Sylvia Moriah Le Titania De La Waldgrave said:what are the key points of the plot? could you put genre markers at the top of your original post? :S
what are the key points of the plot? could you put genre markers at the top of your original post? :S
Knowing Oneself. Chapter 5. Their Voices.
At the same
time, with the bits of consciousness he still retained, Laien looked for this
‘something’ the nightmare wanted him to comprehend, but couldn’t quite find it.
There was something extremely familiar in ‘his’ emotions, in ‘his power, but it
wasn’t exactly the same and Laien couldn’t comprehend what the difference was.
grabbed the lines of the magical formation in front of ‘him’, twisting them and
tearing them apart. The natural energy which the formation was drawing its
power from shuddered, then exploded outwards as the formation crumbled into
nothingness. ‘He’ walked up to the unconscious youth and raised him up in ‘his’
soul had been seriously wounded; even ‘he’ wasn’t certain of being capable of
healing him. Pursing ‘his’ lips, ‘he’ trembled slightly, feeling not only extremely
furious, but also greatly disappointed in the world, in the people ‘he’ had
once considered to be ‘his’ dear friends. Yet, those very same people had
betrayed ‘him’, they betrayed ‘his’
trust and had driven ‘him’ into the very hopelessness ‘he’ was experiencing
‘his’ emotions dimmed and as a result, Laien’s mind became more clear. Using
this brief moment of peace, Laien took a deep breath, if it could even be
called so. He wasn’t in his body, he couldn’t more by his own will, he was but
a… soul! He understood all of the sudden. This world he was in seemed like a
dream, like a nightmare, but it certainly wasn’t. It was a projection of the
past… a vision, or so to say!
going through are extreme emotions… If this vision has a goal, then it must be
connected to it!” Laien deduced, then by the same line of thoughts, recalled
his strange experience at the fountain and the ‘Tranquil’ feeling which came to
exist within him, which he could sense even now. “Emotions, it wants me to use
them to understand something…? From anger to calmness, from… Wrath, to
Tranquility…?” Laien wondered, for some reason confident that his reasoning was
correct. However, little time did he have left to wonder freely, as another
surge of uncontainable emotions flooded his soul and caused him a great pain.
stepped outside the cavern, a young woman at ‘his’ side, a youth in ‘his’ arms.
‘He’ shook ‘his’ head, looking at the hundreds of his old friends who gathered
around to… seal him, as they would say. As the would claim; that ‘he’ has grown
too powerful and he ‘has’ somehow became a danger to the free world they had
created with ‘him’ as their leader…! ‘He’ felt like crying, but no tears flowed
from his eyes; only extreme coldness remained within them.
around ‘him’ were saying something, shouting, pleading… but ‘he’ was deaf to
their words. ‘He’ gathered his power and started chanting a Forbidden Spell,
preventing anyone from coming to close through sheer amount of energy ‘he’ was
gathering around ‘himself’.
chanted in a language Laien had never heard of, Laien experienced the whole
process. Were his comprehension to prove to be lacking, he would perhaps die
today, his soul dissipating. However, it wasn’t destined so. Feeling as ‘he’
was gathering his power and preparing to use a grand magic, Laien’s level of
understanding rose by leaps and bounds. It made Laien understand that although
magic needed to be formed precisely, it could at the same be molded in infinite
ways according to one’s will and level of comprehension!
example, even though ‘he’ was using a fire element as ‘his’ base for the
Forbidden Magic, ‘he’ actually changed the very properties of fire…! However,
most importantly, ‘his’ magic contained many emotions, what might have seemed
normal, but it certainly was anything but that. Amongst the mix, Laien could
very clearly sense the very, very similar ‘Tranquility’. He attempted to
immerse himself in this emotion, to learn something about it and comprehend it…
yet clearly, he couldn’t concentrate well enough to make any progress. Not
under the extreme mental strain he was going through.
turn fire cold, then can the same be done with water…? To turn it into ice, by
the same Principle…?” the thought passed through Laien’s distracted mind. If
so, if everything he was seeing here, in this vision, was real… then magic
carried with itself an enormous amount of possibilities…! If he could only gain
insight into anything he was being shown, then perhaps this painful vision
would also end…!
at the boy in ‘his’ arms, then took a deep breath, preparing to release the
Forbidden Magic. “Freezing Nova,” ‘he’ said quietly, to the terror of everyone
surrounding ‘him’. A sensation of the power beyond all imagination caused
Laien’s Soul to quiver and struggle to keep its form. What Laien could feel,
though, was but a lingering shadow of ‘his’ true might from that time, just a
memory contained within a Vision and despite that, it still was more than
enough to cause him to perish immediately, had it not been for the seed of
Tranquility in his Soul...!
again struggled to skewer his connection to the Vision, but failed yet again. The
very second as ‘he’ was releasing the Forbidden Spell felt like an entirety to
Laien. He was frightened, feeling that his soul was on the verge of
collapsing…! Comprehend anything, gain an insight…?! How could he do it in such
a state, when he was unable to focus on anything but his own survival...?!
It was at
this moment, when Laien heard two distant voices. He recognized those two
voices very well, he knew them...! But, they shouldn’t have had a place in this
vision, in this nightmare!
moment of his seemingly imminent death, in but an instant, Laien remembered
everything about those two who would always call him ‘big brother’; how
important they were to him, how much he treasured his bonds with them…
chuckled in his heart, wondering if he should be thinking about those two right
now, instead of struggling to gain an insight the vision wanted to force upon
him. On the other hand, reminiscing the good times had a very calming effect on
him, he even was starting to feeling better… to feel more… Tranquil?
eyes snapped open in sudden realization. There was more to the Tranquility than
just peace of mind! It was also connected to the memories, to the very feelings
which made one experience Tranquility! For some people it might be the feeling
of excitement caused by the slaughter of battle, for others, the joy of
success. As for him, it definitely were the times he had spent with those he
loved, with those who were dear to him!
himself in a much more relaxed state, Laien observed how ‘he’ finally released
the Forbidden Magic. With ‘him’ as a center, a terrifying explosion of the air began
spreading outwards, everything and everyone it passed though. In a few seconds,
the spell had turned an area of a few dozen kilometers into a world of ice,
where all life had been thoroughly extinguished.
at ‘his’ old friends, who managed to defend themselves, just as ‘he’ expected.
‘He’ shook his head again, then left. The Freezing Nova had been only a warning
of ‘his’; it hadn’t killed any people, as they were in the middle of nowhere.
However, the message was clear enough. Don’t come after me, you don’t stand a
chance. If you do, all of you shall die.
moment, the vision began turning more indistinct by the second. Laien smiled,
knowing that he had succeeded and was waking up.
opened his eyes, Laien saw Siana and Rune sitting on the bed, on the opposite
sides of him with very worried expressions on their faces. He smiled at the
two, who didn’t quite realize that he had woken up, then attempted to sit down,
but found himself too shaken to do so. At the same time, he realized that his
whole body was covered in a cold sweat, his clothes sticking closely to his
skin. He raised his hand up a little, noticing that he also was trembling.
scary dreams,” he said with a resigned laugh, startling both Siana and Rune.
brother!” the two called out at the same time. Siana quickly moved closer and
hugged him tightly, not caring about how sweaty he was for even a second.
Smiling, Laien looked at Rune who was rubbing his eyes and trying to hide that
he had torn up a little.
Laien remembered about one important thing and cursed wordlessly. He had simply
been so tired, so perturbed and relieved by all that happened that he forgot
and simply went to sleep. “Sorry, Rune. I forgot to find you and tell you that
everything turned out fine…” Laien apologized, surprising himself with how weak
his voice sounded.
I met Cran on my way back and he recognized me and told me what happened. I
couldn’t find Genzie, though… he wasn’t home…” Rune explained cursorily and
asked right afterwards. “Big brother, for a while you looked like you were
about to die. Are you hurt? What’s going on?”
chuckled, happy to have someone who worries about him. He took a deep breath,
feeling how strength was steadily returning to his body. He hugged Siana with
one hand and helped himself to a sitting position with the other, then laughed
quietly. Had it not been for the voices of those two, he would have most likely
perished due to this damned vision. He really was lucky to have them.
bit too merry, Laien thought that he is going to start crying himself, but in
the end, he managed to hold back his tears. He looked at Rune and saw that his
younger friend had already started calming down, while on the contrary, his
little sister was still hugging him tightly and refused to let go or to show
need to worry about me, I’m fine, really. It was just a… really bad dream. Give
me a while, I will explain everything to you and then, let me sleep, okay? I’m
super tired,” Laien said and yawned deeply. He proceeded to tell the story and
to explain what his ‘nightmares’ were, or at least what he thought they were.
