The locals of Eisenmarkt were crazy about the gladiator games.
While eating, they would talk about who won over whom, and while drinking one would speak about someone new who came to the Land of Proof.
However, they didn’t know all the swordsmen who came.
Because there were too many people flocking to the Land of Proof.
What does it take to stand out among the many swordsmen and attract the public’s attention?
The first was ‘Swordsmanship Skill’.
The second was ‘Character’.
And most of the gladiators who visited the Land of Proof, their second quality was paid attention to.
This was because it was easier to attract attention through provocative actions than skills.
And most times the ending was bad.
“Dario has lost.”
“Dario who… Ah, the guy who ranted about reaching up to Queen level? Who did he lose to?”
“I heard that too, which was why I remembered him, but he lost to a mid-rank level gladiator? Come to think of it, wasn’t there another who had a loose mouth than Dario? That…”
“Dwayne? That one is still there. He won, but I can’t see him. He is only worth half of what he said in the interview.”
“Tch, there are a lot of people being exaggerated these days.”
It goes without saying that to get public attention, one had to do an interview and even exceed the expectations.
How an adult defeating a child wasn’t interesting, a claimed swordsman defeating their lower level swordsmen wasn’t exciting.
Therefore, those swordsmen who want to raise their name would aspire to aim for higher levels, and then sink, unable to cope with the competition.
There were so many people who disappeared like that, and now the audience had reached a point where they didn’t get swayed by interviews.
“But that one kept his word, right?”
“That Krono trainee, right? Airn Pareira.”
“Ah, the one who said he’d use only a single strike till Queen level?”
“Right. They said he cut down Dominic’s sword in an instant.”
Now that so many liars were playing the matches… the locals were talking about the emergence of the real deal.
“Dominic? The Dominic that I know? Top level Bishop?”
“Are you sure? It is a common name, but I never heard of another Dominic here.”
“Huh, even if it is of Bishop level, one strike… then, does this mean he plans to do the same till Queen level? How old is he?”
“20? No, 22 I think?”
“Woah… then a great rookie? No, he can’t be a rookie right?”
Someone who heard of Airn’s results was shocked.
In the past it was possible, but right now the Queen level was a stage where only experts could enter.
The fact that a swordsman in his early 20s could be on that stage was an achievement in itself, and his name was bound to spread throughout the continent.
Of course, people were skeptical if he could keep his word till the end or not.
“But it might be tough.”
“Right? If he is unlucky, he might meet an expert in the match, and if not that, the Rook level is full of people who couldn’t reach the top. And even the Rook level swordsmen can’t be taken down in one shot by a King level.”
“By the way, I am eagerly waiting for Judith and Bratt Lloyd leaving Airn Pareira to go ahead, but how strong are those two aces?”
Favourable than before.
Still, Airn was being undervalued.
The 11th day in Eisenmarkt.
The world was still not ready to embrace a genius.
Not everyone underestimated Airn Pareira.
At least, John Drew knew how talented Airn was for his age.
To be honest, he wasn’t sure why the man came here.
No matter how famous he was, Airn could have surely found a better teacher with his talent.
‘No, this is a place to prove your skills, not learn! Why can’t he go back to Krono if he wants to train?… why fuck me over?’
John Drew began to think negatively because he didn’t know why Airn was with him, and because he had a sense of victimization from an early stage.
Of course that didn’t mean that he would let go of Airn.
It was too much money to refuse, and it wasn’t like he had to teach anything in particular.
After analyzing the swordsmanship for a day and refining it, John had on a serious expression.
Airn too looked at his temporary teacher with a serious expression.
‘What kind of teaching would he want?’
He couldn’t help but wonder.
John’s skills weren’t that great, but his teaching skills were superior.
In particular, it was unparalleled in terms of achieving results in a short period of time.
Of course, there were people who quit halfway because the style of teaching didn’t suit them, but Airn was the confident kind.
And he had an awakening right here.
‘The feeling… it is incredibly good.’
And it wasn’t a minor change.
Airn’s senses were twice more sensitive than usual and he was able to recognize and grasp the situation around him.
‘It’s like when I was a pre-trainee… the sensation I felt during the mid-term is back.’
The Airn Pareira now was similar to the one back then.
All five senses were sharply forged to observe things and remember them.
In the new change which happened, Airn decided to observe everything he could to test the new mysterious change in him.
It didn’t matter how difficult the instructions were.
Even if the task was difficult, it didn’t matter.
