Side Story: What is synchronization?

Once upon a time, in the Adoastera Empire, there lived a young monk of high virtue.

Though he was young, he was rich in compassion and full of benevolence. Many people admired his character.

The monk was also a skilled magician and proficient in the art of the staff. He was passionate about subduing the evil demons and spirits that plagued the land.

One day, the monk donned his robes and left his hometown. His destination was an island of bewitching allure, laden with three hundred years of resentment.

On that island, there was a demon gate believed to be the source of the world’s monsters. If he could close the demon gate – no, simply closing it wouldn’t be enough. If he could destroy the gate, the root cause of the evil, many people would be saved. The young monk stepped foot onto Demon Island, believing this to be true.

After repeatedly fighting monsters, the monk effortlessly joined the Phantom Blade Style. After undergoing the initiation ceremony, he became a member of the Green Woods Eight Banners.

From then on, he dedicated himself tirelessly to his duties, day and night, earning the trust of those around him and even taking a local woman as his wife. He found fulfillment in both his public and private life as the years passed – one year, two years, three years.

Although he couldn’t achieve his ultimate goal of destroying the demon gate, the monk’s accomplishments were on the lips of the people, and he was met with trust and respect from those around him. Beside him was his wife, who was gentle, kind, and had a good temperament. To others, it would seem like a life worthy of envy. There was no doubt that the monk himself felt happiness.

However, after several years since coming to Demon Island, a sense of impatience was born within the monk.

This was because he was unable to learn the ultimate secret of the Phantom Blade Style, the Soul Equipment.

As an outsider from beyond Demon Island, it was understandable that he couldn’t catch up with natives who had been learning the Phantom Blade Style since they were thirteen.

However, he couldn’t accept that among those who arrived on Demon Island at the same time as him, or even later, there were people who learned Soul Equipment faster than him.

Even if some were more talented or worked harder than the monk, he found it hard to accept that others, whom he deemed inferior in every way, were mastering Soul Equipment.

In fact, the monk’s martial arts and magical skills ranked high among the Green Woods Eight Banners. If the condition of not having learned Soul Equipment was added, the monk would have reached a level that could be counted on one hand from the top.

Yet, he still couldn’t learn Soul Equipment.

What exactly is Soul Equipment? – It is the power of the Anima, given form.

Then, what is Anima?

It is said that humans harbor another self deep within their souls, within their hearts. This is called Anima – but even so, one cannot find such an Anima. No matter how much one meditates or fasts, the other self has neither shadow nor form and does not utter a single word.

Still, it was fine when he was young. Even without Soul Equipment, he could stand on the battlefield using his own abilities.

However, as he aged into his thirties and forties, the inevitable decline appeared. The monk’s body, having been subjected to intense battles from his youth, began to decline prematurely.

Given these circumstances, it became difficult for him to fight on the front lines. Yet, he couldn’t choose to support from the rear as a spellcaster either. In the first place, there were no distinctions such as front or rear guards in the battles on Demon Island. Monsters could appear anytime and anywhere. A spellcaster unable to protect themselves is merely a hindrance.

While feeling his own limitations and still struggling to somehow stay within the Eight Banners of the Green Woods, the monk’s wife hesitantly said:

Isn’t it unnecessary to push yourself so hard? You have fought diligently since you were young. Perhaps it’s okay to rest now. Wouldn’t stepping back from the front lines and focusing on nurturing the next generation be a respectable way to live?

Upon hearing this, the monk became furious.

It was an undeniable truth, a sound argument. The monk himself had repeatedly questioned his own thoughts and had suppressed his own weakness for the sake of his ambition to destroy the Demon Gate.

If it were the words of someone other than his wife, he might have been able to ignore them.

However, because it was the words of his wife, who had supported him more closely than anyone else, he couldn’t forgive her. He felt as though his efforts and ambitions had been dismissed as meaningless.

On that day, for the first time since becoming a married couple, the monk raised his hand against his wife.

On that day, for the first time since becoming a warrior of the Eight Banners, the monk heard the voice of his Anima, the inner existence.

The Anima is the other self that resides within one’s heart and deep within one’s soul. It is the naked essence that cannot be deceived or manipulated in any way.

The ideal self, pursued through effort and training, does not necessarily coincide with the Anima.

The voice of a twisted and ugly Anima does not reach those living pure and righteous lives.

Synchronization is the process of aligning one’s own existence with the Anima.

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