“This is my son?!”
I hurriedly raised the Holy Sword. There was no time to draw the blade, so I blocked the muscle-head’s fist with the scabbard. Clang! Our auras clashed fiercely.
I deliberately used the momentum of the clash to move back, widening the distance between Uburka and me. I used this gap as a way to give myself some time. Then, I grabbed the hilt of my sword and took a proper stance. This way I’d be able to properly deal with this muscle-head’s charges.
-Good. Very good!
Uburka smiled happily.
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-Your muscles look delicate, but they are fairly sturdy. Did you add the weight of your soul to the weight of your body?
“I only build muscles internally! You rude bastard!”
-Ugor? Internal muscles? What’s that?
“I appear slim on the outside, but my muscles are quite solid. It’s a magical muscle building technique that allows me to keep my shape while increasing the strength of my body limitlessly! Internal muscles is the style of masters, and the style of outwardly growing muscles like yours is nothing but garbage!”
-I didn’t expect Kekerkker to say things like this…
Uburka made a strange expression, and his breathing slowed down for a moment.
It was natural for someone’s brain to go rigid whenever they encountered something that surpassed their ‘bullshit limit’.
It was that very distortion in breathing that I was aiming for. Taht! Kicking off of the ground, I shot towards Uburka.
Uburka’s red eyes widened. He was much larger than the average goblin. This meant that he had more places I could hit. I swung my sheathed sword around like a club.
“I’m sorry, child! I’ll try not to hit you too hard!”
Uburka simply smiled.
He looked down at me, who had reached in front of him in an instant. Then, without dodging or blocking, he watched me slap my sword to his body.
A sound that seemed to defy common sense resounded. What I expected to hear was ‘puk’ or ‘paak’, not ‘clang’. My arms were also numb as if I’d just hit a steel wall.
“Is this stone durability?!”
-My body is made up of muscles.
Uburka smirked, showing off his fangs.
-I was born with albinism. It stung to go out in the sun, and I could hardly see because my eyesight was bad. I couldn’t even put mud on my body in the scorching sun. I struggled because it was difficult for me to enjoy ordinary pleasures. And that was when I realized!
Uburka spread his arms.
-If I could cover my body with aura, there wouldn’t be a problem!
-From that day on, I devoted myself to my aura training. First I practiced by covering my entire body with aura, even if it was only for one second. One second, two seconds, three seconds. One minute, two minutes, three minutes… When I could maintain it for one hour, I became an adult. And when I could maintain it for a day, I became the Chairman. For me, Uburka, a birth defect is only a minor obstacle!
The hobgoblin took a bodybuilder pose, his biceps quivering.
If I had eaten any greasy food before, my stomach would definitely have been uncomfortable at that moment.
-I trained my muscles till they burst so that my aura could seep into them! When my muscles tore, my aura helped them regenerate. As a result, aura flowed through the reconstructed muscles more easily. By tearing, healing, tearing, and healing my muscles over and over again. By doing so, I succeeded in gaining the ultimate muscles!
Uburka’s left and right pectorals bounced up and down one after the other.
It was amazing. The performance in front of my eyes was bombarding my psychological defenses. To be able to inflict damage without even making a move, this guy was at an incredible level of mastery.
-Now I’m able to control everything, from my smallest muscles to my thickest, at will! Aura muscles! This is the muscle road I recommend!
Even his bullshit sounded elegant.
-I don’t know why, but no one has followed me yet. Poor things! All you need to do is use your aura with the mindset of restructuring your entire body.
“Hey? Hey, wait a minute… You achieved refinement and rebirth……”
-You really might be my father!
This child, perhaps the only goblin in history to gain the title [Refined Muscle-head], shouted.
-You’re stronger than I expected! That’s great! It’s been a long time since I met an opponent who could take one of my blows. So, lift your sword, fight me with all your might!
“Woah. I’m not used to being the one who says this. But Uburka. Is fighting all you know…?”
-Mind and body! Muscle Instincts! Muscle Eruption!
Rumble! Uburka’s muscles began to wriggle like magma which became restless before an eruption.
And grew some more.
