There are many things that can be said to be his strengths.
His talent with a sword, his innate physical ability, his natural popularity that naturally grabs hold of others…….
However, his greatest talent, as chosen by his master, was his unparalleled objective gaze.
He can judge himself more coldly than anyone else.
And it soon led to an attitude of never letting down his guard, no matter who his opponent was.
Even if the opponent is weaker than him, he never lets his guard down.
Even if the opponent is stronger than him, he never gives up and finds a way.
That's who Choi Hyun-Woo was.
That is why he now felt a great sense of helplessness that he never felt before.
Choi Hyun-Woo muttered as if declaring to himself and swung his sword around like a madman.
Compared to when his master had first taught him how to hold the sword, he was of course incomparably stronger now.
His body had always been pushed and trained to the point of being harsh, and he had honed his arts to the point where his palms were torn and calluses formed.
If you put it that way, it would feel great.
It would seem even more so if you added the modifier that he was ranked S, which was only given to a small portion of a grade.
However, in the end, he had only won against those who were weaker than him.
What the hell can do against someone who is stronger than me
That day, he was cornered as a thief, endangering Han Soo-Young and Yoo Ji-Hyuk, and almost tarnishing his master's name.
When he encountered a giant tree spirit in the dungeon.
And a few days ago, when he had a fight with an executive of the Thorns Cross Society.
What could I have done
Choi Hyun-woo clenched his teeth with a crackling sound.
His own powerlessness, weakness, and anger at his past self, as if he had wasted all these years.
But aside from all of that, the emotion that was now trapping Choi Hyun-Woo was one of shame.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk, did I think he was weaker than me
And why did I feel a sense of inferiority towards him when he beat someone I couldn't beat
Why, why did I try so hard… .
Just the fact that he had such negative thoughts and feelings towards his reliable and grateful friend made Choi Hyun-Woo unbearably ashamed.
In the end, as if running away from that fact, Choi Hyun-Woo was frantically engrossed in training.
It was when he continued to swing his sword like that, regardless of the wet floor with the sweat dripping from his body.
“Aren't you tired”
Choi Hyun-Woo raised his head at the voice he heard.
In front of him, Yoo Ji-Hyuk was holding a drink and looking at him.
Did Soo-Young ask for it
He was just thinking that.
“What the hell are you doing”
Choi Hyun-Woo, who tried to pretend he didn't hear it, paused for a moment.
Shouldn't Ji-Hyuk, no at least Ji-Hyuk should know.
After a very short deliberation, Choi Hyun-Woo carefully opened his mouth.
* * *
I was honestly shocked to hear Choi Hyun-Woo's story.
It was a very long and rambling story, but in essence, it went something like this.
Choi Hyun-Woo felt a sense of inferiority towards me, and he was ashamed of himself for feeling that way and couldn't stand it.
And the only way out of the troubles he knew was to swing a sword like thas.
So for days, he swung his sword around like a madman.
"I'm sorry I shouldn't have said that."
With those words, Choi Hyun-Woo bowed his head as if apologizing to me.
I didn't know why he was apologizing to me, but he was so straight and strict with himself that he didn't seem to forgive himself.
This is kinda bad.
I thought to myself as I glanced at the guy who was in a state of mental collapse.
In the guild invitation ceremony that would take place in a few days, there would be an event where students would face off against each other.
And at that time, Choi Hyun-Woo would be facing off against his rival, Ahn Do-Hoon.
The problem was that no one knew who would win.
‘The one who wins will have an advantage of the event later, so it’s better for Choi Hyun-Woo to win as much as possible.’
Above all, it was of course better for Choi Hyun-Woo to win than Ahn Do-Hoon, who clashed with me.
However, when his mental state was shaken up to this point, I had no choice but to worry.
This was even more so because Choi Hyun-Woo's confidence and belief in himself was the source of his strength.
What should I do
What can I do to bring him back to his senses
No matter how much I thought about it, there was only one answer that came to mind.
‘I don't have a choice.’
I let out a small sigh and threw the drink in my hand at him.
Choi Hyun-Woo grabbed it without even looking at it.
I put my hand on the handle of the dagger and moved with a leisurely gait to the other side of him.
“Drink it and get some energy.
And get ready.”
"...What are you trying to do"
"What do you mean"
I looked at Choi Hyun-Woo, answering as if what kind of question is that.
"Let's have a fight that you like so much.
Hurry up and get ready."
Choi Hyun-Woo didn't respond.
