~ Chapter 27: Effort or talent? (Part 2) ~
“After you master this one, you can exchange them and offer tips on how to cast them. Now, Leonidas move in front of the lit candle. Cassandra go and sit in front of the bucket of water.” she told us.
I nodded and did as told. According to the theory, this was the first step we had to take in order to get a better feel of the element. Affinity allowed us to speed up the process, but it didn't guarantee success. Once we managed to do this, almost all the spells of that element could be cast after properly understanding them.
“Using Magic Energy Manipulation, send your Magic Energy into the candle light and water respectively. Once you are done, try to picture the energy binding to its element. Keep your mind clear and focus solely on trying to feel the element in front of you. Allow your Magic Energy to accept and change to that respective element. When you can move it around with ease, it means that you completed the first step.” she explained calmly.
While listening to her words, I focused on the flame of the candle and poured my Magic Energy into it, imagining it change and bind to the element of fire.
This was far harder than I initially thought it was going to be. I had nothing to compare this feeling with and before I knew it, I put out the flame.
“You used too much Magic Energy. Try again, Leonidas.” aunty Eliza told me.
I nodded and started from scratch, but just when I was about to pour Magic Energy into it, I was splashed with water, drenching me and putting out my flame.
With a slow movement of my head, I turned to look at the culprit, Cassandra. She was pouting because she expected to do it on the first go, but just like me, she used too much Magic Energy and caused the water to spill out violently.
I showed her a smirk, and she glared at me.
Oh! It's on, little sister! I declared in my mind as our childish competition continued.
Luthecia made sure to resupply us with water and candles as well as dry towels and spare clothes.
After two hours of doing this repetitively, the results didn't seem to be too promising. The good news was that father didn't need his armor. The bad news was that both me and my sister failed each and every time. It was quite hard to grasp the right 'feel' even with affinity for the elements.
I couldn't even begin to imagine the trouble those without this aid had.
“Don't look down, children. This much is normal, especially at your age!” aunty Eliza laughed.
Well, I guess geniuses who learn everything on the spot can be found only in stories... Reality is harsh no matter how many past lives or Blessings one has. I thought as I tried to comfort myself by believing this to be the natural order of things.
“I don't like this! Why couldn't I do it?” Cassandra complained.
“Nobody was able to do magic on their first try, not even those renown as geniuses.” aunty replied with a soft, understanding smile.
“But I'm not nobody, I have three Blessings!” she complained.
“It doesn't matter even if you had 100 or more.” she calmly shook her head.
“Maybe we don't have affinity for these elements?” I asked curiously.
Thanks to my [Status Window] skill, I knew we both had it, but I was wondering what aunty thought about it.
“I highly doubt it since even those without Blessings have more or less an affinity to at least one of those two elements.” mother explained.
“It's as my sister said. In general, human beings have the highest affinity for water and fire, but having or not Magic Affinity to a certain element only determines how fast you learn spells of that element. There's also the belief that those with a specific high affinity will be likely to do more damage if they cast the right spells. For example, someone with Wind affinity can cast more spells of this element than someone who doesn't have it. In the end, everyone can learn spells of any element regardless of their affinity, it just takes a bit longer for those without it.” aunty explained.
“Then why weren't we able to get the feel for it?” Cassandra pressed.
Aunty let out a sigh and scratched the back of her head, trying to find another way to explain this to us, but the answer came unexpectedly from father.
“Children, it's the same as walking or Leonidas' tailoring. Even if you know the theory, it's far harder to learn to feel and adjust to something you never did or felt before. You are basically going on trial and error until you get the knack for it. The fact that you could keep up with this small exercise for such a long time at such a young age is more than enough to put you two among the top mages in this country. If we were to compare you to the Ruthmerry family's child, you both basically did in one day the same amount of training he did in an entire month. If he tried to do what you two did, he would have been exhausted after the first five minutes.” he spoke using a calm and respectful tone of voice.
It didn't feel very good to be compared to that guy, but I was beginning to understand what he meant by that. In short, we were awesome.
“By diligently practicing and improving yourselves, you'll be able to cast any spells you want in no time at all!” he finished, he showed us a broad smile, but then the helmet's face protector fell over, startling him. “Uwa! I have to be careful with this thing or it will chop off my nose!” he complained.
I shook my head.
Father's explanation made me think back at everything we did and learned so far. Even sword fighting was strange and difficult at first, but as we kept practicing, it became easy, and we were able to learn more complicated techniques. This coming from someone who at the beginning couldn't even hold the sword right.
With a sigh escaping my lips, I looked back at my little sister, and I had the feeling she was thinking about the same thing. This wasn't talent, just diligent hard work and training.
Even a diamond could look like a useless cheap stone if it wasn't polished properly. Talent was the same, it was there, but if you let it rot away, then you would allow yourself to be surpassed by those who had none but were hard workers.
“Well, I don't know about everyone else, but I'm absolutely famished! Shall we head back in and grab a bite to eat?” mother suggested with a charming smile.
In front of this offer, our stomachs gave a clear loud answer.
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