Thomas studied his hand for a moment as he decided which element he wanted to experiment with next. Again, so many choices he could pick from! After a moment of thought, he decided to work on emulating or recreating the spark spell. The lightning element was next! Thomas held his hand up to point it at the target dummy. He started to emit mana from his hand, formed it into a sphere and started converting it into lightning. The sphere started to glow a brighter white until it became a crackling ball of white electricity. The moment the electricity came to life it started to leap around like mad striking randomly around him.
Thomas flinched and began to panic. By the time he was able to cut off the flow of his mana, the small bolts of electricity had struck him several times over his body and left little scorch marks on his clothing, ruining it. The other students had cleared the area around him leaving him standing alone with thin trails of smoke flowing off of his clothing and the ground around him. Thomas groaned and shuddered, the bolts hadn't dealt much damage to him, but they still stung. It was like getting hit with a dozen static shocks all at once.
Fulin came charging over while shouting, "What the hell did you just do?!"
Thomas coughed and patted out a few embers that still remained on his clothing, "I was just trying to use lightning this time."
Fulin pinched the bridge of his nose, "Not every element works the same, you idiot!"
Some of the other students started talking among themselves about Thomas's rather spectacular failure. The blonde man that had been speaking to Selena earlier had a smug look on his face while he observed Thomas's current condition. Fulin continued to yell at Thomas, "Lightning magic doesn't work like fire or ice magic! You have to connect the points of the spell and direct the lightning magic to strike the target! Just creating a bundle of lightning in your hand is as likely to fry you as anything else!"
Thomas felt like a bit of an idiot. He should have known that from the beginning. Natural lightning always flowed from a positive charge to a negative charge. It was the same for electronics or anything else that used electricity. He sighed and nodded to Fulin, "Got it. I just got a little carried away and didn't think what I was doing through. I'll get it right this time."
Hearing that he was going to try again, everyone stepped further away from him. Even Fulin stepped further away to avoid any possible backlash from Thomas's attempt. Thomas didn't pay any attention to them as he lifted his right hand again and aimed it at the target dummy. Thomas started by summoning a small sphere of mana again, only this time he directed a long thin thread of mana from the sphere to the target dummy. When the string arrived at the dummy he formed another small sphere of mana. With both spheres formed he charged the mana in his hand positively while charging the mana at the target dummy negatively. Once both spheres reached critical mass a thin bolt of lightning shot from the positive charge in his hand to the negative charge on the dummy to scorch it.
Seeing that Thomas didn't electrocute himself this time, the other students got back on the line and went back to their own practice. Fulin stepped up to Thomas, "Not bad kid. Next time you go to use a new element, think before you act."
Fulin frowned, "What elements do you have an affinity with again?"
Thomas looked over at Fulin, "I told you yesterday, all of them."
Fulin sighed and shook his head, "I thought you were full of shit." He grumbled under his breath, "Now I can't kick you out for lying." After taking a deep breath he continued, "Stick to Fire, Ice, Water, Earth, Metal, and Wind for now. At least with those your odds of blowing yourself or, more importantly, me up are minimal."
Fulin walked off to tend to the other students again, a few of them still snickering at Thomas's previous failure. He didn't let it bother him though. He was far from perfect so mistakes were expected to happen on occasion. He just needed to spend more time thinking before acting for now. He decided to follow Fulin's advice so the next element up was water. He repeated all the usual steps for the non-lightning elements and launched a ball of water at the target dummy. The waterbolt spell felt kind of pointless though as all it did was get the target dummy wet. Yeah, that would be effective in combat, giving his enemies the chills and maybe a cold.
Water generally was considered to be a healing magic in a majority of games so it was likely the same in AoG. However, there were some exceptions such as the classic water cutter spells. High-pressure water could be pretty devastating. Going down that line of thought he formed a water sphere in his hand and used some of his mana to reshape it into a blade shape. Despite what a lot of people would assume from video games, anime, and movies water is actually exceedingly hard to compress and requires a lot of pressure to accomplish. Instead, Thomas used his mana to apply pressure to the water to make it almost seem solid, but not compressed.
With the water blade formed, Thomas slashed his arm out and propelled the blade forward. His aim was good, but the water blade lost its shape after traveling about ten meters. Even though it didn't travel far, it still carved a sharp line in the ground. It seemed somewhat powerful but short ranged. Thomas contemplated over his experience for a bit and decided to use something more solid for his next bit of practice. He still had more than half of his mana left so he felt he had enough to continue to practice for a while longer before he would need to recover.
For his next element, he lifted his hand and formed a sphere of rock, the earth element. He remembered his blunder with the ice element so he reshaped the round rock into a sharp spike. Like the ice element, the earth element was great for crushing with larger spells but smaller ones would be better for piercing. Thomas aimed the spike at the target dummy, gave it a bit of spin, and launched it. The earth spike pierced through the target dummy and shattered on impact with the ground behind it then slowly disintegrated.
