Battle Force and His Days as a Mercenary
During the two months he lay in bed recovering from his injuries, Lorist spent all his time to gather information about Grindia's history, geography, folk tales as well as travel journals to gain a rough understanding about this new world he found himself in.
To Lorist, this world seemed quite similar to Medieval Europe at first glance, given that it had stuff like titles and knights. In his past life, he had also forged a number of knight armor replicas and sold them for a high price online.
The people here greatly resembled white caucasian Europeans, but according to his observations, the culture in this world was far more advanced than that of the people of the Middle Ages in his previous world. However, the food culture did seem quite primitive here. He was served oatmeal, black bread and mashed potatoes with salt almost every day and 'suffered' without end to the point where he suspected that the reason his caretaker was so plump was due to her sneaking away all the delicious stuff from his meals.
With his mind full of such thoughts, he asked one of his caretakers, Kelly, to see if he could have a different menu for his meals.
Kelly said that this was the staple menu for the sick students of the academy.
Lorist responded by insisting to be served the regular meals instead.
And so on the second day, Kelly brought over a piece of black bread, some mashed potatoes and a bowl of vegetable soup (with only two leaves in it) which replaced the usual oatmeal.
With a face full of tears, Lorist ate the food feeling utter anguish and despair.
One of the differences between the people here and Europeans was the way they put their surnames in front followed by their given names at the back in a way that was similar to the Chinese naming scheme. In a book covering the topic of noble family history, it was stated that during the thousand years of darkness, brave warriors who challenged the magical beasts on their own and returned alive would be granted a title by the village chief. Names like Whitemont, Tusk, Hawksoar, etc. would be appended before their names and, in time, those titles became family names. Norton, for example, meant raging bear in the ancient language of the fairies.
The most glaring difference between this world and his own was the presence of the two moons in the sky. The first larger silver moon was called Daphlyn and it was personified as the Silvermoon Goddess and also known as the Goddess of Love. The smaller, blood-red-colored moon which hung in the night sky like a crimson, crescent fang was called Sufanna the Bloodmoon Goddess and also served as the Goddess of Vengeance. According to the legends, when Sufanna reveals itself as a full moon, it would signify the beginning of another major conflict on the continent.
Both the Silvermoon Goddess and the Bloodmoon Goddess were wives of Singwa, the God of the Sun, Light and War. That was also the reason why in Grindia, marriage between a man and two women was permitted. But one could only be allowed to do so if one was economically able to support having two wives. The status of the second wife was not one whit inferior to that of the first wife and both wives were entitled to the same amount of love and care from the husband. That was why most people, even nobles, only took one wife to avoid too much hassle.
The more Lorist read about the history of the world, the more confused he felt. That was because the Grindia Continent was very large and humans only occupied a third of it. The rest of the uncharted territory were comprised mostly of desolate plains, forests or mountain ranges. But the many culture and history books he had browsed through had maps of the continent that were mostly similar to each other. It is said that these maps were left over from the age of magic and had been mapped by the magi during their travels around the continent.
The language used on the continent was known as the common language. All people on the continent spoke that language and no alternative dialects had ever developed. The script resembled alphabets and were comprised of 32 characters which could be formed into words by putting two or three characters into a diamond-like shape. In the books, it was said that this language had been developed by the magi specially for the humans' use. The magi also knew several other languages of other races including that of the ancient fairies, dragons, gremlins as well as some other tongues that contained mysterious magical power.
The most surprising part was the maps shown in most books were drawn on a planet. The only difference is the planets in this world were known of as planar worlds. Some books from the age of magic described that there were other planar worlds and they were also sphere-like objects that were suspended in the empty void of space.
If the maps accurately depicted the Grindia Continent, then the legends about the magi must have been true; there was simply no other explanation. If that were the case, that meant that the civilizations on the continent evolved in a straight path that greatly relied on an individual's training in magic followed by Battle Force, unlike the civilizations in his previous life which pursued advancements in science and technology instead.
