Chapter 256 - Growth (6)
‘I’ve still got a long way to go.’
Yeon-woo mumbled to himself looking at the cluster of dirt in his hand. He had managed to preserve its shape this time, but he wasn’t satisfied.
If only he could use his Consciousness to control his strength.
‘But…..now my Consciousness follows after me naturally.’
Yeon-woo grinned, feeling proud and disappointed at the same time.
Moving his body for the first time after pushing his lower body to the extreme, he could definitely feel that he was different. It was especially noticeable when he jumped into the air as his Consciousness naturally stuck onto him to create many different changes.
It was evidence that his body was fundamentally different now.
Yeon-woo’s muscles had been hard as rocks because he had continuously trained all this time.
But now, they were smooth, like rubber. The Philosopher’s Stone and the Magic Circuit provided him with a great amount of magic power.
His Extrasensory Perception was clearer than normal, and Yeon-woo was able to feel the pulse of every cell and muscle.
However, Yeon-woo still thought he needed to train more.
Even though he had succeeded in internalizing his Consciousness, he hadn’t synchronized it with his body. He needed to completely control Consciousness like he used Aura.
“Looks like you got the basics down now.”
Just then, Galliard landed next to Yeon-woo with a satisfied smile.
Yeon-woo laughed in disbelief. The system was telling him that the proficiency of his skill was 80%, but Galliard was now saying that he was just beginning to take baby steps. It meant he still had a lot to learn.
“Since you somewhat know how to walk, let’s learn to run.”
Yeon-woo remembered the different movements Galliard had used when he attacked the Elohim on the 23rd floor. They were all different applications of Shunpo.
His enemies weren’t able to fight back when he used each one. Galliard was as sneaky as a ghost.
Yeon-woo hadn’t been able to see what Galliard was trying to do, so he wasn’t able to interfere that much either.
What Galliard did at that time was amplify his Consciousness.
Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed. This was the real start of learning how to use Consciousness.
Even so, he had another thought. If these were the ways of ‘walking,’ what would ‘flying’ be?
“What should I do?” Yeon-woo asked eagerly.
“Simple. It all depends on how well you know the basics, hm?”
Galliard lifted a corner of his mouth.
“Actually trying it out is the best.”
Galliard attempted to stab Yeon-woo with the branch in his hand. He had gathered so much Consciousness in it that the sound of air condensing and exploding rang out.
Yeon-woo instinctively moved back. The branch barely missed his temple.
Twisting his body, he pulled out his Magic Bayonet.
As the branch and the Magic Bayonet crossed, something exploded.
The two shadows moved back and met in the air again.
* * *
Phante was deep in thought.
-I want you to become my wings.
He had been happy when he heard that.
And he felt like someone was pressing his chest when he heard that.
-Become strong enough until we can’t be crushed, regardless of who pushes you down.
When he heard the last words, Phante cursed.
It wasn’t a curse against Yeon-woo. He was cursing himself.
When Yeon-woo first told him to get stronger, Phante confidently said that he would become Yeon-woo’s teeth, not his wings.
However, he just said this not to have his mind read. This whole time, Phante’s thoughts were jumbled.
He could feel the gap between Yeon-woo and himself becoming greater as time went on, so he was worried that he might completely fall behind.
He continued to train his Mugong, but he didn’t get far.
He wasn’t able to escape from the thought that he was falling behind. He was too weak.
On one hand, he didn’t know why he couldn’t focus and what was making him suffer so much.
When he saw Yeon-woo leapfrogging around, Phante had shut his mouth. He realized what the emotion that was making him suffer all this time was.
To Phante, Yeon-woo was a role model to respect. At first, he considered him a rival and followed him around to fight him, but Phante began to see his human side and wanted to learn from him.
Still, he continued to use his envy of Yeon-woo’s abilities as a way to motivate himself.
But back then, he had only thought that he would be able to catch up someday; he hadn’t had any other thoughts.
Now, he felt like he knew.
‘Why can’t I even go near him?’
Phante felt inferiority and respect towards Yeon-woo at the same time.
Why could that guy do it, but he couldn’t? He also worked that hard. But why?
From his younger days, Phante was only satisfied when he was in charge. When he played war games with his friends, he always had to be the commander, and he always had to exceed others when there was group training.
It was unthinkable that someone could be in front of him.
The throne. Phante only wanted one thing when he was younger, and he lived believing that he could never fall behind in order to become king.
He enjoyed having others be envious of him, but he had never thought of looking at others the same way. He just scoffed when people said he was arrogant.
Then, he met Yeon-woo.
In their fight, Phante felt his world crashing down on him.
He made a mistake thinking that he was the center of the world. There were countless people in front of him.
Still, he worked hard to catch up, and he found himself observing Yeon-woo with respect.
He placed Yeon-woo in a position that he never would have when he was younger.
But he never caught up to Yeon-woo-he only became more distant.
Then as time went on, Phante began to ‘understand.’ He would sigh saying ‘Whew, there he goes again’ and thought that there was nothing he could do to catch up.
He had given up at some point.
