Episode 58

There's a Bit of an Aftertaste (4)
1 week ago
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What was the fastest way for warriors to quickly improve their skills?

It was through actual combat.

However, one needed a unique talent to rise through actual combat alone.

A talent like the Heavenly Killing Star.

‘But there is no one here with such talent.’

They laid the foundation with training and enhanced their senses through actual combat.

Warriors who do so are all turned into perfect killing machines.

That’s why I decided to take Seo Boram with me.

Now, the important thing for Seo Boram was actual combat.

One week.

I engraved the bare minimum basics into Seo Boram.

The sword art I created, Six Paths One Gate, is difficult for even the most talented geniuses to learn.

Fortunately, I have laid the foundation.

The essence of the Strong, Swift, and Heavy Swords.

All the basics were covered.

“Is this what you call having covered the basics?”

“Right.”

“No, how on earth…”

Seo Boram wore a look of despair.

Over the past week, I pushed Seo Boram to her limits.

I minimized her sleep time and explained the basics to her.

Whenever she couldn’t understand, I employed a bit of force.

“Nam Hyerin had it harder.”

“…”

Mentioning Nam Hyerin, Seo Boram’s eyes deepened.

“But master, is this right?”

“What is?”

“The martial art called Six Paths One Gate that you’re teaching—it’s an excellent martial art.”

“Of course.”

“…Really, what is with that confidence?”

“It’s not so much confidence as it is being a given. But why suddenly ‘master’?”

“It seems more fitting to call you ‘master’ when learning this way. Plus, it avoids the overlap with the way Yoo Eunchae calls you, doesn’t it? I don’t like that overlap.”

Yes, that’s indeed a very important reason.

“Anyway, this is about wielding a sword that contains six paths, and I am wielding a sword that contains all that…”

Seo Boram said in a tone lacking confidence.

I looked at Seo Boram with an incredulous expression.

“Isn’t your confidence a bit too much?”

“Huh?”

“Are you something special?”

“No, but isn’t that what the martial art of Six Paths One Gate is about?”

“Right.”

I nodded at Seo Boram’s words.

“But you’re not the one to control it.”

“Eh?”

Seo Boram looked dumbfounded.

“Well, it’s correct that you must learn it, but that doesn’t mean you need to use everything.”

“What are you talking about?”

Seo Boram looked like she didn’t understand.

‘She doesn’t get it, does she.’

It could be because she was born and raised in a world with special traits.

“First off, let’s clarify one thing. As you said, the Six Paths Single Gate is about the mysteries of the six paths and integrating them into one to reach the pinnacle.”

“That’s right, Master.”

“However, you don’t need to do all that. To be more precise… the task for you is to hammer it into Asura.”

“…Huh?”

Seo Boram, who didn’t seem to understand, asked back.

“Try using Asura.”

Seo Boram quietly assumed the position.

As she closed her eyes, a giant eye appeared behind Seo Boram.

Three pairs of eyes were visible.

Those eyes looked at me. Their gaze filled with hostility.

At the same time, three pairs of arms began to materialize.

“When you faced me last time, you first brought out Asura, right?”

“Yes.”

“You couldn’t use Asura properly, and it got in the way.”

“That’s right, Master.”

Seo Boram readily nodded in agreement with my words.

“And when you fought with me, you showed everything because you wanted to be seen.”

“Right, that’s correct.”

Seo Boram nodded as I said this.

I looked at what is called Asura.

“To be precise, it’s Six-Bladed Asura. It uses six different powers. When I fought with the master, it was the power called Hell Blade.”

“…There’s no need to teach me that much.”

“But if I want to learn properly, you need that information, right? It’s not even that important of information.”

“That’s true.”

I looked at the Asura.

“Your trait, called Six-Bladed Asura…”

“Unique Trait.”

“If I have to say, your Unique Trait is closer to a robot.”

“Yeah, but it’s a bit hard to control in detail. Even when I fought with the master, it was just a feeling of retaliation because the master came. Using a sword art with Asura is… wait.”

Seo Boram made an urgent expression.

I smiled brightly.

“It seemed likely.”

“Now, wait, master? Of course, I want to use this properly, too. I tried to use the Chain-Link Sword Art multiple times, but it didn’t work out, so I’ve used it as a substitute for sword qi with Hell Blade.”

“Don’t worry.”

“No, how can I not worry immensely?”

I lifted the wooden sword. And with all my strength, I struck down towards Seo Boram.

