While Blake looked like she lost her way in life, her mother walked towards her.
“Do you know why I made you fight him?” She asked Blake.
Blake shook her head. “Did you know I was going to lose?” She asked.
The woman nodded. “He’s a Late-Stage 1st Circle Aura Knight.” She said. “There wasn’t any way you would have posed a threat to him.”
Blake was surprised. “That’s why I lost so easily. Otherwise I would have-“
“You lost to a 14-year-old kid, Blake. And all I hear are excuses. You are 19 years old and all you amount to is this. The only thing I hear about you is how you just bully people based on your position as my daughter. You don’t practice half as much as everyone here and pass your time spending my money. I am ashamed to call you my daughter.”
Blake took a step back at the stern tone of her mother. “I…”
“From now on, I want this to be a wake-up call to you. This is the real world, where even people younger than you with fewer resources can crush you. If you don’t pull yourself together, not everyone stops their blades at your neck like the boy just did,” she warned. She left immediately after.
Meanwhile, Clarice and Evelyn were explaining how they knew Leo to all the curious mercenaries around them.
Leo was on the way to his house and sneezed. He didn’t know why he was feeling a chill, but he ignored it because it passed quickly. He got to his apartment and saw that Marcus was finally outside.
Marcus looked a lot different than he did when he was rescued. Now that his entire body was filled with aura and he was rejuvenated, he looked a lot more healthy. It was like he gained 10 kilos of weight.
Previously, he looked like a beggar that was simply dressed nicely. But after freshening up and saturating his muscles with aura, he looked like a proper teen. His brown hair even seemed brighter than normal.
“Are you better?” Leo asked. Marcus nodded.
“Yes, I am. Thanks for asking. I have to say, thank you for letting me crash at your place. I’ll quickly get my Mercenary Card and start getting to work.” He said.
Marcus still seemed in a rush, so he decided to help him out. “Fine, the mercenary guild building isn’t that far from here. It’s a 30-minute walk if you go down the street that hits the main street. Just take a right there.”
Leo gave him directions and let him go to the guild. After Marcus left, Leo also left to go to the forest. He was planning on finishing his missions as a Silver Rank.
He quickly went to the forest and hunted a few Magical Beasts. He hunted a huge number of Magical Beasts and used their cores to replenish his Elder Wood Tree and only left a single one to complete his mission for the day.
He went back to the Mercenary Guild and completed his mission before coming back to the apartment. When he got there, the second bed had already got there. The room had been separated into two by Marcus and his bed was to the left.
Leo went to his bed and sat on it. He then started training. He couldn’t afford to waste his time like he did that day by visiting Evelyn and Clarice. He enjoyed meeting them, but every day he wasn’t a 4th Circle Mage, the riskier it was for him to wander in the city.
The stronger he was, the easier it would be for him to disguise himself when he went to the Mercenary Guild for missions. There was the off chance that he would meet a 4th Circle Aura Knight, and the best way to make sure that his disguise wouldn’t be revealed was to grow stronger or increase his proficiency in Valkyr’s Deception.
Meanwhile, Marcus was similarly working while making sure every minute of his day counted. For the first 7 days when he didn’t have a Mercenary Card, he trained in aura the entire time. Leo noticed that the amount of progress he was making was monstrous.
He wasn’t breaking through in days or anything, but at the progress he was making, he was going to catch up with Leo by the time three months pass by. This wasn’t even considering what would happen when he started using Aura Gathering Pills.
Of course, nothing would ever get close to what would happen when Leo starts binge-eating pills like they are candy. If he did that, he would break through easily, but he would need time to consolidate his breakthrough every time he did that.
That wasn’t the case with magic though. During this time, his schedule was a lot more packed than Marcus who only trained in Aura. He would go hunting Magical Beasts and complete 3 missions each week while using the rest of the Beast Cores on his tree.
As for the remaining time, he divided it between increasing his magic and training his spells. He was making progress in all of them, but because he divided his time between all of them, they were all growing slowly.
After Marcus got his Mercenary Card, he started spending more of his time trying to speed his way through the ranks. He was trying his best to get to the Bronze Rank so he could finish the missions that were worth his time and paid more.
Leo, on the other hand, had his schedule incredibly constant for the rest of the two weeks after Marcus got his Mercenary Card. He was incredibly concentrated in his training each time, so he saw incredible gains. These gains made Leo start to like the current way how things went.
He also liked how when he saw Marcus train hard, he was also motivated to do the same. He liked having Marcus as his roommate. Marcus also felt the same way about Leo. When he saw Leo meditate on his bed all the time, he was also motivated to train in aura with as much intensity.
However, one thing that never changed was how much Marcus know about his life. Marcus knew that Leo went outside somewhere for just as much time as he did, but he knew nothing else.
He didn’t even know that Leo was going into the forest to hunt Magical Beasts. While this was information that didn’t reveal anything about himself, Leo preferred not to talk about himself at all.
To Marcus, Leo was an incredibly mysterious person who happened to be very generous. The only thing he knew about him was that Leo was also going to try to attend the academy that he was trying to attend.
Other than that, he didn’t even know where Leo was from.
Like that, they remained strangers that happened to be great friends. Two weeks flashed by as they maintained this status quo. After those two weeks, things finally started to change.