Walking towards The Ancient One’s private bookshelf, Jerry carefully selected a book titled “The Book of Cagliostro.”
As he read the introduction, he discovered it was a book dedicated to the study of time magic, including methods of absorbing energy from the dark dimension.
“No wonder The Ancient One thought it was safe for me to read these books.”
Jerry understood the dangers associated with time magic, as it could create time branches in the world.
However, he possessed some knowledge and experience with time magic and Time Turner, making him less susceptible to its risks.
Jerry wasn’t concerned about the absorption of dark dimension energy and attracting Dormammu’s attention.
Since he used his magic power to release magic, he wouldn’t draw energy from the dark dimension.
Setting down “The Book of Cagliostro,” Jerry surveyed the other books on the shelf.
One caught his eye, which focused on the study of the soul.
Another was powerful magic related to altering the laws by traveling through the past and future using runes.
After a brief read, Jerry recognized the potency of these magical texts. Misuse of such knowledge could bring disaster to the world.
He also realized that many of these magical concepts were quite esoteric and challenging to comprehend fully.
After careful consideration, Jerry decided to choose the book about souls.
Soul magic had always fascinated him, and he had some prior knowledge in related areas, such as sealing, soul-sucking, and Horcrux creation.
His selection of the book was based on the idea that when the Time Turner was unavailable, practicing soul-related magic could help him cultivate and study more efficiently.
He could meditate with his physical body while his soul ventured out to read books and learn magic, effectively accomplishing two tasks simultaneously.
After retrieving the book, Jerry also collected around 70 to 80 additional magic books explaining soul-related topics from the normal book area on the inner and outer floors.
He registered them and then used a portal to transport them to his villa in New York.
Upon returning to his villa, Jerry immediately opened the Mirror Dimension—a magic he had learned after studying the Hungarian Mirror Trap.
With his foundation in these mirror-related magics, he quickly cracked and researched the Mirror Trap magic that could be activated using his magic power.
As Jerry delved deeper into the study of magic, he discovered that many magical principles exhibited similarities.
With some contemplation, he could understand the differences and make modifications that wouldn’t compromise the desired effects.
While many Kamar Taj mages learned magic by creating magic circles based on incantations to release fixed energy, Jerry understood why he could not only successfully release magic but also make adjustments to it.
It allowed him to practice experimental magic without affecting the outside world while still providing the ability to observe events taking place outside the mirror.
Consequently, he rarely practiced magic within the suitcase, as it posed potential risks.
Although he had placed Muggle Repelling Spell and Disillusionment on the suitcase, a powerful wizard could break the charms and seize the suitcase.
This presented a vulnerability. He wouldn’t be aware if the suitcase had been taken while he was inside.
Furthermore, it would be problematic if he were attacked upon exiting the suitcase.
However, with the Mirror Trap, Jerry found a perfect solution.
He could stand within the Mirror Trap, observing the real space while remaining completely undetectable. In addition, he discovered that the Mirror Trap and the portal complemented each other perfectly.
From the Mirror Trap, he could observe events in real space without being noticed.
By opening a small portal, he could reach into the real space from the Mirror Trap, discreetly pulling objects or even people into the Mirror Trap without their knowledge.
This newfound synergy between the Mirror Trap and the portal expanded Jerry’s capabilities and gave him greater flexibility in his magical endeavors.
Or he could suddenly open a small portal behind an enemy, launching punches, kicks, or even casting spells directly from the Mirror Trap.
The enemy would find it difficult to escape and could only react passively. It was an ideal combination for theft, abduction, and covert assassinations.
Unless the opponent possessed proficiency in space magic or had absolute power to break the Mirror Trap forcefully, these two magics alone made him nearly invincible.
Sitting on the bed within the Mirror Trap, Jerry planned to conduct experiments with several Kamar Taj magics he had recently studied, then spend some time studying and finally proceed with his regular daily meditation practice.
However, before he began his magical experiments, he suddenly remembered something he needed Tony’s help with.
He picked up the magic mirror hanging from his waist, infused it with magic power, and established a connection with the mirror he had previously given to Tony.
Meanwhile, at the Stark Tower.
