TRAIGS (Novel) Chapter 168

 C 168

In the flower garden of the Wise Martial Palace—led by Denier Zieghart—Martha and Denier were facing each other in the middle of the garden, which was harmoniously decorated with colorful flowers and trees. 

“I’m sorry.”

Martha hung her head, unable to face Denier’s gaze.

“I have no excuses. I ended up joining the Light Wind, even though you called me to the Wise Martial Palace.”

“It’s okay.”

Denier smiled slightly, as if he didn’t mind.

“I have to understand, since I know your circumstances better than anyone else.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to apologize. Are you going to keep doing this, even though you came to visit me for the first time in such a long time?”


Martha slowly raised her head. Her black eyes were trembling slightly, despite having usually been gloomy and cold before.

“Why is such a beautiful face frowning?”

Denier patted Martha’s head with a warm smile.


Martha bit her lips, not responding. Denier had accepted her and raised her as his own daughter, even though she didn’t have anything. She couldn’t hide her emotions from him.

“It’s regrettable that my youngest daughter joined another group, but I understand why you did that, since the Wise Martial Palace will rarely clash against the White Blood Religion.”

Denier gently looked down into Martha’s eyes.

“So, you want to take revenge by yourself.”


Martha replied vigorously for the first time.

“I want to find my mother with my own hands, and… kill those bastards.”

“Revenge won’t feel as pleasant and refreshing as you imagine. You will find that you have various thoughts afterwards.”

“But I still need to do it, no matter what—no matter the cost!”

“I see.”

Denier sighed slightly, taking his sword and its sheath from his waist. He then handed it to Martha.

“This sword’s name is Azure Cloud. It’s extremely sharp, and it cleanses your mind with anti-demonic energy.”

“What? Why would you…”

“It’s your graduation present.”

“B-But I didn’t even join the Wise Martial Palace…”

Martha’s lips parted. Since Azure Cloud was one of Denier’s most treasured swords, she had never expected him to give it to her.

“That doesn’t matter. This is just a gift from a father to his daughter.”


After handing Azure Cloud to Martha, Denier grasped her trembling shoulder.

“Since the Light Wind is a new group, it will take on many reinforcement missions, on top of the standard ones. Since they will all provide you with the experience to increase your level, do your best on each of the missions.”


Martha’s eyes were shining as she looked at the sword in her grasp.

“I can’t exactly call it the price for giving you the sword, but let’s make a promise.”

“A promise?”

She swallowed nervously while looking at Denier’s mouth. She had to accept it, regardless of what he said, if it was the price for the sword.

“No matter how busy either of us are, let’s meet each other and have a meal together at least once every six months.”

“Haa, seriously…”

“What’s your answer?”


Martha nodded, smiling brightly. It was so radiant that the Light Wind members would have fainted if they had seen it.

“And never take your eyes off Raon.”

Denier took his hand off Martha, looking at the sky.

 “His prowess and judgment is already equal to a vice-division leader. You will be able to learn much from him, so keep watching him and think about why he makes the moves he does.”

He was right. Raon slew the Green War Demon at the age of fifteen and defeated the vice-squad leader Holline at the age of seventeen. Watching him made her realize so many things, to the point that the time flew by.

“Am I going to be able to catch up to him?”

Martha looked into Denier’s eyes, clasping the hilt of Azure Cloud. She wanted to stand at the same rank as Raon so that she could be proud of herself.

“To be honest, it’s hardly possible. Although your talent doesn’t lose to the direct line of Zieghart, his talent is the rarest of the rare, even among the direct line. However…”

Denier turned around with a smile.

“It’s not impossible. Harden your foundation while accumulating experiences as a swordswoman of Zieghart. Since your rival is right in front of you, you will get the opportunity one day—if you keep improving yourself.”


Martha gave him a big nod. Since she had been watching Raon ever since the day she lost, she was confident in observing him.

“I’ll never let him go.”

