“Training in my dreams, huh. It’s pretty cliché, but cool.” I could not help but say while looking at the scenery in front of me.
An enormous space of whiteness extended without an end, without sky or ground. There was only white.
I was surprised after seeing it. After all, this unending whiteness was ‘my dreamscape. Yes, now, I’m dreaming.
“But I don’t think we can train in this white space.” I could not help but say.
[Of course not.] The voice of the demon sounded. [I will do some modifications.]
One second later, the white landscape changed completely.
The sky turned blue, and the earth took a beautiful shade of green after being covered by beautiful pasture. Clouds and mountains could be seen at the distance, and even wind appeared.
I was agape seeing the amazing transformation that happened in front of my eyes, but it was not the end. In the middle of the landscape, a wooden platform appeared. On it, there was a wooden rack filled with countless weapons of every kind.
Then, my figure disappeared only to appear on the platform.
While I was still surprised by the sudden changes, another figure appeared in front of me.
He was an imposing man with blood-red eyes, black hair, and beautiful features. The man had a wicked smile on his face, and his aura seemed to exude destruction and chaos.
“Demon…?” I asked in doubt and surprise.
[It’s me. Surprised?]
“Yeah, it’s amazing,” I said while looking at the landscape in my dream. It was stunningly beautiful.
[Of course. After all, it’s a dream.] The demon said. [Dreams are very convenient. If you know how to manipulate them, then you can use them to do many things that you can’t do in real life.]
I nodded dazedly. This ability seemed pretty convenient.
The demon chuckled.
[Let’s start the training. You see these weapons there? Pick one and swing it a few times.]
There were all kinds of weapons in the rack, including swords, sabers, spears, bows, and axes. Moreover, there was more than one kind of every weapon, making me impressed.
The first weapon I choose was a sword. It was the most common weapon, plus, it seemed cool enough.
I never learned to use any weapon properly even though I learned martial arts. However, I still have a rough idea about it. Thus, taking a basic stance, I started to swing the sword.
After two minutes, the demon told me to stop.
“How is it?” I asked.
The demon shook his head.
[Horrendous. Choose another.]
I was dissatisfied with the evaluation. Even if I’m not a swordsmanship expert, I can't be so bad, right?
However, I chose to obey him silently.
The second weapon I picked was a spear. Like the sword, I also swung it until the demon told me to stop.
And his evaluation was–
Okay, I was already expecting it.
The next weapon was the saber, followed by the bow, rapier, whip, javelin, club, dagger…
I wielded more than one thousand different weapons, including several variations of every kind of weapon; but the best evaluation that I received was ‘Horrendous’.
After a long time, I finally finished testing every weapon in the rack.
[… God, not even the slightest bit of talent.] The demon said in an amazed voice.
I was really irritated. Even though I was not an expert at any of these weapons, I could use some of them proficiently. I was not that bad.
But as though understanding my thoughts, the demon chuckled.
[I don’t care about your so-called proficiency. Even if you were one hundred times better using any of these weapons, my evaluation still would have been horrendous. That is normal, though. You are just a mortal.]
I was stunned.
“What were you testing then?”
I was confused.
Does it mean I have no talent in any of these weapons?
The demon nodded.
[… You are not completely talentless, but that talent is the same as non-existent. Some people are so talented in a weapon, that after swinging it once, their bodies instinctively adapt to wield it better. Some of the better ones even acquire small glimpses of the laws after wielding a weapon once. The worse ones feel as though that kind of weapon is destined for them. However, you felt nothing special when wielding these weapons, right?]
I fell silent and nodded.
Although I hate to admit it, I felt nothing from the start to the end.
I could not help but let out a depressed sigh.
[Well, that is not completely bad, though.] The demon suddenly said.
I was startled and looked at the demon in surprise.
“What do you mean?”
[If your talent for any of these weapons was outstanding, it would have been a shame to waste it, so I would have taught you how to wield that weapon. But now that your talent is nothing special, it means that I can teach you about the weapon I prefer. As for your lack of talent? It’s not much of a problem. Talent is very subjective, and I personally think it’s not that important.]
“What weapon do you use?”
[I will tell you later. Before that, why don’t we spar first? It will help me to understand better what level you are at.]
[Go all out.] The demon said. [Your body here is exactly the same as in reality, and you can use all the abilities you can use in real life. Don’t worry about injuries. It’s a dream, so nothing will happen to you even If you die here. By the way, my body has exactly the same stats as yours, so you don’t need to worry that the spar being unfair.]
I nodded again and took a deep breath. Then, I took a battle stance.
I’m not confident I can win, but it’s normal. After all, this demon is supposed to have lived thousands of years. The difference in experience between us is not small.
But I don’t think I will lose that easily. I don’t want to brag, but I have polished my martial arts a lot.
Narrowing my eyes, I stared at the demon fixedly while I prepared for the battle.
[You can start when you want.] The demon suddenly said.
In the next instant, I moved.
Taking a step forward, I kicked the ground and closed the distance between the demon and me. Then, I launched a jab towards his face.
I did not expect to hit him. However, I was already ready for his response. As soon as he avoids the attack, I will send a kick towards the direction he moves while preparing to tackle him if the kick fails.
For some reason, I saw the blue sky.
An instant later, my back hit the ground painfully.
[… It looks like I don't need to expect anything of your combat techniques either.] The voice of the demon reached my ears.
In my first spar against the demon, I was defeated in less than one second.