Chapter 1: Salvation
What is this feeling?
It feels good, it feels warm… where am I? **
At first there was nothing.
I could see nothing, smell nothing, taste nothing. I could only feel the soothing warmth around me and the sound of constant beating.
**I like this place. I like this sound too, a regular beating. It’s calming.**
**I’m so tired. I just want to rest here a little longer while hearing that slow sound. It’s like a song. **
I was feeling very comfortable and relaxed, but I was completely clueless to what my current situation was.
However, I didn't care.
In this moment, I felt very pleasant and had no intention of leaving very early.
The sound of the constant beating began to speed up abruptly.
**What’s going on? It’s not pleasant anymore. It’s also beginning to feel constricting.
The beating sped up even faster than before until there was no gap in-between.
**What is happening? It hurts! Please… make it stop… stop it!!! **
I was trying to suppress my screams, but I couldn’t, as I felt like my entire body was being torn apart as if the previous quietness was just a dream.
I couldn’t help but have my body shiver under the coldest breeze I’ve ever felt. Not until something warm was put on top of me.
Regaining some sense, I tried taking a look around to find the cause of this sudden warmth, but I couldn’t.
My head felt heavy any my vision was blurry. My other senses were also abnormal. Unable to understand the situation, I tried to speak but was horribly surprised when I realised that I couldn’t do that either.
Panic was building up inside of me. A terror unlike any other I felt before was invading into me, trying to seize my fragile heart.
I couldn’t suppress the feeling. This vulnerability was instilling emotions that I knew only too well: fear and despair.
I didn’t even think about my situation. I didn’t have the leisure to do so. I was only crying, begging for someone to help me.
As if to answer my voiceless asking, I felt soft hands wrapping delicately around my body. A sweet smell penetrated into my nostrils. It was one of the sweetest fragrances that I’ve ever smelled. My body almost immediately relaxed.
When I finally heard the familiar song against my ear, I drifted into a deep sleep, far away from the harsh reality.
It took me a long time to understand my current situation, but by regaining my senses little by little, I could finally tell what was going on, not that I could explain it.
I was in the body of a baby.
I could remember everything that happened before I woke up in this situation, so I could only conclude that it was that geezer’s fault. Yet, I doubt it was his intension to reincarnate me into the body of a child as he clearly said that he was going to kill me.
**So, is this what is beyond death? There is neither paradise nor hell, just reincarnation?
If this is the case, then why do I remember everything?**
All these questions inside my head threatened my sanity. Without any way to talk or understand what was said around me, I didn’t have any way to investigate so I put the matter aside for the time being.
I spent several days trying to learn the mysterious language which I was hearing every day, but I soon realised that it was totally impossible. I could only somewhat discern if the speaker was happy or angry but that was it.
Once again I lost hope so I sheltered myself in the arms of the only person I trusted. My mother or at least the one that gave birth to this body.
I felt comfort when her warm blue eyes gazed upon me and security when her long silver hairs with red threads fall near my small head. Therefore, as soon as she distanced herself away from me, I cried.
At first, I was quite reluctant to cry, but without any other way to communicate, I soon abandoned this vain pride.
Even with the presence of my mom to alleviate my suffering, it was hell. Trapped inside my own body, losing a piece of dignity with each cry and diaper change.
In my darkest moments when I truly couldn’t bear it anymore I thought about deciding to end it. However, I was unable to do it.
**It’s probably best this way. This suffering will end once I grow up and regain full body control. Hearing the strange language, I’m probably in another country. It will take some time before I’ll be able to travel, but as soon as I can, I’ll return to my country to finish what I started and finally apologise to mother and Trisha.
They’re gonna be shocked to see me. Well, they’ll probably not believe me at first, but I’ll just have to show them proof that this is me. It’s going to be a pain in the ass.**
One day, while I was thinking of the best way to make my relatives believe in my reincarnation, a man I’ve never seen before came towards me. All my plans were being blown away the instant I saw his two long pointy ears located on the side of his head.
