'Why is this so hard?!'
I was yet again inside one of the many training rooms at the academy, currently practicing the first spell that Mrs. Harper had taught me.
Or at least I was trying to practice it with very mixed results.
Raising my hand once again, I spoke the spell out loud as that was supposedly helpful when trying to visualize it. And to some extent, I felt like it was working.
Because in front of my hand, a small, light blue orb of mana started conglomeration, slowly increasing in size as I injected more energy.
However, just as I was about to launch it at the unsuspecting dummy in front of me, it once again just dissipated into nothingness.
It was incredibly frustrating to fail over and 9ver again, but there was nothing I could do but continue my attempts.
Yesterday had not only brought with it proof of mortality, but it had also made me realize that I badly needed a way to fight without revealing my class.
At some point, I would inevitably end up fighting against someone, or something, while people were around, and for that, I needed skills that weren't related to my class.
That was the reason why I was trying to learn the very basic, but still quite useful, spell Energy Blast.
It wasn't as if I wasn't able to study elemental magic, spiritual magic, or any other kind of magic for that record. However, the more specialized the magic, the more the vacancy of class would show itself.
Also, as one's class was symbolic of one's inherent traits and talents, it made sense that the more different the magic I practiced was from my class, the harder it would be for me to learn it. Following that logic, it made sense that handling pure mana, executing what was called general spells, would be easier for me rather than trying to learn how to conjure a fireball.
Yet, even this was incredibly difficult for me, and the reason was quite obvious.
The Psion class didn't handle mana in a traditional way.
While most mage-types had a very clear-cut way of conjuring their spells, Psions did not.
Normal mages conjured their spells through three steps. First up was to gather and conglomerate mana. Next was to convert the mana into a suitable form or element, as to then finally execute the finished product.
The Psion class didn't use its spells like that, or rather, mental magic didn't work like that.
Mental magic, as far as I knew at least, worked by establishing a connection through one's mind to both animate and inanimate objects, and through this connection, one could then produce reactions.
I imagined that, in some ways, it was probably closer to that of Lya's class which established a connection to spirits in another dimension before summoning them.
However, I had seen her summon Akira, and in my eyes that very much looked like a very traditional way of casting a spell. A chant followed by a conglomeration of mana and then ending with executing the spell, resulting in the opening of a portal.
So in the end, I quickly deduced that the reason why even conjuring an Energy Blast was so difficult for me was due to the intricacies of my class, but knowing that didn't help me much. It actually just served to make me even more frustrated.
Yet, I couldn't allow myself to just give up. If I did, I knew I would pay for it in the future.
Again, again, again, again.
Over and over, I attempted to launch even a single ball of energy at the dummy, but although I could sense that I was making some progress, it was still far from being even remotely useable. At some point, I knew I would have to give up for today, as not only my head was beginning to give up, but my stomach was in a complete uproar as well.
'Can't be helped, can it?'
No matter how much I wanted to ignore my body's condition, I wasn't immature enough to do so. Even if this was a fantasy world, I wasn't about to force myself to the point where I would suddenly faint or something. I was saving that for the physical education class on Wednesday.
"Haaa... I just hope that my new stats might make it a bit easier at least."
Name: Alex Winter
Free stat points: 0
Skills: [Telekinesis], [Mind Spike]
Talents: [Mana control - Rank 2], [Mental magic - Rank 1]
Yes, not only had I succeeded in my mission yesterday, but at some point during my daze, I had even leveled up yet again.
I wasn't sure if it was because I killed the wolf, or if it was due to the strain that I put my body through during the day, but I was nonetheless very happy about it. And naturally, as I knew what kind of circumstances I might find myself in, I didn't hesitate to use my stat points to increase my stamina and intelligence.
The decision to increase my intelligence felt more obvious than ever as, in the end, that was the primary basis of everything I would be able to do. Not only would it increase my mana pool, but it would also increase my proficiency in handling mana alongside my talents.
Stamina, on the other hand, could be said to be a bit more controversial. In the best of worlds, I wouldn't find myself in a situation where I had to run or move my body a lot. The keywords being the best of worlds.
In reality, I couldn't count on that being the case, and if my increased stamina would make it easier for me to endure physical training, that would just be a bonus.
So far, there was no tangible sense of growth that I could sense in my body, but I assumed that it would be more noticeable during physical activities.
"Yes, yes, I am on it."
My stomach didn't particularly enjoy me standing around pondering, and so it once again made itself heard, this time loud enough that my feet began moving toward the cafeteria.
Although the sun was shining just as much as yesterday, the campus didn't look quite as vibrant as it had done before, and that was the same for the cafeteria that I arrived in.
"Here you go."
"Ah, thank you."
Receiving the food served by the middle-aged lunch lady whose arms looked twice as thick as mine, I began searching for somewhere to sit down. Due to the somewhat low amount of students attending the academy, in contrast to the size of all the facilities, there were a lot of vacant tables.
However, as I scanned the room, I couldn't help but notice something a bit strange, funny, and also a bit cute.
'Seems like they both found a friend in each other.'
George and Lya were sitting with each other, and although it didn't look like either of them talked that much, it was obvious that they felt quite comfortable with each other. Though it didn't seem like George was back to the lively character that I now knew he pretended to be on the first day, I was happy to see that he was making some progress.
So, while wearing a slight smile, I found a vacant table and sat myself down, fully aware that I wasn't part of that group, and as long as something drastic didn't happen, I also didn't want to be.
Just like no one was born evil, no one was born good. Call me a pragmatist, but I never once believed that someone like George was born a hero. No, he would become a hero due to context, shaped by the situations around him. In some ways, one could say he didn't even have a choice in the matter.
And it was terrifying to think that I might find myself in a similar situation.
It was terrifying to imagine a world where I might consider choosing another person's life over my own, and I knew that if I did get too attached to these people, it could very well become a reality.
Wasn't it more than enough that I completed these stupid missions given to me by a god, which in turn would help these people out?
All of the students sitting inside the cafeteria were living their own lives and they all had at least a bit of a choice of how to live it. And to me, it didn't matter even if I had gotten sent into another world, nor did I care that I had to complete these stupid missions.
My life was my own, and no matter what, I would make sure it stayed that way.
And so, I began to fill my stomach with the chicken stew that I had been served, already planning out what I was going to read about in the library afterward.