Chapter 7: Black Dragon Murakan (1)
‘I remember hearing the story that the Black Dragon Murakan was defeated by the first patriarch and fell into a deep slumber… So he was sleeping here?’
Jin didn’t know a lot about Murakan. The legends and myths of the clan rarely mentioned him.
They just didn’t care much about a dragon that had long since disappeared into the annals of history. The currently active dragons were more worrisome and troubling.
The glass coffin was sparkling clean, without a single speck of dust on its surface. But it wasn’t being cleaned every day by a maid. The spotlessness was due to the mana surrounding the coffin.
Jin touched the mana with one hand, and chills immediately ran down his spine. As he swallowed his saliva, Jin took another step forward.
‘That was an interesting sight.’
There was nothing Jin could learn from Murakan. If it were an awake and active dragon, things would’ve been different. But Murakan was a hibernating dragon inside a coffin, so Jin was more interested in finding the secret tomes.
‘This place is bigger than I thought.’
The underground chamber seemed larger than the central hall at the Storm Castle. However, it felt empty as there were no decorations furbishing the place. Jin quickly began searching for the tomes.
He pushed open the sliding door and located the library. Actually, it was far too shabby to be called a library. The Runcandel Secret ‘Library’ only contained one bookshelf and a few chairs. However, that was more than enough space to house the secret tomes.
There could only be so many books written by other martial clans around the world. The library would have no use of extra shelves.
On the 1.50 meter-wide shelf were dusty books arranged neatly. These books had once been written and used by martial clans around the world, and tried to protect them with their lives on the line.
These were the essence of the martial clans that only the flag-bearers could read.
Jin calmed down his trembling heart and began checking the names on each of the books on the shelf.
‘The hand-to-hand combat techniques of the Meyer Clan and Typhen Clan, spear techniques of the Euron Clan and Shagal Clan, swordsmanship from the Attila Clan, etc.… There are so many of them.’
Jin also found a few books from the Kungen Clan, the clan of swordsmen that had attacked the Storm Castle around 200 years ago. Jin’s hands were trembling ever so slightly as he checked the tomes one by one.
His excitement was overflowing.
In his first life, he had always wished to become a flag-bearer and come down here to read the secret tomes. Now that he was finally here, the memories of his hardships and despair flashed through his mind.
Of course, he hadn’t come down to the underground chamber as a flag-bearer this time. Despite having the ‘Runcandel’ family name, he was no different to a thief who had infiltrated the library.
However, Jin didn’t care about those small details.
Using whatever methods at hand was part of the Runcandels’ virtue. Moreover, he was planning on officially coming to this underground chamber in a few years after becoming a true flag-bearer.
‘Which one should I start with?’
What a first world problem. He was spoiled for choice. Jin wondered whether his older brothers felt this way when they were secretly reading porn books when their nannies were away. Jin chuckled as he scanned the books before him.
He didn’t have a lot of time to remain down here.
The free time he had obtained through the excuse of wanting to pray for the bird was a mere 2 hours. After this amount of time, Gilly would most probably come to the castle’s backyard in order to look for him.
It was as if Jin had a mountain of food before him, but could only eat for a few minutes.
‘But I’ll have another opportunity. I can come back here another day if I tell them I want to pray for the bird again or that I want to meditate.’
He pulled out a book from the shelf. Jin’s first secret tome was the Kungen Clan’s book of swordsmanship.
‘Third Brother once told me that there is a lot to learn from this tome… Let’s start with this.’
There were a total of 3 volumes of the Kungen Clan’s secret tomes. Jin also picked out the remaining two volumes and sat on a chair.
Originally, the Kungen Clan’s secret tomes numbered over 10. But when the Runcandels destroyed the clan 200 years ago, most of them were lost during the conflict.
The Runcandel Clan had destroyed them intentionally.
However, the three volumes in his hands were left untouched. These tomes summarized the essence of the Kungen Swordsmanship’s greatest techniques.
The sound of pages turning accelerated. Despite being a secret tome, the first few pages of volume 1 only talked about the base and foundation of the swordsmanship, as well as the behaviour of the Kungen knights.
The flutter of pages stopped once Jin arrived at the middle of the book. His gaze deepened as his mind tried to absorb the words on the page.
The book that had only been describing the bases suddenly broached upon a difficult subject that Jin couldn’t comprehend at all.
‘I see… No wonder they’re called secret tomes. It’s not as easy as I thought.’
Despite being written in the continent’s common language, Jin couldn’t understand most of its contents due to his lacking skills and knowledge in swordsmanship.
Before his sudden death in the Akin Kingdom, the 28-year-old Jin had attained the 3-star realm in swordsmanship.
Not only was he slower to reach that stage than ‘slightly skilled’ people in general, he could be considered ‘defective’ compared to the average Runcandel.
However, it had only taken him half a year to reach that stage after his contract with Solderet, which could be considered an incredible feat.
Nonetheless, the Kungen book was far too difficult for him to understand with his 3-star skills and knowledge in swordsmanship.
Be that as it may, Jin had expected this outcome.
He took out a notebook and pencil he had brought with him.
Jin then began to copy the contents of the tome into his notebook. It was a transcription. In roughly 2 hours, he could copy around 10 pages of the book.
Back in his days as a magician, he had transcribed so many books that the fingerprints on his fingers holding the pencil had begun to fade away.
10 pages per day.
There were 3 years left until Jin would have to leave the Storm Castle. If he transcribed 10 pages every day during those 3 years, he could easily copy all the books here.
‘And as I continue studying these, I’ll slowly begin to understand the content over time. I’m sure there will be some tomes I won’t have to transcribe.’
The sound of a pencil scratching paper resonated in the silent underground room. Jin took exactly 1 hour to copy 10 pages. He then retraced his steps and left the library.
