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Chapter 44 Part 2 - A Depressed Kendo Player Possesses a Bastard Aristocrat

Don't worry, Mom. This time I will be truly happy. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Academy,DKPBA,Fantasy,Possession,Depression

"You don't look well, Raiden."

We were at the training grounds near the main building of the Academy.

Ever since my encounter with Professor Lucas during the training for unique magic, 'Reflect,' I had been receiving daily instruction from him.

As we were taking a short break after an intense training session, Professor Lucas spoke to me.

He was sitting next to me, staring at me intently.

"Is something bothering you?"

"Yes...?"

Feeling down because of the incident with Margaret, my face hardened at his question.

I forced a smile and asked,

"...Is it that obvious?"

"No? It's not particularly noticeable. You have your usual poker face on."

"Then how...?"

"Well, you could say it's experience?"

Lucas said playfully with a kind smile.

His bright energy seemed to radiate outwards, making me frown slightly.

"......"

"Well, it's nothing much... I just thought something might be bothering you since you weren't focusing well during training today."

"I apologize."

"I didn't mean for you to apologize...? Now I sound like a grumpy old professor who scolds his student for spacing out!"

Lucas scratched his head, stopping me from apologizing further.

He looked like he was at a loss for what to do with me.

Putting down the crystal ball he was holding, he gently patted my shoulder.

"Raiden, you're... a bit too stiff."

"Are you saying my movements aren't fluid enough?"

"No, I'm talking about your usual demeanor. You're too hard on yourself."

"You're telling me?"

I couldn't help but tilt my head in question at his words.

Hard on myself? Me?

Lucas continued, studying my puzzled expression.

"You act like someone who's constantly being chased by something. You whip yourself mercilessly and treat yourself harshly."

"I don't quite understand..."

"How many days have you taken a break from training in the past month?"

"...None."

"And right after the banquet hall incident, you came to train the very next day after you were discharged?"

"...Yes."

I closed my mouth, rendered speechless by his words.

Even I had to admit that going back to training the day after being discharged from the infirmary was a bit much.

Lucas observed me for a moment before speaking again, a wry smile on his face.

"You tend to push yourself too hard, Raiden."

"......"

"It's admirable, but it also worries me... People who are used to pushing themselves often neglect their own well-being."

I'm guessing that's probably why you were feeling down today as well.

You were probably blaming yourself for some mistake, right?

I've seen kids like you before.

Trapped in their own disappointment and compulsions, they easily hate themselves for the smallest of things.

To me, you're no different... No, maybe even worse.

I don't know all the details of your situation, but I just wanted to tell you this.

"It's going to be okay. You're doing well enough."

The hand that had been patting my shoulder moved to my head.

His touch, gently stroking my hair, held a strangely nostalgic warmth.

The memory of my brother, Changho, flashed through my mind, and I froze, unable to react.

"I know you're working harder than anyone else, Raiden... Why else do you think I'm giving you one-on-one lessons like this?"

His tone was playful, but his words were sincere.

He told me that he acknowledged my efforts.

That he recognized the days I had struggled in this world for the past three months.

And at the same time, he added that everything would be alright.

Professor Lucas didn't know my circumstances.

He didn't know about Raiden's hidden past, my reincarnation, or even my existence.

But even so.

His encouragement, telling me that I was doing well enough, was enough to shake me to my core.

Because since I had fallen into this world, he was the first person to acknowledge my efforts.

"...I'll keep that in mind."

I managed to stammer out a reply, my body still frozen.

I wanted to thank him, but the words felt awkward on my tongue, so I just mumbled something vague.

"Good to hear!"

Lucas chuckled and ruffled my hair.

Embarrassed, I subtly dodged his hand and changed the subject.

"By the way, what's with the crystal ball you've been holding this whole time? It seems to be recording..."

"Ah, this?"

Lucas lifted the crystal ball at my question.

He seemed to ponder for a moment on how to explain it before shrugging.

"It's, how should I put it... I was recording my will, so to speak."

"......Excuse me?"

His sudden, unexpected answer left me dumbfounded.

My surprise almost showed on my face, but I quickly regained my composure at his next words.

"Haha! Of course, not the kind of will you're thinking of."

"Then...?"

"As you can see, this is a recording crystal ball. I record myself with it once a month."

"Is it a hobby?"

"Well... more like a habit I picked up from the battlefield."

"Ah... So that's why you called it a will."

I nodded in understanding.

The civil war that had thrown the Empire into chaos ten years ago, also known as the 'Lukria War of Conquest'.

Lucas had participated in that hell at the young age of fourteen.

It was a fierce war where death could come at any moment, so it made sense that he would record his will periodically.

And after the war ended, it must have become a habit.

"Will... It's a strange way to put it now. Now that the era of peace has arrived."

"That's fortunate."

"Thanks to that, this habit has changed a lot too. These days, it's more like setting goals for the month ahead before it begins."

In other words, he was using it as a planner.

I looked at the crystal ball, which showed signs of age and fell into thought.

