A level of strength that can be compared to high-ranking knights and wizards of the Monarchy.
I stared at him and asked Tane.
“Are you mastering magic, Abbot?”
As I raised my super senses, I could definitely feel the magical energy appropriate to my level in the director’s body.
Looking at his body shape, he didn’t seem to have trained his body, so he wondered if he was a wizard.
However, Tane answered with a puzzled look, as if asking what he was talking about out of the blue.
“No, I know you’re not going to learn anything particularly magical. He’s just an ordinary guy.”
“······Is that so?”
It seemed that he was completely unaware of the fact that the abbot was a fairly strong man.
So, does that mean that the abbot is hiding his power from the people of the monastery? why?
A question arose for a moment, but I didn’t ask in detail because it seemed like I was asking.
‘Do you have a past you’re hiding?’
I once again looked at the director in the distance.
Time flies and on the day of the screening test.
Exactly at noon time, several paladins, priests, and boys and girls gathered in the empty space of the monastery.
The Holy Knight of the monastery looked around the applicants once and opened his mouth.
“Then, from now on, we will start selecting apprentice paladins.”
The selection method was simple. Once you have a sparring with the paladin who served as the tester and your skills are verified, that’s it.
Tom calmed himself down and looked around.
The applicants were mostly boys older than his age.
Apprentice paladin positions are usually those close to adulthood who are close to being baptized, and Tom was definitely one of the younger ones.
Paladins, above all else, the combat power of the Order that proves their faith with swords and armor.
Especially for the energetic boys, the existence of a paladin was much more aspirational than a priest.
If he became an apprentice paladin, he could officially establish a priestly relationship with the paladin of the monastery and receive much higher level of teaching.
Meanwhile, children who did not apply for screening were watching the scene around them.
Among them, of course, were Elika and Heron.
“Look at his expression, he’s really crazy.”
Standing with her back against a tree, Elika giggled and pointed at Tom, who looked nervous.
In the end, only Tom out of the three applied for the exam.
Heron glanced back at her, then moved his gaze back to Tom and opened his mouth.
“I’m asking you seriously. Do you really want to become a paladin?”
Elika looked at Heron with a frown.
But instead of firing as usual, he paused for a moment before answering quietly.
“There’s no particular reason why I should become a paladin.”
“It’s just that talent is too precious to be a priest. The Lords always say that you’re born.”
Some paladins who recognized Elika’s talent early on wanted her to become a paladin, as did Tom and Heron.
If you become an ordinary priest without learning swordsmanship or magic, you will most likely live in this monastery for the rest of your life.
However, if he became a paladin and further polished his martial arts, one day his skills would be recognized and he could move to a large church branch or headquarters.
Looking at the reaction of the Paladins who taught Elika even a little, she had no choice but to know. She knows how great her potential is.
Heron was a waste of that. If a precious friend could receive great honor and recognition, of course it was a good thing.
“I don’t know. Anyway, I don’t have a heart yet.”
Does that mean that it may change later?
Heron nodded and didn’t ask more.
Anyway, this isn’t the last screening test, and there were always opportunities next year or the year after that.
“By the way, isn’t that a little uneasy?”
Elika pointed to one side with her chin.
There stood a young paladin who served as the examiner for this screening.
Heron also looked at him with a mischievous look.
Paladin Barian, because he knew that he usually looked at Tom with disapproval.
It was nothing. He had corrected Tom’s swordsmanship once before, but it was because Tom did not follow it and continued his swordsmanship training as taught by another paladin.
From Tom’s point of view, he was only following the training method he thought was more suitable for him, but from his point of view, his pride was hurt.
“It’s a test, so I won’t mix personal feelings. And I don’t think I’ll still keep it in my heart.”
The exam soon began.
As the names were called, the applicants who came forward in turn engaged in sparring with Barian one by one.
“The overall basic foundation is still lacking.
“The stance is excellent, but the sword attack is too simple.
“Passed. It’s great without major flaws.”
The sparring was conducted with an unsharpened sword rather than a real sword, and only two out of ten people passed in front of Tom.
Then it was Tom’s turn, and he stood in front of Barian holding his sword.
Varian looked at him with a strange look and said.
“Do your best to spread your swordsmanship.”
Tom took a deep breath and immediately lunged at Varian.
The blunt iron blades, which had not been sharpened, collided with each other.
Darian stood still, dodging and blocking all of Tom’s sword attacks.
It was only natural that the attacks wouldn’t reach him, so Tom didn’t flinch and focused on showing his best.
After about a minute, Darian’s words stopped Tom from swinging his sword.
He let out a rough breath and looked at Darian nervously with anticipation in his eyes.
However, the words that came out of his mouth were so resolute…
“It is inconsistent.”
Tom’s expression hardened.
Heron’s face, who was watching, was also darkly shaded, and Elika frowned at all.
There was a reason for Elika’s violent reaction.
If Tom’s skills were clearly lacking, there was no reason not to be complacent.
However, from her point of view, there was not much difference between Tom’s ability and the narrowly accepted one of the two previously selected candidates. But one side sticks and the other falls off.
“When swinging the sword, the center of the body is not stable. It’s not that he doesn’t have qualities, but he seems to be lacking in skill in many ways.”
After saying that, Varian turned to one side.
The judges were a total of three people, including the other two Paladins, including him who was in direct confrontation with the applicants.
However, they, who had an ambiguous expression, nodded to Barian’s evaluation and eventually gave the same result.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s a failure. Focus on training more and aim for the next opportunity.”
Tom’s skill was at an ambiguous level that barely crossed the passing line, where it wouldn’t be strange if he was good or bad.
