When Science and Magic Go To War ~Tales From Other Worlds~
Chapter 5: The Magical Girls Apprentice
Chester’s legs felt like they were about to fall off at any second, and James was roughly pulling the cuff of his lab coat to prevent him falling behind.
“Please just let me rest already, that battle was much more exhausting than walking to the store.” (Chester)
“As if I would let you rest. You’ve had enough rest when you never left the house for months.” (James)
“Eugh. So cruel.” (Chester)
James, who was athletic, had no problems with his stamina. Likewise Misato, who was from the world that lacked modern convenience, was used to stamina demanding tasks. As a matter of fact, casting magic itself was a somewhat exhausting activity so naturally she built a resistance to fatigue.
“Aren’t there any healing spells? Like Heal? Or Recovery?” (Chester)
“As if something so convenient could be used on a whim, it takes ages of practice to be able to cast it. Moreover everyone who can is quickly snapped up by the church or army. Even if I did know it, the energy to cast it would be an enormous quantity.” (Misato)
“James, I want God to buff magic next time we see him.” (Chester)
“Well, you’re on death’s door so it won’t take you long to place your request.” (James)
Having escaped the crazy and starved spider, the trio were being more cautious in their advance this time. It was unknown what the current time on the surface was, but thanks to their watches they knew it had been about an hour since they fled. The fact the monster hadn’t caught up with them was enough proof that it wasn’t after them any longer.
“So are monstrosities like that common?” (James)
“Hmm, it’s hard to say. They’re common if you were to look, however the odds of encountering one are extremely low.” (Misato)
“So they have a specific habitat? Kind of like dungeons?” (Chester)
“Something like that, the requirements are usually isolated areas where they can grow without interference and an above average amount of magic. Probably the ruins were leaking magic and the spiders desires manifested as enormous growth.” (Misato)
“What about the eggs? Surely they’re on the same scale.” (James)
“We’ll have to inform the army, because once those eggs hatch they will leave to seek their own territory, naturally that means they will traverse the landscape and consume what’s in their way.” (Misato)
“Like an army of ants. Scary.” (Chester)
Thanks to the military light sticks, it was easy to see in the dark ruins without relying on a flame. Unfortunately this left a few times where they had to backtrack due to webs, cutting them would be too much of a risk and they had no way to burn through them.
“Do you not have monsters where you came from?” (Misato)
“Not like that, there are some unique creatures but all animals and plants are natural. Magic isn’t natural where we come from, so it’s basically just species variations.” (Chester)
“Still, Earth has its fair share of weird and dangerous animals wandering around.” (James)
“Even more so if you include the ones that are extinct.” (Chester)
While giving examples of animals that could easily be mistaken as monsters such as the rhinoceros, platypus and various dinosaurs, they carefully treaded forward. Eventually Chester changed the topic to something he had long desired.
“Given that I am the most useless one here, I wonder if there’s a way I could help. Is it possible for me to learn magic?” (Chester)
“Well, you could learn magic but you couldn’t use it since you have no energy.” (Misato)
“So I need to have a pool to cast from. Is it possible to use the surrounding energy?” (Chester)
“It’s not impossible, but it would be extremely inefficient and you’d be limited by the capacity of the vicinity. For example here you’d be average but in Lorial you’d be insignificant. Their land and people contain vary little magic.” (Misato)
“I guess their metallurgy and military are more advanced then? Since they beat Edelstein in a war.” (James)
“That’s right, their soldiers are well equipped and trained. They have something unique called a ‘Standing Army’ which they keep at all times and only conscript when absolutely necessary.” (Misato)
Whereas Edelstein conscripted from the populace whenever a war broke out, causing varied levels of competency between soldiers, and left leadership to nobles, the army in Lorial was raised and trained as knights from the start in the Military Academy. These knights would stay as knights in the capital their entire working life, if they survived they would eventually retire as instructors at the Academy or be granted their own territory. Contrarily, The Holy Dukedom practiced a Crusaders system, where the religion encouraged men to learn how to fight in the event they ever needed to lead a crusade, national defence however was left to noble hired mercenaries which led to unstable conflicts.
