Condition Part I

Inside Arias’ room, Maria and Albert were watching their son’s behavior in confusion. After saying that he needed to tell them something, Arias told them to follow him to his room and did not give further explanation. The sight of Arias shutting and bolting every door and window as if he was afraid that something would go in and out of the room, together with the way he had asked them to make sure that there was no one around this area, only made the two of them more curious.

“What are you doing, Arias?”

At last, someone could no longer bear to keep the curiosity inside. Maria was the one who posed the question.

“What kind of secret is it to make you so cautious like this?”

Albert was also confused by the way Arias was acting. Though Arias was never a clumsy person, he had never been this careful or cautious either. After surviving from that incident, Arias’ personality had changed drastically. He had become brave and stoic; it was as if he was no longer the same person he once was. On the day that he was attacked by the bestial rabbit, Maria did not see him shed a single tear. He was also far calmer and more collected than a boy who had not even reached the age of twenty should be. In the past, if Arias had been insulted like this, his expression would have turned into one of sadness. But now he was able to remain unfazed like never before. Instead, it was Albert who could not bear the insults and almost got into a physical fight with Merson.

“Father, Mother, this son of yours apologizes for everything.”

At that moment, Arias did something the two of them never expected. He kneeled down in front of them, his voice trembling and full of the guilt that stemmed from deep inside his heart. His knees hit the floor with a loud, heavy thud. Everything he did was sincere and came from deep inside of him. He could not bear to see them being disappointed in him anymore. A part of this guilt came from the fact that he didn’t trust anyone enough before this.

“What are you doing? Get up. Don’t listen to the nonsense said by that kind of person.”

Small drops of tears welled up in the corner of Maria’s eyes as she watched the way her son kneeled and said everything with a trembling voice. Her heart clenched with pain, and she quickly leaned down to pull him up from his position. But as if his knees had been glued to the floor, Arias would not move. Albert was stunned as he looked at Arias, but he quickly tried to pull him up as well. However, the result was still the same. Arias would not move.

“Father, Mother, please listen to me first…words that came from that person, I never take it to my heart. However, I want to apologize for being a burden to you, for never doing anything to make you proud, and for only bringing you more worries. And lastly…I want to apologize for keeping this from you.”

Maria and Albert certainly understood the first parts of Arias’ apologies. However, the last sentence he said had left them perplexed. What was it that Arias was keeping from them?

Arias put his hand forward and the magical power in his body quickly gathered above his hand. Then, small bolts of lightning appeared, moving all over his palm. It looked like little electro serpents were slithering on his hand. The Cloud-Shrouded Dragon technique was deactivated, and the power of an eighth-level neophyte burst from the young man’s body.

“This is…”

Maria gazed at the sight in front of her like she had just seen a ghost. She was barely able to believe her own eyes. Her hands flew to cover her mouth involuntarily. Her son, who was powerless, was able to use this strange magical power. Thunder Magic had been lost for a long time; thus, Arias’ power was something that Maria had never seen before. Albert’s reaction was not much different; he was gaping, and his mouth was so wide open that a fly could have flown inside. He stared at the sight in front of him in disbelief and gave a hard pinch on his own arm to check that what was happening was not a dream.

“Am I dreaming?”

Albert blurted out before he could stop himself.

“You’re not dreaming, Father. Uh…there’re red bruises all over your arm now. Stop pinching yourself or they’ll turn purple.”

Arias replied and also warned Albert about his action. When he saw Albert’s arm which was covered with bruises from his own pinching just now, Arias could not help but let out a small laugh which helped lighten the atmosphere quite a lot. Once he had said everything, Arias felt relieved like he had gotten rid of a heavy burden on his shoulders. He was extremely careful in everything he did but sometimes he became too distrustful, and that was what made him keep this magical power of his a secret. The lingering memory of being betrayed by his own friend was still plaguing his mind, and that caused him to become wary of many things. But finally, he had chosen to put his trust in someone once more.

“My prayer has finally been answered. Thank you, divine beings above, for having mercy on my boy.”

Maria looked up and thanked the divine beings. Then, she lowered her body and delightedly pulled Arias who was still kneeling on the floor into an embrace. She slowly helped him to stand so she could ask him about everything. Besides the waves of questions that had begun to flood her mind, the only other thing she could feel now was joy. One could even say that it was the most intense kind of joy that she had ever felt in her entire life. At last, her son could grow and become stronger like other mages.

“Arias…what is your elemental power? Why does it look different from the four basic elements but it looks somewhat similar to ‘lightning’?”

Once Albert was able to gather himself, he began to realize that there was something odd. The lightning had already disappeared from Arias’ hand but Albert could still remember it, the sight of blue magical power running all across Arias’ palm. It looked like blue little serpents, feral and fast, and it was also radiating a faint heat wave. Its power was unlike any of the four basic elements that he knew of.

“I’m a Thunder-Wielder.”