Shaolin was one of the largest known temple sects in the world.
Shaolin’s status in Kangho was huge, but its status on the Central Plains was no less than that.
Ever since the Dharma began to preach about Buddhism in the land, Shaolin had become a sacred place for almost all its people.
Of course, the scale was also so massive that no such similar place could be found elsewhere.
And now this huge Shaolin temple had been stuffed so full of people that there was no room to move comfortably.
“Ah! Don’t push!”
“I’m here, you people!”
“Who brought that chair? Who brings a chair to such a small place? Are you crazy?!”
The number of people who were here to participate in this competition wasn’t small, but compared to the number of people who came to see the spars, that number was nothing.
“Should we watch like this?”
“I don’t know! There hasn’t been such a thing in a hundred years! If we don’t see it now, there is no guarantee that we will see it for another 100 years! Even if my neck cracks, I need to watch it!”
From the first day of the competition, there was no space to walk. Because of this, even after all 1,000 monks were mobilized, they had a hard time controlling people.
“Wow, look at the number of people.”
Jo Gul was shocked as he looked around.
The area where the participants waited, and the area where the spectators were seated was only separated by a red line. Thanks to this, the sects who were participating could sit comfortably.
“The competition is in the sparring training hall?”
At Yoon Jong’s answer, Jo Gul narrowed his eyes and looked around,
“The hall is smaller than I thought. I thought it would be different because this is Shaolin.”
“Look to the side.”
Jo Gul turned his head. In front of the densely crowded place, several more markings were laid on the ground, like an area for the spar to happen.
“… we will use all that?”
“Looks like it.”
Yoon Jong shrugged.
“There are close to 20 sects who got the platinum letter. Then, there are only four hundred individuals participating. If it was the gold, silver, and bronze letters, then the participants would be over a thousand.”
Jo Gul was shocked. Jo Gul opened his mouth wide, and Yoon Jong nodded.
“That was why the invitations were needed. If they let in all those who wanted to participate, it would take around three and a half months to get all the results.”
Jo Gul was now feeling the influence of this place.
‘But, a thousand participants.’
When will all of them get their chance?
“It seems like the preliminary rounds will be held in roughly two days. After that, they said, we will move to a central training hall and hold the finals. There will be around 100 people left after that.”
Jo Gul grabbed the sword on his waist.
‘A hundred people, I need to be among them.’
Although the goal was to climb as high as possible, the rank in the initial spar wasn’t determined by skills.
If you were against the possible winner of the first round, wasn’t it just the bizarre situation of being eliminated right away?
What if there was a situation where one got eliminated in the early stages due to bad luck?
‘I don’t even want to imagine.’
‘That bastard will chew me alive. Throughout the time, all the way back to Mount Hua, even after heading back to Mount Hua!’
“Ugh. If I lose, Chung Myung will beat me down…”
“Are you worried about that?”
“It looks like you are fighting with the elites of the other sects, but you don’t seem worried about that.”
At Yoon Jong’s words, Jo Gul glanced around.
The disciples of the prestigious sects were all with bright eyes and enthusiastic looks. The aura they were exuding was enough to know how strict their training must have been.
If it was Jo Gul of the past, he would have been shocked at this sight. Because they were the distinguished disciples of a sect he couldn’t even imagine.
Was it a little different now?
It was true that the status of Mount Hua had risen a lot, but Jo Gul hadn’t really felt that it changed their outlook.
Because there was no one who looked at the disciples of Mount Hua with envy. And no one gave him special treatment.
“I think it will be strange to say this, but don’t they look easy?”
Yoon Jong, who glanced at the other participants, smiled,
“Of course they look easy.”
“Still, they are called disciples of prestigious sects.”
“Is there anyone like Chung Myung among them?”
“… there can’t be two such people in this world,”
“Right. We live with that bastard every day, so why would we be afraid of anyone? Even if you see a monster with three heads or six heads I don’t think we’ll be scared.”
