Eisenmarkt’s one-time instructor, John Drew, had taught numerous clients swordsmanship.
A rural young man who didn’t know about the ‘sword’ in swordsmanship had heard about him.
A nobleman who said he would do anything to win the title had heard about him.
Even an elderly person from a wealthy family who wanted to learn sword as a hobby had also heard about him.
Countless people talked about his work and the money he had.
How much can I afford?
He asked such questions, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly and pulled out the maximum amount he could.
That was John Drew’s way of negotiating.
‘I’ve never talked about money with a cat…’
No, what money?
In the first place, what kind of conversation could he have with a beast?
John Drew closed his eyes and opened them, pinched his thighs, and struggled to tell if it was reality or not.
The black cat, Lulu said.
“This is not a dream.”
“… how did you know my thoughts?”
“After seeing me talk, this is how most people react. But I don’t know for sure either. Living in a palace-like house, I thought you would have seen sorcerers often.”
A cat sorcerer, he had never met one in his life.
Still, the situation was quickly understood.
No matter what happens outside common sense, the word ‘sorcerer’ alone solves it.
John Drew nodded and looked at the cat.
The black cat, Lulu, also looked at John Drew.
John Drew felt sweat forming on his back.
‘Face… I can’t read it!’
Was it because they were different races?
He couldn’t even read the expression on the cat’s face!
Was it because he has been taking money for decades?
John Drew was pretty good at reading the expressions of people, and he used to get an edge in conversations.
No, the fact that people came to him, who was famous and expensive, was proof of how much they needed him, so he always negotiated with a relaxed attitude.
It was a gut-business.
‘This cat… how should I deal with this?’
Gulping, John Drew looked at the cat again.
The cat looked back at him.
In such an awkward atmosphere, John was seriously contemplating while Lulu scratched herself and spoke.
“Don’t overthink it.”
“You don’t have to use your head and get a headache for nothing. All you want is money. You want to get as much as possible, right?”
“… as I said before, my life is getting pretty good now, so money…”
“So, can’t you stop talking like that? You are saying that to rip us off, right?”
‘Is it because it’s a sorcerer? How is it reading my mind so accurately?’
He had never seen a sorcerer in person because they were located in the Cesar Duchy, but he did hear that sorcerers could read human thoughts to some extent.
John Drew remembered that and bowed his head.
It was the moment that he was about to open his mouth and say something, while avoiding their gazes that Lulu brought something out of thin air.
A golden mouse.
Four, five, six…
Ten golden mice.
John Drew looked at the cat.
And that wasn’t all.
A golden tortoise with a red ruby studded on top of its shell.
A golden monk with a blue sapphire in its hands.
Finally, Lulu took out a golden cat with chatoyant stones and proudly said,
“This much should work for you.”
“Why? Is this lacking too?”
“… no, no.”
John Drew shook his head.
His tone of voice was a lot more polite than before.
His gut thinking was pushed once more as he thought, ‘is she a billionaire?’…
‘No, this person… no, cat…’
He tried to make a little more profit if luck was on his side.
After thinking, he got up and greeted Lulu and Airn.
“I will do my best to help you.”
Looking at John Drew who bowed at a 90° angle, Lulu and Airn smiled.
“Indeed money turns people like this.”
“Uh, you think otherwise?”
“… you are right, Lulu.”
Airn nodded at her words.
Perhaps the richest people on the continent were nobles or kings, but the black cat in front John Drew was richer.
Airn was curious about Lulu’s past once again, but decided to overlook it for now.
‘She never mentioned it first, so I can’t just ask her, and it isn’t that important right now…’
Airn nodded and turned his head.
Seeing John Drew act like a subordinate, he asked.
“I am sorry, but I am in a hurry, so can you help me?”
“Sure! Of course! Follow me to the training room right away!”
Seeing his teacher smile so broadly, Airn sighed.
‘Please, I hope he is as talented as the rumors say…’
John Drew was born invisible.
To be precise, ugly.
From a young age, he was teased by his peers for being ugly, and he heard other humiliating terms associated with his name.
Fortunately, he was taller and stronger than them so he could beat them, but there was nothing he could do about the whispers behind his back.
Especially the women.
Was that why he began to become obsessed with appearances and fame?
In order to become popular with women, he learned swordsmanship and went to arenas. He would spend the money he earned to flirt and go out with his friends and spend them on luxuries.
John Drew’s flashy fashion was completed with the sole purpose of ‘being there’.
Nevertheless, he always remained invisible.
Because of his looks.
And that was what John Drew didn’t like about Airn.
‘Handsome. Cheap bastard.’
He couldn’t even see blemishes on the white skin which looked fair as milk.
His facial features, including his blue eyes, made him look like a popular kid, and his golden hair gave out a noble feel.
And the body of the young man was wonderful too.
‘If this one improves his skills, he will be more popular with women. Not one, but two, six, seven, and then people like me won’t have women!’
A feeling of inferiority swelled up within him.
But John Drew didn’t act on it.
It wasn’t because of Lulu who saw his true nature.
