‘What’s going on?’
Airn Pareira was confused as he looked at the men who were laughing.
It was absurd, but he didn’t feel bad.
No, he was just wondering.
How the hell did the giant man in front of him even know that Airn had something to do with Krono?
“Haha, well, anyone can take up challenges. But it isn’t good to be overconfident.”
“Anyone can take up a challenge, what bullshit!”
“Right! There’s nothing worse than being pushed around by a kid!”
However, before Airn even got a chance to finish responding, the giant man went up to the second floor.
And Airn heard the men at the nearby table whispering.
He didn’t know what they meant, and he couldn’t even ask.
It’s natural since I don’t know them, but everyone in here feels unfamiliar.
It felt as if he entered a different world.
At that moment, he heard a voice calling him from the corner.
“You there, young man.”
“Yes. Apart from you, everyone here is old. You’re the only young one here.”
He was a muscular middle-aged man who occupied a table without alcohol or food.
Some who heard him, snorted.
Airn obeyed the call.
And then sat down at the table while asking.
“There are quite a few tables. Is it fine if I just take the seat without ordering anything?”
“It’s okay, totally fine. This is my inn. Who can complain?”
He was the owner.
He thought that the man was a customer because of how relaxed he seemed.
“I see. Is there a reason why you called me?”
“Did you say that you were a guest of Krono?”
“Yes. But how…”
“How do we know without being told? All these tough-looking men here are guests of the Krono Swordsmanship School. In the first place, this is a place famous for those kinds of people, so ordinary people don’t notice this.”
“Interesting? You came to the ‘Cradle of Swords’ without even knowing that. Hahaha! Well, talking makes me thirsty. Oye, a beer here! Ah, my name is Edgar.”
Airn didn’t bother with his surname, and the introductions didn’t last long.
Meanwhile, a clerk brought a beer, just one.
He didn’t intend to drink it, but he did.
With that in mind, Edgar emptied the mug at once and asked for another beer.
“Anyway, if you are a guest of Krono, there is something you should know.”
“Huh? Something I need to know?”
“Yes. Guests are not allowed to enter the school whenever they want. They are only allowed once every two weeks. Which is tomorrow.”
“Once every two weeks?”
Well, if it was guests, then it could be possible.
Once every two weeks, but he still couldn’t understand it.
He tried to question it, but Edgar didn’t give him a chance.
He drank the second mug in a second and ordered another one.
And continued to explain.
“And this is really important. To be a ‘real guest’ of the Krono Swordsmanship School, you need a way to prove your skills. Well, the most common guests are mercenaries, but… you, are you mercenary?”
“No. Uhm, but…”
“You wouldn’t be. Just looking at your face, I know you’re a fresh kid coming out of your house just recently. Ah, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mean that as an insult. I’m just envious, rather than the other leeching men. You’re fresh. It doesn’t seem like you’ve suffered. It’s a compliment. I’m envious because you’re handsome.”
“Anyways, if you were from a reputable mercenary group, there would be a high probability that you would be allowed to enter without participating. I hate it when idiots enter that way. But, if you don’t have a mercenary card, it’s better to get one now.”
He didn’t have a mercenary card, but he had a card that proves he’s an official trainee of Krono.
Airn wanted to say that.
But there was no room to interject.
The man wasn’t even breathing while talking. It was words, drink, and then more words.
He had no intention of listening to Airn.
“Of course, not a low-ranking mercenary. In order to receive the recognition of the tough guys and become a ‘real guest,’ you would need a wooden or iron card, maybe a copper one. It will be difficult for someone with no track record to win a bronze card on their first try, but honestly, this is annoying, right?”
“Yes. That everyone here is ignoring you?”
Edgar pointed to the other tables while holding the beer mug.
No beer spilled as he had drunk it all.
Rather than that, he was more concerned with the men looking at their table.
Airn looked at them.
Those men were all ignoring him.
‘This doesn’t hurt my feelings, but…’
Something felt off.
However, these men were way better than the people in his childhood, and no one frowned at him, not a single sign of malice.
But Edgar seems to have mistaken that.
“Right, one can’t help but feel bad.”
“Huh? No, not…”
“Good. Go to the mercenary agency right now. I know the manager, so you can take the test comfortably.”
