The air changed.
The prospective trainees who have been trapped to a tight schedule for four months to build discipline.
For them, it was unimaginable for one of them to act like that.
However, that was broken down.
That too, by Bratt Lloyd, who followed the guidance better than anyone.
‘Bratt Lloyd asking for a duel?’
‘They said we could swing freely, but this…’
‘Isn’t it going to create trouble?’
The children all went stiff. And their gazes slowly turned to one side.
It was in the direction of instructor Ahmed.
What would he do in such a situation?
This couldn’t be undone. But it has to be stopped.
Ahmed and Karaka thought at the same time.
The reason the trainees were given free time was for the sake of gradual adjustment.
If the kids forget that and act like this, it would be creating trouble. This is especially true for the talented children.
But nevertheless, the instructors couldn’t outright refuse it.
There were two reasons.
Bratt Lloyd’s eyes which seemed blazing.
And Airn Pareira’s sword, which one couldn’t guess.
Those two aspects were clouding the judgment of the instructors.
It was then.
“Just let them do it.”
“… school master.”
Ian, the school master of Krono, who appeared in the hall, spoke with a warm smile.
The children were startled, and Ahmed was puzzled.
However, Ian wasn’t the kind to change his words.
“It’s fine. I know what you are worried about, but sometimes one needs to make an exception. And this is one of those moments.”
He looked at Bratt.
As he regained his composure, he waited with his head down for the answer.
But Ian knew.
How the boy in front of him is. He could tell without even making eye contact.
‘For Bratt, who was always restrained, today’s task will be exceptional. Maybe an opportunity to break free.’
Krono helps in growing the talent of the talented, and the rules and schedules existed for the smooth process for kids to reach that goal.
There was no need to protect a kid who wanted to grow.
Ian nodded, looking at Bratt Lloyd, and looked across.
‘I still can’t read him.’
With the time he spent in the school, it should be totally normal for him to understand what the kids were thinking.
Shaking his head, Ian called out the boy’s name.
“Trainee Bratt Lloyd has challenged you to a duel. What are you going to do? Will you accept it?”
Airn was silent.
The whole hall turned silent. Hundreds of eyes, including the instructors and assistants all, focused on one person. It was a strange situation for him.
But he didn’t falter.
“I will accept it.”
Not the tiny sword.
What Airn was holding was a real sword in his hand.
Since the mysterious dream, the boy never once wavered when holding a sword.
After speaking, Airn looked at the other person.
And slowly took a stance.
Not backing down, he took a short breath and held up his sword.
A well-balanced long sword made of wood, and admiration flowed as he took stance.
Although not as good as Ilya Lindsay, who came from a family of swordsmen, Bratt too had a wonderful bloodline that couldn’t be ignored.
The children realized the gap between them and the top-ranked ones.
And they already predicted the outcome of the match.
Bratt will win.
Why would such a kid want to duel with Airn Pareira? They didn’t know.
They couldn’t help but think that way. In their eyes, the vertical slash of Airn was nothing extraordinary.
But, not everyone had the same thought.
Judith and the instructors kept looking at them without making a hasty judgment.
Under such circumstances, Ian spoke with a solemn face.
“We will be conducting the duel between trainee Bratt Lloyd and Airn Pareira. As an observer, I am informing in advance that if the duel becomes dangerous, we will intervene. Agree?”
The two boys answered at the same time.
Ian nodded and signaled the start of the duel. Bratt looked at Airn with scorching eyes and Airn with his usual cold eyes.
And after a while.
The result came much sooner than they thought.
After two hours of free time allowed, the trainee’s schedule went back to normal.
The trainees had no choice but to return to their tight schedule.
Naturally, the beginning of a curriculum meant a test.
Just as Karaka did the physical test in the admission, the instructors closely observed the skills of the trainees.
Posture, spacing, movement, judgment, walk, and various other factors.
All of them were evaluated and ranked. They were divided into four groups according to similar levels.
Ahmed, who had completed it, spoke to the trainees who gathered in the hall.
“Ilya Lindsay, Bratt Llyod… then more trainees belong to class A and will receive my guidance.”
The top 10 including Ilya, Bratt, and Judith.
They would be given much more intense training than the others.
However, no one seemed upset. Rather, they rejoiced.
The fact that they were being put through pain meant that their competence was being recognized.
They deserved even more.
‘I will definitely become an official trainee!’
‘I’ll keep holding on.’
