Khan came out of Doctor Parket's office with many unanswered questions in his mind. He had learnt quite a lot from that conversation, but he still felt like a foreigner to the world of mana. , 'That was a lot,' Khan summarized in his mind. 'The attunement must reach fifty percent to become first-level warriors, I should avoid synthetic mana, and the meditations might become painful from now on.' , Doctor Parket didn't say anything about mages, but he sent Khan away before the conversation could reach that topic. Still, he had also revealed a path that didn't involve the Global Army. , 'Did he ask me to avoid the Global Army due to the weak martial arts?' Khan wondered while Martha waved at him from the other end of the corridor. 'Or is there something else?' , Khan didn't have the answers to his doubts, but he didn't let those thoughts distract him from his next task. He had to visit the prison of the camp, but he needed a plan first. , 'Carl Dyester might give me the chance to learn a good martial art,' Khan thought as the memories of his short interaction with the soldier appeared in his mind. , Khan wasn't completely aware of that, but he had developed a keen instinct in judging people after spending years in the Slums. He had a few theories about Carl, and none of them depicted a favorable situation. , 'He has definitely suffered a terrible loss on Istrone,' Khan thought. 'He even seems to despise normal recruits. I don't know if he hates their wealth or their inexperience, but my money is on both.' , A plan slowly developed in Khan's mind, and he sighed when he understood that no lies would work. Carl seemed the type of soldier who would respect a direct approach, but Khan had to go past that to become his disciple. He had to create a connection between their traumatic experiences. , "Can you hear me?" Martha shouted while waving her hand in front of Khan's face. , "I was thinking," Khan explained after snapping back to reality. "I need to go to the prison of the camp. That might be my best chance to avoid the bad martial arts of the army." , "Sure," Martha shrugged her shoulders. "Let's go." , Martha began to walk toward the exit of the medical bay, but Khan promptly grabbed her arm to stop her. The girl turned to show a confused expression, and an explanation soon reached her ears. , "I need to see Carl Dyester," Khan whispered. "He was a Major on Istrone. That's where your grandfather died, right? I don't think you should be there." , Martha froze for an instant when those words reached her ears. Khan was asking her to remain behind due to her connection with Carl. He had the chance to exploit their friendship for his benefit, but he had decided to warn her instead. , "One more reason for me to come, right?" Martha snorted while freeing herself from Khans' grasp and turning toward the exit. "He might get all sentimental if I'm there." , Khan scratched his head when he saw the girl walking toward the exit. Martha sounded pissed for some reason, even if he had done the right thing. He felt unable to understand her feelings in that situation. , Martha made sure that her back faced Khan on purpose. The sudden burst of worry of her friend had made her blush, and she didn't want him to notice that. , "Wait for me," Khan eventually said before running after her. , The duo walked toward the peripheral areas of the camp. Martha used her phone to check the path, but Khan recalled where the prisons were. It took them half an hour to reach a seemingly empty spot with perfectly kept lawn grass. , "Are we sure it's here?" Martha asked in front of the empty area. , "It goes underground," Khan explained while knocking on the ground. "Is anybody here? Lieutenant Dyester? I have a question for you." , "How do you know these things?" Martha asked as puzzlement appeared on her face. , "I came here on the first day," Khan revealed. "Nothing serious. I got into a fight." , "How can you even get imprisoned on the first day?" Martha laughed. , "It wasn't my fault!" Khan snorted. "Some bullies wanted to pick on me because I was from the Slums. Don't worry. I busted their balls." , Martha gave voice to another laugh, unaware that Khan had been literal with his words. Meanwhile, the boy continued to knock and call for the Lieutenant. , "Are you sure that he is here?" Martha asked after the duo spent more than five minutes in that condition. "Maybe it's his day off." , "He doesn't seem the type to take breaks," Khan explained before straightening his position and starting to stomp his feet on the ground. "He's probably sleeping." , "And you think that waking him up is a good idea?" Martha laughed, but she went silent when she noticed that Khan had worn