The next morning.
No, it was embarrassing to call it morning.
The door to the dorms opened wide.
“Ah, so tired.”
It was the beginning of a day that was not so different from usual, and nothing seemed strange.
But obviously, something was different.
There was a subtle strength in the steps of those who were dragging their feet like corpses. What’s more, the fatigue-filled voices complaining weren’t the same as before.
There were unfamiliar emotions in the eyes of those around.
“Come on, I should practice hard today.”
“Well, right. It will be hard.”
“It may be hard, but you have to work hard.”
Everyone went to the warehouse without a word and brought back the equipment they trained with.
‘Phew. It’s light.’
‘I seem to have a lot more energy in my body!’
‘Is it fine for me to be the only one to receive it? I feel bad for the Sahyungs.’
‘Huhuhu. Sajae Chung Myung must like me a lot to give up such a precious vitality pill.’
All the Sahyungs warily looked around.
‘If the others find out that I received a vitality pill and ate it without them, wouldn’t they be disappointed?’
‘I feel bad, but a vitality pill isn’t something that can be shared.’
‘Did anyone else get one too?’
Each of them kept thinking. Since Chung Myung told them to keep it a secret, they wouldn’t even think of saying it by mistake.
Although they all had awkward expressions on their faces, the third-class disciples of Mount Hua never thought that all the disciples had gotten a pill each.
It’s simple. Vitality pills aren’t something that can be obtained in large quantities. It would take more than a thousand gold to feed all the disciples a vitality pill. Even if you have the money, there’s no guarantee that you’d be able to find someone willing to sell so many pills.
And why would Chung Myung buy so much just to give it away to others?
‘Such a precious vitality pill was given to me.’
‘Kuah! I feel hot!’
Moreover, those who had taken the vitality pills realized the efficacy of the medicine. Warm energy constantly rose within their bodies.
The qi hasn’t even been fully absorbed yet, but just a little was enough to blow away some of their fatigue and improve their internal qi.
Their motivation was revived.
The door to the training hall opened, and Chung Myung walked out. Seeing him arrive, the disciples lined up.
Seeing that, Chung Myung smiled.
Bright and vigorous eyes. The eyes of the disciples, which were staring at him, sparkled with a light that shone brighter than dawn stars twinkling in the sky.
Why wouldn’t they be?
For Chung Myung, it was useless to eat the vitality pills himself and selling them would be a waste. From their point of view, though, it was a priceless treasure they would normally never be able to obtain.
If the disciples knew that the vitality pill given by Chung Myung wasn’t some generic purchasable pill. But was instead made by Mount Hua in the past, the reaction would have been even more intense.
‘He turned out to be such a good guy.’
‘Kuak. The effect is so great. Such a precious vitality pill.’
The disciples looked at Chung Myung with warm eyes. So warm that even Chung Myung felt a bit embarrassed.
‘So, this was why my Sahyung occasionally gave out vitality pills to the ones who didn’t listen to him?’
He realized that handling people required more than just a whip.
“Now, should we get a clean start today?”
Chung Myung pointed to the Lotus peak.
“I will be number one today!”
“Move it! I am coming through!”
Seeing the Sahyungs rush for the peak, Chung Myung laughed.
‘It’s gonna be comfortable for a while.’
Un Geom’s eyes narrowed.
In front of him, the third-class disciples were wielding wooden swords as usual. It wasn’t any different from what he had seen so far.
However, Un Geom’s sharp eyes noticed a subtle difference.
‘The sword is stable.’
It was the same swordplay, but the sharpness and stability were different.
Un Geom’s eyes, looking at the disciples, narrowed further.
‘The lower body has changed.’
There is strength in the feet. Because greater force in the feet was applied, the upper body became more stable. Since the upper body was under better control, they could place more weight on the tip of the sword.
A good thing.
If the tip of the sword is steady, doesn’t that mean they were accurately deploying the technique? It was a significant change considering that the reason for practicing and honing the same technique countless times was to develop perfect control of their swordsmanship.
But there was one thing bothering Un Geom.
‘Is it possible for such a significant change in such a short period?’
According to Un Geom’s calculations, it should have taken more than a year for them to reach this level. It’s really short, considering they did this in a month’s time. Realistically, it wouldn’t be strange even if they took two or three years.
The swords cut through the air.
