Anfey took out a three-meter-long, white wax stick from behind the tree. He stepped forward and thrust at Ernest without any hesitation. That thrust was called Golden Rooster's Three Nods. The white stick was shaking so hard and so fast that it created three imaginary shadows.
Anfey's ancestors used to practice the spear. Later, in modern times, spears were replaced by knives and short swords, with which Anfey's great-grandpa had developed a new set of thrusting techniques. They did not totally ditch spear techniques that were the origin of his family's martial arts skills. Instead, they first learned the spear techniques, which made learning other skills much easier.
Ernest had never seen any martial art like this. He stepped back fast enough to be out of Anfey's attack range.
When the momentum of Anfey's last move stopped, he lifted his left hand and pressed against the white wax stick with his right hand. The pointy stick thrust towards Ernest's right foot. The stick moved so quickly that it looked like a serpent's tongue.
Ernest finally took out his sword and parried the stick with the edge of his sword. Then he immediately stepped forward.
Anfey pushed the stick down with his left hand and lifted the front of the stick with his right hand, thrusting towards Ernest's cheek with lightning speed.
Ernest moved backwards, barely dodging away from Anfey's strike. He could feel the stick swiping against his cheek. Ernest was astonished.
Anfey took the upper hand first in the battle. Of course, he would continue to have the upper hand as he attacked more. He moved the stick a little to point at Ernest's chest and thrust it forward.
If a sword was considered a gentleman, then a knife would be a knight, and a spear would be the king amongst all weapons. Anfey moved his stick like a "dragon" in an agile and accurate way. His attacks were so intense that it looked like a storm and strong wind were centered on Ernest. Anfey did not use one hundred percent of his power to attack Ernest, but Ernest already felt the threat and was forced to step back continuously.
The longer they fought, the more shocked Ernest felt. The agile movements, abnormally angled and dangerous moves, and the agreement they made that Ernest was not allowed to use any combat power to block Anfey's weapon forced Ernest to continuously move backwards. Anfey was greatly shocked as well. He had tried to constrain Ernest's power with an agreement. He thought he would win without a doubt, but he could not hit Ernest with the stick even though he tried his best. At each critical point, Ernest was able to dodge away from his seemingly dangerous strikes or move backwards out of his attacking area. These failures at the verge of success made Anfey frustrated and upset.
When Anfey thrust from the left towards the area below Ernest's ribs, Ernest did not move to the right to dodge but took the risk of "losing the battle" and moved diagonally to the left. Anfey did not have time to think about the reason for Ernest's move, instead he quickly thrust again towards Ernest's chest.
Ernest crouched down, causing the stick to pass over his head and fall into the bushes behind him. Anfey was shocked for a second. The key to striking with a spear was to "thrust." When one strike did not work, the spear should be pulled back or swept sideways. It was a strategy of defense by forcing the opponent to move backwards to defend. Anfey seemed to have lost the ability to continue the fight, since his stick fell into the bushes. He immediately realized that he had fallen into Ernest's trap and quickly moved backwards.
Ernest was so experienced in all kinds of battles that he definitely would not let this opportunity go. He ran towards Anfey and thrust his sword towards Anfey's shoulder.
Anfey slid to the side, away from Ernest's sword. He shook both his hands and picked the stick up from the bushes. Before Anfey could get into position to resume fighting, Ernest flicked Anfey's head with his left hand with just the right amount of force.
"Alas…" Anfey was upset and tossed away his stick.
"Anfey, what weapon was that? Did the old man teach you that?"
"Yes." Anfey nodded. "This is a spear, Uncle Ernest. How was it?"
"Very nice!" Ernest said seriously, "Someday, when you have the same level of combat power as me, I bet very few people will be able to beat you."
Anfey smiled grimly. Practicing and actually fighting were quite different. He saw what Ernest could do with his combat power in the Rose House Hotel. Ernest didn't even use his sword to fight. He had rushed into the battle with mere combat power. He had fought in such an uncontrolled manner that stones, walls, and trees were crushed into powder beneath his combat power.
Anfey knew himself. If he could not beat Ernest with a white wax stick, he would not even be able to cause damage to Ernest with a long steel spear. Ernest could have easily broken his long spear in half with his combat power.
