Chapter 0.0: Start of The New Era
There was a laboratory situated in the mountains of Japan, about to burn through its remaining funds. It was full of researchers shunned by society for their unorthodox views.
No one believed anymore that their work would bring any results.
On their last dregs, the researchers pushed themselves to the limit, uncaring of food or sleep for days. And finally, they discovered something wonderful, something more groundbreaking than any other discovery or invention before. They’d found a replenishable energy source that could be tapped into and used by humans directly: magic power.
They’d proved everyone wrong.
The same government that’d long since turned its back to the researchers now gave them all of its attention. The news spread across the globe; it would’ve been foolish to assume it could be suppressed.
A dream long thought to be impossible had finally been realized.
In just a year after the discovery, humans were able to use magic to control the elements and accomplish other feats thus far limited to fiction. These people were fittingly called magicians. However, they numbered at only about 0.001% of the population.
A year later, that too changed.
The number of magicians increased exponentially as the researchers published their results to the world. Eventually, a good 30% of the world’s population became capable of using magic to some extent.
In these circumstances, the laboratory should’ve been closed and the researchers promoted, but their job was far from over. A few months later, the Second Salem broke out.
It was the curse to the blessing that came out of Pandora’s Box: a “disease” that caused magicians to burst into flames.
It started with ten people, but it spread to a hundred, then ten thousand, until it numbered beyond 50 million cases worldwide.
The panicked governments begged the researchers who’d opened Pandora’s Box to save them.
Two months later, the cause was found. After obtaining the burnt corpse of one of the victims and performing an autopsy, a certain magicologist used a special method and discovered a glowing blue mass; it was an organ of pure, condensed magic energy.
It had laid dormant and invisible for who knows how long inside humans, unneeded for centuries at the minimum.
As humans had evolved, their bodies had lost the traits needed to maintain homeostasis with the organ’s functioning. There had been no downside to it existing until magic was discovered.
The organ that’d once again started to serve its purpose of gathering mana over time would eventually reach unstable levels and destroy the body. This was the “disease,” humanity’s punishment for hastily accessing magic.
Alarmed, the magicologist performed surgery on one of his assistants who’d contracted the disease, and he discovered a similar blue mass inside his chest. He removed the organ, and as the assistant’s contraction of the “disease” had been recent, his life was saved.
A day later, and he was walking again as if his near-death state had been a lie. Moreover, he retained the ability to use magic.
The next day, hospitals worldwide were filled to the brim with patients, all clamoring, yelling, and fighting each other to be saved first.
After more than 50 million had died, the disaster was stopped.
The silver lining of this horrific time was the researchers being able to resume their work using the new materials they’d obtained.
And in 4 years, they produced results.
The extra organ was a condensed mass of mana. However, there was more to it. In that mana was engraved the owner’s thoughts, memories, and emotions: a second soul of sorts, dubbed as the Concept Core. And along with it an object, often a weapon, could be produced through a process named Core Synthesis.
This was a living weapon capable of growing alongside its user: a mirror into their soul, the Speculo.
“… And that’s the end of the textbook passage. It’s a history we’ve moved on from but one that should never be forgotten. 20 years ago, magic was discovered, and thus the Magic Era began.”