Chapter XVI – After Defense Shooting

“He’s great, your honor. He finished the whole training without a miss,” said Jonathan to the unknown man.

“Well Cooney, make his training longer so the woman can cope up.”

“Yes, sir.”

The dinner was still the same – one plate each. The only difference was there was a small cake served after the meal and it was topped with two candles. When the candles were lit, the three sang “Happy Birthday” with Rem and Marybeth singing along. When it was time for them to eat the cake, the three asked them to slice it using their corresponding Swazoki knives.

Rem was quite happy, especially now that he won’t feel guilty anymore. Marybeth was also obviously delighted with her achievement. The celebration and happiness continued in the living room where Marybeth served as the party life… The room turned into a story-telling place where the four were like kids concentrating on their grandmother.

*****

The next day, Rem was informed of his special training. Jonathan said he and his co-mentors decided to fill in his extra days with out-of-the-book knife throwing lessons.

“Burrows, I am hoping that you will take this as a compliment, but at the same time not to the point of thinking you are superior,” said Mr. Cooney, carrying a basket. “You actually finished the defense shooting way ahead of your partner, Ms. Anderson. So, we all decided to add some more to your training while she tries to finish hers.”

“Alright sir, I am ready,” Rem said with his game face on.

Jonathan picked an apple the basket

“Mr. Burrows kindly throw this one for me,” said Jonathan throwing an apple to Rem. “Anywhere you wanted. Just don’t go too far.”

Rem then threw the apple to the left. Jonathan swung, released his dagger, and hit the apple right before it landed.

“Alright, it’s your turn,” said Jonathan. He threw an apple.

Rem was able to hit it and smiled boastfully.

“Can you please pick the two apples,” said Jonathan. “I don’t want to waste things.”

Rem, without contention, walked and picked the first apple.

“Please remove the knives Burrows,” said Jonathan.

Rem’s jaw dropped as after he removed the knife. He found a black marking that was perfectly hit.

“Have you seen the black spot?” Jonathan said as Rem comes nearer. “As long as you hit the target it’s ok. But, just sharpen your skills and to challenge you more, I want you to hit a specified area in a target that small.”

Jonathan picked another apple and took a bite.

“This marking is obvious,” Cooney said. “Like what I always tell you, it’s mind over matter.”

Jonathan threw the apple to the right side with Rem reacting fast. His first try failed. Jonathan walked to the apple, picked it, and removed the knife.

“Alright, one more time Mr. Rem,” said Cooney and this time throwing it in front of Rem.

Rem again failed.

Mr. Cooney then walked to Rem and explained to him that successfully hitting a specific spot involves body coordination with the mind sharply focusing on that small spot that the eyes can see.

Rem was then asked to try for several times. Despite he used to fail, he still felt more determined because Jonathan never ran out of patience. He also used to give him words of encouragement until he hit the spot for the very first time.

After further tries that came along with advice and technical details from the mentor, Rem gained his momentum and able to show some development. Jonathan was again impressed.

*****

As Marybeth continued to complete the defense shooting, Jonathan also continued to give Rem special training. He taught him to shoot not just knives but also smaller objects like rubber bands, sticks, and pins using only his hands and finger, resulting in a sharper and well-skilled young man. He also taught him how to use the blowgun.

Marybeth struggled, leaving Jonathan running out of special training. So, there are times that he will just ask Rem to one-on-one in the defense shooting area. Rem stood no chances against the well-experienced fighter, but he continued to grow as a great fighter.

During these days, Marybeth and Rem continued training themselves more and along with it, they also continued to become best buddies. He somehow becoming attracted to her.