The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 187

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Saying that Yuri was a genius would have gone too far. Still, his effort more or less made up for his other weaknesses… or so I would have liked to say. In reality, he was just barely doing well enough to keep around. He would have a lot of trouble in an actual fight… but if he could defeat a horned rabbit on his own that would be a start. It wasn’t unfair to give him a bit more leeway for his age- there were other early teens or younger who weren’t expected to be fighting fit right away. 

Balance was hard for him, as one would expect without two legs. However, he could throw lighter weapons such as darts, throwing knives, or even throwing axes. He just didn’t have enough Strength yet for some of the bigger things. That bothered him… but I told him that with a few months of training he might be able to pull it off. Besides, he didn’t need a big weapon to be effective.

He still stayed up late training… but now he was actually being effective. It had taken him more than a week to learn Piercing Throw, which seemed slow compared to myself… but I’d had a class assisting me as well as attributes that could support it. He didn’t have much Focus yet or other mental attributes… and little experience manipulating mana for skills. Light was one thing, but that was fairly low output as far as skills went. Piercing Throw took a lot of buildup and then a quick release of power, both from muscles and mana. 

He could hit still targets consistently and moving targets occasionally… but it still wasn’t good enough to use in combat. On the other hand, if he got some practice in real combat it might help significantly. It just wasn’t the right time yet, especially if we didn’t want to risk someone getting hit in the back by an accurate but mistimed throw.


At the end of the third month we finally had to get rid of someone. If we’d wanted to, we could have kept him on for another month… but we didn’t. He was the perfect person to make an example of… exemplified by what happened when we told him he had to go.

Paul was a former street tough, not that his former occupation was of any importance. It just influenced his behavior and he never got past that. He wasn’t the biggest fellow… though he was certainly bigger than me. Not that his physical size mattered in this world. When we told him he would have to go, he made a public scene of it. I didn’t really want it… but it was also sort of part of the plan. “You’re cutting me off? No one else? What about all those cripples and whores?”

“Are you talking about other trainees?” It was hard to look up at someone and be intimidating, but I stood firmly at least. “They’ve all managed to hold up to the training standards we have here.”

“Yeah? Didn’t I? You said I only had to get to 250 Strength, and I did!”

I shook my head, “You don’t show up on time for classes, hardly work when you’re there… and you lied about your attributes.” My Analyze Strength skill was very good… and I was learning how to do the other attributes as well. Physical ones were much easier, of course, and Luck wouldn’t be something I could see unless I happened to watch someone for days in general. “You’re 235 at best. Which would be fine if you put in the effort.”

He didn’t say anything, but his arm moved suddenly… and then he found himself face first on the ground. I went quite easy on him because I wanted him still conscious… and if I had been serious his head probably would have just been a pile of goo on the ground. With a tug, I pulled the dagger out of his hand as I sat on his back. 

“Paul…” I shook my head. “You had a chance. Even if you had just walked out of here… if you’d actually learned anything here you could have applied it on your own. However, I can’t just let you go now. Assaulting a member of our training facility- trainee or instructor- has its consequences. You heard the rules.” He struggled beneath me, trying to twist and turn… but each movement was probably causing him great pain. Then he howled in rage… and dislocated his own shoulder arm as he tried to move from my grip. However, that didn’t let him move any better- it just hurt. “231. 254 with rage. That still doesn’t count, especially not given the circumstances.” I looked up at the small crowd that had gathered outside the dormitory. “Can anyone tell me what the penalty for attacking a fellow of this academy is?”

“… getting kicked out?” one of the warrior trainees said hesitantly.

“Expulsion and forbiddance of guild membership and all guild services,” Sophie stated clearly, “Along with criminal charges if any real harm is caused.” Sophie listened well… not that I expected differently. She was looking much better both physically and mentally. She was one of the best examples of people who took their second chance seriously.

“That’s right.” I pulled Paul to his feet with his still functioning arm. “In a way, you’re lucky you attacked me instead of someone else… but the fact that you would attack someone in this place is another reason we can’t keep you.” I shoved his arm back into his socket. It wasn’t the most pleasant way to do it, but it would heal… given time. “We’ll also have to check you to make sure you’re not trying to steal any other guild property…”

Sending him back onto the streets while still injured might result in his death, but we didn’t give third chances. A minor violation would be one thing, but assault with a weapon wasn’t something we could allow. Especially not when we’d already had enough reason to expel him. Sometimes people got a little bit… overzealous during spars, but so far everyone had apologized for causing actual harm to others… and accepted the consequences of their actions. At least during training there were people ready to heal- and people were at least ready for the possibility of getting injured. Outside was completely different… and that was part of the reason I had delivered this news in person. I didn’t want to run things by violence, but there were a few people among those remaining who might need this sort of message.

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