Khun moved with a ferocious momentum.
Looking at him, Ian shed a smile, knowing that he couldn’t be stopped.
He had probably heard about it too.
The story about the Devil that appeared, and the fact that the peace which had lasted for 150 years was coming to an end, and that help was needed.
Naturally, Khun wasn’t the kind to care about such things. Seeing the man coming in with the same force he did the first time he challenged him, Ian thought.
He didn’t understand it in the beginning.
Why was he so obsessed with him? Was it necessary for Khun to aim at Ian and give up his life?
Kiera Finn, a pretty wife and a wealthy fortune, tossing all of that aside, this man devoted himself to the sword, and what was his reason for challenging Ian?
Ten years, 20 years, 30 years, and now, their rivalry had been going on for close to 100 years.
The smile on Ian’s face grew stronger. An uncontrollable fighting spirit was emanating brightly from his body as he was wielding the sword.
‘Such things don’t matter anymore.’
The swords collided.
Due to the bursting shock which spread around, it led to rocks and trees getting equally smashed.
Everything crumbled. Yet, Ian, who was in the center, stood firm.
Seeing Khun backing out, Ian raised his force even more.
And his sword became so huge that it couldn’t be compared to an ordinary Aura Sword!
The aura, which was now close to 10 meters, gradually decreased. No, it was compressed.
The air around trembled, and it was clear that this was something which no Master could simply imitate.
Yet, Khun wasn’t agitated. And even now, he had the same look he had from the beginning. At that moment, he took a step holding his own Aura Sword, which seemed pitiful compared to Ian’s.
And his body disappeared.
The owner of Krono, widened his senses to the maximum.
His eyes and ears were open, and everything else was on high alert. Information that couldn’t be felt before was now entering Ian’s mind in real-time.
And it wasn’t just that.
The precision of his swordsmanship.
If it was a virtue of a swordsman, then Ian wasn’t lacking in it. Even if he faced a swordsman like Julius Hul, which the Holy Kingdom was so proud of, Ian was confident that he would still smile.
Even if it was a battle with the greatest swordsmen in history, there was no swordsman, superior to him, present on the continent right now!
At least, that was what he thought.
However, there was a moment when such thoughts began to cease.
It was because of the ‘speed’ of the opponent facing him now.
The constant roaring sound. As a result, cracks in the shape of human footprints formed everywhere.
It was all Khun’s doing.
Those ridiculous muscles on his body.
The enormous aura he wielded.
In fact, everything which made Khun, Khun. He had made himself evolve for the sake of moving quickly.
And in particular, it was his terrifying tenacity and effort which had partially broken through the limits of normal humans.
An Inexperienced aura operation?
A Lack of depth in swordsmanship?
None of that mattered. There were no shortcomings that could be noticed as Khun moved. He wielded a sword that had been polished to the limit whose sole purpose was only to stab Ian!
To block such a sword, Ian had to do his best.
Unable to even breathe properly, Ian continued to move.
It was slowing down both of them.
Being deprived right from the first movement meant that he would have to deal with the opponent at a later moment, and that meant that he would need the right timing.
Although Ian was better than Khun in most aspects, he was at a disadvantage because of his shortcomings in his speed.
It was a situation where each split-second decision could lead to victory or defeat.
And in such a dangerous situation,
Ian continued to block Khun’s offensive.
He blocked each sword attack that came at him from every direction.
He had no choice but to do that. His heightened senses were giving him the right information.
And his absurdly quick thinking made him respond to it accordingly. And the body, which was created by combining years of experience as well as inborn talent, led to all parts of him moving perfectly in sync with each other.
The most beautiful swordsmanship in the history of Krono unfolded.
He was even half a beat faster than Khun in some moments.
It was a truly foreshadowing movement.
But that was all.
There was no problem in the defense, but since Ian’s speed was lacking, it was difficult for him to switch to offense.
However, Ian had his own strategy.
