Chapter 1.5: Escaping The Forest

Remembering my dream, I try to find my teachers for several hours, but after failing over and over again, I slowly loose motivation. I begin to call myself stupid for believing some bullshit I dreamt.

I mean, I actually intend to rely on people I met in my dreams. How low have I fallen, to be unable to accept reality. To think I fell into despair to the point I lost my sanity. Why do I keep clinging to such idealistic hopes?

No. I’m wrong.
Those guys can’t be just my imagination. They knew too much I could have never known of
. Like planets and this weird book with pictures about a nine tailed beast.

Thereby, I remember my promise and, dream or not, I once again start training, giving it my all. After some more hours I finally am able to hear them. I was overjoyed …
I was.

Even though I deliberately trained for several hours, they dare to tell me I can’t even see them and this task is something way too easy. They even tell me i should be ashamed of myself for taking so long!

Thoroughly annoyed I already start complaining – and not even a day has passed!
Why are you so mean to me? Are you really no kidnappers? Why don’t you teach me how to get better then?”
Bluey snaps back “Don’t just think you can be respect less towards us, only because you found some silly determination, crybaby!”

How dare he look down on my efforts? I’ll make him pay, hmpfh!
I scream out with tears in my eyes Old Fionn, he just said my determination is silly, is that true? Wuah!”
Suddenly angry wrinkles start to show on Old Fionn’s face
“How dare you make a child cry, so shameless …” he says and lectures Bluey with a punch.
“Pahh, he has red eyes, I’m sure he’s a vampire! A vampire deserves that!” Bluey argues.
“What is a vampire? Is my dad also a vampire?” I ask.
“No, you can’t be one, only your dad has red eyes while your mum has black ones. And your eyes aren’t even shining. You can’t be one. And on top of that you and your mother have silver hair. Vampires only have black hair like your father.” Komoru explains.
“Maybe a cross bread then?” Bluey ponders.

After some fierce fighting they bring up the topic food. Having not eaten for a long time, new light begins to shine. Fired up I leave the cave for some food.

The next month they teach me basic magic and storage magic; martial arts, as well as common knowledge.

“Now let’s start with training. At first, sit there and cultivate. Try to find and feel your inner chi. After you succeed, you can go on with the next phase and try to circulate your inner chi through your body.” Old man instructs.
How long does that take, some minutes?” I wonder and subsequently he replies
“Hohoho no, that would be too easy right?!”
I try to cling onto a small piece of hopeThen… a day?
“No…”
As I see him making fun of my suggestions, I desperately try to get my hopes up
A week?

But the Geezer, for the first time, snaps “NO! Just be quiet and do it, or did you already forget your promise?”

Woah~, what’s that all of a sudden? Why did he get so angry just now? I will try one last time…
No, b-but after; will I be able to do cool explosions and knock out all my enemies without even lifting a finger then?
The Old man turns into a furious geezer and stands up looking at me with an intimidating gaze

“Last time, NOOO! There’s no way it would be that easy, or do you think strength just falls from the sky and you can pick it up?”
Suddenly Komoru’s eyes widen and he shares his glorious idea “Great idea, scary Old man, I should create something like that!”
“What?!? You-“

I try to calm him down by being childish
Old man say, how long will it take me to create a cloud that rains strength?
“Hohoho forever, if you don’t start training seriously now.” he states and is finally calm again.

Hehe, seems like it work out, it’s better to know their weaknesses; just in case. But I still want to know what the hell I am doing here!

But Old man, how strong were you in your previous life? I mean, after training hundreds of years in seclusion, wouldn’t you be invincible?
After my qestion, he teaches me “Hohoho there’s no such thing as invincible, my child, even if you are the strongest there’s still someone stronger than you.”

That doesn’t really make any sense, you know.I argue.
“Yeah of course, because it’s an idiom. How about you explain it a little, Hero?” Old man says.

