61 John and Vlads first Spar.

    John got quite used to this scene after some while now, however from her words he still understood that Melanie was going to use a lot from her own personal collection when he heard her.

    During these days, their training passed quite smoothly while all the officials were handling all the matters given by John with utmost importance. He usually got reports from Taylor when he was free.

    The intensity of John's training had increased after his previous performance. During these days he had already comprehended the technique Stealthy steps of hell which Vlad gave him recently. Unknown to Vlad, John had already improved that technique to suit his body with the help of Sarah in these few days he was training.

    As he wanted to share his improvements with both of them, John today decided to ask Vlad in an Indirect manner,

    "Vlad, what do you think of the changes I had made to the technique you gave us recently?"

    Vlad smiled as he liked John taking an interest in stealthy steps of hell and recommended to John, "That sounds ok, let's spar a bit so I can gauge the changes in the technique, show the changes to me later on so I can get a more feel to it and if there are some changes which are good for us then we can incorporate those changes as well."

    Their Spar started,

    Today it was the first for John to perform the Stealthy steps of hell in front of Vlad. John moved at very fast speeds during this spar with Vlad today. He wanted to try his best and test his own limits as he lacked experience when it came to hand to hand combat so John wanted to get the most out of this duel.

    Vlad wasn't taking this spar seriously as he thought John only recently grasped this technique so it would be tough for even a genius like John to comprehend a technique in such a short amount of time and give him a tough time in this spar. He was currently observing the movements of John.

    'Let's see how much did he improve during these 15 days of training. His reflexes might have improved so maybe I should put a little more effort if I want to go past his defense.'

    Today both of them were wielding battle knives in their hands, The very basic foundation of this technique depended on momentum, speed, and efficiency. The servants in the mansion made a small arena in the backyard a few days back on Vlad's order as they would need it for spars. It was John who made the first move today, he moved at fast speeds and tried to circle Vlad as he was hoping to make a move from his back.

    As an experienced veteran, Vlad knew this kind of attack best worked only when people ambushed from the dark. However, he understood John's choice to use this strategy as he wanted to play safe when he charged at him.

    Whenever John moved, Vlad would always have his eyes glued on him as he watched every bit of his movements. John finally made a move from behind his back as he felt this was the best chance of attack or he would only consume more energy and get tired faster.

    The first attack was the most important for an assassin but the follow-up attack was even more important because there were always chances for unexpectant situations to occur on battlefields this was what Vlad had taught them recently. He had incorporated all of the teachings of Vlad these days. he also made some of his own changes from all the simulations based on his own attack patterns and chances of each attack landing a successful blow, block or a dodge by the opponent.

    The movements of John were a bit different from the usual stealthy steps of hell, the attacks were more direct, compact and focused on targetting people's vulnerable parts with not a single wild and big attack.

    After numerous simulations in his head, John attacked Vlad with a predetermined course that he had simulated just recently and he attacked first behind Vlad's back.

    John's attacks were more focused on vulnerable parts like ribcage, head, and eyes and were filled with momentum. Vlad was always following the movements of John and accurately predicted his attack and dodged it to his left and engaged with him.

    What surprised Vlad more was that after the first attack of John, the momentum and speed of his attacks were increasing at an alarming speed. If it was not someone experienced like him then even some veterans would have fallen to his attack in some time. And the most important thing about his attacks was the lethality with which John was attacking and continuously focusing on the weakest parts of the body.

    For some people, it was hard to attack with full lethality even after years of training. This was also one of the reasons why Vlad focused more on practical training instead of training based on a theoretical approach so that it could steel the hearts of people.

    John was continuously keeping no distance between them so that he doesn't lose the advantage of his first attack.

    After some exchanges, Vlad very much understood John's talent whether it came to actual combat or talent in improving and coming with substitutes based on his current knowledge.

    This time, to show some surprise, John decided to use some magic, He used earth and water magic to soften the ground and made it muddy where Vlad was going to land his next step and followed him with an attack.

    Vlad saw that John's momentum stopped a bit, from his experience he knew that John won't get tired so easily after watching his training these days. As he felt that something was off, he decided to change his pattern of attacks and dodging.

