Legends of Gods. Tale of Vjaira. (B3.Ch98 up!) (REWRITE FINISHED, YAY!)

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Comments

  • Thanks a lot co the chapter! And your not a native english speaker??!! :O I feel so ashamed.. :( Anyways I would have never known if you hadn't told me. Your story is so well written. Keep up the wonderful work!
  • what are the key points of the plot? could you put genre markers at the top of your original post? :S
  • edited July 2015

    what are the key points of the plot? could you put genre markers at the top of your original post? :S

    Yeah, why not, can add genres. :)

    As for key points, duh. If you read, you will know ~~

    @ GG - Hehe, thanks for praise ^.^
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited July 2016

    Book 1. Knowing Oneself. Chapter 5. Their Voices.

     

    With each passing second Laien’s ability to think dwindled, his mind slowly melting under the barrage of extreme emotions. Yet, at the same time as Laien suffered, he learned, or rather he was being taught at first hand with, or against his will. He wasn’t aware of it, but bits and pieces of knowledge found their place in his mind, in his struggling soul.

     

    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.

     

    ‘He’ 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’ arms.

     

    The youth’s 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 right now.

     

    Momentarily, ‘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!

     

    “What I’m 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.

     

    ‘He’ 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.

     

    The people 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’.

     

    As ‘he’ 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!

     

    For 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.

     

    “’He’ can 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…!

     

    ‘He’ looked 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...!

     

    Laien once 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!

     

    At the 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…

     

    Laien 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?

     

    Laien’s 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!

     

    Finding 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.

     

    ‘He’ looked 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.

     

    The next moment, the vision began turning more indistinct by the second. Laien smiled, knowing that he had succeeded and was waking up.

     

    ---

     

    When he 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.

     

    “Damn those scary dreams,” he said with a resigned laugh, startling both Siana and Rune.

     

    “Big 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.

     

    Suddenly, 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.

     

    “It’s okay, 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?”

     

    Laien 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.

     

    Getting a 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 her face.

     

    “You don’t 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.

     

    After the 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 pillow.

     

    ---

     

    Laien woke 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…!

     

    He quietly 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 regret that…

     

    Laien shook 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.

     

    Getting 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…

     

    “Waaah!” 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.

     

    “Mm, hello, 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 weather.

     

    “Yeah, let’s go. Want to go somewhere specific?” Laien asked, getting out of the bed and stretching his body.

     

    “Yeah, to 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 morning.

     

    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.

     

    In the 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.

     

    “Can you stop making noises?” Siana complained and grabbed one of the pillows, then threw it in the rough direction of the two boys.

     

    Laien and 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.

     

    “I can’t 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.

     

    “Either 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 contentedly.

     

    “I wonder 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.

     

    From the 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.

     

    The matter 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 complicated.

     

    After 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.

     

    From 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 this kind.

     

    Yet, even 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.

     

    “After I 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.

     

    After a 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.

     

    “Big brother, what are you thinking about?” Rune asked, seeing as Laien had been lost in his thoughts for quite a while now.

     

    “Nothing 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.

     

    Rune looked at him brimming with a smile.

     

    “You should 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.

     

    “Mm,” Rune 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.

     

    When they 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.

     

    “Huuu, Lord 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.

     

    Picking one 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 breakfast.

     

    “Scrambled 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.

     

    “I’ll take 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.

     

    After 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.

     

    Despite 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.

     

    It appeared 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.

     

    “Wow, war 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 horse.

     

    From what 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.

     

    “It looks 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 freedom.

     

    “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.

     

    “Get away 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.

     

    Laien smirked, 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 muscle.

     

    With 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.

     

    Laien 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.

     

    “You can 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.

     

    “Take good 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.

     

    Surprised 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 foreign-looking man?

     

    As Laien 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.

     

    “That was 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.

     

    “I will explain later. For now, do you to name him?” Laien asked wryly, knowing that Rune would be happy to do so.

     

    “I can? 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.

     

    “It fits 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.

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  • Thanks for the chapter! I like it..a lot like a lot alot. Your story is great. I just hope you continue your hard work! But don't tire/over work yourself! Don't want any harm coming to ya!
  • An easy way to avoid simple mistakes like writing "I" in a smaller case, or the above mentioned a/an etc... is to just copy/paste your text in Word. It will underline and help you fix easy mistakes like these.

    In a nutshell - "a" is used when the word that follows have consonant sound and "an" is used when the word that follows is with a vowel sound.
    Note I'm saying "sound". Meaning it doesn't matter with what letter the word starts, but how it's pronounced. Good example is the word "hour". Although it starts with a consonant (h letter) it's actually read as "ou-er"("aʊ ər") meaning it actually is a vowel sound. So it will go like this "I'll meet you in AN hour".
    Here is a link explaining which letters are consonants and which are vowels - https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vowel

    "The" is even easier. It's used to specify. For example - have you read "a" novel. Means have you read any novel. While if you write have you read "the" novel. It means have you read a specific novel.

