Chapter 5 – Double Magic Circle
How long has it been since then? Ever since I found out that I could cast spells, I’ve been practicing magic from morning till night.
Aria was good with water, wind and light elements, so that’s where we focused our research on at first.
Due to that, I ended becoming able to use quite a few spells. In fact, I learned almost all the spells that Aria could use.
From weapon-like spells that made spears and arrows, to spells that hit wide areas, I ended up learning quite a bit.
And of course, the basic ball-based spells were also mastered and used as the foundation for the more complicated ones.
I was also able to succeed in analyzing the way that the magic circles work. The colors represented the elements, the letters the power and precision, and the patterns determined the shape of the spell.
So, in order to memorize how each of them worked, I used a flat stone to draw magic circles on the ground. Over and over again, I kept on drawing and erasing magic circles.
In particular, the colors that represented the elements were very simple, but also very important, as changing the colors allowed me to start practicing spells of other elements, such as fire and earth magic.
That said, I still needed plenty of practice to make them work out correctly.
And due to that, once the snowy season came, I was able to melt the snow with fire magic, as well as create walls with earth magic to keep out the wind and the rain.
I no longer had to sleep under a tree while using a single large leaf as a blanket.
However, I got frustrated that the amount of food available had decreased with each passing day during the snowy season. We were able to manage it only because Aria brought food from outside.
Aria has really helped me a lot. I have to return all those favors one day.
By the time the snow had melted, and the warm weather of spring had arrived, I had started making new spells. It seemed like a daunting task at first, but after understanding the way that magic circles worked, I figured that it wasn’t actually that hard.
A magic circle consists of colors, letters and patterns, and as you can activate a spell by imagining the magic circle itself, it should be possible to modify the final result of the spell by making the appropriate modifications on the magic circle.
Of course, I had many failures at first. The theory behind it wasn’t wrong, but sometimes the spell didn’t activate properly, and at other times it went out of control and caused explosions.
I got better at it with time though, and I’m now used to creating new circles.
I created a clay pot with earth magic, poured water onto it with water magic, then heated it up with fire magic. Those seemingly trivial tasks were all done with new spells that I created.
Originally, magic was used primarily as an offensive measure. There was no way to use magic in daily life, such as supplying water or creating a gas stove.
Even the basic ball magic, which has low firepower and is easy to control, still has too much firepower to be reasonably used in daily life.
Similarly, earth magic could normally only be used to do stuff like creating walls or softening up the soil of one’s property. I felt a bit proud of myself for finding ways to reduce the firepower of the spells, to the point that they could be used for simpler daily tasks.
Thanks to that, my quality of life has improved quite a bit. The nuts that Aria brought me, which originally felt like they burned my throat and were really hard to eat, had now become easier to eat as I started heating them up. Perhaps this process made them release some of their magic power away.
I could also make a proper shelter to protect me against the rain and the wind, so I was able to sleep better than before.
Moreover, I no longer suffered from headaches by staying in the Locus of Magical Power. In part because my magical power has increased by staying here, but also because I now have many more opportunities to consume my magical power.
Overall, I’m living much better now than back when I first got here.
I suddenly looked up at the sky. The sun, which hardly shone during winter, was now shining brightly, as if to say it was now its turn to show off.
It’s already summer, isn’t it?
Could a whole year have already passed? Shortly after my tenth birthday, as soon as the ritual to check my magical aptitude happened, I was thrown away…
Did my birthday already pass by again? I can’t say for sure, as I only have a rough notion of the passage of the seasons while I’m here.
I don’t think anyone believes I’m still alive after a whole year passed since I was thrown in the forest… If I go back to that village, will they start making a fuss about seeing a ghost? I feel like I’d want to see the surprised faces of my parents.
… No, that part of my life is already over.
I shook my head to disperse the faces of my parents that had popped up in my mind. The only person I trust now is Aria. My parents are irrelevant.
Rather than that, let’s just go back to studying magic.
