Chapter 27 – Two attributes

Chapter 27 – Two attributes

Vinette was shaking with the effort of holding her laughter in.
“I was really in a bind you know? I thought that I was going to be killed!”
“Yeah, that was an unmitigated disaster.”, she said, still shaking.
We were walking back to Vinette’s shop. After my magic discharged accidentally, I was taken to the guard’s station and railed at. Or rather, I was taken for some kind of monster and interrogated at sword point. I kept asking them to call Vinette to verify my story and identity, and was finally released after she came and vouched for me. “Make sure you don’t cause such an incident again!”, warned a knight before we left.

After we reached the shop, Annie hurried to greet us and led us to same parlour-like room from the other day. “Anyway, you managed to use the fire attribute right?”
“Yeah, by accident.”
When I confirmed it, Vinette smiled to herself and began jotting something down happily.
“My theory was proven right. Like I thought, the alloys of Animium are responsible for transforming one’s attribute. I can write a part of my thesis with this.”

She began twirling around in joy, and got close to me.
“Thank you, Nicola. Do you want me to do something for you? In my current mood, I’ll do anything you ask.”
“Well, I do have a request.”
“Ask it.”
“I want you to introduce me to a good place to stay at. The inns in this city are way too expensive.”

From the rewards listed in the guild requests, I know that the adventurers in this city are all paid handsomely. Inns that mainly cater to such clientèle also price their rooms accordingly. Though it didn’t match up to the room Manuela was staying in, the quality of the room certainly matched its price. There were also services available that you couldn’t find in other towns1.

However, I have no need for such services, just an inexpensive place to sleep in. I don’t want to waste money just because I have healthy savings. “Is that all? You can just stay here, it would make my observations an easier task too.” I widened my eyes in surprise. “Have you already forgotten why I was taken to the guard’s station? It was those fans’ fault, those fans. Though their actions are way too extreme for them to be called ‘fans’. If I live here, I’ll definitely be murdered.”

“You’re already being targeted, wouldn’t it be safer to stay here then? If you go to some cheap inn, that’ll only make it easier for them. They stay in similar places after all.”
“Well, I suppose you’ll be fine even if you were set upon.”

I sat back, folding my arms. It’s not fine! Those guys are a real pain. Moreover, I don’t want my magic to go haywire again. But…if it’s here, then they can’t complain even if my magic does discharge accidentally because of their assault.“Okay, I’ll stay here.”, I agreed after giving it some thought, and Vinette nodded in response.

◇ ◇ ◇

It took me two days to get used to the fire attribute. Learning to use it was a bit tricky because the knack of using the fire attribute was different from my experience with the water attribute. Though whether that difference was because fire wasn’t my natural attribute, or it’s just the difference between the water and fire attributes, I did not know.

Forming an image of fire in my mind, I tried sensing the mana that flowed in my body. In the beginning it was just a vague feeling, but now I am able to sense it all over my body, right up to my fingertips. Though, I felt a bit lonely that I couldn’t even feel a trace of the water attribute.

When I mentioned it to Vinette, she said, “Well then, shall we proceed to the next stage?”
“The next stage?”
“We need to see if you are able to use two attributes simultaneously. Whether it’s a human or elf, if they have two doses of the ‘Spirit’s Blood’, it would prove lethal. But that doesn’t apply to you.”

She then went somewhere and fetched a different syringe.
“This is an alloy of Animium and Mercury. You should be able to restore your water attribute using this.”
“You know which alloys can create the other attributes too?”
“The only ones I know of are the fire and water attributes, whose ‘Spirit’s Blood’ I currently possess. I don’t have access to the ‘Spirit’s Blood’ of the other attributes. Besides, I don’t even know if the ‘Spirit’s Blood’ for the light and darkness attributes exist.”

So that’s how it is. I suppose it’s incredible that she even noticed that it was the Animium alloy that causes the attribute change. I’ve never read or heard anything like that before.
“So, what do you want to do?”, she asked.
“Let’s do it.”

“This time I’ll only give you half the dosage. Since you originally had the water attribute, if I give you the same dosage the water attribute in you could become too dominant. I believe that by having the two attributes clash with each other, we can reach an equilibrium where both attributes remain without disappearing. So we’ll begin with half the dose and slowly add more till we reach that point.”