“Getting back on topic, is there any way for me to increase my energy?” (Chester)
“I think you’re fundamentally lacking the required organ for it.” (Misato)
“There’s a problem here since we don’t know if we’re actually the same ‘humans’ or not.” (Chester)
“There are many redundant organs in the human body, so you never know.” (James)
“Is there a way to test it out?” (Chester)
“I suppose I can try to link ours together, it’s usually used for group casting but if I can connect it will prove you have the organ.” (Misato)
Pausing in their movement, Chester and Misato held hands, her face covered in concentration. James who was off to the side kept a lookout while patiently waiting for the result.
“Eh. No way. It’s like it never grew, usually it develops slowly over childhood and stops growing after a few years or so. That’s then you’ve reached your capacity potential but yours never even started growing.” (Misato)
“That’s only natural, but it begs the question of if it can start growing now. Subsequently, if it can, would it be possible to use all the tricks to make it develop more, reaching far above the level a child can push their capacity too?” (Chester)
“Of course, that’s what happened to me. Originally my organ was damaged but I got it healed when I was young, as a result I could use the development tricks to expand it. However, I don’t think it will work for you because your organ grew in a way where it can’t generate its own magic.” (Misato)
“So even if I could make it grow it would be useless. Like a giant brain that couldn’t think.” (Chester)
The three of them fell silent, James was trying not to ruin the moment, Chester was lamenting at his bad luck and Misato was deep in though.
“There is a way around it.” (Misato)
“THERE IS?!” (Chester)
“It’s possible for a magician to assign an apprentice through a contract ritual, the Master sends a portion of their magical energy to the Apprentice. However the ritual can only be used once per Master, and is usually used either to boost a child’s magical capacity or to increase an Apprentice’s magic generation when the Master is about to die.” (Misato)
“I see so the contract affects the quantity of magic stored in a growing organ, or the quality of magic generation in a developed one. The affects even last after death so it’s a nice boost.” (Chester)
“The Apprentice system is mostly used to raise talented children these days since the founding of the Magic Academy undermined the individual apprenticeship system.” (Misato)
“So if I find someone to make me an apprentice then I can use a small portion of magic.” (Chester)
Misato, who was mulling things over, separated from Chester. Meanwhile he went into his bag and scribbled more notes in his journal about the nature of magic and also the organ that Misato described. Naturally this could be put into practice on Earth if he found the right way.
“Okay. Given that this is a life or death situation I will willingly take you on as my apprentice. However the condition is that you enrol at Edelstein Magic Academy.” (Misato)
“Isn’t that just beneficial for me? I mean I bet we can research a way home at the Academy, even if its just slightly.” (Chester)
“It will also give us some way to live while we’re here.” (James)
“Then it’s agreed?” (Misato)
Facing each other once again Chester and Misato were shaking hands, while she was holding her hand over her heart.
“I hereby accept thee as my Apprentice!” (Misato)
Chester wasn’t even given a moment to respond, his head started pounding as new sensations flooded his synapses. An entirely new sensory organ opened up, and the entire world went out of focus. He could see the world as fluctuating masses of colours, moving like rivers in every direction. Normally it would take years of training to be able to see magic so clearly, but for someone who’d never seen it before it was clear as day, and his training would be in the opposite direction, to shut it out. He clenched his teeth as he felt his body burn, but he knew once it subsided he’d be able to use magic.
“Argh my head hurts even more than trying to do a quadratic equation mentally. Just what sort of torture is this.” (Chester)
“You never were good at any form of mental maths except algebra.” (James)
“I still don’t know my multiplication tables off by heart.” (Chester)
Once the pain finally subsided Chester looked up at Misato.
“Nice you meet you Master, my name is Chester Shizuku, I’m your Apprentice from another world.” (Chester)
“Only an otaku would endure pain just to use a bit of magic.” (James)
“Wrong! I endured suffering to become a Magical Girls Apprentice!” (Chester)