Failure leads to Success
“Indra, you did not Energy Charge.”
Sumara turned and spoke to him with furrowed eyebrows. Indra looked at her in surprise.
“Energy Charge?” he said distractedly. “Did I do it?”
“Yes,” Sumara said with a nod of her head.
He stared at her and raised an eyebrow.
“That’s a silly question, Sumara,” he said. “I don’t need to Energy Charge each time I fight. I’m constantly in battle, there’s no point in doing it.”
“What?” Sumara said in surprise. “No! That’s not what I meant.”
“Oh? Then, what did you mean?”
“I meant… that you didn’t tell Ondine to Energy Charge.”
“Huh?” Indra said, startled. “I didn’t?”
“No, you did not,” Sumara said crossly.
“Oh… I guess I didn’t,” he said and sighed in surprise.
“Honestly…” she muttered and she shook her head.
Then she kneeled down and faced Ondine. Ondine was really exhausted as she looked at Sumara with half closed eyes.
“Stay still Ondine,” Sumara said. “I will heal you, although it won’t recover your energy.”
“Eh? Healing magic cannot recover energy?” Lakshman asked, looking surprised.
“Why are you asking that question?” Indra asked, staring at his son incredulously. “Haven’t you gone through that when Sumara taught you the theory of magic application?”
“Yes dad, but… this is my first time I heard that energy cannot be recovered with healing type magic spell,” Lakshman said.
“What a complicated way of saying it,” Indra muttered.
“Um… what?” Lakshman asked, looking puzzled at his father and not catching what he said.
“No, it’s nothing,” Indra said and he shook his head. “Anyway, there is one thing I know about magic and that is about the ranks.”
“Oh, come on. You know the ranks. Ranks like Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Saint and so on…”
“Oh! Those rank names,” Lakshman said in understanding.
“Yes, the ranks,” Indra said. “There is one thing I know about those ranks is; the higher your rank is, the more powerful stuff you can do.”
“Um… What do you mean by ‘powerful stuff’ dad?”
“Powerful stuff as in… um… well… how do I explain this…?”
Indra hesitated, having trouble thinking of how to explain it. Then his eyes brightened and he hit his right fist against his left palm.
“Oh, I got it,” he muttered and he nodded.
He turned at Lakshman with a serious expression.
“Take for instance, my sword rank. You know my sword rank, right?”
“Um… Isn’t it Water Sword Saint?”
“Correct!” Indra said and he smiled at his son. “To be precise, it’s Weapon style: Water Sword Saint.”
“So, what does it mean dad?”
“It means that I am a powerful warrior at that rank. It also enables me to fight with other weapons, besides the sword.”
“Y-You can fight with weapons other than the sword?” Lakshman asked, slightly taken aback.
“That’s right,” Indra said and nodded.
“But… if that’s the case, why not use different weapons from the start?” Lakshman asked. “Wouldn’t it be easier to get used to your weapon type from the early stage?”
Indra blinked at Lakshman, quite surprised by what he heard. Then he smiled and chuckled.
“I had the very same thought when I began my training. Oh yes,” he said, nodding at Lakshman’s surprised reaction. “My master insisted that, until I reach the classified Weapon Style Saint rank, I am to touch nothing, but the sword.”
Lakshman was speechless as he stared at his father in awe. Seeing his facial expression, Indra could only smile. He remembered his master being an extremely strict instructor and, more than once, he got annoyed at him for it.
“So, what did you choose dad?”
“Huh?” Indra said, becoming startled as he snapped out of his memories.
“I asked you what you choose for your weapon once you rose to the Saint rank,” Indra asked eagerly.
“I… well… there were some weapon types I saw, but… I was so accustomed to the sword I just couldn’t pick anything else.”
“Oh…,” Lakshman said in a disappointed tone.
“I picked what I found to be familiar to me!” Indra said firmly. “Better to have a familiar weapon than struggle with an unfamiliar weapon.”
“I see,” Lakshman said, nodding in understanding. “Then, what about magic?”
This time, Indra laughed and scratched the back of his head.
“To be honest… I have absolutely no idea how the ranks work in the magic department,” he said finally.
“What?” Lakshman said, looking at his father as if he let him down.
“Sorry kiddo,” Indra said. “Unfortunately, magic is not an area I am an expert at.”
“If you are higher ranked at magic, you can use healing type magic spells to recover energy.”
They turned and saw Sumara as she rose to her feet. It seemed the healing Ondine was complete.
“Oh… So it can be done,” Lakshman said in amazement.
“Really,” Sumara said and she shook her head in displeasure. “Have you forgotten my teachings already Lucky?”
“Eh?” Lakshman said, looking surprised.
“Remember… we covered it during our evening sessions.”
