I Became the Youngest Disciple of the Martial God
[Translator – Jreaming]
[Proofreader – Gorm]
—What was your name again, Youngest?
Eldest Senior Brother used to ask me this question a lot.
Honestly, it wasn’t just Eldest Senior Brother. My other senior brothers were no different.
Initially, it seemed like he was asking because he found it hard to remember, but I could definitely tell that he continued asking later as a joke. Regardless, I couldn’t do anything but smile and say my name again.
At first, they had thought Bednicker was my name. They’d also thought my surname was “Lu” and my given name was “An.”
I later corrected them and said my name was Luan, and they just nodded in acceptance, saying “I remember there being a naming convention like that as well.”
As such, my origin was a little peculiar among Master’s five disciples.
House Bednicker. It was a family innately born with incredible strength due to our ancestors’ fairy blood coursing through us, a monstrous family that showed peerless talent in most fields. The attractive faces inherited from the fairies were just a bonus.
But I possessed none of those traits.
My looks? Objectively, I wasn’t ugly. If I were to say so myself, I was pretty good-looking.
It was just that all the other members of the house were supernaturally handsome and pretty. To put it into perspective, it was like putting a masterwork of glass amongst the highest-grade jewels.
My talent was lacking as well.
...Ehm. Let me rephrase that. It wasn’t that I was lacking, it was that I had no talent at all.
It wasn’t that my understanding of the study of martial arts was lacking.
It might be a little too much to say this of myself, but I wasn’t stupid. Rather, I was good with memorization, and I was quick-witted as well. Since Master personally said these things to me in the vein of compliments, I was certain.
The problem was my constitution. I had a special constitution that prevented me from receiving blessings. As a member of one of the Great Houses, descended from a hero, this was practically a curse.
During the Blessing Ceremony when I was 15, I did not receive a blessing.
As a rule of thumb, Bednickers usually received at least three blessings, up to five in the more extreme cases. My case was completely unprecedented.
In a bad way, obviously.
I thought back to the person I was before the Blessing Ceremony: I didn’t think that that Luan had a rotten heart. He always respected and held within his heart the stories of adventure, of the heroes and powerful beings throughout the continent.
That was why my despair was that much greater. I honestly wanted to die.
My brothers and sisters didn’t show me any pity. They just looked down on me like I was no more than filthy trash.
It was hard living with such contempt, especially when we had been playing and swinging wooden swords together not long before.
“It’s fine. As a Bednicker, you’ll be able to attend the Second Blessing Ceremony, so your mother will train you until then.”
Or so my mother told me. But I honestly wasn’t confident I could endure the looks of contempt for that long.
In the end, I didn’t even go to the noble academy. I just acted as I pleased instead.
Which is to say I just acted like an idiot. I used the family’s money however I wanted and acted violently toward the servants. The highlight of all this was when I sold the sword of House Bednicker.
I was insane. Why did I get into gambling...
It was one of the worst things I ever did, and news of this event spread throughout the nation. Even other nations heard about it.
Naturally, the honor of the house fell significantly, and my more extreme siblings even unsheathed their swords to kill me. To be honest, I didn’t understand why my father, the family head, stopped them.
I wasn’t dead, but only in name.
I ended up getting kicked out to the frontier... In practice, I was completely abandoned by House Bednicker.
But even after ending up in that state, I still couldn’t come to my senses.
I lived like trash, and the tendon in my right arm ended up getting severed...
After that, I became a wandering knight and even acted as a minstrel before finally becoming a mercenary.
I had no blessing and my right arm was weak, but at least I was still pretty good with the sword, so I was able to prolong my life somehow.
But I never once felt at peace with my life.
Of course, I was the problem, but due to my stupid pride in having a noble house’s blood coursing through me, I wasn’t able to easily mix with others. When someone would open their heart and approach me, I would use my bloodline and status as an excuse to ignore them.
However, when I was 20, my mother passed away due to an incident, and I completely lost my mind. I went around the continent like I was looking for a place to die.
At 25 years old, death finally came for me. I got swept up in a war caused by the worshipers of the gods of disaster.
So, my damned life ends here...
As I felt the chill of death crawling through my body, I somehow felt my body rising into the air.
When I opened my eyes, I somehow found myself atop a mountain, in a basin covered in fog.
