Chapter 6:Special Training
With more determination to succeed than ever before, Ray decided to double the amount of training that he was previously doing. His stamina and strength may have been above that of an average four-year-old, but his problem was his control when using the sword.
It felt as if his brain was far faster than his body and his hands were clumsy.
Whenever his brain ordered his body to do something, he could feel a significant enough lag causing him problems. However, there was one thing that Ray knew that he had to do in order to become even stronger.
It was to acquire real fighting experience in the field.
This would allow him to become a stronger fighter for it would enable him to move out of instincts instead of focusing on fine movements. After all, sometimes, instinctual movements were far better than deliberate movements based on controls.
Ray nodded to himself as he thought of this idea.
He then went outside and started looking for his father who had gone out a few minutes earlier.
He caught up to him somewhere on the road, walking on the trail out of town with a bag on his back.
"Dad, where are you going?" He asked.
"I got called to do a Quest. The Kingdom really needs my help, so I'm sorry Ray, but I am going to be gone for a few days, or maybe even longer…" Jack let out a sigh.
"But what about my training?" Ray shouted.
"No worries, I didn't forget about that. When you are ready, check out the barn. I'm sure you'll find a pleasant surprise, there." Jack said while walking towards the carriage that was already waiting for him.
Ray walked back into the house and slammed the door shut behind him.
'What was so important that he had to leave on such short notice?'
Ray took a deep breath and calmed down. He knew that getting angry wasn't going to get him anywhere.
He decided to go into the barn to check out the mystery and to his surprise.
The barn had been cleared out.
The barn was completely empty apart from one thing. In the middle of the barn stood a human-sized wooden doll. The doll had a sword and a shield in its hands. He walked up to the doll and noticed a note attached to its body.
The note read…
"Ray… I hope that you like my gift. Standing in front of you is a doll inscribed with magic. They use them on all recruits at the knight academy. Daddy had to pull some strings and use some of my connections and influences to get one…"
"To use this, just place your hand on the magic circle inscribed on the back of the doll and say the word, 'Level One.'. This doll can go up to level ten. You only need to pass level 1 to get into the knight academy. Don't even try anything past level 1 for it wouldn't be a pleasant experience."
"Daddy loves you, x."
Ray furrowed his eyebrows as he hurled the note over towards the corner of a room.
"Really… How strong can a wooden doll be?"
Ray pulled out his sword and swung as hard as he could at the doll. A magic circle appeared where he was aiming and just before his sword could reach the doll. It was stopped by an invisible wall, his sword couldn't move any further.
"So this is what magic can do? Pretty neat…"
Ray hacked at the doll once again and found his efforts to be futile as he shouted out of frustration.
Magic seemed to be far more powerful than Swordsmanship. 'If only I had the talent…' Ray lamented.
He then focused his attention back to the task at hand.
He went behind the doll, placed his hand on the magic circle and chanted the words, "Level one."
The doll lit up in purple light from head to toe.
Ray jumped back and prepared for battle, but even after thirty seconds had passed.
Surely, it wasn't broken?
'Well, of course, that idiot father of mine probably didn't check if the doll was working in the first place.'
Ray smiled and dashed towards the doll.
He sent a piercing thrust towards the body of the doll which was wide open.
The sound of his sword hitting the wooden shield was heard. Unbeknownst to Ray, the doll had moved its shield and blocked the sword. When Ray realised what had happened, the doll was already swinging its sword towards him.
Ray hurriedly leapt out of the way but he tripped over his other foot.
His body was moving slower than his mind again.
Before he knew it, he was now lying on the ground.
He closed his eyes bracing for pain, but after a few seconds had passed, he felt nothing.
Opening his eyes, he discovered that the doll had returned to its original position.
Ray scrunched his eyebrows. He ducked down and picked up a stone off the ground. Then, he threw it towards the doll. The doll reacted by blocking the stone with its shield and when the stone bounced, it struck it with its sword.
Ray was astonished, but he was also excited.
It seemed that the doll only reacted to attacks.
It didn't seem to take the initiative in fights!
Ray nodded to himself before he decided to test his theory.
He walked towards the doll and got as close as possible to it, without entering its striking distance. But noticing no movement, Ray became bolder and entered the striking distance of the doll. However, there were still no movements whatsoever from the doll.
He decided to launch a surprise attack.
"Gotcha!" He exclaimed.
But this time, the wooden doll moved back and avoided his strike. Then the doll dashed towards Ray and struck him on his face from the side. Everything happened so fast that Ray didn't have any chance to dodge. Although he could see the movements clearly, his body was lagging.
His reaction was slightly slower than the doll's sword.
Ray directly endured the attack of the doll on his face.
His head was violently flung towards the direction of the strike.
The taste of iron filled his mouth as his knees buckled down. He fell onto the ground and droplets of blood began to drench the ground where he was.
The purple light that covered the doll earlier shone once more, but this time, a mechanical voice could be heard…
"Level 1 Failed… System deactivated."