Having left the small building, Garen walked on the lawn under the sun, warming his body up, to his delight.
He walked straight to the entrance of the manor and asked the carriage driver to prepare his double-seater white carriage with silver edges.
Mounting the carriage, he ordered the driver to drive along the only road to the outside. He himself sat inside the carriage and looked at the environment from the inside.
Under his request, the driver went around the manor so he could get used to the environment near it.
The Trejons Manor was surrounded by forest with a small lake on one side. The path went along the woods, extending to a small town called Mirrorlake Town belonging to the Trejons Family. Even so, it was about a dozen kilometers before they arrived at the town.
Garen let the carriage cruise the town twice. After memorizing some of the more important landmarks, he alighted the carriage and walked toward the woods. His driver didn’t stop him. The whole area near here was his family’s territory and was frequently patrolled.
Walking alongside the edge of the lake, Garen walked into an area with black-leafed trees.
The forest was dark even in bright daylight, appearing gloomy and damp.
Pigeons and doves from the manor played around on top of the lake, some black swans waddled casually in the lake, combing their feathers occasionally.
Garen slowly compared his view with the location he scanned during the ride, examining the area and making his way toward where he mentally dropped a location pin.
Eventually, he arrived at the edge of his family’s patrol border. In the distance, he saw an outpost with sharp, gray-white roof. The flag on top of it shows a black swan on a white background with silver outline. That’s the family flag of the Trejons family.
There were two sentries wearing the same gray-white color on the outpost. One of them was having a drink, the other was drying clothes by hanging them.
Garen evaded the outpost to avoid being seen and turned left and right by himself, finally arriving at a clearing with tombstone.
The clearing was roughly circular, as if cleaned out to make space for something. It also had wooden fence around it, even though a significant part of the wood had rotted and started to fall off.
Garen compared the scenery with the ones he saw in his memory. The two Luminarists were battling here.
He examined the ground for fighting marks, there was none.
"Not yet, obviously…" He went in front of the tombstone and looked at the name. ‘Hill Clinton Phalange’.
This area was only recently included within the borders of the family patrols. Before that it was just listed as a wasteland. No one knew about the old headstone here.
Silently, he returned to the patrol area of his family after memorizing the location of the spot.
"In the memory, this tombstone is the direct cause of the conflict between the two Luminarists. But these has nothing to do with me. What’s important is to get a sense of how strong a Luminarist is…"
Garen was in deep thoughts on his way back.
For three years, he studied Secret Martial Arts. Even though it was because of his special ability that he managed to attain the maximum stats, he had put in a lot of effort before he transformed into someone who had the courage to fight numerous elites with his life.
His constant self-encouragement, hard work, and persistence were also not to be ignored.
The limits of Secret Martial Arts was already apparent during the fight with Sylphalan at the Smoke Island. According to the images he’d received when he first transmigrated here, Luminarists’ powers are obviously more fantastical.
They seemed to be able to control a number of powers to fight against one another, and their powers seemed to be stronger than Secret Martial Arts’ too.
The one thing Garen wanted to know the most, was that between Martial Artist and Luminarists, who’d be stronger.
After preparing the things he needed, he returned directly to the manor and into his room to start training to breathe as per the Divine Statue Technique. That way, he could return to his normal strength with most efficiency. At the same time, he planned to wait until the battle that was going to happen.
After returning to the manor, he started living like Acacia, doing his daily routines, he’d read the books and the news, he’d take care of his beloved lilac rose garden, and he’d go out every afternoon to where the tombstone is located and spied from afar.
Other times, Garen would focus on training his body. The restoration of Divine Statue Technique can’t be done within a day, but through stimulating his body over a long time. That said, the training combined with the healing effects of his special abilities, he could tell it was returning to him faster than he’d expected.
He waited patiently. The battle of the Luminarists will be within these few days.
Between the utensils clinking, Garen and Vanderman sat opposite each other, having their dinner.
The lazy afternoon sun sauntered in through the window on the left and cast itself on the floor left of the rectangular white dining table.
On the dining table were turkey meat, bacon, grilled duck, squirrel broth and onion stewed tomato soup.
Both of them ate without a word.
