I Became the Youngest Disciple of the Martial God
[Translator – Jreaming]
[Proofreader – Gorm]
I wasn’t a particularly lucky guy.
Back when I worked as a mercenary, a D-rank mission turned out to be as dangerous as a B-rank. Of the ten people who had participated, only two survived.
Of course, we didn’t emerge unscathed. The other guy lost his legs, and my face was severely wounded.
A guy I pissed off in a bar coincidentally happened to be an executive of the underworld...
I even had a day when a sword I’d bought shattered while I was swinging it just a little harder than normal.
If I were a lucky guy, I would’ve already gotten at least four or five blessings.
That was why I was quite shocked by my current situation. It just so happened that the extreme poison my enemy was using as his ultimate weapon was the best elixir in the world for me.
If the hero of some story was ever this lucky, the author would get cursed out.
I let out a breath of hot air.
I could feel the heat, on the level of molten lava, coming from my shoulder.
This heat was spreading throughout my body as if to burn it all away, but then it met my inner core.
The extreme heat that was rampaging through my body faltered.
It had touched the fire ki residing in my inner core.
Of course, the total amount of fire ki was minuscule. Compared to the White Sun, my final goal, the amount I had right now wasn’t even comparable to a campfire.
However, I was certain: this energy, condensed with my heart and soul while practicing the technique created by the Strongest under the Heavens, was the purest form of yang energy.
To put it in simpler terms, the fire ki that was sitting in my inner core was, in theory, the highest-ranking flame of all the flames in the world.
The two sources of yang energy naturally combined.
It felt as if the fire ki was consuming the heat. In truth, this was the nature of fire.
When water and water clash, waves form.
When earth and earth clash, earthquakes occur.
When trees clash with other trees, they get tangled and become bound...
And it would be difficult to find anything harder to mix than metal.
However, when fire meets fire, they naturally combine into one.
I let out a short breath.
My head felt hot, and my body felt even hotter. A good heat like one would feel when they dip their body into a hot spring had spread out through my entire body.
After enjoying my short burst of energy, I charged toward Osel.
Osel seemed genuinely surprised as his expression morphed into one of shock.
I couldn’t really be sure, though, since his face now looked like a toad’s.
Right before I reached Osel, I shouted an incantation:
White Sun Form, Second Technique.
A flame erupted from my palm and shot out toward Osel.
Flaming Wheel was one of the only ranged techniques I currently possessed.
It wasn’t very powerful, but it was good for chipping away at an opponent, so I used this palm technique a lot.
Weirdly, it used a lot of inner ki, so I hadn’t been able to use it before now.
The Flaming Wheel hit Osel directly in his face. The embers flashed in all directions, but not much damage was done.
“Cover my flank,” I said, giving a short order to Arzan.
I again narrowed the gap between myself and Osel.
Osel violently shook his head to get rid of the embers.
“How are you still moving?!”
“You’re the one who said the line between poison and medicine is razor thin. Thanks for the elixir.”
“You, you dare...!”
Osel’s neck bloated a little before he spat out a glob of spit at me.
Such an obvious attack. Poison again?
I dodged the purple liquid that Osel had spat at me and charged directly into close quarters with him. As I did, I struck him with multiple punches to his upper body, which had also bloated up.
Bam bam bam!
His slippery skin wasn’t pleasant to touch, to say the least.
It wasn’t just that it felt unpleasant; the lack of friction probably diverted some power from my attacks.
At this rate, it might be difficult to kill him through purely physical means...
Perhaps Osel realized this as well because he smiled.
“Mere punches cannot defeat—”
His talking suddenly gave way to screaming.
A dagger had been stabbed into his huge eyes.
Nice assist, Arzan.
I looked at Osel, who was flailing while holding his eye.
Although he was a more annoying enemy than I’d first thought, I now had a way to end this problem.
My master once said, “Most problems in this wide world can be solved if you have enough internal energy.”
I imbued internal energy onto my fist. I packed so much in there that it felt like it was going to burst at any point.
When that internal energy was nearing its limit...
I threw a punch.
White Sun Form, First Technique.
Unlike its cool name, Scorching Heat was just a simple forward punch... but even a simple technique could show extreme power if one used enough internal energy.
Also, every technique in the White Sun Form was made to kill.
Osel’s neck bent backward, and his slimy tongue spilled out like a wet rope.
Although the reaction was good, it seemed like this attack hadn’t worked properly either.
Then I had an idea.
I grabbed Osel’s limp tongue and tied it around his neck.
Osel had already lost his sight, and the moment he made that stupid sound, I tugged on his tongue.
Only then did Osel realize the situation he was in and begin to struggle.
Thankfully, Arzan noticed quickly. Even without me having to explain the situation, she moved to stop Osel’s movement by stabbing daggers into his entire body.
