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    The Demon King had always been very curious about Herna and Gades, the twins.

    When he was caught in the aura storm and bounced off the dimensional boundary, those kids approached Seongjin and subtly revealed that they were aware of the Demon King’s existence. They even showed him a puppet show about the Dream Demon King and the Fire Demon King.

    So, he expected that once he met them, he would ask them various questions noisily.

    But when he finally met the twins, the Demon King was silent for a while, as if he was deep in thought.

    Then, after a long pause, he finally asked:

    “Those kids… are they human? They couldn’t possibly be monsters, could they?”


    ‘What nonsense are you spouting all of a sudden? If they’re not human, what are they?’

    Where on earth would you find a monster that looks perfectly normal?

    Even if there were, it wouldn’t be Lee Seongjin, who couldn’t sense the aura of a monster.

    And that applies to the Demon King of Gehenna himself.

    [Oh, right, now that I think about it, they aren’t monsters. I know they exist but…….]

    Seongjin, bewildered, listened as the Demon King hesitantly explained.

    He saw the mind crystals shining inside the twins’ Herna and Gades’ heads.

    With their size and shape being quite normal, it was almost certain that the two were channelers.

    ‘That makes sense…….’

    While the story was sudden, Seongjin began to understand something.

    Every time he met the twins, he felt a strange sense of déjà vu along with fatigue.

    Their way of circumventing the topic, or how they abruptly changed subjects.

    Even though they weren’t as mentally unstable as Sharon, the twins didn’t seem completely sane either.

    ‘But even if it’s about mind crystals and channeling abilities, why suddenly bring up monsters?’

    They were the prince and princess of the Holy Empire, after all.

    It’s unlikely they are monsters.

    [No… it’s just that, the location is a bit strange.]

    According to the Demon King, they were innate channelers.

    The delicately shaped mind crystals were stably located in a specific position. Such cases usually indicate a high degree of channeling ability.

    [It’s different from that foolhardy commander. Spontaneously developed mind crystals don’t have such a smooth shape. That naturally limits their abilities.]

    But the difference didn’t end there.

    Unlike Bruno, the Commander, whose crystal was near the frontal lobe, or Sharon, whose crystal was near the thalamus, the twins’ mind crystals were located deep in the occipital lobe of the brain.

    That was the problem. It wasn’t a location typically found in humans.

    Mind crystals in the occipital lobe are a characteristic of cluster monsters that channel, like those with Bartosi-like neural placements in the same area.

    [Such traits are inherited from the parents. What does their mother do, by the way? Surely she isn’t a monster…….]

    ‘Yeah, right.’

    What nonsense is this?

    The twins’ mother, though not officially a queen, was living well in the capital’s bustling area, as far as he knew.

    ‘What about the possibility that they take after their father?’

    Seongjin thought this was more likely.

    The Holy Emperor has the ability to see souls and even traverse the boundaries of dimensions by moving souls alone. It would be more surprising if he wasn’t a channeler, right?

    Then the matter becomes simpler. The next time he meets him, he just needs to search his head for a mind crystal.

    However, the Demon King’s reaction to this suggestion was odd.

    [Look for a mind crystal in your father? Ahahaha!]

    He laughed in disbelief.

    [Do you think that’s possible? Your father is… just light. Light! Like a star, he’s a massive source of holy power glowing on its own! Would you be able to distinguish a faintly shining mind crystal in that soul? Could you?]

    It’s like looking for a candle in lava. Or searching for a campfire by jumping into the sun! At least then, there wouldn’t be the risk of the soul being extinguished, right?

    The Demon King rambled on with a heavy heart.

    [Really… Whenever I get near your father, I’m scared to death I’ll just burn up! How long do I have to live like this? Huh? *sob*]


    Recently, he had been seeing the Holy Emperor’s face quite often.

    It seemed that the Demon King, knowingly or unknowingly, had accumulated quite a bit of stress.

    * * *

    The next morning.

    Having received permission from Dr. Ninnias to resume training, Seongjin rushed to the training ground, excited to test his increased aura.

    He was currently working on the fifth form of the Imperial Standard Swordsmanship, which mainly consisted of brisk thrusts. He was expecting some visible improvement in his swordplay.


    However, contrary to his expectations, his movements were not smooth due to his muscles suddenly surging, reminiscent of when he first unconsciously wove aura and his motions were choppy.

    Struggling to move smoothly, he was sweating profusely when Masain cautiously suggested:

    “The aura has indeed increased too rapidly to be controlled at once. Perhaps it would be better to start again from the first form and readjust your aura?”

    Ah, the tedious first form again.

    But, thanks to his past efforts, repeating the most familiar form helped Seongjin quickly regain control over the flow of his aura.

    But as he was focused on adjusting, he suddenly realized that the atmosphere in the training ground was more bustling than usual. The resident knights were gathered in one corner, discussing something.

    Feeling Seongjin’s puzzled gaze, Dame Maria discreetly approached and informed him:

    “[Lilium] will soon arrive in the capital.”

    A grand parade was planned, and some resident knights were being mobilized for it, which also required adjustments in their duty roster.

    But what’s Lilium?

    “It’s a special detachment of the St. Bastian Paladins. They’re an elite unit organized for the subjugation of sea monsters.”

    Masain, who was nearby, quickly explained to Seongjin.

    The St. Bastian Paladins.

    The St. Bastian Paladins, upholding the legacy of Saint Bastian of [Forgiveness], embrace [Generosity] as their virtue. Ironically, despite such a virtue as their motto, they are known to be as strict as the St. Marcias paladins.

