Four years had passed since I was reincarnated into this world. One day, I realized that the time in this world was almost identical to Japan’s time. A year had 12 months, a month had 30 days, and a day consisted of 24 hours.
The week started with Earth Day, followed by Water, Fire, Wind, Light, and finally, Dark Day. Most people had their day off on Dark Day, but it seemed that merchants considered Fire Day as their day off. They must have organized it that way to avoid everyone taking the same day off.
As for my surroundings, I had started learning to read and do arithmetic when I turned three. This learning session lasted for about three hours each day, from after breakfast until lunch. My teacher was Roland, the good-looking butler.
The writing system here was closer to English than Japanese, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell if it was easy or difficult. In Japan, I struggled with English, but since I had been in this body, memorizing it had become surprisingly easy. It seemed that all I needed to do was remember the specific grammar and vocabulary unique to this language. This was a relief as it wouldn’t be like the struggles I faced in Japan.
Arithmetic, on the other hand, was pretty straightforward. I just needed to master the basics of arithmetic operations, and there was no need for further study. Equations, trigonometric functions, differentiation, and integration, things like that didn’t seem to exist in this world.
It was said that as I grew older, I would have to study various subjects like history, etiquette, martial arts, and magic.
The first class I attended was tough, though. Imagine being 34 years old and spending two hours learning that 1+1 equals 2. It was too simple and quite challenging. Finding ways to pass the time during class was the most difficult part. Lately, I had been studying on my own more often, which was a bit of a relief.
I felt sorry for Elphus, but recently, I had spent a lot of time reading books on history and stories.
At the age of four, I could walk without any problems, and there were only a few restricted areas in the mansion that I hadn’t explored. One of my favorite places was the library. In this medieval-like world where there was no printing technology, all books were handwritten copies.
Books were considered highly valuable in this world, and initially, Grandpa didn’t allow me access to the library. However, he eventually relented when he saw how careful and respectful I was with the books. Although it wasn’t an immediate permission, I was eventually allowed to enter the library.
The truth is that he gave me permission to read books after all. I took advantage of the opportunity to take my mother into the stacks with me.
At first she seemed to enjoy reading to me, but I guess she got tired of being forced to read the same book for hours every day and having to answer what the words meant each time. Recently, she has been scheming to force my father and the maid, who can read, to take over that role.
On a day off during the Dark Day, after breakfast, I started walking towards the library when I was stopped by a voice.
“Nii-sama, are you heading to the library again?”
The voice belonged to my younger brother, Elphus.
“Of course! I want to understand magic from the magic books and use magic as soon as possible!”
“El, you should come with me too.”
“Yes. Mother you should come as well!”
I didn’t miss the moment when the light in my mother’s eyes faded, and she had the look of a dead fish.
“I understand. Let’s read the magic book.” (Dead tone)
I pretended not to notice and happily walked towards the library.
Next to me, my mother muttered, “I am a machine… reading magic… magic books… should burn.”
In the library, not only magic books but also history books, dictionaries, stories, unusual items like autobiographies and ledgers were placed.
I handed the familiar magic book to my mother with a smile. After seeing a magic book that she had been made to read dozens or even hundreds of times, she finally gave up and asked with a wry smile.
“Al, do you really want to use magic that much?”
I replied as if I had been waiting for this.
“Yes! I want to use it!”
With a sigh and a wry smile, my mother slowly began to speak.
“Al, listen carefully. Just reading a magic book won’t make you able to use magic. Magic books are only meaningful to those who can use magic. Can you wait a little longer until you’re older, and then I’ll be happy to teach you magic. Can you wait?”
Hearing my mother’s words, I understood that just having a magic book wouldn’t allow me to use magic. At the same time, I couldn’t accept that I wouldn’t be taught magic until I grew older. It felt like a missed opportunity to be born in a world with magic, only to have to wait.
Seeing my disappointed expression, my mother continued.
“You see, it’s forbidden to teach magic to children. Do you know why?”
That makes sense. Society can’t allow children with no judgment to have power. Magic, in a single word, ranges from creating a cup of water to becoming the legend of blowing away a whole mountain. It’s thought-stopping to say that children can’t do big things. Even a single matchstick can set a house on fire…
Still, I had to desperately find the words to convince her.
“What if I use magic for pranks?” (I need to find a way to convince her to teach me magic!)
“Well, you mustn’t use magic for pranks.”
“I promise not to use magic for pranks.” (I won’t do pranks! Just peek at the maids changing clothes!)
Mother stared at me intently and began to speak.
“For example, Al might make a new friend and end up using magic in a little fight… something like that might happen.”
“I won’t use magic on my friends.”
“Fufu, I see. You probably won’t. But you know, there will always be kids who do use it. That’s why the rule ‘Do not teach magic until the age of 10’ was established.”
