Every Side of the World
Three months passed, and Kizou’s training with Cheron wasn’t going as well as he hoped.
“Come on, is that all you’ve got?” Cheron asked Kizou as he let out a smirk.
“Don’t underestimate me!” Kizou yelled as he charged at Cheron with his sword.
Every strike that Kizou used with his sword was easily dodged by Cheron who didn’t even look like he was breaking a sweat. Kizou lunged straight at Cheron with his sword pointed out, and Cheron jumped. Kizou was expecting this, and he tried to lift his sword up, but Cheron was standing on his sword.
“You have to be a little less predictable,” Cheron said as he got annoyed. “I knew you wanted me to jump.”
Cheron put pressure on his body, and the sword that Kizou was holding instantly got heavy as it dropped to the ground. Kizou let go of his sword and charged at Cheron with his bare hands.
“You know you’re not experienced in hand to hand combat, right?” Cheron asked with a chuckle at watching Kizou rush him.
Kizou threw a right hook that Cheron ducked immediately to. He punched Kizou in the stomach that made him lose his breath, and Cheron grabbed Kizou and threw him to the ground.
“You win, you win,” Kizou said as he started coughing and trying to catch his breath.
“What were your mistakes in this match?” Cheron asked as he stood up.
“I don’t know,” Kizou answered.
“You rushed straight without thinking, you tried to fight with your hands which you honestly suck at, and you didn’t use any sort of magic at all,” Cheron said as he started counting on his fingers.
Kizou started whistling to avoid the banter that Cheron was giving him.
“Time for lunch!” Kana yelled out from the cave as Kizou and Cheron started walking.
As they entered the cave, Yui could tell that training didn’t go as smoothly.
“So, who’s hungry?” she asked to try to change the topic.
The room was quiet as everyone took their seats. Everyone took their plates and started eating, but the silence continued to hover.
“Did big brother mess up again?” Kana said as she pretended to eat her vegetables. Yui got mad and started feeding Kana herself.
“Not this time, Kana,” Kizou said with a defeated smile. After taking a few bites, Kizou walked out of the cave back onto the open field.
“Aren’t you being a bit too harsh on him?” Yui asked Cheron as he was eating his food.
“What do you mean?” Cheron asked. “You sense the potential in him too, right?”
“I do,” Yui answered. “But some people grow slower than others.”
“Not this one,” Cheron said. “He’s growing increasingly fast, but I don’t want him to grow an ego which is why I have to downplay him.”
“Tough love doesn’t always work,” Yui said with a sigh.
“Do you think he can become a Chariot?” Cheron asked while taking bites.
“If it’s him,” Yui said with a pause. “He just might be.”
Outside of the cave, Kizou sat down and started meditating. For the past three months, he wasn’t just practicing in vain even though he lost all of his battles with Cheron.
“Gather all of the elements,” Kizou whispered to himself. Slowly, water started circulating around his body, and then grass, ice, and fire. Kizou slowly let out deep breaths as the elements started growing bigger and bigger.
“Big brother!” Kana yelled as she ran towards Kizou.
All the elements disappeared as Kizou lost focus. He let out a sigh and turned around to see Kana with a sad face.
“Did I mess you up?” she asked with tears slowly forming.
“Not at all, Kana,” Kizou said with a smile as he tapped his lap. “I was just messing around.”
“Okay, I was just making sure!” Kana said with a smile as she climbed onto Kizou’s lap. “I’m going to be as strong as you someday!”
“Like me? What about your dad?” Kizou asked with a chuckle.
“Daddy isn’t strong,” Kana said with her tongue out. “Big brother can beat him, I know it!”
“Thanks Kana,” Kizou said with a smile as he patted her head. “I needed to hear that.”
Outside of the cave, Yui and Cheron watched the two bond and smiled.
