The Beginning After The End - Chapter 19 - Peaceful
What had allowed me to become King in my old world was by knowing how to fight in all four different practices of the elements. Translate that here and I’d be a sort of quadra-elemental mage, if that even existed. Of course I did have my preferences. My weakest was earth and wind while my strongest was fire and water. I hardly used wind and even less of earth except for slight support. No. I was feared in battle because of my mastery in the two complete opposite elements of Water and Fire.
While I was training with Gramps, I had tested out a numerous theories that I had kept in my mind. One thing I had learned very quickly during that time was that I had absolutely no talent for conjuring. Grandpa brought over an elven conjurer one day when I had asked him to get someone to teach me the basics and I ended up nearly killing myself.
augmenting and conjuring were very different in one sense, and very similar in another. An augmenter could potentially have the ability to do what conjurers were capable of and vice versa. However, this only came with advanced breakthroughs in the top mana core stages as well as a much higher form of comprehension in the respective element.
I had thought that maybe I could bypass that fundamental rule and become both a conjurer and augmenter. I just regretted that I had to learn the hard way how that wasn’t possible. Another theory I had tested was my potential ability as a deviant. Grandpa Virion and Tess had both been shocked speechless after they found out I could manipulate all four elements, but after the four months of trying to see if I could control any of the higher elements, I received mixed results.
“Try not to be too surprised!”
Crackling sounds popped in the air around me as my hair stood on its end by the electric current coursing through me. There were currents of yellow lightning enveloping me as I prepared to attack.
“What the…” My father had almost stopped his attack after the shock had left unfocused. Before giving him the chance to recover, I dashed towards him, leaving a trail of charred grass and earth behind me. I blinked behind him, concentrating lightning into my fist as I go in for a hook.
A frightening explosion occurred as my fist collided with his. While my father had managed to block my attack the recoil pushed him into a nearby tree.
Getting back to his feet, my father imbued his arm in fire before looking at me. We both stayed silent, our gaze enough to tell each other our intent. As he lunged towards me with a speed fearsome for his size, I readied myself as well. As soon as my father got in range, he let out a flurry of precise jabs as my assimilated body, coupled with the nerve enhancing effect of the lightning coursing through me, was able to dodge each one with minimal movement. Lightning and fire intertwined as I parried and dodged his fists, each of his jabs growing faster and sharper; he truly was my father.
I was at a severe disadvantage because of my height and reach and my father wasn’t one who’d let that opportunity go wasted. He kept his optimal distance instead of carelessly getting close as I did all I can to get in range. As I parried each of his fists, I fired small bursts of lightning, slowly whittling down the feelings in his arms. My father didn’t notice until it was too late, though; his swings and jabs were becoming dull and sloppy. Seizing the opportunity, I ducked under his swing and prepared for an uppercut and just when my fist was about to make contact, my father’s knee was positioned just below my jaw.
It was a stalemate.
The tension from the spar immediately dissipated as my father clasped my shoulders. “Ow!” he let out a surprised yelp.
I still had electric currents surrounding me, giving him a little shock. I smiled back as I dispersed my mana, allowing my father to pick me up. While I was able to finally break through into the world of deviants, I was still a beginner. I had a lot to work on for my lightning attribute magic since this was something completely new to me as well. As for ice attribute magic, it was even harder for me at the moment. Using either of them required an excessive amount of mana, most of which was wasted on inept utilization. I was also bound by a strict limit on the duration of use, with lightning magic for about three minutes, and for ice, even less.
While, right now, using lightning attribute magic was more of a liability on myself than an asset, in the future, this definitely wouldn’t be the case.
The reason why only very few mages were able to transcend the basic element that they were adept in and into its higher form was that the higher form was completely different and incomparably more difficult. Of course, while me being able to learn both lightning and ice within four months probably didn’t back up this point, need I remind you again that I was a complete beginner in these higher forms of elements. While my old world helped me gain knowledge and understanding to transcend into the higher forms of the elements, my old world experiences didn’t prepare me for after I had become a deviant.
