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32 Intensive Training Part 3

    'Ki Rush' was a martial art created to allow martial cultivators to bursts with speed when moving. In order to do that, they needed to force their ki to the bottom of their feet, and detonate it the exact moment they dashed towards their enemies.

    Now, this might sound easy, but it was far from it.

    A mistake in the control of one's ki during a fight, could have pushed the cultivator's body into the area of damage of an enemy mage's spell, or even against an enemy martial cultivator's blade. Plus, the burst in speed not only depended by the amount of ki detonated, but also by the quality of the ki, therefore forcing martial cultivator to readapt, and learn this skill whenever they advanced in rank.

    This was the reason why, while this martial art was still classified as a 'movement art', its most important requirement was a profound control of one's ki.

    The old master-at-arms gave a brief explanation to Daniel, and after just a few minutes, Daniel started to practice it.

    Daniel channeled his naturally created ki and moved it through his flesh, bones, muscles and blood vessels. He then focused it on the bottom of his feet, and tried to place himself in a dashing position, but the moment his feet touched the ground, he lost control of it, making him jump in the air for 5 meters, and fall back down against a stone bench, breaking it in half.

    Daniel's control of his ki was the worst the old master-at-arms had ever seen. And there was a reason for that. Normal cultivators would spend, through their lives, months, if not years, simply training in the control of their ki.

    Differently, Daniel had never practiced control over his ki, as the system's feature simply helped him in learning things faster. So even if he was capable of focusing his ki into a thin line, right at the edge of his sword, other types of control were new to him.

    It took a full hour before Daniel could learn how to keep focus on his ki, and detonate it at the right moment.

    After Daniel reached that point, the old master-at-arms suddenly talked "Pick five people from the crowd."

    The surrounding cultivators backs straightened like spears. They had heard the old man's word clearly. They all looked at Daniel with hopeful eyes, and the moment his eyes moved past them, their expressions changed into anger or disappointment.

    Daniel knew already who he wanted to pick. He quickly found his sister's friends within the crowd, and indicated them one by one. From the crowd, Nilo, Finn, Riri, Miri and a random person came out. Daniel knew that the old man wouldn't simply use these people to train him, and would reward them later, so he decided to pick a person with good karma as the fifth.

    The old master-at-arms didn't care which people Daniel picked. He simply turned towards the five, and said "Pick up wooden weapons and take your stances.. When you see him dash towards you.. Attack."

    Amongst the five of them, everyone but Nilo went towards the weapon racks, and picked up their respective weapon. Finn picked a thin sword-like weapon, while the two sisters picked up two different sized battle fans. The remaining of the five, picked a thin rod. The old man didn't mind that Nilo hadn't picked a weapon, as he had rewarded Nilo with a tutored session in the past, and was aware that he was a hand-to-hand martial artist.

    The five took their places around Daniel, and assumed their battle stances.

    Daniel didn't waste time, and started to use 'Ki Rush' to approach the five.

    For the first ten minutes, all Daniel did, was getting bashed left and right. There were no serious damages to his body, but he was covered in red marks.

    The surrounding crowd was enjoying the scene, maybe a little too much. But the more time passed, the less they laughed. The five's attacks started to miss, either because Daniel was out of reach, or because he had already dashed past them.

    To make a comparison, during the first ten minutes of training, he had been hit more than sixty times, while during the following twenty minutes, he had been hit less than twenty times.

    Daniel's starting point was that of a talentless unranked, and yet, his progress defied all logic.

    After another full hour passed, in which Daniel hadn't been hit even once, the old man stopped the training session by simply saying "That's enough."

    He then approached the five, and while looking at them one by one, he said "You hold back your attacks, even when you practice. Remember that martial arts are for killing, not for show.." He said to Nilo, then looked at Finn, Riri and Miri and continued "You, when you attack, you give up control over the ki inside your rapier. Don't just push ki into it! Condense it!.. Use a smaller fan! An iron ribbed one is too heavy for you.. You, I don't why you're so angry, but keep your emotions in check when you fight. What's the point of hitting hard if you miss?.. And you.."

    The crowd felt envy towards this small group of people, and yet, they also felt relieved. Many of them had started to believe that, not only the old man had no interest in teaching them, but he also didn't pay any attention to their practice.

    Now, listening to the words of the old man, they had understood that, even if he didn't look at them, he still noticed their practice, and already had a clear idea of their major defects.

    The training of 'Ki Rush' was divided into three parts. Control over ki, precision over long-ranged bursts, and finally, a mix of the two, precision over short-ranged bursts.

    Precision over short-ranged bursts might simply sound the opposite of precision over long-ranged bursts, but the difference in difficulty was abysmal. In comparison, long-ranged burst was like diving with your whole body, while short-ranged bursts required more control over your ki, and was more like jumping and landing over a specific point.

