4 -Awakening-


I left my father's office. I had planned to spend the day looking for information on my father's role in the garden.

I decided against it, after seeing how my father acted. I walked outside to see the sun still hanging low, and since the day was still young, I decided to take a walk around the estate.

'It doesn't matter whether he was the cause of the incident or not, the endgame doesn't change.'


'The way Hubert died, entangled in flowers and plants, not dying outright but having enough time to last a few minutes, to paint an emotional scene. A scene only I would have found beautiful. A scene that tugged at something inside me. It's just too convenient and suspicious.'

Thinking up to here, I was sure my father was the cause of the incident, only he could plan something like that. Though I had no conclusive evidence, I didn't plan to get any either.

What was worth thinking about was whether my father anticipated the reaction I had, predicting that it would lead me down this path, where I willingly chose to be Awakened.

Maybe he never really planned to let me live normally. It was an unsettling thought to have, being thoroughly read like an open book, even having the next pages predicted.

Weirdly, I felt a slight heat in my chest. Walking past a window, I noticed something- I had a slight smile. I brought my hands up to my face, checking to see if it was real.

It was.

'It seems like I have something to address. This heat in my heart, is it anger? Shame?...a sense of challenge?'

It would be one thing to be insulted or physically beaten. It was a whole other thing to be manipulated and predicted to such a degree. To be outwitted and outclassed so widely.

My father's clean-shaven, statuesque face came to my mind.

'Wait. Is what I am feeling now a part of his plan too? Something to instill growth in me? Or am I giving him too much credit?' I shook my head. 'Let's not underestimate anyone, especially my father. An overestimation would always be safer.'

The minuscule heat that started in my heart a few minutes ago, began to die down.

I looked towards my father's office in the distance. The height it was on made it easy to see. My eyesight, though perfectly competent, couldn't make out any details.

I imagined my father standing there, looking down at me, similar to a chess piece on a board.

I bowed to my imaginary father, a bow signifying my gratitude. At least he did help me grow. I turned my back and walked towards the garden.

'A chess piece or a chess player? It doesn't matter if all events up to here were your plans, father. Now that I know I am on a chessboard, this will not happen again.'

The fire in my heart died down, but the embers had not.


In the Master's office, Captain Lowell, the head guard, was standing with Theodore, looking out the window. Amadeus had turned around and was walking towards the garden.

With their Awakened eyesight, they could see Amadeus clearly, as if he was right in front of them.

Captain Lowell smiled, "What a sharp mind, I'm truly impressed. It would be a pleasure to train him in the future." he said with a slight glint in his eyes.

Theodore glanced at him and said, "He is not someone you can vent your sadism on. Train him, but do not cross the line."

Captain Lowell replied, still smiling, "Well, training is supposed to be harsh anyway. Especially for the Devereux family. It will even have to be a bit extra considering that we would like him to be at least presentable in 4 months. But yes, I won't cross the line. No personal pleasure on the job, right?" he said the last part with a slightly mocking tone.

Theodore didn't say anything.

Captain Lowell sighed, "You're no fun, boss. Anyhow, he's Awakening tomorrow, huh? What do you think his attribute will be?"

Theodore said with a mysterious air, "I have speculations, but in the end, does it even matter?"

Captain Lowell clicked his tongue with jealousy visible in his eyes, "Indeed, for you Devereux people, it doesn't."


I took a deep breath and exhaled with closed eyes.


I had been doing this exercise for an hour or more. It was a breathing exercise developed as a cheaper alternative for those who could not Awaken, yet still wanted to use mana to the fullest.

The technique allows the aura of mana to wash through the body, strengthening and making it healthier through limited purification. Some guards, soldiers, and most knights fell under this category.

Breathing techniques are strictly regulated in Atrua, only meant for a few limited sectors. The strength given is relative to how long one has exercised the technique, in conjunction with the body's natural state. A stronger body would yield faster growth.