The next day came, and Kizou walked outside of the cave to prepare for his training. As he walked outside, he saw Cheron dressed differently. He wore a white shirt, black pants, and had sandals on. He held a book in his hand.
“Wait, aren’t we training today?” Kizou asked Cheron.
“We are,” Cheron answered. “But you can train through knowledge too.”
“What do you mean? I was going to beat you in a fight today,” Kizou said.
As Kizou blinked, Cheron appeared in his face which sent Kizou stumbling back onto the floor.
“That’s what I thought,” Cheron said as he walked towards a rock to take a seat.
Kizou walked up to him and sat down on the grass to wait for his words of wisdom.
“Do you know that you’re gifted?” Cheron asked while keeping his eyes on the book.
“I remember being told that it was rare to find someone who was capable of using more than one affinity,” Kizou replied.
“You have four affinities,” Cheron answered. “That might be the highest recorded number ever.”
Kizou stayed quiet as he didn’t know how to respond to that comment, since he wasn’t sure if it was a gift or a curse.
“Do you know about the world of humans and Demons?” Cheron asked as he continued reading his book.
“I just know that they don’t get along,” Kizou answered hesitantly as he could tell that some Demons were kind, such as Cheron.
“Well, you have been stuck in that village, so you might have not noticed about the changes,” Cheron said with a sigh.
Wait, didn’t Takumi say that there were changes when he came for the tariffs? Kizou thought to himself.
“Demons are no longer strictly viewed as enemies. In fact, Lestia Academy has volunteered to take in Demon students as long as they meet the necessary requirements and show no hostility,” Cheron said.
“What does that mean?” Kizou asked.
“It means that when you enter Lestia Academy, you’re going to find Demon students among your ranks,” Cheron answered.
“Did the Kingdom really allow such a thing?” Kizou asked, confused.
“With the return of that sly King, it was a matter of time before something crazy happened,” Cheron said as if he knew him from personal experience.
“But why are you and Yui still hiding?” Kizou asked.
“I said they’d welcome students, not welcome marriage,” Cheron answered. “Besides, Yui and I got married before this law came into existence.”
Kizou looked at Cheron, and he realized that Cheron really must’ve loved Yui so much if he was willing to be banished by the Demon Kingdom. In addition, Yui must’ve really loved him too if she was willing to live here even though she was the Headmaster of Lestia Academy.
“In the Kingdom, there is the King, Queen, the Princess, and the Prince. Right under them are the Royal Servants known as the Chariots. It is composed of six individuals who are said to be the strongest within the Kingdom ranging from children to adults,” Cheron said.
Kizou slowly listened in on all of this information, since he was never able to learn about it in Rakai.
“There will always be at least one member of the Chariot escorting the Royal Family, no matter the situation,” Cheron said.
That makes sense, Kizou thought to himself. Assassinations could happen.
“There is also the Magician’s Tower that holds the strongest magicians in existence. For the Chariots, one position is always open for a magician,” Cheron said. “However, there are also magicians who refuse the role to climb up the ranks of the Tower, since there are spells that are only shown to those who are worthy.”
“Wait, I thought you said the Chariots were the strongest in the Kingdom. How would a magician be stronger than them?” Kizou asked, confused.
“Magicians who rise up the rank of the Tower only deny the position for Chariot, because they themselves know they’re stronger than them,” Cheron answered.
“So, you’re saying that you have to be really strong, if you’re going to deny the position of a Chariot?” Kizou asked.
“Exactly, and there was only one person in history who has done that. The Grandmaster,” Cheron said.
“Grandmaster,” Kizou mumbled to himself.
“In terms of other services of the Kingdom, there is also the Holy Church and Adventurer's Guild,” Cheron said.
Adventurer's Guild? Kizou thought to himself angrily as he thought of Takumi.
“The Holy Church consists of the Priest, and his followers. They have a huge say on the political side of things in the Kingdom such as persuading the King to kill people who might be attacking their faith,” Cheron said.
