Sword Whisperer: Chapter 17

Chapter 17.  Van of the Cho Family (2)

Van only had one objective when he decided to take the test.  He wanted to be the winner and let his name be known.  And so he could get one step closer to reaching his goal.

However, Van’s thoughts began to change little by little, having taken the test.

It was because he instinctively came to an understanding.  That was, as the path he has chosen to travel was so long that it was not even appropriate to call this moment a pivoting time.



Van thought as he had watched the opponent falling down through the ground after losing his arm.

It could be that his standard might have been too high.  While he was at the Cho Family’s compound, he had engaged in sword sparring sessions with many of the family members, including Cho Yeoryung.  However, considering the fact that they were one of the nine most revered, great families, and that they represented ‘power’, even among them….it was natural that the people who were here appeared very weak to him.

 ‘How would this fight be reflected in their views?’

The crowd’s cheering which accompanied his, every, victory sowed sweet images in his mind.  That was, wouldn’t the high statured people, including even the king, be cheering for him behind those elaborate golden columns, right now? 

It was such an optimistic imagery which might have been nonsensical.

 ‘Not sufficient.  At this level.’

Even he knew it immediately.  He knew what the battles of the true ‘knights’ were like.  Even dismissing the spars which he had seen at the Cho Family’s compound, the image of Wooryung’s fighting against the rebels, long ago in the forest…..was on a completely different plain.

He was overwhelmingly powerful to even make him doubt whether he was the same person, or not.

The power that made both the battle strategy and techniques meaningless.

He wasn’t sure what the other great families’ capabilities were, but in his mind, they were even greater, not worse than this.

Therefore, Van couldn’t just remain elated.  He still had a long way to go.  He couldn’t behave as if he had become a great swordsman, having fought in battles which were entertaining level, at best.

The round of 32 was completed as of today.  Of the 7 Cho Family warriors who had entered the competition, only 4 were in the mix of the final 16.  Van, Hazleck, Lee Kyung, and Yuseul, the red spotted one.

And naturally, Van’s next opponent was none other than Hazleck.

 “….Such a bad luck.”

That evening.  Hazleck sighed as the Cho Family’s warriors gathered at a bar.  What a fate to have to face Van in the round of 16.  He was sure that he could easily survive to the final 4, as long as he did not have to fight Van.

 “Be positive.  Elder.”

Yuseul tapped on Hazlek’s shoulder.  It was funny to be consoled by the most junior member, but he did not even have the will to lament.  What could he have done as he was not good enough.

He couldn’t just dismiss it as not having enough talent.  Everyone knew it.  That Van was the one who spent the most time practicing the sword, among all of them.

Van had the right to possess the strength which he presently had.

 ‘However, I can’t lose easily.’

Hazleck opened his eyes narrowly.  Spar.  Hazleck was not very successful against Van during the spars.  However, sparring and fighting a real battle were two different things.  If he was to fight with his life on the line then even Van…..

 “Hey, folks.  By any chance, are you the warriors, in the competition, from the Cho Family?”

 “….Yes, and.”

 “Wow, I’ve enjoyed your competitions.  You were all flying around and stuff?  Especially….who is that Van guy?  I couldn’t make out his face inside the coliseum….”

 “He was here until just a moment ago…. perhaps, he went out for a second.”

 “Is that so?  Ah, do order anything, meat or drink as you please.  I’ve had a profitable day because of you, folks!”

He must have had made some bets today as he was tapping on his money pouch while speaking.  It was when Hazleck tried to speak to tell him it was OK and turn down the offer.

 “Is that so?  Alright, thank you then.”

A mischievous, yet emotionless voice was heard.  When Hazleck heard that voice, he immediately got up on his feet.  It was Yeoryung.

 “Yeo, Yeoryung.  How did you come here….”

 “I had some spare time, so came to entertain myself.  I thought all of you were going to be here, worrying.  Where is Van?”

 “….I’m not sure.”

It wasn’t out of the ordinary for Yeoryung to be looking for Van as soon as she got here.  She liked Van, quite a bit.  In fact, most of the Cho Family rather liked Van.  They respected strength, so Van, who only thought about swords, was naturally a good fit to be a good friend.

 ‘They seem to live in another world.  Sometimes.’

It wasn’t just the Cho Family, as Van, too, was alike.  They would look to another place even though they were all in the same space.  It wasn’t an issue of how strong one was.  It was more like from the birth, something told them that their place was in another space…..

 “Hazleck.  Let’s go outside?”

 “Ah, sorry?”

 “To look for Van.  Should at least say hi, since I’ve come all this way.”

In fact, it wasn’t too difficult to locate Van.  It was because, if he seemed to have disappeared without letting anyone know, all that one had to do to find him was to locate a space which was ripe for practicing sword.

It wasn’t different, this time around, either.  Back yard.  Holding the long sword, Van was practicing Cho Family’s sword skill.

