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“Oppa, I’m sorry.”
I could hear the voices of the kids behind me as we trekked through the forest. My face twitched as I walked in front, and while the kids couldn’t see it,it was obvious that the expression on it wasn’t good.
The kids struggled with regret as I sighed. I turned my head towards the kids, and after maintaining my breathing for a while, I opened my mouth while maintaining this steady pace.
“The battle with the scorpions has caused a lot of thoughts. It was only two, not three, not four… I feel like the way I have been treating you guys up to now was a little wrong.”
“O-Oppa, that’s not…”
“I’m talking right now,” I snapped in a low voice, causing Yoojung to hurriedly close her mouth.
Her eyes quivered with nervousness, it seemed as if tears would emerge if I pushed a little more. However, it was necessary to make her heart stronger, unless they wanted to return to the city with no results.
“I always try to make the best judgment in any situation. I rejected countless clan offerings and chose you because I was confident in my judgment. But now, for the first time, I’m not so sure about it. I’ve always believed that the direction I’ve wanted you to go in was the best for you, but now I think that it was just my arrogance speaking.”
There was a seriousness in my voice that hadn’t been heard before. The kids listened to me silently after I told them the be quiet. Hyun concentrated on my words with a serious look while Yoojung and Sol alternated between looking at each other and dropping their gaze towards the ground.
“I treasured you so much. Yoojung, when I first said that we were leaving the city, you were very happy. But I didn’t know then that my heart would come back to haunt me like this. No, maybe I was turning a blind eye to that thought. Of course, I have some responsibility, but I think your attitudes are also definitely a problem. The things I worried about after finishing the Rite of Passage are being revealed one after another.”
After hearing my words, An Hyun bit his lips and made a gloomy expression. But they couldn’t say anything. They were all well aware of their mistakes, so there was no need to explain separately. The formation was broken and Sol was in danger, they stopped chanting spells when the tail came flying in the middle, they stared blankly as their colleagues were fighting, they didn’t think about the distribution of power, and so on and so forth.
I stopped and turned back, seeing Yoojung and Sol looking at me with tearful expressions. I would tie the knot tighter. Because…
“Honestly, I feel like going back to the city right now. I want to pack a minimum amount in the caravan before retrying. But on the other hand, I still want to believe in you. Can you do it? Will you keep disappointing me?”
An Hyun was rendered speechless at my question. However, it was possible to see him gritting his teeth. An Hyun was certainly different from the other two: he didn’t want to apologize, and was rather feeling rage.
I spoke in a strong voice, “From now on, I will change the formation. This time, it will be a triangle around Sol. I will be the leader, with Hyun and Yoojung on either side.”
An Hyun stood silently beside Sol, tightly gripping his spear. He looked at me before walking over to his spot.
Sol looked uneasy at the change in formation, but I spoke firmly, “I’ll give the explanation just once, so listen well. A triangle doesn’t exist without a keeper. In other words, each person making up a side is a keeper.”
“This triangle absolutely must not be broken.”
I turned and looked at the front. I could hear something moving slowly. After carefully looking ahead, I glanced at Hyun, who seemed to understand my signal, gently moved his spear in the pointed direction. I slowly started walking again.
“That’s right, don’t try to just evade. Read and accept the opponent’s sword and then focus on targeting them. Once this formation collapses, Sol will collapse as well. Don’t panic and maintain the formation. Help each other with linked attacks, or just do it alone.
“We will keep it in mind.”
“And one more thing: I won’t take the leader role, I’ll just be a guide. There are other reasons for it. What do you think?”
“I’m not sure,” replied Hyun as Yoojung and Sol cocked their heads.
At present, we were moving at half of our original speed. As we passed the surrounding trees and large rocks, I held my sword tightly.
“Right…this situation can come!”
I aimed at a huge rock that seemed filled with magic power. Shortly afterwards, the rock was split apart and blood emerged. An assassin class was good enough to avoid the kids’ detection, but it couldn’t fool my eyes.
After I swung the sword, three people suddenly appeared before us: two men and one woman. Based on their shabby clothing, it was clear that they were vagrants. They had wanted to ambush us; however, because I had handled one person beforehand, they had to emerge.
Yoojung and Sol were confused, but Hyun was relatively calm. This was because I gave my speech in advance. While he was perplexed at the fact that they were people, he still looked at Yoojung and Sol before slowly raising his weapon.
“Son of a bitch! How dare you kill Jongmin?! Waaah!”
“I thought they were new users! How did they notice the stealth?”
“Relax, you’re too sensitive. You there. How did you notice him hiding behind the rock?”
One female user spoke to me, but I didn’t respond.
I analyzed the vagrants and quickly communicated the information to the kids,
“These people are just vagrants. Do what you learned in the Academy. Don’t think they are the same as monsters. Think of them as users like you, but don’t show mercy. Feel free to kill them. One shield swordsman, one axe warrior, one magician. We have the advantage in terms of numbers and classes.”
“Sol, what are you doing? The battle has begun. Do you know who to target?”
“Hah…? This guy. They’re just new chicks! Stick together!”
“Wait a minute…”
The axe warrior listened to me and rushed over. Shortly afterwards, the swordsman with the shield followed the axe warrior. The female magician behind them tried to stop them, but realized she was too late. She gritted her teeth and quickly cast a spell.
I looked at them with a pitiful expression. They might be just vagrants now, but they had already reached the Hall Plain. The shield would destroy our formation, while the axe warrior would pounce from behind him. It was clear to them that we were new users.
At that moment, the two users running over closed their eyes. I quickly opened my mouth and told the kids, “Light magic! Everybody close your eyes!”
