Exploration – Chapter 6
Everyone put their hands across their midsection and bowed to show courtesy to the estate owner.
He had absolute authority here. He dictated what the estate’s residents could or could not do, and possessed decision making power on all things related to his lands.
San and Biyeon’s expressions subtly changed. They exchanged a look with each other and non-verbally agreed to something. They had been very concerned and attentive about this person.
San bent his upper body slightly and showed respect to the Count. Biyeon also bowed her head deeply to show her respect to the landlord.
They didn’t know if their method of showing respect was the same as it was in modern Korea, but they felt that the general meaning would be guessed and ultimately conveyed.
Count Essen laughed out loud and stepped forward towards the two. He rubbed his palms together and greeted the two with a cheerful voice. He looked rather happy.
“I saw a truly impressive display of martial arts ability today. Is it the first time on my estate for you both?”
“That is correct. It hasn’t been long since we entered into this world from the wilderness, so please excuse any of our social shortcomings,” San calmly responded.
He thought that his response was both courteous and reserved.
“How long are you planning to stay here?”
“I heard that a hunt would be taking place after a few days. We will stay until then.”
“Five days! If you were planning on participating in the hunt, I’d like to thank you very much. With your skills, you can reduce the troublesome monsters that terrorize our residents. There are many dangerous beasts inhabiting our forests, so there are constant threats and difficulties in managing my estate. Truthfully, I was worried because of the unusually high appearance of beasts this year, but it would be a great help if both of you participated in the hunt.”
“If we can help, we will also be happy to oblige,” Biyeon replied.
Count Essen turned to look at Biyeon. His eyes were full of interest. Her appearance and mood were starkly different from the native women in the area.
Though many female Warriors were produced during the 30-year continental war, they still made up a very small number.
The Count was able to survive on the battlefield for more than 20 years, so he instantly recognized Biyeon as a high-level Warrior.
Tattered gloves, masculine attire, a sword on her waist, an unknown weapon attached to her backpack, and a scar that was faintly visible on her face and wrists…
All of these details eloquently confirmed that this woman was not just a hunter. In particular, the woman’s speech and attitude when greeting a noble like himself were very natural.
She was of either noble status, unlike what her outfit conveyed, or a person who was used to dealing with nobles.
Count Essen nodded. He looked back towards San.
“By the way, I felt it after seeing you duel with my son earlier…… You must be at least a Dark Warrior…”
“Did you say Dark Warrior?”
San tilted his head and looked at Biyeon. She shook her head, as she had also never heard this term. The Count nodded in understanding.
“Oh, the words you use are probably different from ours. It is a state where you can achieve great strength and speed while going through excruciating pain. The pain is as deep and opaque as the darkness, so we call warriors who attain this level Dark Warriors.”
San then nodded.
“If so, then yes, I have overcome that step. I’m now adjusting to the next level of senses.”
Count Essen widened his eyes in surprise.
“The next step? Surely…?”
“It’s difficult to explain. More correctly, it’s very difficult to express through words. Maybe it makes more sense to say that you can see what you can’t see and feel what you can’t feel? I can show you with my body if you wish.”
San answered while stroking his chin. They didn’t know what their level was in this world. He wanted to take this opportunity to gauge their strength.
“I really want to see.”
Count Essen said, his eyes shining. The sudden thought of being able to glimpse the next level passed his mind. However, the Count shook his head as he felt he was overestimating this traveler’s abilities. The man in front of him was very young. ‘Is he even in his early 30s?’
As far as he could recall, it would be an extreme case for someone even in the three major clans to reach the Awakened state by one’s early 30’s. The Hansung Clan’s grand genius, ‘Hanjung’, was said to have surpassed the Dark Warrior level and entered the Awakened state at the age of 32.
‘He’s probably at the end part of the Dark Warrior state,’ the Count concluded in his mind.
“Will you show a demonstration?” the Count asked.
As San looked at Biyeon, his eyes fluttered at her.
“You’re so wicked…” Biyeon muttered under her breath as she rolled her eyes at San. However, she soon pulled out a sword from her waist. They never questioned each other’s intentions.
They wouldn’t tire themselves out by bickering or questioning each other’s motives. The Count’s eyes widened wider. His son, Yekin, who was standing next to him, was also surprised.
‘Is she at the same level, too?’
Biyeon closed her eyes for a moment. Her energy gradually changed. Her torso, head, and limbs were wrapped in energy.
She went through the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Stages of Acceleration without hesitation. There was no wind blowing in the square, but her hair started flapping behind her as if it was being blown by a strong breeze.
Soon, she opened her eyes. She may not have been conscious of it herself, but the others in the square were able to see a pale light, like a halo, leaking out from her skin and revolving slowly around her body.
Her gaze slowly swept past the crowd. Her eyes were able to detect infrared and ultraviolet rays. Her eyes looked infinitely clear.
