After giving Manami a few pointers on her cultivation, I directed my attention to my sword wielding disciple.
Finding her frozen in place, I had approached her to find out what was the issue. The last thing I expected was for her to consult me on her Full Focus state.
When I first introduced the concept to Eris, I had not expected her to learn it so quickly.
To be honest, I wasn't even sure of the skill myself. Most of what I knew about it came from the books and records I had read and I was only made aware of its practical usage back when I was Assisting... In that Royal Spiritual Family Matriarch's research.
I'm not even sure if any non-Practitioner within this Plane even knows such a skill existed.
For Eris's case, I only shared with her some of the theoretical knowledge I knew regarding that state. Heck, I didn't even know what exactly it was called and just coined it with a random name that I thought of on the spot.
No one actually gave it an official name as far as I was aware of, it was just something that non-Practitioners could do. There were various terms for it like 'mantra', 'breath', 'will' and other similarly outlandish terms, but the state is basically focusing the swordsman's senses in the end.
I only knew that those non-Practitioners somehow found a way to draw in the latent Elemental Quarks in the air but I had no idea on how it worked since I was incapable of using it.
I gave her the idea of feeling out the tiny traces of energy in the air before trying to draw them into her body.
What I've read from records that I've found though, is that it might take years for one to start feeling these traces of energy. After that, they will need decades of meditation and training before they can even start manipulating said traces of energy.
And this girl managed to do it within a span of a few months?
Though it's true that nine seconds is quite long to be truly practical, but the fact that she's already got to the point that she can use it is a feat by itself. What's more, she's even seeking out Element switching?
From what I know, this should be an extremely improbable feat. The mind would be too occupied with maintaining the connection with one particular type Elemental Quark to even consider pulling in another one.
Going into Full Focus state is like putting someone in front of a mass of marbles of varying colours and asking you to pick up red marbles using your left hand, blue marbles with your right hand and putting them into different containers at the same time.
When one fills up both containers, they will be able to use the Element they have gathered. A true expert would need about two to three seconds to do this.
But if you want to do an Element switch then, you'll have to cross your hands and do the same thing.
Not impossible, but still a really difficult task. Especially considering she wants to do this in the middle of a fight.
Maybe she might be a prodigy in this?
How interesting She might even be able to do what is previously unheard of. I suppose this warrants some testing.
I suggested the idea of a live combat to her which she predictably resisted against, but nothing a little incentive can't solve.
With the safety inscription laid down in the area, I nodded to her, "Begin when ready."
She rushed towards me at a blinding speed, the flat of her blade swinging towards the side of my left leg.
I made no move to counter her as I already knew that it was a feint by how her weight was still focused on her back foot.
I was proven right when she spun on her heel, aiming the flat of the blade towards my other leg instead.
This one I responded to by lifting my foot and kicking it away, throwing her off balance before I delivered a straight kick to her behind.
"You're still not fighting seriously, Eris," I admonished. "I already put the safety inscription down, neither of us will get hurt permanently. If you don't fight me seriously I can't help you improve. Unless you just want to waste my time?"
She froze for a moment but nodded in the end, switching her grip on her sword so that her blade pointed outwards.
She settled herself into a half-crouch with her eyes closed, no doubt entering her Full Focus state.
I counted off the seconds, expecting her to move on the ninth second.
But upon reaching the eighth second, Eris had dashed forward from her position, her sword ablaze with fire.
Didn't she say she needed nine seconds?
I back stepped away from her overhead slash, the flames barely missing me by a hairsbreadth.
Now she should have expanded all the Elemental Quarks within her so she should be vulnerable for the next--
I ducked under her horizontal slash that was still enhanced with Fire, this time the flames managed to burn a bit of my hair.
Wait Shouldn't she need another nine seconds for her to gather the Quarks again? Why are there still Fire Quarks flowing through her?
I leapt away to extend my distance from her, just in time to avoid her flame clad kick aimed at my face.
Looks like she's actually serious now, guess I should step it up a bit. I'll figure out how she is able to do that later.
Not letting me run, she lunged towards me with her sword stabbing towards my chest, a fireball flying out from her sword ahead of her lunge.
I spun myself in midair, my hands still stubbornly stuck behind my back. She's doing well so far, but if she thinks this is enough to catch me off guard, she still has a lot to learn.
I stuck out my leg and tripped her as she passed by, sending her stumbling forward.
"Good combo, but still not enough for me. Focus on your breathing first."
She nodded and sucked in a deep breath, before lowering herself into a stance again, the tip of her sword pointed towards me.
Sensing the shift in the air, I moved my hands from my back.
Her form blurred and disappeared from my view, creating a gust at where she had been.
She reappeared in front of me, her sword already stabbing towards my chest.
I slapped the flat of her blade with the back of my left hand, deflecting it off course to my left side. My hand was coated with a layer of air to counter the Air blades she had enhanced her sword with.
Lowering my centre of gravity, my right hand struck out in a palm strike towards her abdomen, but her left palm was quick to intercept my strike.
Her figure disappeared once more, reappearing behind me with her sword raised in an overhead strike judging by the shadow she casted on the ground in front of me.
I summoned the new sword I obtained from my solo trip, my thumb pressing down on the ignition switch while I angled the thrusters to point behind me.
The flames caught her by surprise and launched her away from me, though I knew the Air Quarks she was currently circulating through her body would have mitigated most of the damage.
Holding the sword with both hands, I thumbed the ignition switch again, this time letting the thruster blast me flying towards her.
Caught entirely off guard, she was only able to raise her sword in a weak attempt at defense and the full force of my strike struck her blade.
The force behind it was enough to send her sword flying out of her hands to embed itself into a tree a distance away.
Eris gasped when I laid the sword on the side of her neck, her hands going up to show that she surrendered.
"Good use on the Air Quarks," I complimented, storing the sword back in my storage ring. "But you didn't account for me having something else up my sleeve."
I reached out my hand and used an Air Technique to pull her sword back to me, handing it over to her hilt first.
"We can work on the speed of your Full Focus state first. After you are able to enter it in less than five second, we'll move on to Element switching then."
If I can figure out how, that is.
She nodded, holding her sword up again.
We spent the rest of the night sparring, Eris failing to land a hit on me to her disappointment.