Competing Magic (Chapter Nine)
The Mirror Mimic Spell was a powerful magical spell that allowed one to not just copy another person's talents, or to mimic another person's appearance, but to also become that other person in almost every way. With such a spell, it would even be possible to rival the power of a High Master by transforming into one. Ezekiel couldn't help but be excited as he read that in the book he just borrowed. And the more you know someone, the better the transformation. With this, surely he could access the power of his father, or even the power of Professor Wu.
The only drawback (of course there has to be a drawback) was that transforming into another person means also getting that person's personality. This means that to gain the power of Professor Wu with this spell was to get the personality of Professor Wu. After the realization crossed his mind, Ezekiel became less thrilled. But as they say, desperate times, desperate measures. And it's not like there weren't other people that he could mimic with that spell.
"So, in order to cast the spell I need to do this, then this, and then . . . " he muttered to himself as he jot down notes. He glanced up from his work to the bundle of sheets his roommate wrapped himself beneath.
Well, he was going to need to start somewhere. And it's always best and safer to start small.
As the book instructed, Ezekiel took out a hand mirror and held it up so it would reflect his face. He focused on the image of Maxwell, thinking back to how they met and how they've spent time together. And then he chanted the incantation. As the words left his lips, black smoke leaked from the mirror. But Ezekiel wasn't alarmed. That was the form his magic took, after all. There was nothing to be afraid of.
And then, once the smoke was gone, Ezekiel turned to the mirror. What he found reflected on the mirror wasn't himself, but Maxwell staring back at him. The spell had worked.
"Awesome," Ezekiel said, an excited goofy smile on his face. In celebration, he did an air guitar riff. This was amazing! He had actually transformed into someone else. "Now I wonder what he can really do."
As soon as Ezekiel said that aloud, knowledge poured into his head that he never knew before. Maxwell had been studying magic spells on his own just like Ezekiel was doing now, and some of those spells were pretty interesting. Well, now was a good time as any to check it out.
First, Ezekiel called on water to gather above his outstretched hand until it became a bubble the size of a baseball. And then, exerting some will into the bubble, Ezekiel made the water burst into blue flames.
"So cool!" he exclaimed. "Now I wonder . . ."
Next he summoned water and made it into the shape of a sword. That sword of water turned into a sword of blue fire in an instant. It almost looked like a laser sword. A really cool laser sword.
Unable to help himself, Ezekiel began swinging the sword around, enjoying the noise each swing made. This was really fun, he thought to himself. He could do this all night if he wanted to. And just when he thought that, just the tip of the sword brushed across the surface of the window curtain. Anyone could see where this was headed.
Yep. The curtain burst into blue flames.
"Ah!" Ezekiel cried out before clapping his hands over his mouth. He rolled his eyes towards his roommate's sleeping form. Relief washed over Ezekiel seeing that he hasn't woken Maxwell up. It would have been embarrassing and difficult to explain to his roommate why he looked like him, and why the curtain was on fire.
Before the flames consumed the curtain entirely, Ezekiel unleashed a blast of cold water from his hand, mixed with a freezing spell. Ice frosted over what was left of the curtain. With the fire gone, Ezekiel quickly went to work getting rid of all the ice and frost before drying the curtain. Many parts of the curtain were blackened, especially at the edges where the fire first traced around. But that shouldn't be a problem with a little bit of magical cleaning and repair.
And just as he was about to do that, the spell wore off, and in a puff of smoke, Ezekiel was back to his original form.
Still, transforming into someone else. There's really no weird feeling to it. Ezekiel still had all his own memories while he was transformed into Maxwell. He didn't even realize he was doing anything weird until after he transformed back.
Thinking back to what he did as Maxwell, he was hit with so much embarrassment that it literally brought him to his knees. He could not believe that he did that: playing with a sword of fire like it was a laser sword from a sci-fi movie, doing air guitar riffs, and nearly burning the dorm to the ground over some tomfoolery. The spell was more dangerous than he thought. To think he, Ezekiel von Ghoul, would do such embarrassing, immature things like that.
A thought crossed Ezekiel's mind, then, and he decided to try use that spell he did when he had transformed into Maxwell. Summoning water was easy enough. It was a basic spell after all. But when he tried to make the water orb he conjured turn into flames with Maxwell's spell, the orb bubbled and steamed and then just dropped to the floor, nearly scalding Ezekiel's hand. Ezekiel's heart skipped a beat when that happened.
He sighed in relief. Good thing he retracted his hand just in time. That water would have hurt really bad if he had touched it.
"So, we can't use other people's magic spells after we turn back to normal, even if we could do it easily while we've transformed into them," Ezekiel muttered, staring down at the water stain on the carpet. He couldn't even remember all the words to the spell, even though he just cast the spell a few minutes ago.
And then he realized something. What if he transformed into another person and then write notes about their spells as them? That way he could learn even more spells on his own. And there was one spell that he had been dying to learn ever since Professor Wu revealed himself as the legendary Silver Wolf Mystic.
