This is a topic I’m revisiting after my first theory about the royal family’s magic was shown to be dismally wrong (I said that it might be light and black magic in my post, The Obelian Royal Family: The Heir).
But what is their magic?
Well, let’s review what we know so far:
1. Strong magicians are said to “freeze” their hearts because emotions can cause them to lose control of their magic. We see the image of a pink glowing crystal heart when this is revealed, implying that by “heart” they mean their emotions, not the bodily organ.
2. There is a Magic World Tree (I think the name is the world tree, but I’m not sure) and in Chapter 54 we see that it can provide magic to people via its fruit (Lucas hopes to use it to replenish his magical core). It is also deeply rooted (pun intended) into the nature of Athanasia’s world, as random storms can be caused by interacting violently with the tree (another thing we learn through Lucas). It may also have a sort of consciousness as it sweats chibi-tear drops when Lucas threatens it.
3. Everybody has some magic in them, but the royal family is extremely powerful in that respect and displays specific physical characteristics as a result (the jewel eyes). Oh! Interesting note–Claude, despite still being very magically powerful, seems to be slowly losing the jewel feature to his eyes as chapters continue. At least, I’ve seen a stronger mix of a simpler gradient to his eyes the longer the series goes on with it being most evident after giving Athanasia his magic.
4. Black magic refers strictly to curses thus far. Everything that has been used by or made with black magic has thus far resulted in, or been hinted to resolve in the future with, extremely bad consequences on the intended and the originator. Jeannette, having been created by black magic, is a ticking time-bomb from what we understand (though the person revealing this information may not be reliable). The old book shop owner claims that a being like Jennette’s existence will lead to something terrible and Lucas believes her to be a homunculus, which is a term yet to be clarified by the series but given context is probably a “humanoid creature” rather than a human itself. (Note: In other translations, Lucas refers to Jennette as a something like a, or part, chimera, which is more of a monster.)
That’s about all we really know.
In theory, the more refined the magic is the cleaner and less noticeable it appears, rather the more integrated it looks. For example, Lucas’ magic is very natural to him. He uses it with ease and manipulates the world around him comfortably. With Claude too, we see very gentle magic as he passes memories to Athanasia making them appear like dreams to her rather than intentional magical influence. Heck, until Claude started physically attacking Athanasia in chapter 53/54 we never even saw the protection spell upon her, meaning that it is well hidden from the eye. Moreover, day to day magic appears rarely in the work so we can probably assume that despite being present in almost all people it is either rarely used or used in very small situations like moving objects or protection or something that is mundane enough not to gather Athanasia’s attention. (Sort of like how characters in current comics will rarely comment on the wonders of a cellphone–while older ones might show a group surprised that their friend has one. It becomes natural and therefore uneventful to mention. Since she mentions everyone having it once, and we rarely see people besides Lucas use it, if ever, we can make that assumption.) However, Athanasia’s magic is newly stabilized and, to our knowledge, appears unskilled. Moreover, in this unskilled and newly stabilized state, her magic seems to be very active and raw. When we see it, it is only in extremely emotional situations and like a force of nature, such as the electricity when the guards move to take her outside or the whirlwind when she escapes Claude in Chapter 54.
I write “unskilled” because these magical attempts look very raw, matching the emotional state she’s in and because she is using natural elements, like the whirlwind, to perform her escape rather than the refined teleporting we see from Lucas. I think also that unlike almost every other subject Athanasia has studied or had lessons for, she has never been taught magic. I have a few points to reason this:
Firstly, her magic was really unstable in the beginning. Lucas mentioned separation from her spirit animal to avoid transferring the magic in said animal back to her body because it was so detrimental to her health. One might think then that spending that magic would help relieve her of the problem, but given how unsteady emotions are that a young age and how we are told early on that magic can be dangerous if passion overtakes reason, she might have been kept from doing so.
Second, it’s never a lesson Claude seems to require of her. As we have all read, when something arrises like Athanasia nearly drowning or her having trouble cutting a steak, Claude assigns her lessons and tutors. In the two examples I gave, Claude had her learn swimming and then etiquette. She might even be a semi-skilled martial artist, given that Claude mentioned it before. We know she has some teachers, she mentions them once as a child, after showing Lily and the maids she could read, and mentions them again with Claude (her dancing instructor, for example). However, since she doesn’t mention it once or hint to it, I assume she hasn’t had any training with magic yet. More than likely, Claude and Lucas were waiting until Athanasia was older with a stable magical core before attempting lessons in the subject.
Third, everyone in the hall at Claude’s birthday celebration appeared surprised by Athanasia’s magic. I doubt they were surprised that she had magic, I mean her eyes and bloodline tell us a lot, but they might be surprised at her lack of control or use in that particular moment. (Like, they might think, ‘The Emporer nearly executed you and you’re going to use magic against him?!’ or maybe it was more like, ‘Oh no, she’s an emotional teenager who potentially has a lot of magic and could kill us all!’) While rumors were kept low with Athanasia’s isolation from the court, surely a magical tutor would have been mentioned or theorized or asked about by Athanasia’s young lady friends if there had been one, right? Or the author(s) would have mentioned it? I mean, unless they’re going with the “don’t explain the magic” mentality… but who knows for sure?
Since Athanasia’s use of magic is so new to the story, we can’t say for certain that this is correct, but that’s the theory I’ve held recently. The particular magic of the Obelian Royal Family relates to control over natural elements.
If everyone has magic, and we know some semblance of its usage, like passing memories, picture taking, applying images to stones (it’s mentioned in an earlier chapter) and putting emotions into stones. We can assume that these uses are things a man can make in other ways but don’t because of magic. Using the same examples I just mentioned, the man-made equivalent might be like taking pictures, films, money production, etc. But control over nature is an entirely different element, which we do see with both Claude (in the alternate timeline/story of the Lovely Princess) and Athanasia.
Claude, for example, in the alternate timeline/story of the Lovely Princess, is seen collapsed before Jennette while a storm is raging outside. In point two I mentioned how the tree can cause freak weather disasters so maybe Lucas is the culprit here too, but I doubt it. Since Claude is normally very composed, even when angry, it would make sense that in moments like that he starts losing control in other ways. We see a nature element again with the present timeline as Claude attacks Athanasia in chapter 53, starting off with a few bolts of electricity. No one else in the series, even Lucas, shows this (though Lucas has many other cool magical abilities).
That electricity is like a more angry version of what Athanasia does during the birthday party.
To conclude, my theory is that the Obelian Royal Family’s specific magic is one which controls elements of nature. In addition to that, I theorize that the more control a person has over their magic, the more the magic will integrate and appear natural in the world around them.
What do you all think?