- Charles (college friend)
A new day started as the sun shone brightly in the sky. A few clouds hung overhead, which gave he world a warm calming feel. The birds and the small animals of the land stirred in the early morning sunlight and began their day.
In a certain house on an open field surrounded by houses and farmland someone was still fast asleep. He was a young boy, he covered head to toe with a blanket. He was still deep asleep, breathing slowly and easily, which causing the blankets to rise and fall rhythmically.
The room was somewhat dark as the sun continued to rise and much of the penetrating light, through the windows, was shunned by the closed curtains. There was a chandelier above him, large crystal atop it, which was used when the room was at its darkest.
Just then, the door to the room opened and a slender woman entered into it. She seemed to be in her mid-twenties as she slowly walked over to stand in front of the bed while her son slept. She was smiling, and stared at how much of the bed sheet her son had covered himself with before walking over to pull the curtains back to let light stream into the room. The sleeping boy moaned and turned over to avoid taking sunlight into his eyes, which made her sigh and walk over to sit next to him on a chair to wake him up.
“Lucky…? Lucky… It’s time to wake up,” she said as she shifted to the side and gently moved him.
“Mmm…” the boy moaned softly from within the blankets covering him. “Five more minutes…”
She chuckled and shook her head before she said, “No, Lucky. You’ll be late for training with your dad. So, wake up.”
“Mmm! I don’t want to train! I still want to sleep!” he said in a muffled voice, still covered by the heavy blankets.
“Oh… You’ve been saying that a lot, but I know you’re playing!” she said cheerfully, before gripping the blankets, and pulling them off, exposing him to the light.
“Ah!” he exclaimed in surprise as dazzling light momentarily blinded him. He sat up straight on his bed and rubbed his eyes wearily before turning to stare indignantly at his mother. “Why can’t I sleep five more minutes?”
“Lakshman… You’ve already skipped your training lessons for two days,” she said with a raised eyebrow in exasperation. “If you miss any more days, your father will suspect something and I will start failing at making excuses for your sleepiness.”
“Mmm… Alright…” he muttered, grumbling as he got off the bed and stretched his body. He yawned softly while facing the sunlight as it continued to slightly pass through the closed windows.
Meanwhile, his mother quickly picked up the blankets and neatly folded them before straightening the bed covers. With that completed, she rose to her feet and moved over to ruffle his hair as he yawned hugely.
“I think sleeping too much is a bad thing,” she said just as he yawned once more. She chuckled and said, “See? Yawning makes you feel very sleepy. Go wash your eyes quickly before you fall asleep again.”
“Okay mum,” he replied cheerfully with a smile on his face.
Just as she decided to go, she suddenly turned back to face him before she asked curiously, “Do you know what day it is today…?”
“Mmm… The fourth day of the week?” he replied with a puzzled look on his face. “Is something special on today?”
She chuckled and while moving forward, she lowered herself to his height and planted a kiss on his forehead. Her action surprised her as she leaned back and smiled at him happily before she said, “Many happy returns of the day.”
Her action surprised him before the realisation hit him and he smiled widely as he exclaimed, “Wow! Today’s my birthday!”
“Yes sleepyhead!” She said happily, ruffling his hair with a playful look on her face.
He beamed up at his mother and said, “Thanks mum,” before giving her a warm hug, which she returned happily.
As he withdrew, she looked at him closely and said, “Tell you what? I’ll make your favourite sweets if you go to train with your dad like a good boy and come back with good behaviour. Okay?”
Lakshman nodded at her cheerfully and said, “Got it!”
“Okay. Now, go brush your teeth and come downstairs so you have breakfast before you go,” She said and, pinching his cheek a little playfully, she left the room.
“Ah… It’s my birthday…” he said slowly and he sighed deeply in blissful happiness.
Seven years have passed since Lakshman, nicknamed as Lucky, was born on the night when the mood was up and the weather feeling welcomed. Since then, he had slowly grown with his family, which consisted of his mother, Lakshmi, his father, Indra, and their house maid, Mariana.
Ever since being born, Lakshman had been growing up with the affection of his parents and received the strict management from Mariana. A while back, his father began training sessions for his son, which he did not really look forward to because of all the terribly hard work that came with it. Other than that, he spent the last seven years peacefully playing around with his family and enjoying what life had to offer.
