The Power of Spirit Magic
Using Group Obfuscation, Hikaru and Lavia went outside. After walking a while down the highway, they got off the road, crested a gently sloping hill, and arrived at a spot not directly visible from the direction of the town – on a plain covered by bushes. There were insects and birds, but no monsters. If one showed up, there were plenty of places to hide. Hikaru could then use Group Obfuscation to escape.
「Hikaru, how far does this plain go?」
「It rolls for a bit, but it would probably take a horse a whole day of running to get to the edge.」
「It’s that big? Wow…」
A breeze slipped by between them. Her silver hair would have flown in the wind, but right now Lavia’s hair was cut short and she was wearing a cap. Hikaru felt just a little bit sad.
「…It’s quite hot.」
The sun shone bright and strong. Hikaru thought he needed more clothes than just his black overall outfit.
「What are we going to do now? Use magic?」
「Before that, may I see your soul card?」
【Registration】Pongee Elka Temple, Kingdom of Ponsonia
【Religious Services】Sun God Festival (6)
【Job Class】— — —
It’s different from the guild card, he thought.
【Adventurers Guild Card】
【Registration】Pond Adventurers Guild, Kingdom of Ponsonia
【Job Class】Stealth God: Darkness Wanderer
「Lavia… your name.」
Her family name, Morgstad, was gone.
Lavia stared at her soul card for a while.
「…I’m free now.」
「So why did you want to see my card?」
She must be over her family.
「I wanted to know what you had under Job Class. What’s that number on Religious Services anyway?」
「I think it’s the number of times you donate to the festival.」
「A festival is held every year at the temple and if you donate, they record it on your soul card. They say you devotion will reach the Sun God.」
Hikaru groaned. A person acquired the blessings of a god through their job class. They didn’t have to do anything like give donations.
「Uh, I think…」
「It’s probably just a money-making scheme.」
「So you knew.」
「Well, yes. The temple’s VIPs are fat and wear fine clothes.」
Sounds like the organization’s core is rotten. Not that it has anything to do with me, Hikaru thought.
「All right. So what classes do you have? You don’t have anything selected right now.」
「Please don’t get weirded out.」
She began writing on the ground.
【Ordinary Spirit Magic User God: Basic Spirit Mage】7
【Wide Area Noble Blood Rescue God: Noblesse】7
【Magic Principle Creation God: Challenger of Magic Principles】5
【Flame Spirit God: Flame Magus】4
「…Something like that.」she said.
Hikaru studied the writing, nodding to himself.
「What does Magic Principle mean?」
「That’s what got your attention?」
「I’m just curious.」
Two points were allocated to Magic Principle on Lavia’s Soul Board. Roland had decent knowledge on magic, but he seemed to have been self-educated and it felt like he lacked plenty of information. Roland’s knowledge was incoherent. Although it was remarkable how he managed to study magic thoroughly on his own.
「To be honest, I don’t know much about it either. My magic just developed on its own.」
「On its own? What do you mean?」
「Before I explain, would you look at my magic?」
Hikaru nodded. That was why he brought her here today in the first place.
Magic mostly referred to Spirit Magic. It was believed that Spirits were the backbone of nature. On the Soul Board, there was Spirit Affinity which was further categorized into Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. It was presumed that there existed a Spirit for each element.
Using one’s own mana to manipulate the power of the Spirits and cause supernatural phenomena – that was Spirit Magic.
There was also Healing Magic which Paula used. It involved expending one’s own mana to directly manipulate someone’s natural healing power and multiply it. It differed from Spirit Magic in that it didn’t draw power from Spirits, but the mana expended was still basically the same in both cases.
「O’ Spirit, heed my call. With the primordial flame, burn my foe to ashes.」
To use Spirit Magic, an incantation was necessary. This was apparently in a written agreement between Spirits and humans back in ancient times and it was believed to be absolute.
But in the Soul Board, there’s this Magic Creation thing under Spirit Affinity so I don’t think it’s really absolute… Hikaru thought. But that was neither here nor there.
Lavia’s incantation was the same as East’s. Although what he did was simply release magic that was stored in a ring – magic similar to that of a Fire Spirit’s.
As soon as Lavia finished her incantation, a ball of fire about three meters in diameter materialized above her, floating in the air. It was hot enough that Hikaru could feel his skin getting fried.
