Chapter 26 – Setting Off
The next day, Blue, Ashen and Chesney cut their morning training a short. They took some practice swings, but didn’t get to sparing. Instead, Blue laid out more of the details about the upcoming match.
“Now then, about the upcoming match between the two of you.” said Blue, eyeing both Chesney and Ashen together. “The match will be a game of tag. The time limit will be from noon to sundown. The last person who is ‘it’ is the loser.”
“How do we tell who is it?” asked Chesney.
“How? Just keep track between the two of you. You aren’t going to cheat, are you Chesney?”
“What? No, I don’t need to, I’ll win anyways.”
“About that, I have an idea.” said Ashen.
“I’ve been studying magic tools, and I think I can make them in time if I get the materials, but I have an idea.” said Ashen. “How about this. We will use a magic tool from which you can create any weapon or effect from.”
“Yeah. Like a sword you can swing, or a projectile you can throw, and so on.”
“Won’t that be rather dangerous?”
“Nmm. The things you create will be made out of magic. When you land a direct hit on the other person, it will temporarily paralyze you for a minute so that the other person can get away, and makes you glow Red or Blue to signify that you are ‘it’. You can also use the magic from the tool to block attacks as well. That way, it’s like we’re fighting against each other, but we won’t actually hurt each other, right?”
Such a thing is impossible, I say to myself, before reminding myself who is saying that. For someone who can create their own magic system, something like that should be possible, shouldn’t it?
“That… that would be cool, but are you sure you can make something like that? I’ve never heard of anything like that at all.”
“Yes, I have already worked it out, but like I said, I need some materials.”
“What do you need?” I ask as I walk up to the three of them.
“Um…” says Ashen, looking up at me, “Well, I need magic cores, two pairs of bracelets with the right mountings, and some time at the forest mansion with the tools there.”
“The bracelets, can they be anything?”
“Since they will be magic items, and I want to be able to keep using them afterwards, I would like them to be of good quality that would fit Chesney and I as we keep growing. The cores should be good so that they have the capacity to keep adding spell components to it.”
“But even if we get a high class core-ah you, you can use the Moon Bear cores as you like-you will be limited to at best three or four basic spells, right? And from what you’ve described, this would be a rather major spell, so you would only be able to fit one in there, correct?” I say.
“Eh? Ah, no, I mean, if you break it down, that is, if you break the spell components down, and just add the right components and pathways, you can do any combination of spells, you know? You are really limited by the number of components you can etch into the core and then from there, you are limited by the spells that those components can be combined to form, right? It’s like, I mean, it’s like, if you have a a bunch of letters, they can be used to make any number of words, right?”
“What? No, I’ve never heard of anything like that. You usually can only put one or two spells of any note in there before the core would run out of room.” I reply.
“That is, well, that is…”
Ashen seeems rather nervous talking to me. Is it because I am not around enough? I’ll need to fix that. That stupid old fart, making my daughter miss me…
“You would be limited by what you can put those components together with, but you can use any spell that you can form with what is available, or at least, with what instructions are placed inside it. For example, if you have the components a, b, c, 1, 2, and 3 in there, you can arrange them in any order and make any combination of spells that utilize any combination of those, as long as they have the right number of components. You can’t use, say, three B’s, but you can use one A and one 2 to make something.”
“Ah, I guess that makes sense. No, I don’t really get it, but you say it can be done, right? Are you sure? Have you made one before?”
“No, I haven’t yet, but I’ve read through all the notes I brought home, and I have written out everything I need to do, so in theory it should work. It is not all that different from what I did in the other world, just with different mediums, you see. I spent all night designing it so that I could get it done in time.”
“So, can I? Can I get the equipment?”
I stare at her for a solid couple of minutes before I respond.
I look up at Blue.
“It’s up to you. I am willing to bring Ashen there, and I know you wanted to see it yourself, but if you are willing to go to the village to order them…”
“Hmm… No, no I’ll need Ashen and Chesney with me for that. I was planning on it being a surprise, but I have had a present idea in mind for you. You too, Chesney.” I interject to Chesney, who seemed a bit sulky from being left out. “Since you can’t use constitution to protect yourself like Blue, Amelia and Chesney can, I was going to have some equipment tailored for you from the Moon Bears that you and Blue took down. For that, we’ll need yours and Blue’s measurements.”
“Mine as well?”
“Mother’s as well? Why?”
“Ah, well, the equipment we will be tailoring for you will have to grow with you. As you grow into it, it will grow to adapt to you. For that, we need to know roughly how you will be when you are older.”
Ashen looks over at her mother.
“To grow up with me to what I will look like in the future.”
Oi, Ashen, the place you are staring at is…
“Yes, ahem, yes, how you will grow in the future.”
“Sure, I’ll go for it.” says Blue, ruffling Ashen’s hair, and clearly noticing where she was looking at before.
“For Chesney, I was thinking of a sword, but…”
“Ah!” says Ashen, “For Chesney and for Mother, um… can you get them both bracelets of good quality, and good quality link cores? With that I can make them like what you said Mom-er, Sara, had.”
“What Aunty had?”
“Yes, a sword that comes out with magic. That way they can bring it out or dispel it at any time without having to carry it with them.”
“What do you two think?”
“Sounds amazing!” says Blue.
“Hmpf, it is a suitable weapon for one such as myself.” says Chesney. I can never get what is going through his head….
“Well then, shall we get going? I’ve asked Julie and her daughter to pack lunches for us, and while they are cleaning up the forest mansion, Blue and I can look around, and you can tinker in the tool room.”
“How do you know about the tool room?” asked Ashen, shocked.
“Why, you say? I’ve discussed it with Shaeshade, of course.”
“You never said I was not to talk with others?” a voice came out from Ashen’s shadow, as a small cat appeared. “Do not worry, I did not touch upon anything private. We only discussed the state of the mansion, and future plans.”
“Future plans? Like what?”
“Just as I have confidence with you, Ashen, I hold it with others.” says Shaeshade.
Seriously, for all this to come from a cat, I murmur under my breath…
“I heard that.”
“Nothing, I said nothing.”
And like that, we got our things together, and began the trek towards the forest path.