The Blue Ring territory was considered a frontier in the Fosterk Kingdom. One-fourth of the domain bordered the so-called “Forest of Magic,” a forest that lay beyond the reach of human civilization.
The Forest of Magic was home to dangerous creatures, including the enigmatic beings known as “magical beasts.” These magical beasts possessed abilities that set them apart from ordinary animals, thanks to crystalline formations within their bodies known as “magic stones.”
Magical beasts typically originated from a phenomenon in which stagnant mana, called “miasma,” accumulated in an animal’s body and caused mutations. While such mutations were generally supposed to be one-time occurrences within a generation, exceedingly rare cases emerged in which descendants of these creatures reproduced. Over time, these descendants established themselves as new species and eventually formed into organized groups.
Once these established magical beast populations began to develop, they started to eye the human territories adjacent to the Forest of Magic. Consequently, the lords of these border regions were tasked with periodically dispatching expeditions to thin out the magical beast populations.
Common folk, witnessing the efforts of these brave expeditions facing magical beasts without fear, began to refer to them with gratitude as the “expeditionary forces.”
The morning after our decision to join the expedition, we inquired about the schedule during breakfast.
“Father, has the schedule for the expedition been decided?”
“It’s not official yet, but the second Water’s Day next month seems most likely.”
“So, it’s about a month away…”
“Looking forward to it?”
“Well, don’t get too excited.”
Father let out a sigh and gave a wry smile.
After breakfast, I skipped studying and went alone to the magic practice area. There were two things I desperately wanted to learn before the expedition.
First was healing magic. Naturally, this was vital for our survival, as it could significantly affect our chances of staying alive.
The second was what’s commonly referred to as “appraisal.” Unfortunately, in this world, there didn’t seem to be anything equivalent to the appraisal skill my older brothers possessed in their previous lives.
I was determined to find a way to learn a magical or technical skill that could serve as an alternative to appraisal. When I arrived at the magic practice area, I found my mother waiting for me.
“Al, you’re here.”
“Yes, thank you for your help.”
“Shall we try a simulated combat exercise right away?”
“Ah, that can wait for another time.”
“What’s the matter? If not that, then what are we going to do?”
“Well, I have two things I’d like to learn before the expedition.”
My serious tone made my mother pay close attention.
“What are they?”
“One is healing magic. I believe it goes without saying that it significantly affects our chances of survival.”
“I see. That makes sense. And the other?”
“The other is… Well, how can I put it? I’d like to learn a magic or technique that provides information about the condition, strength, or details of enemies.”
“Information about enemies? Why?”
“Knowing your enemy and knowing yourself means you can fight a hundred battles without danger.”
“What does that mean?”
“If you understand your enemy and yourself well, you can win a hundred battles without being in peril.”
“I see. That makes sense… But how do you know such words?”
“I don’t really know, it’s just a feeling.”
My mother gave me a skeptical look.
“Haa… Well, whatever. Learning a magic for gathering information about enemies… Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of such a thing, and it’s not in my knowledge.”
“I see… So, I’ll have to come up with something myself, right?”
As I had expected, it seemed there was no appraisal equivalent in this world. So, I decided to start with the simpler task of learning healing magic.
“Alright, then. I’ll start by learning healing magic.”
“Understood. Let me explain it to you.”
“Okay, let’s give it a try.”
I don’t know why, but I had a bad feeling about this.
“Okay, here it goes.”
My mother suddenly thrust a nail into the palm of my hand.
“Ouch! What are you doing? That hurts!”
“I’m going to heal that with magic.”
“How do you heal it with magic?”
“I’m going to explain that to you now.”
“At least explain it before you stab me.”
“Now that you are saying it, you are right.”
“Now, let me demonstrate.”
With that, my mother applied healing magic to my injured hand.
“First, use mana manipulation to fill the wound.”
Mana flowed into the wound.
“Then, using mana transformation, change the mana to heal the wound.”
My mother’s triumphant expression was as usual.
While watching her perform these consecutive spells, I had a thought.
This magic isn’t just sealing the wound with mana; it’s more like creating and fitting the missing body part with mana… Depending on the amount of mana, shouldn’t it be possible to heal injuries too?
