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Life in Vain: Jobless Reincarnation (Mushoku Tensei)

It was a freak accident. Someone ran the light at an intersection and before I knew it... my world turned black. But I didn't die then. Instead, I was forced to lament and regret over all of my failures. Lament about how this so-called genius was lower than dirt even at the very end. And that should have been it. After my consciousness faded, I should have disappeared. But I woke up. A different world, another life. A fresh start. This time, for sure...!

HappyVainGlory · Anime & Comics
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208 Chs

Toddler Period – A Genius Magician

The morning after.

Despite blacking out, I woke up completely refreshed and bubbling with energy.

...Though that was mostly because I grabbed back the mana I left floating in the air.

Oh, right. That was probably something I should ask Miss Roxy too at some point. I was just dumping my mana and reclaiming it every night, but maybe it would be more worthwhile to put it in a medium of some sort.

That was probably what Miss Roxy did with her staff, now that I think about it...

Maybe that sapphire in her staff is a special one that could hold mana? Or maybe gemstones in general could hold mana?

...Wait. Could I make gemstones? If earth magic controlled dirt, if I refined my control enough, could I pick out certain minerals and shape them? No, could I just turn mana into pure crystals? That was a thing, right? Most settings had a way to convert mana into gemstones or stone of some kind.

Maybe I could do the same... Though my mana control definitely wasn't good enough for that yet.

I could barely handle the recoil from the Intermediate-ranked spells. Trying to bite off too much... yeah. That was a project for much, much later. Maybe after I got a handle on Saint-ranked spells or something. Surely by then my mana manipulation would be good enough, right?

I hummed, lost in thought, and then conjured a ball of water to wash my face. After rinsing my mouth and casting a healing spell on it to clean up and disinfect so that I didn't have to brush my teeth, I left my room.

Thankfully, Miss Roxy wasn't still in the hallway. And judging from the fact that the master bedroom was wide open, my parents weren't home. They probably left for work already.

From what I remembered, they mentioned something about monsters showing up in the forest and were busy working on it. Miss Roxy was also supposed to go help at some point, but maybe it hadn't reached that yet?

Anyway... it seemed like I woke up later than expected. Hopefully Miss Roxy didn't mind. And speaking of Miss Roxy...

I walked over to her room and knocked on the door. "Miss Roxy? Sorry for waking up late. Are we still doing lessons this morning?"

"R-Rudy?! Um... O-One moment!"

Frantic scrambling. Footsteps pacing around the room. And then finally, the door opened.

Unlike yesterday, Miss Roxy was fully dressed. Her pointed hat, brown magician robe... she was in full teacher mode.

Except that she looked super flustered. Her eyes kept avoiding me and her face was red.

It was pretty cute, actually.

Miss Roxy was quiet for a bit, and then she cleared her throat. "U-Um... R-Rudy. Last night..."

Ah. So it was that after all.

Well... time to play the innocent and naive kid card.

I tilted my head and said, "Oh. Sorry, Miss Roxy. I wanted to use the bathroom, but I saw you asleep in the hallway so I just went back to sleep." I frowned and said, "You shouldn't stay up so late. If you're tired enough to fall asleep in the middle of the hallway like that, it's bad, you know! Miss Roxy is growing too, so you need to get proper rest."

"Y-Yes." Roxy cleared her throat and said, "I-I will. It... It won't happen again, Rudy."

Under her breath, I heard her mutter something like 'next time I'll just stay in my room.'

...But thinking about Miss Roxy doing something like that made me feel weird, so I just quietly ignored it.

Thank god puberty didn't hit yet.

"A-Anyway!" Roxy grabbed her staff and said, "Let's go."

I blinked. "Go? Go where?"

Roxy patted my head and said, "Your father, mother, and Miss Lilia went to the village today, so it's just us until this evening. Since that's the case, how about we get some practical experience for you. Does that sound good?"

"Practical experience... You mean like practicing outside?"

"Mmhm. We've been practicing Elementary-ranked spells so it's fine, but starting with Intermediate-ranked spells, it's best to test them out in a place without potential for collateral damage. Like say a certain storage room wall?"

