Before heading from the Murim Alliance, Leader Baek Hyang-muk gave a speech just before we began.
At the end of his speech he drew his sword to boost our morale, which was why I remembered what his sword had looked like.
However, so many swords were here that shared the same shape. Even the distinctive circular pattern on the sword was present on all of them.
-Please… kill me
-I want you to break me
Swords suffering from being struck repeatedly by a hammer. None of the swords were in good shape, and they were all on the verge of cracking or breaking. It could be said that these swords couldn’t be used again.
‘Why are they suffering so much?’
Iron Sword was the one who answered,
-… I don’t know for sure. But isn’t the moment when they wish to die the moment when their value is gone?
‘Value is gone? Like undermined?’
What was the value of a sword?
First, it was a weapon.
Even with curved swords, and many others, it could not be denied that swords were created with the purpose of killing enemies.
If so, does it mean that they could not perform that role anymore?
-If they are in such a bad state then they might not hear us right here. If you are curious, talk directly to them.
I frowned at Short Sword’s words. It was creepy to even hear them and she wants me to grab one?
Honestly, if they were just ordinary swords, I would never even touch them, but there were swords modeled after the Martial First Sword, the one that belonged to one of the Eight Great Warriors.
Finally deciding to face the music, I put my hand on one of the nearer swords,
I could feel the goosebumps rise on my body. The scream that pierced through my head was filled with bitterness and anger but after holding it I realized the truth,
‘… this was a new sword?’
Contrary to the overflowing emotions, the sword’s ego felt weak.
-Please… please break me.
He wasn’t even listening to what I had to say. Or maybe he didn’t even hear me.
As I started to become frustrated with the one babbling of his suffering, the star on the back of my hand began to shine blue.
At the same time, my vision began to turn dull and something new came.
The scene took place where I was standing now. It was hard to see anything, but it was dark outside, and the man who I saw drunk before was standing in the room.
The sight of the sword, the memory of it was open.
And so I looked at the figure holding the sword. The moment I saw the face I recognized it.
How could I ever forget his face? The leader of the alliance and the Martial First Sword.
I thought one of his subordinates had commissioned the task but he had come here directly.
[I will check it.]
The craftsman nodded at his words.
Baek Hyang-muk took his stance.
My heart pounded as I saw this. This was a chance to see what technique he was using in person! Baek Hyang-muk blinked and the craftsman held out a black cloth he was previously holding.
Baek Hyang-muk, who cleared his throat, began to move forward. A haze rose through the sword.
Watching this covered me in goosebumps. The trajectory of the sword and the flow of energy were different.
While coming to Wuhan I didn’t take a day off to watch the skills of the South Heavenly Swordsman.
The sword of Baek Hyang-muk was so perfect that it felt like South Heavenly Swordsman couldn’t get close to it.
‘This is a sword technique of…’
The trajectory of the sword was shocking considering it reached its highest point. And the style of the swordsmanship, the Clear Vivid Great Sword truly deserved to be called the best in the world.
After seeing this sword technique I realized.
There was still potential for further development of the South Heavenly Swordsman’s technique. There was more room to make it stronger and more radiant too.
This made me excited.
After finishing the sword dance, a satisfied voice came from Baek Hyang-muk. The craftsman who covered the eyes with black cloth opened his mouth,
[Is it not enough?]
The craftsman who was about to open the cloth licked their dry lips
‘What is not yet?’
I couldn’t understand. This was such an excellent sword that managed to handle this technique.
At that time, Baek Hyang-muk put two fingers on the sword blade and wiped it with another sword.
The sword screamed in pain. The blade screamed enough for me to bleed.
I wasn’t sure what this was. The sword which had been intact was now bright red as if it was in pain.
It was the moment when the sword was half stained.
The sword cracked. At the same time, the color of the sword returned back to normal. This strange thing was shocking to me, but what really surprised me was the energy from him. This man was full of killing intent.
It was as if he had a purpose to go after someone.
As if the man changed, Baek Hyang-muk put the cracked sword into the ground and caught his breath after closing his eyes.
After a while, the intense killing intent was cleared. And his energy was balanced once more.
[Make it again.]
With that, he left the forge and the man took the cloth off his eyes and looked at the cracking sword with a bitter face.
And with that, the vision faded and I was back to reality.
‘… it must have been so painful.’
I thought I knew why the sword was depressed. I didn’t realize why he gave out such a potent killing intent, but it made it impossible for this sword to be remade.
As soon as the sword was born it had been broken and put in a state of disuse so it was natural for it to be suffering.
‘Do not feel down. There is nothing wrong with you.’
I said to comfort him, and the screaming stopped as he spoke with a childlike voice,
As soon as it thanked me, the entire sword body cracked and the metal pieces of the sword fell to the ground and turned to powder.
