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really creating something new? He didn't know if the other mages thought of it this way; since they didn't formulate their spells as equations, their spells didn't have multiple terms in them. Elric, he knew, simply visualized what he wanted to happen, and if it was within his power, it happened. One simple visualization for any spell.

Galen's eyes went back to the top of the list, to the spell containing only two terms. Why was there no spell with only one term? No such spell existed in Wierden's work, or, as he thought about it, in any of the mages' conjuries he'd yet translated. Most of them had many, many terms. In fact, he couldn't even remember another equation with only two.

Perhaps spells had to have more than one term. But why? He stared at the two terms that began the progression. If there was an initial spell in the series, a spell with only one term, which term was it?

The first of the two terms was common, used in this progression and elsewhere. Galen had come to think of it as a sort of cleanup term, necessary for everything to balance, but having negligible impact.

The second term, on the other hand, existed only within the spells of this progression. As far as he knew, at least. That seemed very odd. Surely it could have other uses.

That second term, then, seemed the defining characteristic of the progression, and the obvious choice for the first equation in it. But what would the term do when used alone?

Perhaps it would have the same effect as the second equation, conjuring a translucent sphere. If the cleanup term truly was negligible, that's what would happen. The sphere itself, as he'd discussed it with Elric, was an odd construct, not a force field as it first had seemed. It didn't really hold things in, or keep things out. It simply
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