Youngest Son of the Renowned Magic Clan chapter 24

Episode 24: The Youngest Son of the Mage Family

Larsen continued the conversation immediately.

“I don’t have friends either.”

He laughed, as if he knew everything.

“It’s just, you know, that sort of thing. You and me both.”

“……”

“It’s the way we were born.”

For a moment, Kashin was at a loss for words. Larsen had awakened a sense of kinship in the heart of the nine-year-old protagonist.

“And it’s harder for me to make friends than for you.”

“Why?”

“Our family doesn’t allow for friends. Only when someone is of equal status, then they can be considered friends within our network.”

“What kind of friendship is that?”

“That’s not friendship. So, I don’t have friends. But I think our family would allow me to be friends with you.”

He was the young master of a famous swordsmanship family, not to mention the protagonist of a munchkin fantasy novel.

“That’s why I’m challenging you to a duel.”

By now, his mana was somewhat restored.

[The Heavenly Eye interprets the world.]

[The settings applied due to insufficient causality are being reviewed.]

Larsen actively used the Heavenly Eye, and the information it interpreted was conveyed to him.

[To a swordsman, a ‘duel’ signifies a test of faith in one another.]

Unlike sparring, a duel uses ‘real weapons.’ Larsen read the information from the Heavenly Eye verbatim.

“Trust and consideration for one another. And the risk of serious injury if trust isn’t fully established. Right?”

“Exactly. You know us well.”

“Because we’re rivals.”

In fact, this was content that Cha Sung-min hadn’t set. He had only added that the people from the ‘famous swordsmanship family’ duel as a way of getting familiar with each other.

Using that basic foundation, the world had autonomously created these additional settings.

[For a weak person to challenge a stronger opponent to a duel demands even greater faith and courage. It means ‘I fully trust you’—at least to the people of the Seid family.]

Here, the weaker party was clearly Larsen, and the stronger one was Kashin.

“As I mentioned earlier, I use martial magic. Thinking of it like physical combat will make it easier for you.”

“I use swordsmanship. I wield my sword with my right hand, and I will only use the basic techniques of the Seid family.”

Swoosh—

The clear sound of a drawn sword rang out.

In Kashin’s right hand was now poised a finely sharpened silver sword.

‘Baldo… that’s incredibly sharp.’

Unbelievable for a nine-year-old. While knowing little of swordsmanship himself, he could sense the force. Holding the sword, he felt as though he faced a small hill; a wall before him. Indeed, this was the aura of the protagonist.

“Since you’re unarmed and I’m wielding a weapon, I will give you the first three strikes.”

Predictable. Such was the behavior of Kashin Seid. Knowing this, Larsen shook his head.

“Kashin. If we were to duel, who do you think would win?”

“That would…”

“Obviously, you’d win, right?”

The gap in skills, innate talent, the difference between main and supporting characters, and the support of their respective families created a large gap. Not to mention, the difference in weaponry.

“But why do you think I challenged you to a duel?”

“To become friends…?”

“Do you think winning or losing this duel matters?”

“No, the outcome of the duel isn’t important.”

Larsen nodded.

“I didn’t challenge you because I wanted to win. I want to be friends with you. Friendship should be an equal and fair relationship.”

“……”

Persuading the nine-year-old protagonist seemed to be easier than expected.

“Deal with me on an equal footing, with equal eyes.”

Cha Sung-min treated Kashin as a writer. If Cha Sung-min created the character ‘Smart Larsen,’ he would have done this. A nine-year-old dealing with another nine-year-old.

Kashin replied.

“I’m sorry.”

Involuntarily, he saw the weaker from the position of the stronger. Kashin sincerely thought it was unfortunate. If they were to be friends, he should not have acted that way. The words of his creator, the writer, had shaken Kashin deeply.

“I never meant to insult you.”

“I know.”

Larsen assumed his stance. The mana in his heart began to boil.

“I’ll do my best. Kashin, you do your best too.”

They started the duel without intending to harm or injure each other—a duel for their mutual growth.

* * *

Kashin was at ease. It was a duel not for death, but for growth. He disclosed his techniques to Larsen as they dueled.

“Thrust straight.”

