Chapter 0003 Ice Formation
The fourth day after arriving at 『Phi』.
He still could not decipher the Icicle Lance even after a night’s sleep.
In fact, there was an even more urgent issue in the morning.
He was hungry.
Thinking back, he had only eaten dried meat since he was reincarnated.
Furthermore, he basically only ate lunch.
Ryo was by no means a large eater but he was a healthy nineteen-year-old.
His stomach would growl if he ate too little.
If he died of starvation despite Michael (pseudonym) preparing two month’s worth of food for him … he wouldn’t know what kind of face to make if he gets reincarnated again and sees Michael’s (pseudonym) face.
He first headed to the storage.
After passing through the door, it was cold as a cold room. Probably due to the inner walls made of ice.
Those were probably made with water attribute magic but … the ice Ryo makes would begin melting once he stops channeling magical power through it.
But the inner wall made of ice in the storage showed no signs of melting at all.
Was Michael’s (pseudonym) magical power reaching this place?
Or did this embody a higher aptitude in water attribute that Ryo had not seen?
Either possibility was interesting.
He will one day solve that mystery … but first he had to satisfy his hunger!
He could first eat the dried meat but as expected, after four days, he wanted to eat something else.
Right, that would be roast meat!
There were frozen beast and monster meat lined up in the storage.
Rabbit, boar, and chicken-like meats … and they have been dismantled, butchered, and lined up nicely.
“These meats have been through dismantling … I believe Michael (pseudonym) prepared this. In other words, he’s saying that I can obtain edible meat if I dismantle them this way. Michael (pseudonym) is such a capable man.”
While thanking him for his consideration, he took down two pieces of what looked like rabbit thigh meat.
“They are really frozen solid. I wonder if I can melt them. It would be great … if they would naturally start melting once they leave the storage.”
Ryo exited the storage shed with meats in both hands.
Then, he placed them in the pail. The all-purpose pail!
Sunlight from the slowly climbing sun illuminated both lumps of meat.
However, they didn’t seem to be melting at all.
“Is he telling me to defrost them myself as a water attribute magician …”
Holding his right hand over one of the frozen meats, he formed an image in his head.
He imagined breaking the bonds of the water molecules in the ice that covered the meat.
“Eh? I feel like I’m being repelled.”
He couldn’t peel off the bonds between the water molecules.
And he didn’t just fail to do so. Ryo could sense clear feedback in his head.
“Is this because it isn’t ice I made myself? There’s a rejection because Michael made it?”
But there was no way he would give up that easily.
He couldn’t live without eating.
In the first place, since Michael (pseudonym) prepared it, it should be able to melt and eat.
After all, Michael is a capable man. So it should be doable!
“I’ll do it without rushing.”
He didn’t aim to melt the entire piece at one go but focused on a single location. He felt himself concentrate his magical power on that location and broke the bond between the molecules.
Next, he broke the bonds next to it. And next to that. And next to that …
The ice at the places where the bonds were broken turned into water.
Finally, after around 15 minutes, he defrosted a piece of rabbit thigh meat.
Even after taking that much time, the other piece of frozen meat remained rock solid and didn’t show any signs of melting.
“Michael’s magic is amazing. Let’s experiment on the other frozen piece. I wonder what will happen if I directly roasted Michael’s ice.”
He prepared firewood and black palm bark in the yard.
Then, he brought the salt that Michael (pseudonym) prepared from the kitchen.
Incidentally, of the seasonings prepared by Michael (pseudonym), there was only a large amount of salt.
He skewered the thawed thigh meat on a branch and sprinkled it with salt.
And then, he made the usual ice lens.
Perhaps because he made it multiple times, initially it took him about 15 minutes just to freeze water but now it only took him two minutes to directly create an ice lens.
“I’ve gotten quite used to it.”
It was nice to see his progress in a measurable way.
Using the ice lens, he focused the sunlight onto the black palm bark to create fire.
He blew on the embers to make it bigger and transferred it to firewood.
He then stuck the branch skewered with thigh meat on the ground beside the fire.
Then, he held the frozen thigh meat in his hands and held it over the fire.
The frozen meat did not show any signs of melting even above a fire.
