It was a usual morning for Kaner Chang. He was peacefully resting under his favourite blanket and could feel the gentle warmth of the morning sun, slightly inhibited by his thin curtains, shining on his face. He could hear the soft tones of his morning alarm which tugged at his consciousness, pulling him from his slumber.
‘This is the best.’
With a contented smile on his face, he reached his hand out to press the snooze button as he would usually do. He was quite appreciative of this alarm his mother had given him, so he always pressed the snooze button gently.
As he felt a warm and soft sensation on his fingertip, he knew he had achieved his goal.
“Do you have to do this every day?”
With his eyes still closed he answered:
“How would I switch off the alarm otherwise?”
‘It’s time, Ultimate defensive technique, activate!’
Kaner knew full well what was about to occur, for he had been through this battle countless times. Using the instinct, he had honed through daily training, he braced himself for impact. He even had a faint sense of where the attack would land and increased the area’s defence accordingly by placing his hand over it. However-
He received a crisp slap to the head.
‘H-how could this be? The attack landed in a completely different location. Gasp. Void Cutting Palm? Not possible. But the way this attack moved and changed so suddenly, this could only be achieved through the manipulation of space!’
He felt a cold sensation trickling down his spine.
“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not an alarm? Sigh. What am I going to do with you?”
He opened his eyes and looked at the face of his mother. She had a stern expression, but he could tell that she was trying to suppress a smile.
“This was the seventy-third time. I feel like we’re getting close. When it reaches ninety-nine something special may happen. Let’s do our best.”
He said, with a smile and a thumbs up.
Kaner knew he had gone too far. It was time for evasive manoeuvres. While kowtowing three times on his bed he said:
“I’m sorry Mother, I have been an unfilial son.”
“Sigh. Whatever. Breakfast is ready, so brush your teeth and join your father and me.”
She said while grumbling and took another look at her son who was rubbing his head before closing the door.
While his mother was heading to the dining room, Kaner was getting up from his bed while rubbing the impact area.
‘Mother’s skills have improved greatly. It is truly unexpected. Just when I think I have caught up she goes and comprehends spatial manipulation.’
He was seriously considering his future path of training. Ever since he had finished university a few months ago, his mother would wake him at the same time every day and slap him when he annoyed her.
He had taken this as a good opportunity to develop his spiritual perception, which is why he thought he could sense the trajectory of the last attack. When it landed at a place he didn’t expect, he equated it to his mother improving her skills.
‘Ha! Just you wait, Mother. In three years, no, two. In two years I’ll complete my practice of the Heaven Shattering Palm Catching technique. How will you deal with me then?’
After rising to his feet, He stopped to notice the small particles floating around in the air, their presence having been exposed by the sun shining through his window. After a while he noted to himself:
‘The residual energy from Mother’s Void Cutting Palm. If I study the movements I may be able to grasp some of her comprehension of spatial laws.’
But before long he realised that keeping his mother waiting was equivalent to poking a sleeping dragon, nothing good could come of it. So, he proceeded to the bathroom which was opposite his bedroom.
‘Hmm, it seems Mother is having trouble concealing her aura, this fragrance in the area overpowers the aroma of breakfast, which means she was unintentionally leaking her energy. This will be useful in future stealth operations. Wait! What if she were intentionally leaking this energy to lead me to this conclusion? This calls for further investigation.’
After noticing the lingering scent of his mother’s perfume, he entered the bathroom. While brushing his teeth, using the Circular Disconnect Tooth Cleansing method his mother had taught him, he came up with some adjustments to his training plan that he would set in motion starting today.
While he may not have too many outstanding qualities, Kaner Chang would always earnestly implement his strategies allowing for adjustment along the way. This is one of the reasons his parents felt comfortable letting him freelo–, live in their house, even though most youths at his stage in life would have started seeking their independence.
After brushing his teeth, He made his way to the dining room, making sure to take note of his mother’s aura to replicate her movement technique. There must have been a reason she was always able to sneak up on him in the morning, or so he thought.
As he neared the dining room he could feel a heavy suppressive aura. He knew well the source of this aura. The supreme authority of the house was just meters away from him.
“Good morning son.”
