Chapter 32

 

Raon’s footsteps were lighter than ever as he made his way towards the training ground.
It wasn’t just an impression—his body had actually become lighter, as if he were riding the wind.

‘It’s thanks to the aura.’

The increased stats and change in his constitution were one of the reasons, but aura was making the biggest difference.

Aura was an accumulation of mana.
It could increase a human’s physical abilities just by existing.

Since Raon had two types of auras sitting together in his energy center, it was obvious he felt light and energetic.

‘And there’s more.’

His perception had become sharper.

Flow of the wind, footsteps of animals in the mountain, and the presence of swordsman standing guard under the mountain—he felt like he could grasp his entire surroundings in the palm of his hand.

“Hmm.”

Raon licked his lips.

‘I want to test it out.’

Before using it in an actual battle, he wanted to understand exactly how much ability he currently had.

‘I should go to the mountain again after today’s training.’

The vacant lot where Rimmer had taught him about the wind last time seemed to be a good place to test it.

Grrrrr!

As Raon made his way towards the training ground, smiling with anticipation, Wrath screamed.

Damn it!

He was exuding icy violence and rage.
Although he was obviously not scary, as he didn’t have any power left.

How could you notice the kiln at that moment?!

‘I wonder, I must’ve been lucky.’

My arse! Did you think I didn’t realize you pulled it in?

Wrath kept grinding his teeth.

‘This guy is a monster!’

He’d expected Raon Zieghart to be capable of blocking the ice and mental attacks.

‘I thought it didn’t matter what he could do.’

He believed he could eat up his body and mind soon enough, like he’d always done.

‘But it did.’

He was different.

He waited for the moment the human’s mind was at its weakest: the trance upon reaching the end of his cultivation, when his mental barriers were at their most fragile.

Despite expelling all his wrathful emotions and the ice that he'd accumulated, Raon’s mind didn’t crumble.

He kept enduring it with his outrageous willpower and ended up pushing him back, utilizing the kiln’s heat.

He still couldn’t believe that such a perfect plan had failed.

‘Where did this guy…?’

The young bastard managed to withstand like nothing else he’d seen before, despite pain that even a devil that had gone through all kinds of hardships would have been unable to endure.
The absurdity of it rendered him completely speechless.

 

Gulp.

 

Wrath swallowed hard.
He’d just had a terrible image come to mind—one where he was stuck on the child’s forearm for the rest of his life.

‘I’ll never let that happen.’

He grit his teeth.
He failed that day, and other times as well, but he couldn’t keep losing.

Raon Zieghart, don’t enjoy this too much.
The King of Essence hasn’t even gotten started.

“Alright.
Do your best.”

Raon nodded slightly and walked towards the training ground.
His composed reactions were getting more and more irritating.

Clean out your ears and listen.
The King of Essence is a devil that doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘failure’.
After consuming your body, I’ll kill all the humans around yo…

“Good luck.”

Arggggh!

Raon’s simple response made Wrath explode for a second time.

 

***

 

Runaan was staring at the door, standing at the center of the training ground.

‘When is he coming?’

She knew Raon’s condition had been visibly bad, and she also knew the reason.

Aura.

All the children who’d started to cultivate after Raon managed to create an aura.
However, he still hadn’t managed to create an aura despite seven months passing.

Raon was the only one who still hadn’t acquired an aura in the fifth training ground.

Even the children that had acknowledged him when he’d defeated Burren began to change their minds.
They wished for Martha or Burren, or even themselves to become the top trainee instead.

‘I want to help.’

Raon had helped her greatly.
She made greater accomplishments when training next to him, and the refreshing fragrance coming from him made her feel good during her training.

‘Mom also said so.’

Her mother had told her to show her gratitude and repay him.
That was why she’d brought another of her favorite bead ice creams.

She’d given him the last one that other time, but she had three this time.
She hoped he’d feel better after eating it.

 

Click.

 

As Runaan caressed the bead ice cream box, the door to the training ground opened, and Raon—who she had been waiting for—finally entered. 

 

Step.
Step.