Lakshman was still drawing a blank at her words and she sighed when he finally shook his head.
“Okay then, here’s something to jog your memory… Magic Spells of higher calibre.”
Those words suddenly rang a bell. Something like a memory stirred in his mind. He closed his eyes, trying hard to capture that memory and remember it. A moment later, he finally remembered what she taught him. He opened his eyes and faced them.
“To be in a particular rank, you must first be capable of using Magic Spells classified in that rank.”
“Very good!” Sumara said, sounding impressed. “So you haven’t forgotten it after all.”
This time, it was Lakshman’s turn to laugh and scratch the back of his head.
“I’m sorry… it’s been a while since I studied like that,” he said and he continued to laugh.
Sumara was not laughing. She folded her arms and looked displeased as she stared at him.
“As soon as we return, we’re hitting the books!” she declared.
Lakshman stopped laughing, but he continued to smile while inwardly he groaned. He does not like studying theoretical subjects. However, he does find it interesting to study about the basic subjects with Mariana. He wondered if it had something to do with either it was the subjects or the teachers.
“Anyway, now it’s your turn,” Indra said brightly.
Indra understood just by looking at his son; he was feeling unhappy. Wanting to cheer him up and wanting to move on, he spoke up brightly.
“Oh, before you start, please make sure you Energy Charge. Otherwise, you will become as exhausted as Ondine here,” Sumara said in a worried voice.
At that moment, Ondine got to her feet. She was still looking tired, but she looked fine for most part. She turned to Lakshman and smiled at him.
“Good luck, master.”
“Yeah, thanks!” he replied with a grin.
After Sumara spoke privately with Indra for a bit, both she and Ondine took their leave. They walked back to the spot where Lakshman and Sumara were at when they watched the battle between Indra and Ondine.
Indra turned and looked at his son, radiating with energy. Lakshman, on the other hand, was feeling nervous. This was the first time he will be tested and he wants to do his best. However, the thought of failure seemed to give him a nervous feeling.
“What is it, Lucky?”
“Um… What happens if I… um… fail the test?”
Indra blinked at him before asking “What do you mean?”
“Like… will I be punished for failing?” Lakshman asked nervously.
For a moment, Indra simply stared at Lakshman nervously fidgeting with his fingers. Then he started to laugh, so hard it caused Sumara and Ondine to look at them in surprise. Even Lakshman was taken aback by his father’s unexpected laughter.
Slowly smothering his laughter, Indra looked at his son while he grinned broadly. Now that he took notice, Lakshman was indeed feeling extremely nervous about the test. Seeing his son fidgeting, he suddenly reminded of himself back when his master tested him.
Indra remembered his master to be strong and powerful. He was also a clever man with intuition and cunning. However, he was very disciplined and strict. Everything he did had perfection to it and anything Indra did wrong caused him to reprimand him severely.
Thinking back to those days he realised, not for the first time, the effects of his training. Because of the hard training Indra underwent, he was able to live through some of the most dangerous situations he ever faced in his life.
Looking at his son now, really made him feel like he was watching his younger self. He wondered how he should go about this. He wanted to be different from his master, but this was different. Unlike the master and student relationship, this was a father and son relationship.
Indra closed his eyes and, for a while remained still and silent. Then he opened his eyes and looked at his son. He finally smiled warmly at the fidgeting form of Lakshman.
“There will be no punishment.”
Lakshman stopped fidgeting with his fingers and looked up at his father. He had an expression as if he could not believe what he had just heard.
“No punishment?” he asked as if checking with him.
“No punishment.” Indra said and he grinned.
At this, Indra laughed.
“Lucky, there is no punishment if you fail,” Indra said. “Besides that, why would there be a punishment if you fail?”
Lakshman did not know how to respond, but Indra was not expecting one to begin with.
“The truth is, failure is the next step to success!”
“Failure is the… next step to… success?” Lakshman repeated hesitantly.
“That’s right!” Indra said firmly. “Failure gives you experience. From failure, you learn your mistakes. From failure, you make changes and improve. From failure, you will reach success.”
“Really?” Lakshman said hopefully.
“Really!” Indra said and he nodded as he continued to grin. “Whether it is today, tomorrow or sometime in the future, your failure will lead you to success! Believe it!”
Indra folded his arms and looked seriously down at his son. Lakshman wore an astonished expression on his face. He was amazed by what he heard.
There is no punishment for failure. Failure is the next step to success. Somehow those words sounded idealistic, but he wanted to believe in them. After all, it was his father who said that. There would not be a reason for his father to lie to him.
“I understand dad!” Lakshman said confidently. “I will believe it!”
“Good!” Indra said approvingly. “Now come! Show me what you got!”
“Yes!” Lakshman replied excitedly.