Although he was somewhat embarrassed, Laien mentioned even the fact that he was
saved thanks to the two of them calling out to him. Thankfully, Siana and Rune
were simply happy to hear that and didn’t tease him in any way about it.
whole explanation was over, Rune stubbornly insisted on staying the night, just
in case he needed to be woken up. Having no strength to argue and knowing that
Rune’s mother won’t worry, as it won’t be the first time Rune randomly decided
to sleep over, Laien accepted the offer and laid down and went to sleep. With
how exhausted he was, he had fallen asleep the moment his head touched the
up naturally by the morning, around two hours after the dawn. Feeling
pleasantly refreshed after a good sleep, he smiled and took a deep breath, then
slowly let the air out. He has had so many problems, but now, they had all been
solved. It truly felt so good not to worry about anything, to just look forward
to having fun each day…!
turned his head to the right and took a good look at his cute, sleeping little
sister; at her long, silky black hair, slender figure and the gentle facial
features. Her now closed eyes were black, just like his own, but they would
often appear more stoic and perhaps even distant, not like his own gaze that
was often playful and filled with easily noticeable emotions; or so would
everyone say about the two of them. He himself could read Siana’s emotions with
ease, he also understood her like no one else, to the point of making him
his head, realizing that he was beginning to think about something strange.
With slightly blushed cheeks, he turned his head around, trying to calm down.
into a weird mood, Laien couldn’t help but judge Rune’s looks just a little.
The seven year old was certainly pleasant to the eye, even somewhat enticing.
His light-brown hair was a few centimeters long, quite messy and pointing in
every direction. His eyes were of a light brown shade, he had a slim and fit
body; he was certain grow up to be a beautiful young man who would make many
elder women go crazy for him. Given where they lived, perhaps not only women…
Laien closed his eyes, his face flushed red all the way to his ears, his heart
beating a bit too fast for comfort. “Heavens, I know I realized they are
precious to me and I love them, but please don’t make it go that far!” he
thought helplessly and chuckled at his own joke.
big brother,” Rune said with a yawn, woken up by Laien’s laughing. As for
Siana, she only rolled around, intent on sleeping some more. It was much too
early to be getting out of the bed for her preferences.
“What do we
do? Want to go for a walk?” Rune suggested, looking at the clear blue sky outside
the window. It was still early, so it would be pleasantly chilly outside, at
least for an hour longer. It would feel good to walk around the city in such a
go. Want to go somewhere specific?” Laien asked, getting out of the bed and
stretching his body.
take a bath, to begin with. I will borrow some of your clothes, okay?” Rune crouched
next to Laien, trying to find something nice from among the clothes Laien has
already grown out of. Laien joined him in looking for a change of clothes for
himself, seeing nothing strange in going to wash up the first thing in the
townspeople of Neil City would usually wash only once every other day, but
nobles and the people working for the Valius family were expected to wash
themselves on a daily basis. With free access to baths, washing at least once
per day became a habit to them, though this situation was definitely an
evenement on a world scale. Only in the south would people be so obsessed with
cleanliness and moreover, they would even look down on using perfumes only to
mask one’s own body odor.
other parts of the Starlight Continent people wouldn’t pay that much attention
to keeping themselves and the environment they live in clean and fresh.
Sometimes even walking through the city
in the morning, wouldn’t be a pleasant experience due to all the stink in the
air. As far as that aspect went, the kingdoms of the south were truly
exceptional. Thanks to that, plagues were practically nonexistent and any kinds
of diseases or illnesses related to pollution were rarely encountered anywhere
in the south.
stop making noises?” Siana complained and grabbed one of the pillows, then
threw it in the rough direction of the two boys.
Rune muffled a laugh as the pillow smashed the wardrobe. The hurriedly finished
packing clothes to the bags, then left the room walking on their tiptoes.
On the way
to baths, since they weren’t chatting with Rune, Laien’s thoughts wandered
towards his spiritual energy and the new insights he has gained. Yesterday, he
had been too tired to focus properly, but now that he reached out with his
consciousness, he reached all the way to his soul and the surrounding it
Spiritual Core. The mass of water-element spiritual energy in his possession
was formed in a spherical shape, enveloping his soul, as if protecting it akin
to insides of an egg.
sense the inside of my soul yet, though. I need some more practice,” Laien
noted with mixed feelings, curious how his spirit looked from within. “I can
influence my spiritual energy with the emotion of Tranquility by will. If I
then course it through my body, it calms me down forcefully… but don’t think I
should be using it in this way too often,” Laien mused, not sure why he was
reluctant to this possibility. After all, being able to always keep his cool
would be a nice prospect, but… “Ah,” he realized suddenly, guessing that overusing
the calming properties of Tranquility would lead him to becoming incapable of
being cool without its aid and that it would cause him to be unable to hone his
character. Master Shire would often repeat how important ‘heart’ was to
practitioners, so there definitely was something to it.
way, I can’t keep calling it ‘that emotion of Tranquility’,” Laien smirked at
the thought. “Let’s go with simplicity.
I will call those emotions ‘Aspects’, there must be more than one, after all.
Mm, the Aspect of Tranquility, sounds good enough,” he pondered, then nodded
why my Spiritual Core fused with my soul, though. I’ve never heard of anything
like that happening to spiritual practitioner, even after entering the Realm of
Heroes… The very concept of soul is rather blurry in this world, anyway,” Laien
sighed, deciding to leave thinking about this for some other time. He knew too
little to make any definite conclusions and for now, he wanted to establish
what he knew and was sure of.
information available to the general knowledge, Laien knew that a martial
practitioner needed a certain degree of master of a Primary Art to reach the
Realm of Heroes. From within the three Primary Arts, be it a Qi Manipulating
Art, Body Strengthening Art, or Battle Art, whichever was fine. The main
prerequisite was mastering one of the Primary Arts to at least 5’th level. For
example, Cran had long since passed the 5’th level of the Red Dragon Arts. The
moment he reaches the peak of the ninth Mortal Realm, he will face no
bottleneck at all and advance straight to the Realm of Heroes.
of martial practitioners becoming martial masters was fairly simple. There was
the requirement of practicing at least a mid-level martial art which enabled
you to reach the 5’th level of expertise, but apart from that, it was quite
straightforward. In comparison, becoming a spiritual master was a bit more
reaching the peak of the ninth mortal realm, a spiritual practitioner would be
faced with a challenge. He would either need to master a magic that manipulated
the natural properties of an element, or go the roundabout way and learn a
spell allowing him to do just that. The later way would of course result in
worse effects and would often lead to the spiritual master being unable to
progress past the early Realms of Heroes, so the first way was advised.
Laien’s perspective, the whole matter wasn’t that hard. He already knew what he
wanted to do, he wanted to emulate ‘him’ and create a freezing effect. He
wanted to turn water into ice! The only problem was, he was yet to comprehend
how in the world he could do that. After all, he intended to understand the
process, not only become familiar with a chant of a spell that would allow him
to do the same. It was as if he knew where he wanted to go, but his whole path
was covered by darkness. Without a sudden insight or a master to be taught by,
he would probably find it troublesome to properly master an advanced magic of
without that, he has already gotten considerably stronger. However, he wasn’t
quite sure of the role the Aspects would play in his future development.
created this ‘foundation’, or so to call it, of the Aspect of Tranquility, I
can keep gaining further insights into it. Also, looking back at what happened
yesterday, it seems that the Aspect of Tranquility amplifies the defensive
properties of my magic, making it tougher and harder to break. My true battle
prowess should be quite high, but the problem is, I have no idea how to use it
properly and I don’t have anyone to teach me.” thinking along those lines,
Laien began wondering if his vision would start occurring more often.
while, Laien assumed one thing. Extreme visions like the last one would only be
triggered by him gaining an important insight, or perhaps making a big
breakthrough in cultivation like entering the Realm of Heroes. It was a bit of
a pity, but at the same time, somewhat of a relief. No matter how beneficial,
he wasn’t up to living through any as extreme visions any time soon.
what are you thinking about?” Rune asked, seeing as Laien had been lost in his
thoughts for quite a while now.
much, just about yesterday. Do we go to the normal baths, or maybe we should go
to the Great Baths?” Laien avoided the question, seeing it as too much of a
hassle to explain.
at him brimming with a smile.
have asked sooner, big brother! Of course to the Great Baths! It’s much nicer
there, there’s hot water and many soaps and oils that smell really nice,” Rune
replied energetically, brimming with happiness. As a non-noble, he wasn’t
allowed to use the Great Baths on his own, so he looked forward to every time
he could go there with Laien.
“Will it be
okay, though? It’s still early, there might be other people there…” Rune
brought up, his smile growing dim as he realized the problem.
“It will be
okay. Especially after what happened yesterday,” Laien said with a laugh. He
suggested going to the Great Baths fully aware that they would meet many young
nobles and their friends there at this time of the day. However, with Garon’s
support and Jasi’s word not to bully him anymore, he had nothing to fear from
the fellow members of the Valius family. “And if anyone’s going to be stupid
enough to attack me, I can try my newly gained strength on him,” he mused with
a smile, honestly hoping just a little bit that someone will try to attack him.