 

Running up to him, she stopped in front of Raon.
His expression didn’t really change, as he seemed to have gotten used to it.

 

Rustle.

 

She held out the small box.

“Cheer up.”

Runaan nodded to Raon, who reflexively took the box.

‘Hmm?’

Just as she was about to take the usual five steps away from him, she realized that Raon’s refreshing scent had gotten stronger. 

 

Sniff.
Sniff.

 

It wasn’t a mistake.
There was a heart-shaking freshness.

Runaan remained one step closer than usual, eyes shining.

 

***

 

‘What’s up with her this time?’

Raon narrowed his eyes.
He’d walked down the mountain in a good mood, but he grew flustered as Runaan sniffed him and remained a lot closer than usual.

He checked the box she gave him.
It was the same type of box from the other time, with the bead ice cream in it.

When he opened it, there were three bead ice creams of assorted colors underneath the white steam.

Wow! Isn’t that the bead ice cream?!

Wrath’s excited voice could be heard.

“Are you giving this to me?”

“Mhm.”

Runaan, still sniffing, opened her eyes and nodded.

That child has been acknowledged as the King of Essence’s ice cream girl from today onward.
Raon, eat it all! The King of Essence wants to try different flavors.
Start with the black one in the center…

‘Go away…’

Taking the black ice cream from the box, Raon put it in his mouth.
The cool and sweet taste of chocolate filled his mouth.
The sweetness brought to mind the meaning of ‘happiness found through food’. 

It’s crazy! The coolness covers the mouth, and the sweet chocolate wraps around the tongue like a ribbon.
How splendid!

Wrath seamlessly explained the ice cream’s taste in detail, as if he’d become a reviewer.

More, eat more! The red one this time…

“Heh…”

Runaan licked her lips while drooling a little.
It looked like she also wanted to eat some.

“Thank you for the treat.”

Raon gave her back the box with two ice creams remaining.

“Are you not going to eat more?”

Runaan stared blankly at the returned box.

“I’ve had enough, thank you.”

Enough, my ass! The King of Essence is still hungry! Eat them all!

‘Can’t you see that the child wants to eat it? Act your age.’

Raon squashed the rampaging Wrath with the palm of his hand.

“So, did you cheer up?”

“Huh? Ah…”

Raon snickered at Runaan, who was looking back and forth between him and the box.

‘I knew it.’

She very clearly wanted to eat it, and that made it clear.
Runaan had given him the ice cream to cheer him up. 

Despite being mostly expressionless and quiet, she was a kind girl.

“I’ve cheered up.
Thank you.”

“Mhm!”

Runaan smiled slightly and accepted the box.
She hugged it tight, like a treasure found by an explorer.

“By the way…”

“Huh?”

“Nothing.”

Without finishing her sentence, Runaan shook her head.
It was strange.
She was standing closer to him than usual, and she was sniffing him a lot more.

‘I really don’t understand her.’

Raon shrugged, waiting for Rimmer to return after cleaning up.

 

* * *

 

Reaper Scans

[Translator – Kyangi]

[Proofreader – Harley]

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

 

* * *

 

“We are going to try something special in one month.”

Rimmer smiled, despite arriving ten minutes late.

“The instructor is late once again.
Ten minutes is enough time to swing a sword more than a hundred times.”

Burren raised his hand while frowning.

“Ah, sorry.
I needed to make some preparations.”

Rimmer apologized with the usual hand gestures and continued.
Despite saying sorry, he didn’t look apologetic at all.
He just kept smiling.

“Hmm.”

Burren clearly didn’t seem to like it, but he lowered his hand.

“You’ll like it too, since this will be good training.”

The corners of Rimmer’s lips turned up as he pointed behind him, where a circular shape was drawn on the ground. 

“Since you’ve been learning the basics and cultivating for seven months, it’s time to heat things up a little.
In one month, you will be sparring.”

“Ohh!”

“Finally!”

“Sparring!”

The children’s shout of joy sounded like a roar.
It was an opportunity to test out the aura and swordsmanship that they’d been training repeatedly, so they were obviously happy.

