Chapter 18:

The Secretive Swordwick Duke (1)

Battlefield Restart: Mortal God

[Intrinsic Art- Infinite Swords!]Bookmark here

Many Barbarians of different shapes and sizes died at my hands.Bookmark here

I stepped around the battlefield outside the Drakeyol Kingdom's borders.Bookmark here

Nothing could stop me…Bookmark here

How boring…Bookmark here

No matter how many attacked my group of well-trained Swordsmen, a sword made from my Water Mana would always cut them apart. This would also cause the morale of my soldiers to increase.Bookmark here

[Skill Root- Cloudy Blue Sword Eyes!]Bookmark here

I used the unique power only those with exceptional talents could wield among the human race. Both my iris' turned an azure hue, and the Water Affinity focused into the depths of my eyes.Bookmark here

The myriad of astral swords around me turned into raindrops that assimilated into my Skill Root. Bookmark here

I could shoot and control the Water Magic Astral Swords created by my family's Intrinsic Art with the power of my thoughts alone. I deactivated my Skill Root only after I was finished cleaning up the largest group of invaders that tried to attack me.Bookmark here

One hundred and twenty aquatic swords hovered above me as I made my way towards my servant.Bookmark here

He was fighting hard to keep me 'guarded'.Bookmark here

Although I didn't really need his protection, it still warmed my heart to see such dedication in my noble household of Swordsman. A smile of content curved on my face. I leisurely fought the reckless Barbarians, who were fighting with all their might.Bookmark here

As a noble of the kingdom, I normally talked to many people with ulterior motives concerning any and all matters at hand. This made me feel more guarded towards others as an occupational habit.Bookmark here

This was natural after growing up as the successor for the grand lineage of Swordsman.Bookmark here

Even if they were respected by all races of Gaia.Bookmark here

In the long years after I inherited the title of the Swordwick Household's House Master, I fought Barbarians periodically. This was especially true in the great Holy War that had corrupted many lands and destroyed many kingdoms. Bookmark here

My heart has tired over these long and pointless years... Bookmark here

I no longer felt like fighting for anything other than my honour!Bookmark here

Humans have been betraying 'Humanity' over the years, and traitors now exist within our main force.Bookmark here

Even in the Royal Family's great army…Bookmark here

I wondered how they are going to cleanse the Drakeyol Kingdom of the corrupted vermin.Bookmark here

Those creature that have been burning weaker Noble Houses to the ground…Bookmark here

Though I can't blame them for not being able to deal with the traitors within our own ranks.Bookmark here

Especially considering how 'thorough' crimes had become...Bookmark here

Our Drakeyol Kingdom's Royal Family had become the leader of the five kingdoms left in the human race.Bookmark here

It bolstered 'our' their strength and intelligence. Bookmark here

The decisions of Royalty wasn't for me to judge.Bookmark here

Forcibly taking lesser kingdoms as our servants was better than having them run amuck. Bookmark here

Those snivelling cowards would've been a bigger pain to deal with… had we not gone so far…Bookmark here

Hah... This was why I would rather have become a paranoid Duke with no trust in anyone... Bookmark here

The way I handled matters regarding the Holy War had now become colder and more ruthless.Bookmark here

However, who could have predicted that I would one day come to trust others like I did now? Bookmark here

It was laughable how fate seemed out of the control of a mere mortal such as myself...Bookmark here

My boldness in battle wasn't because of my own courageous heart, but due to the stubbornness of my Personal Butler and Maid had to protect me. A feeling of nostalgia ran through my heart…Bookmark here

I fondly remembered the two mercenaries.Bookmark here

The two who eventually became my servants after healing the severe internal injuries they'd suffered.Bookmark here

Not only was their Magical Talents among the cream of the crop, their combat abilities were pretty strong as well. This was the reason I tried to hire them as my personal servants when we met.Bookmark here

Some people would say that I was as arrogant as a King for thinking that two high-level Mercenaries would serve my household, but I didn't care about that one bit. Bookmark here

Becoming my servant shouldn't have been an unacceptable for them. It was a beneficial deal.Bookmark here

After all, I DID spent a large amount of resources to heal their wounds.Bookmark here

"Master Swordwick, is something wrong?" My Head Butler squirmed around me like usual.Bookmark here