The ball of fire flew forward, the flames bursting like a water balloon dropping to the ground. Heated air started rapidly climbing, sucking the air around like a vacuum. A pillar of flames then rose like a swirling vortex, about five meters high, before disappearing. Verdant grass was completely reduced to ashes where the flames initially spread. Otherwise, everything else was unscathed.
「…This is Fire Breath. A basic fire spell.」Lavia said, her face like that of a child rebuked for doing something wrong.
「Incredible. I’ve imagined it to be this powerful, but it’s still surprising to see for real.」
「You’ve imagined it?」
Lavia had five points on Fire Spirit Affinity. That, and two points on Magic Principle as well. The C-ranked adventurer Nogusa had four points on Sword and three points on Earth. Unken, the national hero, had six points on Short Sword, so it was safe to assume that five points was quite something. There was, of course, the possibility that the standards for measuring power for Weapon Mastery and Spirit Affinity differed.
「So you’re not afraid of me? You don’t fear me?」
「Of course, not.」
Lavia pressed her hands on her chest and let out a long breath.
「…Thank heavens. I was actually really nervous, worried that if you saw my powers, you’d leave me.」
「That won’t happen.」
Even though it didn’t directly harm anyone, Hikaru’s Stealth, to a degree, was more terrifying than Lavia’s magic.
Lavia held his hands tight and placed her forehead on his chest, her cap almost falling off.
「I’m glad you were the one who saved me. You don’t fear me, and you won’t leave me. Right?」
「I won’t. I promise.」
She looked at him with teary eyes. Hikaru wanted to give her a kiss.
「Someone’s coming. They might’ve seen the magic you used. Let’s get out of here.」
Activating Group Obfuscation, they left the area.
「How many times can you use that spell?」Hikaru asked as they were walking.
「Let’s see… I can use it thirty times without rest.」
「That’s incredible. I wonder if I can use magic too.」
「Everyone has magical powers so if you practice, you should be able to.」
Hikaru stopped and started reciting the incantation for Fire Breath.
「…I got nothing.」
「Normally you need to first deepen your relationship with the Spirits and practice releasing mana…」
「Normally? Was it different in your case?」
「Yes… It was.」
It was a delicate subject for Lavia, but she didn’t want to hide anything, so she started talking.
Lavia was six years old when she became aware of her aptitude to magic. That time she was still living in their main residence as the daughter of the Count’s second wife. It all started when a horse that strolled next to her stepped on a nail and went wild. It was on the verge of hurting Lavia when she suddenly released magical powers that lay dormant within her. It was a simple magic discharge, like the one she used when Hikaru met her in the cell – only enough to alter the air around.
But the amount of magic she released was enormous. The horse fainted, the coachman and her retainers all collapsed. Lavia alone was on her feet.
The Count then discovered her powers and made her use magic. Large beasts and tied-up Goblins were brought before her to test her abilities on. After a few trials – making her recite different Spirit Magic incantations – it was found that she had great affinity for fire. She somehow just learned to use fire magic without studying or training. Combine that with her incredible power, all the monsters brought before her were killed in one shot.
The Count and his family feared Lavia. They isolated her, forbidding her to go outside. Ordinary men wouldn’t be able to handle her if she went on a rampage. That was when the family started hiring knights as guards. They weren’t there to protect Lavia, however. They were hired to protect the Count from Lavia.
While Count Morgstad put Lavia on house arrest, he thought of ways to use her powers. Hikaru thought that perhaps it was him who proposed that Ponsonia go to war. How could he use his own daughter, his own blood, like some kind of a tool? His chest tightened just thinking about what she’d been through. The good news was that she could enjoy life to the fullest now and that was enough to make him feel better.
「Lavia, how much of the Fire Breath can you control?」
「It’s the same spell that East used on me, right? But unlike you, he didn’t have control. All he did was burn some bushes.」
「Well, I can change the location where it’ll appear and the direction it flies to. But I can’t change how much mana it consumes. That part is constant.」
「Even though it consumes the same amount of mana, yours was bigger.」
「I think that’s why they saw me as a valuable asset for war.」
I see, Hikaru thought. She has five points on Fire. The higher the number, the bigger the fire ball. In other words, even with the same amount of mana, there’s much higher firepower.
