top of page

Orphan Reborn

4

The Art of the Blade is not to Cut but to Keep

3

The sun was beginning to set, casting a warm, golden glow over the training grounds in the foothills. Natalie, sweat dripping from her brow, stood tall with her sword in hand, a confident smile on her face.

 

The air crackled with anticipation as she had just finished an impressive display of swordsmanship in the covered arena from the lake, showcasing her newfound skill and finesse.

 

"Good work today, Nat!" Largo stepped forward with a proud grin. His eyes gleamed with admiration as he approached her, clapping his hands together in applause. "Your dedication and hard work have truly paid off. Your form is your strength.”

 

“I also sensed that your temper has dwindled to a minimum, too.” Jaori added. He placed his firm hand on Natalie's shoulder. "Your discipline and determination that you have exhibited for the past week are paying off. Keep at it.”

 

As the two trainers celebrated Natalie's accomplishment, a fellow trainee named Lee approached them. He was a bit reluctant at first because some of the trainees would also insult him for talking to her.

 

But Lee, also known for his lightning-fast reflexes, had often sparred with Natalie during training sessions. He had seen how far Natalie has achieved in just a week.

 

"You have shown true swordsmanship for the past week even under pressure and insults from other people. As a swordsman myself, I see you realizing your potential!"

 

Lee exclaimed, clapping as he did. "I've seen your progress firsthand, and I'm amazed at how far you've come. You've mastered the art of defense, and it's an honor to witness it."

 

Largo and Jairo did not expect anyone from the trainees to finally see Natalie’s worth.

 

Not all trainees dislike Natalie or discriminate against her for being a girl. There were a few that were serious devotees of the way of the sword.

 

As long as she respects the blade, Natalie’s social circle will attract more people like Lee who saw her skills bloom.

 

Natalie felt a swell of pride and gratitude in her chest. Their words of congratulations filled her heart with warmth, affirming her hard work and dedication.

 

Considering the fact that she was reborn four years into the past, it was nice knowing that she still has people that she can trust, and trainees that were different from the rest.

 

“Thank you for seeing my worth, Lee.” Natalie said. “I appreciate it.”

 

“Just go to me if you want to spar more. It would be a good experience to grow together,” Lee said formally.

 

Natalie knew that her journey as a skilled swordsman was just beginning, and with Largo, Jaori, and Lee by her side, she felt ready to face any challenge that lay ahead.

 

Another week has passed and Natalie was still on her way to becoming one of the best swordsmen in the corporation.

 

But one day, she realized that maybe her gunmanship has deteriorated since her reincarnation. All she has done for the past couple of weeks was to swing her sword and mind her footwork.

 

“I think I need to unwind for a bit,” Natalie whispered to herself.

 

Natalie went to the firing range. There were a lot of people training with their guns but most of them were below ten years old.

 

It was a kind of skill that did not require a lot of discipline since all they had to do was hit the bull’s eye from varying distances, take cover using the surroundings, and how to disarm a person with a gun.

 

But there are some things that most people in the corporation forget. Studying gunmanship also includes studying the mechanics of each type of gun, how they work, how to dismantle them, and how to assemble them back.

 

After that, there was nothing else to do but train someone’s aiming and reload time. It’s very practical for most killers, but in the corporation, it’s just something they have to do.

 

It was a modern world after all.

 

“Standard twelve yards,” Natalie operated one of the machines in the firing range. She pushed the button and a training dummy appeared in front of her, exactly twelve yards away.

 

Natalie shoots her gun immediately and hits the training dummy. She missed the center of the forehead by just an inch.

 

“Oh no, I might be getting rusty,” Natalie said as she fired another one, this time, hitting the bull’s eye. “There you go. First shot jitters, I guess.”

 

Natalie continued to shoot more and more painted bullets at training dummies. She wanted to make sure that she was still the best gunman in the corporation.

 

The younglings that were training around her started to notice her precise shooting skills.

 

Natalie then went back to the covered arena. It was a gunmanship arena. It had moving training dummies that utilizes guns with painted bullets.

 

It also had a course where trainees can move through the terrain, shooting dummies as they go forward.

 

“Time to stretch my muscles,” Natalie said as she started warming up. “Maybe a little bit of fun before I go back to training with the blade.”

