Having a book on magic didn’t stop William from running around like a fool. It was good to be young again. Interestingly enough, he actually stopped tripping over himself fairly quickly. He seemed to be more coordinated than he had been before. Well, maybe because he’d never really exercised before. It was actually pretty fun.
He did avoid pushing himself too far. He remembered something about too much exercise being a problem on a developing body. So, he only did it when it was fun. His parents might have wished he was somewhat less adventurous, what with his climbing everywhere, but he never hurt himself… much, anyway.
At six years old, William was worried about how to tell his parents about his reincarnation. Sure, in the stories he’d read, people would keep such a thing secret from everyone- for no discernable reason. He understood why making it general knowledge would be bad, but it shouldn’t hurt to trust those closest to you. Like family. Not that he had a great track record with that, but William was taking efforts to be closer to his family in this life. Honestly, he thought he was already closer to his parents here than in his former life. That mostly showed how bad he had been in his former life.
His father and mother were rather successful merchants. His father was Archibald Stevenson. Personally, he thought his father’s name was awesome. It sounded very regal. Archibald was a bit round. Like Santa, except not as old and without a beard. So, really, just kind of fat and happy. His mother was probably attractive, except she was his mother. She was very kind, always smiled, and gave him hugs.
William hadn’t known what he was missing out on when he’d avoided hugs from his previous parents. Now, however, he took every hug he could get. They were just so safe and warm and happy.
William had not even a single complaint to give about his new family, except that he didn’t have any siblings. Well, that could still happen.
Six years old was half of twelve, which was an important step in life. Besides the trivial things, like being one third of adult age, there was something important to William personally. Six years old was old enough to test for magical potential. By six, magical potential can be fairly accurately calculated. Not that any amount of potential is useful without working at it as well. He was very excited. William was hoping to be a super high class wizard, like usually happens in stories. Well, he didn’t want to be too arrogant, acting like a protagonist. There wasn’t anything so far that indicated that he was particularly special, besides reincarnating with his memories. Hopefully, that made him special. Even average magical potential would be great. He tried not to spend too much time thinking about how he was going to get the most awesome staff.
The purpose of a staff, besides showing off how good you were, was to help channel mana. Depending on the wood materials, gems, and other qualities of the staff, it would help with converting mana into different elements, and thus increased the efficiency of spells. For example, rubies helped with turning mana into the fire element, for things like a spark spell, or more awesomely, fireballs.
Well, before anything else, he needed to take the test. He was a bit nervous, with all the people crowding around to watch the testing. Many of the children were older than him, since not everyone went for testing as soon as it was possible. The testing was free, since the wizards academy was more interested in finding people with potential than making profit off of this venture.
The test didn’t look all that complicated. The person being tested stood in a magic circle and touched a crystal ball. Well, the ball might not actually have been made of crystal, but it didn’t matter what it was. Then, the circle lights up, and so does the crystal ball. The color and intensity tells those watching various things. Brighter is better, and color has something to do with elemental affinities. A wizard with an affinity for fire should find fire spells less taxing, for example, similar to having the right kind of staff. William had managed to learn a lot about magic already, but still couldn’t figure out how to use mana. Maybe this orb helped with awakenings.
He was too nervous to pay close attention to every test, but most people seemed pretty average anyway. Two more people in front of him. A boy slightly older stepped up. He touched the crystal, and it gave off just a slight glow. The boy shrugged. Perhaps he didn’t care much about being a wizard anyway. After all, it’s a difficult process. Since the test is free, most enter just for curiosity’s sake.
The girl directly in front of William stepped up. William was next. He started trembling. Then, he couldn’t see. He was scared for a second, but then he realized what had happened.. It was just very bright for a second. The girl had really amazing potential, as everyone watching could tell. Currently, it was brighter inside than outside. William hoped to be that good, but even if he just barely better than this last boy, he was still going to be a wizard, even if he was the worst wizard the world would ever see. He hadn’t really put all of his effort into anything in his former life, but now that there was this chance, he wouldn’t give up.
He stepped forward with anticipation. He was sweating now, and shaking more. He’d never been this nervous about anything, even in a job interview. His hand reached for the orb, slowly. Then his fingertips barely touched it. Nothing happened. He carefully moved his whole palm onto the orb. Hmm. He saw a brief flash, and got excited for a moment, before realizing that it was just the image of the girl’s test still burned into his eyes. His result seemed to be… nothing. There was no glow. William would have liked to pretend that the orb wasn’t working. However, he knew in his heart that it was not true. In a way, His results were just as spectacular as the girl’s, but on the opposite end. Nobody else had magical potential so low. Everyone got at least a tiny glow, but he got nothing. Maybe, the orb was wrong.
If the orb were overloaded and thus failed to work, and he were some kind of super wizard, William would be happy. It wasn’t, though. That he could tell. He walk back to his parents, dejected. Then, he cried significant tears for the first time since he came to this world. This world has magic, and wizards, but he couldn’t be one. What was the point of him reincarnating into a world with magic?
If he could, he would have played down the amount of time he spent moping around. For William’s sake, it will just be known as “a long time”. He still had a higher chance of becoming a wizard here in this world. After all, in this world, wizards were real. He knew the orbs weren’t perfectly accurate. Not that it would be much off. There was still the chance that he had just a sliver of magical potential, but there was no chance he was any better than that. His potential didn’t matter though. Wizards existed in this world, and thus he was definitely going to be a wizard when he grew up, or die a second death in the attempt. William shook his fist towards the world in general, as if daring it to try to stop him.
That said, the world didn’t have to do anything at all to stop William from being a wizard. As it was, he couldn’t become one, probably. After all, they wouldn’t let someone with no magical potential join the wizard’s school. Would they? Well, he knew for sure he couldn’t enter the preliminary school.
Actually, he didn’t know that they wouldn’t let him into the school. Maybe lack of magical potential was an interesting phenomenon or something. He was not going to give up yet, he still had a good eighty years to go. Err… six or seven dozen years, if he wanted to use more “proper” terminology. Well, that’s if he got the same lifespan here. He couldn’t guarantee that, but he was willing to give it a try. After all, he got a second chance to be a wizard, and the possibility wasn’t necessarily 0% in this world. Well, percents weren’t really a thing here, since 100 is meaningless. Maybe it’s per-gross? A nice square dozen, 144. Well, it would still be written something like 100, since it was in base twelve. Not that the numerals were the same.
William tried to get his existential angst back on topic. He wasn’t giving up on being a wizard just yet. His parents have been highly supportive of him thus far. Hopefully, they would remain so. Sorry, dad, he thought. I’m going to be depending on you.