Study Magic in My Free Time - Chapter 4: One in a Million Talent
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Translator: Mr. Steak
“……You have already learned ice magic?”
After staring at me with a serious expression, Father asked me that.
“No, I was just about to start working on it today.”
“Hm. Try doing it in front of me.”
Having said that, Father turned on his heels and started walking away.
I just stood there dumbfounded, until the butler next to me indicated to follow him.
Flustered, I rushed after him, and he lead me to a large living space with a hearth.
Father sat in the chair he’d asked a maid to bring for him on the way there.
“Alright, do it.”
At first, I was at a loss but quickly realized I just had to do the same thing as always.
I’d already learned full well from the fire magic that most of it comes from the grimoire at first, so nothing I could do would really impress him.
So I made up my mind to just start off with an introductory spell.
I opened the grimoire and started practicing what was written.
I was a little surprised, but when I thought about how ice magic might differ from fire magic, I imagined the techniques would be polar opposites when actually, that wasn’t the case at all.
Since fire was about putting energy into things, I’d expected ice to be about taking energy out of things.
But in reality, it was different. Ice magic requires me to charge quite a lot of energy.
Breathing techniques, how to charge the energy, how to picture it flowing throughout my body.
All of it was written in the grimoire, and I put them into practice.
I don’t know how much time it took, but the surface of the grimoire developed a thin sheet of frost.
“I did it……”
“What the! He actually did it…… It froze.”
He stood from his chair, came beside me and touched the grimoire to confirm.
Once he’d confirmed the grimoire’s temperature, as well as the prickling sound of the ice, Father was astonished.
“This is…… What in the world……”
The butler who was always with Father bowed his head.
Not to me though, who’d done the magic, but he was saying congratulations to my father.
“Yes! Fate is on my side!”
Father agreed with the butler, and then showed a cheerful expression I’d never seen from him before.
This was the first time I’d seen him so happy.
Not even at the banquet had he been quite this happy.
“You like magic?”
“Huh? Ah, yes. I love it.”
“Alright, then let us gather more grimoires for you. If there is a specific grimoire you’d like, don’t hesitate to tell me.”
“Oh, um, okay.”
I had no idea why he was in such a good mood, but hearing that he’d give me so many grimoires full of my beloved magic…… well, I wasn’t about to stop him.
“Now then, let’s see some more.”
I once again concentrated on practicing magic from the grimoire, but just then……
A knock came at the door.
The butler went to open it, then listened to whatever the person who’d knocked had to say.
After listening for a bit, he shut the door and returned.
Then, he whispered into Father’s ear.
“Your Excellency, that man we spoke of before……”
“What? You’re telling me he had taken refuge in my territory?”
“I’m afraid so, Your Excellency.”
His prior good cheer flipped instantly to a sour expression.
Then, without saying anything more, he left me behind and exited the room, taking his butler with him.
What was that all about?
The next day, I took Elementary Ice Magic and went to my usual spot in the woods.
I get that Father told me he’d collect tons of grimoires for me, but magic wasn’t such a simple thing.
It was something you have to take step by step, repeating it steadily every day until it’s burned into your body. I’d come to understand that during my month living as a noble.
That’s why I decided to learn everything in Elementary Ice Magic first, just like I’d done for Elementary Flame Magic.
With that on my mind, I headed toward my normal spot….. However.
“……Who are you?”
Someone was there already.
In my little open area in the woods, there was a man.
He was leaning against a tree and sitting on the ground, seeming completely exhausted.
At the sound of my voice, he lifted his head up and looked at me.
“Those clothes…… You’re one of Hamilton’s sons, yeah?”
“Huh? Oh, uh, yeah. I’m Liam Hamilton.”
Without thinking, I gave my name.
“Dang, I really screwed the pooch on this one. Here I was thinking it’d be hardest to find what’s right under your nose, but you got me on the very first day.”
“Welp, this is fate. Come on, do what you will.”
“Um……What are you talking about?”
“……You mean you didn’t come here to capture me?”
“Why would I?”
The man stared silently at me for a moment.
His eyes were scrutinizing.
It felt like he was trying to see through to the depths of my soul, which made me a little uncomfortable.
I stood there for a while getting stared at, until finally, he went “Heh” and grinned slightly with the corners of his mouth.
“My nerves have gotten too sensitive. There’s no way they’d send a little kid in after surrounding me.”
I had no clue what was going on, but apparently, there’d been a misunderstanding? And it seemed to be resolved now.
