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 20

Dan looked at me for a moment.

“I’ll ask you first,” Dan told me. “Answer me, are you Dellark’s son?”

“...”

As the tone of his voice shifted, so too did the tone of the conversation.

For some reason, I felt like I needed to answer this question more genuinely than I had his previous ones.

“Yes. I am Luan Bednicker.”

“Luan? Luan Bednicker... Never heard of him.”

Dan mumbled as if talking to himself.

He had never heard of me.

That’s unexpected.

Not to boast about my status, but I’d been pretty infamous in the house around this time. I was the mad kid who went and sold the house sword, after all.

No, wait.

If this man called Dan had been living in the Gem Mountains for a few decades, it wasn’t weird for him to not know me.

“I revealed my identity to you. Now, you should tell us who you are.”

“Hmm...”

Dan contemplated for a second.

“I should. Firstly... Dan isn’t my real name. It’s fake.”

“Okay.”

Dan seemed a little confused by my easy acceptance.

“What the—why aren’t you surprised?”

“‘Dan’ was obviously a fake name.”

“Really?”

Dan looked shocked. After a moment, he let out a sigh.

“Well, so be it. My real name is Calzark.”

Arzan couldn’t keep her shocked reaction from showing on her face.

“Calzark...!” she said in a low voice. “Are you perhaps the grand master of the main house?”

At that, Calzark nodded. “I am the Instructor of Swords and Blades.”

***

Bednicker’s influence was international. 

It wasn’t simply because of their wealth.

They were one of the Great Houses, and they ruled a rich territory under their name.

They had heroes active in many different areas, and the Lord of Blood and Iron was a symbol all on his own.

In addition, only a select few could even enter the main house of Bednicker, known as the Rose Mansion.

From what I’d heard, the Rose Mansion library had documents gathered from all over the empire, their armory had weapons and equipment from all sorts of master blacksmiths, and their storage had more mystic elixirs and potions than there were stars in the sky.

This overwhelming pool of resources was only available to those who were a part of House Bednicker.

For that reason, many people were always trying to come under Bednicker’s wings.

It didn’t matter whether or not they were connected by blood.

Knights, guards, servants, and even gardeners, just by being within the walls of Bednicker, they might enjoy even a small portion of those resources.

As a result, those who worked for Bednicker could only enter after undergoing an intense screening process, and even one-time contractors took pride in having provided some assets to the house.

And then there were the grand masters of the house, who were on a different level of existence than those people.

Unlike ordinary people, grand masters didn’t need to knock on the doors of Bednicker themselves.

For the education and training of the members of the Bednicker family, the Lord of Blood and Iron personally went around The Empire to extend invitations to these individuals.

The Instructor of Swords and Blades.

Even though I’d been kicked out of the main house, I still knew of his prestige.

Among the ten grand masters, he was the only one who wielded the sword.

Thanks to that, he was very popular amongst the Bednicker brothers.

The most prestigious martial art within Bednicker used the sword, after all.

To be honest, I had also dreamed of becoming the disciple of the Instructor of Swords and Blades when I’d been at the main house.

Not that I had ever spoken with him personally; I’d only attended the general education lesson that all children of the house could join.

To start with, I had heard that due to the Instructor of Swords and Blades’ trash personality, he had no disciples. Also, a few years ago...

He went missing.

I narrowed my eyes.

Maybe...

In the world before my regression, Calzark might not have been able to defeat the gem beast.

Right up to the moment of my death, perhaps he was tirelessly fighting against the beast, or maybe he’d died to that snake early on instead.

Whatever his ending might have been, his commitment was impressive.

This was a battle that a person with ordinary willpower would have failed to even start, but this man had been continuing in the mire for years now.

Calzark looked at me.

“You look like you want to ask me something.”

I corrected him.

“I have two questions.”

“What are they?”

“You said you lost your arm to the gem beast. Is that true?”

Calzark’s eyes became fiercer as he looked at me.

“What is the intent of that question?”

“The cultists could’ve interfered in the middle of your hunt...” I said, trying to talk around the issue.

It didn’t seem like he was checking if I was being respectful or not, though, so I decided to get to the point.

“I don’t think you’re any weaker than the gem beast.”

Calzark suddenly laughed.

“Uhahaha! Meaning, you don’t believe a grand master could’ve been defeated by a mere monster.”

Isn’t he just twisting it to suit himself?

Well, I hadn’t been trying to be sarcastic.

Thankfully, Calzark didn’t seem to be angry.

“It was a difficult fight on many fronts. We fought in the swamp, and that snake utilized its minions. I had also lost my sword at that time.”

“I see.”

Seeing my reaction, Calzark smirked.

“Do you think this grand master is pathetic for trying to find excuses after losing?”

“Not at all.”

The misunderstanding could easily deepen right now, so I spoke first.

“If you were at that much of a disadvantage due to the circumstances, it’s honestly more amazing you survived. Also...”

“Also?”

“The winner hasn’t been decided yet.”

At that, Calzark’s expression calmed a little as he looked at me. Then, he seemed to become a little embarrassed as he scratched his head.

“You said you had two questions? What’s the second one?”

I became a little nervous. This question was honestly more important.

“Why ‘Dan’? ...Your real name is Calzark, so why did you introduce yourself as Dan? I don’t think you can abbreviate Calzark to become Dan.”

Calzark grinned

“That’s why. If I say I’m Dan, people will try and connect it to my real name even if they realize it’s fake. Thinking it’s an abbreviation or whatever, even though there was never any connection to begin with.”

“...”

