Chapter 290 - The End Is Another Beginning (5)

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“Never lose to the Southern Edge Sect!”

“…”

“Don’t worry, sasuk! I will break the head of that guy and come back!”

“Uh… r-right.”

Baek Cheon had no choice but to hang large question marks over his head as he watched Tang Soso.

Of course.

Disliking the Southern Edge Sect was a must-have for those who wanted to become disciples of Mount Hua.

This wasn’t the fault of Mount Hua.

From the moment one entered Mount Hua, one would be beaten up by the Southern Edge Sect every two years.

But the problem was…

‘Soso. You haven’t been on Mount Hua for even a year, though?’

Why was the youngest one feeling this bad?

Isn’t this an outburst for Mount Hua?

Baek Cheon looked at her with eyes filled with complex emotions.

For him, who still saw her as a flower-like woman, this version of her running up to the stage was still new.

“Will she be fine…?”

Baek Cheon looked back at Yu Yiseol and asked, as she shook her head,

“Mount Hua’s sword… Soso hasn’t embodied it yet.”

“That is true.”

“Winning isn’t the important thing. What matters is her will.”

Baek Cheon nodded.

‘And it will be an experience.’

All Mount Hua wanted from Tang Soso and from the other Chung disciples wasn’t honor won from their spars.

A day would come to pass when Mount Hua became the center of it all, and they wanted her to learn and understand what she needed to do in order to gain power.

‘Compared to what I hoped for, she is handling it several times better.’

Even so, with the exception of Yoon Jong and Jo Gul, she wasn’t inferior to the other Baek disciples.

Huh?

Chung Myung?

Except for that idiot.

Baek Cheon looked at Tang Soso with worried eyes…

“Southern Edge Sect!”

“…”

Lee Song-Baek saw Tang Soso with alert eyes as she glared at him.

‘What did I do wrong?’

Such knife-like eyes.

“… I am Lee Song-Baek of the Southern Edge Sect. I will learn a few things.”

“Mount Hua’s Tang Soso.”

Self-introductions were short, making Lee Song-Baek draw his sword with a bitter smile.

Sshh.

“I have eyes, but my sword doesn’t, so please be careful not to get hurt.”

“What do you mean? Be careful with your head, alright?”

“…”

Ah.

Definitely a disciple from Mount Hua.

A shadow of Chung Myung was flickering behind Tang Soso. Lee Song-Baek coughed a little and straightened his back.

Tang Soso frowned and glared at him.

‘I will never lose to the Southern Edge Sect!’

Strangely, this man’s uniform was white, and this made Tang Soso angry.

This didn’t happen when she was in the Tang family, but seeing this happen after entering Mount Hua, it seems that there was a weird unknown relationship between the two.

Well!

Srng!

She pulled the Plum Blossom Sword.

She hadn’t mastered the Mount Hua sword technique yet. During her six months of training, her level of martial arts had risen, but it was impossible in the first place to catch up to her sahyungs, who had been learning it for more than ten years.

But just because she wasn’t skilled didn’t mean she would back down.

Lacking was lacking, and inability was inability. But still, one had to go down their own path.

That was the teaching of Mount Hua’s Tang Soso, and that was her will.

Tang Soso, who was staring at Lee Song-Baek with cold eyes, rushed in without delay,

“Here I come!”

The sight of her charging him was scary.

Shhh!

A destructive blow came out from her slender arms! What she lacked was technique, not power.

As the daughter of the Tang family, she had been training steadily to the extent that she was second to none.

It was no exaggeration to say that her strength was actually good even in Mount Hua, and the pill had helped her more.

The sword, flooded with qi, rushed for Lee Song-Baek.

Lee Song-Baek took two steps back lightly.

Kwaang!

Tang Soso’s sword slammed into the stage, right where he had disappeared from, creating a massive explosion.

“…”

Lee Song-Baek was wide-eyed as he saw the deeply dented ground. He was bewildered by that power.

“Avoided it?”

“… you think I would get hit?”

