When he returned to the house, he got ambushed. Or would typically be if he didn't have his PERCEPTION skills active all the time. Still, he decided not to react, as Annoue went to hug him right as he opened the door. She seemed like she was waiting for him.
He noticed that Garry wasn't back. He barely could move his arms cause Annoue was bear-hugging him, but fortunately, she wasn't putting all of her STR in it.
'This seems to happen too often these days.' [Shingi]
"You can let go now." [Shingi]
But she didn't react at all, as she didn't hear him. So since she didn't want to let go, he once more cast his MANA HAND, which he was proficient enough with it now to cast even without the movement but took longer to cast it that way. But this was possible for Low-Grade spells whose somatic components are more straightforward and can be ignored by imagining them doing them with your mind. On the other hand, the higher the grade of a spell, the more complicated the movements and the more challenging it is to use this casting mental way.
This time he used a combination of some Earth and Light mana. His tests in the shop in the right combination resulted in a hand feeling closer to a real one but still far from it. Earth element mana helped keep things more solid, and Light element gave it some 'life' as some had described it in past experiments that Shingi had heard.
He used the hand to pat her head once more. She seemed to snap out and let go of Shingi and looked upon the hand, which she could tell that it differed from the other one. She knew this time that it was something her brother made.
"Are you ok? Did you get bored waiting for Garry and me?" [Shingi]
"Well, I tried to train as you taught me, but the Lights were moving too much and were annoying. But I made them move as you told me and make shapes and feed my tree. It even has one fruit now." [Annoue]
"Full-grown fruit? Not just seed?" [Shingi]
Annoue closed her eyes and focused, and after a few seconds, she opened them again.
"Yes, full-grown one. It was one seed I had before." [Annoue]
"Before? How many seeds do you have?" [Shingi]
Annoue once more closed her mind, and Shingi could see even her lips counting as she counted.
"32 but 5 of them seem the same as the one who was fruit before the last time I saw it as a seed." [Shingi]
Usually, Shingi would get amazed at the high number, but he got numb against these things when coming from Annoue. Arcane Practitioners were ranking the Mana Trees depending on how many Mana Seeds it could bear maximum. Up to 10, they considered a Mana Tree to be of Low Grade, and a Base one was up to 20. A Master one was up to 60. Even people who could cast Divine Spells and had spent a hundred years developing their Mana Trees hadn't reached to have over 60 Mana Seeds.
The more Mana Seeds or Mana Fruits, the Mana Tree of someone can bear makes his life easier cause he can cast more spells faster. It also shows that the tree's mana is more comfortable to control, as it can separate it into so many parts simultaneously and make them bloom with time without affecting itself. But of course, it didn't mean that all of your Mana Seeds at a time would become Mana Fruits, as there was a limit of Mana Fruits one could have. One would be lucky if had one-third of his seeds becoming fruits, and there was only one in the history as far as Shingi knew who had 54 Mana Seeds, and 23 of them could be fruits at the same time.
Many have researched the reason behind the different number of Mana Seeds on each person's Mana Trees. One hundred practitioners made their Mana Tree from the same source. Even between them, there were differences in the maximum amount of Mana Seeds. For some, the difference wasn't just one or two, but even a dozen. The user's talent for growing the tree was a factor, and their affinity with the mana also played an important role.
"Well, good to know, but keep this a secret. For any reason, if you have to tell how many seeds and fruits your Mana Tree has, keep them lower than fifteen. Also, please don't use them unless you have no other choice, especially the fruit one. Ok?" [Shingi]
Annoue nodded in agreement, saying nothing. She was trusting her brother, who seemed, for some reason, to know better about these types of things.
"Well, since you have done that good, I have a little present for you." [Shingi]
He brought out of his pocket a flat piece of metal with something carved on it. During the cleaning and cause, he could still use Spirit Hammer, but not for long; he had made this simple present for Annoue. The symbol was a circle containing a smaller circle, both having centered on the flat surface. There were eight different shapes between the two circles' space, each one in its own shape.
The first one was just a vertical line, then a V-shaped one, then a triangle, and so on, as the next one was a shape with one more line than the previous one.
This was a small trinket used for Enchantment training.
They could use it to make some temporary enchantments, but they can't be more than a Low-Grade one.
Enchanting can work in two ways. Either there is a carving of the symbol or Enchantment Circle, as most call them, or create them with your mana. In either case, mana needs to be used to activate them, but in the Enchantment Circle's case, since mana started it, it doesn't need more mana but uses itself to feed the enchantment.
The trinket he made was made of iron thoroughly purified with his Light Mana and also embed in it to make it work for the reason he wanted to.
He explained all she should do was manipulate some mana in the lines she decided to use. They would slowly absolve by it, and at some point, will start emitting some dim light showing that they were active. When all the lines she wanted to use were lightened up, she had to feed some more mana at the rest of the trinket away from the lines, and that would enable the enchantment.
But she had to be fast, for it would start slowly rejecting the mana when a shape lighted up.
"For now, you will train in activating only one enchantment. It is one of the simplest ones as it uses just the first one and second symbol." [Shingi]
By the first and second, he meant the ones with one line and two lines. They were easier to fill mana with, and since there wasn't an enchantment without combining at least two of the shapes, he made Annoue start with this.
