The Reincarnation of Alysara - Chapter 153:
“I’m going to get Kayafe’s advice on her skill!” I say, bowing to Safyr respectfully and dashing off towards the Temple.
I fly up to the top of the pyramid and initiate contact with Kayafe. We go through our usual greetings, then I explain the situation, after explaining what more I have discovered about magic.
“So you need to upgrade it to do what [Manipulate Magic] can do? There’s nothing I can do to help you with that, unfortunately. Getting your skill to its enhancement threshold should improve it, but that method never raises the item’s skill above your own.” Kayafe sounds a little regretful at her lack of usefulness.
“That’s where inscriptions come into play: by inscribing your skill onto it, I hope that it will be at least at the same level as mine. But I don’t know how else to make it better, and I was hoping you’d have some ideas.”
“Hmm,” Kayafe thinks for several long minutes before answering. “You can try a ritual, although you’d need to find or create a ritual site and take advantage of a significant time or even. A specific time of year or a rare celestial event would be good options; I had a ritual site set up for a specific event of the moons and sun all lining up. It’s really rare, and happens near here once every three hundred sixty-five years.”
A ritual site? Why does that idea seem familiar…?
“What was the ritual site like?” I ask.
“It’s a bunch of mana-infused stones arranged in a circle, meant to draw in mana to the center. It’s probably gone by now, and even if it’s still standing you’d have to wait until the moons line up.”
That stonehenge I saw… Maybe I can repurpose it… unless the moons actually do line up sometime soon, I recall there being some legend about it. Maybe I should ask Tusile if records have been kept about when it last happened… or I could just ask Safyr if she remembers the last time it happened, that’s probably easier.
“I saw the ritual site when I looked around the Nexus before; it’s just buried under the sea a bit. If that’s the place, then maybe I can rebuild it?” I suggest, thinking of a way to either dredge it up or make a new one.
If its purpose is only to gather mana, then maybe I can make something better. A large mana-gathering inscription or something. I still need to work out the fundamental rules of inscriptions, and make improvements overall, but there’s time for that.
I continue to talk with Kayafe, telling her my idea for improving the ritual site. She likes it, and we discuss ways to reverse-engineer inscriptions. After that, I go back to Safyr to ask about the moons lining up.
“It’s different for every place,” Safyr says. “Here, it happens every three and a half centuries, but for others it might take thousands of years.”
In other words, if the moons line up here, with the ritual sitting directly beneath them, then on the Lunaleyan Islands they won’t see the moons eclipsing each other and the sun; instead, they’ll see the moons and the sun partially covering each other. So some parts of the world may never have all three moons and the sun lined up neatly.
“However,” Safyr continues. “The next eclipse would be in about one month.”
That’s almost no time! I have to level my [Mana Manipulation] to five hundred to get the best improvements on my Kyhosa. I need the ritual site, and that may not even be done in one month! Plus, the distance from the island and the fact that it is underwater will slow things down. For such a large-scale inscription, I need a ton of inscription ink, and I need to research a streamlined version of the mana collection inscription! I know I have five minds, but even that is not enough to make up for how little time I have!
“Time doesn’t always wait for us,” Safyr says. “Something that an immortal needs to remember every now and then.”
I thank Safyr for answering my question and then fly back home. If I am going to do this in time, I have to work fast!
I need to ask the Elders for help to build the ritual site. I don’t have the luxury to pick good materials, so making it out of wood will have to do. What’s most important is that the inscription is made, so carving it into the floor will have to do.
Considering how fast people can make things, the actual construction likely won’t take long; what will is the research needed to make it work. I’ll need to talk with Kayafe more to understand rituals better, but I’ll do that tomorrow. For the rest of today, I need to focus on either [Mana Manipulation] or researching inscriptions.
Perhaps with my new insights in [Sense Magic] I’ll be able to see what’s going on; if anything, this may help me level up my [Sense Magic] further, so I’ll start with inscriptions for now; that way, if I do learn anything I can tell Kayafe tomorrow.