While I was wondering and desperately trying to come up with an idea of a malformation that I saw in one of my medicine textbook from my previous life, the man placed his hands near my head. Then suddenly, I felt a warm feeling emanating from my head while his hands were glowing with a greenish-coloured light. I couldn’t come up with anything to explain it. I was completely and utterly confused.
I looked up at my head for anything that could explain what had just happened and was left with the most ridiculous answer of them all: magic.
When every answer proves to be wrong, the only one left, as absurd as it sounded, is necessarily the right one.
I wanted to cry.
It took me a long time to accept my situation, and it was that I have been reincarnated into a world of magic and unknown beings. Sadness and despair quickly overwhelmed me for a long period of time as I realised that I will probably never be able to see my loved ones again.
If not for the loving faces that I could see around me, I would have given up already.
First of all, my mother was a bright woman.
Her name was Seledia Zadir.
She was probably no more than twenty-five years old judging from her young face. Her skin was slightly tanned while her silver her hair had a few red drills giving her the charm of a mature woman. I spent an enormous amount of time in her arms. For a long period of time, it was the only place I felt most comfortable at.
I liked my father too, even if I didn’t spent as much time in his arms.
His name was Millodas Zadir.
He was 1.80 tall with brown hair and always had a smile on his young face. He didn’t have a beard. I was wondering if his beard was even growing, as I have never seen him shave.
He spent most of our time together talking to me with an excited and enthusiastic face. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand due to the language barrier, so I could only laugh and giggle as he made strange facial expressions to imitate the strange things he came across.
I liked the way he tried to speak to me. He was talking to me as if I was already an adult. Of course, he only did that because he thought that I was a baby incapable of understanding him. From time to time, my mother usually caves in during our father-to-son time and from what I could tell, she was scolding him for something, which I couldn’t understand.
From the look of his clothes when he left the house, I understood that he was working as a guard in this city.
I didn’t have many chances to get a good look at the city, but during my first leave of the house, I saw several people coming to congratulate my parents, probably for giving birth to me. The few times I travelled outside the house was in the residence of our garden, but I was still relieved seeing a single sun and beautiful stone buildings next to some vegetation.
It was a quiet and beautiful place where the air was pure.
The discovery that shocked me the most after witnessing the existence of magic was the progress of technology. It was very ancient in comparison to my previous world that it was not even worth mentioning. Say goodbye to electricity, phones and cars. Welcome candles, letters, and horses. It was quite disappointing that I would not be able to play video games anymore.
After I spent some time thinking to myself about my current situation, I stopped lamenting on my fate.
The faces of my new parents gave me a newfound courage. When I finally realised that I wasn’t alone, it was like I was being reborn once again. The darkness that clouded my heart was cleaned to only let wonder about this new world.
**I will take this chance to start over as I previously planned, even if I’m not in the same world anymore. This time… things will be different.
I, Sillath Zadir, will be different. **
When I started to crawl, it was like a deliverance. I could finally move myself. It was nearly as pleasurable as the day I finally succeeded in not shitting myself.
As soon as I could, I stood up and finally started to make my first step into the world accompanied by the beaming smiles of my parents.
Seeing their smiles, I hoped not to disappoint them.
Therefore, I gave it my all, trying to learn my new language and was soon able to catch some words. However, even with the flexibility of a newborn brain, my old language was hindering my progress. I should have known that it would not be so easy to overcome.
Years passed and I still wasn’t able to speak more than a few words, which was worrying my parents. Even if they tried to hide it, each time I opened my mouth I could only feel the anticipation soon followed by disappointment and worry.
I could understand their worry. They thought that I was a retard. They were not to blame for that, but I also couldn’t tell them the truth. Therefore, as to not see there pained face, I talked less until no words except for greetings and thanks left my mouth.
I wasn't abandoning my chances of speaking, but I clearly needed more time.
As I couldn't speak, I obviously couldn’t read. My plans about learning magic in secret with the few books in the house were already shattered before it even started.
A few peaceful years passed.
