11 Magic Training
Today is the first day of magic classes.
Adel resolved herself to prevent another incident like in the martial arts class.
Among the thirty students of class A, there were six that had the aptitude to become magicians, while nine had enough talent that it would make their normal life more convenient. There was nothing strange about the comparatively high amount of promising students since their surroundings would bet on their future and do anything to get them into a school.
「Let us start with what you learned in the theoretical part. For this it doesn’t matter whether you can actually use magic, simply going through the actions of casting a spell is sure to be of some use to all of you in the future.」
Listening to Michella the magic teacher, the students began reciting their respective spells. Next to Adel, Marcella, Monika and Orianna gave it their best. Apparently, Marcella belonged to the group that could only use magic for daily use while Monika and Orianna couldn’t use magic at all.
The usefulness of a magician was measured by three things: How powerful of a magic he can use at a time, how many times he can use magic in succession, and how long it takes for him to be able to cast again after exhausting himself.
No matter how powerful the magic was, running out of juice after casting it once and taking forever until it can be recast would in the end just be too inefficient.
Rather than being able to produce 10 liters of water once a day, being able to produce 5 liters at once and to repeat this three times or only producing 2 liters but that every hour was much more useful.
Although in combat, whether one strong attack or a multitude of small spells would emerge victorious depended on the circumstances, so there was no definite answer to that.
While Adel chanted her own spell, she stole a glance at her friends and noticed that something wasn’t right, but decided to refrain from saying anything because they were still in class.
Afterwards, Michella-sensei had those capable of using magic use it, while simultaneously showing those without talent what it meant to “use magic”. She was a skillful teacher.
She just seemed to be a little disappointed -as though her expectations were betrayed- that Adel had used a normal spell.
「Excuse me, can I have a moment of your time after school has ended?」
「Eh, yes, of course.」
When Adel invited her with such a serious look on her face, Marcella couldn’t refuse and simply agreed without any resistance. On the same day, after school had ended.
「I’m sorry for calling you to a place like this….」
Adel and the three girls beside her had come to a small grove outside the capital’s north gate.
「W-What could your business be, in such a place…」
「I’m truly sorry, but there’s something I just had to affirm…
But can you promise me to never ever tell anyone what I am going to talk about now?」
「Eh, well, I do not mind…」
Monika and Orianna also nodded in agreement.
「Um, what I want to say is that the way everyone’s way to use magic is slightly weird…」
In reply, the three girls only tilted their heads in confusion.
「When I looked at how you were doing, you all were focused on the chanting…」
「Well, of course, isn’t the chant the most important part when it comes to magic…」
The three were surprised at Adel’s confident denial.
「The chant is just a tool to make it easier to form the magic’s mental image. Since only that image matters, you can use any words or even wordlessly use a spell as long as you can form that image. As a proof you only need to look at the fact that people use different chants for the same magic, and obviously those able to skip the chant altogether.」
「T-That certainly sounds plausible…」
Marcella was finding herself agreeing to Adel’s explanation.
「And because of that, the important part is to imagine what magic you want to use in what way and emitt these thoughts. For a chant, just shouting some fitting words to put your heart behind it is fine.」
「T-That’s the first time I have heard of such a way of casting magic. I was taught that wordless use of magic was just leaving away the vocalisation, chanting only in your mind to activate it.
And what is emitting thoughts supposed to mean?」
Marcella, Monika, and Orianna were pushing back against Adel’s lecture which denied everything they had been taught before. Adel then explained the concept of emitting one’s inner thoughts outward.
「And for the image… to create water, try to imagine tightly squeezing the air. Just like you would wring out a wet towel… Would you like to try it out?」
The trio was sceptical.
The first among them to try it out was Monika, the curious daughter of a merchant.
「Hmm~, water, water, come out by squeezing the air~!」
In front of Monika who was unable to use any magic at all, about ten liters of water sprang forth, dampening the ground. This was above just being useful for daily use, bordering the potential to become a magician. If she could use it in succession and her recovery time were also at that level and she got the appropriate training…
「You’re kidding me…」
Monika was in a daze.
For merchants, water magic was a big advantage. A human needs at least around two liters of water a day. When the sun burned down on you that amount increased dramatically. Horses needed even more water, requiring 30-40 liters per day.
Imagine a carriage with two horses, a driver, and three guards.
How much water would they have to bring along on a journey where they couldn’t procure water?
Around 1600 liters weighing 1.6 tons. When you also take the required food into account, the capacity for actual merchandise is severely restricted.
