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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle ]

 

Chapter 33: And You Still Call Yourself Human?

 

Limon Asphelder.

The man who was thought to have fallen behind the times.

The hero was called the ‘Guardian of Humanity’ in years past.

The one claiming to be human even after the unthinkable feat of defeating a Monarch with that superhuman strength of his.

Watching him, Lee Chun-gi understood.

Swordmasters…

They didn’t borrow supernatural powers from anything divine, let alone Constellations.

They were able to achieve their eternal youth and immortality through studying the blade alone.

They were beyond superhuman, and even the dragons and Demon God feared them.

They were the true monsters.

They were the Absolute Rulers who ruled over all things atop their thrones at the peak of this world.

And the man in front of him at this very moment was the very last surviving Swordmaster.

“…Does someone who claims he doesn’t want to show off hold the President hostage and wreak havoc?”

Why?

Although, he already knew the answer.

Lee Chun-gi, unable to contain his uneasiness, found himself ridiculing Limon.

He was met with a scoff.

“I said I didn’t want to be a monster. That doesn’t mean I want to be a fool, yeah?”

Limon could let ignorant kids play their cute little tricks.

But it crossed the line when they abused the fact that minors got lesser punishments when they committed murder, rape, and theft than adults.

Killing such brats was his humane duty.

Wouldn’t saving his energy at times like this just be a ridiculous ‘secretly overpowered character’ trope?

Limon didn’t hesitate to call it out.

This was not a viewpoint that could be formed just from living long enough to have seen the rise and fall of entire nations.

Lee Chun-gi could tell.

Like an elder who lived his entire life growing a garden treating every blossom and branch like a child,

This was coming from someone who saw a nation with thousands of people as his duty to protect and look after.

‘Is this, the eyes of an Absolute Ruler…?’

Has he himself, even once, ever seen the world with that mindset?

Lee Chun-gi let out a laugh.

He knew better than anyone else that there was no way he did.

Lee Chun-gi was a Monarch first and an Absolute Ruler second.

It was just as Limon said. 

No matter how high his level was, Lee Chun-gi was just a player who had lived his whole life only thinking about how to use the power he had.

“Can I ask you one last question?”

“You’re one funny bastard. Why are you asking for permission now when all you have been doing is ask away?” Limon inquired, baffled.

But that remark didn’t deter Lee Chun-gi.

Limon didn’t say no, after all.

He continued in a low voice.

“That principle and meaning of the Demon Slaying Sword you speak of… Does that mean I’ll be able to use a sword like that if I understand it?”

One could think his question came out of the blue.

But Limon wasn’t taken aback.

He only looked at Lee Chun-gi like he’d anticipated that question coming since the beginning, like Lee Chun-gi had been holding it in until now.

With a snicker he replied,”No, that’s just the bare minimum for you to be worthy of learning it.”

“Is that so.”

“Are you disappointed?”

“I was able to get an answer, at least.”

He spoke in a somber tone.

It would be a lie to say he wasn’t a bit saddened.

Limon’s sword variations were so blissfully beautiful, the fact that he couldn’t learn it alone made him grief-stricken.

But he wasn’t disappointed.

Thanks to Limon’s response, he could be certain of one thing:

The sensation he felt after acquiring the Demon Slaying Sword— albeit, an empty shell of it —and going head to head with Limon’s constantly changing sword movement repeatedly…

The serenity within Limon’s final attack.

‘……Indeed, he is a monster.’

He managed to pierce through a thousand of his skills.

In a single breath, he was able to shatter the Indomitable Sword.

One might even dare to say that it was the ultimate attack.

Lee Chun-gi was absolutely certain that none of the Monarchs, not even one, would have been able to deflect Limon’s sword.

But even that ‘ultimate attack’ was just one of the many fantastical variations Limon could have used to take him down.

Unlike his [Overlord], it was not Limon’s most powerful move.

If Limon could perform such an attack without giving it his all, what would it look like if he did give it his all?

An opponent that could contend against Limon…

Would such an opponent even exist?

‘If all the Monarchs charged in at the same time… Would that be enough to bring out his full power?’

Lee Chun-gi found himself lost in his thoughts.

He didn’t even consider the possibility of Limon losing such a battle.

