Arc 1: Chapter 1 – A Routine

It was the start of a beautiful day, with the sun slowly rising over the horizon with only a few clouds visible here and there. The creatures of the wild, such as birds and other small animals, stirred in the dawn of a new day, getting ready for the start of a new day.

At a particular house, a man stood outside swinging his sword up and down in a rhythmic motion as he was in the middle of doing his morning training. Two more women, who also lived there, were bustling about the house, cleaning dishes or cooking breakfast. The only other occupant remaining in the house was a small boy, who was fast asleep in his room. He had covered himself from head to foot with the bed covers and slept peacefully without making the slightest sound.

The rising sun shone its light across the land, waking up many creatures, but the closed curtains of the windows in his room prevented that from happening. Even the sound of the birds chirping outside did little in waking him up from his peaceful slumber.

The women that were in their nightwear finished making breakfast and one headed upstairs to wake her son up, whom she knew was still asleep. She knocked on the door twice and when there was no response, she opened the door and entered her son’s room. She glanced at the bed with the sleeping person and put her hands on her hips while making an exasperated “Hmph!” sound.

The mother of the child looked at the closed curtains and got an idea. She moved towards the curtains and flung them to either side, basking the room in the early morning sunlight and, in doing so, she turned and spoke to her son.

“Come on now! Wake up, Lucky!”

The child moaned restlessly, shifting aside while keeping the covers over his entire body. His mother put her hands over her hips and looked exasperated by her son’s behaviour before walking over and sitting down gently beside where he lay on the bed.

“Lucky…! Wake up already! If you don’t, your breakfast will get cold, and guess what? It’s your favourite morning energizer; Poori!”

There was a moment of pause before the voice of the boy exclaimed, “What?! Really?!”

The child quickly pushed the covers away and revealed that he had pure black hair and charming eyes that were also black. Without a moment’s hesitation, he sat upright on the bed and turned excitedly towards his mother with great eagerness.

“Really, mum?” He asked questioningly, looking eager but still doubting her words a little bit.

“Would I ever lie to you?” His mother asked him in return, causing him to grin broadly.

“Awesome! I’ll go brush my teeth in a jiffy!” He said and jumped off his bed.

“Make sure to brush properly and for at least two minutes!” His mother called after her son, who was already left the room.

Seven years had gone by, and Lakshman, whom his parents had lovingly nicked Lucky, was finally turning seven on that day. His family, who had the surname Chand, consisted of his mother, Lakshmi, his father, Indra, and their family maid, Mariana.

Over the course of seven years, Lucky grew up receiving the loving affection of his parents and received a strict discipline management from the family maid. His education was conducted straight from home, supervised by Mariana while his mother and his father went away to attend to their work.

After brushing his teeth, Lucky headed down for breakfast and was greeted by Mariana, who was carrying a bunch of clothes in her arms.

“Good morning, young master,” she greeted him respectfully.

“Morning, Mariana!” He replied excitedly. “Mum said she made me Poori! I’m excited!”

“It is your birthday after all,” she replied with a fond smile on her face. Then she bowed a little and said, “A happy returns of the day.”

Lucky smiled happily and said, “Thank you, Mariana,” and hugged her, only that he hugged the bundle of clothes she was carrying. “Ugh!” He exclaimed, reeling back by the smell and placing a hand over his nose to block out the smell. “They stink!”

She chuckled and replied, “These need to be washed, young master,” and she bowed before departing to wash the clothes.

He watched her leave and decided to head into the kitchen to see how much his mother was making of his favourite breakfast. However, before he took another step, he heard his father calling him by his nickname from outside.

“Lucky! Lucky!”

Lucky hesitated for a moment, torn between wanting to see his food, but worried about being scolded by his father. Eventually, when his father called out to him again, he decided to leave the food and hurried out of the house to meet his father, who had stopped swinging his wooden sword and held it aside while wiping the sweat off his forehead.

“Morning, dad!” He greeted him brightly.

“Morning, son, and a happy birthday!” Indra replied, placing his hand on his son’s hair and ruffling it with a big grin on his face. “Seven-years-old! It’s been seven years since you were born, Lucky! How does it feel?”

His son looked at him with a cheeky smile and replied, “Hungry.”

