Don’t mess with Explosion Boy
The days of training proceeded smoothly. Lakshman was able to assist in teaching the kids how to use and control their Weapon Force. However, he needed Sumara’s help in teaching them the Magic Force and Energy Force.
“It’s a bit different for me if you compare it to them,” he said when the kids were not able to feel the flow of energy.
“It’s alright, Lucky,” Sumara said reassuringly as she came over to help out.
She turned to the kids and said “Listen kids.”
The kids instantly came to attention. They know this person was the one that instructed Lakshman. So, they showed utmost respect and discipline when she came over to teach them.
“The flow of energy is like the wind. You can always feel it, but requires a lot of focus. Now, sit down, fold your legs and close your eyes. Once you do that, concentrate… concentrate on the unknown, the presence within you.”
The kids nodded, but they actually did not understand anything after her ‘concentrate’ word. But, not wanting to disappoint her, they simply nodded and sat down. Folding their legs beneath them and closing their eyes, everyone became intensely silent.
“Don’t think of anything unnecessary,” she continued to say while walking around them. “Keep a fine tune within yourself. Don’t focus on sound, feel or touch. Become one with it by merging your mind with nature.”
The kids nodded, but she sternly said “Don’t react to me. Just let my words flow into you just like the flow of energy.”
Several minutes passed and there was no reaction. The kids just sat there with their eyes closed and concentrated really hard. After a while, they opened their eyes and let out a sigh tiredly.
“Did it work?” Lakshman asked eagerly, but they simply shook their heads.
“I didn’t feel a thing, other than the wind of-course,” Stuart said as he rubbed the sweat off his forehead.
“Oh,” Lakshman said, slightly crestfallen, but Ondine patted him on the shoulder.
“Cheer up, master. They’re not as in-tune with mother nature like you are,” she said with a grin on her face.
“That’s right,” Sumara said, nodding at Ondine. “It’s an unnatural feat for Lucky to feel the flow of energy in his first go.”
“Really?” the kids said with wide eyes.
“Do you mean… Lucky felt the force on his first try?” a kid said curiously.
Sumara nodded wordlessly and the kids became amazed. They quickly turned their heads towards him and gave him a look of wonder.
“Although, he tends to… uh… explode each time he tried applying that force,” Sumara said wryly.
“Miss Sumara! I didn’t explode when I used the Magic Force!” Lakshman said indignantly.
Sumara shook her and said “Maybe not, but you carelessly cut down an entire tree!”
“W-Well… it was an accident,” Lakshman said hesitantly.
“Then your first attempt at applying the Energy Force made a big explosion.”
“Oh… I guess it did,” he said with a slight shrug of his shoulders.
“No need to guess, it happened because I was there,” Sumara said sternly and she turned back to the kids before saying “This idiot of an instructor tried showing off his ability to control the Energy Force, only for it to explode in his face and almost make a mess.”
“B-But, nothing terrible happened though!” he said quickly.
“That’s because I created used a magic spell, Wall Funnel, around you to block off the explosion,” she said sternly. “It was a close call and the spell almost got destroyed because of how big it was.”
Lakshman simply stared at her with his mouth hanging. Then let out a half-hearted laughter while scratching the back of his head in embarrassment. She eyed him coolly and continued to retell his failures.
“Then in his first ever battle, I made him do Energy Charge.”
“Energy Charge?” a kid asked and most of the kids looked puzzled. “Is that a magic spell?”
“No, it’s not,” she said with a shake of her head. “It’s a procedure when you let out some energy before fighting. It’s advisable to it because you would end up feeling very drained by the end of the day.”
“Wow,” the kids said in awe. Then a kid said “Shouldn’t we be doing that then if we are practicing magic and stuff?”
“Not for this low activity,” Sumara said and she smiled a little. “Anyway, back to what I was saying…”
The kids became silent and looked at her eagerly. Lakshman did not like where this was going, but he continued to listen. Ondine showed extreme interest in Sumara’s stories and was listening keenly.
“Lucky did the Energy Charge right. Now, I don’t know and he doesn’t know what, but something went amiss and his energy went out of control and exploded. The explosion was so strong, I thought I was going to be blow off my feet!”
“Me too!” Ondine said, chipping into the tale. Then she winked and said “I was also there!”
“Yes,” Sumara said with a nod towards her. “Funny thing was, nobody was hurt and certainly the idiot that caused that explosion. Although, his appearance was a mess and that was quite good to laugh at.”
The kids began to roar in laughter. Some were clutching their stomachs as it hurt from laughing so hard. Looking at them in a fluster, he turned to Sumara and looked indignantly at her.
“Miss Sumara…! I-It was an accident!” Lakshman said indignantly.
“Yes… in my life, you’re the only one who produced most explosions regardless of your intent,” Sumara said sternly. “That’s why… I gave him the nickname: Explosion Boy!”
The kids were laughing really hard. A few seconds later, some of them began relaxing, but breathing hard.
