Chapter 4: Stormy Days at the Castle (3)
“I do not know either.”
Jin responded in a calm tone.
“You don’t know?”
Cyron raised his head. He hadn’t expected this reply from his clever son, who had been giving satisfactory answers all this time.
“Yes, father. This power isn’t aura, so I’m not sure what I should call it.”
Once again, the flow of the conversation had been predicted by Jin. He had shown a child-like innocence on purpose, just like he had done earlier.
The sound of flames swirling resounded. Jin had generated a handful of dark energy atop his palm. It was the power he had used to pummel the Tona twins.
He had gained this power, Spiritual Power, through his contract with Solderet, the God of Shadows. Despite acting like an ignorant child, Jin knew better than anyone what this power was.
He also knew that Cyron would recognize this power.
“May I request father to give this power a name?”
Jin looked up to Cyron with twinkling eyes.
Cyron’s jaw dropped for the first time since he reached the demigod realm and became a Genesis Knight…
He finally managed to shut his mouth. As he stared at his son’s palm, Cyron gulped.
Could it be that this child was the reincarnation of the clan’s founder and first patriarch? Such questions went through his mind as Cyron thought to himself.
Solderet. The God of Shadows. A being that all the magicians of the world yearn for.
However, Cyron and Jin were both aware of a different truth.
Originally, Solderet didn’t specialize in magic, but was something akin to a God of Swords. Moreover, 1000 years ago, he had made a contract with the clan’s founder and had protected the Runcandels for years.
‘I thought that he had abandoned the clan ever since the founder passed away, but it seems that he has taken an interest in my youngest child.’
Could this be a sign that the Runcandels could once again rise and prosper in the future?
No, it was also possible that the god who had once abandoned them had returned on a whim, and would soon leave again. Cyron began to calculate the possibilities as he watched the shadows dance upon Jin’s palm.
‘I’m certain that he hasn’t made a contract with the god yet. If he had gained this power through the contract, there’s no way he wouldn’t know what power this is.’
Jin could easily guess the thoughts passing through his father’s mind.
He started getting somewhat nervous as everything had gone according to his plan. It was far too easy. He believed that Cyron would show some suspicions at some moment, but that moment never came. Maybe it was because of his young age and childish appearance.
7 years of age was an excellent period to lie and trick people.
Cyron had finished sorting out his thoughts.
“That is the power of a god named Solderet. Therefore, I cannot name it. Lord Solderet is one of the secrets our clan has kept hidden for a long time.”
“It is the being who brought about shadows in this world. You may be a clever child, but you’re still too young to understand this.”
When Jin paused, Cyron nodded to urge him to continue.
“Is God Solderet stronger than father?”
Cyron let out an awkward laugh signifying his defeat. He had never laughed like this ever since becoming a demigod.
Having devoted his time and energy to his training for countless years now, his emotions and spirit had been stirred for the first time in a long time.
“I wonder… Your father has never attempted to challenge gods, so I cannot say.”
Truly a prideful reply. Not knowing the answer for never having battled gods.
Nonetheless, Jin shuddered as he listened to his father’s reply. The person in question was Cyron Runcandel.
The strongest man on the continent.
Even the clanmaster of the Zipfel Clan, Kelliark Zipfel, could not hold a candle to this man.
Cyron showed a toothy grin.
“I’ve truly made the correct decision to come and meet you today. Your naive question has become a great topic of interest for me. Thank you, my son. Come closer.”
Could he win against a god? Cyron had called this question a ‘topic of interest’.
Once Jin walked up to him, his father lightly patted his head. The handful of shadow was still swirling on Jin’s palm right now.
“How do you want to use this power?”
“I want to use it for the clan, father.”
I want to use it for myself.
There was no need for him to answer honestly. The only things the clan had given Jin in his past life was scorn and contempt.
He had never felt the warmth called ‘family’ again after turning 7 years old. Therefore, Jin had absolutely no intention of using his life to serve the clan, unless he somehow became the patriarch of the family. However, in order to do that, he would have to defeat his monstrously powerful siblings.
Cyron suddenly burst into laughter. The echoes resounded throughout the entire Storm Castle and shook the ground.
The siblings waiting outside the throne room all jolted in surprise. They had never heard their father laugh so vigorously in recent years.
After a while, the laughter subsided and Cyron turned expressionless as usual. He bent down and brought his face up close to Jin’s.
“What an amusing lie. You can be more honest with your father, you know?”
Jin hadn’t expected this situation. Nevertheless, he suppressed his shock and slowly spoke.
“I want to use it for myself.”
“Right. After having pummelled your brothers and leaving them out in the storm, there’s no way you’d use your power for the clan. I’ll be watching over you from here on out.”
Cyron walked past Jin and left the room. After his father’s footsteps disappeared into the distance, Jin finally noticed the cold sweat running down his face and back.
A mixture of disbelief and relief painted across his face.
He let out a large breath of air and wiped his sweat with his sleeve. He had never faced his father in such a bold manner during his past 28 years of life.
‘I did it. I made it!’
As the adrenaline rush subsided, he could finally hear his heart beating like crazy.
