Chapter 44 - Element of Effort (1)

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“You, be my disciple.”

“…”

Airn couldn’t understand what Lulu said.

It wasn’t the usual nonsense. These were meaningful words.

The other party’s suggestion.

Their eyes.

It was because Airn was too engrossed in the atmosphere the other party created that he missed what the cat said.

‘Heavy’

Very heavy.

The serious feeling.

He had felt it a few times before.

When he first stepped into Krono, instructor Ahmed released the same pressure on the podium.

The same atmosphere around instructor Karaka, who had the same smiling face as ever, but with different eyes.

No, this one was heavier.

A while, for a second…

‘It reminded me of school master Ian.’

Airn quickly brushed off that thought.

It was absurd. Ian, the school master, is one of the most powerful swordsmen on the continent.

No matter how great Lulu was, she couldn’t be compared to Ian.

But having that thought run inside his mind was enough to know just how special the black cat was.

‘How…’

However, his thoughts about Lulu didn’t last long.

The sorcerer approached Airn, who was silent, and spoke.

No, she spoke several times.

“Yah!”

“Yah, yah.”

“Yah, yah, yah.”

“Are you listening to me? Be my disciple.”

“This and that, I’ll tell you everything. Let’s go into the exciting world of sorcery together!”

“…”

Lulu was excited, almost as if the heavy air around her a moment back didn’t exist.

Airn Pareira, who came to his senses, took a step back and answered.

“I won’t.”

“I don’t get it! Why!”

“It’s obvious why. I’m not a sorcerer.”

“It’s fine. You can learn it from now on. I’ll teach you.”

“No, this isn’t magic, but sorcery… is sorcery something you can learn because you want to? I know magic is okay, at least it can be…”

He was right.

Swordsman, magician, and sorcerer.

Reaching the highest level for all three is difficult, not the initiation.

Some say that starting the sword is easy, then comes magic, and finally sorcery.

Maybe it meant honing innate abilities was difficult, but it also meant that learning something through sheer determination was almost impossible.

Besides, Airn had no intention to pursue sorcery.

Just finding his own sword was giving him a headache. He had no intention to reach out to other fields.

And the boy put his thoughts into words. An outright refusal.

However, the black cat had no intention of giving up.

“What’s wrong with being a swordsman along with that?”

“Huh?”

“There is no one more suitable for a sorcery than a swordsman with a strong will… you’re most likely to demonstrate sorcery along with the sword.”

“What are you…”

“You, do you lack common sense? Do you know the difference between a swordsman, a magician, and a sorcerer?”

Airn Pareira went silent.

As Lulu said, he didn’t know.

The cat clicked her tongue a couple times, then she slowly touched the ground and tapped the floor.

Of course, there wasn’t any real sound because her paws were small. However, the action conveyed a meaning.

To sit.

The boy sat quietly, and Lulu, who sat in front of Airn, cleared her throat.

Before long, the explanations about swordsmen, magicians, and sorcerers began to flow out of the cat’s mouth.


All forms of martial arts, including swordsmanship, focus more on the body and consider the body as the inner universe.

It seeks to grow mentally and physically throughout training and more training.

In the process of understanding oneself more closely and moving in a better direction, one acquires a mysterious power, Aura, which was being called pressure.

Conversely, magicians concentrate on the external environment, that is the outer universe.

By analyzing mana, the mystical power which resides in all things, one tries to realize the principles, laws, and logic of the world.

The closer one gets to the truth, the higher one’s level will be, and the greater the power they handle.

So, what about sorcerers?

People often say this.

‘Sorcerer? A swarm of wild people?’

Someone who is part of the world.

A being who makes the impossible possible.

Unconventional existences that disregard the world’s laws, ignore common sense, earnestly desire for their own fulfillment, and actually make things possible.

Lulu never really cared about other people’s opinions.

“It’s true to some extent. From the point of view of sorcerers, there are many things which we could say, but they would sound absurd to others. It’s like saying I want money when I can make a gold ingot suddenly pop into the air. But there is one thing you should know.”

“What thing?”

“It’s the desires of a sorcerer that can make even the most absurd things possible.”

“…”

“Normal beings have an unimaginably strong will. Actually, it’s pretty normal for people to have that, right? But, it’s weird to think that an ordinary person can change the world alone. How is that, do you see just how great of a cat I am?”

“So…”

Airn could roughly understand what Lulu was trying to say.

To others, he might look like a lucky guy lacking skills.

However, that wasn’t the case. A sorcerer is someone with an extraordinary mind and unrivaled will to perform sorcery.

In other words, a sorcerer’s power is proportional to the power of their mind.

Hearing Airn’s summary, the cat nodded.

“Right. Well understood. So now, do you get it?”

“What?”

“How well suited you are for sorcery?”

Lulu looked at the boy.

Normal appearance, pretty normal face. Everything was natural. The cat slowly approached Airn because he looked normal.

But her eyes.

The eyes of Lulu, which looked at Airn now, were different from before.

And she continued.

“I felt it. The sword you just showed me. To cut down something… that slash was incredibly strong!”

“…”

“That kind of will is enough. Of course, not just the will. It’s important to know whether or not you were born suitable for sorcery, but… you can. You have the talent for sorcery.”

“How can you know that?”

“Because I’m a sorcerer! One sorcerer knows another sorcerer! I can bet on this. If you… well, with a little help, you will be able to awaken your powers within a year. And they’ll work with your sword too.”

