Whoah, there’s some unwanted company. Nanom managed to capture magicle reactions.
“Ria, there’s a Gray Hound. Just one. 500 meters out in that direction.”
The sucker was in the 11 o’clock direction. It’s right out front.
“Please let me deal with it.”
Well, she’s asked, so she shall receive. I’ll leave it to her then.
“Alright. But it’s still not certain that it’ll head our way.”
Judging from its movements, it seems the Gray Hound hasn’t noticed us yet, but the carriage was moving in its direction, so it’ll probably notice us before long. The Gray Hound’s movements finally showed some changes when the carriage reached a distance of 200 meters from it. It was definitely heading straight for us. Well, the carriage was noisy as heck, so it was probably inevitable.
“Beck, stop the carriage!”
The carriage promptly stopped moving and Cleria jumped out front.
“What’s wrong!?” Beck asked.
“Gray Hound. Just one. Ria will deal with it,” I announced.
Cleria drew her sword and held it in both hands before her chest.
The Gray Hound appeared about fifty meters away from the carriage. It wasn’t wary of us one bit and kept charging at us. I raised the rifle slightly, just in case.
A single, large flame arrow appeared before Cleria and headed straight towards the Gray Hound. The flame arrow struck the Gray Hound right in the chest when it managed to come within ten meters of Cleria’s position. Whoah! That was some fast casting! She just took about fifteen seconds to cast that spell. And Cleria also had her eyes opened all this time. She’s really managed to improve by a lot.
Beck and Thor raised a fuss. Cleria would have normally jumped up and down in celebration, but she had a calm and composed expression today. It seems she was putting up quite a front due to the presence of Beck and Thor, but I didn’t miss the faint arch which graced her lips. Well, she was regarded as a really skilled knight by the villagers, so I sort of understand how she’s feeling.
She didn’t forget to take the magic stone from the corpse. She made her sword glow and split the Gray Hound in two, recovering the magic stone afterward. Beck and Thor made a fuss about it once again. We tossed the Gray Hound remains down a cliff.
“That takes care of that. Shall we depart?”
“Amazing, Alan-san! Is Ria-sama always like this?”
Let’s give a bit more props to Cleria today.
“Yes. She’s always been like this. Shall we go then?”
The carriage started up once again. The two out front were still immersed in the excitement and were talking animatedly with each other.
“How was I, Alan?”
Looks like Cleria couldn’t hold down her own excitement and finally inquired about her prior performance.
“That was great. The time you took to solidify your image was quite short. And what was even more impressive was that your eyes remained open while casting.”
“Huh? My eyes were open?”
Looks like she wasn’t aware of it then.
“Yeah, they were. Your next goal would be to shorten the casting time further. Ten seconds at the longest. Next would be not using your hands to aim and chantless casting. If you can do all these, you’ll have enough breathing room to prepare your spells before a battle begins, and you’d be able to defeat your opponents easier. Your combat capabilities would rise considerably.”
Cleria seemed like she agreed with my points. I was curious about why she didn’t cast spells like this before.
“How did you learn magic, Ria?”
“You’d first need to read and memorize magic tomes before you can learn magic properly. You’d have to do as the steps in the magic tome indicate one by one in order to cast magic spells successfully.”
“Magic tome huh? Sounds kinda amazing.”
“Yes. For example, Fireball has seventeen steps. Flame Arrow has fifty.”
“So does that mean you’re reproducing the seventeen processes in your head in those ten seconds before casting a Fireball spell?”
That’s quite amazing. That’s beyond what geniuses can normally do. No wonder she had to close her eyes before. I’m not familiar with the exact processes, but she’s basically completing an average of two every second.
“I haven’t even heard of the method of using images like what Alan does.”
Hmm. Well, I guess if you didn’t know of the process of gathering magicles in order to form spells, you would have a relatively more difficult time casting magic. I remember that I learned of the exact method from an NPC teacher for several days back in the game. I see. So I guess those steps would allow one to construct an effective mental image.
“Is using a magic tome to learn magic the norm?”
“Of course! I can guarantee that every mage in this world learned to cast spells through reading magic tomes… except for Alan, that is.”
She seems really sure of her words huh. I see. So it’s possible that the people who produced these magic tomes must have written them in such a way that would allow one to form a mental image through the use of a step-by-step process. And as a result, it became common sense to learn magic by imitating the steps written in those magic tomes. Mm. It’s definitely possible.
But Zack said yesterday night that there were a few of the villagers who could actually use magic. Did those people read tomes too?
“Actually, Zack said that the village had about two or three people who could use magic in the village last night.”
‘Oh, those are probably people who can use an incomplete form of spell casting due to not having the chance to read a tome. Magic tomes are expensive, so normal citizens able to use magic are quite few in number.”
I see. It’s plenty possible to cast magic if you have a good imagination. But without a tome to provide definite steps for processing an image, casting may prove difficult for beginners.
“Well, now you’ve experienced it too Cleria. What’s truly important when casting magic is forming a concrete and vivid image. You need to be faster, more detailed and precise when imagining just how you want a spell to come out and how much magic power you wish to use up during spell casting. Imaging power, so to speak.”
Cleria was once again lost in thought. I was free once again, so I just plopped down on the luggage pile. That’s some nice weather. It’ll be great if it doesn’t rain. Oops, that was close. I was just about to fall asleep.
I looked at the digital clock on my virtual HUD and found that we’ve traveled for close to an hour. Nanom was still keeping watch, so I bet it’ll wake me up if there was some kind of trouble along the way, but I’ll fail as an escort if that happened. Let’s be more careful from now on.
Cleria was silently sitting while keeping her eyes closed. It seems she’s meditating… She isn’t just asleep, right?
At that moment, the scan managed to pick up another reaction. It was a weak reaction that was barely in the scan’s detection ability and was right in front of the carriage again. It’s 400 meters out. It doesn’t look to be anything dangerous.
When we got within a hundred meters of it, I finally managed to see what it was. It kinda looked like a rabbit. It had a short, fluffy-looking tail. It was hiding in the bushes near the roadside, but its tail was sticking out like a sore thumb.
These creatures had an uncanny ability to sense and avoid danger. There were a lot of instances where I got to detect them using scanning magic, only for them to escape before I could get any nearer. If we manage to catch this guy, guess we’ll have rabbit meat for dinner.
“Ria, there’s a rabbit out front.”
Cleria’s eyes sprang open. Was she really asleep?
“Where is it? I’ll bring it down!”
Thought she’d say that.
“It’s hiding inside those bushes.”
“I cannot see it.”
“Hm. Seems you can’t see it from here. How about this? I’ll throw a rock at it and you bring it down once it gets out of the bushes.”
I brought out some stones I had reserved inside my backpack.
I brought up my throwing arm and prepared myself. The rabbit still isn’t fleeing. I bet it’s just waiting for us to go past it. I’ll make my move once we close in as much as possible… 30 meters more… 20 meters… 10 meters… Now!
I threw a stone right next to the bush where the rabbit was hiding. It panicked and jumped out of the bush, right into the road.
Looks like she missed the timing a bit. The spell would just manage to graze the critter at this rate. Well, that’s what I thought at first, but the flaming arrow changed projectiles mid-flight and pierced the rabbit’s neck!