The reason we are struggling so much with things like Alchemy and Forgemastering is because we got it all wrong.
Since we have stepped into the academy, we have been looking at the problem from the wrong angle.
Fake magic and all its branches are strict, full of rules and boundaries that the mage can never overcome.
Fake mages can\'t change the shape, size or even the temperature of a fireball, unless they rewrite the spell from scratch.
True magic instead, is a free flow.
There is no set number of steps or limits to what you can do, as long as you have the willpower and imagination to make it happen.
Our problem since the beginning is that we are trying to beat a game at its own rules instead of making our own.
Most of the things I have learned at the academy about tier four spells are redundant.
I could have managed to perform everything they explained so far at the Healer, Combat Magic and Advanced magic classes on my own.
I simply lacked the ingenuity to connect the dots between what I already knew about tier three and below.
That\'s why as soon as I learned the trick behind regrowing a limb or share life energy, I was already able to do it better with true magic.
Forgemastering though, is something I am deeply ignorant about, hence my mistake.
Instead of focusing on runes and circles, I should have tried to understand the logic behind the mana pathways\' number and positioning.
I should have studied what kind of form and properties a pseudo core needs to grant the enchanted item its effects.
Once I have achieved that, I will not need any rune or chant.
I will just have to carve the pathways and then create the proper pseudo core.
I think you are right. Solus\' wisp said.
I should have thought of it when I managed to create my own magic circles without using Professor Wanemyre\'s special ink.
If we don\'t need the ink for the circles, there\'s no reason why it should be any different for the runes too.
By my maker, I could I be so slow on the uptake
Don\'t be so harsh on yourself, Solus.
You are indeed the smarter one, but it\'s over one year that you are suffering from depression because of your condition.
Not to mention how you are always taking care of me, managing my social life and helping me with magic.
You know, I think you are one of the kindest persons I have ever met.
Solus\' wisp spun around out of joy.
Being referred to as a person instead of a thing was what made her happy the most.
Lith sensed it, and found himself thinking out loud.
Do you know a funny thing we have in common We have yet to find out what exactly we are.
You are not an artifact, because you have a mind of your own, nor a cursed item.
While I seem to have the body of a man, the morals of a beast and the soul of an Abomination.
Solus liked the idea of their bond being beyond their symbiotic relationship, much less the gloomy turn Lith\'s thoughts were taking, so she hurried changing the topic.
What where you saying about Forgemastering That we can skip Gantzwell\'s theory and work directly on pseudo cores
I wish. Lith sighed.
It would require a massive amount of knowledge and experience that we are sorely lacking at the moment.
Until I manage to put my hands on a variety of magical items and study their properties, we are stuck using fake Forgemastering.
Now that we know the rules of the game, though, there are some that we have to obey, some we can bend and other that we can ignore by cheating.
Let me show you.
Lith placed on the Forgemastering table one of the cheap rings he enchanted into dimensional items, while Solus used Invigoration to draw in the world energy and used it to fill with mana the ring\'s surrounding space.
Then, Lith took out from the pocket dimension one of the many small hammers he had Zekell prepare for him.
It had a metal head and a wooden handle, the kind one would use to knock a nail in a wall.
I had actually planned to enchant them into weapons for my family, but they should work just fine for my experiment too.
Solus, is your control over the mana inside of the tower restricted to circles
No, it\'s just the way I\'m more used to project it, since we always followed Forgemastering\'s canons.
I need you to imbue the hammer I\'m holding with a little bit more mana than the one stored in the circle.
Solus had no idea what Lith was planning, but did as instructed.
Such amount of mana was well below her capabilities.
The hammer pulsed with a blue glow, emitting a low buzzing sound.
Lith focused on the mystical energies, making them submit to his will and take the form of the first rune before making them clash with those contained within the magic circle.
Sparks flew all over the lab while the conflicting energies generated a cyan burst of light that almost blinded Lith.
Each strike produced a new burst of light, carving another rune inside the ring that created mana pathways wider and stronger than Lith ever had.