After all, Laien
might have been more mature than other children his age, but despite everything
he had went though, he was only a ten year old. Some tendencies to show-off and
appear to be cool would of course surface from time to time.
nodded, not having much time to think whether Laien was right or not as the two
of them already approached the entrance of to the Great Baths.
entered the main hall with nine large pools within it, all the chatter died out
in the matter of seconds. Over three hundred young nobles and their acquaintances
turned to look at Laien, whispering between each other. Some of their gazes
were filled with suspicion, some with curiosity, others with fear and anxiety.
Yet, after a moment or two, everyone returned to their own activities,
pretending not to pay attention to Laien anymore, but sneaking glances at him
and Rune every once in a while as the two were walking through the main hall.
Garon must have gotten pretty intrigued with myself. He went as far as
delivering some orders to everyone in the middle of the night, mere rumors
wouldn’t have caused a reaction like that. I wonder what he told them, though?
Probably not much,” Laien shrugged his shoulders, a bit disappointed that no
one picked a fight with him, but also happy to ascertain that the hard times
were over for him.
of the private rooms to bathe in, Laien and Rune washed up and spent some time
playing in the water and having fun. After around half an hour, they left the
Great Baths and headed to wander the Neil City. Feeling rather hungry, they
ended up going to the usual dining bar with cheap, but tasty food for their
eggs with ham, two buns and orange juice for me, please!” Rune called out to
the middle-aged man at the counter. “Big brother, what will you take?” he
asked, seating himself on one of the high chairs at the bar.
the same,” Laien answered with a smile. He didn’t need reaffirm with the
middle-aged man, who nodded at him and got to work. Just two, three minutes later
the portions were done and served, along with two glasses of orange juice.
As he was
eating, Laien needed to admit that eating good food came quite cheaply in the
Sarkcente Kingdom. He needed to pay only three silver coins for two big
portions, counting in a nice tip. One gold coin was equal to one hundred silver
coins and he carried over a thousand of them in his interspatial ring, thanks
to Genzie’s generous gift. Three silver coins for a good breakfast for two? He
couldn’t ask for a better bargain.
filling their bellies, Laien and Rune decided to waste some time by relaxing
and wandering around the bazaar, which by this time, began bursting with life.
Neil City was one of the four biggest agglomerations in the Sarkcente Kingdom.
Given how rich their country was, it was only natural that it would be filled
with traders from all over the world offering to sell their goods.
having a lot of money, Laien held back from spending it recklessly. He bought
only some snacks for himself and Rune, limiting the spending until he really
needed money for something important.
that the day would pass in this manner, without any major events, but then the
two of them heard some kind of commotion occurring further down the main
street. Curious as they were, Laien and Rune hurried over there, interested to
see what was going on.
horses!” Rune shouted excitedly as they saw around twenty two meters high,
powerfully built steeds being led down the road. From the looks of it, the
commotion has been caused by one of those horses, who even now was trying to
break free, neighing, kicking and pulling on the reins as he trashed around.
Two muscular men were giving their best to hold the horse down, but despite
their efforts, they were pulled farther and farther away by the pitch-black war
Laien knew, war horses were a special type of breed of magical beasts, used by
the rich nobles as their battle steeds in times of the war. Judging from
strength the black war horse was displaying when trying to free himself, he
should have been as strong as human marital practitioner of the seventh or
eighth rank. Given the naturally powerful body of a magical beast, the black
one probably had a cultivation base of the sixth Mortal Realm; or so Laien was
guessing from those scary stomps of his hoofs, with which he was breaking the
stones laid throughout the main street.
like he’s going to break out. Let’s try it out, then.” Laien murmured just loudly
enough for Rune to hear him. Gesturing Rune to wait for him, he walked forward
and approached the two caravan guards who at the moment, were giving their best
not to get trampled over by the black war horse who really wanted to regain his
“Say, if I
calm him down and make him obey me, can I have him for half the price?” Laien
asked leisurely, walking past the two men and stopping a few meters behind them
and the black horse, anticipating the animal to flee out of the city after
pushing the two guards aside.
if you don’t want to get hurt, you stupid brat!” one of guards shouted spitefully
through his clenched teeth. He then pulled with all his strength… what resulted
in the reins finally being unable to handle anymore and snapping into two
parts. The black horse neighed and reared, kicking into the air as he celebrated
his victory. He turned around, intent on galloping past everyone in his way.
However, after taking but a few steps, it stopped abruptly, its hoofs sliding
on the stone road as he gave his best not to crash into this scary monster in
front of him.
steadily releasing his spiritual energy mixed with the Aspect of Tranquility.
The people watching the scene were confused and flabbergasted as they couldn’t
sense his spiritual energy, being neither experts at the Realm of Heroes nor
spiritual practitioners. The black war horse, on the other hand, was a magical
beast. His instincts were much sharper than human’s, so just like any other
magical beast, he could tell when he stumbled upon something so dangerous that
it was better not to provoke it. Standing completely still, the black war horse
continued looking at the small human before his eyes, not daring to move a
confident smile on his face, Laien lifted his hand up, keeping his palm open
and pointing to the ground. The black war horse shook his head, at first
unwilling to submit. However, after a few long seconds, he conceded out of fear
and respect. He stepped forward and bent his head, allowing Laien to pet him
with his raised hand.
laughed, pleased with all the amazed looks he was receiving from the hundreds
of people who were gathered around. He stepped closer to the black one and
hugged his head, then gave the two guards a smug smile and said. “He would have
ran if not for me, so I will do you a favor and buy him for half the price.
Deliver the bill to the Valius family for me. Oh, and give me a set of new
reins, a saddle and everything else,” he concluded merrily and laughed in his
heart. Even if he had one thousand gold coins, a war horse was a pricy beast.
It was much better to make Garon pay for it, than to spend all his money on
this black one; even after a discount.
have him for free,” a man wearing a white turban on his head called out from
afar, a light smile lingering on his face. “It would be an embarrassment if one
of my horses went on a rampage through the bazaar, only Heavens know how much
damage he would have caused,” the bearded man declared loudly, gesturing his
subordinates to hurry up and bring what Laien asked for.
care of it, young one. That black beast is not even one year old, he had grown
so much stronger during our journey that here you have the result,” the man
shook his head with a smile, then called out to the onlookers. “Make the way,
time is money!” He glanced at Laien one more time, remembering his face. He
nodded at Laien, then left with his caravan.
by this development, Laien raised his eyebrows and laughed. To give out a horse
worth at the very least two thousand gold coins and at most, twenty thousand
gold coins if he proved to be a good breeding steed… Just how rich was that
was standing there, holding his black war horse by the newly put reins, the
people began gossiping. Among the young nobles, Laien was fairly well known in
Neil City, mainly due to the affair of him taking Shire to be his master. Thus,
the word around his amazing and mysterious performance quickly began spreading.
By the evening, there would hardly be anyone among the well over million
citizens of Neil City who haven’t heard about the news.
awesome! How did you do it, big brother?” Rune asked excitedly, running up to
Laien, but slowing down a little, intimidated by the size of the black war
horse at Laien’s side.
explain later. For now, do you to name him?” Laien asked wryly, knowing that
Rune would be happy to do so.
Yay!” Just as Laien expected, Rune was overjoyed. On their way to the stables
located within the ground owned by the Valius family, he pondered deeply about
a good name until he finally thought up something satisfying. “How about
Bellicose? It describes his character well, I think,” he suggested, hoping that
Laien will like his idea.
well,” Laien agreed with a laugh. Warrior-like, stubborn and rowdy. Truly,
‘Bellicose’. “Then, it’s decided. From today onwards, you are Bellicose,” he
said to the black war horse, who in neighed in response. Apparently, he was
satisfied with his new name.
Sitrix said:I freaking love this story with each new chapter! Also, I would be willing to clean up/edit each chapter so it flows more easily. I understand that you stated in an earlier post that you want to learn it by yourself, however, each time I read incorrect grammar I really want to be able to correct it. Also, I'm willing to put the reason why I correct each mistake. I would do this by making two separate files, both with the corrections in place. However, one would have the reasons why I corrected each mistake, and the other would not. Thus, you would be able to see and hopefully understand why each mistake was corrected. Then, you would just grab the file without my //notes and post it on here.Just a suggestion. I really like this story so I am willing to help ^_^.
I freaking love this story with each new chapter! Also, I would be willing to clean up/edit each chapter so it flows more easily. I understand that you stated in an earlier post that you want to learn it by yourself, however, each time I read incorrect grammar I really want to be able to correct it. Also, I'm willing to put the reason why I correct each mistake. I would do this by making two separate files, both with the corrections in place. However, one would have the reasons why I corrected each mistake, and the other would not. Thus, you would be able to see and hopefully understand why each mistake was corrected. Then, you would just grab the file without my //notes and post it on here.Just a suggestion. I really like this story so I am willing to help ^_^.