    Operating from the Saint Bastian Church as their base, they are well known as the arms and feet of the Orthodox Church.

    And the person leading the special marine detachment from this knightly order…

    “Prince Logan is returning for his birthday celebration,” Masain said, with a faint hint of joy on his face.

    Prince Logan of Delcross, the second prince.

    A young paladin, touted as a swordsmanship prodigy destined to follow in the Holy Emperor’s footsteps.

    —I’ll teach you a little secret, just between us. This is something no one else knows.

    A boy whispering secrets in a dream.

    —The reason I seem good at it is because I’ve learned it before.

    That statement likely meant more than just early education.

    It’s a stretch, but if he wasn’t just an ordinary child…

    For instance, like Seongjin, if someone’s soul was inhabiting his body…

    ‘…Wait a minute! Isn’t that quite plausible? How can I be sure mine is the only case?’

    The realization hit Seongjin like a splash of cold water.

    In retrospect, didn’t he seem too precocious for his age, even in dreams?

    “Prince Logan was always unusually mature for his age since he was young.”

    Responding to Seongjin’s inquiry about the second prince, Masain answered with a smile.

    “Looking back, it was like he was an aged knight in a young child’s guise.”

    Seongjin felt a chill run down his spine.


    “Even with swordsmanship, it was as if he was effortlessly relearning what he already knew. Although I was assigned as his teacher, I’m not sure if I really taught him anything.”

    Bruno, the former commander, joined in the conversation.

    “I’ve met many renowned swordsmen across the continent, but I’ve never seen a talent like Prince Logan. I often thought he might surpass the Eastern Continent’s strongest sword, General Gale.”

    At Seongjin’s question about who General Gale was, he was described as a genius of his time.

    “Tragically, he fell in the Ortona civil war, but if we talk about swordsmanship, he was unparalleled on the continent. Truly, a knight among knights.”

    Masain coughed subtly.

    “The continent’s greatest knight is Balthazar, Commander Bruno.”

    “Of course, there’s no dispute that Balthazar is the greatest knight. His achievements are already a living legend. However, wasn’t it General Gale who holds the record as the youngest Sword Master? I’m not saying this just because I’m from Ortona.”

    “Well, that record might soon be broken,” Bruno continued.

    “If things continue this way, Prince Logan might become the youngest Sword Master on the continent. It’s not certain when the Holy Emperor became a Sword Master, but they started swordsmanship at different ages. Perhaps the prince will reach that level much faster than His Majesty?”

    A Sword Master is someone who has reached the pinnacle in both aura cultivation and swordsmanship.

    There can be Decalon Knights who are not Sword Masters, but no Sword Masters who are not Decalon Knights.

    Prince Logan is predicted to reach this exalted status faster than anyone.

    And he had said so himself. The reason he excels is because he learned it in the past.


    As Seongjin heard more about Logan, the idea that he might be a possessor – someone with another soul inhabiting their body – seemed less and less like a mere assumption.

    Seeing Seongjin furrow his brows in thought, Masain, possibly misunderstanding his concern, quickly added:

    “Of course, Your Highness is also remarkable. The speed at which you accumulate aura is truly unparalleled. Even Prince Logan couldn’t increase his aura layers as quickly in one day.”

    The dramatic shift from the 6th to the near 7th layer of aura.

    Fortunately, according to Masain, Seongjin’s physical condition wasn’t adversely affected.

    Observing the stable activation of aura around him, it was clear that the sudden increase in aura wasn’t burdening his body.

    Masain was a bit surprised to see Seongjin accumulate aura so rapidly in a day, but he thought it must be the Holy Emperor’s doing. The aura vortex had lingered around Seongjin while the Holy Emperor was healing him, so it was likely his work.

    “But I’ve always wondered, why is Balthazar called the strongest on the continent? To me, it seems like my father is stronger than Sir Balthazar.”

    At Seongjin’s question, both Masain and Commander Bruno looked puzzled.

    “Well, that’s because the Holy Emperor is beyond comparison.”

    “The Emperor is in a league of his own.”

    …Ah, Seongjin realized.

    To these two, the Holy Emperor was beyond human categorization.

    Regardless, Seongjin felt somewhat relieved and delved into meditation.

    After all, what use was it to ponder about Logan, who wasn’t even present? He would soon return to the capital, and Seongjin could learn more upon meeting him.

    As Seongjin focused intently, the wind whirling around him became so distinct that even the surrounding knights could feel it. Most resident knights were now somewhat accustomed to the unusual phenomena displayed by the prince.

    “His aura materializes just by meditating. No wonder he builds layers so quickly.”

    Dame Maria commented in amazement, while Kurt, polishing his sword nearby, nodded.

    “The amount he absorbs and circulates in one go is different. The bloodline of the Holy Emperor’s family is truly extraordinary.”

    But it wasn’t just Morres.

    Recently, Princess Amelia, who had received high praise from the spear master Dimlos as a rare talent.

    Prince Logan, projected to become the youngest Sword Master on the continent.

    And Prince Owen, initially unremarkable at the palace but recently gaining fame for his monstrous prowess on the southern front.

    “Um… Suddenly I feel less motivated.”

    Haven spoke dejectedly, casting a heavy silence over the training ground.

    Joining the Imperial Knights meant that one’s swordsmanship skills were not easily surpassed anywhere. However, in the presence of such geniuses, even they felt diminished.

    “…Let’s just train.”


    With that, they returned to their respective spots, a bit disheartened.

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