Eventually, Uburka became unbelievably huge.
This wasn’t an exaggeration, he was now the size of a small hill.
My entire body was covered by his shadow.
“He didn’t really grow much…?”
It wasn’t Uburka’s body that grew.
Instead, it was Uburka’s aura that wrapped stretched out from his body to make the giant figure.
Like a pilot controlling a giant mech, Uburka’s body sat in the chest of the giant.
In other words, this figure, which was as large as a hill, was made purely from aura!
Thud, the ground rumbled.
Uburka only took a step, but the ground shook in response.
I looked at Uburka with a speechless expression.
“Th-, there’s no need to get so serious. Can’t you go back to being smaller? Daddy is getting a little scared…”
-This, is my true form!
Giant Mode Uburka spoke in a booming voice.
-From shoulders to fingertips, there is nothing that is outside of my control! Dream being who calls himself the White Lion! My fist will pierce your chest! (TL: I don’t think that’s physiologically possible…)
“Hey! Hey! This is a sin against heaven!”
-Fine. Then in the name of victory, I will gladly sin against heaven!
Uburka shouted loudly and punched forward. A fist, almost the size of a house, fell towards me, covering me in its shadow.
Shibal Aura Method • Giant Style.
Martial Art Technique.
It was a name as elegant as a tadpole’s eyes!(1)
“Isn’t the name of that martial art too long?!”
-The value of a martial art is in its power, not its name!
He certainly was right. Uburka had gained profound destructive power in exchange for abandoning his naming sense.
The ground cracked, but the power of the punch didn’t end there. It poured down like heavy rain.
The ground shattered. And because the hot aura smashed into the ground, a lot of the surrounding soil melted into mud and splattered onto me. In an instant, I became like a mouse that had been covered in muddy water.
With a shriek I avoided the other waves of mud from Uburka.
“You brat whose ignorance will shake the world! I didn’t raise you guys like this!”
-Quit your bullshit, zombie. You didn’t raise those kids.
While I did evasive maneuvers that made me look like a tap dancer, Bae Hu-ryeong muttered.
-Like he said, fight with all your might. There are many cases where parent and child fight each other. There are even certain sects and cults that have a tradition of the young eating the old.
I drew my sword.
“I don’t care anymore!”
-You didn’t care for a long time!
“I was proud of my child!”
I raised my aura.
And the image I pictured was of fire.
The underground torture chamber in the mansion.
‘A child outstretched their hand, bound by chains and covered in flames.’
A deep resentment for being young.
My heart became hot in an instant.
I embraced the feelings from the scene in that mansion’s basement, a tale that would eventually be forgotten if left untold. Then I unfolded those feelings into my aura.
‘My shadow is the shade of that basement.’
Without being buried by the emotions.
‘My fire is the touch of that child.’
I didn’t need to be obsessed with the form.
You and I aren’t fire. Fire is the one. Fire that covers and burns the world.
Thus, the tip of my sword became the tip of someone’s finger, and my blade became their scream.
Infernal Heavens Demonic Art • Reformation
The Burning Young Sword.
My aura swayed in the shadow like the head of a snake. The opponent’s hand. Even if this was only the hand of a giant that had been summoned. The image in my mind became more solid. Hotter.
I cut the hand off.
My opponent resisted. My opponent, whose left hand had been cut off, tried to resist with his right hand. Was he trying to make space to readjust his stance?
I struck again.
He bent his back to avoid the blow. But as my foot struck the air, the shadows of flame latched onto his right arm. One thread. Two threads. Three threads. Dozens of aura threads covered the giant’s fist.
-There’s no doubt about it!
I burned it.
The giant tried to restore his hands. I’m sure he had more aura. If that was the case, I would just have to cut off my opponent’s limbs faster than he could restore them with aura.
-You have returned to our race after 600 years!
I cut the left foot before the left hand could grow.
I cut the right foot before the left foot could grow.
Then I cut the left arm again before the right foot could grow.
I completely cut up the figure of the giant.
-There is no lack of dignity in your victory! No, that’s wrong! I didn’t try hard enough to win!
I cut it.
