Chapter 11 Magic
I sighed, munching on the bear steak I had made myself after killing that stupid bear three days ago.
The wound it gave me on my arm was completely healed already, which confirms the fact that Meslatars possessed enhanced regeneration.
Honestly, killing that bear was nothing short of luck, I really needed to get even stronger if I wanted to go around the world eating all the sweets I wanted.
But hey, cut me some slack, I'm barely more than a month old you know?
I should get myself a journal to write all of my adventures down, something I've neglected doing ever since I came to this world. Unfortunately, none of the books I've found in the house were empty and there weren't any stacks of papers I could find either.
Anyway, I've finally gotten around to reading the textbooks from Aerialla Academy which gave me a basic understanding of how magic works here.
There's multiple types of magic ranging from pyromancy, electromancy and even chronomancy, a few of which I had invested points to obtain a head start in on the character creation.
A mage's proficiency in their magic is separated into four tiers with the first tier being able to manifest it and use it to a basic degree and the fourth tier being a complete master at said magic.
To be able to ascend one's proficiency from one tier to the next would require years of practice and study, most never reaching beyond tier two in their lives with only the very dedicated ones reaching tier four in a single area of study.
What's interesting to know is that the type of magic one can use is not determined at birth, you just need to know how to learn it and you would be able to gain proficiency in it.
If only my mana was already formed, then I could already start trying to learn some magic…
Hmm? Hold on… If the requirement is just to have mana, then don't Mana Crystals also have mana in them?
In that case, couldn't I just substitute waiting for my own mana to form by making use of the mana stored inside the crystals themselves?
Well, it's worth a shot at least.
Forgetting about my steak, I picked up the book on introduction to magic and went to find our storage of Mana Crystals that mother kept in the bedroom.
There was a box full of it and I took out a handful before moving to the area outside the house, just in case I blew something up with my experiments.
Let's see now… According to the book, mana is basically just magical energy that can be converted into other forms according to the users' purpose. The usage of a chant or a ritual would help in that process, or in other words, a spell. Sometimes a magic tool like a staff or wand would also be used.
The more I looked at it, the more I thought that wasn't this simply just using one's imagination or something to form the magic?
The chant or ritual is probably there to help focus the caster's senses and the wand and staff most likely served as a catalyst to help form the mana better.
Sounds simple enough… Except it wasn't.
I've been staring at this Mana Crystal in my hand for a good ten minutes already but I have no idea how am I supposed to access the mana stored inside.
Reach out my senses to feel the mana? What the fuck does that mean?
Do I just stare at it and think that something will happen or what? Why does it have to be so damn vague?! It's so easy to say something like 'as long as your mind wills it, it will be so', like explain more damnit!
I've been sitting here trying to imagine all sorts of things to try and get it to work.
I used the mental image of conjuring a ball of fire, a ball of water or even just anything related to magic and nothing worked at all. I mean, I usually write these kinds of settings in my books and this would be how my characters obtain their magic, so why isn't it working now?
Is it really a must for me to have my mana formed before I could even do magic?
Hmm… Maybe I'm trying too hard?
Alright, if intense concentration doesn't work, then maybe if I were to relax my mind it would have a better effect?
Well, not like my current attempts were yielding any results anyway so I might as well give it a shot.
I gathered all the Mana Crystals I had into my hand and settled down in a cross-legged position to start meditating.
I tried to just let my mind wander, looking for anything within the darkness that might be related to mana.
Not finding anything, I decided that maybe actively trying to search for it might be counterproductive.
Concentrating on my breathing, I worked to slow it down as much as possible, remembering something about breathing being an integral part of meditation.
Now I'm inhaling deeply before exhaling slowly, thinking about nothing but my own breathing.
Inhale… Exhale… Inhale… Exhale…
Oops, I almost fell asleep there.
Am I even doing this right? Scratch that, is there even a point in me doing this or am I just wasting my time?
Hmm? Hold on a moment… I'm seeing a small white glow at the bottom of my vision.
Is that… The Mana Crystals I was holding in my hand?
I forcibly fought down the excitement that almost spilled over, maintaining my concentration to focus on the balls of white light in my peripheral vision.
Ok. I can see it, now what do I do with it?
I tried to poke it with an imaginary finger and, to my surprise, the balls moved.
Ok, now let's try to lift them up… Oh! They moved!
I quickly opened my eyes and sure enough, the Mana Crystals that had been on my hand were floating in front of me.
Unfortunately, the moment I did that, the crystals immediately fell back down since my concentration was broken. One landed back on my palm while the rest scattered around around me.
That wasn't the point though! I did magic! Magic!! Holy shit! That's like mana manipulation or something! That counts right?!
Ok, this is like the first step, I just need to focus and change it or something.
I tried placing one Mana Crystal on my palm, meditating to get to the same state I was in just now.
It took me a shorter time to see the white light, though it seems like I could only see the one on my palm as the other Mana Crystals that were scattered around me did not show up as white orbs.
Again, I prodded the white orb mentally and saw it move in accordance to my mental prod.
Emboldened, I made it float up in front of me again.
Gathering my concentration on that one white orb, I tried to imagine it turning into something else, specifically a ball of water since that should cause the least amount of damage if something goes wrong.
I don't feel any changes and neither does the orb of light look like it went through any changes.
I tried again, this time focusing more on it and willing it to change.
The orb wobbled slightly but that's all it did.
Again, I tried imposing more of my will on it and it wobbled even more violently.
Sensing that I might be onto something, I kept focusing on the light orb, willing it, demanding it to change its shape and form into that of a ball of water.
Slowly, the light expanded and shifted, bubbling like the surface of a pot of water being boiled.
More and more I felt the light change, getting closer and closer to what I wanted it to be.
Right as I was sure I was getting it, the light suddenly exploded outwards and I found myself violently hit with a blast of water in the face, strong enough to send me falling on my back and soaking me to the bone.
I groaned out in pain, sitting up and looking down at myself, completely drenched from head to toe in water.
On the ground in front of me was the shattered remains of a Mana Crystal, no doubt the one I tried to manipulate.
I am so glad I used water and not something destructive like fire, otherwise I think I would have burnt my face off.
I rubbed my face to try and get rid of the stinging sensation that was still there, getting hit by a blast of water was still quite painful.
Picking up the broken pieces, I wondered what happened to cause this? I wanted to change it into a water ball and it most definitely changed to water, but why did it explode like that?
Could it be the Mana Crystal itself being the problem? In that case, how does the Mana Crystal in our bath generate water? Even one of these was enough to produce enough water for us to use for a week.
Ugh… The book doesn't say anything about that either, perhaps I'm going into new territory here?
That can't be right? Or else how did someone figure out how to use magic tools?
Maybe I should read the rest of the books first before attempting this again.
At least the good news is that I actually managed to do something akin to magic today so that's something.
I guess I'll need to learn more about it before I can properly use this… What I need now is a change of clothes and to also finish my bear steak I left back at the table…
It's a start at least.