Thomas smiled and checked his character sheet again to find earth magic listed on it. It was getting easier to cast the various bolt spells as he got more and more used to the mechanics behind it. All he really had to do was change what element he converted his mana into and maybe reshape it if it was one of the more 'solid' elements. Up next he decided to stick to the solid elements and use metal magic. This was one he was really interested in. He didn't expect it would give him access to unlimited metal for crafting though. The earth magic projectile had disintegrated shortly after being fired so the metal element would likely be the same. All the spells left behind were their effects such as holes, burn marks, and so on. He could set things on fire with fire magic or chill them with ice magic, but the fire and ice generated by his mana would vanish pretty quickly.
Thomas raised his hand, called forth a mana sphere and thought about converting it into the metal element. However, nothing happened after a few moments. Thomas wasn't entirely surprised at that though. It seemed like he had to think of a specific type of metal when converting his mana so he thought of iron. Shortly after he had a sphere of silver iron floating above his palm. Thomas morphed the sphere into a metal spike and grinned, it looked deadly as hell. He got is spinning then fired off the spike at the target dummy and easily pierced through it. The spike slammed into the ground behind the dummy and slowly disintegrated into nothing.
At this point, the dummy was looking pretty ragged but Thomas didn't care. He lifted his hand to work with the next element, wind. He stopped though, he'd just had a funny thought and couldn't resist trying it out just for the giggles of it. After changing his mind he instead summoned a very small sphere of mana and converted it into iron. Once it was converted he reshaped it into a cylinder with a dome on one end. He shaped his hand into a representation of a gun and grinned playfully. Any kid would kill to be able to do this! He was making a literal finger gun!
Thomas used the same amount of mana to make the spring-like mana construct he would for a normal sized bolt spell, except he compressed it down to match the size of the crude bullet, about ten millimeters. Thomas spun the mock bullet then fired the mana spring while simultaneously lowering his thumb like it was the hammer on a gun. There was an audible popping sound as the spring fired and launched the small bullet at high speed. It definitely didn't match the velocity of a bullet using gunpowder, but it was more than enough to launch the projectile clean through the dummy to strike the reinforced stone wall over a hundred meters away.
Thomas realized how exceedingly dangerous what he'd just done was. If there'd been anyone or anything between the dummy and the academy's wall it would have been rather bad. Thomas made another note to double check that nothing was nearby the next time he wanted to try something new and dangerous. Fortunately, no one had noticed what he'd done and he had no intention of outing himself to them.
The last element that Fulin had mentioned was wind. The process for firing a wind bolt was the same as any of the other non-physical elements. Except, once launched the ball of wind quickly dissipated into nothing. Thomas nodded and accepted that for what it was. Wind, much like water, was usually used in the form of blades for attacks. Thomas just reformed a wind element sphere then shaped into a blade while compressing it. Unlike a liquid such as water, it was a lot easier to compress a gas like the air.
As the air compressed and grew sharper, Thomas realized just how dangerous the wind element could be. Just looking at the edge of the wind blade made him feel like he would be cut by it. With a slicing motion from his arm, he launched the wind blade through the air. It carved a long thin trench through the ground before dissipating about ten meters away from him. Much like the water element, the air element blade attack would be a rather short range ability. Thomas didn't mind the short range of the wind blade at all though since he usually found wind magic to be more utilitarian than offensive. The greatest utility spell of all was usually covered under wind magic, flight!
After the wind blade, Thomas checked his remaining mana and felt that he had about twenty percent remaining. He decided to recover some before moving on to practicing the elements he'd unlocked so far. He stepped back from the firing line and sat down on the ground. This earned him a condescending look from the blonde man, he really needed to learn his name. Thomas ignored him though and looked at the group of students. His eyes fell on Selena and he watched as she summoned an ice spike and launched it at her target dummy. Currently, her target looked even more ragged than his own. She'd apparently only been practicing her ice magic and had blown multiple holes completely through it.
He watched her for a bit longer then focused on a different student, not the blonde man. Two of the three remaining students were women, it looked like Fulin's class was evenly split between the sexes. Every student was also human, which was a little disappointing to him. He liked to experience meeting members of other races in the various games he played and comparing the differences between what he'd already experienced and what was a new addition or different.
One of the students, a young woman with dark hair, was summoning a sphere of bright light and launching laser-like beams from it to burn scorched holes through her dummy under Fulin's guidance. It took him a little while to realize that she was using the light element. He found that to be rather surprising. Most often the light element was associated with healing, much like the water element. Seeing it used to produce a laser that burned holes in the dummy was rather interesting.
The other woman in the class was launching earth spikes so he didn't pay any attention to her yet, instead, he focused on the last man in the class. He was rather interesting as well. As Thomas watched him the mana in his hand turned brown and formed into a spike. At first, Thomas thought it was just the earth element until he saw leaves form out of the back and give the spike fletching to stabilize it in flight. Once the wooden arrow was formed he launched it to pierce and stick into the dummy. The wooden projectiles didn't have as much mass as ice or earth, but it looked like it would be much more accurate over long distances thanks to the leaf fletching on it.
Thomas smiled and decided he would give the wood element a try after he recovered his mana. He closed his eyes and emptied his mind to enter the state of 'Serenity' and increase his mana recovery speed.