Thomas stopped thinking about what Fulin's goal for the students might be and used 'Serenity' to recover his mana for a bit. The wind bolt spell took less mana than some of the others, but after firing off a few of them he still found himself in need of a short break to recover. He was really looking forward to getting out of the academy and into the dungeon since he really needed to get some experience to increase his Magic attribute.
As Thomas was resting Fulin called out to the group, "Alright everyone. I'm going to show you the featherweight spell for the wind element. This spell is extremely useful and can even save your life in some situations so it's a good idea to learn it, even if you never learn another wind spell."
Thomas opened his eyes and stood to join the rest of the class in observing Fulin's demonstration. Once everyone was paying attention Fulin nodded and started to explain the spell, "The featherweight spell is simple, though unlike every spell we've learned so far this one isn't focused on your hand." Fulin pointed to his legs, "Instead you need to concentrate mana around your legs."
As he spoke mana began to wrap around Fulin's legs until both of them were completely covered from his hips to his toes, "Once your legs are covered you start pushing the mana down towards the ground while converting it to the wind element."
While he explained the mana around his legs began to turn green and rush down his legs to the ground. The force of the wind blowing down his legs hit the ground and sent rings of dust flying out from him. Everyone's clothing fluttered in the wind as Fulin covered them all in dust. He continued, "Once it's going you're good to go."
Fulin bent his knees before jumping up lightly. The whole class watched as Fulin leaped over ten meters into the air. Everyone stared in surprise at the height that Fulin reached with such a simple leap. Some of the students who had powerful parents or siblings had seen people leap higher with sheer Power, but Fulin was clearly not using his Power and hadn't even put all that much effort into his jump. Everyone was once again surprised as Fulin descended at a much slower rate than he should have and gently touched down back on the ground.
Fulin ended his spell and smiled at the class, "This spell not only offers excellent mobility, but it can save your life from a long fall. Well, at least until your body is strong enough to survive a fall from any height. This spell is also excellent practice for when you gain enough Magic and experience to start flying around."
Thomas felt his heart thumping in excitement at the possibilities that the Featherweight spell offered him. He wasn't the greatest fighter in the world, but if he had to describe his preferred fighting style it was a hybrid between high mobility melee combat and ranged magic combat. This spell would make it possible for him to maneuver in whole new ways. Fulin looked over the excited students and laughed lightly, "Alright, go ahead and practice the spell. A word of warning though, do not try to jump too high right away. You need to get a feel for the spell before you try pushing your limits. I don't want to have to deal with the paperwork if one of you breaks a leg because you overestimated your skill."
Fulin's eyes were solidly on Thomas for the last bit of his speech. Thomas couldn't hold back his exasperated sigh at that. He'd been good for a while now! He hadn't blown himself or anyone up! Why was he still being picked on? Thomas broke off from the group as everyone went to a different spot to practice the new spell. Everyone except those without affinity for the wind element, they stuck close to Fulin for some guidance from him.
Thomas went off to a spot alone and sat back down and closed his eyes to resume using 'Serenity'. He wanted to make sure his body was in peak condition before he started tempting fate by leaping high in the air. After a few minutes, he felt like his mana was at maximum and stood up. It was time to practice a spell that he felt he would be using a lot in the future. He dusted himself off as he looked at his legs, this would be the very first time he emitted mana from a spot on his body other than his hand.
Because he'd spent so much time summoning his mana into his hand it was almost second nature now, which made it a little difficult for him to urge his mana to emit from his hips and flow down his legs like he'd seen Fulin do. It took him a few minutes, but he eventually got it to work. He was horrified to find that this spell was sapping a lot of his mana. He was emitting more mana for this spell than any of the others he'd been practicing so far so and a large portion was being lost due to his terrible mana control. At the rate he was losing his mana he felt like he could only pull this spell off for about a minute before he would be drained dry.
Not wanting to waste any of that precious minute, he immediately started to convert the flowing mana into the wind element. The moment the mana had converted he felt his entire body becoming lighter as a ring of dust blew out with him at the center. Feeling the lightness the spell induced in his body, he decided to start small. Instead of jumping he just performed a little hop. Even though he only intended to hop, his entire body lifted a full meter off of the ground.
Even though he was shocked at the height he'd gotten from such a simple jump, he didn't panic and kept his feet oriented towards the ground so that he wouldn't land on any other part of his body. As soon as he reached the peak of his jump gravity took over and pushed him back toward the ground. Like Fulin's had been, his descent was much slower than it should have been and let him gently touch down on the ground.
As soon as he was on the ground he canceled the spell and let out a deep sigh. The first use of the spell had taken nearly sixty percent of his mana, if he was to try again right now he would likely run out of mana mid-leap and fall to the ground without the support of the spell. Despite all of that there was an excited gleam in his eyes. If he could get his mana control up enough to stop bleeding mana at such a ridiculous rate he could use this spell to give himself an excellent edge in mobility!
