Seemingly pitying the vacant-eyed Lecan, Shira expressed her appreciations.
"You've really outdone yourself there."
"By the way, Norma the medic told me you two could come visit her anytime."
Light came back to Lecan's eyes with that piece of information.
A chance to raise his ability is something to be celebrated for Lecan.
"I see. Eda said she would clean and prepare the house today and tomorrow."
"Humm. Then I suppose you two are starting the day after tomorrow."
"If Eda gives her OK when I see her the day after tomorrow, we'll be heading straight to Norma's place."
"That means you don't have anything to do tomorrow right."
"Okay then, let's use the chance for practicing magic."
"I'd be glad to."
Lecan quickly turned lively.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
Lecan and Nike met up in the morning, then they went through the west gate before heading southwest.
"Alright. This place should do. Now then."
Nike took out a wand.
There's a huge green jewel attached to the wand. It's longer than the last wand she used, but shorter than the one priest Casis had.
"I'll show you an example only once. Watch closely and burn it in your memory."
Nike closed her eyes as she took a stance with the wand thrust forward.
Magic is slowly gathering in the core of her body.
She must have slowed down the pace so Lecan could get a grasp.
Her mana gathered below her belly is revolving round and round. Swirling as it gets amplified.
Her mana flows with no wasted movement nor hesitation.
The mellifluous of that flow looked alluringly sublime to Lecan.
Her mana flows through her right arm, converging into her wand. The converged mana didn't stop moving, it kept revolving in the wand all the while new mana joined the stream.
The rapidly sent mana gets kneaded and compressed inside the wand.
"<Flame Rush (Gailvey)>!"
With that resolutely recited spell, a flashes emitted out of the jewel, thousands of flaming arrows emerged, rushing high into the sky. Then they drew an arc at the apex, raining down overwhelming destruction upon the earth.
The earth got gouged out with a shrill sound, raising a cloud of dust high.
Once things settled down, the scenery underwent a complete change with smashed trees and hollowed earth all around. The area it covered was unbelievably humongous. This would have been enough to utterly annihilate an entire army of foot soldiers.
"This may look awfully powerful. Yet each arrow's penetrating power isn't that high despite this spell's relatively huge mana consumption. An enemy with some nice equipment won't be beaten by this. Nevertheless, it's still a magic capable of raining down total destruction to groups of small fry, hence even one shot could change the tide of battle depending on usage."
Nike resumed her explanation after taking a mana recovery medicine.
"Normally, you need to draw a magic circle, amass mana from several mages into the circle, then use up a huge magic gem to activate this magic. Even its preliminary casting is a bit annoying. But if it's you."
She handed over the wand in her hand to Lecan.
"The you right now should be able to shoot it without a magic circle or preliminary cast."
Lecan holds up the wand in front of his head with his right hand and closes his eyes.
He lets mana flows into the part between his eyes right below forehead, and makes it resonate with the wand's jewel. He could feel his mana would be used up in no time if he loosened up. After quite some time, Lecan managed to acclimate the wand's characteristics with his own mana.
Lecan slowly gathers his mana into his belly.
Then after gathering enough mana, he makes it revolve. A converging circle of mana. He's condensing the mana flowing in his body into an enormous mass of mana.
Here comes the difficult part.
Letting mana flows like how Nike effortlessly demonstrated earlier gets more difficult the more mana is flowing. Lecan believes magic circles and magic gems are supposed to be used here to compensate for a massive amount of mana lost in the process.
Lecan experienced his first surprise at this point.
Just when he thought he had sent almost every last bit of his mana into his abdomen, the mass of mana still demanded him so much more.
Lecan answered that demand and kept pouring more mana even while feeling surprised.
Even while every parts of his body were perplexed of this yet unknown phenomenon, they produced more mana as Lecan desired.
He never thought he was capable of handling this much mana in one go.
Of course, this does not come from Lecan's ability. The wand is aiding him.
Then he experienced the second shock when he let that mana pass through his right arm toward the wand. What he believed would be a daunting task was easily done without as much as a fuss.
This was the first time Lecan truly realized how much useful a wand is in the exercise of magic.
His mana keeps flowing into the wand while he's thinking.
On one hand, he's gathering mana from all over his body while also revolving and compressing it, while at the same time he's sending the compressed mana into the wand through his right arm, and all the while amassing the mana in the wand into a spiral. This wand has enough capacity to effortlessly accept Lecan's massive amount of mana.
The spell is nearing completion.
Lecan vividly recalls the spectacles Shira showed him earlier.
The scene where hundreds, nay, thousands of <Flame Arrows> emerged out of the wand's jewel.
The scene where countless <Flame Arrows> furiously flew and danced high in the air.
And the scene where those <Flame Arrows> made a sharp turn, drawing arc as all of them swooped down the earth.
This was the moment his mana had completely converged, right before he proceeded to the next explosive phase.
And the time finally comes.
