----------------- AN: From here on this means a short time skip
Well, hindsight is 20/20, I almost made a catastrophic mistake. It's a good thing I caught it before it got me killed. Looking back is very important in the process of learning from your mistakes, so what did I do wrong? Well, to put it simply, I got careless and did not think to look for any changes within me. Physically, other than being stuck in the body of a 4-year-old child, there is nothing wrong. Mentally, there was a very huge change in me, and if I didn't detect it could have been irreversible.
The problem started by being careless with the changes dark magic brought about within me when I started learning the basics. Dark magic isn't evil like how the world depicts it, it is all in the mind and your perception of it shapes your experience with it. Dark magic for some reason has the most influence on the user's mind when compared to its other 2 counterparts. Dark magic is the most powerful and hardest to control out of the 3 main magic disciplines. It all stems from what dark magic does to the mind, the same reason why it is known as evil.
Dark magic at its core amplifies your emotions, behavior, and desires, every aspect of you is heightened to an extreme level. At the same time, it can also suppress the same things it amplifies as well as the more abstract aspects of the mind, but it varies from person to person. If you let dark magic amplify and suppress certain aspects of your mind for long periods, there is a high chance that those changes to your mind become permanent.
What was amplified the most was my desire to gain power and my fear of failure. On the other hand, what was suppressed was my self-preservation instincts and some of my memories. When I think back to my training it makes too much sense. It is the reason why I was able to keep on going despite the pain and agony. I quite literally had nothing holding me back at all. I cannot deny the progress I made as a result of this side effect. Will I stop using dark magic? No, it is an integral part of my power.
Like I said it's all a matter of perspective, and it is not like there isn't a chance for me to recover from this. I have to lay off using dark magic, or, I can find a workaround with some experimentation on my part, I already have some ideas. I should probably stop with this line of thought, for now, I am still very power-hungry and borderline self-destructive.
I hate my adorable shota body, health-wise I haven't screwed up yet, strength-wise I'm weak. 'Stat Screen'.
[Name: Morgan Faust
Class: Pitiful Child
Title: Adorable Shota "Protagonist"
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Curse my tiny weak body, sadly, with the arrangements my master made, I can not age more than a year while he trains me. So that also means I cannot improve my stats while I am here, I can only improve my skills. It's okay, I have a plan to be unstoppable, every day for the rest of my life I'll do 100 Push-Ups, 100 Lateral Jumps, 100 Sit-Ups, 100 Pull-Ups, 100 Squats, and run about 6 Miles. Will it work? Well, only one way to find out.
Well, I might as well see how I have come with my skills. 'Skill Screen'.
Silver Tongue: B+
Survival Skills: B
Medicine/Poison Proficiency: B-
Poison Resistance: B-
Disease Resistance: C+
Dark Magic Proficiency: B
Spear/Polearm Proficiency: D+
Unarmed Combat Proficiency: D-
Sword Proficiency: D-
Progress reports are great at showing what areas I improved in, and what areas I could focus on improving later on. I love this part of my blessing, it is a good ego boost seeing the progress I have made. The stat screens are just a small part of what the blessing my master gave me can do.
The blessing my master gave me doesn't do much on the surface, but the benefits are immense. First off, as long as I have the mindset to improve, I will never have any limits to my potential. Granted I do not get a boost in learning things quickly, but knowing I can always improve more with enough effort is a nice thought.
Secondly, my skill will not degrade even if I do not use that knowledge for a long time. Passively, it specifically improves my memory with things relating to the skills I have trained. With immense concentration, my blessing could even allow my body and mind to vividly recall the sensations that occurred when I mastered what I need to recall.
The biggest advantage in my second life is the blessing and the willpower I spent my first life cultivating. I may have the skill and knowledge, but sometimes my body can't keep up with my thoughts. I have to wait until my body grows up until I can improve my more physical skills even further. This is the reason why I believe my training is coming to an end, and very soon I will be sent to the outside world. Well, at the very least I won't die so easily, in the worst-case scenario I will go down swinging.
I have no idea how much time has passed since I started training, all I know is that I need more experience in applying my knowledge. The constant pain and self-experimentation on my mind has warped my sense of time. Looks like God has finally completed Bramimond's project, and he has fulfilled both ends of his agreements with us. Time to talk with my master one final time.
"Agggh!!!! MY LEG!!!"
I wasn't ready for what he would do as soon as I entered the room. What I attempted to catch is now crushing my adorable body. My pitiful arms are pinned down and my leg is in pain, but I at least have magic in me. I can't lift them, but I can at least push the things off of me.