So, Lakshman quickly headed over to the bathroom and knocked once to make sure no one was inside. With no reply, he decided there was no one in and he quickly went in before shutting the door close behind. Several minutes later, he walked out refreshed and wide awake as his youthful kick finally began.
He jumped down the flight of stairs and met up with Mariana, who looked sternly at him and said, “Young master! Please be careful when you’re coming down the stairs!”
“Yes! Sorry, Mariana,” he said apologetically, bowing his head.
She looked at him apologising to her before she replied, “That’s quite alright but please be careful.”
“I will!” he replied, firmly with a bright grin on his face as he straightened up.
“Well then, happy birthday,” she said as a warm smile spread over her face.
Lakshman was surprised a little bit, but he smiled in return and said, “Thank you Mariana,” and to her surprise, he hugged her warmly.
She was momentarily frozen in place by surprise before she said, “You are welcome, young master.”
As he released her, she slowly walked towards the kitchen with a soft smile on her face. Turning away, he walked out of the house and saw his father swinging a wooden sword around. Suddenly, he took a fighting stance and began swinging the sword expertly. He wore a serious expression on his face and fought hard against his invisible enemies with the wooden sword.
That was the first time he had seen his father make such amazing movements. Once he finished swinging, he straightened up, hearing Lakshman applauding energetically. Hearing the clapping, Indra turned around and smiled at seeing who it was.
“Lucky! A good morning to you,” Indra said as he greeted his son with a cheerful smile. “Also, happy birthday!”
“Thanks dad!” Lakshman said excitedly as he smiled widely at him before he said, “That was amazing!”
Indra shrugged his shoulders and said, “This is just the usual exercise a warrior must do daily, otherwise, we’ll lose our edge in a real battle.”
“Yeah, but still, this is the first time that, I think, I’ve seen you moving so skilfully!” Lakshman said in awe.
Indra chuckled at his son’s words and said, “Tell you what? If you train rigorously, someday you’ll be able to it.”
Lakshman blinked in surprise and he stared at the sword before he asked, “Really? I mean, it looks so difficult to do.”
“Everything starts out difficult, but that doesn’t mean you give up right at the beginning. Take a step forward and keep taking simple steps to advance and reach new heights of the training,” said Indra and his son looked at him in surprise as he gestured at himself.
“You think I knew how to do this from the beginning? Nope. I was probably a little older than you when I started and it was really annoying. My master was relentless with his training schedule until he hammered the basics into me and everything else I obtained by experience of travelling and fighting over the years.”
“Yeah, but that’s because it was you, dad, but I’m nothing like you. Not dedicated and completely lazy,” admitted Lakshman slowly in a low voice.
His father grinned at him and said, “I knew your mom was covering up for your laziness to sleep all day long because when you do become sick, it’s always serious.”
Lakshman smiled guiltily at his father as he realised that he and his mother had missed that factor. Right from childhood, for unexplainable reasons, he kept getting sick and it always seem to pain him immeasurably. They had him checked each and every time he got sick, but the doctors were unable to understand why he got so sick, eventually stating that he had an unusual body condition.
“You getting sick is not something to ignore and you know how much pain you get because of it,” said Indra shrewdly as he stared with a knowing face. “None of that happened and it’s been over a year since you got sick, so I found it strange.”
“Oh. So you guessed that I was just trying to avoid training?” his son asked and Indra nodded in reply.
“That’s right because, back when then, I used to do the same,” stated Indra and he winked at his son, who looked surprised. “Of course, my master wasn’t an idiot and he somehow knew when I was sick and when I wasn’t. Oh well.” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled at his son as he said, “I’ve done silly things before you, so I can guess what you’re up to most of the time.”
His son laughed half-heartedly and said, “Sorry dad, but I didn’t feel like training because it looked like a lot of effort and a lot of pain involved in getting stronger.”
Indra grinned and clapped his son on the shoulders as he said, “I am confident that you can do it because you are my son!”
Lakshman looked up at his father in surprise by the words he said and felt a confidence welling up inside him from the firm grip his father on his shoulder. He was still hesitant, looking at his father’s heavy sword, but he decided he should give it a try instead of completely giving up without trying.
The first training that Indra had his son do was the running exercise, which was ten times around the house. Lakshman was perplexed, but Indra stated how important running is to strengthen the leg muscles and explained how this improves their speed when they have to fight quickly or dodge. As support, Indra ran along with him while shouting words of encouragement.
