The Swordsmanship Prodigy Conceals His Mana Ch.01

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“I… did it.”


Dragon’s Dungeon, King’s Hall.


Im Joosung struggled to stand upright, bracing himself on the Immortal Sword A2, one of the family’s renowned swords, thrust deeply into the ground.


Blood trickled down his body. He was not only covered in burns, but one of his eyes refused to open properly. Without gripping the sword like a staff, he would have collapsed immediately, unable to control his body.




Joosung had almost exhausted all his mana. The blue aura, tingling with energy, which enveloped his entire body,


Heavenly Dragon Circle,


was a mana technique of the Im family, symbolizing the Republic of Korea, emitting a sword aura akin to a blue dragon in the sky.


Yet now, the Heavenly Dragon Circle stagnated, trapped near his heart. The core above his waist had long been shattered.




Blood spewed from Joosung’s mouth. It dripped down the edge of the Immortal Sword, staining its surface. The tip of the sword bore a slight chip, with pieces of the blade scattered around.


‘I’m in for another round of scolding from Choi Younggam.’


With Younggam’s stern face vivid in his mind, Joosung chuckled before collapsing to the ground.


…Ah, I’m really done for. Why isn’t uncle coming?


Lost in his own thoughts, Joosung gradually closed his eyes.




In the king’s hall stood Im Chulhoo, a middle-aged man with hair tinged green from the Celestial Dragon’s aura. He was the head of the prestigious Im Clan, a master of the Celestial Dragon Guild, and the CEO of the Celestial Dragon Group.


Even as he stared ahead, he couldn’t contain his astonishment.


The dragon was dead. Not just any dragon, but the Dragon King, Flamella.


“This… can’t be…”


Surveying the gruesome sight of Flamella with its limbs torn apart, Chulhoo muttered.


“It’s inconceivable.”


Flamella, the Dragon King. A terror that even the hunters of the world’s most prestigious clans, including the Im Clan, had failed to conquer multiple times. An entity whose defeat was rumored to bring honor and glory to those who dared to challenge it.


Yet, this formidable creature lay lifeless now.


It was felled by only one hunter, Chulhoo’s nephew, Joosung.



Immediately, Chulhoo shifted his gaze toward the fallen Joosung.


His body was riddled with wounds. His core was nearly shattered, indicating that regardless of the healer’s expertise, he would be bedridden for several weeks.


He could hardly sense any mana energy. In essence, Joosung could no longer summon the azure dragon into the sky. His now toothless Immortal Sword couldn’t resonate properly with the Celestial Dragon’s aura any longer.




Drawing a long, blue sword from his scabbard, Chulhoo made his move.


The one and only in the clan, the Immortal Sword A1.


Part of the A series, no, the finest among all Immortal Swords, it followed the lineage of the revered sword known for its azure hue, the one that made the azure dragon dance and roar.


Gently, Chulhoo thrust the blade near his nephew’s neck.




Joosung opened his eyes. Instinctively, he opened his eyes to the chilling sensation of cold metal against his neck. Simultaneously, blood trickled again from his wounds as he managed a smirk at the figure before him.


“Uncle! You’re alive.”


“…Are you?”


“Of course, I’m alive! What else did you expect?”


“Don’t talk too much.”


Chulhoo stated firmly.


“You’ll be dead soon enough.”


“What? Uncle? …I’m not dying! Just give me a top-grade potion quickly!”


“Is this what you want?”


Chulhoo reached into his spatial pouch and retrieved a vial filled with a dense crimson liquid.


“Oh, yes, Uncle! But, unfortunately, I’ve exhausted all of mine ages ago, hehe…!”


Nephew, laughing even in extreme agony.


Chulhoo harbored a distaste for Joosung’s behavior.


This dislike had lingered for a long time.


However, he couldn’t reveal his sentiments.


Joosung’s talent was incomparable, even bordering on genius, and crucial for the clan’s growth, particularly for Chulhoo.




“…Huh? Uncle?”


Chulhoo smashed the potion he held in his hand, thick liquid dripping down his arm onto the ground.


“Well done,”


Chulhoo’s voice held authority.


“Nephew, it’s time for you to stop. Close your eyes now.”


“What do you mean?”


Now, Chulhoo deemed Joosung unnecessary.


