Chapter 28 - Teaming up
Ryu Astre (Point Of View)
Spring Day 8, Year 728
“Alright class, we have discussed the summary of the continent’s history for a whole week,” Richard, the class adviser said, “now we will incorporate actual training, along with other curriculums that the first-year students will need.
“Then in a month, there will be an event for team recruitment,” Richard explained that in the academy, there will be different activities such as training, examinations, and missions aside from having those periodical expeditions. That is why the students will be required to join a team. “Which means that 4 first-year students will join with 2 second-year students as officers, 1 third-year student as vice-captain, and 1 fourth-year student as captain.”
The team will consist of 8 members. The education style here is that the teachers will be mainly responsible for the student’s academics, the instructors will help us with basic training, and the senior students will be assigned to lead each team throughout the year.
The team leader will be accountable for making decisions. If the captain is weak or corrupt, then the group will suffer. So a person should learn to choose who they need, rather than who they want to be with. This is to teach the students how real-life hierarchy works. Talent is not enough, they need to build connections.
This means that even though the school rules don’t prejudice commoners, the resources of rich people will still play a big part in the student’s development. And most likely that those individuals already planned to team up with each other, leaving those who have lesser grace to fend for themselves.
Richard continued, “I suggest you guys practice hard this whole month. So those upperclassmen might have their eyes on you. Next, lectures will be limited to the first and second day of the week, the remaining days will be for your team and training—”
“—That’s the bell, we will end our class for today. Make sure to do your best, everyone. Bye.”
The class ended and the teacher left the room. The majority of students are already preparing to leave, but a few remained to discuss among themselves.
I was also preparing to leave when Roy, Gavin, and Blake came to me, they said, “Ryu, what is your plan for the group? Do you like to team up with us?”
“Hmm... I would like to join you guys as well, but having four fighters in a team wouldn’t be good,” I replied.
“That’s reasonable,” Roy said, “then we three should also split up.”
“Do we really have to... split up?” Gavin said. His face became a little bit discouraged.
“You don’t, but the teams might not want to recruit you for that reason. How about this instead, you can join me in training and I can help you guys improve before the recruitment.”
“Really? We would like to!” Blake said.
“Don’t be sad Gavin, we would still be friends even we have to temporarily be separated,” Roy promised.
“And knowing more people would be beneficial after you graduate,” I said.
“...Alright,” Gavin answered.
Rustle... Rustle... Rustle...
I was preparing my stuff when Roy asked, “Are you going home now?”
“Yes, but I will need to visit the city first,” I said.
“Anything you need there?”
“I’m going to look for a sword.”
“Now that you mention it, we haven’t seen you carry any weapon around.”
“That’s because I haven’t found a suitable one yet.” I do have the Gravity Rune Sword which is currently stored and hidden using its rune’s magic functions, I learned this when I tried to study its uses, but it’s too big that I don’t want to use and carry it around unless it’s an emergency. Having already enough trouble, adding the gigantic sword to my back would give me more eyes to worry about. That’s why I wanted to look for a normal-sized sword. I could probably just ask my servants to get me one. But I don’t have anything much to do anyway besides training, so why not do it myself?
“That’s wonderful! Didn’t you know that Gavin’s grandfather is the best blacksmith in ‘Central Town’, a city near the academy?” Roy said.
“My grandpa is actually a great swordsmith, but the blacksmith competition is tight, so we can’t really say that he is the best.”
“Really? Then why don’t you introduce me to your grandfather?”
“Good timing, since I was also going there today for a visit, why don’t we go together?”
“We are coming too!” Roy and Blake said.
Yume Valenz (Point Of View)
“Captain,” Kyla, a female third-year student, a two-star magician, and the team’s newly appointed vice-captain said, entering our team room. She is my closest friend in the academy.
“Yes?” I replied, currently sitting inside the room while reading some documents. “Kyla, did you get the report I asked?”
