Shirone kept quiet about what had happened in the city.
It was not a simple matter. Because once he brought it up, he would have had to tell them about what happened at the magic academy.
Shirone thought back to the incredible experiences that day brought forth.
Whether it was a blessing or a misfortune, it was clear that since he had crossed the line, there was no going back.
Geniuses know if they are a genius, and Shirone had more or less realized that he was a bit different from others since he was young.
And although he had never felt superior, his desire to overcome limitations was stronger than anyone else.
But he couldn’t reveal it.
His parents were the most precious things in the world to Shirone, and he didn’t want to burden them with such things, as despite the fact they were poor, they never forced him to go through a hopeless path.
And due to that, daily life didn’t change.
He helped his mom with housework and went to the nearby forest to cut down trees.
However, Shirone now spent most of his time meditating, not wielding an axe.
Every single day since the awakening, Shirone had been secretly training the Spirit Zone.
Thanks to this, by the time a month had passed, Shirone managed to cut down the time it took him to enter the Spirit Zone.
There were some parts that were not as easy as he thought.
No matter how familiar he was with the Spirit Zone, he could not reproduce the magic from the alley.
‘It’s to be expected.’
He only subconsciously managed to do it due to his instincts kicking in.
So even if a similar situation were to occur, and the same emotions were to surge forth again, he knew it’d be difficult to do it while being aware of it.
‘If I want to rationally cast magic, I’ll have to skip over insight and instead learn the middle process to know everything!’
But there was no information available to Shirone, who had not formally learned magic.
Instead, he focused on digging into the Spirit Zone which was the only thing he could do.
When he finished meditating, he practiced the Thunder Strike.
Unlike the first time, the success rate dropped as he began to be conscious of the skill.
‘The power of insight is incredible!’
Sometimes, beginners succeeded not because of knowledge, but because of insight.
However, cutting wood was different from magic, as you were able to practice doing it.
With each swing, Shirone corrected his mistakes one by one.
The tree fell satisfyingly.
But Shirone continued to swing his axe without a look of satisfaction or happiness.
He was just correcting a mistake he found.
‘Tomorrow, as well as the day after that…’
That was how he repeated the basics.
‘For the chance to practice magic will come one day.’
While dragging the logs home, Shirone’s eyes shone with intensity as this was the most motivated he had ever been.
Standing by the window, Shirone looked at the magnificent view of late autumn leaves flying through the mountains.
3 years had passed, and he was now a 15-year-old boy.
He still wore childish clothing, but he had a face handsome enough to turn heads.
“I’ll be back, mom.”
“Take it easy. We have plenty of wood.”
“It’s gonna be winter soon. We have to be prepared.”
He let out a cold breath as he left the cabin.
Since seasons arrived faster in the mountains than in the cities, snow was already piled up at the top of the mountain.
“I’ll have to walk quickly if I want to be back before sunset.”
Shirone wasn’t scared of the cold as he spent three years training in the Spirit Zone, and due to this, his mental fortitude had already exceeded the level of normal adults.
After his shy character disappeared, he hung out with the other children, but he had no particularly close friends.
They were different from Shirone.
The children of the mountain were all rough, and most of the girls thought the same way as well.
For example, a year ago, a woman named Hauran from a Hwajeonmin Village once seduced Shirone.
TL/N: Hwajeonmin Village refers to a place where people who practice the slash-and-burn agricultural technique live.
When she, who was six years older, tried to approach physically, Shirone freaked out and refused.
Then she suddenly changed and threatened to ransack his house if he told anyone about what happened.
Shirone, who recalled the event, burst into laughter.
It didn’t end up happening, but he remembered being really perturbed about her coming.
‘I’m sure she’s doing well!’
Arriving at the logging area, Shirone found a suitable tree and lightly swung his axe. Afterwards, he took a careful look at the dent he had made.
If you were thinking of the commonly referred concept of ‘seeing’, he was actually not looking at anything.
‘It’s not something you can find with your eyes!’
You may automatically realize the principle if you repeat the same action or thoughts over and over.
Shirone, who had swung his axe in numerous ways over the past three years, was finally catching on.
‘Feel with my eyes.’
It was a method called Inner Eye.
Shirone’s eyes changed for a moment as he swung at the dent with strong force, unlike before.
Following the sound of thunder, the tree fell down.
‘That succeeded with just two tries!’
Although luck was on his side this time, he had succeeded with 10 tries before anyways.
After finishing his quota, Shirone sat down on the stump of the fallen tree and entered the Spirit Zone.
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Currently, his Spirit Zone’s domain was a sphere with a diameter of about 40 meters, which was the level of an upperclassman at the magic academy where those who were talented gathered.
The shaking of the bushes was felt, the sounds of worms wriggling, and the sound of osmosis from the trees entered his ears vividly. It was as if the earth had assimilated into him.
Nature changed constantly, and Shirone felt it.
The five hours of savoring the dynamic world went by in an instant.
“Huh? It’s already dark?”
After completing his meditation, Shirone split the wood into pieces and carried it to the Jige.
TL/N: Jige is a traditional Korean framed carrier used in the past to carry heavy materials.
