11: The World of Magic
Part 1: Vagabond Arc "Ash-crowned Princess of Slaughter" Chapter 1: The Heroine Went Against Fate
Two weeks had passed since I started my vagabond survival life.
By the way, on this continent a week was called Spirit Week, and it was divided into seven days: light, dark, earth, water, fire, wind and void, with the day of light being the holiday. It was a clichéd gag of the old men to lament that "darkness has come to the world" on the day of dark when work began again. Lastly, a month was 30 days, and a year was 360 days.
After spending two weeks like that, it would sound nice to say that I've gotten used to life in the forest, but it was only because this country was in the south of the continent and the climate was warm, so if it were in the middle of summer or winter, I'd be dead by now.
I've been on guard for the past two weeks due to what I did to the old hag and that drunkard, but nobody in particular came in my pursuit.
The last two weeks have been spent doing the usual training and practising the basics of magic power control. During that time, I made one visit to the town to replenish what I lacked in my forest life.
At that time I caught sight of those siblings, and I thought their complexion had become better, probably due to eating better thanks to that drunkard's wallet I handed them before.
For now, I felt that my relationship with the two was more than strangers but less than acquaintances. For some reason, the older brother, Gil, appeared to see me as a rival, while the younger sister, Shuri, waved at me with a big smile when she saw me.
After several attempts with the phenomenon of moving my hair as an extension of myself with magic power that I discovered, I found that while I couldn't move it as freely as a limb, I could move it a few centimetres when I swung it around.
I knew the world wasn't so easy. Even so, after about a hundred attempts, I had a feeling that the hit rate had increased by about 20% and the power had also increased a little.
The main problem was that the strands of hair were simply tied together to make the string longer, so it would come undone after several dozen uses. Perhaps the cause was my low dexterity, but before I knew it my dexterity increased by one due to braiding it over and over when there was a need to repair it.
So my current status was like this.
♢ Aria (Alicia) Race: Human ♀ Rank 0
⦗Magic Power: 43/52⦘ 7Up ⦗Stamina: 28/36⦘ 4Up
❮Strength: 3 (3.3)❯ ❮Endurance: 4 (4.4)❯ ❮Agility: 5 (5.5)❯ ❮Dexterity: 6❯ 1Up
◄Stealth Level 1► ◄Night Vision Level 1►
◄Daily Life Magic ×6► ◄Non-Elemental Magic Level 1► New
◄Magic Power Control Level 1► ◄Detection Level 1►
◼Comprehensive Combat Strength: 24 (During Body Strengthening: 26) 1Up
I still hadn't learned the Dagger Arts skill in these last two weeks, but instead I had acquired one level of non-elemental magic. I also hadn't learned Appraisal yet, but I had a feeling that the precision had increased considerably after using it while concentrating.
The only non-elemental magic that had a level was Body Strengthening and Battle Techniques, so it seemed I only acquired Body Strengthening first, which I should have learned along with a close-quarters combat type skill.
If these values were correct, it would mean a 10% strengthening at Body Strengthening Level 1.
...Which means that Feld's Body Strengthening was level 5...meaning he can also use a level 5 close-quarters skill, which is the limit of a normal person. No wonder he's so strong.
Maybe the reason why I was only learning magic power type skills was because my body was still that of a child and I couldn't handle body type skills.
I was told that I could learn close-quarters combat skills quickly because I had the foundation for Body Strengthening, but even if that meant I could learn skills in six months to a year that would usually take two to three years, I didn't have the luxury of spending that much time right now.
Is it not enough to trace the forms perfectly? Maybe there's some kind of trick to it.
The reason for the slight increase in magic power was probably due to my magic power training and learning Body Strengthening, which was a non-elemental magic. But I wondered if the increase in my stamina value wasn't just due to getting used to life in the forest, but also the "pain" in my leg joints.
At first I thought it was just muscle pain from excessive physical training and fatigue, but the "knowledge" inside me taught me that it was "growing pains".
Apparently this phenomenon happened when a person's body experienced sudden growth.
But this should have been after I became ten years old when my body would be bigger. Worrying why such a phenomenon happened to the seven-year-old me, I tried searching the "knowledge" and information related to magic power came to mind.
