Demonstrations and Planning
One afternoon, just after lunch, everyone was out in the fields. The kids sat on the grass while the adults sat on seats placed nearly in a row behind. Standing in front of them was Lakshman. Ondine stood slightly behind and to his left because Tetra was holding onto his right arm.
He took a deep breath and said loudly “Welcome, everyone! Today, as you know, will be the first lesson on knowing, understanding and controlling the Force.”
When he finished, he licked his lips nervously. He did not so much mind the kids, but the staring of the adults did.
It all started a few days ago when he told them he will be teaching them they will be learning the Weapon Force, Magic Force and Energy Force. In their excitement, they told their parents and guardians. Because of that, the entire area knew about it.
Then the parents, through their kids, requested to be present when he teaches them. Not wanting to refuse, he agreed and it was set. They have all arrived with their kids to a remote area, well away from buildings and people.
“We don’t need the Explosive Boy making his appearance and creating a mess,” Sumara had said sternly.
At the mention of ‘Explosive Boy’, she meant him creating a self-destruct explosive Energy Force. He did not understand why, but sometimes his energy just goes out of control and self-destructs. It doesn’t hurt, but the explosion it creates is not something to laugh at.
With that in mind, they set their lesson away from buildings and people. Then, with the help of Ondine, Tetra and Mariana, they set up the chairs for the adults to sit on. Once they arrived, they sat on chairs while the kids sat on the grass.
At first, the kids complained. But, after being told “Training doesn’t include luxury,” they quickly stopped complaining. They sat quietly on the cool grass and waited for him to begin the lesson.
Now he stood and stared at them, feeling unusually nervous. He quickly leaned towards Ondine and whispered “Um… am I doing okay?”
“You’re doing fine, master,” she said with a slight nod. Then she smiled a little as she said “Please be confident, master. If anyone here talks rubbish about you, I’ll make sure to turn them into mice meat!”
“You don’t need to do that!” he said quickly and straightened up while she shrugged her shoulders.
Then he cleared his throat and said “Firstly, I thank the adults for coming. I will now begin the lesson on the Force. In case I make a mistake, I have my instructor, Miss Sumara, to help me out.”
He indicated towards Sumara, who was standing to the side. Sumara bowed her head a little as they turned to look at her. Some of the adults had surprised expression on their faces, but most nodded wordlessly.
Lakshman took a deep breath and said “The thing we need to be aware of is Force and Energy. They are relative to each other and are often working together. That’s how we get our magic spells to work and applying energy into our weapons.”
The kids nodded and he continued.
“There are three types of Force; Weapon Force, Magic Force and Energy Force. Anyone want to take a guess at what each of them is?”
There was silence and stillness as the question passed between them. Then a kid, a boy, raised his hand and Lakshman gestured towards him. The kid rose to his feet and started speaking.
“Weapon Force… I think, um, it’s that energy used to make… uh… your weapon…. well… weapons… stronger?”
Lakshman made a surprised noise with his mouth and nodded at him. The kid smiled happily and sat back down, looking proud.
Then he said “Good. Next? Anyone care to take on Magic Force and Energy Force?”
Then another kid, this a girl, stood up and said “Magic Force is the application used to execute spells and incantations.”
“Wow! Big words!” Lakshman said and he nodded before saying “Very good.”
The girl sat back down, looking haughty which surprised Lakshman. Shaking his head to clear away unnecessary thoughts, he moved on and asked “Any last guesses for Energy Force?”
This time there was only silence. Everyone just looked at him with blank expressions. Lakshman waited a few seconds, but there looked like no one will be answering. He sighed and returned the smile to his face.
“We’ve got good responses, let’s clap for those who took the mantle and answered!” he said cheerfully.
There was a loud ringing noise of clapping sound as everyone, including the adults, put their hands together to praise the ones who answered. As they died down, he returned to speaking.
“Weapon Force, like he said, it’s to strengthen the weapons,” he said and gestured at the boy who answered. “But it’s much more than that. It is also to enhance our weapons so they can do things they normally can’t do otherwise.”
A kid raised her hand and asked “Such as?”
“Let me demonstrate,” he said and he looked down at Tetra before saying “Tetra.”
“Yes, master?” she said happily.
“I need you to take on your sword form.”
“I need to demonstrate something.”
“I don’t want to! I want to stick to master like this!”
“Tetra, you can hug me all you want after this, okay?”
“Oh…” she said and sounded very unhappy. Then she nodded and said “Okay, I’ll do it if master wants me to.”
“Good girl,” he said and patted her on the head.
She giggled happily and, in a flash of light, transformed into the sword he always wields. Then, he looked around and found what he was looking for; a boulder. He walked over to it and they watched him closely.
“I’m now going to try to cut this block in two,” he said and he raised his sword a little.
There was a hushed silence as he readied his sword. Then his eyes flashed and he swung his sword at the boulder. A loud clang was heard as the sword smacked hard into the rock, but did not cut it. There was a loud groan from the spectators and he smiled in their direction.
“I didn’t apply any Weapon Force, so the boulder wouldn’t be cut that easily,” he explained to the watching spectators. “Now, I will apply it!”
In an instant, energy surged from him and his sword began to glow in red colour. Then he took a stance and swung at the boulder once more. This time, the sword cut clean through the boulder. The cut out part of the boulder tumbled over and fell with a thud.