Kkaaang!

The moving Asura’s blade clashes against mine. As expected, it reacts to this extent.

At the same time, its eyes turned towards me.

‘It’s unbelievable.’

Seo Boram’s Unique Trait, Six-Bladed Asura.

I pondered upon seeing this.

This power, is it really just a power that produces only results?

The conclusion was correct.

It was just a form called Asura, but…

‘The essence is no different from Seo Boram’s avatar.’

Avatar.

Dividing the body.

Having experienced a world dominated by magic and martial arts, I had not seen such a system.

‘In this world, just researching things similar to this is beneficial.’

It was an endlessly noble technique.

Even while repenting magic and martial arts, I thought about it several times, but in the end, it remained just a thought.

I looked at the Asura, which stared back at me.

Unlike before, it didn’t attack me.

‘I felt it when I was attacked last time.’

This Asura learns.

Seo Boram wanted to apply sword art to the sword handled by the Asura, but she said it couldn’t be done.

However, my thoughts were different.

I think Seo Boram was taught incorrectly.

‘The Asura didn’t react to my attack.’

It was because it judged that I wouldn’t harm Seo Boram.

So, the Asura’s actions have a very high probability.

‘The method of hammering it into the body.’

If that’s the case, it’s enough to hammer it in that much.

“Now, wait a minute, master, I, I can’t maintain Asura like that?”

“You can maintain it for a minute. That’s enough.”

“Is that enough for training?”

“No.”

“Then what exactly.”

I spread my hands.

[Unique Trait, Eternity is activated.]

“That is…?”

“My Unique Trait, Eternity. Were you curious about how I made the spirit vein? It’s because of my traits. Once something escapes, it’s captured forever.”

“…Then, could it be.”

“Struggle as if you’re fighting for your life. Who knows? If I find it commendable, I might give you something more.”

“…Alright. I have my pride, too.”

This was good.

I smirked.


Another week passed.

Yoo Eunchae glanced at Seo Boram, who was half-dead, and then spoke to me.

“Shall we go to the dungeon?”

“Yes, I think it’s about time we went to the dungeon the principal gave us.”

“You got a dungeon from the principal?”

“…?”

Yoo Eunchae tilted her head.

“Didn’t the principal tell you? She said she’d give a dungeon to the head professor.”

“…There was no such talk.”

“No wonder there was hardly any talk about the dungeon. How about the one we’re going to this time.”

I looked at Seo Boram.

Not moving at all, as if she had used all her strength.

It was about time to start teaching her actual combat.

“Where is it?”

“It’s a demon’s dungeon.”

“A demon’s dungeon?”

“Actually, it’s not a demon’s dungeon. It’s a monster’s, but we’re here to deal with the minions of the Demon King.”

“Demons?”

“Um… How should I explain this.”

“The Demon King. They are known as the Nine Demons… no, currently, they are called the Seven Demons, you know?”

“Seven Demons?”

“Yes, the Demon Lords refer to themselves that way. They each have their roles, after all. And above them exists a being called the Demon God, but let’s not worry about that now.”

Having said that, Yoo Eunchae glanced at Seo Boram and then made a blocking gesture.

Is she blocking sound?

“And the demons… they are the minions of the users of external laws, known as outsiders.”

So, were monsters and demons different?

“The reason there are seven is simple. It’s because the being known as the Insect Dragon King has not yet been resurrected.”

“…The Insect Dragon King is going to be resurrected?”

“And the original Han Seojin… before the master took over his body, Han Seojin awakened the power of Eternity incorrectly and became a new Demon King.”

Awakened incorrectly?

What does that mean?

Looking at Yoo Eunchae with such eyes made her feel troubled.

“Hmm…this is a bit complicated to explain. Do you know the anime Digimon? It’s like how Agumon evolves into SkullGreymon.”

No, what kind of explanation is that…

It was a ridiculous explanation, but there was something relatable about it.

Forcing something to evolve, as if injecting it.

Without understanding the impact it would have on the user…

I stopped thinking.

Memories were surfacing in my mind.

「Ah, I’ve found the vessel that can accept the ninth curse!!」

「What an incredible vessel. There has never been a Demon King who could wield the power of time!」

「Perhaps we have found the Demon King who will reign for an eternity…」

Memories surfaced in my mind.

“Are, are you okay? Why all of a sudden?”

“No, it’s nothing.”

Heh.

I sneered.