I sat down in front of the magic circle I had drawn on the ground and started pondering on it. Now that I succeeded in improving my quality of life, I had started researching magic that I could use to escape from here.
Instead of trying to go for flight magic, I was currently working on a spell that could increase my jumping ability.
We decided on this spell because Aria didn’t know how to use flight magic at all. She just flew with her own wings, so this was never something she tried learning.
And as I had no sample to work with, it was way too hard to try creating flight magic from scratch.
So, we were going with a jumping spell, as that was essentially a variation of body-strengthening magic that focused entirely on giving my legs as much propulsive force as possible.
It was rare for people to try creating a variation of a spell, but it was not unheard of. Something like expanding a wall to protect one’s body from an incoming attack could be very useful, for example.
And well, as body-strengthening magic was a somewhat common type of spell, I’m sure it would come in handy to learn how to create variations of it.
In any case, the magic power consumption of this spell won’t be that big, as its target is my own body. However, both power and precision are quite important if I want to do this right.
In this case, I need enough propulsion to fly straight up, which is easy enough to do, but the jumping height is a big problem.
With a normal body-strengthening spell, depending on how much magical power you use, you should be able to jump as high as 3-4 meters up… However, the cliffs here are over 10 meters high, so I need a much more powerful spell.
In order to extend the jumping distance, I’d need to consume a tremendous amount of magical power. My magical reserves did increase quite a bit over the last year, but I am still very reluctant at the idea of consuming a vast amount of magical power all at once.
If I fail, I might end up falling from a very high height, and if I mess up on the control, I might clash directly on a cliff.
I have prepared some other spells that I can use to deal with this kind of emergency, but I don’t think I’ll be able to use them properly if I consume a large amount of magical power with the jumping.
So, essentially, I need a spell that consumes as little magical power as possible, while also allowing me to jump really high in a safely and controlled manner.
In order to reduce the consumption of magical power, I need to reduce the number of strings drawn on the magic circle, as the more elaborate the circle is, the higher the magical power consumption is.
However, I can’t simply cut content away from the spell, as it will then go out of control, like it happened back when I first started studying spell creation with magic circles.
Therefore, I need to carefully draw all the important parts, and then cut as many corners of the unnecessary parts as I can. I need to make a very compact and precise circle that still carries all the important information inside it.
This is quite difficult. It’s like wanting to draw something that used to take three lines by using a single line instead.
“Haakuu!” Aria exclaimed.
“Whoa!” I shouted in response.
I suddenly felt a weight on my head. Sapphire-like eyes were peering at me from above my forehead.
Aria’s wings don’t really make any noise while she is flying, but if she approaches me from the front, I can usually notice her.
Seems like I was too focused, so I didn’t notice her at all.
My shoulders immediately relaxed, and I sat down on the spot.
“How is it going? Think you can do it?” Aria asked me.
“Not yet. It’s really hard to keep down the magical power consumption…” I replied.
Aria slipped off from my head, then landed on my shoulder. The usual position she stays at when she talks to me.
“Well, I don’t really get how this whole thing works, but I think you’re doing well.” Aria told me.
I had explained the usefulness of magic circles to Aria before, but she dismissed it as something that she didn’t really understand, as she just used magic intuitively instead.
Or rather, it was kinda difficult for her to even try focusing on the circles when she was so used to casting magic by imagining the spell itself.
When I made spells that could be used on daily life, she did get a bit intrigued and tried learning how to focus on the circles for a bit, but she eventually gave up on that and went back to her usual way of spellcasting… Such a pity.
“I think if there was a bit more space here, then I could make it work.” I told Aria while pointing at the circle.
“Mmmm…” She muttered while looking at it.
Right now, I was filling the operational strings on the outer edge of the circle. Since this is a simple body-strengthening spell, I don’t need to be too particular about the shape, so I could considerably reduce the patterns at the center. However, it was quite hard to put in any more letters at the corners.