“This is quite a surreal scene …”
Conclusion: Meat frozen by Michael (pseudonym) does not melt even when roasted over a fire.
The thigh meat skewered on a stick had roasted nicely during the time he took to reach that conclusion.
“Thank you for the meal.”
He finally had a decent meal for the first time on his fourth day.
It was so delicious it made him want to cry.
Or rather, Ryo ate while actually crying.
Ryo used the same method to melt the other frozen thigh meat and roasted it before eating comfortably.
He thought about what he should achieve today.
First would be icicle lance … he still had no clue why it didn’t fly.
He didn’t get a flash of inspiration because he didn’t have all the information.
He wouldn’t get an answer even if he thought about it for a long time.
In that case, he should try something else and wait for the information he needed to solve it.
Time was limited after all.
He was already quite used to ice formation.
But if for example, he wanted to use it while in battle with monsters, it would probably still be difficult.
It took one minute from the formation of the icicle lance to launch. Although it still couldn’t fly either.
The formation of ice lens took two minutes.
Either one had a significant reduction in formation time compared to when he initially made them.
But more. He had to shorten it even further.
When fighting monsters, he was putting his life on the line.
There was no room for compromise.
He had to be proficient to the level of completing the formation in one second.
Ryo made that decision and started practice.
He tried creating all kinds of ice.
An Icicle-shape like for an icicle lance.
It was an ice spear of about 2 meters in length.
Ice sheet, ice pillar, ice wall, and such …
He noticed something during that time.
The way to make 『Hard ice』.
Even on Earth, there were hard ice and ice that were hard to melt.
By removing the air within the water, it would become difficult to melt.
That could be achieved by first boiling the water to expel the air within before freezing it.
Now, how should Ryo form his ice to produce harder ice?
When freezing, it would be more solid if he excluded the air.
To achieve that, he tried freezing from inside out.
Normally, when water freezes, it would freeze from outside in. As such, the air contained inside water would solidify inside the water and form bubbles.
However, he could form ice using magic. So he could just freeze from within!
Ice formed that way would probably be harder than the ice made without any thought put into it.
Ryo firmly believed so.
For lunch, he had the usual dried meat as he earnestly repeated the formation of ice.
Forming with his right hand, forming with his left hand, or even forming using his feet … he practiced while assuming as many situations as possible.
While he was absorbed in doing so, he suddenly noticed that the sun was setting and it was reaching evening.
“I have to enter the bath.”
He ate, took a bath, and once again repeated magic training.
Such a cultured life.
Ryo was happy.
The fifth day he came to 『Phi』.
Today, he tried reviewing what he learned up to today.
In the morning, he took out rabbit thigh meat from the storage just like yesterday and roasted it to eat.
Thawing the meat, lighting a fire, roasting, eating … it went smoothly.
And as a continuation from the day before, he created ice.
After training for an entire day yesterday, he could now produce an icicle lance in 20 seconds and reduced the creation of the ice lens to 20 seconds as well.
But it was still not at the level of being of practical use.
Of course, as long as he could not launch the icicle lance, he could not use it for battle but he would never know what kind of skill would protect him in what situation.
Furthermore, the creation of ice was likely to be a skill that he would use for this entire life.
As such, his goal was to raise it to such a level that he could form ice as naturally as breathing.
Ice spear, ice sheet, icicle, ice walls etc …
He would create and melt it, melt it and form, in a perpetual cycle of repetition.
During lunch, Ryo was chewing on dried meat as usual.
In the afternoon, he devoted his time to the formation of ice.
Suddenly, when he looked up at the sky, something fell on his cheeks.
He was experiencing the first rainfall since reincarnating to this land.
“Fuu, it’s a good time to take a breath and enter the bath.”
In the home prepared by Michael (pseudonym), there was no such thing as glass windows.
There were windows but they were in the form of hollowed-out walls and could be covered during rain with a wooden board.
And there were no lamps in the room.
And no fire.
Right, it was pitch dark.
It wasn’t an issue up until yesterday.
After all, usually after entering the bath, he would use magic outside until he ran out of magical power.
Then, he would return to bed and lose consciousness.
The windows were left open and the room was illuminated by moonlight but he was usually not in the state of mind to recognize it.
Today, due to the rain, the windows were shut and there was no moonlight.
