Autumn watched the boy getting up to and taking a few steps before falling back down. This has been going on for the last 5 minutes with small improvements throughout this time. She just continued to look over him with a gentle smile. She was feeling a bit anxious about the situation as a whole. Her plans have gone awry. The wolf not only took her clan last name; he has transformed into something resembling a wolf-elf hybrid. Her soul-weapon has been a sacrifice to save his life and taken over by a demonic wolf beast soul whose shape was created by vines. If that was not enough, it was trying to devour this poor boy’s soul.
Now she had to train the young boy into something that did not bring dishonor on her clan noble name. She would need to make him her disciple and teach him not only how to become strong, but on how to live properly. Before she could even start this process, he would have to learn how to speak and read the world language. This would already be a challenge, but the wolf was young and impulsive with little interest in common knowledge.
The biggest heartache for her was her role in all of this. She gave him the last name because of her authority. Once the pact ended, the remaining poison in her soul that went undisturbed invaded his soul causing him to be unbearable pain. She ended up saving but at what cost. Her mana ended up causing his form to permanently change. He now resembled a beautiful child from her village with the addition of a wolf tail and snow-like features. This caused his already childish mind to temporary recede and gave that wolf soul to try to take over. The cherry on top was that his new body has several disabilities. He ended up being blind and unable to speak. They would have to converse in his soul space whenever the need for teaching arises.
This brought her to her current situation. She believed the thing he needed most right now was not strength. What he needed the most right now is a guide. This usually fell to the parents. They are gone but she could still be his teacher. This occupation was said to be seen as their personal disciple second parents. This situation was the result of her actions. She decided she needed to be the one to take responsibility for this situation. This would be her first personal disciple. She was a bit nervous at this thought but she decided to always try to be gentle. This would apply as long as she was not teaching. So even though he could not see her, she just gently smiled at him as he took his first steps.
As he was focusing on learning how to control his new body, she was taking some of the clothes from the bodies and washing them in the lake. She was trying to stitch them back together with the makeshift tools she created. She made tiny pins with the bark from some of the trees around her. She also made a threading needle from the bark while making threads from some of the fiber of the leaves around. She began her patchwork in earnest.
After some time, she was able to make a decent shirt, jacket, and pants. She needed to work on a pair of boots next. She looked up and saw the wolf jogging back and forth. His form was a bit awkward and unsteady but he was becoming more accustomed to running. She sized him up and nodded her head. “The clothes should fit. They might be a little loose. “
He transformed into a child but he still looked a bit malnourished. She then continued to look down and saw small red marks from small cuts and bruises on his feet. She immediately called out to him. “Come closer to the lake. Let me wash those wounds and make a quick ointment. You should have said something if you were injuring yourself.”
He turned around and gave her a blank look. “I forgot you could not speak. Let’s set up a hand signal for when you need to communicate with me. The basic hand signal is to raise your hand over your head. That means you have a question or need to speak.” He tilted his head for a moment before raising his hand. She just shook her head before heading into his soul space. The young boy already began to adapt to this situation He was trying his best to learn and survive. As someone who will become his future teacher, she would not fall behind.
“How are you feeling? I see you getting used to walking on two legs. You have to eventually learn how to run for safety.” Both of their avatars came out to face each other. He began to speak. “I feel tired and my feet hurt easy. Even stepping on a rock hurt. How does someone like this survive?” Nanna spoke with much disappointment. He did not like his new body at all.
“You are cold from not having any clothes on. The garments that human wears help ward off the cold. They are called clothes and helps with surviving most of the elements form the environment. I just finished making you a basic set of clothing for you to wear. It’s is like interchangeable fur. It can customize for the specific environment and give a greater chance at survival. I will make your boots next. This will allow you to run across most landscapes. You will not have to worry about rocks, thorns, etc.”
“This species seems fragile and would easily die. I am already tired and need to take a break. How will I become strong enough? I do not understand.” Nanna inquired. He was starting to doubt being able to become stronger with such a weak body.
“I will help you put your clothes on now but you will have to learn how to put them on for yourself sooner than later. While you are recovering your stamina, let us talk about the ways to get stronger. I will present to you the basic knowledge on mana, will tell you about the different types of mana systems and the difference between a magic beast and demonic beast. I will give you a basic road map on the path I would like for you to take. The actual path you take is up to you. After we figure out the path, we will discuss a training regime on how we will get there.”
Nanna's feeling began to leak out his tail as it wagged back and forth. His emotions also portrayed his excitement. He will eventually learn how to keep it under control. She just thought it was cute. “Can I use mana? What abilities can I use?”
