4 「Learning Migraine」
After approximately over a day of vacationing, the crew decided they'd begin to teach him how to read and write in the language of the New World.
Within a couple hours he already had the vowels down and the other characters that came along with them. It's similarity to Japanese and the other languages of Earth was interesting, though it was clearly mostly unique swirls and such.
So they sat there in his study with plenty of empty parchment, they seemed to work on it.
Lukrut seemed to make fun of him in the beginning, making common mistakes a child who was still learning a language would. Mixing up characters and special characters.
Grammar came naturally to him and he caught on faster than most illiterates would. He didn't know whether or not it was due to his intelligence and wisdom levels, but he became an expert almost immediately after learning certain sections of the written language.
Soon enough he had all of the characters memorized and he was writing poetry.
Lukrut was speechless on how fast he had learned, even a bit jealous.
Ninya understood why he was so powerful, or at least believed she did. The amount of wisdom and intelligence he must have to learn a language in such a short time, could only be compared to how fast he could learn a spell. That was what she thought.
Peter on the other hand wasn't really all that surprised. If he was an Arch Mage, it was unlikely he would have much trouble learning new things. Especially since his study was filled with books, he could only assume that this man never stopped learning.
Even the things that decorated the room was immensely telling of his background.
During their supposed vacation, they had to be accompanied by at least one Guardian or Cipher at any given time. They couldn't even access the restrooms or bath house without assistance in opening the doors.
Everything was magically enchanted to be used only by those affiliated with him, and there were even enchantments that caused alarm should anything be removed from a room.
At one point Lukrut had been locked in the hotspring in the bathhouse for over three hours and passed out from heat stroke. It was definitely an interesting conversation piece to have.
However because of this, it was clear to both parties that there still wasn't trust between them.
Cipher wasn't letting them open doors on their own, let alone leave without him. They were constantly being watched and they feared him despite how pleasant he was trying to be.
What mainly caused the distrust was the militant attitudes of those within the castle. While everything was lax, these people gave an intense feeling, especially as they kept looking over at them.
The only individual who seemed to get alone with them other than Cipher, was the doggo.
In addition to all this, whenever he trained with Ninya, no one else was to be around. He would teach her spells and after she would be found passed out on a sofa or a pile of pillows with a severe headache.
He had used a magical spell known as 「Magic Meld」a special ability that allows the user to upload memorized spells directly to the subconscious of another person. The maximum use was three a day with a 1% chance of losing 5% EXP and Wisdom.
However thanks to the Magic Aptitude Ninya had as her primary talent, the only payment was pain in the form of migraines that would last for a few hours at a time.
Her first lessons consisted of「Fly」, 「Life Essence」and 「Magic Essence」. He saw these as the primary things she would need in order to not only gauge her opponents, but also avoid close quarters combat when in a tight situation.
Her second lesson the next day was 「Rabbit Ears」, 「Weightless」and 「Magic Shield」. The first two were used for enhancement of hearing and how much one could carry. Weightless essentially allowed her to carry well over a long ton, while Magic Shield would protect her from mid-tier magic and below.
On the Third Lesson the day after, he taught her how to use 「Astral Projection」, 「Third Healing」and a passive ability known as「Delayed Revival」. Delayed Revival was a magic spell which he had gained from a ring, in which delays the user's revival after death. The ring was single use, when the passive learned spell is used, the user subconsciously forgets it.
Delayed revival also had a price, being paralysis for the first thirty seconds of being brought back, while fully restoring them regardless of damage. In this New World however, it also sacrifices a single level. However if the user's mana level is 0 or below 15 upon death, they cannot be revived by this passive ability.
So on the Fourth Day after their arrival, Lukrut Dyne and Peter all stood in a semi-circle around Cipher.
Peter was wearing a frown, "Your way of teaching Ninya new spells is hurting him... Since you offered us a 'vacation' here, she's been doing nothing but laying around after your lessons."
"You want me to stop?"
"To be frank, yes, if you'd please."
Cipher let out a sigh and stared through him for a few moments. He had lost his younger siblings before even joining this game. He knew very much what loss felt like. Though his motivation to 'teach' Ninya matching wasn't exactly sympathy, he made an agreement and he would agree to that end.