An eruption so violent he thought it would smash the wand occurred. However, he's still in control of the thousands of Flame Arrows produced from a single wand rose at tremendous forces.
Following the command Lecan gave in his mind, the Flame Arrows made a sharp turn all at once in the air.
Hell manifested on earth.
The flashes, explosions and roaring sounds were such anyone would thought that's what truly happened.
As Lecan was covered in the nonstop cloud of dust, he could feel that he was losing consciousness.
He hurriedly took a Large Blue Potion out of <Storage> and swallowed it down.
That one blue potion showed a very effective result, refilling his almost dried up mana.
"I'll give it a so-so mark, I guess. It's a bit forceful however. That you see, is a developed form of <Flame Arrows>, an advanced spell of Light and Heat Type magic <Flame Rush>."
They had lunch afterward.
They cooked over a fire even though it was noon. It's not cold but the warmth of an open fire is comforting.
Nike murmured like she was talking to herself while drinking her soup.
"Long ago, there was a boy talented in magic y'see. I ended up having to care for him by sheer coincidence, I taught that kid magic."
Lecan nonchalantly listened to her while chewing on a heated salted meat.
"That kid eventually grew into a mage capable of casting <Flame Rush> by himself, destroying an entire army of enemy's soldiers."
That means the mage he heard about back then was Nike's pupil.
"But then this kid turned into someone who would try to accomplish everything by forces. Noblemen who were once his allies grew resentful of him, ending with him dying a most unsightly death."
With <Move>, Nike moved a firewood at the edge into the center of the open fire. Sparks flew along with crackling sounds.
"No matter how strong one has become, it only takes one curse, one poison, one betrayal to meet their early demise. That's just how humans are."
Lecan looks at Nike. She's staring fixedly at the open fire.
"I won't tell you to learn how to mingle with people."
Nike looks at Lecan straight.
"Become stronger. Stronger than anyone. Stronger than anything. Become stronger not to trample the world, but to not let the world trample you. Surpass the ground level of power."
What lies beyond the ground level.
Wonder what kind of spectacle would unfold before him when he reached that height.
I want to see it, thought Lecan.
"You are now capable of casting advanced level magic. It's the magic cast by several royal court mages at the eve of a war. With the help of a magic circle, you see. Haven't heard of it being used recently though, it might have fallen out of fashion."
"Will it be more destructive if the spell is executed by many people and aided by magic gems."
"Nope. At the end of the day, it's still <Flame Arrows> after all. Each arrow has a fixed amount of destructive power depending on the mage. If shot by a group of people, the power of each arrow will be an average of the group. With magic circles and magic gems involved in the process, it will cover more range, shoot more arrows. <Flame Rush> you shot has an unthinkable range coming from one person, and each arrow is highly destructive. I'm impressed. Mana consumption could be more efficient though."
After this, Nike taught Lecan <Lightning (Gwinbarr)>. Lecan didn't manage to cast it, but he likely would eventually.
<Lightning>, along with <Flame Spear>, are the representatives of Light and Heat type magic. It can be shot straight like <Flame Spear>, or it can be spread over an area like a mesh of <Lightning>, damaging people or magic beasts enclosed within, a very flexible magic.
Lecan wondered if there's even a need for <Flame Rush> with this magic around.
"I'm giving you that wand."
"This seems like quite a nice wand though."
"That thing'd just break if I used my full power. I was planning to give it to someone anyway."
"I had no idea a wand was this nice."
"Make sure you keep practicing magic usable without wand without the help of a wand, you hear me. Use a thick shafted wand with an embedded jewel when you need to cast high powered magic. Use a thin shafted wand when you need to cast magic that require precision. I believe there's a lot of things you can learn from Norma's magic."
"I look forward to it. Ah, right, what type of magic <Prison Flame (Gelvan)> fall into?"
"<Prison Flame>? Ah, that huh. That's a <Flame Spear>."
"What? It didn't look like the same magic."
"It's <Flame Spear> that results from filling it with mana until saturation point and making it explode. It's slow to cast and slow to fly. But thanks to its flashiness, it's pretty good at surprising your opponent."
"That's so random."
"No no. Surprises and unexpected actions are very important tactics in a group combat. It also works well against ape-type and wolf-type magic beasts. And it could turn into something dreadful in the hand of a talented mage."
"I don't get magic circles, when are you supposed to use one."
"Magic circle is a disposable controller unit of a mana amplifier device custom made for specific magic or a group of magic. In other words, it's a wand for non general purpose use. A wand is used by an individual, but a magic circle requires more than two people. A ritual magic will make use of a magic circle by virtue. Normally you forgo the usage of wands when you're deploying a magic circle. Lest it would interfere with control and cause it to explode."
"Can I use it?"
"Humm. I don't mind teaching you one magic circle if you're interested, but I don't think you'd find any point in it."
Afterward, the two headed back to Vouka.
Nike showed the way to Norma's house.
After confirming its location, Lecan parted way with Nike and went back to his inn without paying a visit.