Chapter 229 - The Long Walking Path (3)

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One year ago.

So, after the championship match against Ilya Lindsay, Airn had graduated from his former self.

Of course, after that, he met with Karen Winker through Gurgar and the clown too. But the dream…he never saw it again.

From the age of 15 to 22, Airn felt regret at the thought that his relationship, which had been going on for seven years, was suddenly cut off.

‘… I didn’t graduate.’

A familiar sky, a familiar yard, and a familiar smell.

Airn’s expression hardened at the scenery of the rural village which unfolded.

No… Currently, Airn had no form or shape and just seemed to be a ball of consciousness floating around like a ghost. Airn’s eyes moved to the side.

And a familiar person came into his vision.

It wasn’t his former self. It was an existence that was familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Airn Pareira, who was swinging the sword in a serious posture.

Wheik!

Swish!

Wheik!

Airn’s sword was more powerful than Karen Winker’s.

There was no fuss in every move, and a sharp energy could be seen. The balance was excellent, and it was at a level that any swordsman could admire.

However, Airn didn’t focus on it.

He had slightly different thoughts, and he watched his other embodiment practice.

“…”

At some point, his eyes opened. It was no longer a dream. Airn got up and looked out of the window.

A dark landscape.

And a dark room.

It seemed that he hadn’t slept for more than 3 hours this time too.

Sitting in that darkness, he realized.

Today’s dream wasn’t just today’s dream.

Even after graduating from the man’s dream, the fact that he practiced the sword in his dreams was his everyday ritual.

‘… No, it’s not training.’

Airn shook his head.

Was it because of Philip Lloyd’s words?

Unlike before, when he swung the sword unconsciously, today, he was looking at himself objectively.

As a third person, he was able to read the expression on his face.

It wasn’t a lack of enthusiasm.

There was still a passion that was burning inside him. However, it was slowly declining. And fatigue and anxiety that was even greater than his passion were weighing him down. Thinking of the dream, he nodded again.

“I am…”

It wasn’t that he was concentrating on the goal he wanted to achieve.

The fact that he was too engrossed in himself, i.e., someone who might not be able to achieve his dreams and the negative emotions that came from it… he realized it late.

‘Nothing has changed since the dark barrier.’

He knew about letting it go. There were times when he tried it. At least it worked with the dark barrier.

When he abandoned his meaningless obsession with cutting water, his path was free and natural. But not now.

However, he wasn’t very disappointed with it.

He realized that he couldn’t get what he wanted at once. It was because he learned all this from the failures he had gone through.

‘I can start over.’

Airn nodded his head.

The teachings of Ian, and Lord Lloyd’s advice were the same. However, Philip’s words of asking Airn to grow up touched him deeply. He felt like even if his mind couldn’t understand the words, his heart was accepting them.

Of course, it wasn’t just the positive thoughts. He mumbled, looking at his past self.

‘I was the type to live a pretty tired life.’

After the pre-trainee days.

So, after he vowed to find his sword, Airn’s head had never rested.

Even when traveling, when moving to his family mansion, even when he traveled with his friends to cities, Airn was constantly engrossed in his thoughts.

And it got worse after looking at his previous life in Durkali.

Even when looking at bright flowers, he couldn’t appreciate their beauty. Even when the wind blew, he couldn’t enjoy it.

No matter what he saw, heard, or did, his thoughts were somewhere else.

‘Like a kid who wants a certain thing right away, and gets irritated when he doesn’t get it…’

Airn, who thought that, burst into laughter. It wasn’t weird. It was only a few hours since he decided to let go of his obsessions and rest.

But again, he kept thinking of the troubles. And now, an obsession of trying to let go of his obsessions had formed.

He realized that this wasn’t going to be easy. Mumbling, he stood up.

He felt like he needed to put in an effort in a completely different direction than before, so he washed his body with cold water to empty his mind. The effect wasn’t great, which made him laugh again.

And then he looked at Bratt, who was now in his room.

“Bratt? What is it?”

“I heard about it.”

“What?”

“I heard from my father about your condition. You can’t even rest or work properly?”

“…”

“Was it true?”

“… it is. But it is fine now. Because the advice your father gave me is engraved in my heart. Now I feel more comfortable than…”

“Don’t.”

Bratt Lloyd had a firm expression, and seeing that, Airn went silent, and Bratt continued.

“Do you think I don’t know you? From the days of when you were a deadbeat noble and locked yourself up in the room thinking about depressing stuff all day, and even after you picked up the sword, you haven’t been able to relax even for a minute, and you’ve always been thinking about how to do better.”

