Chapter 32 – Father’s Worries
A/N – This chapter is from the 3rd person point of view.
“My boy …… Sei …… might be a genius.”
“What, bushwhacking. I said you were the one who should bring it up once in a while, I didn’t say you should brag about it.”
In a wooded area deep in the mountains, two men were waiting in a simple tent that was camouflaged so that they would not be seen by others.
This time, the target would not appear unless several natural conditions were met.
In such a case, they would have to stay overnight while keeping watch from a distance.
“Well, I’m too busy to listen to you. You must have been a pretty stupid parent yourself.”
Hiding with Tsuyoshi is Shiraishi, an Onmyoji with whom he often teams up on elimination missions.
His gradient technique goes well with Tsuyoshi’s summoning technique, and they have many opportunities to talk in the simple tent.
While Tsuyoshi senses the search reports coming from the Shikigami, he expresses a thought that he has been harboring for the past three years: “I want to be a part of the team that can destroy the enemy”.
“At first I thought it was parental favoritism, too. But Sei’s growing up too fast.”
“It’s your first, right? Children grow up too fast, you know.”
Shiraishi, who has a son five years older than Sei, said so.
He felt the same way himself, but in the end he was just a silly parent.
He later realized that it was just because it was his own child that he thought of him as special, and that he was just average in terms of growth.
“He started walking at eight months. He skipped the grabbing and started walking suddenly. I was looking for a walker and didn’t need one anymore.”
“That’s pretty fast. Is he athletic or just mischievous? But you should not use a walker because it may interfere with the development of the baby’s lower body.”
“We’ll talk about that later.”
Tsuyoshi was quietly upset that he had allowed Yuya to use his walker.
“The physical growth still makes sense. But he started watching the Onmyoji Channel when he was one year old and already seems to have memorized most of the content.”
“Wow, he’s very studious. I want my son to watch it too.”
Shiraishi’s son started watching the program when he was 4 years old and hasn’t finished watching the latest episode yet.
He inevitably gets bored halfway through and goes outside to play, or he watches it but forgets the content because he has no interest in it.
Still, it is a good content to dip one foot into the world of Onmyoji at a young age, and it has become quite famous in the Onmyoji world.
It is more appreciated by adults than children.
“And in less than two years, he was able to make talismans.”
“What? Your eldest son is not yet four years old, right? That means you started teaching him about Onmyoji when he was two?!”
“Oh, he wanted me to teach him, so I gave it a try and as you can see ……. He succeeded in infusing spiritual power in one shot, quickly learned to fly talismans, and was able to draw the ten basic types of formation in no time.”
“And he writes better than me,” a fact he couldn’t say because his pride got in the way.
Shiraishi was truly astonished.
Not only did he have the memory to memorize Onmyojutsu in no time at all, but his ability to concentrate all the time at his writing desk at the age of two, when he was in the prime of his playing years, was extraordinary.
Shiraishi was envious of the difference between his own son, who would go outside to play whenever he had the chance, and his son, who spent most of his time at his desk.
“No wonder that you said he is a genius. That makes me want to be proud of you. You don’t look too happy about it ……, what’s up?”
If he were bragging, he would have an uncontrollable smirk on his face, but his intense face has a somber expression.
“I am…. worried because he is only three years old but he doesn’t act childlike.”
Clumsy and awkward, Tsuyoshi managed to put his feelings into words while stumbling.
He showed great interest in his father’s work, never bothered his mother, took better care of his younger brother than his father, never repeated himself if you warned him, and never showed any need to be spoiled by his parents unless you told him to be selfish.
The birth of Yuya has made him realize once again the uniqueness of Sei.
“He is mature in speech and can already converse with adults. While I was away from home on business, he practiced by himself without anyone telling him to, and learned the letters and Onmyojutsu in no time. I heard that he rarely cried at night. He really is a very hands-off child.”
