Chapter 11 – Spark of Brilliance II Part 1
Immediately after taking hold of Haru’s body Erith realized the extreme damage that had been done to his body. He had already been in disbelief by his ability to perform that last attack, but now feeling his muscles completely torn to shreds he silently contemplated the amount of damage that had to have been done before even beginning that last swing. A slight shiver of excitement shook Erith awake from his thoughts as he stopped looking Haru and began treating him.
After laying Haru down, he immediately went to the garden, cut several different flowers and began mixing them in a bowl. Although the courtyard looked space, there was still a simple open pavilion in the center of the garden with some small household items. He quickly made an ointment, and after grabbing a towel. Cleaned Haru’s body and applied the ointment massaging it into his skin to prevent the damage from getting any worse.
He sat in contemplation next to Haru’s body like that a little longer before getting up and taking his leave. ‘I have to go to them before they come to me’ he thought with a slight frown as he already knew how his Dillan would react.
He made his way to Dillan’s home within minutes and after knocking on the door a smiling Dillan answered the door “You two are finally back!”
Dillan was anxious but in good spirits. In his opinion, that Haru hadn’t been brought home yet could only mean he was doing well enough that Erith had kept him longer. It would be great news for them if Erith accepted him. He knew full well his standards.
“I have news.”
Looking at Erith’s even expression and looking but not finding Haru around suddenly his heart felt tightened as his smile faded away.
Stepping aside he let Erith inside and followed him in to sit on the couch.
“Good news and Bad news.”
“Both, good first.” Dillan said suspiciously.
“Good news, your son is talented. Very talented. The most talented child I’ve met in regards to swordsmanship. As of now, I cannot say if his talent is strictly limited to the art of the sword or whether he simply possesses a monstrous level of perception.”
Although Erith’s tone was bland, Dillan’s heart stopped beating for a second. ‘He’s never. Ever. Given someone praise like this.’ He almost couldn’t believe what he’d just heard.
“Bad news. He was slightly injured in his training. He pushed himself hard, a good thing. Unfortunately, his perception is ahead of his physical body, and he performed a technique his body can’t handle yet. He was slightly injured but he’ll be fine enough in a week. I’ll bring him back then.”
Without giving him a chance to speak Erith continued “I am going to wholeheartedly teach him everything I know. He won’t be a student. He’s going to be my first disciple. I am going to give him my everything. I promise… When I am done, he will be able to surpass my skill and my accomplishments. I guarantee it. So trust me with your son.”
Erith immediately knelt down on the floor and before Dillan could take his words to heart he pulled out his blade in but one quick movement cutting his arm and spilling his blood.
“I swear an oath. Haru will inherit my swordsmanship should he so accept. I will guide him on his path and protect his life.”
Dillan could no longer ignore the seriousness of his words. He wouldn’t have anyways but the very meaning of this oath was nothing to scoff at. It was a weight that Erith would have to carry for the rest of his life. If an oath in blood was broken, his bloodline would refuse him. It was a special quirk of the ancient bloodlines that nobody could understand or explain, but it was a very big deal.
Dillan’s mind reeled but the concern actually faded from his mind. He trusted Erith wholeheartedly. Hearing that Haru would be fine, instead of concerned he was simply relieved. He didn’t mind Haru staying with Erith, and if that was the case it was likely because Erith would be teaching or healing Haru himself. Moreover, with Erith’s guidance there would no longer be any need for him to worry about his son’s future. It was all but assured now.
A smile played on his lips. He had been momentarily angry with his brother, but that faded into nothing long ago, and seeing the dedication in his eyes now. This was a matter worth celebrating!
“I’ll go ge-“
“No no. I’ll be going” suddenly with a sheepish smile Erith stood up and started walking towards the door.
Dillan’s eyes widened as he realized what Erith’s ploy was!
Turning around to glance at Dillan, Erith made for the door and closed it behind him. By the time Dillan got outside he was already no-where to be found “YOU ANIMAL!”
“Honey, is Haru home. Lily is bathed and already getting ready for sleep. Did you give Haru the food I left out?” Eve came walking into the living room.
Dillan turned to her with a slightly aggrieved expression ‘That son of a bitch.’
“Honey… Let me start by saying that everything is fine… Okay?”
Haru’s eyes slowly opened but his mind was blank. A wave of nausea assaulted him as he turned to the side barely recognizing the pain of his swollen arms and shoulders to throw up. He felt a hand assisting him and holding him in face as he wretched everything in his system.
