As much as I loved spending time with Marianne, it was always a treat when I got to spend some time with my father, Luthor. It had been about a week since we had gone out together with my mother, and while I had enjoyed playing the game she had bought me, it was nice to spend time with my father now as well.
Looking up at him from my current height, he appeared even taller that his already tall height of six foot two. As if his incredible height was not enough, he had incredible muscles too and immaculate red hair. They made such a beautiful couple, my parents.
“Lucas?” his commanding voice said and I looked up.
I gave him my best innocent grin and he narrowed his eyes at me. I wasn’t fooling him one bit, he knew I hadn’t been paying attention! My cute look might work on my mother, but my father was a different story. Eh, but what could I do?
“Are you paying attention?” he asked and I nodded.
He gave me a firm nod, “Good. Now, extend your arm.”
I did as I was told and followed the technique he was trying to show me.
“You should not loosen the hand, Lucas. Hold tight before you swing, you don’t want to lose grip and let your sword fall.”
I tried to do it the same way he was doing it but I was so tired, and starting to feel hungry too! Damn it, this was too hard! I didn’t dare complain though, no matter how badly I wanted to. This swinging training exercise had already made me so exhausted and I really needed a break.
My mind was already failing to pay attention for more than a few minutes, which was a sign enough that I needed a rest. Since after all my mind was supposed to be tougher than my body! Speaking of bodies, I watched my father as he demonstrated swinging, his muscles flexing as he did so. He was so strong. It reminded me of what had happened earlier.
I had been watching my father swinging, with my mother seated beside me. His muscles were glistening with the sweat from his exercise, and it made them look shiny and more pronounced. His chest was broad and well defined, right down to his impossibly chiseled abs.
“Mom?” I looked up to ask my mother what technique father was using but she wasn’t paying attention, she was too focused on him and her eyes had an intense, feverish look.
I almost giggled but held myself back, turning my attention back to Luthor who was practicing with his sword like the expert that he was. It was an impressive thing to watch, and I could only hope to be that level of good one day.
Marianne had prepared a towel for him that sat folded on a stool nearby, and he bent to pick it up as soon as he finished his set of five hundred swings. He wiped his face and chest as I watched, marveling at the strength he had to complete all those swings! I was still watching his movements when he picked up the unused wooden sword close to him and threw it in my direction.
I hesitated for one second then succeeded in catching it, but it was a clumsy effort. My eyes went from the sword to Luthor in confusion, what was I supposed to do with this?
“What should I do?” I asked and waited for his explanation.
Oh damn, he didn’t want to beat the hell out of me, did he?
Marianne’s face reflected a little bit of the dread I felt as she stood up and faced her husband.
“Why you giving our son a wooden sword?” she asked.
My father looked at her as if it should have been obvious, “To practice, of course.”
He shrugged as he replied, and I looked at the sword again and turned it in my hands. It wasn’t as heavy as it looked, and I could manage to hold it just fine. Would I be able to swing like my father though? That was the question.
“He is only four!” my mother protested, ever the over protective one.
Well…actually, I was five! A whole year older than four and that was a significant difference, I thought. She should probably tell her husband not to bully me! Ha!
My father laughed, “Remember that our son does not have any mana.”
Marianne frowned in confusion, “Yes, so?”
“It means that since he cannot learn magic, he should sharpen his talents elsewhere,” my father replied.
“So you want to teach him the sword at such a young age?”
“Of course, there is no better time to start. Mastering the sword takes time and dedication, and this is the best age to begin training. If he doesn’t learn how to swing a sword properly, how will he protect himself?”
My mother seemed to consider this for a moment.
“And besides, how can he unlock his true potential and awaken his true power if he doesn’t undergo this harsh training? It will strengthen him and build true character.”
My mother sighed and nodded, “I suppose you are right. I just worry that’s all, he is still my baby.”
I almost rolled my eyes as I disputed her agreement. She really shouldn’t have agreed with him! But then again, my father had mention something about awakening my true power through training? What was that about and how soon could I get it… hehehe!!
Luthor turned to me and smiled, “From now on, we will train together. I will teach you everything you need to know so that even when I am not here to guide you, you can still continue with your training. Is that clear?”
I nodded hesitantly and he smiled again.
“Good! So from now on you will do five hundred swings with me.”
