“By the way, this place called Sirid Square is a very strange place, no? It’s said that it’s an area controlled by mercenaries who are affiliated with the Ki-Jang Clan. So, I came by to check it out. I was very curious. Why did you come here? I heard that Archon material caught in the previous hunting event was shared with someone named Dongye of the Dong-Myung Clan. This old man has a lot of curiosity, it’s hard to bear for an older person, you know. However, no matter how much I think about it, it doesn't seem like a friendly treatment toward the Han-Sung Clan,” Hanyoung continued.
Hanyoung’s eyes began to shine stronger and stronger. A little bit of his aura was flowing out, but that small amount of aura alone would make one’s entire body tingle.
As expected, San’s body trembled for a moment. Nevertheless, his reaction was very different from what Hanyoung expected.
“Would you like to go with me?”
San slowly moved away from Hanyoung.
“Where?” Hanyoung opened his eyes wide and asked.
His body turned a little so that San had room to pass by. Hanyoung frowned.
The aura that he had put out was easily scattered by his opponent. Furthermore, his opponent had gently pushed him aside with his own aura.
“I’m going to start with the Dark Guilds. I need to make sure the goods were delivered properly. I need to also rethink whether I should transact with such a rude customer. Anyway, the Dark Guilds are probably scratching their heads right now because they don’t know what credit-based installment payments mean. If gramps wants, you can come with us,” San offered.
“You can say no if you want…” Biyeon said lightly while following San.
The two were passing by the Han-Sung Clan warriors without asking for Hanyoung’s consent. They passed by the warriors with the smallest of margins, but no one resisted.
“Phew- these rude people.”
The Second-level Awakened Warriors, Soun and Sohun, snuck in front of the pair and blocked their path.
San paused and looked at the 40-something-year-old second-level Awakened Warrior, Sohun Han. Biyeon also raised her head and looked at Soun Han, a second-level Awakened Warrior in his 40’s as well.
San took a step back, turned to his side, and moved forward slowly. Sohun blocked his path again. Biyeon took a step back and followed San. Soun stepped next to Sohun. San turned again and took a step in another direction. Their steps were blocked by the Han siblings once again.
For a while, like children playing a game, they each spun around in a ridiculous manner, one couple trying to get out and another couple blocking their way. The other Han-Sung Clan warriors, with slightly amused expressions, were lined up behind the Han siblings with their swords drawn.
It was like the Han siblings were fooling around with a trapped puppy. With heavily sunken eyes, Hanyoung was staring at the shape San and Biyeon were creating with their movement. While observing he kept rubbing the back of his hands…
San stopped. Biyeon stood behind him.
“Should I go on?”
“Three more laps.”
“Is it meaningful?”
“We have plenty of time right now, no?”
“I’ll follow your lead.”
Sohun frowned while Soun was fiddling with his hilt.
The mission was an assignment handed down by their clan, but the two Han siblings were more interested in the young people who caught the eye and respect of their elder, Hanyoung. The siblings respected Hanyoung highly, so they wanted to meet these exceptional young people. However, they didn’t know why San and Biyeon were acting so strangely and ridiculously.
Thus, they decided not to speak with the rude youngsters in front of them. There must have been enough time and opportunity to speak with each other during this silly game, but the siblings just decided to block the pair’s path with their bodies. However, what the siblings didn’t know was that their actions were similar to the gangsters who operated in Korea, people that San and Biyeon hated with a fiery passion.
“We’ve finished the last three laps,” San said.
“I guess it couldn’t be helped,” Biyeon responded.
“What’s the operation?”
“Breaking through would be good.”
“Then let’s break through! We’ll do whatever we want. Is it done?”
“Yes, the status is good.”
San started squatting. Next, he wiped his gloves and looked forward.
His right hand held an Archon sword and his left held his sheath. Biyeon stuck to San’s back. In front, a dozen Han-Sung Clan warriors were blocking the road as if they were preparing to scrum in a rugby match. The Han siblings were two steps ahead of these warriors. The siblings had mischievous expressions as they stared at San and Biyeon.
San and Biyeon started to let out their aura. The atmosphere suddenly became different, filled with a different dominating aura than the one’s the Han-Sung Clan members had been putting out. The size and shape were also changing into something darker and more insidious.
“Be vigilant. They’re different,” from the back, Hanyoung shouted out.
Sohun tilted his head. He looked to his side. Soun Han frowned a little but hardened his face and widened his stride while he strafed back and forth. Hanyoung’s fingertips trembled as he felt an ominous foreboding feeling. This was his instinct that preceded his mind and heart. And when the mind interprets instinct…
Soun opened his eyes wide. Sohun clenched his fist. Hanyoung had already unsheathed his sword and was preparing to jump into the fray.
Investment – Chapter 2
The first sign of their breakthrough operation was a heavy bass sound. It was the sound of San rolling the ball of his feet on the ground and Biyeon stamping the ground.
Before the sound, one could see arc discharges on the tips of their swords. The discharges caused white plasma light to pulse in their surroundings. Then, dazzlingly white light exploded out.
“With delicious freedom,” in the chaos of exploding lights, San’s clear voice rang out.
“For a pleasant liberation!” Biyeon’s cheerful voice followed.
“Let’s go!” “Let’s punish these assholes!”
The two voices rang together.