“I will answer all your questions in time, just settle down. Let me start by teaching the basics.” She said as Nanna set down and looked at her with upturned eyes. “First let me show you how to put your clothes on. We will move on from there.” They both left the soul space and she began to show him how to wear clothes. He put on some black pants and a black shirt before the jacket. She helps him part his hair from his head and smiled. “You are a cutey. Wash your feet in the lake and I will give you something for the cuts on your feet.”
Nanna went to the lake and began to wash his feet while autumn grabs her makeshift mortar and pestle by the lake. She began to grab some of the remnants of the medicine she made before. It was not only something that could be ingested. She walked up to Nanna and asked him to show his feet. The dirt was rinsed clean from them as she applied some of the medicine directly on his feet. He looked up to her wonder. He could not feel the sting anymore. He then raised his hand.
“Give me a moment. I am going to grab a few plants from inside the lake. You will heal faster that way.” Nanna just stared in her direction with the same deadpan expression. His tail was wagging back and forth. She began to smile and diving slightly into the lake. She found a few moss and plants and brought them out. “You might not be able to see these at this moment, but you can combine a few of these plants and make a medication to enhance yourself. This one allows for a quicker recovery for a while after making reagents out of it. Then you add water to make it into a drink.” She started excitingly explaining. After realizing her mistake, she blushed and quickly finished up the mixture and presented it to Nanna.
She then returned into the soul space and saw an excited Nanna. “Was that magic? You turned a random plant into a strong-smelling mixture that healed my wounds.” His avatar tail swinging at full power.
Ignoring her previous embarrassment, she began to continue with her explanation. “That was herbology. I am a doctor and making medicine out of plants is a basic of the trade. Some might think its old fashion but I believe old ways are the best.” She declared in an elder tone. She continued lecturing as if she was teaching a child the way of life.
“I did use a bit of magic to boost the effects. Magic infused water is better than basic water. That’s a rule of thumb. Everything has exceptions.” She looked back down into his eyes. She saw the pure enthusiasm. This was a chance for her to turn him into her official disciple. He would not know the importance of this decision now but will in time.
“Would you like to become my disciple and learn the art of medicine? Being a doctor is one of the noblest professions.” She stated as Nanna shook his head up and down saying yes before she finished her statement.
“This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your like. Are you sure you will take me on as your teacher? Taking someone in as your disciple is said for a teacher to take on a new child and the disciple taking in a second parent. Will you still take me as your teacher while knowing this?” Autumn stated as clearly as possible. After a few moments, Nanna looked confused but stood behind his original answer. He decided to take her on as his teacher.
“You will be my direct disciple from this moment on. The path will be long and arduous but fulfilling. You have my people's noble last name. You must uphold the honor of a Gundolf. I shall walk you down the path of medicine and combat. If you so choose, I will teach you the art of formations. Do not shame me or your name. We will share each other glory and shame. Our souls are already connected. If your actions become a grave offense to Lady Fauna's teachings; We will also share death. Prepare yourself, young Nanna!” Autumn spoke in a solemn voice.
Nanna felt the tension in the air. He did not know the importance of a disciple, but he realizes he agreed to something else that could be troublesome. His very soul was already in her hands, his body was forever changed while being blind and could not speak. There was not any other situation that he felt could be worse than the situation he was in now. He would at least be able to heal quicker after learning from her. He decided to agree and roll with it.
“The art of medicine is a profession that you master over a lifetime. I believe every disease has a cure, but the knowledge of the doctor is limited. I will help you embark on your path later. We have a lot to cover today. Let us begin.” She declared.
“Our first topic of discussion will be magic and what it is. Simply put, it is whatever the form that mana takes. The next logical question is, “what is mana?” Autumn asked Nanna. Nanna continues to stare at her confused before he realized he needed to answer the question.
“You have not told me. What is mana?” Nanna replied. Autumn shook her head before she replied. “If you ever wanted to be a first-class magician, remember this. You must question everything. You must constantly critically think. Think for yourself and question everything. Established “truths” are turned on their head every year. Do not worry about being wrong, you felt mana running through you. What do you think mana is?” She asks in a stern but gentler manner.
Nanna thought about it for a while before he answered. “It felt like cold winter breeze I could direct if I focused. It sometimes felt like a liquid. Almost like water or even the blood in my body. Would it be some new type of water?” he asked tilting his head.
