Un Geom’s eyes began to gleam as he stared in a daze at the blue sky.
‘Certainly, he seemed like a normal kid at first, right?’
But this one was by no means ordinary.
‘Will he be fine?’
Chung Myung’s thick uniform was thoroughly drenched, and as the sweat poured from his body, it could be seen dripping through his clothes. With a face flushed red with blood, it seemed as if his head would burst at any moment. He struggled even to stand steady as his legs were trembling, and he could be seen biting tightly against his lip in order to keep moving.
“W-would you like to sit?”
Un Geom, who firmly regards courtesy and manners as integral to life, unwittingly suggested to
He couldn’t help it. It didn’t make sense to make Chung Myung stand after the training he went through. Looking at Chung Myung’s current condition evoked a similar feeling as seeing a young puppy left alone in the pouring rain. Pitiful.
“Ah, it is fine. Rather, I’d prefer a little water….”
“Someone get water! Now!”
One of the kids, who was watching on the side, rushed to get water.
However, Un Geom quickly fell silent.
‘What should I ask?’
He called for him to come here, but he didn’t know where to start. It was his first time being in such an absurd situation.
“What is going on here?”
He asked the most obvious question.
Chung Myung, who received the question, glanced around and opened his mouth calmly.
“It’s nothing much.”
“It’s just that, from today on, we all decided to exercise together in the mornings. But since it was our first time, we may have overdone it a bit. It must be because everyone was so motivated.”
Un Geom looked at the kids behind Chung Myung. They were waving their hands desperately yet keeping their mouths sealed tightly.
However, their hands fell swiftly, and they froze in place when Chung Myung slightly turned his head towards them.
‘What sort of act is this?’
It was absurd. It was unclear how it came to this but, one thing was certain, all the disciples were afraid of this new child.
Un Geom was no fool. He had already dealt with kids and trained young disciples for ten years. He can often understand how a situation has developed simply by observing the kids.
No, it would be stranger if he hadn’t noticed what was happening, even without his experience.
‘The disciples of Mount Hua….’
Are they afraid of a newcomer?
Un Geom’s head slightly tilted sideways in confusion.
Come to think of it, the skills of these children were by no means weak. Most kids of the same age could only hang their heads low compared to Mount Hua’s disciples.
Even if it was rotting, they were still disciples of the once-great Mount Hua.
It wasn’t that his disciples were weak; it was just that this new child was odd.
“Did you say morning exercise?”
Un Geom spoke firmly.
“White Plum Blossom Boarding House has its own rules. Who told you to reduce your bedtime and practice as you please?”
Chung Myung’s expression remained unchanged as he spoke as if it wasn’t a concern.
“Then I won’t do it.”
“I thought that training would be helpful. But you said no, so I won’t do it.”
Uh-what was that?
Un Geom was perplexed. This reaction was unexpected.
“Y-You thought that training would be helpful?”
“Why did you think that?”
Chung Myung thought that this question was weird.
“You think it won’t help?”
An awkward air passed between them.
Un Geom groaned to himself. He understood what this kid was saying, but Chung Myung spoke first.
“I felt that it would be enough to learn martial arts from Sasuk, but the disciples must also show effort in our own way. The essence of martial arts comes from the body, so I believed this strength training could improve our overall results. “
That was true.
The theory was correct.
“Your words are right.”
Un Geom readily acknowledged that.
“However, can you say that being forced to train under threat of coercion is correct?”
Chung Myung glanced back as he continued.
“Ahhh, Sasuk. How could I ever force my Sahyungs? When I said I was going to train, they said they also wanted to join in and followed me.
A shameless lie!
But if he wanted him to speak the truth, Un Geom would have to ask, ‘Didn’t they only join in with you out of fear?’
‘I can’t ask that.’
It would crush the pride of his disciples.
Yesterday, the disciples couldn’t manage one new youngster and had to be hauled out early in the morning to train in fear. Un Geom decided not to touch that sensitive topic.
And wouldn’t this situation turn Chung Myung, the youngest, into a terrifying villain who abused his own Sahyungs?
That would also hurt his disciples if mentioned carelessly.
Just as Un Geom was about to say something, Chung Myung spoke.
“Give me one month. I won’t let it affect our regular training, and in one month I will deliver you good results.”
Although they were discussing training, his hidden intention was slightly different.
He asked Sasuk to ignore this situation for a month and make his judgment after seeing the result.
‘Look at this kid!’
It didn’t seem like the words of a child, rather, the words of a strong man full of confidence.
