Chapter 21:

Young Miss, Sapphire Swordwick (1)

Battlefield Restart: Mortal God

"Father, why do you want me to be strong?" I asked my cold-hearted father. He was currently teaching me how to properly cast our noble family's unique inheritance: 'Intrinsic Art- Infinite Swords'.Bookmark here

"As a member of a powerful noble bloodline: You must also be strong! A weak Noble would just be eaten up by those cowardly, weakling trash who call themselves 'commoners'." Noble Father answered without even a shred of hesitation.Bookmark here

The hundred and twenty swords of Water Mana he conjured circles around me, taking advantage of any holes in my defences. Truly… this was the 'Bane of all Swordsmen' and most powerful Art.Bookmark here

Father once praised me in the past by saying I was the most talented in using swords and blades in one two-handed style, but the only rewarded given for that was strict and near malicious training.Bookmark here

This started at the age of six…Bookmark here

Father never moved a single step whilst sparring with me. He manipulated the swords around him to attack me using their strong blunt spines, tripping me over, or bruising me whenever I was careless.Bookmark here

I also controlled the same number of swords…Bookmark here

By right, this should be an even matchup.Bookmark here

However, the intricacies of manipulating many flying swords at once was something Father was more familiar with. The sounds of metal clashing resounded around me, and his eyes only watched.Bookmark here

He didn't move a single step to dodge…Bookmark here

[Sword Formation- Dragon Wings!]Bookmark here

The transparent swords that were clashing with the multiple Astral Swords. It was really hard to follow.Bookmark here

The blades I hadn't personally conjured returned to my father's side. As if they were loyal soldiers.Bookmark here

They then changed in size and shape. All of them fused together in a mysterious glow of brilliance.Bookmark here

They morphed into metallic wings on my father's back, allowing him to fly off into the sky at will. Bookmark here

I, as someone who hadn't mastered the art of flight yet, could only use my swords to create makeshift shields. Bookmark here

Father lunged at me with breakneck speed.Bookmark here

Once again, I was beaten down and bruised viciously. There was no mercy in Father's eyes.Bookmark here

He retrieved a sword from his ethereal wings and slashed towards me calmly. As if I was nothing…Bookmark here

Almost like I wasn't even his daughter…Bookmark here

As someone who had grown familiar with his countless array of tactics, I was able to accurately predict the trajectory of his attack. It was then my will countered it with a Astral Sword of my own.Bookmark here

Father looked like he enjoyed training me. At least, I think he did… He liked the feeling of fighting someone with the exact same style of combat as himself, but I didn't feel the same way as him...Bookmark here

I'd never liked this kind of harsh life!Bookmark here

"I don't want to train...! Bookmark here

I want to live normally like the others! Bookmark here

I want freedom!" I roared towards my father, who emotionlessly watched my outburst. My tantrum….Bookmark here

For whole five years, I'd endured pain and suffering for a 'oh-so-great' title I didn't even desire to have. Bookmark here

Why would I have cared about 'nobility' or power? Bookmark here

I just wanted to live… peacefully...Bookmark here

"It seems I've been pampering you too much for some time now." Father's spoke with certainty.Bookmark here

His voice was frigid. Then he broke the myriad of ethereal swords I conjured with a snap of his finger.Bookmark here

He didn't even need to use any advanced techniques to destroy my own 'Infinite Swords'.Bookmark here

All he did was sacrifice an Astral Sword for an Astral Sword, causing both my and his own magic to be destroyed in the process. The shiny glitters of their explosions illuminated my dark expression.Bookmark here

"You must think that you're the most pitiful girl in the world... Bookmark here

…that strength doesn't matter at all to nobles like the both of us, but... Bookmark here

You.Are.WRONG!Bookmark here

So wrong in fact that it makes me want to punish you. Why can't you be more mature like Fredrick's son? Bookmark here

If you had at least half that child's stubbornness and determination, you would have been able to unlock the third layer of Infinite Swords. You would have earned glory for our Noble Household!" Bookmark here

