Solo Swordmaster

REAPER SCANS

 

Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – ilafy]

 

Chapter 98: Why Do You Ask?

 

Analysis techniques interpreted specific martial arts and swordsmanship to target their weak points. Due to its strictly defensive essence, a proper analysis technique allowed you to have an overwhelming advantage over your opponent.

One could say it was like an exam cheat sheet with all of the answers on it, which was why Xue-reung was shocked when his knowledge of how such a technique worked was completely shattered.

‘That’s a thing? You can use analysis techniques on people rather than just martial arts?’ He would have somewhat understood if the young man’s martial arts were being analyzed. Any kind of trained movement was a technique, after all. 

As long as it could be taught and learned, you could create an analysis technique for it. That’s why martial arts used to be passed from one person to another, and skill books could cost a life to acquire.

What Limon was instructing Wei-ling on wasn’t an analysis technique of a martial art, though… it was an analysis technique based on the young man himself.

[Darkness Enlightenment, alternating.]

She spun her body like a top, seizing the moment her clothes covered the man’s vision to make a hidden stab toward him.

The young man threw his head back, and right when he was about to make a counter…

Pow-!

“Kugh?!” Her other hand struck his jaw before he realized what was happening. The stab had been a feint from the beginning—her palm strike was the real attack. The scary part was that she’d been given the order before she even attacked. It was like Limon knew how the man would dodge from the beginning.

The following attacks were the same.

[White Blossom Monsoon, sneak attack.]

Her sword twirled like a petal in water, blocking the man’s sudden knife throw.

[Twin Peaks Trail]

The two knives he’d discretely pulled out were pushed to the side and clanged against each other.

[Shark Storm, Breakneck]

The man tried to stall with a kick and realign himself, but he was stopped by a stab to the thigh. Whether he was on offense or defense, Wei-ling read his every move.

She was so thorough that he seemed to be nothing more than an insect in a spider’s web when he’d been an overwhelming opponent before.

“The hell is this?! Are you using [Foresight] or something?” The young man cried out in frustration. “It can’t be… This is too much, even for a prophetic skill!” 

The young man wasn’t entirely wrong. Countering all of his movements so perfectly should’ve been impossible for anything short of a prophetic skill. The problem was that Limon completely obliterated common sense, even through a phone.

‘I can’t believe he analyzed everything from his mind to his habits!’ Xue-reung thought. It was beyond an analysis technique—it was a strategy. Limon had created a fool-proof analysis and strategy like one would for a boss raid in a video game.

‘How much does it take to get to such a point?’ It would have made a little more sense if Limon was giving instructions in person. It was only natural for a master to be able to read an amateur’s movements, after all…

But Limon was not there, so just how large of a skill difference there had to be between him and the young man for him to give such perfect instructions without seeing him was unfathomable.

‘How could he possibly be able to start analyzing someone without meeting them? Just when did he meet this person?’ Xue-reung was suspicious about how Limon could so thoroughly analyze a man he’d never even seen before.

A moment later, realization dawned on him, and his eyes widened. ‘Could it be… the autopsy?’

Not many knew that Limon had investigated each corpse of the several hundred involved in the Black Dragon Building incident. Xue-reung himself only knew because he’d gone out of his way to try to find a fault in Limon.

Thanks to his knowledge, though, he was able to come to a terrifying conclusion…

‘Did he read that man after only seeing the injuries left on the corpses?’

Such a thing was theoretically possible. Detectives with the [Autopsy] skill could figure out all sorts of things from a body, from the method of murder to the culprit’s characteristics, and profilers with the [Criminal Psychology Detection] skill could learn the culprit’s personality and behavioral patterns.

Still, it was nothing but a theory; it was far too difficult to carry out in practice. Even the tracers who’d investigated the Black Dragon Building had been unable to weed out any details, after all.

What if Limon had figured out what the tracers couldn’t solely through his experience and keenness to go so far as to create a personal analysis technique?

‘Limon Asphelder…’ Shivers ran down Xue-reung’s spine. If his guess was correct, then it was only natural for Limon to give instructions with perfect knowledge of the Void Progression Sword and its variations.

Limon had been in combat against the Seven Dragons Association for centuries, from the Bronze Age to the Heroes’ Age, after all. There was no way he wouldn’t know their movement habits when he could interpret everything about the criminals from the victims’ bodies alone.

