Raon slowly opened his eyes.
He smiled at the hot energy rooted firmly in his energy center.
He managed to create an aura with the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’, piercing through Wrath’s fierce sabotage.
Moreover, the chunk of aura was a lot bigger and more straightforward than he’d expected.
‘And there’s more than the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’.’
Next to the aura from the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’, which resembled lava pressed into a rounded shape, there was a lump of ice similar to the northern ocean’s glaciers.
It was the result of a coincidence that occurred while he was pushing back Wrath’s cold fire with the heat from the charcoal kiln.
‘I didn’t expect that misfortune to turn into a blessing like this.’
The aura from the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’ was over twice the size that he expected, and the aura of ice formed next to it.
It was a great reward, exceeding his expectations, for enduring such terrible pain and putting his life at stake.
Calming his pounding heart, Raon looked at the message that appeared in front of him.
[You have acquired the 'Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation'.]
[Trait 'Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation (One-Star)' has been created.]
['Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation' has reached two-star after receiving a powerful heat.]
['Fire Resistance (Two-Star)' has been created with the effect from the 'Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation (Two-Stars)'.]
They were messages stating that the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’ reached two-star as soon as it was created.
‘I knew that would happen.’
Since the energy from the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’ that settled in his energy center was a lot bigger than expected, he’d figured it had reached two-stars in one go.
‘I can blossom the flower right away.’
The flower of fire could be used once the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’ reached the Two-Stars rank, and he felt like he could already use it.
When Raon smiled in anticipation, a second set of messages appeared.
[Two strands of the 'Curse of Frost' have been melted down.]
[The state 'Poor Stamina' has disappeared.]
[The melted ice has condensed to form the trait 'Coldness of Frost'.]
[After receiving the powerful coldness from 'Wrath', the 'Coldness of Frost' has reached Two-Stars.]
An exclamation burst from him.
The notice about the two strands of the curse melting down and the poor stamina state disappearing were amazing on their own, but the most important part was below those messages.
The message stating that the ice inside his mana circuit had been condensed into a trait called ‘Coldness of Frost’… It had to be referring to the aura of ice located next to the aura from the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’.
He had actually just been trying to raise his water resistance by taking in his mana circuit’s ice instead of expelling it.
The unexpected reward, the ‘Coldness of Frost’, felt good—but it was also bewildering.
Before he could fully comprehend all the messages, a third set of messages appeared.
[You have withstood an interruption from 'Wrath' at a critical moment.]
[All stats have increased by 3 as a reward for displaying extreme willpower.]
His stats raised at the same time the message appeared.
He was exhilarated as his body and mind expanded and contracted.
‘Is this a dream?’
He’d only been trying to acquire the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’, yet he managed to raise it to Two-Stars, along with Two-Stars of ice and extra stats.
Thanks to Wrath’s interruption, he managed to obtain skills he would’ve needed to train for several years to otherwise receive.
God damn it!
When Raon smiled as he closed the messages, Wrath’s suppressed voice burst out.
What the hell are you?! How could you overcome that?!
His dignified way of speaking was no longer there.
Wrath was literally bursting with wrath.
‘I told you.
You are no match for me.
It won’t work, no matter what you do.’
Raon bluffed and waved his hand.
No way! There’s no way this can happen! Even back in devildom, the King of Essence never experienced such humiliation.
How could this happen…?
‘Just give up already.’
Despite acting composed, he had really thought he was going to die.
He’d only managed to survive because he had read the surrounding energy during the three months he’d been visiting the charcoal kiln.
‘I have to be more careful.’
It had become certain.
They’d gotten a bit closer, but Wrath was clearly his enemy.
He couldn’t afford to reveal his weaknesses or secrets to him, no matter what.
“Are… Are you okay?”
As Wrath trembled, Vulcan approached him.
His eyes were wide enough that they looked like they might roll from his head.
Raon raised his body.
His body had grown as light as a feather with his increased stats and the two types of auras that he’d obtained.
“Then… Have you acquired it?”
Vulcan’s lips were still trembling as he spoke in a low voice.
“Yes, thanks to you.”
