“Now that it’s done, go in. I’d like to talk with you more but as an instructor and supervisor, I’ll have to see you later once my duties are fulfilled. I hope you pass the other tests and enter the academy.”
After nodding, Mumu’s heart fluttered.
He didn’t have to pay for the broken gates.
But fearing that Hak-gyu would change his mind, he waved at Jin-hyuk and Mo Il-hwa and ran inside.
“Guys. I’ll go in first and wait.”
At that, both of them couldn’t hide their shock.
‘No… he did that to the gate and then left us alone?’
‘Is he doing this on purpose?’
They were shocked when he broke the gate.
And come to think of it, he managed to pass the first test in a way that no one behind him could take the test.
The Lower District Clan’s Hae-ryang was shocked too.
“This is a tough situation.”
Could the remaining test takers have to wait until the gate was repaired?
With that thought in mind, the test takers looked at Hak-gyu.
Feeling burdened by their eyes, he turned his head and looked at the gates placed on the floor.
‘This is bad. But could it really have had a problem?’
Since he tested Mumu, he knew that Mumu had the power of a Super Master.
And that alone was amazing.
But it seemed unreasonable to break gates that housed sophisticated machinery.
‘And looking at that face, there’s no way that he took my test lightly.’
He tested the kid himself, so he was sure of that.
That being said, there was no other choice but to suspect that the gate failed due to aging.
For ten years, countless people opened and closed the gate for the first test.
‘Was it because it got too used to opening after receiving internal energy?’
For now, all Hak-gyu could do was guess.
Meanwhile, the dissatisfied murmurs grew louder.
‘I’m going crazy.’
It was ridiculous to tell the kids who’d already waited for a long time to wait until the gate was fixed.
In that case, he had no choice but to use another method.
Thinking that Hak-gyu gave an order to Yeon Nam-kyung and then spoke to the test takers.
“From now on, I will directly measure your skills, come out in order so we can get this done quickly.”
In the end, there was no other way than to use his body.
His time drinking and ‘supervising’ on the wall had come to an end.
Looking at the vast number of test takers in front of him, Hak-gyu began to feel pain in his bones.
The second test of the Heavenly Martial Arts Academy.
Once it was entered, there was a path that led to a 1-mile long artificial lake and a vast plaza that could accommodate ten thousand people.
And the fact that the surrounding land was green and filled with luscious flowers and trees showed just how much money was spent on the test.
However, the peculiar thing was the wooden rods that protruded out from the lake.
Those wooden rods spanned from the beginning of the lake to the end, with three steps between them to start, then five, then ten.
And what was unusual was that the wooden rods barely protruded from the lake’s surface and were only wide enough to land a toe on them. Needless to say, falling into the water was a lot easier than landing.
Tak! Tak! Tak!
There was a boy running on the wooden rods of the lake.
The boy’s running method was different from ordinary people’s, commonly called the ‘Light Body Method’ in Murim.
‘I need to go faster!’
The boy was impatient.
Because he had to get to the other side of the lake in order to pass the second test.
However, another difficulty loomed over him.
The moment the boy stumbled on a rod, the calm lake water rumbled.
And the hem of his pants got wet.
The boy cursed out loud.
He tried to be very careful, but he was impatient and ended up making a mistake.
The end of the boy pants, which had touched the lake, were wet.
While biting his lip, the boy finished the test.
The boy barely managed to cross the finish line on time.
And there was a bigger problem.
“Your pants are wet. You lack composure and are inconsistent.”
The boy felt disappointed at the words of a woman in her early 40s standing next to the incense burner at the end of the lake, who didn’t seem like she would cry even if her eyes were pricked by thorns.
The woman was Ka Yu-hang, the supervisor in charge of the second test, a master of the Light Body Method, and an instructor for the first years.
The boy said to her.
“There was a little mistake along the way. Can’t I be given one more chance?”
“Opportunities come only once. Leave.”
All he received from his question was a ruthless answer.
Upon hearing that, an 18-year-old cute girl with deep dimples, who was writing something down, said.
“Shockingly, it seems like there are many juniors who aren’t passing the exam at this point. Supervisor.”
“It’s because they lack calmness and elegance.”
“… ah yes.”
‘What does elegance have to do with this?’
The girl thought to herself but didn’t express it.
Her name was Tang So-so.
Born in the Tang Clan, she was a second-year officer here at the Heavenly Martial Arts Academy.
She was curious about this year’s new arrivals, so she applied to help the supervisors and was having a lot of fun.
‘Was it the daughter of the Southern Sword of the Emperor? Hong Hye-ryung? She was good.’
She really had good skills.
She ran across the lake with that huge sword on her back and made it to the other side.
Kids of great clans managed to do it too, but they took longer.
‘She’s almost equivalent to the woman of the west.’1
Among the Four Great Warriors, the Poison Air of the West was first regarding the Light Body Method.
When that person’s descendant took the test, they were so fast that the others couldn’t even keep up.
‘It was amazing at that time, but some of this year’s kids are hellish too.’2
Only when the students here complete the entire course with good grades can they establish a reputation and improve their careers.
It was a great honor to graduate from here.
Well, this was still nice to see.
She gently lowered the wooden board she was writing on and glanced at the boy.