There he was. The man, known as dad.
He was an inviolable presence in his domain. One that Kaner knew he would never be able to defy.
The only question in his mind was why his mother, the greatest expert under the nine heavens, would stay with this man who had such a heavy suppressive aura but no martial arts ability to speak of.
‘Surely, she could flip her palm and be rid of him. That she doesn’t. This must be what love is.’
He had often witnessed his father flinching in terror with just the slightest gesture from his mother, which was why he knew that his father’s aura was just for show. But his senses told him that he must never rebel. Otherwise…
After thinking this far he realised that he had neglected to respond to his father. Without any further hesitation he exclaimed:
“Paying respect to Mother! Hey Dad, what’s up?”
“This. Why do I feel like your mother’s greeting was sincerer?”
“And why do you call me Dad, but you refer to your mother as Mother?”
“Dad, you must understand. Seniority is based on ability, not on age. I have recognised Mother’s mastery over martial arts and while you do have a domineering presence, it is nothing in the face of Mother’s martial prowess. Need I remind you of the Flying Slipper Slaying Dragon incident of three years ago?”
To this day this incident had embedded itself into Kaner’s mind. Upon witnessing this technique, he finally understood that behind the gentle and caring demeanour of his mother lay an unparalleled existence.
He knew the technique was out of the ordinary when he observed how it maintained its destructive might even over a distance. He had only seen it once, and his mother could not be blamed for this.
Surely, such a fearsome technique also came with devastating consequences. He wouldn’t be surprised if she were still recovering from the recoil.
“Oh? You think because your mother can subdue me, it makes me weak?”
His father slightly raised his head, narrowed his eyes and glared at Kaner. The suppressive aura he felt grew many-fold, causing him to have trouble breathing.
Even though his father was seated at the dining table, Kaner felt like a subject being looked down upon by his king. He could feel sweat forming on his forehead and was about to activate his Clear Mind Sutra when-
“Enough! I thought we agreed not to bring that up again.”
His mother said with an embarrassed look on her face.
Hearing this, both the father and son sat down, looking down at the table with timid expressions. This was the norm for family meals and everyone enjoyed it.
After serving the meals, his mother joined them at the table and they offered thanks for their meal. His mother had taught him that it was very important for one to be grateful for the things one had.
‘It’s not limited to her martial arts. It seems Mother’s culinary techniques have also improved. I have been observing her for years but it’s still unfathomable. I have barely scratched the surface.’
Kaner had always been interested in what his mother did. The family was fortunate enough that his mother didn’t have to work. After noticing that Kaner was having difficulty interacting with other children, she decided to start teaching him from home.
This may seem like a bad solution to the problem, but she could not bear to see the blank look on her child’s face whenever she picked him up from school. He would never have any stories to tell and every day was ‘the same as every other day’.
As a result, Kaner was proficient in domestic chores. He was almost as skilled as his mother at maintaining the home and he was a great help to her on a daily basis. He also considered this to be a good way to gauge his opponent’s abilities, so it was a win-win.
Another side effect was, after doing all of the household chores there was more time for education, which led to Kaner scoring well in his academic assessments. This led to his father thinking Kaner was squandering his potential by ‘messing around at home instead of getting a job like normal people’.
“You really want to continue like this for two years, son?”
He was referring to the agreement upon which Kaner attended university. Honestly speaking, Kaner didn’t want to have anything to do with the outside world. He felt that the confines of his home were the only place in the world with colour and everything else was grey.
Every time he crossed the threshold of the front door his aura would completely change, and he would become a serious and goal-oriented person, almost like a machine, showing no emotion.
He knew that going to university would place him in a constant state of this, only being able to come home every once in a while, and he hated the person he was outside.
But he knew that he couldn’t stay at home forever, so he proposed that in exchange for him acquiescing to his parents’ request of him attending university, he would be allowed to spend two years afterwards living as he pleased. And so here we are.
“Well that was the condition of our soul pact, so I don’t think it would be beneficial to anyone if we were to change things now.”
“Sigh. I thought you would have grown up a little after going to university and broadening your horizons.”
