Chapter 110:

Breaking the Gates - Part 2


Magic is a finicky matter.

Spirits are interwoven with it, so they could naturally use some without even needing to cast them. They were born knowing it and, as such, would rarely know how to use anything out of their assigned affinity.

At the same time, holy magic couldn't be considered spells due to how it worked. Relying on borrowing powers from a greater being had this kind of effect. It was both the most powerful and most efficient kind of magic for a reason, but it was also the most complex for the same reason.

But proper spells were different from both of these. They needed a stable source of energy, a way to control this energy, and a magical circle to make it work.

The first bit could be either the caster's own energy or some outside source, usually, a gem charged with spiritual energy. Controlling this energy was then about the caster's affinity, which was a roadblock for humans and why bloodstones existed. And then, all left was to fill the mold of the magical circle and fire it.

In all honesty, the magical circle part wasn’t that hard to do.

Most useful spells were already perfected and cataloged, so there was no reason to. And either way, what was truly hard was activating the damn thing anyway. Even if you had to keep them for long periods of time, or even permanently, it could be done with the proper preparations and a bigger energy cost.

Even copying it from a piece of paper was enough as long as the medium, either on the canvas or the drawing utensil being used, was a conductor. Better conductors would create easier-to-use spells, but they weren’t that hard to find out. Again, gems were very good ones, but precious metals and even some alloys were good too.

It only became a huge effort when there was no basis for drawing the magical circle or if the caster wanted to modify the standard effects. Most known spells were made in a certain way for efficiency reasons, changing it was somewhat hard. How each rune interacted, how their effects changed depending on the positions, and how the way was all drawn worked, all would change the effect. Which was why almost no one lost time with this.

If it was to go by someone’s else words, it was like carving on a stone with a piece of lead while you can’t feel your hands and you’re holding your breath. Simple like that.

Also, since it was a tiresome and complex process, it was possible that the whole thing would end up using too much energy. Especially if the medium being used was low-quality.

But if it was to use Anna’s words, then it was more like coloring an already-made drawing while underwater.

For her, as long as she had a good enough idea of what she was painting, it would, more likely than not, work out in the end. And since she knew exactly how much energy she had at all times, she also always knew how far she could go.

Right now, though, she didn’t have the smallest idea of what exactly she was doing. She was only betting on two things, they being: there was indeed a magical circle on the floor and the medium was in a good enough state. As long as both of these were true, then there was a good chance that she could infer the effects while running her energy through it.

And since she had a good number of high-quality energy sources around, it wasn’t as if she would run out anytime soon.

Annabeth could feel the discomfort of the two spirits in the room and even the fairies outside were likely affected, but they shouldn’t be at risk. Her Demon Eater lost a lot of its effect based on distance and she had a limit on how much she could drain too.

With a single seal, she would affect anything as far as half a kilometer, but even killing a human, with their abysmal recovery time averaging at three days, would be impossible after the 200m radius. Of course, this would change with more seals, in fact, it would grow exponentially, but it was safe for now.

Minako and Karim, for two, would be able to recover faster than she could drain even as close as ten meters. And that was without considering the effects of a temple, which seemed to help both of them, and the upper limit of Anna's eye.

Anna could somewhat hear them saying something, but focusing on getting a read on whatever was on the floor was more important. Mind you, it wasn’t about activating the spell, Anna’s plan was to stop much before it, what she wanted here was to get a read on the magical circle. Feeling it with her own energy and then using the mental image to understand what it was meant to do.

And the first thing that she noticed while doing so was the fact that there was more than one spell in play.

She could activate both of them with the pedestal, as expected, but there were two magical circles drawn very close together. It was even possible to call it a double-layered spell due to how they were made to activate together. And both of them were coming to be something unexpectedly simple.

The one in the outer circle was even the same enchantment Anna used in one of her pieces of equipment. And the spell in the inner circle was another of the things she used. One Karim had some interesting problems about.

“What to do now…?” The genius enchanter muttered as she turned around with her burning body. “We’ve gotta li’l barrier ‘ere and what seems to be a portal like the ones in yer house, Shorty. What ya gals thing we should do ‘bout it?”

“Now you’re hearing, you dumbass?!” Karim shouted in answer, which was somewhat justifiable considering that she was ignored for a while. As for the other girls, they didn’t seem that worked out by it, but the kitsune was still pouting.

“I told you she wasn’t paying attention…” Col said from her seat at one of the staircases. “If you see Anna staring at nothing for a while, she’s either too focused to do anything else or having an overdose of something.”

“Such a pain… Sigh… Whatever then. Go from the beginning, please, stupid inquisitor.” The petite cop went on, getting the most pissed-off Anna had ever seen her. “Or do you think you can make a random question like this and someone will be able to answer?”

Since she seemed genuinely angry right now, the redhead decided to not disclose that she, indeed, thought they would answer right away. Instead, she opted for taking the safe road and going from the beginning.

“I needed to see the spell, ‘aight? But none of ya’d be able to help, so I did mah’ thing to read it, and now I wanna know if we should activate ‘em. Gotcha?”

“I don’t think I get what ‘your thing’ means, but I understand the idea now… Was it that hard to explain things before doing them?”

“And you could have asked me for energy if you needed it.” The pouty fox added for no obvious reason, meaning it was only her pouting. “Didn’t you say that leeching off like this isn’t safe too?”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever… Answer me now, ‘kay?”

“You’re a bully, but since I’m curious, we should open it.”

“You know my answer already, Anna.”

And with two positive answers easily given like this, the only sensible member of the group could only sigh in awe and give up.

“I… I don’t care anymore... Again... Do whatever you please.”

“Gotcha!” Anna smirked at her tired partner and turned to the stone pedestal again, with her hurting arm already ready for a second round.

“Now, lemme get this cracking...”