All that was left was the handle.
-What is this?
I don’t know either. Why did the sword shatter into powder?
I myself didn’t know why the memory was suddenly visible to me either. This was something that happened because the star was activated.
What followed was unknown to me, but at least the sword Baek Hyang-muk used was accurate.
When the sword was engraved in my mind, something tickled within me, the feeling of finally touching something.
This one time I couldn’t figure it out. My gaze naturally turned to the other sword in the forge,
‘Shall we see it one more time?’
If my prediction was right, it seems like the swords too had gone through the same process and had been cracked. Then wouldn’t I be able to see the technique again?
-Wonhui, look back
I turned back at the ushering of Iron Sword and came face to face with the craftsman staring at me with wide eyes. His red face told me he hadn’t completely sobered up.
Maybe I was a bit too focused so I didn’t even notice the man waking up. Thinking that I was done, I decided to apologize to him…
But he ran to me first and said,
“A martial artist? You are a martial artist right?”
The tone of his voice was unclear as he must have still been drunk.
Before I could even speak the man touched the metal powder on the ground. The fine iron powder. He frowned at it.
Doesn’t this look like I turned the sword into powder on purpose?
“It wasn’t that I wanted to break…”
The man touched the sword handle and interrupted me.
“Can you break the other swords into powder?”
I was stunned at the moment I heard those words. I was too shocked about the man who wanted me to break his swords.
“I will pay you.”
I wasn’t even sure why he was bringing up payment. If he wanted to break these swords couldn’t he just dispose of them?
And he explained,
“These swords were things I made with my soul. But now they have turned to things that can no longer be used. Do you think I can break down the children I made with my hands?”
I think I could understand why he had placed incense burners around. To commemorate the broken ones he created with his heart.
“Can you do it? No? Just say so.”
There was no reason for me to refuse. Even if it wasn’t for this, I was aiming to look at their memories. And this wasn’t a bad condition as I could look through them comfortably.
“I understand. But the swords…”
“I am sorry. Unless you are a client I will be declining the questions about the swords.”
Before I could even ask, he refused to answer and this made me wonder just how strong Baek Hyang-muk had to be to make this man so tight-lipped.
Pointing to his hand he said,
“Looking at you, you seem to be using swords, I can help you with your swords as payment. As you can see, I don’t have money to pay you with”
This wasn’t my intention but it worked fine. Even if it wasn’t like this, I was going to ask Iron Sword to be cleaned.
I pulled out Iron Sword from his sheath.
Seeing this, the man frowned. When he looked at it, it felt rusted and I pointed to something,
“Is it alright for the sheath to be bigger than the sword?”
He immediately noticed,
“It is fine. Rather it is this.”
I handed him Iron Sword and the man who received the sword looked at the rust. I wondered if he could handle it.
Contrary to my concerns he noticed the rusted part and found out what the sword was made of. When I took them to some blacksmiths earlier no one had noticed it.
Indeed, this was the man who would eventually become known as one of the best later.
“How could such a famous sword turn like this? Did you leave the sword in a damp place for several years?”
The man seemed a bit upset. It was true that the sword was left in a cave for over 15 years.
“… there were certain circumstances for it. Can you clean it?”
“It isn’t that difficult. But when the iron is mixed in like this, the work will be difficult, so it might take five to six days.”
That was enough.
I had 10 days left, and I could look into these cracked swords for 5 days to come.
I left Iron Sword to the man and left for the dorm I was staying in.
I told Sima Young and Cho Sung-won that I would be there right away. It was all good that things were going well, but one thing bothered me.
A sword body that turned red with the qi of Baek Hyang-muk.
No matter how I looked at it, it didn’t seem like something a man with such fame should do, it felt closer to him being on the evil side.
‘What could it be?’
A moment of concern. And as I was leaving the forge the crowd stopped me.
A young man with a small body wearing a black robe and bamboo hat.
I could hear no weapon, so I just decided to move past the crowd, when the man tried to grab me by the wrist.
‘What is this?’
I sneaked to the side and tried to avoid it.
But this man seemed to be rather clever and tried to grab me again. It was difficult to stop him as his hands were too quick and in the end, I slapped it away.
Two to three times our hands collided and as they did, the young man looked at me with shock and so did I.
The qi of this young man was more than what I had imagined, maybe even surpassing mine.
The young man changed what he was trying to grab from the wrist to my palm.
And pulled me stronger.
I felt like I could do nothing, so I increased my qi.
The man dragged me to the side of a corner alley.
It was an unbelievable force. When I saw only the exposed face they looked like someone my age, but I still didn’t expect this much power.
As I was still too shocked, a young voice came from his mouth.
“You. You’re alive?”
Surprisingly, the voice belonged to one of the two candidates to be the sect leader of Blood Sect.
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