I Became the Youngest Disciple of the Martial God

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I Became the Youngest Disciple of the Martial God

[Translator –  Jreaming]

[Proofreader – Gorm]

 

Chapter 21

It was a peculiar mark.

It looked like an upside-down triangle surrounded by a circle of varying symbols.

It would be hard to explain it in more detail than that.

This mark was placed decently close to the Sapphire Snake. To be precise, the mark was close to the entrance of the cave we’d entered.

“...What is this?”

“It’s an upside-down tower. They are ancient buildings hidden in multiple places around the world.”

Evidently it was a tower, not a triangle. But what did it mean?

“The altar of a forgotten god. You should understand what I mean.”

“Ah.”

I understood what he meant by “forgotten god.”

Some of the gods in this world were widely known.

There were the 72 gods worshipped by The Empire.

The 13 dragon gods were protectors of all sorts of monsters and beasts.

Finally, there were the 9 spirit gods and 5 kings.

Some people included the gods of disaster worshipped by the Church of Darkness, but when most people spoke of gods, they were referring to the 99 stated above.

On the contrary, forgotten gods were those who had lost their divinity due to having no one left who remembered them.

Of course, forgotten gods had only lost their status; they still possessed god-like power.

That was why the altars of these forgotten gods were important.

If one could display a suitable offering and be recognized by the forgotten god, they could become that god’s first believer.

Forgotten gods don’t forget acts of kindness.

They would fulfill practically any desire of the first believer that pulled them out of the swamp of oblivion.

To put it simply, a forgotten god would act differently depending on the personality of their first believer.

“If the cult can obtain the divinity of this god...” I began.

“Then they’ll probably be able to add another demon lord to their ranks. In the worst-case scenario, at least.”

Now it all made sense.

The assassins didn’t like entering the cave because they were afraid of offending the god by fighting or accidentally damaging the altar.

Compared to that risk, subjugating a gem beast was not worth it.

“Then subjugating this gem beast is less of a priority for these cultists,” I said.

“That’s right. That’s why they’re just waiting around. They’re waiting for the Sapphire Snake to awaken from its hibernation and leave the cave.”

“Shouldn’t we stop them?”

Calzark shook his head.

“How? We don’t have any idea how strong their forces in this mountain range are. A high priest alone is a problem, but considering their goal, it wouldn’t be weird for them to have a few more people of comparable strength. Securing the forgotten god’s altar is one of the highest priorities for their organization.”

“Then what should we do?”

“...There are only two entrances to this cave. Since one of them is being blocked by the gem beast, there’s really only one. The cultists will be stationed there so long as you’re here,” Calzark said while stroking his beard. “That’s why we need to kill the gem beast.”

“And use that entrance to get out of the cave,” I added.

“That’s right. Then, after leaving the mountain range, we’ll relay this news to House Bednicker. From there, we’ll form a subjugation party to eliminate these guys. This is the best course of action.”

Calzark turned to look at both Arzan and myself.

“Of course, these are just my thoughts. If you think you’ve got a better idea, I’ll hear you out.”

Although I took a moment to think, I already knew the answer.

Considering all the factors and possibilities, Calzark’s decision was the best one.

Of course, this was only because of how it compared to the other options available to us. Calzark’s plan was by no means perfect.

As a general note, fighting a gem beast was beyond difficult.

“I take it that both of you agree with my plan? Don’t say otherwise later.”

“Will the three of us alone be enough to kill the gem beast?”

“Of course. I was trying to kill it by myself in the first place. We have two more people now, so there’s no reason we can’t,” Calzark said nonchalantly. “As for testing your strength... well, we’ll do that later. Rest up for today. You both look terrible right now—you must be pretty tired.”

“Got it.”

Both Arzan and I were completely exhausted after our multiple consecutive battles.

I found a decent spot and laid out my blanket before flopping down on it. The ground was still decently hard, but I fell asleep quickly.

***

As I opened my eyes, my entire body ached like I had been beaten all over. Ugh... 

This was what I got for just lying down to sleep on the hard floor. It was a relief that I’d woken up at all. 

As I began to sit up, I heard a conversation.

Calzark and Arzan were talking about something.

“...So who currently knows about you?” asked Calzark.

“The family head, the council of elders, and the mistress.”

“I see. Good work. It must’ve been tough for you.”

I instinctively acted like I was asleep.

“How about him?”

“He hasn’t said anything, but he seems to have noticed something.”

“He definitely looked quick-witted. Very confident as well. It’s interesting. Why haven’t I heard Dellark talk about him?”

It seemed the important part of their conversation had already ended, but I didn’t particularly regret missing it.

Rather, I would feel bad if I overhead anything major since I had made that promise with Arzan about keeping secrets.

* * * * *

REAPER SCANS

[Translator –  Jreaming]

[Proofreader – Gorm]

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I purposefully moved around a little and then sat up.

“Young master, are you awake?”

“...Yeah. Good morning. Though I don’t know if it’s morning or not.”

Pulling out my watch, I saw that it was 9 in the morning.

I looked toward Calzark.

“Did you not sleep at all?”

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to sleep less. Also, thanks for the jerky. It was good.”

“Jerky?”