The next training Indra had him do was body stretching. Indra and Lakshman stretched their bodies to loosen up the extra fat their bodies might have gained and to ease up tense muscles. After that, Lakshman began his training with the wooden sword by swinging it up and down.
“Swinging it up and down like this is boring,” Lakshman said as he stared disbelieving the wodden sword before turning to his father and asking, “What’s so good about doing it this way, dad?”
Indra patiently explained that the swinging of the sword develops firm hand grip, strengthens the arm muscles and strengthens the shoulders. He further explained that swinging the sword repeatedly further improves the movement of the arms to move faster with each swing.
Lakshman listened intently to his explanation and when it was over, he nodded his head in understanding before asking, “Dad, I’ve always wanted to ask you; are swords just a cutting tool?”
“They are to be used in that manner in the face of danger, but they are also tools for defence,” stated Indra and went on to further explain, “For example, if someone not in the right mind attacks, you immediately do everything in your power to take them down because you have allies to protect and family relying upon your survival.”
“What if you have to kill them?” Laskhman asked while looking nervously.
Indra looked at his son for a moment in silence before he said, “Try to settle things peacefully, but if that isn’t enough and your life, or the life of your allies is at stake, then go for the kill.” His son looked shocked and Indra nodded in understanding. “I know it’s wrong, but you can’t allow good nature to get yourself killed because there are people depending on your survival.”
“Family, friends and allies,” said Lakshman and Indra nodded in agreement with a smile on his face.
At that moment, they heard his mother’s loud voice calling, “Lucky? It’s time to study!”
Both father and son looked surprised and Indra said, “Wow. It’s that time already? That went fast.” He turned to face his son and said, “Okay. Lucky, let’s continue this afterwards and you go study well. Okay?”
“Yes!” Lakshman replied cheerfully and he waved at his father before turning to head into the house to start his study session with Mariana.
Lakshman had his study session conducted inside the house under the supervision of Mariana. Initially, Indra and Lakshmi wanted to send him off to a school near the town, but eventually decided against it upon knowing that there was bullying at that school. Not wanting their son to go far away from them or face such misbehaviour, they decided to keep him at home and have Mariana educate him.
The two of them settled in the living room for their study session with Mariana bringing in three books. The subjects that Mariana educated him with was Mathematics, History and Language, which included the Human Language and the Global Language. He proved to be a quick study as he seemed to pick up plenty of the materials very quickly and retained them with little difficulty.
As they were getting ready to study, Lakshmi arrived at the living room entrance and bid Lakshman goodbye before going to work as a nurse in town. Indra did the same several minutes later as he quickly waved at them and went out for his job as an adventurer. Lakshmi works mainly as a healer in town and gets average salary and Indra works as an Escort Adventurer to accompany anyone to places. Lakshmi often returns home for lunch while Indra shows up sometimes if his work is low.
“Okay, young master. I’ll start asking you questions from yesterday’s classes and you answer correctly,” she said and Lakshman nodded with a smiling face.
“Before we start, could I ask for a reward?” he asked and when she blinked at him, he grinned and asked, “Can you make me an additional cake to the one mom will be making me tonight if I answer all questions correctly?”
“Another cake? What for?” she asked him curiously while staring at him through her spectacled glasses.
“Well, you know, I liked how tasty your cake was and I want to eat it as well,” he replied with a puppy eyed look on his face.
She knew his request was childish, but since it was his birthday, she decided to accept it as she said, “Alright. I’ll make it, but only if you answer all questions correctly and study well today.”
Lakshman became very excited by her acceptance of his request and he said, “Awesome! Thanks, Mariana! You got it! I’ll impress you so much that’ll make you feel proud of me!”
Mariana smiled and said, “Okay. Let’s begin.” He listened to her intently as she asked, “How many months are there in a year?”
“Correct. How many days are there in a year?”
“Good. Now tell me how many weeks there are per month and how many days there are per week.”
“Let’s see… There are four weeks per month and ten days per week.”
“Very good. Now, please list the names of the months in their correct order.”
Lakshman smiled sheepishly and raised his hand before counting them down by folding his fingers in order, saying, “Amdane, Bondelt, uh, Aporos, Zageil, Shadien, Beitec, Yaagan, um…” He momentarily paused, trying to remember the eight month of the year and as she looked at him intently, he quickly said, “I know it! I know it! Uh… T… Ty… Tya… Tyfon and Reiked.”
