He fired off question after question, unable to contain his excitement any longer.
Temuan patiently answered each one, but it wasn’t until well past midnight that they finally stopped.
With the ability to communicate in each other’s language, the man had been holding back countless questions for some time now. And with each answer, his curiosity only grew stronger.
“So, the energy I was sensing was magic, and these strange tools are magical artifacts that use this power?”
“Precisely. More accurately, they are applications of sorcery.”
Magic, sorcery, and magical artifacts – these were concepts that existed, albeit as fictional concepts, even on the man’s home planet, and he had suspected as much from his readings and encounters with similar types of tools. But to have it confirmed like this only made him more curious.
“Sorcery as an application. Does that mean they can be used for things like magic?”
“Exactly. But, sorcery and magic are two different things. Sorcery is a systematized approach to making magic-like phenomena accessible to anyone. While theoretically, magic has no limits, sorcery has restrictions within its formulas. Therefore, as long as there’s enough magical energy to activate a given formula, anyone can perform it, regardless of how much or how little magical energy they possess. Whether it’s powered by a magical stone or any other means, it will always produce the same result.”
“Ah, I understand. Magical stones are those rocks or powders used in magical artifacts, right?”
Magical stones were crystalline forms of magical energy. They came in varying sizes, but in their raw form, they looked like shiny pebbles. They could be crushed into powder or shaped to suit a specific purpose.
The man had seen such tools in the village, all of which used one of these two forms of magical stones. However, he also learned that some of them were made by reshaping the powder into a form that suited their needs.
This kind of technique was becoming more prevalent in the capital, but it involved additional mixing of impurities, which lowered the volume of magical energy per unit of mass and increased the overall cost. Nonetheless, the procedure had clear advantages. It was much easier to reshape powdered magic stones into the required form than to shape a stone into the desired shape and size.
Even though he was living in the remote mountains, his guide, Temuan, was well-versed in various fields of knowledge. But that was beside the point.
“Formulae are those diagrams and characters put together, right?”
“You’re catching on. They’re also known as magic circles. The phenomena generated by sorcery are very diverse, but they all require a magic circle, and it’s possible to use sorcery to manipulate them.”
“Then, without using a magic circle, magic can make things happen?”
“That interpretation is correct.”
He knew this answer already, but he still had some doubts.
“Haha, you have a quizzical look on your face, I see. You must be wondering, ‘why did we invent sorcery when we already had magic.'”
The man couldn’t help but smile at Temuan’s accuracy.
“Is that a form of mind-reading magic?”
“Haha, well done. But no, that’s not it. I used to be a teacher, and whenever I taught about magic and sorcery, this was the sort of question my students always asked. Seeing the look on your face reminded me of those days and made me laugh.”
“I see. If it brought you joy, then it wasn’t for nothing.”
“Don’t pout. The answer to your question isn’t straightforward. It’s because it’s dangerous.”
“I’m not sure I understand. How is magic
“Well, to put it simply, there’s a risk of misfiring. It can be as minor as a burn or as catastrophic as losing a limb or dying.”
He was glad he stopped himself from using magic that day. Perhaps it was the best decision he ever made.
“Maybe I scared you too much.”
As he wiped his cold sweat and swallowed hard, Temuan spoke up.
“It seems like you’ve tried to use magic before. It’s good that you stopped. But don’t worry too much. While there are dangerous things, nothing happens most of the time. It just means that humans are not very good at handling it.”
“But it’s not impossible, right? That’s why magic was created.”
“Right, it’s not impossible. But using magic relies heavily on your senses. Teaching and learning those senses is almost impossible. That’s why even with training, there aren’t many people who can use magic. However, in any field, there are those who are naturally gifted and excel at handling things. Among them, those who are particularly good at handling magic are called sorcerers, and they receive the respect and envy of many people.”
“I see. They developed magic.”
Temuan nodded slowly.
But envy, huh? I guess it’s because you can’t do it without natural talent. If it’s something you can never attain through effort, then it makes sense.
“Anyway, what do you call other people who can’t use magic?”
“Hm? Oh, right. In your world, there is no magic. So, they might think of people who can manipulate some level of magical power as special. But in this world, anyone- no, every living being has the ability to use magic. There’s no specific name for them. They’re just called normal people, I guess.”
“I see. That makes sense.”
“But there are some who call themselves magic users. Unlike magic, which can be mastered through training, it’s possible to acquire exceptional skills with practice. However, most of these self-proclaimed magic users are arrogant and wealthy. While anyone can use magic, it requires a lot of money to handle various forms of magic. There may be those who envy it, but hardly anyone respects it. Unlike a job title, a title of respect cannot be obtained without actually earning it.”
“Oh, I see. You got really passionate there. Did something happen to you when you were a magic user?”
“…There are some proficient magic users. Those people naturally earn titles that stick with them.”
Hmm, what was that pause just now? I should probably not ask about it. Yeah, that’s probably best.
“Okay, I got it. So, going back to what we were talking about earlier, there’s a possibility that I can use magic too. You should have told me sooner.”
“Watching you get excited over magical tools, I knew you were interested in magic. It’s not that I didn’t want to teach you – it’s just that the village is currently dysfunctional. As I said before, using magic is dangerous. It cannot be taught when safety cannot be guaranteed.”
“Well, I suppose I understand that.”
“Plus, Ignis and you have never used magic before, so it’s normal not to show it to children. It’s important to prevent their exposure to danger and not ignite their interest until they’re old enough to have some discretion.”
“I see, thank you?”
“Well then, that was just for appearances. It would have been alright to teach you at any time. It’s just a matter of language and opportunity.”
“I understand. But it’s hard to explain things through gestures.”
“I have one thing to confirm. I can accurately sense some amount of magic power but since coming to this world, it keeps increasing without showing signs of stopping. Is this okay? Will there be an explosion or something?”
“Well, that should be fine. Explosions only occur when you try to use magic beyond your capability. Well, it’s not easy to explain what’s impossible or correct since it’s all based on feelings.”
“Oh, I see. Well, that’s a relief. But why does it keep increasing?”
“It’s natural that your magic power will increase until it fills your container. Once that happens, it should stabilize. I’m looking forward to seeing the size of your container during this growth phase.”
Phew. That’s a relief. I was getting worried about that critical point.
“Oh wow! That’s great! Does Temuan know magic?”
“To some extent, yes.”
“Oh! That makes things easier.”
After a pause, she said, “Can I ask you for something? Can you show me?”
“Alright. But it’s already late today. Let’s do outside tomorrow.”
“Got it. Well then, goodnight.”
I stood up, promising to meet again tomorrow.
Even on my way to my room and later on my bed, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep, but I would be okay.
(I’ll request the sleep program!)
“Understood. Good night.”
Tomorrow would surely be fun.