Jin Runcandel often had this thought.
Am I destined for failure?
This young man full of potential had yet to reach his thirties. He didn't always have this belief in mind while he was growing up. There was a time when he had ambitious goals and grand dreams like anyone else.
For example, one such instance was the day he first held a sword as the youngest child of the Runcandel Clan.
During his childhood, Jin believed that his future held great success, honor, and fame, just like his father and siblings.
However, Jin had no talent.
For generations, members of the Runcandel Clan became 1-star knights by the age of 13. In the long history of the family that exceeded 1000 years, there was not a single child that had failed to become a 1-star knight before turning 14.
An average Runcandel would become a 3-star knight by the age of 16, and would later travel the world after becoming a 5-star knight before turning 20.
But Jin was 25 by the time he became a 1-star knight.
Even a clown with absolutely no talent at all could accomplish this feat, as long as he put in a sufficient amount of effort.
Because they had seen Jin's noteworthy efforts, his siblings banished him without killing him.
'But it wasn't that I had no talent. It wasn't that at all…'
After leaving his family, Jin was surprised to learn that his talent lay within a field other than the sword.
Jin was extremely talented in magic.
While he was wandering aimlessly, he accidentally became a magician's disciple, and within 3 years of training, the God of Shadows offered him a contract.
He was on a solid path to becoming the grand magician of his era. The God of Shadows 'Solderet' was a being that all magicians yearned for.
Furthermore, Jin learned that he was also gifted with the sword from Solderet.
[Contractor, it seems that someone bore a grudge against you since your childhood. You haven't been able to use your full potential due to a trivial curse. That might've been the reason why I was so captivated by you.]
That was how Solderet described the curse that had been suppressing Jin's talents. A 9-star magician was the cause of the curse in question, which was called the 'Bladed Illusion'.
Needless to say, Jin was unaware that he had been cursed until Solderet informed him.
Solderet easily dispelled the curse that had been tormenting Jin. The blood-red chains hidden inside Jin's body were absorbed by the shadows.
[You can now become an unparalleled magic swordsman, Contractor. I'll be watching over you with excitement.]
It was true.
Following Solderet's words, Jin picked up the sword he had once thrown away. With every swing, he was reaching new levels of mastery. The greatest failure of Runcandel's history, Jin Runcandel, was no more.
In one hand, magic.
In the other, a sword.
Within 10 years, he would become so powerful that he wouldn't have to hide from his clan, the family that had thrown him aside. All that was left to do was to become history's strongest magic swordsman and to rule over the world.
'Seems like I truly am destined for failure.'
Jin spat out a mouthful of blood. He was bleeding everywhere, including his eyes, nose, and ears.
Death was looming over him.
He hadn't even had the chance to use his magic or Solderet's power.
Three 9-star knights had attacked the Akin Kingdom's capital out of the blue, and Jin had received a fatal wound during their rampage in his sleep.
…… In his sleep.
A single 9-star knight could raze a nation the size of the Akin Kingdom within half a day. And since three of them had raided the capital city, there was nothing Jin could've done.
He couldn't even react because he had just finished training and had fallen asleep from exhaustion.
What a ridiculous death he had. He wanted to cry out in madness due to the absurdity, but all that escaped his blood-filled mouth was delirious laughter.
He was on death's door, and nobody was by his side.
Not his teacher who cared for him, not his siblings and family who had cast him aside, not a single person.
Even Solderet showed no response.
'Why… Why did the heavens bother giving me an opportunity just to take it away immediately?'
And so, Jin Runcandel closed his eyes.
While he held no lingering feelings, he had many regrets about his life.