Before Yeon-woo entered training, the Psychic Medium had summoned him privately to a small cottage located by the Spirit Pond. Usually, it was a forbidden location to everyone aside from the Psychic Medium or her successors. There was an impressive pole there that showed the solar tides, which represented Shaohao Jintian. The Psychic Medium was resting with Edora at her side.
“I heard you called for me.”
“It’s the first time we’re meeting face to face, isn’t it?”
The Psychic Medium lifted herself with Edora’s help and smiled. Yeon-woo had only ever spoken to the Psychic Medium in his head. He thought her voice sounded quite young, but at the same time, it had a dignified tone that made people pay attention when she was speaking.
The Psychic Medium’s eyes were bandaged, and she’d stayed at the Spirit Pond to heal during the funeral. Normally, as the chief priestess, it was her responsibility to oversee the ceremony and pray for a soul to return to Shaojao Jintian’s embrace. However, the heavy injuries she’d sustained from Laplace’s attack had prevented her from doing so. Fortunately, Edora had performed the necessary tasks in her stead, so there weren’t any problems.
The Psychic Medium was smiling faintly as if she could see Yeon-woo’s face. From what Yeon-woo had heard, the Psychic Medium was blind from birth. Her blindness was the reason why the Cheongram family hadn’t expected anything from her even though she was born with the divine spirit. They didn’t think she would be able to finish the training to become the Psychic Medium.
However, the Psychic Medium hadn’t given up, and she used her disability as an advantage. Since she couldn’t see, she wasn’t deterred by the deceptions of the world and sensed the truth beyond them. As a result, she was enlightened with the Inner Eye and was considered the Psychic Medium with the most divine spirit in history, becoming the youngest person to ever take up the position.
Yeon-woo heard that this passion was what made the Martial King propose to her. As soon as he sat on the throne, he had to marry the daughters of fifty or so families and produce children, but the only person he truly loved was the Psychic Medium.
She also fell in love with his inner self and not his appearance, and they had a happy marriage. Perhaps it was only natural why their children, Phante and Edora, could stand out among their many half-siblings.
Even now, although Yeon-woo wasn’t looking at the Psychic Medium’s eyes, he felt that she was reading everything about him. These procedures usually made him feel discomfited, but the Psychic Medium’s gaze was different. Was it because of its warmth? It reminded him of the gaze he’d already forgotten. ‘Mother.’ A part of his heart throbbed.
Yeon-woo contained his emotions and slowly said, “No, ma’am. It’s the second.” It wasn’t the first time they’d met.
The Psychic Medium’s expression shifted slightly. “Hoho! I don’t remember. When was it?”
Yeon-woo just smiled faintly without responding, and the Psychic Medium burst out laughing when she realized what he meant. “How audacious.”
The first time he’d met her was when he’d rescued her from Laplace. It wasn’t a topic that could be brought up casually, but Yeon-woo mentioned it out of mischief because it seemed she was on her way to recovery. It was the kind of statement shared by people with close relationships, and Yeon-woo closed the awkward distance between him and the Psychic Medium.
“You’re a lot like your master when it comes to these things, although you certainly don’t look it.”
Yeon-woo bowed. “I apologize if I offended you.”
“Not at all. My husband said Nocturne resembled him the most, but I don’t think that’s true. It’s you.” The Psychic Medium smiled faintly, and Edora, who was still supporting her, nodded in agreement.
Yeon-woo felt his heart squeeze, but he didn’t express it as he shook his head. “I’m the one who should feel offended with that statement.”
“What? Hohoho! Can you curse a widow’s husband to her face like this?”
“The Psychic Medium must agree with…”
“Call me ‘mistress’.”
“Mistress must know my master’s personality as well. I probably suffered the most from it.”
“Hohoho! He did have quite the temper.”
Yeon-woo was impressed by the Psychic Medium since the Martial King was so captivated by her, but he didn’t mention this.
“How fun. I’ve always thought it’s so amusing to talk to you. My only son is too arrogant, and it’s annoying. My daughter is somewhat better but she never listens and is so sensitive that there are times when I want to punch her in the face. But there’s none of that with you.” The smile on her face deepened. “Do you have any plans of living here? We’d welcome a live-in son-in-law.”
“I don’t think my father would agree to that.”
Urrrng! Vigrid, which was on Yeon-woo’s back, vibrated in agreement.
“It is a bit too much, I guess. But he doesn’t seem to dislike you becoming my son-in-law.”
“Mother.” Edora gently pinched the Psychic Medium’s arm with a flushed face.
The Psychic Medium’s teasing only became worse. “Look at this. What kind of daughter would do this because her mom said something that embarrassed her?”
Edora sulked. Yeon-woo just silently watched the two. He’d heard the Psychic Medium had lost all strength and couldn’t eat or drink while the funeral was happening in the village, but it seemed like he didn’t need to be concerned anymore. It was clear that Edora had taken good care of the Psychic Medium.
“Anyway, enough with the small talk.” The Psychic Medium focused on the main topic with her warm voice. “I called you here because I have something to give you.”
She had something to give him? Yeon-woo cocked his head. His eyes widened when he saw what the Psychic Medium was handing him. It was an intricate key the size of his palm and made entirely of gold. “T-this is…”
“Hoho. You’ve recognized it because you’ve entered one of them. You’re right. It’s the key to the gold-tier Skill Archive.”
