“… wait, wait.”
Airn Pareira, who raised his upper body and sat on the bed, shook his head. And then looked around the room.
Stuff scattered here and there as if a storm had passed.
And cats, cats, and more cats moving around staring at him.
‘I didn’t wake up even when so many of them entered my room?’
He wasn’t the type of person who would be sound asleep because of the dream.
Airn, who had a thought, asked, trembling.
Hoping he was wrong, he asked Lulu.
“How long was I asleep…”
“You slept for three full days.”
“Just 3 days”
This dream wasn’t something he had everyday, this was much more special.
So, from the moment he woke up, he was worried.
He wondered if he got sucked into the world of sorcery again, just like it happened 5 years back.
And he thought he would stay there longer.
It was just 3 days, wasn’t this much better than sleeping for a year?
Lulu too, had the same thoughts.
“I was worried! I felt a great sorcery power awaken, so I thought you entered the sorcery world again!”
“Yes. The feeling of power was different but very intense… I really thought that my heart was going to fail.”
The black cat spoke, and the other cats made sounds.
Airn looked at them with a look of ‘What are they?’ and Lulu realized she had forgotten something and clapped her paws.
“Ah, these are my friends, since it has been 4 months, I have a lot more.”
“Yes! I was worried, so I came here, and they followed… Now they need to go. Guys, it is fine now! You can go! I’ll bring you something delicious later!”
The cats nodded as if they understood and jumped out the window.
Startled, Airn looked through the window. His room was on the second floor, and fortunately, no disaster occurred.
The cats, protected by Lulu, were able to land on the ground very safely.
And they disappeared.
“So, nothing happened? Did the dream change this time too?”
With a serious expression, Airn explained his dream to Lulu.
There wasn’t too much to say.
Three days passed in reality, but in the dream, he was just fighting against the old man.
‘A feeling which is difficult to put into words.’
Especially the last one.
The old man who left behind the words that he supports Airn.
The walk which looked like he would never come back.
And the reality he woke up to.
Everyone was worried, including Kuvar, who turned pale, and four more days passed since the special dream.
Airn hadn’t dreamed of the old man again.
It was quite frustrating, but there was nothing he could do.
How could he go after the man who had only appeared in his dreams?
He had no idea.
But just in case, he asked Bratt who was knowledgeable, but Bratt didn’t know either.
‘In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if he was a man from the past or not…’
In the end, all Airn could do was put the doubts about the man in the back of his head and focus on the sword.
First and foremost, the Aura Sword.
The 6 things he had to do to make the best and strongest aura.
Airn did everything in his power to make his own aura.
Of course, on the day of the match and even in his dreams, he was able to succeed with ease, but Aura Swords weren’t always the same.
How much faster could he bring out the aura?
How stable is the aura he can bring out?
How much stronger does it have to be to retain its shape?
From what he heard, even Sword Masters have a difference in skills comparable to heaven and earth when it comes to aura.
And just because he reached the level of Master, it was foolish to depend on the ‘Aura Sword’ alone.
Of course, the Aura Sword was great.
A legendary kind of weapon which could cut through any kind of defense.
However, no matter how excellent a weapon was, if the one holding the Aura Sword is a 7-year-old kid, the power was bound to be halved.
‘In the end, nothing has actually changed.’
Swordsmanship is important, footwork is important.
Psychological warfare and defense and everything, including the tricks he learned from John Drew, were important; the basic concept of aura operation was equally important.
In other words, it was correct to use the Aura sword together with everything else until the Aura Sword is further developed.
Airn came to that conclusion and trained harder as if he still had a championship match.
Kuvar and John Drew would watch it with stiff faces, and Judith continued her intense training with an angry expression.
And Bratt would watch Judith silently.
And like the past, another day passed by.
“Sir John Drew. A guest has come.”
“Yes. However, the guest isn’t for Sir John Drew… but a guest of Mr. Airn Pareira. Miss Ilya Lindsay is here.”
A week after Airn visited Ilya’s mansion.
She finally came.
“Have you been well?”
“…. So so.”
The meeting between the two strongest swordsmen in the Land of Proof was awkward.
Both Airn and Ilya were awkward.
Without making proper eye contact, without speaking anything, the two walked endlessly through the huge garden of John Drew’s again and again.
5 minutes passed.
Airn thought that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
He was the one who started the quarrel and asked for reconciliation.
And Ilya took a step ahead and came to find him.
Then, isn’t it only right for him to take the lead?
But unlike when he went to her mansion, he couldn’t think of any words.
‘Should I ask her to try and get along with me?’
‘Should I ask her…What all happened?’
‘Maybe about her brother… a little bit?’
‘What am I supposed to ask her?’
