Martha’s training sword slashed through the fresh air.
The sharp yet smooth sequence of strikes were a part of Zieghart’s basic swordsmanship, the ‘Combination Sword’.
She struck with her sword fiercely, as if she were in the middle of a battlefield.
Not even the sand cloud rolling up in the training ground dared to approach her due to her intense spirit.
From her right, a similar slashing sound could be heard.
It was the blonde-haired, red-eyed boy, Raon Zieghart.
His dull training sword was executing the steps of the ‘Combination Sword’, just like Martha.
Raon, who used to be far behind her, had finally caught up.
However, Martha didn’t display any sign of anxiousness or nervousness, despite seeing that.
Instead, she applauded Raon with a smile.
“You are good.”
Martha swept up her disheveled hair, putting down her training sword.
“You are learning martial arts so quickly that ‘genius’ wouldn’t be enough to describe you.
She twirled her finger while dragging out her words.
“With your mediocre mana perception, that talent is nothing but a pearl to a swine.
I’m not really jealous of such a defective talent.”
Martha’s voice was loud.
Every trainee heard her, but none of them stepped up.
“It’s better to have half that talent in aura and martial arts.
The best you can become with your talent is a swordsmanship instructor.”
The trainees who’d been helped by Raon, Burren, Rimmer, and the other instructors all remained silent.
‘Of course they would.’
Martha sneered even harder.
‘Nobody expected that dumbass to be unable to acquire an aura even after four months.’
It’d already been over four months since aura training was included in regular training, but Raon still hadn’t managed to acquire an aura, and his energy center was still empty.
‘I was freaked out at first.’
She was really astonished watching Raon progress at a tremendous rate.
She couldn’t even sleep because of that dreadful talent chasing after her, and she couldn’t get rid of that fear, despite training from daybreak until night.
However, everything had changed after hearing what Camel had said.
‘He really was defective.’
It wasn’t a lie that Raon was shown to have the worst mana perception during the Judgment Ceremony.
What’s the point of being so good at learning swordsmanship and fist techniques if there was no power to incorporate into that fist and sword?
Martha turned her head while laughing at Raon, who kept swinging his sword while dripping cold sweat.
‘He isn’t even worthy of my attention.’
She used to consider him as a threat, but she no longer did.
Raon couldn’t even match up to that coward Dorian, let alone Burren or Runaan.
On the other hand, the fact that she’d been counterattacked by Raon was still etched in her memory.
‘I can forget about it now, since he will be no match for me in a duel using aura.’
With a laid-back smile, Martha turned around.
Runaan Sullion was standing there with a blank expression on her face.
“Is that all you want to say?”
“I’m going, even if you don’t tell me to.
It’s time for me to do some more advanced training.”
She waved her hand gently, then left the training ground.
Despite Martha having mocked him so much, Raon didn’t react.
He kept swinging his sword while steam billowed from his mouth.
The sword was the only thing reflected in his red pupil.
Raon looked around the indoor gymnasium after finishing his night training.
‘Is everyone gone?’
Since the two next days were holidays, everyone had gone home.
Nobody remained at the training ground.
Raon let out an exhilarated breath and put down his sword.
Since he’d been only focusing on swordsmanship while using his ‘Ring of Fire’, he hadn’t realized the night had already fallen.
The concentration was on par with right before an assassination.
It was difficult to have such extreme concentration during training.
‘My swordsmanship got a lot better.’
His progress in the ‘Combination Sword’ was a lot higher, thanks to only being focused on the sword.
It looked like it would soon become usable in a real battle without any issues.
You’ve finally come to your senses!!
As he was feeling satisfied with his training, Wrath’s angry voice rang out.
You are such a pathetic guy, staying still after being taunted so much!
That black haired girl kept talking to you!
He hadn’t realized Martha was talking, as he was too focused on training.
If she had said such a thing to the King of Essence, I would’ve frozen her whole then broken it into pieces!
‘I already told you, there’s nothing to gain from fighting her now.’
There would be nothing to gain by fighting her because of her provocation.
It was much more preferable to make a bet later, with the title of top trainee at stake, in order to receive something like an elixir or a martial arts book.
‘Since I can win, no matter what.’
Even if he didn’t manage to learn the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’, it would be easy to win against a greenhorn like Martha.
The best time to fight her would be when she managed to get her hand on some worthy treasure.
‘For now, I should return.’
As Raon was about to turn off the magical light in the training ground, he heard a quiet stepping sound from the door.
Small and light steps.
They belonged to Runaan, and he’d gotten used to hearing them every day.
When he turned around, Runaan was standing there with glittering purple eyes, rather than her usual blank expression.
She extended the hand that she’d been hiding behind her back.
There was a box, a bit smaller than a brick.
Without responding, Runaan opened the lid.
Under the cold steam that rose along with the lid, there was a bead at the size of a thumb.
Raon looked back and forth between the bead inside the box and Runaan’s purple eyes.
“Do you want me to take it?”
Runaan nodded and put the bead in Raon’s hand.
He could feel a pleasant coolness on his hand.
She spoke, then closed the lid.
Raon couldn’t tell what it was, but it was certainly something precious since it was stored in a box full of ice.
Given the things he’d learned during his life as an assassin, he shouldn’t have eaten it.
However, because Runaan's eyes were filled with expectation, his hand moved on its own.
* * *
[Translator – Kyangi]
[Proofreader – Harley]
Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics
* * *
She wouldn’t give him something bad, he thought.
