Episode 29 – Morph
“So the only thing I need to memorize is the spell pattern itself. Draw it out for me on a piece of paper or something.”
Elaru looked down at him for a while, standing on her tall pillar of dirt, showing no intention of drawing the pattern for him. Upon closer inspection, Kiel noticed her eyes glittering.
Aaaaand she is back to her mischievous self… “What?” Kiel’s hair stood on end.
Elaru grinned. “I have a better idea.”
Kiel’s face fell. I don’t like the sound of that…
“How about I transfer my memory of the pattern to you? Perhaps if I transfer a memory, it would be easier for you to remember it? Maybe my memories can become your memories.”
Elaru jumped down from the pillar like a lunar pouncing on its prey.
“Oh no, you don’t!” He remembered how she transferred her memory to him the last time – she pressed their foreheads together.
Kiel dodged to the side as if his life depended on it.
Instead of hitting the ground face first, like Kiel expected her to, Elaru flipped in the air and landed on her feet. Just like a lunar…they always land on their feet.
She looked at him frowningly. “Aren’t you overreacting?”
Kiel’s eyebrow twitched. He needed to find another way to deal with her. Outright refusing never seemed to work.
“I just think you should practice sending me your memories without physical contact. That would be much more useful in the long run.”
Elaru’s eyes brightened, and her face showed what seemed to be enlightenment. “You’re right!”
Score! Kiel suppressed the urge to fist pump. Then he caught himself and realized he shouldn’t be counting his clucklings before they hatched. He looked at Elaru, half expecting her to say “But…”
However, she didn’t. Instead, she smiled and explained: “See, I knew it was a good idea to make you my partner. You are full of great ideas.”
Kiel’s mouth twitched. Why do I get the feeling you are being sarcastic?
However, Elaru didn’t try approaching him again. Instead, she turned him her back, intentionally removing him from her line of sight.
Kiel stood there, not knowing what to do with himself. He needed that spell pattern. At least write it down for me. Who knows how long it will take you to…
His thoughts were interrupted when a vivid world of glowing lights appeared before his eyes. It was a perfectly clear and detailed recollection of what happened a few minutes ago.
The memory showed beautiful golden, orange, and red flames congealing into the Morph spell. He saw the embers burrowing through the earth and spreading glowing tendrils of light.
An involuntary amazement flashed through Kiel’s mind. Her mana…is so stunningly beautiful…
It glittered vividly, in colors so gorgeous that everything else paled in comparison.
He could even see himself in the memory, surrounded by striking sea of blue. However, while his own mana did look beautiful, he found it rather lackluster when compared to hers.
He could see their entire surroundings. The earth, the trees, the wyrms underground. He could perceive everything clearly.
He could even see Elaru herself as seen by her own Aethernea of Sight. It gave him a strange feeling. He saw everything from her point of view, yet her own point of view included herself in it as well.
She was glowing so brightly it was blinding. She was like the sun. Countless obscure patterns surrounded her. Innumerable spell roots weaved a tight web around her.
Kiel felt a sense of déjà vu. I think I’ve seen this before…
He wracked his brain for several moments before he remembered where. He saw these same patterns back when Elaru had shared her memory with him for the first time! Back then, he had thought these patterns to be a part of the Aetherneal bond. Only now, seeing them again, did he realize that they weren’t.
He concentrated on the spells again. He could only pick up a few symbols that he recognized. The mana that surrounded her body was too dense, it too glowed and made it harder to see the spells clearly.
What is that? Kiel’s eyebrows furrowed. Am I seeing the enchantments on the magical artifacts in her possession?
No…if it was the enchantments on her items, they wouldn’t be so widespread. They would be concentrated into the item itself. However, these patterns were everywhere around and inside Elaru. Why are there so many? With so many spells cast on her, how can she even accelerate without causing destructive interference?
Kiel’s eyebrows furrowed even further. Better yet, what are these spells for? I don’t recognize any of them. Ah…there is one I recognize.
It was the same color changing spell Elaru had shown him the day before yesterday for the purpose of hiding the mark of the bond. The spell was very small and barely visible. It seemed to be targeting her eyes.
How come I haven’t felt any of these spells on her body before? My mana sense should have been able to pick it up.
Unless she was intentionally concealing them.
Kiel shook his head. Now was not the time to concentrate on unveiling Elaru’s secrets. His priority was learning how to Morph.
His thoughts cleared, his attention returned to the Morph spell. He concentrated every fiber of his being into remembering the scene, engraving every line into his memory.
Soon, all his previous thoughts vanished, and he became completely absorbed into the Morph spell.
The world, him, Elaru, everything faded out; it ceased to matter. The only thing that mattered was weaving this spell. His entire being concentrated on that single task.
