Chapter 5 - People who keep watching (3)

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It was in the early morning with morning dew everywhere. The troops of the Pareira estate entered the training rooms with tired faces.

They all longed for sleep in nice and warm blankets, but they had no other choice.

As they had to keep at least one regular training session a week.

The soldiers yawned and began to move.

“What are you still doing there? Move up already!”

“These bastards acting like this! Can you even catch a goblin?”

A knight sternly shamed the lazy soldiers.

However, he was nothing less than a troublesome existence to the soldiers.

The man was in his forties. And now, he had no passion or will, and now even his hair was losing the spirit of youth. He was just doing this task because he had to.

‘Damn it, my head hurts because of all the drinks I had yesterday.’

Since the task he was doing wasn’t what he wanted, he was annoyed.

The knight looked around and bluntly shouted at an old man who was watching the training from afar.

“You there!”

“Me?”

“Yes, you! What the hell are you doing! How can an outsider come to watch the training of the soldiers!”

“I don’t get it, this is no special training, right? This is just basic physical strength training!”

“Even then…”

“I got permission from the lord, so what is your problem? I’ll just sit here quietly and watch your training, so don’t worry about me and get back to work.”

“… you! The one in the back! Can’t you do one thing right!”

The knight, who couldn’t find anything to refute, took his anger out on another subordinate. The soldier who was pointed out got startled and swung his sword more vigorously.

The old man in the corner of the training ground was a wandering knight, Bran Somerville, who clicked his tongue because of what he saw.

‘Not good. Everyone is mentally drained.’

Bran Somerville, who’s almost lost his former glory now that he is seventy, was the one who fought against the demon sorcerer 40 years ago without backing down.

For such a person, the troops in front of him were nothing more than a disgrace.

Of course, it wasn’t just the troops of the Pareira estate.

For the past few years, most of the estates he stayed in had soldiers of a similar level.

‘It’s because the land is peaceful. The current setting is a problem, problem…’

Bran Somerville shook his head.

Peace wasn’t the problem.

The problem is the leisure that comes from peace, it places a smile on the people’s faces, and they end up treating a warrior like him as a regular person.

That was how he was able to stay in Pareira’s residence.

However, he knew.

That all the effort which was being put into the current society was to enjoy the peace for as long as possible.

‘Even if I said such things outside, I would end up being treated as a traitor.’

The old wandering knight smiled bitterly.

And turned his head and looked towards the entrance of the training grounds.

A boy with bright blonde hair caught his eyes.

Bran frowned as he looked at the pure white skin.

‘That one must be the young lord, the one rumored to be lazy.’

It had been one day since he came to Pareira estate, but the old man already knew about Airn through the rumors.

As he had been a wandering knight for so long, he was quick to catch up on such things.

He was even aware that the boy was insulted by the son of the neighboring estate, and that just recently the young lord started to focus on swordsmanship.

It was funny.

Bran Somerville couldn’t stop laughing as he thought about it.

“Heh heh heh heh!”

“What is he doing now, that bastard?”

The knight, who was training the soldiers, mumbled as he looked at the old man. Despite hearing it, the old man ignored the comment.

And watched as the young lord took a wooden sword and moved to a corner of the ground.

Of course, his eyes weren’t expecting anything.

‘He must think that swords are easy to handle.’

Just because one learns the sword, doesn’t mean they have to take it seriously. And when someone treats swords as an easy thing, they wouldn’t be able to become a templar unless they were from a family of knights.

However, swords weren’t something one should take up easily.

The old man couldn’t appreciate the young lord’s actions of taking up the sword on a whim just because he heard something bad said about him.

‘Was today supposed to be a full moon? He seems to be working hard.’

There will be a time when he gradually gains strength however, the young lord could also choose to quit.

That is why such an act was called ‘being on fire’.

At first, they will burn hot as if they can do anything, but soon the fire will burn out, and they turn just as cool as before.

And once the fire burns out, it will never burn again.

Bran saw countless young ones who gave up and never picked up a sword again.

Even some of the kids who were supposed to be gifted and geniuses would give up and never touch the sword again.

Which was why he could say.

That the young lord was similar to them.

The problem wasn’t because he started later than others, but because his attitude towards the sword was impure.

“Hmm, let’s take a look…”

Contrary to all sorts of murmuring around, Bran Somerville watched the young lord.

Because he had nothing to do.

He was old and on the verge of retirement, on top of that, he couldn’t wield his sword amid young people. Even the soldiers who were training didn’t seem interested in learning from him.

So the old man sat on a chair under the cooling shade of a tree and began to observe the blonde boy.

The soldiers left after their morning training.

But the boy continued training even after lunch.

Even when twilight was coming, despite most people leaving, he trained.

Bran Somerville continued to observe the young lord until the end of his training and only left the ground after the young lord was ready to leave.

He lightly dusted his clothes as he mumbled and left.

“I guess he wasn’t playing around for the past few days.”

But if one pushes themselves like that, it would be difficult to train tomorrow. And the young lord was indeed very young.

