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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 15: A Broken Connection

"If the future of the country was so precious, you shouldn't have made that future all run at me."

"But sir, you are a hero of this country!"

"You mean I was."

Weren't you the one who called me a traitor?

Limon's sarcastic response shut Kang Jungsoo up.

He chuckled.

"And so what if I am a hero? You think I'd do anything for this country after all this? After all these little shits who ignored my warning, and tried to kill me?"

"……"

"You're actually senile."

Kang Jungsoo couldn't say anything back.

He had anticipated Limon surviving the explosion and collapse of the building, but not the complete and utter massacre of his men.

What he saw was the cleanup after he killed Limon, since he didn't even consider he could fail.

"And get your words straight. The country's future isn't what you're worried about."

Limon reached his hand out. He pulled Kang Jungsoo up by the collar, forcing him to meet him at eye level. He spoke coldly. 

"It's your petty power and political position that's going to disappear after this incident."

"Grr!"

Kang Jungsoo clenched his jaw.

Limon had hit the nail on the head.

The burden he placed on his shoulders to carry out this plan was heavy.

He had gone out of line, gathering so many high-level players. He even heard sarcastic remarks that he was burning down a house just for a cockroach.

But as long as he killed Limon. As long as he could establish a relationship with the Infinite Monarch. 

His political returns would've been much greater than before all of this.

But that was all over now.

Failing to kill Limon was the least of his problems, since dozens of high-level players were lost. He'd be lucky if he could just be sent to jail, let alone keep his position as director.

"You think you'll be fine after doing all this?"

"Is there a reason for me not to be?"

"Of course! There's plenty! Let's start with the fact that the 『Stardust』 and 『New Divinities』 guild masters will target your neck for the rest of your life!"

Kang Jungsoo shouted with confidence.

The two Grand Dukes he'd saved as his aces.

He detested them for suddenly and shamelessly running away, but they were the only protection he had now. 

There was no way they would just back away after egregiously running away while their guild members were slaughtered.

They would retaliate by all means.

And with the help of the Infinite Monarch stacked on top, even Limon would die.

"Hmm?"

Limon was puzzled, as if a joke had gone over his head. He titled his head, asking,

"Who ya talking about?"

"I already told you! 『Stardust』 and—"

"Yeah, I heard you." 

Limon kicked something on the ground.

"If you mean the guys who threw away their subordinates to save their own asses, they're right here."

"What kind of nonsense…?"

As Kang Jungsoo was about to laugh at Limon's words, he could only freeze.

The thing Limon just kicked.

He'd felt a strange familiarity towards the head with its eyeballs burst — the one which horrified him just moments before.

It was hard to recognize because its face was so awfully contorted from the lack of eyeballs. But no doubt, that face was……

'Ahn Dongkwon!!!'

A Grand Duke. There were less than 100 of them in the entire world.

The guild master of a massive guild with dozens of smaller guilds and subdivisions under its wing. 

All that was left of him was his head. Kang Jungsoo couldn't help but tremble.

"H-how? I saw him escape!"

"Jungsoo, you pathetic fool. Do you really not know the reason? Or are you pretending not to?"

Limon asked with a gentle, cheerful smile, as if he was talking to a child whose stupidity made them adorable. 

But the golden eyes looking down on Kang Jungsoo only spoke of stone, cold contempt.

"Didn't your grandfather tell you? One cannot run from a Swordmaster."

Kang Jungsoo's face distorted.

"Yeah, that's what I thought."

Limon shook his head at him.

There was no way his grandfather, who fought alongside Limon in multiple wars, didn't tell him of this common knowledge.

Kang Jungsoo had to have brushed it off as an exaggeration.

'Fools.'

One cannot run from a Swordmaster.

 

***

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Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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It became common knowledge after Limon circled the world 37 times to pierce his sword into the Demon God's heart a long, long time ago.

Albeit, the knowledge wasn't very common anymore.

Still, they wouldn't have ran from Limon if they even knew a little about the Swordmaster. They would've immediately gotten on their knees and surrendered, or stood their ground and fought till their last breath.

Ultimately, the people never did any research on the Swordmaster, despite trying to kill him. 

Or they had laughed it off as Kang Jungsoo did.

Clicking his tongue at their stupidity, Limon told Kang Jungsoo.

"If there's anyone else I need to send your way, say it right now. At least then, you wouldn't feel too bad about dying."

"A-are you saying you're going to kill me?"

"Yeah."

"All I did was do as I was told!"

"……Motherfucker, are you listening to yourself?"

Limon was dumbfounded.

Considering he was responsible for sending all of his subordinates to their deaths fighting Limon, that was something he should've never said. 

There should have been a limit to how despicable one person could get, and yet Kang Jungsoo was setting that bar higher and higher by the second.

"Th-that was… a mistake."

"Mis—.... Nevermind. Forget what I said."

Limon subtly shook his head and pulled Kang Jungsoo closer as he drew his sword.

He finally realized the severity of the situation when he saw the sharp blade, begging as he grabbed onto Limon's feet.

