We ran throughout the night until we finally reached the borders of the kingdom. The frontier areas were chaotic and far from the draconic rule of that lord. This was the perfect place to hide out due to its safety.
On our journey, we met with bandits several times. Some of them were soldiers pretending to be bandits and some of them were mercenary bandits. Of course, there were bandit bandits as well.
Over these past few days, I had come to understand several things. The first of which was where we currently were. This was the kingdom of Tarnia and we were in the frontier village of Chaique. Roscar's plan was to settle down in this village, and so he hired a few villagers to build a two storey house near the forest.
The next thing I learnt was the combat job system in this world. Combat classes could be broadly categorized into these two branches: Warrior and Mage. Both of these branches had several subclasses within them.
For example, in our encounter with the bandits, we faced several sword wielding warriors known as a Swordsman and several Thieves. The subclass Thief was a unique subclass which fell under a separate branch as well, despite being a warrior. This was due to their unique fighting style.
On top of these two subclasses, there were the Shieldbearers who wielded an enhanced shield as their primary weapon, and there were the Magisters who trained in both magic and martial arts.
The Mage branched possessed many subclasses as well. A commonly known subclass were the Elementalists. They specialized in elemental magics such as Wind, Water, Fire and Earth.
There were the Arcanists who used pure mana to inflict both physical and magical damage; the Illusionists who specialized in illusions and also the Alchemists who specialized in creating tools to support combat.
Within the Mage branch was the Holy branch of magic. This branch included jobs like the Priest and the Inquisitor.
Each class had a ranking system which ranged from One-Star to Ten-Star. An example would be Roscar who was a Four-star Swordsman. Each star level had its own unique requirements. For example, to advance to a One-Star Warrior, not only did you need to be familiar with your weapon of choice but you also needed to possess Aura Perception.
What is aura perception you might ask? Aura Perception is the ability to perceive the Fighter's Aura inside one's body. This is one of the prerequisites for strengthening one's body with Fighter's Aura. This was also the reason why Morran could only be a farmer for life.
A Two-Star Warrior required you to activate the Fighter's Aura within yourself and make it flow. Kinda like the Internal energy you see in those wuxia novels.
In order to advance to Three-Star, one had to be able to wrap one's body in Fighter's Aura. In other words, to materialize your Fighter's Aura as an external defensive force.
Four-Star Warrior had to be able to project their Fighter's Aura, like the Sword Qi used by martial artists in wuxia novels. Four-Star Warriors were able to project their aura in a ranged attack which meant they now had range capabilities.
As for the star levels above four, I had no idea. Roscar was only a Four-Star Warrior at the moment.
Compared to Warriors, Mages had a simpler star system. It was usually based on one's mana levels and spells. One simply had to pass the examination set by the Mage's Guild and attain the corresponding star level certification. Apparently, this came with a ton of perks as well. However, mages were a rarity. On our journey, we only met a few mages. They were the ones clad in long robes and always seemed to be in a hurry.
Five days later, our new home was built. Truly an impressive work attitude; these villagers hired by Roscar not only built our house but also all the furniture as well. With its completion, it marked the beginning of our new lives in Chaique Village.
Every day, Roscar would go for a hunt in the woods while Nicole did the housework. Due to her tender age, she could only perform simple housework while the Roscar had to take care of the rest. Part of her duty was to look after the baby aka me. While she wasn't the best babysitter, she was conscientious and made sure I didn't starve to death.
As I slept, she would gently place me in the cradle before heading outside to practice. The method to initially activate one's Fighter's Aura was actually pretty simple : train until you're half-dead and then meditate. Essentially, training to enter the One-star realm was mainly comprised of training your body and trying to perceive the resulting aura.
Perhaps it was due to her innate talent or perhaps it was the shock from losing her mother, Nicole successfully rose to a One-Star Warrior on her fifth birthday.
As for me, I'm at the crawling stage. After pretending to fall asleep, I would crawl to the doorway and spy on Nicole training. That was the first time I realized that the humans in this world had a different strength level than a normal Earthling.
But first, regarding our dear loli. The five years old Nicole wore a white set of training clothes and sported a twin ponytailed hairstyle that was definitely not flashy. She had inherited the brilliant red hair of Roscar which made her flowing hair that much more beautiful. With oval face and rosy cheeks, she was super cute! Definitely a first-rate beauty when she grows up!