“But don’t fall in love with him because you’re watching him too much. Even though you aren’t blood related, you are still family.”


“It’s a joke. Just a joke.”

Denier waved his hand, then returned to the Wise Martial Palace.


Martha clenched her fist. Her ears had turned red.


* * *


Raon and Runaan, who were heading towards Mirtan, were spending their first night in a small, nameless forest.

“Runaan, rest here for a bit. I’ll check the surrounding area.”


Raon waved his hand at Runaan, then went to the inner part of the forest.

Pineapple girl’s cooking skills are increasing day by day. Now she can make food that remains delicious even after getting cold.

Wrath was licking his lips after eating Yua’s special hamburger with pineapple, salami, and ham inside. He had an extremely satisfied expression on his face.

The only problem is that the amount is insufficient. I need way more than this to satisfy my THM taste.


Being unable to understand that is proof that you are lagging behind the times. It means that I can eat Ten Hamburgers Maximum.

‘What kind of abbreviation is that?’

He sounded like a kid from the neighborhood, rather than a demon king.

Raon shook his head and went to an open area, where the trees were relatively separate from each other, and drew his sword.

You said you’d check the surrounding area. In the end, are you just training? That’s so boring.

‘I’ve already scouted with Glacier.’

He didn’t need to be on alert, since he had already scouted the area with Glacier. He just wanted to polish the Double Strike that he had practiced at daybreak.

‘Shall I try using that?’

He detached the speed part of the Star Connecting Sword and the Fangs of Insanity while they moved. Raon swung his sword while reciting the principles that pursued quickness.




The combination between Raon’s powerful body and his new swordsmanship—created from the principles of speed—made his soaring sword twist the darkened night sky.

‘It’s fast.’

Even though he wasn’t using that much aura, it was fast enough to behead a novice level Expert in an instant. However, that wasn’t the level he was aiming for.




Raon increased Glacier’s intensity to the extreme and pulled his sword back. Glacier’s frost, which was dashing through his tightened muscles and mana circuits, exploded as he swung his sword.




The strike, barely visible with one’s eyes, dashed along the horizon. A fiercely freezing wave of ice followed it, decorating the space.

A horizontal waterfall of ice was created in front of Raon from a single strike. It was powerful enough to rip his body apart despite his Water Resistance.

“It’s even better than I thought.”

All he did was to polish the principles of speed that he had reformed, but the speed and power became incomparably better than they were that morning.

He figured that he could create his own swordsmanship, one that could be used in an actual battle, by continuously developing that technique.

‘It was worth practicing the basic technique over and over.’

The basic swordsmanship incorporated a shallow amount of most characteristics. He went as far as diving into that shallow water while others were learning more advanced techniques, and that was worth it.

‘How was it?’

Ahem. Th-That was slightly good. I mean, very slightly! It’s not at a level that could gain the King of Essence’s acknowledgment, but it was as slight as a speck of dirt in the eye!

Wrath kept emphasizing the slight part. It looked like he didn’t want to acknowledge it.

‘I guess I should try turning that speck of dirt into a snowball.’

Raon snickered, practicing the new swift sword until he ran out of Glacier’s frost, before returning to Runaan.

“Sorry for being late. I was trying a new technique.”

“Mhm, I know.”

Runaan nodded, showing that she didn’t mind it.

“I wasn’t bored because that was interesting.”

“Did you actually feel it?”

Raon couldn’t understand how she felt it when Runaan was too far away to sense it at her current level.

“I was able to open a new eye in the jungle. I’ll teach Raon about it later.”

An extremely small smile, barely visible, appeared on her face as she spoke.

‘A new eye?’

He heard that the residents of Katam jungle, where Runaan stayed for the exam, were able to perceive presences from far away without using aura. That was probably the ability she was talking about.

“If you’re done, let’s eat ice cream.”

She took out the bead ice cream box from her bag, then handed it over to him as if she’d been waiting for it.

Ooh! As expected of the first maid of the King of Essence!

