Home Room Earlier
Name: Merida Angel
HP: 5 MP: 0
Attack: 1 Defense: 1 Agility: 2
Attack Assist: – Defense Assist: –
*According to Flandor United Battle Skill Report
(Extract from Saint Frideswide Girl’s Academy Enrolment Report)
“Isn’t this miserable…”
The young man involuntarily let out a groan as he moved his sight from the sheepskin parchment. There was a large foyer without having any lights just before him, as he decided to look for a chair carefully while looking around as to not to trip over, he let out sighs accompanying his footsteps.
“I have never seen such level of attributes, never mind that, apparently there is a grading level of [G] that exists?”
“Oh, this is my first time of knowing as well,”
The young man’s associate said while whistling and at the same time taking the report. He glanced down on the single digit attribute and made a mock laughter while releasing smoke from smoking his cigarette.
It appeared that this man who was in his forties was the young man’s superior in military matters, but his unkempt appearance, plus his long hair that had yet to be trimmed in a long time including how he had never taken care of it, sporting with an ungroomed stubble had made his honor dropped rock bottom. The young man unhappily waved his hand, dispersing the smoke.
Even though the young man had a well toned body and a mature aura around him, he was only 17 years old. Of course, because of the various needs of his missions, he’d been trained to be able to take a few drugs, not to mention cigarettes or alcohol, but he had never liked these addictions of adults.
On the large foyer’s table, there was a line of adult preferred whiskey bottles, a bottle would need to cost a youth’s few months salary. However, there were a few bottles that had been broken as the alcohol that was resting inside dripped across the carpet. The fireplace had yet to be lit, of course there was no signs of occupants.
Beyond the foyer, there was a spiral staircase connecting to the second floor along with two doors, respectively connecting to the dining room and reception room. The superior gently pointed the second floor using his walking cane while the young man nodded.
His left-hand rested on his hip’s black sword, at the same time taking his first step up on the stairs.
“Never mind the details on the attributes. No matter what kind of level or what, or to watch how she grows from now on — but, what is it with the classing being unknown as well as MP (Mana) being zero?”
The young man turned his head to glance at the report in the hands of his superior, as well as glowering at his superior.
“Let me reconfirm, this isn’t her enrolment report during kindergarten, right?”
“Of course not. She enrolled in April… which indicates that was three months ago, she got into Saint Frideswide Girl’s Academy. That is a de facto mana learning institution where aristocrats’ daughters gather. What’s shocking is that until now since birth, this Lady Merida has yet to discover mana, of course, it is unclear what kind of level of power is hidden within her.”
“In other words, she’s 13 now…”
This was unbelievable. Usually, ‘Mana’ would be awakened at the age of 7.
Mana would grant the ability user all kinds of special skills, and would also increase their body’s ability exceeding a normal human’s level, was it only selected aristocrat class would only be able to obtain the Gift — no, it was the opposite? It was because they were granted mana hence they were given the powers of aristocrats, the sacrifice of obtaining this power was that they were forced to fight ‘foreign enemies’.
“Speaking of the Angel family, they’re one of the three biggest duke families, the ‘Paladins’!”
The young man’s voice that was mixed with amazement reverberated through the spiral staircase.
Mana that granted people special abilities, according to its power, it could be categorized to 11 classes.
There was the Fencer which possessed strong defenses; Gladiator which had amazing offenses; the Samurai which had agility that could never be surpassed by anyone; and there was Gunnar which has amazing long-range capabilities as well as Wizard, Cleric, and the elusive and ever-changing Maiden as well as Clown…
Half of the Mana users belonged to one of these classes, as for dukes, their class was decided by the rules and achievements that had been established by the current house head — except for three families.
These special exception families were the three duke families — no matter their identity or power, they receive different treatment compared to other aristocrats, the classes they withhold were Paladin, Dragoon, and Diabolos, three high classes.
They received special treatment due to their classes being rare and their abilities are very powerful.
There were only three families that possessed these advanced classes, a wide difference between the other classes. The Schlesal family inherited the Dragoon class; Diabolos had been inherited by the La Moore family, and the family who Merida had been born into, the Angel family had inherited the Paladin class.
Mana flowed within the blood, succeeded to the later generations through blood relations. Hence, the children of aristocrats would always be aristocrats when they grew up, and there was a common idea that the blood purity of an aristocrat would influence the hidden potential of said aristocrat.