He closed his eyes and put the bead in his mouth.
The bead melted as soon as it touched his tongue, and a cool and sweet taste—like frozen chocolate—spread throughout his mouth.
He was astonished by how cool and sweet it tasted.
H-how can such a taste exist?! It’s a sweetness that the King of Essence had never tasted, even in devildom! No, is it the coolness that made it even sweeter? More, bring more of it! I want to eat more!
It looked like their senses were connected, since Wrath kept jumping up and down after eating the ice cream.
‘Just stay still.’
As Wrath fluttered like a butterfly, Raon pushed him away with his elbow.
“How was it?”
“It… It’s delicious.”
“It’s bead ice cream.”
Runaan nodded and stepped back.
Then she left the training ground, just like that.
Despite him gesturing to her and calling for her, she didn’t look back.
What a strange girl.
But it would’ve been better if she gave me one more.
‘Was she worried about me?’
It looked like she gave him the bead ice cream because she was worried about him being openly laughed at by Martha that day.
He’d occasionally eaten ice cream in the annex building, but it was his first time having it in that form and taste.
Considering the size of the box, it must’ve contained at most four beads, and it looked like she’d given him the last one.
‘She gave me the last one.’
Runaan liked sweet food, as befitting of her age.
The last ice cream must’ve been important to her, so giving it to him without hesitation must’ve been a difficult decision.
He could imagine Runaan hesitating with her saved snack in her hand.
He felt sorry for making such a child worry about him.
‘But I’m completely unaffected.’
It was true.
His path was higher and more difficult than anyone else’s, and the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation' was the guide that would allow him to walk his path more easily.
There was no way such an excellent guide would lend him its strength easily.
He had to be patient and wait.
‘I should repay her later.’
Raon gently smiled and left the training ground.
His tired steps had become as light as a feather.
“Oh my god! Young master Raon!”
When Raon opened the annex building’s door and entered, Helen—who was standing at the entrance—approached him with round eyes.
“Did you say Raon is here?”
Sylvia, who heard Helen’s voice, kicked open the door and ran up to Raon to hug him.
“How long has it been?! You haven't visited for months!”
“We saw each other last week.”
Raon pushed her back as she rubbed her cheek against his.
Since weekend visits were allowed for official trainees, Sylvia had been visiting him every week.
“Those are two different things!”
Flailing her arms, Sylvia shook her head.
“You haven’t eaten yet, right? I’ll have dinner prepared.
“Young master, please wait for a moment.”
Sylvia went to the kitchen with the maids.
Judging from the smell, it looked like they were preparing a beef stew.
How to say it.
It was difficult to put it into words, but he felt comfortable whenever he came to the annex building.
Maybe that’s what a real home, something he’d never had in his previous life, was supposed to feel like.
“Prepare it quickly! Raon must be hungry!”
“I know! But the ingredients…”
“Use everything that’s left for now!”
Raon headed to the bathroom, listening to the friendly sounds coming from the kitchen.
At daybreak in Raon’s room, Judiel knelt with her head bowed.
Raon tapped the paper in his hand, sitting at his bed.
It was the same paper as the moonlight paper he’d found in the lake last time.
“Raise your head.”
At the dignified voice, Judiel trembled and raised her head.
“Any orders from the Central Martial Palace?”
“No, nothing special.
There was an order to investigate more thoroughly when the young master began learning the fist and swordsmanship techniques so quickly, but it looks like they lost interest since the young master hasn’t managed to develop an aura.”
“Is that so?”
Since aura was the most important aspect for any warrior, it looked like they’d lost interest in him, since he wasn’t talented in it.
“How about mother?”
“They seem less interested in Lady Sylvia as well.
At this rate, there’s a possibility that I’ll be called back.”
One might think that it was a good thing for her to be called back, but that wasn’t the case at all.
‘I can’t use her anymore.’
Since that defeated the purpose of having made Judiel into a double agent, it wasn’t a desirable course of action.
“By… By any chance, did the young master purposely avoid acquiring an aura…”
Judiel opened her trembling mouth.
Instead of answering, Raon just smiled.
It was enough to make Judiel swallow.
The fear of that day still dominated her.
“Thank you for your work.
You may go now.”
Judiel stood with trembling eyes.
Rejoicing over the fact that she didn’t have to go through the pain and fear anymore, she quickly opened the door and left.
They’re going to believe that you didn’t learn aura on purpose.
‘Using the atmosphere and the situation to my favor is also a strength.’
Raon tapped Wrath, who was hanging on his wrist.
Judiel was going to misunderstand on her own and nurture her fear against him.
You are so pathetic, struggling to learn an aura.
Back in devildom, the King of Essence could perform any magic or martial art with his eyes closed once learned.
‘I’m so pathetic, indeed.’
Raon casually responded and left the room.
Since he wasn’t in a hurry, he could laugh off Wrath’s contempt.
As he was about to go to the garden for the daylight training, a man approached him from a distance.
The red-haired elf that brought around a pleasant wind was Rimmer.
“Did you sleep well?”
Rimmer waved his hand, hair its usual bird's nest.
“What brought you here at daybreak?”
“I didn’t keep my promise back then.
I felt bad about it, so I figured I’d help you out a bit.”
“I ran away after promising to teach you the ‘Advanced Rising Fist’ on the first day of fist technique training.”
“Since it’s too late now for that, I’ll teach you something else.”
He grinned and flicked his finger.
A dark green wind rose from the end of his long finger.
“I’ll teach you about attribute.”
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