Its a good thing I had proofread these chapters beforehand. Kind of hard to proofread with one eye.

Well anyway, now we get to the meats and juices of using spirit energy, which you know is going to make the story so much better. Kind of rushed through these cause by now Sain and Mina should be more adept at using spirit energy, and Mina will have to return soon so they need to hurry up. I try to get Sain and Mina closer in this chapter as well, considering they should have already been a couple from a long time ago, but they're both blockheads. lol.

Anyway, enjoy.
Chapter 13
We had already been here for two weeks and two days, but we still hadn’t completely mastered the art of raising our energy. Pawe made us do it over and over again considering what he had told us earlier. It wasn’t until another whole day when we finally mastered it. Fortunately enough we weren’t attacked by any more demons. Our energy recovery was pretty rapid as well, but it didn’t regain after only a couple of minutes like Pawe wanted. Meanwhile Pawe began to explain the next part of our training.

“You’re next exercise will not take place until you are able to do a couple of simple tasks. Those tasks will involve having you two form your spirit energy into multiple things. You will learn to mold your spirit energy into a blast, a shield, a weapon, an enhancement, and an after image.”

I was astonished that we could do so many things with spirit energy. Pawe continued his explanation.

“Some of these things will be a bit easier for you, while others will be harder. But don’t worry; this shouldn’t take you more than three days. You two have gone beyond my expectations and progressed rapidly through these obstacles, so this part shouldn’t take too long. First things first, let’s start with the shield or barrier technique.”

“ This one is pretty simple; just gather up the amount of energy you wish to add to the shield, control it, then set the desired dimension by focusing. Once you do that, your barrier should appear around you and you’ll be protected from an attack. However, you cannot change its shape once you form it, so make sure to make it the right size when forming it. It could even envelop more than one person; just remember that it’s all about how big you decide to make it. And one last thing, the barrier is a defensive maneuver, meaning it can only protect and nothing else. You will be stuck inside until you decided to cancel the barrier, so you won’t be moving around. It is a perfect strategy to use to wear down your opponent since they have to keep striking it until it breaks, and it gives you time to gather some energy as well as giving you time to form up a battle plan. It does take up a lot of energy to cast, so don’t rely on it too much. Now begin!”

Mina and I were still now capable of gathering energy without using the hand sign, so we quickly got into our positions. It was way easier to gather energy now that we were doing it on land, but the barrier training was tricky. Gathering the energy was easy enough, it was just the formation of it. Mina managed to do it within two minutes and Pawe smiled and clapped. Meanwhile she smiled and did the peace hand gesture, even though I’m sure she probably meant it to be a V for victory. She always did that whenever she accomplished some sort of task.

After a couple of tries I did manage to form a barrier, but it was odd. It was wobbly and as soon as Mina touched it with her finger, it disappeared almost as if she had touched a soap bubble. Eventually she helped me out with the formation of the barrier, and in no time we were both covered in a transparent barrier. Pawe congratulated us and hurried us to the next task.

“Now you two will form your energy into a blast and shoot some trees around here. The way to do this is to first get your hands or arms into a position that makes it easier to gather immense energy. Once you do that, gather your energy in your palm or palms and once that is done, send it off flying. Try to destroy three trees within the area.”

This seemed simple enough, so we got to the task right away. Mina stretched her arms out in front of her, so I assumed she was going to gather energy with both of her palms and merge it together. I took a different approach. I placed my left hand a bit before my right elbow. Then I held out my right arm in front of me and focused my energy. By putting my left hand under my right arm, I was able to channel energy from my left arm to my right which made the gathering of energy easier and more efficient. Unlike Mina, I wouldn’t have to go the extra step of merging the energy together once I gathered it. Once I had the desired amount of energy, I shot it straight in front, and it hit the tree. However, the tree was unfazed. Instead my blast just disappeared into vapor, and I just stood there with a stupid expression on my face. Why didn’t it work?

“You have to keep focus right after the blast; otherwise the energy will start dispersing once it is launched. Concentrate better!” he yelled as he smacked my head.

I looked over at Mina and she had managed to blast two trees already. She jumped up and down smiling, and I gave her an annoyed look. How was she getting this so easily?

I started on my second attempt and gathered the necessary energy. This time I was going to gather more energy, and retain my focus longer. I was deep in thought and I could feel the spirit energy flowing through my arms almost as if it were blood. Slowly the energy in my right palm grew and grew, until it was just the right size. It was the same size Mina managed to gather; about the size of a cantaloupe. With all my force, I launched the energy straight at the tree and the immense structure just came down with all its might. I was smiling and moved my left hand back and forward, simulating the cocking of a shotgun. Mina saw me and began giggling. She was already done with the exercise and now it was up to me to finish it off. I repeated the task two more times and finished off my part of the exercise. We were flying by this with no ease; surely the last task wouldn’t be so hard. Once we were done, Pawe let us have a break to get us to settle down before the last three exercises.

“These exercises seem to be a piece of cake for you,” I told Mina.

“Well I have been sensing things since I was little, so it’s easier for me to control it. I know you have been struggling through many of the exercises, but you should be proud. You’ve managed to keep up and now we are one step closer to finishing up here,” she explained while smiling.

“For a person with a harsh past you sure do smile a lot,” I said observantly.

She stopped smiling and began to frown. I should watch what I say more, I didn’t mean to hurt her.

