Chapter 257 - Growth (7)

The Head Elder’s eyes widened in surprise. The arrogant, self-absorbed prince had bowed his head. Did the child know what that meant? What had made him this desperate? In fact, despite his words, the Head Elder had a good opinion of Phante.

Although Phante was indeed considered simple, it was because of his directness and honesty. In fact, the Head Elder was aware that Phante had an outstanding ability to assess and analyze things. If he were truly stupid, he wouldn’t have been considered as one of the candidates for the throne.

Neither was he truly weak. In truth, it wasn’t fair to compare him to geniuses like the Head Elder and the Martial King. Phante was actually one of the most skilled tribe members and hardly anyone his age had accomplished the level of martial arts he’d reached.

The only reason the Head Elder had told Phante such cruel words was to test his patience. Patience was the most important part of Mugong. When your growth stopped, when you hit a wall, or when you lost a battle, you had to be able to stop and reflect on what had happened. 

If you threw a tantrum and ran away because introspection was too hard, you would never grow. This was especially the case for a skill like Blood Lightning. The skill involved many complex concepts since it was a Mugong that the Head Elder himself had made. A great deal of self-restraint was required to learn it well. Without patience, it was impossible to be more than a book with a nice cover.

The Head Elder had observed that Phante tended to be impulsive, and that was unacceptable to him. However, as he examined Phante with flashing eyes, the Head Elder thought, ‘He’s changed.’

Previously Phante would have kicked the door open and walked off in a huff or else he would have collapsed on the ground with a tantrum. But this time, he simply stood with his head bowed.

The Head Elder was silent for a long time. He wanted to make sure that Phante was serious and not just playing games. During that long silence, Phante didn’t move a muscle. It was evidence of how desperately he needed Blood Lightning.

It wasn’t simply because of his sense of inferiority or desire to defeat Yeon-woo. He respected his friend, and he had been sincere about becoming Yeon-woo’s teeth. He couldn’t accept being separated by such a gap, and he came to one conclusion. ‘Strength.’ He gritted his teeth. ‘I need strength.’

Like Yeon-woo, Phante knew that he would be nothing if he didn’t grow. Edora had agreed with him, which was why she’d left to gain strength by climbing the floors. However, Phante wanted a more destructive and substantial form of strength. He couldn’t forget the Blood Lightning he’d seen the Head Elder use on the battlefield, and the influence this power would carry was something he could use.

This was why he stayed and didn’t leave despite all of what the Head Elder had told him. Pride? Arrogance? Were those things important? They were qualities only people with strength had the right to possess.

After some time passed, the Head Elder sighed, shaking his head. “Ah.”

Phante realized that he’d been given a chance, although he suspected that the road wouldn’t be easy, given the Head Elder’s personality.   

“Fine. If you’re this stubborn, there’s nothing I can do. However, you have to prove something first.”

Phante lifted his head. His back hurt from bow for a long time, but his eyes were sparkling. “What is it?”

“Your qualifications.” Behind his glasses, the Head Elder’s eyes were thoughtful. “I’m talking about your qualifications to become my successor.”

* * *

‘Qualifications…’ Phante was deep in thought as he left the Head Elder’s residence. He didn’t understand what it meant to prove his qualifications to become the Head Elder’s successor. He was sure the Head Elder wasn’t just saying it to make him leave, and it seemed like the Head Elder wanted a good reason to give Phante the Blood Lightning.

‘A reason to become his successor.’ Phante looked down at his palms. The Head Elder was the oldest person in the tribe, and Phante’s great-great uncle. He was the man who raised the Martial King, Nayu, to his current position and led the Cheongram family to prosperity. 

The basic skill of Blood Lightning, Lightning Control, was something Phante already enjoyed using. That meant he had the most basic qualifications, and it wouldn’t be as difficult to learn Blood Lightning. That meant…Phante stopped in his tracks. ‘I should get Lightning Soul first!’

Lighting Soul was what you earned after mastering Lightning Control. Your lightning and body became one, and you could open the path to Strong Energy. Blood Lightning was a Strong Energy Mugong. Lighting Soul was the next step after achieving the basic foundation.  

