Through the throbbing pain, Hae Yeon grabbed his chin.
But right now, he was more shocked at the hit than the resulting pain.
‘I couldn’t stop it.’
Shaolin’s combat arts were known to be the best. Rather than knocking down their opponents, their combat took priority in establishing their own balance and core power when blocking the attack of their opponent.
And Hae Yeon was praised for having mastered this, whereas the others were somewhat lacking. But then he got hit by the first punch of his opponent?
‘A surprise attack?’
No. It wasn’t that.
There was no such thing as a surprise attack. How could a surprise attack exist when both were bound to fight here?
It was skill.
Confused, Hae Yeon decided to wait. In that moment, he felt something behind him.
He flinched as he looked back at the stern voice.
The Abbot was looking at him with cold eyes,
“Calm down! You are Hae Yeon of Shaolin!”
Hae Yeon bit his lip as he got up. Standing straight, he looked straight at Chung Myung and took his stance. All he saw was Chung Myung looking at him with cold eyes.
Even his body felt cold.
Hae Yeon couldn’t understand this. He was a disciple of Shaolin.
The people who became his rivals were first-class disciples of Shaolin. Even elders would guide him.
‘Why am I feeling pressure that I don’t even feel when facing the elders.’
Was it because he trained with his elders while this was a proper spar?
Was it because he was finally feeling the pressure of coming to the finals?
Could anything explain this situation?
‘… if it isn’t that…’
Hae Yeon bit his lip.
It couldn’t be.
That couldn’t happen. When he thought using his common sense, did it make sense to say that the opponent in front of him was stronger than his elders from Shaolin?
He had to be the same as any warrior. A warrior, the third-class disciple Chung Myung could not be better than the elders of Shaolin, who had been cultivating their techniques since their birth.
In the end!
‘The reason my heart is shaken is because I am lacking.’
If he had been cautious he wouldn’t have been attacked by Chung Myung. And even if the attack had come, he wouldn’t have suffered so much confusion.
Hae Yeon calmed his mind and took his stance.
He spread his legs slightly wider than his shoulders, and pulled his left hand to the side, keeping his right hand, palm open, in front of his chest.
Half Palm Form.
It was the fundamental form of Shaolin Martial Arts, and it was the starting point of most of their combat arts.
As he took a familiar form, his thoughts disappeared, and his heart began to calm down.
He took a deep breath.
-If you can get rid of your weaknesses and truly gain a sense of victory, no one can be your opponent. It isn’t the body but the heart which needs to be strengthened.
‘Do not shake.’
He felt his feet firmly touch the ground.
Chung Myung looked at him.
‘You learned it well.’
This was more than learning, Shaolin was scary.
If Mount Hua was a giant tree producing plum blossoms at the summit of a mountain, then Shaolin was like a giant ancient rock that wouldn’t be shaken by any waves or winds.
The symbol of Shaolin.
The reason why it took many years for one to learn the martial arts of Shaolin fully was simple. It was because learning their martial arts could be overcome through talent, but the unmoving mind wasn’t something that could be formed in a small amount of time.
It was only after going through numerous storms and having an upright heart that wouldn’t shake for anything, could a Shaolin monk unleash their true power.
But at such a young age, Hae Yeon had managed to calm himself down to that extent.
Someone worthy of being called a genius.
A smile crept onto the lips of Chung Myung,
It felt disgusting.
Who in the present Shaolin had the right to talk about immobility?
A strong and unshakable heart was meaningful only when the direction was upright. Could it be called immobility when it was twisted?
That was just another form of evil. Of course, Chung Myung had no sense of justice, no concept of evil or good.
But he was certain of one thing.
It was the fact that right now Chung Myung and Mount Hua were the only ones who had the authority to condemn the hypocrisy of Shaolin and the Nine Great Sects.
Chung Myung stared at Hae Yeon with cold eyes.
He didn’t like it. Those eyes.
Those eyes that believed that he was walking down the righteous path that had no shame.
‘You don’t deserve to have those eyes.’
The disciple of Mount Hua had to have such eyes.
Eyes overflowing with pride for their sect. And eyes that were infinitely proud of the achievements of their ancestors.
It had to be Mount Hua.
Blood gushed out from the lip he bit.
Anger was rising up to his head.
While Hae Yeon was blooming like a flower in a protected environment with the support of Shaolin, Mount Hua was being cut down, losing their rights, and made to wither in the wind, groaning in pain.
Even Chung Myung didn’t have the skills to turn back time. Even if he restored Mount Hua to its former glory, he couldn’t take away the pain of those who suffered.
Was something he couldn’t stand.
Hae Yeon’s feet dug into the floor.
Stepping at the most intense angle, he strengthened the momentum created from his toes, and clenched his fist.
The fist was gleaming in gold as it moved for the face of Chung Myung. The process of developing this technique was fast, but the speed of the flying fist was even more enormous.
With a brief explosion, qi was thrown to the side.
The power of the fist, which impaled the floor, crushed the rock.
But Hae Yeon couldn’t focus on that. He was shocked by what Chung Myung did.
‘It was bounced aside?’
Was it that easy to do?
His gaze was on Chung Myung, where green qi was shining on his fingertips, which were shaped like a sword.
Meanwhile, the ones watching this were all shocked.
“…. Bamboo Leaf Hand. That is for the supreme mas…?”
