"There must be some kind of mistake," The nurse said while inspecting the scanner. "You are too young for this attunement level." , Khan could see that the scanner displayed many details about his body, including his age. He was among the youngest inside the training camp, so his numbers were off the charts. , The attunement with mana depended on the development of the body. Khan didn't learn about that from the lessons. He had reached those conclusions after talking with Luke and the others. , It made sense for a body to require more time attuning with mana when it was still growing. Yet, Khan understood to be an exception after the scan, and his mind quickly generated a lie to calm down the nurse. , "My body has stopped growing since I was fifteen," Khan explained while wearing an honest smile. "I could start training with mana far sooner than my peers. I'm actually behind if I consider the time spent with my mana core." , The nurse stared at Khan for a while, but she eventually fell for his lie. Her worries mostly concerned an illness related to mana, but Doctor Parket wouldn't have missed something like that. , "We'll take our leave now," Khan said while placing a hand on Martha's shoulder and pushing her toward the exit of the medical bay. "The curfew is almost up. We have to return to our dormitories. Anyway, thank you for your time." , The nurse wanted to say something, but Khan dragged Martha away before she could give voice to any word. The duo exited the medical bay in a blink and continued to walk until they reached an isolated spot. , The training camp still had many recruits walking through its streets. It was impossible to force boys and girls to return to their dormitories so soon, even if the curfew was approaching. , Most of them would mostly make a run for their flat to avoid punishments. Some would even decide to sneak out and hang with their friends inside the fence that encircled the buildings. , Khan knew about all of that because he could hear noises coming outside of his flat every night. His eyes revealed a tinge of sadness whenever a group of recruits entered his vision. Part of him wanted to have a normal life, but his desperation never allowed him to rest. , "Are you ready to talk?" Khan asked when a group of recruits disappeared in the distance. , "Are you ready to tell the truth?" Martha asked after snapping out of her astonishment. , "Partially," Khan laughed. , "I'll take the partial truth then," Martha sighed before walking outside of the street and sitting on the ground. , "There is a bench just over there," Khan commented. , "But you prefer to be in the park," Martha replied, and Khan fell silent. , 'She actually understood that after only two days,' Khan sighed in his mind before sitting in front of Martha. , Silence fell among the two. Martha didn't speak, and Khan waited for her questions. Still, various thoughts appeared in his mind due to the recent increase of his attunement with mana. , 'Fifteen percent!' Khan exclaimed in his mind. 'I gained almost six points in a mere week! Increasing the attunement with mana should become harder, but I think I can manage to reach twenty percent by the end of the week at this pace.' , Reaching an attunement of twenty percent would unlock what Khan had desired even before his enrollment. He would become able to deploy mana for martial arts and spells. His journey as a soldier would finally begin at that point. , "What was your starting point?" Martha eventually broke the silence. "How much did you gain in this week?" , Martha was staring deep into Khan's eyes. She didn't want to lose the slightest change in his expression. She desired to learn the difference between boy-Khan and man-Khan. , Khan tried to reveal an honest expression, but his smile slowly faded under Martha's inspection. She had started to learn how to see through him. Simple lies and a few jokes wouldn't get him out of that situation. , "Ten percent," Khan revealed as a helpless sigh escaped his mouth. "I think I'm quite talented, but I know nothing about Ylaco's political environment. I don't want to put myself into a mess." , "Why would your talent even cause problems for you?" Martha asked. "It would open countless possibilities at best! This isn't a matter of Luke anymore. You might become a special soldier inside the Global Army and avoid all the families altogether." , "Are you implying that Ylaco can't be dangerous for a boy without backing?" Khan asked. , Martha wanted to reply right away, but she bit her lower lip before giving false hopes to her friend. After all, she was a promising member of a poor family. Many young boys had tried to approach her romantically to establish political relationships. , "You still shouldn't have anything worthy of illegal activities!" Martha tried to console Khan. "The rich families aren't completely decent, but they usually respect the soldiers and the Global Army as a whole." , Khan felt that the conversation had hit a wall. He wouldn't learn anything else unless he revealed part of his secrets. He couldn't even confirm his worries at that point. , Khan heaved a deep sigh and began massaging the corner of his eyes. Martha continued to inspect him, but she couldn't understand the reason behind that behavior. , Khan's internal struggle eventually culminated with a question. "How much can I trust you? I've understood that you don't have ill intentions in these two days, but I can't see a reason to believe in you right away." , Martha frowned, but she decided to suppress her annoyance. Khan seemed on the verge of lowering his barriers, and she wanted to find a way to gain his trust. , Her desire had no hidden intentions. She was just a girl talking with her first friend in the Global Army. Khan was even her sparring partner, and their backgrounds shared many aspects. , "I can't prove anything," Martha explained while deciding to change her approach. "It takes time to gain trust, and we'll probably get there after the first missions. I understand that you can't open yourself completely, but you should consider an important aspect of our friendship." , "Which is?" Khan quickly asked. , "I'm your best bet," Martha explained while shrugging her shoulders. "You don't know anything about planets, aliens, and soldiers. The Global Army will eventually fill those blank spots, but you need someone to help you with those matters in the meantime." , Khan couldn't help but widen his eyes at those words. Martha was completely right. There was a limit to how much he could learn through lies and pretenses, and his only connection with the army had limitations that prevented him from revealing important information. , Luke and Bruce were untrustworthy since they had hidden intentions. Their actions usually had political meanings, and Khan couldn't bother to deal with that until he learnt more about the world. , Martha really seemed his best option. She was direct, honest, and she didn't belong to wealthy families. She could still betray him, but only by selling his personal information to others. , The benefits of having a trustworthy friend who was aware of his situation and the various families far outweighed the risks. Martha could truly help Khan, and he only had to give up on his fears to accept her. , "You actually relied on tricks to make us reach this point," Khan laughed. , "What tricks?" Martha replied while wearing a proud smile. "I've only understood that I couldn't get through you with normal methods. I had to show real benefits." , "What do you even find in me?" Khan honestly asked. "I understand trying to avoid Luke and Bruce, but there must be a better friend than me out there." , "You make me laugh," Martha revealed. "And you make me train harder. I'm using you to become a better soldier." , "You are a bad liar," Khan smirked. , "I'm sure I'll learn to do that if I stick around you," Martha scoffed. , Silence fell between the two. Khan shot a glance at his watch to see how much time they had before the curfew. , Khan then inspected his surroundings. There didn't seem to be anyone around them except for a small group in the distance. Still, those boys and girls seemed too focused on flirting to notice them. , "Come closer," Khan whispered while pointing his knees on the ground and bending toward Martha. , Martha didn't know how to react to that sudden gesture. Khan was moving his chest toward her face, and his hand was even lowering his collar. She couldn't help but blush at that sight, and she instinctively began to retreat. , However, her gaze sharpened when she saw the first trace of the azure scar appearing behind Khan's uniform. It was pretty dark outside, but she could immediately understand the meaning behind that color.

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