Possessing Nothing - Chapter 71
Chapter 71. Sword Dragon (1)
Aine did not die. As the situation at that time was severely disadvantageous to her, she chose to stop fighting and escape. Although Sungmin cut off both of her arms, he saw Aine's legs instantly regenerating with his own eyes.
He didn't know why Aine wanted to kill him, but this was for sure. Aine knew that Sungmin possessed the Black Heart. That insanely strong lich, Prescan, hadn't died either. It was very likely that the two are working together.
'They... probably want the heart.'
This time, he was lucky, he could only consider himself so. WIthout Scarlett, he would have died before long, and if he was unable to gain insight into using spearforce, he would have died regardless of Scarlett's presence.
Yes. He was just lucky.
'It all comes down to luck.'
It was unknown when Aine would come attacking again, so they departed the morning after the rain stopped. Sungmin's wounds had mostly recovered, but Scarlett went out of her way to drive the carriage anyhow.
Unexpectedly, she was quite good at it. Since she knew Sungmin's circumstances now, she agreed to leave the region as soon as possible.
Thanks to Scarlett driving the carriage, Sungmin had more time to think about himself. He could now use spearforce, but his martial arts prowess hadn't improved at all. The achievements shown on the status window wouldn't lie.
'I haven't broken through to the exceed-level yet.'
He simply broke through one bottleneck. He still had many in front of him. And he didn't even know what they were.
Have I become stronger?
Sungmin couldn't answer that question. Stronger... he should be. However, he felt that his current strength was too lacking. Despite his newfound ability to use spearforce, he didn't think that he would be able to beat Prescan, or Aine for that matter. There was no guarantee he would be so lucky next time, either.
So, Sungmin started swinging his spear again. Thinking about it, it had been quite a long time since he focused on training. When he met a bottleneck, and thought that he was unable to break through, Sungmin had despaired, and in his despair, he had stopped training. He didn't want to despair any further. He was afraid of the despair he would feel when everything he did did not work at all.
But now it was different.
Although he was worried about Aine and Prescan's attack, Aine hadn't shown herself again after the first attack. Although this worried him a little, the journey was smooth besides that. They passed through several cities on the way, and each time they did, they switched horses and fixed up the carriage.
Three months had passed since Sungmin and Scarlett had left Behengerr. In these three months, Sungmin trained in his spear, stepping, and internal cultivation. Whenever he trained, Scarlett would open her magic texts and focus on magic, to Sungmin's incomprehension.
’’You're quite earnest.’’
The dawn air was quite cold. Scarlett, who had left the carriage, had a blanket wrapped around her. Sungmin, who was letting the cold air dry his sweat, looked back at her.
’’You're up earlier than usual.’’
’’I had a bad dream.’’
As she said that, she had a vexed expression on her face. Scarlett had a look at the fire that had almost burned out, and reached out her hand. Without any incantation, the fire was reignited again.
’’Now that I think about it, you had a restraint on your dreams back on Mount Msh.... You're quite the thing, you know? You had a nightmare every single day. I would have gone crazy.’’
’’It was actually rather endurable. There was your magic too.’’
’’The Mind Cleaning spell is only a temporary measure. Although I did teach you that, I... honestly thought that you wouldn't hold out. I thought you'd run from your training, or go crazy.’’
Scarlett giggled. She crouched down by the fire and pulled on her blanket.
’’What? Keep doing whatever you were doing.’’
’’You aren't going to sleep anymore?’’
’’Didn't I tell you that I had a nightmare?’’
’’What kind of nightmare was it?’’
’’Quite generous, are you? Why do you want to know about my nightmare? Are you going to solve it for me?’’
Scarlett asked, her lips curved upwards. Since Sungmin was completely used to her kind of intonation, he shrugged his shoulders.
’’I can at least listen.’’
’’I don't really want you to listen though.’’
’’Then you don't have to talk about it.’’
Saying that, Sungmin raised his spear again. He concentrated and agitated his internal energy. The purple fog clad around the spear clumped and became a flame. Compared to the first time, he took much less time to create spearforce. However, he was still too slow.. Sungmin had come to the conclusion that he lacked the knowhow to do it properly.
’’I dreamed about the past.’’
Scarlett muttered. Sungmin did not stop his training. However, his ears were open, and he heard Scarlett's words. If he stopped and focused on listening to Scarlett instead, she would no longer bother talking about it.
’’It was about when I was young. The time I... was a very cute cute girl. Before I was summoned in Eria. It sounds like nothing much, but a war erupted.’’
The story suddenly escalated.
’’You know, there will always be orphans in war. I was like that too. I dreamed about back then. My family died and my village burned. I was lucky enough to survive, and I had a good fortune even after that as well. I was able to survive somehow, and also got to learn magic.’’
Surviving, you know? - she added.
’’I think everything is like that. You survive because you are lucky, and you live because you are lucky. It's obvious that you'll die if you don't have luck. Around me... were plenty of people that didn't have luck. I just became close to them, and if they die because they didn't have luck? The side that lives due to luck feels a tremendous sense of loss. It's always like that.’’
Dying because one didn't have luck. Sungmin agreed to to that. Sungmin died because he was unlucky in his previous life. In this life, he survived because he was lucky. Though, he didn't know himself if his 'luck' was just that.
’’It is very hard to get used to a sense of loss like that. At least... for me anyway. This is something like a defense mechanism for me. I was lucky until now, and I feel that I will be lucky in the future too. But, I don't think that the people around me will also have as much luck as me. That is why I don't want to get close to anyone.’’
