A cold gaze pressed down on Lee Song-Baek.
The moment those eyes looked at him, Lee Song-Baek was filled with a sensation he had never felt before.
A feeling as if a sharply forged dagger was touching his heart.
He thought he knew enough.
Who was he dealing with now?
But the moment he saw those cold eyes, Lee Song-Baek’s thoughts became twisted.
‘Maybe I didn’t know everything about him?’
As Chung Myung lowered his sword, Lee Song-Baek looked at the guy and screamed,
“What are you looking at?”
As the cold voice reached for Lee Song-Baek, Chung Myung said,
“There is nothing easier than talking. But putting it into practice is another matter. What are you going to do now?”
Chung Myung slammed his sword into Lee Song-Baek, making the guy helplessly fly backward like a leaf swept up by a storm.
He fell to the ground and got back up right away.
His body was trembling.
When he raised his head, he saw Chung Myung’s figure slowly approach with a sword in hand.
Lee Song-Baek bit his lip hard.
‘Is there anyone else in the world who is that good with that form?’
Chung Myung spoke with a sullen look,
“Swinging your sword ten thousand times daily isn’t that difficult.”
He kept approaching slowly,
“But the world isn’t static. Sometimes it rains, and sometimes it snows, and maybe even sometimes you will meet someone like me. Then will you keep swinging your sword after meeting someone like me?”
Lee Song-Baek looked at the sword of Chung Myung and said,
“I don’t know.”
Chung Myung’s sword struck him violently.
Lee Song-Baek suppressed a groan and moved his sword forward to block the next strike from Chung Myung.
“There is nothing that cannot be done.”
Chung Myung’s sword fell on Lee Song-Baek once again. His sword was bending as if it would break, and his hands were screaming in pain.
His hands that were holding the sword were starting to trickle blood, and the lip he was biting was also bleeding, leaving the taste of iron in his mouth.
Chung Myung looked at him with an indifferent expression.
The absence of his usual expressionless appearance made the heart of Lee Song-Baek stiffen.
At that moment, Chung Myung pulled back the sword he was holding and stepped back. But then he tried to strike Lee Song-Baek with his sword again.
A precise move with no wasted movement. A sword that was brought down in a slash.
But Lee Song-Baek was thinking about something different,
Lee Song-Baek desperately twisted his body.
The sword of Chung Myung passed by his neck. Even though it was sheathed, the skin on his neck was torn from the wind pressure, and a little blood oozed out.
The last thing he saw was Chung Myung stepping back and shifting his stance to strike again, and then almost instantly, the sword was already at his neck.
He was missing the middle part!
Since it was a sword that moved in perfect motion, it felt as if a series of stabbing motions had occurred.
It was perfect.
This was what needed to be looked for.
‘Am I that far off?’
Lee Song-Baek’s body trembled.
It wasn’t a difficult thing, setting goals. And it wasn’t too difficult to try and crush the body to reach the goal, either. What was truly difficult was letting yourself be weighed down by the knowledge that there was a large distance between you and your goal.
Lee Song-Baek, who had seen the goal he had to pursue with his own eyes, felt stunned at this seemingly endless road.
Chung Myung’s sword aimed for his ribs.
With an impact that made him think his ribs were broken, Lee Song-Baek coughed up blood. And like an infant thrown to the side, he crashed to the floor.
He grabbed onto the ground. Drops of blood dripped from his nose and mouth.
Even so, he stood up.
“No matter how hard it gets, can you persevere with just your will?” asked Chung Myung coldly.
“If it were that easy, where in the world would there be someone who hadn’t become a master? Wake up. Prove to me where you are. That you deserve to pursue perfection.”
Lee Song-Baek raised his sword.
His knees staggered and bent, and his hand trembled while holding his sword, but he managed to stand.
He screamed as he rushed for Chung Myung. His sword produced an illusion of ten swords aimed at the body of Chung Myung.
Unlike his shaky body, the sword qi was clear.
Chung Myung struck him down without even moving much.
His foot on the floor hadn’t even moved an inch, and there was no movement in his waist. The only thing that moved was his shoulder blades and the sword, which was stretched out.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Lee Song-Baek’s sword bounced back. With his shoulders and chest open, the sword of Chung Myung moved in without mercy.