It was rarely the case for commoners and below, but when it came to the children of nobles that trained their magic power from a very early age, apparently their growth was quicker.
Nobles grew fast but aged slowly. That was because nobles were the God's chosen, blue-blooded ruling class...seemed to be what some nobles said about themselves, but according to that woman's master, such a phenomenon occurred simply when they had a large amount of magic power.
It was true that right now I had more magic power than most adults out there. But according to the "knowledge", there were few examples of rapid growth at the age of seven even among nobles. I thought that perhaps rather than the number of skills and the combat training affecting me, it was because there was no child that would train in such a desperate manner from the age of seven.
To sum it all up, my joints hurt because my body was growing rapidly to hold my increased magic power that rivalled an adult's.
So there was no reason to take a break from training because resting the body wouldn't heal it. Even so, the efficiency would be low, so I decided to focus on practising "magic".
Before choosing what kind of magic I should learn, it was important to first review the types of "magic user" I could become.
The first, which I have been considering for a long time, were the "sorcerers", who used their own magic power to interfere with the magic particles around them to cast elemental sorcery.
This was the most common "magic user" and had it easiest to cast spells in any situation.
But the downside was that the power and effectiveness of the sorcery varied greatly depending on the mental capacity of the user. And, depending on your proficiency, the need for long mental concentration meant that there was a danger of being defenceless while using sorcery.
The second were the "spirit users", who used the power of the spirits by "making a request" using their own magic power as "compensation".
The greater the affinity with the spirit, the less magic power was consumed, and it was easier to achieve higher power than with human sorcery.
On the other hand, if the spirit was in a bad mood, it would be less powerful, and you couldn't use earth element on stone pavement or wind element inside caves. Also, the water spirits would hate you if you used fire inside the forest.
In the first place, you had to be able to hear the voices of the spirits, so it was impossible for me.
The third were the "summoners", who used magic circles to summon spirits and contracted monsters.
They resembled spirit users, but the difference was that once a contract was made, the summoned creature had to obey the summoner and fight on their side, unless the summoner did something cruel to the creature.
The advantage was that once the summoning, which required concentration, was done, the summoner could fight as a warrior or sorcerer, but in the first place to make a contract there was a need to either be liked by the creature or to have subjugated it. And although it wasn't as much as Body Strengthening, it consumed magic power while the summoned creature was out, so it seemed that it was mostly learned by high-ranking sorcerers and warriors for self-defence, meaning there was nobody who picked this route as a beginner.
Therefore, if I wanted to learn magic, my only option from the beginning was to become a "sorceress".
There were six types of elemental sorcery.
People could use the elemental sorcery that suited them best...was the common belief, but assuming that Daily Life magic was the foundation for these six elements, then the idea of personal elements was wrong, since most sorcerers worth their salt learned all six types of Daily Life magic.
I thought that perhaps personal elements were likes and dislikes that were influenced by previous experiences, preferences and living conditions. So if you used any particular element many times, wouldn't that end up creating a "magic stone" inside your body using that elemental magic power?
But, did all the sorcerers until now really not notice something like this that a child like me could think of?
As expected, there might be a "catch" just like with Divine Protections.
Assuming that the element that was your forte, meaning the element you liked best, took you ten times to learn, then the one you disliked would take you a hundred times, so putting aside elves who were said to have eternal life, if a human wanted to master sorcery it would take decades to do so just for a single element.
For that reason it was more efficient to abandon the elements you were not good at and focus on your strengths.
And even if elves were good at sorcery, the forest elves who lived inside the forest couldn't use the fire element. Was that because they subconsciously avoided "fire" due to the possibility of burning the forest?
For the time being, it would be inefficient to practice multiple sorceries, and assuming that there really was a "catch", I thought it would be better to learn only one or two elements.
So instead of trying out different ones to see which ones I was best at, I should first consider my combat style and choose based on efficiency alone, before my preferences set in stone.
Simply considering combat, fire sorcery would probably be the best choice. Fire was effective against most creatures, and if it spread it could cause more damage.
If there was a weakness, it was that the spreading damage may come back to bite you, and because the flames had no physical weight, the released fire sorcery was slow.
