Chapter 12:

Warlock Hand

Battlefield Restart: Mortal God

"The name of this glove is 'Warlock Hand'. Bookmark here

Heh~ The Magic Circles engraved into this little baby have many abilities. I'll show you them.Bookmark here

There are four abilities in total: Self-Adjustment, Mana Charge, Spell Release and Customised Spell." Mark tilted his nose up. The glove caused his hand to glow brightly with a diamond-like light.Bookmark here

"The first ability is as you've seen. It can both change its size and look to fit the user's will. Bookmark here

The second ability stores enough Mana into it for four consecutive Spell Conjurings." Mark continued and aimed his index finger towards a training dummy from afar. His eyes suddenly sharpened.Bookmark here

When posturing, it was like his aura changed…Bookmark here

I wasn't unfamiliar with that term 'Spell Conjuring' Bookmark here

It was an advanced technique only those that have mastered and moved on from the Mana Clad technique. It was something advanced users of the Burst Manipulation technique could cast out. Bookmark here

It was unlike the Mana Clad sub-technique of Burst Manipulation. It was the basic Art of every 'Mage'.Bookmark here

It had the ability to produce weapons made out of focused Mana… along with other phenomena.Bookmark here

Spell Conjuring was the second technique of Burst Manipulation. It was essential to controlling any kind of Ether. Just like how Father softened the ground under my feet by interacting with the External Energy (Ether) of the world beneath me: Bookmark here

Only a person who use this technique could be considered a true Magic User and become a Mage.Bookmark here

Well, a novice… at least…Bookmark here

There was only one difference between those who considered themselves Mages, and those who considered themselves Swordsman: It was where they would put their efforts when training. Bookmark here

A person who was adept in using Spell Conjuring would be considered a Mage, while others who concentrated on using Mana Clad would be considered Swordsmen. The Arts weren't exclusive to one another, but many focused their effort.Bookmark here

It was better to have a higher rank in one speciality than be subpar on two. This was common sense.Bookmark here

Only the ambitious tried balancing the two.Bookmark here

Like my Magic Swordsman of a Father.Bookmark here

"Watch carefully." Mark said seriously.Bookmark here

[Spell Conjuring- Burning Slash!]Bookmark here

A blade of flames shot towards the training dummy used for spell practice and burnt a cut through it. Bookmark here

A surprised expression appeared on my face, as his gift really opened my eyes to new possibilities. Bookmark here

At least I won't fall behind others in terms of magical firepower now that I have this great gift- Bookmark here

Wait! Why is it that attack seemed different than others? I'm sure a Fireball is supposed to be shaped spherically rather than the shape of a blade... What happened? Was it not that…?Bookmark here

Guess I should ask about it later.Bookmark here

"That's amazing~ However, by four consecutive spells, you meant First-Tier Combat Magic, right? What about Third-Tier Combat Magic?" He forced a smile at my questions, then started looking at the 'Warlock Hand' he wore with a complex gaze. Bookmark here

He seemed out of it today... What's with this mood?Bookmark here

He's lost in his own memories again….Bookmark here

"That's because this is actually a failed product.Bookmark here

It doesn't have the ability to emit Third-Tier Combat Magic... It's still quite useful though. Bookmark here

Wait... Isn't your standards a little too high for a kid? Do you even know what Third-Tier Combat Magic actually is?" Mark suddenly frowned at me without hiding his thoughts, unlike usual. Bookmark here

I responded by shaking my head after hearing that question. My hands were lifted in the air… No one informed me about the actual strength of Third-Tier Combat Magic. I mean, it seemed normal for servants to be able to cast them in this household.Bookmark here

"Your father is a Rank C Magical Talent with tremendous power. In fact, he theoretically has enough Mana to consecutively fire off Third-Tier Combat Spells without losing too much energy. Bookmark here

However, he's unable to actually succeed in doing so due to his low mastery of Spell Conjuring. Bookmark here

He hadn't spent enough time to gain insight into its intricacies, or most likely forgotten them over time.Bookmark here

He IS a Magic Swordsman, after all.Bookmark here

Your mother on the other hand, while also being a Rank C Magical Talent, has high mastery of Spell Conjuring despite her… umm… 'weakness' in Sword Arts. She's technically more refined than your dad.Bookmark here

