Like the good people they were, Phenic and Korren laughed at my plight.
“We did tell ye it wasn’t worth it,” Meeks said.
“I thought I’d at least have 10 points.”
“Don’t worry too much about it and focus on minin’.”
That couldn’t convince me to give up.
I dug into my book and began to re-read the part on mana, then the various spell descriptions and their costs.
Cost: 5 Points per Minute (note: cost may increase in extreme heat or cold environments.)
Description: Creates a zone of cool or warm air around you at your preferred temperature.
Cost: 3 Points per Minute
Range: 4 Blocks
Area of Effect: 1/4th Block
Description: Allows you to move an object with your mind up to 25lbs.
Cost: 4 Points
Range: 2 Blocks
Area of Effect: 1 Block
Description: Allows you to clean an area of 1 Block. You may be included within its AOE.
When I’d finished I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t stuck with one point of magic and when I gained more I could learn those spells. Increasing internal magic was simple and there were several ways to do so.
The first was the easiest and most straightforward, I could cast magic repeatedly, in the way it was meant to be cast. That meant spells designed to hurt monsters wouldn’t help me improve a significant amount unless I used them on monsters. For the second I could focus internally and manipulate my satellite down its path. This would take 20-100 times longer and wouldn’t help increase the speed at which I recovered mana like repetitive casting could. For the last, I could consume special supplements, but this way could hurt a body in the long run, especially if those supplements came from a poor quality source.
These being my only options I decided to practice casting candlelight.
One long boring hour later and my satellite, a little larger than my Core, touched its surface. They burned brightly as they spun into a larger sphere. A second satellite formed in the aftermath of my mana increase.
I pulled out two candles and cast the spell on each, one after the other. These two casts once again completely drained my mana. Fortunately, it took the same 30 seconds to recover from the two spells, but it seemed like it would take over twice as many casts as last time to improve my mana again.
Satisfied with my improvement for now, and itching to actually move again I took out my bow and dropped into my mine.
It felt good to once again dig my way through stone and sandstone, collecting ore and energy orbs while killing spiders and badgers.
This time I was determined to get to the bottom of the third floor. It was time I focused on defeating Korren.
Most importantly, I needed to scour the third floor for the new boxes to upgrade my weapon.
I reached the third floor’s vine blocks and plowed my way through. Above a birds nest, I saw a jadinfray hole with a box two blocks over it.
With morbid curiosity, I activated Death Mind. I dived down, destroying the vine block under the box. It crashed onto the jadinfray hole and an energy orb appeared from within it. It blocked the hole so the creature couldn’t exit.
That was unexpected. I didn’t think I could block a doorway like that.
I flew down and collected the energy orb then skirted around the bird’s blast area. The jadinfray squirmed out of its cave and slowly crept toward me. When it floated into the birds’ area the nest started shaking.
I expected that at any moment the raptors would burst from their nest to defend themselves. I was wrong. The jadinfray wrapped its tentacles around the woven basket-like nest.
Apathetically, I watched as it devoured. A few droplets of blood sprayed onto my face. It did not seem like the monster would disappear like the honey and badger did.
I moved under a light boulder, readying my attack.
One by one, the voices of the birds silenced until none remained. The jadinfray trilled and bulleted toward me.
I waited until the last moment and stepped back. The moonstone crushed it leaving bits of its spider tentacles peeking out from beneath.
When I separated my fingers I crumpled to the vine floor and put my head between my legs.
I sucked in deep breaths. Why hadn’t I done anything while Death Mind was active? I could have at least tried to save the birds instead of letting them die like that. Nothing should die like that.
I wiped the blood from my face and onto the vine ground.
Mr. Black was right about the technique. I should only use it when I absolutely had to.
I swallowed. For the first time since I’d been here, I desperately wanted to leave. Matt was hanging out with his friends, learning magic and getting massages.
I could join him, a devilish thought whispered.
But, actually, I wanted to go home. I missed school and my friends. I did not want to go to some magic school that was suspiciously good to its students. So, I would continue to fight. I would continue to use that technique.
My hands shook. Just thinking about activating it again made my stomach leap.
I took out two candles and cast the candlelight spell, over and over. Awhile later, about halfway to my next mana point, my heart calmed down.
After picking myself up and putting away my candles I flew back to the jadinfray cave. Within it rested a clutch of huge eggs, twice as large as an ostrich’s and made out of stone, dirt, and gold.
In my inventory, they were listed as, “Metal Dragon Eggs x12,” with the text colored gold. At least this item wasn’t cursed.
I dived down and came to another sea of light balls with a single path through. With a sigh, I stepped down three, over one and misjudged the speed of the boulder avalanche.
You are about to die. Want me to save you?
Wait! That didn’t make any sense. I still had my armor.
I glared at my mind map and realized what happened. Thanks to a pair of vine traps I’d mistaken for regular vines there was no safe place within my armor's range that I could teleport to that wouldn’t immediately kill me.
The familiar gray world appeared with a familiar tall reaper.
“Would you care to continue, Miss Knight?”
I grinned. “Mr. Black!”