I stood on the empty beach, looking out at the sea.
There was still something left of my body, even though it was as dry as skin and bones.
I could easily feel the throbbing of my heart, the creaking of muscles as I move, and even the circulation of the blood in my body.
In the midst of all this, I felt a slight sense of something being taken into my body.
A small amount of energy was entering my body as if taking in air through the many tiny holes in the whole body.
Feel the magic power as it is taken in, and know where it comes from. The exact positions of every one of your magic holes! Tis the ingress point of magic power! The magic hole is usually just an open hole, and magic power seeps in naturally. Do not simply keep them open, control them as if breathing in.”
I understand. My whole body, sharpened to the limit, could now sense even the sound of a distant drop of water.
And my concentration, which had been heightened to this point by jumping rope and yoga, lured me to the bottom of the deep sea of consciousness, which was distracted as a consequence for the draining.
I wonder why.
I had been so desperate for water.
I was so crazy with an urge to kill.
It was hard, painful, and I felt like I was slogging through a hell with no end in sight.
But now my body and mind were calm.
The days of hellish training, in which I couldn’t feel myself getting stronger, now made me feel a certain sense of achievement.
This feeling was irresistible.
The reason I felt this way was because of my master, who believed in me… and….. whatever the form, his presence was also there after all… I have mixed feelings. However, it’s a wonder that my head and heart were as clear and fresh as they’ve ever been.
『Now then, keep the breakthrough as it is! Magic power is released by being in a breakthrough state. Concurrently, control the magic holes and take in the magic power in the air. Release, take in, release, take in, repeat this in succession and circulate! That is the essential sensation to mastering Magical Breathing!』
It’s not ego. I can do anything right now.
That feeling fills me up.
And the hell I’ve been through so far has become like my spine, my confidence even.
“…… This way…… then do… that?”
『Yes, that feeling! And you never forget the feeling once learned! You stood up and began walking today, just as a child learns to stand up and walk!』
Started walking? For me, right now, it felt like skipping stairs as I ran up.
The breakthrough, which would usually have already run out of time by now, has not expired yet.
On the contrary, so long as I’m awake, I could carry on like this as much as I want.
『Fufu, Fufufufu, Fuhahahahahahahahahaha!』
The laugh was exactly like the Demon King’s hearty cackle.
And Tre’ainar spread his arms…
『Welcome, child. To a plane in history that no one has yet reached, other than me.』
He welcomed me to step into a world known only to Tre’ainar.
From my point of view, that was the greatest compliment I could have received.
『How do you fare?』
“I’d like to try it out right away.”
『Fufu, such an impatient fellow. But…… that can wait a little longer. First of all, rest a little and get some fluids and nourishment.』
That’s right. Even though my heart and head have been refreshed in this way, I myself am still undead.
If I get back to normal… I mean, even now, what happens to me when I get back to my good form?
Really, quite a level up…… well, of course, as I’m thinking about it…
Yeah, here we go.
『You deserve praise for learning Magic Breathing, but do not ge―――』
“Don’t get too carried away, right?”
『Mu… uh? Tis so…』
To you, I’m still just a kid who started walking, right? I can’t run yet, I shouldn’t get carried away?
Besides, while teaching me Magical Breathing, Tre’ainar also said…
―― Your bout with Toulowe, to offer such an earnest challenge without using the breakthrough and win. An easy victory in the commemorative match was right before you, you put on a conceited display to the opponent to the tune of his futility, and yet are unwilling to use the power you have acquired indiscriminately. Today’s exchange with the Wizarding School small fry is evidence of this. You have a mind to aim for higher levels. That is why I guide you.
In short, it means to not let the power you have acquired get to your head.
I’m not that kind of person.
That’s why, though I followed Tre’ainar’s lead, then learned Magical Breathing, there’s still more to come.
That’s the kind of attitude you want, right?
“I would like to go back… to the church… so…… come on out.”
『Fufufu, with the child’s senses as they are, naturally you noticed them, did you not?』
Yes, I noticed.
The ones at my back hiding behind a tree on the beach.
