Chapter 22 - What has Changed (1)

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About 20 days had passed since the duel between Airn Pareira and Bratt Lloyd.

It was still hot.

And the 100 prospective trainees didn’t get tired and were still spending each day with more intense training than ever.

There were several reasons.

It was important that they were finally learning the sword after finishing the boring physical training routine, and the fact that there was a class difference ignited a strong competitive spirit.

However, there was a much more fundamental reason than those two, and that was the ‘skill of the instructors’.

“As we move from one position to another, the strength needs to be placed on the shoulders. Be conscious and fix that!”

“Your field of vision is narrow!”

“Always consider the distance between you and your partner. A good move requires judgment, and it’s only possible with the right distance.”

“Hands and body, feet and steps! When they overlap effectively, good posture comes out!”

It wasn’t just swordsmanship skills.

Instructors, including Ahmed, were truly specialized in teaching others.

With their extensive experience, they managed to devise an effective curriculum that was faithful to the basics, and their flexible guidance wasn’t just limited to that.

The sharp and wide fields of view watched the trainees’ movements, and whenever corrections and advice were needed, they would deliver to the needed trainee.

The teaching content was so appropriate that it made all the trainees wonder if they had been instructors since birth.

‘The person who taught me in my home was also a fairly famous knight…’

‘Entirely different.’

‘This is the Krono Swordsman…’

If the instructors were veteran teachers, the prospective trainees were learning from the veterans of the field.

That was the truth.

Meeting the instructors of Krono was the biggest shock and surprise for every swordsman.

This was why everyone was desperate to get into Krono.

During the class, they would keep their focus on the trainees, and in the evening, the trainees would continue to practice with their friends and sometimes by themselves.

It was as if the 100 most hard-working people on the continent had gathered.

However, there was a person who had no choice but to stand out like a sore sight.

“That one is seriously the same.”

“… that is toxic.”

Watching Airn Pareira silently wielding his sword in one corner of the hall, some of the trainees spoke.

Words couldn’t express how amazing his hard work was.

Even the word ‘weird’ would be lacking something, but if one word had to be used to describe him, then the word ‘bizarre’ was the most appropriate.

No emotion of any kind.

No change in his behavior.

Like a puppet set in a story, Airn Pareira carried out the set tasks every day without the slightest excitement.

The trainees who watched felt an unknown pressure.

‘Ugh, he might end up playing an active part in the final evaluation.’

‘I don’t know how, but he caught up with us in a few months… quite frankly, that’s amazing.’

Of course, the feelings were minimal.

No matter how inhumane he appeared, he was still fighting.

A week with Rune Tarhal wasn’t a magical amount of time. It was simply a time to get the ‘minimum qualification requirement’ verified.

Airn also knew that.

‘Nothing changed.’

Before entering the school, right away and then now, he was still running behind.

However, not being frustrated with that, he was the same as ever. Airn was able to wield the sword.

“Oh, now you look a little like a knight? Do you want this noona to teach you a trick?”

“I am good now. Wait…”

“Are you refusing me now? A class C? To Judith-nim who is ranked at the top of class A? How can you?”

“…”

“Huh? Ah? Yo? Yah, yah, yah! Say something! Look here, I’m not trying to annoy you, I am really trying to teach you, okay? So we can close the gap…”

Nothing had changed except for Judith, who previously ignored and was hostile towards him for four months, had asked for reconciliation and went beyond that.

The boy put his sword down and looked into the distance.

He saw the silver-haired girl wielding a sword with a cold face.

Looking at her, who wielded high-level swordsmanship incomparable to himself, Airn didn’t feel jealous or envy.

“What, suddenly. Did you lose your strength because I kept talking next to you?”

“No. What you were talking about, can you show me another time?”

Airn shook his head and spoke while looking at Judith.

Raising his sword again, not looking any different, he went back to training.

Another day passed in Krono.


A month had passed since the midterm evaluation was over.

In the meantime, the distance between the trainees narrowed.

It was a common sight to see people chatting together at mealtime or during self classes.

The situation was completely different from the past, where only tension and suffocation could be felt.

This was because the curriculum changed from physical training to swords.