Blacky, a bit absent minded (probably still thinking about his glorious idea), goes on with some incomprehensible fantasy stories
“Oh uhm okay… Old man told me once he was the strongest in the present on his planet with an end-stage legend soul rank, but he still died a natural death. His teacher – someone of demi god rank – once told him that there was someone who transcended into a being without material boundaries, someone who transcended even demi god soul rank.
And since his death isn’t recorded he could still be roaming around.

And as for myself, whenever I studied magic I saw unlimited potential and ideas coming up, but I didn’t have time. If I could have just researched magic 20 years longer I would have created the first ever godly magic that can affect even a whole country!

So remember: Whenever you are the strongest, you simply lack knowledge.”

yawn, is he finished? I didn’t understand anything at all.
So what am I learning right now?I want to know. But Komoru’s response was kind of… lame

“The basic fire magic: small flame. And the first stage of using chi. The Inner-chi-freeing stage. It’s like soul rank 0. …
Ah~ I don’t wanna explain all that crap, can’t somebody take over already?”
Apparently Komoru got tired of it as well. I wonder if he actually means what he said or if he just thought up some things in order to not get punished by the Geezer.
“Well I forgot since it wasn’t interesting.”
Bluey excuses himself.
“Hohoho, as a former hero, you have the best qualifications for that.” Old man smiles at him.

Slowly I’m getting annoyed by the Old man more than by the other two guys. Unexpectedly, their behavior was even quite pleasant since the training had started.
“Tch I’m gonna get you one day, backstabbers! Anyways listen, im not gonna say it twice.”
Komoru announces the start of basic knowledge class.

So, honestly, it’s quite easy once you know it. There are 8 soul ranks, each divided into exploring, manifesting and end stage. You are currently training to reach the first soul rank – meaning you are currently at 0, which doesn’t even count as a soul rank. In comparison: Old man’s legend rank equals soul rank seven.

Your small flame is a basic magic, which is rank 0 as well, and godly magic is ranked seven in the ranking of magic spells.

All the rankings have different names for each rank though, so you don’t get easily confused.

Ah, I forgot, there’s unique magic as well, but you can’t assign it to a particular rank.

Whew, I’m bored, I don’t wanna do this anymore… but well, nothing I can do about that I guess. So listen just a bit further.

Chi and magic are everywhere and both behave pretty similar, one more physical (chi) and the other more spiritual (mana). The inner energy you can control is positive, and outer is negative. Cultivating intends to take over negative outer particles and transform them into positive particles that you can control. And all of this energy spins fast around your body. And releasing inner energy will produce distortions in the equally distributed energy of nature. A cultivator’s and magician’s goal is to control those distortions. Like a marketer controls the market.
I should create a cloud raining knowledge as well… yawn!

If you are crazy and somehow not bored by this, you can read the more detailed version here.

Did you understand everything, silver coward?”
“Uhm erm ye, of course.” I reply.
I mean, I can remember every single word he said, but… I don’t have the slightest clue what he was brabbling on about.

“Then conclude what I said” Blacky ogles me.
…Shit

“Of course. You were a strong magician and what I am doing is a necessary first step towards achieving your greatness. And you also mentioned some gods and souls.” I try to find my way out, and luckily, I seem to have satisfied him.

But, there’s one question that bothers me lately. I mean, if they are all so great, strong and wise, then why

Why can’t I just become a god already?

After some days of patience and exhausting training, I’m able to see them in my head and talk with them at all time, even while doing stuff. Recently, we found a way to let them control my body. As long as I authorize it or am unconscious, they can take it over and do various experiments.
Being trapped inside my body for over five years, they already exchanged ideas for a very long time. To be honest, I really enjoy watching them invent things that shouldn’t be possible; for example: a human statue created with a mix out of pure mana and chi, or a giant fire with mere basic magic.

After a month of training, Blacky suddenly notices a flow of mana behind the cave. Curious and excited about its origin, we try to destroy the wall, but fail to even scratch it.

