Dangers breed stories of adventure. Of course, it is only the survivors who can speak of such things. A dead Adventurer can only serve as a story to empathize with the dangers of going into the wider world, which is why many choose to stay at home.
It's better to live life quietly, trying not to stand out.
It's too bad that human society isn't any better than risking your life in these 'Adventures'. Those who are lucky enough for fortune are always followed by calamities, which causes fear in men.
Demons and Humans exist, so why doesn't God?
A loving father told his naughty son: "Don't you want to be like the Calamity Crusher? Be patient."
The young child was left breathless after swinging a wooden sword so many times he wanted to vomit. He was at the Age of Nurturing, which was just ripe for a parent to pass down his techniques.
In a world where danger lurked at every corner, a weak child will only end up dying tragically.
After hearing his father's words, the disciplined child obediently loosened his grip on the wooden sword in his hand. This was fitting the kind of personality someone of the Earth Affinity had...
"Dad... t-the Calamity Crusher is only a myth." The child poured as he felt the legends were a joke.
"You don't believe it?!" The man was surprised as he walked up to the youth who tired himself out.
His widened eyes were met with a high voice trying to sound dismissive: "It's all just a lie told to kids."
"Wrong! Your grandfather has once seen the Calamity Crusher in actions." A loud exclamation that seemed uncompromising was thrown at the kid, making him feel it was even less viable.
"That story... About a man with a wine cup and many weapons behind him protecting the Drakeyol Kingdom from a great Daemon? That sounds so dumb! Grandpa had probably senile..." Such a disrespectful tone made the man fume with rage.
"...Don't make me spank you."
"I'm just telling the truth. Daemons are stronger than Demons, they're legendary! And what? You want me to believe Grandpa saw someone beat a monster you need an entire army to fight? On top of that, does the Calamity Crusher, not age? Even the holders in the heavens aren't safe from monsters like that, but you're saying one person beat it without help? I won't believe this even if you say he's a God!" The boy was on a roll as he glared at his father, with a face that was twisted horridly.
"No, YOU calm down! I mean, err... sorry." Realizing what he said, the normally stoic ten-year-old became embarrassed by his own words. Although he wanted to believe in the existence of a Martial God who could slay Daemons everyone feared, a part of him was rational enough to be realistic about his future so he won't die as most do.
After seeing the boy calm his nerves, he sat next to him and decided to tell him of a different legend.
"Have you heard of the Sin Daemons?" As soon as he spoke these words, an unnoticeable change appeared in the air as he looked around. Speaking of these terrifying creatures was a taboo, but he felt it was fine since he was alone with his son.
The black-haired child held his tongue as he nodded his head, but still 'shushed' at his father. If the neighbours found talking about those monsters among monsters that had lead to the downfall of many kingdoms, who knows what would happen.
Old survivors who had lived to talk about those living calamities found remembering what happened heavy on their psyche. Hearing others casually talk about them could lead to such distress that they may go insane on the spot.
His father decided to continue anyway as this was required to educate his son: "They say the Calamity Crusher is an ancient being, one who had lived through many eras while protecting us, the weak little humanity. The Divine Weapons he takes to battle all earned what we would consider multiple lifetimes of hardships and struggles.
They say he represents the fullness of life and the violence of death, but your grandfather would disagree. When he saw that man, he looked nothing like how they spoke of him in legends."
The kid found it unbearable to suppress his curiosity, so he just asked: "How did he look?"
"Promise me you won't tell your mother what your grandfather said. This isn't something you say..."
"I can keep secrets." The mood became even more intense as he wondered why he was hesitant.
"...The hypocrisy of light and the indifference of darkness." These words made the boy tilt his head at first until he realized why even saying these words caused his father to become pale. The two of them glanced around, then sighed in relief.
"How could Grandpa say that?" This was the greatest hero they were currently talking about, a man who stood with the heavens. It was blasphemy to speak of such things about such a great figure.
Believing in the legend or not was entirely different from speaking things that might muddy his name.
"Your Grandpa was senile." The father tried lightening the mood with a joke, only to cough when it fell flat. Seeing his child's eyes, he could only continue with: "He said he saw the Calamity Crusher's eyes and spoke this based on that."
"Your grandfather said he saw almost no emotions in the man who was constantly drinking as if he was carrying out 'saving people' as a chore. Father really hated the people from heaven, so he couldn't help channel some of that into these words."
"So he isn't a Hero?" The boy seemed extremely disappointed and depressed as the greatest asset of his legends was embodying 'Heroism'. There has been countless stories and fanfics about the Calamity Crusher and his many adventures.
They say he defeated the Sin Daemons, married the current Sun Goddess along with a few other heart-stopping and beautiful Celestial fairies, had a monkey companion, and had even stolen the powers of a Daemon himself. Even befriending some of them on his eternally lasting journey after being prophesied to save the Martial World.
"He's definitely a Hero. Regardless of his actual thoughts, the Calamity Crusher DID save your grandfather. That is the truth. And do you wanna know how to become as strong as him?" The father couldn't help but curve the corner of his lips up.
"By training more smartly, not harder! I've told you so many times that you shouldn't be waving a sword around like a bat! You want me to give you a bat?! You wanna train 'batsmanship'?!" This was all everything was building up to 'Telling his son off!'.
