The reason Baek Joong-hyuk decided to make his own sword came from an incident that happened when he was 18.
At a time when the successor of the Demonic Sect was not yet decided, and Baek Joong-hyuk was spending his days drained in the conflict of his siblings—Unlike his other brothers, he had no one to protect him, so he often spent up nights staying awake due to the assassination attempts which happened to him.
And one day, a guest came in the middle of the night—His 11th brother.
Baek Chang-hyun attempted to kill his own brother. Thus, the battle between the brothers who shared blood began in the middle of the night.
It was a tough fight—Baek Chang-hyun was a person who passed the ordeal in the cave, and even in the bloody situation, he was stubbornly attacking the vital points of Baek Joong-hyuk.
The physical difference between the brothers was tremendous. Baek Chang-hyun was the firstborn child, so he had physical superiority over Baek Joong-hyuk. And the attack of the elder broke the sword of Baek Joong-hyuk.
With one hit, Baek Joong-hyuk’s chest was cut with the sword. Naturally, blood splashed out.
The moment when the fear of death approached Baek Joong-hyuk, he gave up on his life and slashed the opponent in the face with the broken sword.
The momentary joy of winning—As Baek Chang-hyun’s face, filled with joy, turned to shock, Baek Joong-hyuk took his opponent’s life.
That day, Baek Joong-hyuk thought—He needed his own sword. He wanted a sword that would never break in the middle of a battle and would fully help utilize his current physical abilities. From that day onward, Baek Joong-hyuk turned into a righteous man who dealt with his 11th brother and learned the art of making swords by visiting the blacksmiths, unlike his other siblings. And always, when the moment of decisive battle came up, he went and made a sword suitable for him.
A sword helps elevate the physical condition or any condition of its wielder by realizing complex things like physical characteristics and preferred sword technique. Like that, decades had passed. Baek Joong-hyuk had risen to the top position of the Demonic Sect and fought thousands of battles in the process of unifying Murim. Every year, Baek Joong-hyuk’s sword changed too. Each time Baek Joong-hyuk made a new sword, he would pass the old one to his subordinates, and from a certain point onward, the 39 swords he gave were handed down to generations and were known as “The Swords of Heavenly Demon.”
A priceless treasure—The moment a sword of the Heavenly Demon was released in Murim, battles ensued between those who wished to be its owner. It could be said that Baek Joong-hyuk’s ability to make the sword had developed a lot over his lifetime, and he could be called an expert craftsman.
The act of making a sword—Baek Joong-hyuk was familiar with it.
And now, Roman was preparing for his battle with Barco.
Furnace; First sword—Roman, as Baek Joong-hyuk, performed the ceremony for it.
The Forge of Resistance—In the space where no footsteps were heard for quite a while, the sound of firmly knocking on the steel could be heard.
Sparks flew off. Roman, who struck the red-hot steel, performed the same thing over and over again with the same force and at constant intervals. Normal people would find it boring—In a space where only the burning sound from the furnace and the sound of a hammer hitting the steel was heard, Roman was sweating.
In a state of trance—Roman loved the moment he was driven for a single purpose.
At first, the metal will be nothing, but with repeated actions, a wonderful sword will be born.
His past subordinates had a hard time understanding this behavior of Baek Joong-hyuk. There were swords in the warehouse; he could pick any of them and use them. Rather than spending time on making the sword, they thought it would be beneficial to hone his skills.
They weren’t utterly wrong. However, Baek Joong-hyuk went beyond making simple swords, and now he looked back on himself.
‘What did I live for?’
The purpose of his life—Even after accomplishing everything he wanted to, he couldn’t realize it. Since he had the Heavenly Demon as his father, he had to live in a world of violence from a young age.
He didn’t think it was a bad thing.
Humans never live their lives the way they plan them out, but they create their stories based on their instincts.
It was the same now. Although Roman’s life is much unfamiliar, Baek Joong-hyuk’s actions remained faithful to his past.
What he saw in front of him—He accepted this new life.
The subjugation of the threat of Blood Fang; in order to clear up the affair with Anthony Barco, he was now preparing a sword himself—Baek Joong-hyuk—It was his life. For the sole purpose of simply reigning, he was faithful to this reality in front of him.
‘My current state isn’t at a level where I can jump into a fight with too many variables. With the Body Reconstruction1, I was able to use the first three moves of the Heavenly Demon Sword Technique as I entered the state of Human, but in this world of Roman, there will be many variables that I am not aware of. Therefore, I have to train myself harder. The world I don’t know, the enemies I do not know of—So no matter what happens, I will have to be the winner.’
Being a predator, defeat was unacceptable—In the world of the survival of the fittest, defeat is death. Thus, Baek Joong-hyuk will be the predator.
