—A clue to the Hero Summoning Ceremony is in the Sadrius Alliance.  Suimei discovered that from the book Felmenia brought him.  Therefore, he, Felmenia, Lefille, and Liliana are travelling northwest across the continent from the capital of the Nelfila Empire, Filas Filia, towards the Sardius Alliance.

The horse drawn coach they ride in jolts.  Pulling them, however, is not a horse, but a creature with enormous horns and long frizzly hair.  Even though it’s as big as an elephant, it’s an animal known as a cow.[1]

—Paying the disturbance no mind, the modern magician, Yakagi Suimei, sits in a corner of the coach where he gives a lecture on magic to Felmenia and Liliana.  On the floor are some sheets of paper.  Lefille, a novice to magic, sits behind Suimei where she hums to herself as she polishes her sword.

“—With that covered, are you fine with moving on?”

Felmenia says, “Yes.”

Liliana says, “I am, ready.”

Suimei says, “Then, from here I’ll discuss the origins of my world’s liturgical magic.  Liturgy reduces the amount of time needed to cast magic by making it more efficient.  Intricate procedures are simplified by implementing short incantations and simple gestures.  Long chants have their composition rearranged and shortened.  Difficult chants are replaced with gestures.  Essential complex movements are replaced with incantations.”  He pauses for a moment and continues, “Combat magic is my most utilized magic and I’ve optimized it with liturgy.  Just snapping my fingers creates a phenomena.”

Felmenia snaps her fingers as Suimei pauses.  “You mean this.”

Suimei follows up with a light snap of his fingers.  The light impact that follows lifts the paper at his feet into the air.  “You’ll be surprised at how easy it is once you use it.”

Felmenia says, “Magic is much simpler in our world.  We utilize key words in our casting to invoke the elements.”

Liliana frowns as she tilts her head.  She’s still not accustomed to this fresh, new, theory of magic that overturns her entrenched common knowledge.  She says, “I’m surprised at, the differences.  Wielding magic like, that so easily runs contrary to, this world’s principles.”  Chanting is taught to be an undisputed law.  For something like liturgy to even be considered is impossible.

“My combat magic originally needed to be chanted to create a phenomena.  However, by chanting while simultaneously snapping my fingers, the chant was replaced.  In truth, snapping evokes the chant which allows for the same phenomena to occur.”

Felmenia and Liliana take notes on Suimei’s lesson.  Once they finish writing, he adds, “Magic is simplified by eliminating the useless and transforming what’s indispensable into a gesture.  This allows for the invocation of magic even in situations where speaking is restricted.  Liturgy accelerates magic by doing away with various casting procedures.”

Liliana says, “Suimei, how does shortening, work?”

“Well, let’s say you have to chant a spell five measures long and, for the sake of this argument, you need five minutes to chant it. Well, with liturgy, two of those five measures are replaced with a gesture you can perform while reciting your chant—”

“So the, chant is shortened by, two minutes.”

“Correct.  A second advantage is that it allows you to wield magic in situations where your actions are restricted.”

Felmenia and Liliana sigh out, “Hoo…” in admiration.

Felmenia then says, “Suimei-dono, will entropy remain constant even though liturgy reduces casting time?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

Liliana says, “What does, Felmenia mean?”

“According to modern magic theory, using liturgy to reduce casting time isn’t the same as mixing different systems of magic.  Substituting the chant with a gesture won’t change the essence of the spell.”

“I see….”

Suimei is astounded by Felmenia’s power of comprehension.  This is only the second time he’s explaining this to her, yet she already grasped it.  Her title of being a genius mage is well deserved.  “Well, it’s a skill that dates back more than 2,000 years in my world.  Charisma in the West grew in importance as a method to captivate the masses and parliament.  It became embedded in politics and was used as a tool to improve society.  But speeches were more than just discourses of enunciation and performance.  A different and equally important skillset was also developed.  Any ideas?”

