Chapter 13 - Entrance Test (1)

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[The trick of this technique is dispersing incoming force. To use it, one must have a strong foundation. If you master and embody it, you can disperse great power.]

Those were the words of Jo Il-ryang, who taught Yu Jin-hyuk the technique.

Although Il-ryang had a slender build, he could survive for half a day on one foot while ten people tried to push him down.

And Jin-hyuk, who learned that skill, was confident that he could somewhat replicate that.

‘… no way.’

The skill he was proud of shattered.

By a simple force.

Even Lady Jang, who told her husband to watch proudly, was shocked and bewildered.

“Mumu… Mumu is really strong.”

“I told you.”

They whispered quietly.

Yu Jin-hyuk wanted to show them something, but now they were afraid that he would lose his spirit because of the failure.

At that time, Yu Jin-hyuk said with a red face.

“L-Let’s do it again.”

“Again?”

“I made a mistake. I haven’t fully mastered the technique my teacher showed me, so you were able to push me away.”

He didn’t want to disgrace his teacher.

‘This kid…’

Yu Yeop-kyung felt proud when his son didn’t succumb to the failure and asked for another try.

His son had grown up right.

Even though he didn’t know what martial arts was, he was proud of his son, who stood tall.

The quarrel between Yu Jin-hyuk, who wanted to regain his lost self-esteem, and Mumu, who thought it was bothersome, continued for some time.

Yu Yeop-kyung, who was worried that the fight would become huge if Mumu didn’t say yes, convinced Mumu to retry.

And thus, the family’s reconciliation was carried out in a noisy manner until late at night.


Early the next morning.

In a training hall not far from Yu Yeop-kyung’s house.

A boy was sitting cross-legged. It was Yu Jin-hyuk.

He was gathering qi from the air and putting it into his dantian and body by inhaling and exhaling.

This is cultivation.

And Yu Jin-hyuk was practicing it.

But…

‘I can’t concentrate.’

Usually, he would be in a state of thoughtlessness at this point.

However, he wasn’t able to do that and he couldn’t concentrate.

Just thinking about yesterday’s events, he couldn’t hold back his resentment.

‘What about the effort I put in until now?’

From a young age, he admired his older brother and constantly practiced martial arts.

For that reason, he was praised by his teachers.

And they told him that there would only be a few people his age who could compete with him, and those people would be from the 9 Great Sects and the 6 Great Clans.

But how was Mumu able to beat him?

‘I got pushed back by just strength.’

To be honest, he wasn’t just blown away by his strength.

He was shocked by those huge, densely developed muscles.

But no matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t understand.

‘How can muscle strength be stronger than internal energy?’

Internal energy followed a concept of Qi.

The internal energy generated by accumulating qi would incredibly strengthen one’s external power.

However, Mumu, with his muscle strength, overwhelmed him.

It wasn’t like he was the strongest Murim warrior, but Yu Jin-hyuk couldn’t accept it.

It was then.

Tak!

“Huh.”

Yu Jin-hyuk opened his eyes in shock.

In front of him stood a slender middle-aged man with a goatee.

It was Jo Il-ryang, one of his three teachers.

When he was young, the man was famous, but now he took in disciples and nurtured them.

“Your breathing is haggard. Why aren’t you concentrating?”

“I-I apologize.”

Improperly executing cultivation is dangerous, but most people couldn’t notice inconsistencies in others’ cultivation.

However, teachers like Jo Il-ryang, who had good ears, could tell if one was breathing properly or not, so he hit the kid with a stick.

Yu Jin-hyuk touched his aching head.

And then Jo Il-ryang continued.

“In three days, the entrance test for the Heavenly Martial Arts Academy will be held. Everyone is working hard with their eyes wide open to prepare for it, but what are you doing?”

At those words, Yu Jin-hyuk bowed his head in embarrassment.

What the man said was right.

He was actually in a state of anger about whether he would pass the test or not.

Seeing the disciple who was reflecting on his emotional state, Jo Il-ryang laughed inside.

‘This one. He’s someone who isn’t this distracted usually, but he seems upset as he met his father and adopted brother for the first time.’

Jo Il-ryang knew about the family’s circumstances.

So, even without Jin-hyuk saying anything about it, he knew what Yu Jin-hyuk was going through.

But now, the kid had to prepare for the entrance test.

“Come on and focus already. If your brother got a top rank, then you’ll have to aim for an even higher one.”

“Alright.”

For the teacher, his student’s admission to the academy was important.

Because if he succeeded in enlisting them, then his small training school could be famous for sending their disciples to the academy.

So he wanted his disciple to focus and do his best.

At that time, Yu Jin-hyuk said,

“Teacher.”

“Uh. Can’t concentrate?”

“About that… is it possible to break the Mystery of the Four Way Foot Extreme Weight technique with just physical strength?”

Jo Il-ryang laughed at the question.

The question was childish, but he was thankful that the kid seemed alright.

