111 Chapter 111 Discussions with the Elves
"What was the design you drew, Joseph?" asked Virion after they were underway. "The one you drew every morning before you left with your father?"
"Oh, that was BEACON. It was used to make it easier and to use less mana to aim at a place with TELEPORT. It can be cast slightly different for when crossing between realms or traveling through time. What I used was just for teleport though."
Joseph heard Elwin mutter, "Time?"
"Yes, don't worry. Apparently, that isn't allowed anymore. And I haven't bothered studying crossing realms yet. Though NECROMANCY technically has a BANISHMENT spell, I haven't learned it, yet."
"Have you found any ancient texts that have these spells written or something, Joseph?" asks Virion.
Joseph laughed. "No, of course not. I study the runes themselves and if I get stuck, I go to the magical realm to study them more in depth."
Several elves paused for a moment at that.
"What? You don't go to the magical realm?"
Stella looked at him. "Master Joseph, I imagine they must only go once, or they didn't realize humans knew how to go back."
"That's silly. Miss Selena goes there all the time. Oh, never mind. You're right. They probably don't have anyone like Miss Selena."
Virion looked excited. "Who is Miss Selena?"
"Oh, she would be my first real magic teacher. She is loved by FIRE." Again, he said the word from the flame realm as well as he could. The sunlight briefly pulsed brighter.
"Was that a dragon word?"
"Oh, no. I can't pronounce dragon words correctly as a human. I'm working on spells that will allow me to, though. But I'm not there yet. That pulse was probably more like a friendly wave you give for the kid your wife babysits, or something."
The elves were silent for several minutes after that. It really made him miss the carriage. Traveling on horseback with the elves, reminded him of being summoned to the king, too much.
Virion was quiet for a few minutes before he responded. "I think that what you are doing is highly dangerous. Spending so long in the magical realm. It's easy to exhaust your life force and also easy to fall prey to the beings in the other realms."
Joseph glanced at Stella, who was giving him a look.
"What do you mean?"
"It seems to me, you set your tethers far too long."
"Yes, the tethers that pull you back so that you don't go too far. Many young mages would set their tethers too long and encounter the others, or stay so long that they ran out of life force."
"Well, I do get tired, spending a long time in the magical realms, but never crippling so. I only need a nap. And the longest I've been on a trip is three days and I've yet to see another being in the realms besides miss Selena."
All of the elves were looking at him strangely before Virion said, "You must have been extremely lucky. We teach our young to never go more than an hour."
"I don't think I do this the same way you do. When you start in your magical realm, before you choose which rune realm you wish to go to, is that when you set the tether?"
"What are you talking about?" Now Virion was confused.
"You know, the nexus in your soul before you travel. Is that when you tether?"
"You set your tether here, in this world, before you set which realm to go too."
Joseph asked, "Can you show me?"
"It would be terrible to be weakened out here, Joseph."
"But the mana is normal out here, not like in your forest."
"But I use my life force to cast spells."
"Yes, I know you do in the forest, but you don't need to here. Just use mana."
"I always use my life force to cast spells. I never trained to use mana. It would deplete the already scarce mana in the forest."
Joseph paused this time, to think about that. Could they be serious?
"I normally use mana and would only use my life force to cast spells in emergencies."
"Assume we always, only use magic in emergencies."
Joseph released his mana, like when he did area training. The stars and constellations linked up as they slowly rotated. All the elves stopped their horses, as he looked at Virion.
"Do you truly mean all elves have lost the ability to do this?"
Virion stared as the mana slowly spun in beautiful spirals and whirls. Some stars died out, and changed colors to red and green before they burst back into blue and gold again. Slowly, the universe contracted back until it was inside him again, but his eyes were still glowing. There was plenty of mana in the elves. What would have led them to this path?
"I am sure some elders still know how to do what you do," said Virion, hesitantly.
"Would your King?"
"It is not my place to say, but I believe my king will be quite interested in meeting with you."
Joseph turned to Stella, and said in one of the languages from the other world, "This seems tragic."
Joseph had been looking forward to meeting the elves, a lot. He had thought that surely the elves would have a magical city, or something. Now it seemed more like he was going on an aid trip to a devastated third world country. That only meant that someone, or something, very terrible must have happened for things to have ended this way.
"Alright, Stella. I will send the other me to a rune world and I am going to meditate. Can you guide my horse while I focus?"
"Of course, Master Joseph. Are you sure you don't wish to talk to them more?"
"They are kind of depressing honestly. I want to make progress on my magic while we travel. I have no intention of forcing you to watch me suck the life out of myself in order to have a topic of conversation."
The elves seemed rather troubled that they knew a language they had obviously never heard of before. Elwin turned around from his horse, in the front, while Joseph handed Stella his reigns.
"Is everything all right?"
"Of course not! The elves can't practice magic! You are barely able to have children. A group that almost succeeded in killing everyone thousands of years ago, isn't done yet. Recently, the world was almost destroyed when they unsealed the avatar of a lesser god of destruction and ice. They are almost certainly involved in the wars in the central and eastern kingdom, and the coup in the western kingdom. Tens of thousands of people are going to die in the next few years from their activities, and I don't know if they have plans to put the souls of their victims to use, or if they just like people murdering each other.
"And I'm certainly not strong enough to stop them yet. I've almost been killed at least four times over the last year, depending on how close to death I have to be before you count it as almost. AND, I still have to convince your king, and likely his wife, who hates humans, to let me into your library for the information I need because my goal in life is to cure the world tree and heal the wasteland.
"That said, I'm going to practice now, so I don't regret being unprepared in the future."
Closing his eyes, he put his trust in Stella.