The brief contact allowed the mystical energies to remain stable, but took a huge toll on the tool and its wielder.
At the third rune the hammer crumbled.
The cheap materials were already under a lot of stress due to the highly compressed mana forced in their frame.
Each clash was like slamming the hammer against an incoming train.
Lith took out another, this time with a steel head and handle, that Solus once again filled to the brim without letting Lith lose his rhythm.
Steel proved to be a better mana conductor, allowing him to shape the runes with less effort and lasting five hits.
- Damn! Eight done, seven to go.
Next one!– Lith couldn\'t waste his time talking, thinking was much faster.
The third one was a small decorative silver plated hammer that Lith had bought as end of term present for Professor Wanemyre.
- F*ck me sideways! Random hates me, of all the junk I bought I had to pick the only expensive one.
Just my luck.– The hammer wasn\'t that expensive, it was just Lith being that stingy.
Yet he was in a rush, the cheap ring couldn\'t hold much longer, not giving him the time to switch hammer before resuming the process.
Much to his surprise, not only silver was an even better mana conductor, but also somehow dispersed the excess energies reducing the bursts\' blowback.
Lith completed the ring without the need to change hammer again.
When he examined the final product via Invigoration, he discovered the experiment had been a partial success.
Despite using the enchantment requirements for middle class quality dimensional items, capable of storing about ten square meters (108 square feet) worth of space, the one they obtained with the hybrid technique using both fake and true magic was a high quality one, with an internal space of almost thirty square meters (323 square feet).
The problem lied in the uneven mana pathways coursing around the pseudo core.
Despite you used the same amount of mana for each hammer, different materials have yielded different results.
The pseudo core was infused while using the silver hammer, so it\'s too strong for the pathways I carved with first two hammers.
Either they will be unable to hold its energies and make it progressively lose its magical properties or the core will become unstable over time and explode.
With my luck, my money is on the boom.
It\'s still a success. Solus said.
The silver plated hammer lasted seven hits before shattering.
Maybe a silver hammer could last enough for all thirteen runes, if not for more than one item.
Maybe and maybe not. Lith sighed.
Silver is a ductile and malleable metal.
It could get deformed after a single rune, becoming useless.
It\'s worth the try, but it will cost a pretty penny.
Well, the good thing is that if we collect all the pieces you can have them melted into a new hammer.
Over the next few days, before the academy\'s break was over, Lith performed countless experiments on several subjects.
Following Solus\' advice he bought a silver hammer, while following Earth\'s RPG customs he also bought a gold plated hammer.
Only the materials costed him three gold coins, but in all the video games he had played gold items performed better than silver.
Much to his disappointment, gold turned out to be a terrible mana conductor, not lasting even a single hit before getting pulverized.
After cursing the creators of Dungeons & Looting for a while, he tried out the silver hammer.
It allowed him to produce the first high quality dimensional ring of his Forgemaster career.
The impacts were more magical than physical in nature, so the hammer would get dented but not destroyed.
Lith could use it several times before having it reforged.
We either need a sturdier silver alloy or to enchant the hammer to make it more durable.
Sooner or later Zekell will ask you what are you doing to reduce it in such a poor state and you don\'t have a plausible excuse. Solus said.
The more they learned about Forgemastering, the closer Lith got to open the boxes.
He never received a vision to show him that the future had changed, so had never forgot about them.
Lith and Solus tried to replicate the synchronization effect they had experienced against the Scorpicore, when she had assumed her glow form the first time, but to no avail.
The stone glove simply acted as a stone glove, their bodies were linked but their mana cores seemed to be miles apart and happy that way.
He never received a visit or a call from his friends and that left him quite dejected.
–As Yurial said, too little and too late.
That ship must be sailed already. Lith thought.
Or maybe they need some time to sort out their feelings. Solus pointed out.
Yurial and Friya have some serious thinking to do, while the poor Quylla is probably still recovering from being friend-zoned like that.
Phloria is the only one that has no excuses at all.
I thought she was better than this.–
After saying goodbye to his friends and family, Lith went back to the White Griffon academy for the last trimester.