“You were about to lose the chance to eat another cake,” Mariana joked, smiling softly at him.
He sighed in relief at getting them correct and looked determinedly at her, saying, “I’m not giving up! I’m not giving up!”
“Excellent! You were able to list them in their correct order and even remembered their names well!” she said and caused Lakshman to smile proudly.
“Now tell me what year we are in right now according to the calendar year.”
“It is the 8088 PX. The month is Zageil and the day is twenty-seven.”
“Very astute!” she said and he sighed in relief before smiling at him as she said, “You even remembered the small detail about what the PX stood for from our previous session.”
“Well, you did say it was about how the months and year of the calendar was named PX for Phoenix when this Phoenix Titan sacrificed himself to bring peace to the world. Am I right?”
Mariana looked very impressed and she said, “Good.”
Lakshman smiled at her and said, “You’re just a very good teacher.”
“Complements won’t earn you extra points,” she replied with a smile on her face. “Now, one final question. Do you think you can answer it?”
“Yeah! I’m ready!”
She changed her expression to that of seriousness and asked, “Do you think it’ll rain tomorrow?”
The question momentarily rendered him speechless before he asked, “Huh?”
“Will it, or will it not rain tomorrow?” she asked, once more while staring intently at him.
“Uh…” he hesitated for a moment and looked out of the window at the sunlit ground. “Um… I don’t think it’ll rain tomorrow, Mariana.”
“Are you sure?” she asked, looking seriously at him.
“Yeah! It’s sunny outside! There’s no way it will rain tomorrow if this kind of sunlight around,” he replied, confident that he was correct.
“Perhaps, but what’s stopping it from raining tomorrow? Where’s your proof to say it won’t rain.”
He was taken aback by her questioning words, and he thought for a moment before saying, “Um… It’s summer, Mariana.”
“What’s summer got to do with raining? After all, it could rain even in the middle of summer. I think you know that as well.”
This time, he was really backed into a corner as he had no idea what the correct answer was to respond with. He tried to think more about why it would rain tomorrow and was rendered helpless as he realised that he did not know.
“I… I don’t know…” he said, admitting defeat with a groan.
Seeing him look dejected, she made a soft smile and said, “Young Master, it’s quite alright that you didn’t know. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting an answer from you because there really isn’t one.” He looked up at her in surprise as she continued to say, “The last question was merely a test to make you think and understand for yourself.”
“Oh…” he said, sighing while looking disappointed. “I guess there’s no cake then?”
She shook her head and said, “You deserve a cake for your effort in thinking to give me related answers.”
He was surprised, and he instantly made a smile, asking to be sure, “Really?”
When she nodded, his smile widened in excitement and he thanked her before they continued their study session for the next two hours while taking occasional breaks. By the time their session came to an end, it was around midday and Mariana ended the session by getting up and walking into the kitchen to prepare lunch. A while later, Indra and Lakshmi returned from their work to have lunch together with them.
It took several minutes for lunch to get ready and in that time, everyone got freshened up and sat together at the dining table inside the dining room as Lakshmi and Mariana brought in the plates and food on trays. In the beginning, Mariana would stand at the ready to serve them food and eat once they were finished, but Lakshmi decided to have her eat with them to show the strong bond that they formed for all the help the maid did for their family.
So they ate together and had a lovely time talking about the daily news circulating around the area of what was happening. Indra was playing around with his wife and Lakshman laughed as he watched his parents tease each other. It was a happy time for them to spend together until they finished and his parents had to return for work while he and Mariana resumed their study session.
It was evening by the time they came to end their study session and stretch their bodies while yawning a little. Mariana looked out of the house and noticing the time it was, she rose to her feet and made to head over to the kitchen.
“Mariana?” Lakshman asked, and she paused to turn around to face him. “When can you prepare the cake?”
“I need to clean the dishes and start the preparations for making the cakes,” she said and fleetingly winked at him. “In the meantime, please go upstairs and have a bath and when you’re done, change into new clothes and come downstairs.”
“Alright!” Lakshman said triumphantly and he jumped to his feet as she moved towards the kitchen.
He quickly went upstairs and took new clothes to wear from the drawer before heading over to the bathroom to fresh up by having a bath. After checking that no one was in it, he entered it and closed the door before opening it again several minutes later while wearing the new clothes. He threw the old clothes in the washing basket and headed downstairs only to be greeted by his father.