Seeing the pattern with her Aethernea was indeed a more effective way to study it. A pen and paper drawing was only two-dimensional; it couldn’t adequately portray a three-dimensional spell. It was incomplete.
Kiel started weaving the Morph spell over and over again. He felt as if he could actually see it. As if seeing it once somehow increased the sensitivity of his own mana sense.
Seeing Kiel in the state of absolute concentration Elaru smiled softly and walked away from him to the same spot in which she sat yesterday.
She pulled the same book out and started working on the same enchantment.
Yet one thing was different. Today, the spell she was weaving looked nothing like it did yesterday.
The feeling of controlling materials by using the Morph spell was very similar to how Kiel controlled mana. He felt as if he was a slime that could control its body to change however it wished. As if that pack of dirt that he was trying it on became a slimy extension of him.
He found it extremely fun to control the ground. He tried creating earth spikes, pillars, and walls. Then he tried changing the shape of his own sword. He bent it and twisted around, seeing endless possible variations of how he could use it in battle.
He tried it out on tree trunks and on his own shirt. He even tried morphing the water in the nearby stream. That proved to be extremely fun as the water was very flexible and proved to be easier to morph than rock.
He even ended up trying to wrap the air around him. It gave him the most trouble out of all the materials he had tried so far. The less dense a material was, the harder it was to morph it properly.
Each time he thought he had finally run out of things to Morph, he would get another idea. He was like a child playing with a new toy.
He tried all possible aspects of the spell. How to do it as quickly as possible, how to do it as accurately as possible. In a span of several hours, a spell that he had never cast before became his second nature. A part of him.
Only after half a day had passed did he come out of his strange mood. He was awakened by his stomach growling.
His cheeks flushed with a tinge of pink. He looked towards Elaru from the corner of his eye, but she showed no sign of hearing it.
Thank the gods! That would have been awkward.
He stopped his practice and approached her. How should he bring up the matter? He needed to convince her to stop her work and leave to have lunch asap. Before his stomach gave out another embarrassing sound.
His gaze shifted to Elaru, finally paying attention to what she was doing.
She was currently weaving an extremely complicated spell around her arm. If the spell she was weaving yesterday was a thread of yarn, this current spell was the ball of yarn. Countless spell patterns intertwined, overlapped and formed a web in which one couldn’t tell heads apart from the tails.
The patterns were intertwined so tightly together that Kiel didn’t know whether he should be impressed or appalled. How can you still continue weaving this?? It is a giant mess! Will this spell even work?
He was skeptical about it. It will most likely fall apart before it manages to activate, or it would implode on itself. When a magic spell gets weaved as densely as she was weaving it, the different parts of the spell start interfering with one another causing the spell to shatter and fall apart before it can form.
It looked as though she didn’t take that into account at all. Alas, he didn’t dare underestimate her. She always found a way to surprise him with her abilities.
As Kiel inspected the spell more closely, he was startled to find out that he didn’t recognize a single spell pattern. This spell…is completely different from the one she was weaving yesterday!
Did the old spell fail to meet her expectations so she started working on a new one?
Well…whatever. None of my business.
He shrugged and no longer paid attention to her weaving. Instead, his eyes landed on her expressionless face.
Usually, he avoided looking at her face. Partially it was because she would stare back at him and make him feel awkward. But mostly it was because the more he looked at it, the more he noticed just how beautiful it was. And he didn’t find that to be beneficial to him in any way.
His gaze was naturally drawn to her eyes. Just as always, they were teal with a bit of yellow around the pupil, which one wouldn’t be able to notice unless they really paid attention.
Huh? Isn’t there supposed to be a color changing spell on her eyes? But they don’t look any different than usual…
Suddenly a memory flashed before his eyes. A memory of the night when they first met face to face. Her eyes were still teal, but they were glowing with not so subtle golden lights. The dots and stripes in her eyes moved around magically. It was a mesmerizing sight.
When he met her the next day, he didn’t pay a lot of attention to the appearance of her eyes. Thinking of it now, he vaguely remembered they didn’t look as magical as the previous night. Back then, he didn’t think much of it. Glowing things would naturally be much more visible at night, so he felt it was normal for her eyes to not look the same at daytime.
However, now that he thought about it…he had already spent several days with her, and he had never seen her eyes look as magical as they did the first time they met.
His mind connected the dots quickly, but he still wished to confirm his speculation.
“Elaru.” He called out to her, snapping her out of her own little world. She looked towards him questioningly. “Do your eyes change color?”
She blinked a few times before responding through telepathy. “What do you mean? They always look the same.”
“The first time we met, they looked much more magical.”
She stared at him a bit confused, before starting to laugh. “Well of course they did.” She covered her eyes with her palm and swiped it down as if wiping her face.
As she removed her palm, Kiel’s breath caught in his throat.