His face was getting wrinkly…Bookmark here

"It's about your son." After hearing my words, he couldn't help but helplessly smile.Bookmark here

He knew what I was going to advise him. I was only saying what needs to be said out of kindness... Bookmark here

Not out of malicious intent.Bookmark here

"I don't want him to live the life as an 'ordinary' servant of our household." I couldn't help but furrow my brows after hearing these words from him. They reminded me of myself and 'her'…Bookmark here

My daughter…Bookmark here

It took great pains for me to make her suffer for the sake of power, but my foolish servant didn't feel it.Bookmark here

He was the type of person who 'liked violence'…Bookmark here

I didn't think this old friend of mine would be so cruel towards his only son... Bookmark here

Wouldn't putting too much expectations on the talentless child only become a burden to him? Bookmark here

No, maybe I just didn't want another to suffer…Bookmark here

There didn't need to be another parent-child pair like my daughter and I. We were twisted enough…Bookmark here

I'd seen too many unable to overcome their limitations and ended up falling into madness.Bookmark here

Their cruel upbringing only hindered their maturity.Bookmark here

I understood Fredrick's mindset… A former adventurer and vagabond would always be fearful.Bookmark here

He and his wife had experienced too much…Bookmark here

They'd seen too much of humanity's cruelty…Bookmark here

Still, what they were doing wasn't right. Though it would be hypocritically of me to outright say this…Bookmark here

I'd already experienced what it was like to battle Swordsmen who only know how to complain about their lack of 'innate talent'... Those who give in to the temptations of shortcuts without hesitation.Bookmark here

They believed themselves to have no ability to improve their strength through the 'orthodox' way.Bookmark here

Most of these Swordsmen, who were unwilling to stay weak, ended up becoming Barbarians after making contact with the Elites of the Blood Nation's Dark Nobility. They take in the powers of the 'Blood Attribute' to bolster their power…Bookmark here

"Although I've been given information regarding your son's exceptional performance, there's no way for him to help my daughter with his limited potential in magic... not unless he's able to create his own personal Skill Root like I have... Bookmark here

…or break laws of nature like my ancestor did." As Fredrick heard my opinion, his smile stiffened.Bookmark here

He likely understood that no one could replicate the Sword Emperor of the long passed Chaotic Era.Bookmark here

"No, he will... He's a genius!" A deep stubbornness appeared in his voice. It felt like talking to a rock.Bookmark here

"A genius? I agree." I gave him that.Bookmark here

I'd already heard a lot about this youth through these two seemingly 'doting parents'... Bookmark here

The surprise I felt from learning their child was actually able to train at the age of five… really made it clear to me that I needed to be stricter with my daughter's education. Was I being too gentle?Bookmark here

"His imaginative ways of using Mana is something I have never seen before. His martial arts far outstrip those his own age... perhaps it's best to say that he has reached the peak of his potential in close-combat, but that is ALL he has to rely on." Bookmark here

I spoke without any formalities.Bookmark here

They needed to understand the dangers of having too much expectations on their talentless son...Bookmark here

He was merely an F Rank human being, after all.Bookmark here

There wasn't much to him…Bookmark here

I myself always believed in 'training correctly' rather than 'training hard'. I was unable to watch… Bookmark here

They were making their way towards a tragedy. Bookmark here

He may not be COMPLETELY talentless, but that was even more of a reason to stop him prematurely.Bookmark here

At least, before he ended up realising that all his efforts were for naught. The great barrier between those with higher Magic Talent and those with lower talent wasn't that easy to overcome.Bookmark here

"You just don't understand. Even if he doesn't create a Skill Root, with his strength, he'll be able to keep up with your daughter as a rare Universal Specialist. I believe in him!" Fredrick's eyes lit up with a mysteriously confident light as he spoke. Bookmark here

But to me personally: Although I understood that Universal Specialists were extremely rare, that didn't exactly mean that such a Specialist with low Magic Talent would be able to compare with my highly talented AND hard-working daughter...Bookmark here

"Fine then. I'll give him a test. If he's unable to pass this trail, you must give up on trying to groom him into my daughter's Personal Butler. You must understand the responsibilities and implications of having that particular position, right?" Bookmark here