Phante felt his mind grow clearer. The path that he found after so many twists and turns was the same. Lightning Soul was the reward that users of Lightning Control could gain. He now had a clear goal. Phante headed forward purposefully. There was no time to lose.

* * *

“Haa…haa…Are you saying Phante is doing secluded training?” Yeon-woo panted as he looked at Galliard, his interest piqued. He had just been practicing Arrow Shadow Leap, a skill that allowed him to increase his speed.

“Yeah. I heard he went to the Martial King and insisted on getting the key to the Myunbyeok Building. Haha.”

“The Myunbyeok Building. Seems like Phante is really determined this time.” Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. The Myunbyeok Building was in the deepest parts of the secluded training buildings. Once inside, you were alone in a six-hundred square meter area with a limited amount of food. It was impossible to open the door from the inside, so you had to be very determined once you entered. Only those who were ready to train for several years went inside. Phante had definitely made a serious decision.  

“Also, with the authority of the royal family, he requested to open the Martial Archives. The elders allowed him to take five books from the gold-tier Skills Archive. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him for the time being.”  

One could only enter the gold-tier Skills Archive with the permission of the king or the elders. However, members of the royal family could enter at least once in their lifetime freely, and it seemed like Phante had taken this opportunity.

Just as Galliard said, it was obvious that Phante was determined this time. Yeon-woo wondered what kind of expression had been on his face when he entered the Myunbyeok Building? Howver, Yeon-woo didn’t plan to visit him. That would be too embarrassing, and there was no need for it.

Yeon-woo thought he knew what Phante was feeling. The reality of things being easier said than done had probably motivated him. “And he took five books with him. He’ll have to work hard with that temper of his.”

“It’s easier for people who have experience studying to study.” Galliard smirked as he replied to Yeon-woo. 

“Also, they say Edora has begun to climb the Tower. She left quietly with only a note for the Psychic Medium, so it seems like she’s pretty determined too.”

Yeon-woo nodded. He understood their decisions. Edora had Insight and the Yang Sword. It was best for her to develop her Insight while using the Yang Sword in actual battle. ‘Edora will do well.’ He was a bit worried about Phante, but his belief in Edora ran deep. She hadn’t shown him much, but he knew that she kept many things well-hidden. If she used her Divine Magic Sword to its fullest power, it might be hard for him to win against her.

Yeon-woo lightly shook the dust off his body and got ready again. If the two siblings were that determined, he couldn’t fall behind. ‘Losing to them will be an embarrassment since I’m the eldest.’ With those thoughts, Yeon-woo kicked off from the ground again. Boom!

As soon as Yeon-woo moved, time flowed quickly again. 

* * *

[You have learned how to control Consciousness.]

[You have learned ‘Arrow Shadow Leap’.]

[ ‘Shunpo’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 89.1%]

And with that…

[You have earned a large clue regarding the circulation of Consciousness.]

[You have learned ‘Single River Crossing’.]

[‘Shunpo’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 95.2%]

Training continued.

[You have learned to use Consciousness automatically.]

[You have learned ‘Tension Teleportation’.]

[‘Shunpo’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 99.6%]

And the time came for his training to bear fruit.  

[You have completely assimilated Consciousness into your body. Extrasensory Perception and your body are being synchronized.]

[You have learned ‘Body Transpose’.]

[‘Shunpo’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 121.6%]

[Congratulations! The proficiency of the skill ‘Shunpo’ has reached its maximum.]

[You have gained a method of using ‘Bobup’.]

[All stats related to the skill will increase.]

[Additional stats are being provided.]

[Your strength has increased by 15 points.]

[Your dexterity has increased by 19 points.]

…..

[You have gained a new understanding of your skill. A superior skill is being opened.]

[The skill ‘Slide’ has been created.]

[‘Slide’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased and reached its maximum.]

[You have gained a method of using ‘Shinbup’.]

…..

[New skills are being sought in consideration of your stats.]

[The superior skill ‘Light Trace’ is being opened.]

[You have earned a method of using ‘Kyunggong’.]

…..

[‘Light Trace’ skill proficiency has dramatically…]

……

[The traits ‘Demonic Dragon Body’ and ‘Ascetic’ are influencing this process.]

[A superior skill is being opened.]

