Volume 2: Intermission – Thousand Li to the North, Embrace the Dawn II (1/2)
|Name||Gi Go Amatsuki|
|Class||Duke; Wandering Swordsman|
|Possessed Skills||Sword Mastery A-; Purple Flash; Forsake; Sense; A Master Swordsman's Proof; Silent Nature; Veteran|
|Divine Protection||Sword God|
|Abnormal Status||Sworn to Spare; Sword God's Control|
Gi Go and Yoshu stayed in the yugushiva village for the next 10 days.
Yoshu’s medicine gradually helped the village overcome the dark cloud of illnesses that covered it, illuminating a ray of hope into the village.
Yoshu concocted his medicine day after day, while Gi Go would go out to play with the children and hunt.
One day, Yustia’s mother visited them.
“I’m sorry for my behavior the other day,” she said while Yustia quietly kept her head bowed. It seems it was her mother that had business with them.
“Thank you for saving my tribe,” Yustia’s mother said. “I thought of giving you something as thanks in return, but this is a village out in the sticks, after all, so… If it’s not too much trouble, may I first know what reason you came to this village?”
Gi Go and Yoshu glanced at each other. This woman’s behavior had changed so suddenly, but no matter how much they looked at her face, it seemed just like a block of ice, emotionless and unchanging.
She must’ve come to ascertain our intentions, Yoshu thought as he answered her. “This person here is Mr. Gi Go. He is a swordsman who has traveled away from home to hone his skills.”
Yoshu explained that they came here after hearing tales of the yugushiva’s skill with the sword, and that they hoped to have a duel with one of their esteemed swordsmen.
A troubled look faintly surfaced on Yustia’s mother. She turned to Yustia, but she was wholeheartedly looking at Gi Go and Yoshu.
Sighing, she spoke. “Our tribe is indeed better with the sword compared to the flatlanders of the south, but unfortunately, the men of our tribe have either passed or been gravely wounded. All that’s left of our tribe now are children and women.”
Indeed, whenever Gi Go took a walk around the village, he felt there was too many children compared to the men.
“But Ms. Yustia is—” Yoshu said.
“This girl is still a child. Someone who only knows how to flail about with brute strength isn’t an adult,” she said.
“Please let us think a bit,” Yoshu said.
Gi Go and Yoshu made a difficult face as they became thoughtful. Meanwhile, Yustia and her mother excused themselves.
“What should we do?” Yoshu asked.
Yoshu felt they were indirectly being asked to leave.
“If there’s nothing they can give us, we should go,” Gi Go said. “There might be something else to these lands, who knows.”
The two spent time gathering their thoughts, but in the end, they couldn’t come up with another answer.
The next day, they decided to leave and return to the king. Yoshu had always intended to return after a year and Gi Go himself would rather see the king again if he had nowhere else to go.
After preparing their luggage, the two immediately left the village. The village kids that Gi Go have been playing with all this time saw them off. The kids were in low spirits now that Gi Go was leaving, so Gi Go patted them each on the head before going his way.
After a day’s walk from the yugushiva village, Gi Go and Yoshu made camp along the path Yustia had taught them under the shade of a large tree. But just when Gi Go was about to go hunt as usual, a voice called out to him, stopping him in his tracks.
“Lord Gi Go!”
That was Yustia’s voice. As soon as Gi Go heard it, he left the thickets from which he hid, and waved at her. Like an arrow released, Yustia came running to Gi Go. She didn’t even have the yugushiva mask her tribe usually wore. She had only the white overcoat on her body as she ran into Gi Go’s arms.
“Sorry, sorry, mother, lied,” Yustia apologized repeatedly in ragged breaths.
Gi Go thought it would be best to get Yoshu’s advice, so he brought her to their camp for the time being.
As it turns out, Yustia’s mother was telling only half the story. It was true that most of the men of their tribe had indeed died in the war last year, and that the strongest remaining in their village were either Yustia herself or her mother, but it was not true that they had no methods to help one train in the sword.
Yustia wanted to thank them for saving their village, a thought her mother sympathized with, but being unable to speak the southern tongue well, her mother proposed to be the ones to talk to Gi Go and Yoshu in her place. Naturally, being unskilled with the tongue, Yustia couldn’t fully understand what they have been talking about, and so, she thought that her mother had properly explained, but when she heard from the children the afternoon yesterday that Gi Go and Yoshu had left, she approached her mother.
