Falling asleep in an unfamiliar place was difficult. Between that and my own racing mind, I could barely sleep. Is father actually dead? I mean, if he went to the trouble of sending me to Jett it must be true. I don want to believe it, but I have no choice but to. I slowly drifted into sleep.
The morning came and I am awoken by the sound of movement. I go into the main room, Clair is making breakfast, Vincent is sitting at the table. No one else is around. I walk towards the kitchen.
"Where is everybody else?"
"Emil and Reune don eat breakfast, they head out right after they wake up. As for Jett, hes still asleep."
e making me sound lazy." Jett enters the room yawning. His sleepwear is a short sleeve shirt and shorts, yet he still wears his gloves. "You sleep alright, kid?"
"Yes sir." I respond quickly and my posture snaps upright. Jett laughs at me as if to say that theres no need to be so formal.
"Hey hey, can Ren come with me today?" Vincent, who was surprisingly quiet found his energy.
"Theres no problem, just one thing needs to get taken care of. Ren close your eyes."
I was confused by the order but followed it regardless. I close my eyes. I hear a bottle opening. "Now, stick out your tongue." I do. I feel Jetts gloved finger press on my tongue. The taste is strange. The leather of the glove is coated with an irony taste, its like licking a rock. "Alright, swallow and open your eyes."
I swallow the substance; the metallic taste rolls down my throat. Its an unsettling taste, but nothing thatd make me gag. I open my eyes. I meet gazes with Vincent who face is shining with surprise.
"Yep thatll do." Jett says under his breath.
"So cool! How did you do that?"
"Trade secret." Jett presses his finger up to his lips. "Now people will be unlikely to recognize you."
"What do you mean?"
"Your eyes turned red!" Vincent was now close to my face. Wait, did he say red?
I have to verify. I don know if this place has a mirror, so Ill just make my own. The Tier 2 Frost Spell, Ice Hand Mirror should be enough to check. I cast the spell; a small mirror made of ice appears in my hand. I check my face, sure enough, my eyes have turned red. I turn to Jett as I release the Spell. "Did you give me some sort of potion?"
"Trade secret." He repeated himself.
Alchemy is an art of secrecy, if it was a potion theres no way hed reveal that. If a potion that can alter appearances went public, the Alchemist would be swarmed by bad people like the Assassins Guild.
"Ill freshen it up, if your eyes start turning purple again."
"Thank you. I suppose." Im still curious about what I swallowed, but if this is the only effect I can be upset. After all, itd be strange if the prince was walking around a border town like this. I still have traits that point to my relation to the King, but I can wave that off as coincidence.
After breakfast I followed Vincent as he walked. The outside of the orphanage was far more impressive than the inside. Its covered in stone and has a tile room. And I didn get the feeling when I was inside, but its huge for a commoners house it even has its own fenced yard. As I follow Vincent, I notice that the other houses are made in a similar build style, but they
e dwarfed by the orphanage.
The road from the orphanage is straight, leading to the center of town and the edge. Its on a slope so as we walk to the edge of town we have to walk uphill.
"Hey Vincent, what are we doing?" I finally ask. He hadn told me anything he just asked me to follow him.
e going to train."
"With the guards. Also, call me Vince. You waste your breath saying the whole thing. I usually stop by once a week to get pointers, other than that I train on my own."
"Ill keep that in mind." Training with the Royal Guard, is that a good idea?
We arrive at the Guard post. Two members stand by the gate to the town. The first had medium armor on and a sword at his side. On his chest are three red chevrons meaning hes a Sword Sergeant. The other had light armor and a waist cape on. The rank in his chest are two blue chevrons, a Magic Corporal. The Royal Guard and the Knights share the same rank structure. They color coordinate between the people that primarily use Magic and those who don .
"That kids here again." The corporal says.
"Morning Sergeant, ready to train?" Vincent asks, his expression is blinding.
The sergeant shrugs and pulls two wooden swords from the guard shack. He passes one to Vincent. They begin training. Is that what you can call this? The soldier is barely moving his sword and when he does its slow. Vince is trying his hardest, but his stance is sloppy. Could it be that this man is just playing with Vince?
I step in between their swords and catch the soldiers, there wasn any force behind it, so it wasn a problem. "I can watch this disrespect anymore."
"Vincent is here asking to be trained by one of the countrys elites and here you are mocking him. You haven even corrected his form."
