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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 31: The Right

“Cough… cough…”

Out came scarlet foreign substances and hot blood immediately after opening his mouth.

It was evident his internal injuries would be life-threatening if he didn’t get treated immediately.

But in spite of that, Lee Chun-gi really did not care.

Not just because he’d already seen this coming when he went surpassed 「Overlord」’s limits and used 1000 skills at once,

But because there was a much more grievous issue at hand.

“What… was that?”

Lee Chun-gi slowly raised his head to the white-haired man standing in front of him.

“What the hell was that…?”

He interrogated Limon, his bloodshot eyes staring straight at him.

Before he collapsed, he’d seen a light.

It was neither fast nor powerful, yet he was unable to avoid or block the force that made the 1000 skills he’d put everything into evaporate like dewdrops in the morning sunlight.

What was that thing, so beautiful and entrancing?

“The Demon Slaying Sword.”

“Don’t lie. There is no such technique in the Demon Slaying Sword!” Lee Chun-gi fumed.

He’d not only acquired the Demon Slaying Sword through「Technique Acquisition」, but also some of Limon’s variations — there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that what he saw was not that.

Such a ridiculous technique didn’t exist within the Demon Slaying Sword, and it would be impossible to create such a skill in such a short period of time, even for Limon.

Limon jeered at the ever-so-puzzled Lee Chun-gi.

“What, did you think the Demon Slaying Sword was yours?”

“At the very least, I know I’m second best to you.”

“I guess that’s true — well, if it’s swordsmanship.”

Limon didn’t deny the truth.

Though it may have been thanks to the cheat called 「Technique Acquisition」, it was a matter of truth that Lee Chun-gi had learned his swordsmanship properly — that is, under one condition.

“If we’re talking about swordsmanship, that is.”

“…What the hell do you mean?” Lee Chungi asked again, throwing up more blood as if he’d already read in between the lines of Limon’s words.

Limon took a step forward.

Taking his time, he picked up Lee Chun-gi’s sword that had fallen to the ground.

“I was impressed, to be honest. It’s been a while since someone stole my techniques from a glance.”

“Are you saying there were others who could do that?”

“Well, would ya take a look at this conceited little shit? What, you didn’t think others can do what you can?”

“……”

Limon’s lips curved into a mocking sneer as he saw Lee Chun-gi’s brows furrow. He’d hit the nail on the head.

Lee Chun-gi’s unique skill was 「Technique Acquisition」.

It was a truly incredible skill, able to snipe every technique out there.

But to Limon, it wasn’t anything new to get his swordsmanship stolen.

“Well, it’s true that guys like you are rare. I’ve only seen it from just a few of those who were called prodigies.”

No matter where or when, there were always prodigies who defied the natural way of things.

Those highly talented in the sword, in particular, often came to Limon. 

Among them were a few who learnt the Demon Slaying Sword in a dash.

“So when you copied my technique, I was kinda looking forward to how well you could pull it off.”

The age when Swordmasters were the Absolute Ruler, many people wanted to learn the Demon Slaying Sword.

And Limon offered it generously.

After all, it was his duty as the keeper of the Swordmasters’ Holy Sword Tower.

But after the Iron Age opened its gates, the Sword Tower went bankrupt.

In fact, only a few could even remember the name of his swordsmanship.

And here was a Monarch of all people, going as far as to use a skill to steal it on purpose.

It was quite ironic.

And something Limon had longed for — enough that he gave guidance by creating new variations of the technique, like he would back in the days when  he was the keeper of the Sword Tower.

Although, the end result was disappointing.

“You don’t understand the Demon Slaying Sword, even now.”

“Just what do I not know about the Demon Slaying Sword?”

“What do you not know, huh…… You really come off as someone who knows the ins and outs of my swordsmanship since you say it like that, you know?”

“Of course I do.”

Lee Chun-gi was sure of himself.

「Technique Acquisition」 was an absolute skill.

As long as he used that to acquire the Demon Slaying Sword, there couldn’t be a sword technique he didn’t know.

“Oh, really?” Limon scoffed.

“Then do you know the way of the Demon Slaying Sword?” Limon asked, looking over Lee Chun-gi’s blade.

“Huh?”

“I’m asking if you know why the Demon Slaying Sword only uses one hand. How it enables you to see your opponent’s movements, where and how to hold the sword, and why you make the movements you do when you swing your sword.”

“That’s…”

For a moment, Lee Chungi was at a loss for words.

「Technique Acquisition」  taught him everything about the Demon Slaying Sword.

But it only taught him everything about how.

Not why.

If it was any ordinary swordsmanship, he could have analyzed it using skills like 「Swordsmanship Theory」 and 「Master of All Trades」.

But the Demon Slaying Sword was much too cryptic to be understood with skills as simple as those.

“What about the meaning of the Demon Slaying Sword? Do you know who created this swordsmanship, for what purpose, or what kind of history and effort it went through to be completed?”

Once again, Lee chun-gi could not answer.

There was no way he could have known those miniscule details when he didn’t even know Limon’s swordsmanship was called the Demon Slaying Sword until he’d acquired it as a skill.

“Why are you talking about something so irrelevant?”

