The morning after, Norma took Fujisur and Eda to the capital.
Lecan started training Julius.
He found out Julius's surprising competence in swordsmanship as they exchanged blows.
However it's not yet fit for real combat.
His swordsmanship may be elegant, but interrupting him while he's in the middle of a move causes him to lose balance.
He could parry well from any direction, but a continuous barrage of attack results in him quickly losing his composure.
(I guess he's still in form practicing phase.)
(What the heck do I teach this boy?)
Lecan can't teach stuff like sword techniques or the likes. He can only teach him real combat. But forcing Julius to participate in real combat now would only screw with his forms and techniques instead.
But then, Lecan saw another issue in day three of practice.
(What this boy lacks is fundamental strength.)
(Strength to grasp, swing, and strike, also.)
(Instantaneous explosive force and agility.)
(Once he let out a strike with full power behind it, he's used up all his reserve strength.)
(No more strength to move on to the next strike.)
(Boy's got excellent reaction speed.)
Lecan feels like he could teach the boy many things once he's got the fundamental strength down.
Manfrey was always busy all day dealing with work and guests, but he would always find time to invite Lecan to a meal or tea time once a day.
Manfrey who looked unfriendly outwardly turned out to be well versed in old local heroic tales, and interesting Grace Gear, which he used to entertain Lecan.
Julius was allowed to be present too. When Lecan introduced him as his apprentice, Manfrey asked about the boy's origin, and Lecan told him that Arios is the boy's father. Manfrey ceased to inquire any further. He showed no reaction to the name Arios either.
(Perhaps not every marquis house knows about.)
Manfrey introduced his little brothers and sons to Lecan. But he never pressed further nor he showed any sign of trying to curry favor to Lecan. Lecan was quite pleased with Manfrey's way of putting distance. They were also given a room in a remote detached annex, the servants would only go there for meals and cleaning, and do nothing to interrupt Lecan or Julius. The liquor and cooking were very good as well.
(Nothing less to expect from Norma's cousin.)
(House of Wazrof is a nice place.)
One day during meal, they touched upon a particular topic.
"Per Norma's request, I had dispatched operatives to Tsubolt in order to investigate you. As a result, I found out that you have conquered Dungeon Tsubolt."
"The facts that Dungeon Tsubolt has 150 floors and that it has been conquered are shocking indeed, but only to those who are familiar with Dungeon Tsubolt itself. After all, every Grand Dungeons has their own quirks."
"Hou. So that's how it goes."
"Umu. However, Marquis of Tsubolt has presented a <Comet Cutter> to his majesty the king."
"It has been given the stamp of approval from the royal family-appointed appraiser. It is indeed the same sword as the Founder King's trusty sword. The royal family showered Marquis of Tsubolt with great honor, and furnished the new sword in a room deep in the royal palace for lords to witness."
"A rumor about how an adventurer called Lecan was the one who presented the <Comet Cutter> to Marquis of Tsubolt is circulating among the lords."
"Ordinarily, no one bothers to find out the name of adventurers who managed to procure valuable items from dungeons under a particular lord's management."
Of course. It's the same with how there is no records of miners who dig out gems.
"However, <Comet Cutter> is said to be a treasure the Founder King procured by his own hands in a dungeon. And nobody else since then ever got their hands on a <Comet Cutter>. As such it must have greatly piqued his majesty's curiosity. He asked thus as Marquis of Tsubolt presented the <Comet Cutter>. 'Who is this adventurer that obtained this treasure?'"
Of course, Marquis of Tsubolt would answer it's an adventurer by the name Lecan. Which then spreads out as rumors.
"Hm? Shouldn't it be known that Dungeon Tsubolt had 150 floors before Zaka Kingdom was founded? There must be a few <Comet Cutters> in circulation before the founding, what about those?"
"It has been said that there existed several <Comet Cutter> long in past. However, none has ever borne witness to one. Only the trusty sword of the Founder King and the one Marquis of Tsubolt presented remain."
When you think about it, there should be not a lot of appraisers capable of appraising <Comet Cutter>. Not a lot of people capable of activating and wielding it as well. And even fewer magic swordsmen who could wield the sword to its full capability. There might be a few <Comet Cutters> unknowingly resting in the treasury of some local nobles.
As they had nothing else to do, Lecan would keep Julius company in his training every day.
He got some unexpected benefits.
(Haha. This is that sword technique Arios often used.)
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(So this is how's it done.)
Julius's swordsmanship is honest and textbook-like.
Thus it's easy to understand the structure and characteristics of his techniques.
Lecan gets to learn about an orthodox-style swordsmanship while practicing with Julius.
(Just gotta carefully watch and learn this boy's sword.)
(It'll be a good reference when I'm fighting someone trained in orthodox swordsmanship.)
(What a steal.)
At first, Lecan would parry or block Julius's sword. Later on he would often let his body take the hits. Julius was shocked, but as Lecan kept his cool, he eventually got used to it.
Taking the hits with his body is partly a way to grasp those techniques' power and effects, and partly a training for Julius, to get him used to cutting flesh.
Julius's attacks don't pass through <Overking Bear Overcoat> anyway, not to mention its <Self-Repair>. And Lecan has <Recovery>. Nothing to worry about.
There are just two techniques Lecan would not take a direct hit.
One is a pierce. As it's got a very obvious windup, the technique would likely never hit an enemy that hasn't lost their balance already, but it's got enough power that made even Lecan broke out in cold sweat.
(I learned <Puncture> skill through a potion.)
(But this boy must have learned it through his swordschool's training.)
The other one is a quick sword drawing technique. It's apparently called <Windless>. As Julius has only just recently started practicing the technique, his sword sometimes would slip out wrong, but blocking this technique proved hard even when Lecan kept a close watch. Like it's hard to read the breathing with this technique. This technique branches out to several others, and one among those is called <Tiger's Jaws> which boasts very high power.
Norma came back on the 33rd.