Chapter 22: What Even is the Eye of the Mind? (5)
The unique Genesis Knight in the world, Cyron Runcandel.
After he welcomed his youngest son at the Garden of Swords four years ago, he immediately left for the Black Sea again. The question the boy had asked before was still weighing on his mind.
Is God Solderet stronger than father?
‘I can be stronger than a god.’
The monsters at the Black Sea didn’t attack Cyron. They didn’t even approach the center of the Black Sea where Cyron was currently sitting. It was their method of conserving the natural ecosystem.
To eat and be eaten.
Cyron quite liked the simplicity of this system, which was why he came to the Black Sea so often.
A few days ago, a knight came looking for him at the Black Sea. The knight in question had fought and killed countless monsters and bathed in their blood in order to see Cyron.
“This is Khan, Patriarch.”
Cyron didn’t turn around to face him and simply opened his eyes. He was sitting cross-legged, but his body was levitating above the ground by a hand span.
“Speak freely, Khan.”
Khan approached him while wiping off the blood on his armor.
He then gave his report with a stiff face, and Cyron waited for Khan to finish speaking with a composed look.
However, halfway through the report, the corners of Cyron’s lips rose to form a grin.
“…That is all.”
The floating body slowly began its descent onto the ground.
“So, that’s what… the youngest did?”
The content of Khan’s report was the details of the uproar at the beginner training class caused by Jin’s recent actions.
Although Garon had said that he wouldn’t disclose the details of the incident to other Runcandels, he couldn’t keep it a secret from the Runcandel patriarch. Therefore, he informed Khan—Cyron’s right-hand man—about the incident.
He didn’t tell other individuals, however. Garon wasn’t afraid of the current Jin, but he did fear the future Jin.
Cyron suddenly threw his head back and laughed out loud.
“So those are the principles the youngest believes in. He’ll use overwhelming force to dominate others, while also embracing and caring for the weaker humans at times.”
Khan didn’t answer and simply lowered his head.
A wide grin formed on Cyron’s face. In recent years, he was laughing so much, far more than he had ever laughed after reaching the demigod realm.
“Then we’ll need to check whether those principles of his hold any value or worth.”
“Return and tell this to Garon. Before he moves up to the intermediate training class, have the youngest do a…”
In consequence, Khan had to spend another several days getting out of the Black Sea and fighting monsters in order to relay the command to Garon.
Jin—now 15 years old—was acknowledged as a 3-star knight and was enjoying the final break of the beginner training class.
Every year, cadets receive a two-week vacation during the first month. It was their one and only break, as the cadets trained every single day the rest of the year.
It was more or less a vacation.
Most cadets return to their hometowns during this period. Competent cadets train on their own and inspect their equipment, whereas outstanding cadets roam around the Huphester Alliance’s smithies and order custom-made swords.
Why do they order swords, you ask?
The reason is that they’re aware of how they’re the most likely candidates to advance to the next class. The results and nominees are announced only after the end of the two-week break, but most of the time, it’s quite easy to predict who will advance to the intermediate class.
Starting from the intermediate training class, the cadets no longer use wooden swords. They will have to use personal swords tailor-made for them.
The excelling cadets of the beginner class—such as Mesa Milkano—all temporarily left the Garden of Swords in order to acquire their weapons. Even though the results weren’t revealed yet, these cadets all knew they would definitely be chosen.
“Jin, my brother.”
“Yes, Eldest Sister.”
Needless to say, the top ranker of the beginner class this year was Jin.
If Jin were a cadet like Mesa and the others, he would’ve been roaming around the smithies and forges in Huphester.
However, he was a Runcandel.
He was the youngest son of the distinguished clan of swordmasters, which had far too many invaluable and top-notch swords. Therefore, he only had to grab a random sword in the clan’s armory.
He didn’t need a tailor-made weapon. Amongst the thousands of swords sitting in the armory, a couple of them should fit in his hands perfectly at the very least.
“It was quite troublesome finding a sword that suited you, you know?”
However, Jin couldn’t choose his sword himself. Luna said that she wanted to gift him his sword and spent an entire month going through the armory.
In any case, Luna was far better at spotting good swords compared to the current Jin, so he had nothing to lose by accepting her suggestion.
“I look forward to it, Eldest Sister.”
Luna removed the enormous axe-sword on her back and laid it on the floor. It was a different sword compared to her beloved ‘Crantel’.
Jin couldn’t help but make a confused face. The axe-sword Luna had laid seemed even bigger than himself.
On the other hand, Luna’s eyes were glittering with impatience.
“This sword was once called the ‘Bayles Slaughterer’. It’s the weapon I enjoyed using back in my teens.”
What is an axe-sword, you ask?
Just as its name implies, it’s a sword with an axe blade attached to the tip. It’s massive, heavy and bulky. The history of axe-swords is… not very long.
It’s a weapon that Luna Runcandel personally invented at the age of fifteen. Until then, no one had used a weapon like this.
In other words, the name ‘Bayles Slaughterer’ originated from Luna’s own… chaotic, wild, and unstable period of adolescence.
“So? Do you like it?”
Luna spoke with innocent eyes full of hopes and expectations. Chills ran up Jin’s spine as he coughed awkwardly.
“I… don’t quite think this one is… suitable.”
Luna’s joyful and hopeful mood immediately crashed down on her. She wore a sullen smile as a glum atmosphere formed around her.
“Haha, I was just joking. Just joking…”
‘It didn’t seem like a joke, though…’
Jin barely stopped himself from saying that out loud, and just chuckled awkwardly.
