Chapter 3: A Mage’s Close Combat Techniques
There was a slight drizzle that accompanied the gloomy weather. However, it wasn’t a practice in the Necromancy Academy to move an outdoor lesson indoor just because of the weather. After all, a Mage needs to learn to adapt to all kinds of situations.
Students weren’t allowed to use an umbrella and such under such weather during lessons. However, they were able to resort to other methods to avoid the rain.
For example, the talented students were able to use other kinds of magic to deflect the rainwater. On the other hand, those who were insufficiently capable cold only withstand the rain. As for a certain rascal who felt uncomfortable if he didn’t cause damage, he sent a Bone Spear straight at the neck of one of the Gargoyle guarding the Practice Grounds. After which, he tore away the wings of the innocent puppet and made an exquisite ‘Rain Sheltering Magic Tool’.
The Martial Arts Instructor, Arnold, had arrived at the Practice Grounds long before the start of the lessons. Before coming into contact with the Country of the Dead, this Necromancer was once a Warrior who held great potential and he had always believed in the saying ‘the earliest bird gets the worm’. He liked explaining to those students who arrived early some of the experiences and worldly comprehension that he had accumulated, just that his method of expressing it was the exact same as his outer appearance, simple, coarse and direct.
“All Mages who wish to go close-combat are idiots! However, a Mage who doesn’t have any comprehension of close-combat are idiots among idiots!” A deafening roar boomed in the vast Practice Grounds. The ferocious-looking instructor with a slash scar on his face leaned against the wall as he explained his understandings to the students circling around him. “Mages are artists, and they need to cast their magic elegantly at a distance away from their opponent so as to destroy them magnificently. Thus, there is totally no need to learn uncouth close-combat——You bastards better dump this kind of damned thoughts into the gutters! The amount of water a pail can hold depends on its shortest plank, a Mage’s ability to survive is dependent on their weakest aspect!”
Sigmar kicked away the Gargoyle which had lost its ability to move before walking towards the instructor. According to the rules, intentional and casual destruction of the academy’s public properties warranted one a fine. However, he was an exception. Back then, when he was unwillingly duped into this academy, the master who personally came forward for the recruitment promised him many benefits. Of which, in the clause ‘all education fee will be paid by the academy’, Sigmar seemingly thoughtlessly struck away the ‘education’. Back then, the master thought that Sigmar only wanted to save some meal and ingredient money. Who would have thought that he was already planning to exact vengeance against the society that early on? To the Necromancers who highly respected promises, even when Sigmar had destroyed a fifth of the Dusk Canyon, they could only pinch their noses and fork out the money to rebuild it.
The preaching of the instructor continued on even after Sigmar approached. This time, he was saying those logic that the average people knew about but don’t talk about. It was honest but useless.
“Those darned traveling poet pimps and third-rate idiotic novels would claim that spellcasters are the core of a party and thus, they should be carefully protected. If a Mage were to come into close combat with the enemies, then that party is a goner.——Those words are true, but does the fall of the party has anything to do with the survival of the Mage?” The brawny Martial Arts Instructor waved his thick arms as he bellowed. “Remember! Do not take your opponents as idiots! They will not wait foolishly from the distance for you to complete the chanting of your spell! They will look for a flaw in your defense as think of all methods to close in on you! Restrain you! Drain your strength! When all of your mana reserve is empty, when your opponent uses speed, strength, schemes and traps that you are unable to counteract against to close in on you, when all of the guards you rely on are dead, when the opponent’s sharp weapon is about to tear through your fragile bodies, do you think that you will still have the hell of a time to cast your spells elegantly?”
The heavy chiming of the bell signaling the start of the lessons sounded. The students who were already well-accustomed to the instructor’s lessons swiftly formed up in a line and the preaching of the instructor turned into an official lecture.
“Ever since the inception of the birth of Mages, a core problem had been existent. How can the weak Mages possess the strength to protect themselves under dangerous situation? Other than improving and developing new defensive spells continuously, the self-protection martial arts customized for Mages was born as well.” With his hands behind his back, the instructor walked by the row of students.
A new movement would be taught in today’s class. This entire set of Mage self-protection martial arts was created and completed fifty years ago and it had been improving itself continuously ever since then. On average, a revolutionary change will occur to it once every five years. Almost all of the mainstream schools would send out their strongest martial artist to discuss the revising of this martial arts. In fact, they even invited innumerable martial arts experts of all tribes and occupations to test it out and in the end, a version of it was revised into a version suited for the usage of Mages.
“From this semester onwards, this self-protection martial arts will become a compulsorily tested topic! I will welcome the Dark Brother Assassins to carry out the examination. Under all kinds of dangerous and complicated situation, you will have to defend yourself against the assault of the Assassins! If you manage to defend yourself thrice from the assassinations, pass! If you manage to push back the Assassin, good! If you destroy those idiots who like to dive into bushes, excellent!” The instructor howls loudly. “I will warn you all for the one last time! A qualified Mage will never entrust his safety completely to their supposedly reliable comrades! Never! We only depend on ourselves! Right now! Begin sparring! Verify mutually what you’ve just learned until you completely remember them!”
Along with the command, the students immediately scattered, as though they had agreed on it in advance. Without any invitation or negotiation, the fourteen students immediately grouped themselves into seven pairs standing next to one another, ready to start sparring.
——There was a total of fifteen students. Sigmar’s desolate figure was left standing alone in the rain.
Everyone had long heard of Sigmar’s name. If they were to accidentally anger some sensitive nerves of his in the midst of the practice…
The instructor laughed strangely as he clenched his fist before bellowing a series of crisp sounds, “Seems like you have been isolated.”
“In lessons that involve practical training, the number of students would always be an odd number. After being paired into two, there would always be a single person left out. The one who would undergo practical training with the student is the teacher at such times.” Sigmar stared at the instructor mischievously as he shrugged his shoulders. “Sparring with the experienced instructor is much more efficient that with fellow peers of similar standards. However, it is a pity that the human mind is complicated and they pushed this privilege to one another, only to benefit me in the end.”
“It is good that you bear such thoughts.” Arnold nodded his head. “Let’s start… Heh!”
A Bone Spear shot out from Arnold’s hand, crossing blows with another Bone Spear that was already flying halfway through towards him. With a ferocious expression, the instructor flashed a bloodthirsty smile, “You cunning bastard…”