"Whos the kid?"
"Thats Ren Na…" I hear the first syllable of my name and rush to cover Vincents mouth.
"Isn that the princes name?"
"Yeah, its a common name for my race." I rub my earlobe with my open hand. I was able to cover up Vincents slip up and have them ignore my racial appearance in one go.
"Whatever kid, Im not going to waste my time teaching an orphan the way of the sword."
"Then Ill do it. Id rather that than him continue to be spit on. Come on Vincent."
I drag Vincent away from the Guard Post. "Do you really mean it; youll teach me how to use a sword?"
"Im a little proficient so Ill tell you what I know. After that youll have to figure it out yourself."
"Man, you really are cool. You probably want to look around more, so Ill see you at home." With that he runs back towards the orphanage. He stops and yells back at me, "Also call me Vince!"
What did I just get myself into? I was trained in swordsmanship before I joined the Royal Magic Academy, theres no doubt that my skills are beyond rusty. Can someone like me really teach what Ive probably forgotten? Still, honest instruction will be better than that play fight from before.
"Hes really on his own beat." I hear a voice from above. I look towards it; Emil is sitting on the roof of the house I was standing by.
"Emil? What are you doing up there?"
"Training." He jumps down. "After all you can be a weak adventurer."
"Thats right. Any particular reason why you want to be an adventurer?"
Emil is quiet for a moment then sighs. "Well, if we
e going to be living together you might as well know. I want to find my parents."
"Find your parents?" I had figured that if he was here then it was for sure that he had no family.
"Its childish I know, but I can believe that my parents are dead. So, Im going to look for them."
"Thats why you
e registering in the Land of Mages. To give them more time to come back for you."
Emil nods. "Well, enough about me. Follow me, Ill take you to the library."
"This town has a library?"
"Its attached to the Lords office, but its public access. A nerd like you would enjoy a place like that."
e not wrong."
"Try to keep up."
Emil bolts off down the road. I chase after him. My lungs hurt; Im not unfit by any means but following Emils movements is difficult. Hes springing himself off boxes that are placed on the road and using signpost to propel himself further. I copy what I can, but his agility is amazing. We make it to the center of town, and I lean over to catch my breath.
"I got a way to go huh?" I cough.
"I only have a couple of years over you."
I stand up straight and look at Emil. His body is cloaked in a translucent film. It has a familiar feeling to it.
"Oh this. Jett calls it Aura; it shows up when I work out."
"Aura is the active state of Vis, you
e a Vis User!?"
"I guess. Jett taught me how to keep it under control, but I don really use it for anything. It shows up by itself after all. Anyway, the librarys right there, see you at home."
And like that Emil runs off. Mages like me use their Vis for drawing Magic Circles. Its rare you see a person with an Aura, especially one that appears on its own. With proper training it would be possible for Emil to be a great Mage or Vis User if he decides. I shake my head to clear my mind. Its book time now.
The Lords office is much larger than the orphanage as expected. It has two floors: the first harbors the library, a beautiful collection of books. The second floor has the offices of the officials of the town. I walk past the entrance and am greeted by an older woman. She has a sweet smile and doesn tell me anything but, "Enjoy your stay."
This place is much quieter than the Academys library. That can be expected seeing there are far less people here than there. I look at the spines of the books to find something interesting. 50 years ago, both the Vampires Domain and the Land of Mages invented ways of mass-producing books. The Vampires printing press became the standard as the Mage responsible for his Printing Magic grew bored and stopped teaching others how to do it.
As I look through, I hear a girlish scream followed by a loud THUD. I go to the noise to inspect the damage. I see Reune on the ground surrounded by books. She rubs her neck for a moment before frantically checking the condition of the books. I walk over and help her pick up the books. She doesn notice me until I hand her one. "Thank you." She says without looking at me. when she does, she lets out a tiny yelp. "W-what are you d-doing here?"
This is my first time properly hearing her voice, its deeper than I expected yet its still cute. "Emil told me about this place, so I thought Id check it out." I grab another book of the ground and read the cover, Theory of Elementless Magic. "You want to go to the Royal Magic Academy, don you?"
"Do you want to join the Knights?" She looks at me confused. "A lot of commoners who attend the Academy tend to become Officers in the Knights, so I figured you
e the same." Even Royals who want to become Officers attend the Academy, its a pseudo requirement at this point.
