Chapter 25

 

Martha Zieghart raised her chin, her hand on her waist.
Her arrogant eyes didn’t match her graceful appearance, but it also looked natural.

‘Is this place the problem?’

Raon lightly kicked the floor of the training ground a couple times.
Dorian had warned him, but he didn’t believe she would start picking a fight with him immediately.
It looked like there really wasn’t anyone decent around him.

I can’t believe there would be someone even more arrogant than the pointy-eared bastard and blue eyes.
Give your body to me.
The King of Essence will freeze her whole.

‘I knew it.’

Wrath started to freak out after Martha’s taunt.
The wrath he was venting was a lot fiercer than usual.

“Hmm.”

“Martha Zieghart.”

While Raon was considering how to respond, a precocious and cold voice could be heard.

“What kind of unrefined act are you performing?”

It was Burren Zieghart.
He was glaring coldly at Martha.

“Haaah?”

Martha made a wry face.
It wasn’t a face that a child from a prestigious family should be making, but an expression of someone who had one foot into the dark side.

“Did you just say that to your senior?”

She approached Burren with a smile.

“If you keep shooting your mouth off, you’ll end up dead immediately.
You’d better choose your words more carefully next time.”

“That’s my line.
Raon Zieghart was acknowledged as the top trainee in front of the head of house and the instructor.
Are you trying to deny that?”

Burren came forward to stop Martha as if it were his own problem.

“I know you also made a fuss because you couldn’t accept the results of the test.”

The corners of Martha’s lips raised.
It was a thick, scornful smile.
She already knew what had happened during the test, despite acting like she didn’t know who the top trainee was.

“That’s why.”

Burren calmly nodded.

“I don’t want to see the disgraceful behavior that I showed back then.
That’s why I’m stopping you now.”

“Huuh?”

“Don’t soil the name of Zieghart, Martha Zieghart.”

Raon narrowed his eyes, observing Burren’s back.

‘That guy…’

Burren’s eyes were clear.
He really seemed to be trying to prevent the situation from going awry, rather than just getting on her nerves.

It seemed he was sincere when he lowered his head to apologize.

 

Step!

 

Burren wasn’t the only one trying to stop Martha.
Runaan also stepped in front of Raon, trying to protect him.

“And do you think the same?”

Martha grinned, looking through Runaan and Burren.

“Leave.”

Runaan said a single word with a vacant gaze.

“Step back, Martha.”

“I already told you.”

Martha’s eyes shone.

“I don’t listen to those weaker than me!”

Her fist pierced through the air, storming towards Burren.

 

Whir!

 

Right before the aura-enhanced fist reached Burren’s face, a green wind shot up.

 

Wham!

 

Rimmer, who used to be on the platform, appeared in the blink of an eye and blocked Martha’s fist.

“You really are ignoring me too much.
Even if you think I’m easy, it’s regrettable that you are acting like I don’t exist.”

He pushed Martha’s fist back with a cheerful smile.

“Martha, I heard you failed because of that temper.
It looks like you haven’t changed.”

“That’s…”

“Unlike Burren or Runaan, Raon hasn’t learned aura yet, just as you’ve said.
Do you really wanna fight, knowing that?”

“I’m not going to use my aura, either.”

“You know, that still doesn’t make you equal.
Since there will be another opportunity in the future, stay patient for now.”

“Tsk…”

Martha pouted and took a step back.
However, she kept glaring at Burren without leaving.

“Burren Zieghart.”

“What?”

“You know your older brother was beaten up by me and was forced to stay in bed for an entire month.
If you are trying to be arrogant, you’d better get stronger first.”

“I’m different from my older brother.”

“We will see about that.”

With a thin smile, Martha turned away.
Runaan and Burren, seeing that, relaxed and stepped aside.

At that moment, Martha turned around and kicked off from the ground at the same time.

“I hate cowards that hide behind others even more than arrogant bastards!”

In a flash, she pounced on Raon, and swung her fist.

“Eek!”

“Ah!”

Burren and Runaan couldn’t react, and Rimmer was staying still despite seeing it.

‘I knew it.’

Raon’s eyes remained calm.
He’d already expected her to come at him the moment she shifted her center of gravity as she turned around.

 

Tap!

 

He used the back of his hand to fend off Martha’s fist, which was aimed at his chest.

