While Chaique was located in a remote corner of the kingdom, its forests were full of game due to its proximity to the frontiers. As a result, there were a lot of villagers who relied on hunting for a living. Out of these hunters, Roscar was the undisputed champion among them. His strength had risen to a five-star warrior’s level about three years ago.
Five-star warriors could extend their fighter’s aura to their weapon, boosting its penetration power. Usually in a duel between four-stars, a number of their aura attacks would cancel each other out. This is where wrapping your aura around your weapon came in handy, the aura would clash with your opponent’s aura, expanding it. The weapon would then be able to penetrate your opponent unhindered.
To put it simply, a four-star warriors’ aura could only be used defensively in a clash of auras. While five-star warriors could use their aura offensively as well.
This section of the world was known as The Human Realm of Westerra. On top of Tarnia, there were several other human kingdoms as well. Out of these, the three largest kingdoms had risen to the rank of empire. Their territory sizes were at least 10 times the size of Tarnia’s land. As a comparison, Tarnia was the size of Qin Shi Huang’s Unified China. (TL: First emperor of a unified China.)
On top of these human realms, there existed several non human realms as well. There were the reclusive nature-elves in the southern forests, the beastmen in the north, the half-beastmen in the west and the mysterious merfolk of the endless seas in the east. Deep below the ground were the troggs of the Underdepths. Below the world of the troggs, were other strange creatures roaming the region known as The Black Chasm. Most of these creatures possessed a monstrous level of strength. As for the last member of the fantasy cliche races, the dwarves, their settlements were scattered around the world.
As for the appearance of these races, the beastmen were similar to the catgirls seen in mangas from a certain island country. Half-beastmen closely resembled a certain green skinned race from a popular online game; definitely not a cute race.
Essentially, humans were surrounded by a variety of unique races. Thus, the human kingdoms were under constant pressure which led to a focus on nurturing strong warriors and mages.
In order to do this, each kingdom founded a specialized school to train these future talents. Their only requirement was for you to be gifted. As long as one was gifted, they were guaranteed tuition in these schools. This was a hefty investment, but one which was necessary to ensure the continued dominance of the human race.
Humanity was known for its creativity. However, just as well known, was its greed.
In most cases, a child would be sent to these schools once they achieved aura perception. A rare genius like Nicole was highly sought after by the various schools. She would be instantly accepted into any school she wanted, and on top of that, special treatment would be given to her. This could include free tuition, scholarships, personal tutors and even magic tools.
However, Nicole chose not to do so because of me…she said she wanted to wait until I had awakened my aura perception before leaving for school.
This wait costed her 7 years and the result was that I still didn’t awaken my aura perception. Being a warrior might just be a pipe dream for me. Damn it! I’m a transmigrator for heaven’s sake. Where is my hack ability! Where’s my grandpa! Did you get yourself killed or something?! Damnit damnit damnit f*ck!
My wooden sword sliced through air and landed on the wooden dummy with a futile thud. *Bang Bang*
My sword continued hacking away in an erratic barrage of anger and frustration but the dummy remained as unharmed as ever. The wooden dummy flashed me a crooked grin, silently taunting me with its lifeless eyes.
…Ingrate! I’m the one who gave you that face!
I’m not sure when it began but my composure had slowly eroded over these few years. At the beginning, I thought that as a transmigrator, I would get a hack-like ability and breeze through this alternate game-like world. However, reality was as merciless as it was plain. I did not gain any superpowers…I’m just a normal person.
Normally this would not be a problem in a peaceful world like Earth, but this is an alternate world! A world where you could be killed by a group of ‘bandits’ in your sleep!
Being powerless meant only one thing: you are trash. With my current strength, life in this world would be tough. I just can’t bear to enter a relationship with Nicole with such a fate waiting in store for us.
I did consider starting a business but I was just a damned otaku in my past life. Even if I possessed some business knowledge, this wasn’t Earth. There’s no guarantee that your hard earned money would be safe from soldiers, gangsters and robbers.
