Chapter 131 The Manifestation of Magic
Early at dawn of the next morning, Roland was woken up by Nightingale, who had stolen his blanket. He remembered that the last time he was woken up this way was when Nana’s father had discovered that his daughter had become a witch.
So, he sleepily asked while rubbing his eyes, “What’s going on? Did we discover a new witch in town?”
“No, Your Highness,” Nightingale was totally excited, “Anna… her ability has changed!”
Roland, who at this point wasn’t completely awake yet asked, “Wasn’t she already a grown-up?”
“Our ability can change even after we become an adult, but until now I have never seen such an amazing kind of magic. It’s just like a completely different entity.” Nightingale went to the washbasin, “Even Scroll and Wendy have never heard of something like this, make haste, you have to see it; the others are already waiting for you in the office!”
Roland casually washed his face, threw some clothes on and went with Nightingale to the second floor and into his office. When he stepped into the room, the eyes of eleven witches immediately focused on him. One of them was Anna, whose eyes were completely swollen, giving the impression that she hadn’t gotten any sleep last night.
“Who can tell me what happened?”
The first one who opened her mouth to speak was Nightingale, “Early this morning I passed by Anna’s room and saw her laying her head on the table and sleeping. On the table were also a pile of iron lumps. When I approached her to wake her up I discovered that the magic within her body had turned into…” She paused for a moment, seemingly having to think about a way to describe it, “it fused into a fixed shape, like a constantly rotating cube.”
Roland went to Anna and stopped directly in front of her. There, he carefully examined her all over, but other than seeing that she was clearly tired, he couldn’t detect any differences. Then, he noticed the lengthy cylinder standing on the table; it seemed to be made out of iron, but its gray surface was very smooth and the top was also cleanly cut off, dazzling Roland’s eyes. “This is…”
“This was created by Anna,” explained Nightingale, “She made it with her new ability. When a witch awakens to her power, her body will begin to gather magic. At the beginning, the gathered magic looks like a cluster of fog. However, after a few years, it will turn into a colorful whirlpool. For example, Wendy’s magic is white while Leaves’ magic is green… Previously Anna’s magic reservoir was already very large and condensed into a dark green whirlpool on her day of adulthood, but now, the magic within her body has become fist-sized, solid and completely opaque.” She picked up the quill on his desk and began to draw its outline, “It’s almost like that.”
Although Nightingale’s painting skills were very rudimentary, Roland could still distinguish that it had the form of a cube.
Roland turned in Anna’s direction. “What happened last night?”
Hearing this question, Anna began to recount everything from last night. When she finished her story, the other witches were wearing a confused expression on their faces. They were totally unable to understand what these things that were coming out of her mouth, like small balls, vibrations, and connections had to do with the change to her ability.
Only Roland’s heart had begun to beat faster.
In his opinion, magic was a kind of energy, and the witches were its outlets. Magic could endlessly be transformed into different kinds of abilities, and in the end, the witch herself would decide what kind of effect her magic had. It always depended on how the witch manipulated it, or more precisely, it depended on the witch’s own imagination.
If his guess was right, imagination could have a far-reaching impact on the developing of their abilities.
In short, for a person who had never seen an airplane, it would be difficult to think of the idea that a huge iron bird could fly in the air; a person who had never seen the universe naturally didn’t know how wide the world was. The height of their own imagination and the breadth of their knowledge limited their use of magic. Each further understanding of the nature of the world had brought great advances in science and technology, so why wouldn’t that also be true for the witches’ abilities? The deeper their understanding of the world became, the closer their magic and their effect would come to the origin.
“Let me see your new abilities,” Roland asked, full of curiosity.
Anna spread out her arm, and on top of her fingers a black flame appeared out of the thin air. Even when taking a closer look, there was still no difference between the appearance of her flame and that of an ordinary flame, with the exception that it was black and didn’t create any light.
So, Roland asked further, “Can you change the shape of your black flame?”
Anna nodded, and under her control her flame moved down to the top of the desk. Then her naturally-shaped black flame turned into a cube. Not giving anyone the chance to react, the block began to spread out and turned into a black sheet-like cloth, covering almost the entire desk, then gathered at the center, gradually changing into a thin, upright line. Roland could not help but touch, only to discover that this long and slender object, resembling a hair, didn’t move a single jot. This was simply inconceivable. It seemed to be as hard as steel, but moments later he could easily bend it with his fingers. She could decide if it was flexible or absolutely rigid; a true body didn’t exist.
“Can you make it even thinner?”
“Yes, but then you cannot touch it anymore,” said Anna, “or else it will easily cut into your hand.”
“But you can still freely control its temperature?”
“Right, and compared to my previous green fire, I can now control it to such a degree that different parts of my flame can have different temperatures.”
Roland could now somewhat understand what Nightingale meant by completely new ability. Compared to her former green and warm fire, her ability at the moment had become completely different; describing it as flame like before wouldn’t be appropriate. When Anna accepted the idea that the universe was built out of microscopic particles, her control of the temperature had also achieved a completely new stage after connecting it with particle motion. It was certain that Anna wasn’t manipulating the particles the same way she had manipulated the flames before…. No matter if it was her original flame, her green flame she got on her day of adulthood, or now her black flame, they were her form of expressing her magic.
Although she converted her magic into heat in both methods, the true effect was very different.
She is truly a genius, Roland couldn’t stop himself from sighing, anything else than genius, he could not think of a more appropriate adjective. In the same evening of learning new knowledge, she was immediately able to fully comprehend it and apply it to create a new ability. Only very talented people could have this absorptive capacity and way of thinking.
Anna’s changes also made him more interested in exploring the true nature of the world.
Unfortunately, I don’t have my own magic, Roland thought, this is definitely my biggest regret after crossing over. After all, within the hearts of most people there is the dream of becoming a superhero, accidentally gaining an incredible power, and walking down a unique path. How much fun would that be?
“I might know why Anna’s ability has changed,” Roland spoke aloud, pushing back his regrets and coming back to reality.
“How has she achieved it?” The crowd asked.
“Do you mean something like yesterday’s teaching class?” Scroll unsurely muttered.
“That is exactly what I was talking about,” Roland began to explain his own speculation again, “The understanding of the world can help you improve your ability, or even completely change it.”
“I can… also change?” Mystery Moon timidly asked.
“Of course,” Roland reassuringly patted her shoulder. If there wasn’t a limited number of steam engines, and I hadn’t found the rubber, I would have been unable to produce wires, so her ability to create strong magnets would have become very handy.
The original purpose behind his action of imparting his knowledge to Scroll was to avoid forgetting what he had learned in his ordinary memory. But now, he had accidentally discovered that knowledge played a big role in forming the effect of the witches’ abilities. So, it became necessary that all the witches partake in his evening lessons.
Of course, he also understood, that not everyone had Anna’s outstanding talent. For example, he didn’t have the tiniest piece of hope for Nightingale, who always fell asleep during his lessons. He didn’t know how many of the witches would cross the difficult path of simply remembering something to completely understanding it, then understanding it to actually using it.
“Last night you didn’t get any sleep, so it would be the best if you got some rest now,” Roland said to Anna, “I’ll take another look at your new ability in two days.”
“Alright,” Anna nodded earnestly.
“As for the rest of you,” he looked to the other witches, “from today on, you will all come together in the living room after dinner to start with the basics and learn how to read and write on Mondays to Fridays. Scroll will be your teacher.”
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