Battlefield Restart: Mortal God
"Looks like there's still no hope for me to get stronger." I sighed to myself in disappointment.
Even though multiple affinities drawn on the page…
I wouldn't have been dissatisfied if I had an average Magical Talent, but considering my exceedingly low Magic Capacity… Hah… It's useless to envy those with better starting points. I knew that well…
The only thing you could do was move forward.
No matter how rough or worthless the path, it's something that must be walked either way.
These affinities still won't change how difficult it would be for me to become stronger in the future.
Couldn't Enigma just give me a higher Magical Talent instead of all these useless affinities?
I could feel my resolve being shaken…
There was a limit to what magic techniques could release. Especially against those of higher power.
The amount of destruction one of higher Magical Talent could cause was exponentially different from lower Ranks. They would win even if they didn't understand the intricacy and complexity of Mana.
Even in this world, a physically weak martial artist couldn't compare to a inexperienced yet strong fighter. It's like how fitness could makeup for a lack of techniques. Mana Capacity mattered a lot.
Even though a genuine martial artist's techniques were usually stronger than most: The effect those complex techniques could bring out drop dramatically when faced against the overwhelming physical strength. Brawn could win over brains.
This difference was even vaster between lower ranks of Magical Talent and those of higher rank.
The difference was nearly absolute…
My resolve was shaken… but after remembering the promise I made my heart not long before, the despair I felt was thrown into the wind. There was nothing I could do about the fixed talent I had.
So what was the point in useless jealousy?
This will not stop me!
A weak man is a man who gives up!
I should never have be ashamed of being weak-
No, I should be ashamed of STAYING WEAK!
Giving up now would shame both my little sister and parents. How could I give up on myself without a good fight? Enigma, watch me. I'll show you that I can protect my family without your damn help!
"There's hope. As long as I don't give up, there'll always be hope. Just look at those five affinities~
Even if you were born with less Mana, it shouldn't be that bad." My father, who seems to have been eavesdropping the entire time, barged in and patted my head. The fire in my heart sizzled out.
I was left looking blankly at his figure…
Where did he come from?
There was a strange look of excitement in Father's eyes. Having so many Ether Affinities was a rare occurrence. Even a member of the majestic Royal Family, that ruled over all of humanity, wouldn't necessarily have more magical affinities than I do.
Wait... Why was father listing in?
My suspicious eyes were caught by Father.
He let out an awkward cough in return and decided to quiet down. Maybe I should respond?
"There is always hope. There is more than one way to get stronger. I already know that. Thank you for reminding me, Father." I responded with a monotonous voice, causing his eyes to flicker.
My 'dear' father looked at my blank expression for a second… before feeling even more awkward.
He looked embarrassed now.
"Ahem... I've have some important business to attend to tomorrow, so Mark will be training you the basics of spells, magic arts, and swordsmanship for a few days. Ask him about anything.
Well, this arrangement is until I get some free time from my schedule. Your mother will be busy working alongside me as well." He avoided my unamused eyes in panic. His words were formal.
I guess he was still a butler, after all.
"Please get along with Mark until we've accomplished our goals." He continued.
Then quickly made a strategically swift retreat. I paid no attention to my father's awkward way of eavesdropping and turned to look at mother. She was giggling uncontrollably after seeing his act.
"Mark will train me?" I looked at her with a doubtful expression. It wasn't as if I hated Mark, but...
Isn't he the guy who gets scared of father all the time? How will that guy be able to train me?
"Stop worrying and get to the training grounds tomorrow. Although Mark looks... umm… a little… slightly… timid... He's actually very hardworking when it comes down to it." My mother made a ingenious smile after a few seconds of hesitation.
Yeah Mother, hesitate. Your hesitation only fuels my suspicion towards him!
I remember the time when he pulled out a sword to deal with a 'lethal' fly...!
"Then I'll try my best." I reluctantly said after thinking about it briefly.
It's only until I finished learning the basics. There's probably no need to worry about anything else...
The very next day, I walk to the training fields to find a blonde-haired prince- No, that's not right.
He's just a butler... Seriously, these butlers and maids of the Swordwick Household were really colourful! If my father looked like a stern and responsible warrior-type butler, then Mark would be the naive and cowardly prince-type butler.
He looked way too inexperienced to be even holding a genuine sword on his waist!
"How are you today? Shall we get started on our basics?" Mark said with a confident smile.
It multiplied his natural handsomeness by tenfold.
The energetic maids of the Swordwick Household we're back to their regular training routines.
They secretly glanced at this prince-like coward with adoring eyes, but this was a reverse when talking about the jealous butlers. They fiercely glared at Mark with clear signs of envy.