    Btw what I've written is kinda rough explanation, so it's better if you just check some sites that explain in detail with better examples, but overall these are fairly easy to learn. 
    Also as I said actually "word" can help you correct these simple mistakes, so it might not even be needed.

    I myself am not a native speaker, so take everything a say with a pinch of salt, cause to be honest I never really bothered learning "the" English grammar. 
  • edited July 2015
    @Xingbairong - Yeah i know how those are supposed to be used. My problem is 'feeling' the exact moment when i need or don't need to write 'the' or 'a/an'. In my native language, those things don't exist at all in any form. Even if i translate this into Polish (yup i am from Poland), in most cases, phrase will be exactly the same wether there is 'the' or 'a', or if it's not there at all, heh.

    Thank you for your effort to explain a bit of this to me - don't worry, i did 'google' it and try to remind myself those basic rules after Wytchlord pointed it out :P

    Wytchlord offered to help with proofreading. For now, up to the end of book 1, i will try to learn myself to use english on my desired level, hehe. As Wytchlord said, mistakes will happen anyways. If i am too stupid and still do many mistakes, only then will i go with regular proofreading done by other person. :)

    On the side note, i do write it in the 'Word', and it doesn't tell you when to use 'the' or 'a', it won't highlight if i casually forget to place it before some word ^.^

    PS: Thank you for commenting! Tell me something about how you feel about the stroy, too, not only grammar, don't make me depressed T.T

    @GG - don't worry about me. I promise to keep writing no matter what happens ^.^ Comments like yours truly do give me 'happines' and 'satisfaction' and 'motivation' to write more, hehe.
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited July 2015
    First milestone achieved! Hehehe.

    Yaaaaaay!!! Thank you all for 1 000 views! I am so happy ^.^ Thanks for reading and please continue to do so! Also, comment more! Even simple few words about your thoughts on chapters mean a lot to me, like, a lot more than you can imagine :D

    Next goal will be 5 000! ^.^ I promise to do bonus chapter this saturday to celebrate first 1k ^.^ Even though i am going to be super tired xD So, you'll be geting chapters three days in the row! Friday, Saturday, Sunday! :)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • 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 ^_^.
  • edited July 2015
    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... :D 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! :)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • 1000?! Woohoo!! More chapters! Now that's something to celebrate about! Thanks for all the hard work and thought you give to help us hungry readers! But if ya do get sleepy make sure to sleep dude. I don't care if it's late. It's the thought (and chapter) that counts! Better late then never am I right?
  • edited July 2015
    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... :D 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! :)
    Fair enough xD (Wow, the spelling errors in your reply hahaha xD)

    Looking forward to the next chapter :D
  • @Sitrix Come on, stop picking on me U.u ~~ You cruel man ~~ I am after tiring day, cut me some slack! I promise to do better in an actual chapter xD ('Word' thank you, hehe)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited July 2016

    Book 1. Knowing Oneself. Chapter 6. Garon’s Demand.

     

    “Ooh, I see the young master has finally decided to get himself a proper steed. Good, good!” the man who appeared to be in his late forties called out and waved his hand. He had welcomed Laien and his friends to come and borrow some of the horses many times before, so he was pretty well acquainted with them; especially with Laien who often come by for a chat.

     

    “Good day, 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 services.

     

    “Haha, you 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.

     

    It was 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.

     

    William 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.

     

    “Bellicose.” Laien answered briefly, wondering what the heck William was doing, petting his horse all over his body

     

    “Whoa,” 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.

     

    Laien laughed, amused by this development. He stroked Bellicose’s neck affectionately, happy to see that his new steed liked him that much.

     

    “Boy, you 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.

     

    “Anyway, let’s 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.

     

    As the three of them were walking, Laien briefly explained the story from the bazaar. Soon after he finished, they arrived by the vast grassland.

     

    “Haha, I 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.

     

    “You 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.

     

    “Mmm, we 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.

     

    “Well, let’s 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.

     

    “That’s 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 idea.

     

    “Hah, get 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.

     

    “Mm, will 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.

     

    “Of course!” Rune called out and also made a jump, seating himself behind Laien.

     

    “Let me 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.

     

    “It’s fine, 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. 

     

    “Then, see you later,” Laien said while scratching his head as they approached the entrance to the main building.

     

    “Mm, later,” Rune replied with a smile, then hurried back home for a very late dinner.

     

    Taking a 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.

     

    “Clan 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.

     

    Laien 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.

     

    “Here you 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.

     

    “I don’t,” 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.

     

    “Okay. So, 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.

     

    “I’m not 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 beforehand, though.

