[Translator – Anwen]
Ethella walked around comfortably, as if she did not enter the Spirit Zone, and continued to explain.
“This is the basic form of the Spirit Zone. It takes up all the space equally. However, in an actual fight, more often than not, you will not have the opportunity to use the entire space. Let me give you an example.”
When Ethella flicked her finger, a target appeared 20 meters away.
“With a diameter of only 10 meters, you won’t be able to affect the target with magic. As such, you would have no choice but to either move towards them or increase the size of your Spirit Zone. However, simply changing the size of your Spirit Zone isn’t something you can do on a whim… But by changing the shape, you can do something like this.”
Ethella’s Zone lengthened in the direction of the target. It had the same volume but was able to reach the target by changing its shape.
“The shape of your mind dictates the shape of your Spirit Zone. And then…”
Ethella held out her hand and chanted.
Fire burst out and burned the target 20 meters away. The eyes of the new students who were in their first-ever class popped open. Ethella, who had been taken lightly because of her gentle appearance, suddenly looked imposing.
“However, there is a fatal problem when using this method.”
Due to Ethella’s words, the new students were embarrassed after hearing that the demonstration a while ago was actually an example of something bad.
“The shape of the Zone can vary. However, having to change the shape every second in a battle is inefficient. So mages use a specific pattern to decrease its inefficiency. And they do it through the Spirit Zone’s four patterns, the Four Way Formation.
Shirone’s heart started pounding after hearing the concept for the first time.
“The first form in the Four Way Formation is the Defense Form.”
Ethella’s Spirit Zone closed in and transformed into a cube with 20 triangular faces. Although it looked rough, it appeared similar to a sphere from a distance.
PR/N: Imagine a sphere that’s sort of squarish and has a low-polygon count, that’s what it looks like.
“The basis of the Defense Form is the cube. It’s about building a mental framework using the frames. Oh, and the frames are the triangular faces, for those who don’t know. The more frames the cube has, the more durable it becomes. It’s also a shape that can protect a large number of allies. Next is the Attack Form.”
Ethella changed the shape of her Spirit Zone. The spherical surface area seemed to decrease, while dozens of long needles extended in all directions.
“The Attack Form has, what we call, a star shape. In return for decreasing the center area, it extends the number of Zones. It covers all directions, so you don’t have to worry about the location of your target. It’s the ideal form when dealing with multiple enemies. Next is the target form.”
Ethella’s Zone changed once again. Her Spirit Zone extended out into the four cardinal directions: north, east, south, and west. The final form was shaped like a cross.
“The basis of the Target Form is the cross. It has the longest range among the basic forms of the Four Way Formation, and although its power is less than that of the Offensive Form, it can easily detect and seize the target.”
As she flicked her finger, the targets began to encircle Ethella and in response, she followed the targets with sharp eyes.
“45 degrees to the side. Fire.”
The cross started spinning, and every time the cross caught a target, fire shot out. Magic was cast simultaneously, front to rear, left to right. And no mistakes were made. It was as if she also had eyes located at the back of her head.
“What you need to master for the Target Form is the speed of your Spirit Zone rotation. While, when done to an extreme, the Straight Form will have the greatest range. But this adjustment is only really used when attacking from a distance and if the target is straight ahead. Since a mage is usually stationed at the very end of a straight line, it is extremely difficult to change the direction of the Spirit Zone.”
Ethella stopped talking for a second and took the time to wipe her glasses.
“Lastly, the Deviate Form is about shifting the center of the Zone. In other words, it would be like moving your brain.”
Shirone did not understand. The center of the Zone indicates the mage’s head, so how could someone just move it?
Ethella returned to the basic form.
After a while, her Spirit Zone began to move while maintaining its shape as a sphere.
Ten seconds later, her Spirit Zone completely detached from Ethella’s body.
Shirone was amazed. If a Zone was a mage’s mind, what was in the center of that Zone?
“This is the Deviate Form. It’s a special one among the four forms. This is because the further away it goes, the smaller the zone becomes. And learning it is quite difficult. It is to the point that there are mages that specialize in only that form. That is how hard it is to handle the Deviate Form. However, there is one thing to keep in mind… It is the fastest among the four forms. Its activation speed is instant.”
For a finale, Ethella showed her students the Four Way Formation in sequence, one after the other. From a hardened cube, to a jagged star, then a stretched cross, and finally, when it returned to a sphere, the Zone broke off from her body and rapidly whirled around her.
Class 7 students finally realized. The Four Way Formation was not something easily achieved within a year or two. The teacher in front of them was a certified Grade 6 mage, not a brainless, innocent-looking child.
“From now on, you guys will be practicing the Four Way Formation. You’ll be practicing the four forms in repetition. Now, let’s spread out by class and practice.”
The students were taught different lessons according to their class. Shirone took Ethella’s class along with Class 7 students.
“First of all, let’s learn more about the Defense Form. Depending on the mage’s propensity, they will have an easier time with certain forms. But it’s good to constantly polish and strengthen the Defensive Form. Because even in chaotic battlefields, you will be able to concentrate, and above all, you will gain the strength to resist Anti-Magic.”
Shirone recalled the precautions he had heard yesterday, and since the staff did not answer, his question still remained.
[Translator – Anwen]
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“Ms. Romie, I have a question. Um… May I ask a question?”
“Hoho, feel free to ask. I hope asking if you can ask a question was not your question.”
“Um, yes. Why is Anti-Magic a forbidden magic? I hear that a lot of mages are studying Anti-Magic legally.”
