Chapter 15:

The ‘Punishment’

Battlefield Restart: Mortal God

Now… I guess it was time to ignore that massive prick. Time to be going about my daily life as usual. Bookmark here

That kid must really not have his head on straight if he thought I'd come over to fight him later~Bookmark here

Now, how was Merilin progressing?Bookmark here

I walked back to my parents room Then, dropped my jaw in shock after seeing the burnt walls…!Bookmark here

She used them as target practice for her Spell...Bookmark here

Hah... I should have expected as much from a little girl who was only about seven year old. Bookmark here

Even if she outwardly looked mature for her she like myself, she's still a child. She wasn't me…Bookmark here

It seemed like she was also able to gain insight to manipulating lightning using artificial storm clouds.Bookmark here

She gained a lot while I was away trying to experiment with my new Lightning Spell. Bookmark here

It looked like she had ridiculously bad control over the new 'Lightning' Spell we created together.Bookmark here

"Merilin, that's enough! Do you want to burn the room down?" I reprimanded my sister in order to wake her up from her trance. She quickly reacted after hearing my voice before paling in fear.Bookmark here

"Big Brother.... Please help me keep this a secret from mom and dad!" She cried in tears while begged me to help out. She definitely understood the severity of the situation she was in...!Bookmark here

I didn't answer her and instead used my Mana to slowly fix the walls using Earth Ether. Bookmark here

The damage done wasn't able to be fixed with my abilities, but I was still able to make it look less like she was intentionally destroying stuff. Damn, this kind of thing wasn't something I'd usually do…Bookmark here

I was only doing it for HER sake… yup…Bookmark here

Hah... This was pretty bad... Bookmark here

It's not like anything of the Swordwick Household was ordinary. Even the walls of this mansion weren't something that that could have been easy to beak. They had all been reinforced before.Bookmark here

Is this the power of Blue Lightning? I couldn't help but feel that the overpowering strength of this magic was beyond my expectations.Bookmark here

Maybe the power of Blue Lightning was what made up for its lack of anti-magical properties. Bookmark here

My Lightning Spell may not have the ability to replicate Anti-Magic as of this moment…Bookmark here

…but it's enough to fight!Bookmark here

I wouldn't lose to her if we fought, right…?Bookmark here

Now that I thought about it: Bookmark here

I really WAS a living cheat, wasn't I? Bookmark here

Universal Specialists that had all five Affinities were rare to the point that there are only a hundred of them in the entirety of Gaia. And as one of them, I know innately of things that others wouldn't.Bookmark here

I knew that the unpredictability of understanding how to use all forms of elements at once… was what makes Universal Specialists such special existences. They were 'better' than normal ones.Bookmark here

Others could only use one or two Affinities, while others like my sister and parents only had one.Bookmark here

I myself might not have had the Magical Talent advantage others did, but I'm certain that the Magic Arts I'd created would help me survive anything! Especially after adding my 'Martial Arts'…Bookmark here

In the ten years I'd been living, the synergy between my use of both 'Arts' had increased.Bookmark here

Technical fighting techniques that didn't match what I'd learnt through my Battle Affinities weren't easy to synergise. They had a habit of not conforming to the nature of a specific element.Bookmark here

Even if they did, they became impractical Arts.Bookmark here

Take, for example, the 'Agility' Affinity of the Water Nature. It seemed perfect for Martial Arts at first.Bookmark here

As a proud practitioner of Systema, I'd thought it'd be easy to get it working together with my skills.Bookmark here

However, things didn't go the way I'd expected…Bookmark here

There didn't seem to be much overlap between the types of techniques the Battle Affinity gave a user.Bookmark here

Having an 'Agility' type Magic Art meant it would solely focus on technical proficiency over everything else. This sounded really good, but such type of Agility Arts needed a lot of focus.Bookmark here

It was hard to focus on moving my body in a certain way and focusing on Mana Control on the same time. The feeling was similar to when I'd learnt that twisting my hips is essential for a 'Heavy Straight' in boxing. Saying it was easy, but doing it was…Bookmark here