While complaining, the old man left the ground only to come back to the training ground the next day.

The young lord appeared again.

Ten days passed like that.

One trains and the other watches the same routine every day.

****

Wheik!

Wheeeik!

The sound of the wind could be heard in the quiet training ground. It was the sound of Airn Pareira’s wooden sword.

No one was surprised. The surprise and shock of the first day were gone, and now everyone considered it as regular training.

However, no one thought that Airn would achieve great things.

It is good to get rid of the titles of ‘Sloth and lazy’, but that was all.

Swordsmanship cannot be expected from a man, who was several years behind when compared to others.

“…”

However, some didn’t think like that.

There was one person who highly valued the potential of the young lord.

Bran Somerville.

A man not from the estate, yet seeing how Airn had been training for the past ten days without missing a single day, he thought.

‘I completely… misjudged him.’

It wasn’t a misjudgment about the boy’s talent.

He thought of the young lord’s nature in the wrong way.

The old man only realized it as the wrinkles on his forehead grew deeper.

‘I thought that he was just doing it on a whim and for the sake of his pride…’

Fire isn’t a bad thing.

Most young geniuses lead a sparky life and improve their skill.

Some people burn with passing talent, and some people burn with the desire to brighten their lives.

That was the privilege only young people had, and something that the elderly wouldn’t be able to do.

However, he thought the fire for the young lord’s training was a wound to his pride and his inferiority.

Bran knew how short such fires lasted, which was why he underestimated the young lord.

Right.

The lazy prince, no Airn Pareira, was not running on a short fire.

The young lord was spending each day with the heart of a blacksmith, who beats steel. Airn was completely different from the other boys.

‘How is this possible?’

The old man had a hard time understanding Airn.

Because that was the only thing he could do.

Hitting iron was a very tedious task to do.

Without a desire or passion, most people wouldn’t be able to do what they dream of.

Even in the 70 years of memories that Bran had, only a handful of people held onto the fire without letting it burn out.

And those handful of people were currently old and some no longer lived in the world.

‘But… from that one, the young boy, why do I feel their spirit?’

It was supposed to be impossible.

Yet, he was witnessing it directly.

Even at that moment, the boy was honing his swordsmanship without bothering what was happening around him.

The young boy seemed like he had devoted his life to the sword.

As if it had been decades since he devoted himself.

Swoosh!

Bran Somerville felt a chill run down his spine.

He got up from his seat.

No matter how great of a hero they were in the past, the will and hopes they had would end once they reached old age.

If a person with a will of steel at the age of 15 continues down the path of sword… where would the end be?

‘Talent isn’t a problem. Starting later than others won’t matter either.’

If he had the right teacher to guide him, the young lord won’t fall onto the wrong path.

If so…

“Hmph!”

The old man who thought so made a loud sound.

Hearing that, the handler of the training ground was puzzled.

The old man, who did nothing but sit still for days, was displaying abnormal behavior.

But that wasn’t the end. The wandering knight who looked around for a second approached the handler.

And asked.

“You, there. Handler! Let me ask you one thing!”

“Huh! Ye-yes! Feel free to ask me.”

“That young lord, who is training over there. Does he have a teacher?”

“Ah…”

The handler paused for a moment.

It was because he wondered if it was alright to inform outsiders about the affairs of their estate.

However, he didn’t worry for long.

It wasn’t a big deal. He immediately opened his mouth.

“Well, the lord did say that he would appoint a teacher soon enough. The young lord said that it wasn’t necessary as he wasn’t aiming for anything, yet he keeps working hard. He could get hurt if he continues to do things his way…”

“Yes, all right. Then, could you tell me who your swordsmanship teacher is?”

“It isn’t something we are hiding. It is Knight Zukran…”

“No!”

“Wh-what?”

Bran Somerville shouted as he heard the knight’s name.

The handler got startled and took a step back.

Not caring anymore. The old man went into the room near the training grounds and took out two pieces of paper.

One was a letter to Baron Pareira.

Bran wrote a letter saying that Orn Zukran can’t be allowed to teach Airn.

He also said that entrusting the young lord, or even a prince to such a bastard meant that the lord was ditching any possibility of growth.

‘Orn Zukran… it must be that guy. The one who drank too much alcohol on the eve of the weekly training and shouted at the young soldiers!’

He couldn’t let that happen.

He couldn’t let the jewel-like boy get bossed around by that knight.

All of a sudden, Bran’s worries of Airn’s future grew more than anyone else in the Pareira estate.

With sincere worries and expectations, he wrote down on the second paper.

“Nice, I’m done!”

The second letter was also done.

The wandering knight smiled as he rose from his seat.

And asked to meet with the Lord.

Baron Pareira looked at the letters handed down by Bran Somerville.

Especially the second one.

‘… might be true, my son might have some potential.’

One of the most prestigious places in the kingdom, Krono Swordsmanship school.

With the letter in his hand, Baron closed his eyes.

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