<<I will now detail how I lost the duel. I’ll also include my conversation with Marlon. If you reenact it exactly, you should at least be able to anger the guy. In turn, his actions should be the same as in my fight.>>
If Herbert fought like normal and did no preparation at all, he was going to lose against Marlon.
That was because he was far inferior in terms of martial capabilities.
Despite being a commoner, Marlon had the talent to enter the magic academy through a scholarship. Moreover, he had spent some of his time training as a knight back in his hometown.
But while Marlon diligently trained with the sword, Herbert was busy living luxuriously and growing fat.
Sure, the use of magic was permitted in most duels involving nobles, but since the distance between the participants were so short, close combat was nigh unavoidable.
In that case, Herbert—who had exchanged his calluses for flabs of flesh—had no chance of winning. He had neither strength nor stamina, not even a bit.
As for his advantages, well, despite his rustiness in magic, he was still a considerable threat with it. Plus, he had the information supplied by his future self.
Through those two things and whatever else it might take, he had to win that duel. After all, his disinheritance was at stake.
<<Challenging a commoner to a duel, losing so shamefully in front of the public, and then pissing myself, I singlehandedly ruined the reputation of House Unruh. Father was enraged to the point that he quickly disinherited me and sent me off to some remote region.>>
Herbert, who was so confident when he issued the challenge, lost in an instant.
The duel had become a public display of him disgracing himself. One that his father and House Ferdinand—Nell’s noble house—was unable to ignore.
His father’s longstanding displeasure of him came to the surface all at once, and that resulted in his disinheritance.
He was banished to a remote region.
He stayed there for several years, wasting away his days doing pretty much nothing, until a certain event occurred.
That was the summary of the fate awaiting Herbert. The fate he had to prevent.
“Alright, for now, I’ll practice using some spacetime magic. No matter what, I must become able to use this…Delay spell.”
The reason why Herbert asked Rodeo to meet him 3 hours later was so that he could practice using spacetime magic.
It has already been established that using just the four elements wasn’t enough to defeat Marlon. Herbert needed something Marlon wouldn’t expect. And what was better to accomplish that than spacetime magic?
“Perceive the space around me…achieve total spatial awareness, a state where I can reproduce the area even with my eyes closed, was it?”
Spacetime magic was unorthodox magic. Normally, these kinds of magic were self-taught because most people couldn’t use them, much less teach them to others.
Herbert was an exception though: he had his future self as his teacher.
And according to his future self, to use spacetime magic, one must first deepen their perception of the space around them. One needed to perceive everything within that space not in a flat, two-dimensional perspective but in a three-dimensional one.
<<Train yourself to become able to imagine what any object would look like from every angle after looking at it in its entirety only once. Attaining that spatial awareness is the first step to using and mastering spacetime magic.>>
Herbert asked Kevin to prepare a log of wood, and then began examining it from every angle.
Looking at it from above and below, it had an elliptical shape; looking at it from the side, it was rectangular; and changing the angle ever so slightly changed the surface he saw.
He thoroughly memorized what the log of wood would look like from various angles. And then, while keeping his eyes closed, he recalled each perspective repeatedly.
Before long, a three-dimensional image formed in his mind. Yes, he became able to perfectly visualize the log.
Satisfied, he moved on to visualizing other things like a wooden sword, the table, and the chairs.
Having done it once, he didn’t find it hard to do it again.
How about if I split it open? When it comes to spatial awareness, surely that includes the cross-section, right?
Herbert wondered so. He didn’t just follow the advice he was given, he even applied it to further his understanding.
And so, he split various objects in half and memorized what its cross-section looked like.
He then asked himself what its cross-section would like if cut in a different way. Upon visualizing it in his mind, he would then cut the object open in that certain way to verify. Repeating that process over and over, his spatial awareness capability has increased dramatically.
Which just goes to show how truly potent House Unruh’s lineage was.
Thanks to it alone, Herbert had been able to stand somewhat toe to toe with Marlon.
It was just a shame he hadn’t made good use of it.
Before Herbert noticed it, some time had passed already.
He had become so drenched in sweat that his undershirt was sticking to his body.
While he was wiping the sweat off his forehead, he checked the time.
Nearly two hours had already passed since he started his spacetime magic training.
It felt like forever since he had focused this much on something.
And although he was exhausted only mentally, he still felt a satisfaction, almost a high, well up inside him.
Before that wave of adrenaline could die, he moved to the next step.
<<Next, choose an empty space and demarcate it by thinking of it as a three-dimensional object. You then pour and affix your mana into that space. It might be easier to think of it like you’re increasing the power of an elemental magic by using more mana.>>
There were basically 3 steps to do to use magic.
First and foremost was to choose which magic you wanted to use.
Next was to refine your mana while visualizing that magic.
And the last step was to release that refined mana outside of the body, thus converting it into magic.
During that third step, you had the option of adjusting the amount of mana you were pouring out. By expending more mana, your magic would be more powerful than usual.
For this exercise though, Herbert was supposed to channel mana into an empty space without visualizing the magic he was going to use.
This was the first time in his life that Herbert would be doing this.
When he released some mana, as he expected, nothing happened.
Magic was the act of altering phenomena through the use of mana.
When mana is released without any intent of affecting phenomena, it disperses and vanishes soon thereafter without accomplishing anything.
Having proven that, he followed the letter’s instruction and recalled the memory of the log from earlier.
He imposed the shape of the log into the space, and then let his mana flow.
It was only for a moment, but he was able to affix his mana in the space.
I guess I should adjust my mana output when my mana becomes attached to the space.
Herbert took into consideration that hint and tried again.
It was only for a moment longer, but he nonetheless managed to hold his mana in the space this time.
Since he had proven that doing that produced better results, he decided to shake things up in the next few tries. After all, it was a bit dull repeating the exact same thing.
Instead of the shape of a wooden log, he imposed the shape of various other objects.
Thanks to that, he discovered that a spherical shape allowed for the longest time for his mana to remain in place before dispersing.
Basic spells, including Fireball, always appeared to be spherical, so perhaps there was a correlation there.
“Herbert-sama, please take this mana potion.”
“Thanks…ugh, so unsavory as always.”
Obviously, continuously releasing magic power would cause one to run out of it.
Just when Herbert expended all his mana though, Kevin handed a mana potion to him as though the butler foresaw it.
Herbert couldn’t help but be impressed at the old man’s precise timing.
“How do you know I’ve used up my mana?”
“For a butler who has always been by your side, this much is only natural.”
He wasn’t convinced, but he decided to attribute it to Kevin’s excellent powers of observation.
And even though he knew he was being observed a lot, he was both embarrassed and happy.