Chapter 3:

A Day in the House of Faulkner

Atk 0 Crit All ~My attack stat is negligible, so I can't help but rely on critical hits to succeed!~

CLAAAANGGGG!!!Bookmark here

"Wahh!!!!" Crash! My body hit the floor. My panicked, drowsy gaze finally locked onto an old man holding a pan and ladle.Bookmark here

"What are you doing, Sebas…I'm mean Pietro!" I bit my tongue correcting myself as I yelled.Bookmark here

Pietro cocked his head at my gaffe. "Why, I'm simply requesting Sir Claude to join me in the courtyard for some morning exercise."Bookmark here

This guy. What a mischievous grin he was sporting. I probably shouldn't decline his offer seeing as I'm a guest.Bookmark here

"Here is a set of clothes. I'll be waiting." Pietro placed a bundle onto the bed.Bookmark here

Spreading the clothes out, it contained a simple pair of shirt and slacks, light brown in color, and some socks. Putting them on, they seemed loose fitting and easy to move in.Bookmark here

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The house appeared to be large enough to house a large family plus their servants, but not to the extent that one would get lost. Making my way outside, I noticed that the furnishings were modest, but sufficiently filled the space with a personal charm.Bookmark here

Pietro was already in the courtyard, swinging a wooden sword. Graceful movements traced the air around him as he danced with an imaginary opponent. His eyes pressured his foe as he defended and counterstriked with deliberate, sharp movements. I started to walk forward but my legs felt heavy.Bookmark here

'This aura is certainly not what I would expect from someone like my grandpa's age.' I thought as I willed myself to detach my foot from the ground.Bookmark here

Having noticed me, Pietro slowed his movements to a halt. He pointed to another wooden sword on the ground.Bookmark here

"Pick that up and hit me."Bookmark here

"…uh…ok?" I guess that wasn't totally unexpected.Bookmark here

Still, I didn't feel like hitting him seriously. I made a swing without any real force, but suddenly the sword flew out of my hands with a loud clack.Bookmark here

"What was that? I told you to hit me, not poke me with a stick." Pietro's tone was firm. "I've trained young mistress as well as her mother in swordplay, so no need to hold back."Bookmark here

Fine. I get it. Not like I could dent him even if I tried, recalling that I had been cursed with near zero attack power. I swung the sword with full force this time. Sure enough, it was hitting a tree trunk. My hand felt a little numb.Bookmark here

"I see. The young miss told me about your unique circumstance, but I had to see it for myself. Well, even with this kind of disadvantage, there are many other ways to fight. For now, let's work on the basics."Bookmark here

Thankfully, Pietro started directing me with exercises closer to my level but focusing more on defense and evasion. Still, it was quite the challenge to block all of his strikes. Pietro didn't appear to be using much effort, but the blows had some weight to them. I found myself dodging back and resetting my guard every few swings. However, I was getting accustomed to the pace.Bookmark here

'This isn't so bad. I thought between blocks. 'It's actually kind of fun—' TWACK!Bookmark here

A sharp pain exploded in my side. Doubling over and the edges of my vision growing dark, I saw Pietro step forward.Bookmark here

"My apologies. Hand slipped."Bookmark here

!!!Bookmark here

What the hell! Hand slipped?! That was intentional!Bookmark here

Slowly getting back up, Pietro waited patiently with a slight grin. He began lightly attacking again, but this time, I kept my guard up nervously anticipating for that to happen again. Sure enough, Pietro's glare sharpened, and I reflexively tightened my grip for the next block.Bookmark here

Yet, that blow blasted the sword out of my hand and sent a second sharp jolt of pain right above where he hit me last time.Bookmark here

"Ah. He caught on." Pietro commented as I no longer could feel anything, even the impact of the ground.Bookmark here

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When my eyes opened, I immediately winced from the glare of the bright sun. Apparently, I had been unconscious for some time as it was close to noon now. As I sat up, I noticed that I was strangely fine, almost as if the pain from earlier was a dream.Bookmark here

"Don't mind Pietro. That's just how he is when it comes to instructing. I patched you up with a healing spell." A sweet voice called out next to me. Eryn was sitting under a tree, flipping through a book.Bookmark here

I was scared now. At this rate, my body wasn't going to last. The inevitable 'Game Over' screen was likely just around the corner.Bookmark here

Eryn put down her book and pulled out a cloth bundle. Unwrapping it, she pulled out a sandwich and handed it to me.Bookmark here

"For now, I would like you to continue with the training. Your abilities may be poor now, but I find it odd that an Electi would have such low disposition for combat. And the meaning of that high Crit stat is eluding me."Bookmark here

"You don't have any ideas as to what the Crit stat means either?" I said in between bites.Bookmark here

From my knowledge of video games, a higher Crit would usually translate to a better chance of getting a critical hit or doing more damage when you achieve a critical hit. However, with such a low base attack, that didn't seem like it would help much in either case.Bookmark here

"I've been poring through historical texts, but there haven't been any recorded cases of Electi with a high Crit stat. The ones recorded are usually those blessed with high Atk or Mag who toppled strong enemies, or high Def that could stand up to an entire army. There's even a case of a nin..ja… who was said to be untouchable due to his Spd."Bookmark here

