The sun had set; darkness enveloped the streets. The street lamps were turned on, lights streamed down. The houses on the street have lights on in some rooms. Time itself seemed to have stopped, there was no sound. The laws of this world had stopped working. Everything is suspended in time, not moving one bit.
Suddenly, lights streamed down from the sky. It disappeared within a few moments, leaving behind a young boy in his teens. The boy looks to be around high school age, he has black hair and eyes like the night sky, deep blue.
The very moment the boy appeared, time started to move forward again. The laws of the world started working. Sounds of cricket creaking rang out softly in the background. Sounds of people talking could be heard from the houses.
Nobody was on the street the boy was currently on. He was standing there motionless for several seconds, all alone. His head tilted up, looking to the night sky.
'I'm finally back' Ren thought inwardly, still staring at the sky. A few stars are glistening in the night sky. Well, few compared to the night sky of Mirkaz. In Mirkaz just by casually looking at the sky at night, you'd be able to see hundreds of stars, way more than the stars that could be seen on Earth.
Ren turned his head down to look at his hands; it is clean and soft like that of a newborn baby. This is his new body or more accurately, his Avatar. This avatar only has a small portion of his main body's power, so it could be considered weak in the eyes of a Saint-tier individual. But in the eyes of the people of Earth, he's still very strong. He estimates his strength to be around Master-tier, which is two tiers below Saint-tier.
Ren started to absorb the mana around him, the mana in the air rushes into his body the instant he allowed it to. Vast amounts of mana pour into his mana pool, filling it in mere seconds.
"Such dense mana" He said out loud, a little surprised. 'The mana here is a hundred times denser than that of Mirkaz, that's a hundred thousand years of untouched mana for you' He thought inwardly, impressed by the mana of Earth.
"Let's head home" He uttered, before starting to walk in the direction of his house. He remembers the directions very clearly due to his photographic memory. He has had it since preschool and still has it in his last year of middle school; it's very abnormal to still have photographic memory at the age of 14. The doctor said that it should disappear sometime around high school. But because of the Hero Summoning, his photographic memory was turned into a Unique Skill.
[Unique Skill - Divine Mind]
Now it's stuck there permanently in the form of a skill, which means this avatar of his has an inferior version of his [Unique Skill - Divine Mind], Advance Skill [Perfect Mind]
This skill includes [Perfect Record], [Perfect Recall], [Sharp Mind], [Accelerated Thinking], and [Mental Resisten], which are all Advance Skills that were combined into one skill for easy activations. Some skill needs to be activated to take full effect like [Sharp Mind] and [Accelerated Thinking], these skills have passive effects but they're not very noticeable in everyday life.
He walked through the street, following along the route that he can recall perfectly. Passing by a small candy store he usually went to with his childhood friend, a book store that he stole a bookmark from that one time, a park that he used to play in back in the day, and the gate of a shrine. All those childhood memories, he can still remember them perfectly.
He continued past the shrine gate, crossing a small bridge over a creek. The sound of water flowing envelopes the area, bringing a calming feeling to his mind. He basks in the peace and quiet night, as he walks on at a leisure pace.
After 10 minutes of walking, he finally arrived before a normal modern 2-story house, perfect for the average Japanese family. There's a small metal gate at the front with about 3 meters of space until you reach the front door. Some potted plants can be seen near the front door; his mother has always loved flowers. In fact, if there wasn't a rule that prohibits the planting of flowers in the front part of the house, there would be a flower bed on either side of the walkway.
He pushed the gate open, closed, and locked it before he strolled to the front door. In front of the door, he stood there in silence for a few minutes thinking about how long it has been since he last walked through this door.
The sun was high in the sky when he left the library; he was finishing all of the study material for high school. He thought he might as well read all the books on high school lessons for teachers since he didn't have anything else to do. It took him 2 weeks to read through everything and now he knows how to teach high school students that he can remember perfectly because of his photographic memory.
He knew it was a stupid idea but did it anyway because his pride won't let him quit. Even if it is a stupid idea he powered through it, even though he doesn't have any plan to become a teacher in the future.
