Episode 9. The Power of Attributes (1)

The treatment they received paled in comparison to that afforded the knights, but overall, heavy cavalry were still elite soldiers who could afford to maintain horses and equipment using their own earnings.

Their value was in crushing their enemies and achieving victories in battle, not in repairing and maintaining garrisons. As such, they were not expected to contribute much in terms of physical labor. Even taking this into account, however, Kim Seon-Hyeok’s working proficiency was outstanding.

“I’m done!”

It hadn’t been long since he had gone up to the roof with some tools, only occasionally popping out to request materials.

“A, already?”

Wanting to be sure, Clark and a few other riders climbed on top of the roof to check, only to see that Kim Seon-Hyeok had done a flawless job.

“Looking around earlier, I think the walls and pillars need some reinforcing as well…”

“Huh? Oh yeah…”

His earlier passiveness was nowhere to be seen. The new, active Kim Seon-Hyeok seemed to have a glowing halo around him.

“Give me some boards and nails to reinforce that.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok was in his element and more energized than ever, and it came to the point where the other riders subconsciously followed him around like his personal assistants.

“No, no. Not that!”

An expert’s dignity could be felt in Kim Seon-Hyeok as he waved his hands with an annoyed expression, and even the riders who normally ignored him apologized without complaint.

“Ah, sorry.”

“Tsk.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok clicked his tongue.

“Do you think it’s enough that you’re sorry? Do you think the typhoon will go away because you’re sorry? Why are you all just standing there doing nothing! All the areas with boards need reinforcing, so get a move on!”

The men, who were brave enough to charge into enemy spearmen without hesitation, began trembling with nervous expressions upon hearing his commands.

Who the hell is that guy?

Clark stared at Kim Seon-Hyeok with a dazed expression. At first, he had given the impression that he was working hard by himself, but at some point, he stepped back and had begun commanding the other riders. The other new recruits, who had pretended Kim Seon-Hyeok didn’t even exist because of his reputation as a rider incapable of riding horses, were now working hard for him without even realizing it.

“Captain Clark, why are you standing there doing nothing? Can’t you see that we’re short on manpower?”

“On it! I’m going!”

Even Clark, who had been deep in thought about the foreigner, was shocked into working upon hearing the orders.

“Ugh. These fools…”

Kim Seon-Hyeok quietly shut his mouth while shaking his head in dissatisfaction. He had been too immersed in his work. Without realizing it, he had been ordering the riders around like they were his subordinates from the Korean military. Thankfully, it seemed as though nobody else heard his last comment.

“Sigh.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok looked over at the riders in the midst of finishing their work and stepped back. They might have listened obediently until now, but when they came back to their senses later, it was possible that they would create a scene over his actions just now. In situations like this, it was best to retreat and stay away from everyone.

“Is it because we’re on the plains? The wind is so damn strong.”

The wind hitting his rain-soaked body was even stronger than before.

“Hm?”

However, he had a strange feeling. At first, he thought it was just the sensation of raindrops hitting his bare skin. However, it was far too irritating for it to be just that.

He didn’t understand how he was able to ignore this sensation earlier and focus on the work at hand.

He subconsciously reached out with a scowl, and his eyes opened wide at the familiar sensation around his fingertips.

Whirl.

The sensation passing by the back of his hand, as if tempting him, was identical to the feeling from the day he rode the horse. Without realizing it, Kim Seon-Hyeok reached out and clenched his fist, and the previously capricious power of the attribute settled down in his hand.

“Ah…”

He realized it then.

He understood what the dragon had meant when it said he could only use the power of the attributes fully if he borrowed the power of his surroundings.

And he also learned.

He learned that the powerful gusts that blew before the typhoon was a clue to grasping the power of the attributes he longed for.

Kim Seon-Hyeok became anxious. He couldn’t help but want to test out this power.

“Phew. It’s finally done.”

At that moment, the riders. having just finished working, approached while brushing off their soaked-through clothes.

“You’ve all worked hard.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok nodded to them, pretending as though nothing had happened. Fortunately, the riders could not sense anything strange from him because of the violent gusts.