Caladbolg said: Sitrix said:I freaking love this story with each new chapter! Also, I would be willing to clean up/edit each chapter so it flows more easily. I understand that you stated in an earlier post that you want to learn it by yourself, however, each time I read incorrect grammar I really want to be able to correct it. Also, I'm willing to put the reason why I correct each mistake. I would do this by making two separate files, both with the corrections in place. However, one would have the reasons why I corrected each mistake, and the other would not. Thus, you would be able to see and hopefully understand why each mistake was corrected. Then, you would just grab the file without my //notes and post it on here.Just a suggestion. I really like this story so I am willing to help ^_^.
Ehehe, geez, so embarasing -.- I do so many mistakes? Uuuhh. After my triple release i will use full monday to proofread my story from the beggining, hopefully correcting some of them. You are a second person who offered to proofread, too, hehe. I will give you the same answer. Let me try my best to improve my level until i finish the book 1 in some more chapters, how many... Some... If it's not satisfactionary enough for you guys (my english T.T i thought it wasn't so bad!) then we can see how to work out the proofreading thing.One part for sure - i would Never use text 'proofread' by someone else just copy-pastying it. I'd want to correct every mistake myself. In the end it would take more time for both proofreader and me, but i consider it worth. Thanks for comenting about the story, too @Sitrix!
Knowing Oneself. Chapter 6. Garon’s Demand.
Stable Master William. Can I get this big boy to live somewhere nice?” Laien
asked, grinning mischievously. Generally, only a few horses received
preferential treatment from William. The lucky ones were taken care of with
utmost effort; they would be allowed to roam free for a few hours each day and would
be fed the very best possible food, too. If one wanted to put his own horse
under William’s special care, he would need to pay a hundred gold coins of the monthly
fee. Even for the nobles, this amount looked nothing but ridiculous. Who in the
world would spend so much money on his horse?
Well… As it
seemed, there were some people who would. William had only agreed to tend
personally to at most ten horses, as he wouldn’t be able to divide his
attention between a larger group and still provide a top-quality service. However,
given William’s fame as a horse breeder and his many decades of experience, one
hundred gold coins per month was actually a pretty reasonable price for his
little devil, you only call me a ‘Stable Master’ when you want something. Let
me see to his temper first, then we will think.” William understood that even
if he wanted to dote on Laien, he couldn’t just bring any horse to his personal
herd. War horses tended to be especially troublesome, as there was no telling
if they wouldn’t start a fight among themselves looking to gain the position of
an alpha male. With how powerful they were, such conflicts would often end in
heavy injuries on both sides and more often than not, one of the two steeds
would end up with broken legs, and thus be rendered worthless.
definitely possible to tame a war horse; that was why this race was bred to
begin with. However, it took a lot of effort and the more rowdy beasts would
need to be kept in isolation for years as to prevent them from attacking other
males. If the black war horse Laien brought with him proved to be one of that
kind… then William would have no choice but to refuse.
walked over and took the reins himself, lightly pushing Laien off to the side.
“You named him yet?” he asked, nodding to himself with satisfaction as he
caressed the black war horse in different places, seeing how far he is willing
an unfamiliar human to go.
Laien answered briefly, wondering what the heck William was doing, petting his
horse all over his body
William chuckled as Bellicose pushed him away, reacting to his newly given
name. He smiled and shook his head, seeing how the black war horse nudged at
Laien, as if demanding a praise from his master.
laughed, amused by this development. He stroked Bellicose’s neck
affectionately, happy to see that his new steed liked him that much.
brought me one hell of a monster. Fifth, maybe sixth mortal realm! Ha! Dear
Heavens, your Bellicose is only around a year old. Good thing he seems to be
fairly well-behaved. He also seems to be attached to you, eh? How come? For a
war horse to become this familiar with someone in less than two, three years is
unusual…” William mused aloud. He had seen how rowdy and disobedient young war
horses could be before they are tamed and trained properly. By the looks of it,
this black one had been just bought by Laien. For him to suddenly become
obedient of him… was strange, least to be said.
go to the plains behind the mansion, we need to get your Bellicose to get used
to my other pupils. Meanwhile, tell me how had this big boy landed in your
hands,“ William said in commanding tone and gave Laien an anticipating look.
three of them were walking, Laien briefly explained the story from the bazaar.
Soon after he finished, they arrived by the vast grassland.
knew you were hiding something lately. People say that you developed some
relationship with the young master of the Red Dragon School, add this incident
from yesterday and today… Don’t make such a surprised face, boy. Given my job,
I am like an innkeeper, haha. Everybody shares some gossips here and there… I
suspected there’s something special about you since long ago. I tell you, a war
horse submitting this easily doesn’t happen! Don’t take me for some idiot who
can’t look and connect the dots,” William barraged Laien with his statements,
not letting him interrupt at all. He remembered how in the past, as a kid, he
had also thought that all adults were dumb… and truth to be told, most of them
were, but there were some exceptions.
wouldn’t have tried to buy a horse like that if your situation in the family
didn’t improve. I’ve heard of order given by Lord Garon, too. Haha, for this
bastard who was so against you and your sister when Lord Tei’ru had brought you
here three years ago to have changed his mind, you must have really impressed
him in some way.” William kept speaking a lot, just like always. By now, Laien
knew not to interrupt him when he got into the mood to start wondering aloud,
so he simply listened to him patiently.
all have some secrets. I won’t ask about yours, boy. Feel free to tell me if
you feel like it, though,” William commented with a loud laugh, what caused
Laien to fell like rolling his eyes. William wasn’t a bad man, but dealing with
him could sometimes be unpleasant, given his peculiar sense of humor.
gest started. You and your friend can ride Bellicose for a few hours and help
him get used to the new place and his new pals. If after a whole day there will
be no problems, I will add him to my herd, charge free,” William mentioned
carefreely, happy to always have some energetic, young people hanging around
his stables. The one hundred gold per month fee? He wasn’t in a need of money,
he had only created it so those arrogant nobles respect his work properly.
nice to hear, but here I wanted to request Garon to pay for it,” Laien shrugged
his shoulders with a smile and stuck out the tip of his tongue. He realized
what Garon likely wanted from him, he was probably interested in his sudden
increase in strength and in the details of his relationship with Cran and the
Red Dragon School. He would probably request his support in the future… so
getting him to pay for some of his expenses wouldn’t be that strange of an
some better favor from that stubborn ass. What does a few thousand gold coins
amount to? Nothing,” William said with a snort. To average citizens, three or
four thousands gold coins might have been a fortune of their dreams, but to a
core member of a major noble family? It was nothing but a change.
do,” Laien nodded, not having planned to refuse William’s offer anyway. “Rune,
you going with me?” he asked, kicking off the ground and jumping into the
saddle of his black war horse.
course!” Rune called out and also made a jump, seating himself behind Laien.
open the gate for you,” William said rather to himself than to Laien and Rune,
then let them into the vast, private grassland owned by the Valius family.
“I will be
going to meet Cran tomorrow, so we will see each other later, okay?” Laien
asked apologetically. Lately, due to the problems that emerged after Tei’ru’s
death, he wasn’t spending as much time as he would have wanted with Rune, so he
has really enjoyed playing and fooling around with him throughout the entirety
of this day. Regrettably, he already had other plans for tomorrow.
big brother. It’s not like you are going to disappear, one day here or there
doesn’t matter that much.” Luckily, Rune didn’t sulk at all and instead took a
more positive approach.
you later,” Laien said while scratching his head as they approached the
entrance to the main building.
later,” Rune replied with a smile, then hurried back home for a very late
deep breath, Laien headed to Garon’s private quarters, hoping that this talk
with him won’t prove to be too much of an annoyance. Everything should be fine
by all means… but he couldn’t help being somewhat nervous, after all.
Leader expects you. Come in,” one of the two elite guards at the doors to
Garon’s chambers said calmly the moment Laien approached. He opened the door,
gesturing respectfully for Laien to go inside.
sighed, seeing that Garon’s quarters were decorated even more richly compared
to Jasi’s. Such a useless display of wealth annoyed... were there no better
things they could spend their money on? Walking further in, he arrived at
Garon’s office, which he found rather thanks to the open door and despite the
deathly silence. Thankfully, Garon made it a little easier to be found in this
huge complex of rooms.
are, finally. I was getting tired of waiting. Sit,” Garon ordered and pointed
at the chair in front of his desk with the pen he was holding in his hand. Only
after Laien sat down, did he raise his gaze and start speaking. “Do you know
why I called you here?” he asked, trying to feel Laien out.
Laien answered after a second of thought, deciding not to share any of his
guesses with Garon. He would rather have the man explain everything himself.
are you aware of the factions existing within our clan?” Garon went straight to
the matter, not trying to beat around the bush. Also, just by asking this
question, he made his intentions pretty obvious. He wanted Laien’s help in the
contest between the Valius family and the factions opposing it; in the future,
when he would grow stronger and more influential, that is.
aware,” Laien responded briefly. Despite being a member of the Valius family,
he knew little about its internal affairs. Since he would be asked to lend his
hand to Garon in the future, he would rather find out what he will be facing
listen and remember it properly, I won’t be repeating myself. There are three
factions that matter in our clan. Our Valius family, the Brunt family and the
Cail family. Neil City is ruled by our Valius family, but regrettably, we are
steadily losing ground. Even our home turf isn’t entirely under our control.”
