Two weeks have passed since Sumara Manjuvad, a member of the Manjuvad Demon Clan, was decided to be the home tutor for Lakshman by his parents. Indra and Lakshmi were very impressed by her and decided to alter the schedule which their son was trained in while allocating a room upstairs beside their son’s room for her to live in for the duration of her stay.
Lakshman would conduct his physical and sword training with his father early in the morning. After breakfast, he studied the educational subjects and the literature of the world under the watchful gaze of Mariana, their maid. After lunch, he would learn to use magic instructed by Sumara till evening. Due to how packed his lessons were the entire day, Lakshman was relieved upon learning that the evening was given off as the time for him to relax and work on homework that Mariana gave him.
One day, Lakshman was a given a test by Mariana early in the morning because he was slacking off due to his father hurrying away on a mission and did not train him that morning. So, she conducted the test by making him answer the questions regarding the history he had learnt the last few days.
“Alright, young master. I will ask you a few questions and you answer me correctly, alright?” Mariana asked him and he nodded his consent. She smiled a little at him and asked, “What are the ranks? Explain what you’ve learned from our previous lesson.”
“Okay,” said Lakshman in understanding. He took a deep breath and said, “They are the ranks that are given to categorize things like spells, monsters and titles by their individual standards like strength and power.”
Mariana nodded her head with a smile and asked, “Yes and how many of them are there? List them in their appropriate numbers, starting from weak to strong.”
“Eight,” said Lakshman and he listed the ranks by their order.
“Correct,” said Mariana and she momentarily nodded her head approvingly at him. “It’s good to see that you’ve really remembered a lot of the details fairly well.”
He smiled and said, “It wasn’t hard since their practicality,” He gestured upstairs and at outside as he said, “Mom’s an Advanced Ranked Magician, dad’s a Saint Ranked Swordsman, Sumara’s a Saint Ranked Magician and you, Mariana, are an Advanced Ranked Magician.”
Mariana briefly raised an eyebrow in surprise and said, “That’s good observation skills.” As he smiled confidently, she decided to make things a bit difficult in her next set of questions. “Okay. So, who was it that one that created the ranks? What kind of influence he had on the world?”
“Uh,” he began, looking hesitantly at her as he does not remember the name.
Guessing from the silence, she sighed and said, “It’s Zekadraite Askajengret.”
“Yeah! That’s the one!” Lakshman said, beaming at her. “Sorry, Mariana, but his name is hard to remember because of the hard pronunciation.”
“Young master, how are you sure I’m saying the correct name?” she asked, looking inquisitively at him.
“Oh, don’t do that to me, Mariana! I know you won’t fool me,” he said, giving her a thumbs up gesture with his hand.
Wearing a softer expression on her face, she said, “Anyway, the Emperor of the World lived in the Iron Era was the strongest man alive in the entire world at that time. He had no equal, defeating all of his opponents and bringing them under his rulership.”
As Lakshman looked at her, she asked, “Can you name the group that he created to uphold the peace?”
To that question, he suddenly looked embarrassed and while scratching the back of his head, he said, “Uh… Sorry Mariana. I kind of forgot their names…”
She sighed and looked sternly at him, saying, “Young Master, we have been through this twice now. Don’t you think you would have remembered their names already?”
He made a cheeky grow and said, “I will, I will eventually so please tell me about them.”
Sternly looking at him for a few more seconds, Mariana finally said, “Alright,” before listing them.
- Phoenix Titan
- Dragon Titan
- War Titan
- Death Titan
- Demon Titan
- Sun Titan
- Moon Titan
- Magic Titan
- Sword Titan
Lakshman had been taking notes on paper that he had in front of him as notes while she dictated it to him. She paused every now and then, waiting for him to finish and say, “Okay. Continue please.”
“His rulership came to an end when he suddenly disappeared off the face of the world at the end of the 1000th year of the Iron Era for no given reason.”
“He probably got tired of constantly listening to someone going on about history,” said Lakshman, dryly.
She scowled at him for a moment before continuing with her history lesson.
“Soon after his disappearance a war occurred between the other races around the world, lasting for three years.”
