Chapter 153: Teacher Mora
After he removed the brain scanner from his head, Sila pushed himself up from the bed and headed for the bathroom . He washed his face and brushed his teeth before heading downstairs .
“Oh? Sila, you are up early . Come . Let’s have breakfast together,” Rashane called out as he greeted Sila .
Looking ahead, Sila saw that there were four people sitting around the dining table; they were Rashane, Doctor Panhathai, Varee, and lastly, Vata .
Rashane was brightly smiling from ear to ear . Vata bowed her head slightly to greet Sila . As it turned out, the matter that Vata was in a hurry to take care of in Beginning Town was to log out and reunite with her family .
“Sila, you look restless, what is going on?” asked Varee .
“Um . . . Teacher Mora sent me a message . He told me to return to the dojo immediately . ”
Rashane stood up . “In that case, I will drive you there . ”
Sila politely declined his offer . “You don't need to worry, Uncle, I can go there myself . ”
Panhathai offered as well . “Let me drive you there . ”
“You really don’t have to . I can call a taxi . Please pardon me . ” Sila took out his smartphone . The smartphones of this era were very easy to use; even an analog person like Sila could figure out how to use it pretty quickly . He pressed the ‘Call Driver’ button, and the smartphone immediately called over the nearest taxi without a passenger to his location . As such, even though Sila had said he would make a call, all he really did was press a button .
“I will send Sila off at the entrance . Please continue without me for a while . ”
As Varee finished speaking, she followed Sila outside and stood next to him looking at the street .
“Even though my home is far away from the central block, it connected to the main road, so it will take only five minutes or so before the taxi arrives,” Varee said .
“Oh . . . Um . . . I see,” replied Sila . His mind drifted away; he was concerned about his teacher and the dojo .
“Is everything okay in the game? I heard that Big Sister Vata troubled you . ”
“No, I’m okay, she didn’t cause me any problems,” said Sila . His eyes still looked into the distance, praying for the taxi to come soon .
“Big Sister Vata usually hangs out with her friends, only hunting monsters, so she is unaware of many things . Therefore . . . ”
Sila gave Varee an annoyed look . “I said I’m okay . Miss Vata didn’t do anything wrong . ”
“ . . . Yes, thank you,” Varee mumbled . It didn’t sound like her .
“Oh, the taxi is coming . Thanks for sending me off . ” Sila waved his hand to the yellow taxi . Suddenly, Varee grabbed onto his wrist, causing Sila to turned his head back .
“Big Sister Vata came back to the house for the first time after she met you . I don’t know what you said to her . But, I truly, truly . . . thank you . ” It was rare for Varee to show him her delicate side, so Sila was in a daze .
The sound of the horn could be heard, so Varee released his wrist . Sila looked at the taxi once before shifting his gaze back to her .
“I didn’t do anything . Miss Vata wanted to come back herself . All I did was give her a slight push . ”
“Anyway, thank you,” said Varee . She walked back into her house while Sila entered the taxi .
The taxi driver asked, “Where would you like to go, sir?”
Pressing on the smartphone, Sila showed a certain GPS location to the driver . He had registered the location of his dojo into his smartphone the last time he went there .
The driver took a glance at the location before inputting the location into the car’s system . Soon, a map was displayed on the screen, and the taxi followed the route .
Arriving at the destination, the yellow car left Sila in front of the Flaming Cloud dojo; the dojo which he currently owned . It looked exactly the same as the last time he visited, except it was a lot cleaner .
Walking up the stone steps that led to the dojo, Sila encountered his teacher sweeping the leaves in the front yard . He quickly approached his teacher and put his palms together to greet him .
“Good morning, Teacher . ”
“Sila, you arrived earlier than I thought . It was only two hours ago that I sent you a message . ”
“I just happened to be free, so I logged out immediately, sir . ” Sila walked over to his teacher . “Let me be the one to clean it, Teacher . It’s my duty . ”
Mora waved his hand . “No need . I’m the one taking care of the dojo right now . ”
“But, it used to be my duty . . . ” Sila paused as Mora asked him to with a gesture .
“Anyway, now that you have arrived, this is not the time to sweep leaves . Let’s enter . I have something to discuss with you . ”
The calm and casual environment of the dojo caused Sila to forget that his teacher had summoned him with urgency . Mora leaned the broom against the wall and proceeded to the inner part of the dojo, while Sila tailed behind . Both of them removed their shoes and entered the room . Mora sat down in a kneeling position with his legs beneath him while Sila sat down across from him in the same style .