The Count narrowed his eyes. Yekin closed his eyes tightly. He couldn’t dare make eye contact.
When he tried to open his eyes, it felt like his eyes were burning. It was her energy and aura. Biyeon smiled and turned around. She slowly walked to a granite pillar behind her.
With a sword in her right hand, she slashed at the pillar. Thousands of lights were sparkling on the tip of her sword as it was swung towards the pillar.
Everyone was holding onto their breath. They didn’t hear the sound of metal hitting rock. All they heard was the sound like that of a bird’s brief cry.
Her sword was deeply embedded in the solid granite pillar. She then twirled the sword in a circular shape with little effort.
It was like she was cutting into a soft fruit.
She took out a piece of granite. The piece of granite was in the shape of a cone.
“Reaching this state, it’s possible to do something like this.”
She smiled and handed the granite cone to the Count.
Count Essen received the granite cone awkwardly. The hard granite’s surface was surprisingly smooth and still hot.
His head was absent of any thought. The show of force had gone far beyond any prediction he could have made. However, he understood that he needed to treat these two differently… very differently.
“Oh my… an Awakened,” Yekin groaned beside the Count.
Count Essen was still staring at the two intently. He foresaw a new fate unfolding before his eyes. The Awakened were the core power of the Empire. They determine the order of the kingdoms. The rise and fall of clans were determined by their existence.
The fact was…
An ‘Awakened’ Warrior ensured a Count’s absolute rule. But there was not just one such person, but two currently in his territory.
San observed the Count’s expression with interest. He gained some clues about the level of their combat force in relation to this world’s. Biyeon gently swept her chest and smoothed out her clothes.
She now understood that they were relatively strong. Fortunately, it seemed that one could enjoy a high degree of freedom in this world if one had the ability.
“It looks like we’re at a pretty high level?” muttered San silently.
“Now all that’s needed is to get employed…” replied Biyeon.
Exploration – Chapter 7
“How long has it been!” muttered San under his breath. His eyes became moist.
Biyeon looked at a wall with her head slightly tilted. However, her gaze had no focus. She was just staring at a vague space. Her eyes were hot, and her jaw was tightly shut. In front of their wet gazes, a nicely decorated palatial room spread out. It was about 100 square meters large.
The walls and ceiling were decorated with wood and the floor was made of granite. The furniture was made from luxurious orange fabric and high-quality wood, harmonizing beautifully.
Overall, the luxurious and warm interior oozed comfort and decadence. There was a balcony that overlooked a small garden below. The entire space gave off a feeling of freedom.
“Anyway, it feels like we’re humans again. First, let’s unpack what we’ll immediately need first.”
San took off his backpack and leaned it against a wall. He silently checked his equipment and began organizing.
“I can hardly remember when I felt this comfortable and cozy,” muttered Biyeon as she started unpacking her own luggage and placing items in suitable places.
‘The Count mentioned that they’re people of great status, but their actions are very strange. His free movement and refined way of speaking clearly mean that he’s a noble, but…’ Yumia, their maid thought to herself as she saw the two unpacking.
Yumia was waiting to serve them. She was in her 50’s and was the most seasoned maid in the castle.
Behind her were three other maids, awaiting orders with their heads bowed down. Their faces were tense because they received strict orders from the Count to take care of these honored guests.
However, right now, Yumia was tilting her head, unable to understand what was going on. The maids were awaiting their orders, but they could only stand and look blankly at the guests. The guests were taking off their strange-looking backpacks and organizing their own luggage by hand.
This was the first time Yumia and the other maids faced this kind of guest.
“We’ll organize it. Please relax and make yourself comfortable,” Yumia carefully said.
“Huh? Were you still here? We’ll do this on our own, so you can go ahead and do your own work,” San replied in a respectful tone, shaking his hand with a bright expression.
For a moment, Yumia forgot to answer. Even this seasoned woman couldn’t hide her embarrassed expression. No one spoke in honorifics to servants in this era.
To be spoken to in honorifics, especially from guests that even the Count seemed to be careful around… the maids started feeling nervousness and fear.
“Please humble your words. It’s difficult for us to handle. The Count strictly commanded that we must take care of our esteemed guests. Serving our two esteemed guests is our job. I am afraid that we will be greatly reprimanded by the Countess if we do not serve you properly,” Yumia replied fervently as if begging San and Biyeon to let them do their work.
San tilted his head for a moment and looked at Biyeon with a strange expression on his face.
Biyeon stopped organizing her luggage, raised her head, looked at Yumia, and then glanced back at San. San stopped organizing his luggage and started thinking about something.
Biyeon’s eyes sparkled as she awaited how San would respond and get himself out of this situation. She was curious about his response. Of course, Biyeon’s reason was different from Yumia’s…