Chapter 29: Class Advancement, Welcoming Ceremony (2)
As soon as the beginner class cadets finished reporting the results of their mission, chaos descended upon the Garden of Swords.
As Garon announced the mission’s flawless completion to Rosa, she wore a satisfied smile.
The other Runcandels who were waiting at the main house couldn’t hide their shock and disbelief.
“What? Jin fought against a White Wolf warrior beastman and won?!”
“Impossible. Must’ve been some bandit wearing wolf fur or something. How could a brat who just became a 3-star knight kill a White Wolf beastman?”
The fourth daughter Myu Runcandel and fifth daughter Anne Runcandel were chatting amongst themselves. They were respectively ten and nine years older than Jin and were both currently 7-star knights.
A powerful White Wolf warrior beastman would be a difficult opponent even for knights who recently reached the 7-star stage. It was to no surprise that Myu and Anne couldn’t believe Jin’s achievement.
“Even if the youngest faced a beastman that was extremely weak compared to their tribe’s average, a 3-star still can’t defeat a White Wolf beastman.”
“Yeah, yeah. But are you telling me Mother seriously believed what the report said?”
The two disgruntled ladies shook their heads. Meanwhile, two young men were as white as a sheet.
Needless to say, they were Daytona and Haytona.
Ever since the beginning of their ill-fated relationship with Jin back at the Storm Castle, the twins couldn’t see Jin as a little brother. To them, Jin was a monster.
“D-Do you think that… Jin actually killed the beastman?”
Haytona spoke as he grabbed his twin’s shoulder. His hand was visibly shaking in fear.
“No matter how strong that monster is, a White Wolf beastman is impossible for him.”
“I thought so…”
A relieved smile grew on Haytona’s face. But Daytona turned to his brother and stared at him in the eyes.
“But it’s not important whether he actually killed a White Wolf beastman or not, Haytona. What’s more urgent is that we’re done for if he advances to the intermediate class!”
Despair rooted itself in the Tona twins’ eyes as they visibly lost their will to live.
In truth, the twins were hoping deep down that Jin would fail his mission miserably. They were expecting for his advancement to be postponed due to his failure, and in the meantime, the twins would train harder than ever to grow stronger. And once Jin finally advanced to the intermediate class, they wouldn’t have to quiver in fear of their little brother.
However, it was all over for them. Not only did Jin successfully rescue the missing individual, he also defeated a White Wolf beastman. In fact, Jin was considered a hero amongst the cadets in the beginner class.
‘Fuck, fuck, fuck! Sure, he could’ve been stronger than us back at the Storm Castle since we were also young, but really? Even now?? We shouldn’t have messed with him back when he first joined the beginner training class…!’
Daytona sighed deeply as he recalled past events.
Back when the Tona twins were in their 2nd year of the beginner class, there was a period of time when they fervently bullied Jin. As they had started learning proper swordsmanship two years earlier than Jin, the twins were stronger than their brother for a short while.
Those first few months were full of delight and exhilaration.
They could use the spars as a pretext to beat up their brother—who used to boss the twins around back at the Storm Castle. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that those months were the best days of their lives.
However, their happiness didn’t last long. A few months after Jin joined the training class, the twins got clobbered and thrashed by their little brother in front of the cadets almost everyday.
And now, that nightmare was about to start over again as their devil of a brother would soon join the intermediate training class!
“This is depressing…”
Haytona spoke as he recalled the same events as his twin. His voice was weak and feeble, as if his soul was escaping through his mouth.
“Wait, no. No! It might be alright. We might be able to win against him! Our hard work so far in the intermediate class won’t go to waste!”
Haytona spoke with hope as he changed his mind.
“…No. We can’t win against him. Honestly, I can’t believe that he defeated a White Wolf beastman. But I’m sure that story has some level of truth behind it.”
The twins lowered their heads once again and sighed. They were fully aware that they were ‘below’ Jin in the food chain.
While the Tona brothers stood in dismay, Myu and Anne snorted and sneered.
“Right, I forgot we had these morons within the family. Sheesh!”
“Are you actually terrified that the youngest is advancing to the intermediate class? Kyahaha!”
The twins glared back at them with tomato-red faces, but that only lasted for two seconds. Since they were in the middle of the 3-star stage, they wouldn’t dare anger their 7-star elder sisters.
“Daytona, you just went hiik and squealed like a pig, right?”
“Want me to break your arm and put you in the pigpen?”
“That’s… not it!”
“Oh? Aren’t you missing something there?”
“…That’s not it, Elder Sister…”
The sisters laughed as they watched the Tona twins. After a while, Myu and Anne grabbed one Tona each and kissed them on the forehead.
“Geez, we’re just kidding! Our little brothers are just so cute~”
“I know, right? They’re so sweet that sometimes, I want to bite them and crush them into little pieces, you know?”
The brothers trembled as they watched their sisters express their excessive love(?) for them. Then, Myu suddenly smacked her lips and grinned.
“Hm, so… Our dear little brothers are scared of Jin?”
“As if we’d fear the youngest, Elder Sister. Haha… There’s no way that’s—”
“Shush! You can be honest, you know? Keep in mind that I absolutely detest liars.”
“…We’re scared of him.”
This time, Anne wore an evil grin as she nodded. Myu and Anne were a great sister duo that got along very well, just like the twins.
“Then do you want us to help you out?”
“When there’s a will, there’s a way. And he’s just about to get in the intermediate class, right?”
The Runcandel’s intermediate training class.
It was on a completely different scale compared to the beginner class. The weaker cadets were at the 3-star stage, while the stronger ones were around the 5-star stage.
There were far more members compared to the beginner class. The intermediate class was no different to a wild savanna or jungle: a place where the law of the survival of the fittest applied.