I start with my current magic circles, that simply draw in mana. They have their cores removed, and without that no actual magic will occur… which I suppose at least proves that one of the fundamental rules is that ‘the magic happens in the core’..
Hmm? If that’s the case, then a better ritual might include a core, but that is likely going to take too long to study.
I sigh frustratedly at the time limit. I need this to work, I can’t let this make an inferior item, but there are other things I need to consider. The amount of miasma and experience, to help grow the magic framework on my Kyhosa, needs to be at least somewhat balanced. The miasma is easy to produce – all this work to make this happen, the worry and trial and failure, should make enough – the problem is the experience.
Experience should be gained simply by being under the eclipse and in a ritual site: the issue is that I don’t know how much that matters. Maybe I need to add something else to make the whole thing more special?
I still have some Dragon mana silk.
I used some for my sisters’ Kyhosa and planned on using more to make armor for people, but I never had the chance; or rather, a situation never called for it. Maybe I can use some to improve my Kyhosa? Or maybe I can use it to make the altar that will be in the middle?
Something to consider for later, I need to focus on inscriptions.
Going back to the magic circle, I focus on it, studying how the mana moves. The current circle has some sharp turns that affect the flow of mana, slowing it down. That isn’t good, I need to get rid of those.
I make a new magic circle on a wooden board, without sharp turns, and all that’s left are straight lines that lead to the center where mana is gathered. Interesting that despite how much I removed, it’s still working.
That’s when I notice fluctuations within the circle, fluctuations within the space… the very fabric of reality, magic. Whatever the circle is doing, it’s trying to do magic.
I reshape the board with [Beauty Blessing] and make just a circle out of inscription ink and observe what happens inside. Magic fluctuates, like drawing a bow over some sand. Whatever the mana is doing, it is exciting… magic? Maybe it’s causing it? I add some random lines to see what’s happening and the fluctuations change. I add more lines and the fluctuations change again.
I don’t know what this means – it’s probably useful in understanding how inscriptions work – but for now, I need to understand how the mana collection inscription works… which isn’t a true inscription…I think?
Anyway, I play around with the designs for the rest of the day, earning six levels in my [Sense Magic]. As long as the core isn’t made, I shouldn’t be able to accidentally blow myself up. Probably. Hopefully.
The next day I consult with Kayafe about rituals.
“The more culturally significant a ritual is, the more powerful it becomes,” Kayafe half-lectures, with her best teacher impression. “But also the rarer the condition and the harder it is to achieve, the more powerful it is, which often leads to a conflict. The rarer it is, the less culturally significant it generally is, but the more common, the less powerful. Many things can be considered a ritual: the Kyholo where you get your Kyhosa that you told me about can be considered a weak ritual. It is once in a lifetime for a person and is very culturally significant.”
So rituals are actually somewhat common, in a purely technical sense… By this logic, our three baths a day are a form of ritual: since it’s so common, it’s not that powerful, but it may have a tiny effect on the population. It is a beautifying ritual; that may help explain why every Runalymo is beautiful, appearance-wise, and why we age so gracefully.
“So right now, the ritual is very rare, because it’s probably only happened once and the conditions are really specific,” I say. “But not very culturally significant, because again, it’s only happened once and probably nobody remembers.”
This means that I need to make it culturally significant. But how?
“How do I make it a significant event?” I ask slowly, not having a good feeling about the most probable answer.
“It’s actually a simple thing,” Kayafe says with a small chuckle. “You lie.”
“Yes.” Kayafe says, amused, “You say you’ve found a way to improve Kyhosa. People will trust you, since you are so well-known as someone who’s an expert in these things, and from the lie, the truth will be born.”
