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Love Letter From the Future Chapter 29

Chapter 29- The First Letter (29)

༺ The First Letter (29) ༻

 

  What is mana?

 

  The answer to this question varies from person to person.

 

  Scholars will say that it is the primordial matter that is used to create the world. Theologians will say that it is the seed of power sown by Arus, the God of Heaven, when he created the world. Meanwhile, mages will say that it is an infinite embryonic matter which has the potential to take the form of various objects through means of spells.

 

  However, for the swordsmen, the definition of magic was very simple.

 

  Everything.

 

  Mana was what influenced muscle strength, reflexes, the density and duration of aura, and even the control over your mind and body.

 

  By exaggerating a little more, we could say that mana was literally everything for a swordsman. Because all the skills needed for a swordsman were linked to mana.

 

  Of course, that doesn’t mean mana or magic is a perfect panacea.

 

  No matter how much mana you possessed, it would be of no use if you didn’t know how to use it properly. And depending on how mana  was controlled, the efficiency also differed.

 

  For example, suppose you put water in a canteen. Some might make a small stream of water and transfer it to a water tank preventing any loss, while others will squeeze the entire water bottle to fill it.

 

  Both serve their purpose. However, the former had an overwhelming advantage regarding its efficiency.

 

  Mana was also similar to that. The efficiency of your mana differs depending on how you invest the right amount in the essential parts. So, the swordsmen paid much attention not only to their mana reserves but also to its control.

 

  But no matter what, in order to use the mana well, you first had to have enough of a mana reserve to use it. This was an undeniable reality.

 

  So, the swordsmen who are born with a large mana reserve become an object of envy. Even commoners will be able to marry into a noble household as a breeding machine if they possessed a large mana reserve.

 

  With that in mind, it was natural for Thean to be prideful. Because the amount of mana I had was below average.

 

  To be more precise, if we take into account the average over the entire continent, I would be in the top ranks. But this was the academy, so of course, the standard of ‘average’ also differed from the norm.

 

  And even if the academy is taken as a standard, Thean has quite the outstanding mana reserve. He had an overwhelming advantage over me in terms of power behind his sword slashes and stamina.

 

  To be honest, I was pretty exhausted right now. Thean probably must have known that’s why he was aiming for this moment.

 

  I was the one who beat seven of his gangs alone. If he were to defeat such an opponent one-on-one, his grip over the group would also be strengthened.

 

  He is definitely cunning. It’s not good news for me.

 

  Thud, and Thean’s gigantic body charged at me again in a straight line. Except for the opponent who is aiming for the target, Thean’s method of charging straight paid no heed to anything.

 

  I realized that through a few exchanges. If I face him head-on I would lose.

 

  Fortunately, Thean wasn’t very good at controlling his mana. If I want to face him, I need to endure this for several exchanges and if I can land a blow to one of his vital points, as long as he is a human, Thean will have no choice but to fall.

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  But after all, I could only endure for a few exchanges. As time passed, it was obvious that I, who have a comparatively smaller mana reserve, will become more and more exhausted and will be at a disadvantage. In that case, it will be better to dodge his strikes instead of blocking them.

 

  Fortunately, Thean’s subsequent blows weren’t as strong as the first time.

 

  The aftermath was still etched on the spot where Thean’s sword was first struck in the form of dent marks.

 

  That was testament to the power behind Thean’s sword strike. It was horrifying.

 

  Thean swung his sword vertically. The blade wasn’t completely drawn yet, but looking at that terrifying posture, if I were to allow even one blow, it would spell my doom.

 

  My body, which had predicted the slash in advance, twisted and barely dodged his sword. But that was not the end.

 

  Thean, who swung that mighty sword as if it was a twig. After that heavy slash, swung it horizontally without even the slightest delay.

 

  Of course I couldn’t dodge all of his attacks. I only managed to avoid a critical hit by raising my sword.

 

  With a ‘thud,’ my body was flung into the sky. When I was fighting Seria, I felt just like this.

 

  I recalled that moment as I rolled on the ground. I could feel grains of sand entering my mouth in between my occasional gasps for breath. I seemed to have inhaled dust.

 

  You crazy bastard, I muttered to myself and got up quickly. But rather than rushing back right away, Thean chose to whistle and admire.

 

  “You are great, Ian. Your movements are really unusual. To be honest, I didn’t know you could hold out this well.”

 

  “But I don’t think you will hold out well because I will be crushing your teeth.”

 

  Thean then giggled and laughed as if he just heard an interesting tale.

 

  “Even if it happens, I’ll accept defeat like a man. The men of Southern Kingdoms are responsible for ensuring that the outcome of a duel remains fair.”

