Chapter 10: The Request
“Please, listen to our request!”
“No.” I sprint away while they were still dumb founded by how fast I answered, and how clear I responded. My muscles weren’t cramped up anymore, so I took the chance to escape with Thoth.
It’s been two days since that happened. Since they gave me the option, I declined instantly. Why didn’t I at least listen to them? I think I’ve explained my objective more than a few times, so I’ll refrain from repeating myself. After rejecting their request that day, I returned home with Thoth, who forced me into the bath with her. The scene went something like this:
“So, Aria, how do you even clean yourself while wrapped like that?” She asked me. I was currently inside the tub with her, covered in gauze.
Water is still able to soak into my bandages, because the curse doesn’t go as far as to affect that. This way, water can still make contact with my body, and I use this in order to clean myself.
I grab the soap, and pinch off a small piece of it. Using magic, I pulled a large sphere of water out of the tub and kept it in the air. I put the soap inside the sphere, and began rotating it so the soap dissolves by the water pressure. After that, with extreme pressure, I pour the water onto me and force it through the gauze, making it spiral around my body.
To shampoo my hair, I pour it onto my head, and because it’s a liquid, I’m able to force it through the bandages as well and use magic to rub it on my hair and clean it. To rinse it, I just dive into the water and let use magic to rinse it while I’m under. It’s quite the pain to do it, though, because my hair is getting really long. Sometimes just this cleaning process alone makes me want to cancel the curses.
“…Are you serious?” She stared at me with eyes of disappointment. It kind of made me think about how pathetic I seem, doing something like this so I don’t have to remove these bandages.
Anyway, back to the present, it’s Monday afternoon and it’s the middle of the school day. Currently I’m in [Basic Combat], and yet again, the teacher is making me do strange training different from the other students. Right now I’m blindfolded, and the teacher is striking me with his wooden stick. I’m supposed to be dodging them, but I don’t want to reveal the fact that I can easily use my other senses to adapt to the situation. So I’m just taking most of the hits, and dodge once every few strikes.
“…why...different…?” I ask after he finally removes the blindfold.
“Why? Isn’t it obvious?” He says. I shake my head and he sighs, before continuing with an annoyed tone of voice. “It’s because your body’s too fragile from what I can see, so I’m training you in evasion. That way, it doesn’t matter how physically weak you are, as long as they don’t hit you, you’re fine.”
What interesting logic. Well, I already apply this logic to myself, even though I’m not actually weak. Good example of this is my final battle with the [Demon Lord], where I prioritized dodging his attacks rather than taking it. Rather than thinking that it’s alright if I’m never hit, for me it’s more like I don’t want to take unnecessary damage. Even if my body’s strong, pain is still pain. I don’t like it.
“Whatever, as long as you understand that it’s important not to be hit, then we’ll continue with this. For now, go run a lap around the school because I don’t want to see your face for a bit.” What a spiteful person. I really hate this guy.
I listen to him for now, though, because I don’t want to have him add more laps if he sees me slacking off. It was still useless in the end, though, because upon seeing me finish the lap, he told me to do two more.
The final bell for the day rings, and [Basic Magic] class ended. Again, it was more lectures about properties of mana and magic, which I completely slept through. Of course, the teacher didn’t know because she can’t see my face. I sit up from my seat and head towards the door, but my teacher grabs me by the sleeve before I reach it.
“Aria, mind coming with me for a bit? You don’t have anything planned for today, do you?” I shake my head, and follow her as she leaves the room, locking the door behind her.
“Thank goodness you’re available today. I’ve been assigned to do some paperwork for the class, so I’d like you to help me sort them out. You don’t mind, do you?” Again, I shake my head, which puts a smile on her face.
“For now, we’ll head towards the teacher’s office to get the paper, so follow me, okay?” She immediately starts walking off before giving me the chance to nod my head, so I just follow behind. When we arrive, I notice that there are no other teachers at the office. It felt strange. School just ended, but none of the teachers are here in the office? Something was definitely off, but I was too late to realize it.
