IRNDGL - Chapter 73: Super Speed Learning
Joseph walked out clutching the book in his hand. Staring at the gloomy curtain of rain, he felt that he needed to calm himself down.
With deep breaths, he took in the scents of mud mixed with rain. A cold draft of air entered his nose and into his lungs helping him perk up.
Joseph extended a hand and closed his fingers tightly, causing a crisp cracking sound.
He sensed all the strength in his entire body and couldn't help revealing a calm and confident smile.
If there were people who knew the present Joseph, they would be astonished to find that it wasn't the usual sarcastic sneer of the Intelligence Branch Section Chief Joseph. Instead, the image now was the Great Radiant Knight Joseph that had long since disappeared from everyone's eyes.
Bearing the demon sword for so many years had caused Joseph's state of mind to be incessantly corroded by that sinister and malevolent energy. And using his own determination against it had turned it into a troubling shortcoming that made Joseph find it difficult to maintain clear-headedness, rationality, as well as being unable to control his body's strength.
For a knight whose mission was to do combat, being incapable of controlling one's body was a rather dangerous and life-threatening issue.
After the battle with Wilde, such circumstances got even more severe after Joseph lost his right arm.
His recent years of self-abandonment and decline hadn't just been because of this. The factor of the demon sword had considerably contributed towards it.
But now, the demon sword that had bedeviled him for decades had been passed on once and for all. Moreover, the bookstore owner had instantly 'devoured' the curse.
It was as if a chronic illness had been thoroughly eradicated.
The shackles on his mind and body seemed to have been lifted, allowing him to be at ease. Joseph believed with another period of adjustment, he would be able to recover close to his peak strength.
While he might have lost his weapon, he had gained determination, self-belief, as well as a gift from the bookstore owner.
This transaction hadn't been too bad, and he had even profited.
Now, Joseph needed to properly digest this upcoming change.
Fortunately, most of the Intelligence Branch’s work right now mainly involved searching for the White Wolf hunter's whereabouts, and Joseph could probably free himself from work and there wasn't any need to handle any cases.
After being away from home for quite some time, Joseph returned and kept his umbrella aside. He inhaled deeply as he stepped inside.
Finally, he could rest and calm his state of mind...
As he entered the hall, Joseph froze.
The hall was completely empty, but there were scattered books all around.
He turned to glance at the quartz clock hanging on the wall. It was 6.30 in the evening and this was usually the time when Melissa would be having dinner.
At such a time, there should be an aroma wafted from the kitchen from his adorable little lady grilling some steaks or sausages, boiling potatoes, then sprinkling spices.
According to Joseph, Melissa’s cooking skills were very good.
But from the response via his grasp of the aether, there was no one in the kitchen.
Joseph squatted down to pick up a book and his brows creased. A Knight’s Righteousness?
He remembered this book. It had been written and published by a former Great Radiant Knight who had a stint as the Combat Branch's Section Chief. However, issues with his combat methods were jointly denounced later on, and he resigned from his post after a short period.
The contents of this book was about his combat methods, which was also the reason he was denounced.
He was a rather new age radical who believed in pragmatism and was a staunch advocate against the rigid knightly combat style that preached a strong faith to the Sacred Light Above could overcome all.
—— Indeed, this was the reasoning behind his style of backstabbing, rolling about, and using throwing knives.
Before Joseph retired, he held quite a bit of disdain towards this fellow.
However, now, it did seem to have its merits.
He then picked up a few other books. These were all sorts of textbooks on knight fundamentals that were frequently used by the training department.
These were all very basic but useful knight skills that all novices needed to learn.
However, as the daughter of a Great Radiant Knight, Melissa had received one-to-one tutoring from her father and these books had become more like decorative ornaments.
However, these books had all been taken off from the shelves and strewn all around.
A slight suspicion crept in and Joseph strode towards his study and opened the door.
He spotted his beloved red-haired daughter seated behind the desk, with her glasses on and flipping through pages attentively and rapidly.
There were piles of books all over the desk as well as on the floor. The entire study seemed to have become an ocean of books.
The door being opened had knocked a stack of books all over the floor.
“Melissa… What are you doing?”
Joseph stepped over the piles of books, took a quick look around before turning his puzzled gaze onto his daughter.
“Studying,” replied Melissa without batting an eyelid.
A string of question marks popped up in Joseph’s mind.
He walked over to the desk and picked up a book. “Hey, my dear Melissa. If I remember right, haven’t you been telling me since you were four that you hated studying the most?"
Melissa turned another page and her eyes cycled left and right continuously. “I was wrong. I was too naive then and hadn’t understood the meaning of studying. And also because of the limitations of my innate talent, I hadn’t realized the joy of learning yet.”
Joseph placed the book down and reached out to feel Melissa’s forehead. “Are you running a fever?”
“No, I’m perfectly fine. I’ve never been more clear-headed in my life.”
Melissa's glasses glinted in the light. "I truly came to realize how weak and ignorant I was. In the past, I was just muddling through with a low efficiency of studying and took many wrong turns. Being only on the fringes of Destructive-rank is really much too great of a failure."
Joseph’s mouth gaped, and he vaguely suspected his headstrong and loveable daughter had been stolen and replaced with someone else.
Before he could question, Melissa looked up and said, “I’m implying about you. Your teaching methods are far too uncivilized and entirely relying on your past experiences. It’s just unsuitable.
“However, there’s no need for you to be too worried. I’ve already finished reading all the books here and learned everything. I’ve also almost found a most suitable path. It isn’t too late for me to start over from scratch.”
Joseph slightly paled and felt that there was something a little off with Melissa. Glancing at the numerous books, he asked, “How long did you spend reading all these?!”
“Oh, three days of borrowing books, and… a day to read them.”
Joseph went forward and removed Melissa’s glasses, scrutinizing her haggard face, bloodshot eyes, and dark eye circles.
“Dad? What are you doing…” groaned Melissa disgruntedly.
She had merely made a move to stand up when she felt a wave of dizziness and aching sweep over her.
Melissa released a muffled “ah” as her vision turned black and she fainted.
Ackerman was once again seated in the office of the Truth Union.
The spacious office was decorated simply but not ordinary. Oil paintings of renown artists hung on the walls and thick rugs padded the floor.
Previously, this was the place Ackerman had taken on the bounty of Destructive-rank Black Magician, 'Faceless Black-scaled Man' Wilde.
At this moment, the Truth Union's Vice-Chairman Andrew sat opposite him.
"Are you saying you wish to forfeit your mission?" asked Andrew calmly.
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