A strong shock—Roman’s face was drenched in sweat from the heat in the forge, and his muscles could be seen glowing red as if they consisted of lava. This was a unique sight—Normal blacksmiths usually wear protective gear on their bodies. Understandably, it is to protect their body from this scorching heat inside the furnace and also to protect the body from the hot flames of pieces of steel that might jump up from the hammering.
Hendrick was the same. He came to the shop and got ready to work like that, but Roman was now hammering the steel in front of the flames and wasn’t wearing anything other than trousers.
Obviously, he knew it too—This was dangerous.
However, making a sword was another way for Baek Joong-hyuk to not only make suitable weapons for himself but practice martial arts simultaneously.
The flames continued to burn. The suffocating heat was hard to accept, but Roman, who had continued to take deep breaths, made his body accustomed to it.
Infernal God Art.
Instantly, Roman’s body was engulfed in flames. The usage of the martial arts which controls fire, a martial arts of a demon who was called Infernal Demon2.—In the common sense of the world, two different kinds of Mental Methods cannot exist at once.
It is common knowledge that people who use the Heavenly Demon God Art cannot use the Infernal God Art. However, Baek Joong-hyuk was a Heavenly Demon who had raised his affinity to all attributes to the limit. As a result, it was possible for them to coexist while taking a toll on the body. The Heavenly Demon God Art took place in the dantian and took control of everything, and even if other attributes entered the body from the outside, nothing horrifying would happen.
Coexistence—Roman absorbed it. He gradually took the heat rising up around into his dantian so that it could nourish him.
‘The training of the Infernal God Art is rather the best one out there. If it is used frequently, though, it will damage the internal organs along with the lungs, but now that everything has been prepared in the same way as the past, my body can withstand the flames in here.’
He swung the hammer again. For the act of making the sword, facing the flame in the hearth, Roman calmly and meticulously began to examine his body condition—The extension of the arm, the strength used, the amount of qi being used—As he calmly checked the state, he thought of the shape he wanted the sword to take. The sword made with sweat pouring down like rain cannot be used for more than 2 years. Thus, a shape suitable just for him. Also, Roman thought 2 years was a good enough time for a sword.
At the same time, mana moved in the dantian.
The enemies he recognized till now—Considering the size of Barco and the mercenaries they hired, actually, even with his current level, it wasn’t a problem for him. However, variables are invisible to naked eyes.
Obviously, the scale of Barco that the Intelligence Guild found out was rather normal, but it was impossible to fully understand what preparation they had done in the process of conquering Lawrence.
Murim always spoke about hiding the main skills. In a world where all kinds of people run rampant, fully revealing one’s skill was a shortcut to our death.
Barco—They, too, must have hidden something, and Roman knew such a variable could cost his life. Thus, he hoped for the strength to oppose such variables.
In the process of subjugating the Murim, the brains of the Jegal family’s head put Baek Joong-hyun into a corner due to the variables that man created. Nevertheless, with overwhelming force, he overpowered him. When one doesn’t fully understand the opponent’s power, having enough power to overpower or prevent the variables often works.
‘I haven’t fully grasped the working of this world. The strongest person I came across was the commander of Knights Templar, Johnathan, and he said that the status of 3-Star is recognized by the kingdom. However, there are 4-Star, 5-Star, and even 6- Star swordsmen, as well, in this world. Also, there are unknown beings who use the power of magic which I never experienced. Even if I can overwhelmingly defeat Captain Johnathan, there is no certainty that I can deal with all the unknown beings who might come in my way.’
He took a deep breath. Taking in the mana, he slammed the steel.
He had to train—Because he was accepting new people into his fence, because he had no intention for people like Hans, who are under him, to be taken down.
Like that, one day, two days, …, time passed.
Roman’s body had turned one with the sword. As if he was making himself a sword, he accepted the flaming heat and trained the body.
Thus, ten days passed.
The sound of hammering came to a halt.
The first sword—For a person, the first is very special.
Roman looked at the sword shining in the sunlight, and gradually, a smile bloomed on his face as he looked at the slowly dying heat.
‘This sword is perfectly suited to me.’
The forging period was short. Still, even though ten days wasn’t enough time, he succeeded in producing a sword at a level like this due to his passion and experience. It wasn’t an ordinary sword sold in markets, but it was able to accept mana better than a lump of steel, and it met all the conditions Roman wanted.
With this sword, my preparation is done.
Noticing his dantian boiling due to heat, Roman gave the sword a name.
“Naming you after this world, I will call you Salamander.”
He held the sword.
Now, it was his turn to dispatch and expose the true face of Barco.
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