65 Chapter 11: Trying Out the Scale Blade
It had been three months since Joshua had started his conditioning training with Marlow and in that time he was able to reach all the way to level five. To others it might have seemed like an incredibly slow pace, but sense he was reaching the full potential of each level before moving on to the next it was a pace that had all of his instructors surprised. Just the other day several more people were starting to move out and join the efforts of exploring the changes on earth. Of coursed all of these people had to have reached level ten, but Joshua doubted they were able to get the full benefits of training in such a small amount of time. Luckily Marlow had explained to him how fighting monsters would increase your stats even faster than training, but of course that came with its own risk. To reach full potential of your levels through fighting monster would require first off actually fighting them yourself and not being carried in a party while doing nothing, and secondly fighting against monsters that actually give you a challenge and not just grinding weak enemies.
Joshua's three child hood friends were a part of the group that was starting their explorations this time around and he had seen them off yesterday. Of course they were joking around a bit to drop any of the tension with the situation, but for the most part they all seemed excited. During their training all three of them were able to reach level ten, but they hadn't quite reached the full extent that Joshua had stats wise. Even so they were probably far ahead of most other level tens that were heading out sense they all had special instructors that had taught them all about the leveling system and how stats worked. Now Joshua was sure they were probably out there somewhere trying to face tough enemies to catch up stats wise with their levels and gain on all of the girls that had a three and a half month head start.
Nathan on the other hand was still learning under his support instructor like many of the people with support jobs. Since they couldn't gain stats that they needed for their field of expertise through fighting or sparring they had to spend far more time learning whatever trade they had signed up for. This would increase their stats and their level would go up through test given by their instructors. According to Nathan after they reach level ten and are on their own they could gain levels and stats based off of how well their trade was doing. For example a doctor that had helped and fixed up several patients would gain job experience and level up for it along with gaining stats that would help them in their trade. The system was a bit different to the combat leveling system, but in the end you would actually have to work hard to reach your full potential either by doing the job or studying hard. Sadly for Nathan and his sister it seemed to take far longer to reach level ten in a support class considering they were both still level three when Joshua saw them a couple days ago.
Joshua pushed himself off the ground after losing yet another spar to Marlow before reaching level five. Now all of his base stats were at ninety points for his physical stats. His intelligence and wisdom had also risen with some of the things he had been studying in his free time, but not nearly at the same rate as his physical ones. So all in all with the bonus points his physical stats were at ninety-four points and now he could push himself once again. He didn't get to down on the results of the spar since he could tell he was starting to get more use to fighting at higher speeds. When he finished his conditioning training he would probably spend some time reforming the way he fights in close combat. Now that he was far more balanced he would have to get use to using his speed from now on just as much as his size and strength. Joshua was fairly sure he and his dad could spend a little time hammering it out when he was finished with this.
One thing he took notice of while fighting Marlow was the fact that Marlow was clearly surprised at how quickly Joshua was getting use to his stats boost. According to him it usually took people years to gain that much experience in how to approach hand to hand combat under the system's stats influence. Joshua wasn't to surprised that he wasn't able to beat Marlow at this point sense for him it must feel like things are slowed down from the usual when they are sparring, unlike with Joshua where everything seemed to speed up. For fighters it was always good to feel like things were slowing down around you giving you plenty of time to react instead of feeling like everything has to be rushed. That gave Marlow an extreme advantage in their spars, but that advantage was slowly shrinking as things started to slow down for Joshua as well.
"Well looks like you're already at level five kid. Man that's got to be a new record or something. I don't think I've even heard of someone gaining the full potential out of five levels in under six months. It usually takes two years to get to level ten with this method." Marlow said as he walked over and grinned at Joshua.
"Really? How long were you three expecting this training to take?" Joshua asked in shock.
"Honestly we thought the conditioning and blade training would probably take at least a year and a half while the aura training with Mrs. Thevaris might take another three years. By then we'd expected your soul beast to be fully awakened." Marlow said while scratching the back of his head.
"Nope, not going to take that long." Joshua simply said getting a strange look from Marlow. "I can feel it. This soul beast isn't going take that long to wake up. I don't even think it will take another three years let alone four. When it wakes up it's time for me to get started on my journey otherwise I'll fall too far behind the first wave of explorers. So I'm going to put all my effort into finishing my training by then."
"Hmm, well I can't say I don't approve of your determination kid. Well I guess I can help you out with that, but were going to have to up your training even more if you really want to make it in time." Marlow said with a grin that sent a shiver down Joshua's back.
"Fine, just don't get me killed."
"Alright well I would usually say we're done for the day, but sense you want to speed things along a bit I'm going to start spending another three hours every day with you after conditioning training. In that time I'll teach you how to wield one of these." Marlow said before swiping his hand in the air and pulling out a large scaled blade from his inventory. He quickly stabbed the weapon into the ground and then pulled another one that looked similar but with a different design and slung that one across his back. "Take that one. It's a good practice sword for you to use early on."
