Krono school wasn’t a knight training camp. It is a place where the sword is taught to the best.
And not a single person would see a swordsman from Krono as an ordinary person.
And it wasn’t just about the skills.
They are as good as the knights who value honor and morality, so-called ‘chivalry’, and are praised as more knightley than knights.
That was how Krono swordsmanship worked.
“Competitions are so much fun. It makes the lonely and painful times more enjoyable. Also, competitions are important. It allows you to reach a level you could never reach alone.”
“If you pursue someone who is ahead of you, or struggle to avoid being caught by someone who is following you, you end up achieving something which surprises you.”
“If one gets too engrossed in it, they won’t be able to see what is important.”
Ian said that by looking at all the successful trainees. All the trainees flinched.
Ian smiled brightly and continued to speak.
“How Airn Pareira didn’t do that.”
“He sacrificed himself despite knowing that he could end up coming the last in the evaluation, and saved a drowning trainee.”
“Each of us may have a different opinion, but all the instructors, including me, agreed that what he did was a worthy action.”
“That is the reason why this trainee is on the podium.”
The words stopped.
The crowd was silent. They were looking at the school master, the instructors and Airn Pareira.
Ian, who deliberately took a gap, opened his mouth again.
He spoke in a heavy voice.
“This school is helping you to master your sword better so that you can fully develop your talents. But we all know that that’s not the only thing we teach here.”
“Before thinking about how to handle the sword better, and why you are sharpening your skills, what will you do with the power you gained. I want you to think about that at least once.”
Soon, the speech was over. After that, the routine awarding process followed. There were not five but six winners, including Airn Pareira.
Clap clap clap clap!
All the trainees were greeted with applause.
But their thoughts were different.
Lance Peterson was ashamed of himself for disrespecting Airn.
And a few other children didn’t change their minds.
It was judged that that deadbeat had pretended to be kind to catch the eyes of Ian.
And there were a few who really thought about the reason why they wanted to hold a sword, and a few trainees were looking back on their character education classes which they didn’t pay attention to in liberal arts.
Once again, they all became more conscious of Airn Pareira.
Much more than ever.
After the awards, a week of free time was given.
The first free time given to the trainees.
They allowed free time before the midterm but taking a break before the midterm was something no one would do.
The children let go of it and enjoyed it.
Of course, Airn didn’t follow that.
He was still maintaining his routine. He continued to practice the routine which he had planned.
Nothing had changed.
Nothing really changed, except for his relationship with Ilya Lindsay, who always cared for him, was broken.
It was when he was running the track.
“I’m sorry. And thank you.”
Judith suddenly appeared and said those words while patting his back.
Airn stayed for a moment and then exclaimed. Oh!
He realized that she was talking about the incident when he had saved her.
‘I never thought that Judith would say thank you…’
It was shocking, but he could understand it. Airn smiled and nodded.
But there was a question.
“But, what are you sorry about…”
“Enough. I am sorry about one thing and grateful too. There are two things I owe you, but I think it helped enough seeing that you received the award in the sermon, right?”
What was she saying?
Airn got an award for saving her when she needed help. Was she really going to take credit for drowning?
While he thought that, Judith opened her mouth.
“I paid off one, and I have to return a favor to you. I’ll think about it and pay it back slowly.”
“Anyway, since that is taken care of, I’ll be in your care from now on.”
“Why aren’t you answering me?”
“Uh? Ah, ah…”
“Well, I won’t bother you anymore. Work hard.”
The red-haired girl who spoke what she wanted to, disappeared right away.
Airn, who looked at her, burst out laughing.
It wasn’t a bad feeling.
No matter what she meant, Judith didn’t mean anything bad.
It was the first time someone other than Ilya had talked to him.
However, her words were rather unique and fresh.
‘I have no idea.’
It was when Airn was struggling to understand the situation.
An assistant with a familiar face approached him.
“Prospective trainee 311, Airn Pareira.”
“School master is calling for you. Wash and prepare.”
There was no one to talk to and no one to ask.
And there was no need for that either.
He quickly prepared himself and headed for the school master’s room.
“I know. I have definitely understood that I have been too narrow-minded.”
“You don’t have to lower yourself like that. It is something that narrow-minded people can’t do, admitting their shortcomings right away. You don’t need to overly blame yourself.”
“It isn’t like that. How can I take the words of the school master so lightly?”
