The Magus of Genesis — Chapter 11




May it be that a voice shall fade,

books will forever light the way.


​ “O’ branch, move!”

​ As though obeying me, the water apple tree’s branch shook slightly.

​ “O’ fire, soar upward!”

​ However, the words I followed up with vanished into the air without the branch so much as rustling.

​ “Hmm… Oh water apple tree branch, stretch and send one of your leaves to me.”

​ Following what I said, a branch extended out toward me and dropped a leaf at my feet.

​ I looked at the leaf and began to chant vigorously.

​ “… O’ tree of forbidden wisdom, Darkness Water Apple, rise from purgatory and bestow upon this being your fruit—”

​ “What’re you saying?”

​ “Uwaaah!?”

​ Hearing a voice suddenly come from behind me, I literally jumped up into the air.

​ “N-Nina. You’re early.”

​ “The trees were rustling so I thought something was up. What was that a second ago?”

​ Even though I chose to do this before the sun even came up so that no one would see…!

​ No, let’s settle down. She doesn’t know about the concept of Chuuni.

​ There shouldn’t be a problem in me telling her.

​ “It somehow felt like you were saying something super weird?”

​ This girl definitely has a sixth sense!!

​ This is the first time I’ve resented her characteristic ability to sense things.

​ “You thinking it’s strange can’t be helped. I was testing out a ground-breaking way of using magic just now. It may even increase the power magic has a few levels. However, I have to try out various things in order to find the most effective way, so I’m making sure to test things that sound awkward as well.”

​ “Let me hear what you said a moment ago.”

​ “… Please spare me…”

​ I graciously accepted my defeat.

​ “Still though, it really is easier to use magic while speaking.”

​ “You knew?”

​ “Sort of. I thought it was just like that for me though.”

​ Nina held out her arm and asked the tree to give her one of its fruits. When she did that, the water apple tree placed a water apple into her hand with movements as dexterous as a person’s hand.

​ What amazing precision.

​ “Apparently, the longer the incantation, the better the effect.”

​ “Is that so?”

​ While not exactly knowing why, I nodded all the same.

​ “Also, anything said that is irrelevant to the magic itself it meaningless, no matter which way you try arranging it.”

​ “Isn’t that obvious?”

​ She sounded a bit cocky.

​ “Well, it might be something obvious for you, but we have to examine each and every possibility thoroughly.”

​ “Hmm.”

​ She nibbled on the water apple as she halfheartedly listened to my explanation.

​ “Hey, you said that the longer, the better right?”

​ “I don’t know the reason why, but yeah.”

​ Nina tossed the water apple’s core away and closed her eyes.

​ [Oh trees, those which spreads their roots through the ground, those which flourish with so many leaves, those which bloom with flowers, those which produce fruit.]

​ This was something I hadn’t heard in a while. She was speaking in Elvish.

​ [Listen to wind’s whispers as it passes through the groves, to the leaves’ mutters as they fall and flutter to the ground, to the sound of your roots absorbing water, and to my voice.]

​ She spoke her words like composing a poem, like weaving a tapestry.

​ [Use your supple arms to seize and deliver unto me my nourishment, the quadruped beast, the white thing that bounds to and fro.]

​ It happened just as the verse finished.

​ —All of the trees, they… roared.

​ It wasn’t something so simple as it being noisy. The trees themselves trembled as they undulated, squirmed, and bellowed.

​ The earth shook as birds took to the sky in attempts to escape the trees. The roar of various beasts resounded from places off in the distance.

​ “Mentor, are you alright!?”

​ Surprised by the sound, Ai leapt out of bed and came running to me in whatever she was already wearing.

​ The men peeped outside of the cave, spears in hand.

​ And then—

​ Plop.

​ With a starkly quiet sound compared to the uproar from just before, a single rabbit was thrown to Nina’s feet.

​ Both me, Ai, the people in the cave, as well as the rabbit itself, couldn’t understand what just happened, our eyes opened wide. The first one to make a move without that stunned silence was the one to cause the commotion… Nina.

​ “I caught it!”

​ Quickly reaching out toward it, she caught the rabbit by its long ears. It tried to escape, but it was already too late.

​ “That surprised me… I didn’t think anything like that would happen.”

​ Keeping the struggling rabbit away from her body, Nina patted her chest in relief.

​ “That really surprised me, too.”

​ “Was that, Nina’s magic?”

