Some time had passed.
Airn’s days were the same. Every day he would close his eyes, concentrate and think of different ways to cut down the water.
And to make his thoughts come true, he would swing the sword.
And if he failed?
He would just repeat the entire process again.
Of course, he hadn’t succeeded even once till now.
But, it was fine.
It was because he didn’t think that he would be able to realize the Heart of Water quickly in the first place, and he felt that the current place was a good place to practice.
‘Of course, it is a sorcery world which was created by half-fulfilling my wishes.’
Since it was his will to cut the water, the entire place was filled with water.
Even under his feet and in the sky above his head, everything was water.
Of course, the other half contained evil intentions of the devil, but there was nothing he could do about it…
That much he could tolerate.
The beliefs which were passed down from his previous life to the current life prevented the magi from intruding into his mind and corrupting it.
“Good. Let’s do my best again.”
Airn mumbled. And the belief that he could do it, and the tenacity that came with it, gave him strength.
And the devil didn’t move either.
He just sank into the water, and was quietly watching the human from there.
A little more time had passed. Airn was still swinging his sword. However, he still couldn’t cut the water.
It was unavoidable. Didn’t Ian also say it? That realizing it wouldn’t be so easy?
Airn took in a slow breath to control his mind and then exhaled deeply; the problem was…
There wasn’t much time left.
It had been raining harder than ever.
It wasn’t too troublesome like a typhoon that blocked his view, but there was still something troubling him.
That the water had risen to a higher level than before.
The water had risen from his calves to his waist, and now it was at the level of his chest.
Airn felt an unpleasant feeling and swung his sword.
It was a failure this time too.
Airn let out another deep sigh, and feeling as if something was forming in his chest; he had the urge to vomit.
But only his breath came out. There was still something suffocating and frustrating within him.
… he shook his head to shake off the water and then swung his sword again.
Of course, it had no effect; since the rain kept falling on him.
The clown devil didn’t move.
From under the rising water level, he just kept watching Airn.
More and more time passed.
Now, he couldn’t breathe anymore. The water had reached the bottom of his head, which deprived Airn of his freedom to breathe.
It wasn’t life-threatening, though.
The only moment he would lose his life, would be when he gave up everything and accepted the darkness.
This scenario was because, in the first place, in a world made of sorcery and magi, common sense couldn’t be brought into the picture.
However, whether he would be able to save his life or not still wasn’t a guarantee.
Airn swung his sword in response to his emotions.
It was a much stronger attack than before.
However, it was still impossible to cut it. All he could do was push it away with a huge force.
Airn felt like screaming at the sudden influx of water which came rushing back.
But he couldn’t.
The water-filled his surroundings completely.
The emotions inside him were tormenting him.
At some point, Airn was more focused on his feelings of not being able to cut the water, rather than trying to cut.
How long did he have to do this?
If someone just kept working hard, would they get what they wanted?
And if that didn’t work, then what was he supposed to do?
How was he supposed to get rid of the frustration which was invading his mind?
His anger, which was as thick as water, and not fire, was exhausting his body and mind. The problem was that an even greater anxiety was filling his head.1
‘Just how long have I been trapped in here?’
Airn, remembering the past, bit his lip.
The sorcery barrier he made to overcome his weakness, and the events inside it, where he gained unparalleled power, excellent swordsmanship, and confidence.
However, he lost something too. Five… five years of time was lost.
When he remembered his sister’s face, which was stained in tears, his heart pounded violently.
And now, the same thing was happening again.
No, this time, it was even worse.
‘… this time, there is no definite time when this can end.’
Airn grunted and raised his aura to the extreme and cut it again.
But the result was the same.
It didn’t take long for the water to come rushing back violently.
He couldn’t breathe. He was already filled with negative emotions to the point that nothing more could enter his mind.
Just like the water which was filling this place.
The Clown who watched it, finally smiled.
‘I just need to wait a little more.’
The devil looked at Airn. He looked inside of Airn and not the outside.
It was over. The negative emotions inside him were making him more anxious. It was making him sink deeper and deeper.
What would happen next?
It wasn’t even worth thinking about.
He had seen countless times what the end of a human being engrossed in such emotions was like.
The Clown smiled.
‘A little more, just a little more.’
Just a little more, and he could see the image of a young hero who wielded the sword, fall completely into jeopardy.
Beneath the water, the devil waited patiently for that time to come.
Many years have passed. The pouring rain had no meaning anymore.
Under the lake water, which had reached dozens of meters above his head, Airn still continued to swing his sword.
He didn’t even know if it was meaningful anymore or not.
Even now, his sword was just vainly cutting the current.
His mind was filled with negative emotions. Especially the anxiety about the passage of time.