A straight thrust—a move that advances in a straight line. Though he had spoken aloud the move’s name, it didn’t really matter.

‘Insane.’

It was fast. As soon as he said it, the tip of the sword was nearly touching his Adam’s apple.

[Attribute. ‘Flow Slowly’ is automatically applied.]

Thanks to ‘Flow Slowly,’ Larsen barely evaded the sword’s tip and deflected it with the back of his hand.

[Basic Martial Magic. ‘Proficient Weight Distribution’ is used.]

Upon deflecting, he regained his balance and crouched, ready to spring forward. However, he couldn’t actually leap forward.

“Recovery.”

Kashin retracted his sword and thrust again.

“Thrust straight.”

The time it took Kashin to extend and retract his sword, then thrust again, was less than a second.

‘How can it be so fast?’

Despite the help of ‘Flow Slowly,’ Kashin’s movements were incredibly quick.

‘He doesn’t allow any distance.’

Kashin’s swordplay was like an extension of his body. To use martial magic, Larsen had to close the gap, but he could not. Kashin knew how to manipulate the ‘distance’ perfectly, always moving within his reach.

His feet were more terrifying than his sword.

‘His feet are too fast.’

If he closed in too much, he’d be within the reach of Kashin’s sword. But if he didn’t approach, Kashin’s swift attacks would prevail.

‘This is the true power of the protagonist.’

He never expected to win from the start—nor could he.

‘But…’

He felt more capable than expected. Thanks to the attribute, albeit by default, he could discern Kashin’s trajectory and predict some of his movements to an extent.

“Horizontal slash.”

Kashin swung his sword from left to right. Larsen sensed instinctively.

‘It’s a feint.’

It won’t fully connect. He’s just mimicking the motion and will use ‘Thrust straight’ again. Larsen didn’t evade.

[Attribute. ‘Flow Slowly’ is automatically applied.]

He read Kashin’s trajectory.

‘No. It’s not a feint! It’s changed.’

Originally, it would have been a feint. But when Larsen seemed not to react, Kashin switched from a feint to a real attack. The force behind it became apparent. The mana surging around Kashin’s navel was interpreted by the ‘Heavenly Eye.’

‘It’s really coming.’

He thought it was a feint, but it was a genuine attack.

‘I can’t evade.’

Then, the only option was to block. There was no choice but to take the hit on his side.

‘Better to be hit on the arm than the ribs.’

Larsen instinctively drew mana to his heart.

[Basic Martial Magic ‘Even Firmer Will’ is used.]

As actively as he utilized the ‘Heavenly Eye,’ he used ‘Even Firmer Will.’ He concentrated mana on his arm.

‘Ugh.’

It felt like he was struck by an iron club. The shockwave that entered through his arm seemed to rattle his entire body.

Eventually, Larsen conceded.

“I lost.”

Kashin’s sword had reached Larsen’s throat.

Jayple, who had been nervously watching, let out a sigh of relief. What kind of courage did it take to challenge a prodigy of the famous swordsmanship family to a duel? If something had gone wrong, it might have all been on him, as Vanguard. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, and it was over.

Kashin sheathed his sword.

“Is your arm alright?”

“Yeah. Feels like I was hit with a club. I’m tingling all over.”

“It was an impressive defense.”

“I didn’t even block properly.”

He had known the next strike but still failed to defend. Kashin was too fast. Even with the attribute’s assistance, it was unavoidable.

“Nah. I thought it was really remarkable. The sudden flames surprised me.”

Flames surged? What is he talking about now? What sudden flames? Larsen didn’t voice these questions. Kashin’s expression was far too earnest.

‘Flames. I didn’t see any?’

Could it be that Rudia, sitting on the collapsed ruins, had done something? Things had passed too quickly, and he hadn’t grasped everything.

Regardless, Kashin was sincere. He truly admired Larsen’s defensive martial magic.

“The sword is a magic blade.”

“Really?”

“It can cut through steel.”

Suddenly, cold sweat poured from Larsen.

‘A sword that can cut through steel?’

He used that to hit my arm?

“I did overlay some power to reduce its slicing ability as much as possible, but… still, it was a remarkable defense. I was truly impressed.”

