In the basement of the castle
An underground, secret room that Levi had never visited.
The mechanism that activated the secret room slowly protruded from the ground.
A worn-out parchment that had withstood the test of time lay quietly, with scarlet paint painted on it in a variety of scribbles and incisions that formed a circle.
On the periphery of these scribbles was a snake with black scales that seemed to surround the entire castle. The giant snake was abstract, and a simple candle stood on its jaw.
“This is the ancestral breathing method of the Snyder family, also known as the Black Snake Breathing Method. The Snyder blood flowing in you is the key to all of this. I’m afraid that this breathing method alone is more precious than this entire valley,” Knight Fred explained solemnly.
Levi breathed heavily. His journey was about to begin.
As far as he knew, the knights divided the breathing method into four grades: superficial, excellent, perfect, and legendary.
90% of breathing methods are superficial.
This is because of luck, and nobody can ever control their fate. To become a Great Knight, you need 90% talent, 9% opportunity, and 1% effort. This is categorized as excellent breathing.
Perfect breathing is only possessed by powerful families, like the Duke. They are all quite rare.
As for legendary breathing, it almost only exists in legends.
One of the important characteristics concerning breathing grading above excellent is that most of it are inherited through blood, and the Black Snake Breathing Method is a method that belonged exclusively to the Snyder family.
Some tried to steal this inherited type of breathing. What was the result? Their breathing degraded to superficial, or the blood vessels in their body burst due to madness.
Some say that this is a curse to prevent them from stealing.
Levi wasn’t worried about this. After all, he had Snyder blood in him.
Under the guidance of Knight Fred, he practised it in the secret room for about half a month.
During this period, Knight Fred stood by his side. Although he didn’t know how to breathe like a Black Snake, he had a lot of experience and guided Levi.
One day, Levi woke up with a strange posture—he was sweating profusely, and his veins were bulging. His face was flushed red, and he found himself short of breath.
He felt that his blood was boiling, circulating at an extraordinary speed. The energy in his body was being burnt, and extreme hunger washed over him.
Like a beast, he growled lowly.
When Knight Fred saw this, he had already prepared a plate of barbecued meat, a bowl of goat’s milk, and a large portion of bread rolls, which were all slathered with a layer of fruit jam, as well as boiled cabbage.
This included carbs, protein, and vitamins. Nobles in this world rarely eat vegetables, thinking that they are low-grade foods. But Levi knew the importance of a balanced diet.
He inhaled the food like a storm, and soon his hunger disappeared.
Even though he ate a meal meant for two fully grown men, he was only 80% full.
Meanwhile, the proficiency pane was in his mind:
Black Snake Breathing Method: Level 1 (1/1000)
Once a skill appears on the proficiency panel, it means that it has begun.
The next thing to do is to improve.
At the same time, it also meant that he was becoming a knight’s attendant.
A Shield Squire, a Sword Squire, and a Quasi-Knight.
These are the three stages of apprenticeship before one becomes an official knight, known as the Knight Attendant.
As a Shield Squire, you need to learn how to use a shield. As a Sword Squire with advanced swordsmanship, once the breathing method, as well as external techniques, have become attuned, you will become a Quasi-Knight. The next step would be to condense the “Seed of Life.”
If you succeed, you will become an invincible knight on the battlefield; if you fail, it will become challenging to become a knight.
“It seems like our young master has begun the Black Snake Breathing Method. Although you are much slower than your father, you are stronger than most of us. You may feel very hungry, so prepare enough food in advance before practising,” Knight Fred explained. “Otherwise, this hunger will gnaw at your mind, and you will become like an animal, driven by your hunger, and you may even do something wild and depraved. This is how [the Mad Knight] has come to be, and they are all burnt at the stake by the Church.
“Mad Knights were civilians who practised breathing methods—to protect their families, to sustain themselves, or to live a life of superiority.
“However, they walked upon the edge of madness time and time again, and yet, they would end up devouring their family, their closest ones.”
Knight Fred closed his eyes upon mentioning the Mad Knights. He was a knight from a humble background, so he knows that feeling of madness well. Hence, he owed his life to the former Baron, who saved his life.