Every Side of the World
Just as Tomiko predicted, Kizou was tired from learning the new method of cutting down the trees as well as bringing the wood back. He wasn’t even able to complete the other tasks that he usually does which was help Dax with swords and assist the shopkeepers. However, they understood completely and let him know that it was fine.
As the next day came, the routine was a bit different than usual. Kizou got up early and put on clothes from the wardrobe. He walked out of his room and saw no one in the living room. When he walked outside, he saw Grandpa doing stretches.
“Are you coming along?” Kizou asked with a smile.
“Of course I am!” Grandpa answered excitedly. “Does it look like I’m going to let someone little like you do all of this by himself?”
Kizou laughed and ran down towards Grandpa who already had his axe in hand. They walked next to each other towards the woods, but it was still a bit awkward as no one knew how to start the conversation. After a moment of silence, Grandpa thought of a question that had him curious.
“So what’s the deal between you and Tomiko?” Grandpa said while nudging Kizou.
“What do you mean?” Kizou asked, completely confused.
“Grandma has been telling me that you two have been close to each other lately,” Grandpa said.
“Well she is my teacher, and I’m just her student,” Kizou answered without showing any sign of attraction.
“Just that?!” Grandpa asked as he stopped in his tracks.
“What else is she supposed to be?” Kizou asked.
“I just think she’s a charming girl,” Grandpa said as he continued walking.
He clearly doesn’t know what I’ve been dealing with, Kizou thought to himself.
As they continued walking, they reached a section of the forest that had enough trees to cut down wood from. Kizou continued to practice the new method that Tomiko taught him and started hitting the tree horizontally. Even though Grandpa was old, he easily cut down the trees as experience was already in his blood. The trees started coming down, and they picked up the wood to be brought back. Kizou helped Grandpa as far as he could before Grandpa stopped him.
“Grandma told me that you usually help out the rest of the village, so I can handle this,” Grandpa said with a smile.
Kizou smiled back and gave him a wave as he ran towards Dax’s shop. As he opened the door, a huge amount of smoke came out.
“Thanks for opening the door,” Dax said as he started coughing. “I just got an order to make a sword using dragon scale, and I didn’t know that it would be this bad.”
“Dragon scale?” Kizou asked as he tried to cover his face with his shirt.
“Yeah, it’s one of the most rare materials in existence,” Dax said.
“So, why would they be doing that in a measly village with someone average?” Kizou asked. He stopped after realizing what he said and saw Dax smiling while getting ready to throw a sword at him.
“I will have you know that I’m actually the best swordsmith in the whole Kingdom,” Dax said as he continued banging on the dragon scale.
“You are?!” Kizou asked. “Then, why aren’t you at the Kingdom?”
“You ask too many questions, boy,” Dax answered. “Don’t question it, and just accept.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kizou said with a laugh.
“But I won’t be needing your help here today, so why don’t you come on by tomorrow,” Dax said. “I might even let you hold the sword before I ship it off.”
Instantly, Kizou sprung up at the thought of using a rare sword. He waved towards Dax as he headed towards the shopkeeper to get his orders for the day. As he looked over the list, he only saw three names which meant that he would have time to train. He eagerly ran to each house and dropped off the food. Once he finished, he walked towards the river to find Tomiko.
Kizou walked down the road leading to the river, but he couldn’t find Tomiko in sight. He walked towards where she usually trained, and he stood on the spot where she was usually at.
Don’t tell me that she forgot that she was supposed to train me? Kizou thought to himself.
“Rock Bullets!” a familiar voice yelled from somewhere behind him.
Kizou turned around and saw three rocks being launched at him. He panicked and stood there as he was surprised to see rocks coming right at his face.
“Dodge it!” Tomiko yelled as she realized that she might’ve made a mistake for Kizou’s first test.
Suddenly, Kizou’s right eye glowed, and the rocks stopped moving. The river stopped flowing, the wind stopped blowing, and he even saw Tomiko frozen in place as she tried running to him to save him. He ducked down to try to avoid getting hit. Time stopped for a span of one second before Kizou dropped to the floor and held his right eye. Everything moved again.
“Kizou, are you alright?!” Tomiko exclaimed. “I didn’t hit your eye, right?”
“I don’t know,” Kizou answered as he continued to leave his hand over his eye. “My right eye is hurting though.”
“Here, move your hand!” Tomiko yelled as she removed his hand. “Wait, there’s nothing wrong here.”
“There isn’t?” Kizou asked as he blinked to see Tomiko looking over him.
“Quit acting like a baby and get up already,” Tomiko said as she stood up.
How is she going to attack me and then make fun of me? Kizou thought to himself as he stood up.
Tomiko was standing on the other side and seemed to be talking to herself. It looked as if she was trying to memorize lines that she thought overnight.
But what just happened? Kizou thought to himself after realizing that time stopped. Is she not aware of it?
“Okay, you will now address me as Ms. Tomiko from now on,” Tomiko said as she put her hand on her waist.
Okay, she definitely isn’t aware of it, Kizou thought to himself. I’ll figure it out some other time.
