Chapter 6: Stormy Days at the Castle (5)
Chapter 6: Stormy Days at the Castle (5)
The next morning, Jin went to the hole the Tona twins had dug.
It appeared that the twins hadn’t resorted to petty tricks. They had dug the hole quite seriously. Inside the deep hole, Jin could see a goldish stone wall on the side at the bottom.
Currently, there were 7 guardian knights, 2 nannies and a dozen servants at the castle. Of course, the Tona twins were here as well.
Nobody would come here looking for Jin or suspect him of scheming something.
‘Telling them that I wanted to come here to pray for the dead bird was a pretty good excuse.’
Recently, the members of the Runcandel Clan residing at the Storm Castle were wary of Jin. The youngest child of the patriarch did not behave like a young child, and was eerily mature.
In fact, some were more than just wary. Many were afraid of the 7-year-old boy. The servants gossiped about him, saying that he was a perfect copy of his cold-hearted father, and the guardian knights obeyed him as if he were their superior.
But when Jin said that he would go pray for the bird, they were all relieved. They thought that despite being Cyron Runcandel’s son, a child is still a child.
‘I pray that you’ll find happiness in your next life.’
Jin hadn’t lied when he said he would pray for the bird. He truly did pity it.
Once he finished moving the bird’s grave to the bottom of the deep hole the twins had dug, Jin approached the stone wall on the side. There were scratches made by the shovels on its surface.
The wall itself wasn’t very solid. There weren’t any metal bars or wires inside to increase its durability, so Jin could easily destroy it with a punch wrapped in shadows.
However, breaking it like that would definitely create a loud explosion.
The constant rain outside would somewhat muffle the sound, but the 7-star knights in the castle would most likely catch the noise.
Jin suddenly laughed as he couldn’t hold himself back. He then spread out his arms and placed his hands against the wall. Immediately, the stone wall began to vibrate ever so slightly.
It was the 1-star earth magic spell, ‘Earth Resonance’.
Earth Resonance was a spell that magicians often used while camping outside or exploring the wild, but its lethality was nigh-zero.
“I’ve been dying to use magic!”
The practicality and pleasure of using magic!
He hadn’t felt this liberating sensation for the past 7 years. Because he had retained his memories and knowledge from his past life, being unable to use magic since he was born was like a punishment to Jin.
Magic, a magician’s strength.
When he first realized he had been reborn, Jin wondered how he should start learning magic and store mana again…
However, his worries were unfounded. Just like how Solderet’s power was still available to him, the mana he had amassed during his previous life was also accessible in this new life.
‘The only issue is that there’s a limit to the amount of mana I can use right now because of my immature body. But it’s better than nothing!’
In his past life, Jin was about to reach the 6-star realm in magic after training for 3 years.
Currently, the amount of mana Jin could utilize was equivalent to that of a 1-star magician, but it would increase over time as he grew up.
Everytime he aged by another year, he could feel more mana generating within him. Moreover, it was a natural occurrence. Jin hadn’t been training to increase his mana or anything.
Therefore, he came to the conclusion that the mana he had accumulated in his past life was slowly returning to him over the years.
‘The mana of a 1-star magician at 7 years old! I’m certain that no one else in history managed to achieve this feat. At this pace, I’ll reach 6-star before I turn 20 at the latest.’
His second life was incomparably preferable and advantageous compared to his first one.
He was ecstatic and overjoyed right now. At the young age of 7, Jin could utilize both spiritual power and mana, along with the knowledge and expertise in 3-star swordsmanship and 5-star magic.
Furthermore, he could now study the secret tomes of countless martial clans around the world that the Runcandel Clan plundered from! His motivation was at its peak currently, and it would not die down for a long while.
‘Heh, I truly am a magician down to the core. I never thought I’d be so delighted to use a simple spell like Earth Resonance.’
The times he could use magic within the Runcandel Clan was extremely limited.
One could even say that until this moment, Jin had no other opportunities to use magic. There were almost no instances when Jin was on his own without anyone accompanying him.
Gilly would always be with him, and in the rare cases when she wasn’t present, the guardian knights and servants would be by his side. And if, by some miracle, none of them were next to Jin, the Tona twins would come bother him.
Therefore, Jin never had the chance to use magic. There were also no moments when he would have no other choice but to resort to magic.
Even though Jin could now push the twins around like his servants, he could not afford to use magic and get busted by them.
If word spread to his parents or older siblings that Jin had used magic… his pleasant new life would immediately come to a close at that exact moment.
‘I should seal away my magic for a while after today. Can’t afford to get caught. But one day, I’ll find a way to use as much magic as I want. Just you wait.’
As he licked his lips in anticipation, Jin once again focused on his hands placed against the wall. The sensation of having mana flow through his hands and fingers, and spread throughout the wall sent shivers down his spine.
And so, 10 minutes passed by quietly. Earth Resonance’s vibrations silently created dozens of cracks and fissures on the wall. Dirt and dust fell down heavily, as if the stone wall would soon collapse.
As a matter of fact, the center of the wall where Jin’s hands were located crumbled into fine particles. A small hole appeared, where Jin could barely squeeze his body through. The child stared into the sight beyond the wall for a short instance.
There was an old, long hallway—as if he were in some ancient ruins—along with a large steel gate in the distance.
It would be a mistake to think that the Runcandel Clan’s secret underground room could be so easily broken into.
The ‘Storm Castle’ was a fortress that even the Zipfel Clan’s elite troops wouldn’t be able to easily conquer. Jin was just lucky as he was a member of the Runcandel Clan who was residing within the said castle.
‘So this is the secret underground sector that only the Runcandel flag-bearers can enter… Interesting layout.’