“Come on we needa get there, maybe there’s some unknown hidden ultimate treasure left by an ancient god that can create gold at will!” Blacky fantasizes.
“No, rather it could be a crashed artificial inteligence which will help us take over the world!” Bluey adds.
“Hohoho don’t get too excited, young ones, it could also be a trap with nothing but a single copper coin that melts as soon as you touch it.” the Old man disperses the happy mood, and Komoru immediately snaps
“Ey technician, I really think we should watch this dangerous Old man even more closely.”
“You’re definitely right, if we aren’t careful enough he might swap the treasure with a copper coin.”
Bluey advises him.

Old man, are my uncles always like this? I roll my eyes. I don’t wanna admit that I’m impressed by those idiots, but for their weirdness they really deserve an award.

Komoru speaks his qualms out loud “Woah, he looks at us as if we’re trash! How dare you!”
Then how about we bet what’s inside?I suggest.
“Huh?”
they show interest.
And to ensure you won’t cheat, we will tell what we bet the Old man, before starting. He will act as the neutral referee. I reveal my conditions.
“What, don’t get cocky brat, we’ll show you who’s boss! If we lose, you can call us idiot uncles!” Komoru warns me.
Hehe there’s no way I’ll loose against them!

Consequently he announces “Then, let’s see who the winner is! … It won’t break.”

Realising what that means, Bluey first falls into frustration “Arghhh! So close to my gold!”
and Blacky follows his example “Nooo! So close to world domination!” 

Haha, they are really impossible stupid.
Funny, in your idiocy you even swapped roles…I laugh at them.
But the good thing about this is:

If even brainless people like that are able to accomplish such great strength, then there’s no way I couldn’t, right?

After loosing all hope trying to destroy it, Old man orders me to train again.

One month later, I finally enter the first soulrank, allowing me to use my chi and train strenuous body strengthening magic. The Geezer also added muscle training to my daily tasks. I don’t get why I need to do muscle training, when there’s all this powerful energy, but Old man said it’s a necessary first step of using his secret cultivation method.

“Come on kid, you got this!

He pats my head

I knew you could do this, maybe there’s still hope for the gold!” Komoru complements me with joy.
Ohhh how cool, I never expected to be able to tame a bear with pressure! …even though it’s only a young bear… sooooo cuuute!” I happily express my thoughts Don’t worry; you can go back to your mother now!

Well then, let’s try out smashing the wall once again! Really, that was so cool; I just can’t help but imagine myself as a demon king that everyone fears just by looking at him!
Old Fionn, who has recently become more comfortable to be around again, but still not like when we first met, voices his worries
“Hohoho, you shouldn’t think of such bad things when there are so many happy things.
My late teacher would be very disappointed if I let my first student stray onto the wrong path.

Oops, I let myself get carried away again. They tell me over and over to watch my mouth, but I just can’t refrain from expressing my opinion honestly.

The loud sound of crumbling stones echoes through the cave as my fist pierces through the wall.

And inside is…
A gold donkey! See, Old man, I was right!” Blacky shouts out and Bluey corrects him while sighing
“How about you open your eyes now? I was right all along!

Woah, are they for real?
 Isn’t it just a normal chest, like the one where my toys are stored?I doubt them.
“Hahaha you really are naive, I was already seeing the inside!”
Komoru explains himself.
“Wow, really?”
I’m astonished.
Who knew such a convenient ability exists!

“Let your uncle show you –
damn it, why won’t it open?!?”
Komoru sways.
“Hohoho, however, that’s not a bad thing!” I guess Old Fionn tries to prove that greed is a bad trait, but frankly, hearing his preaching all day; greed sounds not all that bad. People without greed are probably doomed to fail anyways – at least that’s what the other two once told me while Old Fionn was busy doing something else.

“This could be Pandora’s Box as well.” Old Fionn warns us.
Old man! I’ll never allow you to read my memory-books again!” Komoru threatens him.

