These few days, Garen had been enjoying the excessive lifestyle of a rich heir. As the only son of an upper noble family, there were powerful people visiting him every day as soon as he stepped out of the house. All of them wanted to establish a relationship with Vanderman through him.
He only had a bit of me-time when he was together with Prynne and the others, so that was when he could study the knowledge on the handbook. That was why he agreed to hang out with the three of them.
It seemed like an easy life, but he had to be constantly feigning, and at the same time he spent a lot of energy on studying the handbook. So in truth, these days were pretty tiring for him.
And these days, while he was studying, he was also thinking how he should increase his own power.
Two years from now, - would surely come to Lush Forest for revenge, and the Obscuro Society was already fairly unhappy with Vanderman. Their life looked quiet, but in truth they were already surrounded by dangers.
Garen decided that he would find a way to first understand the entire Luminarist community’s overall situation.
During the time he spent with his teacher Emin, he more or less understood that the Luminarists were an extensive organization. Out of the several billion people in the Kovitan Empire, at least a hundred thousand of them were Luminarists.
Other than the Luminarists in the two main powers, Oscuro and Terraflor, most of them were regular Luminarists. Regular Luminarists made up ninety percent of the total.
In other words, Obscuro and Terraflor were at the highest level, completely out of reach for regular Luminarists. Their whereabouts and actions were mysterious and unpredictable, and normal people had no way to find about more about them.
Besides, most Luminarists liked to do research and lived quiet lives. Their social relationships weren’t anything to shout about, so they communicated even less with the outside world, and the latest news about them was even harder to obtain.
These were all basic things about Luminarists that Garen found out from Emin.
Thinking back on the related information he had, Garen glanced at the attribute pane at the bottom of his field of vision.
‘Strength 0.9, Agility 0.8, Vitality 0.9, Intelligence 0.5. Possesses Luminarists’ appraisal ability.
Secret technique -- Divine Statue Technique, Ten Thousand Mammoth martial arts.
Time until full recovery: 367 days (one year).’
"My power and intelligence improved just a smidge, it’s way too slow…"
"Cia! Are you going to the barbeque tonight?" A pretty girl with a maroon ponytail ran out and rushed at Garen, yelling, "Your goddess Aquarius is going too, y’know? Wanna come?"
Garen hesitated. He did want to see this woman that had the original Acacia wound around her little finger. "Alright. Who else is there, other than Aquarius?"
"There are two of her friends, both pretty girls," the girl with the maroon ponytail said mysteriously. "Thank me, I was the one who pulled them all here. If you weren’t looking so down recently, I’d be too lazy to take the initiative and invite them."
"Thanks a lot, adorable, pretty little Marin." Garen hastened to thank her.
"Saying it like that has no sincerity at all, gimme something with substance. I love your poetry, is there anything new?" Marin squeezed up to him, asking. A faint fragrance of roses wafted into Garen’s nostrils.
"You like my poetry? ..." Garen’s expression went blank for a moment. There were actually people who liked Acacia’s poetry?! It was an unbelievable assault to his understanding of this world’s beauty standards.
"That’s right, just tell us if you got anything new so we can all appreciate it. You’re our resident genius, y’know." Andel had come out as well, followed by Prynne.
Prynne’s expression was approving as well.
"Don’t hide it and keep it to yourself, just read it out for us," Prynne hurried him.
Garen looked at the three expectant faces in front of him, and began to wonder if it was his sense of beauty that had problems. That nauseating poetry actually had so many fans!
"Hurry up and read it out, what are you waiting for? Don’t tell me you ran out of ideas?"
"No way, I just heard one of Cia’s new poems recently!"
"Don’t disappoint us! This is one of our regular activities!"
Seeing the three of them staring at him expectantly, Garen started to feel a bit constipated.
Poems… Sure, there were some, but for him to stand up and read it to the three of them with a straight face… No way, that would be a source of eternal shame..
"Um… my throat’s been feeling off recently… why don’t you guys read it yourself." Garen hurriedly took out the notebook Acacia always carried around with him, and stuffed it into Prynne’s arms. Then he quickly darted into the large living room inside.
Prynne flipped open the notebook.
"Fine, we’ll read it ourselves."
"Beautiful lily! Thou art so fragrant~~ My goddess Aquarius, thy face art like that flower vase… uh, there’s an extra word here, it’s like that flower, so beautiful and fair."
Prynne posed as though performing poetry, and began to recite it loudly,
"O Beautiful Aquarius, worry not that thou lose thy beauty, worry not if thou art ugly. Even if thou became a toad, I would not give up on thou, I would love thou unconditionally! Aquarius! Ah! Aquarius! Ah! Ah! Ah~~~~!!!"
