20 years ago there was a wandering knight moving around the continent.
He wanted to help his juniors, and used to coach all kinds of swordsmen.
The 101st ranked swordsman gained the title Jet Frost around that time.
‘You have amazing skills… if I don’t use my Aura Sword, I might not win.’
That was the highest compliment one could receive from a Sword Master.
When he got that compliment Jet Frost was still 35 years old, very young, if you didn’t consider geniuses like Ian and Julius Hull.
Thanks to his age and strength, he received the world’s attention and earned the title of ‘Strongest Sword Expert,’ that no one other than Sword Masters could beat.
“I didn’t hear about him for a while, but while I was shopping for something, I heard he was in Partizan.”
“So where in Partizan is he? Will he accept challenges? What if he lives here but doesn’t accept challenges? Did you get that information? Kuvar you are good at that! So quickly, quickly…”
“You’re going to run out of breath. I’ll tell you this…”
Kuvar spoke to Judith who was excited.
“Two days for now, at 9 in the morning, there’s a match. It’s said that it doesn’t happen much, but sometimes they come out and compete.”
“Great. Are we going?”
Bratt replied immediately and Airn nodded.
The fight against Hyram was helpful, but they wanted to fight stronger people.
The three swordsmen spent their time thinking about Jet Frost’s abilities, and after hearing all the information from Kuvar, they went back to their rooms.
“What is it?”
Lulu asked, looking at Airn who was sitting on the chair instead of the bed.
Airn shook his head and said nothing, and the black cat fell into sorcery practice again.
Airn did the same.
He quietly closed his eyes, and the sounds of drunk men talking and Lulu breathing, slowly disappeared.
Suddenly, the 101st ranked swordsmen, Jet Frost, came to his mind.
‘It isn’t the best title.’
However, being 101st was a big deal.
Especially when people consider that man the ideal Sword Expert.
Didn’t that mean he was the best among Sword Experts?
However, Airn, who realized his fighting spirit and desire to win, focused on something other than the man’s skills.
Airn was thinking about how excruciating that time would have been for the man who was just one step away from the Sword Master Level.
‘He must have felt a lot of pressure, stress, and shame. Maybe he still feels that.’
He wouldn’t have thought about such things before.
But now he did.
He felt a little of what the man must have felt, two weeks back.
How depressed he felt when he couldn’t keep up with Bratt or Judith who were ahead of him.
‘Of course, I got rid of those feelings pretty quickly…’
He got rid of them by growing, but no one knew how Airn would have handled the situation that Jet Frost was in.
While thinking about that, he was reminded of the story of Khun which he heard before.
He also remembered the man in his dreams.
Not only did Khun reach the Sword Master Level at the age of 70, but there were also those who reached it at 90 years old.
And the mysterious man who swung his sword every day for decades.
Airn felt like he couldn’t compare himself to them.
But he would have to break past the man’s will.
Or become a person who could embrace it.
‘… I want to see him soon.’
The 101st ranked swordsman, Jet Frost.
Competing would be nice, but he wanted to learn more about the man.
With that, Airn looked out the window.
2 days later, the three swordsmen were prepared and moved to Jet Frost’s mansion.
At Judith’s request, Kuvar had gone out and found the location.
The mansion was as large as Hyram Swordsmanship School.
But there was a problem.
“… aren’t there too many people?”
“Will we be able to compete today?”
At Judith’s words, Airn thought the same thing.
Swordsmen crowded the wide yard.
The crowd was even larger than the crowd of guests Krono had.
It was crowded to the extent that they thought it would be impossible to compete today.
They were bewildered.
“Well, it’s normal to say that a person at his level of skill is willing to figh…”
“It seems like there are a lot of rumors about him being here going around.”
“Then what should we do? We’re the last ones here… isn’t there another way?”
“What! We need to get in! That’s what we should do!”
“Hm? What’s wrong?”
A soft voice came in response to Judith’s screeching. At the familiar voice, Airn and Bratt looked.
Hyram’s schoolmaster asked with a friendly smile.
Bewildered Judith asked.
“W-Why!? The schoolmaster is here too?”
“Why am I here? I’m here to compete with him.”
“… you’re a schoolmaster, is it alright to come here and do this?”
“Is something wrong with that? If there’s something to learn from someone, then learn, Jet Frost is stronger than me. I have no hard feelings.”
“Ah, come to think of it. I didn’t mention Jet Frost to you two days ago. Sorry. Since he’s so lazy, there are very few days he actually wants to accept matches… I thought that he would just spend his time sleeping while you kids were in the city. Or just get drunk.”
Hyram swore at Jet Frost.
However, there was a sense of friendliness in the way he spoke. Making Airn ask.
“Are you familiar with Mr. Jet Frost?”
“Uh? It has been around 10 years since he came to Partizan, but it isn’t an exaggeration to say he only stayed here for 10 years.”