…almost like painting and writing at the same time.Bookmark here

Maybe I was too much of an amateur right now.Bookmark here

Over these five years, I'd been using Lightning Arts to tamper with my internals and future growth.Bookmark here

I'd made it so my muscles were a variety between pink muscles (medium twitch), red muscles (slow twitch), and white muscles (superfast twitch). It was like the hardware of computer being updated.Bookmark here

When used on their own, I was able to properly replicate techniques of my past life as a soldier.Bookmark here

Not all of them, but the ones I managed to regain weren't half-assed copies of their original drafts.Bookmark here

This was exactly why the 'Sapphire Reinforcement' had caused an imbalance in my techniques.Bookmark here

It made my muscles too flexible at times, which softened the impact of the blow used on a target.Bookmark here

If I was an intuitive fighter, this wouldn't have been a big deal. However, I had always been 'calculative'.Bookmark here

Not being able to see the outcome of my own attack before throwing a punch would make me anxious. Nervousness would end up tightening my muscles and cause me to be too stiff in a real fight.Bookmark here

I was far away from making 'Magic Arts' my own…Bookmark here

Still, being able to add an extra level of speed and durability with different types of Mana was good.Bookmark here

This 'Extra Boost' was the foundation of the unpredictability of my current fighting style.Bookmark here

It was a great advantage for me when it came to close combat, but there was a chance this wouldn't be enough to take on those who were truly talented in their specific specialisations... Aka 'Magic Users'.Bookmark here

It was a good thing I'd been experimenting with new Arts and Spells over the years…Bookmark here

…or else I'd feel unnerved by my own lack of strength; Uncontrolled fear would just weaken me.Bookmark here

I needed to stay in control of everything…Bookmark here

There was a reason I always had a gun under my pillow in my past life... It was to give me courage.Bookmark here

As a so-called 'Patriot' who obtained great merits in the many battlefields of Earth, that 'popularity' I gained was what made some high ranking officials want to get rid of me… Apart from other reasons…Bookmark here

Like being a human weapon…Bookmark here

The government never attacked my home outright in public, but the constant stream of assassins lasted until the day I killed the Underworld's dreaded and mysterious 'King of all Assassins'!Bookmark here

Hah... My previous life had always been one of constant battle, one after another, even after I had left the battlefield. It was only natural that I now subconsciously prepared to be attacked.Bookmark here

Even in this new life of mine...Bookmark here

Was I being too paranoid?Bookmark here

Well it wasn't like paranoia's a bad thing, right? Bookmark here

It was my greatest asset after all! Bookmark here

I was sure everything would work out peacefully if I kept this mindset. There was no reason to change.Bookmark here

Oh who am I kidding? Bookmark here

It's my fault my sister has now become interested in the dangerous Combat Spells I've taught her... Bookmark here

If only I showed her creative Arts instead of Spells. Bookmark here

After all, the former were normally more safe and efficient to use... Merilin was probably going to become a Battle Mage in the future if she kept up her attitude towards researching new Spells...Bookmark here

Mother was probably going to go ballistic at me for teaching Merilin Spells without her supervision. Bookmark here

Although normal people of this world DID learn Spells at a young age, they usually weren't taught to kids without strict supervision. Magic could harm their users if they're not conjured right. Bookmark here

For example: A Fireball Spell might only shoot magic in a straight line, but casting the Spell without training could make it accidentally shoot the caster instead. Burning their unprotected hand.Bookmark here

It sounded really comedic, but the reality was that even the simplest Fireballs could burn people who weren't prepared to resist it them. If they didn't coat themselves in Ruby Reinforcement, then…!Bookmark here

…Forget it.Bookmark here

Let's not think of things too depressing.Bookmark here

"Let's go tell Mother about the wall together." I held my sister's hand and decided to accompany her.Bookmark here

I was going to apologise for my negligence.Bookmark here

"It wasn't my fault. You… You said I could test it here-" Merilin's eyes darkened immediately. She tried to look for an excuse, but closed her mouth after realising that she shifted the blame to me.Bookmark here

