"Uch... I still can't break any of these stones.", the boy lamented. "At this rate, I won't even be able to break through to the next rank..."
As the boy contemplated his doom, he laid down on the ground dreaming.
"If only... Father was still here. I could ask him how I should train.", the boy murmured.
"Guo Wei ge ge? Where are you?", a female voice sounded out.
"Ah over here! Xiao Qing, why are you here?", the boy asked.
"Mother needs to see you. Also, I wanted to make sure you were ok and didn't pass out again like last time", Xiao Qing pouted.
"Oh haha... I won't pass out again. Let's go back to the house.", Guo Wei said.
"Okay~", Xiao Qing said while brightly grinning.
The two walked back slowly enjoying the sunny day, looking at the scenery, and gossiping about the other people in the clan.
"We're here mother! Where are you?", Guo Wei said as he stepped into the house.
"Ah Guo Wei, good you're here. I'm in the living room. I have something important to tell you.", his mother, Guo Yue, said while sitting down in her chair.
"Mother what is it?", Guo Wei inquired while Xiao Qing and him sat down in their chairs.
"I'm going to be blunt with you Guo Wei. Run away.", Guo Yue quickly retorted.
Guo Wei's face turned stony. "Why mother? Is it because I will bring shame to our family by only reaching Symbol Student?", he cried out.
"No, of course not my dear son, I would prefer you stay with me forever, but as your father decreed...", Guo Yue paused to look at the chair at the head of the table, "He told me if you don't reach Symbol Student by fourteen, you would have no chance left and to run before they make you do servile labor for the clan for the rest of your life."
"...", Guo Wei thought about this for a while and said, "Why run though? Can't I just say I'm going on a walk and leave forever?"
"No, once a child reaches fifteen and have not reached Symbol Student, they are watched by the guards even when they leave to prevent escape from the clan.", Guo Yue replied.
"I see. I really don't want to work as a servant for the rest of my life, but can I even survive out there by myself?", Guo Wei finally said.
"I don't know Guo Wei, but you must escape, as that will be your only way to freedom and power. If you don't, you'll be kept here forever.", Guo Yue gravely said.
"Ok mother! I will leave in three nights, when our coming of age festival begins. That will be when the guards will be most lax.", Guo Wei decided, "However I think I need to start some preparations now, so I'll leave now."
"Okay Guo Wei, I'll try to get you some supplies for your journey, but I can't do much to help. Sorry.", Guo Yue looked down ashamed.
"Mother it's ok, you're trying your best for me and even father is after he died. I'll be fine", Guo Wei said trying console her.
"Ok I'll believe in you! Go forth.", Guo Yue looked up and nodded.
He nodded back and felt a tug on his arm.
"Guo Wei ge ge, are you really going to leave?", Xiao Qing said on the verge of tears.
"Sorry Xiao Qing... A weakling like me can't stay here or I'll be in servitude forever...", Guo Wei sorrowfully replied.
"I'll protect you Guo Wei ge ge, please don't leave!", Xiao Qing cried.
"Now now, Xiao Qing, don't be so selfish. Guo Wei wants to be cool and what guy would want to be protected by a guy?", Guo Yue smiled.
"Mother! Please don't tell her things that she can misunderstand. I just think she's safer here and I want to get stronger so we can stand side by side.", Guo Wei frantically spouted.
"Uh huh. Sure Guo Wei. Of course.", Guo Yue smirked.
"Guh...", Guo Wei groaned as he turned toward Xiao Qing.
Xiao Qing looked a bit shocked. Then to Guo Wei's surprise, she laughed a bit and wiped away her tears.
"I'll wait for you Guo Wei ge ge, so come back strong and hopefully soon.", Xiao Qian smiled.
"Yes of course.", Guo Wei replied, "I will not let you down."
"Oh my, oh my. What a thing to say Guo Wei.", Guo Yue grins.
Guo Wei's face instantly reddens. "Mother, you are so cruel..."
"Teehee.", Guo Yue giggles.
"I'll be taking my leave now Guo Wei ge ge. See you soon.", Xiao Qing said while holding back her laughter.
"See you soon Xiao Qing.", Guo Wei replied with his face in his hands.
After, Xiao Qing left and Guo Yue gave Guo Wei supplies. They said their goodbyes and Guo Wei ran to the mountains to start preparing. He took out his supplies and noticed a folded paper.
"Remember I will always love you and will always wait for you to return. Take care Guo Wei.
Love, Guo Yue, your doting mother.
P.S. Try not to let your lust rule over you and there's a scroll in the box to help you."
"Haha, even in these situations mother...", Guo Wei said as his voice wandered.
"Wait for me you two! I'll come back better and stronger and show you how powerful I really can be!", Guo Wei proclaimed to the sky.
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