< baan="" of="" the="" cho="" family="">
Usually, the emergence of coliseum celebrities happens after the main round.
To be fair, n.o.body is recognizable in the preliminaries. It was hard to focus on one person when the spectacle before them was of hundreds of people brandis.h.i.+ng their weapons at each other.
But even so, Baan caught the eye of many.
“…Hyungnim, you’re amazing.”
As soon as they returned to their quarters, Lee Kyung’s sparkling eyes met Baan’s. Obviously, it wasn’t just their small group that was waiting for him. There were other warriors from the Cho family who saw him and let out a sigh.
“Aren’t you too strong to be human? You didn’t even use our sword techniques and finished everything with just a stab.”
“It looked as though you were playing with kids.”
“Was it okay?”
Baan shrugged and let out a big smile. Hezelek who was standing beside him let out a sigh.
“As soon as I saw the stab, I knew it was him. That kind of clean stab can’t be done by anybody.”
The Cho warrior who joined him in the preliminaries was Hezelek. Since the groups were chosen the day of, it wasn’t possible to know who was in the preliminary battles. Hezelek shook his head side to side.
“Thank G.o.d he wasn’t near me. How humiliating would it be if I were disqualified from the preliminaries by him?”
“If that happened would you curse me for eternity?”
“It wouldn’t end with a curse. Who knows if I’d try and take revenge.”
“That seems hard to do with your skill level?”
“…. Wanna go?”
That day, Hezelek had to add another loss to his fights with Baan.”
It wasn’t that Hezelek wasn’t weaker than the other warriors. To be fair the preliminaries today were a continuation of disappointments. Even so, how was there n.o.body that could take a proper attack?
Maybe it was to be expected. Even within the group that came along from the famous Cho family can’t match Baan in swordsmans.h.i.+p, how could a n.o.body be his opponent?
To see it from another perspective, it wasn’t something he shouldn’t be complaining about considering it’s easier for him to win if there isn’t anyone that is stronger than he is. But even so, Baan wanted to meet a proper opponent. Someone who he can’t possibly win against even if he gave it his all.
Am I hoping for too much?
But soon, the hopes were made true.
It was four days later when the 5th preliminaries began.
Baan met his match.
The 2nd, 3rd, and even the 4th match weren’t much different from the 1st match. If he considered there were people who hid their true skill, there might be stronger opponents, but even if they showed their true skill Baan didn’t think it would be at the level he wished for.
It was a man with striking red hair sticking out behind his mask. At first, he looked like a half-wit with a broadsword in each hand, since Baan hadn’t seen a decent swordsman who wielded dual swords properly.
But he was different.
He seemed as though he didn’t care about the goal of being the last of the eight partic.i.p.ants. He ran like a wild dog and sunk his teeth in. He looked as though he were a Legendary Barbarian Warrior in old tales, running at others as if he couldn’t deal with the boredom before anyone could come at him.
The warriors who dreamt of a rosy future at the Academy practically became a terrified flock of sheep in front of him. The scene of them being torn apart by the red-haired warrior’s sword and not even having the guts to fight back was pitiful to anyone’s eyes, but the spectators couldn’t even think of jeering. It was that kind of fight. As if, that’s what an overwhelming fight is, that’s what a warrior is, were all that was left in the spectator’s mind.
Could I take him on?
That kind of swordsmans.h.i.+p couldn’t not know what Ki is. At least 2-star, maybe even 3-star. Baan wet his lips with his tongue. His fingers were itching for battle. He instantly wanted to jump into the battle before him. To clash swords with him, and suck out every last bit of his life’s essence instilled within the sword.
“…I thought Baan would be the only obstacle.”
Nearby, Hezelek mumbled with a quick sigh. He could understand why Hezelek was saying that. That redhead definitely was an unexpected monster.
After that day, Baan raised the intensity of his training yet again. His heart was relaxed from winning the preliminaries too easily.
The world is big.
When he thought of the time when he first met Oban. He remembered almost dying to just his one stab.