Father growled at me like I was in the wrong, his eyes seemed to contain a blazing inferno of rage.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry." I gave up and apologised.Bookmark here

I didn't want Father to hate me. Bookmark here

I hated it when father looks at me like that!Bookmark here

Father hadn't been the same ever since mother died... Bookmark here

Not even once had he smiled ever since we lost our most special person to those outside the borders.Bookmark here

I don't know what Father felt when he made such an angered expression on his face.Bookmark here

All I knew was that his actions were due to me making some sort of grave mistake.Bookmark here

I'm sorry, father. Your daughter will try harder. Bookmark here

This prodigy here won't ever complain anymore...!Bookmark here

I didn't lower my head, nor cry pathetically. Bookmark here

My sword used actions rather than words to communicate what I felt. Bookmark here

I closed my eyes for a second, and when I opened them, I felt more in touch with my Intrinsic Art. Bookmark here

I first conjured a hundred and twenty Astral Swords before focusing more of my willpower into them...Bookmark here

It was then that the myriad of diamond glowing swords hovering doubled their number.Bookmark here

Their total now being: Two hundred and forty!Bookmark here

I unleashed my final attack! My most ultimate strike! An interconnected chain of strokes that was essentially throwing a plethora of magical swords at father's chest. They waved around chaotically…Bookmark here

There was a shift in the atmosphere.Bookmark here

Even my Fire Affinity was imbued onto my swords to give them the ability to explode on impact.Bookmark here

All my blood, sweat, and tears were put into this last attack. This gamble was my limit…Bookmark here

It held everything I learned over the entire course of my ruthless training... Everything was poured in.Bookmark here

Nothing was left behind!Bookmark here

An excited expression appeared on my father's face. He saw my body was finally able to execute a technique even HE was unable to cast. A smile curved on his face despite the dangers he faced.Bookmark here

…Then he casually blocked my strike using multiple Astral Swords enchanted with the Water Affinity!Bookmark here

The blades he conjured were shaped into shields.Bookmark here

They succeeded in blocking two attacks each…!Bookmark here

Despite my earlier boldness, I learned the hard way that Father would never have a gap in his defence.Bookmark here

That was just his quirk as a Water Specialist…Bookmark here

What's intricate seemed simple in his hands.Bookmark here

But this was just my pride talking. I didn't want to admit that, as a Fire User, I couldn't pierce through.Bookmark here

It was easier to say that's how Da- Father was…Bookmark here

"Good! Good! You've grown. You may just be able to reclaim our Household's lost glory. Bookmark here

You did a good job! Now that you've surpassed my younger self in all aspects, I'm sure Helen would be proud of you! Good girl!" My father finally 'looked at me. Like I was a person. The fire in him cooled down, and a satisfied curve appeared on his lips Bookmark here

He praised my talents, but why did I feel empty?Bookmark here

Wasn't this what I'd always wanted?Bookmark here

Smile back. Reassure him. Don't act like your a victim. He had it hard too. That's why… It's why…Bookmark here

"As a reward, name something you want and I'll give it to you. I promise to fulfil any of your wishes!" Father said generously. He gave me the first hug in a long while. My heart felt empty…Bookmark here

…b-but I still embraced D-Dad back.Bookmark here

"I want Simon to be my personal servant." I said with a blushing face. I didn't even think about it.Bookmark here

That child was interesting…Bookmark here

I'd only noticed him after he'd beaten Jack up with his strange Arts. Someone, I felt we were similar. Bookmark here

He looked so cool~ He's like a legendary Hero~ I wanted to compare notes about techniques and spar with him. I can't help but admit that he's even more of a genius than I am in magical combat~Bookmark here

The only difference between us would be our Magical Talents and our Heritage. Bookmark here

But that didn't matter.Bookmark here

I'd heard that he started training a year before I did!Bookmark here

Now that I thought about it, I wondered… Would he'd be able to keep up in the future? Bookmark here

After all, there was massive secret regarding my family's grand lineage that outsiders didn't know.Bookmark here

