Chapter 115 Reminiscing (Part 1)
Daichi only waited a moment before following in haste behind her, a smile on his face as expectation began to build in his chest. ‘I’m finally going to enter Lumea…’
He hadn’t expected so much to happen immediately after leaving the mist, but he was certainly enjoying the expedited process of getting to Lumea. He had already devised a plan for getting out of the forest, and a small part of him was a little saddened he didn’t get to implement it, but he was more than happy to get out of here as soon as possible.
As he followed behind Lydia, they soon arrived back where the others were except now there were spatial ripples where Crimson had created a small portal back. Almost everyone had gone through and Crimson had only been waiting on Lydia to get back. He gave me a nod and then only glanced at Daichi before entering himself.
Daichi stared at the spatial portal as he wondered what kind of skill it must have taken to create something to useful. Even he was impressed, as he could tell everyone else had already gone through. ‘Will It take us back to the city?’ Daichi was really curious whether someone in the group really had the ability to create such a portal that could allow them to travel such a distance. The very idea that they did, completely excited Daichi and raised his expectations of what he would find in the Lumea library even further.
Lydia walked up to the portal “Don’t be afraid. This will take us out of the forest. We will walk from there back to the city.” Speaking without even turning around to look at Daichi. She had no more lingering doubts about Daichi. Perhaps it was his cooperation or something about him, but she definitely didn’t mistake him for anything but human any further.
Daichi didn’t hesitate to follow right behind her and enter the portal. The sensation he experienced was enough to cause everyone else to toss their cookies but Daichi was an exception. He already moved through the void whenever he used his flash technique he would move through the void in much the same way. The only difference Daichi seemed to notice is that within this portal there seemed to be a ‘sucking’ sensation pulling him towards a specific place. He wasn’t in control nor was he moving about with his own volition. A thought did occur to him, that if he tried to move, where would he end up?
The thought only popped up briefly before he dismissed it, he was about to end up at the place he’d set as his destinations years ago. He wasn’t about to do something stupid for the sake of a flimsy experiment at the last second!
Even so, he felt like he was being enlightened merely from entering and passing through the portal. The sensation of passing through the void in such a different yet similar way to what he was already used to doing himself gave him a glimmer on insight as to how it would feel to recreate the same sensation himself.
Lydia stood outside with Crimson beside her as Daichi appeared and the portal closed behind him. Lydia couldn’t help but exclaim as she saw Daichi with his eyes closed with such a serene expression on his face.
She was momentarily dazed as this was the first time she could take a good look at him without immediately being drawn towards those eyes of his. His clothes were in ruins, and there was blood in multiple places making her wonder whether it was his blood or his enemies. There was no doubt that he’d been hunting at some point or another. He carried two short swords attached to his thighs and a few small daggers surroundings his two swords. After giving him a quick look-over she realized that he wasn’t throwing up or holding himself back from doing so like all of the other participants. Normally these kids couldn’t handle the trip through the portal, not only was it something that took most people a few times to get used too (if they ever did) but without sufficient mana in the body, it was rough on a lot of people.
Instead Daichi stood there, with a serene expression. It was only then that Lydia’s eyes widened as she asked herself ‘Is… Is he gaining some sort of insight from traveling through the void’ her eyes wide as saucers. She’d never known anyone who’d formed some sort of insight from going through the void but she’d heard from her father that it was quite common for those who had a Void or Spatial attribute to have an insight when first going through the void themselves. Coming into contact with the void would be like finally seeing a new color that they’d never realized had been all around them and had always secretly made them feel at peace.
Thinking this, Lydia shook her head a bit trying to dispel the thought. ‘This boy has already surprised me enough as it is. Best not to get my hopes up too much. Especially without knowing more about him.’
Crimson was making a stern expression as he looked at Daichi oddly. He didn’t feel too comfortable picking up hitchhikers so to speak, but Lydia had the finally call on this one. Even if she didn’t, he knew he couldn’t make her change her mind even if he wanted too. Instead he stopped focusing on Daichi and walked over to the other students. Most of them had healed either completely or enough that their wounds weren’t serious and had woken up.
“Alright everyone! This is where we started! A lot of the other groups should have already arrived and began walking. You can even see a few in the distance. We are clearly not the first to make it back, and might not be the last. That doesn’t mean we are going to sit around waiting for anybody else. Our duty is to return to the academy immediately. If you have friends or others you know who were also taking the exam, put them out of your mind for now. Whether they passed or how well they are doing is of no consequence to you right now.” Crimson shouted making sure everybody heard him.
Crimson’s voice which carried his mana to reach everyone in the surroundings stirred Daichi out of his thoughts as he looked around and his eyes brightened as he smiled. He was clearly looking at his surroundings as he could see endless plains and behind him the forest which he’d been stuck in for so long. Daichi smiling looked brilliant and Lydia felt a little ashamed that she’d been stirred by a boy yet again.
‘Damn it! Calm yourself down woman! You are already 28! Act your age!’ she thought to herself trying to calm down her heartbeat. After giving it a moment she walked up to Daichi and stood behind him “I can’t even imagine what you must be feeling. I don’t know how long you were in there, but I would like to hear your story as we walk back. I am going to need to know as much as possible before I speak with the Vice Headmaster and Headmaster about your entry.”
Daichi heard her words but was still focused on the scenery around himself. He starred at the the trees and couldn’t help but wonder whether Hannah and Ava ever made it out. He also vaguely remembered Tael, but then shrugged it off. Although he’d been wronged by him, he also understood that at the time he was too weak to have done anything about it. ‘In a lawless world, the strong can do what they want and the weak can do nothing but try to survive. I tried to survive and I did, and now I’m stronger. I won’t stop until I’m strong enough that I can do as I please.’ Daichi didn’t hold the slightest bit of resentment towards any of them.
Whether it was Tael for forcing him into a situation where his life was at stake and then forced to take the life of one of his traveling companions or Hannah for turning on him. He understood that Tael had seen him as nothing more than a plaything, and in his own way he felt that in his shoes he would have acted the same. No one knew this about Daichi but although he never held much attachment for the people he’d known, he’d always had a soft spot in his heart for certain animals. Certain animals would have a loyalty that Daichi believed humans never could, and it endeared them to him even if he’d never personally had a pet himself. It was one of the reasons he hadn’t gone out of his way to hunt small game in the woods or why he chose not to use his chaotic attacks to stun then keep small animals for sustenance. Even now he still had enough rations to survive.
He never blamed Hannah even if, had he not entered the mist… Would have likely killed her had he seen her again. After enough time had passed he didn’t “forgive” her but he did chose to ignore any thoughts of revenge. He understood why she was driven to do what she did, why she turned on him and that after doing what she did… She was likely hurting in ways he wouldn’t have been able to inflict on her. He’d once thought she could be strong, she understood that people don’t survive in the world by doing what they chose too. People survive in the world by adapting to its rules and then gaining the strength to overcome those rules. It was something he believed Kaiden and Ava would never understand. He’d liked her (even if only a little bit) because of that, but after what happened. She was dead to him, regardless of what happened to her.
Daichi had gained a certain understanding of himself, one he’d already touched upon even before entering the mist. He was who he wanted to be. He chose to define himself not by what he thought but rather by what he did. Therefore even before undergoing years of solitary training, he’d already come to understand that only by staying true to himself, doing the things he wanted to do and not forcing himself to do something out of his personality would he maintain a clear mind. He would move forward without regrets and with only the future in mind.
Only glancing at the forest one last time, he decided that even if this wasn’t the last time he saw this forest. He would very well not enter it again of his own volition anytime soon. He’d travel any direction but the direction of this forest from now on!