Roland's excitement was perfectly understandable. Everybody wanted to pick up new skills and play on easily in a game. But the difficulty of learning spells in this game was beyond his expectations.
And this was only a level-one spell. Level-two spells could blow up his head if he failed. Roland remembered the chart of dense nodes when he used Language Proficiency a few hours ago and felt freaked out.
What about the level-three, level-four, and level-five spells? How many nodes did they require the spellcaster to learn and understand?
Frustrated, Roland sat back on his bed. It was already sunset. His cottage was covered by the shadows of the trees on the mountain. When the trees swayed under the wind, the spots of light in the shadows sprayed across the ground.
Roland looked at the beautiful view outside the window and listened to the wind and the birds. Nature was the best tranquilizer. Roland's mood became a lot better. He stood up and returned to the profiles with his stick.
Since magic nodes would not move, he could establish a coordinate system to remember their locations. The beginner Mages had to chant to cast a low-level spell. Roland speculated that the chanting would not increase magic power and was only a way to remember the flow among the magic nodes.
Then, would it be better if he read the coordinates of the nodes out?
Roland marked the coordinates of the magic nodes and thought hard. He established the most classic x, y, and z axises with specific numbers. Of course, to accurately locate each node, Roland divided the four profiles equidistantly.
It was already dark by the time he numbered all the nodes. He rested for a while in the cottage. He sniffed the leftovers from his lunch and discovered that they were not bad, so he ate again. He was rather hungry after an afternoon of hard thinking.
When he was having supper, he did not notice that Falken came to the four profiles he had drawn. The old man observed for a while and said in admiration, "What a detailed representation of the nodes of the magic model. Even though the spell analyzed is one of the lowest level, those four charts are still worth ten gold coins. What a genius."
Falken roamed back to his temple with his hands clasped behind his back. He was a Priest. He knew that magic models were valuable but he was not interested. He was only here to check on Roland's progress.
After eating supper in a hurry, Roland returned to the profiles. He recorded the four profiles and the nodes with the photo function of the system. After all, one's memory was always limited, but photos were different. If he extracted the photos from the virtual cabin to a portable disk, they could be forever preserved until he deleted them.
"If only the system had a modeling app…" Roland mumbled and wrote the data on the memo of the system. "Let's test this line first."
X23, Y1, Z56… Z55, failed.
Roland's head was painful. After he recovered, he recorded the reason for the failure on the memo: Node A and Node B cannot be connected.
X23… Z47, failed. Reason: Too many nodes were connected; the magic line broke off.
X23… Z11, failed. Reason: Nodes were connected too fast.
X23… Z12, failed. Reason: Node C and Node D cannot be connected.
X23… Z09, success!
Watching a small, orange fireball the size of an egg slowly floating forward and disappearing after a crack, Roland clenched his fists and shouted in relief.
But soon, he repressed his excitement and wrote down the successful line of nodes on the memo with a note: This can cast a small fireball, but it's too weak and slow to be applied in a real battle.
Then, Roland tested more lines and had more successes than failures. Still, the small fireballs he cast were not satisfactory in terms of power and speed. Some of them were powerful and appeared blue, which suggested that their surface temperature was above two thousand degrees, but they were so slow that even kids could dodge them easily. Some others were fast but highly unsteady. They would take off for several meters after they were released.
More and more lines were written down on his memo, and several important nodes were gradually highlighted.
The mathematical model of Inferior Fireball had been preliminarily established. What needed to be done next was deduction and verification. Roland was certain that he could find the optimal line of nodes after a few more experiments.
However, one could not be too optimistic. Accidents always happen with excessive optimism.
It was a clear night with a bright moon when Roland tested spells behind the temple. Because his successful fireballs were generally small and couldn't fly far, Roland let down his guard and thought Inferior Fireball couldn't be too powerful. However, when he connected a new line of nodes, he realized that things were beyond his control.
Roland felt that his magic power was extracted from him crazily and condensed quickly before his eyes. The previous fireballs were only as large as a fist at best, but this one was not only blue, but also bigger than a basin.
It was probably inappropriate to call it a small fireball when it was so big.
Roland's magic power was almost entirely supplied to this big fireball. It got rid of its creator's control the moment it took shape and darted right at the temple.
Knowing that it was no good, Roland was about to shout a warning, when the fireball suddenly stopped. It expanded oddly three times, before it rapidly collapsed into a tiny point, unleashing astonishing brightness and an ear-splitting noise.
The explosion was so loud that Roland was deafened. The dazzling light lasted only one second before infinite flames spewed out and swept across the area, accompanied by terrifying waves of air.
Roland, who was at least six meters away from the site of the explosion, was flung away directly and did not hit the ground until he flew for three meters. He finally came to a stop when he rolled for another five meters. He felt that he had been hit by a heavy truck. His whole body, particularly his face, was burning. Even though the pain had been reduced to one-tenth, he still felt that somebody had poured boiling oil on his cheeks.
A tree fifteen meters away from the explosion was nearly bent to the ground by the blast. Then, magic fire fell on a branch and ignited the tree into an enormous pillar of flame.
Half of the back wall of the temple collapsed.
The terrible explosion spread to Red Mountain Town at the foot of the mountain. Everybody was woken up by the rumbling sound. Cursing, yelling, crying, and barking, it was a complete mess.
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