Before Emery got to understand what was going on, information about the swordsmanship movement and techniques filled his mind. Sword plays he had trained before but didn't fully understand was now apparent. When Emery came back to his senses, he swayed the sword a little, eager to try out what he had learned before watching Julian.
Julian's style in sword fighting differed in a way that it was more centric in synergising it with a shield. Julian blocked a lot of the incoming attacks, looking for an opportunity, until an opening finally appeared and he struck down the wooden puppet on the chest.
Chumo, on the other hand, still used a bow and arrow and a sword was now hanging from his waist. He kept on switching weapons depending on the range between him and the enemy. If Chumo was close to the target, he used the sword; if he was at a distance, then the bow and arrow.
Thrax also fought the level three parrying with the round shield and spear while still shouting whatever his shenanigans meant. He hadn't used a second weapon on level two, so level three must be tougher for Thrax to use both weapons.
He watched Julian once more and paid close to Julian's sword play. Emery tried to incorporate some of those moves and once he got used to it along with his new understanding, he started the battle with the level two wooden puppet.
The level two puppet's techniques showed its worth. These were the moves Emery had just understood but he dodged, most of them although some cuts made their way through Emery's uniform. In the end, however, he was victorious. He sat once to take another rest and this time it only took him ten minutes to get his breathing pace back. His status showed him a battle power 8, so he was now at a state where Julian was at before fighting these wooden puppets. It didn't occur to him that if right now was back at their estate, he would be gasping for air except this time he didn't notice it.
After getting a sufficient amount of downtime, Emery had seen Julian and Chumo defeating the level three wooden puppet with ease while Thrax was making a mess on the fourth level.
He started the battle with the wooden puppet once more but this time, the puppet defeated Emery, but Emery wasn't going to give up here, not now when he was finally making some progress. He got back up and tried once more. Emery failed the second time on the third level. Still he wasn't done. Once more! Wiping off the dust and sweat accumulating on his face, Emery tried and tried until finally he was spent.
He laid on the ground, drenched from head to toe. That big grin however… It was worth it. His battle power was now 11 and level four was available.
Emery sat up, watching the others. Like him, there were a lot of acolytes who stopped on wooden puppet level three. There were only a few people battling the level four. Julian and Chumo sat beside him, while Thrax was still attempting to break through the level four wooden puppet. The two hadn't defeated level four yet so like Emery, they were also taking a rest. If level three was achievable by a lot of people, then level four would be like the line between those talented and weren't.
"That barbarian, look at him go. It looks like he can go on for hundreds of rounds! I guess he'll make a decent entertainer," said Julian, taking a sip of water from a crystal ball attendant in the stadium.
"What do you mean?" asked Emery.
"Hahaha, you'll see when you visit my home. Anyway, let's check out this gauntlet first."
Emery and Chumo agreed, leaving Thrax behind battling the level four puppet with a menacing look as if a madman.
The construct wasn't far away since it was located in the center of the stadium. It's rhythmic clanking, whooshing of the spinning wheel and slashing blades swinging from side to side brought goosebumps to Emery but at the same time, his eyes couldn't help but beam.
He had yearned to create something akin to this, well not this complicated however, but something simpler like the box he had made for Gwen. Shaking off his thoughts of her, Emery returned to observe the mechanical wonder.
The whole obstacle course was divided into three parts. First, were the alternating platforms on each side with space in between where one would have to jump to get to the rope waiting on the other side and land below a tall wall, which would have to be climbed. The second part in the middle was where it became a little tricky. It was filled with moving obstacles made of iron and wood that were always spinning and ready to knock down every acolyte that passed. The biggest challenge though, lay in the third part of the obstacle course. It was a long straight platform, about 164 feet(50 meters) in length and this was where those sharp swinging blades cutting the air were stationed.
There were thousands of acolytes training in this stadium, new and higher ranking magus alike, but it was clear most of them favored the benefits of fighting the wooden acolytes.
Thrax just arrived, after defeating the level four wooden puppet, drenched with sweat.
"Hey guys, that thing looks interesting," Thrax said, his pacing was still normal.
"You're still raring to go?" asked Emery.
"Yeah, I'm on fire!" Thrax said as he made his way first on the obstacle.