- Mkamaru (Planet Walker)
Three years quickly went in the blink of an eye and Lakshman turned ten on the twenty-seventh of Zageil, 8091 PX. It had been a very peaceful in the rural area that Lakshman, his family and his magic tutor lived in.
Lakshman made great progress with his training in developing his skills with the sword and mastering magic techniques. After several failures, he finally got control over his Weapon Force and relieved his father from buying new wooden swords for him to practice with. His magical training, on the other hand, was slowly coming along as he started to cast Intermediate Magic Spells. By far, the most training he improved on was the Energy Force, which came easily to him compared to the other two.
Due to his improvement progress, his parents and magic tutor decided to give him more free time to enjoy his life. The reason behind this decision was because he did not interact with anyone outside the house, other than a few visits by his friend, Stuart Mardak. They felt his uprising was somewhat isolated and decided to train him three days and then let him off for another three days.
Lakshmi, his mother, actively supported this idea since she also felt that her son is growing up in a lonely environment when he was just seven. The reason they waited this long was due to him being really young and
One day, when the sky was blue and the wind breezed smoothly, Lakshman decided to explore the world outside the house on his own. Joining him on his exploration was his only friend, Stuart, who dropped by that morning to play with him.
“Good morning!” he would say in greeting when he meets with the locals.
They would smile and greet him respectfully. Most of the locals were farmers, but some worked in various fields such as the hospital, weapons shop and many more. Stuart, on the other hand, eyed each and every person suspiciously and stared at his friend greeting them with an amazed look on his face.
“Why are you greeting all these strangers?” he asked his friend once they got away from the people.
“Why not? It’s only natural to greet people you meet along the street, right?” Lakshman asked with a puzzled look on his face.
Stuart raised an eyebrow in surprise and shook his head before he said, “That sounds great, but seriously! We’re kids and for all I know, these people would easily abduct us if we get too friendly with them and dropped our guard!”
Lakshman said, “Oh. You mean that.” He suddenly smiled and replied, “Okay. I’ll be more careful.”
“Mmm!” Stuart said sharply and nodded his head approvingly before facing the front before asking, “By the way, where are we going?”
“Oh. Just a visit to the forest.”
“Ah? The forest? Why there?”
“I remember mom telling mere there were spirits in there as well as other races that don’t mingle with us in the open. I’ve explored almost the entire part on the other side, so I thought I’d come here and check it out.”
Stuart did a side-long glance at his friend and asked, “You want to meet the spirits?”
“Mmm. Won’t hurt to meet them right? I mean, they aren’t all that bad from what mom told me,” replied Lakshman with a grin on his face.
“Yeah, but the grown up ones tend to be,” said Stuart with a dark look on his face. “Dad said the fully grown adults tend to be aggressive against outsiders and are very protective of their surroundings.”
“Oh. Well, let’s just go in for a bit and see where it’ll lead us since there seems to be a walking track into the forest,” said Lakshman and his friend sighed before nodding his head in agreement.
Several minutes later, they ran up the hill and reached the top, and from atop, he could see across the area below. Each time he reached the top of a steep hill, he was always amazed at how beautiful the view looked. He paused for a moment to take in the beautiful scenario laid before him.
“Man…! Why aren’t the roads… straight?!” Stuart asked desperately as he breathed quickly from the running.
“Oh, come on! This view is great!” Lakshman said cheerfully. “You just need to stop being lazy and do some exercise.”
“Well, lucky for you, but my dad just wants me to learn to use the Energy Force,” replied Stuart as he breathed a deep sigh and straightened up.
“Oh yeah. You told me your dad wants you to become a doctor like him,” said Lakshman and his friend nodded his head in affirmation. “That’s sad. At least, you should learn to practice with a sword for self-defence.”
“You know what? I asked the same thing of him and he replied that nothing bad will happen! He even scolded me for being negative!” Stuart said with an irritated look on his face.
Lakshman laughed and said, “Oh well. Anyway, come on! The forest is just over there!”
