We finally made it to our destination! I won't be alone anymore! I can finally socialize with people, I can make friends. I have been waiting my entire life for this, which is admittedly not a long time. The point is I won't go insane when I am in the presence of others.
Now that I am safe, I can lay off the dark magic for a while. Or at least until I figure out a workaround to the inherent downsides of dark magic. I have some ideas, but I can take my time experimenting.
While I was training with my master I noticed something about my Personal Skill. I use my dark magic to activate it, but using it for long periods of time doesn't harm my mind. Or at the very least, it has a very minor effect on my mind. So the effects on the mind vary, from spell to spell.
Theoretically, it would be possible to mitigate the downsides of using dark magic to the level that is negligible. I just need to figure out the finer mechanics of how my Personal Skill works. Then I have to find a way to apply it to most spells. This will be a fun project.
~Yeah, and nothing will ever go wrong. You will complete this project of yours without a hitch.~
I am glad you believe in me. Who is touching my shoulder? Oh, I should probably pay attention now.
"Now that we are here, do you remember what I told you?"
"Yes. Don't say anything stupid. Don't worry, I won't speak unless spoken to."
~He has a point, you shouldn't even speak at all. It would be safer if you pretended to be mute.~
Point taken, I don't want to mess up my first impression. I decided to live my new life with a little more pride and decency. Well, mainly because I lost access to 90% of my hobbies, so I have to rely on others for fun. And you can't have fun with other people if they don't like being with you in the first place. So I'll be quieter than normal just to be safe.
If I have to choose a way to die, I want to die for the same reason Socrates did. I want to die corrupting the minds of the youths. Due to the nature of my circumstances, I am a man ahead of time, my ideas of normal aren't the same as this world's version of normal. I might as well have fun with these ideas, I can use some of them to guide(troll) the children.
Oh, while I was formulating my master plan, other people seem to have gathered to get ready to greet Hassar. No pressure, I have to act like a normal child. Fuck! I am not stupid enough to be considered a normal child. I already showed Hassar that I am smarter than the average bear.
I got it! I just have to smile and wave when things go wrong or when I don't know what to do. I am a genius! Such a simple and practical situation.
~Please rethink that plan, you might make things worse.~
It is almost time for me to make my debut. I see a woman walking toward our direction, and I can sense the fury within her. I am guessing the woman seething in anger is Hassar's wife, he did mention he was late coming home.
I also see some of the tribesmen giving her a lot of room, and trying their best not to be near her. That is not a good sign usually when someone is this angry, there is at least one person trying to hold them back or trying to calm them down. Are they that afraid of her? They are not even making the attempt to restrain her.
Her face is calm, but no one buys the mask she is wearing. Hassar holds onto my shoulder, I think he is grasping for anything that can help him out of this situation. I hear him start to whisper to me his last request, his dying message.
"Morgan, it is time to repay my kindness. You have to protect me from my wife, I think she is angry enough to kill me."
I give him a thumbs up and smile, he shouldn't worry I have his back. I will do my best to repay the huge debt I owe him. Oh no, she is armed, she has a pair of scissors. It looks like the situation has devolved to the point negotiation is no longer an option.
"Why are you late?! Do you know how hard it was to take care of a 2-year-old alone?! She kept crying these past 7 days! I only got her to calm down by reminding her you would be home yesterday!
When you didn't show, she kept asking me questions! Questions I didn't have the answers to, I made up so many lies that she stopped listening to me! It was a miracle that she tired herself out crying, she is fast asleep now!"
He doesn't know what to say, it's my time to shine. One adorable distraction coming up. Hopefully, I won't let the fear leak out of my voice. Would it be a good thing if I did let the fear show in my voice?
More of a Qui-Gon Jinn fan myself.
He was played by Liam Neeson, and did you know he was in Disney's English dub of Ponyo.
~Why would I? So are you a fan of Liam Neeson?~
I actually have never seen any of his movies. All I know is that he was in Taken, he was Qui-Gon Jinn, and he was in Ponyo. At one point I thought he was Batman for some reason.
~Why do I even bother with such an asinine person? I am tired of you, go away and focus on what they are saying.~
"This is why I am late."
Good, I came back at the right time. Hassar directs his wife's anger to me, like we planned. One of the rules of the bro-code states you have to take a bullet for your bro. This isn't the first time I had to take the fall for a friend, and my man Hassar really needs me to take this bullet.
She wouldn't harm a child, right? Wait, what is she doing. She is getting closer to my face, and I don't sense the anger lessening. Oh shit! She moved the scissors closer to my face, is this madwoman going to cut me. Not my adorable face, I need that to look innocent.
"No, not the hair!"
[Luck Decreased by 3]
"Noooooo, come back to me my beautiful luck!!!"
~You'll be fine, you're actually a highly evolved sentient cockroach. Trust me, people will definitely try to kill you. But you won't die, and give them the satisfaction of your death. When the apocalypse comes and the world ends, you will still be here on this planet, surviving.~
Is this how Samson felt when he lost all of his power. I didn't know it was possible to lose stats like that. Was my luck really attributed to my appearance of looking like a mini version of the standard hentai protagonist?
