37 Spear Art [3]

After leaving the cafe, I made my way to the Global Academy campus by taking a cab and then transferring to the campus bus. 

As I've mentioned before, the academy, which was known for its advanced training facilities, was made up of 5 tall skyscrapers. 

3 of these buildings were reserved for first, second, and third-year cadets where they attend their classes, while the remaining 2 towers were filled with training facilities and gyms for everyone to use despite their academic year.

Of these facilities, there were three main types of training gyms: 

The Mana Arts gym, where students could practice their magical spells and combinations.

The combat training gym, which allowed students to hone their martial techniques.

And lastly, the physical training gym, where students could work on their physical fitness.

As I arrived at one of the combat training gyms on the 5th building's bottom floor, I was surprised to see only a handful of first-year cadets practicing their martial arts. 

I had expected the gym to be way more crowded than this.

Well, then again, most of the first-years decided to take advantage of the first month of their enrollment by enjoying the various amenities offered by the city, such as arcades, clubs, bars, and cafes.

Since everything was free for us during the span of this first month, it contributed to the lower-than-expected turnout at the training gym.

To top it off, most of the second and third-year cadets had yet to return from their annual academic missions.

Annual academic mission is like an end-of-the-year exam that, if completed, would significantly affect their ranking.

Due to these reasons, the training gym I was currently in was relatively empty.

"Well, more space for me."

The martial arts training gym where I was standing was a spacious, well-lit room filled with a variety of training equipment and facilities.

Rows of punching bags hung from the ceiling while mats covered the floor. Combat dolls and practice dummies were placed at the back end of the room which cadets can use to practice their techniques.

The walls were adorned with various martial arts weapons, such as nunchucks, bo staffs, and wooden katanas, which cadets could use to practice their forms and techniques.

In the clamor of fists and feet hitting the punching bags and mats, the scent of sweat and determination lingered in the room.

After scanning through the gym and making sure no familiar face was present, I walked up to a practice spear hanging on the wall and took it off.

As soon as I picked the spear, I was impressed by how sturdy and heavy it felt. The wood had a smooth texture and felt a little cold to the touch, and the binding cords provided a nice, grippy feel. The tip was blunted, of course.

"Fuuuu."

Letting out a sigh after I was done inspecting the spear, I walked up to an unoccupied practice dummy.

After that, I took out the martial manual I had just acquired through Kent and started turning its page.

[6-Movement Lance Style: Blossom Shattering Blast]

As expected of a mid-grade Level 3 weapon art. This technique had three different forms.

Forms are basically different ways a single technique can be performed.

In its base form, the user channels mana that swirls around their spear, draws it back, and then thrusts it forward with great force, causing significant damage at the point of impact.

If the user uses the technique by not pulling back their spear and pressing it against an object before twirling it to create a drilling effect, this would be considered the second form of the technique.

In its third form, the user is capable of unleashing powerful drilling blasts in the air toward their opponent, making it a long-range attack.

Yes, yes, no matter how I may look at it, I can see this martial manual being a great help to me in the future.

For a spear art, it was quite versatile.

So after inspecting what the weapon art that I'll be learning was, I closed my eyes and calmed my breathing.

Clenching the practice spear tightly in my right hand, I began moving as it was instructed in the manual.

Pressing my left foot on the ground, I drew back my right arm and started channeling mana around my spear.

In a few seconds, as I had intended, the wooden spear in my hand was engulfed in a light azure hue as tendrils of blue energy coiled around it.

Swoosh—!

Grinning in excitement, I thrust my spear forward at the practice dummy with full force.

Thwak—!

Nothing.

Upon striking the practice dummy with my spear, nothing happened.

As I continued to wield it, the magical energy surrounding the spear gradually diminished until it vanished entirely.

Had I done it right, my spear would've been able to drill through the dummy without any effort.

"Haaa." 

I couldn't help but sigh as I took a few steps back and got ready to practice again.

I was aware of my mistake. I was unable to effectively manage the flow of my mana.

With a resolution to rectify my error, I resumed my training by repeatedly wielding my spear.

"Paaaah! Huuuuf! Haaaah!" 

[Your knowledge about your profession has increased

Techniques→ 6-Movement Lance Style: Blossom Shattering Blast (Lvl. 3)

Progress: 10%]

Fuck this!

After spending nearly 3 hours practicing without interruption, I collapsed, out of breath, onto the floor.

3 hours of continuous practice and I was still nowhere near mastering the first form of the technique.

Why? Simple reason.

Continuously swirling mana around the spear is actually very, very difficult and takes a lot of effort.

No matter how much I tried, I couldn't seem to maintain it till the full duration of the attack.

Arghh, I should've just gone for a low-level technique.

Should I give up on this technique and buy some low-level spear art from the internet for now? 

I mean, I'm in need of something that I can learn fast and master completely by the time the 'mock war' starts.

"…Arghhh."

But a frustrated groan escaped my lips when some unwanted memories of my past life raced through my mind.

Those were some memories I don't want to remember ever. They weren't traumatic or sad; they were just bland.

Each day was a struggle back then as I dragged myself through the monotony of my existence.

I couldn't find any joy or purpose in life, and so I simply went through the motions, never truly living.

It was a lonely and unbearable existence, and my heart ached with a sadness that I could not shake. 

Although I had everything a sane person could ask for, I longed for something more, but I couldn't see a way out of my malaise.

I never put any effort into anything, whether it was learning new things, building meaningful relationships, or pursuing my passions. Well, it's not like I had any passion for anything to begin with.

I felt like nothing in life truly mattered to me so I never felt attached to anything or anyone.

But despite my apathy, I trudged on, studying even when I had no interest in academics, making friends only to exploit them for my personal gain, and getting into relationships without truly understanding the complexities of love. 

I yearned for a spark, a reason to wake up in the morning with excitement and anticipation.

And I tried finding that spark everywhere I could think of.

I took up hobbies like drawing, gaming and writing, but quickly gave up on them at the first sign of difficulty, judging them as something not worth my time and effort.

But even then, I was always the first one to criticize others and judge them for their mistakes.

Maybe that's why I did such a good job as an editor.

Well, unlike me, at least they were actually trying to put work into something they loved.

I wanted that too. I wanted that burning passion for something, anything! But in the end, I couldn't find it. I couldn't find anything that made my heart race.

Day after day, I lived my life feeling empty, continuously giving up on things until I was killed.

When I came into this world, I was excited when I felt my heart beating after a long time.

However, now I am concerned that if I grow too accustomed to my new existence, my heart may cease to beat once again.

I'm concerned that if I go down the same path as my past life, if I keep giving up on things, I'll start feeling dead inside once again.

I don't want that.

I don't want to live that life again.

That monotonous cycle of a never-ending loop that I called my life, I can't endure it again.

No, I won't endure it again.

With a bitter taste in my mouth, I gritted my teeth and gripped the spear hard in my hand. 

I summoned the remaining strength I had left within me and stood up on my legs after barely keeping them from shaking.

Swoosh—!

Ignoring the fatigue in my body, I started welding my spear again.

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