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Tis been days innumerable by counting with both hands, and the child has grown quite thin.
The boy, who was raised without any inconvenience, began to display sunken cheekbones, dried skin, and even dark circles forming around his eyes.
“Well, Tre’ainar…again, it’s morning already, right? Let’s, go for a run.”
Already, he has reached the point near the limit.
The time to get up in the morning steadily becomes earlier. Tis not due to enthusiasm.
He simply cannot fall into a deep sleep.
As a patient, his would be a serious case. However, he still runs after emptying his magical power with a breakthrough so as to keep to his word.
Even though the breakthrough itself puts a strain on the body, the child is doing it indifferently.
Once ready, he runs straight out to the beach.
The time of day is dark enough to be midnight.
However, the child runs.
And, although the time has fallen tremendously, the child is still giving his all in his current condition without cutting corners.
“Hah, ze, hah, ze, zee …
To put it bluntly, such activity where one just single-mindedly sweats is not training.
Tis complete overwork.
As such, the training is counterproductive.
Moreover, for young children, this draining is not something that should be performed from the standpoint of an instructor, I am not inclined to do it.
I would much rather take the time.
However, with the next three months put into consideration, this is necessary.
And as long as the child himself believes in it, I cannot afford to hesitate in giving my instruction.
It would be harsh to allow a young, well-bred boy to relinquish his greed.
『All right, do the shadow while carving the steps in detail. Begin!』
Even at the best of times, he would be unable to skillfully perform the steps on the sandy beach. His legs are tangled and he is unable to keep to a rhythm.
Finally, he trips on his own feet and falls.
“Guh, nuoh … hah, hah … Damn it! Hah, hah…”
In a situation where his body cannot move as well as he imagines, the child bites his dry lips, bleeds, and slams the sandy beach in frustration.
『Do you want to rest?』
“Hah~!? Let’s… go.”
Even though he collapses, even as he weakens, he will still stand back up immediately.
When it comes to this point, it can be said to be an obsession already beyond tenacity.
And, only one thing puzzled me.
He has fallen into an extreme state, the child has also become irritable, and his spirit is gradually collapsing.
However, even though he fell into this situation, he complains, but he never shows weakness.
Normally, it would not be strange to utter, “no more”, “I can’t do it “, and “I want to stop”.
Nevertheless, he is silently doing what he ought to do.
“Ah, u… uooaaaaaaaaaahh!!”
Such desperation is not founded merely on self-reflection.
Tis not simply the desire for strength.
「Water, water, drink water, damn, I’m going crazy! I don’t know what’s going on! Damn it, shit!」
I can feel the child’s inner cries as he shadows himself.
Yes, he can drink, for the child that much is true.
Certainly I am by his side.
I shall reprimand him.
However, even though I can exchange words with the child, I cannot directly touch him.
I cannot sacrifice my wellbeing for his, nor can I strike him.
Should the child break his word and tries to drink water, I cannot stop him.
However, the child does not break.
『Are you losing heart?』
Even when I ask with sarcasm, the child will always reply.
“Not, to, this, much.”
Though I believe “In this way, the child can learn Magical Breathing in a short period of time”, I do not have much “experience” in teaching disciples by actually draining water.
Therefore, I thought this is what becomes of the person who drains water day in and day out right before my eyes.
Because I can comprehend the cry of the child’s heart, at this point, I may be forced to unknowingly break the promise regardless of the child’s will.
However, the child does not break.
「I can’t give in… I’m already at my limit, it’s hard, it hurts, I’m dying, but… I’m not going to say it.」
And that was the moment.
「This guy thought I could do it, so he imposed it… then I’ll do it…」
I can feel it. The child’s inner cry.
「The people of the Imperial City, my father, my mother, Sadiz… didn’t expect it from me… no one was looking at me…」
At this point, it must have slipped his mind that I can understand the voice in his mind.
No, perhaps he is screaming unconsciously.
「But… but now! For the first time, I’ve got someone who looks at me… and now I’ve imposed on him to believe that I can do it… How can I betray that expectation ……?」
Oh…… goodness…… this dullard…
「I, don’t want to be a disappointment to this guy alone! Just to him, I don’t want to betray him!」
During the Graduation match, I called out the child’s name but once.
I pushed out the child’s back and called the name “Earth Lagann” as a testimony that he is recognized.
However, I called it only once.
And yet, that one instance must have stayed with the child forever.
『Really. In that case, continue.』
I shall pretend not to have heard the child’s heartfelt cries?
Even so, this foolish disciple….
Come to think of it, that one… Kron saw through that…
―― I think what Earth really wants is not just strength, but something more.
Yes, what the child wants. I know what it is.
The child himself is unaware. No, he may have forgotten what he wants.
The root of what you want, child, has not changed since we first met.
You want to be recognized as “Earth Lagann”.
Tis not to be praised. You want someone to recognize your existence.
Therefore, getting stronger is but a means to an end, not the end-all.
There were other ways to earn recognition for something beyond your father in different fields.
But you chose this path.
And I know too. No matter how harsh you appear on the surface, you still want to show yourself to that maid.
Not as the boy who is the Hero’s son, but as Earth Lagann. As a man.
『Oi, you are slowing down a little, are you not? What is wrong! You can always quit anytime you want!』
“I, I’ll get it…”
I know what you want, and that is why I will not grant it to you.
I will no longer refer to you as “Earth Lagann”.
I know what you want, but if I give it to you, its value will diminish.
Your goal now is neither here nor in three months. Tis much further ahead.
I cannot give you hope so easily.
Above all, being recognized by others happens naturally.
If those who do not know what you want come to recognize you naturally, tis of precious value.
Therefore, I will say no more.
『I will be watching … you.』
“Hah, ze, hah … eh?”
『I have not said a thing. You are lacking concentration! Focus more!』
Yes, I shall watch to the very end.
Instead of giving you the words you want, I shall keep looking at you.
「…… geez, I heard that… well, maybe it’s okay to pretend I didn’t hear it.」
「…… Well… Thank you.」
tsu, t, tis why I said that your mind is transparent to me.