Home > Unreal > The gate to Avalon > Chapter 12: Spar

The gate to Avalon Chapter 12: Spar

Author:Arthur Category:Unreal Update time:2022-09-25 18:04:56

The trio of children now stood atop the compressed dirt floor of the Zepars training ground, located just out the exit of the teachers quarters that was more comparable to a prison. The surroundings were desolate with no obstacle in sight bar Rono who stood in the centre of the faintly outlined area with a broad grin.

"Now, who wants to come challenge me first," Rono bellowed, not attempting to hide the clear excitement/ anticipation that filled both his body and mind. I wonder how Arthur fights, He pondered, reflecting on Arthurs peasant upbringing and speculating on whether it would affect how he performs on the battlefield.

Should I go? Arthur questioned, his eyes darting towards the two girls that flanked both his left and right in an attempt to gauge their willingness and eagerness in this rashly proposed task.

They don look like they want to go, Arthur commented upon seeing both the shaking figure of Charlotte, who seemed to be in the midst of a panic attack from the mere thought of having to be so close to a man that wasn Arthur or her father and the rather stoic visage of Iris who looked to be in her own head planning the best course of action on how she would go about beating this man that stood as an indomitable obelisk against her in all their previous bouts.

I can let myself be beaten so handily when the peasants here, Iris snarkily thought. "Why don you go first," Iris proposed gesturing to Arthur to take the lead. That way, I know what Ill be going up against,

"Sure," Arthur off-handedly accepted, taking the first of many steps towards the centre of the spacious outside arena.

"So you

e going to be the first one to face me…" Rono guffawed. I wanted him to go last as a little treat for myself, but I suppose this is Gods will, Rono inwardly clamoured as hundreds of earth blades and weapons began to emerge from the tap of his foot.

Woah, how is he so good at using magic despite being a knight, Arthur inwardly grinned, his eyes perusing through the many intricately made blades that had sprouted forth like blooming flowers in spring.

"Feel free to use any weapon you wish," Rono chimed like music to Arthurs ears as before the old man had even uttered the final syllable, the boy was gone, lost amidst the hundreds of man-made creations like a kid in a candy shop.

What to use, what to use, do I want a scythe, a spear or a sword? Urgh, there are just so many options, Arthur smiled as he continued to peruse the broad range of options presented to him for the next couple of minutes before eventually coming to a conclusion.

"Im ready!" Arthur yelled, taking a lax stance against his opponent, who could only release an exasperated sigh at the childs current loadout. In each hand, he held two one metre long swords that were poised like tweezers between his skeletal fingers, while behind him lay at least another three blades piled atop each other like a sack of ammunition waiting to be used.

Is this the way peasants fight nowadays…so uncivilised, Rono scrutinised. He couldn even fathom how the boy would go about attacking him with such a weird loadout nor why a mage like Arthur would even pick up a blade, yet he refused to voice this thought aloud, instead taking an equally lax stance as if mimicking the peasant.

"Ill lower my strength to around the first stage of the elemental harnessing realm so that we can have a fair bout. The match will end either when one of the participants surrenders or when I deem either of us unfit to fight. You are free to go all out but remember this is merely practice. Any attempt to gravely injure or kill one another will be ground for expulsion from the Zepar family," Rono monologued, announcing the rules for the spar to Arthur.

"Ok," Arthur nodded, Its not like Id be able to gravely injure or even kill him anyway,

with Rono being a realm higher than me, but I suppose its nice to have the reassurance that he won do anything to me, Arthur inwardly remarked, the image of William briefly passing through his mind.

"Then on the count of three…One…Two," Arthur took a stance, his eyes trained on his opponents torso. "Three," And on the count of three, the match began.

Immediately Arthur launched two of the four blades he held towards the stunned Rono, their trajectories locked on his torso as they began their travel towards the old man, easily cutting through the air like a hot knife through butter. He had never expected the boy to use his blades as an alternative for throwing knives, nor did he understand how he would think of such a thing. Yet, even with the surprise, Rono easily deflected his earthly creations with a swift open palm strike to both of their hilts, cracking the clay-like blades into thousands of pieces.

