Recently I’ve been reading a lot of villainess novels. Makes me want to write one lol but don’t worry Lucid will take precedence until its completed. Anyways, enjoy the chapter!
Chapter 57: Just Rewards
After Aegris’ battle, the rest of the day was uneventful, but it was no surprise the three of us expected this type of lull.
“There it is.” Aegis casually said, but I could sense a trace of happiness.
I had a guess as to what she was referring to.
“I got it, finally. Did you get yours too Nous?” She turned towards me carrying a sarcastically quizzical look as we lounged in the grand ballroom.
Many, including me, were all waiting to see if we would receive letters of acceptance.
Some waited in silence with an aura telling others to stay away, others stood among the friends they had made joking lightly but still with a mind of anxiousness when their voice trailed off. Many were crying as their win-loss record was enough to tell them they weren’t getting in.
“I GOT IT! I’M IN! I’M IN!” I heard a voice yell out in joy from behind me.
“What!? I got in!?!” Said another person in a surprised tone.
More voices broke out as the letters seemed to come in short bursts. Being undefeated it would more likely be an error if I didn’t get accepted. Is what I felt feeling even the urge to scoff at the idea of being denied.
Except, they seem to be taking their time with mine. Aegris got his hours ago and Aegis received hers just now.
The next wave of letters should be mine.
“Y-you got in with me Yulie! We’re going to be cadets together!!!” An ear-piercing shriek cut through my head as two girls cried out in front of me.
Like earlier, more voiced broke out as another wave of letters seemed to have come.
Eh? I double-checked my phone in case my eye contacts where malfunctioning.
Nothing, my inbox was barren.
T-they wouldn’t right? I can think of no reason for such a long delay. I’ve done everything perfectly, I’m a model prospect that needs to be nurtured. I’m a rare pupil, rarer than a blue moon!
After taking a breath I calmed myself.
There is no need for worry, I assured myself, the next wave would carry my name. There are a few more matches to go before part of the tournament ends anyways.
Another wave passed followed by happy cries. Yet still, my inbox had no new messages. Nothing!
Holy shit, what if I actually don’t get in? What would I even do? What are my options?
I fought to keep myself calm and my breath from running away but the worst-case thoughts forged on.
If I can’t get the Akashic Orb through the Magic and Martial Games then I would have to either fight against the Empire and root out an entire arm of Niefule Empire’s secret programs. No to mention each finger of said arm is filled with people who no weaker than the Neysil siblings. Two are nothing for the current me, but hundreds outfitted with the empire’s top weapons and equipment?
I would be screwed!
The other possibility was stealing the orb directly from Laurent. This would be without any damn clue where he keeps his damn treasures! It’s been estimated Laurent himself can repel a legion from the Empire and an army from inside his fortress of a city. What chance would I have to ransack it?
The martial games are the only chance I have. I’ve researched and planned. I know how the past MMG award ceremonies function. While it wasn’t with the prize of the Akashic Orb some awards weren’t too far off in value. More importantly, for the last two decades it isn’t Laurent but his daughter, the president of Laurent Academy, that gives the award. With Frium’s world-class teleportation skills ready and waiting they wouldn’t have the chance to stop me from getting away.
If I fail here everyone from Earth would truly die without uttering a single cry, their bodies turned to soup and the souls that were brought gone for good washed of their previous selves.
What did I do wrong!? Everything I did was precise! Each battle refined to send a message of my potential talent!
[Subject: Laurent Academy Acceptance Confirmation]
Oh, thank God. My shoulders relaxed and my heart rate slowed.
The message blip appeared through my contacts the subject header already telling of its contents, but just to make sure I skimmed over it and confirmed it was my letter of acceptance into Laurent Academy.
With the sudden anxiety gone I only then realized there had been some tension on my face as I relaxed back.
“That face, you just got it. Didn’t you Nous?”
“Did it show?” Caught, I attempted to laugh it off.