In fact, he found him not just unnecessary but downright terrifying.


Flamella, whom they had never considered attacking before.


Only a few days ago, Chulhoo had smiled at the thought of Joosung eagerly accepting the proposal to attack Flamella.


A nephew who would confront the Dragon King in the dungeon and meet his end without needing to soil his own hands with blood.


What better way to dispose of Joosung?


He was a member of the Im Clan, a hunter gloriously fighting for the family’s honor.


He would go down in memory as the one who perished.


Despite any condemnation branding it as an ignorant act of suicide, the fact remained: it was a death laden with glory.


However, Joosung slew Flamella.


In the dungeon’s hall, where Chulhoo had only intended to confirm Joosung’s corpse and leave quickly, he found not just his nephew’s body but also the carcass of the Dragon King.


Yet there lay Joosung, teetering on the brink of death.




Laughter erupted from Chulhoo.






Joosung, his pupils dilated, oblivious to all.


Under usual circumstances, he would have vehemently rebuked Uncle Chulhoo, but now, even his body refused to obey.




Chulhoo, continuing his laughter, abruptly ceased and revealed a sinister expression.


“The one responsible for Flamella’s demise here will be me, Im Chulhoo.”


“And you, nephew, will forever be remembered as the honorable hunter of the Im Clan who valiantly fought and perished against the Dragon King.”


“You bastard!”


Joosung finally comprehended the gravity of the situation.


“How uncouth you are. In the Im Clan, such vulgarity is unheard of.”


“You… you contemptible wretch.”


Despite his efforts to speak, Joosung’s words were stifled.




Blood continued to gush from his throat, impeding his ability to speak further.


“Nephew, listen carefully.”


Chulhoo spoke, casting his gaze down at Joosung.


“I’ll give you credit for one thing in your impending death. You are an extraordinary person. You were born with tremendous talent. Yes, just like your father.”


Joosung had never laid eyes on his father, nor his mother for that matter. His father had perished in the dungeon when he was but a babe, and his mother reportedly succumbed to suicide due to the shock.


All orchestrated by his Uncle, Im Chulhoo.


“Your father, my brother, was far superior to me. Do you know what it’s like to strive tirelessly, only to be constantly overshadowed by the back of your bitter brother’s head?”


Chulhoo continued with indifference.


“So, I ended him. One fateful day, after entering this dungeon with your father, the Im Clan’s greatest hope, I emerged alone. Only I, Im Chulhoo, remained.”




Agony escaped Joosung’s lips as he collapsed.


The mana, now waning within his heart, had initially bathed his body in a green hue, mirroring his sword, but swiftly faded.




Chulhoo plunged his sword deep into Joosung’s abdomen.


“…Truly remarkable to still harness the Celestial Dragon’s aura in this dire circumstance………….”


Chulhoo’s gaze narrowed.


“You and your father are the problem. That’s the issue. Do you understand what I’m saying? That’s why both of you must perish by my hand.”


“…Hah, hah…”


“My brother, stronger than me, and you, possessing far greater talent, yet you question why I must end your lives?” Chulhoo rhetorically posed, his satisfaction evident


“It’s due to your lack of perception, situational awareness, leadership skills, and fundamentally, your distrust and suspicion towards others.”


Chulhoo extracted the sword embedded in Joosung’s abdomen.




Blood streamed from Joosung’s pierced abdomen.


“That’s why it has come to this. And…”


Chulhoo pressed his temples, then raised his voice.


“I heard you’ve been independently developing a new mana cultivation technique. Is it true?”


As he gazed upon the disheveled Joosung, Chulhoo chuckled to himself.


“Ah, my apologies. You probably can’t speak anymore.”


However, it was true.


Joosung had been practicing swordsmanship based on Celestial Dragon’s aura, but at some point, he felt limited by the clan’s mana cultivation technique.


Consequently, he had quietly been devising a new mana cultivation technique.


“If that’s true…”


Chulhoo voiced his thoughts.


“With just that, you have no grounds for meeting your end at my hand. Do you comprehend? Engaging in the training or mastery of a new mana cultivation technique without reporting to me, the family’s head, constitutes rebellion against the clan.”


Formally, Chulhoo’s words held truth.


However, Joosung hadn’t embarked on mastering the new cultivation technique with such intentions.