Then again, that wasn’t unexpected. The riders were currently not in their normal state. They had listened to the commands of the foreigner they looked down on, and they had been both rebuked and praised by him. Now, they were being thanked for their hard work, and they could not help but feel embarrassed as though they had just been acknowledged for doing something great.

“Uh, right. Let’s head back now.”

Clark, after looking at Kim Seon-Hyeok with a complicated expression, said this and left as though he was running away. The other riders likewise looked at him with odd expressions and soon disappeared after their captain.

Now left by himself, Kim Seon-Hyeok didn’t understand the emotions the others were going through and only was relieved they had not noticed the power of the wind attribute held in his fingertips. His feeling of relief didn’t last long, however, and he soon left the area as well, walking towards the training grounds.

Arriving at the training grounds, Kim Seon-Hyeok looked around, his heart beating rapidly. Because it was hard to even move as a result of the impending typhoon, even the infantrymen who had been busy working earlier had left and were no longer visible.

Making sure that there was nobody around him, he raised the spear he had picked up on the way. Upon grabbing the spear tightly, the energy that was in his hands naturally flowed towards the raised tip.

Rumble.

The power of the wind that violently flowed around the tip of the spear was now plainly visible. It was as though a small whirlwind was tied to the end of his spear, and Kim Seon-Hyeok was stunned.

Is this the power of the wind attribute?

Even at first glance, this power could not be mistaken as weak. It was like a ferocious beast, strong enough to tear apart anything in its path.

Kim Seon-Hyeok, who was filled with admiration, lowered his body. It wasn’t too difficult to endure the violent gusts around him, possibly as a result of the power of the attribute he held, but the problem was within himself. He felt as though his body would burst if he didn’t release the energy.

Standard kingdom spearmanship.

It was the skill he had focused most on during his training, and the one ability he had succeeded in leveling up.

His muscles tensed, and he naturally assumed the correct position. Now, he just needed to lunge with the spear.

What kind of power would there be? Kim Seon-Hyeok took a deep breath to calm his heart beating rapidly with excitement and anticipation. The sound of the wind that had battered his eardrums and the growling of the beast at the tip of his spear faded away.

It was perfect tranquility.

In that silence, Kim Seon-Hyeok lunged forward. At that moment, the shackled beast was unleashed upon the world.

***

The noise of the cloth of the barracks fluttering under the powerful winds and rain was deafening. And then, something carried by the wind hit the barracks and flew on.

“W, what was that! Did something collapse?”

The riders were startled and leapt up, looking around the barracks with nervous expressions. However, when nothing else happened, they sat back down and began talking again.

“The stables should be fine, right?”

“Of course. If anything was going to get carried away by the wind, it would have been the barracks.”

“Don’t say something so unlucky, you jerk. We’re all dead if the barracks get torn apart.”

Hysterical reactions could be heard from here and there, and the riders became pale upon hearing those words.

“Ah, shut up. We reinforced the stable properly earlier, so it shouldn’t collapse.”

The riders only settled down after Clark stepped up with the reassuring words.

“But who in the world is that foreigner?”

“Maybe he used to work in construction or something. He looked like a legendary digger when I was watching earlier. I’ve seen the engineering corps work before, but their shoveling was nothing compared to his.”

The riders, after talking about the typhoon and noise, soon began to wonder about Kim Seon-Hyeok’s identity.

“There’s no knowing with those foreigners.”

“Even so, you have to acknowledge his workmanship. And actually, he trains pretty hard as well.”

“So what, you want to accept him as one of us just because he’s diligent and has some skills?”

“Are you crazy! Working ability aside, a rider needs to have good horsemanship. If we’re charging next to him in battle and he suddenly dies, we’re all screwed.”

The riders seemed to acknowledge him a little bit, but they were still reluctant to stand next to him on the battlefield. No matter how useful he was in terms of manual labor, that was the responsibility of the engineering corps and infantry, and not an essential skill for cavalry. They had a point.

“It’d be better to send him somewhere else.”

“We’ll be the only ones to suffer by keeping around someone who can’t ride a horse.”

