Hardly anybody uses umbrellas in Attuca village.
If you go to Ibro, you’re bound to find somebody who uses umbrellas, but in this village, only the village chief uses it.
Umbrellas are still luxury items.
What the villagers do during rain is, wear a stiff raincoat that’s made waterproof by the tree sap or wear a hat made from woven straw.
You might protect your head and body that way, but feet get the short end of the stick.
Ibro is paved with earth-attribute magic, but the roads in Attuca are unpaved dirt roads, so they become muddy if the rainfall increases.
We, felans, generally don’t wear shoes.
Wooden shoes, leather shoes, sandals etc. are being sold, but my performance is better when I’m barefoot.
It’s like… don’t underestimate my paws and claws.
I don’t wear shoes, so I don’t want to walk outside during rainy days when the roads get muddy.
I also have the body of an ordinary cat, so I went to avoid getting my fur wet if possible.
That’s why I don’t work on rainy days.
I’ve been putting money I earned from picking medical herbs and catching forest mice into the house little by little, so I think that it’s fine for me to lazy around at house during rainy days, but I was told to go to school.
Even though they never say anything like that when I’m working, adults really are unfair no matter the world.
“Hmm… Umbrella. And Steps too.”
If I don’t have an umbrella, I just have to make it and if the road is bad, I just don’t have to step on it.
Using sky-attribute magic, I made a dome-shaped roof and made steps into a foothold to not step into mud.
Unlike a normal umbrella, I don’t need to hold its handle and it has a much better visibility than a vinyl umbrella.
I improved the steps, making its smooth surface rougher and less slippery.
I can’t prevent humidity from making my fur damp, but neither rain nor mud scares me.
However, as long as my mana doesn’t run out, this is just perfect for practice.
“Ehhhh… Nyango, what’s going on there?”
“Uwah, Ines. No, don’t hit it… ahhh.”
On my way home, Ines, an ovan who’s the same age as me, came rushing at me and sadly, my umbrella shattered.
Things made with sky attribute have strong resistance against magic attacks, but they’re still weak to physical impacts.
Thanks to that, I turned from a black cat to a drenched rat.
“Is that the chant for this magic?”
“Well, something like that.”
This time I made a slightly bigger dome to cover Ines too.
I also made the step placing higher and walked shoulder to shoulder with Ines.
“I’m still in the middle of practicing so don’t hit me, okay?”
“Sure, got it. But, I’m so envious… this way you can avoid getting wet in rain.”
At present, the ‘Umbrella’ magic feels more like a glass umbrella than a vinyl one.
Until now I’ve only been thinking that increasing its strength would equal to making it harder, but it might be better to make it soft and stretchy depending on the situation.
Up until now, I’ve been figuring out sky attribute magic by self-studying, but there are many cases where everything goes well as long as I basically have a clear image.
When I was expanding the fixed range, I was imaging a leisure sheet expanding and when I was increasing the strength, I was imaging compressing the air that I had already hardened once.
In this case, I think that things will go well if I properly imagine the elasticity of something like vinyl or rubber.
By the way, the fragility of ‘Knife’ might also be solved if I imagine adding suppleness to it when increasing its strength via compression.
“Sorry for breaking your magic umbrella before.”
“Mnh, I thought of a new idea thanks to you breaking it so don’t worry about it, Ines.”
“I’m glad. But, you’re so strange, Nyango. I’ve heard that people usually get disappointed when they find out that they have sky attribute and don’t try to innovate like that.”
“That might be right, but trying things out is fun.”
“I see… maybe I’ll try to practice my water attribute magic too…”
With the exception of those who aim to become knights and adventurers, and those who are involved in construction work, the number of people who practice their attribute magic has decreased recently.
The reason is the development and spreading of magic tools.
Fire, water and wind magic can also be activated by engraved magic using magic circles.
Fire magic tools like the lighter we got at the blowgun, water-dispenser-like magic tools and magic tools that are like electric fans are becoming quite affordable.
Attribute magic won’t activate unless you have a clear image of it and it won’t activate consistently unless you practice.
For example, when Miguel uses fire attribute magic, he activates the fireball with the 50cm diameter that he showed at the rite of independence by sheer force.
If you’re activating magic with sheer force, magic can be activated easily, but a fireball with a diameter of 50cm is too big to use as a source of fire.