Vanderman looked at his son, his son who was never a stickler for rules, was suddenly obedient. Usually he’d have gone out to gamble or to court Aquarius whatshername, but the past few days he’d been quiet.
"When Sofea left yesterday, why didn’t you see her off?" He asked, "You shan’t be so rude, do you hear?"
"Yes, father." Garen nodded and muttered. He forgot. He’d been paying attention at the tombstone so much, he didn’t know Sofea had left.
"About the Astronomical Edict, you were in the wrong. Don’t think I won’t know just because you don’t tell me. But you’ve already given it away, there’s no need to take it back, lest other families shame you. You owe your Big Sister Sofea an apology." Vanderman closed his eyes for a moment. "I will repay her on your behalf. Do not do it again."
"Yes, father." Garen nodded conscientiously.
The original Acacia did behave that way with Vanderman.
Whatever wrongdoings he had had, Viscount Vanderman was tepid at best, he never really showed any distinct expressions. He would gently take over and solve things as being Acacia’s ‘loving’ father.
Somehow, Acacia was just afraid of his father without any specific reason.
Vanderman finished his soup and wiped his lips clean before standing up.
"Alright, enjoy the meal. I will be out for a forum in the afternoon and will return late. Do stay in the manor for this evening, it may be dangerous out there."
"I understand." Garen nodded with alert.
Danger in the evening? What danger?
He started to have a guess for the possible reasons. Vanderman never used to warn Acacia like this. As a Luminarist himself, if he would consider something a danger, he definitely knows something.
Could it be that something is happening within the Luminarist circle?
Guesses kept flashing through Garen’s mind.
He had been following Acacia’s behavioral pattern for the past few days. He also minimized interaction with people who were close to him, for example, his friends. They sent him an invitation to a ball the previous night, and he’d turned down the invitation.
The point for this seclusion was to slowly change the impression people have on his behavior, to adapt to this life.
After all, no matter how much he disguise himself, Garen and Acacia are two very different people.
Staying in his seat, he watched as Viscount Vanderman left the dining hall.
He sped up and finished up his food, and wiped his mouth as he stood up. A servant passed him his palate cleanser soup, which he swallowed after gargling with it.
He excused himself to go have a walk by the lake, and under two guards’ protection, he strolled along the lake.
The guards here, as compared to the guards in the last world, were just two normal people who were slightly stronger. They wore leather armor and were equipped with daggers. Only a captain would qualified to carry a gun.
Even with Garen’s weakened body, he’d be able to take out the guards by himself. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been trained as a Royal Guard, the outcome would be the same.
He found an excuse to get away from the two guards. There were the patrols and the outpost nearby anyway, he needn’t worry.
Alone, Garen walked until he could see the tombstone from afar.
Viscount Vanderman’s warning had him thinking the battle may be happening that day itself.
The timeline for the battle in the memory aligned with the current period too.
He hid himself in the bush and concealed his presence using his Martial Arts breathing technique. His weakened presence quickly wicked out of existence. After all, he’d learned the Turtle Breathing Technique in his last world.
Inside the bush, Garen paid close attention to everything around him, especially for the sound and movements.
"According to the last world’s classification, I was a Grade B at my highest achievement, that’s the power level of a guided missile, my destruction level is equivalent to a mobile bomb able to cause mass destruction."
He calculated his rate of recovery.
"Within four days, I only recovered to the level of a normal adult."
When he was chosen as a core disciple for White Cloud Dojo, he was already close to attaining Grade E barring some combat experience. Grade D was Grandmaster of Combat level, Grade E was Fei Baiyun and First Senior Sister Rosetta’s level. They were qualified to open up a dojo of their own and teach.
With a body of normal human being, there are a lot of skills in the Divine Statue Technique he can’t use, with the exception of some basic battle and grappling skills. However, with his experience in combat and knowledge of the Secret Methods, Garen was confident he could beat anyone below a Grade E.
In other words, his body was weak, but his mind was one of the strongest fighters, of the King of the Century.
"It boils down to how Luminarists fight now…" Garen’s presence sank deeper and deeper into concealment, even his breath became slow, trickling, and drawn out. He could already sense something wrong in the environment with his rich experience in combat.