Arriving home, Shirone found a carriage in the yard and examined the stable.
Two white horses he had never seen before were eating the fodder.
No usual greeting welcomed him.
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The atmosphere was strange.
His mother’s face was dark, and in the living room, an old man he saw for the first time was talking to his father.
“Huh? Dad? When did you come back?”
For someone who left at dawn to go sell materials, he returned fairly quickly.
In addition, he would have drowned him with kisses, but this time he remained seated in his chair.
“Say hello, Shirone. He is the deputy butler of the Ogent family.”
The old man approached.
“Hello, I’m Temuran.”
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
“Nice to meet you. My name is Shirone.”
Shirone politely greeted.
Shirone, who lived deep in the mountains, also knew about the noble family, Ogent.
They were 2nd-class nobles located in Creas. They were known for producing skilled warriors and soldiers.
“I came to see you.”
Although the deputy butler was a commoner, Temuran’s tone was imbued with the characteristic sensibility of a noble.
The status system of Thormia was divided into nobles and commoners, but in reality, it wasn’t as simple as just that.
Those who worked closely with the aristocracy were more authoritative, and those who lived outside the castle, like the Vincent family, were often called and treated as the lowest commoners.
Why did someone of the highest status among commoners come all the way to this valley in the mountain?
“Then I’ll be taking a look.”
Temuran felt around Shirone’s body and examined his appearance, physique, and eyes.
Shirone was offended for being treated like livestock, but while Shirone was thinking that, Temuran said something.
“Do you know how to read?”
“Yes. I’ve been reading since I was young.”
Shirone’s patience has also reached its limit.
“I’d like to know what’s going on. Can you tell me?”
Temuran’s eyes grew cold
“You have a pretty good reputation. Being the son of a mountaineer, you know how to read, and you’re very devoted to your parents.”
Temuran said in a borderline mocking tone.
As soon as Shirone tried to reply back, a shocking proposal left Temuran’s lips.
“Would you like to work for the Ogent family?”
Shirone felt as if he had been struck by lightning.
No, that didn’t matter because it would mean working for a 2nd-class noble family.
“The family is relocating the Great Library. It’s not work just anyone can do. There are about 10,000 books that cannot be leaked. The porters will do the heavy work, but the classification work will only be done by you and me. It’ll take about two years.”
Shirone’s heart almost burst.
His excellent insight had a gut feeling that something ominous lay behind the suggestion, but he felt like he could take on any poison.
Temuran told Shirone the kind of poison he had to drink.
Which was his pride to not use cheap tricks against a commoner.
“You and your family are the only ones who know of this. If for any reason a book is leaked, or if rumors spread, you and your family are dead.”
Shirone then understood why the expressions of his parents were dark.
Even if he promised not to reveal anything, no one knew what could happen in those 2 years. It was like entrusting your life to someone else.
And yet, the reason why Shirone couldn’t turn down the offer was probably because…
“We’ll compensate you with enough money to live a good life. You will earn a lot more compared to your father. Hah, thanks to having a good child, it looks like the family is going to make a living.”
Vincent spoke with a red face.
“I didn’t hear your proposal because of the money! I just wish that Shirone… That he…!”
Tears welled up.
A rare opportunity brought by a loving father who wanted only to help his son achieve his dreams… And yet said opportunity could end up killing his son.
“…My only wish is for my son to achieve his dreams.”
“What are you thinking? Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? Wake up. I’m only hiring. You were the one who asked me to use your son. There’s no reason for such a request unless it’s for money.”
“You said he can read books!”
“Of course he can read books if he’d like. But I’m not asking for him to read it, I’m saying that it’s impossible to perfectly keep an eye on him. That’s why I’m saying you’re dead if anything is leaked. It’s a minimal safeguard.”
Vincent clenched his teeth.
He heard, when he went to sell goods, that the deputy butler of a noble family was looking for a commoner who could read.
He thought it was an opportunity from heaven, so he ran to Temuran and begged him to use Shirone.
But he didn’t expect him to say that.
Imagining his son getting hurt… Was the thing that frightened him the most. What if he thinks that his dad sold his child away because he was blinded by money?
“Please leave. We don’t need any money. If I knew this was gonna happen, I wouldn’t have begged. So please, leave.”
“Dad, I’ll do it.”
Temuran looked back at Shirone, not expecting that.
“You’ll have to risk your life.”
It was quite the frightening job for a 15-year-old boy.
“Are you sure? I’m not trying to scare you. I’m telling you in advance that even a small rumor will lead to a blade next to your throat.”
“Yes, I’ll do it. I won’t ever leak anything, and I’ll not blame anything or anyone if a rumor were to spread for some reason. So let me do it.”
Temuran couldn’t help but trust him.
All the conditions were perfect.
He was a lowly commoner that could be killed anytime, had deep filial piety, and intelligence.
Feeling his travel was worth the effort, Temuran turned around.
“I’ll come pick you up in a week, but if you change your mind in the meantime, you can always tell me. But remember, once in the mansion, you won’t be able to leave until we’re done.”
Termuran opened the door and walked out, but his family wasn’t in the mood to open the door for him.