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So far the main reason for growing stronger has always been revenge. It was still the same now. With a second life, the goals in my life were meeting Choi Seulgi and exacting retribution on the Sword Saint to some extent, but my perception of this gradually began changing after rebirth – growing up with a brood of Green Skins and then finally leading this clan.
They were equally precious.
In this situation, the first thing I must do is become stronger; exacting revenge on that woman. Though the majority of the Spider Clan would lose their lives due to the Queen of the North, it meant that she’ll become stronger than all of them. I wasn’t sure, but if she could accomplish it, then so can I.
I stared at the weapon which I stole from that woman.
[It is a weapon too vague to be called a weapon or a dagger. It is a weapon made by a Siren who initially lived in the depths of the sea. She forged it with her own scales in favor of a loved one from a race of Humans. Whenever her sword is used to attack, a clear, clean sound as beautiful as Siren’s voice. But after time passed and the human used this sword to kill Sirens, a bad, fuzzy sound had begun to emanate. There is a passive effect that reduces the enemy’s abilities when exposed to this sound.]
[Dexterity +3, Mana +2]
Fortunate. It wasn’t just simply good. It was where one considers it to be of the highest grade.
I observed my body was becoming heavy, perceived it was due to her Unique Ability, but now realise that it was a debuff effect from this weapon. I began to slowly recollect the image of that woman in my head.
That twisted, short-haired woman… Before she falls under the hand of the Queen of the North, I will make her die painfully before me.
I bit my lip. I had to become stronger than ever before as I am still a weakling on this Continent. This time, I was fortunate to survive, luckily with the help of Green Goblin.
But there is still about one year left until clan independence. If I continue to remain in this state, it is impossible to protect my tribe. If my strength was equal to that of Black Spear, or just below Green Goblin, she wouldn’t have been able to approach me so boldly and recklessly like then. Not only would I have been able to return alive, but I could have also safeguarded my clansmen as well.
During this one year, I needed to be strong enough to be at least, on the level of Black Spear to protect both my body and clan.
As such, time had slowly passed.
For instance, fortunately I had succeeded in returning Ahyeon safely to the city. Thanks to the fierce encounter between Green Goblin and the Spider, a few survivors were luckily able to escape the place. Since the rescue squad dispatched from Legius were all killed by the Spider, it was apparently a miracle that they had returned alive. I made Ahyeon re-enter the cave from the entrance we dug and made her pretend to be safely rescued as she crawled out.
Ahyeon did not want to return after seeing my wounds, but it was an inevitable choice.
It was more advantageous to have her collect and synthesize the information with the Humans, before sending them to me. Since I did not have much information regarding the Spider Clan in the past, I needed information only Ahyeon could bring.
After a few days, I had received some useful information.
[Yes…though all I heard were rumors from the outside, but I have roughly discovered her identity. The woman’s name is Park Hyeri, and I was told that she was originally active in the East. I am still investigating why she is here in the West, but the most important conclusion I could make is that her behavior pattern is simply due to fickleness…]
Since she was the one I did not remember in my memories, it meant that more sensitive, private information in relation to the Spider Clan was hard to obtain, no less for a third-rate swordsman like me in the past. If there were people that knew, they would definitely be famous one or two famous Elites at the most.
[Is there anything else?]
[Yes…Yes! I don’t know if this is helpful information, but she is 22 years old. It has been six years since she has come to this Continent, and exactly three years after since she killed all of her clan members before fleeing the city. I did not find out exactly what has gone on before that, but it now seems she has joined the Spider Clan roughly about a year ago.]
[I am also investigating her Unique Ability, and I will need a bit more time to make enquiries about her. I have also heard that the city will start hunting for her personally, once a bit more information has been gathered.]
[Mm… well done.]
[No… surely not! Savior-nim. Pl…Please recover your body well..]
As if she had suffered quite a shock from my injured self, she would occasionally send this remark.
After disconnecting, I began to walk.
My body wasn’t in a state to train right away, so I was concentrating on restoring my body, which the others were doing likewise.
Anyways, it was the 20th day since Mev had started fasting, and ten days since Hark and Gark had started fasting. I decided to find them and see how they were holding up. Raising my body, I was relieved my body was progressing well with recovery, all thanks to Hakajin.
I gestured to the Goblins who were about to follow me as I looked within the wooden prisons. Of course, this was easily breakable for Gark and Hark to escape from, but they wouldn’t make such foolish choices. They did not take any food that I had sneakily given to them, which showed just how strong their wills were.
