The Beginning After The End - Chapter 39 - Introspection
With everyone else asleep, I had the peace of training to my heart’s content. These past few weeks, I’d been doing little outside of training myself as well as helping the growth of Elijah and my father, with a few pointers for my baby sister as well.
Ellie hasn’t been training much but her progress was still pretty decent. I predicted that she’d awaken around eleven if she kept at her pace, maybe even ten if she actually started trying more. I found it oddly satisfying when I watched my sister play with the friends she had made at the School for Ladies, a small class of noble young girls gathered together to be taught etiquette and basic household skills. Early on, I learned that this general population believed that “proper” and “refined” ladies should have both the manners and grace of a queen, while still being able to cook and sew for her husband.
In the world I lived before, women worked just as much as men, and the whole “women should stay at home” saying became taboo, often incurring the wrath of many females and other males alike if said aloud.
However, the things Ellie learned in school seemed to only be reserved for the public, because though Ellie was asleep now, she’d made a fuss beforehand, saying she wouldn’t go to bed if I didn’t stay with her until she fell asleep.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when I compared that spoiled behavior to the refined, graceful façade she’d put on in front of her friends, acting all lady-like and whatnot. I’d almost burst out laughing when she addressed me as “dear honorable brother” in front of the couple of girls her age at her tea party.
My sister’s birthday was coming up soon and I could tell she was eagerly wondering what present I would give her. Knowing her, she would probably love whatever I gave her as long as I gave it some thought, but with my personality, I wanted to give her something functional as well. The problem was, I was out of money. This blasted dimension ring costed me all the gold I earned as an adventurer.
I thought a little bit about what I could do to earn money when something came to mind. One obvious advantage I had was the fact that my mind contained ideas and inventions that hadn’t been developed in this world yet.
With a satisfied grin on my face, I turned back to training. There were two things I was focusing on outside of developing my mana core, which I estimated would reach dark yellow stage by the time school started in autumn. One was training heavily on my lightning and ice attribute skills, which were by far my strongest assets.
I decided I’d keep my fire, water, lightning and ice skills a secret during my stay at Xyrus Academy. Being an adept dual-elemental augmenter was the most attention I would want during my years there, and since Lucas had only seen me use fire elemental skills during the dungeon excursion and at the testing grounds, it’d be even harder for him to fit the pieces together if I only used earth and wind magic. If I purposely didn’t train my earth and wind magic at all until I entered the academy, it’d be more than enough to pass off myself as a mere ’talented genius’ that wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows.
I opened one of the books I brought with me from the library. I managed to find some of the limited books on deviation skills, containing a few segments on lightning and ice. It seemed that, for lightning, there were two main methods that augmenters opted to. One was internal, and the other was external. Because of the unique properties of lightning compared to other elements and their deviants, there were some individuals who focused on using internal lightning skills, which was stated as much more difficult.
Thunderclap Impulse was one of the internal lightning techniques that I had developed, which could be seen as the stepping stone into much more powerful skills. The book only went on to say that, for internal lightning users, most reached a ceiling quite early on before ultimately switching to external techniques. This meant that internal lightning skills hadn’t been developed enough for people to actually find advantages in it.
This was also the route that I chose to go. While I would have some external lightning skills under my belt, I knew from experience just how much more powerful internal skills were compared to the external counterparts. Of course, it may not be as flashy but what I wanted wasn’t a dazzling light show—I wanted absolute power. It’d take time and patience to develop but I already knew the rewards would be tremendous as I imagined the levels above just using a small current of lightning to quicken my reaction.
As for my ice elemental skills, I wanted to focus on a wide range skills to fight against multiple opponents. The combination skill of White Fire and Absolute Zero was my strongest skill, which I could only use under the massive power-up I got from the second phase of my Dragon’s Will, Integrate. I imagined that, for now, even if I had the technique and theory down for either lightning or ice, I’d need to be in the Integrate phase if I wanted to use the more powerful skills.
I couldn’t help but grow a little impatient at this fact but there wasn’t much I could do now except train. I had so many advantages but I was still dissatisfied with the level of power I had. I could say with confidence that, if I were to fight against the former me from my old world, I would win. The amount of mana in this world and the fact that I had Dragon’s Will alongside mana rotation, I could easily overpower my previous self. However, the world I was in was filled with dangers much greater than the dangers in my old world, so growing complacent would end up being detrimental.