What a weird start to a spar, Rono asserted, his gaze returning back to the spot the peasant had just been seconds prior to the attack only to find that the boy was gone, leaving behind only the pile of swords he had collected prior to the start of the battle.

Or so he thought as hidden behind the skinny pile of swords lay the flattened Arthur, his emaciated body pressed down against the compressed dirt flooring of the arena in an attempt to hide from the eagle eyes of his opponent.

It didn work, Arthur concluded. He had planned to throw both blades as a distraction at the start of the match in hopes of using the brief window of opportunity it granted to sneak behind the old man and blast him with water, but upon seeing how Rono not only managed to deflect the weapons but also shatter them his plans had to take an abrupt change, even if he threw all the weapons in his stockpile Arthur doubted it would buy him enough time to land an actual hit on the old man.

Well, I still have these two swords, Arthur continued attempting to formulate a plan of action. I can get into a close-quarters fight against him. Even with the fact that he lowered his power, he still has the advantage in both technique and experience…so what am I meant to do? If I try and barrage him with water at long range, hell just use his speed to dodge my attacks, so itll just be a waste of mana. Argh, this isn fun at all Arthur sighed. He had expected his first spar to be an enjoyable experience, not the mental workout that it currently was.

You know what ** it, Im just gonna rush him! Arthur affirmed, creating his own childish resolve to just turn his mind off and rush the enemy. This isn a real battle, so it doesn matter if I act like a brainlet, And with that, he pushed himself up off the compressed dirt ground only to find himself face to face with the grey-haired old man.

When did he get here? Arthur dazedly questioned, unaware of the fist that was currently barreling its way toward his unguarded abdomen.

*Boom* The sound of the collision between Arthurs frail body and Ronos clenched fist echoed through the desolate training field like a bolt of lightning as the boys body went spiralling through the air for a distance of at least ten meters before colliding with the hardened ground underneath with a loud thump.

"Ow!!" Arthur cried, somehow still conscious even though his body was going through an unbearable amount of pain, even more so when he had both his arms mangled by the two fat men. Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck OWWWWWWWW Why! Why does this hurt so much! Arthur gagged, struggling to breathe from the mere aftershock of the impact.

"Get up," Ronos ecstatic voice boomed from Arthurs behind like a horrific angel of death. He wasn done with the boy yet; Arthur still had not shown him both his magic and his presumed skill in the sword, which unfortunately didn exist.

Fuck yo- Ow, ow, ow! Arthur groggily moaned, staggering to his feet in a manner more befitting a drunkard rather than a beaten boy.

"Good," Rono appraised, taking another lax stance, both hands in his blazer pockets that both parties still wore with differing amounts of pride. "You can have the first move," He continued, his eyes fixed upon the swaying boy who just gave the man a brief nod of understanding.

If I can get in close or hit him at a distance, then I just need to take the middle ground, Arthur pondered, his feet unconsciously blurring as he launched himself towards the stationary old man with both dirt swords in hands, his actions still very much unpredictable thanks to his attack at the start of the match.

Whats he going to do this time? Rono introspected, his gaze forever stuck upon the blurred boy who, in his view, seemed to be moving at a normal pace.

Arthur continued to press onwards towards the aged servant entering a distance of 5 meters between himself and the old man before finally taking action. With both swords in hand, Arthur…Threw them…again, from the very start of the battle, he had never planned to use the blades as an actual weapon, no matter how useful they may be in close combat, for the very simple reason that he felt there was no point in him trying to get better with the weapon no matter how beneficial it may be for him. To Arthur, swords were just overgrown throwing knives.

Again! Rono gasped, starstruck that the peasant would discard his own weapons for this hail mary attack. However, this surprise was only momentary as he would soon repeat his movements at the start of the match, striking both blades with an open palm. They shattered like glass under the old mans assault.

Got em! Arthur grinned now no further than a meter away from the old bat as he raised an open palm towards the man who couldn help but gasp in shock, Hes going to use his magic from this close! Rono inwardly screamed. Sure, magic was more beneficial at a distance, but that didn mean that it was useless at close range. In fact, magic was much more destructive the closer the user was to their target, with water and earth being the strongest of the elements in close quarters combat.