Autumn just smiled and continued her explanation. “Scholars have been debating this for years. It has not been proven, but it is universally agreed that mana has no actual form. It is just energy. It’s an energy that is neither a solid, liquid or gas. It is just energy. This energy can mold itself into any form. Raw mana that has not been molded can be used by anyone. This pure energy can be transformed into any of the elements or kinetic and potential energy for physical purposes.” She paused for a moment to let it sink in and continued.
“Someone who uses magic is called the broad name of magic-user. There are different types of magic-users; Magicians, wizards, warlocks, necromancers, etc. These are just the name of a few types of magic-users. They are names that give a quick description of the type of magic that they use. “She believed this was a barebone explanation.
“How do you fight then Autumn? What type of magic-user are you?” Nanna interrupted.
Autumn felt a small discomfort in him calling her by name. She decided to correct this sooner than later. “You are now my disciple Nanna. Once you accept someone as your teacher, You call them teacher or master as a form of respect. This is how you should address me from now on. You should also try to ask questions at a more appropriate time by raising your hand. This will allow me to take a mental note that you do not completely understand what I previously said. I would then find a good spot for my lecture to pause and address any of your concerns with the lesson. Do you understand?” Autumn understood that he was only a cub and she has not explained the rules between teacher and disciple. She still needed to implement some basic rules and regulations.
“I understand this teacher.” Nanna nodded excitedly.
Autumn smiled and began to answer his question. “ I have a dual fighting style that combines magic and physical combat. Non-magic combat users are called martial-art users. Since I was young, I learned to hunt. This is a tradition in my culture. I went down the path of the bow and have a basic understanding of handling a dagger. “She said while pointing at her bow and quiver. “I am what people would call an archer and employ archery in combat. I use my magic as a supplement to my martial arts. The magic I am most proficient in is earthen magic; more specifically nature magic. This allows me to control and create trees, flowers, plants, etc.”
Nanna raised his hand and Autumn just nodded. He began to speak. “Your soul weapon is a bow correct? It doesn’t look like it is dangerous. How does it work? Your magic sounds a bit weak. Most plants besides some of the trees that eat beast only become food for the plant-eating beast. The vines took control over my body but it was my half wolf soul that caused all that to happen. How will nature magic help me to become strong? Is there a different type of magic you can teach?” Nanna continued to fire out a barrage of questions before Autumn interrupted him.
“A student who is inquisitive and shows passion is a great blessing to a teacher. We need to put these questions on hold temporarily. Let us finish up the basics on magic and moved to the magic beast and soul weapons first, okay?” She said and Nanna reluctantly nodded. She smiled and continued her lecture.
“We been sidetracked many times today lets me concluded talks on magic and mana with these last few subjects of interest. First is mana and mana signature. There is mana in all things. Not only is there mana in the environment, but it also resides in many of the living creatures that reside on our planet. This includes not only magical beasts and bi-pedal sapient-beings; this also includes nature, rocks, trees, and plants. These living beings use mana not only to live but create, and even bend the elements under one control.” She took an invisible breath and continued.
“Your magic signature allows you to control your magic or form a link to your mana and magic. Everyone has a unique mana signature. How a magic signature is made or recognize is up for debate but its existence is very much real. When you create a ball of fire and hurl it at your enemy, or control ice arrows through the air; the magic after it been shaped and created as a whole is yours. What stops others from taking control of your magic is your mana signature. What allows you to form a link with the magic you created is a direct link by mana or the resonation of your mana and its.” Nanna raised had his hands but Autumn just shook her head and continued.
“Mana signature is a theoretical knowledge that is learned easier by putting it into practical use. Do not worry too much about the explanation of a mana signature. We can revisit that subject once you start using magic.” Nanna shook his head up and down while waiting for her to continue.
“Mana that has no mana signature is called neutral mana. This neutral mana is not called neutral because of its nature. This mana can be used by anyone once they convert it to their own. If their manipulation level is high, they can create things without converting them. This is riskier because those who have a higher understanding can hijack the mana and turn it against them. This is extremely risky and usually not used in practical combat. ” Autumn remembered her last battle and shook her head. She was gambling in her last fight; some things turned out well and others horribly.
“Some places have a higher mana concentration. These places are usually home to leylines. This is just veins in the earth that releases a concentration of mana consistently. The higher ranked leylines release a high concentration of mana. These places are usually converted into high ranked magical beast’s lairs. Do you know why?” Autumn paused her lecture and ask a simple question. Nanna took a moment and thought about it and answered.