“Explosion Boy… what’s he good at? Making explosions!” a kid said heartily and they laughed again.
Lakshman looked at them in exasperation and said “Come on, now… you don’t want to follow in my footsteps…” Then he wore a cheeky grin and said “Unless you seriously want me to make on right now!”
As he spoke, energy began to flow around him and the wind gradually blew faster. It was gently buffeting the kids and they looked at him, appalled. They suddenly felt they were in real danger and reacted instantly.
“No thanks!” the kids quickly said and went back to training.
“Good!” he said and relaxed his energy.
“Don’t spike your energy up like that, master,” Ondine said and she wore a worried expression on her face. “I feared you might demolish this whole place!”
“Ha! It’s their fault for taking me so lightly!” he said irritably when he looked at her.
Ondine shook her head and sighed in relief. Sumara, on the other hand, reacted very differently.
“Nicely handled,” Sumara said and gave him a thumps-up.
He sternly looked at her and said “Miss Sumara… you started this in the first place.”
“I know, but I just got carried away,” she said and smiled sweetly.
“Uh…” he said and hesitated when he saw that smile.
“What’s the matter?” she asked once she returned to wearing her usual expression of half-open eyes and cold-like expression on her face.
“Nothing, nothing at all!” he quickly said and retuned to training the kids.
Since then, there has been slow progress. It took nearly two weeks for some kids to finally demonstrate their ability to feel the flow of energy. When they did, they were all astonished.
“It was right there… all along…” one kid said in amazement as he felt it with his hands.
“I don’t know why, but by nature we don’t feel it even though it’s always been there,” Lakshman said. Then he turned and asked Sumara “Miss Sumara, do you have any idea why that is?”
She shook her head and said “I have no clue. This has been under research for many years, but no one has found any concrete answers for almost two-hundred years.”
“Really?” he said, surprised by the revelation. “So, people were researching this phenomenon.”
She nodded and said “Human researchers felt it was unnatural for humans and certain races to not have direct affinity for controlling energy after birth.”
“I see,” he said and nodded in understanding. “So, what did they discover for now?”
Sumara looked at him and merely smiled before saying “Now isn’t the time for that, Lucky.”
“Oh,” he said and took the hint to mean he was not ready to learn about it.
Lakshman shrugged his shoulders indifferently and returned to the training. Ondine, however, showed curiosity as she eyed Sumara through narrowed eyes.
Like this, the training continued for another week. By now, all the kids were capable of feeling the flow of energy. Then they moved onto using Beginner Ranked magic spells.
At first, the kids did not succeed. They did not know how to connect their energy into the magic spells. But, they quickly grasped the flow when they executed their magic spells.
Finally, two days before his birthday, Lakshman made an announcement.
“I’ll be testing you guys next week!”
The kids could not believe their ears. What is it saying? Does that mean… the kids will be tested?
A kid raised his hand and asked “What do you mean, Lucky?”
“I’m going to have you guys used your magic spells on me,” Lakshman said. “That way, I can get a clear picture on how strong you all have become!”
“So… we’re picking a fight with you?”
“No… not a fight. If it’s a fight, I’d knock you guys out before you know what hit you!”
The kids laughed, but some looked a little taken aback by his strange joke. He shrugged his shoulders and continued speaking.
“I’ll be acting as your target and you will use your magic spells to hit me with it.”
“Oh… so it’s like… target shooting.”
“Exactly!” Lakshman said brightly as he gestured towards the kid who answered with his fore-finger.
The kids finally relaxed, knowing this was actually not a confrontation. They may be crazy minded, but even they know how weak they are in comparison to him. Their training made it clear just how much more advanced he is than they originally thought.
A few hours of training later, he dismissed them. Since they will be taking the next few days off from training, they bid him farewell. Some even wished him a happy birthday, but it made him laugh.
“You’re two days early to wish me!” he said with a wide grin on his face.
Soon, everyone was gone and headed towards their homes. He sighed and stretched is arms and legs before walking towards his home.
“Lucky, a second please.”
Turning around, he saw Sumara gesturing for him to wait. She caught up with him and looked at him and her eyes slowly moved from top to bottom and back to the top. Then she smiled and he was taken aback by this smile. It was a smile, but there was something different about it.
“What is it, Miss Sumara?” he asked cautiously.
“You’ve grown well,” she said and looked at him proudly. “You’ve done so many things in these five years!”
As she finished, she nodded to herself. He watched her and did not understand as to why she was behaving so differently.
“Miss Sumara?” he asked uncertainly.
Then her expression became serious as she said “Lakshman, I am going to test you on your birthday.”
“Eh?” he said, unsure what he just heard.
She cleared her throat and said “I am going to make you take the Saint Magic Test!”
Lakshman suddenly realised this was not a joke. It was very real. He had to take this seriously because she called him by his real name. She only ever does that when she speaks very seriously to him.
Now he stood there and stared at her serious expression and felt a great lump fall in the pit of his stomach.