No sooner had the thought crossed his mind, Ezekiel had the mirror held up in front of his face. The spell was already at the tip of his tongue. As with the first time, black smoke poured out of the mirror and engulfed Ezekiel from head to toe. Within seconds, the smoke dispersed and standing where Ezekiel had been was a perfect replica of Professor James Jing Wu, but wearing Ezekiel's clothes.
Ezekiel was surprised to find that Professor Wu was a slighter build than him. His clothes hung loosely, though both his belly and his ankles were exposed.
"This won't do," Ezekiel said, looking down at his attire. His accent, he noticed, had become American. He snapped his fingers and a flash of silver light spread across his clothes, changing them into the black three-piece suit that the teacher was always seen wearing lately. "Much better!"
While admiring himself in the mirror, Ezekiel also noticed that something was off. What was it? He wondered as he stared intently at the mirror. And then came the light bulb moment.
"Oh!" he said to himself. "I forgot my glasses."
Another snap of his fingers resulted in silver light flashing on his face where a pair of lightly tinted, wire-framed spectacles appeared.
"Much better," Ezekiel said. Even though his vision's not all that bad, he definitely could not be without his glasses. It wasn't because he cast divination spells on these spectacles so he could see enemies coming miles away, but mainly because he looked good in them.
Just then, at the left bottom corner of his vision, blinked a red exclamation mark. Although this was his first time seeing something like this, Ezekiel understood what it meant. Something bad was going on nearby. And in his own backyard, no less!
Ezekiel glanced sideways to Maxwell's sleeping form. If there was a chance that the students would be in danger, this alert was something he couldn't ignore.
There were many magical spells placed on the school grounds both to keep the students safe and to make sure they don't get away with breaking the rules. But none of those could stop someone like Professor Wu. Ezekiel drew Chinese writing in the air with his finger. Silver light traced where his finger had brushed. When he was done, Ezekiel ran straight into the wall, and right through it, phasing through the wood and concrete and into the open air. He did a flip as he fell and landed heavily on his feet, leaving dents in the grassy ground.
After landing, he peered up to the fifth-story window to see the protective magic undisturbed. He smiled proudly at his handiwork.
"Now where are you, you little troublemaker?" As soon as those words left his lips, the exclamation mark in his vision expanded into an arrow pointing towards the west.
Ezekiel followed the arrow, fully trusting it to lead the way. He ran across courtyards and leaped over buildings, cutting straight towards the source of the alert. The closer he ran the more obvious the danger was. A vivid light green color covered a whole section of the school with sparks dancing about like twinkling stars. But despite its festive appearance, transparent cross bone skulls appeared all over in front of Ezekiel with the label "Danger" flashing beneath them. This was dark magic of the malevolent sort, his glasses identified.
Just then, he heard footsteps from inside all the twinkling green light.
"Who's there?" Ezekiel called out.
"That voice . . ." said a familiar silky voice. "Is that you, James Wu?"
From out of the green fog came the magic teacher from Merlin Institute, Sir Quimbly. Ezekiel didn't understand why, but he felt a great sense of disliking of the man as he approached him.
"What are you doing here, Quimbly?" he asked with a snarl.
Sir Quimbly regarded him coldly. Clearly he and Professor Wu held each other in contempt.
"What am I doing here, you ask?" Sir Quimbly said. "You're the one who asked me to do this. You, your wife, Rosalyn Woods, and I all agreed to take turns patrolling the grounds. Tonight's my turn."
"W-we did?" Ezekiel asked. That caught him by surprise. Then again, this was exactly the sort of thing to be expected of a hero like Professor Wu. But why would heroes like Professor Wu and the others need to patrol the grounds themselves instead of leaving it to normal security? Could it be that something dangerous was coming to the school again?
"Yes," Sir Quimbly said. "Now, James Wu, what are you doing here?"
Ezekiel's heart beat fast against his chest as he turned away from Sir Quimbly's gaze. He just remembered something really important. Even though he looked like Professor Wu, obviously he wasn't Professor Wu. If Sir Quimbly finds out, there's no telling how much trouble he'll be. And things will be all the worse if Professor Wu found out that he had been mimicked.
"I-I sensed something was wrong and came to investigate," he replied. "Is this all your doing?"
Sir Quimbly's right eyebrow arched.
"Of course not," he said. "My magic's sky blue, and the light element, like yours. You know that."
"O-oh, really?" Ezekiel stammered.
"Something's not right with you, Wu," Sir Quimbly continued.
Oh no, Ezekiel thought. He's getting suspicious. If nothing's done, he'll find out that the man he's talking to is a fake!
Sir Quimbly glared daggers at Ezekiel.
"Are you getting even dumber?" he said.
- Competing Magic (Chapter Eight)
Frustrated at his own weakness, Ezekiel heads to the library to learn more.
- Competing Magic (Chapter Ten)
Ezekiel disguised as his magic teacher must take on an evil in his place.