“Huh?”

“Are you ready to be punished?”

He swung his clenched fist.
His fist, including the rotation of Void Tiger Fist, was aimed at Martha’s defenseless abdomen.

“Eek!”

Panic could be seen in her eyes.
Gritting her teeth, she gathered brown energy in her left fist.

 

Wham!

 

A bare fist and an aura-imbued forearm collided, pushing Raon and Martha back at the same time.

“Didn’t you say that you weren’t going to use your aura?”

Raon dusted off his red-hot fist.

“Wh-what are you?!”

Martha’s eyes, which had distinct white and black sections, were bloodshot.
She was even stuttering, despite having always been confident.

“Wow!”

“Did… did you really block that?”

Rimmer giggled, and Burren swallowed hard.

“Eek!”

Martha engulfed her entire body with a brown aura.

“That’s as far as you go.”

As she was about to charge in, Rimmer straightened his posture and stepped in front of her.

“I can’t allow you any more than this.”

Despite smiling, he was emitting sharp pressure.
He was different from before, when he was playing around.

“But I—!”

“Even if you fight without an aura now, it will only end up in an incomplete combustion.
Try fighting him later, when Raon has learned a proper aura.
I will allow it then.”

“Sigh…”

Martha glared at Raon while grinding her teeth, before turning away.
This time she didn’t even look back.
She left and closed the door with a loud bang.

“Raon.”

Rimmer approached and grabbed his shoulder.

“How did you defend against Martha’s attack? It looked like you knew about it already.”

“It was her center of gravity.”

Raon snapped out the answer like nothing.

“Center of gravity?”

The question was from Burren.
Runaan also seemed curious, her ears perking up like a rabbit.

“When she turned around, she shifted her center of gravity to her back instead of her front.
She wasn’t aiming for Burren or Runaan, but at me, in the middle.
I figured she was going to come at me for sure.”

“With just that…”

Burren frowned hearing the answer, and Runaan fell deep in thought as her eyes grew empty.

“Hmm!”

Rimmer exclaimed lightly.

‘His observation and physical abilities are as outstanding as always.’

He counterattacked immediately by discerning the opponent’s intention from their center of gravity.
His talent wasn’t normal, for sure.

“…”

Burren examined the floor where Raon and Martha had fought, then left the training ground biting his lip.

“I scolded her properly, so she won’t bother you for a while.
But you will inevitably face her after you learn aura.”

“I know.”

“By the way, it looks like the Void Tiger Fist’s rotation has become yours completely now.”

That rotation had been used when Raon struck Martha.
That was actually more amazing than his counterattack.

“It’s not that big of a deal.”

Raon shook his head and turned back.

What have you done? Did you let her live, despite her swinging her fist at the King of Essence? You must tear off her limbs and imprison her inside an eternal glacier…

‘I struck her back.’

That’s not enough.
Her head needs to be smashed!

‘It’s not worth it.’

There was nothing to gain from having a fist fight with her like that.

It was way more beneficial to make a bet, staking the title of top trainee on it, once there was something she could give him.

Kuh! She needs to be shattered into pieces after being frozen whole…

‘Just wait.
I’ll let you see something even better.’

Raon smiled and left the training ground.

 

* * *

 

Reaper Scans

[Translator – Kyangi]

[Proofreader – Harley]

Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics

 

* * *

 

Raon arrived at the training ground before the sun rose.
He’d wanted to cultivate alone, but he didn’t have a choice since he was instructed to do otherwise.

Since most of the trainees had already learned an aura, there were only eight people at the training ground and all of them were commoners.

“Yo-young master.”

Dorian approached him with drooping shoulders.

“I… I heard you can die from learning aura.
Is that true? I also heard it hurts, as if your energy center is breaking…”

That wasn’t exactly wrong, since there were people who got severely hurt or died trying to learn a bad cultivation technique.

Of course, the cultivation technique that Zieghart was supplying was a stable one, and there were excellent instructors around them, so there weren't going to be any issues.

“It will be fine.”

He repeated the same thing he kept telling Dorian whenever he met him.

“Ri-right? I feel more at ease since the young master says so.”

