Chapter 277 - The Fifth Energy (3)

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“…”

“…”

High-profile guests gathered in the lobby of the Pareira estate. It wasn’t planned in advance, but was rather a complete coincidence.

They were all people who couldn’t help but want to spar with each other.

Ian, the schoolmaster of Krono.

And his eternal rival Khun.

They were so famous that one couldn’t help but be shocked at the sight of them together.

And that wasn’t all.

Joshua Lindsay, known to be the best among the five swordsman families in the west, and Karakum, the great warrior who had no rivals.

Besides them, there was also Ilya Lindsay and Bratt Lloyd, both of whom led the golden generation of Krono.

‘Although he might be a bit lacking compared to them, Jet Frost was a talented person who didn’t fall far behind them. Airn, you were great at first, and now you have become a true giant.’

Kuvar, who looked at the guests, smiled.

It felt good.

Although it wasn’t like Ilya and Bratt, who were with Airn during their trainee days, Kuvar had also formed a special relationship with Airn.

It was embarrassing to say it with his mouth, but Kuvar’s influence definitely had had a deep impact on Airn.

A few years ago, Airn was someone who was wandering day by day with an uncontrollable and unusable piece of metal.

That’s what he used to be, but now, he was an entirely different being.

He no longer seemed anxious.

There was no sign of impatience, and no sight of him suffering from being weighed down by someone else’s will.

Had he changed so much?

Kuvar didn’t want to think of it like that.

It was because Airn was still welcoming people with a warm smile and gaze.

‘The bowl of understanding within him turned wide and grew upright… This expression is very suitable for Airn’s growth. I don’t know if it is right to judge Airn now since I was absent for a while.’

Thinking, Kuvar’s smile deepened, and he held out his hand.

Airn reached for it and shook it.

It was a simple greeting for a meeting after so long.

However, no one was feeling sad. Because their feelings that were being conveyed were much deeper than the greeting itself.

“Kuvar, it has been so long. Actually, I wanted to ride the Griffin and come to Durkali, but the plans changed.”

“I see. I am sorry for not saying anything either. I should have at least sent a letter.”

“It is fine. Meeting like this is better. It has been so long, Mr. Karakum.”

“Um.”

Karakum nodded.

It wasn’t because he was uncomfortable, but because there were so many people around that he couldn’t act as freely as he did in the tribe.

In addition, there was the aftereffect of the battle being stopped before it was finished, which didn’t sit well with him. That was the case for some others too.

Feeling the awkwardness, Kuvar sneakily pulled out something from his bag.

An alcohol bottle.

“It is a traditional drink from Durkali.”

“…”

“A light drink?”

“I agree.”

“Hmm.”

Bratt Lloyd answered quickly, and Joshua Lindsay also agreed.

The others didn’t oppose it either.

Kuvar nodded and placed three more bottles on the table, and the keen servants quickly brought them glasses and ice.

And the early drinking started.

“Is that so? That happened?”

“Yes. And then…”

“Hmm. Is it a bit strong? And a bit of carbonation…”

“You, know about alcohol?”

“Not much, but… I often enjoy it, my Lord.”

“Airn, why am I not seeing Lulu? And Kirill?”

“Ah, I don’t see Lulu much these days either. Guess she is doing something else. And Kirill is out to meet Lance.”

“Ahh…”

“…”

“…”

As the conversation continued, the awkwardness disappeared. However, Jet Frost and John Drew couldn’t mix in.

Well…not Jet Frost.

He had no close friends, and he wasn’t on the kind side, but he was a drinker comparable to Bratt and Kuvar.

Because of that, he was able to spend a decent time enjoying alcohol in this unfamiliar place.

But John Drew felt too singled out.

Was it because he didn’t like drinking?

If that was the reason, it was fine, but the problem was… the realization he had.

‘Do I deserve to be here?’

There were now ten guests gathered here along with him.

And among them, eight of them were at the Master level.

It seemed absurd when he thought about it.

Of the Masters who were known to be only 100 in the continent, close to a tenth of them were in this small estate!

Of course, there were rumors that the Masters had increased and had exceeded 150, but even considering that, this was an absurd situation.

‘Me too… I, too… thought I was pretty great…’

John Drew glanced across the table.

And looked at Kuvar.

Like him, he was the only non-master, and was inferior compared to those here.

However, even he felt different.

He was the spiritual mentor of Airn, who was today’s protagonist.

And above all… the fact that he was the son of the great warrior Karakum and the elder brother of their tribe’s chieftain, Tarakan! The fact that he was such a noble couldn’t be compared with his own background!

In the end, he was the only being who had neither nobility nor ability. The only lowly guy.

The ugly duckling among swans.

No, a frog-like existence.

In the midst of the engulfing sadness, John Drew regretted coming to the estate.

It was then,

Airn, who was done with Kuvar, spoke to him with a warm expression.

“Mr. John Drew, teacher. Long time.”

“… Uh! teacher?”

“Aren’t you my teacher? I still remember the psychological warfare and the fake battle strategies I learned from the teacher so vividly in my mind… ahh, I must be sounding weird; it has been so long since we met that it felt a little awkward… haha.”

“Ah, uh… ri-right. You can act the same and be comfortable like before. Hahah…”

John Drew smiled.

He was thankful. Seeing Airn, who cared for him…he, who was a dwarf among the giants present here, made him want to cry.

However, he wasn’t going to get swayed by it.

‘I shouldn’t get excited about such stuff.’

John Drew recalled his past.

Especially the memories related to the women in his life.