"I just want to learn Magic." She says sheepishly.
"If thats the case then you don need this book." I pointed at the book in my hand. "Offensive Elementless Magic has been banned for the better part of a century due to its link to Mana Poisoning being deemed inhumane."
"I just grabbed it because I haven read it yet."
"I was joking a little. Even if its banned learning about it still helps." Even I have researched this type of Magic, in theory its the strongest type of Magic but again thanks to the side effects it was banned by the World Government. "If you want to learn Magic, I can teach you."
"Really?" her eyes light up, "All the books here only have theory, none of them teach the basics."
"Yeah, if you end up entering the Academy, Id be your upperclassman so its only right that I help my underclassman." Come to think of it, does she have the Skills need to be a Mage? I should check. "Can you hold on for a second."
I open a Tier 3 Elementless Circle so I can cast the Spell, Analysis. At this Tier it gives the caster a read out of the targets Skills and Abilities. The Officers Academy uses this to see if applicants can actually use Magic.
The information appears before my eyes.
Vis: Capacity High
Skills: Mana Detection, Circle Comprehension, Heart of Crystal
"Looks like you have the Skills needed to be a Mage. Heart of Crystal, I wonder what thats about." Wait, Male? I look up from the information and lock eyes with Reune. Surely there must be a mistake. What Im looking at is the peak of femininity, even her dress which is made out of rags has its own air of feminine charm. "Uh, Reune, if you don mind me asking are you a boy?"
Their glowing expression is shattered. They cover their face with their hands. "Sorry, I looked at something I wasn supposed to." Its not entirely my fault, a Tier 1 Analysis wouldve told me that. What should I do? "Rather what do you want to be referred as?"
"A girl." She says from under her hands.
"Then thats it. Im sorry for bringing up something like that."
e not mad?" She raises her face.
"No way. I had a classmate who dressed like a man despite being a woman. I don completely understand your situation, but theres nothing wrong with it."
Her expression lights up again and she grabs my hands. They
e soft. "Thank you, Ren."
"No problem. We should finish picking up these books though."
My father has made attempts on expanding social liberties such as legalizing homosexuality but there has been push back from the nobles and the council. And while crossdressing or presenting as another gender isn illegal many frown upon it.
"Right!" We finish putting up the books. I was surprised that they had such a collection of Theorical Magic. Like Reune said, all of these books only have Magic Circles and Spells for 4th Tier and above. All of them useless to a normal person. Thanks to my Skill, I can rework these into usable forms, but for someone wanting to learn Magic these do very little.
Come to think of it, I should check the Skills of the others. For Vincent, being good with a sword and Magic is beneficial if he wants to be a Knight. As for Clair and Emil, if they want to learn Magic before becoming adventurers itll only help their case for promotion. I don want another situation like this so if I see anything weird, Ill keep it to myself.
"That spell you used. What all did it show you?" Reune breaks the silence between us.
"Your name, age, sex, Skills, and Abilities."
"It was only Tier 3. If I used a higher Tier I could get information like height, weight, and other measurements."
"Don ." She said with a serious face.
"I wasn planning on it."
Then again, in theory at Tier 7 I can see descriptions of Skills and Abilities. If I get to that level, Ill ask her if I can analyze the Skill Heart of Crystal.
After cleaning up our mess and studying a little we walked back to the orphanage.
When we got to the door I heard two voices, Jetts, and a womans. I couldn make out what they were saying. Itd be strange if we just stood out here, so I opened the door. The two turn their attention to us. The woman had short red hair and matching eyes. her skin was pale and clear. Based on her appearance, she had to be no older than eighteen. Come to think of it, she looked familiar, but I can place where Ive seen her. She wore a long black cloak. She stands up and puts the hood of her cloak on. "Just take what I said into consideration." With that she walks past us and out of the building.
"Who was that?"
"An old acquaintance. So how was town?"
"Its going to take some getting used to."
"Jett! Ren said hell teach me Magic!"
"Did he? Thats two students you have now."
"That Guard was disrespecting Vincent. Teaching him myself is favorable to that."
"I see. I can help out if you need it."
Jett and Reune continue their conversation. Come to think of it, just who is Jett? Hes a friend of father, but I never heard about him until now. While hes distracted, I cast Analysis on him. Just as the information appears in front of me a hand covers my eyes. The feeling of leather, its Jett.
"Don go looking at that okay."
