- From today on, your teaching will be handled by Mak Cheong. If you came here thinking you’d just learn some simple blood points and sealing techniques, you’re dead wrong!
The first teacher Seol-Hwi saw was a rather angry one. He had an impatient personality and started his class the moment Seol-Hwi sat down. The instructor went on at length about touching the right spots and then handed over three books.
- The source of the demonic energy we use is also affected by sealing. The Dantian is also known as the Ren Meridian, and meridians are known as centers of energy. You know what that is, right?
“Its name comes from the sea of energy gathered within. That is why the source of the twelve meridians is the dantian.”
A simple answer—but would that satisfy Mak Cheong?
- How did you know that? You don’t even know where it is!
Mak Cheong laughed.
Normal martial arts had the dantian about the size of a finger, right below the navel, but Seol-Hwi understood that Mak Cheong was actually asking him to make an analogy to acupoints.
“Normally, the center point of energy or the sea of energy in the center is connected to the center point, diagonally to the eight meridians, with the belly meridians on the left and right. At the crux of those connections is the dantian.”
Mak Cheong’s face stiffened as Seol-Hwi spoke.
“One, the flow of internal energy around the dantian dominates the overall flow of internal energy. Then it flows to the vena cava1, which is important because if the internal energy in the dantian slowly increases, it would allow you to feel things—see things—with their entire body, not just your eyes.
One of the students behind him gasped.
What Seol-Hwi was saying was that if someone found themself lacking in knowledge, or they encountered a wall in their growth, they could simply try building up their internal energy and then try again.
- I’ll start teaching. Open to the first page.
Mak Cheong picked up his book with a red face.
When his vision brightened Seol-Hwi was back in his room.
It only took him one day to master the beginner level of Blood Points.
Seol-hwi stood in front of the door.
Mak Cheong’s face appeared again.
- Take this for today. This is what I’ll teach you.
- Ah, so you mean you do that from sight?
- How… how can you find the blood points and apply force so perfectly?
He only needed one day.
- You definitely won’t be able to learn this! This is an extreme subject that can inflict fatal wounds on the organs and body.
- Y-You learned all of that?!
- Gah! Are you making fun of me?! Damn!
Seol-Hwi got kicked out.
All told, it took him three days to finish the entire course.
Seol-Hwi decided he should learn tracking, an essential skill for any Hidden Truth member.
He was moved to the training hall.
“Learn the theory of tracking.>
A tall old man with a wrinkled face approached from the distance. He looked at Seol-Hwi and stroked his long beard.
- I am Yeom Hwi. I will be teaching you from now on. There are many incidents and issues in the sect—and beyond, outside the sect. It is common for people to die in the turmoil…
- As always, when a fight occurs, it sometimes becomes necessary to pursue someone. Our tracking technique is specialized for this. Take this.
- I will give you three days; if that’s not enough, then four days. Go through the entire book and memorize the important points. I don’t want to teach someone who doesn’t understand.
“Do it now,” he told Yeom Hwi. He’d already memorized it, so there was no point in wasting time.
- Huh! Kids these days are so cheeky! I tried to be nice because the Earth Demon brought you in…
Yeom Hwi’s face twisted. Seems like his personality was much like the last teacher’s.
- Fine. I won’t care. Tell me: during pursuit, what elements is it important to observe?
It didn’t matter what he asked, Seol-Hwi had an answer.
“The soil, grass, branches, and animals.”
- And why?
“Even on dry land, marks remain, to say nothing of the grass. If a footwork technique is used, only a master could avoid leaving traces behind. In the forests and mountains, the branches would be bent as they moved, and animals would instinctively avoid them. If we’re close enough, we can easily predict which direction they’re moving.”
- If you had to chase down a man who ran away, what would you do?
“Basically, look for the footprints. You can tell whether your quarry is a man or a woman by examining their stride and the depth of the print. You also want to pay attention to the ground, the branches, and the stones. If you see torn fabric or threads, you can also determine what kind of clothes they were wearing, which would help us gather witness accounts.”
- If a corpse is decaying with red swelling in the ribs, how did it die?
This wicked old man. That answer came out of the six follow-up volumes. Specifically the corpse autopsy recorded in the end of the 5th volume.
“If the tendons and bones are damaged behind the swollen area, it means that the victim died from being struck on his vital points.”
Yeom Hwi sounded both surprised and impressed.
- Come with me. I’ll show you something else.
Two days later…
Intermediate courses were easy to learn. He thought he was getting used to it, but that wasn’t quite the case. He took a long time to finish the advanced course. Seol-Hwi had spent the extra time learning other, useful things.
This was a technique that allowed him to hear tiny noises a hundred li2 away, but he’d only read the manual. Needless to say, a martial art like that could only be learned at the peak stage. After several days of instruction, he could only hear up to 90 meters.
This was a skill to see in the dark. It took him ten days to learn.
This skill disguised his scent; he learned that one quickly.
It wasn’t pleasant, but he did get it. It would let him completely erase a corpse, but was it necessary? It wouldn’t matter once Seol-Hwi died.
It took him until the last day of the 12th month.
Seol-Hwi stood in front of the door and checked the time and date, but the schedule wasn’t appearing.
“I still have one day left, though.”
He didn’t know if the schedule wasn’t available because the new month had started yet or not.
“Should I do some training?”
Seol-Hwi picked up his sword from near the window. He was about to leave when the jade box under the desk caught his eye.
“What is that?” It looked like a normal box, about two inches tall, but it felt extraordinary.
He opened it and inside it was nothing at all.
“Guess it’s nothing.” Seol-Hwi closed it again.
“Combine martial arts…” That was something he couldn’t overlook. He had a good feeling about this.
Combine martial arts… closing the jade box… Did he need to put something on the sheet?
He had a bright idea and hurried over to his desk to grind ink.
“I’ll try the White Light Demonic Martial Arts.” Seol-Hwi knew it well enough to recite it from start to finish. He wasn’t quite certain that he was writing it down correctly, but he’d worry about that later.
He spent all day recording it and wound up with the six sub-techniques.
“Let’s do it.” He placed the six papers in the in the box and closed it.
“It does work!”
The five elements… White Light and White Palm both had the water element, so he put both of them in the box.
“Hahaha!” This was a huge advantage for him.
Even though he just learned it, his combat power had already gone up.
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