So, they’re basically choosing who they kill if the person doesn’t follow them, Kizou thought to himself.
“The Adventurer's Guild consists of rankings, jobs, as well as other guilds that you can join. By leveling up and increasing your rank, you're more open to job opportunities as well as the higher guilds,” Cheron said.
“Do you know the rankings of guilds?” Kizou asked.
“I know the rankings of the top 5 guilds,” Cheron answered. “Yui usually looks them up to see if they’d be promising for the academy.”
“Is the Shadow Guild up there?” Kizou asked.
“Yeah, they’re the 3rd highest ranked guild,” Cheron answered. “Why did you want to know?”
“No reason,” Kizou answered.
“As you definitely know by now, Lestia Academy is the most prestigious academy within the Kingdom. There are always at least 2-3 students who get selected to be a Chariot,” Cheron said.
That many?! Kizou thought to himself.
“If you want to become one, you just have to get stronger,” Cheron said with a smile.
I mean I don’t have any need to join, but I definitely want to be strong, Kizou thought to himself.
“And let me give you a bit of advice about the Demon Kingdom,” Cheron said.
I know he’s a Demon, but how does he know so much about both Kingdoms? Kizou thought to himself.
“There is also a King, Queen, and a Prince. With the similar layout, there is the Hell’s Group which also functions the same way. There are six individuals who are said to be the strongest within the Kingdom ranging from child to adult. They all have horns and are proud to show off their strength,” Cheron said with disgust.
They sound scarier than the Chariots, Kizou thought to himself.
“I don’t think you’ll need to know too much about them,” Cheron said with a pitiful look towards Kizou.
Why is he looking at me like that? Kizou thought to himself.
“Now, do you realize that thing in your eye?” Cheron asked as he pointed at Kizou’s right eye.
“Yes I do!” Kizou exclaimed as if it was the only answer he knew. “I call it the Time Lord!”
“Time Lord?” Cheron asked.
“Yeah, it allows me to stop time whenever it’s activated,” Kizou answered with a smile.
I guess I can let him understand it however he wants, Cheron thought to himself as he let out a sigh. You’re always making too much of a mess, Prophet.
“And how do you activate it?” Cheron asked.
“That I don’t know,” Kizou answered with head down.
“Have you ever tried just thinking about it?” Cheron asked.
“Thinking about it?” Kizou asked back.
“Like how do you use your affinities?” Cheron asked.
“I just imagine fire or water, and it suddenly sprouts out,” Kizou answered.
“Have you tried doing that with your eye?” Cheron asked.
“My eye?” Kizou asked.
Wait, I’ve never actually thought about that, Kizou thought to himself. It only activates unconsciously when something bad is about to happen.
“Give it a try,” Cheron said with a smile as he leapt far back. A huge fireball was coming straight at Kizou at an alarming speed.
“Wait, now?!” Kizou exclaimed nervously.
“Better now than never,” Cheron said.
“Come on, come on!” Kizou yelled to himself as the fireball was coming straight at him.
Turn on, turn on! Kizou thought to himself as he kept blinking his eyes.
As the fire was about to hit him, Kizou took one last blink.
Come on! Kizou yelled as he slowly opened his eyes.
Everything was frozen once again, and Kizou just barely managed to dodge the fireball. After less than a second, time continued, and Kizou stumbled onto one knee.
“Looks like you’re going to need more training,” Cheron said with a smile as he slowly walked towards Kizou. “There’s an easier way to use that eye than just stopping time.”
“I guess you’re right,” Kizou said with a laugh.
But how does he know so much? Kizou thought to himself.
“Cheron! Kizou!” Yui yelled from the cave. “What is this fire doing right next to our home?”
“Yeah, why is there a big fire?!” Kana yelled with her arms crossed.
“It was all Kizou!” Cheron said as he ran away.
“You jerk!” Kizou said with angrily. He went over to the fire and used water to douse it.