Garon suppressed a sigh and remained silent for a moment, his expression filled
with worry and uneasiness.
it was the first the seeing this man show any kind of emotions on his face.
Judging from how badly Garon was disturbed, the Valius family really must have
been forced into a bad position. He didn’t comment on what he noticed, however,
remaining mindful of being respectful. The last thing he needed was to
antagonize Garon towards himself and have all the problems return.
family was created by one of the retired generals appointed through our clan’s
influence in the Kingdom. They hold military power on par, or maybe even superior
to ours. Luckily, old Noey isn’t interested in gaining political power or
suppressing us. He is happy as long as he is left alone. Additionally, he
doesn’t have direct descendants. His faction in the most unstable one out of
the three families. He is troublesome to deal with, but his faction will bury
itself after he dies. We don’t need to worry about them too much,” Garon
explained this part casually, waving his hand. What he was most concerned with,
he left for the last.
other hand, the Cail family is pressing to increase their influence in Neil
City and within the whole clan and the Kingdom itself. We… we have underestimated
them for way too many generations. Father and I had been trying to suppress
them, but they’ve grown too strong. Now, it’s our Valius family that is being
suppressed by them. They grew too powerful... They might not be able to
overtake us directly yet, however, if something doesn’t change… It will only be
a matter of time before the clan is overtaken by them,” as Garon finished
saying, his gaze turned cold. He eyed Laien, emanating a slight killing intent
which Laien, unexpected even for himself, could sense very clearly.
swallowed, his heart beginning to beat wildly. He did his best not to show how
scared he was, knowing that Garon, being an expert at the Realm of Heroes,
could squash him like an ant.
Genzie, is a grandson of Fohan Cail, the leader of the Cail family. Previously,
I didn’t care when you befriended him, nor had Father minded. You weren’t
showing any outstanding talents, you didn’t cause trouble either, so we ignored
the matter. You must understand by now, right? Four practitioners at the sixth
Mortal Realm, all killed by you, by your magic. At the age of ten, you fought
and killed six martial practitioners of the sixth rank; a genius seen once in a
millennium, one could say. Tell me, considering who you are friends with, what
should I do with you and your sister?” Garon asked quietly, his words echoing
with a silent threat. He valued Laien’s talent highly, but he didn’t need
betrayers amongst his ranks. He also understood that people, and especially the
smart children, would only show their true colors when under extreme stress,
driven to the brink of what they could endure.
clenched his fists and strained his muscles, preventing himself from trembling
all over. This pressure he was feeling from Garon… it was incomparable to the
feeling he had had when facing Masi’s guards. This time, he really was
terrified. He not only could experience Garon’s ruthless murderous intent, but
somehow, could also sense his cultivation base. The fifth Realm of Heroes... a
mere slap from a monster like that would cause his head to turn into a pile of
breathe calmly, Laien reached out to the Aspect of Tranquility which existed
within his soul and mixed it with his spiritual energy, then allowed it to
course through his body. Instantly, he became much less nervous. It wasn’t that
he was no longer scared of Garon, but rather, he was capable of calmly
ascertaining the situation at hand. “Pretty useful, even though I didn’t want
to resort to suppressing my own emotions,” Laien said to himself, then looked
Garon in the eye.
respect, what are your intentions, Lord Garon? Even if you make me discard my
friends under a threat to myself and my sister, all you will gain is a person
who resents you. Weren’t you implying that Valius family needs allies right
now, not more enemies?” Laien questioned, causing an expression of utter shock
to appear on Garon’s face. He had intended to pressure Laien and see how much
he is willing to do to save his own skin and aid his sister, then turn the
conversation around by one hundred and eighty degrees by saying that it all had
been but a test and he never intended to harm either of them… but who would
have thought that the ten year old sitting before him would face the threat
with calm and collected reasoning?
Laien raised his eyebrows, noticing that Garon’s killing intent just went and
disappeared. Had he perhaps hit the nail on the head?
are close friends with an enemy. What else would make you obey?” Garon rebuked,
forcefully trying to regain the initiative in this conversation, feeling rather
ashamed to have been outplayed in the game of words by a ten year old brat.
Compared to Tei’ru, he really was just as good at anything... apart from making
good arguments. In that alone, he was quite average.
you should understand how important my little sister and friends are to me. I
don’t have anyone apart from them… If you threaten them to make me submit, I
will of course do so. However, is that really what you want??” Laien asked,
failing to notice that Garon was perturbed because he was having second
thoughts about his approach, not became he really was considering to make his
threats come true.
be good if you didn’t forget that it was my Father who saved you and your
little sister,” Garon reminded, changing the subject as he began losing the
ground under his feet.
frowned at this remark, then said angrily. “If Tei’ru wanted a slave, he would
have made us slaves after saving us. However, he made us into his family. Even
if there is a debt to be repaid, it’s not up to you to be demanding it.”
opened his eyes wide, speechless due to the tone this ten years old kid was
using to speak to him. He had gotten used to Laien calling his Father by his
name, without any honorifics, but the way Laien was behaving during this
conversation, the way he cornered him with his cold logic and simple arguments…
it resembled the way his Father spoke with him to a scary degree.
it’s right, it was Father who taught this kid everything he considered
important! How could I have forgotten it?” Garon sighed inwardly, unable to
believe how oblivious he had been. Laien had spent the last three years being
schooled by Tei’ru regularly, so how come he forgot about this fact? It might
have had something to do with him never admitting the boy to be a part of the
Valius family, or so the conclusion he came to was.
right, it isn’t up to me. Let me rephrase myself and ask you a simple question
instead,” he spoke with an amiable smile, baffling Laien with his sudden change
in attitude. “In the future, are you going to support our Valius family, or
will you side with the family of your friend, the Cail family?” he asked rather
naively, not realizing that his words were once again driving Laien into a
corner. Even though he no longer intended to harm him, he forgot to properly
voice his intentions.
his words, Laien replied carefully after a brief moment of thought. “I won’t
support the Cail family, Genzie shouldn’t be too closely involved with them
anyway. I would protect my friends, of course, but apart from that I don’t mind
siding with the Valius family. As you said, Lord Garon, I owe Tei’ru a debt,”
Laien stated clearly, but then added in his thoughts. “A debt, but not only of
nodded and smiled at Laien, satisfied with his answer. “In ten years or so, the
Cail family will be strong enough to start suppressing us openly. The conflict
will escalate. Are you confident in reaching the Realm of Heroes by then?” he
asked straightforwardly, curious how much confidence Laien has.
Laien replied instantly, his lips curving into a rather cheeky smile. He had no
chance to confirm it, but he was at the very least a spiritual practitioner of
the sixth rank. Ten years? He was confident to become a spiritual master in
half of that time!
Out of the
blue, Garon laughed out, appearing to be greatly amused. He rubbed his eyes,
then explained his sudden outburst. “Do you want to know what my three sons
answered when I asked them the same question when they were your age?” he asked
so eagerly that Laien couldn’t help but nod his head.
“I know how
talented each of them is, so I spoke of different time frames… but each of them
said things like ‘I don’t know, but I will do my best’, or ‘if the Heavens
allow, I will meet your expectations”. None of them had the spine to reply like
you did. None of them was brave enough to make a bold statement! Perhaps,
Father was right. I was being too soft on them the whole time,” Garon
reminisced aloud while shaking his head. When he had been a child, he desired
more warmth and understanding from Teiru, so he gave just that to his own sons.
Yet, he might have given them too much freedom and thus failed to whip them into
Garon waved his hand, changing the subject entirely. “When you turn twelve, we
will send you to some good Institute in the north. In our Kingdom, you would
never grow to become a true spiritual master, after all. I would have liked to send
you sooner… But the best Institutes accept apprentices no younger than twelve
years old. As I recall, your sister also has an aptitude for Magic? Hmm, the
all-female Black Star Academy doesn’t have age requirements. We might as well
send her to study there when you go to your Institute, too.” Taking a look at
Laien, Garon realized that he started speaking a bit too casually. He coughed,
then asked. “Is there anything you aren’t satisfied with?”
For a good
few seconds, Laien was speechless. First, Garon threatened him, then he turned
amiable and now he was offering him the best education and asking for his
opinions? There really existed people whose mood could change so fast?
we were to discuss the details of which Institute or Academy I would attend to.
As long as my little sister and my friends are away from harm, I will be happy
to aid the Valius family,” Laien said and bowed his head. He didn’t quite
understand the reasons behind the change in Garon’s attitude, be he wasn’t
about to waste his good luck.
wait for later, I don’t have the necessary information prepared. We never had
to deal with a spiritual practitioner’s curriculum, after all,” Garon said with
a laugh. Laien mentioned an Institute or an Academy, so he obviously wanted to
pursue both paths at once, that of a martial master and a spiritual master.
