Chapter 631: Magic

After Eva was satisfied with Vahn’s punishment, she finally relented and allowed him a momentary reprieve since they needed to focus on his training. She decided to teach him the basic theory and then move on to practical training since he would be able to fill in the blanks by studying with Terra later. Eva had long noticed that Vahn had the uncanny ability to ‘copy’ the magic of other people so she speculated he would learn much faster through using the spells than simply studying. Remembering when she had taught him [Shundo] in the past, Eva believed it was the best way to approach the subject after giving him a basic foundation.

Vahn was currently sitting at a wooden desk, littered with a stack of books and several parchments that Eva and Terra had written in the past. He stored most of them into his inventory, recording all the information inside, and then patiently listened to Eva’s explanations. She was currently wearing a ‘costume’ that made her appear like a teacher, including a black blouse, short black skirt, and a white lab coat that had bothered him for a brief moment. To complement the outfit, Eva also wore a pair of black-rimmed glasses and was currently in her mature form, seemingly finding it suitable for teaching. In her hands, she held a long pointer and stood before a blackboard as she began what would become one of the most important lessons in his life…

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Seeing that Vahn was paying close attention, Eva nodded before clacking her pointer against the blackboard and explaining, “Magic, though it may appear fantastical at first glance, it is more closely related to science than what stories might describe. In order to create the phenomenon known as magic, you must first have an understanding of the concepts, or laws, that you’re trying to manipulate. This includes understanding the basic properties of the elements, how they are structured, and how they influence each other. Generally, having knowledge of the subject, understanding the structure of the spell, and forming an incantation, are the only necessary components for magic. Thus, it is actually possible for ‘normal’ people to cast magic if they express enough determination, thus increasing the basic amount of magic power within their bodies through continued use…”

Eva clacked against a second diagram, this one showing a rudimentary human body with several different symbols inside of it, “Magic power, or mana, is the energy used to influence the laws of the world and shape them into the form we refer to as magic. Generally, a person’s mana is dependant on their birth, though anyone can become powerful if they are dedicated and have a proper understanding of the magic they are trying to use. Using magic can increase the amount of mana you have at your disposal, though overusing it can sometimes lead to various negative effects and can even result in the complete loss of magic power if exploited too much. The best time to develop mana is around puberty, as the body is in its developmental phase and can better adapt to the increased amounts of energy, often granting a longer lifespan…”

When she mentioned this, Eva released a sigh but didn’t go into the reasons behind her reaction and simply continued, saying, “Once a person reaches physical maturity, their amount of mana will begin to plateau and it becomes increasingly difficult to gain more magic power without the use of various elixirs and magic potions. This is typically when people begin using catalysts to enhance their power, such as staves, rituals, and even sacrifices. However, this has several negatives since overreliance on such things can lead to stagnation and make further growth almost impossible. It’s better to focus on increasing your understanding of the concepts that make the magic function, increasing your efficacy and control. Though it is rare, there have been cases of people using tactical class magic with the same amount of mana as some would use to cast elementary magic spells…it’s just a matter of understanding the laws properly and exercising greater control over the elemental energies in the environment to enhance your spell’s power.”

Taking a deep breath, Eva now began to point towards each of the symbols on the body, explaining, “In general, a person typically has between 2-3 elemental affinities within their body, though they typically lean towards one of them, often neglecting the others. The basic elements are Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, and Darkness. In rare instances, a person can be born with what is often referred to as an advanced elemental affinity, though such cases are around one in ten-thousand. An example of the advanced elements includes Ice, Lightning, Space, Time, Illusion, Sand, Shadow, Spirit, and Holy. Typically, a person is more attuned to casting spells of their elemental affinity, though it doesn’t mean you are limited to spells of your element. For example, if you had a fire elemental affinity, fire spells may only cost half the mana as usual while water spells would typically cost twice as much…”

