The following day.
Shirone, with a tired face, went to work in the library. He couldn’t sleep a wink due to what happened yesterday.
Due to having a lot on his mind, he couldn’t speed up his work.
‘Let’s calm down.’
After struggling to calm himself down, Shirone was eventually able to regain his composure.
‘I’m not dying now. I still have a month. I’ll be able to figure something out.’
First of all, background check.
According to the information he gathered, Lord Bischoff had three sons and one daughter.
The eldest son was a certified Grade 6 swordsman. The second son was also a genius swordsman who followed in his brother’s footsteps.
The eldest daughter was also talented, but she chose music over swords and was working as a royal pianist.
And after figuring out all that, he noticed Rian was the only one who failed to stand out in the end.
The Lord even provided him an exclusive teacher, but the reports claimed he was not talented.
“Haah, I shouldn’t have done that. I should have just accepted the hits when he was adamant on beating me.”
It was natural that Rian, who had been compared to his brother all his life, was angry at the Thunder Strike.
It seemed that not all nobles were born to excel.
“Now what? I’m in big trouble.”
Agitated again, Shirone stared blankly at the real sword, which had been left unattended under the desk.
“I don’t have time for this.”
Shirone jumped up and headed for the study.
‘Whether I fight or not, it’s always better to be prepared!’
Since he lived in the mountains, Shirone was confident in his stamina and level of fitness, so if he were to learn self-defense, he would be able to at least save his life.
After putting aside the history books for the time being, he collected all the books related to swordsmanship.
While there were technical books like the Sword Textbook, there were philosophical books such as What is Sword? and Only Humans Are Afraid of the Sword.
Practical books such as Let’s Win With Bluff and The Stronger Individual Is the Survivor were also seen.
Shirone opened a book with the simple and clear title of Swordsmanship.
It was a book that contained the history of swordsmanship as well as overall knowledge about it.
It was also an interesting book in the eyes of the aspiring mage, Shirone.
If mages had the Spirit Zone, swordsmen had something called the Schema.
Schema was both an imaginary body and a schematic of the human body.
Every human had their own body image, and the Schema was an extreme embodiment of it.
Masters of Schema would say that they could fully understand their body and be involved in how their cells moved as well as how their nerves sent signals.
Shirone put down the book and slapped his knee.
“It’s nearly identical to Spirit Zone.”
A mage would erase their existence and assimilate with the world, but a swordsman did the opposite and further dug into themselves.
Shirone attempted Schema.
Feeling an imaginary self while maintaining the senses just before entering the Spirit Zone.
‘As expected, it’s not too difficult yet.’
However, the imaginary body was dark as a shadow and could not be felt.
‘If I were to remove this dark curtain, it would become Schema. It’s truly incredible.’
Shirone picked up the book again.
It was written that the method of mastering Schema varied widely from family to family and that prioritizing specific parts to strengthen it depended on the method.
While there were families that unlocked Schema to simply develop the mind, there were also families that drove the body to the limit.
Some families focused on muscle strength, some speed, and some used Schema to strengthen nerves.
‘Come to think of it…’
Shirone recalled the red-haired girl from the alley three years ago.
At that time, the situation was hectic, but when he thought about it back at home, her movements were not something a normal human could do.
‘She unlocked Schema. She was about the same age as me… What great talent.’
Shirone closed the book and ruminated.
Rian couldn’t have mastered Schema anyways, but Shirone wanted to try doing so, even if there was a barrier.
‘Schema is not exactly swordsmanship. Just like how Spirit Zone is not exactly magic.’
Just like how knowledge was significant to a mage, a strong body was essential for a swordsman.
‘If one’s body is not supported, the width of reinforcement is extremely narrow. I already have the Spirit Zone, so it would be faster to find a solution to swordsmanship rather than trying to accommodate two completely different concepts!’
It was a strategy to learn some useful swordsmanship with the Spirit Zone as the base.
Shirone opened a beginner’s textbook in swordsmanship.
Knowing that his life was on the line, Shirone’s concentration was at its highest ever despite having to suddenly study swordsmanship, a subject he previously did not have much interest in.
Dust rose in the Great Training Grounds. Rian’s legs were the culprit.
His heart was about to burst. No oxygen was being inhaled, so the chyme in his stomach flowed back up.
His lunch came out, but Rian did not falter and continued to run.
“100 laps! Pass!”
The swordsman, Kite, shouted. Rian looked different today, and as his instructor, he couldn’t have been any more proud.
“New record! But what happened to you? Why just start to flow with the training now?”
“Damn it! You call this training?”
“What did you say, you punk?”
Kite looked at him with slit-eyes.
He complimented him for the first time in a while, but old habits die hard. All Rian did was complain and grumble.
Join our Discord for new chapter updates!
But today’s whining was different.
“I’m still standing on my two legs! Master, is there anything harder?”
Kite was quite surprised.
‘It’s been a while since he’s shown such zeal.’
It was the first time in two years since he knelt before the genius of Rai Ogent.
“You. Something happened, right?”
With his hands on his knees, Rian raised his sweating head.
“…There’s nothing like that.”
Kite did not believe him.
With the eyes of his disciple staring ahead in such a frightening way, Kite knew something was definitely bothering him.
‘Is it Rai again?’
No matter how much he thought about it, the only person who could make Rian this way was the second son of the family.
Did Rai accomplish something again? But what? Didn’t Rai already unlock his Schema?
It didn’t matter. His disciple was Rian, not Rai. And currently, he was bearing his neck, allowing him to push Rian to his heart’s content.
“Good! Let’s go hard today! Even if you were to die, I want you to know that I won’t be responsible for it!”
“Bring it on!”
