Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Am I doing this right?” I questioned my memory as I attempted to follow the instructions that Illuna had outlined. They were simple. All I had to do was give a few orders. But their extreme simplicity was precisely the cause of my uncertainty.
“Yup!” chimed Illuna, as the spirits began to move.
It seemed that I hadn’t failed. The floating balls of fire formed a ring around me and began moving up and down in a fluid, coordinated manner as they twirled to and fro. The motion, which resulted from my orders, created an organic, wave-like pattern that almost made the group appear as a single individual.
“Wow! That’s amazing! I can’t believe you can already make them do so much!”
“It’s all ‘cause I had a great teacher,” I said with a smile. “I’m sure any idiot would’ve been able to figure it out with you at the helm.”
“If you say so,” she said with an embarrassed but sing-songy giggle.
What a precious little thing she is.
According to the brief lesson she’d given me, spirits were capable of a whole slew of different tasks. One of their most prominent functions was the ability to pick out individuals with evil intentions. Every member of the race shared the feature, and it was evidently something that they had evolved in order to thrive, given their relative fragility as individuals. And it was also the reason that Illuna had always been able to actively discern whether someone would pose her any danger.
The spirit race was further split into several subspecies, with precise classifications being based on the elements. Wind spirits, for example, had an affinity with the wind element, and were therefore capable of casting wind magic, whereas water spirits did the same with water, and so on and so forth. Unlike traditional magic, spirit sorcery was attuned with the natural world, which meant that its power was heavily based on the location in which the spell was cast; fire spirits were relatively inept at sea, but were capable of providing overwhelming power near a volcano.
Under normal circumstances, spirits were effectively used as a medium through which individuals could create magical phenomena limited only by the scope of one’s imagination. Primordial magic more or less did the same, but that wasn’t to say that the two were redundant. There were still benefits to be had, the biggest of which was a lift on my elemental restrictions. I would finally be able to use every element at will, granted the right place and time.
The biggest flame I could produce using primordial magic was one small enough not to look out of place on a matchstick or a lighter. But asking a fire spirit to do the same would instead lead to something powerful enough to actually function as an attack. It was hard to call it a truly decent attack, as the spell’s potency was based on the spirit’s mana, and spirits had the tendency to be rather weak. But there was a workaround. Fueling the spirit with an external mana source, such as the caster’s, would allow it to go far beyond its usual limits.
“Hmmmm… I think I’ve got an idea,” I said. “Come, Ifritta!”
The fire spirits in my vicinity absorbed my mana as they gathered into a tight compact group. And upon bursting into an even larger ball of flame, they took on a new form—one that looked exactly as I’d imagined it—a feminine incarnate of fire. Oh wow, that went pretty well, especially for a first try.
It was their first time performing this exact trick, as I’d only just thought it up, but they proceeded with utmost confidence. The newly formed super spirit didn’t even bother glancing at itself to confirm that it had been formed successfully and proceeded with absolute confidence. While Ifritta was a new, individual spirit, it was also still every spirit that had come together to compose it. The closest thing I could think of to compare it to was a mech made up of several smaller mechs. Basically the exact same idea.
Throwing a whole plethora of different spirits into the mix was not only possible, but also incredibly easy, but Ifritta only happened to be made out of individuals based in the fire element, as that was what I had requested. The process had, for the most part, been pretty simple. I had basically passed them some mana, imagined the result, and asked them if they thought they could do it, to which they replied with a childlike “Yup yup!” And that was basically it.
The only thing I had to look out for was giving them enough mana, as failing to do so would prevent whatever phenomenon I was hoping for from being manifested. According to my adorable teacher, getting the amount of mana required just right was very difficult, and the mark of an excellent spirit sorcerer.
Illuna wasn’t capable of getting the spirits to do anything all that complex just yet. As she was still just a kid, she didn’t have all that much mana to give them to begin with. I was sure that she’d get the resources she needed once she got older, but that was still a ways away.
