Chapter 13:

Chapter 13: Training

Re: Sword Emperor

“Treasures?” Shesmu asked, his faked surprised expression veiling his inner thoughts.Bookmark here

For how long will I need to keep feigning ignorance? Please, someone, get me out!Bookmark here

“Yes, treasures. These can have any number of items, from weapons to armors to anything else. If we get to open some of these, we can swap out these trash pieces of equipment for something better earlier than everyone else. Plus, we don’t even need to grind out monsters and waste time. Of course, we need to be lucky enough to find them.”Bookmark here

As DepressedRyan was explaining, Leo shimmed in.Bookmark here

“Well, these treasures are cool and all. But in the end, they’re just an addition, we can’t just waste time looking for them hoping for a stroke of luck. In the end, they’re not as consistent as fighting Bosses.”Bookmark here

“Oh Bosses, I forgot to talk about those. Yeah, there are Bosses in the forest. The guard was being scared and all, and he told me to take caution as there are strong monsters in the forest. But how can we be scared of fighting them? Fighting strong monsters and Bosses, that’s a man’s biggest romance!”Bookmark here

At DepressedRyan’s declaration, Leo couldn’t help but nod approvingly.Bookmark here

Seeing the two being so excited, Shesmu smiled and thought.Bookmark here

Well, at the very least they’re not chickening out from the challenge. That’s a great start.Bookmark here

After the trio had their fair share of excitement, Shesmu brought the group down to earth and asked.Bookmark here

“It’s cool that there are bosses and treasures, but you talked before about some kind of strategy. What strategy can you even make without knowing what we’re going against?”Bookmark here

At Shesmu’s question, Leo and his friend fidgeted nervously, before DepressedRyan finally answered.Bookmark here

“Well, it’s not really about strategy more than just knowing each other. We all know our skills, but none of us know each other’s fighting style. I thought that if we’re given this opportunity to stay in this place where we have infinite energy regen, we could test out each other’s skill level.” He then continued with a smaller voice, “I wonder if that will be fine with you?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, no problem.”Bookmark here

Shesmu played with Leo for 8 years, so he knew his fighting style like the back of his hand. However, that was future Leo. Shesmu has no idea about his skills when he just started playing the game.Bookmark here

At Shesmu’s response, both DepressedRyan’s and Leo’s face brightened up. Leo then exclaimed,Bookmark here

“Good, so let start right now!”Bookmark here

Seeing Leo being so excited, DepressedRyan calmed him down with a few words.Bookmark here

“It’s good that you’re eager to start, but before that, claim your chest. Or, how do you plan to use your skill without a weapon?”Bookmark here

The trio then used their beginner’s chest and equipped the set. In a flash, their attire changed. The swords they were holding were an exact copy of the one used in the tutorial. They also wore plain iron shoulder pads, a chest plate, leather pants, and a pair of shoes.Bookmark here

“Okay, Leo. You have no problem in using your three skills, right?”Bookmark here

“Ehh, to a certain extent. We do still fail to activate them sometimes.” Leo answered, fidgeting in place. He was obviously feeling guilty about his incompetence.Bookmark here

At Leo’s answer, Shesmu just smiled gently. Since he already started practicing animation cancels, Shesmu forgot for a second how hard it was to activate the skill in the first place. One needed to free his mind and only think the name of the skill for it to activate, this was pretty hard for someone who just started playing. He remembered that when he first started playing the game in his past life, he was also in a similar situation. At the time, it took him 3 hours before he was able to use his skills freely.Bookmark here

“It’s not a big problem, so don’t worry, we will fix that in a second.” Shesmu then took a deep breath before assuming a more serious tone. “First of all, let’s start with the basics. When you try to use a skill, I noticed that my mind becomes unusually clear. I deduced that this is the system helping you maintaining a clear state of mind that is necessary for the skill to activate. I want you to just let the system do its thing, and focus on maintaining that thought until the skill activates. I know that this is hard, but it’s the only way to do it, so try your hardest.”Bookmark here

At Shesmu’s explanation, both Leo and DepressedRyan turned serious and nodded.Bookmark here