“Isn’t that close enough? But…”
Couldn’t Hyram and Jet Frost just have a separate match?
Judith, Bratt, and Airn all thought the same.
However, Jet Frost was completely different from what they imagined.
“He rejected me.”
“Because he thought it was troublesome.”
“… no, if his friend’s request is troublesome, then what is he doing right now?”
“It’s Jet’s theory that occasionally one has to do tedious work. That way, the taste of training will be special…”
‘The real Deadbeat Noble wasn’t Airn but Jet Frost.’
It was something that Judith and Bratt thought at the same time.
“Don’t try to understand it. He’s an unusual person.”
Hyram clicked his tongue and shook his head.
Aside from the friendship. Even he thought that Jet was strange.
However, from the standpoint of the trio, Hyram was also an odd one.
No matter how frivolous and free he was, how can a schoolmaster, an Expert at that, come to ask for a match without caring about his school?
‘Is this it? Do odd people flock together?’
The door of the large mansion opened and a bald man came out.
And the commotion which was buzzing around subsided.
The bald man spoke.
“Nice to meet you. I’m the butler here. I’m here to share the words of Jet Frost.”
“I’m sorry, but the master is troubled since a lot more people than he expected have come. His desire to compete with everyone and share the sword exists, but he only has one body…”
“Huhu, he could easily just compete with everyone over the course of three or four days. He’s so lazy.”
Hyram clicked his tongue.
Of course, the trio couldn’t do or say anything. They just looked at the bald butler with a look that asked ‘what are you going to do then?’
And after a while, the butler came to the main point.
“… for that reason, we will give priority to those who pass a simple test, and the rest will have to meet my master the next time, sorry.”
“What is this now!”
“Right! I have been staying in Partizan for three weeks just to see Jet Frost.”
Complaints came from all over the place.
They all came here expecting to get one-on-one tutoring and compete with the strongest Sword Expert, but now he was saying that the weak ones should just head back.
But the butler didn’t like their reaction.
Pointing his finger at some swordsmen who were shouting loud he said.
“If you complain once more, you will be sent out.”
“The same goes for everyone. Neither me or my master are doing this while expecting something in return. This is volunteer work, so don’t whine about how things turned out like this, or are you people not confident!”
“Taking a test isn’t an unreasonable request. He would be wasting time if he spent it with someone far below the level of a normal Partizan swordsman. You can understand that too! If you understand, just nod your head.”
Hundreds of swordsmen nodded their heads at the same time.
Airn Pareira thought.
‘I think that man is also an expert.’
This wasn’t something an ordinary butler could do.
Thanks to the bald butler, the situation calmed down.
The desperate swordsmen followed his guidance and quietly moved into the mansion, and then a large tool appeared.
Seeing that, Airn mumbled.
“Oho, you know it?”
“Yes. It’s a lot bigger, but… it looks the same.”
“That’s a magic meter?”
“What? What is a magic meter? Am I the only one who doesn’t know?”
Judith was shocked when Hyram and Bratt seemed to know about it too.
She was embarrassed as the other three knew, and she felt bad that she didn’t come across it until now.
‘Bratt, that bastard! What does he know!’
Hyram smiled and explained to her.
“It’s a magic tool that quantifies the strength of an impact that a swordsman can make. See that shiny square thing over there, the score is displayed on it.”
“Ah, that circle just needs to be hit right?”
“Simple and nice.”
In order to convince people, objective evaluations had to be used, and nothing was better than the magic meter.
While he was thinking that, the butler spoke.
“One needs to get over 5,000 to pass.”
As many people didn’t know of it, they weren’t sure if 5,000 was high or not.
Thanks to that, all the swordsmen were nervous.
But Airn, Judith, and Bratt weren’t.
“Should we bet?”
“Yes. The person with the lowest score gets hit on the forehead by the one with the highest.”
“Flick to the forehead… nice.”
“I thought you’d say no seeing that expression.”
“I have a chance to legally hit you, how can I turn it down?”
“Shit. Wash your face and wait. I will be the one to hit you.”
“Tch. These kids. Do they think this is a joke?”
“Right. Do they not know how high of a score 5,000 is?”
Some swordsmen frowned as they watched the three young people chatting with happy faces.
And the faces of those who never saw a magic meter were especially unpleasant.
Knowing that 5,000 was probably high, they didn’t like the kids acting all childish.
But Airn and his friends didn’t care.
Hyram didn’t either.
Knowing their skills, he knew that 5,000 wasn’t a tough score for them.
He asked Airn.
“Do you remember what you scored the last time you used it?”
“Hm… yes, I remember.”
Some of the people around them paid attention to it.
Some were eager to know how high 5,000 was.
After a while, the previous score came out of Airn’s mouth.
“I think it was around 11,000 points.”
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