Episode 55. A Leader’s Knowledge (1)

Seon-Hyeok had become a company commander thanks to Commander Mangsk, but it did not mean he was ready to lead a unit. He required training in the basic skills of a commander before heading to Rheinperle.

“Ugh! This again? It was bad enough doing this during my mandatory service!”

Unfortunately for him, the training was similar to the guerrilla training he received in the other world. Not only that, those receiving training were all superhuman beings capable of being ordained as knights, and as such, the training itself was horribly intense.

“I’m a cavalry rider, so why do I need infantry training…”

“There isn’t a rule saying that a commander can only lead one type of troops. In your position as commander, you might end up leading a group of infantry, or perhaps even a squad of archers. Beyond that, cavalry can fall off their horses. Are you suggesting that you live on horseback?”

Seon-Hyeok complained as he was required to roll around in the mud, but it showed no signs of working on the instructor.

“Damn it. Fine, I’ll do it.”

“Blech.”

The man ahead of him, a knight from the eastern part of the kingdom, vomited.

“You can let me know if it’s too difficult. We can send you back anytime.”

“Who said I’m giving up?”

The knight shouted angrily at the instructor, who appeared as if he had been waiting for this to happen. They were free to leave as they pleased, but giving up halfway was a disgrace that would follow him for the rest of his life. Nobody willingly gave up.

“Damn it. Damn it.”

Seon-Hyeok swore as he looked at the back of the knight staggering along and on the verge of collapse. His physical abilities were incomparable to that of an average knight, but even he felt pressured by the training.

“We will take a lap and then immediately start tactical training.”

Their bodies were pushed to the limit before tactical education could begin.

“A cavalry charge is essentially a shock tactic using maximum speed and impact to break down enemy infantry…”

The low drone of the tactics instructor might as well have been a lullaby. Training began at dawn and ended long after sunset, and by that time, his tired body felt a terrible urge to fall asleep.

“The conditions for winning a flank attack is to be the first to attack the enemy’s side, and the tactics to do so…”

His eyelids drooped as he listened to the tedious tactical theories. Even if he managed to endure, magic identification training which was as unbearable as the tactical education awaited him.

“In general, fire attribute magic requires a charging period before it can be invoked, and as a result, countermeasures can be taken as long as detection occurs before sufficient magical power has been gathered. At that point in time, the key point is to remain calm and understand the objective of the magic being cast, and to be able to minimize the damage if necessary…”

It wasn’t until the magic identification training was over that the trainees were allowed to return to their beds. However, they were only given three hours of sleep, and it was insufficient to relieve their fatigue.

Naturally, the fatigue of training accumulated as the days went by.

“Why did I accept the position of company commander!”

Seon-Hyeok had accepted the commander’s offer because he didn’t want to be separated from his comrades, but he now regretted his decision. He could have lived freely on his new lands and met his friends occasionally, and was now going through this trouble so he could stick with them all the time.

However, it was too late for regrets, and being discharged would be a permanent mark of shame. He wasn’t particularly ambitious about his future career, but he also couldn’t easily give up on his pride as a man.

He made up his mind, but he really did want to give up, especially during the magic tolerance training.

“The commander is always the primary target for enemy magic. This does not apply if you’re hit directly, but if it’s a glancing blow, or you’re lucky enough to survive the attack, your responsibility as commander is to take care of the troops under your command.”

The trainees were assigned to secret rooms pre-treated with various spells, and were immediately hit by magic before they could grasp their situation. None died because the intensity of magic was intentionally lowered, but Seon-Hyeok could not help but groan as he felt his limbs cramping up.

“Ugh…”

As a dragon rider, Seon-Hyeok had uniquely high magic resistance, and naturally, unlike the others, he was able to withstand the magical shocks to some degree. However, this only applied up to a certain point, and he trembled as he endured the outpour of spells.

“Oho.”

Seon-Hyeok stood out to the mage in charge of the magic resistance training.

A long time passed, and the hellish experience finally came to an end.

“Of course, the magic you’ll face in real battles will be several times more painful and powerful. That said, this experience may save your lives and those of your troops one day.”

The mage smiled wickedly after personally showering the trainees with a variety of magic spells. Seon-Hyeok wanted nothing more than to attack him.

However, the training was not yet over. Next, they were educated on how to minimize magic damage using swords and shields.

“Hap!”

One trainee deflected an incoming fireball with his sword, and another used his shield to block a flash of light. In the process, Seon-Hyeok was able to properly see the swordsmanship of knights for the first time.

On the battlefield, it had simply looked like flashes of light. Up close, and able to watch in a more relaxed setting, Seon-Hyeok noticed that the swords themselves were glowing with enormous energy. It was almost as if the blades were imbued with different attributes.

“As expected of the lion of the east! Your sword energy is outstanding!”

