A shocking request.
Everyone thought that. Judith was no exception.
No, she was certain as she was standing close to Airn Pareira.
Bratt Lloyd had nothing to gain from his request.
‘Bratt… he is one nasty high-headed guy, but his sword skills can’t be ignored.’
When a class A trainee asks a class B trainee to compete, class A would win in most cases.
However, that doesn’t mean that Class A is superior in every way.
If 10 aspects are common in each class, class A has an advantage in 8-9 aspects, but class B has good points in one or two aspects.
But that isn’t the case with Bratt and Airn.
‘10 to 10, 100 to 100. Bratt has the upper hand.’
Of course, Airn wasn’t without advantages.
The vertical slash he unfolded was a lot better than the top-ranked ones.
In particular, the sword he unfolded just before the duel with Bratt Lloyd was so astonishing that it still remained vivid in Judith’s mind.
But that was it.
It was only that one moment that was special. After that, no other movement from Airn felt so impressive.
Which was why she was curious.
What on earth was so special about that blue-haired noble who made the request to Airn Pareira?
Of course, she couldn’t ask openly. Because she even hated the idea of talking to Bratt.
Airn, who stood blankly next to Judith, asked.
“Hmm, it’s good for me… but what about you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well… you are a lot better than me. The difference is huge. In order to mutually support each other, I need to be better than you in at least one thing…”
Airn blurted out the words. However, the meaning was understood, and the nearby trainees who were overhearing the conversation nodded their heads.
That was right.
If he knew it, it would be right to decline the offer.
Even Judith nodded.
But not Bratt, who offered the proposal.
With a frown, he spoke.
“Airn Pareira, let me give you a piece of advice.”
“Don’t lower yourself anymore.”
“Literally. It means be proud that you are a noble, speak proudly and act proudly.”
Bratt’s eyes burned.
He was frustrated and a little bit angry too.
Airn couldn’t understand why the boy in front of him was doing that.
However, even Bratt couldn’t understand Airn.
“You were born into the Pareira family, the blood of nobility. You were born with the right to lead others. And when you entered the school, you worked harder than anyone else and it showed in the midterm evaluation. That means you have the ability to fulfil your duties and responsibilities of a noble with a strong will.”
“If you were lucky enough to be born into noble blood… rumors spread, a lazy prince not making any appearance or making any effort for 10 years, a guy enjoying his rights and not fulfilling his duties. Without confidence, it doesn’t matter if you live with your head bowed down to everyone, either commoner or slaves. But.”
After a long speech, Bratt took a breath and spoke even stronger than before.
“In my opinion, you are showing actions and abilities that make you worthy of being a noble! So, it’s time for you to show the right side of yourself to everyone. Like me.”
Airn didn’t answer for a long time.
There was nothing more he could do.
He was despised as the ‘deadbeat’ noble all his life.
They knew that not just the noble families but even the locals and maids often talked about him.
Still, he could never refute because he was the kind of person who deserved to be treated like that.
For him, Bratt’s arrogant yet direct words, which seemed honest to the core, came with deep resonance.
“Ah, yes. This is a noble hitting the ass of another noble.”
But not everyone felt the same about Bratt’s advice.
Judith was one of them, a commoner. She looked like she would throw up any moment, while looking at Bratt, she spoke.
“Don’t talk in a roundabout manner. What do you want to say?”
“What do you mean?”
“You are saying this because you know Airn is better than you in at least one aspect. What is that? Let me know too.”
“I guess you’re dumb. You have been together with him for this long.”
“What? You bastard…”
Flustered, Airn Pareira stopped the red-haired girl who was about to rush into a fight.
Fortunately, she didn’t move.
Instead, she stared at the noble as if she was going to kill him. Bratt snorted.
However, he didn’t hesitate.
He looked straight ahead and spoke with a serious expression.
Bratt Lloyd raised the sword he was holding and took a stance.
The eyes of the trainees were focused on him.
Judith frowned, even more, seeing the noble act.
Bratt swung his sword. A neat vertical cut.
He continued to speak, performing without shaking.
“I have a concern after the midterm evaluation.”
“I think Airn and I work the same amount of time and put in the same effort. So why is there such a difference in power?”
“Honestly, I couldn’t understand this. Of course, you worked a little harder than me, but… there shouldn’t be much difference in terms of time. It’s strange.”
Hearing those words, some trainees nodded their heads.
They also thought that it was strange.
Although Airn Pareira is a hard worker, time was limited. It’s impossible to work almost every day on the same schedule.
So, now that Airn’s efforts paid off, it could be seen that the efforts of the others were fading away.
But Bratt had a different idea.
“It’s not strange. It’s totally natural. This guy didn’t lose his concentration from the beginning to the end of the training.”
