Chapter 160 – Details & Deals (Part 1)
“Daichi! Wait up!” Damien yelled making his way towards Daichi through the portal. He’d made his way towards him in a rush after getting awkward looks from Marcos. He wasn’t quite ready to pretend to be friends even though he’d come to acknowledge Leo.
“Hey wait!” but by the time he caught up the portal had already closed. Damien looked backwards and noticed the others coming and instead of waiting he made his way through another portal assuming Daichi had went back to Lydia’s courtyard.
Only arriving to find an empty place with every gate closed.
‘Where did he go?’ he was left wondering.
“Who are you.” Daichi’s face looked completely relaxed but his eyes lacked luster. There was something about his expression that lacked a vibrancy that all of humanity shared, it would have been unsettling all by itself but there were sparks of dark blue embers floating around Daichi that give his simple question a hint of threat.
While thinking on his way up the stairs as he made his way out of the arena, ignoring the many stares of the ‘children’ around him, Daichi’s thoughts turned grim as he felt that he’d been toyed with.
Too many questions were left unanswered and far too much he’d ignored until now felt far too important to leave unanswered. He’d stopped himself from replying to Alex’s threats because he didn’t want to draw more attention to himself, but there was one way he could still vent his frustrations.
The thought of going to find Haeru was the last thing on his mind. Daichi quickly came to the conclusion that even if they were related and the more he thought about it the more it seemed likely; there was no reason for him to go speak to Haeru about it now. Considering how even his own father had assumed he was long dead he ignored that option almost immediately.
‘There is only one person I can get answers from.’
Daichi walked through a portal with the sole intention of speaking to the Vice-Headmaster. The person who’d given him his father’s book, the person who upon further thought seemed particularly interested in his reaction to the book, and who just so happened to be Lydia (the professor whom he’d ended apprenticing under)’s father.
Although he was a big believer in the mighty fine coincidences the universe held, Daichi was not a fan of being manipulated.
After arriving in the Vice-Headmaster’s building he felt a stir in the air. Something he hadn’t felt the first time. His senses sharpened as he felt that his presence had been noticed.
‘Hmm… I wouldn’t have been able to find this building or made my way here without an invitation had I not previously been here before. This place is special…’ The realization made Daichi focus on what he would do next.
Several scenarios ran through his mind, but in the end he came to one conclusion; he would not be anybody’s puppet.
He considered how in the worst case scenario he would use his final trump card, the one he’d been so confident in; the reason why he’d willingly followed the lead of people he considered dangerous enough to kill him and venture into the city and then academy while basically on a leash.
‘I’ll kill my way out, head for the library, stash every book I can and flee.’ Daichi’s thoughts were clear even if he himself acknowledged it wasn’t the best plan.
The best scenario would be a calm and reasonable explanation in which the Vice-Headmaster sensibly shared any and all secrets pertaining to him, without holding anything back as they stood on equal terms. ‘Right. That’s going to happen.’
Daichi made his way down the hallway and quickly found the doors he’d been expecting to see but with an unexpected guest at the door.
Daichi’s eyes widened for a moment before he calmed himself down. He didn’t move and didn’t breathe for a moment, staring down the one person he’d come to both respect and understand he should slightly fear.
A smile crossed Lydia’s lips “Now now, don’t give me that. I didn’t understand what my dad meant but clearly you two have something to discuss. He told me to wait for you outside the door. Come in.” Lydia motioned to the door as it opened as she stood aside.
Daichi eyed her with careful reproach, but his curiosity won out in the end.
He still understood that Lydia could kill him. She was his antithesis with the speed she possessed. So instead of simply walking in like a sheep to the slaughter, he condensed his mana until small red embers began condensing around his body.
Lydia eyed him with amusement as the heat emanating from those flames doubled in an instant as the flames turned a dark blue.
Whistle “Well you haven’t shown me that one yet.” Lydia spoke with slight amusement.
There was an absolute lack of concern in her demeanor which Daichi took as a challenge, but he wasn’t here to fight, not if he could avoid it.
Diplomacy would be key, but he felt tired. He’d spent weeks around several people after having been alone for so long. He’d found the company endearing as the solitude had indeed begun to wear on him, but he was by no means comfortable around them.
There was no need to fight, all he had to do was relax and he knew it.
Ignoring the amused gaze Daichi closed his eyes, and for the first time in a long while. He relaxed.
Lydia watched all of her new apprentices leave all of whom had varying expressions of joy. ‘You’d think they’d be sad to be leaving. Do they even know how many people wish I’d be their teacher? I get dozens of requests per year by the top students in the academy and they take it for granted. Damnable kids.’
Complaining in her head all the way to the library as she picked up some elementary novels for beginners, she was still planning her next few lesson plans. ‘Damien’s too talented to not have some extra specialized elemental training. Daichi can only help so much with that. Daichi could probably use some of these books too actually, for a self-taught kid he sure has a loose grasp of the basics…’
While still in the middle of choosing books she’d suddenly heard a voice in her head. ‘Come to my office right now. I need your insight on a big decision. Don’t delay.’
The voice had little accent as it was through telepathy but who else but her father had that skill?
Lydia made her way to his office in under a minute only to find him with a stern and tired expression “What is it?”
She could tell he was exhausted and at odds with himself about something.
“We’re going to have a visitor in a few minutes. It’s actually far earlier than I anticipated, and not quite as I’d planned.”