So, if Barian had passed, there was a possibility that the other two would have followed suit to some extent.
It was unknown whether he rejected the offer because he genuinely judged Tom to be lacking, or if there was even the slightest hint of personal feelings mixed in.
But Tom couldn’t figure it out.
Even if you protest anyway, the result will not be reversed.
Thinking of the next test, he knew that it was only right to quietly back down without looking bad in the eyes of the paladins.
Tom mumbled his sword clenched tightly, then finally let out the words, bowed his head in greeting, and retreated.
And Elika saw.
The moment Tom turned around and went back to his place, a faint sneer crossed Barian’s lips.
Elika, who had caught her teeth, raised her hand and shouted.
“I will apply for the exam!”
Everyone’s eyes turned to Elika at the sudden shout.
Heron also looked back in surprise.
I could tell right away from her expression and voice that she was completely feverish.
“Hey, hey… Elika?”
“I’m going to give that damn bastard a shot.”
Elika muttered that and then strode forward.
Even if he didn’t have a single light and serious side, he was sincere in his dream of becoming a paladin.
I couldn’t stand it when I was convinced that Varian had dropped Tom for only minor ill feelings.
Tom approached the center of the clearing with a mix of surprise and bewilderment and looked at her standing there, and all the paladins opened their eyes wide.
“Are you serious, Elika? You’re applying for the screening test?”
Until now, she had only been able to pass it on despite persuasion to become a paladin.
Elika, who took the sword from Tom, stood facing Barian in front of him.
“Dalian, please immediately.”
Varian’s eyes twitched.
“······Good, try your best swordsmanship.”
Raising her sword, Elika immediately charged at him.
I watched the situation in the empty lot where the next match had just begun.
I knew that there was a test to select apprentice paladins today, so I was watching from a distance.
‘Are you pissed off because you dropped your friend?’
Elika wields her sword with ferocious force against the examiner.
She seemed to challenge the screening test in a fit of anger, dissatisfied with Tom’s rejection.
I could tell from the level, but Elika’s swordsmanship was the best among the applicants.
I was watching with a little interest how the results of the match would come out, but I suddenly felt a presence approaching from behind.
I slowly turned my head back.
It had to be.
Because it wasn’t just a passing sign of a monastery person. The aura that the sign possessed was quite gigantic.
What came into sight was the figure of a middle-aged man in a gray robe.
I didn’t know all the faces of the people in the monastery, but I realized right away that he was an outsider.
He made eye contact with me, smiled softly, and naturally approached me. Then he politely asked.
“Excuse me. Are you a priest at this monastery?”
I glanced over at him.
A rosary with a pattern representing the Church of Rael hung around the man’s neck. From that, it was possible to guess that he was a priest.
Looking at the sword at the waist, I wondered if it was a paladin. Someone from another church branch?
Whatever it was, just looking at the level, it was impossible not to know that he was not an ordinary person. Level 81… Who is this?
“No. I’m an outsider living in a monastery for a while. What about you?”
the man answered.
“I’m a believer who happened to pass by. But could you explain what you’re doing over there?”
He turned his gaze toward the clearing I was looking at and asked out of the blue.
I answered at once.
“It’s called a screening test to select apprentice paladins.”
“Oh, that’s right. Apprentice Holy Knight…”
The man let out a soft exclamation.
He did not reveal the purpose of entering the monastery.
I turned my gaze again and watched Elika’s sparring for a while.
“You’re a great kid.”
Then, standing next to me, we naturally started watching the match together.
I was a little dumbfounded, so I stared at him like that. What is it all of a sudden?
Barian felt a bit astonished and defended the attack.
It was because Elica’s all-out offensive was of a much higher level than expected.
‘Was this enough?’
All the paladins of the monastery already knew about her excellent swordsmanship, but they didn’t expect it to be to this extent.
Of course, it was only that compared to his age, but it was still far from enough to compare with a formal paladin.
The two swords interlocked low at the bottom.
The workshop was divided enough. It was the moment Barian was about to throw his sword to end the sparring.
Elika’s blade suddenly drew an arc. Then, she immediately aimed for Barian’s neck and stabbed her.
Barian, who was moderately vigilant against the counterattack far beyond the level of a beginner, reacted late.
Dalian, of course, was unfolding without using magic, but he reflexively raised his magic power and struck off the blow aimed at the neck.
Barian’s sword, unable to control its strength, shattered Elika’s blade. It didn’t stop there and kept going.
Elika’s fragile shoulders were exposed as they were to the unusually powerful sword strike.
At this rate, even her shoulder was about to be shattered like a blade.
A small magic bullet that suddenly flew like a beam of light struck Barian’s sword. The blade of his sword was also smashed.
Missing the hilt of the sword, Varian sat down on the floor and grabbed his wrist.
Elika, who lost her balance and landed on her butt, stared at him blankly.
Those who watched the Dalian did not understand what had happened at the moment, but suddenly regained consciousness and looked away.
A strange man was slowly walking toward us.
“I’m sorry, Sir. The sparring seems to have escalated so I unavoidably interfered.”
The man in the robe handed over an apology in a very polite voice.
“… who are you?”
Varian, who got up from his seat, glared at the man with hostile eyes. The other paladins also showed a wary look in their eyes.
It was obviously Barian’s mistake to not be able to control his strength, but it was natural that he did not respond well to outsiders who suddenly intervened in the sparring.
The man with the hood of his robe down answered with a gentle smile.
“A believer who happened to pass by.”
“A believer, in which church branch…?”
A paladin who was talking saw the pattern engraved on the man’s sword hilt, and immediately widened his eyes.
A brilliant golden cross engraved inside a pure white border.
“And, a knight of brilliance…?”