“W-Wait up!” Stuart called after him as he chased after his friend.
They quickly ran down the road and soon reached a divide in the road, leading to the left and right and they took the road to the right leading towards the forest. Eventually, they saw the forest looming closer after several minutes of walking along the road in silence.
“Wow. The trees are so much taller than the ones on the roadside,” said Lakshman with an awed look on his face.
Stuart looked into the depths of the forest and nudged his friend on the side as he asked, “Are we really going into it? I mean, I’d rather just stay outside and admire the view and all, but are we really going to gin in?”
“Stop getting scared, Stuart! Be brave like our fathers! That’s what men should be!” Lakshman said with a smile on his face.
“S-Still…! It doesn’t hurt to be cautious,” replied Stuart nervously while staring intently into the forest.
Lakshman smiled as he looked up at the trees and noticed them stretching high into the sky and the numbers of them were countless on either side. It did create nervousness in them, but Lakshman was quick to throw it away and bravely walk into the forest.
While walking on the road with tall trees on either sides, they heard the natural sounds made by the forest. Initially, Stuart jumped in fright upon hearing that sound, but he gradually became accustomed to it and did not treat it as dangerous.
“So this is the lake,” said Lakshman a while later.
They walked for a few minutes in silence and arrived at a large lake that had a great amount of space in between. The water was flowing smoothly and looked to be quite deep, although, he did not fear it as he was confident he would not fall in. Somehow, he got the feeling that he will be safe, although he couldn’t explain the feeling. He crouched and stared at the water surface which mirrored his face.
“It’s funny to have a lake of this size in here of all places,” said Stuart quietly as he sat down near the lake and peered into it.
Just then they heard a splashing noise and Stuart jumped to his feet and stood close to his friend as Lakshman quickly gripped his sword handle. There was a moment of silence before he noticed some blue balls of light skimming the water with an air of playfulness and made him realise what they were.
“Baby Spirits,” muttered Lakshman quietly with an interested look on his face as he stared at them.
“Baby Spirits?” Stuart asked and his friend nodded in agreement.
“Yeah, or more precisely; Baby Water Spirits,” replied Lakshman as he explained about them. “They usually are blue coloured when they are young and when they grow up, they usually perform duties like become contract spirits to users and become their partners in battle and strength, or choosing to become guardians of the land by protecting it with their power.”
Stuart glanced at his friend in amazement and asked, “How do you know so much about them?”
“By learning about them in my magic lessons with Miss Manjuvad,” replied Lakshman with a shrug of his shoulders. “Of course, I don’t really know any more than that and your bit of info about them being strict is new to me.”
“Well, that’s what dad said anyway,” said Stuart with a sheepish smile formed on his face.
Lakshman chuckled and said, “Oh well. Hey! That tickles!”
Just then, a few of the baby water spirits came over and began playing with him by rubbing his cheeks. It looked like the young ones were not afraid of them as a bunch more came over to dance playfully in front of them. So Lakshman and Stuart sat down on the grass and watched the spirits jump into the lake and start playing around by skimming the surface of the water.
“They’re so beautiful,” commented Stuart with a smile on his face. “I wish I could’ve shown this to mom. She really likes spirits and always wanted to contract one.”
“Yeah, but let’s just keep this to ourselves,” said Lakshman in a quiet voice with a pleasant smile on his face.
“Yeah, otherwise, the people would just show up and start trying to capture these cute things,” replied Stuart in agreement and the two exchanged smiles before turning back to face the lake.
For several minutes, they watched the baby water spirits dancing around with interest until the spirits suddenly froze in what they were doing and almost dived into the water. They were dancing around rapidly and began moving towards a different shore as quickly as they could. Lakshman thought they were panicking but he thought that maybe he was just imagining it because he did not know anything detailed about then to be sure.
At that moment, they heard a blood-curdling roar in the distance and it caused every ounce of his body suddenly froze while making Stuart jump in fright. A moment later, the roar was heard and it was louder than the last as it sounded like the owner of the roar was drawing closer to them.