Through today’s conversation with his father, Jin had obtained Cyron’s approval to use Solderet’s power freely, and his father’s expectations of him were high.
‘In my first life, I ended up dying without getting the chance to properly use Solderet’s power, and I never would’ve thought that father would hold expectations for me back then.’
Even after getting banished from the clan, Jin did not have the liberty of using Solderet’s power freely.
The clan wouldn’t allow a banished Runcandel to gain power and potentially use it against them.
Therefore, Jin had to hide in the Akin Kingdom and train in secrecy. The Akin Kingdom was affiliated to the Lutero Magic Federation, which was under the Zipfel Clan’s influence. It was the perfect place for Jin to hide, as he was technically a magician back then.
The Runcandel Clan’s long-time secret: the founder’s contract with Solderet.
Jin was already aware of this undisclosed information before his rebirth. Cyron had called it a secret the clan had ‘kept hidden for a long time’, but Jin was more knowledgeable about the details of the founder’s relation with Solderet than his father.
Solderet had told Jin about his history with the Runcandel Clan personally after their contract was made. At that time, Solderet and Jin would chat amicably like two close friends.
‘But he never told me why he left the Runcandels and became a god of magic instead of the god of swords. He didn’t get involved during my death either.’
Moreover, ever since his rebirth, Solderet hadn’t spoken to him once.
Jin speculated that his rebirth was a phenomenon that had transpired due to Solderet’s power and authority, but that was merely a hypothesis.
When Jin was one year old, he realized that the power he had obtained through the contract was still available to him.
‘It became usable immediately after I ‘selected’ Barisada.’
On his ‘Selection’ day, during the night after the ritual was over, a 9-star magician’s curse, the ‘Bladed Illusion’, was cast on Jin. It was the same curse as his past life. The incident was repeating itself.
[Contractor, it seems that someone bore a grudge against you since your childhood. You haven’t been able to use your full potential due to a trivial curse. That might’ve been the reason why I was so captivated by you.]
Those were Solderet’s words right after they had made their contract.
As Jin remembered that conversation, he watched the curse’s chains slowly crawl into his cradle. While he was fully conscious, he couldn’t resist or block the curse with the body of a 1-year-old.
He began blaming his newborn body for his powerlessness. He could neither resist the curse slithering towards him, nor call out for help.
Suddenly, Solderet’s power manifested itself.
The chains never managed to reach Jin, and disappeared into his shadow.
Curses of this level could not affect Solderet’s contractor. Using his past life’s magic teacher’s expression, it was an ‘extremely cheat-like’ effect.
‘Just you wait. I don’t know who cast this curse on me, but once I’ve grown up, I will find you. And I will kill you.’
The power to control shadows; his knowledge of magic he gained in his past life; and, despite having unlocked and practiced it belatedly, his skills and talent with the sword. Jin had retained all these qualities through the reincarnation.
He would not face the same fate as last time. The clan would not banish him for not having any talents this time. An entirely different future was awaiting him.
“Yes, Nanny Gilly?”
As he turned around, Gilly was waiting for him at the entrance.
“The patriarch has announced his departure. You must come to see him off.”
“But… are you alright?”
Gilly asked in concern.
She had seen the Tona twins returning to their rooms with ashen-white faces and expressions of terror, therefore she couldn’t hide her worries for Jin.
“I’m okay. Are my elder brothers and sisters leaving as well?”
“Yes. They only came here to greet the patriarch. Ah! But Lady Mary has left behind a gift for you, Young Master.”
“I’ll open the gift later. I should go see father off first.”
There were over 200 guardian knights who had turned up at the Storm Castle, accompanying their respective Runcandel flag-bearers.
As Cyron was preparing to leave again, the others had no reason to stay. Once they would leave, Jin could ignore the Tona twins and spend his days quietly at the Storm Castle here on out.
Spend his days quietly gaining strength without anyone noticing, in fact.
The knights raised their swords to the sky as Cyron exited the gates. Jin and the Tona twins stood next to them and bowed their heads as well.
‘The next time I see father will be at the main house instead of the Storm Castle.’
Cyron returned to the direction of the Black Sea.
The people who were expecting Cyron to lead them to a bloody battle against the Zipfel clan all hid their disappointment deep in their hearts. The Runcandel flag-bearers each returned to their original whereabouts, followed by their guardian knights.
Cyron never returned to the Storm Castle again until Jin turned 10 and left. However, the guardian knight called Khan would occasionally leave for the Black Sea in order to inform the patriarch about Jin’s recent actions.
‘Elder sister Mary isn’t in her right mind. I’m still only 7 years old… Hahaha. To think she’d give me such an amazing present!’
Jin shouted out in his mind as he opened the gift in his room. Gilly’s eyes also turned wide as she checked the item left behind by Jin’s third sister, Mary.
Before their eyes was the heart of a beast summoned by a magician from the Zipfel Clan. Mary had personally killed the summoned beast in the continent’s southern region.
A Phoenix Heart.
A rare and precious gift Jin never received in his previous life.
Mary was wishing for his well-being and wanted her youngest brother to grow up strong and healthy.
Jin could now decoct the heart and consume it.