“This should work…” I sneakily stuck a piece of audio chip at the farthest bottom of a table.
The small chip was less than an inch and blended well with the dark wooden structures of the furniture.
There were just some things you couldn’t get from books.
Although I was conceived with prior knowledge, there were too many things that contradicted with the information I was given by that god.
“Milady, you shouldn’t be sitting on the floor.” A maid hoisted my small frame off the carpet and carefully placed my feet on the ground.
While she fixes my dress by brushing the dust, without saying anything I let her do her thing as I continued to survey my surroundings. A habit that hasn’t changed.
“Mawge. Flowews.” I pointed towards the window frame, overlooking the garden.
“Do you want to go to the garden, Milady?”
I nodded as she gave me an exasperated look. That was understandable considering I’ve been dragging her around the mansion all day.
“But, milady, do you really want to go to the garden?”
I immediately sensed something wrong at her repeated question. I took a moment to analyze her features. She looked towards the glass window as if pondering, her brows scrunched.
I slowly nodded, committed to finding out the cause of her hesitation.
“Very well, milady.” She answered.
With that, we headed towards the garden.
My current circumstance made me think that I was no different than a clueless child, actually, I am a clueless child. There were things I was not allowed to question. Even if I tried to glean some kind of explanation, I was only given a frustratingly unclear answer.
I thought taking advantage of my age would allow them to freely run their mouths, but it was as if they were filtering their words whenever I was around.
They were purposely keeping me in the dark. Why?
It doesn’t matter. I have my own methods.
The scent of sweet florals wafted the air, gently pulling me away from my thoughts.
It was a sight. Lush greenery flooded my surroundings, brightly colored blossoms decorated the sprawling verdant meadow. There was a stark difference between the massive dreary mansion and the garden which was teeming with life.
My appreciation for it only lasted a minute before I found myself heaving. Surroundings began to swirl as slowly darkness blotted out my vision.
What the fuck.
The moment I woke up it was already 6:00 P.M. in my watch. The grandfather clock rang throughout the mansion.
Did somebody attack me?
No, I feel perfectly fine.
Is it magic then?
An intense wave of unease filled me when I couldn’t even factor such a risk. Perhaps, someone was after my life? I hastily listened in on the channels through my earpiece.
Dropping the listening bugs in every corner of the mansion would perhaps give me some kind of clue as to why I fainted.
However, the moment I heard footsteps, I paused the device and shoved everything into the fluffy black teddy bear.
“My Lady, it’s time for dinner,” Marge announced enthusiastically.
In a demure child-like hum, “Okay.”
I got up and toddled over to her. She held out her hand, offering me to take it. When I reached out, she enveloped her hand in my mine securely and we both went to the dining hall.
Come to think of it, Marge looked uncomfortable when I brought up the garden before I fainted. I stopped in my tracks, the maid looked at me with confusion.
“Marge, what happened?”
She stood silent as if pondering on what to say.
“My lady, we shouldn’t keep the marquis couple waiting.”
I gave her a dead look, before I walked straight passed her.
This maid won’t open her mouth easily.
The large wooden door creaked open, revealing the married couple talking in hushed voices.
“Elisha, my daughter,” a middle-aged man with aging white hair and blue eyes greeted me with a fatherly smile. The nauseating stench of herbs and smoke hits my nostrils as I suppressed a gag.
“Elisha, dear. You must not keep us waiting at the dinner table,” a woman with flowing night sky hair and green jaded eyes bearing similarities to my own physical appearance looked at me disapprovingly.
I nodded and repeated back the same pleasantries as I tottered over to my seat.
“I heard you went to the garden.” The old man spoke up.
Of course you did. Did you also know that your kid fucking fainted?
It was clear that they knew what happened, but they clearly aren’t worried about your fainting spiel.
“Yes, father.” I replied in a monotonous formal tone, similar to how I answered to my superiors in my previous life.
“You see, Elisha. That garden is the pride of our family. It was untouched for generations, only a select few can even get passed the garden. Not even monsters can’t come even close to it.” The woman proudly ranted on.
One line caught my attention.
Monsters can’t come close to it.
Before I could ask about that. I was interrupted by a bell being rung. The old man whom I call my father held a bell and shook it. An array of servants holding trays decked with multiple dishes. Plates of steaks were given to the couple placed in lavish crockery. Dark wine sat idly in a cut-glass goblet.
“You must be famished, sweetie. Go ahead and eat.”
I was given a plain porridge, plump pudding, and a glass of water. The jarring difference between our food presentation was enough to come across as unwelcoming.
The dinner table was silent enough that I could hear my beating heart.
Why aren’t they eating yet?
I grasped the nearest silver utensil. But despite the tiny appearance of the utensil, it felt far heavier. I was tempted to leave the large dining table as I could feel the stares digging into my skull.
Slowly, I lifted the spoonful of the seemingly innocent porridge and then downing it in one gulp after much deliberation.
I don’t have many notable family memories of my previous life. At a young age, there was this customary training method in the military that I was subjected to test my capabilities—
There was a rising backlash from my throat; acidic putrescence threatens to rise like a scream. I contemplated feeling the need to regurgitate everything or painfully swallowing the acidic contents. Tiny beads of sweat formed and fell from my forehead.
“What’s wrong Elisha?” that old woman asked worriedly, feigning her concern.
I forcibly pushed down the digestive acrid as well as my vexation that was accruing at my chest.
“Nothing, mother…” I said through gritted teeth, gripping the silverware.