I can dodge! Rono continued his gaze, scanning the entire battlefield for possible solutions to his own problem before remembering what stage he had limited himself to. Nevermind, Rono calmly commented, his eyes fixed again on the grinning peasant whose eyes shone in a cold calculative look unbefitting a child of his age.

Arthurs palm began to glow in the blue light of his water magic, his mana surging towards his palm like a broken damn while his grin only broadened. However, just before he could launch his famous ton of bricks attacks, the ground underneath Arthur began to shake, and almost instantly, a two-metre cube of compressed dirt sprang forth from the ground, raising the previously trapped Rono out of harms way all the while blocking the torrent of water that Arthur unleashed against the structure.

However, that wasn what really happened as, at the exact moment, the structure sprung forth from the ground. Arthur instantly recalled all the mana he had sent towards his now clenched fist. Instead, he landed a solid blow against the ton of dirt, carving out a portion of the substance before recalling his now sore hand to send a hateful glare at the old man who was marvelling at the childs resourcefulness.

"Are you sure you want to be a mage and not a knight with a fighting style like this!" Rono taunted the angry child, who hastily raised his palm in retaliation, his hands glowing with the same blue hue as before.

"Dodge this!" Arthur yelled, playing the same knightly role he acted out in his rescue with Charlotte and launching a torrent of flimsily controlled water magic at the stationary Rono, who didn even heed Arthurs words, instead opting to just raise more ground to block the rather attack.

Hes strong, but his control of mana is terrible. His magic has no shape and little to no strength besides the raw power of the element he possesses. Did he even take his time to solidify his mana when he was powering through the realms and stages? Rono questioned, Iris probably has better control of her mana, and shes still at the mana gathering realm, though thats not even his most pressing issue, and thats the fact that he seems reluctant to even use his magic at all, its like hes scared that if he uses it all, hell never be able to access it again Rono continued pointing out all the faults Arthur possessed with his fighting style all the while he pulled up earth wall after earth wall to block the young boys punches.

Im not going to waste my mana on him if hes just going to keep on making walls, Arthur affirmed, sending another amateur strike towards the now crumbling wall. Finally! Arthur grinned, his battle sense worse than any child his age who would have seen through the apparent trap presented to them.

And as if foretold, the moment the wall began to tumble, Arthur barged his way into the closed quarters in hopes of landing at least one hit on the old man in retaliation for his taunts. However, the moment Arthurs gaze landed upon Rono would be the moment the battle would end before he knew it. Ronos trained fist collided with Arthurs frail nose bursting the bridge like a water balloon, coating his emerald blazer with his bodily fluids and rocketing his mind to the back of his skull, resulting in an impact so severe Arthur couldn help but pass out.

{Arthur vs Rono elapsed time 1 minute}

"The battles over, and I, of course, am the winner!" Rono cheered, satisfied with his own victory and, more importantly, the evaluation of Arthur that he had made.

Overall, hes weak, pitifully weak. So much so that its a miracle that the only reason that I can theorise as to how he won the fight with the two men that young Charlotte and Master William told me about would be because of both the overwhelming physical strength difference he possessed, thanks to his stage advantage and the fact that his opponents were taken by surprise from his abrupt use of magic, if not for that he would have been an additional tally in the possible casualties that day. To add to that, his spatial awareness is lacking, and as I commented before, he seems to possess a strange reluctance to using his mana in the form of magic at all, which will significantly impair him on the road to becoming a mage, his attacks are amateurish at best with any opponent slightly more skilled them him likely being able to turn his own attacks against him, though I suppose his resourcefulness is rather unique but that alone is not enough of a strength for him to be able to make it anywhere in this world, sigh, I fear that I have a lot of work cut out for me, Rono analysed reflecting on the order he had been given just moments before the lesson from none other than the head of the Zepar family himself.

"Whos next?" Rono turned to the two remaining individuals, wearing mixed expressions in response to Arthurs defeat, with Iris possessing a smug all-knowing grin and Charlotte sporting a vengeful nigh hateful glare for the man she would have likened to a grandfather mere days prior to the incident.

