The Immortal Witch's Death Wish
“Alright, Rinn. How much do you know about magic?”
Rinn took the moment to ponder her answer. The forests were still very much silent, despite the sun flaunting its abundance. “Ehm… I- I don’t actually know anything, Lushi.”
Lusha’s ears twitched at the name. It was only recently that she began calling her that. She did find it weird, and too similar to another name she knew. Yet, she was no stranger to having a variety of names, so she didn’t take too much of a slight from it.
Her arms crossed around her chest. “Alright. Well, then I guess I’ll have to start from the very basic fundamentals.”
Rinn wasn’t sure how she should respond. With every repeat of the word, she was getting more and more perturbed and worried that maybe she was saying the wrong response.
“Ehm… d-..what is that?”
Lusha clicked her tongue to her cheek. “Disappointing. You don’t know what energy is? This is just a basic question. Magic has no factor into it.”
She nodded. “E-energy…. Um, the power to do things and move… and all that.”
“Ding ding ding. That is correct. Energy is the first and foremost thing everything in this universe needs in order to function. When you walk, you’re expending physical energy. When you think, you’re expending mental energy.”
Of course, this was just a quick example of how these energies preside within the body. Physical energy is limited to whenever someone does anything at all, and is based on an output garnered from all of the cells within the body and consumption of food.
Mental energy on the other hand, was much harder to expend and replenish. Sleep is perhaps the main driving fuel for mental energy. One with an unbalanced mental fortitude may find themselves easily confused, lost, and exhausted.
Rinn nodded. Awaiting the rest of her lesson.
“Physical, Mental, and Spiritual energy. These are the three building blocks of magic.”
“When it comes to Spiritual energy, the process of gaining it is a little different than the others. It comes from an inner belief or knowledge of oneself. Conviction. You can call this will, or resolve.” Since, it is such a volatile source of power, it usually fluctuates between emotion, thus is sometimes also called emotional energy.
“By combining your mana with any variety or mix of these energies, you can utilize different forms of magic.”
Rinn nodded. Awaiting the rest of her lesson.
“There is one last step to understanding Magic however. That is Mana. The fuel for all of these different energy outlets.”.
“Ah mhm- so that’s how it is.” She nodded watching eyefully.
To her side, the goblin remained seated, back resting against the tree. He seemed completely disinterested in these teachings. After-all, who needed to know the basis or meaning of all of these in order to utilize mana. He needn’t even understand the concepts in order to utilize the abilities he had learnt.
“While there is much more depth to the inner workings of magic, it only takes the understanding of these 3 mechanisms to grasp the further concepts. First, you must realize that Physical and Mental energies and even Spiritual energies are nothing by themselves. Similarly, Mana by itself is also nothing. It is only when you combine these into various aspects and mixtures, do you truly get the full use of magic.”
“For instance… we will first start with the most basic form of magic. Releasing your Aura. First you must focus on a conviction, and apply mana to it. When these two forms meet, everyone around you can feel the energy that you let off.”
“Ah! Like yesterday?!” Rinn asked excitedly
“Ehm… Yes… like yesterday.”
“First, I suppose the best thing to learn to grasp is Mana. Unfortunately, there is really no shortcut to it. You must attain a certain feeling within yourself. Since you can already subconsciously utilize your special skill, it is a feeling you’re quite familiar with. For everyone, this may differ… but the method of finding the feeling remains the same.”
She nodded. There is a feeling that she is aware of. It’s a strange one, She only felt this way specifically once she touched something. Her ability would activate, and there would be a rushing feeling coursing through her. Almost as sparks ignited all over her body.
“Ookay… here goes.” She tried to envision the feeling in her head and invoke it, but instantly stopped. There was an unsettling feeling inside of her. “I-...I can’t do it.”
“Hmm? This part should be the simple part. It should be the same feeling you get when you utilize a special skill. Remember the feeling when you make contact with someone. Focus only on that.”
She nodded, and tried again. Yet the moment she got close to such a feeling, her body instantly recoiled. Her mana output was meek and seemed to stagnate the moment it came forth. Furthermore, she had somehow managed to exude a presence… but this feeling…
“It’s much too saddening.” It was an odd and distinct signature. The aura of one could be changed in an endless variety of ways. When one is angered, or their happy, when they’re scared, or even when they are in love. Still, despite the emotion they were displaying, their innate signature remains unique.
