“Okay, let us start our practice battles session,” Sumara said.
Lakshman and Ondine stood side by side. They were wearing smiles on their faces and radiated with excitement. Sumara looked at them with her usual expression of half-open eyes and cold expression. Normally this would give off the wrong impression, but they understood it being her normal face.
“So…? Are we going to fight each other?” Lakshman asked.
“Isn’t that obvious, master,” Ondine said.
“That’s right. You will be sparring with each other,” Sumara said and nodded her head. “However, you must first warm up.”
“Warm up?” Lakshman and Ondine asked in unison.
“What do you mean, Miss Sumara?” Lakshman asked.
“Yeah, haven’t we warmed up already?” Ondine asked.
Sumara nodded and said “Yes, you’re already warmed up. However, that is only your physical condition.”
“What I meant was for you to warm up your energy condition.”
“What?” Lakshman asked, sounding puzzled. “Warm up our… energy?”
“That’s right,” Sumara said.
“I know about warming up our bodies before a long exercise, but… energy? I don’t understand,” Ondine said, looking confused.
“Ah, that is normally the case,” Sumara said. “However, for those like us who constantly fight, it’s different. We constantly need to warm our energy before fighting.”
“Really?” Lakshman asked in surprise. “Why is that, Miss Sumara?”
“Let me ask you… when you went with Indra on a mission to the Monster Dungeon… did you feel slightly dizzy after killing the monsters?”
Lakshman made an expression like he was thinking about something. Ondine did the same, but she came to a conclusion quicker than him.
“Oh?” she said, sounding surprised.
“Yes…” Sumara said, nodding at her response. “Indra had forgotten to tell the both of you to warm up your energy.”
“Oh, I see,” Lakshman said with a surprised expression. Then he looked slightly confused and he asked “Why was that?”
The question was not clear, but Sumara understood the meaning of his question. She took a deep breath and answered.
“People tend to feel dizzy or even feel sick after some time of consecutively releasing large quantities of energy. With your fight with the monsters, you needed to do it repeatedly and it caused you to feel that dizzy sensation.”
“Oh!” Lakshman and Ondine said in amazement.
“It won’t just create side effects after some time. You would feel totally drained afterword.”
“Ah!” Lakshman said and he nodded in understanding. “It makes sense… Ondine, remember? We were so drained at the end of it.”
“You’re right, master,” Ondine said, nodding in turn.
They understood the reasons for warming up their energies. Suddenly, Lakshman furrowed his eyebrows looking concerned about something.
“Miss Sumara…?” Lakshman asked. “How do we warm up our energy?”
“Ah, yes. I should demonstrate,” Sumara said.
Nodding, she walked a few paces away from them.
“Watch closely,” Sumara called to them.
“Yes!” they both said and they watched Sumara perform.
Sumara stood still and silent as the cool wind rustled her clothes. A moment later, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, as she breathed out, light started emanating around her. The light soon encircled her and it caused the wind to blow faster.
“Wow…” Lakshman muttered in awe with wide eyes.
This was not his first time seeing her emanate her energy. Many times during their training in magic and energy he had he had seen her execute her Magic Force and Energy Force. He liked the colour of her energy light which was light blue.
“That is… amazing…” Ondine muttered in awe.
Lakshman turned and saw Ondine and he was surprised by what he saw. Her eyes were wide open and he thought he saw her mesmerised by Sumara. He couldn’t blame her, he felt something similar whenever he saw Sumara demonstrate.
After some time, the light encircling Sumara slowly dissipated and soon vanished. Then she opened her eyes and smiled as she turned to face them.
“How was it?” she asked once she reached them.
“It’s amazing!” Lakshman said excitedly.
“That’s… cool,” Ondine said, although she was reluctant.
“BY channelling your energy and releasing it for a short amount of time, your energy gets warmed up.”
“Wow!” Lakshman exclaimed excitedly. Suddenly, his expression changed to concern and he asked “Miss Sumara, you didn’t warm up your energy when you fought against Ondine.”
