17 I Dont Need a Teacher

    "Sewah, mind activating the system for me once again.."

    After accepting the old man's conditions, Daniel started to study the basics of polearms wielding.

    Two hours later, he picked up the halberd from the ground, and started to practice the basic moves, body movements and familiarize with the weapon.

    To the eyes of the spectating group of people that had gathered around the two, what Daniel was doing was acting.

    Inside the old man's mind, different thoughts had started to form. He was torn between two possibilities. The first, was that Daniel was a prodigy, capable of learning the use of weapons a hundred times faster than a normal person.. while the second, was that he had been pretending.

    He had reasons to believe both of these possibilities to be false. For example, such a speed in learning the use of weapons was unheard of. Provided that one was a genius and understood perfectly the theory behind the basics of weapon wielding.. they would still need practice to get used to the weight and maneuverability of the weapon.

    Regarding his second hypothesis, Daniel, in order to be able to fool him by pretending to be a beginner, would not only need to have mastered the use of the sword, but also reached a perfect mastery of its most advanced stages.

    That is why he had given him the halberd and the beginner manual for polearms. He believed that, if he was a true prodigy, he would have been able to see stunning results from Daniel's brief training. He was also certain that, even if Daniel had been a master in the use of the sword, he wouldn't have had the time to master two different weapons to such a level.

    The old man's face was as calm as ever, and he quietly stood with his eyes glued to Daniel.

    The young men and women that had been practicing in the training grounds were now surrounding the two, and discussing quietly.

    "What's the point of this test.. most of us mastered the basics of various weapons.."

    "The brat is just boasting.. we all could pretend to be beginners and to be learning something we already know at an amazing speed.."

    Most of them were convinced that Daniel had been cheating the old man, but there were a few, hidden within the group, that were looking attentively at Daniel. They had been warned by their powers that the old man hardly showed attention to untalented disciples, and that it was almost impossible to be fooled.

    Amongst these few people, were the young man in leather armor, the handsome young man with long hair, and the girl with the folding fan that accompanied the one who had attacked Daniel.

    The two young men approached the girl, and the handsome young man said to her "Riri, what do you think?.."

    The girl turned around and noticed the two young men standing behind her. She then answered "You use the rapier.. that's an unusual weapon. Do you have a manual for it?"

    "I have stopped practicing the basics years ago.." He said before turning towards the young man in leather armor "Nilo, do you have a manual of martial arts to test him with?"

    Nilo, the young man in leather armor, said "Let's first see how he handles the halberd.." His eyes bright and curious.

    One would imagine a martial artist like Nilo to be more direct and impulsive, but that wasn't him. He had always been cautious, and tried to observe the situation before acting. It was by observing the situation that he had befriended the handsome young man with long hair.

    A few years back, he was roaming the kingdom, when he had heard sudden screams coming from a nearby place. After reaching the source of the noise, he saw a young man attacking a woman. This woman had fairly good looks, but wore commoner's clothes. She had a terrified look on her face, and her cries for help sounded desperate. In front of her, stood a young man wielding a thin one-meter long sword.

    One would immediately think that the woman had been in danger, and that the young man had ill intentions, but he didn't act right away. He observed, and noticed that the young man's back had a black spot which stained his otherwise spotlessly clean white shirt. He had also noticed that his breath was weak, his hair disheveled, and his legs were shaking.

    After noticing the young martial artist, the handsome young man had told him to 'stay away, for his own good' That had made him curious about the woman, so he observed her attentively and noticed that her hands were a little too smooth, without the slightest sign to testify a rough life. In his mind, a thought formed.. how did this woman escape a younger and trained man?

    In the end, he had learned that the woman was an assassin, sent by the Purple Leaf sect, a known assassin sect, with the mission of assassinating the handsome young man.

    After realizing that the handsome young man wasn't threatening him, but was instead trying to preventing him from getting into this mess instead, he decided to treat his injuries. They then traveled together, and became friends.

    His instinct were telling him, once again, that he needed to observe before judging.

    Half an hour had passed since Daniel had finished studying the manual. His progress were rapidly witnessed by the old man and the crowd.

    Daniel had found the halberd slightly more difficult to get used to. Its weight was bigger, and it had to be balanced on a much longer shape. It also required him to use both hands to wield it, which required him to have a better control of his body.

    But no matter how much more difficult it was, after ten repetitions he still got used to the new weapon. After 30, he hardly made any mistake and after 50 more, his movements looked like the physical interpretation of the manual.

