Chapter 71 - Krono Swordsmanship School (4)

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“… Lance Peterson?”

“Someone you know?”

Lulu, who was sitting on his shoulder, asked. As he turned his head, the feathers on Lulu’s hat hit his cheek.

Airn moved the feathers and nodded.

“Yes. A classmate from Krono. He’s changed a lot.”

Although he wasn’t close to his classmates, Airn had often talked with Lance Peterson.

It was because he was one of the three people close to Bratt.

He was pretty good. Ilya, Judith, and Bratt. Excluding those three, he would be the strongest.

‘No, can he be the strongest if those three are excluded?’

Maybe not. Airn hardly remembered Lance winning any battles.

In the case of one-on-one, Airn was inferior to his classmates then.

‘If pure swordsmanship is being evaluated, would I be in the top 15?’

It was then, Lulu said.

“He looks strong.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I think he will be strong for his age.”

It wasn’t because Lulu had a knack for swords.

Lulu is a sorcerer, which meant that she could look at people objectively.

And that was probably why she could guess it.

Of course, even Airn could feel that.

But not as clearly as Lulu.

Which was why he wanted to see it for himself.

How much has Lance grown over the past five years?

Lance Peterson stood in front of the guests and said.

“Greetings to the guests of Krono Swordsmanship School. I am Lance Peterson, an official trainee from the 27th batch. It’s an honor to meet you.”

“What, trainee?”

“Not even graduate?”

“Wait. Didn’t you hear the rumor? The 27th generation is called the Golden Generation.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s gold or not. A trainee is a trainee. Isn’t this a scam?”

As soon as Lance finished speaking, complaints erupted.

It was Inevitable since it was customary for graduates to come and receive the guests.

It was good enough for guests who had come to get their skills recognized but a disappointment for those who wanted a real battle.

Lance Peterson stood tall.

He slammed the sword on his shoulder to the ground.

“…!”

“…!”

A huge echo and tremble on the ground.

With that, the expressions on the swordsmen changed in an instant. Voices subsided.

In such a quiet time, Lance Peterson spoke.

“I know very well. That it’s the graduates that come and welcome the guests. However, this time there’s a change. I wanted to gain experience by battling with people outside the school.”

“…”

“I will do my best to not disappoint you. Well… if I disappoint you, I will bring in a senior right away.”

With that, Lance Peterson bowed.

He looked polite.

But it was a provocation at the same time.

It could be said, Lance would never bring in a senior. He was determined to give his best.

“Then… shall we start? Anybody is fine. Those who want to fight, come forward.”

“Good. I will be first.”

Through the crowd, one huge man stepped forward.

It was the man who asked Airn the question in the Inn. He was holding a sword that was big enough to intimidate others.

Lance Peterson said.

“You have a bigger sword than mind.”

“Why, scared?”

“Not at all. There’s someone who comes to mind.”

“Stop talking and start.”

“Is that so?”

Lance Peterson took a serious stance after picking up his sword from the ground.

The giant man ran to him. Accompanied by huge cheers.

It was at that moment that the guests were being welcomed to Krono.


Kwang!

Clang!

“Kuak…”

“You did well. Do you want to reconsider the battle?”

“… no. Enough.”

The man with scars on his body picked up the sword, which had flown away, and retreated.

A look of disappointment and slouched shoulders.

Not a single person sympathized with him.

Because there was one person who caught everyone’s attention, Lance Peterson.

“Woah… strong. Isn’t that right, brother?”

“Hmm…”

At the words of his brother, Gilbert let out a grunt.

He was a well-known swordsman in the neighborhood, a man who had never lost to any mercenary.

After a year’s worth of battles outside, he wanted to see how strong he became and came to Krono.

‘Damn it.’

He mumbled to himself.

Until he entered Krono, Gilbert thought that the reputation of Krono was inflated.

Everyone around looked to be at the same level, and there was one who was nothing more than a rookie.

It was like he was having a picnic with a cat.

Besides, the Krono trainee who greeted them looked to be in his 20s, so he didn’t have high expectations.

However.

Kwang!

The giant man came out right away.

Kwang!

Even the fast guy who went in second came out.

Kwang!

The moment the third one was defeated, Gilbert began to turn scared.

‘Fuck… is that a trainee? Does that even make sense?’

It wasn’t that the people the trainee faced were of low level.

The third one was excellent.

The third one was sophisticated and strong. Gilbert thought that he would win.

