Hae Yeon’s face hardened a little.
‘It is sharp.’
What was sharp was the steps she took, the form, and her eyes looking at him! All of these things were just too sharp.
‘A sword expert.’
Although Shaolin was proficient in all forms of fist techniques, the Shaolin sect indeed had the best overall knowledge of martial arts.
It meant that the Shaolin was a place that put more effort into the body than weapon skills. So no matter what others thought, it was Hae Yeon’s first time meeting a swordsman who felt this complete.
The qi rising from Yu Yiseol was piercing his body. His face was turning stiff at the feeling of needles being struck into the skin.
With the sound of a bird moving through the sky, Yu Yiseol’s sharp sword stretched out in a line.
Although it was a technique with a grandiose name, ‘Glory Guiding the Way’, it was nothing more than a simple stab.
The most basic move.
However, the basics unfolding in the hands of Yu Yiseol were no different from the skill of the heavens.
Hae Yeon reflexively stepped forward, clenched his fist, and extended it out.
It was an equally simple technique.
How many times had he clenched his fist to use this technique?
Hundreds? Thousands? Millions of times?
Well, he couldn’t count the number.
A technique and form he repeated again and again as it slowly became one with his body.
Even if it was a heavenly skill, it was just an empty shell if they didn’t polish it right.
Each time he trained, he would be in his best form.
The dantian would work for him without him consciously touching it. The rotational force the body developed came from his toes to his fists.
Hae Yeon’s golden fist came out like a powerful stream of water.
Yu Yiseol, who had been coming forward, twisted her body to the side–
And she moved forward.
The fist qi barely passed by her, but this was enough.
After she evaded it, she lowered her body to get close to Hae Yeon.
It is common sense for swordsmen to keep a safe distance when dealing with those who use fist techniques.
However, Yu Yiseol was narrowing the distance at a frightening pace.
She shot her wrist forward very lightly but accurately. The small movement, which started at the handle of her sword, passed through the blade and soon turned into a large movement that aimed for Hae Yeon’s body
The sword shook, creating dozens of sword illusions.
The sharp and accurate swords seemed like they would rip through Hae Yeon’s body at any moment.
At that moment–
Hae Yeon’s body began to turn a bit hazy and then disappeared as if he had never existed there. And at the same time, Yu Yiseol also kicked the floor to gain force and moved to the side!
Before long, her sword was cutting through the air. At first glance, it made no sense.
But right where Yu Yiseol slashed, Hae Yeon appeared.
It was like fish jumping right into the net.
Hae Yeon looked a bit embarrassed at how quickly Yu Yiseol managed to find him. And he tried to dodge the attack, but it was completely impossible to do so!
The sword brushed past his shoulder.
At that moment, he turned around and rushed forward. And while the sword was being pulled back, he slammed Yu Yiseol in the stomach.
Yu Yiseol’s body bounced back like a ball.
Yu Yiseol, who was flying like a kite in the air, turned a couple of times and landed lightly on the ground.
A stream of blood dripped down her lips. But Hae Yeon wasn’t in a great situation either. The hem of his yellow cloth near the shoulder was turning red from the blood.
Those who were watching this all held their breath.
Even the disciples of Mount Hua. Yoon Jong was clenching his fists.
In retrospect, it was a moment that could be called a few seconds of confrontation, but just how much dedication was held within it?
What surprised Yoon Jong the most was the instant judgment and thoughts of the two to counter the other. Without hesitation, they were able to make their best move.
Belief in what they learned till now. This was impossible if one was unsure about the path they took.
“… was sago this strong?” groaned Jo Gul.
Because he fought with Hae Yeon, he could tell how strong this novice monk was.
And when he saw the man actually using techniques, Jo Gul would only stare at him.
The operation was as natural as flowing water, and the movements were not clumsy nor cluttered, as if it had been polished countless times.
Hae Yeon, whom he experienced, was a shocking person. However, Yu Yiseol was able to move along the same flow.
She wasn’t being pushed back at all!
“When the sahyungs were all enjoying their sleep, sago would always wield her sword.”
“But don’t get me wrong. Hard work and effort don’t solve everything. But she is someone who puts everything into her sword instead of eating and sleeping.”
Jo Gul went silent.
Words were easy.
But who could put that into practice?
It is true that Chung Myung would show them hell during training. But truly, no one here had pushed themselves on the same level as what Chung Myung was teaching them while he was away.
The only person who would train the same with or without Chung Myung was on stage right now.
Chung Myung said with serious eyes, looking at the stage.
“Because you will feel something.”
Yu Yiseol touched her stomach. She felt her organs hurting, but the internal wounds weren’t too deep.
She felt two things from this short confrontation.
‘He is strong.’
A lot stronger than she thought.
It felt like she was swinging her sword against an iron wall. It was unlikely for any man to break through that defense. The injury on his right shoulder was a result of his inexperience in actual battles.
And the same trick wouldn’t work again.
And the second…
‘I will never win head-on.’
The difference in internal qi was huge.
Yu Yiseol isn’t second to any.
Of course, with Mount Hua’s technique, she could always cultivate more, and Yu Yiseol, who took two pills in the past, was a lot better than the other disciples of the famous sects.
Yet, she could feel a difference here.
Hae Yeon’s internal qi seemed like the type which could crush her body. And if she let him punch her another time, there would be no more fight.