I let out a ghastly smile as if to mask the internal struggle.
The Marchioness smiled at me with proud satisfaction as she turned to slice her steak with calculated grace.
— any normal parent wouldn’t think of poisoning their fucking kid.
“God damn it…”
Head buried in the toilet, feeling my bowels twist uncomfortably, I continued to vomit out the contents of today’s dinner.
Even remembering the sensation of having to forcibly swallow the poisonous porridge down my throat made me feel like another wave of sickness was going to take over.
Either this is how they show their love or that they’re trying to get rid of me.
Seeing my reflection from the mirror above me, my apple-cheeks were a bit sunken, possibly due to malnutrition. Feeling weaker, I slumped alone over the tiled floor, exhausted, after failing to regain balance. Marge had orders to just leave me be so I had to do all the cleaning myself.
Are they doing this because, unlike normal children, I wasn’t emotionally dependent and didn’t chase after parental affections? But that’s because I was a fully grown adult inside.
Or maybe, from what I overheard, this was some sort of test?
What kind of test includes poisoning your own flesh and blood in the first place?
Bright moonlight spilled through the window.
Like any other night, it was anything but quiet. My eyes and ears twitched at the screams and groans echoing throughout the mansion.
How come everybody is okay with this?
After months of waking up to the chorus of cries every day, I have grown far too accustomed to it that it almost became part of my nightly routine. Adapting to such a crazy environment wasn’t so hard considering I was practically raised in a slaughterhouse in my previous life.
Controlling fission magic was decent at best. I could, to some extent, generate shapes and control its motions. The result of my hardwork was this questionable tendril. The elongated shape that was made out of dirt wiggled like a snake having a seizure before splattering against the flower pot.
Still, it was hardly an original goal, I had to come enough to be able to adapt into this mystical era.
Moving on, I have to confirm my suspicions before I could plan for the future.
I have to know what I'm involved with. Just where are those screams coming from?
It took a lot of time and preparation—given my limited faculties—to even get this thing going. I toddled my way to the door. Seeing that the door handle was out of reach, it was time to apply what I’ve been painfully studying for the past 2 years.
Yellow streams sprung and enfolded into the soil from the pot I was holding was molded into a mobile tendril.
Imagery and concentration are a vital key in using magic. Thus, providing a name for a skill born from the combination Elemental Fission Mana 「EFM」 and its element origin. It was a magical cue as if it understood my instruction, the tendril of soil reached towards the doorknob and coiled around its handle.
By this point, I was able to walk my way through the dark hallways. Slowly but consistently, I followed the sound as if I had retained my senses during my training as a soldier.
I had passed by multiple portraits of what looked like my family while letting the screams lead me as they slowly grew louder and fiercer.
Making my way down the lavish hallways. Even the gold accents in the mansion that glimmered as the moonlight hits could not hide its eerie feel. It truly was a large place. Thankfully, I was good with reconnaissance expedi—
A recognizable feminine voice resonated in the halls, making me stop in my tracks.
Picking up on the sounds of footsteps and voices, I crouched down carefully, picking a spot under the curtails of a table that fully hid my small body.
There was a cacophony of shrills, as I heard the continuous crack of a whip. It soon died down as I heard familiar male and female voices grumbling in dismay.
"Those three are such disappointments." a thin voice of a female expressed, followed by the clicking of heels.
Clunk. I heard a loud metal door creak open.
"Don't worry, honey. Next time, we'll get better ones." a gruff male voice responded.
They sound like they were enjoying it despite them complaining that they were disappointed.
I already had a vague idea of what lies beyond these metal gates. Still hiding, I spotted a key hanging from the waist belt of my so-called father.
I used the wind and coated it with「EFM」energy, letting it slip through and grasping it like a slivering snake.
“Who’s there?” an austere female voice echoed on the stone walls.
“What is it, honey?”
“I felt a small trace of elemental energy.”
They were both silent as they surveyed their surroundings.
“You know that’s impossible, dear. It had been a lost practice since the Empire had conquered the Elvuian.”
“You’re right. Perhaps, I was just paranoid,” she sighs. “A group of unruly band of rebels that are making trouble by smuggling the slaved Igurs.”
“Do not worry. I think Elisha has what it takes to carry on the family skills and tradition. Let’s go, my dear, it’s been a long night.”
The theft went unnoticed as they continued to walk down their path before they disappeared out of sight.
I stared at the tetrahedral metal key in my hand, as its stone unconventionally glowed red stone surrounded by deeply engraved symbols. It emitted a magnetic force when hovered over the metal door that also had the same stone.
Shing! Both stones glowed brightly in response and the metal door opened silently.
I peered inside cautiously, already dreading the incoming headache as I was faced with an ominously endless pitched black narrow stairway.
“Holy fuck…! Cough! Cough!”
The moment I inhaled that piss-stinking place. Nobody prepared me for that dreadful smell. It was as if it was searing my nostrils to the point that I refused to inhale.
The foul air dispersed, only to come back to torture my lungs. Looks like my magic has its limits.
【Flashlight. < Set Time Limit: Maximum 4 years >】
Right… There was that usage time limit. I just discovered recently that for non-living objects there was a set time-span and for organic objects tend to expire easily and wouldn’t need a time limit.
Perhaps, it was better that way considering that if people find out about this, they wouldn’t be able to trace it back to me and would one day disappear, leaving no trace that it existed.
【Flashlight. Set Time Limit: 3 hours】
Flicking its switch, the bulb illuminated the cobbled expanse.
Here goes nothing.