Chapter 14 - Ki and Mana (3)

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It was peculiar.

Just like how he had thought of the Crazy Demon while looking at the boy named Kevin, he was suddenly reminded of someone else when he looked at Chris just now.

‘He resembles the Blood Demon.’

The Blood Demon and the Crazy Demon.

They were two of the strongest subordinates who followed Roman in his previous life.

While the Crazy Demon was called that because he would throw himself into a fire if it was Roman’s command, the Blood Demon was already a strong master in the Murim before he met Roman and started following him.

He was the head of the Blood Demon Cult. Due to their opposing positions, it was inevitable for him to clash with Roman to decide on the ruler of the unified Demonic Cult. Finally, the Heavenly Demon and the Blood Demon began their battle on the vast plains.

The battle was fierce.

One step of the Blood Demon turned the ground upside down, and the moment he swung his sword, the sky roared as if it would split.

However, that day, the Blood Demon was defeated for the first time in his life.

He was a historical figure who had unified the Blood Demon Cult, but the power of Baek Joong-hyuk, the Heavenly Demon, was beyond belief.

A Demon God.

The Blood Demon eventually fell to his knees.

He, spitting out blood, looked up at the Heavenly Demon and said, “...In my whole life, it's the first time I've seen a guy as strong as you. I admit my defeat. From now on, the Blood Demon Cult will follow the Heavenly Demon, Baek Joong-hyuk. Please tell me—how can I become as strong as you? I will follow you regardless of your answer, but it will be beneficial for both of us if I get stronger.”

He was a cheeky but unique person.

While facing death, the Blood Demon abandoned his pride and asked how to become stronger.

At first, I didn't like the attitude of the Blood Demon, but I realized he was not a person who deceived others with his words.

From then on, he blindly followed the Heavenly Demon. He also put down his pride in being the pinnacle of the Blood Demon Cult and tried to become even stronger.

Thanks to that, the Demonic Cult’s conquest of Murim became much easier.

The head of the Namgung Sega1, known as one of the three great masters of the righteous sects, was killed by the sword of the Blood Demon, not Baek Joong-hyuk, the Heavenly Demon.

Chris and the Blood Demon.

They were really similar.

His flushed face couldn't hide his wounded pride, but his desire to become stronger suppressed it.

'Expressing one's desire straightforwardly is the most human one can be.'

He liked it.

Roman had always liked honest people. They were the ones who confidently requested Roman to fulfill their wishes while standing beside him. They were much better than those who told him they wished for nothing other than standing beside him but would betray Roman in a matter of seconds behind his back.

Whatever the purpose of their wishes was didn't matter to Roman; if he deemed it reasonable, he wouldn't hesitate to fulfill them.

If they wished for money, he would give them money, and those who wanted to become stronger would be guided for that.

The fact was that the stronger their desires were, the less likely they would betray him.

Why?

It was because they knew how their betrayal would end.

People with strong desires and wishes quickly faced reality, and they understood Roman was a mountain they couldn't dare climb.

‘What should I do with this guy?’

His interest suddenly piqued.

It was obvious that Chris hated him.

They had some bad interactions in the past, but that didn't matter to Roman now. His desire to become stronger rather than staying like that was more important to him.

Also.

'His talent isn't bad.’

Chris' bones were strong.

He was gifted with such promising talent that if he had steadily trained his martial arts in Roman's way, he would have already surpassed the level of Murim's first-class warriors.

However, he isn't using his talent properly. He's just wasting it.

Roman, who looked closely at Chris, said while smiling, “I can’t tell you the answer.”

“...So, what should I do?”

“I already told you. Don't blindly follow what someone tells you. If I tell you the answer, it will be no different from the life you've lived till now. So, if you want to find the answer, stay by my side from now on. When I leave for the battlefield in 6 months, make sure to pay close attention to how I become stronger while dealing with numerous enemies and defeating them simultaneously. If you remain by my side even after 10 years...”

Chris' eyes shook.

Roman looked straight at him.

Then, he said in a clear voice, “You will definitely find your answer.”


The training was over.

Chris, left alone after Roman had gone, looked up at the blue sky and sighed deeply.

"Haa."

War.

It's something I have to experience someday.

I know that it is the fate of a knight, but I never imagined that I would go to war alongside Dmitry's Fool.

It would have been better if it was the second son.

He would be proud to follow him, who already had a reputation in the capital, but the current situation was completely unacceptable.

‘Make your own way.’

Roman's advice.

It was the first time I had heard anything like that.

Roman's remark had caused something to stir inside him. He had often heard others calling him a genius even though he had learned the techniques passed down from generation to generation.

He tried to ignore Roman's words at first. Hearing him, he felt that the hard work and training he had done for years was being denied, so he dismissed it as nonsense; however, the more he listened to Roman's words, the faster his heart raced.

He's not wrong. The knowledge passed down from generation to generation originally came from a human being.

It's obvious that there is more than one way one can become a strong swordsman, so why did I always stick to Commander Jonathan's methods?

If I had thought a little more and gone through trial and error by myself, I might have found a way that was more suitable for me.

His mind was intricately intertwined.

If only...

If only Roman was a man of words, Chris wouldn't have been in so much pain.

However, Roman, whom he had seen earlier, was not the kind of person who could be called Dmitry's fool.

'The young master's talent was unbelievable. At first, I didn't understand how he became so strong in such a short time, but it's clearly visible that the young master, who had less muscular strength than ordinary people just two years ago, has completely changed. He might've had a talent for swordsmanship and Aura, considering he released it after training for less than an hour. However, it's not that he's been hiding his power since childhood; he must have found his own way.'

The former possibility didn't make sense.

