Battlefield Restart: Mortal God
"We have a lot to talk about." The beautifully dressed girl said while gesturing me to sit down.
Her eyes were shining as she invited me in.
How could I have guessed that I'd be treated so courteously by the Young Miss of this Household?
"Is that so?" I raised a brow.
"Of course. Father wanted me to help you reach the Mana Control needed to attain a Skill Root."
She said that without minding my paranoid attitude. Only after realising that she was wholeheartedly wishing for us to get closer…. did I reluctantly stop my usual formalities to sit down.
To think that the daughter of that sharp and scheming guy would be such a happy-go-lucky type of girl? Just her smile alone seemed to hold boundless optimism towards the future.
"The House Master such a kind individual..." I praised with a meaningful smile. It wasn't hard for me to figure out that Duke Swordswick had nothing to do with this meeting. The one who ACTUALLY wanted to see me was definitely this girl herself.
If it really was him who wanted me to train under her, judging from his personality, he would have independently led me over here instead of allowing the Young Miss to personally invite me to her room.
"I know, right?" She didn't really answer me.
My smile couldn't help but stiffen.
I wasn't able to figure out if she was sincere or just making a joke... She had a hard to read expression.
Like her face was a mask for her thoughts.
A young noble girl like her wouldn't happened to have lied so blatantly, right? Don't nobles have this inborn pride that stops them from doing that? She seemed completely ignorant to my doubtful eyes and continued to talk as if nothing had happened.
"Father doesn't want to waste your talent.
If you are able to gain a Skill Root, then your inborn Magical Talent won't really matter much. You would be able to rely on your new Skills for battle." She spoke while innocently smiling and leaning forward.
Her eyes seemed to be full of interest.
She gazed at me in an unnervingly open manner.
A chill ran down my spine. My instincts screamed that I shouldn't try to get any closer to her…
Why did I feel this? I had no idea, but if I was to pick between logic and instinct, there would be only one winner. However, why was I feeling a headache whenever I looked at her?
"You don't need you to help me. I can find my own path by myself." I said as an excuse to avoid her.
This 'harmless' girl must have an assassin watching her or something. If I tried to get any closer to her, she would definitely attract an endless amount of trouble for me... This ominous feeling was so clear that it couldn't be wrong!
"I WANT to help you out even if you're capable enough to figure out on your own, so stop declining my goodwill already. It's not like you'll lose anything anyway..." She frowned at my clear jitteriness.
I decided to stop struggling after hearing her words. My little twitches eased with that thought.
It would've been too troublesome to explain about how I wanted to train my new Secret Art by myself anyway. Since she was kindly offering to help me out for free, then let's just accept her offer.
How bad of a disaster could socialising with her bring me anyway? I'd handle the consequences.
I'm sure another kind of trouble will come if I didn't try to be on good terms with her.
There's no benefits to getting on the bad side of a nobleman's daughter. Only endless annoyances.
"Although I know a fair bit about Skill Roots through my studies, but how am I supposed to turn my ability into an actual Skill Root? Is there some sort of trick to it?" I unconsciously leaned forward.
It would be really embarrassing if I lost the bet with her father. Especially from such a shallow reason like 'not knowing' how to form a Skill Root. It'd be embarrassing those who put trust in me as well!
"Simple! Just mix your most practiced technique with your Mana Flame and that's that.
Nothing complicated, right? A Skill Root will be born if 'both the Art' and 'Self' are able to fuse.
Try to visualise the foundation of a Skill Root as the colour of your reinforcement and the Art or Spell you've chosen being what's built upon it. The creation of a Skill Root is still decided by luck…
Success or failure is up to whether or not you have good fortune. This is what I've learned recently straight from my father's mouth, by the way. And well… you can be relieved that it really IS as simple as that." She spoke while pointing at her heart.
"The colour of my… Huh?" I couldn't help but ask.
My sentence wasn't finished, but she understood my problem. I imagined the five different types of Elemental Affinities I was able to produce, as well of the special colour of my Sun Attribute.
My will forced them deep into my 'foundations'.
"Yes, you might think that the only special types of reinforcements are mimicked ones, but you're wrong. The original Diamond Reinforcement humans can manifest is actually the best foundation for all abilities. It suits all types.
Those with mimicked reinforcement-type abilities are usually unable to bring out the true strength of a Skill Holder. They aren't able to have the flexibility of a Light Type Skill Holder." She generously said without holding back even a drop of information.
I had never thought the Young Miss could be this sincere... To think she'd actually take her time to explain something like this to one of her insignificant servants. I was grateful for this...
From what I'd heard, weren't Nobles supposed to be arrogant like her father? Why was she so kind to me specifically? How does she want me to return her favour once I've formed my Skill Root?
