Chapter 2 – Hope
“I am waiting…
“How much longer…
Shira opened his eyes. Depth from his dream, echoes of an old and deep voice still lingered within his mind.
“People say that a sad and tortured child will see supernatural being,” he said too himself. “Now I’m not depressed anymore. But why are the spirits keep haunting me for ages now?”
He was complaining just for the sake venting himself. Yet, a rough and dissatisfied voice sneered beside him.
“I just came here for one year. Don’t bullshit me with that shitty mouth of yours,” the roguish spirit said as he appeared.
“Ol’ Good-Natured Spirit, I’m not talking about you,” Shira said. “There’s an old voice haunting my dreams since I was four years old. Maybe even younger.”
“Ohh yeeaaaah?” Good-Natured Spirit deeply furrowed his brows. Then, he softened his tone and spoke slowly. “Kinda interesting. Hmmm. Do you want to chat about it?”
Shira didn’t answer. “Time for supper,” he said, walked home downward from the hill.
The spirit fell silent. His eyes locked the back of the youth with serious blaze flickered on his pupils. He was infuriated at the thought of old voice Shira was talking about.
“Who the friggin’ fuck trying to scheme for my prey right now?”
Shira Yashura came back every time he had to eat, then went elsewhere to retreat to his own solitude. Whether he went to the hill or lock himself inside the family’s library, there was almost nothing going on in his life.
His older female cousin, Mila Yashura, always scolded him and talked for hours about discipline and social life and planning ahead and the like.
“Where are you going?” Mila stopped him from leaving dinner room.
“There’s nothing for you to do at the library!”
Shira tilted his head. “Reading?”
“That’s not what I mean!” Mila pouted while putting her hands on the hips.
“Mila, just let him go,” Mila’s father said, which happened to be Patriarch Shuro Yashura. He busied himself with a smoking pipe.
Mila couldn’t rebuke at her own father’s words. So she said something to Shira with a warning and sharp tone. “Remember what day is tomorrow. Don’t disappear all day like a ghost!”
“Don’t worry. That won’t happens.”
“That usually happened!”
“It was a family thing. I know it was important. Those people come to see me, so I will not run.”
After said the assuring words, Shira shrugged and walked toward the library for some good books. And maybe a little sleep too.
In Malikh Family Household.
Lady Malikh, Bhela Malikh’s mother, was worried about the wounds on the girl’s snow-white hand. She spent a lot of silver coins to buy healing potions, which more than half of them were types of painkiller potion because she knew her daughter had insomnia episodes from her injury.
A middle-aged servant knocks the door thrice before asked for permission to enter the room.
“Elders bought some beautiful clothes for Young Lady Bhela to wears tomorrow.”
“We understand. You may leave,” said Lady Malikh with a flat tone.
Both mother and daughter glanced at the bright red silk-dress before them, their face turned cold. It was designed so vulgarly and provoking that the mother felt chill thinking her daughter wore this at public places.
“For Elders to be so generous, how rare,” Bhela said ironically and shook her head.
“You don’t have to wear this.” her mother said helplessly.
“I must.” They don’t have a choice. “Mother, I want to see Father.”
The two female silhouettes left the room. They visited the bedridden father who had fallen in deeply ill since two years ago.
“Father…” Bhela appeared outside the open door. Sadness flooded her chest when she saw the shrunken middle-aged figure lied weakly on the bed.
The day after, Shira didn’t go to the hill like he usually did. In his small, tidy room, he sat together with the self-proclaimed Good-Natured Spirit. A board of chess was laid between them. Shira clearly lost.
“How easy. This is like I’m playing with that dumb old Gazuna back then.” Good-Natured Spirit laughed out loud as he made his last move, took the king on Shira’s side. He was elated when he delivered the last blow thus crushing the usually cunning youth’s strategy with an iron fist.
“Let’s stop,” Shira stood up and left his room. The spirit penetrated the wall, followed behind.
“Did you complete that scroll I told you ages ago brat?” Good-Natured Spirit asked all of the sudden.
“I don’t have time for that.”
“It was already heavenly fortuitous encounter that you able to hold such treasures. Now you said you don’t have a time for that? Say, have your brain went away on a vacation now?” the spirit said. “Besides, all this time all you did was sleeping the entire day.”
“I’ll look at it after this—” Shira abruptly closes his mouth as he walks past an old butler.
“Young Master Shira,” the butler greeted with his back slowly bowed.
Shira nodded at him, addresses back. “Yulong.”
“Young Lady Mila was asking for you before. Maybe Young Master should meet her. She looks angry.”
“Noted. Thank you.”
Then the old butler bowed and left. The Good-Natured Spirit gave Buttler Yulong his middle finger as he went away, which the Old Buttler Yulong seemed to take no notice of.