“Why are you so inclined to the mundane Dad? Can’t you see that I’m living the pinnacle existence? I am able to hone myself daily and study under an expert of Mother’s calibre. This is something you can only stumble upon and can’t search for.”
He said while balling up his fists.
“But your ‘pinnacle existence’ is based on my mundanity.”
“This. Sigh. You’re right, Dad. And I understand this. I only ask for two years. Just two years and I’ll join the mundane world. Please just allow me this much.”
His father was unable to respond to this serious and crestfallen statement from his son. He looked at his wife and could see the sadness on her face. Seeing the soulless look in his son’s eyes, he sighed and relented.
“What I say is true but it is also important to keep your commitments. Two years is what we agreed, so two years is what you shall have.”
Kaner noticed his mother’s expression so he quickly responded:
“Hahaha! Your will is weak, Dad. You succumbed to my Kitten Tames Tiger technique. This is why you will never match up to Mother.”
The three started laughing, but Kaner could still see a trace of sadness in his mother’s eyes. He always believed he was a burden to his mother, so he always did his best in helping her with the housework and did all the grocery shopping even though he hated going outside. That his mother still treated him like her darling child had a profound effect on him, causing him to develop a deep respect for her.
“So, what are you going to do now?”
His father asked, to which his mother chimed in:
“Let me guess, you are going to head to the cultivation hall to study ancient Chinese texts?”
“Cultivation hall? Ancient Chinese texts? You mean going on his phone to read those web novels? What was it, Narakuto?”
His father also knew his son’s habits and was able to translate his wife’s and son’s strange way of putting things.
“That’s a manga and it’s called Naru- never mind. This is another reason why your martial arts stagnate Dad. I can’t believe you aren’t able to see through such a simple illusion formation. Mother was able to peer into the truth the first time and you still see me ‘going on my phone to read web novels’, truly embarrassing.”
His dad ground his teeth against each other but was lost for words.
“Anyway, once again mother your foresight has left me speechless. I will indeed be heading to the cultivation hall, as I have had some insights today that I would like to corroborate with the ancient teachings.”
“That’s fine but I’ll need you to enter the grey later today to pick up a few things from the store.”
“Y-yes mother. I was just thinking I needed to practice my Beseech the Heavens mantra.”
“Enter the grey? Beseech the Heavens? What’re those?”
Usually, his father could understand what his son was saying but these were two new terms to him.
“Still unfamiliar with the language of the upper realm? Tsk-tsk. To ‘enter the grey’ is to go outside and to ‘Beseech the Heavens’ is to pray for guidance. I say ‘enter the grey’ because it is a literal description and ‘Beseech the Heavens’ sounds cooler than ‘Pray for Guidance’ doesn’t it?”
His father turned to his wife who was smiling and nodding as if what their son had just said was the most natural thing in the world.
“Hm, I see. Yes, I see it now”
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to consult with the elders. I’ll be taking my leave Mother. Later Dad.”
After washing his plate, Kaner cupped his fist to his mother and headed back to his room to begin his daily study session.
It was as his father described. He grabbed his phone and started browsing through his current reading list.
He wasn’t always a fan of reading, in fact, he hated it. But one day after finishing an anime, he wanted to see how the story would progress and was unable to wait for a possible continuation of the anime.
So, he found the manga. Unfortunately, the manga wasn’t too far ahead of the anime and he felt that something was strange. So, after searching, he found out that the source material was a light novel.
Initially, he was apprehensive about reading a wall of text, but curiosity got the better of him. At first, he had to force himself to continue, but soon enough he started to see details that would be omitted from the manga and anime. Character’s thoughts about a situation and the overall atmosphere would not be described in the other forms but were present in the novel.
Needless to say, he got hooked. Ever since he caught up with the release he had constantly been looking for something on the same level as that novel but had seen little success.
Most stories that he had interest in took turns that he did not agree with, so he had to drop them. And after a series of bad experiences, he developed a loathing for harems.
Unfortunately, he liked a lot of the Chinese martial arts novels for their cultivation systems and other foreign concepts to him. Why was it unfortunate? Because a high proportion of those stories had harems.
