Hearing the amount she offers me, my mind stops for a moment. It's an absurd amount for only coming on the weekends. With that money, I could even rent a house. I realize that I have been quiet for a while and I reply hastily. "y-yeah, it's okay."
"Well, I know I said a moment ago on the weekends, but if you recharge this device now as much as you can, I will pay you 1 gold coin" she says, taking what looks like a steel crown with many gems embedded from the desk and handing it to me. Some of the gems have a soft glow "please do it, I have a terrible migraine and if you recharge it a little I will not have to transfer my mana to it again today"
"Okay, but... How do I do it?" I ask without understanding.
"Put your hand on the crown and just let your mana flow, the crown will absorb it" says Sofia with a frown as if she were answering a truism.
"I don't know how to make my mana flow" I say feeling like a fool from the look Sabrina gives me when I say it.
"But if I saw you do magic, how can it be that you can't control your mana? How did you set your sword on fire then?" Sabrina asks, puzzled.
"I focus on the image of what I want and making it happen with my will, that's how Ragnar taught me" I say defensively.
"Agh, and I imagine this Ragnar learned on his own right?" Sofia asks, covering her face with her hands.
"Yes, what does that matter?" I ask without understanding his reaction.
"It matters because this Ragnar must have a lot of mana and that's why he has no problem using magic like that, but you could have killed yourself at any moment if you didn't have that much mana. Ragnar's method is incomplete. If magic is used in that way, it could work the way you want it to, or it could use a ridiculous amount of mana, ending in a magical coma at best and the person dead at worst. You've been practicing magic like that for a year, right? Are you telling me that you have never passed out or felt dizzy while practicing?" Sofia asks, looking at me like she's seeing something impossible.
"No, never. It is true that sometimes I get tired suddenly when I practice, but only that." I say, as I remember how, occasionally, a lot of my mana was drained suddenly while practicing. However, it was never a problem thanks to the interface.
"well… I suppose it's better that way" says Sofía while sighing "let's start with the basics. Visualize the center of your body as a container where mana is generated and stored, and your arms and legs as pipes through which the mana can flow. The head, on the other hand, is in charge of the valves of the container and decides where the mana goes through the pipes and how much it goes" while she says each thing she draws it on a paper. When she's done, she reaches across the desk to me and says "give me your hand, I'm going to send you a little mana. Concentrate on the sensation of how the mana travels to the center of your body and try to replicate it, but in reverse"
I take her hand and feel a cold stream run up my arm to my chest, increasing my mana. I focus on the sensation and, trying to imitate it, I feel like a hot stream goes down my arm and reaches my hand where it passes to Sofia's arm, at the same time that my mana drops in the interface.
"Well done! I did not think you would achieve it on the first try" she says while I see a notification that says [New Skill Acquired: Magic Sense Lv1] and instantly, I start to feel my mana more easily "you just have to learn to control the amount, but now you can take care of that on your own. Now... going back to the crown, please recharge it as much as you can."
I take the crown again in my hands and begin to send my mana to it. The process is slow, but I see how my mana decreases little by little in the interface. As I do so, I take the opportunity to ask Sofía something that has dumbfounded me since I learned to do magic "Mrs. Sofía, I would like to know why the first kind of magic I was able to do was fire if I have a greater affinity with spiritual magic?"
"That is because spiritual magic is different compared to other kinds of magic. It not only uses mana but also the spirit of the person who uses it, so it is not that easy to perform, unless you have a clear idea of what you do. For this reason, only one person throughout history dared to experiment with this type of magic and he end up dying for it" she says and I see a hawk, which I thought was just decoration, fly from the shelves and perch on her shoulder.
"So, it's useless then?" I ask dejectedly.
"I would not say that dear, since you are going to earn a pretty good monthly salary just for having that affinity. Although it is true that if you did not have so much mana it would not be worth the expense of potions." she says smiling.
"Yes, but I was referring to combat use"
"Hmm, it was weird that you go to the labyrinth at your age, but I thought it was because you desperately needed money, although it seems that is not the case. So answer me, why are you so interested in fighting? I would not want anything to happen to you... don't get me wrong, it's just because I need you" she says looking at me seriously.
"It's... It's private." I answer dryly, my expression a mask of seriousness after a second of hesitation. I have no intention of telling my story to anyone.
"Well, well. Maybe it was very indiscreet of me to ask... It's just that I didn't want you to die. I'm not going to fool you, it makes my life a lot easier to have someone capable of recharging the artifacts" she says conciliatory, raising her hands.
"don't worry" I say, but the need to leave this place assails me. The question made me remember the reason why all this started, the day the life I knew ended "I think I already transferred all the mana I can" I say with a dry voice and I get up with the intention of leaving as fast as possible.
"Wait..." Sofia says getting up with an anguished face "There is a way to use spirit magic for combat... I can teach you, but please promise me that you will honor the deal we made"
"I had no intention of breaking my word" I clarify surprised "also, as you said before, it is a really good deal"
"Ahh, well. In that case..." Sofia says embarrassed.
"But I would like you to teach me. After all, the more I know about magic the easier it will be to fight in the labyrinth, and we don't want anything bad to happen to me, right?" I say with a mocking smile.
"Don't push your luck, brat. It's true that I need you, but believe me, you don't want to be on my bad side" she says with a cold voice and a tight smile, while the hawk on her shoulder looks at me as if I were a mouse or a particularly tasty worm.