“Ara~, we’ve been found out~”
“…… Pardon me.”
Looking back, there were three of them.
“Earth was acting strange recently… it was a terrible figure, and I was too afraid to call out… but now, Earth’s appearance has changed, his eyes have returned to the original Earth.”
Kron was smiling.
“…… are you…… okay?”
Amae, who was completely frightened by my recent appearance, hesitantly looked at me.
A water bottle was held in her hand.
“…… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable…”
Sadiz bowed her head with an apologetic look.
It seems that all three of them were following me because they were worried about me.
“By the way, Earth”
“I don’t know what you’ve been aiming for lately, but I won’t ask you. Looking at you now, I know it was necessary for you. I understand.”
“Can you just tell me one thing?”
“What is it?”
As soon as she saw that I was already fine, Kron, who had been watching me from a distance, asked me.
“Just now… who were you talking to?”
Naturally, the three people heard me and Tre’ainar having a conversation as they were hiding.
However, no one could see Tre’ainar.
It would have sounded like nothing but my monologue, and I didn’t say anything too unnatural.
However, Kron seemed to have sensed that I was talking to “someone”.
As I thought, she is sharp.
“Well… God…… or something like that.”
That said, we can’t tell Kron everything.
So I tried to mislead her so that she would have taken it as a joke, but Kron smiled and didn’t ask any more questions.
“…can I have …… that?”
“U, uah … uh …”
Amae was hiding behind Kron, fidgeting. I pointed to the water bottle that Amae had and asked.
Then, Amae gave a little nod and held out the water bottle to me.
I don’t know how long it’s been there.
However, the water in the water bottle felt somewhat warm.
『Hou~, impressive. Tis not cold water, plain warm water. Suddenly drinking cold water immediately after the extreme draining would break your body.』
Oh, is that the case? That’s……
“You went to the trouble of bringing me a warm one?”
Even I didn’t know that, so there’s no way Amae would know that.
That would be……
“Un~… she gave me.”
Saying that, Amae pointed to Sadiz, who was next to her.
I see…… Sadiz’s wisdom…
“Well, but…… you went out of your way to bring it, didn’t you? Thank you.”
Saying that, I stroked Amae’s head.
It was the first time in a long time, so Amae trembled for a moment.
However, while being stroked, Amae’s tear glands gradually loosened….
She was clinging to my leg.
“…… after I rest a little… I’ll play with you.”
“We’ll have a meal together.”
Saying that, Amae clung to me and wouldn’t let go.
With a wry smile, I brought the warm water Amae gave me to my mouth and slowly sipped it in.
『Do not gulp it all down, understand? Let it soak into your body little by little.』
I suppressed my desire to drink all at once, and life gradually returned to me.
Ah. So good.
“Ah… hah~…… I’m glad I’m alive.”
If Amae didn’t cry first, or if there weren’t any women here in the first place, I might have shed tears.
That’s how emotionally moved I was.
It brought me back to life.
The sense of being alive has revived.
Revived. Next, I’ll take some rest, eat a meal, and restart from there.
But, putting that aside…
“Huh!? …… Earth……”
“…… you, calling me Earth, is great, but weird… well, that’s fine.”
As expected, let’s go back to church while ignoring it … it can’t be helped.
“When your memory returns, say it again.”
“Eh? That’s…… of course, but…”
“At that time, I won’t run away either. To you… now that you’re here, there’s something I want to tell you.”
And as we’ve both been through this and I’ve overcome it, one thing has become clear to me.
It’s something I need to do before I finish the tournament and go out into the world again.
“Now that we’ve come this far… we’ll have to settle things before I go out to the world.”
Yes, settle it.
Because I ran away without doing that, things turned out this way.
That’s why it’s necessary.
That’s why we need a resolution.
“Well, until then… hey, let’s go home, Amae. I’m hungry.”
“Un! Go! Eat! Goooo!”
That’s all I wanted to say to Sadiz, whether she had her memories or not.
Of course, Sadiz wouldn’t know what it means now, but I still said it anyway.
And I said what I had to say, and feeling refreshed, I was taken back to the church by Amae.