As for sound and gravity, I had yet to produce any favorable results. In order to even take the first step, a mage needed to understand the link between the basic elements into its higher form. After that, the mage’s body needed to be able to naturally understand this link and harmonize the structure of the mana from the basic element to its higher form. For wind and earth, even if I had somehow become able to grasp the link between the basic to its higher form, my body wouldn’t be able to change the structure of the mana particles.
My theory held true when I realized I wasn’t compatible to wind and earth in this world as well.
The energy from my body was drained and as soon I my father puts me back down, I collapsed on my butt. It was then that I had the chance to finally notice the dead silence surrounding my father and I.
My father had always been the type to easily accept facts and he knew I was already some sort of monstrous genius so me being a deviant didn’t really surprise him all too much. However, this hardly applied to everyone else here. The only one that seemed fascinated was my sister, but that was simply because she didn’t really get what had happened. She was probably used to seeing Father fight so nothing outside of that really registered as odd. Vincent and Tabitha’s faces are all in sync: faces pale, jaws slack, eyes wide. My mother had her hands covering her mouth in shock, while even Lilia knew that what I did wasn’t normal.
Compared to my father’s excited yet unsurprised acceptance, this reaction was more so within my expectations.
“Haha… Surprise!” I threw up my arms, laughing weakly.
“Kuu~!” Sylvie scampered towards me, giving me a concerned gaze, as if asking, ’are you okay Papa?’
Vincent was the first to speak up.
“D-deviant!” he managed to spew out.
“My god…” Tabitha just sighed in astonishment.
“So, Art. When exactly did you learn that new trick?” My father asked, more in curious tone than one of shocked bewilderment. Shaking his head while ruffling my hair.
“Not too long ago Dad. I can barely control it, though,” I replied sheepishly.
We all made our way back into the living room where we all situated ourselves around the dining table.
“Rey… your son. Do you realize the kind of future he has? He’s only eight but he’s already stronger than a veteran B rank Adventurer,” Vincent said, hardly able to contain his excitement.
My father scratched his head. “This is crazy. I thought that him awakening at the age of three was already terrifying but to think he would become a deviant as well.”
“What? He awakened at the age of three?!” Tabitha cried out, bolting up from her seat.
My mother just nodded at this. “Arthur managed to blow up most of our house in the process.”
Both my father and Vincent leaned back, sinking in their chair as they let out a synced sigh..
“Papa? Are yoo okay?” Eleanor poked Father in the cheek.
Laughing, Father picked her up off of Mother’s lap, “Haha, yeah I’m okay princess.”
Vincent got up from his chair now and looked seriously at us, arms stretched out on the table.
“Rey, how about enrolling your son in Xyrus Academy?”
“What? You can’t be serious, right? He’s only eight!” my father refuted, sitting up on his chair.
Tabitha chimeed in. “Rey, Alice, I think your child is more than capable of exceeding at Xyrus.”
“I thought that only noble geniuses were allowed to attend Xyrus Academy?” Mother responded, concern etched into her face.
Excitedly, Vincent voiced out, “I can handle that! I do a lot of business with the Director of Xyrus Academy so she’ll be lenient in the enrollment process.”
“B-but the school fees are much too extravagant for us to handle,” Mother argued, still doubtful of the idea of sending me.
“Alice, that should be the least of your worries. We will be glad to pay for the fees. Arthur’s talent is immeasurable. Who knows what he can accomplish. Even if we don’t pay, I’m sure he’d find nobles that would beg to sponsor him.” Tabitha held Alice’s hands in her own for reassurance.
“Ahem! Do you mind if I have a say in this?” People seemed to forget that the person’s future they were trying to decide was right here with them.
“I have just arrived back home today. Can I spend a bit of time with my family before I decide whether to go to school or not?” I gave a meaningful gaze to Vincent.
“O-of course. I apologize. Haha. I guess I was too excited there for a moment.”
He just laughed weakly before sitting back down.
“Thank you.” I gave the Helstea family a smile.
I turned my head to face my mother. “Mom, where do I sleep?”
“Oh yes! I almost forgot! You’ll have your room next to Eleanor’s in the left wing. Come on, let’s all go up now, it’s getting late.”