“No need to be that serious . I will explain everything later on the way . You are here early so we have some spare time . Let me hear what you have been up to after you began playing the game . ”
Sila was curious about where they would go, but he knew his teacher the most; if his teacher said he would explain on the way, he would only explain on the way, not here . That aside, he was surprised that his teacher wanted to know about his past experiences . In the past, his teacher usually didn’t show interest in his personal matters, to the point that he sometimes felt that his teacher was cold to him . Nevertheless, deep down, Sila knew that his teacher did care about him, though he was still surprised that his teacher asked him to tell the story directly .
Sila explained everything that had happened after he entered the game . He didn’t keep any secrets from Mora . If Sila had to pick someone in his life who he could confide in and absolutely trust, that person was undoubtedly Mora .
Heedfully, Mora listened to everything he told . He sometimes asked Sila about some unclear matters and seemed to be especially interested in Kiryu’s message . At long last, he fell into silence after hearing Sila tell him about his idea of wanting to try using a sword .
“Teacher?” It took Sila more than two hours to tell Mora everything he had experienced in the game . Even though it was a long time, he was glad that he could spend time with Mora . He was willing to continue spending time with his teacher even if he had to sit in his current position all day .
“ . . . Nothing . First, show me Tiger Dragon Qi . ”
“I will . But it will be weaker than in the game . . . ” muttered Sila .
“I’m aware . Try circulating it throughout your body . ”
Closing his eyes, Sila corrected his sitting posture, changing to sit cross-legged . Tiger Dragon Qi slowly circulated throughout his body . Once he was done, he opened his eyes . The power he could feel from the qi was only a tenth of what he felt in the game .
“Not bad . Keep practicing it . In the beginning, I was worried about your inner force, but it’s okay now . This qi art is even superior to our dojo’s Flaming Cloud Qi . ”
“Our dojo also has a qi art? This is the first time I’ve heard about this . ”
“We do . However, Flaming Cloud Qi is a qi that is as hot as a flame and as shapeless as a cloud . If your understanding of inner force is lacking and your body is not strong enough, it will be dangerous for you to cultivate it . I planned to teach you the art over the next four or five years, but not anymore . Teaching you right now will be more than just fine . ”
Listening quietly, Sila felt like his teacher was more open to him . In the past, Mora didn’t even tell him about the name of the dojo .
“Unfortunately, Flaming Cloud Qi is very dangerous and cannot be transmitted from one person to another . You need to learn and cultivate it yourself . This is what you’ll do: continue practicing Tiger Dragon Qi until its level reaches 100 . This will protect you from qi deviation . When that is done, practice Flaming Cloud Qi . I will send the art to your system window . ”
“Is that possible?”
“Sure, why not? It might be a qi art, but it’s just a book with illustrations . If you go to main cities like Grea City, Zhongsuyuan City, or Alkedia City, you will even get to see magazines from our world being sold there . ”
Even though he had been to Grea City, Sila had never visited a bookstore or a news stand .
“There is no problem with your inner force . Next is your martial arts . What do you intend to do about them?”
Sila scratched his head . Being asked suddenly like this, he wasn’t sure how to answer .
“Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, and Nine Sun-Melting-Fists are all great martial arts . I plan to continue practicing them, Teacher . ”
Mora furrowed his brows . The expression of dissatisfaction was clearly shown on his face . “If that’s really your plan, I have to say that I’m very disappointed in you . Sila, do know why I have never taught you any martial moves?”
Realizing that his answer was wrong, Sila felt ashamed . “I don’t know, Teacher . ”
“Other dojos teach their disciples martial moves so that they become martial artists . This is the traditional method; it’s easy to see the progress . On the other hand, I taught you the way of martial artists without teaching you any moves . With this method, you won’t be limiting yourself to fixed movements . You are like a pond that is ready to absorb everything you learn . But, just now, you chose to create a box to limit your thinking . That is why I said I was disappointed . ”
“Does that mean . . . I don’t need to bother practicing martial arts?”
“That’s also an incorrect answer . If you focus too much on qi and neglect martial arts, you will be like an infant with herculean strength; no matter how strong you are, you can’t take down an ordinary adult . ”
“Eh? Practicing is wrong, yet not practicing is also wrong . What should I do, then, teacher?”
