Chapter 2 - Preparations
After meditating for a while, Abium inhaled deeply and gripped his sword tighter. A second later, a thin layer of transparent aura emerged around the edge of that sword and gave an ethereal glow!
Abium's lips curled upward. He took a battle stance and swung a few times like cut, stab, and slash with a smile. He repeated those movements for a few minutes and slowly began to gain control over his young body.
'Shall I go and visit the old man?' As he ended the practice, Abium thought for a moment and narrowed his pitch-black eyes. He got both excited and nervous at the same time when he thought of meeting his first teacher once again!
He walked out of his old shabby room with a joyous smile and glanced at those warriors who stood in the courtyard.
'Hmm, where is the kitchen?... I think it should be on the other side of this yard.' Abium pondered for a moment and walked out of the Servants' quarters. The Servants’ quarters were located on the right side of the Lawbarth mansion while the kitchen building on the left. He walked on the grassy yard and hastened his footsteps towards the kitchen building. All those soldiers who were chatting in the courtyard stopped their talking and gave a surprised look. Without minding those soldiers' surprised gazes, Abium quietly walked towards the single-storied kitchen building. But he didn't stop his eyes from wandering and silently studied those warriors' strengths.
'Hmm, they are strong. It's nearly impossible for me to escape when this mansion was guarded by four third-tier warriors and twelve second-tier warriors.' Abium shook his head. He knew that these warriors' main duty was to prevent the slaves and servants from escaping. If he dares to escape now, they would surround him and threw him into the dungeon prison cell. The reason for that was, this Viscount was colluding with dangerous peoples and doing hazardous tasks in this mansion. If this news spread to others and reached academic mages' ears, Abium knew the whole household would be burned to death by those academic mages.
'Well, I don't want to anger this viscount for now.'
Abium knew Viscount Gauvain's real strength. He was not only an advanced swordsman but also a 4th tier warrior. In this cruel world, power and title determine one's future. Abium was also aware of Viscount Gauvain's character, a selfish, greedy, and sly fox. If a demon reached out to him and asked the peoples' souls in exchange for power, he would agree without any hesitation. Abium didn't want to offend this type of enemy with his current strength.
'If I somehow offended this type of character, then I have to eliminate him thoroughly before he comes back and bites me one day.' Abium took note in his mind. He also knew that even an ordinary fourth-tier warrior would found it hard to battle against this Viscount because of his sword skills.
Viscount Gauvain had three kids. Elder son Andrew and second a girl named Madeline, then the youngest son Robert. Both his elder son and his daughter were studying in the Royal Knight institute. Meanwhile, Robert was waiting for the next magic affinity test and was planning to join the magic academy.
'Robert joining the magic academy is not a simple matter. Once Robert got his seat in the Kaummiths institute, this family would become bolder. Viscount’s household and this city are bound to suffer in the future. After the Grand Nobles' gathering, things will get messy all over.' He smirked at the unavoidable fate of this Viscount's household and rubbed his chin.
Viscount's ambition was huge. He wants to become a high class noble and own a large part of the kingdom's land. But he chose the wrong side to get that.
'For now, I need to be more careful.'
Even though Abium went back in time, he was still a servant boy. If he made one wrong move, those soldiers would become suspicious of him. Even the slightest misstep would get him killed.
'First, I need to increase mana in my body.'
'There are many ways to increase one's mana. If I began to practice the warrior cultivation technique, then I can improve my strength quickly. But that's not a good option for me.' Abium firmly shook his head at that very thought. He already made up his mind that he would never choose to become a warrior. Basically, it’s a broken path. He learned from his experience. Warriors were basically cannon folders in large battles.
As for mages, they were powerful and mysterious people.
Even first-tier mages were honored with titles in many kingdoms. If he rose to become a second-tier mage in the future, he might also get a chance to work as a court mage in this Peral kingdom.
He shook his head and then hastened his footsteps towards the kitchen. Simultaneously, he also thought of improving his mana by creating a potion using magic stone.
