William rolled on the ground in pain after failing to dodge Owen's attack.
"Does it hurt?" Owen asked while twirling the wooden staff in his hand. "Unfortunately, I don't plan on healing any of your injuries."
William gritted his teeth as he propped himself up off the ground. He then grabbed his own wooden staff, that was lying a few meters away from him, before facing the old man who had a smug look on his face.
The red-headed boy couldn't believe that someone as old as Owen was an expert in close combat. He thought that the Life Magus was only a support type and had underestimated him greatly.
"What's wrong?" Owen asked while stifling a yawn. "Is that it?"
William roared as he charged forward. He used the movement technique of the Disciple of Thunder, "Heavenly Phantasm", to get behind Owen before using the "Lightning God War Art" that he had learned.
"Flashy, but no substance," Owen said as he casually did a backhand strike that sent William flying backwards. "Learning new professions sure is nice. But, without any proper foundation, it is nothing but a skill used for entertainment."
William spat blood on the ground as he stood up with shaky legs. He channeled all his strength into his foot and charged forward once again.
When he was only a few meters away from Owen, he immediately stopped and looked behind the Old Man's back.
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"Hello , Mrs. Sarah!" William greeted with a smile.
Hearing his wife's name, Owen turned around to look behind his back. William used this opportunity to sneak attack the old man. However, what greeted him was Owen's wooden staff striking the top of his head, sending him face first into the ground.
"Mmm, nice try." Owen grinned. "But you know, that only works on stupid people. Do you think I'm stupid?"
William held his head with teary eyes as he endured the searing pain. Owen watched him with a smirk as he lit his pipe and started smoking. He did it in a very carefree manner which made the pain William was feeling intensify.
"You see, Little Will, during group battles the first people to get targeted are, usually, the support classes," Owen explained. "Most of the time they succeed in doing so because these professions are not proficient in protecting themselves. They rely on others to protect them."
Owen puffed his pipe a few more times before continuing his explanation. "In battle, the first person you have to subjugate is the support of the party. As long as they are around, you will have a hard time beating their group. Sometimes, the most scary opponents are not monsters, but humans. When fighting against humans, you shouldn't show mercy."
Owen finished his explanation and returned the pipe to his storage ring.
"Cure Moderate Wounds," Owen chanted and a ray of light enveloped William.
The pain he was feeling disappeared and the wounds and bruises on his body were also healed. The only problem was his clothes. They still remained tattered due to Owen's powerful blows.
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"Now, do you understand that just 'learning' a few skills without understanding them on a deeper level is just clowning around? If you want to become an entertainer then it's fine to stay the way you are.
"But, your old man begged me to help you. I don't want him to complain and tell me that I'm doing a half-as*ed job in teaching you the basics. Here, wear this."
Owen casually threw two bracelets at William.
The young boy caught the two bracelets and gave them a better look using his appraisal skill.
High-Grade Training Bracelets
-- Forged by the Blacksmith Barbatos, this bracelet was made for the purpose of training.
-- this accessory is made from the scales of the Golden-Scaled Crocodile.
-- Once worn, the bracelet will increase its weight by 40 kg (88 lbs). If the user is able to get accustomed to its weight, it will further increase its weight by multiples of ten. The limit of the weight increase is up to 200 kg (440 lbs).
-- The bracelet also has an additional special function. If the user were to chant the words "Activate Protection" the bracelets will transform into arm bracers. If the user wants to cancel the special function they just have to say "Deactivate".
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'This reminds me of Dragonbone Z,' William thought as he slid the two bracelets onto his wrists.
Immediately, the effects of the bracelet activated and increased its weight according to William's current strength level.
Due to William's strength stat, the bracelet adjusted their weight and stopped at 50 kg. The boy immediately felt its effects and tried to move his arms up and down. Although he could move them, it was not as easy as when he was not wearing the bracelets.
William then made a startling discovery. It was not only his arms that felt heavy, but his feet felt heavy as well.
According to his estimate, his overall movement had decreased by 60%. It was like having a permanent dumbbell attached to your arms and heels.
"For now, we will not focus on fighting," Owen stated. "We will focus on building your foundation. Let's start with your stamina first. Listen well, Little Will. It is important for a man to build up his stamina. If you don't have enough stamina then you will not be able to satisfy your lover. Trust me. Even at my age, I can still do eight rounds of love-making without a problem!"
The corner of William's lips twitched after hearing Owen's shameless bragging. He somehow felt sorry for Sarah, Owen's wife, for having such a lewd old man as her husband.
"The easiest way to build your stamina is by running and swimming. We will alternate between the two depending on my mood. For now, run ten laps around Lont. You may start now."
William took a few deep breaths before he started to run. A minute later, his running decreased drastically and turned into a light jog. After another minute passed, he no longer jogged and resorted to brisk walking.
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Two minutes later, he was just walking very slowly while panting heavily.
'I need to endure,' William thought as he moved his body, one foot at a time. 'The next time I see that Kingsley boy, I'll swat him like a fly.'
William was the type that held grudges on those who had wronged him. Although he didn't say anything about the arrogant Magic Swordsman's actions, he was still itching to give him a good beating.
'Just you wait.' William clenched his fist. 'When I go to meet Rebecca seven years from now, I'll make sure to return the favor tenfold.'
James and Mordred watched William from the hill overlooking Lont. They could feel the boy's unyielding spirit, which made them very happy. It was James who asked Barbatos to forge the bracelets a week after he returned from the battle at the Windkeep Citadel.
He had a feeling that a time would come when William would ask him for help with his training. When William lost to the Kingsley boy in their 'friendly duel', James knew that the time was at hand.
William had explained that he wouldn't be able to use Magic for five years and James thought that this was the perfect opportunity to help his grandson build up his foundations. In the past, he didn't insist on doing so because William was being trained in Dark Magic by Celine.
"William, why are you so slow?" An eight-year-old girl walked beside the huffing and puffing William with a curious gaze. "Are you hurt somewhere?"
"N-No. I-Im F-Fine," William replied with ragged breaths.
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The children were so amused with William's slow walking that they thought he was playing a game. Soon, a crowd of children, less than twelve year old, were walking beside William at a very slow pace.
William could only smile helplessly at the kids who reminded him of the little brothers and sisters he had left back on Earth.
'I wonder how they are doing?' William thought. 'Belle, does she still think of me?'
William sighed as he put these thoughts at the back of his mind. He needed to focus his attention on his training. And so the boy walked, and walked, and walked, while the children of Lont laughed beside him.
"It seems that he's doing fine, Mistress," Oliver said from his perch. "William is not as fragile as you think he is."
"Of course he's not fragile," Celine replied. "Make sure to watch over him from time to time."
"As you wish, Mistress." Oliver nodded his head.
Both of them knew that without his Magic Power, William would have to rely on his physical abilities in order to overcome the dangers that he would face over the next five years of his life.
This was why Celine wanted Oliver to raise William's resistances to Poisons, Curses, and Dark Magic. Although Dark Magic was banned in the Southern Continent. That didn't mean that the Dark Mages had holed themselves up underground.
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Many still walked among the populace and used their magic in subtle ways. She hoped that her one and only disciple would become strong. Not only for his sake, but for hers as well.