On the morning of my birthday, after breakfast, I began talking to my grandfather, father, and mother with a serious look on my face.
“Grandfather, Father, and Mother, I have a confession to make.” (Jake)
I began to speak in a firm tone, not unlike that of a four-year-old toddler.
My grandfather said, “What’s the matter?” Just as I said this, my father and mother looked at me without losing their smiles.
“I have memories of living in another world.” (Zack)
The three of them were poker-faced and didn’t say anything. My first words seemed to be incomprehensible to them.
“I was once born in another world, a peaceful country called Japan, and lived until I was forty-five years old. I came to this world at…” (Zack)
I go on to tell them that I was a Japanese engineer and that I spoke with God in a dream.
The three of them let out sighs and shook their heads, probably trying very hard to understand, but they listened to the end of my story without interrupting me.
When I finished speaking, Govan, my grandfather, began to speak first.
“We knew something was amiss with you. We knew there was something you were hiding, but we didn’t think it was this outrageous.” (Govan)
I am disappointed that they still don’t believe me, but I am surprised at what they say next.
“Well, that’s all right. If you were called by the gods from another world, we have no choice but to accept it.” (Govan)
“You believe me? Even with such an outrageous story…” (Zack)
“We have to accept it. A child of only three years old reads the books in my room and Matt’s room. The first time I saw it, I almost thought I was losing my mind. The books you read are not for children. These books are more like technical books. Only Nicholas and Kate in our family fully understand them.” (Govan)
Nicholas is Nicholas Garland, one of the squires in the service of our family, a sort of bureaucrat in charge of the administration of the Lockhart estate. Kate is his wife, and both of them are well-educated intellectuals, which is unusual for commoners.
I was shocked by their words.
(I thought I hid it so that I wouldn’t be suspicious, but I was still exposed. I was shocked at what they said. Still, wasn’t it creepy to have a kid like that?) (Zack)
I was about to ask this, when my mother, Tanya, hugged me.
“Zack is my child. If he was chosen by the gods, then I must rejoice.” (Tanya)
And then she hugged me even tighter.
“And I didn’t get any sinister intentions from you. So we’ve been waiting for you to tell us.” (Tanya)
And Matt, my father, stroked my head, ruffling my hair.
“Yeah, that’s right. I knew you’d been doing a lot of training behind my back. And I heard the stories you tell Dan and Mel and the others. They are fables with profound meanings.” (Matt)
I had started a training program of my own devising while making it look like I was playing with Mel and the others.
I started with simple gym exercises like they do in elementary school, then I asked Walt to hang a rope from a tree branch and trained myself to climb it, and I also used the tree branch as a kind of horizontal bar. Furthermore, I trained myself using “jump rope”, which is not a common activity in this part of the world.
(Those might have been quite unusual for a child playing… I think I was more obvious than I thought.) (Zack)
I turn to the three of them again, chuckling to myself inside.
My grandfather asks, “So, what are you going to do now?” I tell him about the plan I had in mind to train myself.
“I have a talent for magic, and a talent for swordsmanship. I want to train to develop them. I would like Grandfather to teach me about swords, but I can’t think of anything about magic.” (Zack)
“I will teach you the sword. Magic… you worked with a healer, but you didn’t learn from that?” (Govan)
I used to get injured and go to Grandma Dorothy, the healer.
There I was shown Recovery Magic and was told in detail how to do it, but in the end, I could not use it.
“Yes. Grandma Dorothy taught me how to do it, but I couldn’t understand it at all…” (Zack)
“ I see you have a talent for magic. Then I’ll get you a tutor.” (Govan)
I’m amazed at what he said. A tutor is for children of nobles, but they cannot come to such a remote village, and even if they do, they will need to be paid a hefty salary to come here.
“There is no doubt that I have talent, but we might not have enough to pay for one…” (Zack)
Don’t worry. I have contacts. Well, it won’t cost us that much money.” (Govan)
My grandfather’s words seemed to set off something in my father and mother.
“Are you going to call Lydiane, Father?” (Matt)
My mother nodded at my father’s words.
“That’s right. Since it’s Lydia, she will definitely come.” (Govan)
I asked my grandfather a few questions about this Lydiane person.
“Lydia, or rather Lydiane, was a comrade-in-arms with whom I fought when we were young. She is an elven magician and a genius who can use four attributes. She can also use a bow and knows the forest…” (Govan)
He talks eloquently about Lydiane, unlike the way Grandfather normally is.
To summarize my grandfather’s long story, she was a companion of his when he was in his 20s when he was an adventurer and mercenary under the guise of training. He says that she is a versatile magician who can use the magic of the four attributes of light, wind, wood, and water, and can use a wide range of magic from Recovery Magic to offensive magic.
She was also very knowledgeable about the behavior in the forest and happily told us that she had been helped many times in trapping and tracking down monsters.
(Lydiane, that must be a woman. Could she be Grandfather’s old girlfriend? No, it sounds like it was around the time Father was born, so I doubt it.) (Zack)
I was careful not to voice it out but asked earnestly with a serious expression on my head that I would very much like to be tutored by that person.
“Lydia is supposed to be in Saltus, a forested kingdom in the north with a large population of elves. Even if we send a message through the guild, she will not hear from us for three months at the earliest, or even a year at the worst. Is that all right with you?”
I thought it would be a waste of time, but I decided to wait for a year and nodded my head in silence because another means would cost a lot of money.
I then proceeded to tell them about my life in Japan.
They seemed to have confusion painted on their faces, but only when I said that I wanted to use my knowledge for the good of the village, did their expressions become serious.
“It is good to use your knowledge. But if you start too big, your secret may be exposed. Keep that in mind, okay?” (Govan)
My parents nodded at my grandfather’s words, and when I looked at them, I almost cried.