 

Natalie dashed into the firing course and shot the first dummy on the forehead. She took cover as one of the training robots flanked her.

 

She jumped high with the help of her acrobatics skills and successfully shot down three training dummies mid-air.

 

She dashed forward into the ‘quarters’ of the course and shot down each dummy that peeked behind the walls.

 

In the last part, she evaded one of the dummies’ shots and dashed toward it. She grabbed the robot and used it as a shield for the incoming shots from five dummies aiming at her behind concrete pillars.

 

She took down two dummies while dashing toward a rock and taking cover again. She peeked and aimed at one more dummy in the forehead.

 

There were two left. She dashed toward the concrete pillars and timed her cover based on the firing rates of the dummies. By the time the dummies reloaded, Nat finally completed the course.

 

A trainee from the start of the firing course clapped his hands and acknowledged the skill that Natalie displayed.

 

“Are you mocking me? You want to duel?” Natalie challenged the boy.

 

“No. After seeing you shoot those robots, I would not want to duel you,” the boy responded. “But if it’s going to be an all-swords duel, I think I may have a chance.”

 

“I can’t do those yet. I’m still training,” Natalie already went out of the firing range.

 

“Please wait. You’re Natalie, right?” the boy said. “I’m Dex. I’m a B-class swordsman.”

 

“Good for you,” Natalie tried to exit and ignored Dex.

 

“Wait!” Dex begged, “I can see that you are busy but, can I ask you a favor?”

 

“What do you mean by a favor? Is this some kind of prank? Because I’ll take you down right here, right now,” Natalie said.

 

“I don’t doubt that,” Dex said nervously. “Please, I’m not here to ridicule you like the other kids.”

 

Dex was a seventeen year old B-class swordsman. He was as old as Natalie before she was reincarnated.

 

He was about to graduate and wanted to learn more about gunmanship. His gunmanship rating was D-class, and he was really expecting to graduate this year and receive his apprenticeship license.

 

“The thing is, I’m not really good with guns. I just haven't found it necessary to study for a very long time since I was a kid, but,” Dex was embarrassed. “I don’t want to graduate and get killed by a bullet in my first mission.”

 

“You’re a B-class swordsman, you can’t deflect bullets?” Natalie asked.

 

“Not yet, only A-class swordsmen can do that. It’s scary, too.” Dex chuckled nervously.

 

“Are you seriously asking me to teach you how to be better with guns?” Natalie said.

 

“Yes!” Dex said.

 

“No pranks?!” Natalie asked, aiming her guns at Dex.

 

“No, no, no pranks. I promise!” Dex said.

 

“Why come to me? Why not seek the help of trainers?” Natalie said.

 

“The thing is, they bore me to death,” Dex scratched his head. “I don’t like the way they sound. Too self-righteous and too formal.”

 

Natalie never expected a fellow trainee to converse to her about something like that.

 

“They are still a more viable choice than me,” Natalie said.

 

“I just think that, the way you fight in the arenas, is something that I want to learn,” Dex said. “Acrobatics, flexibility, and agility. I want to learn them all. I think it can help my swordsmanship skills more if I knew how to tumble in the air like you.”

 

Dex approached Natalie trying to explain his side.

 

“Please. Your fighting style is unorthodox and I think it’s less boring. I want to learn that too,” Dex said.

 

“First of all, it’s not tumbling. Second, I’m still going to refuse whatever this is. I have better things to do than teach someone gunmanship,”

 

“How about this? I’m a better swordsman than you, you’re a better gunman than me,” Dex explained. “You teach me how to wield guns effectively. And I’ll teach you techniques with the sword.

 

Natalie did not think of that offer. She was just so used to other trainees bullying her.

 

“Come on, we can both benefit from this,” Dex said.

 

Natalie did not want to deal with male trainees, but it’s a plus if he trained together with someone who was already good with the blade.

 

Indeed it was a good deal.

 

“Fine, Dex. Let’s start right away,” Natalie said. “But if I sense that you’re just wasting my time, I will destroy you.”

 

“That sounds like a deal!” Dex said.

 

Natalie and Dex proceeded to the firing range.

 

“Each week, let’s teach each other a technique, then we will master it for that same week,” Natalie explained. “This way, we don’t have to train together.”

