Chapter 65: Teacher's Warning
The hardcore training continued for a week. Given how tough it was, even Sila, who was a training addict, now finally wanted a break.
Moreover, within these past two days, after the levels of his Qi Concealment and Soundless skills reached the maximum, his training schedule intensified. Currently, he had to train stepping for sixteen hours, hidden weapons art for six hours, and spar with his teacher for two hours.
During the sparring, his teacher would use only Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps and hidden weapons against him. This was to make Sila study them more.
Now, Sila could understand why his teacher motivated him to train Qi Concealment and Soundless first. At its maximum level, Qi Concealment allowed him to conceal qi in the hidden weapon, making it even harder to be detected. Similarly, Soundless at the maximum level allowed Sila to soundlessly use all qi-type skills. Even the sound of friction when firing a hidden weapon was gone.
Teacher said that only by being able to do that, could he start calling himself a hidden weapon user with great confidence.
As for Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, the more he trained, the more fun it got. In a single step, he could freely decide any of the twelve steps to be his next step. There really was an unlimited number of ways for him to step. His teacher wasn't exaggerating at all when he told that it would take a lifetime to master this art.
After Sila had familiarized himself with the twelve steps, he was able to notice that sometimes his teacher only moved half a step forward. In addition, his teacher could also change the step in a split-second. Teacher told Sila to keep accumulating basics and one day he would also be able to do the same.
"Stop," said the old man. Sila was surprised. This was the first time within a week that he heard this word.
Sila realized in the next moment afterward that there was a visitor. Thanks to his increased proficiency in Primary Qi, his ability to detect had also gone up. Sila wondered what the extent of his teacher's ability was.
"Varee…" Sila muttered.
Varee jumped out from the row of bamboo trees with a surprised expression. She was using high-tier Psychic Concealment that she was proficient at. Sila's teacher was one thing, but to think that even Sila could detect her presence before he was within her attack range. This made her astonished at the growth speed of Sila. She inwardly decided that she, too, needed secret training.
"What business do you have with me? I'm busy training."
"Have you been training all the time? Did you get some rest? Didn't you just get out of the hospital?" Varee asked with great care.
Sila was biased toward Varee since she had lied to him. She didn't even reveal Vata's identity to her own dad. So, he replied, "If you don't have any business, then go. I'd like to continue my training. I have a task to do."
The caring expression instantly vanished from Varee's face. Her eyes were cold and expressionless. "A task to do? Is it related to the 1,500,000 gold debt?"
Sila was shocked that Varee knew about this, but he didn't let it show on his face.
Varee couldn't tell what Sila was thinking anymore with her Emotion Reading. Sila hadn't known yet that the highest level of Qi Concealment also allowed him to conceal even his own emotion.
However, as Varee had acquainted herself with Sila for some time, she could guess what he was thinking.
"If you're wondering how I know, don't bother trying to guess. The Couple Ring of Commitment that we're wearing allows me to see your financial status. Today, I'm here to ask you what your plan is."
"I have my own solution. You don't need to bother," Sila evaded the question.
"There's no way I cannot be bothered!" Varee said in a loud voice. Sila was surprised as he had never seen Varee shouting before.
"Why?" asked Sila.
Varee's face was reddened for a while before quickly turned back to normal. "T-That's because if you can't clear them, my dad would be the one responsible for it."
"Don't worry. I'll surely clear them," Sila replied, trying to be confident although he himself wasn't sure whether he could obtain the money.
"I think I have the right to know anyway."
Sila also thought that Varee really had the right to know. Hence, he began telling her about Burapha's plan. His teacher, who also listened to it, nodded after hearing the plan.
"That's all. If I can win this tournament, I'll be able to clear the debts."
"I see. However, this plan still has a flaw."
Sila frowned. He was very confident in Burapha's plan. Sila admitted that Burapha's battle prowess might be lacking, but Burapha's planning ability was superior than anyone he had met.
Well, he had never met with someone who was really skilled in planning ahead before.
"How?" Sila asked.
"No need for this young lady to answer. I can tell you. Your plan is decent but the one in charge of planning is still lacking experience. You guys can come up with this plan, but don't you think that others can also come up with the same plan? The owner of the casino has surely come up with a way to prevent such a plan," His teacher answered in Varee's stead.
"Correct. Although it's an independent tournament, there are always two or three Royal Armament guild members participating every time. Everyone knows this. Otherwise, there would be many rich players out there. Not to mention, there are likely to be dark horses that want to gauge their own abilities. Last time, there were none, but who knows how many of them will come this time?"
Sila suddenly felt like his plan was a little too shallow. Burapha was a merchant so it was possible that he was unaware of this fact. However, why didn't Bluebird say anything despite being a member of the top information guild? Well, if he asked, Bluebird would say something along the line of 'It's not in my field of interest.'
"That means there will be tons of skilled players, right?" Sila smiled. He wanted to know how much stronger he had become.
"That's correct. But you should be wary of being cheated rather than thinking about that."
"I can be cheated?"
"Yes. Although it's a free-style tournament, if the contestants are the Royal Armament Guild members that are hostile against you, they are likely to gang up on you."
"No problem. They all can come at me at the same time."
"Fufu. Too arrogant, young lad. There's one thing I haven't told you yet. I planned to tell you when two weeks have passed, but the situation has changed."
"Tell me what, Teacher?"
"You're still not trained to fight against multiple enemies. With your current skills, it's true that you might have a close match against a skilled opponent. However, the more your enemies, the less space for you to use your stepping technique. Your experience in actual combat is also lacking."
"Actual combat? I have fought against multiple enemies before though, Teacher?"
"Fought against or massacred them? The further you venture into the Main Continent, the more skilled your opponents become. It's good to be confident, but do not let it become arrogance."