“… ” (Geez, there’s a rule like that… Exception just for me… It’s going to be difficult.)
“Al, do you understand?”
“… ” (Darn it, I really want to use magic!)
“…” (Haa, I’ll give up this time.)
“… Fine. I understand, Mother. I’ll learn magic when I’m older.”
“Thank you, Al. In return, I’ll teach you a game that will help you become better at using magic.”
“!! I want to do it! Please teach me, Mother!”
“Fufu, you suddenly got energetic. Alright, I’ll teach you. But in exchange, you won’t read any more magic books!”
“Thank you. I love you, Mother.” (If I can learn magic from her, I don’t mind not reading magic books.)
At that moment, another voice in the room chimed in.
“Mother, Nii-sama, I want to do it too!”
El spoke out loudly, as if he were afraid of being left out, unlike his usual self. Mother shifted her gaze from me to El and spoke with a smile.
“Of course, El. Let’s learn together.”
From that day on, we learned the “game to become better at using magic” from our mother.
Living Room –
El and I sat on the living room sofa, and our mother began to speak.
“What I’m going to teach you now is a technique called ‘mana manipulation.’ Just manipulating mana alone won’t activate magic. To use magic, you’ll also need another technique called ‘mana transformation.'”
It seemed that magic consisted of these two techniques.
“To use magic, you need to transform ordinary mana into specific types like water mana or fire mana. In other words, magic can be performed with mana transformation alone. However, if you only use mana transformation, it’s limited. For example, with just mana transformation, wind magic would only make the wind blow, and water magic would cause water to overflow from your hands.”
Mana transformation seemed to be the technique for changing mana into the specific type needed for a particular spell.
“For example, to cast a wind magic spell like ‘Air Cutter,’ you would use mana transformation to change mana into wind mana and then use mana manipulation to shape it into a blade. Like this.”
After saying that, mother waved her finger lightly like a conductor. Something shot out from her fingertip, though it wasn’t clear what it was. It refracted the air as it flew, and in the next moment, a flower from a vase in the corner of the room fell silently.
After observing our mother’s finger and the fallen flower several times, we looked up at her. She had a triumphant look on her face, unlike anything we had seen before.
Mother’s lessons were easy to understand. What I couldn’t grasp from reading magic books, I could easily understand through her explanations and practical demonstrations.
Actions speak louder than words, and seeing is believing.
“Now, both of you stand there.”
Following our mother’s instructions, El and I stood a short distance apart.
“Then, close your eyes slowly. Just before your eyelids close completely, stop.”
It was something like half-closed eyes. We closed our eyes as instructed until they reached a half-closed state.
“If you close your eyes completely, your body will sway, and if you keep your eyes open, you’ll blink. You need to close your eyelids until you’re at a state where you don’t sway and don’t blink.”
Mother spoke softly, ensuring we understood the purpose of each action.
“Next, stand in the most relaxed posture possible. Relax completely… Good. Now, continue to relax.”
I followed Mother’s words and relaxed my shoulder muscles, becoming more at ease.
“When you feel relaxed enough, slowly shift your consciousness within yourself.”
Mother spoke in a hushed voice, ensuring not to startle us.
“Like that… Good… Can you feel something warm flowing slowly within yourself? If you can feel it… that’s mana.”
I did my best to follow the instructions but still couldn’t sense the feeling of mana. How much time had passed? A minute? Ten minutes? It probably hadn’t been an hour.
Feeling a bit tired, I opened my eyes to restart and looked around. The room wasn’t particularly dark, but there was indeed a certain “something” emitting light.
“El… Do you understand? That’s mana…”
While looking at El, who was gazing absentmindedly at the light, Mother’s voice filled with joy echoed in the room.
After a while…
“Let’s call it a day for today!”
It had been about two hours since El started glowing, and it was now time for lunch, so we finished our magical exercises.
Today’s lunch consisted of my father, mother, El, and me. Usually, it was just my mother, El, and me, with my father occasionally joining us, making it a group of three to four people.
While we all ate lunch together, the conversation naturally revolved around magical exercises.
“El, it seems you were able to ‘sense magic’ in just one try. That’s amazing! It took me over a month”
“Yeah! It feels all warm and swirling inside!”
El was using childlike and awkward words to describe the sensation, but he was trying his best to convey it and had a big smile on his face, clearly thrilled.
After listening to El’s story, my father turned towards me.
“Al, couldn’t you sense magic?”
“I didn’t quite understand how to focus on the inside of my body…”
“I see. You have to learn to sense magic on your own; there’s no other way. Regardless of the magnitude of the magic, there is no one without any magic.”
“No one without magic… I definitely have magic in me.”
“That’s right. I struggled to sense magic too when I was your age. I used to worry that I couldn’t use magic at all.”