Kayafe’s voice turns serious. “Alysara, the Kyholo is probably the most culturally significant thing your people have; your Kyhosa are the physical metaphor of your life. By piggybacking off of this, you tie this rare event to the cultural significance of the Kyhosa and make a powerful ritual. The lie will become truth because people believe it. Also, this will have a good chance of making magic items, which will help strengthen your people.”
Kyholo means ‘life celebration gathering’, and the Kyhosa means ‘life celebration gift’; to a Runalymo the most valuable possession we have is our Kyhosa. If I were to somehow lose my Kyhosa, I’d be devastated: my parents went through a lot to make it, and they poured their hearts into it, It’s literally irreplaceable. It has followed me through the best of times as well as the toughest, and that is more than likely the case for every Runalymo.
Thinking about it, if there were some way to improve my Kyhosa, make it magical, I would be overjoyed. The existence of the ritual site as a relic of Kayafe’s time will only make the lie more believable… but this also has one problem. Every Runalymo will want in on it, which means making the place even bigger. But that also means that the construction will be even faster, if everyone contributes.
“Our people,” I say, picking up Kayafe’s phrasing and correcting her. “You’re one of us too.”
“Of course,” Kayafe replies with a hint of joy.
We continue to talk about the specifics of the ritual, and how to make it as best as we can. In short, on the day of the ritual we will spend the entire day bathing, which will go well considering that Runalymo love our gatherings. It will be a time of interpersonal connection. All Kyhosa will be placed upon an altar, to be infused with the ritual’s power when the eclipse happens, and then the ritual will be over.
Of course, there’s more to that, smaller details. The bathing oil will be mixed with liquid beauty mana, and the waters will be saturated with the essence as well. Everyone must make a dedication to Myrou and present it to her Likeness, which will hopefully be moved to the ritual site for this occasion; if not, then a few of her normal statues should do just fine. Considering that Myrou is culturally important – and she likes me, I’m pretty sure, which can’t be a bad thing – throwing her into the mix will only strengthen the ritual.
I freely admit this would not have been possible without Kayafe: I’d just be stumbling around in the dark and would have made a failed ritual. Actually, a ritual was her idea to begin with, so I’d likely never have considered the option at all. As it is, even without the inscription there’s enough to maybe make it work, which is a huge relief.
After discussing the plans for the ritual – at least the rough draft, I’m sure there are going to be more than a few revisions – we move on to what I have learned about inscriptions so far.
“Interesting,” Kayafe muters. “So the base form is just a circle. If that’s the case, then the core must concentrate the magic to the point that it can be actualized.”
We continue to talk and make theories until the subject of [Mana Manipulation] comes up.
“The enhancement threshold for [Mana Manipulation] is fifty breakthroughs, right?” I ask Kayafe.
“Yes,” she confirms.
“I am at forty-five right now; I know that I still need to get MM force manipulation and ‘turn mana into reserved mana’ and maybe make liquid spells? What are the other two?”
“The first is turning mana into matter, as you suspected, and the other is by making solid and liquid vitality… which is actually three breakthroughs.” Kayafe informs me. “But these breakthroughs are all very hard to do, even making solid vitality will be hard since vitality doesn’t have the MM force to give itself structure. I am sure you can get them all in time, but getting all the breakthrough levels might not be possible in a month, not without doing something drastic.”
Limited by time again, with just a month before the ritual, I need to accomplish too many things. Let’s see… the most difficult levels are the mastery levels; however, my high [Sense Magic] should be high enough to make it at least a little easier.
There are two ways to get that mastery level: either accomplish a test to show that I really understand and have mastered the breakthrough, or accomplish something only a master should be able to do, which is the shortcut that my other unusual skills might allow me to take advantage of.
Good thing I have five minds, I can effectively multiply the time I have to practice by five or focus on all five breakthroughs at once. Then I have Kayafe’s help: with her telling me what I need to do for the level tests, it might just be possible.
I talk with Kayafe about what I need to do to level up my breakthrough as fast as possible, until I run out of mana, and then I go back home to start practicing [Mana Manipulation].
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