Season 2 Chapter 17: (Season 2) – Chapter 17
Min Ha-rin wanted to become strong.
“The weak have no choice.”
She muttered in a soft voice.
“I realised this when I was caught by the Demons. I didn’t even have the right to kill myself. I resented that I had been born in this age. And I wished I had lived decades ago.”
She’d seen it in a drama that she’d watched on a half broken electronic device.
It was probably just a B-grade drama that didn’t become a big hit when it was aired. It was a simple story about a protagonist, who was an ordinary college student, having troubles with studying, finding a job, dealing with friends, and worrying about men and women.
It was such a warm and carefree life that it always made her laugh.
There was no threat of war.
There was no need to worry about killing or dying.
When Min Ha-rin hated the fact that she was one step too late to save a teammate, they resented the fact that they’d missed the bus by a hair’s breadth.
When Min Ha-rin had to stand guard against the Demons and Demon Beasts, they stayed up all night worrying about the person they liked.
When Min Ha-rin jumped up and drew her sword just from the sound of a rat rustling nearby, they covered their heads with their blankets to block out the sound of the alarm ringing in their ears.
She envied them like crazy.
But what could she do about her envy? Could she travel back in time?
It was impossible.
At least as long as the Demons were still on Earth.
That was why Min Ha-rin wanted to become strong. She wanted to get rid of all of the Demons and return to a life like she’d seen in the drama.
Even if it was impossible for her, she wanted her siblings to have such a life.
“You want to be strong?”
“I don’t want anyone to be able to force me to do anything.”
Lukas’ expression became a bit strange.
“That would only be possible if you were stronger than everyone else. You know that, don’t you?”
“You will have to walk a very thorny path.”
“I can overcome it. At least I won’t give up. Ever.”
Min Ha-rin’s voice was firm.
Her courageous expression filled Lukas’ heart with happiness.
“From today, you are my disciple, Min Ha-rin.”
“Ah… Th-, thank you.”
She couldn’t think of anything else to say, so she just bowed her head.
Then she became slightly embarrassed as she thought of something and said.
“…do I have to kneel before you?”
Silence fell for a moment.
Min Ha-rin hesitated for a moment.
“I… Master. Can you call me Ha-rin?”
“I think saying my full name is too formal.”
Min Ha-rin’s cheeks became slightly flushed, probably because of her embarrassment.
Nina couldn’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable at the sight.
Therefore, she loudly cleared her throat and changed the subject on purpose.
“Then you are his first disciple.”
Lukas couldn’t help but feel a bit strange at those words.
She wouldn’t be his first disciple.
“Aren’t you also Master’s disciple?”
Nina shook her head when Min Ha-rin asked this question in confusion.
“Huh? But you keep calling him Master…”
“That’s because Master taught me a lot of things. Anyways, he is my Master, but I’m not his disciple.”
It was a strange statement. When Min Ha-rin closed her mouth because she wasn’t able to easily understand what she said, Nina chuckled.
“My Master has a strange stubbornness. So you should understand how much of an honour this is and not do anything to embarrass him.”
“…then. Does that mean there are four left? You said you’d accept a total of five disciples.”
When Lukas nodded, Min Ha-rin couldn’t help but ask another question.
“Why do you need five?”
“In my experience, that is the most appropriate number to transform a world.”
It was Lukas who answered this time.
Of course, there were still many things for him to do besides looking for disciples.
He might not have been able to move openly, but he could at least be more active than he was now.
“Nina, I’m thinking about creating an organisation. One that doesn’t obey the orders of the Association, one that will sometimes act on its own judgement. It will probably be the busiest organisation in the world.”
“An organisation would be good. Have you thought of a name?’
He’d decided upon a name a very long time ago. Or maybe it had appeared in his head just recently.
His eyes fell on Min Ha-rin as he spoke.
* * *
“What do you plan to do from now on?”
“I plan to stay here for the time being.”
Nina’s expression brightened up considerably.
Min Ha-rin didn’t say it, but she felt that the way she was acting would give anyone chills.
Where did the scumbag Nina Rednikova disappear to?
Min Ha-rin shook her head inwardly, but it wasn’t strange that Nina was so happy. That was because it could be considered rare for Lukas to stay in one place for a month.
Regardless of the reason, being able to see her beloved teacher as much as she wanted for the foreseeable future greatly boosted Nina’s motivation.
“Then, I will serve you with all my heart.”
“Don’t mind me. Just focus on your own work.”
“Duke Sandro died. The loss of a Duke, not some other noble, will surely cause the Demons’ movements to change. And these changes will take place in Europe, where the Chester Company is located. It’s very important that you pay attention to the air currents.”
Nina had no choice but to nod her head with a sad expression.
“I’ll inform Ludwig. That way, you won’t have any restrictions when entering or leaving the headquarters nor when accessing the various facilities.”