Lee Song-Baek laughed. Certainly, the disciples of Mount Hua have a unique side.

‘If this was in the past, then this would have been a bad look.’

But now he knew.

Rather than discussing and gaining face outside and being poor on the inside, he had the true attitude of a warrior who was faithful to the basics.

Lee Song-Baek glanced away and looked at Chung Myung.

‘Look carefully, Disciple Chung Myung.’

Whether my last two years have been wrong or not.

Did I go on the right path, as you said?

This was a spar. But this wasn’t just a simple spar either.

For Lee Song-Baek, this was a place to prove his efforts to Chung Myung.

“Phew.”

Lee Song-Baek raised his sword and aimed it at the center of the ring.

The basic form of the sword.

His breathing slowed. The surrounding air began to turn heavy.

‘More, more slowly.’

A simple sword with a stable center of gravity makes it ready for any situation.

Something that everyone knew but didn’t know to keep it. The world calls it ‘the basic method to produce the best results.’

Kang!

Lee Song-Baek’s sword, which received the sword of Tang Soso, collided with a terrifying force.

Never strong, but not weak either.

A sword that guarded the center.

Tang Soso’s face stiffened.

‘What?’

This was a sword that had nothing special on the outside. It wasn’t flashy like the other Southern Edge techniques. Nevertheless, this sword seemed different from what she had seen till now.

Tang Soso kicked the ground and widened the distance between them at once.

His serious eyes followed her.

“… you.”

A low groan flowed from her mouth, and Baek Cheon smiled.

‘Lee Song-Baek was it?’

Obviously, there was nothing special about this guy in the past. No, actually, even now, he didn’t seem special on the outside.

He didn’t feel as sharp as Jin Geum-Ryong and didn’t have the same spirit as the other disciples of the Southern Edge Sect.

From the outside, it looked as if he was soaked in calmness and drunk on alcohol. Like a test waiting to be resolved.

Overall… different.

“What is different?”

“Basics.”

Baek Cheon turned his head in surprise.

Chung Myung, who had returned to his seat, took some jerky out and bit into it.

“Basics.”

“… what are you saying?”

“Literally, the basics.”

Chung Myung looked at Lee Song-Baek with a subtle smile.

“What do you think a sword technique is?”

“… a way to use the sword?”

“Right, how to use the sword. How to use the different forms of a sword. But techniques come from three things.”

Chung Myung showed three fingers.

“Poke. Swing and Block.”

Chung Myung smiled,

“In the end, all techniques are a mixture of these three. That’s what swords are like in the first place. There is nothing too complicated about it.”

Baek Cheon frowned,

“Isn’t that overly simplistic?”

“Those simple things add up to become complicated things. And in other words…”

Chung Myung sighed and continued,

“If you can stab, swing, and block perfectly, then your sword will be perfect.”

“But…”

“Right. It is almost impossible. Perfection is a concept that does not exist. Obsessing over a perfect sword is something that only a madman would do. But…”

Chung Myung continued,

“…the world and Shaolin. Something that the Wudang Sect, which tried to do something great, would never even dare to attempt. The world is made up of thirty-six directions, with me in the center. A madman believes that he can become the best swordsman out there if he can just stab, swing, and block the sword perfectly in all thirty-six directions around him.”

“Thirty-Six…”

“Right. Right,” said Chung Myung softly, looking at Lee Song-Bawk.

“The Heavenly Thirty-Six Stroke Sword technique.”

His heart didn’t flinch at all. Even the sensation of the air passing through his fingers could be clearly felt.

Lee Song-Baek could see that he was in his best form today.

‘Center.’

It was several times more difficult to keep a steady form that wasn’t too forceful or too weak.

Southern Edge’s sword was a sword that guarded the center. Not strong, not flashy, not fast.

Yet, this sword technique of the Southern Edge Sect was closer to being perfect than any other sword.

‘If I had known this right away…’

So much time wouldn’t have been wasted.

But that was fine. The path he would take had just been started.

