- GeneralPhone (A Fox At Heart)
“You want me to check his Magic Capacity?” Sumara asked curiously after listening to the explanation Lakshmi gave her by narrowing her eyes. “Why?”
Lakshmi looked towards her son before looking back to Sumara and saying, “That’s right. That will surely be enough to convince my husband to allow my son to be taught magic.”
“Mmm. Makes sense, but will it work?” Sumara asked with a curious look on her face. “I mean; he sounds like a very stubborn person to me and I believe it will be difficult to convince him to change his mind. After all, you say he failed before? If that’s the case, that loss will dictate his decisions.”
“I know that, but I have hope that he will listen to a more competent person,” said Lakshmi, looking imploringly towards Sumara who blinked in surprise as she realised the woman’s intentions.
“You want me to speak with your husband and convince him?” Sumara asked for confirmation and Lakshmi nodded in agreement. She looked at Lakshman for a moment before she turned back to Lakshmi and replied, “Look. Even if I help, there is no guarantee he will be convinced and if you’re still okay with that, then I will proceed. Is that alright with you?”
Lakshmi nodded her head in consent and said, “Of course. Right now, I’m prepared for whatever outcome that might come our way because I know I, at least, tried and failed instead of giving up.”
She looked seriously at Sumara and the watching Manjuvad Demon Clan magician smiled for the first time since their encounter. Sumara understood that, deep down, Lakshmi was a sincere and honest woman who worked hard to get things done without hurting others. It made her respect the woman as she turned towards Lakshman.
“Okay, um,” she began and hesitated as she realised she had already forgotten the name of the boy.
“Call him Lucky if his name is difficult to pronounce,” said Lakshmi and Sumara inwardly sighed in relief but did not show it on the outside.
“Okay. Lucky. Stay still. I’m going to measure your Magic Capacity.”
“Okay miss!” Lakshman replied firmly.
Sumara raised her right hand and aimed at him by opening her palm before she said, “Magic Analyse.”
At first nothing seemed to happen. All remained normal as they continued to sit there while the people continued to glance at them with curiosity. The only difference was shown in her wildly glowing eyes and drastically different expression, which soon became shock.
“Wow!” she exclaimed softly and surprised both Lakshman and his mother by her reaction.
“What happened?” Lakshmi asked anxiously while Lakshman blinked at her in surprise.
Sumara said nothing for a few seconds as she clutched her head and remained silent before she looked Lakshmi straight in the eye and said, “How is your son still active like this?”
“Huh?!” Lakshmi exclaimed in surprise and she looked at her son, who was perplexed by her words. Turning back to face her, she asked, “Pardon, but I didn’t understand. What do you mean?”
The magician of the Demon Race sighed and said in a low voice so that no one could hear her words.
“Your son’s Magic Capacity is immense to the point that I have to wonder how he’s still like this.” As Lakshmi slowly widened her eyes in shock, Sumara continued speaking, saying, “I think you understand what someone sees when they activate Magic Analyse; you see a magic bubble and its size dictates the Magic Capacity of the target. Your son’s magic bubble is so massive that I feared that it went beyond the building height and width.”
Lakshmi could not believe her words and it took a moment to digest before she slowly said, “I see. That’s why you reacted that way.”
Sumara nodded grimly and said, “Anyone of his age with this tremendous Magic Capacity usually causes a lot of tension for the victim’s bodies while containing the power. This often makes them very sick and eventually kill them if they are not treated immediately.”
“What?!” Lakshmi exclaimed so loud that in shock that it attracted everyone’s attention at once.
Sumara noticed the sudden rise in the attention around them and decided to continue this somewhere else. So, she rose to her feet and surprised both Lakshman and Lakshmi by how tall she was as she walked towards the exit of the inn. Reacting a little slower, Lakshmi and Lakshman quickly rose from the table and followed her out of the inn, leaving the people inside wondering what had happened.