In this setting, 3-star knights are herbivores, 4-stars are strong herbivores, and 5-star knights are savage predators.
It was a completely different environment and atmosphere compared to the current beginner class, where the cadets considered each other as ‘comrades’ and helped each other out.
As the spectrum of cadets was quite wide—from 3-star to 5-star—there were several cadets who had remained within the intermediate class for over ten years. Myu and Anne were using these ‘senior intermediate cadets’ as slaves and pushing them around.
“I’ll tell our slaves in the intermediate class about you two. Use them to trample on the youngest.”
“They may be untalented pieces of crap who couldn’t even graduate from the intermediate class, but they’re still 5-star knights. They should be somewhat useful. Do you understand?”
The Tona twins’ eyes glittered.
“Are you handing over your faction within the intermediate class to us, Elder Sisters? For real?”
As there were 13 siblings, there were obviously factions within the Runcandel Clan.
Even the Tona twins had somewhat created their own faction within the intermediate class. In fact, one could consider the current beginner class cadets to be part of Jin’s faction.
“Hahaha, we’re just lending them to you, you foolish boys. I don’t like how the youngest is growing rapidly either. He makes me uncomfortable.”
“If you use our slaves and fail to trample on Jin, then you two better prepare yourselves, my adorable brothers.”
The Tona twins squeezed their fists tightly and nodded.
If they used their sisters’ 5-star cadets, then destroying Jin wasn’t just a pipe dream.
‘Is someone talking about me?’
Jin thought as he scratched his ear after finishing his report.
(T/N: In Korea, there’s this superstition where people believe that if their ears are itchy, it means someone is talking about them behind their back.)
“I hear you successfully completed your first mission. Congratulations, Young Master. Your nanny is so proud of you…!”
“Thanks, Gilly. Can you prepare the warm water? I want to take a bath.”
“Everything’s already been prepared.”
“You’re the best.”
Yes, and being at home was the best as well. Jin began humming to himself. As he had been camping outside for an entire week, he missed taking a warm bath with pleasing soap scents.
But before Jin could enter the bathroom… an angry Murakan stood in his way.
“Oh, my dearest Nabi Runcandel. I missed you so mu—”
“Did you lose your freaking mind?”
“I don’t see what you’re talking about.”
Jin flinched and avoided making eye contact with Murakan.
“How. Many. Times. Did. I. Tell. You. NOT. To. Awaken. The. Sword?! You could die if things go wrong, alright? Are your ears the problem here or is it your head? Answer me. I’ll get rid of one of those two for you.”
“Haha… Why would the Great Black Dragon talk of such grim stuff? There were some circumstan—”
“Huuuh? Some circumstancessss?? So, those circumstances were more important than your own life??? Where in the world are there circumstances that are more important than Solderet’s ONE AND ONLY contractor, HUH?”
“Lord Murakan, please calm down for now. The young master only just came back from…”
“Stay out of this, Strawberry Pie. This is a serious conversation between us two.”
“Wait, Murakan. You see, I didn’t do it intentionally. My cadet was kidnapped right in front of me, so how could I let them be? And I almost ended up becoming minced meat under the hands of the White Wolf beastman.”
“The pendant! Is Orgal’s Pendant around your neck just for decoration? You could’ve summoned your sister using that!”
“That would’ve been a waste! You never know who I’ll fight against in the future, so how could I use it now?”
“A-A waste? Do you value that pendant more than your own life? Ah, my head hurts from talking with you. Ugh!”
Murakan held his head with his hands and fell. A flustered Gilly quickly ran and caught him.
“Are you okay, Lord Murakan?”
“Hey, you alright? Don’t faint for something like this.”
“…Whatever. Fuck, what’s done is done. It’s a waste of time for me to get angry now. It just overheats my head and makes me collapse.”
However, as Gilly supported him, Murakan grinned from ear to ear. It was such a satisfied smile that Jin wondered whether he was actually mad at him, or whether he was just acting to get some skinship with Gilly.
(PR/N: MAH MAN WITH THE MOOOOOOVESSSSSS!)
“Hm, by the way, Murakan. How did you know I awakened the sword?”
“Your spiritual energy suddenly spiked up to the 4-star middle stage, so how could I not know? You blasted kid. Do you think the promised contractor of a thousand years can just jump up a rank after a simple week-long outing like that?”
“I did feel stronger than before after experiencing the spiritual energy congestion, but I didn’t know it was by a whole rank.”
Jin could only scream in delight on the inside. In truth, he was secretly concerned as his spiritual energy had suddenly increased, but seeing Murakan’s reaction, it seemed there were no side effects to worry about.
“Be thankful to Solderet for being interested in you. I’ve seen ten people experience spiritual energy congestion in my lifetime, and nine out of ten died from it. No, I guess it’s nine out of eleven now.”
“Who’s the other person who survived? The first patriarch?”
“No, it was me. Temar would’ve died from it too.”
Murakan and Jin chuckled simultaneously.
“Anyways, I dare you to attempt to awaken the sword again. Aren’t you happy that you’ve jumped to 4-star in mere instants? Well, that’s the reward for putting your life on the line. So I dare you to try awakening the sword again before reaching 5-star. Because you’ll definitely die this time around.”
“I don’t want to go through that painful experience a second time either. Anyways, are you finished scolding me? I’m gonna take a bath now.”
Jin darted away and ran to the bathroom.
“Strawberry Pie, don’t give him dinner today. We need to starve him for at least two days in order to set his mind straight. Understand?”
Murakan spoke as he saw Jin scurrying away.
“That’s… I apologize, Lord Murakan. I cannot ignore my duties of serving the Young Master.”
“Geez, I’m so jealous of him. It’s driving me crazy. That kid was born with such good fortune that he’s overflowing with luck now.”