The Knight of Marshall secretly rubbed his back with his hand, “Very strong. Abel. That was about 200 pounds of force right there.”

After a long period of body transformation, all of Abel’s skin, muscles and bones were now thicker and tighter than ever before. While 200 pound of force might not be a lot, it would hurt a lot more if it was released from an iron rod than if it was from a wooden stick.

And that’s why the Knight of Marshall felt pain back there. Apart from the physical force that Abel used to hit him with, it had something to do with how tough Abel’s body was.

“You monster,” the Knight of Marshall murmured behind Abel’s back, “That was just as strong as those giant beasts from the Orc Empire.”

“Hit me once more with your combat qi,” the Knight of Marshall ordered. Then, as Abel stared at him with a dropped jaw, he grabbed a shield from the corner and placed it in front of him.

As the golden combat qi started pouring out, Abel’s punch landed right in the center of the shield. This time, the Knight of Marshall stood right where he was at. His body flinched for a bit, but that was about it.

Something was different, though. The Knight of Marshall was sure of that. The impact might’ve looked the same as the first punch, but something was different.

The difference was with the shield. The first punch was blocked with Marshall’s bare hands, and no knights would fight with their bare hands. While the second punch didn’t send the Knight of Marshall flying, it did manage to make him budge behind a standard knight’s shield.

“700 pounds!” the Knight of Marshall said with certainty, “You just increased your power by three-and-a-half times.”

The Knight of Marshall continued with a slightly admiring voice, “You’ve got muscles and you’ve got your combat qi. All that’s missing is just a nice set of armor. If you’ve got yourself one, I don’t know what can stop you.”

“Wait?” Abel felt so content to hear that. For once, he’s felt safe to be in this world.

“Too soon, my boy,” the Knight of Marshall called Abel off, “I was comparing you with ordinary people. If you are facing a wizard right now, you’d wish that he’s too exhausted to cast any spells on you.”

Abel asserted as he looked at the Knight of Marshall in the eyes, “I’m going to become one, Uncle Marshall. I’m going to become a wizard.”

Without interfering with Marshall to pick up his paperwork off the ground, Abel quickly left the study after saying goodbye. He went back to his bedroom and was quickly accompanied by the little Black Wind.

Poor Black Wind. It was worried sick because it hadn’t seen Abel for the last few days. As Abel picked it up from the ground, it quickly licked his face as a puppy would to its parent.

Come to think of it, Abel was already a Beginner Knight. Since he could use the mount enhancement technique now, he could help Black Wind get stronger while it was still little.

Abel held Black Wind to the ground with its belly up. As it was wiggling its tiny body, Abel chanted out a spell that made him aware of everything about its physical condition. He then injected his golden combat qi into his hand, then started rubbing Black Wind’s body with it. Black Wind closed its eyes as it enjoyed being massaged like this.

Combat qi was a very volatile substance. Because of how erosive and destructive it was, it was not advised to be injected into any living creature other than its creator. That being said, the negative effects of combat qi could be neutralized when the orcs prayed to their gods. How such methods worked was quite complicated in itself, but generally speaking, what the mount enhancement technique could do was to synchronize a mount with its rider. This would make it harder for the combat qi to have much of a rejecting effect on its intended target. While the effect of such a method was not effective in the short, the long-term effect would be irreversible for the mount itself.

The Knight of Marshall waved at Abel as he went to the dining room, “I forgot to tell you something. The Edmund’s Boutique Shop just sold off all the weapons you’ve put up on auction. When you have the time, go collect the gold that you’re supposed to receive.”

“Yes, Uncle Marshall.”

“Another thing. Viscount Dickens just asked us to visit his house. The intel we sent him was, well, it was very, very useful for us,” the Knight of Marshall continued with a laugh, “I think he’s inviting us over to talk about our rewards.”

Abel asked in a worried tone, “Would that map be good enough to, say, be granted a Lord?”

In this world, if someone’s war glory was falsely claimed by another, the act itself would be looked down upon and be punished by the state’s law. Because of this, Abel’s act of finding the parchment map was very clearly ruled out from the Knight of Marshall’s war achievements. That being said, everything that happened after the discovery of the map was up to negotiation.

And that’s what’s so special about Abel. If he wasn’t a Master Blacksmith, Viscount Dickens wouldn’t have asked for his input on this matter. The Knight of Marshall would’ve been to collect all the rewards. The Knight of Marshall knew this, of course, and understood that Dickens was trying to avoid offending a prodigy like his foster son.

“It’s okay, Abel,” the Knight of Marshall said in a reassuring tone, “Viscount Dickens is a fair man. I’m sure that you will get the reward that you deserve.”

“Let’s go tomorrow, then. We’ll go to Edmund’s Boutique Shop on our way.”

Speaking of the Edmund’s Boutique Shop, Abel remembered that he needed some supplementary potions for his official knight’s training. If drinking supplements could help him get through his novice knight’s training a lot faster, the same method could be applied to helping him get through his current training.

Abel ate a lot that night. While he missed the diet inside Harry Castle, the Knight of Marshall was looking to change the family’s menu. Now that Abel was a Beginner Knight, regular meat wasn’t quite enough to help him advance to the next state.

Fortunately enough for them, Harry Castle had a lot of income from the weapon store and the blacksmith shop. Feeding two knights wasn’t an issue here.

The biggest expenses for a knight were the weapons and equipment. Since Abel was a Master Blacksmith himself, he could pretty much make whatever that he wanted to use. As for armor, that was even less of a problem for him. Since he was still growing, a new armor would just be unwearable after a few months. Luckily for him, it was a relatively peaceful time now. He could wait until he couldn’t grow any taller.

The Knight of Marshall thought about his weapon collection and started laughing out loud. Despite how much income Harry Castle was making, he didn’t have to spend a cent to make his weapons. Technically speaking, he didn’t even pay for his two magic weapons. Once Abel came back, he could even have him make a new set of magic armor for him. As for the Blazing Sun Armour, he didn’t care if those old men in Bakong City kept it for themselves.

If Viscount Dicken gave Abel the title of a knight, Marshall would’ve loved it Abel was also granted his territory. The more successful Abel was, the further the Harry Family’s influence would stretch.

Just thinking about it made the Knight of Marshall want to sing a song. Meanwhile, Abel had no idea what his foster father was thinking about. He just thought that Marshall was getting overly-excited for no apparent reasons. Maybe Uncle was still recovering from that hit in the study, or so he thought.

The two didn’t say much during dinner. Instead, they just sort of drowned in their thoughts as they chewed on their food.

As Abel came back to his bedroom, he saw that the black armor that was on the war horse was delivered to him. He practiced his knight’s breathing techniques for a bit, but the qi that he gained was not quite in the amount he was looking for.

Such progress was not uncommon amongst official knights. Once the rank of Beginner Knight was attained, it would take years and years of effort for one to move onto the next stage. It was like grinding a pin from a piece of rock, to put it simply.

While it was getting kind of hot the next morning, the Knight of Marshall and Abel decided to ride off a lot earlier than they normally would. They were right to do this, as the sun was starting to get hot when they had reached the Harry Castle’s dacha inside Harvest City.

The Knight of Marshall decided to stop for some clean-up. As he took Viscount Dicken’s invitation very seriously. He had already asked the butler Robin to prepare a bath for him. After he and Abel took a bath and changed into their suits, they then left off to the City Lord’s estate.