Upon hearing the words from Bratt, Lulu and Kirill looked shocked.
So suddenly? But those feelings didn’t last long.
‘Things like this could happen.’
‘Because there has been a significant change in my brother’s heart.’
They were sorcerers who knew the importance of the heart better than anyone. And as they were close friends along with Kirill, who was the younger sister of Airn, they knew him better than anyone else.
As such, they were also aware that Airn was going through something even if he didn’t show it. Moreover, in the case of Lulu, who had experienced Airn go through rapid growth beside her, this was no big deal.
The black cat spoke to Bratt.
“Don’t make that face, Bratt.”
“What is with my face?”
“It’s like he is a tactless person.”
“Right. He is tactless one!”
“But such things happen.”
“If he keeps getting it, won’t it hurt? Even if I see him normally, he is tactless.”
“Don’t speak bad about my brother.”
“Right, Son, why are you being so mean?”
“So pathetic. Son, jealousy isn’t good.”
“… is there no one on my side?”1
Bratt shook his head as he sighed.
After looking at Airn, he turned around.
“What? Did something happen?”
“The lord’s party….”
“Did something bad happen?”
The performance was done. Normally, the audience would leave, but they couldn’t.
The lord, his wife, and their son had come here, so they all had a stiff expression on their faces.
“… well, we ask the understanding of the people in this hall.”
It reminded him of a story he had heard a while ago from Ian. When a swordsman who has risen to a high level is immersed in his own world, it is necessary to control the surrounding environment as much as possible.
‘If the moment of awakening is interrupted by an impact to the body or a trivial force…’
For example, if one gets a chance to become a Sword Master, but it goes to waste because of outside interference…
He wouldn’t be able to forgive the interference, unless it was his own parents or Judith in the case of Bratt.
Thinking till there, Bratt quickly and calmly settled the situation, he spoke to the manager of the hall and asked the future performances for the day to be canceled and the audience to leave the hall quietly.
Despite being curious, no one asked further questions. Thanks to that, the party saw how Airn’s face looked more comfortable.
“Speak normally. In the first place, it wasn’t broken even when the music and applause were happening around him. However, from what I heard from our school master, this is a moment when the mind and body are reborn, so we need to be careful about any external shocks.”
“Right. So, should we have an escort?”2
“The knights of the estate…”
“There is no need to call the knights.”
After answering his parent’s questions, Bratt said,
“I will escort him. As Airn’s best friend and the strongest man in this estate.”
“It’s because I want to say embarrassing things without shame like you do.”
“It’s not wrong, and there is nothing to be ashamed of.”
This time, Philip didn’t care much, rather he looked at his son with a proud expression.
As a parent, he was proud to be able to see this side of his son despite his friend being far ahead of him.
‘I had worries when he was young, but he grew up so well.’
Lord Lloyd gulped. He tried to hold back the emotions inside him.
It wasn’t really a situation that called for tears. So, he just nodded his head.
“I want to stay with you.”
Lulu and Kirill said.
Bratt nodded. They too, were close to Airn like him. And there was no reason to stop them.
But that wasn’t the only reason.
“Bratt, you should keep an eye on Airn.”
“Huh? Of course…”
“Not as his guards and escort. Just keep watching him, and maybe it will help you grow.”
To Bratt, who didn’t understand it, Lulu explained seriously.
“Even in the world of sorcerers, there are moments of awakening. No, we have them a lot more frequently than swordsmen. Since the heart, will, and faith are the most important parts of sorcery, it is natural. And the moment a sorcerer awakens is nothing inspirational to other sorcerers… it is an obvious thing. Because you can watch the moment the mind changes and the person’s growth in real time.”
“I don’t know much about swords because I am no swordsman. However, if you try to find something that can be understood from a swordsman’s perspective, such as changes in the body, the aura and…”
You, too, might be able to break through the wall in your way.
Lulu’s words ended there.
And none of them spoke for some time, and it was because of Bratt.
The moment they heard the cat’s words, from then on, the atmosphere around Bratt had changed, and the surroundings calmed.
The countess, who witnessed her son’s appearance as a swordsman for the first time, gulped, and Kirill didn’t pick on him.
“… good. I feel motivated.”
To be honest, he was envious of Airn. It would be a lie if he said such feelings didn’t exist. He was seeing Judith keep breaking down her barriers and his other friend growing up without ever seemingly reaching the limit.
And now, it turned into a passion. Looking to the side, he asked.
“Lance, will you stay too?”
“Ah, sorry. I was lost in thought… Yes… I will stay.’