During those years, I spent the majority of my time focused on learning the language spoken between my parents. Every time I went to bed, my mother would read me bedtime stories and I would frequently ask what each word was. In addition to that, whenever I had free time, be it when Seledia was doing household chores or asleep at night, I would be using that time to teach myself to read, write and speak the language. I started off from the basics. As each day passed, I continued to learn new words, until the speed of my learning eventually became faster as my level of understanding improved.
I was finally able to understand the sentences of my mother and the stories told by my father.
He spent almost all his nights telling me incredible stories I couldn’t have imagine in my previous life. The majorities of these were about his days as an adventurer. He told me that adventurer was the way of the bravest men in this world hunting the strongest monsters.
In fact, there was no monster strictly speaking in this world but they were numerous beasts that were born bigger and more ferocious than what they should have because of the mana in certain regions.
From what I understood, this mana deformed and drove them crazy.
Apparently, nobody knew why this phenomena happened only on a few of them but it was most likely to happen in regions far from human influence with a high concentration of mana.
It was the case in forests for example. Even the forest near our town was likely to produce a few of those beasts.
One of the missions of the adventurer was to take care of those ‘Deviants’, as they are called. Each deviant, even from the same species, was different. Therefore, adventurer was a dangerous profession.
His job as a city guard was less interesting, but much safer than an adventurer, because he spent quite a large amount of time patrolling inside the city to maintain peace and order. The other part of his work was to take care of the Deviants as soon as possible after their rebirth before they became strong enough to pose a threat. If deviants escaped before they could take care of them then it was the job of adventurers to deal with them.
It took me a long time to understand all of that through his stories but it wasn't unpleasing as nearly all of his stories were incredible.
There was one story that particularly caught my interest.
It was the story of how he met my mother
My father was on a mission to hunt a terrible serpent living in an old lake in the western continent. He didn’t give me plenty of details, because the story was quite bloody, but apparently he got his ass handed down to him and would’ve been drowned by the serpent if not for my mother saving him in time. I was quite surprised to hear that my sweet mother was an ancient A rank adventurer that was more known for her violence than her beauty.
My father lost consciousness during that fight and when he woke up, he described her as one of the scariest people he had ever laid eyes upon. She was covered in blood with fierce red eyes, but as soon as he was able to get up, he immediately ran up to her and tried hitting on her. She was surprised, but gave up after his continuous day-to-day harassing. They stopped being adventurers and came to this small peaceful town when they discovered that she was pregnant.
I think that’s the most beautiful story I ever heard.
Some peaceful years passed rythmed by those stories and my training in this language. I was happy that my hard work had already bore fruit. I became pretty adept in speaking, reading and writing, even if I occasionally came across a few words or sentences that I didn't know.
However, it wasn’t a major problem as I was still a young child, not even a decade years old.
I had plenty of time.
I understood the speaches around me but I still wasn't very comfortable with having a conversation. Therefore, I continued to act like the usual kid I was; shy, distant and reserved until speaking this language became more natural.
Except for my progresses in language, I was the most surprised by my physical changes.
It was strange to see myself grow into a little boy with a cute pale face. My mother thought that I looked similar to my dad, but with her beautiful blue eyes. I also had strange hair. My hair was brown like my father’s, but I also had some red strands of hair like my mother.
Genetic is a very strange thing, but I was quite happy with my new appearance. I was finally lucky in something, but I was sure it wouldn’t last. Therefore, once my parents told me that they had invited an elven mage who was a ‘friend’ into our household, I couldn’t help but stiffen.
A couple of days after I turned four years of age, the elven mage returned to our house.
Catching a few words from the conversation he was having with my parents, I finally understood that this man was a doctor of some kind. Apparently, the first time he came was to make sure that nothing was wrong with me as I kept crying every day.
Now, my parents were sure that something was off. I couldn’t blame them. A normal child would not shut himself in. I was also never considerate of people around me nor was I a quiet child in my previous life, so even I found my behaviour very weird.
After their conversation had ended, the magician walked towards me and bent one knee to be at eye level with me. Then he spoke with a gentle tone.