Only Academies provided education in both paths at once, so most likely he
would end up sending Laien to one of the Academies of the Starlight Continent.
be everything, Lord Garon?” Laien asked, wishing for this conversation to
finish already despite having relaxed enough not to keep using the Aspect of
Tranquility to forcefully calm himself down.
can go. I will send you the information regarding the Martial Schools,
Institutes and Academies in a week or so. You can take your time deciding where
you wish to study, all your expenses will be covered by the family,” Garon
reassured and seeing that Laien was growing restless, nodded slightly and
gestured to him that it was fine to leave.
up, bowed his head again and then left, heading to his room. He didn’t expect
this ‘little talk’ with Garon to be so stressful, but overall, he was happy
with how it concluded.
Garon, he laughed to himself and stood up from his chair. He walked up to the
window and opened it, looking at the bright full moon high in the night sky.
“He really is similar to you, Father. My sons never were so disrespectful to me,
but I never felt any of them to be as promising as this brat. Six more years
until he truly becomes an adult… I will uphold my promise to you, Father. I
will give it to him when he turns sixteen… but if you saw him now, you would
have probably told me to chase after him and do it today… Even after you died,
it’s so hard to please you, Father,” Garon mused aloud, a light smile visible
on his face. He had been greatly anxious for the past years, even more so after
his Father passed away in the middle of attempting to make a breakthrough to
the eighth Realm of Heroes. However, for once, after having a talk with such a
promising youth, he felt a little relieved and more hopeful about the future of
the Valius family.
up at the daybreak, just like usual. He yawned and stretched his body,
shrugging off the sleepiness. He originally intended to dress himself and head
out without waking Siana up, but from he could see, it no longer was possible.
His little sister was fully dressed and waiting for him!
you are going to the Red Dragon School, right? I’m going with you. I want to
join it and learn martial arts,” she declared with a completely serious
expression, making Laien wonder if he wasn’t still dreaming. His little sister,
who never liked to do much apart from staying in the bed and lazing around,
wanted to go through a hard physical training? He pinched his forearm, making
sure that really wasn’t asleep. It hurt, indeed, so he couldn’t be!
big brother, stop making fun of me! Dress up, we are going!” Siana raised her
voice, angry that Laien wasn’t taking her seriously.
Wytchlord said:I kind of really like Garon xDI really like the development of the story as well, but I think it would be more interesting if Siana and Laien wouldn't be in the same school ... just my thoughts though ^^Why did Bellicoses fear change into liking so fast?
I kind of really like Garon xDI really like the development of the story as well, but I think it would be more interesting if Siana and Laien wouldn't be in the same school ... just my thoughts though ^^Why did Bellicoses fear change into liking so fast?
Knowing Oneself. Chapter 7. Red Dragon School.
Ehh, you are so insensitive, big brother. I’m not telling you.” Laien raised
his eyebrows, confused. How was his question insensitive? “Uuu, she is becoming
harder and harder to understand lately. Is that puberty?” he made such a stupid
guess, leaving this worry for some other time.
can’t you just hurry up? How long are you going to look for clothes? Come on,
just wear this. That should be fine, too.” Siana crouched at his side, easily
finding two pieces of clothing to her liking. Laien was forced to admit that
they really were better compared to what he wanted to wear; a simple white
shirt and a pair of white pants, both with some additions of blue. He would
probably look good enough.
changing at the spot, not minding that Siana was right next to him. The two of
them have been living together in one room for the past three years and
moreover, they were siblings. He saw no reason to be embarrassed.
off by a few steps, pretending not to look, but still peeked at Laien, slightly
interested in a boy’s body. She felt rather nervous, stealing a glances when
her big brother was completely naked, so after catching a bit too clear of a
glimpse, she quickly turned around and tried to act as if nothing happened with
her face burning red.
you acting so embarrassed for? We even bathed together so many times…” Laien
laughed, having noticed Siana’s obvious peeking. “If you want to take a look,
just tell me, I don’t mind~” he even added carefreely.
He might have not minded, but Siana certainly
did mind it quite a lot…
Laien stopped the ball of water that was about to smash into his face as he
turned around to look at Siana. Thankfully, he was much stronger now so he
could easily cause a low-level spell like this one to halt with the aid of his
Guardian. Otherwise, he would have gotten all wet… but now that he thought
about it, he could remove all the water from his clothes if needed, so there
wouldn’t be a problem anyway.
blushing wildly, jumped at Laien with an extremely angry expression. Having
taken him off-guard, she unexpectedly managed to push him down on the floor.
“Stupid! Stupid! You are so stupid big brother!” she yelled, smashing at
Laien’s chest with her fists.
chuckled helplessly, somehow getting worried about himself were Siana to become
a high-ranked martial practitioner. “I’m sorry, okay? My bad, I apologize,” he
attempted to reconcile, patting his little sister on her head.
pouting at first, but then she sighed and laid down on top of him. “You are
still stupid, big brother, but I love you,” she said quietly, forgiving him as
easily as she had gotten angry at him.
chuckled, barely hearing her last words. He sat down, causing Siana to slide
down onto his laps. He hugged his litter sister, then said half-jokingly. “Your
insensitive big brother loves you too~”
a laugh, feeling really happy and comfortable. All of the sudden, she felt like
going back to sleep just like that. Maybe all the training could wait until
should get going. If we don’t find Cran at the morning assembly we will need to
search the whole school grounds for him,” Laien reminded, standing up and
lifting Siana to her feet at once. Seeing that his little sister was growing
drowsy, he grabbed her hand and pulled her outside. “Geez, this sleepyhead. She
was this resolute before, but now she is about to fall asleep,” Laien smiled helplessly,
keeping those thoughts to himself.
through the quiet streets, arriving at the gates of the Red Dragon School after
a short while. The gate at the guard looked at them briefly, appearing to be
really tired. He opened the gate wordlessly, letting the two siblings enter.
the first time at the Red Dragon School for Laien, however, it for Siana it was.
She kept looking around, amazed that a ‘simple’ Martial School could take up so
much space. Going by the size, the grounds of the Red Dragon School were even
larger than the whole estate of the Valius family.
“A young master
of this school is your friend, big brother? It’s amazing! You think he will
agree to let me join it?” she asked, clearly excited by the prospect. Laien
only smiled, telling her that he would ask. To be honest, he was pretty sure
that Cran would agree to help Siana enroll, but he was worried about something
else. The disciples of the Red Dragon School would learn that Siana was his
younger sister soon and least to be said, his relation with many of them wasn’t
looking too good.
would bump into them in the city, quite a few of those disciples would try to bully
him ‘because his eyes were looking down on them’, or something like that. True,
he didn’t think that they were nice people after seeing them behave all rowdy
at the bazaar, but he never even commented on what they were doing. Yet
somehow, they still tried to pick on him…
those times, after bringing him to ‘teach him about the true martial
practitioners’ in an alley close to their school, they a group of them had been
beaten up by him. By coincidence, Cran had seen the whole thing and for some
reason decided to help him out. Those disciples were forced to keep quiet about
what happened and were told not to attack Laien ever again. A similar informal
order had been issued by Cran throughout the ranks of young disciples of his
grudges wouldn’t be forgotten easily. Especially when one was young and
haughty, it would be hard for him to let go of the past. Letting his little
sister attend the same school as those people? Laien doubted whether it was such
a good idea, but Siana would probably know how to take care of herself… he
could lend a hand, too… “Aaah, I feel like I’m leaving too many problems for ‘later’
those past days,” Laien shook his head, deciding to go with the flow of events,
at least for now.
walking for a while, Laien and Siana entered the main hall of the outer section
of the Red Dragon School, scoping well over ten thousand square meters and
being totally devoid of any objects. From the looks of it, the very large hall
was a devoted to being a gathering spot and not much else. The many disciples
of various ages within the main hall were leisurely chatting with each other
without any sense of urgency. The morning would after all be one of the rare
times when they could socialize without being exhausted from the day-long
training. It became somewhat of a tradition for everyone to gather and chat in
the main hall, at least for the outer disciples.
arrival didn’t attract any special attention, Laien and Siana walked to the
side and leaned against one of the wooden walls of the main hall and proceeded
to quietly wait for Cran to show up. Given how prestigious the Red Dragon School
was within the Sarkcente Kingdom, they felt rather nervous and didn’t want to
cause any unnecessary trouble.
against the wall, Siana returned to her usual state. She concealed her
emotions, stuffing them deep inside. She didn’t do it consciously, it was her
natural behavior. Being with Laien, lately maybe even with Laien’s friends, she
could be herself. However, for some reason she didn’t like to socialize with
people she didn’t know and she wasn’t interested in getting to know them,
either. All of that resulted in her ice-princess act and inability to make
friends by herself.
there. It’s that brat, you know which one, the disciple of that crazy old fart.
