I finished planting the flowers and explaining the new devices, so we were done at the adventurer’s guild. So after a bit more chit chat, we left the guild and headed for the Sage’s tower. My carriage followed the one that Shisu was riding.
As we came to the street that led to the Sage’s tower, I was again reminded of just how crazy it looked. Okay, the building itself was quite the simple tower structure, but it was the tallest building in the city, so it is special in that way. But what really makes it special are the two magic circles floating in the air around it. It really is such a wasteful way of upkeep magic, as projecting the magic circles takes quite a bit of mana, but I’m clearly not the only one foolish enough to do that.
“Brian, did you ever reverse engineer those magic circles?” Alice asked.
“Yeah, I did ask my monsters to do that after my second visit.” I answered. “One is a defensive barrier around the city. It is the reason the bird-folk have to come guide my ships down to the ground, because otherwise the barrier would trigger and … well, bad things might happen. The second is some sort of a large scale communication spell, but even my monsters struggled to fully understand it. They think it is what keeps the guild communicator network running.”
“Wow. Great Sage Arcadia must have been a genius if she could come up with something your monsters can’t understand.”
“And that one isn’t the only one. There is also the massive magic circle that is drawn on the ground using the streets of this city. They said it is too generic to decipher when it isn’t active.”
As a reminder, I’m referring to this. The city is built in a way where the streets make a magic circle that looks like this. The Castle Dungeon is in the middle, and the Sage’s tower, the Adventurer’s guild and the main Church are at the center of the three other circles.
“... why would anyone make a citywide magic circle?” Lua asked.
“For power. At that size, whatever spell that magic circle releases, it would be extremely powerful.” I answered. “... but it would take hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mana to fill up the circle.”
“What do you think it is for?” Alice asked.
“... I can think of a few things. One, it could be for summoning the Goddess, but I doubt that is the truth. If it was that simple, I feel like the Goddess would have told me. Second, it might be some sort of super defense spell. Three, it could be some sort of annihilation spell that can be used to kill a powerful monster. Four, it could be something related to the Castle dungeon.”
“It's probably the defensive spell, right?” Alice guessed.
“Or maybe a citywide healing spell?” Lua added her own guess. “In case of a major sickness or something?”
“That actually would check out as well.” I admitted. “I didn’t consider sickness as we don’t really get sick.”
“But how would they power it?” Alice asked.
“Probably by taking a bit of mana from each and every resident. There are around 150,000 people living in this city alone. Add to that the mer-folk and other aquatic races living in the lake around the city, and you have something like 170,000. Even if you just take 5 mana from each person, which isn’t a lot even for a LV.1, that is 850,000 mana.”
“... Is that really a lot? I mean, I know it is but … HomeBase makes 12 million mana a day, right? So it could power that thing like 12 times over?” Alice asked.
“Yeah. It is strange to look at things like this when we’ve been corrupted by my OP bullshit.” I admitted. “But the 12 times over is only if the magic circle only takes 5 mana per resident. It might take 10 or even 20. And in the first place, I don’t know if it does take the residents mana. I just said it might, because it is the only way to realistically power something like this if you don’t have the mana flowers.”
“Speaking off, what do you think they will use the flowers for? The ones Shisu asked you to plant at the Sage’s tower?” Lua asked.
“Probably to power the magic circles they already have. Mariina told me that currently they have the sages and great witches and wizards fill up magic stones multiple times a day, so if they use the flower power for it, they will no longer have to do that. Or at least it will be less.”
After we got to the tower and parked the carriages, Shisu quickly began giving orders to different people. Most of them seemed to just be workers, but some did have on the emblem showing that they were great witches or wizards.
As they … briskly walked around getting materials for the flowerbed, Shisu used her magic to prepare the ground in the area she wanted me to plant the flowers at.
And as we waited for the materials, two people with the sage emblem walked up to us. One was someone I already knew, the sage Ian Cabba, while the other was a middle-aged male and some sort of beast-folk. I think he might be a bear-folk, but I’m not 100% sure.
