Aside from feeling something gloomy, I really did hear a voice. And I couldn’t hear it at all before… So why can I hear it now?
I looked at the short sword at my waist.
Even if it is a short sword, it is still a sword. And what these two have in common is that they are both swords.
It is that they are swords.
‘Sound of swords… voice? Ha! Right. Right. This is what Sword Heart meant.’
It was then that I realized that I had misunderstood those words.
I took that concept somewhat abstractly when looking at various martial techniques. They often abstractly describe their feelings rather than simply saying them out loud.
‘It really is the Sword Heart.’
A swordsman who can be called the best swordsman in the world.
And since it is the vision left behind by that man, everyone thinks it is just the Sword Immortal’s enlightenment and has some profound meaning.
‘But it is to hear the voice of the swords, not all weapons but just swords.’
Even if I think of it as a technique, looking at the current situation, I am certain that I can hear the voice of swords.
In the end, the short sword is nothing special…
-You have become extraordinary.
At those words, my body trembles. At first, it feels absurd, but now it feels different.
To have this unique ability within me fills me with joy.
-I am going to rip that smile off. Stop liking it so much and ask him.
Short Sword blows out the light on the metaphorical candle. I lived a hard life, so I just want to enjoy this moment.
But, it is correct.
‘There is no other chance like this.’
I don’t know if I will be able to ask it and hear its answer.
-So try and coax it into answering.
I grab the iron sword again.
I lift it in my hand again. Ah, that feeling of holding something creepy isn’t just an illusion. It sounds like an angry woman.
-What do you even care about?
The problem is that it isn’t the tone of a woman but that of a middle-aged man.
And thanks to it speaking like that, it feels creepy to me.
‘Can’t you just ask? I can’t do it.’
As I speak to Short Sword, my whole body is shaking. Short Sword takes a deep breath and tries to talk with the iron sword.
And its answer is…
-If you want to know, try negotiating directly.
Does this even require negotiation? I thought Short Sword was unique, but this iron sword doesn’t seem easy either.
‘… don’t say weird stuff and try to negotiate well.’
I grab the sword again. There is a slight squeaking sound as if it is flaring its nose.
-Ah…. You can hear my voice?
The iron sword seems shocked, and I think back to when the short sword was similarly shocked.
Have I ever heard of a human who can listen to the voice of swords?
-I made another mistake. I am the South Heavenly Iron Sword. It is a name given to me by my deceased master.
I am afraid to hold the sword, but when we talk, it feels fine. Whether influenced by his old master or not, when he speaks, he feels like a noble person.
“I am So Wonhwi.”
-Right. Wonhwi. I am glad to make acquaintances with you. I heard you wanted to know the method of innate qi my master used.
This is an unexpected way that the technique is going to come out. He knows about it, and I want to learn it.
‘Right. I am in a difficult situation now. I have to learn your master’s technique.’
-I know that because I watched it.
Then I am in a better situation. That should be enough to persuade him with the context of my upcoming fight with the twins.
‘If you say that, then you would know…’
Before I can finish, he answers.
-I get it.
‘Do you now?’
-Right. I will teach you.
He accepted at once. It progressed so quickly that I was confused.
-The honor of my master, the South Heavenly Swordsman, is at stake. If you are defeated after poorly learning my master’s technique, then the name of my master will be tainted, Wonhwi.
-What is it?
‘Nothing, I just thought it was surprising that you are so proud of your master. But I didn’t realize it can be irritating.’
Well, it’s like this.
I was expecting a reaction where he would state that he could not speak about his wonderful master to me.
-Interesting. I am just a sword, and I was created to be used. I cannot do anything alone. The honor of my master is important to me, but I do not want my existence as a sword to lose its value.
This is a lot better than I thought. I might have respected it if it was a human and not a sword.
-And I hope my master’s martial arts are passed on to the next generation. That is my wish.
-Nice. This guy is so cool.
Even Small Short Sword agrees.
I am glad things are going well. Despite being a little nervous, I am considering negotiating right and getting what I need. I was still rejoicing when…
-Now, let’s start the negotiations.
Now, this is unexpected.
