Training was very relaxing, for all the effort it required. Maybe it was because of the effort. Richard concentrated on doing his best to move his body. He was glad his arm had healed, because this way he didn’t actually use it and cause pain… and it was useful to have. Plus, he could do this, which got his mind off of the strange things happening in his life.
Richard didn’t particularly find the things he had learned about his family caused him to be sad or angry, but that didn’t mean they didn’t make him feel anything. Mostly it was just confusing because of how much there was to take in, even though Richard knew there were many more details he didn’t have. Combined with what had been going on in his own life, taking some time to clear his thoughts was nice. Otherwise, they just rolled around in a giant ball of confusion, not really going anywhere.
Of course, even when he was physically exerting himself, half of Richard’s thoughts were still free. Fortunately, these thoughts weren’t upset or confused. The part of him that was energy easily took everything that happened in stride, and when something wasn’t really a danger to him, it easily passed on and stopped dwelling on those subjects. Of course, if he was interested in something particular, it would still think about it in the strange way it did. Though, at this point Richard had to admit that it was only strange from the perspective of others, as he had rather grown used to it.
Richard hadn’t seen much in the way of evidence for magic… or ki, or psionics, or whatever it was. Jot had glowed, and his grandmother had mentioned it, but beyond that there was very little. As for people glowing, he analyzed whatever he saw to see if he could find any particular evidence. As he watched Jot and the other Xevaronians spar, he observed them carefully. Unfortunately, this was a fruitless effort. Either they didn’t do anything special, or everything was entirely contained in their own bodies. They looked as normal as ever.
In other places, as Richard started to scrutinize what he saw more carefully, he started to recognize some differences. Although what he saw around people appeared significant, he realized it was generally only a very small amount of energy. However, he also started to notice the different types there were. After viewing a few people from a distance, Richard also realized he saw nothing until he approached closer. It wasn’t that it was faint, but not there at all. Then, Richard realized these particular people weren’t glowing at all. Instead, it was a subconscious way to make him recognize something. He wasn’t sure what it was. However, he could tell that the part of him that was made of energy was actually reaching out to ‘touch’ people, flowing over them. This was true of everyone around him, which is why he could tell some things that mere sight wouldn’t… like the genetic relationship between himself and Susan. Unfortunately, Richard couldn’t figure out what most of the various things he saw meant.
Surveying his friends, Richard saw various things. Jot was still just Jot, with nothing else. Elena had a bit of a glow, but Richard didn’t think it was the same as the small sample of energy that Jot had shown him. He supposed he could ask for another demonstration, but Richard wanted to see what he could figure out on his own first. Besides, Richard supposed there was probably a reason Xevaronians kept their energy locked up. Susan… felt quite normal as well. That was actually a bit peculiar, because Richard’s mother glowed a bit more strongly, and they were genetically the same. Then, there was Hiroshi. His glow was very slight… and wispy. Richard felt it was muted, possibly intentionally.
Instead of wondering about it for a long time, Richard decided to ask directly, when they were alone together. “Hiroshi, I want to ask you some questions. I know that sometimes you blurt things out… I don’t know if they’re necessarily true or not, but I’m going to give you time to prepare yourself… or say you’d rather not be asked.”
Hiroshi pursed his lips, then nodded. “Okay.” He took a deep breath. “Go ahead and ask.”
“Alright, I know you have mentioned being a ninja. We certainly act like that’s a joke, but I also sometimes wonder if it’s true. Are you?”
Hiroshi opened his mouth, then closed it again. After a few repetitions of that, he finally spoke. “No. Of course, if I were a ninja, and any good at my job, I’d say the same thing.”
Richard didn’t find that particular answer particularly revealing… It actually made Richard’s thoughts lean slightly toward him actually being something like a ninja, because of the explanation. On the other hand, Hiroshi could be pretending. He couldn’t tell if Hiroshi was being serious but let his joking side slip through, or was not-so-subtly hinting at the actual truth. “Fine, then do you know anything about magic… or ki, or psionics, or stuff like that?”
Gears were clearly turning in Hiroshi’s head, his jaw moving back and forth, and his head tilting. “Some. Oh wait, do you mean besides in games and movies and stuff?”
“Yes, outside of fiction.”
“Oh, in that case then I’d say a lot… well, maybe a medium amount.”
Richard looked at Hiroshi directly, and they stared at each other for a few moments. “Shouldn’t information of this sort be some kind of secret.”
“Absolutely, but I haven’t told you anything yet.”
“What about the fact that you know something? Wouldn’t that be kept secret too?”
“Yet you still told me?”
“I did. Before you ask, I did it because I trust you… and I am authorized to tell… some people.” Hiroshi stroked his chin for a moment. “Anyway, one of them is now you.”
“…Thanks. What can you tell me then?”
“That… is a big question. I’ll start simple. From my perspective, I use ki… a mostly internal application of energy.”
“So that’s how you’re managing to mostly keep up with the Xevaronians?”
“That’s right. Well, that and the rest of my ninja training.”
Richard half frowned at Hiroshi. He this was going to be an interesting conversation. Hopefully, he’d learn something.