“Good to see you again, Brian.” Ian said. “The two ladies as well. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“Hi Ian. Who is your friend?” I asked to get the introductions going.
“... Is he always like this?” The bear asked.
“I don’t know him that well.” Ian admitted.
“Yes. Yes he is.” Lua confirmed for them. “My name is Lucia, but please call me Lua.” She then introduced herself.
“Alice Watchman, but just Alice is good.” Alice took the chance to also tell them her name.
“Yes. A pleasure. I’m Ian Cobba, one of the sages of the Sage’s tower.”
“The name is Ted Miller, also one of the sages.” The bear-man introduced himself.
“I heard you two might be interested in becoming great witches.” Ian continued. “Ted and I will oversee your test while the two of them do … whatever it is that they do.”
“What we are doing is of great importance. It might remove the entire need for us to put mana into the downstairs stones.” Shisu said.
“Then we must make sure it gets accomplished.” Ted was quickly on board when he heard the potential good sides of the flowers.
“Don’t worry. We will. Please take care of the ladies.” Shisu said.
Our two groups headed in different directions … well in truth we stayed where we were while Ian and Ted took Alice and Lua to some other place. I hope they will do well. It is a bit of a shame I won’t see the test live, but it isn’t a sage level test, and I can watch it back, so… I’m still sorry for them. But they’ll understand that there are only so many hours in a day.
After a bit more of a wait, the people Shisu gave orders to earlier began bringing out stuff, mainly magic stones. A total of ten B-rank stones and two A-rank stones.
I then began getting out some cards, mainly the ten Pitch-Black Power Stones I’ll need to turn these magic stones into power stones.
“... what are you doing?” Shisu asked, as I kept installing cards into the magic stones.
“It is called an install. In short, I’m altering the magic stones using my cards. They need to be power stones so that they can hold Spell Counters. It is a bit complicated, but in short, the flowers don’t make mana but Spell Counters. Normal magic stones cannot hold Spell Counters, but these magic stones that I’m turning into power stones can. Then from there, the Spell Counters get broken down into mana that can be used by anything.”
“... I see. … also are these stones larger than the ones you used, or is it just me? You said you needed B-rank stones, but yours were more like C-rank sized.”
“That’s because mine are made by compressing them when they are super critical.” I answered. “These are made by keeping them just sub-critical for a long time, right?”
“... you … you know how to do that?” Shisu asked.
“I don’t, but … I’ll just summon him.” I decided and pulled a card out of Storage, as I turned my terminal into a duel disk. “Dark Sage.”
“He is my expert on magic stones, so if you have questions…” I said as I turned back to installing cards into the magic stones.
I somewhat heard how Shisu was bothering Dark Sage with a ton of questions, but I just ignored them and kept installing everything so that the flowerbed will get done.
After all the wiring, power stones and magic stones were set, I turned back to Shisu and Dark Sage.
“Shisu, I need the dirt now.” I told her, and she snapped out of an almost trance-like state she had seemingly entered as she was talking with Dark Sage. She looked like an honor student trying to get extra info from a super smart teacher, and I think it was funny.
“... eh? Oh yes. I’m on it.” Shisu responded and used earth magic to move dirt to fill up the flowerbed.
“Thanks.” I said, and then I brought out flower seedlings from Storage. They were already installed with Magical Plant Mandragola and they would grow up to the point where they will make Spell Counters in about a week.
I finished planting the flowers, so my System Mission popped up again. And this time, it came with some Synchro monsters. Sure it is just three cards this time, but I don’t mind. I got a Tuner and a Synchro monster, so that is good.
|Spread the Flowers
|Flowers planted in The Hero's City at the Sage's tower
|Reward: Aromaseraphy Angelica, Aromaseraphy Rosemary and Aromaseraphy Sweet Marjoram
After confirming the reward, I turned back to Shisu and Dark Sage.