Seeing the confused look on his daughter, “What do you think of Daichi?”
The confusion didn’t lessen and Lydia wasn’t sure quite what he meant. Daichi was the person she had brought into the city, in the academy. Obviously how well he did, reflected on her, so she wasn’t about to throw him under the bus. “He’s got a lot of potential”
“I need more than that. Give it a moment. Think things through. I don’t care whether it’s good or bad, I just need your honest opinion on him.”
The look in her father’s eyes gave away the importance of the matter. Instead of thinking about the political ramifications of her following words she spoke from the heart “I think he has a ridiculous amount of potential. The amount of insight he has over the fire element is the highest I’ve seen of anyone in the academy. It’s probably on par with some on the council… I know he can use more than fire, and although fire has been the element he’s shown most promise in, I have a feeling he can do more than that. He isn’t combat ready, too many people could kill him and outside of the city too many things could kill him as well. He has no basics, but he’s learning at a ridiculous pace. He picks up skills quite easily… He didn’t show it off in front of the others but he has already mastered Boost. He’d probably be able to pull off Explosion if his body wasn’t so darn fragile.”
Lydia saw her father as her only family, to her he was too important and his position didn’t matter to her, not compared to his value as a parent. She was completely honest in her assessment leaving nothing back.
The Vice-Headmaster sat there a little stunned by his daughter’s evaluation. He’d never heard her speak so highly of anyone except one person, the person she most admired.
Even more so when he heard the tidbit about Burst and Explosion. He recognized the two self-made skills Lydia had made, being able to utilize them was a huge feat by itself, but being able to use them after having learning them only in a few weeks was astounding to him, but it still wasn’t what he’d hoped to hear.
“He’s not ready for battle if that’s what you want to know. He’s still too green. He’s just a kid, he wouldn’t be of help against them.” Lydia added as her father stayed silent.
“Can I trust him?”
Lydia wasn’t sure how to answer “I think so… I think he’s talented enough worth taking a risk on.” She wasn’t sure what he meant, but after witnessing first hand how quickly he learned she was sure that unless that he had the potential to be a powerful ally in the future.
With a nod “Okay. Go outside and wait for him and then let him in. He prepared, he’s going to be in quite the huff when you see him.”
‘Eh?’ Lydia looked at her father with slight confusion but left the room all the same. Less than a minute later, lo and behold Daichi – the man in question was standing right before her very eyes.
Daichi was clearly upset and as they began to speak.
Lydia watched with curiosity at what Daichi would do next, her father had warned her that Daichi would likely be ‘in quite a huff’ and he hadn’t disappointed.
Although she knew he was quite talented and perhaps surpassed every student she’d come across in his understanding of certain elements such as fire. He was far from dangerous from her perspective. He was nothing more than a child with a dangerous weapon. The training they’d done together had more than proven to her that Daichi was nothing more than a beginner with no formal training. He had a ridiculous amount of potential but at the moment he was still a little duckling to her.
She watched the embers with amusement and watched him close his eyes in preparation. She was wondering what trick he would pull next. It was evident that he had kept several cards close to the vest.
She watched him closely and her expression fell as he opened his eyes.
The hairs on her skin stood up to attention and she felt the nape of her neck go cold. She was well aware of what this feeling was; danger.
She stared at Daichi’s lifeless eyes, all of a sudden it felt as if all of his humanity had been washed away and all that was left was a husk. A terrifying husk.
Staring at his lifeless eyes, for the first time since they’d met, she realized that she had vastly underestimated him.
There was no humor left in her tone as gazed at him. “Do we have a problem here?”
Daichi began walking towards her, every step making her tense even further.
She watched him with rapt attention as she prepared to attack him if necessary, a strip of her mana entering her veins as she enhanced her muscles on reflex.
Watching as Daichi walked past her as he whispered “That’ll depend on how your father answers my questions.”
She watched as Daichi passed her, turned his back on her seemingly without a care in the world. Only then did she realize her back was slightly moist and a feeling of shame overcame her for a moment as she realized she’d experienced fear facing a child.
“Who are you.”
Daichi walked past Lydia as he bottled all of his fear and buried it deep down where everything else went. He took note of her position and had his mana ready, but his his attention was focused on Stanislas.
Stanislas smiled. “I am exactly who I said I am. There is no secret within my past that is not known to all, so ask what you really came here to ask.”
Daichi appraised him as he considered the situation. There didn’t seem to be any malice or reservation within Stanislas’s voice.
“Did you know?”
“Know what?” Stanislas smile never wavered.
The dark blue embers paled even further as the temperature in the office rose. Now that the embers were floating around Daichi within an enclosed space, the heat began to become very noticeable.
A chuckle escaped Stanislas but he didn’t play around as amusing as he found Daichi “I suspected.”
Hearing the confirmation directly from the horse’s mouth left Daichi a little surprised even though he didn’t show it. He was expected a far different scenario than the “best” one.
“Your father wasn’t the only one from your village that happened to live on in Lumea. There was a young girl who came from your village a hundred years ago as well.”
Daichi’s surprise only mounted but his deadpan expression and dead eyes didn’t so much as twitch.
Stanislas was a little impressed. He couldn’t read Daichi at all at the moment.
“You know Hannah?”
Almost a second after he’d spoke a startled shout behind Daichi put him on high alert as Lydia entered the room with wide eyes shouting “You know the queen!?”