"THAT'S what this is about?!!" The child exclaimed incredulously and wanted to beat his father up.
"You're always swinging that sword without any Skill! Do you think Earth Qi is easy to use?"
"You keep teaching me in a weird way...!"
"And how is that?"
"What the frickin' hell is 'and then go *boom* and *bang*' supposed to mean? I am honestly asking."
"You don't even know how awesome seriously your Dad is! I'm called the 'Flaming Red Bastard Sword' at the Martial Association, ya know?!" He felt the present generation wasn't praising him enough.
"The 'Flaming Red'- what...?"
"Don't get cocky with me! You won't even get even a nickname if you go around with your current swordsmanship. You'll bring shame to me. This is all because your mother insists that Qi Control is more important." It was only at this point that he noticed an extra shadow, and his son showing a cheeky smile. He sighed and held his forehead, asking: "She's standing behind me, isn't she?"
"Dear, are you saying I'm wrong?" A pained voice came from behind him, making him panic a little.
"N-no no-no! Who said you're wrong?" He put up an innocent front, but his wife still continued:
"I might only know Healing Arts. I know that you don't believe in me- Still..." She turned her head.
"This has nothing to do with that!" He held her in his arms as she was acting all melodramatic.
"Mom, Dad looks like he's going to cry."
"Okay~ I'll stop teasing then." She spoke from within his arms, flashing a smile just like her son.
"You two...!" Realising he had been tricked, the father was about to let go of his wife yet-
"Dear, don't be so cold~" She wrapped her arms around his waist, stopping him from escaping her.
"Ew! Don't do that here."
"He's right. Let's do this at home~"
"...That wasn't what I-"
"Can both of you just settle down!" The victim of their teasing once again blew up, though it was very telling of their relationship dynamic with how he was still enjoying being hugged by his wife.
"Am I in the wrong?" He looked down to see his lover's upturned eyes as she asked him cutely.
The fact that she was VERY aware of how beautiful she looked was unfair... This was just cheating!
"...Do you want him to become a Healer or a Swordsman? Attaining both isn't possible." It wasn't because his son was untalented but because it was more efficient to focus on one rather than two.
"Tsk, so you're blaming me..." Even though she tried to give him a bear hug after clicking her tongue, he didn't react at all. The hugging became tighter as she released white flame-like energy from her body before it melded into her body.
Seeing what she was doing, he snorted and released his own energy to reinforce his body.
The red and blue flame-like energies clashed!
"Ummm... Are you two gonna fight?" Hearing their son made them cough and split from each other.
Both of them seemed embarrassed and put up a front even though it was now too late to scramble for the pride they had left. Their son wasn't registering Mr 'Flaming Red Bastard Sword' and the former Healer as 'cool' people by any means.
"...Qi Control is more important. How is he supposed to use Burst Augmentation properly without it?" The wife hid her embarrassment and instead said something her husband agreed on.
Burst Augmentation was what they had been using previously. It was an extension of the most basic technique that has shaped society called Burst Manifestation, which allowed them to tap into the power of the Qi Centres they trained within them.
Although their son had only recently formed his Qi Centre using the magical energies in the world, it wasn't strange for him to learn the extent and limitations of enhancements at a young age.
"...He still shouldn't neglect swordsmanship."
"You're not a Swordsman anymore, so you should try teaching him 'Building Arts' instead." These words widened the boy's eyes as he suddenly jumped between them frantically in a panic.
"I'm fine with swordsmanship!" Not to mock his father, but being a Builder wasn't exactly 'cool'.
"I feed your ass and you repay me by looking down on my new job? Who cares if I'm just a Builder?!"
"Or you can become a Healer instead~" Seeing his sudden panic, his mother teased him a little more.
"I want to be a Master Swordsman." Their son spoke this with such conviction that it moved them.
"That's my son for ya! So make sure you pay more attention. If not, change your goals in life." He didn't want his son to end up like his previous party leader who amputated his arm in a Demon attack.
Those frightening creatures living in forests and non-populated areas may not be as strong or terrifying as Daemons, but they were scary enough to warrant killing his dreams if he didn't have the capabilities to survive without their protection.
His son nodded seriously and was about to go back to training, only to be stopped by a hand.
"And what's wrong now?" He was feeling annoyed by how his father could beat around the bush...
"We're taking a break for the time being."
"Why?!" Was it something he did wrong?
His father turned to his mother and spoke with a really serious expression on his face: "I'm horny."
"This isn't the right time." At least SOMEONE knew shame. Though her husband didn't mind his son was around. After all, they didn't exactly have a soundproof bedroom and did it occasionally.
"I have new 'Massage Techniques'."
"Let's go." A bud of curiosity sprouted within her as her 'studious nature' wanted to experience it.
"What's that?" Although his son was aware of their passionate relationship, he wasn't exactly mature.
He only recently started to go through puberty...
"You're too young to know." His father scooped his mom up and took her away after he was finished.
...The boy decided to go back to training. If he wanted to be like the Calamity Crusher, he needed to be strong. Mastering swordsmanship was only the first step in the endless path of martial arts.
He wondered what the legend was doing now...