Past Life Returner 4
[The bronze box will be opened.]
I calmed down and stared at the message, and the image of the bronze box appeared. A beautiful light spilled through the bronze chest, and the sight made my heart beat faster.
Most awakened get their abilities when they open their first box, and bronze boxes tend to hold low-level rewards. However, I was anticipating an increase in stats rather than an ability since I already gained the super S class trait of the Man Who Overcome Adversity. I wanted the Perception stat to increase more than anything else since my infant body needed to develop Perception first.
Fortunately, my mother had fallen deeply asleep, so she would not to know of the supernatural events occurring next to her.
The chest opened with a whooshing sound.
[Your Perception has increased by three.]
[Current stats: None (4)]
Yes! This was what I had hoped! Perception was the stat that increased control over my physical muscles rather than Strength, and therefore necessary for infants. I always felt my limbs try to move out of their own accord when I was wrapped in a blanket. However, now they were composed.
This was why I prioritized the status window reward rather than excersizing to grow the muscles in my limbs. Also, there would have been benefits even if Health or Strength had increased instead of Perception. Now, it was time.
[The challenger box will be opened.]
The challenger box can be opened only once or twice, even for S classes, and none if they were not patient. I clearly saw the beautiful box, and it was a completely different light from the bronze box.
A mesmerizing and brilliant light shone as if to light up the entire world, and I had to close my eyes shut. The light of a challenger box was said to be able to heal wounds.
I did not have any wounds under my mother’s care, and I should be proud that the light of the challenger box disappeared without any effects.
I opened my eyes after bracing myself. It was not an item since the light would have continued to shine if the box had contained one. Then, it would be an ability, a skill, or a stat increase. I would have liked anything else than an item unless the item exceeded S class.
The Eight Evils and the Eight Virtues. They were called by this title in cultures that used Chinese characters, and others called them by different names.
While they had many names, one thing was true about them. When they had appeared on the stage, the war with the Unknown had changed to a civil war between human beings.
We had not learned much about them, because we were fighting against each other, when studying the System and battling against monster invasions should have been more than enough.
They were the sixteen strongest S classes. The eight who followed the System were called virtuous, and the eight who rejected the System were called evil.
Just by the fact those who followed the System were called virtuous, it could be seen that the majority followed the System. Anyway, there were many points of conflicting points between them and their viewpoints.
The biggest point of contention was the Virtuous said that a supernatural being who was categorized as an absolute good, possibly God, had taken pity on us and gave us abilities in various ways using the System. The Evils said the System itself was a cruel trap, tormenting humanity in various and strange ways.
Another was that the eight Evils who had denounced the System used it to become stronger. Of course, I belonged to neither groups and actually they had both been my enemies. It was not that I was as strong as them, but I had concluded that the civil war between humanity could only end when they were stopped. There were other events I did not want to remember, and the Eight Evils and the Eight Virtues hadn’t even noticed that I had fought them.
To them, I had been… No, I would have been like a mosquito bothering an elephant.
I still remembered the Sixth Virtue, who had been a child young enough to boast of his skills but had been strong enough to be one of the Eight Virtues. The name of his main skill had been ‘Odin’s Wrath.’ It had been a very powerful buff skill that could be utilized in various ways.
The reason I had explained about this skill is because this as of yet unborn child’s skill had come out of the challenger box.
[You have gained the skill ‘Odin’s Wrath.’]
I had been crying when I woke up, and I realized that I was wailing out loud. It was the day I gained the main skill of someone who had mocked me and completed my first quest as my Perception increased by three and Health by one. While I should have been baking in happiness, my dreams had been nightmarish.
I saw the calendar, and the date was May fifteenth. So that was why…
“Son, did you have a nightmare?”
My mother looked into me as she lifted me up. She had been so young these days, and the way she smiled with her eyes had been beautiful even when she had become older.
No son would have been unable to stop crying when he saw his mother smile down at him like that. My mother praised me that I was the best son ever when I immediately stopped crying. However, the dream that had made me cry was still at the back of my mind.
That day had been terrifying for everyone. Up to the moment when the True Nightmares had poured out from the rips in dimensions, the leaders of the powerful nations had announced together that not only could humanity overcome the crisis, but we could control the monsters that came in the early waves.
However, I saw the videos in the assembly hall where we had gathered as reserve troops that there were monsters that were vulnerable to our weapons and monsters that were stronger than what modern science could fight. The latter destroyed our culture as we had known it.
Their attacks forced countries with nuclear weapons to use them, and my nightmare had been about that day far in the future.
We soldiers had been regretful that we could not go to Japan because eastern Japan was contaminated by radioactivity due to the tsunamis in 2011. However, perhaps Japan had hidden them or there had been transactions or pressure, but countries including Japan exploding nuclear weapons in their lands made us wail in despair.
The first one to cry had been an old man, and his sobs had made everyone feel the helpless situation humanity now faced. The True Nightmares had survived the nuclear attacks.
I remember crying that day until my tears dried, even when I entered the tests, and also as I became an Awakened.
My quests were made to fit my growth process. I received the quest to stand up alone after I finished drinking breast milk, turn over, and sit by myself. I had mentioned that the stats raised by completing quests were those that could be raised by natural growth, and ordinary people could also achieve them.
However, the Perception stat raised by the bronze box had made me grow faster than other infants around my age. For example, as I managed to control my body better, I could more accurately control parts of my body as I wanted, and it helped my muscles grow and become stronger.
Have you seen a baby who can stand up by himself after only two months? My growth rate was faster than anyone could expect despite the fact I had to grab something to stand.
[You have completed the quest ‘Be Healthy 4.’]
[Your Strength increased by 1.]
[You have received 3 points.]
[Accumulated points: 12]
My mother had been doing the laundry, thinking I was asleep. Washing machines were rare those days, and while the owner family had one, we would have never been able to afford such a luxury. Thankfully, the weather was warm these days, and I did not have to see her chapped hands anymore.
I heard a sound outside, and I quickly sat on the blankets and lay down. I then smiled at my mother with an innocent look. The smile came naturally when I saw my mother look at me with love, and I used my facial muscles as I had never had before.
“You smile whenever you see my mother. Do you like me that much? Am I that beautiful?”
Yes, you are. I love you that much. So, I had to be more careful. My mother would worry over a baby who stood by himself in two months. My mother was beginning to notice that I was different from other babies, and I overheard her ask questions to my aunt over the phone this morning that I seemed to recognize her, I had stopped mumbling, ask her for milk, flail my limbs around, and was growing suddenly heavier. They were words half-filled with worry and the other half with love.
“Son, just grow healthy. I love you so much.”
My mother lifted me up and whispered, and I silently answered that I loved her too.