“Hmm, let’s see. There are two types of Anti-Magic. Anti-Magic for mages and Anit-Magic on artifacts. Do you know this?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Anti-Magic is the Spirit Zone imbued with special properties. Therefore, the effectiveness differs depending on the mind of the mage. That is what’s different from artifact Anti-Magic.”
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“So it can be dangerous if clumsily handled.”
“That’s exactly it. If you were to cast it without being familiar with it, it might lead to an accident. Mages who specialize in Anti-Magic train in only that for a lifetime. Though a lot of times, they reach a dead end. The academy does not recommend that path to all of you.”
Shirone nodded. It was a magic that destroyed minds, so it was not a subject to study at an academy filled with kids.
“Okay! Back to the Four Way Formation.”
Each Class 7 student began practicing. The trick was to build a mental framework first and then connect it together.
After practicing for a while, Shirone felt his Spirit Zone becoming solid, so he opened his eyes. He couldn’t visually confirm as it wasn’t an Image Zone, but he certainly seemed to have achieved something.
It was a remarkable achievement considering Shirone was a convergent type. This was the result of him focusing only on his Spirit Zone for 6 years.
“Wow! Look at that!”
His classmates pointed to an Image Zone and shouted.
Class 4 students were taking turns, and now it was Amy’s turn… And she put on an amazing show.
Amy cast the Target Form. Her cross turned 90 degrees to the right and then 270 degrees to the left, twisting between angles incessantly and shooting flames.
The length of the Zone was about 20 meters, which was an acceptable level for a Target Form, but the rotational speed of the Zone was incredible.
Although the targets were up from all directions, the number of flames shooting out from four directions was at the level of rapid firing.
After destroying 120 targets in an instant, Amy removed her Zone. Beautiful looks with outstanding skills. Underclassmen looked up at her with twinkling eyes.
Shirone realized again after seeing the awe in the eyes of the Class 7 students… Why was a girl from such an amazing family hanging out with thugs six years ago?
After ruminating in his head, Shirone suddenly flinched. Amy, who just came out from the Image Zone, was staring right at Shirone. And naturally, other students followed her gaze and also turned to stare at Shirone.
“Huh? Do they know each other?”
“No? Wasn’t he admitted just yesterday?”
“Don’t tell me she fell for him… She’s someone who doesn’t even glimpse at anyone…”
After hearing the whispers among the crowd, Amy hurriedly turned her gaze away. She felt like she was going crazy.
Amy knew Shirone was the only one who knew about her immature past. After all, she had straightened herself out after she started learning magic.
‘This can’t be… I’m graduating soon. If a rumor were to spread now, everything could go down the drain. What should I do?’
Although Amy went back to her place, none of the students moved to use the Image Zone. In both fame and reputation, she was No. 1 in the Intermediate Class, so no matter who volunteered to come forward, they would only be humiliated in front of the lowerclassmen.
Shirone thought right now was an opportunity and walked up to Ethella.
“Ms. Romie, if you don’t mind, can I go next?”
“Hm? You mean into the Image Zone?”
Ethella tilted her head. What reason could there be for a student who had just started learning the Four Way Formation to use the Image Zone?
“Wait a minute… the upperclassmen have to go first. That’s the rule.”
Ethella waited… But nobody made a move to use it. So instead of letting such an expensive device go to waste, she thought it’d be best to let someone give it a go, even if it was for just a simple experience.
“Alright. It won’t hurt to try it out in advance. However, the targets won’t be up. You might get hurt.”
“Okay, I just thought it’d be a good idea to have a look at my Defense Form.”
Ethella asked, dumbfounded. But Shirone, who didn’t catch it, was already walking away.
As the Image Zone went up, upperclassmen whistled and applauded… However, they didn’t do it to encourage him. Rather, they just wanted a good show. They weren’t expecting much. Without giving them his attention, Shirone walked to the center with no care.
Amy, who was drinking water, looked towards the stage. And as soon as her eyes caught Shirone’s figure, she spewed out the water in her mouth.
“You okay, Amy? What’s wrong?”
“What the heck is he doing? He’s from Class 7, what can he do? He should know better than that.”
At the sudden occurrence, class time turned into break time. However, Shirone was solely focused on what he was about to do.
As Shirone entered the Spirit Zone, his sphere began to swell rapidly. As soon as he saw it with his eyes, he stopped breathing. Overwhelmed by the image, Shirone unconsciously stopped expanding.
The noisy students were at a loss for words. The size of the Zone was 20 meters in diameter. Considering the average diameter for Class 7 students was 13 meters, it was safe to say that this was the appearance of a new prodigy.
“Wow! It’s huge!”
“Humph. Can anything be labeled as magic if it just increases in size? It’s nothing more than an air bubble.”
Shirone was taken aback. Just before he entered the Image Zone, the frame he had built was fine, but now it was bending like a Korean taffy.
‘How come it’s not working?’
‘Did my mentality waver after seeing my own Spirit Zone? That can’t be the reason…’
Shirone did not think he was that weak, so he was positive the problem laid within the basics.
‘AHA! That’s it!’
In his current state, The Four Way Formation would inevitably collapse. This was because this was his first time casting it, and due to that, he needed to concentrate way more and expend way more mental strength in order to cast the Four Way Formation.
There was a lack of materials to build the structure. At a diameter of only 20 meters, he would not be able to construct a frame as rigid as steel.
‘I have to increase the size to the maximum.’
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