"So what is going to happen when it is active?" [Annoue]
"It is a simple color change Enchantment. It will change the color of the trinket in random color for a time depending on how much mana you feed it with." [Shingi]
Her eyes got wide with excitement that she could do something so incredible. And so she got ready to work on it right away but got stopped by Shingi.
"Now, it isn't the time. Garry should be back soon, and also, it is dinner time. You should work on it tomorrow when you are by yourself cause I think most likely I will spend more time in the shop. And try to keep it away from other's eyes." [Shingi]
Hearing that, Annoue got a little upset, and she even squeezed her fist, the one she was holding the trinket with, making it bent a little, which made her scared of possibly breaking it. Shingi told her it was fine as she didn't bend it too much, but she should be more careful even if he would replace it with another one in the future but didn't mention that.
The young brother and sister went into the kitchen to have their dinner. They were also waiting for Garry, and Shingi gave Annoue some tips on the trinket and her skills. Annoue, even if she found training somewhat dull as she repeatedly did the same thing, she was happy that it was a task given by her brother. After watching the fantastic things Shingi could do, she was more determined to get better.
After finishing their dinner, which this time Annoue prepared it as one could tell by the taste. Not that it was horrible, just very bland taste-wise.
There was no news from Garry even after it got this late that Annoue seemed to notice, and Shingi could tell that she wasn't expecting it. So Shingi told her a few things about what happened and that Garry left to take care of few things but not sure what those were.
"Has he ever been away for that long?" [Shingi]
"Rarely. The last time was months ago, but most times, he returns at some point while I sleep." [Annoue]
Even if Shingi was curious about what Garry was doing and wanted to search for him in secret, he decided against it.
He was too tired since he was casting spells pretty much non-stop and kept emptying and filling his mana pool and strengthening his Mana Tree. So both of them went to bed, but Shingi seemed to be back in the state of not being able to sleep.
'It seems I have to overwork myself more than that to need to sleep.' [Shingi]
Since he did not have the time to relax, he slowly strengthened his Mana Tree. After using his MANA MANIPULATION skill that much, drawing mana was more comfortable. He was still in Base Rank, so he didn't need to focus on it as much as before but had ways to go.
Since everything else progressed well, he decided to also work on something he had left for some time.
Ranking up his VISUALIZATION.
He visualized one again, this old Elven gentleman. Simultaneously, he started visualizing another person he recently visited.
Varic, the 'friendly' dwarf blacksmith.
Varic's appearance, being fresher in his mind, was more detailed than the Elf, but there were some details here and there needing work, like some lines in his muscles since he imagined him in his working clothing.
He focused on them doing actions, fitting them. The Elf gave some speech, and Varic was hammering an anvil that Shingi had also visualized.
Not much time passed as the System let him know that his VISUALIZATION was now at Base Rank. After that, the two figures became more detailed, and movements became more lifelike. After a few minutes, Shingi moved to the next part of his plan.
He dismissed both figures and focused on a new form, this time of something more straightforward. Just a simple small wooden box that Shingi made it hovering over his head.
He started using some of his mana to surround it and make the same shape just with his mana, but it didn't seem to have any effect. He tried to focus more on the result of his VISUALIZATION but not to make it more detailed, but this time to check its nature. Some would consider it just a product of his imagination. Still, it was an illusion created by him but not using mana but some other source.
Shingi had heard of others calling that these types of skills were using the Soul Energy of the user. Still, nobody was certain for anything as no matter how much they were using, it didn't seem to affect them other than straining their mind, but this was happening with all mental skills.
Shingi could barely feel that the result of VISUALIZATION was created by something, but not sure what it was. And so he tried to combine this strange energy with this mana, and after some testing, he had a result.
There was now a hovering wooden box over his head that anyone could see
The Spell MINOR ILLUSION (Ungraded) has been learned
He worked on his new Spell and made different combinations between using just Earth Mana or Light or some amount of both. That had some results.
The spell LIGHT (Ungraded) has been learned
The spell ROCK THROW (Low Grade) has been learned
He now had his first offensive spell, but it was a Low Grade one, so he wasn't expecting much from it against serious fights. Using mostly Earth mana, he could create a piece of rock and give it some force with his mana to be thrown towards a direction like if he had thrown it. The bigger the rock, the more mana it needed to be thrown, and he also found out that using Light Mana for throwing made them go faster.
Of course, he was careful of his tests not to wake up Annoue as the rocks would make some noise when it hits something, but fortunately, she remained asleep, and nothing broke. Also, since he made the rocks from his mana, he could make them disappear, and at some point, he did it before it got the chance to hit something.
The Light Spell made sense he could use since he had Light element mana, but it was a spell that anyone could use at some point. He could get brighter than if someone used the Spell with not Light Mana, though.
He worked on his new Spells carefully, keeping his senses up not to wake up Annoue. He also looked out if Garry came home, which didn't happen yet, even if it was after midnight.
After he got pretty happy with using his new spells, he focused on a different task that he thought of working on after creating the present of Annoue.
To create an Enchantment Circle with just his mana.