Volume 7 Chapter 174 – Mirages of the Great Mythra Desert (2)
Haytona’s chainsword shot forward like a whip. Compared to the normal long sword, the chainsword’s attack range was inconceivably long. The blows were quite strong and heavy. The impact through the blade and handle was enough to make Jin’s hands sting.
In Jin’s opinion, the mirages’ sword skills were similar to what the Tona Twins actually had.
‘Had I not known they were mirages, I would have believed that this was real. Murakan never would have thought that the mirages would be like this.’
He had never heard of a type of magic or god-given ability like this anywhere in the world.
Even if they were mirages crafted by some ability, if he didn’t dodge or parry their attacks, he would get cut. Every impact he received, his entire body felt like it was in a real battle.
Haytona spoke with a smirk.
“You’re blocking it well.”
Then, Daytona charged in. His weapon was a colossal sword slightly smaller than the axe-sword Crantel. Its weight should still be beyond belief, but his swift movements didn’t make it look heavy at all.
The blade dragged across the sand, then flew up like lightning. Jin took a step back and parried the attack horizontally. He felt that his strength wasn’t like before.
Daytona only stopped for a second to recoil then continued swinging.
‘I would usually end his posture in one swing. Unfortunate.’
He had eaten only twenty percent of his normal amount of food and walked the barren wasteland for a week. His body would never be the same.
Still, with his current normal state, he would be able to take down the Tona Twins within five minutes. However, due to the lack of strength, the skill gap significantly shortened.
Haytona shouted, swinging his chain sword once more.
“Gonna cry? Gonna panic? We waited for you to be exhausted!”
As the Tona Twins began to attack together, Jin’s movements got busier. Making small gaps to dodge the mid-range attacks from the chainsword and deflecting the colossal sword.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve met, and this is how I get greeted?”
As he spoke, Jin’s eyes bolted in every direction to find the most optimal path to dodge.
As the three blades clashed, sparks flew everywhere.
Although his stamina was low, Jin’s aura was simply stronger. Coming into contact with Bradamante—that burned powerfully and shed Blade Mist—the chainsword and colossal sword weakly got deflected.
‘Their cooperation is immaculate. If I try to focus on one of them, the other will immediately get aggressive.’
However, that was it.
At 18, the Tona Twins weren’t beyond Jin’s comprehension. Jin lauded their movement as one, but there wasn’t a single strong blow.
They were provisional flag-bearers, just like Jin. Yet they didn’t learn a single Decisive Killing Move that could change the game.
‘If I were in my best condition, I could take them down in three minutes. Only if they were as strong as I expect them to be. Maybe I’m overestimating their strength.’
Even if he couldn’t go full force at the moment, the skill gap was too great.
Remembering the Tona Twins who bullied him to death in his past life, Jin thought it was unfair.
He vowed to wreak vengeance since his days at the Storm Castle, but he didn’t.
Eyes cold with killing intent, he glared at the twins.
“Kill me right, then. I’m getting pissed.”
“Blabbering more shit are you?”
“Still out of your mind? Don’t be too proud that you beat us once.”
The chainsword and colossal sword took turns swinging at Jin’s head. The aura decreased a bit, so Jin didn’t dodge it.
He had finished analyzing it. The aura they could conjure was barely mid-5-star. That kind of skill wasn’t threatening to him, even with his current stamina.
With all his might, he swung Bradamante upwards. As soon as the two blades contacted Bradamante, an explosion of sparks occurred. The twins instinctively backed off.
Jin then kicked the sand.
The cream-colored sand spread like a net through the air and concealed Jin’s body.
The twins fixed their posture and blocked each other’s blindspots, waiting for Jin’s attack. The sand settled, and where Jin stood before was now only a blue sky.
While the sand was settling, Jin took position right beside the Tona Twins.
Reacting first, Daytona oriented his colossal sword to block Bradamante’s blow. However, trying to block the sword flying at his face, he made the mistake of hindering his view. Jin wouldn’t miss this chance.
Daytona’s stance fell apart, and Jin gashed his thigh. Blood splattered and dyed the sand red.
He started to wonder if this really was a mirage.
Yet he decided to not hesitate. Whether his opponents were the Tona Twins or not, they really wanted to kill him.
Haytona turned quickly and grabbed Daytona by the collar. Simultaneously, he whipped his chainsword, but Jin deflected it just like how he parried the deadly hooks from Nameless assassins.
One of the grooves of the chainsword met Bradamante’s tip. Like a snake pierced by a needle, the chainsword stopped in place and rattled.
Haytona let go of his weapon. With another quick stab, Jin aimed for his throat, but was barely evaded.
However, the blade still scratched Haytona’s eye.