Indra laughed and said, “You and your jokes!” Then he looked down at his son and said, “So, starting today, I’m going to be training you to build up your body by exercising every day in the morning to develop a strong body.”

“Dad, I’m just a kid, not a warrior like you,” his son complained.

“Maybe not today, but you will be in the future. Keep in mind that this world is harsh and monsters roam the fields, and there’s no telling where danger lurks. Even when it’s to save someone, you need strength to do that!”

At those words, his son asked, “But, I’m not strong though, dad. All I could do is probably shield them with my body to stop them from getting hurt? Is that also being strong?”

“Indeed,” replied his father smoothly. “Your feelings may be the only strength you have right now, but once you start training, then you can do more than just shielding. That’s why one must keep training and remain on guard at all times.”

His son nodded and asked, “Alright, but I’m hungry, dad. Can’t I eat breakfast and start training from tomorrow onwards?”

“Your breakfast can wait because training is important.” When his son opened his mouth to complain, Indra added, “Your food won’t suddenly sprout legs and walk away. Relax. It’s only for an hour.”

This shocked his son and made him exclaim, “An hour?! By that time, it’ll be cold!”

“Don’t be silly. Your mum hasn’t started cooking yet. It was me who told her to wake you up using that because you don’t respond to anything else.” When his son looked shocked, Indra grinned and said, “It’s alright, though, because your breakfast is still Poori so be happy about that.”

Lucky nodded, smiling wryly as he realised his father had gotten him good that day. Afterwards, the father made his son run loops around the house for ten rounds before giving him ten minutes to rest. Then he made his son do multiple exercises that would greatly enhance his body, and by the end of the hour, his son was so worn out that his legs shook in the struggle to support his weight.

“It’s only the beginning, so it feels that way,” his father responded to that reassuringly, taking one arm of his son and helping him get back into the house, “but once you become accustomed to it, you won’t even feel the pain. After that, I’ll steadily increase the intensity so that you truly become stronger!”

Lucky groaned tiredly, but his mood changed when he saw his mother waiting for them at the entrance.

“Breakfast’s ready!” She said brightly, and her son could not help but get excited at the prospect.

“Yay!” He exclaimed, and all three of them headed into the dining room smelling the sweet, tasty breakfast waiting for them.

Mariana stood to the side, waiting for them, and quickly moved to draw her young master’s chair back so that he could sit down. He thanked her and sat down in front of his plate filled with ten Pooris.

He smiled with great excitement and looked expectantly towards his mother, who had put her hands together and seemed to be conducting some sort of prayer. Every morning having their breakfast, the family sits and waits patiently for her to complete praying towards the gods for granting them wealth, food, and health for all their hard work.

Once she finished, she turned to each of them before noticing the family maid standing to the side.

“Mariana, how many times must I tell you, sit down with us, too,” requested Lakshmi, pointing to a chair beside Lucky.

“I…” began Mariana hesitantly.

“Don’t be so reserved, Mariana,” Indra agreed, smiling at her and indicating at the spare chair.

Being pursued by both, her master and her mistress, the maid had to sigh and reluctantly agree. Then she took a plate from the centre of the table, placed it where the spare chair was positioned at, placed the food on it and finally sat down to join them. Only after she did sit down did Lakshmi smile and say the key words.

“Let’s dig in.”

The moment the words left her, Lucky began to wolf down his favourite food with great gusto. With each bite he took, he would savour the flavour, the sweet delicious taste filling his mouth and look like he was having a great time. In the meantime, his father and mother would look towards him from time to time and chuckle at seeing him looking so blissful.

“Does it taste good?” His mother asked despite the answer being evident by seeing his expression alone.

“Yes!” Her son replied brightly, turning to show his mother a brilliant smile on his face. “Your cooking is awesome, mum!”

“I’m glad you think so,” his mother replied, smiling warmly at her son’s remark.

It took the family, including the maid, several minutes before they finally were done with their breakfast. The first to finish was Mariana, and she waited patiently until Lucky finished his meal to rise to her feet, take his plate along with hers and head over to the kitchen. A moment later, Indra and Lakshmi finished eating, and the mother rose to her feet and took her husband’s plate along with hers before following after the maid.