“How can a child even use the Bamboo Leaf Hand?”
At this time, most disciples were simply learning how to wield their swords. So it was normal for the crowd to assume that a disciple couldn’t do anything without their swords.
But, he was able to use the Bamboo Leaf Hand, which is known to be used only by the supreme masters?
‘Just who is…’
Hyun Sang looked at Chung Myung in shock.
However, as if it wasn’t even something special, Chung Myung shook his hand and withdrew the qi.
His cold eyes once again fell on Hae Yeon,
“Is this all?”
“Is this all that made you use your mouth?”
Chung Myung began to approach Hae Yeon, who was talking a stride back.
‘Show me more.’
Prove yourself to be strong.
Convince me that you are the hidden card of Shaolin, and that you are an important existence that cannot be replaced by anyone else in the world.
“This isn’t enough for you to create the world you want, protecting it all.”
Hae Yeon stepped forward and ran for Chung Myung.
His strike was fast but heavy.
His firm body showed staunchness.
But the eyes of Chung Myung were ferocious.
A swift one-hit. There was no extravagance of technique in pursuit of perfection or efforts which showed his training.
That was how beautiful it was.
Hae Yeon’s fist, as it flew, was blocked by the Bamboo Leaf Hand of Chung Myung, making Hae Yeon a bit shocked.
It felt like he had just struck an iron wall. No matter how hard he tried to push, it didn’t seem like it would move even an inch.
Was this even possible?
His qi had surpassed those of the first-class disciples and even some elders too. Of course, even if the whole world was searched, there would be no disciple who was greater than Hae Yeon.
Then how can a third-class disciple, not even a second-class one, have the power to block his fist? Would that make sense to anyone?
Hae Yeon clenched his teeth.
He pulled back his fist and punched again. Based on his strong lower body, he decided to attack three times at once, and did so without checking if the previous strike had worked, finishing by slamming his shoulder against Chung Myung.
No, he was trying to slam Chung Myung.
But before he could move forward, his footing was crushed by Chung Myung!
Chung Myung stepped onto his foot which went into the floor.
The moment his core was shaken, it was impossible to do what he planned, and the result was obvious.
The shoulder, which lost its strength, was simply touched by Chung Myung.
Chung Myung stepped on his foot, then kneed Hae Yeon in the stomach.
Hae Yeon, on his back, rolled on the ground.
The sound of the floor being crushed behind him could be heard. Hae Yeon, who was still rolling backward, jumped back up and retook his stance.
His stance wasn’t shaken, but his expression said he wasn’t stable anymore. His eyes were confused as he looked at Chung Myung.
‘What is happening?’
This guy was supposed to be a swordsman.
Mount Hua was a sword sect.
In the past, Mount Hua was known to be the best sword sect in the world, but it was not a place that could handle close combat.
Why was he being pushed to the corner by a third-class disciple of Mount Hua using combat?
He couldn’t understand.
He couldn’t understand any bit of it.
However, the most difficult part to understand was the fact that Chung Myung was holding the advantage in this fight and this made Hae Yeon angry.
“Is this it?”
Seeing his expression, Chung Myung grinded his teeth and walked toward Hae Yeon. Each step was filled with anger.
He began to turn red.
They took away what Mount Hua deserved. They took away what Mount Hua had to gain.
If Chung Myung had survived, or at least if a few of the Chung disciples managed to survive, all of the glory would have come to Mount Hua.
If so, the world would have been different.
Baek Cheon might be standing where Hae Yeon was. It could have been Yu Yiseol, Yoon Jong, or Jo Gul, not Hae Yeon getting the spotlight.
Having received the guidance of the Baek or Hyun disciples, they would have grown to be the best swordsmen, receiving the love of the world as skilled warriors of the Nine Sects.
“But this is what came?”
Was this the only thing we got for putting away our hopes in life for others?
Skills that Mount Hua would have nurtured in the sect if it was intact. That is what made Chung Myung even angrier.
Chung Myung glared at Hae Yeon with red eyes.
“I said to do more. You fucking stupid bastard! You cannot be just this!”
Hae Yeon bit his lip.
In an instant, his body began to become dyed in a golden light.
It was like the golden light of Buddha shone here. Before long, the rays of light gathered into the fist of Hae Yeon.
“Hundred Step Divine Fist!”
Wasn’t this the technique they had seen not so long ago?
The disciples of Mount Hua screamed when they saw this. But their voices didn’t reach the stage.
Hae Yeon was already ready and released the technique.
It wasn’t far.
It had been a long time since he had lost the chance to hurt his opponent. The technique which Hae Yeon developed with all his power covered the body of Chung Myung in an instant.
A strange sight unfurled in the eyes of Mount Hua’s disciples.
A reddish qi began to spread out. The red qi, which sprang up like a fantasy, rose to greet the fist.
Chung Myung, who broke through it, kicked Hae Yeon, who could not hold his stance.
Hae Yeon’s body, unable to withstand the kick, bounced back to the ground.
Despite the slight blow, Hae Yeon, for the first time, finally looked shocked at the emotions he was currently feeling.
Chung Myung waved his hand.
His cold gaze fell on Hae Yeon and then the Abbot behind him.
“This is nothing compared to what Mount Hua has been through.”
The cold voice pierced the ears of the Abbot very clearly.
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