Chapter 9: Until I Turn Ten (1)
Every day is so fun.
It’s been about 6 months since the encounter with Murakan. Jin turned 8 years old and transcribed a total of 50 secret tomes.
Today is the day the Tona twins leave the Storm Castle.
‘Now no one will be bothering me for the next 2 years.’
Jin thought as he stared out the window, watching the servants pack the twins’ luggage in the carriage.
Ever since the day he pummelled them in the hallway and left them out by the bird’s grave, the Tona twins never bothered him again. The servants delightfully call that incident the ‘Revenge of the Bird’, as they weren’t very fond of the twins either. Jin wasn’t the only one who was harassed by them in the past.
But ever since that day, Jin’s older brothers were obedient and would listen to his every word. He could order them around and treat them like servants, which was quite practical.
However, the existence of their nanny ‘Emma’ was disturbing. She would outright monitor Jin while pretending to be friendly with him.
‘Within another few months, that shrewd woman would’ve tried to follow me when I’d go ‘meditate’ at the grave. I can’t have her discover that I’ve been going underground, so it’s perfect that she’s leaving now.’
To this day, Jin viciously ignored Emma and cut her off whenever she tried to approach him. Her true intentions were as clear as day.
On the outside, she wanted him to get along with the Tona twins.
But deep down, she was hoping for Jin to fall from grace and be trampled on by the twins.
‘Emma’s disturbing gaze will finally be no more. If something like this happens again in the future, I’ll have to take action and deal with her.’
Until this day, Emma hadn’t bared her fangs or backstabbed Jin openly.
Despite that, Jin decided to give Emma a farewell gift that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
“Young Master, you must go bid farewell to your brothers now.”
“Alright, Gilly. Let’s go.”
The two of them descended to the Storm Castle’s courtyard.
Under the constant downpour, the knights who had come to escort the Tona twins to the main house were standing in silence.
One 7-star guardian knight, and five 6-star guardian knights. They were all part of the Runcandel’s main house.
The twins were at the center, wearing relieved smiles as they would finally be distanced from their devilish brother.
“Ah, yeah, Jin.”
As Jin spoke to them with a large grin, his brothers tensed up.
“Why are you so surprised? I’m just here to see you off.”
“I guess I won’t be seeing you for another two years. That’s too bad, isn’t it?”
Despite not agreeing with him, the Tona twins furiously nodded their heads.
After patting them on the shoulders, Jin then turned to Emma.
“Stay safe too, Nanny Emma.”
“Thank you very much, Young Master.”
“Could you bend down for a bit?”
Emma lowered herself to match Jin’s eye level. He then approached her ear and whispered.
‘Emma. I hope you act with a bit more caution at the main house.’
As soon as her brain processed the meaning behind his words, Emma’s face paled into a deathly white hue.
When she realized that this 8-year-old child had fully noticed her actions and hidden intentions, a jolting chill ran down her spine.
Her throat squeezed up, and she couldn’t respond to him. Nevertheless, Emma somehow forced her body to move and bowed to Jin, while trying to conceal her trembling.
“We must depart now. Young Master Jin, I shall await with impatience to see your dignified appearance in 2 years!”
The knights raised their swords to salute Jin before departing.
They then got on the carriage waiting at the bottom of Mt. Murakan and headed to the Runcandel main house, the ‘Garden of Swords’.
Jin would also head there in another 2 years.
“Blasted kid! Explain yourself already. An explanation that I can understand.”
The Storm Castle’s underground area.
Murakan expressed his frustrations to Jin as he grabbed the basket Jin had brought. The 8-year-old boy lightly brushed off his words and moved to the shelf.
“How… How can this be… Why is there only one strawberry pie in the basket? Are you looking down on the Great Murakan?”
Murakan was angry… because of a strawberry pie.
“Ah, geez. Be thankful you at least have one pie. I had to save some of my share.”
“Do you truly believe a dragon would feel full from a single measly pie?!”
‘Well, I didn’t believe dragons could become furious because of strawberry pies… but now I do.’
The ‘strawberry pie’ was the first gourmet food Murakan had eaten in a thousand years.
It was also the only food that could satiate his stomach, tongue, and mind in this underground chamber since he was still ‘trapped down here’.
“Don’t you feel full even without food thanks to my spiritual energy? Enough with that nonsense of yours.”
“You… you heartless brat! Don’t you know that dragons are very picky gourmets? And not only am I unable to leave this stuffy place because of your circumstances, now you won’t give me extra strawberry pies?”
Murakan hadn’t left the underground chamber ever since his awakening.
It was all for Jin. He needed to hide his connection with Murakan until he was strong enough, and Murakan also believed that was the correct choice.
The underground chamber was only accessible to the ‘flag-bearers’.
If the clan learned that Jin had been sneaking down here in order to copy the secret tomes, Cyron would most probably ask Murakan to take responsibility as well—even if he were the clan’s guardian deity who had awoken from a thousand-year slumber.
In other words, Jin and Murakan were accomplices of the same crime.
“Ha! You and that gourmet tongue of yours! You’re the one who said you didn’t like any of the food I brought other than the pie. Do you think it’s so easy to airlift strawberries to this Storm Castle?”
Jin also wanted to give a piece of his mind about this topic.
Not only was there a constant downpour at the castle regardless of seasons, it was also located at the peak of Mt. Murakan. It wasn’t a simple task to supply the castle with fresh strawberries.
Moreover, this gourmet black dragon said that all the other food at the Storm Castle was… trash, and only asked for Gilly’s strawberry pie.
“Goddammit… Is this an era where people can’t even eat strawberry pies properly?”