It was at this moment when Lorist suddenly felt interested in the mysteries of Battle Force. After carefully researching his hand-copied version of the Blazing Battle Force manual and using it to train, he came to understand that the key to channeling Battle Force was blood circulation.
The people of Grindia call the points where blood vessels intersect 'nodes'. The human body has 72 major nodes and 360 minor nodes as well as another 1080 miscellaneous nodes. Through sensing the elemental energy in the surrounding environment, one can increase one's blood circulation rate and will the blood to circulate through specific nodes in the body, resulting in the generation of a unique, explosive life energy that can be harnessed to greatly increase one's strength, speed as well as reaction time. This was the power of Battle Force.
To Lorist's surprise, Battle Force also came in various types or attributes. Recalling the Chinese medical books he had memorized in his childhood, different parts of the human body corresponded to one of the five different elements. The skin, nose, large intestines and lungs belong to the metal attribute. The tendons, eyes, liver and gallbladder belong to the wood attribute. The bones, ears, kidneys and bladder were of the water attribute. The blood vessels, tongue, heart and small intestines corresponded to the fire attribute. And finally, the muscles, spleen, mouth and stomach belong to the earth attribute. However, Battle Force had more than 5 different attributes categories.
The nodes from the eyes to the jaw produced light type Battle Force. The nodes from the back of the head down to the tailbone produced dark type Battle Force. Water type Battle Force came from the nodes around the kidneys and bladder. Nodes from the right chest up to the gallbladder and liver produced wood type Battle Force while the nodes around the right abdomen corresponded to the fire type. The left chest trained in metal type Battle Force while the left abdomen nodes trained in the earth attribute. Finally, the several major nodes from the shoulders up to the upper thighs produced wind type Battle Force. Besides the more common attributes, some exotic kinds of Battle Force attributes like the blood attribute or the ice attribute existed as well.
In most cases, the training of Battle Force involved picking several major nodes on the body to form a pentagram (a five-pointed star) or a hexagram (a six-pointed star) and speeding up and isolating the circulation of the blood in the body through the minor nodes in between the star shape to manifest Battle Force. To reach the point where manifested Battle Force can be projected according to one's will was the main aim of training. Lorist felt that the theory behind Battle Force training was very similar to the art of training the internal energy of the body that he had come across in his past life.
However, Battle Force training was not as flexible in that one cannot train in Battle Force of different attributes. For example, if one trained in an earth attribute Battle Force, one cannot train in any other Battle Force with different attributes. While training in other attributes would not cause one any serious harm, one would be forever stuck and be unable to advance to the next level. Then again, many different types of Battle Force techniques existed. There were roughly more than ten low-ranked null attribute basic Battle Force techniques that only allowed one to train up to the Iron rank at most; these were commonly used by armies to train their soldiers.
There were two main advantages that came with training null attribute Battle Force. First, there was no attribute requirement and anybody could train in them. Second, it was relatively easy to train in null attribute Battle Force techniques: one could quickly and easily sense the elemental energy, and the pentagram points used to manifest null attribute Battle Force only required the activation of a small amount of minor nodes, reducing the difficulty even further for practitioners to grasp the flow of the energy.
It is common practice to introduce students in Battle Force awakening courses to basic Battle Force techniques before allowing them to pick a mid-ranked or high-ranked technique with attributes that suit them when they reach the Iron rank. However, most Battle Force manuals on the market only allowed one to train up to the Silver rank. Gold rank Battle Force manuals were relatively rare and cost a small fortune.
Very much interested in the Blazing Battle Force technique he possessed, Lorist trained hard in that technique and was not worried about not having the rest of the technique from Silver rank onwards because according to his inherited memories, his third uncle comes to visit him once a year to check up on him and provide him with some money to pay for the school fees. That's why, he thought he could ask for the rest of the technique once he trained to the peak of the Iron rank. But who knew right after three years he came to the world, his uncle stopped visiting without notice and vanished without a trace. The year after, the third prince of the Krissen Empire sparked a civil war and permanently cut Lorist's contact with his family in the far north.