With an exhale of defeat Rono quietly placed the unconscious boy on the edge of the arena, where he would be promptly jumped upon by the grieving Charlotte, giving a somewhat convoluted No to Ronos previous question leaving only one possible opponent for the old man to spar with.

"Me," Iris hastily responded, her eyes gleaming with the intent to show off to the still unconscious boy, Hes pathetic, Iris smugly commented. I bet even I could beat him in a fight. Jeez, if mother and father knew just how hopeless he is, I doubt they would keep him around. The young girl continued, walking closer to the now centred Rono as she grabbed and pulled forth alone dirt sword that had been hastily created in anticipation of her.

"Are you ready?" Rono questioned, lowering his own strength to match that of his opponent.

"No," Iris swiftly shook her head. How could she be ready to fight Rono when she still had something to attend to. And that "Thing" Was, of course, the unconscious Arthur whom was steadily twitching in his forced slumber.

"Wake him up," Iris commanded the glowering Charlotte, who tightened her grip on the unconscious Arthur in a clear sign of possession.

"Why?" Charlotte dumbly muttered. Of course, she knew why her sister wanted Arthur to wake up. How could she not? After all, Charlotte was the one who had to bear witness to the endless number of complaints Iris listed when Arthur was first bought to the Zepar estate. Im not going to let you interrupt my precious Arthurs sleep just so you can gloat to him, dear sister, Charlotte inwardly hissed.

"So that he can learn how an actual member of the Zepar family fights. Why else?" Iris instantly replied, though inwardly, she couldn care less about showing Arthur the reigns in combat. That was Ronos future job. No, she just wanted to prove how much better she was than Arthur despite her stage being lower than his. How can someone at such a high stage be so weak? Its almost like he didn earn his power at all, Iris inwardly scoffed, not realising just how true her words rang. Arthur had not earnt his powers through the usual method of passive cultivation. By every standard of the world, he had cheated, using an unknown, untested item to bring himself to power without regard to the consequences of his actions.

"I don think thats necessary, though, Iris. I think Im more than suitable for that role," Charlotte sweetly hummed to mask the venomous thoughts she was unconsciously releasing.

The two girls would ultimately resort to a mere stare down of seething hatred before Arthur began to stir unceremoniously in his sleep, much to Charlottes horror and Iriss delight.

"Mmm," Arthur groaned, his consciousness returning to his beaten body, his newly cleaned face now caked in god knows how many layers of fresh blood from his busted nose.

My head hurts. Why did that old man have to hit me so hard, Arthur continued, his left hand reaching towards his long head of hair only for it to fail as it landed upon a strange sense of warmth. Well landed upon would be the wrong term here as upon seeing Arthurs lone hand, Charlotte immediately took it upon herself to clutch onto the boy interrupting his waking actions.

Whats this? Arthur complained, his grip around Charlottes hand tightening momentarily before his sluggish brain started to return to its usual level of function and his eyes shot open. The pain rushing through his mind was quickly expelled from his thoughts as he rapidly turned his gaze over to the blushing figure of Charlotte, her hands intertwined with his.

Fuck, Arthur dumbly muttered. Why does she have to be such a pain, latching onto me whenever she gets the chance and doing things like this? Doesn she know that its still too early for me to be confirming a relationship with anyone? After all, I still have to seduce the rest of your family and then the rest of the heroines, Arthur dully muttered, attempting to pull his skeletal hand out from the vice-like grip of the blushing marquis.

"Um, Charlotte can you let go of me," Arthur quickly retorted, a forced blush on his average face. Usually, he might have used the opportunity to earn an affection point or two, but he knew better than to try anything right now as he was being stared down by an unknown presence he assumed to be either Iris or Rono. Has her fight already ended? Arthur questioned, unaware of the fact that Iris had halted her match in wait for him.

"S-sure," Charlotte bumblingly stuttered. Her plan had worked. She was slowly making Arthur conscious of her through these little actions…or at least thats what she thought.

