Solo Swordmaster

REAPER SCANS

 

Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 88: Discordance

 

Kim Seungjun tried to hold himself together. 

With a deep breath and maintaining a calm, low voice, he said, “Chief Moon. This is different from what we discussed.”

“< What is? >”

“Last time we spoke, you told me Miss Claire would be available. What do you mean she can’t do it anymore?”

On the other end of the line, Chief Moon sluggishly responded to Kim Seungjun’s nitpicking tone.

“< Why question the obvious? >”

“…Obvious?”

“< Think about it. Our Claire’s popularity is off the charts right now. Of course, she wouldn’t be available now even if she was before. >”

“Didn’t you agree to leave her schedule empty?”

“< Oh, no. It’s not good to mistake yourself like that. We never signed a formal contract. >”

Kim Seungjun grinded his teeth in frustration, as Chief Moon wasn’t wrong. He had spent a fortune on reception expenses to liaise with Claire, but everything was spoken. No contract was ever signed.

“Fine. Let's just say I misunderstood. Is there any way you can change her schedule at this point?”

Seungjun was a sad, working member of society. He had to hold back his spite whenever it came to business. He could feel his blood boil, but he was trying his best to resolve things amicably. However, he only received a patronizing reply.

“< Hoho. You can’t tell me to change her schedule when I’ve already signed a contract. >”

“If there is an issue with cancellation fees, I can—”

“< That is not a problem. It’s a matter of common morality, you see. Common morality. >”

‘That &$@!$%%@—!’

“[Plus, do you even know what Claire is going to be doing on that day?]”

“No, what is she doing?”

“< She’s attending a party to celebrate the Midas Guild’s branch manager hitting level 80! He earnestly asked me to hold that time slot for him, you know? How could I cancel on him now? >”

Kim Seungjun realized why the Moon fucker was throwing such a fit.

“…You’re sure you weren’t the one earnestly asking him?”

“< Oi, oi. What are you talking about?! You know plenty well our Claire isn’t one with so little work to go around begging for some! >”

‘I was talking about you, dumbass.’

Kim Seungjun lamented silently in rage. Chief Moon was in the wrong, but he had an endless amount of excuses to throw at him.

“< Well, isn’t there still time? Look for someone else. >”

“…”

“< Let me know if you really can’t find anyone else. Considering our history, I’ll gladly send a substitute. Our trainees these days aren’t half bad, hahaha! >”

After hanging up the call, Kim Seungjun let out a scream while shaking his fists.

“Those damn WIM guild motherfuckers!”

He had saved a seat at the restaurant for them. And after making him wait more than half an hour, Chief Moon only made excuses on the phone.

Ripping the hair out of his head, he was in deep thought.

‘Damnit. What do I do?! I can’t find a substitute now…’

Chief Moon could bark all he wanted about having extra time, but that was bullshit. The project was made with Claire in mind. There was no way he could find someone who could match Claire’s title of the ‘nation’s best musician’.

The project will be gutted, all the blame falling onto him. No one would have the guts to blame the WIM guild.

But as he lamented at his reality, the customer sitting behind him stood up and began singing.

Aren’t you hungry? 

I want to eat a sweet pie.

I want to eat warm soup.

It is the food of my soul.

‘…What’s this? Some kind of event?’

Possibly because of the field of work he was in, he looked around at his surroundings. Finding no cameras, Kimg Seungjun frowned.

‘Tch. It’s just a drunk.’

The song coming from behind him was far too awful to be coming from an ordinary person, let alone a singer. The guy had to be drunk.

But after getting a second glance, he felt strange. A song with no rhythm or tune had to be coming from a drunk about 5 or 6 soju bottles in, but the person singing did not look intoxicated at all.

‘Hm. Maybe he’s the type who doesn’t look that drunk.’

Coming to a quick conclusion, he got up from his seat. There was no reason to stay and listen to the obnoxious singing, especially after he got stood up.

That was, until Limon, the man sitting across from the singer, started playing the guitar on his lap.

