[Translator – Kyangi]
[Proofreader – Harley]
Raon licked his lips.
‘I got him.’
He realized that the method to handle the ghastly energy was slightly different from using aura after obtaining the Blade of Requiem.
He didn’t have much difficulty using the ghastly energy thanks to the Blade of Requiem showing him the way, but he had another power he couldn’t handle properly.
The Coldness of Frost.
Thanks to the Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’s sword techniques, he could use the fire attribute to the best of its abilities. But when it came down to the Coldness of Frost, he only had the aura, lacking any skill to use it with.
He felt it when he fought against the Blood Raving Demon back then, but he couldn’t perfectly handle the Coldness of Frost. He’d been copying the Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’s sword techniques, the Star Connecting Sword, and Runaan, but it just felt awkward.
‘I need a method to control the frost.’
The best existence at handling frost was the monarch of Wrath, who was residing in his forearm.
‘That’s why I did some preliminary work.’
He became intimate with the Blade of Requiem and sympathized with it by communicating with it even more. That made Wrath anxious to try and join them.
After two weeks, he felt so alienated and anxious that he ended up biting the bait.
He offered the method to control frost, which was the best treasure he could give, but Raon’s reaction was indifferent.
‘Now isn’t the time to pull the fishing rod.’
Wrath was a doormat but he wasn’t an idiot. If he answered immediately and showed his interest, Wrath would suspect his intentions and change his mind about teaching him.
‘I need to take more time.’
It was the same as catching a strong fish. If you pull the fishing rod immediately, either the rod would break or the string would snap.
He first needed to swing the rod left and right to exhaust the fish.
‘How to use the frost?’
Raon pretended he wasn’t really interested by asking back without the slightest movement.
Y-yes. From the King of Essence’s perspective, you don’t truly understand the frost.
With your abilities, you should already be aware of the fact that you are lacking in that aspect.
‘Certainly, there are multiple problems compared to when I use the Ten Thousand Flames Cultivation’s aura.’
Yes! If the King of Essence helped you a little, you would become better than any other human at handling the frost. Because there are different ways of controlling frost!
Wrath’s voice became higher and he started speaking faster, as if someone was chasing after him.
‘But are you actually even good at handling frost? All I’ve seen so far was screaming ‘Uaaaah!’ before spreading ice all over the place.’
Th-That’s because the King of Essence currently doesn’t have a body! If only I had one, I would’ve shown you how delicately I can control it!
‘Well, that’s not too bad…’
Raon slightly turned his head. Wrath was staring at him, rolled up like cotton candy.
Think about it carefully. You won’t be able to hide your frost forever. Everyone is going to learn about it eventually, so it’d be more beneficial for you to learn to control it beforehand.
‘That’s not wrong.’
Back in Devildom, countless demons visited the King of Essence, asking to be taught to control frost. I’ve never taught anyone about it. Since this is a golden opportunity for you…
‘I’m feeling sleepy because of your lengthy speech.’
Raon turned his head and pulled the blanket up to his neck.
‘I’m going to sleep for now, so let’s talk about it again later.’
He closed his eyes, pretending he didn’t really care.
Raon Zieghart! You are missing your once-a-lifetime chance right now! The King of Essence’s method to control frost is worth more than any fortune, and even your life itself! If you miss this opportunity…
‘Ahem, I’m sleeping.’
He pushed away Wrath, who kept talking endlessly, and smiled slightly.
‘It looked like I’ll get to learn it soon enough.’
Wrath’s attitude was showing his anxiety. He was going to teach him how to handle frost from the bottom of his heart soon.
Raon lightly tapped the Blade of Requiem to praise him, and it vibrated slightly—as if it realized what he meant.
Looking up the worn castle wall, yellow with age and covered in blood stains like some spotty puppy, Raon slowly caught his breath.
The atmosphere was filled with the scent of burned corpses, blood, and the beasts. It was disgusting enough to make anyone nauseous.
Clinging on to the wall scorched black, Dorian started vomiting. Raon patted his back and looked back at the castle walls.
“Is this Habun castle…?”
The castle wall was covered in traces of battles and the scent of a battlefield that still remained was enough to understand what kind of place it was—and what kind of situation they were in.
It was literally the hell of never-ending battles.
Huaaa! This atmosphere of the battlefield is making the King of Essence feel alive!
It looked like Wrath was enjoying the stench of blood and rotten corpses as he inhaled deeply.
“M-Mom, this bad son is going to the heavens first! I-I can’t…”
“Get a grip.”
He stood in front of the castle gate with Dorian, who was about to die, and the head of a young man in his late twenties popped up over the castle walls. His short purple hair and cold eyes were impressive.
“Who are you?”
“We are mercenaries that came to offer support.”
Raon showed him the mercenary plate Rimmer gave him.
“What are your names?”
“Raon and Dorian.”
The man’s eyes shone upon hearing the names. It looked like he was aware of their identities.
