|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syousetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
A few days have passed since I first saw that man — I think.
After all, I can’t see the outside from within the cell, I don’t need any sleep, and all the baby seems to do is sleep; so it’s hard for me to keep track of time.
Ever since then, that man regularly appears, cuts a section of the baby’s body, and pours some liquid into the wound.
It’s a nauseating sight to see, but it seems that the fluid serves as a substitute to this child’s meal.
I say that because even though he hasn’t fed us anything, the child hasn’t shown any signs of physical weakness. That’s why even if I could stop him, I didn’t.
Other than the man, I haven’t seen any other people; and he likely only comes once a day for feeding time. So what about all the child’s dirt and sweat then? Well, it looks like the white cloth just automatically cleans it all.
I’ve seen the child’s wound being healed so I already considered it, but it seems that magic exists in this world.
That’s also firm proof that this place is somewhere that’s definitely not Earth.
It’s not like I have absolutely no lingering attachment to Earth, but as someone who is already dead, it’s not really something I cling on. And even before considering that, it’s not something I was shaken about.
I vaguely wondered if this is the so-called another world reincarnation; but seeing my current state, it’s more of a teleportation if I had to say.
I don’t really mind it much, but what’s clear to me right now is that this place isn’t anywhere on Earth.
Other than this, another thing I do know now is that this baby is a girl.
The places where that man had cut hasn’t been limited to the arms, at worst he even cut her stomach open from top to bottom. That time, he needed to remove the baby’s clothing and I saw that there wasn’t anything hanging below.
Well, our senses are linked so I already had a hunch about it.
Now then, in this situation, the question is how I can protect this girl? Well, I think that learning to use magic is my best option.
Rather, testing out if I can use magic is the only thing I can do now.
After all, even if I borrow her body, I can barely move her limbs and it’s not like we even have any weapons to use.
By the process of elimination, the only thing I think I can probably do in this infant body is magic.
Besides, since that man has been using healing magic on us every day, I have a grasp on that something — I’ll just call it magic power — that’s needed to use magic.
Just the fact that I’m not starting completely from scratch helps me think I can manage this somehow.
Still, I need a body to use magic. From what I felt seeing how that man do it, magic works by circulating the magic power in the body and then manipulate it.
Borrowing the girl’s body is my only option but I’ve already confirmed that I can’t take control while she’s awake.
For that reason, I’ve decided to act while she’s sleeping.
First of all, I try borrowing her body. No problems here. It’s chained to the bed, so I can’t really move much but the body moves to my will.
Next, to circulate magic power throughout the body, I attempt to sense magic power.
It’s difficult to put into words, but it feels like something nice and warm gently flowing through my body.
Maybe due to that man using magic to force the liquid through the veins during feeding time, this step was surprisingly easy.
Then, I attempt to move it manually. I tried gathering it to the hands, then the feet, and then made it quickly course through the whole body.
So as to not injure her body, I do stop immediately when something felt strange. Still, since the man practically taught me how to do it on a regular basis, I managed to do it easily.
However, there are some problems.
First, maybe it’s just due to her age, but the amount of magic power I have is tiny compared to that man. Rather, if you imagine mine as a cup of water, then his would be about as big as a 25 meters pool or so. It’s that much different.
Well, it’s still better than nothing, so it’ll depend on how I use it. But if we’re just talking about the sheer amount of magic power, we definitely can’t win.
Next, I have absolutely no idea how to use magic.
One thing that comes to my mind is that he whispers something when using healing magic. If that was some sort of spell chant, then my chances of being able to use magic to protect this child is slim. However, when he forced the liquid from the flask into the veins, he didn’t do any kind of chanting.
For that reason, I think that there may be spells that don’t need chanting. But if they do need magic circles or the like, there’s nothing I can do about it.
Another thing to consider is what’s the magic for me to learn.
Thinking on a purely emotional level, I want a magic that can harm that man — one strong enough to kill him. I may need that kind of magic in the future, but I don’t need it right now.
I have nothing but anger for that man, but it’s because he is taking care of her now that this child continues to live.
In short, if I kill that man and stop getting “food”, this child wouldn’t last three days. As you’d expect, I can’t let that happen.
Well, then what magic would be best? First, a barrier-like magic to protect her from external threats. Another would be a magic to preemptively sense any nearby threat. And then healing magic, just in case she ever gets hurt.
And lastly, something to make sure that the use of these magics would stay hidden to others, some sort of concealment magic so to speak.
If magic can do just about anything, I would’ve considered things like magic that can teleport her out of here, magic that can provide her nutrition, or magic that can brainwash that man. But I just can’t imagine those being possible.
I figured that chants are probably necessary, but I skipped some steps and tested out the use of chantless magic, so because of that I decided that it’s best that I don’t try anything that feels impossible for me to achieve.
On the opposite side of things, the ones that I did enumerate are those that I felt that are somewhat possible to do, such as healing magic in particular, since that is something I actually experienced myself. To be honest, I just think it’s better to try everything I can than just staying idle to think about stuff.
First of all, so I can assess our surroundings, a detection magic. After all, it would be useful when we escape, and we could avoid bringing unneeded suspicion if I know when that man will come to visit in advance. As for how to do it, I have a few ideas.
