundred years, had to admit he had never seen someone with such an exceptional talent in magic as Lin Li.
Lin Li mastered three kinds of elementary magic in three days. This unbelievable progress got Andoine doubting if there was any justice in this world. He had spent a month getting into meditation and had been praised by his teacher for being a genius at that. Then, what would become of the guy in front of him? Was he a monster or a maniac?
Only Lin Li would know how he came to possess such near-demonic gift in magic. It probably had something to do with the attributes of the mage smurfhigh levels of mental and intellectual abilities. It was all thanks to these demonic attributes that he could easily understand highly complex spells and arrange magic elements without effort as if he was born knowing it. He could recite any complex spell with ease just by hearing it once and learn the order of magic elements in the shortest time no matter how difficult they were.
Andoine ceased teaching any new magic skills when Lin Li mastered the tenth elementary magic. Instead, he got him to practice the sequencing of the ten elements.
Though tedious training made one lose interest quickly, Lin Li showed no signs of annoyance. He knew very well that despite being a terrible pharmacist with a nasty temper, old Andoine was undoubtedly an authoritative figure in the field of magic. His opinions might not be precise, but it was far better than having himself, an amateur, fumbling about on his own.
The tedious training continued for a month, until one morning
Like any other days after breakfast, Lin Li resumed his training on elemental sequencing.
This was not the conventional way of magic training. Usually, the mage would start off with sequencing the magical elements, and then unleash the magic through reciting a spell. But Andoine had adopted a different approach in his teachings. He made Lin Li summon the magical elements and had them arranged by making use of Lin Li's mental strength. Instead of unleashing the magic through spell, he jumbled them up and made Lin Li go through the whole process repeatedly until his mental strength finally wore off.
On other days, Andoine would keep himself busy in the pharmaceutical lab after breakfast. However, he stayed in his room that day and quietly watched Lin Li train. It made the latter uncomfortable to know that someone was watching him, so he stopped and looked at the old mage as he asked, "Have you learned the formula of the Clarity Potion I taught you a few days ago?"
"Uh, not yet" Andoine turned red in embarrassment when asked about the Clarity Potion. Indeed, when compared to Lin Li's extraordinary gift in magic, he had nothing to show in regards to his talent in pharmaceutics. Lin Li had demonstrated over ten times the making of a simple Clarity potion, but he still could not get a grasp on it till this day. In fact, he nearly caused an explosion in the lab just the day before. No matter how thick-skinned Andoine was, he blushed involuntarily at the mention of the topic.
"Are you alright? Why haven't you been able to master it yet?" Lin Li's expression that was clearly one of someone who'd expected better from Andoine made the latter wish he had a hole to crawl into. "So, what are you waiting there for instead of going back to the lab? Do you need my demonstration again?"
"No need for it, I'll study it myself" Andoine rubbed his hands awkwardly. After a few moments, he seemed to recall his goal. Putting on a serious face, he said, "Umm Let's not talk about this today, I have something to tell you."
"Oh?" They had been together for more than a month, yet this was the first time Lin Li saw Andoine serious. He could not help but be curious.
They stepped out of the log cabin. Andoine thought for long while before asking Lin Li, "Do you know why I stopped teaching you new spells, and instead had you practice elemental sequencing?"
"No," Lin Li replied honestly. "I know nothing about magic anyway. I'll just practice whatever you ask me to, surely you won't harm me?"
"You kid have some conscience at least." Andoine nodded with satisfaction, a relieved smile on his aged face. "I have lived for over a hundred years and have never seen anyone as gifted as you. You are a monster, kid. I think even the legendary Geresco couldn't have been more gifted than you are."
"Geresco?" Lin Li knew he was gifted, but he had never imagined he'd be this powerful. He knew more or less from the old man who Geresco was. He was the most powerful mage in the Dark Ages, the strongest of mortals nearest to the divine. The God of Mages who single-handedly defeated the entire Magic Legion of the High Elves. Lin Li could never have imagined his own magical gifts to be this strong.
"But don't get too excited just yet." Seeing how bewildered Lin Li looked, the old mage chortled. "Talent is one thing, but achievements are another. From what I see, you are inferior to Geresco in at least two ways. First of all, you are not focused enough. In magic, only people who are absolutely focused can achieve real success. Too much knowledge is sometimes not a virtue. Take pharmaceutics as an example, you know that better than those old fellows from the Pharmacists Association at such a young age. A lot of energy is spent on pharmaceutics, how much time would you have to study magic?
"What's really deadly is the second aspect: you've been exposed to magic too late. According to the records of the Dark Ages, Geresco was born into a family of mages. His parents were famous mages of the Dark Ages. He had been exposed to magic from birth; by the time he got to your age, he had already surpassed the standards of a Magic Shooter, and you're just beginning to learn the lowest level of magic.While a late start can be compensated for by talent, it does not give you a solid enough foundation. There are no shortcuts in the world of magic, and all powerful spells are nothing but talk until a solid foundation is laid.
"That is why I stopped teaching you new magic." At this point, Andoine laughed guiltily. "Actually, at the beginning, I just wanted to make an exchange. You'd guide me in pharmaceutics, and I'd help you in magic. Though it might not be much help, it shouldn't be a problem for you to reach the level of a Magic Shooter within ten years.
"But I soon regretted it. Your talent is too great, such talent may not appear for thousands of years. I can't bear to see you going down the wrong path, so instead of teaching you new spells, I let you practice the most basic sequencing of elements every day. Never underestimate the tedious practice. Every world has its own rules, and the world of magic is no exception."
After more than a month in this unfamiliar world, Lin Li felt warmth for the first time. He bowed to Andoine respectfully and said, "Thank you."