Blessing in Disguise
"So, Innie, you can tell me what you want to say directly," Annelotte said after she finished her check. She could tell that the girl wanted to say something after leaving Leguna, but hesitated.
"Sis Annie," she said a little gloomily, "I'm beginning to feel anxious again…"
"Anxious? About what?"
"Well…" She pondered for a moment and blushed. "When I saw Sis Eirinn cheer Big Bro up so easily, I felt a little unhappy about it… Why can she do it but not me? I'm afraid he'll think of me as a useless person…"
Annelotte smiled gently at the sight of Innilis lowering her head more and more. She gave her nose a flick and said, "You silly thing."
"Huh?" Innilis looked up to her with her wide, googly eyes.
"Innie has never been a useless person," Annelotte said with a soft, but serious voice, "You have an amazing talent for magic theory and now you can even use spells. Nobody will think a magus to be useless, even a low-order one."
"Also… So what if you are useless? That fellow won't abandon you or hate you because of that, will he?"
"But… But I really want to be like you and Sis Eirinn… I want to be of help to him."
"If you really want that, you have to give it time. Also, you don't have to do exactly what we do to help him. Everyone is different."
"Different how?" She blinked at the question.
"Our personal experiences and temperament predispose us to different things. Eirinn is good at understanding people due to how kind she is. That's why she can easily cheer Leguna up. To that fellow, Eirinn is someone who can naturally console him and lift his spirits. Nobody else is capable of that," Annelotte said after getting her thoughts in order, "You, on the other hand, are different. You have the innate ability to make others smile. Even though you mean a different thing to him, that doesn't mean you are inferior in any way."
"Making him happy?" Innilis repeated. She gave it some thought and her eyes let out an insightful glow. "Alright, Sis Annie! I understand now!"
"Then, let's go!"
"Oh, by the way, Sis Annie…"
"What is it?"
"What do you think you mean to Big Bro Leguna?"
"I don't have anything to do with him! Don't make things up!"
"Hehe, but why is your face red? Oh, wait! I'm sorry! My bad!"
By the time the two of them left the study, Innilis held both hands over her head and looked incredibly pitiful. Annelotte's face was red with embarrassment as her chest undulated from the heavy breathing, seemingly from anger.
"Woah, what did you do to piss her off, Innie?" Leguna said, hurriedly going to help her rub the pain away.
Innilis had the look of the innocently accused, but she didn't dare to say anything with Annelotte nearby.
"It's got nothing to do with you!" Annelotte snapped.
"Alright, fine… So did you find out the reason?" Leguna pushed Innilis to Eirinn and the half-elf used a pain-killing divine miracle on her. After much practice, Eirinn's healing abilities were fully developed and using low-level divine miracles was merely a walk in the park for her.
After the pain subsided, Innilis looked up at Annelotte. She hadn't been told the results of the check yet and felt rather nervous. After all, whether she could become an admired and envied magus depended on that.
With everyone looking nervously at her, Annelotte smiled. "There was no problem. I noticed that a diatagi had formed in Innilis's brain. Even though it's different from those of other magi, I think it shouldn't affect her much. She can become a proper magus."
"That's great!" Innilis was the first one to jump in joy.
Leguna and Eirinn, however, noticed the finer detail. "Different? How so?"
Annelotte looked at Eirinn as she explained, "I believe you understand that the core characteristic to determine whether a person can be a magus or not is to check whether they have a diatagi."
"I do," Leguna said with a nod.
"Actually, everyone has a diatagi."
"Huh? Does that mean I can also become a magus?"
"If you can become a magus, then I can be a swordsaint like my father!" Annelotte spat mercilessly.
"Wasn't that what you implied yourself?" Leguna muttered.
"I wasn't done. It's true that everyone has a diatagi, but not everyone can become a magus. The crucial difference is the state of the diatagi." Annelotte glanced at Leguna and continued her explanation. "A common analogy we can use is air. Imagine consciousness to be a cloud of gas. Without any binding, the gas will dissipate in all directions and scatter. It doesn't happen because all life has a natural shell that binds its consciousness."
"And magi don't have such a binding?" Eirinn guessed, before she shook her head. "No, the binding is probably shaped differently."
"That's right, Eirinn. The binding shell for the consciousness of normal people is like an airtight metal ball. The consciousness energy, in other words, enthymema, from inside oneself can't easily go out and enthymema from the outside world can't enter either. Without any control over enthymema, one wouldn't be able to control mana."
"What about magi's?" Leguna asked.
"The binding for a magi's enthymema, in other words, their diatagi, are like balloons which can expand and contract. They can also allow for one's consciousness to be spread out to sense the enthymema in the outside world," Annelotte replied, "This is what's different."
"Alright, I know I can't become a magus, so don't be so harsh on me," Leguna said dejectedly.
Annelotte felt a little delighted at how down he looked. "Back then, the state of Innilis's diatagi was unclear. It could barely let out some enthymema from within, but that doesn't qualify her to be a proper magus."
"So why has Innie suddenly changed?" Eirinn asked.
Annelotte hesitated for a moment and said, "It could have something to do with the incident that knocked us out."
"Even though I don't remember this clearly, you all said that I released a strong enthymemic storm that tore apart a few buildings," Annelotte reasoned, "So I believe I used a spell to shield against mental shocks on Innie. However, it wasn't enough to fully nullify the force, so that's why her diatagi ended up affected."
"What happened next?" Leguna asked.
"Then…" After she double checked with herself that her theory was flawless, she said, "I believe she benefited from the weakened mental shocks. It morphed her diatagi and made it more malleable without rupturing it. So, she just so happened to fit the bill as a magus."
"What are the odds of that?"
"Apart from that, I can't think of another reason," Annelotte said, "Do you want to hear something even more improbable? Innilis's diatagi became really malleable after the shocks. I believe that if she studies seriously and meditates daily, she definitely wouldn't have a problem becoming a high-order magus in the future!"
"Really?!" the other three said with a start.
"Why would I lie? Additionally, her enthymema's properties turned quite similar to mine, perhaps because the shocks she suffered originated from me. Normally, magi can detect whether someone else is a magus by identifying the difference in the enthymemic waves they give off. She has really similar ones to mine, so that's why I didn't detect her enthymemic waves."
"So, it's like how a drop of clear water falls into a cup filled with clear water?" Eirinn said.
"That's right." Annelotte nodded. It was exactly as she said. A transparent drop of water was indeed no different when it fell into clear water. There would be no way to tell where that individual drop of water was in the cup as it had practically melded together with the rest of the liquid. However, a stone would still be perfectly visible when thrown in water.
"Basically, there are no downsides to Innie becoming a magus, right?" Leguna said.
"That should be the case. But I can't guarantee it since there is little to no precedent. I can't predict what might develop from this, but from what it seems now, everything should be fine."
"Good, then. I'll look for more information about this when I get back. If I can't, we can just go ask Grandmaster Myr about this," Leguna said, relieved. He hugged Innilis and twirled in a circle. "Hahahaha! You're a magus now too, Innie!"
"Stupid Big Bro! Put me down!"
Even though Innilis said that, the smile on her face was brighter than everyone else's.
"Innie," Annelotte said with a renewed rush of joy at the sight, "The magic academy is going to open soon. Do you want to study there?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter