Chung Myung pointed to the central area and spoke.
While Jo Gul was taking his place, the disciples of the Southern Edge Sect came and retrieved the fallen Gong-Jin.
“What do you think of the Southern Edge sect?”
“What do you mean?”
“Are they strong? Weak?”
“Obviously, they’re strong.”
Chung Myung stared wide-eyed at Yoon Jong and asked.
“Then Sahyung defeated such a strong foe?”
“D-Don’t say that. It just happened; what do I know?”
Chung Myung shook his head and giggled.
“Strong. Right, strong. He’s strong for his age, but he’s weak too.”
“… what does that mean?”
“Because he learned so much more than what he should have been taught at that age.”
“Isn’t it good to learn a lot and get used to it?”
Chung Myung reached out and drew the shape of a tower.
“Martial arts are like a tower. How tall you can build a tower depends on how strong the bottom floor and the foundation are.”
“But those people started building the second floor before the first was finished, then they added a third on top of the incomplete second as well. They’re adding weight to the first floor and building taller without strengthening the foundation first.”
“What do you think will happen if those kids collide with someone who perfectly developed their tower’s ground floor?”
Chung Myung said,
“All I did was clear away the wood on the first floor Sahyung’s were building and reforged the foundation. It’s difficult to build, but it won’t crumble easily once built.”
“… I don’t understand. Did that training have such meaning?”
“What are the basics of martial arts?”
Chung Myung’s face grew serious.
“There is one fundamental basic: to use the body to strike down the opponent perfectly. The stem forms from that one root, and then the branches proliferate. I just had Sahyungs focus on developing the roots.”
Chung Myung pointed to Jo Gul. Jo Gul was facing off against the Southern Edge disciple that just came out.
“An unshakeable lower body, clean swordsmanship, and the eyesight to carefully observe everything happening. And above all….”
Jo Gul’s sword pushes the opponent’s sword and delivers a blow.
“Concentration capable of bringing out all of the body’s power at once.”
Chung Myung smiled.
The disciple of the Southern Edge Sect collapsed, and Jo Gul looked at his opponent with a puzzled expression. He turned his head, unable to believe what he had done.
“For now, that is all you need. With that one alone, you can defeat all the kids your age.”
Of course, that isn’t all.
They also took the pill that Chung Myung gave them. By following through with Chung Myung’s training regime, the disciples managed to create bodies that were second to none.
If they didn’t lag behind in physical strength and internal qi, their battles were bound to be decided by their swordsmanship. And anyone who faced them without a solid foundation was destined to fall before them.
Jo Gul returned and looked at Chung Myung with blank eyes. Following his lead, another disciple from Mount Hua went forward.
He was full of desire to fight and bring honor to their sect.
“I still don’t understand. If it’s that easy… then why don’t the other sects train like that?”
Chung Myung shook his head.
“Was the training until now easy?”
“N-No. I didn’t mean that, but conceptually….”
“Sahyung must have studied, right? To be in good form, take rest, take care of one’s parents sincerely, and not deceive the weak or be greedy for riches. Above all, be polite to others, respect those below you, live life without losing yourself, keep your friends close, and be loyal to the nation. Can you do all of that?”
“Why? Isn’t that how you become a true man?”
Yoon Jong stayed silent. He knew what Chung Myung was talking about.
Everyone knows what it means to be an exceptional man. However, only two or three people in the nation can follow every tenet throughout their entire lives. Such a small number within this vast nation.
In other words, despite knowing what it takes, ordinary people cannot do it.
“Constant water dripping down can pierce a rock. Always devote yourself and work hard. Nothing is more important than effort. The ancestors endlessly emphasize hard work and dedication. Do you know the reason?”
“Because people can’t do that.”
Chung Myung had a bitter smile.
In fact, Chung Myung was the same in the past. He always craved stronger swordsmanship and fame, even though his Sahyung constantly nagged him about concentrating on his basics.
Even in Chung Myung’s final moments, he sought higher ground and never looked down.
Only after death did he realize.
“Train to the point of death, push past your limits and devote yourself to it again and again. It might sound like nonsense….”
Chung Myung pointed to the central area.
Mount Hua’s disciple was causing the Southern Edge Sect’s disciple to falter and retreat. It was an impressive sight; Mount Hua’s disciple wasn’t giving his foe any chance to attack or recover.
“But, that’s what happens.”
“Although we know what it takes, people can’t push themselves that hard. Who would choose to do so? After three days, they’d lie down and say they can’t do it, run away, or make some excuse.”
Yoon Jong nodded.
Didn’t they also try to escape? It was Chung Myung who grabbed them by the collar and forced them to continue.
“Sahyungs did it.”
Chung Myung said firmly.
