Thomas spent the next hour just practicing casting the featherweight spell to get to activate as fast as possible. He wanted it to be a good surprise attack during his duel tomorrow morning. Once the hour of training was up he could almost instantly cast the featherweight spell. There was still a small delay between when he willed it and when the spell actually activated, but it was nearly negligible so he would be able to cast it almost the instant he wanted to.
With his practice done he'd managed to get his wind element magic up to rank thirteen making fire his lowest ranked magic out of the four. He thought about practicing with the fire element for a while but dismissed the thought almost immediately. He had something much more interesting to work on right now, his 'Transmutation' ability! He said goodbye to his friends and made his way to his dorm room while picking up random stones here and there. He needed something to practice on and a simple rock would do just fine.
Once he was in his room he pulled out the transmutation formation plate and set it on top of his stovetop. He didn't have a table in his room so it was the best raised surface to use for the time being. He placed one of the smaller stones he'd collected in the center of the formation plate and pulled out the book he'd gotten the formation out of. He'd read it all already but he wanted to review before he began.
The directions for using the formation plate were simple and straightforward, all he had to do was feed his mana into it while picturing the shape he wanted the material in the center to take. The simplest and most common shape was a sphere so he decided to start there for his first experiment. He put the book away and doublechecked that his mana was at maximum capacity before placing his hands on the plate.
He pictured a perfect sphere in his mind while urging his mana into the plate and activating his 'All Seeing Eyes' at the same time. He wanted to watch this process as closely as he could. As he fed his mana into the formation plate it began to glow with soft blue light from all the engravings he had carved into it. He watched the stone closely as tendrils of blue mana began to grow out of the formation plate and touch it.
He watched, fascinated, as the mana tendrils stroked over the surface of the stone before slowly sinking into it. The tendrils swirled inside and outside of it as the stone slowly took on a consistency that reminded him of clay. Over the course of a few minutes, the tendrils stroked the stone and slowly morphed its shape until it became a perfectly round sphere. Once the shape that he desired was reached the formation plate stopped taking his mana and slowly dimmed back to normal.
He excitedly reached out and picked up the stone, rolling the sphere of rock over his palm. Looking at it he couldn't visually discern anything wrong about the shape, to him it looked like a perfect sphere just as he had imagined. The surface of the stone still felt slightly rough so it hadn't been polished to a mirror shine or anything like that, the stone had simply been changed from a misshapen lump into a sphere. He stored the stone sphere inside of his inventory and retrieved another stone to set in the center of the transmutation circle.
He checked his mana reserves and was surprised to find that he had only used about twenty percent of his mana. Using the formation plate was pretty mana efficient, probably because of all the care he took when carving it. Since he had plenty of mana to work with he immediately went about reshaping the new stone. This time he focused on the image of a cube, a shape that was distinctly different from the mostly round-ish shape of the stone.
He fed mana into the formation plate as he watched the stone with his 'All Seeing Eyes'. The mana tendrils went to work on the new piece of stone, though they worked slightly differently to reshape the stone into a cube, it was the same principle as with the previous stone. The tendrils turned the stone into a putty-like state and worked on it to reshape it into a cube. It took slightly longer, almost ten minutes, for the transmutation of the stone to complete but when it was done the stone had become a nice little cube.
He picked up and examined the new stone cube with a smile. As far as he could tell it was perfectly square on all sides, at least visually. He checked his mana reserves and noticed he was down to just over thirty percent. It was too soon to be certain, but it seemed like the more the shape he desired different from the initial shape of the material the more mana it would take to reshape it. This made perfect sense to him since more work would mean more energy needed so he was relatively certain his guess was correct. Only time and experience would be able to tell him if it was something else.
Thomas stored the cubed stone inside of his inventory and went into his bedroom to sit on his bed and relax while he did the usual to recover his expended mana. The next step in his plan was to try and perform the transmutation without using the formation plate. If he could do it himself he would learn just a little bit more about his 'Transmutation' ability and take it a step forward. If he could master this use of his ability then there would be two things he could do with it and being able to shape anything with just some mana would be extremely helpful to him in his crafting.
After he recovered his mana completely he pulled another stone out of his inventory and held it on his palm. He activated his 'All Seeing Eyes' to get a closer look at the stone while he summoned out his mana. He focused on splitting his mana into tendrils while trying to activate his 'Transmutation' ability at the same time. He watched in joy as his mana took on a blue glow. He carefully manipulated the tendrils to have them sink into the stone like he had watched them do with the formation plate. He pictured turning the rock into a sphere again since it was an easier and less mana intensive shape than a cube. He didn't feel like trying any other shapes at the moment.