“Open the door.”
“Open the door!”
Probably because he was an important person, the Habun castle’s gate opened at his order.
As they went inside, the scent of burning corpses decreased as the stench of blood became even worse. It seemed there were many battles inside the castle as well.
“Raon and Dorian.”
He looked to the right upon hearing a voice calling his name.
The man that was on the castle walls earlier was standing next to him. He wasn’t exactly tall, but his body was sturdy and a thick sword was hanging around his waist.
“You are a bit later than the appointed time.”
As expected, he knew that they were the Zieghart’s trainees.
“Is that thing okay?”
He narrowed his eyes, looking at Dorian hanging down like a frog caught by its leg.
“He is always like that. You don’t need to worry about him.”
Raon nodded, taking a glance at Dorian.
“My name is Terian. Call me vice commander from now on.”
He caught Dorian by his neck since he had no strength in his legs, following Terian. Upon entering the five-story building at the center of the castle, he could see the knights, swordsmen, and soldiers busily moving around.
‘Their eyes are different.’
Their might itself was lacking compared to the Zieghart’s swordsmen, but the gazes directed at them was solid.
It was the spirit of rough warriors that had experienced countless life-and-death situations. He realized once again that he was in the middle of a battlefield.
He walked up old stairs, following Terian. Upon reaching the fifth floor, a thick door made of black wood could be seen.
“The mercenaries from that place have arrived.”
Terian knocked on the door and announced the purpose of his visit. A heavy voice could be heard from inside.
[Translator – Kyangi]
[Proofreader – Harley]
The old door opened along with the rough sound of hinges being distorted.
The room was wide, yet the inside was so simple that it felt almost empty. If it weren’t for the map of Habun castle and the surrounding areas, as well as the bookshelves full of books, it would’ve looked like an average soldier’s room rather than that of a commander.
The gray-haired old man stood up from the discolored yellow desk. He was small in height but contained a tremendous amount of strength and pressure in his eyes. His overwhelming presence made Raon feel like he was facing a giant, making his hands tremble.
‘This man is Milland Brydon.’
That small old man was the man called the giant of the north, the protector of Habun Castle that had been defending the old and battered castle for over two decades.
Those are the eyes of a real general. I haven’t seen those in a while.
‘Did you feel it too?”
Yes. Those are the eyes of a person that’s been focusing on one thing for decades. Back in Devildom, the King of Essence had countless subordinates like him that had sworn loyalty to…
Please listen! Stop ignoring the King of Essence!
He turned his head, ignoring Wrath because he started to speak for too long.
“You are Raon Zieghart, right?”
Milland’s voice was too husky, as if his throat was cracked. It seemed more like his throat was injured than it being his natural voice.
Raon responded nonchalantly, while Dorian was scared stiff.
“The vice commander and I are the only people that are aware of your identity in this castle.”
Milland gestured with his head to point at Terian, who was standing on his left side. It looked like the vice commander was Milland’s son.
“I know why Rimmer sent you guys here. It must’ve been for you to gain lots of experience. However, there’s no such thing as training or education here.”
Milland’s voice was filled with solid conviction. Raon swallowed, facing the pressure of a giant that’d been protecting the castle his entire life.
“There’s no such thing as a kind instructor nor a warm meal and comfortable bedding. All that exists here is the cold wind that penetrates the bones and endless battles. If you want to live comfortably, you’d better return right now.”
“C-Can I really ret…”
“We don’t mind. We came here to get stronger. We are ready to accept any battlefield and situation.”
Raon covered Dorian’s mouth, cutting him off as he was about to give up immediately, and stepped forward.
“I like your eyes, at least.”
Despite what he said, Milland wasn’t smiling in the slightest.
“I’ll wait and see how long those eyes are going to last. Your rank is soldier from now on. Start from the rock bottom. Charles!”
Milland struck the desk and shouted, and a middle-aged man with a long beard entered the room.
“Have you called me?”
“Those two guys, assign them to the third scouting party.”
“It’s rather uncommon to have mercenaries assigned as scouts.”
“I’m letting them try different positions for now.”
“Understood. Follow me.”
Raon carried Dorian, who was standing there blankly as if he had passed out, and followed the man named Charles.
The heavy door closed, and Milland and Terian remained inside the commander’s room.
“That was pathetic.”
Terian frowned in dissatisfaction.
“What are you talking about?”
“You’ve seen them. The guy named Raon was too relaxed, as if he came here to play around, and the guy named Dorian was too scared, to a point where his strength left his body. They are only going to cause trouble here, instead of being helpful in any way.”
“They only care about their appearances, since they are holding multiple swords, and Raon even has a flower bracelet around his wrist. Those aren’t the mindsets a warrior should have. We should return them now rather than later, since keeping them here will only result in the soldiers getting injured.”
“It looks like you didn’t really like them.”
