Kahn smiled bitterly.『Don’t ask for details.』
Yeon-woo nodded silently. It was sad to hear that the two had split up, but he couldn’t interfere in their private business. 『Well, he can take care of himself, so I’m sure he’s doing fine.』 Since Doyle was smart enough to be called Foxy Tail, Yeon-woo figured he’d run into him eventually in the Tower, too.
『From now on, you can live here. There are basic necessities inside, and you can use them any time.』 Kahn led him to a small house. Other people had resided in it before, and so all the things one needed to live comfortably were already present. There was a plain backyard, a stack of firewood, and an area dedicated to training. It was also extremely private since it was hidden in a forest, and it wasn’t likely that any lost players might accidentally wander in.
『You have to find your own food and water, but if you need anything or if you need help, ask me right away.』 Kahn gave Yeon-woo some basic information so that Yeon-woo could focus on his training right away. He also repeatedly told him about things he had to watch out for and emphasized not to bother anyone else. All the players in the area were here for individual training, and if he even wanted to converse with them, he had to ask permission first.
『But sometimes people hang out when they’re bored, so it’s not that stuffy here.』
Yeon-woo nodded in satisfaction at the thought of being able to focus on training.
『Work hard, then. I’ve changed a lot since I came here. It’s frustrating sometimes, but it’s also extremely beneficial. I bet you’ll be able to take a lot. You should spar with me if you have the time.』 Kahn patted Yeon-woo’s shoulder. The two had finally caught up on everything that had happened. It was mostly Kahn who talked while Yeon-woo listened, but they still understood what each other had gone through.
Kahn had put everything he had into training, burning with a passion to grow stronger and climb higher. He kept pushing himself until he could no longer see his past self, who had been arrogant and a little conceited. Although his personality was still the same, he had grown a little more serious.
Yeon-woo realized why news of Blood Sword entering the Tower hadn’t spread. Kahn had hidden himself without a single thought of chasing fame and only did what he needed to do. He also understood what Yeon-woo had gone through. Although Yeon-woo didn’t go into detail, he amused Kahn by describing the war between the two Large Clans.
Yeon-woo enjoyed conversing with Kahn. It was as though Kahn were a close friend he hadn’t seen in a while. Actually, Yeon-woo had to admit to himself that Kahn really was a close friend. After all, what was a close friend but someone you felt comfortable showing your back to during a war?
By the time they finished talking, a lot of time had already passed, and Kahn left, saying that he had to catch up on some training.
Yeon-woo took some time to look around. He had plenty of food and water in Intrenian, but it seemed wise to prepare for unexpected events. Fortunately, there was a stream nearby and a small field with plenty of vegetables.
Afterwards, he pulled back his magic power. ‘I need to suspend my magic power if I want to train.’ Fighting with Kindred had convinced him. The twentieth floor was where players battled with themselves. The more limits you set and the more uncomfortable you were, the more you would be able to achieve.
He sealed his Magic Circuit again, and his Extrasensory Perception grew muddier. He focused his range just to himself. As soon as he did that, he felt as though he’d been confined in darkness, but it was also easier that way.
From now on, he could really focus on his training. It would be nice if he only needed to move his body to learn the Yin Sword, but unfortunately, he had to realize his Consciousness first to understand the Yin Sword.
Since he couldn’t do much physically, he decided to focus on meditation.
His thinking abilities sped up, but since his Extrasensory Perception was locked away, he couldn’t tell how much time had slowed. However, he didn’t really concern himself about his environment and began his Yin Sword training in earnest.
One thing Yeon-woo felt when he looked at the composition of the Yin Sword was that it was impossible to solve through normal means. After all, the One-horned tribe had grappled with the matter for thousands of years and had come up empty-handed.
The tribe members that Yeon-woo had seen were strong and acted on instinct, but as they aged, they became something like philosophers with incredible knowledge. It wasn’t likely that he’d find an answer to a question that stumped them in just one day.
‘I have to use shortcuts.’ Yeon-woo was thinking of using Dragon’s Knowledge. He remembered everything Edora had told him about the tribe’s research, and he was planning on using Dragon’s Knowledge to look at it from different angles.
‘If the research of the tribe and Dragon’s Knowledge are combined, we might find a way.’ The One-horned tribe wouldn’t have been able to try this method, and Yeon-woo was expecting to receive a huge amount of information. He might even learn something that surpassed the Eight Extreme Fists.
More than anything, Yeon-woo wanted to learn the Yin Sword. He didn’t care what was going on outside of his body, and only focused on analyzing things as he made different attempts. ‘Is it possible there’s something hidden that’s like a password?’
The first thing he wondered was whether the components he saw were simply red herrings that distracted you from the real thing. He tried changing the order of the words to look for a new meaning, then he tried adding more words to see if it would reveal anything.
When those methods didn’t work, he delved even deeper, but those attempts failed as well. Then, he tried looking at the words through a philosophical lens, thinking that the text might be related to the tribe’s culture and history. But that didn’t work, either. The only path left was simply to comprehend the tome, but he genuinely didn’t know how to do that.
「Master! Hey, Master! Wake up!」
How long had he been locked in his thoughts? Yeon-woo’s awareness returned when he heard the voice calling him. As his Extrasensory Perception opened slightly, he felt Shanon shaking him roughly. Behind him, Hanryeong seemed at a loss.