The place which he had once thought was the best place to practice, had now placed him in pain each second.
… still, the reason he didn’t give up was because the only thing Airn had to do was try.
There was a time when he ran from pain.
To forget his childhood trauma, he tried to fall into a deep sleep to escape from reality.
There were times when he collapsed in the face of frustration.
There were days when he was disappointed in himself for not being able to grow even after swinging the sword millions of times in the sorcery barrier, with growing doubts on whether he could actually do it.
Yet, Airn still prevailed.
No more running and no more hiding.
Rather than sinking down to avoid fear and hardship, he raised his sword to move forward and rise above his feelings.
And so, he constantly swung the sword.
It wasn’t because it was the right answer.
It was because, at some point, he realized that not doing it at all was the wrong answer, and that if he didn’t try, then there would be no growth.
It was the same today too.
He knew that if he gave up simply because he saw no hope or a way through, then it would be the end.
If he truly did that, then the thin thread of opportunity would break, and he might never be able to get out.
Trapped under the water, Airn would just die a tragic death.
That couldn’t happen to him.
And so, it didn’t.
The foundation Airn had made until now, supported him and allowed him to keep moving forward.
He continued to swing the sword.
He couldn’t even tell how many times he had done it. He swung it for as long as he could count. And continued after he couldn’t…so much that it seemed like forever.
He only focused on his sword.
The feeling of impatience no longer flooded him. There were no more anxious thoughts.
He didn’t rise above, but he didn’t sink further either.
In the midst of the barrier filled with water, the young hero swung his sword.
It was then that the clown devil appeared again.
“Why, why, why, why are you making such useless effort?”
The devil’s voice resounded around.
Airn didn’t answer.
It wasn’t because he didn’t think it was worth talking about, but rather because he didn’t think too much of it at all. And he couldn’t open his mouth because of the water.
However, the Clown thought of it as a disrespect to him.
“You bastard, awfkkfkvlfaufwksutrjd I will eat you alive. Dnfhdgkrhskdmlakfdmfantlgo! Speak to me! How dare you ignore me! Tmfepdjqtmsshfurdmfdldjkrh!”
He couldn’t understand it because the language of humans was mixed with the language of the devils.
All he could feel was that the Clown was angry and impatient.
‘Why is he like that?’
Airn shook his head, disregarding the Clown Devil, and looked away.
And just like before, he swung his sword.
It was true that he was holding up well. However, that was it. He still hadn’t found a clue to cut through the water.
But he couldn’t give up, so he kept moving.
However, the Clown swore at him and seemed dissatisfied with him.
Of course, there were no attacks. Because just as Airn couldn’t harm the devil, the devil couldn’t harm him either.
But it was annoying.
Even though he was in the water, Airn could still hear that piercing voice of the Clown and exhaled at that sound.
The breath turned into air bubbles and went up to the surface of the water.
When the Clown saw it, he yelled again.
Was this a coincidence?
This time he was able to clearly understand it.
“You can’t do it! You won’t do it! Water cutting? Nonsense! You will never be able to drain the water here…”
Airn went stiff.
As if time had stopped, Airn, who hadn’t moved at the Clown’s words until then, turned and looked at the Clown. The devil met his gaze and frowned.
To him, Airn mouthed.
Cleverly deceived me, right?
“… what dog shit is that!”
The Clown swore again. The malice flowing from the mask increased.
The dark red water wrapped around Airn, but he didn’t care anymore.
Airn nodded, remembering the time when he was brought to this betting place.
‘You know what you need to do. What you should be cutting down. It should be this thing… If you do that, then you can get out of this stinky, damp, and unpleasant space.’
It was clear to him now.
The Clown said something had to be cut, but never said it was the water.
‘Come to think of it, the school master also never spoke about cutting water either.’
Now he understood.
Why he couldn’t get out of here.
Why the Clown was so confident.
It was because Airn had misunderstood it till then. His thinking had been completely wrong.
Finally, his vision widened, and his eyes shone.
‘What has to be cut isn’t the water…’
Airn took a stance. It was a softer posture. A calm energy rose from his body, and the sword he lifted was lighter than ever.
There was no force behind it.
It was really ordinary. Even though he held the title of Master, the Aura Sword didn’t form on it.
But it was fine.
The water was all around.
But it was the emotion that filled his heart.
There was no sword more suitable for cutting off the excessive ‘obsession’ that had plagued his mind.
Airn Pareira’s sword fell through the water.
as thick as water, and not fire – Not too sure about what this means, but I suppose it might be an indicator of how opposite his emotions are from usual, because most of his willpower and his resolve have almost always come from the ‘flame’ inside him. ↩️
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