Chapter 326: Shining (1)

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Choi Han started to walk toward Adin.

“How could someone move so quickly?!”

One of the knights could not hide his shock.

He could just see a black blur.
A human and his sword that were both covered in black aura was charging toward Imperial Prince Adin as if he was a wild animal.
The black aura continued to run wild as Choi Han moved.

‘His highness is a high-grade knight!’

The knight felt fear as he watched Choi Han almost instantly arrive in front of Adin with his sword raised. His superior calmed him down at that moment.

“It will be fine.”
“…Excuse me?”

The two swords clashed as the knight asked back.

Baaaaaang!

A loud noise filled the area as if a mountain had crashed into another mountain.

“Ugh! Cover your eyes!”

The knight quickly covered his eyes at his superior’s urging.
The dust underground, the broken pieces of the ground, started to fly up from the impact.
And once the dust settled down…

“…My goodness, something like that is possible?”

The knight even forgot that he was in the middle of a battle after seeing what was going on.

The black things were fighting to gobble each other up.

Choi Han looked at the black sword that was up against his sword.

It was a sword made of dead mana. Furthermore, it was surrounded by black aura smoke.

His sword that was surrounded by the aura of a sword master was unable to break this black sword.

Imperial Prince Adin started to laugh at this sight.

“What do you think? You already knew this. My black aura smoke and your black aura are at completely different levels.”

Screeeeech-
The two swords were up against each other while maintaining a balance.
Adin started to smile more and more as that continued. It could not be helped.

It was because of their clash earlier and their second clash now.
Choi Han showed no emotion on his face.

However, unlike the first time, he was not hiding his aura and letting it run wild.
However, Adin could see it. He opened his mouth to speak.

“Don't you want to eat it up?”

Choi Han’s dull eyes headed toward Adin.
Adin's gaze headed toward Choi Han’s hands.

The hands were slightly shaking.

The Imperial Prince whispered like a snake.

“My black despair. Don't you want to eat it? Hmm?”

Adin could see Choi Han’s gaze going blank. Choi Han’s sword changed direction at that moment.

Bang!
The two swords clashed again.

Choi Han’s sword then headed for Adin’s remaining left leg.

Baaaaang!
However, the Imperial Prince's right leg slammed into Choi Han’s sword before it could reach the left leg.

It was the black leg made of dead mana.

“Ka, kahaha!”

Adin started to laugh.

“See! Your sword can’t even cut my right leg now!”

Crack.
The ground started to break as the monster-like leg slammed into the ground with some force. Choi Han and Adin started to clash again at the same time.

Baaaaang!
Bang! Bang!

Black light appeared every time they clashed. Adin was smiling brightly as he raised his black aura smoke up.

"Are you really not going to eat it?”

He then sent that smoke toward Choi Han.

Slaaash!
Choi Han’s sword cut through that black smoke. However, the black smoke did not disappear but instead continued to approach Choi Han.

Bang!
Choi Han moved away from the smoke and swung his sword toward Adin only for it to be blocked again.
Adin looked at Choi Han’s shaking hands and commented.

“You can’t use your full abilities because your hands are shaking.”

How could someone swing a sword properly while their hands were shaking?

Adin pulled out even more black despair from his wildly beating heart. An odd noise filled the underground hall at that moment.

Screeeech- screeeeeeech-

The black despair. The shrieks of the dead souls within it.
The shrieks filled Choi Han’s ears.

“Ugh!”

His emotionless face turned into a frown for the first time.

Boom! Boom! Boom!
Choi Han’s heart was running wild.

It was telling him to eat it.

It was telling him to make the black despair his. It was telling him to become complete.
Choi Han could feel this silent seduction fill his entire body as if it was being pricked by needles.

“Uhh, ugh!”

It was even worse than the time with the golem.
Unlike the black despair that was inside the golem, the black despair that Adin was sending out was going into his body in the form of smoke.

Screech- screech-

Choi Han had no choice but to take two steps back.
He heard Adin's voice in his ear at that moment.

“You see, this thing called despair…”

Adin looked into Choi Han’s eyes that were getting duller every time he brought out more black despair and continued to speak.

This thing called despair.

“…It is infectious. It makes sense if you think about it. Who in the world wants to be the only one in despair?”

Choi Han could hear Adin's voice along with his heart that was beating even more wildly now.

‘He is right.’

His heart was roaring at him that Adin was right.