My brothers trained their bodies since birth. Hence, when they later started the breathing technique, they experienced explosive growth.

This was what exponentially raised their chance to successfully Awaken, and was the method most widely used by nobles.

I, on the other hand, had not trained my body. So, even though my growth was not as explosive, it was only meager when compared to my brothers.

Since my starting mana capacity was among the top, my body still grew faster than most due to a higher amount of aura.


I heard footsteps, lithe and quiet. I knew whom they belonged to, how could I not?

I opened my eyes to see my mother, standing a few feet away with her hands placed in front. Her silky black hair, golden eyes, and countenance made for an otherworldly sight.

The years had only added a more mature charm.

"Dear, I heard you decided to Awaken?" she asked with worry apparent on her beautiful face.

My mother, Elizabeth Devereux, had always been a sympathetic soul. A far cry from everyone else in the family.

It would not be an exaggeration to say she was the most 'normal' person in the family, be it in terms of mana, or personality. Her lack of mana showed in her age, she looked mature while my father still looked young.

"Yes, mother. I'm sorry I didn't tell you beforehand, it was something I chose to do only recently."

My mother showed a difficult expression, wringing her fingers together.

"I've always known ever since I got married into our family that my children would be people who would go out into the world as leaders. I have long accepted that fact. But I had hoped you would stay with me like this, but that is just every mother's selfish wish. You know I just want the best for you, right?"

Of course, I had planned to live a normal life as she hoped, but unforeseen circumstances are always present.

"Yes, mother. I will still be the same as always, don't worry."

I got up to hug her. She hugged me back, her body shaking barely noticeably.

She calmed down bit by bit, took a deep breath, and said, with an uncharacteristic sharpness visible in her eyes, "Go back to what you were doing. I won't take up much of your time, although I'd like to spend this day with you, you should prepare for tomorrow. If you are going to go through with it, you are not allowed to fail. Is that clear?"

I looked at her resolute face and couldn't help but be a bit surprised, I still have much to learn.

I assured, "Of course, mother. No Devereux shall fail."

She breathed a sigh of relief and turned around.

I watched her as she exited the garden, her back seemed wider than before.


The next day, I walked into a dark room with no windows, surrounded by black walls that seemed to absorb the light that shone through the door, followed by my father and Captain Lowell.

"These walls are made of a mineral called obsidian. It has a unique property of absorbing mana when the amount is large enough. It will alleviate some of the difficulties when you Awaken."

Captain Lowell explained while looking around with an amiable smile. My father asked,

"Are you ready?"

I took a deep breath and exhaled,


My father nodded, and Captain Lowell began explaining, "All you need to do is activate the high-grade stone like you would a low-grade one, the Awakening process will follow soon after. Your mana will flow through your whole body, changing and reacting with it, this will be painful and can last up to one minute."

He continued, "After the Awakening, your mana will fix up most of the injuries. The obsidian stones will help by absorbing the excess mana. I am sorry, but that is all we can do for you. I wish you luck, Amadeus."

I replied, "Thank you, Captain Lowell. This is already much more than many can ask for."

It would be a lie to say that I did not feel tense, never having experienced any pain before.

Captain Lowell brought out a small red stone with a metallic luster, then handed it to me. My father stood in one corner of the room, calmly looking on.

Captain Lowell informed, "You can begin whenever you're ready."

I nodded and closed my eyes. I felt the smooth texture of the stone in my hand, then began sending my aura towards it. It began to heat up slowly, and I felt a tingling sensation in my hand, steadily creeping towards the other parts of my body.

After the sensation covered me whole, I felt a boom in my chest as if someone struck me with their fist. Then the pain began, from the center of my chest, spreading through my whole body like a rampaging fire.

As the unbearable pain coursed through my veins, I wholly focused on cutting myself off from the pain instead of forcefully enduring it.

Then, there was no 'then'.


Edited By: WorthyAdversary

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