Oh, How Genius
I lie awake in my bed, looking up at the ceiling. It’s dark, I’ve had dinner, and it’s quite a bit past my bedtime. I should really be asleep, but I have my Gift still wrapped around my head, signifying I have no intention of sleeping. Not right now at least.
With my Gift, I can get a rough idea of how much mana is in my body at any time. I hear you need a specific skill to do that normally, but with my Gift it’s pretty easy. My mana capacity is much higher than a normal 10 year old’s should really be.
Nobles have a tendency to have rather high inclinations to magic, but that isn’t really a hard set rule. Pretty much anyone can get really lucky and be blessed with a higher mana capacity. Brother for example has a rather high capacity even among nobles.
That might be a factor contributing to all this mana, but the more likely reason is all the intense training I’ve been doing for the past 2 years. The more you use mana, the more mana you can use, and between normal magic and my Gift I’ve been using mana a lot.
Even after using magic a bit today, the vast majority of it is still there. Yes, I still have a lot, so why not use one more spell today? One that’s always drained it like nothing else? I’m referring to the spell that makes me have those visions.
The first time I used it, it drained all of my mana and I passed out. The second time, even one vision took out a huge chunk of my mana. I have a lot more mana to use right now than back then though. It has been two years.
Yes, I think I’m going to do it. The more information I have to go off, the better. I’ll try to store all those memories within my Gift too, but I’m not sure how much mana that will cost. Alright, get that spell up and running, and then start.
I pour the power of my Gift around my eyes, and try to make my life flash before my eyes. Nothing happens. I try again, and again, but I can’t get the spell to work. I was worried that that might happen.
Each time that spell activated, it was because I felt that my life was in danger. That might be a prerequisite to activate it. Oh well, I have a plan around that. I can’t use wind magic well enough to use in combat, but it should prove useful here.
I use wind manipulation to block off all the air in my nose and mouth. In other words, I’m keeping myself from breathing. This isn’t going to be easy, but I’ll have to put up with it. My body wants air, but it doesn’t get any. Until the spell works, I’ll keep it from getting any.
I start fidgeting, but I still don’t stop using the magic. Even knowing the spell will cut out if I do lose consciousness, it’s still hard. My body starts to move on its own. I grab my throat and heave heavily, desperate for any kind of air at all. Time seems to slow down, but I keep the skill active.
I start making choking noises, and my body starts convulsing. I jump out of bed and fall over onto the floor. My lungs hurt. The pain is spreading, and I’m having trouble thinking. I keep trying to think “Just a little longer,” but my survival instincts are slowly starting to overpower those orders.
I lay on the floor, fidgeting so much you’d be forgiven if you thought I was in the middle of a seizure. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, everything hurts. I can’t think. Air! Air! Air! I need air! I’m going to die…
The spell activates. In an instant, I’m no longer laying on my bedroom floor, gasping for air. I try to look around, but can’t. Like when I gained Rain’s memories. I never noticed that before, it must be because I was actively trying to have the visions this time.
I sit at a cafeteria table, with conversations going on all around me. I sit in front of that feminine looking man from the first time I had these visions. We’re both in the same uniform. So they’re still remaining consistent.
“You got that? Next time we’re on break, help me sneak off. I want to work on my hellfire.” he says to me.
“As if. You’re already aware I don’t like fire. It’s so ridiculously unwieldy, and I have no intention of getting burnt again.” The words come out of my own mouth, against my own will.
“You owe me a favor.”
“I’ll lend you Azazel for a day. That kind of stuff is much more in her alley anyway.”
I keep talking against my will. Who even is Azazel? Can I speed this up a bit? I manipulate mana around my eyes extremely slightly, and the vision changes completely. I can manipulate them? I have no idea how to, but it’s revolutionary that I can guide them in any sort of way.
“Psychopath!” I yell without any input from me again.
I recognize the woman in front of me from one of the earlier visions. I notice she also has a Gift of Knowledge. Did she have that before? We’re in a dark workplace, and she seems very distressed.
“I don’t need your input. What could you possibly know about any of my work? This is more important than anything you’ve ever done in your entire useless life, I can tell you that much!”
“This isn’t life! This is something else! Stop and reevaluate what you’re doing. If you can’t even do that then you don’t even deserve that thing wrapped around your neck!” I yell.
I can tell from the tone of my voice, that I mean every word of what I say. I feel emotions of rage and anger building in me, aimed at this girl. What has she done?
I turn around and walk up to a box she has laying around. I grab the lid, and start trying to rip it open.
“Lilith, wait, that’s-”
She doesn’t get to finish as I open the box. Inside is a dead and decomposing body. The moment I see it I flood my eyes with mana in order to switch visions. Even though I only saw it for a brief moment, that thing is going to appear in my nightmares.
I’m in some sort of extremely fancy looking office. The back wall of the room is all windows, and in front of those windows is a mature yet young looking woman sitting at a large and fancy desk. She has a Gift hanging from her neck.
I look to the sides. Beside me is a girl I recognize from the visions, and the other side is a girl I don’t recognize.
“Lilith Amber,” the woman in front begins, “how has your stay in Uxak Elite Academy been? As the daughter of a duchess, I’m worried everything here doesn’t quite meet your standards.”
“You sell yourself short, ma’am. I haven’t been dissatisfied with a single thing here.” It’s someone that I’d speak to pretty respectively, apparently.
“Ah, that’s good. And what about my daughter, Tia? I hope you haven’t been suckling up to her because she’s the daughter of the Head Mistress?”
Head Mistress? Of Uxak Elite Academy? This woman? That explains my tone.
