Liam, Thirty years old
Usually when you’d think about a thirty year old, you’d imagine a fully grown adult.
But thirty years old in this universe is still the equivalent of an elementary school child.1
I had grown a little taller than I was before from sleeping and eating well.
Is this body not healthier than the one from my previous life’s childhood?
Everything is great, except for-
I sheathed the sword I held in my left hand as I inspected the surrounding logs.
Of the three that I set up, I was only able to cut through two.
And even then, all the cuts are extremely rough.
They were completely different from the cut that Master showed me.
My jagged slices are an embarrassment in comparison to Master’s. His were cut so cleanly that you would’ve believed him if he had told you that they were cut beforehand.
Master has a perplexed expression on his face as he watched me.
Is he disappointed?
I lowered my head in shame.
“I’m sorry Master, I’m still nowhere close to reaching your level of skill.”
Master shook his head.
“The path of the sword is long and steep, there is no end goal. With that said, you’ve done well to progress this far in only twenty years.”
I’ve pondered about how I could replicate Master these past twenty years.
I didn’t think I’d be able to do it even after I became proficient in the basics, and then I remembered Master’s words.
Magic existed in this universe.
“That’s it! I need to use magic! Condense the magic power into a thin blade and extend it from my sword! Is that the correct answer?”
I thought that was correct, but the results were still far too different from Master’s demonstration.
While I was wondering about what I did wrong, Master started to applaud.
“If you’ve noticed this much, then you’ve gotten close to the truth.”
“I’ve gotten close?”
“Er, yeah, that’s right. Now that you’ve figured out that you need to use magic, you must now focus on mastering that magic.”
“I need to learn magic?”
I’m a noble and yet I’m also learning how to use magic...
In recent times, the magic power of individuals aren’t considered that important.
Magic would be powerless against space battleship lazers.
Taking that into account, martial arts were pretty much in the same boat.
If taken to the extremes, I could be completely incompetent in these things and be fine.
Even so, these lessons will no doubt be useful in times of crisis.
“Yes, but in the end that’s just magic. It’s not enough.”
I need to study many things in earnest.
“I’ll try to include some magic classes soon.”
“This is good, but I’m going to have to seal that technique for a while. It’s true that you need to learn magic, but you’re not ready for it yet, so for the next decade I’m going to prohibit any training other than the basics.”
Even though I was finally able to achieve something!
I shouted those complaints in my mind, but I couldn’t go against Master.
If I tried to fight against this person, I’d be split into two in an instant.
“Okay, I understand.”
“Well for now, why not focus on your government affairs? If the lord of a territory solely focused on his martial abilities, then he’d be a failure of a lord.”
Is that what he’s thinking?
He must be worried about me.
“Its okay, while we’re still in the process of reforming the land, the results are finally starting to bear fruit.”
The military was reorganized.
The government was reformed.
Decisions were made to develop the territory, and the plans have already been set in motion.
In a universe that has already made advancements into space exploration, the development capability of society is insanely high.
Can you imagine skyscrapers being built in only a few days?
Machines and androids controlled by the people can complete the construction things at dizzying speeds.
“You’ve done well, but like always we can’t neglect the basics.”
“It looks like doing it normally won’t help you develop any further, so for now I want you to continue while strapped on with weights and blindfolded.”
“You want me to wear a blindfold and weights?”
Master proceeded to tie weights onto the sword and blindfolded me.
“Keep swinging the heavier blade until it feels like you’re swinging a small branch, and the blindfold should help you learn how to not rely on eyesight alone.”
It’s like the training sessions I’d see in a cartoon.
But everything that Master says is absolute!
...now that I think about it, the entertainment industry hasn’t developed that much due to the lack of time.
Should I try to invest a bit more there?
◇ ◇ ◇
Yasushi watched Liam as he swung the weighted sword blindfolded.
(What the hell is this?! What the hell are you?!)
His cold sweat had been going on non-stop for a while.
There’s no way Yasushi could’ve predicted that he’d actually transform his street magic trick into an actual secret swordsmanship technique.
Yasushi even thought that Liam’s movements were even better than himself recently.
Even though he had only taught him the basics, Yasushi couldn’t help but feel embarrassed by Liam who had developed an entire secret technique on his own.