Liliana says, “The ability to, memorize the contents spoken?”

“You guess it.  Mnemonics were created in order to accurately pull out the contents of a speech from memory.”

Many are unable to see the connection between memory and magic.  Judging from the expression on Felmenia and Liliana, they haven’t pinned down the connection either.  Suimei continues, “For example, if you memorize something while walking, you’ll find that recalling the information is easier while in movement.  Now, do you think remembering will be easier by performing a similar action, or returning to where you memorized it?”

Felmenia says, “Ah, I am familiar with that concept.”

“People often say they lack the memory for memorization, but the brain isn’t the only place memory is stored.  After all, aren’t people able to memorize things unconsciously?  This isn’t a simple case of not being able to use the information, but being unable to remember it.  In other words, the action associated with the memory helps in accessing it.”

Suimei pauses to refocus his derailing explanation.  “Anyway, that mnemonic device was developed and incorporated into spell casting.  Put short, information is remembered through action.  That saved information can be invoked—”

Felmenia continues for Suimei, “Through gestures, hand motions, and the like instead of with an incantation.  That invocation, however, is dependent on the assumption that the procedure for casting the spell is stored within your head, correct?”

Suimei nods as he says, “Yeah, that’s about right.”  Using magic directly becomes possible as long as the key actions to draw out the memory are performed with flawless execution.

Liliana makes a troubled expression.  “I’ve just, heard something outrageous.”

“That very well might be the case, but that theory stretches all the way back to the implementation of chantless magic.  The considerable amount of research conducted since then has been completed.”

Liliana voices her disbelief with a groan, “Muu…..”

Her difficulty in accepting Suimei’s words is natural.  Claiming that magic can be cast through only remembrance is an extreme statement to make.  Without practice, remembering the spell ends within the caster.  It also doesn’t grant the opportunity for a demonstration.

That’s why Suimei adds, “We back up our claims with evidence.  Unperceivable mysterious energy, mysterious vectors, mysterious laws, the various substances outside the human realm of perception; we exist to dispel those [Sacred mysteries]…..  That which I touch I becomes comprehensible.”

Suimei uses that final persuasion towards Liliana to enter the conclusion of his lecture.  “By sorting and substituting these mysterious acts, invoking magic circles, and utilizing concepts such as Notariko[2], Temurah[3], and Gematria[4], I am able to conduct entire rituals on my own.  This convenience created by liturgy is called liturgical technique.  Any questions?”

Liliana raises her hand, “Your magic circles….  I would like to, hear how you abruptly conjure, those.”

“Sorry, let’s save that for next time.  The phenomena of evoking magic circles is best left until after liturgy.”

“How, regrettable.”

Liliana’s despondent tone makes Suimei wonder, Was she that interested?

He hands out the sheets of paper while saying, “Therefore, I’ve prepared a test of fill in the blank problems.  At present, when it comes to liturgical technique, explanations revolve around moth eaten clothes.[5]

Felmenia says, “Suimei-dono, I believe actual practice is more fruitful at times like these…..  Therefore, would you not agree that we should practice implementing liturgy into our spell craft….?”

“That’s true, but can you find a place to practice in here?  We need a suitable location for that, and such a place isn’t something I can easily prepare here.”

Felmenia’s tone is reluctant as she says, “You are right….”

Testing the theory to get a feel of it is correct.  To that perspective, Suimei says, “I figured teaching you the theory in detail would let you understand it faster…..”  His head droops as he adds, “Teaching others sure is difficult.”

Having never officially taken a disciple before, teaching is new experience for him.  On the bright side, the two he’s teaching can already use magic so his role is more akin to a tutor with a unique skillset.  Regardless, he’s still teaching magic from its roots.  There is no escaping the difficult moments that will arise here and there.  For that reason, he’s having them express their opinions.

Suimei says, “Well, I do agree.  Just try doing this for now.  One way or another, I’ll come up with a way to let you practice.”