"You're scared Mom will scold you?" I ignored her mumbling and gave a gentle stare. She didn't say respond or openly admit her thoughts, but still nodded deeply. It made me sigh unconsciously.Bookmark here

"I'm scared as well." After hearing my words, she stared up to me in confusion. Her eyes showed that she wasn't understanding what I meant. I smiled helplessly at that look. It was hard to tell her…Bookmark here

"I'm the one who taught you a new Spell and irresponsibly left you to figure it out by yourself. Bookmark here

It's only natural that I'm the one who should be taking responsibility for the damage you had caused." I said. My eyes on the floor. We walked down the halls leading to where Mother was.Bookmark here

"But it wasn't your fault." She denied unexpectedly with a serious shift in tone. Now what was this…?Bookmark here

Hey, weren't you the one who said I was to blame in the first place? It was just a few seconds ago…Bookmark here

"It was." I retorted to her strong denial.Bookmark here

"It wasn't." She said a little angrily.Bookmark here

"What are you two talking about?" My mother, who was cooking in the kitchen of the household with the other maids, interrupted us. She managing other servants and their daily activities.Bookmark here

"I taught Merilin a new Spell and she ended up burning a large part of your room. I'm sorry, Mother." I bowed my head apolitically before informing about everything that had transpired.Bookmark here

My mother's lips twitched after hearing about this incident. She gave her instructions to the nearby servants, then followed me back to her room with a fire burning in her eyes. I felt a little scared...Bookmark here

Seeing that the only thing that was damaged were the walls, she sighed in relief. Mother manifested Earth Mana with some effort. She completely fixed the stone walls using some strong Mana Control.Bookmark here

My mother wasted a lot of Mana fixing simple things due to the Earth Affinity not being her specialty. However, she was still able to fix the wall perfectly in the end. It was due to her high Magical Talent that far exceeded ordinary Mages. Bookmark here

I fetched mother a glass of water…Bookmark here

She sat down on her bed tiredly after spending a lot of time reinforcing the new wall.Bookmark here

"What magic could cause such damage?" Mother said curiously after covering the damage on the wall. It seemed this incident was extremely shocking… that Merilin was able to break it...Bookmark here

"I taught her a way to create natural lightning using Water Ether, then she experimented a few attacks without asking for permission. Ummm… It was only after gaining enough insight to it." Mother's eyes widened after she heard my explanation. Bookmark here

Merilin had already preemptively prepared to follow up by showing Mother the process of how she formed 'Blue Lightning'. It was a bit complicated to hear, but a demonstration made things easier.Bookmark here

In her hand was a spherical bubble that held a powerful force of Blue Lightning within. Bookmark here

It looked like she didn't need 'particles' anymore!Bookmark here

"Merilin, my darling~ Are you able to control this Spell you conjured?" My mother said with a complicated expression. She looked back and forth between me and Merilin with curious eyes. Bookmark here

Not surprising considering how extremely rare those of Lightning Affinity were on Gaia.Bookmark here

"...No." Merilin paused then answered.Bookmark here

If she tried to dispel the bubble, the Blue Lightning trapped within would escape and randomly shock those near it, so the only way to dispel it in a way that wouldn't cause her harm would be…Bookmark here

…by throwing it away from her. Bookmark here

Most likely, into a sturdy room wall. Bookmark here

Mother realised that and was about to help her dispel it, but how could I miss this great opportunity to show off my new abilities? My hand reached out before she did anything to help. Bookmark here

"Don't worry, I got this!" A smile etched across my face. I manifested my new Elemental Burst and dispelled Merilin's magic for her. It was by really crushing the bubble with my bare hand!Bookmark here

The Blue Lightning that was released was completely absorbed into my Lightning Art.Bookmark here

Merilin also sighed in amazement. She herself could only discharge lightning like a cannon. Bookmark here

My control over Purple Lightning inspired her to work harder to control the new Spell we made.Bookmark here

"You even learnt how to use Lightning Bursts by yourself?! As expected of my talented son!" My mother widened her eyes at my control over my Lightning Affinity. I was glad we was proud of me.Bookmark here