What am I saying, - she muttered.
’’So, it's like this. I just don't need to get close to anyone. Isn't everyone like that? They feel a lot of things if someone around them dies, but if someone unrelated dies, then that's just that. Yeah. It's not being selfish, that's just human nature. I'm like that too.’’
The three basic moves of the spear became the Nine Skies Infinity Spear. He was now quite used to the art he had learned and trained for a considerable time, and no longer hesitated in his actions. His internal energy flowing from his dantian maintained his spearforce. However, the light became thinner and thinner. It required a tremendous amount of concentration to maintain spearforce, and he was listening to Scarlett's words on top of that.
’’We'll arrive in Brethun in about a week. Nothing happened because we were lucky until now, and I hope it's like that in the future too.’’
’’Are you worried about me?’’
Sungmin stopped me?’’
Sungmin stopped his spear. Hearing those words, Scarlett, who was looking at the fire, looked up. The lingering flame illuminated her face.
’’We got close. So I don't want to see you die.’’
’’I'm the same.’’
Sungmin spoke with a bitter smile.
’’It's not just you. I... I also don't want to see someone I know dying. I think I will try to prevent it if I can.’’
This was also why he wanted to prevent Baek Sogo's death. It wasn't that Sungmin's personality was peculiar or anything. He knew her, and didn't want her to die. That was all.
’’Consider yourself lucky.’’
Scarlett took out a thick magic text from inside her blanket. She put on her glasses and smiled.
’’The lucky me, is going around with you. You know that, right? Without me, you would have died when that thing attacked.’’
’’That... I'm very thankful for.’’
’’Being thankful isn't enough.’’
Saying that, Scarlett opened her book.
’’If you get the opportunity, pay it back later. I saved your life once, so you should save my life too.’’
Although Sungmin replied with a smile, he didn't really mind about it so much. No harm would come Scarlett's way for at least another 10 years. Sooner or later, she would complete the magic of the Lecir School, and become the tower lord of the Red Magic Tower after becoming an archmage. In other words, her 'luck' would continue to act on her from now on.
However, it was different for Sungmin.
'I was lucky until now.'
But what about the future?
Brethun had a lot of buddha statues.
Shaolin, one of the nine sects and one band, had an especially strong influence among the ten sects (T/N: Apparently band = sect now), that represented the righteous faction. People commonly picked Shaolin and Wudang as the two most influential of the righteous faction.
This was commonly shared among numerous martial worlds across the dimensions. Although Brethun was a city in Eria, like cities occupied by the nine sects and one band, it was different to all the cities like Xenavis, Behengerr, as well as all the cities that Sungmin and Behengerr passed through until now.
There was a buddha statue on the city's entrance, and there was the smell of incense in the air.
’’This is the first time I've visited Brethun.’’
A large city like Brethun required an identity check before entering. Although cities like Xenavis and Behengerr had nobodies amongst their ranks, a city on the scale of Brethun did not. Nobodies without power would die before they even got to Brethun.
’’S-rank mercenary... from Behengerr. mercenary... from Behengerr. You've come from quite far.’’
Even the outfit of the guards at the gates were different from other cities. They weren't wearing armor, but martial robes. Scarlett looked inside the gates with shiny eyes. She saw eastern-style architecture lined up neatly.
’’It's been several centuries since the Shaolin's main temple came to Brethun. Isn't it curious? People from other worlds were being summoned since centuries ago.’’
There weren't any difficulties in passing through the gate. Sungmin was identified through his mercenary tablet, and Scarlett through the mage guild.
’’Buddha Wujue, who was summoned centuries ago, arrived at Brethun, and named a mountain near Brethun 'Mount Song'. It seems as though the majority of shaolin temples in the martial worlds are based on this mountain. Although, the shape of the Mount Song they remembered all seemed to be different.’’
Scarlett, pointed to a mountain outside Brethun. It was over the west gate. That mountain was the 'Mount Song' of this world of Eria, named by Buddha Wujue.
’’People from other worlds were being summoned since hundreds of years ago, but the reason behind it is still unknown. Among mages, there are some lunatics that believe that the 'truth' is behind the reason of these summons. Many schools researched into the reason, but no one has found out about it yet. In the first place, who can answer these questions, anyway?’’
’’Uhm... Wouldn't the gods know?’’
’’Gods? Hahaha! I asked Msh, and he said he doesn't know. Well, I don't believe there's a peculiar reason behind summoning people from other worlds. This world is just that kind of world. There's no specific reason, and this world just summons some random unlucky people from all dimensions.’’
Scarlett laughed as she said that.
’’Oh, I guess it would be going too far to call them all unlucky. For some, it might have been a stroke of luck. Though, in my case, it's half-half.’’
Scarlett looked towards Sungmin as she said that. She smiled very prankfully.
’’You aren't going to the temple immediately, right? So, since we're here, let's tour around a little.’’
It wasn't even an indirect suggestion. Sungmin nodded while laughing when she said that.
Sungmin was also curious about this city called Brethun.
T/N: Sword dragon seems to be someone's title... Find out next chapter.
Buddha Wujue is a random guy that pops up in Korean wuxia novels... and googling about this guy gives me nothing. If anyone knows about this guy, please leave it in the comments
(神佛 神佛 無覺)
ED: the death flags all over the place this chapter have got me nervous...