Each of the ‘Ah’s increased in pitch.
Inside, Garen felt his whole body going numb. Every hair on his body stood on edge.
"What a good poem!! As expected of my best friend, Acacia!" He could hear Prynne’s praises from the balcony. "I want to publish this poem to the love poetry magazine, and let everyone witness, the poetry of my brother Acacia! Look, these last three exclamations, they’re practically heavenly muse!"
"My favorite line is ‘Even if thou became a toad, I would not give up on thou’! Mm… so touching!" Marin kept agreeing beside him.
"Cia, how could you hide such a good poem after writing it? That’s mean of you!" Prynne voiced his dissatisfaction loudly from the balcony.
On the sofa inside, Garen was thinking that his dignity in this life, no! The previous life, and the life before that! His dignity since the very beginning had all been utterly lost.
"Suit yourselves…" Garen replied weakly.
What kind of eye would see this sort of thing even remotely as good poetry…
Prynne and the others repeated the lines over and over again on the balcony, and even had heated discussions about it. They were so loud that even the servants downstairs could hear them clearly. Only then did they enter the room, still dissatisfied.
"Cia, what’s the matter with you? Why does it seem like you’re feeling kinda down?" Prynne looked at Garen, sprawled over the couch and unmoving, with disbelief. "As expected of someone deeply in love. Your poetry is even better than usual!"
"Don’t mention poetry to me, it makes me nauseated…" Garen replied, more constipated than ever.
"As I thought, writing poetry takes too much out of you. True, classic lines like these would take up quite a bit. In that case, you’d better rest. We’ll call you when it’s time."
"Then we’ll go ahead and prepare. We’ll decide on the choices, that okay?"
With the sound of the closing door, the room suddenly became slightly empty.
There were only two young maids standing respectfully in the corner, quietly awaiting orders.
Garen lay on the couch. After a moment’s pause, he slowly recovered from his speechlessness.
Grabbing the black notebook, he tossed it fiercely to a side.
"What on earth is this!"
He stood up and returned to the balcony, lying on the deckchair to rest. And then he pulled the small papers out of his pocket to memorize the information from before. At the same time, he had to recall a few important matters.
Regarding the Aquarius he was going to meet at night, he found some relevant information in Acacia’s memories.
She was a very beautiful woman, with a small waist, long legs, a large bust and a breathtaking face. She had lively almond eyes, and when she looked at people, her expression always invoked love and pity. Especially when she looked directly at you with her eyes widened, her pure gaze would always make one lower their head in shame, unable to meet her eyes.
But Garen sensed something amiss about this woman.
This woman, who looked so weak and like a social butterfly, seemed to be perfectly at ease at a series of banquets and events. In fact, she seemed to take the initiative.
And even more strangely, many rich and powerful people also lowered their heads to her out of shame, and allowed her whatever she wanted. Her body was unusually soft, her skin as smooth as the highest quality white jade.
"Aquarius Senbenita…" Garen narrowed his eyes. "This woman was probably trained in martial arts… and probably some joint-related techniques used in assassination. She’s not what she seems…"
"Vanderman allowed this woman to play his son around, and didn’t do anything at all about it. Why?" Thinking back to what Vanderman said, he had absolutely no intention to trouble this woman. Instead, he had cleaned up after his son’s mess.
Garen began to vaguely suspect Aquarius’s identity.
"We’ll see when the time comes. If she really was a spy who was trained in assassination techniques, this would also be a great chance to see what the fighting level in this world is like."
He moved his shoulders, and they made small cracking sounds.
Although his body was recovering very slowly, he was still a top level martial artist. His fighting level was still no lower than E.
In the previous would, level E was already part of the letter levels, and was only lower than a Grandmaster of Combat. Regular small machine guns would not pose a threat to them unless wielded by a top level shooter.
Even outside, they were perfectly capable of starting their own groups.
Garen chased the two little maids away and stood alone in the living room. Then, he began to relearn a few tips and tricks to combat joint techniques.
Soon, Prynne rushed over to call him. Everything was ready, he said, so Garen had to go over there and prepare to leave.
They planned to stay a couple of nights on the mountain, and return home a few days later. They could take this chance to hunt and hike, too.
Garen asked the driver to inform his family, and got onto the carriage together with Prynne and the others. They drove towards the depths of the forest, a few strong bodyguards following them closely to maintain their safety.
They were going to the nearby Blackflower Mountain more than ten miles away, and planned to start a campfire there. There were few people and many wild animals there, so it was their newest hunting spot.