Chapter 8 Dragon Demon Princess (2).
Chapter 8 - Dragon Demon Princess(2)
“No, not really. It almost disgust me that there is nothing happening.”
Currently, this ruin excavation site deployed 300 soldiers from the western border guard.
A large number of troops were dispatched, because this location was very dangerous. They needed enough troops to be able to excavate the ruins inside the Balan Forest, which was overflowing with monsters.
However, once the excavation started, the confrontation between the monsters was almost non-existent. At the most, only the patrols collided with the monsters? Since 300 troops were gathered at the ruin excavation site, none of the bold ones targeted them.
“There aren’t any problems, and this in turn makes me more worried.”
“Well, isn’t it pretty obvious since 300 troops are gathered in one place? Recently, didn’t we find the activation of a large power?”
The western border guard utilized small elite scouting parties to grasp the situation inside the Balan forest. They were especially vigilant against the monsters gathering their forces in one place. Small tribes were fine, but if it gets bigger than that then a large force was sent out to cut the sprout of danger.
This was why they knew that there weren’t any large forces of monsters around to threaten them. However, Giles shook his head.
“We can’t be sure. We don’t know what’s living inside the depth…”
The patrols didn’t travel around the entire region of the Balan forest. In the deep locations, there were danger monsters that was beyond their powers. Therefore, there was a possibility a danger was growing in places they couldn’t patrol.
‘For example, a dragon.’
It was an existence that was called the nature’s strongest creature. They acted like a full stomached wild animal. They chose their territory deep inside the forest, and they rarely came out. However, whenever they decide to come out, there was a huge commotion.
“Should we start our match?”
“I have a place in mind.”
It was very hard to find a place in the camp site, where other’s gaze wouldn’t reach them. However, Giles didn’t want others to see this spar, so he seached for a location that would fit their need beforehand.
This location was an empty lot where the tree that were cut from the forest were stacked. In the back, there weren’t any people except the soldier on sentry duty a bit farther away.
Giles gave a suggestion.
“There should be no contact. What do you think about slowing it up 3 breaths?”
After replying, Azell blew a whistle inside.
‘Wow. They are still using the sparring methods devised by the old man Croix? If the old man knew this, then he would have loved it.’
Duke Croix Nidel.
He fought with Azell in the Demon Dragon war, and he was recorded in history as one of the greatest knights. He was a hero, who had killed several senior officers of the Dragon Demon army. In Azell’s estimation, he was the greatest technician amongst the knights.
This is what Giles’ words meant.
As the words state, no contact means they can’t hit each other during the sparring session. One had to stop one’s attack before it hits the opponent. The three breaths did not indicate strenuous exercise, but one had to slow down one’s breathing by three breaths from one’s normal state, and move slower. Instead of fighting with their body’s abilities, they were putting an emphasis on reading each other’s movements. This was why they purposefully slowed their movement down.
Both of them were sparring under these conditions. Giles asked a question.
“Which weapon do you want to use?”
“I prefer the sword, but I wouldn’t mind a spear either. I think a hammer should be ok too, but it’s not a suitable weapon for sparring?”
“In the first place, there is no practice weapon for hammers.”
Giles gave a bitter laugh before giving him a practice sword. After receving it, Azell identified the balance of the blade, and he started swinging it against the empty air.
‘It’s not working like how I imagined it.’
His body had somewhat recovered, but the sensation was vastly different from Azell’s memories. Azell swung the sword couple more times in the empty space, then he unified his mind and the body’s senses.
His body was dull, so his sword form was not sharp. This wasn’t something he could recover instantly. The more important thing was to realize how much he could move, and he had to match his mental images to actual movements.
When one is recovering from a huge wound, one require a lot of time to fix the out of step image. He had continuously recovered his body since he woke up, so he succeeded in fixing this problem.
Azell and Giles faced each other at a distance, where they could strike each other with a sword.
Azell didn’t wait too long. After they got into position, he matched the promised pace of ‘3 breaths’ and he started moving slowly. He stepped forward once, while thrusting his sword.
The battle was slow enough that Rick could tell what was happening. Their body’s abilities were about the same, so the sparring was about the reaction when the swords hit. Moreover, they had to imagine how they would avoid the other’s movement, while doing so.
This was a battle of body and mind.
In this case, it was the latter part. Spirit Order practitioners used the magical force to attack the opponent’s sense.
Rick’s body was normal, but he was a healing expert. He was able to see the movement of mana, and he also could identify the phenomenons formed by magical forces.
That is why he was astonished when he saw the clash between the Spirit Order practitioners.
‘It’s really showy.’
Their body was moving slowly, but the magical forced produced by the Spirit Order wasn’t.
There were fierce movements in a realm that could not be seen by a normal person. If one focused on the sense that detected the magical force on Giles and Azell, one could see three to four transparent lines emitted from their body.
