ng 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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