Krono was a place where talented people gathered, but Airn was unusual.
Whether he showed a great result or not, what he already showed was strongly engraved in the minds of the prospective trainees.
Of course, there are times when people don’t realize that great things are happening in front of them.
For example, right after the midterm evaluation, when the kids were allowed to hold swords for the first time.
At that time, Airn showed a mysterious sword strike that shocked the instructors, but only a few trainees understood it.
At most, five or six, including Ilya, Bratt and Judith.
However, the air around Airn today seemed more intense.
So much so that the trainees were unable to figure it out.
Not a sound.
Yet, it felt like a low sound. Like something huge was stretching around.
The situation was different from when Airn first picked up the sword.
Not a single trainee missed this feeling.
Because all of them had sharpened their senses over the past 8 months.
Because they all developed skills and weren’t lacking in any aspect.
Needless to say, the one who felt the most unusual was Bratt Lloyd, who once asked Airn for a duel.
‘I can’t acknowledge this!’
The boy with blue hair couldn’t recognize Airn anymore.
He didn’t want to acknowledge it.
The heavy atmosphere around him.
Ilya Lindsay was looking at Airn with warm eyes.
‘It couldn’t be… this can’t be.’
She thought that she understood Airn better than anyone else.
So she knew that he would stick around since there was no other trainee who had grown as rapidly as Airn.
The past names he held were Deadbeat Noble and Lazy Prince.
But she didn’t expect this to happen.
Not just potential.
But the future of Airn.
The thought that the current Airn could surpass her was a tragic thought for her.
‘No. No way, it can’t be. He won’t do much.’
Bratt gulped and tried to calm himself.
Right. There will be nothing to see.
The atmosphere seemed grand, but it will be difficult to unfold a sword technique.
Ilya Lindsay’s gaze, too, will go back to normal.
“… just get this done with.”
Bratt mumbled in a low voice.
Airn ignored him and headed towards the stage.
Yet, it felt different. In other words, people were looking at Airn’s actions differently.
Airn Pareira wasn’t the Airn Pareira they knew. Everyone, even the instructors, could feel that.
Of course, so did Airn.
In order to reproduce the sword of that man, so much effort had been put in.
Inhale and exhale.
The same as the man did.
Tense and relax all the body’s muscles.
The same and identical movements.
The stance, the rise of the sword and the part where the feet were only slightly spread apart. There was nothing that didn’t resemble the man.
However, that wouldn’t be enough.
He was only able to do this up until a week ago.
And now, as time went by, Airn was finally able to learn the important part which he had been missing.
The steel-like will which allowed the man to constantly move his sword despite sweating in pain.
The will to cut down any enemy standing in front of him.
‘I couldn’t understand it.’
It was unfortunate. He relentlessly dug into the dreams, but he couldn’t understand it in the past.
What was the man trying to cut?
Well, for now, everything seemed okay.
Energy began to gather around the sword.
And the sword fell as it released a huge pressure, and the will of steel was shot ahead.
The power and strength to cut everything ahead.
It unfolded in reality and not in the dream.
The danger and pressure he felt weren’t something that a 16-year-old could release.
But the great thing was the atmosphere.
His posture, the grip and the sword, there were gaps everywhere.
‘Even though we are supposed to evaluate a possibility of potential, this sword can’t be used…’
It was in the midst of the evaluation, and he didn’t have his usual soft personality.
The sword of Airn fell without warning.
Nothing was affected. The distance between him and Airn was 5 meters.
Except for the slash of the sword, there was no way anyone would get exposed to the attack.
However, Karaka felt like he had to avoid it.
He had no choice but to avoid it.
At this point, when he had no sword in his hand, blocking something which was coming for him straight on was a dangerous thing to do.
Karaka, who abandoned his place, looked.
He didn’t say anything and just gulped.
It wasn’t just him.
The other instructors, the assistants and the 100 or so trainees too.