“I received the message. I got in!” I smiled happily with excitement.
“Congratulations. You looked relieved a moment ago which I find surprising considering the confidence you had when we first met. This is without considering the performance you’ve shown. So, it leads me to wonder what would be the cause for you to show such concern?”
“You’re making me blush with so much praise Aegis. Nothing is set in stone even I can get worried. That reminds me, I have to apologize.”
“Oh, for what?”
“My own worries made me forget to congratulate you so I’ll say it now. Congratulations on your acceptance.”
“Ah, how kind. Thank you.”
Aegris looked at me with a half-grin, “heh heh, I wonder why you received it so much later after me?”
I could feel the smugness. Does he think because I got it after him that he is rated higher?
“It must be random. I mean, I haven’t shed a single drop of blood can you say the same?”
Aegris’ grin instantly disappeared making me let out a chuckle.
“My bracket had way more difficult opponents, if I was in your bracket I would have done just as good as you!”Aegris said grumbling indignantly as he returned to reviewing battles of the other top contenders.
Aegis smiled seeing her brother’s arrogance be quelled but my guess was she felt an obligation to defend him, “Nous no need to take out your anger at your lack of coverage on my dear brother.”
She poked at the fact that I’m still a bit jealous about their fame even with Aegris who isn’t one to care about fame, his ego is growing because of the results he’s getting.
Seeing I had successfully changed the subject on why I had been so anxious I continued her train of thought.
“It’s not fair… I should at least have a fan club! I really am fine with just a single member at this point.”
Aegis let out a laugh.
We conversed for a bit more but most of the time the siblings were studying the other undefeated participants in preparation for the second and final part of the tournament. I did the same but spent more time watching myself trying to improve my own spear-wielding ability.
Watching my fights the day passed quickly and after the final matches ended there was a short announcement for all those who had received a letter to say and those who didn’t to leave.
Finally, the first part of the talent tournament was now over.
“Let me wait a little more I know it’ll come!”
“All letters have been sent out, I’m afraid there is no mistake.”
“It has to be a mistake! I deserve to get in! I’ve worked so hard for it!”
It seemed the Laurent officials could tell who did and who didn’t get in as they easily found the participants who didn’t get in still among us. They weren’t brash or harsh, but they weren’t giving in to their pleads either as they calmly confronted them. The ones who had left voluntarily weren’t sad as they had most likely received an offer from a different school. But the ones who still stayed…
“Please! Please! Please! Don’t kick me out! How will I get home? I’ll die on the way there! I can’t live in the city I have no prospects, I spent all my money getting here!” A young girl cried out then slumped down to her knees, her long hair disheveled draped the ground moving with her sobs.
The official looked quite awkward on what to do.
A pitiful sight, I thought. And so did many others who were watching it unfold as they frowned with their eyebrows. The despair around her was extreme so much so the latent mana around her was chaotically swirling showing us a fuller picture of the mess that is her state of mind. Luckily for us with mana bodies at the Apostle stage, such a thing didn’t amount to any danger.
In the end, she was still removed, dragged out as she clung onto the officials and tried to reach for others standing.
No one extended a helping hand, maybe it was out of fear that going against official rules would destroy their recently obtained happiness. I’m not shaming them, I am one of them, I am just saying what I thought the reasoning was. Because it was for me, I wasn’t going to risk this chance for a stranger.
Seeing that there would be no exceptions many faces still lingering in disbelief awaiting the message left with bitter expressions.
Once the room was cleared out of the stragglers the Laurent Officials went back to standing to the side. The mood lightened again.
“New cadets, may I have your attention?” An official said brightly suddenly standing at the far end by a large double door.
Hearing the term cadets from someone outfitted with Laurent insignia many put on pleased expressions.
“Please come this way for the ceremony. You should have received the program instructions. Just follow the guides that came with the instructions through your contacts or MAGI. ” After his words, the official opened the door that led to the battlegrounds. It was always there but never used because of the format of the tournament with the use of locker rooms.
