Chapter 38 - Leader (4)

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“Woahhhh!!”

The trainees all shouted passionately for So Wonhwi.

“See that? He stopped the sword right in front of the warrior’s nose!”

“That’s insane!”

“He actually won! Didn’t he say he needed to last for 100 seconds or something?”

“It doesn’t even look like a few seconds have passed!”

The upper-rank warriors were like absolute beings for the trainees. However, that I managed to take two of them down with overwhelming force was enough to fascinate them.

‘Ha…’

Gu Sang-woong, the commander, was speechless too. His expectations had been flipped.

The Ghastly Monster, Hae Ack-chun, was known for his fists and kicks. So when Wonhwi came with a sword, he thought the boy would be taken down quickly.

He was convinced that no one could go against a first-rate warrior after just 6 months of training, but this was something else!

“Has it only been just 6 months since his dantian was restored?”

“I cannot believe this.”

“It has to be either of these two. Maybe he already knew things before his dantian was broken, or the elder just invented an amazing sword technique.”

“Is the elder even good with swords? Ha!”

“When one reaches an old age, they have a knack for everything.”

The leaders couldn’t help but admire my achievement, though they focused more on the sword technique. That was how incredible the technique’s power was.

“Teacher…’

Dam Yehwa couldn’t take her eyes off her teacher. This was her first time seeing such an expression on her face after being brought in as a disciple.

‘So Wonhwi, that person is really…’

She didn’t think he would embarrass her like this.

She and Han Baekha had tried and set higher goals all this while when compared to the test. Their goal had been to not only endure 12 attacks but to gracefully break them. Son Wonhwi was clearly ahead of her.

He didn’t even let the two warriors show their skills.

‘… Haa.’

A sigh.

Even if she learned under Han Baekha, she wasn’t confident enough to take on two warriors at once. Why does this man make things difficult for her?

The frown on her teacher’s face showed no sign of disappearing.

‘Did that old man really create this sword technique?’

Han Baekha was confused. The bet aside, the sword technique she witnessed wasn’t an ordinary technique.

It was full of ascending movements and attacks. It differed from the methodology Hae Ack-chun followed, which was to work with the body and internal qi.

‘… No. It cannot be that.’

She couldn’t know that this wasn’t a technique created by Hae Ack-chun.

This was a technique created by someone who is both experienced and skilled with the sword. She looked over at Hae Ack-chun again, but the man instead looked at So Wonhwi with a strange smile.

“Hehe.”

‘It reminds me of the South Heavenly Swordsman.’

He remembered the battle against his former rival while looking at So Wonhwi. A battle he would never have again.


-Ahh. You’re a leader now. You did well.

Short Sword was returned to me a little late after I used her to wound Hoyun’s thigh, so she was making a fuss about it.

As she said, in front of everyone who was watching, I managed to get an official title and managed to attain a leadership position.

No one could disagree either after they witnessed my match. The two warriors who went against me had surrendered cleanly. I managed to burn away their hopes of winning while at the same time making the crowd acknowledge my sword technique.

[You are qualified to be a leader.]

[I admit it too. This is like meeting a promising swordsman.]

They all changed their thoughts. I am, after all, a swordsman who can talk with swords.

That strengthens the friendship and performance between sword and user. This made sense.

-I was worried about you telling us to not help, but you did well.

-Still, training to feel the flow of internal qi of the opponent seems necessary. You would have lost if you couldn’t hear the sound of their swords.

Iron Sword was coldly analyzing the match.

Right. Without the advantage of hearing the sound of their swords, I would have been in danger.

-It was rather tight. If you limit your skills and still do something like that, you should be praised, right?

-Hmm. That…

‘No. Iron Sword is right. I didn’t achieve my goal.’

I did defeat the two warriors without showing my all. This wasn’t my actual goal, however. The purpose of this fight was to win with just my internal qi and sword technique, but I still listened to the sounds of their swords and reacted.

To reach higher, I needed to be strict with myself, right?

