Comic. The last panel with Ila might be a bit of an… artistic rendition of the events there… the background should not be taken too literally.

This doesn’t directly relate to the comic, but I made this comment in regards to ethereal constructs, which I’m going to reproduce mostly to answer some questions on it here, instead of in the comments since more people would see the answer here:

The color of constructs has to do with their stability. That’s not necessarily the same thing as strength, just with how much the interact with the real world, though effectively in most cases is also their strength, as more stable constructs are harder to make and tend to break through lower tier constructs. In theory, there could be pink/violet constructs at least stable end, but those don’t interact with reality strongly enough for most of the things people use the ethereal constructs for and would be fleeting before breaking down. From there it goes blue, green, yellow, red. As we’ve seen in a few cases, at the top end that, things just start looking progressively more real, solidifying into actual lines, gaining shading, and eventually gaining other colors, until the become more and more ‘effectively real’ as far as the world is concerned.

Generally speaking, a construct is harder to create the further down the list it moves, but also gains more flexibility and ability to act and interact with the world. Most of the time we see casual use of ethereal constructs (shields, umbrellas, etc), it will be blue. Typically green constructs are used for making shapes or attacks, as they are strong enough to break through blue constructs and can be more easily animated and manipulate reality as they start to interact more with physics, while only a handful of people can create the more stable yellow, orange, or red constructs. If someone like made an umberalla out of a pink construct, it would be easy to make, but there’d be a decent chance rain would just pass through it, and it would break down quickly. It would take very little mana to create, but would take a lot of mana to maintain. A red construct on the extreme opposite end takes a great deal of mana and effort to create, but very little to maintain, and there’d be no real chance of rain passing through it, as it will interact with reality as if it is far more real.

To which there was a question:

Are pink constructs stable enough to be used for something like cheap illusion effects? In my head, I’m picturing a character who uses pink illusions to make fake bubbles to pretend he’s chewing bubble gum, but I imagine there are lots of potential practical uses for “dirt cheap but line-of-sight obscuring” effects.

And another

[…]However, this is about point interactions at just enough force for one of them to get scratched. Given enough force… send a category 5 tornado full of talc at a diamond wall, and that diamond wall is gonna get scratched by the talc. Sure, the talc will all be pulverized, but the point is the diamond is not immune to the ‘softer’ material, it’s just more resilient than it. Does something like that apply here? I had the impression that it does, which is why Naomi’s able to do purple magic and affect red constructs.

Answering both of these as they get at the same thing; ‘weaker’ constructs (for example, blue vs. red) can destroy stronger constructs, but it requires more effort by the user, since all else being equal the higher stability construct will win out. However, constructs are slightly different than other matter because the low stability ones don’t persist without reinforcement (typically speaking). That’s part of why no one would bother to make a pink one usually – it would take a lot of effort and mana to maintain (even if it would be easier to create).

But that does mean that a low stability construct could pass the mana investment of a high stability construct and break it, but to get that point the creator of the lower stability construct would need to be essentially constantly recreating it until, essentially pouring more mana into it than the more stable construct has. It’s not really a linear amount, and the creator of the more stable construct could fuel their construct to prevent it from breaking, but there’s a threshold where less stable construct would have the advantage as far more mana could be added to it. This would largely be impractical in most cases because of time and investment.

Simply shooting a blue construct very fast wouldn’t necessarily work, because a blue construct lacks mass due to a weak interaction with physics. By shooting a blue construct imbued with a huge amount of concentration and mana into a red construct could break through it. It would just be hard to imbue that much mana into a blue construct, as it would effectively leak like a sieve.

Pink constructs would be visible, but wouldn’t necessarily be convincing illusions, since they’d lack traditional lighting due to not interacting with physics that strongly. Ethereal constructs are essentially superimposed onto reality. Now, there’s someone that does seem to make accurate illusions, and they don’t seem to interact with physics, but it’s a step more complicated, since they don’t look like pink constructs, and don’t seem to require as much mana as those would require. It’s safe to say that what Peter is doing isn’t directly related, as he’s sidestepping the issue somewhat.

Naomi’s tendency to shatter constructs similar. She’s just releasing blasts of mana, which is close to the state unstable state of a pink construct when she forces it into a high enough density. A pure pink construct would essentially just be condensed mana, with virtually no interaction with physics, but a high interaction with magic.

That’s sort of how null casters work, by manipulating mana to rip apart magic formation. I’ve mentioned before Naomi’s tactics are similar, just in a more crude and less mana efficient way. None of that should interact with physics, which is why the people that tend to understand what Mium does the most tend to be the ones most confused as to how he’s using what looks like null casting and making it interact with real objects.

Anyway… bit of an aside aside…

PS: Yes, I hate how it formats quoted text. But I cared just little enough to not try to figure out how to fix it, so we live with it.

Next comic should be on 11/6/2023