The next day.
Yoon Jong opened his eyes.
‘Why am I sleeping here?’
Gradually, the memories came flooding in…
Yesterday, Chung Myung was going crazy on them again, and he fell asleep as he fainted.
Huh? Wasn’t that the same as just fainting?
‘I don’t want to get up.’
If he were to open his eyes and get up, he would have to go through what happened yesterday again. He didn’t want to avoid the training, but honestly, it felt a bit too…
Yoon Jong shook his head as he heard someone cry.
‘Is he crying?’
Yoon Jong raised his body, shook his head to clear his vision, and looked to see where the crying was coming from.
It was Jo Gul, who was lying face down nearby. Yoon Jong quickly got up and ran to him.
“Gul! Gul! Are you alright?”
“S-sahyung… uh-huh! Sahyung!’
“Are you wounded?”
Jo Gul raised his head with an expression that looked as if the world around him had collapsed. Yoon Jong looked at him with a serious face.
The Jo Gul that he knew was a man among men who firmly stood by his ideals as a macho man; he would never despair like this under any circumstances. Seeing Jo Gul choking back tears with a runny nose, it was clear that something horrible must have happened.
Sahyung… my internal qi… my internal qi… “
“Internal qi? Did you suffer an internal injury?”
“Uh-huhuh. My internal qi… damn it, it went up.”
‘What the hell?’
“… then why are you crying?”
“Sahyung! My internal qi has gone up!”
“So why are you crying! You crazy bastard!”
Jo Gul made a mess of the situation and caused a panic in his frustration.
“Damn it, now that my internal qi increased, won’t we have to go through more of this?”
‘Did I hear that right?’
“If I was fatigued or out of shape, I wouldn’t have to get hit. I’d rather not get hit today! Why is my damn body getting stronger after being beaten? It doesn’t make any sense!”
Yoon Jong unknowingly checked his own qi.
“… it’s true?”
He could clearly feel that his endurance and internal qi increased.
This was truly shocking.
What was happening?
This was the qi he would have to build up over and over for the rest of his life. Constantly working year around to develop.
‘Oh? It increased more compared to a year ago?’
He could feel it correctly.
In just one day, his body experienced a massive improvement.
This was an absurd thing to happen…
“…. It worked. It’s been absorbed.”
Yoon Jong unknowingly touched his dantian. Clearly, the pill’s qi, which had occupied his dantian, was now absorbed into his body.
In other words…
“I don’t know if it should be called blood point release… or a full-body assault, but that crazy method actually worked.”
Just then, Baek Cheon approached. The expression on his face looked even more bitter than theirs.
Yoon Jong was slightly confused by this situation.
Should he like this, or should he hate it?
Baek Cheon bit his lip as if he couldn’t speak.
‘This absurd thing actually worked.’
To say that qi could be absorbed by beating people, if this happened to get out, all the martial sects would turn into violent sects… ah? Maybe they were already in a violent sect?
At that time, the root of all issues approached them.
“What are you whispering about?”
Baek Cheon groaned.
“…Internal qi has increased.”
“Obviously, it did. I had to work so hard yesterday because of that!”
‘Ah, is that so?’
But why does the face of the person who worked so hard look so refreshed?
Baek Cheon sighed.
“I have nothing to say since the results are so clear. But I just cannot understand it at all. Isn’t this method only supposed to help clear clogged blood vessels?”
“It’s similar to that. What I did is a little different, though.”
“I’m just beating you up.”
Baek Cheon’s hand almost twitched to his sword.
‘Maybe we need to cut this guy down here to bring some peace to the world?’
That was… if he could do it.
“How does that work?”
Chung Myung clicked his tongue as if it felt annoying.
In the past, he would have felt that it was too cumbersome to bother explaining. He would have simply grabbed them by the hair and dragged them into doing as they were told. But now, he had no choice but to explain.
Chung Myung reached out and tapped Baek Cheon’s chest.
“How did you make this?”
Baek Cheon gently lowered his head and looked at his chest. He definitely had solid muscles there. Before receiving Chung Myung’s training, his muscles weren’t this strong.
Once he started to carry the iron lumps along with the third-class disciples, his body became like this.
“Then how do you build muscle when training?”
Baek Cheon went silent.
It was such a natural thing that he never questioned it. There were countless ways he could answer, but none of them would be clear.
“It’s simple. You got hurt.”
“… what is that supposed to mean?”
“The muscle gets torn.”
Chung Myung slightly twisted his hand.
“You’re saying that muscles grow when they get injured?”
“Not just muscles. Everything gets bigger after healing from injury. The place where the wound is made swells up, and broken bones grow back thicker than before. Depending on the situation, it might differ, but that’s the most common case.”
Chung Myung chuckled.
“In other words, what’s the best way to train the body?”
“… get hurt.”
“It might sound ignorant, but it is the truth. This is even a standard practice in the field. What about the famous story of the Shaolin whipping their bodies or shoveling their hands into hot sand?”
Baek Cheon just nodded his head.
It was a difficult story to empathize with because they were a sect that used swords, but Baek Cheon had heard that the Shaolin sect and other sects that trained for close-quarters combat used such methods.
