Chapter 013 – Magical awakening
In young children with magic ability, mana is like a calm lake. On the surface. Underwater, it’s chaotic, full of currents, flowing in many directions. It’s only reveled when trying to use magic. Slowly, these internal movements quiet down, until both the surface and underwater are calm. When that happens, the mana becomes more perceptible and easier to manipulate. As for Aenthar, he is born with a high mana capacity and absorbed more mana at a very young age. The currents in his mana were much more violents.
Due to the excess of energy, instead of slowing down, they got even more active. The currents were moving so fast they ended up merging in each others essentially cancelling each other out, bringing his mana to a sudden state of calm. His bad evening and night were the results of the furious internal activity of his mana. Had she not been asleep, Yaereen would have noticed the disruptions in the ambiant mana, reacting to his son. And nobody would be aware that Aenthar barely avoided a terrible fate.
After that weird night, somehow I felt refreshed. I went through my daily program like usual, physical training, chores, leather working, smithing, martial training. But something was off. Not in a bad way at all. Things felt clearer, as if my senses had been enhanced, no, sharpened. Well, it’s a good thing for me, especially for temperature control in smithing, keeping an eye on the evolution of a chemical reaction in alchemy, and battle.
I learned a lot about weapons and armours from Old Johrgard. That made me think about what I would want to use later. Weapons are made with the purpose to inflict a certain kind of damage through a certain type of movement. Cuting, slashing, piercing, chopping, crushing… Bladed weapons are inefficients against shells and armors, but blunt weapons are. A bladed weapon will tear open the flesh but not always cut the bone, a blunt weapon will crush the flesh and break the bone.
I’m once more happy to have selected the staff as my primary weapon. It’s good for defense and incapacitating an opponent, less deadly than a sword, a spear or an axe. I had told my mother that I wanted my first weapon to be a staff. That meant I want to be able to use more than just one weapon. A primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a back up weapon. I already took the staff as my primary weapon, and it’s a blunt weapon.
Now I want something else than a blunt weapon. Piercing weapons are good against both armored and unarmored opponents, so it’s my choice for secondary weapon. As I’m already learning how to fight with a staff, I’m thinking of following the polearm path for my second weapon, a spear or a hallebard. Spears are effective against charging opponents, and unlike swords (the big lie of intertainment industry), can also be used as a throw weapon. That will make learning their use easier for me. The back up weapon will be a dagger or a hatchet, both can be used as tools as well.
For armors, there are the usuals: clothes, leather, chainmails, plates. Since I want to be a nimble fighter, I would use leather armors. However, I think they wouldn’t give me enough protection, especially for the neck and the spine. I should use a brigandine, the defence it provides is quite decent while remainining flexible, and it’s relatively easy to maintain. Later I could make my own armor myself, or make modifications to an existing one. It will definitly be based on the brigandine. But let’s leave for later, I’m still a beginner smith.
Headgear? It wouldn’t be a bad idea, I don’t want to receive a headshot from a sneaking bandit with a bow while walking near a forest or in any area with cover. I guess I would like something like a barbute, good protection without impairing the view much. For my arms, and more specifically my forearms, gauntlets, and they also protect my hands. There are many kinds and some won’t hinder my wrist, and my ability to wield weapons. As for the legs, a good attack on the shin can render it useless, so greaves are a must, some have knee pads integrated.
That evening during diner, I felt my mother glance at me from time to time, as if confused about something. Maybe she is still anxious about the state I was in yeasterday night. Just when we finished out meal and I was about to take care of the dishes, my mother called me.
Yaereen: «Aenthar!» she said with a slightly strong tone.
Aenthar: «… Yes, mom?»
Yaereen: With a gentler tone «… How are you feeling? Is everything alright?»
Roland had a confused look at first, then it slowly turned to uneasiness.
Aenthar: «Well, I don’t really feel anything special, if anything I feel slightly better.»
Yaereen: «Did something unusual happen yesterday, or did you eat or drink something uncommon?»
Aenthar: «Nothing of the sort, anything I ate came from home.»
Yaereen: «Do you remember what I told you about magic the last time you asked me about it?»
Aenthar: «You told me that mana is made of many parts, that you have to use the right parts the right way to launch a spell, and that people with magic potential can’t use it before 10 or they will hurt themselves.»
Yaereen: «You know son, when a magic user is experienced enough, he can feel the magic power of others mages near him or her. I can feel the magic power of those near me, I can feel your magic power. Unless they are from the highers ranks, people can’t feel the magic power of those who aren’t magically mature, by magically mature I mean people who are ready to use magic. I can feel your magic power, that mean you are ready to learn magic.»
I was surprised at first, then incredibly happy. I had spend less time on my mana sense training because I was very busy and I wouldn’t be able to do anything for a few years. I hoped my growth speed would allow me to get to that stage earlier, but I didn’t think it would really happen. However my bright smile faded away when I saw the concerned look on my parents faces.
Roland: «Son, you shouldn’t be able to use magic before at least your tenth birthday, yet yesterday you were extremely weary, tired, and now the next day you’re magically mature. Now I understand why Yaereen is so anxious. I can’t help but think something foreign caused it too happen. We are worried about what will happen to you later.»
Aenthar: «… I see, I understand what you’re thinking but I think you are wrong. I’ve been growing faster than the other children, so when mother told me about the age requirement to learn magic, I though that since I’m growing faster, that time will come quicker for me… And I’m sure that’s what happened. I think my poor state yesterday may have been caused by the fact that it came earlier than usual.»
Roland and Yaereen looked at each other for a bit, then the tension started to ease in the room.
Roland: «You do have a point. You said nothing unusual happened, and more importantly, I don’t know of any means to make people magically mature earlier. There are alchemists and mages that are researching it. I believe the current knowledge of the world on both fields is too lacking. There are a few people who grow up a little faster than others, not as much as you I think, but still, to my knowledge, there are no records of people being able to use magic before 10… You are the first.»
Aenthar: «…..Whoaa… Maybe it’s best to keep it to ourselves for now. I don’t want some weird guys to come here for me. No, that won’t be possible. If others magic users can sense my magic, just going in the village and crossing path with some of the villagers, adventurers or other travelers is enough to give me away.»
Yaereen: «That’s right. Well, Aenthar, it looks like you will be a little more busy now. I will be teaching you magic starting tomorrow, every evening after diner. I think it will be best for your safety to learn about it earlier rather than later.»
After saying that, she left her place and took her son in a big hug, giving him big kisses on his cheeks and forehead.
Yaereen: «KYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! My little boy is incredible, he is the best!! Mommy loves you and is so proud of you!! Not even eight and he can use magic!! I’m so happy!!!»
Roland could only watch with a warm, gentle smile, and Aenthar could only endure the outburst of his mother…