Controlling the Force

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The next morning, Lakshman was out and about early in the morning practising with the wooden sword alongside his dad, who was supervising him. They had just run a few laps around the house before deciding to take up the sword and swing it up and down rigorously. While training, Lakshman used the wooden sword to practice with and he also practised with the bladed sword he was given a while back.

Indra was pleased to see the improved performance of his son swinging the wooden sword. Lakshman had constantly worked on exercising his body and swings daily with the sword, which enabled him to swing the sword a few times more than before. He also noted the amount of strength that was gradually increasing in his muscles around the body due to the regular training.

After a while, Indra decided they should a break and he said, “That’s enough, Lucky. Relax.”

“Phew!” Lakshman said, breathing a sigh in relief as he the wooden sword at his side. “That was tiring.”

“You’re improving,” said his father as he remarked on his son’s progressing improvement. “By the time you reach thirteen, you’ll probably be able to handle all kinds of monsters.”

Lakshman chuckled at the estimation his father had given him and he asked, “Thanks, dad, but why did you easily agreed to me learning magic? I thought you’d be very strict about it and refuse.”

Indra turned to look at his son in silence for a moment before he said, “I might’ve, but your mother convinced me and I saw a true magician in Sumara, so I easily agreed. It also helped matter that she spoke frankly and knew what she was talking about when she spoke about the Force Capacity.”

“Oh,” said Lakshman slowly and he smiled a little at his father before he asked, “Okay. So, tell me how to improve my sword techniques? Like, I only know how to swing and sword and run around, but I also want to learn some proper techniques.”

“Mmm. Sadly, you’re far too young to learn any techniques, Lucky,” said his father and his son looked at him in surprise. Indra looked him up and down before he said, “You’re not ready to handle the stress that would put on your body and that’s why you start training at an early age.”

“I see,” replied his son in understanding, but he was still curious about something and he asked, “Still, could you show me the use of the Weapon Force? I mean, I understand that it’s to strengthen and improve your sword skills, but in what way? Speed? Strength? Endurance?”

Indra raised an eyebrow in amazement by the question his son asked him and he replied, “Okay. So, you just want to know how it’s applied. Is that it?” When his son nodded at him in agreement, his father smiled and said, “Okay. Watch closely as I demonstrate it.”

Lakshman watched as his father rose to his feet and head over to a small rock situated near the entrance of the house. It was a rock that had been there since he was born and now, he watched his father take a stance in front of it before looking back at his son.

“Are you watching?” he called just to make sure and Lakshman nodded readily in reply as he watched intently.

Indra turned back to the rock and pulled his sword back before swinging it at the rock with great force. As the sword made impact against the rock, there was a loud clanging sound as the rock succeeded in stopping the sharp blade from cutting through it. Satisfied by the result, Indra pulled his sword back and check it to be sure there was no damage before turning to face his son.

“As you’ve seen, I cannot break the rock just like this,” he explained as his son listened intently. “It needs more strength or something of a stronger force to cut it, which is where we use the Weapon Force.We do this by channelling our energy into the sword to strengthen it. Watch.”

Indra held his sword in front of him with both hands and firmly gripped the handle as he began to channel energy into it. For a moment, nothing seemed to happen as he just stood there while doing nothing, but all of that changed when the blade of his sword started to emanate light.

Lakshman watched in awe as his father took a fighting stance once more and swung the sword at the rock. This time, the glowing blade sliced cleanly through the rock effortlessly and a moment later, the rock slid back and fell onto the ground with a light thud.

Indra straightened up and nodded in satisfaction while his son stared at the result in astonishment.

“Cool!” Lakshman muttered, gazing lightly at the glowing blade of his sword. “That was awesome!”

Indra nodded his head in son with a smile on his face as he walked over and sat down next to him before he started explaining about

“One of the things a Weapon Force can do is enhancing the sword. Ordinarily, a regular sword is not capable of cutting through a rock and in some rare cases, it actually does occur only for your sword to break. So, I just channelled energy into my sword and with its enhanced performance, the sword cut through the rock effortlessly.”

“That’s amazing! Can I have a go now?” Lakshman asked, eagerly. Indra suddenly looked hesitant as he thought his son still had a way to go before he learnt to use it. Noticing this, his son hopefully asked, “Dad! Please? I won’t know if I can use it or not if I don’t try, right?”

Indra nodded his head slowly in agreement before he said, “Okay. I don’t really see the harm in your trying it out, but be careful. Channelling excessive amount of energy could very well cause a whiplash.”

“Okay!” Lakshman said, energetically.

He eagerly rose to his feet and headed out to the front of the house while carrying his wooden sword over his shoulders. As he reached the remaining fragment of the previously large rock, he swung his sword down and held it firmly with both of his hands before closing his eyes. From experience using the Magic Force, he recognised the flow of energy like the breeze of the wind lightly touching his skin, but with a different feel to it.

