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Chapter 4: Chapter 4- Study Session

I woke up when the Sun rose. I rubbed my eyes and stretched. How did people get up this early every morning? And even though I had a mission, I didn't want to get up this early! Whatever, now that I was up, I might as well start my day. Today I planned to focus on intelligence, mainly because it looked like the most fun. Why would I say no to spending a whole day in a library? First things first. Shower. I stepped out of my room and saw Anne prostrating in front of the door.

"Young Master, good morning," She said with her head bowed.

"Anne, what are you doing?"

"I am bowing before my master. Did I do something wrong?" She looked up with puppy eyes.

Yes, this is very wrong, but I wasn't able to say that. Maybe I should of.

"Anne, just stand up. This is too much," I waited for her to stand before I continued. "Prepare the bath for me and then breakfast," I ordered her.

"Yes, Young Master. Would you like me to wash your back as well?"

"Anne, what the f…" I cleared my throat to stop myself. I almost said something out of pure shock and reaction. "No, Anne. Just do what I said."

I shook my head as I walked back into my room and closed the door. That actually had me worried about her mental state. Maybe she should spend the day with me in the library and learn some common sense. Wait, this isn't my world, so was that common sense? I waved the thought away. No, it was best to avoid he…

Ding! Anne's character log updated!

What the actual fuck. I opened up the info.

"Was humiliated that her request to wash your back was turned down. Despite the disappointment, she was actually very ar.."

I closed the tab. I planned to avoid Anne from now on. Actually, it started when I kissed her hand, so I should take responsibility. But she had issues. I sighed as I opened the door. Anne was already there bowing.

"Your bath is ready Yong Master."

"Thank you, Anne."

I hurried to the bathroom, not giving her a chance to say anything else. I closed the door behind me and locked the door. I sighed in relief. I should definitely be more mindful of my actions in the future. I was still gonna be myself, but damn. Maybe Anne was just a special case.

After I showered and ate breakfast, I went to my personal library. Technically it was my father's but I had access all the less. Which books would I grab? Even though the main goal was to level up, I also wanted to enjoy my studying. If I divide my day into different blocks, then I can study a little bit of everything. After today, I'll just continue to study whatever topics I enjoy the most.

I grabbed a few different books from different categories. History, law, language, business, magic, and so on. I even grabbed an art book. I always had an interest, but I never understood art in my world. I had a second chance, so I mind as well. I spent the first two hours studying law and history. There were a lot of nuances and repetitive ideas, but I found myself extremely invested.

"Young Master, Sir Ace, and Lady Luna have come to visit," Anne's voice broke my concentration and made me jump.

"Anne! What are you? A ninja?" I regained my composure. "Never mind, can you tell them that I am busy studying please?"

"Of course, Young Master," Anne bowed before leaving the room.

Since I had a moment of peace again, I moved on to the next topic, language. I somehow was able to fully understand and read the language of this world, but I should still learn the culture behind it. Also, learning another language couldn't hurt either. This was a topic I planned on studying regardless, so it was best to pick a language and stick with it, so I chose the language of a neighboring country.

To my surprise, the stylistic of this language was oddly similar to Chinese. Actually, its name closely resembles Chinese as well. Was I not the only reincarnate? In my past life, I lived in a country called America. Thankfully, I was exposed to multiple ethnic backgrounds, so naturally, I grew a desire to learn about different cultures. Before my untimely death, I was learning Chinese. I had the ability to speak Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and a few African languages. Thinking about my past life reminded me of my friends which caused me to tear up. I missed them.

I wiped my tears and sighed. It was unlikely that I would meet them again, but I shouldn't be stuck in my emotions. I will always appreciate them, and I can make new friends in this world. With a book in one hand and a pen in the other, I began my studying session. Unfortunately, I was so absorbed that I spent way more than an hour studying this world's version of Chinese. I would say I made decent progress, but I wouldn't know unless I actually tried it. I made a note to buy Chinese literature.

It was lunchtime, so I went to the kitchen. I went to the head chef, but something felt off. She was a beautiful lady, but she had a sad look on her face. Actually, for as long as this body could remember, she always had a sad look.

"Miss May, may I have a steak served with a side of vegetables? Ah, and only a small amount of steak please," I politely asked.

"Oh, Young Master. Y-yes, of course, you can. How would you like your steak," She spoke in a soft and gentle voice.

"Well done please."

"I'll send it to your room when it is ready," She bowed before she began cooking.

"Thank you."

May look greatly disturbed. I wondered what was bothering her. As an employer, there's only so much I can do before I cross the line and invade her privacy. Whatever troubled her, I hoped she'd be able to overcome it soon. I walked to my room and sat at my desk.

Since I planned on spending this month on training, I made a rule to not look at my stats. I didn't want to be discouraged by the slow progress that came with this game's leveling system. I planned to check my stats the day before the Awakening. With the resources that were available to me, it should be doable for me to get .5 points for each stat. After a few minutes, I heard a knock on my door.

"Come in," I called.

Anne came inside with a tray of food. She placed it on my desk before bowing.

"Your meal has been prepared, Young Master."

Part of me wanted to ask about May, but I knew that it was very unlikely that I was able to do anything. Noble or not, I was still a kid. At the very least I should wait until I get my class. I was frustrated at my inability to help.