Lance replied with a grin. However, unlike his expression, his heart wasn’t fine.
Forcing on a bright face, he thought.
‘How could this happen?’
He couldn’t understand Airn.
Not by training or fighting life and death battles, but taking a break and enjoying music was taking their friend to a higher level.
Bratt, Lulu, and Kirill, too, couldn’t understand it.
Far from being frustrated by watching it, everyone had the same thoughts as Lance.
He was someone who was far ahead of them.
A genius they could never catch up with.
Looking at all of them, Lance said…
“Of course, I should stay here.”
Lance smiled, while hiding his inner feelings, which he couldn’t reveal.
Airn opened his eyes.
It wasn’t his real eyes, but the eyes of his mind.
Waking up in the middle of his imagery world, he slowly looked around him.
It wasn’t a towering steel sword or a blazing fire. As he moved, he looked down at a deep, dark pit.
The pit was filled with black and nasty emotions.
It wasn’t as violent as fire, nor was it visible like fire.
But it weighed himself heavily. Seeing that stagnant feeling made him dizzy, Airn grabbed his head and looked further.
A new energy began to flow from the outside world.
It flowed like clean water. It was a clear and cool stream that came from someone’s heart.
Slowly, it flowed towards the pit and began to clear away his dirty and dark mind. As a result, changes occurred in Airn’s body.
The emotions that had simmered during the five years inside the sorcery barrier. The fatigue that accumulated unknowingly in the midst of the trips.
As the pressure which put him down while he was unable to escape from the dark barrier grew. At the same time, the water which accumulated in his body was also pushed out. Everything turned into a black haze and disappeared.
But Airn didn’t know it.
He just felt the natural flow created by the water flowing around inside him.
… he woke up in the real world around three days after visiting the concert.
“Is he awake?”
“Seems to be.”
Airn Pareira, who came to his senses, had a surprised expression on his face.
Bratt, Kirill, Lulu, and Lance were looking at him from all directions.
What was this?
The moment he was about to ask the question, Brat’s mouth opened first.
“As you might know, while listening to the performance, you seemed to have gone through an awakening.”
“And it was blooming. The colors were so different, there was a silver-gray aura and then a red aura and a blue aura… at the end, black smoke came out of your body. The smell wasn’t great, but it was bearable. Both Kirill, Lulu, and Lance were also being patient.”
“Sorry. I gained nothing from this, and thinking that you alone were turning incredibly strong, my stomach couldn’t hold it, so ignore the sarcastic tone.”
“Right. Please try to understand.”
Lance followed Bratt’s words.
Seeing his friends joke around, Airn smiled. Now he understood why they stayed here.
‘Like Ignet had done when he awakened, they stayed by my side and protected me.’
“… thank you, all of you.”
Airn got up and said it.
Bratt, who was about to respond bluntly, stopped. It was because he realized the emotions in his friend’s voice weren’t just words.
And his words continued.
“Thank you, really. How much you all cared for me, worried for me… I knew it… so I am expressing this… in order to not neglect your care; I should have expressed it more and tried harder, but, what I meant to say…. Why aren’t the words coming out right…”
There could be no gibberish that could top this.
I was able to get the useless emotions out thanks to you people; in the future, I will not neglect people around me; I will become a better friend and be a good older brother.
Airn wanted to say something like that, but he couldn’t.
“Stop being so cringy. I know what you mean.”
Bratt, who couldn’t listen any longer, stopped him. But there was a faint smile on his lips.
It was the same with Kirill and Lulu. Their faces were full of smiles.
As much as they loved Airn, Airn loved them too. As friends and siblings. The process of going through all of it was embarrassing, but it wasn’t all bad.
However, the atmosphere didn’t last long. There were too many questions left for that.
“So, how strong are you?”
“What awakening did you get? I know you might not be able to explain it. I don’t expect anything like that, so show it through your swordsmanship first. Or Aura Sword.”
Airn nodded his head. He too, wondered.
He knew that something had changed, and that he had gotten stronger. But he wasn’t sure how strong.
Of course, that wasn’t the problem. That was something he could try and figure out any time.
And when he thought that.
“What, what is it?”
Kirill’s expression seemed worried.
The expression on her brother’s face, which was fine this whole time, suddenly went stiff, as if something bad had happened.
The rest of the party who read the serious look and the soldiers who came there for errands were the same.
In that atmosphere, Airn felt it.
It was a wide cast of Magi that was emitted from somewhere close to them.
And what was worse…
‘I don’t feel any intention to hide the malice.’
And the fist of the young hero, who was now stronger than he was a few days ago, was clenched strongly.
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