Dan Baek-yeon, a Heavenly Upbringing department member and special teacher, was shocked.
When she looked at Mumu’s constitution in the class yesterday, there was no trace of energy in his body. So what had happened overnight?
A dantian was about to form in Mumu’s body? No, it was already in the state of being created.
‘… how did it happen?’
It was something she couldn’t understand. Even she, who is said to have been born with talent in the North Sea, took a month to have her dantian formed.
This was because no matter how skilled a person was, the Qi had to adapt to the body. Mumu asked wide-eyed.
“Is it true?”
“My dantian is formed?”
Mumu was excited and didn’t know what to do; he also thought that the technique that Jin-hyuk taught him would take three months to form dantian.
So who knew it would form this quickly?
‘Jin-hyuk said it would take a long time, but I guess it wasn’t a difficult thing.’
It would have been absurd if someone had heard Mumu’s thoughts. Martial arts is all about talent.
Many people couldn’t create a dantian despite years of cultivation. This was all because their body couldn’t contain the qi.
“What did you do last night?”
Baek-yeon asked to better understand the situation. As a teacher in a Martial Arts Academy and a researcher, this was something no one could understand.
“I learned to cultivate energy in the body.”
“… you learned?”
“Yes. I learned the Three-Way Mind Cultivation method from Jin-hyuk yesterday.”
“Uh? That one?”
Baek-yeon touched her forehead with a blank expression. Contrary to what everyone knew, the 3 Way Mind Cultivation was the most stable way to gather pure energy. However, it would still take a long time at its top speed.
‘He was able to cut it down to one night?’
Even the thought seemed impossible.
She knew that the best body for martial arts would come once a thousand years, and it is known to be a body that can handle both yin and yang energies. And Mumu’s body was nothing like that.
“… that was all that you did?”
Mumu averted his gaze at the question. Actually, it wasn’t just that.
He memorized the damaged text he saw inside the basement. However, if he said it, Dan Baek-yeon would know that he went down there, and Mumu had already promised many people that he wouldn’t speak about the basement.
‘This child… he is the kind who cannot lie.’
If she asked another time, he would spill it all out. It was cute because such kids didn’t exist in today’s time.
‘Even if it is the King of the North Sea ice Palace himself, it is impossible to have a dantian form this quick.’
Mumu was still 17 years old. Most kids are pushed to martial arts at 3 or 4 years to give time for their body to embody the energy and to have the blood vessels open.
This was no less than a bizarre phenomenon, and she carefully opened her lips,
“Student Mumu. It might seem a bit weird, but can I check your body just one more time? Instead, I will pay you something for it.”
Mumu readily answered.
This made her eyes shine.
“Are you really fine? Strictly speaking, this shouldn’t be done if student Mumu had formally and naturally mastered the martial arts.”
She explained to Mumu, who was puzzled.
“I don’t know about the low ranking masters but those who are good in what they do can find out the extent of the flow of pure energy by examining the bodies. Of course, cultivation doesn’t just mean to move the energy in the body but to have the dantian completed too, and we might come to know something about you.”
Thinking back, Jin-hyuk, too, had said a similar thing. He said that there is a thing called cultivation because each person has their cultivation form suitable for their martial arts. And also warned Mumu from asking people about their cultivation methods as it could be taken negatively.
‘This applies to me as well.’
Mumu pondered for a couple seconds. So, looking at him wouldn’t be right, right?
But he changed his mind.
‘If I cannot tell even Jin-hyuk then I cannot ask others.’
There was no way he could ask someone about the inscription on the wall of the 3rd basement in the library, and there was no way he could find it on his own. And the thought.
“It is fine. In return, help with something I am curious about.”
“…thank you for the permission. I will definitely do you good too.”
Dan Baek-yeon put her hand on Mumu’s dantian and induced her energy.
A master with her skills can do it without inflicting damage to others.
Dan Baek-yeon was very skilled with this skill because she had been taught it at the North Sea Ice Palace.
