120 years ago, Skypiercing White Tower in the Eastern Plains took over the Council of Seven, becoming the largest mage organization. The traditional apprenticeship system was slowly replaced by the more advanced and modern academy-based education system. This trend spread to other professions as well. Even the blacksmiths and tailors adopted this new system.
Using the traditional system to nurture the most basic type of apprentice, knights, blacksmiths or tailors would take at least five years. Even for those with great talents, it would take roughly two to three years as well to master the basics. On this journey, the apprentice could only work for their tutor or master for free. Additionally, they might also need to pay a high fee for their teachings.
After all, knowledge was the most precious thing, which could enable a person to continue living and benefit their next generation. These tutors could be considered as their second parents. No matter how outrageous their demands were, there would still be many people who would gladly compete for the chance to be an apprentice under a well-known tutor.
Through the academic system, Skypiercing White Tower had rapidly produced new talent into the respective industries. Their approach had brought them towards the pinnacle of that era and their progress would only leave the Council of Seven in a dark corner of that era.
The establishment of the academy was the first step to deliver knowledge to the people.
As time passed, the news about the established academy on Mount Nissia spread quickly across the land. Many people knew that it was not just a simple mage academy. Because they only hired mage tutors at this point, only classes on magic were conducted. As time passed, tutors from other professions joined and established their own courses.
The fees to attend Winter Fort Academy was not expensive. Although it was not considered cheap, the liege did say that it was alright not to pay the fees first. The local administration could cover the expenses during their time there. However, those who graduated had to work for the academy for free for a fixed period of time as a form of return payment to the academy.
That condition was a reasonable demand.
For those who had received such information, they could only thank the Seven Gods in heaven, praising for such condition where it was not an exorbitant loan or an unfair trade. Even the church could not promise such an agreement to the people.
"My child is still living in the small village, I have to bring them here immediately!"
"Sigh. I have sent my son to learn the ways of a carpenter. I think I have to tell my big brother to send both of our children to try this academy!"
"That's right. How could a carpenter compare with the future of a mage? Even if they become warriors, they would still be assigned under the liege's command. It will be way better than being mercenaries out in the wild!"
"That's right. Girls can enter the academy. I can send my daughter to try this as well. After all the cold is not a big deal. It will be fine if I just wear a coat made of wolf pelt."
Some of the people did not wish their children to become mages due to the fact that they knew that role would consume quite an enormous amount of resources. Some also knew that their children were not that talented to become mages. Due to the fact that Winter Fort Academy was known to be a class-based academy, which was not a standard mage academy, it was still a very tempting choice for them.
It was always faster to learn from someone than examining it yourself. Furthermore, wasn't their liege a dragon slayer? If he was willing to guide them even for a bit, it will be a priceless knowledge for their kids.
There were some which saw more benefits in this system.
The old scholar Edward had a clear understanding that the establishment of the academy does not only provide the opportunity to nurture a group of mages, it was also used to develop a strong force for this young lord.
Joshua van Radcliffe was a true champion. He had the capability to destroy the entire dragon's lair. His individual strength was definitely top notch but not every task must be completed with his own hands. A capable man should have the support of other professions to rule the land. The young liege was lacking in this criteria.
Although he had trained a squad of knights, it was not sufficient at all. Edward was able to identify Joshua's objective, which was exploring the Great Ajax Mountains. It was an unknown land, where the Dark Forest hid numerous daemons within. It was also a land where riches were buried and valuable materials could be harvested. He would need a lot of manpower and specialists to develop this land.
This was a great chance for Edward! There would be more opportunity to reach the top under the lead of an ambitious leader as compared to other rulers. Edward understood that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. If he held on to this sliver of hope, he will have the chance to become an aristocrat in Moldavia.
He would not allow his grandson or granddaughter to miss this precious chance!
Those who understood this fact were not many but not that few either. Having their own individual thoughts, nobody would want to miss out this golden opportunity. Even a number of people from the neighboring state would spend a sum of money to try their luck. Numerous talented youngsters migrated to their lands as well. This was a great opportunity for Moldavia to gain more talent for the land.
Out of nowhere, the establishment of the academy had caused a great commotion on the freezing northern lands.
Without giving the mass enough time to think and decide, the academy had already been established and proceeded with their operation on the 28th of February, Starfall Year 833.
In the heart of Mount Nissia, Joshua gave a speech and passed his time to another speaker.
Nostradamus and Joshua had already given their respective announcements and speeches. Most of the content was boring. However, the young warrior enjoyed it very much. He could only listen to the irrelevant speeches spoken by others in the past. At that moment, he finally had the opportunity to speak loads of nonsense, enjoying the annoyed faces of his audience.
Nonetheless, there was still a limit to the speech. At that moment, it was a student under a great mage who was giving the speech. The great mage was the tutor of the elemental stream. With her magic buff, her voice was loud and clear. A lot of the people who were there sending their children to qualify for the academy felt a strong vibration within their eardrums.
Her speech was much simpler and clear-cut as compared to Joshua's and Nostradamus's. Using only a limited amount of words, she was able to explain the main rules of the academy.
