Three days after Astris's speech, the training planned by him and his father started.
Those concerned by that are children ahead of 5 years old, and less than 17 years old. From what I understood, the reason for that choice is beyond that age, it become more harder to make progress since it require to have a good foundation at from youngest age.
The establishment of the foundation for a Ki practitioner come more quickly if one train at the youngest age. It's not impossible to cultivate beyond youth but it become more difficult to make progress, and has for consequences to be unable to move beyond it's current realm;
It's currently the afternoon, 14 clock. We are outside of an old farm field, which has been specially designed for training. A few bench could be seen on the side of the field, and in front of the field, was the door that led inside the farm and ahead of it, was a podium made of wood and painted in white, specially made for today.
A dozen of adult were talking near the podium, their constitutions are robust, and in that group could be seen the chief of the village, Fernandez Kozal, the only Expert of the village.
"I'm so excited ! The chief of the village will make us Ki practitioner!"
"If I work well, I could become a Knight and protect my mom and my sister of any problem !"
"Guys do you know what kind of exercises we will be doing?"
The children near me are talking. They are actually a few dozens of them. They are quite excited to know that they will be trained by the chief of the village, and most importantly, that they may have a chance to be recognized and supervised by a Knight.
They also all came in practical outfits for sport, which are simply loose clothes made of resistant fabric since they know the training will start today.
Even though I'm near those kids, I'm not training with them since I'm too young. I'm out of the field, on the side with my mother. My father is an itinerant merchant, so he's usually not in home. Hence, it's my mother that fill most of my needs. Beside my mother, there is also the parents of each kids here.
I'm actually in my mother's arms. That act is be a bit embarrassing but in her arm, I've a better vision that when I'm standing up alone. Also, my appearance is that of a kid, so I don't feel that much embarrassed in her arms.
A few minutes later, the chief of the village climb up to the podium accompanied by a few busty adult and elders.
"Varos, do you see that? It's the chief of the village. I think you already saw him but not that clearly before right?" my mother whispered near my ear.
The chief of the village is quite tall, over 1.95 at least. His body seems full of power too. He's seems to be over 40 I guess, with sharp brown eyes as well as his hair, which are very short. He wears a white shirt, with a black pant and long boot.
Overall, I would say that the quality of his clothe are cheap, but they portray perfectly his personality, straightforward and confident of himself, with a slight smart side. I wouldn't say he look handsome, but he looks confident for sure.
He looked at the kids and then at their parents and said "Welcome everyone, I'm Kozal, chief of this town. As you all know thanks to my son and assistants, a Knight will be coming in a few years train a few of your kids, but the primary reason beyond that is for the the selection of the most talented juniors of this nation. As a Knight, he will have the right to recommend and acknowledged a few children here that will have the chance to study in one of the official academies of the country, and could even become in the future a National Knight which will serve the nation.
To prepare ourselves for his coming, we decided to train the younger generation in order to unveil their potentials. Those concerned are kids beyond 3 years old and younger than 17 years old. The goal behind it is not to find the strongest kids here, but the most talented ones. Those who are talented enough may have the chance to serve the king in person, do no forget that."
The villagers and the kids listened with attention to his speech. Not even a fly could be heard.
Kozal gazed carefully at them, took a long breath and began to talk again with a stronger voice "For now, the field will be divided on three part, according your ages. We will start today, the first part of the training will only be about physical and stamina enhancement."
"Physical enhancement? But shouldn't it be better to train the kids directly how to feel or manifest their Ki, or make them learn a few techniques?"
"That's right, we don't have enough time for regular exercises chief!"
"Chief, couldn't you simply skip that part?"
The parents seems to be confused and slightly disappointed by how Kozal is handling the training, and seeing the confusion of their parents, the children began at their turn to complain.
"Silence!" He shouted with a powerful voice. All the noises and complains were shut down. "Indeed, we will need at a certain point try to make them manifest their Ki but before that, we need to enhance their body first. If the body is correctly trained, then manifesting their Ki will be easier, and using it will be more proficient than if their were not trained before that. Ki is a fabulous asset that can be used by us humans, but if used incorrectly, it will be a double edged knife. If the body can't handle it's own Ki, it will only result of self injury".
The crowd seemed a bit awkward and appease after hearing that.
Seeing the crowd a bit ashamed of themselves, Kozal resumed his speech "I understand your disappointment, but we can't precipitate the process, it's vital for your children. I won't be the only one to the supervise the training too, as you see, near me are a few envoys of the nobility.
They are Regulars, they have great knowledge about Ki and they are here to help me to supervise this training" Kolvac said while looking at his right side and then at his left side.