“More mana means more energy. That means less hunger.” Nanna answered happily with his chest slightly poked out and his tail wagging. He was extremely confident in her answer. This was a factor but not the main reason magical beast would hold these lands so highly. She was happy he was building up his confidence and answering without fear. He needed to build his confidence up, have faith in his knowledge and critically think more if he wanted to continue far down this path.
“That is a plus but there’s a bigger reason to occupy those lands.” She paused and looked at his reaction. He was fully invested like a child listening to a bedtime story. She smiled and continued. “Higher amount of mana allows magical beast a consistent source of mana. This allows them to store mana into their mana core and evolve safer and sooner.”
“They can evolve and grow stronger quicker?” Nanna yelled out with his eyes shining. He saw the look in autumn eyes and apologized. “Sorry teacher. But is that true?” Nanna could not help but ask. Autumn just shook her head with a forlorn smile but remembered he was a child at heart. He might have fought for his life for most of the little time he lived but he was still young. She began to realize that he became more childlike when he heard things about strength and things he found foreign and interesting.
“Yes, this pertains to the second subject we need to discuss. We will talk about the elemental nature of mana and type and forms of magic another time.” She realizes she could not keep throwing on new topics on mana and magic. She would teach him things gradually. He would have to learn some things through experience.
“Let talk about magical beast evolution. What’s important about evolution and why it makes magical beast strong. My first question to you is, How do you tell if someone is strong?” she looked back down at Nanna.
Nanna looked up and thought about it. He has encountered many creatures in the wild both big and small. Some were extremely strange but also very strong. The strong creatures had a common factor.
“The strong beast that I have seen all had a strong feeling of strength that seemed to leak off of them. The ones that were quicker to attack had a deadly feeling that seems to float around them. The magical beast that seems to keep to themselves had a calming feeling around them. It always felt like something could erupt at any moment. Does that have to do with mana and how to become strong.”
Autumn smiled and nodded her head the more she listened to him. This was not the greatest scientific approach but these observations would be more helpful than not. “Good job! You observe multiple beasts and came up with a hypothesis. Some things need some work but this could be a gauge for a rough estimation of creatures' strength. What you are talking about is a magical beast aura. This phenomenon happens when the mana leaks out from their body.”
Nanna continues to focus on every one of Autumn’s words. This was the most focus he displayed so far. Magical beasts were something he was extremely interested in. It was who he was at heart…A moonlight wolf. “Is this aura what I felt coming from other beasts?”
Autumn slowly nodded her head. “It appears so. Every creature that manipulates mana has a mana signature. This mana signature is theorized to be the combination of their mana element, their very mana itself and their soul. The soul is continuously imprinting more memories and experiences into itself. This combines with your mana and its element allows for a unique signature. The more mana you have, the more that leaks out naturally. This minute leak of mana gives out an invisible aura that wraps around someone. Someone who not just has an abundance of mana but also trained will be able to stop any minute mana leakage. This is why you should not assume someone who does not have an aura is weak. They are the ones who are truly strong“ she said and looked towards the young boy. “Any questions at this moment?”
Nanna looked and began to raise his hand before putting it down. He just gave her a look to continue with his lit eyes and wagging tail that zoomed across the air. She smiled and continued. “The type of aura a creature release generally gives a peek at someone's soul and strength. Those who always kill ruthlessly and covered in blood would have a strong blood aura that leaks out. These auras can be used in combat. Auras are generally used by those who use martial arts. We will come back to them at a later time. Let us talk about the evolution of magical beast and how mana and leylines play a major role.”
“Excuse my poor teaching abilities. You are the first disciple I had. I only taught my children and my younger sister. This is a new experience for me. We must talk about elements and mana form today after all.” She stops for a moment before continuing. “Mana has many forms. It can turn into any form that conceivable. It can be air, liquid or a solid. It is extremely malleable and can take the form of whatever it touches. It also slowly takes the elements most affiliated with its environment.” Nanna quickly raised his hands and Autumn nodded.
“What is an element and what are forms?” Nanna asked.
“The basic elemental forms are arcane, fire, water wind, and earth. Mana is an energy that takes the form of the element it is around after prolonged exposure. This makes the mana from the environment easier to manipulate for certain magic-user. Water magicians would be stronger near rivers and lakes. Wood magicians like myself work well in the forest. Etcetera. Mana found in the forest are subjected to turn into more natural mana. Water mana in lakes, air mana in the clouds, etc. That’s why some scholars and wizards believe there is not any natural arcane mana. Arcane mana is pure that does not have any other element transforming it. That is why you must first convert the mana to arcane by filtering the element and stripping the magic signature out before absorbing it and converting it to yours. If the element is your own, you only have to strip off the mana signature. This one of the few reasons fighting a magician in their elemental nature is harder.”