The two of them jumped to their feet quickly and Lakshman pulled his sword out as his friend exclaimed, “Damn! What now?!”
The blood-curdling roar had left them both feeling a little shaky, but they quickly shook their bodies and stared at the opposite end of the shore. They heard the leaves rustling behind the bushes for a few seconds before a monster walked out onto the open.
It had a black body, was on four legs and had two heads with a horn sticking out of each head. The monster matched a description of a monster he had heard his father talked about numerous times, but he did not remember its name.
“Oh man…! It’s a Twin-Headed Cerberus!” Stuart exclaimed and confirmed Lakshman’s suspicions. “What the hell is this thing doing all the way out here?!”
“This isn’t good!” Lakshman muttered in a sharp voice as he stared at the monster glaring fiercely at them. “Stuart, get back. It’s dangerous to stand in front.”
“Y-Yeah!” Stuart said and he quickly backed away and it was then that the monster made its move.
The Two-Headed Cerberus jumped into the air and its leap was so large that it almost fell on top of him. Lakshman held his sword back and gritted his teeth before swinging out and smacked the side of the monster’s face. With a growl, the monster flew to the left and crash landed before leaping to its feet and turning around to face them.
“Damn, Lucky! That’s our way out of here!” Stuart said sharply with a shocked look on his face. “Try to beat that thing to the side!”
He was having difficulty believing the dog had managed to jump so far to reach them, or the fact that it had quickly recovered its ground after being hit on the side of its face. He took on a fighting stance and faced the monster with a fierce look on his face with Stuart standing behind with a worried look on his face.
The monster let out another roar that surprised them and charged towards him with its jaws with razor-sharp teeth. Not wanting to put his friend in harm’s way, Lakshman darted forward and used his sword to swung at the monster from the right, causing the monster to be sent flying away to the right and away from the road.
“There!” Lakshman shouted and gestured at the exit. “Go!”
Stuart quickly nodded and he hurried to it, but suddenly came to a stop and turned around to ask, “Come on! Let’s get going!”
Lakshman shook his head and replied with his eyes on the monster, “No, Stuart! I can’t! It’ll come chasing after us even if we both escape and then it’ll head to town and cause problems!”
“Don’t tell me you’re going to stay here and fight that damned thing!” Stuart asked, wearing a shocked look on his face.
“I’ve got no other choice if I want to stop this thing from chasing after us!” Lakshman replied, firmly.
Realising the monster was going to make a move at him, he channelled Weapon Force into his sword and swung it in an arc to release a slicing energy wave at the monster. Seeing it soaring towards it, the monster growled and leaped away before the slicing energy smashed into a tree and exploded, causing splintered wood and smoke to spread everywhere.
He turned around and yelled at Stuart, “Go!”
Stuart was stunned by his friend’s actions, but he knew he had no choice and nodded in reply before turning around. As he ran hurriedly away, he shouted over his shoulders in order to reassure his friend.
“I’ll call for help! Until then, be safe!”
Lakshman smiled a little and thought, “I plan to.”
Just then, the monster took a stance and rushed at him with its horn aimed straight for his gut. Reacting in an instant, Lakshman used his sword to push the horn to up and away, but the force of the push knocked him hard in the chest. He stumbled several steps backwards and stared at the monster angrily while clutching his stomach.
He held his sword firmly in his hand and readied to continue the battle with the monster as it fiercely glared at him.
He continued to battle the monster for several minutes with no luck in him succeeding in defeating it. The monster proved to be calculative and often dodged him in order to wound and weaken him. His wounds were not that major and only a minimal amount of blood seeped out, but he was getting tired from the constant battle.
“Damn! I need to end this quick!” he thought desperately as he fended off another assault.
The monster glared at him fiercely and roared once more, making him flinch with closing only one eye. He did not dare close both eyes because he knew he might end up meeting a tragic end if he did that. The lessons with his father had taken over and his instincts made him raise his sword up in defence.