Walking with the siblings we left the ballroom into the bright light. Although the door was open I didn’t get hit with the sounds from the spectators until I stepped outside. I stared around first noticing additional levels of seats had been added followed by the spectators with fervent expressions from witnessing such a grand event.
Following the instructions appearing through my contacts, we were all standing in rows by the wall of the coliseum facing the center.
My gaze sharpened feeling a surge in the air of large scale magic with the mana in the air getting agitated.
Like the unseen power below a large wave, the mana in the air began to press against my astral body in an ebb. I doubted it was any type of dangerous magic but its sheer scale meant it was done by someone powerful.
“The ceremony show is starting!” Whispered with excitement someone near me.
Rivers of colorful streams of rose petals suddenly appeared spiraling and coiling in the air above. Dancing and covering the entire sky in lakes of floral clouds. Like a snowing, the petals began to fall from the clouds in concert with the beautifully sweet voice of a winged angel that appeared. With her gentle face and her eyes closed, she floated down in a long white billowy dress. The simple dress flowed with the wind making no attempt to hide the beautiful figure, treating the eyes of those viewing to the splendor of a masterwork from a master sculptor. Although quite far she towered over us with wings spanning hundreds of meters and her height not much shorter.
Awed by the beauty and the hymn I watched entranced barely noticing the hundred raised platforms slowly sinking down to be flush with the floor. The entire crowd was silent as our eyes and ears were all locked onto the voice of the angel singing before us intently making sure we don’t miss a thing.
Once any trace of the platforms disappeared the stone battleground began to change wherever petals would touch. Like a droplet, each petal would spread turning the stone into patches of vibrant green grasses. In other places, the ground sunk and water appeared forming rivers of clear water with blooming rose bushes running along with them.
At the center, a large stage appeared along with a face many in this city knew. Finishing her enchanting song the angel songstress slowly faded away wrapping herself in her wings before turning into a blizzard of white petals.
“Did you all enjoy my aria? Consider the beneficial effects of listening to one of my songs a gift to you all.”
Roused alert by the voice the crowd began to cheer at the revelation of what we all were feeling.
I felt my mind clear, my fatigue lifted, and my heart eased. Like I had awakened full of vigor with energy to face the world holding an assurance that everything would be fine. I could only imagine just how useful this would be to raise an army’s morale in dire circumstances.
All of us feeling refreshed moved one by one towards the stage to stand upright in tight lines. Each line ordered from most to least wins from each bracket with the most standing closet to the stage.
Of the 10,000 only 5,429 participants stood on the field with me. As the top from each of our brackets, the Gidder siblings and I were standing at the front of our respective lines.
On my neck, I felt the heat from envious eyes drilling onto it and it wasn’t a figurative feeling either. I was literally feeling the agitated concentration of mana from so many strong feelings directed at me. But having high essence and, more importantly, them being only apostles it was easy to ignore them. It was probably even easier for Aegris as I could see him, a few lines away, absolutely relishing the feeling as we stood upright before the speech begin.
Once the spectating crowd quieted down the one who had cast the magic and the controller of this city, Reidfall Obsense began to speak. He didn’t look at all what I had expected, he was of medium height maybe a bit taller than me, this body is still growing, but with a meaty muscular frame and tanned skin. Reidfall looked more akin to a martial artist that used his fists than a mage who could wield powerful supportive magics.
Looking at the crowd for a moment Reidfall began his speech in a clear but powerful tone.
“Today marks the end of the first portion of Laurent Academy’s Talent Tournament, I’m sure all who have been watching are thoroughly amazed by these young faces showing such astonishing strength!”
At his opening words, the crowd cheered.
“First off, I want to send thanks to the wonderful people of Laurent City for assisting us for the annual talent tournament that was so graciously held in my city this year. Especially this year when it’s sheer size had to be grown due to the tragedy that befell Laurent City. However, I know their recovery will be quick as Laurent’s impeccable foresight was able to predict such shocking amounts of young talented individuals would gather this year.”
