༺ Rock Sword (2) ༻
“If you’re going to do something like that, get out of my class right now.”
The atmosphere around us turned cold in an instant.
Gwyn gulped nervously, her face turned stiff.
“You know better than anyone what I mean.”
Most of the students didn’t understand the frozen atmosphere between Gwyn and me.
What they saw was simply Gwyn being beaten by my counterattack. It would have looked no different than any other student.
However, only Gwyn, who was attacked, and I, who attacked, understood the situation accurately.
When I dodged Gwyn’s thrust and counterattacked, she had two choices.
Dodge the kick or retrieve the failed thrust and defend her leg.
At that time, Gwyn chose the latter, which was a foolish action that couldn’t be simply considered a mistake.
I clearly controlled my strength in front of the students, and my movements were not fast enough to be untraceable by the eye.
Gwyn definitely saw my movements and reacted. Her eyes were on my leg until the moment she was hit.
However, she chose to defend instead of dodge, even though it was an attack she could have easily avoided.
Did she think she could block that attack? It couldn’t be. She had seen and felt the force that sent Batar flying. In fact, Gwyn couldn’t withstand my attack.
If she had learned swordsmanship from a Sword Saint, she would have anticipated that and should have dodged the attack.
In simple terms,
She could have dodged the attack, but she didn’t.
She couldn’t block the attack, but she tried.
Unable to comprehend the situation, I asked her.
“Why did you do that?”
“…I thought I could block it.”
“That’s funny. Don’t say things you don’t even believe yourself.”
It’s okay to be weak. They’re still young.
Mistakes can be made. They lack experience.
But deliberately not doing what they can do seemed to indicate they weren’t willing to give their best.
Gwyn avoided eye contact and looked down. Seeing her like that, I crossed my arms and fell into contemplation for a moment.
At first, I couldn’t understand Gwyn’s intentions.
However, after giving it some thought, the answer came to me.
“Is it because the Rock sword is a sword art for counterattacking?”
Was I right?
“Gwyn Tris. Unfortunately, that swordsmanship doesn’t suit you.”
The Rock sword, as its name suggests, is a swordsmanship that firmly endures like a rock and pierces the opponent’s gaps. It’s not that there’s no initial strike for ambushes or preemptions, but 90% of the Rock sword’s prowess starts from counterattacking.
If the Sword Saint were here, that monster-like old man would have easily blocked my attack, and if I had shown any gap in the process, he would have launched an unavoidable counterattack.
Yes. If it were the Sword Saint.
Of course, Gwyn is not the Sword Saint. But she stubbornly insists on fighting like the Sword Saint when she isn’t one. The saying from Emperor Philion that a sparrow’s legs will tear apart trying to follow a stork must be for situations like this.
What I learned were rootless combat techniques acquired haphazardly on the battlefield.
In order to survive, I gathered and forced any and every technique I could learn, creating a hodgepodge of skills, so I don’t think I’m better or worse compared to a fencing Instructor who teaches systematic swordsmanship.
I can teach how effective those skills are in actual combat and how to use them to survive on the battlefield.
In that sense, the Rock Sword technique that Gwyn had learned was unacceptable by my standards.
“It doesn’t… suit me?”
Gwyn seemed to be shocked by my words, dropping her head and clenching her fists tightly. She then spoke with a trembling voice.
“Instructor, you haven’t seen all I have to offer. Judging me based on just that one thing-“
I slowly shook my head.
“That’s enough. There’s nothing more to see.”
The strength of the Rock Sword lies in its ability to withstand all attacks like a solid rock.
Naturally, those with sturdy bodies and thick muscles are better at using the Rock Sword. In particular, the lower body strength is most important when trying to withstand all attacks in one spot.
In other words, the Rock Sword is not a sword technique designed to be learned by a woman’s body from the beginning.
You don’t have to build muscles so bulky that you might be mistaken for an ogre instead of a human.
If Gwyn had the physique of Batar or even the level of Garnet Red’s Theo Bailey, she would be able to wield the Rock Sword much more effectively.
It’s not that she lacks talent. Seeing her fighting thugs with the Rock Sword in the alley when I first met her, I could easily imagine how much she had to work her bones to reach her current level, combined with her prodigious talent.
However, with the same talent and effort, Gwyn Tris would be much more efficient in learning a different sword technique than the ‘Rock Sword.’
And that fact seemed to be something she knew better than anyone else, even without me pointing it out.
Gwyn’s shoulders trembled as she bit her lip. Blood oozed from beneath her pale, bitten lip.