The advancing step on the floor was cleanly executed.
Un Geom exclaimed.
It was a good thing that the disciples’ achievements had increased. But he couldn’t understand how it had happened.
‘Was it the morning training?’
Un Geom’s eyes turned to Chung Myung, who wielded his sword in the back.
That was the only reason he could think of.
He didn’t even have to think too deeply. It was after Chung Myung’s arrival that the disciples began training more. To be precise, it was after Chung Myung started the morning training.
Un Geom’s frown deepened.
‘Was the training that effective?’
Un Geom allowed the training because the third-class disciples were willing to practice on their own.
Of course, Un Geom also wanting some training time for himself was a more realistic reason.
‘I thought it would be a little more motivation for them.’
Was the effect too great? It was too extreme.
Moreover, the disciples also realized that their skills were increasing, so they were more excited than ever to engage in training.
It felt strange.
How long had he been looking after the kids of the White Plum Blossom dorms? To finally see the disciples’ eyes shining so brilliantly?
‘This is embarrassing.’
The disciples trained so enthusiastically, but did Un Geom ever have such passion when he taught them?
Didn’t he constantly feel bothered by the work placed on him?
Un Geom sighed.
‘Even though I knew that they were Mount Hua’s disciples and that they would determine our future, I was negligent in caring for them.’
The more he thought about it, the more ashamed he felt.
Ashamed for not being the pillar the disciples needed him to be.
The disciples’ swords all pointed to the sky in unison.
Seeing that, Un Geom nodded his head.
A word resonating from his heart.
“Your swords look so lively!”
He didn’t know what more to say. Un Geom’s gaze turned to Chung Myung.
It was weird.
Mount Hua hadn’t changed much in the past. But since Chung Myung arrived, constant changes have been occurring.
The financial problem plaguing the sect was solved without any fuss, and the disciples were practicing with a passion. Besides, didn’t he see that their skills were improving?
Was this all a coincidence? Or…?
Un Geom opened his mouth.
“As you all know. According to the rules, you are supposed to learn the Taiyi Flummox Sword. After seeing you all work hard, I think that I should break the rules and pass on the technique in advance.”
“Taiyi Flummox Sword!”
Un Geom smiled, seeing the disciples cheer. Rewards were given to those who worked hard, and those who received rewards worked even harder. If this cycle can be encouraged, these children would grow well to represent the Mount Hua Sect.
“So, don’t be lazy and keep practicing.”
“Okay then, back to training!”
The lively words resounded through the hall, and Un Geom smiled.
It was then.
Someone approached the hall with quick steps.
“Is Un Geom here?”
Un Geom turned his head in surprise.
Un Geom adjusted his expression and looked at Hyun Jong with curious eyes. It was rare for the sect leader to visit the training hall.
“You’ve worked hard. I have something to speak with you about; could you spare some time?”
“Yes, Sect leader!”
Un Geom turned to the disciples and spoke.
“As for your swordplay….”
“Do it again.”
Seeing Hyun Jong arrive so suddenly, Un Geom was puzzled.
Leaving the children behind to continue their training, the two elders went to the other side of the hall, where Un Geom waited for Hyun Jong to speak.
“Yes! Sect leader.”
“A problem has come up.”
Hyun Jong took a book from his sleeve and handed it to Un Geom. Un Geom, who received it, asked.
“It came out of that chest we found.”
Un Geom, who noticed that Hyun Jong was beckoning him to read it, began to read in haste.
“Sect leader this… Equilibrium of Six technique?”
“Yes, it is.”
Un Geom frowned.
Equilibrium of Six was the foundational technique of Mount Hua. However, it was replaced with the True Equilibrium of Six.
“But why are you….”
“Did you see everything?”
“When I read it the first time, I also hastily glanced through it because it was a hectic situation.”
“Check the last chapter. There is something written there.”
Un Geom hurriedly opened it. Soon, his face contorted upon seeing what was written there.
Un Geom’s hands trembled.
To the successors,
It isn’t wrong for one to develop and transform the martial arts of Mount Hua. Martial arts need to constantly change and develop to be effective.
But the Equilibrium of Six is the basis of Mount Hua, the backbone of Mount Hua. Transforming or changing the Equilibrium of Six is no different from changing the essence of Mount Hua.
One should keep this fact in mind.
My dear successor.
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