I gave up in trying to change his decision.Bookmark here

Instead, I tried a different approach to persuading him. One that seemed to work wonderfully...Bookmark here

"... I understand." Fredrick reluctantly agreed, and with that, the duel between the two little butlers of our 'Monster House' was set in stone.Bookmark here

I know that with that little guy's cold personality, he wouldn't agree to a duel easily. Bookmark here

That's why I made sure that talented boy called Jack went over to Simon in order to infuriate him with his unusually sharp tongue. I'd already given him clear instructions on what needs to be done! Bookmark here

What I didn't expect was the result…Bookmark here

It went outside my expectations…Bookmark here

I thought that Simon would lose to that arrogant foo- I mean, talented Personal Butler candidate, but who could have guessed that the mind of Fredrick's son would be so devious?Bookmark here

Throughout the entire duel, he was always thought a step ahead. He used every trick that was taught by his parent to gain victory! Even his martial art capabilities were far beyond the scope of any normal child who was barely ten years old.Bookmark here

His combat prowess far exceeded any Rank F Magical Talent I had ever seen before. Bookmark here

However, the only reason he won was due to Jack's overconfidence in his Magic Talent being able to suppress those weaker than him. If not, he would have used 'Earthen Gravity' to begin their duel.Bookmark here

Why fight hand-to-hand?Bookmark here

I'm sure a second battle between them would be much more interesting to watch. Especially once Jack learned to be more modest about his spear techniques. He was not exactly a true Warrior yet!Bookmark here

Would a talented Spearman really be that shocked by Simon's Spells?Bookmark here

Hah... I'm giving that child, Jack, way too much credit for being able to keep up with him. Bookmark here

The crux of the matter was that Simon displayed a great amount of potential! Bookmark here

It had almost opened my eyes to how Magical Talent wasn't everything…! Well, almost...Bookmark here

A Universal Specialist and an Expert Swordsman with seemingly high mastery of martial arts... Bookmark here

This kind of genius couldn't be found anywhere... Bookmark here

Passing this 'trail' of mine really would help him growth significantly. So long as he understood it.Bookmark here

"Greetings, House Master. Is there anything wrong?" Simon spoke after I 'invited' him to my office. I looked at the young child's calm and composed eyes with a complex expression. Bookmark here

Unable to put into words what I wanted to advise.Bookmark here

Fredrick was a fool who'd put too much faith in people. Bookmark here

Martha was a naive woman who only looked at her child's smiling complexion. and nothing else. Bookmark here

Both of these two foolish, doting servants weren't able to properly judge this child correctly.Bookmark here

From his academic results, I could say that he had a higher chance of becoming a Scholar in future than a Swordsman. Bookmark here

My daughter, Sapphire, and even Jack Steelwell, were destined to surpass him no matter how he shortens the gap between them with skill or intuition. This was due to how the power of all Specialists relied heavily on Magical Talent. Bookmark here

Muscle strength alone had its limits…Bookmark here

I, despite obviously seeing his potential in other areas, had already seen the difference between the talentless and the talented. Bookmark here

I'd already seen countless aspiring fighters regret their life decisions. It was always when they found that they were unable to overcome the hurdle that was their Magical Talent. A cruelty of fate…Bookmark here

Blood trickled down their lips in utter defeat...Bookmark here

Though most of them ended up dying by a sword after they became traitors of humanity... Becoming nothing but foolish Barbarians who had sought nothing. They acquired more power through battle.Bookmark here

I don't want to give this talented youth false hope of the future. It would be far better if he chose a realistic goal… like being a wandering Mercenary or Guard. Both of these occupations only needed people with acceptable combat prowess.Bookmark here

There was no need for him to take big risks…Bookmark here

He should just accept my advice already.Bookmark here

"Simon Rainglow, after seeing your strength, I've concluded that sending you to the Royal Academy would be a waste of time. Even with your efforts to one day overcome your weaknesses." Simon's eyes widened in disbelief once he heard my cold words.Bookmark here

"Is it because of my Magical Talent?" Simon spoke in return. This obvious speculation was spot-on. Bookmark here

There was no way I'd want a liability that could one day self-implode laying dormant within my Faction.Bookmark here