"Yes sir." I close the Circle. Incredible, his focus was completely on Reune, yet he was able to sense that a Spell was casted on him.
Slowly everyone else came back to the house. Clair and Jett began making dinner. Vincent attacked me with questions about training. "Hey hey, what kind of style do you know? Who taught you?"
"My bodyguard taught me the basics. She didn tell me the name of the style."
"A female bodyguard?" Emil had found interest in our conversation and chimed in.
"She was a maid, but she was really strong, so she taught me some things. When I joined the Academy, she was dismissed."
"Okay." Vincent had taken the wooden sword from the Guard Post. With that in hand we move to the yard. I grab the sword with both hands. The length of the hilt makes it crowded. My feet are spaced should width apart, my left foot is a step behind my right. Relying on memory I slash downward with a step, the next step followed an upward slash, and the third step went with a slide slash. Once the combo was complete, I returned to my original stance.
"Ill try to remember more later."
"I can teach you how to hold the sword properly and swing, but past that youll be on your own."
"Mind if I join in."
"No problem, the remark stays though. Now that I think about it, do you mind if I check your Skills?"
They were confused but didn object. I cast Analysis on both of them.
Vis Capacity: High
Skills: Mana Detection, Circle Comprehension, Mirage, Increased Balance
Name: Vincent Newman
Vis Capacity: High
Skills: Mana Detection, Pain Mitigation, Increased Stamina
Nothing out of the ordinary. But Vincent not having Circle Comprehension will make teaching him Magic difficult. Increased Stamina must be the source of his energetic personality, hes got too much energy to burn. Pain Mitigation based on the name alone, will lower the amount of damage hell feel. That with his Increased Stamina will make him difficult to take down.
Emil has Circle Comprehension so if he asks to learn Magic itll be easier for him. Increased Balance must be why hes able to move like he does, or at least part of it. Mirage is the only one I don know about. If only I had Tier 7, I could look at it deeper.
"Whats that look for?" Emil stares at me while I was lost in thought.
"Oh, your Skills. You guys can learn Magic if you want to."
"Really!" Vincents glow is becoming overpowering.
"Also, when I get a chance, I want to analyze Clair. Three of you have high Vis Capacity, so I want to see if its four for four."
"What about me?" Clair had entered the yard. "Dinners ready, so whatever it is make it quick."
I ask Clair if I could use the Spell on her. She agrees and I cast the Spell.
Vis Capacity: High
Skills: Mana Detection, Circle Comprehension, Kinetic Vision
"Yep, four for four." Why do they all have such high Vis? With the exception of Emil, I haven seen any of them use it. They don have Abilities, so they probably only have a surface level understanding of Vis. Jett probably taught them all basic Vis Control, so they don go out of control. Come to think of it, Ive never used Analysis on myself. As the others are heading inside, I cast the Spell on myself.
Name: Ren Namimori
Vis Capacity: Extra High
Skills: Mana Detection, Circle Comprehension, Magic Knowledge, Divine Script, Mana Circulation
Abilities: Land Magic (6), Flame Magic (5), Breeze Magic (5), Wave Magic (6), Frost Magic (5), Sun Magic (1), Elementless Magic (3), Healing Magic (3), Recovery Magic (3), Enhancement Magic (2)
So, the Magic you can use is listed under Abilities it even shows the highest Tier I can use. I couldve sworn Healing was my lowest Tier Magic. Then again, I rarely studied Enhancement Magic. It didn make sense for me to study it, if I was in a one-on-one fight, itd be better to cast an attack Spell rather than increase my own physical ability.
And what is Mana Circulation? Most Mana based and Skills dealing with Magic are well documented. Ive never heard of this one before. What could it mean?
"You coming, Ren?" Vincent calls towards me. I so deep into thought that it caught me off guard. In my panic I made a novice mistake.
When you close a Magic Circle a Mage has to pull their Vis back into their body while pushing the Mana back into the world. If that is not done, Mana is mixed with the Vis and enters the body. That is what I just did. Just now, when I closed the Circle, I felt a familiar energy enter my body. It was Mana and not a small amount. Of what was used for the Circle Id say I took in half of it.
I should be dead right now, if not convulsing. But Im fine? Ill need to find a way to purge the Mana, though I don know how. If Im fine for now, its best not to draw attention to it.