Roscar was definitely strong but not to the point where he could take on a country single handedly. If we got into a conflict with some corrupt lord, he could simply dispatch a couple of five-stars and a hundred soldiers to wipe us out.
There’s simply no other way but to train myself; train until I could perceive aura and then obediently head off to warrior school to learn and build contacts. Only after graduating will I have the basic ability to protect myself. At that point, it would be much easier to enter the service of a random noble family or army. Alternatively, being a mercenary was possible as well.
But all of these were based on the fact that I could even perceive aura… Right now, I don’t even possess Aura Perception.
“There’s still the path of a mage if you can’t make it as a warrior. Once Dad has saved up enough money, Little Ke can join a magic academy.”
This was what Roscar had comforted me with all these years. But things aren’t that thing simple. The fees at the magic academy aren’t on the same level as the warrior school’s. A normal warrior school required a yearly tuition fee of 50 gold coins or 500 silver coins.
The magic academy on the other hand, was different. There was an upfront fee of 500 gold coins right at the start of the term. This was just the basic fee too. I still needed to get my magic staff, magic rocks and other magic materials. If I had to make a comparison, raising a mage was the equivalent of raising 20 warriors.
And this was just the bare minimum! The Bare Minimum! If you wanted to provide a good foundation, a beginner’s staff alone would set you back over a thousand gold coins…this wasn’t even in the same league as a warrior.
I tried multiple times in the past, to persuade Nicole not to waste her time on me and just head off to warrior school. But she would merely shake her head and say to me while pinching my face, “Little Ke isn’t there, Big Sis will be lonely.”
Because of me…Nicole couldn’t go to school. At this rate, she will miss her growth period and never climb to the peak of the warrior class.
Because of me…Roscar had to hunt for magical beasts day and night. He wanted to provide the very best for me and send me to the magic academy. In truth, I had underwent an examination a few years back but the results weren’t too good. But Roscar still didn’t give up. “One or two failures don’t mean much. As you are willing to work hard, I believe that no one is destined to always fail.”
No, you’re wrong…I am that kind of person. Just look at my previous life…a textbook example of failure…
I am just a burden on them…
This fact haunted me as I passed the days. I had even considered running away from home several times, but when I thought about them potentially scouring the forests for me in a frenzy; I just couldn’t bring myself to do so.
Today’s mission was to buy some of our favorite food and wine. This was the third day since Roscar left on a hunting trip so he should be back any time now. Knowing this, Nicole gave me a gold coin and got me to bring some food home to celebrate his return.
A gold coin had the purchasing power of 100RMB on Earth so the most I could buy from a tavern was some meat dishes and some cheap wine.
As I entered the tavern, the sour stench of a drunkard rushed into my nose causing me to cringe reflexively. I was an otaku in my previous life so I had never gotten drunk to the point of beating my wife…because I never had a wife…
That…I seem to be in the wrong place or rather, this is the wrong time to be here…
However, before I could turn around and leave, an arm reached out and clasped down onto my shoulders, rooting me in place. Look’s like it’s too late to leave.
“Look who we got here, it’s Mo Ke.” This slurred voice came from a 20 year old piece of trash known as Yalid. As he said this, he forcefully turned my body around to face him and stared at me with a sinister glint in his eye. Another sour breath of air wafted into my nose as he spoke up once more, “Haha, just as I was thinking about my beer money, Master Mo Ke shows up in the nick of time!”
The stench grew stronger as his hooligan friend, Hank, joined in. He unabashedly reached into my pocket and fished for coins.
“You’d better let me go, Roscar is coming back today.”
Usually I would try my best to avoid these hooligans, but if I failed to do so I would bring out Roscar’s name to ward them off. However, this time things were slightly troublesome.
They were drunk. Their drunken state rendered my usual threat useless as their clouded minds could not process the potential consequences. Instead, this threat only angered them further.