At the same time, the female magician stretched out a shining hand towards us and shouted,
She completed the magic quicker than Sol did. I was able to see spheres of light that were created in front of the eyes of his group in order to obstruct our vision. The problem was that we had already detected it.
I turned my head and saw Yoojung and Hyun taking defensive postures with their eyes closed. At the same time, Sol was still chanting a spell. Yes, this was what I wanted.
I gazed at the kids for a moment before looking back at the vagrants. The sight of our group getting into formation was despite the fact that we were hit by light magic, so the axe warrior looked puzzled and slowed down. However, the shield swordsman was to the left and didn’t see it. He seemed to be aiming for Yoojung.
These guys were basically stupid assholes. The hiding assassin and female magician were technically skilled, but the two who ran ahead were young and reckless.
A long spear struck from the side as I was about to move my sword. The axe warrior turned with a desperate expression because he didn’t expect an attack from the side after the light magic was used. An Hyun closed his eyes and succeeded in blocked the warrior’s course with exquisite stabbing.
“This is ridiculous… How did they detect it…?”
“It is reasonable, actually,” I answered as I stabbed towards the warrior who avoided the spear.
Puk. There was the sound of leather being torn and the feeling of flesh being cut was transmitted to me through the sword. Attacking in conjunction with Light was fine, but their skills were too bad. I turned my head to the side as the warrior coughed up blood.
There was the sound of iron and iron meeting each other in combat. Like An Hyun, Yoojung had also stabbed with her dagger, blocking the assault of her assailant with a stable posture. Her attacker, the shield swordsman, stared at Yoojung who had prevented his charge.
“…Nonsense…my strength is definitely…”
In fact, the user with the shield had higher strength. As they pushed forward with their weapons, Yoojung was pushed back little by little. However, this was without Yoojung’s magic power being taken into account. Yoojung’s eyes blazed with magic power as she opened them.
Her lack of muscle strength was compensated with magic power. Yoojung steadily applied the basics she learned at the User Academy, her grip on the dagger strengthening as she supplemented her muscle strength and increased the cutting power of the weapon with magic. The swordsman tried to attack with the sword in his other hand, but a long spear passed between him and Sol.
I twisted my swing and slashed the neck of the axe warrior as An Hyun’s spear pierced the side of the wide open spear swordsman.
The shield swordsman looked at the head of the axe warrior on the ground and at the spear stuck in his side. Yoojung looked at the user in front of her with conflicted eyes, but soon bit her lip and pierced his body with her two daggers.
I didn’t know where they heard that we were new users, but I thought that this group seemed like the new users. It was obvious that while they had been here for over six months, it was most likely for less than a year. I didn’t know how they became vagrants, but they were showing me that they couldn’t adjust to the Hall Plain. There were no skills or training and their efforts were pitiable.
Yoojung looked at the user and made a determined expression. Maybe she was examining herself, as the hands holding the two daggers in the user’s chest were trembling enough that it was visible.
But there was no time to rest, as there was still one female magician remaining. It seemed like she was preparing another magic, but unfortunately, Sol had already completed her magic. Sol lifted her brightly glowing staff and aimed at the female magician without any hesitation.
As a flash of light filled the forest, the female magician snorted and continued chanting the spell. I became stunned at the next scene I saw. The woman was showing double casting, a method used to avoid casting interference, where the mouth chanted the spell while the hand resisted magic power.
It was something that needed a lot of concentration, which meant that the magician in front of me was a skilled user. But the woman overlooked one point: the value of Sol’s magic power.
“Uh…uh? N-No way! My magic power exceeds 60!”
As her hand became imprisoned, the woman screamed and abandoned casting the spell in order to focus on resisting. It was a quick decision, but she couldn’t be a match for Sol, who had 75 magic power from the very beginning.
The magician resisted for a while, but Sol’s binding spell persistently grabbed onto her. Then Hyun and Yoojung quickly ran towards her to subdue her. This was because Sol was struggling with maintaining the magic power for the binding spell, as it was her first experience with using magic power in a combat situation.
The result was soon seen as the female magician was completely bound. Sol kept up her magic power until the end, but her whole body was stiff and her mouth hung agape in fatigue.
Magic detection can be classified as a control ability.
Detection is a fundamental skill: it isn’t a difficult spell to cast it, but detection isn’t just spreading out mana in a radius around you. Let’s look at the contents of the text for a moment.
The key is how neat and long-lasting the detection is. The user must be able to efficiently distribute magic power and maintain a constant flow at all times.
The User Academy teaches the principles of developing control abilities. The many types of abilities available, the ones that were useful and important. They didn’t give the detailed facts that Soohyun did/knew.
The academy literally told them how to adapt to Hall Plain. Of course, both the overall background and class training were severe. However, the application of these techniques is done when the talented ones are recruited into clans and the teachings are deepened.
In the Rite of Passage, they were under Soohyun’s protection. In the User Academy, they trained hard, but there were no potentially perilous situations, like the one in the battle with the scorpions. Thus, the kids became passive during the fight with the scorpions.
And they realized it this time. The thing I want to convey to you is that the kids aren’t lacking in abilities. Soohyun just wants to fix their attitude of relying on him.
They didn’t know how to reach in battle with the scorpions, but the battle with the users was done without difficulty. In other words, while they are skilled, they don’t know how to cope in unfamiliar situations where unknown variables can appear.
Once Soohyun scolded them, they reflected on their mistakes and immediately corrected their attitude. Yoojung still hesitated, but she showed a different appearance compared to the one in battle with the scorpions.
Soohyun was the reason why she was able to do this, but she was still frustrated because she couldn’t overcome all her obstacles.
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