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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!


“Huff! Puff!” Yeop Wol panted, looking around him. He was the only living Warden, but there were still four Gray Wolves of Chaos left.

These four were the strongest, and the cruelest, in the squad. Their attention was focused solely on Yeop Wol, and they didn’t care about their fellow Gray Wolves’ deaths at all.

Yeop Wol could feel his own death approaching as he stared into those eyes filled with killing intent. Try as he might, he saw no hope of survival.

He bit his lip, summoned his fighting spirit, and told himself, “I will not die without a fight.”

I’m not scared of death. When I decided to live as a murim warrior, I was already prepared to die anytime. Situations like these happen every single day in the gangho. The only regret I have is that my wife, Seo Yu-Ran, will become a widow.

She’s really smart though, so she’ll definitely find a way to live a good life, right?

I would be lying if I said that I’m okay with dying. That’s why, I’m going to keep fighting until the bitter end!

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“IYAHHHHHHH!”

Yeop Wol swung his sword with everything he had, his each and every slash flowing into the next without pause. For the first time in his life, he executed his sword technique, “Partitioning the Snowy Sky (雪天分奮)”, to perfection.

SHIIING!

Even Yeop Wol felt that this move was so flawless, he could probably drag one or two of the Gray Wolves down with him.

However, the Gray Wolves went far beyond his expectations. With the slightest tilt of their bodies, all of them narrowly avoided his swings and pounced toward him.

SPLURT!

The Gray Wolves’ swords plunged deep into Yeol Wol’s shoulders, chest, and legs.

“AHHH!” he screamed, his legs wobbling. Immediately after the initial pain, he felt his vision begin to dim.

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As everything faded into eternal darkness, he heard a shout.

“YEOP WOL!!!”

STAB! STAB! STAB!

The Gray Wolves repeatedly stabbed Yeop Wol until he fell to the ground, unmoving.

Suddenly, he felt someone grab him.

“W-Who…?”

“You can’t die. If you die, then who am I going to get revenge on?”

“Mu…Mu-Sang?” Yeol Wol recognized the man who had just grabbed him.

With a complicated expression on his face, Seo Mu-Sang yelled, “Yeop Wol!”

I hate this guy. I practiced my Blue Cloud Sword Style like a madman for no other reason than to personally get my revenge on him. That will never happen now.

“Ha… I’m…”

What is he trying to say? Seo Mu-Sang saw Yeop Wol move his lips, but before he could finish his last sentence, he passed away.

He placed the corpse on the ground and stood up.

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God damn it.

He looked toward the nearest Gray Wolf, who stared back at him with murderous intent that was enhanced even further by the adrenaline of a successful kill.

“That’s right. Everyone is dead. Except for me.”

Among the members of the Third Company, there were some he liked and some he hated. However, all of them had accompanied him during his three years at the Northern Army Fortress.

They were his brothers-in-arms, and most of them were now confirmed dead.

CRUNCH, CRUNCH.

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Seo Mu-Sang ground his teeth, and picked up Yeol Wol’s sword. With his current strength, he could probably take on one or two of the Gray Wolves, but definitely not four. Even so, he did not feel like running away. Thankfully, he had nothing more to lose, and therefore nothing to regret if he died.

“Even if I die, I’ll make sure you four accompany me to hell.”

Seo Mu-Sang and the Gray Wolves of Chaos charged towards each other.

sep

THUD!

Eun Han-Seol fell to the ground, rolling. Her face that had been white as a sheet started to turn black.

“Kuheuk!” she coughed, spitting out black blood. Even then, she didn’t feel any better. There was no part of her body that wasn’t injured.

Her head spun. She had lost too much blood. In an attempt to retain her consciousness, she bit her tongue forcefully.

Tae Mu-Kang stood over her, stretched out a large hand, and grabbed her by the neck.

“Ugh!”

Tae Mu-Kang gleefully observed the struggling young girl. When he saw her frightened, wavering eyes, he laughed, “Teehee, now you’re finished, little bitch.”

He raised a fist. One more hit and Eun Han-Seol would die for sure. She squirmed around desperately, but Tae Mu-Kang’s grip was like an iron clamp.

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She closed her eyes and muttered, “Goodbye, Mu-Won.”

SHIIIING!

Suddenly, she heard the sound of a sharp weapon slicing through the air. The next thing she knew, she was free.

“Haa…haa…” she panted, kneeling on the ground. Fresh air entered her lungs, clearing up her foggy mind and restoring some of her composure.

What happened? Eun Han-Seol raised her head, only to see that Tae Mu-Kang’s arm was injured.

Just then, someone hugged her around the waist and helped her up.

“W-Who…”

“Sorry, I’m late.”

Eun Han-Seol’s eyes widened, and her jaw dropped. The man holding her was none other than Jin Mu-Won. In his hand, he held the short sword that was usually hung up on the wall of the smithy.

