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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 36: Only One Thing

 

Instantaneously, a blade shot out from the darkness towards Limon.

It was the perfect assassination, bringing a silent death to even the highest level players.

But right before it could pierce his neck—

“……!”

Chao, who lunged his sword from the darkness, went rigid.

The edge of his blade, barely touching Limon’s neck, was held between two straight fingers.

“Hollow Ascension Sword Style, I see… It’s a good sword skill. One of the finest hidden curricula among the 72 Martial Skills used for assassination.”

His gaze was unmoving, his blade still pressed against Li Chingwei’s neck.

He’d caught Chao’s blade with just a twist of his hand,

“But that’s only when you’re successful.”

Limon critiqued Chao as if he was an imperfect student.

Assassination only works when the victim does not see it coming.

Otherwise, even the best technique wouldn’t do squat.

He would’ve been much better off facing Limon head on in this situation.

“If you want to assassinate someone with Hollow Ascension Sword Style, you should come back after working on your camouflage skills first.”

Feeling the humiliation from not only a failed assassination but also getting schooled, Chao clenched his jaws as he twirled his sword to go for Limon’s fingers.

He may not be able to severe them, but unless Limon had fingers of steel, it would bleed.

But Chao was unable to hide his amazement as he did it.

‘What the…?!’

He’d moved his sword, but it did not budge from between Limon’s fingers.

He didn’t stop it by force.

Rather, he had moved his fingers along with Chao’s blade to avoid getting cut.

And that was just the start of it—

Whether he lunged, pulled, or swung…

Limon’s fingers were naturally ahead of the blade.

There was no doubt that Chao was the one holding the sword, but the feeling that the blade was moving the way Limon intended made his hair stand up.

‘He’s reading the movements of my sword!’

Limon had completely understood Chao’s sword flow.

To add insult to injury, his eyes never wavered from Li Chingwei.

All while his flesh crept at the unexpected turn of events, Chao quickly changed his technique.

Instead of going against Limon with complicated tactics, he gathered all of his Psionic energy as he got ready to put it all into his sword.

He was certain that not even Limon would be able to deflect him with just his fingers when he was going in with full force.

But before he could go for it—

“Chao.”

The ever so recognizable, and yet so unfamiliar voice rang coldly through the air.

He flinched, freezing where he stood.

A single word was all it took to stop him dead in his tracks.

And in the next moment, he could feel an extreme amount of Psionic energy overpower him.

“Who told you it was okay to hold a sword to my dear husband?”

With her calm, pitch black eyes, Li Chingwei’s gaze moved towards Chao.

Not minding the blade against her neck, he lifted her soft, fair fingers and waved.

Her movement was the very definition of beauty and elegance.

It was as graceful as the final step in a ballet, yet so slow that it wouldn’t even be capable of catching a fly.

Though, the result was not so elegant.

Pow! Ka-bang, slam!

As if he was getting mauled by an invisible giant, Chao flew up into the air, breaking multiple pieces of furniture before getting struck into the wall, with blood gushing out of his mouth.

It wasn’t just a knock down. 

His injuries were life threatening.

But Li Chingwei did not even bat an eye.

“You went much too far out of line.”

Regardless of whether he was the Seven Dragons Association’s former enemy or holding a sword to her neck, Limon was still engaged to the Black Dragon Princess.

Attempting to kill him without her permission was an unforgivable act of arrogance.

“Chao. From this moment on, you are no longer my guard. You’re on probation until I call you again.”

“Pr-princess…”

Blood continued leaking out of Chao’s mouth. He seemed more shocked about getting fired than getting knocked out from her fingertips alone.

But Li Chingwei did not give him room to explain himself.

Her beautiful obsidian eyes pointed at Chao, she asked, “Do I have to repeat myself?”,

“…!”

Chao trembled.

In an instant, he staggered up and put his sword away.

Placing his hands together in a fist and palm, he spoke in a shaken voice.