His head felt like it would explode because of the complicated thoughts.
Fortunately, Ilya spoke first.
“If she is curious about the gift, tell her I’ll give it to her directly.”
He said that. The situation was so awkward that he forgot about it.
But that didn’t mean that the gift wasn’t ready.
He kept the gift in the sorcery space so he could take it out whenever Ilya came to visit him.
The problem was that he wasn’t sure if she would like it.
It was his intention to use the gift as a means to get her to come and meet him, but now that she was here, his heart was trembling.
‘It is fine. Since I wasn’t sure, I have prepared several things.’
Airn nodded and took a deep breath.
Ilya looked at him with curious eyes.
The look on her face made Airn feel even more burdened.
Gulping, he brought out the gifts.
Seeing that, Ilya’s eyes lit up.
The first gift had something engraved on it, the same as the bracelet.
“Ah, yes. Honestly… I didn’t know what you liked… the one I gave you in the past didn’t seem to fit the same anymore, so I, I guess I thought you liked it back then, so giving this as a new gift seemed better.”
“Ah, giving the same thing might be wrong, so I prepared other things too.”
Airn hurriedly spoke gibberish about the gifts.
He talked about a blue sapphire necklace and thought it would suit her well, and said sorry if it looked too huge.
And then about a teddy bear, and said that the music in it which would calm her mind.
A few more things came up, and Ilya, who couldn’t hold back her laughter, ended up laughing.
It was because Airn was still Airn.
‘It doesn’t matter what gift you give.’
Whether she liked it or not.
How precious or expensive it was.
None of that was important.
For her, the person who gave it was Airn Pareira.
The most important thing was that he brought them because he thought about her, and worried for her, and supported her, and that was all she needed to know.
“Uh… do you not like it?”
“No. I like them.”
“Yes. I like them all. Give them here.”
Ilya Lindsay sat down on a bench holding the gifts which could be filled inside a huge basket.
And looking at each one, she put them into the magic bag she had brought with her.
Airn, who watched it, sighed in relief and sat next to her.
And a short time passed.
Ilya, who was sitting, looked ahead and asked.
“I, what should I do?”
“I don’t know what to do now.”
A calm voice.
Like the usual Ilya Lindsay.
But Airn knew. How empty she must be feeling.
Her story continued.
“When I first heard about you, I was angry and annoyed, and I didn’t want to admit the truth… so, I didn’t want to lose, so I trained harder, harder and more harder, wielding my sword… How meaningless that looks now. How empty it left me as I listened to other people and not myself, and acted according to what others said…”
“But, in the end, I knew what I was doing; I just never thought clearly about it. I could… do nothing.”
It was ironic.
To make herself a better person, one needed to realize the past, which was wrong.
And thankfully, she resolved that because of her friend Airn.
However, as soon as she realized the mistakes she had made, Ilya lost her will to move forward.
Even if it was in the wrong direction, a milestone is a milestone.
Now that it completely disappeared, Ilya’s mind was unstable and was no different from a boat drifting in the sea with no direction.
“You said that I used to shine.”
“But I don’t remember anymore. I don’t remember that time.”
“What… should I do? In the future, how should I live?”
Ilya continued to speak.
Unlike the start, now her voice was trembling. According to the intense emotions she wanted to convey.
Her expression was the same as ever, but Airn knew.
Ilya was blocking the wave of emotions because she was scared that she wouldn’t be able to stop crying.
And Airn felt fortunate.
Because he had no idea what to do if she cried.
“I was the same.”
“I told you in your room last time. It was a lot of work for me to get here.”
“… was it?”
“Yes. It was. I don’t mind telling you again.”
Airn looked at Ilya and then looked back at the garden.
And he slowly spoke about his story.
Thanks to Ian, he thought about someone else for the first time.
Thanks to Lulu, he was able to hold the sword with confidence for the first time.
Thanks to the advice from Kuvar, he was able to find a new journey and courage without succumbing to difficulties.
And before all that, there were those precious memories with Judith, Bratt, and Ilya.
“I am probably just like you. I still don’t know which way I should go, so I am lost too, in a sense. And it might take longer to find my way.”
“Still, I can move ahead steadfastly because there are people who believe in me… and I think it might be the same for you.”
Saying that, Airn looked at Ilya.
Ilya too, looked at him. His deep blue eyes shining, which held his sincerity within.
“Because you believed me in the past, I was able to come this far.”
“And now, it is my turn to believe in you. So…”
You too, no…both of us together.
We can do well.
The moment Ilya heard those words, the emotions she was holding back had burst out.
Tears began to flow down her eyes, without any noise.
Looking at that, Airn gently grabbed her hand.
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