“Seems like there’s a fight!”
“Oh my! Mount Hua and the Wudang sect!”
All those who saw the situation happening gulped in anticipation.
“T-this is bad. Maybe we should back off.”
“Where else can we see a spectacle like this!? This is amazing! This is something we could never see in Nanyang. Even if I die, I need to watch this!”
“T-that’s true, but….”
Concerns and expectations overlapped. But no one stepped back.
It was a massive event that they would like to see at least once in their lives.
It was especially true in places like Nanyang, where nothing major happens. Most of the audience believed that Wudang played the central role in this event, but many also supported Mount Hua.
Perhaps elsewhere, most people would have never heard of Mount Hua. But this was Nanyang; Huayoung Gate had endured in this land for a hundred years already.
Huayoung Gate had become inseparable from Nanyang, and their lives both breathed in unison. The people of Nanyang tend to have a favorable feeling for Mount Hua because this sub-sect proudly professed their relationship.
This was the reason that martial arts sects tried to establish sub-sects throughout the world.
There are limits to what the main sects, like Wudang and Mount Hua, could accomplish independently. But if their disciples spread out and form sub-sects, Gates, and training halls, their influence is bound to spread.
“Can Mount Hua win?”
“Hey, they’re up against Wudang!”
“Why not? I heard that last time Mount Hua shamed the Southern Edge sect.”
“Are the Southern Edge sect and Wudang the same? Wudang is Wudang!”
Hearing the voices murmuring around, Jo Gul took a low breath. In front of his eyes, dressed in black robes, were the disciples of Wudang.
‘Can I do it?’
If Jo Gul was the same as before, then he wouldn’t be sure. It had been a long time since he first entered Mount Hua and began learning martial arts, but he never thought of himself as a martial artist.
‘It is a more severe problem if I can’t win.’
One thing was certain.
Everyone that calls themselves a swordsman has strived to improve their skills over the past two years.
However, none of them have trained as viciously as the second and third-class disciples of Mount Hua.
Behind him stood the Asura.
The most terrible thing about Chung Myung was the various forms he would take.
At some times, he is an Asura, then in the next moment, he talks about the sword as if he is some accomplished saint. At other times he is a wise man that has knowledge of the world, and then he is a fool the next moment.
Chung Myung shifted between each of these forms to train Mount Hua’s disciples.
When Jo Gul thought of the past two years, his body trembled. Jo Gul thought that if he could become strong, he would be able to withstand any kind of training. However, a short two months after the Southern Edge conference, his determination had been completely blown away.
It wasn’t easy to tear down and rebuild everything that had been established. Chung Myung pressed him so hard that he would foam at the mouth and collapse in exhaustion after training.
All those trials and tribulations were driven into Jo Gul’s body and sword and piled up.
He looked up at Wudang’s swordsmen.
In the past, he thought that confidence came from believing in oneself. But now he understood. If there were no skills to back your beliefs, then it was baseless bravado.
Confidence is developed over time. If you believe in what you have done and your own efforts, you cannot help but overflow with confidence.
“One on one?”
Jo Gul’s lips twisted.
‘This is for the pride of our sect.’
Four people stepped forward from both sides. Obviously, since they’re a small group, they would have preferred to stick together. But the plan was already settled.
Was there any rule that required them to compete fairly? If not…
‘It doesn’t matter.’
It’s okay to ignore them; it’s okay if people laugh. Now Jo Gul knew that it didn’t mean a thing. At the end of the day, skills are all that matter.
The Wudang swordsman standing in front of Jo Gul drew his sword and pointed it at him.
As he watched his opponent, Jo Gul smiled.
Seeing Jo Gul struggle to contain his laughter, the swordsman from Wudang frowned.
“Are you laughing at me?”
“Ahh, I am sorry. That’s not it….”
Jo Gul, still unable to calm his laughter, spoke through a smile on his face.
“Isn’t it simple? I’m just so proud of my growth, that I can’t help but laugh. It has nothing to do with you.”
“… you’re crazy.”
Jo Gul’s body shook, and the strength he used to hold his sword increased.
‘This is what it looks like.’
He could tell.
The man in front of him was no match for Jo Gul.
His posture with the sword, the way he stood, his overall balance, and the qi flowing from his body. There were so many issues that Jo Gul was itching to point out to his opponent.
If Jo Gul felt this irritated when looking at his opponent’s form, then how must Chung Myung feel when he sees them?
‘This must be why he doesn’t stop nagging.’
“Wudang’s Jin Gong.”
“Mount Hua’s Jo Gul.”
This was no spar. Any further conversation would only get in the way.
Jo Gul took his position. Maybe it was because of his pride, but Jin Gong wouldn’t be the first to attack.
Then, Jo Gul would need to go to him.
Strength gathered at the tip of his toes.
Jo Gul let the force pull him forward and simply ran ahead. His sword trembled as it unleashed various techniques.
Fast, slow, elegant, and violent.
Numerous swords melded into one, and it was impossible to know which was real and which was fake.
Ever-changing and welcoming.
The splendid blade that was the basis of Mount Hua’s swordsmanship emerged from the tip of Jo Gul’s sword.
Wudang’s disciple retreated in a moment of panic.
‘That’s the wrong answer.’
When one steps back, the changing sword deepens. Perhaps this opponent had never dealt with such a technique.
