I first drew a circle with a compass on the flattened surface of a small stone about the size of the palm of my hands.
Both of the tips were needles and I could make a white line by scratching over the same spot several times. Quadruple circles are carved at even spaces, and letters are carved in between the gaps of the circles.
The letter of what energy to convert the mana to was carved into the centre. In the next circle was a string of letters designating the location and amount of mana to output. The next circle after that contained the conditions for the magic to activate.
The outermost circle was the most essential part of the magic stone process. It characterised the ‘circuit’ that controls the flow of mana and connects the activation conditions to the spell.
Magic circles were like a diagrammatic representation of the transformation of mana that occurs within a mage’s body.
This was the information that I had pieced together after persistently questioning Master Finn for a week.
I didn’t bring up why it seemed like Konrad-san, who was listening alongside me, looked like he was hearing all this for the first time.
Is he doing his work without knowing anything at all? I’m surprised he isn’t lifeless by now.
I looked at the magic circle again after learning how it worked and what I imagined in my head was an electric circuit.
It was easy to compare magic to electricity.
The switches, the electrical resistors that regulate the output, the location where it would work and the conductors that connect everything together could all be represented with letters.
But this logic was akin to the outrageous tale where a battery would really ignite if you wrote ‘spout fire’ on top of it.
It was an amazing technique even though it wasn’t in the spotlight.
The Mitoan people did an amazing job at discovering it, or maybe they were given this knowledge by God, who knows.
“Master, can you check this?”
I submitted the magic circle I carved onto the black magic stone to Master today as well.
The blueprints I use for practice are the same ones that they carve into magic stones used in magic swords. I don’t like practicing it since it’s magic that can kill people, but I did it since it’s for practice.
I couldn’t use the thin chisel really well at first, and it was difficult to get the letters right so they looked a bit wobbly, but I kept practicing and I think I can carve the letters nicely now.
I think I did a pretty good job this time. It was important to be able to carve the letters well since even the slightest mistake could cause a catastrophe.
Master took one look at the stone on the workbench, then he took a metal stake and drove it into the centre of the stone.
He scraped the surface repeatedly and the thin stone crumbled.
He gave one of the broken pieces back to me.
“Try craving the same thing again.”
So, the smaller the stone the more difficult it is? Great.
This was repeated until the stone was the size of the tip of my little finer and the chisel was replaced with a sewing needle.
I’ve never seen a weapon with such a small magic stone attached to it, and I must admit it felt like he was making fun of me instead of training me, but I won’t give up.
A human could copy sutras onto a grain of rice if they wanted to! 4,000 years of Chinese history is in my hand.
I continued to scuffle with the stone while looking through a magnifying glass.
My training continued and my other jobs still consisted of doing chores.
I tried to come up with magic circle designs that would be useful in daily life in the corner of my mind while removing the stones from the magic sword and organising them.
It seemed possible for me to design a new magic circle at this point now that I knew the basic components.
I thought about the possibility of making things Anna needed like a lighter or a hob.
Something like a stove might add more umami to food, but this was a commercial city. Many people want to reduce their cooking time, that’s why there are so many food stalls in this city.
If there are portable cookers, then it would be convenient for food stalls to cook and serve on the spot.
It still seems impossible for this world to fill a cylinder with gas, so it would be great if a magic stone can create portable cookers.
The problem with this was controlling the heat. It would be difficult to control heat if the output is determined from the beginning.
So, I’ll make a lighter for the time being. What will the magic circle look like?
I tried to draw the magic circle on a piece of paper during lunch, but stopped since I don’t know how much mana it should use or how powerful it should be.
I drew the conductor like it was drawn on a magic circle for a magic sword, but I wasn’t sure if this would work with a lighter.
I would know if I did experiments though. Anyway, it would be quicker to ask Master.
The words he had muttered on the day he threw the black magic stone at me still echoed in my mind.
Master should still listen to what I say even if he is still harsh and mean towards me.
“Master, can you have a look at this for me?”
I went for it, but Master, who was sitting at the workbench, immediately covered his ears and turned away from me.
“Master, please look! I’m trying to think of magic tools that can be used daily!”
“Eeeh, don’t shout. Your voice is echoing in my head.”
“Stop complaining and look!”
I walked around to face the disagreeable Master, forced him to hold the incomplete blueprint and quickly explained to him what it was.
“I want to make a magic tool that can light fire in place of a flint. How much mana does it need?”
But Master tore the paper to pieces and threw it away in the middle of my explanation.
I was surprised by his sudden action since I thought he would listen to what I said and froze.
But then I got angry.
“What are you doing!?”
“Don’t act cocky, you’re just a little girl who came here only recently!”
Master looked down on me.
I didn’t like the way he looked at me and wanted to argue back no matter what.
“――― I wanted your opinion since I’m a little girl who only started working here recently. Isn’t a master supposed to teach and guide his disciples?”
“Kon just started calling me that for no reason. I can’t help you.”
Master turned away.
I’m so angry!
“Go buy some alcohol if you’ve got time to think of nonsense like that.”
“I’ll make you some tea!”
“I can’t drink that smelly tea. I might have a look if you get me some alcohol~.”
This geezer’s always acting disdainful.
I won’t go to buy him alcohol. I brewed a cup of tea in a large cup and gave it to him.
“Master, I want to use magic stone processing for something other than making weapons.”
“I told you that doing so was worthless.”
Master threw the tea out the window.
Hmmm… was I wrong?
I had assumed that Master was reluctant to teach the processing technique because he didn’t want to make more weapons, but did he just not teach it because he found it bothersome?
I was disappointed again.
Maybe I shouldn’t blame Master since it was a misunderstanding on my part, but I was disappointed.
At the same time, I felt anger building up from within me.
Konrad-san came back a little late after lunch break. He seemed to have immediately sensed our friction and said to himself, “I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner.”
Don’t assume that I’m going to quit!
“I won’t quit.”
I said so that Master could hear me but he didn’t respond.