Chapter 102: Just because you have a theory, it doesn’t mean you’ve completely and accurately understood a process.
“It seems that my control over magic isn’t going to reach Jun-kun’s at any point.”
Although shaky, Seimei had properly grasped the method of sensing magic, thanks to Lor’s instructions.
Although chantless and whatever-the-hell Jun’s random manipulation of magic power was is (and probably will forever remain) impossible. Especially the last one.
Unlike Jun, who was someone who was better at acting on senses, Semei was more intellectually minded so his compatibility with Lor in a teacher-student relationship worked out rather nicely.
Although the teacher-student relationship went both ways, since Lor soaked up new information like a sponge and Seimei felt it was fun to introduce Japanese administrative ideas to someone who was that eager to learn.
Here is someone else breaking the common sense of this world, in a completely different vector than Jun.
However, thanks to Lor’s teaching, Seimei was finally able to learn how to control his output… mostly.
“Hm. I still need to adjust the level, but it’s much better than before.”
As Seimei said that, he stared at the small crater that had appeared in the savannah-like grasslands that they had been traveling through.
“Ah, this should also be kept a secret, okay?”
Smiling in a refreshing, ikemen manner (as an older ikemen), Seimei tilted his head and addressed their escorts.
Well, at this point, the four knights of Carnus that had been assigned to guard them on their journey had expanded their worship from just Masaki to Masaki, Hyde, and Seimei, so they not only readily agreed to it, but they agreed to it in such a vigorous, adamant manner that it made Seimei draw back a little.
It was inevitable, as they had watched how these three men’s abilities towered so far above anything they had ever seen during these weeks of travel.
Masaki and Hyde also learned how to cast more spells and gained a better control over the spells they already had, but since most of their spells relied on the strength of their weapons or were buff-types, the impact of their training was much more subtle than Seimei’s.
Well, Masaki had some attack spells, but after watching Seimei testing out his magic, he, going along with Seimei, wisely decided to reserve that kind of test-firing for the labyrinth.
Lor was visibly shaken as Seimei returned to their temporary camp for lunch.
“It seems Jun’s companions are all like this, after all.”
Seimei graciously ignored Lor’s muttering and said,
“This kind of ability is no good after all. It’s too conspicuous for someone who can only fire from a distance. I’d like to learn more barrier-type spells, after all.”
“No no, originally Dark Magic was that kind of barrier magic. Your Dark Magic is completely out of the ordinary. Even if Dark Magic users are rare, it would be much easier to find someone capable of teaching you the basic spells, compared to whatever it is you’re doing with Dark Magic.”
Seimei chuckled lightly. The fact that Lor was feeling less stiff around the ‘Carnus nobles’ that the gamers had become was reassuring, so he didn’t mind it too much if Lor rebuked him.
Although Seimei was used to it from being a high-ranking manager in a company, the two younger men, Masaki and Hyde, were visibly uncomfortable when Lor used polite language around them.
“Well, I’m familiar with people around Tren, so I have some people in mind that could teach you a few spells, but not much more than a few.”
Lor said. He had already begun making plans about who he should be contacting once they made it to Tren.
“That is reassuring. By the way, how long would it be until we reached Tren?”
“Yes! Two more days! One if we hurry! Sir Seimei-sama!”
“It’s okay, we don’t need to hurry, Borro-san. I was just asking for reference.”
Seimei smiled wryly at the knight who answered him, full of tension.
It’s okay that they’re starting to use ‘-sama’ in imitation of the gamers, but is it necessary to keep sticking ‘Sir’ in Lorwian in front of it? No, there are some people that are referred to with both the Lorwian prefix and suffix honorifics for showing esteem, but those are like, the King and Queen, other royalty, and the Prime Minister and Head General of the country, right?
Although Lor had relaxed, why were these four knights still so uptight?
These were Seimei’s honest thoughts, but they were a bit unfair to the knights, since their lives were on the line depending on how they treated these Carnus VIPs.
Well, it was only a matter of time before they converted 100% to the Seimei-Masaki faction.
Desmond, Hibiki-chan, and I changed places to a private room in the eatery at Woodrest.
Although it was private and removed from the rest of the eatery, people would still be able to hear us so we used a sound barrier.
Not like I know what, or how secretive, the information we’re going to be exchanging is, but if Desmond says we need to use a sound barrier, I guess I’ll just go with it.
By the way, we used my non-attribute Sound Barrier instead of Desmond’s Wind Sound Barrier, which caused another surprised reaction from Desmond.
Let’s set that aside.
“An avatar, it’s, well… focusing only on what one is, an avatar is a person extremely talented in an element of magic, far-surpassing any other person, and capable of sensing large fluctuations in that element.”
Fumu fumu. What. Is that it? It doesn’t sound that impressive – well, I mean, it is, but not enough to freak out so much about.
“However, the implications of such a thing are…”
Desmond looks a little conflicted as he hesitates to speak.