It takes practice to wring out the appropriate amount of mana and use magic consistently and if you fail, the force of fire might end up being too strong, the gust of wind might start blowing or the surroundings might get flooded… it’s not impossible for that to happen.
In that regard, magic tools can be activated with a stable output just by pouring mana in them.
Even if you pour in mana excessively, there’s a limit to how much mana you can pour in due to their construction, so basically there won’t be any problems with too much output.
Magic tools are easier to use and above all, they’re convenient because you can use attributes other than the one you were born with.
The school of Attuca village is right next to the village chief’s house.
There are at most 6 students in one grade and there are grades with only one student. The entire school has 21 students but only a few attend every day.
It feels more like a temple elementary school than a regular one, the classrooms aren’t divided by grades, there’s too much difference in the amount of attendance each student has and they have a big academic difference too.
There are three teachers and the students are split into three categories: capable children, ordinary children and troubled children and naturally I’m in the group of troubled children.
Among the children born in Attuca, most of the eldest sons and daughters grow up in the village and spend their whole lives here.
It’s not rare for them to only leave the village once, just for the ‘rite of independence’.
Such people don’t seem to feel the need to study.
In contrast, there’s a group of people who study hard.
The second and third sons of farmers have no choice but to leave the house eventually to reduce the number of mouths that need to be fed.
Even if you leave home, there are limited jobs in the village and you’ll need academic abilities to find a job outside.
I’m also the third son of a tenant farmer so I need to leave the home one day, but frankly speaking, classes are boring.
I learned how to write and read from pharmacist grandma Karisa and I remember how to calculate from my previous life.
I am interested in social climate, but I’d get newer information if I asked peddlers instead of listening to the classes and I have no interest in the history of the royal family.
Instead of studying, I’d rather hone my magic skills and become an adventurer as soon as possible.
I’d happily listen to classes about magic, but it seems that the knowledge about magic circles is only taught in high school or the mage academy in the royal capital.
In other words, I’m thinking about going home as soon as I reach school.
It couldn’t be helped so I decided to act like I was listening to the classes and practice magic at hand.
My task is the flexibility I thought of this morning.
I solidified the air into a 15cm long ruler-like plate.
When I tried to use the old method and increase its strength by compressing it as much as possible and tried applying force by holding its both ends, it broke and dispersed.
This time, I tried hardening the air in the same shape, imaging a rubber plate.
When I held both of its ends and applied force, it bent softly and didn’t break, but it didn’t have enough elasticity and stayed bent.
This is more like a wide rubber cord than a rubber plate.
When I tried pulling on both of its ends, it stretched and didn’t break.
I started having more fun than I would be if I was listening to the class and immersed myself in making materials by changing their softness and elasticity.
As a result, I’ve become able to make materials like resin plate (hard), resin plate (soft), rubber plate (hard), rubber place (soft), vinyl sheet and rubber cord.
I feel like if I use those materials, I can make tough weapons or armor with high defensive powers.
From now on, I’ll review materials each time I use magic.
Classes at school end at noon.
I was thinking about going home while practicing magic again but I saw Miguel and Dulles whispering at the gate.
As I was watching to see what they were plotting, a student was tripped by Dulles’ leg and was knocked over in the mud.
The student, who got not just his raincoat but also his face dirty with mud, Fawkes, my second older brother.
As he tried to get up by propping himself on his hands in the mud, Miguel stepped on his back and my brother once again plunged face first into the mud.
“Hmph, don’t crawl around at a place like that, you’re in the way!”
Miguel kicked my brother, who had a frustrated expression on his face.
Looking at my brother, who was made to roll in the mud, something snapped in my head.
The width of the air I hardened was 3cm, its length was 30cm, its thickness was 3mm and it’s made of a rubber cord.
I set one end in front of Miguel’s nose, as he was looking down on my brother and moved the other end.
60 centimeters, 90 centimeters, 150 centimeters, 250 centimeters… fire!
Smack! Along with a terrible sound like that, Miguel somersaulted and fell over.
It’s not just my imagination that his nose looks red.
I did the same to Dulles’ nose too without a hesitation.
Seeing the two of them covered in mud and writhing in pain, my brother’s eyes widened in surprise and then he turned his gaze towards me.
I put my palms up and gestured that I didn’t know anything, but he didn’t seem to believe me.
My normally fussy brother grinned at me.