William was glad that Lila wasn’t entirely unwilling to learn to read, but he would have liked her to be more enthusiastic about it. Honestly, what kind of wizard doesn’t like reading? In William’s opinion, it was “the mediocre kind”, but he honestly couldn’t see Lila becoming a mediocre wizard. She would either become a great wizard, or a dead one. Great, if she didn’t kill herself with her own experiments, which were generally much more risky than William’s.
There was an explosion. Not an uncommon thing to hear. In fact, this one was not as loud as usually. Unfortunately, it was also in the wrong location. Lila’s hair was frizzled but fortunately no longer on fire. “…What did you do, Lila?” William looked at her. He’d never seen magical feedback before, but from what he’d read, it occured when you make a mistake in spellcasting. The spell would go off, or something like it, but wouldn’t be directed as the wizard wanted. Depending on the circumstances, it could be anything from a minor annoyance to something that killed the wizard.
Lila coughed twice. “Well, I didn’t feel like talking the whole time I was gathering energy, so I rushed through the incantation.” She coughed again. “Then, uh, when I finished gathering the mana, it didn’t want to listen to me, so it exploded. Don’t worry though, I directed most of it away from me.” She beamed proudly. It would have been more effective if her face hadn’t been covered in black soot.
William made some more notes. Incantation must last as long as gathering of mana. Then he looked at Lila. Really, for the size of the explosion, she was relatively uninjured. In some ways, she deserved to be called a genius just for her skill in handling magic, even when it should have been uncontrollable. On the other hand, she caused the situation herself. William was glad he hadn’t yet suggested speaking the incantation quickly, because it could very easily have been his fault. Not that he would admit that he’d thought of that, now that he knew it didn’t work.
“AAAARGH! Why don’t you just take your stupid books and eat them?!” Lila shouted, then stormed out of the house. William had no idea how to react at all. He didn’t really understand how people worked, and especially not women. That said, he had a resource he could turn to on the subject.
William explained the situation to his mother. “…then she yelled at me and ran out of the house and I don’t know if she’ll come back.” William was most worried about the last thing. He didn’t know where Lila lived, so he couldn’t go find her. Meanwhile, his mother looked down on him with a somewhat knowing smile.
“Oh, William. You’re so smart, but you have to understand that not everyone is like you.”
William was confused at this. He tilted his head to the side questioningly, then said, “Well, maybe not everyone is like me, but Lila is very smart and learns some things faster than me.”
His mother shook her head. “That’s not what’s important. You know, not everyone is ready to be an adult by the time they are your age. Most people just want to be kids. You know, run around and play sometime instead of spending all their time studying.”
William grimaced. “Your right. She’s so smart, I forgot she was a little girl.”
His mother raised an eyebrow. “Little girl? She’s older than you, you know.”
William got a shocked expression on his face. He had forgotten. Although he somewhat didn’t want to, he said, “Mother, I think I need to have a talk with you and father.”
When all was said and done, his parents took his story of his reincarnation rather well. Neither of them laughed at him and called him silly. By the fact that they sat in stunned silence for at least a dozen minutes, it even seemed they believed him. Then there was a period of time where the asked him questions, and he answered them to the best of his ability.
The end result is that nobody would try to treat each other any differently than they had been. Although he was technically older than his parents, he liked being their kid. Although it was somewhat awkward, they still loved him as their son. He honestly felt a deeper connection to them than he had to his first parents, and he had only spent six years here. Well, after all, relationships worked best with effort from both sides, and he certainly hadn’t put any effort in the first time.
“…And so, since I really don’t know how other people think, I’m going to need your help.” William concluded, and looked towards his mother, “Especially when it comes to how girls and children think.” After all, William had a hard enough time understanding how normal men thought. His previous life really had been almost devoid of meaningful social interaction. That actually made William a little bit depressed when he thought about it.
Now, William had to hope Lila would come back, or that he could find her. After all, for both the sake of the magical community and Lila, it was important that he continue to teach her. Sure, there was also his own curiosity about magic as a factor, but that wasn’t what would be important in the long run, probably.