It was asking him to remember what he had shouted as he was running away from enemies in the Forest of Darkness alone.

‘Why am I the only one facing such a situation? This is so unfair.’

It was bringing up his past saying these were the things he had said.

“That is why it is greedy for other people's despair.”

‘He's right.’

His heart was agreeing with Adin again.
It was saying that was why his entire body was desiring the despair of others.

Adin's voice and his heart mixed together to sound like one voice in Choi Han’s ears.

“You will grow stronger only by taking in this black despair.”

‘Yes. Take it in.
Become stronger.
It’ll be just like how you became stronger in the Forest of Darkness.
Then everything will be fine.’

“The other option would have been to be born in a position like me where anything can easily be attained…what are you doing?”

Adin's gaze headed toward Choi Han.

“Pfft!”

Choi Han’s shoulders were moving up and down before they pulled back to reveal his face.

“Pwa, hahahaha!”

Choi Han was laughing.

  • Human, I’ve never seen Choi Han laugh like this before!

Even Cale, who was looking at the battlefield, was so shocked that he nodded his head at Raon's comment.

“Me neither.”

‘I've never seen that punk laugh like this.’

Cale started to frown but Choi Han’s laugh continued for a while.

“Hahahaha- haha! Ugh, hahaha!”

Choi Han almost couldn’t breathe properly because he was laughing too hard.
Adin's expression turned odd once Choi Han stopped laughing.

It wasn’t there.
The black aura had disappeared.

Choi Han had pulled back all of his black aura. Choi Han’s next actions shocked Adin.
He was charging toward Adin once again.

He was charging without any aura.

Choi Han was only using his body and his sword as he charged toward Adin.

“Are you crazy?”

Choi Han could hear Adin's question.
He could also hear his heart.

‘You need to take in the black despair and become stronger.’

Choi Han started to speak at that moment.

“Throw it away.”
“…What?”

Adin’s question did not reach Choi Han’s ears.

Boom! Boom! Boom!
He did not hear his heart either. He just focused his hearing on his heart that was beating wildly. It was proof that there was blood flowing through his body.

It was proof that he was alive.

He remembered when he first fell into the Forest of Darkness.
Choi Han had thrown a lot of things away in order to survive.

He had gobbled down fruit and meat that monsters had thrown away on the ground.
He hid between monster corpses to hide himself and could not do anything when bugs would crawl on his body.
He had even covered himself in monster shit before curling up and hiding in a hole so that the monsters would not smell him.

Pride. Cleanliness. Warm food. A place to peacefully lay down.
He had thrown all of them away one by one.

There was something that filled those empty voids.

He didn't remember what day it started.
He didn’t remember when it started.
The thing coming out of his sword was black.

However, there was just one thing that he did not throw away.
During the night when he covered his body with the shit of predators in order to avoid other predators.
During the night when it would be bad if he fell asleep.
He always quietly mumbled to himself during the night.

‘…I am-!’

It was not just during the night.
He mumbled this to himself whenever he had a chance.

‘I am- Choi Han.’

‘I am Choi Han.’

‘Choi Han.’

He repeated his name over and over.
He repeated his name thousands and thousands of times. He repeated his name over and over with every chance he had.

There were no humans in the Forest of Darkness.
He was trying to prevent himself from forgetting about language while in a space where he didn’t need to speak.
He was trying to not forget who he was.

The only thing that he did not throw away was his name.
It was because that was, ‘him.’
He could not throw himself away even if he threw everything else away.

He had never thrown his name away in the tens, no maybe even longer amount of years he had to survive.
If he could exist as Choi Han…
He could throw anything else away and fill it with something else.

Choi Han’s sword was now in front of Adin's face. It was a regular sword without aura.
Adin started to speak as soon as he saw Choi Han’s focused eyes.

“Throw away the things you don't need.”

The shaking had stopped.
Choi Han’s hands were no longer shaking.

He thought about the things he needed to refill.
He thought about his life since leaving the Forest of Darkness.
It was extremely short compared to his time in the Forest of Darkness.

However, those memories didn't make his hands start to shake.

He remembered something Raon and Cale had said during his time in the Henituse Estate.

‘Choi Han! I've been thinking about this for a while, but the pronunciation of your name is unique!’
‘I like it.’
‘Of course, I like your name as the human mentioned! But my name is the best!’

Choi Han kicked off the ground.
He watched as Adin kicked off the ground after him and slowly slashed down with his sword.

Raon and Cale had chatted with each other while looking at him.

