I will parry everything to become the greatest adventurer! - Chapter 13
Chapter 13: [The Talentless Youth]
I was trying to recall this one story I had heard before.
It was about a young boy who had journeyed to the adventurer’s guild, only to be turned down because he was deemed by the trainers as talentless.
For someone to undergo training at each of the Royal Training Centers and be deemed completely useless… It was almost unheard of.
However, with the way the instructors were telling the story, it didn’t seem like they were making anything up.
When asked whether or not the story was true, they bluntly said, “It happened.”
When I had heard the story, however, I was full of disbelief. There’s no way such a person existed.
The curriculum that the Royal Training Centers had developed promotes the creation of new skills in less than a week. In that short period of time, most people would have already developed multiple “useful” skills.
The subsequent training regiment would then apply a continuous, excessive load on the trainee.
This was not essential, of course, as it was a stricter course that only those who were seeking to develop higher-level skills would do. It’s a very harsh environment, testing how much one could withstand under extreme circumstances.
It’s rare for adults to complete it, much less a child.
I should know, since I experienced it myself. Even finding someone who could endure a week of that curriculum is rare. But, those who do usually leave the training center soon after, having learned a plethora of various skills.
It’s extremely tough, but the reward is generous.
It isn’t a nice place—Those who experience it would never want to approach the training center again.
I was very persistent, but even I had to give up after two weeks. Even as a member of the royal family, beginning my instruction at a young age and undergoing some preparation, it was barely possible.
To go for three months?
I couldn’t imagine it.
According to the reports, the boy was only 12 years old when he began—the same age as me.
I was told that this boy had completed all three months in all six class categories.
This was simply impossible.
I’m sure anyone else would think the same.
However, the instructors insisted that the boy was real.
More incredibly, he was told that he lacked any talent by each of his mentors, then sent away from the training centers.
The last time anyone saw him was at the Monk training center, where, after completing the curriculum, he departed the building and disappeared.
After that, nobody was able to track him down.
After learning of the boy’s disappearance, his previous instructors had grown concerned, and they began to search for him in every way possible. But alas, after many years, nobody could find him.
The story sounded so fake.
Everything about it was unrealistic.
It’s a fascinating story, but there were too many inconsistencies.
First of all, the instructors we have at the training centers are quite an outstanding group. In fact, the kingdom of Crais was quite famous for this and drew in many foreign students. For this reason, it became known as the “Holy Land of Adventurers.”
I didn’t think they could simply fail to find someone’s talent.
In which case, that meant that this boy truly was talentless, which would have been next to impossible.
Moreover, what made them decide that they had to go searching for this boy?
During my training, I had received an excellent evaluation from the six instructors.
In my case, I had simply acquired more skills than anyone else.
My position as a member of the royal family may have played a part in this, but because of my outstanding track record, they always kept a close tab on me.
However, the boy in the story was different.
Even after his desperate training, he didn’t acquire any useful skills at all.
The instructors had already dismissed him when he asked to redo the training process.
Wouldn’t that mean that they had already forgotten him?
Despite that, they still decided to go looking for him afterward.
Even more strange was the fact that they couldn’t find any useful information pertaining to his whereabouts.
With the various skills known to the Thief class, it would be trivial to track down people regardless of distance.
With those skills, there are only a few people on this continent that you couldn’t find.
As the years passed, the story was told less and less.
After he disappeared from the capital, there were no reported sightings of him anywhere.
The consensus among those who had heard the story was that the boy had to have been made up.
That was simply what everyone had thought.
Right now, I’m beginning to think that the story may have been true.
The person standing in front of me right now…
He seemed almost as unreal as that boy.
His “Small Fire” skill that he had just shown me produced a larger flame than most people’s.
Up until now, I’ve only seen something like this once.
Orken-sensei, who had served as my Mage instructor, had shown me how training could transform simple spells such as “Small Fire” into something significant.
However, very few people actually had time to train such mundane skills. Since Orken-sensei had lived for almost 200 years at that point, along with his less serious attitude, he had time to pursue such endeavors. In fact, he often joked about it during classes.
I remember those days very clearly.
I would keep using “Small Fire” after class, relentlessly trying to improve its size.
However, despite my efforts, I couldn’t make it any bigger than it already was.
I realized that this was not something that could be done overnight, as Orken-sensei had told me.
It surely would require a long period of training.
That’s why I was amazed.
The “Small Fire” that had been cast by this man in front of me…
It was several times as large as what my instructor had shown me.
In other words, this man had reached a level beyond that of the Wise Orken, one of the world’s greatest magicians. In addition, he had also been able to beat the Minotaur using the sword of a common guard in one attack.