After dinner Reune and I head back into the yard for her Magic lesson. The others follow us and watch from the door. It goes without saying Im a prodigy at Magic, but am I a good teacher?
"You know what Vis is right?" This will decide where I have to start with my lesson. Reune nods and activates her Aura. Vis is the energy of living creatures. Its necessary to have Vis Control in order to be a Mage. "Okay, so when opening a Magic Circle, you have to use you Vis as a magnet for Mana."
She looks confused.
"Your Vis creates the shape of the Circle on the ground and pulls Mana into it. And then when you want to close it you have to pull your Vis into yourself while pushing the Mana back down."
With that explanation she seems to understand. After all, she has been studying high level theory. The peanut gallery on the other hand, is completely lost.
I had prepared a drawing of a Tier 1 Land Magic Circle. I show it to her and ask her to open it. Circle Comprehension will make remembering the shape of the Circle easy. Just looking at it once should be enough for her.
She opens the Magic Circle without problem. She looks at me with bright eyes. "What do I do now."
"Try to walk towards me."
She moves slowly to the edge of the Magic Circle, "Its like walking in mud." When she reaches it, her foot won move outside of the Circle. "Ren, why can I move?" Her eyes begin to tear up.
"You didn do anything wrong. I just wanted to show you what Rooting is."
"When a Mage has a Magic Circle open, they can leave the area of the Magic Circle and they
e movements are slowed. We call it being Rooted because you are Rooted into the Mana of the world."
Understanding Rooting is essential for a Mage. Its for this reason one on one combat is rare for Mages. They
e mobility is practically nonexistent while casting. Even in military strategy, Mages are placed towards the back or surrounded by regular soldiers.
"Now then, well go onto casting. The Spell is called Rock Toss, it looks like this." I open the same Circle and cast the Spell. A stone the size of my hand is pulled up from inside the Circle and flies towards where my hand was pointed.
I explain to her how casting works. Simply put, a Mage calls out the name of the Spell they know, that acts as a catalyst to replicate the Mana into the desired Spell. For first time usage or when learning a Spell, a caster needs to learn how the Mana within the Magic Circle has to move in order to create the desired effects. For Land Magic its simple because the Mana normally grabs the stone from the ground beneath or around the Circle. With Circle Comprehension remembering Spells is as easy as remembering Circles.
Its for that reason Im dreading teaching Vincent. He doesn have Circle Comprehension, so I don know how itll go.
Reune casts the Spell perfectly on her first try. With a successful cast comes the hard part, closing the Circle. When I was a first year in the Royal Magic Academy over half of the class was hospitalized for Mana Poisoning during the fundamentals week. Funny enough they were all Nobles.
Though it took her some time she managed to close the Circle without any problem. With that it brings up my situation again. Why am I okay with Mana in my body?
Reune cheers to herself and Clair joins in the celebration. They seem closer to each other than with the boys. Maybe because they
e both girls? No, I don think thats it, considering Reunes situation. Thats when I catch it, they
e hair and eyes are different, but their faces are the same. I could only see it now when they
e so close to each other.
Do I dare? Here goes, "Are you guys related?"
e twins. Why?" Clair responds bluntly.
"No reason. Seeing you two close to each other made it obvious that you looked the same. Or similar I mean; you hair is different after all." I began to panic.
"Oh, thats all. I mean, yeah, we
e pretty similar." Clair says this as if it was obvious. Reune is blushing and with the paleness of her skin her whole face is enveloped in red.
"But Reune is a…" Vincent starts a sentence, but its cut off by a smack in the back of the head by Emil.
My lesson continued with trying to teach the others Magic. To my surprise they all picked it up fast. Reune, despite this being her first time can use Tier 2 Land Magic. Like I thought Vincent was difficult to teach. He had to look at the drawing of the Circle in order to open it. After that he was on the same level as the others. Thankfully, they were all able to close their Circles properly.
After the lesson, everybody ran inside to get ready for bed. I stayed in the yard and continued to contemplate my situation. Theres definitely Mana inside of me. I can feel it pulse through my body like blood. The question is, why hasn anything happened to me.
As Im thinking Jett walks into the yard. "The baths going to get cold if you don go now."
"Jett youve known my father for a long time, right?"
"Did he ever mention anything about absorbing Mana?"
"How should I say this?" Jetts face tensed up. It looked like he was scrapping through his memories or trying to say just the right thing. "Yeah, thats how your dad used Magic was with the Mana inside of him. Its outside my understanding how he could do it, some Skill that he had."
