Chapter 6 - Azell Zestringer (6)
chapter 6 - azell zestringer (6)
‘he a strange person.’
the fact that he was still alive looking like that was amazing, but if one paid close attention, there were other strange things about him. his accent was weird. he sounded like he was from a far away place, and his inflection was a bit different. at times, he would use old-fashioned vocabularies. moreover, his reaction to spoken words were strangely slow as if he didn’t understand what was being said.
‘i don’t think his ear is damaged.’
any ways, he was most definitely a practitioner of spirit order. he had a hard time believing it, while looking at his exterior, but he might be an expert who attained a relatively high mastery.
giles asked his aide.
“how is he doing?”
“he hasn’t done anything out of the norm. after he ate, he went to rest. however, there was a surprising incident.”
“what is it?”
“i was told he has rapidly changed after eating lunch and dinner. he used to be emaciated, but now he looks a bit skinny.”
yes. everyone is gossiping about it. they think it’s some strange magic.”
“that is curious. i should go meet him.”
“should i go with you?”
“no, i’ll go by myself.”
after the conversation, giles exited his office and he went towards the medical barracks, where azell was staying.
“army doctor rick, it’s centurion giles. do you mind if i enter?”
after hearing rick’s reply, giles entered the barrack. however, unlike what he had expected, rick didn’t greet him. he was distracted and he looking at the wrong place.
he followed the other’s gaze, and before he knew it, giles’ eyes opened wide.
he saw the sight of azell upside down with his shirt off. he was doing a handstand with one of his right finger, while three small round stones were stacked beneath his finger. in this state, he was doing a pushup.
in a couple hours time, his body had unbelievably filled out, but his body didn’t show much muscle. since he was so skinny before, his muscle tissues had died out. (tln: catabolized muscle tissue)
it was surprising he was able to do this act with that body. after reaching a certain level as a practitioner of spirit order, one develops superhuman strength and sense of balance. therefore, it wasn’t surprising to see him doing a push-up while doing a handstand with one finger. however, he had stacked 3 small round stones on top of each other, and a small shift in balance would make the stones slip. he had never thought about doing this.
‘i want to try it.’
when giles came in, azell stopped doing the push-ups, and he flicked the finger he was balanced on. this caused the 3 stones to scatter in different direction. his body turned in a circle and he was able to land his body lightly.
“ooht-cha.(tln:sound of exertion, like a grunt i guess) centurion giles….. no, should i call you sir giles?”
after hearing azell’s words, giles was surprised again. wasn’t he entirely different from his morning appearance? his voice was different, but his blue eyes and the burning red color of his hair was the same. if these physical attributes didn’t match then he wouldn’t have thought it was the same person.
giles spoke, while hiding his unrest.
“call me as you like. you aren’t my subordinate.”
“then i will call you sir giles. it’s shorter.”
“that’s fine. any ways, that’s a pretty fun training technique.”
“i had a memory of training this way. my body is in a rough shape, so it’s difficult.”
azell complained, while he looked at his body with discontent.
“how were you able to recover you body in couple hours?”
“i ate and drank a lot. if one provides what the body needs then the body recovers quickly.”
“it is hard for me to believe that is the only reason. when a person is weakened, one cannot accept a lot of food at one time. they would probably have to eat slowly and gradually recover their body?”
“of course, one has to have enough digestive ability, and control over the state of one’s body. sir giles, you haven’t experienced an extreme situation like me, but if you did, wouldn’t you be able to do the same thing? fundamentally, spirit order practitioners learn to control the rhythm of the heart. if so, wouldn’t you be able to control the circulation of the blood or your sleep state?”
spirit order uses the pulsation of the heart as the source of power. every time the heart pulses, it vibrates the spirit ring and the resonance causes the magical forces to move.
if one learned the spirit order then he will have a technique that’ll manipulate the beat of his heart. while standing still, if he wanted to, he could make his heart beat crazily fast or beat slow as if he is asleep.
giles asked a question, while being amused.
“do you mean to say you are able to extend the technique to manipulate your body to that degree?”
“of course. if you can manipulate your heart’s rhythm then you should be able to manipulate every part of your body. unlike regular people, as a cord-rope master, you should be able to use this method to control your body.”
“you are right.”
giles nodded his head.
even though he accepted it, the transformation of azell was miraculous. he couldn’t believe a human could change so drastically. even if he was a practitioner of spirit order, wasn’t this simply too amazing?
it had been a long time since his heart beat rapidly. giles looked directly into azell’s eyes and spoke.