‘I will become the best swordsman!’
Magnificent pride filled the hearts of class A students.
“Next, Mark Woodruff, Alfred… Ameya Kikland. The 35 who have been called will be of class B. Starting today you will be under the guidance of new instructor, Brandon Philips.”
“Brandon Phillips here. Look forward to working with you. I will make sure to teach something memorable.”
The prospective trainees answered with cheer.
Their faces were bright too. Not as bright as class A, but they still were glad.
In addition, they had the chance to move up the ladder depending on how much they learned. It was because ranks never stayed still.
Because of that, some of class B were more enthusiastic than class A.
‘I am class C? Me?’
‘Is there something wrong? I passed first in the midterm…’
On the other hand, the children of class C looked resentful.
Of course, they were. All of them were supposed to be talented and gifted.
Now they knew, some people could fly above those who can jump, and among them, there were those who can soar in the sky.
They quickly realized that they had to outperform the higher ones.
They could only survive if they kept fighting on.
“Angry? You should be. Try harder. Try so hard that your body gives out. In order to achieve the places as class B and A, and the final evaluation, you need to work hard to become a trainee. Do you get that?”
“Harden your resolve!”
“Nice. I hope you will all be able to move to the higher classes in the future. Today will be a break and from tomorrow the formal classes will start.”
Karaka finished the speech with a smile.
But the children didn’t smile.
“Nice let’s see.”
No one rested. All of the 50 kids from class C and lower went to the train after dinner.
Even after being told that they couldn’t hold a sword, they didn’t want to go to their rooms.
Seeing that, some of the lower-ranked kids in class B turned their attention towards it.
They felt insecure.
Of course, class A and class B were all high-ranking ones, and there was no way class B kids could suddenly enter class A.
Which made tension rise all throughout the school.
… at the starting, like far behind them, was one prospective trainee.
“What? Class F has only one?”
“What is the use?’ Isn’t it supposed to be only three classes? But…”
“Because of one guy who knows nothing but a sword, the school decided to add another class?”
“Well, it must be.”
“Why the hell did Bratt challenge him?”
The only one in class F was Airn Pareira.
Some children questioned it.
What they couldn’t understand was that Airn lost the duel terribly.
The only thing he knew was to make a vertical slash. Other than that, he really didn’t know anything.
That was completely unexpected, even for the instructors.
And class F was created, and Rune Tarhal was the instructor.
“Vertical slash. And diagonal slash. You don’t know anything other than those two. Even the basics.”
“No need for an apology. No one does everything well right from the beginning. And it’s frustrating too. Among the kids here, there has never been a kid who was so ignorant of a sword before you. What are you here for? Hm!”
Rune Tarhal raised his sword.
The greatsword was bigger than Airn. When the momentum scattered, a heavy feeling was created.
He opened his mouth again.
“A question. You, who picked up a sword a lot later than the others, what do you need to do to catch up with them?”
Thinking for a moment, Airn answered.
Rune Tarhal lowered his sword.
It looked like the wind had been cut.
“Effort is important. As Karaka said, it depends on the individual on how much effort is put, a class C trainee could turn into a class B, and class B to class A and such. But that isn’t the case for everyone, especially not for those who are far behind others.”
He kept swinging the sword.
Powerful yet basic movements, relatively easy to learn.
However, that can only be said by those who had been using a greatsword for a long time.
If they were a beginner like Airn, they wouldn’t know how long it would take.
To him, Rune Tarhal gave a difficult task.
“In a week, learn the basics of sword which I just showed, if you succeed, I will transfer you to class C immediately.”
“What if I fail?”
“Nothing changes. You remain in class F and learn swordsmanship. However.”
Rune Tarhal, who took a gap, spoke with a serious expression.
“If you don’t have talent, it would be better for you to leave the school with your own feet.”
The sword which had been slung on his shoulder struck to the floor. And his eyes looked into the eyes of the trainee.
Airn Pareira wasn’t discouraged.
As he accepted Bratt’s duel, he responded here too.
“I will do my best.”
“Continue to work hard like you already are.”
Rune Tarhal smiled. The serious expression he put up to scare the kid disappeared, revealing his usual gentle face.
He promised to teach Airn to the best of his abilities, and Airn vowed to learn.
A week passed.
Rune Tarhal, who was temporarily in charge of class F, returned to the recovery room.
Airn, too, moved from class F to class C.
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