She glared at me with bloodshot eyes.
“Is it because I’m a woman? That with this body, I can’t perfectly wield the Rock Sword? Is that what you want to say, Instructor?”
Amidst the murmurs of some shocked students, I calmly met Gwyn’s emotional gaze and nodded briefly.
“Considering combat efficiency, is there a reason to insist on the Rock Sword?”
In my opinion, Gwyn’s vision was narrowed by her obsession with the Rock Sword.
Just a moment ago, if she had thought of evading instead of counterattacking, she could have fought better. Also, not utilizing everything one has on the battlefield is simply foolish.
It’s no use regretting that you should have dodged after a knife is stuck in your throat, as life won’t return.
“Yes, there is.”
Gwyn spoke with a cold, frozen expression.
“I have no intention of learning any other sword techniques. Even if I can’t block now, I’ll keep trying until I can. Regardless of what you say, Instructor, even if it means leaving this class, I won’t give up on this sword.”
For some reason, Gwyn’s resolve seemed firm.
I was certain that any further discussion would only lead to meaningless parallel lines.
“Well, there’s nothing I can do. Let’s end today’s class here.”
As the atmosphere wasn’t conducive to continuing the class, I dismissed the students, who gave me awkward expressions and farewells as they left.
Gwyn silently glared at me and then turned her back.
She seemed to have taken quite a dislike to me.
After the class was over, I returned to the faculty room and reminisced about what had happened earlier.
I intended to teach as an Instructor, but instead, I only managed to earn their resentment.
Why was that? What I said was clearly right.
It’s common sense that bad habits should be corrected as early as possible. Holding onto an incompatible sword style will only be a waste of time for Gwyn.
Eventually, they will realize it themselves. When they face real danger, they’ll realize how useless their stubbornness was. And by the time they realize it, it’ll be too late.
Or did I do something wrong?
If I did, what did I do wrong?
I don’t know.
No matter how much I think about it, I didn’t do anything wrong.
So, is it Gwyn’s fault after all?
Is it her fault for being stubborn with the Rock sword and hindering their own growth?
My head says it is, but for some reason, a part of my heart wouldn’t confirm it.
Anyway, Gwyn is one of my students. I will have to see them until they graduate, and it’s not good for our future academy life if we keep accumulating bad feelings.
I didn’t intend to be friends with my students, but I didn’t want to be hated either.
If it’s not too late to cross an uncrossable river, it’s better to resolve it if I can.
No matter how much I think about it, the answer doesn’t appear. As I sighed with a stiff face, Instructor Lirya entered the faculty room and sat next to me, striking up a conversation with a puzzled expression.
“Instructor Graham, do you have any concerns?”
I looked at my colleague, who, by appearance, should be attending a middle school.
Instructor Lirya was eight years younger than me, and although she looked much younger than her age, she was undoubtedly my senior as an Instructor.
Maybe she could give me the advice I needed in this situation.
“Yes, I have a concern. Will you listen?”
“Oh? Really? I thought Instructor Graham would figure everything out on their own. So even Instructor Graham has concerns?”
“Is that a problem?”
“Hehe, I was just kidding. I’m actually happy. It means you rely on me as a senior.”
Instructor Lirya crossed her legs and showed a subtle smile.
“Tell me. If I can help, I will.”
She tried to look as mature as possible, but in my eyes, she only looked like a young girl trying hard to appear grown-up.
I briefly explained my problem to Instructor Lirya, about what happened during the class, Gwyn’s situation, and the advice I gave them.
Then, Instructor Lirya focused on my story with a serious expression and nodded.
“I think I know why Gwyn acted that way.”
“Yes. And I also think I know what kind of person Instructor Graham is.”
Instructor Lirya hesitated for a moment, then slowly said as if making a decision.
“Do you want to have a drink with me after work today?”
It was a somewhat unexpected proposal, but as if she had read my thoughts, Instructor Lirya added with a bright smile.
“It seems like the conversation will be long, and it’s best to have these kinds of talks over a drink.”
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of alcohol. However, since I’m the one seeking advice, it’s not the time to be picky.
I nodded my head and said,
I didn’t bother to ask where we’d be drinking.
The only bar I knew was the Red Bear Inn, and since I had only been at the academy for a week, Instructor Lirya would know much better about what was nearby.
I thought we would just have a brief talk at a decent bar and finish quickly.
However, a moment later,
For some reason, I found myself alone with Instructor Lirya in her room.
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