"It's a little too early to head back home, let's go for a walk around the mall" He said to himself as he walked briskly towards the direction of the mall. He's been taking a train to visit the library these past 2 weeks and has never looked around this part of the city. He has been holed up in the library from morning to evening every day since 2 weeks ago. He was curious about the mall because it just opened a month ago; it's not like he has something he was looking to buy, just wanting to walk around and see what it has.
'I believe this is what they call window shopping, looking at stuff and not buying anything' He thought, as he looked around a men's clothing store. He left after a few minutes, not buying anything of course.
He walked through the whole mall and looked through all the establishments. It was as expected of a huge mall, there was everything that you would typically think of when you hear the word "mall". There were a huge variety of facilities ranging from clothing stores, beauty stores, restaurants, fast food joints, an arcade, department stores, electronic stores, you name it they have it. There's even a swimming pool and a sports center, they have almost everything you'd need in a mall.
He wasn't planning to stay there for a long time, but he got caught up browsing in a book store. He only noticed the time when his sister texted to ask where he was and by then it was already late into the evening. The mall doesn't close until midnight, so he couldn't use them closing as a reference like he did for the library, which closes at around 5 pm.
When he got to the train station it was dark out already, so he texted his sister saying that he'd be back home pretty late before stepping into the train. He got off at his station half an hour later and started running in the direction of his house. The sky was dark, the crescent moon barely illuminating the streets and the stars didn't help either. Luckily the street lamps lit up the streets, allowing him to see ahead of him.
A 4-way intersection was up ahead, so he slowed to a jogging pace; afraid of running into someone. As he passed a tall man nearing the intersection, the street suddenly lit up with bright light and his vision darkened. When he woke up, he was in the world of swords and magic known by the name Mirkaz.
Now 10 years later, he is continuing on at the very place he got transferred, not even a second had passed. But time has been restored to this world and now he stands at the front door of the house he has lived in for 15 years. Waves of emotions passed through him, droplets of tears trickle down his face.
He feels happy and relieved to finally be able to see his family again. There have been times where he was afraid he wouldn't be able to see them ever again, all those times he'd stay up all night trying to push down those fears that he knew were irrational. But he was never able to fully forget them, even when he was studying magic it would always roam around in the back of his mind. He was only able to keep focusing because of [Divine Mind], he only got through those 10 years without breaking down because of this skill.
Now those fears have been completely washed away, the thing that has been weighing on his mind all this time has been lifted. He can finally keep moving forward with his life; he can finally start thinking about himself and be a little selfish.
He wiped away the tears on his face and a bright smile blooms on his face. But that smile settles down a little before he gently opened the door.
"I'm home" I called out in a light tone. What greeted me upon my arrival is a small figure rushing at and hugging me.
"Nii-san, welcome back!" An energetic voice reaches my ear and I felt the warmth on my chest, it's very comforting.
"You're as energetic as ever, Mitsuo" I said to my little brother as I pull him off of me, he's still in preschool so I can lift him up just fine.
"Why are you home so late? Mommy was really worried about you" Mitsuo questioned me, his eyes filled with curiosity. 'It's not even 8 pm yet, but I guess to a kid it's pretty late'
"I just got caught up with something and lost track of time. Is Dad home yet?" I said, putting him down before asking if our Dad is home. Our Dad usually comes home very late into the night, but today he should be home early.
"Dad got home really early today and he bought a BIG cake" Mitsuo said with a huge smile on his face while spreading out his arms to exaggerate the size of the cake.
"Is that so? Can you show me where it is" I said, slightly amused, and urged him to lead the way.
"I can do it, follow me!" Mitsuo exclaimed in excitement and runs towards the living room.
I chuckled lightly and followed Mitsuo to the living room after taking off my shoes. I walk through the hallway, turned right, and through a door that leads to the living room that is also connected to our kitchen.
In there I see Dad sitting on the sofa watching TV, the local news channel is on and they're talking about a ramen store that supposedly has the best ramen in the city. You know, stuff that isn't important.
