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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle ] 

 

Chapter 28: Acquisition

「Technique Replication」

A skill that replicated other skills.

Its versatility was colossal, to the point it was called the most devious skill possessed by any of the ten Monarchs.

But there was something people didn’t know.

Due to the nature of it being so exceptionally versatile, there were derivative skills that were in turn obsolete.

That was 「Technique Acquisition」.

A skill that allowed its user to acquire a ‘technique’ as a skill.

Whether it was the performance of a renowned virtuoso.

A world-class actor’s acting,

Or a legendary gambler’s tricks.

But no matter how incredible their techniques were, it was the Iron Age — it couldn’t do better than any high-level player’s skills.

Rather than acquiring those techniques, it was much more productive to replicate existing skills like 「Instrumentalism」, 「Performance」, 「Art of the Gambler」, and so on.

As such, after a couple of tries, Lee Chun-gi deemed them as useless, keeping them buried.

But at this moment...

Lee Chun-gi was coming to a fresh realization that maybe keeping 「Technique Acquisition」 all this time wasn’t such a waste after all.

“Thieving bastard! You dare steal my swordsmanship?”

“‘Stealing’ is a rather harsh word. I think of it as learning—”

“My ass!”

He seemed to get heated up from having his swordsmanship swiped.

Hysterically, he swung his sword around with veins popping out of his forehead.

The swings were so vicious, the Lee Chun-gi from a few moments ago would have already lost more than a couple limbs.

Keywords: A few moments ago.

Clang—!

He pressed his blade against the sword that was targeting his fingertips. And with a flick of his wrist, he wrapped his own blade around Limon’s fingers like that of a snake, returning the favor.

Twisting his blade, he deflected Limon’s sword and turned his body to dodge the incoming attack heading towards his chest, and unfurled another blow.

Bending backwards, Limon ducked under Lee Chun-gi’s blade.

As Lee Chun-gi dragged his sword down to attack the lower half of Limon’s body, Limon struck the ground with his sword, escaping with the recoil.

It was a long explanation, but what happened only took an instant.

It was a hypersonic melee battle that Lee Chun-gi should have barely been able to keep up with.

But things were different now.

His speed wasn’t falling behind Limon’s!

It was all thanks to the 「Demon Slaying Sword」 he’s just acquired from Limon.

“Indeed, your swordsmanship is fantastic.,” Lee Chun-gi awed.

He already knew Limon’s swordsmanship was exceptional ever since he fended off all of his skills.

But after acquiring it himself, he had no choice but to accept that he had misjudged it.

「Demon Slaying Sword」 was exponentially more incredible than he’d thought.

That was with its various revisions from the original in mind.

Of course, a swordsmanship skill would obviously have revised, more refined versions.

But the benefits of 「Demon Slaying Sword」 were in another dimension.

Starting with revised strength, speed accuracy, to a significant increase to critical hit chance and resistance, those were the basics.

Then, there were more specialized effects, like in the case of additional damage or a critical hit to a demonic element or dragon kin, there was a high chance of activating instant death.

Not to mention, the various utility effects like danger detection and skill destruction were the cherries on top.

Even if Lee Chun-gi fused all the swordsmanship skills he’d gathered together, it still wouldn’t add up to be half as good as 「Demon Slaying Sword」.

At this point, it was shameful to even compare anything to it.

That difference in power brought upon the dawning realization of how Swordmasters received their title. 

Plus, the true threat of 「Demon Slaying Sword」 wasn’t just in its revision effects.

“I didn’t know it was possible to have more accurate foresight than the actual skill with just swordsmanship alone.”

The changes in his fingers holding onto the sword.

The miniscule squirming of his muscles.

The movement and dilation of his pupils.

The location and angle of where he set foot, and so on.

Just as a grandmaster could see the end of a game with just a few starting moves on the chess board, 

By simply observing his opponent’s every minute movement, he was able to anticipate their next move and attack accordingly.

It wasn’t any simple discernment — it was complete mastery. A formula for a promised win that cut down the chances of losing. Limon’s predictions never missed their mark.

「Demon Slaying Sword」 was a sword technique that integrated that very formula into itself.