“I’m sorry Mina, I shouldn’t have said that,” I began apologizing.

“Don’t worry, it’s not that. Its just…you’re always able to detect whenever I force myself to smile or act happy. And whenever I’m not you’re always saying something like this, which makes me think that you hate it when I am happy. Do you want me to be sad? “

I didn’t know why I was like that, and she had complete reason to think that way since I always said something whenever she was happy. At first it ticked me off for some reason, and I was always sure to tell her that she shouldn’t fake it. And now that she was smiling for real I started with all this.

“I don’t know why I always do that; I’m really sorry Mina.” I said sincerely.

“Haha, I’m just teasing you,” she said nudging me with her elbow. “But you know,” she continued in a more serious tone, “You do always make some sort of remark whenever I am happy. Out of all the people I know, I want you to be the one who will always want me to be happy,” she finished.

“Why is that?” I asked curiously.

“Well, you see…”, she was bumping the tips of her index fingers together while looking at the

ground. “Sain, do you think it’s alright for friends to fall in love with one another, or would it totally destroy the friendship? I’ve never been in love before, so I’m not sure?” she said.

“Wait a minute, are you trying to say…” I began making the connections.

She didn’t say anything. Instead she just continued with her fingers and didn’t look in my direction at all.

“Alright you two, back to training,” Pawe screamed at his. He sure was a buzz kill. In six little words he managed to destroy a whole romantic moment; a girl was about to confess her feelings for crying out loud! In a way I was kind of glad he did that. I was pretty sure of my feelings for Mina and all, but I didn’t know how to handle a confession at the moment.

“Now its time to take care of another one of the techniques and we will master it. The next exercise will be body enhancement, also known as the spiritually imbued body technique or SIB for short. This technique is helpful if you ever find yourself without a spirit weapon and need to take down a large number of foes. If you ever get disarmed, it’s a great technique to resort to. It’s basically the same thing as gathering energy, except you don’t form in into a sphere like the blast technique. Instead you use the energy to imbue a certain body part and let’s you do devastating damage. If you want to perform a deadly blow, just imbue your right fist with energy and your enemy won’t know what hit them.”

This was starting to get interesting. For some reason a smile spread across my face.

“You can also imbue your legs to do some gut wrenching kicks that will knock your opponents out. Both of you have already learned how to gather energy with your hands, but imbuing your body might be difficult. To do this just gather the amount of energy you want and force the spirit energy to envelop whatever you want to imbue with energy. You’ll know it has worked because the imbued body part will begin to glow slightly.”

He went in front of a tree and began gathering energy. In no time his fist was glowing a bright yellowish color. All of a sudden he let out a shout and thrust with his full force against the tree. Instead of breaking in half the tree just started disintegrating slowly. What was with this guy and destroying trees?

Anyway, I was shocked by the effect that a little energy had when added to a fist. This was the technique for me, I needed to master this in no time and surely I would dominate all those who stood in my way.

“Alright, commence your training,” Pawe ordered us.

I was literally smiling as I was completing this one task. I don’t know if it was the excitement or what, but this was one of the only training sessions where I did better than Mina. I gathered my energy and kept taking down tree after tree. Of course it was a bad idea because I ended up wasting a lot of energy and exhausted myself. Mina finished only minutes after I was done, and Pawe just nodded in our direction.

“It seems like I have underestimated the both of you; you’ve managed to learn three of the five techniques in only one day. I’ll let you two have the rest of the night. It’s already dark so you two can rest up, and we might even finish the last two techniques by tomorrow. I’m pretty sure you’ll learn the after image or illusion evade in no time. However, the bulk of our training will revolve around weapon formation, which just so happens to be the hardest of the spirit manipulation techniques. Alright you two, have a great night”, Pawe said as he quickly left us alone. Perhaps he was giving us some privacy to compensate for his interruption earlier that day.

“I can’t believe we’re almost done!” shouted Mina with all her might.

“Yeah but once we learn the last technique what do you think our last test will be?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but Pawe himself said that we were progressing quite smoothly and he even mentioned how he had underestimated us. We’ve grown quite a lot in the last few days, so I’m sure that whatever the last test is, it will be a piece of cake.”

“I hope so,” I added. But knowing Pawe it probably wasn’t going to be so easy.

“When I have to leave for Germany, will you miss me?” Mina asked out of nowhere catching me by surprise.

“Well, of course I will. I’ll have no one to talk to,” I said jokingly.

“Oh… is that the only reason?” she said disappointed.

“Of course not, I’m teasing you. I’ll miss you a lot, mostly because we won’t be able to hang out

together. I’m really going to miss that smile that used to annoy me so much,” I said.

“Well, I guess I better smile as much as I can for now, you know, to make up for the time we’ll

be missing together.” She said.

“I better enjoy every minute of it then,” I continued flirting.

We ended up talking about other stuff and continued flirting unlike we had done before, and it was really fun. We weren’t very good at it; I suppose it was a first time for her as well. By the time we were tired it was already night time and we got ready to go to sleep. I was surprised that Pawe didn’t show up to separate us like he had done so many other times. Mina suggested that we sleep together like that day after our second training. I didn’t disagree, so I laid my back against the nearest tree and got comfortable. Meanwhile Mina sat right next to me and laid her head on my chest. I rested my head on hers and pretty soon we were fast asleep. It was time to replenish ourselves because the next day we were going to need it.