Well, he wished Kashin wouldn’t be quite so impressed. Larsen found Kashin’s gleaming eyes a bit burdensome. He quickly admitted defeat.

“Thanks. Well, I expected defeat, but the difference in skill was pretty big.”

“……”

This time, Kashin was the first to extend his hand. Like a mage offering a handshake.

“You dropped your arm because you trusted me, right?”

No, that had been the only choice visible. Still, Kashin seemed moved.

“You would have recognized the cutting force.”

Truthfully, he hadn’t noticed. Everything had been too chaotic.

“Thanks for trusting me.”

He just felt cold sweat streaming down. To think his arm could have been sliced by a sword that cuts steel.

“It’s only natural.”

“Usually, people are intimidated by me.”

For the idealistic young protagonist, this was a cruel reality. Cha Sung-min knew this well. Inevitable. It’s the fate of the one who carries the blood of the absolute being. Young Kashin was to go through this period of growth and ultimately become an absolute being himself, gaining loving and trusting companions.

“Well, compared to you, everyone is weaker. It’s not strange for the weak to be wary of the strong.”

“Then you’re the odd one?”

“Just. I thought I could trust you.”

Too idealistic, kind-hearted, and beautiful was the protagonist he had created. He had given many absolute properties. Thus, naturally, he had to trust.

“Never met someone like you before.”

Kashin smiled broadly. Meeting Larsen seemed to genuinely please him.

“It was really nice meeting you today. Larsen Mayton. Hope to meet you again.”

As Kashin waved and walked away, the Heavenly Eye offered another interpretation.

[An occurrence that could significantly impact causality and the storyline has been detected.]

* * *

Rudia was sitting on the fallen pile of stones, her arms crossed and head turned away, a slight pout on her lips—typical of a nine-year-old holding a grudge.

“What’s wrong?”

“Cancel it.”

“What?”

“If you don’t cancel, I’ll burn everything.”

“What are you talking about?”

Larsen thought about it. He wasn’t sure why Rudia was acting this way.

‘Ah.’

An idea came to him.

“Are you upset because I said I didn’t have friends?”

Dealing with this nine-year-old girl seemed harder than dealing with the nine-year-old protagonist.

“I…!”

Rudia’s face went red—not with embarrassment, but anger.

“I thought of you as a friend!”

A fiery exclamation point appeared and disappeared by Rudia’s head. It was like a small firecracker—fascinating.

“That’s why I made a fire contract with you!”

Nine years old. On the verge of adolescence. At this age, the value of ‘friendship’ seems truly significant.

Larsen gave a rueful smile.

“You’re also a friend.”

“So why did you earlier say you had no friends?”

“Retract.”

Rudia stared at Larsen sitting down.

“Are you really going to retract it?”

“Retracted. I made a mistake. I’m sorry.”

Rudia’s ‘Super Monocell’ trait shone here as well. She quickly forgave after an apology.

“Are you truly sorry?”

“Yes. I’ll apologize.”

“Really?”

“Absolutely. Rudia, you’re my friend.”

The Red Butcher. Rudia, you must become my friend. It would be troublesome if you decided to massacre mages later on.

“Then, it’s settled.”

With a spring, Rudia stood from her spot.

“Remember, I’m your friend. You better not forget.”

“Of course.”

“It’s your first offense, so I’m forgiving you.”

Larsen grinned wryly.

“Thanks.”

“Then I want a handshake too.”

“A handshake?”

“You only shook hands with that guy earlier. You didn’t shake hands with me. I want to shake hands too. Give me your hand!”

Larsen laughed heartily, unable to help it. A real-life laugh burst out. How could he describe this feeling? It was like looking at a young niece. Rudia was quite serious in her own way.

‘Was I like that at nine years old?’

He didn’t think he had been quite like this. Anyway, he felt good about it all.

But then, Jayple, who had been silent until now, spoke up.

“Seven Lords.”

“Yes?”

“Forgive me, but may I ask you a question?”

It seemed like he was hearing the word “forgive” unusually frequently. Regardless, Jayple looked serious. Larsen nodded.

“Go ahead.”

Then, an absurd question followed—one that would even surprise Larsen from his perspective.



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