Chapter 44 - Because it is Mount Hua (4)

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Kuak…

A raspy gasp that scattered dust into the wind echoed.

Jo Gul’s body wriggled and writhed about on the ground as he struggled to catch his breath.

‘That was crazy.’

There was no strength in his body. The sky was shining yellow as his consciousness seemed ready to drift away at any moment. If he was like this, what about the others?

He lifted his head and looked around.

A total defeat.

Not a single person could stand. No, it wasn’t that they couldn’t stand, but they were all motionless on the floor like corpses and gasping for air. Only Yoon Jong was sitting on the floor with his back held straight.

‘Sahyung.’

Respect welled up in Jo Gul’s heart.

In fact, in terms of martial arts, Jo Gul was a little better than Yoon Jong. Jo Gul was definitely ahead of Yoon Jong in swordsmanship too.

However, at this moment, Jo Gul realized why Yoon Jong was the Great Sahyung.

It was hard for Jo Gul to lift even a single finger, but Yoon Jong, who had persevered through the same training, was sitting calmly and catching his breath. It wasn’t a matter of skill but of mental strength.

How could he not respect such a sahyung?

On the other hand…

Jo Gul turned his gaze to the other side.

Ugh! Okay! More!”

“…”

In Jo Gul’s eyes, he saw the figure of Chung Myung constantly squatting with sandbags three times his size.

Ugh! Hah! Ugh! Hey! Why are they so light! Hey, if you are done training, come give me your weights… what? Why are you all lying down?”

‘What a monstrous bastard.’

Jo Gul grunted. The training they were being made to endure was unreasonably extreme. Chung Myung must have felt too excited after recovering from the recent days of rest as he pushed the third-class disciples into this new training.

However, there wasn’t a single person who objected to him. This was because Chung Myung was training five times harder than anyone else, right before their eyes.

Anyone with common sense would keep their complaints to themselves. Even if they were full of dissatisfaction, they would keep their mouth shut to avoid looking like an idiot in front of others.

Chung Myung, who was training more than others, continued to train without showing any signs of hardship.

Ah, is it that time already?”

Thud!

He threw the sandbags on the floor and then said.

“What is all this? Kids these days are so weak; you lack determination. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid.”

‘You are the youngest one here!’

How can the youngest one call the other disciples kids?

“Today’s training ends here. All you have to do for today is eat and attend afternoon training. Those who doze off or do something else during the training will be made to do twice as much tomorrow.”

‘Devil!’

‘Demon!’

‘Bastard!’

Everyone cursed him in their minds but nodded their heads, nonetheless.

“Then, let’s go in. Organize the training equipment properly.”

As they watched Chung Myung walk into the White Plum Blossom dorms, the third-class disciples sighed in unison.

Meat.

Meat was visible.

These days, Mount Hua is awash with money. Meat can be seen at every meal and, seeing the new chef, it looked like the sect had even hired new staff.

All of them were looking at the meat served on the table, but not a single person touched it.

“… eat.”

Yoon Jong said weakly, but no one raised their chopsticks.

“… I feel like I will vomit if I eat.”

“To think that I would want to puke when seeing meat on the table, is this my time to die?”

No one could bring themselves to eat.

“Great Sahyung.”

“… What?”

“Isn’t this just too much?”

Yoon Jong didn’t answer, but that didn’t make the others stop.

“This… no, I mean, it is good for us to practice. Actually, it’s true that we haven’t been concentrating on training ever since we first came up Mount Hua, and I understand it is better to train properly than waste time clumsily.”

“But?”

“However, this new training is too much. There isn’t a single part of my body that’s unhurt.”

It seemed like the others felt the same way.

“… we might die at this rate, Sahyung.”

“I was able to hold out before, but these days I feel like I would die for sure.”

“When I enter my room, I fall asleep like a corpse. Every time I lay down, I’m afraid I might die in my sleep!”

“I can’t even lift my chopsticks. My hands keep trembling.”

Yoon Jong sighed.

“Why tell—”

“But wouldn’t Chung Myung listen if Great Sahyung is the one speaking?”

“You are the Great Sahyung.”

Yoon Jong frowned.

‘You aren’t entirely wrong.’

In the past, Yoon Jong and Jo Gul spoke about this. But right now, he couldn’t hold back. Yoon Jong was reaching his limit too.

Fatigue builds up during training; in order for the next training to be effective, you need to rest and relieve that fatigue. Recently though, Chung Myung pushed everyone without giving them a chance to recover from their fatigue.

Yoon Jong felt like he was pushing his body to the limit every day. At the very least, didn’t he go to the morning practice in fear?

Yoon Jong glanced at Jo Gul.

“Gul.”

“Yes. Sahyung.”

“What do you think?”

“Well…”

As Jo Gul was asked, everyone focused on him. Among the third-class disciples, Jo Gul was the second in rank.

