Episode 12

Loneliness In Cheers
1 week ago
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Meanwhile, the students in the audience watching the duel gradually began to tense up.
Though Dianes didn’t notice, they understood all too well what Chiron’s steaming, raging body signified.
Chiron’s technique. Equus Puro.
Even the nymphs and centaurs who had spent the longest time in this forest had only seen Chiron’s absolute combat mode twice.

“I-is that okay?”

“Master Chiron is getting that excited…”

“It seemed like he just did something with the spear, but did that alone make him so thrilled?”

Those who were not aspiring heroes or whose skills were still lacking were puzzled.

“Using the spear like that? Without a shield?”

“Is he disregarding his life and focusing solely on attacking?”

“Nonsense, didn’t you see their sparring match earlier? He read Master Chiron’s trajectory and defended with his spear while simultaneously attacking.”

“Oh… So the Master’s lower body being hit earlier wasn’t by chance?”

“Combining attack and defense… What kind of life has he led?”

Those who could read this were in awe.

“Handling the wind so freely, could he be the son of Zephyros?”

“Are you blind? A boar? That’s not divine power, it’s something else. And have you ever seen Zephyros’s sons doing that?”

“Uh… no?”

Meanwhile, among the few in this forest, only four could somewhat maintain parity with Chiron and were precisely following Dianes’s movements, holding their breaths.
Unfamiliar spear techniques, winds rising with the spear, and strange movements.
The duel, with its relentless exchanges, was igniting a fire in the hearts of boys who dreamed of becoming heroes.

As they couldn’t take their eyes off the fierce battle between their master and the new classmate, the flow suddenly changed.

“Huh?! Crazy Demon Spear?”

“Hey, hey, he only uses that when the opponent goes berserk!”

“..Damn, emergency team! Get ready!”

In the long history of the Forest of Heroes, it was a master move that Chiron had shown only twice.
That brutal attack, which crushed everything in its path, was said to astonish even the Titans.

“….”

While everyone was shocked and amazed by the unique ultimate stance of the centaur, only Hercules quietly observed the situation.
He had once faced Chiron’s ultimate move himself.
The attack, which forced an unreasonably violent head-on confrontation, was nothing short of a rampage.

“Now… what will you do?”

Even in the forest, where so many heroes grow, only Hercules withstood Chiron’s ultimate spear.
On top of that, it comes with one last killer blow.
In other words, the delicate-looking newbie had martial arts and movements that rivaled those of Hercules.

While numerous eyes were focused on the confrontation between the two, the two soon crossed.

-Kuang!!


What is blocked can be destroyed. If it cannot be broken, it can be destroyed.
That is the crazy wind.
The Crazy Wind Spear that turns over the rivers and collapses the mountains.

“It is worse when the opponent is a raging horse.”

-Huuuuuuuuung!!

The wind howled.
Why do they think they can tie down the wind?
How dare they tie up the wind, which flows from before to after?
The spring breeze, the distant sea’s sail wind, the typhoon that swept away everything—they soon angrily rebuked me in unison.

Fine, it won’t be long now. Let’s see you run wild.
As the crazy wind rushed in all directions, flowers and even the moon all twisted out of shape.

The seventh move of the Crazy Wind Swift Spear.

“Flower Moon Brush.”

A dot and a line, a line, and a plane.
The colossal spear of wind that swept all around distorted the surroundings as it charged toward the half-human, half-horse.

“Hahahaha!! What a splendid spear!”

The old horse laughed out loud.
Like a landslide sweeping all around, the long-honed skill and the unyielding boulder drew a single line to block the onslaught of the fierce wind.

-Kugagagagak!

A horizontal strike and a linear strike.
No, a storm and a giant rock.
Like a madly advancing wind and the massive boulder that stood in its way.
The two spears did not touch each other, but the intense energies between them clashed fiercely.

“Kkiryahaah!!”

“Uaaaah!!”

The strange cheer of the centaur and the young boy’s scream were drowned out and disappeared in the deafening roar that shook the surroundings.

Thrill and excitement blazed like lightning down my spine, and my brain, wildly pumped with adrenaline, felt like it would explode at any moment.
Since when? Since the moment, I, who knew nothing about fighting, started smiling while crossing swords with my masters.
The moment when the intersection of life and death felt thrilling, and the burst of blood and flesh seemed beautiful, I began to feel it again in this young body.

For this alone, the long journey felt so worth it.

-Kwaung!

But that ecstasy did not last long.
As I exchanged a glance with Chiron, both of us, understanding each other, simultaneously retracted our energy and withdrew our spears.
If we took even one more step, one of us would truly have to die for it to end.