Realizing all of this, Lee Chun-gi came to accept why Limon was called an Absolute Ruler once.

With swordsmanship like his, it was natural that he would have been invincible in an age where there were no players.

In fact, even with a Monarch as his opponent, he would probably have somewhat of a tough fight.

That is, well… 

If only Limon’s opponent wasn’t him. 

Lee Chun-gi was in ecstasy knowing this truth.

“This is deserving of pride. Your swordsmanship has the worth of a thousand skills.”

“Oh really? And when did I ask you to judge my swordsmanship?”

“It is not judgment. It is merely acceptance.”

“The fuck did you say?”

Lee Chun-gi was without a doubt one of the strongest men in the modern age, but even he still had limits.

He couldn’t replicate unique skills.

It was beyond the limit of 「Technique Replication」, as well as for Lee Chun-gi.

「Absolute Defense」, 「Deification」, 「Constitutionalism」…  

A unique skill that only one person can handle has power no other can imitate.

Although it was possible to achieve similar results by combining numerous skills, it is impossible to replicate its unique characteristics.

Thus, Lee Chun-gi was just one out of ten Monarchs.

In truth, he wasn’t able to become a complete, dominant Absolute Ruler.

What made a skill absolute was its ability to single-handedly overthrow thousands of skills — that was a Monarch’s power.

But things were different now.

The effects of 「Demon Slaying Sword」 were better than most unique skills.

It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration to say it was halfway to being considered an absolute skill.

That meant that Lee Chun-gi, the Infinite Monarch, was now the first being to have two absolute skills.

And with this newfound power, he was confident he could even win against the Monarchs who had an advantage over him before, as long as he lured them into close combat — easily, in fact.

‘Now… If only I can get my hands on the Black Dragon Clan’s treasure…!”

His objective was the Black Dragon Princess — Limon wasn’t even considered at all.

But who knew he would acquire a gem like 「Demon Slaying Sword」 from someone he thought to be nothing but an old-age fossil!

While in ecstasy from the unexpected fortune, Lee Chun-gi formed future plans to get his hands on the Black Dragon Clan’s treasure.

All the while, with complete disregard to Limon, who was in front of him.

“This little shitty lunatic… Are you seriously getting distracted in the middle of our fight?”

“The results are already set in stone, you see.”

“You already know. You are now absolutely unable to defeat me.”

“Say that after winning, you bitch!”

It seemed Limon wasn’t aware that his movements had become simpler from agitation.

Calmly fending off his advances that had only become faster, Lee Chun-gi thought to himself.

‘Foolish struggling.’

From the moment he stole 「Demon Slaying Sword」, he and Limon’s swordsmanship were equal.

And unlike a civilian like Limon, Lee Chun-gi had the enhanced stats of a player, as well as multiple other revised swordsmanship skills.

What will happen when they fight with the same sword technique, but with a difference in status?

To put it simply, the winner was already decided.

That was why Lee Chun-gi was only fighting Limon with a sword.

In any case, it was his winning fight — taking down the Swordmaster with his own sword technique was the most respectful thing he could do.

‘This will end in 17 blows.’ 

Lee Chun-gi foreshadowed the end of this fierce battle.

He predicted the entire process of him dodging the last jab and piercing Limon’s heart with his sword.

He was sure Limon was aware of this ending as well.

And he knew he could do nothing to change it.

Just as there wasn’t a way for the king to escape a checkmate, this was no different than a definite conclusion.

 

***

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Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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Or at least, that was what Lee Chun-gi concluded.

Klang—!

That is, until their swords clashed for what should have been the last time. 

Lee Chun-gi failed to dodge Limon’s attack.

‘…Huh?’

Successfully blocking Limon’s attack at the last second thanks to 「Foresight」, Lee Chun-gi was confused.

From the timing of his attacks.

The speed of his swinging sword.

To the force behind his movements.

Not a single thing had gone astray from his predictions.

So how couldn’t he dodge the obvious attacks? 

Lee Chun-gi couldn’t understand, but he still maintained his composure.

And yet why couldn’t he dodge the obvious attacks? He couldn’t understand.

Thinking that this was simply delaying the inevitable, he continued exchanging blows with Limon, and predicted its end again.