They were the disciples who feared the hands of Chung Myung and didn’t fear anything else.
“So when does the competition start?”
“It is about to start.”
Yoon Jong pointed forward.
Following the gesture, he turned to see a Shaolin monk walking.
He had a reverent posture, and once he had reached his destination, he then raised his head looking at the people gathered there.
The hall, which was noisy, went silent in an instant.
The Shaolin monk, who drew everyone’s attention, spoke with a heavy voice.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the disciples of each sect who took their precious time to come and participate in this competition and to all those who came to watch it too. I am a Shaolin monk, Gong Cho.”
At the name ‘Gong Cho,’ whispers arose.
“Then he is?”
“The Immovable Fist, Gong Cho!”
Among the Gong disciples of Shaolin, Gong Cho was one of the most famous ones. He was one of the representative martial artists of Shaolin who dealt with a lot of evildoers in the past with his high skills and yet was known to be rarely violent.
No one could hide their excitement at the fact that such a person was conducting these spars,
“And I would like to thank the sect leaders who grace us with this event.”
Gong Cho turned to the high podium on one side of the hall.
The sect leaders of each sect were seated there. They were all greeted with cheers and claps.
Yoon Jong smiled at this,
“Sect Leader must be in a good mood.”
“No, sahyung. He must be very uncomfortable, right?”
“… is that so?”
Right. Hyun Jong wasn’t in a position to be used to all of this.
“If you think about it, the sect leaders for Southern Edge and the Wudang Sects are sitting on either side. He will gulp down his water.”
“Then we need to make sure he stays there comfortably.”
At that moment, Gong Cho spoke with a voice full of strength.
“From now on, we will be holding the Worldly Murim Competition! Those who are called up go out to your designated place. And the circles there were prepared fairly in the presence of each sect leader so no complaints will be accepted.”
Baek Cheon clenched his hand at that.
‘This is the start.’
He took a few deep breaths and looked at the ground with sunken eyes. In the distance, he could see the Southern Edge sect disciples gathered around. Jin Gem-Ryong and his father would also be there.
Chung Myung noticed Baek Cheon.
“Of course I am.”
Chung Myung tilted his head at Baek Cheon who calmly acknowledged it. Baek Cheon continued in a calm voice,
“We are given the chance to show the sword of Mount Hua to the world, how can I not tremble? I am having a hard time calming my nerves.”
You can do some pretty cool things too?
“Take it easy, calm down. Don’t make mistakes while trying too hard.”
“People like sasuk fail when they try too hard to do something.”
“Don’t pretend you aren’t them, and calm down.”
Baek Cheon pointed behind Chung Myung with his chin.
Chung Myung looked back.
On the ground, a monk, who was assisting the matches, was screaming at the top of his lungs.
“Mount Hua’s Chung Myung! Is Chung Myung here!? No, where is he? The spar will start!”
“Chung Myung of Mount Hua? Is he here? If he isn’t then the match will go in favor of the opponent!”
Startled, he raised his hand,
“Here! I am here!”
He jumped down and the monk asked,
“Where did you go!”
“I didn’t go anywhere…”
“Hurry up and come into the circle! Your opponent has been waiting for you!”
Chung Myung rushed out. The opponent was really waiting for him.
Chung Myung, who checked his opponent, tilted his head,
“Why do you look familiar? Did we meet before?”
Chung Myung’s opponent.
Kwak Hwan-So, the great disciple of the Southern Island Sect, bit his teeth.
“Damned Mount Hua bastard! Even if you look down on people this is too much! We only just met two days back, how can you forget me?”
“Ah…! The one from back then! The one who flew back with one hit, that was why I couldn’t remember your face.”
Kwak Hwan-So trembled and took a deep breath,
“Where did you sell your sword?”
Chung Myung looked at his waist.
Seeing his waist empty, Chung Myung checked where he sat, and saw that Baek Cheon was holding his sword.