I don’t like how you trailed off there.
“’Extremely talented in an element of magic’ might be better rephrased as ‘an element bends to your will almost unconditionally’. Any spell you try will be done almost perfectly no matter what you try – within the element’s capabilities of course.”
Uh… That’s all?
I want to say that, because it doesn’t feel like it’s really that big of a deal, but something tells me to keep my mouth shut.
I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone can cast spells chantless, let alone manipulate magic freely like I can.
I mean, not even the other gamers can.
Hibiki-chan, too, although she’s learned some spells from Niera and the others, she still can’t just make up stuff like I can.
I heard from Masaki that some of them over there have been training on controlling magic power, but it’s all about output control. That is, being able to avoid nuking the place (Seimei).
They’ve also been learning local spells too, but like Hibiki-chan, they have to learn it by being taught by someone (Lor, apparently), and then carefully memorize the chants and feel of the spell.
What a pain, huh~? When I said that, Masaki scolded me about not understanding what others have to go through.
Anyway, even if people like me are rare, there are probably still some, right?
I mean, these people called ‘avatars’ have obviously existed before I became one. Otherwise, how would Desmond have known about them?
“Avatars… they’re probably not common, but there should be a few?”
Uwaaah. Although he’s the refreshing ikemen type, just for a few seconds Desmond clearly made a ‘what is this crazy person talking about’ face.
No, but I mean, there should be some, even if you don’t know about them. Hm? Was I wrong?
Desmond overturned that idea as he said,
“I would imagine that the last time someone became an avatar was during the last great battle between the demons and the Orelia. And that was three generations before mine.”
Since elves live near 300 years, and deep elves a little longer than that, that was a really long time ago, huh?
No, wait. Really?!
“Not that there haven’t been foolish people who have tried to become avatars through the years. Most never succeed in starting the process; the rest died from excessive mana poisoning.”
Um, that doesn’t really make me feel better, Desmond.
“If it’s that dangerous, why was there even a thing like becoming an avatar?”
Hibiki-chan asked that with a little bit of bitterness.
After all, she was almost forced into becoming a sacrifice for the sake of turning someone into an avatar.
“The process was developed so long ago; who knows who the original developers are, or what their intentions were. But among the deep elves it’s passed along that the ancient elves developed it in order to help young elves control their magic power.”
I see… hm?
“Even though it causes mana poisoning?”
“Supposedly the world and the people who lived in it had higher capacities for magic. The ancient elves were said to be closest to the deva, nearly magic incarnated. According to tradition.”
Desmond muttered the last part, like he didn’t really believe it.
Well, legends are like that.
I can’t help wondering if the ancient elves had as much MP as Seimei… not that I would ever know, I guess. Ancient in this world is like ancient in the previous world; the only thing you can understand of them is through theories.
But, devas, huh?
Would it be worse to say I’ve met one, or is me being an avatar still worse?
“Supposedly, their mana capacity was much larger than the people nowadays, and also they would fast and use items to drain their magic power in the ritual purification before undergoing the ceremony to become an avatar.”
Desmond continued to explain it.
‘So it’s like that’, is what I thought, but still, draining your MP could be dangerous, since unlike us gamers, there wasn’t some sort of numerical indicator for how much MP you have.
I bet a lot of people got pretty sick, draining their MP until it began to drain them dry of their mana, too.
Not that it has anything to do with me.
“So how do you become an avatar?”
“… What do you mean, how? You are one, so shouldn’t you know?”
Desmond asked, a surprised look on his face.
“How should I say this… Well, I didn’t intend to become one, I just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Desmond drummed his fingers lightly on the table for a moment, a frown on his face.
“Then, there were people performing the ceremony?”
“I guess. They were doing something annoying.”
Desmond’s frown deepened, and his brows knit together while he thought.
“To be honest, rather than the fact that you are an avatar, it’s more disturbing that there are people going around to make avatars.”
Sorry, I don’t understand the problem. Unless you’re talking about the nuisance those guys had on the surrounding city.
Desmond struck his knee, as if deciding on something.
“Very well. Becoming an avatar means harmonizing with an element, so that you can control the element at will. This means you and your magic power must be close to the element. People these days have drifted far from being one with the elements, so it is difficult to find someone like that.”
Ah, un. I kind of understand it. Although he put it in a fancy way, basically what that means is you have to be pretty good at using an element of magic. Like, Lor is more capable at using Fire Magic than other magic, although it’s possible for him to do so.
Another way to put it is that Fire Magic likes him more, so it’s easier for him to get the element to react the way he wants.
Although that doesn’t mean it’s at the degree that Fire Magic would marry him – that is, allow him to become an avatar.
“Then, even if you could find someone like that, because the mana and magic power in this world isn’t thick enough in these days, there is an extra step of preparing a place with thick mana, before infusing it with elemental magic, that is, ‘calling the element’.”