He plugged the hole in the wall with earth magic and the dirt around him.
And so, 2 months went by. During that time, Jin had fully transcribed the 3 volumes from the Kungen Clan, as well as 2 tomes about the Meyer Clan’s hand-to-hand combat techniques.
As the days went by, Jin felt more and more energetic and enthusiastic. He had never felt happier to get out of bed in the mornings before.
‘What excuse should I use to go down there today? Praying? Meditating? No… I used those yesterday and the day before that already.’
There was a rumour going around the castle, where the servants believed that the spirit of the dead bird had possessed Jin.
He continuously went to its grave for 2 months in order to pray and meditate, so their confusion was understandable. Moreover, having heard this odd rumour, the Tona twins began to fear Jin to a far greater extent.
‘Should I come up with an excuse… that will let me go there every day without raising suspicion?’
After pondering for a while, Jin couldn’t think of anything. How could he possibly convince everyone to let him go to the grave every day?
Therefore, Jin began to change his train of thought.
‘There’s no need to convince them. If I tell them I’ll go there every day, who would dare stand against me? This is the Storm Castle, not the clan’s main residence.’
The guardian knights living here already served Jin as a ‘true Runcandel’ instead of treating him like a child, and the servants had no right to disprove his decisions from the start. The Tona twins were terrified of Jin, so he had no reason to worry about them.
The only problem was Gilly.
A nanny’s role was different to that of a knight or a servant. They were people who supervised and guided the children they were in charge of.
“Yes, Young Master.”
“I want to go there again.”
Gilly’s gaze was filled with concern.
She let out a deep sigh and patted Jin on the head.
“Young Master. It’s unfortunate, but the bird has already passed away. It’s been 2 months now. This nanny of yours is so concerned about you that she can’t sleep properly at night.”
“I’ve forgotten about the bird already. Honestly, I’m only going there everyday because I like it there.”
“Y-You like it there? Young Master. You mustn’t enjoy being near a grave. Misfortune will befall upon you!”
“What kind of misfortune?”
“Graves are the home of the deceased. Nothing good will happen by staying close to one. You must steer clear from those places to be blessed with good fortune, Young Master.”
Apparently, the nannies of the Runcandel Clan had a tendency to believe in superstitions as well. Jin was sighing and shaking his head in his mind.
“No, I’ll keep liking graves from now on.”
“Nanny. Think about it. I’m the youngest child of the Runcandel Clan.”
Once Jin took on a serious tone, Gilly’s eyes widened.
“Why are you suddenly talking about…”
“How many graves do you think I’ll have to make as I live in this world as a Runcandel? To tell the truth, I’m trying my best to understand what ‘death’ is these days. So I’m going to that grave every day in order to get used to it.”
Gilly let out a mumble and stood there wordlessly.
She stared blankly at her young master as if her thoughts had come to a sudden stop.
Her 7-year-old young master, who was born as a ‘predator’ amongst the Runcandels, was trying to face the concept of fate and destiny already.
Needless to say, that was all her own misunderstanding.
Jin was just tricking his nanny—who was younger than him in his first life—to do his bidding.
To be frank, no actual 7-year-old would talk about such topics, even if they were geniuses born in the dreadful Runcandel Clan.
Nevertheless, Gilly and the others at the Storm Castle had no reason to doubt Jin’s words and actions. No one would imagine that he had retained the memories from his first life.
‘Something has definitely changed about the young master ever since he met the patriarch. The patriarch must’ve told him something crucial.’
Gilly fixed her expression and bowed down.
“…In that case, I will not stop you. I believe that the young master will one day become a remarkable knight who will lead the clan. And having listened to your honest opinion, I must say that I’m extremely proud of you, Young Master.”
“Thanks, Gilly. Until I leave the Storm Castle, I’ll be spending time at the grave for 1 to 2 hours every day.”
“Yes, Young Master.”
“And while I’m over there, I don’t want to be disturbed in any way. Do you understand?”
“I shall inform the knights about that. Also, Young Master?”
“If I were to say something as your nanny and as an adult… it’s not always a good thing to think too deeply about such topics at a young age. Please enjoy yourself doing fun activities from time to time.”
“Alright, Gilly. In that case… hmm… I want a strawberry pie as a snack later. With lots of honey on it.”
Gilly’s stiff expression finally loosened as color returned to her face.
“I’ll bake the best strawberry pie in the world. Have a good time.”
Jin smiled brightly and immediately left the room.
‘I did it! Now I can concentrate on transcribing without having to worry about anything.’
During the past 2 months, Jin was always nervous when he entered the underground chamber. If the knights or Gilly came looking for him and discovered the hole, chaos would descend upon the clan.
‘Since I managed to catch father’s interest, they probably won’t execute me even if they find out about this. But it would still be extremely troublesome and unnerving.’
A humming sound escaped his nose unconsciously. Even the Earth Resonance spell felt like it was creating a rhythm as it destroyed the underground wall he had resealed the previous day.
He was planning on transcribing the final volume of the Meyer Clan’s tomes on hand-to-hand combat techniques.
As he rejoiced at how his remaining 3 years at the castle would be peaceful, he copied the contents of the page.
His reincarnation was truly a blessing to him.
‘The Meyer Clan’s hand-to-hand combat technique doesn’t seem as difficult to understand as the Kungen Clan’s swordsmanship. But this passage about merging one’s physical body with aura… I don’t get it. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll become clear with time.’
An hour went by inside the underground library.
Having transcribed several pages without rest, Jin’s thin and soft fingers were throbbing. As he decided to take a 3-minute break,
He heard a noise behind the sliding door. Jin immediately stood up in surprise and focused his senses.
It was the sound of the glass coffin opening.