“Hello, Sillath. My name is Aten.” He then used his hands to gesture to himself. “I’m here to see if you are sick. You understand? Sick. Don’t worry, this will only last a second... just a second. Are you ok with that?”
I could feel that the man had no ill intentions towards me, but the fact that he spoke to me so slowly and frequently repeated words got onto my nerves. Well, it’s thanks to that I understood him completely, but I still hated being treated like an idiot.
I nodded silently.
His right hand slowly approached my eyes.
**So we’re going to do it here? In the vestibule? Shouldn’t we at least get on a bed? Either it doesn’t matter if we get on a bed or not, or this elf doesn’t care one bit about my personal safety.**
As his hands came closer and closer towards me, I suddenly tensed at the realisation of what might happen if this kind doctor told my parents about my reincarnation.
I doubt that they would accept the idea of having a grown up child very easily. Worst-case scenario, I will be thrown out of my own home where I will be unwanted and all alone. The thought of living in an unknown world all alone was not very appealing, especially without having the skills, or knowledge of this world to survive.
**If he finds out who I am, them it would be the end of me.
I need to act like a kid… what would a kid would do in this situation? **
As I was wondering, my body trembled from head to toe with the thought of being kicked out. Panic and fright was clearly shown on my face. Without even realising it, I was already acting like a scared little boy.
I took a quick glance at my mother holding back a sob as she saw her little boy frightened, whilst my dad held her hand to stop her from coming closer.
That was all I could see, before Aten placed his right hand over my eyes as he closed them, thus my vision was cut off. His hand was still over my eyes, I thought that maybe my vision must be cut off, or that he has to maintain physical contact, or perhaps both was necessary for the ritual to work.
By the way, I was really glad to have both eyes once again but my current situation made it really hard to celebrate.
After less than a minute had passed, the ritual was finally over. He distanced his hand away from my face and before he could announce the result I was suddenly in the tight embrace of my overprotective mother. It seem that she really held herself back as to not come closer.
While I was enclosed in her sweet flagrance I heard my dad speak with a tone of worry in his voice.
“So… what is the result?” he asked.
“Hmmm… difficult to tell…”
I became increasingly more nervous at his response.
**Shit. Did he find out? **
I suddenly imagined what would’ve happened if they truly knew the truth. I became slightly pale at the thought of being rejected from my home, but I couldn’t do anything about it. So, I silently hoped to myself while cursing at him.
**Don’t overthink it stupid elf! I’m a normal little boy. Look.**
I made a gesture for my mom to carry me and was immediately in her firm yet soft grasp above the ground.
“What do you mean ‘difficult to tell’?”
While my mother was carrying me, the voice of my father couldn't hide any longer the worry in his voice.
“Well, as far as what I have discovered; there is nothing wrong with your son.”
I barely repressed a sigh of relief. Something that both my parents weren’t able to do.
“But… I suggest that you make him apply for the Elementary test earlier.”
**Elementary test, what is that? **
“What… why?” asked Millodas with a questionable look on his face. “Well, it’s difficult to confirm manually and I’m afraid that I might’ve made a mistake but I think your son has an abnormally large mana pool.”
“How big do you think it is?” asked Seledia with a hint of worry in her sky blue eyes..
“Not in human level.” he replied with a sound of seriousness in his voice.
I almost strangled myself with this stupid elf. I was prepared to see the questioning look upon my mother’s face, but when I dared to cross my mother’s gaze, that was not the case. Her eyes were warm as always and she didn’t seem very surprised.
Even the elf seemed to have noticed her strange behaviour as he threw her an inquisitive look. She finally opened her mouth to answer his gaze.
“It’s a little surprising but I had a very distant ancestor that was an elf. This was very a long time ago, but I still have the colour of my hair as a proof of this even if I don’t have the ears of an elf”
She continued on to talk about the elves, but I could barely understand, as her speech was full of many unfamiliar words that I could only understand most of it. If I understood it right, I was part elf from my mother, which may explain why I had an unnaturally large mana pool.