His focus was so intense that it didn’t even appear that he even sensed their arrival.  Yeoryung murmured with a strange look on her face as she crossed her arms.

 “At least the sword path is perfect.”

There were many members of the Cho Family who were stronger than Van, but not that many could wield the sword as perfectly as Van did.

 “Hazleck, do you think you can win?”

Yeoryung asked.  In the moments like this, the right response would be to show confidence as a man and as a swordsman, but….Hazleck could not reply easily.  Yeoryung understood with Hazleck’s hesitation.

 “You feel like there is no opening.”

 “….To be truthful, yes.”

 “That’s natural.  Even I have a tough time finding openings when I fight him.  Give you a tip?”

 “A tip?”

 “Don’t look for openings, at all.”

Yeoryung smiled.

 “Then you will find an opening.”

 “….It sounds like a riddle.”

 “You’ll see it during the competition.”

 “But then how come your are giving me advice?  You would be cheering more for Van than me…..”

 “What?  Me?  Why?  I’m just on the side of our own warriors?  I don’t take sides!”

Ah, yes.  Of course.  Hazleck looked at Van, unable to finish what he intended to say.  Van still looked perfect in his sword skill.  Forego looking for an opening then you would see an opening?

 “….I could… win?”


She was completely in white.  Her hair, eye brows, skin tone, and even the clothes she was wearing were white.  Unless one was from a remote country town, her appearance immediately caused everyone to think of ‘Nahar’ from one of the nine great families.

Nahar Anya.  That was her name.

 “….Do I have to really look at this?”

And she was in a rather petulant state, at the moment.

The sun was bright.  On a day like this, going to a park and enjoying freshly picked grapes would be the most ideal way to spend time, rather than sitting in a coliseum to watch bloody battles.

However, Yeoryung pinched Anya’s cheek as she laughed.

 “Be patient.  Our family’s fighters are about to come out?”

 “Your family, not our family.”

 “You always want to act like not being part of the family?”

 “If it isn’t me, it’s always others when it comes to people.  And others are always pesky, just like you, right now.”

 “Ha, so cute, Anya.”

 “…You, you are not cute.”

Slouching deep in to her seat, Anya looked down at the field as if to say she didn’t even want to bother talking, anymore.  Prior to entering the academy, the older siblings were advising to not ‘play with the little kids.  They are all like puppies.’, but did not think too much about it, but then….didn’t realize that such puppies were this type of puppies.

 “Ah, it’s them!  Them!”

It was then.  Yeoryung quickly got up on her feet and began to shout loudly.  The other students of the academy curiously looked over at Yeoryung, but then soon they nodded as if they understood why when they saw Yeoryung in Cho Family’s attire.

As far as Anya was concerned, she was the type of person who Anya wanted to stay far away from the most.  However, not mindful of it, Yeoryung grabbed Anya’s shoulder and shook her.

 “Over there, do you see him?  He is Hazleck, and the other guy is Van!”


 “Hazleck, um…he is a good kid, and Van is very strong.  Even I have tough time beating him in spars, sometimes?”

 “You have a tough time beating him?”

Even Anya couldn’t help, but open her half closed eyes wider when she heard that.  No matter how much an idiot the person next to her was, she was after all, still a daughter of the Cho Family.  That was, a direct blood line of the head of the Cho Family, at that.

Someone who was not even a member of the Cho Family could stand toe to toe against Yeoryung?

 “He must be a genius.”

 “He is a genius.”

Yeoryung nodded her head when she heard Anya spat out those words.  In fact, she had wondered whether she was able to defeat Van, had she not been a member of the Cho Family.  If it wasn’t for the overwhelming physical abilities, Van’s sword might have cut through her prior to her being able to launch a counter move. 

 “And so, who are you rooting for?  That genius?  Or the other one?”

It was obvious that she had already forgotten their names.  But Yeoryung responded without feeling offended.

 “The weaker one?”

 “….Hmm, is that so?”

Anya raised her chin with a bored expression.  And only then, she realized that more students from the academy were gathered there than she had thought.  It was natural as it was the section reserved for the enrolled academy students, but even considering that, not many empty seats were seen.  The celebration could not be that popular to the currently enrolled students, to be honest….

In fact, it was also true for the seats reserved for the royal family members.  It wasn’t just a few to be propped up as stand-in to provide meaning to the competition.  On one side, there were even elite soldiers of the Royal Knights.  When thinking about who those knights would be escorting…..

 ‘…..This competition is a focal point of interest?’


That question did not go unanswered very long.

As soon as the trumpet blew, as soon as the competition began, and as soon as she heard the roaring crowds, Anya has completely forgotten about the lost picnic time.


Van thought that only the ordinary crowds would be cheering for him.

He thought that the people who knew the real power would not pay any attention to him.

He was mistaken.

The great families.  The royal knights.  The academy’s elites.  The royal family.

They were all watching him.

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