Chapter 71:

[Intermission] Ants and Useless(?) Rune Magic

My Demon Queen

"Another ant trail," My mom lamented.Bookmark here

"Seriously?" I looked over her shoulder-- ants crawling on the window sill above the sink. The counter was also riddled with ants, someone apparently accidentally left a drop of honey there.Bookmark here

Ah, I remember now. I think Liliath was trying so,etching like a new tea mix— adding honey to tea. She probably spilled some on the way.Bookmark here

"Ants?! Where?! I want to spray, I want to spray!" My sister who heard our conversation called out.Bookmark here

And by spray-- let's not get too suggestive here-- is the bug spray.Bookmark here

"I'll clean the ones inside with a wet towel. You two can go spray the ones on the outside," my mom delegated the tasks with a serious face.Bookmark here

And so, accompanying the little devil with a sadistic smile-- an aerosol spray can in hand-- we went out to cull some innocent lives.Bookmark here

"Noel, wasn't there a quest that required us to kill a hundred ants?" Following us on the way out was Liliath who posed such a question.Bookmark here

"You're right."Bookmark here

I had forgotten about that actually. The quest repeated, free 20 points in fact.Bookmark here

"Really? I'm not giving you the spray though," the little devil said with a reproached look.Bookmark here

I think she could stop hugging the spray-- aka poison-- so close to her chest though.Bookmark here

Anyhow, I eventually managed to persuade the little devil to lend me the spray can just once.Bookmark here

I hit the hundred kill count in no time-- i think? I didn't count the number of ants but it has to be more than a hundred right?Bookmark here

"What a nice smelling poison" Liliath commented.Bookmark here

"Don't sniff too much."Bookmark here

"This degree is nothing actually, since poison resistance is ingrained in my body."Bookmark here

"But still.."Bookmark here

"All done!" the little devil who had chased the ants from the window all the way back to the nest cheered in joy.Bookmark here

And just like that, an entire ant colony built in between the cracks of the floor was killed-- hopefully.Bookmark here

"How about my share?" Liliath asked the little devil with a frown, to which the devil replied--Bookmark here

"There's more here," the little devil pointed at the other pitiful trail of ants.. we usually don't harass individuals that don't infiltrate our house but…Bookmark here

"There isn't a lot but it should be sufficient."Bookmark here

Liliath then found a shoddy stick on the ground and started drawing on the concrete floor.Bookmark here

Yes, a wooden stick digging into solid concrete. Oh boy, what a sight. Ahahaha. I wonder what the engineers would think about this sight. All their drilling tools bested by a wooden stick.Bookmark here

Even the little devil's eyes were opened wide in shock.Bookmark here

"H-how.."Bookmark here

"Reinforcing the stick with magic," Liliath murmured, still concentrating on drawing something on the ground.Bookmark here

"Liliath, the ground… mom and father will be mad if they found out," the little devil grimaced.Bookmark here

"Sorry.. er.. I will make sure everything returns to normal later, so please be at ease," seeing our wary expression, Liliath said.Bookmark here

She drew something like a complex rune structure in circlets.. before this she taught me a little bit about rune activated magic where certain combinations evoked certain spells.Bookmark here

From what she said, rune magic is only limited to elemental magic. And the fundamentals behind how it works is still unknown.Bookmark here

I never really intended to do research on rune magic because Liliath herself said that it's impossible to evoke the effects without channeling mana through it. And since I have no mana— I can only lament.Bookmark here

Speaking of runes, perhaps there's a pattern to it? Not to say the mages from her world are incompetent that they weren't able to dicpher the patterns and effects but rather— Since her world and my world differ, maybe the gaps of understanding could be filled using different common sense.Bookmark here

"Liliath, can you draw every other rune you know on a paper? Maybe there's a pattern to it?"Bookmark here

Liliath who had finished cleaning up the 'mess', repairing the ground and burying the ants using magic turned to me.Bookmark here

"Sure," she replied with a satisfied smile.Bookmark here

I question how and why killing ants brought so much joy to her in the first place.Bookmark here

