Chapter 159 – One Year Later (5)

    Chapter 159 - One Year Later (5)

    Baek Jongmyung admitted his defeat with a feeling in his heart which he hadn't felt for a long time. He had been able to penetrate through Theodore's puzzling magic, but the means of producing the result was the problem.

    His sword master's instincts, which penetrated through the unknown technique and the power hidden in it, meant he'd crossed the line without hesitation. Baek Jongmyung apologized to Theodore with a red and ashamed face, "I am ashamed, Sir Ted. I used a strong ability that was against the rules... I shouldn't have done it."

    That's right. The fearsome blow which stabbed through Theodore's magic was 'Aura Ability.' This was the most powerful ability of a sword master, who fell behind a magician in terms of firepower. It was an unreasonable ability that went beyond tactical magic and the power of a god.

    Magicians who faced it for the first time usually panicked or became traumatized by the sword master. However, Theodore didn't enter the standards of 'normal.'

    'Master Baek's ability... Is it [Penetration]or [Breakthrough]? No, I can't be sure when only seeing it once...' Theodore was busy analyzing the abnormalities in the auras, rather than being angry at Baek Jongmyung's foul.

    The audience watching them from afar might not know, but Theodore, who had faced Baek Jongmyung's sword, had been able to see it clearly. The fusion of two magic powers had created an explosion, while a silver aura had broken through the center.

    Despite the fact that both Randolph and Baek Jongmyung were sword masters, Randolph's power was completely different from this. However, for a magician, unknown facts about aura were exciting.

    Thus, Theodore's answer to Baek Jongmyung was delayed by one beat.

    "...No. Thanks to that, the spar could finish without a big injury, so I am thankful."


    "-Besides," Theodore said with a bitter smile, rejecting the objection, "Look around. If Master Baek broke the rules, I did as well."

    Baek Jongmyung looked around with a bewildered expression before realizing what Theodore meant.

    According to the rules which the two men had agreed upon in advance, Baek Jongmyung hadn't been allowed to use his Aura Ability while Theodore hadn't been allowed to use wide-area magic which affected more than half of the empty lot.

    However, what had happened to the landscape after the last clash? The center where the two people were standing was relatively intact, but the shock wave had destroyed the ground, reached the forest outside the open space, and even a few trees were torn down.

    Baek Jongmyung might have erased most of the magic with his Aura Ability, but the power was enough to affect the spectators standing far away from them.

    As Theodore gazed down at his hands, he admired the power of the magic.

    'Is it still too dangerous to be used in practice...?'

    This hadn't been a proper magic spell but a blast caused by the repelling force of two high-density magic powers. It was a primitive application of magic power. The explosion wouldn't have occurred if it had been at the level he'd thought about.

    Yet this incomplete magic power was enough to threaten a sword master. If he could complete it properly, he had one more weapon against the master class. Theoretically, he could defeat the 5th stage Pride using this.

    His right arm had become Blizzard by using Aquilo's power, while his left arm had become Inferno by using Muspelheim's power.

    It circulated according to the concept of 'Yin Yang,' an eastern philosophy which referred to the combining of two opposing forces, amplifying the unique magic. Unlike the Fusion Magic which had already existed in the past, this was a new spell that Theodore invented.

    Theodore was convinced that the completion of this unique magic was closely related to reaching the master level.

    "Hahaha! Indeed, Sir Ted's words are right!" Baek Jongmyung spoke with a much lighter expression. "Today's confrontation is a draw! I am blessed to be able to face a mage of the west."

    "I am also honored by my confrontation with an expert," Theodore agreed. Sometimes it was better to compete once than a hundred times. The two men acknowledged each other's power and finished up with dignity.

    Theodore covered his bare upper body with a cloak while Baek Jongmyung asked him, "With this, the second condition is over. Then can I hear what the third condition is?"

    "Umm... The third condition..." Theodore fell silent instead of answering.

    It was because Elsid and his companions were approaching them after discovering that the spar was over. There was no need to conceal it, but it was best not to get caught.

    Theodore swallowed his words and said something else, "Master Baek, I'll tell you after we return to the mansion. Today, there are other guests."

    "Hmm, I understand. It hasn't even been three weeks, but I shouldn't let my liege wait for me. Sir Ted, thank you for your deep consideration."

    Theodore blinked as he had suddenly become a thoughtful man, but there was no chance to clarify the misunderstanding.

    Soon after that, he couldn't talk to Baek Jongmyung due to the arrival of the crown prince's group. It wasn't bad to be remembered as a good person, but he couldn't help feeling ashamed due to Baek Jongmyung's humility.

    The story with the crown prince ended more smoothly than he'd thought it would, and there wasn't any friction.

    '...Perhaps watching the spar with Master Baek is the cause of that.'

    It was an unintentional display of force, but Theo didn't need to buy any favors from the prince. After the guests left, Randolph and Theodore had a heated debated about what had happened during the spar with Baek Jongmyung.

    Then exactly three days afterward, the rest of the Baek Family arrived at the harbor and knocked on the door of the mansion. Theodore, who had gone to Baek Jongmyung to present the third condition, was faced with an unexpected person.

    *     *     *

    It was as expected from a warrior family. They had great strength, so the members of the Baek Family moved in quickly. The empty rooms which Theodore and Randolph neglected were quickly filled with exotic furniture, accompanied by bustling noises ringing out all over the interior.