Tony and Dr. Banner worked together on a colossal steel armor in the research base.
The frame of this armor differed significantly from Tony’s usual designs—it was thicker, stronger, and nearly five times larger.
“Tony, you should incorporate an extremely powerful pile driver at the arm position of the battle suit. Otherwise, with a normal fist attack, I fear it won’t be able to inflict any damage on the Hulk.”
“Well, maybe I should add an even more potent energy cannon.” Tony jokingly remarked as he swiftly adjusted the virtual projection design before him.
Dr. Banner nodded, agreeing with Tony’s suggestion, “I think that’s a good idea.”
Just as Tony found some of Dr. Banner’s comments a bit excessive, the doorbell of the research room unexpectedly rang.
Tony turned and saw his bodyguard, Happy, holding a small shimmering mirror outside the glass door, gesturing to be let in.
“Jarvis let Happy inside,” Tony commanded.
“Yes, sir.” replied the mechanized voice as the transparent glass door immediately slid open.
Happy rushed in, holding up the small glowing mirror and approaching Tony.
“It seems Miss Wizard is looking for you.”
“Oh, she hasn’t contacted us in a while. What a thoughtful friend,” Tony grumbled as he took the mirror.
He had not seen or heard from the wizard since their last encounter when they joined forces to defeat the desperate warriors.
“Tony, are you busy? I need your help with something.”
After pressing the button to establish a connection, an unfamiliar voice and face suddenly appeared in the mirror.
Tony gazed at the young man in the mirror, his face filled with confusion.
“It depends on who’s asking. If it’s Miss Wizard, then, of course, I’m not busy. But who are you, her brother or something?”
“Since you’re not busy, let’s meet and talk.” Jerry suggested, utilizing the magic mirror’s location ability to Apparate directly in front of Tony.
Being in New York City, there was no need to use a portal, and Apparition was more convenient.
“Oh, Dr. Banner is here too. Allow me to reintroduce myself. I am a wizard named Jerry Carmen. My previous appearance was mostly altered by magic to deceive S.H.I.E.L.D. and prevent them from harassing my family.”
“What the hell?”
Tony and Banner exclaimed simultaneously, their mouths agape upon hearing Jerry’s explanation.
After a brief moment of silence, Tony spoke first, “Well, it’s not really a big deal. Your magic is astonishing. It’s just that we were under the impression you were a girl, and now suddenly, you’ve become a boy. It caught us off guard.”
“Yes, you’re right. S.H.I.E.L.D. and General Ross pursued me and eventually had to part ways with my girlfriend.” Dr. Banner added, nodding in agreement.
Although he now had a cooperative relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D., they worked together to find a way for him to return to normal.
Dr. Banner couldn’t deny the hardships he had endured during the past few years, many of which were directly linked to S.H.I.E.L.D.
“By the way, what are you working on? Are you trying to build a Gundam?” Jerry asked, piquing his curiosity, observing the towering mecha that stood five or six meters tall in the middle of the research room.
Tony pointed to Banner and replied, “This is a special suit proposed by Dr. Banner, specifically designed to deal with Hulk’s loss of control. Currently, we call it the ‘Hulkbuster.'”
“I suggested it. After all, that guy is too dangerous, and I don’t want to become a wanted criminal again,” Banner remarked, accepting the responsibility as Tony blamed him.
Banner saw Hulk as a monster and believed it should be destroyed.
He had been researching various serums in an attempt to make Hulk disappear forever and return to everyday life.
“Ah, actually, I think Hulk is quite good. He never initiates harm to others,” Jerry mentioned briefly, not delving further into the topic.
Hulk and Banner were intertwined entities, and Banner’s decision to suppress Hulk was ultimately his own choice. But that wasn’t the purpose of his visit today.
“Tony, I need your help,” Jerry said.
“Tell me, if it’s something I can do, I’ll do my best to help you,” Tony replied without hesitation.
From the moment he met the Wizard, Jerry had always been there to assist him. Initially, it was the potion that saved his life.
Then they dealt with the rampaging robot soldiers, followed by helping to resolve the desperate warrior crisis. Now, it was finally time for Tony to repay the favor.
