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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 34: Something That Must Not Be Mistaken

 

Despite its title as the finest and best hotel, the gates of Hotel Leviathan were rather quiet.

Although they were incredibly selective with their guests, it wasn’t because of a lack of people.

Rather, it was because there were barely any guests who used the gates in the first place.

And so, it was quite the occasion to see the gates of Leviathan, at this very moment, have its gates wide open past midnight.

Most notably rare, was the beautiful young woman standing guard at the gate like a statue. She had been waiting since the gates opened. 

“…Why don’t you come inside now, Princess?”

It seemed he couldn't bear to watch any longer.

A masked man in a black gi stepped out from the shadows.

Chao advised her to take a break, as it was already the middle of the night.

Even disregarding the fact the girl had already stood guard for more than half a day, it was clearly the time to rest.

“I appreciate your concern, but no thank you, Chao.”

“The cold winds are not good for your health.”

“Chao, you’re well aware that it doesn’t affect me.”

“....”

The black-haired girl gave him a wide smile.

And Chao fell silent at Li Chingwei’s answer.

Agreeing with her meant that there was no ground for him to advise rest, but disagreeing meant that he would be lying.

She let out a small chuckle at his hard-headedness.

“Has there been any new information yet?”

“There has not. I apologize.”

“It’s not something you should apologize for, Chao.”

Li Chingwei softly shook her head as Chao hung his head in shame.

“It’s impossible for anyone to get information from the Blue House, anyway.”

That was no overstatement.

In truth, it was quite easy to get information just hours prior. 

All the channels on TV were broadcasting headlines like《Swordmaster holds hostage LIVE》 and 《Why Limon Asphelder committed treason》.

However, all news regarding the Blue House was cut off after Lee Chun-gi stepped in.

From the reporters to the support troops from great guilds, those who had been stationed near the Blue House had all backed away after Lee Chun-gi’s orders to prevent any news leakage.

At least the news stations and guilds backing off were understandable.

But it was rather ludicrous to have even the military follow the orders of a civilian in an emergency like this.

But people took it as the natural thing to do.

After all, the power a Monarch wielded went far beyond those of a mere nation’s leaders.

“If you could grant permission, I will dispatch the Secret Shadow Squad and gather information.”

“No. That will only endanger their lives.”

Chao couldn’t argue with that assessment.

It wasn’t that the squad was untrustworthy.

Whether it be a big guild’s treasury or a core facility of a national institution, the Secret Shadow Squad could infiltrate any place that physically existed.

But this time, the opponent wasn’t ideal.

As long as the Infinite Monarch was inside the Blue House, dispatching them meant sending them to meaningless deaths.

Due to his thousands of skills, Lee Chun-gi was an unpredictable monster with no weakness.

Even the Secret Shadow Squad of the Black Dragon Clan, who once bled terror into each nook and cranny of the entire world would have to risk their lives to even approach the man.

That was why Chao was so hesitant to ask.

“Do you really think he will be able to defeat the Infinite Monarch?”

“That is why I am standing here.”

What good would it do to wait for a dead man?

Li Chingwei gave a beaming smile, but Chao couldn’t help but feel even more conflicted than before.

Unlike her playful tone, he could sense the certainty in her voice that Limon would return victorious.

“I still do not know.”

“I understand. It’s not easy to pick the winning side in a one-on-one fight.”

“…I meant the reason you have so much trust in him, Princess.”

He couldn’t understand how she could even think that Limon had any chance of defeating Lee Chun-gi.

He may have been strong, but that was all in the past. There was no way someone with just a measly sword could go against the Infinite Monarch and his thousands of skills.

Although that was considered common sense in this age, he could let that one slide.

After all, the upper echelons of the Seven Dragons Association had a tendency of overestimating Limon. Perhaps it was due to their centuries-old quarrel.

That was also a reason Chao didn’t believe in Limon.

“Isn’t he an enemy to begin with?”

Enemy?

That was a very cordial word to use in this case.

Old foes, sworn enemies, natural enemies, adversaries, archnemeses…

Not a single word in the dictionary would be able to describe the relationship between Limon and the Seven Dragons Association.

There was even an idiom dedicated to it — ‘agree like cats and dogs’.

That was how deep their bad blood ran.

For those reasons, Chao simply couldn’t wrap his head around Li Chingwei’s decisions.

“We don’t know if he will hurt you, Princess. How could you…”

His voice projected apprehension towards their long sworn enemy, concern about the Princess he held in such high regard, and doubts at her decisions.

“Chao.”

WIth just a word, Chao was silenced.

Using merely a soft call to cut Chao off, Li Chingwei smiled with content.

“I am always grateful for your sincerity and loyalty.”

She may have been the Princess of the Black Dragon Clan, but she didn’t get unconditional support from every member of the clan.

In that sense, she was truly grateful to have Chao.

Not only was he unconditionally loyal towards her, having someone to give her their honest opinions like this was always valuable.

Especially now, when the Black Dragon Clan was unstable for various reasons and had lost quite a bit of support from its own members.

So Li Chingwei spoke bluntly.