 

  I was stunned by the pretense of fairness from the person who orchestrated and harassed Seria from behind the scenes. I gritted my teeth at that, but I also knew that Thean deserved to have that self-confidence.

 

  The Academy was such a place. Talent was something that could still be measured to some extent by human imagination, but those who were called ‘geniuses’ were beyond that.

 

  Truly a God-given gift.

 

  The Academy was a place where talented people from all over the continent gathered. Even there, the children standing in the top ranks had skills that were qualitatively different from the ones who occupied the intermediate ranks.

 

  For example, Seria was like that.

 

  If she drew her sword with the intention of crushing her opponent, neither I nor Thean would be able to hold out for long. If that happens, there is a high possibility that both of us would also lose our lives.

 

  Thean also understood this to some degree. So, while maintaining it at a level where Seria couldn’t draw her sword, he was secretly harassing her while also encouraging the others to do so as well.

 

  Does such a human have the right to open up Seria’s painful scars?

 

  No one deserves to have that right, especially if it’s a guy like Thean.

 

  Now, what should I do?

 

  It’s just one hit. I just need a brief window for counterattack. There was no time to continue worrying.

 

  Thean was approaching again.

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  I tried to avoid it by moving my body, but my muscles creaked and did not listen, perhaps due to the lingering aftereffect of the earlier shock. In the end, I raised my sword again and blocked it.

 

Clank, clank, clank, a suppressed groan leaked out of my mouth in the midst of those consecutive strikes. Thean drew his sword horizontally for one last time.

 

  Like a ball hit by a bat, my body flew off.

 

  I rolled to the ground as dirt entered my mouth.

 

  To be honest, I was regretting it a little.

 

  I reacted too emotionally. At first, blood rushed to my head in anger and my mind blanked out, but now that I think about it, I should have thought about how to take care of it.

 

  I had no strength in my arms. I had to get up, but Thean didn’t even rush in anymore. He was just sauntering towards me.

 

  “At that time.”

 

  Panting, I staggered to my feet. My dazed eyes turned to Thean.

 

  He was still paying close attention to my movements and was vigilant.

 

  “How did you do it?”

 

  “……what?”

 

  “The day you first fought with that bastard.”

 

  I don’t know, that’s what I wanted to reply to him, but filling my lungs with breath was more urgent right now. I stared at Thean without uttering a word.

 

  Thean approached me, as he exerted more strength to the hand holding that great sword once more.

  

  “It was supposed to be an unavoidable attack…But then, at some point, you dodged it. As if the space itself was distorted.”

 

  Crazy bastard. If that was possible, I would have been at the top of the academy.

 

  Manipulating time and space belonged in the highest realms of magic. Of course, as a single swordsman, there was no way I could do that.

 

  Even if it was possible, it was a realm attainable by a few humans hailed as the ‘Masters’ who can distort the laws of the world based on their own visualization.

 

  However, I avoided it.

 

  For some reason, those words were deeply embedded in my mind. A tickling feeling, as if I was about to remember something.

 

  ‘Footwork’, yes it was ‘Footwork’.

 

  My eyes turned to a certain point in the muddy vacant lot. The next moment, Thean’s sword was swung again.

 

  I rolled around with all my might. A quake resounded from the place I just escaped from. Thean exclaimed.

 

  “Soon you’ll get tired… Ian!”

 

  “Damn it!”

 

  Then I flung away once again. Thean drew his sword in such a straightforward and honest way, as if he didn’t consider anything else.

 

All right, from Thean’s voice, I can feel I have no breathing room. So I rolled on the ground, staggered to my feet, and widened my distance from him.

 

  Thean looked at me with a relaxed expression. He, too, had realized that I have reached my limit.

 

  I gasped for breath. Now even the sword seemed too cumbersome to hold on to. I sheathed my sword.

 

  It meant I would solely focus on dodging. Thean seemed to have taken it quite ridiculously.

 

  “Are you going to keep dodging? Good, good… I think I will get to see something interesting. Won’t I?!”

 

  And Thean kicked the ground without even considering the possibility that I might counterattack. A straight lunge, the muscular legs supporting his body, landed on the ground first.

 

  It was then. His posture staggered.

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  A cracking sound resounded. It was the sound of one’s ankle being sprained. “Argh”, Thean groaned as such, as he examined his feet.

 

  It was obscured by dirt, so it was hard to see, but there was one concave groove there.

 

  The first time I received Thean’s blow, the dent marks left at that time.

 

  It was shallow. Nevertheless, there was an obvious difference in depth compared to the surrounding area and when someone with a huge body like Thean moves, a corresponding amount of momentum is generated.

 

  It was good even if he just stumbled a little as he would collapse on himself.