    In the crowd, next to Riri, the other fan wielding girl had appeared. "He is clearly faking it.. it's just the basics. Three months would be enough for us to master them as well." She said, with a hint of anger in her voice. "I bet the old man is just humoring the brat out of boredom."

    "Nobody is forcing you to stay here, Miri" Said the handsome young man.

    "You!!.. mhh" She then turned around and left.

    Riri looked at him and said "You'll never get over it, will you?.. Finn" Her eyes rolled with annoyance before she focused back into looking at Daniel.

    A few minutes later, the five hours timeline had ended. Daniel was facing the old man. In his hands, the manual and the halberd.

    "I bet he'll slap him into smithereens.."

    "He he.. Maybe he'll give him another weapon"

    As Daniel was about to hand the weapon and the book back to their owner, the old man turned towards the crowd and said "A manual of martial arts basics in exchange for assisting to one of your training sessions."

    Before the words of the old man ended, Nilo's arm was already up.

    Every single pair of eyes within the crowd flashed in realization. The martial artists amongst the crowd started to bite their own teeth in regret.. They had missed a chance.

    The old man looked at Nilo and nodded at him.

    Nilo walked amongst the crowd and reached the old man, he then presented himself while bowing "Nilo Grea, fifteenth generation disciple of the school of the Swift Palm of Oppression."

    He then took a book out of his backpack and handed it over to the old man.

    The old man took notice of Nilo's rapid response. He appreciated attentive and cautious people. He had had many of these kinds of disciples in the past, and whenever he could, he tried to shape their cunning into avoiding problems, instead of creating them.

    After taking the manual off his hands, he looked at Daniel once more and said "Same deal.. 3 hours.. a year of free rent.." Said the old man while brushing his grey beard.

    "A year added to the previous two months?" Inquired Daniel while narrowing his eyes slightly.

    The corner of the old man's lips curved into a faint smile that disappeared the very next moment. "That's right" he responded.

    "Deal!" Said Daniel excitedly.

    The old man had been surprised by Daniel's talent. Mastering two different kinds of weapons to that level, at his age, was nigh impossible. He was almost certain that Daniel was an unheard of prodigy, and him learning the basics of martial arts, would confirm his guess.

    Martial arts and weapons were hardly skills learned together. One's body evolved to perfect the use of the practitioner's weapon of choice, or practiced martial art.

    Daniel could have been a master with different kinds of weapons, but him being capable in martial arts as well was like expecting a swimmer, who's strongest parts of the body were shoulders, back and arms, to also be a great runner, whose main focus was strengthening the legs.

    It is important to understand that, in order to break through from the muscle strengthening stage,

    one didn't require to increase the mass of his muscles. One simply had to refine their existing muscles through the use of ki.

    Daniel had never practiced any martial art, nor had he shaped his muscles through the use of weapons. His body had always been lean and agile, perfect for a pickpocketer and petty thief such as himself.

    The manual of martial arts which Nilo had given to the old man, was the basic of a commonly known martial art called -True Motion-, and it was a martial art that, if properly learned, would help practitioners to avoid most unnecessary movements.

    The basics of -True Motion- simply pointed out the correct ways of walking, running and breathing. It also pointed out the most commonly made mistakes during these actions.

    Daniel finished reading the very limited yet detailed information contained within the manual in just forty minutes. He then sat on the ground and started to practice the correct way of breathing.

    His karma points kept on slowly decreasing as he breathed in and out. He didn't require the system's help to learn how to do something. What the system was useful for was getting used to what he learned.

    For example, one could see the correct way of writing a letter when learning how to write, but they would need practice to get their hands used to the swift motions. What Daniel's system did, was to interact with his ability to correct his own mistakes, and help him avoid making them in the future.

    Breathing was a natural action for human beings, and easy to control, so it didn't take long for Daniel to perfect his breathing. Ten minutes after he started to practice following the -True Motion- instructions, his breath had already become stable, and a few more minutes later, the correct way of breathing had become natural to him.

    The same happened for his way of walking and running. His natural agility had helped him in perfecting his motion, and the karmic system had helped him in rapidly getting used to the recently learned correct ways.

    Two hours after Daniel had started to practice the basics of -True Motion- and he had already completely mastered its teachings. The natural way in which Daniel had used the correct way walking when approaching the old man had surprised the entire crowd greatly. The old man was no exception.

    When Daniel stopped, he was standing right in front of the old man. The old man looked at him carefully, his hand still brushing his grey beard. After minutes of quietly observing Daniel, he finally opened his mouth and said "Brat, how do you feel about becoming my student?"

    Daniel looked back at the old man, and without giving him the slightest bit of face, he said "I don't need a teacher"
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