Chapter 8

I followed Orban outside to the back of the Guild hall. The training grounds were larger than I expected. There was no one using the training grounds currently because it was still early in the morning. Orban decided to spend some time grilling me on the basics of being an adventurer.

“The divination crystal should have showed you your strengths and abilities. It is a type of magical conduit which reveals your physical and mental conditions as well as what you are skilled at and it shows it to you in a way that your mind can understand. Without the divination crystal, it would be difficult for adventurers to measure their strength up against monsters which is why the magical tool was created to begin with. What you saw was your mind interpreting the magic in the crystal and it is different for everyone. Adventurers don’t normally tell each other what their status says unless they have absolute trust in their companions so don’t go blabbing your mouth. However, you might want to make known some of your skills when you want to form a party so that others know how to make use of you.” His explanation went on for quite a while and I listened intently since I didn’t know much about being an adventurer.

After a while, the other beginner adventurers showed up, there were six others who would be taking basic training with me. They were most likely more skilled than I was since the people of this world began training at a young age. For them, this would probably be more of a review course, but for me it would be a matter of life and death.

I happened to get lucky with the timing, there weren’t usually so many new recruits. Usually, the Guild would be lucky if it got a handful of new recruits in any given year. To have seven new recruits at one time was practically a miracle. I was the exception here of course, but what about the others?

“Alright, since you’re all here, let us first start with the introductions.” Orban had us all line up and then proceeded to have us introduce ourselves. The first up was a young woman, probably around 19, she looked like a ranger of some kind.

“My name is Tris, short for Trissenia. My main weapon is a bow but I’m also skilled with a short sword for close combat.”

Next up was a relatively short man with a grim expression. His movements were lithe and silent. “Dreg. Rogue.” A man of few words obviously. I wasn’t sure on his age since most of his body was covered but he definitely seemed to be the oldest other than me.

The rest of the group looked much younger, they were most likely in their mid teens. There was a swordsman named Orthus, a teen whose main weapon was a short spear named Arin, another young looking guy named Idren who appeared to be a druid, and a young girl who looked like a mage of some kind named Aessa. The younger members of this group were quite enthusiastic, well except for Aessa, who was very shy.

I was the oldest in the group. It was depressing, but when I remembered that I was now immortal, I felt better. These guys will eventually be older than me, that made me snicker and earned me a glare from Orban.

It was finally my turn to introduce myself. “Hi, my name is Peter. I am a beginning swordsman, just take it easy on me, okay?” The others glanced at me, but it was clear their opinion of me wasn’t very high. They were mostly just kids and I was an adult who was only a beginner with a sword.

“Now that the introductions are complete, it’s time to pair you up for a little practice match. Show everyone your strength, this will also double as a way to get familiar with each other for when you must work together. You will be able to work as a team during basic training and once you become full-fledged adventurers, you may want to form a party with each other. Since this will be a practice match, you will only be able to use wooden practice weapons and magic should be restricted to the first and second tiers. Any type of defensive magic is allowed no matter what tier. To start, we’ll have Orthus pair up with Arin since these two seem to be offense oriented warriors.”

This might be a good chance for me to test out the defensive power of my black flames, he did say we could use any defensive magic. I was a little miffed at these kids looking down on me so I was intending to show off a bit.

While I was thinking that, the two known as Orthus and Arin, went to the center of the training ground and stood a good distance from each other. They quickly prepared their stances for the practice match.

Arin was using a wooden pole and Orthus was using a wooden sword. To someone who knew only a  little about fighting like me, they appeared to have good form. When Orban gave them the signal, the two charged at each other with a flurry of attacks. Arin skillfully spun the wooden pole, deflecting Orthus’ strikes. Orthus parried and deftly evaded attacks from Arin’s wooden pole.

The two danced around each other for a time until Arin deftly forced Orthus’s sword out of his hand  and thrust the wooden pole into Orthus’ stomach. Orthus dropped to his knees and winced in pain, but he seemed mostly okay. Orban called the match and the young teens shook hands. Orthus didn’t look too happy at losing, both boys seemed to have a competitive streak.

I was impressed by their skill. “Good match, you two are surprisingly skilled. The next match will be Tris and…” Orban looked around and settled on me, “you, Peter!”

I would have preferred to go up against one of the kids who laughed at me but I suppose this woman will do. She looked capable and her main weapon was a bow so I figured I stood a chance against her.

We were both given wooden swords and we prepared ourselves for the fight. I stood about fifteen feet from Tris and tried to ready my stance the way Reia had taught me. When Orban gave the signal, we both moved into attack range. Tris swung her wooden sword at me and I was able to deflect the first attack but she got me good with her second swing. I pulled back a bit and watched her movements to see if I could find an opening of some kind. My side was stinging from where she hit me with the wooden sword. That’s gonna leave a bruise!

She made a couple of feints towards me which I didn’t fall for and I was able to temporarily keep her away from me but it was only a matter of time. I wasn’t sure how many more hits I could take and I still wanted to test out the defensive capabilities of my flames. I started channeling the Void within me just as I had practiced. Tris surprised me with another attack and scored a hit on my arm which caused me to lose my concentration.

I still needed more training using my power in battle situations. This time I focused even harder and swung wildly, keeping her away from me as I channeled the Void. Tris noticed something was amiss and attacked once more but this time my ‘Void Flames’ successfully activated, flaring up around my left hand and arm. She didn’t have time to react and swung down. I used my left arm which was covered by the flames as a shield and blocked the attack while I swung the sword in my right hand towards her abdomen. Tris’s wooden sword instantly melted when it hit my arm and my sword hit her hard causing her to yell out in pain.

