Himmel Empire. Frie Clan Mountain. Orphan’s Lodging.
As the morning sun rose on the Frie Clan, a youth’s panting could be heard. The teen was running around the training room just outside the Orphan’s lodging where the majority of his friends were still asleep.
After ten laps, the youth stopped. He took a deep breath and gathered his thoughts. With a swinging motion, he summoned a water sword and grabbed it. Using the water blade, he performed a set of swordplay exercises.
“Yawn… Junius you’re already here?”
Shin who just awoke from his deep sleep, walked lazily into the training room where Junius was performing his swordsmanship.
“Yeap! You’re early for once. What happened? Did a cockroach enter the room and scared you awake?”
“How did you know?”
Shin looked at Junius with befuddlement as the later accurately deduced his reason for coming for morning practices early.
“What really? You are already ten and still afraid of roaches…”
“Hey! It was over forty centimeters!”
“As if such a roach exists!”
“You don’t believe me? Wait till you go back to the room! I saw it go into your room!”
“And you didn’t stop it?!”
“If you think that I could stand a chance against that thing you are terribly mistaken!”
The two started bickering again.
“You two just never stop arguing don’t you?”
As Shin and Junius were caught up in their own little world, a young teen and a child entered the training room.
“Lily! Max! You guys are early as well!”
Junius exclaimed at the newcomers. The first was a young girl with pale blue hair named Lily who recently turned thirteen this year. She awakened her spirit three years ago during the Day of Spirits and is one of the four in the orphan’s division which already has an awakened spirit. Her personality is similar to Ariel as the two often hung out. However, unlike Ariel, she was much more reserved.
The other child who followed Lily into the training room had a blue hair cut in the shape of a bowl. His thin stature indicates that he was frail in a fist fight. Due to her being older and having a similar hair color, Lily was extremely defensive of this little kid who was no more than eight. That, in turn, made Max more attached to Lily and basically turned him into her carry-on.
Wherever Lily went, Max was somewhere behind.
“Hmmm? Junius you are one to talk. Looking at the state of your training uniform you must have been here for at least a half hour.”
“Guilty as charged.”
Junius smiled at Lily’s comment.
“Sigh… I know everyone is uptight about the Day of Spirits next week, but you are already a spirit apostle. Do you really need to practice so hard? Even the others who are involved in the Awakening ceremony aren’t as hardworking as you. Look at Shin! He is hardly prepared for the Awakening ceremony!”
Shin perked up his ears and looked at Lily as she mentioned his name.
“Errr… Sister Lily, don’t pick on brother Shin too much.”
Max timidly requested Lily to stop bothering Shin. Based on his past experience, if he let Lily mouth off against Shin, it would continue on for an extended period of time, and it often ended with Shin dozing off and Lily punching Shin.
“Max! You can’t be soft on Shin! And you too must train hard. Two years later when it is time for your spirit awakening, you can’t be like that lazy bum over there.”
Yes, even though Lily was nowhere near Ariel’s level of violence, she had one other trait that greatly annoyed Shin and a number of the other orphans. She was a big nagger. Possibly due to her being the oldest girl amongst the orphans, she became the ‘mom’ of everyone.
Shin ignored the multitude of insults that were being hurled at his direction and went to his favorite corner to nap. Due to the cockroach incident, he woke up over an hour before he had to and would take any extra minute he had to sleep before training starts.
“Look! He’s going to sleep again!”
Lily face-palmed herself as she noticed that the target of her anger ignored her and went back to sleep.
“Ignore him he is always that way.”
“Hahaha, it’s alright! Shin is just being Shin. Trying to force him to care about his spirit awakening is just impossible.”
“The older brother spoils the younger one.”
“I guess so.”
Junius laughed at Lily’s comment before his face slowly turned grim as he spoke in a deep voice.
“But Lily, this year we have to be careful. We can’t have a repeat of last year. Especially this year when that Second Elder’s grandson is also awakening his spirit.”
Lily stared at Junius and nodded her head in contemplation.
“Last year when Lia awakened her spirit, the other kids from the main branch were not quiet about it. It would be hard to believe that they won’t stir up trouble. Especially since this year, we have three participants in the Awakening Ceremony.”
As of right now, the orphan division had four kids with awakened spirits. Junius had reached the Rank 10 threshold and broke through to become a spirit apostle, furthering his cultivation to Rank 11 while the rest were still regular spirit users with Lily reaching Rank 9. However, from next week onwards, the orphan division would have seven spirit users thus making the kids from the main household uneasy.
“Although we have the protection of the first elder, the other kids would still come and demean us.”
“Thankfully there are people like Ariel in the clan who don’t care about whether we are not from their immediate family.”
Lily took this chance to praise her friend who treated her as an equal and scolded the others who looked at the orphans as extras who were unneeded.
“Either way, we must be prepared. I am sure there will be some light skirmishes next week, so we have to be in top condition.”
Junius revealed the reason why he was training extra hard these days.
“I wish Shin had half the resolve you had. The twins should be fine next week, but I’m really concerned about Shin. What is he awakens a useless spirit due to his laziness?”
“Hahahaha! Do you really think that is possible? Spirits aren’t affected by how lazy one is!”
“But Shin is not part of the norm! I just can’t believe someone like him can awaken a good spirit!”
As Junius was laughing at Lily’s absurd hypothesis, Shin’s mouth twitched, but his eyes remained shut.
“I can hear you guys you know…”
Shin thought to himself but was too lazy to wake up.