“But I will not allow any more berating towards my dear future husband.”

Chao flinched.

Not only was her serious expression and flat voice rare to see, her eyes, settled down, were as deep as the night skies. It was made apparent.

“I apologize for my disrespect.”

“It wasn’t disrespectful, but it was out of line.”

Li Chingwei warned with a soft smile.

“I will keep that in mind.”

And with that, Chao bowed his head as he disappeared back into the shadows.

He understood that saying any more would have been crossing the line.

It didn’t matter how young she was, or how little support she got from her own clan.

Li Chingwei was the Princess of the Black Dragon Clan.

No matter her decision, it was Chao’s duty to uphold and bring out the best possible outcome with it

 

Trudge, trudge—

Just as Li Chingwei let out a sigh as she looked over at where Chao had faded into…

The stars in the night sky died out as the sound of unfamiliar footsteps rang through the air.

After finding out that the Infinity Guild had been waiting in ambush, Hotel Leviathan was at its highest alert.

If somebody’s footsteps came close enough to be heard, those on guard should have picked it up and reported it to her.

“What are you doing? It’s the middle of the night,” the voice spoke, laid back as if they’d just come back from a nice stroll.

But Li Chingwei wasn’t fazed.

“I am exercising my privileges,” she casually answered.

“What privileges?”

Was her answer that uncanny?

The white-haired  man had an expression of curiosity on his face.

Li Chingwei spoke, beaming at Limon.

“It’s a bride’s privilege to wait for her husband to come back, isn’t it?”

 

***

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Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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“My deepest condolences.”

“What is it this time?”

“I didn’t get compensated by the Master of Swords.”

Coming back covered head to toe in dirt, Limon had finally washed up on the highest floor of Hotel Leviathan.

He furrowed his brows in bewilderment.

“…And why do I have to give you compensation?”

“Isn’t it the rule for the groom to give the bride a kiss when she’s done something commendable?”

“No? Not a single law like that exists.”

“What? Why not?” Li Chingwei asked, tilting her head cluelessly with wide eyes. It was as if she genuinely believed it to be a rule.

“How should I know? Maybe congress didn’t feel like kissing their wives,” he answered mindlessly.

“Besides that, how are the kids? Are they all asleep?”

“If you mean the children you brought here, all of them are asleep except one.”

“Which one isn’t?”

Limon furrowed his brows.

It bothered him to hear that a child was still awake far into the dead of night.

But he understood right away as soon as he heard the answer.

“A child named Song Shia.”

“Oh, the one with the dead fish eyes?”

“Dead fish eyes?”

“There’s one kiddo with dead-looking eyes.”

He clicked his tongue thinking of the little girl he rescued from Hanbit Orphanage who stood out in particular.

He turned back to Li Chingwei, “Not much besides that, right?”

“Yes. physically speaking, they are all well, and they are much more mentally stable than before.”

“Alright, that’s all I needed to hear.”

Limon nodded in satisfaction, drying off his wet hair with the towel that was hanging around his neck.

As she watched his damp hair and sturdy muscles showing through his disheveled clothes, Li Chingwei seemed to remember something.

“Come to think of it, how did your business matter go?”

“Business? Oh, you mean the blood debt?”

“Yes, I heard you met the Infinite Monarch.”

Li Chingwei didn’t hide her curiosity.

Despite not having any doubt that Limon was victorious, even she couldn’t help but be curious about their meeting.

“I did meet him,” Limon nodded.

He added on with a low voice, “I didn’t get my blood debt, though.”

“…What?”

Li Chingwei’s eyes widened.

It was like hearing someone claim they didn’t drive drunk after they’d drunk and drove.

It was only a natural reaction.

Perhaps it would have been different if she didn’t know who he was.

The fact that Limon Asphelder of all people didn’t collect the blood debt of someone he already met was unfathomable for her.

She blinked, a blank look on her face.

“Do you know what the most important part about collecting blood debt is?”

“Wouldn’t it be the power to collect it?”

“Of course, you’d need that, too. But the most important thing is to not mistake who your debtor is.” 

Blood debt was the price of blood.

It was the privilege of paying the price of death with death, and getting paid in blood for blood lost.

Failure was therefore understandable. 

Mistakes, however, weren’t.

Just as forcing the wrong person to pay you back would make it a robbery,

Mistaking the blood debtor would only make it a murder.

“At first, I thought the one I had to collect my blood debt from was the Infinite Monarch.”

His judgment was more than reasonable.

After all, Lee Chungi was the main instigator of all this.

“But there was something too suspicious for me to make him pay my blood debt and call it a day.”

That was something he’d overlooked before going back in time.

But after being able to see what couldn’t be seen…

After meeting Lee Chun-gi himself, fighting and conversing with him, he got a gradual feeling.

Some things just felt out of place.

“So I asked that little shit a few questions before killing him and found out.”

Essentially, it was his simple intuition, nothing more than a feeling that even he himself couldn’t decipher.

But thanks to all his years of experience, Limon was able to come to a conclusion.

“The Infinite Monarch was nothing more than a tool. There’s a gray eminence behind all of this.”

 

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