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Chapter 61 - Dragon Demon Prince (8)
“The essence of Spirit Order is in controlling the mind. I think the Dragon Demon worshippers called it the Secret Arts.... You have to learn that. If you don't, you won't be able to stand up against them.”
Once he decided to leave Giles next to Arrieta, Azell decided to teach him the Secret Arts he had acc.u.mulated over the years. The threat from the Dragon Demon worshippers wasn't over. Maybe the reason why he was awoken in this era was to once again prepare the world to face the great darkness. If that was true, then he needed comrades that will be capable of fighting against that darkness.
“Spirit Order prioritizes the training of one's minds. Do you know why?”
“If one doesn't train the mind into not thinking like how a normal person’s mind operates, one won't be able to be cognizant of the magical energy. If one can't even register the presence of magical energy, one won't be able to use it.”
Basically, if one wanted to possess magical sense, one had to train the mind first. That was his answer.
Azell shook his head from side to side after hearing Giles' answer.
“No. That is one of the answer, but it isn't a complete answer.”
“Then what is it?”
“Sir Giles. We aren't like the Dragon Demon race. We weren't born with fast movements nor can we exhibit incredible strength..”
“Spirit Order pract.i.tioners are supermen. This is why we are able to reach a state that can't be reached just by training the body..”
Azell and Giles moved like lightning in the eyes of normal people. They wore heavy armor, but they could take out a normal person before he could react or even become aware of their presence.
“Usually, a human's senses increases as one trains one's body. However, there is a clear limit one reaches. One can overcome this limit and obtain power through Spirit Order. However, we'll become too fast, and too strong. Our senses won't be able to keep up.”
The training of the mind was a preparation made to ready oneself for becoming a superhuman. One needed senses that could detect much faster than a normal human, and the incoming information had to be processed at high speeds. One needed to think at the speed of light to be able to properly use a superhuman body.
“If you don't have that basic foundation, you won't be able to use the ability you will learn later. It would be considered fortunate if you don't perish from being unable to control your abilities. In other words, a fast horse of great pedigree is the best mount for an experienced rider. For people who aren't expert riders, they won't be able to handle the fast and out of control horse”
“&h.e.l.lip;&h.e.l.lip;I've never thought about it from that perspective.”
“Of course, you have to think about such things. You have to train your mind first to develop your magical senses. Once your body grows beyond the limit of a normal person, you won't have to worry about your mind not being able to keep up. However, you have to keep this in mind. Spirit Order isn't something inherent to humans. It is a method that was developed using other techniques that dealt with controlling the senses.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Humans aren't a race that can intuitively control their senses. Breathing, and feeling is done instinctively, yet it can be trained. One could learn about how to utilize the senses and how to focus, but that is only scratching the surface. While training the mind, one has to find out the structure and principle behind the senses. Only then will you be able to use it in unimaginable ways. Moreover, through this exploration, one can also find out how to use the opponent's senses against them.”
For example, Azell could freely control his eyesight. Even if he had his eyes open, he could make it so that his eyes saw nothing. He could also eliminate certain colors from his vision. In darkness, he could ignore the darkness and light to see the contour of an object.
Giles was confused.
“Is such a thing possible?”
Giles could control his senses. However, he couldn't set various conditions like Azell. He could either slow, quicken or focus his senses... Normal people could do what he could do to a lesser extent. He was able to do it more freely.
“When I saw you and Sir Boar, it was quite shocking to see that you didn't know such basic truths even though both of you are Spirit Order pract.i.tioners. Since you don't know such obvious truths, you won't be able to properly use your power. Look here, sir Giles. Let's us first try to move our body without using our muscles.”
“Is it like trying to move an item that has fallen off one’s body?”
“That's right. It is like manipulating a marionette. However, instead of an outside force making you move, you will need to be able to control everything from the inside. Your first step is to do this only through your mind."
Azell spoke. Giles was wondering if such thing were possible. Azell explained further as if he was trying to hammer out the doubt out of him.
“Don't be suspicious. If you accept in your heart that what I'm teaching is impossible, then you will forever be surprised by what I can do.”
“Mmmm. All right.”
The light inside Giles’ eyes changed. He had seen what Azell could do. If these were the core teachings of the Spirit Order, there was no reason why he couldn't learn how to do it.
“Four days is too short to teach you any advanced techniques. However, I can teach you the essential points. The progress your mind can make is all up to you.”
There wasn't much he could teach in 4 days. However, Giles had a very firm foundation. Azell would teach him the theories that had been erased in the past 200 years. It would give Giles a base he could build on.
Giles asked a question.
“Sir Azell. What is your ident.i.ty?”
“Unfortunately, I can’t answer that yet. However, I will tell you some day.”
Azell smiled as he spoke.
He had a dream.
It was about the distant past. He dreamed of a time when everyone was in a state of despair.
As a mercenary in the Dragon Demon war, he travelled around various lands to fight the Dragon Demon army. Azell had given up hope when he saw the state of the world. No matter how many times he swung his sword, or rescued people nothing really changed.
He couldn't do it himself. He had to climb up to a position where he would be able to move a lot of people.
If so, he needed to become a knight. After he learned everything he could from his second teacher Balf, his skills was nothing to be embarra.s.sed about. The road to becoming a knight was wide considering his level of skill.