“If you have any questions before our training, you will raise your hand,” Tomiko said as she wagged her finger towards Kizou.
“Yes, Ms. Tomiko,” Kizou answered as he wanted to learn more about fighting and magic.
“Looks like we got a fast learner,” Tomiko said with a smile. “Well, our first lesson for today will be about magic!”
Finally, I’ve been wanting to try to use spells! Kizou thought excitedly to himself.
“For today, I will be giving you a bit of a background of the different attributes,” Tomiko said.
“Huh?!” Kizou asked annoyingly. “We’re not going straight to practice?!”
“You couldn’t even sense the presence of my rocks,” Tomiko said with a look of disappointment.
Kizou stopped talking as he knew she was right. However, he managed to stop time, but Kizou wasn’t even sure himself whether that truly happened or not.
“Okay, take a seat on the floor,” Tomiko said. “This might take a while.”
Kizou sat on the floor and turned his attention towards Tomiko who looked like she was still rehearsing her lines.
“The first thing we need to talk about is affinity,” Tomiko said. “Affinity is kind of like the relationship between you and something.”
Kizou looked at Tomiko who looked as if she didn’t even know what she was saying.
“So when we talk about magic affinity, we’re talking about which element you’d have a relationship with,” Tomiko said. “There’s no kissing or anything.”
Kizou was surprised at how innocent Tomiko was as her face turned red from joking about that.
“While there are basic affinities such as water, earth, fire, wind, lightning, and nature, the ability to use magic varies completely. There are different magic spells that you couldn’t even understand,” Tomiko said as she started looking a bit serious.
Kizou felt like she was talking out of personal experience, but he didn’t want to say anything in regards to that.
“I do want to add that the Kingdom isn’t the only one capable of using magic,” Tomiko said. “You have the Dwarf Kingdom, Elf Kingdom, and the Demon Kingdom.”
Kizou heard about demons from Grandpa’s encounter with Klein, but he’s never heard about Elves or Dwarves.
“While the Dwarf Kingdom and Elf Kingdom are pretty much on our level of magic, the Demon Kingdom is a bit behind.” Tomiko added. “I’ve heard rumors that only their high ranking citizens know magic.”
“Wouldn’t that make them weaker?” Kizou asked after hearing this information.
“That’s what you would think, right?” Tomiko asked. “However, I heard that there was an individual who was ranked as number 1 who the Heroes couldn’t even keep up with.”
“That’s crazy,” Kizou said as he was impressed by someone who could keep up with the heroes.
“However, the King was on par with him, so their matches always ended in draws,” Tomiko said. “After their last battle, the strongest demon hadn’t been seen for five years, so it was assumed that he died.”
Kizou noticed that Tomiko looked a bit proud about discussing the fight between the King and the number 1 demon.
“Anyways, there are different elements of magic that people are capable of harboring,” Tomiko continued as she tried to get back on track. “Once these affinities were mastered, people would be able to reach the arcane stage.”
Kizou’s head started swirling with all of the information, but he still wanted to show that he was paying attention.
“There are rumors that individuals are capable of mastering multiple affinities, but I’ve only seen people capable of mastering two,” Tomiko said as she counted the number of people on her fingers.
“Wouldn’t they be the stronger ones then?” Kizou asked.
“Pretty much so,” Tomiko answered. “However, that doesn’t mean that someone with only affinity can’t beat them.”
Kizou thought about how strong that person must be to be able to defeat someone who has multiple affinities for different elements.
“The strongest casters are those who don’t have to chant before launching a spell,” Tomiko said. “It is said that someone from the Elf Kingdom mastered this, but no one knows for sure if there is anyone who is a chantless caster.”
Even though Kizou didn’t practice any sort of magic, he was actually interested in learning about it.
“Just a reminder, but it does take energy to use magic,” Tomiko said. “It’s not like someone could launch 100 fireballs and not be tired at all.”
“That makes sense,” Kizou said. “Do you get tired from launching rocks?”
“I do,” Tomiko answered. “I’ve been doing endurance training to allow me to launch multiple rocks at different times.”
“Interesting,” Kizou muttered to himself.
“Before we end our training for the day, I shall leave you off with my strongest spell,” Tomiko said with a proud smile.
“Yes, Ms. Tomiko!” Kizou said excitedly.
“Ground of the Earth, Rise and be My Fortress,” Tomiko yelled as she raised both her arms up.
A patch of the land rose up to Kizou’s height. It was completely brown and pretty thin.
“Whoa!” Kizou said as he started clapping.
“It’s still not completed, but I don’t mind showing off sometimes,” Tomiko said with a smile as she walked over to the wall and pushed it down.
“I can’t wait to find out what my affinity is,” Kizou said excitedly.
“That’s something that we’ll be saving for tomorrow,” Tomiko said with a smile. “For now, I think we should start your endurance training.”
“Yes, Ms. Tomiko!” Kizou said as he saluted. He started following Tomiko as they both ran around the village to build their endurance for the upcoming training that was to come.