Chapter 17 - Bet (1)

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From that day onwards, Hae Ack-chun no longer made me go up and down the cliff to get food or tie me to a cliff for hours. It was really fortunate.

He told Gu Sang-woong to regularly send meat and beef jerky to the cliff instead. Thanks to that, I had an environment that could be used to train. However, after realizing that going up and down the cliff is good for the body, I still spent two hours doing it.

About 6 days later, Hae Ack-chun could feel the innate internal qi and realized that I had begun my training.

Of course, in reality, I was using the Xing Ming cultivation technique. But the majority of my qi stayed hidden.

The place I was using to train was the cave that contained the remains of Ho Jong-dae.

“Be careful.”

Hae Ack-chun said while giving me two things.

One technique is the Ming Wheel Footwork, which originated from the forgotten Whole Wheel technique. After that came a surprising one, the Xing Ming Sword technique.

-I was thinking who stole it, was it him?

‘Him?’

The South Heavenly Iron Sword saw the technique book and was angry. According to the guy, there was a time when the South Heavenly Swordsman’s residence was robbed, and his important technique book was stolen.

And the culprit was this old man.

-Right. It seems like this crazy old man desperately wanted to win.

Short Sword was right.

He wanted to win so badly that he was even stealing his opponent’s technique books?

The only thing inside the cave was an incomplete cultivation technique. I wondered how I could win with just one technique alone, but now this problem was solved.

‘I have this one.’

One way or another, it was a sword technique.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know the skeleton’s footwork method. However, this Ming Wheel footwork is quite balanced, so you can handle it without much difficulty.”

“… Still, isn’t this imperfect?”

“I am giving you something nice, don’t stress about things that seem incomplete.”

Surprisingly he was both careful and dedicated when giving things to me. But still, there was a difference between giving something fully written and something incomplete.

And this man stole books from his opponent!

‘This man is shameful.’

-Don’t bother thinking about him.

Iron Sword chimed in.

‘Why?’

-The Xing Ming sword technique stolen by this man is from before my former master completed it.

That meant that the man developed the technique further after the book was stolen.

-I will make sure to get it done.

Iron Sword spoke in a voice full of determination. It was reassuring. It was a battle with my future at stake, so I had to win it.

And I needed to get the old man’s footwork technique.


A month passed.

The sun was setting in the sky. As the days got colder, the sun set faster.

Once every ten days, the commander would send in food and meat around the morning hours, and I would receive them.

Usually, I would bow down to either the commander or the leader, but today an unexpected guest also came.

“Long live the Blood Cult! Leader Oh Jongi greets the elder.”

A familiar voice was heard from outside the cave. It was Leader Oh.

-Tch, we have an annoying guest.

I nodded at Short Sword’s words. If possible, I didn’t want to see his face, but Hae Ack-chun hadn’t returned yet.

And the role of receiving food was my responsibility.

- Just pretend to be the old man and get it done.

‘What?’

-I mean, imitate his voice and tell him to leave the food and things out there?

‘I wish he could be deceived.’

That man outside was quite famous. A skilled warrior with a blue belt.

At this distance, he might notice that the cave is rather empty. With a sigh, I left the iron sword and went out.

“Middle-rank trainee, So Wonhwi greets the leader.”

Leader Oh greeted me with a creepy smile.

Swosh!

“You seem to be doing well by serving as a servant to the elder.”

Man, this guy hated me. It had been a while since I’d seen him, and he didn’t seem to have changed.

-Send him away. We never know when that old man will come back.

‘Same here.’

Anyway, whether Leader Oh hated me or liked me, his job was to deliver food for now. Other than that, there was no reason to stay here.

“The elder will be out late. You can hand the food and drink to me and leave.”

At those words, Leader Oh extended to me the things he brought up. But, the ones coming here are usually the commander or Hae Ok-seon. Instead, I saw someone who looked like a trainee here with Leader Oh.

At first glance, he looked to be around just 16 or 17.

“That won’t do.”

“Uh?”

“Because I need to see the elder.”

“…”

As I thought, he was annoying. So, he wanted to wait here? But his face was telling me that he had something up his sleeve.

“You cannot enter the cave. You should know that, right?”

With that, I decided to head back into the cave.

“Stop.”

Leader Oh called me. As expected, it seemed his purpose wasn’t the old man but me. When I stopped and turned, he smiled and said,

“You won’t need to go in either.”

“… what do you mean?”

“I don’t know what luck you had to serve as the servant to the elder. But you won’t escape from my hands.”

