One Step To Hell [Short]
We headed as fast as possible to Grimgar city. We had already left the capital a few hours ago and at the speed we were going quickly we would reach Grimgar. When late afternoon was lurking, we stopped at an inn that was along the way to spend the night and the next morning we would continue our way to Grimgar to help in the great battle.
While we were resting at the inn, Nobu caught my attention and told me to accompany him. We went out of the inn.
“Minori, Michio told me what happened to you.” said Nobu.
As I had predicted, the Captain had told Nobu the situation I had been through. I asked him where he was going with that conversation.
“Simple! Don't you want to save good people?”
I replied “yes”.
“Then you have to save yourself first.”
I didn't understand what he meant by that and asked again where he was going with that conversation.
“Minori, as Michio already told you, what happened to you wasn't normal. According to what he told me, I believe you have another soul asleep in you.”
Every time Nobu spoke I got more confused, but I asked him to say everything he thought about my situation, since he had much more experience than I did.
“The man who cast the spell on you somehow knew that this was the “activation” to awaken the other soul in you. Anyway, I believe there may be other ways to awaken that soul in you, which is why I wanted to talk to you.”
Nobu was quite serious about that conversation, I told him to go on.
“You've seen this, right?”
He showed me his gloves and created circles on his hands. They were the circles that appeared on people's hands when they cast a spell. I replied that I was watching.
“These are magic circles. The magic circles can be used when you reach Class 2. When you say the enchantment the spell is cast through here.”
Some of the things he had said I already knew, but others were new to me. I continued to listen to him.
“So that things like what happened to you don't happen before, I'm going to make you a Class 2 just for tonight. When you know how to use magic circles, you will be able to protect yourself a little better and even protect someone who needs your help.”
I told him that I thought it was impossible, not that he couldn't, but that I wasn't capable enough to reach such a level in such a short time.
“It's not a matter of whether you make it or not, you have to make it just for tonight.”
I asked what his hurry was.
“We don't know whether or not the people who are attacking Grimgar are the people who attacked you before. There is a high chance that they will be seen as they are people of at least Class 1. You will need more than anyone to have to protect you, and at the present time you will only be decimated and you cannot be guaranteed to have someone to protect you.”
I realized where Nobu was going. I accepted to do the sudden training, even knowing the difficulty to reach Class 2.
“Very well, come with me...”
As we headed towards a small mountain I asked Nobu why he, Captain and Captain Hiro don't use magic circles sometimes and still cast their spells.
“When you reach Class 1 and have control of the spirit world, some of the spells you use don't need magic circles and/or enchantment.”
I thanked him for the explanation.
“Captain.” said Yumi.
“Yes?” said the Captain.
“Where did Minori and Nobu go?” asked Yumi.
“They were reaching new heights.” said the Captain.
“What do you mean?” asked Yumi once more.
“Tomorrow you will understand.” said the Captain, laughing.
Yumi was a little confused.
“We have arrived!” said Nobu.
We were on top of the mountain. Apparently this was where I would get to Class 2 in just one night.
“You're going to do exactly as I tell you from now on, okay, Minori?”
I told Nobu I was ready. Nobu sat on the floor, clasped his hands as if in prayer and closed his eyes.
“Put yourself as I'm now.”
I put myself as he was and said that I was already the same way he was.
“Excellent. Now empty your mind, don't think about anything, just your existence.”
I completely emptied all my thoughts.
“Be one with nature.”
I started to feel the cold wind touching my body, but it felt like I was feeling a warm sensation, I really felt like I was connecting with nature.
“I don't know why you doubt yourself so much. You managed to do something in seconds that other people take days to do.”
I was glad to hear that my progress was positive.
“Now, imagine yourself releasing your energy, uniting it with nature.”
When I did what Nobu had asked me, I started to feel the wind that was touching me to “unite” completely with me. It felt like it was creating more energy.
“Okay. Let's get up.”
I got up with Nobu.