There were no wounds on my body.
While I was spacing out without any clue what was going on, an old man suddenly appeared before me.
He was wearing clothes that were practically rags, and his hair was very unruly.
“How do you do?”
“Starting today, you’re my disciple,” the old man said, grinning despite speaking nonsense.
Of course, my reaction was completely reasonable. “Is this old man insane—”
Even before I could finish insulting him, my neck spun sideways. I’d been slapped hard on the cheek. My chin was nearly dislocated.
“How dare you speak that way to your master? Do you want to die?”
“Wh-who are you? Do you know who I am?”
“You? You’re my disciple, you punk.”
The old man smiled brightly as he threw a punch at me, and our conversation didn’t continue until sunset.
Meaning, I was beaten to shit.
This was assuredly the most painful day in my treacherous life. I was honestly surprised I didn’t fall unconscious, but it wasn’t because of my tenacity; it was because this old man was that proficient in beating people up.
When I recovered my senses, one simple truth was engraved into my mind: I should not make this old man angry.
“Hmm. Seems you’re now ready.”
The old man nodded, a satisfied smile on his face.
Then hell started.
Technically, it was just training, but for me at that point, my training was no different from hell, and Master became synonymous with the devil.
Baek Nogwang was the devil. In the beginning, I couldn’t help but resent him.
Even compared to everyone in the Bednicker clan who had treated me like trash, the anger I felt toward Baek Nogwang was incomparable.
“Straighten your back. Your vision will narrow if you see the world from below. I told you to narrow your legs. Should I break one of your balls? You punk.
“Calm your breath and cool your head. The world is too wide for you to get heated just from training. The ways the world will burn you are like the blades of grass in a field.
“I told you to erase that look of defeat from your eyes. Just who are you afraid of opposing? You are the disciple of Baek Nogwang, the Strongest Under the Heavens. You have no need to lower your head to anyone other than this master.
“Hahaha. Now you’re starting to get it. Well done.”
I didn’t know how long it had been since I last heard those words. At some point in my life, praise had ceased to exist. Even my mother, whom I’d followed after the most, had not praised me even to comfort me.
I’d been treated with unbearable contempt and hatred. I had only been treated better than actual waste.
The devil, the one I thought of as the devil, had at some point become my savior. I still truly recognized this fact.
I knew just how uncontrollable I’d been before. If not for Baek Nogwang’s violent teachings, I probably would’ve never been able to change my trash mind.
In any case, this hellish training continued for about a decade.
I became proud of the growth in my strength, and I enjoyed the feeling, but I still was a little regretful.
* * * * *
[Translator – Jreaming]
[Proofreader – Gorm]
Join our Discord for updates on releases!
* * * * *
The only people on Spirit Mountain were me and my master. My strength continued to slowly increase, but I had no target to test it upon, so I became increasingly frustrated.
Of course, those existences known as senior brothers visited us a few times.
By number and strength, I was the youngest and weakest, and each of these senior brothers was like a monster. It truly seemed like they were geniuses Master had handpicked after combing through the entire world.
My senior brothers rarely visited, so my opponents were usually monsters who lived on Spirit Mountain. But eventually, they could not be my opponents either.
The only sparring partner left was Master. However, I was never able to even touch the edge of his clothes. Even though I sparred against him for 10 years, even though I sparred against him 20 times every day. Not even once...
And then, after living each day getting beaten up, yesterday happened...
“Y-young master has awoken!”
“Oh ho. My goodness! By Bhaal!”
“Are you okay?”
And I woke up as the 15-year-old Luan Bednicker.
If someone were to ask me what period of time in my life I would most hate to return to, I could give them an immediate answer: 15 years old.
What was Luan Bednicker’s life like when he was 15 years old?
I was experiencing it now. As soon as I woke up, my entire body was racked with pain. But, well, this much pain was bearable.
Opening my eyes was difficult with all the swelling.
“Are you okay, young master?”
“It’s a relief that you woke up.”
“The butler really might have gone too far...”
I couldn’t really understand my situation.
I used my half-open eyes to check my arm.
...Well, seeing my arm, which looked like someone had draped a leather sheet over a skeleton, I seemed to have returned to the past.
“Whas all zhis?”