Lee Song-Baek coughed up more blood and was thrown into the air. At this point, the expressions of the spectators were turning scared.
“Shouldn’t they be stopped?”
“The opponent… cannot stand.”
“Isn’t it already done? Why is the referee not stopping them? The guy will die!”
“How did that child even come to this stage being that weak?”
There were too many questions they had. This wasn’t even a spar in the first place. If this were truly a spar, one would fight with someone equal, but that wasn’t happening here.
“It happened again.”
“Isn’t this crazy? What the hell is this?”
Everyone looked in awe at Lee Song-Baek, who was getting back up again.
His wrist was swollen, and the man looked like he could faint at any moment. Blood dripped from his mouth, and his chest was stained red.
He looked like a decent guy, but now he looked half dead with his hair all messed up. There was no winning in this fight.
Yet Lee Song-Baek was standing back up. And that moment.
Lee Song-Baek’s sword moved naturally like flowing water as it flowed downwards.
A blue sword qi shone right next to Chung Myung and moved to the side.
The sword touched the stage and cut it neatly.
Lee Song-Baek’s sword, which hadn’t lost any of its force even after it was deflected, left a deep scar in the ground, right in front of the audience.
After that, the guy staggered and partially collapsed.
At the same time, the audience went silent. Hundreds of spars had happened up till now, but such a thing hadn’t happened before.
Numerous people came up and were confident about winning, showing off their martial arts, but this was the first time that someone had left such a scar in their hearts.
Someone started to say something but then shut their mouth.
Everyone knew what that person was trying to say.
The person called Lee Song-Baek wasn’t weak.
No, he might have been one of the strongest ones they had seen here. So, what of the scene unfolding now?
However, in spite of this commotion, Chung Myung just looked at Lee Song-Baek.
“I don’t know about the Sword of the Southern Edge Sect.”
If he said he knew, then it would be a whole different thing.
Chung Myung wasn’t confident about it. He knew clearly what he could and couldn’t do.
It was the same with the Southern Edge Sect. No matter how hard they tried, they could not recreate the essence of Mount Hua with their technique. No matter how objectively and calmly he analyzed their sword technique, he could not understand the soul that was within the Sword of the Southern Edge Sect either.
That was the responsibility of Lee Song-Baek. And there was only one thing Chung Myung could do.
Ask, and then check it out.
‘Can you walk down that path?’
Perhaps it was more thorny of a path than the one Chung Myung had taken. Was Lee Song-Baek the kind of person who could walk it, and…
Chung Myung gently took a step.
The Plum Blossom Sword technique wasn’t needed. The flashy movement and essence of Mount Hua were meaningless right now.
Right now, he was just the mountain testing Lee Song-Baek.
Lee Song-Baek’s sword firmly blocked the sword of Chung Myung.
It wasn’t a sword that had been used before now. This was a sword that embraced its strength through softness, blocking Chung Myung.
But there was nothing wrong with that.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Chung Myung kept attacking him.
As soon as his sword bounced back, he stabbed at the flank, and when his sword was rebuffed again, he aimed for the ankles.
His sword, which was aimed at the ankles, seemed to also slap his opponent’s flank. After deflecting the blocking sword, he stabbed at the chest again.
It was only natural. After all, a sword was something that stabs, blocks, and slashes.
The moment you perfectly continue to stab, block and slash, you become one with your sword.
That was what it meant to be a swordsman.
The sword came from simplicity. It took specific, simple movements and made them into techniques. That was the process of how a sword technique developed, but results were never easy to attain.
As if he was in a storm, it felt as if the blade fell down from all directions on Lee Song-Baek. The aftershock of the sword, which he felt countless times, was abundant enough to literally cover Lee Song-Baek’s entire body.
In the storm of pouring attacks, Lee Song-Baek let himself go.
He looked at the sword flying towards him with hazy eyes.
‘For what am I standing here?’
His body had crossed its limits already. He didn’t even feel any sensation from the places that were struck, and even standing up was hard.
He wouldn’t even dream about such a thing.
Then why bother standing here? Wouldn’t it be easier to sit down?
