Chapter 5 – Souls (2)
He started the conversation by introducing himself.
“Hello, you might already know me due to the transferred memories, but I feel it is best to introduce myself nonetheless.”
“I’m Joseph Haggard, about 35 years old, born in the Red Dust Empire, Section 07, City 12, District 05, Share and Care Hospital number 1034. I was an unemployed middle-class peasant at the moment of my death. It’s nice to meet you two! I hope we get along well! You can call me Joseph. I’ll be in your care.”
Joseph ended his introduction, giving way for the others to introduce themselves.
“Hello. My name is Faust Ubel von Purson, 21 years old physically, last of the noble house Ubel from the dissolved Sortiarius Empire, born in the first year of the Second Era, 13th of Varnas. I received the title of Great Sorcerer King by the start of the Third Era. Although I was also called an ancient demon by some, I believe you’ll find me to be most courteous and friendly. I do hope we will be able to cooperate inside this foreign world, friends. You are permitted to call me Sir Ubel.”
If Faust had total control over a body, he most certainly would be showing his most bright smile to his roommates, though no one would believe him to be friendly either way. Even his brightest smile would incur a feeling of incongruence on the beholder.
“Greetings. My name is Qiang ZhiHao… I believe it would be ZhiHao Qiang, by your world’s standards… I no longer remember this one’s age at the time of departure from the mortal realm. I was born a peasant in a remote countryside village from the Shēng Empire… I still cherish those old memories. I was the sect leader of the Thundering Heavens Sect and the leader of the alliance by the end of the war against the Ani. The populace used to call me Righteous Deva. My cultivation realm prior to my death was late-stage Dao Enlightenment. Now, however, it is all in the past. Please, do not be courteous as you speak to me. By all means, treat me as you would a family member.” finished with his introduction, he gave a light bow towards the others.
Qiang ZhiHao exuded the aura of a calm but strict grandfather. Though his speech was somewhat rigid, he appeared to be friendly. It calmed Joseph down.
Now that the introductions were done, they had to separate which tasks each would do. Without teamwork, living together would be impossible.
“I believe that, now that introductions have ended, dividing tasks among us should be our first goal.” Qiang ZhiHao proposed.
“Hm… Starting from the obvious, Faust can -”
“Do not finish that sentence, Joseph, I’d already planned to do so anyways. I’ll take care of spellcasting. From what you’ve seen in my memories, you must know I’m quite proficient at it, yes?” Faust said, interrupting Joseph.
Joseph remembered memories of the former’s unethical experiments. He almost threw up. Of course, not in the literal sense of the word, as he was in a metaphysical state that rendered him unable to execute physical functions.
‘This damn asshole is purposefully making me recall them…’
“If Sir Ubel is sticking with his most proficient skill, I suppose I ought to do the same. I’ll be in charge of cultivating the body.”
“Uh… If Mister Ubel and Mister Qiang are going to stick to what they were skilled at in their previous life, what am I going to do? I don’t have mastery on cultivation, magic, nor martial arts! I spent my entire life studying to become a doctor! The worst part is that I haven’t even been able to put them to practice for 10 years! I already forgot most of it!”
“Hmm…” ZhiHao pondered on what Joseph could do. “How about being in control of the body? I need to concentrate to execute techniques and, with someone else controlling the body, we would most likely be most efficient.”
“Just controlling the body… it’s really bothersome, now that I think about it.” Joseph muttered.
“No, no! It is actually convenient when you consider the following: I am able cast spells without any major interruptions, such as being obligated to move the body in the midst of battle. Technically speaking, this is optimal for a sorcerer like me.” Faust explained. “So, just to make it clear, you will be in charge of controlling the body because you don’t have any skills.”
‘Convenient for you…’ while Joseph thought that, a sudden question appeared at that moment.
“I know this might be a stupid question, but… what’s magic, exactly, Mister Ubel? And what about spells?”
Faust sighed. “Can you not simply see my memories for that? It would make ”
Joseph flinched. Searching through Faust’s memories for an explanation wasn’t the best idea. Though the memories were shared with all, it’s not as if those who did not experience them knew where to look for.
“I’d, uh, rather not search through your memories. I’d like to hear it from you directly.”
Faust sighed again.
“Spells, regardless of type, are divided into 9 levels, at least officially. There is an extra 10th level, though not achievable by mortals, and a level below 1. Level 0 spells are called ‘tricks’ or ‘half-spells’. Categorizing the level of spells is quite easy, as it relies on the number of circles a spellcaster must have to cast them.” he paused before continuing.
“For example, a simple light spell like ‘Sight’ is categorized as a level 0 trick due to being utilizable by a spellcaster with no circles. As such, tricks are not truly recognized as part of a spellcaster’s, repertoire, despite being useful to most.” Faust explained. “Onto the topic of magic. Magic mainly uses mana as the resource to cast spells, although some spells use other resources, such as mind power, soul power or life force. Sorcery, of which I practice, is one of the main branches of magic. It, however, does not truly utilize the same mana as the other branches of it, but that explanation is for another day.”
With most of his curiosity sated, Joseph felt satisfied. ZhiHao just sat as quietly as he had been, appearing to be slightly interested in what Faust had been saying. The word ‘spell’ reminded him of a friend who was a practitioner. Maybe they were similar?
“Can I use magic?” Joseph asked.
“I find it to be hard for someone like you to master any type of spell, or even a trick, for the matter. You don’t need to worry, however, as I will be taking care of these types of matters.”
Joseph was told by Faust in a quite clear manner that he had no talent for spellcasting. To Faust, it seemed as if Joseph was so unintelligent that he would not be able to use sorcery even by searching through Faust’s shared memories, even though they are comparable to an entire library worth of magic.
“You should be worrying about something else, shouldn’t you?”
At Faust’s remark, Joseph got rid of his distracting thoughts and once again focused on the subject.
“So, it’s decided, right? I am in charge of controlling the body, Mister Qiang is in charge of cultivation and Mister Ubel is in charge of magic. Is that it all?”
Faust and ZhiHao nodded. Seeing a ‘young man’ trying to take leadership in front of them was laughable, but they just went along with Joseph’s illusion of leadership. Faust found it too bothersome, while ZhiHao simply felt like giving Joseph a chance to develop his leadership.
“Shall we go?” Joseph asked his roommates, to which they nodded once again.
He, however, was reminded of the cruel reality. Their physical body was at the starting stage for rigor mortis. In this situation, there was nothing he could do!