The Demon Race magician had quickly walked towards the exit of the town and slowed down her pace to allow Lakshmi and Lakshman to catch up. She was taller than both of them and had quickly covered the ground fairly quickly, so the two were moving at a speed that falls under the category of running.
“Hey! We haven’t finished talking,” said Lakshmi as she and her son caught up with Sumara while panting a little. Lakshmi clutched her chest and heaved a deep sigh before she said, “Please remember to properly finish your conversation with the person you’re talking to before you do anything else!”
“We were drawing unneeded attention to our conversation,” said Sumara and Lakshmi looked guiltily at her. “Anyway, how old is your son?”
“Seven,” replied Lakshmi as she placed a hand on Lakshman’s shoulder firmly. “He turned seven recently.”
Sumara slowly nodded her head in understanding as she said, “I see. That makes sense. He’s gotten through the difficult part of the problem that afflicted him.”
“W-What problem?! I-I-Is he… Is he going to… die?!” Lakshmi exclaimed, her face filled with shock, and she gripped her son’s shoulder tightly, which caused him to wince.
“Mom! My shoulder!” Lakshman said and she immediately released her hand in surprise.
“Sorry, Lucky,” she said apologetically, and she breathed a sigh before turning back to face Sumara with a serious expression on her face.
“Relax, madam,” said Sumara with a reassuring smile on her face as she seemed to have resumed her normal behaviour. “There is nothing wrong with your son now, but tell me this; did he often get sick before he reached seven?”
Lakshmi stared at her for a moment in silence before closing her eyes and letting out a deep sigh in relief. A moment later, she reopened her eyes and said, “I’m glad to know my son is fine, but… it’s still troubling to know about this. I mean, none of us understood as to why he kept becoming so ill and even the doctor couldn’t do much to improve his condition.”
“Mmm,” said Sumara with a smile as she nodded her head in understanding. “They would because they could tell the stress the immense power was having on your son’s body. Also, let me correct you on something; what you refer to is not actually called Magic Capacity. It’s called Force Capacity and Magic Analyse just displays the Force Capacity, which is an invisible bubble hovering over the target, to the caster.”
Lakshmi blinked in surprise and said, “I know it’s called Magic Capacity because I read it somewhere during my time while I was mastering to become an Advanced Ranked Magician!”
Sumara shook her head and said, “Force Capacity is a really old spell that existed since the ancient times but after the war that occurred 8000-years-ago, much of the knowledge was lost and a few spells, we know, were mistranslated later on. Force Capacity was one of the few that was wrong translated into Magic Capacity because of the difficulty in deciphering the old language.”
“Oh,” said Lakshmi and nodded in understanding as she said, “So, that’s why my son was inflicted with sickness for all of his childhood. I mean, there was even a time when the doctors said he might not make it, but I’m truly glad he’s with us now!”
With that, she turned and grabbed Lakshman by the shoulders and hoisted him onto her shoulders, surprising her son in the process. He felt a little nervous as his mother seemed to stagger a little by his weight, but eventually managed to let him sit on top without the fear of falling off.
“I’m glad to have my son with me,” she said happily to Sumara.
Sumara smiled softly and said, “Good for you. Not many get to see their child survive. It’s an unnatural phenomenon that no one has been able to explain.” She sighed heavily before saying, “Anyways, with this much power at his disposal your husband must understand. Of course, since he cannot use magic and I’m not at the level I need to be to share my vision with someone else, I doubt he will be convinced by just words.”
“It doesn’t matter because I have confidence in our success!” Lakshmi said with a confident smile on her face and Sumara closed her eyes to smile in a silent agreement.
So, Sumara fell a little behind Lakshmi as they headed over to the Chand house while Lakshman rose atop his mother. He was smiling widely at the great view he was getting being up there and this caused him to be wish he was as tall as Sumara. It never struck him that his wish would be granted later on when he grew into a man.
It took them more than half-an-hour to reach the house and by then, Lakshmi noticed that her husband was home because the horse that he always rode there. She knew her husband hated walking for long distances and would always take his horse with him because he had been a partner of his for over a year.