"Did he ask for this?" Cipher asked, crossing his arms in tangent with Peter who was doing so too.
"No, but I'm the leader and it's my duty. Our duty, to protect Ninya, as his party members."
"Do you think Ninya is too weak to..."
"No, I don't think he is weak. I believe he's incredibly strong, but what I think you're doing to him, is unhealthy." Peter wasn't happy with this. It was clear. Even though they were helping him and he was helping them, there was still a growing dislike for how he goes about things.
"Sh---he and I made an agreement," Cipher didn't like breaking his own word, especially if the word wasn't recalled by the other party.
The trio dismissed his almost calling Ninya a girl as a simple mistake, even though it was truth.
"So if you want me to stop, then you have to get him to tell me that he no longer wants to learn magic from me." Cipher kept his arms crossed as Peter's arms fell to his sides. "Which also means not being able to help him track down his sister's whereabouts."
Peter and the others froze in that moment. Did that mean he was teaching her his magic this way in order to ready her for magic that would help find her sister? Yes, yes it was.
They quickly surmised that it would be unlikely that they'd be able to tell her to stop. Even if she was a humble person, her determination to find her sister was incredibly strong. It was the whole reason she was even here with them, other than acquiring a Sword of Darkness.
"Your giving us an impossible choice..."
"Yes, I know."
"That's not very cool of you."
"Stop saying you know, dammit!"
"I kn– Oh sorry. I'll try, though there is no try, only do."
The three of them just stared at Cipher as he started talking in riddles.
Ninya entered the room, and paused as all heads and eyes were on her. "Uh...H-hey guys?"
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"Wuzzup?" Cipher raised a hand, giving it a gentle jerk, a modern wave.
"N-noth-thing?" She looked at the three of her friends having cornered the man who was teaching her how to use magic faster than even her talent normally allowed. "What's going on?"
"Nothing." Cipher was quick to respond before Peter went to raise a hand with a single finger extended.
Whipping around and looking over at Cipher, Peter's frown deepened. "You don't get to do that." He turned himself around to look towards Ninya.
"Guys, what's going on?" She was immediately worried with Peter and the other's not looking pleased. Instead they seemed to be just as worried as she was.
"For your own health, we want you to stop learning from him. For the past few days, you've been laid out, exhausted and in pain after every lesson. You need to stop." Peter and Dyne seemed to be the ones mostly trying to convince her.
She didn't give much of a verbal response. They'd give a reason, she'd shake her head.
She wanted to save her sister, he was going to help her achieve that goal. It may be selfish, but she knew how much of her potential could be reached so much faster than predicted with his help.
Peter tried to make the decision final, Ninya refused. Peter wanted to leave, he wanted the party to leave with him. Again, Ninya didn't want to leave and Dyne didn't feel right leaving her here alone.
Lukrut on the other hand tried to tease, but found himself practically shunned, despite just tryin to alleviate the growing tension.
"Cipher," Ninya nervously called upon their host, all eyes moved to him. "Is there anyway we can rework our agreement...?"
"As long as both parties agree to the conditions," Cipher responded as if he was some sort of automated voice as if he was on autopilot.
"If.. If you join the Swords of Darkness, will you help us find my sister with your own power?"
Instead of just helping her, she wanted him to help them. In a way, this meant she wanted him to lead the way instead of him teaching her. At the same time, protect her if she couldn't protect herself.
He had no problem doing that either. After learning more about adventurers through them, he found that exploration and doing quests would allow him to experience the outside world he had yet to see more of.
"When do you want to go looking for your sister...?"
This question caught her off guard. When? Not Where? She stared through him for a minute, her eyes wide and confused.
"I don't think I'm strong enough, even with the help you've already given me. So... In a couple of weeks?" Meekly these words left her lips, she sounded unsure, as if it was undetermined.
"A couple weeks... Fourteen Days. Sounds reasonable. In that time frame I can join the Guild and become an adventurer of some merit. I accept."
Peter frowned, getting only partially what he wanted out of this. At this point he didn't even want him around. "Then we'll ready to leave in the morning"