“But it does not affect magic training.”
He got up from the bath, laid down on the bed, and repeated ice formation which he was doing outside.
Instead of letting it melt after formation, he made it turn into water vapor in the air.
By doing so, he could avoid melting ice that would soak his bed.
After repeatedly forming ice yesterday and today, he managed to reduce the time for ice to take shape to five seconds.
Just as he realized that, he ran out of magical power tonight as well.
Ryo let go of his consciousness as he erased the icicle lance.
For a week after that, he spent all his time creating ice.
The 12th day since he came to 『Phi』.
Finally, he could create icicle lances almost instantly, in less than a second.
However, he still could not launch the icicle lance.
That said, he finally had a goal.
Of course, the goal of leaving the barrier.
His goal was set but his preparations were not complete.
First, he had to secure a means of recovery.
The staple of an other world reincarnation would be potions.
The plant materials that act as ingredients for potions were listed in the 『Plant Encyclopedia: Beginner’s Edition』.
But even though it was listed, Ryo was not confident that he could secure the ingredients other than the plants needed.
However, leaving the barrier without a means of recovery was reckless and idiotic.
Even though it would not heal as much as a potion, some plants could help heal an injury by just grinding it and putting it on a wound.
So first he decided to secure those plants within the barrier.
If he could do so, then he would plan to leave the barrier the next day.
According to the 『Plant Encyclopedia: Beginner’s Edition』, the most commonly used method to treat an injury was the Wound Grass that was aptly named.
It seemed that townsfolk regularly use it as getting a potion was difficult.
Wound Grasses were growing just behind the house.
It was so dense that it could be said to be growing en masse.
“Wonderful. Sometimes having it in easy mode is great too! It would be great if the icicle lance problem could be solved easily too …”
Ryo sighed and complained about something that would anger 80% of the residents in 『Phi』 that can’t use magic.
It was a shame that he could not procure inside the barrier the other grass called Detoxifying Grass that had an antidote effect when brewed and drunk.
He would have to look for it when he exited the barrier.
Securing flint and Detoxifying grass were his first goals.
After that, he would identify if it was possible to hunt and procure food.
His only physical means of attacking was the knife that Michael (pseudonym) prepared.
The knife was considered large, having a 20cm blade but he would have to get close to his opponent if he wanted to use it as a weapon.
To be honest, Ryo didn’t see himself as capable of doing so at the moment.
It would be better if he widened the reach.
“The length of the spear gives soldiers a sense of security.”
The king of the sixth heaven realm said that … probably.
He made the knife into a spear.
That said, he didn’t use water attribute magic.
He made a physical spear.
He used something that looked like bamboo … or rather, it was bamboo no matter how he looked at it, and cut it to the right length.
He could use it as a bamboo spear but he had a knife after all so he split the end of the bamboo and slotted the knife there.
He wrapped it with ivy that he gathered and tied it tightly so that the knife wouldn’t drop.
As a final touch, he would secure the knife with ice right before leaving the barrier.
Naturally, he did not make a six meters long spear just like the Owari soldiers but a two meters long spear that was easier to handle.
The three Japanese famous spears were the Nihongo that was 3.2 meters long, Otegine which was 3.8 meters long, and Tonbokiri that was 20 shaku long, or 6 meters long … such lengths were impossible for an amateur to wield.
An ice spear could be used as a physical weapon but there was no telling what would happen in battle.
He could not say for certain that he could calmly create ice when his life was on the line.
“For now, let’s take today slowly and prepare to leave the barrier tomorrow.”
Ryo had been depleting his magical power almost every day by using magic before sleeping.
One of the reasons was because Michael (pseudonym) mentioned that he could train by practice.
Of course, the other reason was to gain experience and reach a point where he could use magic as easily as breathing.
However, there was no way to tell if his magical power would completely recover by the time he woke up. That was because he could not see his remaining magical power in a quantified manner.
With that in mind, he decided to rest for today to allow his body’s magical power to recover to its limit before leaving the barrier the next day.
He read the 『Monster’s Encyclopedia: Beginner’s Edition』 until the day turned dark, ate roasted meat, entered the bath, and slept.
Then, he welcomed the morning of the decisive battle.