"Mana Circulation." Whatever that Skill was, it must allow the owner to safely have Mana inside of their body. "Wait, did you say thats how he used Magic?"
"Trade secret." Jett put his finger to his lips again. That must be his catchphrase for when he doesn want to say something. "Any way go hit the bath before it gets cold."
I nod and head inside. Now I have a new mystery that I have to solve.
"I, Vincent Newman, am a genius." Thats the motto Vince recited to himself every morning. He knew he wasn as smart as the others, but he still said it to hype himself up. Its early in the morning so Reune and Emil have already gone out.
Around this time Vincent would wait for breakfast then go to the Guard Post. However, that exchange Ren had with the soldiers yesterday made him hesitant to go back. In all honesty, Vincent didn have a high opinion of Ren before. Though he was trying to friends with him, he figured Ren would be a snobby rich kid like the Lords son, yet Ren stood up for him. He had figured the Guard was playing with him for some time, but it was the only time he could practice with a sword, so he gave it his all regardless.
Ren was also kind enough to teach a group of orphans Magic and, once he remembers, swordsmanship. While Clair is making breakfast, Vincent goes out to the yard. To his surprise Reune is there practicing the Magic she learned last night.
Vincent grabbed the practice sword and went to the opposite side of the yard of her. He doesn dislike Reune by any means, but he doesn know how to interact with her. Luckily, Reunes sheepish nature keeps their interactions to a minimum. He began practicing swings like what Ren did. Despite, watching closely Vincent couldn get the movements right. Ren mightve said that he was rusty, but to a novice like him Ren was a master.
"Look out!" the shout enters his ears. Before he can look towards the source a flying object hits the side of his head. His vision blacks out for a moment then returns. Reune runs over to him apologizing in full force. "Im sorry, I was trying a new Spell and it misfired. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, Im fine. I just wasn expecting it." Its unnerving how tough Vincent is. Though he wouldn want to test it, he figures that he could shake off being stabbed. Reune is still apologizing even after he said he was fine. Her apology is only cut off by Clair saying that breakfast was ready.
At the breakfast table Vincent starts bombarding Ren with more questions. "Hey, did you remember more sword stuff."
"Not yet. Im almost convinced that thats all I was taught." He chuckles nervously.
"Then how about a way for me to use Magic easier."
"Unfortunately, you don have the Skill that lets you immediately memorize Magic Circles, so youll have to do it the hard way."
"What do you mean?"
Ren explains the Skill Circle Comprehension to Vincent.
"Work hard to commit the Circle to memory then youll be a competent Mage."
Ren had given Vincent the drawing of the Magic Circle from last night.
After breakfast Vincent sits in the den staring at the drawing trying to memorize it. He feels a hand playfully hit the top of his head. He looks up to see Clair. "You
e supposed to help me go shopping today."
"Oh right, sorry." Vincent stands up.
"Go get Ren, hed probably want to come."
I was helping Reune in the yard with her Magic. Shes super talented, in a day shes master Tier 2 Land Magic. I don know if I can keep up with her development. Normally a person would study for years to process this quickly. Then again, I don know how long shes been studying. When I notice discrepancies in her Circles, I call them out. Even with Circle Comprehension mistakes can still occur when opening the Circle.
"Yo Ren!" Vincent shouts as he approaches us. "Clair and I are out to go shopping. Wanna join?"
I look to Reune who gives me a nod. "Sure, just give me a minute." I take a stick and draw two Magic Circles in the dirt; Frost Tier 1 and 2. Frost Magic is supposed to be the hardest element to learn next to Healing, so itd be good homework while Im out. Both Circles are my design, the standard forms of them are too embellished with markings that add nothing to the Circle.
After showing Reune the Circles I set out with Vincent and Clair. Vincent has an empty rucksack on his back and Clair has a coin purse on her side.
The market street was on the opposite side of town to the orphanage. It was only now that I realized that the town was made into a circular shape. The street was loud which is to be expected as a good number of people were shopping at the same time.
With Clairs guidance we tackled the necessary stalls one at a time. We efficiently gather supplies and place them into Vincents rucksack. The last stall is the only hindrance. We were trying to buy fabric. Clair had negotiated to a fair price, but everything went south when currency was exchanged.
