Author's note: part 1 of side story #2! enjoy!


Hmm... So this way doesn't work either huh? Looking at the mana that he had tried to fuse with his body fade away instead of fusing with it, a disappointed expression appeared on his face.
Reborn once more, Zaran had been born into a noble family that solely consisted out of mages. While cultivating ki was possible in this world, he had never been able to progress his cultivation. The day his parents found out that he was cultivating ki, they had punished him severely and when they caught him for the second time, the punishment was even more severe than the last.
To this day, cold shivers ran through his spine as he remembered the beatings he had gotten. Still he did not give up... and was caught a third time. This time he did not get a beating as it had proven to be worthless. Instead, one of his parents of a servant of his parents continuously guarded him, during the whole day and whenever they saw that he started cultivating ki, they would intervene and disrupt his cultivation, which caused him to be unable to cultivate ki.
So with ki out of the question, Zaran started to faithfully practice magic and cultivate mana, something he had not done prior to this reincarnation. Seeing their son so immersed in their studies, his parents finally were happy with him. However unbeknownst to his parents he wasn't studying magic that thoroughly to become a powerful mage, but to become a mage knight, so far something that did not exist within this world. The first thing he had to do was find out a way to enhance his body with magic, which is why he had tried to fuse magic with every single cell of his body to strengthen it. He had tried various techniques that worked to infuse ki within cells but found every single one of them to be useless, causing him to have to start from scratch.
With his knowledge being solely focused on ki cultivation, he found his road to becoming a mage knight to run into a dead end. Initially he had tried to find ways to do so by himself but after a few days of fruitless effort, found himself unable to do so with his limited knowledge of magic. Thus he threw himself in the study of magic!
Every free minute of every day he had was spent rigorously training spells, increasing his knowledge over magic and mana and trying new ways to fuse mana with his cells! Of course his parents had figured out what he was trying to do and had talked to him about it, but to their question he just gave a simple answer. "Knights can infuse ki within every single cell of their being, along with having ki in their dantian which lets their power soar to tremendous heights. Mages are able to achieve the same amount of power by solely relying on their mana seed, just think about the power one could gain if mana filled every cell of their being! It is for this reason that I am trying to think of a way to do so!"
His parents were satisfied with his explanation and left him to his own devises, but still made sure to watch over him, just in case he tried cultivating ki again. What Zaran did not know is that behind his back, his parents too started researching ways to fuse mana with their cells! Alas his parents soon found out that they had progressed too far along the path of cultivation and the power of their mana made them unable to fuse mana with their cells and they ended up destroying the cells instead. Seeing that they were unable to achieve the much longed for result, they gave up and just encouraged their son on his research and taught him as much as they could.
Zaran jotted a few notes down in a scroll next to him, closed it and stood up. The servant that had been watching over him immediately came running. "Is there anything I can help you with young master?"
"Prepare me a bath." Zaran said, stretching his body, which was sore from being in the same position for hours upon hours. He had seated down and started cultivating at breakfast, then when the sun was at its highest position in the sky he had switched to fusing mana with his cells and only when the sun was halfway down again did he finally stop practising.
The servant made a few double-handed incantations and a blue coloured bird flew through the door, signalling another servant to prepare a bath.
Soon after, the servant escorted him to the bathtub. Zaran ordered the servant to leave, undressed himself and lied down in the bathtub. Even though he had commanded the servant to leave, he knew that he was still being watched and at this point... he did not even care about it anymore. It had been years since they started watching him and they would not ever call the servants off.
Within seconds of entering the bath, he started muttering to himself. "Ah..  I thought  I could find a way! But it seems hopeless! This world is so cruel!"
Some time passed and Zaran raised himself so he sat up right in the bath, his two arms lying on the frame of the bath. Water droplets rolled down on his arms and slid down into the water.
Looking at the water droplets on his skin, realization struck him, soon followed by his own hand striking his cheek. He crazily laughed as an incredibly elated expression appeared on his face. "Wrong! So wrong! I have been going about this the wrong way the entire time! With the way I was doing it it never would have worked. Why did I even start off with thinking that mana and ki are the same? They are not! Of course the same methods would not work. If ki is like a fluid then mana is something solid! My mana and my cells don't need to fuse... no... they couldn't even if I tried my whole life! Unless ... unless it becomes a container! What I need to do is make every single one of my cells contain a mana seed!"
The sudden flash of insight on a mere droplet of water! Still, there was one big problem that he was currently faced with. How in the hell was he going to have his cells contain a mana seed. He had no idea how to even create one as he was born with one and in the academy they had never touched on the subject. "Hmm... I will ask my parents if they know of a way and if they don't, I'll ask them to gather any and all research they can find concerning mana seeds!"
A look of determination appeared in his eyes. He'd get right to it! But first... he needed to get dressed!
"Attend to me!" Zaran yelled.
Seconds later two young maidens came running through the door and helped Zaran out of the bath. The youngest of the two's face flushed as she saw Zaran's male parts upon which the other one gave her irritated glance and then went on with her work. The two servants wiped him clean of every single droplet of water and dressed him in his black bathrobe. Zaran pulled both maidens close, kissed both of them on their lips and happily ran out of the room. The two maidens looked at each other in confusion as they saw Zaran running of.
Zaran pushed open the door to the study where both his parents were absorbed in their own studies of magic and he coughed a few times to get their attention.
His father looked up from the book he was absorbed in and noticing Zaran's happy expression, asked with expectation. "Were you successful?"
"No! But it won't be long! I was thinking about it the wrong way the entire time, mana doesn't need to be infused within my cells, my cells need to fuse with mana seeds! And to be able to do that I need to know everything you know about creating mana seeds!"
"Eh... sure?" Still trying to make sense of Zaran's words, his father stood up and grabbed a few books from one of the nearby bookshelves. He looked around a few other shelves, but did not find the books he was after. "Darling, where are the other books on mana seeds?"
"Hmm, mana seeds? Why do you need books about that?" Looking up from the tome she was studying, his mother looked at his father, before looking at Zaran and then muttering. "Oh."
She stood up and walked towards the back of the study, where there sat a few dusty chests in which they kept the books that they didn't deem important or interesting to read, even for future generations of their family. After rummaging through them for a while, his mother returned with five books, two tomes and three scrolls. "Along with the books your father has, this is all we have on mana seeds."
"If one of you two is free could you help me gain a basic understanding of them?" Zaran carefully asked. He knew that unless one of the two was guarding over him they would barely have any time for him at all. With both of his parents being teachers at the academy, they had a high need to continuously increase their own knowledge concerning mana and magic.
His parents looked at each other, both shaking their head a bit. "I am sorry hun, both of us don't have time at the moment. However, I have time in an hour or two... You can start on this scroll in the meantime." Said his mother with her sweet voice, while handing him one of the scrolls. "Servants!"
The two young maidens quickly entered the room and both his parents handed the books to the servants. "Carry these to Zaran's room!"
"Yes milady!" Both of the maidens said at the exact same moment, before turning around and taking their leave.
"I will see you in a while then, mother." Smiling, Zaran too turned around and left the room.

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