While Rick was mindlessly practicing in the yard alone, I was on the floor on fours panting.
“Haah… Haah…” I breathed.
Before me was the floor splattered with my fluids.
“You’re unlucky this time,” Erina said while stroking my back.
“Aren’t.. you.. going to ask.. if I’m okay?” I said in between breaths.
“Do you want me to ask? You’ll obviously say ‘Of course I’m not’ anyway, right?”
Then a sudden urge to hurl started to swell from my stomach again. Currently, I’m alone with Erina inside the bathroom. I’ve made the other servants leave since there’s a possibility this might occur. Of course, it’s not because I’m pregnant or something. Just to make sure, I haven’t done it, I’m innocent and pure, a maiden.
Anyway, the cause of this unsightly event is the mana herb. Yes, the mana herb. The mana herb is also known as a weed because of its usual appearance. It’s a plant that automatically camouflages itself based on the nearby plants. Due to this, it usually copies the weeds surrounding it, hence being called a weed. Because of its capabilities, it’s quite hard to find, but not necessarily rare.
Its weed form is its base appearance. It changes once it consumes a mana shard or anything that contains mana. But since it consumes mana continuously, mana shards are usually used to feed it. Once fully grown, it can be easily distinguished from other plants. It usually has a translucent appearance with a fluid like substance continuously flowing all throughout the plant.
“Erina.. I think I’m okay now..” I said weakly.
“Then let’s get you washed.”
After being washed clean, I was supported by Erina and was laid on the bed.
“Ugh… The side effect really sucks.” I muttered while my wrist covers my eyes.
Right, consuming mana herbs has a side effect. The side effect upsets the consumer’s mana flow in the body, creating an experience similar to a high fever that usually lasts for one to two hours.
The side effect does not include the upset stomach in the list. That one is due to the taste of the herb itself. Usually, the taste of the mana herb is random. No one knows why its taste is random. Some scholars from Academia thought that the type of mana it consumes dictated the taste, but that idea was proved partly wrong. The reason was a test that incorporated that idea, but the result was still random, but with a slightly higher probability that the taste would be of the same type.
In any case, the taste of the mana herb is random but ranges from mild to the extremes. Usually, it would only incorporate one of the types of taste, but there are cases where it exhibits more than one taste at the same time.
To cut to the chase, I was unlucky the taste was on the level of extremes and contained multiple types of taste. It's horrible to be exact.
In history, it was even used to prove innocence, if the person hurls, he is considered guilty, else innocent.
So why would I consume such a horrible thing? It’s because it raises the mana capacity of the consumer.
“Erina, please turn away anything that is not urgent like usual,” I muttered.
“Understood, your Highness.”
Afterward, footsteps and the sound of the door opening then closing could be heard.
Well, let’s continue. First, let’s start with mana capacity. It is the amount a person could use to drive magic to manifest. In that regard, humans are considered to have low mana capacity. To make a scale, I guess we can use fireballs as a measure.
In average, humans can manifest 20 fireballs before fainting, in my case it's 22. To increase that, humans either needs to keep on draining his/her mana to the point of fainting or consume a mana herb. To be straight, draining mana is inefficient and dangerous, hence the use of mana herbs.
It was found that mana herbs increase the consumer’s mana capacity by around two percent of the consumer’s current capacity. But that is if you are able to consume it immediately without hurling. If you failed, the effect would be less, and the side effects would still persist. In addition, the larger the mana capacity becomes, the longer the side effect persists.
Ugh… If only there’s some sort of medicine for this.
To be honest, I didn’t want to consume the herb after the meal. The reason is that the effect of increasing mana capacity is at its best after a meal according to the books I read so far. I want to prove it wrong, but I don’t have enough resources to test it out, and it’d be a huge waste in case I'm wrong.
In any case, there is a reason for increasing mana capacity.
One is to extend a person’s capability to manifest magic multiple times or manifest a magic of a higher grade. Currently, there are three basic grades, which are basic, intermediate, and advanced. There are still other levels besides this three, but that's for another time.
