On the rooftop of one of the houses in the settlement, one of the vampires was panting and trying to catch a breath, while the other didn’t seem tired at all. His breathing was steady, and there wasn’t a single strand of sweat on his body. The situation seemed quite ridiculous, especially to the man standing before him.
“What is going on?!” Ronkin shouted as he pointed at Quinn, who was standing there with his hands behind his back. “I can’t even touch you. This sparring match was supposed to give me some confidence, and now I feel like absolute crap. Have I lost all my ability to fight or something?”
Quinn gave out a big sigh as he walked over.
“You said you wanted me to help you, right? You want to win this tournament to get money, right?” Quinn asked. “So I shouldn’t just let you hit me. Do you think your opponent is just going to stand there or wait for you to attack?”
Although this was right, what was annoying Ronkin more was despite him giving his hundred percent, he hadn’t managed to hit Quinn even once. Although it was the same for the latter, he felt it was because Quinn was pulling back and not hitting him on purpose.
‘The two of us have both been assessed as guards. So that means the judges thought that we were at the same level. Do I really just suck so much?’ Ronkin thought while stomping his feet on the roof out of frustration.
“Clam down, or we will have to pay for the repairs to the house,” Quinn shook his head at the former’s antics, “You’re trying to earn money, not to lose it. Look, let me give you some advice. During our fight just then, not once did I use any vampire aura. I simply looked at the moment of your arms and could see where you were planning to strike.
“You’re too obsessed with making your blood aura and your strikes more powerful and your moves faster. Your power itself is not weak. But the way you utilise its potential is where you lose. It’s these skills, and let me remind you, using your vampire aura is not the only way to fight. Attack me again, and this time don’t use any aura at all.” Quinn suggested.
Upon considering what Quinn had just said, Ronkin realised the former was right. He noticed that he was moving before he even released a blood slash. It didn’t look like Quinn was moving fast either, at least not any faster than Ronkin could move.
Quinn had done and said all of this on purpose, of course, because he thought the best way to teach the fellow vampire guard was to use power equivalent to him. After seeing Ronkin’s aura and skills, Quinn had a good grasp of the latter’s strength.
So he limited himself to move, to have the same strength and aura as the other, and use just his skill and experience in fighting. In a sense, the Quinn Ronkin was fighting right now was Ronkin’s best version of himself.
Running forward, Ronkin did as Quinn said, and instead of using his aura, he simply threw a punch straight at Quinn’s face, but it was blocked with the palm moving it to punch the side. Then, showing a flurry of punches, each one of Ronkin’s hits was moved to the side, and it felt like he was hitting nothing but air because that was exactly what he was doing.
“You need to focus!” Quinn said as he went to throw a punch back. But just before it hit Ronkin’s head, he pulled back. The force was pushing Ronkin, and out of fear, Ronkin lifted his hands to protect the hit.
Then shifting forward with his legs, Quinn pushed him back bit by bit.
“You said you were bored, right? You said you wanted to fight out there with the others?” Quinn shouted as he continued to shift forward, slightly knocking the arms and legs of Ronkin, stopping any attempt that Ronkin had.
“Out there, you fight with your life on the line. Every moment you make should count because any of them could be your last!” Quinn said as he went for a thigh kick but stopped just short. However, the power in the kick caused a little force in the wind to hit Ronkin on the thigh, and he fell on the floor immediately in pain.
“Ahhh shit! Shit! shit!” Ronkin groaned as he found himself on the ground. “I understand what you’re saying. I was an idiot to think all of those things.”
Pushing himself off the ground, Ronkin got off the ground and bagged into a fighting stance, his eyes wide open ready to observe everything Quinn was doing.
‘I can tell, Ronkin is a vampire that has never fought before. Not against the beast or had the danger of having his life on the line. His power isn’t bad, but if there is one thing, he has determination. It looks like this person has a reason to fight, and if that is the case, then this is definitely one I can teach.’ Quinn smiled.
‘I wonder, Arthur, is this what you felt like when you were teaching me? We never really got to talk about those feelings, did we….’
Because of this, Quinn decided to say something before they went for the next round.
“Ronkin…you have determination. With that, as long as you have a good teacher, you can get to where you want to be.” Quinn spoke his mind.
For a second, Ronkin let down his guard. Never in his wildest dreams did he think a compliment from a fellow guard would make him so happy, and it was at that moment he realised that he didn’t view Quinn as a fellow guard after this.
“Quinn…I want to say I’m sorry for everything I said before.” Ronkin said. “I thought you were weak because you never wanted to fight. You never wanted to get involved in any action. But, you know, in us vampires, because of our strength, there is this innate desire to prove ourselves with our power.
“And it’s the same for me, but I have another reason why I’m trying so hard, but because of that, because it didn’t feel like you had that desire, I thought that you were a vampire that had given up on any goals like that.” </>
Quinn stayed silent. Had he given up? Did it really feel that way? Maybe, because there were some days when he felt like that, but it was the opposite. Quinn had never given up for a second, and he just had another reason not to be rash like he did in the past…a family, but not for a second had Quinn given up.
“That’s it. At the end of these training sessions, I have to hit you at least once!!” Ronkin declared with a giant grin on his face.
“If you were able to do that, then you would be even stronger than the family leaders,” Quinn chuckled.
Ronkin couldn’t help but laugh upon hearing this.
“Haha, look who has a big head now. You get one compliment, and you think you’re the strongest vampire here.”
Quinn grinned, not saying anything else as the two continued their training.
As time went on, in the end, Ronkin was unable to get a single hit on Quinn, but through Quinn’s direction, he improved at quite a fast rate. He paid attention, there was more focus, and with determination to try to hit Quinn, he was even using everything he had and naturally, there was hardly any waste in his moments.
He still had a long way to work and wasn’t a genius by any means like Minny, but still, he would grow to be a decent fighter.
Lying there on the floor, Ronkin looked at Quinn and was still disappointed, but even he could tell his fighting was getting better.
“I hate to ask this of you,” Ronkin asked. “Even though you are already doing me a favour, that tournament, it’s about to start in the next hour. You see, the guards do it during their duty time. As you know, there is nothing for us to do anyway, and it’s not like anyone notices if we’re gone. The tournament is meant to be in the next hour or so. I’ll recover fully by then…but I was wondering if you could come with me to…come and watch? Heck, with your skills, you could even take part and win if you want.
“Anyway, I want you to review my fighting. If I don’t win this time, I can win when the next gathering comes around.
Initially, Quinn was going to decline. There was certainly no reason for him to take part. These were just regular vampires, not even that of the noble level. It was unfair for him to fight, and the only thing wasn’t needed either.
Although a guard’s salary was small, Quinn had sold one of the high-tier items he had stacked away in his shadow for some money that would do them well for anything they needed.
However, certain words rang in his head. Layla told him he should hang out with others more to make new friends.
‘Make new friends…why am I so worried about those words? Is it because it means a bigger list of people to protect, more heartache for the future?’ Quinn wondered.
Minny was still at school, and technically he would still be on duty until he got home. So doing Ronkin a favour wouldn’t be so much a bad thing.
“Alright, I’ll come but don’t count on me fighting,” Quinn stated.
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