As a genius scientist, a wealthy man, and someone capable of creating steel suits, Tony had a strong sense of self-esteem. It wasn’t his style to constantly owe favors without repaying them.
Coincidentally, he had recently upgraded his battle armor, which could be used to showcase his abilities.
“Here’s the thing. I’m going on summer vacation in a few days, and I need you to come to my house.”
Five minutes later, Jerry explained his plans to Tony.
Instantly, Tony’s enthusiasm diminished by half, and he confirmed with a disappointed tone, “That’s it? Nothing more exciting, like taking down a supervillain or an evil magician?”
“Tony, if the enemy isn’t even a match for me, do you think I would come looking for you?” Jerry began to say but was immediately interrupted by Tony.
“I understand. Five days from now, right? I’ll be there on time. Just give me the address.”
“Okay, thank you so much. And remember, act a little bit. My father is a police officer and has a keen eye for detecting lies,” Jerry said, stepping forward and patting Tony on the shoulder before waving to Dr. Banner.
In an instant, he Apparated and disappeared.
After Jerry left, Dr. Banner approached Tony and mumbled, “I suddenly feel like maybe Hulk losing control isn’t the real problem. Calling the wizard for help might be more effective than the Hulkbuster suit we designed.”
“I’m concerned,” Tony twitched the corners of his mouth and replied. “I think we don’t need to install any energy cannons. We can simply add a nuclear bomb. It’s guaranteed to take you down instantly.”
“A nuclear bomb? Are you serious? That would kill you and potentially harm innocent people nearby,” Dr. Banner immediately shook his head, rejecting Tony’s proposal.
Tony sighed, convinced that Dr. Banner had no sense of humor.
He then turned his head and shouted to the computer in the laboratory, “Jarvis, help me find the address Jerry just mentioned and update his family’s information. I need to make some preparations in advance.”
After issuing the command, he scratched his head and added, “I don’t know why, but I always feel like the name Jerry Carmen is familiar, and the Wizard’s appearance seems familiar too.”
“Sir, you knew him before. You actually gave him a miniature model of Mark IV,” Jarvis responded, retrieving Jerry’s information from the database.
Tony was instantly stunned by Jarvis’ revelation. “How is that possible, Jarvis? How could I know him?”
“Sir, not long after you publicly revealed your identity, there was a bank robbery in Queens, New York. The robbers hijacked a small school bus in an attempt to escape. You asked Miss Potts to send a scaled-down model of the Mark IV to Mr. Carmen,” Jarvis explained, displaying a photo of Jerry as an eleven-year-old on the virtual video display.
As Tony looked at the photo of young Jerry, memories flooded back, and he recalled everything that had happened. “So, it was him! No wonder the robbers met such a miserable fate back then.”
Reflecting on their shared history, Tony realized he had many connections to wizards and owed them quite a lot.
Five days later, at the villa.
“Aisha, even though it’s summer vacation, you can’t spend the whole day outside. You still need to set aside time to review your homework!” Jerry shook his head helplessly, looking at her, who was lounging on the sofa with her feet up.
During this time, she earned the nickname “Mahjong Girl” and became a somewhat famous hero in New York.
So far, her true identity remained a secret, except for Anne and Susan, whom she had confided in.
But why was Aisha’s identity kept so well hidden? Well, it wasn’t solely due to her carefulness.
“I know, Jerry. My math score in the final exam was in the top fifteen of the class!” Aisha proudly declared.
“That’s good progress, but you must still study hard.” Jerry wanted to point out that only seventeen students were in her class, but since she wasn’t the last, he found it worth encouraging.
“Aisha, in recognition of your excellent final grades, here’s a gift for you!”
“A gift?” Aisha perked up upon hearing about a gift, immediately abandoning her summer magic battle plan on the sofa.
Jerry took out a box from his pocket and handed it to her, “I came across this by chance while passing by a grocery store. The shopkeeper lied to me, saying it was a magical crown that Carmen the Great Sorcerer left. Supposedly, wearing it would enhance one’s wisdom. Of course, I don’t believe that.”
However, seeing that it looked beautiful and wasn’t expensive, Jerry couldn’t resist buying it.
“Carmen the Great Sorcerer?” Elsa’s eyes widened as she received the box.