What though, if you had someone with you that could produce 10 liters of water every hour?
Not only was she the daughter of a middle-class merchant, she could now also become the equivalent of a giant water barrel.
To a merchant, her value had just increased sharply.
Like this she wouldn’t end up as the concubine of somebody important, no matter how many other siblings she had. At the very least she’d be wed to a small, independent merchant. If she was lucky, even the heir to a middle-class merchant was now in reach…
「This… has to be a dream….」
Mumbled Monika as she was seated on the ground.
Having seen this, Orianna immediately started shouting.
「W-Water! Hidden water heed my call, wring yourself from air and show yourself before me！ Summon, water sphere!」
As though she had read from a strange tome, Orianna’s chant resounded.
Despite lacking the output of Monika, she would never have to worry about a water bottle all her life. It was enough that she could wipe down her body daily while on long journeys or skip the trip to the well to fetch water when making meals.
「This can’t be…」
Although Marcella was stunned by the two’s success, she pulled herself together and also started chanting. Since she already could summon a bit of water she wanted to look how much further she could go!
「Water! Be wrought from air and be shaped into a spear! …Fly forth and pierce my enemies!」
A water jet scattered against a tree about ten meters away.
It might not have been strong enough to pierce the tree, yet it should be enough to disable an enemy. This was already in the realm of combat magic.
「I, I did it… combat magic…」
Marcella’s voice trembled.
Those who had enough magic to earn their daily bread with it were around ten percent. But most of these people were non-combatants that served as water or fuel replacements. Those who could use combat magic were just one in several dozen.
Combat magic was much harder compared to simply producing water or fire, since it required you to condense, add kinetic energy to and project it. Of course you also needed to be able to produce the necessary amount in a sufficiently fast time.
Innate talent was needed for those who tried to achieve this with a random chant and only unconscious emission of their thoughts, without even knowing the principles of activating magic or the underlying fundamental physics of the spell.
Regardless of whether they were said out loud or not, the people of this world believed that “Words imbedded with Power” were what activated magic. Since they focused on the combination of these words instead of the underlying physical processes, simultaneous or repeated realisation of an effect was extremely difficult.
Who would think that it wasn’t the words describing the desired effect but that there was an existence that read and granted their own unvoiced thoughts?
And since the words apparently lead to a real effect, who could fault them for research how to maximize the effect of those words? Especially considering that this actually produced results, even though only indirectly.
Due to this, those who could use combat magic where either those who could make up their lacking mental image with brute force of emission or those who covered for their weak thoughts emissions with an unusually precise image. Both were not cases of consciously emitting thoughts, but examples of slightly stronger or more precise unconscious thought emissions.
As a result, those who rose above the “daily use”-level to reach “combat magic” were few in number.
And now, Marcella had accomplished just that.
Exactly how many beautiful ladies of noble descent were there that could use magic?
If you were to wed such a girl, whether at a party, in private, or in the bedroom, you would always have a skilled bodyguard next to you. And of course that talent could possibly be passed down to your descendants as well.
For nobles who by nature had many enemies, such a partner was valuable…
She was sure to get favorable offers now. Certainly.
The future where she was the second wife of a middle-aged guy. The future where she was a concubine of an influential noble.
They had vanished….
Adel had only meant to slightly repay them for becoming friends and gifting her underwear, but had unknowingly greatly influenced their lives. Her failure to notice this along with the crying girls left her distraught as to what to do.
In the end she came to the conclusion that she might have made a slight mistake.
「P-Please keep all of this secret… As for using magic, just say something like “Oh, I can somehow suddenly use magic!” during the next practical class!
And please keep the “from the air” from your chants and only say it in your mind….」
The three who had calmed down at last were well aware of what Adel wanted to say.
If this knowledge got out it would be a catastrophe.
That the gaping rift between those who could and couldn’t use magic was in reality only a small gap. That this gap could be easily bridged. And that the skill of a magician can be raised enormously by a small hint.
If these facts got known, their originator would be pinned down by the country in order to get all details, while her father and step-mother might dislike her existence being revealed and kill her…
「O-Of course! If I would betray my benefactor… no, my friend, I wouldn’t deserve to call myself noble.」
「There is only ruin for a merchant who doesn’t keep his promises!」
「Eh, um, eh… Commoners don’t lie!」
Michella-sensei was ecstatic when three students, one after the other, awakened to their talents in her class, believing it to be the results of her teachings.
She was especially fascinated by Marcella who already showed the skill of a first rate magician, losing interest in Adel who only used normal spells on the level of an apprentice magician.