For a while, the father and the son chatted with one another, discussing about mundane things before Lakshmi returned.

“I take it we got shopping to do today?” Indra asked his wife curiously.

She nodded and replied, “Yes. Our supplies are running low and might last for two to three days.”

He raised an eyebrow and remarked, “That is short.” Then he sighed and said, “I’ll have to postpone my schedule with my friends for some other time.”

“It’s okay if you’re busy,” his wife said, smiling serenely at him. “I can just go with Mariana some other time.”

Her husband shook his head and stated, “It’s fine. Those guys won’t mind. Besides, it’s been quite a while since the two of us went out to do anything at all,” to which his wife blushed a little.

Their son, who had followed the conversation with keen interest, raised his hand and asked, “Um, can I come along, too?” When his parents turned to look at him, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, it’s been a while since I ventured out of the house, so I was wondering if I could come along with you and visit the town?”

They looked at each other before turning back to smile pleasantly at their son.

“Of course, you can come with us!” His father said.

“Don’t hesitate to ask us if you need anything,” his mother stated with a gentle smile.

“Yeah! You’re our only son, so ask us anything so long as it’s reasonable or inexpensive,” his father added with a smile.

Their son smiled happily and said, “Thanks, mum! Thank you, dad!”

Thus, Indra, Lakshmi, and their son, Lucky, got ready to set out on their journey to the nearest town to fetch supplies.

Their method of transport was by horse. The Chand family owned two horses stationed inside the shed that was situated left from the front of the house. Indra untied their ropes and brought the two horses out of the stable into the open, and the two horses, which were both brown in colour, neighed happily at being able to come out into the open and stretch their legs.

First Lakshmi climbed onto her horse, and then Indra, after helping their son get on her horse, too, quickly moved to get on his own horse. Once all three were mounted, they looked back and waved at Mariana, who would be staying at home, and shook their reigns to get the horses moving.

They travelled for half-an-hour along the straight road, surrounded by beautiful fields of grass and vegetation before reaching the nearest town. Once they arrived, Indra dismounted and showed the guards his Adventurer Card to identify himself and his family before they let them in.

“Wow!”

He had exclaimed in wonderment at the number of people roaming around on the streets and going about their usual business. In these seven years, he had visited the town only a couple of times because his parents did not let him got the school in town and had him being homeschooled instead with Mariana’s supervision.

“Alright. Let’s go shopping first before we buy Lucky something,” Lakshmi stated as their plan of action.

So, they directed their horse towards the grocery store when a nearby commotion caught their attention. They turned and witnessed a robed figure being shoved out of a restaurant by two bulky looking men. The person stumbled and fell onto the ground, making the hood covering their face come off.

The person was revealed to be a female, with long blue hair, with ruby blue eyes and a red crystal embedded on the centre of her forehead. She slowly pushed herself off the ground while sporting a few scrapes from her previous fall and looked weakly up at the men.

“We don’t have room to let Demons in our restaurant!” A bulky built man snarled, glaring down at the crouching figure of the woman. “In fact, we don’t like having you Demon folk come in here! Get out of here!”

“Yeah! Get lost, Demon girl!” His companion shouted from beside him.

“Sir, please,” the girl, implied to be a Demon, implored weakly to them. “I am hungry, and I will pay,” and she rummaged through her cloak before producing a pouch that clinked with money.

As she held it out for them, the two men got shocked and the bulky man shouted, “We don’t want money from someone of the murderous race,” and kicked the money aside with his foot, injuring her hand at the same time.

She winced from the pain and cried, “Ah,” as the money pouch flew through the air and fell to the side. Then she cried out in pain when the man kicked her from the side and made her fall over once more.

“You’re a murdering thief!” The man beside the bulky person shouted. “Someone call the authorities!”

Then he glanced down at the woman slowly pushing herself up and felt even angrier than before. Just as he turned and was about to kick her, Lucky had had enough. For some reason, he did not like seeing the girl getting beaten up like that.

So, he jumped off the horse and stumbled a few paces. Then, before his mother could call him back, he ran and crossed the street within a few seconds and came to stand in between them and the injured girl.

“Stop!” Lucky said, spreading his arms out wide and blocking them with his body to shield the girl.

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