As the monster slowly circled around him, Lakshman glared back at it and thought, “I need a chance. Something, anything, to take this thing down!”
The opportunity he had been hoping for suddenly came in the form of a small cat that dashed out of the trees and darted towards the monster.
“Meow!” the cat screeched to grab the monster’s attention.
As the monster became distracted by the sudden appearance of a wild cat, giving Lakshman the chance he needed. He smiled as he took the chance by dashing forward as fast as he could and jumped just as the monster suddenly noticed his movement. Lakshman soared through the air stabbed his sword through one of its heads.
The monster roared in pain from the stabbed wound to one of its heads and shook him around wildly before the sword came lose and he flew through the air to land safely on his feet. He stood and glared fiercely at the monster that was writhing in pain from his sudden attack before it turned to face him with a truly horrible expression on its face.
Roaring again, the monster charged forward and leaped into the air to land on top of him and it was then that Lakshman got an inspiration. Seeing it leap into the air with one skewered head, he gathered his Weapon Force into his blade and jumped forward with it held firmly in front of him.
The two met in mid-air and the monster was cut easily into two as it flopped on the ground and remained unmoving. Lakshman landed on his feet a few meters away from its dead body and breathed a sigh as he turned around to see its split body lying on the ground with blood flowing out of it.
“Phew!” he said as he breathed a heavy sigh in relief.
He heard the sound of the cat and he turned around to see the cat standing before him with the lake behind it. The creature was small, just around seventy centimeters in height and stood at attention. If it were not for the sudden appearance of that cat, he might have been in deep trouble.
“Thank you,” said Lakshman appreciatively as he dropped his sword to his side.
As if understanding exactly what he said, the cat purred and slowly moved towards him. At that moment, the cat stopped its movement and raised its eyes as he also heard the sound of heavy footsteps coming from the other side of the lake. The sounds were coming harshly and its movement was fast, whatever it was, and Lakshman raised his sword in defence once more.
From out of the bushes, another Two-Headed Cerberus and it was running full pelt towards him as it leaped right near the edge of the lake. It flew through the air as Lakshman slowly widened his eyes in shock to find another of the same monster to deal with.
As it landed, the cat turned around and jumped at it in an attempt to attack it, but monster charged forward and head-butted the cat and sent it flying past Lakshman, who quickly raised his sword in defence. Still, it was no use as the monster’s charge was so strong that he smashed the sword and head-butted him hard in the chest.
The stunning blow was so strong that he was sent flying backwards before smacking the tree behind and slid to sit on the ground. He lay there with his eyes closed and moaned softly from the hard impact on his back and the pain of being struck hard in the chest. As he opened his eyes, he saw the monster glaring at him before charging away towards the road that lead to the exit of the forest.
“No…! Stop…!” he shouted, but the dog did not pay him any attention and disappeared.
Lakshman lay there and felt exhaustion taking over him as he felt his eyelids become heavy to remain open. He slowly turned to his right and saw the banged form of the cat that had helped him, but now it lay on the ground with blood spurting out of its tiny body.
“Me-ow…” it purred softly as it slowly moved its body towards him before giving up from its weakened state.
Realising the cat might die if it was left like that, he moved his arm and laid it over the cat before muttering, “Heal.”
In an instant, green light surrounded the body of the cat as he exerted Magic Force to heal the cat of its wounds. The light lasted for almost a minute before vanishing, leaving the cat with a fully restored body. The cat moved a little before sitting up and moved its tail around happily, which caused Lakshman to smile in relief.
“Thank goodness… you’re okay…” he said slowly as his eyelids slowly fell.
Just before he lost consciousness, he glimpsed a flash of light and heard a woman’s voice say, “Oh no! Hold on! I’ll get help!”
“Who?” Lakshman thought one last time before he lost consciousness completely.
After an unknown amount of time, Lakshman finally opened his eyes and immediately blinked in the shimmering light that dazzled him through the treetops. He sat upright and moaned a little from his back hurting more than the pain he felt in his chest. Realising where he was, he quickly rose to his feet and looked next to him for the cat, but saw that the space was empty.