“Now I'm going to give you one of my gloves and you're going to put your arm forward with the respective hand open. You close your eyes again and imagine one of the four elements: fire, water, earth and air.”
I started to imagine the air and... a big wind started there where we were.
“Now imagine another element.”
I thought about the fire, but nothing seemed to happen.
“As I expected, we can't force things too much.”
I asked Nobu why I can't use fire but can use air.
“Each one of us identified more with one element than with the others. However, all people who learn to use one element, learn to use the others, thus becoming Class 3. People reach this stage in a few months, hence you cannot use all the elements now.”
I didn't quite understand Nobu's idea. If I couldn't use all four elements how could I even get past Class 4?
“I bet you're already out there making a seven-headed beast. Calm. We're going to skip a few steps to reach Class 2. We're going to focus on the element you know how to use and we're going to learn spells with that element.”
I was a little more relieved to know that we could reach our goal without having to take some “must have” steps.
“Say with me, “Blade of Wind”.”
I said the name of the enchantment, but nothing happened.
“Let's try until you succeed, no rush.”
He'd already lost count of the number of times he'd tried to perform that spell. I was already thinking that things wouldn't all go as well as they had in the beginning, but when I tried again, I managed to perform the spell. It felt like I had in my hand a kind of sword formed by the wind. I was fascinated and delighted by the fast development I had.
“You really did, didn't you? But we won't stop here. Let's go to the next spell.”
I told Nobu that now that I had managed to perform my first spell I was ready for any other.
“Calm down Minori, don't get too excited.”
I apologized to Nobu for my over-enthusiasm. We continued training, now he wanted me to master the “Fierce Tornado” spell. He told me that spell had some stages, that the stronger the user got, the stronger the tornado created through the enchantment would be.
Near dawn, Nobu said we could rest a little before we set off again for Grimgar. He told me that the objective was complete and that he was very pleased with my fast development. I ended up thanking him, I think I was starting to empathize with him a little more. Maybe he wasn't as “bad” as I thought.
I asked him what he wanted.
“You don't know this world well yet, but some of the things we've talked about among ourselves believe you'll change your mind about them. This world is full of pain, heartache and suffering and we only have two choices, to give in to these negative feelings and be consumed together with this world, or to fight for our freedom and bring peace to the loved ones who are around us.”
I was quite thoughtful. I asked him if he was specifically talking about our “kill or be killed” conversation.
“Also, but not only. On this journey that you decided to start you will find more obstacles than you can imagine, even more so that there is a supposed group that seems to want something that is inside you, the question is what is that specific thing.”
I kept thinking and behold, he continued talking.
“As far as I'm concerned, I'll help you with whatever it takes, and I'll protect you if necessary until you're able to protect yourself and/or protect the people around you.”
Really, I was wrong about Nobu. It was clear that he was speaking sincerely to me and that he really wanted to help me. I thanked him so much for everything.
“No need to say thank you... Now we need to head back to the inn so we can head to Grimgar.”
“Here you are, are you ready?” asked the Captain to me and Nobu to which we replied that we were more than ready.
“What have you been doing all night?” asked Yumi.
“I'm also curious to know.” said Kin.
“Guys, Nobu just helped Minori grow.” said the Captain, laughing.
“Yumi, Minori's aura is different.” said Kin.
“It’s truth! Minori aren't you a Class 4 already?” asked Yumi.
Before I could say anything, the Captain started to speak.
“Well, let's go help our companions in Grimgar.” said the Captain, laughing once more.
We continued our way to Grimgar to help our comrades who were already on the front lines. Was I ready to enter the great battle?
In an area of Grimgar, completely destroyed, were five Knights of Redon fighting with only one man. Apparently that man didn't have any damage, since the Knights of Redon looked totally exhausted.
“Is that all you have, knights?” said the man with a tone of enjoyment.
“We're still standing.” said one of the knights.
“Come then, if you can.” said the man again with a tone of enjoyment.