"Owww!!! What was that for?! You know I have the body of a pitiful child, I can barely lift anything."
"Just your fun starter weapons to use when you come of age or strong enough to lift them. Whichever comes first, not my problem."
I look down and I see two spears and a cool looking black sword sheath on the floor. I see two of my favorite weapons, a halberd and a winged spear. During my training, I learned how to use all sorts of spears and polearms. In my top three favorite weapons to use, we have the partisan spear, the winged spear, and the halberd. Damn, they look cool, I hope they have some insane durability, I would hate to break these weapons.
"What is the sword sheath for if I don't even have a sword? I admit it is a cool looking sheath, does it have any special powers. Can it heal me? Can it protect me from all magic? Can it hide my presence when I hold it?"
"No, it doesn't do anything like that. You don't deserve to get the good stuff without suffering enough for it. It is an extremely durable sheath you can use to possibly parry attacks, I know you like doing that. It only has 2 magical effects, the first one is that it reduces the weight of any weapon that is in its sheath and the second is it can change shape to fit any sword or bladed weapon. This is more like a birthday gift and not something to aid you on your journey."
I quickly used my inventory spell to store my gifts. My inventory spell, while impressive, is only the size of a really small room. However, it is more than enough to hold the important things and some survival supplies. Now that I think about it, we do not seem to have a lot of supplies in general.
"Quick question, why didn't you give me a partisan spear? You know that is the spear I am the most proficient in using. Still, I can't be too greedy. You did give me two of my other favorite weapons. It does suck that I can't use them immediately, but is there anything about them that is special or are they simply a bit above average."
"They are weapons with some fun gimmicks attached to them, other than that, they are above average at best. They are very practical and durable for your needs, what more can you want from a weapon? By the way, the gimmicks I added do not lower the effectiveness of them. You still need to know how to use the weapon effectively, all I did was give you more options in battle."
"I'm okay with that, I already have experience using these two types of polearms. Not going to lie, I am curious about what you did to these weapons. I guess it's my job to find out, you were never one to give a straightforward answer. As much as I hate to admit it, you have grown on me, maybe it's the loneliness speaking."
"You weren't the most talented person I have ever watched, but you have the tenacity of a cockroach. Your results brought me a lot of joy, but not enough for what I am about to do to you."
"You see it wouldn't be much of a test if you knew exactly what I was testing you on, and how to pass it. I need something more challenging to be satisfied, so I am sealing and changing some of your memories. Specifically the memories of things relating to me and my powers. No knowledge of gods, no knowledge of my test or blessing, and no knowledge of why I brought you here. Don't worry, you will still remember your training. You will just be remembering it incorrectly, but don't worry your backstory will make sense to you."
"I always had a feeling that you enjoyed seeing me suffer, this is not helping your case. How can you be sure that without my memories I will embark on a hero's journey?"
So this is the last curveball he is throwing at me, can't say it is out of character, nothing will ever be simple with the god of tribulations. The bigger the challenge, the better the payoff. I do not know what sort of rewards I will earn if I manage to pass this test of his. All I know is that this test is one he meticulously designed, and the purpose of this training was to make sure I have the qualifications to take it. I am dreading what is to come, but I accepted his deal and now I have to pay the price.
It's not like I haven't taken precautions myself, I kept a diary chronicling my life so far and what I have learned. Just in case I screw up and wipe my memory practicing magic, I am ready for any potential memory wipe. I have things like my personality, important lessons/people from my first life, training regime, and a list of spells I have created.
"You know I can read minds right, I already have taken the steps necessary to deal with your diary. I am only going to touch the memories of your second life. I already sealed some of your second life's memories. So part of what you will remember will be fake, and some parts of it will be real. To give you an example, you will be given a mission by your master Bramimond. It is a mission you will accept to repay the debt you owe him. When in reality you are granting the wish I have promised to fulfill for his cooperation. It has nothing to do with your actual heroic journey, just think of it as a side quest. As for how you will embark on your journey, your training helped out a lot on that front.
When you grow up, you will be an outstanding and peerless warrior, one who will catch the eyes of everyone. By the time that happens, a certain man would have already commenced his plan, a plan that threatens the world. Your power will attract the attention of his associates, and they will find you. What they will do to you, I don't know. Everything from this point on is up to you and you alone."
"You know you are a scumbag for telling me all of this when you know I won't remember any of this."
A laugh from my master signals the end of my training. He snaps his fingers, and I am greeted by the same darkness that I saw before I met him in the void. I finally lose consciousness after using what is left of it to attempt to flip him off.