Chapter 6: Genius?
My training began the following day.
“Today, you will take your first step to becoming a full-fledged mage of the Waldemar house” Amanda spoke with a clear smile on her face.
“You will first learn how to use your mana. Children usually start learning magic at the Elementary school at the age of seven, and you’re not even six years old yet. As a result, my training will be quite difficult, but it’s nothing that a genius like you can’t handle. I hope you don’t disappoint me, Sillath.” She gave me a solemn look.
In front of her urging gaze, I wasn’t motivated or interested in the slightest. It's true that I always wanted to learn magic. Who would not? However, I didn’t wanted to learn it like that: in front of a house I don’t recognize with a woman I despised.
I was given an unexpected smack across the head.
“What are you doing?” I exclaimed, while rubbing the painful spot on my head.
It was a normal smack, yet it felt incredibly hard. Then I noticed the hand she smacked me with. It was covered with a hard looking earth, like a glove.
**This bitch used magic.**
“You seemed to be daydreaming as I spoke to you, it was only natural for me to wake you up. Do you have a problem with that?”
I didn't answered which seemed to express my agreement because she immediately pursued her speech.
“Good. Like I said, today, we’ll begin by learning the basics of how to use your mana. It’s the first step for every mage. If you can’t do that, then just forget about becoming a mage. Normally, it takes around two months for a person to learn it, I expect you to learn it in one. The rest of your training eventually gets harder and progress becomes slower. I expect good results the next time my master visits’. Don’t expect me to be easy on you, even if you are the next heir. To me, you are simply useless, if you aren’t able to become a powerful mage.”
“Why is it so important that I learn magic for this old man?”
She gave a small sigh.
“I sometimes forget that you’re still a kid. You must have learned of some knowledge regarding the human kingdoms in primary school, haven’t you?”
“Well, I know there are 3 human kingdoms. We belong to the Kingdom of Dorell within the Eastern continent. The Vifalm kingdom is located in the Northern part of the Western continent while the Ledrack Kingdom is in the south.”
“Correct. But what else can you tell me about those kingdoms?”
“That’s all I know.”
She sighed once again.
“Each one of these kingdom are unique. The Ledrack kingdom is a religious state with the Archduke leading it, while a single Emperor leads the Vifalm kingdom. Ledrack leans on the fervor and the dedication of the believers of their cult while Vifalm possesses the strongest warriors forged by the cruelty of the North.”
**So the North men are brutes while the south kingdom is full of fanatics.**
“Now, tell me what is the strong point of our kingdom?”
I wondered for a while until I finally found the right answer.
I thought to myself for a short moment before answering.
“It’s magic, isn’t it.”
“Exactly. Our kingdom is the most advanced in terms of magic. The other kingdoms lack a magic university, nor do their schools teach the basics of magic to every child. Now tell me, what do you think is the value of the head of the Waldemar house if he can’t use magic?”
I hesitated a bit before answering.
“Correct. A rare disease has struck my master making him almost unable to shape his mana. He lost a lot of influence because of that and the house of Waldemar is now on the verge of destruction. That’s why you must become a strong mage as fast as possible. You will restore the reputation and influence of the house that it once had, before the other great houses take advantage of our misfortunes and crush us.”
I was silent for a while. I finally understood why he was so desperate to have me on his side when he had learnt of my huge mana pool.
**If I fail and the Waldemar house is destroyed, he will probably take revenge on my family and loved ones… I can’t let that happen.**
“I understand, I will give it my best.”
“It’s good you understand. Let’s start the training.”
I had a reason to learn magic.
It wasn’t by pleasure nor was it a thirst for power, but simply to protect the ones that saved me from my despair when I was reincarnated into this world.
I knew I couldn't really consider them my parents, but it didn’t changed the fact that I loved them.
That’s why I must do everything I can to protect them and let them live a happy life.
Well, even if I thought that way, my training wasn’t going well.
Learning to control mana was the basic stage of learning magic, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. At first, I was confident because I thought I was a genius like everyone said but I painfully learnt that being born into a world without magic was a huge disadvantage.
The children become conscious early of the mana inside them, but not me. When my crazy kidnapper told me to focus and feel the mana inside me I couldn’t help but think about the human anatomy I learnt in my old world. There is blood circulation, lymphatic circulation and nervous transmission, but, in my mind, mana didn’t have a place in all of this.
Consequently, I wasn’t just unable to control mana I was also unable to sense it, something that children are supposed to do instinctively. For the first time, the memories of my previous life became shackles.
After a month without any progress, Amanda threatened and beat me for my lack of effort.
After three months, she had grown desperate. She began to curse me and severely thrash me, until I was half-dead. I wasn’t able to move for two weeks after that. She clearly lost her cool and things took a turn for the worse.
When she saw that I spent all my free time practicing, she almost cried in despair. If I didn’t put any effort she just had to beat me until I gave up, but if I couldn’t do it there was nothing she could do. Her pretty figure became less and less appealing with every night she spent searching for a solution.