Memory-books refers to them manifesting their memories inside my consciousness as a book. After successfully creating this skill about a year ago, the Hero teached the other two and yesterday, he started to teach me as well. Since everything I imagine exist inside my consciousness, this skill is quite easy to learn. However, I can only use it within my consciousness.

Oh, it opened.I mention.
Startled by that, Blacky questions me
“What did you do, kid?”.
Hehe, aren’t I great?
I reply I just inserted some chi, idiot uncles.
But Komoru doesn’t want to admit loosing against a five year old and complains to Old Fionn

“Hey referee, I’m sure he cheated! Yeah, he swapped the donkey when I was looking aw -”
Useless! Give up! I grin watching Old Fionn discipline Blacky.
“Truly, how shameless.” he complains with an angry voice and punches the idiot’s head.
Blacky really never learns.

Ohhh, this is… gold! And… a mysterious cubic.
How am I supposed to
solve it when all the sites look the same? Oh and a piece of old paper…
I announce the treasures that are inside the chest, but Old Fionn suddenly screams out

Stop! Don’t throw it away, take that up again, it’s a soulpartner summoning scroll! Its only low rank, but it’s probably the only one here and extremely important for every martial artist!”
On a magic continent without martial arts like mine, techniques like martial arts are not known and probably only used by reincarnated people.
Considering that in the historic books I read, only about ten different martial techniques were mentioned over the last two thousand years and regarded as legends, even a low rank item is of highest rarity. Sadly, records from before 2000 years don’t exist.

“This old piece of paper?” I wonder.
“Come on just read my memories!” Old man says with excitement.
Whoa, how cool is that! Why don’t you try and call little Ruby?” I ask him.
“No, I can’t, I already said goodbye…”
Old man tries to reason, but I persuade him Nooo! Don’t you know how happy he would be to see you alive? Also I’m sure he’s not against a little adventure, right?“.

He finally comes back to his senses
“How foolish of me, I thank you for your words, Silver! As of now, you’ll call him Silver as the payment for loosing the bet instead of getting called idiot uncles!”
I haven’t lost yet!Blacky defends himself.
The discussion ends quickly, though
“WHO is the referee?
Wuahhhh, it really is a blessing to know such a good lad!
Are you okay with my proposal, Silver? Sniff~!”

 They would be the first to call me by my name other than my parents, not even my frie-
no, they were never my friends to begin with!

I’m only agreeing if you promise to be my friends!I demand.
“Of course!”
Old Fionn began to whineWuahhhh… you would even wish an Old man like me to be your friend. How can such a kindhearted person even exist? Sniff~!”
The others voiced their – definetely not forced – opinions “Well, it seems like we have no choice but to agree now, Silver. 

Ahhhh nooo, now he’s crying too. Technician, come and help me beat some sense into him!” I hear Komoru’s diminishing voice as I fall asleep.

Considering the fact that chi is not known in the continent, the chest had a pretty good protection against grave robbers and has to be an exceptional strong warrior’s fortune. The gold coins we found in it are of unknown worth and origin, whereas the scroll allows one to summon a martial arts partner, just like the kind and fluffy Ruby. It was so touching to see him reunite with Old Fionn.

A soul partner will grow with the users soul force and can be summoned any time by the contractor.
Although, for an optimal partner with optimal strength, I should use it at the age of 8 with at least the third soul rank.

The cubic on the other hand was a complete mystery. We tried many things to use it, but were unable to activate it in the end and therefore decided to store it in the inventory I emulate with basic space magic. The cubic can wait for now and we’ll try to gain knowledge about it in the city, when I’m old enough to leave my house on my own.

After three month of training, or in other words, three months since entering the forest, we finally leave with the help of Old Fionn’s amazing knowledge about nature.

Next Chapter: Chapter 2: Training Is Murder

 

Last Chapter: Chapter 1: Candle Lit Night