“I’m done here. The two A-rank stones are visible, so you can run a mana line from them to wherever you need the mana.” I spoke up to get Shisu’s attention from Dark Sage. “Could you take me to where Alice and Lua are now. I can still catch some of their tests if we hurry.”
“Alright. Let’s start.” Sage Ian said to us.
He, along with a second sage named Ted were testing Alice and I if we were worthy of being great witches. And to be honest, I was nervous. This should be easy. I mean, I’ve studied magic with Mariina and I know how skilled she is, and I feel like I am at least close to her level, so this should be easy. But what if it isn’t?
“First, show off every attribute and magical technique you can use. Only surface level is fine. Just show us a bit of everything.” Ian ordered us.
All of them? Does that include Winged Flight? It is a magical technique, so I think yes. I used the System Link to ask Alice about it, and she confirmed my suspicion. She also suggested that we both fly while we show off our skills, as that would show our ability to use multiple skills at the same time.
Alright. Then I’ll need my wings. And for me to have my wings, I’ll need slits in my dress. So I used Dhampir Princess to alter my dress just a bit. I normally use it to hide away the slits so that the dress looks intact, but now, I need them so I used the skill to make them reappear. Then I used Vampiric Body Modification to let my white wings out. While I was doing all of that, I saw Alice glowing softly next to me, as she changed her outfit from her regular clothes to a magical girl outfit.
Next, I put some mana into my wings and with a flap, I took off to the sky. Alice next to me did the same using her Mana Flight skill. I took a quick glance towards the judges, but I wasn’t sure if they were impressed just yet, so next step.
Alice brought her mithril swordstaff out of Storage, while I brought out a magic flask filled with blood. And while Alice showed off her Telekinesis skills by controlling the mithril swordstaff with Telekinesis, I showed off my True Blood Magic by controlling the blood in the air, before returning it to the flask.
With the first step done, I returned the flask to Storage and Alice did the same with her swordstaff. We both then brought out staves from Storage. Alice’s was a treant wood staff that Brian bought her as a gift. She didn’t use it often as the staff really couldn’t take her powerful magic, but we were just showing off weak spells so it could take that, while I used the staff I used back when I was still a part of Prime Rib. It might have been altered when I first got my Unique skill, but it was still near and dear to my heart, so I wanted to use it here. It is also something Mrs. Moon bought me after I got recognized as a witch, so I believe it is appropriate.
With staves in hand, we began showing some elemental magic spells. Alice started with her Dark Magic, while I used some Light. We then switched to Fire and Water, while making sure to use both Full Casts and Quick Casts. Alice even showed off her Instant Cast.
The two of us decided that next would be the time for our other extra skill besides flight, so I used mine first.
“Summon Water Spirit.” Alice might be better in most things when it comes to magic, but outside of healing, this is the other special thing I can do that she can’t. But just summoning the spirit isn’t all, so I kept going. “Synchro with me.” I requested of the spirit, and it did as I asked.
While I was preparing a spirit boosted water magic spell, Alice prepared her own spell.
“Magic Erasing Arrows.” She finished her chant, and five arrows appeared in the air around her. They were a mix of her Unique-Racial skill and Erasure Magic, styled after Brian’s card called Spell Shattering Arrow. Using Erasure Magic, they would remove a spell they hit from existence.
Technically it is based on Anti-Magic Arrows, but Brian doesn’t have that one yet, so …
I moved the water spell to attack Alice, while she used her Magic Erasing Arrows to erase my spell. As the arrows hit, they systematically undid my spell.
With that, we were going to end the show. I think this is enough for now, so both of us landed back where we started, and I once again hid my wings away. I might keep them out when I’m on HomeBase, but I’m still a bit self conscious about them, so I’ll keep them hidden when I don’t need them.
I then began hearing some clapping from a direction different from the two judges. I turned to look and I saw Brian there, giving us an applause with Sage Shisu.
How much did he see? I hope he saw all of it.