“Probably because they knew how boring they were turning history into,” commented Lakshman, sounding bored.
“Young Master!” Mariana cried out loud, looking very annoyed.
“I’m feeling bored,” he complained, showing it by pretending to yawn. “I mean, is there anything worth learning all of this that took place so many years ago?”
“These are the events that brought about our present time line. If it weren’t for the actions of the Phoenix Titan, then—!”
“The war wouldn’t have stopped and our peace wouldn’t have been secured. Right? Isn’t that what you were about to say?” he asked, raising an eyebrow expectantly.
Mariana looked at him for a moment before she said, “Young Master… If you don’t plan on respecting the past, then you shall go without breakfast and in continuing to do it, there won’t be lunch for you,” she said, threatening him with a serious gaze.
He widened his eyes in shock and his jaw dropped a little. He did not mind listening to it, but writing it down on the paper while she dictated the words was tiresome. Still, with the sudden threat, he realized he had no choice and forced himself into paying attention.
Seeing him sitting with full attention on her, Mariana resumed her lecture and continued to do so until it was breakfast time.
For the first-half of the day, everything went smoothly as Lakshman learnt more about the World Guardians, who were the historical figures, heroes in fact, who sacrificed their lives to protect the world. Later, his studies moved into learning the language of the world and he was really tired by the end of it. Thankfully, the ending of the session was perfect as it was lunch time, which he was grateful for.
“You’re getting the hang of learning the Global Language, young master,” she stated, as they sat on chairs in front of the dining table while eating the food.
“Thanks, but I feel that we should break up the sessions, otherwise, I feel my brain might melt,” he replied, wearing a worn out face.
They quickly ate their lunch and Lakshman eagerly rose to his feet to head to the backyard for his magic training. It seems that he wanted to release the pent up energy from sitting in one room for almost an entire day. She started his training by making him use Beginner Ranked Magic and mainly had him using Beginner Ranked Water Magic. For some odd reason, he was struggling to release the amount of magic power required to activate the magic spell that she taught him.
“Ah!” he shouted, in annoyance when the magic circle kept getting destroyed. “Why isn’t this stupid thing working?!”
“Calm down, Lucky. Relax,” she said, looking sternly at him.
“Miss Sumatra! This spell isn’t working for me!” he combined, very annoyed as he breathed deeply.
“Of course not. What did you expect? Get the hang of it in your very first go?” she asked, smiling in amusement. As he looked at her in tiredness, she smiled reassuringly and said, “Over time you’ll get the hang of it and until then, practice, practice and practice. Be sure to always remember the saying; practice makes progress because it is the key to success. Even with my natural ability to use magic, how do you think I became so strong?”
He breathed a deep sigh and looked at her for a moment in silence before saying, “Okay. I’ll practice more.”
She nodded approvingly, and he returned to practicing the use of Beginner Ranked Water Magic.
He continued to practice for some time with no success and seeing him getting tired, Suvarna decided to take a break.
“Okay. Stop,” she said, her voice filled with strong command.
He relaxed his hands and breathed a sigh before wearily saying, “Thank you.”
“Pushing yourself too hard at once won’t do you any good. Taking breaks is also necessary during the starting stage,” she advised.
Deciding to rest, they headed back to the house and sat down on chairs laid out for them. A moment later, they relaxed and breathed a sigh contentedly as their minds.
He knew that she was a Saint Ranked Magician, but it made him feel curious as to what kind of spells she knew to teach him. Becoming curious, he looked on her direction and asked, “Miss Manjuvad, I was wondering what kind of magic you specialize in.”
“Mmm,” said Sumara, sitting straighter on her chair and replying, “It’s easier to list my magic ranks.”
“Okay,” he said and listened to she listed her ranked magic specializations.
- Saint Ranked Water Magic
- Saint Ranked Wind Magic
- Saint Ranked Ice Magic
- Advanced Ranked Earth Magic
- Advanced Ranked Boost Magic
“Huh?” he asked, looking perplexed and asking, “What’s up with that list?”