When he opened his eyes, he saw that his wooden sword was glowing like it did for his father.  Just as he was about to swing the sword at the rock, the wooden sword suddenly began to grow bigger and bigger until it finally exploded into pieces. Splintered wood flew everywhere from the exploding wooden sword and Lakshman drew back in surprise from the explosion.

“Huh?!” he exclaimed, unable to believe what just happened.

He heard his father laughing as he heard him say, “There it is. The ‘whiplash’ I was referring to earlier.”

Lakshman turned to look at him with eyebrows raised and asked, “Why? I thought I applied only a small portion of my energy to it.”

Indra shook his head and said, “It’s not what you think, it’s about whether your sword can contain the amount you applied. All kinds of weapons have their limits and if you bypass their limits, the result will be an explosion just like that.” His father sighed and asked, “Tell me; were you using your practice with the Magic Force to do the same here?”

His son nodded his head and replied, “I thought that was only appropriate to do.”

“No. That’s not entirely wrong, but you need to apply the Weapon Force differently,” said his father to explain the clear differences between their uses. “Focus your mind that you’re applying energy to a weapon and control the amount you put in.”

“So, practice makes progress,” said Lakshman, and he sighed wearily as he knew what was coming.

Indra laughed at the reaction his son gave him, which he found to be very funny. So, with that, they returned to their sword training session and Lakshman received a new wooden sword that Indra had stored away. Lakshman immediately wanted to practice the use of Weapon Force again, but Indra advised him to do it at another time.

The day progressed smoothly with no problems arose for Lakshman and it was almost evening by the time he began his training under the watchful gaze of Sumara, his magic tutor.

“I saw you using Weapon Force in the morning. Did it go well?” she asked him, curiously with a small smile on her face.

He shook his head and replied, “No. As it turned out, using the same concept of applying Magic Force with Weapon Force is wrong. I need to improve in that area later on.”

“Yes,” said Sumara with a nod of her head. “If the Force was singular, then they wouldn’t have been categorised into three separate forces and it might’ve been easier to use all three forces easily.”

Lakshman nodded his head while looking disappointed, but he quickly recovered and smiled bravely as he said, “That’s why I will practice until I get it right! There’s no point giving up on my very first try.”

“Good. Keep up the spirit, but make sure not to break too many wooden swords before you perfect your Weapon Force because there’s the chance that your father might lose his patience and start scolding you severely. Men are, after all, hot-headed and lack patience.”

“Miss Sumara, It’s rude to call my dad a hot-headed person, though, I admit he is a bit,” replied Lakshman with a smile that caused her to chuckle. “Anyway, can you perhaps explain a bit more about the Energy Force?”

“Mmm. Tell me what you know so far and I will fill you in on what you’re missing.”

“Okay. So far, I know that Energy Force is the unrefined form of energy that takes a physical form and it’s often used for energy attacks, or for something basic, operating the kitchen utensils to heat things up. That’s what Mariana and mom use to make our food delicious and hot at the same time.”

“Mmm. Good. You’ve learnt so much about it already,” she said and he grinned, but she suddenly dropped her smile a little as she said, “Unfortunately, I don’t have much expertise in it to explain the finer details.”

“Eh? You don’t know?” he asked, with a crestfallen look on his face.

She shook her head and said, “I focused a lot of my time into learning the Magic Force and mastering spells, so I never really took the time to learning the Energy Force. I mean, it’s not like I can’t do it, I just thought I should focus on doing it after achieving my present goal of upgrading my ranking status and improve my magic skills.”

“Oh,” he said slowly and he looked disappointedly at the ground. At that moment, he suddenly got a wild idea and he shared it with her as he said, “I’ve got a great idea! Why don’t you let me use it and you can take notes from watching me do it? I’m sure it’ll be a good experience for you to watch someone do it and that way, you can help me perfect it!”

“Mmm. I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she said with a nervous look on her face. “You’ve never done it before and trying out an untested method for the first time without prior practice isn’t a good idea.”

“I know, but it’s never a wasted chance to not do it, especially when a capable person like you is around to help out if anything goes wrong,” he said brightly.

Sumara smiled wryly and said, “I’m not sure how I should feel about it, but okay. Try it out, but remember; don’t use the same concept of Magic Force. Even Energy Force has its own unique channelling feel to it.”

He smiled and replied firmly, “I’ll be careful!”

She walked several meters away from him to keep herself at a safe distance so that she was not interfering with his performance. At the same time, Lakshman stood in a cleared space and breathed several times to ease his excitement so that he could concentrate. He understood that rushing it would not work as he had learnt that morning.

He took several deep breaths and felt the tension lighten, so he opened his eyes and judged that he was ready to do it. He glanced towards his magic tutor and saw her smile at him before focusing his attention on what he was about to do.

“Alright! I’m ready!” he muttered with a determined expression on his face.