Don't they know that it makes no difference, whether or not my hair is covering my eyes? They don't know how much they have harmed me, I lost luck, the only stat I can't train. I feel a single tear come out of my eye. No, I can't look weak now, get back in there my singular tear.
~Since when can you do that?~
I don't know, I thought I could do it, so I did it. Wait, what was I doing? Oh yeah, saving a life.
"Hello again, my name is Morgan? Are you Madelyn?"
"Yes, I am. Hassar, who is this little boy? Did you take him away from his parents?"
"Actually don't have any parents, they died a long time ago. Hassar found me wandering the plains alone while I was searching for the nearest city."
Don't worry I can still salvage this situation, despite the heavy losses early on. I need to show her that Hassar had a good reason for being late. He was rescuing me, a poor 'innocent' orphan from the dangers of the plain.
"We will talk more later, alone. For now, let us bring Morgan's matter to the rest of the tribe. Morgan has been surviving on the plains alone for some time now, he needs to find a home before he loses the last remains of his mind."
It looks like Hassar managed to dodge this minefield for now. All it took was the loss of all of my luck to save his life and possibly his marriage. I wonder how I can get back my luck, I hope losing luck doesn't become a recurring event.
~You fucking dingus you just set a flag!"
Shut up! I know what I am doing.
~No you don't, you still need me to keep from going off the deep end. And you still need my help to get the tribe to accept you. Everything will be fine, I am here to help you. Don't worry, just listen and trust my words.~
You may be mean to me, but you haven't steered me wrong yet. Okay, I'll trust you on this one, we are a team after all.
~I am the only person right now you can trust with your life. While I am here nothing will harm you, just focus on getting stronger.~
We gathered in a large circular tent, and if I remember correctly this type of tent was called a ger. I am surrounded by a lot of concerned adults, they are whispering to each other. Little do they know, if I concentrate hard enough I can hear them.
What am I doing in this situation? Well, I am implementing the plan perfectly, and I think it is working. A normal child would be nervous being stared at like some zoo animal, but my previous life experiences have made me immune to receiving judgemental stares.
Oh? You're approaching me? I am not afraid to socialize, I have been waiting for this moment. I need to show my respect to the man brave enough to talk to me, I must remember to never break off eye contact while I talk to him.
This man looks impatient and I think he wants to resolve my issues as quickly as possible. He has the same forest green hair as Hassar, but his eyes are a light green. Judging by his eyes, I think he wants to intimidate me. Is this a test?
"Hello Morgan, my name is Ganbold. Tell me what do you want most? Are you willing to fight for it? If you are, answer my questions."
I think I get it, this is a warrior tribe. I have to prove my worth before I can get accepted. I understand that bringing an extra mouth to feed could cause problems. So I just need to show them that I am not a burden, that I can pull my own weight when needed.
"I do not want to be alone anymore. I wanted to be with people, so I decided to travel alone knowing I could die. I know that if someone wants something, then they have to fight for it. I do not mind fighting for what I want, I wanted to live with others so I fought to get here."
"Do you know how to use a weapon?"
"Yes, I would have died if I couldn't fight with a weapon."
Something I learned when I fought off those stray wolves, was hunting wild animals gets you a lot of weapon and skill experience. I have been using magic as my primary way of attacking, but that was already at a high level so it was not very noticeable. Another reason why I haven't noticed it, was because I was more concerned with not leveling up despite killing a lot of things.
I am pretty sure that at some point you will start seeing diminishing returns on skill experience. Whatever the case is, I fought off enough wolves to finally get my spear proficiency up to C-. I wonder when the experience starts to diminish? Questions for later, right now I need to show the Lorca what I can do.
"What kind of weapon do you know how to use."
"I know how to fight with spears, my master taught me the basics. The only opponents I had were wild animals that attacked. I have never fought a person before."
Technically, I am not lying to him. The closest thing I had as a human opponent was that random schmuck in the ruins. That wasn't even a fight, that was straight-up manslaughter on my part. I used magic for that and not my spear, I also can't admit I murdered the first person I met.
"I would like to see you fight. I need to see if the reason you survived was because of your skills, and not because of luck. I don't believe in the idea that a kid can travel all the way from Bern to Sacae alone."
I also don't believe in that idea either, and I am the person who did exactly that. I do admit there was some luck involved, but luck is very much like fate, very fickle. No one can reliably trust luck or fate to save them when they need it most. That is why I tried my very best to leave very little to fate, I did everything I thought was possible in any situation I was in.
"I will do what I have to. What am I fighting then, a person or an animal? I will not promise you a victory, but I will show you what I can do."
"Why won't you promise us a victory?"
"It is important to know when you can't win a fight, when to give up, and to know when to run away. I do not know what you will make me fight, so I will not make a promise I can't keep."
"Alright then, let us see what you can do kid."