Chapter 32 - Blood

Soon, the group started to move again, and the Imp replaced Sammy on the seat in the front so that he could properly take a look out at whatever may be happening. But of course, he wasn't needed constantly, so he spent the time that he had to just keep reading his book. He already noticed that his status wasn't much different to before, just that his Health and Mana numbers were a bit higher, the latter especailly, and his 'Race' had really changed to 'Scholar Imp'.

But there was something that the Imp himself was pretty worried about. It was the thing that happened yesterday, when the Imp was trying to move the heat in his body around. Then, the notifications told him that as a Lesser Imp, his body wouldn't be able to take all that 'Mana', and then the pain started.

So now that he wasn't a Lesser Imp anymore, it should work, shouldn't it? Slowly, the Imp chose to try the same thing that he did yesterday. He was worried about the same thing as yesterday happening, but if he was never supposed to be able to use this thing called 'Mana', why did it increase in his status that much? Usually, whenever a number got larger there, it was a good thing, after all.

But even then, the Imp still wanted to be a little bit careful about this, so while he concentrated on the heat in the center of his body again, the Imp just slowly tried to feel where his heart was, and once more slowly moved the heat into that heart. It was very hard to even barely move it, but in the end, his heart ended up taking the heat in without an issue, and the Imp could feel it being spread all over his body.

That's what happened last time as well, so the Imp was still unsure if this would really end up fine. And just when he was thinking that, a notification appeared in front of him.

[Your Body is being saturated in mana. You feel your senses grow more delicate, while your body becomes stronger]

With a slight frown, the Imp looked at these notification before staring down at his own body. These ones were positive notifications, and he wasn't feeling any pain at all. Sure, his body felt a little weird at the moment, but it was a good type of weird.

But at the same time, that feeling disappeared as soon as the Imp's concentration broke down. Although, at the very least, the Imp now knew that he could really do something like this! It didn't have the direct effect that the Imp wanted it to have, meaning that his Water Magic skill wasn't increased, but in the end, the Imp didn't really do anything with his blood directly. If his Goal was to manipulate the water in his body in the form of his blood with his heat, then he did literally the opposite, letting his blood control his heat instead.

So now, the Imp needed to repeat this whole thing again now that he knew that he could really do this properly. Once more, the Imp moved his heat to his heart, but this time didn't let it go like before. Now, he instead kept it directly in his heart, trying to move the blood that was being pushed away from it even faster, in whatever direction it may have been moving at the moment.

Although, the only thing that really happened was that the Imp's arm started to feel a little numb and turned pale, so he quickly let it go again and his arm recovered. In the end, though, something else also came out of that little practice, except that his arm was really starting to hurt for a few moments.

[Beginner Water Magic Skill leveled Up!]

With a smirk on his face, the Imp just directed his thoughts back into the center of his body. He wasn't exactly sure why his arm started feeling like that, but he sure wanted to find out. So, he tried the same thing again, although he didn't seem to remember which way he made his blood flow last time, and this time around, the Imp felt a little bit of pain in the left side of his belly.

But again, the Water Magic Skill leveled up once more. And then, the Imp tried to move the blood using the heat into a whole other direction again, through a different one of these thin lines that he could feel. And then, his right leg started to hurt a bit while turning slightly pale. For now, the Imp chose to do something else instead of moving his blood radically into any direction, and just used his mana to somewhat consciously let his blood move just a slight bit faster, for a simple reason.

The Imp's curiosity took over, and instead of wanting to try and use his 'Magic' a little more, he instead wanted to see what his manipulation of his blood had to do with the pain that was happening in his body exactly.

For that, the Imp wanted to figure out where exactly his blood was going naturally. He didn't really know for how long he was doing it, but soon enough he found that he now knew quite a lot about how his blood was moving through his body, even if not perfectly.

But in the end, this let the Imp figure out one important thing that he quickly wanted to try out, and then quickly grabbed his dagger to do just that. Slowly, the Imp pressed the tip of the dagger into his finger, causing bright red blood to come out of it. There wasn't enough for the Imp to actually try it out properly, so while it hurt him even more, the Imp actually cut a little bit into his finger, surprising the child sitting next to him.