I picked up the other book that I brought, which was on beast wills. I’d already read it once so I skipped to the part on training it, which made me sigh in helplessness. I saw this coming, but I couldn’t help but grow disheartened when I read it the first time. It seemed that the best way to train the beast will acquired was being taught by the beast itself. The only other alternative mentioned was to study thoroughly about the beast itself so the beast tamer could learn and practice the traits of the beast.
Option one was obviously out of the question, seeing as Sylvia either died or become hostage to whatever being that black-horned figure was. Option two had its limit as well. The fact that I could even use one of the ’acquire’ skills and even go into Integrate phase was because of the perks in being a Legacy Tamer, where a certain amount of insight came alongside the Will. Even for a dragon, she seemed so unique; I couldn’t even imagine what sort of powers she had. I wished she had left me some clues as to what some of her powers were before everything happened.
“Snap out of it!” I said aloud while smacking both of my cheeks. Bringing myself down on what I didn’t have wasn’t going to solve anything.
Besides training my lightning and ice attribute magic, the other skill I wanted to learn was magic cancellation.
The theory was that elemental attribute mana was manipulated, whether through the form of a spell or through extensive knowledge of the skill, into the projected destination or into the caster’s own body. Speaking very technically, these mana particles were basically coded to affect either the atmosphere or the specific target to produce a certain outcome. There was a very small delay from when the mage casted the coded mana particles and when those particles had an effect and formed the spell.
During that delay, if I was able to potentially disrupt those mana particles with mana of my own, I would be able to discreetly terminate the spell without it even forming.
While in theory that sounded amazing, there were several problems. One, in order for this to even work, I would have to know what spell the opponent was using. That wasn’t a problem when the conjurer or even the augmenter chanted the spell, but in cases of mental chanting, or even instacasting, I would have to know what the spell was by the makeup of the mana during the near split-second the manipulated mana particles were cast before it took effect and formed a spell.
This required learning a tremendous amount of spells and figuring out which skills could effectively cancel them out. Just thinking about that left me with a headache. Most spells could be figured out with magic theory but being able to almost instantly think of the correct spell to counteract the opponent’s meant I needed to know it by heart. However, I knew that mastering this skill would be a priceless asset, especially for someone like me, who was able to manipulate all four elements.
I picked up my books and towel with one hand and picked up Sylvie with the other and headed back up to my room. Vincent offered another room for Elijah but my parents wouldn’t allow it since he was a Leywin guest, which meant he should just stay in one of our rooms. As a compromise, I asked them to just bring in another bed for Elijah, since the room was more than spacious enough.
Returning back to my room, Elijah was already fast asleep, straight on his back with his arms folded on his chest, as if he was lying in a coffin.
Even when he slept, he looked like such a straight and proper fellow. Elijah was a good friend and it helped that our personalities complimented each other. Elijah was pretty peculiar. Despite his straight-laced, stern appearance—mainly due to the hair and glasses—he was a very emotional lad. He was logical in a way where he had set principles that he never strayed from, making him very honest and trustworthy, but when it came to people and relationships, he often thought with his ’heart,’ leaving him quite vulnerable if people chose to take advantage of him.
As for me, whether it was because I lived and remember my previous life, I could only see myself as analytical and somewhat scheming. I had to admit that I had a hard time trusting people completely and always tried to think a couple steps ahead. I somewhat regretted the lack of innocence I had compared to normal eleven-year-olds, but one thing I had grown to realize was that, when it came to the few close relationships I did have, I would become very invested in them, almost to a fault. Did it have something to do with being an orphan in my previous life? Because the only close person I had was the caretaker that picked me up and was later killed?
Even as a King, I couldn’t say with confidence that I had been the most mature, and in many aspects. I would even say I wasn’t very King-like, but one thing that I couldn’t change was the amount of importance I had to those I held dearly.
After taking a quick shower, I sunk into bed, causing Sylvie to stir in her sleep. She cuddled by me and started breathing steadily again, and the slow rhythm of her breaths lulled me to sleep.