Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 5

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Chapter 5: Skills

Skills. It was easier to think of them as a kind of ‘magic’. However, unlike magic which could be used by anyone who could feel mana, skills were techniques uniquely for me.

Yes, they were exclusively for me.

There were a total of two skills in my skill window.

I clicked on the first skill to check.

《Force Circle》

《Passive》

《Mana is substituted with physical strength.》

《The Mana Circle is replaced by the Force Circle.》

《From now on, all magic of the player will be influenced by ‘strength’.》

《From now on, all movements of the player will be influenced by ‘strength’.》

The explanation was brief, but it left me quite bewildered.

“Ma, mana is substituted…?”

Mana.

The fundamental substance used in magic.

Though mixed in the air, it was lighter than air, burned easily, and was fickle as it would vanish upon becoming contaminated with even the slightest impurity.

Common, yet precious because not just anyone could handle it.

To discuss magic was to discuss the manipulation of mana.

The beginning and the end of a magician.

And now to ‘substitute’ it…

From a 1st Circle novice magician to a grand magician of the 8th Circle, mana was regarded as an irreplaceable substance.

“This doesn’t make any…sense.”

Overwhelmed, I briefly muttered to myself and quickly checked my Mana Circle.

Mana Circle.

All those who felt and studied mana had a circle near their heart.

A kind of mana reservoir.

No, more than that, it played a crucial role in generating heat from mana and amplifying it, increasing the amount of mana that could be handled and the scope of magic as the number of circles grew.

I had a total of four circles.

An overwhelming number for my age, but as I couldn’t release any magic, it was as good as having none.

But now…

“…They’ve completely disappeared.”

The Mana Circle had vanished.

In place of the four circles crammed together, a red 《«〉} shaped band had appeared.

It signified ‘infinity.’

And within this circle, the red ‘power’ surged turbulence.

“What in the world is this…?”

It made no sense.

The Mana Circles I had dedicated my life to vanished in the blink of an eye.

A magician without Mana Circles?

No, was I truly a magician in the first place?

“So, magic is…”

Darkness enveloped my view.

Urgency followed.

My heart was beating too fast.

Breathing became laborious.

Anxiety overcame me, considering my life might never involve casting magic again.

“Gasp, puff…”

I was breathless – had my chest ever felt this constricted?

I took deep breaths to steady my heaving chest.

If this meant…

I could no longer use magic…

I…

“Sigh…”

With eyes tightly shut, I took a deep breath, stretched out my hand, and cast a spell just as I always had.

And then, an amazing thing happened.

An untouched, pure mana was collected.

Mana collected in the Mana Circle was heated.

The heated mana was processed into a tangible form.

And released.

This was the fundamental principle of magic, known as the ‘Rule of Three’.

But now…

“How is this possible…”

I had completely overturned the principle of the magic I knew.

The magic I cast was ‘Fireball,’ a basic 2nd Circle spell.

As I cast Fireball, my Mana Circle… or rather.

The newly formed circle surged with uncontrollable power, instantly creating a fiery inferno above my hand.

“So…fast.”

Collection, heating, processing.

I had boldly skipped the ten seconds it usually required for those three stages, creating a Fireball with sheer ‘strength’ inside me.

It was simple.

And because it was simple, it was fast.

The quick casting brought an infinite efficiency for a magician.

“How could this happen…”

Flames crackled.

Moreover, the fireball, crafted by strength, was visibly denser and more potent than mana at first glance.

‘Could the other spells be similar?’

I tested the other spells in the same way.

Water, fire, wind, earth.

All four elemental magics were instantly executed, skipping the three phases of collection, heating, and processing.

Surprisingly rapid.

‘I can use all the magic in the same way…’

Only mana had been replaced by strength.

The Mana Circle was replaced by the Force Circle.

Nothing else had changed.

Yes.

It was not that I couldn’t use magic.

I was no longer confined by the limitations of mana and the Mana Circle, having substituted them for a new origin and created a new form of magic.

Only I could wield such magic.

“This…this is the power of the Artifact.”

I felt a peculiar exhilaration.

I turned my eyes to the other skill window.

What I saw was…

《Mad Mage》

《Passive》

《A magic style pioneered by Draka who struggled with mana release.》

《You apply all magic directly to the body to strike the enemy.》

It was a brave new world.

《You apply all magic directly to the body to strike the enemy.》

《All your magic will not affect you.》

《Magic attacks will include additional effects from strength.》

《All physical damage will also inflict additional magic damage.》

“Magically supported physical strikes?”

This was why ‘strength’ had to replace mana.

From the start of the quest, I was compelled to throw punches and kicks.

Draka, incapable of casting conventional magic, had fought his enemies by infusing magic into his fists and feet.

“How did he come up with such a concept…”

At that moment, the quest window began to flash.

《A new quest has been generated.》

“A quest?”

When I opened the quest window, the task was clear.

《Quest》

《Proof of Method.》

《You must hit a tangible target using the Force Circle and ‘strength’.》

《Hit a Tangible Target: 0/1》

※Reward: Strength +10

The quest was simple: use the skill to hit something.

My breath, which had grown rapid, now slowly normalized.

The heat burning within my chest cooled down.

The future that once appeared dark and bleak began to brighten as my rationality returned.

‘I’ve never even considered such a possibility…’

To grasp magic in my hands and strike with it directly.

‘Is it possible?’

It wasn’t the fundamental question of whether I could be a magician.

