“You were too confident in an absolute possibility.
Or were you simply being delusional?” The Martial Blade God watched the corpse of the Half-Elf in front of him.


The Martial Blade God ignored the words let out by the powerless Edward and kept staring at Lemi.
His eyes bled with something akin to compassion.

“Your parents would be proud.
Do not worry… your father will be joining you soon.” The First Seat smiled softly.

He bowed his head in respect, remaining that way for a while.

Of course, there was no moment of silence since Edward kept shouting and barking out empty words.
Tears streamed down his face—understandable tears.

His hulky body did nothing but throb with weakness and powerlessness, and the First Seat understood why the young man felt so wounded by the death of his female companion.

“He loves her, doesn’t he?” The Martial Blade God could not understand why people would rather fill their hearts with such mundane things.

That was what differentiated him from the likes of Gawain, and even this Edward in front of him.

“Haaa… it seems you’re the last person left.” The Martial Blade God finally concluded his respects and stared at Edward.

“Shall we get this over with, then? As a Martial Artist… give me your best strike.”

There was no need to use the Martial Zone.
A Martial Artist-to-be in another Martial Artist’s Zone—now that would be unfair.

‘Let this landscape sink into his mind.
Let him use his environment as a canvas… a stage to dance upon.’

“Do not worry about using all of your strength.
The impact of your attack will not destroy the bodies of your friends.”

Lemi was lying in her pool of blood; same with Ciara.
They were both shrouded in white-like energy—courtesy of the Martial Blade God himself.

“Your paralysis has been released.
What are you waiting for?” He asked Edward.

Edward remained silent.
He remained on his knees.
His head hung low on his shoulder and he couldn’t raise it.

As his eyes stared at the white surface he knelt on, he didn’t budge a single inch.
Sniffing and trembling, he remained in the same position.
As someone who had expected the opposite, the Martial Blade God was displeased by this.

“Get up.”

Edward refused.
Or perhaps he just couldn’t obey.

“Get up.”

Edward remained in the same position.
He slightly raised his head and saw the dead bodies of his comrades.
Once again, the fresh sensation of fear and weakness washed over him.

“Get up.
Or In ten seconds, I’ll—”

“How… do you find it so easy to kill?”

Edward finally raised his head and stared at the Martial Blade God with bloodshot eyes.
Tears streamed down his eyes as he stared at the older man with what could only be described as conflicted emotions.

Edward genuinely did not know what to feel… or what to do.
All he wanted, at the moment, was to know why in the world the Martial Blade God could eliminate people so easily—so swiftly.

“All life is life.” The response the Martial Blade God gave was inadequate.

It was not substantive.
It wasn’t enough to give him closure or help reconcile any of his shattered thoughts.
He was just more confused than ever.
He kept staring at the Martial Blade God for a genuine answer.


“You still know nothing about Aether, right? Or the nature of the Soul.” The Martial Blade God remained emotionless as he stared at Edward.

Edward felt stupefied by the Martial Blade God’s words.
How was this an answer to his question?

“Your soul is merely a recycled version of another’s.
When you die, your soul will mix in with other souls in the Root.
You will lose all your current properties, merge with the Root, and another fragment of you will be taken up as the soul of another.
Do you understand now? All life is life.”

According to the Martial Blade God, everything came from and returned to the Root.
But what was this ‘Root’?

“You do not need to worry about my motivations or ideals.
You do not need to consider my intentions or plans.
They are insignificant—selfish at best.
I apologize for taking the lives of your companions, but I will not regret it.
Just as you do not regret trampling the grass to reach your destination, nor do you worry about the family of the animal you slaughtered for the sake of sustenance.
I too… will do whatever I must to attain my desire.”

Just as Edward thought… he couldn’t bring himself to hate this man.
He despised his acts, but the man before him was no longer a mere man.
He had become an ideal—a force that seemed both tangible and intangible.

“Now… Get up.”

Edward heaved a heavy sigh and found enough strength in his muscles to rise to his feet.
His footing was steady, but he didn’t completely feel like himself.

“Snap out of your daze.
Draw your blade.
Steady your thoughts.”

Edward heard those words.
He allowed them to guide him.
He felt his bleeding-heart stop and his hot tears dry up.
He felt strength rise from his depths, and he could feel something else… something more.

For some reason, his heart felt different.
It was like he, Lemi and Ciara stood together on the battlefield—both of them possessing his body.

How could he explain this sensation? Perhaps it was because he now felt that he was wielding his blade for the sake of the two who had died.

Maybe not.

But, one thing was certain.
The fact that he wielded a blade… and his enemy stood right in front of him.

“Well done, Edward—My seed.
You will show me just how well you have honed the power of the blade.”





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