-How to Become a Magician-
“I can’t bear the stone?”
The old man had quite the eerie way of laughing and would insult me as well. But he answered my questions with surprising honesty.
…Perhaps he was a good person. Or maybe he had just given up after being caught?
I wasn’t quite sure, but I was thankful that he was talking.
“The contract stone has a power that’s linked to the creator of all things concentrated inside of it. Incorporating all of that into your body allows magicians to control all of nature. Hehe.”
I see. So that was the foundation of magic in this world. In the game, it was as simple as pressing a prompt with a spells name written on it, and the magic would activate and that was it.
Though, the magic you were allowed to use was limited from the beginning. The level of your arts would go up depending on how much you used it or the impact would increase when your character’s level went up etcetera.
“It is that kind of tremendous concentration of power…one might say it is like swallowing the sun. And only those who can bear it will be able to become a magician. But there are almost none who can accomplish that with the entire stone. And so a magician will typically share a single stone with their master, eheeheehe…aghh ugghhhkkk.”
Perhaps he had laughed too much because the magician was now in a fit of coughing as I looked down at him and thought about what he said.
“To share it? Do you break it?”
“Indeed. The master will take the smaller shard, the apprentice will take the larger one. As it is the same stone, you can intervene if the apprentice seems like they would get swallowed up, hehehe. The master has already experienced the larger chunk after all. And the power within a small piece won’t do much to you at that point, Hehehe.”
In other words, the masters already have the flame burning in their bodies, so adding some fuel to it later won’t affect them. But an apprentice who swallows fire for the first time still has a chance of getting burned. And so the master who has built up a resistance will take away a piece to soften the blow.
Now that I knew the truth about why magicians needed this master and apprentice relationship, I was satisfied.
I see. The master and apprentice had to share the stone like a biscuit so the apprentice wouldn’t die. There was almost no chance someone could become a magician on their own.
In that case, I had only one option.
“…Well then, would it be possible for me to ask you to become my master?”
My straightforwardness had caught him off guard. The old magician on the ground blinked at me dumbly.
“Miss Kiara! Surely this man is too dangerous!”
Even Cain didn’t agree with it. But I didn’t have time. I needed to become a magician soon, and asking this man was the only way.
But the magician himself now grinned as he looked at me.
“Indeed. It is as this knight says. You must give up if you wish to avoid a useless death. If we become master and apprentice, there will be a bond…no, I will be able to bind you. Heheheh.”
“It is because we can interfere with our apprentice’s magic that their chances of survival increases. But that logic can be reversed. We could also cause the stone inside of them to run wild as well. Would you really give me that control over your life? Eh? Hehehe.”
Even if I became a magician, he would have the power to kill me any time.
This was not what I had expected. But in a way, it did make sense. Kiara in the game must have had a master as well. She did not retreat even after the battle was lost. Perhaps the reason she did not flee was that there was a master somewhere who had forced her to stay.
She would die if she ran. She would die if she stayed. If her final decision had been to stay and die in the battlefield…
“I understand, my life…”
“Well, if you do not want someone else to twist and bend your life and purpose like that, you must give up on becoming a magician…hehehe.”
“So then, what about the magic I would use?”
“It will likely be restricted, hehe. I’ve heard stories of people who destroyed buildings in an attempt to kill their master, but they were easily intercepted. Hehehe. What fools.”
In that case, there was no use in becoming a magician unless you could choose your master.
But the only other magician I knew was the Princess of Thorns. But it was not likely she would make me an apprentice, she had only given me vague words when I asked her about becoming a magician.
No, more importantly, there was something bothering me about her. Reggie had said that there was something that she could not say. What if she too, had a master and was therefore bound by something?
Perhaps she wasn’t allowed to take on apprentices.
Was there any other way? I tried to think, but then Cain suggested something frightening.