These lines were of slightly different colors. The lines would draw the trajectories made by the aggregate of magical force. Each and every one of them were guided by owner’s intentions, and each implemented a different effect.
It was impossible to know what the effect were. To Rick’s knowledge, the magical force emitted by the Spirit Order practitioner most likely affects the opponent’s mind.
This continued for about 5 minutes.
Azell breathed heavily and he put his sword down. At the same time, the magical force he was using disappeared.
Giles wondered why.
“Why are you stopping?”
“I’m short on magical force.”
“I have a very little amount of magical force right now, so I can’t continue.”
Azell playfully raised both hands.
The current Azell’s store of magical force was trivial. He had just formed an unstable ring of life, so it couldn’t be helped. Actually, it was surprising that he was able to last 5 minutes against Giles, who was a Cord-rope master, with his minuscule amount of magical force.
After hearing these words, Giles did a double take.
“So that’s how it is. Your technique was so outstanding that I didn’t think about this problem.”
Azell’s skill as a Spirit Order practitioner was better than what Giles thought it would be. It was unbelievable that he was able to freely control the magical force to this degree when he had lost all his rings of life, and his energy pulse had dried up.
Azell spoke slyly.
“As a matter of fact, I used to have a bit of a reputation.”
“I can believe it. With those skills, there is no way you wouldn’t have a reputation.”
“There is one thing that is puzzling me… Sir Giles, how good are your skills compared to the other knights?”
Azell indirectly tossed an important question towards him. He had directly tested Giles’ skills, so his answers would go towards the data he would use to gauge the level of this period’s knights.
Giles replied back.
“My skills isn’t that great.”
“Then are you saying I’m not that great either?”
“That isn’t… the case.”
Giles was being modest, and he was taken aback when it was pointed out by Azell. Azell stealthily eyed Rick, while speaking.
“I already know how skilled Sir Giles is, so I want to request a truthful evaluation from an objective person. Is that not possible?”
Giles thought over it for a moment. He had been hiding the fact that he was a Cord-rope master from the others. Therefore, it was inconvenient for him to explain the situation where Rick could hear him. However…..
-May you promise you’ll tell this to no one?
Spirit order practitioners had a technique called ‘whispering’, where one could communicate with others without talking. Unlike communication magic, this was limited to short distances, but it was commonly used to have a secret conversation.
Azell replied back with the same technique.
-If we exclude the level of expertise of techniques… Cord-rope masters aren’t common. In the entire western border guard, there is only 3 excluding me.
-It is only at that level?
Azell was surprised.
‘The average quality of the knights hasn’t increased too much.’
No. Instead it might have decreased. These troops were in charge of a country’s border, and they would experience live battle quite frequently. But they only had 4 Cord-rope masters.. During Azell’s time period, Cord-rope masters were quite common. It was just hard to find someone who had reached that level at Giles’ age.
‘No, if I think about it there are only 4 ‘Cord-rope masters’.’
Those who had surpassed Giles weren’t counted. The number of Cord-rope masters were small, but there might be more existence above or equal to Quadruple masters. If he thought about it carefully, the number of Quadruple masters in a troop should be a military secret. What Giles revealed were facts that could be found out easily by outsiders.
‘Still their techniques seems to have improved…..’
After sparring against Giles, Azell experienced new ways to use his skills.
The techniques the knights used in Azell’s time was much simpler and cruder. It didn’t mean all the techniques of the past knights were inferior. By isolating the techniques he used, he was able to get an impression of the complex and diverse advancements.
Giles’s techniques were diverse and refined. In a short amount of time, he was able to know this truth.
However, Azell purposefully hid his skill. If he showed too much strength then he would become guarded. It wouldn’t be a good situation for the current Azell.
Azell thought for a moment before speaking.
“Sir Giles, I have one request.”
“What are you requesting?”
“Until the problem of my position is resolved, do you mind if I work as a laborer?”
“The state of my body is fine. I feel bad about just playing and eating. Moreover, when I am free I would need some traveling money.”
“That is… You want to be paid for your work.”
Azell laughed in embarrassment.
He told them he wanted to work, because he felt bad about just eating and playing. However, he was also asking them for wage. Even he thought he was being shameless.
‘I don’t have any money, so I have no choice.’
Humans need money to live. Azell was a world saving hero, but he was penniless. Also….
‘I need to look around the ruins.’
If he worked as a laborer then he could approach the ruins, where he had slept. If Carlos had left some kind of clue, then he wanted to know about it.
“I understand. It shouldn’t be too much trouble if I use my rank.. If you want, you can start working starting today. Except.”
“You have to spar twice a day with me. If it is morning and dinner, then you should be able to sufficiently recover your magical force?”
“If that is your request then anytime.”
Azell smiled and nodded his head.