Jin Gong tightly bit his lip and finally began to unfold his sword.
Soft lines with smooth and elegant movement.
The sword of Wudang.
This was the first time Jo Gul was directly experiencing the Wudang’s sword. But, Jo Gul didn’t panic at all and continued to press the opponent in front of him.
‘What a monster.’
- There is nothing wrong with saying that you have to go through a lot of real-life experiences. Though, that doesn’t mean you need to be nervous or improvise everything. It just means that you need to build up experience to learn how to react. Even if it’s the same sword art, it’s bound to be divided into different types depending on the swordsman that uses it. The sword of Mount Hua is splendid, the sword of the Southern Edge sect is serious, and the sword of Wudang is soft.
- So, you mean I need to build up real-world experience?
- No. Sahyung doesn’t have to do that. Since I’m here, you’ll just get used to it when you get hit by a variety of swords. So today, let’s start with being gently beaten by the sword of Wudang.
-… why do I have to be beaten?
Jo Gul’s last question was never answered.
But his body has already suffered through the sword of Wudang.
Compared to the softness of Chung Myung’s sword, the opponent’s sword didn’t seem soft. The sword of Wudang that Chung Myung showed was several times more perfect than his opponent’s. So, Jo Gul wasn’t the least bit flustered when dealing with that incomplete technique.
The speed of Jo Gul’s sword increased.
Faster. More splendid!
The Wudang sect’s technique was counter-focused. They would wait for the opponent to make the first move before seizing their chance for victory. It was a method to subdue the opponent by receiving their sword without rushing.
The Wudang sect ascended to the highest echelons of the martial world with this technique.
So how does one deal with that?
- What is there to think about? If someone can block a fast attack, that means you need to shove the attack in faster! Everything in this world is relative! Water may put out a fire, but it evaporates when put in front of an even bigger fire.
Jo Gul’s sword ripped through the air.
The sword penetrated so quickly that it didn’t even give the opponent a chance to swing his sword.
‘It’s too slow.’
Not to mention Chung Myung. Even his sahyung’s sword was twice as fast, and his sasuks’ swords were even faster than that.
Was it because of the different natures of their swords?
The nature of their techniques may be different, but the basics cannot be hidden. Unknowingly, Jo Gul smiled.
This disciple from the Wudang Sect seemed powerless in front of Jo Gul.
Whether it be his body or his sword.
The years of training with Chung Myung had added up.
The Wudang disciple couldn’t handle what was happening, and seeing his embarrassed face, Jo Gul swung his sword again.
Jin Hwa, who was facing Yoon Jong, was equally flustered.
‘T-this cannot be!’
Jin Hwa’s face crumbled.
‘I-I am falling behind a bastard of Mount Hua!?’
It was not enough to say that it was only Mount Hua.
From what Jin Hwa knew, the disciple he was currently facing was from a younger generation than him. He is a second-class disciple, and this guy called Yoon Jong is supposed to only be a third-class disciple.
But Jin Hwa had already suffered several slashes from Yoon Jong’s sword.
An unbearable rage boiled over and let loose from his mouth.
“This cannot be!”
And that anger extended onto his sword.
A slight gap emerged in Jin Hwa’s technique, which had been stable until now.
Yoon Jong didn’t miss this chance.
Yoon Jong’s sword stabbed forward and targeted the slight gap between his opponent’s technique.
Wudang’s sword relies on gently countering the opponent’s sword. In other words, if they fail to receive their enemy’s strike, they are unable to start anything.
Yoon Jong’s sword disturbed the opponent’s balance and fell on him again, aiming for Jin Hwa’s body.
A very elegant and flashy sword.
Desperately, Jin Hwa swung his sword. Yet he couldn’t prevent the cuts that accumulated across his body.
In the meantime, Jin Hwa saw the technique evolve.
Dozens of spectacular swords swung at him swiftly and gracefully.
Yoon Jong’s eyes looked cold.
The sword was incredibly sharp and fierce, but Yoon Jong had a terrifying level of composure and response while displaying his technique.
“I-I am a disciple of Wudang!”
Jin Hwa shouted in a convulsive manner and threw himself at Yoon Jong. He was determined to cut his flesh, even if he had to sacrifice his own bones.
However, Yoon Jong simply took a step back.
Exactly one step.
His fluttering sword came down. Like a plum blossom falling to the floor, his sword sliced down and sank into Jin Hwa’s shoulder.
The shoulder split, and blood came spilling out.
Jin Hwa’s sword fell to the floor, and his face was filled with shock.
Yoon Jong spoke to Jin Hwa, who failed to understand the situation.
“Your Taoist sword isn’t bad. However.”
“The time you and I spent improving is far too different.”
Holding his bleeding shoulder, Jin Hwa staggered back in retreat. Yoon Jong just shrugged as he saw that.
‘This… I’ve become so strong.’
His gaze turned back unconsciously. Yoon Jong looked at Chung Myung, who was watching him from the back, and when they made eye contact, Yoon Jong quickly turned his head around again.
Seeing Chung Myung’s dissatisfied expression, Yoon Jong felt like he was in for another round of nagging later.
But it didn’t feel bad.
Yoon Jong quietly mumbled.
“The sword of Mount Hua is strong.”
It was now time for the rest of the world to understand that, not just them.
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