“You need to develop your own martial art . The tenet of our Flaming Cloud dojo is ‘Understand the box to think outside the box . ’ There will be no art more suitable for you than the art you create yourself . You should continue to polish your Weapon Subduing Fist . Don’t be so inclined toward other arts . ”
This time, it was Sila's turn to furrow his brows . “But, can my art become superior to those three arts? Each of them is an exceptional art . ”
“You are too naive, Sila . The true form of a martial art is something only the true successor learns . Do you think that Vichien and Sanon have taught you everything about their arts? Even if you continue to practice them, there will be no way for you to utilize Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps as skillfully as Sangdao or use Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws as cleverly as Kawin does . Even Nine Sun-Melting-Fists still has some content that I didn’t write down in the book . ”
“They haven’t taught me everything about the arts? What do you mean, Teacher?” Sila wondered . Sanon was one case, but what did it mean that even Wu Ming (who Mora called Vichien) and Mora hadn’t taught him everything about their arts?
“Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps will show its full potential when used in tandem with Star Ocean Sword Art . These two arts were designed with the intention to be used together . Not to mention Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws . You don’t know its secret martial moves that can bring out the most of its power . In addition, you don’t know its special breathing technique . ”
Sila gaped . This meant, all this time that he thought he was very close to mastering the three arts, he couldn’t have been further from the truth . He wasn’t close to mastering even a single one of them .
“What about Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, Teacher?” Sila wistfully asked .
“The most important features of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists are finger strength and acupuncture points . The illustrations in the book are small so you can’t see the finger movements really well, right? That’s why I said you are still far from perfecting the art . As for the acupuncture points, you need to know that there are three-hundred-and-sixty-five acupuncture points in the human body, and among them, there are forty-eight that are vital . You must build up finger strength and train to use your fingers with great precision, then, remember the positions of all the acupuncture points . For the record, the position of acupuncture points in each person can vary slightly based on their figure, muscle, and fat . For this, you need to accumulate experience so you can accurately pinpoint the location of anyone’s acupuncture points . ”
“W-Why does it sound so hard, Teacher?”
“I never told you it would be easy, though I’m absolutely sure you can pull it off . You have built up your finger strength since childhood, so the first hurdle is already cleared . As for the knowledge of acupuncture points, I will send it to you together with the Flaming Cloud Qi book .
“Next is what I’m worried about the most: your way of thinking . Do not think that it’s just a negligible matter . Based on your story, if not for your luck and your quick wit, you would have died at least a dozen times . Your way of thinking won’t just endanger yourself but also those around you . ”
Mora’s statement reminded Sila of Bow . He wondered what would happen to her life . Will she be able to wake up? Will she be able to play around like other children?
“Well, I have no one to blame but myself . For me to teach you the way of a martial artist, I had to cut you from typical sets of ideals and beliefs, so it’s not strange that you lack social skills . For us to fix your way of thinking, it will be hard, but not impossible . ”
“We can fix that?” wondered Sila . Was his teacher so capable to the point that even his habits and way of thinking could be fixed?
“I guess so . Sila, oftentimes in battles, you always imagine yourself as others, right?”
“Yes, sir . When I don’t know which action to take, I often imagine what others would do in my situation . ”
“Just do that even when you’re not fighting . Try to imagine yourself as others and interact with people like you think they would . Give yourself enough time, and you will develop your own way of thinking . How about it? When we put it this way, it’s like practicing arts, don’t you think?”
“Exactly, Teacher! It sounds easier for me to do that . ”
This was something that Montra had done his best to prevent from happening . He had tried to stop Mora from meeting Sila since Mora was the one who could accelerate Sila’s growth; not only regarding martial arts but also his way of thinking . He never thought that, despite his careful planning, in the end Sila ended up meeting Mora with the help of his own father .
“Lastly . . . ” Mora continued when Sila was summarizing all of the advice his teacher had given .
“Is there still more, Teacher? Qi, martial arts, my way of thinking, and . . . Oh! About the sword, right, Teacher?” Sila guessed based on the expression Mora had shown him when he told Mora about his desire to learn how to use a sword .
“Correct . But, before that, let me ask you first . Why does it need to be a sword?”
“Why does it need to be a sword? . . . If you put it like that, I must say I really don’t know, Teacher . I have tried using some weapons, but the sword is the only weapon that I . . . I can’t explain, Teacher . I just get the feeling that my weapon of choice must only be a sword . ”
Mora fell into silence . “Must only be a sword . . . Is it?”