"You really are well informed!" A rare genuineness appeared in my smile, which she reacted to.
Both of us finally felt at ease with each other.
"Hehe~ You're making me blush! If you praise me more, I might just fall for you~!" Sapphire blushed while trying to hide the sharp glint in her eyes. She was similar to 'him' in ways I couldn't articulate.
They both had a kind of 'intensity' to their emotions that resonated with me. It was like they…
…were exactly like me.
Nah, that couldn't have been the case. The feeling I had gotten from her was probably my imagination.
It looked like the Young Miss was trying to 'test' me... An action that only worked for younger guys.
I wasn't completely dense to the point of not understanding her thoughts. I could understand her intentions. It was to create a closer bond between us than the master-servant relationship we currently had, but not in a romantic sense...
She was most likely trying to make me a 'friend' of hers. One she could share her secrets with.
Someone who she could count on in social situations, which was the battlefield of aristocracy.
Still, my instincts were basically pointing at her and saying: 'Getting close to her equal goodbye to your normal everyday life as a Butler!'. Who knew if I'd end up being assassinated after this is over...!
A distance had to be maintained between us. Like how even if the sun was warm, it was also cruel…
"Then I'll make sure to praise you less." Her face fluctuated a little. She was unable to understand why I retreated. As a cute girl, it seemed she may have taken my words a little offensively. I probably shouldn't have been so blunt with my response...
Her face darkened immediately. She turned uncharacteristically silent for a few moments.
I didn't interrupt her. Even patiently waiting for her to continue. I'd felt a little guilty for answering her in such a sly and disrespectful manner. If only I was more experienced with girls in my past life!
I mean, it wasn't like I'd stayed a virgin in my past life. The environment didn't allow my reluctance.
It was just that the girl's I'd dated really hadn't cared about romantic things like love and ideals.
They only approached me due to my high standing as a 'War Hero'. Their goals were fair and honest.
Those girls would always leave once they have had enough with me... Apparently, I had a bad attitude.
…Though that was probably nonsense.
Or maybe I had been one hell of a boring guy back on Earth despite how much fame I'd gained...
I hope that in future I would able to change and get a girlfriend. It didn't matter about 'internal age'.
So long as I didn't misuse my knowledge to string someone along, everything was fair play in love.
The girlfriend I wanted this time definitely had to be cute and bubbly. Someone with 'pure intentions'.
At the very least, an older girl who wasn't the daughter of the person who employed my parents.
"Am I pretty?" The Young Miss suddenly asked out of the blue. Now contrastingly, 'I' had been taken aback by HER bluntness. What was her goal? Why is she asking something like that with such face?
Was this some sort of trap she set?!
"Yes." I put my foot down with one word.
The atmosphere grew more intense.
"Is there someone else you like?" Her eyes were just like her overbearing father's at that moment.
It felt like a tiger was watching me like prey…
She's asking me this now?
What was the first question for, anyway? To lighten the mood? Yeah, right… She thought I'd fall for it?
"Yeah, I like that short-haired maid of yours." I lied straight through my teeth, but something felt off.
Blurry and hazy memories were coming to the surface of my mind, but they quickly vanished.
Wait, what maid was I talking about?
Argh! My head was hurting! I had to keep my cool, or else she'd figure out I'm talking out of my ass!
Even 'I' didn't have the courage to stand up to such a gaze. No wonder men feared a woman's wrath.
My only option was to try to smooth things over with the lie that fumbled out of my mouth.
Wait... Wasn't I starting to corner myself!?
She didn't have a maid like this, right? There was no way I wouldn't remember such specific features!
"Do you know her name?" She smiled at me coldly.
I thought we'd strayed off the original topic now. I
We were supposed to be discussing about Skill Roots and other closely related stuff! So why…?!
How did this suddenly turn into gossip about my love life...? Couldn't she see my reluctance?!
Aaargh!!! There were so many questions…!
"L-love at first sight." Oh no... I had the thought I'd been digging my grave a little too deeply recently.
Where was this maid I supposedly fell in love with!?
"Hmph, you don't have to lie. I didn't confess to you or anything." She leaned back with ease.
…Was this Taundere logic? Was she giving me 'Tsun'? No, that was my bad. It was just a joke…
I'm a little embarrassed for belie- Wait…
No, even a prepubescent kid would've been able to tell how serious you were! It didn't need to be said in words, but since you wanted to get some of your dignity back: I wouldn't argue with you.
The mind of this young girl sure was terrifying...
She obviously has no romantic feelings for me, yet she still wanted me fall for her confession just by her looks alone... Did the fact that I had beaten that arrogant prime have this much of an big impact?