What is this all this lip service?
I was a bit stunned by how genuine those words of admiration felt from someone who could cast such resplendent and powerful spells.
Getting a gist of what it would be I tuned out to stop myself from getting angry. The speech drew on with various pauses for claps and cheers as he spewed fluff words to Laurent, who isn’t here from what I could see. Their view of Laurent was of someone who could do no wrong. Only having words of praise towards their booming economy, advancements in technology, and quality of adventurers were spoken. It was as if I had stepped into a presentation by a scam artist entrapping a crowd of fools.
Did anyone share my disdain here? Can no one else see past the facade of Laurent the saintly man and instead see the greedy cold-blooded murderer he truly is.
I turned my shifted my eyes to see how the siblings were reacting to the words.
My heart quivered seeing them nod, while not as fervent they seemed to agree. Knowing they must have a high opinion of him left me with a rather sinking feeling. Making me wonder what they would say if I told them Laurent had killed me to steal the ether shard I obtained as Lucid.
Whose side would they stand on? Would they refute me and call me a liar for disparaging their idol? Would they then distance themselves thinking I’m being bitter like ‘those’ luddites from the places that are always the first to criticize Laurent City?
Not wanting to dwell or even imagine the first people I’ve formed a natural connection with break off I turned my focus back onto Reidfall whose speech seemed to slow in anticipation for something.
“You’ve all allowed them to dazzle you, so for today I shall be the one to return the favor and dazzle them.”
“I would like to invite all top 100 participants standing right before me up to the stage to reward their amazing and inspiring power. I am sure each of their names will be making waves all the way to the eastern end of the Scale Allegiance.”
“Come, come stand here, be proud of yourselves you have earned it.”
Hearing the invitation and already having known we were going to be called just unknowing of the reason us 100 made our way up to the center stage. Standing side by side an expansive projection of highlight reels from each of us played in the air above each of our heads.
As I smiled and waved I used the opportunity to stretch my legs and my neck. Turning my head I caught a glimpse of my highlight reel showing one of my later battles. The clip was rather dramatic as it zoomed in for a shot of my dirty and exhausted face panting for breath after appearing to have won a hard-fought victory.
I really sold that well. I internally nodded at my acting ability because that was all I could praise myself for. It was too bad I couldn’t accept credit for the high words from Reidfall. Standing here among these 99 I felt bitter and jealous of them knowing the real reason why I was winning.
I knew I wasn’t as skilled as my opponents, nowhere near their level, but I was beating them handily faking high-skill through the use of my abundance of strength. I didn’t feel like a gifted combatant, I felt like a fraud standing on a brittle mountain of lies would crumble under the weakest of scrutiny.
It didn’t help that the highlight clips above me portrayed me in a cinematic light of a roaring spearman that seemed to be able to contend against the nimbleness of speedy swordplay.
It’s a sour taste.
However, I made sure none of these feelings came out as I smiled and waved at the packed seats who roared in cheers for all of us.
I want to make it clear. I felt guilty but nowhere in my heart did I feel any regret. I had chosen this path to find my classmates from Earth. I hold my justifications close and haven’t lost sight of them yet they would be the sword that tries its best to separate what I would want to do and what I need to do.
Luckily the taste weakened when I took a peek at the Gidder siblings. Aegis smiling sweetly with the same face she had during her interview and Aegris standing handsomely with his chest out grinning ear to ear. They were genuinely happy and both of them deserved to be up here. They worked hard and had the talent to augment their dedication. Knowing I had a small hand in their success allowed me to feel a little bit of what the truly skilled like them were feeling at this moment.
“You all are the future of your generation. I, and I’m sure many others, can’t wait to see more of what you all have in store in the final portion of the tournament.”