‘If I look at how the cultivation was handled, I can know how the dantian was created in one day.’
She continued to concentrate on the traces of Mumu’s cultivation in his body.
However, the more she looked, the darker her face grew.
‘What is this?’
The traces of cultivation were there, but how it flowed was unknown. She was frowning and soon started to sweat.
‘… this makes no sense.’
This wasn't a four-point gathering.
The four-point gatherings were where the energy flowed in. It was a vital flow that happened within the blood vessels, and the flow of energy in Mumu wasn’t just in his vessels but the entire body.
‘How can this even be?’
This was only possible once the dantian was fully completed. Some traces can only be there in the body once the blockage and impurities have been removed. This was an impossible thing.
‘Till 17 he didn’t even touch a cultivation method, so his blood vessels must have been clogged.’
However, the blockage inside the blood vessels of Mumu was naturally melting away.
She couldn’t believe it. It was a phenomenon that was different from learning a cultivation method.
‘Just how did this happen?’
Only when traces of flow remain can the secret be known.
However, there was no way to know since the traces were all over the body. She opened her eyes and lifted her palm back.
And Mumu asked.
“Did you get to know?”
Dan Baek-yeon shook her head.
She wanted to say she understood, but she didn’t. She was confident that all his blood vessels were open and the dantian was forming at an unbelievable speed.
‘I can guess, but I cannot know for sure.’
Research was like this. One cannot conclude when they don’t have a definite answer.
“It is my first time witnessing such a kind of cultivation, this looks beyond my ability.”
“What did you not come to know?”
“… there is no way to know the essence of the cultivation by looking at the flow directly anymore.”
Dan Baek-yeon looked at Mumu. She witnessed something today that she had never seen before.
How could a child who didn’t touch martial arts till now know such a bizarre cultivation method?
‘It is possible if it was the first teacher of the great emperor, who is said to have caused huge wars and bloodshed hundreds of years ago or if he was the sage of the Shaolin sect who is said to have attained enlightenment, and be possible for ancestors who made martial arts known to all, but him?’
All three she thought of was legends. The only thing all these legends had in common was that they had all disappeared after teaching what they wanted to.
However, if Mumu was someone who knew their teaching, he wouldn’t wait for this long.
‘Is there any way this child entered the third floor of the basement, which is rumored to hold the damaged copy of the Heavenly Martial Cultivation method?’
She, too, heard the rumors. But even the Heavenly Unpringing people didn’t have the right to enter the basement.
It was said that only two people had the right to enter, one was Elder Hwang, and the other was the head of the institute.
‘It is absurd to keep the supreme martial arts methods in the library of the academy.’
Who does such a crazy thing?
Mumu spoke to her, shaking her head.
“Then should I cultivate?”
“If I cultivate it right here, you can understand.”
In his words, Dan Baek-yeon was surprised and said.
“Any cultivation method is your own one. You cannot show it or tell anyone about it.”
“But it is incomplete so it will be fine.”
“Even so, there is a line of morals we don’t cross in Murim. Just looking through the flow itself was enough disrespect.”
She refused. It wasn’t morally right to figure out the cultivation method of others. It was unacceptable for her.
“Just in case. Don’t tell anyone about this technique of yours, no, you should never even mention this, okay?”
“Is it that important?”
“…it is more than important, I don’t know if it is because a cultivation method is important to the body or if it will be a problem when other people come to know about it, but if other people find out, it would only cause troubles.”
Dan Baek-yeon was concerned about it. And that was why she was warning Mumu.
She thought that since Mumu was a good child, he would go talking about his cultivation to others.
“Since master said it, I will follow it.”
Baek-yeon smiled slightly and stroked Mumu’s hair.
And she lifted her hand off his head. Unknowingly, she touched the child’s hair. Shaking her head, she got up and stepped away.
“Um. Get dressed.”
Mumu, who was puzzled by the reaction, quickly put on his clothes, and after doing just that, he sat in a chair.