     

    “Then 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.

     

    For Laien, 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.

     

    “The Brunt 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.

     

    “On the 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.

     

    Laien 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.

     

    “Your friend, 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.

     

    Laien 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 gore.

     

    Trying to 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.

     

    “With all 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?

     

    “Hmm?” Laien raised his eyebrows, noticing that Garon’s killing intent just went and disappeared. Had he perhaps hit the nail on the head?

     

    “Hmph, you 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.

     

    “Lord Garon, 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.

     

    “It would 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.

     

    Laien 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.”

     

    Garon 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.

     

    “Heavens, 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.

     

    “You are 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.

     

    Weighing 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 gratitude.”

     

    Garon 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.

     

    “I am,” 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 shape.

     

    “Anyway,” 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?

     

    “No, unless 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.

     

    “That can 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.

     

    “Will that 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.

     

    “Yes, you 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.

     

    Laien stood 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.

     

    As for 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.

     

    ---

     

    Laien woke 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!

     

    “Big brother, 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!

     

    “Come on big brother, stop making fun of me! Dress up, we are going!” Siana raised her voice, angry that Laien wasn’t taking her seriously.

     

    Laien, completely and positively amazed, could only do as his little sister said. He quickly went to look for some proper clothes, intending to leave before Siana could change her mind.

    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Thanks for the chapter! I enjoyed it, excited for the next one!
  • Damn...I'm usually first to say thanks....Anyway...Thank you for the chapter! (Even if it's barely in time lol) I appreciate all the hard work dude.
  • I am happy to see people commenting and reading them, so we are even, hehe.

    Yeah, basically, to create a chapter i am fully satisfied with, it takes me around 10 hours. It's not like i just sit and write for full 10h, but i spend this amount of time writing, correcting, rewriting, getting new ideas for a scenes... It's surprisingly a lot of work, lol.
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Thank you for the chapter Caladbolg! I've seen you post on CD so I was surprised to you writing here. I think so far you have great character development and I hope Laien and Genzie don't become enemies!
    Anyways, keep up the good work and I can't wait until the next chapter.
  • @lecourrielxiii Hehe, yup, i did post on CD frequently ^.^ Lately a bit less, though. :)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • I kind of really like Garon xD
    I 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?
  • Wytchlord said:

    I kind of really like Garon xD
    I 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?

    It may be because of my inexperience in writing, but i am pretty sure Garon mentioned that Laien and Siana will be going to different schools ;)

    Hm, with Bellicose, rather than liking, it would be more correct to say that he simply submitted to Laien. Like animals do in our world, too. Be it to their leader when they live freely, or be it a dog, or a horse who obeys a human.


    Author Note: As i mentioned, i will be releasing a bonus chapter today. As i think i mentioned, it will be a bit later in the night compared to a normal release time. I could get it done faster, but i wouldn't be satisfied with it if i hurried when writing. :)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited July 2016

    Book 1. Knowing Oneself. Chapter 7. Red Dragon School.

     

    “How come you want to start training your body all of a sudden, Siana? You never wanted to train with me, no matter how I asked,” Laien inquired, looking for something good to wear in the wardrobe. He only had clothes fit for playing and training, but this time he needed to put on something presentable enough. He didn’t want to embarrass himself after Cran invited him to come, even more so now that Siana was tagging along.

     

    “It’s just… 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.

     

    “Big brother, 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.

     

    Laien started 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.

     

    Siana backed 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.

     

    “What are 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…

     

    “Whoa!” 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.

     

    Siana, 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.

     

    Laien 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.

     

    Siana kept 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.

     

    Laien 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~”

     

    Siana muffled 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 tomorrow…

     

    “Hey, we 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.

     

    ---

     

    They walked 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.

     

    It wasn’t 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.

     

    When he 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…

     

    One of 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 school, too.

     

    However, 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.

     

    After 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.

     

    As their 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.

     

    Leaning 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.

     

    “Hey, look 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.

     

    “That’s the 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.

     

    “Did he 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.

     

    Either 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.

     

    “Oi, brat. 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.

     

    “Third brother, 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.

     

    Laien felt 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…

     

    “Stop 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 disdainfully.

     

    Siana gazed 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 time’.

     

    Laien 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.

     

    The ‘third 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 immediately.

     

    “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.

     

    Laien smirked, preparing to use his magic, but at that very moment, an angry, Qi-amplified yell resounded throughout the main hall.

     

    “I wouldn’t do it If I were you!”

     

    The 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.

     

    “You are lucky you stopped. It could have been quite dangerous,” Cran said with a laugh, gesturing the four to move away from his guests.

     

    The 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.

     

    Cran 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.

     

    Leaving 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.

     

    “Maybe 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.

     

    ---

     

    “I’m sorry 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 to.

