Chapter 4 – Magic Practice
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We moved to an area with no trees near us, then Aria started explaining how magic worked to me.
I couldn’t quite contain my excitement and was quite fidgety and restless. I was like a child that couldn’t sleep due to how much they were looking forward to the next day’s excursion.
It’s a bit embarrassing when I think about it…
“When using magic, the most important thing is to concentrate.
“Visualize the spell you want to cast, then use your magical power to materialize it and create the phenomenon of magic.
“Let me show you how it works.” Aria told me.
She then pointed the palm of her hand towards a nearby stone. After a small pause, a magic circle appeared on her hand. In the next moment, a water ball flew out of it and hit the stone directly.
Just now, that was magic…
It only lasted a few seconds, but during that time, I intently watched her without even blinking, trying to not miss anything.
Still, I couldn’t quite understand everything. It seems fairly difficult.
“That was the basic water ball spell. It’s not very powerful, but it’s fast, and its principles can be applied to many other spells.
“Try using this one for now.” Aria told me.
“Y-yes!” I exclaimed.
How to use and control magic… There seems to be something intuitive about it, so Aria wasn’t able to explain it that well, but I could still learn the gist of it.
I timidly stretched out my hand and stared at the stone in front of me. I’ll use the water magic that Aria showed me earlier.
I guided my magical power to the tips of my fingers, then strengthened the mental image as the spell started being invoked.
A small magic circle appeared in front of my palm, geometric patterns and strange letters appeared in the blue circle, and after that, I imagined a flying water ball.
With a small sound, the water ball flew out of the magic circle… However, it lost its shape before reaching the stone, becoming a bunch of water droplets that scattered on the spot.
I was disappointed at this result, I failed at reaching the target…
Well, I didn’t expect it to go well from the first try, but it’s still frustrating when I think that I was almost there.
“It might be better to put a bit more magical power into your spellcasting.
“You’re at a good pace though, try it again.” Aria told me.
“Roger that.” I replied.
With Aria’s advice, I decided to try again.
The water ball scattered because the magical power wasn’t enough, so I’ll try with a bit more this time.
Just like before, I aimed at the stone in front of me and shot a water ball. The ball was bigger than before and flew towards the stone.
However, the trajectory quickly began to wobble, and it ended up splendidly missing its target.
The shape of the water ball was preserved, so the amount of magical power should be enough… Was it a control issue, then? I might have been too focused on shaping the water ball, so I couldn’t accurately imagine it hitting the stone.
“This time the control was a bit off.
“I think it’s better to try imagining shooting off the ball instead of guiding it as it flies through its trajectory.
“With a high enough momentum, you’ll be able to hit even if your trajectory goes a bit off.” Aria explained.
“It’s pretty hard…” I muttered.
Magic seems to be a pretty delicate art. Even a small difference in your mental image can lead to a drastically different result.
I’ll have to keep on practicing and learn how to properly handle it, but I’m still very excited about it.
After all, even if I failed, I was still able to properly use magic. It’s a remarkable improvement when compared to the time where I wasn’t able to cast any spell at all.
I really can’t hold back my excitement. If I keep practicing like this, I might eventually become a pretty decent magician!
This is the first time in a long while where the constant headache isn’t actively bothering me.
“You can only keep on practicing now, so do your best.” Aria told me.
“By the way, Aria, what is this magic circle?” I asked her.
Whenever we activate magic, a magic circle appears on the place where the spell is cast from.
It’s the kind of thing that is often seen in games, but does it have any meaning behind it?
“It’s something that you automatically create with your magical power.
“When you start using magic, you imagine how your spell will go like, right?
“Based on that information, the magic circle functions as a catalyst that helps you materialize your mental image into reality.” Aria explained.
So, essentially, it’s like an instruction manual that tells reality how to make your imagination become real?
Then, in the case of the water ball being thrown towards a stone, the magic circle should contain the information on the amount of magical power used, the trajectory of the water ball, the speed at which it would flow at and other similar things?
Coming to think of it, if I compare the magic circle that Aria used and the one that I created, mine has fewer strings than hers. This is probably because she has a solid mental image for her spell, while mine is still lacking.
I tried using the spell again, this time imagining that I shot the water ball, instead of helping it glide through the air.
When casting it like this, I noticed that some of the strings had changed when compared to the previous magic circle, so it’s definitely affected by my mental image.
“Well, you don’t need to think too hard about it. As long as you have a solid mental image, you’ll be able to properly cast spells, so I don’t think you should worry too much about the magic circles.” Aria told me.
She doesn’t seem to think they’re very important, so she waved the palm of her hand, but… I think this magic circle is extremely important.
If what’s written on the magic circle is the embodiment of the mental image of a spell, then it’s basically an instruction manual.
It should be safer and more reliable to cast spells by carefully reading and understanding the manual, then by doing it while ignoring the manual in its entirety.
If I can memorize the optimal magic circle, then I think the power and accuracy of my spell will increase dramatically.
I think this is worth studying.
“Aria, can you show me the spell a few more times?” I asked her.
“Sure, no problem. Take a close look.” She replied.
I carefully observed the moment that the magic activated, paying extra attention to the magic circle, trying my best to memorize the letters and patterns that appeared on it.
I don’t know the characters written there, but I still tried to memorize the blue phosphorescent letters that were all over the edges of this magic circle.
There was also a geometric pattern drawn in its center, and I really don’t know what any of that means, but it has to make sense somehow.
I stared at the magic circle as Aria cast it again and again. Thanks to that, I was able to properly memorize its shape.
“Haku? You’re a little too close, aren’t you?” She asked me.
“Eh? Ah, sorry.” I replied.
“I’m a bit tired, so try it now, Haku.” Aria told me.
It seems like I got too focused on the magic circles, so without me realizing it, I ended up moving closer and closer to her in order to better see it.
I was right next to her face by now, so I couldn’t help apologizing.
Nonetheless, it was now my turn to use magic.
I still don’t understand what was written on the magic circle, but I could notice that the circle created by Aria was the same each time.
I think she must be quite used to it. Her mind remembers how she uses this spell, so she can always activate it in the same way.
If that magic circle can make a spell that accurately shoots a water ball at the stone, then I’ll also use it.
I started imagining it. This time my mental image was not of the spell I wanted to create, but of the magic circle itself.
From one end to another, I carefully imagined the shape of each and every letter, so as to not make any mistake on it.
I quickly stretched out my hand so as to not ruin this image.
The magic circle appeared in the palm of my hand. It was identical to the one that Aria used before.
A water ball was fired from the magic circle, and it landed a direct hit on the stone.
“Ooh, that’s amazing! I can’t believe you got it right so quickly!” Aria exclaimed.
“That’s only possible thanks to you, Aria.” I replied.
The spell I cast was as accurate as Aria’s. As I had thought, improving accuracy by memorizing the magic circle was a good idea.
This makes me want to try other spells. I do have the aptitude for using all elements, after all.
But as soon as I turned around to ask Aria about it, my legs felt weak.
I tried to regain my balance, but I couldn’t do it in time, and I ended up falling down.
“U-uhn? Why…?” I muttered.
“Oh, you must have used too much magic.
“When you go overboard with spellcasting, you become incredibly sleepy and unable to move properly.” Aria told me.
My eyelids became heavier and heavier with each passing second. There were so many things I wanted to learn, but my body refuses to move.
Aria landed besides me and buried her face on the grass. She stroked my cheek with her small hand and smiled.
“Good night. I’ll teach you more after you wake up.” She told me.
After hearing those words, I breathed out in relief, then quickly let go of my consciousness.