He closed his eyes and felt the energy flowing around him. Then he remembered what his father and Sumara told him about the Force being separate to each other; As he pondered about how to make it work, he soon realised that to make it work, he must visualise it.

He quickly thought of a ball or a shape that looked like a ball, which was exactly what he wanted his energy to take shape of. The only thing he was not sure of was the size the ball would be and he tried his hardest to imagine

Opening his eyes, he said quietly, “Okay.”

He stretched his right arm out and held it at the ready with his palm open and facing upward. His face contorted as he began to apply energy, but it proved to be difficult as nothing seemed to happen. He continued to do all he could to try and gather energy in the palm of his hand, but it was not working.

At that moment, a sudden voice in his mind said, “Let me help.”

In an instant, Lakshman’s eyes widened in shock before his face became serious as he stared at his hand. He quickly activated the Energy Force and forcibly channelled it into the palm of his hand and very soon, a small light formed in the palm of his hand. The glowing light began to shine brighter as the flowing energy in his hand increased until a small ball of energy formed in his hand.

The wind began to blow quickly with the release of his energy, ruffling his hair and clothes as the by the released energy. The ball of energy was letting off energy that caused the surrounding wind and to blow fast and wild as he concentrated on controlling the ball of energy in his hand.

“There,” he said quietly with a satisfied smile on his face as the ball of energy appeared to stabilise in his hand. “This should be good enough for a head start.”

He closed his eyes and momentarily something strange happened to him before he reopened his eyes while looking confused. At that moment, he noticed the energy ball formed in the palm of his hand and a wide smile appeared on his face from the thrill of the success.

“I did it…! I used Energy Force!” he shouted happily with the energy ball in hand.

Sumara, who was watching from afar, blinked in amazement to see him succeed on his first go. She started to smile when she suddenly noticed some kind of sparks emanating from energy ball. It became obvious that Lakshman soon lost control of the energy as it began to surround him with lightning, making her realise what was about to happen.

“It’s about to explode!” she thought with a shocked look on her face. She quickly aimed her hand at him and said an incantation for a spell, “Spirits of earth, gather and surround him in a solid wall! Earth Funnel!”

In an instant, a magic circle appeared beneath Lakshman before earth, all around him, rose high into the air. The rising walls reached a certain height before stopping just in time as, a moment later, a loud bang occurred from inside the funnel. The force of the explosion caused cracks to appear on the earth walls as they were almost destroyed, but managed to sustain the blow. A few seconds later, smoke slowly rose up the top end of the opening.

“I hope he’s alright,” muttered Sumara nervously as she deactivated her magic and caused the earth wall to recede back into the ground.

Smoke escaped everywhere and it soon cleared to reveal Lakshman standing there with a wide grin on his face as if he had just experienced something exciting.

Sumara rushed over to him and asked, “Are you alright?!”

“Yes! I’m perfectly fine!” he replied firmly with a cheerful smile on his face. “That was exciting, though. I mean, I never thought I could pull it off, or that it would suddenly explode from the loss of control.”

As he laughed, she sighed in relief before noticing the bloody wound on the hand that held the energy ball.

“Oh my gems! You’re bleeding!” she exclaimed and quickly took his hand to check. It was bloody mess and the skin appeared to be torn, causing him to wince in pain and she asked, “How can you be fine when you’re this wounded?!”

He grinned and said, “It’s fine, Miss. Manjuvad. It’s just a small wound.”

She looked worriedly at him and said, “Yes, but what if it was a major one? What am I supposed to do if you were badly wounded and it was all because of me? I should’ve stopped you right from the beginning! I knew this was bad idea!”

He blinked at her in surprise as she hovered her hand above the wounded hand and said, “Heal.”

In an instant, green light surrounded his hand and the torn skin began to regrow and seal up the wound. It caused him a little bit of pain as he bore the pain of his hand being healed, which only took a few seconds to complete. Once it was complete, she began checking him all over for injuries to make sure he was perfectly alright.

“Miss. Manjuvad! I’m fine!” he said brightly as he broke away from her.

“Oh. Okay then,” she said before sighing deeply. “That’s good. I was worried of what I should do if something bad happened to you? I don’t know… I don’t really know…”

He stared at her for a moment in surprise as he realised she was genuinely worried about his safety, which made him feel a great respect for her. It also made him understand that what he did risked his safety and caused worry for others, thus resolving himself to being careful from next time onwards.

Even so, he could not help himself as he grinned and said, “Still, I did it. I’ve proven myself that I can use the Energy Force.”

“Yes, but not perfectly,” remarked Sumara with a wearily look at him. “Let’s take it slowly in mastering the forces since you’ll be injuring yourself like this. Agreed?”

Lakshman smiled and replied, “Sure, Miss. Manjuvad.”

The two of them smiled at each other and resumed his training with magic. Since then, Lakshman began his training to harness his Energy Force, alongside his training with the Magic Force with Sumara and the Weapon Force training with his father.

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