He gave a deep nod.
Thanks to the auras created in his energy center, he was full of energy.
“And I’m sorry.
The kiln was broken because of me.”
Raon pointed towards the collapsed kiln.
It was his fault that the sturdy charcoal kiln was in that state.
As he bowed low to apologize, Vulcan tapped his shoulder and approached the kiln.
“If you are okay, then that’s fine.
Something like a charcoal kiln can be just remade… hmm?”
Vulcan’s eyes widened as he examined the collapsed charcoal kiln.
* * *
[Translator – Kyangi]
[Proofreader – Harley]
Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics
* * *
After rummaging through the collapsed charcoal kiln, he picked up three pieces of charcoal with his tongs, each a shining gold color.
‘What is that?’
He’d seen white and black charcoal before, but he’d never seen charcoal shining like gold like that.
Vulcan had told him he was trying to create golden charcoal instead of white or black charcoal.
The golden light appeared to be the golden charcoal he mentioned.
“It looks like you weren’t the only one to have a strange turn of events occur.”
“This is golden charcoal.
It is a blacksmith’s charcoal with higher heat than white charcoal, and higher durability than black charcoal.”
Vulcan placed the charcoal, which was emitting a golden heat, on top of a steel plate.
“I’ve been trying to make this charcoal for over ten years now, but ended up succeeding like this… Life really is full of surprises.”
He watched the golden charcoal with ecstasy on his face.
“It’s all thanks to you.
“I didn’t really do anything.”
“Whenever you cultivated, the flame inside the kiln jolted, and your breath brought life to the flame.
I’m an idiot who’s only used a hammer in my entire life, but I can tell what you’ve done.
It’s all thanks to you.”
When Raon was about to tell him he didn’t really do anything, Vulcan continued.
“What is your goal?”
He couldn’t answer immediately.
He wasn’t sure why Vulcan was asking that question, but his serious gaze suggested that he should respond.
As he’d resolved during his cultivation, the end of his journey led to revenge against Derus.
However, his priority at the moment was Sylvia.
He wanted her to be happy.
And to achieve that…
Rather than a brutally powerful strength, he needed a strength that wouldn’t waver or lose in any situation.
It was the same line of thoughts as the undying flame that he’d created as his fire’s image.
“I want to become a swordsman who won’t be defeated by anyone, or any situation.”
“Never defeated? It’s not something a brat should say.”
It looked like a pleased smile, rather than mockery.
He called his name for the first time.
It seemed to be his way of giving recognition.
“How long do you have until you get your personal sword?”
“I’m not sure, but I think it’ll take about three to five years.”
In order to obtain a personal sword instead of the sword supplied by Zieghart, he had to finish the basic training and pass the swordsmanship test, which usually took about three to five years.
Vulcan murmured that he should be able to endure that much.
“Once you’ve obtained an undefeated mind, come and visit me.
I’ll save these for that day.”
Vulcan carefully shook the golden charcoal on the steel plate.
“Do you mean you will forge a sword for me? Aren’t you retired?”
“Changing your mind after retirement happens pretty often.”
He smiled cheerfully.
It looked like his wrinkles, which used to be filled with exhaustion and vanity when he’d first visited him, were now full of vigor.
Vulcan waved his hand lightly and went down the mountain.
It was such a simple goodbye, considering they’d been seeing each other so often over the last three months, but it did suit him.
Vulcan’s back, which could be seen under the sunlight, looked thirty years younger than the first time he’d seen him.
‘Everything went well in the end.’
When Raon opened his hand, a red flame ignited like a snake’s tongue.
It was the aura from the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’.
He didn’t even need to control it since he’d gotten it to Two-Stars immediately.
The flame from the ‘Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’ was following his will perfectly.
When he closed his hand, the flame disappeared.
Only a slight heat remained.
‘And now… hmm?’
Just as he was about to draw on the ‘Coldness of Frost’, he felt a small presence from above the tree to the right.
It was so small that it could be easily mistaken as a bird or a small animal from the mountain, but Raon already knew who it was.
“Please come out.”
Raon dusted off his hands while looking at the tree.