Sylvie had already fallen asleep on my head and my baby sister was nodding in and out of her dream world while we were discussing my future.
Today had been a long day.
Mother and Father lead me to the room I’d be living in from today onwards. It was a lot larger than my room in Ashber but still decorated in a homey fashion. While the furnishings did leave a lot of open space, it worked perfectly for since I needed some space to train.
As I settled Sylvie down on the bed, Mother and Father sat down next to me.
“We’ll go shopping together tomorrow. We need to get you some clothes.” My mother ran her fingers through my hair.
My father squatted down in front of me, grabbing my arm. “Arthur, whether you’re a genius or not, you’re still my son and I’ll be proud of you and love you regardless of circumstances.” His face was unusually serious. It was comforting knowing that they would always treat me as their son instead of their “little genius”.
I quietly nodded in return. I thought of revealing the full extent of my abilities but I decided that it might be safer to do it in baby steps.
Before he stood back up up, he pinched me cheek and gave me an evil smile. “Besides, I know you held back on me with your lightning magic today. Don’t think that you fooled me! We’ll do a rematch soon.
My mother just chortled at this, “I swear, all you guys think about is fighting.”
She looked at me with a comforting smile in her eyes. “Your father is right, though. No matter what kind of genius you are, you’ll still be my baby boy.”
“Haha. Can’t I be your adolescent boy now? I’m eight and a half now Mom!” I grinned back at her.
“Nope! You can’t!” She just retorted before the both of them left my room.
“Get some rest now. Let’s go shopping with your sister tomorrow. It’ll be a great chance for you guys to bond.” My mother said before closing the door behind her.
I don’t even have the energy to wash up. I just plop into bed, bouncing the slumbering Sylvie, who whines at me before nodding off to sleep.
Today was a long day. It was a good, long day.
With a smile plastered on my face, I followed Sylvie into a comforting sleep.
I woke up the next morning to my baby dragon licking furiously at my face.
“Haha I’m up Sylv, I’m up!”
“Kyu~!” She was hopping up and down on top of me, a feeling of excitement radiating from her.
I thought of Tess. I had never thought I would miss being woken up by her spartan methods. I wonder how she was doing?
Tess had become my closest friend growing up, and while she had turned a bit fierce, she was still the same kind-hearted Tess that worried about me and took care of me while I was in Elenoir.
I took a quick shower, dragging my smelly dragon with me. She cried in distress at the warm water drenching her but I didn’t relent and soon after, we were both sparkling clean.
“…kyu” Sylvie moaned, plopped down on my bed, exhausted from struggling.
“Don’t complain! Both of us were filthy and we didn’t wash yesterday either.”
I hear a knock on my door, so I quickly put on the rest of my clothes.
“Coming!” I said, my shirt still over my head.
Opening the door, I looked down to spot a shy Eleanor, looking down, with her foot rubbing something on the ground.
“Well hello there, Ellie.” I squatted down so I was eye level with her, giving her the most gentle smile I could muster.
“G-g’morning Bruhder. Mama told me to w-wake you up.” She muttered, her head still down.
“Haha I see! Thank you very much little sister,” I exclaimed while patting her head. This seemed to get a good response out of her as she started blushing a little.
“Can you take me down to the kitchen?” I asked, holding out my hand.
“En!” She nods excitedly and while she hesitated for a second, she grabbed my hand and pulled me along.
Sylvie followed behind us, trotting while taking a look around at her new surroundings.
I’m met with a pleasant smell of bacon as we entered the kitchen. Inside, I spotted Tabitha and my mother cooking something as they chatted. Lilia was sitting down at the table already, her legs swinging, obviously waiting for breakfast.
“Good morning Mom, Ma’am, Lilia!” I announced.
“G’morning!” “Kyu!” Both Ellie and Sylvie echo.
“Ah! Ellie managed to wake you up! I remembered having the hardest time waking you up even when you were a baby, Art. I swear you slept like a log.” My mother chuckled as she placed some eggs into a large plate.
“Did you sleep well?” Smiled Tabitha as she tossed the bowl of salad she had in her hands.