“Why does this matter with a magical beast evolution? They use bloodline abilities, unlike your magic-users, right?” Nanna asks interrupting her.
“Remember not to interrupt. Raise your hand if you have a question.” Autumn berated the wolf for his hastiness. Nanna's tail begins to limp and his face fell. “Sorry” Nanna apologize.
“These are things that should be remembered in the future. You might be of equal strength normally, but you should always consider the environment. This is of great importance to magical beasts and their evolution.” The boy was still looking down but he was paying attention. She reached out her hand and began to pet his avatar. He looked up and she smiled.
“You are a bit impatient. It is okay. Just remember there are rules that you should try to follow. Just try your best, okay?” Autumn said and he looked back at her and shook his head. She smiled and continued with her explanation.
“We will talk about magic systems later but magical beast generally starts with a stream of magic running through their body. It starts as a flow that runs through their body like air. Some feel that it’s a bit heavy as a liquid but this is false. This flow of mana is what magical beast feels at rank 1. We categorize this magical beast as just awakened or are generally new-born.” She looked at him implying that he was one.
“When they just awaken, they get a bloodline ability that fits their personality. It generally something they need or desire from the bottom of their heart. As they absorb more mana, it begins to crystallize and become a magic crystal. It can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a moon bead. “ She said this as she gathers mana and formed the shapes in front of her. The wolf stared at the shape with longing. ”Magic crystals are also called beast cores. The bigger the mana crystal is, the higher the output of mana they can display. They tend to be much more dangerous. This is where my discussion on elements earlier came in.” Nanna raised his hand and she nodded.
“The magical beast absorbs the mana from the environment. The mana in the environment has an element. Does that mean that the magical beast absorbs that element?”
“This is correct. Most of the mana that has the purest of the element is absorbs from those closer to the leylines. They who hold dominion over the key parts to the leylines absorb the elemental mana. This allows them to have an advantage in areas that are dense with that element. Those who would absorb the wood element would be more inclined to transform into a magical beast with the wood element. They would also learn bloodline abilities related to the wood element. Do you have any questions?”
“Does this mean that once my rank reaches high enough, I transform into a strong beast of the nature of mana I been absorbing? What if I was absorbing mana without an element? How much mana should I absorb to evolve?”
“Yes, you have to continuously absorb enough mana to increase your rank and mana crystal before you evolve. Evolution happens once you reach rank 10. Rank 9 is right before a beast goes into evolution. If you absorb only arcane mana throughout your absorption process, you will just evolve into a stronger version of yourself. An important thing to note is that all bloodline abilities evolve along with your evolution. The evolution at rank 10 is when a beast becomes a Divine beast or a Beast of Calamity.” Autumn continued to speak before Nanna raised his hand again.
“I heard you speak of the Beast of Calamity before. What are they and how do they become what they are? Why should I avoid becoming one?” Nanna slowly asks this question, afraid of her response.
“Do not be afraid to ask questions about things you do not understand. You must learn why things are in the state they are in. Then you can fully grasp why this evolution option must be avoided. This goes back to the process of a beast evolution.” She began to take a breath and continued.
“Mana is said to be energy but it causes a strange phenomenon once it is absorbed in great enough quantities. It grants a chance to grant consciousness and intelligence. It evolves thought processes and allows those who gather more mana to do a higher level of mental calculation easier and faster. That is why most magical beasts have some sort of intelligence. They can ignore their basic instinct and think for themselves. The problem is a beast that does not gain intelligence. They are called demonic beasts.” She looked at him and said.
“When you allowed the weapon to take over your consciousness and devolve into using only your instincts; your body was being taken over by a demonic beast. The demonic beast only follows there instincts. If there only thought is for food, they would destroy ecosystems devouring everything in their sights relentlessly. Same thing if they devolved and only instinct was to gain strength. With your ability to devour mana and vitality through the vines, you would have gone on a rampage across the local wildlife absorbing their life force to increase your strength. You would have either been killed for recklessly fighting those around you or quickly evolved in a beast of calamity.” She simply stated. Nanna was about to raise his hand but she shook her head.
