Chapter 155: Reward (1)
7-star swordsmanship, 7-star magic, and 5-star spiritual energy.
He was about to achieve a body that has Thousand-Poison Immunity despite him not drinking the antidote yet.
‘When are these guys gonna go back?’
Jin, Beradin, and Dante. It had been two days since they left Samil City. However, Beradin and Dante didn’t think about letting Jin go.
“Isn’t it time to split now…?”
“The hell do you mean?! It was a pain in the ass to find you, and even more of a pain after finding you. If you had a heart, then you would play with us for a little longer.”
“You two… Aren’t you guys prospective successors? Isn’t this the time where each passing day is precious?”
“Nope. Since my clan is well-established, I can become the patriarch without doing anything. And Dante is basically confirmed. Do you know how much Lord Ron Hairan loves that fellow?”
Dante let out a cough in embarrassment.
“Yeah, I know that much. But unlike you guys, I need to get moving. I need to get stuff done as a provisional flag-bearer.”
“You killed Kidard Hall not so long ago. I’m sure that’s enough.”
“I’m telling you, I’m not responsible for his death.”
“Hey, hey! Look at this guy, lying again.”
“It seems Jin is in a difficult position, Beradin. I don’t think we should question him any more.”
“This guy is constantly drawing lines on us!”
“Haven’t you thought of yourselves who excessively crossed every line in existence?”
“And according to Dante, he says your aura is almost at 7-star. You’re way beyond normal achievement. Enough to be a flag-bearer this instant.”
“But if I become a flag-bearer, wouldn’t the days spent with us decrease? It’s already very sparse.”
Jin realized something after being with Dante and Beradin for the past few days.
The flow of their conversation constantly led towards what they wanted to say.
“Just because someone’s aura is at 7-star doesn’t mean they’re a 7-star knight. What’s important is swordsmanship.”
“Your swordsmanship is better than a normal 7-star’s. Right, Dante?”
“I concur. This is true as well back at the arena. Honestly, to the point where I wonder why you are still a provisional flag-bearer. Didn’t your third eldest sister, Lady Mary Runcandel, achieve 6-star at the age of 19?”
As Dante mentioned, the children of Runcandel usually became flag-bearers when they became 6- to 7-star knights.
After becoming a flag-bearer, they would learn the Runcandel Clan’s secret techniques one by one to mark their insane growth.
The decisive killing moves of Runcandel had the potential to outclass all swordmaster clans altogether.
“I’m not as famous as Elder Sister Mary. Jin Grey, as a swordsman, is still not well-known.”
Honestly, for Jin, that fame and popularity could be established in a few months. However, he had to make himself the perfect magic swordsman by the end of the five years that Cyron gave him. He couldn’t explain that to the two, so he kept avoiding the question.
“Oho. Then Samil was also included in that reason. You were trying to make your alias known by surviving the land of the assassins.”
“Want me to help?”
“Who am I? I’m Beradin Zipfel! Hehe, when I go back, I’ll tell the clan press to spread the word. That these things happened in Samil.”
“Then I shall help as well. I will request it from all the press that shed light onto the Hairan Clan. I’m sure you would want to become a flag-bearer as soon as possible.”
“It’s fine. Don’t do it.”
Jin instantly rejected their offers of assistance, and they pulled out different cards.
“How about we go on an adventure? Dante and I will hide our identities and help you out. Like a baggage carrier of some sort.”
“Oh! That’s a good idea. If we work together, we can probably defeat any bad guy. If we give all the credit to Jin, we can stack fame much quicker.”
“And then we’ll put it all in the news. ‘Jin Grey and his servants, seekers of justice.’ With a title like that.”
“Then we should start looking for a scummy villain!”
“There’s a ton of those! The Kings of Mamit, West Vermont’s Mad Jack Glow, the cultists of the Dark Magic Association, Vankella’s Knight of Destruction Hwirok, the Leader of the Orange Tiger Tribe Fanta…”
“The three of us, going off for an adventure to take care of those horrible villains… my heart is beating out of my chest.”
As Jin blocked out their nonsense, the two raised their voices at the fantasies.
‘Well, someone’s excited.’
Jin had no words, for he was so baffled. However, he didn’t hate looking after the two idiots.
‘On that note, he mentioned a ton of villains to gain experience. I honestly think that they’ve been around for a long time, so they’re getting forgotten.’
From Beradin’s list of villains, they were middle- to high-tier enemies. For the era’s most evil beings that even the world powers couldn’t deal with, he didn’t even mention them.
Barely listening to their nonsense, Jin shook his head.
“You guys having fun? Tell me if a novel of your adventures is published. I’ll make sure to read it.”
“Are you not going to join us?”
“An adventure. An adventure! Do you not yearn for excitement?”
“My life is filled with enough excitement and adventure.”