The tendrils worked inside and outside of the stone as it slowly turned putty like as the other two had previously. Using his will and the image in his mind he worked the stone over with the tendrils of mana and it slowly began to change its shape. He could easily tell that his use of his 'Transmutation' ability was many times less efficient than using the formation plate, as well as significantly slower. It took him nearly fifteen minutes of concentrated work before the stone finally took on the shape of a sphere in his hand.
He cut off the flow of his mana with a deep sigh and wiped some sweat out of his eyes. The process of transmuting the shape of the stone without the circle took far more concentration, effort, time, and mana than doing it with the plate. However, he'd done it! He held the perfect looking sphere up and smiled broadly. With this, he'd taken a step forward with his 'Transmutation' ability! He let out another sigh and checked his mana reserves. He wasn't really all that surprised to see that he'd used well over sixty percent of his mana, more than three times the mana it took to do the same thing with the formation plate.
After recovering his mana, he pulled out another stone and held it in his palm. He was tempted to try and turn it into a more complex shape but worried that he didn't have enough mana to actually do that. Instead, he decided to stick with a simple shape but one that could be extremely helpful to him if he did it with metal. He closed his eyes for a few moments to clear his mind and get a good image of what he wanted to form the stone into inside of his mind. Once the shape was pictured in his mind he opened his eyes and began to urge his mana while activating his 'Transmutation' ability.
His mana began to glow and split into tendrils to work on the stone in his hand. Slowly the stone began to reshape growing shorter vertically while growing wider horizontally. Over the course of several minutes, the stone continued to change shape growing shorter and wider until he held a thin flat square stone slab in his hand. Thomas grinned broadly as he looked over the stone he'd just reshaped. Now he knew for certain that he could reshape items, such as metal ingots, into flat pieces. This would save him a lot of work hammering since he could just turn the metal directly into a flat piece and work it from there!
This piece of work had cost him almost seventy percent of his total mana so he knew that he wouldn't be able to use it effectively anytime soon. Just the fact that he would be able to reshape materials into any shape he could envision would make his life so much easier! He could turn any piece of scrap metal into something useful like a nail or screw with just some of his mana! Thinking about it, his excitement grew even more. He could easily make things like nuts and bolts for holding things together, or small intricate parts like what he needed for the welding torch that he'd made previously.
With this ability, he could easily make small intricate parts without needing bigger and heavier tools to make them. He could easily make hollow cylinders without needing a large lathe. The more he thought about it the more possibilities that came to mind and the more excited he became. If he could truly become proficient in the use of this ability there was literally nothing he couldn't, eventually, make!
Still feeling excited, he stored the flat piece of stone in his inventory and retrieved a little wooden box from his storage ring. He flipped it open and looked at the Magitech Tube inside of it. This was his inheritance from Hekrin and he hadn't looked at or thought about it very much since he got it. Now, however, he had learned how to use his ability in a way that would let him do his master proud. Once he was done with these magic lessons and ready to go back to Ulvstad he would take the time to make a proper magical gun to show Hekrin.
Until then he would need to think about it a bit and probably log out to do some research on the internet in the real world. Guns were not something he had made by hand, ever. The last game he played had guns, but they were all made using extremely high tech machines and schematics, not by hand. He also didn't want to make copies of guns from the real world either. If he was going to do this, he needed to do it in a way that made them truly unique in the world. Real magical guns. That was his goal now.
He closed the wooden box and stored it inside of his inventory this time. For some reason he felt like that would be a much safer place to store it than inside of his storage ring. He climbed off of his bed and made his way to the little kitchen section of his room to store the transmutation formation plate. It was getting close to dinner time and he was feeling a little hungry. He also wanted to get to sleep early tonight. After all, tomorrow he had a duel with Brao, probably, and intended to be in peak condition so he could win.
He made his way out of his dorm building toward the cafeteria to get himself something for dinner. The food might not be the best tasting but it was filling and would help him recover from the day's exertions. He smiled as he thought of different things he could do during the duel tomorrow morning. The featherweight spell was definitely going to be a big help to him and he felt himself thanking Fulin for teaching it to them before he got into this duel. He stepped into the cafeteria with the plan of eating his dinner and going straight to bed for the night.