Volume 7, Chapter 1-3: Kisai’s Lessons
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Shane and Emily’s Laboratory

Are you kidding me? The match wasn’t even over yet! Great timing. Emily peered at me, tablet in hand. The pod cover opened with a hiss. Alright, I better get some damn good answers.

“Tomo, I know, I know. I’ll try my best, but even I’m not too sure what’s happening,” Emily said, noticing my concerned look.

“I’m not seeing things, right? You saw it too,” I asked.

“I did. That is the part I am unsure of. Shane found no bugs in our system. We can only assume your powers are responsible,” Emily reassured me.

“My powers? Some kind of bulls**t explanation then,” I sighed.

“Everything was normal until the encounter with Zhuyu. We detected a large spike in magical readings. It continued until the end of our test. We’ll have to conduct further research to pinpoint the exact origins,” Emily attempted an explanation.

“Tomo has quite an active imagination regardless,” Tess remarked.

“What?” I asked.

“The tests run by Shane and Emily don’t input any data. Everything you see is a manifestation of your mind, Tomo. It just gives you something to do, in a sense, while the tests are running. The fact such amazing events played out are all a product of yourself, Tomo,” Tess explained.

“There’s no way I imagine Zhuyu or Ichaival to be like that. I know little of them as it is,” I disagreed.

“Even with tiny pieces of information, one can produce a representation. Not necessarily an accurate one, but still a fragment nonetheless,” Tess continued on, her voice never shifting in tone.

“You’re trying to say I created those characters based on what I know of Zhuyu and Ichaival,” I surmised from Tess’ words.

“It is one possibility. Another is that you have been influenced. Not explicitly, but rather implicitly. Your grimoire is powerful. It actively monitors information, storing it without your knowledge. Of course, as your powers grow, you’ll be able to access it. That is another possibility,” Tess replied.

“This is getting too deep and a little too much for me right now. All I know is I saw strange things. It doesn’t top Ichizen beating people up over sandwiches, but still up there,” I sighed, too tired to dwell on it further.

“We’ll contact Tess and have her pass on any information once we find an answer,” Emily said.

“Anything concerning about Tomo?” Tess asked Shane.

“Nothing so far. Her psyche seems stable and no indications of any potential danger. She can continue using her powers,” Shane replied.

“Tomo, you may return for now. I do believe you want to, considering today’s events,” Tess advised.

“Thanks, I’ll do that,” I went with her suggestion.

I wondered if Tatsumaki Ryuu and Meshino Sueo were really representations of Zhuyu and Ichaival. Or were they a complete different entity? Why did this always happen during these tests? All because I agreed to desire peace in my life again.

Monday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 6

“How do magic circles work?” I asked Kisai, once we completed training for the day.

“They just do. I’m kidding, I can teach you, but you should be focused on casting basic magic. It’ll help you set up magic circles later on,” Kisai joked at first.

“I really meant to ask what’s the difference between setting up a magic circle versus unleashing a large amount of magic?” I clarified.

“Magic circles let you control the area of impact. You could keep on shooting out s**tloads of magic and it would be the same,” Kisai responded.

“You’re saying there really is no advantage?” I asked, confused.

“There is a noticeable difference for more advanced magic. Honestly, they’re more for traps than offense. At least, that’s the way I use them,” Kisai admitted.

“Kyoi used a bunch of magic circles. You’re both mages, right?” I pointed out.

“Well, Feng’s casting and battle style varies from mine. Her use of magic circles is for stalling or setting up pure damage. I can do that kind of setup too, but that’s kind of…. lame. I rather do something my own way,” Kisai replied, searching for a way of framing it.

It was true Kisai’s magic was rather unorthodox in comparison with other spell casters. If I recalled correctly, several of the heroes mentioned this characteristic was the key to his strength. As far as his guidance, I did have the occasional trouble. It was different than the expected standard procedures, taking time to process.

“Hey Kisai, how come you don’t have a partner?” I observed.

“Because I’m that good, Tomo,” Kisai remarked with a smile.

“I noticed everyone else has a designated partner. You know, like Shan with Ichaival,” I continued on.

“I didn’t have anyone lead me into it. I just happened to stumble upon the dimension and met up with everyone else later,” Kisai responded.

“You do seem like the type who doesn’t need help,” I nodded in understanding.

“You’re wrong there, Tomo. I need help just like everyone else. Except, I don’t really need it as much, so actually you know what, you’re right,” Kisai said.

I never could tell if Kisai did that on purpose. For the most part, he followed a rather consistent pattern of half serious answers with an occasional informative response. Still, it made for rather enjoyable conversations. A nice change of pace from Tess or even Zhuyu.

“Do you have work today?” I asked, stretching.

“No, not today. I usually work on the weekends. But, I’ve been taking more shifts on the weekdays recently,” Kisai answered, flapping the collar of his T-shirt.

I don’t know how he pulled it off. He maintained solid grades without much studying and worked more than twenty hours every week. What kind of prodigy was Kisai? I glanced over at him, but discerned nothing. Now might be a good time to peek into his past. I readied my grimoire, saving it for later viewing.

“Did you drive here, Tomo?” Kisai asked, putting away his phone.

“I did. One of my classes was canceled so I got home early,” I nodded.

“Okay, cool. I would have given you a ride,” Kisai revealed.

“Do we need to turn off anything?” I glanced around the facility.

“Tess says there’s an automatic system monitoring everything. Kuan helped set it up,” Kisai explained.

“Kuan? Oh, him,” I recalled, sifting through my memories for the name.

The guy who tamed animals and held another power. Should I ask Zhuyu for info? After all, he stored archives at his house. Maybe some other time. After exchanging farewells with the magic user, I headed toward the locker room.

“Tomo, I didn’t know that was your bag,” Jen said, shutting one of the locker doors.

“Oh, hey Jen. This is the first time I’ve seen you here alone,” I greeted.

“I just wanted to get in some quick target practice. Tess did put me on a schedule,” Jen revealed her purpose for being here.

“Good luck. I just finished training with Kisai,” I said, lifting up my bag.

“You too, Tomo! If you ever need help with anything archery related, I’ll try and help out,” Jen replied, heading out with her archery case.

In my car, I realized the CD’s from last time were still present. Nope, not touching those. F**k, that damn song came to mind again. I thought a coaxial cable was in my glove box, but found nothing of the sort. Wait, there was another option, Bluetooth. Yes, saved from Ichizen’ s songs. After dinner, I laid down on my bed, staring at the ceiling. Now might be a good time to see what kind of scene I obtained from Kisai. Hopefully something combat related, but knowing my luck, it would end up being a conversation dragging on for too long.

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