How to Learn Magic Sword (?) 1
I really went and did it there.
I was getting frustrated with the lack of progress with mana blade reproduction effort and decided to goof around with a fake magic sword instead, and Alma saw that.
And now she's demanding an explanation.
You've got it wrong... It was but an impulse...
"Mind if I ask you one thing?"
"Go ahead ma'am."
I switched to formal language without realizing. Not like she's getting mad, but Alma's with a serious expression emanates some amazing pressure.
"Supposedly, you cannot learn skills, yet you cast magic?"
"Ma'am. I still cannot acquire any skill. But I somehow managed to control mana directly when I gave it a try."
"Control mana directly!? Somehow managed to!?"
Alma shouted out loud in surprise for once.
Aren't your character breaking. Is she alright.
"As for the true nature of that flaming sword, to be honest with you, it's just an application of Livelihood magic, I just coated the blade with flammable gas mana and lit it up."
"No. It's not quite like the Livelihood magic I know. In fact, it's a completely different thing."
No no, they're one and the same. For real.
"Well, it may be flashy and all but it doesn't actually raise your offensive power, not really good in practice."
"I don't mind. Please teach me how. Please, Hikaru."
Uh, t-those teary upturned eyes are a foul play. How could anyone refuse her...
So then I tried to do it again but I got no more MP. Daang.
I was assaulted by a huge sense of guilt when I saw Alma looking like she was gonna cry. I'm so sorry!
...I'll make her something extravagant for dinner tonight
So the next day.
I'm teaching her about the fake magic sword at our usual training ground early in the morning.
Hmm... I don't think there's any point in learning this, but well, if that's what she wants, that's what she gets.
"Speaking of, when you use offensive spell like fireball, can you adjust its power, speed or shape?"
"I can weaken its power, though not by much. But making it stronger is not doable."
Fumu, guess Skills aren't completely auto pilot either.
So you can adjust them to a degree.
"Now then, before we get to that flaming sword... We need to do some prep work."
"Prep work? Like, controlling mana directly?"
"Correct. You'll need to learn that, Alma. If you can freely control offensive spell, you could have just coat it on your sword, but that doesn't seem feasible."
"Un. Even if it could, I wouldn't have thought about it. How did you come up with magic sword, Hikaru?"
"E-err, I've been imagining a lot of some interesting stuff I could have done if I could use Skills."
That's a lie. I know it from manga and game.
Especially stuff from a certain grand adventure manga where the protag coats his sword with lightning and sends it flying.
Agh, stop looking at me with those innocent eyes. My heart hurts.
"First of all, let's try sensing the mana inside your own body."
Despite my confident, I'm not even sure if I'm teaching this stuff right.
But I'm serious about this to respond to Alma's seriousness.
"Could you shoot an offensive spell into an empty space?"
"Un, got it."
She pointed her palm at the nearby ground and shot a fireball.
DWON! The ground charred after a small explosion.
Well, the shooting itself doesn't matter. It's the act.
"Alma, you just consumed 8 MP to shoot that fireball. Can you feel the mana emitting from inside your body through your palm outside?"
"E-err... I'm sorry, I can't."
Well, mana is something that simply exists to the people in this world.
It's almost like trying to sense the blood flowing through your body after all. Of course you can't.
"...Huh? How did you know how much mana I used?"
...Aw crap, I said it.
Well, guess it should be fine to tell her.
Alma won't just randomly talk about my Menu to anyone.
"I never told you huh. I don't know why, but I can see a display that lets me see people's and things' status and effects ever since I woke up in that forest. It's like Appraisal skill."
"...You'd better not tell that to anyone. It's okay with me since I already think you can do anything, Hikaru, but other people will see you weirdly."
"Yeah. I get it. I've only told this to you Alma. Also, I can't do everything, really."
Her reaction's kinda weaker than expected. I thought she'd get mad at me for peeking at her stat, she's not?
"Then try stretching your hand forward."
"Err, like this?"
Alma took a pose like she's a Kyonshi. Kinda surreal. One hand is enough.
Next, I controlled my mana remotely and touched Alma's right hand.
She yelped in surprise at that.
...Feel like I'm harassing her even though I'm not touching her. No no, no ulterior motive here.
"Sorry to startle you, did you feel that?"
"Something soft and fluffy is touching my right hand...."
"That's the mana I released. That fluffy thing is what you use to activate magic and skills, which is mana."
"This is, mana..."
She touched the mana on her right hand, muttering with a wondrous expression.
Looks like it worked.
"How about your own mana? Can you tell?"
Well, guess not with just this much.
Can't be helped, the ghost in my head's gonna get noisy again if I do this, but I can't think up any other way.
"Alma, I'm sorry if you don't like it, but may I touch your right hand for a bit?"
"Nn, it's fine. Also, I don't really mind."
Now then, first I lightly grasp her right hand like making a handshake.
...I'm telling you this is a necessary lecture. There's no ulterior motive!
"I'm passing my mana into your right hand. Try to push it back with your own mana through your hand."
She's got no idea what's going, but I can't explain well! Practices make perfect!
I slowly stream my mana into Alma's hand.
"Hauuu!? S-something's flowing into my arm...!?"
Looks like she could feel it despite her confusion.
...But looking at Alma getting flustered when she's usually so expressionless feels kinda fresh.
Yeah yeah, ulterior motive. Say what you want.
"You can tell external mana coming in your palm yeah? Imagine yourself pushing it back. Can you do it?"
"Imagine it. Move it like how you move your finger, breathe, open and close your eyes, like how you can freely move your body."
"*Breathe in*... *Breathe out*...."
She really moved her finger and breathed in and out. No uh, that's just an example...
"You do control the mana in your body when you use magic, even if it's through Skill. I'm sure you can do... Oh?"
As she repeatedly breathed out, I could sense her mana pushing mine.
I see, she's imagining it like she's breathing.
Looks like she's grasped the knack right away. This girl is amazing, she's a fast learner.
"Alright, you're doing good. Can you sense the mana inside your body?"
"Somehow, I think I can."
"You can start with just sensing that for now. Let's practice how to freely move it around."
"I get it..."
She closed her eye and concentrated on the training.
But man, that was so smooth, I thought she'd struggle more. I thought controlling mana was a hard task or something, but she did it even though she's not an Otherworlder.
I was starting to believe I'm awesome for being able to use magic without Skills, but nope. Well, I guess that's only right... It's me after all.
Afterward, she kept doing it for three hours straight while standing still.
Is she all right? Won't her feet give out? That's some amazing concentration.
Is this how much she wants to use that fake magic sword thing. Where'd this zeal come from.
...Wonder if she's thinking of getting back at those three girls, or maybe because it's her chance to get stronger.
I'm telling you though, that thing isn't really suited for actual combat.
"Alma, let's take a break. We're nearing lunchtime."
Afterward, she walked two-three steps before falling on her knees.
"...Are you okay?"
"...My legs, numb..."
She overdid it. Good job.
It seems she was practicing during lunch as she kept staring at her palm while chewing on my handmade grilled onigiri. Get some rest you.
She didn't move an inch with her eyes closed during the one hour break after lunch.
It looks like she's sleeping at a glance, but she's actually practicing mana control. Hey, that's enough...! Take a break...!