For a few more seconds, Luna held onto the pipe dream that Jin would take the axe-sword. However she soon gave up and sighed deeply before taking out another sword.
“It can’t be helped… What about this one, then…?”
The sword Luna showed next was inside a neat, black scabbard without a single ornament or decoration.
It appeared ordinary, but when Jin received the sword from Luna, his eyes began to tremble.
“…Since you chose Barisada during the Selection Ritual, it’s only fitting that you get this blade. It also suits your swordsmanship style.”
As he grabbed the handle and pulled, a snow-white blade entered his sight.
Jin admired the pure, undyed sword as he shouted the weapon’s name in his mind. He gazed at the multicoloured reflection that shone like a stellar diamond, as if he had fallen head over heels for it.
It is the brother of Barisada, the blade once used by the First Patriarch Temar Runcandel. Excluding Barisada, there were very few swords that outperformed Bradamante in the Runcandel armory.
Before forging Barisada, the legendary blacksmith ‘Picon Minche’ created Bradamante as a prototype, which is now known as one of the finest swords around the world.
“You seem to like it.”
“Of course, Eldest Sister. It’s one of the greatest weapons even amongst the swords we have in the clan. Thank you very much.”
Jin’s tone was composed, but he was so happy he wanted to jump around in joy right now.
‘If it weren’t for Luna, it would’ve been practically impossible for me to take Bradamante from the armory. The clan wouldn’t have allowed it. Still, to think she’d give me Bradamante… It’s the sword Murakan told me to obtain in the future!’
Since Bradamante was an excellent sword, many of Jin’s siblings were aiming for it.
But there was a reason why this sword was special to Jin.
When Barisada and Bradamante absorb spiritual energy, they reveal their true worth.
But this was a feature only accessible by those who control shadows.
“Even though many of our siblings yearn for Bradamante… How can I ever repay you for this, Eldest Sister?”
“Repay… It seems you’re still uncomfortable when around me. How saddening.”
“That’s not what I meant, Sister.”
“In order to soothe my sorrow, I’ll have to bully you. Close your eyes right now, Brother. Let’s begin our lesson.”
Luna grinned mischievously as she rubbed Jin’s head and messed up his hair.
“Today again, I will be telling you to observe using the eye of the mind.”
“I am aware.”
“But unlike before, I will tell you something else you need to know about the eye of the mind.”
“What is it, Sister?”
Luna crouched down and held Jin’s hands.
“Know that within our family, where siblings are busy trampling over each other, there is at least one person who loves you unconditionally without expecting something in return. So don’t sadden your sister any more than this.”
“I’m sorry, Sister.”
“Before you were born, I was spending my days in loneliness inside this family. But one victim is more than enough. There is no need for you to go through that too.”
Jin decided not to question Luna’s goodwill and love from here on out.
It was true that this kind-hearted sister had turned a blind eye to Jin and his misery in his first life. But Jin was willing to turn the page and forget her past disregard towards him.
‘I don’t even know everything about her from that life. Maybe she was going through difficult times. I shouldn’t judge with incomplete information.’
“It’s too soon.”
“Your control over spiritual energy is still imperfect in order to awaken Bradamante. You need to reach at least 3-star spiritual release in order to attempt awakening the sword.”
“3-star? I think I’ll reach that soon enough. I should be able to use the sword soon!”
Murakan closed the erotic magazine in his hands with force and stared at Jin.
“Listen carefully, kid. Barisada and Bradamante. Those two spirit swords are dangerous weapons that mustn’t be awakened carelessly. 3-star is the bare minimum requirement. But use Bradamante as an ordinary sword until you reach 5-star, understood?”
“But I don’t have a lot of patience… I guess I’ll have to reach 5-star within the next year.”
“Yeah right. Even if you’re the best spirit controller in his teens and you eat spiritual energy every meal instead of real food, that’s still impossible. Enough with the nonsense. Even a street dog would stop on its path to laugh at you right now.”
How immature. Jin couldn’t believe the individual in front of him was really a dragon who has existed for over 3,000 years.
Jin frowned visibly and snatched away the magazine in Murakan’s hands.
“What was that? Huh? Something about a street dog? Say that again, I didn’t hear you.”
“Give my magazine back. Give it back, you brat. Do you know how hard it was to…”
The bickering duo paused and turned to Gilly, who was running towards them. She seemed to be in a hurry.
“What’s the matter, Gilly?”
“Instructor Garon is asking for you, Young Master.”
“Why would Garon want to see me during the break? If he has something to say, tell him to come find me personally.”
As her eyes shook in worry, Gilly approached Jin and spoke quietly.
“He says he needs to give a rundown of the operation to you using the map, Young Master.”
“Yes, Instructor Garon has assigned you your first ‘mission’. And apparently, you’ll need to depart as soon as the break ends.”
Jin put down the magazine in his hand.
‘A mission… True, now that I’m a 3-star knight, it’s about time I was given my first assignment. But leaving as soon as the break ends?’
Something was fishy.
‘Missions’ were given starting from the intermediate training class. As missions usually concerned assassination, combat, monster subjugation, etc., the beginner class wasn’t involved with them.
Moreover, the advancement to the intermediate class happened one month after the break for Runcandel cadets, so it was odd to be assigned a mission right after the break.
‘Well, I guess I could technically be considered a member of the intermediate class since my advancement was confirmed a few months ago. Maybe they judged that it wouldn’t matter to give me an assignment.’
Once Jin sorted out his thoughts and nodded, Gilly gave him additional information.
“And the participants of this mission are… ten members of the beginner training class including you, Young Master. Something is amiss. You should quickly go talk to Instructor Garon.”