However, the trainee didn’t lose his composure and faced the man.

Only then did he realize.

That trainee was like a ‘wall’ that couldn’t be overcome by any mercenary or swordsman.

“A lot stronger than I thoug…”

“The 27th generation, the Golden Generation? Even a trainee…”

“Definitely great. There were so many nonsensical stories, I thought they were rumors, but man, it’s different.”

“Even those who were from that batch and didn’t turn into official trainees are all active… that boy, he had a reason to act that confident.”

“The world he and we live in is different.”

“What will you do, brother? Are you going out?”

“Stay still.”

While praising Krono, Gilbert’s younger brother asked him about his plans to battle.

Gilbert asked him to stay still.

He did come here to battle and prove himself, but he wouldn’t be able to do that here.

He wanted to be admired by people.

And when that possibility disappeared, the best thing to do was remain still.

To turn into a spectator.

It was time to put his head down.

“Brother? That one, he’s coming here?”

“Uh?”

Gilbert was startled at his brother’s whispers.

It was true.

Lance Peterson, who didn’t move from the center, was approaching him.

It felt different.

Unlike before, the trainee’s eyes were full of energy.

‘Shit, why!’

Gilbert cursed and clenched his fists.

He couldn’t figure out why this was happening. Why was the trainee approaching him of all people? He was scared.

Even if it meant death, he didn’t want to battle.

It was the time when he stared forward.

“Airn Pareira.”

“…?”

A name.

Gilbert was confused. And then looked at Lance.

Now that he looked. The trainee wasn’t looking at him but far back.

He turned and looked.

That one.

The blonde kid with a cat.

He wouldn’t have even bothered with the kid if he saw him somewhere on the street.

But not now.

The young blonde didn’t seem scared.

He received Lance Peterson’s gaze with confidence.

And that wasn’t it.

Putting down the black cat, he spoke as if he knew the trainee.

“Long time no see.”

“Right, it has been too long. What the hell were you up to? I thought you would be back soon!”

“Well, it’s long, well you…”

“Of course, it’s long. Five years have passed! I thought I was going to die waiting for you!”

Lance spoke loudly.

A completely different attitude from before.

Although shaken by excitement, he was happy.

At that, Airn sighed with relief.

It was his biggest worry.

What if his classmates forgot about him?

They were together for one year and apart for five. It was a natural concern.

He wasn’t close friends with Ilya, Bratt, or Judith.

‘Pointless worry.’

Airn smiled.

It has been a very long time.

Lance welcomed him, and his heart felt warm.

“Are you like officially back? Have you solved the homework the schoolmaster gave you?”

“Well… to an extent.”

“Really? Is it that tough?”

“Tough because I was lacking.”

“I guess so. You say that, but I’m sure you became stronger. You were always that way.”

“Haha.”

“This is bad. If you came a little earlier, you could have met Judith and Bratt.”

“Bratt? Bratt is in the school?”

“Ah, you don’t know, right? He came back right away. To do it right.”

Lance didn’t seem to follow Bratt, unlike before.

But it was nice to hear about Bratt.

Bratt was looking good in the sorcery world, but the last time he saw Bratt in the real world, he was depressed.

Listening to Lance, it seemed like things worked out.

‘That’s good.’

Airn smiled.

He felt good.

The worries in his mind disappeared.

He opened his mouth with a smile.

It was to ask about Judith and Bratt.

But Lance Peterson was one step ahead.

He said.

“Airn.”

“Yes?”

“Let’s do it.”

“…?”

“We met after a long time, shouldn’t we do it? Battle?”

Airn was shocked.

Till a second back, they were talking about nice things, and now suddenly it’s a battle?

It was too sudden.

Even more so because he was here for a purpose.

‘Battle… isn’t bad, but I want to hear about Judith and Bratt right now. I have to meet the schoolmaster as well.’

He didn’t think that this was the right time.

Airn thought so and tried to refuse.

That was when Lance said.

“Let’s battle.”

“…”

Airn looked at him.

Lance did the same.

The two quietly looked at each other.

In the stillness, Airn recalled the past.

‘Strange.’

The situation is different.

The words exchanged were the same. But the eyes were different.

He suddenly remembered what Lulu taught him.

“… okay.”

He didn’t think about anything more.

Airn Pareira nodded.

Seeing that, Lance showed his brightest smile.

“Shall we start?”

“Sure.”

To the center of the hall, the two young men walked.

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