Except for speed, he was ahead of Khun in all other areas.
That meant that the amount of Aura and the density of Aura Ian wielded was incomparable to that of Khun’s.
Maybe he was lucky today?
Ian understood as they exchanged blows, that he kept hitting the same part of the opponent’s sword.
It wasn’t intended. He wasn’t the kind of person to care about such things anyway. But from then, he thought that even such a simple thing would be required to beat him.
As soon as he finished thinking, Khun’s attack flew in. Ian did his best to concentrate. His senses were so high that he could feel everything in him and outside him simultaneously.
And the time stretched like cheese. In this slow-flowing scene that played out in his eyes, his sword struck the desired point.
The right feeling as his sword connected with his opponent’s.
Ian thought and stepped back. His expression still showed that he was being cautious.
He felt that he was two steps ahead.
No, if he could raise the aura a little more, he might even cut the opponent’s weapon in half if it hit the same spot again.
He controlled his expression and bided for time. A total of seven attacks followed.
A block, another block, and then he held fast, trusting his defense. The next attack he avoided, and then continued to block the next three attacks that came at him.
But at that moment, Ian’s eyes widened as he watched Khun’s movement change completely.
It was still a slightly familiar sword. He didn’t know yet, but what he was doing right now, was a behavior that he had experienced several times in the past too.
For the moment of perfect victory, many people had let clear signs of something like this go unnoticed.
Ian stretched out his sword with a different force from before.
The perfect timing. The perfect counterattack. As time slowed, he smiled. After three draws, he finally had the upper hand. Exciting ecstasy stimulated his body, and his gaze was already on Khun.
At that moment, Ian felt that something was wrong.
He knew it.
Khun was aware that Ian was aiming for the sword. He had, after all, shared the sword with Ian for several decades.
There was no way he couldn’t read the thoughts in his opponent’s eyes.
Knowing that the sword was being aimed at, why did he still move in the same way?
Thinking till there, Ian decided to think it through his actions again.
‘If I need to break the sword, I will have to risk it by rushing forward…’
So, he should probably be prepared to suffer a serious injury that afflicted either his hand or shoulder.
Perhaps, it would also result in him having Khun’s sword pierce through his heart?
‘In the end, it is my defeat!’
It didn’t take long to confirm it.
In the midst of such concentration, he felt the time passing slowly. He was feeling different from usual.
It wasn’t that he was worried about the future generations, but rather, it was about Airn.
Or if only a little bit more time was given to him to deal with the crisis… the results might have been completely different.
But these were all excuses.
He looked at the sword and then at the eyes of his opponent. The smile grew. The eyes opposite him too were smiling, causing wrinkles to form near the eyes.
After a while, the result came.
Khun’s sword broke
He expected that much. However, it was different after that.
The opponent didn’t drive the blade through his body. Looking at Khun, who held the sword pieces in hand, Ian asked.
Why didn’t you aim for my heart?
It was natural to question him; Ian knew Khun’s character.
Khun wanted victory over Ian; that was the reason for so many battles…
However, the other party didn’t answer it; rather, he continued questioning.
“Are you worried about your disciple?”
“Well, that has to be it. Dog-shit bastard. How can you have other thoughts when fighting me?”
He couldn’t say anything.
He felt bad for his opponent. For worrying about his disciple.
While the emotions were mixed, Khun clicked his tongue as he tossed the broken sword aside.
“Take it out.”
“Take it out. Let’s hear what the fuck is happening inside you.”
“… you will listen to other people’s concerns?”
That too about his disciple?
Ian was puzzled.
To him, who was serving as an owner of Krono for 40 years, he was being asked to lay out his emotions after taking in a disciple for the first time.
It wasn’t funny, but he couldn’t stop laughing.
But it wasn’t too bad either. Seeing the unusual appearance of his rival, some of his worries disappeared.
Seeing that, Khun also smiled.
He had no choice but to. Because he too, didn’t understand what he just did and why he did it.