Do not be deceived by the splendor and strength. What he had to protect was the center. This was the soul of the Southern Edge Sect.

Tang Soso looked at the guy with a stiff face.

‘This man, what is he?’

She could feel a sense of weight that she had never felt from anyone other than Baek Cheon or Chung Myung.

Of course, it was nowhere near Chung Myung. So he was a human, thus could never give off such a feeling… but to feel what she felt from Baek Cheon’s sword made her quite shocked.

‘What are you doing, Tang Soso!’

Tang Soso was a bit shocked.

She knew that her opponent might be stronger than her.

But why was this?

Tang Soso raised her sword and aimed it at Lee Song-Baek.

No words were needed.

‘I will paint it with my plum blossoms.’

There was nothing to be afraid of as long as she used her technique perfectly.

The two swordsmen looked at each other. As if the tension was contagious, even the spectators were holding their breath.

Tang Soso was the first to move again,

Taaah!

With a short cheer, she rushed in again.

Paaang!

Her sword cut through the air, and it fell on Lee Song-Baek.

‘Fly out!’

The plum blossoms she was trying to make were different from those of the other disciples from Mount Hua. If the plum blossoms of Mount Hua were spring, then her plum blossoms were literally raindrops.

She was a disciple of Mount Hua but a daughter of the Tang family.

Her talent, which didn’t blossom in the Tang family, became a sword of Mount Hua and rained flowers all over the world.

Plum raindrops.

Although it was Mount Hua’s sword, the plum blossoms were unique to Tang Soso, and her petals were blown by the gust of wind and covered Lee Song-Baek’s body.

And Lee Song-Baek’s eyes, seeing this scene, looked at her.

The rain of flowers.

‘So beautiful.’

The most beautiful and sharp blossoms he had seen. It seemed impossible to stop them all.

But Lee Song-Baek swung his sword without haste.

Kang! Kang! Kang!

His legs were firm, shoulders gentle, elbows raised sharply like a whip, and his wrist ready to take the shock.

Swing, stab, and block.

Even if the plum blossoms of Mount Hua covered the world. He had the Thirty-Six Stroke Movement.

If he could completely shake off the sword with the Thirty-Six Stroke Movement, then the rain of plum blossoms that filled this place could not touch his body.

Southern Edge’s sword was a sword of balance. The basis of the sword was to block the opponent’s attack. The most faithful to the basics of the sword was the sword of the Southern Edge Sect.

The plum blossoms fell down like a dream, losing their power in the face of Lee Song-Baek’s sword technique. After flying like that, they crashed into his sword violently and then fell softly.

“This!”

Tang Soso seemed shocked. But she couldn’t give up. She tried to do it again.

At that moment.

Paah!

Lee Song-Baek’s sword, which whistled with the sound of shattering air, fell toward the head of Tang Soso.

“Ah…”

Swish.

Lee Song-Baek’s sword fell right on her shoulder.

Tang Soso bit her lip,

“… I lost.”

“It was a good match.”

After Lee Song-Baek retrieved his sword, he bowed politely.

“It was the sharpest and cleanest sword. If it was a little deeper, I would have been defeated.”

“… I admit the winner’s words, but it would be better not to be overconfident. I will be the one who wins next time.”

“Of course, I look forward to it.”

Seeing Lee Song-Baek’s selfless smiling face, Tang Soso let out a sigh.

‘Not there yet.’

She had no regrets about the fight that she just had. And this defeat would only make Tang Soso stronger.

“Don’t be elated about doing this. The sahyungs of mine are stronger.”

“I know.”

Lee Song-Baek sighed a little and turned his head to look at one place.

“I know it better than anyone. A lot better.”

The place where his eyes, a mixture of envy and fighting spirit, touched Chung Myung’s.

“Because it is also my goal.”

Lee Song-Baek’s eyes were full of light.

And after receiving his gaze, Chung Myung mumbled softly,

“The end is another beginning.”

And that was right here.

A new seed was growing from the ashes.

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