Baek Cheon threw the sword over and Chun Myung caught it in the air and quickly put it at his waist.
Kwak Hwan-So was a bit stunned at that,
“A swordsman carries his sword at all times. Didn’t Mount Hua teach you that?”
“You’re not amazing enough to involve yourself in another sect’s education right?”
“What! You are the…!”
“Okay, let’s start.”
Chung Myung, who touched his sword, cracked his neck to the left and right.
He didn’t think he would be called out at the start but this wasn’t a bad thing either.
On the other side of the circle, Kwak Hwan-So had drawn his sword.
“You are running around wildly not knowing the difference between heaven and earth. This is good. I was just waiting for the chance to get my revenge on the Mount Hua jerks, and the heavens are helping me. As long as I have my sword I will show Mount Hua is no opponent to Southern Island.”
“Ah, yes. Try your best. I will cheer for you too.”
Kwak Hwan-So clenched his teeth. But this time he wasn’t going to be careless.
Hadn’t he already experienced what happens when he rushes ahead without thought? Nothing good comes from being hit like that.
If he has to show something, it has to be with his sword.
There were a lot of spars happening in ten other circles, and the eyes of the people were focused on Chung Myung and Kwak Hwan-So.
Everyone who heard of their recent fight had to watch this.
“Will Southern Island take their revenge?”
“You don’t know? That man is called Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon! Do you not know that he is the most talked about person here?!”
“Uh? That one is the Divine Dragon? He doesn’t look that good.”
“You can’t tell how good someone’s skills are just by their appearance.”
“Couldn’t it be just a rumor?”
“Isn’t that something we will know when we watch the fight?”
Everyone looked there with the same feeling.
On the other hand, at some point, Mount Hua’s Disciple Chung Myung had earned his name as quick as the wind.
On the other hand, one of the Nine Great Sects One Union’s Southern Island Sect’s Disciple Kwak Hwan-So was pushed out by Mount Hua in a fight of fists!
No matter how famous Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon was, defeating the great disciple of the Southern Island could not be easy.
“Let’s start the spar!”
With a loud cry, the people in the circle moved.
‘To restore the honor of the Southern Island!’
Kwak Hwan-So kept telling that to himself.
With that appearance, no one could think that the past gossip about him being taken down in one hit was true, they were sure he would win.
He calmed down…
Kwak Hwan-So’s eyes widened.
Suddenly it felt like the world had gone dark.
Dark? The world?
Kwak Hwan-So realized it quickly.
This wasn’t the world turning dark but his sight being blocked by something.
Fortunately, he managed to recognize what it was.
‘The sole of a shoe…?’
But it was too late.
The foot of Chung Myung struck him in the face.
Kwak Hwan-So screamed like a pig and bounced over the line.
The others who were in their own circles and fighting all were startled and avoided the Kwak hwan-So cannonball which was whistling through the air.
Flying through nine more sparring circles, he crashed into the wall at the end of the hall.
Everyone there looked at the man with blank eyes. No, to be precise, they looked at the body which was stuck into the wall.
Even those who were in the middle of their fights lowered their weapons and looked at it.
Before long, the eyes moved from him to where Chung Myung was. And Chung Myung shook his head as he mumbled,
“You couldn’t get your mind straight even after being hit by my sasuk. How dare you think in front of me. Did he have a death wish?”
Chung Myung shook his head a couple of times and looked at Gong Cho.
“I won right?”
“It ended. Can I come out?”
“… Ah, ah!”
Gong Cho nodded his head and said loudly,
“In the first spar, the disciple of Mount Hua, Chung Myung has won!”
At the same time as those words came out, the silence broke.
“Oh! Myyyyyy! One hit!”
“Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon!”
“Ugh! The day has come when I saw such a fight with my eyes! This is the best! Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon!”
Chung Myung shrugged and headed out as he received cheers from the people and stood in front of the disciples of Mount Hua,
“You need to do just that.”
… yeah, that was helpful.
Thank you so much, Chung Myung.
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