“I enjoy watching people waste energy like that.” 

He had a twisted mind to match his appearance.

My mood fell quite heavily at being taken for a fool by such a shallow trick.

If Fourth Senior Brother saw me now, he would tell me “Youngest, you were fooled again” with his signature emotionless face.

* * * * *

REAPER SCANS

[Translator –  Jreaming]

[Proofreader – Gorm]

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“But why are you in these mountains?” asked Calzark. “I don’t suppose you’re trying to mimic the family head, are you?”

“No. But it’s not completely unrelated to the family head.”

“What do you mean by that?”

I gave him a short explanation of how I’d ended up in this cave.

After listening to the whole story, Calzark gave a dry laugh.

“Assassins in Bednicker? And you say the followers of a god of disaster crawled in?”

“I know it’s difficult to believe, but everything I’ve told you is the truth.”

“Huh... looks like Bednicker is in rough shape without me there. Does the family head know about this?”

“Who knows? I’ll have to go and ask.”

“I see. All right.”

Calzark went through his pockets and then threw something at me.

As I caught it, I noticed it was a weird-looking fruit. “What is this?”

“Just crush it and spray it on your head. You guys were exposed to the tracking scent those cultists use.”

He tapped his nose.

“Tracking scent?”

“It’s a scent they put on their weapons. Normally, you can’t even smell it. There’s a partner scent to the tracking scent, and you’ll only be able to smell the tracking scent if you’ve already smelled the partner scent.”

“Ah.”

So our tracks hadn’t been the issue.

I clicked my tongue and did as Calzark had told me.

Crack.

“Uwek.”

The fruit, which looked like a walnut, exuded a terrible scent as I cracked it open.

I looked at Calzark with a shocked expression.

“...Is this the only way?”

“Yeah.”

Honestly, I didn’t think there was anything better to use to hide another scent, so I let out a sigh and dripped the fruit onto my head.

Arzan didn’t seem too taken aback, but looking at her more closely, she was just barely maintaining her expression.

Calzark silently observed us all the while. When we finished, he spoke.

“Now that you’ve dripped it on yourselves, the assassins should pull away from here.”

“I don’t think the assassins of Hadenaihar will give up that easily.”

“They usually don’t. But for some reason, they don’t like staying long in this cave. Probably because of the gem beast.”

I thought that might just be a convenient interpretation, but it did seem to hold some truth to it. Even the map didn’t note any forces near this place.

“And not all of them will pull out. A few of them will remain to patrol, but I can deal with them.”

“Have you eliminated cultists in this manner before?”

“I do it whenever I have some time to spare. Assassins are good sparring partners, they keep you on edge.”

Maybe I should’ve expected that.

It seemed the disruptor that the cultists were on the lookout for was Calzark.

Honestly, as such a skilled individual, it wouldn’t be hard for him to kill the assassins and even eliminate any traces afterward.

In any case, an unexpected ally had joined us. If we combined our strength with this man, it would be possible for us to break through the cultists’ siege.

This put a load off my mind.

“All right.” Calzark suddenly smiled and said, “Then you’ll help me with my revenge.”

“Sorry?”

“The gem beast. Let’s kill it together. I want to kill it quickly and return to Bednicker.”

What the hell is he talking about?

***

“What do you mean?” Arzan asked, a shocked expression on her face.

“It’s just as I said. Let’s kill the gem beast together.”

“...I don’t understand how the conversation came to this point.”

“Because this is the only way. And it’s not a bad deal for you guys either.”

At this, I had to interject.

“Are you saying the cultists are more dangerous than the gem beast?”

“That’s right. Because a high priest is here.”

“...!”

Arzan was shocked once more.

I was pretty surprised as well, though not as much as Arzan.

A high priest of the Church of Darkness practically referred to an executive of the organization.

They were beings who had the authority to directly converse with the demon lords.

Excluding the cult leader, whose existence was shrouded, and their close personnel, these people were honestly the strongest and most dangerous beings in the cult.

“...Are they that strong?”

“To be honest, I don’t know their full power either. I didn’t even realize what happened before my arm got taken. I did land a blow as well, but I definitely lost that exchange.”

I looked at Calzark’s empty sleeve.

“So you didn’t lose it to the gem beast.”

I suddenly had a question. I had initially thought that Calzark lost his arm to the gem beast and that was why he was staying here, to avenge the loss of his arm.

But if the one who cut off his arm was the high priest of the cult, then... that meant Calzark might have lost something more precious than one of his arms to the gem beast.

I suddenly had another question.

“There’s something I can’t accept,” I said.

“What is it?”

“If what you say is true, the cult is stronger than the gem beast, then why haven’t they killed the gem beast yet?”

With total confidence, Calzark said, “I don’t know.”

“Pardon?”

“I’ve also thought about that, but I haven’t come up with an answer. But the cult never steps deep into this cave. Whenever they need to enter for some unavoidable reason, they move very carefully.”

“...”

Was there another secret to this cave? A secret only the cult knew?

I felt the situation a little strange as I pulled out the map.

Calzark seemed a little interested.

“What is that?”

“It’s a map I stole from the assassins.”

“Looks like they were a big shot if they had a map. Show me it as well.”

I handed the map to Calzark.

As someone who had fought against the cult for a long time, Calzark might be able to see things that Arzan and I had failed to notice.

After looking at the map for a bit, Calzark furrowed his brow.

“...I see. It’s this.”

“Did you find something?”

“Yeah. I now understand why those bastards can’t get too active in this cave.”

Calzark pointed to a spot on the map.

 

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