"What are you doing...?" Arc asked surprised, although with a bit of curiosity in his voice, and the Imp just ignored him and tried to manipulate the heat again, slowly moving it into his heart and along the numerous different strands inside of his body over toward the ones closest to his finger. For a while, the Imp held his hand downward onto a spare piece of cloth, causing drops of blood to steadily appear out of his wound and drop onto the cloth. But when the Imp moved his blood in a way that it wouldn't give any more blood from the strands to his flesh in that area, the dripping stopped, and Arc raised his eyebrows confused.

"Huh? Did you heal yourself..?" He inquired, trying to lean forward toward the Imp's finger as it began to drip more blood out of his wound when he let go of that control over his finger. And actually, he was able to make it bleed a little quicker than before as well, although that seemed counterproductive, really. He lost a little bit of HP through this, though, so it maybe wasn't the best way to test this new neat little trick out. If he had been able to use this sometime before, the Imp wouldn't have needed to worry about running away from Gard when he slashed him across the chest. Although in the end, that probably would have meant that the Imp would have died instantly after the man's next attack.

Either way, if he could stop himself from bleeding, that would definitely be useful... At least that's what the Imp was thinking for now he had to test it out properly later. For now, he had to stop himself from bleeding until everything healed at least a little bit to not let any more blood out naturally.

"I stopped... the blood." The Imp explained to Arc, who still seemed to be pretty curious about what just happened, but Arc raised his eyebrows confused, "What, how'd you do that?!" He asked excitedly, but the Imp just shrugged in response.

"The Water... Magic Skill..." The Imp replied quite coldly, and Arc looked at him just as excitedly as before. "Whoa, water magic's so cool! I didn't know you could do that to your blood!" Arc exclaimed, and the Imp just looked at his finger with a frown. This was a rather simple thing to do for him, and he just started using this new skill. So this shouldn't be too hard for others to do either, right?

Well, for now, the Imp was happy that he could do it, others really didn't matter much to him. What mattered most was that the Imp was now able to use the heat at least a little bit, enough to be able to move it throughout his body. He couldn't really move it all that wildly though, not in a straight line at least, so he wasn't able to just pull it out of his body anywhere.

For now at least, the Imp had to move the heat through his blood toward placed like his fingertips, something quite convenient for what the Imp wanted to test out.

First, he wanted to try it on the card he got at Zaragon's shop, and moved the heat from his finger into that card, causing a decorated, shiny golden cup to appear in its stead. That did remind the Imp of those other shiny things though, maybe he should try them out with the heat later as well... But for now, the Imp looked into that cup, noticing that it was... empty.

The Black Liquid that was inside there was gone now, sadly, and a notification appeared just when the Imp was thinking about the possible reasons for it not being there.

[The Ace of Cups will be refilled in 27 Days, 17 Hours, 31 Minutes, 11 Seconds]

With a slight frown, the Imp just took his dagger and stabbed the notifcation to make it disappear. Arc looked at him a bit startled for a moment, but then just started to slightly laugh at the Imp about this, because it just looked pretty funny to him.

Annoyedly, the Imp tried to do anything at and then found that his 'heat' was still inside the cup. The Imp wasn't sure how exactly he could feel that, but he did. And so, he swiftly pulled it back out of the dumb cup, before it turned back into a card. Surprised, the Imp tilted his head to the side, and then pushed his head back into the card, and when he did so, the cup appeared inside of his hand again. And when he pulled it back out, it once more just turned into a card, and the Imp made a relatively quick connection to how these cards worked.

With the heat inside of it, it turned into something else, and without the heat inside of it, it would turn back into a card! That was pretty simple, actually!

So, as simple as that was, the Imp tried to do the same thing again, just with his second card, the three of swords.

The story of this card seemed really unpleasant to the Imp, but judging from it, he would go mad if he used these too long. The same thing happened with Gard when he was using it as well, didn't it?

Careful, so that the Imp could pull the heat back out as soon as it seemed to become dangerous, he slowly pushed the heat into the card, and before he knew it a tight ring appeared around the Imp's index finger. But weirdly enough, instead of the four that the man had before, the Imp really only got this one ring, with only a single, pretty short version of the same weapon. It was still the same blade, but the string connecting them seemed pretty short when compared to the ones that Gard had.

But at the very least, he wasn't feeling as if he was being taken over, so that was good for now!

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