Anfey had been deep in thought until breakfast. He figured that he could easily kill entry-level mages, and maybe some powerful ones with surprise attacks. He would not have any chance to fight back if he met a really powerful mage.
Ernest signaled everyone not to bother Anfey. Anfey walked out of Saul's house without any breakfast. He had gained a lot of confidence by posing a threat to Ernest when he got the chance to fight with Ernest for the first time. He thought he could defend himself with his attacking techniques. Even if his opponents had strong combat power, he still would be able to fight against them with his dodging skills. As long as he was able to consistently leave some wounds on his enemies and defend himself well, victory would eventually be his.
But today's battle was mind-blowing for Anfey. He realized there was a huge difference between being a threat and attacking his enemies. Besides holding back a little on the speed and power, Anfey had put a hundred percent into that fight but wasn't even able to touch Ernest at all. With a huge difference in power, techniques became something ridiculous. The reason Ernest focused on techniques was that they were the deciding factors in battle when his rivals had the same level of power.
After turning into another alley, Anfey saw more people on the street. Saul's house was located on a street where reclusiveness was not allowed. The street across from the Mage Academy was a public street, open to civilians.
Sacred City, as the capital, was very prosperous. The stores on both sides of the street were mainly selling magic tools, since the Mage Academy was not far away. Besides the magic stores, there were also some hotels, jewelry stores, entertainment facilities, and luxury stores.
Anfey felt unexpectedly nervous as he was walking. He stopped for a second, suddenly becoming alert. He unintentionally bumped into a little kid, knocking the kid down by accident.
Anfey hurriedly bent down, smiling and comforting the kid. He took out a silver coin from his pocket and put it in the kid's palm.
The power of money couldn't be ignored. That kid may not understand the importance of money, but he knew this silver coin could be exchanged for a lot of good food. He stopped crying, then smiled and stood up.
Anfey was like a nice older brother, watching the kid walking away with a grin. Glancing quickly at the people behind him, Anfey turned around and walked rapidly and nimbly towards the Mage Academy.
"Hey, Anfey, how come are you so lazy today?" A girl's voice arose from behind him.
"What do you mean by that?" In fact, Anfey had already seen Doris, but he pretended not to and walked by her. He turned around as she called him.
"I can usually see you in the woods by the time I get to the Mage Academy, but you came at the same time as me today."
"Wow… The woods!" the girl next to Doris screamed. "Doris, tell me, tell me, which woods was it?
"Doris will never tell you! That's her secret!" Another girl burst into laughter.
"Stop it." Doris blushed. "This is my friend, Anfey. This is Rhone. This is Jenova. They are my good friends."
"Hi, Hi." Anfey smiled and nodded at them. His attention was drawn by the crowd behind them.
"Anfey? You are Anfey?" Rhone screamed in surprise.
"Is there any other Anfey?" Anfey asked, confused.
"The apprentice of Archmage Saul, who came to our academy to be a servant. Is that you?"
"We were talking about you a few days ago. Oh, right, Doris. How could you keep this a secret for so long!" Rhone said loudly.
"You never know, Rhone!" Jenova posed like she knew everything. "Good stuff is always kept to oneself!"
"You... The two of you…" Doris could not take it anymore and she threw herself at them.
Unfortunately, Rhone and Jenova were well prepared for her reaction. They ran away immediately. Rhone even turned around, screaming as she ran, "Doris, you do not need go to school today. I will ask the professor for a day off for you. You guys hurry up, otherwise the woods will be taken!"
"They… They were just joking… Please don't mind them," Doris said with a red face.
They felt awkward to be called a couple since they were just friends. Anfey didn't know what to say. "It's fine."
"Then… I am going to class now," Doris said. If they hadn't been made fun of, she might have gone to the woods with Anfey. She had learned everything in the Academy, but to be an advanced-level mage she needed to rely on her own understanding. However, she didn't dare to miss school today; she didn't want to risk being made fun of by Rhone and Jenova.
"Hold on," Anfey yelled.
"Doris, can we find a quiet place? I need to ask you about something." Anfey thought about levitation magic.
"Uh…" Doris hesitated for a second and then nodded. "Alright."