I felt my face heat up and I averted my gaze. "T-That was one time! And it won't happen again!"

Roxy smiled. "I'm just teasing you, Rudy. But it really would be best to get outside. It's no good to just sit around and read books all day."

"...But don't you do that, Miss Roxy?"

Roxy cleared her throat and averted her gaze. "Yes. Well... I also have a special task to do today..."

"Ah." I nodded and said, "Is it that time of the month? Mom and Miss Lilia get that too. Did you need more supplies?"

"...Rudy?"

"Yes, Miss Roxy?"

"Here's a very important lesson." Roxy let out a wide smile. But it didn't reach her eyes.

I flinched. "U-Um... yes?"

"Never ask that of a lady unless she tells you. Okay?"

"O-Okay."

Scary! Scary! And what the heck!? Those mana threads were converging by themselves! Is that a spell? It's going to cast a spell! Oh god!

"Good!" Roxy leaned back, letting out a real smile.

I let out a deep sigh.

Note to self: Miss Roxy is scary when mad.

Second note to self: Never let Miss Roxy know you actually saw and knew what she was doing yesterday.

Third note to self: Explore the potential avenue of emotions affecting mana and magic.

"Now." Roxy grabbed my right hand with her left and said, "Let's go, Rudy."

"Okay! Adventure time!"

Roxy laughed and said, "Yes. Adventure time."

-LIV-

A farmer took off his straw hat and bowed to Roxy. "Thank you so much, Miss Migurdia!"

Roxy shook her head and said, "It's fine. Something like this isn't too much trouble."

The farmer raised his head and smiled before digging into a bag by his side and holding out a few copper coins. "This isn't much, but I hope it helps."

"Of course." Roxy took the coins and tucked them away into her own bag. After that, she smiled and said, "Let me know if you need any more help."

"We will, Miss Migurdia!" The farmer let out a friendly wave and headed back to work.

To sum up what just happened...

Like Miss Roxy promised, we went out on a little adventure to the village. Along the way, she taught me a bit more about the differences between elementary-ranked spells and intermediate-ranked spells. Mostly how there was a big difference in the way you handled mana while casting the two.

It was mostly like what I figured already. Elementary-ranked spells were just the fundamentals teaching you the basic flow while Intermediate-ranked spells were enacting 'things' with elements.

Put it another way... Elementary-ranked spells let you manipulate the basic element and concept. Meanwhile, Intermediate-ranked spells and above were causing you to do things with those elements.

Like my <Splash Flow> mishap, the spells were usually combat-oriented and meant to do damage. They could be fine-tuned for auxiliary purposes, like using <Splash Flow> to water crops. But that was like trying to use a high-pressure hose to water flowers. You *could* make it work, but you really shouldn't.

But that was a side-tangent.

While she was explaining that, farmers came over to Miss Roxy and asked for some help. They were basic things, like converting giant rocks back into mud, healing some batches of crops that were withered because pests, etc.

It wasn't for free though. Although it was just a simple task, the farmers paid Roxy for it.

Roxy walked back to my side and smiled. "A practical demonstration of what can be done with Intermediate-ranked magic. What do you think, Rudy?"

I frowned and placed my hand on my chin. "I think that being a magician is a very profitable job..."

Most people would be tired out casting magic all day, but I had grinded out my efficiency enough for that to not be a problem.

It probably wouldn't be a good thing to make a place revolve around magic to grow crops, but it might be possible to use magic to turn infertile lands fertile. Especially if it was possible to convert rocks directly into soil like that. And then it would be possible to divert waterflow, maybe create an underground water well...

"Ah." Roxy spoke up and said, "Don't get too carried away. Tasks like these are just pocket money, Rudy. It really isn't profitable to go around doing magic like this."

"But it helps people, right? And come to think of it, Miss Roxy doesn't need to help them..."

She said it was for pocket money, but Miss Roxy wasn't spending any money at all from her salary. Not only that, but she didn't pay for any food, lodging, or materials...

In that case...

I looked at Roxy and said, "Miss Roxy."