Even if all the Monarchs, each with borderline indefensible skills. were pitted against Limon, it was still unfathomable to imagine him losing.

The extent of Limon’s power had been that incomprehensibly strong to the Infinite Monarch.

Unlike himself and the others who gained power through cheat skills and went around acting like Absolute Rulers, Limon had ruled over that throne with his very own being.

“…How ridiculous.”

“Who? You?”

“Close.”

Lee Chun-gi replied to Limon’s sneer with stoicism.

Indeed, it was true. He was ridiculous for doing his utmost to surpass ‘him’, blissfully 

Perhaps, it was because he’d let go of his futile tenacity — Despite being covered head to toe in his own blood, there was only tranquility resting on Lee Chun-gi’s face.

“No regrets anymore?” Limon chuckled.

“It would be a lie to say I don’t, but I am ready—”

The Monarch coughed again, another surge of blood gushing out of his mouth.

He looked straight into Limon’s golden eyes.

“Now, end me.”

His body had already gone beyond its limits.

The only reason he was still alive was all thanks to the dozens of survival and healing skills he had.

But even those were just barely enough to keep him together in one piece.

There was no more energy left in him to keep fighting or to make a run for it.

He’d gotten the answers to all of his questions and accepted his fate.

“I see you’re not indecent enough to beg for your life,” said Limon with surprise in his voice.

“Let’s just say I still have some dignity as a Monarch.”

“Regardless of whether they were Monarchs or nobles, not many have kept up their dignity while in their final moments.”

Limon spoke from experience. He’d killed plenty of humans who begged for their lives, giving up their own children and fortune the minute a sword was put against their necks.

Lee Chun-gi’s argument was simple and concise.

“I am not them.”

“What a wise answer to a silly question,” Limon snickered, taking his sword back out from his sheath as he stood up.

“Anyway, I shall do as you ask, since you say that you’re ready.”

He held out his sword with an ice cold expression, as if his cheerfulness from moments before had all been some kind of hallucination.

Lee Chun-gi did not look away from the Swordmaster’s golden gaze.

 

***

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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***

 

It was at that moment…

Ssszzz—

Limon’s vision faded to black as he started to see things he couldn’t before.

He was quite used to this sensation by now.

But this time, it was different.

Unlike before, when he could see the Constellation alongside the player, Lee Chun-gi had completely disappeared from his sight.

Instead, a certain something lingered in the spot Lee Chun-gi was in.

But those weren’t the reasons why it felt so different.

 

Eyes.

 

Eyes, eyes, eyes,  eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes,

Eyes, eyes, eyes,  eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes.

 

The instant his sight turned black, he could feel tens of thousands of eyes glaring at him — gazes he didn’t sense just moments before.

There were as many as grains of sand at the beach,

And they were as clear as a candlelight in the dark.

Slowlw, Limon turned his head towards the sharp, needle-like gaze that dug into every inch of his skin.

And he saw the source of the infinite stares.

The true eyes of the Constellation.

And he understood: 

At this very moment, there were tens of thousands… 

Millions… 

Perhaps even trillions of countless Constellations watching him.

Pure, unbridled terror.

Most people would have lost their mind just picturing it.

There was so much power and gravity in the eyes of the Constellations, the beings that were beyond human cognition.

“…Indeed.”

But the one person under the spotlight of their eyes did not waver.

He took his time to look at each individual eye, embedded like stars in the night sky.

“Is a Monarch a piece too good to lose for you folks, unlike those other disposable pawns?”

Thousands of players had been killed over the past few days by him.

Not once during that time had he felt the impenetrable gazes and the pressure behind them.

His lips curved into a twisted sneer.

“Or was the fight not enough for you? Did you want me to make the execution a spectacle as well?”

It was closer to sarcasm than an actual question — A clear mockery of the immodesty to turn someone’s death into a spectacle. 

He didn’t want an answer.

Immediately after, starlight fell from the night sky like a response to his interrogation.

A white hand shot out from the squirming shadow that lingered where Lee Chun-gi was. 

Limon could tell. The hand came from the stars.

He could tell it was greater than all the other stars.

The very hand of a Monarch-level Constellation.

He knew the intent behind it.

After all, he’d been through this once before.

And so, he didn’t hesitate to get into action.

[The Constellation guarding the Infinite Monarch intervenes with reality.]

