Sweat was pouring like a waterfall.
When Jo Gul realized he wasn’t dead, his entire body began to pour out sweat as if to prove he was still alive. He was so drenched that it was difficult to open his eyes.
Soon, his body started to tremble.
‘What if it had cut just an inch deeper!?’
No, not even an inch more. Jo Gul might have died with his head split open if the sword had been stopped just a hair later.
“This… this…. Uh.”
He wanted to curse, but the shock he felt prevented him from speaking. His body was trembling, and despite his best efforts, there was no soothing that fear.
Chung Myung smiled and looked at Jo Gul.
“How was it?”
“I asked, how was it?”
‘What the hell do you mean ‘How was it?’ you son of a bitch!?’
Normally, he might have found the words to answer, but Jo Gul didn’t have the mind or body to spare right now.
“Do you feel like you’ve died?”
Jo Gul squeezed out the last bit of his strength.
“I feel like I lost, you crazy bastard….”
Despite being cursed, Chung Myung didn’t seem to mind.
It was natural. Jo Gul had experienced what it’s like to go to hell and back; he was bound to be upset. If Jo Gul had a bit more strength, he might have rushed and attacked Chung Myung for putting him through that.
“Okay, Sahyung will rest now.”
Chung Myung turned around cheerfully and shifted his gaze to the other sahyungs who were looking at him.
Those who made eye contact quickly lowered their gazes.
“Sahyungs. Sahyungs. Think very carefully.”
“Can you really avoid this?”
‘How did such a person even enter Mount Hua!’
‘Is a Taoist supposed to be like this?’
Looking at Chung Myung, they were sure that he was a perfect example of what a Taoist shouldn’t be like.
“Come on. Don’t waste time. If you want to get strong, you need to step forward. Great Sahyung?”
Yoon Jong glanced at Chung Myung with shaky eyes before turning his head and averting his gaze.
“J-Jonghak, how about you go next?”
“Uh? Sahyung. I think he called for you.”
“So, you’re not going out?”
When Yoon Jong turned and asked, Jonghak bowed his head.
‘Everyone here has turned into something strange because of him!’
Still, Yoon Jong had the dignity of a Sahyung, but after Chung Myung came, things changed. It wasn’t like Yoon Jong was the only one who changed, though.
“Aren’t you going to come?”
Chung Myung sighed, seeing the sahyungs push one another and try to avoid him.
“Such a shame. Sahyungs, who should be helping each other, are fighting with one another.”
‘Who do you think is the reason for this, you bastard!’
‘Did you sell your conscience somewhere?’
‘If only you weren’t here, this place would be at peace!’
Desperate cries echoed within the disciples’ minds but certainly didn’t come out of their mouths.
Seeing them like that, Chung Myung nodded.
“There is only one way to unite the quarreling sahyungs. Brotherhood blooms when you share in each others’ suffering. Only by overcoming tribulations together will love unite you; don’t worry, I’ll be sure to treat you all fairly!”
Chung Myung raised his sword.
“If you won’t come to me, then I will come to you. Here I come!”
Don’t! Don’t come, you crazy son of a bitch!
Whether they wanted it or not, Chung Myung, who seemed to have gone mad, rushed at them. Frightened, the disciples tried to run, but Chung Myung pursued everyone like a wolf after sheep.
“You! Get over here.”
“Who would go to you! You insane freak!”
Yoon Jong, who was screaming, closed his eyes as the sword fell towards his head.
The third-class disciples, scattered around the training hall, all trembled with frightened eyes.
“Father, I promise to live a good life….”
“The beef jerky… I hid it under the bed….”
“Are you seriously thinking about food right now?”
Chung Myung clicked his tongue at the Sahyungs spread out all over the place.
“Alright, you all did well.”
Normally, they would have been furious; but the current disciples didn’t even have the strength to yell or shout.
Having experienced a real sword fall on their head at frightening speed, they felt as if they had been pushed through the gates of the underworld. They didn’t want to do anything that would instigate Chung Myung to do it again.
Yoon Jong wiped the sweat running from his brows with trembling hands.
‘That fucking bastard….’
Yoon Jong had been beaten by Chung Myung countless times, but this was different. It felt like they had stepped one foot into the underworld this time.
Chung Myung looked at everyone and spoke.
“How was that?”
Fortunately, Jo Gul, who had rested, was able to speak.
“Why didn’t you stop my attack?”
“It was an obvious strike. So, why didn’t you try to stop it?”
After doing all this, was he really asking that?
Jo Gul exclaimed, nearly in tears.
“It was fast! It was so fast that I couldn’t even think about stopping it! Even a three-year-old child would understand that it couldn’t be stopped!”
“Is that so?”
Chung Myung smiled.
“You understand well.”
Jo Gul gritted his teeth.
“Then, why didn’t sahyungs stop it?”
Jo Gul looked at Chung Myung with blank eyes. Just as he was about to say something to refute, Chung Myung slashed the sword down.
Dust scattered, and the sound of air being torn apart echoed around.
“Simple, isn’t it?”
It wasn’t just Jo Gul.
The other Sahyungs also stood up and watched Chun Myung’s sword.
“… this was the same as the strike you did to us?”
“Wasn’t it several times faster, though? Was it this gentle?”
“It’s the same. A sword that’s falling on your head would naturally seem different than a sword strike you watch from a distance.
Jo Gul was an intelligent guy in his own way. He quickly understood what Chung Myung was hinting at.
“You mean I can do it too?”
Chung Myung raised his sword.
And he slashed.