That's how she, using Third-Tier Combat Magic, earned the title of a Wind Magic Sword Mage. Bookmark here

Your da- I mean, your father may be considered a Magic Swordsman, but his Spell Conjuring only reaches the ability of being able to use First-Tier Spells at most. They are only fairly useful…Bookmark here

Those who are both extremely skilled in close-combat and use Third-Tier Combat Magic are given noble title of 'Army Breakers'. This title is one only the Duke of our household has earned through great hardships. No one can compare to him!Bookmark here

The nobleman we serve is so strong that… his spells could break down an armed fortress!Bookmark here

People who have talent in both Spells and Arts are extremely rare no matter where you look. Bookmark here

Especially those who can reach a high level of Arts along with Third-Tier Combat Magic... not everyone can cast them like Tier-Less Magic used by F Ranks." I wished he'd stop blabbering on and on…Bookmark here

It's hurting my ears…Bookmark here

His explanation really helped me open my eyes to reality. Just because a person had Mana, didn't mean they would be able to become a master of magic. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a problem for everyone on Gaia to know how to cast Spells.Bookmark here

The Swordwick Household would probably be able to rule the entire Drakeyol kingdom if it had that many Master Mages. They'd be able to rain down Spells from afar without having to train themselves.Bookmark here

It was fast and effective on the battlefield.Bookmark here

Now that I thought about it, weren't Spells more useful than martial arts? Bookmark here

I hadn't been capable of learning even First-Tier Magical Spells due to my lack of Light Mana, but now that I had 'Warlock Hand', my low Magic Capacity wouldn't matter anymore.Bookmark here

I could just refill this magical device using my own Mana After all, it recovered at a pretty fast pace.Bookmark here

One that even other F Ranks would be envious of.Bookmark here

I could finally learn true Spells! Bookmark here

Enigma… Watch me overcome all odds! Bookmark here

Now I could finally learn start to learn First-Tier Combat Spells without your help!Bookmark here

"What does Customised Spell do?" I asked curiously like the 'young child' I was. Bookmark here

I didn't care if I'm inwardly an bearded old man with life experiences. Bookmark here

Now that I regained my youth, there's no reason for me to be as disciplined as I was in the past!Bookmark here

"You've already seen it in action. Bookmark here

It's a Magic Circle that combines two Spell Conjurings. Bookmark here

It drained your Mana through gestures so that it can cast hybridised Combat Magic. Bookmark here

I previously used it to combine Wind Cutter and Searing Fireball. Look closely… I'll repeat it to you so you'll know how to use it again." Mark narcissistically put up a façade of high intellect.Bookmark here

He demonstrated its power once again.Bookmark here

Look, just because I asked you nicely doesn't mean you should get so full of yourself...! Bookmark here

This cocky, cowardly, good-for-nothing- Hah... Bookmark here

At least he's back to usual self. Bookmark here

The seriousness he sometimes shows is way too different from his usual happy-go-luck charms.Bookmark here

He was a lot better looking this way… (I can't believe I just admired that.) Bookmark here

[Spell Conjuring- Dust Slash]Bookmark here

He waves his finger, and as a result, a blade of compressed soil sliced another wooden dummy in the training ground.Bookmark here

"That one was weaker than the one you showed me before…" My eyes trembled a little.Bookmark here

"What are you talking about? You can't expect all Combat Magic to be of the same standard. Bookmark here

It's natural that the Fire Spell I added the first time would increase the power of my Customised Spell. Bookmark here

There isn't any other Enchanted Glove that can use this kind of ability which can mix different Spells! Bookmark here

You should be thankful I decided to gift this to you as a present. Even a normal Swordsman could become a Magic Swordsman if he used Warlock Hand." Mark was defending his little 'child'.Bookmark here

What a kid he was…Bookmark here

He looks a lot less pumped up now than was previously. Bookmark here

Maybe I should have praised his precious gift a little more... Bookmark here

It really was an amazing Enchanted Item…Bookmark here

It gave a lot more choices to its user.Bookmark here

Mark gave me Warlock Hand with a sigh. Bookmark here

He kept looking pitifuly depressed after seeing my lack of reaction. Bookmark here

