Chapter 1171 Sword Saint The twins seemed to be supporting each other. The older one had extraordinary prowess but with a straight character, while the younger one had a calmer behavior but slightly less prowess.
Theo observed the twins a bit more before saying, "Anyway, it's good to meet you, but I need to finish my purpose first."
"Be my guest. You can finish it first. We won't do anything." Rea nodded in agreement while making sure Sojuro didn't do anything to him.
Since he got the confirmation, Theo then looked at Uozomi Ryoichi and asked with a serious tone. "Uozomi Ryoichi. I come here to ask you to work for me."
"!!!" Not only Ryoichi but the twins were startled by this request. This was completely out of nowhere, especially with his reputation and enemies.
"This… I don't know what to say…" Ryoichi blinked a few times, not understanding the reason why Theo wanted him. After all, he was useless without the ability to level up. And his enemies were too powerful for most people to contend with. Even some powerful groups didn't want to offend them just for one Mythical Rank Expert that couldn't get stronger.
Meanwhile, the twins couldn't stay quiet after hearing this. The older one said, "Are you sure about this? A person of your status should have known his background, right?"
Theo remained silent. His focus stayed on Ryoichi the whole time as if this matter was only between them.
"Give me a reason that makes you not want to follow me," Theo stated once again.
"That is…" Ryoichi thought for a moment and stated one of the biggest reasons. "I have sworn to my wife and my child to not harm a single soul anymore. So, I won't be of any use to you. Though, I appreciate the offer."
"I don't need you to harm people. There are many ways to fight people without harming them." Theo shook his head. "You can exhaust them or something. I have a sword in my hand, but I lack a shield. That's why I want you."
"But I won't be able to become stronger. So, it will be a mistake to invest in me."
"Stronger, huh… Do you mean level up?"
"Of course. How do you even get stronger without leveling up?"
"When you reach Mythical Rank Expert, levels are no longer relevant." Theo smiled.
"!!!" Both Nagasawa siblings were shaken when they heard Theo's words. They remembered the scene when their father taught them.
At that time, their father stood in front of the exhausted children and stated, "Use your youth to level up as much as you can. When you're older, you won't be able to go to the other side that easily because others are trying to keep you in check."
"Father… You are this strong, but you never aim for level 1,000… why is it? If it's because of the others, you can sneak around to kill a few monsters at a time, and eventually, you can reach level 1,000. Why?"
When he heard that question from his daughter, he shook his head and answered with a firm tone. "Level is not relevant. I don't know why we get all this stuff… Although it's good for the people who just started their lives in this system… it won't work when you've reached the peak. You realize that leveling up is just a waste of time. There is even a risk of dying."
"Then, if we don't level up, how do we get stronger?"
"There are many ways to do it. For example, the herbs you've consumed many times increase your status… Or the Five Aspects that I've taught you this whole time… and…" He paused for a moment, making the siblings curious.
"And…" The twins were staring at him with a great expectation as if waiting for the greatest answer.
"Never mind. Just know that there is an Absolute Strength beyond what you call level. You're currently not at the level I should start speaking about this! Just know that I'm focusing on both your levels and Five Aspects when you're young!"
The siblings remembered this conversation at the same time. They even exchanged looks as if thinking the same thing.
'Does he know anything about that absolute strength?'
'No, no. He must be talking about the herbs and artifacts as well as the Five Aspects.'
Even though they were only staring at each other, they seemed to be able to communicate with each other.
Meanwhile, Ryoichi was confused by Theo's words. Though, he could clearly see the confidence in Theo's eyes, believing that his words were true.
"I…" Even Ryoichi started to doubt his problem. He thought he was already useless because he could no longer harm another living creature, but there was a person that didn't believe it was true.
"You can't harm others… That's fine with me. Doesn't that mean you're emphasizing your strength to those shields of yours so that the person behind you won't get hurt too?" Theo added with a smile.
Ryoichi couldn't deny it. As a Knight, he had a sword and a shield in the past. However, he started using two shields after the promise to his wife and child.
"I still have many enemies here. Recruiting me is the same as making you their target. As you said, I'm a shield. That's why I need to refuse to protect you too." Ryoichi shook his head, rejecting Theo's offer.
"Or you can strengthen that shield of yours so that you can protect me better." Theo smiled.
"A person can't get strong overnight."
"That's where you're wrong." Theo smiled.
"What do you mean?"
"You simply need to forget that promise, and you can get stronger."
"Are you trying to make me take back that promise?" He frowned as his eyes started emanating his hostility.
"No. I'll never ask you to take back that promise. I just want you to know that you can get stronger overnight. There are multiple paths to do it… In your case, one of them is broken. All we need to do is to find another path. Come with me, Uozomi Ryoichi. Those shields of yours are not useless. I want to prove them." Theo extended his right hand, inviting him once again.
Unlike the others, Theo had a hard time finding a way to convince Ryoichi because he had low self-esteem, unlike the rest, who had their own pride and goals. That was why he was using all these words to convince him.
However, Theo still found a great doubt in Ryoichi's eyes.
Yet fate took another turn as another voice echoed inside this room.
"!!!" Both Theo and Jeff immediately turned around as they couldn't feel his presence at all. They found a black-haired middle-aged man standing next to the entrance while looking at both of them.
The two siblings greeted him immediately before the middle-aged man smacked Sojuro's head with a stick, saying, "It's 'Father'!"
Shinoda's body was shaken as he immediately greeted him. "Sir… Sir… Sword Saint. Why did you come here?"
"Well, I got a message from my son and became a bit interested in it. So, I came."
Everyone's eyes were locked on Sojuro as the latter looked away while saying, "Ehm, the military didn't want any conflict or misunderstanding, right? I just messaged my father for permission to have a spar with Joker… I never expected Pop… I mean, Father to come here."