“I am not blaming you for what happened but be careful of the other soul in the soul space. It is still a part of you and is the best chance for you to turn back into a wolf. It is the closest thing to your old form also. A magic beast can turn into a demonic beast; a demonic beast can transform into a magic beast. We can grant your wolf soul intelligence in due time. We will speak about that at a later date. “
There was so much she had to cover and so little time. The poison in this land was slowly receding and creatures of all rank would be exploring this land after the miasma and death aura was gone. She needed to teach him the basics of surviving before they left to explore. Before they would talk about his dreams of turning back, he would need to survive first. These key subjects would be the most important.
”Let’s talk about the other way demonic beast is created. We say they devolve from a magical beast but they are magical beasts that lack intelligence. This causes them to have more of a destructive nature and go by their instincts forgetting self-preservation. This happens when a magic beast absorbs tainted mana. Remember that I told you that mana signatures are a combination of mana, their element, and their soul? This comes in play with a magic beast and its magic crystal.” She spoke slowly.
“A magic beast without mana is no longer a magic beast, it devolves back into a beast with limited intelligence. Mana to a magical beast is what grants its intelligence. Tainting its mana taints their intelligence. The more tainted magical beast mana, the more it devolves into a beast.” Nanna looked at her with an expression to continue. She nodded before continuing. “How can you taint a magic beast mana would be the next logical question, would it not?” she ask and Nanna nodded quickly.
“Magic beast increases their mana mainly in two ways; One is through absorbing the ambient mana in the environment and the other is through hunting. The absorption of the environment is something magic beast do passively and hunting is active. The bodies that the beasts eat had mana running through it. The core that was left is the nexus of their mana that is eaten and absorbed.” Autumn then pulled water from the lake into the soul space.
“Now imagine this ball of water is your mana. This is what happens when you absorb someone else mana.” She took control of some of the ambient nature mana from outside and began to pull it inside. There was resistance at first but Nanna allowed it to come through. “This is what happens when foreign mana is added to your mana pool.” Nanna began to look at the pool attentively. There were not any noticeable changes at first. Then more and more nature magic was added to the water at a steady pace. The clear glob of water began to turn a shade of green.
“Your mana pool is the base and the added mana is akin to black ink or mud. A handful of mud will not change or alter a running river or lake. But it can change a small cup size of water; causing it color and consistency to transform. This logic applies to the magical beast mana when they absorb a minute amount of mana from other magical beasts. If the mana they absorb from the magical beast they consumed quantity is relatively big compared to their total mana pool, the mana signature will begin to affect their own. This happens because they are not only absorbing their mana but their mana signature also.“ Nanna had swung his hand back forth in hectic mana. She took a break and allowed him to ask his question before she continued.
“Does that mean that I should not try to absorb mana from monsters that are much stronger than me in rank, I believed you called it. This will cause my body to transform or cause my personality to change?” Nanna needed to know this. This would determine how he planned to train.
“Absorbing mana from a higher-ranked beast is not a good idea for various. The higher the rank, the more a soul signature is attached to a magical beast's mana. The short version is that the mana and the soul become more tangle and intertwine with each other. This allows them to manipulate mana and their abilities faster and easier. This makes it more troublesome to get rid of their signature but there are other benefits if you can do it. “
The wolf unconsciously took a few steps forward as if he was afraid he would miss anything she was saying. Autumn took a step and began to laugh. “We are in your soul space. I am not even speaking through my mouth, its just a habit. Take a few steps back, I will repeat anything that you miss and answer all your questions. We speak by transmitting our intentions. There no way there will be a mix-up.” Nanna began to take a few steps back while looking embarrassed. Autumn would not continue to tease him.
“The normal limit of a magic beast bloodline is one ability per rank. High ranking magic core from monster holds their personalities and memories. If you are lucky, you can learn one of its abilities or use its bloodline ability to merge with your own creating something new. This could cause a transformation in the output and damage from your bloodline ability. It might change completely.” Autumn spoke but a look of greed and hunger appeared on nanna. His tail was high in excitement, his ears perked back up and some drool was coming out from his mouth. A greedy gleam came from his eyes.
“Before you fantasize and run off and do something foolish, it is not a good thing to attack things higher ranked than you. It is a worse idea to take in mana from a magic core a higher ranked than you. You do not always need to fight to get a mana core. Some things can be acquired through other avenues such as trades and purchases. Let us imagine that you got your hands on a higher ranking core than yourself. What do you think will happen if you begin to absorb it?” She decided to ask him to test how much he been listening. He thought about it for a moment before answering.
“The monster core mana would begin to contaminate my own. This would then turn me into a demonic beast if I do not filter out the mana signature?” his voicing taking a spike upward by the end as if it was a question. She nodded impressed at his memory.