“Now, for your well deserved reward, I will be bestowing you all a charm designed personally by my close friend and the skilled people at Terra Schwarz!”
“Terra Schwarz is making accessories again!?” I heard the person beside me let out in surprise in a voice filled with glee.
I had never heard of the manufacturer but going off everyone’s faces they must be pretty high-class.
A single rose appeared floating before each of us then quickly bloomed. When the petals opened up sitting inside the rose in front of me was a single silver bangle. I picked it up placing it in my hands sending out a few prods of mana.
Confirming it was safe and figuring out a few of its functions I slipped it onto my left wrist feeling it comfortably constrict transforming into a thin elastic bangle that conformed to my skin making it look like someone had painted a silver pinstripe on my wrist. Once equipped the owner’s manual information popped up into my field of view.
[Contender Bangle Limited Edition (#33)
Skills: Crestfallen’s Wailing
High Magic Field Affliction Reduction (Area Limited)
High Physical Field Damage Reduction (Area Limited)]
Crestfallen’s Wailing? Unable to take my phone out of fear of appearing rude I could only wait to read more until the ceremony was over.
“I hope in your future this small gift will help you in your development. You may return back down if you please.” Reifall signaled for us to return so we began to step back down to the front of our lines under the eyes of tens of thousands.
“FOR THE FIGHT!” A roar yelled out as I reached my line.
“FOR THE FIGHT!” More yells from the crowd began to join in stomping their feet chanting the phrase.
“FOR THE FIGHT!” “FOR THE FIGHT!” “FOR THE FIGHT!” “FOR THE FIGHT!” “FOR THE FIGHT!” “FOR THE FIGHT!”
For the fight against hyres…
Being cheered on I couldn’t help but feel a bit inspired by the fervent energy directed towards us. The moments are rare but this is one of them where the distinction of being an otherworlder began to blur in my mind. I felt a part of something and it quite honestly felt nice.
After we stepped off the stage and some closing words the ceremony ended. No longer needing to stay with my designated line I walked to Aegris and Aegis whose faces beamed with a prideful air.
“Why have you been looking distracted since the ceremony began.” Aegris turned slightly towards me as we walked to the exit.
“What? Did seeing the scenes of me beating Layle again in my highlights make you scared of me? I wouldn’t blame you.”
Seeing such a shameless boast I couldn’t help but give a wry smile.
“I’m more worried on how to amend your hurt feelings and pride after you lose.”
I met Aegris eyes to see him grinning at my words.
“Good! Its good knowing you think you can still win. In fact, it makes me look forward to our fight even more.” He said nudging me.
“He really has been looking forward to it. My dear brother has been constantly talking about your matches with me trying to derive and understand your style. Hope you’ve prepared as much as we have.” Aegis smiled too but coming from her it seemed more of a warning to not let my guard down.
Hearing them talk about our future match I couldn’t help but feel slimy again, I was cheating them of a genuine bout and for the people of this world, this was mocking their worth as a being. I was looking down on them and in some ways I do, it’s a fact in my head I know that I could easily defeat them with a flick of a wrist. Having this knowledge is going to cause me to disregard them at some level even if I don’t want to.
I want to connect with people of this world, I want to make friends, yet somehow I always end up using them. I too tried to better my own mood by continuing the lighthearted conversation.
“Don’t put your expectations too high the fall will only hurt so much more.”
“Ahaha! You’re really looking for it huh? Now I really can’t wait. Only I, Aegris, get to be so arrogant.”
“You’re aware of your arrogance yet you choose not to change? I’m shocked but deeply amazed. My respect for you only grows.”
And I meant it.
Aegis let out a short laugh while Aegris paid my comment no mind, he is a person proud of their arrogance because he knows he has the qualifications to be. He’s pure to himself.
We talked a bit more on the train out of the city but we parted ways outside the city gate. There was no pause or break tomorrow the final part of the tournament would begin and I’m sure they wanted to not do anything out of the routine we currently have. I directly head to my little tent to finish up my own usual routines before I would head to bed.