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
Come and read on our website wuxia worldsite. Thanks
Rian swung an iron bar twice as heavy as a longsword.
There was no limit on the number of times he had to swing, for if you couldn’t realize Schema with your insight, then the only way was to push your body to its limits.
“Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Kite watched his student repeatedly cut vertically with satisfaction.
But not long afterwards, his expression hardened.
At last he realized and ran towards Rian with his eyes wide.
“You crazy! Stop it! You’ll burst your muscles!”
“They haven’t burst yet!”
Kite stopped himself.
Tears were flowing down from Rian’s eyes as he clenched his teeth and continued to swing the iron bar.
“Damn it! Why aren’t my muscles exploding! Why can’t I break my arm? I can do more! This isn’t the end! I’m not done yet!”
Tears welled up in Kite’s eyes.
He was a teacher who was as upset as his student.
‘How come it’s not working? He’s pushed his body to the limits… So why can’t he open Schema?’
Kite wiped away the tears with his thick arms.
This shouldn’t be the case. What would become of Rian if even his own teacher were to doubt him?
Kite intercepted Rian’s iron bar.
This time, Rian did not protest and stopped moving because his teacher had stopped him with his own hand.
“Rian, that’s enough. Let’s call it a day.”
Rian’s madness disappeared with that warm voice, and with that, his arms gave out, and without even knowing that the bar had fallen to the ground, Rian replied with his head down.
“Okay. Thank you.”
Kite wrapped an ice towel around Rian’s shoulders. Seeing that the bones were not damaged, he was surprised at the sturdiness of Rian’s bones.
Sitting on the hill of the training grounds, Rian was staring at the distant mountain with a fierce expression.
“What are you thinking about?”
“That my arms are killing me.”
There was a small smile on Kite’s face.
“Rian, I’ve never written about your talent in a report.”
“Tsk, did I ask?”
“But I think you’re talented. Achieving something quickly is not the only indicator of talent. Reaching for the unachievable is a talent as well.”
“You don’t have to comfort me. It’s only those words that are sweet. Frankly speaking, I’m only working this hard because I’m not talented.”
“Is it really though? A genius knows that they’re a genius, so they are clearly aware of what they can do. Have you ever thought of that?”
“Well, I do know what I can’t do.”
“Yes. That’s why you’re not a genius.”
Rian looked back at Kite with a ridiculous look.
He was adding fuel to the fire. He was a teacher who made both his arms and heart hurt.
“Stop it. I already know that.”
Looking at his pouting student, Kite smiled.
“But Rian, do you know what a genius is afraid of? They’re afraid of effort. Geniuses work hard, but their level of effort is different from normal people. They may experience setbacks and pain, but there exists no doubt as they only do what they can. So effort is a powerful weapon for those who aren’t geniuses. You’re trying because you’re not talented? Don’t even start with that. While talent guarantees you something, effort can grant you something talent can’t. And that thing is will.”
Kite grabbed Rian by the shoulder and squeezed.
“You have the will to challenge the nigh-insurmountable. That will is something not everyone has. Simply put, will power is the natural enemy of a genius.”
Rian liked that. It didn’t matter to him if they were just words of comfort.
Yeah, he didn’t have talent, but he knew that despite the fact he wasn’t born with a road to success, he could pave it himself.
‘I’ll definitely win.’
He was determined to put everything he had into training.
Shirone knew clearly what he could and couldn’t do.
And due to that, he began to study swordsmanship without hesitation when he realized the concept of Schema.
Selection and concentration.
Talent efficiently designs the shortest distance to a destination through these two.
Shirone set aside all the miscellaneous techniques and dug into the basics of swordsmanship.
A month passed.
During that time, Shirone trained in only two things: the eight ways of cutting and the eight ways of blocking.
‘This is my best!’
Satisfied with his performance, Shirone finished his training.
And finally, he asked a question that would show what he had learned over the past month.
“What is swordsmanship?”
While It was a sport that was made with the purpose of taking lives, it was also a sport that required high-levels of wits and intelligence in order to come out alive.
Shirone aimed the sword forward.
He learned from the books that the enemy could move in every way imaginable, but he knew that was not the truth.
‘The sword that comes in to cut me is real. So there are eight places I need to block!’
He responded with his imagination.
Eight blades that overpowered eight defenses turned to hundreds as one addition was made.
It wasn’t possible to calculate all the ways a sword could move.
‘I’m not counting numbers. I’m feeling as a whole.’
Just like how you couldn’t see the whole forest when staring at a single tree, Shirone needed to focus not only on the individual aspects of what he learned, but to look at them as a whole.
That was insight.
But it was easier said than done.
As various patterns spread out like fractals, he kept focusing on a specific spot.
‘It’s okay if I don’t make it. Let’s observe for now. I’m just fixing errors right now!’
Free from tension, Shirone completely let go of his thoughts at some point as he delved into his mind.
Then the whole thing was visible and all kinds of possibilities began to appear at once.
Shirone’s eyes were filled with astonishment.
‘There’s no end to it.’
His sword and Rian’s were filling up the scenery around him.
Shirone, who dropped the sword, stumbled backward.
Swords, too, were infinite. Shirone saw the infinity of their swords.
‘I see the swordsmen chose this kind path!’
Shirone chose the infinite path of magic, so being able to relate swordsmanship to that made him feel good.
‘Mom, Dad, I’m sorry. I might not be able to go back!’
He had no regrets.
And the same was true for Rian.
Despite his life being on the line, Shirone was happy that he was able to see such a wonderful side of the world.
Ding Ding Ding…
The bell rang signaling eleven o’clock.
Rian, who wanted to have what he couldn’t have, did what he could.
The clash between the two boys in stark contrast to each other was now just an hour away.