"Is there that much of a difference? Using the skills learned from Teacher, I should be able to keep up with them."
"Fufu. I guess all kids are like this. Shedding no tears until seeing the coffin. I better show it to you directly. Young lady, step back."
Varee could guess what the old man intended to do. She obediently jumped backward.
The old man walked closer to Sila. "I hoped you would be more proficient than this before I told you, but looking at your high confidence, I guess I need to shatter it for your own good. In the sparring lessons you have with me, they aren't real fights as there was always something missing. I will show you now."
Sila was about to ask what was missing when the old man declared, "Prepare yourself."
The eyes of the old man glared at Sila intensely. The elder's qi filled the space and put a heavy pressure on Sila. Sila's body became heavy. His feet were struck on the ground as if he was chained by it. The sweat came out from his face. Fear had overtaken his mind.
It was a feeling like he could die anytime.
There was a slight movement in the old man's sleeves, causing Sila to frighten at the possibility of a hidden weapon being fired. The old man stepped forward. It was a movement to cut the distance short of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. Seeing that, Sila decided to step sideway to evade. However, he couldn't move his feet.
'Move. Damn it. What's happening? I've already done this hundreds of times. Teacher is just stepping forward,' Sila ordered his body, but it didn't move according to his will.
Sila barely moved from the spot. Meanwhile, the old man only used two more steps to be able to stand behind Sila.
The old man's palm was reinforced with qi. It lightly touched on Sila's back.
He suddenly activated the full power of Primary Qi into his back to increase his defense. Realizing that he couldn't take this palm head on, Shapeless Qi automatically acted up by itself to further increase his defense.
Sila's body flew away from the impact to hit several bamboo trees, breaking them. Varee rushed at him to help Sila back on his feet, which Sila declined her help by brushing away her hand and standing by himself. He went to confront his teacher again while circulating Immortal Qi at the meantime.
"Your stepping just now was too slow. What's wrong? Why didn't you use the stepping technique that you're very proud of?"
Sila fell silent without replying. He had realized what was missing from the sparring lesson. It was a flow of the battle. Both the feeling and the pressure he got were entirely different.
"Just now wasn't my full power. However, if you face many decent opponents at the same time, that feeling just now is what you would feel."
"I thank you for your guidance, Teacher."
"Getting back to the topic, I can help reduce the flaws of the plan, but the rest will depend on you, Sila." Varee took out her handkerchief to wipe the blood at the corner of Sila's mouth. However, as Sila saw this action of Varee, he took a handkerchief to himself and wiped the blood on his own.
"How can I know that you won't lie to me?"
Varee's expression changed. "Sila doesn't trust me? This is the first time I've heard of you not trusting someone."
"That's because you always lie to me. About your Orichalcum sword. About inviting me to join the event for couples. How can I be certain that you won't lie to me again?"
Varee looked straight into Sila's eyes. "Sila, you have spent some of your time in this game. You must already know what kind of game Monster Soul is. When I told you about my katana, that was the first time I've met you. Although you might be a good person in real life like my dad suggested, people always show their true personality in this game. I didn't know what kind of person you are. How did you expect me to tell you my secret?"
Varee's reasoning made sense. In this game, there were only a handful of sincere people like him and Lone Wolf. However, as he was still biased, Sila continued, "What about Vata? Why didn't you tell your dad about her? Don't you know how worried Uncle is?"
Varee's expression changed again. "Sila, you know this already? Does my dad know this? Have you already told this to my dad?"
"I haven't had a chance to tell him yet."
"Good. Don't tell my dad."
"Why do I need to listen to your request?"
"Sila, you still remember the bet we had at the restaurant, right? You have agreed to obey three of my requests. I would like to state my second request now. Don't tell about Big Sister Vata to my dad. I hope a man like you won't break our promise."
Sila was speechless. He had already forgotten such promise. However, realizing that this request of Varee had a loophole, he was glad. Varee just prevented him to tell Rashane about Vata. What he needed to do was the other way around; go to Vata and encourage her to come back home. It seemed another task was added to Sila's to-do-list.
"Since you two have finished coming to an agreement, go so that I can take a rest. I've been training this young lad for a week without any break," said the old man.
Sila was about to refute that except for the two-hour sparring sessions per day, he always saw his teacher taking a nap. However, he didn't dare to.
"Please excuse my rudeness. I'll leave." Varee turned her head back. "I'll go fix the flaw of the plan."
"Wait. How are you going to do that?"
"Do what I'm proficient at… player killing," Varee plainly replied. The atmosphere turned colder.
"Who will you kill? And why do you need to kill?"
"The possible dark horses. Many of them. As for the reason, there is none in particular. I just have the urge to kill someone, especially someone nearby."
It wasn't strange that Varee was in a bad mood. At first, she just came to visit Sila out of her concern. However, Sila not only tried to chase her out but also picked a fight with her, let alone stepping into her family matters.
"Before I go, let me tell you something, Sila. Everyone has their own problems. You are not the only one in the world who has a problem to take care of. You only need to solve your own problems. As for my family's problem, I'll solve it myself." Then, she left.
Sila sighed and softly muttered, "What's with her? Why is she so angry? I don't understand women at all."
The old man put his hand on Sila's shoulder. "You don't understand? Have you not had a girlfriend before?"
"No, Teacher. I used to have one," Sila murmured.
"Just one? Anyway, the number isn't helpful here. Women are indeed very hard to understand. Given my experience, let me warn you of something so that you don't need to experience it yourself."
"What is it, Teacher?"
"Don't make her angry. An angry woman is several times scarier than an angry man."
Sila was acquainted with only a few people. He didn't quite understand this warning of his teacher.
He didn't know that he was the reason behind the upcoming deaths of many members of the Royal Armament Guild. It was a result of Varee's anger.