“That’s an enviable problem. Usually, parents would cry and rejoice if their children behaved like that. I can’t imagine him practicing Onmyojutsu on his own.”
Practicing Onmyojutsu is a tedious process.
It is physically and mentally exhausting, consuming spiritual power, learning the shapes of the formations by writing letters and learning the ritual techniques.
There is no place to demonstrate the skills they have acquired, and they do not realize the fruits of their labor until the day they are able to follow their parents as apprentice Onmyoji practitioners.
This is why there is a constant stream of children who have inherited the gift of Onmyoji but choose another path.
“I didn’t understand until I became a parent, how hard it is to teach Onmyojutsu to my children. But you still have to teach them, even though it’s a pain in the ass. I can now see how great school teachers are.”
Both Tsuyoshi and Shiraishi have memories of Onmyoji education starting at the age of four and of crying and running away from it.
To draw one basic formation, they had to memorize 50 different kanji characters. There was no way they could keep up if they were told to memorize kanji that they did not know the meaning of as well as the shapes of the formation.
Even so, if you don’t learn them early on, you will never be proficient enough to use them in battle. If they do not become proficient, they will lose their lives in times of emergency.
That is why parents desperately try to get their children to practice. The child hates Onmyojutsu even more and runs away from it. This is an offensive and defensive battle that can be seen in many families.
“That’s why I don’t understand Sei’s thoughts. I can’t explain it just because of his quiet nature.”
A son who is my own child, but is so different from himself and so talented.
A son who is so talented that he can master in an instant the skills that it took him more than half a year to master.
He felt an inexpressible sense of discomfort at seeing his son grow up so differently from himself.
He could not talk about this even to his wife.
This is because he has a strong personality that broods over things alone.
Shiraishi could not help but think, “What is he talking about?”
“You know, a child can’t be a carbon copy of you in every way. Half of it is the mother’s blood. It is not strange that a Onmyoji genius was suddenly born by a genetic miracle. The environment and times are different, so it’s natural that they don’t understand our ideas. Still, we have not forgotten what our parents taught us. Raising children means passing on those important lessons, don’t you think? Well, I don’t really know what I’m talking about, because I leave it to my wife to raise the kids.”
Although Shiraishi has a rather lax personality, his words as a senior dad touched Tsuyoshi’s heart.
Tsuyoshi recalled what his parents, who passed away early, had taught him. He failed to successfully inherit Shikigami, but thanks to his parents’ discipline and education, he is now able to behave as an adult.
He realized that he is the person he is today thanks to having followed his parents’ backs.
And he also realized that for Sei, that back was his own.
“…… I see. It’s natural that they don’t understand.”
“Even parents don’t understand it easily, that’s why they came up with the phrase ‘be the greatest understanding person for your child.’ As long as you try, that’s all that matters.”
The anxiety that had been clamping down on Tsuyoshi’s heart was suddenly dissolved.
It was nothing to worry about; it was the kind of worry that could be solved by talking to someone.
“I’ll buy you a drink sometime.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
There was no movement of targets as the moon dipped.
The educational discussion continued for a while during the tedious waiting period.
“I’m worried about the part where he only plays by himself at the park and never plays with anyone else.”
“Maybe he’s just too intelligent to hang out with people his own age because their intelligence levels are too different, or something like that.”
According to what Reika told him, Sei does not try to make friends. That frankly worried them.
Despite the fact that he gets along well with his childhood friend Kana, he only plays by himself at the park, and there was concern that he might be too shy.
“Well, then, isn’t this upcoming get-together a great opportunity? It’s a gathering of kids their own age, and maybe he will find at least one person he would be comfortable with.”
It was a get-together hosted by the Abe family, one of the three major Onmyoji families in Japan.
The invitation to this party was also sent to the Kyobe family.
The Shiraishi family had not received it and had only heard about it.
“Don’t worry about your son all the time, you should work on your interactions too.”
In the end, the target did not show up that night, and the two decided to spend another night there.
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