When it came to such things, Limon could even be considered the most well-versed person in the world with the 72 Martial Skills—more knowledgeable than even the Association.

‘Humanity’s last swordmaster…’ He’d always thought of him as a dead weight from a bygone era, so he’d been absolutely certain that, if the Seven Dragons Association put forth all of their effort, they could kill Limon whenever they wished with the Monarchs’ power.

He was starting to have his doubts, though. Would they even be able to defeat Limon if they put everything on the line? Could Limon, the monster who’d been at the top of the world for the past several centuries, defeat the Seven Dragons that were strong enough to kill the gods?

‘Were our ancestors… fighting such a monster all this time?’ His faith started to crumble, and doubt crept into his unwavering devotion.

All he could do amidst his inner turmoil was listen to Limon’s instructions with fearful eyes.

 

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - ilafy

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* * *

 

While Xue-reung was trembling in fear, someone else was trembling for a very different reason.

[Drunken Seizure, blitz.]

Ka-clangclangclangcnlang-!

Her sword stabbed, clashed, and swung in the air. Training enough for her technique to become an instinct was what she’d done for her entire life, but Wei-ling felt a great sense of unfamiliarity in her movements.

Rather than it being because she was moving toward a one-sided victory against a stronger opponent, it was because Limon’s sluggish voice and orders were chaining and modifying her technique in an unfamiliar way.

[Great Amphibian Consumption, slowly.]

For example, that command, fitting its meaning of a great frog devouring an egg, relied on her quickly lashing out with her sword, like how a frog would catch its prey with its extended tongue.

The technique was entirely based on and named for its quickness, but Limon was telling her to modify the technique and purposely stab slowly. Anyone else would’ve called it unhinged—it was no different than spoon-feeding the enemy a chance to counter.

The result showed otherwise.

Slash-!

“What the fuck?!” She went in like she was swinging a baseball bat at full force, and then she suddenly slowed.

The young man tried to retaliate with a counterblow, but thanks to the shift in speed, he ended up jumping into her slow-moving blade, cutting his cheek.

Even Wei-ling found it unbelievable, and what was really surprising was the flow of her Psionics.

The 72 Martial Skills were both a form of martial arts and a secret curriculum. The training method had been created by the Seven Great Dragons to pass Psionics down to humans.

Thanks to that, Psionics flowed in every one of the 72 Martial Skills, and one could cripple themselves or die if they mixed the flow of Psionics together in the wrong way.

Despite all that, the seemingly random techniques Limon was instructing her to perform did not disturb the flow of her Psionics. In fact, they even expanded her Psionics and created a steady flood.

Every time she executed one of his ordered techniques, her Psionics grew and flowed along her blade, making her movements faster and stronger.

“What is this? You weren’t this good before, Comrade. What’s gotten into you!?”

[Secret Ancillary, north. Fortress Inscription, straight.]

A sequence of seemingly random techniques and combinations of completely unrelated movements created a potentially infinite number of new sword techniques. She’d thought she already knew everything about the Void Progression Sword, and her heart beat faster at the endless possibilities she saw before her.

‘This is fun.’

A sword was just a tool for her, and swordsmanship was simply a method for her means. At that moment, though, she could not think of it that way. The feeling of becoming one with her sword, learning new techniques, and the Psionics jolting through her was exciting.

It was similar to the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. For the first time in her life, Wei-ling felt joy from wielding her sword. If only she could’ve made that moment last an eternity…

Unfortunately, all things had to end.

[Let’s see, the guy should have five or six injuries by now. It’s time to start wrapping it up.]

Limon’s comment made Wei-ling realize that, though he was an excellent swordsman, he was not immune to error, and his insight was not always perfect.

It could’ve been because she was snapped out of her trance, or it could’ve been because Limon’s orders had stopped, but she felt a surge of disappointment.

“There is no need,” she said.

[Huh? Why?]

“It’s already over.”

[Over? What is?]

“I already cut off both the culprit’s arms and have my sword on his neck.”

Limon was taken aback. […How did you already win? I didn’t even teach you the ultimate technique yet.]

“I agree.” Wei-ling lamented at meeting such a weak enemy since she’d been so close to learning the ultimate technique.

“I’m the one with my arms missing,” the young man chimed in, his clown mask torn apart as he lay at Wei-ling’s feet, “and you comrades are more disappointed than I am. What does that make me?”

[What do you mean?] Limon relentlessly chimed back. [It means you die now, you little shit.]

——

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