He laughed and said,

“If you can master the technique properly, even if one applies multiple tons of force, you will be able to disperse the force and hold your ground. However, if you want to use it perfectly, you have to Shift Flowers to Trees.”

Shift Flowers to Trees.

It means to turn a flower into a tree. It’s a high-level technique that returns an opponent’s attack to hit the opponent back to them. (1)

Such a technique would be difficult to perform unless one’s a Super Master and learned the technique properly.

Yu Jin-hyuk nodded at those words and said,

“It must have been me who didn’t learn it properly.”

Jo Il-ryang was puzzled by it.

“Have you had the chance to compete with someone else?”

If that wasn’t the case, such words wouldn’t have come out.

Hesitating, Yu Jin-hyuk spoke about what happened last night.

Upon hearing the story, Jo Il-ryang frowned.

“So you’re saying that a child who didn’t learn martial arts pushed you away with his strength?”

That was impossible.

If it was someone else, it might be possible, but Yu Jin-hyuk was on the verge of completing the technique.

It would be tough for him to cope with someone his teacher’s level, but he wasn’t lacking too much, and it was impossible for someone who didn’t know martial arts to even do that.

“… I can’t believe it either, but I’m not able to shake my thoughts.”

After hearing his disciple’s story, Jo Il-ryang thought that it wasn’t impossible.

So he asked him.

“That child, where is he now?”


There was a small forest ten miles west of Yu Yeop-kyung’s house.

Mumu, who was there, was looking for a suitable place to train.

He eventually found a little valley surrounded by bushes and large and small boulders around it.

To Mumu, those rocks were nothing more than training tools.

He brought a few iron rods with him, but Mumu just tied a massive rock to his back and squatted repeatedly.

“982… 983… 984…”

Mumu was happy training again after a long time.

He was smiling.

During the period of not training his heart ached because his muscles he protected like children would decrease, but while stretching again, it felt like he was flying.

‘I need to make up for what I’ll miss.’

He heard about the academy’s entrance test.

If he passed, he would live in a dormitory, and then he might not have the freedom to train.

Mumu decided to work out for any days he might miss.

‘Nice.’

He went to squat again, but he suddenly heard a small noise from a distance.

He ignored it at first, but as it got louder it seemed like something was approaching, so he decided to look.

He turned his head towards the noise, annoyed that something was interrupting his training, and what he saw was slightly surprising but anticlimactic.

He saw two people coming through the bushes.

One of them was a man with a goatee, it was his first time seeing him, and the other one was the second son of his father.

‘Ah, annoying.’

Why did he come all the way over here?

He did ask where the nearest mountain was, but he didn’t expect the second son to come find him.

Unlike Mumu, who was annoyed by it, Yu Jin-hyuk was shocked.

‘W-What is that?’

Mumu squatted with that huge rock on his back.

He wouldn’t be able to stand with that rock’s weight on his back, even if he mastered internal energy, let alone squat that weight.

Shockingly, Jo Il-ryang was surprised too.

‘Ha…’

He did hear from his disciple about the kid.

But this was beyond what he was expecting.

It’s no exaggeration to say that even an adult wouldn’t be able to tie a large rock to their back and repeat that movement.

What was even more shocking were the words coming out of the kid’s mouth.

“998… 999… 1000…”

‘So he squatted with it that many times?’

It was a type of training he never did because it overuses the body’s muscles.

He wasn’t sure who taught him such an ignorant way to train his body, but he was convinced that training like that would damage the body.

However…

Gulp!

Jo Il-ryang gulped.

Indeed, Mumu didn’t learn martial arts just as his disciple said, and he only had physical strength; it could be said that he was a natural martial artist.

The muscles which were visible through the sweat-soaked clothes were spectacular.

‘He’s amazing. If he trains and pushes himself to this extreme, he would do better than his teacher.’

It was his first time finding a gem after Yu Jin-sung.

Jo Il-ryang liked him.

He even thought about taking the adopted son Mumu as his disciple.

‘This is a good opportunity.’

Jo Il-ryang knew that it would be impossible to enter the Heavenly Martial Arts Academy despite his physical strength if he didn’t master martial arts.

Physical strength had a limit.

And martial arts was literally a way of dealing with others.

But if one could handle others with strength, then why learn martial arts?

‘It would’ve been better if I met him when he was younger, but still, it would help me display the school.’

Jo Il-ryang made his decision.

He was going to make Mumu his disciple and enlist him in the academy after a year.

If that happened, then there was a chance more strong people would come to train under him.

He, who was full of dreams, spoke to Jin-hyuk.

“Watch. I will show you how the technique is done.”

Phat!

With that, Jo Il-ryang moved very lightly.

Mumu watched the man, who was approaching him from a long distance.

In an instant, he got in front of Mumu.

‘He’s fast!’

He never saw anyone move so fast.

He did see a few fast people in the bandits he killed, but this man was faster.

Mumu asked.

“Who are you?”

