Inside his room, Noah was staring fixedly at a piece of paper in his hands. The process seemed hard, as beads of sweat ran down his forehead and his eyes kept trying to close.
'This is fucking hard! Keep going, keep going! Fucking eyes stay open!'
Noah was completely focused on his task and ignored everything around him.
As time went on, his hands started to tremble and his eyes became redder and bloodshot.
Inside his sea of consciousness.
Waves kept surging from the center of the sphere where Noah's half-transparent figure was standing with eyes closed. A deep frown was present on his face.
The waves would crash on the borders of the sphere enlarging its circumference by few millimeters every time. As this process kept going the sea level would lower and by then it was already covering less than a quarter of the sphere.
Noah abruptly folded the sheet containing the rune and let a long breath out while lying on the floor with arms spread open.
'I feel that my head is about to explode! My sight seems confused and even thinking makes the pain increase. Terrifying, this kind of training is terrifying! And I feel so sleepy too."
Some knocks sounded from the door of his room.
Noah cursed a bit in his mind, only to feel again an increase of pain that made him curse again.
He stood up by first leaning against the floor and then against the walls and eventually went open the door.
The figure of Lily appeared on the other side of the exit with a radiant face, carrying two old books and a case.
"Some guards took these to the building. They said that the vice-captain sent the-"
She interrupted herself seeing the state her son was in.
He looked incredibly tired. His face was ashen and his eyes were half-closed and completely red. She noticed how he was using the door as a support to keep himself standing.
She hurriedly jumped on him and put her shoulder below his armpit as support.
She then moved towards the bed yelling:
"What happened to you!? Is that William right? Or is it the guards? I'm gonna talk to the captain right now! I'm gonna-"
Before she could finish her venting, Noah sat on the edge of the bed and raised a hand to stop her from yelling any more than that. His head ached like hell but he forced himself to talk because he felt the need to explain something to his mother.
"Mum, don't worry. It's just a special training that will make me able to do magic one day. I exaggerated a bit because it was my first time doing it but I will feel better after I get some sleep. Don't worry, the guards are nice to me, they don't do anything against my will."
Lily halted from talking anymore and looked at her son. Touching his black hair and looking at those icy blue eyes she felt warm from Noah's resemblance with her. She then sat next to him and hugged him caressing his head.
'This son of mine is so stubborn. His precocity is only surpassed by his determination'
Looking at the kid in her embrace she observed how carefully defined were his muscles and the high number of calluses on his hands. A bit of pride for such a hardworking son invaded her and so she broke the embrace and put him in front of her, hands locked on his shoulders.
"Ok I won't do anything but you must promise to be more careful! I don't want to see you in this pitiful state anymore! And don't work too hard, remember that rest is also a part of the training process. And don't you dare anymore to skip your lunch otherwise there will be consequences! Do you understand me, young man?"
Noah felt extremely warm in hearing these words. But his focus was elsewhere.
'One, two... and that's only as far as I can see'
He was counting the new signs of violence on his mother's body, it was a habit he picked up when he saw the first one appear on Lily, by the time he had requested for a teacher.
"Ok mum, I promise, I'll be careful"
Noah said while forcing a smile.
Lily looked at him for some other time and then stood up leaving the books and the case she was carrying on the bed.
"I have to go now, I will ask the servants to bring you a big meal. Always remember that your health is the most important thing. As long as you're alive you can do anything!"
She then kissed Noah on his forehead and after a last look at him, she exited the room.
Noah kept looking at the direction his mother went, the smile disappearing from his face and his bloodshot eyes acquiring a coldness that he rarely showed to others.
'324 visible ones till now, daddy is increasing his ratio.'
He would only see Rhys entering and exiting Lily's room randomly, never once his eyes went to the son of his.
'It seems that I can only practice the mental energy at night or my mother might see the after-effects of it, I don't want to worry her'
As coldness enveloped him, the pain on his head kept going but he totally ignored it.
'I spent about four hours in the sea of consciousness, I can probably stay for more time if I force myself, I just have to understand the recovery rate with one night of sleep'
He looked outside the window and saw that it was probably still five or six in the afternoon. Then he shifted his attention on the books to his side.
'Twin saber style and Forging of Seven Hells, apparently my Master wants me to get accustomed to the treatment even if he hates it so much.'
He first picked the book describing the saber style and started reading it, ignoring the pain it caused to his head.
'It is indeed a complete martial art and the usage of the "Breath" seems a bit easier than with the snake-wrist technique'
In order to activate the true power of the martial art, one had to move the "Breath" according to a specific rhythm and pattern and then he had to synchronize this manipulation with the correct body movement.
'I can't really train it now since it might do more harm than good but tomorrow in the morning I will definitely start practicing it.'
He closed the book and opened the case, a short saber was inside of it. Its quality seemed to surpass the one he stole from the training yard.
'What a nice saber, William is really taking this Master stuff seriously.'
Then he took a look at the book containing the Forging of Seven Hells method, in the meantime, an abundant meal composed of rice and chicken meat arrived.
Noah ran through the information contained in the book while eating, a bit of nausea due to the strong headache arose from his stomach but he forced himself to eat anyway.
'The Mad Doctor joined and founded at least 12 cults to do his experiments on body-nourishing methods. The cults were responsible for providing for children of age inferior to 13 in order for him to experiment on them. At the end of the process, the Seven Hells method was created but the mortality rate only got lowered from 99% to 85% without considering the after-effects that the treatment caused on the specimens.'
Noah stopped his reading seeing that the night had come and he felt completely drained.
'I'd better go to sleep, tomorrow I'll start training with the twin sabers and I'll probably begin with mental energy late in the afternoon, I wonder if tomorrow I will see some changes from today's training.'
Thinking that he put the books to the side of his bed and the saber back in the case and went to sleep.