"Sir… Uncle! Spare me! Think about your relationship with my grandfather, please…!" 

Limon's hands suddenly halted. As soon as he heard the word 'uncle', memories of Kang Jungsoo entered his mind, overlapping with his vision. 

The little kid that wet himself out of fear when they first met, and peeked him from behind his grandfather. 

The same stupid little kid that would've ran over with a cheerful smile if Limon had snacks.

Taking his hesitation as a chance, Kang Jungsoo desperately cried out the benefits of keeping him alive.

"P-plus, if you kill me too, sir, you'll surely be marked as a traitor! There won't be a place anywhere in this nation for you to go!"

Limon came to realize who the man known as Kang Jungsoo really was. A half-bald man with a potbelly, accustomed to coaxing and treachery, and never satisfied with any amount of power that was given to him.

He only spoke softly,

"Jungsoo, I have never once been afraid to be marked as such."

"…Eh?"

"Rather… it was the nation who feared I'd become one."

"What does that—"

But a stunned Kang Jungsoo would not get to finish his question.

He could only stare at Limon with wide eyes. He fell towards the ground, clutching his neck. 

"Gahaack! Hrghhhk!"

As expected of the PAB director. Despite having multiple of his arteries severed, he was still conscious thanks to the various items he was armed with.

Limon muttered lowly as he looked down on the writhing man. 

"See? I told you to beg for your life if you wanted to live."

Limon already warned that he would give no mercy to those that stood up against him.

They'd all kicked their last chance of survival out the door the moment they ignored his warning.

"Well, I was still going to kill you anyways."

"Gurg… Urrrgh…!"

"Do you feel victimized? Oh well, I'm sure Na-kyung feels that way too. At least sending you to her will soothe her soul."

Kang Jungsoo squirmed, with blood gushing out of his neck.

Limon lightheartedly sat next to him, looking up at the starry night sky.

"Do you remember?"

"You know, the time your grandpa finally convinced you to go see Yu Sungwoo."

"You had big dreams even back then, wishing to be the president in front of that guy."

"Your grandpa boasted that you were fit to be a general."

"But I thought, seeing the way that little kid wanted power… You'd grow up to be no good."

He continued reminiscing with his 'niece', without even batting an eye as Kang Jungsoo's blood left his body.

Until his jolting arms came down to a twitch, his strained eyes lost its light, his blood stopped gushing, and his body went completely limp, did Limon finally stop his storytelling.

He looked bitterly into Kang Jungsoo's eyes that were wide open until his very last moments. 

'…It ended like this again.'

He didn't regret killing him. Limon had killed people he'd known since they were children a couple times before. And Kang Jungsoo definitely didn't deserve to feel victimized.

The reason Limon still felt remorse had nothing to do with Kang Jungsoo, but his grandfather.

"Your promise didn't even last a century, Myungjin."

Myungjin had promised Limon that his family would serve Limon as the nation's hero for generations to come.

He was sincere about something others wouldn't be able to say even as a joke. And he kept his promise until his final breath, leaving it as his death wish.

Limon sighed briefly as he remembered Kang Myungjin.

"Well, I'd be more surprised if your promise was kept, even while the country's trying to disown me."

Whether the person who schemed this was Kang Jungsoo or the Infinite Monarch, they still wouldn't have been able to blow up a building in the middle of the city if there wasn't permission from the government.

With the number of high-level players they managed to bring together, they wouldn't have an excuse if they were accused of planning a civil war.

Moreover, the mere presence of Squas 909 alone proved that the government actively participated in this matter. Without permission from the commander-in-chief, they were not allowed to conduct operations.

The country Limon devoted most of his long life to, had ultimately chosen to abandon the hero that had fallen behind the times.

Just as Kang Jungsoo had betrayed him to get in bed with the Infinite Monarch, it was a matter of national interest. 

"But still. How could they abandon me a mere 30 years after the Heroes' Age ended, when I protected their country for centuries? Those shameless fucks."

Limon let out a laugh.

He had known this day would come when people started treating the Swordmaster as a goner.

He knew that with time, all memories will fade. There were no eternal promises, and trust breaks.

After living so long, it was a notion he was well acquainted with.

Even though he knew it was a lost cause, that didn't stop Limon from continuing to build new relationships, trust people, and protect this country.

He tried to integrate himself into the changing landscape, instead of fighting against it. 

But even that was over.

The bottom line was, the nation abandoned him. He no longer held any fidelity to protect them.

'Though, I'm not sure if trying to kill me was purely their own decision.'

Limon averted his gaze.

He saw Kang Jungsoo's body strewn across a puddle of his own blood. Or rather, he saw the shadow of a one-eyed old woman with a split head melting next to his body.

Kang Jungsoo had no idea that before he tried to crawl away, the old woman had attempted to flee. And that Limon killed the fleeing old woman that had abandoned him.

In these bloody fields, were not only 200 bodies, but also 200 shadows made from the stars among them.

He didn't know that Limon's warning didn't only apply to humans.

One cannot outrun the Swordmaster.

 

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