‘He’s slightly lacking but good enough.’
As the 3rd disciple of the Eastern River Blade Master, she was expecting more, but the kid looked more innocent than she expected.
The kid looked nervous.
She wanted to say stuff like relax, you’ll be fine, but she stayed faithful to her role since she was here as an assistant.
‘Even if he looks like that, he’s a disciple of one of the Four Great Warriors, so he’ll be fine.’
None of the descendants of those warriors have had low grades so far.
“No more candidates seem to be coming.”
Supervisor Ka Yu-hang mumbled.
It looked like Ha-ryun was the last one.
There was only one thing she could guess.
“Uhh. Supervisor. That means a lot of people were eliminated at the first test, right?”
“It seems so. Except for a few, not many have come.”
Ka Yu-hang said while putting the back of her hand on her forehead.3
Does she really have to act so lady-like?
Everything else was fine, but this made interacting with Ka Yu-hang tiring.
‘But they’re quite late.’
As she said, it’s been a while since someone passed the first test.
And as they wondered.
They saw a young man running towards them.
“Supervisor, it’s Nam-kyung.”
It was Yeon Nam-kyung.
Ka Yu-hang waved at him as he continued to run towards them and then yelled.
At that, the man stopped and bowed.
And Supervisor Ka Yu-hang asked.
“I told you to maintain the correct form when using the Light Body Method, didn’t I? What was that?”
‘Ah I’m really tired!’
Yeon Nam-kyung groaned.
He was a student, but saying this in an emergency wasn’t called for.
Despite being annoyed, he spoke.
“Supervisor Hak-gyu, who’s overseeing the first test, ordered me to tell you as soon as possible.”
“Tell me what?”
Yeon Nam-kyung answered her.
“We’ve encountered a huge problem.”
“One of the test takers ripped three gates off.”
At those words, both the supervisor and assistant were shocked.
In particular, Ka Yu-hang was extremely interested.
“Ripped the gates? What do you mean? How can someone even rip gates? You do realize that that’s impossible right? Explain it…”
‘… ah. So many questions!’
Yeon Nam-kyung grunted again.
If he got back late, then Hak-gyu would yell at him.
He was scared of being yelled at by both sides, so he briefly explained the situation.
“I think he’s the younger brother Yu Jin-sung who graduated from here, but that one tore the gates off. Supervisor Hak-gyu said that the gates were a little… ahhh. Supervisor, I’m sorry. But I think I need to hurry up since there are too many applicants at the first test, see you later!”
With those words, he ran away.
As soon as he left, Ka Yu-hang shook her head.
He did say everything, albeit briefly and impatiently, but she understood nothing.
“Does that make sense to you? Ripping the gates off?”
“It sounds weird to me.”
It had never happened before.
Would breaking those large and complex gates even make sense?
However, seeing how Yeon Nam-kyung was on edge and rushed back after informing them, it didn’t seem like a lie.
At that time, Tang So-so put her hands together and said.
“Supervisor. That one… Yu Jin-sung. He became an imperial officer saying that he would release his father who had been framed.”
“Ahh. That graduate, I remember him.”
“Oh my gosh! That senior’s brother is taking the test!”
She was looking forward to seeing the brother of a senior she admired.
“So that means he ripped the gates?”4
“Looks like it. Woah. That’s great. How do such talented people come from a literary family?”
“Jealous? I don’t like the way you expressed that.”
“Ahh. Supervisor. I just meant that they learn well.”
The conversation between the supervisor and her assistant was soft.
Meanwhile, Moyong Wol of the Moyong clan, who was preparing for his turn, and Bae Yu-seok, were in disbelief.
“Did you hear that? Brother Moyong?”
“I heard it. What kind of bullshit is going around?”
“Yeah, it seems impossible, but didn’t that guy say it? And even the supervisor seems to believe it.”
“But do you really think that it’s possible? Haven’t you tried to open the gate yourself”
“I know what you mean, but what if it is?”
It wasn’t just them. The others were also upset by the information.
After a tough attempt, most of them had passed the test, and they didn’t want to believe this.
But unlike them, Young-chun, the disciple of the Eastern River Blade Master, took a deep breath.
‘The brother of Yu Jin-sung?’
It looked like he had found another formidable competitor.
If he tore the gates off, then it meant that he had profound internal energy.
According to the supervisor’s words, no one could compete with them except for the Four Great Warriors’ descendants, but the reality seemed different.
‘I need to remember this.’
And like him, there was another person who was taking the conversation of the supervisor and her assistant seriously. It was Ha-ryun.
‘Ripped the gates off?’
Seeing that no one had arrived here in a while, he thought that everyone was unsuccessful, but it was hard to accept something like this.
But if it was true, and there was someone like that, he had to be careful.
‘It has to be him.’
He heard them talking.
He had to be wary of the one called Yu Jin-hyuk, the younger brother of Yu Jin-sung.
At that time, he saw someone walking down the path, looking around with an amazed expression as if he was sightseeing.
It was Mumu.
Ha-ryun, who looked at him, frowned.
He was with that annoying girl called Mo Il-hwa.
‘But… how did he pass?’
If he heard it correctly, then this kid hadn’t learned martial arts.
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