“Looks like it ran off after the battle ended,” he thought with a smile on his face, remembering that he had healed it, which caused him to question hearing a voice afterwards. “I wonder whose voice that was?”
He pondered for a moment, but did not remember anyone that he knew to whom that voice belonged to. Not wanting to think further about it, he turned his attention away to face the road leading to the exit of the forest, making him remember the monster that attacked him, which had gone that way.
“Oh no!” he said, quickly wearing a worried look on his face.
Lakshman looked around and saw his sword lying a few meters away from him. He quickly ran to it, grabbed it and sheathed it to the side of his waist before he ran off towards the exit. As he left, two bright yellow lights watched him leave before they disappeared into the depths of the forest.
Meanwhile, Lakshman rushed to get out of the forest at great speed and arrived outside to meet the full glare of the sunlight, causing him to blink rapidly while placing a hand in front to shield his eyes. As he got accustomed to the light, he quickly began jogging towards the split in the road and noticed rising smoke in the distance and realised the town was in that direction. Feeling apprehensive, he quickly headed towards town the moment he reached the split roads.
As he drew closer to town, he could see a lot of damage had been done to the town with many buildings under fire. Just then, he noticed a large body of a black furred monster moving to the side of the town and his eyes widened with shock to realise that it was the Two-Headed Cerberus. It was several times bigger than the buildings surrounded it as the monster roared and destroyed buildings with its tail and head as it moved around.
He lost sight of the monster as he entered the now burning town and looked for any survivors that he might help escape. All of a sudden, the large monster erupted out of a building near him while roaring wildly. It shook its head variously and looked at him before it raised its large tail and attempted to smack him in the side.
Lakshman immediately jumped to the side and was sent flying away as the tail smashed the ground behind him. He flew through the air at high speed and smashed through several builds before crashing to a stop. He lay there with his face down before he pushed himself to lay face up with his legs paining him.
“Oww… My legs!” he muttered as he winced with pain.
“M-Mmm…? L-Lakshman…? Is that… you?”
At the familiar voice, he turned and saw his father hammered into the building only meters away.
Indra looked badly wounded as he remained in his stuck position. He had one eye closed with blood streaming down from the other areas on his body. Lakshman gingerly rose to his feet and moved towards him.
“Dad…” he asked tentatively as he stared at his beaten father in shocked disbelief.
“Lucky…! What are you… doing here?!” Indra asked while sounding severe, but he was hampered by the pain.
“I… I came from the forest and seeing this mess, I thought I’d help!” Lakshman said hurriedly. He quickly rose to his feet and walked over to see if he could help his father. “Come on, dad. Let’s get out of here.”
Indra smiled feebly at his son’s words and coughed blood out before he said, “It pleases me to… see you are okay… Your friend… Stuart… came by the guild and told us. We came quickly, but that thing… it attacked us and we—cough! Cough!”
He coughed several times more and his son said, “Stop talking, dad! You’re badly hurt! Let’s go before that thing comes our way!”
“Mmm… About that… It’s here…” said Indra slowly in a quiet voice.
Lakshman whirled around and he was shocked to see the monster destroy several buildings on its way to stand facing them. It had a dangerous glint in its large eyes and roared once more, causing a powerful wind to be swept in their direction.
“You… monster…!” Lakshman said slowly while feeling anger, that he had never felt before, boil inside of him as he glared at the monster. “You’re the one who did this to my father! You’re the one responsible for the chaos you brought to this village!”
As his anger reached a boiling point, a voice in his head said, “Leave it to me.”
His eyes momentarily widened in shock before they narrowed as he began to surge with power, which surprised his father. The release of his power caused the wind to blow quickly around them as he pulled his arm back and stared seriously in the direction of the monster. While he did that, the monster roared and charged towards him at high speed.
“You won’t make it!” he said in a voice filled with confidence as a ball of energy formed in his hand and he brought it forward before shouting, “If you’re still hungry, eat this!”