Burren’s wrinkled face brightened and Martha gave an eerie smile, although Runaan’s expression was still blank.

“Since the outcome of the spars will be included in your graduation score, there will be a ranking.
You’d better prepare thoroughly for the next month.”

“Wait a moment.”

Martha, smiling leisurely, called out to Rimmer.

“How about the morons that haven’t formed an aura yet?”

Despite not mentioning a name, everyone looked to Raon.

Raon didn’t react, despite being looked at by the trainees.
With a composed expression, he waited for Rimmer to open his mouth.

“Fortunately, I heard that he also managed to form an aura.”

“Huh? When did he…?”

“Yesterday? Or maybe today?”

“Ah, is that so?”

Martha turned her head.
Her black eyes glittered like a mud-covered black pearl.

“The time has finally come.
It took so long I thought I’d die from boredom.”

She smiled as she approached him.
It was a mixture of mockery and arrogance.

“Do you remember what I told you before? I don’t listen to those weaker than me.
I think I’ve waited long enough already, so let’s end it now.
You…”

“Martha Zieghart, step back.”

Burren interrupted before Raon reacted.

“Planning to spar with a guy in a month, when it hasn’t even been a day since he acquired an aura—where’s your honor as a swordsman?”

“Hah! Honor?”

Martha sneered.
With a blatant mockery, she shook her finger.

“A sheltered young master from a noble family must think that honor can feed you.”

“Martha.”

“Honor is something displayed to someone who deserves it.
The moronic guys over there managed to acquire aura in a single month, yet our top trainee took over half a year.”

She pointed at the recommended children, who’d learned the Rinden aura cultivation technique.

“Even if the cultivation technique was a higher class or better, taking seven months to create aura proves that he has no talent.
You must know about it already, since you were at the Judgment Ceremony with him, right?”

“Hmm…”

Burren frowned, and his expression grew cloudy.

‘Certainly…’

It’d taken him two weeks to learn a top-class aura cultivation technique.
Taking over half a year to get to one-star was a problem, no matter how good the cultivation technique was.

“I admit that he is talented in swordsmanship and fist technique, but that’s it.
If he has no talent in aura, then it’s all pointless.”

“Hmm.”

“That’s true.”

“None of the famous warriors had a weak aura.”

The trainees nodded in agreement with Martha.

“Isn’t the instructor also asking us to spar, because you want to change the top trainee?”

“I wonder?”

Rimmer shrugged his shoulders and eyebrows at the same time.

“Raon Zieghart.
You’ve been a top trainee for too long, despite lacking in ability.
There’s no… I mean, only a few students follow you.
It’s about time you resigned, don’t you think so?”

Martha snickered, glancing at Dorian and a few other trainees standing behind Raon.

“Like I’ve said before, let’s have a duel.
The winner gets to be the top trainee…”

“I don’t want to.”

Raon shook his head before Martha even finished talking.

“What?”

“Do you think you can gamble without any money? If I’m betting my title as top trainee, then you also need to bet something equivalent.”

“Do you not understand your position? You have no allies here…”

“Are you scared?”

Raon smiled as he tilted his head slightly.
It was a much more effective way of mocking her than what Martha had attempted with him.

“Scared? Did you just say that to me? Ha! Alright.
I’ll accept your provocation! They will be your last words.”

Martha snickered.
With her black eyes filled with irritation, she brought forward a small wooden box.

“This is an elixir that my father gave to me, the Nine Flowers Medicine.
I’ll give this to you if you win.”

The Nine Flowers Medicine was an elixir created from combining nine different medicinal herbs, and it had an effect of enhancing the body and aura.

‘Wrath, this is the moment I spoke about before.’

What are you talking about?

‘Didn’t I tell you a time would come when Martha would have something worth taking? Now is that time.’

He already knew that Martha had that elixir, thanks to the talkative Dorian.

‘The Nine Flowers Medicine is acceptable.’

Raon slightly smiled, looking at Martha—who fell for his provocation—and the wooden box containing the Nine Flowers Medicine.

It was a reward for a bet he was going to win anyway.

____

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