I knew I should've shown my thrilled expression on the outside for him to see…Bookmark here

…but I get the feeling that wouldn't be a good idea. Bookmark here

Whenever I had a hunch, I always followed it!Bookmark here

This rare Enchanted Item he gifted was perfect for me! I couldn't help but fantasise about my huge boost in capabilities. Now I actually had a treasure that could mix Mana of various attributes together. Bookmark here

As a guy with low Magical Talent but a high amount of affinities, gaining the ability to customise Spell Conjurings from my manifested Bursts was a huge advantage! There're so many things I can do now that I've gained something like this glove. Bookmark here

I might even be able to create my own unique Spells if I used it properly. This was the best~Bookmark here

He noticed the gleam hidden in my eyes, but didn't comment on it. A hand suddenly grabbed my wrist.Bookmark here

What was he doing now…?Bookmark here

"I sense a bit of Lightning Mana from you…" He said in a strangely low voice. It was a chilling tone.Bookmark here

"…I'm not doing anything illegal."Bookmark here

"Illegal?"Bookmark here

"I mean… nothing wrong."Bookmark here

"There's nothing wrong with you…"Bookmark here

"Right!" I nodded my head. He didn't seem convinced and stroked his chin for a moment.Bookmark here

Then made an assumption:Bookmark here

"You've used 'Memory Recall', right? That Art that helps you remember things like experiences…"Bookmark here

"Yeah. And…?"Bookmark here

"Nothing… Anyway, aren't you alright at studying?"Bookmark here

"Yeah."Bookmark here

"Do you like studying?"Bookmark here

"No."Bookmark here

"But you want to remember stuff more."Bookmark here

"Yeah." I kept on giving short responses. It's not as if I wasn't aware this was making things awkward.Bookmark here

"Who taught you this Art?" He wasn't fazed at all.Bookmark here

"I suddenly knew it all of a sudden." It wasn't a lie, I just suddenly figured out how to use this Art.Bookmark here

So strange…Bookmark here

"But then- Oh! Oh yeah… You have a Magic Affinity." My brow was raised at this response.Bookmark here

Didn't everyone have a 'Magic Affinity' on Gaia?Bookmark here

"As someone with a low ranked Magical Talent, it doesn't feel like I'm someone with that affinity."Bookmark here

"No, I meant Battle Affinity, not your Elemental Affinity." There seemed to be a distinction here.Bookmark here

"It's because of your Lightning Aff- Forget it. Let's just say making unique Arts will be easier for you."Bookmark here

"That's cool~"Bookmark here

"Now back on track: Have you told your parents your using this Art? Have you had any symptoms?"Bookmark here

"Of what?"Bookmark here

"…Mild hallucinations."Bookmark here

"Not once." My memory seemed fine. It worked the way it intended without any serious complications.Bookmark here

Maybe he was worried since it was mind related.Bookmark here

It DID feel like my memory was becoming clearer over time, but I was unsure what he meant.Bookmark here

My uncle only whispered under his breath:Bookmark here

"You're young. So it should be fine…"Bookmark here

"Pardon?"Bookmark here

"Forget it… Anyway, here's your present. Don't lose it." Mark took a deep breath and said dismissively, Bookmark here

However, his dastardly expression brightened after seeing someone behind me... W-wait… Was it-?Bookmark here

Oh please, not her...!Bookmark here

My back stiffened as I saw the laughter in his eyes... Bookmark here

Maybe I should turn around to actually see who was able to evade my senses. Sneaking up on me... Bookmark here

(As if I even needed to guess...)Bookmark here

"I'll leave you two alone for now. It seems she wants to give you a present as well." Bookmark here

Mark! Why?! Why abandoning me to my fate?!Bookmark here

'You traitor! What happened to entrusting me with your hopes? Why wouldn't you warn me of incoming danger? Have you never heard of never leaving a man behind!?' I forced a smile Bookmark here

I slowly but surely turned towards the person I'd usually avoid most. It's not that I hated her or anything like that... The only problem I always had with her was how she usually greeted me.Bookmark here