*Cough, cough* A dry cough echoed from behind the pair as Iris made her presence known to the blissfully unaware Arthur. It annoyed her that her sister was so attached to the boy, but no bother. He would be gone soon enough, along with the stain he might possibly bring to the family in the future if Charlottes obvious attraction to him continued to grow.

Is he dense? Can he not see how much Charlotte likes him? Well, I suppose thats a good thing. We can be letting this peasant get ideas of marriage and grandeur now, can we Iris inwardly speculated, her eyes darting forth between the blushing children.

"Know your place," Iris off handily coughed in an attempt to kill those ideas before they could even sprout. However, these words would end up being blissfully ignored by both Arthur and Charlotte, who would only raise an eyebrow at Iriss sudden coughing fit.

"Are you ill?" Arthur quickly questioned, a look of forced worriedness plastered on his face as he brought himself to his feet and hurriedly rushed towards the stunned Iris.

"You don seem Ill, but…its better to be safe than sorry," Arthur further continued as he placed an open palm towards the frozen Iriss forehead. He was quick, so quick and smooth that the girl hadn even had time to process the seemingly random series of events before she was quickly swept off her feet and brought into a rather uncomfortable princess carry (Thanks to the height difference,) before she finally processed what had just happened.

He, he touched me, this peasant touched me! Iris inwardly screamed, unaware of the slight blush that had made its way onto her otherwise cold face.

{ 15 Love (Iris Zepar)}

{ 1500 Affection points}

However, in stark contrast to Iriss vehement panic was the inwardly gloating Arthur, who continued to praise the true power of the dense protagonist act. How did this work? Arthur inwardly clamoured though he knew this boost in affection would likely be a one-time thing…at least for a little while, as before he could even take his first step towards Rono, who Arthur had planned to use as the medical expert for this little stunt, he would be assaulted by the intense screams of Iris.

"Put me down, you peasant!!" Iris hollered, her eyes red with rage mirroring the exact hue of her bright scarlet cheeks.

*Thud* Iriss body instantly dropped to the compacted dirt floor underneath. Arthur had dropped her with no hesitation.

Huh? Iris dumbly muttered, her gaze forced upon Arthurs raised figure, who was looking down upon her like an idiot. He-he-he dropped me! Iris inwardly screamed her hatred for the boy reaching a level she didn even know possible…yet the system said otherwise.

{ 5 Love (Iris Zepar)}

{ 500 Affection points}

"Y-y-y-you, you hateful peasant!" Iris screamed. If looks could kill, Arthur would have been dead at least a thousand times over. The hatred in her eyes was something that even shocked the young transmigrator, yet why…why did her affection points rise.

Is she actually a tsundere? Arthur inwardly questioned, Iriss personality wasn like this in the game. I remember her being much more cold-hearted and vicious…. Arthur further analysed, Though I suppose this might be her true personality that she lost after discovering what had happened to Charlotte…hmmm, thats cute. I suppose my presence has changed quite a lot of things even if I might have only arrived recently, Arthur continued.

"Why are you calling me that? I put you down, didn I?" Arthur mumbled, playing into the dense knightly protagonist image that he had built up when he rescued Charlotte, the role that Arthur would be forced to play for at least a substantial portion of his stay with the Zepar family until he can explain what his personality might morph thanks to the help of puberty.

"Yes, but…but I didn mean it like that! How dumb are you!" Iris fumed. How could this boy be so stupid..no this wasn a matter of stupidity. This was a case of assault. Arthur had dropped the daughter and next successor of the Zepar family. This was a crime!

"Don call Arthur stupid!" Charlotte fumed, pulling the "Stunned" Arthur away from her belligerent sister, who could only share a look of astonishment. "Its your fault for not making your instructions clear enough for him!" Charlotte continued.

Im not a baby, you know. I can defend myself, Arthur inwardly retorted. He didn like the feeling of being defended for something he should, by all rights, be held accountable for.

"Yeah, but I thought it was common sense to place someone down gently when someone asks you to put them down. You don just drop them!" Iris retorted, her rage slowly dying down as she remembered her original purpose for approaching the at the time unconscious boy. Since when did I get swept up in his pace! Iris inwardly marvelled. Arthur had managed to completely change the conversation from the original topic without her being none the wiser (all be it unknowingly).

