Nicole had been kidnapped.
Ever since Sares came back, Nicole basically ignored me. She spent all of her time with him and none with me.
On the surface the whole conservation looked like it was just about fighter's aura, but couldn't she have just asked Roscar? No matter how you cut it, a five-star warrior was a lot stronger than Sares.
Roscar returned and he brought back his spoils for the day, a three-star magical beast called 'Bladed Ursa'. From a distance, him carrying the corpse of this bear merged forming the strange sight of a man/bear hybrid walking towards us.
This goes to show how strong warriors were in this alternate world. Just take that bear for example, it weighed in at an astonishing 500 kg, but Roscar was able to lug it home without breaking too much of a sweat!
Think about it. The strongest weightlifter on Earth could only lift a total weight of about 500-600 kg and that was just a stationary lift...
I have a confession to make. When I found out that I had no no talent in perceiving fighter's aura, I had seriously considered going the route of "transmigrator bringing his tech skills to bear in an alternate but backward world". However, this was easier said than done and reality was never like those novels.
Guns weren't easy to make. Explosives were easier but they weren't able to break through the aura layer around a three-star warrior. Investing so much time just to beat a bunch of one-star and two-star weaklings seems kind of pointless. What's more, there was no guarantee that it would even work...
"Yo. Sares, you're back." Roscar greeted them as he entered the house. After exchanging a few pleasantries, he noticed the kid, me, pouting at a corner and came over.
"What's wrong son?"
"Nothing, I'm probably just tired."
I came up with a random excuse and glossed over the question. I wasn't tired at all. It was just that the gaze he threw at Nicole and Sares worried me. That was the gaze of an old man looking at his son-in-law...
"Tired? Well you should go take a break." As he said this, he dumped the 500 kg bear onto floor, kicking up a dust cloud. He casually turned towards Nicole and said, "Nicole, go make some food. I'll just leave the spoils here; It's been a long time since I've seen this kid. I want to see how much Sares has improved."
"Dad must be hungry after all that work. I'll fix something up right now. Sares, you should stay for a meal as well." She threw down her wooden sword and left for the kitchen without even throwing me a glance.
"Alright." Even as she left, the impeccably sunny smile on Roscar remained.
"Sares come over and let's spar." He grabbed a large sword from the warehouse and tossed it over to Sares as he said this. As for him, he drew the broadsword on his back. Broadswords were wider and longer than short swords. Their hilt was also long enough for one to wield it as a two handed weapon.
Due to their usage, they could be considered an exotic type of weapon. They didn't have the destructive power of a large sword nor the speed of a short sword but instead offered an average between the two types. Its users tended to be the all-rounded type. Whether it was a solo or group fight, these swordsmen were the hardest to deal with.
"Do we really have to fight?" As he caught the large sword, he grimaced. It was a real sword.
"Of course we have to fight. No food for you if you don't." As he gripped the broadsword with two hands, he gave a flourish and took up an all purpose stance. "If you don't come at me, I'll have to make the first move."
"Alright alright...we'll spar." Sares shook his head as he smiled helplessly. He focused himself and readied his sword, easily lifting it up into a combat stance. "Here I come!"
"Quit dawdling and come at me."
Hurry up...my $&@) is hard from waiting.
I should give his back a kick forward to speed things up.
I was impatiently waiting for him to fail spectacularly. Only then would my self pity be alleviated.
"Watch yourself." Sares charged as he said so. With a swift step forward at the end, he swung his large sword forward with the full force of his charge, the sword sundering anything that stood in its path. His plan was to suppress Roscar with his superior force.
"Interesting." Roscar grinned and readied his broadsword. He raised his sword at the last moment possible and with a twist of his wrist, deflected the incoming large sword to his side. Sares' flank was exposed and open to counterattack from his faster sword. However, Roscar retreated a few steps back instead and put up a defensive stance once more. "Again!"
"Alright." Sares wasn't satisfied with this outcome either. He had clearly lost after that strike. If this was a battlefield, he would have received a fatal blow already. Furthermore, the fact that Roscar took his large sword head on and deflected it meant he lost terms of power as well.
While he was used to being bullied by Roscar since young, he was also a genius from birth. He was the premier genius in Chaik village and even in school. Winning was a part of his nature.
Whether it was facing the envy of his seniors or the praise of his juniors, all these only fed into his nature and pride...Perhaps it was because of this that he was unable to accept being defeated so easily. His life was just too smooth sailing.
Sares attacked once more as he activated his aura layer. This was the first time I've seen his aura layer. It was like a golden cloud wrapping around his body, forming an ever-changing defensive layer.
The color of one's aura represented its element. Yellow represented earth, blue represented water, white represented ice, black was darkness, red was fire, green was wind and silver was lightning.
Once a warrior reaches the level of three-star, his aura element was revealed. Each element had its own advantages. Sares' earth element gave him superior endurance, defense and power. This was why he chose the large sword and was also why he could bring out the full potential of this sword.
"Ahhhh!" Sares finally brought forth all his strength. At this moment, he felt that nothing could stop him.
