Swamped

Swamped Chapter 150 Page 3

You can’t cast a spell. But the mana root should let somebody else cast one.

That leaves one problem: what sort of spell might be helpful. You see two basic options; a spell to mitigate the problem in the short term, or a spell to help you find what you need to get the treatment underway.

Well, really, you should do what you can in both directions. But how do you approach it?

Ah, one thought. Sound magic should allow her to have a more consistent conversation. Since she seems to be trying to tell you something, that seems like a good starting point.

Minnie’s already had some root, but you think she’ll need a bit more to get this to work. You explain as much, even if you have to be vague about why you can’t cast yourself.

“So basically, I’m creating a magic voice that repeats what she’s trying to say,” Minnie repeats to you. “I’ll give it a shot, but I think I need to be clear on what goes wrong if I mess up. I’m pretty new at this, you know.”

“Right, I suppose I have to treat you as though you’re an apprentice,” you concur. “Well, you’re essentially creating a magical entity, so the main fail state is that it goes out of control. But since all it can do is talk, as long as we limit the volume it can’t do much besides be annoying. And if it’s annoying enough to be a problem, you should be able to dismiss it.”

“Should,” she says, a little skeptically.

“It’s easier than creating it. You just have to make sure not to break the connection. But if you want to play it safer, you can direct the sound through you rather than creating a separate entity. I just thought that might be unsettling to experience.”

She smirks.

“I’m an actor. I let other voices use me all the time.”

So, she eats a mana root, and you walk her through the spell. A few moments later, she starts talking in the unconscious woman’s voice.

“Well, this should make things a little easier, at least,” she says. “It means I don’t have to try to push the sound through on my side.”

“Good,” you reply. “Do you happen to know anything about the process of purifying wind ether?”

“You mean other than that purifying ether of any type is incredibly dangerous?” she says. “I wouldn’t risk it without at least two other skilled wizards watching to make sure I wasn’t messing something up. Which, I imagine, is why you don’t know how to do it either.”

“It was worth asking, I thought. We seem to just have riddles about it.”

“Of course you do. That’s old Matilda for you,” she sighs. “Anyways, the only thing I know, which you probably do as well, is that it takes a large amount of the ether type you’re trying to purify just to get a small usable portion…” There’s a pause. “Except, hold on. I can’t get a good look at the mana root ether from here, but if it’s working it has to be pure. And there’s a lot of it.”

“So whoever’s growing the mana root must have a more effective purifying process, at least for earth,” you conclude. “Which might help us with the wind. It still doesn’t tell us what we need, though.”

“The one thing I know is that you’ll need a good amount of wind ether. But before you go looking, I have a warning for you,” she says. “Even aside from the risks of pure ether, let alone mixing two types, Badger’s idea is dangerous for a reason that I don’t think any of you are aware of.”

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