    Daniel's training ground for short-ranged burst practice, was within the agility and balance section. Inside the agility and balance section of the training ground, was a forest made out of differently sized poles pierced into the ground.

    The distance between one rod and the other varied. Some were two meters away, some just enough for a person to pass through. Daniel's objective was to spend ten minutes inside this forest without hitting any of the poles.

    That was easier said than done.

    While training with his 'Time is Precious' activated, it still took him the remaining two and a half hours to barely manage to complete the assignment.

    This had concluded his daily five hours of martial training, and also concluded his basic training in 'Ki Rush', as his mastery of it had reached the initial success.

    The old man had picked martial arts that would take Daniel around two days to reach the initial success of. But weirdly enough, something had changed in Daniel since he had been back from his hunting trip, and his learning talent seemed to have doubled.

    Once concluded the martial training, Daniel went to see Mea and his sister for lunch, then headed back to the training ground for his spiritual training.

    Like the day before, the old alchemist was waiting for him while sitting on the stone bench with his eyes closed. "I hope you're not too tired from your martial training.. This will be plenty tiring by itself." He said to Daniel while slowly opening his eyes.

    The magical skill that the old alchemist intended on teaching Daniel, was 'Spiritual Shield'.

    "Spiritual Shield, as you might have guessed, is a defensive skill made out of pure spiritual essence. The spiritual essence that your spirit receives in exchange for your ki, is marked, and therefore cannot be controlled by other practitioner, unless they are much stronger than you. This mark is not only applied to the spells we cast, but also to the surrounding mana you try to control. In fact, without noticing, whenever you assume control of the surrounding mana, you automatically mark it under your domain."

    He stopped for a second, letting the informations sink into Daniel's mind, then continued "Spells or mana marked by different spiritual practitioners, repel each other. And here is how 'Spiritual Shield' works. Now, force your spiritual essence around your body, and shield these magical attacks."

    For the following five hours, Daniel kept focusing his spiritual essence into thin films around his body. One after the other, he shielded himself from the various weak magical attacks the old alchemist kept sending against him, helping its control over the skill to slowly increased.

    The old alchemist, on the other hand, kept on gradually increasing the strength of the magical attacks, to a point where Daniel was forced to recreate it after each attack.

    That was the fastest way for someone to learn how to use 'Spiritual Shield'. Not simply shielding from attacks, but also repairing, re-creating and controlling the amount of spiritual essence within the shield.

    -----

    Meanwhile, inside the old master-at-arms private room, at the table where him and the old alchemist usually sat, a middle aged man was now sitting, facing him.

    "It's a honor to meet you again, Master Kye" Said the middle aged man politely.

    The old master-at-arms, whose surname was Kye, looked back at the middle aged man and answered "City Lord, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?"

    "Work." He responded, then took a sip of the tea the old man had offered him, and continued "Master Kye, today, the students of the School of Everlasting Fury will arrive, and amongst them, the master's three children. Their father has requested me to ensure them the proper lodging within your building."

    The brows on the old man's face furrowed deeply. He had a deep grudge against the master of the School of Everlasting Fury, as he was the man who had accused one of his disciples of betraying Karalis. As part of the royal house, the old man wasn't allowed to defend his disappeared disciple, nor save his family from being eradicated when the rumor of his betrayal spread through the population of the kingdom.

    The master of the School of Everlasting Fury had been the cause of one of his life's biggest regrets. What was worse, was that the only children of his disciple, was currently dwelling inside his building.

    If he were to refuse entry to the disciples of the School of Everlasting Fury, their master might become suspicious about the reason, and after investigating further, he might discover Mea amongst the old man's guests.

    "Of course, I still have plenty of rooms." Said the old man after assuming his usual composed expression.

    "Splendid!" Exclaimed the city lord before, continuing with a slightly embarrassed tone "Master Kye, there is another matter I wish to discuss."

    The old man looked back at him and responded "Do ask then."

    "The governor was really surprise about learning that the Silver Alchemist was staying here. He wanted to know if the two of you would have honored the Riora's region by jointly opening a school in one of his cities." Asked the city lord with a curious and confused tone.

    The old man smiled, and responded "Nothing like that. We've simply found a good seed whom we are competing for." The old man didn't really wanted to explain himself, but since sooner or later the young men and women within his building would have reported of the two master's unusual interest towards Daniel, he decided not to keep it secret.

    The city lord's eyes opened wide in surprise. The old master-at-arms and the old alchemist were both prominent figures within the kingdom. Both of them were people whose sects leaders would request to educate their disciples. For both of them to compete for a young man, that was unheard of.
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