It looked fine now, but there must have been a time when blood and tears fell on it.

Thrown into hell at an age when he should have been experiencing the sweetness of the world, how lonely and afraid he must have been.

Perhaps Lucas and I were a little alike.

In the sense that we learned coldness before warmth from others.

"......"

Lost in bitter thoughts, I remained silent.

As if reading my mind, Lucas smiled.

"You're right... That war was nothing short of hell. But it wasn't all bad."

"Yes...?"

"On the battlefield, overflowing with anger and sadness, I saw something."

Lucas's face was tinged with melancholy as he reminisced.

"Children... Innocent children who didn't lose their smiles even as they looked upon their burning hometowns."

"......"

"Seeing them gave me hope. I felt like I could do anything to protect those bright smiles."

That's why I chose to become an educator.

He said, a kind smile gracing his lips.

His bright green eyes, sparkling with hope, were fixed on me.

"Hell is painful... but if you look closely, it might lead you to something precious."

So why don't you try looking too, Raiden?

"Look for what lies within your own hell."

His voice resonated clearly in my ears.

I could only stare blankly, replaying his words in my mind.

The self that had stopped moving, exhausted from misfortune and despair, felt like it was wriggling back to life.

His words weren't mere consolation.

Lucas was encouraging me.

He was telling me that I could escape hell too, just like he did.

He was trying to give me courage.

Is this what it means to be an adult?

Of all the people I've met in my life, he was the one most deserving of the title 'adult'.

"...Thank you for your kind words."

I finally managed to stammer out a reply, my body still stiff.

"I only ever give good advice, don't I? You should always keep your ears peeled."

Lucas responded playfully to my blunt reply.

He stood up and said, shaking the crystal ball in his hand.

"Alright! Since you're here, Raiden... how about I make it my goal for this month to hear you call me 'Master'?"

"Excuse me? What are you talking about all of a sudden...?"

"Don't you think it's about time you started calling me Master? You're the only student in the Academy who inherited my unique magic, so I'd say that makes us master and disciple, wouldn't you?"

"Since you're a professor and I'm a student, aren't we already in a teacher-student relationship...?"

"Then call me Master from now on."

"I'll call you Professor."

"How can you be so cruel...!"

Lucas looked at me with a betrayed expression.

I averted my gaze, sticking to my guns.

I barely managed to thank him, and now he wanted me to call him 'Master'?

Please, let's stay within the realm of possibility.

"Just you wait...! I've set it as my goal for this month!"

Lucas declared with a stubborn glint in his eye.

I noticed this every time I saw him, but this guy had a tendency to fixate on strange things.

As a result, I had to continue my training under Lucas's intense gaze.

.

.

.

And so, the lively days passed, and the dreaded day of the school trip finally arrived.

No matter how much I wished it wouldn't, time was not something I could stop.

In the end, I had no choice but to grudgingly accept reality.

"Young Master, did you pack everything?"

As I stood there with my bag, lost in the despair of the natural order of things, Rachel emerged from the kitchen, where she had been washing dishes, and asked.

I nodded and replied,

"I packed earlier."

"Then what's this?"

"Hmm?"

Rachel held something out in front of me.

In her hand was a navy blue vest embroidered with the Reynolds Academy emblem.

Wait, wasn't that my uniform...?

"...I thought I packed it."

"Oh, Young Master... I knew it."

"Ha, haha... Thanks, Ray."

Rachel gave me an exasperated look as she put the uniform in my bag.

She closed the bag and patted it.

"Honestly~ I'm worried about how you'll manage for five days without me~"

"......I know, right?"

Her playful words made my heart sink.

Five days without Rachel, without Ariel.

Five days in an unfamiliar place with people I didn't want to be around.

Could I really endure it?

"Young Master...?"

Sensing my unease, Rachel called out to me, her voice laced with concern.

"Are you alright...?"

"......"

I stayed silent for a moment before speaking.

"Rachel."

"Yes, Young Master."

"...Do you think I can do this? Five days without you."

My voice trembled slightly as I asked.

Rachel looked at me silently for a moment before answering with a bright smile.

"Of course, who do you think raised you?"

Her answer was as if I had asked something obvious.

Her clear eyes held my reflection, a gentle gaze fixed on me.

For some reason, my face flushed at her soft gaze, and I averted my eyes.

"...What are you talking about? You're only a year older."

"Hehe... I practically raised you!"

"It wasn't that bad."

"Yes, it was~"

Talking with Rachel, even casually, eased my anxiety.

I took a deep breath and gripped the strap of my bag tightly.

"Well then... I'll be back."

"Yes, take care!"

With Rachel's cheerful farewell, I opened the front door and stepped outside.

The sky, overcast with scattered clouds, shone down on me with the occasional ray of sunshine.

With mixed feelings, I stepped into the scene before me.

The school trip had begun.


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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the chapter

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rachel is still best girl

    ReplyDelete
  3. IDK why but that felt like a death flag from Lucas.

    ReplyDelete