She was fine, though, it wasn’t as if my strength was high and it was only a wooden sword. Tris was much more shocked at the fact that the blade of her sword had melted and that her attack hadn’t caused me any pain. It surprised me too, I felt nothing when her sword hit my arm. Her sword was only a wooden one so that could be the reason it melted. I wondered what would happen if the sword had been iron. I will need to test that!

Now that Tris had no sword, the battle was called. I was breathing heavily and when I looked around, everyone was staring at me with surprise written all over their faces. They had thought I was useless but I proved them all wrong.

“What did you just do?” Tris asked me calmly while we walked back over to the group.

“What did it look like? It was magic obviously.” I tried to play it off, I wasn’t about to tell her about my powers. It was clear that my Void powers were not normal from the way everyone was looking at me.

“I know that was magic! What kind of magic was it? Won’t you tell me? Come on!” She was really being persistent but I continued to deflect, “I’m not gonna tell you all my secrets, just accept that you lost.”

“Tch! Come on Peter, we are all friends here, you can tell me.”

“I tell you what, after this is all done, if you team up with me then maybe I will tell you. Reia and I could use a ranger like you in our party.” I didn’t know if she would take my offer seriously but it seemed like a good way to get her to stop asking me about my powers.

“Who is Reia?” Oh, I forgot. Tris might not like Demihumans, maybe I shouldn’t tell her about Reia.

“She’s a friend of mine. She is an adventurer already and introduced me to Orban. We are going to form a party together once I finish the training.” No harm in telling her that much. It’s not like it will be a secret and who knows, maybe Tris won’t mind teaming up with us. It really would be useful to have a ranger, scouts are important when fighting monsters. Tris is also older than the other new recruits so she probably won’t fit in with them. I guess Dreg also falls into that category but I can’t bring myself to like that guy. There’s something off about him.

“Oh, wow, you have a friend who is already an adventurer? I will think about your offer then!” I didn’t think she would actually be interested in forming a party with me, but she might still refuse later once she knows Reia is a Demihuman. It doesn’t hurt to try I suppose, part of this training is to become acquainted with other new adventurers for just this purpose.

“When we finish training we can discuss it, and good fight by the way, you almost had me.” She didn’t seem so bad, and she was friendly, so I thought I would compliment her.

“Come on! I didn’t have a chance. If you had used that magic of yours right at the beginning you would have beaten me easily.” Tris didn’t seem bitter at the loss so I was in a good mood. Looks like I made a friend, not bad for my first day.

The two of us made it back to the group and the next two up were the magic casters, Aessa and Idren. This will most likely be a long distance fight since they both use magic, I wonder who will win? Watching the fights was interesting, I was getting a chance to witness different fighting styles and now magic.

Aessa and Idren faced each other across the practice yard, neither had weapons since their battle would be entirely with magic. Orban called for the start of battle and both began chanting and channeling their magic power. Fire element began to build up in Aessa’s hands, she released a few “Flame Arrows’ which flew rapidly at Idren. Idren finished his spell as well and vines rose up from the ground creating a defensive wall. The ‘Flame Arrows’ hit the ‘Vine Wall’ destroying it but it was successful in stopping the ‘Flame Arrows’. What was even more surprising was that the ‘Vine Wall’ began to regrow.

Both magic casters had already begun preparing their next spells right after the first. The difference was that Idren’s ‘Vine Wall’ was regrowing and once again formed a defensive wall. This time Aessa tried casting ‘Wind Blades’ which sliced through the ‘Vine Wall’ at the root,, blowing the ‘Vine Wall’ away. Idren had finished his chant as well and cast another spell which was similar to ‘Vine Wall’ but instead it rose from below Aessa’s feet and began wrapping around her arms and legs. She struggled to break free and couldn’t concentrate on casting another spell. The vines completely wrapped around her entire body, pulling her to the ground and the fight was called, Idren had won.

Idren canceled his spell and the vines unwrapped from Aessa. She was pretty calm for a girl who had just gotten wrapped up from head to toe. She was braver than I thought, I wouldn’t want to be wrapped up like that, unable to move.

Dreg ended up sparring with someone while I was busy watching the fight between the two mages. I didn’t get to see him fight.

We continued to train for the rest of the day and for the next few days. Training with Orban was tough, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as the training I did with Reia. Even though I was hating it at the time, I was really thanking Reia in my mind right now. Without her training, I doubt I could have done the training here at the Adventurer’s Guild so well.

Orban mostly had us running and doing other cardio exercises to build up our endurance and stamina, as well as basic fighting stances with our chosen weapon. Orban reminded us that even if we used magic, we still needed to develop our physical capabilities. It was hard work but I was enjoying it. I soaked it up, learning as much swordsmanship as I could. Due to my high intelligence, I was learning at a quick pace.

At night when I was dreaming, Allein would show up and talk with me. She had many questions she asked, mostly about Humans. Some of her ideas about Humans were strange. The way she talked made me think she thought of Humans as some kind of boogeyman, or like a monster in a closet. It was a little weird and the fact that she kept coming into my dreams was unsettling. I got used to it though and by the fourth or fifth time, I was pretty much expecting her to show up.

Allein would watch my dreams sometimes and would ask me questions about them. I was a little unnerved by that, it was bad enough she entered my dreams but now I knew she was watching them too. That could potentially be dangerous, I need to find a way to prevent that. Most of the time, I dreamed of Earth and there were many things she couldn’t understand. I decided to tell her about Earth, I didn’t see any reason to hold back at this point. Allein took it all in stride and seemed to handle it much better than Reia did.

It wasn’t so bad having a beautiful woman spend time with me in my dreams. The only issue being the lack of intimacy of course. I tried to get close to her once and she freaked out so I didn’t bother doing it again. I wasn’t even trying to make a move on her, I was just curious.  

Before I knew it, the days had gone by quickly and the sixth day of training had arrived, the day we would finally go hunt monsters!

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