How was that? Would he still reject the offer to be the cat’s disciple?

Lulu folded her front paws with a confident expression.

Airn couldn’t understand, but her face was overflowing with confidence.

Confidence that Airn would accept the offer!

But, Airn shook his head with a bitter smile.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

“What? Why! Whyyy!”

“It isn’t that I hate learning sorcery, just… what you just saw me do right now… that, that isn’t mine. That wasn’t my sword.”

“Huh?”

“Hmm… it’s a little hard to explain.”

Airn had a flustered expression.

He never once told anyone about his dreams.

Because if someone who locked himself in his room all his life said that, everyone would treat him as mentally ill.

‘But… I don’t think this cat will treat me like that.’

It wasn’t like he knew Lulu well.

But it wasn’t like Lulu was a stranger.

The black cat that the boy talked to was by no means narrow-minded.

In addition, the insight with which the cat spoke about the single slash gave him confidence.

This was important.

‘Maybe, after listening to my story, I might discover a secret I couldn’t realize before.’

Airn nodded and carefully explained the dream.

About the strange man who appeared every night in his dreams and the sword he wielded.

“Wah, amazing. Is that like possession?”

“Possession?”

“Yes. I heard that some people have a different memory inside them, a different soul, personality, and whatnot, which will overlap with their actual self. But I’ve never seen it.”

“I see.”

“It isn’t exactly the same case as yours. Rather similar but, uh… but well, do you really think that it will hinder you learning sorcery?”

Sadly, Lulu couldn’t give any advice.

No, it seemed like the cat didn’t even pay any attention to that.

Rather, it seemed like it was focusing on if it was really a dream or an excuse.

Airn smiled bitterly.

‘I can’t get a single idea about my sword, but that man’s sword is so attractive.’

Naturally, he had no intention of accepting Lulu’s offer.

The man’s sword was something he had to forget, not something to be polished.

However, he had no intention of ruling out sorcery.

He thought for a moment.

“Well, I can’t do it. I have no intention of awakening sorcery with the will of someone else.”

“Ahh! Forget that and try it! I’m sure it’ll be fun…”

“Instead, not with the man’s sword, but with my own sword, then I can try.”

“Uh? Your sword?”

“Yes, my own sword.”

“What kind of sword is your sword?”

“Well…”

“Wasn’t what you showed me your sword? Was that one your own?”

“…”

He couldn’t answer yes.

He was still trying to find his sword.

But that was it. He still didn’t know what it meant to find his own sword.

‘In the end, it’s the origin.’

In order to learn sorcery, he had to understand what his sword meant, so he had no choice but to postpone the cat’s proposal.

The boy sighed softly and explained his situation.

He hoped that Lulu wouldn’t feel bad. With a little hope that she would support his efforts.

However, the words which came out of the cat’s mouth were unexpected.

“There is something wrong with what you’re doing, and what you’re doing isn’t putting in effort.”

“Huh?”

“It isn’t effort.”

Airn looked into Lulu’s eyes. Trying to make sure that he heard correctly.

Silence spread. The boy’s bewildered eyes looked at the sharp eyes of the cat. It looked like he was urging for an answer.

And the cat spoke again.

“It will all be in vain.”

A cold answer.


Late afternoon.

Airn Pareira, who came into his room after finishing practice much earlier than usual, sat on his bed.

It wasn’t because he was out of energy. There was no way that the stamina he built up in Krono would be exhausted.

But,

There was another reason.

The boy pondered what Lulu had told him.

‘Just because you put in the effort, just because you’re overworking your body doesn’t mean that the effort is worth it.’

‘Do you know the exact definition of effort? Effort means to work hard with the body and mind to achieve a goal.’

‘Using the mind is just as important as using the body.’

‘Honestly, it’s interesting. Usually, only the mind works for many. People who want to get rich without working, people who want to become good at drawing without ever practicing, people who want to lose weight without running a single lap… they’re all the kind who never act. No matter how hard they try mentally, these people’s actions cannot be called effort.’

‘Your physical effort is amazing. But your mind isn’t involved. Even if you get what you are looking for, you won’t be happy.’

‘And I can’t see this as effort either. Because you aren’t fully involved in your actions.’

‘Now, do you understand why I said it was a waste?’

“It’s the heart which supports the actions…”

Something he never thought of.

Yet, it was something he had to accept.

‘I have nothing to say.’

The last words of the cat.

Compared to constantly swinging the sword, compared to moving… worrying about what his sword was, his will to solve the problem was shallow.

He was just being swept away by the flow while pretending to be in control.

‘I…’

But right now, he couldn’t focus.

Recalling Lulu, Airn mumbled.

“What’s her identity?”

He knew that Lulu was a great sorcerer.

But this time, Lulu seemed to be a lot greater than he had imagined.

Naturally, he felt intrigued.

Of course, if he keeps asking questions while sitting in the corner of his room like he did in the past 10 years, he will never find anything out….

It was time to think.

Knock!

“Young lord, may I enter?”

“Yes.”

In response, Marcus cautiously entered the room. He looked around before he could say anything.

“The cat sorcerer… isn’t here, right?”

“Not here? Why?”

“I see. The first thing I want to tell you about is the cat.”

The boy’s eyes lit up.

After a while, the words about the cat sorcerer came out of the servant’s mouth.

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