Chapter 13 - Ki and Mana (2)

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Honestly, the premise of this training was wrong from the beginning.

Roman had already felt the mana of this world, and he had even accumulated a small amount of mana through the Heavenly Demon God Art.

Still, he had a reason to be taught by Chris.

‘Blindly following only my common sense is a shortcut to regression. In Murim, it is called Ki, and in this world, I need to experience a similar power expressed as mana and Aura. From start to finish, I should do it in the way of this world. Even if I can't understand it in my head, I should follow their way, for now at least.'

He abandoned his common sense.

Chris' teaching was utterly different from Murim's, but Roman did not want to remain bound by a particular method.

He took several breaths.

Chris had told him it was important to feel something tickling his skin. That was the process of feeling mana in the Salamander Continent, and even though Roman didn't breathe out a few times, mana eventually gathered around him. Truthfully, it was natural. As Roman had lived his whole life assimilating the energy of nature, he knew what kind of character it had and how to induce mana.

Less than a minute.

The time it took Chris to reach 1-Star was one year; however, Roman had accomplished the same in less than a minute.

After feeling the mana around him, he began the induction of mana.

He accepted it.

When the foreign and mysterious energy entered his body, Roman guided it throughout his body and along the blood vessels.

‘It’s definitely different from Murim. In Murim, the purpose is to remove waste from the blood vessels by controlling mana and ultimately build it up in the lower abdomen. But this world is different. In the process of inducing mana, people want mana to naturally accumulate in various parts of the body. However, there is no binding force. Is there any particular reason for doing this? The energy that settled would be easy for people to control, but when doing it this way, there’s no way they will be able to reach the peak of their abilities.

In short, the method was much more inefficient than Murim’s.

There was also a problem with the characteristics of mana of this world.

If Murim’s mana is described as heavy but barren, this world's mana is light but rich.

No matter how much mana is absorbed, a similar amount is lost inevitably.

In his heart, he wanted to grab it all.

However.

‘Let’s try the method of this world.’

He suppressed his desire.

He knew he could go back to Murim’s method whenever he wished.

Roman knew better than anyone how to be strong, but it was time for him to embrace a new world.

Suddenly, Chris' voice was heard.

“Once you reach a stage where you can use a certain amount of mana, you will be able to manifest your Aura. Gathering the mana spread throughout the body at one point is known as the manifestation of Aura. Aura manifestation can be utilized in several ways. There is a way to increase the destructive power by overlaying Aura on the sword, or it can be applied to the body for instantaneous explosive power. What is certain is that the manifestation of Aura means that you have become a 1-Star Aura Knight.”

Chris didn’t know that Roman had already entered the stage of accumulating mana.

He was merely explaining, but Roman was moving mana in the same way according to the explanation.

He easily accepted mana from the surroundings.

Moreover, Roman's binding power made it impossible for the mana circulating in the body to escape.

Mana gradually built up.

In an instant, Roman had entered the stage of Aura manifestation.

Whoosh!

His body started glowing blue.

Even though it wasn't something Chris had taught him yet, he temporarily strengthened his body by concentrating his mana at one point.

A familiar phenomenon.

Roman had come up with a similar method.

'It's similar to Murim’s meditation but different. On the other hand, exercising is a way to achieve a stronger body, but the way Chris was talking about was neither one nor the other. It doesn't make your body stronger, nor can it build up mana on the inside. The method of releasing mana in an instant is very inefficient as the mana that is not gathered in one place from the beginning spreads out in all directions. The thought that came to my mind when I saw Chris manifesting his Aura was not wrong.’

He was certain.

From his own experience, he was able to draw a firm conclusion.

‘The method of using mana in this world is garbage.’

There was no reason to proceed any further with the training with Chris.

When Roman manifested his Aura, Chris opened his eyes wide in shock.

“Huh?!”

When Chris started this training, he didn't even expect Roman to feel mana.

According to him, it would’ve been surprising even if Roman simply understood what kind of training it was and what Chris was talking about; however, now, something completely unexpected had happened.

His skin is glowing with a bluish color.

Chris knew what this meant. It was the characteristic of the manifestation of Aura.

He rubbed his eyes and checked again, but the scene in front of him didn’t change.

‘Uh, how can this be possible?’

It was beyond common sense.

It took him half a year to feel mana. Moreover, he had to train hard for three years to release it.

Still, he was often called a genius.

Being Jonathan's disciple from a young age, he steadily learned swordsmanship. Due to that, when he achieved 2-Star in his mid-twenties, everyone recognized him as a genius.

But…

What the hell does this mean?

Roman’s progress right now couldn’t be called an accident.

“...Phew.”

Roman slowly opened his eyes.

Seeing him catch his breath, Chris asked as if he was waiting.

“How did you do it? Did you really just manifest Aura?”

“You should know it better. You saw it in person.”

“That’s the reason I am asking you that! I mean, it doesn't make sense. Someone released Aura after spending three and a half years, but Young Master Roman succeeded within 30 minutes. Tell me honestly. You already knew how to use Aura and just called me here to make fun of me, right? Ah, of course, now I understand. It was strange that I, a 2-Star Aura Knight, was defeated by the young master in the first place.”

He just decided to believe his own guess.

It was more plausible that Roman was a recluse master than a genius who could release Aura in 30 minutes.

The problem was that this guess was also beyond common sense.

So, two years ago, did Roman hide his power?

But why?

Chris' gaze on Roman became confused.

“Can you tell me the standard of the stars that distinguish the strength of an Aura Knight? What is the level of the stars I have achieved now, and how many stars are the skills of those who are currently called the best.”