That was clearly where things went wrong.
Yeon-woo was still a symbol of respect to Phante. He was proud of Yeon-woo for walking that hard path alone, but it wasn’t something that he should’ve given up on.
‘This isn’t it.’
Something lifted Phante’s head. It was his desire to win.
The emotions that he had thrown away after understanding that he couldn’t catch up.
Phante ground his teeth. He pressed the inferiority down. Instead, the passion for winning flared up.
He wanted to defeat Yeon-woo.
“Oppa. I’m going to climb the Tower.”
Edora, who had been silently watching Yeon-woo next to him, suddenly spoke.
Phante woke up from his thoughts and turned to his little sister.
What was Edora thinking as she looked at Yeon-woo? It was clear that she had a change of heart like him.
Her eyes with Insight open were deep. For a moment, Phante thought he was looking at his mother, the Psychic Medium.
One thing he knew for sure was that he wasn’t thinking the same thing as her.
Phante was feeling a desire to win, and Edora’s newfound mind probably stemmed from love.
However, Phante didn’t ask what she was thinking.
Like he had his own thoughts, she could cherish her own.
All he could do was silently cheer her on as her brother. That was why he nodded his head without saying much, and Edora turned around, saying, ‘Thanks.’
The Divine Magic Sword in Edora’s arm cried out. He could feel a heat coming from it.
A while after Edora left, Phante silently watched Yeon-woo and Galliard, then whipped his body around and headed somewhere.
* * *
The Head Elder pushed up his glasses and frowned.
“Your Blood Lightning, please give it to me.”
He was speaking confidently like he had come to take back something he left at a pawn shop.
The Head Elder started at Phante and put down the book he was reading. He thought he would be able to rest because the Martial King was quiet, but his son was saying nonsense now.
He wanted to slap the face that was similar to the Martial King’s, but he controlled himself and asked Phante a question with his eyes squinted.
“Are you saying that you know what the Blood Lightning is?”
Phante nodded. Blood Lightning. The symbol of the Blood Light Philosopher. It was a martial weapon that came from the Divination of the Cheongram Family, the Lightning Control.
Phante’s feelings of competitiveness towards Yeon-woo had turned into a desire to become stronger. This was the result of Phante’s thinking.
However, the Head Elder snorted like there was no way he would give it away.
“No. You don’t know.”
“No. I do know.”
“No. You don’t know.”
Phante was about to say something again but just closed his mouth. The Head Elder smiled. He was looking down on Phante. It was a mocking smile.
“Should I tell you the truth?”
Phante nodded his head.
Phante’s eyes widened. His back stiffened. He clenched his fists.
The Head Elder continued to mock him.
“Don’t think of denying it. I’m right, aren’t I? Your brothers? Yeah. Most of them are weaker than you. But there are also those who are stronger than you. Don’t forget that your mother and sister played a large part in you being a likely candidate for the throne.”
“Even though you’re famed for being the Cheongram siblings, there are a lot of monsters in the world. The village itself is full of warriors stronger than you, and there are many more others in the Tower.”
Phante clenched his teeth. However, the Head Elder didn’t stop there.
“And one more thing. You’re not even smart.”
Phante’s red eyes shook. It was what people said about him often—that he was simple and aggressive.
However, that was only when people judged him nicely. In other words, it meant that he was stupid and he didn’t think things through.
The Head Elder was silently working hard in his office, but there actually wasn’t anyone as arrogant as him.
Even the Martial King had to bend to him. Also, the Head Elder was someone who could afford to act like that.
“I’m strong. Smart. He’s dead and not here anyone, but even the Black Dawn of the Devil Amy couldn’t say anything to me. Who do you think cleaned up this archive? Who helped your father get to where he is now?”
The Head Elder definitely wasn’t emanating any particular aura, but Phante felt like he was being stepped on.
He felt like someone was gripping his heart. It was getting harder to breathe. His heart almost beat out of his chest, and his clothes were drained with sweat.
The Blood Light Philosopher. Although overshadowed by the Martial King, he was still a pillar of the tribe. Also, he had shown that he still had it to the world. Even Waltz had to bend to him.
Phante grit his teeth and spit out his words.
The Head Elder arrogantly nodded his head and continued.
“And the Blood Lightning symbolizes me. It’s something I earned from fighting my entire life, tumbling, thinking, learning, losing, then fighting again, attempting, waiting, and waiting. Blood Lightning is me.”
The Head Elder began to frown. His crumpled face expressed his rage.
The rage of a beast shook the atmosphere around it. Phante couldn’t tell if the atmosphere was shaking or if he was shaking.
“A guy who’s not strong or smart wants something of mine? Return.”
It was a strict order. It was also a warning not to covet something that wasn’t his when he didn’t deserve it.
Phaten’s shoulders trembled. He felt like he was falling down a cliff, like when he had first met Yeon-woo.
His world was crumbling again.
The last of his pride was destroyed.
He glared at the Head Elder with red eyes. Normally, he would’ve thrown a tantrum and kicked the door to leave, but Phante bowed his head.
“…..Please give me a chance.”