“Do you have something else to say?”
“…it’s a bit different.”
Nina was slightly tense as she continued.
“There’s a child I want you to see.”
“A child you want me to see?”
“Yes. Please forgive my rudeness, but… Could you take a look at that child and accept them as your disciple if you like them?” (TL: wasn’t clear on ‘the child’s’ gender)
Lukas fell silent for a moment before speaking.
“Is that child in the European Headquarters right now?”
“No, they went on a mission. If everything goes according to plan, they should be back in about two weeks.”
Her worries didn’t last very long.
Against her expectations, Lukas nodded.
“Tell me when they return.”
“Th-, thank you.”
Lukas patted Nina, who had a bright expression on her face, on the shoulder.
* * *
The 11th Training Room was a dedicated training space for Wizards. There was no training equipment there, and the space was smaller when compared to the other training rooms.
But the strange thing about this room was the atmosphere. All of the walls in the room were brown, and the lighting was dim. There was also the subtle smell of charcoal, and when one smelled it, one’s mind was soothed.
Lukas was already there by the time Min Ha-rin arrived.
She hurriedly bowed her head.
“I apologise for being late.”
“You came ten minutes early; you’re not late.”
When Lukas responded nonchalantly, Min Ha-rin glanced at his expression.
“…but wasn’t I still later than Master?”
“I stayed here yesterday.”
Min Ha-rin believed him. But she didn’t understand what he meant by ‘stayed’.
Did he sleep there?
She couldn’t see any furniture in the room. It was an empty space that didn’t even have a sofa or a chair, let alone bedding.
The only thing that stood out was the basin beside Lukas, which had a dry towel and a bottle of water.
‘No, he said he stayed.’
He didn’t sleep. He just stayed.
Maybe he didn’t need sleep.
“I haven’t eaten.”
“Good. Come here and sit with your back to me.”
Min Ha-rin did as Lukas instructed.
“Close your eyes and try to relax.”
Soon, she felt something touch her back.
It was probably Lukas’ palm.
That didn’t mean it was uncomfortable. Instead, it was a pleasant coolness that reminded her of a tree’s shade in the middle of summer.
“Since you said you can’t feel mana, the first thing we will do is awaken your senses. This… is mana.”
Her hair seemed to stand on end.
The moderate coolness that she had been thinking about before suddenly became cold water that penetrated into Min Ha-rin’s body.
She almost jumped up from the ground. But Lukas was gently pressing on her shoulder with his other hand.
“Be still. This won’t hurt you… It is possible to change the attribute of mana according to your will. What you are feeling now is water attribute mana. It is the easiest to feel, the easiest to mold, and the least dangerous. Unless you reject it excessively.”
Min Ha-rin didn’t answer. She couldn’t afford to.
At some point, the mana, which had been scrambling wilding around her body, began to move through her blood vessels. It felt like she could track the movements of her blood.
In all honesty, it wasn’t a good feeling. She felt some degree of coolness and refreshment, but it was hard to endure the feeling of something foreign wandering around her body.
“Think of the Mana Room as an organ that can accumulate mana. It exists in every human being, and naturally, you are no exception. From now on, you must recognise the existence of this organ.”
At that moment, the mana, which had been flowing around her body nonstop, gathered together in a spot just below her belly button.
That was where the Danjeon(1) was located.
Min Ha-rin’s expression became stiff.
As a swordsman, her Danjeon was where she stored her ki.
And at this rate, her mana and ki would…
The two energies collided violently. The collision was so powerful that Min Ha-rin drooled without realising it.
Lukas spoke in a firm tone.
“I will now convert your Danjeon to a Mana Room.”
Then would all of the ki she’d worked hard to accumulate in her Danjeon disappear?
‘I did swear to focus all of my attention on Magical science, but…’
It was too sudden!
She wouldn’t have been so surprised if he had only told her about it in advance.
Min Ha-rin wanted to say something, but she still couldn’t afford to. She could only clench her teeth and endure it.
The pain was not as great as she thought it would be, but the pressure was severe. She felt like if she were to relax for even a moment, her entire body would collapse under an unknown pressure.
She felt something crack.
It was none other than her Danjeon. Her Danjeon was cracking.
It was being covered by one crack after another.
Then, with one final cracking sound, her Danjeon shattered. No, it wasn’t broken. She couldn’t understand the details, but it felt like the components of her Danjeon were gradually being changed.
It was like dead skin was being peeled off and new skin was growing.
Her ki began to disappear.
The culmination of over 10 years of sweat and blood, which she had accumulated step by step from the day she was examined in the association, washed away like the ebbing tide.
(Note: 1. Danjeon is an imaginary space in the middle of the body around the area of the belly button and usually refers to an inner space in the middle of the back and stomach. In other words, you can think of it as the most central part of your body. It is mentioned frequently in martial arts and is usually the place where ki/qi is stored.)