"Just get on with it already, or do you want me throw an insect on you?" I spoke to him blandly.
These kinds of handsome studs were extremely irritating to look at. It's not because I'm jealous...
I'm definitely not jealous...! Not one bit!
"Please don't say stuff like that. You know about my fears..." He ran up and whispered into my ear.
I don't understand why the Duke would even hire such a cowardly clean freak as a servant.
Such a narcissist coward who could be defeated by a single look of a spider should've been fired a long time ago!
"Fine. Just start teaching already." I didn't even try to use the manners that my mother had diligently taught, and informally pushed him to train me. His attitude is a little too spineless for my liking...
My drill sergeant mindset wouldn't let this matter drop... I used to always chew out people like him.
"Your wish is my command~" He said with a handsome smile. Damn, I'm being affected by him.
Rays of light fell onto Mark's silhouette.
He elegantly took out a wooden sword.
"First things come first.
Let me teach you about the five major styles of Elemental Swordsmanship that are practiced by Swordsmen even outside the borders of our solitary Kingdom." Marks said while brandishing his wooden sword in the air. It looked light as a feather.
He took up a stance similar to the one used by my father yesterday and firmly swung his wooden sword.
Hmmm... Why does it feel that the atmosphere around him changed? Was it my imagination?
It's almost like he became an entirely different person upon starting to practice his equisite form of magical swordsmanship. However, my strong prejudice towards him still hasn't gone away...
It's not because I'm envious by the grace he exudes while swinging his sword... not at all...
"This is known as Earth Elemental Swordsmanship.
A form of that is able to make a sword have the weight of a hammer. It used Mana to mimic Earth.
This style is stable, firm and decisive when cutting foes. Practical and simple. A form of elemental swordsmanship that was a major help to many of the current Grandmaster Swordsmen in their youth.
It's even said that the legendary Sword Emperor created Elemental Swordsmanship by started off learning this specific style." Mark's entire atmosphere changed once more. His glowing sword strikes whistled through the air like mallets.
An opal glow surrounded his wooden sword
His heavy movement's carried on stably.
The technique seemed as simple as imbuing a sword with the Earth Attribute before swinging it, but my previous conjectures were thrown out the window. I saw how the wooden sword seemed to subtly become part of the ground below.
It danced in the air dangerously. Instead of saying he was imbuing his sword movements with Mana, it was more accurate to say that his swordsmanship seemed to 'attract' the Earth Ether around him.
His will was being extended into his surroundings…
The opal glow on Mark's wooden sword wasn't a manifestation of his own Mana, but instead a force of nature that was added on with his graceful sword movements. Ether was attracted by Mana.
Even though I knew Mark was Master Swordsman like mother, I didn't think his mastery over the Earth Style would carry such finesse!
It probably had to do with how Master Swordsmen made sure they had a wider array of choices in combat.
"Sword Emperor?" The term was new to me, so I couldn't help but mutter it to myself once more.
Mark looked like he was waiting for that question and smiled pridefully as a result.
It looks like this guy couldn't wait to show off...
I shouldn't have asked...
"'Sword Emperor' is a title that was given to the man known as the Grandmaster among Grandmaster Swordsman. Or a Sword King among Sword Kings. It's a title that shows one has surpassed his peers and transcended his limits.
He is a legend that will be written down for ages to come. The one most greatest Swordmen to ever exist, Sword Emperor Gerald Knightly, was a man of great virtue and foresight. All things considered.
He spread his teaching of the sword to strengthen the Human Race. Even after it had been weakened after the God's abandonment hundreds of years ago." Mark proudly dumped everything onto me.
He stopped demonstrating the heavy moves of Earth Swordsmanship to gush about his idol.
A tremor ran through my heart as Mark mentioned that incident I had unwillingly become the perpetrator of. Hey, it's not like I chose to be summoned! It's that Druid… King guy's fault!
"Just forget about it and continue your explanation on the major paths of Elemental Swordsmanship." I quickly reminded Mark before he continues the subject. There's no need to waste my time talking about matters that had no relation to me.
Yep, I had nothing to do with it.
No one could prove otherwise.
I leisurely copied his sword movements, but ended up failing after several attempts of clumsily swinging my wooden sword around. I tried my best trying to stir up the Ether around me in any way.
Why wasn't it working properly?
Since I was supposed to use my Mana to mimic the Earth Attribute, I tried to increase the density of my reinforcement in able to improve its power, but each attempt failed at approaching close to Mark's demonstration. My magic and physique felt off…
There was a strange feeling of disconnect… Almost as if something was wrong with my practice.
Hah... Why am I unable to get the basics of drawing upon Ether around me? It should be easy now!