There was no reason to hide his true power, and there was no reason to reveal it now.

That only left the possibility that Roman had become this strong in a short period of time.

Seeing Roman speak clearly while looking into his eyes, Chris gained trust that could not be described in words.

For the rest of the day, Chris kept thinking of his problems.

The sun went down and rose again.

He even forgot to eat that day. Later, he finally made a decision and went somewhere with a haggard face.

‘I want to be strong.’

That was his main goal in life.

He was helpless.

He visited his mentor, the Knights' Commander, Jonathan, and notified him that he would follow Roman to the battlefield in the future.

Alright, let’s do that.

“...Something must have happened.”

Jonathan.

He looked at Chris with a calm face.

On a battlefield with corpses strewn about, Jonathan had seen a young boy weeping as he grabbed his mother's limp body. That was the first time he met Chris.

He was a gifted kid and had a strong desire to be strong. Due to that, he grew up quickly.

And Jonathan knew that he was like a father to him.

So, there must have been a reason for Chris to leave his side and follow Roman.

Mutual trust.

Chris and Jonathan both trusted each other.

Even if Chris didn't bother explaining why, Jonathan nodded his head.

“If you say that, there must be a special reason. From now on, you will not belong to the Dmitry Knights. As Young Master Roman’s escort, no matter what happens, remain by his side and achieve your desired purpose."

“...Thank you, Commander."

Pfft.

Jonathan laughed.

Young child.

The roughed-up boy had already grown up, and he felt saddened that he was leaving his side.

“Thanks to you, I managed to learn one thing. Since you said you would follow Roman, then Young Master Roman is no longer the fool people used to call him. Make some time for yourself tomorrow. To survive on the battlefield, you must have at least one secret weapon.”

“...Master!”

Chris' eyes widened.

No matter what kind of days awaited him, Jonathan was, no matter what anyone said, the teacher that Chris followed by heart.


Half a year.

When the time comes, Roman will leave Dmitry of his own will.

Other nobles would weep and riot, but thinking of his departure, Roman's heart was already racing.

‘I am a person who cannot grow like a flower in a greenhouse. I will be satisfied only when I experience many things and eventually lead a life in which I reign over everyone else. So, for the future, I must prepare myself starting now.’

Roman knew that there was no perfect preparation in the world. In the end, variables were inevitable.

However, training yourself to overcome any adversity you face was a different matter.

He was convinced that if he laid the groundwork to overcome any adversity, he would achieve his goal no matter what happened.

After parting with Chris, Roman went to the library of the Dmitry estate.

There he read various kinds of books.

<...The 6-Star state means one has transcended human limits. The size of the Aura that erupts through the sword reaches tens of meters, and the attack that condenses and explodes mana in an instant is powerful enough to wipe out dozens of soldiers at once. There are currently 12 people on the continent known as 6-Star Aura Knights. They are known as the "Twelve Swords of the Continent" and are treated as distinguished guests in any country.>

Twelve Swords of the Continent.

They were strong people just by looking at the information written in the book.

If they could release an Aura that reached several tens of meters even with an ineffective eruption of ki, they had undoubtedly reached the pinnacle of the unique way of using mana in this world.

Although they might not be the strongest by the standards of Murim, they were not the kind of people Roman could deal with lightly at his current level.

And...

<After one reaches the stage known as the "7th Circle," they are referred to as 'Archmage.' They are half-human and half-god and considered a walking calamity. With just a single spell of theirs, the ground is overturned, and the sky collapses. Also, in a situation where one has to deal with many people at once, an Archmage is considered a better asset than a 6-Star Aura Knight.>

Magic.

It was a power that didn’t exist in Murim.

The more he read about this new world, the clearer it became what Roman needed to do now.

‘I never know when the characters in this book will appear as my enemies. The probability of such an ordeal in Dmitry is extremely slim, but variables are always unpredictable. So, it is still dangerous. As I am now, I cannot perfectly respond to these variables. Therefore, before the problem arises, I have to become stronger.’

Tap.

He closed the book

I need to do work from now on.


Roman called for Hans.

Anytime, anywhere, he appeared as if waiting for Roman's call.

“Did you call me, young master?”

“I have a favor to ask of you.”

“What do I need to do?”

Hans' attitude was polite.

After the Blood Fang incident, this was his first time seeing Roman again.

Although he was only a servant, Hans had vowed to risk his life for Roman.

Some might laugh at Hans.

Speaking words was considerably easier than staying true to them.

It's a frivolous thing to risk your life.

However, each person had a different view of the world, and for Hans, Roman had become a special existence.

“I need a space where I can practice. It doesn't matter if the size isn’t large, but it should be a space completely blocked from the outside. In particular, the more reliable the soundproofing, the better. Being interrupted during training is the worst.”

"I understand."

He politely bowed his head.

He didn't ask anything.

Most people would ask many questions like what kind of training Roman would do or why he needed such a space, but Hans simply complied with Roman's orders.

“Also, do you know the whereabouts of the boy we met before?”

"Yes. I thought the young master might want to meet him, so I set up a separate residence for Kevin.”

“Good.”

There was a smile on his face.

He's reading the mind of his master and taking action accordingly in advance.

Roman recognized that he was doing his best for him.

“Tell me a little bit about Kevin and take me to him. We made a promise to him. We promised to deal with the problems he was encountering through the right processes. Now that we have eliminated the threat of Blood Fang as he wished, we should visit him and deliver the good news. Additionally, there is something that I want from Kevin.”

Kevin was a child who resembled the Crazy Demon.

Maybe it’s the effect of meeting Chris, but I want to see him again.

  1. Sega usually refers to a powerful family/house/clan in Murim. ↩️

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