“Earlier you said you would help me out if I helped you.”
Dan Baek-yeon looked at Mumu and asked,
“Would you like to learn Ice Heart?”
Where did he hear it? Suddenly Mumu remembered the book on the first floor of the basement. It was one of the martial arts books that manager Im had asked him to look at, but it didn’t appear to Mumu.
“It is the basic techniques of the North Sea Ice Palace, which can be called as my starting point.”
Baek-yeon frowned at Mumu's subtle reaction.
She was saying she would pass on the skills of the North sea Ice palace in return for what he did, and this wasn’t the common reaction she was hoping for.
She took a breath.
‘He is a kid who has no desire for martial arts.’
Even after learning the cultivation technique, she didn’t think he would be interested. And then Mumu asked her,
“But master. Should it be okay to tell other people about their clan’s martial arts?”
At Mumu’s question, she nodded her head.
“Right. Normally it had to be that. ten years back, I wouldn’t even have tried to sit here and tell people of how to use my techniques.”
Mumu tilted his head at her words, and she got up and walked somewhere.
A red bonsai was standing on the window plank. One peculiar thing was that this bonsai had a white flower with a small sword stuck in the pot along with red flowers.
The white mist would flow when the white flower was touched. It was cold. A cold chill was flowing from the petals.
Her eyes looked bittersweet.
“What is that flower?”
“A flower which blooms only in winter. It can only be seen in the North Sea Ice Palace, where there is winter for all four seasons.”
“It is pretty.”
“Right. Such pretty flowers, they can’t be found here. As I said earlier, it only grows in the North Sea.”
“Uh? But they are growing here? And it is late spring now.”
At Mumu’s question, Dan Baek-yeon tapped the sword in the bonsai and spoke.
“Because of the sword.”
“I continue to give the energy of life which gives out ice energy into the pot. The Confessional White Sword”
Confessional White Sword.
One of the three major sacred items of the North Sea Ice Palace. A treasured weapon that gave out ice energy from itself.
Mumu went closer and examined it. It was as cool as the frozen lakes.
She looked at Mumu with subtle eyes and said,
“Even though it looks like that, it is a picky weapon.”
“Right. Even I cannot take that sword out of the sheath.”
“Unfortunately, only the person who handles the yang energy and the ice energy can control it.”
‘… only those who achieved the success in the clan’s technique can do it.’
But she didn’t say, and she didn’t feel like Mumu should know that.
“Seems quite tough.”
“It is a sword which is like a woman. I have been talking about some weird things. Anyway, if you can learn the technique of the clan, you can have a better understanding of yin and yang and can do things like this.”
As she spread out her palm, something cold ran down and a snowflake formed. Showing this was to interest Mumu.
If he didn’t learn this, Mumu would have a hard time handling people with this, and it wouldn’t take long to understand this.
“How is it?”
“Oh! Amazing. If I learn this, even if it isn’t in winter I can add ice to water and drink.”
What was this weird way of using a technique? It was strange, but at least he was motivated by something.
“Would you like to try?”
“Yes. Sounds good.”
Seeing Mumu, she smiled.
‘I wish this happens to get the thing done,’
She was looking for a man who could handle the ice. But she hadn’t been able to find one.
She personally taught Mumu’s alumni who showed talent and donated to the treasury for them, but no one succeeded in it.
If such a person appeared, it would be possible for her to break away from that curse like bondage.
“Then wait. It is quite complicated, so I will write it down for you to memorize.”
And to write it down, she went to her desk where there was paper and ink. It was time to pour the ink and grind.
Suddenly, the entire office was overflowing with chill, and the ink began to freeze. With that, a ripping sound could be heard.
Surprised by it she looked at the window, and there he was, Mumu, who had half pulled out the sword with his forearm muscles which were swollen.
Her eyes shuddered,
‘The sword… chose?’
Mumu smiled brightly at what he did.
“I am being chosen because I put this much effort, right?”
The confessional white sword sounded like it was being ripped off.
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