“Your wish… is my command.”

Szz—.

Chao faded into the darkness.

It must have been hard to move even an inch due to his destroyed guts. Was using camouflage in such a state to protect what was left of his dignity?

Or was it because he didn’t want to show his sorry state to the Princess he loved and placed in such high regard?

Li Chingwei did not bother to contemplate his reasons.

She turned back to Limon with an apologetic expression.

“I apologize for the trouble. Chao is too conservative, he doesn’t know how to be flexible.”

It was only moments after Chao had left in shambles. Limon’s sword was still held to her neck.

She was acting like what just happened was a small and minor incident, like she couldn’t even see his sword.

Limon watched her with a puzzled look. There wasn’t a single trace of the cold expression she had just moments prior as she looked at him shyly.

“Wasn’t that too unforgiving of your aide? He seemed pretty shocked.”

The 72 Martial Skills were no common martial arts.

It was the Seven Dragons Association’s finest secret curriculum only taught to those with innately fitting character, talent and proven loyalty.

To have learnt it at such a young age meant that he was among the most elite in the Seven Dragons Association.

On top of that, getting hired as a bodyguard meant he was worthy of Li Chingwei trusting him with her life.

And Li Chingwei had just kicked out that prodigy without hesitation.

Even Limon was taken aback.

“Well, even I think I was a bit too harsh.”

She could have just told him off.

Using force really did go a bit far.

She mumbled to herself, nodding.

“Then why did you do it?”

Limon was baffled by the unexpected agreement, to which Li Chingwei had a simple answer.

“Well, the Master of Swords would have retaliated if I didn’t go this far, right?”

A little pain was better than death.

And it would kill two birds in one stone if this could fix that conservative attitude of his.

Limon scratched his cheeks as Li Chingwei gave him a bright smile.

“Well, that’s true.”

Li Chingwei did not over exaggerate.

The moment Chao gathered his Psionic energy, Limon ever so slightly changed his hold on Chao’s sword.

It was to cut his head off.

If Li Chingwei had interfered a moment later, Chao would not have left with his head intact.

Taking that into consideration, her ability to notice Limon’s sudden murderous intent and punishing Chao before he could as a countermeasure was rather superb work, even in Limon’s eyes.

If she had tried to brush it off, Limon wouldn’t have let him be either.

“Still, little Princess, aren’t you forgetting something?”

“What is it?”

There was one problem with Li Chingwei’s countermeasure, however.

One matter she didn’t seem to pay any mind to.

“Good job saving your aide and all, but your life isn’t all that safe and sound right now either,” Limon coldly stated, tapping his sword on her fair neck.

 

***

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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She had nonchalantly admitted that she was the gray eminence who maneuvered Lee Chun-gi to go against Limon, the indirect cause of Yoo Na-kyung being driven into an escapable corner.

Against the man who crashed the Blue House and battled the Infinite Monarch for his blood debt.

That admittance alone was reason enough for him to cut her.

In fact, Chao wasn’t at fault, he was just doing his duty as a guard. Limon had lunged his sword at his master, after all.

“May I explain myself before you cut my neck?”

But the woman did not show an ounce of fear, instead calmly asking for a chance to explain herself.

“Explain what?”

“How we brought the Master of Swords to his downfall. I would like to tell you the process in detail.”

Limon was, for a brief moment, flabbergasted.

Did she really just say that when he was the very victim of that downfall? 

This wasn’t even a tale of former archnemeses.

It was truly astounding for her to say such a thing when a blade was on her neck.

“Do you think I am going to let you talk?”

“Yes.”

“……And what makes you so confident?”

“Well, because the Master of Swords is here to collect his blood debt from me, of course.”

Limon couldn’t help but scowl as he heard what she had to say.

“You said so yourself, didn’t you? The most important part about collecting blood debt is to never mistake your debtor.”

Li Chingwei smiled, not having the slightest doubt he wouldn’t give her a chance for explanation when he went as far as to wring every little bit of information out of the Infinite Monarch, all to confirm his debtor.