This logic was also explained why the advanced classes were the highest. Their blood, their mana, possessesed an inviolable advantage, not lower-class aristocrats, but even their blood was mixed with commoners, the children would undeniably be advanced classes …well according to common sense anyway.
But according to the information before, such incident that would disrupt such common theory, unless —
“That Lady Merida… unless she’s not a true born daughter of the Angel family?”
“Correct, she’s under suspicion for that reason.”
While the young man’s superior answered in a low voice, the young man nodded his head, they stepped on the final step of the staircase, arriving at the second floor.
Apparently, there really was no sign of occupants, all the gas lamps were not lit. The young man followed the instruction of his superior’s walking cane, advanced to the left lobby while accepting a stack of reports given by the superior.
“Does this mean that the baby is a changeling*?”
(TL Note: Babies switched at birth)
“No, to what I’ve heard, there were a lot of witnesses, there is little to no possibility that this would happen.”
Compared to the hesitant young man, the superior who was in his forties frankly spoke.
“It’s very simple, that Lady Merida possibly might not be Angel family’s current head Felgus Angel’s daughter, she might be the illegitimate child of her mother, Melnoa Angel’s affair.”
The young man quietly looked down, but only reports would report no emotional.
The superior lighted up another cigarette and at the same time as if he was in a pub, he casually continued to speak:
“The client of this job, is one of the council members, Modrew Armory Industry President Sir Modrew. He is Melnoa Angel’s father, to Lady Merida, he is her grandfather. In his perspective, he will never acknowledge his proud daughter who married to a duke family—has broken the Paladin blood lineage. No matter what, he will need to know the truth, you will need to clearly investigate Lady Melnoa’s relationships.”
“In other words, this mansion’s owner is one of the suspects of the affair?”
The young man looked up at the ghost town like mansion’s ceiling, he opened the door situated in the middle of the lobby, behind the door, it was a pool room covered in darkness.
—Is it empty here? The young man frowned while feeling disbelief, at the same time, closing the door.
The superior took out another report and spread it out neatly.
“Gem businessman Giffney Elsnes. Back then, when Sir Modrew visited Giffney’s father, the 11-year-old Lady Melnoa followed and she was very bored. Concerned of this, the young Giffney showed off his piano skills, Lady Melnoa was very touched by this gesture and drew a portrait of him as thanks. Their relationship is quite intimate… something like that.”
“It’s something that has happened when she was 11…”
The young man couldn’t help but be surprised, a face of disgustis drawn on the face of his superior as he kept the report.
“Let’s put it simply, our client is desperate. Lady Melnoa’s friends from her boarding school days, peers from her clubs, young businessmen, even their relatives! If they were in contact with Lady Melnoa, they were all investigated but the result was empty handed.”
“Since it has come to this, why not ask Lady Melnoa herself…”
The superior shook his head in exasperation as he interrupted the young man.
“Lady Melnoa has passed away more than five years ago.”
“Now this is where you come in to play!”
The superior clapped his hands together loudly, as if following the actors that were in a drama.
“Your mission is to become this talentless girl Merida Angel’s private home tutor, guide her to become a Paladin, transform her into a girl who is fit to be in the Paladin Duke Household!”
“If outer appearance fails, then we’ll reform the inner, is it?”
“Exactly. I heard that Sir Modrew has pressured her a few times, but there seems to not be a hint of result, in the end, something like this requires a professional lecturer.”
“I understand this, but…”
The young man picked up the miserable skill report, a face of disgust appeared on his face as he sighs.
“… why me? If it’s about missions, I want to join the investigation of the background of the suspects.”
“No, that won’t do. Besides you, there won’t be anyone else more suitable. Think about our weird unit members! I can never hand them such exquisite missions. You have such good skills in acting superficial and nice, there’s no one else that can replace you!”
“I understand. Forgive me but I will have to refuse.”
The young man hurled the report onto his superior’s chest as he turned to leave, the corner of his uniform fluttered. He walked in the direction of the lobby’s double doors as his superior chased after him with a voice of flattery.
“Please~ This is a mission given from a duke household, just take it as helping your dad~”
“You only adopted me, please don’t act like a father when you’re in a disadvantage, bastard father.”
“Okay, I understand. Let’s discuss it seriously, until then, please just turn around.”