his man-Khan expression. , Martha didn't think that the matter would be so important for Khan. After all, he would eventually manage to get his hands on a good martial art with his talent. She couldn't understand how desperate he was to start his journey as a soldier. , Khan continued to stomp his feet until a mechanical noise resounded from under him. He quickly jumped backward, and a trapdoor slowly opened in his previous spot. , "Just blame me if something goes wrong," Khan announced before crouching to lift the trapdoor and descend a short staircase. , Martha wore an annoyed expression before following him inside the dark basement. Curiosity soon filled her face, but her eyes eventually fell on a tall man sitting on a table at the end of the staircase. , "What do you want, kid?" Lieutenant Dyester asked while scratching the corner of his eyes. "Why would you even come here on purpose?" , Khan took those words as a good sign. He had clearly woken up the Lieutenant, but the latter didn't sound pissed about it. , "My attunement with mana has reached twenty percent," Khan went straight to the point. "I have no backing, but I don't want to waste years training in an inferior martial art. You are strong, right? Can you teach me something?" , "I can teach you to respect your superiors," Lieutenant Dyester snorted. "These matters usually involve money or other benefits. What do I have to gain from teaching you? Why would I even accept?" , "Because you like me very much?" Khan asked as a broad smile appeared on his face. , "I definitely liked watching you beating those wealthy kids," Lieutenant Dyester chuckled, "But that's not enough." , "What can be enough?" Khan asked. , "A million of Credits for each lesson," Lieutenant Dyester announced before exploding into a laugh. , Lieutenant Dyester then raised his head to look at Khan and enjoy his expression, but the latter disappointed him. The soldier only wanted to scare him away, but Khan's reaction left him speechless. , "Is that a lot?" Khan whispered while turning toward Martha, and the latter shot a helpless glance toward him before nodding. , "How poor are you?" Lieutenant Dyester asked as disbelief filled his tone. , "Completely broke!" Khan laughed. "I don't even recall how Credits look like. Food was the only currency in the Slums, so…." , Khan shrugged his shoulders, and Martha covered her eyes in shame. Her friend was completely hopeless. , "Credits don't have a form," Martha explained while keeping her voice down. "They are a digital currency accepted by all the planets connected to the Global Army. Even aliens know about this." , "The aliens should try to live in the Slums," Khan snorted. "You can buy a house with twenty food cans, but you are better off stealing an empty one while the owners are working." , Both Lieutenant Dyester and Martha didn't know what to say. The Slums didn't even seem to belong to their same world. , "My answer is still no," Lieutenant Dyester eventually broke the silence. "Disciples and underlings can only cause trouble, and my days are full. I barely have free time." , Khan and Martha turned toward the cells. They were all empty. Lieutenant Dyester could sleep all day since he didn't have cases to review. , "I really have no one else," Khan honestly replied while nearing the table. "My mother died during the Second Impact, and my father had to lose everything to save me. He couldn't even teach me what he knew about the Global Army. I'll only end up as a tool of the wealthy family if you leave me on my own." , Khan had dropped all the acts and lies at that point. He had revealed information that even Martha ignored, and a pensive expression eventually fell on her face. , Khan had undeniably suffered a lot. The trauma of the Second Impact alone was enough to ruin his entire life. Living in the Slums had also been hellish, but he still had the ability to smile. , Lieutenant Dyester could see all those features in Khan's face. Part of him even began to pity the boy, which led him to be completely honest with the next answer. , "I'm only a shadow of myself, kid," Lieutenant Dyester replied. "There's only death and war in space. I can take joy in the fact that my refusal might force you to choose safe destinations in the future." , "He won't," Martha raised her head and joined the conversation. "The missions on the safe planets don't award many merits, so he won't go there. It doesn't matter if his power doesn't suit the dangerous places." , "Who are you?" Lieutenant Dyester asked while expressing his confusion. , "I'm Martha Weesso," Martha revealed. "My grandfather has fought on Istrone with you."

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