“Good. He’s home today,” she said with relief.
Lakshmi led the way into the house and gestured for Sumara into the living room as she said, “Okay. Please take a seat while I bring my husband to speak with him.”
“Alright,” replied Sumara and she walked into the living room and before sitting down on a chair.
“Mariana! We have a guest! Please bring them a glass of water!” Lakshmi called to Mariana in the kitchen busily making lunch.
“Yes, madam,” replied Mariana and Lakshmi walked into her bedroom to speak with her husband.
In the meantime, Sumara remained silently seated on her chair inside the living room as Lakshman walked in and sat down on a chair near her. For a few seconds, there was silence in the room as the two of them seemed to avoid eye contact until Sumara felt like she had to speak with him because she was growing uncomfortable with the silence in the room.
“Are you the only son of the family?” she asked curiously.
“Yes, but dad wants to have a daughter as well,” replied Lakshman with a cheeky smile on his face. “I’d love to have a sister of my own to call as my sibling.”
Sumara smiled at his innocence and said, “It’s good to have siblings, but not so good for them to fight all the time and don’t get along.”
Lakshman blinked in surprise at her and asked, “Do you have siblings, Miss. Manjuvad?”
The Demon Race magician smiled sadly at him and said, “No. I’m the only child and my parents died when I was very little.”
“Oh!” he said and looked startled as he looked apologetically at him. “Sorry.”
“I don’t remember it, nor do I care anymore,” she said with an indifferent look on her face and he looked curiously at her. “The past cannot be changed, but the present can as it affects the future. That’s why, I focus my energy only on the present so that I secure the future of my life.”
She suddenly realised she was speaking big words to a kid and said, “Sorry if that didn’t make sense. If you grow up and seen as much as me, I’m sure you’ll think the same.”
“No. I get it!” he replied firmly and she stared at him as he smiled at her. “I know what you mean, miss. You want a secure future and that’s why you ignore everything around you and focus only on the present.”
Sumara looked at him with an impressed expression on her face as she said, “I’m amazed a kid understood all of that at your age.”
He grinned at her just as Mariana walked into the room carrying a tray with a water filed glass on it. As she brought it to her, Sumara looked up at her, locking eyes with Mariana before the maid smiled at her. Accordingly, Sumara smiled back and took the glass of water from the tray before Mariana bowed and left the room just before Laskhmi and Indra walked into the room.
“So, this is the so-called magician you wanted me to meet?” Indra asked as he stared at Sumara, who rose to her feet. He was surprised to see her suddenly rise to her feet and he said, “Please, sit down. Don’t feel too constrained when you’re here.”
He smiled at her and she was a little taken aback by his generosity before she sat back down. Indra walked over to sit next to his son while Lakshmi sat next to Sumara to begin the discussion.
“My wife told me you measured the capacity of my son’s power,” said Indra and he smiled a little superciliously. “Don’t you think measuring someone’s capacity of power with magic is silly?”
Lakshman blinked at his father in surprise as Lakshmi closed her eyes and sighed deeply as Sumara raised an eyebrow at him in amazement.
“So you say, but wasn’t your capacity also measured at the time you failed?” Sumara asked back shrewdly.
Indra narrowed his eyes sharply at her words and looked momentarily at his wife, who avoided eye contact with him, before saying, “Yes. I was measured and I believe it’s a complete and utter foolishness to believe in that nonsense. After all, one’s worth cannot be measured just like that!”
Sumara stared at him for a moment in silence before she asked, “Can you tell me what rank you are?”
“I’m a Saint Ranked Swordsman in the Water Sword Style,” replied Indra in a firm voice.
“He can only use Weapon Force,” informed Laskhmi as an add-on that caused him to raise an eye at her in surprise as she smiled cheekily at him.