I decided to ask my mother about this thought.
“Mother, I have a question.”
“What is it?”
“Can this healing magic be used to heal bodily injuries as well?”
“It does require a considerable amount of mana, but skilled healers can indeed heal physical injuries.”
“But I can’t do that.”
“I understand. Also, is ‘Heal’ the only spell within healing magic?”
“No, there are others. ‘Antipoison’ for treating poison, ‘Antiparalyze’ for treating paralysis, and various other status ailment recovery spells are all part of healing magic.”
I see. There are status ailments here too, like poison. They exist in this world, just like in Japan.
“What kinds of status ailments are there?”
“Well, the most common ones are poison and paralysis. There’s also sleep, hallucination, and confusion, among others.”
“Mother, can you use magic to cure status ailments?”
“I can manage ‘Heal’ and ‘Antipoison.'”
“Curing status ailments involves experiencing them first, which can be dangerous.”
“Indeed… Magic users being confused sounds quite terrifying.”
“Exactly. So, the best way is to receive proper education from established institutions like schools.”
“I understand. So, please teach me ‘Heal’ and ‘Antipoison.'”
“Antipoison involves ingesting poison…”
“I’ll be fine…”
“It’s extremely painful, though…”
“I’ll, probably be fine…”
So we moved from the practice area to the mansion. I was both surprised and puzzled that there was poison in the mansion.
“Shall we start with ‘Heal’?”
“Then, hold out your hand.”
“I’ll do it myself.”
“No, it has to be your mentor.”
“Is that really a rule…..”
I extended my hand.
“Okay, here goes.”
I extended my mana into the wound with mana manipulation, then transformed it to become a part of my body. It was excruciating.
Should I imagine it transforming from my cells? What kind of image would be best? It hurts…
This training is meant to make it possible to use magic even in pain, right? It hurts…
Blood was dripping from my hand, staining the cloth below it red. It hurts…
The pain made it hard to focus… How should I imagine the mana transformation? Damn, it hurts…
“All right, it’s done.”
My mother declared the end while observing my condition.
The healing magic had been cast, and the wound was completely gone.
“Mother, do you have any tips for the right image to use?”
“Tips, huh? I usually imagine the original body without any injuries.”
“The original body, you say…”
“My own mentor used to say to imagine the wound disappearing as it heals.”
“So, you imagine it healing…”
“In essence, you need an image that works for you as an individual.”
“It might be a good idea to have several different imagery options to choose from.”
“There’s something I’ve been wondering…”
“What is it?”
“If you had taught me this from the beginning, I would have had to endure less pain, right?”
“It’s not like that! I never even considered getting back at you by making you suffer. I didn’t even come up with the idea that the pain might make you more obedient!”
“Please, calm down! I never meant anything like that.”
“I know that you always think of me…”
“So, I’d appreciate it if you could teach me seriously from the beginning.”
Three days later…
I still couldn’t grasp the trigger for the magic change, and I was unable to use the healing magic.
(Three days… I thought it would be a bit easier… I might as well ask El to learn it and teach me through magic resonance…)
I felt my body’s tissues change due to the magic, but the progress was slow. The wound had become slightly smaller.
“Oh, it worked! It got smaller.”
“Hmm? Which one?”
“The wound has become smaller, hasn’t it?”
“Is that so?”
“Please look carefully.”
“Alright, alright. If you’ve done it, try healing the wound completely. That way, it’ll be obvious.”
I agreed with what my mother said and promptly cast “Heal.”
My hand slowly healed.
“I did it! I did it!”
“Great, you did it. Congratulations.”
“Alright, next will be a bigger wound.”
“A bigger wound…?”
“I said so. We need to practice with larger wounds.”
“Now, put your hand out.”
I extended my trembling hand.
Three days later…
These three days felt like they were turning into a traumatic experience.
It started with practicing on larger wounds and then moved on to healing wounds on my legs, body, and even those in hard-to-see places like my back. I also practiced healing in conditions of exhaustion and reduced magic power, which would likely be needed in actual combat.
Along the way, there were moments when I felt like giving up, but I somehow endured it through sheer willpower.
With this, I’ve completed the training for “Heal” magic, at least for now.