“Welcome back dear. Dinner’s ready and waiting.”
“Thanks honey. You know how much I love the meals you make me, especially after a long period of non-stop work.”
“I do dear. Everything’s already all set on the dining table. Today, I made rice, miso soup, sashimi, karaage, pepper steak, and ramen.”
“W-wow, you sure went all out.”
That’s one hell of a heavy meal right there…
“I knew you were going to be tired after coming home, so I tried to make enough food to help cheer you up.”
“T-Thanks honey, I appreciate it… Wow, this is delicious.”
“That would be because I made it with love, dear.”
I smiled wryly as I continued to “eat.” Illuna, the person supposedly responsible for cooking up the meal, beamed at me as I did. Of course, she hadn’t actually cooked, and the two of us hadn’t suddenly started acting like a husband and wife. The whole situation was make believe. It was all just a part of us playing house.
We were currently inside of a small, toy-like building, specifically the kind you’d often see in playgrounds or parks that catered to young children. Though I’d made it out of earth magic, it lacked the bland brown that all my initial creations had shared. Its exterior and interior were both decorated in vivid reds, blues, and greens. It looked pretty damn good, if I did say so myself.
My proficiency in earth magic had increased dramatically. I’d become not only able to affect the colours, but also the texture and overall granularity of my creations. At first, I’d thought that earth magic was only capable of controlling dirt. Evidently, I was wrong. The magic could manipulate minerals and gemstones just as easily. In my previous life, people had crushed stones in order to create colourful dyes. I saw no reason for me not to do the same, so I began using all sorts of ores and gems in order to bring colour to my creations. Fine tuning the colours turned out to be much more difficult a task than I initially anticipated, but I eventually got the hang of it after putting in enough practice.
The whole experience once again reminded me that magic required an open mind. Flexibility was key to preventing mages from getting trapped within rabbit holes. As the Demon Lord of Creativity, I decided I would eventually master many different types of magic to ensure that I remained adaptable.
On a side note, Lefi was right. My max mp had increased, albeit only by the slightest bit. I was confident that I’d eventually raise it high enough to craft myself a castle so long as I continued to practice.
“There is something I would like to confirm. Were you the one that created this structure, my Lord?”
I wasn’t the only one playing house with Illuna. Leila had joined us as well. She was supposed to be acting as our daughter, but she couldn’t help but find herself a bit too distracted to play the game. All her attention was focused on the backdrop I’d made.
“With all due respect, my Lord, you and Lefi are both ridiculous. Your ability to weave complex spells with ease is nothing short of absurd. I fear that I may soon lose sight of the standard the average mage is held to.”
A distant look appeared in her eyes as she spoke.
Now that she mentions it, I don’t even know what the average mage is supposed to be able to do.
“I’ve never seen anyone but Lefi cast magic, so she’s pretty much become my standard. Are our abilities really that far outside the norm?”
“Undoubtedly,” she said. A momentary pause followed her affirmation. She seemed to be gathering her thoughts. “Would I be correct in assuming that both of you are capable of casting primordial magic? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen either of you chant prior to casting a spell.”
“I thought so,” she nodded. “Primordial magic is effectively treated as a lost art. I highly doubt it has any more than a few dozen practitioners.”
“Modern spells are entirely chant-based. In fact, they are less akin to true magic than they are magic-based techniques. The current standard is for mages is to chant to create a frame for their spells before weaving their magical energies into it. The spell activates once the mage injects a sufficient amount of mana.”
Leila’s explanation was factual and to the point. I almost felt like I was listening to a teacher.
P-Primordial magic is a lost art? Huh. Though, I guess I can see that. Lefi uses it pretty heavily herself, and she’s supposedly the strongest living thing there is. It only makes sense for it to be something not everyone can use.
“Wait, you’re saying that modern magic is basically centered around the chant, right?”
“That’s the exact opposite of what Lefi told me. She said that magic’s supposed to be centered around its caster’s imagination and that chants are just for additional support.”
“The only individuals capable of casting spells through the method you described are those with a high affinity for magic. The records say that all demons had the ability to cast primordial magic in the distant past, and that our species gradually lost the ability as time progressed. The only modern casters capable of reproducing primordial magic are atavisms.”
I think I get it. Lefi said that demons are just lumps of magical particles that spontaneously come to life. Most of the later generations probably resulted from demons interbreeding with other races because there weren’t that many of them. Their magical affinities must’ve just slowly dropped as the generations passed. In fact, they probably developed chants as a form of technology to make up for their inability to do things that their ancestors could.
My ability to use primordial magic probably stemmed from the way the dungeon created me. It made my body much more like an ancient demon than a modern one.
God damn it dungeon. You have no idea how much I love you right now. I almost want to run up to your core and give it a smooch. But that aside, I’m seriously lacking in my knowledge of how things work here. I should probably go visit a human or demon settlement and stay there a while so I can learn more about this world and its workings. That’s probably the best way for me to protect myself from any potential major incidents.
“Geez! Come on you guys! We’re supposed to be in the middle of playing house! Stop getting distracted!” Illuna angrily puffed out her cheeks.
“Right, my bad. Where were we again?”
“We’re supposed to be husband and wife, Onii-chan!”
“Oh, yeah. I remember now. Leila was supposed to be our daughter, but she contracted a supposedly incurable illness, so I went out on a journey in order to find a way to save her. I ended up finding it, but she died right before I made it back, right?”
“Yup! Make sure you play properly this time, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I will.”
“What’s up Leila?”
“Is it really absolutely necessary for my character to die?”
Sorry, but our little princess’ words are final. But don’t worry, I’ll at least make sure we take good care of your corpse.