However, I couldn’t help but feel the gap in talent between me, who couldn’t sense magic right away, and El, who could. While I understood my father’s words in my head, I couldn’t fully accept them.
“Listen, Al. You’re still young, too young. Learning to manipulate magic is a long-term goal. Take it slow. Don’t rush. I still want to be a father for a while longer.”
My father looked at me earnestly, his gaze filled with kindness.
“Young… take it slow… I understand, Father.”
My father’s words were probably right. Normally, you were supposed to start learning magic after the age of ten, but I had insisted on learning since I was four…
And so, lunch came to an end, and it was time for a nap.
“Nii-sama, I’m sleepy.”
“I’m sorry, El. Just once, please. Show us your magic!”
“I can only feel warmth, you know…”
“I want to see that ‘warmth swirling’ just once. Please!”
So, with tired eyes, El reluctantly agreed to show me just one more time.
Reluctantly, El agreed to show us his magic, and even before he began meditating, I observed him closely. He seemed completely relaxed, in a natural state, with nothing particularly special about him. It was almost as if he blended seamlessly with his surroundings.
As I watched, El’s body slowly but surely began to emit light. Captivated by the light, I moved closer to El, feeling like a moth drawn to a flame.
I extended my hand slowly and touched El’s shoulder. His body twitched for a moment, but quickly returned to its previous state. Meanwhile, I could sense something warm flowing from the hand I had placed on El’s shoulder.
There was no sense of danger in this warmth, and instead, it brought a sense of comfort. I surrendered myself to it, losing track of time. Was it 10 seconds? 20 seconds? Perhaps not even a full minute had passed when I felt my hand slowly starting to emit light, as if it was being engulfed by El’s radiance.
The light gradually spread from his wrist to his elbow, then to his shoulder, covering his entire body. Rafina, who had been watching from a distance, jumped up from the sofa when she saw Aldo emitting light that seemed to synchronize with Elphus’s.
(I’ve never heard of magic spreading to others like this during meditation!)
Normally, when in a meditative state, being touched by someone would only break the meditation. It might cause a bit of surprise, but that would be it.
Rafina stood beside Elphus and Aldo, and with a prayerful feeling, she gently took his hand with both of hers. Then, slowly, she moved his hand away from Elphus’s shoulder.
(Please, let everything be okay…)
Whether Rafina’s prayers were answered or not, the light from both of them gradually diminished and eventually disappeared. As the light vanished, they both opened their eyes, excitedly looking at each other and starting to talk.
“So, that’s magic! Thanks, El.”
“Our warmth mixed and swirled together, Nii-sama.”
“Yeah, it felt warm and really nice.”
Rafina, who had been worried, couldn’t find the right words to say anything, but seeing both of us looking so lively, she couldn’t help but let tears of relief flow.
Though she had something to say, words failed to escape her lips. Instead, she approached them, her worry transforming into tears.
In the midst of this chaotic scene, Rafina took a deep breath to compose herself, then quickly bombarded us with questions about our well-being.
“Are you okay? Any pain? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Is there anything wrong?”
Before they could answer, she fired off a rapid succession of inquiries.
“Sorry for making you worry. We’re fine.”
“No pain here. I was just swirling my ‘warmth’ with, Nii-sama.”
With each of their reassuring words, Rafina finally found the peace of mind she had been seeking.
“Thank goodness… Don’t make me worry anymore…”
And so, the basics of magic manipulation came to a close.
As the two children drifted into their afternoon slumber, finally, a quiet moment settled in. Rafina, reflecting on the scene from earlier, engaged her full knowledge as a member of the magical research lab and a mage.
(Even though they’re siblings, I’ve never heard of anyone other than oneself transferring magic like that. Could it be because they’re twins, and their magic qualities are the same, allowing them to exchange magic?)
She recalled the behavior of Aldo and Elphus earlier and started to form her own hypothesis.
(Can twins perform the same feats? Are there any records of twin mages? Perhaps there’s something new in magical techniques?)
Random thoughts crossed her mind, then faded away.
(From their behavior, it seems there’s no immediate danger, but… what potential effects could this have…? Maybe it’s best to prohibit magic exchange altogether.)
From Rafina’s perspective, the development of magic was beyond her knowledge, and she was primarily concerned about whether Aldo and Elphus would be negatively affected.
(Haa… I guess I’ll have to watch their progress for a while…)
After pondering for a bit, she couldn’t come up with a better idea. It seemed that for now, she would have to keep a close eye on them.
While she was lost in thought, she couldn’t help but keep her gaze on the two peacefully sleeping on the same bed.
(Haa, they’re completely unaware of other people’s concerns… Well, I’ll make sure to protect them, my precious little angels.)
Despite her worries about the children, Rafina found solace in their innocent sleeping faces.