Cho Myeong-San’s hand trembled slightly.
‘What’s with him?’
His gaze fixed on the young disciple who had stepped forward.
There was nothing special about him.
Nor could any tremendous qi be felt from him.
Even so, Cho Myeong-San couldn’t take his eyes off this young disciple from the moment he stepped forward.
‘Seriously? Is this feeling for real right now?’
A chill was running down his spine.
He had earned the name Yangtze Black Blade through countless fierce battles. In other words, Cho Myeong-San was not some greenhorn that developed his skills in comfort but someone that had grown through constant struggle.
So, he could tell just by looking at the opponent.
Was this just a kid with talent? Or was he an experienced warrior?
If it was just some kid with talent, then there was nothing to be afraid of. Cho Myeong-San had defeated many opponents stronger or more talented than himself.
A sword prepared to kill isn’t afraid of talent.
‘What is up with this guy?’
His senses kept warning him.
Telling him that it was dangerous.
The child standing before him was a serious threat.
His muscle contracted tightly as his hand gripped his sword. He gulped, desperately trying to quench his dry throat.
Cho Myeong-San couldn’t understand what he was feeling right now.
This person was clearly still a child fresh from his mother’s milk. Although he was a disciple of Mount Hua, he shouldn’t know the world’s cruelties. It was only recently that Mount Hua restarted their outside activities and began to let its disciples venture into Kangho.
Yet Cho Myeong-San’s senses were screaming at him that this disciple in front of him was an old monster who had fought countless battles. This child was the most dangerous enemy; if they met on the battlefield, then the only course of action would be to run away without looking back.
How could that even be possible?
Thick drops of sweat began to flow down Cho Myeong-San’s forehead.
It made no sense.
But he already knew that Kangho was a place where things that exceed common sense occur incessantly. If the bones of those that died clinging onto their idyllic notion of common sense were collected, they could fill any lake one could imagine.
To survive in the martial world, it was better to trust one’s own senses rather than a common sense that constantly gets forced to adapt.
“… Don’t belittle that child.”
It was a simple statement that Cho Myeong-San had struggled to bring up only after much deliberation. But not a single person there could understand.
Dae Ra-Geom smiled and looked at him.
“What are you talking about? Are you joking now?”
“Kukuku. It seems like there’s something even Yangtze’s Black Blade is afraid of. What are we going to do if you get cold feet after seeing one disciple?”
Mak Hwi openly laughed.
Cho Myeong-San didn’t get angry despite their words and jokes. He didn’t think they would understand what he felt. Even he wasn’t fully convinced despite his senses trying to convey such an absurd warning, so how could they understand?
“If you’re scared, just stay back. I’ll take care of him.”
Dae Ra-Geom laughed and stepped forward with a sneer. But Cho Myeong-San had no thoughts of dissuading him.
He had already given one warning. There was no need to dissuade someone that was arrogantly walking into danger. They were simply working together for a while; they had no intentions of being friends.
Dae Ra-Geom stepped ahead and looked down at Chung Myung.
“You said that you’re going to show me what true heartlessness looks like?”
Chung Myung didn’t respond. Seeing that, the man laughed.
“Such a young kid doesn’t seem to understand fear. Or…has that sense of justice of yours set your heart on fire?”
Chung Myung looked at Dae Ra-Geom without another word.
“I’ll tell you one thing, boy. In Kangho, that sense of justice is useless. Chivalry and honor belong to those with power. Diplomacy is the same. Trying to negotiate without power is just nonsense. You’re about to learn that today. Of course, the price is going to be your life.”
Chung Myung looked at him and said,
“Are you done?”
“I asked if you’ve finished yet. Or are you going to continue prattling on?”
Dae Ra-Geom’s eyes became fierce.
“This little brat has a nasty mouth.”
Chung Myung narrowed his eyes. He slowly began to walk toward Dae Ra-Geom, as if any further conversation was meaningless.
The Plum Blossom Sword swayed as Chung Myung held it naturally in his hand and continued his silent approach. A strange sense of pressure began to weigh on Dae Ra-Geom.
Dae Ra-Geom was enraged and about to yell when Chung Myung expressionlessly cut him off.
“Well, weren’t you going to kill me anyway?”
Dae Ra-Geom was silent.
“Then I need to stop that.”
That was correct.
No matter how Chung Myung had reacted, Dae Ra-Geom planned to kill him. They were here instead of the other door because they intended to kill every bit of competition that entered.
So, like Chung Myung said, their aim was to kill him.
Whether the opponent was arrogant, ignorant, or scared.
They wouldn’t care about such things.
‘The ones that came before him didn’t act like this.’
The cold corpses scattered across the ground had all cursed and pleaded as they died, but did Dae Ra-Geom spare their lives? He scoffed at their reactions, looked down at them, and laughed as he severed their lives.
But why was he so bothered about Chung Myung’s reactions, and why did he try to talk to him?
Dae Ra-Geom bit his lip. He felt like he must look like a frightened puppy right now.