Hikaru had no idea what war was like in this world, but he assumed magic played a big part in it. If thirty of those Fire Breath spells hit the enemy, there would be no hope for them.
「Can you change the shape of the fire ball, then? Or perhaps compress or expand it.」
「…I’ve never thought about doing that before.」
「Let’s try it when we get the chance. Unfortunately, we can easily be spotted out here so we’ll have to run some tests some other time.」
Grassland spread out nearby and two small birds were frolicking about in the skies. Hikaru didn’t want to burn the place twice.
「We’ll have to examine your job class’s abilities some other time as well.」
「Hmm? What’s up?」
「You sound like a scholar the way you talk about running tests or examinations.」
「Really? Doesn’t it bother you when you don’t find answers to your questions?」
「It does a bit, but I’m not as fixated on them as you are.」
「Speaking of which, I have one question.」
「Uh, forget it. 」
「No, go on. I said I’d give you everything. That includes what I experienced and my knowledge as well.」
Hikaru was taken aback by Lavia’s sincerity.
「All right, then. Did you have that much mana from the start?」
Lavia had zero points available and Hikaru was curious about that. She most likely got her six levels on Soul Rank from killing the monsters brought to her.
It’s definitely not something you make a young girl do. In any case, her points were allocated to mana and Fire Spirit Affinity at some point.
「No. I didn’t have many opportunities to use magic, but sometimes I felt like my mana increased.」
Lavia had a remarkable eleven points on Mana. She could use Fire Breath, a basic fire spell, thirty times without rest because of that.
「Did you do anything special?」
So the points were automatically allocated. That’s probably how the Soul Board works.
A human’s potential was quantified as points. One earned more points as they grew older and by increasing their Soul Rank. If they excelled at something, it would manifest as something like a “natural gift” that enhanced their abilities. The points would be allocated accordingly.
In Lavia’s case, it was quite unbalanced as only her natural gift in Spirit Magic developed. Still, using up all her “potential” until she had zero points left and pouring them all to magic was, in some way, a curse.
「Did that answer your question, Sir?」she asked in a teasing tone, peering into Hikaru’s face.
「The mystery just deepens. Which is why racking your brains is fun, Miss Lavia.」Hikaru replied with a smile. 「Hmm?」
「Ssh. There’s something there.」
Hikaru spotted a creature with a red horn on a slope a hundred meters ahead, its face buried into the ground, eating.
「I’m gonna kill it. They’re worth decent money.」
「Is that… a rabbit?」
「A Red-horned Rabbit. Can you wait here?」
「Can I come with you?」
「Sure. Don’t let go of my hand.」
Hikaru hesitated for a moment. He was simply going to get closer to the rabbit and stab it with his dagger – nothing special for Lavia to see. Though the act could be seen as cruel by some people.
There was one more reason he really didn’t want her to see him hunt the rabbit. She had killed helpless creatures with her magic in the past. He figured those were painful memories for her.
But Lavia said she wanted to go adventuring. She had to get used to killing living beings. It was too late for playing nice, so Hikaru changed his mind.
Hikaru activated his Group Obfuscation and inched closer to the Red-horned Rabbit. It didn’t take long for them to close the distance. A thrust of a dagger to its back and the creature quivered before going limp.
That was all she said. She was neither elated nor too shocked, only a bit shaken. Her “wow” must’ve been directed at Hikaru’s Stealth Skill. If she’s still all right after seeing that, there shouldn’t be any problem if she went adventuring with me.
Hikaru noticed the dirt where the Red-horned Rabbit stuck its head.
Is this how they live? Not that it matters to me I guess. I can kill them in one shot with my Stealth anyway.
「Hikaru? What’s wrong?」
「It’s nothing. I’ll just drain this thing’s blood then we head back.」
「Isn’t it heavy?」
「I can carry one just fine.」
He put a point on Strength for this purpose, after all. Lavia was surprised to see Hikaru stuff the rabbit in a sack and carry it like nothing.
「All right. Let’s head back, shall we—」
The sky was already turning red.
In the distance, he spotted someone running out of a forest, panicking.
She turned back to face the woods, brandished her mace, and started chanting a spell. Her friends jumped out of the forest, chased by a green giant – a Forest Barbarian.
It was Paula and her friends.