Felmenia says, “I understand.”

Liliana makes a grim expression as she holds up a sheet of paper.  “To treat such clean, paper as disposable, is wasteful…..”  She’s complaining about how freely Suimei is using paper.  Unlike his world which has undergone the industrial revolution, paper here is a precious resource.  Mechanized paper making production lines do not exist.

So, this is another setback resulting from magic.

Magic serves as this world’s axis.  Parchment is the present world’s exclusive material for writing down magic circles and incantations.  Therefore, instead of the inexpensive paper production line being developed, parchment became common place.

Felmenia and Liliana soon begin their tests and Suimei spins around in his seat to face Lefille.  “That’s that.”

“Taking a break?”

“Yeah, I’m stumped.  How much longer do you think it’ll take?”

“Not much longer.  The fortress marking the national boarder should come into view soon.”

“That’s too long, my ass is getting sore after three days of these wooden floors.”

Lefille smiles at Suimei’s annoyance.  She strums her fingers while saying, “That’s vulgar, Suimei-kun.”

“Well, it hurts…..  Anyway, shouldn’t we be able to see the mountains if we’re this close to the border?”  Suimei looks out a side window while rubbing his forehead.  The route ahead of them isn’t just barren of mountain ranges, it doesn’t even have a small mountain.

When mountain ranges act as natural borders, they also serve as deterrents against enemy invasions.  Points of entry tend to fall within valleys and other similar breaks along the mountain range.  Yet, for some mysterious reason, none can be seen.

Lefille, having nothing to do, displays a refreshing smile at Suimei’s confusion.  She says, “Up ahead is a deep fissure known as The Peering Devil’s Valley.  That is the border between the Empire and the Sardius Alliance.”

“A fissure?”

“Simply stated, it’s a deep valley in the ground.  Legend goes that the ground was ripped open during an argument between the Goddess’s servant Shakti[6] and its counterpart spirit.”

“Hou….”  An image of Africa’s Great Valley Rift pops up within his head as a comparison.  Every now and then such stories jolt his curiosity.

“Since the bottom at its deepest point can’t be seen, the bridge was constructed at a relatively shallow point.  That’s where the fortress protecting the national border lies.”

“…Hmm, is there only one fortress watching over the border?”

“The bridge belongs to the Sardius Alliance, the Empire constructed the fortress to guard against it.  We’ll be able to see it soon.”

Suimei gestures to the paper and writing materials in order to ask for a picture.  She starts by sketching a deep crevice.  She then draws a stronghold with a bridge represented by three thick lines extending from it.  The road continuing from that bridge is enclosed within a semi-circular fortress.

Lefille says, “That’s right, talking about departing from the Empire reminds me of something I heard.  Apparently, one of the coma victims woke up.”

Suimei’s face is full of disappointment as he says, “Ah, that?  Them sleeping a bit longer would be better.”  He intended for the coma victims to sleep until the affair became a dim memory for the public.  The perception held towards Liliana by the citizens of the Imperial Capital has changed, but that situation isn’t absolute.  There is no guarantee future action won’t be taken against her.

Lefille crinkles her nose at Suimei’s callousness towards the victims of the incident.  “…You can be really merciless at times.”

“Hmm?  You think I’m human?  I’m a magician.”[7]

“Either way, doesn’t mean I can’t say that.”

“Yeah, that’s true, but saying that right now is more than a little selfish.  You understand I’m only thinking about Liliana?  Ultimately, my character is one where I don’t care about those irrelevant to me.”

“Someone getting hurt for no reason doesn’t make you mad?”

Suimei gazes off into the distance.  His tone is full of resignation.  “I’m aware of my contradictions.  Well, I more or less settled that issue before even coming to this world.  That’s why I’ll accept whatever results are born from it.”

“I see…”  Lefille, possibly guessing Suimei’s true feelings, stops asking.

