It wasn't an ability anyone could have. This ability could only be fostered by experience and effort.
It wasn't something that could be learned by firing dummy targets. Only by experiencing a gunfight live many times can anyone obtain the ability to predict the opponent's movement.
Whether or not the next bullet could kill the enemy or miss, all of this could be predicted using foresight.
A sword fight was the same.
The sense of distance, the slight movements of the body, and intermediate experience in sword fights. By having all of the above requirements, fighting with a sword gets easier by a lot.
Nicokel's body moved to the side, parrying the knight's sword with perfect movement.
'...Using my foresight, I don't even need to activate my talent to dodge or parry their attack anymore.'
Nicokel knew of his expertise better than anyone else. And foresight could be said to be his strongest weapon, whether it was war strategies or fighting, he stood out in this particular aspect.
Being able to predict the knight's next action. Nicokel had a lot of room for counterattacks, but the actual situation was different.
No matter what kind of attack Nicokel performed, the knight received all of his attacks with no hesitation.
The knight was already in his twenties, his experience was not to be looked down upon. He knew what kind of action to perform to defend against Nicokel's attack.
A blue hue covered Nicokel's sword as he performed an uppercut, aiming at the knight's face. Once again, the height class was very apparent at this instant. It was like a lion's cub challenging another full-fledged predator.
Nicokel's body moved almost like an afterimage. His sword dances, adapting to the knight's swordsmanship, and looking for a counter.
At that moment, Nicokel's sword changed its trajectory and swung vertically from the downside.
The knight's sword was flung upwards, still in his grasp marking his expression serious immediately.
The opening was not missed by Nicokel, he performed a slash with not much of a change in his position. This caused the power of this swing to lower, but Nicokel still wanted to get at least one of his attacks in.
A sword flew through the training arena, falling on the sand.
Nicokel looked at his palm, it didn't bleed, but a red swelling on it was apparent.
'...This is my limit, huh?' Nicokel closed his eyes.
The image of what just happened played in his head.
Nicokel had performed a straight thrust, intending to stop right before the neck. But before he could get even half a meter near his aim, the knight abruptly changed his position.
Catching the sword in both of his hands, the sword arrived before Nicokel's sword in an instant.
'...Sword art? I knew that the apprentice knights were holding back, but it was to this degree.'
Sighing to himself, Nicokel opened his mouth: "What was that? Can you do it again?"
The knight nodded his head as the serious look left his face.
"It is called the arc play. It allows anyone to perform an arc-like swing from almost any position. Like this..." The knight held the sword upright near his shoulder and performed the arc play.
Instantly the world slowed down.
Nicokel mused to himself: 'It's almost like a stream of light, I see the reason why I couldn't keep up with it.'
Using the mana circulation technique learned from the salamander, Nicokel could perform the salamander sword art to the basic level. If he used it, he could have fought better against the knights, but Nicokel hid it for now.
The salamander sword art would play as a trump card against his brother, Gelen.
Using his talent to the limit, Nicokel had a basic idea of how the arc play worked. He just had to practice by himself to perform it now.
'....I can probably learn it immediately if I make him do it another ten times, but I don't see that happening. I used up nearly half of my many for just once too.' Nicokel moved on to his next sparring partner.
Usually, Nicokel sparred with the knights for half an hour, but today he could only do it for ten minutes. It was clear just how much his mana reserves had increased.
'Well, if I use my mana without holding back, I will run out of it within three or two minutes.'
Not to say that he didn't have full control over his mana yet, going full out might cause his mana to deplete a lot faster. And the load the body would be put through wouldn't be a joke either.
Nicokel might have to lay around like a dead log for a few days.
"Young master Nicokel, Lady Allesia has arrived."
As Nicokel left the knight's training arena, a maid spoke to him respectfully. There was no fear on her face like the first time he saw her. Not just her, but all the other servants stopped getting nervous over all of his actions.
'Who? I have a feeling I heard this name somewhere...' Nicokel tried to remember and was surprised.
The memory of Allesia came almost immediately, she was a crush of the past host!
"Ugh! Why are you informing me about her arrival anyway?" Nicokel held his head as images flowed into it.
"You had strictly ordered us to tell you immediately whenever Lady Allesia visited the Verskein dukedom." The maid spoke with a surprised face, she didn't expect Nicokel to forget about it.
"That so...Inform all the servants that there is no need to follow such instructions anymore." Nicokel dismissed the maid.
Nicokel didn't find Allesia's arrival weird. Not just her, but many people were coming today to the welcome party of Duke Verskein.
Entering his room after informing a servant to cancel his breakfast, Nicokel looked at the fancy bag on his desk. It stored the magical herb Jane sent for him.
'Gelen will announce the formal challenge in today's welcome party for sure. Having more witnesses to the duel will be beneficial for him, after all. It can go either way, I guess. I will be sure to make his social life trash after the duel.'
Nicokel disliked Gelen with passion. He never liked anyone who tried harming him for their selfish desires.
Opening the bag, Nicokel found just two kinds of herbs within it.
One was a small plant with soft and delicate stems, with small white flowers growing from its stem.
The other one was filled with red flowers and a stinging fragrance.
There were originally more herbs, they increased the mana reserves growth. Hence Nicokel used them all within the past week.
'These herbs will boost my physique permanently upon consumption. Though it's a small amount, It's better than nothing. I will just have to grind them now according to the book.'
Nicokel looked at the stone grinder he borrowed from the kitchen.
These herbs were like ones in a lifetime-use item. They could only be effective on the human body for once before losing all of their effects. Using them again would be a waste of time.