“Ah, that was different,” Sumara said. “I only released a small amount of energy to execute the magic spell, Earth Wall. If it was anything more, I might be feeling unsteady right now.”
“Oh, that makes sense,” Lakshman said. “Earth Wall is an intermediate level magic spell.”
“Hey, are you making fun of my current skill level?” Ondine asked crossly.
“Ondine…” Lakshman said heavily and Ondine widened her eyes in realisation.
“Oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to… it just… came out like that by accident.”
Lakshman shook his head, but Sumara smiled at Ondine.
“I’m not looking down on you or anything, Ondine,” she said. “I simply wanted to avoid hurting you with Saint rank magic. I am a Water Saint after all.”
“Oh, that’s right…” Ondine said in understanding the logic.
“Now, it’s your turn,” Sumara said clapping her hands together.
“Great!” Lakshman and Ondine said excitedly.
They walked a few paces away from Sumara and kept some distance between each other. Once they reached a certain spot, Lakshman and Ondine were ready.
“Just relax and channel your energy and release it smoothly,” Sumara called to them.
“Got it!” they called back and nodded.
Lakshman was about to do it, when he suddenly had an idea. He stopped and decided to observe how Ondine does it. It was not for acquiring knowledge on how to do it. He already got the picture of how to do it.
Ondine prepared do it and noticed him watching her. She smiled at him before closing her eyes. For a few moments, nothing happened. Lakshman was observing closely with his eyes narrowed. Then, blue light started emanating around her like it did for Sumara.
“Heh, should’ve known…”
Lakshman raised an eyebrow when he saw the forming of her energy. Sumara’s energy appeared to be cool and smooth, but Ondine’s was different. It raged wildly and felt a bit challenging.
For some time her energy encircled her while she stood still, looking relaxed. Then the line slowly died and vanished in time. Her eyes opened in a flash and she looked excited.
“How’s that?!” she shouted excitedly.
“Well…” Lakshman muttered. He pondered for a moment before he said “It was crazy!”
“What?!” she said in disbelief.
Then Lakshman laughed which caused Ondine to make a frustrated expression on her face. So he decided to take his turn and closed his eyes. It took him a moment, but he felt it. He felt the energy flowing within him. First time he tried to grasp this, he was unfamiliar with it. By now he has become accustomed to
“Right…” he muttered as he prepared to channel his energy.
Lakshman surged his energy. For a moment, he felt the wind around him blow faster. Feeling the sensation, he opened his eyes. He was surprised to see light red colour encircling him. Somehow, the colour gave him a strange feeling, but he couldn’t explain it.
“Wow…” he exclaimed in surprise.
It had been a while since he used his energy like this. He looked at his hands and then all around him. The light encircling him felt warm and, somehow welcoming. Then he looked towards Sumara and Ondine. Ondine was watching him in disbelief, but Sumara was watching him in surprise.
Then the light encircling him started to grow brighter. Lakshman looked down in surprise when he saw the light suddenly start flashing dim and bright. Having had previous experience in this situation, he realised what was going to happen.
“Oh crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!”
He quickly tried focusing his energy. It was not like four or five years ago when he struggled to control his energy. His face contorted as he struggled to supress the energy that suddenly started to increase. Then he felt a snap and realised he was about to face the bang!
“Damn…” he muttered and he closed his eyes.
“Oh no… Not this again!” Sumara exclaimed in disbelief.
“What?” Ondine asked fearfully as she took note of Sumara’s worried face and tone. “What is it Sumara?”
Instead of replying to Ondine, Sumara quickly activated her Magic Force to execute her magic spell.
“Spirits of the earth, form a barrier of strength and encircle this person. Earth Wall!”
At that moment, Lakshman was suddenly covered in a glow of red light. Just then, a wall of earth forms around him and raised some height.
“Wow!” Ondine exclaimed in surprise.