(If he finds out that I was lying, I’d stand no chance! I’d be chopped up in an instant!)
With an atmosphere like that, there’s no way he could come clean now.
Liam was already several steps higher than himself as a swordsman, he had already lost what little confidence in his blade he had left.
(In any case, I was stupid enough to not save any money. I can’t run away anymore!)
The rewards were already exhausted because he already spent them on luxuries.
He’d sneak out to the city every now and then, saying that he was going to check on the state on his other disciples in various other places.
There wasn’t enough money to escape.
(There’s no other choice, let’s save up the funds and disappear! Yes, that’s the plan. Let’s do it!)
Now that he was blindfolded, Yasushi could finally wipe his cold sweat in front of the steadfast Liam.
(I really only taught him the basics... could he be a genius?)
Yasushi was no teacher.
He couldn’t have possibly known Liam was this talented.
(Argh, I don’t care anymore! In any case, its earning time now. I need to research some ways to train him, or else I’ll be killed!)
Yasushi swore to endure living frugally for a while as he saved up enough money to escape.
◇ ◇ ◇
Does it really make sense to be blindfolded?
At the beginning I questioned this thought process.
“I finally understand what you were trying to convey to me Master! I can now perceive what it means to use my senses other than sight! You wanted me to know that it wasn’t enough to just see things with my eyes alone!”
I told Master as such while I was still blindfolded.
Master tried to walk away while I was blindfolded, but amazingly enough, I immediately discern his position just from the slight sounds of his footsteps.
Did I surprise you Master?
Is this not proof that I’m growing up?
“W-well, it’s quite surprising that you had gotten this far in such a short period of time. No, really. Just how were you able to learn this in just a few years?”
It seems like my growth was unprecedented.
I was now able to perceive people even when I wasn’t looking at them.
And I could easily swing the weighted sword with only my fingertips now.
“Look at my progress, Master! I can now swing it this easily!”
“Oh, umm-yeah! Don’t get conceited!”
Master went on to scold me.
“While it may be true that you’ve refined your senses other than vision, that all you’ve done. You still haven’t learned how to perceive things with magic.”
After being reminded of magic, I couldn’t help but be surprised that there was still so much for me to learn.
“You’ve enlightened me, Master!”
“Of course I have! Now then, your current sword is too light, so I’m going to prepare a custom one for you.”
Excitement started welling up inside me after hearing that I was going to get a customized sword.
“I’m looking forward to it, Master!”
“Aw man, that was a close one...”
What does that mean?
It felt like Master was frightened for a moment there.
Is it just my imagination?
◇ ◇ ◇
(Give me a break already, dammit!)
Yasushi couldn’t feel anything but fear towards Liam who had turned towards him even while blindfolded.
A heavy sword was easily being swung with just his fingertips.
Isn’t that kid able to live normally blindfolded now?
Even if Yasushi tried to run away, he’d find him.
(What do I do?! What the hell am I supposed to do?! I didn’t think that he’d actually learn anything from this!)
Yasushi intended to earn himself some more time, but his plans had already gone awry in just a couple years.
(Was this kid always a genius?! Then tell me something like that in the beginning!)
In the first place, Yasushi was never a teacher. He was just a con-man.
It was impossible for him to measure Liam’s talent and potential.
(I’ll order the heaviest sword I can find, I’ll extend its length as well. I’ll make it so it’s almost impossible for him to swing it.)
Develop his sixth sense, learn to see the unseen, strengthen his magic etc.
Yasushi pondered ways he could extend the training when another plan popped into his head.
(That’s it! I’ll use that!)
◇ ◇ ◇
Yasushi walked up to the mansion’s warehouse.
Furniture and fragile items that were removed from the demolished building were stored here.
Yasushi had sold the antiques he had stolen from here, even if most of them were fakes.
Among all the items was a very old humanoid machine, a mobile knight.
It was a lumbering giant that stood 24 meters tall in comparison to the recent 14 meter-tall models.
It was an ancient machine that was hundreds of years old, something that had fallen out of use several generations ago.
It was the machine that Liam’s great grandfather had piloted.
Yasushi had come to the warehouse with Amagi and pointed towards the knight.
“Prepare this old machine. It’s going to become Liam’s new training equipment.”