Looking at Vahn, Eva showed a smile before saying, “There are also three exceptionally rare types of individuals, including one ‘legendary’ level existence. These include people that have Neutral, Omni-Elemental, and Anti-Magic affinities. Those with Neutral affinities have no great strengths, but they also suffer no loss in the efficacy of magic, making them very versatile from a young age, often become great mages later in life. As for those with an Omni-Elemental affinity, they are much the same but strangely have almost the opposite happen…though they are able to use any kind of magic, the efficacy is somewhat skewed because there is also no natural limiter in place to prevent excess mana consumption. Those with Anti-Magic affinities are in an even worse situation, however, as they generally can’t use anything other than enhancement spells. However, they are often immune to most ranged magic, making many Anti-Magic specialists pick up the role of a ‘Knight’ instead of a Mage…”

When she got to this point, Eva paused for a bit, allowing her mind to wander as she said, “As for the so-called ‘legendary’ existences, they are people that don’t seem to have any elemental affinity at all, yet are able to use unique magics such as Taming, Summoning, Sealing, and even advanced forms of Psychic abilities. Most of these people don’t even need to use magic spells to make use of their abilities, making them closer to an innate ability given to them at birth than actual magic. Though scholars have studied why these anomalies take place, they have yet to truly unlock the principle behind such existences. Fortunately, these studies have also advanced our understanding of magic in general, leading to many sub-fields of magic that make use of the aforementioned skills…”

As if to demonstrate, Eva lifted her index finger and twirled it around, causing several of the books in the room to dance around in the air. Most of the ‘advanced’ magics required the user to have some basic psychokinetic abilities, thus Eva was easily able to control multiple objects using just her mind. Seeing Vahn’s ‘innocent’ look, filled with intrigue and awe, Eva smiled and said, “I once encountered a so-called demon hunter that specialized in psychokinesis, unable to make use of any other form of magic. However, they were able to control more than a thousand wooden swords that had been inscribed with runes…” Eva released a sigh when she remembered the battle that had only ended when she managed to pierce the rather honest looking youth through the heart.

Flicking her wrist, Eva stacked the books neatly on the table before saying, “When discussing how to form magic, there are several things to consider but the most important thing is that you have an understanding of the phenomenon you’re trying to create. Other than that, we have what is referred to as a Rite, which are the methods and procedures required to successfully accomplish magic. These include the Spells themselves, which can be broken down into ‘named’, ‘unnamed’, and ‘ritual’ spells. Names spells are often what is referred to as ‘fixed’ magic, meaning you’re working from a predesignated image, chant, and structure. This type of magic is generally very powerful, as the variables defining the spell have been developed over a very long period of time, but they generally lack versatility. When first learning magic, this is what most apprentice mages would learn but it could easily become a crutch that prevents further growth if you’re over-reliant on them…”

Tapping her chin, Eva tilted her head in a somewhat adorable manner as she said, “Most of the magic used by Fenrir falls into the category of named spells, as her talent towards magic is somewhat lacking. However, she makes up for it with an incredible talent for physical enhancement, though I’m certain you already noticed that yourself, ufufufu~.” Eva recalled Vahn getting tossed around like a ragdoll and couldn’t help but release a peal of playful laughter at her young lover’s expense. Vahn scratched the back of his head and commented, “Yeah, she really sent me flying a few times…if she used her claws, I probably would have been a goner from the very beginning.”

Eva nodded her head, grateful that Vahn wasn’t the ‘arrogant’ type that tried to make excuses as it would make him much easier to teach. Since many of their lessons would be ‘practical’, he would probably be on the receiving end of a beating quite a lot in the near future. Smiling, this time without explaining why, Eva continued her explanation, “Unnamed spells are, as you might guess, spells that have no name, thus having no fixed image, chant, or structure. Most unnamed spells are simply a Mage making use of ‘words’ to create a phenomenon, oftentimes impromptu and entirely reliant on their mental image. This is the type of magic that Terra specializes in, and the type I’ve seen you make use of in the past…”

Thinking about the best way to demonstrate an unnamed spell, Eva had an entertaining thought as she pointed towards Vahn and said, “Spirits of the wind, leave this boy bereft of clothing~.” As her words finished, Vahn felt a ‘tugging’ sensation as all of his clothes ‘exploded’ from his body as if they had been made of worn cloth. He ended up sitting completely naked as Eva laughed in a somewhat seductive manner, explaining, “As long as you have a basic understanding of magic, form your intent into the proper grammatical structure, and visualize the phenomenon you want to produce, you can literally make any kind of magic. For most Mages, the majority of the magic they use in their daily lives is unnamed magic. If you polish such skills to the extreme, they become named magic, however, such as Fenrir’s [Hroovitnir].”

