Chapter 22 : Training
「… Oi. Can I really… Become stronger with this?」
Conrad’s face was full of curiosity as he questioned me in one corner of the sorcery training field. I looked at him and said.
「-That much isn’t enough though.」
Even though Conrad had tried to deliver a perfect retort, he could only move his mouth while his body was completely still.
If someone was to ask what he was doing right now, he was currently emitting his internal mana from his body.
However, no one except me would see him doing so as he was being frozen still – well, his body couldn’t move at all, even his reflexes were useless. I told him to emit a fixed amount of mana and he did as I told him perfectly.
Emitting internal mana was something that even a kid who had just learned about sorcery could do.
Though many people did the same without realizing it, maintaining the emission of a fixed amount of mana for a long time was difficult.
It was similar to holding a bucket filled with water at a certain height for a long time. Lifting the bucket might be all right for a moment, but as time passes, the bucket becomes heavier and heavier. Keeping it at the same height becomes a challenge.
I believed it was normally impossible for normal people to maintain the emission for several minutes.
Similarly, even someone with a huge mana tank would have a hard time the first time they tried to maintain the emission of their mana.
This was unrelated to one’s talent. It was just the kind of ability that only grows along with training.
That was the reason why I made Conrad do that.
「… If this isn’t enough, then… why I do this?」
Conrad was confused, maybe it was because of the way I explained things to him.
The dumbfounded me then asked Conrad.
「Haven’t I explained it before? Physical reinforcement sorcery is the kind of sorcery that places importance in the sorcerer’s stamina. It’s the opposite of attributes sorcery which places importance in the firepower.」
「You did tell me that but… is doing this really affecting my stamina? I mean, even someone like me can use 1st rank reinforcement sorcery. However, maintaining it for a few minutes is another story. On top of that, in this kind of pose?」
「Don’t you believe in me?」
「No, it’s not like I don’t trust you…. I mean, it’s a good thing that I can increase my stamina just by doing this. But why isn’t this method widespread?」
「The reason is simple. It’s because this method is too dangerous.」
「One wrong move and your mana tank will be drained completely and you’ll die-」
「… Die!? O-Oi! Are you trying to kill me!?」
「As if! That’s why let me finish what I was saying. Yeah, it’s true that one mistake is enough to kill you, but that’s only if you’re left with no adequate supervisor by your side.」
「If you’re performing this kind of training alone, you’ll definitely use up the mana reserve in your body without knowing your limit. Moreover, you’ll release your mana even after you use it up by converting your life force into mana. Then, you’ll die after exhausting your life force.」
「So you mean… That the other person is there to notice the sign of mana exhaustion?」
「It’s easy to know when someone has exhausted their mana after using attribute sorcery. But the matter of continuously releasing small amounts of mana like what you did right now is barely noticeable… Reason being, the amount released is just too small. Small to the point that it’ll make you think– “Not yet”, “Not yet”, without realizing your limit.」
「And then, you end up converting life force into mana…. That’s dangerous man!」
「Yes, it’s dangerous. That’s why this kind of training has to be done in pairs; a supervisor and a user. The supervisor side has to continuously sense the mana of the user to check whether they have already exhausted their mana. Of course, you can only do this kind of training with someone you trust. That’s why, Conrad, can you put your trust in me?」
「… It’s hard not to trust you when you ask with such a refreshing smile… Well, you have no reason to kill me, so I can trust you for that. That’s why, best regard, Ryuu.」
「Yeah. I understand…. All right, I guess you’re about to hit your limit. You better stop releasing your mana within one minute. Otherwise, you’ll be completely exhausting your mana reserve.」
「EH!? Seriously! I mean, I can still go on, you know!?」
「This is the scariest part of the training.. I also did the same thing when I started this training the first time. Well, it’s not like you’re going to die immediately or lose the majority of your lifespan upon converting your life force into mana but… I’m speaking the truth about one small mistake that will cost your life… Okay, you can stop the emission now.」
「……. Y-Yeah…. Fuuh. Let’s see, to stop is…. E……..!?」
The moment Conrad stopped his emission, he could barely stand up.
And just as he fell on his knees, I immediately approached him and propped him up with my shoulder.
「See, you’re just one step away from exhausting your mana.」
「Y-Yea… That surprised me. But why did I still feel like I was okay when I released my mana?」
「I don’t know. There are so many questions and it’s still somewhat of a mystery. There’s a theory that it’s a kind of trump card for the people of ancient civilizations in order to surpass their limits. They had to burn their own blood in the dangerous situation after they had used up all their mana*. I mean, in the past, when people could only rely on their instinct to use and practice sorcery, this method might have been their last resort against some overwhelmingly powerful monsters… Though I think that our ancestors were quite the romantics to have the power to surpass their own limits」
[TL* : Cultivator’s blood burning arts?]
「Hee… Ryuu. I think you’re quite the romantic one, huh. I mean, I’m completely changing my opinion of you just now.」
I was really surprised when Conrad said that to me.
I understood what he wanted to say.
「Surely, I might look like someone who has zero interest in that area… But I’m actually quite fond of history and legends. I’ve read a lot of legends and myths since my childhood. I mean, the reason we exist now is precisely because of our ancestors’ effort. One of our ancestors’ legacy is sorcery arts that we used till now. If it wasn’t for them establishing the foundation of our current civilization, we might still living in caves, deep in the forest while trembling in fear of demons.」
「You’re right…. I’m in no position to say that I’m talentless. I’ll do my training properly and become a powerful sorcerer. Then, I’ll use my polished power to protect the people from the demons.」
「Hee, you’re unexpectedly the hot-blooded type huh, Conrad?」
「What do you mean by “unexpectedly”? Do I look like the hot-blooded type for you?」
「Yeah… You’re quite a cheerful person, and it’s not exactly wrong to call you a hot-blooded type… Some parts of you are calm and composed. Maybe that’s the reason why we hit it off immediately.」
「… You really see through me huh, Ryuu.」
We laughed together after exchanging these words.