As much as I liked seeing her suffer, it wasn’t my fault and this situation was becoming more and more out of hand. If the old man came back and found that I was still unable to have basic control over my mana, he might just hurt my family.
Therefore, I spent every night on my bed, trying to feel the mana inside me. It took me 4 months to do but I was getting the hang of it. It was like feeling the beating of a second heart. It was disturbing at first, but I eventually became used to it with some time.
It was six months since the beginning of my training that I was finally able to control my mana. I gathered it into my right hand, before doing the same with my left.
When she saw this, Amanda hugged me. My face buried in her ample bosom. It would have been quite pleasant if it wasn’t her. I despised this woman after all.
“Now that you are finally able to control your mana, you must learn to use the basic magic of each element. Most children can only use one or two. I hope you will be able to control three, but if you can become good with one or two, then I can’t complain. After all, it’s not something you can change.”
**She isn’t losing any time.**
“I understand. What am I supposed to do?”
“First, you must gather your mana in the part of your body that will use magic. Try gathering it in one hand. It's easier that way."
I gathered it into my right hand as I did before. She made a relieved smile seeing that I managed it on my first try.
“Next you have to shape your mana. You must have a clear image of what you want to do. Imagination is the key aspect in magic. Try to imagine the various elements covering your hand.”
I thought for a moment about the element I will try first. I could see the sweat covering my hands, thus I focused on water first.
It reminded me that the human body was mostly composed of water and that, consequently it will be the easiest to learn.
I imagined, washing my right hand , trying to get rid of the sweat. I tried to remember the feeling of water on my skin but it was quite difficult.
I could see Amanda in the corner of my eyes. She was clenching her fists tightly. I could see the uneasiness in her dark eyes.
**We are at least four months late in her schedule. She must’ve been praying that it doesn’t take me as much time.**
It has already been five minutes, since I started but I couldn’t see any result yet.
**Do I suck so much at magic? Shit, if I want the old geezer to leave my family alone I must become an astounding mage. Why is it so hard to create a little bit of water? It’s just some hydrogen with oxygen.**
I clench my fist and a few seconds later, a small net of water was beginning to form around my hand. I was so surprised that I had almost lost my concentration.
“Good, you did it!”
Amanda couldn’t help but scream in joy.
“It take at least an hour before a child is able to make his first element appear. I don’t understand how you did it so fast. You’re terrible at something that is supposed to be easy but you’re a fast learner when it’s something difficult. Honestly, something must be wrong with your head.”
**Great congratulations talk. I just succeed something difficult and all you have to say is that I’m weird. If everyone keeps telling me that, I will start to think it’s the truth…**
“Anyway, now that you succeed with the first element, let us try the others to see if you can use at least one more.”
I nodded and focused once again.
I gathered mana into my right hand and condensed it while imagining an earth glove like the one that met my head so many times.
I succeeded on my first try. She couldn’t help but have a big smile on her pretty face. It has been a long time, since I’ve seen her this happy.
“Great, try another one.”
She was just like a kid who discovered a new toy and wanted to see what she could do with it. It was an unpleasant feeling.
I started yet again.
I was starting to understand how mana manipulation worked. It was as if you controlled small particles you must shape in order to create the desired element.
**Imagination must have a part in that, but I honestly don’t think that’s there is to this. If I gather the particles then I create earth magic so what will happen if I accelerate them?**
I tried immediately.
A few seconds later, a small flame was around my hand. I could have sworn I saw some tears of joy in her eyes.
“As expected from my master’s grandson! You’re definitely a genius. Being able to control three elements is not something everyone is able to do. You must now practice until you’re able to manifest each element without thinking about it. After you are able to do this, you will be considered a basic mage controlling three elements: a Shiwake basic mage.”
“A Shiwake basic mage?”
“It’s a title. Ishita mage control one element, Nihoko mage control two, Shiwate mage control three and finally the Sokeï mage is the title given if you can manipulate the four basic elements.”
“It’s quite difficult to remember.”
“Don’t worry you will get used to it. It’s something created in this country to classify the mages between them so you will definitely become well known, if you are a Shiwate mage.”
“I understand. But… why are you telling me I’m a Shiwate mage?”
“-Of course not, I understood all of it, but I haven’t even tried the last element.”
I didn’t give her the time to reply. I quickly gathered mana around my hand and focused a few seconds before a thin film of wind surrounded my hand. It was nearly transparent, but it was clear that the air was moving.
She didn’t utter a word and hugged me again.
“Incredible, you are a Sokeï mage. There is only a few within the entire kingdom!”
She squeezed me tighter. I hated her, but I preferred when she hugged me than when I was hit. To my surprise, I found a little comfort in her soft arms. It was the first time I received some signs of affectation in these agonising months. I allowed her to swallow me in her embrace, until she finally let go of me.
She had a beaming smile on her face. She usually was quite gloomy, but when she smiled like she did she appeared as one of the prettiest person that I had ever seen.
I couldn’t help but feel myself blush a little after seeing her like that.
**I suppose I can get use to her.**
I smiled a little before we resumed my training.