Gark and Hark were sitting still in their positions firmly, while Mev sat in the other prison in a depressed state.
“Is it bearable?”
“Yes! But, this is the punishment Blood Dagger has decreed!”
“We must become even more despaired. We are grateful to Blood Dagger for his mercy.”
Despite the extreme punishment of stripping their names, it was funny seeing how they could smile despite not being able to eat food for so long. Though it was strange, Gark refused to reattach his arm.
Days later, our clan had investigated, and found Gark’s arm. It was then cured with magic, but he refused to reattach his arm. It was a resolute way of symbolizing how it took the place of his sin, as Gark was sincerely trying to live with only one arm.
Fortunately, Hark did not have any side effects or malfunctions in his body. But he smiled bitterly seeing his brother without his arm. Though they were awkward with one another, they certainly were family. There were even reports that the Three Goblin Sisters had visited their brothers. I didn’t know if they had come to throw rocks or console them, but it was a very interesting scene to imagine.
I turned my head away and looked at Mev. I honestly felt a bit sad, as her hair was a mess, and her eyes swollen. Those bent wings showed just how discouraged and depressed she was.
“Ca…Captain I’m sorry. I’m sorry Captain.”
As soon as I opened my mouth, she replied to me instantly.
“I’m not trying to blame you, Mev.”
“Your actions were clearly wrong. We were lucky this time to have this result, but I cannot guarantee that we can be this lucky the next time – we encounter this kind of situation again. That was why I recalled the position of Prime Executive from you.”
“I know…I’m…I’m sorry Captain. It’s…it’s not because of the seat of Prime Executive…”
I knew what she was worried about.
“It’s not like I do not trust you. Rather…”
From my words, Mev began to cry once more. Even though it was like this, it seemed that she endured a lot of heartache and hardships, probably even thinking that she might become abandoned.
With the event at the Forest Earthworm Burrow to the recent event, no wonder she was in a lot of heartache. I slowly extended my arm inside the prison and stroked her hair. She embraced my touch and sobbed for a while.
As such, more time had passed.
Mev, Gark and Hark had been able to endure for 50 days, and immediately after they had been released from custody, they were scarily swinging their swords once they ate. It wasn’t just them, as this atmosphere had been maintained for a long time.
Even the lowest ranked Goblins were wholly focused on training and conducting mock battles.
For some, the discomfort of seeing their Chief, and others suffering pain, as well in also having their comrades die, while others bore the pain of being helpless as everyone began to grow slowly.
In the case of Gark, he wasn’t able to flaunt his former strength due to this own arm, but he was quickly growing towards repossessing his former pace.
Hark was also continuing to grow stronger as the gap with the new Hark gradually diminished. It was the same for Mev. If her purpose was evolution before, then she was currently chasing after something in the distance that was far away from her now.
Ragia and Hakajin were also growing, as Hakajin began to focus wholly on recovery magic, while Ragia also blindly focused on training as well.
Interestingly enough, the one with the most dramatic growth was Hayeon.
Even after that, she would still go out and train day and night. Other than her time with me, she would continually move her body and exert her mana, as she did not even sleep properly. I did not know exactly, but it was probably a tremendous shock to her returning as a semi-corpse after not being able to help me at the cave back then.
‘You cannot hurt yourself. I will protect you.’
It was the remark that I heard when I was in my tent. Though she had muttered this when she thought I was sleeping, I had heard her clearly. Engraving that voice in me, I also trained incessantly.
I studied the use of my Unique Ability, the physical body of the Asmodian, and also researched on how I can exploit the strengths of a Gladiator class to the fullest. I moved my body to the utmost, pushing the boundaries of my limits. Though my growth was not visible, but it was obvious that I was moving forward.
We kept moving forward.
The clan had definitely been inflicted with a large wound.
But such a wound does not hurt now. New flesh grows, and with new flesh, comes a more durable and stronger one. The memory remains, but it provides us a driving force to become strong.
New children were also being born as the clan was becoming larger, increasing while our wounds fade into memory.
We were advancing, constantly, constantly.
As such, we moved forth.
Calvis: Dang, it’ll be hard imagining Gark fight with one arm now. I hope he regrows it or gets a new arm somehow.
Sai101: Onward & Upwards…
Editors: Sai101 Borderline Masochist
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