The Han-Sung Clan warriors shut their eyes tightly. The white light continued to burst and pulse, temporarily paralyzing their sight. The two second-level Awakened Warriors of the Han-Sung Clan were also blinded by the lights. As soon as their vision came back, they turned on their senses. However, a heavy shock wave soon arrived, pushing their bodies backward. Their sturdy bodies were easily pushed back from just the shockwave.
Sohun Han and Soun Han lowered their postures at the same time. With their eyes closed, they were readying themselves for the enemy’s follow-up attack. This kind of visual confusion technique was a familiar technique on the battlefield. In particular, the combination of electric attacks and remote weapons was the same specialty as the Dong-Myung Clan warriors.
Instead of continuous attacks, another roar rang out once more. Soun opened his eyes wide.
In front of him, a man and a woman with incandescent light all over them were walking ‘slowly’. They were slowly yet quickly advancing one step at a time. He felt that there was plenty of time and room to fight.
But there was nothing that could prevent San and Biyeon from moving forward. All space and all beings were stepping back one step at a time, in line with San and Biyeon’s steps forward.
Sohun, who had been blocking from the front, took a step back while unsuccessfully trying to swallow his groans. All the warriors and even their horses staggered backward. Everyone and everything was pushed backward, their feet scratching against the ground. It was as if there was a balloon in between the two parties that was pushing one side away.
Soun wiped the sweat off his brow.
‘Are you competing against us with aura…? Against fifteen warriors, including two Second-level Awakened Warriors?’ he thought. The idea of two people taking on an entire group of warriors with only aura seemed absurd.
San took another step forward. The Archon sword in his right hand started emitting flashes of light. Biyeon followed closely behind. She was holding her sword upside down, the tip towards the ground. She raised her sword to eye level before turning it horizontally, parallel to the ground.
All the Han-Sung Clan warriors were breathing heavily. They settled down and took out their blue, metallic swords. They put their backs against each other and started getting into a formation. The ground began to shake at the energy and aura they were collectively outputting.
San and Biyeon continued to move forward, one step at a time. The Han-Sung clansmen kept retreating. However, the space between them started to narrow.
The area where the two auras collide was filled with powerful energy, causing explosions to ring out here and there. The ground was cracking. Through the gaps, strong winds whipped by. Sohun and Soun supported each other by pushing back on San and Biyeon’s aura, trying to stop the two from advancing any further.
The smiles and laughs disappeared from the Han-Sung Clan warriors’ faces. Their facial muscles, which had been used to smile just a moment before, were now rapidly changing to something entirely different. Tendons, veins, and blood vessels start protruding from their skin, ready to explode outward at any minute as they reached their physical limits. Their faces were pale due to a lack of blood circulation. Sand and broken stone fragments started whipping around them, creating thick and thin red lines on their faces as they tore off their skin. The wind was already turning into a misty red from the atomized blood that was caught up in the whirling winds.
Though the warriors were all veterans that had fought in many battles, they had never faced such an absurd situation before. The single-stage difference in Acceleration capability meant a difference of four times the combat force and four times the speed. What were the Han-Sung Clan members thinking about the two in front of them now?
San clenched his jaw and took another step forward. The pressurized space in between the two parties became more chaotic. The Han-Sung Clan warriors clenched their teeth as they tried to hold their ground. They were striving to endure the pressure, but they couldn’t help but be pushed out. They all thought, ‘Why!’
All sorts of questions were dancing in their heads. Why didn’t the captains take charge and swing their swords? However, the Han-Sung Clan captains had no intention to do so. Since the Han siblings complied with the rules set by the opponent, changing the rules was not their style. Currently, there was one understanding. Both sides implicitly agreed to duel through aura. However, the collective aura of all the Han-Sung clan warriors was losing out to these two people’s. Also, they belatedly realized that they couldn’t contend with their adversaries.
“Coming at us like a pack of dogs…”
San’s voice was filled with anger. However, it was not anger that was harsh but tragic.
“You can’t even handle these few steps…”
Biyeon’s voice followed from behind San.
“Wasn’t it you all who dared to block our path? That’s funny. What the hell, Han-Sung Clan!” San shouted out.
The two suddenly stopped moving forward. The Han-Sung Clan warriors rearranged themselves into battle formations. The space that was filled with white light just a moment ago cleared up. The sudden vacuum and the unfamiliar silence frightened the Han-Sung Clan warriors.
San raised his head. He looked into Sohun Han’s sharp eyes. San smiled wide, showing off his pearly white teeth. For a very short time, the tight balance broke like glass. Soun opened his eyes wide with his mouth half open. He crossed his arms and covered his face. With one foot hastily pulled back…
‘The Philosopher’s Sword’
Hanyoung clenched his fists. Uncommon sense was beating up on common sense. The point in time when he could intervene in this battle had already passed. He was anxious about something. He still felt the itch on the back of his hand. Hanyoung opened his eyes wide. When he was trying to shout out a warning…
‘That’s it! It’s an Archon bone sword…! Surely, they don’t know…?’ Hanyoung thought.
San and Biyeon raised the handle of their swords to eye level before laying them down horizontally, parallel to the ground. Another light burst out from their bone swords. Like a prism that scatters sunlight, the light was split into the visible light spectrum. The rainbow-colored light turned into a wave and swirled around their blades’ leading edges.
San’s sword had a dominant blue color while Biyeon’s was red. The rainbow waves were changing colors and shaking like a whip.
Hanyoung opened his mouth to say something. But…
“We’re leaving now.”
“Goodbye…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter