As the sword arced towards me, I noticed that it had a faint glow of mana surrounding it. Augmenting his sword to attack an eight-year-old… this guy really showed no tact. The hood covering the guard’s face was blown back as he charged towards me, revealing a rugged veteran’s furious expression.
Faces of horror could be seen clearly from those around us. The Twin Horns desperately tried to make their way towards the guard when they saw him attack me, to stop him from cleaving me in two. Even the King looked surprised at the unprecedented action of his guard, while the Queen had already frantically started reaching for her wand.
My eyes stayed focused on the guard that was about to swing down, but I was quite relaxed. Whether or not it was because he was angry, or because the training the royal guards received was mediocre, his attack was rushed and full of openings. I didn’t even need to will mana into my body to deal with him. I took a step forward with my right foot as his sword swung down towards me, then reached up and grabbed the space on the grip of his sword between the cross-guard and his hand.
I proceeded to pivot on my right foot, using the momentum of his swing, while my body was parallel to the guard’s. His reinforced sword whistled harmlessly through the empty space where I’d just been, creating a small fissure in the ground, and conversely embedding his sword in it. In one smooth movement, I quickly struck him in the jaw, which he hadn’t bothered to guard with mana. The force of my upward punch, combined with his downward movement from his swing, created an impact much stronger than I’d expected. The guard only managed to let out a low grunt before he crumpled to the ground.
My attention immediately focused, then, to Sebastian. As I had expected, the dense fool was silently muttering a spell as his beady eyes locked intently with mine.
‘That impudent brat! He needs to learn his place! When the King asks for something, it isn’t a request; it’s an order! How dare he not only refuse, but also reprimand our noble King! That brat doesn’t deserve his equals contract! I personally come from a family of pure conjurers; elite mages capable of bending nature to their will. I don’t have a contract with a beast at all! Yet, that brat has a beast that was capable enough to form an equals contract at such a young age! That means that the beast’s level is least A class!’ I couldn’t help but grind my teeth in frustration.
‘I’m the one that deserves the magnificent steed that that beast will grow to become! And yet, he refused me? He refused the King?’
“Insolent peasant! You dare insult the King and his family?” Harry let out a roar as he charged towards the brat, his sword brandished high up in the air.
‘Yes! Kill that brat! I guess augmenters do have their uses at times. Hahaha! After that brat’s dead, that black mana beast will rightfully be mine!’
Yet, before I could even start cheering for him, he’d been knocked out.
‘What the hell? How did that useless, half-witted fool manage to knock himself out? Ugh… I guess I’ll have to handle this brat by myself.’ As I began taking out my staff, I noticed the brat walking towards me.
I had to hold back a laugh. ‘He’s actually come towards me? Is he asking to die?’ Well, I didn’t really care at this point. That non-mage ‘Vincent’ was a close friend of the King, but I’ll probably just get off with a light punishment for killing an insignificant brat.
Whatever bothersome punishment he served me would be well worth it after getting my hands on the brat’s mana beast.
As I began silently chanting a spell, I couldn’t help but grow irritated as he continued to approach me. Was he such a fool that he couldn’t tell that he was about to die?
However, a twinge of unease began forming at the pit of my stomach. This boy, no background or power to save him, had such confidence. Why did I feel like this brat, who’s only half my height, was somehow looking down at me; as if he was the one that was superior.
However, much stronger than my unease was harsh contempt for having something that I had been searching so hard for. ‘You’re just trying to make me want to kill you more, aren’t you, brat?’
He arrived in front of me just as I was about to finish my Fire Spark spell.
All of a sudden, a piercing crunch sounded from beneath me before I dropped to my knees.
‘That’s weird. Why did I suddenly lose balance?’
I glanced down, only to see someone’s knee bent inwards, along with the bones, tendons still attached, sticking out of the skin.
‘T-t-that’s my leg!’
“M-MY LEG! MY LEG!! AHHHHHHHH!”
IT HURTS! IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS! I’ve never felt such excruciating pain in my life! Why should a noble conjurer like myself need to feel pain?
‘W-Why is no-one helping me?’ As I frantically looked around, it was apparent that everyone was somehow frozen. They weren’t just surprised, but actually frozen in place.
It was then that I noticed that the colors of my surrounding had been flipped, or reversed. ‘Have my eyes been clouded from the pain?’
“This space won’t last long, so I’ll make it quick. I’ll tell you rightnow that it would be best for both of us if you stopped your hopeless pursuit of my bond. I don’t wish to make an enemy of this Kingdom’s leader, thus I’m giving you one last chance.”
The boy was speaking in a manner that made me completely forget his age. The tone of his words, coupled with the way he articulated them, carried both power and dignity, caused a terrifying sensation that I had felt before.
