Noh Ik-bong was a regular inspector of the 7th unit.
Although a member of the unit, he also had a hidden position. In the Imperial Palace, there were five organizations which had been secretly nurtured and were tightly handled by the palace.
He was part of one of those secret groups.There are some common characteristics of warriors raised in the Imperial Palace.
One was their internal energy.
[Internal energy is one thing that the warriors of the palace excel in.]
Although the Imperial Palace nurtured warriors who mastered martial arts, they knew they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the warriors of the central plains who had studied it from a young age.
Those people inherited and developed their martial arts, so the palace had to think of a different way to nurture and strengthen their own warriors.
So the palace, with its physicians, had secured many pills and herbs that enhanced internal energy and used them to train the warriors and give them strength.
As a result, most of the warriors in the palace had internal energy equivalent to around 30 years’ worth.
‘What is this?’
Noh Ik-bong couldn’t understand it.
He was one of the three heads of the Imperial Palace’s secret warriors.
In order to become a head, one had to have internal energy of at least 40 years.
“You… aren’t feeling pain?”
At Mumu’s words, Noh Ik-bong’s face contorted.
‘You second-rate bastard!’
A second-rate warrior only had around 10 years’ worth of internal energy. This child only had to be about 17. How dare he try to mock Noh Ik-bong!
Noh Ik-bong, full of anger, increased the internal energy he used.
‘I thought this would be enough, but you made me angry.’
Noh Ik-bong raised his energy sixfold in an instant. His clothes and hair began to flutter as he did this as he was determined to break Mumu’s shoulder.
Mumu had thick muscles, but that didn’t matter. He was going to twist that arm and break his bones.
Noh Ik-bong looked stunned.
Despite increasing the internal energy he used, Mumu’s thick shoulders didn’t move. Did this boy only learn physical training?
How could he withstand the 7th level of internal energy being used on his shoulder?
Mumu, who didn’t understand what was happening, said,
“Seeing how you are using your internal energy, you don’t seem to just be rubbing.”
Noh Ik-bong frowned
What was this kid saying? He was trying to break the boy’s shoulder, but the boy thought he was just rubbing his shoulder?
Then Mumu said,
“Is this what they call picking a fight?”
Who was this bastard who was thinking that a palace official was just some neighbourhood thug?
Noh Ik-bong, who wanted to do this in moderation, decided to kick Mumu on the leg. But nothing happened.
It was because the guard came down again.
“What are you doing?”
At the guard’s question, Noh Ik-bong pulled back his leg.
He then erased his expression and replied with a smile.
The guard looked at Noh Ik-bong with wary eyes. No matter how he looked, it felt like the two had been arguing.
Noh Ik-bong shrugged and whispered in Mumu’s ear as he pulled back his hand.
“Kid. You are lucky.”
Mumu tilted his head.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t do what he wanted, but he memorized that face. Noh Ik-bong began to move when the guard said.
“Are you Noh Ik-bong?”
“Yes? That is right.”
“The supervisor, the old man, is calling you.”
At those words, he looked at Mumu, and his sullen face turned to a happy one.
‘Maybe you aren’t that lucky anymore.’
Yu Jin-sung’s expression wasn’t very good as he waited.
He knew about the ambitious Dan Pil-hoo, the deputy, and he also knew that the headmaster wasn’t the type to lie.
However, it was hard to believe that Mumu was the one who caught the culprit behind Elder Hang Yeon’s murder.
‘I heard he grew up with father.’
His father, Yu Yeop-kyung, wasn’t a martial arts man but a scholar.
And it was his other younger brother, Yu Jin-hyuk, who was taught by three martial arts masters, whom Yu Jin-sung had arranged to grow up with martial arts and not Mumu.
Mumu grew up in an environment where he couldn’t learn any martial arts.
‘… I thought just joining the academy was strange.’
He couldn’t even understand how Mumu passed the academy entrance test. There was no way the two who were saying things about his adopted brother couldn’t be believed, but it felt unsettling.
There was a knock on the door, and the guard’s voice echoed from outside.
“I have brought them, sir.”
“Let them in.”
Soon after, Mumu came inside the room. Mumu saw the headmaster and deputy sitting inside and bowed to them.
“Hello. Headmaster, deputy.”
Seeing how innocent he looked, Oh Muyang smiled.
‘Is this that rumoured student?’
Since the academy heads were proud of this child, he thought the student would be sharp and smart, but this was something else. This boy didn’t look like the bloodthirsty sort.
And it didn’t end there. Yu Jin-sung sensed Mumu’s energy and was shocked. No matter how much he tried to sense deeper, it felt like the energy of a second-rate warrior.
‘… is the deputy trying to use him?’
Yu Jin-sung looked away from Mumu and at the deputy with disappointed eyes.
It seemed that he was trying to use Mumu, a student. Oh Muyang seemed to have thought he could test him, which would be enough. As a scholar, he didn’t know much about martial arts.
‘Mumu is my younger brother, so did he expect me to take his side?’
It was as if Mumu was being held as a hostage. If it was Dan Pil-hoo, the deputy he knew during his time in the academy, then it seemed like he would act like this using tricks.
But there was something they didn’t know.
Noh Ik-bong came behind Mumu.
Oh Muyang wasn’t a supervisor for no reason. He was someone who got this position by stepping on numerous obstacles, so he was at least intelligent.
He could see Yu Jin-sung looking at the headmaster and deputy. It seems that things were not going well.
But contrary to his guess…
‘What is this?’