Lorist wasn't too perturbed by the loss of contact with his family and was even a little thrilled, given that the original owner of his body was exiled from home in the first place. He would no longer have to worry about his identity being exposed anymore. The problem was his living cost: he probably wouldn't have any trouble with food; he could always go to McDuffin's roadside stall, or, in the worst case, eat the meals provided by the academy as all three meals of the day were already included in the school fees. The food provided definitely wasn't delicious, but he could live with it. The real problem was paying the tuition fee.
At that time, Lorist had already been at the academy for three and a half years. Having obtained his certification for both his knight training and accounting professional courses, he could already graduate without problems. However, in the three years since Lorist had crossed over to this world, he had already formed close relationships and familiarized himself with the city and already considered Morante City his home. Where would he go even if he were to graduate? Having just broken through to the Iron rank at the age of 18, with Lorist's abilities, it was indeed a little bit early for him to go exploring the foreign world.
Additionally, for the sake of better understanding the world of Grindia, Lorist applied for another two extra courses just last year in herbalism and magical beast studies. He subconsciously thought that the more he learned, the better off he would fare and adapt in this world. And, much to his advantage, he was reincarnated into the most developed and civilized city on the continent and not some run down village in the desolate wilderness, saving him much time and effort in learning about the world through trial and error. Who knew where he would end up should he be a little less fortunate as he was.
A professional course would cost around five to eight gold Fordes per semester. Magical beast studies was relatively simple: one studied the subject simply by looking at drawings of the magical beasts and memorizing any effective means to kill them as well as the valuable parts each beast had. One would not have much trouble passing the course if one's memory was good enough. Herbalism, on the other hand, was much more demanding. One had to be able to differentiate one herbal plant from another, understand the appropriate methods of storing different herbs as well as experimenting with different combinations of herbs. The experiments usually took up quite a bit of money.
During the first three years, Lorist's third uncle usually brought him some new clothing and delicacies every time he came over to visit him and also left thirty or so gold coins, sometimes even more when business was good, for him to cover his living costs and tuition. Lorist wasn't reckless with his spending either. He only used the money on paying servants and buying books from time to time and ended up with up to thirty gold Fordes in his savings.
To McDuffin, thirty gold Fordes was a rather large sum. But to Lorist, it was only enough for about a year and a half to fund his studies and other necessities.
So, he searched for other means to earn money for the sake of remaining in the city. He was subsequently brought to a mercenary guild by some of his friends and successfully registered as a low-ranked Bronze Mercenary and started taking up missions.
Despite that, given Lorist's experiences in his past life and his good eye for opportunity, he got a good idea for a business during one of his missions and roped a few friends in to gather some starting capital. Buying a large number of beast furs, he commissioned some tailors to sew them into backpacks that were very commonly seen in his past life. Being a new design that did not hamper movement and was conveniently and quickly equipped onto one's back, his stock of 400 bags got sold out in an instant the moment he brought them back to the mercenary guild. Lorist and his friends each earned a share of more than ten gold Fordes and struck a few more times when the iron was still hot, earning him another seventy to eighty gold coins.
Right when he was about to start a leather factory with his friends to mass produce these backpacks, he noticed that there were a lot of ripoffs on the market which greatly lowered the price of each bag, causing Lorist and his friends immense anger and frustration as he gave up on the notion.
That business venture made Lorist quite a name among the people of the mercenary guild and earned himself some respect from his friends. In actuality, Lorist had a bunch of other ideas that could earn him more money, but he thought it was better to stay low-key and not attract too much attention to himself. The money he had on hand at that time was already more than enough for him to live without worries. Since then, he spent most of his time at the academy studying and occasionally took up some mercenary missions. During the holidays, he would form small teams with several close friends and go on expeditions to kill some low-ranked magical beasts. Spending his days rather leisurely, he was already among the ranks of the mercenary veterans within merely three years.