23 – Learning Magic 2
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Back at my usual training spot, I sat down and tried to focus on my magic energy. And I could feel that I am much calmer now. Maybe you know that feeling when you get irritated and just need a punching bag to let out some of that stress. That’s how it feels for me right now. Just with the difference that my punching bags were orcs.

I think I sat on that boulder for about an hour–well, it’s hard to keep track of time, while meditating–when I finally felt something. There is some kind of warmth in the center of my body. Is that my magic energy? I try to pull on it, but it’s barely moving. I continue to try moving it, but by the end of the day I still didn’t succeed. But I am happy that I at least made some progress today.

Two days later, I can finally gather my magic energy in my palm. But I still need about 15 seconds for that process. I also got the skill ‘Magic Manipulation (Rank G)’, which is basically the basic skill to use magic. The skill seems to work similarly to the Swordsmanship skill, in the regard that the magic attributes are subsidiary to the Magic Manipulation skill. But for now, I don’t have any attributes listed, since I just learned that skill.

But while practicing to gather my magic energy, I realized I can practice this step inside the city without worrying. If it’s just moving my energy inside my body, I can put it back, without problems. So I guess, I practice my Magic Manipulation Skill at every free moment.

That means, the next step is to transform my magic energy into the attribute I wish for. According to the books, the imagination of the caster plays a huge part. So, while gathering my magic energy, I start imagining water.

“Huh!?” Because of my surprise, I let my concentration slip and the water splashes on the boulder where I sit. Great, now my pants are wet.

And yes, I actually summoned some water on the first try… I didn’t expect to succeed the first try. That’s why I got so surprised.

After checking my status, I saw that I already got the Water affinity. Now that I know that summoning water is no problem, let me try my first attack spell, which is Water Arrow. For that spell, I have to summon water again, while imagining the shape of an arrow. After about 30 seconds, a small arrow made of water floats above my hand.

I let the arrow shoot into a nearby tree. Fortunately, aiming works similar to my Blood Needle Skill, so I have no problem with aiming and hit the tree first try. I guess the effect is about as good as a normal arrow.

“If the basic elements are that easy to manage, maybe I should try to learn them all today?” It’s not yet dinnertime, but it’s already getting close. So I decide to learn the other basic attributes. Earth was quite easy as well. Fire was a bit harder, actually, since it’s not that easy to imagine a flame. The same was true for the Wind attribute, but in the end, I learned an attack spell for every basic attribute. But my casting time is still quite long. So, I’m not sure if I can use it mid-fight. But I can definitely use it for a preemptive strike.

I get back to my inn and splurge a bit for my dinner. All that practice actually made me starving and I also want to celebrate my success, so I order an extra steak and a slice of cheesecake for dessert.

The next day I want to learn the ice attribute. I am actually curious about the difficulty. The basic attributes were way easier to learn than I expected. The part that was the most difficult was gathering the magic energy. From how it was described in the books, I expected it to be the other way around. I wonder why?

As I expected, learning the Ice Attribute is a bit more difficult. I couldn’t learn it right away as I did with the other attributes, but I can’t quite grasp the problem. I don’t think it’s my imagination. It feels more like it’s harder to manipulate my magic energy into the ice attribute. It took me a few hours before I finally created a tiny chunk of ice.

It is even smaller than my fist. Is that really how it should be? Or, wait? Is it maybe that Ice Magic consumes more magic energy? That would explain it. I didn’t even think about it yet.

I open my status to check my magic energy. It’s currently 147/149. So that small chunk of ice cost me 2 MP. I cast a Water Arrow, which costs me another 2 MP. Now, I try casting an Ice Arrow. It’s the basic attack spell for Ice Magic. It took me over a minute to cast it, since I didn’t know how much magic energy I needed. In the end, the spell cost me 5 MP.

I let the Ice Arrow fly into a tree and checked the results. It dug deeper into the tree than the Water Arrow and also froze the wood surrounding the impact point. I think I like that. But now I can also understand why it is classified as an advanced attribute. It costs way more magic energy, and it also has a higher cast time.

But with this, I finally reached my goal of learning magic. Now I just have to practice constantly to improve this ability.

After taking a day off, I am back at outside the city, but this time I am going to the forest southwest of the city. I think the beginner hunting ground is the best area to try out my new magic. After all, I still need a lot of time to cast my magic.

I find a group of three goblins immediately and sneak up to them. While hiding, I channel my magic energy and just after a minute, my spell is ready and I release the Ice Arrow. The first goblin dies immediately, but as expected, the others charge at me now. I defeat the second one with my Katana, but for the third one I want to do something different. I want to try casting my magic while fighting.

Of course, I know it is still inefficient with my current skill level. But that is exactly the reason I want to train for it. It would be cool to become a magic swordsman or something like that. Channeling my magic energy while evading takes a few seconds longer, but in the end, my opponent is still just a goblin, and I defeat it the moment my Ice Arrow is ready.

After collecting the monster cores, I continue hunting more monsters, and I fight them the same way I fought the group of goblins. For the first one, I use a preemptive magic attack. And for the last one, I cast my spell while evading its attacks.