‘It was him back in the room!’ As I thought this, the pressure bore down on me, forcing me to fearfully comply.
He turned his back to me as he walked away, taking a few steps forward, before suddenly glancing back at me.
He looked at me with an emotionless face, his eyes seeming to pierce straight into my brain like a hot needle, actually making me wince in pain.
‘No… No, no, no… I can’t breathe! I-I’m scared!’ The torturous pain had been somewhat numbed. Instead, I could feel a warm sensation between my legs as my body accepted its fate of death.
His eyes continued to bore down at me in blatant disgust as I tried to stop my body from shivering.
He looked at me as if I was simply an insect, and slowly mouthed,
“Know. Your. Place.”
KING GLAYDER’S POV:
While the implication of his message towards the King of a country was provoking, this eight-year-old’s reasoning and argument fascinated me.
Even though Sebastian was a loyal guard that had served us for decades, it was beneath me to make this kid give up his pet. And yet, I still promised him beforehand that I would. Who would I be if I were to go back on my word?
Then, everything went south. ‘Do the Royal Knight Guards only amount to this much…? To rush in simply because of an eight-year-old’s provocation?’
I didn’t bring my personal Templar Knights, thinking that there wouldn’t be any trouble, but I couldn’t have guessed that these fresh trainees would cause this much trouble…
Although it surprised me, I quickly composed myself. What’s done is done. If a royal guard was to kill this child, the public might pity him and his family for a couple of days, but ultimately the fault would lie in the child’s parents for getting in my way.
It was a pity that this kid’s family was friends with Vincent. Cutting ties with the auction house owner may turn out to be… a bit inconvenient, in the future.
Yet, outside of all expectations, the eight-year-old displayed a series of movements that couldn’t be more impeccably executed even if a Tempar Knight had done it. So deftly did the boy knock out my Royal Guardsman.
‘Harry, you fool. How inexperienced do you have to be that you even forgot to reinforce your body?! The only thing you’re doing is give a bad name to the Royal Knights of Sapin!’
“KYYAAAAAAAAAA!” I instantly turned my head in the direction of the shrill scream.
My wife was staring wide-eyed at something behind me, causing me to turn around to get a better look.
‘How is Sebastian, who was fine just a second ago, now on the ground clutching his left leg like that? His leg has several shards of bone sticking out, yet he’s just glaring daggers at the boy?’
The conjurer fumbled for his staff on the ground and as soon as he grabbed it, pointed it at the boy while starting to mumble a spell.
“Enough, Sebastian!” I roared at him. Did this ignorant fool not know that all of this stemmed from his greed for a child’s bond?
I grabbed his staff and snapped it in half. Sebastian just looked at me in shock—as if I’d betrayed him.
This pathetic ingrate…
“Stand down! This matter is over,” I growled menacingly at him as we locked eyes.
‘He is in the presence of a King! No matter how much he has gotten used to it, it’s best that I remind him that I can end his life on a whim.’
As soon as I finished this thought, the boy fainted. His family and, what I can only assume were his friends, immediately rushed towards him. I sighed. ‘Settling this incident will be rather tiring.’
I could see that the boy’s family and friends were struggling not to lash out at me.
‘How wise of them to know their place in front of their King.’
Thinking about the trouble this had caused, and what it will take to deal with it, I let out a deep breath.
“I imagine that that boy needs to be treated; please excuse yourselves so that we can settle this matter another time,” I announced as I guided my wife and children outside, leaving the two pathetic clowns that I’d been foolish enough to once call Royal Knights to be picked up by his teammates.
ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
‘Gah! My head!’
I pried open my eyes, curious as to where I was, but everything was blurry. As my vision slowly cleared, I carefully turned my head to the right and to the left.
It was my room.
“Kyu!” Sylvie woke up almost immediately and began licking my face. ‘You’re awake! You’re awake!’ she chirped, her tail wagging fiercely.
“Mmm…? Oh, you’re finally awake!” My mom had her head in her arms as she leaned on my bed.
“The doctor said that you probably fell unconscious from shock, and that you’d wake up soon. However, I didn’t think ‘soon’ would be eight hours.” She ran her fingers gently through my hair, giving me a soft smile.
It was evident from her red eyes that she’d been crying for a while. A bitter taste filled my mouth in regret from making her worry again
“What happened after I passed out?” I willed myself to sit up, placing the excited Sylvie on my lap.
“We all left shortly after you fell unconscious. No one was in their right state of mind, thus the King excused himself first. Your father is downstairs with the King’s representative. They’re in the living room discussing what happened.” Her eyes quivered in worry.
I simply nodded in response and got out of bed. My body still felt heavy from using the first phase of Sylvia’s Draconic Will, so I limped slowly downstairs with Mother after she checked in on Ellie, who was asleep in her room.