But unlike the confusion in his head, his sword was moving regardless of his will.
A thousand times a day, no, ten thousand times.
In the wind, rain, and snow, he had swung the sword he was holding now, and even if it didn’t hold his will, he was the only one defending the Sword of Southern Edge and moving on his own.
A sword that filled the world was poured out.
Did he have any reason to be afraid?
After all, the world was made up of 36 directions. If he could block all directions, then no sword could touch him.
Lee Song-Baek’s sword landed in the thirty-sixth direction. Not fast nor slow.
The right path.
The sword, which was completely filled with his will, began to fall.
The world had turned scary so fast.
Those who wished to move ahead should have the strength to protect themselves. His sword was the blocking kind, and it was a sword that could be held without hesitation.
The Heavenly Thirty-Six Movement Sword.
The sword technique of Southern Edge, which had existed a century ago, was now resurfacing, all in the hands of Lee Song-Baek.
Everyone watched this with their mouths open.
Continuous attacks fell, and the sword kept blocking it without being shattered.
Baek Cheon clenched his fist.
The wound on his wrist opened a little, letting blood flow, but he didn’t feel any pain.
‘Is this an endless fight?’
The scene showed the history of Mount Hua and Southern Edge fighting each other.
This was a scene that could only be seen in a fantasy situation alone. But the result of the fantasy situation didn’t last long.
One blocked, and the other attacked.
That could not continue forever.
The sword of Chung Myung moved through the defense of Lee Song-Baek and began to hit his body again.
Lee Song-Baek, who couldn’t even scream, was thrown back.
With his body in tatters, he fell to the edge of the stage.
The audience bit their lips.
It was a tragic defeat.
But who here would dare criticize or make fun of Lee Song-Baek?
Everyone thought that the fierce fight was over and prepared to applaud the loser this time.
Save just one person.
Chung Myung didn’t lower his sword and aimed for Lee Song-Baek on the ground.
And a roar came out.
“Does he want to… do more damage?”
“Isn’t he too cruel? He is someone who lost consciousness…”
It was then.
The fingers of Lee Song-Baek, who were on the ground, moved and then pushed off the ground.
Everyone held their breath as Lee Song-Baek stood up on his hands and then fell back down. His broken arm was unable to support his body.
People shut their eyes at this dreadful sight.
‘Someone end this.’
But Lee Song-Baek didn’t stop.
With the other arm, which wasn’t broken, he pushed on the floor and tried to get up. He stumbled down again and again.
In the stillness where even the drop of a pin could be heard.
Again and again, the sound of Lee Song-Baek falling down could be heard.
Lee Song-Baek, who finally managed to get up, looked at Chung Myung with unfocused eyes.
And he pulled up his broken hand and grabbed his sword, even as he spread his legs shoulder distance apart. Only then did he point his sword forward.
The start of Mount Hua and Southern Edge’s sword.
Everything that goes around comes around.
His consciousness had gone dark, yet Lee song-Baek, who got up, was still able to do this. As a swordsman, he was choosing the path of endless asceticism, which didn’t allow him to fall.
Chung Myung looked at him quietly and nodded his head.
And he said with the utmost respect.
“Mount Hua’s disciple Chung Myung is requesting to spar with the Southern Edge’s disciple Lee Song-Baek.”
He didn’t hear an answer, but that didn’t matter.
Chung Myung lowered his sword. The sword was lowered to the ground and rotated to point toward the sky.
The sword Chung Myung positioned was the same as Lee Song-Baek.
The best sword response he could give to Lee Song-Baek now.
It felt like the air was moved aside, and a typhoon burst in.
And it stopped right in front of Lee Song-Baek’s forehead.
Chung Myung retrieved his sword and put it at his waist, and looked at Lee Song-Baek.
The unfocused eyes of Lee Song-Baek stared at him.
‘Maybe you will be walking on a more difficult path than me.’
Chung Myung looked at the guy who seemingly muttered,
“I learned well.”
Did he imagine those words? Lee Song-Baek’s body began to collapse.
Chung Myung reached out and supported the guy before he fell down.
“You were amazing.”
His hands tapped the back of Lee Song-Baek.
The soul of the Southern Edge Sect was still alive.
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