He knew that judging a story by its tags wasn’t the best way to approach things, but he had been through too many situations where a story was going just fine and the whole concept was deep and interesting when all of a sudden, the main character saved a girl with an icy countenance here, offended a haughty young lady there, stumbled upon a country toppling beauty here and a girl with flawless, jade-like skin there. And for some reason they all liked him.
He decided to just skip all of this, knowing that he was missing out on a lot of interesting stories, but he always had that one skeleton, the one who got him started on this road, who never let him down. Not yet anyway.
This had become one of his favourite sentences.
After selecting a story, he proceeded to read it, paying particular attention to any mention of qi circulation or cultivation techniques. He had just found some interesting content on heart demons when he heard his mother’s voice.
“Kaner, it’s time to begin the mission I briefed you on earlier. You will find the objective under the footbed of your left shoe. Make sure you aren’t detected by the outsiders.”
What surprised Kaner, was the fact that his mother was right next to him. He hadn’t noticed her presence at all.
“Mother, you really do need to knock. Your stealth technique is way too profound!”
“That is a lack of training on your part. You mustn’t place all of your focus on one task, lest you suffer a sneak attack.”
“Hm. I shall contemplate on this wisdom.”
“Mm, but you must proceed post haste. My Onion Severing technique is nearing a breakthrough and I need other medicinal herbs to create an addition to my Dinner Forging manual.”
“Gulp. D-Dinner Forging manual? You mean a new secret recipe?”
“That’s right, but I can’t say any more. You will find the details in your shoe.”
“Say no more mother. I shall complete this objective with due diligence or may truck-kun strike me down!”
After saying this he immediately headed downstairs and checked under the footbed of his left shoe and indeed he found a note. It listed out several ingredients which he was to collect from the store.
After memorizing the list, he threw it in the fireplace. He couldn’t risk jeopardising the mission by having the outsiders find the list.
‘Sigh. Entering the grey again. I may as well practice my spiritual perception.’
He proceeded to close his eyes and head for the door. He would often do this, thinking that he would be able to sense the things around him.
As usual, he fumbled around until he found the doorknob. He found the lock and disengaged it, after which he turned the doorknob and opened the door.
If he had been paying attention, he would have realised that there was no wind nor the sounds of the outside world.
He paused a moment before stepping outside.
As he passed the threshold of the door, his previously serious expression became neutral and his tightly closed eyelids relaxed. He closed the door behind him and opened his eyes.
Or did he?
Everything was still black as if his eyes had never been opened. He tried to reach for the door he had just closed but there was nothing there.
‘What on earth? Did I faint or something?’
As he was thinking this he saw a light shining on his body, it seemed to be coming from behind him, so he squinted his eyes and turned around.
There he saw it.
Suspended in mid-air was a figure cloaked in light. The light was bright and enchanting, but it didn’t cause his eyes any pain, so he stopped squinting.
As he gazed at this figure clad in light, that seemed to form the shape of a splendid suit of armour, surrounded by utter darkness he couldn’t help but feel it was beautiful.
‘Well this isn’t the grey, that’s for sure, but where exactly am I?’
As he was thinking this he heard a bell-like voice.
“I am the Goddess Crystalia and you ha-”
At this moment Kaner realised that he wasn’t presenting himself the way his mother taught him to in a situation like this, so he knelt down on one knee and proceeded to-
“Mm. Yes, that is the appropriate response for one such as yourself upon meeting a Goddess. Your show of respect has been duly noted.”
“Hm? What? No, I-my shoelaces are untied so…”
Upon seeing the expression on Crystalia’s face, Kaner realised he had made a mistake. So, he turned around.
“What are you doing?”
“It’s a secret.”
Kaner proceeded to tie his shoelaces using the Carp Leaps Through Dragon Gate technique his mother had taught him. She had told him it was a secret technique passed down through the family for generations, so he didn’t want Crystalia to see.
After tying his shoelaces, he turned back to Crystalia.
“Now what were you saying again? Goddess? What’s that?”
Crystalia was stunned for a moment.
“Um, yes, yes, you can’t be blamed for your ignorance. Yes, what is a Goddess? They are, I mean, hm. Among the angels… you have a notion of angels correct?”
Kaner responded with a slight frown.