Vahn picked a new pair of clothes and changed into them, also understanding Eva’s clothing magic was likely an unnamed spell that had been converted into a named spell. However, he was currently feeling that Eva had been getting a little carried away and wanted to see if he could make use of his own unnamed magic. With a smile on his face, Vahn pointed to Eva and caused her to tense up as he said, “Let this cheeky vampire experience a just retribution~.” As he spoke, Vahn tried imagining Eva’s clothes bursting apart in a similar manner but she immediately held up her hand and formed a complex magic circle before his spell took effect. However, they were both surprised when Eva’s clothes burst apart regardless as formless energy passed straight through her barrier…

Not only did Eva’s clothes burst apart, turning into particulates of mana, but her forms itself also flashed with a magical light as she stood there completely naked and in her original form. Her face alternated between being flushed and pale before she flared her hand, creating a new outfit for herself before holding her fingers to her chin, contemplating what just happened. After more than a minute, she turned her deep blue eyes back to Vahn and said, “I believe, just like your ability to name things, you are also able to use ‘command’ magic. It’s the only thing that should have allowed you to break through my counterspell…you didn’t simply manipulate the elemental energies in the air, but the structure of spells currently active on my body. It’s almost like using a very powerful version of [Dispel Magic]…”

After thinking about it, Eva focused her mind and adopted a series expression as an icy blue aura shrouded her body, indicative of her activating an advanced form of [Cantus Bellax], known as [Vis Maxima]. Vahn could feel an incredible pressure weighing on his body as Eva turned her cold eyes towards him and said, “Break my magic…” in a very serious tone. Vahn fought the pressure he was feeling by channeling his [Will of the Emperor], pushing back against Eva’s aura as he said, “Let this magic spell break apart into nothingness…” At the same time, Vahn imagined the aura around Eva’s body dispersing, once against sending formless energy toward her body.

Eva focused her eyes and felt the ‘wave’ pass straight through her defenses, almost causing her magic power to destabilize even though her own control far exceeded Vahn’s. Fortunately, she was able to resist it by keeping her calm and regulating the flow of mana once again, nonetheless impressed by Vahn’s ‘ridiculous’ capabilities. With an appraising gaze, Eva asked, “Do you have experience using this type of magic…?” The only way she could imagine Vahn being able to disperse another person’s magic so easily was if he had practiced it several times in the past. If he was truly able to do it instinctually, he really would be the monster between them…

Vahn had noticed Eva’s aura fluctuate and was surprised she actually managed to resist it, almost being caught off guard by her question. When he thought about the answer, Vahn tilted his head slightly before nodding as he said, “Back in the real world, I’ve been practicing breaking down and manipulating the structure of other people’s magic. Since I’m able to understand the language inherent in magic circles, I’ve even been able to change the form and function of some of the spells I’ve seen…” Hearing Vahn’s words, Eva was both shocked and relieved. Since he claimed to have been practicing it, Eva imagined Vahn had put a great deal of effort into it as he had the type of personality to focus on things he was practicing. However, hearing that he was able to restructure another person’s magic circle was somewhat terrifying since it was one of the most potentially devastating abilities a Mage could have…

Only allowed on

Dispersing her aura, Eva released a sigh and said, “I’d like to inquire more about that in the future, but we simply don’t have the time. When you meet my real self, however, I’ll be expecting you to demonstrate that ability to the fullest…hmmm.” Eva wondered if, one day in the far future, their roles as Master and Student would be reversed. Strangely, she didn’t really find the idea of learning magic from Vahn to be that bad so Eva just smiled before continuing her earlier explanation, “Well, you seem to have a knack for unnamed magic, so we’ll move on to the last type of Spell, known as Ritual Spells. Most ritual spells fall into the category of advanced and ‘great’ magic, as they typically require large formations that consist of several people. You have to take into consideration everything, including the structure of the land, the alignment of the planets, even the location of leylines and the affinities of the people carrying out the ritual. Generally, such spells are used to create powerful defensive formations since it is very difficult to use them offensively as most cities and towns would have means to counter such attempts…”