Kim Seungjun froze—not because he was baffled that he wasn’t stopping his companion but joining him, but because unlike the singer, the instrumentation was clean. Each note was so fine and clear that the melody rang through his heart like a blade.

‘Was it possible for a guitar to make such a sound…?’

As someone who believed themselves to be well-educated on music, Kim Seungjun was impressed.

Subconsciously he muttered, ‘What a shame.’

The other wide-eyed customers and the restaurant staff would have agreed with him had he said it out loud. As good as the guitar sounded, it only served to make the rugged singing all that worse.

‘If only the singing wasn’t there. If only it was just the guitar,’ they all thought.

Then, the melody subtly changed.

 

***

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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***

 

‘Huh?’

At first, he thought that it was just him. But the change became more prominent as Kim Seungjun’s expression unknowingly turned into one of outrage.

‘The guitar is following the song?’

The rhythm gradually started falling off. As time went on, the unique beauty of the melody was lost as the guitar started sounding just as messy as the singing.

‘Isn’t it usually the opposite?’

He would have been impressed if the singer followed along to the guitar, but the opposite happened. The instrumentation got caught up in the singing and became a mess as well, screaming together in chaos.

‘What the hell…!’

Could this be considered noise pollution? Mental terrorism? He was about to lose it at the humiliation of music happening before him.

‘…?’

But Kim Seungjun’s eyes widened. Both the singing and the guitar sounded like a mess.

‘There’s… a harmony?’

The two sources of discord came together to form a pure melody. It was only for an instant—like it was a coincidence. But then it happened a second time. A third. The two harmonized more and more, until only one fantastic and mysterious melody flowed, devouring all the other sounds in the restaurant.  Such a fleeting, yet eternal moment.

“Harmony…” Kim Seungjun blankly muttered to himself.

‘Rhythm’ is the basic flow of a tune. ‘Melody’ creates the tune. ‘Harmony’ connects melody. Called the ‘three elements of music’, was always doubtful of harmony. 

Music couldn’t be made without rhythm, and music without melody sounded drab, but anyone could make music without harmony. Could it really be considered a musical element? Kim Seungjun had always questioned that—until now.

There is a reason why harmony is part of the three basic elements of music, and perhaps the most important out of them. The scene unveiling in front of him was just that mind blowing.

‘Dear god. I can’t believe that this is even possible.’

The guitar cut off the melody. The singing completely disregarded rhythm. The tunes could not be called music, just a continuation of confusing sounds. But together? The guitar filled in the rhythm the singing would skip and the singing connected the melody the guitar cut off as it created a sound transcending human imagination.

And the surprising part? The two sounds were still completely separate from one another.

‘I feel like I’m listening to a song from heaven with hell’s outcries as a chorus.’

The timing could be missed in the blink of an eye, the melody could go out of tune with just one frequency error, and the decibel of the sound was incomprehensible.

The two were so far apart from each other that any slight error would create an awful disharmony. And yet, because of that, the two sounds were fascinating and mysterious.

‘This is… I don’t know what to call this.’

On top of that, the harmony the two created changed endlessly. One moment it would hold the weight of a classical piece, another it was as soft as a ballad. Calm as jazz, strong like rock and roll.

Without warning or prelude, it would change music genres and style at every note. It felt like a plant being blown by a hurricane. The leaves and stem thrashed in disarray, but the roots stood unwavering and firm.

‘This song is mental.’

It was insane. A revolution and provocation to all existing music. No sound performer could attempt this, and if one could, they would not even dare try.

‘But it’s good.’

Not stuck on any formula, the freedom of the melody was so beautiful that it bewitched those listening.

Don’t think too much.

Life is fun, alive is lucky.

Don’t waste happiness. 

Enjoy your life today.

Just when did it end?

The tune ringing through the restaurant quietened down and the lingering sounds brushed past everyone’s ears like the fragrance of a flower in late spring, eventually dissolving into dust.

Frozen in place, Kim Seungjun subconsciously cried out in his head.

‘Found my substitute!’

 

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