“Hmm!”

“Hoo… Ugh!”

It seemed like my body was still not fully mature enough to handle it.
Unlike Chiron, who neatly dispersed his energy and retrieved his spear, my dispersed energy sounded like an untuned violin, and my immature muscles and bones felt swollen and cracked due to excessive force.

‘Though it’s said that muscles and bones must break and burst to become stronger…’

Every time I saw how immature and weak my body was, I couldn’t help but miss the body of the Heavenly Demon Emperor, who was trained to the extreme.

“Sigh…”

“Hoo! Oh dear! I got too excited, didn’t I? Are you alright?”

As the heat of the battle subsided, I looked down at my hand, feeling a peculiar sense of deprivation and regret.
Chiron laughed heartily and patted my back.

“Well, I know what you’re thinking. Lift your head and look around.”

At those words, I quickly lifted my head and looked around.
Inside the colosseum was an eerie silence.

What? Why is it so quiet?

“Instead of that, why don’t you wave your hand once?”

I slowly raised my spear as Chiron had whispered.
Only then did the colosseum begin to fill with cheers.

“Uwaaahhh!!”

“Awesome, freshman!!”

“Ah… I’m inspired. The ballad of the Black Wind who faced the great teacher Chiron with his spear!”

“Whose son of a famous god could he be?”

“Judging by his control over the wind, he might be the son of the West Wind!”

“Maybe… he’s so handsome…”

“Look at him sweating… Slurp.

Thunderous applause and cheers.
Although there were some extraneous noises mixed in, it was an enthusiastic welcome reminiscent of the cheers of ancient followers.

In response, I also slowly looked around and accepted the welcome, while Chiron slowly raised his hand to silence the crowd.

“In the name of Chiron, son of Cronus and foster son of the ancient Goddess of Abundance, Rhea. Today, in this place, I intend to accept Dianes of Passos as a member of the Forest of Heroes. If anyone objects, come forth now and face his spear!”

Indeed, the title of mentor of heroes was not an empty one. At his dignified voice, the colosseum instantly fell silent again.
Chiron, who looked around the colosseum with stern eyes as if to challenge anyone to come forward, nodded once he saw there were no objections.

“Good! Then, in the name of Zeus and the twelve gods of Olympus, I declare Dianes of Passos as Chiron’s disciple from this moment!”

As Chiron made the declaration and lifted my arm, the audience erupted into applause and cheers once more.

-Wooaaahhhh!!

“Ha…”

The scorching sunlight, aching limbs, a face drenched in sweat, a heart that felt like it would burst.
And this thrilling feeling running down my spine.
That sensation of reigning in the midst of long-forgotten worship and cheers.

“Hahahahahaha!!”

My body was empty, and my arm, held by the strong hand of the centaur, ached.
Nevertheless, I burst into laughter with all my might.
The number one of the Hundred Thousand Mountains and the Hundred Thousand Demonic Cult.
The living god of the Heavenly Demonic Cult, who was taught by the twelve demon lords in the gap between life and death!
Those fierce memories came back to life.
A strand of song passed through the gap like an auditory hallucination.

-Coming down from the sky, he is the Heavenly Demon, the master of the demonic path.
He achieved the unification of the continent, the grand ambition of the empire.
Nine peaks kneeled under the hundred-thousand mountain range.
Five Great Families bowed their heads to the cult.
His reign, counting hundreds and thousands, will last for tens of thousands of years.

The conquest of the martial arts world now feels like a distant past.
At the end of it, even the emperor of the Great Ming Empire bowed to me, and when I stood in the Taihe Hall of the Forbidden City, where only the Emperor could stand.
It was the song sung in unison by civil and military officials and the demons who looked up at me.
The small nostalgia was brought on by the cheer and excitement I heard after a long time.
However, when I erased it and opened my eyes again, the half-human, half-horse was looking down at me kindly, and the still green young ones were looking down at me from the audience.

-Waaaaa!!

“Haha, guys, it’s been a while since I’ve seen such enthusiasm.”

It really felt sudden, as if it had just hit me.
This wasn’t South Korea, where planes fly and cars run.
Nor was it the martial arts world where believers and powerful masters, who cheered for me breathed, but a completely different world.
The Heavenly Demon Emperor, who commanded all demons, was no more, and only the young orphan Dianes remained.

“Alone in the sky, a lone goose is flying high… Haha.”

In the midst of those who were cheering for me, I couldn’t help but laugh bitterly at the inexplicable emptiness.
Even though I only saw her a day ago, for some reason, I really missed Neri.

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