“One month may be acceptable. But this training doesn’t seem that simple, can the kids really
“The Sahyungs all practiced because they wanted to and no one complained about it being hard.”
Chung Myung spoke brazenly as he glanced at his Sahyungs, none of which dared to open their mouths to refute him. Since no one spoke up, they must be okay with it.
‘Wh-where did this kid come from?’
While Un Geom thought, Chung Myung turned his head and asked.
“Isn’t that right, Sahyungs?”
“…ye-yes, it is.”
“We will work hard. Very hard.”
“…We worked hard today too.”
Chung Myung turned back.
“Without a strong will to grow, how could we possibly expect good results from our efforts?”
The children’s faces behind him were shocked and full of exhaustion.
Un Geom was speechless as the kids were utterly unable to speak out.
Despite only one day passing, Chung Myung had completely seized control of the disciples. Furthermore, he’s asking to allow this to be ignored for one month to show Un Geom the results of his control.
The more he listened, the more absurd it felt. Where did this little monster come from?
‘It isn’t really a bad thing.’
The White Plum Blossom Boarding House had a significant issue when it came to securing training time. Mount Hua was understaffed.
And Un Geom couldn’t handle it alone. At least ten instructors were needed. But now, there were just three people who could train the kids.
As a result, they couldn’t spare much time to teach any of the disciples one-on-one. Most of the time was spent keeping the group organized, so their growth had begun to stagnate. It was evident that it would be a great help if this kid could relieve some of his burdens.
“I’ll ask you one more thing.”
“It won’t be easy for you either; why would you choose to train so early in the morning?”
Chung Myung titled his head.
“I don’t understand what you mean, Sasuk.”
There was no way that this kid suddenly couldn’t understand.
“To enter Mount Hua means learning the sword, but simply joining the sect doesn’t necessarily mean we will become stronger. To become stronger, diligently training and striving for higher goals is the duty of any disciple.”
“That is right.”
“Of course, we can become stronger by following Sasuk’s teaching. But if we can put in our own effort as well the process can accelerate. It’s only natural that some sleep must be sacrificed if it means working harder to achieve our goals.”
It was that. There is no particular reason, only a passion for training.
‘Sect leader said we would no longer accept new students, I wondered what sort of child would receive an exception. Perhaps, a new wind is beginning to blow on Mount Hua.’
Wouldn’t it be quite worth it to bring this kid up?
His talent hasn’t been confirmed yet, but he should be able to achieve great things even without it with such motivation. Even if he’s unable to become a master, his attitude could have a good influence on the other children.
“…. You seem to be having a hard time with your training.”
“It’s because it’s my first day.”
“Still, it seems difficult.”
“The more we do, the better the results.”
Un Geom’s lips trembled as he struggled to stifle a smile.
‘This is it.’
Doesn’t this training perfectly match his own theory? It might be fine to push the others to their limits if such a kid leads them. After all, in the sect’s old days, the children would often form hierarchies not restricted solely by age.
“And, what is important when dealing with Sahyungs?”
“Be polite. Show respect and follow their words.”
He means to maintain this hierarchy while showing proper respect to his elders without despising or looking down on others.
Un Geom looked around and nodded. Unable to understand what was happening, the kids were all worried.
Un Geom coughed as he averted their gaze and opened his mouth.
“It’s quite touching that you all were ‘voluntarily’ training from dawn till now.”
Shouts of confusion and shock, but Un Geom ignored it all and continued.
“If you continue to train like this in the future, you will achieve great results. This child seems to know much about training, so I will allow you to continue. Try your best.”
‘We are screwed.’
‘Wow, he is abandoning us.’
‘Look at him avoiding our gaze!’
The young kids were in a state of despair.
“Then, make sure you have your breakfast before it gets late and come out in time for the morning session.”
Un Geom slowly turned and then suddenly stopped.
“Ah, that’s right!”
Still, they couldn’t believe that this man would really throw them away so easily…
“It’ll interfere with your training, so you no longer have to come and wake me in the morning. Training comes first after all. Okay.”
Un Geom grinned and turned away.
The disciples wanted to reach their hands out to catch him, but he vanished from sight before they could even move.
At that moment, a faint crackling sound.
It was Chung Myung, cracking his knuckles; he turned to them with a smile.
It was a smile, but the veins on his forehead were bulging, making it clear how he felt beneath his grin.
“Sasuk, help me, please?”
“It’s not like I said I was going to kill you, now my dear Sahyungs how about we have a chat in the Boarding House before having our meal?”
It was at this moment that many young hopes and dreams disappeared from Mount Hua.
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