Amagi turned a suspicious gaze towards Yasushi.
“This is a very outdated machine, should I prepare a current model instead?”
“That would be very bad!”
Yasushi knew that modern knights were easier to maneuver.
As new models and generations came out, movement and other actions became much more user-friendly.
Their performance have also been dramatically improved, so if someone like Liam started piloting one of those, he’d be able to master it in just a few years.
Yasushi wouldn’t be able to buy enough time at all.
“This is also for Sir Liams sake, I want him to use this one after its been repaired.”
“But the parts aren’t in commision anymore, it’d only delay the repair time. Its universally accepted to use 14 and 18-class models, so there aren’t that many factories that can even handle something of this size.”
Amagi only responded politely to Yasushi because Liam recognised him as his master.
If Liam didn’t, then her response would’ve been far more vulgar.
(You don’t think I don’t know that?! I’ll make you spend what little money you have left on this, then you won’t have the time nor the funds needed to chase me. I’m a genius!)
Yasushi knew the basic mechanics of the old knight models.
He knew that they were built to be very sturdy.
“The old machines are solidly built, with some new parts it can be far more robust than the current knights.”
“I’m telling you, it’s not that simp-”
As Amagi tried to deny it, Yasushi pushed through with his opinion.
“This is final! Repair this machine! This is all for Sir Liam’s sake. The control method is ideal, because its a manual. It’s not good to rely on recent model’s auto-assistance.”
Amagi reluctantly consented while after he continued to spout on for a while.
Liam had told her to respond to Yasushi’s instructions to the best of her abilities.
“I’ll make the arrangements immediately.”
“Also, make sure to spend as much as you can. Remember, this is all for Sir Liam’s sake!”
Even though he knew they were in debt, Yasushi put in various orders to further tighten the house’s finances.
◇ ◇ ◇
Inside the warehouse that Yasushi had already departed from.
Amagi looked up at the mobile knight- designation, [Avid].
There were many exposed parts that showed the basic frame, and some parts of the armored frame were rusted.
Looking up at the tattered Avid, Amagi couldn’t help but think,
(Is that person even qualified to teach? I’m certain that my Master is stronger than him, and he doesn’t give off the feeling of someone that special.)
Just by looking at his way of way of living, Yasushi definitely didn’t look like he was qualified.
But he produced results.
In addition to that-
(No information comes out about him no matter how much I investigate him. Rather, that’s just even more unnatural...)
With that said, it was difficult to dismiss Yasushi because he produced results.
Besides, there’s no problem as long as his suspicious sides don’t interfere with his job.
Amagi was exasperated as to how things came to this.
“...it’s an order, so I’ll just do it.”
In current times, large twenty-four meter class knights weren’t widely used.
Therefore, if they were hoping to maintain it, they couldn’t hire just any factory.
They had to bring in a large factory that had the superior facilities capable of making the needed parts.
To give an example, it’d be like taking a classic sports car to a small garage workshop. If they didn’t have the parts, then they wouldn’t be able to fix it.
“I need to call in a manufacturer from the Empire.”
It’s one of the Empire’s weapon factories who were responsible for building Avid.
They still existed, so they were the only place where the repairs could really be trusted.
Amagi double-checked the Yasushi’s request.
“That’s a big demand, but it is possible to secure a budget. I should call someone in first though...”
She wanted to have a mechanic check on Avid’s condition before contacting the factory.
As she left the warehouse thinking about what to do, she found Liam walking around blindfolded.
Her mood instantly brightened.
“Those footsteps have to be... Amagi!”
“You are correct, Master.”
He was walking around as if he could the surroundings clearly despite the blindfold.
“Master, it’s dangerous to walk around in that condition.”
“It’s no problem, this is just practice. Anyways, I heard that you were going to prepare a knight for me?”
Amagi began to talk about the knight Yasushi recommended,
“We’re planning to bring in one of the old-fashioned knights, but in my opinion it’d be better if we budgeted for a fourteen-meter class instead.”
Liam started to rub his chin while tilting his head.
“Its my Master’s idea, so I’ll talk to him about it, but for now I’m going to continue walking around the estate as is.”
Liam then began to walk away blindfolded.
Amagi couldn’t help but feel uneasy when looking at such a sight.
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