'Although it is not a real alchemic potion which I had seen multiple times in auction house, this potion will do the work. Low-level magic stones are somewhat impure, but one of those stones will be enough to increase my body mana to some level.' He muttered inwardly.
'But the problem is, I don't have any magic stones.' He smiled bitterly and soon thought of his guardian Butler Alfred.
'I think Uncle Alfred always has some magic stones with him for household uses. Even I bought those stones from him regularly when I was a child.' Abium thought.
As he arrived in front of the kitchen building, he silently peered at those farthest stars, and soon his sight fell on a slightly larger one on the west. Morning star!
'It's already 4.00 A.M.'
He entered the kitchen building and strolled inside the kitchen to seek Alfred. After a few seconds, he saw a middle-aged man in the kitchen and smiled. Alfred appeared as if there was no color in his face. He had short gray hair, a square face, upturned brown eyes, and a high nose bridge. He wore a neat regular butler uniform and walking to and fro in the kitchen while glaring at all those clumsy servants. Meanwhile, those servants flinched in response and began to avoid his eyes.
Alfred's opinion was the right one; always, no-one else could hold a valid point of view if it wasn't consistent with his own.
He prowled the kitchen like a caricature of himself, his brown eyes looked sharper, and his mouth was thinner, tighter. Alfred only ever smiled when he tasted his food, for everyone else, he muttered under his breath, "garbage, bland, too salty..."
As he was prowling, Alfred suddenly halted his footsteps and turned his eyes towards the kitchen entrance. There he saw Abium walking with a nervous look and got startled inside.
'What?! From when did this brat begin to wake up this early?'
Even some servants showed a surprised expression and gave him a curious look. Well, Abium did remember about his lazy habit and quickly scratched his head awkwardly as he noticed their gazes.
"Brat, what are you doing here this early morning?" Hiding his surprise, Alfred urged Abium to tell the reason while continuing his work. Abium peeked at Alfred's expression and then finally started to speak while showing nervousness.
"Uncle, Can I get one magic stone? I will even do some extra washing works when I come back from the capital."
Alfred narrowed his eyes and sighed as he looked at this hopeless child. At the same time, Abium also heard a few disappointing comments from those servants and got amused inside.
'It brings back old memories.' Abium stared back at those gossiping lady servants and then shifted his attention to Alfred. Alfred knew that Abium loved to practice magic from childhood and used those magic stones like toys to perform strange moves like real mages. But still, his heart ached whenever this kid wasted magic stones like it was nothing.
"Why are you always wasting magic stones? If you had saved all the money, you could have able to buy some new dresses during this journey. Tsk. Anyway, I will give you one stone, but you have to do extra work for two weeks when you return. Got it?"
Alfred said in a stern tone while taking a magic stone from his leather pouch and tossed it towards Abium.
Abium skillfully caught the magic stone, hid it inside his pocket, and then responded with some excitement in his tone.
"Okay, uncle! I want to do some experiments using this magic stone. That's it!"
Alfred nodded his head in disappointment while took a pan from the shelf and placed few chopped onions on that pan. Then let out another heavy sigh and continued.
"Sure, lad, but this is the last one. No more stones for the next two months, got it?"
Abium nodded and dashed from the place to his room before Alfred could change his mind.
Although he served this house similarly like a slave, he viewed Alfred like an instructor; because Alfred trained him since he was 5.
'I need to find a way and save this old man. Hmm, I also have to find a way and give warrior techniques to him in the future.'
But, Abium wouldn't give those techniques to Alfred now. Abium knew If Alfred gave those technique methods to Viscount Gauvain, it would become big trouble.
Although he respected Alfred, he didn't trust him completely to give away his secrets.
‘First, I have to increase mana power in my body.’ He nodded.
During the twenty years of constant struggles and experiences, he learned many things like creating potions, sword skills, etc.
Now his current goal was to improve his mana using one of the methods.
He was planning to create a non-side effective potion called wisdom potion.
The wisdom potion would increase an average human's soul power a little and increase the mana inside his body.
'This potion too has some demerits like a one-time use, but that's not a problem anyway.' Abium thought to himself and then went back to his room.