A semester for the classes in Winter Fort Academy was half a year and the whole course would end after a total of twelve semesters. The evaluation would be made through the points earned in each semester. If the accumulated points did not achieve a specific target, the student would have to repeat that semester, which would be half a year. Different subjects had a different time distribution.
There were only magic-based classes in Winter Fort Academy at that moment. Instructors for other professions were not hired yet. Under the magic-based category, there was Alchemy, Mana Control, Elemental Control, Shape Shifting, and Runic Knowledge. The Magic-Enhanced Armor class would be the fastest class which would only take about three semesters. The rune related class would take the most time; a full twelve semester to complete.
Under normal circumstances, the fee to attend the academy was thirty gold per semester. It was still bearable for the common family. However, that was only the fee to enter the academy. They would still need additional money to purchase different items to be used in the academy. For those who were poor, the academy would loan some money to them. They would have to repay through working in the future.
The rules for the academy was the same as other mage academies. Some of the rules had been amended based on the conditions of the northern land. There were rules which prohibited students from climbing down the snowy mountain or exploring the lake located near the mountain. Other than that, there were no special rules that had to be mentioned.
A middle-aged mage named Deere was on the stage. He was the instructor for the Runic and had the combat capability of an Intermediate Gold. Joshua thought his strength was decent. The amount of magic energy within his body was abundant and the armor on his entire body was filled with runes. Its defensive capability should be decent.
There were many different factions and path amongst the magicians. There were elemental-based, necromancy, alchemy, mana-based, shape-shifting, runes, prophecies, summoning, etc. There were also some special ones with special traits. These were the types of magician class available. There was also other with bloodline specialization and special advancement of mages such as warlock, psion, array specialist and multiple types of chosen ones.
This middle-aged mage had thick brown hair. There was a red rune on his forehead with magic wave releasing from it. His speech ended with the following sentence, "thus as mentioned, knowledge is the source of power. Mage professions are not born for combat only. We are the ones who gather knowledge and inheritance. We are the ones in pursuit of wisdom. Strong battle capability is only a part of the truth about mages. Please keep this in mind."
The speech ended with the claps from the crowd. Joshua noticed that it was about time and notified Nostradamus to begin the talent test without wasting everyone's time and enthusiasm.
The old mage agreed and nodded his head.
During the time where the exciting event was being held in Winter Fort Academy, there was a certain meeting in a room within the royal academy located far away from Winter Fort within the Empire.
A group of young mages was gathered in this room. Their face looked grim. An old man with hair as white as snow was looking at the magic displayed in front of them.
The video consisted of the happening where Nostradamus announced the establishment of the academy in the far north. Joshua acknowledged himself as the dean of the academy.
"Teacher, are you sure that we shouldn't cause some havoc over there?"
A student could not control his temper and asked the old man. His words were no longer calm and patient. "Grandmaster took all the resources and went to start an academy. This act proves that he doesn't care about the royal academy and the mage alliance!"
All the other students agreed with this statement. Being a Supreme-tier mage, Nostradamus could enjoy the most and top quality resources. Those who were not of the same group as Nostradamus were very envious of him. Now, this old rival of theirs had gone to establish a mage academy, this fact alone had made all of them jealous about him.
The white-haired old man replied in a cold manner. He did not acknowledge the suggestion of his students and warned them. "Who are you going to bother?"
"That will be" The student stuttered.
"Don't be stupid, this is Nostradamus and Joshua van Radcliffe that we are talking about!"
He slammed the table and shook his head. He felt sorry for his student for giving a silly suggestion. "One of them is a Supreme-tier mage who defeated three shaman legions, and the other one is the true dragon slayer which is quite popular recently. Who are you going to cause trouble to? Who can you beat? I don't even dare to give them trouble!"
No one replied because all of them knew that they couldn't beat either of them!
The young mages were not actually brain dead. They knew clearly that even all of them were to group up to go against them, they might not even capable to beat one of them.
The seeker of wisdom may not be pursuing great power in their life. However, it was apparent that sometimes great strength could easily solve problems, which was more convenient and effective than wisdom.
After thinking for a moment, the old man frowned. He then asked the student who had not spoken at all, "Ghana, you were once an inhabitant of the north and a student which studied with Joshua in the military academy in the past. How do you view Joshua as a person?"
Ghana was stunned for a moment when his name was called. After thinking carefully, he shook his head, "To be frank, I have my doubts about Joshua. Although his performance was good in the past, he wasn't as powerful compared to his recent achievements."
He frowned, his face filled with doubt. "When I was in the military academy, the Joshua that I met was not as violent as the current one on display. He was very kind and a person who would look after his juniors. He was also a person who would joke around sometimes. He sometimes cooked as well. However, the Joshua that I see right now on the display, his appearance gives me a sense of fear. There was a great difference between the one in the past and the one on screen. It was as if Joshua had changed from a person to another."
"What is his usual weakness? Like things he fears or anything which he is not good at?"
Ghana went into a deep thought after listening to this question. After that moment, he could only shake his head.
What can I tell you even if you ask me? I feel hopeless as well.