“Correct! Your mana would become tainted and will begin to muddle your intelligence. You will slowly begin to follow your instincts. The higher the magic beast, the higher the sync the mana and their soul is. The worst-case scenario is there memories and personality is still fulling preserved in the mana core. This will cause it to try to take over your body just like my…our soul weapon did earlier.” She said with some reluctance. “You either be a walking husk of a beast with a tainted corpse that drowns in mana or your body becomes the sacrifice of a higher rank beast.” She continued. Nanna's tail went down but began to stand on end. He had a competitive glint in his eyes. “I will not allow that to happen.” He said in almost a whisper. A remnant of fear came out from his voice. This could be from his body transformation or his soul almost getting taking over by the wolf soul weapon.
Autumn walked up to nanna kneeled to eye level. She hugged him. “I am right by your side and will guide you only the way. I am your teacher now. We will not allow it to happen again. There are easy steps to prevent this. That’s why it is important to absorb then purify your magic crystal after every hunt. This way it’s also important not to try to devour a mana crystal a higher rank than yours. The higher the magic crystal rank, the stronger there soul and personalities is implanted in its magic crystal.” She finished up the explanation and Nanna raised his hand before asking her an important question. He did not push her away. Their soul avatars touch physically but what he felt were some of her emotions. There were hints of excitement and pride but he also felt anxiety, nervousness, and regret. This was the first real connection he had with anyone besides his mother. He did not know what to do. He just stood there and ask another question.
“You said ranks multiple times now. What is a rank? Also, how do you purify your magic crystal? What happens if you absorb an element from mana that is not yours?” Nanna questioned. She let go of a bit embarrassed about what happened. She originally hugged him to comfort him but it ended up being a release for herself also. She knew that he felt all of her emotions. It seemed that her control was slacking a bit. She continued the explanation while ignoring the earlier events.
“Let ignore ranks for now. This will be brought back up with mana systems. Purification of your mana core is something that is instinctive and that I cannot explain. Some things you just know such as moving your limbs. Absorbing different elements, on the other hand, is simple. You can absorb any type of mana. The problem is if there is any backlash from taking in the element that is not suited for you. The mana of different elements can be absorbed as long as it is filtered back into the non-elemental state of arcane. The neutral mana will slowly transform into your element just like it adapts itself towards the environment. Your body must host the mana first. That means if the element directly oppose your element, it will make the mana crystal you devour do more harm than good.” Nanna began to raise his hand but she shook her head.
“We can talk about the relationship between elements later. We must focus on the barebones explanation for now. We will be forced out into the wildlands in due time. We still need to prepare your mana regime. This is just teaching you the basic idea so you understand magical beast evolution. The special attribute it bestows on your mana and body at a later time. Just know that your body has a high talent for water and wood. My influence is thanks to that.” Nanna raises his hand and dropped them a few times throughout her explanation. He finally kept it up and got a chance to ask a question. He was sitting down as if he was a cub.
“Why explain all of this to me now instead of going through the training itself. If time is limited, we need to focus on surviving.” He asks curiously. Surviving was implanted in his very soul at this point. He put that first in foremost.
“What you say is true but this will provide better results and is definitely worth the few hours that will be wasted. If you have a goal you have chosen and going after something you desire from the body of your heart; you will put in 120% of the effort instead of doing something just because I told you to. The training results would be far greater. This also why I am telling you to barebones of knowledge. Some are still theories but some of these theories held up for centuries. They have never been disproven but they cannot be truly proven either. They are accepted by scholars and magicians across the land. She stated quickly before continuing her previous lecture.
“Last but not least the hypothesis I have on how your soul and body transformed. When I had to dig the poison out of your soul, a lot was destroyed. My mana signature was absorbed into your soul while you absorbed my mana from the lake. Your body began to regen and it looks towards your half-missing soul to find out how to regenerate your body into its “default state.” This was the last tangent she would go off of. He was entitled to know why he was in his current situation. She needed to teach him the basics of some of the soul functions were.
“How long and muscular your limbs are. The bone structure and muscular density of your body; the shape, width, and length of your body is determined by your soul. Your body natural regeneration and recovery magic take what’s your soul think and recovery it that way. This how you transformed from wolf to the being you are now. Your soul was strongly inflicted with my mana signature. I suspect it also has something to do with your true name gaining my race last name. This is also why when you create a soul avatar, it creates an avatar of what your soul “thinks” your default state is.” Autumn continues to speak out loud. Nanna looks at her and realizes she is in her world.