Nicole was practising with her wooden sword on her usual practise target: a wooden dummy. With a precise swing of her arms, her wooden sword sliced through the air and landed on the dummy's head with a resounding thud. She immediately followed this up with another swing. Thud after thud resounded in the air as she continued; her strength apparent for all to see.
After ten more swings, she was ready to make her move. Her feet pressed down onto the soil as she gathered energy into her legs. With a short shout, she took to the air and swung her sword down onto the wooden dummy's head.
A cracking sound could be heard traveling through the air as the dummy's head caved in. Meanwhile, her sword being similarly made of wood, did not fare any better. It had snapped in half with one end still in her grasp while the other flew off into the distance...
Was she always this powerful? S**t, should I continue fondling her loli boobs the next time she hugs me? No wait...they are all accidents!
"Aura Perception! I've attained Aura Perception!" She shouted as she gazed at the broken sword in her hand. She flung her arms into a banzai as she screamed while leaping for joy. As she tossed her broken sword, her gaze fell onto a baby crawling out. The loli swooped down and picked me up in a tight hug.
"Little Ke, I've done it. Your big sis has gained Aura Perception! Your big sis is a warrior!" She screamed in my ears as she furiously kissed me.
Don't get me wrong...being hugged by a young beauty was definitely enjoyable, but aren't you a little too passionate...my face is full of your saliva! However, I've got to admit, the scent of a loli mixed with the pungent smell of her sweat is pretty nice...
...I'm definitely not sniffing her like a pervert. I'm just admiring and praising her scent. Let's make things clear, I'm not a lolicon. Those loli mangas you saw in my computer were there because of a virus.
As night fell, Roscar got the shock of his life when he heard that Nicole had gained Aura Perception. As a comparison, Roscar gained his at seven while the youngest recorded human to gain Aura Perception was four. For Nicole who had gained hers at five, could only be considered a rare genius.
Pfft, It's just Aura Perception. What's so great about it. This baby is a thoroughbred transmigrator. Just you wait and see, once my hack ability activates, I'll surpass you in no time. Which reminds me...when will I awaken my super powers? Even a X*X system is fine with me. I'm not a picky guy.
As evening time arrived, we sat around a small table and ate dinner. Well, they did. I was in a rattan basket next to Nicole.
"Has Little Ke been a good boy today?" As he ate his grilled beef, Roscar stretched out and ruffled my hair, ruining my clean, combed hair. Hmph! I turned my head away to avoid his hands. However, this didn't have the expected result; he laughed and pinched my face, stretching it. "Kid, your old man just wants to pinch you and you won't even allow me! Are you trying to rebel!?"
"Dad, don't you dare bully Little Ke!"
With a fork in her left hand, she slapped his wrist with her remaining free hand. Roscar retracted his hand and complained in a slightly resentful tone. "Just because you've gained a little brother, you don't want your dad anymore?"
"..." She grimaced as she heard this. The metallic fork in her started shaking as she applied pressure on it. Just as I thought it would snap, she snapped at Roscar, "Dad, you better not take your joke too far!"
"Dad has always been serious." As he said, he abandoned his empty plate and dashed out to take care of the animal pelts.
Due to our tender ages, Roscar was worried about our safety so he didn't venture too far to hunt. Most of his spoils were rabbits, foxes or other similar animals. There were definitely magical beasts in this world. They were animals who could fire off magic like mages and were mostly found in the depths of the forests. They rarely ventured into the out edges.
Roscar had the ability to hunt these magical beasts, but because of the two of us, he had to limit his hunting time to under a day. This resulted in a low income for our household. It was just enough for us to accrue a bit of savings after paying for our necessities.
The days passed by peacefully. Nicole continued her daily training and her strength grew day by day. As for me...I'm still waiting for my old grandpa to awaken. I wonder what will he teach me when he awakens...I want my mythical, long lost, ancient techniques from the age of gods and demons...(TL:Grandpa : In a lot of Chinese web novels, the main character will receive guidance/techniques/ help from a disembodied spirit possessing him/her. Usually, this spirit is an old man but there are exceptions.)
