102 Chapter 102 This Is The Way We Melt Snow...
"System, will I get anything special for that display?"
(NO, WHY SHOULD YOU? YOU'VE RAISED THE BAR SO HIGH, THE CHANCES OF YOU GETTING SOMETHING SPECIAL AGAIN IS PRETTY SLIM)
"Oh, come on! You have to admit that was awesome! No one's done those spells in forever!"
(2,450 YEARS, TO BE MORE PRECISE. WHILE ENACRA JOINED IN WITH THE APPLAUSE, I'M AFRAID YOU WON'T GET MUCH MORE THAN THAT.)
"Fine," Joseph sighed. He was honestly alright with no extra rewards, but he felt he had to try.
It should have only taken two weeks for them to arrive at the barbarian valley. The key word being should.
Two days after they set out, a blizzard came roaring in. It was only November 11 and they had to slow to a crawl. Selena and Joseph were having to clear the snow in front of the caravan. It gave them a chance to talk some at least. Despite his progress, he was sucking in the mana around him as fast as possible to replenish what he was using. Selena's soul must have been a gate to the world of flames, as she didn't even register as using mana.
The good news was that the blizzard was so bad, nobody would be able to follow them. Joseph still managed to work on spells at night, after everyone fell asleep, and during the day, he talked to Selena about thaumatology. Her understanding was scattered. It was like talking to someone who knew calculus, but couldn't count back change, so he tried to provide her with a lot of basic understanding to support her theories. In return, she helped to tweak and discuss his advanced theories. All in all, it was enlightening enough that Derek, Stephan, and several of the other mages came out to listen to them when they got the chance, even if it meant freezing their butts off.
Thaumatology was now the first advanced skill Joseph had learned. If intermediate allowed complicated sentences, advanced allowed whole paragraphs. He spent much of his nights scribbling magical formulas, drawing spell circles and circuit pathways, and trying different rune combinations and rune strings. Once they set up in the valley, he would be able to start making enchanted items. As it was, they had been melting snow for three days, and if it wasn't for the company, he would have been incredibly bored with it by now.
(YOU'RE REPUTATION HAS INCREASED AMONGST THE MAGES FOLLOWING YOU, AND THE SHAMANS OF THE NORTHERN TRIBES.)
That was the third time today he had gotten that message. What was going on?
"Little Joseph, are you troubled?"
"Ah, no, not troubled. Just confused, Miss Selena."
"Do I need to explain it differently?"
"No, I understood your explanation. I find it fascinating you are already approaching infrared lasers and pure radiation, but this is about something else."
"If it is about young Stella, then I am not sure I can offer much advice. I am willing to listen if you require it."
"No, I think I'm good with Stella."
"Good, she seems to like you a great deal. Girls ignore or insult those they do not like. We only tease those we care for greatly."
Selena made a series of little fire elementals that ran around in the snow ahead of them. Of course, the snow didn't last, but that was the point. Joseph was only able to keep melting the snow in front of the caravan, by pursuing maximum efficiency the entire day. Miss Selena could play around to her hearts content, because it was FIRE. The few other mages with any fire proficiency, were done within a half hour in the morning.
"Well, actually, it's not what confused me earlier, but mom seems obsessed with Stella. At first it was funny, but now it's a little much. You should have seen her face when mom said we would have to wait and see if Stella would have good birthing hips later. Dad almost choked during dinner, but fortunately I didn't drop my fork."
Selena smiled. "Yes, your mother does seem to be one of the few who can cause Master William to be at a loss. I think you and young Stella still need to wait a few years though before you attempt children."
"We are friends until she wants to be more. We settled our relationship months ago, and confirmed it recently, but mom is starting from scratch. And it doesn't help with some of the rumors flying around amongst the men we just picked up. We sleep together alone in a carriage every night, so it must be because of, this, or she's always beside me so that I can, that. I made her sleepwear, but to hear them tell it, it's something indecent. She looks adorable in it.
"Ooh, Miss Selena, would you like something to sleep in? I could enchant it so that it wouldn't burn."
"That would be marvelous. I have gotten better since my sight was restored, but something that could take a moderate amount of heat would be wonderful."
Joseph laughed at Selena's idea of a moderate amount of heat. He decided he better go with level two protection.
"But how will you draw it on clothing? You were talking about circles and diagrams earlier but surely as the cloth folds the…. circuit, I believe that is what you call it, would be deformed?"
"Oh, there are several ways around that, don't worry, Miss Selena. I'll try and have it ready for the day of beginnings."
"Hmm. I will need to find a suitable gift as well for you and young Stella. If you are my honorary little brother, then she should be something like a niece I suppose."
"Stella's probably making you some kind of food."
"Ah! That would be most delightful. The apple wood smoked bacon with honey was extraordinary. The sweetness for my sweet tooth and a smoky flavor at the same time. Don't worry, I know it was your recipe, but I know not to pry in where you learned it."
"You don't think I just made it up?" he asked curiously.
"One or two things could be explained with your brilliance, but you have done far too many things. I just assume you hear other voices as I do and leave it at that."
"What kind of voices?"
"Oh, I listen to my lover FIRE mostly. He is looking forward to you caging a sun. I assume it will make sense, once I see it, but I admit, I'm not sure what he means exactly. Even the pictures I sometimes see are hard to fathom. None have used his sibling in such a manner before. Even the existence of this sibling is mostly forgotten. I don't even know its name."
"Are you talking about nuclear fusion?" he asked hesitantly.
She got a faraway look for a moment. "That name seems to please him, but I won't know for certain until I can dream with my beloved tonight and talk more."
"Wow. I remember the times when a rune seemed pulled towards FIRE, in my magical realm. It must be a rune for energy."
Joseph got excited just thinking about it, even if it wouldn't be soon.