Man, he was stubborn. If he could train with that stubbornness, he would have succeeded much more.

“I proved my credentials with the Blood Wolf ladder.”

“Bullshit! I don’t know how you persuaded him, but no one in Yulang county had ever seen your maternal grandfather.”

Well, this was as expected. My mother had told me that my grandfather died when I was young.

And I made up the story with that knowledge. I replied with a smile.

“My grandfather had to hide his origin, so how could he show his face recklessly to people?”

Leader Oh, stared at me as if he wanted to kill me for a time, then said.

“You will respond like that? Fine. But your time ends now.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“From this time onwards, this child will help the elder instead of you.”

The trainee nodded his head with a strange smile. It was clear that the child didn’t want to do this.

Well, the purpose for bringing the trainee was revealed. His plan was to bring someone here to replace me.

Rather than trying to deny me the training, he had a stronger will to keep me in front of his eyes.

“It will be difficult.”

“Difficult? That man will be satisfied if it is him.”

Seeing him talk, the child couldn’t be just a trainee. Still, it changed nothing.

“He won’t be satisfied.”

“Huh! Your origin is unclear, and you were brought as a helper. Did you think he had an interest in you?”

For a moment, I almost smiled.

I don’t know what he was planning, but this idiot had no idea how crazy that old man was. I wanted to make fun of him, but I knew it would rile him up, so I said.

“Alright. Whatever it is, I will obey the orders.’

This situation had to end. And Leader Oh said.

“Good. To change the person, I must prove that this child is good enough to look after the elder.”

“Uh?”

“Show him your skills, upper-rank trainee, Dohyun.”

‘Upper-rank trainee?’

This disgusting guy was an upper-rank? How come I didn’t remember seeing him during the ceremony?

“I will follow the orders.”

Clench!

The upper-rank trainee called Dohyun began to get closer to me. Then he clenched his fists as he took a stance.

Leader Oh had a sly smile.

“I, the leader, will be responsible, so please correct his attitude.”

“I understand.”

The guy who came up to me spoke confidently.

“I have no resentment or anger towards you, but I cannot miss this chance, so bear with me even if this hurts a little.”

-That cheeky bastard.

Short Sword seemed more annoyed than me. Looking at his face, it felt like this child was treating me like trash.

Well, he had been training as an upper-rank trainee for more than 3 months, and although I was a middle-rank trainee, I knew there was bound to be a difference.

Phat!

He held out his fist.

A fist technique, the Eight Blood Fist technique that everyone here learnt. As an upper-rank trainee, his form was perfect.

But…

Grrrr!

He seemed slow to me.

As I had been honing my skills on the cliff, I thought he too, would be learning a lot, but he didn’t seem to be that strong.

Pak!

I only had to shift my body a little to dodge his fist, which caused him to frown. He then spoke with some surprise.

“Good. But how long will your luck…”

Puck!

“Kuak!”

Before he could even finish speaking, my fist flew at him.

Who talks when fighting?

Still, I didn’t use the innate qi, so he should be able to handle it…

Thud!

… I guess not.

With just one punch, my opponent fell down. It ended so blandly that even I was surprised.

‘Why is he so weak?’

No, it felt like I got stronger. It felt like my strength has improved by climbing the cliff every day.

Even though my downed opponent was just an upper-rank trainee, I didn’t think he would be knocked out with just one punch.

“Eh… this!”

Leader Oh’s expression changed. He must be in a state of confusion as the opposite of his expectations happened. Unable to hold back his anger, he began to move…

“You bastard!”

It was at the moment that he was about to pounce on me.

“Huh?”

Someone appeared and pressed down on his shoulder. It was the Ghastly Monster.

Leader Oh was shocked as he didn’t expect the elder to come like this.

“Who are you?”

“E-elder. I am Leader Oh, who is under the Blood Cult.”

“Leader? Just a leader dares to stand in front of my place and raise his hand?”

Leader Oh tried to explain it.

“Elder. It isn’t like that…”

“Huh! What isn’t like that!”

Leader Oh’s head was hit by the Ghastly Monster’s large hand.

Puck!

“Kuak!”

I thought it was a light hit, but the man screamed and collapsed. Well, the real monster was here.

He knocked down a first-rate warrior with just a swat.

“Kuak…”

Leader Oh’s face was rubbed against the stone floor, and I looked down at him as he groaned in pain.

“I told you it will be tough.”

I definitely warned you.

Do not touch the mad dog.

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