I sincerely hope he can!Bookmark here

"He'll naturally become your confidant if he can create a Skill Root. In fact, he'll become more than that if he is able to draw out his potential at an early age." Father's smile was a little scary as he said that. His wording was a little bit misleading.Bookmark here

It wasn't like our household had any qualms about marriage between commoners and nobility. If they were strong, then there was no reason to reject a proposal. This was just how our family worked.Bookmark here

Still, it didn't sound like he wanted us 'together'…Bookmark here

However, if that that… then what?Bookmark here

Simon was going to become something more than a personal servant? What did me mean by that? Bookmark here

I hoped he wasn't really planning something like engaging me off to him or something. Bookmark here

I might admire the strength of that servant, but there's no way I would want to marry someone with such a low Magical Talent... It's not that I hated or looked down on him, he just wasn't my taste…Bookmark here

"Forget it, you yourself should be making preparations to create a Skill Root. A person with talent like you shouldn't be wasting any of their innate potential." He shook his head after declining to answer the question in my heart. Acting resolute.Bookmark here

"I'm a little confused... How does a 'Skill Root' form?" I couldn't help but ask after a long time.Bookmark here

Father never really shared much of an explanation regarding how to properly 'form' a Skill Root.Bookmark here

My advanced level of education still wasn't enough to get this information. This knowledge wasn't spread around much. The only things I was taught were theories about them, rather than actual facts!Bookmark here

"Skill Roots have been appearing all over the world after the passing of the Chaotic Era. Bookmark here

They are the manifestation of a person's personality, thoughts, and even their resolution which are formed after fully mastering the control of the Internal Energy within one's body."Bookmark here

"What are the chances of Jack forming one?"Bookmark here

"The possibility is low, but not too impossible."Bookmark here

"…And Simon?"Bookmark here

"Completely impossible."Bookmark here

"That's…"Bookmark here

"I know what you're thinking, but forget about it."Bookmark here

"…" I lowered my head silently.Bookmark here

"You may not be able to understand right now, but keep in mind that the those without Skill Roots aren't 'weak'. It's just that those without Skill Roots aren't able to be as 'Mystical' as Skill Holders." Bookmark here

I wasn't able to understand my father's warning very clearly, causing my expression to be unable hide my confused thoughts. Father could only sigh as he explained further. He looked a bit tired.Bookmark here

"As I've said many times before, those who increase their mastery over the augmentation of flesh are classed as 'Warriors'. Conversely, those that focus heavily on the second level of Burst Manipulation… are considered to be Mages." Bookmark here

He conjured a Water Ball above his left hand and displaying a thick reinforcement on his right hand. Bookmark here

Only after I nodded in understanding did he move on. There wasn't the slightest ripple in his tone.Bookmark here

"These two professions might be weaker in extremely dangerous combat scenarios compared to those who became Skill Holders, but they are still extremely dangerous in their own right... Especially Warriors, who were always dominating in close-combat!" Father sighed. He shook his head.Bookmark here

"But what about Skill Roots?" Bookmark here

I didn't really have much of an interest in learning about Mages or Warriors, because Skill Roots were cooler~! I'd heard that some Skills could teleport around without having to form any Spell Circles!Bookmark here

Father sighed he looked at me for a moment.Bookmark here

"Skill Root, as in the 'root' of all your past and future skills fused into a single place. Bookmark here

A very important foundation for your future development as a Skill Holder is knowing many techniques. Bookmark here

My own 'Cloudy Blue Sword Eyes' is one of the few high quality Skill Roots that exist within this vast world. Some Skill Roots are formed through arduous training in a specific field, while others are 'found' by chance without any rhyme or reason.Bookmark here

However, you must remember that I'm unable to help you any further. I can pass on pointers in order to give you an easier time. A Skill Root isn't something that can be sought, it is something that's 'found'. Everything comes down to fate.Bookmark here

I want you to try to find your own 'root' through enlightenment. No matter how many years it takes.Bookmark here