"Also Young Master, Sir Ace wished to speak with you after your meal."

I sighed. I didn't want to interact with anyone today, mainly because it would distract me. I also didn't want to be rude. Worst-case scenario, he probably wanted to know what I was actually studying. As a future hero, he had a lot of free time.

"Very well, I will meet him in the usual spot after my meal."

"I will convey the message," Anne bowed one more time and exited the room.

Come think of it, the hero was actually one of the simplest characters in the game. He never had any real troubles and thought mainly with his pants. If anything, with a mixture of story and how the player played the game, he caused more problems than anything. That must have been why the God of Judgement himself came to fight the hero.

After my meal, I walked outside to the field. Some of the knights were already there training, and I was able to see Ace standing watching the knights.

"Wassup Ace," I waved at him.

"Are you really Smarus?" Ace looked at me with a serious look.

This was the last thing I thought possible. I knew I was acting differently, but how did this dunce catch on before anyone else?

"What do you mean?" I raised an eyebrow.

"Don't bullshit me! I'm not dumb. Smarus is cold and has a monotone voice. Even his jokes sound like insults. But you… you actually smile, and your has emotion behind it."

Yeah, I was screwed. Who knew Ace was emotionally smart?

"But what sealed the deal was you breaking off your engagement. Sure, Smarus was cold, but he loved Luna. So who are you?" Ace's brow narrowed.

I leaned on the fence and took a deep breath. My brain raced for an excuse. I had no intentions of telling him the truth, so instead I'll give him the satisfaction that he is right… well partly. The best lies are the ones with a seed of truth in them. I turned to him before I spoke.

"You got me. I'm not Smarus, well, not the one you knew."

Ace's face widened. He looked shocked that I just agreed with him so easily.

"A few days ago, I had a revelation." Operation pull shit from my ass. "I had a dream with a diety. I don't remember all of the details, but do remember hearing one thing. You have a second chance," I nodded my head and had a solemn look on my face.

This was mostly true, but I also left out a lot of details. It seemed to work since Ace nodded his head.

"So that's why you seem more… human! But why did you break off your engagement?"

"It was clear to me that I couldn't love Luna."

Because she was a minor.

"So I didn't want to hold her back," I managed to fake a tear.

"Smarus… I see. Since you only told me this, that must mean you trust me. I'll keep your secret!" He looked determined.

Where and how did he come up with this conclusion!? I knew my acting wasn't good, but holy crap this guy was an actual idiot. It looked like my job was done, but he had to say something else.

"If that was the case, is it ok if I marry Luna?" He looked at me with bright eyes.

This piece of shit! There was no way he said that with a straight face and actually expected me to say yes! Did this mean he liked Luna just as long as the villain had? I wanted to beat the shit out of this guy, and then some. I had to keep my composure, but I was generally angry.

"If you can beat me in a match, then you can," I couldn't help but smile.

"You should've said yes. You would've saved yourself from embarrassment.

We jumped over the fence and entered the field. Ace, like always, had his wooden sword, but I had to borrow one from a knight. We stood, facing each other, but I held my sword differently. I lowered it and pointed at the ground. This was a stance I saw in a samurai game. Supposedly, it was accurate. Only one way to find out.

"I see that you're giving up already!" Ace yelled as he charged at me.

I, meaning the villain, sparred with Ace thousands of times. Yesterday, I was able to see it for myself for the first time. If Ace was an RPG boss, then he had patterns. It was just a matter of learning them. As usual, Ace lunged forward with an overhead strike. It didn't matter how fast you were, if I knew what you planned on doing, I'll simply plan accordingly. I sidestepped and swept him off his feet.

Whoosh!

"Ah!" Ace was caught off guard.

Ace wasn't new to battle, so he lowered his nondominant hand to catch himself. Unfortunately for him, I anticipated this. My sword was already swinging toward his wrist with just enough force to knock him over, but not to break his wrist. 

Thwack!

Before Ace could recover, I pointed the sword toward his neck. Breathing heavily, he looked at the tip of my sword with a surprised look. Both he and the onlooking knights were surprised. I wasn't surprised by their reactions since Ace was never bested by me before now. Suddenly, I was able to defeat him with little to no movement and accurate strikes, so no wonder they were surprised. A true gamer knew that stats weren't the only deciding factor in a fight. Strategy was just as important.

"Why would I give Luna to someone who isn't able to adapt to a situation? We fought hundreds of times yet you rely on the same moves. Don't be surprised that I won."

I handed my sword back to the knight. I was proud of myself, so I was definitely way too harsh on him. Hopefully, he will take this as a lesson and use it as fuel. Ace stood up slightly and wiped off his past.

"I see… You were holding back this entire time?" He looked annoyed.

"No, if you would have done anything different, I would have lost," I replied.

This was only partially true, but I didn't want to shatter his pride. Ace only nodded his head and picked up his sword. He walked away without saying another word.

Ding! Ace's character log updated! Knights' character logs updated!

That was to be expected. I wonder, do all of the knights count as one character, or multiple separate logs were updated? I'll figure it out later.

Ding! Lunafreya's character log updated!

 What the f… I saw something move from the corner of my eye. It was a small figure, but it ran away. I was able to safely assume that it was Luna. What a pain.


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