I purposely said to him in a sarcastic voice.
"Oh, what are you doing Didn't you hear what I said"
"Why suddenly… .”
I drew my dagger.
"It's because I don't want to see your pathetic self."
Then I threw it with all my might at Choi Hyun-Woo.
The dagger, which should have originally flown to a strange place, flew to him quite threateningly, probably due to my proficiency skill.
Of course, Choi Hyun-Woo avoided it with a single tilt of his head, but if he stayed still, he would have been hit as he was on its trajectory.
“You what Are you saying that you're not even interested in me because you're such a talented S ranker"
Only then did Choi Hyun-Woo look at me with a stiff expression.
I snorted and ridiculed him explicitly.
If I'm going to do it, I have to make sure I do it right.
There's nothing I can't do when I even did it with Jin Ye-Seul.
I told myself.
With those words, I rushed straight at him.
* * *
In a way, it was a stroke of luck that he avoided the long swinging dagger aimed at his face.
Before Choi Hyun-Woo could express his doubts about how he had grown so much in just a few days, he twisted his body and kicked Yoo Ji-Hyuk's body away.
This was because there was no need to lead the opponent with a dagger to close combat.
He could feel that he had kicked him.
However, there was no sign of Yoo Ji-Hyuk's body being pushed back.
Choi Hyun-Woo was in doubt, saw the tree branch that had slipped out of Yoo Ji-Hyuk's body had somehow embedded itself in his ankle.
As soon as he saw this, Choi Hyun-Woo shouted out loud.
The camera and CCTV, which were recording training videos, lost light at his shout that he would stop all functions other than locking the doors of the training room.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk kicked the ground as it was and flew forward.
With one leg attached to his abdomen, Choi Hyun-Woo lost his balance and collapsed.
When he realized that, the world turned had upside down.
It wasn't until Yoo Ji-Hyuk was thrown to the floor he realized that he had been thrown against the speed at which he had run.
He didn't know if it was aikido or judo, but it was a realm of body art he didn't understand.
And before he knew it, Choi Hyun-Woo, who cut off the branch of the World Tree that was holding his ankle, took a stance.
Without panicking, Yoo Ji-Hyuk immediately moved Henir's Shadow.
He had stolen a small amount of mana while inserting the branch of the World Tree into Choi Hyun-Woo's ankle earlier, so he didn't feel the rebound he was worried about.
As if he were a jellyfish tentacle, he evaded Henir's Shadow and slashed it with his sword.
The sword blade, loaded with mana, clanged and made a strange sound.
And whenever that strange sound swayed in the air and produced a melody, Henir's Shadow was cut into chunks.
In order to use the Shadow Swamp, it need to be in contact with the opponent.
It was for that, but Choi Hyun-Woo, who already knew the dangers of Henir's Shadow, couldn't leave it like that.
Yoo Ji-hyuk picked up the dagger that was missed and confirmed the location of the dagger that was just blown.
He knew that Henir's Shadow alone could not win, so he called Henir's shadow closer.
And at the same time, Choi Hyun-woo rushed in, but Yoo Ji-hyuk did not back down.
At the moment, Choi Hyun-Woo threw himself at the sound of air breaking flying in.
He easily evaded the dagger that was thrown by Henir's Shadow.
Immediately afterward, he staggered, momentarily losing his balance as the pain passed through his legs.
The weapon with no sound was beyond his perception.
Using Henir's Shadow, he threw the dagger he had thrown earlier and the Silent dagger with a time gap between them.
Choi Hyun-Woo clenched his teeth as he quickly began to stagger back to his feet.
And although he couldn't see it, Yoo Ji-Hyuk could see a strange mark on his leg.
The price for allowing the first effective strike was great.
As soon as the mark was blown, a painful sound came out of Choi Hyun-Woo's mouth as the pain raged once more.
At the same time, he lost his balance and a gap appeared.
Weapon handling skills, combat experience, physical abilities, stamina.
Yoo Ji-Hyuk knew well that he was inferior to Choi Hyun-Woo in all aspects.
What he was ahead of was the diversity of skills and the unexpectedness caused by it.
At the very least, he was ahead of Choi Hyun-Woo when it came to using his skills in the right situations to toy with his opponent and create an opening.
So he came to a conclusion.
If I go for the long game, I'll lose.
And that now was his chance.
Without hesitation, Yoo Ji-Hyuk squeezed out all the remaining mana.
Henir's Shadow and the branch of the World Tree devoured his mana and grew bigger.