“Don’t think you’re all that just because you have a hunter as your father!” *bam* A foot connected with my chest and knocked the wind out of me. Before I knew it, I was on the ground. My chest ached from the heavy blow, rendering me unable to get up. *bam* Another foot landed on me. This time, it was on my face. The nauseating smell of Hancock’s feet wafted into my nose as my facial features were being flattened into the ground by the forceful stomp.
I wanted to fight back but my body was reeling from the severe pain; it felt like my organs were being crushed. I hugged my stomach as I doubled over both in pain and in an attempt to shield myself.
“If you had given us the money earlier, you wouldn’t have had to suffer; you stupid brat!” He fished the gold coin from Nicole out of my pocket and stashed it. With a whistle, he signaled to his buddy to continue beating me. Kick after kick landed on my back and face as I laid helplessly on the ground. Each kick was not just a kick on my body but a kick to my heart as well.
A suffocating pressure grew in me as each blow landed squarely on my body. Even a couple of trash could beat me half to death…I’ve had enough of this helpless feeling! I must fight back! Fight back!
As I steeled my resolve, my hands drifted to the dagger hidden at my waist. Seeing my chance as he lifted his leg, I whipped it out and stabbed. It was a stab filled with my anger and resolve, but it was also just a simple stab. It was the kind of attack that could be easily avoided by a One-Star warrior.
Thankfully, Hancock never once saw me as a threat so this simple stab unerringly bit into its target. However, this was the first time I’ve used a weapon to injure someone. Furthermore, due to my wounds and this attack being an unplanned counterattack, its effect was less than expected; only a tiny gash could be seen at the point of impact.
“……” The pair were stunned by my sudden attack. Blood flowed from the wound as they stood stock still for several moments.
I’ve injured a person… In the past, the most I’ve ever done was beat up a goblin; this was the first time I’ve injured a real human being…
It was always Nicole standing up for me whenever I was bullied. This was truly the first time I’ve hit someone. On Earth, hitting someone only meant prison and this fact was still deeply ingrained in me. Even as my mind was celebrating my successful counterattack, I was also picturing the scene of a policeman locking me up…
This ended up costing me dearly, as I had missed the best opportunity at striking these two while they were stunned. They quickly recovered, especially Hancock. His eyes were like the eyes of an injured beast; the flames of anger and hatred burned in them, threatening to engulf me with his gaze alone.
“Brat, You’re dead!”
In that moment, a mental image of a gorilla superimposed itself onto him as he howled at me. He’s going to kill me! Run, I’ve gotta run!
I didn’t waste another second as I turned around and ran. Hancock wasn’t able to catch up to me with his injured leg but Yalid was a different matter altogether. With his one-star warrior strength and reflexes, he was able to pounce on me a few seconds after I turned around. With one arm, he held down my shoulder and with the other, he clamped down onto my wrist like a vice, trying to disarm me.
The strength of a one-star warrior was simply too much for an eight year old kid like me to bear. With a single squeeze, it felt like my wrist was about to break. I was forced to let go of the dagger.
Having lost my weapon, he was free to do with me as he pleased. With a casual toss, he flung me onto the ground once more with a loud thud. I tumbled on the ground in pain as my head recovered from its heavy landing. The toss had left me dazed with my knees and shoulders severely bruised to the point of feeling numb.
“Damned brat! You dare to injure me?!” Hancock howled as he hobbled towards me step by twisted step. However, I barely heard his curses as my head had been severely concussed.
I might really die here. I finally got the chance to start a new life…only eight years…I haven’t accomplished a thing yet…am I going to die now?
“Stop!” An elegant voice rang out across the street, halting Hancock in his tracks. A tiny silhouette appeared in front of me in a flash, blocking him. Despite only being able to see her back, I knew who it was. Nicole had arrived.
“You guys dared to pick on Little Ke…I swear I’ll never let you guys go!” A fist punched through the air and sent Hancock flying. This was the punch of the two-star warrior, Nicole. While two-stars were only able to activate their internal Fighter’s Aura, it was enough to boost their strength.
Nicole…looks like you’ve saved me once more…I’m such a useless person…
My head seems a bit light…tired…