The second is to unlock a person’s magic affinity. Humans at least, start with a neutral affinity. Being neutral lets the person manifest any element he wishes from the six basic elements without additional effects. Accordingly, the six basic elements are Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, and lastly, Dark.
In reality, the first affinity is decided by attitude or emotion, or sometimes by a turning point in a person’s life. To make an example, my first affinity was dark. This was caused by the despair from that event.
For the second, it is decided by both mana capacity and the previous condition. The mana capacity needed is about one and a half to twice your original capacity. To make an example, my second affinity is light which is probably caused by my determination to continue Grandfather’s wish. In addition, I have consumed about 41 mana herbs during my 5 years which is about 220 percent or less from my original.
For the third onwards, there are currently not enough tests to point out the conditions. Neither have I reached this point, but some True Scholars from Academia did, but the conditions were completely different from each other.
But there is a problem with the condition that concerns emotion. It would be better to give examples rather than explaining.
Consider a boy. This boy is extremely loyal and has a burning sense of passion. Well, anyway, because of his attitude, his possible affinity is either Fire or Light. This is because emotion leans from one side to another and is impossible to measure.
Another example is a girl. This girl works on an orphanage and takes care of the children. She is known to be gentle with handling children. Her affinity this time would either be Water, Wind or Light. The same reason applies to the first. Do you get it now?
Well, let’s have another one. Now let’s have a slave. This slave is filled with hatred from being sold by her parents as payment and was treated as a toy. Her affinity would probably be Dark, but it there’s a possibility that it would be Fire.
Basically, emotions overlap with each other if based on the six elements.
Other than the six basic elements, there’s a second stage or compound elements. An example would be my affinity of Light and Dark which results to me specializing in illusion magic. But this topic would be on another level so I guess we could leave it for now.
Anyway, that’s enough explaining. I’ll go sleep for now.
Several hours later, I could hear a voice speaking.
Uhh… What is it… I still want to sleep…
“Your Highness, please wake up, you have a visitor.”
“Who.. is it?” I asked while rubbing my eyes.
“It’s her Highness Elaine, your Highness,” Erina answered.
“Ah, let her in.” Erina nodded from my order.
When the door opened, my sister Elaine entered.
“Elder Sister, I came to play, but…” Elaine spoke then wore an incredulous expression.
“Hm?” I tilted my head.
“Why are you wearing that elder Sister?” Elaine pointed.
I looked at the clothes I was wearing.
“Ah, s-sorry Elaine, can you leave for a minute? I’ll just c-change my clothes. Haha..” I smiled wryly.
Then Elaine left the room.
In the early morning of the next day, we were all lined up in front of the palace. By we, I mean, Mother, Father, Duke Tervin, Argent, Elaine, Erina, the servants, and lastly the guards. Oh, Marco is also included since he has been working for Mother specializing in tracking Father’s whereabouts. Rick, Fae, and Camille are not included because of Father’s presence.
In any case, we are gathered here because this is the day I will be traveling into Alabaster to meet the Tribe. I don’t really know how long it would take for me to stay there and convince them to re-establish the trade with Aves. This is also the first time I will be traveling without my servants and guards, so I’m feeling quite uneasy.
I embraced both Mother and Father first and asked them to “Wait for my return.”
I did the same with Duke Tervin, Elaine, and Argent. It might take some time so it’s a bit emotional.
Marco is fine without a hug because I gave him a chub.
Lastly, it was Erina. Erina, as a servant handed me a bag containing things I might need for the travel.
I immediately checked the bag, brought out a clothe then returned it over to Erina.
“I won’t be needing this, Erina,” I said with a bright smile.
“It’s a shame,” Erina answered.
Who would even bring a nightwear in the mountains?! And haven’t you had your fun yesterday when I was sleeping?!
Then Erina brought out a pouch, reached for my hand, placed it on my palm and closed it.
“Please take care, you Highness.” Erina then spoke with a serious tone, unlike her usual playful and teasing attitude.
“Yes. I will.” I returned then embraced Erina as deep as I embraced Mother. “Please continue in believing in me Erina. You can shame me whenever you want if I fail to do so.”
Erina returned my embrace quietly.
After that, the messenger arrived, and then we set out towards Alabaster.