He was still lacking in skill to be this prideful.
So, five days later, the man he met on the round of top 64 was just unlucky. No, he was just unlucky from the fact that he had to go up against Baan in the first place.
It was the giant from before.
“…I won’t take you lightly.”
In the waiting room, the man opened his mouth upon seeing Baan. This time, he was wearing armor made from the leather of wolves, and his weapon was a larger and longer axe than before. He glanced over at Baan’s robes and spoke.
“Are you affiliated with the Cho family?”
“Yeah, I learned their swordsmans.h.i.+p.”
“…. Then it makes sense how you’re so strong. Is everyone in the Cho family that strong?”
“Well… I just stayed there. I’m not even comparable to the ones who share the blood of the family.”
It was true during his duels with Yeo Ryung. While it was a draw on the outside, Baan was only able to achieve a stalemate after his intensive training. Even that is a great feat, but would that hold up in a real fight? If Yeo Ryung came at him prepared to kill…
“I admit you’re strong, but you shouldn’t take me to be easy. I’m the strongest out of my village warriors.”
Unfortunately, he was used to dealing with super strong warriors. McDead seems to have thought things through by watching Baan’s fights, but that won’t be enough. Baan made a bitter smile and cleaned his sword.
A horn sounded. Baan walked over holding the longsword of the Cho family. The spectators who saw his clothes started to whisper. The Cho family warriors were regulars in this coliseum, so it made sense they were nodding their head in admiration and awe.
--The Cho Family Warrior’s Baan. The Black Mountain’s McDead. His Majesty will watch your valor. Fight with your all. —
And again, the horn sounded.
McDead beat his chest and let out a roar. Enough to make those that aren’t used to battle quiver their legs in fear.
But Baan had spent many harsh days making sure he wouldn’t show such weakness.
McDead swung his axe. It was quickness uncommon for his size. Maybe it was to be expected considering his strength.
But it still wasn’t enough.
“You have too much fat on your body to call yourself a warrior.”
While his tall stature meant he could exert enormous pressure, it meant nothing if it had no impact on the opponent. It would’ve been another story if he was wearing heavy armor. Since it meant the opponent couldn’t deal any meaningful damage with most attacks and would’ve made it harder to counter-attack against those kinds of big swinging attacks.
But he was wearing just leather armor.
“A Cho family warrior, even those in the bloodline, do not wear armor. Do you know why?”
McDead couldn’t answer. He didn’t have the time. It was taking his all to be able to swing the axe in the first place.
To those that didn’t have an eye for battle, it appeared as though McDead was backing Baan into a corner. Since Baan hadn’t made a single attempt to attack yet.
But the reality was different. McDead’s axe was of no threat to Baan. Because of his big stature, it was possible to discern where the axe would go from the slight movement of muscles.
He couldn’t be hit by the axe when he knew where it was headed.
“It’s because they think it’s better to evade after seeing where the attack will go whether it’s a sword, fist or any other. For a warrior, speed is also part of their ability. Just like how you can’t even land one blow on me.”
“Screaming doesn’t make you faster. McDead. And…”
Baan didn’t carry on. It was that moment. Baan’s longsword flashed into a swing, McDead’s axehead was cut clean off of the pole. Gazing upon the stunned McDead who was looking down at the cut half of the pole, Baan quietly said.
“That kind of unrefined strength means nothing.”“Baan…!”
“Will you surrender? Or would you like to surrender after you get some cuts?”
McDead clenched his fists instead of answering. Baan smiled seeing McDead running at him with a roar.
“What an idiot.”
He didn’t dislike the stupidity.
Baan slid past McDead. A long and shallow wound had already appeared on McDead’s chest. As if he couldn’t believe the wound, McDead fell to his knees…
And cheering broke out.
Cho Family’s Baan.
It was the moment the name was carved into the minds of the Citadel’s residents.
< baan="" of="" the="" cho="" family=""> End
Editor's note: Hyungnim = showing a sign of respect to an older male
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