Could I become stronger?

Could I become a more commendable magician?

‘Could I become the greatest magician?’ These questions, just by imagination, were thrilling.

Of course, the answer was predetermined.

‘I must do it.’

I stood in front of a straw dummy, with a Fireball and an Iceball ready in my left and right hands, respectively.

The dummy.

A poorly constructed thing with no real eyes or nose seemed to be mocking my situation.

Without hesitation, I channeled the sensation of ‘punching’ into my fist and thrust it into the dummy.

“Left hand!”

Boom!

Upon contact, the Fireball in my left fist made the dummy’s head explode in flames.

“Right hand!”

Crack!

The Iceball, shoved continuously by my right, froze the burning dummy in an instant.

And then…

Crash!

As my fists’ strength combined with the ice, the frozen dummy shattered into pieces.

‘Wow.’

I stepped back, astonished by the unbelievable ‘strength’.

《Quest completed.》

《As a reward, you receive an additional +10 strength.》

The mocking straw dummy was no longer in existence.

Only burnt twigs clumsily scattered across the ground remained as proof of the encounter.

“…I defeated a straw dummy?”

It was a simple straw dummy, and yet, the thrill was immense.

Yes.

It was just a simple dummy for someone else…

But for me, it was different.

To me, that dummy symbolized an invincible adversary.

One that always hurled insults from beyond the range of my magic.

A despicable creature that quietly mocked me since I joined the academy.

For six years, I dreamed of defeating it with my magic.

My magic had always failed at the last step, the ‘release’.

But today, that dream came true.

All thanks to this fist.

“This is…Draka’s magic.”

For a moment, I stared blankly at the remains of the shattered dummy, then swiftly pinched my cheek and rubbed my eyes.

It wasn’t a dream.

Not hallucination either.

This was all real.

I sat down hard on the ground, and then…

“Wow…”

I laid down with a sigh of relief on the hard, compact dirt.

“…It’s beautiful.”

The moonlit night sky looked especially gorgeous today.

The hard earth felt as soft as a comfortable bed.

Lying down like this, drowsiness crept over me.

The fatigue accumulated throughout the day poured out, along with the resentments of the past six years crumbling away.

My eyes grew heavy.

I knew I should get up.

But…

…It’s too bothersome.

Before I knew it…

I was already a local celebrity for falling asleep right there.

“What the? Did he actually sleep here?”

“It seemed like he was training late into the night… He must’ve passed out here.”

“Should we wake him up?”

Crazy.

Even in my most unguarded moments, who would sleep on such hard ground?

“Surely…he’s not dead, right?”

“No way. He survived the Lightning Bolt intact… Mathias! You startled me! Luin!”

Despite the shock, I nonchalantly opened my eyes.

Brightly.

And languidly stretched, cracking my neck.

“What’s with the crowd? Is it unusual to see someone sleeping outside?”

“Yeah. Unusual. I’ve never seen a noble abandon a perfectly good dormitory 100 meters away just to sleep outside.”

If that was the case, I had no response.

“Luin, haven’t you been drinking?”

“Drink? I was so tired I just fell asleep, that’s all.”

The spectators surrounding me must have numbered over ten at a glance.

They all stared at me as if I were some exotic animal; the sudden shyness almost drove me to seek out a mouse hole to hide in.

But surprisingly, a smile remained on my face.

It had been so long since I’d fallen asleep so peacefully and woken up feeling good.

If anything, this was surely the first time since coming to the academy.

The moment I arrived at the dormitory, my roommate Jason, toothbrush in mouth, asked,

“Hey, Luin. Did you stay out late?”

Hmm, would that count as staying out late?

I shrugged in response, which made Jason’s eyes narrow suspiciously.

“Hey, what? Did you sneak out of the academy by yourself? Oh! Don’t tell me… meet a girl? Till this time?”

Jason Damon.

The eldest son of the wealthy Damon family, who prospered in foundry and iron mining industries.

To me, devoid of any real friends at the academy, he was the one who behaved the friendliest.

He enjoyed liquor and ladies and was reckless enough to sneak out of the academy frequently.

And sometimes, it was comfortable to be around someone with completely opposite tendencies.

In that sense, Jason was quite a good companion.

“It’s not like that.”

“You sneaky bastard! After getting struck by lightning, it seems you’ve finally come to your senses. Ah! I can’t die like this… it would be too frustrating…! Lying around all day, reading books until death… that’s not the way to go… I must truly become a mann!”

“What are you even talking about?”

“So, how does it feel to become a real man?”

The desire to talk vanished.

“I’m going to shower.”

With a towel over my shoulders, I headed into the bathroom.

Jason muttered to himself as I left, “Yeah sure, go get clean. Squeaky clean.”

He was decidedly crazy.

Shhhhh…!

I filled the tub with hot water and submerged myself.

“Ah.”

Then, I realized I hadn’t checked the extra quests.

“Quest.”

The translucent screens that interrupted my space were still unsettling.

But it would soon become familiar, right?

The quest content was not much different from yesterday.

Except for…

《Repeat Quest》

《Physical Training I》

《As a player connected to the World Destroyer, Draka, you need to strengthen your body to prepare for strength.》

《Punching: 0/200 times》

《Kicking: 0/200 times》

《Turning Kick: 0/200 times》

※Reward: Strength +10.

The reward was the same +10 strength, but the training quantity had doubled.

“I’m being worked to death…”

But still, the smile didn’t leave my face.

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