With each link of the Celestial Dragon’s aura forming, Joosung sensed he wouldn’t reach his full potential with swordsmanship alone.


His intuition proved correct. The Celestial Dragon’s aura was incomplete. Despite being the best mana cultivation technique in Korea, propelling the Im Clan to the ranks of the top ten families globally, it was still flawed.


Thus, Joosung embarked on independently developing and honing his own new mana cultivation technique.


The intention was simple: to complete the cultivation technique, complementing the Celestial Dragon’s aura to further elevate the power of the clan.


In essence, he developed the cultivation technique solely for the betterment of the Im Clan.


However, he refrained from disclosing this fact to his uncle.


This was due to its instability. Mismanagement of an unstable cultivation technique could result in substantial damage to the body and the mana cultivated alongside the existing Celestial Dragon’s aura. This meant permanent damage to the core, while the painstakingly formed links of the Celestial Dragon’s aura would vanish.


Hence, many hunters opted to master existing techniques rather than venture into developing or blending new ones, to embody them fully.


So Joosung didn’t tell Chulhoo about this fact.


However, in the world, intentions often lead to distortions contrary to their aims.


Joosung’s independent development of a new mana cultivation technique was perceived as a grave threat by Chulhoo.




Joosung coughed up blood.


His life was slipping away.


Following the battle with Flamella and Chulhoo’s ensuing assault, Joosung’s body was rapidly deteriorating, in dire need of urgent medical attention.


“Go to your father’s side,” Chulhoo spoke slowly.




Then, as if struck by a sudden realization, he flashed a sinister smile.


“Let me tell you one more thing before you die…”


His smirk broadened.


“Your mother also died by my hand.”


“…Ugh, aaah-!”


“She was the sole person to question me after your father’s demise. Initially, I dismissed her as a mere fool, but she possessed a wisdom I underestimated. The seeds of misfortune…”


Chulhoo extended his sword forward.


“We must remove them early to prevent them from sprouting.”


Heavenly Dragon Circle (天龍塘)


The azure glow emitted from the Immortal Sword transformed into the shape of a dragon, swiftly extending forward.


It was the technique of the Celestial Dragon’s aura, attainable only at the seventh stage of mastery, each stage marked by seven rings.


Although a simple thrust, its destructive force was staggering.


Now, its target was Joosung.


Joosung, incapable of evading or parrying, braced for the inevitable.


Sensing death closing in, Joosung strained to raise his hand and retrieved something from the void.


“…That, what is that?”


Chulhoo’s eyes widened in astonishment.


“A Stone of Rebirth?!”


Clutching the fist-sized stone, Joosung uttered, ‘Return to the past.’


As his body fragmented, the dust from the crumbling rocks in his hand started to envelop him.


At that moment, the azure glow of the Heavenly Dragon Circle touched Joosung’s body.


It was the decisive moment between life and death, the question being whether death or rebirth would prevail.


“I’ll kill you…!”


Joosung’s shout echoed as his body vanished in an instant.




Stunned, Chulhoo clenched his lower lip tightly, witnessing Joosung’s disappearance without a trace.


However, unbeknownst to Chulhoo,


The world Joosung vanished from was now doomed to destruction.


Dragon King Flamella, though just a mid-boss, symbolized humanity’s gateway to progress. Nevertheless, chaos still reigned in the world.


Without Im Joosung, the world’s fate appeared grimly apparent. Despite formidable hunters like Im Chulhoo and others from esteemed lineages, defeat seemed unavoidable.


In essence, the world faced doom. Chulhoo’s act of slaying his nephew sealed humanity’s fate for destruction in this realm.


However, amidst this turmoil, what weighed heaviest on Im Chulhoo was the loss of Joosung.


Unaware, he remained oblivious to the imminent shadow of destruction swiftly descending.




The Stone of Rebirth—a relic acquired by Joosung after vanquishing Dragon King Flamella.


Joosung never anticipated using the stone so swiftly after acquiring it, if at all.


As excruciating pain tore through his body and consciousness waned, Joosung believed death was imminent.




Yet, he found himself reborn.


However, the woman who should have been his mother disappeared after his birth.


Right in front of the Sunshine Nursery Home’s entrance.


“Damn it.”

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Chapter 1