42 Magic With Morgan 4: I Hope Everything Is Under Control

(Morgan Pov)

Pegasus Moon of 973, 20th day

These past 3 years I have been trying to limit my use of dark magic. I did not want to become dependent on magic. I found a way to deal with most of the inherent issues of dark magic. To be more accurate I discovered a way to treat the symptoms, but not cure them.

This takes away a lot of the risk factors involved in dark magic, but it's not a perfect solution. My solution is to use dark magic to adjust what changed in my personality to what it is normally. The problem is, I need to know what is broken before I can adjust it.

I can't prevent any changes, I can only respond and who knows if it's too late. When your mind is slowly changing, eventually you'll lose sight of what is or was normal. Hell, your new perspective might make you think you changed for the better.

It's a scary thought, but it's better to be scared than delusional. From what I know, my remedy is working just fine. Just to be on the safe side, I try not to use dark magic too much. Still, what I had to do to come with this solution was an interesting journey.

I was only able to do this after I discovered what unique power I was given and what I could do with it. I previously thought that my power had to deal with the concept of balance, but that's only one small part of its many applications.

Magical Accord, that was the name that I decided to give my powers when I finally learned what I could do with them. One of the interesting applications of my magic is using it to alter the properties of my target. With nonliving objects, it's a relatively simple process to go through.

With nonliving things, there aren't that many variables to deal with and it's easier to get the desired result. I can add certain properties to an object or I can even augment the existing properties of an object. However, there are certain limitations I have to work with.

If I want to do either one of those 2 things, I need to add a negative aspect to an object or weaken the properties of an object. That's where the challenge lies, trying to make the most out of the positives and negatives changes.

For example a piece of iron, I can make it able to absorb kinetic energy and use the absorbed energy to reinforce it. To get an effect this powerful I need to give it an equally powerful demerit, an example would be that the piece of iron is more susceptible to the effects of magic.

If it is more susceptible to magic, I can use that to my advantage and add all sorts of neat effects to it. The problem is, the piece of iron will be destroyed if it is hit with magic instead of a physical strike. Trying to turn a negative into a positive is a fun mental exercise for me.

Things really get interesting when it comes to dealing with living things. Nearly everything is up on the table for manipulation. My previous experiments with the spiders were very fruitful. I learned the limitations and the broader applications of my magic.

I can influence the emotions, physiology, genetics, and even thoughts of a target. Using my spiders as examples, I gave them a longer life span, the ability to produce stronger silk, increased the amount of silk they can produce, and increased their reproduction rate.

The price they paid was immense for them, but for me it was perfect. I took away the aspects that made them independent and able to survive on their own. By taking those things away, I was able to turn them into domestic animals. I made them dependent on humans.

My previous method involved using a long-lasting spell to enforce their obedience. I made a permanent change by using magic to change a couple of spiders on a genetic level. But because I changed them genetically, when they reproduced their offspring kept those traits.

When others study the future generations of spiders, they will only see the results of a unique evolution pattern. After the first generation died off, there will be no evidence of using magic to genetically alter them into a domestic species.

I don't fully understand how dark magic did this, but this is one of those situations where I did not care about knowing the reason why this is the case. I will never use this type of manipulation on a human, it's too risky, too unnecessary, and difficult to get away with.

The two things I will never underestimate are human ingenuity and insanity, there is no guarantee that my changes won't go unnoticed. Humans are paranoid. If you push someone far enough, you get some of the most ludicrous actions imaginable.

If there is one thing I can count on, it is the unpredictability of human emotions. That's why I like animals more, they can't speak and they follow their instincts. That makes them more predictable and that also makes them the perfect test subjects for me.

If a person believes something feels 'wrong' or 'different', they will try to get to the bottom of it. In an era like this people aren't too concerned with studying animals. The mages and scholars are more concerned with matters relating to the human race or the world itself.

They won't find any evidence connecting magic to the animal's biological changes. It's only the first generation that has evidence of tampering, but I make sure they all die. That's why I like using insects, they have short life spans, and reproduce in large quantities.

The only reason why I know humans are difficult to mess with is because I experimented on myself. My personal skill Sorcerer Blade was an example of me unintentionally using my unique magic on myself. My personal skill gave me a reference to work off from.

To get such a potent effect with such a low cost of magic to maintain the skill required an interesting price to pay. I lost the ability to cook for some time, and it wasn't just that. My magic somehow took away everything related to the skill of cooking.