The superior who was standing next to the young man gestured, hinting he was sincere as he tried to talk with the young man.
“In all honesty, it isn’t a time where you’re allowed to choose your favorite missions, things are changing.”
“It’s a criminal organization. Lady Merida’s talentless rumors are starting to float within the country. If this is a gossip between wives of high social status, then it’ll be alright but the criminal organizations are currently investigating about the truth of Lady Melnoa’s affair. To these scums who wants to remove the class system, this could cause a rupture in the duke family foundation, it appears to be a very nice bait.”
“It truly is not scary at all.”
The young man talked while he walked along the lobby, walking the same pace as with his superior, shoulder to shoulder. They pushed open the double door at the same time.
There was a group of criminals gathered behind the doors.
To the criminals, the young man and his superior were unexpected intruders, an awkward silence existed for a few seconds.
There was the study. The bookshelves were all lined neatly against the walls, and there was a chair which appeared very comfortable when being sit on. A man who was wearing a high-class swallow tail tuxedo sit in front of the office desk, the top half of his body effortlessly lying on the desk.
Then, there were a group of men dressed in high collar black shirts surrounding the man in the swallow tail tuxedo. If they lived in a bright society, they wouldn’t have such dark and depressing gazes. From the atmosphere, all of them seemed to be equipped with a weapon. A sharp knife reflected a glint of sharp light from the gas lamp.
The cigarette dropped to the floor from the superior’s mouth, he shot a glance to the young man, drew on a fake smile.
“… not scary at all, right?”
The group of men dressed in black, aimed their guns at the young man and his superior.
When the triggers of all the group of black men’s guns were pulled, at the same time the black sword that was hanging from the young man’s hip unsheathed, shiiiiiing.
The young man’s arm flashed with high speed. The speed of him unsheathing his sword exceeded the velocity of the bullet as he reflected the rain of bullets away. As he slashed away the final bullet, came a delayed gunfire which shook the tympanic membrane of his ear.
The muscles of his whole-body creaked, the young man stomped on the floor with an explosion like momentum.
The young man managed to cut down one of the men during his sudden assault. He opened his legs, as if dancing as he cut both men dressed in black in both left and right directions down. Blood spirals splattered on the young man’s face, during this time, the enemy finally gained realization of the young man’s silhouette and at the same time, they realized that the speed of the young man is faster than common sense.
One of the clad in black men aimed his gun at the young man – but at that split second, the young man had already ended his assault. Accompanying the young man’s kneeling posture on the floor, three glints of light reflected from the sword flashed. A horizontal strike to the neck, a second strike from the right shoulder to the left underarm, a final third strike splits the torso of the man in black.
As the fresh blood sprayed, the young man stomped on the floor again, from his original squatting posture, he lowered his upper torso, nimbly bended his body, dashed across the floor. Simultaneously, the sword that possessed a speed that was so fast that only a blur shadow could be seen danced, one by one, the men dressed in black fell with mortal wounds on their bodies.
The young man stomped on the floor on again, dashed between walls, he slipped the tip of his shoe into one of the bookshelves, and following the momentum, he kicked, causing the books on the bookshelves to fly out of their resting place. The men in black that were hit by the books covered their faces in reflex, following a strike from the young man’s sword as he decapitated them.
“There is one left!”
A shout from the superior caused the young man to rebound by kicking one of the walls, dashed across, accelerated at the same time, struck out with shocking speed, lunged towards the last enemy’s neck—
Chang! The enemy raised his arm right before the sword strike, blocking the sword of the young man.
What shocking was that the enemy had no weapon in his hands yet he relied on his own bare arm for defense. Despite this, the young man gave it his all and pushed down his sword yet he was still unable to cut down the enemy’s arm, besides that, the enemy utilizes a shocking arm strength to keep such close combat — he was a master.
Observing with detail, this man’s getup was different from the others. He was like a dead spirit as he donned a busted black robe, using the hood to cover up his face. His height was almost the same as the young man, 80% of chance that he was a male.
As expected, the enemy spoke to the young man under his hood:
“Within 5 seconds you took down my men… looking at the dark colors of your military uniform, you’re not from an official military unit then?”
“Then what about you? Where are you from? Let me tear down your suspicious robe!”
The young man suddenly struck out a kick, with a strong sense of balance continuously landing kicks towards the black robe man’s calf, abdomen, and the left side of his head. But as if hitting a rock, the enemy moved not even an inch.