[Wind Path]
[Number 80]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: The wind is the only friend of the Dark Elves who live in the darkness away from the world. The wind doesn’t stay in one place and doesn’t discriminate. Its flow is always free, and the Dark Elves desire to take after the wind. If you linger around the wind like the Dark Elves, you might find a path that you haven’t been able to see before.]
[*Pathfinding
Every time you use the skill, different skill paths will be shown to you randomly. There is a different result at the end of each path, and you will be able to see between 2 and 5 paths. The greater your proficiency, the more paths you can see. 
You currently own three winds (Zephyr, Gust, North Wind).]
[*Eye of the Storm
You can gather the wind around you and make it explode. The storm can heavily damage your surroundings.]
[**The skill ‘Draconic Eyes’ can be connected for better Pathfinding. The number of paths you can see will increase and their power is amplified. 
**Once the skill ‘Spirit of the Abyss’ is connected, the 'Blessing of the Wind Spirit' will follow.]

The changes appeared all of a sudden. He had been practicing controlling his Consciousness and Body Transpose when his Draconic Eyes had burst open and he could see ten times more imperfections than before.  Yeon-woo felt the world spinning. 

He used Time Difference to get himself together, and he could finally see a new perspective of the world. The imperfections flowed like rivers, and even the colors were slightly different from each other. Some were dark, and some were light, and imperfections of all sizes covered the world.

Previously, Yeon-woo had seen the imperfections tangled up like string, and now he was seeing them flowing together. Yeon-woo realized that this was the wind. Once he could only feel it with his other senses, but now he could see it.

That wasn’t all. Not only could he see the wind, Yeon-woo could now also see his own body with a different perspective. His senses had completely changed. Yeon-woo received a barrage of information from the physical senses that were connected to his Consciousness, and he skillfully adjusted this. 

His body felt light as a feather. He could feel the wind on his fingertips. Some parts were soft, and some were rough, and he could even feel something beyond it. And most importantly, the control came naturally to him now.

He spread his hand out and the wind rolled like a ball into his hand. He blew his Consciousness into the ball, and it suddenly flared with fire.

Magic power, his body, Consciousness, and imperfections—all of these moved easily together. Just a few hours ago, he could only connect them by focusing hard, but there was no need for that anymore. 

“Congratulations. You’ve opened Wind Eyes.” Galliard descended and patted Yeon-woo’s shoulder. “In my tribe, you would be considered a Hunter now. It must have been hard for you to learn this since you’re not part of my tribe. You’ve done well.”

Yeon-woo shook his head. “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn't have even attempted it.” It was the truth. He couldn’t even imagine how long it would have taken without Galliard. 

His brother’s first teacher had taught Yeon-woo so many things. He had generously passed the legacy of the Dark Elves down to him. Thanks to it, Yeon-woo had finally broken down the wall in his path.  

[You have earned the title ‘Dark Elves Hunter’.]

Yeon-woo felt proud of himself when he read the message. Also, connecting Wind Path to Draconic Eyes and Spirit of the Abyss had been so easy. The amplified Effects that they created meant that it was more than just a numbered skill. ‘It’s almost a power.’ 

It would probably be a mid-level power. Yeon-woo believed that Wind Path would change him like the Wave of Fire had. ‘Let’s try it out.’ Yeon-woo nodded and stretched his hand out. The Magic Bayonet appeared in his hand, and he felt things that were impossible without Wind Eyes. 

It was hard to explain, but it was almost as though he could sense the emotions of the Magic Bayonet. In the same way he could see the wind with his Draconic Eyes, he could feel the Magic Bayonet. It cried to be awakened and released from its loneliness.  

Yeon-woo blew Consciousness into it to calm it down. His holiness followed, and magic power flowed out of him. The Magic Bayonet finally released its vestige, and in that moment, Yeon-woo felt as though he’d become one with his sword. He was the Magic Bayonet, and the Magic Bayonet was him. Consciousness had synchronized them completely. 

The Magic Bayonet cried out as Aura formed around it. It was Sword Strengthening. Yeon-woo swung it powerfully to the right. With this, wouldn’t it be possible to replicate the Palgwae that was forever burned into his memory?

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