So before we get any further, I just wanna say, yeah, I know. You’re probably thinking, “What the fuck, Yuki? Ifritta? You’re a fucking unoriginal degenerate,” and yeah, I mean, you’re right. But it’s easy to remember, and that’s what matters, so I’m sticking with it.
“Alright Ifritta, can you launch an attack off over there?” I pointed towards an area of the grasslands that contained nothing in particular.
The spirit, or rather culmination of spirits, nodded before pointing both arms in the direction I denoted and launching a massive fireball. A roar boomed throughout the field, followed by a second as the projectile detonated in midair.
“Uhh… wow. That was uh… a lot more firepower than I was expecting.”
“Woahhhhh… That was awesome!” said Illuna.
For some odd reason, the explosion had ended up being a particularly pretty one. It reminded me much more of a firework than it did a bomb.
The best part about Ifritta was its ability to attack autonomously. It was capable of assaulting its target even without further instruction so long as it had yet to fulfill its objective. In other words, it was basically self-driven mobile artillery—and I was capable of creating several of them simultaneously in order to pump up the rate of fire. Now that’s a good addition to my kit if I’ve ever heard of one. Thanks Spirit Lord.
After thanking their monarch, I also thanked the spirits that had participated in my experiment and had them disperse. They fluttered through the air with a cheerful, “Call us again some time!” before melting away into the air.
“Aren’t the spirits just super cute?” asked Illuna.
“Yeah, totally,” I agreed.
They were incredibly pure and childlike in nature. Not a single one of them had doubted me for even a moment. It was easy for me to understand why they had ended up developing the ability to discern the difference between good and evil. Without it, they were sure to be exploited for all the wrong purposes.
It couldn’t really be helped, given their nature. Fundamentally speaking, spirits were only on the cusp of being considered intelligent life, and barely had wills of their own. They required magical power to thrive, and their comfort was highly dependent on the amount in their vicinity, so it was only natural for them to want to obey those that were willing to supply them with plenty of mana.
Even the Spirit Lord himself had supposedly just been another regular spirit at one point. That no longer held true, however, as he was clearly in possession of a distinct consciousness. Not that him being different is a surprise. Anything that absurdly powerful has to be way out of the norm.
Thinking of the Spirit Lord reminded me that his actions had given the dungeon a bit of a boost, which in turn raised my level and uplifted my stats. My character sheet was now as follows:
Race: Demon Lord
Class: Dragon/Demon Lord of Judgement
Skill Points: 18
Martial Arts VI
Primordial Magic VII
Enemy Detection VI
Sword Mastery V
Weapon Transmutation VI
Trap Mastery IV
Greatsword Mastery VII
Crisis Detection VI
Attention Redirection I
Demon Lord from Another World
Supreme Dragon’s Owner
One Who Judges
One Hostile to Humanity
Survivor of Death’s Embrace
Demon Lord;King of the Dragons
Supreme Dragon’s Spouse
One Acknowledged by the Spirit Lord
I’d leveled up, but, as expected, not by too much. The rate at which my level was inflating had dropped drastically once I’d made it a bit further into the triple digits. That wasn’t to say that I was leveling slowly. I’d already hit a whole hundred and fifty despite only having been here for a year and a few months, which meant my growth rate was still far above the norm.
While my level had only kind of budged, it was still easy to see that the Spirit Lord really had given me some of his power, as my stats had gone up a fair bit. Or at least that was how it seemed on paper. I didn’t actually feel any different, nor did it seem like I’d made any major progress towards in catching up to Lefi, my long term goal. Yeah… that’s gonna take a while.
I was pretty happy about my skills. I’d gained a new unique in Spirit Sorcery, as well as a regular skill in Attention Redirection since I’d last popped open my own stat page. Oh man, I can’t wait to head out and actually give these a spin against some monsters and whatnot.
The last thing I’d gained was a title that proved that the Spirit Lord had acknowledged me. I mean, I guess it makes sense. He wouldn’t have boosted me if he didn’t acknowledge me, right?
Alrighty. Testing Spirit Sorcery? Check. Looking over my stats? Also check. Now the only thing left on my to-do list is to put it in practice with some good old fashioned hunting. Woo!