No one was able to get words out of their mouths.
Instead, they looked at the floor of the hall with disbelief in their eyes.
The wind blew. The dust around moved, and the scene created by Airn became visible.
A huge slash that far exceeded the length of the great sword.
As the unbelievable traces crossed the floor, children thought.
‘Is that possible?’
‘I didn’t know that a sword could… no, what did he want to cut?’
Nothing could be understood.
Something definitely happened.
Trainees were confused. Even the assistants couldn’t calm them down.
Most of their assistants were mercenaries who had gone through hell ever since birth, but it took time for them to understand what the 16-year-old had shown them.
At that moment, Ian, who was silent, spoke.
“Be quiet all. The final evaluation isn’t over yet.”
He used to be so calm, but now he seems different.
His face was frowning as he glanced at Airn and his sword, which left a huge gash on the ground.
“Evaluating this is difficult. I have something to talk to the instructors about, so everyone will wait here a little longer.”
Who would even say no to him?
All the trainees and the assistants went silent at Ian’s words.
Of course, only their mouths were silent. All sorts of thoughts were running through their minds.
How was that even possible?
They knew that he was going to pass, but such power?
So who is first place? Airn or Ilya?
Would Airn finally take the lead…?
It was a question that began to arise in everyone’s mind.
Who is the winner of the final evaluation?
No one could judge.
It was true that Airn’s slash was unbelievable.
However, Ilya Lindsay’s sword was great too. To be honest, it was much better in terms of usage.
Just thinking of standing in front of her sword made the trainees tremble.
To dominate the sky above, no trainee could protect their bodies.
‘But Airn’s sword was nothing less compared to her’s. The gaps make it less practical to use, but still…’
For short attacks, it was viable.
It was a situation that was too difficult to evaluate based on old standards.
A conclusion was reached by the school master and the instructors, who ended their discussion.
“Prospective trainee Ilya Lindsay.”
“And prospective trainee Airn Pareira.”
“Sorry for making you wait. Honestly, I never thought that this would happen. It was an abstract test, to be honest, but the other instructors here and I had our own objective standards. Evaluating this was very difficult for us.”
“So, let’s do this one more time. Both of you show your swords again.
However, the commotion was short-lived. They went silent and looked at Ilya Lindsay and Airn Pareira.
The first to move was the genius Ilya.
“I will do it first.”
“Good. Can I look forward to this?”
The silver-haired girl inhaled.
Her face was tenser than the first time she unfolded the sword.
Sweat ran across her forehead. Immediately afterwards, the sword began to unfold.
Completely different from her family’s sword, this time, she unfolded the sword of Krono. Bratt was shocked.
Even Judith couldn’t take her eyes off Ilya.
Soon, Airn’s turn came.
“I always feel it. You surprise me every time I see you.”
“Will you shock me this time too?”
“I will do my best.”
Ian nodded his head.
All the instructors looked at Airn with a serious expression, so did the trainees.
Bratt, too, continued to look at Airn.
After a while, Airn’s second display was done.
Ian nodded again, and looked at the instructors, and made the declaration.
“I didn’t want you all to wait, so I will tell you the results of the final evaluation right away. Ah, the current ranking doesn’t determine admission. Of course, more than 90% of the decision is based on how you did here, but the final interview remains… so, we will call you in reverse order.”
Names were called out one by one.
The lower-ranked trainees were frustrated, and the higher-ranked ones were delighted.
Children had no choice but to accept their rankings and worry about the interview they had to attend.
“4th place, Judith, 3rd place, Bratt Lloyd. Then… Airn Pareira and Ilya Lindsay. Everyone did well in this evaluation. We will tell you about the interview later, so you can go back now and rest.”
There was no change. As expected, the lead was Ilya.
But she wasn’t the one who left the strongest impression on everyone’s mind.
Watching Airn turn around and return to his room, the trainees had different thoughts.
And thus, the most important event of the year had come to an end.
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