26 Chapter 26 Training so as not to be suicidal.
'There's one hour of sword training in the morning and again in the evening, two hours of etiquette, though one hour is still dancing, about an hour is lost eating meals during the day…maybe reduced consumption, so he would need to eat less? That would also cut down on bathroom time…' thought Joseph, trying to figure out his daily schedule.
He was practicing TEST FOOD on every meal, as training, but he could do it elsewhere. An hour between the bathroom and baths, then sleeping for three hours. There was about fifteen minutes lost whenever they took on supplies in order to verify nothing was poisoned, so the best he could do was around fifteen hours in a day for learning magic. Normally there was something that would come up that took an hour or two, between his mana being drained, or his father wanting him for something.
After the attack, his father had been calling him in whenever they had serious things to discuss. He also started letting him read the log books and journals he kept. Apparently, Joseph's habit of needing to write everything down in order to organize his thoughts, came from him. Sadly, perfect memory was not an instant organizer. His respect for his dad went up after reading about his struggles in the early days.
The system may be a nearly divine level gift, but his dad had to make a tremendous number of hard choices because his system giver was a jerk who abandoned him. The logs were extremely helpful though. Joseph's skills as an accountant from his past life allowed him to follow the amount of money, grain, other foods, cloth, lumber, stone, iron, etc. that were recorded for every one of his estates. There were even the taxes that were required to be paid and the transportation costs as deductions, leaving a pretty massive net profit. No wonder he was able to grow so quickly. The only issue came from figuring the deduction used for the guards pay…it was almost as if his dad were running a mini kingdom. Why had no one noticed this yet?
It would take him four days to finish the basics of Jet Emission. Technically he could learn spells without learning the specifics of how to aim them, but the thought of shooting explosive fireballs or rain of acid, without any training on how to aim seemed suicidally stupid.
The system was an immense help, as it broke down everything to show when he had trained enough, and what he should be training next. Nobles often had mages that acquired young children to tutor privately, but for the so called 'wild' mages, it would be incredibly dangerous. 'Wild' mage, is apparently supposed to be insulting, but after meeting Selena, a real 'wild' mage, he couldn't see it that way.
The memory of her drawing FIRE so intimately made him wonder if he's the one missing out on something, but his goal wouldn't be accomplished without multiple runes.
Breath training was…interesting. He almost hyperventilated and got dizzy, then he looked like he had a fish face, according to Stella. She laughed mercilessly at his hard work. In retaliation, and because it pleased him greatly that she was laughing at him, he blew a raspberry at her. It was then, that he had an epiphany.
He was so shocked, that he froze in mid motion, and she thought he had bit his tongue, which made her laugh again.
It took him another thirty minutes to figure out what he needed to do, to practice breath training. When the system started tracking the time, he knew he was on the right track. It was like a breathing class for having a baby, but fortunately it changed to a deep breathing exercise, like divers would do, by lunchtime. He found that far less objectionable.
In fact, breathing out the little glowing magic particles, was kind of cool. He may need to come back to this later. He thought if he mastered the technique, instead of just getting the basics, there might be some other benefits. He had that suspicion with jet emission, but the breathing technique he was certain of.
Everything was on track until day three of training Jet Emissions.
Joseph had Stella help him move everything around in the carriage, to make sure that he had space to practice. It involved shooting a jet of magical particles from the palm of his hand, and keeping it up as long as he could. She had been enjoying watching him, so he had been goofing off a bit more than he knew he should, but when he checked his status, he was overjoyed to see that it still counted.
Suddenly, the carriage came to a stop and he peeked out of the window to see that they had come to a massive gate.
"Stella, what gate is that?" he asked, stepping back so she could look out.
"I think it is the gate back to your home kingdom," she said, returning to her seat.
Thinking about it, he had to agree. The timing did line up. It was hard to believe they had been in the eastern kingdom for eight weeks already.
A servant arrived shortly after that, knocking on the door. Stopping the stream of magic, he went to the door.
"Forgive me for disturbing you, young master, but Master William wished for you to know that the delays at the gate may take some time. The eldest prince was attacked and they have just closed all of the gates."
"How did they receive the news?" he asked curiously. The capital was two days ride on a fast horse.
"A hawk, young master."
"Ah, then it shouldn't be a problem. Whoever attempted to assassinate the prince couldn't possibly get this far, so quickly. I'm sure Father will talk some sense into them." He waved at the slave, who bowed and left to relay his words to his father.
He had just gotten back into his rhythm, when there was another knock at the door. This time it wasn't just a slave, but several guards were there as well.
"I'm sorry to disturb you again, young master, but the guards of the gate are requiring a search of every wagon to ensure that the guilty party isn't trying to sneak across the border with us." The look on the slave's face, made it obvious this was the best his father had been able to do.
With a sigh, he nodded at Stella to accompany him out of the carriage. The guards paused only briefly when they stepped inside, raising a few eyebrows at the placement of the furniture. Joseph was sure they were intentionally taking a long time to search, but in the end, they found nothing. He could see that all of the carriages, wagons and carts were being searched in his father's entire caravan.
Since he couldn't practice his magic in front of everyone who was watching curiously, he would have to work extra hard the next day to make up for this lost time. He was more annoyed with that, than the overall delay. After all, the guards were honestly doing their jobs.
When they finally got to the other side of the gates, he was very relieved. He knew that could have been a lot worse.
When he finally got around to practicing his gaze magic, a few days later, it was just as he thought, his eyes burned. Too bad this world didn't have those numbing drops from his past life.
Stella told him he looked ridiculous most of the time, as he was making funny faces as he practiced. He didn't mind having a cute girl laugh at him, but he didn't tell her that. Even though she was over the trauma, he kept finding himself being overly cautious in case she did react. Would this continue? He certainly hoped not. Too bad he couldn't move on and forget…sigh.