“Honestly, it is a bit unreasonable.”

“Right?”

“My body is struggling to continue. The problem is that it’s getting more intense each day. I welcome intense training, but this is too harsh.”

“… Hmm.”

“Steel gets stronger the more you hammer it, but the human body breaks when beaten.”

“Then, what should we do?”

“The problem is….”

Jo Gul took a moment to compose his thoughts.

“That basta—no, Chung Myung should know this too.”

Ugh.

Yoon Jong groaned.

He had the same thought. The training right now made no sense. However, Chung Myung should know that this sort of training is overdoing it for them.

Because it’s Chung Myung.

“For now, I think it would be better to hold on a little longer. If nothing changes after a while, then we will talk to him about it.”

“Let’s do that.”

When the conversation between Yoon Jong and Gul ended, everyone agreed. First of all, it was necessary to calm down the protesters.

“Let’s eat now. Even if you can’t eat, push it down your throat. We have practice in the afternoon too, and if you give a weak performance, Sasuk will punish you.”

“Yes.”

“Thank you for the food.”

Everyone picked up their chopsticks with weak hands. Seeing their faces, Jo Gul felt bad.

Kuak.

Jo Gul struggled as he went to bed that night.

‘I think I’m going to die like this.’

It was tough to bathe. Whether he was covered in grime or not, he just wanted to rush to bed and stretch out his body, but he praised himself for washing his body and clothes despite feeling that weak.

Thanks to this, his eyes felt heavy, and there was no strength left in his body. It was amazing that he was able to walk.

Slump!

Jo Gul, who fell on the bed, sighed.

‘It’s back to training again once I wake up.’

In fact, Jo Gul wasn’t dissatisfied with the training. He thought that he could endure it no matter how harsh it was. Because in the end, all this training would make him stronger.

But lately, he was growing doubtful.

What if his body broke down first? Will his body be able to survive this training?

Before the question deepened, Jo Gul felt ashamed. He quickly forced himself to stop thinking and let his fatigue drift him off to sleep.

“Sahyung.”

“… ummmm

“Sahyung. Get up. Sahyung.”

Hm?

Jo Gul opened his eyes. A human figure hazily entered his vision.

“Who!”

A heavy hand was pressing down on Jo Gul, who was about to get up.

“Don’t make a fuss and get up silently.”

“Chung Myung?”

Hm.”

What was this crazy guy trying to do by breaking into Jo Gul’s room? How did he open the door?

“… what is it?”

Jo Gul struggled to get up. He felt like he had slept quite a bit, but the fatigue didn’t disappear. His body was still heavy.

At that moment, Chung Myung offered him something.

“Here.”

Seeing the small pill placed in Chung Myung’s hand, he frowned.

“What is this?”

“Vitality pill.”

“What!?”

Shhh!

Jo Gul, who made a loud noise, shut his mouth.

“It wasn’t easy to get this. I am giving it to you because you are Sahyung.”

“R-really?”

“You think I’m deceiving you? You’ll know it’s real just by smelling it.”

It is real.

A little while ago, the pure scent pricked his nose. Yet, the reason he questioned it was because he couldn’t believe it.

Vitality Pill? It was a pill that enhanced internal qi and purified the body. It was said that in the Murim world, people would even kill sects and families for it.

Even if this pill wasn’t the best, it would be more valuable than gold if it could even slightly increase the body’s qi.

But such a pill was being given to someone else?

“It isn’t poisoned.”

“No! I didn’t think that!”

Jo Gul took a deep breath.

“Why give this to me? Why don’t you use it?”

“Because Sahyung needs it.”

“…”

“Hurry up and eat it before anyone else finds out. Also, it is absolutely secret that I gave this to you. It is only for Sahyung.”

“… You.”

Jo Gul couldn’t speak.

Could he really have it?

If it was the normal Jo Gul, he might have questioned it more, but now he was struggling with fatigue and fighting to keep his mind awake. The pill appeared to be real as well, so he reacted on instinct and accepted it from Chung Myung.

“Just eat it. I will help guide you.”

“… can I really have this?”

“I am giving it to Sahyung.”

Chung Myung tossed the pill in his hand, and before Jo Gul could react, the pill went down his throat. As soon as it entered his mouth, he could feel it melt and fill his body with pure energy.

He could instinctively tell that this was a real vitality pill.

“You should guide it, but don’t absorb it in a hurry. You should take your time and slowly absorb it over a month’s duration.”

Ah- I get it.”

“Turn around. I’ll take it from here.”

Jo Gul felt moved and looked at Chung Myung with slightly watering eyes as he turned around.

Looking at Jo Gul’s back, Chung Myung smiled a wicked grin.

‘You have to give water to a thirsty person to make them feel grateful!’

He was already curious about what kind of eyes his Sahyungs would show him at the training tomorrow.

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