“Lucky! You look great!” he complemented his son happily with a wide smile on his face.
“Thanks, dad,” replied Lakshman happily. “When did you come home?”
“Your mother and I came home a while ago and Mariana said you had already gone to the bathroom to have your bath,” said Indra and he smiled down at his son.
Just then, they heard Lakshmi’s voice from the kitchen as she said, “Indra! Did Lucky come out of the bathroom?”
“Yes! Why?” he called back.
“Good! Go have your bath and come downstairs so that I can do it after you.”
“Okay. I’m going,” he said and winking at his son energetically, he went to his room to fetch new clothes before heading upstairs and towards the bathroom.
In the meantime, Lakshman could smell the delicious aroma coming from out of the kitchen and he was very tempted to go there, but knew they would push him out. Instead, he walked into the dining room and drew up a seat before sitting down in front of the dining table and waited expectantly with a smile on his face.
It took several minutes for Indra to finish his bath and come downstairs so that Lakshmi went upstairs to have her bath. He walked into the dining room and sat down next to his son before beginning to chat with him cheerfully.
“Excited for the cake?” Indra asked eagerly and Lakshman nodded his head excitedly. His father smiled and said, “That’s my boy. I’m sure it’s going to be delicious.”
“Mom’s making one and Mariana’s making another one for me. I’m so excited to eat them both!” Lakshman said with a cheerful smile on his face.
“Well, good for you,” replied his father with a chuckle before he said, “Make sure not to eat everything today because it’ll upset your stomach and make you fat.”
“It’s okay, dad. I have your training that doesn’t let me get fat,” replied his son with a grinning face.
His father looked at him incredulously as he said, “Hey! My training isn’t a fat loss training!” As his son laughed, his father patted him on the forehead once as he chuckled to himself and thought, “His love for cakes. He definitely got it from me.”
Several minutes later, the cake was brought in by both Lakshmi and Mariana on a large plate. It seemed that the care was pretty large that could serve more than a filling for each of them. While Lakshman eyed the cake with excitement, Indra turned to look at the two women with a quizzical look on his face.
“Don’t you think this much is a little much for the four of us to eat today?”
The two women smiled at him and Lakshmi replied, “As this was Lucky’s seventh birthday and since there’s four of us and because the cake wasn’t sufficient enough last time, we decided to make these two extra-large so they last for a few days.”
Indra looked surprised before he gave them a thumbs up with a bright grin on his face in happiness. The two women brought in the cake and set it down gently on the centre of the table before breathing a sigh in relief.
“Okay. Let’s start,” said Lakshmi and everyone nodded as Indra rose to his feet to sing the birthday song.
“We wish you a happy birthday, we wish you a happy days and we wish you a happy life, dear Lucky!”
They sang that song three times before giving a loud cheer as Lakshman grinned broadly. Once the singing came to an end, Mariana handed Lakshman a knife to cut the cake and he did happily. He cut a piece and the first person he fed it to was his father, who was the closest that he could reach. The came Lakshmi and Mariana’s turn to get fed before the three of them fed him the cake.
“Okay! Let’s dig in!” Indra said energetically.
Lakshmi cut the cake into more pieces and handed them out in plates that Mariana quickly brought from the kitchen. With plates full of cake in front of them, they sat down in silence and ate the cake with a cheerful atmosphere surrounding them. The cake tasted very good and this caused Indra and Lakshman to eat the cake until their stomachs were full, causing Lakshmi and Mariana to chuckle.
“Okay. I think I’ll, puff, go to sleep,” said Lakshman as he breathed a sigh from eating so much.
“Right. Good night, young master,” said Mariana with a small smile on her face.
“Make sure to sleep on your right side, otherwise, the cake won’t digest and you’ll be sporting a pudgy stomach in the morning,” joked Indra with a grin on his face.
“Very funny, dad,” said Lakshman with a laugh.
Lakshmi rose out of her chair and moved over to him before plating a kiss on his forehead. He smiled happily as she pulled back and hugged him as she said, “Have sweet dreams, Lucky.”
A moment later, he pulled out of her hug and replied, “I’ll be happy too.”
With a grin on his face, he left the dining room and headed upstairs before entering his room and closing the door. He yawned hugely as sleep was quickly coming over him, so he took off his current clothes and changes into his night clothes before getting into bed. As soon as he turned to the right and closed his eyes, he instantly fell asleep and the crystals, emitting light to illuminate his room, went out.