Deciding to take advantage of my new book smarts i read the notebooks Alfred kept on his studies. I managed to read them cover to cover in under an hour, with a much higher level of understanding than i had before. There is a lot in there, but it mostly focused on one thing, creating an artificial soul. Why? No idea, probably just caught the guys interest.
I put what i just read into practice, trying to make a soul using my soul energy. It fails the first several times before i realize what I’m doing wrong, i need a container to store it in, just creating one out in the open will cause the ambient mana to just degrade the soul energy into mana.
i t doesn’t take long for me to get ahold of a usable body, i just take one of the people i killed in this castle. They are stronger than most so the body should be able to last for several experiments. I could use a gem, but that won’t let me see the results nearly as well. At least not with my current level of skill.
I don’t fare too well in creating an artificial soul, pouring soul energy into a body is easy, and accomplishes less than nothing as i am just wasting energy. It needs to form patterns in order to stick, like a spell. The problem is i don’t know what i am looking for. My own soul isn’t a very good example of a simple soul for me because of the fact that i am capable of trying to create an artificial soul. But it is good enough for my purposes, it would take more time to find a soul simple enough for me to copy than it would for me to brute force my understanding of what keeps a soul going, and though i don’t have much success on that front i do have a large improvement of understanding of what each part of the soul does. As a result of this i feel i can manipulate people better, possibly even cause slight changes to their personality.
I also notice something else, the strands the keep my mind and soul connected are numbering in the lower hundreds now, around two fifty if i were to guess. I still can’t manipulate them but i feel that as they become fewer and stronger my ability to manipulate the soul, especially my own improves, with each giving more than the last.
I am interrupted from my thoughts by a knock on the door and Johanna entering.
“So it is about time to head out” Johanna
“I’ll be ready in a moment” Jack
As i make to stand up she speaks up again, this time a little nervous.
“About that, i think you should sit this one out.” Johanna
“A couple reasons. A big part is that your particular talents won’t be very helpful here. Plus you’ve never been very good at large scale conflicts, amazing at covert operations and small conflicts, but not so much large ones.” Johanna
“Are those the only reasons?” Jack
“No, i also want a chance to prove myself as a competent tactician.” Johanna
“Go ahead, take control of this siege, people already see you as my second in command, might as well make it official.” Jack
“Great, and if i may make a recommendation. There is a dungeon nearby, the lord of it is a powerful soul mage, perhaps you could learn a thing or two from them.” Johanna
“I’ll see about it, still have some loose ends to tie up first.” Jack
“See you around” Johanna
She leaves without giving me a chance to respond. I decide to go meet up with a couple people before i left to find this dungeon Johanna had talked about.
The first person i found was Erica. I had meant to tell her that i managed to learn her name for a while, i just never got the chance.
“Hey jack, what’s up?” Erica
“Do you remember telling me how you had forgotten your name?” Jack
“I could i forget what i have forgotten?” Erica
“Well i managed to learn your name, your diaries ended up in The Library, which has recently been moved to this continent.” Jack
“Those old things? I can hardly remember that decade. I believe it was when i first started creating this forest, i believe I met Parius around that time too. I wonder what he’s been up too haven’t seen him in years. So, out with it, what is the name that i have forgotten?” Erica
“Erica Kron” Jack
“Yes, that does sound right. Where is this library you mentioned? I want to see what i have forgotten from my youth.” Erica
“It is near the mountain i grew up on, I’m sure you’ll find it easily.” Jack
“Thank you for this.” Erica
Like Johanna did before she left without giving me a chance to respond.
The next person, or rather people, i went looking for was Laura and Aria, i had heard they came to this city along with most of the other girls with Johanna.
It took me a little while to find them, so i had time for a moment of inflection. A while back my logical and emotional sides had some type of split, but it seems that split has almost entirely healed by now. I feel stronger for it, like i gained some type of resistance to something, I’m not sure what. But there has been a definite improvement.
Eventually i find Laura walking in a private garden of a now deceased noble, with aria flying around her head. It seems that aria managed to get an evolution recently, seems distance kept me from interfering with it. She is now a Greater Fairy, basically just an overall power boost from normal Fairy.
“Hey laura, it’s been a little while.” Jack
“It has, you’re right. Please try to take care of your harem a bit better, we satisfy each other pretty well but it’s not the same.” Laura
“Don’t mind her, she’s just jealous you got johanna all to yourself last night.” Aria
Laura pouts a little at Aria’s teasing before trying to tease her back, with a large fluffy feather. I watch for a couple minutes amused at the little Fairies cries of laughter before doing what i came here to do.
I reach into her mind, bypassing the soul. Feeling it she puts up a surprisingly potent barrier around her soul, but not the mind. It seems my theory was correct, her power lets her see a physical representation of the soul, but not the mind. Add on the fact that she was entirely self taught and it makes many my discoveries make more sense. Before she can react i enter her soul through her mind, searching for the part that governs her ability to see souls. I find it rather easily. Once i have it i manipulate it, making it stronger, effectively unlocking her ability to see the mind as well as the soul.
Laura just sits there for a while staring at me, well not me exactly, more my mind, which based on the memories i saw while in her soul is something she had only guessed at the existence of.
“Laura what's wrong? Why did you stop? It was just getting good.” Aria
“Do you have any soul stones?” Laura
Laura looked at me with a blank look in her eyes, no not blank, out of focus. I nodded and handed her several of the biggest ones i had, more than enough for her soul to collapse.
She absorbed them incredibly quickly, finishing the largest one in minutes before moving on. Watching her it seemed she moved energy from the stone, to her soul, to her mind. There was quite a bit of waste but i collected it before most of it could be degraded into mana, turning it into a soulstone again for her to absorb.
This process went on for hours, she absorbed almost all of the stones when she froze up. A quick observation of her soul confirmed what was happening, her soul had started to collapse.
End chapter 91