I noticed the dark elf lady had a slingshot. To be precise, it was a wrist-rocket. She had two short edged daggers on both sides of the belt around her waist. She seemed quite tall. She definitely was taller than the average in America. A rough estimate would probably be 62 ”. She was saying something to me but I understood zero of it. She was motioning what she was saying to try to make it easier. With a little bit of a struggle of both of us trying to explain my situation, I, more or less, understood some of it. I understood we could not go deeper in the forest yet and we were awaiting approval on what to do next.
She was pointing to herself and repeating a word but then I realized she was saying her name. Her name was apparently Zera. She still had an expressionless face. She looked practically like a mannequin. She was trying to ask me questions which I could tell from the inflection of her voice. I did not know what questions she was asking so I just introduced myself by coping with her gestures. I pointed to myself and said:
”Jared. I am Jared. ”
I repeated that two or three times and she called my name Jared repeating what I said while pointing to me. I was telling her my age by counting my fingers while saying the English numbers. She wouldn understand the numbers but she could tell I was telling her my age. I counted to 58. She seemed to accept it pretty easily. I guess, from my knowledge of reading fantasy, I was a kid in dark elf terms. That was also apparent when I saw how tall she was. Compared to her, I was a child, though, compared to human life experience I was well past a middle aged adult.
I felt like it was quite convenient to be summoned like that and that my former life on earth could carry over in experience and years without any weird suspicion to the natives of this current world.
It was hot and I was getting thirsty. She knew what I needed and handed me a wineskin with water in it. I felt refreshed but my arms, face, and neck were still sweating. I toughened it out and ignored the heat as best I could.
I was talking with Zera for quite some time. We missed probably 90 percent of the meaning in our conversation. But I did learn the word Zeknad which was presumably the word for scouts or the title of a scout. She was the adjutant to the captain of the Zeknad, who I later found out was Zoren.
I gestured to Zeras slingshot and made a face of a question mark. She answered by demonstrating an earth spell. She carved a small target in a tree right on the edge of the forest. Then she walked back to me and I noticed that she drew a quartz looking rock out of nothing in a mere second. When she flung the rock it went so fast I heard the sonic boom and it hit the target dead center. It was so fast that I could not follow the trajectory and when I went to check the target it had a hollow hole through the tree. The tree was 2 feet in diameter and the rock just bulldozed through like it was just paper. She seemed slightly stunned at the result. She was probably at a distance from the target that wouldn cause the size of the hole much less go through the whole tree. I probably overreacted with surprise because she acted like this was not abnormal.
Two things I noticed when she did this: The first was that I could see a glow of gold which was her nervous system beneath her skin. I noticed that the energy started at the brain and flashed across her nervous system at the rate of her spell creation. The second thing I noticed was the wind gathering around her slingshot. I could infer that this was a combined spell using two kinds of elements. I read about a bunch of fantasy magic systems back in high school. I did have an interesting perspective to the understanding of magic theory in this world.
I made many hypotheses about what she was doing. I noticed I was thinking of three things at the exact same time. It was like thinking about a fun story while counting up in numbers but adding a third thought simultaneously. I realized that I was basically having conversations with myself as if a group of three were talking together. Then a fourth thought became possible. From the books I have read in the past I had a gift of parallel mind. I did not know if I had fragments of my personality split among these thoughts, or if they each had their own personality, or even if I was making up personalities for them myself. These were a convenient and essential part of my inductive reasoning going forward.
After just ten minutes of thinking through what she did and how magic worked based on this one attack spell, I came to some conclusions.
The first was that spells had to be visualized but did not need incantations. I deduced that spells had to expend energy to be effective, which is mana, and a visualization of compounds and substances to materialize them and use it for attack or defense. I knew I had no way of casting magic myself as of yet. I did not know if I would be able to one day or not but that was the reality.
Second, I also knew there was a difference between the mana in someone used for spell expenditure and the mana surrounding us in this world, like the atmosphere. The fact that it feels like 110 degrees when I first arrived in this world but the grass plains and the trees look colorful meant the mana had to do something to keep nature from withering and dying in the heat.
Third, I was acclimating to the heat rather fast and I wasn sweating anymore. It felt more like it was 90 or 80 degrees. I had a feeling the heat was hotter than I was describing it and that if I were summoned here as a human I would have burned and been cooked alive.
Fourth, I knew that the mana expenditure and potency of a spell was determined by seven ranks. I later learned these ranks were called from bottom to top as such: Novice, Armature, Veteran, Elite, Master, Grand Master, and finally Entropian. Entropian describe the power and chaos of some of the most powerful beings of this world.
Fifth, though not a conclusion just yet, my theory about me being a catalyst for other magicians. The reason it was just a theory was because of her momentary surprise to the result of smashing the rock through the tree. I had a few other theories on her reaction. If my theory is correct I could be exploited in some way to be used as a tool for war and politics and so I had to try my best to not act so surprised at my own discoveries of my abilities. If that plan failed I would have to be sure I am not anyones puppet. I had limited knowledge of magic theory and so keeping my abilities hidden proved difficult to hide, especially of what came next.
Based on her seeing my own reaction to her target practice, Zera probably felt I was lacking in the magic department but that didn mean I was suspicious. For all she knew, she might think I specialized in close-combat. After a while I had learned some vocabulary here and there from the language she was speaking. Just some contextual level of the language. I was nowhere near proficient yet. I also did not have much of a way to respond with their language so I would have to work harder to gain vocabulary to speak in return.