“Jin, we can’t yield this time. We really want to do this!”
For the past two days, they had been dragging and pulling on Jin’s conscience. Which helped him understand why they came to Samil for him.
‘They’ll never give up after thinking of it once.’
Thankfully, he slowly mastered the method to manipulate these morons.
“I understand your intentions, but I can’t right now.”
He emphasized ‘right now’.
“Does that mean you are available later?”
They took the bait.
Jin smirked and looked at the two.
“Yeah. I honestly don’t hate hanging out with you guys, but I have things to do, you know? I have something arranged already, so I gotta go. I can’t just cancel something like that for two days just for you guys.”
Of course, there was no prior arrangement. The only ones waiting for Jin were his allies back at Tikan.
“An arrangement with whom?”
“You don’t ask things like that, Beradin. Respect my privacy. Anyways, we’ll go on an adventure later.”
“I’ll send a letter.”
He felt like an uncle dealing with his nieces and nephews. Getting children off his back with baseless promises was possible, but they were 19-year-olds.
“Give me your address.”
Beradin quickly handed a paper with his address.
“This is my summer house. Anything that happens here is never reported to the clan and never interfered by the clan.”
“I don’t even have such a thing like a summer house.”
“When I get a letter from Jin, I’ll definitely contact you. Don’t worry. Since it turned out like this, let’s use my summer house as our hideout. I’ll tell your names to the butler so you can come in anytime.”
Surprisingly, Beradin’s summer house was on an uninhabited island in the west seas. To avoid supervision from the clan, he purposefully purchased land under the rule of the Hidden Palace.
His position was pretty strong as the prospective successor. Still, his siblings and opposing forces kept an eye on him. Hence, he allocated a secret resting space.
“And you can just tell me about this place?”
“You wouldn’t tell this to my siblings. Same way I wouldn’t tell your siblings that I’m friends with you.”
Jin shrugged and stuffed the paper into his pocket.
“Well, that’s true. Alright, is that it? I have to go now.”
“Tell me where you’re going. I told you my little hideout. And now, Dante and I can track you down whenever you need help.”
Beradin and Dante didn’t know that Jin resided in Tikan.
“Still, you have some morals. If you just used the Zipfels’ power, finding my location would be a piece of cake.”
“I at least know that we aren’t allowed to be friends. Especially you and me. The moment I investigate you with the clan’s power, I’ll lose my freedom. Then I won’t be able to meet you, or I’ll have to fight you when confronted.”
“An unfortunate reality… As for me, my grandfather doesn’t know of my friendship with Jin. He just knows that I have a new friend who he doesn’t know of.”
Jin felt a little guilty at their disappointment.
“I feel guilty if you put it like that. Well, I’ll buy us drinks to celebrate our newly established hideout.”
* * *
* * *
After drinking for a while, he finally returned to Tikan late at night. And as always, his allies in Tikan welcomed him warmly. However, Kashimir still had not returned from his visit to the Black Sea at Cyron’s order.
‘I’m sure he’s struggling and suffering. Knowing Father’s personality, he wouldn’t send Sir Kashimir any guide or escort.’
Jin went to Quikantel first. He had to thank her the most.
“Thank you, Miss Quikantel. Thanks to you, I returned safely.”
“Goodness, what’s this? Did you make some progress at Samil? Oh! That… is the Thousand-Poison Antidote!”
Jin revealed the antidote, and Quikantel stood up and shouted.
“I wanted to show you before I consume it.”
“My goodness. How’d you obtain it? I knew they would treat the silver dragon’s claw like some divine object, but I’m sure they wouldn’t exchange it for anything.”
Jin explained what happened in Samil, and all Quikantel could do was blink.
“The more I see you, the more surprises you have. Not satisfied with this antidote, you even beat the Leader of Nameless in his own mind games… And you got an opportunity to receive his assistance.”
“This was all thanks to your claw, Miss Quikantel. Without it, it would’ve been impossible. Had I been empty-handed, I would have needed to use my secret powers. I was able to avoid such awkward situations.”
“Fufu, that’s enough gratitude. I’m proud. My hundred years didn’t go to waste.”
“A hundred years?”
“That’s the time it takes for my claw to regrow.”
She gave it so willingly, so he didn’t think it cost much.
However, a dragon’s claw was no different from a human’s fingernail. She sacrificed her fingernail at the possibility of Jin’s death.
“It’s a long time for a human, but it’s nothing for a dragon. Don’t feel too guilty. Hand the antidote to me. I’ll purify it so you can absorb it quicker.”
“You have made such a big sacrifice for me.”
“No, if it weren’t for you, Enya would be dead. On that note, I am more indebted to you. So don’t get all subservient, you runt.”
As Quikantel handled the drink, Jin wondered why he was so loved in this life.