Cale nonchalantly commented after receiving the gazes of the two Choi family people.
“What are you looking at?”
Choi Han closed his mouth while Choi Jung Soo immediately responded.
“Wait, you suddenly want us to fight?! Wait, this is, a bit-”
“Since when do you make an appointment to fight? A punk who fought extremely respectfully by scheduling all of them ended up with the title of Sword Demon?”
“Wait, but still-!”
Choi Jung Soo could not finish his sentence and just pounded his chest in frustration.
However, Cale sat down on a comfortable chair that Ron brought from somewhere and leisurely looked up at the sky.
“The sun will be setting soon. Hurry up.”
Next to Cale was Raon, whose eyes were sparkling, Durst, who looked refreshed, Beacrox, who was standing there watching with his arms crossed, and Sui Khan, who was chuckling for some reason.
Three people who looked nervous, Chief Eunuch Wi, the Fist King, and his great-granddaughter were all there as well.
The people from the Orthodox faction and the Unorthodox faction were not invited to the training ground. It was not mentioned to them at all.
As for Toonka, he seemed to always be playing with those Unorthodox faction bastards these days as it was hard to see him.
‘That does make me a bit anxious.’
Not having an eye on Toonka did make Cale a bit concerned. He was someone you couldn’t figure out at all.
‘Well, I’m sure he’ll take care of himself.’
Even if Toonka did cause an issue, what else could it be other than breaking something? Toonka was tough so he would walk back on his own two feet even if he was pummeled, so Cale didn’t have to worry about him getting so hurt that he couldn’t contact-
Cale got the chills at that moment.
‘Did I just worry about Toonka?
I must have gone crazy.’
Cale couldn’t even think about the people looking at him as he shook his head.
He could not accept the flow of his current thoughts.
He suddenly heard Choi Han’s voice at that moment.
“I will do it, Cale-nim.”
“Haaaa. I guess I have no choice.”
Choi Jung Soo shrugged his shoulders as if he had no choice.
Cale looked at the two people who agreed to fight without needing much convincing and warned them.
“This is a spar so no fatal injuries.”
He just ignored Choi Jung Soo who was looking at him with a gaze asking if that even needed to be said.
It was because the important part of his comment still needed to be said.
“However, if you half-ass it and I don’t like it, we will keep going. We will keep going even if we need to stay up all night.”
Choi Jung Soo became upset and shouted but Cale pointed to Raon.
“You don’t need to worry about us getting hurt.”
He then pointed at Sui Khan, Ron, and Beacrox.
“There are also people to stop you if you guys get too serious.”
Cale then crossed his arms as he continued.
“You guys both wanted to fight each other, didn’t you?”
As the two Choi men flinched…
“Isn’t this easier for you guys than talking?”
The two of them looked at each other after hearing that question.
One corner of Cale’s lips twisted up as he watched.
He made one last comment and stopped talking.
Then there was silence.
Nobody said anything to the two of them.
There was only silence between the two of them as well.
Choi Han could not figure out what to say.
He always felt this way when looking at Choi Jung Soo.
‘Choi Jung Soo.’
Just thinking of his name made him feel like he couldn’t breathe while he could still do so.
Choi Jung Soo looked older than him but he was still his nephew.
He had seen Choi Jung Soo’s life.
How he had lived, how he had died…
That led to Choi Han carrying on Choi Jung Soo’s traces in his sword, creating the black yong.
‘In some ways, he is my master.’
Choi Jung Soo was younger than him but he was still a sort of master to him.
This Sky Sword martial art was given to him by Choi Jung Soo as well.
For some reason, he wanted to be the one to say something first this time.
Choi Han firmed his resolve.
He spoke to the guy who couldn’t hide his shaking pupils when looking at him, the guy with so many emotions in his eyes.
Choi Han’s sword started to roar at the same time.
A violent black power with sparkling pebbles of light almost exploded out of his sword.
That black aura started to take form.
It was the form of an Asian yong.
This yong was violent and rough but had its mouth shut as if it had been silent in a deep location for a long time.
Choi Jung Soo closed his eyes the moment he saw the yong.
‘They’re the same.’
Choi Han and this black yong’s eyes were the same.
They had the solitude and silence that you could only have after living a long time.
Choi Han and his black yong were waiting for him.
In that case…
‘Yes, I have to go since my esteemed paternal cousin once removed is calling me.’
Choi Jung Soo opened his eyes.
He then pulled out his sword.
The moment a shabby iron sword came out of its scabbard and showed itself…
A white aura poured out of his sword and created a yong.
Choi Han’s hands tightened the moment he saw the white yong.
It was different from the white yong from Choi Jung Soo’s memories he had seen in the past.