Sila also kept his mouth shut as he knew Mora was about to continue .
“Firstly, let me tell you that Montra must have deliberately left that sword in your hands . He indirectly made you aware of the advantage of wielding a weapon . And once you understood it, he gave you a sword . You must be thinking that it’s your own decision to learn how to use a sword, but, in fact, it’s the decision Montra made for you . ”
“For what purpose, Teacher?”
“For wasting your time . His goal is to win the war, so he will do anything to hinder you, his direct competitor, from growing stronger . He is fully aware that our dojo doesn’t possess a weapon art . With only a short span of time before the war event’s scheduled beginning, you can’t possibly learn to properly use a sword, even when taking your outstanding speed of growth into consideration . Ask yourself . Between continuing to polish your bare hand techniques that are just a few steps below Montra’s, and starting to practice your sword art from scratch, which do you think will make you stronger?”
“Um . . . I . . . ” Sila knew the answer to that question already . He just couldn’t imagine that Montra had planned that far ahead .
“I will ask you again . Give me your honest answer . Even knowing that, are you still interested in learning how to use a sword?”
Pondering for a moment, Sila recalled his feeling when he learned martial arts . He really loved practicing martial arts; it made him feel like there were many ways in which he could improve . Nevertheless, no feeling was similar to when he touched a sword for the first time . At that time, the sword wasn’t just a weapon, it was a fundamental part of his life that had always been missing . It was an inexplicable, mysterious feeling that Sila couldn’t put into words .
“Yes, Teacher . Even knowing that, I still want to learn how to use a sword . ”
Staring into the depth of his disciple's eyes, Mora stood up .
“Wait here . ” Then, he left .
Feeling regretful, Sila was sure that his answer disappointed Mora . Even though his teacher attempted to warn him, he still stubbornly wanted to try a sword .
After a short while, Mora came back and placed two things in front of Sila . One was covered by an oilcloth, and the other was an old brown book that looked quite weathered .
“From now on, they are yours . . . No, to be exact, they were yours from the very beginning . I was just safeguarding them . ”
Unwrapping the oilcloth, Sila discovered a long, double-edged sword within . It was an ordinary-looking sword with a standard ratio, and though it looked plain, Sila felt that it was, in fact, far from ordinary . His mind became calmer once he touched its hilt .
As Sila held the sword, Mora explained, “I won’t prohibit you from learning how to use a sword, but the sword Montra gave you doesn’t suit you . Remember the shape, appearance, size, and weight of this sword, then find a similar one to use in the game . ”
Sila picked up the book nearby . It turned out to be a book containing a sword art . The title of the book was Heaven's Decree Sword Art .
“Heaven’s Decree Sword Art was designed to be used with the Sila Sword . Although the sword looks ordinary, it’s the ultimate sword, second to none . ”
T/N: Sila Sword a . k . a . Stone Sword .
“Sila Sword? What a coincidence . Its name and mine are alike,” Sila said half-jokingly .
“It’s actually you who was named after it,” Montra indifferently said .
Sila was about to ask his teacher what that meant, but there was a knock on the front door of their dojo . Turning his head, he saw a man in a suit standing in front of the already-opened door .
“Mister Mora . The car has arrived, sir . ”
“Let’s go,” replied Mora, and the man in a suit bowed at him before walking away .
Mora said to Sila, “I will keep this sword for you . As for the book, I will scan it and send it to you in the game . ”
After he went to store the sword in his room, Mora returned to Sila . Together they left the dojo and approached the limousine waiting outside . As the man from before spotted them, he put on a cap and opened the door for them .
“Don’t forget what I said, Sila . If you do what I told you, even Montra won’t be your match . ”
“But, Teacher, you told me to do many things; Completing my own martial art, training qi, studying acupuncture points, and learning the sword art . I’m afraid that I can’t do all of them with what time I have left . I will probably let you down . ”
Mora showed him a gentle smile while stroking Sila’s head . “That’s the main reason why I told you to meet me today . Get in . I will explain on the way . ”
Both of them entered the luxury car and the driver sat down in his seat .
Realizing that his teacher could find a solution for every problem, even the ones which Sila deemed impossible, Sila began to think that maybe his teacher was more amazing than he had ever imagined .