Volume 2 Chapter 8 – Extraordinary Thought Process, Contract, Commencing Summoning
“Master, dinner is ready.” As usual, Silent Water was sweet and congenial – I simply liked her.
Tomorrow’s Spirit Summoning Day. If… if there is someone with such an immense amount of spirit strength that even Silent Water would be…. Oh! I don’t even want to imagine what life would be like without Silent Water.
“Master, is something the matter with you? You don’t look so well.”
“Nothing, nothing.” I let out a soft sigh.
“Master, are you worrying about something?”
“No. I was just thinking, given my ability, if I can summon any spirits tomorrow.”
“Master is so awesome, I am sure you can! But…”
“But what?” Silent Water rarely had this kind of despondent expression.
“After spirit summoning comes contract forming, right?”
“Yeah… What about it?”
Silent Water shook her head, “I…. Never mind, nothing really…. Master, let’s dig in.”
“No…Silent Water, didn’t you have something you wanted to say?”
“No, I just thought, if I could just stay here, that would be enough.”
What a strange thing to say? When Silent Water answered my question, I felt like there was something off about her? It was like she was a bit sad?
On the other hand, if Silent Water didn’t want to say it, I had no reason to force her….
After dinner, rather than sitting down with me and watching TV in the living room like we usually do, Silent Water quickly returned to her room – this made me feel a bit weird.
‘Kid, let me tell you this in advance, be mentally prepared – if you can’t summon any spirits tomorrow, you need not feel too bad about it. Hey, kid…um? Are you worrying about the water spirit’s strange behavior earlier today?’
‘Yeah, compared to normal, today Silent Water felt a bit off.’
‘Alright, I am gonna give it to you straight – that water spirit, she wants to form a contract with you.’
‘For real?’ My heart leapt for joy when I heard what Freed said.
‘Of course it’s for real. That was what I was trying to tell you earlier this afternoon; that if you were to form a contract with another spirit, the water spirit and all would feel terrible about it.’
‘Really? So, Silent Water wanted to be my spirit…’ Thinking about this made me really happy; but thinking more on this made me feel deflated, ‘Forget it, my power is so weak, there is no way Silent Water would want me. She must think that because she is living here… In the future, I’m sure she’ll find a master that would befit her.’
‘Argh! I just know it… your thought process is just extraordinary…’
‘My thought process is extraordinary? What does that mean?’
‘It means nothing, you…I really don’t know what to say…forget it, this should also be one of your good points.’
Today was June 20th.
On this day, the human world would be surging with spiritual energy – a particularly good day for contracting spirits. Because of this, high schools pick this day as the Spirit Summoning Day. As such, June 20th is also called the National Contracting Day.
Even though the spirits summoned during the summoning ceremony would be “wild”, this summoning relies on having both parties responding positively to each other, so there shouldn’t be any incident where the spirits would get out of control.
Moreover, after a person has contracted with a spirit, they can continue to contract more; the number of spirits a person can contract is proportional to one’s power. That is the reason why there are spirit shops around.
And now, whenever I see Silent Water, I got the feeling that I wanted to keep her for myself – it was all because of what Freed told me last night, that Silent Water wished to form a contract with me. Because I simply liked her too much, I didn’t want her to leave my side – I wanted her to be my familiar.
Unfortunately for me, aside from my sacred fire, that suicidal ability of mine, I didn’t have any other skills; even though I possessed an enormous amount of magical power, I was useless. The root of the problem was that I was just too weak.
If a weakling like me were to form a contract with Silent Water, I would just drag Little Silent down. Honestly, while possessing dragons’ abilities has given me sufficient magical power, I don’t have any other skills beyond that. Like it was explained before, the spirits would provide support to the summoner during a battle; if Silent Water were to become my spirit, then she would become the main offensive power while I would be a mere bystander, just standing by the sideline and watching her fight…. This was not what I would like to see.
When I thought of this, my feeling of wanting to keep her all to myself vanished.
After breakfast, I noticed that Silent Water didn’t look too well. From the looks of it, her magical power must have been almost depleted. So, I walked up to her and gave her a hug….
The normal Silent Water would stand there patiently to wait for her power to be replenished; but today, after her power was replenished, Silent Water held me tight and wouldn’t let go – suddenly, I panicked and didn’t know what to do.
“Silent Water… you… what are you doing? Let go.”
“Sorry, master, Silent Water can’t do that….”
“Why not?” Could it really be like what Freed said, that Silent Water wanted to form a contract with me? To be honest, I was actually very happy about it, but…I shouldn’t be a burden to her ….
“Master, shouldn’t you know this by now? Silent Water has already been calling you ‘master’ for a while now; have you not accepted me yet?” Silent Water voice was quivering.
“I…I can’t burden you.”
“Master, why would you think that?”
So, while enjoying the body heat from Silent Water, I told her my thoughts on the whole thing, “You know, my ability is very weak, and I only have one skill… a skill I can’t use often at that…. Essentially, someone like me is useless – I won’t be able to fight. If you were to form a contract with me, then you would be dragged down by me….”
Silent Water laughed, after hearing my explanation. I could feel her warm breath on my ear, and it made me feel a bit weird.
“What are you laughing at?”
“Honestly… this way of thinking is so very much like Master.”
“No… what do you mean by this?”