What I mean is, I have memories of cooking with people, I remember the emotions I felt while cooking, as well as the various tastes and smells I experienced while cooking. The problem was I don't remember the process of cooking or what I learned, it's just a vague memory.

If I had to make an analogy, it's like watching a movie on an old VHS tape. The movie is perfect up until specific parts of the movie play, the picture is blurry or just gone entirely. The audio is still working and you have an idea of how things are playing out, but it's not an exact picture.

Not only did I lose some memories, but my magic affected the way I did things. Every time I would cook my body and mind would somehow treat the process of cooking like making medicine or poison.

That was the reason why I had an F+++ in cooking, and why those two skills leveled up. I could still have the intention to cook, but the fact was I could no longer cook. It was a weird thing to come to terms with, and it was an even weirder process to even learn that fact.

To get the ability to cook back, I had to make some interesting choices. This is where I learned the different things I can use to pay the price for my magic. It doesn't have to be a fair deal, meaning to say there is a lot of room for negotiation.

From my current understanding, as long as you're willing to pay the price, you can get your desired result by making a deal. I don't know what the hell I'm dealing with or what criteria I need to meet to make a deal go through. I have an idea, but I need to know more.

I don't even know who or what I am making a deal with. With animals and nonliving objects, I have so much more room to finesse each deal. I'm not so sure about the animals, but with the nonliving objects, I am dealing with something else entirely.

Not sure what is, but it's either not fully sentient or it's fucking with me. The reason why I believe so is mainly for the amount of things I can get away with. Like I said earlier sometimes a negative can be a positive, and I don't think what I am dealing with fully understands that idea.

I think it sees the negative and it isn't capable of thinking any further than that. I haven't tried applying this magic to any other humans or any other being capable of complex thinking. But I learned a couple of things while experimenting on myself.

When I think back to the deals I made, they did not make any sense whatsoever. To get back to the cooking example, I gave up the ability to do reverse speech and the ability to read braille. Those things have nothing to do with each other, but it got the ball rolling.

It made me think of what I can do, to be more accurate it made me ask myself some questions. Questions like, what can I do to affect the deals I make? Do these deals have to be permanent or can I control how long they last? What are the things I can ask for?

Does the deal only work if I perceive the price as something negative? Why do I have to perceive the deal as negative to make it go through? Does this happen only because I'm making a deal with myself? How can I make these deals more favorable to me?

Like I said earlier, pretty much everything is on the table. I can give up concepts, thoughts, emotions, the ability to do certain things, and memories. As long as I perceive the price as something negative, I can use any combination of those things as collateral for the deal.

I thought of contracts in my previous life as a source of inspiration. Most contracts have clauses in place that allow for renegotiation and the terms of a contract last for a certain duration. That's how I came up with my favorite application of my power.

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That has become the way I mainly use my powers. Still, that's just using dark magic unique to me. There is still a lot more to dark magic, there are a lot of universal aspects I haven't delved too deeply in. Then there is the entire branch of anima magic to explore as well.

Not going to lie, being a magic man is fun. I told myself I would not use dark magic too much, but then life happened. I was able to go so far in dark magic because of paranoia and boredom. It was because of those two things I was willing to try the things others might not think to do.

Still, there is one thing I have to live with for the rest of my life. I opened a Pandora's box of sorts as I learned more about my capabilities. The temptation to give up something precious for something for more power.

Heck, it doesn't need to be power, it could be something I desperately need in the short term. I learned the more disadvantageous a deal is to me, the ability/power is stronger or broader in scope. I'm playing with fire, and I have to remember to resist the temptation.

That's why I am trying to rely more on my physical capabilities instead of my magic capabilities. Right now I am in no danger and I have plans in place to ensure I stay in control. As of late, there is a saying I like to think of. Man proposes, God disposes.

It's a simple and powerful phrase. In the face of overwhelming force, things will change, either for the better or the worse. Paranoia and fear are the greatest motivators in any dire situation. When combined with dark magic and amplified emotions, you get a ticking time bomb.

Can't regret it though, it was my choice to keep going down this path. But for the most part, I can say everything is going pretty well. I just need to be

______________________

Horse Moon of 973, 7th day

Today I murdered 10 people in cold blood, the most concerning thing about that was what I felt as I was doing it. I felt nothing at all, despite how gory some of the kills were. 4/10 of the kills I made were not clean at all.