She had understood something was wrong when Lakshman was suddenly covered in red light. Seeing the fast reaction of Sumara impressed her, but she had something to complain about.
“Can you use nothing, but Earth Wall?!” Ondine asked incredulously. “Is that the only magic spell you know?!”
“Don’t be picky!” Sumara said sternly as she wiped the sweat off her forehead. “Earth Wall is the simplest magic spell I can use and it becomes powerful when a Saint rank like me uses an Intermediate rank magic spell.”
“Oh… fine!” Ondine said reluctantly.
They stared at the formation of the earth wall surrounding Lakshman. For a few seconds, nothing happened. Then the next moment, a flash of light suddenly emanated from within the earth wall.
“Oh…. crap!” Ondine said with widening eyes.
With a mighty explosion, the earth wall was blasted away. A shock wave of dust and wind blew in every direction. Both Ondine and Sumara grabbed each other and fought desperately to not get blown away.
After a while, the wind slowed and the dust slowly dispersed. Ondine and Sumara coughed as they cleared away the dust that settled around them. Clearing their eyes, they straightened up and looked towards where Lakshman stopped previously.
For a moment, the dust covered the scene, but soon it dispersed and Lakshman came into sight. They were not surprised to see him smoking, but were amazed to see his hair strangely standing up. He had a confused expression as he moved over to them.
“That was fun,” he said once he reached them. “So? How was it?”
“What?!” Ondine said in shock. “You’re seriously asking us how it was?!”
“Well… it won’t harm to know how it was… right?”
“Oh… fine! Here’s my honest opinion…! THAT… WAS… INSANE!!”
She practically shouted at him, causing him to cover his ears. Sumara quickly patted her on the shoulders. Then she turned and faced Lakshman with an unimpressed expression.
“Lucky, what did I tell you the last time something like this happened?” she asked sternly.
“Um… try not to release too much energy too quickly,” Lakshman said.
“And…? What did you do instead?”
“Miss Sumara… I didn’t mean to,” Lakshman said. “I released only a small amount of energy to what I felt flowing in me. I never would’ve thought this might happen at all!”
Sumara sighed heavily and placed a hand on her forehead.
“Son like father,” she muttered. “Both know how to cause me more trouble.”
“I’m sorry,” he said in a quiet voice and he hung his head.
Ondine watched the stern expression on Sumara and the upset expression covered on Lakshman’s face. She sighed and decided to ease things up. She felt it was a good opportunity for her to return the favour when they cheered her up earlier for her misunderstanding issue.
“I think its fine,” Ondine said.
They turned to face her and she continued.
“Yeah! Just look around! Not a lot of damage except for a lot of smoke. Although, I don’t think we should count in self-destruction of my master. He brought this on himself anyway, recklessly releasing more energy than he should have.”
“Yes, my bad,” Lakshman said apologetically.
“Hmm… I don’t know,” Sumara said thoughtfully.
“Sumara, this is a learning curve for us all. It’s right to train them to control it rather than just give up on them.”
Ondine continued and spoke to Sumara. It was clear she wanted her to go easy on Lakshman’s punishment. She had heard from Lakshman about this happening several times in the past. Knowing that Sumara must be worried about that, she wanted to encourage her to move on.
“I suppose,” Sumara said.
The she sighed before turning to face Lakshman.
“… Be glad I understand and sorry I scolded you. It was just taken by surprise by this sudden… explosion.”
“Ah, yes! I’m sorry! I absolutely did not mean to cause this to happen!”
Then they looked at each other and smiled. Ondine watched them and suddenly realised something. Lakshman behaved more openly with Sumara than with her. For some reason, she felt a bit jealous as she watched them.
A few seconds later, she coughed and asked “Shouldn’t we get started on our sparring fight?”
“Oh… yes!” Sumara said, gathering herself. “Very well, let’s get started!”
“Yes!” Lakshman said brightly.
“Yeah!” Ondine said, becoming excited and forgetting her uncertain feelings from earlier.