-Brat. You act like a warrior these days.

-A good change.

I have been thinking a lot these past six months. To attain a vague level of power and strength was an abstract goal.

It didn’t even make sense to be strong.

If there was an aspiration to be a warrior, I should at least dream of being a prominent one in the Central Plains. Hae Ack-chun was just a stepping stone.

-We have a long way to go.

Right. A long way.

But not even a year after regressing, didn’t I reach the position of a leader? This was something I would never even have dreamt of. I would never have known this possibility if I hadn’t moved ahead.

-Hehe, well. Because you won the bet, we can learn from that woman.

As Short Sword said, I won the bet. Dam Yehwa came out right after my fight was over.

She had no choice but to apply for the position of a leader because the pride of her teacher was at stake.

But the result wasn’t great. She fought hard but was defeated in less than 50 seconds. I couldn’t forget the expression Han Baekha had.

It wasn’t a frown.

-She is so dead.

As she said, Dam Yehwa could not raise her head, acting as if she did something wrong. Seeing that…

-Why? Feeling bad?

Why would I feel sorry for her? Just a bit sad.

That was all. Since she lost, maybe she would be getting a good beating from the Bloody Hand Witch. I can understand since Hae Ack-chun would have done that.

-Still, the achievement she had in six months is remarkable.

Iron Sword praised Dam Yehwa.

Clearly, her martial arts were amazing for someone who only had 6 months to learn. In addition, she even managed to meet the condition of surviving a battle against an upper-rank warrior and was recognized as an upper-rank warrior in turn.

‘The problem… is him.’

“Tch.”

The sound of Hae Ack-chun clicking his tongue. He didn’t have a good expression, but I can understand why.

Pak! Pak!

Song Jwa-baek’s fight was over 60 seconds long. He went out saying he would end it before me, but that didn’t happen.

“That idiot.”

Hae Ack-chun said that while looking at him. In a way, Song Jwa-baek was his true disciple. At least he would have hoped for similar results to mine, but it was coming out differently.

-I guess he is out of luck.

I agreed with Iron Sword’s words. After my fight, all the warriors were more cautious.

In particular, they were warier of Song Jwa-baek, who was known to have directly learned Hae Ack-Chun’s techniques.

So the fights were getting longer.

“Damn it!”

Song Jwa-baek’s irritated voice could be heard all the way here. Due to the pressure to end it quickly, he couldn’t even show his skills properly.

Well, if 100 seconds passed, he would get the position.

-Then that old man will kill him.

Right. That was a possibility. Still, I would love to see him being sympathetic to others.

It was then.

Papak!

Song Jwa-baek grabbed the belt of the warrior who had been trying to widen the distance. The other warrior threw his fists at Song Jwa-baek’s face while he resisted it and showed his wits.

Boo!

Song Jwa-baek threw the warrior he had grabbed by the belt. The throw was directed at the other warrior who was coming at him. This made the two collide and fall to the floor.

-This was worthy enough.

As with internal qi, Hae Ack-chun’s training involved external qi too. It was nothing but pure physical strength, which was difficult for me.

The warrior who fell tried to get up, but it was too late.

“Why bother getting up!”

Pupupuk!

Song Jwa-baek’s fists were like rapid fire landing on his opponent. Song Jwa-baek didn’t pay attention to anything else and kept throwing the fist.

“Stop! Stop!”

In the end, the two surrendered.

Tuk!

Song Jwa-baek, who raised his fist at the win, looked around, but no one cheered.

Drip.

One of his eyes was swollen, and his nose was bleeding. It didn’t really look like the image of victory to the observers.

“Fuck, nosebleed.”

“Tch.”

Hae Ack-chun continued to click his tongue.

“Look at him. Such disgrace.”

Despite that, he seemed happy that his disciple would be a leader now. Well, if you are happy, I am happy.

[If those bastards didn’t run around like hamsters, I would have ended it faster than you..]