First I’ll try to detect by emitting a ripple of magic power in the shape of a sphere. To test it, I circulate my magic power and indiscriminately release it from my body.
As soon as I felt something escaping my body, a thin film-like something suddenly spread out.
And when it hit the prison walls, it vanished.
I did slightly notice a reaction when something hit it, but to be honest it’s not useful. Well, that’s probably just how things are the first time around. Rather, having some kind of result is plenty enough.
The only problem is that, just now, this child ran out of magic power. Unexpectedly, I don’t feel tired or anything though.
Does this mean that I actually need to start with increasing her magic power? In the first place, do you even recover magic power? Thinking about these, I decided to return her body for today.
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The next day —I guess?— it seems that my worry was unfounded since her magic power was fully restored.
In a lot of fantasy works, magic power or the so-called Mana thing recovers overnight; however, I didn’t have any assurance that it would be the same in reality, so that’s a relief.
But the thing is, the total amount of magic power didn’t increase. Like this, I can barely do anything I want to test out.
For that reason, this time I’ll need to think of how to increase magic power somehow.
Being that it did recover, that means that magic power comes from somewhere. So if I know it’s source, then there should be something I can figure out about it.
Following the flow of magic power through the body, I found a thin trace that’s unaffected by the circulation of everything around.
It’s roughly near the heart, and the magic power stored within is a lot more than the amount flowing through the body.
However, after I tried to draw some magic power like how I moved the circulating flow, it’s not going too well.
The answer is just in front of me, just within my grasp. Yet I can’t reach it. That fact only increasingly vexes me. So, while I focused on following the flow of magic power, I decided to separate myself from the baby’s body.
I was thinking about flying about in this ever unchanging prison cell as a change of pace, when I noticed that a thin cord-like something made of magic power was also connected to me.
It feels similar to the flow I saw earlier connected near the heart, but what is this?
Just to test it out, I tried pouring magic power to the part where it’s connected and it flowed into the body with practically no resistance.
At the same time, a slight feeling of emptiness suddenly hit me.
The magic power that came from there was easy to control.
I attempted to spread that magic power like I did yesterday, and as a result, I understand the room’s structure much better than I did before.
The part where it couldn’t pass through the wall stayed the same, but it kept its shape even after echoing from the wall.
It became a lot more useful, and at the same time, I now constructed roughly a few theories about magic power.
Magic power is stored in the soul-like thing, at least according to my observation. And using magic power other than yours has bad efficiency.
The reason why I ran out of magic power after only one use yesterday was probably due to that magic power not being my own.
And while I’m probably the only person who can test this, you can still use magic even when the soul is separated from the body. However, the farther you are from your body, the lesser the effect of magic.
I don’t know if this sounds right, but the further you are the more it feels like you’re stretching your arms just as far while doing some precision work.
On the other hand, the fact that I can still use magic to some extent even while we’re separated is good news. This means that I should be able to circulate my own magic power, use magic, and protect her even while she’s awake.
While looking at the baby from the side, I got a bit too excited and repeatedly used detection. Then, I suddenly felt dizzy.
Yup. It seems like when you use too much magic power, regardless of the presence of a body, you just shut down.
And as I calmly though so, I slowly drown in darkness.
It’s been a long time since I did something even similar to sleeping.
Since I’ve got too much free time while being awake, it’s good to know that I can actually sleep. But the fact that I need to exhaust my magic power to do so is something I’d like to fix.
More importantly, I’ve practiced magic since then and now I roughly managed to give it shape.
For detection magic, rather than releasing magic power like an echo, I formed a thin layer of magic power into a three-dimensional mesh and spread it out to the surrounding area. As for the barrier magic, on top of also making the magic power thin enough to seemingly melt into the air, it only barely extends from her body, and can spread outwards to about half a meter radius, while still being somewhat strong… I think.
Specifically speaking, I can’t run endurance tests on the barrier magic, so I don’t know how close it is to my imagination.
Anyway, the reason for all the thinness is that making it thin is also meant to conceal them; but I don’t actually know if it’s practical or not, so I’ll need to test it on that man someday.
As for why I’m putting effort into concealment, it’s because I don’t want that man to know I can use magic.
If by any chance I draw his attention, I don’t know what he’ll try to do.
For now, healing magic is on hold. Unlike barrier and detection, which just uses magic power as it is, it seems that I need to change the property of the magic power to something else or healing won’t work. And above all, this child doesn’t get hurt outside of feeding time, so I can’t really test it out.
At worst, I need to consider putting more effort into barrier and detection even if I need to abandon healing magic.
My goal: to be the shield protecting her from every possible attack, and to be the eyes and ears that perceives all those with ill intent well in advance.
It may seem over-the-top, but if I don’t set my goals this high, I don’t think I can keep my spirits up.
Still, there is some solace for me these days. While working on my magic research, when I hum to myself some songs from Japan, the baby giggled and laughed.
Up until now, she never even smiled, and she seemed really disgruntled when I stopped singing; so I’d like to think that she liked my songs.
From then on, I began singing every day and before I noticed, she started moving her body to the beat of my song.
Obviously, she could barely even move. But seeing her smile and moving her body to the beat of my song was my salvation in this empty world.
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