Wrath checked the ice cream, drooling coldness from his mouth.

“You should choose first.”


Runaan picked the mint chocolate and put it in her mouth. It seemed like she was enjoying it, since her cheeks turned red.

Ahem. Sh-She picked mint chocolate…

Wrath bit his lip, looking at the empty slot where the mint chocolate used to be.

Th-The King of Essence will overlook this matter because it’s the ice cream girl. If it were anyone else, their head would’ve been smashed already.

‘Don’t make me laugh. You are just getting free treats.’

Raon clicked his tongue, then put the new black and white ice cream in his mouth.


The crispy cookies embedded in the sweet ice cream filled his mouth with two different types of sweetness.


Wrath was too excited by the new taste, his mouth was open enough for a fly to stroll inside.

Is this a trick of the demon god? How could such a taste exist in the human realm? The King of Essence has no regrets, even if he were to die right now!

Raon could understand his overreaction for once, since the ice cream actually was tasty enough to enlighten him.

“What’s the name of this one?”

“Cookies and cream.”

Cookies and cream, huh? That name is engraved in the soul of the King of Essence! Aah, the great…

Wrath gathered his hands together and murmured about the cookies and cream ice cream. At that rate, he would probably end up creating a song of praise about it.

“And this one.”

Runaan put the ice cream box back in the bag, then took out a silver box that she’d brought to the training ground.

“What’s this?”

She opened the box without replying. The pure white lump of radiant metal in the box looked like it was created by rolling the snow at daybreak into a ball.

“It’s a steel called Cold Blood.”

Runaan tapped on the Cold Blood with her finger, then continued.

“I heard a sword made from this is extremely beneficial for a swordsman that uses ice. I’ll share it with Raon.”

“Are you really sharing this with me?”


Runaan nodded without any hesitation at all.


“Because I need to repay the favor.”

The smile on her face was slightly deeper than before.


Raon exclaimed. He could tell at a glance that it was an extremely precious treasure, but she was telling him she would share it. She said it was repayment, for no reason or condition he knew of.

‘What have I even done…?’

He already received enough of a reward for making Syria back down. He was grateful for Runaan’s continuous consideration, but he was clueless about how he should react.

‘It’s difficult.’

Raon lowered his head. The more he learned about the relationships between human beings, the more difficult it felt.

The only thing he knew was the fact that he needed to return as much as he had received.

‘I need to find out what I can do for her.’

Raon nodded silently, looking at the Cold Blood.


* * *


Two days later, Raon and Runaan were looking up from the entrance of Mirtan Village. Between the uphill roads, which twisted left and right like grape vines, there were plenty of workshops of various shapes; round, angular, or strangely twisted.

The place where smiths, brimming with individuality, were spread out in a disorderly manner was the blacksmith village Mirtan.

‘It’s not as hot as I expected.’

He had heard that Mirtan was warm despite being located in the north, due to the inactive volcano Skellei right next to it, but there wasn’t much difference from other places.

‘There are a lot of people.’

Once he entered the village, he could occasionally see Zieghart swordsmen, and the village was filled with villagers, merchants, and swordsmen from other places.


Clang! Clang! Clang!


He climbed the uphill road that was filled with workshops, and the hammering, the bellows blowing, and the burning sound of the furnace could be heard non-stop.

The sight of the artisans working hard, drenched in sweat, was enough to give anyone motivation to live a diligent life.

You are going to die if you become any more diligent.

‘I just feel like I haven’t done my best yet.’

I’m not talking about you. The King of Essence is going to die. Stop training so much! The King of Essence can’t sleep at all!

Wrath complained with a frown. Apparently, he disliked the fact that Raon kept the night watch to practice his quick sword on the way to Mirtan.

“Raon, where are we going?”

“I’m not sure…”

Raon looked around. It was difficult to talk to them, since everyone was extremely focused on their work. As he was wondering who he should try asking, he felt someone’s presence from the right.