Regular? Is it a new realm? From the way Kozal is speaking about them, they doesn't seems to be stronger than him, in fact, from their build, the way they are standing and their presences, they seems to be only a bit stronger in term of raw strength than the strongest villagers if we forget Kozal.
The envoys nodded slightly to the crowd and smiled, letting the mass be honored by their presences.
There is 9 of them, and they seems to be over 20 years old. Their looks are overall better than Kozal but there's not a big differences between him and them on that point. How weird, they are supposed to have a "great knowledge" about Ki yet they seems to be only around 20, and from the way they look and they act, they look more like servants of a noble house.
If my guess is correct, then it tells a lot about the current situation of this village...
After presenting them, Kozal said "Well, that's all I had to say for now. I need to deal with a few matters, so please leave all your questions to the elders of the village." After saying that, he left quickly with one of the envoys.
The envoys and elders left the podium too then started to arrange the setting, and divided the kids depending to their ages and split them in two groups, boys and girls.
After that, a few parents came to the elders to ask a few questions about the training. I wasn't really interested on their answers since I've already Astris to help me on that. He probably know as mush as the elders.
Near the podium, something caught my attention. I saw a few boxes, and I could see the handles of something that could be a wooden sword. I wonder how they're gonna introduce them...
After roughly 20 minutes, one the envoys came to the podium again and said "Hello everyone, I am Dave, I am from the noble family, Queypard, and I'm one of the trainers and supervisors and I will introduce you what you will be doing for this month.
For this month, you will be doing wrestling and racing for 10 hours in total in a day for all the month. You will also be doing a few minor exercises, that's all." he said with a smile on his face.
Confusion could be seen on the faces of everyone. The planning seems to be a bit "light" compared to what they expected I think. They probably expected more detailed exercise, not only those two. But knowing that the supervisor come from a noble house, they didn't asked questions or complained about that.
Quickly, the supervisors put in place the stage for the wrestling. They made the kids do stretching before starting the wrestling. Dave who was still on the podium explained the details.
"Today, we will be doing only wrestling exceptionally for about 6 hours. Here are the rules. The winners is the one who end up lying in the ground. You can't attack with your fist our your legs, you can only grab your opponent and try to make him fall. Any questions?."
No one dared to ask a question, and beside, there was no need for one since his explanation was clear enough.
The wrestling started slowly, with awkward moves from the kids. The instructors were only watching the fights, and said no words toward the children.
As time goes on, more and more bruises could be seen on their faces and body. Nothing serious but still enough to make a few of them cry.
Their moves started to be more and more slow, with more tiredness in them. Four hours passed at least, but the supervisors only said to continue.
Most of the kids are exhausted, but under the supervision of Dave, they surpass their own limit and continue to fight, in hope to leave a better image of them.
My mother decided to leave after an hour, she wanted me to come with her at home but I refused. I wanted to see what would be the outcome of today's training, and beside, I was bored and it was a good pastime for now, but my mother was firmer today to get me home.
She probably feared that I would try to come to the training ground, and be wounded accidentally in the process. But in our argument, Astris came and said to my mother that everything was fine and that he would watch.
A bit doubtful at first, my mother finally decided to let it go after seeing the confidant and trustful expression of Astris and left the field. Well, Astris seems to be quite resolute to convince me to follow him. Whatever, I'll think about it later.
I'm more intrigued by the way Kozal is handling the training session, I got a clear idea on what's going on. It's quite simple.
Kozal decided to make them do wrestling first to get them used to fight. Having a trained body is fine, but without experiences and courage, it's useless. He probably want to see who will put more spirit at the end of the day than the others. After all, the whole point of his plan is a selection, where the best will have the privilege to be trained by a Knight. And the daily racing is simply here to improve their stamina.
I thought that they will be doing first swords training, but it's a bit dangerous for now. They're too inexperienced, and their body are not strong enough to receive a hit from a sword, even if it's made of wood, it's still hard enough to break bones and even kill.
I need to find a way to be included in the selection. I thought that living a mundane life was the best since I'm not born in the best conditions to practice ki, it would be useless in my current situation.
After 42 years of living, I know that everything can't be obtained with hard work and perseverance. Social status, cultural, economic and social legacy are much stronger than what we can thought.
They bind us to a fate almost unbreakable, success largely come not from skills in my world, but mainly from pure luck that we assimilate for talent or either by legacy. And it seems to be almost the same case in this word too.
I have a chance to break outside of my current fate, only kids trained under the supervising of Kozal and older than 5 years will be able to get in the selection. I'm only 1 year and 9 months old and the Knight will be coming in three years, that's not good. It's the only opportunity for me to cultivate effectively Ki, and maybe becoming what I dreamed about. And for that, the only way is to agree to Astris's proposition...
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