「Are you finally awake? Huh?」 Shanon’s voice was desperate. Yeon-woo realized belatedly that something had gone wrong. ‘How long have I been like this?’ He didn’t know how long he’d been in meditation since he’d closed himself off completely. However, his thirst and hunger told him that it had been a while.
「How long have you been like that? Are you serious? Master, you would’ve croaked if you stayed like that even just a little bit longer!」
「Yeah! You should only meditate for a couple of days, why did you do it for a month? Are you crazy?」
‘A month?’ Yeon-woo was taken aback. He hadn’t realized that so much time had passed. That explained why he was feeling so hungry and thirsty, and he quickly pulled water and jerky out of Intrenian. ‘Oh. I didn’t get to contact Henova and Bister.’
He told Henova that he’d return in ten days, and considering Henova’s personality, he would be worried that something bad had happened to Yeon-woo. When Yeon-woo checked his communication artifact, he saw that Bister had tried to contact him several times, as well. Yeon-woo clucked his tongue. Had Bister found Brahm?
「Is that even important right now? Whew!」
Yeon-woo smiled wryly. He would contact Bister first, and since he could reach the One-horned tribe, he would tell Edora to pass on his news to Henova. He quickly got out his artifact and contacted Bister, whose shock was clear even through the ring.
『Something came up. Did you find Brahm?』
『Yes, I-I thought you might eventually contact me, so I’m still keeping an eye on him.』
『Where is he?』
『He’s on the twenty-third floor.』
『The twenty-third floor?』
Yeon-woo had been worried that Brahm might be beyond the fiftieth floor, but it turned out he was closer than he’d expected. ‘Isn’t the twenty-third floor the Devil’s Forest? It makes sense that he’d be there.’ It was a floor just like the Devil’s birthplace and filled with Devil Trees that bore devils. Someone like Brahm would definitely be interested in a place like that.
『Y-yes. It seems like he’s been there for a while.』
『Keep observing him, and let me know right away if he leaves for another floor.』
As soon as he finished his business with Yeon-woo, Bister immediately hung up. That was how scary Yeon-woo was to him. Yeon-woo sighed in relief since he wouldn’t need to rush after Brahm and called Edora.
Edora was greatly surprised to hear from Yeon-woo and asked him if he was hurt. Yeon-woo explained what had happened and asked her to deliver the news to Henova.
『He’s already been here several times, hmph』
Just as he thought, Henova had been so worried about Yeon-woo that he’d gone to the One-horned tribe. Edora added that Henova had already been staying at their village for some time. Yeon-woo told her that he would visit soon and hung up. His hair felt greasy from not being washed in a long time, and he frowned. Although a month had passed, his body felt as though he’d spent an entire year in meditation.
「Since that’s done, let’s talk about what happened. What did you learn?」 Shanon asked seriously. Hanryeong stared at Yeon-woo as well. As a martial artist, he couldn’t help being curious. However, Yeon-woo only shook his head.
「What? Even though you were so focused like that?」 Shanon was surprised, and Hanryeong seemed stunned as well.
‘I tried this and that. But I didn’t even get a single clue.’
「What kind of non—」
Yeon-woo had his skills, his Dragon’s Knowledge, the research of the One-horned tribe, and the thinking abilities that came with his Dragon Body, and yet he’d come up with nothing. Shanon couldn’t understand how that happened. Behind him, Hanryeong was thinking the same thing.
「It’s not a scam, right?」
‘No. It’s not a scam. I’m sure it’s real.’ When he failed to find any clues, Yeon-woo had also suspected that the Yin Sword was just a legend. But as time passed, he had grown more certain that it was real. He’d gained a lot just trying to learn the Yin Sword, and he’d already deepened his understanding of Mugong.
However, he didn’t have a single clue about the Yin Sword itself since no one had ever opened it.. Still, he was sure that information would just rush out of it like Pandora’s box—assuming he could find the key.
「I guess it makes sense that it’s a tough nut to crack, unless all the geezers of the One-horned tribe got Alzheimer’s at the same time.」 Shanon tsked. He also wanted to see the Yin Sword.
‘I don’t know how to approach it.’
It felt like searching for something in the fog. Even learning Mugong for the first time didn’t feel like this. Suddenly, the quiet Hanryeong said, 「If it’s like searching in the fog, why not take small steps?」
「It may be hard, but Yin Sword is also just a sword technique. Shouldn’t you learn the sword first, then?」
‘You’re saying to establish the basics first.’
Shanon nodded in agreement. 「Yes, Hanryeong’s got a point. There comes a time when you should just act instead of think. Train until you become a master of the sword!」
Martial artists divided people learning martial arts into three stages. A master completed everything until the end; an expert went beyond completion to another level; and an arhat surpassed even that.
Yeon-woo had learned a lot about the Eight Extreme Fists, but it wasn’t even enough for him to be called a master. ‘That means I need to be a master first.’ Shanon and Hanryong were more advanced than him in martial arts. He needed to listen carefully to their advice. ‘How strong is a master?’
「You have to be able to make Aura.」
Aura was the ability to condense magic power into a blade. It was something that a master ought to do, at the very least, and fortunately, Yeon-woo had a template for making Aura: the Eight Extreme Fists.
He had to finish learning the Eight Extreme Fists, which he had postponed for a while now.Previous Chapter Next Chapter