Aah… un. I vaguely remember that night, in that ‘abandoned’ building, where the air was thick with magic… sorry. Seimei’s MP aura was so thick, that it didn’t feel like anything special. I mean, Ragnall didn’t seem to be effected at all – no, I guess he might have been, but he could just shake it off.
I feel like my view of the world is a little skewed…
“Although we deep elves have used song magic to attempt to replicate magic-rich environments, it’s been unsuccessful. I hear that other cultures forcibly siphon magic out of the surrounding areas. Since that kind of violence deals a lot of damage to magic-thin environments, not many people have attempted it, and then only in areas around labyrinths.”
Ah, un. That’s how it went, pretty much.
“If you can prepare the two, there is then a problem with mana-poisoning, as your mana swells up in the moment when you are harmonizing with the element.”
Uh… I didn’t really feel anything much, though? At least, not a swelling of mana. Oh, but because I had too much MP, I was –am- constantly filtering it into Augment Body… –tte, so if you constantly cast a spell while harmonizing with the element, couldn’t you avoid the mana-poisoning?
Right, when I asked that, the ‘are you crazy’ look came out again.
Ok, ok, I get it. Harmonizing with an element requires constant meditation, so it would be impossible to be able to think about casting something else.
I wonder how I managed to become an avatar by accident~.
While I’m care-freely thinking that, Desmond continues talking.
“Of course, fools who don’t mind risking their lives and the lives of those around them will always grasp at a chance to increase their power. Becoming an avatar is truly attractive. It means you are closer to reaching the central truth of magic. Your senses are also woven into the element, so it is possible to sense when someone uses a large amount of that elemental magic. It is supposedly possible to train yourself so that you can sense even small spells, and even pinpoint where those spells are being cast. Although that is probably just legend.”
A disruption in the force, huh?
“If it’s that dangerous, why would people try to become an avatar?”
Hibiki-chan finally burst out and asked, unsatisfied with the explanations Desmond had been giving.
With those two words, Hibiki-chan and I can’t say anything.
Even in our world, there were unreasonable advancements. People used whatever they could to advance, even things like tie bombs to bats or trying to train pigeons to guide missiles. And of course, there were human experimentations.
“Say you have an avatar of fire on the battlefield. He could potentially make it so that all other people are unable to use fire spells. Or, he could sense the fire stones on the artillery and predict the enemy’s movements. Of course, there is also the sheer fact that most avatars can use large spells with very little mana cost, since the element itself helps with the casting.”
“…Why do I feel like you still don’t find this very impressive?”
Achya… so he realized it.
Well, I mean, I can use non-attribute magic like I’m breathing air, and becoming an avatar didn’t do much other than making me more aware of Life Magic.
But that’s right, ordinary people probably wouldn’t have hopes to match my – and the other gamers’ – abilities in one or two lifetimes.
“Normally, one wouldn’t be interested in taking the risks of becoming an avatar unless you were part of a group intending to take over or destroy entire countries by force, or you were a magic-maniac. Which was it, I wonder?”
Desmond muttered, turning away from me, as if he was tired of my insanity.
Hmph. So it’s so out of the ordinary that you can pinpoint the objectives of people who try to become avatars.
“They were a group of dangerous and organized guys, right, Hibiki-chan?”
“Un. They were definitely an organization. Although Hibiki-chan doesn’t know much about them. They had people in all the different countries. I think they said they started in Nyl City because it was the least guarded?”
Ah, that sounds about right. Although I don’t know much about other Labyrinth cities, Neira and the others said that Nyl City was the most leisurely Unaffiliated territory.
Desmond seemed startled.
“Then, you didn’t just choose to become an avatar by yourself? No, that’s right, to make an environment full of ambient magic, you would need quite a large amount of manpower, even if you ignore the capital it might take to perform such a task.”
Didn’t I say that it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Tch. He didn’t believe me, huh?
“Ragnall and I were investigating them at that exact time, so I guess it just happened? Although they didn’t realize it.
Let me think… yeah, that’s about all that happened.
Now that I think about it, those crazy guys didn’t make it just sound like they just wanted to get stronger.
What was that, again?
Six by six for a false god. Seven by seven for a sanctuary.
Even though I asked Desmond, he didn’t know what I was talking about.
I wonder how seriously I should take what he’s told us…
<a/n: Thanks patrons and Raist for your donations!
ffs. Did I seriously just negate this entire chapter in the last 3 sentences?
Also, patrons, nov’s rewards will be doubled, and an extra xmas sketch in dec will be done as an apology for missing october.
Also also, everyone please note wfb chap will be a little shorter from now on. The story feels like it will go more smoothly that way. It is certainly not because I’m cutting corners… mostly. How to say it… I don’t like feeling like I’m babbling to fill space when I write, which has cropped up more often in these last few chapters. Although I don’t leave the babbling in, it takes a little more time to revise the babbling into usable text.>