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30 Intensive Training Part 1

    "Sister.." Came Daniel's faint voice from behind Reila's back.

    Reila turned around and found her brother standing behind her. "Dan!" She exclaimed, before springing up on her feet and running to give him a hug.

    After a few seconds, she pushed her brother away, and started checked his body thoroughly for injuries. "Have you grown taller?" She then asked, jokingly.

    "It's only been ten days.." Responded Daniel, with a faint smile on his face.

    Reila sighed in relief when noticing her brother's healthy state, she then asked "How did your trip go? Tell me everything.." Her bright and beautiful eyes glowing with curiosity.

    For the next few minutes, Daniel told the tale of his journey to his sister. Of what happened with their escort, of how they had saved a mage from the Golden Cauldron, and how he ended up stuck in a cave with two rank 4 beasts.

    During the entire story, Reila stood as tense as a bowstring.

    On the other hand, the faces of the Nilo, Finn and Riri, which were still sitting at the table nearby the two siblings, had contorted in shock. They had finally understood the reason why the vice leader of the Golden Cauldron, had stayed to the old man's hotel until now.

    Of course, the three were martial cultivators, and weapon wielders at that, but they still were more than aware of who the old alchemist was, as his fame was on par with the old master-at-arms.

    When it seemed like Daniel's story had reached an end, Nilo approached the two "Rei, we are going back to train.." Said Nilo, dressed in his usual leather armor and brambraces.

    Reila turned around and looked at him. Her eyebrows raised in realization, she then said "Oh, so rude.. Nilo, Finn, Riri, this is my brother Dan" she then turned toward Daniel and continued, "Dan, these are Nilo, Finn and Riri"

    "We've already met" Responded Daniel.

    Riri was the first one to greet Daniel "A pleasure to meet you Dan. I heard that you're the one to thank for this opportunity.." Said Riri with a polite smile on her face, while indicating the hotel with her eyes.

    "And I have to thank your monstrous talent for the private lesson" Added Nilo.

    Daniel wasn't familiar with Riri and Finn, but he had a decent impression of Nilo. He hadn't treated him with disrespect the first time they had met, and had been smart enough to make use of an opportunity, the day he had trained in weapon wielding.

    "There is no need to mention it.." Responded Daniel with a polite smile on his face "I should thank you for bearing with my.." The five chatted for a bit, before Daniel bid farewell and left by himself to his room.

    Daniel hadn't slept on a bed for awhile now. So the moment he entered his room, he took his clothes off and dropped on his bed, falling asleep almost immediately.

    The morning after, Daniel went to meet with the two old men.

    The three spent a few minutes talking, stopping only after agreeing on a training schedule for Daniel. The training schedule comprehended five hours of martial training in the morning, and five hours of spiritual training in the evening.

    Another long day had started for Daniel.

    -----

    Training ground. 08:00

    Daniel stood quietly in front of the old master-at-arms. Dozens of practitioners looked at him with pure envy shining in their eyes. They had come all the way to Phyrri just to get a chance just like the one Daniel had received, and instead, they were forced to practice by themselves, quietly hoping to be noticed.

    Naturally, they had no right to complain, as the old man had never agreed on teaching anything to anyone, and they inhabited the hotel as tenants, not students.

    That hadn't stopped them from crowding the area around Daniel and the old man, so that they could listen to the old man's words.

    "Mastery of 'True Motion', 'Shadow Approach' and finally 'Ki Rush'. These are the three martial skills that I will teach you." Said the old man.

    The moment the old master-at-arms had started listing these skills, shivers ran through the spines of each person within the surrounding crowd. Every one of these skills were not only top notch, but also essential for every martial cultivator.

    The old man had thought this through. He wanted to teach Daniel advanced techniques which would help him in dealing with long ranged enemies, like mages.

    Considering that the old master-at-arms and the old alchemist were now in competition, Daniel had expected as much. Fortunately, that was also what Daniel had hoped for, since he could easily find manuals for weapon wielding, while instead, books that described profound martial arts were impossible to find.

    The diffusion of profound martial arts, was strictly kept in check by schools of martial arts and sects. After all, the lower the number of groups that could teach a profound martial art was, the more prestige those groups would have, and the more students they would attract. That was also the reason why, for members of sects and schools of martial arts, sharing martial arts with outsiders was forbidden.

    Families were no different. A family could not make his rise in power only through money. They also required powerful martial or spiritual cultivators to keep them safe, otherwise they would end up being swallowed by another power sooner or later. Many amongst the family's ancestors had developed powerful martial arts in the past.

    The three skills which the old master-at-arms had decided to teach Daniel were ancient techniques, and belonged to disappeared schools of martial arts and sects. That was the reason why, the moment he started explaining the first one, every single person within the crowd stopped their practice, and started to take notes instead.

    The old man didn't care about this. These skills were not that easily learned, as even geniuses would need to be corrected and advised through their training, or the mistakes they made, would stick with their mastery of the skill forever. The old man, when deciding which skills to teach him, had taken into account Daniel's monstrous talent in practicing martial arts.