**Great, I’m an earless elf now... **
I took a wick of her silver hair in my small hand to examine it closer.
She smiled at me as she noticed what I was doing.
The doctor look at the hairs I held and nodded with a slight compassionnate smile.
“If you say so then all is well. My work is done here.”
He then made his farewells and immediately started to leave.
“Wait a minute!”
My father held him by the wrist as he was going out.
“What is it?”
“I understand what you say about his condition, but if my son isn’t ill, then why hasn't he already started talking like the other children of his age.” he asked with a worried voice.
The doctor took a quick glance at me. I was very nervous as I was waiting his answer. If I started speaking now, their suspicions would only grow stronger so I could only stay quiet, anticipating his response.
“Well…there is a simple reason to that.”
“What is it?” Millodas suddenly asked.
I felt the eagerness to know in my father’s voice and the grip of my mother grew stronger too.
**Is he going to say that I’m stupid? If he says it, I swear I will…**
“He is shy.”
My parents were dumbfounded with his answer. I was as well.
**If you knew what I was thinking a second before, you wouldn’t say that I’m shy. But I suppose I prefer being shy rather than being stupid. I stopped talking because I couldn’t learn their language and he thinks it’s because I’m shy. I guess I should count myself lucky..**
“Give him some time and the words will naturally flow out of his mouth.”
A huge smile took shape on the face of my mother as she tightened her embrace, burying my face further into her ample cleavage. I also heard a sigh of relief from my father behind me.
After the visit and the reassuring words from Aten, the mood in the house became considerably brighter. I decided to play the role of the happy child as much as possible to comfort them in their thought.
It must have been hard on them.
In addition, even if I was mentally an adult I must say it felt pretty good to be a part of this family. If I could see my first mom and Trisha to turn the page of my previous life then everything would be perfect. Although, it was probably better if I didn't become too greedy.
I decided that I would begin to speak a few basic words around a week from now on to avoid any suspicion and assure my parents that I was feeling better.
Some time after the departure of Aten, my mom explained to me what was the ‘Elementary test’.
“The elementary test is something that all children at the age of seven must apply for. It’s to determine if they are able to use magic and the depth of their mana pool. As Aten said, you will pass yours a little earlier. Probably next year when you're five.”
“Yes sweetheart, mana pool.”
She seemed happy that I could repeat this complicated word.
**I’m not a parrot you know! **
“What is it?” I tilted my head to the side to make good figure.
“Oh, of course you don’t know what it is. Silly me.” she said with a clear smile on her face.
Of course, I had an idea about what it was but I still wanted to hear it from her as to clearly understand it.
She smiled and then made a gesture with her right hand. Instantly, a small flame burst into her palm illuminating her happy face.
“This is magic, Sillath.”
**Yes I can see that. Even if I suspected that it was possible it’s still surprising. **
“Is it not hot, mama?”
She smiled again.
“Not for me because until it leaves my body, it is a part of me. I’m using my mana pool inside me to make this little flame and control it. Since it’s not from your mana you can sense the heat coming from it, can’t you?”
I simply nodded.
“Also with more mana I can make the flame bigger and hotter but this also makes it more difficult to control. When you have a lot of mana you can make much more and even bigger spells before you’re tired. All the famous mages don’t necessarily have a large mana pool, but it is still a big advantage to have one.”
I pondered for a bit.
Some of her sentences were excessively long. As a result, I nearly lost track in the middle. However, the content was basic and not difficult to understand.
**All right, I must gather as much information about magic as I can before the happy lesson time end. **
“Do you understand Sillath?”
I nodded once again.
“Mama… I have a question.” I said whilst looking at her with anticipation in my eyes.
“What is it sweetheart?”
“Can you only make fire with magic?”
**It's a stupid question. However, with this innocent question she will have to explain this world’s magic. I’m a genius.**
“No. You can make a lot more things but you will learn this in school, baby.”