Dorian smiled awkwardly, controlling his breath.
And in the next moment…

“Is… Is it really alright? Even if it is stable, someone could still be in danger.
If that someone ends up being me, everything will be over! Wh-what shall I do? If I die…”

“…” 

Raon turned his head.
Dorian’s insecurities weren’t going to disappear, no matter what he told him.
And there was no reason for Raon to take care of him, either.

“I’m not late today, right? I have perfect timing.”

Rimmer entered over the wall, like always.
He grinned, looking at the still-dark sky.

“Since the sun will rise soon, let’s start immediately.”

“Yes!”

The children’s voices were even louder than usual, filled with the expectation of learning aura.

“You don’t need to worry about falling behind because the other children have learned aura before you.
Aura is a martial art that you need to acquire throughout your entire life, so the others are only one step ahead of you.”

“Yes!”

“Then enter a personal cultivation room with the instructor next to you.
The instructors will help you until your cultivation stabilizes, so tell them if you are curious about anything or having any difficulty.”

Once Rimmer clapped his hands, the instructors behind him brought the children to the personal cultivation rooms.

“Hmm.”

Raon looked around since there was nobody next to him.

“You will enter a personal training room alone.”

“Then why did you call me?”

“Because a problem sometimes occurs when you learn to cultivate using a cultivation book.
I’ll be waiting outside, so you can feel safe and cultivate in peace.”

“…”

‘I can’t trust you.’

The Rimmer that he’d seen so far wasn’t a trustworthy person.
It wouldn’t be surprising if he was napping outside while Raon was dying in the cultivation room.

“What are those eyes? Can’t you trust me?”

“That’s not it.”

He shook his head and entered the cultivation room.
He didn’t wish for him to help him.
Somewhat guarding him while he cultivated was plenty helpful.

“Haa.”

Raon closed his eyes and started using the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’.
A fluttering red flame appeared on his shoulders.

‘Let’s begin.’

 

***

 

As soon as Raon entered the training room, Rimmer straightened his posture.
He silently extended his senses in order to avoid bothering anyone.

‘Let’s see what he got.’

Using his extended senses, he started reading the mana wave occurring around Raon’s training room.

‘It's a fire attribute.’

Hot and dynamic mana was storming around Raon.

‘This isn’t an ordinary cultivation technique?!’

The amount of energy he felt from Raon’s mana circuit was far more powerful than normal.
It was an explosive energy, like lava coming straight out of a volcanic eruption.
The cultivation technique was definitely not ordinary, given how he was controlling such mana in the learning phase.

‘That’s not something that a person can exchange for a bronze tablet.
Even a gold tablet wouldn’t be enough.’

He’d told the children that the Rinden cultivation technique was no different from the better cultivation techniques, but Raon’s was different.

It was better than the cultivation techniques learned by the direct line.

Rimmer’s heart started pounding in excitement, eager to learn what kind of aura Raon would acquire in his energy center—once he finished learning that cultivation technique.

However, the flow of the aura was very difficult to understand.
It looked like it was going to take a lot of time and effort until he finished acquiring it.

‘…Hmm?’

Rimmer lowered his thin eyebrows.
Inside the mana circuit, where the hot energy was running through, the cold energy was also spreading out.

‘No way! That guy!’

His jaw dropped as he sensed Raon’s flow of energy.

‘Instead of erasing the ice in his mana circuit, he is leading it along with the rest!’

Raon was accumulating the ice in his energy center, instead of getting rid of it after it was pushed away by the hot energy.

‘Is this really from a guy controlling mana for the first time?’

He had never imagined someone that hadn’t even been learning a cultivation technique for a week could control mana with just his will.

‘It’s not thanks to the aura cultivation technique he is using.
It’s his talent in action.’

Raon’s ability to control mana was more surprising than the excellency of his cultivation technique.
Even if he’d been controlling mana from before his birth, he shouldn’t have been as good as he was.

‘His talent wasn’t only in his body and martial arts, but also in mana…’

He’d heard Raon had been revealed to have the worst talent in mana during the Judgment Ceremony.
However, he was showing mana control surpassing even Burren or Runaan.

‘If he manages to properly learn that cultivation technique…’

Rimmer clenched his fist, smiling in anticipation.

‘A new monster might be born.’

 

***

 

An hour later, Raon Zieghart came out of the cultivation room while exhaling hot breath.

“Raon.”

Rimmer came down from the platform and approached him.

“Train in your dormitory starting tomorrow.”