For Rinn however, it seemed as if her base signature was one composed entirely of sadness. At this very moment, it was sadness, mixed with determination. The determination was what she was showing, but deep inside, was something a lot more depressing. The energy even made Lusha herself begin to feel the sadness within her.
The hairs on Lusha’s skin stood up and a wide grin appeared on her face. “Rinn.”
She immediately dispelled her attempt at magic and nodded. “A-h… aye-!”
“Heh… hah..hahahaa.” She began to laugh. “I knew it. You were special after-all. In more ways than I’d think.”
“What do you mean?”
Lusha put a hand to her chin and thought for a second. “Have you ever heard of a pinnacle skill?”
She shook her head. “Mmh… no.”
“Let’s say I cast a simple fireball.” She stuck a finger out and a small flame hovered over her index. “This is probably the most an average mage can cast in their first attempts. However, as you gain more and more skill with a certain technique, you can expand on the ability. For instance…”
The flame grew even bigger and bigger. On top of that, with the expansion of the flame, things around it began to set on fire long before they were touched by the flame itself. The fire was so hot that the blistering heat singed their skins.
She blasted the flames into the sky and it expanded to over 30 meters. The eeriness in its detonation was completely different than one would expect. It expanded, then compressed itself before disappearing. At first it seemed anti-climatic, but then the wind blew outwards.
So strong was the force, that their clothes held onto their bodies like flags in the wind. Then the sound followed afterwards and it prompted a scream and even exasperated grasps from the giant goblinoid.
Luckily, she had put up a shield, otherwise all of them would have found themselves dead from such an explosion. The forests around them had turned to ash. Only one small bubble 30 feet around their camp remained intact.
“This is what you’d call a pinnacle skill.”
Rinn simply oggled at the surrounding before her. This was the gap between her and the witch. “...w-... I can’t possibly-”
“No. You have something even more impressive. Your special skill is still not even at its pinnacle. This means that you can improve it in various ways. Since this is an anomaly of an ability, I can’t say for certain how and in what way it can improve…. But if the hunch I have is correct, you may become a force to be reckoned with.”
She patted Rinn’s head. “Now enough of practice. Your mana is so low that you’ll pass out if you continue.”
“Huh? What do you mean?... I feel-” Nothing. Black. The world around her spiralled as if it was simply there for one moment, and gone the next. This was the price of exerting her aura for so long. She had little mana to work with anyways. From that simple attempt, she had slipped into a slumber that was deeper than any sleep she had before.
Back into dreams of another life.
Lusha sighed. “Of course. I may have overestimated her to begin with.”
Grodd, who was now completely awake due to the recent events, stood up and grabbed the young girl, throwing her over his shoulder as if she was a grocery bag.
“Girl. Weak. Why do you train her, Lusha?”
“Oh? Do you truly believe she is?”
Grodd exhaled from his nose and nodded.
“Well, Grodd. I’d like to make a wager with you.”
This clearly caught his interest. “By the time we leave this country, you’ll be unable to face her in combat.”
Grodd crossed his arms as if he had been slighted. “Hmph. Lusha… Witches can be funny too.”
Lusha grinned. “That reminds me… how is it you know about me? When we first met, you knew just off of appearance alone.”
Grodd scratched his cheek, just as he had seen Lusha do several times. “This is story. All Goblins speak of Lusha.”
‘Ahah… so that was it. Stories that transgress even time itself. Perhaps her impact on the goblin community was much bigger than she had thought. It seemed that was the case after-all.”
“Then… if you remember me… then you must remember Aias?”
Grodd made an odd noise. It seemed to voice both resentment and fear. “Thought so as much. After-all, you reacted just as alert at the sound of that name.”
“Then tell me Grodd… what exactly do you know?”
The duo continued walking, with the passed out Rinn flung over the behemoth’s shoulders.
It was odd. This time… this century, Lusha was bumping into talented individuals left and right. A long time ago, it would have been rare to bump into someone at Nuon’s proficiency. It seemed as if the world was moving into the final stages of its play.