It was because he received money.
John Drew was more serious than anyone. And he was a pro.
It doesn’t matter if the negotiations were making him happy or offended him.
Once he took the money from his customers, he would do his best to give the lessons they wanted.
‘Let’s make money, John Drew. Swordsmanship is the greatest pride!’
He made up his mind, and Lulu, who noticed it, looked shocked.
Airn didn’t notice it as he was looking around the training room.
He thought this place would be decorated too, but no.
Instead there were magic cameras inside at every corner.
John Drew, who noticed where Airn was looking, said.
“The magic camera will record each of your movements. Unlike photos, it will record the entire action.”
“Ah, you can speak comfortably, you are the teacher.”
“You can do the same.”
John Drew said.
“… then. First of all, show me all the swordsmanship moves you can perform.”
“Yes. Do your best. If possible it would be better to think of an opponent and use it.”
“What? Wouldn’t it be easier to deal with a real person?”
Asked Lulu, making John Dew shake his head.
“Even though I am still an Expert, I am proud of my eyes, knowledge and experience which aren’t inferior to a Master’s. This young man must be stronger than me, so I can’t deal with him.”
“Honestly, I am curious. You, are you one of the sons of 5 swordsman families who are here hiding their identity? Have you changed your appearance with magic? Or a disciple of a retired Sword Master?”
“… I am an official trainee of Krono.”
Airn spoke looking shocked.
The man who was supposed to be teaching him, had said it with his mouth that he was inferior to Airn.
As he said, it wasn’t something that one could say without an excellent eye.
At the same time, it meant that John Drew had the confidence to teach Airn, regardless of his skills.
“Hmm. I see. Then one of the 27th batch… but taking that into account too, I think you are incredibly strong…”
“Well, it really doesn’t matter. You came to fill in those gaps, and I get paid to fill them. That is the important part, right?”
“So we need to find it out. Your physical abilities, your swordsmanship style, your thoughts when fighting and your habits… I need to understand even the smallest details. They all need to be considered. Do you get it?”
“Good. Then start now. I want you to keep going until I say I’m done. Oh, the weapons, take one from the display stand…”
“My weapon is here.”
“… you are a sorcerer too?”
“I can only do this.”
Airn smiled at the bewildered expression of John Drew.
“Did you, by any chance, go to the arena with that sorcery sword? It would be a problem if it had something that enhanced the performance of the sword…”
“It was confirmed by a few examiners, and I think it will be fine.”
“I see. You have a wide body… anyway.”
John Drew cleared his voice, operated the cameras and moved back to where Lulu was floating.
With a more serious expression on his face than they first met, he said.
“Start. Do your best.”
As soon as the words fell, Airn swung his sword.
A heavy yet solid swordsmanship which utilized the great sword.
However, Airn’s swordsmanship was never passive, so it kept occupying space without blocking.
John Drew did his best to not look surprised.
Airn was doing better than he expected.
‘Swordsmanship is fine, but his physical abilities are beyond imagination. Didn’t he say he was barely over 20?’
A level of power that was hard to comprehend.
It was hard to believe, it looked like the young man had been training his body since childhood.
But that wasn’t the only thing he was shocked about.
‘His swordsmanship style is completely different from what I expected it to be. As a trainee of Korno, I thought it was of a more stereotypical type…’
The young man in front of him was displaying swordsmanship different from other Krono swordsmen he had seen.
While holding the huge sword, he kept attacking and advancing.
And when it came to defense, it was impressive, as if he was embracing the sea.
For a moment, John Drew forgot about his duty as a teacher and looked at Airn’s swordsmanship in awe.
However he wasn’t the only one.
Lulu, who was floating in the air and playing ball.
Quietly moved over to John’s side and watched Airn.
Five minutes, ten minutes and twenty minutes.
Without moving, so focused that they couldn’t feel themselves breathing.
“… hey, Lulu? No… was it Lulu?”
Was something wrong?
Seeing Lulu look serious, John Drew called her.
It was strange.
He wasn’t a sorcerer, but he too had a great intuition.
To him, the sorcerer who was silent until then spoke.
“Phew… still, it isn’t like he is going somewhere this time. Thank god…”
“Huh? Going where? What do you…”
John Drew asked, confused.
He was flustered, as if he couldn’t understand what she was saying.
To him, Lulu, who was floating in air, tapped on his shoulder with the front paw.
“Until Airn Pareira stops his swordsmanship, don’t stop him.”
“Huh? Ah, yes.”
“Never. Whether it takes half a day, a day or two days… never.”
Overwhelmed by the strange feel, John Drew just nodded.
Lulu, who saw that, also nodded and said.
“Thank you, sir. Thanks to you, it worked from the start.”
“… ah, yes. Thank you?”
“This is a bonus, I wish you all the best for the future!”
Lulu put her hand into the air and pulled out an elephant with an emerald on its forehead.
And gladly gave it to John Drew.
The swordsman quietly took it, and the ugly middle-aged man thought.
‘I don’t get it, what have I done?’
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