It felt like two hours had passed. A monster showed up. It did not look intimidating to say the least because of the size of it but it was clear there was more to it than meets the eye. It was like a doll that was made in my image, only it was made out of stone. I was getting a look from Zera with slight suspicion in her eyes. I could immediately tell this rock doll version of me was unusual to even her. She probably was thinking I summoned or created this creature but our previous interactions made her not outright attack me. She knew there were other possibilities for why it was here.
I am the adjutant to the captain of Zeknad. I have a high responsibility to keep the borders safe around our dark elf tribes. I was always cautious around this young dark elf but I did all I could to try to communicate. Often, a lack of communication could lead to wrong conclusions and unnecessary combat. This was a kid, but dark elves are known to be quite strong so that meant I couldn be complacent or let my guard down around him. I found out his name was Jared. He was definitely foreign. Clearly a dark elf from the looks of it but he was different from our tribes of dark elves. He was close enough to classify as a dark elf but he was more distinct from the features of the tribal dark elves here. Each tribe of dark elf had subtle differences in appearance, different ethnic groups of the dark elf race. This world was a huge one and so we could have easily overlooked Jareds kind.
I had many questions about Jared. He said he was 58 so traveling alone was possible for that age but this world has dangerous monsters and dangerous people. This world can be a cruel one, and that is coming from just my scouting experience, so I could not imagine the rest of the world. Dark elves were a socially exclusive race that only liked dealing with their own kind. It is true that Jared has a better chance of getting the Chiefs approval to stay in the villages but his heterochromia was a concern of mine. It had many political indications. The Chief also had heterochromia and he was head of the royalist faction. There were three factions in our political system.
The fact that he spoke another language was an obvious indicator that he was a foreigner but if we ignore that part, his name beginning with the letter J, was another indicator of his foreign status. We had four tribes of dark elves and each tribe had a letter at the start of a name indicating the tribe they are from. was the indicator for my tribe. There were the other three tribes that the names started with X, I, and Q.
I was growing a bit suspicious of him, though I did not show any outward signs that could give it away. I needed to be careful for the sake of all dark elves but I also didn want to have the kid hate me if he was just normal. He pointed to my slingshot wrist-rocket and I could tell he was wondering how I used it.
I demonstrated my strength by making a target. Then I had him follow me and stand next to me while I casted my magic. I was at a very long distance from my target. I honestly didn know I would even hit it at this distance. I just had to put more effort and use more mana to make it possible. I thought this would kill two birds with one stone because I could demonstrate I was strong to prove I could protect him and be a deterrent if he ever thought to attack me.
For my spell, I created a white stone which was supposedly on the list of the top seven hardest minerals in the world. The spell itself was called stone cannon. I had the visualization to control the size of the rock and the speed at which it was launched with my wind spell glide. The earth magic was amateur earth magic but its power was equivalent to veteran earth magic. The wind magic was veteran air magic.
There is an ancient language to this world which legends say was the foundational language of the world at its origin. This language is what helps visualize the magic. Mages had to study spells by visualizing the incantations of the spell names in its original language. No one ever spoke in this ancient language anymore as a primary form of communication but it was an essential written language and the pronunciation was passed down orally throughout the generations of history.
The spell was launched by combining wind and earth magic and it hit the target. I had a shocked face only momentarily. I went to look at the tree that was my target and noticed a hole almost three times as large as my rock I launched and it had gone through the tree. I had a feeling this wasn just my own power on display.
I heard rumors of rare people who were called amplifiers. They were beings who could heal others but not themselves. Their own body was a catalyst much like an elite level staff but tenfold. They were known to be unable to cast magic with mana. A select few amplifiers could use their own magic that was generated with blood. Animals, monsters, sentient beings, any living creature which has blood. Even their own blood could be used to cast but blood is something that does not get replenished without healing magic and since amplifiers cannot heal themselves that would be a very dangerous approach. Blood magic was a very broad scope of magic and there were many categories and subcategories. People who weren amplifiers could learn blood magic of some kind if they understood the mechanics behind it.
There were no outward signs on Jared to indicate he was an amplifier so I couldn definitively say that was the case but it was a possible reason for my spell being so strong. I could imagine Jared being used in political ravings and schemes if he really is an amplifier.
I didn rule him out to not be dangerous anymore. I did hold some skepticism to his current circumstances and lack of common sense in this world. For all I knew, he could be putting on an act. He could be an enemy spy. I had to keep an eye on him. If the Chief decided to send him away from Dark Wood Forest that would be fine. Less for me to deal with… But if he is innocent and just a normal kid then Id feel a little bit bad.
Jared and I continued our motion filled conversation. He was repeating words back at me that I said at times. He seems to be repeating phrases that he understood. After an hour of watching over him and communicating. It seemed like his comprehension in my elvish language was getting better minute after minute. How was this kid so smart? It would probably take me decades to learn his language.
Then we spotted a B rank earth golem. B rank golems were monsters that formed in your image. To be completely honest, I didn think we were making it out of this battle, but I sent a magic wood phoenix with a letter to the other Zeknad in our vicinity. I would have to hold this monster off until back-up arrives.
I looked at Jared with suspicion as the monster was running towards me, but he had a surprised reaction just like me. I had a small inkling this was not Jareds summoned monster but I had no way of knowing that for sure. It was created in the image of Jared and that is very unlikely to be someone elses summoned monster. But his reaction of surprise, though could be an act, seemed genuine and so I needed to stay open-minded about the situation and just hold of the monster. If I make it out of this alive then I can question him all Id like.
The monster was closing in on the distance and I shot another stone cannon like I did before with the glide wind spell. The shot hit the face of the earth golem and it had no effect. I was a mage with armature dagger skills so my close combat would be no match for this B rank monster if it came to that. That is why I had to use my magic to stall him and keep it from becoming a melee