"Seems like everyone has awakened."
Aldrien's announcement prompted Shesmu to look around. Ryan was sitting cross-legged, his whole body engulfed by shadows. Leo, on the other hand, was in a battle stance. Both of his sword and shield glowed with a green hue. He slashed and hacked at the air before blocking invisible attacks with his shield.
"Oh, you're finally up."
Leo's focus shifted towards Shesmu. He sheathed his sword and unequipped his shield before coming closer.
"Your grace, your ki is leaking. The way to control it-"
Before Aldrien could finish his sentence, the green flames turned into a wisp.
"Oh, what incredible control. As expected of your grace, your talent eclipses everyone in this land."
Shesmu wryly smiled at Aldrien's flattery before responding curtly, "You're exaggerating instructor Aldrien. The land is far and wide, who knows what kind of monster is hiding at every corner."
Aldrien didn't push his flattery even further—at the relief of Shesmu. The latter looked at Leo before saying, "Seems like you got the hang of using Ki. Those are some interesting plays you showed there."
Leo scratched his head in embarrassment. "Well, now I can at least be a tank worthy of the name. I can fortify my shield with my Ki, you see?"
As he said those words, Leo equipped his shield back and infused Ki within it.
"With this, I can tank any hit, no matter the boss."
Shesmu laughed in response. "Well, it's great that you're confident in yourself. Just make sure that you don't swallow back your words later."
Leo blushed. "Well, maybe not any boss. But I should still be able to do my job as a tank well."
"That's great." Shesmu patted Leo's shoulder. He then unsheathed his own sword and said, "Well, I should also check what I can do with this new power."
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Leo stepped out of the way to leave Shesmu some room to play around. The latter took a few steps with his eyes closed and both hands on the hilt. He opened his eyes and lunged.
Green aura engulfed Shesmu's sword. Slash after slash, Shesmu created a dance of death. The hue of the sword left an aftereffect every time the weapon slashed.
After the myriads of slashes, Shesmu lunged and thrust his sword. The green aura gathered in the tip of his sword before firing like a laser.
The green beam hit the wooden walls of the dojo, creating a loud explosion as a result. The smoke took some time to disperse, and after it did, Shesmu could see the effect of his attack. The wood was charred in some places but there was no crack or break.
"Okay, now that's just anti-climatic," Leo commented. He covered his mouth with his hands as he just realized how rude his comment sounded. "Sorry Shes, didn't mean to be rude."
Shesmu just shook his head in response and said, "No worries."
"It's normal for the attack not to leave any mark on walls," Aldrien said. "Those are made of Elderwood. The fact that your grace's attack left such a mark already speaks miles of your grace's talent and prowess."
"Ohh, is it some kind of super wood or something?" Leo asked.
"Yes milord, you could say that. Elderwood is as strong as steel but as flexible as water, or so the legends go."
Once Aldrien finished his explanation, Shesmu's focus went to Ryan. He had been suspiciously silent this whole time.
The shadowy aura that was cloaking Ryan had already been tamed. His eyes were looking at the ground, but they were not focusing on anything in particular. However, what struck Shesmu the most, was the sweat dripping from his forehead. It somehow reminded him of Ryan's earlier migraines.
Did he have another episode? Shesmu thought.
"Hey, Ryan, is something the matter?" Shesmu asked.
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