21 blows later, a cut to the neck.

34 blows later, a slash to the chest that would sever the arm.

79 blows later, a retaliation to the knee.

Each and every move was thoroughly calculated according to Limon’s swordsmanship. He was certain they would be fatal hits.

But he missed the neck.

The slash was blocked.

The perfectly executed retaliation, had been retaliated back.

It was a mystery how the results of his predictions weren’t coming true.

And the longer they fought, the more errors in his predictions showed up. 

The Monarch’s face was gradually starting to lose its composure.

“Whacha doing, huh?”

As if to sympathize with the Monarch, Limon sneered as he swung his sword.

“You said you stole my swordsmanship. Doesn’t look like it though, does it?”

“What kind of buffoonery is this?”

“Hm? That’s what you did, yeah.”

Seeing the Swordmaster act innocent, Lee Chun-gi became certain it was his fault his predictions were going astray.

Instead of focusing on ending the battle, he focused on Limon.

“…I see. Is that what it is?”

“Bitch, what’s ‘it’ supposed to be?”

“It’s no use playing dumb. I have already figured out your trick, you see.”

“The fuck’s this little shit going on about?”

「Observation」, 「Accelerated Cognition」, 「Detective’s Deduction」, 「Master of All Trades」, and many others.

Finally figuring it out, Lee Chun-gi revealed a cold smile after clashing swords with the accompaniment of various skills dozens of times.

[Activating unique skill, 「Technique Acquisition」.]

[Acquiring 「Demon Slaying Sword Analysis」.]

[Combining the skills 「Demon Slaying Sword」 and 「Demon Slaying Sword Analysis」. There will be a significant boost to the skill effects.]

The cause of why his sword missed at every critical moment.

Lee Chun-gi was honestly amazed as he replicated 「Demon Slaying Sword Analysis」. 

“Fear the old man in a profession where men die young.”

How could Limon have made a nullification technique that was discordant with 「Demon Slaying Sword」 in preparation of his swordsmanship getting exposed?

It came from the thoroughness of a legendary hero who had experienced all kinds of battles throughout his long life.

“The joke is over now.”

As long as he’d seen through his tricks and acquired his nullification technique as well, Limon was no longer his match.

There was no doubt in Lee Chun-gi’s mind.

But after dozens of more exchanges, he felt a sense of doubt crawling in at the fact he still couldn’t push Limon to his limit.

That is, until he re-analyzed his swordsmanship.

[Acquiring 「Demon Slaying Sword Revision」.]

[Combining the skills 「Demon Slaying Sword」 and 「Demon Slaying Sword Revision」. There will be a significant boost to the skill effects.]

Up to this point, all Lee Chun-gi did was furrow his brows at Limon’s paranoid preparations.

But he soon came to realize that that was only the beginning.

[Acquiring 「New Demon Slaying Sword」.]

[Acquiring 「Overthrown Demon Slaying Sword」.]

[Acquiring 「Demon Slaying Sword : Supplementary Edition」.]

[Acquiring 「Demon Slaying Sword EX」.]

[Combining the skills 「Demon Slaying Sword」 and…….]

“.....!”

He stole again and again with 「Technique Acquisition」.

Limit to limit, counter to counter, nullification technique to nullification technique - Lee Chun-gi couldn’t conceal his confusion at the endless stream of new sword techniques.

This had long past the point of thoroughness and paranoia.

[Acquiring 「Demon Slaying Sword version 3.7」.....]

[SYSTEM ERROR NUMBER xi11a0o44 — SUBJECT HAS NO TECHNIQUES TO ACQUIRE.]

[Acquiring 「Demon Slaying Sword version 3.8」.]

An error message popped out while he was frantically spamming 「Technique Acquisition」 on the consecutive new versions of Limon’s swordsmanship.

It seemed like the system was too lazy to create new names anymore.

“……No fucking way,” Lee Chun-gi swored.

It wasn’t like him to swear.

But it couldn’t be helped.

He’d just realized what was really happening.

Limon hadn’t prepared any nullification techniques ‘just in case’.

“You… Are you developing new techniques in real time?!”

 

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