A sword is a weapon, and weapons are tools meant to be used in wars or battles.

In other words, swordsmanship was something that required one who handles a sword to find an opponent.

In fact, after dinner, the trainees often competed against each other, and the instructors encouraged that under the premise that the assistants were present.

It was natural. Practice was important for one to polish their skills.

“Hey! Let’s go!”

“… yes.”

Even Airn Pareira, a loner throughout the admission, found a friend named Judith, not to mention a few others.

However, there was one exception.

Ilya Lindsay continued to practice alone.

It was because the difference between her and other kids stayed the same.

“Is the sword of the Lindsay family that great?”

“Yes. Like Krono, they are ranked among the top ten on the continent.”

“What? Then why did she have to come all this way and join here?”

“Damn, I’m envious. If only I was born into the Lindsay family…”

They were of different origins.

She was born into a prestigious family which was known to be the best, yet, she chose to enter a school.

She is someone who spent her entire childhood better than anyone, receiving the greatest support and under the best teachers.

However, not just the family name, she was superior in her skills too.

“… great. It was a flawless move.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“…”

“… crazy, really.”

Overwhelming talent, which even the class A trainees and instructor Ahmed acknowledged.

That was the second difference between Ilya and the others.

She stayed the same no matter how strong she was.

In front of the silver-haired girl from the Lindsay family, everyone else was like a firefly in front of the sun.

However, there was another huge difference; she didn’t plan on becoming an official trainee of Krono.

Of course, no one knew that. At least, no prospective trainee knew that.

However, it was something one could feel without saying.

The children only felt a little uncomfortable with Ilya’s attitude.

That soon led to uncomfortable feelings.

There was no one to show her friendliness.

Like Bratt’s followers, the people who tried to get close to Ilya because of her family name only gossipped about her now that five months had passed.

“Is she secretly going to train today?”

“Of course. Why would she show her family sword to lowly people like us?”

“Then she should have stayed there, why come here?”

“Right. I guess she only wants to feel superior.”

“She is really one hell of a person.”

“I know.”

After dinner, some trainees spoke while looking at Ilya, who was unlike the other kids.

The silver-haired girl heard it. Of course, it wasn’t just in the school.

She had a better developed body and sense, which made her aware of the gossip other people made about her.

She even knew that most people who gossiped about her were the ones who pretended to get close to her.

‘It’s nothing to be upset about.’

She already knew.

This is how people are.

Without knowing about the past, present, or future, they expect things and get disappointed.

There was no need to get hurt by their words.

All she had to do was just spend the day as fulfilling as yesterday.

So, as in the midterm evaluation, she makes it to the top in the final evaluation.

That was all.

Thinking about it, Ilya exhaled as she picked up the sword.

It was the moment when she was about to unfold her family’s sword in a quiet place where no trainee or assistant was present.

Rustle-

The sound of someone stepping on the leaves fallen to the ground.

Ilya’s eyes narrowed.

If there was anything true in the gossip, it was that she never showed her sword or practice to others.

Maybe it was because of the space in the hall, which was cramped; she didn’t want to train in a place where too many people were present.

Exuding pressure, she inched closer.

Woong!

It wasn’t just to try to scare the person.

Like Ahmed in the early days of admission, the pressure she was exuding was tremendous.

It wasn’t at the level of physical power, but managing to break down the heart of someone at the age of 12 was incredible.

However, the one approaching didn’t stop.

The girl frowned.

Woong!

The pressure she was releasing grew. Even that didn’t stop them, so she focused it on the trainee who was walking.

That would be shocking.

Even Ahmed would have an admiring expression if he saw her do that, even Karaka or Ian too.

However, they didn’t.

Seeing that the trainee was getting closer and closer, Ilya finally increased the pressure.

She actually knew that no trainee would stop in that way.

Why?

Such a strange question.

All the 100 trainees would give the same answer.

Breaking down someone’s heart with pressure is impossible. That was something they were sure of.

“What business do you have?”

Ilya asked with her usual face.

No, her words were a lot colder. And she didn’t know.

The first thing that trainee Airn Pareira gave to her wasn’t the answer.

He pulled something out of the pocket and reached out to Ilya.

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