The headmaster and the deputy were also flustered by the current situation, but for a wholly different reason.
‘In just one day?’
They were surprised because of the change in Mumu’s state.
Just yesterday, Mumu had a small dantian. Even the headmaster who wanted to take him hadn’t thought of being able to train the boy with anything special. But now, things have changed overnight.
‘A second-rate warrior’s level?’
‘That too in just one night?’
Just yesterday, they could barely feel anything from Mumu, but he had developed so much internal energy overnight.
It was understandable if it was just his dantian that grew, but the internal energy also grew. The problem wasn’t even that.
[I was learning martial arts as just a hobby.]
He was so confident in his physical strength that he occasionally looked down on martial arts.
Headmaster Do Jeong-myung gulped. The pace of this boy’s development in martial arts, even just as a hobby, was terrifying.
‘What a monster.’
People said that the God of Martial Arts had a character that never gave his blessings to anyone. However, seeing Mumu, there seemed to be an exception. As the headmaster and deputy dealt with their surprise…
“Sir Noh is here?”
Dan Pil-hoo looked at the other man who came behind Mumu. At that, Oh Muyang smiled.
“Ah. I didn’t talk about it earlier. The arson in the academy is such a serious issue, so two inspectors were dispatched.”
This meant there were two high-ranking inspectors. Noh Ik-bong bowed.
“I am Noh Ik-bong.”
‘If you thought Yu Jin-sung was the only inspector, then you are wrong.’
Oh Muyang looked at the headmaster and the deputy with elation in his eyes.
They had to be upset with this. They must have known that Yu Jin-sung might be biased in this case. Then Oh Muyang said to Noh Ik-bong.
“There is a reason I called you here.”
“What do you mean?”
“They say that the academy student in front of you was the one who caught the culprit behind the fires and murders.”
“Uh? Th… this kid?”
Noh Ik-bong frowned.
As he came here, he heard that the man behind the murder of Hang Yeon and the arson attempt had been caught. But this boy caught him?
That was not making any sense.
While it seemed that this kid’s body was better than his internal energy, it didn’t mean he would be capable of defeating a very strong martial artist.
A 17-year-old kid caught such a strong person?
“Hahaha. I guess you are curious too. So, if you don’t believe it, the headmaster and deputy said it was fine to test the student.”
“What do you mean?”
“Can you test that child there?”
Noh Ik-bong’s eyes twitched at those words.
He felt that his being called had something to do with Mumu. Noh Ik-bong smiled, and then he looked at Yu Jin-sung.
Yu Jin-sung then bowed to Oh Muyang.
“What is it?”
“I am here for the palace, so it is only today that I met my younger brother Mumu for the first time. So I want you to give me a chance to test my brother.”
Yu Jin-sung finally came forward, thinking this had to stop.
If it was Noh Ik-bong, then he knew that Mumu could be seriously injured, considering he was still just a second-rate warrior.
But then Oh Muyang shook his head.
“Can I even do that? Strictly speaking, this is to make sure that the academy student here actually has the skills to catch the criminal.”
“I would be fair…”
“I believe in you, but this investigation was ordered to us directly by the minister of land, infrastructure, transport and all the other higher officials. I cannot act easily.”
At that, Yu Jin-sung went silent. He had nothing to say.
He felt angry inside that the second brother he was seeing for the first time today was being placed in danger by the academy heads, but he could do nothing.
‘If not, I’ll need to get involved along the way.’
If it was proven that Mumu’s skills were insufficient, Yu Jin-sung thought that he would be able to intervene before Noh Ik-bong did anything too serious.
Oh Muyang then smiled at Mumu.
“You said you caught the culprit? Then show us your skills.”
At those words, Mumu looked at Do Jeong-myung and Dan Pil-hoo with puzzled faces. Then Dan Pil-hoo said,
“I am sorry to suddenly call on you, but I hope you can show your skills to these people here.”
At that, Oh Muyang shook his head. The result was already clear to him.
Oh Muyang gestured Noh Ik-bong. The gesture communicated an order to not be too moderate in the testing. Noh Ik-bong then smiled.
‘I think the same.’
He didn’t even want to go easy at all. Although the boy was just second-class, he had confirmed that he had a degree of physical strength, so he was planning to go strong from the start.
How would Yu Jin-sung’s face become when he realized his brother ended up half-blind? Will, that calm face change?
‘I am so excited.’
Noh Ik-bong made some distance from Mumu at the order. Mumu then brought his left hand to his band.
“Do I do it full on?”
At that, Dan Pil-hoo answered.
“Only moderately, please.”
‘Moderately, my ass.’
Noh Ik-bong laughed at their conversation. It didn’t matter what they did.
He knew Mumu had no internal energy and that he could destroy him if he went in strong right away.
“Now, shall we begin?”
As soon as the words were uttered, Noh Ik-bong threw himself at Mumu. It was a move meant to take him down without giving him time to respond.
‘You are out of luck. Kid….’
The moment he moved, Mumu’s hand slapped his face. At the time of impact, Noh Ik-bong’s left cheek caved in, and broken teeth came out of his mouth.
‘What is thi…’
When did he get hit? Why was this happening?
Why was the room spinning?
Noh Ik-bong fainted.
At that sight, Yu Jin-sung and even Oh Muyang were shocked. At the same time as the bout started, Mumu slapped Noh Ik-bong.
It looked like a light slap, but his opponent’s body spun six times in the air before falling down.
Mumu looked at Noh Ik-bong and said,
“Uh? I did it lightly, but this happened. He isn’t dead, right?”
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