“Okay, let’s do this.” Saying so, Leo raised his sword in a fighting position, executing Empowered Slash.Bookmark here

Seeing his friend being so eager, DepressedRyan followed suit.Bookmark here

As the duo entered their own world, Shesmu also went back a few steps to have enough space for his training.Bookmark here

This escaped my attention before, but it seems that I did at least retain the ability to instantly use my skills. If I didn’t even have that, then…Bookmark here

Thinking about the possibility, Shesmu shook his head.Bookmark here

No… No time to think about such possibilities now.Bookmark here

Shaking all of these thoughts away, Shesmu focused on the task at hand.Bookmark here

I should first get the cancel down, only then can I focus on other stuff.Bookmark here

Shesmu took his fighting stance, shut his eyes and breathed deeply. He then reopened his eyes with force, only to witness an incredible scene. A white shadow materialized in front of him, its form hazy, and its movements silent. This was a figment of Shesmu’s imagination. For the longest time, he was able to shadow box against humanoid lifeforms that his mind created and visualized. This was one of Shesmu’s secrets. Focusing on the neck of the creature he performed his Empowered Slash Cancel.Bookmark here

Shesmu’s sword went through the white shadow, however, as if it was made of gas, it rematerialized again.Bookmark here

AgainBookmark here

Once again, Shesmu took his fighting stance, swung his sword and activated Empowered Slash, slashing through the white shadow. This time too, he successfully performed Empowered Slash Cancel.Bookmark here

This pattern continued for a while. Ten times, twenty times, fifty times. Time seemed to stop for Shesmu as he focused only on the sword in his hand and the white shadow in front of him.Bookmark here

PlopBookmark here

Sweat dripped from Shesmu’s face and plopped on the pool of sweat next to his shoes.Bookmark here

“Swoosh”Bookmark here

Once again, Shesmu performed Empowered Slash Cancel. To the inexperienced eyes, this slash may look the same as all the others, however, it still made Shesmu’s heart pump from excitement.Bookmark here

Great, that one felt clean.Bookmark here

While not flashy, Shesmu’s last Empowered Slash Cancel was the fastest and most streamlined one he ever performed since his reincarnation. His other attempts might have looked good to one without any experience, but any decent player from Shesmu’s past life could discern all of its weak points. First, they were slow as the fighting position they emanated from and their trajectory wasn’t optimal. Second, they were easily blockable as they left a big interval between the normal hit and the Empowered Slash one. In that interval, a pro player will be able to use Dash to escape the second wave of damage.Bookmark here

However, Shesmu’s last Slash didn’t suffer from any of these. Not only was it fast, but it was also fast even with Shesmu’s past life standards. However, this wasn’t what made Shesmu the happiest, the reason lies in the timing of the Empowered Slash. In that one slash, the interval between the damage done by the normal attack and the skill was so small that Shesmu couldn’t even discern it.Bookmark here

If I were in the receiving end, then maybe even I wouldn’t be able to dodge it consistently.Bookmark here

Hard work does pay off, even though Shesmu spent an unknown amount of time trying to perfect his technique, the results left him satisfied.Bookmark here

Fatigued, Shesmu dropped on the ground, on his bottom.Bookmark here

“Ah, huff, huff.”Bookmark here

I shouldn’t get carried away. This was a good strike, but it’s not as if I can do it consistently at this level.Bookmark here

However, even though Shesmu thought this, his smile couldn’t hide his happiness.Bookmark here

“Ahem.”Bookmark here

At a sudden cough that came from behind, Shesmu jumped in surprise. Turning around, Shesmu found both DepressedRyan and Leo behind him.Bookmark here

“Well, wasn’t that the intense training session? We waited until you finished before coming to talk.”Bookmark here

“Oh, so you guys finished already?”Bookmark here

At Shesmu’s question, Leo almost let out a chuckle.Bookmark here

“I mean, of course, we did, it’s been more than three hours already.”Bookmark here

At the mention of time, Shesmu finally noticed that the sun which was high in the sky was already close to setting. He then looked back at the duo, before standing up and saying.Bookmark here

“Sorry for the wait guys. Let’s get going, the forest of beginning is still waiting for us.”Bookmark here

Re: Sword Emperor

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