Once, a boy was asked by his master.
“What kind of person do you want to grow up to be?”
The boy then answered that he wanted to become someone like his master.
His master managed a wry smile to that reply.
“Lyle…… well, I don’t know what kind of person you think I am, but I don’t want you to become like me. Don’t you know that masters always want their disciples to surpass them?”
So said the boy’s master, while stroking his head.
“……People can’t always be chasing after someone. Someday, they have to stand on their own, and find their own path to walk. That is why, Lyle, you must find the path that you, and only you, can tread. Be it left or right, be it forwards or backwards, to proceed or to retreat―you can think about it, when the time comes.
And so, Lyle―what kind of person do you want to grow up to be?”
The boy thought about it.
His master’s question was rather vague. To begin with, it had not felt like a question to him.
After racking his brain over it, he answered his master with the thought that had surfaced in his mind earlier.
It was a normal, boring answer.
“I see. If that’s what you want, Lyle, then you will have to become more prideful, and stand up taller than anybody else. ―Don’t worry, you’ll be alright. After all, you’re my one and only……”
And so the boy’s master, as though she were a different person from earlier, stroked his hair ever so gently.