"I was actually quite nervous."
"...... I'm not. I'm alright."
Why would he be nervous about something he'd already experienced once with obvious result? But he couldn't say that, so he swallowed his words.
"I don't think you really know. More than anyone I've ever seen...... I'm sure you will pass the Cavalry test right away."
"Yes, that's right. I will pass."
Gacaine gave brief blank look at Yuder's answer. And soon he couldn't hold back and burst into laughter.
"Pfft. What is that? Do you have the ability to see the future? What about me? What do you think I'm gonna be like?"
"I don't have the ability to see the future, but I think you will pass."
Gacaine laughed even louder.
"Oh, by the way, you've said all the pleasant things with that look on your face. Thank you."
He seemed to think it was empty words, but Yuder was telling the truth. Gacaine would really get through to the Cavalry.
He wanted to say something more to Yuder, but he couldn't because he heard a calling from inside.
"Okay. Get in there. I will be waiting at the exit."
Yuder tried to say that he could go without waiting, but Gacaine was faster to turn around. Yuder stepped into the Blue Crown. The application would be finished soon anyway. The important thing was the test after the application.
The test was not conducted at one time every day because of the large number of people wanting to join the Cavalry. Once the application was completed, the test was conducted on the site of the Imperial Knights for three days. And whether or not the test was passed was immediately determined.
Yuder was instructed to take the test on the third day, the last day, and Gacaine took the test a day earlier.
He didn't come back to the inn, so he seemed to have passed just like before. Yuder took his simple luggage bag and left the inn with it on his shoulder.
The Imperial Knights site for the test was not far from the inn. A training camp on the site of the Imperial Knights, consisting of several tall buildings, was the place where applicants would join the Cavalry.
Yuder looked at the tense faces of those hovering around the building and identified several familiar faces. They were the faces of those who would pass the test.
"No. 423, your turn!"
Countless people were called into the building. Now was Yuder's turn. Yuder walked leisurely into the building that hadn't changed from his memory.
Now the test was only conducted by renting a training center for the Imperial Knights, but a few years later, the position of Imperial Knights and Cavalry would be completely reversed.
The knights who were mostly ordinary couldn't beat the natural Awakeners. The commander of Cavalry continued to be trusted by the emperor and was given half of the buildings once owned by the Imperial Knights and half of the newly built buildings to show off their prowess.
"I am number 423."
After following the guide, Yuder faced the five test-examiners. He hadn't known before, but now he could see most of their faces. From the left, the deputy commander of the Imperial Knights, the assistant of Chancellor Mooker, a mage sent from the Pearl Tower, the court mage, and.......
The moment he saw the man sitting on the rightmost side, Yuder's eyes changed. Unlike the other four, he was a man of ordinary impression, dressed in clothes that showed no characteristics of his position.
The other participants might not have felt any peculiarity in that man, but Yuder was different.
The man's face was a fake, elaborated with magic. Yuder had seen the face, which was deliberately made ordinary so that it wouldn't remain in other people's memory, a long time ago.'That face, no way.'
"No. 423. You wrote very grand description in your ability section. Is this all true?"
While Yuder couldn't take his eyes off the man on the right, a sharp question awakened his mind. The Pearl Tower's mage was waving Yuder's application form with a frowned face.
"You can create fire and water on a sword? I've never heard such nonsense in my life."
In the past, they used to say that to his application form. Yuder at that time was angry because he was still young, but not anymore. He fully understood why they had such a reaction.
Until the Awakening, magic was once very careful and difficult to use because it was very hard to train. Not only that, it was also difficult to accumulate mana in the body and use it through complicated processes based on it.
Therefore, mages mainly dug into one type of magic that was mostly the easiest to use to achieve even a little faster.
It had already been more than a thousand years since using fire magic only or water magic only was the standard.
Learning the magic of different natural attributes together took too long to get used to and learn how to move the mana, and above all, it was very dangerous because the mana built up in the body might collide.
Therefore, a mage that could use more than one magic attribute was often treated as a story that almost appeared in a novel.
Of course, it was a story before the Awakening.
Among those awakened by the power of the Red Stone, many dealt with various elements. Of course, proficiency and power differed widely, but it was clearly a break from the existing common sense.
And among them, Yuder was the best. He handled all the elements freely and knew he would turn every weapon in his hand into something more powerful. Putting attributes on a sword was not a simple job.'Truthfully, even what I said about fire and water is not all of what I'm capable of.'
In fact, in the past, he only said he could handle all attributes, but he didn't say it could be put on a sword. It was after several stages of development he learnt that he could put attributes on weapons.
If he had told them all his ability, he would have been eliminated at the application stage because no one would've believed it, so he needed some reduction, but he didn't want to go the same way as before.
This was the result of such worries. Yuder believed this level of skill would make it easier for him to achieve his goal by standing out immediately after passing the test.
When Yuder didn't respond to the mage's anger, the deputy commander of Imperial Knights who had been sitting on the left began to speak while touching his beard.
"It's hard to tell when we're talking to each other until we see it in person. Yes, if what you said is true, show us. Make us believe it."
Yuder looked around. He was now bare-handed because he was not allowed to carry a personal weapon to take the test. Not far away, however, a blunt exercise sword and some tools were seen from the test examiners. He walked there without hesitation and picked up an iron sword.
No matter how much it was for practice, it was still a heavy sword that ordinary people could never hold.
The examiners' atmosphere changed as he lifted the sword like a branch with his arms, which were not very muscular.
Because it was a desired reaction, Yuder positioned himself in a place where they could see him with his sword well. The reason why he was able to hold the sword lightly was because he had the ability to handle natural attributes at will.
If anything was made of nature beyond just the top five attributes, it could be moved in Yuder's hand just like his own hand and foot. Weapons were mostly made of irons, so it was only natural.
For that reason, when caught and tortured, he was dismantled by getting stabbed on the mana hole under the navel, the biggest vital point and weaknesses of all Awakeners.
His arms and legs had been crushed and tied with a rope made of monster's tendons, not a creature from nature.
Even so, he was somehow still alive until the day he was executed because he was an Awakener, nothing more or less.
But now, Yuder's mana hole was perfectly fine and in perfect condition. Those in front of them didn't yet know how far his awakening could be.
They were just watching without knowing how far Yuder could go with a blunt practice sword he was holding.'Of course, I'm only going to show you the right level for now.......'
He didn't want to waste any time in the world that had regressed. Yuder wanted to pass with a decent impression, showing a level of power that overwhelmed the examiners but wouldn't exert himself.
Thinking so far, Yuder's eyes glanced toward the man with a fake ordinary face on the far right.
"...... I will get started."
Yuder lifted the sword. Seeing all the examiners' eyes were drawn to the end of the sword, he slowly lifted his spirits. It'd been a long time since he felt it, but he wasn't confused at all because the method was well imprinted on his head as easy as breathing.
Hold onto the energy flowing around you. Then add it to the end of the sword you're holding, turn it into a fire. It was hard to explain because it was so naturally possible for Yuder, but the process was about that much.
The sword blade was covered with flames in an instant. The heat was delivered to the examiners because it was made much hotter and redder than usual so that they would feel the flame was real.
Yuder held up the sword and slowly lowered it from the top to bottom. It seemed simple, but the power in it was never small.
Some of the examiners were surprised and backed down to their chairs when the fire broke down with the sound of cutting the wind.