“Here, Captain.” She gave a pile of papers that currently holds the information of all prospective excellent first-year students. “You may notice that some individuals are crossed out with red marks, this means that these people are already scouted by other teams.”
“You did great, thank you.”
“Please don’t thank me, Captain, since I have something to tell you.” I already have a hint of what she would say. Same as what happened to our teammates. She looked at me with guilt in her eyes as she opened her mouth. “I... There is a team who wanted to recruit me as their vice-captain, and the leader promised me full financial support.”
When our previous team captain graduated from the academy, everyone left the team, only Kyla has delayed her decision. But now, she’s telling me that she is also quitting. “Alright, I knew you already made up your mind, so I won’t stop you from leaving.”
“T-Thank you for the three years we had been together in the team, Captain.” She bowed her head a little lower than normal so that her eyes wouldn’t meet mine.
“Yes, thank you too, and please take care of yourself, Kyla.” The reason she stayed in the team is because of the previous captain. Now that he is gone, there is no other reason for her to stay for my sake. Who would want to have an evil lady like me be their leader?
Now that she finally left, I focused on the problem on hand. I needed to find 7 people to fill the team. Failing to gather members means that I wouldn’t be able to participate in school events, then my honor, as well as my family’s, would go down the drain. The royal family will also think of us as inferior, making the aristocrats withdraw their support to the Duke. If not for my family, I wouldn’t even want to strive for the position of the crown princess. But I need to persevere for the sake of the Valenz household.
The room was filled with silence.
I started to take my time to look through roughly the list of student’s information so maybe... Just maybe... I wouldn’t notice that something is welling up in my eyes.
Ryu Astre (Point Of View)
With the sun setting down, and the bustling streets of the city, people who just finished their day jobs are now starting to gather in the night market. But before we enjoy the food and have fun, our main agenda is to visit the shop of Gavin’s grandfather to buy a sword.
“Grandpa!” Gavin shouted. We entered the shop named ‘Old Smith’, and inside, we saw a big muscular bearded man wearing a leather apron, taking care of a sword by wiping it with a cotton cloth in straight one-directional strokes. “I’m here to visit with my friends!”
“Gavin, ma dear grandson!” He gently lay down the sword and the two of them awkwardly hugged each other, so passionate that all people who would see it will be embarrassed. “Ya came with your friends?”
“Yes, grandpa. My friend here, Ryu, would like to buy a sword.”
Gavin’s grandfather quickly scanned me, he said, “Ya friend has a good physique.”
“Of course grandpa, he even defeated the crown prince in a fair duel.”
“Really?! Hahahaha! Then for ma grandson’s friend, only the best sword would suit ya,” he said, opening the door to the back of the shop. “Come, I’ll show ya my best collections.”
“Thank you, Sir,” I replied, following him without further questions. The front shop contained different types of weapons such as swords, dagger, spear, and shield. The better weapons are hanging on a wall while the others are stuffed together in barrels.
When I went inside the backdoor, my eyes went wide as I see glimmering and shining weapons. Even without sunlight, they were beaming. “Awesome!”
“Hahaha! What kind of weapon do ya use, lad?”
“A sword, Sir.”
The room is filled with racks, shelves, and stands especially made for holding weapons. Gavin’s grandfather walked a little and stopped in one of the columns. “From here to there are all swords, ya can take yar time in choosing, lad.”
He gave me some space by going back to the shop. So I took my time and browsed. Here, I found that the weapons are somewhat special. These are not like those weapons that were being used by mere soldiers, that even nobles would absolutely pay a high price to acquire. It made me wonder why these are not displayed in the shop instead. But seeing the quality of these, I concluded that some things should not be shown to the public easily.
I have almost looked at all the swords available, but I haven’t found a perfect one suitable for me. Some are too light, some have good quality but would still easily break if I swing it with my full strength, and some just won’t fit right on my hand. I sighed, “Maybe I’ll try to look in another shop.”
Without notice, I was walking back when something forcefully entered my mind.