Chapter 29 – Sight Seeing Training Part 2
Haru’s eyes opened the moment he felt Erith get up. He knew it was time to leave and the look in his eyes gave Erith the sense that this boy in front of him was older than he looked.
‘He looks calm. His entire world has just shifted underneath him and he looks calm.’ A little surprise was evident in Erith’s gaze towards Haru.
It was one thing to stay calm in the face of adversity but after telling him that he wasn’t completely human, Erith had expected Haru to have a bit of a melt down. To need to be talked down, things explained and a slew of emotions that Erith himself was not well equipped to deal with. Instead, Haru had asked merely a few questions, shed some tears silently and then steadied himself.
In but a few hours Haru now looked like a rock. Steady and calm, no hint of turbulence that Erith could see, leaving him surprised.
Haru had used the past few hours to steady his mind and heart. Much to his own surprise he found himself able to calm down far easier than he expected. He wanted to numb himself to the things that had happened to him and as the moment he willed it, it happened.
It was like flipping a switch and his turbulent emotions had gone from a 10 to 1.
Haru’s eyes showed no emotion until he took a moment to look around. Eyes widening ‘Where’s everything??’
The entire courtyard was completely barren. The sword rack, the covering in the middle of the courtyard, the flowers and even the very grass in the courtyard was missing. It was literally barren with nothing around.
“Everything is gone…”
“I packed while you meditated.” Erith said as he walked towards the door.
“Even the grass…?” Haru whispered but that small whisper didn’t elude Erith’s ears.
“I take what’s mine. Everything in this courtyard was mine, so I’m bring it along. Hurry up.”
‘What crazy hearing..!’ Haru thought to himself as he got up and followed behind Erith.
‘No carriage… Where is everything?’ It was only then that Haru looked back and noticed even the grass in the space he’d been sitting in was now missing.
Erith didn’t even lock the doors behind him as he walked out motioning for Haru to follow. There were few people on the streets as dusk was upon them and night coming in. Haru paid little attention to his surroundings as he noticed the gazes of some of the people looking at him. These were the same people that had looked at him in disdain or ignored him as he’d been searching for Lily. The looks they were giving him now were no different, some of these people were the same men and women who’d seen him growing up. Had watched him come to the same dojo or walk to school.
Seeing the same looks of disdain, disinterest and even worse for Haru; looks of pity. He couldn’t help but feel a little revulsion. He’d never felt any hatred for anyone before but seeing these people who’d done nothing to help him, he felt it for the first time. Unable to help himself from feeling these things he could only look down and not meet anyone’s eyes.
Erith didn’t miss any of this even as he walked in front of him.
Ignoring the looks from the people around him Haru merely kept walking forward and before he realized it they were already at the edge of town. Haru didn’t notice until he bumped into Erith’s back giving him a small jolt.
“Sorry!” Looking up he noticed the carriage. An intricate golden dragon around the edges of the the monstrosity with royal purple as the pain color. The size of the carriage looked big enough to fit 12 twelve people in the main compartment but what really drew his attention was the animal at the front.
Haru’s jaw literally hung open as a low “GRRRRR” made him take a step back instinctively as the dragon turned to look at him. When their eyes met Haru was suddenly struck cold with fear as he stared at the dragon before him the size of an elephant.
Erith walked to the carriage as the ‘driver’ walked forward to open the compartment door for him. Looking back at his startled disciple he gave him a small grin “This is merely the lowest class of earth dragon. It barely has any true dragon blood. It’ merely has the looks of a dragon, it’s primarily a giant lizard. Don’t be scared and stop wasting time and get in. You’re going to see a lot of new things starting from now on.”
Haru’s gaze stayed on the dragon as it took him a moment to muster the courage to move. It wasn’t so much the fear of the beast in front of him so much as the shock of this giant terrifying creature before him, being used as a common mule. Haru didn’t even have to think about how not even the royal of Eastesp City could afford to buy an earth dragon much less use it as a mule to pull a carriage.
The giant earth dragon, the size of an element that looked like a kimono-dragon with more prehistoric and dragonesk features looked like an armored dark-green tank. Scales all over its body, with dark red pupils. The beast looked like a tool of war.
After snapping out of his shock Haru moved forward slowly, pushing his fear aside as he assured himself that his teacher wouldn’t let him get eaten for a snack.
Once he entered the carriage the door was closed behind him and the interior was no less impressive then the exterior. The entire carriage was so long and the ceiling high enough for Haru to stand up within. The interior lined with cushioned silk pillows on all the bench space. Satin purple and red trimming along the ceiling and edges gave it a regal look making Haru wonder whether he should even sit down.
Haru sat down in front of Erith as instructed but felt a little uncomfortable and uncertain. Erith sat upright in front of him, his back leaning against the carriage but his body taut and head steady as he gazed at Haru. Something about him seeming regal instead of simply indifferent. The man before him suddenly gave him a different impression than he ever had. The teacher he knew was comfortable in simplicity, never showing any interest in the secular world. The man before him now seemed no less comfortable in splendor as if it were something he could so easily take for granted. Something unheard of for Haru or even anyone he’d ever known.
His mind was confused but he was no less in the middle of thinking about how to ask about the dragon they were using as a mount as a surging sword intent in Erith’s mind drew his focus.
Turning to face his teacher’s gaze Haru suddenly felt like he had a sharp sword pointed at the middle of his neck, that could thrust forward and end his life at any second!
Haru held his breath but as he gazed into Erith eyes it was as if he could see a hazy world within. The longer he stared the more of the world he saw, a world filled with nothing but clouds and swords!
Slowly it felt as Haru was being drawn into those eyes, into this world!
The world’s skies were filled with transperant clouds, the size of the world itself seemed to span hundreds of miles. The hazy vision gradually became more and more clear as the world in Erith’s eyes drew closer and the feeling of being drawn in made him feel enveloped until he felt nothing at all but a breeze on his skin.
Eyes widening Haru looked around as his mind sank for a moment realizing he was no longer in the carriage from before but that world, that picture he’d seen but a moment ago…!
In the middle of the world Haru finally found the one thing that stood apart from the rest. A figure standing above a cloud with a sword in his right hand. The figure was dressed in purple robes and was calmly gazing at him.
His face was obscured and he didn’t speak, but it seemed to recognize when Haru himself had taken notice of him. Slowly his arm began moving producing sword beams that cut the air and produced blades of air from his sword swings.
Each slash containing surging sword intent and the sword blades produced growing large and stronger with each swing. These sword blades burst out in every direction, each easy-going swing producing a stronger and more intimating force with every swing as they began to slash apart the sky and open up space right before his very eyes!
Even at a distance Haru’s mind felt panicked as he felt danger from every one of these air blades produced by this man’s swordplay! The figure began moving and every footstep, every strike resembled elegance and finesse. Every movement coming off both as practiced and natural.
It was not swordplay, but a sword style!
A beautiful sword style that enveloped and grasped Haru’s very soul as his eyes set his gaze upon it.
An inherent beauty in every slight movement of the sword which depicted a sense of deadly elegance in Haru’s eyes. To any other every strike would have felt random, deadly, terrifying and fear inducing but in his eyes there was a rhythmic beauty to every stroke, every swing, every movement and every slight change of trajectory.
For just a moment… The figure disappeared all together as his eyes seemed to focus on the sword alone moving through the air and space as if independent from everything else, including its wielder.
Haru in a trance failed to realize the resonating feeling of his very soul with the sight before him as the surroundings started to twist and distort as his mind was enveloped by the sword.