“After you endured that, the match was already won. There is nothing more to see. Those who only look up without seeing what’s beneath their feet will lose their footing and collapse. If a bird without wings believes that it can fly, it’ll only realize the truth after the jump.”
Chung Myung clicked his tongue when he saw the disciple of the Southern Edge Sect being carried away.
“Their feet betrayed them, and now they’ll fall.”
Yoon Jong’s eyes trembled.
He thought that the training was being overdone. It wasn’t just once or twice that he wanted to curse Chung Myung for his vicious methods.
But he endured. He persevered until the end, hoping that he would grow stronger in some way, but all that training was done with a far-off future in mind?
‘Where the hell did this guy learn all this?’
Yoon Jong couldn’t understand Chung Myung at all, but he was certain of one thing.
Another Southern Edge disciple fell to the ground.
Yoon Jong knew.
His sajaes weren’t too different. At least, aside from Yoon Jong and Jo Gul, the ten disciples representing Mount Hua were all roughly equal in their abilities.
There was such a large difference between the previous disciple and his opponent. So the result of the next battle would be the same.
‘We’re going to win?’
Mount Hua’s third-class disciples against the Southern Edge Sect?
Yoon Jong could feel it.
They were really winning against those bastards.
“W-we are winning?”
No one responded to Yoon Jong’s words. They couldn’t deny what was happening before them, but it wasn’t easy to believe either. It was because they never thought this could happen.
But there was no need for them to believe it.
No matter what Yoon Jong or anyone else thought, the result of the conference was real.
A shrill scream signaled the end.
In an instant, ten disciples fell.
“Aaaakkkk! We won!”
“All ten! We won them all! Damn it!”
“Chung Myung! We did it! We did it!”
The third-class disciples clenched their fists and cheered. Some even wept. Even the second-class disciples were running to embrace them.
It was like a festival.
Ten wins in a row.
All of Mount Hua’s third-class disciples were victorious.
Ten consecutive victories followed after ten straight losses.
It was evident which side would have better momentum and which side had a greater sense of victory.
The disciples from Mount Hua defeated the third-class disciples of the Southern Edge Sect.
Yoon Jong grabbed his hand with a thrilled expression.
“We won! We won! Thank you! Thanks to you—”
Right when Yoon Jong was about to speak words of admiration that he’d kept hidden in his heart, Chung Myung spoke.
An icy air instantly froze the heated atmosphere as Chung Myung’s words escaped.
Everyone’s eyes focused on Chung Myung, who tilted his head to the side.
‘What’s wrong with him now?’
‘Here we go again. This time my heart will stop!’
Seeing their anxious gazes, he said.
“… again, what more now?”
“We already lost ten times. After winning ten times, doesn’t that make this a draw?”
“Sahyung doesn’t seem to know.”
“There’s no such thing as a draw in my vocabulary!”
Chung Myung’s eyes shone again!
‘The atmosphere is so good, Chung Myung, please!’
“Drawww! A draw with the Southern Edge Sect? I can’t carry that embarrassment all my life!”
He would be cursed to death even after death.
His Sahyung would softly smile down at him and stab away with sharp dagger-like retorts and insults. And what about the other Sahyungs? They would drag him around everywhere and speak about how he came to a draw with the Southern Edge Sect.
‘I’m not going to let that happen.’
Flames ignited in Chung Myung’s eyes.
If he was happy with a draw, he wouldn’t have even bothered starting this battle.
He still hadn’t paid them back for snatching away the Plum Blossom Sword technique. Now he was supposed to send them home with a draw after they insulted Mount Hua and the sect leader the entire time they were there?
That isn’t Chung Myung’s style.
Chung Myung began to laugh.
“This is the beginning. Ahh, just the beginning. Now! They won’t be able to walk themselves home. Hehehe.”
The third-class disciples slowly retreated, seeing Chung Myung’s eyes gleaming in madness.
‘He’s completely lost it.’
‘Was he stabbed to death by the Southern Edge Sect in a previous life? Why does he always go insane when the Southern Edge Sect comes into the picture?’
‘Isn’t this enough? What more are you going to do?’
It was then.
Chung Myung got up from the seat, and Yoon Jong jumped to his feet as well.
“Hey! Hey! Stop him—”
When Yoon Jong tried to shout and stop his antics, Chung Myung spoke in a cold voice that was unlike his usual self.
Pressured by force exuding from Chung Myung, Yoon Jong listened in bewilderment.
“From now on, don’t miss a single move of what I do. This applies to everyone. Understood?”
Chung Myung headed off to the central area as the Sahyungs simply nodded in response.
Everyone merely stared at his back as if possessed.
It was the back of the man that would lead Mount Hua, a sight they would see countless times from now on.
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