“Pardon? You told me yesterday I should come here every day…”

“Whatever, train in your dormitory, instead.”

Cultivating aura in the dormitory couldn’t be sensed from the outside because the dormitory’s walls were shrouded in magic.

If somebody sensed Raon’s aura cultivation technique, they could start taking drastic measures to hold him in check.
That was why it was better to cultivate in the dormitory, which was defended by magic.

“I’ll visit occasionally to help your progress.”

“You will? Hmm…”

“I am not always lazy, okay?”

“I see.”

Raon calmly nodded, like always.

‘I have to tell him about this right away.’

Rimmer grinned, sensing the leftover hot mana spreading out of Raon.

 

***

 

After training ended, Rimmer visited the audience chamber.

“You have been coming here often recently.”

Glenn Zieghart, who had been sitting immobile on his throne like a stone statue, lifted his head.

“What is it now?”

“I have something to tell you.”

Rimmer grinned and walked up the red carpet in the center.

“Martha has joined training.
Her personality was hotter than I’d heard.”

“That child won’t change until she loses to somebody else her age.”

Glenn nodded, like he had expected it.

“Then we might see that happen soon.”

“What?”

“She had a small encounter with Raon.”

Rimmer told him about the incident from the day before between Raon and Martha, involving Burren and Runaan.

“Is that so? So, they’ve already…”

Glenn lightly nodded.
He looked slightly happy, despite staying expressionless.

“Ah, but that’s not the reason I came to visit.
What did you actually give Raon?”

Rimmer raised his voice unlike how he’d acted in front of Raon.

“It’s my first time seeing a cultivation technique with such a complicated yet orderly flow.
On top of that, it’s a fire attribute…”

“It’s a cultivation technique called ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’.”

Glenn casually responded.

“Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation?”

“It’s the cultivation technique of the first head of house.”

“Ah, it’s the first head’s, I see, that’s why it's so… Wait? Waiiit?”

Rimmer’s eyes widened.

“The… The first clan leader?”

“Yes.”

“Huh, I thought you would give him a cultivation technique equivalent to a silver or gold tablet, but I never expected you’d give him the first head’s technique.
You must really cherish him.”

“The ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’ chose him.
I didn’t originally intend to give it to him.”

“Hmm…”

Glenn didn’t explain in detail.
Rimmer guessed there were some circumstances around it.

“Did you come here to ask about that?”

“Oh no, it was about Raon.
His talent is definitely not normal.
Not only in martial arts, but his talent in mana is also outrageous.”

Rimmer described everything that he’d witnessed about Raon’s flow of mana that day.

“I heard the Sword of Judgment said his talent was below average.
Are you sure it’s not broken?”

“…”

Glenn Zieghart took his hand off the armrest and started rubbing his chin.

‘He is also talented in mana…’

The Sword of Judgment had shone gold after everyone had left, and it seemed that was indeed Raon’s ability.

“How is his body’s condition?”

“His sweat is still cold, and he still breathes out icy breath.
There definitely is a problem with his body, but he looks more comfortable after training.”

“Hmm…”

Glenn nodded.
Just like Patrick said, it looked like moving his body was the correct answer.

“Raon has a special talent in both body and mana.
He also has excellent observation, insight, and calmness.
I think he can potentially become another successor.”

“Talent doesn’t matter.
Even if he has that much potential, he is still too young.”

“But it isn’t impossible.
Because I don’t really like your sons.”

Rimmer looked up to Glenn with narrowed eyes.

“I became part of Zieghart to follow the flame I call my lord.
However, there is no one that I wish to follow among the successors.”

“Impossible.
Was that why you wanted the position of instructor…?”

Glenn narrowed his eyes.
Despite having been weakened, Rimmer was still a sword master.
The reason he refused every offer and became an instructor seemed to be to look for his king by himself.

“Can’t Raon also become a successor if he meets the qualifications?”

“… Yes, he can.”

“I’m glad.”

Rimmer lowered his head with his eyes shining dark green, before taking a step back.

“And one more thing.
Raon isn’t just talented.
Well, I think my lord knows it better than me.”

With that last comment, he left the audience chamber and shut the door behind him.

“Yes, I know that very well.”

Glenn had a dejected smile on his face, staring at the empty audience chamber.

“I know what kind of child he is, and what kind of thoughts he harbors.”

____

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