    As expected, Vlad didn't land his foot on the muddy terrain and he dodged the followed up attack of John. After this attack, Vlad had a weird smile on his face as he thought of this attack.

    'An advanced attack based on the movements of his opponent. Quite a good performance as it is hard to pull off such an advanced attack even after lots of training. Ok, let's end it and show him something he hasn't seen. If he can use it later on then it would be better.'

    Suddenly all the movements of Vlad changed and this time Vlad was one who took the initiative to attack and made a sneaky fast charge at John.

    John was able to block this attack because of his fast reactions. This surprised all the people who were watching this spar. This blow had a lot of weight behind it because of which John was pushed back a little.

    After a bit of surprise, Vlad notched up another gear on his attacking momentum and attacked John again with his next charge.

    This time he attacked John from the sides and again John was able to block the attack but this time Vlad already took his reactions into consideration and put more power in his attack while he attacked from below.

    As soon as John blocked the attack he was flown high up in the air, John was surprised at this development. As soon as he flew up in the air John knew that he was in trouble so he decided to be decisive the moment Vlad was going to attack him, ignoring his own defenses John decided to throw the knife in his hand at the direction of Vlad which was added with wind magic. He added wind magic to it to increase its speed as well as increase its penetrative power so it was hard to change the path or block the attack.

    As Vlad saw this decision from John, he smiled and continued to make his last attack,

    Vlad calmly used water and dark magic to nullify the attack and blur John's vision. This water-dark magic also slowed the speed of this attack from John with which Vlad was able to change the course of John's attack and gave Vlad the chance to attack John.

    John landed on the ground and Vlad had a knife on his neck which concluded this spar's result with Vlad's win. However, there was a paper thin film cover of stone on John's neck when he landed. This proved that John predicted that Vlad would have attacked him on the neck if their spar continued however he would have most likely died or gravely injured after this attack.

    During this whole spar, Melanie and Jake were watching this from the sidelines, both of them were shocked beyond belief after watching this performance from John, they never thought that John was

    this strong.

    Only after watching this duel did they get the whole feeling of John's current power,

    Melanie thought about and made a conclusion after watching the duel, 'No wonder, he was able to defeat Antonio with these set of techniques under his belt and it has only been a few days of his current training. The way he incorporated magic with hand to hand combat seems very refined, quite different from the young folks who take years to practice and master them.'

    After watching this duel Jake was even more determined to become strong enough like Vlad and John, he approached Vlad and asked "Master, is there any way that I can become stronger faster and become as strong as you are."

    Upon this question, Vlad understood his thoughts and replied to him, "The current you are improving faster than the ones I have already seen. You don't have to be awed and feel you are weak after watching John's performance because he is the only oddball among all the people I have seen and that is also one of the reasons why I wanted to take him in as my disciple. Your strong point is your determination and the will to achieve certain things because that will help you later on. Everyone has certain qualities and you have those as your gifts. Don't let your Determination harm you because certain risks aren't worth the strength you gain from it in the future."

    Vlad then pointed towards Melanie and said to Jake, "You see that old hag over there? Many people won't even get a single bottle of potion from her, let alone all the training resources she is spending on both of you. So you must dedicate and focus on your current training. I am already increasing the intensity of the training for both of you guys which is quiet ahead of schedule"

    After the spar, Vlad said to John about his thoughts on the technique which John used, he was already surprised by the changes in the technique and gave his opinions.

    Vlad looked at the technique, at first he thought there were only minor changes to suit the user when John mentioned about it, however, he was shocked later on after watching it in the spar where he saw the difference and efficiency of the technique which John had made in the duel.

    He looked at John with a meaningful gaze and asked him, " Do you know, you made a lot of significant and major changes in this technique and most of the changes improved the performance of your current technique."

    Vlad became a bit nostalgic and said to everyone present, "Do you how many years did it take me to make around 50 changes from the original technique? and I was quite proud of that achievement."

    Watching this scene Melanie was quite happy as she had already experienced the numerous antics of John when he was always training for Pharmacy and potioneering. She had the same reaction previously when John made various substitutes for all the types of potions he had learned about.
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