They were the clan’s representatives who stood on the front lines, waving the clan’s emblem.
All the children of the Runcandel Clan became flag-bearers when they reached a certain level, barring the few exceptions like the previous Jin who was deemed incompetent.
Jin had heard countless stories about this underground room from his siblings. He, who could only imagine the wonders hiding inside, could finally see it with his own eyes.
Jin slightly choked up, as if something deep within his heart had surfaced.
‘I didn’t think it would affect me this much, but seeing it for myself, my emotions reacted subconsciously.’
After exhaling and calming down, Jin squeezed himself into the hole.
Back in the pit the twins had dug, he could hear the constant downpour crashing onto the ground, but as soon as he entered the underground corridor, the noise completely disappeared. With a solemn heart, Jin removed his shoes.
He couldn’t leave behind traces of mud in the corridor.
The path was dimly lit by a few torches on the walls, where oil dripped down.
Jin was about to create a flame with magic to illuminate the place, but decided to grab one of the torches instead. Walking down a worn down corridor barefoot with a torch in hand, he felt like he had become a monk.
‘Mother used to tell me that before reaching that door, the Runcandel children need to prove that they’re part of the bloodline.’
Jin remembered hearing that when he was around 16.
Back then, Rosa still believed that her youngest child would one day become a respectable member of the clan.
She could not accept the fact that her child was untalented, and held distorted expectations towards him.
Rosa had secretly broken the clan rules in order to give Jin confidential information, despite the fact that he wasn’t a genius like his siblings.
She wanted to believe that Jin would one day become a 6-star knight and receive the qualifications of a flag-bearer.
Rosa Runcandel, the Black Panther, was one of the strongest people in the clan and the world. However, the reason why she couldn’t have an objective view and judgement towards Jin was simply because she was a mother.
‘Even so, she ended up facing and accepting the reality later on.’
Jin stopped reminiscing about the past and paused his walk towards the metal door.
He was at the center of the corridor. There were still around 50 steps left until he reached the gate.
‘Runcandels and magic…?’
Jin couldn’t help but chuckle when he noticed the magic circle on the floor.
It was a large magic circle, but even apprentice magicians could easily analyze it.
The Magic Circle of Blood and Barrier.
It was a popular magic circle one could often find at the entrances to kingdoms, or inside a businessman’s warehouse, or at a famous mercenary group’s headquarters.
Despite its impressive and grand name, it was a basic circle.
It was no different to a simple security device. All it could do was determine whether someone would pose a threat through one’s blood.
‘Those magic-hating clan members actually laid down a magic circle in front of the clan’s secret chamber? Not only that, it’s such a flimsy circle!’
Jin bit down on the inside of his cheek. A trail of blood seeped out of his mouth and ran down his chin. Before it could drop on the floor, Jin caught the blood with his hand.
All he needed was a few drops in order to activate the Magic Circle of Blood and Barrier. As he shook off the blood on his hands onto the circle, a blue aura began to fill the air from all four directions.
‘Proof that we’re part of the bloodline? What a joke.’
Jin was curious to know which of his ancestors was stupid enough to place this magic circle here.
This magic circle wasn’t elaborate enough to be able to verify someone’s bloodline and lineage. In fact, Jin wasn’t sure if such magic existed in the first place.
There were only 3 things this magic circle could determine.
It could detect whether the blood was that of a monster, a human, or a plague-stricken human.
In other words, as long as they’re able to reach this underground corridor, any healthy human is able to activate this magic circle safely.
The magic circle was completely useless, except for how it added an air of mystery to this ancient, hidden chamber.
‘They believe in that weird superstition called the Selection ritual. They also believe that this magic circle is able to recognize a pure-blooded Runcandel. This clan is quite… peculiar. Very peculiar.’
Clang! Clang! Creaaaak….!
With the circle’s activation, Jin could hear gears and metallic parts grinding and moving beneath the floor.
The circle was stopping the traps’ operation—the traps that would’ve attacked Jin if he didn’t activate the magic circle. He silently stood still and waited for the noise to subside.
‘There are quite a lot of traps. I don’t know the specifics, but the traps here are more elaborate than those found in a royal palace.’
The magic circle soon began to dim down, and lost its lustre. The traps had all been disabled. Jin resumed his march and headed towards the door.
He had safely dealt with one of the security systems of the Storm Castle’s secret chamber. The remaining one was to safely open the door.
But that was even easier to do than activating the magic circle.
“Runcandel’s descendant has come to solace Murakan.”
The gate began to slide open as soon as Jin uttered the password.
It was another type of ‘barrier magic’ similar to the magic circle just now, but was on a completely different level. It was a spell cast by a great dragon, who has since fallen into a deep slumber.
The password deactivates the spell, but without the correct words, the door will never budge open. That was the potency of this barrier magic.
One would have to be at least a 9-star knight in order to break the door open.
‘I heard the password from my second brother before my rebirth, though he was being sarcastic, saying that it would never be of use to me.’
The Storm Castle’s location: Mt. Murakan’s summit.
The name ‘Murakan’ did not signify the mountain in the first place. It was the name of the Black Dragon who once reigned over this region.
Murakan was defeated 1000 years ago by the first Runcandel patriarch, and went into a deep slumber after handing over the Storm Castle.
This story was the most popular legend of the Runcandel Clan, known to everyone around the world.
The first thing Jin saw when the door opened wasn’t a shelf with countless books, but a glass coffin.
Inside the glass coffin was a human body. It was Murakan who had transformed into a human before entering a deep slumber.
‘Nobody told me about this…’
Having come across an unexpected sight, Jin’s body froze in surprise and unease.
He then slowly began approaching the glass coffin.