124 Chapter 122 Planning For The Future
The next morning, Joseph bounced out of bed. He knew exactly what he wanted to make. Mages should have a weapon unique to them, so he was going to work on magical staves. He had to practice enchanting before he was able to give Stella her birthday present. Since the present was a secret, he had to figure out a way to get Stella to help him, without knowing.
"Making a magical staff, takes thirty mana, and I can only get nineteen," he said to her over breakfast. "I'm going to need you to help me make staves if that's okay?"
"Of course, Master Joseph."
It took an hour to enchant the first staff, as he had to meticulously carve the rune magically onto the staff. He had the rune at intermediate, so he knew what he was doing, but he wanted to make a lot of the staves, to get good at the rune, for Stella's present. At the end of the time, the mana was drawn into the circuit that was inscribed into the rune, rapidly out of him and Stella.
(You have successfully cast a spell of the Enchantment Rune for the first time. You have earned 3 Life Points.)
As he made the next three, he thought over her present. He wanted her to gain Resist Fire, but the only way he could gift her that ability, was if he tattooed the rune onto her. The spell would cost 800 mana, so her battery of 40 wouldn't work. He would have to ask his assistants and students to contribute, but he was nervous about it.
Joseph wasn't sure what she thought about tattoos. Many people had them, as it was a popular way to decorate themselves without costing too much. But he couldn't figure out how to bring up the subject without giving away his idea. It took an hour per hundred mana, so the tattoo would take eight hours. If he tried to do it by himself, without any help, it would take him over two years working eight hours a day.
Tekaun showed up about then, carrying a bundle of staves. "I brought the requested sticks. They should match the description you wished for."
"Thank you, Tekaun!" said Joseph, coming over to inspect them. They were exactly what he requested. Except one, it was more of a club. "Is this the one you wanted?" he asked.
"Yes. If I am to have a magical stick, to aid me with things, I would prefer it be able to hit things and not break."
He chuckled and said, "All right."
"I know it is a secret, so I will tell no one," she added, before turning to leave.
"Are you ready to go again, Stella?"
"I am just standing here, Master Joseph. It is not very taxing."
"Stella? How do you feel about tattoos?"
"Why?" she asked, suspiciously.
"Well. I was kind of thinking of giving you a magical tattoo."
"So, you would be harder to hurt?"
"If you want, I suppose it would be alright. I've honestly never thought about having tattoos before. I had them in my previous life as Sylva."
"I remember some of them, but not well. My vision was kind of fuzzy."
"Which magic were you thinking?" she asked as he started enchanting the staves again.
"I was going to surprise you, but I don't think you like surprises very much."
"I really don't. Surprises when I was very little, were never really good."
"I'm sorry for that," he said with a grimace.
"You couldn't have known. What were you going to do? Waddle down in your diaper to tell my mom to stop being a whore?"
"I could have asked my dad?" he started then stopped, shaking his head. "This is a stupid line of conversation. I'm sorry I brought it up."
"Master Joseph, you are welcome to give me a gift whenever you want. If you want to tattoo a magic protection on me, I have no problem with that. It will make it easier for me to be able to protect you."
"I really appreciate that, you know?"
"Good, because sometimes it's harder to do, than others."
He hung his head and they both started laughing.
"So, when do you think you will be ready to do the tattoo?" she asked.
"I'm not sure, it's going to take a hundred people donating mana for eight hours, and I need some powdered ruby for the ink. You'll get Resist Fire, which will make you strong enough to walk on the sun, before you died from other reasons than fire."
After a long day of enchanting the staves, he felt as if he knew what he was doing. All that was left was to go give out the presents. Stephan cried while Derek and Tekaun both took theirs reverently. It seemed a little too much for practice items, but he had wanted to give them something that was useful. The rest of the staves, he set back. He intended to hand them out to those he made teachers. With all of the mess of the elves, he was going to have to be gone a lot, so to keep them all studying and progressing, he wanted to announce teachers.
The next morning, he started working on a new spell. He wanted a spear head with a flame shooting out the back, like a rocket, to try and increase the missile range past 100 meters. He also was trying to get it to be able to penetrate hide armor.
By lunchtime, he wasn't having any luck. He could create the stone missile and hold it while he Shaped Earth to shape it, then Earth to Stone to change it from stone to metal. He could even use the Flame Jet to help launch it, but it was unstable and just tumbled end over end.
"Is everything alright?" asked Stella, as she brought lunch. The smell of cookies, fresh from the oven, immediately raised his spirits.
"I have several ideas, but it all basically boils down to the fact that my Earth Rune is still only basic. I need it to be intermediate, but it's not there yet. I can sense the other runes in the fog, but I can't see them. It's close to several other runes, but I can't quite make it out, and it's giving me a headache."
"Why don't you wait then?"
"Because I want a spell for sniping something farther away than it can shoot back."
"I'm OK with that."
"See? It's just not working. I can make some tiny tweaks to Stone Missile, but honestly, not enough to make it really worth much. Earth taught me one of the most optimized versions that was ever invented in any of the realms. That's the way this works."
"You talk like Earth is actually alive, Master Joseph."
"It is. They all are. I can talk to them and they talk back. I'll give it the rest of the day and if I make no progress, I'll just give up for now."
"How did you make your other spells?"
"Oh, well, mostly with just blind luck. Only Magma Missile was intentionally created. And I've been thinking about it for weeks. I also thought about using molten salt, of mixing Flame Jet and Sand Jet to make a molten glass shower, or Water Jet to make a scalding steam spray for areas that I can't afford to set on fire, but I'm not ready for those yet."
"Wow. I hadn't realized."
"If I put more effort into Water, I can also learn Acid spells, like Acid Jet, so mixing it would get you a jet made of acidic steam. But those are beyond my reach at the moment, too. Even if I could make them, they wouldn't be as strong as I could make them if I wait a bit. The first naming of a spell is important. I'm not sure I could explain exactly how, but I can feel that it is."
By suppertime, he still hadn't made much progress, so he decided to give it up for now. A lot was going on the next day, so he went to bed at a normal time, to have plenty of time to prepare the next morning.