I was pretty sure she had aimed for his tendons, but it didn’t seem to have as big of an effect as she’d hoped.
It didn’t seem like she’d made a mistake either. Maybe the structure of his body had changed when he became a monster?
In any case, Osel seemed to still be able to feel pain because weird sounds continued to erupt from his mouth.
His appearance, and now his screams as well...
It didn’t feel like he had ever been human.
Just die nicely...
Osel struggled and flailed like a madman, but I hung on to him like a monkey and put more and more strength into my hands.
In truth, I was getting tired as well.
I had used too much strength with this weak body. My muscles were starting to shiver.
But this had to be done. This was the safest way to kill Osel.
His screaming was proof of that.
If he was full of demonic energy, he wouldn’t be able to feel pain, so his body was probably being steadily drained of demonic energy right now.
Like this, Osel continued to flail about and destroy the surrounding trees.
After a while, I felt the strength leaving Osel’s body, and then he stopped moving altogether.
“...Are you dead?”
The corpse gave no response.
And all the strength left my body.
* * * * *
[Translator – Jreaming]
[Proofreader – Gorm]
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* * * * *
I had really felt like I was gonna die.
For what honor and glory had I started climbing this mountain?
Right, it was an order from the Lord of Blood and Iron.
Curses. I couldn’t even think properly.
As I took deep breaths to calm myself and looked up at the dark sky, Arzan approached me.
“...Is he dead?”
I at least had the energy to talk, so I responded to Arzan’s question.
“Yeah. I’m sure of it this time.”
Arzan looked down at Osel’s corpse with a complicated expression on her face before falling silent for a while.
But eventually, she looked at me with a similar gaze.
“Is your shoulder okay?”
“My shoulder? Ah...”
She was talking about where I’d been stabbed by Osel’s dagger.
“I’m fine. This will heal up if I just rub some spit on it.”
That wasn’t entirely true, but it wasn’t entirely false either. Accelerated regeneration was one of the strengths of the Strongest Fire Technique.
“Still, there is a threat of infection, so let’s sterilize the wound.”
A moment of silence passed.
Arzan seemed to hesitate before finally asking a question.
“Are you really the young master?”
It was similar to the question I’d gotten from the first knight I suppressed, but I couldn’t afford to taunt her like I had that knight. The target was different.
No matter what, Arzan was someone who had seen me for at least a year at this point.
And it was probably by her hands that Luan Bednicker had been beaten up the most.
How could I convince someone like that?
Since I was tired right now, I decided not to give tiresome excuses. What need was there to convince her? I was Luan Bednicker, so what about it?
“Then what about you, butler?”
“I saw you fighting them. Just like they say, you are not an ordinary butler. Just what did you do in the main house?”
Arzan hesitated. “That’s...”
“It’s difficult to talk about, right?”
“It’s fine. I don’t intend to force you to reveal it.”
I forced myself up from my seat. My body creaked all over, but I couldn’t just stay seated the entire time.
Although Osel had said that there weren’t that many nocturnal monsters nearby, with how big of a commotion we’d caused, some sleeping monsters might’ve woken up.
“Let’s do this,” I began. “You have some questions about me, and I have some questions about you. Our similarity is that we aren’t scared of each other because of our questions. Right?”
“We currently don’t hold any hostility toward each other. We just fought as a team, right?”
Seeing Arzan so confused made her look a little younger than usual. For some reason, I suddenly wondered about her age.
There was a chance that she was around my age.
“So let’s forget about whatever questions we have until we get out of these mountains. We eliminated these guys, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely safe.”
Arzan hesitated for a moment before slightly closing her eyes.
She seemed to be organizing her thoughts.
She agreed more easily than I’d expected.
“All right, then...”
I approached Osel, who had died with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, and began going through his things.
“What are you doing?”
“We need to learn more about these guys. There’ll probably be a clue of sorts in his belongings. You can search through the other knights. Ah, also, I left one of them alive.”
Osel would probably be the one holding the most clues. Anyone could tell that he was the boss.
As expected, I got quite a few useful things from Osel’s belongings: twelve gold coins, a rough map of the Gem Mountains, and a note written in a script that I had never seen before.
The note was also written with pretty small letters in a compact method.
“Young master, none of the knights are alive.”
I instinctively put away the gold coins and tilted my head.
“Really? I stabbed through his hand.”
“It seems he ingested poison.”
Maybe he took his own life after seeing that Osel was losing? Or even before that?
In any case, he clearly hadn’t been afraid to die.
Arzan approached me again.
“There wasn’t anything noteworthy on their corpses.”
“Really? I found these.”
I handed the map and note to Arzan.
She looked at the map, then furrowed her brow as she looked at the note.
Her expression quickly turned to one of horror.
“Butler, can you actually read that?”
Arzan was visibly dismayed.
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