“Even though, on the surface, master tends to give off a pretty laidback attitude, you actually give certain matters quite a lot of thoughts: considering the concerns of the other party, worrying about the feelings of the other party, and keeping in mind the welfare of the other party. Silent Water understands this very well. However, Master, if it weren’t for you back then, would Silent Water be standing here now, enjoying the warmth from master’s body? If master wasn’t there, could Silent Water have avenged her parents’ death? If master wasn’t here, would Silent Water be able to learn about so many things? Silent Water very much likes the way things are now: to be able to prepare meals for you, to be able to clean up for you…. To tell master the truth, Silent Water has been your spirit the moment you saved her.”
“Silent Water….” I was really touched by Silent Water words. So, this was what Silent Water was thinking, but… I really… couldn’t…
“Master…, are you still worrying about something?” Silent Water read my mind.
“No…. I am too weak, I would just drag you down.”
“There is no such thing and Silent Water doesn’t mind. Even if Master is really that weak, Silent Water doesn’t mind. Silent Water just wants to remain by Master’s side, and be Master’s spirit.”
Silent Water took a step back, and stood in front of me; her beautiful face was right in front of me. She interrupted my train of thought and said, “You know, Master?”
She smiled tenderly and continued, “Yesterday, when I heard that master was going to form a contract with another spirit, for some reason, Silent Water’s heart ached a bit. Silent Water thought to herself, was I really that useless? I couldn’t even get Master to form a contract with me first? Now that I understand Master’s concern, not only am I relieved, I am very happy. So…, please, let me become your spirit. Silent Water, by the name of the Origin of all things, pledges to stand by Master’s side; serving exclusively Lin Xiang, my Master, as his familiar spirit.”
She… She was reciting the pledge for the contract, right? But….
‘Kid, just form the contract with her. I am being serious when I say this: you being able to meet her, was predestined by fate. You can’t say that fate is something that isn’t real – that is just you finding excuses for your own weakness! If you feel that you are really weak, then get stronger after you form your contract with her.’
Freed’s words no doubt gave me a shot of confidence. I looked right into Silent Water’s bright and glistening eyes, and asked her to confirm, “Silent Water…, are you sure?”
Silent Water’s eyes were very determined, “Silent Water is sure.”
“Then…” After I quietly recited the pledge for the contract in my heart, I slowly moved towards Silent Water’s little red, luscious lips….
When Silent Water’s lips and my lips met, a soft, blue light encircled us for about five or six seconds. Then, the circle became a beam of light, and shone onto Silent Water’s right arm – a blue water droplet symbol appeared and imprinted on her arm; then it slowly dissipated.
Silent Water’s glittering eyes glistened with tears, “Silent Water vows to be by your side, be your sword that slays your enemies, and be your shield that protects you from your enemies’ attacks.”
Just like that, Silent Water became my familiar.
—————— On the way to school
I couldn’t say for sure whether what I did was the right thing to do or not. But, I didn’t want to make Silent Water sad. Either way, I had to form a contract with a spirit anyway; this actually made us into a real family – I have to treat her well as part of the family.
The current me felt nonchalant about whether I could summon spirits. This was because I had already contracted a spirit and that was a king level spirit, Silent Water.
‘Kid, you did alright. Really, only humans like you could partner up with a spirit and form a formidable pair.’
‘…. I don’t understand…. ‘
‘OH~~FUCK! Excuse me for disturbing you, you just run along now and get to school.’
‘Oh, I am sorry, please don’t be like that. Hey, please explain it a bit. Hey.’
Freed didn’t respond….
“I believe everyone has been waiting for this day for a while, right?” Our homeroom teacher asked during morning class; he himself was obviously quite excited.
“Yes!!!” Everyone in the class gave the same answer, almost in unison.
“Actually, just like you all, I am also quite excited. Today is…”
Our homeroom teacher said quite a bit, before leading us towards the large assembly hall, dedicated for large assemblies.
It was estimated that the large assembly hall could hold more than three thousand people; any important meetings were held here. Because of its spaciousness, it had also been used as a venue for some performances.
The so-called performance wasn’t referring to any athletic or battle art demonstrations, but rather to the more mundane cultural arts variety, like singing, dancing, and the like.
For the moment, the assembly hall was packed full of high school freshmen. Be it boy or girl, every one of them was very anxious. Reason being, this was the long awaited fateful day when one’s destiny was determined.
A spirit’s rank is determined by the strength and the control of summoner’s spiritual power; a strong spirit would naturally gravitate towards a summoner with strong spiritual power. So, if you were able to summon a superior level spirit, then it would be proof that you have sufficiently strong spiritual power, and an indicator of your potential for future development.
Of course, even if the spirits summoned are of lower ranks, through subsequent training, the spirits’ levels can be raised.
So, a summoned spirit is oftentimes a secondary indicator of one’s power.
“Ahem…” Headmaster Ijima Michita stood at the podium with his hand on the microphone and gave us some of the essential instructions on summoning spirits. Before the meeting adjourned, he added some words of encouragement. Then, following our homeroom teacher, we arrived at the open area in the school’s yard.
“Well then, everybody! You all have heard what the Headmaster said just now, right? Just relax and breath normally, adjust yourself as much as you need and when you are ready, feel the spirits in the air, then slowly release your spiritual energy and summon the spirits…. Alrighty, that is it, do you all understand the instructions?
“Alright, now, let the summoning ceremony begin!”