What is he doing here?” one male disciple whispered to his friends. He appeared
to be around fifteen or sixteen years old and more importantly, he had heard
from his younger cousin that a kid called Laien used his relationship with
young master Cran and had beaten him up for no reason. If he remembered
correctly, it should have happened around a year ago.
one who bullied our younger disciples? He even dares to show up in our school
and stay in the open. Even if he is a friend of the young master, how can we
tolerate this disgrace?” another male disciple commented, displeased by Laien’s
presence in their school.
bring his girlfriend with him? Heh, let’s teach him a lesson. He can’t be
allowed to look down on our Red Dragon School,” someone else suggested, eager
to relieve some of his pent up stress. He and his friends were all fairly
senior disciples among the outer sect, they have all reached the fifth Mortal
Realm and would soon be promoted to the inner sect. With their position within
the school being fairly secure, they had no qualms about bullying one brat a
little bit. As long as they didn’t go too far, the young master wouldn’t be
able to punish them in any way.
it wasn’t like Cran had such a large degree of influence within the school. He
was a core disciple and the son of the co-founder of the Red Dragon School, but
three years ago, after having been refused apprenticeship by the founder, his
uncle, he had lost a fair amount of his personal power. Or at the very least,
it was how it felt to those in the outer sect, who saw Cran grow more level-headed
and not as prone to stir up trouble throughout the last three years.
“Aaah, as I
thought, problems are coming, huh…” Laien rolled his eyes, closing them
beforehand so no one would notice. He spotted the four teenage disciples
walking towards him and Siana through the hall quite early, as they were being
so apparent about their intentions that a scene was already being caused. The
six hundred disciples were intrigued by what was going on, so even before the
four reached Laien and Siana, they already became the center of attention.
You aren’t one of our disciples. What are you doing here?” the short-haired
youth spoke up in a loud voice. He obviously intended to make a spectacle out
of the whole thing.
I don’t think he knows that only our disciples are allowed here,” the tallest of
the four commented sarcastically and laughed at his own words.
“How can he
not know, first brother? Look, even after we explained it to him, he is still
standing there with his girl, ignoring us and all,” the short-haired youth
added, stepping closer to the two siblings.
like rolling his eyes again. With these four surrounding them, even if they
wanted they wouldn’t be able to walk away. He wanted to rebuke them, but…
bothering us,” everyone fell silent as Siana’s loud voice echoed unnaturally
thought the hall. No one expected the
very young girl to speak up so loudly and yet, so indifferently and
briefly at the four youths, then sighed quietly and no longer paid them any
attention, her expression and body language saying ‘you are not worthy of my
smiled helplessly, wondering what would happen if his little sister behaved so
rudely in front of someone too strong or influential for him to handle. He
noted to himself that they would need to talk about it later, as to avoid a
disaster from happening one day.
brother’ snapped out of the shock before anyone else. He closed onto Siana with
an annoyed expression, only to be blocked by Laien who stepped in between
“Out of my
way!” the short-tempered youth shouted, lifting his hand with the intention of
slapping Laien in the face with an open palm. It might have not seemed as much,
but given how strong a martial practitioner of the fifth rank could be, a
simply palm like that would be more than enough to heavily wound any normal ten
year old kid.
smirked, preparing to use his magic, but at that very moment, an angry,
Qi-amplified yell resounded throughout the main hall.
do it If I were you!”
painfully loud shout made many disciples cover their ears. Everyone turned to
look who the one shouting was and seeing that it was none other than Cran, they
hurriedly made a way for him to pass though.
lucky you stopped. It could have been quite dangerous,” Cran said with a laugh,
gesturing the four to move away from his guests.
short-haired youth was unable to cool down quickly enough, so he brought up
angrily. “Young master, no matter how close friends you are with this person,
you shouldn’t threaten your fellow disciples!” he ended up raising his voice,
once again making the hall go completely silent.
snickered, shaking his head. “I didn’t mean in this way. What I was saying, is
that ‘this person’ is strong enough to have killed you be an accident. You
know, magic is not as accurate as our martial arts.” Cran said carefreely,
walking past the four teenagers and exchanging a shake of hand with Laien. He
gave Siana a curious look, then gestured the two siblings to follow him.
everyone confused, the three of them left to the main hall of the outer
section. Dumbfounded, the short-haired youth laughed nervously and asked aloud.
“He was just joking, right? I mean, a kid like that…” he chuckled awkwardly,
hoping that Cran had been making fun of him.
that’s why young master favors him so much. It would make sense… He never got
friendly with any of us, but he made friends with a kid who wasn’t even a part
of our school,” someone guessed aloud. Some agreed with them, while others
weren’t convinced. Regardless, they would sooner or later learn the truth.
about this welcome, our disciples tend to have rough tempers,” Cran said
apologetically, leading Laien and Siana through a dark corridor that gave off
an old, ancient feeling. “Anyway, why did you bring your sister along?” he
asked afterwards, looking like he wanted to say something else, but decided not
she wanted to learn martial arts and tagged along. Do you think it would be
possible to enroll her in your school?” Laien went straight to the matter, throwing
Cran off a little bit.
Cran took a
deep breath, then eyed Siana and responded seriously. “From the looks of it, she
has never trained before, eh? It might make things easier, though. If her
talent is good enough, I can ask one of our Elders to take her in as his
disciple. She would receive high quality training from the scratch, however,
she will need to devote herself to our school if she wants to learn our Red
Dragon Arts. Although, that’s going to be a few years in the future, when she
reached the peak of the fifth Mortal Realm, so that’s not a worry for today,”
Cran finished and gave Laien a look saying ‘how about that’. He offered them the very best conditions, under the
requirement of Siana having a high enough potential.
hide how surprised he was, causing Cran to smiled happily, pleased to see an
don’t mind this little help from me. You can just do me a favor in the future,”
Cran assured Laien and tousled his hair, just like an elder brother would. But
why did he? Laien could only wonder. Was Cran really looking forward to
becoming friends with him for the sake of future?
“How am I
ever going to repay all of that?” Laien asked with a laugh, then glanced at his
little sister. Despite her seemingly emotionless expression, he could tell that
she was pretty appealed by this proposition of Cran’s.
sparring with me, to make a good beginning? I will be leaving exactly in three
weeks. We won’t have many chances left to fight, unfortunately.” Cran sighed,
leading Laien and Siana to the small private training ground located at the
inner sections of the school. He unsheathed his longsword and walked to the
middle of the ground, inviting Laien to come over.
always wondered, why did you help me back then, when I got into a fight with
those disciples from your school? And asked only to spar with you in exchange?”
Laien inquired, interested in finding out the exact reason. At the same time,
he pulled his short sword out, then roused the Qi in his body. As he was yet to
learn a Qi Manipulating Art, that was the extent of the preparations he could
do before sparring, at least as far as martial aspect of his abilities went.
herself on the wooden terrace, observing Laien and Cran while wondering why boys
always seemed to enjoy sparring and fighting so much. Wasn’t that only training
to get stronger? What was so fun in doing that? She didn’t understand at all.
now that we are getting along a bit better, I can tell you. You probably aren’t
aware of it, but you release an incredibly powerful killing intent when you
fight for real. How come it’s like that, I have no idea! Come on!” Impatient to
start, Cran started attacking Laien with fast, light slashes and ended up
raising his voice out of excitement. However, he didn’t forget to properly
adjust himself to Laien’s level, as to not overpower him instantly.
intent?” Laien asked, blocking Cran’s attacks half-consciously. After training
under Master Shire for so long, this level of swordplay was like a child’s play
for him. Moreover, Cran was going easy on him, too. How could he possibly be
pressured in this situation? “Even if I do release some kind of killing intent,
what kind of benefit is that to you?” Laien inquired further, not quite
understanding Cran’s reasoning. Was getting used to killing intent so important
to a martial practitioner? Couldn’t he just request to fight with one of the
strong Elders from his school, or with his father?
Shire taught you to fight well, but he didn’t even explain something so basic?
He must have felt your killing intent too, just like I did. Hah, then, let me
explain!” Cran slowly added more variety to his attacks, not only slashing
simply from the sides, but also attacking Laien’s legs, stabbing, or aiming at
his forearms with quickly slashes right after their blades crossed. As they
were warming up, he continued the explanation.
the three Primary Arts that are essential to any martial practitioners, there
exists something called ‘battle sense’! It’s an ability one can usually awaken
and sharpen only after entering the Realm of Heroes! Yet, thanks to your
ridiculously strong killing intent and a bit of luck, I awakened it! Then, I
sharpened it through training and sparring with you!” Cran was becoming more
and more excited as he talked, his attack becoming more vicious without him
noticing. He was so happy for himself, that he starting to forget to hold back.
A slight thread of blood-red Qi suddenly enveloped Cran’s longsword…
noticing that… no, rather sensing it, reacted intuitively. He disregarded any
common logic and poured his spiritual energy into his short sword, then allowed
the blades to clash.
blood-red Qi and the deep-blue spiritual energy collided, resulting in a very
peculiar interaction. Firstly, Laien’s short sword shattered into pieces,
unable to withstand a serious blow from Cran, who after all, was a powerful
martial practitioner! A very loud sound of metal shattering resounded within
the training grounds, reaching even the far away inner quarters of the Red
Dragon School. From the point of impact, a surge of wind exploded outwards with
considerable force, rising up some sand and sending it all around.