Laying in my tent after lustrating I voiced out my thoughts to my spearmanship mentor and teacher, Frium.
“I think my footwork needs more polishing I’m finding myself doing too many half-steps to compensate for my lack of spatial ability. I’m also finding my hands gripped too high up on the polearm at the end of the matches. Do you see that? Oh, and what about my eye movements how are they looking recently? I feel I get confused because there is so much going on around me with the other matches and crowds all in my eyesight. How do I focus them and keep them focused? Or is it better that I’m being aware of my surroundings?”
“Frium?” She seemed preoccupied looking at something.
“Lucid you should train your left arm a little more.”
My left arm is lacking?
“Frium…what ever do you happen to mean by that?” I stared cautiously at Frium’s figure being projected above my phone.
“I’m watching a fight of yours just now, I know your true skill ceiling and floor so I can tell when you’re using your strength in a crutch. Look at your fight against Trenten. His two claw style makes it obvious how reliant you are on your right arm to maneuver your spear around to block. You’re right dominant. Start by doing daily tasks with your left to see if we can start to resolve it.”
Oh, okay I thought she was referring to other daily tasks, but doesn’t this mean I should start switching hands with that too?
Still, I was a bit disbelieving I’ve studied my own videos and haven’t seen anything of the sort. However, Frium was my teacher thus I didn’t deny her claim so I searched through the archives to rewatch my fight with Trenten.
“Start at 1:01 follow your right forearm.”
“1:01…” I muttered and skipped to the time.
The replay began Trenten began an onslaught of swipes each claw leaving a fiery trail. Slowed down I set my eyes on my own arm.
There I moved it! There it is again! I really am using my right arm more than I should.
“I’ll take that look that you noticed it, good. It’s not a major problem right now Lucid, be conscious of it and fix it before it becomes too deep a habit. Work towards becoming ambidextrous.”
Ambidextrous she says like it can be drummed up on a whim, I remember playing with the idea when I was young but quickly gave up after failing to keep my name anything close to legible.
“How long did it take you to become ambidextrous?”
“Me? I believe I’ve always been let me go ask my brother to confirm.”
“No, no it’s fine. Trust me when I say I believe you were born with the ability.”
I chuckled half expecting that answer. She is a gifted spear user through and through. After giving me some pointers with the questions I had started off with such as my footwork and eye movements we finished up with the review of my skills.
“Before you left you had mastered First Snow, so how far along are you with Frozen Lock?”
Frozen Lock the second technique I’ve been practicing. An extension of the ice body of First Snow but externalizing it. Creating ice steps mid-air, ice barricades, and most notably shooting razor-thin sickles of impossibly hard ice from the swing of my spear.
“Externalizing magic passively is proving to be a challenge, but now I understand why mastering First Snow first is crucial. I feel like I’m at a bottleneck that only real use will solve. It’s too bad I haven’t had the time to go out and test it.”
“Hmm, the pace isn’t bad. I don’t think your lying to me, very well I will hope by our next call you will be able to show me some results.”
“What about you two, how has it been in the estate treasure? What have you two been up to?”
“I’m close to a breakthrough in mastering my own technique Glass Storm I should be able to use it to its potential soon.”
Glass Storm… I remember her practicing it a few times it made a large area around the her into a freezing blizzard reducing the visibility to near nothing but biting white snow that’s composed of ice as sharp as tiny blades. Most importantly it allowed the her to appear where ever within the storm in an instant and more importantly use no mana for any ice-based techniques cast inside. The only price is the extremely heavy and difficult initial cast.
It seems with me gone she finally had time for herself again.
“That’s good and your brother?”
“He’s been researching deeper into otherworldly souls. He seeks to understand why yours and the other lucids are so different.”