-Amazing! Ugor! Amazing! I can’t believe you’re not [strengthening] yourself, but using the [reinforcement] of others!
I buried the giant in that blazing basement.
-Aura, the fire of the soul, I didn’t know it could be used this way!
Like burning paper, the giant was consumed by the flames.
It grew smaller and smaller.
The giant’s aura was also red, so it resembled a scene where a large fire devoured a smaller fire.
‘Do they have to be different?’
As I watched the giant get swallowed by fire, I had a sudden thought.
‘Uburka inflated his arms and legs. He extended them. He used his aura as a tool to expand. On the other hand, I use it to attract the screams of others.’
The reddish aura burned red.
‘Is there a reason why both things can’t be done at the same time?’
Fireworks went off in my head.
‘I was so focused on converting master’s Infernal Heavens Demonic Art to my Infernal Heavens Demonic Art. But do I really need to attract screams? Can I carry all of the karma by myself and draw all of that resentment on my own? Should I?’
The fundamentals of aura usage appeared in my head.
A solution appeared in my mind.
‘Anyone could be fire.’
I opened my mouth.
“Uburka. Think about this.”
Should I tell him about the underground mansion?
“Think about the dark underground of Rimepolis.”
I would give him something closer.
“There, living in one of the many pits dug into the ground, are thirteen goblins. There are also young goblins among them. Children who, from the moment they were born, have never seen the sun, never been hit and soaked by the rain, and never been able to cover themselves in mud to their hearts’ content.”
“Think about those children.”
I pushed the history of the goblins onto their strongest warrior.
“They are only given a few fish in the mornings and evenings. That is all they were allowed to eat. The mothers sometimes roast the rare mushroom that they could find, but that is the only change in their diet. Are you thinking about it?”
“Whenever they cook, the narrow pit gets filled with smoke. The mothers are crying and the children are coughing. But that doesn’t mean they can come out. In the distance, the snails monitor them, their tentacles waving in the air. Can you imagine the smoke in the cramped pit, and the soft coughs of the mothers and their children?”
“A young goblin stretches for a fish on the fire that isn’t fully cooked yet.”
I hit the giant’s fist with my sword.
“The mother hits the hand of the child. She grabs his wrist. She already hit him, and yet, the child keeps reaching for the uncooked fish whenever she looks away. Because he is hungry. Whenever his mother blocks him, he bursts into tears.”
“In the end, the mother has no choice but to give the fish to the child as soon as it’s cooked. The child eats it quickly. Then he looks at the other grilled fish. He wants more.”
I hit the giant’s fist away, forcing an opening. Then I swung my sword in this opening, reducing the size of the giant a bit more.
“Think about the child’s gaze, the mother’s gaze, the child’s outstretched hand, the mother’s hand that blocks and holds the child’s. Draw the path of the smoke in that underground pit.”
“If it’s you, I’m sure you can draw it.”
The giant swung his fist.
I dodged and deflected it. The direction of the fist changed again.
The giant’s stance twisted.
“You are a race who knew how to sing to the fire in sorrow. Those flames were nothing more than a simple fire, but you were able to read emotions by looking at the angles in which the wind blew it, the speed that it rose at, and the dispersion when it sank. Aura is no different.”
“One character holds the sky. One rhythm sings sorrow. Why can’t aura capture the sky? Why can’t you use it to draw sadness? Embed that image in your mind.”
The giant’s stance collapsed.
I hit him in the shin and helped him regain his balance.
The giant’s fist flew through the air in what should have been a straight punch.
Suddenly, fire burst from the giant’s fist.
The fire split into five tongues.
These five tongues then separated again, becoming twenty-five.
Uburka looked down at his fist with a blank expression.
Some of the flames were strong, some were gentle.
None of them resembled Uburka’s mannerisms.
Although it was still at a rudimentary level.
This was definitely a punch that resembled the Infernal Heavens Demonic Art.
“Not bad. You really are supremely talented.”
“That’s how you do it. Child.”
Uburka finally opened his mouth.
-Our Father… You are too strong.
1. Fun fact, tadpoles actually don’t have eyes.)