Ninja? Standing up to armies and boss monsters? Ha, I could barely beat up a slime. I despaired at what I could've been if I hadn't drawn the short straw. God of this world, can I please have a re-roll?Bookmark here

"So… there's no indication that I could even be useful to you in the future?" I hesitantly asked.Bookmark here

"For now, have Pietro get you up to speed. I'll be busy with preparations before being officially enlisted in the Magician's guild. We'll have plenty of tasks assigned to us afterwards, so there's not much time to waste."Bookmark here

"It's not like I have anywhere else to go. Though, I would like to know a bit more about this world…'Origins of Electi Summonings'…" I picked up the book and read the cover. Flipping through the pages, I was surprised that I could read it. Lucky!Bookmark here

"If it interests you, feel free to peruse through the library in your free time…Come to think of it, what skills do you have?"Bookmark here

Skills? My mind instantly brought up the status screen. Locating the 'Skills' tab with my finger, I saw a blank page. Nada, nothing. What should I expect? I was only level 2.Bookmark here

"I don't mean that. I mean what did you do in your home world. What are you good at?" Eryn dismissed my status screen.Bookmark here

Let's see…I was going to college, but I had no idea what I wanted to learn since I was mainly taking core courses. I played video games and watched anime. This was not looking so good. Goofed off with friends. Took pictures of weird things and posted them on social media. Nope, nothing that you could call a skill. I used to help out a lot at my Dad's restaurant, but I hadn't done that in over a year…Bookmark here

"Cooking…maybe?" I slowly replied.Bookmark here

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Late that afternoon, I was sent to the kitchen to help Carina with dinner preparations. I didn't have any plans to become a freeloader, so that was fine by me. It would also keep me busy instead of dwelling on other things. Having been distracted the night before, this was the first time I had conversed with the resident maid, who reminded me of an older version of the lady in a certain DS cooking game.Bookmark here

"It would be a big help if you could cut up all of these vegetables." Carina said with a wide grin.Bookmark here

"Sliced? Diced? Or Julienne? And how fine?"Bookmark here

"Oh, regular diced is just fine. I'm not picky because it's just for stew." Carina looked a little confused as she walked away to take care of something else. Maybe some of those terms didn't translate here.Bookmark here

As I pulled out a carrot and brought the knife down, I felt a bit of strange resistance. That's weird. I looked at the blade, which seemed sharp enough. Were carrots in this world harder than normal?Bookmark here

"In that case…" I changed my grip on the knife and traced my eyes along the carrot. Carefully, I brought the knife down with the proper form. This time, it slid neatly into the carrot with no resistance. After a few test cuts to shake off the rust of my cutting form, I began to speed up as I continued to prep the veggies without further issue.Bookmark here

Carina came back over after I was done.Bookmark here

"Oh my! You're done already!" Carina was rather surprised.Bookmark here

"Nothing to it." I said with a grin. For some reason, the task went by quicker than I expected.Bookmark here

Carina gathered the ingredients into a pot and set it on the stove. A barely audible chant came from her as a single flame appeared in the palm of her hand. She tossed it underneath the pot, which activated the stove.Bookmark here

"That's handy. Do people generally use magic for everyday things in this world?" I had recalled how the doorbell-like contraption had worked the previous day.Bookmark here

"Why yes. Nearly everyone is able to conjure enough magic for small tasks. There are magical tools everywhere that only require a bit of mana to operate. Even a child could use them."Bookmark here

Hey, I might be able to try something new! I made a mental note to check the Library when I had the time. I continued helping out in the kitchen as I learned how to cook in this world.Bookmark here

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Later that evening, I had picked up a book on rudimentary magic control from the Library and was skimming through it. A knock on the door interrupted me.Bookmark here

"Come in," I responded.Bookmark here

Eryn walked in and left the door ajar. Walking over and seeing the book in my hand, she smiled lightly.Bookmark here

"Looks like you are adapting well to this world."Bookmark here

"Yes. My curiosity seems to have taken over, especially in regards of magic, which did not really exist in my world."Bookmark here

"If you want, I could show you some basics." Eryn leaned over to look at the book.Bookmark here

This unexpected action suddenly made me self-conscious. It hadn't registered until now, but I had spent much of my time yesterday with Eryn alone. Having not seen her for much of today until dinnertime and now being alone together, I started noticing her more.Bookmark here

Eryn was fairly attractive, which made me uncomfortable with the proximity of her face. I started to inch away as casually as possible so that I could reset my feelings. Perhaps, I was subconsciously wishing for her company, as she was the first person I encountered in this world. I didn't believe in love at first sight, but something was messing with me.Bookmark here

"Th-That would be great. I have to figure out other ways to compensate for my faults. Though I'm sure you would've preferred a useful familiar rather than someone plain and average like me."Bookmark here

"I admit that my expectations were a bit different." Eryn turned away from me and said in a softer voice. "But we work with what life throws our way. Such is fate."Bookmark here

It may have been my imagination, but it sounded like she was directing that last part to herself. We continued to chat about various things until bedtime, feeling at ease in each other's company.Bookmark here

Jake Hecker
Gerry Hines
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