There was a stunned silence, which was broken by loud applause. He straightened up and turned around to bow down in appreciation.
After that, he explained about the Magic Force and how near accurate the girl’s explanation was. Once done, he demonstrated it by conjuring up an Intermediate Ranked magic spell, Water Ball. Once he dropped it, it became normal water and the grass was wet.
Finally, he moved onto the Energy Force.
“The Energy Force is the application of the Force which takes on a raw form.”
At first, people were confused by his explanation. Sumara took over and explained it further and asked him to demonstrate.
Lakshman demonstrated by channelling his energy and created a small energy ball in the palm of his hands. Everyone was surprised and impressed by his amazing control of the Force.
Sumara, however, saw the energy ball sparking. Fearing an explosion is imminent, she said “Lucky, please chuck that thing as far as you can!”
He did not understand why she told him that, but he did as he was told. With all of his might, he threw the energy ball into the distance. It disappeared into the horizon and, a few seconds later, a large explosion could be seen and the ground trembled slightly.
The adults were quite startled by the explosion and became very impressed with him. As the demonstration ended, they moved forward and
“You are very powerful!”
“I’m so impressed by your magic control!”
“Would you mind training my kid those things?”
“Hey, if I pay you, could you train my kid to do those things?”
“I’d like it if my kid becomes as strong as you, Lakshman!”
Lakshman didn’t say anything, but “Thank you” or “You too highly of me” or “It’s wasn’t much.”
He was avoiding answering their piling questions. The reason was simply that he felt uneasy. During his many study sessions with Mariana, she had strictly told him to never be in debt to someone.
When he asked “Why?” she shook her head and had a dark expression on her face.
Then she said “They will work you like a salve relentlessly!”
“Really?” he asked, quite surprised by her response.
She nodded seriously and said “You’re quite young to understand, young master, but the world out there, the world teething with selfish people, is one scary place you don’t want to be in.”
At first, he was not sure whether to believe her or not. Then her seriousness and the dark expression on her face, made him believe. Since then, he was afraid to owe people anything. So, he now dodged their questions and simply smiled away.
After a while, they dispersed and left home with their kids. The kids are also excited, but for a very different reason. They are just excited to know that they be learning to do those things. Soon, they disappeared into the distance.
“That was tough!” Lakshman said and he breathes out in relief.
“You did so well, master!” Ondine said happily.
He merely nodded and breathed as they moved all the chairs back into the house. Indra also came out to help move them back. When they paused in moving them, he said he was also impressed by his easy control of the Force.
“Were you watching, dad?” Lakshman asked, looking surprised.
“Yeah! I was watching you while keeping my distance,” Indra said with a grin.
“Why? You could’ve come and watch closely?”
“I wanted to avoid being there since you might suddenly explode if something went wrong.”
Lakshman looked at him indignantly and said “Come on! I have better control over my powers now!”
“How many times have you said that, but they still kept happening?” Sumara asked as she joined them.
“B-B-But… those were all accidents! And it’s already been more than a few months since my power did that to me!”
“Yes… a new record! We’ll need to keep a record of it!” Indra said sarcastically with a smile.
“Very funny!” Lakshman said and he stormed into the house with Ondine and Tetra trying to catch up with him.
Then Mariana walked over and glared at him through her glasses. Then she bowed to them and also walked into the house. Watching them go, he scratched the back of his head uncertainly.
“Maybe we teased him a little,” Indra said with a wry smile.
“Perhaps,” Sumara said with a slight nod of her head. Then she turned and asked “What do you think his progress?”
“His progress?” he said in surprise. Then he thought for a moment before saying “I think he’s managed to conquer most of the difficult things he had before. I’m even surprised how well he is moving under all that weight!”
“Yes, it’s like he wasn’t wearing the weighted training gear,” Sumara said as she nodded at his words.
For a few seconds, they stood in silence and watched the house. Then she said “The time is near.”
“What is?” he asked, but he thought knew what it was.
Sumara turned to him and said “The Saint Magic Test.”
“Already?” he asked, a little surprised even though he already guessed. “It’s it too soon for him to take it?”
Sumara, on the other hand, shook her head and said “I have taught him everything I know of. It’s time for him to take the test and begin his own journey into the realm of adulthood.”
“But… he’s only twelve…”
“Yes. Which reminds me… when is his thirteenth birthday?”
“Um… It’s in another three weeks,” he said thoughtfully.
“Very well,” she said and nodded as if she decided on something. “I shall conduct the test on his birthday. ”
“Don’t you think that’s kind of harsh? What if he fails?”
This time, she looked at him coolly and smiled a little before saying “I am confident in Lucky. He will pass the test. It will be a joyous event to celebrate his birthday and his advancement up the ranks.”
They continued to look at each other for a moment. Then he shifted his gaze away into the distance and sighed.
“What is up with people? First Felix and now Sumara? Why are they so confident in Lucky?”
He shook his head in mystery and said “Fine. Do as you please.”
“Thank you. Now I shall take my leave,” she said, bowed and left for the house.
He watched her go and wondered, yet again, how different Lakshman was compared to everyone else, including himself. With thoughts of questions and confusion, he walked into the house.