“Yes, among the angels, there are particularly proficient individuals who perform at a level far above their peers. These would be referred to as archangels. And among the archangels, those with female forms have taken to calling themselves Goddesses, which would be why you are unaware of them. Yes, Goddesses are basically high-level angels. Hm, yes, does that answer your question?”
Crystalia was clearly unconfident in her answer. Kaner decided to probe further, saying:
“I see. However, I noticed you were speaking in the third person there. Could it be that you aren’t actually one of those so-called Goddesses?”
Crystalia’s radiance slightly dimmed upon hearing this question, and her general aura became less impressive.
Kaner was now able to see her form. She was a tall woman clad in a full suit of crystal-like armour, which seemed to be the source of her radiance. Her skin was pure white like snow and the radiance made it difficult for Kaner to see her facial features. She had long, silvery coloured hair that seemed to be in tune with the radiance, causing a myriad of colours to shine off it. Her most striking feature was her golden eyes.
Kaner was stunned by her appearance, he felt a sense of awe that could only come from seeing something dreamlike. He was snapped out of it by her response.
“It’s true, calling myself a Goddess is a bit of a stretch.”
“So, what are you then?”
“Sigh. You are in the presence of the angel Crystalia. It would be prudent to be more respectful.”
While saying this, Crystalia regained her splendour.
“Oh? An angel? But didn’t you just lie to me about being a Goddess? Are angels allowed to do that?”
Upon hearing this, Crystalia’s entire body was jolted. Her altitude decreased, and she had lost some of the elegance she had been displaying. While waving her hands she exclaimed:
“Wait, no! I didn’t lie! Hear me out now, yes. Yes, as I described before, a Goddess is a high-level angel, and we both know that ‘high-level’ is an abstract concept. In essence, we could say that all except the worst is high level, yes? Even the worst could be considered high level if you’re looking at a group of elites, yes? So when I refer to myself as a Goddess, a ‘high-level’ angel, it isn’t completely erroneous. Not to mention that the position of a ‘Goddess’ is unrecognised in our hierarchy so my claiming to be one isn’t in breach of any formalities. You agree, yes?”
Kaner generally agreed with what she said, but there were still openings in her defence.
“I suppose. Unless you are in fact the worst angel, which wouldn’t surprise me. I wouldn’t even bat an eye if someone were to tell me that you aren’t even an angel at all and are something else entirely. Also, I wonder how your big sisters would react to you claiming to be a Goddess. You said you haven’t breached any formalities, but they are so conceited as to create an entire category for themselves, I’m guessing they wouldn’t take too kindly to a lowly one such as yourself diluting their image.”
He was quite unpleased at the current situation. Obviously, he had been kidnapped. He decided to take any opportunity he could to vent his grievances.
Unable to withstand the blow, Crystalia descended to the ground, her radiant aura nowhere to be found. The place returned to pitch black.
After a while, Kaner could hear a ‘Click’ sound and the place turned to white. He could see a little girl in front of him. She had silvery hair and striking golden eyes.
Her skin was white, with not a trace of colour to be seen, so white that it appeared she had no blood circulating in her body. In fact, it was difficult to distinguish between her skin and the plain white dress she was wearing.
She had a book in her hands which glowed with radiant light and looked to be made of silver and gold
“Um, who are you?”
The girl lazily lifted her head and with an annoyed expression, answered through gritted teeth while rubbing her eyes with one hand:
“Angel in training, Secretary Crystalia at your service.”
“Crystalia? The same Crystalia from a moment ago?”
Kaner replied with widened eyes. Why had she gone through such a drastic change? She didn’t look so small before, and her entire aura was different. He had no sense of awe like he had when he had seen her previous form.
“Who else would it be huh? Did you get dropped on the head as a baby?”
After saying this Crystalia turned around and placed the book down, except she didn’t. The book was laying flat in the air. Soon after, a blurry structure came into view below the book. As it got clearer, it was revealed to be a bed.
Crystalia then got onto the bed and lay beside the book. She proceeded to rest her head on one hand and flip through the book with the other.
“This. Are we in your bedroom?”
“What does it look like?”
‘Why is she like this now? Did I say too much?’
“Ok. So why did you bring me here?”