As so, when the foot retracted and used the heel to aim at his face — before the young man struck, there was something wrapped around the axis of his foot.
The thing that was wrapped around the young man’s foot was a bandage that came from the black robed man’s pocket. The young man was pulled down to the floor, and at the same time, the black robed man raised his leg. The heel of his foot struck down with full strength — crushing the study’s floorboard.
The young man rolled away before the attack, and started to break dance behind the black robed man. During the moment when the young man’s lower body that was spinning, he jumped up, both heels of his feet violently attacked the back of the head of the black robed man continuously.
If it was some other man, then this technique would undeniably knock out the enemy but following the sounds of the heavy strikes, the man in the black robed didn’t even move an inch. Even so, the young man unsheathed his dagger and cut off the bandage from his left leg, using break dancing actions to jump back.
As if wanting to take over, the superior took a step forward and took out a large revolver, aimed at the man in black robe and pulled the trigger but the bullet was reflected away by the bandage coming from the corner of the robe.
The man in the black robe turned around slowly, several bandages slithered out from his sleeves and the corner of his clothes, swaying with the wind.
It was as if the bandages had their own wills — the real reason the young man could not penetrate the defenses of the black robed man, would be the magical bandages. The young man has both his sword and dagger in both of his hands, displaying a dual wielding posture, the superior aims his revolver at the black robed man without relaxing, as if feeling a sense of interest as he puffed out a smoke from his cigarette.
“Hey, you! We’re investigating an affair; do you have anything to report?”
“Why don’t you ask the owner of the mansion yourself? He’s right over there.”
As the black robed man finished his sentence, he kicked the table that was as high as his knee over. The young man cuts down the table but the enemy had already used the time that the young man was distracted to escape through the window.
The man in the black robe broke the window, causing a huge sound as he escaped into the darkness. Even though the young man had already gone over to the window immediately, he wasn’t able to see the shadow or the silhouette of his target.
“Do you want me to chase after him?”
“Let it be for now — damn~ That guy is strong, if we’re just talking about ability, he’s almost the same level as you.”
The superior relaxed his shoulders as he placed his revolver back into its holster.
The young man maintained an alert composure, waved his sword as the blood splattered onto the floorboards. This made him suddenly realize something.
“Right, Lord Elsnes he…”
The superior didn’t say a word as he walked over to the office desk and grabbed the hair of the swallow tail tuxedo man.
He violently pulled up the man’s hair and observed the face of the man. He released his grip and shook his annoyed face.
“… that means, Lord Elsnes is found ‘guilty’?”
“It’s quite hard to say. Maybe he was just tortured to death during questioning, or maybe he said some secret that he got killed because of it — hence why I said the current situation is quite desperate.”
The superior picked up the fallen sheepskin parchments and tossed it to the young man. The young man caught the parchments and stared at the mission details again.
“Merida Angel eh…”
The unbearably bad attributes, as an aristocrat but couldn’t use Mana, such heresy existence… As well as needing to guide this talentless girl into a great Paladin, this client’s unreasonable request…
The other detail that was required to take note was the mission duration. It started from when the private tutoring starts, it was a 3-year duration. After 3 years, all the graduates of the academy would withhold a competition, as long she left a bit of result in the competition, graduated smoothly from Saint Frideswide academy, the mission would only then end — it was an unprecedented long-term mission.
The young man had a gut feeling, that these 3 years would be awfully long and hard, even it made the current information provided a bit too warm and gentle.
“… there’s no point, I indeed accepted this talentless girl — Merida Angel’s private tutorship. But there is something that I’m concerned about.”
“What is it?”
“Speaking of this mission — why hire us? If it’s about Lady Melnoa’s background investigation, then it’s fine, but this sort of private tutorship, just hand it over to someone from an official unit then it’ll be solved.”
The young man popped out a question, his superior scratched his face that was riddled with his enemies’ blood as he lit up a cigarette.
“… why would it be strange, this sort of mission is most suitable for you.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Hey, don’t act stupid! There’s only one job that is suitable to us.”
The darkness that engulfed everything.
The furniture that had been cut down: plenty of corpses all over the floor: the suffocating smell of death.
Dressed in a military uniform with the color close to night and the whole body that had been affected by the smell of fresh blood —
The man with the cane smiled as he said this:
“— that is assassination.”