 

  However, Thean was not an easy opponent. Even under the pain of spraining his ankle, he clenched his teeth and tried to swing his sword while attempting to restore his balance.

 

  However, didn’t I just give up on my sword?

 

  My body snapped, and I barely avoided Thean’s sword attack. Thean’s bloodshot eyes flashed past me. Those eyes were saying that he couldn’t let it end like this.

 

  My prediction was accurate. A hatchet was drawn from my waist as fast as a lightning bolt.

 

  Thwack, a clear sound of something being hit rang out as my hatchet struck Thean’s jaw.

 

  Taking into account how his posture had collapsed and adding his weight and momentum, my hatchet shook the core of Thean’s brain.

 

  Still, Thean tried to persevere. He was as strong as a monster. He stood with both feet on the ground. Then I lunged at him with all my might.

 

  Thean rolled into the ground for the first time. If someone rolls to the ground after having just gotten over such a concussion, they would pass out.

 

  However, I also had been in such a situation before. So, I was accustomed to rolling on the ground too much. At that moment, Thean looked up at me with a bewildered gaze while I sighed in relief.

 

  I had already grabbed my hatchet and prepared to strike Thean’s face who was beneath me.

 

Thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack. One after another, the blows delivered using the hatchet smashed Thean’s face, and blood gushed out each time a blow was struck.

 

  Although it didn’t have a sharp edge, a hatchet quickly swung could not be compared to a sword in terms of speed, since it was shorter. This was also the reason why I gave up the sword as a means of counterattacking Thean.

 

  No matter how good of a swordsman Thean is, Thean is still inexperienced. He has no choice but to lack the experience required to respond to weapons other than the sword.

 

  The hatchet struck Thean in the head several times, but Thean turned his head several times, trying to maintain his consciousness. But how can I allow that?

 

  Thwack.

 

  I struck his temple with the end of my hatchet. That was the end of it.

 

  If Thean had not been strong enough, he might have died instantly. However, his stamina, strengthened with mana, was beyond my imagination, so he probably will be able to withstand it.

 

  Thean’s head shook as he fell back, having lost his consciousness. A number of bruises were covering his face.

 

  It’ll be worth seeing tomorrow, I thought so and got up. Fatigue rushed to me.

 

  Fuhh, my body leaned. I just wanted to fall down, but I couldn’t just do it.

 

  As I was about to hang the hatchet back on my belt, I heard someone shout.

 

  “I-I Lupine, the third son of the revered Rinella Count Household of the Empire!”

 

  My gaze slowly turned to the back. There remained a seated man who had regained his senses as he pointed at me.

 

  He was pretending to be strong, but I could sense it intuitively that he was scared. Fear lingered in his eyes. Even the blood splattered by Thean had not been properly cleaned yet.

 

  A head and face with blood all over it. As a young master from an aristocratic household, it must be terrifying.

 

  “You, you dare touch me?! If you get down on your knees and ask for forgiveness right now…….”

 

  “Hey.”

 

  The man who introduced himself as ‘Lupine’ immediately trembled at my growl and looked at me with fearful eyes.

 

  His eyes trembled. Instead of answering, I threw the hatchet.

 

  He squealed, as the hatched slammed into the ground, barely missing Lupine’s head. “Hiik!” Lupine screamed as such, and crawled away in fear.  

 

  My throwing skill was quite refined. Even when I thought about ity, I couldn’t tell how I was able to achieve this level of mastery in this skill, but for now, it didn’t matter.

 

  I was tired and wanted to go home. So I trudged past Lupine.

 

  I pulled out the hatchet that was stuck in the ground as Lupine kept crying.

 

  “These days… are the thirds sons from the County like to beg for a beating?”  

 

  Lupine took a deep breath. He was ready to cry soon. I whispered in his ear one last time.

 

  “There won’t be another chance next time. Didn’t you find out today that I’m quite crazy?”

 

  Lupine nodded vigorously. I tapped his shoulder and straightened my bent back to whisper in his ear.

 

  In the vacant lot, there remained seven groaning bodies and one man trembling in fear, as if he was about to wet himself.

 

  That picture remained stagnant until someone arrived at that scene.

 

****

 

  The fate of Thean was revealed during the swordsmanship practice class the next day.

 

  It was during a time when some students were mocking Seria while pretending that she didn’t hear any of their words.

 

 

 


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Love Letter from the Future

Love Letter from the Future

미래에서 온 연애편지
Score 9.00
Status: Ongoing Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
Ian Percus, the second son of countryside Viscountcy. One day he received a love letter from the future. 'If we don't protect the future, the world will perish.' With an ominous warning scribbled by someone  

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