"Yes, Rudy?"

"You're really a nice person, aren't you?"

There were only two possible reasons why she would do something like that.

The first was that Roxy was extremely stingy and pinched every penny she could get.

And the second was that she took payment so that the farmers didn't feel indebted to her.

Roxy blushed and tugged her hat down to cover her eyes. "...Like I said, it's for pocket money."

"Kay~"

Roxy frowned. "Are you making fun of me?"

"No, Miss Roxy. I would never. Miss Roxy is too nice and pretty to make fun of."

She huffed and bopped my head with her staff. "Don't get snippy, Rudy. I might not treat you like a kid, but I will if you act like one."

I rubbed my head and laughed. "Okay, Miss Roxy. I'll stop."

"Hmph." She turned around and kept walking.

I hopped after her and said, "So where are we going, Miss Roxy?"

We had been walking for a couple hours now and just made our way past the village with all the farmers. Now, the only thing in sight were just rolling grasslands and the distant mountains to the north.

"Here is fine."

"Here?"

Roxy nodded and turned towards me. "You're already capable of casting Intermediate-ranked spells."

It wasn't a question.

I let out a nervous laugh and said, "...Yes, Miss Roxy. But only for water."

She nodded and said, "That may be. But you don't seem to have a weak system at all, so there shouldn't be a problem with casting other elements."

I blinked. "Weak system?"

Roxy blinked and said, "I forgot. We didn't cover that. Um..." She paused and closed her eyes to think for a bit. After a while, she nodded and opened her eyes. "Every person has their innate talent towards certain types of magic."

"Oh! Is it like how dragons are good at fire magic and elves are good at wind and earth magic?"

"That's prejudice. Please don't assume that in the future, Rudy."

"A-Ah. Got it, Miss Roxy."

Prejudice, huh? Right. That exists here too... No, it was bound to be worse considering there were clear differences.

"Well..." Roxy hummed and said, "It's not necessarily wrong either. Records show that the Dragon race were good at fire magic, and most elves really are good at wind and earth magic. But that's because they're familiar with the elements from where and how they live, not because of their race."

"Oh." I blinked. "Wait, really? So a person's affinity towards magic can be affected by their life experiences?"

Roxy blinked as well and then sighed. "You figured that much out already, huh?"

"Ah. Sorry, Miss Roxy."

Roxy smiled. "No. It's good. That just mean that you've been paying attention."

I smiled back.

"In any case... Yes. A person's affinity towards magic can indeed be affected by their life experiences. For example, someone burned by fire would find it harder to use. Someone who can't swim would find it difficult to handle water magic. A person afraid of heights may struggle with wind magic... Something along those lines. And conversely, a person familiar with a particular element would find that easy to use. For example, a blacksmith who spends all day in a forge would be very attuned to fire magic."

"That... makes sense." I nodded.

Mental imagery and beliefs seemed to have some effect on magic overall, so it seemed plausible.

...And maybe that would explain my affinity towards all sorts of magic? I *had* been messing with pure mana since I was born. Did that cause me to develop in some weird way...?

Well, setting the 'seeing mana' thing aside.

"In any case." Roxy stepped back and pointed at the open sky. "Go ahead, Rudy."

"Go ahead?"

Roxy nodded. "Give it your best shot. If we want to start Advanced-rank spells and beyond, it's important for you to get a feel for how each element is at the Intermediate-rank so that you can prepare."

"Um... Are you sure?"

"I'm sure."

"...Miss Roxy will be there to put out any fires and damage I might cause?"

"..."

"M-Miss Roxy?"

"T-Teacher will do her best."

That's not very reassuring!

"A-Alright." I took a deep breath and held up my hand to the sky. "...I'm starting. I'll be using fire first, Miss Roxy, so please get ready."

"Oh great water spirit, the son of the lightning emperor who ascended to the skies..."

A giant surge of water mana gathered around Roxy and her staff started to shine.

...W-Well. If she was going to go that far... I didn't know what level spell she was using, but it seemed strong enough to put out a wildfire, so...