If so, what she had to do was clear.
Without letting the opponent attack her even once, she would have to pierce through his iron defense.
Can I do it?
Yu Yiseol twitched.
-If you do only what you can, then when will you become stronger? Don’t you already realize if you can or can’t? Do what you can do every day and repeat it for the rest of your life? These days, kids don’t have a sense of improvement! Seriously!
‘Such a moody old man.’
But he was right.
-Then what if you meet a stronger opponent? You need to be happy. It means that even if you throw out everything at them, they will accept it without a problem. Then you will have to grind harder to grow!
‘You don’t have to say it.’
Yu Yiseol clenched her hand.
‘I think so too!’
At the same time, the stone below her feet cracked as she rushed for Hae Yeon.
The sword, which moved like lightning, slashed the palm of Hae Yeon.
Even though the sword was blocked before doing additional damage, it was still a shocking movement.
But this was expected.
Yu Yiseol’s sword glided down his palm.
The transition from ‘Strong’ to ‘Delicate’.
The sword gently moved down the palm and aimed for Hae Yeon’s chest.
But Hae Yeon wasn’t going to let that happen.
His arms moved immediately. The sword that flowed over his forearm was deflected by the qi.
And he punched her!
The fist, which stretched out, was aimed at Yu Yiseol’s left shoulder. This shocked her enough for her body to twist.
But Yu Yiseol didn’t back down.
Yu Yiseol’s foot stepped forward and trampled on the ankle of Hae Yeon, which was a bit ahead of his body.
The guy’s feet got smashed into the stone beneath it.
And Yu Yiseol moved back. The sword trembled as red plum blossoms began to bloom!
Keep your distance from your opponent.
Of course, for Hae Yeon, who had his foot stuck in the ground, there was a momentary delay before he caught up, but this gap was more than enough for her.
But this wasn’t enough!
More! More! And more!
As if they were alive.
Don’t just look beautiful. No matter how perfect the plum blossoms were, if they stop with just that one flower, then they were no different from the Southern Edge Sect!
To become a plum blossom of Mount Hua is for them to hold the true intention in it!
Yu Yiseol gradually forgot about herself.
On a dark night.
The old moon in the sky.
Below it was a man wielding a sword.
So beautiful and more desperate than any other.
The sword, which couldn’t connect to anything, was cut off and dropped.
She couldn’t forget the image of him sobbing as he collapsed, unable to bear the failure, and the sight of him was engraved deeply into her eyes.
It was here.
The plum blossoms couldn’t bloom. A plum blossom that never bloomed.
The plum blossom that the man had been trying to paint and bring to life all his life was going to unfold in the hand of Yu Yiseol.
The plum leaves, which seemed a mile long, swirled around the wind from the tip of her sword and covered the body of Hae Yeon.
No matter how the crowd looked at it, it seemed impossible for him to dodge all of them.
But, at that moment,
Hae Yeon’s body was covered in a golden light.
His eyes were half closed.
Each basic attack he made seemed natural.
Those who knew the meaning of this form jumped up in shock.
“Infinite Great Power!”
Someone yelled it out almost like an audible whisper.
Hae Yeon’s body which was dyed in gold immediately began to shine red in all directions.
A majestic feeling.
The plum blossoms, which looked like they could destroy Hae Yeon’s body, began to melt away like snow in the sunlight.
The Buddha Light embraced the energy of destroying all evil and lies, and this began to push Yu Yiseol.
If she didn’t resist here, she would be pushed out, and Yu Yiseol wasn’t the kind to back down so easily.
It sounded like the bones in her body were twisting inside her.
Yu Yiseol took a step forward despite bleeding from her nose and mouth.
Hae Yeon’s eyes fluttered.
This fight was already won.
Yu Yiseol’s sword wouldn’t reach his body now.
So why was she moving forward? She should have realized that the illusion she was using would never even cause a scratch on his body.
Hae Yeon began to raise the strength of his qi.
If she didn’t resist this, she would just be pushed out without any injuries, so why! Why was she resisting and hurting herself?
Crack! The terrible sound of Yu Yiseol’s ankle being broken.
Yet, she twisted it back to normal and stepped forward.
The blood dripping down from her face was making her face red, but she wasn’t losing her focus.
Eventually, Yu Yiseol raised her sword. Her arms were trembling like a child holding some great sword, but she lifted it up.
And slammed it down very slowly.
No, it was more like she was losing the strength in her hand than simply lowering it.
There was no force, no internal qi covering it.
But Hae Yeon didn’t avoid it.
His chest was slashed.
At best, it was a skin-deep wound.
But this was a wound he shouldn’t have taken in the first place.
“… I reached it.”
Finally, losing strength in her body, she sat down.
Victor and defeated were clear.
But Yu Yiseol’s face didn’t look like that of a loser’s, and Hae Yeon’s face didn’t look like a winner’s.
Hae Yeon looked down at his wound with a white face.
How can she hurt him without backing down in such a dire situation?
Hae Yeon reflexively turned his head and where he was looking at…
Was where Chung Myung and the other disciples of Mount Hua were sitting, and Chung Myung mouthed,
“You must feel a chill run down your spine. You bald headed bastard.”
Hae Yeon’s palms were wet with cold sweat.
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