**Crap, I didn’t see that coming. So much for the genius part. I don’t have a choice. I’ll go back to the little boy act. **
While looking at her with puppy dog eyes I used my angelic little voice to call for her maternal instincts.
“P-Please mommy. I want to know.”
**You can’t resist, I know that I’m cute in this body. **
Her face immediately lit up in pure ecstasy as she was attacked by my innocent attitude. After some thought, she gave up.
She spent the rest of her afternoon on the couch with me on her lap, while explaining to me what she knew about magic. She used only simple words so that a four-year old boy could understand.
In short, I found out that there are only four different systems of magic: water, earth, fire and wind. It’s called ‘Primordial magic’ or ‘Elemental magic’ for that matter.
Using these four elements, mages could create different kinds of magic spells. By combining several systems, it was also possible to change the result, like adding water to fire magic will make steam. It ouldn be incredible or lame, but the result was always different. This kind of fusion magic was apparently quite advance.
She also told me that each element had its specialties. Therefore, people were more or less apt to use them. The dwarfs excelled at fire magic, while the elves were the opposite.
I wasn’t too surprised when I heard about the dwarfs. After all, if there were elves, there may be dwarves too.
Humans don’t have any race trait like that, the ability to use an element changed according to person to person. Even though, the human race can together use all types of elements, it seemed that the popularity of the elements was quite different.
Earth and water were apparently the most popular while wind magic was uncommon because most people deemed it as useless. According to my mother, they were right about that, at least in the early stage, but if one were to master wind magic it could definitely become quite fearful in the future.
Lastly, fire magic was the least popular. It was mostly used for basic needs such as making heat and light. I couldn't understand, so I asked why. My mom only shook her head and said that it was used mainly to do many bad things in the past. Bandits who don’t like leaving survivors mostly use it.
My father, hearing a part of her explanation while entering the room, also added that the most dangerous killer in the kingdom was a deadly user of fire magic.
**Thanks for your usual ‘bloody comment’ dad, but I think you shouldn’t have intervened. **
My mom instantly gave him a harsh glare, which seemed to translate into: “What the hell are you telling to my baby?”
**I could have sworn I saw him shiver under her gaze. Must be my imagination. **
To change the topic, my mom quickly added that the depth of magic goes even further than that. I was a little disappointed with only four elements so I quickly shifted my focus onto her.
My dad seized this opportunity to quickly run away.
**I doubt mother will let you get away so easily. I don’t think you will have a lot of ‘wrestling lessons’ with her next week. **
Back to the topic, she told me that except for the ‘Primordial magic’, there exist two other types of magic.
One regrouped ancient magic like teleportation and life manipulation that needed complicate magic circles and rare materials to make.
They were so difficult to use and so powerful that most people saw it as a myth. In fact, there was really few mages still knowledgable about this kind of magic so most of them were lost with time resulting in people calling it ‘Lost magic’.
In the contrary, the last group of magic was well known. It was also extremely powerful and hard to control. It was called ‘Sacred magic’. It was the secret to manipulate different elements other than the four basics ones.
She continued on to explain that one of the ten arch mages of the world was a sacred mage of lighting. Something none before him had ever achieved.
Apparently, the reason why it was called sacred magic wasn’t because of its power, but because of its secrets. Each mage discovering a Sacred magic kept the secret only to let a handful of apprentices learn it. According to my mother, the only way to master a sacred magic was that you must spend a lot of time in contact with it.
**Maybe the lightning sacred mage electrocuted himself or was hit by a random bolt of lightning. I wouldn’t want to try that. **
Of course, you can also discover the secret of a Sacred magic yourself, but some mages have spent their lives trying to acquire them on their own and failed miserably.
In the end, my mother spent all afternoon to carefully teach me that.
**Well, that was interesting. If I understood it right, I can learn the basics of magic at the Elemental magic school when I turn seven and that’s it. Well, if one mage makes me their apprentice. I suppose they could teach me a thing or two. **
I was secretly looking forward to my soon-to-come Elementary test but decided that I had to talk to other people first to get use to speak this language.