As we made our way downstairs, I could hear my father, along with an elderly man’s hoarse voice.
Upon seeing me, the representative suddenly stood up, giving me a slight bow, a bit of a relieved look on his weathered face. My father’s back was facing me, so he only turned to look when he saw the old man start to get up.
“My son! You’re awake!” He hurled himself over the couch and wrapped me in a bear hug, his hand cupping the back of my head.
“Yeah Dad, I’m fine. What’re you guys talking about?”
“This representative came by with a few gold coins as a ‘token of apology’ from the King. ‘For the small incident’,” my father answered through clenched teeth.
“The Royal King has also ordered me to inform the Leywin family that both guards that attacked Arthur Leywin have been stripped of nobility,” the representative added, his voice cracking.
“For almost killing my son, the King just gave them a slap on the wrist, and then waved them goodbye?” My father couldn’t help but be livid from the frustration.
“Father, it’s all right! Look, I wasn’t hurt. Let’s just end this matter.” I squeezed my father’s hand, giving him a reassuring look.
The King seemed like a decent enough character, but in times like this, I guess his priorities lie elsewhere.
The representative just looked at us matter-of-factly—as if it was a given that whatever the King had done was the right thing.
Letting out a sigh, I took a seat. ‘I’m too tired for this crap.’
Casting aside the issue, I asked about Sebastian, in case he’d said anything. “What happened to that Conjurer? The one who had his knee broken?”
The representative just shook his head a little. “We don’t know. Our experts hypothesized that it was due to the mana that the Knight attacked you with ricocheting and hitting his knee.”
I just shrugged at this. Looks like the matter was settled more easily than I had expected.
After the elderly representative left—mainly because my father had grown impatient with his attitude—he turned around and gave me a grin.
“Good job knocking out that Augmenter. That’s my son!” He put his fist out in front of him, which I promptly pounded with my own fist, smiling.
“Where are the Twin Horns anyway? I thought they’d be here.”
My mother answered me while chuckling, “We had to keep them away from this, otherwise they might’ve really turned into wanted criminals.”
I laughed at this, but I could tell that it was something they were genuinely worried about by the helpless look on my father’s face.
According to my mother, the Twin Horns were waiting at a nearby Inn. My father told me that we’d head out there tomorrow for breakfast, and would discuss me being an adventurer with them. I nodded at this and went back into my room. My birthday was in less than two weeks. I’d finally be able to make my first mark here in this world.
As I sunk back down in my bed, I stared at the palms of my hands, idly thinking about the events from earlier. This was the first time I’d used Sylvia’s Draconic Will. These past years that I had spent studying Sylvie’s will, before assimilating it into my body and practicing it for four months, had caused me to sigh in wonder at just how powerful Sylvia was.
I was just tapping into the ocean that was Sylvia’s powers. Unlike Grandpa Virion, who could only get a speed boost and blend into his surroundings, being a legacy tamer allowed me to access a lot more of Sylvia’s powers at stage one.
What I had used on Sebastian was something that I decided to named ‘Distortion’. I could basically separate myself from time and space for a brief moment. Although I couldn’t alter anything around me, it did give me time to assess my situation. Earlier today, I’d exceeded my limits by using Distortion on another person as well. This had allowed me to get by unnoticed from the King—for now. I wasn’t strong enough to act against him yet.
My current limit with Distortion, before I received any backlash, was two seconds. However today, I had used it on another person, as well as had prolonged it to five seconds. I’d done all that just to scare that bug named Sebastian. I’d used up all of my mana and passed out for half a day—just to terrify a bug. Maybe it would’ve been better to kill him.
No, I couldn’t think like that anymore. Causing meaningless deaths just for my convenience wasn’t something that I should do in this world. I needed to be different in this world.
I shook my head. I had a lot of time. Since I had so much time, I needed to be patient.
I unwrapped the package that Vincent had left beside my bed, only to see a completely white mask that was able to cover my entire face. It was a simple mask, with two sharp eye slits that curved upwards; it reminded me of a fox’s eyes. There was no nose or mouth hole; just a singular blue streak that ran straight down the left side of the mask, through the left eye slit.
I tried the mask on, which somehow stuck to my face without the need of a strap. I also tried on the midnight blue coat, which turned out to be a little long. After strapping on the coat, it suddenly shrunk to fit my body perfectly.
I couldn’t help but be embarrassed; I felt like some sort of wannabe assassin or vigilante.
“Ahh, ahh. Testing. Testing.” The tone of my voice surprised me. It sounded completely different. My immature, high-pitched voice had become a rich, baritone.
“Kuu?” Sylvie just looked at me curiously, causing me to laugh and take off my getup.
“Aren’t you excited? Don’t you want to get a little bit of action as well, Sylv?” I patted her head, as my head swam with images of being an adventurer.