“Sir Golan…surely you didn’t have to…”
Stomel looked at the bent weapon and muttered in an uncomfortable voice.
“I didn’t do it on purpose. It seems like you are supposed to fill it with mana… But I might have put in too much?”
Even taking my evolution into account, I shouldn’t be strong enough to bend something like this without even trying.
The reason that it bent so easily must be because of the mana. That’s why it was like this.
In other words, it wasn’t my fault.
“In-in any case, I can fix it.”
It was a weapon used by those muscular bastards. It should be durable enough.
After all, in spite of being bent to this degree, it didn’t look like it was going to break.
And so I sent some more mana into it and slowly stretched it out.
“…Is this right?”
It was at least more straight than a certain leaning tower.
“It isn’t noticeable.”
“Right? Maybe you would be able to tell if you put it on a flat surface, but not if you are carrying it like this.”
(Phew. That was a close one.)
That was my honest feeling.
“But, Sir Golan. How did you bend it so easily?”
That was what Stomel really wanted to know.
“Hmm. I don’t know all of the answers myself. But I think this hexagonal club is made of a material that is good for storing mana.”
There was something mixed in with the iron. I knew that for a fact.
But I didn’t know what it was. It was likely a top secret anyway.
“And that’s why the weapon becomes soft?”
“I think that since I’m carrying it while the mana is going in, the mana is connected.”
With the advanced races, not only did your body become stronger, but you could also use mana to strengthen your armor and weapons.
Stomel knew about it.
“Mana is affected by your will, so if I want it to become softer, it should work to a certain degree. So this material got softer both because of my strength and my mana. That’s why I was able to bend it.”
But that was probably the extent of what I could do. Harden and soften.
Races that could use magic would be able to do so much more.
“Indeed. I understand now. …Does that mean that the Horned can do the same thing?”
“No, they can’t. They seem to dislike such things.”
Just like Ogres.
In other words, they probably weren’t even aware of these qualities.
Other people might have earned one of these in the past, just like I did. But they would have all been the physical type.
And if they were, they would not be able to handle mana enough in order to use magic.
So it would just be used as a powerful blunt weapon.
It was only by coincidence that I was able to use mana now, in spite of being a physical type. Because I had evolved.
That was why I could bend it so easily.
The morning after we camped outside, we started walking towards the town.
If we keep walking like this, we will arrive before midday.
“I’m…looking forward to getting there.”
Stomel didn’t bother to ask why.
He knew that I was looking forward to eating.
“Your mana must have decreased from using the hexagonal clube, so you should eat something that contains a lot of mana.”
“Aye. You know me well.”
We residents of the Demon World felt hunger not just from a lack of nutrition, but mana as well.
And so even after eating, using special abilities meant a decrease in mana.
That made you hungry, and you would soon feel like you were starving.
And you would have to eat in order to take in more mana.
–In the first place, what was mana?
It was a problem related to the origin of the people here. And it went very deep.
This is what I knew.
The Demon World was filled with mana.
While the density varied from place to place, it was still everywhere.
It was so normal that you tended to forget, but we were surrounded by it while going about our day.
That made it sound a lot like the air you breathe, but it was different.
At least, if asked whether or not it could be put in the same category as oxygen and carbon dioxide, my answer would be ‘no.’
The reason for this was because we knew that mana could change and become miasma.
In other words, it could ‘rot.’ That did not happen with the components of the atmosphere.
And when mana rotted, it was dangerous to us.
There were places that were thick with it…and it was said that you would die if you walked in them.
I suppose it would be like oxygen turning into a toxic gas.
Because of this, I thought that mana must have properties similar to organic substances.
This was based on what was the biggest property of mana—or the benefit of mana.
It was the source of power for residents of the Demon World.
The power to move. Energy.
For plants, it would be like nitrogen, phosphate or potassium.
And what about animals? Maybe it would be like carbohydrates.
By breathing, we take in small doses of mana. And by eating, we absorb the mana stored in plants and animals.
