Chapter X – Level 2 Knife Throwing

“He was able to hit the bullseye with just an hour of practice,” Stemper said talking to a man. “Jonathan even noted that he didn’t find any difficulties in teaching him. He just showed him the basics. He quickly learned.”

*****

“Rem it’s lunch time,” a man said while mildly shaking Rem. He opened his eyes… it was Dricks. “Wake your buddies up. Your foods will cool.”

Rem then one by one woke them up. Marybeth sat straight on the couch, Tatiana sat on the floor while the two men stood and did some stretching. Then, they walked to the dining room.

For lunch time, servers were waiting for the trainees. Rem opened his plate cover. He saw a thick grilled meat, boiled tiny potatoes, celeries and chopped beets. One glass was filled with milk while the another one was empty.

Dreyford called the attention of one of the servers. He whispered to him pointing to the direction of Rem. He went straight to the rookie.

“Would you mind sir asking for your drink?” said the server.

“What do you have there?” asked Rem.

“Well, sir we have coconut water, grape juice, and pineapple juice.”

“Please give me coconut water.”

The man then went to Marybeth and asked what drink she wanted. She asked for pineapple juice.

Rem’s glass was then filled with cold coconut water. He then gulped it and in seconds it’s empty again. He just signaled to fill it again.

After they finished eating, the servers removed their plates. Rem was about to stand when Tatiana pulled him down to be seated.

“Dessert time!” said Tatiana.

The server put a large goblet. Rem looked at it and saw crushed ice at the bottom, two pieces of plantain banana that were cooked with a thick syrup and vanilla ice cream on top.

Rem tried the ice cream first. It was delicious.

“The best way to eat this is by mixing the vanilla ice cream, syrup, and ice until they all melt,” said Randolph. “Then, eat it along with the banana. It’s heaven!”

Rem followed. He separated the banana to other ingredients and mixed them together until it looked like a smoothie. Randolph was right, it was delicious.

When they all finished, Tatiana nodded at Marybeth asking her that they should be back in the living room. There, they all sat. Again, three fooled around that served as entertainment for both Rem and Marybeth.

After an hour and a half, some of the muscle men went inside the living room telling them that training resumed. The three walked outside while Rem and Marybeth waited for their corresponding bouncers to instruct them what to do.

“You guys will go to the opposite side just beside the gym,” said Jimmy.

Stemper, Jonathan, and Alvarez were again waiting for them. Rem smiled at Jonathan that was exchanged by a nod. However, he received the first disappointing part of his training. This time, Alvarez will be his teacher for the next training.

“Mr. Burrows, please follow me!” said Alvarez.

“Another boring time,” said Rem to himself, which was followed by a deep sigh.

The area for the level 2 training was quite bigger than the first one. Rem thought it was 30 meters squared that was separated by cubicles that were bigger than the first level shooting. Each cubicle was about 6 meters with detachable walls giving way to one big shooting area. Each had targets of different height, angle, length, distance with some of them were hanging. They were identified by orderly-arranged numbers.

“Alright Burrows,” said Alvarez in a stiff and straight-toned way. “Mr. Cooney taught you with the basic way to hold and throw a knife… This time, I will teach how to throw knives in different positions and situations.”

Alvarez continued with the technical details for a few minutes with his military and stiff manner making Rem uncomfortable. So, he raised his hand.

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Alvarez and with all due respect, I’m really not comfortable with this kind of setup,” said Rem. “I mean, we can’t point out things outstandingly if we won’t make ourselves conducive. Can I ask you a favor?”

“Young man, you don’t speak your age. But, what is it?” Alvarez answered.

“Can we make it a little less military way and more casual?” Rem said making Alvarez chuckled. “If you would only permit my dear teacher.”

“Alright Rem, your wish is my command,” said Alvarez putting stress on his name.

Alvarez suddenly shifted into friendlier and calm persona showing Rem his loose side. He was still a little awkward and stiff, but the natural side of him kicked in.

Rem then became more interested. His mood suddenly shifted positively while his mind became more absorbent and was able caught up with the complicated moves that Alvarez showed him. His attentive memory suddenly took over.

As he listened, he concluded that whatever your position, how fast should you react and how awkward your situation, you should be attentive. Your body will give the power, but the mind will take control of everything. So, he must relax his mind for the practical exam.

Alvarez then showed him some other ways to throw the knife.

For Rem, the fascinating stunt was when Alvarez turned his back to the target and hit it before completely facing it. His willingness to learn turned into a desire to be like Alvarez or Jonathan. He wanted to become the greatest knife thrower.

When Alvarez asked Rem to be in his spot, he instructed him to shoot a target based on the number that he will yell.

Rem closed his eyes, took a deep breath and relaxed his mind. Alvarez asked him if he was ready, to which he replied with a nod. Then, the numbers were called and since the targets were chronologically arranged, it’s not hard for him to locate them.

Alvarez gave Rem slow claps.

“Impressive, Rem. Very impressive,” said Alvarez.

When Rem looked at the target he found out that he hit all of the but he didn’t get any bullseye. He was disappointed to himself. Without asking his mentor, he took a heavy knife, ran, stepped on a platform and jumped to get a better view of the further ones. He then threw while using the earlier techniques Jonathan taught him. However, he didn’t hit it.

When Rem looked at Alvarez, he was only staring at him, probably wondering what’s with him and why did he do it. However, the mentor gave his student a smile and walked near him.

“Rem, knife throwing is something that we shouldn’t rush,” said the half-knelt Alvarez. “Your mind wants to but your young body won’t permit it. When I tell you what you did was impressive, believe me, what you did was one of the best shots I saw for your age.”

Rem suddenly realized that he was indeed rushing things. He was then slapped with the fact that his body can’t still follow what his fully-advanced mind wanted. That moment, he promised to himself that he will always try his best and will never compare himself to anyone.

The practical exercise was repeated for several times until Rem felt numbness of his hands and thighs. His training ended when Dricks appeared.

“See you tomorrow Rem,” said Alvarez that was followed by a wink.

“You and Marybeth will just stay in the living room. You can take a bath or just wait for your companions. They will be arriving anytime soon,” said Dricks.