56 Hasty Preparations

An array sometimes called a magical formation, the fantasy world's version of a program or machine. They are made to serve one purpose and that purpose relied entirely on the formationist and the limitations of their resources.

That is to say, Ed and Vorgarag needed more than just knowledge and a will. They needed writing materials and a suitable canvas. It is possible to write arrays on common dirt but the results may be less than magnificent depending on the formation's purpose.

Luckily, Vorgarag already had some homemade mana-conductive ink, it was made using boar blood. Unfortunately, his preservation method wasn't on par with modern earth, the blood had many impurities at this point which could negatively affect both its power and speed.

Arrays are different from the body but the way they work is still greatly similar to the way a regular person would cast magic. As a matter of fact, the first-ever person to create the concept of arrays was probably inspired by the body and its ability to cast magic; likely after they noticed the limitations of a flesh body.

And for the canvas... well... They would indeed have to regrettably settle for common dirt. Given that their goal is space magic, the results won't be so bad considering space and earth elements don't counteract each other. It might still be slower than other materials but it wasn't something they could afford to worry about, they hadn't even started working on the array after all.

Ed and Vorgarag decided to skip the drafting process and instead went to the plaza to start writing the magic array. However, before that, Vorgarag broke off some pieces off of the elemental crystals. Seeing this, Ed became visibly confused, Vorgarag revealed a teasing smile in response.

"You don't expect a fortress to be just a strong wall, right? These are for attack arrays." He said tauntingly as he tossed the crystals up and down.

"Yeah whatever" Ed casually dismissed the jeering Vorgarag and they finally made their way to the plaza where they would construct the fairly large array.

The other orcs were in the way but this was where they were instructed to gather. It wasn't an accident, Vorgarag had told Nag to gather them here. He needed to inform the populace of the upcoming battle.

Seeing Vorgarag approach with his usual confidence and elegance, the rowdy orcs quieted down. They were waiting to find out what was going on, Nag hadn't told them anything as he was rather slow-witted and thus didn't think that far.

"Alright everybody" Said Vorgarag with a smile, "We are going to have to put everything else on hold, we are going to have some disorderly visitors, hahaha. We need to show them something good right? We can't let them outdo us right!?" Vorgarag yelled with a vicious smile.

"""YEAH!!!""" A resounding roar of agreement.

The crowd who only now heard of potential invaders didn't show an ounce of fear. Rather, the crowd went wild with cheers as their bloodlust was aroused. It was to the point that some started to casually throw punches causing some infighting. Still, that was part of their orcish nature, there was no need to stop them.

The orc's morale is naturally easy to incite but that is assuming you know them well. Vorgarag was still praiseworthy for knowing his people to such an extent.

"Hahaha! Alright calm down guys, I am going to need all capable warriors outside the settlement and ready for battle. Let's teach them how our angakok tribe does things, yeah?" Maybe it was his confidence or the way he downplayed the enemy threat but his casual words seemed to carry great power. As his question was met by thunderous battle cries and screams of agreement,

"Yeah!" A tall orc brandished his strong ax and yelled.

"HAHAHA!" The laughter of a burly woman could be barely be heard drowned out inside the rambunctious crowd.

It was to the point where even some of the younger orcs that were barely able to wield their weapons were ready for battle. Their mothers had to however hold them back. That didn't mean that they themselves wouldn't join in though.

The mob of battle-ready orcs slowly started to disperse and headed out through the large opening gate. Vorgarag still had a smile when Ed asked him a question.

"Is that ok?" As a modern man, he knew that civil and organized armies were far better than a rowdy mob when it came to war.

"What's wrong? They all have their spirits lifted and are even having fun." He overlooked the rowdy crowd, they were ready to face their death head-on with happy expressions.

"I don't see anything wrong with that..." His smile turned to somber and his words trailed off. Ed couldn't help but silently analyze Vorgarag's words.

Then Ed heard a clap which snapped him out of his thoughts, "Anyway, let's get going. We can't waste more time" It was true. They had wasted enough.

With the crowd clearing out apart from the ones incapable of fighting such as pregnant orcs and young kids, there was now some space for a barrier array.

Vorgarag pulled out a piece of polished wood that he used as an improvised pen, it was actually a brush that used the undercoat boar fur but it had seen better days...

He dipped it in the boar blood and was about to start writing when Ed asked him a question.

"Don't we have to cover the whole plaza? Won't we run out of space to hold any injured orcs that may need admittance? Plus, isn't that too little?" He pointed at Vorgarag's palm-sized container of orc blood. Vorgarag looked back at him curiously before answering his question.

"Do you cover an entire area when you are casting spells?" Ed nodded, that made sense, "Plus if I run out I will just have to use my own blood." Vorgarag said casually before starting his writing anew.

'He is a pretty caring person isn't he?' Not many are willing to go that far. Especially not Ed. In the first place, he doesn't have anything in this other life worth risking his health over.

'Well... Maybe I do now...' Ed thought somewhat happily. Vorgarag threw him a curious glance.

"What are you doing?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Nothing." Said Ed casually.

"Yeah, I can tell. Now pay attention I am going to need your help from here on." Vorgarag's words seemed somewhat harsh at the moment but Ed didn't mind them. His remark actually reminded him of something.

'Was it school?' He thought pensively.

"Hey" Vorgarag said indifferently.

"Right, sorry. What do I need to do?" Ed finally got back on track.

What Vorgarag had just finished drawing was the center of the array. It was where the power source would sit, or in this case where a person would stand. This part was pretty standard for most arrays and only changed if dealing with special materials so he did it quickly and without too much of an issue.

"This is where things start to get complicated" Vorgarag frowned as he looked at the red circular formation that would form the center of the array.

How did magicians cast spells if it entailed such completed calculations? Well, it was fairly simple. Chants worked like pre-built programs that magic researchers had passed on to others. It was through their effort that chants were created, shortened, and just overall simplified. Arrays however could not chant, which meant that all of the calculations and formulas had to be laid out and written by the formationist.

The only one that knew the required formulas and the resulting calculations was Ed. Or at least some of them, the spellbook was for a teleportation spell after all. He now had to teach them to Vorgarag but his knowledge on runes was pretty much none existent.

"First thing's first. You need to create runes that condense a lot of element-less mana onto the edges of the array." Said Ed confidently even though he was unsure on the inside.

'Hey wait that actually makes sense...' He was speaking based on his own conjectures so he couldn't be sure but it sounded like a logical process. Thus he continued.

"From there you need to make the array control the now transformed mana, the hyperactive space elements, and coordinate them towards the targeted area." Vorgarag was attentively listening to Ed's words while comparing it to his own knowledge.

"I guess you also have to make sure the space elements don't warp space too early or it could ruin the array or potentially kill somebody..." It was hard to say those words confidently so Ed's facade couldn't help but end.

"Apart from the fact that I had the wrong elements and theory behind space elements that all conforms with what I know." Vorgarag nodded a couple of times while holding his chin signaling the feasibility of their attempt.

"Alright Ed, tell me the correct formulas and I will translate them into runes." Vorgarag immediately got back to writing.

The second layer of the array, the one surrounding the center, would work just as Ed first indicated. Since the first layer only absorbed mana and stored it Vorgarag now needed the part that transfers it and following Ed's knowledge, a third thin layer that condenses the mana into the space element.

But before Ed could start passing on his knowledge, they heard resounding roars.

'The tribe must have met the assailants' Ed's expression turned grim.

"HEY ED! Hurry it up! They can hold out for a bit!" Although Vorgarag's expression also darkened he still continued to write whatever he knew.

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