The burning sensation in his throat did not abate even after he was done. From his perspective his own body felt like a foreign entity, it didn’t feel like his own as he couldn’t control any of his limbs to move, they felt numb and at the slightest effort all he could feel was a vague pain.
“Do not try to move. It’s pointless, virtually all of your muscles are currently torn. All you will succeed in doing is causing yourself further pain” Erith’s apathetic voice rang out next to Haru.
Haru’s body was a mess but his mind was working overdrive as he recalled everything that had happened before. After a long period of time, he’d swung his sword enough that he’d finally felt a sliver of familiarity with it. A vague sense of the sword feeling like an arm or leg, an extra limb to be used at his leisure. It was at that point that Haru had stopped moving altogether so he could absorb that feeling and resonate with it. After a while, he had felt more and more familiar with that feeling until he’d felt as if it was second nature, as if there was never a time when it wasn’t a part of him. It was at that point that he had suddenly remembered the image of Erith’s swing, and with his new found limb, he recreated that swing.
At this point; the pain, soreness, every bit of effort he’d previously put in swinging his sword for the past few hours was suddenly catching up to him. Haru did his best to ignore that feeling as he swung his sword. ‘Once.’ He thought.
It was his first effort at trying to mimic Erith wholeheartedly and he used every ounce of strength his body still had. He had no distracting thoughts, no fancy allusions as to using ‘technique’. That one sword swing at that moment was a recreation based on his recall and instinct. It held every bit of willpower and resonance he had and the moment he’d finished his swing, it wasn’t joy or success that his mind felt or thought about. Every bit of soreness and exhaustion had in that moment, been amplified by over a hundred times and his brain had been overwhelmed in less than a moment. Before fully comprehending whether he’d been successful or not, his eyes had turn white as he’d fainted on the spot.
‘I remember thinking once?’ That was definitely the case. Haru now recalled.
‘Oh no! Mother was supposed to pick me up a long time ago!’ Haru’s eyes widened and he put his best effort to piece together the words.
It took an immense amount of effort for Haru to piece together the words “Mother, pick, up, waiting” and just as much effort for Erith to come to a general understanding of what Haru was trying to say.
Although Haru couldn’t see his expression, it softened a bit after understanding his words.
“Your father came earlier to inquire about you but I sent him home. I told him you were in the middle of something important and that you would be spending the night here. That was yesterday.”
Just as relief was about rear its head, more concern surfaced first. ‘Oh no! Classes!’ but Haru didn’t bother trying to voice this concern. He just sat in silence.
“I applied a special ointment on your body yesterday. If it weren’t for that your body would be in an even worse condition yesterday.”
Haru’s mind was a whirl thinking about that. He was already unable to move and in pain ‘How could my body be worse? Just how did I injury myself so badly in the first place?’
As if reading his mind “You injured yourself so drastically by pushing yourself beyond your physical boundary with nonstop practice. Afterwards your performed a technique your body could not have handled had you been in peak condition, nearly tearing every muscle in your body in the process.”
Haru’s mind nearly collapsed as he wondered whether that was why the pain was so bad. Suddenly he considered how long it would take to recuperate and how badly he was hurt.
“Your body will need a few more days to recuperate. It’ll probably be a day or two before you can move as well. I will let your parents know tonight that you’ve suffered a small injury so as to not worry them, and that they can see you tomorrow.” Erith mentioned.
Haru was glad for that kindness but as he considered everything that had happened. He was left slightly disappointed in himself. Instead of saying any more, Erith lifted Haru up a bit and began to pour a liquid down his throat “Drink this and then rest.”
Unable to do anything but comply, Haru followed Erith’s instructions. He swallowed the liquid and hoped for the best, and no longer focused on the things outside of his control. Although he was told to rest. He tried for a while with no result, the pain that didn’t seem to come from any place in particular was too troublesome and prevented him from falling asleep. After a while, Haru decided to try to meditate instead.
Although he’d never meditated laying down, he figured that if it was possible in one position there was no reason it wouldn’t be possible in another. He wasn’t too optimistic about his chances of actually being able to do it, but much to his surprise, he entered into that endless blood filled ocean almost immediately after thinking about it.
The blood was still and his body floated, all the pain from just moments ago was gone and was instead replaced by a pleasant sensation that felt wonderful all over his body. His exhaustion was melting away and his thoughts drifted as he merely enjoyed that wonderful sensation to no end.