William completed his hour of meditation that he did every morning. There were still no results. He could not sense the tiniest amount of elements around himself. However, he could quite easily understand magical concepts. He didn’t like to think of himself as a genius, since he technically knew it was like a review. Math and physics concepts, as well as other sciences, made up most of the information needed for magic. At the very least, they helped.
As far as William could tell, the world followed the same rules as Earth, with the addition of the ability to control things through magic. Perhaps magic could have worked on Earth if people had the capacity. In fact, maybe it had, but was kept secret. However, he doubted it would be that easy to keep magic secret. He wasn’t big on conspiracy theories. Thus, it would have to be very rare, or nobody was capable.
So far, William hadn’t been able to determine what was different about people who could use magic. He’d gone to the library here, which had books on anatomy that were better than what he could get outside. There didn’t seem to be any extra organs, or any differences in them. Maybe the brain structure was slightly different, but William’s body was completely part of this world. Therefore, any physical differences should have been just as likely. In addition, he even found one research paper in an obscure corner. They had those with and without magical potential, and found no physical differences.
The official answer was that there was a difference in the soul. William wanted to reject that idea, and before he came here he would have. After all, did the soul really exist? However, considering the fact that he had memories of his previous life, but a completely different body and brain, he knew that there was something like a soul. If it was like a soul, and had the properties one would expect from a soul, was it not a soul? Thus, William had some proof that souls were real. There were even reports of people who could see people’s souls- or at least their emotions. William wasn’t sure if they were true, though, because the reports weren’t well substantiated. He tried to keep an open mind about the possibilities of magic, but he also wanted to verify things.
Of course, while he had these philosophical thoughts, he also had to participate in to participate in actual school work. Professor Farman asked hard questions about theory. He made William work hard, but William was learning, so that was exactly what was supposed to be accomplished. William’s other classes were less challenging, but he still learned some new things.
In his Basic Magical Incantations class, he learned many new things. The incantations he memorized, because they were necessary for his grades, but he knew the more important thing was understanding of what could be done with magic. The manipulation of elements was the most core feature. However, the difference between a firebolt and a fireball was just the amount of fire, and the shape and density of the fire. William came to the understanding that Lila’s spells were so powerful because she put a certain amount of effort into her casting. Since she was so capable, the amount of effort she used created spells that were much more powerful than the normally envisioned counterparts.
When William talked to Lila about it, she had basically already figured it out. Even without his suggestions, she had started practicing having different levels of output, such that she could avoid killing somebody with a spell. William found it rather terrifying that she had to try to have less power.
How, then, did those with lesser talents functions? Simply, they had to work harder to get the same results. When they couldn’t gather enough mana in the timing of the chants for a “particular spell”, they were “unable” to cast it. William knew they probably could create something of the same power if they chanted for longer, but since everyone believes in set chants, they couldn’t create spells of that power. In addition, they often had a sense of their inferiority, and naturally imagined their spells to be weaker. Thus, they might cast a “fireball” and achieve a lesser effect than someone else, because they actually gathered less mana, or were not able to use it as efficiently.
William wasn’t sure how much he should spread his understanding of magic, so he generally avoided saying anything or giving anyone advice. He would help Lila on the few occasions where she needed a different perspective, since she was already in the same boat as him. Nobody else came to William asking for advice on magic, except for a very few asking for help memorizing the incantations. He didn’t have much advice to give on that subject, but gave advice from what he could remember helped with memorization. Repetition worked for some people, but some people learned better by pretending it was a song. Some, William couldn’t figure out how they learned, and thus couldn’t help them. Though many people came to him for small amounts of help, it was not in a rush. It wasn’t even every week that someone asked him for advice. Maybe it would have been more often, but he was younger than most, if not all, of the other students in the main school. In addition, nobles would not ask for his assistance even if he were older than them and had been the smartest genius for centuries, since he wasn’t a noble.
William also kept up his exercising. If he couldn’t use magic, he at least needed to keep himself in shape. Although he wouldn’t be entering any classes that had duels for at least another year, he didn’t want to lose without at least dodging a few spells first. After all, even if he could predict where a spell was going to go, if he couldn’t get his body to move, he would be ashamed. Especially since he gave advice to somebody else on it. Though he pretended the advice wasn’t from him, he would still know, and be embarrassed to lose too easily. William hadn’t been athletic in his former life, so he only did basic things like running, pushups, and situps, with occasional other things when he remembered some things from his physical education classes, many many years previously.
In addition to his productive activities, William sometimes went into the dorm lobby late at night, and looked at the crystal staff. It was really awesome looking. He really wanted. Sometimes, he thought nothing that cool could be cursed. Then, he thought about the fact that nobody would use a cursed item if it looked cursed, with skulls and black things everywhere. Then he thought again, and realized that he’d probably use a staff with skulls on it too. Maybe not if the skulls were real though, but just carvings. He didn’t really want a dead person, or part of a dead person, to travel with him.
Still, he didn’t have any firsthand proof that the staff was cursed, and he really really wanted it. Maybe… that was part of the curse. It would tempt him to try and take it, and then kill him. Though, he wasn’t sure what benefit there would be to that. Also, he wasn’t sure if it had actually killed anybody, or just cracked their skulls. The information he had been able to find was rather vague. The only thing new he’d discovered is that it had been here for a long time. Centuries. Or… grosses of years, he guessed. Whatever, it had been many generations. Occasionally, it was moved to a different location. It hadn’t left the wizard’s school since it first arrived, but it had been stored in different places. However, it had always been placed prominently. Otherwise, it seems that it broke out and started hitting people on the head.
Apparently, there was one time that it had been wrestled into an iron chamber, and locked in. It had beat on the door continuously until it broke out. It took it several months, but it never stopped, and came out without a scratch- unlike the door. It was obviously a lot tougher than regular crystals.
William sighed. Even if it was cursed, it must have some other purpose besides being displayed out in the open for people to look at, and hitting people on the head for trying to do otherwise with it. In addition, it should have a reason for being in a wizard academy, and not somewhere else, like a palace. William just wasn’t sure what.