After a while, the two old men began to speak about their disciples for the first time in their lives.
It was quite an absurd but also a sentimental atmosphere to see them sit down and talk after smashing down the place around them.
The number of defeats he had against Ian had piled up so much that he couldn’t even remember. And thinking that, Khun scratched his head, throwing away his golden chance to taste his long-awaited victory.
No matter how much he thought about it, his actions just now made no sense.
It was because of the incurable disease he was afflicted with.
It had to be that.
What was the strongest point in his life? With old age comes sickness. In other words, he had probably given up his only chance to defeat Ian.
Was it because he wasn’t in good shape?
If not… was he afraid that Ian would lose his life or be seriously injured?
That was nonsense. If the sword went into Ian’s heart and he died, he would welcome the situation.
He swung the sword each time with the same thought.
Khun groaned and titled his head.
To the left and then to the right.
He kept worrying, and he kept walking.
The old man went back to his house with the same thoughts, and the red-haired swordsman was there waiting for him.
“Sir, why are you so late?”
“What now? Why is your expression like that?”
“What is this habit of this rotten bastard talking to her teacher like this?”
“No, you said you would teach me swordsmanship, and said ‘Now, you have to learn right now!’ and then why did you just leave? And then you came back after a full month with a strange expression on your face.”
He had realized then.
No, maybe he knew right away.
That this girl struggled with the same personality and pain that he did.
If he wanted to teach the girl who seemed to be even more savage than him…
‘I will have to live longer.’
Thinking that, Khun titled his head.
As soon as they met, he had felt it.
Judith was just like him. There were many people who must have gone through the same things as he did, but this child had gone through the same level of pain as him.
But that alone wasn’t enough to explain his actions.
Even if Judith was his first disciple, there was nothing more important than Khun’s dream.
“Why are you cursing? My precious disciple.”
“Excuse me, excuse me?”
“Why aren’t you calling me teacher?”
“Teacher? Should I call you teacher? Or master?”
Khun frowned, but Judith wasn’t bothered by it.
He felt a bit frustrated with this girl, but he couldn’t understand why he was letting her be like this. And then he finally concluded the reason.
It wasn’t that something special had happened, but he was surprisingly close to the answer…
“Do people change as they get older?”
“What are you spouting all of a sudden?”
“I don’t know, you bastard. Be quiet for a second! Do you want to get hit?”1
“No. Ugh, what kind of teacher did I get?”
The atmosphere was more like a conversation between friends, rather than teacher and disciple.
However, Judith and Khun, who were so similar to each other, constantly lashed out at each other.
But Khun soon looked at her with warm eyes.
Seeing the disciple wield the sword with a hotter flame than him, the teacher nodded.
‘It wasn’t a bad choice.’
“I am getting old too.”
After separating with Khun, Ian mumbled as he headed to the lake.
No other words came to his mind. He really was too old. And as he got older, he forgot the most important thing.
‘The disciple believes in the teacher, but the teacher doesn’t believe in the disciple.’
Even if the world didn’t believe in his disciple, he had to believe in him no matter what.
It went without saying that his disciple was one of the most talented people on the continent right now.
Ian nodded, thinking.
‘Airn will do well.’
Eventually, he will realize.
It might take some time. He might end up wandering around too. However, he will eventually achieve it, so all Ian had to do was support and encourage the child so that the process didn’t turn more difficult than it already was.
‘To hear such things from Khun of all people…’
Ian shook his head and laughed.
Apparently, he wasn’t the only one getting older.
After finishing his thoughts, Ian moved.
Was it because his heart felt lighter?
His footsteps were much lighter than before. Ian returned to where Airn was.
No, he was going back, so, to be precise, he had no choice but to stop near the lake.
There was a wide veil of darkness completely surrounding the lake.
Feeling the magi which engulfed the entire lake, his expression hardened.
“How could this…”
I absolutely adore this dynamic between Judith and Khun. ↩️
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