I'm a former soldier, and this is a just a basic fighting technique. Surely, it shouldn't be too hard.
So why wasn't it working?
Argh…! So irritating! Just work…!
It's just swinging my wooden sword heavily in a certain way, right? There shouldn't be much of a problem to comprehend the intricacies of something this basic. Come on! Work!! Work…!!!
I only learned later that my arrogance was a little too high at this moment of my life.
After all, Gerald Knightly was a figure in history that the Drakeyol Kingdom was most proud of.
As the founder and creator of Elemental Swordsmanship in a time where ancient Magic was declining at a fast rate, he was a genius. There's no way this intricate Magic Art that formed its own personal Magic System would simple to learn...
By then, I actually couldn't help but admire him.
I wondered why he didn't simply leave such a terrifying technique, his life's work, to only his apprentices. It was to the surprise to everyone on Gaia that he shared and publicised his unique Art.
Burst Manipulation replaced all inefficient practices of the past and protected the 'Human Lands'.
The rest of humanity were able to defend against the invading forces of the Blood Nation, who have created their own countries on both the lands that used to once be owned by Humans and Beasts.
It was all thanks to the Sword Emperor.
Just thinking about the effectiveness of Elemental Swordsmanship in the future made me sigh at the vast difference between Earth's martial arts and Gaia. The root of their practices were different.
Earthlings created techniques based on experience and study of battle, while Gaia Humans relied on instincts. They gained insight into Martial Arts based on their affinities and contact with nature.
Element Affinities usually translated to 'Battle Affinities'. Which were kinda like styles.
The martial arts of Earth focused more on the control of physical applications strength, whilst the martial arts of Gaia concentrated on unconscious control over Mana. 'Movement' wasn't relied on.
Just the circulation of Mana was the key…
Gaia Humans had never actually tried to pair fighting techniques with 'Arts'. They didn't need to.
It was a pity... There were so many ideas I thought of by pairing Martial Arts with Burst Manipulation.
Though I guess they already had their hands full creating a foundation for Arts at a young age.
By undergoing visualisation and concentration training, Swordsmen of Gaia could even become what's known as 'Elemental Specialists'. They could intuitively control their Mana without having to spend their time consciously focusing on it.
If that wasn't enough, then the fact that there were actually game-like 'Jobs' among Specialists nearly blew me away. It looks like skills and techniques weren't an utmost importance compared to Mana.
This was especially true when trying to gain a higher standing in the giant Mercenary Guild my parents had once worked for. It went along with having enough professionalism to carry out tasks.
A person could specialise in the controlling Earth Ether. However, there was difference between a 'Swordsman' who specialised in the Earth Affinity, and a 'Farmer' who hadn't trained anything other than using their specialisation to plow fields…
It was like the difference between night and day.
If two Earth Specialists fought one another, the victor would go to the fighter with more options available on hand. The same could also be said for Specialists of every other elemental fields.
Unlike Earth, fighters here didn't have to worry about training techniques that might be obsolete.
Everything was useful to them.
It was kinda annoying…
If a Specialist was to fight someone who was the same attribute as himself, then victory would go to the one with a higher Magical Talent. It almost felt like this world was made to restrain my potential.
Either way, Elemental Swordsmanship was a lot more than just being able to hit a little stronger and faster than others. The five Elemental Styles created by the Sword Emperor were perfect mediums for Arts that required 'Sword Mastery'.
This became my opinion after I had learned up on techniques in the future, becoming someone who had read a lot about Elemental Swordsmanship and the theories behind different kinds of 'Arts'.
But in the present, I was still just an ignorant child...
The only thing I was thinking at this moment was something along the lines of: 'Learning the basics should be a piece of cake! I, a reincarnated legend among soldiers, can definitely get this done~!'
"You're not doing it right!
You haven't even let me teach any basic forms, yet you think you're a genius at sword fighting!?
Those movements are completely amaturish!
You think that you'll be able to learn how to use the sword only after a few swings? Stop practicing right now!!!" The always foolish smile on Mark's face disappeared. He berrated my actions harshly.
My back stiffened up unconsciously…
I had found that he was actually serious in properly teaching the basics of Elemental Swordsmanship.
His sudden change in attitude seemed to have not suprised anyone in the training grounds.
I could tell that everyone now changed the way they looked at him now.
It was as if they didn't want to anger him while he was in 'instructor mode'. This caused me to see this prince-type cowardly butler in a new light. It's no wonder Father wanted me to train with Mark!
Even father couldn't help but go easy on me when instructing me on swordsmanship...
I didn't argue with Mark and allowed him to properly teach the way that he thought best.
'Better to humble oneself than be humiliated a lot.'
That's what my past life'a instructor said, anyway.