“hmmm. azell zestringer, would you spar with me?”
from behind, they heard an intake of breath. rick’s face stiffened.
‘is he out of his mind? just this morning, he was about to die and now a knight is requesting a spar?’
he only thought this. as a healing expert, it would be unforgivable for him to say this out loud.
however, azell smiled.
“sure. if i face off against another spirit order practitioner then it might help me recover my memories. however, my condition is a bit of a mess so i might not be able to be a proper sparring partner?
it’s been 220 years since the period of time he was active, and he was curious as to how much the knights had changed. in what ways did the spirit order and sword techniques improve? also, he wanted to know what level of standards this period’s knights had?
therefore, in azell’s perspective, he wholeheartedly welcomed the sparring request by giles.
“of course, i’m not going to ask for an intense sparring session from someone who just got out from the sickbed. instead of using the body, let us spar through showing appropriate techniques as a spirit order practitioner. would that be ok?”
“if that is sir giles’ intent then i’m fine with it.”
sparring didn’t mean they had to fight with swords. there were other ways to battle. spirit order had various ways to spar.
“then let us meet again tomorrow after lunch.”
after giles left, the frowning rick asked azell.
“you are really going to spar against sir giles?”
“yes. i can move my body well, so there should be any problems?”
“sir giles is young, but his skills aren’t ordinary. no one really knows about it, but he isn’t a joke. i’m warning you….”
“i already know about it. that is why i chose a sparring method where we can’t hurt each other. so please stop worrying.”
“jeez. you are a patient, but you are being boastful in front of a healing expert.”
“do i still look like a patient?”
azell curled both his arms to bunch his muscles, and he took a pose. however, his flesh was full of water so it didn’t bulge at all. (tln: flabby)
rick started staring at him, so azell looked away in embarrassment.
“shit. wait a few days. i’ll show you some wonderful abs!”
“if gaining muscles were that easy, then all the men in the world will be muscular.”
rick snorted. azell volleyed back.
“do you think another person could gain this much flesh in one day?”
“no one… probably.”
“i was able to do it. within couple days, i’ll be able to bulk up.”
rick was loss for words when he looked at azell’s attitude, which was full of confidence without any basis.
azell smiled smugly while asking a question.
“so how old is sir giles?”
“he should be 19 this year?”
“he’s only that old? ah, he does look very young, but still.”
“it hasn’t even been half a year since he joined our outfit. still everyone acknowledges his skill.”
during that time, even though giles was a centurion, he participated in patrolling the balan forest to learn about the troop’s work. he displayed himself to be an earnest person.
then he showed excellent skills dispatching monsters, and his fellow soldiers were impressed by his actions. at first, they weren’t thrilled to have a rookie knight as a superior officer. however, they all had accepted him and followed him now.
“our troops fight against monsters quite frequently so skill is valued. he was earnest and skilled, so he was immediately acknowledged.”
“so that’s how it is. he has achieved a lot for a 19 year old. how is his skills compared to the other knights?”
“i’m not too sure about that. he should be around the middle. if he is able to act as the centurion for our troops then he can’t be average. the other knights aren’t normal.”
of course, they are like that. the troops constantly get threatened by monsters, and fight against them. (tln: the knights are strong b/c they are constantly fighting near the forest)
azell slightly narrowed his eyes.
‘i want to see the other knights… for his age, it is a great accomplishment to become a cord-rope master, but i have no idea about this period’s appraisal standard.’
in azell’s time, cord-rope masters weren’t rare.
the dragon demon king atein and his army was a disaster that threatened the very existence of mankind. in front of them, the humans had to struggle desperately. numerous warriors died daily, and only the strong survived.
the lack of military strength forced many to share the secret techniques they had had hoarded. if someone looked like he had some aptitude, then they freely shared the secret techniques.
the quality of knights became noticeably better than before the dragon demon war.
however, even in his time period it was rare to see a 19 year old surpass the level of cord-rope master. according to azell’s memory, there were less than 10 people.
‘however, if i add one more year then the number doubles.’ (tln:19 vs 20 yr old)
that one year difference made an enormous difference.
‘hmm. i guess i’ll have to find out about it slowly. ‘
he put away the question he was thinking about for a moment and he started exercising again. he used his other arm. of course, he stacked three stones and while doing handstand with one finger, he started doing pushups.
rick was struck dumb by this sight, so he started mumbling to himself.
“jeez. you are doing some amazing things, but… why can i only think of you as a weird guy?”
azell could only laugh at his words. he resumed exercising without saying a word.