For example, in the case of a spell that shot out like Fire Arrow, it was only as fast as a boy throwing a stone with all his might, so a decent warrior could easily avoid it.
Although the earth sorcery Stone Bullet had physical destructive power and should be able to achieve as much speed as a sling used by an adult, a Stone Bullet with low magic power could be easily blocked by hard armour or a shield.
With water, if you were capable of using ice arrows, they would be fast and could be quite powerful, but water sorcery was less physically destructive because many of the spells had effects specific against creatures.
Wind sorcery, apart from being fast, was difficult to see so it was less noticeable, but it was less effective against creatures and physical objects compared to the other elements.
Light magic could be used to restore stamina and heal wounds. There were also spells to remove poison and defend against sorcery attacks, but there were very few means of attack.
Dark sorcery had a lot of illusion and support spells. It was said that if you were proficient enough, you could learn a spatial spell to teleport through space, but you would need to be at the rank of a head court sorcerer to be able to use such spells.
And just like light magic, dark magic had very few direct means of attack.
All of them had advantages and disadvantages. Thinking about it, since that woman could use both fire sorcery, which had power to specialise in attack, and water sorcery, which could do simple treatment by closing wounds, she might have been the ideal as a common sorceress.
What do I want from sorcery in the first place?
I wanted a "weapon" for the sake of survival, and although my magic power had increased somewhat, it was still the same or slightly higher than that of an average adult, so I felt it would be dangerous to rely on offensive sorcery that consumed a lot of magic power.
Because offensive ability would simply be a matter of training Dagger Arts and Throwing, I should learn the type of sorcery that could assist me with that.
The iron skewer I threw pierced the ground.
I've been practising throwing with that iron skewer for the last two weeks.
After two whole days of grinding with the whetstone, the iron skewers, rusty and pitch-black with burnt soot, turned out to be made of forged steel as I expected.
I tried sharpening the tips like a blade because they were difficult to use as they were. It took quite some time until they were usable, but I was really glad they were made from steel. I didn't know what I would do if after all this effort they turned out to be mere castings.
But although my throw could pierce the ground, it still couldn't stick into a tree's trunk. That may not sound like much at all, but I've made a lot of progress just by making it fly straight.
So I decided to learn light sorcery and dark sorcery to assist in close-quarters combat and throwing.
I chose these two because I wanted to be able to heal my injuries on my own after close-quarters combat, as well as to restore my limited stamina.
And since I've learned Stealth, wouldn't the illusions of dark sorcery have good compatibility with me? I didn't have to force myself to defeat my opponent head-on, instead I would outsmart them, laying traps, and if that didn't work, I would escape.
It was fine to leave fighting fair and square to chivalrous knights and muscle-bound monsters like Feld.
Then let's start training sorcery immediately...was what I though, but even though that woman should have done the basic training for each element for the sake of figuring out her strengths, she had absolutely no recollection of dark sorcery.
No, it's possible she wasn't listening to her master's lesson from the start because she wasn't interested...
Instead, she had a great deal of "knowledge" about light sorcery.
I wondered why she was so biased in her knowledge again, but apparently she was desperately studying it because the "me" in the "otome game" was able to use light sorcery.
If asked why she hadn't learned light sorcery even though she was so interested in it, it seemed that she was having so much fun with the fire sorcery and water sorcery she had learned easily that she lost interest in light sorcery.
...Now it's clear to me that the ability to concentrate is very important for a sorcerer.
Next time: Learning sorcery.
- [+] Something that was added in the light novel.
- [–] Something that didn't make it into the light novel.
- [≠] Some difference in details.
- [–] Mention of a month being 30 days and a year 360 days.
- [+] Mention of the holy church forcefully changing the holiday from the original day of dark to the day of light.
- [–] The downside of being a sorcerer.
- [–] Her thoughts about assuming if Daily Life magic was the foundation for the six elements.
- [+] Additional "Perhaps they had noticed but they still were unable to learn many elements simply because they lacked the time to train so many elements" after her questioning whether she was the first one to notice.
- [≠] The phrase about there maybe being a catch like with Divine Protection was moved a bit further in the light novel, right before mentioning again that there may be a catch. I kinda like the web novel version better...