Sumara stared at him for a moment before asking, “Lucky, don’t you know how the ranks are applied to an individual?”
He shook his head and said, “No. I’ve just been learning about the use of the ranks and nothing much else.”
“Oh. I see. You’re still hitting the basics,” said Sumatra, and she smiled in understanding before giving an explanation.
“You see; everyone gets ranked by taking a test and passing it to advance their rank.” She gestured at herself and said, “I’m a Saint Ranked Magician because I passed the Saint Ranked Magic Test while you, on the other hand, don’t actually have a rank because it isn’t officially given to you yet.”
“Oh… I don’t have a rank yet,” he said, looking a little gloomy before getting and thought and asking her, “Where do you take the tests to rank up?”
“At the designated location,” she replied, sticking a bit of her tongue out playfully.
He blinked in surprise, almost believing her words, before realizing that she was playing with him, which caused him to make a grumpy expression on his face.
“Sorry, Lucky,” she said, regaining her composure after chuckling a bit. “You can rank up in the capital city at the center known as the Magic Ranking Centre. Right now, you can register for it at all four of the kingdoms and Rodfox Kingdom is the nearest to us.”
“Oh. So you ranked up in Rodfox Kingdom?” he asked, to which she shook her head, denying his claim.
“I ranked up at Florida Kingdom, which is, um…” she momentarily paused to check the directions before saying, “we’re currently facing south and that means it’s up north.”
“North?” he asked, looking amazed before asking, “Isn’t that where the Teleportation Zone is located at, the one that transports people between continents? Maybe…”
He faltered and looked at her silently to see her nodding at him in agreement.
“Yes. I came here from the Bazaraka Continent, which is where my Demon clan currently reside in,” she explained.
He wore a dubious look on his face in amazement as he was expecting to hear the Demon Continent, which was where the demons resided in. This was, of course, told to him by his father during training so he was surprised.
“I wonder where Bazaraka Continent is…” he wondered aloud.
“When we get a map of the world sometime later, I’ll show it to you,” she said, to which he smiled brightly.
While the confusion about where she took her test was over, it brought up another question and he asked, “What about your Advanced Ranked Earth Magic and Advanced Ranked Boost Magic? Did you also take a test to verify them or something?”
“Of course. Here,” she said, putting her hand in one of her ribs pockets and pulling out a card before handing it over for him to inspect. “This is my Magic Rank Card.”
The card was brown in colour and had her name on it along with her official rank and the individual ranking magic she could use. Being momentarily surprised, he handed the card over and continued to stare at her in amazement.
“They give you a card? Why? I mean, I understand that it shows your rank and all, but does it have its uses?”
“Yes. For any magician aiming to become an adventurer, a Magic Rank Card is compulsory to verify their rank and designate them with an initial appropriate Adventurer Rank from F to S.”
“That sure is convenient,” he said, smiling a little.
To that, Suvarna laughed drily and said exasperatedly, “It is, but the cost is expensive, which is why I was visiting places in search of a job.” She suddenly looked gloomy and continued saying, “It doesn’t help that I’m from the Demon Race and it made everyone turn me away.”
He looked at her in sadness for moment just as she recovered and said, “Oh well. There’s nothing I can gain by feeling sad.” she sighed and looked at him before smiling and saying, “Anyway, I’m glad I found a job here, teaching a humble student surrounded by a wonderful family.”
He was a bit surprised, but he nonetheless and said, “Thank you, Miss Manjuvad.” He thought about her magic ranks and a thought struck him, making him ask her, “Um… Don’t you know any of the other elements?”
She looked at him curiously and asked, “Mmm. That reminds me, I haven’t told you about the elements, have I? Okay. Can you list for me the elements that you know of?”
“Sure!” he said, suddenly looking energetic before listing them.
Once he finished, she smiled wryly and asked, “It’s amazing that you remember all of the seventeen elements. I guess you interest in magic learning had you memorise them by heart.” As he nodded, she looked at him suspiciously and asked, “That does make me wonder why you’d bother memorising them considering your father was downright against you learning magic, so why did you bother?”
