Wizard! Chapter 78
William found it rather refreshing teaching magic to Big Sister Li. She asked questions that were almost as good, sometimes better, than the top level students he had previously had. Part of what was refreshing was that she had very little preconceived ideas about magic. Certainly, she had read stories about wizards, but that didn’t mean she knew anything about how magic actually worked. At best, she had only had a vague notion that wizards chanted things. She wasn’t raised in a society where it was relatively common knowledge that there were specific chants for spells, which made William glad since that wasn’t correct anyway. However, she did still ask, “Why do wizards need to chant at all?”
That was one thing William had trouble directly explaining without the ability to sense or control mana. However, he still had a good explanation for it. “The consistent, high-frequency vibrations excite the mana into a form that’s easily moldable by a wizard’s will.” The consistency was a key point, which is why just being in a noisy area didn’t allow a wizard to control mana in the same way. It was theoretically possible to control pure mana without chanting, but being “pure mana” didn’t make it better in any way. It was more like “mana without any properties”. In large enough concentrations, it could harm people, but as William had experienced in his previous world, it required a large amount of effort to gather that much mana, not something a single wizard could do at all, or even a group of wizards in a short time. Instead, it had required a large formation, which only had a coincidental side effect of causing harm.
William was explaining how magic worked through the lens of it being how the world worked. There were occasionally questions about how he knew how certain things worked. Sometimes, he had answers, and sometimes he didn’t. Sometimes, she showed some interesting insight. “When you create a fireball, you concentrate the oxygen- that’s the part of the air we breathe, to the location you want, and use it as fuel for burning.”
“Does that mean I’m at risk of suffocating myself if I use a fireball?”
“Only in small, enclosed areas. I wouldn’t recommend using fire in caves. Outdoors, the air will mix with the air nearby very quickly, so there won’t be much in the way of side effects.”
In a battle against a martial artist, a wizard had very little time to use magic. This made it much harder to use most of the methods used against other wizard, or groups of enemies. For wizards who had to use an entire, long, formulaic chant, it made it impossible to fight. However, even if a wizard was not as amazing at controlling mana as Lila was, it was still possible for them to cast minor spells in the time of a single word.
Minor spells, of course, just referring to those that used very little mana. The most important thing was how the magic was used. For example, it took relatively little energy to make a small bit of light. This was not terrible if one needed a candle… or if one needed to blind an enemy, creating a bright flash immediately in front of their face could do nicely. This did, however, require more precision and aim to do with just a very small amount of mana. The blinding effect would also only be very brief. However, small moments could be used to the wizard’s advantage, or prepare for a slightly bigger spell.
Among the other things that William and Big Sister Li discussed, there were some that were more apparently useful, and some that didn’t seem like much at first. For example, creating water and shooting it up someone’s nose. Seemingly juvenile, not particularly dangerous… and yet, quite disrupting. The problems were still aiming. It wouldn’t be too hard if the opponent were standing still… say a chanting wizard, but anyone moving would be extremely hard to affect. The flash of light would work because as long as the initial timing were right, the effect would be basically instantaneous. Water, however, would take time to move. It couldn’t be created inside the nose, at least not for the amount of mana that could be gathered in a few instants. Still, it wasn’t a bad thing to think about. One further option was to slightly shift the ground beneath the opponent, throwing off their balance. Another way this could occur would be to create some force to push against them, possibly on the back of their leg. Both methods would probably not do much unless the opponent was already in a precarious position, and still had the problems of timing and precision. However, timing and precision were things that could be practiced. Properly applied, small things could turn the tide of a battle, at least against a single person. The more people, the less “small” the total effect would have to be. Creating flashes of light in front of the eyes of two different people, or one flash large enough to affect both, would be much more than twice as hard.
In addition to such magical training, William also encouraged Big Sister Li to exercise her body. The physical limits of humans here weren’t the same as on Earth, though there was still only so much she could do at her current age. Still, adding together various advantageous factors could only help. As for ki… she could do very little. William taught her Rotational Soul Pressure, which was probably against some kind of rule, but he didn’t particularly care. However, she quickly reached her limit, and could no longer practice it. Still, it slightly expanded her capacity of ki, and that would let her do a few small things. She could move faster for a few moments, block an attack or at least deflect it, or perhaps something else. She was quite clever, so William thought she could come up with some way to use small amounts of ki, similar to using small amounts of mana. The only difference was ki had to originate from the body, which limited it. William also trained her to fight with a staff, but he really needed to learn more about that himself to stand up to trained martial artists. For that, a teacher would be best. William had someone in mind.