My discovery of self-suggestion’s other use was purely coincidental.
There was a time when I was sparring with Ellen as usual when I’d gotten really annoyed by getting beaten up like that. Of course, that probably wasn’t the first or second time, though.
Anyway, I only wanted to break through Ellen’s iron-wall-like guard at least once, just once.
Only one time…
I just wanted to make her drop her sword once. I just wanted to create a single gap and get one hit in.
And then, when I swung my sword…
Nothing really happened.
As was to be expected, I’d failed to make her drop her weapon and was hit by Ellen’s counter right away, her sword stopped against my neck.
‘That attack just now was a little weird.’
Although my attack had failed, Ellen stood there tilting her head.
‘It was different from usual.’
Ellen had been sparring with me for quite a long time, so she knew every detail about how my attacks would feel when I did and didn’t use my supernatural power.
However, my attack just then was a little more powerful than usual.
—To the point where one could call it strange.
While I couldn’t break through her defense, the blow was still a lot stronger than usual.
‘Do it again.’
I didn’t really know how I’d done it, but Ellen told me to try it again, so after some trial and error, I realized a new way to make use of self-suggestion.
By focusing my ability on one specific thing, I could strengthen certain aspects a lot more compared to when I strengthened my whole body for a short period of time. A certain attack, reinforcement of a body part, or heightening my agility.
Just like the time I’d set up various reinforcement-type presets before and pulled them up whenever I needed them, I did something similar that time around as well.
If I familiarized myself with a certain usage method, named it, and committed it to memory, I would be able to activate the corresponding reinforcement just by recalling its name.
…I had to focus on the name of a skill I’d come up with and recall the delusion that was connected to it, so it felt rather shameful.
I was glad that I didn’t have to say it out loud.
Just thinking about it in my head was enough to cause me mental damage.
And after, it’ll be that Asursomething! I absolutely believe it’ll happen!
I definitely had potential, though…
…So, those days, I was trying to get familiar with using the skills that resulted from my delusions as I was fighting Ellen.
Of course, only Ellen knew what I was thinking about in my head.
‘…No matter how I look at it, it’s a strange supernatural power.’
‘…I think so, too.’
Ellen seemed to think that my ability, which was rather vague and up to interpretation, was a rather strange ability, regardless of its effects.
It was great that everything worked pretty well, but its output itself was still weak, so it was more of a strange ability rather than an overpowered one.
That was my first time trying to use those skills I’d set up using self-suggestion on someone else other than Ellen.
Oscar was observing me from a distance. He’d successfully landed several attacks on me, but hadn’t caused enough damage to knock me out.
My skills inevitably gave me a significant advantage. If I suddenly used my supernatural ability, my opponent wouldn’t be able to predict my movements, speed, and strength.
Ellen also had a hard time dealing with that in the beginning when I started using the ability. It was so anomalous that it was hard to respond to.
Of course, after some time, she started to beat me easily again.
The reason for that was that Ellen had become accustomed to me using my skills as well, so she just read when I would use them. I couldn’t win against her because she was able to predict what people might do.
However, that Oscar de Gardias in front of me wasn’t Ellen.
He was definitely superior to me, but he didn’t know what supernatural power I was using. He could only roughly guess that it was a power of the physical strengthening kind.
My opponent didn’t know what my exact abilities were.
That was a clear advantage.
The number of skills available to me were three:
—One Strike, which strengthened the destructive power of an attack.
—Rapid Movement, which increased my reflexes and both my movement and evasion speed.
—Hardening, which maximized my body’s defense in case I wasn’t able to block an attack.
I had a lot of other skills in mind, but I hadn’t gotten used to them yet. Only those three were practical enough at the moment.
-Kang! Kaang! Kang!
However, the gap between us was too wide.
Even though I had been working insanely hard, I had only trained for about half a year at most.
And that effort I’d put in was just everyday life for the Orbis Class.
While its system was absurd, it forced its students to put in every bit of effort they could muster up.
They maintained it, no matter what happened, because it worked in the end. That system couldn’t just have shortcomings, after all.
Fourth-year Oscar de Gardias was a man who consistently worked hard in the Orbis Class.
My talents were Mana Sensitivity, Mana Control, and Self-Suggestion.
The two magic-related talents were practically useless to me at that point.
I also didn’t have any talents related to swordsmanship or any other weapons.
Except for my supernatural power, I didn’t have any advantage over him as a member of the Royal Class. The only difference between me and an Orbis Class student was that single supernatural power, nothing more.
My opponent had trained for more than three years longer than me. No, if he’d actually started his training before he’d joined Temple, then the gap between us was even bigger.
Therefore, I couldn’t close that gap in training with just that supernatural power.
A supernatural power user who had just trained for half a year…
And someone who’d gone through three bloody years of intensive training…
I couldn’t beat someone like that.
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He stabbed his sword into my abdomen, after which I took a few steps back while holding my stomach.
If I hadn’t blocked that blow with Hardening, my stomach might have burst. Even a training sword could cause fatal damage if stabbed into the abdomen, after all.
He had no mercy at all.
“I didn’t think a first-year would make a good match for me. You’re quite the monster, aren’t you?”
Oscar de Gardias smiled wryly at me, who hadn’t gone down due to that rather powerful blow but only held my stomach.
That meant that, in the end, he acknowledged me.
However, his smile seemed more annoyed than pleased or delighted.
“Isn’t it absurd?”
“…What are you talking about all of a sudden?”
“I’ve been practicing my swordsmanship since I was little.”
He was still smiling as he pointed his sword at me. However, there were many twisted emotions contained in that smile.
“But isn’t it absurd that you’re able to stand up to me even though you look like you just started practicing the sword? You endured my attacks several times, and while you aren’t on par with me, who is a senior in a much higher year, you are still able to put up a fight anyway.”