Wolves don’t howl before hunting. They simply rush in, bite, and kill their prey. Only frightened dogs raise their voices and bark to avoid fighting.
Why was Dae Ra-Geom scared?
Afraid of THAT Mount Hua and Beggars Union?
What a joke!
The people he had killed in this room could tear open the heads of any Beggars Union or Mount Hua disciple with their bare hands.
So why was he afraid of such a disciple now?
He gripped the large sword in his hand more tightly.
The muscles in his body were all clenched and taut.
‘Right. Let’s see if he can still talk like that with a sword down his throat.’
Dae Ra-Geom raised his sword against Chung Myung.
But, until that moment, he hadn’t realized that something was wrong.
Dae Ra-Geom’s anger was bizarre in itself. It should be something to laugh at when a hopeless kid fearlessly risks his life; it wasn’t something to get angry about. If only Dae Ra-Geom hadn’t been so drunk on his emotions, he might have noticed it.
But it wasn’t until the very end that he realized it as he hastened forward.
Step. Step. Step.
Dae Ra-Geom was shocked as he glared at Chung Myung, who looked indifferent.
His huge sword, which was several inches longer than a standard blade, aimed for Chung Myung’s head as it cut through the air.
But Chung Myung’s head wasn’t split in half.
Before the sword could even reach its target, Chung Myung lightly deflected that large sword.
‘He stopped it?’
A kid blocked had blocked his attack?
Anger and bewilderment simultaneously pierced Dae Ra-Geom’s heart. However, he was a man of Kangho with a strong sense of pride. His panic only lasted a moment before he recovered his sword and aimed another strike at Chung Myung’s side.
A deep blue qi resonated on the blade as it sliced at Chung Myung.
But this time as well, the same sight repeated. The sword failed to reach Chung Myung’s body and was bounced back again.
Had it really been blocked again?
‘No, that’s not what’s important.’
The important thing wasn’t that Dae Ra-Geom’s attack had been blocked, but the fact that he had never seen Chung Myung’s sword move to block his attacks.
It was as if the sword broke through space to suddenly appear there.
Instead of moving to block, it seemed to manifest in the right place.
It seemed like nonsense.
‘I am Dae Ra-Geom.’
Even if the opponent was a first-class disciple from a great sect, they would still be nervous against him.
But this child, Chung Myung, was stronger than him?
That cannot happen.
Dae Ra-Geom let loose a furious bellow. But Chung Myung remained unfazed as his gaze stayed firm.
Dae Ra-Geom swung wildly once again. The sword was filled with his determination to kill the opponent. It was a series of deadly strikes that did not allow any hope for his opponent to survive.
Kang! Kang! Kang!
Not a single move was executed randomly; every attack was aimed to kill.
Yet, Chung Myung had blocked them all.
Despite unleashing ten swift strikes instantly, every one of them bounced back without reaching Chung Myung’s body.
Despair began to creep into Dae Ra-Geom’s eyes.
The young swordsman had a blue shine on his sword.
Realizing that precision and speed wouldn’t be enough to win, Dae Ra-Geom changed techniques and began to try and overwhelm his opponent with his qi.
No matter how strong Chung Myung was, he was still young. Therefore, Dae Ra-Geom was certain of victory once he dragged him into a battle of qi.
After all, it was common sense. No matter how gifted a child is, they can’t overcome the gap in time.
However, there was one problem: common sense didn’t apply to Chung Myung.
A sword carrying the dantian’s internal qi rushed for Chung Myung. The sword appeared to double in size compared to before as it swelled in strength.
A menacing force, as if it would split the opponent’s skull in two.
However, Dae Ra-Geom quickly realized that he had made the wrong choice.
The moment his massive sword struck, Chung Myung’s sword moved twice as fast as it had before.
And Dae Ra-Geom saw it then…
The way his sword soared into the sky.
A sword coated in deep blue qi bounced high in the sky. The moment he saw his hand, still clasping the sword as it flew away, the word ‘Despair’ engraved itself deeply into his mind.
The last thing he saw as he lowered his head was the emotionless eyes of Chung Myung coldly staring at him.
No anger, no animosity.
How could anyone look at another person with such eyes?
How could a child have such eyes?
Steadily, Chung Myung passed by Dae Ra-Geom at a pace that was neither fast nor slow.
Just as a question was about to rise in Dae Ra-Geom’s head.
The world slowly began to tilt.
Everything he saw flipped upside down and rotated as if the sky and earth were overturned.
‘What is this….’
The earth was rising, and the sky was falling.
His question remained unresolved as a familiar yet unfamiliar sight entered Dae Ra-Geom’s vision.
A human body.
The man’s body standing there was far too familiar to Dae Ra-Geom, but it looked unfamiliar too.
He had never seen his own body from this angle before.
Moreover, when would he ever see his own body without the head?
That was the last thought the man had in this world.
Dae Ra-Geom’s body, which had lost its head, fell to the ground.
A fountain of blood poured from the neatly severed neck and soaked Chung Myung’s feet.
However, Chung Myung softly spoke without even looking at the fresh corpse he had created.
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