“See. It proved to be correct in your case,” she insisted to make the point clear to him. “Your Force Capacity was large enough to allow you to be able to use only the Weapon Force. Actually, only in rare cases is someone able to use two of the Force or all three of the Force.”
“You mean the truly gifted,” said Indra, but Sumara shook her head in disagreement.
“If you think the truly gifted are always at the top, then you’re wrong,” said Sumara seriously before gesturing at herself. “I’m from the Manjuvad Demon Clan and it is well known that our clan is very gifted in magic, but we always spend our lives farming and fielding. Only a few, like me, come out of it to make something of themselves by travelling between continents and acquiring valuable knowledge. So, never say the truly gifted because even the gifted sometimes never get the chance to do what everyone else does.
They stared at each other for a moment in silence before Indra bowed his head at her and said, “I’m sorry.”
Lakshmi blinked in surprise to see that her husband had honestly apologised without hesitation. It made her rethink about the fact that they might have a chance of convincing him. This made her smile on the outside for all to see, which caused her husband to stare at her suspiciously.
After a few seconds he looked back to Sumara and asked, “Okay. I get your point of this Force Capacity being real and all, but I still won’t believe it with just face value to allow my son to learn magic. What if he failed even though he had so much power?! What’s going to happen to him after his dreams of learning magic gets shattered?!”
His demands were met with silence from Sumara as she thought of an appropriate response. As she thought about how to respond, she turned to look at Lakshmi and noticed that the mother was asking to help her son out indirectly through eye contact. Sumara turned and looked at Lakshman, who was staring curiously at her with an innocent look on his face as he waited for her reply.
She inwardly sighed to herself and finally made up her mind before she looked firmly at Indra.
“I’ll take responsibility of proving your son’s recognised potential,” she said and Lakshman appeared to be surprised by her words while Indra looked seriously at her. “In fact, I will prove that your son can do it. Once we’re outside, I’ll cast a spell and if he succeeds in replicating it, whether perfect or not, he’s truly capable of using magic. Is that okay with you?”
As she asked that question, she looked very seriously at Indra, who was a little taken aback before he chuckled to himself as he said, “Yes. I’m fine with that so long as he can use magic.”
“Good,” said Sumara and she rose to her feet with a determined look on her face. “Can we go outside?”
“Sure,” replied Indra and he rose to his feet along and was followed by Lakshmi and Lakshman.
They exited the house and Indra led them several meters away from the house and onto a deserted field for them to use for training. That area did not belong to them, but he knew his dad often used it to train himself along with his friends that often drop by the house.
Once they came to a stop, Indra turned to Sumara and asked, “This is it. Any problem?”
Sumara shook her head and replied, “It’s good. Safe and away from people.” She turned towards Lakshman and beckoned him and when he reached her, she smiled softly at him and said, “Lucky. Watch me very carefully as I use magic because it’ll be exactly what you’ll be trying to use as well.”
“See if he can use Saint Ranked Magic Spells,” suggested Indra hopefully.
“That’s unreasonable, sir,” replied Sumara and he looked momentarily disappointed.
Soon, he nodded his head in understanding with a firm look on his face as he pulled back his son back while Lakshman observed her intently. As soon as he stepped away, Sumara closed her eyes momentarily to prepare herself before reopening them and activating her powers, which caused the wind around them to blow a little quickly. The wind soon picked up speed and they slightly got buffeted by it as Sumara raised her hand and aimed it in front of her with opened palms.
“Spirits of the water, heed my call and assist me in demonstrating my skills! Water Ball!”
A magic circle appeared at the end of her hand and out of it came a medium sized ball of water that soared away at high speed and splashed everywhere on impact. As soon as the magic was finished, the wind slowed and only blew like a breeze around them.
“Wow!” Lakshman exclaimed in amazement as he blinked at the place the water ball splashed. “That’s amazing!”
“Yes. It is,” said Indra in agreement with a small nod of the head, but he continued to wear the grim expression on his face as he continued to say, “but I want to see how you will fare in doing it.”
