It seemed as though waking up early in the morning had become a habit. Seeing that it was cool and quiet outside, it was closer to dawn than morning. Vivian raised her upper body and quietly looked out the window. The overall atmosphere was gloomy, perhaps because the sky was overcast.
Vivian got out of bed and headed towards the window. She opened the window and stretched out her hand. Fortunately the rain had stopped, maybe because of how hard it rained yesterday. As she leaned against the window sill, a cool breeze brushed her face. Despite the dark sky, the weather was pretty good.
‘Shall I go out for a while?’
Maybe it was because she had been locked up indoors all day yesterday, but an unknown feeling of frustration filled her chest. Vivian, who made sure the weather was neither too cold nor raining, wanted to go for a walk.
Wearing a light jacket, she quietly opened the door. She was worried that the sound of her footsteps might wake up Roger in the next room. Or maybe he woke up early today as well.
She left the mansion with quiet footsteps. The wind she felt through the window was nice because her room was full of warmth, but when she came out, it was colder than expected. She was lucky that she brought a jacket.
Vivian looked around the garden, which was soaked in rain from yesterday.
The inside of the mansion was neat thanks to the hard work of the servants, but the garden was barren, showing that it had not been cared for in years. The few trees dotting the landscape were nearly dead, and the fountain was clean, but water did not flow.
Vivian, who was looking around the garden, approached the biggest tree.
The tree, which must have been at least several hundred years old, was so large that it was difficult to determine how long it had been dormant. All that was left of the tree was the trunk. Dry branches sprouted outward without a single leaf, and the ground around it was cracked due to lack of moisture.
Had it not been for the invasion of the beasts, this tree would have splendidly revealed its presence with leaves in full bloom. She felt a lot of affection for this tree, probably because she had the ability to grow and reproduce plants.
Vivian rolled up her sleeves and placed her palms on the tree. She closed her eyes and began to raise the roots under her feet. The earth vibrated in response to her elemental skills.
The roots of a large tree cut through the dirt, growing outward. Green leaves began to bloom due to nutrients that spread through it quickly, like blood in a human body.
‘I’m glad it rained yesterday.’
She drew the roots of the tree to the moisture that had accumulated thanks to yesterday’s rain. The tree, fully watered, showed off its natural color despite the overcast sky.
“Just now… Did you make the tree grow?”
Vivian, who was stroking the trunk with a proud expression, was startled by a voice. When she turned her head, Daniel was standing there. He wasn’t looking at Vivian’s puzzled expression, but her hand and the tree that suddenly grew.
Lifting her hand from the tree, she lowered her sleeves.
“Is that even possible? You handle nature freely!”
Daniel raised his voice in disbelief. Contrary to his shocked expression, his eyes were sparkling. She tried to remember if he had shown curiosity like that when he cast magic.
“There is no freedom.”
Vivian glanced around, making sure they were alone.
“It was possible because yesterday’s rain saturated the earth with moisture. It wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t rained a lot.”
Despite her calm explanation, Daniel’s curiosity did not go away. No, it seemed to have ignited a spark of excitement about the unknown.
“By the way, why did you wake up so early?”
His passionate eyes were quite burdensome, so Vivian naturally changed the topic. The heat in his eyes diminished, and he put a hand on his shoulder.
“I just did. After sitting for a while without moving, my extremities were numb. So I woke up early and went out for a walk. Then I found the Lady…”
Vivian, whom he discovered by chance, was just demonstrating what he was most curious about. Vivian smiled, thinking that his timing was amazing.
“Shall we go for a walk together? We can talk while walking.”
Daniel readily accepted Vivian’s proposal, and the two started walking in the garden together. They made small talk at first, about how they slept, what they ate, and the unlocked room.
“So, is the Lady an Earth Spiritist?”
Their discussion got a little deeper when Daniel started asking questions about spirits in earnest. He pelted her with questions like hail, and all Vivian could do was sigh.
“I will explain step by step.”
Daniel nodded his head like a blind believer. Seeing such a gentle appearance, it was hard to believe that he was the same person who had been viciously fighting with Roger.
“First of all, are you familiar with the four elements of spirit art?”
“Yes. Water, fire, wind and earth.”
Daniel answered confidently, just like an academy student. This was the foundation among the basics of spirit art, so there was no way that Daniel, who was studying it, could not have known. Vivian explained the basics of the spirit art that she had learned from Gray a long time ago.
“Actually, the term ‘Earth Spiritist’ is technically incorrect. Because an elemental magician has the four elements mentioned before.”
“Everything? So, does the Lady also have all of those elements?”
“Yes. However, the ratio in each elemental magician is different. To put it in numbers, the maximum amount of an element you can have is 10. I have 10 Earth, and most other elements are between 1 and 2. That is, it’s as if they don’t exist. Usually, those who show one trait prominently are called spiritists with that trait. That’s why I’m called an Earth Elementalist.”
Daniel’s eyes widened and he shook his head. Even if he didn’t say anything, it was clear he was listening.
“Then you can’t use all your innate elements?”
“There are cases where one element is specialized, like me. To put it in numbers again, you need to have at least 5 in an element to use it as a skill. However, there are rare cases where two or three elements are equally established. For example, if you have 5 of fire and water, you can mix the two.”
“Then, isn’t an elemental magician with a specialized element more advantageous for combat or use of abilities?”
“No…well, kind of. According to research, the sum of these four elements is the same for all animists. In other words, in those who possess two elements, the power is distributed rather than gathered as one, so in terms of purely destructive power, those who specialize in one element are more powerful.”
Daniel rubbed his chin with an interested look on his face.
“Then, to what extent does a specialized magician have power?”
At the curious question, Vivian closed her eyes, trying to recall an anecdote she had heard a long time ago.
“I’ve never seen it myself, but Master said that there was a case where an earth animist split the continent in half.”
Daniel quickly became puzzled. It was the same expression he had when he found out that Vivian was a spirit magician. Perhaps Vivian looked similar when she first heard of this anecdote.
“The continent… No, I mean, are you talking about breaking up the land?”
“Yes, that is correct. After all, the land is made up of earth.”
“Is that possible? Really… you mean it? This is an anecdote that I have never heard before, and I have been conducting research!”
Daniel’s face was a mix of fear and excitement of the unknown. Vivian tried to calm him down a little.
“At that time, there were only a few spiritists in the world. We’re small in number now, but back then, there was an absurdly small number. So, no one knew what we were or how we could control the forces of nature. Magic hadn’t even been discovered or understood yet. Master said that this was never recorded, but orally passed from Master to Master.”
As Vivian’s story grew longer, Daniel’s face was colored with joy. She had a feeling that when he returned to his room, he would definitely look up this anecdote.
“Such a terrifying power… Aren’t there other things you can do? For example, making a tree grow like before.”
“Well. Like last time, I can pull roots up from under the ground. In addition, to a certain extent, I can control and move dirt in the air.”
She remembered how she almost suffocated Vice-Captain Ben. Daniel had the same expression on his face as Ben did that day. It was an expression of awe at her unknown power.
“Really… The more you know, the more amazing it is. Spirit art.”
“I think so. There are probably many things I don’t know.”
Vivian shrugged her shoulders.
After her awakening, she was more proficient with animism than anyone else, as if she had been born with it. But, if a person wielding a sword was unable to figure out how it moved, even though they had the skill, they would be unable to do anything due to ignorance of basic principles. Perhaps spirit art was similar. It was the power of a different race, far from human. It was clear that the spirits were mysterious, and that she might never know everything about them.