The knights seemed to call this sword energy.

“Let me know if you’re ready.”

When his turn came, Seon-Hyeok looked at the fireball forming at the mage’s fingertips with a stiff expression. Even though the mage was at a distance, he felt that the heat was stronger than those used in earlier attacks.

“Is there something wrong with your energy control? It seems a bit strong…”

“It’s the same.”

When Seon-Hyeok frowned at the curt response, the trainees around him whispered.

“Tsk. To think that a knight could be so fearful…”

“Well, it’s funny that someone who has never even held a sword properly is training with us. He should be training with the common soldiers instead.”

Seon-Hyeok was quite famous even in the training camp. Rather, he was infamous. Others’ evaluation of him was that he was a foreigner lacking in swordsmanship and simply lucky to become a knight through his accomplishments against common cavalry rather than against other knights.

“Let’s see for ourselves how great this person is that His Majesty himself would bestow a surname upon him.”

Seon-Hyeok once again felt the prejudice against foreigners that he had forgotten about.

Damned bastards.

In the first place, those gathered here were more closely aligned with the nobility than with the royal family. Given that they were all nobles or the knights serving them, it was natural that the atmosphere here would be different from when he was around loyalists to the royal family.

Realizing this, Seon-Hyeok tried to collect himself, but he couldn’t help but be frustrated.

Now that his wind attribute control was 99, the wind flowed incomparably faster and more freely than before. The wind energy flocked to the tip of his spear.

“I’m ready.”

Seon-Hyeok looked at the faint energy surrounding the tip of his spear as he responded to the mage.

“Then I’ll fire on the count of three, so watch out. One, two, three.”

With a gesture, the mage’s fireball rushed towards him.

This damned bastard. What do you mean, “it’s the same”?

The energy flying towards him was at least one and a half times more powerful than the previous attacks. Seon-Hyeok swore as he lunged forward with his spear.

“You have to deflect it! Why would you stab at it!”

“Stupid foreigner!”

The onlookers backed away as they criticized Seon-Hyeok's approach. It was evident they were afraid of the explosion that would occur upon impact.

At that moment, the spear penetrated the fireball.

“Huh?”

Normally, the fireball should have exploded as soon as it was pierced. However, instead of exploding and scattering in all directions, the pierced and torn fireball began to also circle around the tip of his spear.

“What the hell…”

The trainees watched with mouths agape at this unfamiliar sight. The mage casting the magic likewise stared in shock. A person passing by would have thought Seon-Hyeok was wielding a spear made of flames.

“Hot! Hot!”

After holding onto the spear for a while, Seon-Hyeok threw it aside with a shout. Sparks fired off in all directions.

“Ugh. It’s so hot.”

It was ridiculous to see the foreigner blow on his hands and complaining, but neither the trainees nor the instructor could mock him.

After that day, none of the trainees dared to disregard Seon-Hyeok as a foreigner lacking in the basics. Then again, all the others had only recently become knights and were little more than baby chicks. None of the others had succeeded in completely destroying the mage’s offensive spells.

Seon-Hyeok had unequivocally shown the gap in their abilities.

After all, even Marquis Reinhardt, head of the Royal Knights and renowned swordsman of the kingdom, had declared Seon-Hyeok to be as capable as a senior knight. For the other trainees, senior knight was a position they could only hope to reach after training for a long time.

It was a difference in skills that could not be immediately overcome. They had mocked him before witnessing his strength, but now, they did not dare to tease him. Thanks to this, Seon-Hyeok was able to complete the 16 weeks of training without any more trouble.

- You have leveled up.

Perhaps indicative of the difficulty of the training he had just completed, Seon-Hyeok was able to level up for the first time in a long while.

There was a brief disturbance when he recalled Goldrake, whom he had allowed to roam outside the training site. Nonetheless, his training was over, and Seon-Hyeok was allowed to depart.

***

Seon-Hyeok’s destination was Rheinperle, and not to the 24th Regiment garrison. He had no reason to go back, as his cavalry had relocated under Clark’s guidance during his training.

“I’ve been waiting.”

Julian had been waiting for him to leave the training camp and greeted him. She skillfully took his belongings and put them on his horse, and her actions seemed so natural that he unknowingly watched without doing anything.

“You were waiting?”

“Yes.”

“How did you know when I’d be leaving? Didn’t you think I might give up?” Seon-Hyeok asked with a bewildered expression.

Indeed, it was quite a long distance for a young girl to travel alone.

Julian then replied emotionlessly, “I knew you wouldn’t quit.”

Seon-Hyeok didn’t know why Julian would think that, but it wasn’t a bad feeling to have someone believe in him. He laughed.

“Let’s go.”

“I’ll lead the way.”

Guided by Julian, Seon-Hyeok headed towards his new home.

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