On the way to the wizard school, William explained his plan to Lila. Formally, it was known as the Ostana Wizard’s Guild Main Instruction Facility, but it was usually just called “The Wizard School”, and William went with the latter. Once they entered the front, Lila went to find the school doctor, who knew some healing magic. William, meanwhile, headed off in a different direction.
William really hoped his plan would work. Otherwise, he might not be able to get into The Wizard School when the next test came around. More importantly, William felt that if Lila didn’t get in, then the world would be missing out. William continued down corridors he’d only traversed once before. Finally, he came to a closed door. He knocked. Hopefully, there would be an answer.
“Yes, who is it? Come in, the door’s open.” The voice of an old man called from beyond the door.
William entered to see Professor Phineas Pierce. “Hello, I was hoping you could help me with something.”
“Oh? Didn’t expect to see you again so soon. What do you need?”
“Well, I was hoping you could come with me and help make some school rules were properly applied… or at least, dangled over the heads of some students like an anvil.”
“Oh? And you thought I would be interested because…”
“Because you’re smart and you know what’s best from the future of the school. In addition, you’d be helping a genius wizard… and also me, hopefully. We’ll need to go soon, though.”
“A genius wizard? In addition to you, hmm. Well, I suppose I can at least help the first.” Phineas smiled, though his eyes were somewhat serious. “Explain on the way.”
So, William explained. He made sure to bring up specific passages in the school rules, just in case they were needed. Especially the ones about using magic to harm others. Then he explained how he’d “encouraged” some magical feedback accidents. “Now, normally, they might be able to weasel their way out of it, but with a good witness…” William glanced at Phineas, “and some other reasons, hopefully you can at least keep them from retaliating against Lila. Especially since they started it, and don’t want to be kicked out of the school and forbidden to ever practice magic. Also, if somebody brings up their ages, you should mention that law about wizards always being tried as adults in the case of offensive magic spells.”
“You are a very strange little boy,” Phineas Pierce said in the nicest way possible. “So, not worried if they try to retaliate against you?”
“Hmph, they won’t try any physical harm, and my parents can help take care of the rest… either that, or I’ll come up with some way to trash their family name. They’re not rich enough that the school wouldn’t act once the truth gets out.” William shrugged. “They might still manage to prevent me from ever getting into the school though.”
“Oh? I thought you were very interested in entering?”
William shrugged again. “Sure, but as we talked about before, it’s ‘impossible’. More important than me, though, is Lila. You’ll see why.”
In what felt like no time at all, William and Phineas arrived shortly before Lila and the school doctor. William looked down at the charred corpses which were unfortunately just singed and unconscious. If only they’d been more powerful but less good at feedback control. Well, that could have caused worse problems. William glanced at Lila, who nodded. Then, he started explaining right away. “As you can see, doctor, they both experienced magical feedback, and then we came directly to you.” The doctor looked as if he was unsure why it had to be pointed out, then nodded.
“So, William, have you thought about if they claim that they were trying to defend themselves?”
“Sure. The doctor can confirm that I barely even touched them, and as for Lila, well. She has puny little arms.” “Hey!” “But also…. Umm, is lightning magic affected by gravity?”
“No. But why does that matter?”
“Lila, would you mind doing a lightning bolt directly into the sky?”
Lila gave William a somewhat confused look, then nodded. After a few seconds of chanting… *BZOT* a gigantic bolt of lightning went into the sky. Phineas’ hair stood on end, and his eyebrows became even more pointed than they were before.
“As Lila so kindly demonstrated, they would not have been so lightly damaged. Also, I think you know why I said she needed to enter the school? She only failed the test last time because nobody taught her to read.” William glared.
Phineas grinned, and the physician just stared slack-jawed. “I can indeed see why you said there was a genius to help. Consider it done. In addition… I will also make an attempt on your behalf, though you would also do wonderfully speaking for yourself.”
“I appreciate the compliment, but I’d have a lot of trouble not calling everyone idiots.”
“… Good point. Perhaps I should do the speaking, then. I have more practice calling people idiots politely.”
In the end, William’s strategy and Phineas’ wit together prevailed. Phineas and William agreed that holding the threat of expulsion in exchange for good behavior from Geoff and the minion whose name William still hadn’t learned. Since it wasn’t publicly known, they couldn’t take any kind of revenge, and if it was publicly known, they would be expelled from the school and shame their families. Phineas even managed to make their families see it as somewhat of a gesture in their favor because of their status, instead of a threat. William had to applaud that.
William, meanwhile, worked with Lila on reading, learning defensive spells, and learning less powerful offensive spells. Instead of less powerful spells, the end result was the same spells at lower output. With lower amounts of mana and a more conservative mental image, the effect was the same as using a “weaker spell”. After all, what were the differences between a lightning zap and lightning bolt but the amount of lightning it made? Once meaning was removed from the chants, there was no difference.
“Oh, right. Lila, you’re going to have to learn the official chants.”
“What~~~? But~~~ the words are so big and stupid and long!”
“That’s true, however, there’s a good reason. Specifically, the test! If you want to get all the points, you have to know the official chants.”
“That’s stupid. Why?”
So, William explained how “tradition” worked, and also why it was probably a good idea to keep the other way of doing chants secret. At first, Lila was reluctant, but once he pointed out that it was a super secret ability that nobody else would be able to do, she liked the idea more. She only grudgingly accepted the tradition reason to learn the chants, but was smart enough to know that it was true.