I was trying to say “What’s all this?” Damn it. The inside of my mouth was too torn up.
But one servant was able to understand my toothless words and responded, “Do you not remember? You had a mock battle against Butler Arzan.”
“It seemed like you exchanged some words during the mock battle, and the butler’s swings became much harder.”
Arzan. I remembered her.
A young butler of House Bednicker. She wore a completely black suit with a necktie, gloves, and a monocle. She really looked like a model butler.
I had heard that she became indebted to my father, the family head, during a territory war 10 years ago, and so she’d sworn loyalty to him.
“When did that happen?” I asked. I was starting to get used to talking without messing up my pronunciation.
“It was three days ago.”
So I’d been unconscious for three whole days?
“What of Arzan?”
“She is self-reflecting in a separate building. For the last three days, she hasn’t eaten anything, and she’s had nothing to drink but water.”
“Did I order that?”
“No. The butler did it of her own accord...”
This situation... I didn’t really remember it. What did I do that I’d ended up in this state?
I furrowed my brows before I suddenly remembered.
In this, my 15th year of life, I’d completely crossed a line I shouldn’t have crossed while Arzan was helping me with training.
—Then let a war happen! If a war happens now, I can become much stronger than you or the family head!
Arzan gave no response.
—Am I wrong, butler? Heroes are created in eras of chaos, they are born through war!
I once again realized just how brazen 15-year-old Luan Bednicker had been.
Arzan was a war orphan. She had lost her entire family to a war that swept through the kingdom, and it had happened when she was just 5 years old at that.
It was, in some sense, only natural that I would get beaten up like this after telling such a person that a war should happen again.
Of course, one could argue, “How dare a butler assault her employer?” But unfortunately for me, Arzan was probably higher in the family hierarchy than me.
Since I was 15, this was probably right after I sold the sword of House Bednicker... and Arzan had received great trust from my father, the family head, while she’d been working at the main house, so she was definitely popular.
I was probably treated at the same level as the lowest-ranking servant, or perhaps even a little bit worse. And father gave Arzan complete authority over my education.
Although this was a bit too far, this act of violence still fell under the category of education.
Even so, Arzan had gone into solitary confinement by herself and was punishing herself for putting me in this state. It truly showed exactly how serious a person Arzan was.
“Mirror,” I said, and one of the servants held a mirror up in front of me. I looked at my face before nodding.
My face was swollen all over and covered in bumps. It reminded me of a food called “dumplings” that my master had made for me a few times.
Even though it looked quite serious, the wounds were closing and the swelling was starting to fade.
If I used the Strongest Technique in History... wouldn’t I be able to recover by tomorrow, or the day after at the latest?
I think I’ll need to rest a bit more.
I wasn’t just being lazy—my body really didn’t have any strength. My eyelids felt heavy, as if something was pressing down on them.
“What time is it right now?” I forced myself to ask.
“It has just passed 11 in the night.”
So there was a reason for my sleepiness.
“Got it. You can go for now.”
“I’ll call for you again if I need anything.”
But then I heard something troublesome happening outside the door.
“Y-you can’t do this. This is the young master’s room...”
“Then I’m at the right place.”
“The young master only just woke up!”
“That is a relief. Even I am a bit opposed to collecting someone who is unconscious.”
There seemed to be an altercation happening outside... but the moment I heard the word “collect,” my mind immediately cleared up like I’d been drenched with cold water.
The door swung open and an old man who looked very gentlemanly appeared.
His white hair and the wrinkles around his face made it clear that the old man was in the twilight of his life, but his straight back and wide shoulders couldn’t be hidden even by his outfit.
The old man casually looked around the room, and the servants who met his eyes hurriedly lowered their heads.
The last place those eyes landed on was, of course, me.
The old man bowed his head with discipline.
“Please excuse me, Young Master Luan. I am Collector Kayan.”
The era I never wanted to return to. The worst days of my life.
This was the year I attended the Blessing Ceremony...
Was deemed talentless...
Was practically kicked out of the family...
Was beaten up by a butler to the point I was near death...
And also had the tendons in my arm cut.
“By the order of the family head, I am here to collect.”
Right now, right in front of my eyes, was the culprit who had cut those tendons of mine.
And he had the same goal as before.
Join our Discord for updates on releases!