“Are you Mumu? I’m Jo Il-ryang, one of your brother’s teachers.”

“Ah really? Hello. I’m Mumu.”

At Mumu’s remark, Jo Il-ryang smiled.

He didn’t just have a strong body; he also had a pretty face which would make any woman fall for him, but his tone and expressions were innocent.

Since he lived in the mountains his whole life it’s possible that he’s innocent.

“But what are you doing here?”

“Huhu. I heard about you from Jin-hyuk.”

“Jin-hyuk?”

Since last night, he seemed pissed off and didn’t even look at Mumu.

‘Is he actually a nice guy?’

He wasn’t sure about that.

Regardless, Jo Il-ryang approached him and then drew a circle around himself, just like Yu Jin-hyuk did yesterday evening, and stood on one foot.

“What are you doing?”

“Jin-hyuk said that he couldn’t show you the perfect form yesterday, so this mister is going to teach Jin-hyuk how it’s done and show you too.”

“Ahh… you mean that thing where someone tries to push you out of the circle?”

“Yes. That’s it. Can you push me out?”

“Why me?”

Jo Il-ryang frowned at Mumu’s response.

He thought Mumu was naïve, but it didn’t seem like that.

And he said,

“If you can push me out like you did to Jin-hyuk, I will give you a nice present.”

“Present? What present?”

“You will only find out when you push me out of the circle, okay?”

Jo Il-ryang changed his method to make Mumu act.

After Mumu failed his attempt, his greatness would be shown and he would then ask Mumu to be his disciple.

While he was thinking ahead, Mumu asked.

“You won’t go back on words, right?”

“Huhuhu. I’m your brother’s teacher, would I lie to you? Come on.”

“But you’ll stand on one leg?”

“Yes.”

“Well, you’ll be out soon then.”

Jo Il-ryang smiled.

“Hahahaha. Don’t worry. No matter how strong you are, pushing me out won’t be easy.”

He thought Mumu had too much confidence.

Jo Il-ryang concentrated his internal energy and then directed it to the foot he was standing on.

The technique he used kept his center of gravity on his foot.

“Kay, push.”

“Okay.”

Mumu placed his strong hands on Jo Il-ryang’s chest.

And pushed.

Push!

His feet, which were pushing, went into the ground.

Jo Il-ryang was shocked by Mumu’s power.

He heard about it from Yu Jin-hyuk and he saw Mumu train his body, so he knew about it, but feeling it was different.

“Oh.”

Mumu was surprised.

He did his best, but he couldn’t push him.

Jo Il-ryang was like an old tree with roots deep in the ground.

Yu Jin-hyuk, who watched it, was shocked.

‘Amazing.’

No matter how many times he tried it with Mumu, he kept getting pushed back.

However, his teacher could endure Mumu’s strength on one foot.

Jin-hyuk looked at his teacher in a new light.

‘Teacher was right. I must be lacking.’

Jo Il-ryang, who confirmed the two people’s reactions, smiled.

He was a Super Master and had pretty strong internal energy; he was confident that he could handle Mumu.

Despite that, seeing Mumu’s feet dent the ground still shocked him.

If Mumu had mastered even basic energy cultivation, he would have lost.

Still, he wanted to shine in front of Mumu, so he would accept his offer of being his disciple.

“Did you see that? This is the Mystery of the Four Way Foot Extreme Weight technique where I become one…”

“Mister.”

“Huh?”

“You must keep this a secret from my father.”

“What do you mean?”

At that moment, Mumu turned the dial on his right wristband.

It went from eight to six.

Jo Il-ryang couldn’t understand what he was doing.

And then, Mumu placed his hands on the man’s chest.

“I’ll try again.”

Jo Il-ryang laughed at Mumu’s words.

The child had a cute side.

He didn’t like losing, so he tried again.

The desire to win was one of the things that Murim warriors had.

And there was nothing bad about it.

“Huhuhu. Give it another try.”

“Then I will push.”

“Do whatever you…”

Dudud!

At that moment, Mumu’s right sleeve tore, showing off his muscles.

‘!?’

Jo Il-ryang’s eyes widened as the muscles on the right arm grew.

‘What the! His muscles are getting bigger…’

It was then.

He couldn’t hide his shock at the tremendous force which pushed against his chest.

He ended up using more internal energy to stabilize himself.

However, the moment Mumu’s arms stretched out.

Thud!

“Euk!”

His connection with the earth was cut off, and Jo Il-ryang’s body, unable to withstand the force, was thrown back.

Tatatak!

It was only after getting thrown 20 steps back that Jo Il-ryang was able to stop.

‘What in the world, such an unbelievable power…’

“Kuak!”

Jo Il-ryang started coughing up blood.

‘T-Teacher!’

Yu Jin-hyuk, who was watching that, was confused.


Editor’s note -

(1) Just to elaborate some more on what ‘shifting flowers to trees’ means, the translator said this, “It means that someone as delicate as a flower will be able to hold and release a higher strength.”

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