Beyond the Bend
“I don’t have anything to do.”
To be precise, there was nothing that I could do. I couldn’t accept quests without my armor.
As I had no choice, I practiced swinging at the inn, and trained with magic manipulation.
But doing nothing but that was depressing, and so I decided to go to the temple on the day of darkness for a change of scenery.
It was my first time going to a temple, and while the outside looked like a parthenon, there was a wooden structure within. And though it was during the day, there were no windows, making it quite dark. But the rows of candlelight looked quite magical.
It was a day of worship, and many people had come to the temple in order to offer their prayers to the statue of Lord Memrikia.
Just like at the church, the status was in the center, with everything around it looking like ripples that connected to a small sphere.
At the door, they were selling scriptures that you could read while on your knees in front of the statue. It was nice that you didn’t have to memorize them.
(Lord Memrikia, while a lot has happened, this world is still amazing. Lord Ibitrayme, my status is my rock. Thank you for everything.)
When I finished praying and was on my way out, I saw there was also a stall by the exit, where they were selling talismans.
Oh? But I was only mildly interested at best. However, the clothes of the priestess caught my eye.
She wore a long skirt that was completely black, and while there was no ribbon, the large collar reminded me of a sailor’s uniform. And she wore a puffed out hat on her head.
As I watched her, an unknown man called to me from behind.
“The vestments of the priestesses are nice, aren’t they?”
I shook his hand wordlessly and left.
Kindred souls did not need words.
Even after that, I still had time to kill.
And that’s when I thought of something.
Instead of training with magic manipulation in my room, maybe I should do it while walking?
If I could do it well, maybe it would make the magic energy in me more active! And I could become stronger. I had to try it.
First, I moved the magic energy.
But…I wasn’t able to stand up like that.
It was a lot harder than I had thought.
As soon as I tried to stand up, the magic energy would freeze.
Next, I tried moving it while I was already standing.
Just move my foot slowly, and… I couldn’t do it.
I suppose that was why sorcerers didn’t move while chanting spells.
However, it wasn’t like they were completely still either. It could just be that my level for magic manipulation was too low. Or maybe there was something else.
This time, I tried moving the energy while my arms were raised.
As I did this….my arms lowered little by little and…ah, the energy froze.
I see. Apparently, it wasn’t that I couldn’t move my body, I just couldn’t do it when my mind was no longer focused on moving the magic energy.
I went outside and walked for a while. Normally, I don’t think about how I am walking. As I can walk without thinking, I thought that I would be able to focus on magic manipulation while doing it.
“Watch where you’re going.”
I bumped into someone immediately. There was a problem with this method.
The next place I went to was the guild training ground. I borrowed a lightweight wooden sword and started swinging it.
When swinging, there are times when I can’t focus on the sword, as other thoughts enter my mind. But when that happens, I just continue to swing anyway. Though, I don’t think it is beneficial.
After swinging for some time, and my concentration is at its limit, I then change my focus to magic manipulation.
…Oh, just a little…
…Just like when I first started my magic manipulation training…
Something blocked my sword and I returned to myself. I looked and saw a woman standing in front of me.
“The trajectory of your sword is scattered. Like this, you won’t improve no matter how much you swing.”
Oh, I don’t know who you are, but that’s very kind of you. And I was so close. However, I could see why it would be hard to ignore someone like me who was training. And it would be no good if I started developing some bad habits.
“Thank you. I was swinging because I wanted to test something.”
Still, I thanked her. She had brown hair and was over 170 centimeters tall, which was quite tall for a woman. But she had almond-shaped eyes and was beautiful.
Then I returned the wooden sword to the training grounds, and picked up an iron bar that was a little heavier than my usual sword, and started to swing again.
The woman looked a little exasperated by this, but did not say any more.
I continued to swing after that, and though the difficulty was high while I was moving without thinking, I was able to move it a little.
And before I knew it, my surroundings turned completely dark.
The next day, I went in for adjustments with my armor. After that, I bought a pen at the tools store. It was a quill pen, and you would have to carve the tip of it. I had no ink, but that was fine, as I wasn’t going to write with it.
I was going to use it to spin.
The thing that can get you in trouble during class. It was hard finding the perfect pen for this purpose. I had already added some weight to both ends, and it was no longer in a state to be used for writing.
Swinging swords was fine, but to be honest, it attracted too much attention. Besides, I had done so much yesterday that my arms were sore. And so I couldn’t repeat that today.
My idea was to spin the pen around without thinking while practicing with magic manipulation.
First, I needed to spin the pen until my mind was completely blank. …I don’t know why, but it was very relaxing.
I feel like I can do it now! And so I started to focus on magic manipulation.
…Oh, this! I can move it a lot more than while swinging!
Hmm? But if it’s easy, is it even training?
Next, I’ll try doing it with less MP.
I reduced the MP with everyday magic, rotated the pen, and tried to move the magic energy, but, as the magic energy moved faster, my fingers messed up and I dropped the pen. This…was hard! It was hard in a way that was different from swinging.
It would be a good form of training then. And I could do it indoors.
The next day, as I swung in the guild training grounds and moved my magic energy, it suddenly became much easier.
And so I checked my status.
I made a fist in the air. Magic Manipulation had gone up from Lv2 to Lv3.
And then it was the day when my armor was completed, and so I visited the workshop.
Killer Ant armor was so light! It made a dry ringing sound when I tried hitting it. And you didn’t have to polish it as much as leather armor. And while it wasn’t as tough against strong blunt attacks as leather, it was better at withstanding slash attacks.
The plain design and black color did make me look bulkier, but that couldn’t be helped.
Now that I had all my equipment again, I should accept an E-Rank quest. That’s what I thought, but when I checked my status at the inn at night, I realized that the recast time for Reverse Age had ended.
“Here it is!”
Finally! My current MP was 43. Reverse Age was Lv3, and I am 37 years old now, so I should be able to go back to 25!
25 was a young man! I could finally escape the ‘old man’ label! Yess!
So if I did go to the capital in order to learn swordsmanship, I wouldn’t have to worry about being treated like an old man, as I have been up until now!
I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom! Hurray for freedom!
The future was full of hope now. And I had trouble sleeping that night.
The following day, I changed my plans and prepared to go to the royal capital. First, I reported my departure to the guild and paid off the inn.
Then I pulled down my hood and walked around, searching for an inn. As not wanting to show my face made me look suspicious, I was rejected at the first two, but while the third cheap inn looked at me with annoyance, they let me stay after seeing my Adventurers plate.
I entered the room and locked the door. Then I ate the food that I had bought and got into bed.
‘Reverse Age. 12.9. Activate!’
I activated the skill, and then my magic energy was drained, and I lost consciousness.
The next morning, I woke up and checked my status. My age was 24!
I could see the difference clearly when looking in the mirror. So this is that bend where your skin changes.
I pulled down my hood in order to avoid being seen by my few acquaintances as I left the inn.
I went out the gates of Kijifei and walked down the town road. It would take me a day to reach the next village.
I had wanted to go by carriage, but there was a chance that I might know one of the Adventurers who guarded them, so I had no choice but to walk.