A powerful wave of energy erupted from his hand and it soared straight at the monster that was charging towards him. The monster widened its eyes in surprise and roared in shock as the powerful wave completely consumed it before soaring away at high speed before disappearing several seconds later.
Indra, who was stuck in the wall behind, widened his eyes in shock as he stared at the unbelievable thing his son had perform. He was unsure of whether he dreamed what he saw, but the fact that the monster was gone was enough proof for him to believe in reality.
At that moment, Lakshman’s body swayed from the overuse of energy and he said, “It’s time I take my leave.”
With that, Lakshman closed his eyes and lost consciousness before collapsing on the ground with a heavy thud. Indra, with difficulty, managed to pull himself out and quickly moved to check on his son’s condition. He was relieved to find that his son was safe and he carried him over his shoulders to get him healed.
Later, the towns’ folk returned and soon began their reconstruction of the village. For those that died, they built a monument to commemorate their death and helped the families that lost their loves ones to slowly recover. It was hard to deal with, but they had to live with it because of the environment that they grew up in. For most part, nothing bad happened for a while and the townspeople became more alert for any unusual activities.
The Chand family, on the other hand, were spending their time as they normally did. Lakshman trained with the Weapon Force, Magic Force and Energy Force, his father continued his daily work as an adventurer and his mother went regularly to the hospital and came almost late at night accompanied by her husband. Meanwhile, Mariana continued her regular work by looking after the house and Sumara did her best to teach Lakshman magic.
Lakshman was treated like a celebrity for being the one that destroyed the monster as was recounted by his father, who was still a bit disbelieving that his son had did that. One day, the town’s mayor visited his house and gathered the entire family to hand over the reward money of 5000 gold to Lakshman.
“This is the amount for the effort of the actions you’ve taken to saving the town,” said the mayor to Lakshman.
The young kid was feeling very happy and a sense of arrogance began to emerge within him for his actions. It was, however, cut short when a voice in his mind said, “This is not good.”
In an instant, Lakshman’s eyes widened in surprise before he looked smoothly at the mayor and said, “Thank you for this, but I cannot accept this.”
The mayor looked surprise and so was his father, who was ready to interfere in taking the money if his son had taken it. To Indra, he felt that the sudden reward might indulge his son into making him overconfident in himself. So seeing his son decline the offer was pleasing to see and he watched the scene while concealing his satisfaction.
“Why is that?” the mayor asked the boy curiously.
Lakshman smiled and said, “I believe this money should go towards organising a regular patrol of adventurers around the area for any signs of danger. I don’t really feel safe in my house as I keep wondering whether we’ll be under attack again because there’s no one to look out for these kinds of trouble.”
The mayor looked surprise and his mother nodded in agreement to his words as she said in support, “My son’s right. I doubt anyone will feel safe in their homes or in town knowing this might happen again. I really think we should organise a patrol or some kind of lookout to check out this kind of trouble.”
“Mmm,” said the mayor and he nodded in understanding as he realised the sense of their words. “I understand and though it pains me a little to take this money back, I will put it to good use.”
“I appreciate that,” said Lakshman, wearing a pleasant smile on his face.
As he watched the mayor leave, he thought, “I better take my leave.”
He closed his eyes and reopened his eyes to see his father walk into the living room while saying, “Thank goodness the mayor’s an understanding man and I hope he’ll put the idea of a patrol into motion.”
“He will since it’s necessary now,” replied Lakshmi with a smile on her face.
The two of them walked over to their son and patted him on the head while he stared at them in surprise.
“You did great, Lucky,” said his mother with a happy smile on her face.
“Yeah! I’m proud of you!” His father said firmly with a broad grin on his face.
Lakshman looked between them and then smiled in return as he replied, “Thank you. Dad. Mom.”
While he was a little confused about what happened between him and the mayor, but he realised that he had not accepted the money he had wanted to reward him with. So he was pleased to do something that made his parents be happy with him and he hugged them happily.