“I lost. Sometimes I don’t concentrate satisfactorily, it’s just for a few minutes but still.”
“Some days I don’t feel good. Some days the weather is too hot for me. On some days, because of being overworked in class, I end up getting exhausted and other days I’m just lazy.”
“I lose concentration. Still, I comforted myself. I will do better next time. Doing that, I acknowledged that I worked hard enough.”
Bratt Lloyd’s sword changed.
To be precise, it was awkward. The clean sword for the first time swayed from the striking point.
It was as if he forcibly held onto the sword despite losing concentration.
“Which is why I lost.”
With those words, Bratt withdrew his sword.
Suddenly, a suffocating silence fell.
Almost all the trainees were looking back on themselves.
The eldest son of the Lloyd family, who glanced at them, asked Airn.
“How are you able to maintain your concentration the entire day?”
With the question, many eyes looked at Airn, who was puzzled.
The reason he was able to work hard with such a high level of concentration was because of the dream. That was it.
However, it was something he wouldn’t talk about, and even if he did, it wouldn’t help Bratt.
So, what he decided to say was.
“Just… I don’t know either.”
“… well, I thought that would be it. Geniuses all say the same thing. Just that, I don’t know. Words like that.”
“No, I am no genius, what…”
“You are a genius. A genius when it comes to hard work.”
“Is it normal for someone who works hard for over ten hours a day to not lose concentration? That would never happen.”
Bratt sighed as he shook his head.
And then he picked up the sword again.
Completely different from the one shown a while ago, Kronos swordsmanship.
Airn Pareira, who watched it, could understand that the movements Bratt was showing him were the parts Airn struggled with.
“Your balance is always shaken at this part. It is better to move with a lower center of gravity.”
“Your hands move too fast. You have to throw it out at once in line with your feet and body so that the movement doesn’t go wrong and you get a proper stretch.”
“There is no need to rush yourself.”
“Huh… yes… thanks. Thank you.”
After performing five movements instantly, Bratt added an easy-to-understand explanation.
Seeing him like that, Airn expressed his gratitude.
But it was hard for him to say thank you.
“But, there is nothing I can tell you…”
“Not needed. Think of this as an investment for the future.”
“Yes. Whether it is a way to increase concentration, the one you showed before… that strange swordsmanship or anything else. When you can materialize the thoughts, let me know, that is when you can pay me back. Okay?”
“Okay. I will.”
Bratt didn’t listen to Airn’s answer and turned.
Bratt didn’t head back to his original training spot.
He walked over to Judith, who had a sullen expression.
“I want to communicate with you in the future.”
“Ha? With me? Are you kidding me?”
“You sure speak a lot.”
She hated nobles and hated guys like Bratt even more, who acted all mighty.
She had no intention of doing anything with that guy, whether giving advice or training.
But then, Bratt said something unexpected.
“You are creative.”
“Compared to me, who is only accustomed to my family’s sword, you are more liberal in dealing with situations and often make unexpected attempts when attacking. That is something I’m lacking right now.”
“Huh, what now?”
Judith’s eyes twinkled.
His tone was stern, but whatever it was, Bratt was praising her.
Considering the fact that he was acting like an antagonist despite being a chicken, the situation itself was uncomfortable.
However, the blue-haired noble had an expression like he had no intention of taking back his words.
“Of course, as much as what I gain from you, I am confident that you will also gain something from me. What do you think? Would you like to be kinder in the future?”
“… don’t need it, get lost.”
“Okay. I thought you would say that.”
With those words, Bratt Lloyd walked away.
The children who were watching went back to do their own things, and Judith kicked the floor, not liking what happened.
Airn Pareira stood still, pondering what Bratt had said.
And the man, who had been secretly watching the children, including Bratt, smiled as he left the hall.
Late at night, Airn laid down on his bed.
The words of Bratt stayed in his mind the whole time.
‘Concentration… it’s definitely something.’
The amount of effort couldn’t be increased further. Even right now, he was still trying to push his body.
He knew that he couldn’t develop talents he didn’t have. If such a thing was possible, the world would be full of geniuses.
However, increasing concentration seemed more plausible.
If you increase the concentration of the effort, results could be achieved faster.
Airn sighed once again.
Although it seemed better, it wasn’t an easy task.
There was no way he could improve his concentration because he is good at it. His concentration was because of the dream.
‘How do I improve my concentration?’
The boy’s head was cluttered with thoughts.
But for the moment, he fell asleep.
Although they were recovering every day, Airn was following a more difficult schedule.
Contemplating by laying on the bed didn’t seem like the right thing to do.
After a while.
The boy realized.
The dream he had every day changed.
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