“He’s still working on that huh, if he happens to learn anything new tell him to contact me. Alright, its time for me to rest, I’ll call you again next week. Goodbye big sis!”
Frium sent me the same bewildered expression but managed to reply this time before I could hang up.
With that, her projection disappeared and I laid back into my bed.
“What do you guys think?” I spoke out my voice seeming to trail in a long soft echo.
I strolled feeling cool water splashing on my feet from the thin layer flowing over the marble floor I walked on. Walking with no direction in mind because direction didn’t matter.
“Am I being a terrible person attaching myself to the Gidder siblings because I know they’re going to be of use in obtaining the Akashic Orb during the magic and martial games?”
I was talking within the unique plane of existence all lucids and I connected to. It was our nightly gathering usually happening at some point in my sleep.
It was only recently that I was able to manifest my entire self in here instead of just my mana body. A little after me the lucids could also do the same. The difference was instead of standing or walking around they all liked to lay face-up staring off into the darkness as the water flowed around them. It was a bizarre sight, their pale bodies making it look like they were perfectly preserved pale corpses littered about.
“Henry.” Hearing my name be called I made my way to it.
After spending time here I learned there was no defined sense of space. I could see where the marble floor ended and reach it if I wanted but at the same time I knew it was much more massive in size than it appeared.
Large enough that I could stroll and casually converse with the lucids, like I have been, for hours if I wanted. After walking at a casual pace for a moment I had reached where the voice had come from.
“You know I know you all dislike calling me Henry, I can feel it, you can call me Lucid if you all want.”
Laying on the floor the lucid who had called me spoke, “Lucid, I don’t see anything particularly wrong or immoral with your actions. You chose to help them and strengthened a bond with them because you genuinely liked them. It’s not like you’re forcing them. They also choose to be around you.”
Although a bit stiff, hearing it phrased in that manner eased my heart.
He stated then returned to looking like a statue I couldn’t help but feel fond of him so I crouched down and stroked his head. Being freed has helped them tremendously.
“Thank you, 539.” Lucid-539 closed his eyes and smiled faintly after receiving the pat.
Wait a minute… Lucid-539? Why did I call him Lucid-539?
Strange information began to flow into me forcing me to my knees causing me to shut my eyes to alleviate the splitting headache. Luckily, the pain melted away quickly into a rather warm and fuzzy feeling. My connection to them had become more real. No longer pained I opened my eyes to see Lucid-121 and 539 helping me up.
“121, 539 thank you.” I moved my head around to look at the various lucids near me.
“443, 902…” Muttering the names to test it became obvious there wasn’t a lucid whose designation I didn’t know.
“These numbers, are these your names?”
“As expected of our progenitor. Yes, we’ve named ourselves!” Lucid-121 besides me spoke in an excited tone.
“When did you all finally chose your own names? And why this naming scheme…”
“You could have had any name you wanted. Why add a number to lucid?”
“We just like being referred to as lucid and we decided it just now after reaching a consensus.”
I had figured that much, but I thought lucid more akin to a race name than a prefix to a name. Quite honestly, I don’t mind it the naming it’s kinda cute.
I wonder if they also want me to personally refer to myself as Lucid?
The thought put weight on my chest. It wasn’t painful but it wasn’t comfortable either. It was as if I was staring at a fork in a road knowing either choice wouldn’t be wrong.
In fact, staying here at the juncture seemed the least uncomfortable.
I…I don’t mind being called Lucid…
Why did that cross my mind? Did I not fight myself to preserve the Henry when I first arrived why doesn’t it seem like a bad idea anymore? Was it my enjoyment of hearing Eurval call me out as Lucid or is it the connection I have forged with the lucids? A little of both maybe?
I had many questions for myself but I did know one answer. I shouldn’t decide this now it would taint my resolve to find my classmates.
“Lucid as a type of surname. It’s not bad at all if that’s what you’ve all chosen then that’s what you will all be called.”
At those words, I felt myself leaving and returning back to sleep.