"Millie, what's wrong?"
Kiefer asked as he worriedly looked at his friend. In their small village, there are only six other children of his age and Millie is one of them.
Ever since Vincent received lessons about the mysteries of mana from his grandfather, he no longer played with them and Millie would always look so down.
Two years had already passed since then and they are already nine years or ten years old. Perhaps, they can only see Vincent once a week but he's too busy in his own world.
He wanted to lift her mood but he doesn't really know what to do about it. His father is only teaching him how to use the Silent Toad Fist and Whirling Toad Palm Technique.
If he asks his father how to make Millie happy, he would just be teased so he didn't dare to ask him again.
"Kiefer… I'm fine. I… I just want to experience being baptized by mana as well." Millie said helplessly.
Kiefer and the others who were secretly listening to their conversation can only sigh after hearing it. Obviously, they wanted that to happen to them as well.
The six of them can already sense mana. But they haven't received the Mana Baptism like what happened to Vincent.
In short, they can't pursue a path or career as Mana Practitioners. They needed more than just sensing mana after all.
Even Alchemists, a practitioner's profession with the lowest requirement of talent in mana, still needed the Mana Baptism.
"How about we ask the Village Chief? I heard that he was an adventurer during his younger days. He must've learned something different. Perhaps there is another way?"
Kiefer suddenly said though he doesn't have much hope.
Apparently, they were told that once they managed to fill their cores with mana, the Mana Baptism should naturally come.
If it didn't happen, it means that they do not have much talent or in short, they probably have low-grade aptitude or even worse.
With regards to that, they were unable to determine their aptitudes within this village since it requires a special device in order to assess it.
Because of it, they really have no idea whether they have a chance of getting the Mana Baptism or not.
"Should we try asking him?" Millie asked as she looked at the others.
During the past two years, they have trained themselves as well and absorbed as much mana as they could.
However, they can feel that they have already reached their limit.
They were able to use their little bit of mana to easily recover from their fatigue so they could play longer. The other boys who were practicing some martial arts became sharp with their techniques as well… But they wanted something more than that…
They also wanted to be able to wield mana and become strong similar to those Celestials they've seen. If they consider that as their aim, then perhaps, they could learn or study the Mana with Vincent as well.
Soon, the six children visited the Village Chief as they even brought fruits to give as a gift.
"Hohoho~ What did I deserve to be visited by these lovely children? Is there anything I can help you with?"
The village chief is already old but his body is still fit so anyone can tell that he was quite capable during his younger days.
"Chief August, can you teach us how to become Mana Practitioners?"
Kiefer asked with determined eyes.
The others are the same as they all looked at him.
August, the one receiving the stares, immediately understands what they wanted. He had been at this age as well after all.
In the end, he can only tell them a story that he heard in his younger days.
It is about a young master and genius of a prestigious clan who managed to become a powerful Grand Knight at the age of fifteen.
Unfortunately, before he could realize his dream of defeating a Celestial, he was poisoned and all his cultivation had dissipated and he became a normal person. During that time, he was even unable to sense his mana.
"What? Isn't that cruel?"
"Y-yeah… A Grand Knight should be capable of fighting those Celestials, right? Isn't that too amazing for a fifteen-year-old boy?"
"Sshhh… Let Chief August continue…"
The children who were listening to the story couldn't help but feel bad about the young boy who had his dream shattered after being poisoned.
Millie, who was immersed with the story, waved to the others to keep quite.
Chief August smiled at this as he continued.
"Instead of crying or drowning himself in depression, the young boy decided to travel around the world to experience new things he met many friends and even fell in love with a normal girl… Then… after a few years, he arrived at the Withered Mountain..."
With these words, everyone couldn't help but gasp. The Withered Mountain is quite near to their village after all. They can even see it if they climb a tree.
August then continued with his story and told that the young man had a fortuitous encounter on that mountain. It allowed him to recultivate his mana and became even stronger than before.
"Whoa~" The six children said in awe.
"Ehem… Look at your eyes… I'm not telling you guys to go on an adventure. What I'm telling you is not to just look at what you have! You can consider doing other things as well that you might find enjoyable. If you do that, won't you be rewarded in some ways?"
Chief August did his best to explain.
The children seem to understand him as well since they all nodded with a smile on their faces.
Suddenly, the village chief realized that there is someone outside who was looking for him.
He is one of the local guards and was tasked to guard the watchtower on the eastern side of the village.
"C-chief, you need to come outside… Some people from the Lucius Clan have arrived. What do we do?"
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