He decided to just get to the point after seeing that Crystalia was no longer interested in putting on airs.
She pulled a party horn out of nowhere and proceeded to blow it.
“You have been selected to become the hero who slays the demon lord! Isn’t this everything you ever wanted?”
Crystalia said with a sarcastic tone. To which Kaner swiftly replied:
“Not interested, take me back.”
Crystalia was surprised. She looked at him with widened eyes.
“Wait, wait, wait, shouldn’t you be jumping for joy right now? I thought you would agree to this no questions asked.”
“And why would you think that?”
“Because from what I saw today, shouldn’t you be extremely immature? Since you woke up until you left the house, you have been full chuuni.”
‘I see she has considerable mastery over divination techniques, impressive. I’ll need to be cautious in the future. But seriously, these divination techniques should go straight to the nether reaches. They are way too OP. I didn’t notice a thing!’
Though Kaner was surprised, it didn’t show. Since he was a child, he had learned to control his expressions. His face remained expressionless and his body was completely relaxed. He calmly replied with:
“Oh? So you’ve been spying on me?”
“You see? That right there! Shouldn’t you have said something like, ‘I see you have considerable mastery over divination techniques, impressive’? That’s what I would expect after having observed you today.”
‘What? In just a single day of observation, she is able to accurately predict my thoughts? Even Mother has yet to reach such a level! Not only that, she has reclaimed the high ground.’
“W-Why would I say something so ridiculous?”
“Eh? Are you the same person from five minutes ago, who told his mother that he would complete the mission lest truck-kun strike him down?”
“Cut the nonsense! I already told you I want no part of your arrangements. Return me to my home, I have things to do.”
“Sorry, but that’s not an option. Besides, why are you in such a rush? Time is frozen here, it doesn’t matter how long you stay, you won’t keep your mother waiting.”
‘Time manipulation? The pinnacle of laws! How could such a young girl have such abilities? Is it inherent to her being or did she train to achieve it?’
“How is that possible? You, an angel in training, has dominion over time?”
“No, no of course not. It’s this room that has that ability. It was granted to me for the purpose of finding the hero-to-be.”
“I see. But regardless I have no intention of agreeing to slay this demon lord. First of all, my mother has instructed me to avoid causing intentional harm to others so it’s impossible. And secondly, I don’t have time for that. As you know, I have to go pick up some groceries. What would my parents think if I were to just disappear? Anyway, don’t most situations like this involve a dead person? As far as I’m aware, I’m still alive.”
“That’s right but no one died in my area of influence so… Anyway, you needn’t worry about these small matters. As for the first issue you raised, It isn’t necessary for you to slay the demon lord with your own hands. Just gather a group of companions and have them do it.”
“This what? You eat meat, right? That’s causing harm to others but you don’t care. As long as you aren’t the one causing the harm what’s the problem?”
“True… What about the second issue?”
“Simple. Upon completion of the task, I’ll return you back here as if nothing had happened. You can then get the groceries for your mother and all will be well.”
“Hm. What if I fail?”
“There are two possibilities in the event of failure to complete the task. The first is if you died trying to complete the task. If you die then it will be treated as having completed the task. If you still live however and just abandon the task, then you shall spend the remainder of your life there and shall not see your family again.”
“But what if someone slays the demon lord before I have a chance, or if the demon lord commits suicide or if they hide somewhere I can’t reach, what if-”
“Don’t worry about these things. The settings are pretty fair, the demon lord won’t die unless you lead the attack and they won’t run away either.”
“Hm. Since you mentioned a demon lord, is it correct to assume that there will be magic and other such things?”
“Yup! It’s your fantasy world. In fact, the world you live in is the least interesting of them all.”
“Hm, I see, in that case, what’s in it for me?”
“What? You want benefits? Like what?”
“Well, let me get some incredibly good fortune. I expect fortunate encounters to fall out of the sky for me. Give me the ability to find talented subordinates and throw in some kind of lie detector as well, with a personality module. Hm, I want a treasure detector and a danger detector. Throw in some unbelievable comprehension ability and talent. I want to start off with a healing ability and understanding of all of the languages of the world. I want an unlimited and undetectable portable storage space that negates weight and can hold living beings. Also, throw in high affinity with the power source of the world and a pet dragon. How about it?”