The riders, whose pride was belatedly hurt by the fact that they followed the foreigner’s instructions without question, were now ready to send Kim Seon-Hyeok away.

“Wait. Where did he go anyways?”

Now that they thought about it, Kim Seon-Hyeok had been missing for a while. Clark, after belatedly realizing this, walked across the barracks with a hardened expression.

“Captain! Where are you going when it’s so windy outside?”

“I’m going to go check on the stables and find that foreigner! Anyone with me?”

Obviously, nobody responded.

Shaking his head, Clark stepped out of the barracks and into the storm.

“Ugh.”

It was difficult to even open his eyes because of the strong winds.

However, Clark stubbornly staggered forward into the rain and wind. Concerned about the noise earlier, he first headed for the stables. He had been worried that it would have collapsed under the storm, but it was fine. The horses were subdued, but they seemed normal as well. However, there was no sign of the foreigner.

“Where the hell did he go?”

He called out several times, but his voice was drowned out by the wind. In the end, Clark had to look for him on his own two feet.

It was hard work even keeping his body upright, but the foreigner’s well-being was his responsibility, and he could not just return to the barracks.

“Shit. Maybe he’s just hiding somewhere because the wind got worse on his way back?”

It was hard for him, even as a large man, to stay upright, and he couldn’t imagine the slighter bodied foreigner lasting in these conditions. After searching for a while, he turned back.

Responsibility was one thing, but he had to survive first. Feeling his body being lifted up, Clark got the sense that he would be swept up by the wind and flung somewhere if he continued wandering outside.

“He doesn’t seem like an idiot, so I’m sure he’ll make it back on his own.”

It was true that he was worried, but Clark ultimately gave up on the search. But at that very moment, the raging winds suddenly died down. It was as if the typhoon had all been a lie.

Roar.

Clark, hurrying up to take advantage of this opportunity, fell over in surprise at the sound of the ear-piercing roar.

“W, what!”

The sound was coming from the training grounds.

It couldn’t be?

Why was he suddenly remembering the foreigner charging forward and lunging with his spear?

Clark had a strong feeling despite the lack of evidence. When he came to his senses, he was already heading towards the training grounds.

The rain and wind, which had died down momentarily, had become fierce again, but Clark struggled forward and managed to reach his destination. And when he arrived, Clark’s jaw dropped.

“What the hell…?”

Was this what it would look like if a giant ran his fingernails across the ground? The training grounds were in shambles, and Clark couldn’t help but notice the massive pits that had formed on the ground.

“Ugh…”

Clark, after staring in disbelief at this incredible scene, came to his senses upon hearing groans mixed in with the sound of the wind.

“Aigoo… I’m going to die…”

Clark had a ridiculous expression on his face as he found the stranger stuck in a pit and struggling to get out.

“Kim Seon-Hyeok?”

“Oh? Is someone there? Please help me get out.”

Clark jumped towards the pit after hearing the fading voice.

“Is that really true?”

“I’m telling you it is.”

“You got lost because it was dark and windy, and you ended up at the training grounds. There was a sudden gust of wind that destroyed the area, and when you came to your senses, you were stuck inside the pit?”

“That’s correct.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok brazenly nodded towards Clark, who continued asking about the episode with a suspicious look.

“So…”

“Aigoo, it hurts. I think I’m going to die. I wish I could get some rest, but someone won’t let me…”

Kim Seon-Hyeok figured he would be asked the same questions over and over again if nothing was done about it, so he acted like he was in grievous pain.

“Ugh. I understand. We’ll discuss this again later after you’ve received treatment.”

Clark couldn’t say anything more and got up. After all, when he found Kim Seon-Hyeok out in the grounds, the foreigner had been in critical condition and could have been mistaken as dead.

“Remain in the infirmary until you’ve received further instructions. That is all.”

Clark, who had stubbornly continued his questioning until this point, finally relented and left. Kim Seon-Hyeok, now left all alone, looked around the infirmary. Realizing he was all alone, he smiled brightly.

He saw a status window that was undeniably different from the day before.

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