The first lesson with Sage Norwood was in a stone box. Well, it was really just three walls and a floor. One side was almost completely open, and there was no roof. It was outside in a training grounds, along with many other such boxes. “Today we’ll have you learning fire magic. Put that down in there.”
I placed down the box I was carrying. It was also stone, though not very thick. That said, when full it probably weighed fifty pounds or more. As for what it was full with… it seemed to be kindling and candles.
“Now, it’s very important to only attempt magic over there. Make sure to close the box every time as well. The fire has nowhere to spread here, but it could still hurt you and waste materials.” I nodded. “Start with kindling. It’s easier to light than a candle. Once you can do that consistently, you can move on. You’ve used other magic, correct?”
“Water and light magic. Not very much though.”
“That’s alright, it’s good enough that you know how it works.” He took a small bundle of kindling and placed it on a little shelf in the back of the box. “Now, watch carefully.”
I watched. I could see him manipulating mana around the kindling and then… it flashed. It caught on fire all over and burned up in only a couple seconds.
Sage Norwood gestured, “Now you practice. You know the basics of fire, correct? I believe it should have been taught in schools…”
“Right. Fire needs oxygen and a fuel source, plus heat to start it off.”
“That’s it. First gather some oxygen… or conjure it, if necessary.”
“About that…” I frowned, “How can things be conjured with magic? Like, making just a little bit of water should take unimaginable amounts of energy…”
Sage Norwood nodded, “A good question. Don’t underestimate how much energy is in a little bit of mana… but you don’t actually create anything. Anything that is conjured is actually pulled from somewhere else.”
“Where?” It would also take a lot of energy to teleport matter very far.
“Another dimension, more or less. It takes very little to pull a bit of nonliving matter over.”
“Oh… that could cause some problems. What if that dimension runs out?”
Sage Norwood shook his head, “It would take everyone in the world conjuring significant amounts of matter every day to make a difference. It has also been theorized that some of it leeches back into the other dimension, much the same way dungeon monsters do.”
“Dungeon monsters come from this other dimension?” It made some sense, they had to come from somewhere.
“Their bodies do. They are granted life by the dungeons on this side. Well, we can discuss this more some other time.” Sage Norwood waved over a man who was standing nearby. “If you need assistance, Edward here can help. He will also be monitoring your progress. I am afraid I must attend to other things this time.”
“Thank you,” I nodded. I extended my hand to Edward. He seemed a soft, scholarly kind. He was a bit older than me, however, and much older than I looked. “I’m Llyr, nice to meet you.”
“Edward.” He smiled, but didn’t have much else to say.
With Sage Norwood gone, it was time to practice. I did have my experience with other magic to help, so I figured I could have the basics down in a week. That might mean a lot of materials burned… or it might not. I started with a bit of kindling. The boxes were set up to limit wind, so I didn’t have to worry about that.
I set the kindling on the shelf and focused. I needed to gather some oxygen and create a spark. It took a few minutes before I finally felt anything happening. Then I created a spark… and nothing happened. I did see the spark, though. There was just no ignition. “Where did I go wrong…” I muttered to myself. A minute of thinking had me come across the idea that I probably had to contain the oxygen. Otherwise, it probably just flowed away. I hadn’t focused the spark on the tinder because I had expected it to work a bit away from it- and because my accuracy was poor.
My second try I managed to light it on fire, but it burned out without spreading much. That was another problem. There wasn’t much wind, but the air didn’t immediately flow in either. I was fine for breathing, of course, but the fire needed a little more oxygen or more heat to really get going.
By the end of the day I could manage to almost cleanly burn up kindling every time. I was also very tired. Even with frequent rests, my mana still depleted throughout the day. There was only one more thing I had to do.
Since we were monitoring my growth, it was important to keep track of my attributes. Thus, I would be writing them down at the beginning and end of every day. Attributes could grow at any time during the day or while resting, so there were always changes. Even though I was practicing magic, I also trained Strength… and that always changed the most. The first week was quite interesting to see.
|All In (Strength)|
|Club Mastery (4)|
|Dodging Mastery (5)|
|Melee Weapon Mastery (6)|
|Halberd Mastery (2)|
|Bow Mastery (5)|
|Sling Mastery (2)|
|Ranged Weapon Mastery (5)|
|Warhammer Mastery (2)|
|Armor Mastery (3)|
|Mace Mastery (5)|
|Striking Mastery (2)|
|Grappling Mastery (3)|
|Longsword Mastery (3)|
|Parrying Mastery (3)|
|Shield Mastery (3)|
|Glaive Mastery (3)|
|Spear Mastery (5)|
|Rapier Mastery (3)|
|Poison Resistance (0*)|
|Blessing of Strength|
|Analyze Strength (4)|
|Martial Trance (5)|
|Whirlwind Attack (4)|
|Piercing Spear (4)|
|Rapid Shot (1)|
|Return Weapon (3)|
Strength had been growing a point or two per day, and that was without much effort. Intelligence had actually increased about a point per day, and it had barely ever done that. However, I also hadn’t really trained magic much- and when I had tried, I was a Martial Adept. It was known that made training most magic related things slower. Wisdom, which represented mental finesse, also increased. Focus increased slightly, but it was much higher. Willpower didn’t increase, but that would have required me to have to push through hard work or undergo mental attacks. Luck remained at the highest level I’d ever had it. It didn’t seem like Kantrilla’s Luck was rubbing off on me anymore, not that I cared.
I had managed to get fire magic to level 1, which was actually somewhat of an accomplishment- though when I was a Martial Adept I could have trained any weapon related skill to at least second level in a week.