Jo Gul firmly engraved that scene into his memory. It was undoubtedly not blinding speed or advanced skills. It was just a plain, simple slash straight to the ground.
Hold the sword and slash.
A simple movement performed so flawlessly that it seemed to paint a portrait in time.
Jo Gul opened his mouth unwittingly.
“This is a drop slash.”
Jo Gul tried to speak but could not.
“You’ve built your body; now you need to utilize it to handle the sword. First, the lower body.”
Chung Myung stomped for a firm footing.
“Firmly fix your lower body, raise the strength up till the waist, transfer power to the fingers, unite it with internal strength, and strike out all at once.”
Chung Myung smiled.
After hearing the explanation, Yoon Jong spoke with a heavy voice.
“I understand what you are saying. You think that we should wield a simple sword based on a disciplined body rather than pursue flashy swordsmanship?”
“This is a One Hit Fatal Kill.”
Chung Myung supplemented Yoon Jong’s explanation.
“There is no thought of swinging the sword a second time. If you can’t deliver a killing blow in one strike, then be prepared to die.”
Yoon Jong sighed.
‘This is why he showed us this.’
It was said that one action could speak a thousand words.
There was a massive difference between hearing about a sword technique and directly facing it. It wouldn’t have been easy for people who never experienced the fear of that sword falling on their heads to understand what it meant to be on the verge of death.
“But Chung Myung.”
Yoon Jong exhaled and called him.
“I get what you mean, but we are disciples of Mount Hua. Would it be meaningful to win in such a way?”
“So what if we are disciples of Mount Hua?”
“If we’re disciples of Mount Hua, shouldn’t we defeat our opponents with Mount Hua’s sword arts?”
Chung Myung looked at Yoon Jong as if his words were absurd.
“What did I do just now?”
“A down slash.”
“What’s the first form of the Six Equilibrium Sword?”
“.. a downward slash.”
“Right. Isn’t the Six Equilibrium Sword one of Mount Hua’s techniques?”
When Chung Myung asked that, Yoon Jong coughed.
“I didn’t think it through.”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.’
Chung Myung clicked his tongue and looked at everyone.
“The Sixfold technique used in the Six Equilibrium Sword is the foundation of all of Mount Hua’s techniques. Everything starts and ends with the Sixfold movement.”
Chung Myung looked at all those who were trying to avoid his gaze.
“You are chasing after more advanced techniques like the Falling Petal Swords and the Seven Star steps without fully mastering the basics!”
“Oh, the night air is quite refreshing.”
“The moon is bright too.”
The third-class disciples were flushed red in embarrassment and spoke strangely to avoid the topic.
“You need to clearly understand this.”
Chung Myung’s voice sank low. His usually playful tone had turned serious; noticing this, his sahyungs focused intensely on what he had to say.
“If you can’t master the Six Equilibrium Sword properly, there is no point learning any other swordsmanship. All the sword arts of Mount Hua are based on this. A building with an unstable foundation will collapse with even the slightest wind.”
If they hadn’t seen it with their eyes, they wouldn’t have believed it. But haven’t they already experienced it now?
‘The sword seemed so strong that I didn’t think I could stop it.’
‘A simple strike seemed like the best technique in the world.’
‘What’s important isn’t the sword art being used, but the person who handles the sword.’
Jo Gul got up and looked at Chung Myung.
“I will just ask one thing.”
Jo Gul cleared his thoughts and opened his mouth.
“I understand that the Six Equilibrium Sword is important. But we aren’t you. It may sound silly, but we need the strength to break the nose of those Southern Edge bastards right now. More than the strength of a distant future.”
“To be honest, you are the only one who can use that technique so skillfully. That’s why I need to ask.”
Jo Gul’s eyes shone.
“If we do what you tell us, we won’t lose to the Southern Edge sect, right?”
Instead of answering, Chung Myung sighed.
Seeing his reaction, Jo Gul bit his lip.
‘I must seem pathetic to him.’
A person who learns martial arts should not dwell on the results of one fight for long. But losing to that sect was an experience that he never wanted to go through again. That shame and humiliation…
“What did Sahyung even take away from what I said?”
Chung Myung blinked his eyes.
“You think you would lose to the Southern Edge Sect? Someone like that deserves to die! A disciple of Mount Hua losing to a scoundrel from the Southern Edge sect? I’ll smash that disciple’s head myself!”
Jo Gul trembled as he looked into the burning eyes of Chung Myung.
‘I can understand us behaving like that, but what kind of grudge does he have towards the Southern Edge sect?’
A guy who just entered Mount Hua.
“Didn’t I tell you? I will make you all win!”
Chung Myung raised his sword and pointed to the Sahyung.
“There is no such thing as a glorious defeat!”
“Winning is the only answer in a fight. Whether you need to hit their crotch or throw dust in their eyes! Once you win, it’s all over! Cowardice? Don’t even talk about it! Do you think a man who’s been decapitated on the battlefield can complain about cowardice? There is no such thing as companionship in a battle! Win by any means necessary!”
Chung Myung nonchalantly made a declaration that would shock the elders if they’d heard it.
Seeing such a scene, Jo Gul smiled.
‘Right. This guy is normally like this.’
It felt reassuring for some reason.
“So, what do we do now? How can we use a sword like you?”
Chung Myung smiled and spoke.
“First, we will start by swinging the sword ten thousand times.”
“… that must be a joke, right?”
“Of course, I’m just joking.”
“It was a joke….”
Chung Myung had an ominously bright smile.
“Do you want to be defeated in the future? Or do you want me to kill you now?”
It seemed like there was a bigger villain inside Mount Hua than the Southern Edge Sect.
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