    Theodore listened to the noise and tilted his teacup. The tea that Baek Jongmyung gave Theodore was an impressive emerald green, and it emitted off an intoxicating scent. Theodore took a slow sip and was impressed by the tea. "...This is a good fragrance."

    "It is called Longjing Tea. We only have a little bit, but it is worth giving to Sir Ted."

    "Thank you."

    Theodore had no knowledge of tea and thought it was simply expensive, but his thoughts were wrong.

    Longjing Tea, one of the so-called four seasons, was divided into seven classes, with each one famous for the price gap. It had been different during the Baek Family's prime, but now it was hard for them to obtain. The cup of tea which Theodore had just drunk was worth dozens of gold coins. It showed just how much Baek Jongmyung appreciated him.

    As the air in the room softened and relaxed...

    Knock knock knock!

    A hard knock on the door strained the relaxed atmosphere. Baek Jongmyung sensed who it was and called out with a frown, "{Stop! Didn't I say to not show up when I am talking with a precious guest?!}"

    Just like there were official languages of the west continent, there were official languages which the east continent used. The language called Chinese was now emerging from Baek Jongmyung's mouth.

    It was a language which the central regions had created and spread, and it had permeated the entire east. Theodore felt uncomfortable at the strange pronunciation. However, at the next moment, the door opened without Theodore finding out the source of the discomfort.

    "{Father!}" Beyond the door was a man. No, his face was young enough for him to be called a boy.

    It was one of the two children who had come to the mansion with Baek Jongmyung a few days ago. The third son of the Baek Family, his name was-

    "{No, Baek Dongil! You are too rebellious!}"

    'That's right, Baek Dongil!' Theodore was surprised to notice that he understood Chinese.

    He had gained knowledge and experience with Chinese from Lee Yoonsung, but he had never actually used it. Perhaps he had digested some of the rich knowledge due to the Baeks. It was a knowledge he hadn't needed until now. He used it while watching the scene in front of him.

    'Maybe there is more knowledge that is buried...'

    Meanwhile, as he was analyzing this, the two people's quarrel was becoming more violent.

    "{Father, please listen to my request just once!}"

    "{This guy!}" Baek Jongmyung's incensed cry was enough to horrify a tiger.

    However, Baek Dongil just shook his head. "{Don't you know my humiliation at living like this! If you won't allow it, just throw me away right now!}"

    "{T-This...! You really are crazy! What will Sir Ted think of this situation?!}

    "{I will apologize directly to him!}"

    Theodore didn't know what the situation was, but he could hear the urgency in Baek Dongil's voice. Baek Jongmyung was no longer angry as he let out a deep sigh and touched his beard. As soon as the argument stopped, Baek Dongil looked in Theodore's direction.

    'Huh?' Was Theodore imagining it? He could find a trace of his past self in the boy's hair and eye color. The boy had blazing eyes which were filled with a desire and willingness not to lose. It was the face of those who tried many times not to fall into despair.

    After looking at Theodore for a moment, Baek Dongil fell to his knees and bowed to Baek Jongmyung. It was a kowtow. In the east, this was regarded as something shameful to do and was only used when people saw the emperor.

    Baek Jongmyung's anger soared at the sight of Baek Dongil.

    "{Stand up!}"

    "{Father! Please pass on my words!}"

    "{Foolish guy! I never taught you to be like this!}"

    "{That's right! You didn't teach me anything!}"

    The squabble had started again. Theodore was worried he might see a sword emerge. So, he opened his mouth and said, "{Both of you, that is enough.}"

    The Baeks stopped with shock at his one sentence.

    "{Sir Ted, this is our family's... Huh?}"

    "{I won't give up until Father accepts... Eh?}"

    Unable to accept the situation, the two people stared at Theodore.

    "{Master Baek, I will listen to the story.}"

    "{Uh, umm, I understand.}"

    Baek Jongmyung was so amazed by the fluent Chinese that he nodded, unable to refuse. Theodore asked for Baek Jongmyung's understanding first, before turning to Baek Dongil.  Theodore looked at the frozen Baek Dongil and said, "{And Young Master Baek.}"

    "{Y-Yes!}" A nervous answer emerged.

    "{I don't know what it is, but if you have something to say to me, tell me directly.}"

    "{...Yes, I understand.}" Baek Dongil seemed to regain his composure as he stood up with a calmer expression. He turned away from his father toward Theodore and breathed for a while.


    Then he kneeled again and bowed. "{Please forgive my rudeness! I hope you will give me, Baek Dongil, your teachings!}"

    "{Huh, this guy!}" Baek Jongmyung tried to stop Baek Dongil, but he was blocked. Theodore shook his head with a subtle expression. No, he was just calm on the outside. Inwardly, he was smiling with satisfaction.

    'Okay, things might be better this way.'

    This could save him the third request, and in some ways, he might be able to get more.

    Besides, he didn't know if it was a coincidence or inevitable, but Baek Dongil's request was similar to the third condition that Theodore had thought of in advance. An energy different from that of a 'warrior' was flowing from Baek Dongil. It was a third power which was similar to magic but not exactly the same.

    This was an opportunity for Theodore to investigate that power.

    "{...Raise your head, Young Master Baek.}"


    "{Let me hear your story.}"

    Theodore controlled his expression, while a strange expression formed on Baek Dongil's face. This was Theodore's first encounter with a shaman!
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