Suimei says, “I mentioned it back when we defeated Rajas, about that time I gave into my frustration.”

“Yeah, that really caught my interest.  I would like to hear it.”

“Stop, it isn’t something I want to remember.”

Lefille puzzles Suimei by leaning closer with a smile, “Fufufu.”  She’s determined to hear of when he was most vulnerable.  One day, she will.

Suimei says, “Well, Liliana will be fine now that we’ve changed how everyone in the Imperial Capital thinks of her.”

“Speaking of which, will Reiji-kun and the others be all right?”

Suimei’s group separated from Reiji’s.  For the time being, they’ll be staying in the Imperial Capital.

“Did something happen?”

“No, I’m just worried they might be having a hard after everything that’s happened.”

She’s worried too?  Although Reiji’s party played a key role in resolving the incident, they were given the unreasonable task of stalling Graziela and her soldiers.  Despite their success, standing against her may have jeopardized their position within the Imperial Capital.

Suimei, even though he drafted the plan, wears a carefree smile.

“Suimei-kun?”

“Yeah, that’ll work out one way or another.  I pulled some strings before leaving.”

“What did you do?”

The mischievous smile of a young child crosses Suimei’s face.  He holds up his hand and almost pinches his thumb and index together while saying, “We~ll, nothing much.”

Lefille’s anxiety is washed away as she nods in relief.  “Oh!  Then in that case, there’s nothing to worry about.”

After a few moments, Felmenia says, “Suimei-dono, may I interrupt your conversation?”

“Oh, you’re finished?”  Suimei gets up and accepts the papers from Felmenia.  “Hmmm, good job, this is great.  How about you, Liliana?”

“Almost, finished.”

As Suimei expected, she’s having trouble since she only just started studying magic.  However, the way she furrows her eyebrows, wrestles against the sheet of paper with her pen, and groans, “Muu….” as she perseveres is charming.

In this manner, they head to the Sardius Alliance.

 

T/N:  I just finished watching Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon so now every time Liliana speaks, I keep super imposing Kanna over her.  Also, fun fact, most adult moths don’t have mouths or a digestive tracks.  Why am I talking about moths??  Well, what do you want me to talk about??  Nothing much happened this chapter so there isn’t much to say about it.  Oh, you want to know about the jump!  Well, I needed a change of pace.  Did you like it??  Or are you mad that I didn’t continue where I left off??  To those of you wondering, it takes place during volume 5, it’s the first part of chapter 1.

 

-Gandire

7/13/17

 

[1] The text says cow horn, but I’m interpreting that to mean a cow with horns.  Therefore, I’m just calling it a cow.

[2] One of the three ancient methods used by Kabbalists to rearrange words and sentences in the Bible along with temurah, and gematria in the belief that by this method they can derive the esoteric substratum and deeper spiritual meaning of the words.   This one involves using each of the words initial or final letters to stand for another, to form a sentence or idea out of the words.  Another variation uses the first and last letters, or the two middle letters of a word, in order to form another word.  Was also used in alchemy.

2  Temurah may be used to change letters in certain words to create a new meaning for a Biblical statement.   Techniques that applied to English will mostly transform sense into a nonsensical series of letters are more feasible in Hebrew

[4] Originated as an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of alphanumeric code/cipher later adopted into Jewish culture that assigns numerical value to a word/name/phrase in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other or bear some relation to the number itself as it may apply to Nature, a person’s age, the calendar year, or the like.

[5] I don’t get it either.  It might be alluding to using memory to fill in the holes left by the moth larva.

[6] This name is another guess.  The katakana goes ishakutoni-.  If not for the “I” and “ni-“ parts, then Shakti would be a perfect fit.

[7] The sentence can also be read as “I’m not a decent human being.”  However, this isn’t the first time this conversation has come up, and back then, Suimei denied himself of being human.  Therefore, for the same of consistency, I’ll be using a similar interpretation here.

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