Frie Mountain. Orphan’s lodgings. Boy’s dormitory.
Shin was lying listlessly atop his bed. After the Instructors touching speech, the orphans scattered and returned back to their rooms to rest. It was a hectic day after all. They needed to recharge their batteries for the next day.
‘What’s so special about you?’
With his Spirit swimming about in his hands, Shin wondered about the uniqueness of this little Koi. Junius and Lily had informed him about what triggering a natural phenomenon meant, and it still baffles Shin that this seemingly harmless Spirit was actually so incredible.
A low murmur broke Shin out of his deep contemplation. The noise was coming out from the adjacent room.
‘What’s that sound?’
Following the direction from where it came from, Shin reached Junius’ room.
‘What is he doing at this hour?’
Curious, Shin slowly opened the unlocked door. Junius never had the habit of locking his room. This is so that his juniors could reach him at any time. What greeted Shin was a half-naked, meditating Junius seated unmoving on his bed. In his two hands, was his Azure Water Blade. Additionally, large amounts of spiritual energy were being gathered by the youth causing his aura to spike and producing a low pitch murmur.
Junius’ face was at peace and even had a zen feel, however, his entire body was sweating. There was so much perspiration that his bed was drenched. If Shin did not know about Junius’ hardcore training methods, he would have thought that Junius had wet his bed.
As if noticing someone had entered the room, the spiritual energy gathered by Junius slowly started to fade and eventually, the youth calmly opened his eyes.
“Shin… Why are you here?”
Seemingly intoxicated, Junius asked the black-haired youth on the reason he entered his room.
“Junius, what are you doing?”
“Hmmm? Cultivating of course! In the final hours of the Day of Spirits, I want to cultivate as much as possible. This is the only day of the year that spiritual energy is so abundant. Cultivating right now will garner twice the results with half the effort!”
“Wow, you really are hardcore.”
“Maybe… Anyway, why did you come here so late at night?”
“You were making a small disturbance. I was curious at what it was.”
“Oh, that! Sorry, I didn’t realise it was that loud.”
“What was that noise?”
“Just the process of gathering spiritual energy to refine into mana.”
As Shin finished his questions, he rubbed his nose gently. Seeing that gesture, Junius realised something and asked Shin.
“Is something bothering you?”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Haha, don’t try to hide it, whenever you are worried about something, you would rub your nose.”
“What?! Do I really do that?”
“Of course! I have been with you for so many years, do you think I wouldn’t know your habits?”
Shin was stunned speechless at how much his elder brother knew him. Junius even understood his personal habits that even he was unaware of.
“So what’s bothering you?”
Junius asked his younger brother once more.
“Ha… It seems that I can’t hide it from you. I am worried about my Spirit.”
“What do you mean?”
“You remember when the Instructor said that he couldn’t help me?”
“I realised that, maybe, my Spirit had no suitable cultivation techniques in the Frie Clan. And if it did, it may not be the best one for me.”
Shin poured out his worries onto the empathetic Junius. This issue had been plaguing him ever since they left the training facility earlier today.
“The Instructor said that when I visit the Athenaeum tomorrow, I will understand but…”
Nervous that his future prospects seemed bleak, Shin frowned. Junius, on the other hand, had a bright smile and looked at his little brother with happiness.
“What are you smiling at?”
“Hahaha! It’s nothing! Just seeing my little brother mature has moved me!”
“What do you mean?”
“The reason why you were brooding over this issue is that you want to become stronger right? It’s a far cry from your earlier disposition of wanting to become a useless bum!”
It was true. Shin’s earlier ideas were to try not to become a standout in the clan. If he got more attention, he would be tasked with harder missions. Something he dreaded. But now, he was actively seeking power.
“H…hey! That’s not what I meant!”
Blushing, Shin tried to shake off Junius’ theory, but it only served to edge on the youth’s playful side.
“It’s alright! I’m so touched. Now, Shin will work hard with me.”
“S…Shut up!!! Damn it, I knew talking to you was a bad idea.”
Stuttering, Shin turned around to leave the room. However, Junius grabbed his hand and solemnly whispered.
“Look, Shin, anyone would have been touched by what the Instructor said earlier. After all, we were just parentless children and the former Clan Master saved us. So we must do the best we can to repay him.”
Junius accurately guessed the reason for Shin’s change of heart.
“But that doesn’t mean that we should all become Spirit Emperors or anything. Each person has their own talents, if you can’t cultivate well, it’s alright. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Worse case scenario, I become a Spirit Saint and cover for all of you!”
Beaming, the youth declared his stance.
‘Hah, worrying seems stupid now…’
With his big brother’s ridiculous words, Shin’s tense heart started to relax.
“Hmph! As if you could become a Spirit Saint. There is no way a muscle-brain such as yourself would have a high comprehension ability!”
“What did you say?!”
“Tskk, to think my goodwill was wasted on you!”
“Anyway, you should head to sleep soon. Tomorrow you have to be awake early.”
“Alright… Good night.”
As Shin reached the door of his room, Junius called out to him.
“Shin, you have to be careful tomorrow.”
“You awakened a Spirit that triggered a natural phenomenon, the Second Elder already hates the orphan division, but your appearance would make us look more of a threat to him.”
“Although you would be in the Main Hall, where all forms of fighting are banned, there can be no guarantees. Try not to stray too far from the Instructor!”
“Alright! Alright! Damn it, you’re starting to become more and more like Lily.”
“I’m just concerned for you!”
“See?! Right there! Classic Lily comment!”
Laughing at how much Junius was starting to resemble the nagger, Shin went to bed.