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Author's note: I try to make these chapters short and wrap it up quickly but... I can't. In aprox 1-2 chapters this side story will be over. Depends on how long the next chapter is. Anyway, there's a good thing about this side story: while the main story's main plot line is set in stone, the minor plot points are things that tend to slightly change as I get to them and the extra time I have now gives me more time to work them out. 

Enjoy

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"Ugh! No that is NOT what happened you big I-D-I-OT!" Scolding him for the millionth time, Florance let out a weary sigh. While this guy in front of her could remember and learn any spell extremely easy and was great in magic theories, he was beyond hopeless in all the other subjects. "How did you ever pass the first year..."

"Eh... I aced magic studies, magic control and magic theory and just got as much as I could on the other courses which was more than enough to pass. It's not like I need to know the history of magic to be a good mage right? "

While she thought he had a point there, Florance could not let the matter go. "Well... you have a point. But history for example is there to learn from mistakes we humans have made in our past, so it would still be good for you to pay attention to it. If you'd take the time to listen during the other courses, you'd realize that every single one of them does teach you something important. Moreover, with your current results, no matter how good of a mage you might be, you'll always be an idiot in the eyes of others. Is that what you want?"

Raising two of his fingers, Zaran coldly replied. "One, I do not care in the least what people think of me. If they think I am an idiot for not paying attention during some classes that actually do NOT teach you anything important at all, it is them who are the idiots. Compared to others I actually spent my time in those classes far better as I am either cultivating or improving my knowledge on magic theories."

"Two, people will always make the same mistakes as others have made in the past. No matter how much you teach them of history, do you think people will stop murdering for power or money?  The only thing that can make people stop making the same mistakes is to forget about power and money all together. Alas what is the first thing we learn when we get brought into life? Hey cultivate to the top and you will have money and power! Otherwise you'll amount to nothing and people will abuse you  everywhere you go."

Florance was drowned in her thoughts after Zaran finished speaking. He had raised quite a few valid points there. While she did not approve of them herself, she did feel that what he said had some credibility. Moreover this idiot in front of her almost literally told her that studying as hard as she was was pointless. She glared at Zaran and scolded him. "Regardless of how you feel about it, as long as I am your tutor you will have to study the subjects!  Let's start from the beginning."

A few hours passed with Florance teaching Zaran everything all over again. When she was finally done, she asked Zaran about the main points she had touched upon in the past few hours and found that he was able to perfectly answer them, without missing a single word of what she had said.

"You... You..." Florance was fuming. He had been making fun of her the whole time? "You asshole! You can remember it so easily? Why do you make me waste my time teaching you if you can remember it from a single glance or lecture!?!?"

"Like I said I just don't care about it and chose to forgot immediately after you said it... Now I just chose to not forget."

She stared at Zaran in disbelief. "Say WHAT!?"

"I can remember every word you say if I choose to do so, I just chose not to. Oh, as for the making you waste your time, I already said multiple times that I don't care and that you don't need to bother teaching me. You're the one that keeps wanting me to remember against my will."

Florance glared at Zaran and threw her history book at him.

Zaran easily caught the book and laid it down on the table. "Oi calm down!"

Those words of Zaran made Florance even angrier and Florance's eyes look as if she was ready to kill. "Calm down? Calm down? You want me to just calm down? Do you know how much time I have wasted on you?!?! Have you even thought about it or considered that?"

"You're right." Shrugging, Zaran calmly spoke. "If you calm down I will tell you about the research I've been doing in the past year."

Unable to contain her curiosity, she agreed to Zaran's proposal. "... Fine." She had been told that Zaran was just a mere junior apprentice a year ago and after his studies he had become a disciple. Such a progress in strength was absolutely monstrous and she had wanted to ask about his research a few times prior. However, asking about someone's research if they hadn't shared it was not done and thus she could only silently wait until he began talking about it.

Zaran smiled and waited for Florance to calm down. He had guessed she was curious about his research, otherwise there was no way she would've kept up with his antics in the past few days. He found it quite remarkable that she was able to put everything besides her even though he hadn't ever promised that he would share his research. Even though Zaran was not going to let her know the details, he still was going to share quite a bit about his experiences in the past few months.

Unfortunately for Florance without details she had no hopes of accomplishing what Zaran had done. Even if she started researching a way to fuse a mana seed into cells herself, it would take her at least ten times as long as it had taken Zaran. Plus, she needed to have the same insight as him and as it was a mere coincidence that he thought of it, it was very unlikely that she would be able to experience the same thing.

"Well basically, when I was young I watched a procession of knights. I was so entranced with them that I decided that I would become the strongest knight in history, whatever the cost might be! Of course my parents were far from okay with that. After they caught me a few times cultivating ki in secret I ended up with my shadow that you're already very familiar with. So with cultivating ki out of the question I threw myself in cultivating mana but... The ki I had cultivated kept me from properly cultivating mana, which is the reason why I was still a junior apprentice last year."

"Only after I cleansed my body of ki, did my cultivation of mana finally start progressing like normal. However after having cultivated a little bit of ki, I felt that cultivating mana was a little lackluster. Why could I only cultivate a little mana seed in my body? Why couldn't I do the same as a ki cultivator, using my whole body as a vessel for mana. Ki cultivators have their dantian but they also spread ki throughout the rest of the body, but apparently we magicians can't? That sat wrong with me and thus in the last year I have tried time and time again to find a way that allowed me to do the same as ki cultivators. Eventually after a miraculous insight, I found a way to do so.. And well the result is me progressing from a junior apprentice to a disciple in a mere four months time."

Zaran had obviously lied about part of the story, something he had become very familiar with over all his lifetimes. He had become so used to lying and acting like someone else or acting like he was something which he was not. Some times Zaran even wondered if his real self was just another act that he had just forgotten to stop... The only thing he had never forgotten however, was that he was a sword cultivator by heart. Even though he still felt that there were quite a large amount of mysteries concerning the sword that eluded him. He and the sword would never be able to be separated for all too long. 

Florance looked at Zaran with shocked and curious eyes. She wasn't satisfied yet with that tidbit of information and wanted more... she wanted to know everything, forgetting that she really was in no position to ask any more. "Tell me more! How'd you do it."

"I can't tell you that. It's my research. I shouldn't even have told you as much as I did. By the way just a friendly reminder but do not start researching this as you'll very much need the miraculous insight that I had. It's not something you can just think off straight away."

"Meh..." Florance pouted and playfully glared at Zaran. "Tease!"

"Heh." Zaran grinned and leaned back with his two hands supporting the back of his head. "At least you're calm now."

"I will make you tell me all about it someday!" Glaring at Zaran, Florance stuck out her tongue and ran out of the room.

"We'll see about that!" Yelling after her, an amused smile appeared on Zaran's face. She's quite fun to tease.
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NianKaraz

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