Milland smiled lightly, looking at Terian as his son’s face turned red.
“It just looks like they are looking down on this castle that we are defending with our lives.”
“That might be the case, however…”
Milland’s eyes became even more serious.
“You can’t judge people by their appearance. They’ve passed Zieghart’s training, which is infamous for its difficulty, and they are now facing the last trial. They aren’t as naive as they look.”
“I guess so.”
Terian was still pouting as he nodded, expressing that he still didn’t like them.
“It’s not too late to judge after observing them for a while. Such prejudices aren’t necessary.”
Milland licked his lips and took out a letter from the desk’s drawer.
“I’m not sure why he asked me to send him their information once every two weeks.”
“I must be because they are the Zieghart’s forces, raised with utmost care.”
“That could be the case, but this isn’t from Rimmer or the fifth training ground.”
“This letter is from the lord’s manor in Zieghart. He is asking me to tell him everything, from what kind of work they do to how they act.”
“The lord’s manor means… it’s from the D-Destructive King of the North?”
“Yes. I’m not sure why, as it’s the first time he has ever made a request like this. Moreover, he is asking to describe it in detail. Tsk.”
“Huh! What’s going on…?”
While they were pondering over Glenn’s intentions, the door opened after a light knock.
“Radin, the third scout party leader, has arrived in accordance with the commander’s summons in the middle of his meal!”
A man in his thirties entered the room and saluted, wearing an outer garment that was as white as the snow field.
“I won’t give you anything, even if you complain about that.”
The man that called himself Radin scratched the back of his head.
“So, why did you call me?”
“I’ve assigned two recruits to the third scout party.”
“Oh, how did you know that we were lacking in manpower?”
“You shouldn’t be so glad, since they might be assigned elsewhere soon enough.”
“Which means their assignment will be changed eventually. Ah, I was happy for no reason.”
“They are soldiers that will become our power. Educate them properly so they won’t die.”
“Then I’ll send them to scout right away, since actual battle is the best education.”
Radin smiled and nodded his head.
“The monsters’ movements have been suspicious recently. They’ve often been seen leaving their own territories, so you should be careful.”
“I’m the third scout party leader. Trust me!”
He put his hand on his forehead once again, before leaving the room.
“They are going into action right away. Are they really going to be okay?”
“Probably. I’m not sure about that coward Dorian, but Raon was…”
Milland tapped the desk and smiled.
“Not just an average guy.”
Raon and Dorian followed the swordsman Charles and arrived at the scout party’s lodging. They were given a double room to live together, probably because they had enough spare rooms.
Dorian’s hands trembled, as he was still unused to the stench of blood.
“Th-This place seems more dangerous than I thought. Why do they even have a mountain of corpses?!”
“Calm down a little.”
“But the young master saw it too. With the stench of blood and corpses earlier—those weren’t just monster corpses, but also lots of h-human corpses!”
“I keep telling you, you need to calm down. The more anxious you are, the more difficult it gets. You are going to endanger yourself for no reason at this rate.”
Dorian covered his mouth and slowly breathed through his nose.
“Unpack your baggage for now, since we are going to have to stay here for a while.”
He wiped the tears that were dribbling out and placed his bed’s mattress.
He took a spongy mattress and a warm blanket from his belly pocket, placed them on the bed, and hung up a sky-blue fabric next to it.
“Are you even decorating?”
“The mood is too dark, like a funeral. But I’m not feeling better, no matter how I decorate.”
He sighed, looking at the fabric from various angles.
“Do you also have a golden fabric in there?”
Dorian nodded and took out a golden fabric.
He immediately took out the fabric according to the color he called. His preparedness was truly astonishing.
“The young master should also sleep on this. Your back is going to hurt if you sleep on such a bed.”
Even though he was sniffling, Dorian still gave him a mattress and a blanket.
Raon nodded. As he was about to make the bed, the door slammed open.
“Recruits, have you finished settling into the room?”
A man in early to mid-thirties wearing snow white clothes entered with a smile.
“My name is Radin, the leader of the third scout party you are assigned to.”
“I am Raon.”
“M-my name is Dorian…”
Raon bowed nonchalantly, while Dorian bowed with trembling lips.
“Your faces look good. B-but where did you get those mattresses and blankets from?”
“I-I brought them here.”
Dorian raised his hand, and Radin tilted his head, murmuring that it was his first time dealing with people like him.
“Anyway, make the bed later. Put on your outer garments for now.”
“We are going on a mission.”
Radin smiled, throwing the white snowsuits he brought at them.
“We will check your scouting abilities, judgment, and senses to see whether you will be able to survive in the scout party in the future.”
He started blabbering about how they were going to die soon enough if they were lacking one of the three qualities.
Dorian started screaming in fear, but Raon was different. He raised his head with a slight smile.
“Did you just say you will check our scouting ability and senses?”
He was confident he could do better than anyone in the Habun castle in those aspects.
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