15 The Hard-Working Genius Teacher

Roxy flipped through her notes, preparing for her next lesson.

It was sunset, an orange glow starting to settle in from the light shining through the window.

A week had passed since she started up her new role as a private tutor for a certain Rudeus Greyrat.

Objectively, it should have been a boring and tedious job. After all, Rudeus was only a little past three years old. Most children that age were still fumbling around trying to make sense of the world around them. Learning magic? Ha!

But her cute little student was different than that.

It was just a week. A single week, but already Roxy was starting to rethink everything she knew about magic.

To start off... Rudeus's way of using magic was weird.

Since he wanted to start with the basics, the first few lessons... after the initial one where she went off on a tangent because she got too excited.


Anyway, the first few lessons were spent on Roxy explaining the basic casting methods and the fundamentals of how magic worked. Drawing mana from inside or from an external source, using incantations or magic circles...

Roxy was a little worried that she didn't explain things properly, but Rudeus was smart. Thankfully, he understood everything she said.

And then he asked a single question.

"But can't you just memorize the flow of mana and copy that instead of chanting or using magic circles?"

Her initial reaction had been 'no.'

But then she thought about it.

Every time she chanted a spell or used a magic circle, her mana flowed through her to form that spell.

It was something she took for granted. A fact as simple as breathing.

But when her student asked that question, she started to become aware of it. Like how thinking about breathing made you manually control it until your body took over again.

So she tried it out. During Rudeus's sword lessons with his father, Roxy tested her student's hypothesis.

It was hard. Even using a basic <Water Ball> was difficult. Because Roxy was so used to incantations, she had to fight herself to not speak and just focus on the flow of magic.

But it worked.

It *worked.*

The axiom that all magicians followed saying that you needed to use incantations or magic circles was wrong.

...No. There had been research and strides towards that conclusion. Shortened incantations an established phenomenon, after all.

But to think that it could be excluded completely...

Was the reason why this was never attempted because of its difficulty? Or was it just the so-called common sense overruling reason?

Roxy didn't know, but what she did know was that she had just as much to learn from her student as he did from her. Especially when she stopped to consider how much of what magicians took as 'common sense' to be true could actually be false.

Like the thought that incantations were more effective than magic circles.

Extrapolating from Rudeus's thought about memorizing the flow of mana... what if it was possible to shape a magic circle with pure mana?

From what Roxy knew, Demon Empress Kirisis Calisis invented the method and passed it along to others. But for the most part, that involved using specially prepared ink or carvings.

But was that necessary?

The ink and carvings were used to hold mana so that the spell could be performed, but if it was possible to directly shape mana into the magic circle... And if a person was able to memorize that shape and instantly recreate a magic circle... would that not be faster and more effective than incantations?

True, it was more difficult. Not to mention the fact that memorizing such a complicated pattern would be an incredible feat on its own, let alone recreating it in a single moment by directing mana... but what if?

Did Demon Empress Kirisis Calisis use magic that way? It would explain the legends about her being able to cast magic in an instant and with such ease...

But then there was the deeper question as well.

The elves were the origin of modern day magic, and the current methods were refined by humans replicating and expanding upon what they saw.

Yet there was something that nobody really considered. It was taken for granted that magic *had* to be structured. Either by incantations or by magic circles.

But did it really?

Rudeus had asked that, and now that Roxy had spent the last week mulling it over between their lessons... she was starting to think it didn't.

She wasn't sure yet, but her instincts told her that Rudeus was right.

And that was a ridiculous thought. Her, thinking that a child not even to his first major birthday was correct about magic when she graduated from the famed Ranoa Magic University at the top of her class.

But Rudeus was different.

She wasn't sure what miracle or curse made him this way, but her student saw the world differently. She was sure of it.

And she was curious- No, she couldn't wait to find out where his path led.

But before then, they had to cover the basics. The foundation.

Even if the foundation might be incorrect, they still had to know the apparent rules in order to know where to break or bend them.

And for today's lesson-

Roxy's bedroom door slowly creaked open. After that, tiny footsteps echoed, followed by a tired young voice. "I'm back, Miss Roxy."

Roxy closed her journal and turned to look at the door.

It was Rudeus. Her cute young student... who was completely disheveled and covered in dirt.

Roxy smiled and said, "Did you get carried away again in sword lessons, Rudy?"

"Dad got carried away." Rudeus sighed and said, "He said that I was getting the hang of swinging a sword around and said it was time for target practice."

Roxy's smile widened and she said, "Well, you've worked hard. You were bound to advance to something else eventually."

"Yeah. But I'm not a genius like him, you know?" He sighed and held out his right hand, gathering all the dirt on his body into a small clump. After that, he reached out his hand and sent the clump out the window. "He tries really hard, but Dad takes a lot of things for granted and doesn't explain it to me." He frowned and said, "Just because he can do it doesn't mean I can do it that easily. Well, at least he understands..."

Roxy slowly nodded. "Yes. Well... geniuses are something else."

Like you.

...But Roxy didn't say that.

Even if it was true, it wasn't good. Not to mention it also invalidated all the hard work Rudeus put in.

And Roxy knew firsthand how that felt.

Stupid Shishou.

"Anyway!" Rudeus jumped onto Roxy's bed and looked towards her with sparkling eyes. "What are we covering today, Miss Roxy?"

"Well..." Roxy glanced at her notes and hummed. "I think we can move onto intermediate spells if you want. But is there anything in particular you want to study first?"

"Ooh! Yeah!" Rudeus nodded and said, "I was wondering if you could teach me healing magic. I've got a feeling I might need it at this rate..."

Roxy smiled. "Well, let's hope you don't. But it is better to be safe than sorry." She reached over to her bag and rummaged around for her healing tome. After pulling it out, she opened it and said, "Now, we've covered the basics already, but healing magic is primarily used for healing injuries and removing toxins. The simplest spell in this branch of magic is <Healing>, which can heal minor cuts, fractures, and plants-"

"How does it do that though?"

Roxy blinked and looked at Rudeus. "Pardon?"

Rudeus frowned and said, "Does it erase the wounds? Spin time back? Add in stuff that isn't there to plug the hole?"

Ah. There it was again. Questions that Roxy didn't know the answer to.

But if she thought about them...

"...<Healing> isn't that impressive. I'm sure that the Saint-ranked spells and above can do those things, but I doubt that's true for such a basic spell." Roxy frowned and said, "I don't know exactly how it works since I'm not a healing magic expert, but if I had to guess... I would say that it helps the body help itself in healing the wound."

There. A bit of a convoluted explanation, but a cohesive one.

And as expected...

"If that's true, then can't you use <Healing> to make training faster? I mean, training makes your body get worn-out and you get stronger after you heal, right? So wouldn't <Healing> help you with that? And what about fatigue? Does <Healing> get rid of that too, then?"

...A series of follow-up questions.

"Mm..." Roxy stalled a bit to think. "Well... when you put it that way..."

Does that work?

Rudeus wasn't wrong. There were studies about how the body adapted to stress and training, and it was established that the strengthening process occurred after taking damage. That was true in magical creatures as well.

But using <Healing> to speed that process up...

"...It should." Roxy slowly nodded. "<Healing> only helps the body heal itself and doesn't go beyond natural healing. It should also be able to help with fatigue. But Rudy." Roxy narrowed her eyes and said, "Don't underestimate how much mana healing magic uses. There's a reason why healers are so valued and why most adventurers use potions."

"Oh. Got it, Miss Roxy!"

Phew. That somehow worked out. Next...

"Anyway." Roxy turned back to her book and said, "The incantation for <Healing> is..."

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