I wondered how much training he must have done to be able to achieve such feats.
As he showed me his “Small Fire,” he had asked me.
“Do you know what this means?”
I was relieved at his words.
I was also ashamed.
Just now, I was showing him all my high-level skills in an attempt to impress him.
Little did I know they were all so meaningless.
“I can’t teach you any more than you already know,” he continued.
At that moment, I understood everything.
He had corrected my fundamental misunderstanding with only one word, one action.
I had realized the stupidity of only training my high-level skills.
Sig-sensei, my Swordsman instructor, had told me this after I had finished my training.
“Everyone here recognizes your talent. No one in this capital could ever rival you. But someday, someone will come and guide you, allowing you to surpass your limits. They might even be your age!”
At that time, I didn’t understand what he was saying, and I simply accepted them as words of encouragement.
But now, I realize he was talking about someone in particular, and it was this man.
At that moment, when the Minotaur had been summoned, someone had cast the “Barrier” spell on me.
I had no idea how something like that could have happened, as I had been completely alert on my way to the labyrinth.
The “Barrier” spell was only active for a few moments, but it would’ve been enough to kill me.
In the meantime, the guards who were trying to protect me had already been murdered by the Minotaur.
As the Minotaur made its way towards me, I readied myself for my death.
Maybe not completely, however, as my body forced me to scream.
If I died there, everything would have been wasted.
Those who have sought to protect me, the days where I had endured my training…
Those peaceful days spent with my family…
All the people I’ve met so far…
I had so many memories, so many connections.
If I died there, they would all go to waste.
I’ve never experienced such unfiltered fear.
Even if I could break the “Barrier” spell, there’s no way I could have brought myself to run away.
As I realized there was simply no way out, my screaming stopped, and my face began to distort with fear.
But at that exact moment, something had entered my vision….
It was a man, holding one of the fallen guards’ swords in one hand and dressed in muddy clothes like that of a construction worker’s.
He attacked the Minotaur’s eyes, channeling the monster’s focus towards himself.
The Minotaur rushed at him at tremendous speeds.
It was difficult to follow the monster’s movement, and if he was an ordinary man, he surely would have died right there.
As it approached the man, it raised its axe in the air, ready to attack.
The man was about to be killed.
This was all my fault. If I had escaped earlier, none of this would have happened.
Now, yet another person would have to die for my sake.
I began to cry.
The man had parried the attack.
He had parried this monster’s colossal axe with his thin, one-handed sword.
After that, a fierce battle between the two broke out.
What followed was so intense that I could no longer comprehend what was happening.
The next thing I knew, the man was standing in front of me, shielding me from the Minotaur.
There was calm and silence.
As I looked up, I noticed the Minotaur’s head had been cut clean off its body.
Then, the man simply just disappeared, leaving without even telling me his name.
Naturally, I wondered who he was, so I searched desperately.
He had just saved my life, but I couldn’t even express my gratitude.
Yesterday, I had watched as my dad had handed over the “Blackened Sword” to him, a labyrinth relic.
I don’t know what exactly my father saw in this man, but I’m sure it was something great.
This man, this was a man who was able to deny everything.
.He denied the Minotaur when it had tried to murder me.
He denied the dazzling treasures, status, and honor offered by my father.
Even when I asked him to take me as his apprentice, he denied.
No matter what you present him with, he doesn’t need anything.
This person was strong, independent.
Not only in strength, but also in spirit…
He didn’t need anything because he had the strength to live alone.
He didn’t give in to anyone.
Not only that, but he didn’t allow his strength to corrupt him. Instead, he used it to help others.
Even with his immense power as an adventurer, he still accepted cleaning quests daily.
Maybe he didn’t even view saving me as this big heroic act, but rather as part of everyday life.
Maybe it was nothing to him.
I have never seen anybody stronger than this man.
In the future, I’ll be in a position to lead this country along with my brother.
The only lesson passed down in the Crais royal family is that those who are a part of it must be “strong.”
Above all, I must learn about this person’s strength.
“Yes, I understand,” I finally replied.
“I was proud and immature.”
He hadn’t given me his full approval yet, but I wouldn’t give up.
Not until he acknowledges me, not until I understand his strength.
“I really wanted to be your apprentice, and I became too excited. I understand that it’s natural I cannot be accepted as of now, but…”
He might not understand my thoughts.
He might just throw them out the window.
But, even if it takes a lifetime, I will follow this person.
Yes, I’ve decided.
“One day, you’ll recognize me as your apprentice, Noru-sama. No, Noru-sensei. Until then, I will always have your back.”