The One-horned tribe’s Skill Archives were divided into gold, silver, bronze, and iron tiers, and Yeon-woo had used the iron and bronze tiers in the past. He had created the Heaven Wing Mana Control inside the Skill Archives, which had later transformed into the Atman System that faithfully supported his body. Now, she was allowing him into the location that was forbidden without the permission of the king?
“The throne is currently empty, and I am the regent. You deserve to be allowed in there.” The Psychic Medium’s voice was still gentle, but it was a bit sad. “His wish was that you fulfill the tribe’s mission. As you know, Edora has already uncovered the secret of the Yang Sword and improved it after Divine Contact. But…as you already know, that wasn’t enough.”
Yeon-woo nodded heavily. Although Edora succeeded in protecting the Psychic Medium from Laplace, she couldn’t do more than that. The Yang Sword was lacking when compared to the potential of the Bright Tai Chi Pangu Sword.
“It’s because it wasn’t in harmony with its other half, the Yin Sword. The Yang Sword and Yin Sword aren’t special at all when they exist separately. They must be combined as one for their true appearances to shine through…only then can the curse of the system be repelled.”
Yeon-woo was silent.
“And, as you know, we can’t postpone the completion of the Yin Sword any longer. Our tribe never forgets a grudge. They will follow you to avenge my husband, and we must finish the tribe’s mission before that.” The Psychic Medium paused to catch her breath and said in a solemn tone, “Can you release it?”
Yeon-woo didn’t answer immediately and pondered. Images of the Martial King’s last moments against Nocturne flashed through his mind. It had already been a few days, but he could remember it like yesterday. Each movement, each breath, each trick—everything.
Could he copy the Martial King’s abilities? If he couldn’t copy him, could he follow after the Martial King? No.
Could he surpass the Martial King? He contemplated each question and compared himself to the Martial King, realizing that the Martial King had influenced everything he’d learned. Not only that, the Martial King’s presence would continue to loom over the paths he would walk in the future. Yeon-woo remembered that the Martial King once talked about his immortality to the Psychic Medium.
“I will show you that your prophecy about his death is wrong because I will continue the master’s legacy.” Instead of replying with a simple “yes” or “no”, he thought this answer would be more appropriate.
A smile spread across the Psychic Medium’s face. “Thank you.”
* * *
Back at the training ground again.
‘I will continue my master's accomplishments…no, his legends.’ The Martial King’s footprints were already imprinted in the ground. Yeon-woo would carry on from where they ended and create new ones. He was worried that he might take the wrong path and divert from the one his master had taken great pains to tread, but regardless of this concern, he would continue to fulfill the Martial King’s dying wish.
After visiting the Skill Archive, the history, secrets, and philosophies of the tribe were already burned in Yeon-woo’s mind. Now, he would take apart everything the Martial King had taught him and adjust it to fit himself and interpret the Yin Sword. In fact, he had to go beyond interpreting it. ‘The Yin Sword might not have opened for me all this time because I wasn’t suited for it.’
Because the One-horned tribe were representatives of the sun, the Yang Sword had opened to them after a long period. However, this was the same reason the Yin Sword couldn’t open to them. It was the same situation for Yeon-wo. The Yin Sword likely wasn’t opening for him because he wasn’t suited to it. He needed to change himself for the sword or change the sword itself.
Since Yeon-woo’s soul was already mature, it was almost impossible to change his body. He’d have to overturn his foundation. However, he was ready to do so and risk losing everything he’d gained so far if it meant he could open the Yin Sword. ‘I can recover them again. What’s so hard about going down a path I’ve already taken?’
In the slowed world of his conscious mind, Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed.
* * *
‘Yang rises and spreads, so it’s ideal Edora, who views the vast world with the Inner Eye, expanding to and synchronizing her consciousness with the natural world.’
‘On the other hand, Yin clumps together and settles, so it doesn’t suit the One-horned tribe, who release energy. The vast world needs to be condensed inside one’s consciousness.’
It seemed like eternity.
Even Yeon-woo didn’t know how much time had passed.
‘It’s why the Eight Extreme Swords that master left behind can approach the Bright Tai Chi Pangu Sword but can never be used to realize it. It’s because even though the Eight Extremes were meant to interpret yin and yang, they also limit these concepts. These need to be discarded so they aren’t the Eight Extremes anymore but fundamentals.’
‘And it isn’t just the Eight Extreme Swords that must be discarded. It’s everything I possess. My skills, powers, abilities…and even my ego. Everything.’
Deeper and deeper.
‘Everything will be released then transformed into yin in order to gather together again. The Yin will gather what’s spread out into one.’
A place so deep that no one could reach him.
[The power ‘Underworld Domain Declaration’ has been deleted.]
[The power ‘Purgatory Furnace’ has been deleted.]
[The power ‘Shadow Domain’ has been deleted.]
[The power ‘Atman System’ has been deleted.]
[Your divine level has fallen.]
[Your divine position has been lost.]
[Your legends have been released.]
[Release is beginning!]
[Your ego has been destroyed.]
[The released energy attempts to change form according to the commands of the vestiges.]
[Warning! It is not possible to calculate the amount of time necessary to change forms.]
[Warning! The success rate is extremely low. Failure may lead to complete destruction.]
[Warning! The system has sensed the strange phenomenon and designated you as a bug. The security system may attempt to eliminate you.]
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