The three of them were more concerned about me, a family member than they were about the development of their own territory.
“I understand. I will do it little by little so that they don’t suspect it. I will definitely consult Grandfather and Father before I start.” (Zack)
We then continued our discussion for about 20 minutes, but since it was agreed that talking for too long was unnatural, we ended our conversation for the day.
After the discussion with the family, I let out a sigh of relief.
(I feel like an idiot for worrying about it. I thought I wasn’t obvious, but I was completely suspicious, but I didn’t think it would be this easy for them to accept me. Well, thinking this is normal seems risky.)
From that day on, I was trained by my grandfather.
When he told Mel, Dan, and Sharon about this, Mel and Dan began to say that they wished to be trained with me.
“Grandfather is very strict. You saw how my brother and Sim suffered, didn’t you?” (Zack)
“I want to be with Master Zack. I’ll do it with Mel!” (Dan)
“Me too!” (Mel)
They were still pushing forward.
I was persuaded and told them that I would ask my grandfather for permission.
When I went to my grandfather to tell him about it, he readily agreed, surprisingly.
“It’s good to have someone of the same age train with you, however those who can’t keep up will be dropped immediately. You must remind them of that.” (Govan)
I told both Mel and Dan, and they jumped up and down with joy.
I was concerned about Sharon, who was looking at me sadly.
“What about you, Sharon? Do you want to watch somewhere you won’t interfere with our training, I could ask Grandfather?” (Zack)
She nodded at me happily and followed Mel and Dan as they ran to the training grounds.
(More than friends, those three are like my grandchildren in terms of mental age. I didn’t even have kids, but I suddenly have grandchildren… I’m feeling depressed, so I should stop thinking about it…) (Zack)
I too ran after the three of them to the training ground.
At the training ground, my grandfather Govan and his head squire, Walt, were waiting for me.
My grandfather stared at the three of us with a stern look on his face.
“You three will be under my guidance for today. Even a child can become a warrior if he holds a sword in his hands. If you are not ready, stop immediately. Anyone who cries is done for the day. Do you understand?” (Govan)
We said, “”Yes!”” and cheerfully replied, lining up behind our brothers.
With a kind smile, Rod said, “From today on, Zack, you will be our grandfather’s apprentice, too. Good luck!” He encourages me.
That was the end of the harmonious atmosphere.
My grandfather gave the three of us a wooden stick and ordered us to swing with it.
We swung down from the top and swung from left to right in a single side sweep.
We took the wooden stick with both hands and began to swing, imitating our grandfather’s moves.
At first, Dan was swinging the stick with a serious expression on his face, but then he grew tired of it and gradually began to swing more and more sluggishly.
My grandfather saw this and said, “Can’t you do it seriously?!”, He burst into tears with the force of the shout.
Then he was grabbed by the collar and thrown out of the training ground.
(Seriously, Grandfather. He doesn’t care if they are a five-year-old child. I’m sure I’ll meet the same fate if I don’t do it properly… But I’m getting really tired. I guess it’s a way to train perseverance, but this is tough for a kid.) (Zack)
I swing the wooden stick as if tracing a template, but I am not at all sure if I am swinging it in the same way as my grandfather’s stance.
When I looked to the side, Mel was swinging the stick with a serious expression on her face, and the stance looked exactly like my grandfather’s stance.
(If only I had a mirror, I could tell. But maybe Mel is more talented than me. My talent level was three, so I should have the qualities to become a master. Mel may have more talent than that…) (Zack)
It had been about twenty minutes since Mel, and I had started swinging.
We were both getting out of breath and our swinging speed was visibly slowing down.
However, if we lost our shape or slowed down even a little, we would immediately hear either my grandfather or Walt cussing at us.
After another ten minutes or so, Mel fell to her knees from exhaustion.
“Zack’s not even exhausted yet! What’s the matter, Mel?! You’re already exhausted!” (Govan)
As I watched, I thought to myself, “You don’t have to go that far against a five-year-old girl.”
My grandfather was still talking as if he had heard my thoughts.
“Female mercenaries are not uncommon! They are quicker with the sword than you. If you don’t want to lose, get up! If you can’t stand up, I’ll throw you out!” (Govan)
(Spartan from day one, huh? I’ll be on my own from tomorrow. But I’m at my limit, too. I can’t raise my arms…) (Zack)
As expected, with the stamina of a four-year-old, thirty minutes was too long for just swinging a light wooden stick.
I have my own goals, so I can still keep going, but a normal four or five-year-old would cry and stop in no time.
While I was thinking this, Mel stoutly got up and started swinging the stick again.
(She’s got guts, doesn’t she? But if she has the same talent as me, maybe in the future Mel will surpass my grandfather’s level seventy.) (Zack)
I knew about my grandfather’s level from Walt before, and I was impressed that he was so happy to tell me about it, even though he was not very talkative in the past.
(I don’t really know how great it is to be at level 70, but if Walt is so proud of it, it must be a very high level.) (Zack)
As I’m caught up in my thoughts, my grandfather’s curses come flying in.
I involuntarily cowered my head, but quickly regained my composure and chased the chatter away.
After all, Mel and I had been swinging for an hour.
After the training was over, Mel and I slumped down on the spot.
I was worried about Mel, who was breathing hard and looked like she was about to cry, and called out to her.
“Mel, are you alright? You did well.” (Zack)
Mel just stared at me and said nothing, as if she was too tired to speak.
“Don’t overdo it. This will repeat tomorrow even if you’re a girl.” (Zack)
When I said that, she said with renewed determination, “I’ll do my best. I’ll do my best tomorrow, too.”
(That’s a lot of guts. Are you really a five-year-old? You might get tired of it soon, but you’ve certainly given it a second thought.) (Zack)