He narrowed his eyes.

“Then spill,” he spat out with clear contempt.

Softly smiling at his permission, Li Chingwei started to speak.

“As the Master of Swords may already know, we, the Seven Dragons Association, have tried our best to pass on the lessons of our founder for a very long time.”

That was the Seven Dragons Association’s goal.

It was their faith and diligence to once again create the utopia the Seven Dragons once reigned over.

“But we were stopped by you, the Master of Swords, every time we tried. Unfortunately, we did not have the strength to surpass the Master of Swords.”

He was truly an Absolute Ruler who knew neither failure nor compromise.

Bribery, beautiful women, conciliation, persuasion, pressure, negotiation.

Hostages…

Such things did not work on Limon. 

And on top of that, he refused to die or even grow old.

It was safe to say that Limon was a literal living nightmare to the Seven Dragons Association.

“But 32 years ago, when the Constellations first appeared, someone had said, ‘if we cannot beat the Master of Swords, then all we have to do is don’t.’

“…What the hell does that mean?”

Limon looked taken aback.

‘What kind of rationalization is that?’

But instead of answering Limon’s question, Li Chingwei grinned with a counter question.

“Haven’t you ever thought it was strange?”

“What?”

“The Dungeon is a place that gives an overwhelming amount of benefits. It wouldn’t be surprising to see international wars break out for its ownership.”

“That’s obvious….”

“But has a war ever actually escalated over it?”

That instant, Limon’s face froze.

The Dungeon was equivalent to a goose hatching golden eggs.

It was an infinite treasure trove. If a single nation could monopolize it, they could take all the mined products in the Dungeon for itself.

Countries have entered conflict for much less than that before.

But as she stated, there has never been a major conflict caused by the dungeon.

Limon fell silent as she continued.

She was only just getting started.

“In addition, it is easy for players to get drunk on their own power.

Do you really think that among all those players, there wouldn’t be a single high-flier who aspired to become the most powerful man in their nation or a madman who just wanted to watch the world burn?

That was impossible.

Limon knew from his days as a PAB agent.

He knew how reckless the players could be, thinking they were the center of the world.

“Long ago, the dark mages abandoned their vain ambitions and became lawful after the Master of Swords overthrew the Demon God.

But did the dark mages really disappear? Do you believe that there isn’t a single being who would have tried to turn the world by its feet when they saw the world start to change?”

That too, was nonsensical.

The dark mages used heretical magic.

No matter how lawful they had become, it was in their nature to go against the natural order and breed chaos.

“And yet, after the Iron Age opened its gates, there has yet to be a single great war.”

This generation may have taken itself for granted. Indeed, there may have been no wars as the world was richer than before, its people more civilized.

But oh, how mercilessly the civilized people who regarded themselves as ‘noble’ slaughtered the bandits!

How easily those in power go to war over the smallest reasons!

Having seen it countless times, Limon knew how odd the current status quo was.

“Do you think all of that was just a coincidence?”

Li Chingwei’s silent smile explained everything.

Limon finally understood.

No, he had no choice but to see it all.

“…Hey, wait.”

To see the hidden meaning behind Li Chingwei’s words, and why she was telling him so.

Upon this realization, Limon was aghast.

“Did you people really bring my downfall by…!”

“Yes, that’s right.”

Limon’s jaw dropped in disbelief. Li Chingwei beamed.

“We only did one thing to ruin you.”

They could not win against Limon.

So they didn’t.

And it was quite easy to do, in fact.

All they had to do was eradicate any chance for him to win in the first place.

The Seven Dragons Association was once coined a ‘demonic cult’ for its heartless violence.

Yet here, one of the Princesses of that ‘demonic cult’, had just brightly confessed that it was a scheme they had been carrying out for the past 32 years.

“The Seven Dragons Association has been using their full strength to keep world peace.”

 

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