Magic is a profound and deeply interesting subject.
It can protect people, it can hurt people. It can increase our numbers, yet it can also decrease it.
Right now, magic is overflowing in our everyday life and even a snotty-nosed brat can produce a fire from his fingers. Just 200 years ago, magic was only deemed usable by certain chosen individuals and all magicians were held in high regards. What would they think if they could see us now?
Such convenience was magic. Once people knew of the convenience magic brought to them, they began to want more. And the research for those convenient magic, chants as well as magic circle, started.
And I was one of them.
There were numerous researchers who spent months and years on research but there were hardly any development.
The reason for that was firstly, the chants and the circles. Both had not been completely understood. Or rather, we had more questions than answers. Like the symbols, the shapes.
Although we had somewhat a breakthrough for the symbols, I still did not fully understand what meaning those lines carry, or the placement of where the points were placed. Even for the same magic, the way of reading the chants and the circles were different.
And from there, various theories were formed.
One of the theory was that ‘magic’ is natural, like how humans are humans, how the world is just like that. There are no reason behind it, it just exists, it just works like that.
Another theory was, chants were speech and circles were words. Magic is the result of a set of instructions from the world.
I was a scholar studying and focusing on the latter. It had not been proven, but a certain degree of regularity had been confirmed in the chants, and although the grammar was slightly different, it would be easier to think of it as a language. In addition, chantless casting existed in this world. Which meant, it would be more logical to think chants and circles as an indication of support, or a command to magic.
And as such, there were many royal scholars who were researching according to this ‘Magic Language’ theory.
It was a bit too fast to say that the ‘Nature’ theory was obsolete but speaking of researchers, it couldn’t be helped that they would follow the one that they could actually research on.
Ah, let’s just put aside the theories about chants and circles.
There was a serious reason for the lack of development of the research.
――――――――The problem of mana capacity.
It was when a new magic was being tried out. There was no way to avoid spending huge amount of mana when the image and the chant of the caster were not in sync. Under normal circumstances, a high amount of mana would be required. There were many times where magic could not even be invoked.
The caster would lose conscious as their mana was drained out before the magic even invoked. If the magic was forced to invoke, the caster would end up totally drained.
Which was why, apart from the researchers, technicians who created magical tools were all putting their life on the line as they worked. That was why it was naturally understood that high mana and education were needed for the jobs.
And that’s the reason the research on magic hardly advanced.
” …..And what are you doing? ”
I sighed and looked at Will, who was here for some reason. He jumped in surprise, as I thought, and looked at me. That was his reaction every time he came here recently. I do hope he forgives me. As he was so similar to me, I found myself teasing him before I knew it.
But it looked like the reason for visiting this time was different. He always had on a timid expression every time he came but today, he had on a quiet expression as his shoulders drooped. Ah, no matter, I was sure he did not come here all the way just to fool around. Here was the research lab, where state secrets flew around, way deep in the castle.
” ……Sensei… I, had done it. ”
From what I could see, his eyes were slightly wet. According to Will, his eyes were ‘drooling’ as he totally denied his sadness. He was stubbornly refusing to admit it but, Will was crying. I had unconsciously forgotten about it but he was only 8.
Did he have a painful experience from school? I usually see him as a friend of the same age, but 8 years old is still 8 years old.
….Plus, his wet eyes enhanced his angelic looks and I somehow felt like I did something wrong to him. I had to comfort him someway or the other.
Bu, but, I didn’t have any experience in dealing with kids so I had no idea what to do. There was a running gag in a novel I read somewhere… I think.
Thinking of stuff that was very out-of-character, I opened my mouth.
” So you finally did it. Where and who did you kill? ”
I blew it.
This was not even a gag. It was a totally black joke. I really blew it, I thought as I regretted it, looking at Will with a bitter smile.
” No, wait a minute, John-sensei. What kind of impression do you have of me? ….to the extent of using that out-of-character joke…. Sorry. Thank you very much. You are taking care of me, aren’t you? ”
Ah, it worked somehow.
Although there were the ‘out-of-character’ unlikable words mixed in there, at least the atmosphere of which ‘mushroom could start growing’ was gone. But, after Will said his thanks and gave a small nod, the raised face was free of sadness but instead a serious expression was on it.
” ….I will show you the magic tools I recovered from the Hall of Shadows. ”
Saying that, Will met my eyes.
Silence went on for a while.
My facial muscles stiffened involuntarily.
I knew this look.
……Yes, this was Gion-sama’s look. It was the sharp look Gion-sama had on when he had important jobs as the leader of the Knights. And this 8 year old kid in front of me was making the same face. His future was unthinkable.
Really. I want to praise my judgement, and thank the stars that I am able to become this person’s sensei. I wonder how many times was it that I had given thanks to god? At least, I knew it had increased all at once since 5 years ago.
TN: Short chapter. GREAT! The daily continuous translating is causing pretty bad migraines. Have. To. Continue.
But a totally different style. I had fun in changing my style once in a while.