There were many ways to go about this spell, but Ikaris was hopeful that he could pull it off. Simply because what he was about to cast was basically an Appraisal Skill.
Malia hadn't explained it clearly, but she had taught him enough about the underlying mechanisms governing the birth of new Secondary Sparks that he could come up with his own theories. He would only be able to verify them through experimentation.
If, for example, someone cast a Fireball spell, they would obviously develop a Fireball Spark/Skill, but they may also develop other Secondary Sparks to a lesser extent, such as Flame Control, Sphere Creation, etc.
Since this was not the focus of the spell, these Secondary Sparks would surely progress at a slower rate, but in the long run the Sorcerer could expect increased proficiency in other Firespells, or spherical spells such as Waterball, Iceball etc...
All this was just guesswork, but Ikaris had the feeling that he was not too far from the truth.
To return to the System Spell he intended to attempt, this one would be initially an Appraisal Skill cast on himself, but in time he intended to expand it and broaden its scope to other targets. If it was as he understood it, he could first visualize a very simple interface, and then through constant practice, make his spell more complex and add more functions as casting the System Spell became easier.
In the long run, if Malia hadn't lied, this System would become something permanent and intuitive, completely part of him. At this point, Ikaris didn't yet know if such an undertaking would take him days or years, but he could only determine that by testing.
'For this System to have any meaning at all I need it to notify me in real time of the status of each of my Sparks, but also of my physical condition.' The youth predicted calmly as he began to devise this mental interface.
He tried to remember what these interfaces looked like in some of his favorite video games, but in the end it was the simple and uncluttered interface of his workplace computer that lingered in his mind. White letters on a black background. It couldn't be more basic, but the advantage was that it was extremely easy to visualize.
'The clearer I can picture this System, the more effective the spell will be. The average human has a hard time keeping track of more than 7 to 9 elements at once, unless they group them together to form new subgroups.' Ikaris reasoned further, realizing that imagining a System with hundreds of different stats and attributes for his first attempt was the best way to fail.
To increase his odds of success, he closed his eyes and imagined writing random words anywhere on a black screen with no connection to each other. He inserted 3, then 4, 5, and so forth, and repeated the experiment until he had determined his own working memory.
A few minutes later, the boy showed an amazingly puzzled expression.
"764 words..." He muttered incredulously.
Unless he had a photographic memory, it seemed highly unlikely. Come to think of it, although he had always been very smart, visualizing had never been so easy. Since he had arrived in this new world, his mental clarity seemed to have increased tenfold.
No wonder his Black Veils were so effective. There was clearly something wrong with his mind.
'Whatever... It's a good thing I guess.'
Still, the mystery nagged at him. He refused to believe that there wasn't an explanation for this phenomenon. Ellie had also been transported to this new world but her intelligence did not seem to have increased.
What made him different from the others?
'Before I came here I was at the University... I was about to file the patent for a new technology I was working on when...' Ikaris began to sweat as he tried to recall past events.
'I was stabbed... To survive I...'
A gut-wrenching headache abruptly cut off his train of thought and a memory that was nothing but pain engulfed him. In this dream that seemed so real and distant at the same time, he saw himself getting injected with some substance and then entering a machine. After that, he felt a piercing cold, followed by an excruciating pain as if he had just been electrocuted.
As he recovered his senses, Ikaris grew calm again. He knew where the cold sensation came from, but the electrocution must have been an accident. He remembered the prisoners' stories from his first night here and recalled that most of them claimed to have been struck by lightning before waking up in this new world.
Something had gone wrong, but in the end it had apparently gone right for him.
'I don't know what or who to thank, but thank you.'
The boy then worked out each component of the mental image and features he wanted to add to his System, then once he was sure he hadn't forgotten anything and was in a state of optimal concentration he reached out to his Divine Spark.
Just before his stamina was siphoned off by the spell, Ikaris froze, wondering for a fleeting moment if he had overestimated himself. Logically, this System Spell was a mere mental image to conjure. The energy cost required was conceivably less than that of the Black Veil.
But at that moment he began to freak out as he came to consider that perhaps Magic was calculating the amount of energy required differently. The teenager became pale and almost considered giving up, but at that moment the spell began to work.
[Age: 15 years old.]
[Magic Power: 0.001 points.]
[Stamina: 1 point.]
lightsΝοvεl ƈοm[Strength: 0.6 points.]
[Agility: 1.2 points.]
[Constitution: 0.8 points.]
[Vitality: 1.2 points.]
[Soul Strength: 100 points.]
[Divine Spark lvl1 : 0.001 points.]
[Soul Spark lvl1: 100 points.]
[Life Spark lvl1: 1 point.]
[Black Veil lvl1: 0.05 points.]
[Self-Healing lvl1: 0.02 points.]
[System lvl1: 0.025 points.]
Ikaris saw the interface for a little over a second, then fatigue overtook him, his vision blurred and he had no choice but to terminate the spell. Wheezing and dripping with sweat, he panted for several long minutes until he finally managed to catch his breath.
Once his breathing stabilized, a big smile beamed on his face.
"I did it!"
He had tried to keep it simple for this first attempt but there was already too much information. Fortunately his worries were unnecessary and this System Spell had been a great success.
Although the mental interface had not been maintained for long, Ikaris had managed to memorize everything. These values were a bit cryptic, but by analyzing them meticulously and comparing them to his previous experiences, he came to his first conclusions,
'Regarding my attributes, a value of 1 corresponds to that of a normal adult male. My strength and constitution are low because I'm injured, but I'm young, my metabolism and reflexes are functioning properly, hence my above average Agility and Vitality. Anyway, there is no doubt about it. I have indeed become younger, but I am smaller than my former body at the same age. But this is certainly my face...
'My Magic Power is equal to the value of my Divine Spark, and my Soul Strength to that of my Soul Spark. My Life Spark is equal to my Stamina, which is probably correlated to my constitution, vitality and overall fitness. As I suspected, my Soul Strength is insane. It is definitely not normal.'
As for what the 0.001 value of his Divine Spark and Magic Power meant, Ikaris couldn't be sure, but based on his expectations of his System he was almost certain that a value of 1 would allow him to cast default spells consistent with reality.
In other words, moving his own arm with magic would not exhaust him any more than if he tried to move his arm normally with his own muscles. It also meant that right now, he was by default expending 1000 times more energy than necessary for each of his spells.
The biggest surprise was the Secondary Sparks. Besides his System and Black Veil Skills, he had also developed a Self-Healing Skill. If he wasn't mistaken, this corresponded to the first two times he had tapped into his Divine Spark to stabilize his injuries.
'And each Spark also has an assigned level. This is something I had neither desired nor anticipated.' Ikaris noted next with a musing look.
His stomach suddenly began to rumble again, and he was disconcerted quite a bit as it had only been a few minutes since his last meal. He took out his meat again and took another bite. The fullness returned shortly, but his physical exhaustion did not disappear so easily.
An irrepressible urge to sleep overwhelmed his mind and with nothing better to do he decided to take a nap. Four hours later, he woke up feeling great and decided to cast his new spell again.
[System lvl1: 0.025>0.05]
Now Ikaris was sure of it. His Secondary Sparks were doubling in power with each new attempt.
'In that case...'
He knew what he had to do from now on to become stronger.