“Sorry, Aria. Orders from above.” I hear a click from behind, and turn around only to receive a flash of light to my face. I suddenly feel my body being lifted into the air, and I was unable to move my body properly. The blinding light eventually fades, and I’m able to see that I was being lifted by wind magic, but I didn’t know what was bounding me.
I see my teacher in front of me, holding strips of paper with symbols and characters I didn’t recognize. Some of them were stuck onto my body, and I assume there’s some sort of unknown magic I’m not aware of that was binding me on these sheets of paper. She places another piece of paper, and I can feel my magic being blocked. She puts on the last piece of paper in her hands on me, and immediately, I fell unconscious.
When I wake up, I open my eyes and find myself in one of the school classrooms, tied to a chair. I was tied using rope, and I still had some of those sheets of paper pasted onto my body, so I wasn’t able to use any magic to free myself, or unseal myself. Along with that, I couldn’t reach the ribbon on my neck to unseal myself. I was pretty much trapped, unable to do anything.
I try to think of the reason why my teacher would do something like this, but I immediately figure out who. How? By the loud voices right outside the classroom.
“I don’t think forcing her to listen will make things any better. It’ll probably just give her even more reason to hate us.” It was Haki’s voice. Yup. It was that group again.
“Is there even anything we can threaten her with?” Ash’s voice appeared. I kind of doubt it.
“Don’t worry, I was able to find something to use. Besides, I think it’ll be better if she resisted a little. I kind of want to see what’s under those bandages.” I hear sadistic laugher from Peria, and I become a bit scared. Maybe I should consider just listening?
“She should be awake right now. I set this up for you, so it’s up to you to convince her.” My homeroom teacher’s voice also appears. So they were working together. Shouldn’t she be fired for this? I mean, she just kidnapped one of her students, something is definitely wrong here.
“Thank you, Ms. Kiri. We’ll be sure to get her on our side.” Deome says.
“No need. Based on what the principal told me, it’d bring a lot of prestige to the school if she was to participate with you guys. Besides, he’s the one who also thought up this plan.” I hear something strange.
…Something is wrong here. So, the group tattled to the principal about my stats, and he’s actually helping them kidnap me for the sake of having me help them. Should I drop out of this school now, or just destroy it? I really can’t do either, otherwise, I won’t be able to freely explore this world in the future as an adventurer.
“Let’s go, Ash. The rest of you, wait out here until we’re done.” It seems the time has finally come. The door to the room opens, and both Peria and Ash enters. They were also carrying a bad, but I couldn’t tell what the contents were. All I could do was I watch them walk up to me, and try to keep a strong front.
“Hello, Aria! It’s so nice to see you again! Yes, after running away from us, again!” Peria says with a fake, cheerful voice. I don’t respond to her, and just watch her from my seat.
“Don’t be like that. We’re still here to ask her for a favor, you’re only going to give her more reasons to decline.” Ash warns her, but she still kept a smile on her face. I didn’t like that smile.
“Okay then. Let’s get straight to the point. Will you listen to our request?” I shake my head instantly to Peria’s question, which widens the smile on her face.
“Why not? What have we done to make you dislike us so much?” Ash asks a stupid question.
I mean, your sister nearly killed me, you know? Along with that, you’ve been trying to find me whenever you could during school times, and immediately gave my stats away three days after learning it. So, you guys are basically really dangerous, really creepy, and really untrustworthy.
Of course, I don’t say this out loud, and provided a different answer instead.
“…hate…socializing…” Yup, that was my excuse. This causes Ash to sigh, and he steps away from me. I think he’s going to let Peria handle me now. It’s alright, all I have to do is to resist anything she does and decline at the end. At least, that’s what I was planning to do.
“Well now, Ms. Retarded Child, how would you like to be stalked?” She immediately says.
…huh? Wait, what did she just call me?
“Did you know, my dad is the director of a certain hospital. Conveniently, I was able to find your file in the database after pleading my dad for a bit, and I found some interesting things in there.” So what kind of threat is this supposed to be? It’d make things easier for me if people thought I was retarded, because they wouldn’t try to speak to me in that case.
