Chapter 112: Astrid Learns A Lesson In Humility
“Professor Macabre,” one girl raised her hand timidly and asked a question.
“Why can’t we just buy the poisons available on the virtual net?”
Poison cultivators could create their own concoctions, but it was an expensive process that required several laboratory equipment.
That didn’t even factor in having to learn the in-depth knowledge of the chemical make up of the toxins they wanted to create.
Money could buy almost anything on the virtual net with the exception of certain items restricted by the Earth Federation’s government.
There was a booming market of poison manufactures who sold their products to poison cultivators, assassins and those who wanted an extra hidden ace up their sleeves.
Naturally, the prices for these goods were quite high but most of the students entering the four prestigious universities came from well off families.
Resources had a bigger impact on cultivation level than just having raw talent alone.
It was very difficult to narrow the gap which is why the majority of students came from well developed planets.
“That is a good question,” Professor Macabre spoke calmly and adjust her glasses slightly before giving an explanation.
“Most of the poisons available online only have the barrier of money to purchase so they can be considered relatively easy to obtain.”
“Those manufacturers also sell the antidotes for most of their products and poisons on the market are researched thoroughly by most clans or noble families.”
“It may seem like an unnecessary step to create your own original poison, but I can say confidently that it can mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield.”
“Being exposed to a mysterious poison with no known antidote means that your victims will often die before they can even get medical treatment.”
“Did I answer your question?” Professor Macabre smiled gently at the student who nodded in agreement.
Despite her terrifying appearance, the professor quite enjoyed her relaxing teaching job after retiring from fighting on the frontier.
Poison cultivators may have a bad reputation, but the professor had a deep passion for the subject.
Professor Macabre felt a morbid fascination when holding simple vials of liquids that could take a person’s life within seconds.
Professor Macabre wrote some words on the board behind her and started to teach with great enthusiasm.
“Now I will begin the lecture with some basic information on the nature of poisons and then you will spend the rest of the afternoon attempting to make one.”
Sophie listened attentively as she tried to absorb as much of the lecture as possible.
What if this material would be tested on a surprise quiz!
The black wristband also had a recording feature, so she planned on listening to the information a second time when she returned to the main camp.
The lecture begun with the main difference between poison and venom although most people tend to use these two terms interchangeably.
Poison was a toxin that entered the body due to inhalation, swallowing or absorption through the skin.
This was basically used by some techniques such as poison gas, poison aura and palm attacks that coated poison on the user’s fingertips.
Venom on the other hand is injected directly into the body via a needle, stinger, or bite.
Sophie’s fangs would be considered venomous as she had to bite into a person’s skin to deliver the fatal dose.
“Now class there are three main factors to consider when creating an effective poison,” Professor Macabre paused for a moment and faced the class seriously.
“The first factor is the chemical structure of the toxin, the second factor is the degree to which the substance is absorbed and finally the last factor is how does the victim’s body react to the substance.”
“Keep in mind that the immune system of cultivators and their regenerative abilities improve substantially the higher one cultivates.”
“A poison that may kill a qi body cultivator immediately, may be nothing more than an irritant to a qi tide stage cultivator.”
The lecture continued on for the rest of the morning with a small thirty-minute break for lunch to allow the students to return to the main camp to get some food.
Sophie had her nutrient vials, so she stayed behind to review the content of the lesson.
She was not alone in the classroom as two other students had also stayed behind and were working seriously.
“Hello…hello,” Sophie heard a quiet whisper coming from behind her.
Sophie turned around to see a small boy with two bone-like wings jutting from his back.
He was clearly another hybrid and his eyes were mesmerizing as one had a normal blue pupil while the other was completely black.
“I didn’t understand the last part of the lecture did you record the professor by any chance?” he spoke in a soft tone.
“Sure, no problem,” Sophie replied, and she tapped her wristband against his communicator to transfer the files.
The hybrid boy thanked her politely and returned to his seat while trying not to make any unnecessary noise.
This was the first time that Sophie had ever spoken to a fellow hybrid, but it was a pity that the boy left before she could even get his name.
(Mage training session)
“This is unfair!”
“How come she gets a specialized Archmage teacher and we don’t?”
“Yeah that isn’t right!”
Protests finally erupted among the rest of the mage class as Astrid had spent the morning being privately tutored by a respectable Archmage while the rest of the class just had an ordinary lecturer.
The Servie students in particular were furious as they considered it a great insult to be seen as less talented than a Mendolesa girl.
“Astrid is my apprentice so she will not be taught by sub par teachers or joining you poor excuses for mages,” Archmage Hollystorm rudely responded to the comments.
“Err…no offense assistant Medina,” he added a few seconds later.
Lapis Hollystorm had spent most of his time cooped up in his magic tower designing new spells and furthering his study of spatial magic so his people skills were a bit lacking to put it mildly.
His words did little to calm down the angry students, so Astrid whispered in his ear a quiet suggestion to solve the problem.
“Okay,” Archmage Hollystorm announced.
“You can all face my apprentice at the same time. If you beat her, then I will host the lectures for the mage students for the entire two weeks.”
“Are you serious?” came a shocked reply from one of the students.
“This is awesome!”
“Terra arena ortum,” Archmage Hollystorm chanted a spell which caused a grand arena to emerge from the ground and trap the students within.
Astrid found herself surrounded by the six other eager mage students whose mana begun to surge as they prepared to cast their spells.
She found her blood begin to surge in excitement as the runes on her back glowed ominously as the thrill of battle filled her mind.
“Hyacintho aqua laniatus!” cried one of the Servies.
A giant wave of water crashed towards Astrid’s location, but she leapt away with ease and chanted a spell of her own.
“Vitis vestis eos!”
Snake-like vines erupted from Astrid’s palms and directly struck half of the students.
The vines slithered gently up their bodies and wrapped tightly around them in a vice-like grip before slamming them into the ground.
Lapis nodded his head in approval as he saw the impressive qualities of his young apprentice.
Astrid resembled the battlemages of old who would not stay still and cast spells but were active participants in combat.
Her fearsome reflexes and fast spell casting time reduced her opponents advantage of superior numbers as the Mendolesa girl was simply a step above her peers.
After their initial surprise when facing Astrid’s vine spell, the remaining students were able to stop it with fire spells and launch their own counter attacks.
The battle took twenty minutes to end as these top students were still quite powerful in their own right.
Painful groans could now be heard coming from the mage training area as Astrid’s challengers were now painfully laying on the ground with heavy bruises.
“Ha! I truly am the greatest mage!” Astrid proudly puffed out her chest and boasted.
She definitely needed to brag to Qiana once the training session ended for the day.
“Is that so?” Archmage Hollystorm said with a twisted smile. It was clear that his apprentice had gotten excited over her results and needed to learn some humility.
“How about we spar for a bit then?”
Servies were by nature a peace loving and friendly race, but it would be fair to say that compared to his gentler brethren….
…. Archmage Hollystorm was the perfect mentor for a battle crazy Mendolesa apprentice.
‘Bring it on old man!” Astrid teased playfully as the runes on her body lit up once again with dark and menacing patterns.
(Five minutes later)
Astrid was now laying on the ground with the other students as her once pristine and shiny fur was now slightly charred and bloodied.
Archmage Hollystorm had intentionally restricted his power to the qi spirit stage and yet Astrid could not even land one hit on his body.
That innocent looking fairy mentor was a crazy fiend in battle!