It was already clear as day as to how I taught Merilin how to generate Blue Lightning…Bookmark here

It would definitely be surprising to her. The use of Lightning Spells using only Water Ether unique.Bookmark here

It would be shocking if I couldn't do at least this much considering my origins and true talent (referring to my Attributes). She smiled happily as she saw my mastery over Burst Manipulation.Bookmark here

"You should have been more shocked that I taught myself how to control the usage of my Lightning Mana without help..." I couldn't help but mumble while scratching the ground with my toes. Bookmark here

The opinion of others were nothing; all that mattered was that my family knew that I was awesome. They should know that I was definitely good-natured, handsome, and likeable person...!Bookmark here

"Merilin's Spell is surprising, but you? Bookmark here

I don't think there's anything more shocking than a ten year old already mastering the ability to change the nature of his reinforcements. This was without years training to gain insights to nature itself." My mother answered blandly before ignoring me.Bookmark here

"Merilin, come here." My mother gestured to my sister to sit on her lap. She was like a kitten…Bookmark here

Merilin was overjoyed at this. She found that mother wasn't really mad at what she did. Bookmark here

The little girl laughed before jumping into mother's arms and calming her heart. Bookmark here

It looked like mother was always the only one who could keep her in check...Bookmark here

"As your punishment for destroying half my room, you are forbidden from ever using this new Spell without my permission." In response to her punishment, Merilin gratefully nodded her head without arguing. What a momma's girl…Bookmark here

Hmmm... Bookmark here

Why was I starting to feel a strange sense of foreboding about this?Bookmark here

"Simon, as punishment for neglecting Merilin after teaching her a dangerous Spell: You will prepare to fight that boy named Jack Steelwell tomorrow afternoon." My mother slyly smiled and spoke up. Bookmark here

Not even giving me any room for refuse.Bookmark here

"Why do I have to fight that egotistical prick? Bookmark here

The position of the Young Miss's personal butler should be mine anyway." I said in dissatisfaction.Bookmark here

"It's not about the position, it's about dignity. Bookmark here

You will never be respected as her personal butler if you don't fight him." Mother shook her head.Bookmark here

"He's just a guy who wants my position through this duel. Even if I win, the only thing I'll gain is attention. Bookmark here

I really don't want that to happen. It would be better to be thought of as a coward instead of a battle maniac! I don't want to be like Father." I said without even trying to mince any of my words.Bookmark here

"That excuse would have worked if it was someone else." My mother's voice deepened. A strong light appeared in her sharp gaze. It seemed my duel with this prick wasn't as simple as I had hoped.Bookmark here

"Jack WAS the boy who was supposed to have earned the right to protect the House Master's daughter through his own ability. He had the talent and the loyalty to be trusted by our employer.Bookmark here

He is a Rank C Magical Talent with very high affinity with with the Earth and Defence-type Spear Arts.Bookmark here

As the Personal Butler of the House Master's precious daughter, having this much ability and talent is actually quite a normal requirement for the position." My mother laughed humorously. Bookmark here

It seems like she thought I was in a tight spot...Bookmark here

"So the new butler has to earn his position by beating the old butler? I don't know why 'dignity' is so important to everyone, but if you want me to beat him up, then consider it done." I didn't go along with her laugh, but followed the flow.Bookmark here

I didn't feel even a shred of guilt from taking his position. He'd came to my door to pick a fight!Bookmark here

How dare he do that?! I'll kill him DED! I mean… I'll politely punch him… DED… Err, wait…Bookmark here

Maybe I should remove that last part…Bookmark here

The time for negotiations had already ended! Now was the time to test if the years of training I went through were worth it... I needed to prove that my efforts these five years weren't in vain!Bookmark here

"Big Brother, don't lose, okay?" My sister cheered me on. How cute~! I couldn't help but pat her on the head and smile lovingly. However, why was it I suddenly felt uneasy about this about this? Bookmark here

My mind suddenly remembered the weird smile Jack made a few minutes ago in front of my door... Bookmark here

I needed to be more careful of him...!Bookmark here

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