Before my second birthday, of my own accord I started practicing with a wooden sword at the training dummy. While I had a lackadaisical personality, the deaths of Morran and Rhona were forever burned into my mind. In this world, powerless people were like ants waiting to be stepped on by the strong. For a 37 year old soon-to-be Sage like me, I knew all too well the dog eat dog world of human society. So at the tender age of 3 I've decided: I will grasp my own fate!
Time flew by once more, five years have passed since my last monologue. It seemed like only yesterday that I was reading my loli literature; now my body had shrunk and the world, a completely different one. These few days were relatively uneventful. Grandpa was still missing, my X*X system still hasn't appeared and my super powers were still zilch.
What's worse is that I've yet to awaken my Aura Perception... In other words, after spending 8 years in this world, I'm still a helpless chicken waiting to be slaughtered.
Damnit, damnit, damnit! No matter how many I hacked at the wooden dummy, the wooden sword wasn't able to leave a single a wound on it. By now, the 12 year old Nicole was able to have her Fighter's Aura flow within her body and had smoothly advanced into a Two-Star Warrior.
Seven years... It's been seven years and I'm still stuck at this stage... To think I even thought about setting up a grand harem and counting Nicole inside it. What "I no longer wish to see anyone close to me die"...at this rate, I can't even protect myself...
"Die!" I channeled all my frustrations into a reckless swing down onto the wooden dummy. However, not only was it unscathed, the force even rebounded back onto me. My sword was sent flying by the rebound...yes...my wooden sword had left my hands.
"Just DIE!" Don't think about anything, just train. As long as I can perceive my aura, everything will be fine. As long as I can advance into a One-Star Warrior, everything will be okay. Since my sword was no longer with me, I channeled my obsessions into my fist and punched. However, the result was...the wooden dummy was still unscathed while my fist was injured instead...
"Ahhhhhh..." I'm a goddamn transmigrator. Eight years! How could I not have any chance encounter within these long eight years. Wheres Grandpa...where's my hack ability, my superpowers... I screamed in my heart as I rained down upon the wooden dummy with my fists and feet like a madman.
"Little Ke! Don't torture yourself." Before I could react to the voice, a pair of clean, warm arms wrapped around me in a tight hug. Nicole's alluring scent wafted into my nose.
"Nicole...I...I just wanted to become strong."
"But some things just can't be rushed."
Nicole was already 12 years old by now, a mere 4 years older than me. By now, she had grown into a lovable teenage girl. With her brilliant red pony tails, lovely face and pure disposition, she would at least score a 95/100 in every area. If this was Earth, she would at least be at the level of Fan Bingbing. (TL: A pretty Chinese actress.)
As she grew ever more beautiful, my sense of inferiority grew. This was a darwinistic world. If you are weak, you will become food for the strong. Just like Morran's death...like Rhona's or like Anna's...Only by being strong can you prey on others. A world built upon natural selection... If Roscar was a six or Seven-Star Warrior, those imposter bandits wouldn't have dared to take revenge on him. They might have even tried to recruit him.
If Morran was a noble, those imposters wouldn't have dared to cross him.
In short, powerless people are just c**p. Just like me...
Due to girls maturing faster than boys, Nicole was a full head taller than me. Each time I faced her, I felt like I was under a lot of stress. To be honest, I really wanted to make her the first member of my harem, but with the way things are standing right now...forget harem...I'll have to thank the heavens if my wife wasn't stolen by someone else.
"Little Ke has been working too hard lately." She gently treated my fist as she consoled me. She was always such a serious girl. No matter what she did, she always gave it her all. Because she was so serious, she tends to be a little dense about things happening around her.
Mhm, it's not that painful anymore. In order to allay her concerns, I replied to her in a bratty tone, "I just want to protect Nicole!"
"...Silly boy, we are here for you. Both big sis and dad." She lightly rapped my head as she said. With a gentle smile on her face, she teasingly played with my face, molding it into different expressions. "Little Ke just has to be protected by us."
"Big sister? I've never admitted you as my older sister."
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"But I am your older sister!" Her molding intensified as she pouted. "Call me big sis!"
You must be kidding me. This uncle has lived for 35 years. Plus the 8 years in this world, I've lived for 43 years. Heck, I'm even older than Roscar! How can I call you big sis! Though, I won't mind if it's on the bed.