It took me exactly ten days to reach the desert. Ten days, during all that time, I kept using [Nightfall], and I gained a level. Now it is level 7. This time, I need to perpetually train my skills while I am traveling. But while all the other needs me to kill something, [Nightfall] is the sole utility spell. Of course, with my important mana regeneration, the pitiful cost of creating some shadows is not a burden. That's why I trained my [Aura of Mayhem] too. I think that I can manage to have five different skeletons inside it, and still don't melt them. As for the duration, past five seconds and my concentration will falter and at least one will die. I never managed to improve the range of that spell, it is still a few meters.
Besides that information, I was never detected and I avoided every living being. No matter their race, human, elf or even treant, I didn't let one see me. As for a ratman following me and trying to assassinate me, Oslo never manages to catch him. My escape from Ronta and his probable encounter with the dwarf has allowed me to disappear from his sight. Only when I was passing near Ronta did something strange occurred. Oslo detected a shadow, not like the assassin that was clearly a ratman, I am talking about a living shadow. No matter the angle, it didn't have any size, and that's what puzzled both of us. Shadows don't move like that, without a body to create them or a magician like me. But the shadow was located inside the wood, North of Ronta, and never seen again. It looked like she was moving toward the South, as for whether it was going to or coming from there, we haven't a single clue.
But now that I am at the edge of the desert and out of the forest of the elves, I can finally begin my plan. Normally, I should be lost because that part of the desert had greatly evolved while I was away. But Oslo managed to find one former oasis which had turned into a small lake. And since I have no idea how he can do that, I only have to blindly trust him once again. He said that he recognizes the rock where I experimented my spells, back then. That's what he said, honestly when I saw the stone, I didn't find anything strange. Normally, that's the moment where I should have seen a melted dune or at least some traces of acid. But nothing. But we are not lost, apparently. And it is time to create my new skeleton magician.
About that, during those days where we were traveling, I have really imagined multiple scenarios where it can work. Well, at least in my mind, that is working. That's why we have not rushed toward the base of Krieg, because we need those skeletons. The men in armors are too dangerous to face in a melee fight, even if my level 5 skeleton warriors are pretty strong. But with an army bombarding the base from far away, the followers of Krieg will have no chance to win this battle.
The first thing that I will try is not necessarily the magician form of an undead. It is to at least grant him the control over magic. Like me, I am feeling the mana flowing through my veins, I can feel it take form when I cast a spell. Those things are necessary for my undead. That's why, even if I won't create a true magician on my first try, make him feel the mana will still be counted as a success. I try to think of the same skeleton as usual, but with a flow of mana surrounding him. Mana being inscribed on his bones, and that he can activate as he wants. I keep trying to describe more and more of those feelings, and then a skeleton is finally created.
I check my MP, and from the look of it, this skeleton has a higher cost than the normal one. 48/420, that's a little more than fifty mana of difference. As expected, the System recognizes the form that I wish to create, and establish the requirement in mana. After a little reflexion, I figure out that if a normal skeleton cost 600 MP, this one would have cost me 700 MP. If I didn't have that reduction, I would have a hard time invocating just a small dog. But now, let's see what he does. Number one?
Are you feeling something that doesn't exist but yet is present? Something that goes around your body, that you can manipulate but yet is strange, eerie?
-Yes, master, I feel something in the air, what are your orders?
I want you to use it as you wish, create something out of it, and show me what is the spell that you created.
-As you wish, master.
I can see him concentrating on his hands, slowly turning them around. Even if it doesn't really make sense, and his movements are erratic and random, I still think that he truly feels the mana around us. For nearly a minute, he keeps going, but without doing anything. Nothing was created in the end.
-I am sorry master, I manage to touch this feeling, but every time I tried to capture it, I failed.
That's alright number one, it just means you are not suitable to use mana. I created you with just the intention of you to feel it, not necessarily use it. That's okay. Now return from where you have come. I melt him, since he was not in his final form. No matter what happens, number one is and will always be my strongest undead.
After that, I waited for hours and thinking about how I can create a skeleton that can touch the mana. For the second try, I start with the same idea, but a different result. I imagine a skeleton capable of creating a flame in his hand, capable of burning the tree around him. I keep thinking about that picture and then summon number one. 22/420, this time, it was even more costly. I ask him the same questions and he answers identically as his former self. As for touching mana and creating something, this time he manages to do it.
-See master, that is what I can create.
And inside his hand, a small fire was burning. Just with his mind and my imagination, I have created the first skeleton magician in my army. But while it is impressive, the size of the fire is small. I ask him to make it bigger and to throw it at the trees that we can see just outside of the desert. He executes my order, but while the flame grows bigger, near one meter of height, the moment the fire leave his hand, it is gone. I ask him to do it again, to make the fire leaves his hand and touch the trees. He never manages to do it. I have to melt another number one.
For the third time, I think about the same skeleton, but this time, I imagine him capable of casting a spell, like a fireball the magicians used against me. It seems to be a pretty standard and easy to learn spell, since everyone had cast it against me. I imagine my skeleton capable of throwing a huge ball on some trees, burning them to the ground. And while the invocation was fine, at the last second, something went wrong. I don't know why since a skeleton has appeared in front of me. But something was wrong. I check my mana, and this time, I had nothing left. 0/420. I apparently didn't have enough mana. And as expected, when I ask him to cast fireball, it explodes on his face, killing him.
I try to create another number one. The spell hasn't even started that a backslash of mana destroyed my skeleton. The third time, the fireball was launched, but instead of going toward the tree, it went to the sky and fell down on number one. Again and again, I try to make him cast a simple spell. But most end up dead after the first try, and those that survive the fourth cast of fireball are none.
Five days after reaching the edge of the desert, I have still not managed to produce a single skeleton magician. Even Oslo is worried, our hope was crushed, as the numerous ashes of my skeletons fly in the wind. I try one more time, only to see him failed miserably. Six hours later, another try and… 38/420! I check my abilities, and everything related to magic has been upgraded. So that means….
NUMBER ONE, CAST FIREBALL!
And as I watch him skilfully create a big ball of fire in his hand, and targets a tree, at least a hundred meters away from his position, I feel satisfied. Because the tree and three others that were too close are burning.
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