     

    “She said 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.

     

    Laien didn’t hide how surprised he was, causing Cran to smiled happily, pleased to see an honest reaction.

     

    “Haha, 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.

     

    “How about 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.

     

    “I’ve 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.

     

    Siana seated 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.

     

    “Why? Hah, 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.

     

    “Killing 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?

     

    “Ha, Master 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.

     

    “Apart from 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…

     

    Laien, 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.

     

    The 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.

     

    “Big brother!” 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.

     

    “Good 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.

     

    “Don’t 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.

     

    “You are 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 have known.

     

    “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…!

     

    “Dunno. I 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 sleep in.

     

    “No… That’s 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.

     

    “Haha, that 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.

     

    “You still want to continue?!” Siana called out in disbelief. Boys… they were so stupid!

     

    Cran and 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.

     

    “Hey, I’m 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.

     

    Afterwards, it took them quite some time to apologize to Siana and to make her stop sulking.

     

    ---

     

    When the 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.

     

    “Greetings, Elder Hauman. Greetings, Elder Bumne,” Cran called out, gesturing at Laien and Siana to come closer. The two siblings bowed respectfully, then repeated the formal greetings.

     

    “Ho, who 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 arrival.

     

    “This boy 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.

     

    At the 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.

     

    “I am Laien, pleased to meet you, Elder Hauman,” Laien bowed yet again after Cran introduced him, this time a bit more lightly.

     

    “Hmmm, 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.

     

    “This girl 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.

     

    “I truly 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.

     

    Elder Bumne 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.

     

    Elder Bumne 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.

     

    When 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.

     

    Siana took 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 down.

     

    Instantly, 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!

    Meanwhile, 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.

     

    The crimson 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.

     

    Elder Bumne and Cran were speechless, completely flabbergasted. However, Laien laughed quietly and said with a wide smile.

     

    “Amazing.”


    This chapter was proofread by Ains! Big thanks to him!
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited August 2015
    Thanks for the chapter! Enjoyed it once again, can't wait for the next one!

    And, um................................................................wincest? xD
  • Haha haha! Siana showed them! And wait..unless I'm kinda dumb and forgot aren't Siana and Laien blood siblings?? O_O I mean.... *cough* Anyway! Curse you for this horrible cliffhanger!!

  •  aren't Siana and Laien blood siblings??

    We're thinking the same thing.

    But who cares?! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

  • edited August 2015
    Sitrix said:


     aren't Siana and Laien blood siblings??

    We're thinking the same thing.

    But who cares?! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧




    Hehe.. I'm not against it or anything buuut... It's still kinda weird xD But you know what they say? Having sex with siblings makes your child "special"! Wait what? They don't say that? Oooh!! So it's incest is wincest? Huh..not bad..
  • Hahahaha... Stay open-minded. That's all i will say, to not spoil, hehe... :P

    Thank you for commenting! ^.^
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Caladbolg said:

    Hahahaha... Stay open-minded. That's all i will say, to not spoil, hehe... :P

    Thank you for commenting! ^.^




    ......Well... It's confirmed I suppose?
  • No comment Mr.Redactor! Keep reading, then you will see how things develop ~~
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited August 2015
    First off, here are two typos, just use the search function on page 2 of the thread:

    truly at pace -> peace
    It will take some time to lean about an Essences -> learn

    There might be more, but if there are I missed them. The grammar mistakes I leave them for you to find and rectify cause from what I understand you desire to improve on that front.

    So, on to the main topic, that is the novel. I can testify that the direction you are pursuing in regards to less battles, more plot is good. What you need to make sure that you firmly grasp is the quality over quantity aspect of things. "Action novels" with a huge amount of battles aren't bad per say because of the "lack of plot" development but because how redundant the battles begin to feel when authors never innovate or iterate on how they write those events. Things become repetitive because of the massive quantity and the intrigue is lost. The only other reason readers still love so much the action part of this type of novels is because usually after big action scenes changes occur in the "story world" (ex: people dying, cities destroyed, MC getting new powers to play with, new characters introduced) and this tickles their curiosity, they want to know in what way this changes will affect the world and they psychological link action sequences with "story world" changes.

    It is the same type of thing that occurs when animals are trained with treats, where the animal doesn't enjoy, per say, the task but desires the treat and the only way to get to the treat is by finishing the task. In bad action filled novels or even good ones that get stale the same thing happens with the reader, they desire their treat (plot advancement, "world story" changes, the fulfilment of a long grudge that the MC had) and the only way to get to that treat is by finishing reading the action sequence (or some more intelligent people skip that task and go directly for the treat, wonder who might they be >.>). So psychological, the action battles are associated with this treat and that is why they are so popular even if they become "grindy".

    Would love to discuss this further if you so desire but for now I will leave it at that.

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