His words caused Lakshman some nervousness as he felt the pressure, but a glance from Sumara made him feel more confident from the way she smiled at him. With a determined look on his face, he walked up to Sumara and prepared to use the same technique as her.
From out of her robes, Sumara pulled out a wand and handed it to Lakshman while saying, “This will help you channel your Magic Force to activate the spells.”
“Thank you,” replied Lakshman and he held the small thing in his hand with a dubious look on his face. Thinking that it felt a bit weak, he pointed at it and asked, “Can this thing break? I mean, it looks pretty flimsy since it’s made of wood.”
Sumara blinked at him in surprise before she replied, “It is flimsy because it’s purpose was only to use as a channelling tool to use magic until they become capable of using just their hands, or come to use even more advanced magic skills.”
“Okay,” he replied firmly and he turned to face the front while holding up the wand in front of him. As he remembered the incantation Sumara had performed, he opened his mouth and repeated them word-by-word as he said, “Spirits of the water, heed my call and assist me in demonstrating my skills! Water Ball!”
There was a moment of pause in which nothing happened and even after several seconds, everything remained the same. Lakshman was puzzled that nothing had happened and he turned to look at Sumara with a confused expression on his face.
“Um… Nothing happened, Miss Manjuvad?” he asked as worry slowly came over his face.
While Sumara and Lakshmi were startled to see that nothing had happened, Indra breathed a sigh as he believed himself to be correct. Still, he decided to keep his silence until they admit defeat and left his son alone.
“That’s strange,” muttered Sumara with narrowed eyebrows. “I know the wand’s working and I didn’t notice any mistakes in the incantation. So, what could it be…?”
She did not clearly understand why his incantation had failed and she noticed the smug look on Indra’s face, which made her feel a bit irritated. She quickly ignored him and turned to look at Lakshman before activating Magic Analyse to check on him to be sure that she did not imagine seeing it and she saw it again; an extremely large bubble that almost covered the sky. Despite all the Force Capacity, Lakshman failed the incantation.
“What is it that I’m missing…?” she thought as she nervously bit her nails. A moment later, a thought struck her as strange and she could not believe it, so she turned to Laskhmi and asked, “Has your son every had training in feeling the force?”
Lakshmi blinked at her in surprise and shook her head as she replied, “No. I think he recently started learning about the ranks, but he never got that far in feeling the force.”
“I was going to teach him to feel the force for using the Weapon Force next week,” said indra with a sigh.
Sumara nodded at each of them in understanding and said, “I see. I get it now.” She turned back to Lakshman and said, “Lucky, for the moment, just relax and close your eyes because you need to unleash your force before using any of the three types of force.”
“Oh,” said Lakshman as he blinked in surprise before he closed his eyes.
“Now, relax your mind and body while feeling only yourself in your current state. Ignore the sounds as you will soon feel something different as your conscious dives deeper into yourself.”
Lakshman could hear the sound of wind and the nature slowly disappearing as he felt himself diving downward into something. It took him a few seconds of silence as he dived deeper into the depth of himself before he sensed something strange. The feeling was a first for him as it was tingling and somewhat familiar to him even though he had never done this before.
At that moment, he heard a voice from inside his mind say, “Good job coming all the way down here. Let me help you in return.”
There was an instantaneous flash of light as his conscious surfaced rapidly and he flashed his eyes open as the wind around him began to blow quickly. Everyone was buffeted by the amount of power he was releasing as he lifted his arm with the wand and aimed it in front of him as he said the incantation out loud.
“Spirits of the water, unleash your force by demonstrating your power! Water Ball!” Lakshman said in a powerful voice.
In an instant, a magic circle appeared in front of his hand and out of it burst out a large water ball that was much larger than the water ball that Sumara had released. It soared away at high speed and crossed the place where Sumara’s water ball had splashed before it splashed several meters away.
“Wow!” Lakshmi said in amazement as she had watched the water ball splash. “That’s far.”