My eyes almost bulged from my skull when he said that! What did he mean I was supposed to do five hundred swings?! My father was officially crazy! I was too young to do that many, wasn’t I?! I was only five years old for crying out loud and he was already expecting so much of me?
I looked up at my mother with pleading eyes but she was supporting my father and agreeing with what he was saying! I couldn’t believe this was the same woman who had been saying I was her precious baby only minutes ago! Really mom, I thought.
And that was the story of how my beautiful mother had betrayed me, I thought as I swung for the three hundredth and forty third time! Every muscle in my body ached, every joint hurt. I took in a deep breath and tried to concentrate on my next swing. My arms felt so heavy, as if they did not belong to my body at all. That was just how much pain I was in, an unbearable amount!
“You are doing so well, Lucas,” my mother cheered on.
I internally glared at her for getting me into this mess in the first place. Did she even know how much pain I was enduring? Next time she should swing too and see how painful it really was. My father might make it look so easy, but it was far from being easy.
Not. Easy. At. All!
“Yes,” my father agreed. “You should keep training and become strong so you can protect your mother and your younger sibling.”
I stumbled as I missed a step at his statement, had I really heard what I thought I had?! Had my father just mentioned a younger sibling? I looked up at them, dumb folded. Were they being serious right now?
My mother was smiling broadly while my father was positively grinning. It really was true then, but why had they waited so long to tell me?! I quickly went to hug my mother and she laughed as she hugged me back.
“Am I really going to be an older brother? Is it true?” I asked in excitement.
She nodded and kissed my head, “Yes Lucas, you are going to be an older brother.”
Wow, so their hard work had finally paid off! After three long years of being so loud at night, their efforts had finally become fruitful. No wonder they had been lately.
I tightened my hold on my mother as a thought came to me, “You won’t ignore me when he comes, will you?”
My mother only hugged me back as she shook her head above me, “I would never do that, Lucas. You will always be my baby too, and I will never ignore you or forget you. I love you.”
I snuggled into her and said, “I love you too.”
“You are my greatest and most precious treasure after all,” she said as she let me go to look directly into my eyes.
I could see her love for me reflected back from her eyes and could see how sincere she was. She had enough love in her heart to love me and as many siblings I could have in life.
“Hey, you are leaving me out here,” my father playfully complained.
My mother and I laughed as we opened our arms and he drew us both into one big family hug. I felt so safe and loved, and I was lucky I had been reborn to these two.
“And how do you know it is going to be a boy?” my father laughed as he finally let us go.
I then remembered I had mentioned how I would like to teach him how to swing a sword. Honestly it didn’t matter what gender my sibling would be, I was just excited to finally be an older brother.
I shrugged, “So I can teach him how to fight too.”
My mother tapped my nose, “Hey! Girls can swing swords too!”
We all laughed and I wondered if my father would ever make my little sister swing five hundred times too. Probably not, but it would be nice to have someone to share the pain of training with. Eh, I was so evil ha-ha.
“So I will train with my little brother or sister,” I said finally.
“Of course,” my mother smiled.
And I would have someone to play with too!
“But In order for you to teach your younger sibling, you have to master your swinging first,” my father reminded me, making me groan.
But I was so tired already, I almost whined. And weren’t we going to celebrate this big news as a family over ice-cream or something?
“How many did you reach? Not five hundred I am sure.”
“But…” I opened my mouth to protest and complain, but my father was already shaking his head.
“No, you have to train your body not to give up. You need to learn the importance of discipline otherwise it will always be hard. Repeating the exercise makes it easier with time.”
My mother laughed and kissed my father’s cheek, “You are too hard on him. Come on, just for today let him end here. He is probably over excited now after learning the big news anyway.”
My father looked like he wanted to argue but my mother was looking at so sweetly that he had no choice but to just agree with her.
“Fine, but just for today. He cannot learn anything if he doesn’t stick to his training routine.”
“Of course,” my mother said and I smiled at them both.
Tomorrow I would try extra hard to make my father proud, I decided. He was doing this for my own good after all, I couldn’t dispute that. He just wanted me to be strong despite my lack of mana. And there was that promise of unlocking my hidden power to motivate me!
I smiled as we walked back inside the house, having made my decision to try harder next time.