“Based on the examinations given, and the reactions you had to them, your stats were estimated to be all less than 5. The worst stats ever estimated as far as we know. Now, based on what I have in my hands here,” She holds up a bronze object in her hands. It was my [Status Plate]. “Somehow, from the lowest stats ever, you’re currently the strongest child known. What kind of 8 year old has a total of over 600 stat points?”
…Shit. I finally understood what she intended to do. If it was known that my stats took a massive increase by over 600 points as a child, several complications would happen in the future. First, I would have millions of adventurers swarming me to ask how this happened. Second, I would be given some godly reputation due to this. Third, there would be several kingdoms seeing me as a possible war asset, and they’d want to recruit me to cultivate me into their own little weapon.
There may be more things than that, but those three are the biggest possibilities that can happen, and they would hinder my future greatly. This group probably figured out that I want to hide my status, so they’re using this as a threat against me. I really can’t decline their offer now, so I have no choice but to accept.
“…I’ll listen.” I say clearly. A smile appears on Ashes face, and a look of disappointment appeared on Peria’s face. Did she really expect me to resist when being threatened with something like that?
After that, they call in the rest of the group waiting outside of the classroom, and the entire circle of friends is in here. Heck, even the teacher is here too. Ash stands in front of the group, and when he bows his head at a 45˚ angle, everyone follows along except for the teacher.
“Aria Brynhildr, please, join the Student Council with us after the elections next month!” He says on behalf of the group.
I was kind of dumb founded, because it wasn’t a request I was expecting at all. I was kind of thinking that they would have asked to become their team member in the Spring Tournaments, or some other absurd thing, but this was pretty simple. They seriously went through all of that work just to ask me this?
Normally, I’d decline on the spot, but I can’t risk having my peaceful future jeopardized. Therefore, I try to compromise with them.
“…ghost member?” I ask.
“Sorry, as an active member for certain reasons! We cannot tell you now, but we’ll inform when we need you!” They say. Very suspicious, it still might lead to me joining the Spring Tournament.
Though they did say something like, ‘when we need you.’ That means I won’t necessarily have to be there all the time, and they asked me to join after the elections, so my face won’t be known as one of the original members of their party. I could always disguise myself with heavy illusion magic as well.
“…untie me.” A grimace appears on Ash’s face, but he listens to me and does it anyway. They only asked me to listen, so I had the option to decline. That’s probably what they’re expecting, but with that threat still standing, I can’t do that. So instead, I’ll answer them as I leave. After untying me, I stand up and walk to the door.
“Can’t you at least answer us!?” Minaya yells.
“…condition.” I say as I open the door.
“Which is?” Ash asks me as I leave the room.
“…identity…hidden…” I say as I shut the door and teleport away using magic. I feel a slight loss of blood from using this magic, but I did it anyway.
Why didn’t I do this earlier? Those sheets of paper kept my magic blocked. How was I able to teleport now? I just ripped off the sheets of paper after leaving the room, obviously. They weren’t a form of any magic I knew, but it didn’t seem like type that was supposed to seal someone. There was no resistance from removing it.
This unknown magic really surprised me, it was something that didn’t exist in my previous life. It appears that mages were finally able to develop new forms of magic after my death, which was nice knowing. It meant that I was able to increase my magic arsenal and learn them during my time here.
Anyway, I left in that manner because of one reason. I really needed to use the bathroom, so I teleported to the girl’s bathroom upon leaving the room. Yep, that’s the only reason why I did this. I couldn’t just exactly rip off the paper in the room and disappear in front of them, so I had to leave their sight before doing this. Otherwise, they’d learn that not only do I have high stats, but that I know powerful magic as well.
After completing my business, I left the school without anyone seeing me, and return home. I sleep in bed, and think about the events of today. I was unable to do anything to that teacher earlier, not because I couldn’t do anything against the magic, but more like because she was able to disable me that by blinding me.
My combat senses have become dull, so I decide to try and train them again. Maybe I should try going to that dungeon they were talking about earlier. I believe it was called the [Forest of Fire]. I’ll invite Thoth along too, she’ll probably be extremely excited about doing so. I can only imagine what her reaction will be to this, and I smile to myself as I sleep.
Due to the feedback, I decide to just edit the chapter and 'improve it.'