"Huh? Im not going to take this barbarian coin." The owner says and hands the money back to Clair.
"What do you mean you
e not going to take it? Its legal tender is it not?"
What they were referring to was the "V" stamped on the coins that Clair was trying to use. There are three countries on this island continent. We shared a currency of bronze, silver, and gold coins but depending on what country they were minted in they were stamped with a different letter. "K" for the Kingdom of Man, "M" for the Land of Mages, and "V" for the Vampires Domain.
It would make sense that a persons prejudice would make them not want to accept a currency minted outside of their country. But "barbarian" is a term Id associate with the Vampires Domain. In the last World Census, they rated a 70% literacy rate, almost double the Land of Mages. Though some of the cultural practices of the Domain could be seen as barbaric.
Clair scrambles into her purse to see if she has any other type of coins. The price was 2 silver coins. I reach into my pocket to see what I have on me. 1 silver and 1 gold coin, both Land of Mages. This would be good except that a gold coin is worth 20 silver coins and a silver is worth 20 bronze coins. The change from this transaction would make us a target for robbery. I sigh and look at the coins again. On further inspection, what I had in my pocket was not a gold coin, but a greater gold coin worth 20 gold coins. Why do I have this much money on me?
I quickly put that coin back in my pocket and inspect the silver coin before I move on. Its normal. I hand the coin to Clair who had found a Kingdom of Man coin in the purse. We get the roll of fabric and load it on Vincents back.
"That sucked." Clair sighs as we walk back.
"That guys such an idiot." Vincent claims. "Moneys money isn it."
"Yeah, but some people don like others, so theyd rather lose business than falter on their morals." It was a remark that I saw happen a lot in the Royal Magic Academy. Commoners who outperformed royals were graded lower because of status, despite the fact that status shouldn matter inside the Academy walls.
We arrive back in the orphanage and Reune runs up to me. "Ren, I mastered the Circles, teach me more." And I thought I was a prodigy.
"Rather than teaching you more Magic Circles, how about I give you more Spells for those Circles."
"Before that you need to teach me swordsmanship." Vincent sets down the rucksack and Clair begins unloading it.
"You know you can ask Jett right." We heard Emils voice and look over to him. Hes hanging upside down on the door to the yard.
"Yeah, Jett taught me a thing or two."
"After Ren showed off last night, I asked Jett if he knew anything, and he said he did."
"Wheres Jett!" Vincent began looking around for the man. He was nowhere to be found. A knock on the door. As the only one unoccupied Emil gets to the ground and checks the door. I look over, using my peripheral vision. Its the woman from yesterday, her hood is up but I can still tell by her height and voice.
"Is Jett here?" She asked in a soothing voice.
"I don think so. Probably not." Emil responded.
"Okay." She huffs. "I don want to bother looking for him. Can you pass this to him?"
"Sure." Emil receives an envelope with a wax seal. With the parcel delivered the woman walks away.
"Who was that?" Clair asks as Emil sets the letter on the table.
"Some woman looking for Jett."
I take a break from writing to inspect the letter. The seal doesn point to anybody of importance. Rather its just the shape of a rose. Itd be rude to open it, so I set it back down. Right on time, Jett enters the building in a cold sweat.
"Where is she?"
"She left." Emil says confused. "She left a letter."
"She is not going to let me live this down." Jett walks over to the table and opens the letter. He reads it to himself and grabs his temples. "Just like she thought." He says under his breath. "This is for you."
He hands me the page under his letter. Vincent peers over my shoulder. "What is it? Its all black?"
"Its Divine Script, you can read it without a Skill." To him it was nothing but ink on a page, to me there were words. Its another letter from my father.
The letter read, "Hey kid hope you
e holding up all right. Jett isn too scary, is he? Ill cut to the chase. Id say in three days my death will be announced. I appointed Kin as King in the case of my passing. Hes probably going to do something in the coming years so if you want to stop it its up to you. Either way, once you become an adult you should check out my old house. Its northwest of Snarlava, I forgot to say that in my last letter. Anyway, love you, bye."
"No way." I tried to forget about my father, I didn want to think about the possibility of him being dead. But when he writes it so plainly, I can ignore it. And wait, if Kin killed father why is he being appointed as King? This isn a forged letter; father is the only one I know who knows Divine Script. Just what is going on?
"You okay?" Reune breaks me out of my thoughts.
