Felix, Lakshman and Ondine continued walking through the forest. Their destination was the place where the Camdra beast tribesmen lived. Joining them were two Forest Elf siblings by the names Fahly and Elusa as they guide them.
“How long before we arrive?” Felix asked as they pushed through leaves and low hanging branches.
“We will arrive shortly,” the tall Forest Elf, Fahly said.
“It won’t be long,” the short Forest Elf, Elusa added and she turned and smiled at them.
They were at the front, next was Felix, Ondine, and Lakshman brought up the rear. Lakshman watched the Forest Elf siblings wordlessly. He would often blink in surprise and rub his eyes to get a clearer focus.
“What’s the matter, master?” Ondine asked as she hunch slightly to speak to him.
“Oh, nothing…” he said, staring at the Forest Elves.
After some time of walking in silence, Lakshman finally decided to ask the question nagging at his mind.
“Um…” he began and their attention was quickly on him. “Is it just me… or do the Forest Elves keep disappearing and reappearing?”
The Forest Elves looked back at him with surprised faces. Then their expressions changed to that of pride.
“That,” Fahly began proudly, “is the secret of the Forest Elves who protect our respective forests.”
“Eh? You aren’t the only ones who protect the forests?” Lakshman asked in surprise.
“No, we are not,” Elusa said with a shake of her head. “All around the world, there are many forests protected by many more Forest Elves.”
“Yes and many of them are stronger than us,” Fahly said with a nod of his head. “So, you should be wary of your surroundings when you enter a forest.”
“You may never know when the Forest Elves of that forest will prank you,” Elusa said with a cheeky smile.
“Ha! I’d like to see them try to pull a prank on my master when I’m around!” Ondine said loftily.
“You say that, but your master was hit by our Leaf Ball a few minutes ago,” Elusa said.
“T-That was different,” Ondine said hesitantly. “I knew it wouldn’t have hurt him, so I didn’t stop it.”
“Huh?” Lakshman said, looking stricken at her words.
“Rest assured master, I will ensure you won’t be attacked like that again!” Ondine said firmly.
“Um… Okay,” Lakshman said, unable to think of anything else to say.
Felix suddenly let out a roar of laughter and Ondine looked at him indignantly.
“Please do not laugh Felix! This is not funny!” Ondine said in annoyance.
“Okay, okay,” Felix said, but he continued to chuckle.
Lakshman, however, was thinking about something else. At the mention of the ‘Leaf Ball’, he suddenly remembered Felix’s words, which was ‘Voiceless Incantation’.
“Felix, I have a question,” he said, directing it at Felix.
Felix turned and chuckled at him. Then he said “I believe you just asked a question.”
“I said you already asked a question,” Felix said, chuckling slightly. “Don’t ask a question before you ask the question.”
“Huh?” Lakshman said in confusion.
“Never mind,” Felix said, but he still chuckled a bit. “So then, what is your question Lakshman?”
“Earlier, when that Leaf Ball hit me, you said something about ‘Voiceless Incantation.’”
“Yes, I believe I said that, yes,” Felix said nodding as he remembered his words from earlier. “What about it?”
“I was wondering what you mean by that,” Lakshman asked. “By voiceless, did you mean non-verbal incantations?”
Felix looked at him and blinked in surprise. Then he narrowed his eyes slightly and asked “You… don’t know about Voiceless Incantations?”
“Um… no,” Lakshman said with a shake of his head. “I don’t believe Miss Sumara ever said anything about it.”
“I see…” Felix said and nodded his head at him. “Lakshman, remind me again what your ranks are.”
“I’m an Intermediate ranked at Water Sword Style, Advanced Water Magician and Advanced Earth Magician.”
“Ah, I see, I see,” Felix said, nodding in understanding. “So, you aren’t above Advanced.”
“Okay, now it makes sense,” Felix said. “Voiceless Incantations… It’s like you said, non-verbal incantations.”
Lakshman nodded and Felix continued speaking.
“Voiceless Incantations is to perform magic spells by not speaking the incantations aloud. Basically, Voiceless Incantations is non-verbal method of performing magic spells. It is a handy skill to have around when you don’t want your advisory to know what you are planning.”
“Ah,” Lakshman said in surprise. “So, it’s something like the Morse code?”
“Oh? So Sumara told you about the Morse code? Very good,” Felix said, sounding impressed.
“Yes. Miss Sumara taught it to me during one of our studying sessions,” Lakshman said brightly. “She taught me the dots and dashes and how to use them.”
“Haha, I see,” Felix said and he smiled at Lakshman’s enthusiasm. “However, Morse code and Voiceless Incantations are different in essence all together.”
“They are?” Lakshman asked, sounding surprised.
Felix nodded and said “Both are non-verbal methods, but there is a key difference between them.”
“A key difference?”
“Yes. One is physical and the other is mental.”
“Um…” Lakshman said uncertainly as he did not understand Felix’s words.
“Morse code is the physical method of performing magic spells,” Felix said. “I think you realise. You draw the dots and dashes to create your non-verbal incantations and perform it by applying your Magic Force to it.”