“Yes. Better to do it right away. Ah, and you will be staying here? A few days?”
“There’s a discount if you stay for two days.”
“Don’t bother if you don’t want to. 2 silver.”
“Great! Then let’s go. Yah! Take good care of the inn while I’m away!”
Edgar shouted and stood up.
He drank seven beers in a short time, but he looked totally fine.
But what was more remarkable was his way of speaking without slurring his words.
He wasn’t a bad one either.
He decided to follow Edgar.
Nodding, he followed.
Krono is famous.
So famous that even a stranger can find it.
Even an alley rat from a rural village in a remote country would want to enter Krono.
It was a truly fantastic dream.
Was it because of that?
There were a lot of guests who came to Krono with swords.
People who wanted to prove their skills and gain fame.
A guest who seeks to grow by competing.
A guest who wants to prove his strength.
Dozens of such people knocked on Krono’s door every day.
For the swordsman school, it was really difficult.
Because there were too many, it was burdensome to deal with all of them, but if they refused, they would say stuff like ‘Krono is a bunch of cowards.’
And some people would never leave the premises until they were dealt with.
Thus, the rule of Krono was to ‘Welcome the Guests.’
It meant that anyone who wanted to chat with their swords could enter on the set day, which was once every two weeks.
‘So that’s what it means to be a Guest of Krono…. Those who want a battle would go.’
Airn realized it too late.
He never even found time to question it.
With Edgar talking so much, he barely had time to think.
By the time he reached the mercenary agency, Edgar was drilling the history of Krono into him.
Anyway, now he knows. That guest wasn’t the usual guest, and their reason was different.
In other words, he didn’t have to attend like a guest.
Which meant there was no need to stop at the agency.
“Isn’t that Ed? What the hell… oh, a young visitor. Test?”
‘It’s too late to say that.’
Seeing Edgar work, Airn just sighed.
If he didn’t want to, he could quit right away.
And it wasn’t tough.
But Airn was the kind to go with the flow.
He wasn’t a straightforward character.
‘Mercenary card… there’s nothing bad about getting one.’
It wasn’t like it would be of any use, but it didn’t matter.
No, he didn’t even have time to think.
By the time he started thinking, Edgar had gone back to the inn, and the boss with the scar on his left cheek looked at Airn.
“Are you going to take the test?”
“Yes? ah, yes.”
“What’s your field? Strength? Speed? Skill? Since you are a guest of Krono, your weapon has to be a sword, is there any other weapon you can handle?”
“Okay. So what’s fine with you… no, enough. Let’s just go with intuition. Follow me.”
The man spoke with slang and then went out the building’s back door.
Airn meekly followed his instructions.
When he went out, there was a fairly large open field.
Training dummies, fitness equipment, and other objects.
Unlike the noisy inn, there were very few people here.
With the people’s gazes on him, he arrived at a spot.
An object which looked like metal or rock covered with rubber.
There was a square plate on top.
“A measuring instrument. If you hit it hard, an impulse will come up on the square plate above.”
“A magic-based tool? Aren’t they expensive?”
“They are expensive. I didn’t buy it directly, but a recently retired gold card mercenary gave it to me as his retirement gift. It was a hit.”
“Anyway, hit this.”
“With my fist?”
“Sword. After seeing the impact, I judge the grade and issue a card, and that’s it. Simple.”
“What if I hit it, and it breaks?”
The man laughed.
He stopped and answered.
“Because it isn’t that weak. Even if it’s a magic tool… except for the square plate on top, this is like a lump of iron. There are only a handful of gold card mercenaries who can break this. Even the retired one I told you about couldn’t do it.”
“Yes. So don’t worry and hit it as hard as you can. You shouldn’t do something which will cause regret.”
“Yes. I will do my best.”
Where is the sword? Did he leave it somewhere?
When he was about to ask that question.
A great sword suddenly appeared in the air.
The blonde young man grabbed it as if it was a natural thing to do. And took a stance.
He raised his arms.
The greatsword rose high as if it wanted to pierce the moon.
At that, the boss was rather dumbfounded.
An unstoppable roar resounded throughout the vacant ground.
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