In his current state, he could do it.
Airn Pareira waited for John Drew to speak with a confident face.
“First of all, to give you directions, I will show you practical skills.”
“I have no intention of hurting you. I don’t even have the skills to do that. But it will be enough to shock you. I’ll start now, so be careful… uh?”
John Drew, who had been calm till then turned serious.
It was like he saw something he shouldn’t have. Airn’s gaze turned back too to see what he was seeing.
And there was nothing.
Airn realized what practical skills were as he turned back.
And he was shocked.
John Drew’s saliva was coming for his face.
Fortunately he wasn’t hit.
Due to his quick reflexes, John Drew managed to stop his saliva which he spat with his right hand.
And spoke to a bewildered Airn.
“You were flustered twice in this short time.”
“But, this is…”
“I know, I know. Such a cowardly tactic that it can’t be called skill.”
“I am sorry. Handshake as an apology?”
John Drew with a serious expression on his face, holding out the right hand. At that moment, Airn’s expression darkened.
But that hand had clasped the saliva.
Terrified, he reflexively moved to the opposite side.
John Drew’s left hand which naturally pulled out a dagger had touched his side.
Everything was happening like John Drew wanted.
“Most of what I teach is this. Of course, not just low level methods like this, but many more elaborate and delicate things. But in the big picture it is all the same.”
“You, what do you think about Swordsmanship?”
A sudden question.
And Airn was unable to answer.
Seeing him hesitate, John Drew nodded.
“I understand. Even for those who use swords every day, it is hard to answer this specific question. Since swordsmanship is a huge concept, one would need time to organize their thoughts.”
“This is what I think. Pursuing one’s intentions with a sword, and destroying the intentions of the opponent with a sword. Rather than simply comparing who is strong, faster, it is about bringing the situation to your advantage through meticulous psychological warfare and battles like chess.”
“That is what I think of swordsmanship.”
Swordsmanship meant knowing how to handle a sword, and to handle a sword meant overwhelming the opponent with force.
If so, what should one do to overwhelm the opponent?
Most focus on sight.
To draw swords faster.
Swing the sword faster.
Like increasing the size of muscles through weight training, focusing on power.
And that isn’t wrong.
John Drew, as a young man, swung his sword with the same thought.
He believed that his body would change and excel, and his aura would grow.
And like most, he faced a wall and from then on, John Drew began to look at swordsmanship from a different perspective.
“It is fine if the opponent’s strength is stronger than mine. It is fine if their sword is faster than mine. Unless it is the difference between an adult and child…. The class difference can be overcome. How? By carrying out my intentions and destroying the intentions of the others.”
“Most of my life as a swordsman was full of me worrying about that.”
Airn nodded his head.
Hearing this made it clear.
John Drew’s teachings were certainly suitable to overcome his shortcomings.
Although he wielded the sword for a long time in the school and in the world of sorcery, he lacked practical experience which his peers had.
And such shortcomings were identified in the battles with Bratt and Judith.
There were more than ten things which came to Airn’s mind which were damaging his chances of winning.
‘Of course that didn’t mean I was wrong all this while…’
The look in John Drew’s eyes convinced Airn that there was more.
In a way, it was natural.
He himself said it. Most of his life as a swordsman was filled with reflections of psychological warfare of deceiving and the tricks.
Airn thought that he could be much stronger if he could understand just half of those methods.
“I will work hard. Please take good care of me.”
“Great. Then we can start right away. First of all…”
The guidance of John Drew, which began like that, gave Airn Pareira a fresh realization.
The swordsmanship he had learned till now, and what he was learning now were different, and it was because the world of ‘tricks’ and deception was much wider and deeper than Airn thought.
The same trick could be used in a more refined way.
To take insignificant moves and lead the opponent into big traps.
John Drew managed to throw Airn into a corner by doing nothing.
While he was too lost in what the next trick would be, Airn forgot the basics and John would take advantage of the gap.
‘Awesome! He isn’t called the One strike teacher for nothing.’
The more he learned, the more he admired John Drew.
Feeling the admiration rising for his teacher, Airn swung his sword more diligently.
However, his opponent wasn’t surprised.
Rather, John Drew was feeling disappointed.
‘I am definitely using trickery to teach him and swordsmanship with variable movements, but…’
Why were Airn’s regular movements becoming better?
That too at an unbelievable speed?
Ten days since it started.
John Drew’s eyes, which were looking at Airn Pareira, trembled.
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