“But isn’t that method inappropriate for us since our focus is on swordplay?”
“We have similar training in Mount Hua too.”
“Huh? We do?”
“When you first used the wooden sword, didn’t your palms get torn several times?”
Baek Cheon lowered his gaze and looked at his hands. Hard calluses that have been there since he began learning the sword caught his eye.
“And now? Does it still tear?”
“The human body gets stronger the more it gets hurt. Going too far can cause excessive damage to the body, but an appropriate amount of injury makes the body stronger.”
Baek Cheon looked at Chung Myung with admiration in his eyes.
Looking at Chung Myung with a subtle gaze, he said.
“I just never imagined that you’d have such theories in your head.”
The others, who were listening on the side, added their own thoughts.
“I thought you were the sort that just ate when hungry and fought when angry.”
“So, you actually use your head too.”
‘Really now, these bastards!’
Chung Myung’s face trembled.
“Should I show you what it’s like when I don’t use my head?”
“Is it going to rain? The weather is….”
They all looked away as soon as they heard what Chung Myung said.
Shooting them all a wicked glare, Chung Myung continued.
“This is basically the same thing.”
“Internal qi works the same.”
Baek Cheon didn’t seem to believe it.
What was Chung Myung talking about now?
“If we get internal injuries, it develops our qi?”
“What nonsense! How can an internal injury be the same as exercising your muscles!? If internal wounds continue piling up, people die! Die!”
“If the internal wound is severe, then people die.”
Chung Myung sighed.
“But it doesn’t make a difference just because it’s qi. Having internal wounds means that your energy is damaged and suffering. In the process of recovering, qi will gather and repair the stopped-flow of energy, eventually growing stronger than before.”
“But I don’t remember seeing such a case.”
“Right. Because there’s a limit to the qi that can be gathered through cultivation. But now, Sasuk’s body has qi that’s been absorbed without you having to cultivate, right?”
Baek Cheon nodded unknowingly.
Currently, he had the qi of the Soul Vitality Pill within his body. With his skills, he could never absorb it in such a short time, but it was true that his body contained it.
“So the body is absorbing it on its own?”
“Isn’t that the result?”
Chung Myung shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s not very difficult to understand. If you cause a proper injury and damage the internal flow, your body will need qi to recover the damage. Then it will utilize the excess qi stored within the body and use that in the repair process. Once that happens, the qi is absorbed into the system and made stronger than it was previously.”
Chung Myung waved his hand.
“Qi. Body. A simple logic that works either way.”
Chung Myung smirked at the sight of his seniors staring at him blankly as if they couldn’t understand.
‘Must be hard to understand.’
This wasn’t something taught in martial sects.
This was knowledge that Chung Myung acquired while wandering the battlefield countless times.
It was a result of applying this very lightly to a safe level on his sahyungs, but in reality, this theory was completed by him at a crossroads between life and death.
It was only natural that those who hadn’t learned this with their own bodies would find it difficult to understand.
“I don’t understand a thing.”
The sound of bones cracking rang loudly from Chung Myung’s fist.
“If your brains fail to grasp it, then I’ll make your bodies understand it!”
Chung Myung cracked his neck from side to side and waved his hand as he approached them.
“Sasuk should just think of this as a spar. If you think about it like this, even if you get hit, you wouldn’t mind it too much, right?”
‘That doesn’t make it any better.’
‘Chung Myung, it seems like your thinking is completely wrong. No situation in the world can make us feel at ease.’
‘Don’t you understand?’
“Where can you find better training than this? This is practical experience. It literally makes you use everything that you have. It’ll also help increase your internal qi and strength!”
“Before that, I will run away, you idiot!”
Chung Myung laughed.
“It is fine. It is totally fine. You won’t die. Seriously, you won’t die. Have you heard of someone who died by training?”
‘I’ve never heard of it.’
‘Of course, no one ever heard of it. Dead people don’t talk!’
‘You can never hear that, you idiot!’
Baek Cheon took a deep breath.
A fire was burning inside him, but for the first time, he suppressed his complaints.
And suddenly, with a serious face, he grabbed the handle of his sword and shouted while looking at Chung Myung in front of him.
“So, you’re saying that If we endure this assault, under the guise of training, we can get much stronger in a short period?”
Chung Myung nodded his head without thought.
“This certainly sounds nice.”
‘Come to think of it, there will never be another chance like this.’
Aside from growing the internal qi, he would also get to fight with this monster twice a day? This was a chance that any warrior would have dreamed of.
Baek Cheon gnashed his teeth.
“You better be careful. If you get a cut on your face, that bad impression you give will only get worse.”
Chung Myung smiled.
‘This is how you take charge!’
This was why Chung Myung liked Baek Cheon.
No matter how much he got beaten, he would never give up.
“Try it if you can.”
“Keep watching, you bastard!”
Baek Cheon drew his sword and ran towards Chung Myung.
“That won’t do!”
Watching the two people starting to get entangled, Jo Gul lamented.
“Since when did that bandit get along so well with Sasuk?”
“… I don’t know.”
Yoon Jong sighed.
“Will we be able to survive until we reach Yunnan?”
The two of them felt like the road to Yunnan was still too far away.
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