Chapter 17 - The Best Choice (2)

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The day to enter the academy had come. Unsurprisingly, Goen had come and offered Seol-Hwi a pill, and he didn’t forget to tell him that the pill was worth ten years of training. Seol-Hwi gulped it down as soon as he received it.

<Stats have risen.>
Health: 1,405(↑85)/1,405
Internal Energy: 3,300(↑2,000)/3,300

Like in the past, his internal energy has increased quite a lot. That wasn’t all, however.

<Martial arts proficiency has risen.>
[Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Arts]
Imitation → Beginner

It was incredible to reach Beginner level right as he entered.

“Thank god.” Seol-Hwi was grateful; at this level, defeating the people inside would be easier.


“Here.” Goeun stopped walking and pointed to the majestic octagonal pavilion, as he did in the past. “Now that I have guided you, I will head back.”

When the man turned away, the options came up again. Good.

▶ Give me one more of the Flying Dragon Pill from the Earth Demon.
▷ [Expression] Smile.

The second choice is gone! Was it because the short sword was in his Toolbox? “Is there anything you want to say to me?” was asked in the past, so it made sense. If not, he would keep getting the sword.

Neither are great.

<You have chosen Give me one more of the Flying Dragon Pill from the Earth Demon. >
[Continuing]

“What did you say?” Goeun looked back, obviously displeased. However, Seol-Hwi had no need to be afraid.

“I guess you didn’t get it.”

“...What?”

“The Fourth Disciple made it clear that he would give me a Flying Dragon Pill and one Flaring Pill. That’s why I asked.”

Goeun stared at him.

So it’s true! Goeun’s change in expression made Seol-Hwi certain.

“You didn’t know? Well, it’ll be late, but we can head back and get—”

Something popped out of Goeun’s sleeve. The reddish light coming off it made it evident that it was a vitality pill.

That’s it. Clearly, he hadn’t picked wrongly.

“You…” Seol-Hwi’s joy was interrupted.

“Yes. What did—Ugh!”

Seol-Hwi was hit in the stomach and fell to the ground. Goeun stepped on Seol-Hwi’s face.

“Ack!”

“You’ll die in there anyway. Even if you live, you’ll die by my hands.” Goeun spat on Seol-Hwi’s face and stood with a laugh.

“... I’ll kill you with my own hands. You’re first, next time.” As Goeun left, Seol-Hwi jammed the pill into his mouth.

<Stats have risen significantly.>
Health: 7,408(↑6,003)/7,408
Internal Energy: 6,800(↑3,500)/6,800
<Martial Arts proficiency has risen.>
[White Light Demonic Arts]
Beginner → Basic
[Fiery Bare-Handed Martial Arts]
[Red-Hot Palm]
Beginner → Basic
[Peak Flourishing Demonic Arts]
[Explosive Flaming Force]
Imitation → Beginner

If Seol-Hwi had more power, he’d take down this man, too. But for now, he had someone else to worry about.

<Mind Reading proficiency increased.>
[Passive] Mind Reading
Imitation → Beginner
[Status]
Goeun
[Earth Demon’s escort]
Body: Normal
Hostility: 77% (Warning)
[Stats]
Health:15,000/15,000
Internal Energy:12,000/12,000

How great is 12,000 when Seol-hwi only has 6800?


As expected, the instructor at the entrance desk offered Seol-Hwi his options.

“Choose.”

Seol-Hwi smiled. The choices and words were the same as last time.

“You’ll take them all anyway.”

“I’ll do this.”

“You chose… Body. You need to collect six of the ‘Body’ bamboo sheets. You have one day, and then the test is over. Proceed through the back door to the far right.” The instructor said what he wanted to say, the same as before. “There are a lot of things in there. Books, which everyone wants. Treasures that might help you fight. Weapons to kill with. If you look around, you can find a lot.”

“I have a question,” Seol-Hwi politely asked. “I am not the only one taking the test, right? There should be a lot of people here, but I don’t see anyone. Is there another entrance?”

Seol-Hwi waited for an answer, but the instructor just leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. After seven minutes of silence, Seol-Hwi began to feel anxious. The other man was an instructor, so it wasn’t like Seol-Hwi could fight him.

… I’ll just leave.

“Snow tends to pile up.”

Seol-Hwi doubted his ears, thinking he might have heard it wrong. But the instructor did not offer clarification.

Snow piles up? Seol-Hwi eyed the instructor. This place was definitely a test site, but they had to be let in at different times if it was this empty.

Snowfall… Did that mean the ones coming in next would be stronger? Like the snow piling up? That told him it was to his advantage to move fast.

“Come again.”

Seol-Hwi entered the Body test and looked around, rubbing his chin.

Blue roof. Red roof. Colorful places. He looked out of place for this trip, which would soon turn into a bloodbath.

Where are you? Seol-Hwi waited in front of the red building, where he was attacked in the past. The wounds still haunted him. This time was different—Seol-Hwi knew he would be attacked, but he couldn’t find their position.

Seol-Hwi couldn’t feel any energy in the vicinity. Maybe the man had a knack for ambushes? It hadn’t been easy to find the man in the past, either. Regardless, if he kept wasting time here, someone would attack him.

“...Well.” Seol-Hwi decided to move on.

What happened? Did he go somewhere else?

“Tch…” He clicked his tongue. He just looked ahead and didn’t bother with all this in the past.

I need to do the same. So Seol-Hwi walked onwards, acting like he didn’t care and deliberately exposing his back.

[Warning! An unidentified enemy has discovered Seol-Hwi. How will you respond?]

Here it is!

▷ Counterattack
▷ Defend
▶ Run Away

Last time, he chose to run away and took a cut to the back for his efforts. In retrospect, the attack was unavoidable.

▷ Counterattack
▶ Defend
▷ Run Away

Seol-Hwi had no intention of defending. Even if he did, he was sure that the enemy would be able to handle his defense.

▶ Counterattack
▷ Defend
▷ Run Away
[You have selected Counterattack.]

Seol-Hwi realized three things.

First, the man came from a hole in the wall of the building.

Second, the opponent was closer.

Third—

Their blades met with a shower of sparks.

—Seol-Hwi could easily block his attack.

“This is nothing.” Seol-Hwi chuckled.

Third, the difference between him and his opponent was overwhelming. The proof was in the ease he handled his enemy with.

[A golden opportunity! You discovered a gap in the enemy’s movements. How will you respond?]

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