Jerry smiled and continued, “We share the same last name. I suspect the shopkeeper made it up after learning my name. What do you think, Aisha?”
“Of course, there are countless magicians in the world.” Elsa hurriedly laughed along, careful not to reveal her true thoughts.
Now, on the surface, she no longer appeared obsessed with magic. She couldn’t allow others to associate the superhero “Mahjong Girl” with her true identity.
The criminals she dealt with were dangerous individuals, and it would be risky if her true identity was revealed and endangered her brother and father.
However, she couldn’t contain her excitement even amidst the laughter and pretending. She quickly opened the box and beheld the magic crown inside.
“Wow, it’s… so beautiful!” Aisha gasped in awe.
The Ravenclaw crown had the shape of an eagle spreading its wings. The eagle’s head formed the centerpiece of the crown, and on its chest was a blue magic gem the size of a dragon’s eye.
Beneath the large gem were two smaller, identical gems hanging down. The wing-shaped crown was crafted from a magic metal resembling platinum, and each wing was adorned with dazzling diamonds.
Even if the magical properties claimed by the crown were disregarded, its sheer beauty made it an invaluable treasure.
“The gems and diamonds are fake, but they look just like the real thing. Do you like it?” Jerry asked playfully.
Aisha carefully set the crown aside and threw herself into Jerry’s arms. “Brother, you’re so kind!”
“Isn’t It ‘Jerry’ anymore? Now it’s ‘brother’?” Jerry teased, letting go of Aisha.
“I’ll go to my room now.” She picked up the crown and hurried off to her room.
She wanted to consult to verify if the crown was a magic item that Carmen the Great Sorcerer left.
At that moment, footsteps could be heard at the door. It was Haas and BElle returning from their grocery shopping trip.
Jerry glanced at the time and realized it was already ten in the morning. “They should be here soon.”
“Dad, I need to discuss something with you.” Haas hadn’t even had a chance to change his slippers when he heard Jerry’s voice.
“Just a moment, son. Let me put the groceries in the refrigerator, and I’ll be right over,” Haas replied, setting the groceries aside temporarily.
“Jerry, what did you want to discuss?” Haas asked, settling on the sofa opposite Jerry, his protruding belly stretching out comfortably.
Haas attached great importance to his son’s decision to initiate a discussion, as it was rare for Jerry to take the initiative.
Jerry smiled and began to explain slowly, “Well, you see, I’ve been accepted into Columbia University in Manhattan, and I thought it would be a good idea to utilize the summer vacation to gain some work experience, exercise, and earn some pocket money along the way.”
“Working during summer vacation? Jerry, it isn’t necessary. You’re already doing great and should be able to relax during the break. Besides, we’re not short on money.”
“I’ve been promoted to branch director, and if you need anything, I can provide it. I can buy you whatever you want or give you the money.” Haas replied, refusing Jerry’s idea.
Concerned about Jerry’s age and believing he should have a carefree summer vacation, Haas didn’t see the need for his son to work.
“Dad, did you say you’ve been promoted to the branch director?” Jerry interrupted, surprised by Haas’ response.
Haas proudly stroked the little beard he had purposely grown and responded, “Yes, I just got the promotion. I’m now the director of the Queens District Bureau. I planned to share the good news with you during lunch.”
“Is this S.H.I.E.L.D.’s doing?” Jerry congratulated him with a smile while inwardly speculating.
Jerry suspected this sudden promotion, which leaped across ranks, must have had some push from behind the scenes.
After all, Haas had been a sheriff for many years without much progress, primarily due to his lack of connections.
Regardless, this promotion is a positive development.
As a bureau director, Haas would spend most of his time in the office, avoiding fieldwork and significantly reducing risk.
Jerry had also planned to seek assistance from Vice President Hastings to help improve Haas’ rank in the police station.
“Okay, let’s not change the subject. Jerry, I still don’t agree with you about taking a summer job during your vacation. Let’s discuss it further when you start college.” Haas firmly expressed his opposition to Jerry’s summer work plan.
Just then, the doorbell rang unexpectedly.
“Perfect timing!” Jerry’s face lit up with a smile as he heard the doorbell.
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