—“Why did you lie?” She asked with a fury like that of raging flames.
—“The secret methods of our tribe can’t be leaked to outsiders!” Her mother reasoned.
—“It is disgraceful not to thank one’s benefactors! Which do you think our ancestors would cry over more? Being unable to protect our secrets or leaving a debt unpaid!?” Yustia said back.
The argument between mother and daughter grew so heated that in the end they ended up drawing swords and the villagers had to step in to quell their fighting. After that Yustia fled her village and went after Gi Go.
“That was really reckless,” Yoshu muttered.
“Lord Gi Go, want to be strong, there is place,” Yustia said with her head deeply bowed. “I guide you! Pay debt!”
“Thank you,” Gi Go returned her deep bow.
Yustia led Gi Go and Yoshu to a snow cave two days away from the shade of the tree where they made camp.
The light outside reflected off the countless icicles within the cave, illuminating its interiors. It was a magical sight so breathtaking that Gi Go and Yoshu forget the cold for a moment.
“Alone, meet, god,” Yustia said.
The cave didn’t seem that deep. Gi Go did as Yustia instructed, and he entered the cave alone.
“Sing, songs. God, likes, songs,” Yustia said.
Gi Go never thought the songs he’d learned would be used this way, but he did as Yustia instructed and started singing.
“My dance, is the spark of blades, intoxicated by the moon. When I dance, the gods descend, and the evening birds cry forever in the night. (Baabaiyaado, baazarukushu, vadimaav. Paapaiyaaru, kaamuuru, janruuruu, Nuenakudooru.)”
Gi Go chose to sing a battle song.
He thought it would be most fitting considering where they were.
As he sung, countless magic formations of various geometrical shapes appeared beneath his feet, and then, his body vanished.
Gi Go found himself alone in the dark.
The weight of his curve sword sheathed by his waist and the sensation of his feet on the ground never left, but Gi Go’s body had definitely sank in the darkness.
A normal person would probably be in a panic after being thrown into the darkness all of the sudden, but an experienced warrior such as Gi Go calmly sat down and analyzed his current situation.
“Is this the trial of the yugushiva?” Gi Go muttered to himself.
A person who overcomes a trial will gain great power.
It was such a trial that the yugushiva referred to as their secret method.
“This sure is dark, though,” Gi Go muttered.
It was indeed dark considering he thought it dark despite having goblin eyes that could see in the night. After a while, a faint shadow appeared.
Gi Go concentrated his attention on his eyes to ensure that he wasn’t just seeing things. As he did that shadow sat in the same way he did.
“A trial, huh,” Gi Go muttered.
“Yes, a trial,” the shadow replied.
Not wanting to show timidity, Gi Go stood up, and the shadow stood at the same time. Gi Go and the shadow both drew their swords.
“So all I have to do is to cut you?” Gi Go asked.
“If you can, that is,” the shadow sneered.
There was no need for further talk. Gi Go grasped his drawn sword tight.
Gi Go leaped at the shadow.
The shadow leaped as well, and with the exact same timing, their swords clashed and locked.
Now point blank each other, Gi Go couldn’t help but note the face of this figure. When he did he was awestruck.
“Who are you!?” Gi Go asked.
That face was without a doubt the Goblin King’s.
But this figure was not the Goblin King but an imitator. For some reason, it had taken the exact figure of the king when he was still a duke class.
“I am the god within you,” the shadow said.
“Lies!” Gi Go spat.
Gi Go pushed against this mysterious foe once more, forcing a small opening, which he used to swing his curved sword. But the shadow easily deflected his sword.
“Come! Cut the god within you! Cut that thing which you believe in! Come! Come!” The shadow beckoned as he slashed at Gi Go repeatedly.
His sword was sharp and heavy. Gi Go could not relax for even a moment lest he wished to die. The pressure was overwhelming.
The shadow pressured Gi Go, closing the gap he’d forced open. Gi Go tried to fight back, but the shadow pushed his sword away and neared him. Being too near, Gi Go could not cut the shadow properly.
“Ku!?” Gi Gu groaned.
“What’s wrong!? Weren’t you going to cut me!? Well, cut! Cut cut cut cut cut cut cut!!”
Again, Gi Go found his sword locked with this foe. He ignored the shadow’s words as he sought a path to victory.
—Cut, I have to cut it, but how!?