The other party would smile politely at his jokes, and he would get excited without realizing it and utter more nonsense; his voice would rise, and his words would get faster, and the women’s expressions would become more rotten…

But not this time.

He had to have a good grasp of the atmosphere now.

He had to understand whether the other party was just being friendly or whether they were genuinely interested.

Then…

“Come to think of it, I heard that you officially opened a school.”

“Uh?”

“i-Is that not right?”

“No, it is right.”

John Drew seemed shocked.

It wasn’t a hidden thing. Actually, he even thought that his swordsmanship had advanced, and that was why he had gained confidence.

John Drew had bought some land, and most of Eisenmarkt knew of it.

However, that was a matter that had occurred back in his place. In order for that information to come to the Pareira estate, which was so far, one needed to put in more attention than just listening to rumors.

‘… maybe, Airn is more friendly than I thought.’

Such thoughts began to raise his self-esteem, which was pushed down.

And that wasn’t the end.

The conversation with Airn continued.

It wasn’t just the level of asking about his health and current status, but rather the topic flowed into swordsmanship, and John Drew could speak, and the others listened.

It was the moment when his confidence was about to falter seeing so many Masters listening.

“As expected, John Drew’s thoughts are more liberal than mine.”

“u-uh?”

“Given the same crisis situation, there are many different solutions. Some of them are really unexpected approaches…”

“…”

Without pretense, Airn truly understood the person’s swordsmanship ideas.

John Drew felt moved by it and expressed his thoughts more enthusiastically.

And soon, Ilya, Bratt, and Jet Frost, who joined the flow, also began to give their opinions.

Watching them, Karakum nodded his head, and he looked at Airn and thought.

‘Water in addition to metal and flame… and even the energy of the earth has been tapped.’

A conversation wasn’t simply the exchange of words, but the exchange of ideas. It was an exchange of emotions, and it was an exchange of the hearts that the other party embraced.

And all of the above had the same character as water.

They could make it flow, they could smear it, and they could get wet.

If it was overdone, it would become a problem.

‘Losing your own color because you were dyed with other people’s emotions, and becoming immersed in other people’s emotions and exhausting your own heart. It could be very confusing. And everyone was closing the door of the exchange since they were afraid.’1

But not Airn.

In a situation where just looking straight might be troublesome, he stood proudly in the center.

And he led the flow of conversation, and furthermore, he even opened the closed mind of others too.

Because of his solid ground. Because it had a different kind of hardness than steel.

So, seeing the young hero who generously embraced the feelings and will of others…

‘… I don’t think I need to help him.’

… even without teaching him anything, he was convinced that Airn had tapped into the fifth element.

Well, in the first place, he knew that there would be no need for his help.

Although the roots were the same, Arin was developing a lot differently from the orcs.

So, Karakum decided that he would just watch.

So that he could see him sprout.

Karakum, who smiled, drank a sip.

“You don’t drink?”

“Not much.”

“I see. I don’t know if it is because I was alone, but it has been a while since I have been out for a drink and so I refused…”

“You and I, let’s drink.”

“I like tea more than alcohol. And…”

Unlike Karakum, Ian and Khun didn’t admire Airn’s growth too much.

Because they already knew about him better than others.

How great he was becoming. Not just that, but they were proud of all of the young people who were growing fast.

Along with Judith, who wasn’t present now.

However, it wasn’t that they weren’t interested in Airn.

Ian lowered his voice and whispered.

“Those two.”

“Who?”

“Airn and Ilya. Have you heard of the two? They are lovers.”

“I heard about it. What should I do about it?”

“No, isn’t it funny? The fact that young people in their 20s, who have been dating for more than half a year, are still showing such a youthful appearance…”

“Youth…”

Even as he said that, Khun agreed with Ian.

Because there were several people in the room, Airn and Ilya didn’t talk much, but each time their eyes met, their expression would change subtly, and each time their eyes made contact, a slight smile would pop up on both their faces.

It looked so sweet that even the 100-year-old man found it nice.

But…

“What is with them? This isn’t some kid’s house game.”

“Hm?”

“Am I wrong? They aren’t little kids; how long are they going to act like that?”

“Huhu. Look at you. What can they do in a place where everyone is gathered?”

“I can tell by looking at them. They must be the same everywhere.”

“Huhuh….”

Ian, who had nothing to say to Khun’s words, laughed.

Frankly, even he thought the same. But even though he thought that, it didn’t seem like the two could do anything more with each other anytime soon.

However, this was just the opinion of the old men.

Bratt, who was drinking while listening to their whispers, only shook his head.

‘One can never know.’

Taking a deep breath, he filled his glass and drank.

He was missing Judith.

He mumbled and sighed.


That time,

In order to pursue the devil, the subjugation squad of the Holy Kingdom that had spread out all over the place had gathered back in the capital.

  1. Okay, I realize this might be a little confusing, so here's what I understood. As it was established earlier, different swordsmen have different methods of swordsmanship (obviously). What Karakum is thinking about here, is how swordsmen seldom talk with other swordsmen concerning matters regarding the core aspects of their swordsmanship. Primarily because (I'm assuming) they do not want to let their swordsmanship get diluted when listening to the theories of other swordsmen. But Airn, on the other hand, is able to connect different types of swordsmanship theories and expand further on them as well because, (again, I'm assuming) he has grasped all the energies. I think that every swordsmanship, in one way or the other, is connected to the 5 energies: metal, fire, water, earth, and wood. Y'all can discuss more about this in the comment section hehe. ↩️

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