As for the
second thing that happened… it wasn’t yet too obvious to anyone but Cran.
Siana stood up and ran to Laien’s side, but quickly calmed down, seeing that
her big brother was all right, just a little shaky. His short sword broke into
many pieces, he was thrown backwards by the force and fell on his butt, but all
in all, he didn’t seem to be wounded.
Heavens, what was that? My head is spinning and I am about to lose it… Urgh…”
Cran put a hand to his mouth, trying to stop himself from vomiting. He managed
to hold it in, however, after forcefully swallowing everything back, his
expression turned quite ugly. Compared to Laien, his weapon was in a perfect
state, but his condition itself was quite a bit worse off.
blame me, it was you who recklessly used your Qi to attack. How was I supposed
to defend? Aah, my ears are still ringing. At least you didn’t break my hand, I
think. It’s numb all over… I will need a new sword, though, heh…” Laien
commented resignedly, shaking his head. Cran had never before gotten so fired
up during any of their sparrings. He shouldn’t have been a reckless person like
that, but today, he really went overboard.
already at the eighth mortal realm, hold back a little, for my sake, would
you?” Laien added with a sigh, causing Cran to frown and wonder in confusion. Had
he ever told anyone about his recent advancement from seventh to eighth mortal
realm? Even his father didn’t know, so apart from Elders who could have
directly inspected his cultivation base with their battle sense, no one should
“How do you
know that I am at the eighth Mortal Realm? And how did you react in time,
anyway? Don’t tell me you awakened a battle sense of your own?” Cran asked with
disbelief. If Laien really have had awakened his battle sense at the age of
ten, that would be way too ridiculous. Wasn’t he only at the third Mortal Realm
as a martial practitioner, anyway? It shouldn’t be possible by any means…!
kind of felt when you used your Qi, I knew how strong it was and where you
applied it. I ‘saw’ how you pulled it out from your Qi Origin... Is that what
this ‘battle sense’ does?” Laien explained, as curious as Cran about the
answer. He smiled when Siana sat at his side and leaned against him. She seemed
to be a bit sleepy… It really was too early of an hour for her, who liked to
not how it should work. For me, it’s closer to an ‘instinct’. Apart from
feeling killing intent, I can tell if someone has bad intentions, or I can
predict their movements in a fight really well just by looking. I can sense the
presence of Qi or spiritual energy, but nothing close to what you described. I
can’t even tell how strong your spiritual cultivation is. Maybe what you have
is the spiritual sense of a Magus at the Realm of Heroes? I am not too clear
about that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you had it,” Cran mused aloud, colors
already returning to his face. He stretched, then gave Laien an expectant look.
would be nice if I had a spiritual sense. About our spar, do we continue?”
Laien asked, smiling happily. His arm was better already, he would have no
problems if they were to keep fighting.
want to continue?!” Siana called out in disbelief. Boys… they were so stupid!
Laien laughed, amused by Siana’s reaction. They exchanged a short look, after
what Cran spoke up. “We might later, but we should get your brother a new sword
to begin with. Let’s go to the Elders Hall. We can ask for a good sword for you
there and test your sister’s aptitude, too.” Cran extended his hand, intending
to help Laien stand up. Laien chuckled and helped himself up, still feeling
somewhat strange about being this familiar with Cran. Yet somehow, it did not
feel too bad at all.
still there, you know?” Siana pouted, seeing the boys get all mushy with each
other. However, all she achieved was making Laien and Cran to exchange a glance
and burst out laughing.
it took them quite some time to apologize to Siana and to make her stop
three of them arrived at the Elders hall, they saw two old men sitting at the
table besides a fireplace and chatting with each other.
Elder Hauman. Greetings, Elder Bumne,” Cran called out, gesturing at Laien and
Siana to come closer. The two siblings bowed respectfully, then repeated the
have you brought us, Cran? Was this noise from before perhaps created by you
and them?” Elder Hauman stood up, appraising the two youths with his
experienced gaze. Elder Bumne remained seated, showing less interest in Cran’s
is my dear friend, the turmoil you heard was caused by our little sparring. I
brought him here to look for a new weapon for him, as we broke his old one,” Cran
explained with a smile, omitting the less important details. He was quite sure
that Elder Hauman wasn’t interested in hearing the whole story, anyway.
table, Elder Bumne raised an eyebrow and gave Cran a questioning look. To give
a precious weapon from the core sect’s resources to an outsider, Cran must have
valued this boy quite highly. Regrettably, Cran was authorized to do so, so he
couldn’t voice any complaints over the idea.
Laien, pleased to meet you, Elder Hauman,” Laien bowed yet again after Cran
introduced him, this time a bit more lightly.
good, good. You know how to respect your elders. Go ahead, find something you
like, boy. Since young master took a liking to you, you are our Red Dragon School’s
friend.” Nodding to himself, Elder Hauman turned his head to look at Siana,
then gazed at Cran expectantly.
is Siana. Laien’s little sister, eight years old. She never practiced martial
arts before. Elder Hauman, I know you are busy, but would you be willing to
take her as a disciple if her talent proves good enough? Please hear to this
request of mine,” Cran actually bowed his head, putting Elder Hauman in a hard
spot. Siana followed Cran’s example and bowed, too.
don’t have time to raise another disciple now, Cran. Why don’t you ask Elder
Bumne here? He has always been good at handling young ones, although he tends
to be a bit cold towards them,” Elder Hauman refused tacitly, throwing the
responsibility for granting Cran’s request onto his friend.
frowned, but unable to refuse directly, he said in a low, rather displeased
voice. “Only if her talent proves to be good enough. Follow me, we will test
her immediately.” Despite what he was saying, Elder Bumne already decided to flat
out refuse this request. He wasn’t about to start doing favors for Cran, as
their relationship had never been too close. Dealing with a disciple who never
trained before… it was too much work!
Not even a
minute later, they arrived in a medium-sized room inside which only one thing
was being displayed. Precisely, an impressive looking longsword hung from the
walk in front of the entrance, sheathed in a scabbard in the shape of a dragon.
The ancient weapon emanated a menacing aura, making it apparent that it was a
very precious artifact of the Red Dragon School.
took the sword in his hand and held it right in front of Siana. “Unsheathe it,
concentrate your will on the blade and swing with all your might,” he explained
almost mechanically, very used to testing new students applying to become Core
Disciples in this manner. The ‘Red Dragon Sword’ would resonate with a person’s
Qi Origin and according to one’s potential, would react in a different way. The
better one’s aptitude for martial arts was, the stronger the reaction would be.
There were other ways to measure one’s talent, obviously, but this method was
the easiest and quickest out of all of them.
explaining what to do, Elder Bumne even said the phrase ‘concentrate your will’
only as a part of his usual sentence and didn’t bother to give Siana a detailed
explanation. In his eyes, an eight years old girl who never practiced martial arts
would have no idea what ‘focusing one’s will’ truly meant anyway, so he
couldn’t be bothered to be wasting his breath.
a long look at the sheathed longsword, not noticing that Elder Bumne was
growing impatient, neither paying attention to Laien and Cran who were getting
worried. She focused, trying to hear this very quiet, distant voice… Finally,
she unconsciously reached out with her hand and grabbed the heavy longsword.
Her gaze appearing to be absent as she unsheathed the silvery blade of the Red
Dragon Sword. She grabbed the hilt with both hands, allowing the blood red
scabbard to fall to the ground to Elder Bumne’s fury. However, before the man
had a chance to voice his anger, she took a swing above her head and slashed
the Heaven-piercing roar of a Dragon resounded in the room and enveloped the
whole Red Dragon School, frightening the tens of thousands of outer, inner and
core disciples. Even the few Elders present within the grounds jumped up as the
mighty roar reached their ears. They all knew… that the second Red Dragon Sword
has just chosen its master!
Elder Bumne, shocked out of his mind, stared at the completely shattered
section of three consecutive walls, each bearing the marks of five claws of a
Dragon. He blinked, his mouth opening and closing repeatedly. He looked at the
little girl who stood there as if mesmerized, holding the ancient longsword
from which surged a powerful blood-red aura.
energy engulfed Siana’s body for a second, then retracted to the sword itself.
As it did, Siana fell to her knees and sat on the floor, breathing heavily.
and Cran were speechless, completely flabbergasted. However, Laien laughed
quietly and said with a wide smile.
Gentlemanly Gentleman said: aren't Siana and Laien blood siblings??
aren't Siana and Laien blood siblings??
Sitrix said: Gentlemanly Gentleman said: aren't Siana and Laien blood siblings??
We're thinking the same thing.
But who cares?! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:・ﾟ✧
Caladbolg said:Hahahaha... Stay open-minded. That's all i will say, to not spoil, hehe... :PThank you for commenting! ^.^
Hahahaha... Stay open-minded. That's all i will say, to not spoil, hehe... :PThank you for commenting! ^.^