He turned his head, spotting a smiling man with a smoking pipe in his mouth. His skin was brown, probably burnt by fire, but the characteristic stiffness of an artisan didn’t exist in him—he looked completely lighthearted. He was the freest person he’d seen in the village.

“You are looking for a workshop, right?”


Raon nodded slightly.

“Then, do you want my recommendation, since I’m born and bred in Mirtan Village? I know a talented artisan that only makes masterpieces.”


Although Vulcan promised to forge his sword, they hadn’t yet decided on who to request for Runaan’s sword. That was why Raon figured it wasn’t a bad idea to look into them.

“Who is that?”


“I’ve never heard that name before…”

“He’s not that famous yet. But you’d better get acquainted with him while you can, since he’s going to be huge soon.”

“Hmm, where is he?”


He grinned, pointing his thumb towards himself.

“I’m Harren, the one that will become the Continent’s Blacksmith in the future!”


Raon, Runaan, and even Wrath leered at him.

“Hey, the pretty swordswoman over there, please don’t look at me like that. Give me a try! Since you have an outstanding aura, you need someone like me to keep up with your level.”

Harren seemed to have noticed Runaan’s skills, despite her not showing it on the outside. What he said about his skills was not completely false.

‘Though, he didn’t notice my abilities.’

Raon snickered, checking the smithy he came from. The fire was extinguished in the furnace, the floor was messy, and spider webs filled the ceiling.

“Tsk, no thanks.”

He clicked his tongue, then left with Runaan.

“Hey, wait! You shouldn’t judge from just that! No one is more skilled than me around here!”

“That’s okay. The person I’m going to see is definitely more skilled than you.”

“Don’t make me laugh! Who is it? What’s their name?”

“Sir Vulcan.”

“V-Vulcan? Kuhahahaha!”

Harren held his sides as he laughed, rolling on the ground.

“Do you really believe that stubborn old man is even going to allow you to see him? He’s done nothing but wait for Zieghart’s head of house for four years now! You won’t even be able to see his face!”

He blabbered that having the door slammed in their face would be the best thing they could get.

“Just leave it to me. It will be a bit expensive, but I’ll make you something really great. You will regret it if you miss this opportunity.”

“We don’t need it, so just tell us the location of Sir Vulcan’s workshop.”

“You don’t understand, that won’t work. That old man didn’t even show his face when the Zetul Kingdom’s royals visited him every day. There’s no way he’d open his door for you.”

He shook his head, telling him to stop wasting time.

“Then, shall we make a bet?”

“A bet?”

“I win if we manage to enter Sir Vulcan’s workshop, and you win if we can’t even see his face, just like you said. As for the terms, let’s say the loser has to grant whatever wish the winner asks for.”

“It’s plain obvious, but fine!”

Harren nodded quickly.

Another fool took the bait.

Wrath sighed, murmuring that the number of victims had increased.

“My terms are simple. I’ll forge that swordswoman’s sword. And I’m the one that gets to choose the materials and the price!”

Harren pointed at Runaan, who was standing there blankly. The way he was rubbing his hands against each other with a grin made him look exactly like a third-rate thug.


He didn’t want to request Runaan’s sword from someone like him, but he was bound to win the bet.


“That’s fine.”

Runaan immediately nodded, trusting him without even listening to the reason.

“Thank you.”

Raon smiled at her, then raised a finger towards Harren.

“Approved. I’ll tell you my terms later on.”

“Alright! I’ll guide you, let’s go!”

Harren went ahead and climbed the hill. His confident expression showed that he was certain of his victory.

“Hey, Harren! How come you woke up before the sun set today?”

“Is the sun going to rise from the west tomorrow, since you aren’t drunk at this hour?”

“Start working already! Your workshop is rotting, you bastard!”

The artisans either clicked their tongues at Harren or shouted at him to reform himself. It was enough to prove that he was the ruffian of the village.