“I slept great, Mrs. Helstea.”
“Hi, Ellie! G-good morning Arthur… ” Lilia softly said as her voice trailed off after meeting my gaze.
I smiled and return the greeting.
Breakfast was great. Mother mentioned that usually the maids are the ones to cook but she wanted to cook today for me. It had been too long since I had mother’s cooking and I now realized how dearly I had missed it. I made sure to give some of the meat to Sylvie who didn’t hesitate to gobble whatever entered her mouth, including my finger. Eventually, Ellie and Lilia both wanted to try feeding her so I told them to go ahead. Needless to say, Sylvie warmed up to both of them a bit more after being fed by them.
“The carriage is waiting out front so just leave the dishes in the sink and let’s head out!” announced Tabitha.
Xyrus was an amazing city. I couldn’t help but stare at the different sights that came into view as we travelled down the main road. I could see magic shops, armories, spell books, and even beast core shops! There was everything a mage could ask for. Adults and children were all dressed extravagantly while luxurious carriages passed alongside ours. Some buildings were several stories high, making this city seem a lot bigger and denser than Ashber. I could also see children a couple years older than me all wearing similar uniforms, some black while some grey and red. I could only assume by their pretentious demeanor that they were students of Xyrus Academy. While uniforms in my old world were meant to protect the financial backgrounds to lessen discrimination, here, it seemed that the uniforms themselves worked as a sort of gold medallion that they could show off to the rest of the world.
We had eventually reached the fashion district of Xyrus. It was here I learned that shopping for clothes with females took a harder toll on my body than training with Grandpa Virion, and even the thought of his training regimen had left me in cold sweat.
I was used as a mannequin for each of the girl’s own preferences in style. My mother wanted to dress me in simple clothes, while Tabitha wanted to transform me into some sort of prince. Even Lilia and Ellie made me try on some clothes.
“You need to look good since you’re my bruhder!” She announced loudly, her hands on her hips.
Sylvie could feel the exhaustion radiating from me so she comfortingly perched on my head, as if to gloat.
I ended up with ten different sets of clothes, half from Mother and the other half from Tabitha. Both Mother and I tried to stop Tabitha from buying me anything but she scolded us, playfully said, “Just think of it as an investment. Besides, I’ve always wanted a son,” while winking.
We looked around more after towing our bags of clothes into the carriage. I was excited to see the armory. I had really wanted a decent sword to start practicing swordsmanship again; It was apparent that my skills diminish after such a long break from proper training. The girls didn’t want that, though, and I was forced to go into different jewelry and gem stores instead. I guess I would have to visit the armory with Father next time.
Eventually, we arrived back home, my physical and mental strength depleted by the time father came back home soon after.
“How was your day, Son?” He chuckled, taking a seat next to me on the dining table.
“I never thought shopping could be so utterly tiring,” I groaned.
As if hearing my complaints, Vincent and Tabitha sat down across from us.
“HAHA! I heard you got beat up by a bunch of women today, Arthur!” Vincent exclaimed.
I just feebly nod while Tabitha smirked at looks at Mother, “The little prodigy of yours isn’t as big of a deal as I thought he was.” Lilia and Ellie giggled at this.
“I will admit that a woman’s endurance can not be matched when they’re out shopping.” I just wryly refuted.
My father and Vincent laughed harder at this and nodded their head in agreement.
The sound of a doorbell followed by a couple of knocks gets everyone’s attention.
“Ah! Looks like she’s here!” Vincent perked up.
The look on everyone else’s face told me that Vincent was the only one who knew what was going on.
Vincent came back, leading an elderly woman into dining room.
“Rey, Alice, Arthur, I know you guys said that you want to put off school for later but I just couldn’t hold it in. Everyone. Meet Cynthia Goodsky! She’s the Director of Xyrus Academy.”
Noticing the slight twinge of annoyance on my face, Vincent immediately said, “Don’t worry, I didn’t bring her here to make you go to school right away. I just wanted her to meet you.”
The Director gave me a smile that I couldn’t quite understand the meaning of and held out her hand. “Nice to finally meet you, Arthur.”