While the corridor in the shop’s interior looked organized, it was packed with chemicals and tools that seemed to be meant for experiments. Walking past, we entered the room at its end. This time it was a place that had several cages with things like lizards and spiders in them. The sight made me shiver unconsciously, like I’d felt them crawling on me.
Further inside, we finally entered a space that looked like a living area. It couldn’t really be called a parlour. ‘Living Area’ would be the best description. At first glance, I noticed a table with two chairs, and a cupboard with cups lined up.
“Have a seat.”, said Vinette, as she rang the bell that was placed on the table. Soon after, a maid came up from downstairs. She was also a cat-beastfolk woman who looked just like a human, except for her black ears and tail. Looking even younger than Annie, she was still taller than Vinette.
“Tanya1, bring the ‘Spirit’s Blood’.” Tanya nodded quickly to Vinette’s command and hurried up the stairs to the first floor. What is Spirit’s Blood? Vinette took out a teapot and some cups, and began to cast a spell, twirling her finger. A ball of water appeared in front of her and began to boil quickly. When she flicked her finger downward, the water ball fell neatly into the open teapot. Once the tea was ready, Vinette passed me a cup, and sat opposite me.
“Manuela’s letter read so, ‘Nicola will definitely prove useful to your Animium research.’ I was originally in the royal capital, but when my research had come to a stand still I was dispatched here for a change of scenery. I agree with Manuela. I am confident that you will be able to advance my research into Animium.”
I was taken aback by such a heavy expectation all of a sudden.
“So tell me, did Manuela write true? ‘By having a large amount of Animium in their blood stream, humans seem to be able to use magic by themselves.'”
“Yeah, it’s true.”
I pointed my palm upwards and focused. A ball of water, the size of a teacup, formed and floated in mid-air. I froze the ball of water, then caught it as I allowed it to drop, and placed it on the table. “Wow” Vinette’s eyes sparkled as she looked at the ice ball. “And you have no Servant?”, she asked to confirm. “No, I don’t.”
Vinette approached me and began patting me down. You could at least ask! Once she was satisfied that I really wasn’t hiding a Servant, she returned to her seat.
“Approximately how much Animium were you administered with?”
“Um… about this much in a syringe of this size.”, I said, gesturing with my hands. I also informed her about having drunk the water from the ‘River of Death.’
“Hmmm, the quality of Animium can vary quite a bit, so I can’t speak to the dosage you were given. However, if you’ve actually spent two days in the ‘River of Death’ then it’s definitely beyond a lethal dose. Even an Elf or a beastfolk wouldn’t survive that. Yet, here you are. Alive. I’ve never seen anything like it.”, said Vinette, smiling widely.
Somehow, I found that smile ominous.
It was then that Tanya entered the room carrying something. The ‘Spirit’s Blood’ she mentioned before huh. The box was made of metal, and was secured by several locks. Tanya carefully began unlocking them one by one.
Inside the box was a liquid in a glass bottle. It looked a transparent red in colour. It seemed like wine at first glance, but a second look revealed some kind of particles that seemed to be suspended in the liquid. At times, depending on how it caught the light, it would glitter with the hues of a rainbow.
“In her letter, Manuela had written that, ‘If we are able to understand Animium better it would help us develop magic even further.’ That’s why I had Tanya bring this.”, said Vinette, giving me a closer look at the bottle.
“This is ‘Spirit’s Blood’. An article classified as National Treasure grade. It is so precious that, at present, no one can synthesise this. If you drink this, you will be able to use magic of another attribute. The one I have here is for the fire attribute.”
“It even works on humans?”
I’d always thought that attributes were hereditary, so I never imagined that there could be other ways of obtaining them.
“I can increase the attributes I can use with this?”
“No. That’s not possible. Your present attribute will be overwritten. For example, you now possess the water attribute. If you drink this, you will only have the fire attribute.”
Oh, come on! I can’t increase my attributes even with this? And I was really looking forward to it too.
“You just thought it was a let-down right? Well, listen till the end. One thing we learnt from careful study is that, ‘Spirit Blood’ has a large amount2 of Animium in it.”
Hmmm? I tilted my head questioningly and said, “Then, if a human drinks this, they won’t be able to maintain or make a contract with a Servant? Or rather, isn’t this a lethal dose?”
“That’s the fascinating thing about this liquid. If one drank this, neither would it break their contract with a Servant, nor would it kill them. Only their attribute would change.”
Vinette held up the ‘Spirit’s Blood’ to a beam of light entering through the window, and it instantly suffused the table with red light. “‘Spirit’s Blood’ has a very fine and complex spell placed upon it. Probably, something that would protect the body of a human, and sustain their contract with a Servant, while it performs what it was intended to do. We haven’t been successful in unravelling the secrets of this magic. That’s why we cannot create it ourselves, and why it’s been classified as National Treasure grade.”
She then put the ‘Spirit’s Blood’ back in its case. “However, I suspect that the effect of one’s attribute changing is caused by a property of the substance itself, and not magic. In other words, by combining Animium with a particular substance, we could create an attribute. That’s my hypothesis.”
A lot of what she said went right over my head. “Um…that means?” Vinette grasped my hands tightly and said, “It means that ‘Spirit’s Blood’ is just an alloy of Animium and some other substance. The complex magic placed on it is just to protect the elf, human or beastfolk that drinks it. But you have no need for such a magic. You have such a resistance to Animium after all.”
Still holding my hands, Vinette climbed on the table and looked into my eyes. “Meaning, by administering you with different alloys of Animium, we might be able to find the ones that can change your attribute.”
There was one thing that still bothered me.
“But, If I gain an attribute like that, I’d lose the attribute I had before right?”
“Yes, you would lose the attribute you had at birth. However, if you drink different doses of ‘Spirit’s Blood’ together…I don’t know what will happen. That would kill any normal person after all.”
I see, so I might be able to increase my attributes. I recalled the first chapter in the first edition of ‘Basic Magic’. It talked about combining two attributes and creating new spells using that. If I’ve started on the path of magic, I want to see it through till the end. I want to be able to use new spells.
Vinette released my hands and climbed back down to her seat. “I have countless questions I don’t know the answers to. With you, I am sure I can learn at least some of them. Please lend me your aid.”, she requested. I nodded and said, “All right. I want to use all kinds of magic too.” We both shook on it, sealing the deal.
- Pun unintended.
- I wish the author would use units. This ‘large dose’ stuff is getting confusing. I mean, she’s a scientist right? now would be a good time to introduce units! -End rant
P.S. Sorry about the delayed updates. I am swamped with work right now. Trying to carve out a couple hours for translation is hard. At the very least I’ll try to target two chapters per week. One from this novel and one from “To save my favourite character”
3 thoughts on “Chapter 25 – A secret about attributes”
Ah, yes. Lethal like lethal and lethal as lethal, but let’s do this.
Ah, the mad scientist type. The concerningly close to unethical type. I would do the same in his position, but man she is scary.