“You left to get your sword?”

Jin Mu-Won nodded.

Eun Han-Seol stared at Tae Mu-Kang, who was looking at the wound on his arm and frowning. Although she knew that Jin Mu-Won always practiced the sword inside the Tower of Shadows, frankly, she had never really expected anything from him. She had thought that he only knew the basics, and yet, he had easily managed to hurt Tae Mu-Kang through his Rebound Flux.

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“Mu-Won?”

“Didn’t I tell you before? There’s no way I would leave you behind and run away by myself.”

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“Mmmh!” Tears flowed down Eun Han-Seol’s cheeks again, only this time, they were tears of happiness. The man she had given her heart to hadn’t betrayed or abandoned her. She hadn’t chosen the wrong man, after all.

Jin Mu-Won pointed his blade at Tae Mu-Kang.

Just now, while watching Eun Han-Seol protecting him from Tae Mu-Kang, and knowing she would die at this rate, his feet had unconsciously edged toward the Tower of Shadows. When he finally came to, there was a short sword in his hand.

It was the first perfect sword he had made, and also the sword that had been stained with his own blood because of Shim Won-Ui.

VRRRRR!

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The sword cried furiously, as if it had synchronized with Jin Mu-Won’s emotions.

Tae Mu-Kang’s wounds were regenerating much more slowly than he expected. Normally, a small wound like this would be healed in an instant, but the bleeding hadn’t even stopped. He glared at Jin Mu-Won with insane-looking eyes and said, “You. Your chi is fucking weird.”

Jin Mu-Won strengthened his grip on the short sword.

How long can I last? No, am I even able to fight this guy?

This was his first-ever battle, but the opponent was just too strong. The situation couldn’t possibly get any worse.

He would have to be extraordinarily lucky to survive through today. Still, he believed in himself and refused to give up without a fight. This was the way he had always lived, and also the way he would live for the rest of his life.

Right now, this unyielding will of his was clearly reflected in his swordsmanship.

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Tae Mu-Kang frowned. Jin Mu-Won’s weak aura irked him greatly. Although the young man’s aura was much weaker than Dam Soo-Cheon’s and Shim Won-Ui’s, and inferior to even Eun Han-Seol’s, it gave him a very bad feeling and made him strangely restless.

The only way to get rid of this restless feeling is to smash this annoying little upstart to bits!

“Dammed brat!” he yelled, leaping a hundred feet into the air and letting his Primeval Demonic Chi run wild. Like a falling meteor, he plunged down toward Jin Mu-Won and Eun Han-Seol.

ROAR!

Tae Mu-Kang’s chi whirlwind was so strong that before he had even made contact, Jin Mu-Won and Eun Han-Seol already felt like they were being crushed under a colossal mountain. Jin Mu-Won didn’t even think of facing that blow head on, instead opting to parry the strike.

SWISH!

A gentle aura like flowing water was emitted from the sword, deflecting the force of the attack to the side.

BOOM!

Tae Mu-Kang’s attack slammed into the ground, carving a ten-foot-deep trench where it landed and stirring up a cloud of dust.

Jin Mu-Won and Eun Han-Seol quickly took the opportunity to step back, but Tae Mu-Kang charged toward them yet again.

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CRASH! BAM! WHAM!

Under the human calamity that was Tae Mu-Kang, the environment was quickly transformed into a wasteland. Sonic booms could be heard as his punches zoomed through the air.

As he looked into the depths of Tae Mu-Kang’s eyes, Jin Mu-Won shuddered. The insanity contained within them was so all-consuming that he nearly fell on his butt in shock. However, he pushed himself to remain calm, held Eun Han-Seol’s hand, and continually pulled her backward along with him in order to avoid Tae Mu-Kang’s fierce blows.

BANG!

The spot where Jin Mu-Won had been standing up until a moment ago exploded, sending fragments of rock flying everywhere.

Jin Mu-Won felt like his brains had turned to mush. What the hell have I been thinking, being so confident just because I knew the theory of martial arts like the back of my hand and learned the techniques written on the Wall of Ten Thousand Shadows? I’ve only been practicing martial arts for three years!

I was even arrogant enough to think that I wouldn’t lose to any martial artist my age. I felt that as long as I had enough patience and kept a low profile, that I’d be able to handle any situation that comes my way. Tae Mu-Kang has shown me just how stupid I was.

My body can’t keep up with my mind, and the pressure from Tae Mu-Kang’s killing intent is making me slower than I usually am. I’ve never fought in a real battle before and had no idea that such a thing would happen. Thanks to that, I ended up taking quite a few hits.

But there is one thing I know for sure. If I take a direct hit from that monster, I’m dead. I have to focus on gathering my Shadow Chi while predicting, dodging, and deflecting his attacks.