"Finally getting serious? Too bad it's still not enough." In the face of this furious strike, Roscar maintained his relaxed stance, neither attacking nor defending. The large sword careened through the air, closing the gap in an instant, its edge clearly visible at this distance. However, just as it looked like it would connect, Roscar disappeared in a flash, easily dodging the strike.
By this time, the momentum of his large sword could not be stopped. It crashed into the ground with a loud explosion, the resulting cracks spreading out like a spiderweb.
"See you." With a casual smack of his broadsword, he dispersed Sares' aura and sent him flying. Sares tumbled back several meters, his sword still stuck into the ground at his previous position.
That...looks kinda bad. It was almost like the scene of a car accident.
Maybe not awakening my aura is a good thing after all. At least my body wouldn't get smacked around like a baseball.
However, this pathetic thought was immediately banished. If I didn't have any strength, how could I defend myself from other people? By relying on Roscar or Nicole? I guess I could survive by depending on them but is that even considered living? Was this the kind of life I wanted? No. I must work harder. Even if it was just to become a baseball for Roscar to smack around, I must work hard!
But is it truly alright for me to work hard to be a baseball...
I don't know why but seeing him getting smacked around fills my heart with positive energy. At this rate, I might just be able to activate my aura perception...
However, this positivity only lasted a mere two minutes before it was cruelly shattered by Roscar.
"Hahaha, not bad. As expected of an earth aura layer. Hardy as expected." He helped Sares to his feet and patted the dust off his shoulders. "You aren't injured right?"
The reality of their power disparity was thoroughly beaten into Sares at this point. As he accepted Roscar's help, he could only smile bitterly. "I'm alright. If uncle Roscar didn't hold back his strength, I wouldn't even be able to stand up."
"Don't be so modest. I'm already a five-star warrior while you are just a three-star warrior. Just based on your experience with aura, I've long surpassed you."
"But uncle didn't even use his aura layer. That means you were only using the strength of a two-star warrior."
"Mhm." Roscar didn't answer Sares but left him hanging. "Do you know why there's an insurmountable gap between a five-star and a six-star?"
"I heard that it was only a matter of time before a five-star could advance into the ranks of six-star."
"That's right. Six-star warriors are known for their strengthened bodies. Simply put, you didn't need much talent to rise from five to six-stars. You only needed to reach the breaking point in order to advance."
Once one had become a two-star warrior, his aura would flow around his body and slowly strengthen it up to the level of five-stars. By then, one's body would would have been strengthened to an astonishing level. Just from the way Roscar could lug a 500 kg corpse around so easily, one could easily see how strong a five-star could get.
Rising to six-stars had a transformative change on one's body. It was said that a six-star's lifespan was increased by 50 years when they advanced.
As a comparison, a normal person could live up to 100 years but a majority of them only lived up to 90. By 60 or 70, one could just keep a coffin handy in their storage. A 50 years increase was massive. It could be counted as a type of evolution.
Roscar was in such a state. His body was continually getting stronger. By the time he was ready to advance to six-stars, a one-star's attack would have no effect on him.
Thanks to their strengthened body, five-stars had an astonishing endurance, speed and power.
As a 16 year old three-star warrior, Sares was definitely a genius. Furthermore, he was a Chaiksman through and through. Not to mention he had a kind and just personality. Roscar's fondness of him was fully justified but this did not stop my heart from plunging into the depths.
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"Don't worry when you get to my age, you can find a kid of your own to bully."
"...." He only smiled awkwardly at this comment as if to say he definitely wouldn't do this.
Roscar was in a really good mood at this point. His grin reached up to his ears as he said, "I have question for you. Do you like our Nicole?"
"Nicole is this village's ...no, she is the most beautiful girl I've seen. Even the girls from school couldn't compare to her...I...I."
"Understood." Roscar patted him on the head with a smile on his face.
As for me...I could only give a dry laugh.
"Time to eat." Looks like Nicole's done cooking. Nicole stood by the door as she called out. She then turned to the sulking kid in the corner and asked , "Little Ke? Didn't you leave to rest?"
My existence seems to have gotten fainter...perhaps it would be more accurate to say there's only Sares left in your eyes...
"Hahahaha. Did watching us spar make you feel frustrated?" Roscar patted my back as he consoled me. "Don't worry. Once your old man has saved enough money, Little Ke can attend the magic academy. Haha. This Bladed Ursa is pretty valuable."
"Little Ke just has to work hard and I'm sure he will succeed." Nicole clearly thought I was just frustrated so she came over to console me. But I really did not want to see her face right now...
I simply nodded in response and followed Roscar out.
"..." Sares was slightly confused by this and asked, "What's wrong with Little Ke, he seems to be in a bad mood."
"He's probably throwing a tantrum after seeing your prowess. Little Ke acts a little weird at times."
"Alright, let's eat. If we wait any longer, the food will be gone." She beckoned to him as she said this.
"Nope, Those two are gluttons."
At that moment, the pair were wolfing down the beef.
"Is there anyone who takes advantage of their dad in such a way?" He said in a muffled voice, his mouth full of beef.
"Haha, well I'm sorry dad."
I didn't remember much about what happened after that but I clearly remembered Roscar and Nicole fawning over Sares...
I wonder what kind of expression I should wear to face the next day...
Sigh...Sares, why did you have to come back...