“I think I understand how I became this….thing but you never told me how to evolve. I know all of the other lessons were to give me an idea of how evolution works. I think I understand the basics of mana, magic, and magical beasts.” Nanna started off speaking before recounting everything he remembered.
“Mana is energy. Mana adapts and becomes one with the elements transforming and becoming some form of the elements. Mana is everywhere and it's stronger in some parts of the land. These are the leylines which are across the earth where the concentration of mana run through. Monsters stay on top of these leylines to absorb the mana coming from the leylines. If they continuously absorb a certain mana element over periods, they learn bloodline abilities related to it. The body of magical beast begins to adjust and adapt towards that element eventually evolving. But is that all it is to evolving? You absorb enough mana from absorbing the environment or eating monster cores and you evolve? I understand that mana imitates the environment or even the magical beast. That’s why there are magical signatures and you have to watch the rank and type of mana you absorb but this feels unreal. If that’s all you need to evolve, would there not be a more evolved magical beast running around? Or have I just been oblivious to them at this point? All you need to do is survive and you will eventually evolve. All the older magical beast would have evolved instead of getting older and becoming prey.”
Nanna went on a rant. Autumn snapped out of ramblings once he started and almost reprimanded him for not raising his hand but she was shocked the more she listened. He repeated everything she said so far. She thought he would need a lot more time to soak in this information. After he was done speaking, she nodded with his conclusion. This was a logical conclusion. His thinking is extremely logical for someone his age. But she had to make a minor correction with his conclusion.
“What you have stated is true if you do not understand ranks. We will discuss ranks another after these lessons and we talk about systems. But to become a divine beast or beast of calamity, you must reach rank 10.” She simply stated. She continued before he could speak.
“I will not go in the difference between ranks and what makes fighting someone of a different rank so difficult another time. Let me give you a simple explanation of how you will level up from one rank to another. You must also attempt to knock down the wall into a higher rank of the magical beast evolution you will eventually evolve into. Some ranks require you to have as much as 1.5 times as much mana to allow it to overflow and crystalize into your mana crystal transforming it. Let’s not go into detail about rank ups but I will tell you specifically about why evolving is dangerous. This is a hurdle you will have to transcend in the future or death will be your only outcome.” She stated those words solemnly.
“As you can feel now, your body has mana running through it. You can circulate it throughout your body but it does not have a dedicated pathway. How your body has a circulatory system and respiratory system, it does not have a dedicated mana system. Every evolved beast does have this, however. They do not create one from scratch, however. To successfully evolve for a magical beast, they must combine their mana crystal with their heart. If they are successful, mana will begin to run throughout their body through their veins. Their bloodlines will evolve and their body and soul will evolve at that moment also. If a regular wolf that consistently absorbed fire elemental mana from rank 1 to 5 and eventually evolves, it will evolve species of Hell wolf. Its fur would be made of flames. Its body would be the transform to host flames.” She said while looking into the star-eyed boy. It felt like she was reading a child a story on heroes. He was in the process of imaging himself become one.
“The benefits of evolution to magical beasts are not small. Mana helps create intelligence. Divine beasts cannot have their mana crystal destroyed and devolve to beasts. It’s almost impossible to taint divine beast mana for multiple reasons. All of their bloodline abilities evolve with them. Their body and soul evolve to a higher state. This rank is a transformative change. The biggest challenge for this to happen is to combine your magic crystal with their heart. They must become one. If you fail, the best-case scenario is that you start over from rank one. The worst-case scenario is death or that you lose all of your intelligence and degenerate into a demonic beast that lacks intelligence. You still revert to level one. Some see their strength as their life and think losing strength is worst and staying alive. Both scenarios are horrible.”
“Preparing to evolve is my goal,” Nanna said in a whisper.
Autumn was happy he had a high goal but she had to bring him back down to earth.
“I’m glad you have a set goal but we need to set up a training regime first. You have not even created your magic crystal yet. Let alone evolving, you have not learned how to survive in your new body. The fastest way to get stronger is through one of the established magic systems of old. I will explain how to get stronger. It’s up to you to decide what road you take. Regardless of the path, the upcoming days will be difficult.
Nanna was never afraid of the path is difficult. He was afraid that there was not a path for him in the first place. He thought about him having a chance to gain strength and make them arrogant wolves a stepping stone on his path to strength. Nanna gave a toothy smile. This was his first genuine smile of happiness in his new body.