Chapter 21 Technique Theft
At daybreak, there were many youngsters already practicing diligently on the training grounds of The School of Sword Arts.
Ogden was still trying to grasp and learn the Nine Yang Divine Sword Technique.
Lambert relentlessly practiced the Eagle Sword Technique, hoping to raise this last basic sword technique to the maximum level before the Prefectural Selection.
Fang Xingjian had just finished handling some of the school's minor affairs, and he had started practicing the Tenauer-Style Body Strengthening Sword Technique. This sword technique was mandatory for all the soldiers of the Empire. It was succinct, yet broad and profound, focusing especially on the training of the joints and ligaments, which allowed him to greatly increase his speed in changing stances.
No one spoke, and no one was taking breaks. In the cold weather, there was only steaming sweat rising from the students' bodies.
There were those who carried vengeance, those who carried their dreams, and even those under the responsibility of their whole families. Everyone was moving towards their goals.
Suddenly, The School of Sword Arts' door was pushed open as Kaunitz and Vivian came in together. Seeing how the two of them were talking and laughing happily, Ogden's eyes stared in surprise. He could not believe that this was the same Kaunitz as before, always sarcastic, always looking down in contempt at the rest of the world.
Vivian had changed into a light blue one-piece dress. Coupled with her youthful pretty face, it gave her a different aura, making her seem more beautiful than usual.
Lambert gave a cold snort as his gaze towards Vivian turned into one of contempt.
During the past few days, while Vivian had tried getting closer to Kaunitz, Fang Xingjian had not felt the slightest thing concerning her increasing coolness towards him. He did not know whether it was because he was overly rational, or if it was because the purple flames had robbed him of his feelings of love, friendship and kinship.
Either way, he had already given Vivian pointers on her swordsmanship, thus repaying her for the meal before. As for which path she would choose to take thereafter, it was of no concern to him.
However, seeing that Kaunitz had arrived, he could not wait. He pointed with his sword and said, "Let's begin."
Kaunitz gave a lofty smile and asked, "Have you not received enough beatings?"
The next moment, the two figures passed each other like lightning and clashed once again.
It was a familiar rhythm, but with the practice from the past few days, Kaunitz's Grizzly Bear Sword Technique had also improved greatly. It had reached level 2, and thus he was able to fend off Fang Xingjian's attacks for longer than before. However, once he showed signs of losing, he would quickly switch to his other sword techniques in a bid to overturn the situation.
He used a sword technique which released a series of holy light rays, as if divine light had fallen from the heavens. It borrowed strength from the spine vertebrae, as well as from the shoulders and back, as if Kaunitz had grown a set of wings. With each contraction and explosion from his back and heart, Kaunitz dashed about, surrounding Fang Xingjian, restricting him to the point of making him unable to do anything but receive attacks and rendering him unable to fight back.
This Descent of Holy Light was used by the Tresia Knight Academy to train the strength output of the back and legs in particular, increasing the practitioner's speed. When Kaunitz performed the technique, he created a series of illusions which drew cheers from the crowd.
The four sets of sword techniques which Kaunitz had been using against Fang Xingjian were all of the same standard as the Nine Yang Divine Sword Technique. All of them were strong techniques which combined both internal and external strength, at the same time borrowing the organs' strength. These, coupled with the fact that his attributes were much higher than Fang Xingjian's, were the reasons why he was able to achieve full suppression over his opponent.
Seeing how Fang Xingjian was having trouble keeping up and how his sword was eventually sent flying, Vivian frowned and wanted to ask Kaunitz to show some mercy.
However, thinking of how Kaunitz had just started to take a liking to her, she swallowed it down, a hint of pity in her gaze towards Fang Xingjian.
She had initially thought that Fang Xingjian was already a genius in sword arts, with a great future awaiting him. However, when Fang Xingjian was put next to Kaunitz, he paled in comparison.
Kaunitz's looks, talent, blood lineage, clan and background all far exceeded those of Fang Xingjian. The latter's supposed talent had become insignificant in front of Kaunitz's abilities.
Over the past ten days in particular, Fang Xingjian had repeatedly challenged Kaunitz, but had been unable to defeat him. It made her even more disappointed in Fang Xingjian.
After chatting with Kaunitz, she had realized how narrow her perspective had previously been. There was a wider world out there, across the Empire and across the land. There were all sorts of renowned clans and factions which had a history of hundreds or even thousands of years. Everything was far beyond what she could imagine.
Fang Xingjian picked up the sword, and he looked at the progression of the Descent of Holy Light, smiling with satisfaction in his heart. However, he did not allow his pride to reflect on his face. Instead, he merely took a deep breath and said, "Again."
However, Kaunitz did not continue the fight, but he peered over the people in the training grounds, who were sneaking peeks at them or laughing softly in contempt. Although most of them were targeted at Fang Xingjian, for some reason he could not define, he felt displeased.
Kaunitz suddenly said, "A bunch of annoying flies."
He looked at Fang Xingjian and said, "Let's move to the forest in the back."
There was a small forest in the backyard of The School of Sword Arts. Usually, the students who wished to have some peace and quiet would train there.
Fang Xingjian was, of course, indifferent. He nodded, heading for the forest together with Kaunitz. Vivian wanted to go as well, but was stopped by Kaunitz. "I wish to practice in a quieter environment. I'll be able to focus better."
Thus, the two opponents continued their duel in the forest. Having no more spectators, Kaunitz was able to better display his abilities. Along with a few yells, the sword in his hand moved increasingly quicker. Sometimes, even when he was close to losing, he did not switch to the other sword techniques, but instead focused on displaying the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique.
Despite almost losing to Fang Xingjian's Grizzly Bear Sword Technique a few consecutive times, he merely laughed loudly and became even more excited. He felt that he was able to progress much faster this way.
However, Fang Xingjian was not there to help the other party train. Seeing that his opponent was less and less concerned with victory and did not seem to be using much of his other techniques, he could not help but provoke him, having no onlookers around.
In three consecutive attacks, he sent the sword in his opponent's hand flying. He put his sword at Kaunitz's neck as he laughed and said, "You sissy, if not for the fact that you were born in a better environment, how could you possibly be my opponent? You are merely a genius created by Tresia Clan's resources."
Fury flickered in Kaunitz's eyes. "You're looking for a beating."
Antagonized, Kaunitz kicked the sword lying on the ground up into his hand. With a series of quick Chaotic Strike attacks, he pushed Fang Xingjian back until the latter was almost unable to catch his breath.
'That's the way!' Fang Xingjian bellowed in his heart, displaying the full prowess of a level 30 Grizzly Bear Sword Technique, as if he himself was a crazy grizzly bear. He clashed fiercely with Kaunitz, each of his attacks with the power to send a strong man flying.
Along with the improvement of Fang Xingjian's sword techniques and stamina, the time for which the two of them battled daily kept increasing, from two hours to three, four, or even five occasionally.
Time passed by as they fought. On the training grounds, there were many people who could not take the loneliness. There were those who had gone for an early rest, as well as those who had given up, feeling that they would not be able to reach a breakthrough, since there was not much time left.
There were also those who bore with the loneliness and boredom, as they grew stronger and stronger from their relentless daily training.