“Ah yes,” Lakshman said, nodding in understanding. “I did that a few times.”
Lakshman remembered the few times he used magic spells using the Morse code method. The most eventful time he used it was when a crowd of people haggled to speak with him. He used it while speaking to him with his feet to create floating water that poured like rain on top of them to escape.
“Very good!” Felix said with a grin on his face. “I see that you are thorough with your training.”
“Coming back to the subject, Morse code is the physical method, but it carries a risk.”
“Yes, a risk,” Felix said with a nod. “The time it takes to create incantation with the use of Morse code.”
“The… time?” Lakshman asked, looking puzzled.
“Master, what Felix means to say is the length of time it takes for you to create your dots and dashes,” Ondine said.
“Oh!” Lakshman said, finally understanding. “So… it’s a slow process?”
“Exactly!” Felix said. “It’s slow, which is why most people would not use it. On the other hand, it is quite handy to have around like traps and such.”
“The other risk is… if you face an opponent who understands Morse code it could get difficult to get an advantage on them.”
“I see,” Lakshman said in understanding. “That would be taking away the meaning of trying to surprise my opponent.”
“Exactly! I see that you are sharp at picking things up!”
Lakshman smiled happily at his praise and Felix continued.
“Voiceless Incantation is quite different from Morse code. It is done completely mentally.”
“Yes, it’s completely done with your head,” Felix said as he nodded at Lakshman.
So you…uh… imagine dots and dashes in your head?” Lakshman asked uncertainly.
“You can do that if you like, but I doubt that will do you any good,” Felix said and he chuckled.
“Oh…” Lakshman said, looking nonplussed.
“Keep this in mind, Morse code and Voiceless Incantations are separate. Yes, they are both non-verbal, but they function very differently to each other,” Felix said firmly.
“Okay, but… how does Voiceless Incantation work?” Lakshman asked with a puzzled expression.
“You must first visualize what your magic will look like and what it will do. Then apply your Magic Force to create the magic spell according to what you visualize. Finally, trigger the magic spell by using your Energy Force which will then make it work.”
“Oh wow!” Lakshman said in amazement. “I don’t quite get it, but it sounds… complicated.”
Felix laughed before saying “Of-course it is! It’s for people above the rank of Saint!”
“Eh? It’s that highly advanced method?!” Lakshman said, looking shocked.
“No. Not really. Anyone can do it at any rank, but that would require a lot of patience, mind power, concentration, focus of mind and things like that,” Felix said with a shrug of his shoulders. “In fact, I’ve met people who mastered it which took them five to twenty years to master.”
“Wow…” Lakshman said in awe. “That is a long time.”
“Indeed. That is a very long time,” Felix said, nodding at Lakshman’s words. “It’s not something you can learn overnight even if you tried your hardest.”
“So… do you know how to use Voiceless Incantation?” Lakshman asked curiously.
“Lakshman, that is a very silly question,” Felix said and he chuckled slightly. “Of-course I would know how to use Voiceless Incantations. I am the Phoenix Emperor, a mighty warrior you know!”
“Ah sorry, but wow…” Lakshman apologised, but looked at him in amazement.
“It took me a while, but the effort payed off big time!” Felix said proudly.
Lakshman looked at Felix with amazement and admiration. Then he suddenly came to a decision and went to speak aloud.
“Hey Felix, you think you could teach it to me some day?”
“What? Train you to use Voiceless Incantation?”
“Yes,” Lakshman said, looking determined.
“Well…” Felix said hesitantly. He paused for a few seconds. Then he said “I won’t promise, but one day when you grow up and come to me, I will train you.”
“Really? Thank you very much!” Lakshman said enthusiastically at his words.
Felix smiled when he saw Lakshman looking very happy. He had no objections to training Lakshman, but he wondered what his family would say. He imagined Indra will become annoyed at the thought of Lakshman being trained by him.
“We have arrived,” Fahly said, snapping Felix back to the present.
“Oh, I see,” he said, slightly distractedly. “That’s good!”
Fahly turned and pointed in a direction and said “Please go this way and you will reach them.”
“Alright, thanks for showing us the way,” Felix said in appreciation.
“No need for that sir. We are glad to be of help to the Phoenix Emperor,” Fahly said with a small smile.
“Yes, it was our pleasure to aid the Phoenix Emperor,” Elusa said smiling brightly.
Then they turned to face Lakshman and they wore a cold expression on their faces.
“You are free to pass through the forest at your leisure, but we would advise you to watch yourself,” Fahly said curtly.
“Eh? Lakshman said in surprise. “Watch out for what?”
“It’s nothing,” Elusa said and she threw a look of irritation at him.
They walked a few steps and suddenly disappeared from view. Lakshman blinked in alarm and he looked around.
“How do they do that?” he asked again with uncertainty.
“Like they said, it’s a secret,” Felix said and he winked at them. “Now, let’s get going you two.”
Both Lakshman and Ondine said “Yes!”
Together, the group headed in the direction pointed by the Forest Elves.