​ Still holding my foreleg, Ai’s eyes darted back and forth between Nina, the rabbit, and the trees in bewilderment.

​ “To think that the incantation holds that much influence on the result…”

​ Let’s never make use of an incantation for fire magic.

​ “Can I do it, too?”

​ “It might be a bit early for you, Ai…”

​ With a huge vocabulary to construct an incantation, one must also have a suitable skill in sentence construction.

​ Not even Nina was able to construct her incantation in Japanese.

​ Ai had also gotten to the point of knowing quite a lot of words, but it was probably still too hard for her.

​ “Is that, so…?”

​ I wanted to do something when I saw her hang her head in despondence, but this is one of the few problems that just needs time to overcome…

​ Just as I finished thinking that, a certain thought flashed through my head.

​ “No, that’s not it.”

​ I’m not sure if it’ll go well, but it’s worth a shot.

​ If it does work, various problems might all be resolved in one go.

​ “Alright, let’s try something. Are you willing to cooperate with me?”

​ “Yes!”

​ The finally rising morning sun shined down on Ai’s delighted smile.


* * *


​ “You who is clad in white clothing, the comrade of all ice, the snow spirit, oh Jack Frost. Send to me your breath. Fill this with your frost.”

​ Holding an unfired jar, Ai looked at the wooden plank I was holding as she recited the incantation. Something that looked like a white fog spread within the jar. My eyes perceived that it was definitely water in the air going below the freezing point.

​ She quickly used a large leaf to cover the jar’s opening, put a plank above that, then sealed it with a stone.

​ It was a simplistic freezer, like what used to be built in primitive times.

​ It wouldn’t last as long as the real thing, but it should still allow a gutted fish to last two or three days. Living should get a lot easier if we can preserve and store easily-acquired fish and shellfish for later.

​ “I did it!”

​ “Yeah. Thank you, Ai. You did well!”

​ Seeing Ai unusually act so proudly, I gently patted her head with my fingertip.

​ “It’s all thanks to Mentor, that I could make this.”

​ Showing signs of embarrassment, she pointed at the board I had modestly.

​ On it was the incantation she recited a moment ago.

​ It was the oldest grimoire in the world, so to speak.

​ It was written on a wooden plank with charcoal entirely in hiragana, though.

​ There wasn’t any need for her to think about what to say for the incantation herself. A third party may think that, but there were three factors as work.

​ What were those three factors? Meaning, intention, and purpose.

​ Firstly, you had to understand the meaning of the incantation’s words.

​ I tried having Nina test it out by telling her to do it phonetically in Japanese, but, as expected, if the person themselves didn’t understand the meaning of the words they spoke, they wouldn’t work as an incantation.

​ Secondly, the intention. Even if both the meaning and purpose requirements are met, the effect wouldn’t come to fruition if the magic is used without there being an intention behind it. Just speaking an incantation without thinking anything wouldn’t invoke the magic.

​ And lastly, the most important, is the purpose.

​ The purpose is why the words spoken were used in the incantation… in other words, there has to be a relationship throughout it all. Nina said that it was natural, but it wasn’t something as simple as that.

​ Just repeated the same words wouldn’t work.

​ [Oh trees, those which spreads their roots through the ground, those which flourish with so many leaves, those which bloom with flowers, those which produce fruit.]

​ Like how Nina had recited, even though she said things that all meant tree in the end, she designed her purpose such that each individual statement was a different way of saying the same thing. And in proportion with the level of purpose given, the magic’s effectiveness would increase.

​ To put it another way, having only ever used magic without the incantation, we had only ever used magic through meaning and intention.

​ “Mentor, can I ask you, something?”

​ “What?”

​ “Mentor, have you ever seen, Jack Frost?”

​ I was at a loss on how to answer Ai’s question.

​ Jack Frost. A spirit of ice and snow that appears within England’s myths.

​ I didn’t know whether or not spirits actually existed within this world. But since it’s easier to refer to a concept like him after personifying it, I simply decided to do so and include it in the incantation.

​ “Yeah, I have.”

​ The incantation might just lose its effect if she realized that he doesn’t exist.

​ Thinking that, I lied to her.

​ It’s be troubling if we lost the help of that cold incantation now.

​ Besides, it wasn’t necessarily a lie either. I have met him.

​ … It was inside a game, though.

​ “I want to meet him, too.”

​ “Yeah. If you work hard in studying magic, you might just be able to meet him some day.”

​ I never thought that my white lie would lead to something outrageous in the distant future.


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