“With all due respect, ma’am, I treat all people as I would anyone else. Tia here simply hasn’t done anything to attract my ire, yet.” I say.
“Is that so? Then do you mind explaining why you gaslit her, and convinced her to steal the keys to my private library for you?”
What?! I did that?! What’s wrong with this version of me?! No, there’s no proof. There’s always the possibility that I was framed, or this was just a misunderstanding.
“Because I needed a book from there.”
What?! I’m admitting to it?! What kind of defense is that?!
“And you needed it so badly, you found it necessary to hurt my daughter in such a way?”
I’m starting to doubt the authenticity of these visions. There is no way I would ever defend myself so badly. I feel the auras grating into me from the people beside me. From the person I recognized, sadness, guilt, and from the one I didn’t, intense anger directed towards me.
“I know you weren’t acting alone. Tell me who you were working with, and I’ll let you off with only having to apologize.”
The person I didn’t recognize bolts out of her chair.
“Mother! You couldn’t possibly be considering that! I mean, look at her!” So the other one is also a daughter of the Head Mistress?
“I can’t do that, ma’am. I required that book, but I also require the trust of the people I was working with. I’ll return the book, and accept whatever punishment you give me, but my lips are sealed. Do whatever you want with me, torture me in front of the whole school, if you’d like.”
“There is no way I could do something so barbaric. I love every student here, so I’m already well aware of the group you hang out with. Your main assistants were Gina and Azazel, weren’t they?”
“Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I completely skipped over them. Maybe I involved Dara too, maybe even Caelan? Maybe I strong armed Valentine in as well, maybe I bribed some custodians to look the other way? Are you really going to punish the entire school over this?”
The vision changes before I can get what I want out of it. I don’t even have the time to collect my thoughts.
I find myself running backwards as fast as I can. I’m locked in combat with the girl that called for my execution in a previous vision. I keep stabbing my halberd at her, but every time she punches it out of the way with her bare hands. What?! How?!
I notice that just before and as my halberd hits her skin, her Gift glows a bit. A spell having to do with her Gift? How does it work? How do I get around it?
She punches my halberd up over her shoulder, and charges at me faster than I can retreat. She punches me right in the stomach, and I feel it… I had a plate of metal between my dress and my actual stomach, and her punch was so hard I still felt the impact.
I’m launched backwards, but I stab my halberd down, slicing her right arm off. If she felt any pain she didn’t show it, and still continued to charge at me. As I land, I use earth manipulation to maintain my footing.
I stab my halberd forward, as fast as I can. I hit her right in the heart, but I can’t puncture her skin. Was I aiming to kill? She grabs my halberd, and tried to wrestle it out of my hands with her remaining arm. I try to hold on, but it isn’t easy.
A sword punctures her heart from behind. One moment she’s fine, and in the next there’s a dyed red blade sticking out right where her heart should be. The blade retracts, and she falls to the floor, blood oozing out of her chest.
That young looking man that held his sword to her throat in another vision was the one behind it. He’s looking down at the woman who was going after my life, crying. He looks shaken, as if that was the first time he’s killed a person.
“Lilith… are you OK?” He asks me.
Suddenly, the woman looks up at me despite her injuries. Her eyes are filled with hate once again. She says something too quiet to be legible, and her whole body starts glowing.
“Lilith! Get out of here!” The man yells, completely switching out of that shock from just now.
He swings his sword, creating something that reminds me of a nebula. I create a wall of earth in front of me, as I try to run away. Am I… afraid?
Suddenly a bright light fills my vision, and my body is thrown away like a rag doll. My Gift is flung off of my head and sent in a totally different direction from my body. I feel no pain due to my spell, which is good, because I think if I could feel pain, I’d have blacked out instantly.
After my body finally settles, I use my Gift to check its status. All my skin has been burnt off. That isn’t an exaggeration, all of my skin has actually been burnt off. The rest of my body is in similarly dire straits.
My hair’s on fire and falling off my scalp, both of my eyes are damaged to the point I’ll be completely blind for the rest of my life even with medical attention, over a hundred of my bones are broken, my left arm’s about to fall off, I’m paralyzed from the waist down, there’s a piece of wood lodged in my abdomen, all my limbs are broken, my skull is fractured, I have internal bleeding all over my body, pretty much no matter what’s done to me I’m going to die.
What? Why am I dying here? According to the visions, I die fighting against guards, and then bleeding out. Why am I dying to that woman’s suicide bomb? They’ve remained consistent up until this point, so why are they different now?
“Lilith! Lilith, where are you?!” I hear that man yelling for me.
How are you in a good enough state to be looking for me while all of that happened to me? What was that spell you used? Whatever, I’ll think of it later.
Actually, how am I still able to think so clearly? I definitely got a concussion in that explosion, I mean, my skull is fractured. I know I’m still thinking, because I still feel this version of me’s fear and desperation. Did I come up with a spell to store my consciousness in my Gift? Would I do that even if I could?
My body’s almost dead. I’m not breathing anymore, and even if I was, not enough blood is getting to my brain to keep it functioning. Just a little bit longer. Ah, there it is again, death.
I’m still experiencing, though. I can still see, although that’s only because of my Gift. This isn’t like last time. I’m still awake and thinking even though my body’s totally dead. This version of me is still alive somehow.
I feel this version of me doing something with her Gift. Oh. I never thought of that. It isn’t a replacement for my real body by any means, but… ah, that’s actually genius. The moment I get out of this vision I need to get this exact precaution ready. I already have all the skills necessary, too. It’s just a matter of getting the hang of it.