Dag was exhausted. Drops of sweat fell from his forehead melting the snow as he crouched and sore.
The weights were in place, the first part of the daily training was completed. Now all that remained was to go down to the farm and wait for the arrival of Magni, who would give other directives.
Just as Dag was heading towards it, he caught a glimpse of his Master walking towards him.
He greeted him with his hand.
"Good morning, Dag," said Magni.
"Greetings, Master. I completed the training you were talking about yesterday," Dag said, showing his wrists proving that he was telling the truth.
"Very well. Let's go down to the farm together. You're going to rest for a little while and then we're going to get back to training," continued Magni.
Dag felt relieved.
The two continued to the farm and when they arrived Dag freshened up with water and ate the new supplies that brought his master.
"Will I ever return to the temple?" asked Dag, still with his mouth full.
"One day, perhaps. Now think about feeding yourself. Then you'll show me your progress in combat".
Dag thought of the skill he learned the day before, whose rune appeared on his arm during the night.
He finished eating and then with Magni climbed up the mountain until the clearing.
"Leave your sword on the ground," said Magni in a convincing tone.
"Today's training doesn't involve the use of weapons," he continued.
Dag obeyed and placed his sword on a tree behind him.
Magni clenched his fists ready to fight and with his hand motioned to Dag to come forward.
Dag walked towards him with a firm step, without charging.
When he was close enough, he tried to hit him with a direct punch.
Magni parried his fist with the palm of his hand: at that very moment, Dag felt as if he had lost control of his hand and arm.
With a slight twist, Magni turned Dag's hand into his own and simultaneously turned his entire arm around him, which stuck in his shoulder and caused him to lose his balance knocking him to the ground on his back.
Having fallen from his spine on the ground, Dag lost his breath and lay on the ground for a few seconds panting.
"His name is Adamant Mountain," said Magni, reaching out to his pupil, still on the ground in front of him.
Dag grabbed his hand and got up.
"It's my technique, you won't find it on any scroll of the Orn Temple," he replied.
"Your technique?" asked Dag, curious.
"Yes. I perfected it right here, in this clearing, on this mountain. And now I want to teach it to you."
Dag was struck by these words. He did not think he was worthy of such trust, not even because he and his Master had known each other for a very short time.
And why him? If it was really a unique skill, that no one but him knew, why not teach it to a person closest to him, with his own blood. Didn't Magni have a son?
As he thought, Dag was speechless.
Magni continued: "Through this technique, you will be able to intercept any simple hit of your opponent. When you threw that punch at me, I saw it coming and I intercepted his center of gravity."
Dag tried to move his hand: now he was able to move it perfectly, the effect of paralysis had
disappeared after about ten seconds.
"I could have done this technique on your own kick or any other shot. Finding the center of gravity of a shot is not easy, especially if you are in combat and don't have time to think. Touching the center of gravity of your fist with my hand and impressing a force equal to yours with my palm I was able to pause your shot," Magni continued.
Dag was astonished. While the techniques derived from the scrolls drew on the magic coming from the Gods, this one did not. It derives exclusively from the strength and determination of his master. He had never seen anything like that.
"And how are you sure I'm going to be able to learn it?" said Dag.
"As you threw your fist at me, I noticed that on your right arm now your runes are two, not one. That means you've learned another skill, and judging by the rune, it looks like it's Call Of The Berserkr."
"Unbelievable," thought Dag. Magni understood the new skill only by looking at his rune, for a quarter of a second.
"All right, Master. I'm ready," Dag confirmed.
After a few hours of training, Dag failed to perform the technique perfectly, but Magni said it was a normal thing: figuring out how much strength came from his opponent and using the same force to parry the shot was not an easy thing.
Together they went down the path to the farm.
"Today I brought you more food than usual, Dag. I'm not coming back here tomorrow, I have commitments that force me to travel to Jernhest. We'll see again in about 4 days. I expect to see progress in your fighting techniques" said Magni.
"All right, but I won't be able to improve Adamant Mountain. I don't have any opponents I can train with," said Dag.
"That's true. But there are so many other techniques you can improve. Your fighting style is still highly imperfect"
"Fine. Thank you for your trust, Master," answered Dag, slightly bowing his head.
Magni looked at him with a smile on his face, then said: "I don't have time for this girlish sweet nothings. Tomorrow and the days that follow, you're going to do the same workout of this morning. See you in a few days."
Dag greeted Magni who rode his black horse without adding anything else.
Dag dined again in front of the fireplace, in the only hot spot on the farm. As usual, he felt tired but satisfied with his training.
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