Noah woke up in a room of the guards building.
2 weeks have passed since he came back from the mission and 4 days ago he went through his third treatment.
His back still hurt a bit but his mental energy had recovered. He would train if his master didn't take the rune from him worried that he would not focus on healing.
His worries were right on point.
'Mh, my body should reach the limits of rank 1 at the end of this cycle, I wonder how much will it take. What a pity, if I had that stone I could go straight for rank 2 this month.'
The Breath blessing was delivered by William to the inner circle so it was probably gone forever from his grasp.
He focused his mental energy on aiding the healing process since he had nothing to do while eating the food left on the table nearby.
The door of the room opened as William went inside the room with a bigger smile than usual, he was carrying a leather bag and a big wooden box.
"Haha my dear disciple, good morning, I bring good news!"
He placed the box and the bag on the bed and pointed at them.
"These are the rewards I got for you and I have to say that they are awesome, you won't be disappointed."
Noah didn't waste any time and started opening the box, his Master made him curious.
In the box there were 2 sabers inside their respective sheaths, their hilts were clean shiny, they seemed brand new.
He picked one of them and unsheathed it, the body of the blade was black and sharp.
"They were specially forged for you from 2 legs of the rank 3 ironclad spider that you took down. They are not magical weapons but surely are top tier between the normal blades."
Noah was unconsciously smiling looking at the blade and swinging it around, he would get up and try it if it wasn't for his body still needing rest.
He sheathed the saber and looked at the bag.
An old book was inside and when he looked at the first page his eyes widened as he could not hide the shock he was feeling.
He looked at his Master in disbelief.
"Is this really for me?"
William smile grew even more as he nodded.
"Your Master is amazing isn't he?"
He wanted to brag a bit but Noah's eyes went on the book as soon as he saw him nodding.
William just shook his head and waited for his disciple to finish his reading.
'Nails of the Kamaitachi, rank 3. Martial art created imitating the rank 4 magical beast Kamaitachi. Highest speed and perforation between the arts of the same rank. It allows the user to cut at an unbelievable speed and precision surpassing every protection. The user might also cut things at some distance away from the blade and, at full mastery, it can shot wind slashes through the air. Limited to two-weapon wielders'
Noah raised his gaze from the book.
"The Kamaitachi is a weasel-like beast that runs the wind and cuts to death without the victim even noticing. It should fit you really well."
He took the folded sheet containing the rune from his clothes and gave it to Noah.
"Next week we begin to spar again, I believe you will want to test your new techniques."
Noah looked at him and bowed deeply uncaring of the pain on his back.
William ruffled his hair and got out of the room leaving him alone to concentrate on the book.
Having finally something to do, Noah's days of recovery passed rapidly.
His weekly sparring with William continued but he noticed a problem with his new martial art: his "Breath" was insufficient to express its potential.
To be precise he could only use one of its abilities twice before being drained.
"That is completely normal, you always forget how early you are in things. Normally, to use a martial art of high level you would need a dantian but you complain about being able to use only two attacks. Your biggest gain, for now, is the improvement in your forms, anything else must wait until you get a rank 2 body."
Their sparring session had ended and Noah was exposing his doubts to him.
"So, what you think I should do, Master?"
"You could just let your body grow but you don't seem to know how to stay still."
William felt a bit of exasperation saying this.
"You can gather battle experience doing missions, I believe you should be fine against any kind of rank 2 magical beasts."
Months passed by.
Noah alternated between his usual schedule in the mansion and his travels outside it to clear magical beast's nests.
There was a pack of four-eyed wolves with a specimen that reached rank 2 but they were wiped out in half a day.
A horned snake appeared in the vicinity of a village in the North.
Its scales were hard, his body 10 meters long and large 2, and had poisonous fangs in its mouth. It was a beast at the peak of rank 2 and Noah had to resort to his rank 3 martial art to kill it after a strenuous battle.
He was forced to rest for 3 days because of that fight.
Yet, his most troublesome opponent had been a mud demon. This type of magical beast was naturally created when too much "Breath" accumulated in one place and consolidated.
The consolidated "Breath" would act as the core of a beast that could manipulate the terrain around it. It was not a powerful beast but countered heavily Noah's techniques.
He had to cut it in small pieces repeatedly to find the core and destroy it while dodging the earth spikes that it created to attack him.
Yet, his battle proficiency rose at a fast pace having to face different situations as he could decide more quickly the best way to deal with an opponent.
Today, he was sitting on his knees waiting for the usual mission that his Master would hand to him every month.
"This time will be different, you will go with a group of people that I picked personally."
Noah was immediately intrigued.
'Since he always let me go alone the difficulty of the mission must be higher to require a group.'
He picked the sheet describing the mission from William's hands.
'Deserters of the Shosti family have raided the village of Tasart, only the corpses of men and elders have been found, they probably took away women and young girls for their enjoyment. Find the rebels and execute them. Warning: there are cultivators inside their group.'