And so, the only response Lee Chungi could give was a combative question.

Limon stoically answered his hidden demand to not go off topic.

“Because that’s the reason you can’t make the Demon Slaying Sword your own, even after copying it all those times.”

***

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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“…Are you saying my swordsmanship was nothing but an imitation?”

“Yeah,” nodded Limon, speaking softly as he caressed Lee Chun-gi’s sword as if comforting a hurting woman.

“If you’d understood the ways of the Demon Slaying Sword, you wouldn’t have needed to copy my swordsmanship over and over again.”

It was no different than a science; the area of any shape could be found if the formula was understood, and the result of any mixture could be predicted if the chemistry was understood.

Swordsmanship was just another example of that.

If the ways behind it can be understood, a thousand forms could be created and it could go against ten thousand techniques.

“If you saw through the meaning of the swordsmanship, you would have been able to see right away that my final blow was indeed the Demon Slaying Sword.”

The first Swordmaster, the Sword Emperor, had created the Dragon Slaying Sword to slay the Seven Dragons.

The Demon Slaying Sword was the result after the battle with the Demon King, refined over a long period of time by Limon.

The fruits of a mere human’s desperate determination, dolorous resentment, and great will with the superhuman fate of his world on his shoulders.

The Demon Slaying Sword.

Those who were not only ignorant of its meaning, but also unable to comprehend it even after seeing it themselves, wouldn’t be able to ever use it properly.

Limon smiled cynically.

“Swordsmanship without its principles or meaning is ultimately just an empty shell. What else could it be called if not imitation?”

There was no doubt Lee Chun-gi had acquired the Demon Slaying Sword, and grew much stronger thanks to it. 

But in Limon’s eyes?

It was on the same level as watching a primitive caveman use a smartphone as a mirror.

That’s much too pitiful — it should be called a shiny rock instead.

Anyways, it applied all the same when Lee Chun-gi didn’t know the origins or principles of it, let alone how to use it properly.

There was that much of a difference between knowing and not knowing the principles and meaning in the Demon Slaying Sword.

Yet, here was the Absolute Ruler of this generation, a Monarch, babbling on like he knew everything about it without even knowing the bare minimum.

Limon’s disappointment was indescribable.

“But then again, that’s how you guys always are.”

Lee Chun-gi wasn’t the odd one here.

Most players would be the same.

“You think skills are all that there is and turn your backs on everything else.”

Those who dream of becoming a swordsman make deals with a Constellation that can give them a swordsmanship skill, instead of actually learning swordsmanship.

Even if they feel their skills lacking, they’ll rather find a better swordsmanship skill than wielding their sword themselves and training.

If they’re not strong enough, they go to the Dungeon to either acquire gear that grows their strength stats, or to level up.

They believe levels and skills determine a person’s worth and make it their life goal to acquire a good skill and level up.

They take what they are given for granted, and don’t care to know where from, and how it came to them.

And they think of things as matter of fact, not even trying to know about anything they think is below their standards, laughing at it and how behind the times it is.

At least, that’s how the players Limon have seen are.

“Though, in that sense, you’re a pretty open-minded bastard,” Limon snickered.

That was no sarcasm.

Limon was considered a goner in this era.

It was unorthodox for a Monarch, at the very zenith of all players, to even get the idea to acquire his swordsmanship.

If others found out about this, they’d look at Lee Chun-gi like a madman experimenting with dog shit to see if it would work as an ointment.

Lee Chun-gi asked in response, almost coming out like a cry,

“Are you…… denying the existence of players?”

“What will I achieve denying the passage of time?” Limon shrugged.

He had no means of disaffirming skills and players.

Just like how democracy rose from the ashes of monarchy, and cars were created in place of carriages,

He saw the advent of players as only natural.

If he denied all change, he would have already been exonerated to some old country side with no connection to modern culture or weaponry — though even that would have been generous.

“I’m just saying, you guys don’t have the right to look down on things just because it’s old either.”

The swordsmanship he had put his blood, sweat and tears into was looked down upon, all because it wasn’t a skill.

The Sword Emperor, who sacrificed himself for the liberation of mankind, was mocked as a dead dotard because he wasn’t a player.

The title that was passed on for centuries to honor him and the heroes following in his footsteps were laughed at for being cringey.

This would have made the nation flip if it was in the past.

Fuck the internet, or whatever it may be — it was humiliation they would have had to pay in blood for.

Especially since it was said to Limon directly, hundreds of times.

“If that’s what you really want, then I don’t care.”

But Limon didn’t think so.

Taking his fingers off of Lee Chun-gi’s sword, he continued, “I know you’re just going to take this as some old guy’s nonsense, but let me get in my two cents.”

Ka-crack.

The instant Limon got his word out, Lee Chun-gi’s sword cracked.

Starting from the tip, the breakage spread to the entire blade, and the once beautiful sword instantly shattered into golden fragments.

As if he was looking at a fragile lover’s ashes, abandoned after giving everything to protect the one she loved, Limon watched the remains of the sword with saddened eyes.

“I don’t think bastards who couldn’t even hear the cries of their own sword amidst getting whipped around by shit like skills have the right to be judging my swordsmanship.”

 

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