Even a young girl like the Young Miss wanted to have some 'control' me over me using her beauty...
Well... It wasn't like I'd fall for a young girl like the Young Miss anyway. She's obviously too young for my tastes! I like busty women with curves, not children like her! I.AM.NOT.A LOLICON!!!!!!!!
"By the way, what are the practical ways I could use to help speed up the process of creating a Skill Root?" I asked after resolutely deciding to change the subject. You've just activated my most ultimate trap card: 'Bending Rivers To Save The Nation!'
It didn't look like she wanted to answer my questions anymore. Was she bored of me now…?
From what I can tell about her energetic personality, she wasn't going to just let me off lightly. I'd basically lied to her face. A servant like me making such a bold move must have upset her!
After hearing my question, she suddenly smiled mysteriously. There was even a faint trace of mischief in her eyes as she looked at me like a Cheshire Cat. What WAS that expression?
It looked like she found an opportunity to vent her frustrations... I hope she doesn't turn violent towards me. The difference in status was a thing even I was scared of. I didn't want to be locked in our household dungeons for something so small...!
"Constant battle helps forming a Skill Root. Let me help you out~!" She advised with 'sincerity'.
Now that's just immature!
All I did was tacitly reject you...
You should show the the great pride of a noble and look down on a mere servant like myself!
There was no need to dirty your hands! Wait, wait, wait, wait… Don't beat me up. Just listen a bit…!
Hah... What was I expecting? Although she was definitely hiding some secret. I could feel there were no lies in what she'd spoken. Constant battles seemed to mysteriously help form Skill Roots...
"I'll ask Jack for a spar then." I didn't want to continue talking with her. It now felt incredibly awkward after our last exchange... I really didn't want to get involved with such a scheming girl...
Don't you want to battle with a genius like myself?
You don't need to worry, I'll be sure to go easy on you~!" These words may sounded arrogant and narcissistic to those who didn't know her strength, but she had the power to back up what she said.
"I refuse." My hand was extended to her face.
What 'I'll go easy on you~'? A spar with the Young Miss wouldn't be a battle between warriors. Trying to spar with someone so outside my league would just look like a dinosaur 'fighting' against a chicken!
I definitely didn't have any way to resist her power with my current strength.
If she had anything similar to the rumours said about her, then I was sure I wouldn't ever e able to touch her. I'd heard she could conjure a myriad of swords. Many weapons that followed her will.
I'd also heard they could used to defend herself from every angle… and attack the same way too.
From the calculations I'd made, the only way to even stand a chance against the Young Miss…
….would be by creating more techniques that could counter her swords. They weren't formed yet.
I especially needed to find a way to counter 'Dark Specialist' and 'Light Specialist' techniques.
Those one were great at deceiving their foes.
Although I'd already one other seen rogue Dark Specialists in action apart from Anna, I only had a rudimentary understanding of their Arts (since I was able to imitate the Dark Attribute myself).
The knowledge Anna shared about her profession was enough to make me realise the difference between Elemental Specialists and Dark Specialists. It the complexity in their techniques!
The Young Miss might not have been able to be considered a 'Time Specialist' like those of the Royal Family, but her high Magical Talent allowed her reach the requirements of a Light Specialist.
The exact opposite of a Dark Specialist!
Darkness, Light and Fire... If I was confident in beating such a monstrous young girl who specialised in all three of these Attributes with her B Rank Magical Talent, then I would be insane!
"Don't be so quick to refuse~ Look how Sylphy is watching, I'm sure you wouldn't want her to see you acting cowardly, right?" She seemed to have predicted my answer and cut off my escape!
She casually asked with a 'innocent smile' after pointing towards a little girl her own age.
That… girl… seemed… to have… entered Sapphire's personal Training Ground… moments ago…
The short-haired maid was still as expressionless as a doll as she heard her Master's words.
Her face seemed to not care in the slightest towards the Young Miss's mischievous words.
As expected of a true personal servant!
To think I'd be trapped by another's silence.
I couldn't help but stiffly smile while giving up on making a tactical retreat. Who told me to use this quiet girl as my excuse anyway? Wait, she really exis-? I mean, I already knew she… existed!
It looked like I's have to man up and properly reject her next time, or else I'll suffer at her hands again...
This WAS our first time meeting, RIGHT?
Why did my body feel scared?
Why was I able to accurately describe her appearance to the Young Miss without ever having met her before today? No wait… I did! Argh, my headache...! It was not a thing I'd usually done..
Urgh, I could feel a migraine coming on again! It felt like a worm was crawling around in my brain.
What was I thinking about...?
I couldn't remember anymore...