Thomas flopped down onto the ground and put himself into the state of 'Serenity'. He was going to be using it a lot today to practice this spell, but he was determined to get familiar enough with it to use it at will and instantly. If he could master using it in small bursts he could reduce his mana consumption on it until he managed to get his mana control up to a much higher rank. He breathed in slow deep breaths to calm himself down, this was the first spell he'd learned that truly excited him deep down.
After he was fully recovered and stood up he decided to practice just the activation sequence of the spell. He didn't need to leap into the air to practice the spell. Instead, he was focused on getting the spell cast as fast as possible so he could activate it at a moments notice. If he could pull that off he could use it in bursts instead of constantly. He pulled his mana out at his hips and began converting it to the wind element instantly instead of covering his legs entirely in mana first. He pushed the wind element down his legs while pumping out and converting more mana.
The originally gentle flow of mana and wind element became violent as it built up even more speed with the rate he had to pump mana out. When the wind element hit the ground it sent out a burst of power that kicked up and a huge cloud of dust and sent it flying out all around him. Thomas grimaced at that, he'd just reinforced his reputation as a trouble maker he just knew it. He didn't let that bother him though because he felt his body grow light the moment the wind hit the ground. It had only taken him a few seconds to cast the spell doing it this way and it still had the same effect, even if it was slightly more violent than the original method.
He didn't technically think this qualified as modifying a spell since he was still doing it properly, he was just converting his mana into the wind element sooner was all. He cut off the flow of his mana after he felt the spell was a success and checked his mana reserves. He was excited to find that he'd only used ten percent of his maximum to cast the spell this way, making it much more efficient than the way Fulin had demonstrated.
Thomas spent the next hour practicing his activation of the spell and using 'Serenity' to recover his mana. By the time the hour was done, he could get the spell started in a second or so making it extremely quick to activate, but nowhere near the instantaneous activation he was aiming for. Now that he could activate it so quickly it was time for practicing it with jumping.
Thomas slowly crouched as he activated the spell, wind blasted down his legs and slammed into the ground sending up yet another dust cloud. One of these days he'd blast the ground clean, but until then he'd keep sending out dust clouds. Once the spell was fully activated he tensed his legs like a spring before releasing them to leap into the air. He used the full effect of the spell and his own Power attribute. It was most definitely reckless to try to run before he could walk, but he was just too excited to start with something small.
Thomas blasted through the air at high speed from the combination of is Power attribute and the spell. Shortly after his feet left the ground he killed the featherweight spell and let his momentum take him high into the sky. From his point of view, it was hard to accurately judge just how high he'd leaped. However, glancing to his left he noticed he was a good distance above the roof of the school building they had their classes inside of. Since the building was three stories tall he'd leaped over ten meters easily.
Thomas laughed heartily as his momentum started to slow. His height had reached at least fifteen meters in his estimation, a good five meters higher than Fulin had leaped. Then again, Fulin had been rather casual in his jump so he could definitely go higher if he put in some effort. As Thomas started to fall he looked at the ground and saw everyone staring up at him. He couldn't help it and laughed again as he began his free fall towards the ground. Even with his Endurance, he would likely be hurt if he just let himself fall straight to the ground from this height. Instead of letting that happen he started to cast the featherweight spell again.
As he approached the ground at increasing speed he activated the spell once again. Wind burst powerfully out of his legs and he felt his body immediately become lighter causing his descent speed to drop drastically. A few moments later he gently touched down on the ground and once again canceled the spell. Grinning like a fool as his heart hammered away in his chest, he checked his mana and was even more excited to know that he'd only used approximately fifteen percent of his mana on his little adventure.
Fulin clapped his hands and smiled at Thomas, "Not bad kid. Though maybe next time you should try a shorter jump. I think you worried some of the others."
Slowly coming down from his adrenaline high, Thomas looked over at the other students and noticed looks of relief on most of their faces, though Brao looked more disappointed. Thomas rubbed his head and smiled apologetically, "Sorry if I worried any of you."
Selena gave a loud 'humph' and went back to her practice. Thomas actually felt his heart warm up a little at her display of anger or discontent. It meant she worried about him and that meant she cared about him, at least a little. Fuller, on the other hand, just shook his head and sighed before saying, "And here I thought you might actually stop disrupting the whole class and calm down a little."
With the exceptions of Selena and Brao, everyone else laughed a little at Fuller's statement, even Thomas. Fulin just shook his head in exasperation. After everyone stopped laughing the whole class went back to their practice. Thomas joined them in that. He'd just proven that he didn't need to keep the spell going constantly when jumping, now he just needed to practice it more until he could cast it with just a single thought. Once he got to that point he would be able to use the spell with a lot more flexibility.