[The ‘Watcher of All Reflection’ is…]

“You’re in the way.”

Slash—!

In the blink of an eye, Limon cut through the hand just as it seemed to write the system message against the backdrop of the stars without even reading it.

Normally, that would have done nothing but through the empty space in front of him.

But Limon’s sword brought forth different results.

Zing—!

[SYSTEM  ERROR NUMBER k51e0i4 — FORCED SYSTEM DISCONNECTION DURING CONTRACT]

[Fragments of the damaged Constellations absorbing into the recipient.]

[The ‘Watcher of All Reflection’ is appalled, its finger severed.]

A shrill explosion burst into the air as the system message shattered.

Alarmed, the hand with a missing finger disappeared back into the shadows.

The rest dwindled into fragments of dying light.

It was proof that a mortal sword brought injury onto a superior Constellation

Watching the glowing fragments in the air fall to his feet, Limon spoke in a low voice.

“This is my karma. This is the blood debt I must get back with my own sword, and that adjudication is up to me and me only.”

This all started with killing Yoo Na-kyung.

It was up to him and his bloody sword to decide who would pay for the cost of her blood and how.

That was his duty and right for having a subordinate.

“This is a warning. I don’t give a damn if you’re a Constellation, don’t get in the way of what I’m doing.”

He had a rough idea of what the Constellation was going to say, anyway.

They would demand he spare Lee Chun-gi’s life, like that of a treasured pet.

Or they would order him to kill him like the audience in a colosseum.

It was bound to be one or the other.

It was like the carrot and the whip. If he did as they told, he would contract with a Monarch-level Constellation. If he didn’t, there would be retaliation.

Wasn’t he just going to kill him anyways?

Couldn’t he just kill him and get rewarded by the Constellation?

Nonsense!

If the Constellation offered a contract in return for sparing Lee Chun-gi’s life, would he have to give up the blood debt?

Or if they wanted him to kill him, would he celebrate getting rewarded and get his blood debt?

Whether he accepted or rejected any deal, the pure blood debt embedded in his sword would be gone.

It would only be taking a life for his own calculated benefit, a murder.

He didn’t care if he made an enemy of all the Constellations in the world.

Holding the very sword that pierced Yoo Na-kyung right this moment, he could not let himself swing his sword unless it was for his blood debt.

There was only one exception.

After it’s been proven the Constellations had nothing to do with this matter…

Once they’ve been brought down from the stars, he’d calculate the blood debt with his blade on their throats.

“I don’t want help or any other meddling with this. And I am not going to accept spectators.”

It didn’t matter if his way of thinking was behind the times.

He could be acting foolishly stubborn right now.

This was just how Limon Asphelder had lived his life.

“If there’s someone trying to get in my way, get your noses out of my business. To those trying to watch, now is the time to turn away.”

And so, Limon declared.

He would not allow anything to get in his way, whether they were skills, Constellations, fate, or anything else.

It wasn’t towards any individual, but a warning to the entire world.

A statement to threaten even the Constellations.

“If you don’t…”

Clang—

Limon slightly pulled back his sword as if to put it back in his sheath.

With both hands on the handle, his icy, settled eyes looked up at the night sky.

“I’ll cut you.”

Instantly, the stars closed their eyes.

It cannot be said that a star can close their eyes when it is not a living organism.

And yet, that was the only way Lee Chun-gi could describe it.

The iridescent stars that lit up the night sky disappeared in the blink of an eye as soon as Limon uttered those words. 

After the last hesitant star dimmed down, the world fell into darkness with the exception of the city lights in the far distance.

In the middle of the pitch black darkness, Lee Chun-gi found himself asking dumbfoundedly as he watched Limon standing by himself.

“……And you still call yourself human?” He asked with genuine suspicion as to whether Limon really was human.

“Sorry, but your time for questioning is over. Now’s mine.”

Limon completely disregarded him.

Instead, he put his sword on his shoulder as he spoke in a chilling voice,

“It would be best for you to answer carefully.”

His golden eyes were settled down as it had when he silenced the world… Perhaps even more than that.

They watched Lee Chun-gi with an unknown darkness lingering within them as Limon lifted the corners of his mouth into a cold, crooked grin.

“Your answer will decide how painfully you die.”

 

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