It had been a beautiful yong at that time as well, but now… It had an extremely detailed and delicate beauty as if an expert had put in all of their strength over and over to create it. It almost looked alive.
Cale thought to himself while looking at the two yongs.
‘Choi Han’s became even rougher while Choi Jung Soo’s became more detailed.’
The origin of the two of their sword arts was the same.
The Choi family sword art. That was their roots.
Those roots grew and Choi Han, who was temporarily affected by Choi Jung Soo’s sword art, seemed to become similar to him for a moment before the two of their directions changed.
This was to be expected.
The two of them were different people and had lived different lives.
However, the two of their true natures were the same.
They grew up in the same family and filled their hearts with the same things and ended up taking up the sword.
The moment they heard some mysterious roars in the air two times…
The white attacked the black.
The black fought back against the white.
An extremely loud noise shook the training ground.
Paat. Raon’s shield appeared in front of the group.
However, nobody was paying any attention to the shield. Even Raon himself was focused.
They were all focused on the black and white yongs intertwining with each other while baring their fangs at one another.
Choi Han aimed for an opening. However, Choi Jung Soo turned his body ever so slightly with exquisite movement to make the sword miss.
The black yong then bared its fangs again.
The white yong leisurely dodged and cleverly tightened around the black yong to suffocate it.
Choi Han laughed.
He told Choi Han to attack first but he was doing more attacking right now.
However, there was nothing he could do about it.
This was his way of fighting.
A violent and rough appearance.
Choi Jung Soo was different.
It was smooth.
As he was more detailed than before, he was also smarter.
However, it did not make him look unsightly. He looked refined.
He looked like an elegant existence that did not fall into the dirty mud but waited and watched until the opponent ran wild to kill it off in an instant.
His sword art was so beautiful that the Sword Demon title suited him.
However, he couldn’t help but laugh.
Their sword arts were similar.
It was not because he created the black yong after seeing Choi Jung Soo’s white yong.
Choi Jung Soo, who had worked with the God of Death after dying, had definitely changed but he was still the same.
His sword held loneliness in it.
It was also full of determination.
It was full of the determination to protect the thing he had chosen.
‘You must have sharpened it and sharpened it some more for that reason.’
Choi Jung Soo probably had no choice as he needed to be stealthy and sharp since he moved around alone to accomplish his missions.
Choi Han clenched his eyes shut.
‘There was no one to protect him.’
He heard Choi Jung Soo’s voice at that moment.
It was even more unfamiliar and awkward than before.
“Paternal cousin once removed, you’re going to lose like that.”
Choi Han let out a short laugh.
His aura was slowly becoming more violent.
He was showing his true nature, the despair and solitude that had built up in the Forest of Darkness for such a long time that he could not even count the days properly, without any hesitation.
He moved without caring about his back.
At some point, that was how his sword had changed.
This was Choi Han’s decision.
He wanted to step forward before his friends got hurt and wanted the enemies to attack him first.
However, he was not worried.
It would be great if he defeated the enemy, but even if he didn’t, his friends would find a way to take down the enemy while he fought.
The reason that this light called hope became infused in his black aura that was full of despair as if they were stars in the night sky was probably because of this kind of thinking.
However, Choi Jung Soo would not have been able to do that.
Choi Han could not laugh anymore.
He moved his sword after sensing a stealthy aura approaching him.
“You block so well even with your eyes closed, sir.”
He opened his eyes while listening to Choi Jung Soo’s voice.
Choi Jung Soo was laughing now.
Choi Han nonchalantly commented.
“Don’t laugh if you don’t want to laugh.”
Choi Jung Soo’s face stiffened with the smile still on his face.
“The Sky Sword. The sword art you gave me was the thoughts of someone who wanted to pierce through the sky and become the sky itself.”
Choi Han swung his sword without stopping.
Choi Jung Soo blocked his attacks with the smile now gone from his face.
Baaaang, bang! Baaaaang!
The training ground was being destroyed in multiple places and continuous explosions could be heard.
It was quite destructive for being a simple spar. However, the two of them did not stop.
Their breathing was not even slightly heavy but their swords and their yongs were slowly becoming even more intense.
That might be why the two of their conversation was buried in the explosion that only the two of them could hear each other.
“However, that text was a bit weird.”
There was a reason Choi Han had been contemplating things while looking at the Sky Sword.
“Jung Soo. Is that really the Sky Sword of the Sword Emperor?”
Choi Jung Soo became silent.
He just looked at Choi Han with a stiff expression on his face. He simply swung his sword toward him.
On the other hand, Choi Han did not stop talking.
He continued to violently swing his black aura around while calmly asking.
“I’m sure they are right about you having the Sky Sword. Such rumors would not spread for no reason. However, is what you gave me really the Sword Emperor’s Sky Sword?”