“Shut up! I’m bringing those fellows to the old man, since they said they can make him meet them.”

Harren frowned furiously.

“That’s impossible. How would they even meet the former village chief?”

“Stop wasting time and come to us! I’ll make it cheap for you!”

“Even the royals that visited ten days in a row didn’t see a strand of his hair. There’s no way they’ll be allowed.”

“That’s pointless!”

The spectators and artisans all shook their heads, saying that they wouldn’t be able to meet with Vulcan.

“You heard them, right? I won’t cancel the bet, even if you ask.”

“I’m not asking that, so let’s get going already.”

“How arrogant…”

Harren pouted, stopping in front of the artisan building on the highest hill of the village. The hemispherical building looked like an upside-down bowl, and a thick metallic door was tightly shut in the center.


Clang! Clang! Clang!


The sound of hammering steel, done at a constant speed and strength, could be heard from the inside. The mature sound of hammering resembled an instrumental performance, and it was enough to feel how skilled the artisan was.


Harren cleared his throat. Instead of using his previous voice, he raised the tone to another level, shouting with a completely different voice. He was probably trying to hide his identity.

“Hey, former village chief! You have guests! Clients are looking for you!”

He kept slamming the metallic door as if he were trying to break it, but there was no answer from inside.

“You have clients! Open the door!”

“Tsk, just leave! I’m not currently accepting clients.”

Vulcan’s voice could finally be heard from the inside. It was deeper than before, but it was his voice for sure.

“See? I told you it was pointless. I’ll take the down payment for now. Give me that box.”

Harren giggled, extending his hand towards the box Runaan was holding.

“I knew that would happen.”

“He’s not called the Continent’s Blacksmith for no reason. He’s as stubborn as a mule.”

“He didn’t open the door to royalty. There’s no way he would allow those children inside.”

“It’s regrettable that the ruffian is getting money.”

The spectators that followed them clicked their tongues, saying that they knew it would happen.

“I’ll try.”

Raon walked past Harren, who opened his hand, and stood in front of the door.

“I told you it’s pointless! Stop bothering the old man and come this way…”


Raon continued, thinking about Vulcan’s smile at the North Grave Mountain the last time he’d seen him.

“I’ve arrived, after forming an indomitable mind.”

The continuous sound of hammering stopped at once when he spoke.




The metallic door, which seemed like it would stay shut until the end of the continent, was pushed wide open as Vulcan made his appearance alongside a powerful heat.

His face was still full of wrinkles, but his eyes were brimming with vitality, and his entire body was covered with inflated muscles.

“You’re finally here.”

“It’s been a long time.”

Raon and Vulcan looked at each other’s changed appearance and smiled delightedly.

“Huu? Huuu?”

Harren’s jaw dropped, to the point that his lips seemed like they might tear, as he looked back and forth between Raon and Vulcan.

“H-How did this happen? Why did that old man come out?”

He pinched his cheek in disbelief.

“H-He really came out!”

“Gasp! But he said he would never open the door, not until his real client arrived!”

“Wh-Who is that young man, for Sir Vulcan to make that expression…?”

The smiles disappeared from the spectators that followed them at once. Everyone gasped in surprise.

“What a bland ending.”

Raon smiled, looking at Harren’s astonished expression.

“I won the bet.”


When Harren started to step backward while biting his lip, Vulcan’s eyes turned to look at him.



Harren stopped like a marionette with a broken thread upon hearing that.

“You bastard, why are you here instead of working?”

“I-I was kindly guiding…”

“Nonsense! You must’ve been doing some obnoxious touting, rather than increasing your skills as you should!”

“F-Father, that’s not what happened!”


Considering the fact that he called him father, Harren was apparently Vulcan’s son.

Raon was planning on making him run some errands, or getting one of the items he made if there was anything decent, but he was probably going to be useful in different ways if he was Vulcan’s son.

‘I got another doormat for myself.’

Raon smiled at Harren, who was held by collar by Vulcan.


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