So just as humans absorbed nutrition, residents of the Demon World absorbed nutrition and mana.
Perhaps it was this difference that affected our appearance, lifespan, and physical strength? I couldn’t help but wonder about this.
Everyone knew that you could only use special abilities because of mana.
After all, your mana decreased if you used them a lot.
With all that in mind, the best explanation might be that mana was a type of energy that didn’t exist in the human world.
Now, the problem was this thing that was the opposite of mana. ‘Holy power.’
It was said that the Celestial World was filled with it.
And when residents of the Celestial World came down to the Demon World, many of their abilities were restricted.
Their overall power was halved.
And so it was necessary for them to build bases and fill them with holy power when they invaded.
They created barriers and pushed out all of the mana and replaced it with holy power.
This was apparently tremendous work, and if you wanted to make a giant barrier, it would require great quantities of holy power.
It was said that residents of the Celestial World would die from a lack of holy power, or become husks in the process. It was terrible to even imagine.
In other words, mana was poison to them and holy power was the opposite.
It was poison to us.
Mana and holy power weren’t just energy, but they were an important element that separated the worlds.
“So, what really is mana?”
It was all very strange.
The mana that we took into our bodies was not just energy to move, but it could also be transformed and used.
For Ogres, we could use ‘Rock Throw’ in order to enhance our aim and speed.
This was the power of mana.
It was the same with the Reapers and ‘One-hit Kill.’ All special abilities were activated by using mana.
So magic like ‘long-range bullet’ was when you turned mana into a ‘mass that did not slow down when thrown.’
It was a mysterious phenomenon, but the residents of the Demon World just accepted that ‘things were the way they were.’
General Miralda turning into a humanoid was much the same.
In any case, the mana that was taken into the body was transformed based on the characteristics of that race.
So, where was that mana stored once inside of the body?
—The Orb of Control.
It was stored there.
Everyone in the Demon World had an Orb of Control.
The best way was to think of it as a bucket.
You could only store as much mana as would fit inside of it.
That amount determined how strong each race was.
This bucket was called the ‘vessel,’ and it was my opinion that making this vessel larger was the secret to becoming stronger. Well, it was already confirmed.
Speaking of which, the residents of the Celestial World called the Orb of Control a ‘magic stone.’
And since they used them for their experiments, it would usually be a fight to the death if we ever encountered each other.
And there was something else that I knew.
It wasn’t just mana that was in the Orb of Control. The soul was also inside.
It had been known for a long time that the Orb of Control was connected to the Tablet of Control.
Once you had stored a certain amount of mana, or the vessel grew larger, then your name would appear on the Tablets of Control that were scattered all over the Demon World.
It would be the birth of a Lesser Demon King.
And since your name appeared on it, this meant that the names we used were carved into our souls.
This meant that the Tablets of Control were aware of the state of our soul and mana at all times.
It made me wonder if there was a central processing unit somewhere in this world.
That made me imagine some kind of shadowy figure talking to a machine called ‘mother.’
In any case, the point was that while mana was something incredibly important to us residents of the Demon World, it could be used without thinking, and so not much research had been done about it.
It was like the atmosphere and also like nutrition.
It could be high energy like fuel, and change like electricity.
In the end, the more you thought about it, the more confused you became.
However, my lifespan had grown due to this evolution.
And so I thought that I would like to use the extra time to study mana, holy power, and also the Orb of Control and Tablet of Control.
Maybe I could learn things about not just the Demon World and Celestial World, but the Human World as well.
“Sir Golan. I can see the town now.”
While I was deep in thought, the next town came into view.
It was time to set aside these musings related to mana.
“Alright. I’m going to eat as soon as we reach the town. Where should we go in order to eat a lot quickly?”
“I will have them find a place in advance.”
One of the baggage carriers went running.
Sorry. But thank you.
“I hope it’s meat. With a lot of mana inside.”
“It is a large town, so I’m sure they will have it.”
And so we walked towards the town, our feet feeling lighter than before.