Chapter 74:

Volume 3, Chapter 19: Kisai's Lessons

Heroes of the Past

Shane and Emily’s LaboratoryBookmark here

Are you kidding me? The match wasn’t even over yet! Great timing. Emily peered at me, tablet in hand. The pod cover opened with a hiss. Alright, I better get some damn good answers.Bookmark here

“Tomo, I know, I know. I’ll try my best, but even I’m not too sure what’s happening,” Emily said, noticing my concerned look.Bookmark here

“I’m not seeing things, right? You saw it too,” I asked.Bookmark here

“I did. That is the part I am unsure of. Shane found no bugs in our system. We can only assume your powers are responsible,” Emily reassured me.Bookmark here

“My powers? Some kind of bulls**t explanation then,” I sighed.Bookmark here

“Everything was normal until the encounter with Zhuyu. We detected a large spike in magical readings. It continued until the end of our test. We’ll have to conduct further research to pinpoint the exact origins,” Emily attempted an explanation.Bookmark here

“Tomo has quite an active imagination regardless,” Tess remarked.Bookmark here

“What?” I asked.Bookmark here

“The tests run by Shane and Emily don’t input any data. Everything you see is a manifestation of your mind, Tomo. It just gives you something to do, in a sense, while the tests are running. The fact such amazing events played out are all a product of yourself, Tomo,” Tess explained.Bookmark here

“There’s no way I imagine Zhuyu or Ichaival to be like that. I know little of them as it is,” I disagreed.Bookmark here

“Even with tiny pieces of information, one can produce a representation. Not necessarily an accurate one, but still a fragment nonetheless,” Tess continued on, her voice never shifting in tone.Bookmark here

“You’re trying to say I created those characters based on what I know of Zhuyu and Ichaival,” I surmised from Tess’ words.Bookmark here

“It is one possibility. Another is that you have been influenced. Not explicitly, but rather implicitly. Your grimoire is powerful. It actively monitors information, storing it without your knowledge. Of course, as your powers grow, you’ll be able to access it. That is another possibility,” Tess replied.Bookmark here

“This is getting too deep and a little too much for me right now. All I know is I saw strange things. It doesn’t top Ichizen beating people up over sandwiches, but still up there,” I sighed, too tired to dwell on it further.Bookmark here

“We’ll contact Tess and have her pass on any information once we find an answer,” Emily said.Bookmark here

“Anything concerning about Tomo?” Tess asked Shane.Bookmark here

“Nothing so far. Her psyche seems stable and no indications of any potential danger. She can continue using her powers,” Shane replied.Bookmark here

“Tomo, you may return for now. I do believe you want to, considering today’s events,” Tess advised.Bookmark here

“Thanks, I’ll do that,” I went with her suggestion.Bookmark here

I wondered if Tatsumaki Ryuu and Meshino Sueo were really representations of Zhuyu and Ichaival. Or were they a complete different entity? Why did this always happen during these tests? All because I agreed to desire peace in my life again.Bookmark here

Monday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 6Bookmark here

“How do magic circles work?” I asked Kisai, once we completed training for the day.Bookmark here

“They just do. I’m kidding, I can teach you, but you should be focused on casting basic magic. It’ll help you set up magic circles later on,” Kisai joked at first.Bookmark here

“I really meant to ask what’s the difference between setting up a magic circle versus unleashing a large amount of magic?” I clarified.Bookmark here

“Magic circles let you control the area of impact. You could keep on shooting out s**tloads of magic and it would be the same,” Kisai responded.Bookmark here

“You’re saying there really is no advantage?” I asked, confused.Bookmark here

“There is a noticeable difference for more advanced magic. Honestly, they’re more for traps than offense. At least, that’s the way I use them,” Kisai admitted.Bookmark here

“Kyoi used a bunch of magic circles. You’re both mages, right?” I pointed out.Bookmark here

“Well, Feng’s casting and battle style varies from mine. Her use of magic circles is for stalling or setting up pure damage. I can do that kind of setup too, but that’s kind of…. lame. I rather do something my own way,” Kisai replied, searching for a way of framing it.Bookmark here

It was true Kisai’s magic was rather unorthodox in comparison with other spell casters. If I recalled correctly, several of the heroes mentioned this characteristic was the key to his strength. As far as his guidance, I did have the occasional trouble. It was different than the expected standard procedures, taking time to process.Bookmark here

“Hey Kisai, how come you don’t have a partner?” I observed.Bookmark here

“Because I’m that good, Tomo,” Kisai remarked with a smile.Bookmark here

“I noticed everyone else has a designated partner. You know, like Shan with Ichaival,” I continued on.Bookmark here

“I didn’t have anyone lead me into it. I just happened to stumble upon the dimension and met up with everyone else later,” Kisai responded.Bookmark here

“You do seem like the type who doesn’t need help,” I nodded in understanding.Bookmark here

“You’re wrong there, Tomo. I need help just like everyone else. Except, I don’t really need it as much, so actually you know what, you’re right,” Kisai said.Bookmark here

I never could tell if Kisai did that on purpose. For the most part, he followed a rather consistent pattern of half serious answers with an occasional informative response. Still, it made for rather enjoyable conversations. A nice change of pace from Tess or even Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“Do you have work today?” I asked, stretching.Bookmark here

“No, not today. I usually work on the weekends. But, I’ve been taking more shifts on the weekdays recently,” Kisai answered, flapping the collar of his T-shirt.Bookmark here

I don’t know how he pulled it off. He maintained solid grades without much studying and worked more than twenty hours every week. What kind of prodigy was Kisai? I glanced over at him, but discerned nothing. Now might be a good time to peek into his past. I readied my grimoire, saving it for later viewing.Bookmark here

“Did you drive here, Tomo?” Kisai asked, putting away his phone.Bookmark here

“I did. One of my classes was canceled so I got home early,” I nodded.Bookmark here

“Okay, cool. I would have given you a ride,” Kisai revealed.Bookmark here

“Do we need to turn off anything?” I glanced around the facility.Bookmark here

“Tess says there’s an automatic system monitoring everything. Kuan helped set it up,” Kisai explained.Bookmark here

“Kuan? Oh, him,” I recalled, sifting through my memories for the name.Bookmark here

The guy who tamed animals and held another power. Should I ask Zhuyu for info? After all, he stored archives at his house. Maybe some other time. After exchanging farewells with the magic user, I headed toward the locker room.Bookmark here

“Tomo, I didn’t know that was your bag,” Jen said, shutting one of the locker doors.Bookmark here

“Oh, hey Jen. This is the first time I’ve seen you here alone,” I greeted.Bookmark here

“I just wanted to get in some quick target practice. Tess did put me on a schedule,” Jen revealed her purpose for being here.Bookmark here

“Good luck. I just finished training with Kisai,” I said, lifting up my bag.Bookmark here

“You too, Tomo! If you ever need help with anything archery related, I’ll try and help out,” Jen replied, heading out with her archery case.Bookmark here

In my car, I realized the CD’s from last time were still present. Nope, not touching those. F**k, that damn song came to mind again. I thought a coaxial cable was in my glove box, but found nothing of the sort. Wait, there was another option, Bluetooth. Yes, saved from Ichizen’ s songs. After dinner, I laid down on my bed, staring at the ceiling. Now might be a good time to see what kind of scene I obtained from Kisai. Hopefully something combat related, but knowing my luck, it would end up being a conversation dragging on for too long.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.