“…”

“A guy like you cannot be left alone. Get ready to move and follow me. And wait outside.”

“What are you suddenly…”

Airn asked, bewildered. Bratt, who was about to leave, turned back with a smile and said,

“It isn’t easy for you to have fun. That means that you need to be with someone who can have fun with you properly.”

“…”

“Today, an experienced person will teach you how to play, eat and rest. So, don’t say anything and follow me.”

Tak!

He closed the door behind him.

Airn, who saw that, burst into laughter again. A much brighter and lighter smile than before.


Contrary to the confident appearance in the room, Bratt wasn’t really well.

The food they went to eat wasn’t really good, and the famous street magician’s music made him frown.

So Bratt took him to a museum, which also bored him.

“You don’t seem to be doing too well.”

“I know a good bar.”

“…”

“It is daytime, so they might not have opened yet.”

Hearing Bratt’s brazen words, Airn grinned.

Actually, he knew, and although Bratt had more social experience than him, he was still 21 years old.

Besides, Bratt spent half his life in school, so this was expected.

It wasn’t boring, though. He wasn’t annoyed or even tired.

A friend’s heart that only wanted good for him. Airn felt that, and he mumbled.

‘Thanks.’

Human malice didn’t flow in just one direction. If you hate someone, then that person will also feel it and send the same malice back.

It was a natural thing that didn’t need any explanation. And the same was true for goodwill.

When someone likes you, you naturally get a good impression of them. Such a mind will keep flowing in a positive cycle.

It was the same with Airn today.

When he was alone, he felt a stagnant feeling inside of him. But it had started flowing now, stimulated by Bratt’s good intentions.

Airn, who worried about the future, disappeared and Airn, who concentrated on the joy of the present, appeared.

And it wasn’t just that one day.

“It has been long, so shall we go on a date, brother?”

Kirill appeared the next day.

“Airn! Me, Me! I have lots of new friends. Would you like to see them with me? There is also another black cat like me!”

And the next day came Lulu’s invitation. The next day, and the next, were all the same.

Bratt, Kirill, Lulu, Lord Lloyd, and his wife too.

Airn couldn’t ignore their good feelings towards him. He began to put his heart into taking a break.

And that was the beginning.

The pressure of not being able to achieve your dream, the anxiety about whether he was on the right track, and what he could do if he weren’t. He was no longer caught up in that feeling.

He couldn’t focus on flowers and stuff, but it was different when he spent the time with people precious to him.

When he was with Bratt, Airn only thought about Bratt.

When he was with Kirill, he only thought about Kirill.

And when he was with Lulu, he only thought about Lulu.

Feeling his thoughts and emotions flow naturally, he realized how uselessly he had been wasting his mind.

‘Like an idiot.’

Airn, who sat in the soft chair in the concert hall, looked around.

Bratt, Kirill, Lulu, Lance, and the Lloyd couple too. He had so many precious people around him. Their faces were different, but their hearts were all the same.

Feeling their goodwill towards him for the first time, Airn was able to focus on the pleasurable present rather than the anxious future.

“What are you looking at?”

“…”

“It is starting, so don’t make that stupid face and look ahead. It is better to enjoy the music with eyes along with the ears.”

“Son”

“Yes, mother.”

“Stop the bullshit.”

“….”

“Kirill, I am scared.”

“It is fine. I will hug you.”

“Huh….”

Airn didn’t laugh out loud.

However, his smile didn’t vanish. The bright face he had looked forward to the concert, and the performance began.

♪♩♬♬♪

He didn’t know much about music. Piano, violin, cello… that was all Airn knew.

Listening to the music, which resonated according to the conductor’s wonderful hand movements, and as he saw that, he thought there wasn’t much difference from a street musician, but it didn’t matter.

All that mattered was that he was here right now, at this moment.

Unlike himself in the past, he was able to fully concentrate on the situation, the atmosphere around, and the performance.

… the melody was flowing into him.

Airn slowly closed his eyes.

“Well, this is good.”

“Son.”

“Yes, mother.”

“Can you tell me what is so good?”

“I’ll tell you after I get home.”

“Son.”

“Yes.”

“In case you don’t know, you need to clap hard.”

“I’ll be care… huh?”

Brat, who obediently succumbed to his mother’s words, looked to the side.

Airn’s eyes were closed. He wasn’t sleeping.

It was different.

The moment he saw his friend who looked like a knight.

“What an absurd bastard…”

A flustered voice came out of his mouth.

“What is it?”

“Did something… no way!”

Lulu’s question and Lance’s face hardened right away.

Bratt Lloyd looked at the face and nodded as he said,

“Airn, this jerk… it seems like he has realized something.”

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