"Yeah, Ill be fine." So, I say, but theres a lot of questions I have. But until I get confirmation of fathers death, Ill stay optimistic and say its a prank.
It wasn a prank. Just as the letter predicted three days later a squad of Knights appeared in the town center and gave an announcement. "Lloyd Namimori, 14th Mage King has died. The cause of death has yet to be determined. For the time being, Kin Sutton, Captain of the Royal Guard will be the acting King. He gives this remark: The passing of my friend is an event that will forever sit in my heart. Though I will honor his will and strive to let the Land of Mages further thrive. That is all."
The announcement was met with cheers and tears. I was too shocked to emote. I can ignore reality anymore, father is dead. What am I going to do now? He said I can do what I want, but what is that? Im not ready to be King, thats for sure. I can even legally become it even if I was.
Theres a heat in my chest. I don know what I want to do, but there is one thing that I can say that I want. I want Kin to pay for what he did. Its unjust for a murderer like him to sit on that throne. No, forget the throne, its a crime just for that man to exist.
But if that man killed father, then Im no match for him as I am. I need to get stronger. But how? Even if I increase the level of my Magic, itd be useless in a one-on-one fight. That is if Im Rooted.
Mana Circulation, this Skill lets me have Mana inside my body. In theory if I figure out a way to utilize that Mana, I can use Magic without being Rooted. As soon as I got back to the orphanage I headed to the yard and began figuring out a way to use this Skill to my advantage. In order to do that I need more Mana, what I have here is only enough to cast a Tier 1 Spell.
I push my Vis out of my feet and into the ground. That Vis acts like tubing and allows Mana to flow into my body. The sensation of it entering burns slightly, but its easily ignorable.
I was so focused on absorbing Mana I didn notice Reune entering the yard. With a glance she noticed a large amount of Mana entering my body. "Ren!" She shouts as she runs towards me, I didn hear her. She jumps and wraps her arms around my neck, and it breaks my concentration ending the absorption process. We fall to the ground together. "Im sorry for your loss." Her words are muffled as her face is buried in my chest. "I know its bad, but please don kill yourself." She looks up. Her eyes are flooded with tears.
Kill myself? If anything, I was preparing to do the opposite. Of course! She doesn know about my Skill. "Sorry to worry you." I place my hand on her head. "Im not going to do that." I try to explain my situation to her, but her cries only get louder.
It took a long time, but I was finally able to soothe her. We sit up and Reune wipes her eyes. "So, you
e not going to die?"
"Not for a while." I say with a laugh.
"Then the Mana?"
"Family trait, I can have Mana in my body without worry."
"But why so much?"
"I want to get stronger, the only step I can take from here is eliminating the need to be rooted."
"I suggest you clear your head before you do anything stupid." Jett stands above us. I didn hear him come into the house, much less the yard. "Reune go wash up before the others get back."
She nods and walks inside.
"What do you…" My sentence is cut off, once clear from the sight of Reune he had slapped my cheek. "What was that for?"
e going for revenge. Stop."
"You think Im going to sit around while my fathers murderer is a free man?"
"No, but Im saying wanting to take Kins life is only going to lead you to despair." Jett had crouched down to look at me in the eyes. "Ill say this just once. If you
e thinking about using your Vis for an ability while seeking revenge, youll go mad. If that happens, Ill end you myself."
Jetts eyes were cold and serious. "Fine, I understand." Hes not wrong, there are horror stories about people losing their minds to their Vis Abilities if their tightly tied to an emotion, especially anger. Creating that Ability is still important, but I should cool off before I do it.
"And don forget you
e not alone." Jet stands up and reenters the orphanage. Hes right, everybodys goals lead to Sun City, its selfish but, I could get help from the others. With that light, I knew what I had to do, make these guys as strong as possible.
[Sun City, Throne Room]
Kin sits on the throne with the crown in his hands. "Why did you make me King? You knew this would happen right?"
He sets the crown on the arm of the throne as an assistant enters the room.
"Your Majesty, the Knights have reported that they have finished announcing the death to the towns."
"Good. Any word on the whereabouts of Ren?"
"Nothing yet, your Majesty, we
e still searching."
"Make sure hes captured alive."
"If hes still kicking, he should have this crown, not me."
"Of course, your Majesty." The man bows and leaves the room.
Kin lays back in the throne and looks up at the ceiling. "What did I get myself into?"