‘Well, his name is unique, so it is easy to remember. Also…’

Cale had chuckled before making the next comment.

‘…And Choi Han, I can’t think of a different name for you.’
‘You're right! Choi Han is the best name for Choi Han!’

Choi Han started to smile.
He casually commented to Adin, who was raising up his black despair to the maximum level as he kicked off behind him.

“So stupid.”

Adin was stupid.

A sword master was not just someone who could create aura.

It was someone who had put their whole life into the sword by swinging it thousands and thousands of times.

Dark Destruction Sword Art.
That was the name of his sword art.

His life was dark at that time and he had nothing.
That was why he had chosen the name Dark Destruction. He had destroyed everything in his dark life other than his name.

But it was now time to throw that name away.
Why?

It was still black, but now it was full.
There were too many things in his life now.

Boom! Boom! Boom!
Choi Han started to smile brightly.

The voice of his heart disappeared. Choi Han clasped his hand around his sword tighter. All of the blood inside his body was boiling.

‘I will grow stronger and survive in the end.’

Smoke started to appear from his sword as he swung down.
Changes started to appear in Choi Han’s sword.

It was rising up.

Black aura was rising up from Choi Han’s sword.
However, it was different than before.

  • H, human! L, look at that! T, that!

‘I can see it too.’

Cale’s eyes opened wide.
It was shining.
The aura was still black, but it was shining beautifully.

It was still a rough and violent black aura, however, it was glowing.
It was different than the dead mana and the black despair.

It was a different color than anybody else, including the black mages, necromancers, Dark Elves, and even Adin.

“T, this-”

Adin’s eyes opened wide. He could see this bright black light that was enveloping his sword that was made of dead mana and black smoke.
Choi Han was laughing as if he was crying.

He had not thrown away all of the despair.
He had only thrown half of the despair away and filled it with happiness.
He combined his past and his present.

“This is me.”

The bright black light left the tip of Choi Han’s sword and covered Adin.

“T, this is not possible!”

Adin could see his black smoke breaking down by the black light.

‘He changed his attribute?’

Screeeeeech- screeeeeeech-
The terrible shrieks slowly disappeared.

Choi Han's new aura was not trying to gobble up the black despair. It just pierced right through it.
It cut through things in front of it like a sharp sword.

‘This is possible?
A bastard whose attribute was a lower class compared to mine now has a different attribute?’

Adin started to frown.

The advantage of having a higher class attribute had disappeared.
That meant that the only thing left were the skills that they had developed on their own.
The aura smoke of a highest-grade expert was not able to defeat a sword master’s aura.

“N, no-!”

Adin could not help but shout as the beautiful black light destroyed his dead mana sword and rushed toward him.
It was at that moment.

Baaaaaaaaaang!

The beautiful black light and the explosion took away everyone's sight and hearing.
And once the flashing of the light disappeared…

Boom!
Adin fell once again.

“Cough, cough!”

Adin's hands and arms were a mess as he continued to cough. The dead mana sword had long disappeared.

“This, makes, no, s, sen, cough!”

A black shadow appeared behind Adin.
It was Choi Han.
He put his sword back in his scabbard and held it like a club. He then lifted one foot up.

“Uuuuugh, ugh!”

Choi Han used that foot to step on Adin’s chest as Adin coughed up black blood.

“Cough! Ugh, ugh!”

Choi Han turned his head as Adin started to cough up more blood because of the pressure on his chest.
He could see Cale giving him a thumbs up.
Cale was smiling while mouthing something.

‘Beat him up a bit.’

Choi Han could hear Raon's voice as well.

  • Choi Han! Amazing! I like your new attribute! It is just like you!

Choi Han raised his scabbard up.
Then he lowered it.

Pow!

He repeated the process.

Pow!

The beat down had started.

Choi Han thought about his new attribute.
It was not darkness.
It was not despair.

It did not fit into any category. There was no word to describe this attribute.

It was just Choi Han. It was an attribute that was like him.
He liked that.
It made him happy.

“Ha, haha-”

Choi Han could not help but laugh as he felt as if he had found himself. His child-like yet adult-like smile filled his face.

Pow, pow, pow!

He was still following Cale’s order and beating Adin up as he did that.
That was why Choi Han did not manage to see Cale's frowning face while watching him laugh as he beat someone up.

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miraclerifle's Thoughts

It's all about Choi Han finding himself and Taylor Swift's album just released so it was perfect.


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