After all, those who are able to overcome challenges are the ones who will survive the upcoming Holy War..." A shiver ran down my spine after seeing the harmless expression he made... Bookmark here

My father's great fixation with killing Barbarians was definitely higher than anyone else in the Kingdom. I nodded my head repeatedly. He then continued by giving in-depth knowledge regarding how to become a Skill Holder once again...Bookmark here

"Train well." Father left after leaving behind those words. Only after I made sure no one was looking at me, did I lazily lay on the grass of my own personal Training Grounds. My heart was tired…Bookmark here

Much more so than any other part of me.Bookmark here

Father's 'Cloudy Blue Sword Eyes' Skill Root was amazing~! Just thinking about how he showed off his Skill Root a few days ago makes me feel excited about what my own would be like. A flame burned deeply in my heart. I looked at the cloudy sky...Bookmark here

I wanted a Skill Root as well! Bookmark here

Father said he's let me adventure by myself if I was able to create one before the age of fifteen. Bookmark here

I want to see the outside world myself!Bookmark here

"Young Miss, what are you thinking about?" Anna suddenly appeared beside me.Bookmark here

She spoke curiously towards my dazed eyes...Bookmark here

I wasn't really that surprised by her sudden appearance. This wasn't the first time…Bookmark here

Anna always liked frightening me like this when I was younger, but now it's just childish~Bookmark here

I wasn't that same little girl anymore!Bookmark here

"I'm thinking about how talented you are in using your Shadowlight Mana." I huffed at her. I definitely wouldn't show this side of me to father, who knew how he would react after seeing me like this...?Bookmark here

Would he be disappointed in me?Bookmark here

"Young Miss, don't even mention my low 'talent'. Bookmark here

I've never even heard of someone like you… who could instantly learn every Ninja Technique I had so painstakingly mastered over the years..." Anna said in a dispirited manner, but her attitude was proud. Bookmark here

A smile couldn't help but curve onto my lips. Her mood wouldn't dampen upon seeing my shocking achievements. There weren't many who would see this side of me, other than Anna and a few others.Bookmark here

"I know~ I know~ I'm a talented genius, so praise me more~" I sung playfully while swinging my legs.Bookmark here

Then jumped to my feet for giving her a comforting hug! I'd never be able to forget how easy it was to form 'Shadow Clones' were when I first tried Shadowlight Arts out jokingly. Who knew I had such talent in using the mysterious Dark Affinity? Bookmark here

I might not have even noticed this hidden talent of mine without Anna's experience being put to use.Bookmark here

There was no way to check a person's affinity with the Dark Ether... It wasn't that easily 'copied'.Bookmark here

The five Mystic Races permitted humanity copy their elements, which us methods to check our alignment. However, 'Dark Mana' had always been an exclusive property to those of the Beast Race.Bookmark here

That was why one couldn't easily form a Saturation Rank in the Dark Attribute. It was way too hard…Bookmark here

But that was exactly why many thought it was dangerous. There was no way to sense it earlier.Bookmark here

And 'Ninjas' like Anna, who openly displayed their Dark Affinity, were rare to the point of extinction.Bookmark here

That's why using Dark Arts felt so satisfying.Bookmark here

"By the way, have you invited that person over? I want to meet him." My eyes brightened and held onto Anna with great enthusiasm! There's no way I would give up the opportunity to talk to him~Bookmark here

Someone who can fight so dextrously at the same age as myself was definitely someone worth creating a connection with. Who knew if he'd become an important figure of humanity in future?Bookmark here

Father has always made it clear that I should always create connections with competent individuals and discard anyone without sufficient willpower... That creed seeped into my bones.Bookmark here

He'd never taken a liking to befriending other Nobles who didn't at least put their children through similar training hells... Perhaps only Simon is worthy enough to become my trusted aid.Bookmark here

"No worries. Martha should be bringing him here any moment." After hearing her words, I gestured her to prepare a table. It would be embarrassing if he saw me lazily laying on the grass this way...!Bookmark here

I wanted to make a good impression as his Master.Bookmark here

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