Seeing that Vahn was back to ‘behaving’, Eva nodded her head before gesticulating with her hands and striking a pose, saying, “One of the most important components to successfully casting magic is what is referred to as a decisive pose. You should have seen Fenrir casting her spells previously, typically forming a pose and guiding the magic with gestures. That is simply one part of it, however, as a Decisive Pose typically consists of Signs, Gestures, and Steps. Some of the most basic magic from the ancient past had been inspired by dance and this tradition has carried forward into the present. By moving your body in a specific manner, it helps you form the image of the spell, sometimes even allowing you to skip the chant by making familiar gestures in accordance with muscle memory…”

To demonstrate, Eva raised her hand with a cold look in her eyes, this time causing a dozen spears of ice to form around her body that caused the entire room’s temperature to drop several degrees. With a wave of her hand, all of the spears completely vanished as she said, “I’ve used my magic spells tens-of-thousands of times, which is why I can skip the chants for most of them. However, doing so often makes the spells much weaker and you should always take the opportunity to chant if it is provided…” When she was finished speaking, Eva opened her hand and caused several layers of magic circles to appear in the air, magnifying their size so Vahn could see better.

After Vahn’s eyes finished moving around the magic circle and turned back to her, Eva explained, “The last part of a spell can be considered one of the most important parts, which is what Mages refer to as forming a Ward. Though thousands of years of study, Mages were able to learn that geometric symbols were able to influence the laws of the world when enough understanding of the laws had been reached. These basic geometric sequences were the first Wards, which were later enhanced to form Magic Arrays and Magic Circles. A Magic Array comes to form by mathematically creating a shape where the set distance in every direction is equal. This balance, when formed ‘perfectly’, creates a powerful ward against evil and is the core for most formation and barriers. As for Magic Circles, they are much the same but are more focused on ‘containing’ rather than ‘repelling’. As you’ve noticed, most Magic Circles are often balanced in a very specific sequence that allows the structure of the spell to form its shape. The purpose of a Magic Circle is often to contain the elemental energies that are absorbed from the atmosphere and prevent them from dispersing, meaning proper understanding of Magic Circles is the key to casting powerful magic without wasting your internal mana…”

As Eva spoke, her Magic Circle did something almost ‘incomprehensible’ by normal standards as the internal structure was being modified in real time. Originally, there was a triple-layer magic circle with three ‘points’ that comprised the structure. It quickly transitioned into a Magic Circle with four points as Eva explained, “The number of points in a magic circle generally required the internal logic and understanding of the governing laws to be far more complex in order to maintain the balance. For someone to be recognized as an apprentice mage, they need to be able to form a magic circle with three ‘points’, or ‘cores’. Intermediate magics typically have four points, with more advanced spells having five. As for the limit, there is none as far as ritual magic is concerned, though most individual magic would cap out at nine points. Anything above that gets into the realm of the gods and very few people ever reach that point…”

Understanding the question on Vahn’s mind, Eva raised her chin slightly and puffed out her rather diminutive chest as she said, “I’m able to create magic circles with twelve points using short chants and have been able to reach fifteen points with full chants~.” Though she didn’t understand the metric Vahn used, being an existence at the peak of Tier 5 easily put Eva above the realm of the Divine. Vahn was still very impressed, giving an almost reverential look to Eva that made the petite girl puff out her nonexistent assets even further. She seemed to have completely forgotten that Vahn broke her transformation and was proudly flaunting something that didn’t exist. Vahn, however, just smiled appreciatively before saying in an honest tone, “You’re amazing, Eva…”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Eva-sensei’s Guidance’,’Oh, oh, it’s magic, you know?’,’Eva OP’)

(A/N: Once again, thank you all for the support you have shown for me and my family. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to C. Crabtree for going far beyond the normal scope and showing a level of support that honestly brought me to silence for several minutes. Truly, thank you, all of you. I’ll start trying to pick up the release rate at the beginning of the next week, but I don’t imagine it will be back to normal for a few weeks. Stay safe everyone, and take care of yourselves just as you’ve all been encouraging me to do the same. Just as Vahn mentions in the story, we’re all stronger together and difficult situations are much easier to cope with when you have the moral and emotional support of others <3)

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