"Daddy, Nii-san is back and he wants to see the cake you bought" Mitsuo announced when he got close to Dad then jumped onto the sofa.
"He wants to see it, does he? Well, you'll have to find where it is since I hid it!" Dad played along and looked at me with an evil grin on his face.
"Oh, how will I find it all by myself? Mitsuo, will you help your Nii-san find it?" I acted devastated and requested the aid of Mitsuo on this treacherous quest.
"I'll help! Don't worry Nii-san, I'll find it and show it to you!" Mitsuo said with determination-filled eyes as he rushes off to find the legendary cake.
"Haha, kids these days are so energetic" Dad chuckled a little at the vigor of today's youth.
"I just hope he doesn't burn out before high school" I added on absentmindedly before turning to Dad and continued "It's great that you could make it this time"
"I wouldn't miss this again, considering what happened last time" Dad said, his face darkening a little.
Our house has a "tradition" that was made by our Dad, it was something he thought up one day and now it's become a household tradition. The gist of it is, every year we have a family dinner on the day before the start of a new school year, which is the day before April 1st. He'd buy a cake and Mom would cook a big dinner for us, we'd spend the night talking and bonding over dinner. It's basically our own little family night; this is also the time to ask for anything we kids want, within reasons.
But last year, Dad couldn't make it due to a sudden call from his boss and he had to go back to the office to fix some technical stuff. So we had to go on without him there, it just didn't feel right doing it without him so we just ate dinner and went to bed.
My little sister, Hana was really upset we couldn't have our family night and didn't speak to Dad for a few weeks. Dad was devastated by that and made up for it by taking a day off, to go on a trip to the park for a family day out. She was back to normal after the trip, even a little giddy if from what I remember.
"Well, let's not think about that. I wanted to talk to you about my phone" I changed the subject and went straight to the point. I sat down on the sofa next to him.
"What is it?" Dad asked, a little puzzled before turning the TV off.
"I dropped it somewhere and when I found it, it was like this" I turned to look him in the eyes and told him a half-truth then put an old smartphone that's been bent with the screen severely cracked on the coffee table.
"How did it end up like this?" Dad asked while picking up the broken phone to get a closer look, clearly astonished and very curious as to how it was destroyed this badly. He didn't think for a second that Ren was lying to him; he wouldn't lie about something this insignificant. Their family was far from poor, buying a new phone wouldn't affect their financial situation at all.
"I was as surprised as you are when I found it like that" I told him my honest opinion.
'I'm not lying; I was genuinely astonished as well when I got this destroyed phone back from an apologetic Lily after I lent it to her because she was curious about it. I didn't know how to fix a phone, so I just left it alone since I had more important things to do and never got around to looking into it'
"Well, you can't use a broken one now, can you? I'll drop by an electronic store and get you a new one after I get off work" Dad said while putting the broken phone on the coffee table, and then he took out his phone and snapped a photo of the broken phone.
"What are you going to do with that photo?" I asked, narrowing my eyes a little in suspicion.
"Sending it into the family group chat" Dad answers then proceeded to send the photo into the group chat with the caption "Lol, how it end up like this?" in bold lettering.
"*Sighs* Of course, you are" I sighed and commented. 'I guess that's an American for you'
Dad is American; he came to Japan to start a new life. He has blonde hair and blue eyes but dyed his hair black to fit in with the locals. He married Mom, who has black hair and dark eyes then had me and my younger siblings. I was born with black hair and dark blue eyes, but my two younger siblings got Dad's hair and eye color. We don't look like blood siblings and we get told a lot that we don't look alike, but I know for sure that we're related by blood and that's all the reason I need to ignore other people's opinions. Anyway, I know the real reason he came to Japan, but that's a story for another time.
"Anyway, I'll go freshen up a little" I said while standing up then headed towards the door.
"Call Hana down while you're at it, your mother is almost done with dinner" Dad said before I made it through the door and I just replied with a "Yeah" then headed upstairs.
I went to my room, which is on the right side of the stair, to put away my stuff and picked out a change of clothes. I then headed towards the bathroom that is on the same side as my room and took a quick shower.