"Me too! I want to know how to draw runes!" The little devil said ecstatically.Bookmark here

Leaving the grave of the ants, Liliath drew out two dozen or so rune patterns— all of which were complex beyond measure.Bookmark here

Patterns? Heck, I have no idea what I'm even seeing!?Bookmark here

"There are many more kinds, but I only remembered these few."Bookmark here

These few huh? It's so complicated, I myself wonder how Liliath even memorized it all.Bookmark here

The smaller the size of the rune, the smaller the projectile or effect. Of course, depending on the density of the circlet— whatever that meant— you can create a large projectile with a small rune. So the size and degree of the effect can be adjusted.Bookmark here

In a sense, you could set a trap— if only one could activate it. Else.. it would look like something straight from an occult.Bookmark here

Besides that, you can practically use anything to draw the runes. Water, pencil, blood, marker— as long as there's a small indent or bulge to it that allows mana to flow at the consistent rate, it would function.Bookmark here

The most commonly known and recommended medium every in her world uses to draw runes wasn't water, ink nor blood— it was air.Bookmark here

Yes, air.Bookmark here

Channeling mana in a fixed pattern in the air was how non-mages or magic turrets cast basic spells.Bookmark here

Now I understand why her common sense makes sense...Bookmark here

Well.. that's just the basics, as for the rest— I suppose I gave up thinking.Bookmark here

But I'll memorize the light elemental magic just in case, since it's a healing magic. It might come in handy if I find a way to solve the mana issue.Bookmark here

On the other hand..Bookmark here

The little devil was giggling incessantly as she copied the runes into single pieces of A4 paper. What a pity..Bookmark here

"Finished! Big sister Liliath, what's next? How do you activate it?"Bookmark here

"You have to channel mana through the circuits," Liliath said in a sorry voice.Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

The little devil stared at the dozen or so copies of her hand drawn rune talisman in shock. She did all the work just to forget the most important point.Bookmark here

Hah. She fell for it.Bookmark here

"I-I can't use these?"Bookmark here

"You could if you had mana.." I said nonchalantlyBookmark here

The little devil pouted and looked at me. Ah sure, of course I could've told her about it, but nay… I let her experience all her work crumble to waste… just like what happened to me the first time Liliath taught me rune magic.Bookmark here

"Noel, did you find any patterns?" Liliath asked as I looked over the runes.Bookmark here

"Not really. Though maybe, just maybe there's a reason why the runes always have a parallel line between each other."Bookmark here

"True, however, it's one of the prerequisites for rune magic to work. The theory behind it is that the mana when moving through the circuit resonant with each other to manifest into certain magic."Bookmark here

"Confusing.. ugh.."Bookmark here

"What are you guys doing.." my father who came down from his office looked at us huddled in the living room.Bookmark here

"We're learning rune magic from Liliath," the little devil said in an oh so serious, displeased expression.Bookmark here

"Seriously?" My father looked at us as if in disbelief. "Looks like something straight from an occult."Bookmark here

Liliath nodded; I shook my head left and right.Bookmark here

"So how do these work?"Bookmark here

"Channaleing mana through the circuits causes magic to resonate and create a specific effect.. I guess," I explained in my own words— I'm sure it's only half-right. "Though, it can't be activated without mana."Bookmark here

"Liliath drew these?" He asked.Bookmark here

"The smaller ones are from Liliath, the one on the A4 paper is by Novelle."Bookmark here

"What if we set up a bunch of them? There's an explosion spell among them right?" My father's mouth was raised a little.Bookmark here

Liliath nodded. "It's dangerous, thus it's best I avoid using it here."Bookmark here

"True, it's best if you got rid of these.. I wouldn't want the house to be blown up accidentally" my father shuddered.Bookmark here

There's that danger too..Bookmark here

I looked at Liliath and she nodded with a gulp.Bookmark here

"Uwa… all the effort I put in.." the little devil cried. "You two should've told me about this earlier!"Bookmark here

I could only smile wryly at the devil's wile.Bookmark here

Liliath started it first.Bookmark here

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