"Anyway, Im done with this conversation!" Iris huffed, pulling herself up from the dirt floor, wiping off any stary stains before pointing Ronos dirt blade at the still bleeding Arthur.

"Im going to have my fight with Teacher now! So you better watch and learn!" Iris steamed, marching towards the centre of the arena for the second time that day. Learn just how much stronger I am compared to your weak self. You

e unfit to be Charlottes attendant, She sneered, facing down Rono, who spared the girl all his attention.

"Are you ready now?" Rono asked.

"Yeah," Iris cooly replied, calming down her previously steaming mind as colourless mana began to flow from her body towards the dirt brown blade she held tightly in her grasp.

Is she going to enchant her blade? Arthur inwardly questioned. Mana enchantment was a common technique in the world of Avalon, being one of the first and most valuable applications of mana one would learn on their journey to godhood thanks to the ease children had in controlling ones non-elemental mana in the formative stages. Though this technique would become drastically harder to utilise once ones mana gained an element. Yet many still persevered in learning the technique despite the difficulty, thanks to its overwhelming use in controlling the users mana.

The technique was also one of the first things Arthur attempted to learn when he was locked up in his room for the day…Though it ended in disappointment, Arthurs control of mana was too feeble, and with the fact that he had missed out on learning to control the strange energy thanks to the fact that he had skipped his formative stages, the attempts ended in nothing but failure.

Its kind of impressive that shes able to do that at such a young age. Usually, someone only learns how to force the mana outside their body at the elemental extraction stage. Arthur praised as he trained his eyes on the clashing figures who exchanged slash after slash in a beautiful dance of swords though Arthur could see that Rono carried the clear advantage.

So at this age, she still hadn developed her own school of swordsmanship, thats useful to know, Arthur commented, appraising the overwhelming difference in swordsmanship this girl possessed compared to her future self that he had seduced during his playthrough of The Gate to Avalon.

The fight would last for another ten minutes, with Iris managing to keep up with the ever-smiling Rono, who couldn be more grateful for the girls sudden burst in eagerness for strength before the man would gently place the tip of his own blade against Iriss drenched neck.

"I win," Rono teased as Iris exhaustedly collapsed to the ground underneath. See, do you see how strong I am now? Are you impressed? Are you scared? Iris inwardly muttered, her body paralysed with fatigue as the figures of the two small children hung over her like two taunting devils.

Is she an idiot? Arthur inwardly questioned. He knew the girl didn like him, but going all out to the point of fatigue-induced paralysis was a feat he didn even know was possible. Well, I guess Ill leave her to deal with the consequences of her own actions, Arthur monologued. Seeing no opportunity to gain points with the girl, he just turned his back and walked away…or at least thats what he tried to do as at the very moment his body began to shift away from the collapsed Iris, he would be called out to by none other than the great Rono.

"Arthur, can you please carry the young miss to the edge of the ring? Ill have her healed after my spar with Charlotte," Rono called, freezing the peasant in his place as Arthur creaked his body towards the leering girl.

"I don think I need to do that~" Arthur nonchalantly replied, attempting to skirt around Charlottes still unknown androphobia. "Cant Charlotte take her-" Arthur continued only to feel the cold press of Ronos condensed dirt blade suddenly pressed against his throat.

"You weren about to suggest having the young miss do an attendants job, now were you?" Rono apathetically murmured a dauntingly broad smile pressed upon his otherwise emotionless face.

"N-no," Arthur gulped, I was just trying to get Charlotte out of the fight, Arthur inwardly grumbled though he couldn complain much when he knew he was in the wrong for even making the suggestion. He was a servant to the Zepar family, nothing more, nothing less.

"Good~ now please go and take the young lady to the corner of the arena while I prepare for my spar with young lady Charlotte," Rono grinned though his smile didn reach his hollowed eyes.

"Ok", Arthur shakily muttered, his head giving a shallow nod of subservience. At the same time, his body began to stomp towards the oh-so-hateful Iris, whom he quickly placed in a princess carry once again, much to the girls dismay.

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