Lecan recalled the scenes in which Shira, aka Nike wielded her <Comet Cutter> in his mind. She'd freely lengthen and shrink down the blade while fighting like she was dancing.
(I wanna get to that level one day.)
(But it's not gonna happen overnight.)
His goal for now is to generate and maintain a minimum length of the magic blade.
In this sword's case that's twofold. Or just about one step long. Half of which the metal blade part wrapped in magic blade from the base, and the other half consists of the magic blade only. Or you could say that only half a step long blade is made of a pure magic blade at its minimum length. At maximum length, it's twice that, or four step long.
Its minimum blade length being a step long is not actually short at all. It's a very standard length for a long sword.
(I gotta master this length first thing first.)
What he needs to do is to practice generating the magic blade at this length using the least amount of mana.
And also grasping the knack to maintain the magic blade while consuming the littlest possible amount of mana.
Once the magic blade has been generated, it will stay manifested as long as you keep supplying the sword with very little mana. However, the blade will disappear if the continuous supply of mana falls below a certain amount. Lecan can keep the blade manifested if he just pours lots of mana constantly, but he'd be just wasting mana then.
Lecan fully immersed himself in the practice.
He was staggering by the time he realized.
Casting magic consumes something akin to stamina. You may say it's like magical stamina.
Absorbing mana from magic stones also uses up this magical stamina. Once or twice in small doses are nothing, but absorbing a lot in one go is quite exhausting. The act of absorbing mana also tires you out, and your body experiences a peculiar sense of unpleasantness while it's acclimatizing itself to the absorbed mana.
Emitting mana also consumes this magical stamina. Even people who like to sing will have their throat dried up, organs fatigued and found it hard to even stand if they kept singing loudly for an extended period of time. And then they lost the mood to sing. It's the same principle.
Lecan got carried away in his magic blade training and sucked up so much mana from magic stones, he drove himself to exhaustion. Complete exhaustion. And with it vertigo, headache and nausea.
He used up lots of magic stones too. He went through his entire supply of small magic stones, and it'd take him three to four, no five to six days to refill all medium and large magic stones he emptied. And that's only if he doesn't use his mana for other things in the meantime.
Lecan staggered his way back to <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn>.
It was way past dinner time, Tsuinga and Bruska were having a drink.
Lecan's portion was still there.
Seeing Lecan's state, Yoana asked him out of worry.
"Whoa there, what's up? It's you we're talking 'bout here so I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. But that was way late. Didja have a run in with a strong one?"
"Yeah. A real toughie."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The following morning, Lecan couldn't get up his bed. He just couldn't get himself out of his bed like he was having an awful hangover. He cast <Recovery> on himself which helped a tad, but the revolting feeling wouldn't go away. He slept until noon. He got in bed early that night without drinking.
The following day, he didn't feel like going out either.
He took a late breakfast, a nap, and then got up in the noon for a meal.
As he stared into space while drinking his tea, a strong light suddenly dwelt in Lecan's eye.
Among many red dots displayed in <Life Detection>, three especially strong dots that are unlike others are heading here.
One among those three seems familiar. It's the woman that was in the adjacent room during his audience with the Chief Administrator the other day. It's probably the Marquis House's finest mage. However, her red dot is only the second strongest. The strongest red dot easily exceeds hers.
(Oy oy, that their ace up sleeve or something?)
Five other not really strong red dots are moving with them. As well as companions without mana.
Before long, the eight red dots got within <3D Perceptions>'s range.
(It's a wagon.)
(A huge one.)
(Yeah that thing ain't gonna fit the path here.)
(Two other horses besides the ones drawing the wagon.)
The individual leading the way is on foot, and very tall. Taller than Lecan. This individual is the one with the highest mana pool.
(Not a knight.)
(An adventurer eh.)
The wagon stopped. Some people came out of it and started walking toward <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn>.
(Two are left to tend the wagon huh.)
Six red dots are drawing closer.
The tall individual was walking foremost, and surprisingly, the person behind them is none other than the chief administrator herself. Someone that high up going out of her way to visit a place like this surely doesn't occur often.
Lecan noticed something as the six came even closer.
(That tall lanky fella leading the way.)
(Not only got some crazy amount of mana.)
(But also some real extraordinary skills.)
(But this feeling.)
(Could it be.)
(Could it be.)
It was such a nostalgic feeling. Lecan almost shouted out loud in reflex.
He had never imagined that this sensation even existed and that he would actually experience it.
But there's no mistaking it. There's no doubt. The individual drawing closer is exactly that.
The six arrived in front of <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn>.
A knocking sound.
The door got opened before anyone replied.