“There are only 2 years left of this ‘era’ you speak of, so finish eating that already. Let’s begin training.”
“It also seems to be an era where rude kids mess around with powerful black dragons.”
In the end, Murakan yielded. It wasn’t as if a non-existing strawberry pie would appear out of thin air just because he got mad at the kid.
“Delicious… Damn, this is crazy delicious. Did you say your nanny cooked it? You must definitely introduce me to her when I get out of here.”
“Yeah, yeah, you already said that dozens of times.”
Jin replied as he shook his head in exasperation.
During the past 6 months, Jin’s vision of dragons was completely destroyed by the slob before him.
The legendary dragons he had imagined during his days as a magician… The wise, majestic, mysterious yet powerful beings…
But the dragon before him was childish, extremely whimsical, and a complete slob. He would always be lying down, scratching his groins as he complained about something.
Having devoured the strawberry pie in an instant, Murakan was once again scratching an… odd place.
‘The only thing that my imagination was correct about is… how powerful dragons are, maybe…?’
Ever since the day after their first encounter, Murakan began to teach Jin how to manipulate spiritual power along with several types of martial arts.
Despite having never fought him in person, Jin could sense how strong Murakan was through his teachings and guidance.
However, most of Murakan’s strength was currently sealed because Jin’s ‘spiritual energy’ was still too weak. Spiritual energy was a necessity to Murakan’s strength and survival, just like how the sun was necessary to plants, and how aquatic life forms needed the sea to survive.
In other words, Jin was like the sun to Murakan. An irreplaceable existence.
However, it was a sun that needed to grow stronger. In order for Murakan’s full strength to return, Jin had to grow older and become more powerful.
“Do that transcription thing for 30 minutes, then come to the hallway.”
After finishing the transcription, Jin left and entered the hallway to face Murakan.
“What did you copy today?”
“The Attila Clan’s book of swordsmanship.”
“Oh! Attila. Their swordsmanship was pretty decent. Reminds me of how I sunk my teeth into their patriarch and killed him about 1500 years ago. Did you understand some of it?”
“About 30% of the content. I didn’t quite get the rest of it.”
“Don’t be discouraged. It’s still incredible that you understood 30% of it at your age.”
Having comprehended about 30% of the Attila Clan’s secret book at the tender age of 8 was an enormous feat.
However, Jin was craving for more. The ‘enormous feat’ was according to the Runcandel standards. But with this being his second life, Jin wanted to achieve far more than just that.
If he couldn’t exceed the normal genius standard, he would once again be unable to overpower his 12 genius siblings.
“How much of this book would the first patriarch have understood at my age?”
“Kuhaha. Right, right. You did say that you chose Temar’s sword during the Selection Ritual. Is that why you keep comparing yourself to him?”
“No, it’s because I’ve heard people endlessly say that the first patriarch was the ‘strongest man in history’. So much that the phrase is engraved in my mind now. That’s why I’m comparing myself to him.”
“The strongest man in history, you say… Fair enough. Temar truly was incredibly strong. Even your father, who’s called the Genesis Knight, is probably one level weaker than Temar.”
That was a realm of strength that Jin couldn’t even imagine.
Despite Jin’s rapid growth speed during his final 3 years of life after making a contract with Solderet, he still had a long way to go to reach the Genesis Knight realm. Even if he became an ‘unparalleled magic swordsman’ like Solderet had said, Jin still wasn’t sure if he could defeat his father.
“Hm, sure. Alright. I guess it would be best to make it clear.”
“Make what clear?”
“The difference between you and Temar.”
Jin nodded as he focused on Murakan’s next words.
“At the age of 8, Temar would not have been able to understand a single sentence in that book.”
A short pause followed, before Murakan continued speaking.
“But one’s talents cannot always be measured by one’s knowledge and understanding of swordsmanship. From what I’ve seen, you are quite gifted. In fact, you’re like a genius that’s born once every hundreds of years… However, you still can’t compare to Temar.”
“Hm, that’s somewhat disheartening.”
“I’m sure that your Genesis Knight father is far more gifted than you are.”
“Then, will I never be able to overpower my father because of the disparity in our talents?”
To overpower his father.
That was the reborn Jin’s biggest and most ambitious goal. If he couldn’t win against Cyron, Jin would have no choice but to live while trying not to stand out again, so that he doesn’t incur the Runcandels’ wrath.
The pathetic death in his first life.
Three 9-star knights who had attacked the Akin Kingdom. Jin’s hypothesis was that Cyron had secretly dispatched those three, even though he strongly wished it were false.
“Indeed, you won’t win against your father if it purely comes to swordsmanship.”
“If it purely comes to swordsmanship?”
“That’s right, you brat. Don’t think that the world solely revolves around swordsmanship. You also have spiritual power and magic at your disposal.”
“If you master magic and spiritual power to the extreme limits, it may be possible to become stronger than Temar, let alone your father. So don’t be impatient.”
“I’m not impatient. I just wanted to know my limits.”
“Ha! You’re still thinking about your ‘limits’ even after gaining Solderet’s spiritual power? Maybe it’s because you’re still a kid. You’re just too unaware. Solderet’s nickname amongst the gods is… ‘the Infinite’.”
“That’s right, infinite. The potential you have is far greater than anyone else in the world. It’s infinite. Limitless. That’s why, just focus on growing up for now. You have to leave this suffocating place and explore the world in order to experience life.”
“In that case, what’s today’s training about?”
“Releasing your spiritual energy. You can always learn the basics of martial arts later on. So from today onwards, till the day you leave the Storm Castle, you will only train your spiritual powers.”