"That's only one of the reasons I'm unable to accept you as my daughter's Personal Butler. Bookmark here

The second reason is due to the fact that you're untalented in sharpening your reinforcement, which is the only way to keep up with 'her'." I said in a purposely tranquil tone. Bookmark here

I'd heard of his results in sharpening his reinforcement through word of mouth.Bookmark here

I completely believed only a miracle could help him become someone worth 'cultivating'.Bookmark here

"I can increase the quantity of my techniques and bring them to higher levels. The magical abilities I've shown wasn't the true limit of my power." As I heard these words, I couldn't help but glance at my two servants standing besides me. Bookmark here

Only once they nodded their heads to his words did I lean forward on my chair.Bookmark here

I wanted to get a closer look at him.Bookmark here

"From what I could tell, you increased your physical abilities through decreasing the Magic Resistance of your reinforcement. A true and experienced Earth Specialist would be able to bury you alive despite your powerful close-combat prowess. Bookmark here

You wouldn't be able to escape after falling into a pitfall..." Was there a need to discuss further?Bookmark here

"In regards to your unusual Fireball Spell, it's still severely lacking in power. Bookmark here

Do you think there haven't been others of Magical Talent who were talented in fighting or Spell casting over the years? And look at how they turned out... wallowing in self-pity about how their talent couldn't be greater than others." Bookmark here

I retorted without bothering to care about what this supposed 'limit' was supposed to be. Bookmark here

Even if he luckily created a technique that could help him overcome the differences between power of Specialists, that Spell or Art would definitely take years to master. It wasn't worth the investment.Bookmark here

And once it failed to live up to his expectations, he would surely go mad from not being able to accept reality...Bookmark here

"I'll adapt my magical abilities in future and will increase the quantity of my Arts and Spells to make up for my lack of Mana. Even if I have to use enchanted equipment to bolster my overall combat prowess to higher level… than what you've seen." Bookmark here

It seems this pitiful child still wasn't mature enough to understand my sentiments.Bookmark here

It was a contradictory to see what his parents considered a 'mature' personality not understanding in this situation. Is being dense inherent in Fredrick's bloodline, or does it have something to do with how this kid was raised? Bookmark here

Why is he being stubborn despite how I was giving him reasonable arguments? Bookmark here

It was hurting my pride…Bookmark here

Simon was still as calm as before, but the words coming out of his mouth were irrational and immature.Bookmark here

I was finding it difficult to decide whether I should allow him to become my daughter's Personal Butler or not... Bookmark here

This important position might not come hand-in-hand with a noble status, but Personal Butler's of my Noble Household had a relatively high standing to go along with their freedom. Bookmark here

Their actions…Bookmark here

…as well as mannerisms towards other nobility, were would be closely watched by those around them.Bookmark here

"You want to increase the quality of your Spells? Bookmark here

Do you think you're the only one who has personalised their own strong Arts and Spells over the years? Or do you think that every one of these abilities you're going to create will be as strong as the Sword Emperor's Mana Sharpening? Bookmark here

You foolish, ignorant child!" I felt angered by his arrogant statement and scolded him for them.Bookmark here

At these words, the little guy was unable to retort. Bookmark here

It seemed he suddenly realised how ridiculous he was being by comparing himself to the strongest Swordsman of ancient times. An exception in the entirety of humanity that broke human limits.Bookmark here

"Let's take my 'Infinite Swords' Intrinsic Art as an example: The first level of the ability lets me control 40 swords created through my Mana as I wish, the second level allows me to control 80, and the third level allows me to control 120. Bookmark here

Every level of it allows me to store more and more swords within my body infinitely without any upper limits.Bookmark here

The drawbacks of the Spell is its powerful Mana consumption and the fact that mastering the ability is extremely difficult in itself. However, the power of this specialised Art is something feared by all!Bookmark here

Many Intrinsic Arts and Spells of other Noble Lineages are inferior to my ancestral heritage when it comes to pure power, but that doesn't mean they are weaklings. They all had high Magical Talent.Bookmark here

All nearly the same level as your parents.Bookmark here

Think about your future ambitions carefully and stop daydreaming about becoming another Sword Emperor... because no one will ever have the ability to surpass him!" I said with conviction.Bookmark here

No one could convince me of otherwise…!Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.