"Anna, how-" Just as I was about to say something to excuse myself, two hands grasped my cheeks like lightning fast metal clamps. My cheeks reddened in pain as a result of her pinching...Bookmark here

"Aw~! You're so cute~ Bookmark here

Look at the time fly~ It seems like only yesterday I used to hold your little body in my arms, and now you've grown into such a big boy~!" Anna reminisced while casually pinching my cheeks. Bookmark here

Her words were like an old woman's. It contrasted to her actual young age and appearance.Bookmark here

Urgh... She sounded so unbelievably old!Bookmark here

"Anna, act your age." I said seriously as I backed away from her. My cheeks felt swollen by her pinching. Wait... I feel awkward after remembering the rebuke I had just said with such a straight face.Bookmark here

I, an eighty year old soldier who's alright about acting like a child in front of my parents, told Anna to act her age? Bookmark here

What was the world coming to...!Bookmark here

Actually, now I'm glad she pinched my cheeks. Bookmark here

They would have turned red from embarrassment anyway… I couldn't ignore my own words...Bookmark here

"Shouldn't you be tutoring Merilin right now?" I said in order to swiftly change the subject. Bookmark here

My fallen brothers of my past life, feel proud because I have finally mastered 'it'…!Bookmark here

The art of 'Bending Rivers to save a Nation'!Bookmark here

The 'Bending River to save a Nation' Art I learnt from my past life was a technique my quick-witted brother-in-arm in the past who'd always avoid getting lectured by our commander. Bookmark here

That troublesome guy's talent in escaping responsibilities were top-notch. Bookmark here

No one could match his 'skills'!Bookmark here

It's just sad that his ACTUAL ability to escape danger wasn't faster than steel bullets. Bookmark here

Anna kind of reminded me of that comrade of mine who I never had the chance to ask the name of... Bookmark here

Though their looks weren't in any way similar, the atmosphere that surrounds them was the same.Bookmark here

They both gave a feeling like they are merely streams going with the flow. Having no desires…Bookmark here

"You and Merilin are going to be learning together from now on. Bookmark here

She doesn't need me home tutoring her anymore. Bookmark here

Ahh~! Why did your father have to be so strict? Bookmark here

Now that he's pulled some strin- I mean, helped you apply for a spot in an academy. Bookmark here

We won't be able to see each other that often anymore~!" She said while crying on my shoulder.Bookmark here

Anna, you're not fooling anyone. Bookmark here

Only a complete idiot would fall for your lie after such a major slip of tongue. How is someone as easy to read as you a Ninja? You shattered my dreams of seeing a badass Ninja in this life!Bookmark here

After moving on from my thoroughly disappointed expectations, I remembered why my father was so eager to send me into a magical 'Academy' in the first place. Bookmark here

The war against the Blood Nation has calmed down recently but that didn't mean humanity had forgotten their hatred for the Barbarians. They had killed far too many of their people and our own...Bookmark here

The hatred of a community was long lasting…Bookmark here

From what I've heard, the prideful leaders behind enemy lines had only showed themselves once in the entire span of the Holy War of the past. There was definitely something amiss about this…Bookmark here

It's as if the forces humanity has been fighting all this time wasn't the Blood Nation's main force... Bookmark here

Maybe this is the reason Elites from all over Gaia were being gathered. It was an interesting plan.Bookmark here

"Anna!" My sister ran towards the training ground and called her out.Bookmark here

"What's wrong?" Anna turned around and asked in surprise, but after seeing the expression of my mother, who was following behind her, she quickly froze up. Looks like she messed up… big time!Bookmark here

"Simon, here's your special birthday present. Bookmark here

It's one of my favourite knives from the most precious collection I have. Please be sure not to lose it anywhere, okay? Bye-bye now~!" Anna spoke in a dreadful tone. She's got off her feet the same way father did. Hmm? Running away, I see…Bookmark here

Was mother THAT scary...?Bookmark here

"What have I said about slacking when teaching? It seems we need a real thorough talk about your careless habits~" My mother said with a bright smile which still didn't reach her eyes.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry!" Anna pleaded and escaped in panic like a scared rabbit. This caused me and my little sister Merilin, who were left behind on the Training Grounds, to look at each other awkwardly.Bookmark here

What should we do now…?Bookmark here

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