‘Didn’t you just say you wanted to pass down your master’s vision to the future generations?’
-That is my master’s wish.
Then you have your own wishes? This sounds like something a teenage boy would say!
-I have been lonely all this time, haha… I want it. A new master of mine, the touch of a swordsman, to stroke my blade each day…
At the creepy request, I released my grip around it. I made a mistake. I mistook this bastard for something nice.
And thinking the same, short sword asks me.
-Should we just give up getting the technique?
In the end, after a bit of talk, the negotiations end. The condition is that I become its new owner.
I, too, put forth my conditions.
I say that if he makes perverted breathing sounds or requests me to touch him, I would throw him away right then and there.
And the sword accepts it.
‘To sweat like this when negotiating with a sword.’
Short Sword agrees. Anyway, the negotiations end safely, and I begin to concentrate on feeling the innate qi within me.
-The innate qi should be felt from within the chest. My former master called the position in the center of the chest the correct spot.
This is my first time hearing this.
I only knew about the place which collects the qi under the navel called the dantian. However, the South Heavenly Iron Sword called the middle of the chest the dantian.
‘If there is a lower and a middle spot, then there is also an upper-level dantian?’
-My former master told me the center of the forehead is the upper level.
‘What kind of qi gathers in the upper level?’
-I don’t know
‘It wasn’t mentioned? Did you watch him closely?’
-He called it the top dantian, and that was where you find enlightenment.
It was an abstract concept that I couldn’t understand. The important thing right now is to solve something else.
I need to be able to feel the innate internal qi. But I couldn’t grasp it even after 2 hours had passed.
-No need to think too hard. It is just the innate qi of life.
‘I know that.’
But I don’t know how to feel it. It is difficult because this differs from the dantian you first form.
And as I continue to struggle, the South Heavenly Iron Sword says.
-If it is difficult to feel with thoughts, then maybe experience it with the five senses.
-The qi of life is most notable when facing an extreme crisis. If you can feel the power, you cannot usually feel it now, or if you feel a weird heat rising within the chest, that is the innate internal qi.
This is surprising.
If it is easy to feel it in crisis, I should force that crazy old man to harass me.
‘Can the innate internal qi be felt from the start?’
-You think I know that?
I close my eyes without answering. I remember the time of my regression and revival, the sensation I felt then.
The heat I felt when I was stumbling down the cliff and almost died, and when I was hung on a cliff, or when the blood parasite…
My heart begins to beat loudly. I can feel the blood circulating within. And with that comes a warm feeling in my chest.
I knew it right away. This hot qi that was rising in my chest was innate qi.
South Heavenly Iron Sword notices what I feel and says.
-Congratulations. That is innate internal qi. You are more talented than I thought.
I felt better with its complement.
-My former master worked hard for several months to feel it, but you did it within 4 hours.
I didn’t know it would take that long. But I understood that it was hard to grasp in just a couple of hours.
This was bound to happen because I struggled for two months on this cliff and faced many crises.
-Concentrate on the innate internal qi.
Following his instruction, I concentrate my focus on the hot qi rising in my chest. This feels different from how it feels from when I still had my dantian.
This is purer.
-You will probably be able to feel the innate internal qi at the size of a fingernail.
I ask with a mental grunt.
-You cannot feel it? If that is the case, it is a pity that yours is much smaller than ordinary people. But it is okay. If you learn it, you can develop it….
-Hm? Then what?
It is the opposite.
As the brat said, it isn’t the size of a fingernail.
Instead, it is the size of 2 fingers together.
-… That can’t be possible.
Even he can’t believe it. He keeps mumbling as if something unusual is about to happen.
-Use the qi within the body and activate it there.
I move my innate internal qi along the path he tells me to, and I can feel the warmth spreading through my shoulders, arms, and wrists.
This is a different feeling but something I have missed for so long.
-Hit the cave with your fist.
Well, I am curious too. How much power does innate qi have?
I clear my breath and punch the wall.
At that moment, a cracking sound echoed through the cave, and I couldn’t see the wall dented by my fist.
Even I, who threw the punch, can’t understand how I can be this strong. Then the South Heavenly Iron Sword mumbles.
-… I guess it was true.
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