“That middle finger gesture, is that an insult?” asked Shira with his brows furrowed.
“Hehe. That old man sure was a dimwit.”
“Please refrain making fun Yulong every time you meet him, Ol’ Good-Natured Spirit. He was good to me. In the first place, why did you only pick on the old Butler Yulong?”
“Not telling. Not telling.”
The roguish spirit shook his head with a wide playful grin on his face. Shira didn’t chase it further.
“Anyway, what was I said before is; I’ll look that scroll you gave me after this business with Malikh Family done.”
Good-Natured Spirit didn’t speak. But Shira could tell from his smug grin, this strange spirit was satisfied with himself.
Yashura Family was busy preparing for a banquet in their spacious courtyard. Everyone knew Malikh Family would visit their family today. The rumored cold princess of Badril Village, whom every young man adored, would show herself too. It was known that the purpose of their visit was to talk about the engagement Jhuro Yashura and Patriarch Ghalim Malikh set fifteen years ago.
It was a big event in Badril Village somehow. So everyone had come to take a look. Because of that, the host’s reputation at the stakes if something terrible happened. Naturally, a lot of people on Yashura Family were nervous about it.
“Shira, Shira! Quick! Put this awesome-looking sword on your belt!” Mila said.
Shira could only smile wryly at his older cousin’s insist. “This is too heavy for me to carry around. Let’s swap for other swords. To think about it, it’s better for me to not wear a strange accessory.”
“This is not accessories! This is an expensive magic weapon that can make you look imposing in front of your future wife!”
“I am only a Novice with lousy Level 3 power. It would take years for me to improve my Strength attribute so I can use this kind of items properly.”
Mila Yashura stomped the ground, looked all fierce. “It was your fault from the start! All you doing was eating sleeping then eating again then when it was the time to practice your Mana Sphere, you read old strange history books instead! Naturally your unspent attribute points from leveling up to Level 3 all went away to that weak-ass Wisdom attribute! If you still act like this you will be forever loser! Do you… do you have any common sense of a warrior at all?”
“I’m not trying to be a warrior,” said Shira helplessly.
Mila pouted. “Let me see your Status then!”
The youth couldn’t brushed-off his older cousin whenever she enters her lioness mode. He still quite values his poor little life. Mila had just obtained her Class a month ago. She obtained a Specialist Class, a support-type warrior which dealt with information. So it was easy for her utilized mana to use a skill that could read Shira’s power.
“Now look… if your status was a mess… then…”
Both of them wait patiently as Mila’s magic skill formed slowly, full of anticipation.
Last time Shira’s Status was checked was one year ago. Back then he just promoted to Level 3 Novice. So right now, he was curious about his Status growth too.
Soon the mild glowed light formed an ethereal piece of paper. Mila’s skill magic was done.
Their eyes narrowed. Reading silently at the Status’ information.
It was worse than Shira thought.
He nervously cast a look at the young woman beside him. Mila smiled. Then without a word, she grabbed a broom and beat the crap out of him.
“Mercy!” Shira yelled with a pained voice. But Mila’s broom swing get harder instead. He started to evade, yet the only door was blocked by his cousin Mila. Feeling helpless, he slips agilely from the fierce attacks and escaped the room through the open window.
Mila Yashura sat on the chair, grudgingly stared at the magical paper she created before.
Suddenly she furrowed her brows.
“Strange…” she said. “His Strength and other combat attributes were super lame, but why is his Dodge rate chance so high?”
The middle-aged Patriarch entered the room.
“Where’s Shira?” he asked his confused daughter. “Pack of elixirs his father sent home arrived.”
“He’s gone,” Mila Yashura said.
Usually, Shuro Yashura always shoved the elixirs his younger brother sent to Shira right away. Expensive elixirs which Jhuro Yashura sent, were the only reason Shira had reached Level 3 Novice like today.
“Father, look at this. Did my Specialist ‘Status Window’ went wrong?” Mila asked.
“What’s happen? Hmm? Let me take a look then.”
When he read the magical paper, Patriarch Shuro’s face turned serious.
“No, your ‘Status Window’ was right, alright… we just don’t know what Shira was doing when he was alone on the hill.”
There was a hint of worry upon Mila Yashura’s eyes. “Is this a good thing? Or a bad thing?”
Her father shook his head. “I don’t know. Whatever it is, I have a premonition that this would be a hope for the child.”
Outside, Shira walked with his hand in his pocket along the street. He looked back and saw no one chases him. This young master of Yashura Family passed a lot of people from the main family and the branch family, yet his face was straight like a stranger. There were only a few people who could actually recognize him, as Shira was rarely seen at the public. Because of that, not many knew what he looked like.
But for those who saw him before, their eyes grew curious.
Malikh Family would come for him. So people were bound to wonder. Asking questions, like, how will this legendary shitty-talented young master behave later?