“...Once the Aura manifestation was successful, the young master met the conditions for a 1-Star Aura Knight. And if you manage to cut steel with Aura manifested on an object, you'll be called a 2-Star Aura Knight from then on. The real thing starts from 3-Star. Stars are classified according to the strength and destructive power of the Aura, and knights who manage to reach 3-Star receive special treatment within the kingdom. Therefore, the Knights' Commander, Jonathan, is an Aura Knight recognized by the kingdom. And 4-Star are also recognized by the kingdom. If you manage to achieve 5-Star, you are recognized by the entire continent. By the way, the ones who are called the strongest swordsmen on the continent are known as 6-Star swordsmen. No one is known to have reached beyond that level yet.”

6-Star. Those who had achieved it were called the strongest of this continent.

As Roman had already met Jonathan, he could picture their power in his mind.

‘Based on Murim’s standards, Jonathan is slightly inferior to second-rate warriors. No matter how highly rated the 6-Star Aura Knight is, it is definitely not at the level I expected. Perhaps the main martial art of this world is not swordsmanship. It was said that if an aura is a talent per thousand, then magic is a talent per ten thousand. You will know for sure only when you experience them yourself.’

It was fun to hear.

He had found a different path than Murim.

He wanted to go out into the world and experience everything related to that and other similar paths.

“To be honest, star distinctions are not a perfect indication of strength. There is a thing called ranking on this continent. Although the 6-Star Aura Kfnights are called the best on the continent, not all of the knights in the top 10 rankings have reached the 6-Star level. Anyway, since when did you start honing your mana? It took me 10 years to reach the level of 2-Star. Even I, who is called a genius, was like this, but considering the appearance of the young master I met two years ago, this doesn’t make any sense.”

Chris' words made sense.

It was said that it took him 10 years to feel mana, release Aura, and manifest it through a sword.

Pfft.

Roman burst into laughter.

If what Chris said was true, the level of this world was way below Roman’s expectations.

At Roman's reaction, Chris' face inevitably turned red.

He didn't say it out loud, but he couldn’t help but be angry seeing Roman laugh.

“...Why are you laughing?”

“Because it’s funny.”

“Do you mean that my efforts are funny?”

The atmosphere turned cold.

Chris.

He was called Dmitry's talent.

Although Roman had defeated him, his pride was not broken yet.

To Chris, who seemed to explode at any moment, Roman only responded with a smile.

“I will ask you one thing. Have you ever had any doubts about the way you trained while getting to your current level?”

"What do you mean?"

“Sometimes people inevitably misunderstand things. Just because it’s a method that has been passed down from generation to generation, people often believe the illusion that it is unconditionally correct. I had that doubt while learning how to train mana from you. Why are you insisting on me using the method I can see as lacking? Didn't you have any doubts? Or is it because you strongly trust the Knights’ Commander, Jonathan, who taught you?”

“...”

It was an unexpected statement.

Chris, who was trying to let out his anger, was hit with the sudden question, but he couldn’t say anything with his bewildered face.

A different way of training.

As Roman guessed, Chris had never questioned it.

“Do you know the reason? It’s quite simple. It's just easy to follow. When someone follows the way which has already been through trial or error more than a thousand times, there is no reason for them to lose or be criticized if they decide to follow it too. I won’t deny the fact that you have worked hard for ten years. However, I can’t help but find it funny that in the process of doing so, you never questioned the way you pursued even once. In this world, there is no perfect answer. The path you chose to follow blindly is, in the end, a path that only started when someone decided to go through troubles."

Before Roman was called the Heavenly Demon, he did not follow his father's teachings.

Even though his father was a person who had reached the pinnacle of the Heavenly Demon Cult, he continued to analyze and study techniques on his own.

After his constant efforts, Roman finally created his own Heavenly Demon Martial Arts.

Even those who had criticized Roman's actions at first eventually exclaimed in admiration for the perfect and unbelievable power of the Heavenly Demon Martial Arts.

Roman had always lived his life like that.

Don’t just blindly believe others.

He did not accept it just because it was passed down from generation to generation, but he pondered why he had to accept it and whether it was truly the best option for him.

Of course, such questions made his life much more painful than an ordinary person's.

I had to go through trial and error repeatedly, and whenever I met a failed result, I had to taste the despair and criticism from others.

However, even so, change was necessary.

As if he knew that something handed down from ancestors had started with a question, Roman always threw a question on himself when learning.

“I will ask you once again. Did you really try your best for the past 10 years?”

“...”

Chris was left speechless.

He looked back on his life.

Of course, Chris had worked extremely hard.

However.

The training method Chris followed at that time always relied on blind faith.

He always did as Jonathan told him to. Even this time, he had only accepted to teach Roman so he could learn the secret trick from Jonathan.

Roman had hit the nail on his head.1

Despite his remarks against the world's ways, he could not refute what Roman said.

'It's not a bad way to follow the knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Chris may grow steadily like this and rise to the heights of what others call a genius. But that's it. People who do not question their own lives cannot reign at the apex. Chris is one of the strongest people I have met so far, but frogs in wells are bound to rot in the end.’

Roman’s advice was out of pure goodwill.

Since Chris had helped him, Roman helped him realize the reality of his situation.

From now on, it's up to Chris.

If he decides not to accept reality and stays angry due to his pride, he won’t be able to become much stronger in the future.

“Let’s finish this training.”

Roman finished talking.

And then, just as Roman was about to walk away, Chris asked, “...Then, please tell me the correct answer. What am I supposed to do from now on?”

At Chris’ question, Roman halted and looked at him again.

Pfft.

‘How interesting.’

He just let go of his pride.

This has suddenly become a critical matter.

Chris, who could have been just a passing person in Roman’s life, for some reason, looked different right now.

  1. To hit the nail on the head means to be exactly right about something. ↩️

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