The enemy’s attacks were strong and unrelenting. If he let his guard down for even a moment, his head would surely be lopped off.
Somehow, he was able to keep the fight at a standstill, but Gi Go knew he was walking a thin line.
“You are not my king. I have only one king and he is in the south!” Gi Go said.
Fueled by rage, Gi Go slammed his fist at the shadow’s face, then with the opened distance, he swung his curved sword, but unfortunately, Gi Go hit nothing but the air.
He looked for the shadow.
“Ka ka ka ka ka!”
The shadow’s laughter resounded within the darkness, but it also echoed, making it difficult for Gi Go to pinpoint the shadow’s exact location.
Suddenly, Gi Go felt the back of his neck numb, so trusting his instincts, he immediately slid his body.
As soon as he did, the shadow’s curved sword came thrusting from behind him, grazing his neck.
Gi Go turned his body and swung his sword at the shadow’s stretched arm, but the shadow managed to pull it back, leaving Gi Go with nothing to hit but the air. Regardless, Gi Go had managed to buy some time.
Gi Go fixed his stance and calculated the distance to the shadow, then he stepped forward and matched the timing of the shadow. Gi Go had his curved sword wielded by his side as he swung it against the shadow’s sword. As their swords clashed, Gi Go rammed his body into the shadow, hoping to send it flying, but his attempt was only met with an airy sensation. As it turns out, he could not even slam his body into the shadow.
“Ku!?” Gi Go groaned.
“What’s wrong!? What’s wrong!? Weren’t you going to cut me!? Well!? Cut me! Cut! Cut!” The shadow mocked him as it swung its sword.
When Gi Go blocked one attack, another would come from the opposite direction. Under the endless tempest of swords, Gi Go was left completely on the defensive.
This shadow was clearly more skilled at the sword.
The shadow’s sword was like flowing water that never stopped like a waterfall.
Gi Go endured that onslaught of attacks as he pondered to himself.
Yustia told him before that the trial was a battle with one’s self.
—Can I really cut this shadow?
This was not the king.
Gi Go knew that, but was this not the king within him? If so, would this not be the very incarnation of the king which he believed in? That very king who raised Gi Go from a simple goblin into who he was today? That benefactor who saved him and his tribe from starvation? That great king who holds such great ambitions as to dare fight the humans?
Yes, this was indeed the very king which he wished to serve.
Could he cut the king?
—No! He absolutely could not!
“Your sword is confused! Those whose path is uncertain deserve to die!” The shadow said as it rained sword after sword on Gi Go.
Somehow, Gi Go managed to fend the shadow off and take some distance.
“If I cut that which I believe in for what reason have I swung my sword?” Gi Go said, then he threw his curved sword behind him.
“Are you mad? You must be! Why else would you throw your sword!!” Furious, the shadow made a large overhead swing with its sword.
The shadow’s sword was clearly slower than before.
Gi Go caught the shadow’s blade between his hands.
“—exists for the path I believe in!”
In the same moment Gi Go caught the shadow’s sword, he kicked the shadow away and its body vanished into the darkness.
Suddenly, the darkness faded and Yoshu and Yustia’s distant figures came to view.
As the darkness faded, the light of the moon reflected off the icicles within the cave, creating that same magical scenery he had seen awhile ago.
When Gi Go triumphantly smiled, he felt as if the shadow was laughing behind him.
After that Gi Go and Yoshu helped Yustia return to the yugushiva.
It wouldn’t be until a few days later when they would begin their journey back to to the king.
Level has risen.
2 => 96
Sword Mastery A- => Sword Mastery A+
—Can cut magic.
—Attacks seen once can be dodged. The effect varies depending on level and class. (TL Note: This used to be Forsake, but only because I didn’t really understand what it did. It is now Acumen as insight is already taken.)
—Focusing one’s spirit makes it possible to detect nearby enemies.
—The experience once has gathered will allow one to predict and dodge an enemy’s next attack.
A Swordsman’s Proof
—When fighting an enemy in a one-on-one duel, agility, concentration, strength, and ether are all increased.
The abnormal status, Sword God’s Control, has been relieved.
The condition, Sword God’s Blessing, has been added!
Due to the Sword God’s Blessing:
—Sword skill is raised.
—The skill bonus will be applied even when using other types of swords.
—It is also now possible to use ether to sharpen one’s sword.
Tl Note: Sorry for the lack of chapters. The season has Jiggly quite busy.