The old text that Choi Jung Soo gave him was not labeled as the Sky Sword.
Everybody just believed Choi Jung Soo when he said it was the Sky Sword.
“That martial art suited me quite well.”
Choi Han had learned that martial art way too easily.
And he could tell after reading through the writer’s hidden thoughts that were visible in the martial art.
“That text was a martial arts text with your thoughts in it, wasn’t it?”
Choi Han could not completely learn the Sky Sword after realizing that.
He could clearly tell what this one and only remaining family member of his was telling him.
TO be more specific, he could feel what he had hidden and hoped that Choi Han would realize.
Of course, he could have just wanted to teach Choi Han a skilled martial art, but…
“You must still think that I am an imugi.”
An Imugi spends a significant time bettering itself so that it can become a yong.
Quietly, hidden away…
And once it finally completes its cintamani, it ascends to the sky.
However, what was inside the Sky Sword was a bit different.
This imugi was not turning into a yong and ascending to the sky. It was thinking of ripping the sky apart and becoming the sky itself.
The white yong easily pushed the black yong’s body away when it tried to bite its neck.
Choi Han became certain after seeing Choi Jung Soo push his sword away with his strength.
‘As expected, this child is currently stronger than I am.
He was hiding his strength and training himself.’
“You could see that, paternal cousin once removed?”
Choi Han happily answered the question asked in a stiff voice.
“Yes, I could.”
“Paternal cousin once removed, you seem to have more talent for martial arts than I thought. You could see something I didn’t want you to see. I just gave it to you because I wanted it to help you get a bit stronger.”
Choi Jung Soo had definitely hidden his true thoughts inside the martial art. However, hiding something only happens when you want someone to find it.
“You and I are similar. We would be similar even if we didn’t share the same family blood. That is how I was able to tell.”
They slightly moved away from each other.
It was a lull in the midst of their sparring.
No, it felt more like the calm before a storm.
Choi Han calmly spoke to his nephew.
“However, I am different from you.”
He didn’t know exactly why Choi Jung Soo wanted to become a yong nor the identity of the sky that Choi Jung Soo was trying to destroy.
He had no way of knowing what kind of sky Choi Jung Soo wanted to become.
That was someone he would have to ask from here on. However, he felt like Choi Jung Soo would not tell him.
That was why Choi Han was able to firm his resolve.
“I do not wish to learn the Sky Sword.”
“I think that there is my own path for me to follow.”
He realized once again the role that he wanted to play.
“Now I get it.”
The moment Choi Han saw Choi Jung Soo, the moment he saw that despite how detailed and beautiful Choi Jung Soo’s white yong was, it contained the same kind of solitude that he had felt… He figured out his own feelings.
Furthermore, he could tell that his growth had stalled because he had not realized this.
He shared his firmed resolve.
“I wish to be an existence that can protect my land.”
This home that I was finally able to earn and get… This place I can breathe… These people who mean so much to me…
He didn’t want to lose any of it.
He always had these thoughts but the way it was hitting Choi Han had changed.
Now he believed that he MUST do it.
“So that nobody could aim for my land. Whether that is the sky or a god… I will protect it.”
He spoke to Choi Jung Soo in front of him.
Choi Han said the same thing he said when this spar against Choi Jung Soo had started.
So, whenever it may be…
Choi Jung Soo’s eyes opened wide.
Choi Han held up his sword again.
He then walked toward Choi Jung Soo.
“I do not know your thoughts.”
Choi Jung Soo blankly held up his sword.
The black yong raised its strength and roared.
“However, even if you do not achieve what you want, even if you do not manage to rip the sky apart.”
Choi Jung Soo’s eyes slowly focused.
The moment something flashed in his eyes…
The white yong removed its stealthiness and started to release its presence.
The two of them charged toward each other.
As sword clashed against sword and black and white intertwined…
Choi Han looked into Choi Jung Soo’s eyes behind their swords as he spoke.
“Come back here whenever you want. I will be here protecting it.”
The intertwined black yong and white yong shot up into the sky.
They heard a loud explosion.
The two yongs that shot up toward the red sky, toward the sunset, seemed like they were of one body.
No, they became one body and their colors mixed together before they turned transparent.
Choi Jung Soo quietly watched it before putting down his sword and asking.
“…Can I do that?”
Choi Han nodded his head.
A smile appeared on Choi Jung Soo’s face.
The two of them had the same pure smile.
We. Are. Family. I got my one and only paternal cousin once removed and me.
TCF is currently posted Mondays and Fridays at evening time GMT. Join our discord to be notified as soon as the chapter posts!
If you can’t wait, please subscribe to advanced chapters on our EAP website to get access to up to 8 chapters! Almost all tiers already have access to part 2 of TCF!
You can subscribe (immediate access) through our PATREON