Chapter 2, Forgotten steel.
I was running back to the academy as fast as I could. It seems that I was actually the second person to discover this mana vain, so now I am being pursued by the first person. I dodge a dagger as I enter the academy and the guards immediately stop the other person, who drops a smoke bomb and disappears with the black mist.
Damn it! I had a shot at killing the opponent with no one around and I blew it simply because I was scared!
I walk back to my dorm and start packing my stuff. I leave a note that told the others that I am going to be living in a different dorm by myself. I’m glad that we have the freedom to change dorms like this.
I find an empty dorm on the second floor. I put a claim seal on the door, declaring that I am now taking up residence here, while simultaneously destroying my claim seal on my old dorm.
I unpack all of my stuff using a basic telekinesis spell and explore my new home. It was much bigger than my old dorm It had a Livingroom with a master fireplace and glass walls overlooking one of the branches of Icterical. It was also very roomy. To the left was a full-sized kitchen, rather than the kitchenet that my old dorm had, and to the right was a hallway. It had 3 rooms. A bedroom, a bathroom, and a mage’s laboratory. The lab is a good place to prepare for the war to come and store magic items. I felt really hungry, so I went down to the city to buy some food. I went to the farmer’s market and got some produce as well as some fish and chicken. I returned to my dorm and put the stuff away in the kitchen and got to work making some dinner. By the time I was done, I had more of a burnt salad than a stir-fry. Even with the aid of magic I’m not a very good cook. I finished my dinner and walked into the laboratory. I took out an old book of spells and charms. I was extremely proficient in charms and enchantments but casting spells could use some work. I start laying out materials and muttering an incantation. “eiQWERY” the incantation became louder and louder until I was almost yelling. A transmutation table appeared, and the room changed as I finished, almost out of breath. I had cast an enchantment on the room. It could now transform into any room I needed, like the vanishing room in Harry Potter. I decide to go to bed, but not after casting a protection enchantment on a pendant and putting it on.
[The next day…]
I woke up and started getting ready for school but refused to take off the pendant. After I was dressed, and I had packed my bag, I left my dorm, which I had decided to call “the nest”. I forgot why I named it that, but it just kind of stuck. I went to 1st period only to be greeted by my very upset former roommates. “Why did you leave?” Zoie questioned, annoyed. “It’s complicated. And It’s one of those ‘the less you know the safer you are’ kind of things.” I said, hoping that they would buy it. That wasn’t all a lie though. Witnesses in a mana war are normally targeted to ensure that word doesn’t get out about the mana vain.
Ian opened his mouth to say something, but class started just as he was about to speak. Talk about saved by the bell. Today was yet another lecture in enchantments and casting class. After that, we had alcamy class, which isn’t even magic, but it is still taught like a form of the mystic arts for some reason. We got to try creating an object from the design we made yesterday. I made a bronze figure of the sword of selection, from the Arthurian legends. Ian made a fox, unsurprisingly. But Zoie was the one who blew us all away. She had created a set of armor made from Damascus steel. DAMASCUS F*CKING STEEL! “How did you even know how to forge that? And more importantly, why didn’t you tell anyone that someone finally found the recipe?” I asked in a blur of questions. “What’s the big deal?” Zoie asked. I just stared at her, dumbfounded. “You do realize that Damascus steel is more advanced than anything that modern metalworkers and scientists have made, and that the recipe was lost in the middle ages, right?” I asked. “In that case,” Zoie handed me a piece of paper with a metal recipe on it.
I entered my dorm and took out the paper. I walked into the laboratory and made it change into a forge. I looked at the list. It called for 0.33 ounces of pure carbon, 0.5 ounces of mana (crystalized form), and 1.16 ounces of molten steel. The result was supposed to be 2 ounces of Damascus steel. This meant that I would have to start stashing mana as fast as I could. The carbon and steel wouldn’t be too hard to find as they were elements commonly used in the non-magic world. I grabbed the ingredients on a nearby shelf and began to make a took in the forge.
[1 hour later]
I pulled the tool out of the forge with a set of long dark iron poles because it was far too hot to touch. I put it in the tub of cold water and waited for it to cool enough for me to enchant it. Once I enchant it, I let it cook and then pick it up. The handle is still warm, but not hot. I wrap the dark iron handle with a leather strap so that I will have a better grip on it and stand back to admire my work.
It was a localized mana gatherer, or LMG. It is a magical tool that attracts mana like a magnet and then stores it inside itself. Mine was made out of black iron, which was known for its resistance to magic, second only to Damascus steel. It is geld, or rather worn, like a gauntlet on the user’s arm. It had grating down the middle and edges of the magnet and had an armor glove that I would wear, which allowed be to still use a two-handed weapon or spell. I put it on and left the school to gather mana, this time being careful not to be detected by my enemies.
[in 15 minutes…]
I was gathering mana when my detection spell went off. That meant that someone was coming. I hid and observed my surroundings. The person that sat off the spell was none other than… Zoie? Oh god, why hadn’t I put two and two together sooner?! The recipe that she gave me called for mana! How else could she have made that armor? I cast a stealth spell on myself that turned me invisible and my footsteps were inaudible. I ran past Zoie and back to the school. I had enough mana for one day, and I needed to plan now that I know who my enemy is.
“In a mana war, the unspoken rule is that there can only be one winner. All of the participants enter with the understanding that they must kill their enemies or be killed by them until there is only one person left sanding.” I read aloud from a book.
No! Why did it have to be someone that knows me? They will probably know how I will attack if they find out that I am their enemy. I’ll just have to hope that she’s smart enough to back down id it’s jest us left. I have always surpassed Zoie with magic and combat spells, but she is the most stubborn person that I know. She wouldn’t back down from a challenge even if it cost her life.
Before I knew it, I was back in my dorm, sulking about the inevitable.
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