Calzark gestured with his chin toward an empty jerky bag that was rolling around.

Evidently, he had taken the jerky out of my bag and eaten it.

“It’s been a while since I ate meat. I liked the salty taste.”

“...Well, it’s good that you enjoyed it.”

A bag of jerky was a cheap price to pay to someone who saved my life.

“Let’s start talking about something productive. How should we get rid of that snake bastard?”

“You probably know a lot about it since you’ve fought it a lot.” 

As I said that, Calzark’s eyes narrowed and he glanced at me like he was displeased with something. 

“What is it?” I asked.

“I don’t like how you keep saying ‘you, you’ when you refer to me.”

“Then what should I call you?”

“Call me ‘master’.”

“I’m not even your disciple, so that’s a bit...”

“Then ‘brother’.”

“I’ll call you ‘senior’.”

“Why ‘senior’?”

“You are a senior to me on the martial path.”

“Hmm... well, call me that if you wish.”

Calzark didn’t seem to like it all that much, but he just stroked his beard and continued with the conversation.

“In any case, there are a lot of things we need to prepare to kill that gem beast. Although I don’t really want to, I’ll be teaching the two of you starting today.”

“Teaching? Isn’t this too relaxed? We don’t have that much time.”

“You don’t need to worry about that. Who do you think I am? I am that famous grand master of House Bednicker. You’ll get the basics down within one or two months.”

One or two months?

“Senior. Could I ask what kind of hunting period you’re imagining for the gem beast?”

“Let’s see... I’ll need to know how strong you two are before I can give a proper estimate, but it’ll take at least three months.”

I felt like I’d just been drenched with cold water. I knew things had been going too well.

“Three months?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s too long.”

“Too long? Then what were you thinking?”

I thought about what I would do after subjugating the gem beast and returning to the main house.

“At most, about three days?”

Calzark laughed. “What? Hahaha…”

I didn’t laugh with him. In a situation like this, remaining expressionless was the only way to convey how serious I was.

As I stayed quiet without showing any other reaction, Calzark’s laugh started to fade.

Soon we fell into total silence. I felt like the silence made the mood ice-cold.

When he finally spoke, his voice sounded like the growl of a beast.

“Brat. You’re underestimating the gem beast. Do you think gem beasts are easy targets just because Dellark went and killed three of them? Do you think I’m an idiot for having chased this one snake for years just trying to kill it?”

“Of course not.”

“You... haah.”

Calzark smacked his own forehead before speaking again, but less energetically this time.

“...After Dellark, countless people came to these mountains to gain their own fame and honor, yet not a single one of them succeeded in killing a gem beast. And the number that returned alive?” Calzark put up his one thumb. “About one out of every ten people? The funny thing is that only half of them even saw a gem beast. The other half ran away without being able to see a gem beast’s shadow.”

“...”

“It’s good to have fire in your blood when you’re a young kid, but you need to know what you’re getting into if you want to live long. I’ll forget you ever said tha—”

As Calzark tried to end the topic, I cut him off. I felt like I needed to properly talk about this before we moved on.

“I know what I’m getting into. Although not as much as you, I still know the gem beast’s capabilities.”

“You only just saw it sleeping from a distance. What confidence is letting you yap on like this?”

There wasn’t much I could say to that.

I let out a sigh.

“Didn’t I tell you my circumstances? I need to return to the main house before the end of this year. I must. This isn’t a problem of possibility. This is an order from the family head.”

“...”

“I heard that you were close with the family head even before you became a grand master, Senior, so you should know better than me just what kind of treatment a child who doesn’t follow orders receives in House Bednicker.”

Calzark closed his mouth, and the look in his eyes changed. I felt a sense of sympathy and pity from his gaze.

“Just because you’re Dellark’s son doesn’t mean you can only have a life within Bednicker. Your life won’t end just because you don’t fulfill Dellark’s expectations. You are still young.”

I blinked my eyes in shock. 

I hadn’t expected someone who thought like this to exist within the frustrating and conservative house.

At the same time, I had a different thought. If I had met Calzark even once in my previous life and heard such advice from him... I might’ve been able to live a better life.

“I know that,” I replied, smiling, “but I’m not getting tangled in the Bednicker name. Right now, the house name is not binding me, it is a tool for me to use.”

“A tool?”

“The Bednicker name is useful. One should use useful things.”

Calzark stared at me. His eyes were analyzing whether or not I was lying.

I didn’t avoid his gaze, I stared right back.

“...You’re not lying. All right, then you can only prove yourself.”

Was he perhaps going to fight me?

Thinking back to Kayan, I could honestly say I was sick of this.

But Calzark just walked past me.

He picked something off of the stone desk and showed it to me.

“Do you know what this is?”

It looked like a mirror. It was as big as my palm and shone with a mystical blue sheen.

Doesn’t this look a little familiar?

“Take it.”

Calzark thew it at me.

Catch. 

It was a decent weight in my hand.

Its texture was sturdy but slippery.

At that moment, I understood what I was holding.

“Is this a scale from the Sapphire Snake?”

“Yeah. I picked up a few when I fought it quite some time ago.”

Calzark was leaning against the wall as he spoke.

“It doesn’t matter what method you use. Damage that scale.”

 

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