Joshua walked over and pulled the heavy sword out of the ground and grunted slightly at its weight. The sword must have weighed at least a thousand pounds. Over the past few months Joshua had gotten to the point where the practice sword he had been swinging for his strength exercises weighed around nine hundred pounds while the weight bands had been pushed to the point where Joshua was constantly walking around with over a thousand pounds through all of the exercises. If it hadn't been for the increase in stats points he was sure by now he would have died at some point in the training.
Although the sword was heavier than the training one he had been using recently he was able to adjust to the weight decently and started swinging the large blade around with two hands to get a feel for it. "What's the difference between this sword and the one you're using?" Joshua asked as he turned to look towards his teacher.
"Well this one here isn't exactly anything special, but it weighs a ton and you aren't quite ready to swing something this heavy around yet. I can't really use any weapon that weighs less than a ton without feeling like I'm swinging around a twig at this point. My body is just no longer use to it." Marlow said with a smile as he easily twirled around the large sword back and forth with one hand. "Besides you're going to have to get use to fighting creatures that can easily hit you so hard that it will feel like a building was slammed into you. Fighting you with a heavier weapon will start to beat that feeling into you while I teach you the best ways to use this weapon."
"Alright I'm all ears. Teach me a little bit about the blade before we get to training with it first. What makes you think this blade is the perfect fit for me anyways?" Joshua asked as he stopped swinging the heavy weapon but kept holding it in the air instead of stabbing it into the ground and taking a break.
"Well the scale blade is one of the most ancient types of weapons that people know of. It's said that the first person to wield one was the first and last person to ever have the soul beast of a Fenrir. At the time the man had the weapon built to fit his fighting style and get the most out of his soul beast abilities. I don't actually know what those are sense this was all before my time, but seeing as how the Fenrir was one of the two strongest soul beast to be known I'm guessing it must be something truly special." Marlow said with a slight smile before coughing into his hand and trying to get rid of the clear excited look on his face. "From the stories I was told of the man by my grandmother he kind of became an idol to me growing up. So, I trained in the ways of using the scale blade even though it kind of became a relic for most people sense it is so hard to use effectively. Oh and it got its name from the fact that the blade is as big as a dragon's scales apparently, though I'm not sure why it didn't get named after a Fenrir in the end."
"Interesting. So I'm guessing since I'm the next guy to come around with the Fenrir soul beast you guys are thinking that the scale blade will be a good fit for me? Fine I'll give it a try." Joshua said with a sigh before looking at the enormous weapon in his hands. Even for someone his size the blade was more than big enough for him to use as a shield to huddle behind if needed.
"Great, now there aren't too many things you need to know about this weapon, but the most important thing you need to know is that they are heavy." Marlow said with a grin. Joshua gave him an annoyed look causing Marlow to chuckle a bit before he continued. "When I say that I mean they have to be heavy to fill their roles properly. These blades also go by the nick name of giant killers and I can tell you right now if you were to swing this blade in my hands at that boss monster you were fighting before you would cleave its arm off with the right technique."
This comment got a slight look of surprise from Joshua. Even though these swords were huge that boss monster was six stories tall with arms so thick that it would have taken him hours to hack through with a regular axe. That is if it didn't regenerate the whole time. "So the weight behind them makes them more efficient?" Joshua asked.
"For the most part. Plus it helps when facing creatures with hardened skin or scales and armor on. In that case the blade is so heavy that it will simply crush the opponent breaking the bones on the inside instead of slashing through. For the most part the edges of these swords are thick which makes them dull and more durable, but it also makes it harder to cut unless…" Marlow said before coating his weapon in a thin sheen through some weird energy that could emit through his hands. It was very thin and only covered his hand and the weapon, but whatever it was it was clearly making the blade far more dangerous. "This is a trick almost any weapon user can use at some point. Some weapon classes such as swordsmen get far better at it than others, but doing this is quite simple, but you won't learn how to do this until Mrs. Thevaris starts to teach you. I just wanted to let you see how I fight when I want to cut clean through something."
Marlow swung the coated blade at a blinding speed towards the forest. The quick blow cleanly cut down several trees along the edge and for the next few moments all Joshua could hear was them collapsing to the ground. "Now the next most important thing to know about these blades is how to use them to defend. Unlike most swords where you have to perfectly parry blows to block do to their size, with this baby all you need to do is this." Marlow stabbed the sword into the ground in front of him and hid all of his body behind it except for his hand that was still holding the handle. He then pulled it out of the ground and quickly took another offensive stance in the blink of an eye. "This weapon can be used as the perfect shield. You don't even have to stab it into the ground if you have the proper strength to hold off whichever blow is coming your way. The only weakness is your exposed hand and for that I tend to wear a gauntlet over the hand and arm that I primarily use for defense. While my other hand is left uncovered so that it can move more freely in handling the sword or during close combat. Though according to grandma the man who first wielded this type of blade didn't need to rely on armor at all."
"Cool, I'm liking this weapon already. It seems to fit my style for the most part. Great reach, extremely defensive when needed, and most importantly if I can get strong enough to hold it one handed then I can even use close combat alongside it." Joshua said with a smile before turning toward Marlow. "Well what are you waiting for? Let's get to training."