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“Fuck you, stop dodging!” Tae Mu-Kang’s eyes glowed with fury. Jin Mu-Won was as slippery as an eel, and catching him was proving to be harder than expected. In particular, his movements were completely unpredictable. Every time he thought he’d had the boy cornered, he’d do something weird and somehow slip away.

Are our martial arts just fundamentally incompatible? This has never happened before. Fuck!

Mu-Won. Eun Han-Seol couldn’t help but be amazed at the way Jin Mu-Won avoided a direct confrontation with Tae Mu-Kang while being burdened by her. Whenever Tae Mu-Kang was about to hit one of them, he’d either dodge, parry, or pull her away to safety by the tiniest margin. Not only that, as time passed, his movements were only getting smoother and more experienced.

BA-DUMP!

Jin Mu-Won suddenly felt an itch at the back of his head, so he took a small step forward. At the same time, Tae Mu-Kang’s fist whizzed past the place where his head had just been, like they were in perfect synchrony.

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Next, he felt that the right side was ominous, so he stepped to the left. Tae Mu-Kang’s attack then immediately landed in the space he vacated a moment ago.

SWISH!

Jin Mu-Won’s mind, which had been thrown into confusion due to his inexperience, cleared up. An unfamiliar feeling spread out over his entire body.

He could feel Tae Mu-Kang’s angry gaze like needles on his skin. He could hear the giant’s breath like thunder in his ears. Every little vibration was transmitted to his skin through the air and the ground.

It was often said that after a warrior has acquired a certain amount of fighting experience, they’d gain an ability known as “Perception”. This ability allowed them to perceive their opponents’ next move by observing the direction of their gazes and the twitching of their muscles.

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However, Jin Mu-Won felt that what he was currently experiencing was not the normal kind of “Perception”, but rather, an actual sensory enhancement. He was so sensitive to his environment that no change, no matter how small, could escape his notice.

It was as if the entire space around him had become his absolute dominion.

For now, I shall call it the “All-Encompassing Cognizance *(全方位 感覺)”.*

Jin Mu-Won had no idea if this ability was inherent to the Art of Ten Thousand Shadows, or if he had awakened it as a result of stimulation from the near-death experience that was Tae Mu-Kang.

How I gained this ability isn’t important. Whatever this ability is, it greatly increases my chances of survival. That’s all that matters.

Meanwhile, Tae Mu-Kang’s frustration was building up. Again and again, Jin Mu-Won had successfully dodged and parried his attacks. To make it worse, he always avoided the attack by the smallest possible margin, using the minimal amount of movement. If the boy was an expert martial artist like Eun Han-Seol, he’d be able to accept it somehow, but…

“Slippery brat! I’m gonna blast you into nothingness! Primeval Chaos World Annihilation (混元滅天下)!” bellowed an enraged Tae Mu-Kang, leaping into the air once more.

RUMBLE!

Primeval Chi gushed out of Tae Mu-Kang’s body, spread out over the battlefield, then shot toward Jin Mu-Won like a beautiful rain of dark Flux.

Although the All-Encompassing Cognizance told Jin Mu-Won that it was an attack he could easily dodge, he did not do so. That was because if he avoided that attack, Eun Han-Seol would be the one in danger.

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The cunning look in Tae Mu-Kang’s eyes seemed to be mocking him, telling him to choose between his own life and Eun Han-Seol’s.

Jin Mu-Won grit his teeth. I’ll only get one chance. I don’t have a lot of chi, so I’ve been saving it up and concentrating it as much as I can for the sake of one big, effective attack.

Jin Mu-Won’s eyes suddenly fell upon the Wall of Ten Thousand Shadows behind Tae Mu-Kang.

That was the wall his ancestors had dedicated their blood, sweat, and lives to defend.

The name of the sword technique that they left behind on that wall might as well have been written in blood.

“The Shadow Blade of Destruction (滅天魔影劍).”

For the very first time in his life, Jin Mu-Won whispered the name of his sword technique out loud.

The sword of shadows (影劍) created to destroy the heavens (滅天) and slay all demons (滅魔). 1

The incomplete sword created and refined by his ancestors, but that only saw the light of day in his hands.

“Dividing the Heavenly Seas (斷天海).” 2

He became a shadow.

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Footnotes:

  1. Shadow Blade of Destruction (滅天魔影劍): FINALLY, we see a proper explanation for the name of this technique. Before that was all random guessing based on obscure clues. It is “the sword of shadows (影劍) created to destroy the heavens (滅天) and slay all demons (滅魔)”. Depending on the way this name was put together it could mean very different things, it’s easy to group it as “滅天” and “魔影劍”, which would translate to “Demonic Shadow Blade of Heavenly Destruction”, but no, it’s “滅天滅魔” and “影劍”, which is literally “Shadow Blade of Heavenly Destruction and Demon Slaying”.

    TL: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ 

  2. Dividing the Heavenly Seas (斷天海): Literal translation – Splitting the Heavenly Seas. 

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