Lakshman was a bit taken aback by her words, and he remained silent for a moment before saying, “Well… I thought that just because dad doesn’t want me to study magic didn’t mean I shouldn’t learn the basics. That’s why, whenever I got the chance, I looked over the elements and other things that I could with mum helping out a little.”
“Oh? So, mother and son secretly had been conspiring against your father?” Sumara asked, looking smugly at him, making him smile sheepishly at her. She momentarily chuckled and replied, “It’s okay now and to answer your question: I’m self-taught.” He was surprised, and she continued saying, “I learnt as much as I can by myself, but I cannot hope to improve my skills like this, which is why I needed the money to rank up and enrol in a university.”
He blinked in amazement and said in awe, “Wow. That’s amazing.”
She smiled sweetly at him and leaned over to pat him on the head gently, saying, “Don’t feel so frustrated by thinking you need to achieve everything in one go. Take it steady; one step at a time. I am confident in your capability to exceed expectations soon!”
Lakshman was grateful for the encouragement, and he smiled at her in satisfaction. After deciding they had rested enough, both of them rose to their feet to resume his training.
An hour later, she concluded his training for the day and they returned to the house and immediately went to take a bath, each taking turns to use the bathroom. Once that was done, they came downstairs and sat in the living room with blissful expressions on their faces.
“How do you feel now?” Sumara asked as she came out of her room carrying a new set of clothes in her hands just as he was about to walk into his room.
“Yeah. It feels amazing,” replied Lakshman, sounding cheerful with eyes half closed.
A few minutes later, Indra arrived home and he immediately set off to take a bath. By the time he was done, dinner was being served and the family sat down at the dinner in table and ate while listening to his adventures.
“These idiots thought we were facing a wild boar but it turned out to be a Two-Headed Cerberus. They’re practically blind even though we had a magician cast Light Balls to illuminate the cave. Anyway, there were a large group of them for some reason and were very ferocious.”
“What were you expecting? A welcome party?” Lakshmi asked, sarcastically.
“Very funny,” replied Indra, a grind forming on his face. “Still, it doesn’t make sense to see them all the way in that cave. I mean, their den isn’t anywhere near the cave and yet they were there. It’s a mystery.”
“Do monsters often attack the villages around here?” Sumara asked, paused in between to look at him.
“Rarely,” replied Indra in a casual voice. “It’s mostly the Two-Headed Cerberus that run away from their homes when their dens get attacked by adventurers going after them for odd jobs. Seriously, most of them are not bright, trying to get the reward money for their mission and not thinking about the monsters that escaped.”
“Mmm. Is that why there was recent talk about a nearby village that got attacked by a stray pack?” Sumara asked, a hint of nervousness mixed in her voice.
A dark look appeared on Indra’s face as he said, “Yes. Much of that village suffered from the attack of a mass of Two-Headed Cerberus attack. We were faced with a problem because they seemed to be unusually strong and we were almost cornered, but then he showed up!”
“Who?” his wife asked, curiously.
“The Sword Titan!” he said, making an unhappy look on his face.
Sumara blinked in surprise and Lakshmi exclaimed, “The Sword Titan?! Really?!”
Lakshmi stared at his father in amazement upon learning the existence of someone he had heard from Mariana that very morning.
Her husband nodded and said, “Yeah. It’s him alright from the way he used such overpowered sword techniques, but the way he came and left is so strange. As soon as it was over, boom! He’s gone!”
“There’s a rumor going around about him disliking to mix with the crowd and likes to be alone,” said Mariana, speaking in a quiet voice.
“Obviously cause’ he’s part of the Nine Pillars of Power, one of the strongest warriors in the world,” said Indra, an annoyed expression formed on his face. He shook his head and said, “Anyway, the main problem is that there’s been an unusual activity with the Two-Headed Cerberus that doesn’t make any sense.”
“Just be careful, okay?” Lakshmi asked, and he readily nodded his head in understanding.
“I’ll destroy them before they get to me,” Indra replied, making a serious face that seemed to crave for battle.
Lakshman smiled at his father in relief, not knowing the danger they would face by one of the Two-Headed Center us in the future.