    After witnessing how Daniel had learned the basics of 'True Motion' without needing anything but the skill's method, the old man had realized that Daniel's talent stood within finding his own mistakes and correcting them by himself. That was monstrous capability, which he had seen in many prodigies in the past, but never used to this extent.

    The first skill the old master-at-arms explained, was 'True Motion'

    After a rapid introduction of the skill, the old man started to explain its most intricate details and methods, how to use it to prevent your enemy from reading your body, how to use it along with weapon wielding, and many others.

    The many young men and women within the crowd had difficulties in keeping up with the old man's words. They started to doubt that the old master-at-arms was really willing to teach the skill, and that he was instead holding a lecture.

    Every martial art had a different way to indicate the practitioner's mastery. Some skills stages were indicated in ranks, while others were indicated in stages. 'True Motion' was divided into four stages, which were Basic Motion, Intermediate Motion, Advanced Motion and Perfect Motion.

    Daniel's master of 'True Motion' was at the Basic stage.

    Many groups had secured the basic manuals of 'True Motion'. Reason why Nilo had been able to easily take it out. Unfortunately, a person who had mastered the skill was required in order to pass it on to another.. and by now, aside from a few cultivators from powerful groups within the Karalis Kingdom, nobody but the old, and current master-at-arms had the necessary mastery of the skill to pass it on to someone.

    Not wanting to lose the chance, the many cultivator that assisted to the explanation and demonstrations of the martial skill, started to practice it.

    The old man ignored the other practitioners, and instead focused all of his attention on Daniel.

    Daniel started to practice the intermediate stages of 'True Motion', following the old man's instructions. His progress were surprising as always, and yet, Daniel's view of martial arts started to change.

    By the end of the five hours of practice, despite activating the system's skill 'Time is Precious', he still hadn't managed to reach the state of Intermediate Motion.

    That day, Daniel had realized the differences in difficulty between learning the basics, and the more advanced stages of a martial skills, and from that, he had understood one thing.. The difference was abysmal.

    The people within the crowd started to go back to their practice, their face filled with disappointment. They had found the old man's teachings to be too rushed, and in the end, they had convinced themselves that, instead of a private lesson, it looked more like a one way educated exchange about martial arts.

    Daniel decided to go for lunch at a restaurant with Mea, and his sister Reila. When they reached the restaurant, Reila told Daniel that she had invited some people over as well.

    Inside the restaurant, sitting at a table, were Finn, Riri, Nilo and Miri.

    Daniel noticed Miri right away, and felt slightly awkward about eating along someone which had treated him as an inferior, and even attacked him. Unfortunately, now Reila and Riri had become friends, so the chances of the two running out into each other, wasn't as rare.

    At the table, five of them chatted happily while eating. The only quiet ones were Daniel and Niri.

    Daniel didn't mind this, as his thoughts were still focused on his previous training.

    Unfortunately, his train of thought was interrupted by Riri's voice. Which said to him "I've heard that the old master-at-arms is teaching you 'True Motion'! That's amazing.. Too bad I wasn't in the training grounds then.. I practice 'True Motion' as well, and who knows, maybe I could have learned something.."

    Finn interjected by saying "That was hardly a lesson.. I was there.. It felt more like a master passing down knowledge to another master.." His handsome face then showed hints of disappointment, before continuing "It was more like taking a glimpse from detailed manual of martial art."

    The next person who spoke was Nilo, he said in a half serious half joking manner "Maybe, when Daniel will master 'True Motion' he can teach us.."

    One had to understand one thing about the master-at-arms figure. A kingdom's Master-at-Arms was a prodigy which was born within said kingdom. And his or her job, consisted in safekeeping and passing down martial arts.

    When a powerful school of martial arts, sect, or family was on the path of decline, their most secret skills would be passed on to the kingdom's Master-at-Arms.

    Declining powers had more than one reason for doing this. One of them, was to declare to the cultivation world that the group had lost its power. But the most important reason for passing on their arts to the Master-at-Arms, was to prevent them from being lost in time.

    Once passed on, the martial art would not exactly belong to the Master-at-arms, as he wasn't allowed to release it to the public. The only thing he was allowed to do with it, was to pass it on to a suitable cultivator, in case he found one.

    'True Motion' belonged to a long lost sect called "Undeniable True Motion Sect". When the sect had declined, the kingdom's master-at-arms of the time, had inherited the skill. He had then passed the skill down to the following master-at-arms, and to a few worthy students.

    Unfortunately, these students didn't have what it took to completely master the skill. So through the slow passage of time, the only knowledge of 'True Motion' that was free to the public, were the basics.

    Those who inherited a martial art from a master-at-arms, were allowed to make use of it however they wished. So, while Nilo was half joking, the fact that, in case Daniel was able to master 'True Motion' he would have the full rights to pass it on, still remained.
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