I killed 3 of those people by shooting them in the head with magic. Normally I would have enough control over my magic to make sure it just pierces them like a bullet. The problem was I was too focused on getting the kill that I lost control of my magic.

To use dark magic, you need to be calm and very direct with your intentions. Even the slightest change can have a drastic effect on the results. The spell blew up as soon as it pierced through their skulls. When I blew up the first guy's head, I saw a lot of blood and brain matter spill out.

The gory scene registered in my mind, but I didn't react like a normal person. I managed to stay calm as I saw all that blood and brain matter fly everywhere. I'm no stranger to gruesome scenes, I have seen plenty of those in my first life. However, something was different this time.

I thought nothing of the sight, it was scary how casual I was about the whole situation. After I killed one person I moved on to take out the next person. It was as if I completed one part of a task and I moved on to the finish next part.

I did start to feel something after I killed 2 more people, but it wasn't remorse. I felt myself getting stronger for some reason. That slight change in strength managed to throw off my aim, luckily for me, I ended up landing a lot of body shots.

That's how I managed to kill 5 more people, at some point I felt there was a change with my magic. My reserves of magic felt deeper, while the magic in that pool felt more purer and potent. I haven't done any testing yet, but I feel like I can use more powerful forms of magic now.

The last kill I made was the most personal, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. When I saw Lyn get attacked, I lost control of my emotions. Which was startling, in one moment I was calm and then I suddenly was filled with an intense hatred.

I took a hit from my opponent just so I could be close enough to grasp his neck. I wanted to make sure this attack was lethal. When I fired my magic through his neck, I got to see and feel everything.

I saw the terror on his face when he realized he couldn't escape. I heard a distinct popping sound. Which was caused by all the air and magic rushing out of the exit I made. I felt how lifeless his body was as his blood poured all over my hands.

After it was done, I just felt annoyed at the fact that I had to clean this mess up. Not once throughout all of those kills did I try to feel any empathy for them. I'm normally not like this. In my first life, I was generally apathetic towards strangers, though not to this level.

Despite not caring at all about them, I always made an effort to understand them at a basic level. I was able to empathize with a lot of people, but that very rarely stopped me from doing what I thought or felt was right.

Being able to do both of those things meant I wasn't a psychopath, it just meant I came across like an asshole towards others most of the time. I know I'm not a psychopath, I have my entire first life as proof of it.

That means I must have changed as a result of my prolific use of dark magic. I know that my ability to empathize with strangers has been suppressed to some degree. I'm not sure to what extent it has been suppressed, but it's not completely gone.

I also know that my emotions were heightened to some extent. There are times when I get emotional, but I always made sure to keep a leveled head. What use does passion have if you can't control it?

Losing control leads to many making mistakes and creating unnecessary problems. When I lost control of my emotions I did too many stupid things in that fight. I could have easily died from taking that one hit, but my bloodlust blinded me from seeing all of my other options.

I also didn't do anything out of character, I just did things that were a level higher than I normally would have. I have risked my life for my loved ones before, that's nothing new. But I have never committed any atrocious acts on their behalf or for their being before.

I may not like people who slighted my loved ones, but I never felt any ill will towards them or wished harm upon them. Honestly, they are not worth the extra thoughts or effort, but it was never to the point where I could disregard their lives.

On one hand, it's good that I figured out what changed in me. On the other hand, I'm not sure what to think of these changes. I still haven't crossed the boundaries I have set for myself, but I am more likely to do morally questionable things.

Losing a bit of my ability to empathize does make it easier to use my magic in combat. It allows me to stay calm when I need to kill or do something morally wrong. It's a fucked up way to look at it, yet the pragmatic side of me has to recognize the advantages this change has to offer.

I believe my heightened emotions won't be a problem, I just need more exposure to situations similar to this one. If I get used to being in situations like this, then my reactions won't be as extreme. At least that's what I believe, I mean that's usually how things work in life.

I'm not sure whether or not I want to keep these changes. I have to wait and see just how bad it actually is. Even if I wanted to fix it, I need more data just to be sure I'm dealing with the right problem.

Using dark magic to adjust my thoughts and personality is already a dangerous endeavor, I can't go about this blindly. For all I know I could be messing with the wrong emotions and characteristics. It's so easy for me to fuck it up and become a different person entirely.

But that's the risk you take when you want to game the system. For now, I can somewhat say have some things under control. That's what I have to tell myself. I do not want to know what will happen when doubt starts to affect a dark mage.