“What you said is right. I’m here to learn more about the world… I arrogantly insisted on using my own method. As the school master has advised, from now on, if anything new shows up, I will learn.”
Even if it is from someone much worse than me.
Bratt swore to himself. Though he didn’t say the last words out loud.
Ian, who watched him, nodded with a happy smile.
‘He has a taste for learning.’
Bratt wasn’t a genius who learns ten things from one, but he was intelligent enough to learn two things from one.
There were no flaws, mentally or physically.
Although he was stubborn and prideful because of being a noble, considering his responsibility, it wasn’t his fault. And it was something he would correct.
The trainees definitely seemed high quality.
Ian, who thought to himself, opened his mouth.
“I am glad you got it. So, what would be the prize you want?”
“Naturally… a precious word cannot be exchanged with gold. I will keep these words in my heart for the rest of my life!”
“That is a little burdensome, but it isn’t a bad one.”
“Then, I will head back.”
Ian nodded as Bratt politely stepped back.
A noble and strong attitude was rare to see in a 13-year-old boy.
This guy would have taken the top position if those three weren’t there.
‘Unfortunately, there are too many prominent people this time.’
That was true.
Normally, 3 to 4 talented people would fight for the top.
If one of them showed an overwhelming performance. The others would feel depressed.
And now, the person in question entered.
Ilya Lindsay, the girl with beautiful silver hair.
“As a reward, I would like to have complete guidance from the school master.”
“… you are quite rude.”
“Is that a request I can’t ask?”
“Do you understand me? I have no intention of teaching my sword to someone knowing that it would create enemies for me.”
Ilya kept silent.
Ian clicked his head and shook his head.
“Take my advice. Stop being swayed by others and live your life. Don’t waste your time here tied up with an obsession and go back to your family and learn your family’s sword. It will help you a lot more.”
“Do you understand?”
“I want the school master’s guidance.”
“… you are a stubborn one.”
Ian sighed as he looked at the girl with sad eyes.
Others couldn’t feel it, but he knew.
Just as a person’s face can be reflected in water, the energy coming from her could give him a glimpse of the hateful flames deep in the girl’s heart.
But he couldn’t figure out how to extinguish the flames.
In the end, Ian nodded his head.
He got up and threw a wooden sword hanging on the wall at Ilya.
He pulled out a wooden sword from his waist and said.
“This room is quite large, so it’s okay to do this here.”
Ilya bowed her head. Sparks flashed in her eyes as she straightened herself.
Twenty minutes had passed.
After completing, she received a lot of advice related to the sword and withdrew with a satisfied expression.
“Thank you for the grace you have shown. I will never forget.”
Ian’s expression wasn’t so good.
A child more gifted than anyone, the treasure of the continent, was thinking of walking a difficult and painful path.
It didn’t even have a worthwhile ending.
According to his experience, the only thing that would wait for the girl would be regret and disappointment.
‘But there is nothing I can do.’
One can lead a cow to the water but can’t force it to drink.
He couldn’t change her mind.
She would have to realize it by herself. To get herself out of this vain path.
Sincerely worried for her, Ian prayed for her bright future.
“May I come in?”
“Of course, come on in.”
Ian quickly brushed off his thoughts.
He couldn’t keep worrying. That wouldn’t be right for the other trainees.
He smiled and looked up at the last one, Airn.
“Right, do you know why I called you?”
“Yes, I do.”
“As expected, to give you a prize. Is there anything you would like to receive? It doesn’t matter even if it isn’t material.”
They weren’t empty words.
That was his real intention.
He didn’t say that to the previous five trainees.
It was because he had already figured out everyone’s intentions and what they would ask. Although he didn’t give Ilya Lindsay what she asked for.
However, Airn was different.
Even from the perspective of an old man who lived for a long time.
Even with his water-like energy, which reflected the other person’s mind, he couldn’t accurately grasp what kind of existence the boy in front of him was.
‘I will stay here and watch him.’
Ian had already finished his thoughts.
He looked up at the trainee, who opened his mouth and then closed it again.
“You can say it comfortably. This old man has sources. I can listen to just about anything, and even if it is hard, I won’t take any offense. Now, what do you want to receive?”
Did those words give him courage?
Airn, who had been sitting with his gaze lowered, made eye contact.
And after taking a short breath, he confessed the words which he was holding inside.
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