It was a simple and sure way to push with such a huge mass that art could not work.
Assessing the fact that it was too late to dodge, Choi Hyun-Woo infused his mana into the sword again.
Once again a strange voice could be heard.
His art of putting mana on his sword without wasting it was certainly comparable to that of an active hero beyond his age.
The problem was that the attack he was facing now was too much for even the active heroes to handle.
Choi Hyun-Woo resisted Yoo Ji-Hyuk's wave-like attack, swinging his sword.
Of course, there was no way he could block the waves with his sword.
At some point, he thought he felt a resistance from the tip of his sword, and then he heard a dull sound.
He could tell just by the weight on his hand that the sword was broken.
It was the moment he vaguely thought that.
It was that brief moment.
Choi Hyun-Woo felt a strange sensation.
It was an indescribable, bizarre feeling.
It immediately flowed through his heart, through his chest, through his arms, and down to his hands.
Choi Hyun-Woo instinctively tried to control it, but instantly changed his mind.
With his permission, it immediately ran toward the sword that had been broken in half.
* * *
The next thing I knew, I was stuck in a corner of the Sparring room.
It was as if I had momentarily lost consciousness.
Henir's Shadow and the branch of the World Tree were also telling me that they had suffered serious damage.
I groaned weakly.
I'm not kidding, there was no part of me that didn't hurt.
What the hell happened
No, there's only one thing and it's because of the light I saw before I passed out.
Choi Hyun-Woo must have used it, albeit momentarily, that even active heroes can only use after they have reached a certain level.
And Choi Hyun-Woo, the one who had driven me into the wall like this, was looking at the sword with only the handle left on it with a dazed expression.
“This, what… .”
Then, startled, he came up to me and supported me.
Are you okay"
“Would you be okay if it were you… ”
No joke, if it wasn't for Henir's Shadow and the branch of the World Tree, I could have been seriously injured.
Even though I wasn't prepared, I didn't expect to be blown away so much by a single attack.
‘It's because of Choi Hyun-Woo's hidden characteristics, but this is too fraudulent.’
Grumbling inside, I muttered to Choi Hyun-Woo, who was supporting me.
“Still, you bastard, just keep whining.”
Choi Hyun-Woo did not answer.
I breathed a sigh of relief inwardly.
At first, I tried to wrap it up in a way that I collapsed due to mana exhaustion in the middle.
Then, I was just trying to make him regain his confidence by playing around with my mouth.
However, he has reached a new level by himself.
He had to be at least in the middle of the game before he could use the Dark Sword, but I didn't expect him to learn it so quickly.
Talent please die.
Anyway, he seemed to have come to his senses.
I stood up with a groan and pushed Choi Hyun-Woo, who was supporting me, away.
"Clean this place up on your own."
“And erase all the records.
If it gets known for nothing, you'll get exhausted too.”
With those words, I opened the door to the Sparring Room and came out.
Choi Hyun-Woo didn't say anything, but I could feel he was staring at me until the door closed.
“Oh, how did…… .”
When I opened the door and limped out, Han Soo-Young, who was waiting for me, gasped when she saw me.
“What the hell were you doing!”
Han Soo-Young shouted as she approached me and supported me.
In the meantime, as I involuntarily swallowed a groan as my back, which I had just been thrown on, throbbed, Han Soo-Young looked at me with an even more worried look.
“Hey, are you really okay”
I feel like I'm dying."
Fortunately, there weren't many students using the sparring room at this time, but it was unavoidable that few eyes were slightly drawn.
When I winked as if I wanted to get out of here quickly, Han Soo-Young supported me and moved her steps.
“Let’s go to the infirmary first.”
“What are you going to do there, just to put on the paste”
“Are you kidding me even at times like this!”
I was more speechless than surprised by Han Soo-young's sudden angry and irritated attitude.
Is she more comfortable with me now, or is she easy
While I was thinking like that, Han Soo-Young tactfully grabbed me and pulled out her cell phone.
This is Han Soo-Young.
I was going to go with Yoo Ji-hyuk today...
But right now, he's seriously injured, so I think it's going to be difficult for me to come right now.
Yes, I'm sorry.
If I can't do it later today, I'll take it with you tomorrow.
Yes, please do.
After the phone call, she snarled out at me.
“All right So now shut up and just follow me.”
“Ah, yes… .”
Momentarily, I remembered that she had grabbed the collar of a member of the Thorn Cross Society a few days ago with one hand and dragged him along with her.
I walked silently as she led me.