Indeed, I couldn’t join hands with those of the Iron-Blood Sword Clan.

I’d love to beat them up right now.

‘Iron-Blood Sword Clan.’

Those guys aren’t like the weaklings of the Namgoong Clan.

They’ve reigned as the dominant force in their region, gathering strength.

Even though I can’t do anything right now.

‘Don’t worry too much.’

I’ll give them a proper beating before I die.

“Then, you’re leaving?”

“Let’s go.”

I don’t like those Iron-Blood Sword Clan guys either.

But if Insect Dragon King that guy were to resurrect.

We must stop him with all our might.


The place we headed to this time was a dungeon.

A damp and dark dungeon.

There, we were walking.

“Uhm, this seems to be a demon’s dungeon.”

It didn’t quite fit to be called a demon’s dungeon.

Most of it was torn apart, and it was crumbling everywhere.

“If the Namgoong Clan had stayed for one month—no, two more weeks—they would have restored the relics here.”

“But is there anything to eat here? There should be some leftovers even if they already raided the dungeon.”

Seo Boram said this place had been discovered quite some time ago.

It was revealed right after the destruction of the Namgoong Clan.

“Well, normally, that would be correct. Considering the members of the Five Great Clans, the psychopath Seon Woohyeon, and me being here, it would be strange if anything was left.”

“Exactly.”

“But if it’s a transcendent, the story changes slightly.”

“A transcendent?”

“Yes, the principal showed up.”

The following story from Yoo Eunchae was simple.

The demon’s dungeon was dangerous, and Han Seojin, the head professor, formally accepted the request and defeated the Namgoong Clan head. Hence, the dungeon belonged to Professor Han Seojin.

“But why didn’t that important principal say anything?”

Yoo Eunchae glanced at me as she spoke.

“Ah, it might be because she saw something strange or incredibly interesting and forgot to mention it.”

Was it because she saw the Spirit Veins?

But that wasn’t even that interesting.

After walking for a while, places that were not destroyed began to appear.

‘Maybe it’s time to start detecting.’

I spread my energy with the wind in all directions. Then, I began to feel everything around me.

And a bit farther away, I sensed the presence of demons.

I looked at Seo Boram.

“What is there to learn this time?”

“The essence of Deafeating.”

“What do you think that is?”

“Um…”

Seo Boram is pondering.

“The essence of Deafeating is simple. It’s the attitude I take towards the world.”

“The world?”

“The essence of Heavy Sword fits itself into the world. That’s why there’s so much pressure coming from it. It’s like the world is heavy.”

“Then what about Defeating?”

“The strategy is simple. Whatever you do, I won’t care. I’ll make my move, so try to stop me. That’s the vibe.”

“Quite confident, aren’t you?”

“That’s exactly the trait of those who wield the power of destruction.”

It’s a perfect way to get killed if you act recklessly anywhere.

But if they survive, there’s no one more dangerous.

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“But how do you know? That the wielders of Destruction are that dangerous.”

“I’m right in front of you.”

“Huh?”

Seo Boram blinked and looked at me.

Come to think of it, I hadn’t mentioned it.

In my third life, on the battlefield known as the martial world, I lived as I pleased.

If a fight started, it had to end with either my opponent dead or me dead.

During that process, my Heavenly Demon Godly Technique evolved.

Because I wanted to destroy everything, it transformed into the Heaven-Surrendering Godly Technique.

“That pack is really—no, incredibly dangerous. We shouldn’t just confront them.”

“Teacher…? That’s really not easy.”

Seo Boram spoke, and Yoo Eunchae responded.

We spoke up to there and then stopped.

Because we felt the presence of a powerful force coming this way.

So, our attention focused on the presence.

As the presence drew closer, I found myself smiling bitterly without realizing it.

What should I call it?

Yes, nemesis seems about right.

“We said we’d experience real combat, but still. You’ll have to handle it.”

“…Those things?”

“Yeah. The people here don’t welcome us that much.

Right after I finished speaking, an insect appeared.

“Ugh.”

“Uek.”

Seo Boram and Yoo Eunchae were gagging.

The insect-shaped octopus was moving toward us.

It was a swarm.

An octopus yet an insect.

Each bug wouldn’t be fatal on its own.

But as the bugs come together, they transform into a single life form.

The Insect Dragon King.

It was the same trait as it and the demons under its command had.

I laughed fiercely.

“Survive on your own this time.”

It seemed wrong to look after them while dealing with those bugs.

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