 

“Why? Isn’t it better to do it together?” Dex asked innocently.

 

“I still don’t trust you. I trust you enough to teach me one technique and that’s it,” Natalie continued. “Mind you that I can ask a trainer about this technique that you will teach me, so don’t get any funny ideas.”

 

“Understood,” Dex said attentively.

 

“Now, the basics of shooting a gun is to shoot a person on the forehead. Let’s see how accurate and precise your shots are,”

 

Dex pulled the trigger of a handgun and did not hit the training dummy.

 

“First shot jitters, I supposed?” Natalie exclaimed. She wanted to get this deal over with. “Again!”

 

Dex pulled the trigger again and shot the dummy on the shoulder.

 

“Better,” Natalie said as she drew her hand gun and fired three consecutive shots on one of the training dummies' forehead.

 

There was a big hole on the training dummy’s forehead when there were three shots fired.

 

“Did you miss the two other shots?” Dex was unsure.

 

“Dumbass. Those three shots went through the dummy’s forehead three times!” Maryan exclaimed. “This is your training. Fire three consecutive shots, and all of them should be directed on the forehead. Based on your gunmanship caliber, that will take you maybe a week and a half.”

 

“What?! No! I can’t do three consecutive shots all leading to the head! That’s insane!” Dex begged Natalie.

 

“It doesn’t matter. At least you can practice your aim first before tumbling in the air,” Natalie explained. “Now teach me one sword technique!”

 

Dex and Natalie went to the training grounds on the foothills together.

 

“You must be able to maintain your balance on top of those bamboo poles from sunrise until exactly noon,” Dex said as he pointed at the bamboo poles towering above the river. “But good swordsman can do it until sunset.”

 

“Are you kidding me?! They are at least fifty meters tall!” Natalie exclaimed. “Are you trying to get back at me?”

 

“Don’t worry, you will fall onto the river. It’s pretty deep and the current is not strong. You will not die falling from it,” Dex chuckled nervously.

 

“Am I not expected to eat there?! You’re crazy, right?!” Natalie exclaimed. “At least with my task, you can still eat. Hell, you can even lie down while doing it! This is unfair!”

 

“It’s hard I know but it will teach you how to be patient, maintain stable footing, and practice your tummy too,” Dex explained.

 

“Fine. I just want this conversation to be over,” Natalie said. “You do your three consecutive shots, I’ll do the bamboo poles. Alright? Goodbye.”

 

“Wait!” Dex pleaded.

 

“What is it now?” Natalie was annoyed.

 

“Here,” Dex gave Natalie a timer.

 

“What is this?” Natalie asked.

 

“It’s a timer,” Dex answered. “So you would know that it’s exactly noon. Your body clock skills will never be accurate anyway.”

 

Natalie was surprised that a trainee gave her something.

 

“Where did you get this?”

 

“Trainers give it to us by the time they introduce the bamboo poles,” Dex explained. “I carry it with me all the time. Force of habit. But since I have completed that quest, you can borrow mine in the meantime. Also, they won’t let you try those poles yet based on your swordsmanship caliber.”

 

Natalie looked at Dex, still doubtful of his actions. But this timer was proof that he had pure intentions.

 

“Whatever,” Natalie said walking away from Dex. “We met at the firing range around 10 a.m Monday.”

 

“Roger that!” Dex said smiling.

 

Natalie can’t shake the feeling that this brand new life of hers was turning out to be better than she expected.

 

But she doesn’t want to let her guard down. For all she knows, Dex might be her killer.

Previous Chapter
Vote button
Next Chapter

An error occurred. Please log in again.

Comments
Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
New Stories You May Like

Best Romance Manhwa

Get an insight on the best romance Manhwa with this curated collection. This guide features beloved titles that offers readers a perfect blend of stunning artwork and heart-fluttering narratives. Whether you're a seasoned manhwa enthusiast or new to the genre, this collection is your gateway to love stories that will leave you breathless.

21

Best Cultivation Manhwa

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of cultivation, where ordinary individuals rise to extraordinary heights through training, determination, and the mastery of mystical arts. This collection brings together the best cultivation manhwa that have defined the genre. We made sure to offer a diverse array of stories that will keep you enthralled.

14

bottom of page