And yet, I needed to make sure the power and precision were right, so I needed the letters there. I had stretched the letters’ area to the limit by taking over some of the space that was originally reserved for the center patterns, but there was still a limit to how much space the letters could take.
I wish I could somehow increase the area available for the letters, but there was no other place to expand them towards.
“Then why don’t you just make another one?” Aria asked me.
“Eh?” I replied.
“If one magic circle isn’t enough, then why don’t you make a second one? Or perhaps just make this magic circle bigger.” Aria explained.
Aria’s words made my eyes open wide… Of course, I do have that option.
If you don’t have enough space, just create that space. Why didn’t I think of such a simple thing?
I immediately started drawing another magic circle next to the original one. I’ll be using two magic circles to activate the spell, so I’ll naturally have enough space to draw all the letters I need.
I drew the two circles while arranging the strings so that their meaning did not contradict one another. After that, I created a magical-power-pipe connecting them both. The magical power consumption should be increased by this, but it should still be within reasonable levels.
“… Did it.” I muttered.
I could further simplify the patterns on the middle now that I had two circles, and the letters were spread out between the two circles, so neither felt overwhelmingly cluttered. The final result was filled with two fairly simple circles, to the point that I worried if I might have oversimplified it a bit too much.
But in theory, this should work, so… I’ll try it right away.
I made the image of the double magic circle very clear in my head, so as to make sure I didn’t mess up when creating it.
I then poured the magical power into my feet, took a deep breath, then activated the spell.
My body was lifted up high by the explosive propulsion force.
I had a huge surplus of momentum and ended up easily passing over the cliffs. I had been thrown high up in the sky and was now staring at a splendid view that was in front of me.
I could see a vast forest below me, and beyond that, the village that I was born and raised at.
I had never experienced looking down at a village from above, so for a while, my eyes brightened up at the sight.
Eventually though, my body lost its momentum, so it started falling. If I hit the ground from this high up, I won’t get away with something as simple as severe injuries, but I had already prepared myself for this in advance.
I activated a wind spell below me, and it created a small tornado that softened the impact as it caught my falling body.
I then took a deep breath once I safely landed my feet on the ground.
“Haku! That was amazing! I can’t believe you flew that high!” Aria exclaimed.
She was currently sitting on my shoulder while clutching my hair. Coming to think of it, I forgot to tell her to get down before I jumped.
Well, either way, I brought my finger close to her, and she hit it with her hand, essentially giving me a high-five.
Aah… My heart is still pounding. I thought it would be nice if I could fly to the top of the cliff, but I ended up going much higher than that.
The magical power consumption wasn’t that big either, so the double magic circle seems to have been quite successful.
“Now you can escape from here.” Aria told me.
“… Yeah, you’re right.” I replied.
Once Aria said those words, it really dawned on me that I could leave.
The reason I stayed in this Locus of Magical Power for so long was because I couldn’t escape. I was surrounded by cliffs that were way too hard to climb, so I had no choice but to endure the constant headaches that assaulted me as the magical power here overwhelmed my body.
But now the problem was solved with the completion of the jumping magic. I can now leave whenever I want.
When I think about that, I can’t help feeling a bit lonely though.
I mean, this was the place I first met Aria, and I felt very emotional when I realized that I could use magic exactly because I fell in this Locus of Magical Power.
However, I can’t stay in this secluded place forever. It’s hard to get food here, especially during winter, so I would have no choice but to rely on Aria forever if I were to stay.
Therefore, “… Aria, I’m thinking of leaving here tomorrow.” I told her.
“Alright. We’re finally going to the outside world, so I’m getting a bit excited about it.” Aria replied.
It might sound like a sudden decision, but I think the sooner we do it, the better.
Besides, even if we leave this place, it’s not like it will disappear or anything.
So, let’s clean up everything and make sure I finish doing anything I wanted to do here. So as to make sure I have no regrets when leaving.