I held up my right hand and started chanting. "Oh great spirit of flames who lends your light and warmth to this land. Gather before me and ignite my foe. <Great Fireball>."

A surge of flaming orange mana erupted in front of me. A more wild and raging flow compared to water. But I was prepared. And also, I knew what would happen.

Carefully controlled. Tightly focused. I let the spell draw out my mana, convert it, and form a fireball. And then I braced myself.

A sudden and rapid combustion. The converted mana raging and letting loose.

The giant fireball suddenly shot forth from my hand and into the sky. At the same time that happened...

"...Cumulonimbus!"

Miss Roxy held up her staff and shouted the name of a spell.

My fireball flew up into the air and started bubbling. Just like with <Splash Flow> it was going to explode.

I grit my teeth and tried to control it... but it was still a bit too much for me.

Thankfully, it wasn't a problem.

A thundercloud suddenly formed. And the moment it did, a torrential downpour snuffed out the fireball.

And just as suddenly as the thundercloud appeared, it dispersed.

"Phew." Miss Roxy wiped her forehead and said, "I thought something like this might happen. It's a good thing I took that into account."

I blinked and looked around. "...What was that?"

Roxy smiled. "That's your teacher's secret Saint-ranked spell. If you work hard, then someday you'll be able to cast it too." She paused. "Though at the speed you're advancing, that some day might be less than a year away..."

I didn't pay attention to what Roxy said. Instead, I took a look around.

A swirl of brilliant blue mana. Threads of green mana woven in. Some sparking yellow mana. Streaks of flaming orange mana...

It was a tapestry of colors filling the sky.

They were slowly dispersing, but I could still see it.

"...That's a Saint-ranked spell...?"

Beautiful. There was no other way around it.

I thought that the different ranks were just pumping more mana into the equation and sorting things out. But this...

It was predominantly a water spell. I could see that. But there were other things mixed in. And mixed in so splendidly I couldn't even begin to describe it.

But the most incredible part of it was the control Miss Roxy had.

I could tell. If she wasn't careful, that spell would have erupted and destroyed the surroundings. At least a small crater would have been formed if that spell let loose.

But not only did it remained controlled throughout, but Miss Roxy even dispersed it. Not just dispersed the spell though, she sent the clouds flying, got rid of the ambient static electricity forming the lightning, and quelled the winds used to whip up the air pressure to form the spells.

In other words...

I turned to Miss Roxy and said, "Teacher. You're amazing."

Roxy blinked and tugged her hat down. "...You're giving me too much credit, Rudy. I'm sure the day will come where you're doing something even more incredible."

"...No. Miss Roxy... Miss Roxy is definitely more amazing than me."

I stared at the dissipating mana threads and couldn't help but sigh.

This was my teacher. She was someone who could do this sort of incredible thing without seeing mana. Someone who could use an incantation, let it run its course, and then snatch back control and perfectly direct every portion of the spell.

"...Even if I get to this point, I don't think I can ever say that I surpassed Miss Roxy."

She reached the level she was right now without any help. No, she said she had a teacher, but from the way she acted whenever it got brought up, it seemed like she didn't have a good experience with that person.

Either way, this was the result of Miss Roxy's efforts. Constant polish and refinement... all while essentially probing around in the dark with just 'feel.' Not with the ability to clearly see the shape of a spell and the mana going into it.

A real, bonafide, hard-working genius.

A strange expression crossed Roxy's face. But then she sighed and walked over to pat my head. "You're a sweet kid, Rudy."

I looked up at her and smiled. "And Miss Roxy is a kind, beautiful, and brilliant young woman."

She laughed again and pulled her hand back. "Save those words for someone your age, okay?"

"Ah." I blinked, realizing how flirty they could come across and then nodded. "Understood, Miss Roxy."

Roxy smiled again. "Now, onto the next spells. Thankfully, wind and earth aren't quite as destructive. I hope. Um... let me know the moment you feel like you're losing control, okay? Not that I think you will, but-"

"Just in case. I know, Miss Roxy."

"Good. Then... Go ahead."

I took a deep breath. "Oh great spirits who dwell within the humble earth..."