“…Only because you have a supernatural power.”
“I mean, how does that make any sense?”
There was hatred mixed in that smile.
I didn’t know where that hatred originated from, but his smile showed twisted anger and hatred.
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Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
I should have been overpowered by that guy with just one blow due to our gap in experience. However, I didn’t fall, even when I was beaten, and that guy even used several attacks aiming at my vitals.
Wasn’t that absurd?
While I couldn’t ignore the gap in experience between us, I was able to put up a fight like that just because I had a supernatural power.
Oscar de Gardias was rather furious.
I couldn’t really say anything.
I wasn’t actually that talented, but I’d actually got these powers through a cheat that was even far beyond a mere talent. I couldn’t say that I didn’t work hard to get where I was, but I also couldn’t say that everything was due to my own effort.
I couldn’t say anything to Oscar, who spoke of his resentment and hatred as well as the time and effort he had accumulated becoming meaningless in front of a talent.
I didn’t even want to laugh.
No matter what a naturally talented person said to someone untalented, they would only end up angering the other.
“I hate ‘effort’ more than anything else in the world. There are so many things that one cannot achieve just by that alone.”
—Oscar de Gardias.
I had a vague idea of what he meant.
That guy didn’t only hold hatred for talents, but for effort as well.
He was full of hatred for all the things he couldn’t get just through effort.
He was someone who was from the imperial family but could never become the emperor.
No matter what he accomplished or did through his own strength, he wouldn’t be able to get what he truly wanted.
So he just ended up hating everything—Talent, effort, everything.
In the end, it was meaningless to say that he led a blessed life because he was born into the imperial family.
That person who had lived a life deprived of so many things couldn’t even see me properly.
Oscar hated effort to such an extent.
He couldn’t enter the Royal Class but managed to reach rank one in his fourth year in the Orbis Class.
With the exception of the Royal Class, that guy stood at the top of all fourth-years in Temple.
Someone who devoted everything to effort would turn out to be one of two kinds of people:
Either a person who completely believed in their own effort and nothing else, or someone who utterly detested it.
Oscar de Gardias was the latter.
That was usually the case for those who ended up with nothing after all the F*cking effort they put in.
I was speechless.
“Why are you forcing your juniors to do these things when you hate effort so much?”
He said that he hated effort more than anything in the world, and yet he forced his juniors to do those kinds of things. Didn’t he F*cking hate that shit, so why?
The faces of the Orbis Class students who heard those words were also slightly distorted.
“If that’s all you can do, then you should do it the best you can, am I wrong?”
No matter how much one hated it, there was nothing one could change about it.
If all one had was effort, one had to put one’s all into it.
“If you aren’t born with talent, you have to work your hardest.”
That sounded like some intense self-deprecation.
He seemed to think that not being born with talent was a sin in itself. It was a sin to be untalented—one had to atone for that sin through effort.
“What would even change if one resented the world? There’s nothing else I can do but work hard, so that’s what I should do.”
It was a twisted, miserable, and self-deprecating mentality..
Just like the Obris Class students were broken by that system, Oscar de Gardias was also a broken human.
No, that guy probably entered that place already broken.
There was no one better suited to enter the Orbis Class than that guy.
I didn’t know whether Oscar de Gardias was right or wrong.
“If that’s what you think, then just live that way, you bastard. Don’t make these kids live as harshly as you.”
One couldn’t force others to put a disproportionate amount of effort into something by making them feel like sinners as well.
He was a madman who was trying to drag everyone around him into the same hell, knowing that he could never get what he wanted no matter how much effort he put in.
Oscar was that kind of guy.
“Maybe you’re right.”
He suddenly threw his sword to the ground.
“By the way, hearing these things from someone like you makes me feel rather confused.”
Anger flashed in the guy’s eyes.
It seemed like he would get serious, as if he was disgusted hearing me talk about those not born with talents while I myself had one.
The act of throwing away his sword didn’t mean he would give up.
“Let’s finish this quickly.”
I was silently watching the changes in his body. His golden eyes began to glow with blue energy, and a blue aura covered his whole body.
—It was Magic Body Strengthening.
He was in his fourth year.
Seeing that he was Orbis Class’ Rank One, it could be said that he was the strongest among the 10,000 or so fourth-years excluding the Royal Class.
It wasn’t unusual for him to be able to use magic body strengthening. No, maybe it was rather normal.
However, having talents or whatever were already meaningless when one was learning how to do magic body strengthening. In fact, just being able to realize how to use it already meant one was blessed with talent. Realizing how to do it in one’s fourth year was by no means too late or something.
That guy didn’t get anything from his efforts? As if.
He’d obviously gained something.
Nevertheless, he still abhorred effort.
Magic Body Strengthening was too low a reward compared to what he really wanted.
“You’re a genius as well, you bastard.”
“Really? I don’t think so, though.”
“If you’re not a genius, then who is?”
“Maybe my standards are simply too high, then.”
Everyone was staring blankly at Oscar, who was using Magic Body Strengthening so effortlessly.
He’d thrown away the training sword because he didn’t need it anymore. Rather, it was just too cumbersome to continue to use that training sword while using Magic Body Strengthening in situations other than actual battle.
Oscar showed off his Magic Body Strengthening to finish the fight quickly, as it seemed like he would just end up feeling more and more disgusted the longer he dealt with me.
Even if he didn’t strengthen himself with magical power I had no chance of winning.
My defeat was inevitable, so nothing really changed.
How painful would it be if I got hit by his fist after it got strengthened by his magical power?
“Here I come.”
Oscar’s fist, which rushed at me at a speed far beyond what I could perceive, planted itself into my abdomen.
Not even a scream was able to leave my mouth at the sudden shock running through my body.