He stayed still with a fixated gaze on his face.
Rimmer dropped from the tree like a monkey, as if nothing had happened.
You were aware?”
He smiled awkwardly while scratching the back of his head.
“I realized it a little bit ago.”
“Tsk, so that was it.
I was surprised to see the fire.”
Rimmer clicked his tongue.
His green eyes were still full of surprise.
“Have you been watching me all along?”
“No, today is the first time.”
He was smiling, but he wasn’t as composed as always.
He looked like a child who had been caught lying.
‘I guess that would be normal.’
Rimmer wasn’t a harsh person that would stop caring about him after bringing him to such a place.
It looked like he’d been watching over him for the past three months.
“Thank you very much.”
“I told you it’s not—oh my.”
Rimmer looked away while scratching his head.
‘He is peculiar.’
He wasn’t happy about receiving gratitude, but was embarrassed instead.
The elf also looked far from normal.
“It was a bit late, but you’ve got an aura.
I don’t think it’s particularly late, though.”
Raon displayed a red flame on the tip of his finger.
Rimmer frowned upon seeing it.
“How can you use the aura as soon as you’ve created it…?”
He sighed with a fed-up expression.
“Isn’t this normal?”
“It’s my first time seeing someone using aura right after acquiring it.”
Rimmer murmured that it usually took anywhere from one week to one month to skillfully use one’s aura.
“Go down the mountain now, you need to arrive before training starts.”
Rimmer tapped his shoulder and smiled.
“How about the instructor?”
“I’m going to clean that up before arriving.”
He pointed towards the collapsed charcoal kiln.
The fire was gone, but the heat remained.
“You don’t need to.”
Rimmer shook his head and grabbed Raon, who was about to turn around.
“I’m an instructor, so it’s okay for me to be late.
But a trainee shouldn’t be.”
Raon’s expression was asking him ‘what kind of bullshit is that?’, but Rimmer ignored him as he fanned himself with his hand.
“Anyway, I’ll follow after cleaning up, so head down now.”
After bowing once again, he went down the mountain.
After making sure that Raon was gone, Rimmer looked at the charcoal kiln.
Since Vulcan had designed it to not spread the fire, he didn’t need to touch it.
The reason he stayed wasn’t because of the kiln.
“Please come out now.”
He called out, just as Raon had called him.
The air silently wavered, and a blond old man in long black clothes came down.
“How was the spectacle?”
Glenn silently looked at the collapsed charcoal kiln, and the place that Raon used to sit.
“My lord must be feeling a bit more assured now, since you’ve been visiting every day and worrying about your grandson.”
“I’ve never done such a thing.”
He shook his head and raised his finger.
The remains of the collapsed kiln gathered in one spot, following Glenn’s signal.
The remains tangled with each other like rose vines and compressed, then disappeared in an instant.
If not for the traces of burns on the ground, nobody would’ve imagined there used to be a kiln there.
It was an extraordinarily skillful handling of aura.
“The quantity and purity of that aura is outrageous, probably because he absorbed all the heat from the charcoal kiln.
Moreover, he started using it immediately after stabilizing it.
It’s an amazing talent.”
“That’s not all.”
Glenn closed his eyes, looking towards the forest road that Raon went down.
“He even made his restraints his power.”
In the south of Zieghart there was a town where lights never went out.
A town of blacksmiths, it was Mirtan village, where blacksmiths struck with their hammers day and night.
A round shaped forge was located at the deepest part of the town.
The smithy that had been dark for over ten years had finally lit up.
“What?! The previous village chief’s smithy has lit up!”
“The village chief, no, the previous village chief has returned!”
“He’s returned? But he’s already retired!”
“Didn’t that old man return to his hometown?”
Blacksmiths, whether they were working, sleeping, or about to head out, flocked towards the forge.
And they asked why he came back.
Vulcan, the previous chief of Mirtan village and the legendary blacksmith, dusted off the smithy.
“I have to prepare my body until that day comes.”
He smiled pleasantly as he raised his hammer, igniting a fire.
“I need to create a sword to surpass the True Heavenly Sword.”
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