I just wish they would stop saying that to me!

The other twin was the last one, and Hae Ack-chun told him.

“Huh! If you act like that damn brother of yours, you will be starved.”

The guy was already bald, but now his eyes seemed to be falling out, so his face looked so troubled. Song Woo-hyun nodded and walked to the front.

“Do Kyung… Kang Chae-ji!”

Did he feel a sense of crisis with the ones that have gone before? Gu Sang-woong changed his plan.

He sent out one swordsman and one fist-fighter.

-From my point of view, what they were both trying to do with a sword and a fist was to take down the disciple of the old man effectively.

It seemed like the commander didn’t like giving the leader position to all three of us. Hae Ack-chum said he didn’t like this but then snorted. Guess he trusted this guy.

“Start!”

The confrontation began with Gu Sang-woong’s shout. As soon as the match started, the one called Kang Chae-ji came with fists blazing and moved behind Song Woo-hyun. The one with the sword, Do Kyung, stood in front.

It seemed like the main attacker would be the swordsman, and the other would be the diversion.

Boom!

Do Kyung swung the sword as if deliberately trying to threaten his opponent, though it was then…

Papak!

Song Woo-hyun ran to the swordsman, making him aim the sword at his chest to widen the distance, but the twin didn’t avoid it.

“What are you doing!”

Song Jwa-baek was shocked.

Puak!

The sword pierced the upper chest of Song Woo-hyun.

But it wasn’t a deep cut, and no one could tell if it was because the swordsman didn’t wield it correctly, he was too anxious to do it, or if Song Woo-hyun’s muscles were too thick.

Pak!

The younger twin grabbed Do Kyung’s arm.

“You!”

The moment he was about to pull out the sword to escape, Song Woo-hyun hit him.

Bang!

‘…?!’

Even Kang Chae-ji was captivated by this unexpected attack, then Song Woo-hyun released the grip.

“Euh!”

Kang Chae-ji’s face was pale. Do Kyung’s face was caved in, and so much blood was dripping that it covered his face.

Thud!

The swordsman soon fell to the floor. This was an absurd situation to be in, and I heard at the same time.

-… You shouldn’t let him starve.

Song Woo-hyun passed the test with just one headbutt.

Kang Chae-ji, who was afraid of being headbutted, declared his surrender.

-I wouldn’t want it either.

If the forehead was caved in, who would want to fight? Everyone looked at him with fearful eyes. Those who couldn’t express that fear were at least wide-eyed.

“Kuahahahaha!”

Only Hae Ack-chun was happy with this. The test ended, but it resulted in confusion for everyone.

As soon as the position test was completed, the leaders of each group who were watching from behind rushed toward us.

“Elder. I congratulate you.”

“You have wonderfully taught your disciples.”

Looking at this, I could see how much of a role he had in the cult. Everyone did it for this old man, whether it be a greeting or praise.

If he could do this without collecting power on his side, what would be his position if he had power or force behind him?

“… Congratulations, elder.”

The Bloody Hand Witch, Han Baekha, came over. She kept a neutral expression, and Hae Ack-chun smiled triumphantly.

“Hehehe. You did well with your disciple too.”

This crazy old man.

Dam Yehwa was a disciple who failed to become a leader, and he was scratching on their wounds.

“This is the first time I learned that an elder who is an expert in close combat is also skilled with swords.”

This made him raise his eyebrow.

It was because he knew where she was going with this.

‘It doesn’t seem like it’s your sword technique.’

Her eyes were saying that. No one questioned the sword technique, but she was sure that this wasn’t a technique made by Hae Ack-chun.

Did losing a bet make her do this?

Even if she felt bad, there was nothing she could do to change the result, Hae Ack-chun then said.

“Bloody Hand Witch, you seem to have poor eyes.”

“Uh?”

“I mean, how could you not recognize the sword technique of the South Heavenly Swordsman.”

‘…!!’

It wasn’t just her, but everyone else around him became shocked at this revelation.

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