However, another obstacle was waiting for him after he became a knight. As a low ranking knight, he had to fight where he was ordered to fight. The harsh reality of this calamity was almost on top of people, yet the human organizations were continuously run in an irrational manner.
What truly made Azell suffer was the fact that people's hearts were diseased.
The humans were starting to get together to resist the great darkness called the Dragon Demon King. However, not all humans were filled with n.o.ble sentiments as the people unified.
The lives... No, future of the race was being threatened yet humans weren't able to shake the darkness within their hearts.
If that wasn't true, Azell wouldn't be in this situation.
This castle held a significant tactical importance.
The castle was built at a geologically advantageous location, so a small force could effectively defend against enemy forces. If this place fell, the enemies could easily access the heart of the lord's land. It would be a much easier to advance if this castle fell.
This was why if the lord of this region had his head on straight, he would invest a lot of soldiers and supplies here.
Unfortunately, the lord refused to make the logical choice. When a castle owned by a relative fell, the lord recalled most of his troops in fear to protect himself.
Of course, once the soldiers retreated out of the region, the place was exposed to the enemies. The people living in this region were about to be slaughtered, but the lord only cared about his own safety.
‘What a trash lord.’
The moon was shining brightly in the night. Azell was leaning against the rail of the castle wall as he looked at the people evacuating. He cursed the lord.
When the lord's order arrived, 80% of the troops defending the castle left. Those left behind, including Azell, were soldiers, who had ignored the lord's orders. The small number of soldiers stayed behind to buy time, so the people could run away.
The people were busy running away with their possessions on their back as if their heels were on fire. None of the people volunteered to stay behind to sacrifice themselves.
Azell, who was trying to protect these people, really felt bitter inside. However, what made him feel more bitter was... People were discriminating fellow humans even in such a situation.
“Aren't you going to run away, ahjushi?”
The one, who asked the question, was a dirty little girl. At a glance, one could tell she was a street rat.
Azell spoke as he saw the people exit through the castle wall.
“Even if one views other people as trash... Someone has to do what's right.”
“Wa. Ahjushi speaks in fancy words. People might think you are a n.o.ble.”
“I'm a low ranking knight, so that means I am a n.o.ble. Also, stop calling me ahjushi.”
Azell grumbled. Azell had just turned twenty, and he was just entering his prime. He hadn't shaved or washed for several days, so he just didn't look the part.
“You should go.”
“No. I'll watch ahjushi fight here.”
“Then you might die. I'm staying behind so children like you may survive. How would I feel if you do stayed?”
“If ahjushi didn't save me, I would have already been dead. So it's ok. Anyways, if I do go, they'll just tell me I'm cursed again.”
This girl had been labeled as a cursed child, and she was treated with contempt. The child possessed abilities that made other people afraid of her.
However, the incidents weren't anything nefarious. When the child got mad, objects moved on its own. There were times when a fire started where she stayed or someone nearby got sick....
Any sane and knowledgeable person shouldn't be afraid of this child. This happened often with people, who were born with magic. However, once a negative image was a.s.sociated with the child, every bad thing that happened was blamed on the child. One could tell this was what had happened.
As despair washed over the people, they needed someone they could abuse. They blamed everything on the child, and they funneled their hate and fear onto the child.
Azell had rescued the child from being killed by the people, who was filled with madness.
“You aren't cursed, little kid.”
“How do you know?”
“I know. You were just born with a bit of a unique physical const.i.tution. You might be able to become a good magician one day. That is why you shouldn't care about what other people say about you. You have to live. You should value your life more.”
Azell could no longer listen to the child's words. The Dragon Demon army was here.
“Hurry up and run away.”
Azell stroked the child's head then he ran across the castle wall.
From that point on, the remaining troop fought a long battle. They showed great fighting spirit as they were ready to throw away their lives. The soldiers fought as they overcame the numerical disadvantage, and a mountain of corpses was starting to form.
Seven hours had pa.s.sed. From the distance, the sun started to rise, and the surrounding started to brighten. The Dragon Demon army was mostly composed of nocturnal monsters, so they pulled back. The soldiers, who barely survived, got ready to retreat.
Azell was one of the survivors.
In the darkness of the night, he had cut down his enemies like an evil spirit, and now he was tired. The numerical disadvantage was so vast that random cuts from enemies had injured him. If he wasn't a high level Spirit Order pract.i.tioner, he would have died from the loss of blood.
It felt as if he was about to fall over, but he dragged his body off the castle wall. A person approached him. Despite the continuous battle throughout the night, the female child hadn't left this place.
“You&h.e.l.lip; Why didn't you leave?”
When Azell asked the question, the child brought out water she had acquired from somewhere. She started laughing as she wiped the blood off Azell's face with a clean cloth.
“Ahjushi is bleeding to save everyone. If there's no one to wipe ahjushi's face, it would be very sad..”
Azell absent-mindedly stared at the child for a moment. It hadn't happened when he was fighting in a hopeless situation, but now he felt tears well up in his eyes.
He was barely able to push down his emotions. Azell discreetly avoided her gaze as he mumbled.
“I told you I'm not an ahjushi.”