Bleeding profusely out of his eye, Haytona stumbled backwards. Watching this sight, Jin gritted his teeth.
He took his brother’s sight in one of his eyes. He planned to never hesitate, but he felt completely different from when he gashed Daytona’s thigh. A completely different emotion scratched at his heart.
Unlike the leg, the eye couldn’t be healed.
“Haytona, your eye…!”
“We will kill him! We. Will. Kill. Him!”
Were they really mirages?
The Tona Twins spat curses with faces of anger and hate. A perfect replica.
Was it okay to swing at them?
‘Why am I thinking this? Whether they’re real or fake. They’re trying to kill me.’
The goddess of victory was on Jin’s side. He could end the battle if he wanted to.
However, why did he feel molten metal on his heart and confusion in his head?
‘Do I not want to fight the Tona Twins? Did I think that they could be on my side just because I spent time with them at the Storm Castle?’
Did he want to build a different relationship with them than in his past life? Just like with Elder Sisters Luna and Yona?
Looking back, even in this life, Jin didn’t have any great memories with the Tona Twins. Before Jin showed them who was boss, they constantly scoured for an opportunity to mess with him. It was the same during their training as beginner and intermediate cadets.
Despite that, there was a hint of sadness…
—J-Jin! Are you okay…?!
—Did Father say that he’ll let you live? Why did you even do this?
—You guys act too cute sometimes. I’m fine. Besides, I have a favor to ask.
He remembered the conversation he had with the Tona Twins when he met Cyron after breaking provisional flag-bearer regulations and meeting Luna.
At the time, no one—other than Luna—worried for Jin.
Though he didn’t know of it, Mary also didn’t want him to die. However, that was it. If he died, then it couldn’t be helped. And if he lived, then she would be thirsty for a duel.
Only the Tona Twins came to Jin after holding their breaths at the bottom of the staircase. They awkwardly walked up to him, confessed to him about their worries, and asked what he did.
They were so anxious that they bit off all their fingernails. After seeing those nails, there were times where Jin smiled at the thought of it.
“I’ll rip your limbs off! Shit, you dog…!”
Those very same Tona Twins were now screaming at Jin. They appeared for no reason and suddenly swung their swords at him.
Their eyes were wet in fear. They only barked loudly like dogs in fear. They didn’t dare to attack.
Because they knew. They knew that they were no match for Jin. So instead, they poured their frightened and hateful emotions.
Staring at the twins, Jin’s glare turned dark.
‘I have to kill them.’
Whether they were mirages or real, he had to kill them.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t progress in his journey.
Because he was a Runcandel.
Spiritual energy enveloped Bradamante’s blade.
“Because I wasn’t strong enough, you guys got hurt. Now, there will be no pain.”
Jin slowly walked across the sand, and the twins scrambled backwards. Thinking they were pushed to a corner, they looked around.
Yet they were in a desert.
Nowhere to run away, nowhere to hide, nowhere to back off.
“Shit, fuck off!”
Immediately, the Tona Twins fell into despair, voices quivering.
Jin didn’t dare to evade their eyes. Each step he took, he felt something falling apart in his heart.
Faced with the opportunity to strike, he hesitated.
The moment he failed to swing Bradamante, Haytona let out a screeching scream and swung his chainsword. Filled with nervousness, his attack was heavily flawed. Jin subconsciously smacked the sword away and charged towards Haytona’s neck.
Before Haytona’s head even fell to the ground, Daytona’s colossal sword flew at Jin. He turned to dodge the massive blade. He cut Daytona’s wrist before stabbing his throat.
With a single scream, the Tona Twins dyed the sand red. Jin emotionlessly stared at their rolling heads.
Time passed, yet the corpses still didn’t disappear.
‘Why… are you not disappearing…? You’re just mirages.’
They remained even after one hour.
So, he dug a grave for each brother and placed them gently in the holes.
He stabbed their respective swords in the ground in place of gravestones. Jin then continued to walk, his hands shaking.
Not much longer after, he found an oasis.
He plunged his face into the water for a long time. As he rose and opened all of his water canteens to fill them up, he saw the bloodshot eyes in his reflection.
“Yeah, killing anyone in your family is a painful experience.”
Hiding in the barrier of the Great Desert, a woman watched him drink without him noticing.
With pitch-black hair akin to Murakan’s, she was Murakan’s sister—Black Dragon Misha.
“You have chosen a great child, Lord Soderet.”
She spoke to herself, then whipped her hands in the air. The two swords that were once erect in the sands disintegrated into dust. The wind blew to whisk away all evidence of the mirage.
In the place where the Tona Twins fought Jin, only cream-colored sand remained.