'It felt refreshing taking a normal shower; back on Mirkaz I'd just cast a [Clean] spell and I'd be clean for the entire day. Maybe taking a shower every day won't be as bothersome as I thought it would be' I thought while drying my hair with a towel.
I came out of the bathroom wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts with a towel around my neck, you know casual house wear. After I got into my room, I decided to do a little work before going downstairs. My room is pretty spacious, 4m x 4m square room with wooden floors. The door is on the left side of the room, so the right side has a lot more space. On the left side, there is my bed in the corner with the closet next to it. There is my desk in the corner and the bookshelf in the other corner on the right side. In the middle, there is a small round table on top of a dark blue square mat around 0.5m x 0.5m.
I pushed the small table aside and rolled up the mat to reveal the wooden floor. I then started to draw a 3-layer magic circle with mana on the floor, just small enough to fit under the mat. It took me a few minutes to complete it and it cost me 1/10 of my mana pool, but I restored it very quickly by absorbing the mana in the environments. Even though the magic circle is complete, I still needed to activate it and give it a mana source to keep it running indefinitely.
This magic circle only has some simple functions that will affect the entire room; it won't require much mana so a small mana source would be fine. But I decided to think about the future ease of modifications on the magic circle, so I opened my [Personal Box] and grabbed a bag of high-grade magic stone powder. I walked up to the small table and closed my eyes to concentrate and focus on the structure of the table, analyzing it with the Advance Skill [Appraisal].
After I finished analyzing it, I used the Advance Skill [Great Alchemy] to break down the material of the table; turning it into a pile of dust. But soon after that, the magic stone powder in the bag flew out and mixed with the dust. The pile of dust now has magic stone powder in it, thus it will have the function of mana storage. I cast a basic wind spell to gather the dust into the shape of a ball, then used [Great Alchemy] again but this time reconnecting every speck of dust back together and shaping it into the structure of a small round table, turning it into a magic table.
I quickly drew a magic circle on the bottom of the table with the function of absorbing the mana in the room and storing it within the table itself. I then rolled the mat out to cover the magic circle on the floor and placed the now magic table back in its original position. I activated the two magic circles simultaneously and felt the mana in the room getting sucked into the table. The mana on Earth is truly special; the mana in the room that's being constantly absorbed by the table is instantly being replaced by the mana outside, this means the magic circles will keep working endlessly unless I deactivate it myself.
After I was done, I put the bag of high-grade magic stone power back into my [Personal box] then closed it. I cast [Clean] on myself to get the dust off of me, then left my room.
I walked up to the door of Hana's room then knocked a few times before calling out "Hana, dinner's almost ready". I stood there for a few seconds before the door to Hana's room opened. Hana stepped out of her room and closed the door behind her, before turning and looked up at me.
"So, your phone was broken?" Hana asked, her tone was a little cold but that's nothing new. She was a cute and sweet little sister up until 5 months ago, I still can't figure out what I did to deserve this kind of treatment though.
"Were you worried about me?" I asked straightforwardly with a smile on my face. Back in Mirkaz before the phone incident, I looked through my messages and saw that Hana had sent a few texts asking if I was there or if I was okay. From the way the texts were written, I could tell she was worried about me. Even though she doesn't show it, she still cares about me even if sometimes she acts a little cold.
"Worried!? I wasn't worried! What gave you that idea!?" Hana yelled out, her face turning slightly red; she's clearly flustered.
'I guess my little sister is still cute, in a way' I thought inwardly and chuckled a little out loud.
"What's so funny!?" Hana yelled out again, her face turning redder.
"Nothing, I just thought of something funny. Come on; Mom, Dad, and Mitsuo are waiting for us" I dodged the question and started to head downstairs.
"…" Hana stayed silent and just followed me downstairs, her face still a little red.
The family night started and laughter could be heard coming from the Ishia house. While this family was bonding, a pair of eyes watched over them from above. Of course, none of them noticed except a certain boy with black hair and dark blue eyes. He knew where the gaze was coming from, but he left it alone for now and enjoyed this night with his family.
'I'll deal with it later' The boy thought in his mind