When I nodded, she pierced me with the needle and administered the new Animium alloy. I still felt dizzy but not to the point of collapsing. I didn’t lose my conciousness either. But I did want to lie down, I felt sick. I once again stretched out on the bed, waiting for it to pass.

The next day I was practising casting water balls because I didn’t want my magic to fire accidentally again. I focused on creating a small ball of water, suddenly one appeared on the top of my palm, and it was a lot smaller than I imagined it to be.

“”Whoa!!”” That surprised voice wasn’t just mine but Vinette’s too. “What about fire? What about fire!!”, she pressed, like a child who was seeing magic for the first time. I erased the ball of water and cast a ball of fire. And just like I wanted it to, a ball of fire manifested on the top of my palm! “We did it!!”, exclaimed Vinette, raising both her hands in joy. Even though she was usually expressionless, it was cute how happy she could get when it came to such things.

I once again created a water ball. It felt slightly different from my natural water attribute. This was probably due to the effect of the ‘Spirit’s Blood’2. I created a ball of water over my right hand, and tried to create a ball of fire with the same amount of mana over my left hand. But I wasn’t able to cast them simultaneously. I guessed that I need some practice for it.

“Even though I use the same amount of mana, the water ball is always smaller.”
“That is most likely because the dosage I gave to produce the water attribute was smaller. Let’s give you a little bit more and observe what happens.”, said Vinette, almost skipping as she went to get the syringe again.

A few days after adding to my dosage, I was able to create water balls of the same size as my fire balls3. However, I still wasn’t able to use them simultaneously. In this state, I was more like a magic tool than a magician. I wondered what I was doing wrong. In any case, I was happy that I could use the water attribute just like before.

Vinette was steadfastly scratching the results of the experiment on a paper while muttering to herself. “Using this amount of Animium-Mercury alloy, the subject’s natural attribute returned with this much… in which case, if only this much were administered would normal people also be able to use multiple attributes? No, they probably won’t be able to endure it.”

“Vinette. So the experiment is more or less over right?”
“Huh? Yeah, that’s right. There’s still one puzzle we haven’t solved yet, but that could just be a case of needing more practice.”
“In that case, do you mind if I leave for a few days? I need to give my greetings to someone.”

I’d given my word that I would return to Voldory in a week. So, I had to go back and show my face there once.
“That’s fine, but if you’re able to use both attributes simultaneously, return immediately okay?”
“All right.”

I packed my things the next day for the trip. A week hadn’t passed yet, so I had enough time. When I was leaving the city, the same knight who had arrested me was on gate-keeping duty. Though he frowned at me, he let me pass without incident.

I reinforced my body using Body Strengthening and set off running. I was able to use this spell without issues too. I jogged along the route I’d taken before and reached the forest, only to find a heavy guard set there. There were several knights and tents stationed there. I could also see some adventurers mixed in here and there. Though I didn’t really find any beastfolk after coming this far.

I tried calling out to an adventurer nearby. “Excuse me, what’s going on here?”
“Huh? You don’t know? There is some kind of turmoil in the forest. You can’t go through now, the monsters are going berserk. You can hear it right?”

I tried focusing on my ears and heard a deep rumbling that coming form afar. At times I could hear a scream, an intimidating growl and even the roar of some monsters.

“We were dispatched here to find the cause of all that. I thought you were a similar case too…where’s your Servant?”
“No, I am different. I only wanted to cross the forest. Thank you for the information.” Without answering his question about my Servant, I got away from there.

What do I do now? How do I get back to Voldory? While I was wondering about what to do, I suddenly heard a familiar voice. “Nicola…?” Taken aback, I turned towards the voice. And found Katrina standing there.

T/N notes:

  1. Hmmm, he seems to have stayed at this inn. I might have made a mistake before when I said he rented a room at the guild. I’ll check it and make the change later.
  2. This part’s a bit confusing. He’s supposed to have gotten a knock off of the spirit’s blood, that is, just the alloy. I guess the author is using the term interchangeably here.
  3. It’s unclear whether they added to the original dose only once, or multiple times.

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