Crystalia was surprised at Kaner’s shamelessness. With a dejected tone she said:
“Sigh. Apart from the dragon, everything else is granted. The storage space’s size will adjust based on your strength. Are you ready to go now?”
‘Really? She agreed to all that? Tch. I should have asked for more.’
“Why not the dragon?”
He wasn’t willing to let this one go. Who wouldn’t want an epic mount?
“We had an agreement with the Paragon Dragon to not restrict the freedom of pure-blooded dragons. They are essentially allowed to do whatever they want so I can’t give you one as a pet, but if you have the ability you can get one for yourself. Just that you may make yourself some powerful enemies so do so at your own discretion.”
‘Darn it! What is this Paragon Dragon? Sigh. I guess dragons are off limits then. Such a shame.’
“Hm, I see. Just one more thing then.”
Unknowingly, the two had gotten comfortable with one another. Kaner had originally been annoyed at being kidnapped but Crystalia was accommodating enough that he was able to let it go. Truthfully, he knew he had no choice in the matter so when Crystalia was willing to agree to his stipulations, and seemingly having to pay a price to do so, he elevated her from a nuisance to a neutral party in his mind.
“You have been an angel in training for a long time, haven’t you?”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just that your entrance was fairly spectacular. It looked pretty angelic to me, even though I don’t have much to compare it to. And your aura had a lot of pride and dignity. It didn’t look like someone pretending.”
“Yes, well, I practised a lot.”
“Do you have any friends?”
“Why did you change to this appearance from your previous one?”
“You saw through my act so what was the point in perpetuating?”
“So because of me, you lost your dignity?”
“If you want to put it that way.”
“Hm. I see.”
“What do you see? What are you getting at?”
“I’m going to guess, you want to be a Goddess?”
“Well, I used to.”
“Why used to?”
“Because I tried and I failed. I won’t put myself through the hope and despair again.”
“Mm. Shining Star Swallowed By Void.”
He said with his hand on his chin, nodding his head.
“My mother taught me this when I was in school. Sometimes those who show hope are an eyesore to those who are content. If one is too focused on their goal and is unwilling to share with others, it is often the case that others will wish to see their failure. When one gives up on their hope, their opponents achieve victory.”
“Everyone else from my cohort has already graduated. I’m the only one left. Even two more classes have come and gone. Obviously, I’m incapable. What is the use in continuing this foolish pursuit?”
“One should not focus on the achievements of others. The important thing is that you are better this day, than you were yesterday. You are better this week than you were last week. Instead of seeking to keep up with or even surpass others, surpass yourself!”
“Work harder today than you did yesterday, achieve more today than you did yesterday. By surpassing yourself, what height can you not reach?”
Crystalia suddenly got up off her bed and stared at Kaner’s face.
“What was supposed to happen?”
“Um. You were supposed to have an epiphany or something you know? Mind over matter and stuff.”
“But this is the real world.”
“Cough. Well, I guess, just don’t give up. Watch me slay the demon lord and you may learn something. You would learn even more by observing my mother, but you kind of froze time, right?”
“Mm. Actually, the faster you do it the better for both of us. So we’re kind of in this together. Let’s do our best”
She said in a guts pose. What she didn’t know was that at this moment, a sleeping monster within Kaner had awakened.
‘This! Cute? Is this what cute is?’
“Hm? N-no. Uh, yes. Just keep your promises and I’ll do my part.”
Kaner said with a smile and a thumbs up. For some reason, he now felt that this place had some colour.
“Mm. Brace yourself.”
After saying this Crystalia flipped her book to a particular page and a dazzling radiance burst forth from it.
Kaner felt a powerful attractive force pulling him towards the book.
“You will start a new life in this new world complete with parents and maybe some siblings. Use the early years to understand the general situation and figure out how you want to approach the task.”
“Crystalia, one more thing.”
“What is it?”
“Another of my mother’s teachings. When in doubt, beseech the heavens.”
After saying this, Kaner’s vision faded to black. And with that, Kaner Chang set foot on his long road as a serial transmigrator.