“Oh wow, you’re studying magic?”
The man had noticed the grimoire I was holding.
“Can I have a look?”
“Huh? Um, sure.”
I handed over the grimoire.
After giving it to him, I retroactively wondered if I shouldn’t have done that.
Unlike Bruno and Father, this man was a stranger.
And grimoires were supposed to be the sole property of nobles.
Was it alright to give it to him? Since I’d only been a noble for just one month, it wasn’t until after I’d handed it over that I remembered.
I was at a loss for what to do.
“Huh? What is?”
“Were you the last one to use this?”
“Which means this residual magic is from you. Nice, that’s some insane talent you’ve got there.”
While still sitting on the ground, he looked between me and the grimoire, sizing me up.
“Um…… Can I have it back now, please?”
“Ah, sorry, sorry.”
After saying that, the man handed it back normally.
I’d probably been overthinking.
Since I’d been suspicious of him for no reason, I felt sort of embarrassed.
To distract myself from that, I started practicing magic from the grimoire.
I performed the beginner ice spells just as the grimoire said.
All the while, the man was watching me silently. And then……
“Hey, do you want to know how to do it more efficiently?”
“Yeah. Oh, this isn’t anything weird, don’t worry. That’s beginner magic, right? So you’re at the stage of repeating it until it’s forged into your body. That won’t ever change.”
“But what I’m talking about is…… this.”
After saying that, the man extended his right hand, still sitting on the ground.
He held it out open, with his palm down.
Then, from each of his five fingers, he used a different kind of magic.
His index finger was fire, middle finger was ice, his ring finger was surrounded by electricity, and his little finger had a gust of wind swirling around it.
And his thumb was glowing like a red-hot iron.
“I’m talking about using a bunch of magic at once, like this. I’ve read that grimoire before too. “Ice Needle”, “Frozen Lake”, “Cold Nail”…… Man, there’s so many, right? And I bet you’re trying to learn ’em all one at a time, aren’t you? But if you instead use them all together, you’ll be able to learn way faster. That’s what I’m talking about.”
“Th, that’s possible?”
“The evidence is right in front of you.”
The man indicated his outstretched right hand with his eyes.
“S, so it’s really possible…… How are you doing that?”
“Oh? Good, I like it. You don’t have any of that useless pride nobles always have. Normally, a noble kid like you would be too caught up in his pride to actually ask for advice.”
I smiled awkwardly.
I wasn’t actually a noble, that’s why.
It had only been a month since I’d transferred into this body for some reason, and I wasn’t originally a noble.
So I’ve never known the sort of pride he was talking about.
“Let’s check. Try drawing shapes on the ground. Circles with your right hand, and squares with your left. At the same time.”
While wondering what this was supposed to check, I did as he’d instructed.
I held out my two index fingers and drew a bunch of circles and squares.
“Ooh, nicely done. Have you practiced this before?”
“No, I just multitask a lot.”
“Then you’ve already got an impressive affinity for it. If you can already do this, then we don’t even need to go through practice techniques. You can go straight to using the different spells you’ve learned with your right and left hands. Try it. Since I just showed you a bunch, you should be able to do it now with the remnants of my magic.”
Just as he’d instructed, I did a Flame Cutter with my right hand and a Fireball with my left.
I was able to do it easily.
I nodded as if I understood completely, but……
I didn’t know.
Using separate spells at the same time was an extremely difficult secret technique, possible only for one in a million people.
At the time, I had no idea.
Translator and Editor Notes:
That final bit of conversation was damn exhausting to translate, ugh! I don’t even know what’s wrong with it specifically, but it just reads so awkward to me. I tried to smooth it over a little but I think it still shows.
I’m starting to get a little annoyed at “Liam” for being such an airhead. Like, is his underdeveloped child brain slowly eating away at his intelligence? Or maybe the pampered life of a noble is dumbing him down. Either way…. Boy, you should have realized this man is the escaped convict or whatever that your father was talking about yesterday. Also, asking “is that possible” right after the dude is doing it right in front of you? Lol that conversation annoyed me.
As for the events of the chapter, I do like how there’s nuance here with the “mentor” dude being obviously against the Hamilton family in some way. I also like how Charles is really excited for Liam, obviously for political-expediency reasons rather than actually being proud of his son.
I also liked a bunch of the mystery dude’s dialogue before the really clunky end bit. Please be a fluke, haha. I’m committed to translating this, so I hope that’s the last clunky awkward dialogue I have to deal with! ~Mr.Steak
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