“Yes. It’s further than the distance I fired,” said Sumara and she looked both surprised and a little disappointed that her water ball was beaten in distance. She quickly shook her head and said, “Still, I’m impressed he managed to fire off such a large water ball that carried it that far!” She turned to Lakshman and said, “Well done, Lucky!”
While they were lo, the voice in Lakshman’s mind said, “Okay. My job is done. I’ll return to my place again until I’m needed again.”
Its consciousness faded into his mind and Lakshman blinked in surprise as he realised he had already fired off the attack and was amazed by how far it travelled. Just then, Lakshmi walked over and hugged her son happily from the first achievement he had accomplished as Sumara stared at him with an impressed expression on her face.
“Wow…! He did it! My son did it! He actually can learn magic, something that I miserably failed!” Indra thought proudly with an excited look on his face but it did not last long as a frown appeared on his face as he found something wrong with the use of the spell.
He turned to Sumara and asked, “Do the spells always need that long incantations to activate? I mean, I know friends who only use the magic words to activate their spells, so is there a chance that my son can do it? If he can’t, then I’m not interested in letting him learn anything more than the Advanced Ranked Magician.”
“What?!” Lakshmi exclaimed in shock as she felt he was being unreasonable and she said, “Indra, that’s arbitrary! Surely, with training, Lucky will eventually drop the incantations and use the spell names instead.”
Indra looked at her for a moment before turning to Sumara as he asked, “Well? Can he?”
Sumara smiled at him and in a firm voice, she replied, “Of course, he can.”
He stared at her for a moment in silence before sighing as he smiled and said, “Okay. I get it. I’ll allow him to learn magic, but only if you’ll teach him. Can you do it?”
The Demon Race magician blinked at him in surprise and replied, “That’s a surprise. I was actually going to ask you if I could become your son’s private tutor as I need money for my education.”
“Yes. I’m currently in the process of advancing my rank and studies, but I need money to get into a university. So, I’m wandering around trying to do odd jobs to earn as much as I possibly could.”
“Oh. So, that’s why you wandered into our town, which led you to meet us and my son?”
“I presume so, though, I think it’s more like a fateful encounter,” said Sumara and she turned to smile sweetly at Lakshman, who was playing happily with his mother for his father’s agreement.
“Right. So, how much do you want me to pay you for teaching my son?” he asked curiously.
She turned back to him and replied, “500 gold per month should suffice.”
He widened his eyes in shock after hearing the figure and he exclaimed, “500 gold per month?! Are you serious?! Even the schools only take 300 gold monthly, so why the 500 figure for you!”
Sumara smiled as she explained that she was in the process of studying to improve herself and meanwhile, she will be teaching his son in magic. Indra listened intently and when she finished, he still looked unconvinced and she dropped her smile a little in sadness.
“How about 400 gold monthly and I promise I’ll remain here until becomes a Saint Ranked Magician!” she said with an imploring look on her face as she was desperate to earn money.
Indra was still unhappy and he bargained with her by saying, “That’s okay, but 400 gold is still crossing the budget I wanted to put on him to learn magic. I’ll only pay you 300 gold.” When he saw her about to argue, he said firmly, “Think about it. We’ll be providing you with a place to stay, food to eat and books to learn from. You shouldn’t have any other expenses while being a teacher, right?”
Sumara looked at him in surprise and said, “Oh. If that’s the case, then I’m okay with the amount.”
He smiled at her and asked, “Did you think you’d have to pay for your expenses and living quarters in town?” When she nodded, he laughed and said, “No way. I’d rather have you stay with us in our house and teach him. It’s more convenient that way than you going back and forth from the town.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it,” she said appreciatively with a heartfelt smile on her face.
Indra returned the smile before he walked over to lift his son into the air to sit him on his shoulders with a grin on his face. Sumara watched from her position at the happy scene of a family happy about their child being able to learn magic. It was something that stressed Lakshmi until she finally managed to convince her husband and proved that her son could learn magic.