Lost souls: Road to Godhood
As Luz was unconscious, some old memories resurfaced.
A group of twenty children ranging from 10 to 15 sat on the ground as the village elder walked towards them with a cane. The atmosphere was cheerful, and the kids talked loudly with each other as they were excited about what awaited them.
Their cheerful mood infected even him, the cold elder, and a smile formed on his face as old memories of him awaiting his elder for the same lesson came to mind. Nostalgy seemed to affect the elder, and he would even let them continue goofing around if it wasn't for the importance of today's lesson.
With a stern face, he immediately hit the ground several times with his walking stick. The kids immediately grew silent out of fear.
After loudly clearing his throat and gaining the attention of every child, he stated loudly: "We'll be talking today about the Mana core and the basics of magic."
The kids immediately grew excited, and only after shouting: "Be quiet!" did their talking grow silent.
The village elder continued with his lesson: "That's better. Anyway, if I catch someone talking, they will be thrown out of today's lesson. So, has anyone ever seen a mana core or knows what a mana core is supposed to be?"
A few kids immediately raised their hands, and the old man called Gab's name first.
"Animals have mana cores. Most of the time, we discard them since they are worthless, as they have no nutritional value since one can't even eat them, nor can one use them as fertilizer," Gab commented loudly with his raised chest.
Hearing such an answer, the village elder chuckled before asking him: "But every human also has a mana core. Do you think nature would give us a useless organ that takes up space in our body?"
The child gulped at the answer as there was some truth to it.
Would nature or the gods give us some useless organ? Everything is responsible for something. A heart has its job, and so do the kidneys and the liver.
Seeing how the child couldn't answer his question, the old men merely grinned before taking out a few shiny stones.
"These are mana cores, harvested from animals our hunters hunted them. Even if we cannot eat them, they remain useful to us," commented the elder before giving a few kids a mana stone each so that they could take a look at it.
"As you all know, there exists the blood circulatory system. But what if every living entity on this planet had a different circulatory system running alongside the other?" The elder asked the kids, who were shocked beyond relief.
But one of the kids immediately shouted: "That doesn't make sense. I've seen the hunters slaughter the animals and only blood came out. Shouldn't they be bleeding two different fluids if they had another circulatory system?"
The elder merely chuckled at the latter's scrutinize before proving her wrong by cutting his finger with his mere fingernail. Instead of blood, a light blue fluid began dripping out that immediately dissipated.
The elder's face immediately turned stern upon seeing some kids follow suit by testing whether they too could bleed blue blood by cutting their fingers.
Hastily, the man intervened, stating: "Wait, the situation is more complicated than you all think. Every creature has two adjacent circulatory systems. Instead of blood, mana gets pumped through our mana vessels to our mana core. What I showed you earlier was mana. My body absorbed mana from the atmosphere before compressing it thousands of times, till it turned into something that was almost liquid."
The kids grew even more enthusiastic, and Luz asked: "So, can you use spells?"
The man lamented their eagerness, as the lecture did not go as planned before he made a comment.
"Luz… I'll use a few spells later, but please let me finish with my explanation. As I stated earlier, we all have a mana core, but as long as one remains unawakened, mana won't flow through your mana circulatory system. It gets even worse the longer the body goes without mana, the more the mana circulatory system of the person degenerates."
The kids immediately began hushing each other. By now, the elder regretted teaching a lesson meant for more mature people to a bunch of brats.
"The older one is by the day one awakens, the stronger the repercussions are. For example, if one awakes by the age of 14, one's body wouldn't face any consequences, but if you were to awaken by the age of 18, you would lay in the hospital for a week. However, if any of you were to awaken at the age of 23, the person in question would die as a result of their mana veins bursting," continued the old men.
Meanwhile, the children had gone quiet. One could hear the chirping of crickets and of the other farm animals. The children older than 14, on the other hand, turned grim as they realized that their time was running out.
"Don't be discouraged, lads. For example, I awakened at the age of 18. Remember being a mage also carries its own disadvantages. Magical creatures don't hunt us for food but rather for fun whenever they are bored, as we provide no nutritional value. But the moment you awaken, you will pop up on their radar as a potential food source. Also, a mage owns "two hearts." If one of you cracked your mana core, you would remain fine. However, if a mage sustains an injury to their mana core, it would be lethal for them."
"Gramps, what are the advantages of using mana? Like are you trying to discourage us? Also, we want to see you use magic." commented an impatient child with a yawn.
The man merely sighed loudly before continuing his lecture.
"I might show it to you after we are done with it, so please remain patient.
Anyway, the advantages of being a mage are numerous. Mana positively affects your body in the long run. On the physical side, mages age way slower. But that isn't all. Your reflexes, stamina, and strength increase tremendously with time due to being a mage."
「There is a lot I didn't include as I didn't want to overwhelm the reader.
For example, the younger one awakens, the greater mana will influence one's body.
If Luz (age: 18) and Az (age: 14) awaken on the same day, Az's body would be affected by a larger multiplier. Think of it this way Luz's physical strength is 18, while the physical strength of his younger brother Az is 12. The older sibling would gain a year-over-year strength boost due to being a mage of 1.2, while the younger one's multiplier would be around 1.3.
Keep in mind that the factor only holds true if they remain physically active. The multiplier can also be influenced by how dense the mana in the air is.
Another interesting fact is that a mana core has the properties of a magnet, a compressor, and a pump. Your mana core absorbs mana from the environment (magnet), pumps it through your body (pump), and compresses the mana over time.
These aren't all the properties a mana core has, but naming them all is beyond the scope of this chapter.」Author note:
Hopefully, this chapter isn't all too boring and doesn't come over like an info dump. I tried to give these pieces of information as naturally as possible. Anyway, I hope you all have a great day and stay awesome.