Un Geom retrieved his sword.
Drops of sweat ran down his forehead.
‘A good sword art.’
There was definitely something different about the Seven Sages Sword that they had learned from Mount Hua and what he was following now. It cannot be called the best, but the sword was still amazing.
It would take a heavy investment of time to truly understand and master this sword art. However, even with his shallow achievements, Un Geom already understood that this Seven Sages Sword was a level higher than what they were currently taught.
‘If this sword can be taught properly, Mount Hua will become stronger.’
The present disciples will become stronger, and the future generations will be even more powerful.
Just thinking about it made Un Geom smile.
Un Geom quickly rubbed his smile away.
“This is quite difficult.”
He was still a teacher, which meant he had to be strict with his disciples. Lately, though, he can’t stop smiling.
Until now, the experiences the third-class disciples have shared could not simply be summed up as mere hardships. Ever since they entered Mount Hua until now, there has been nothing but struggle and suffering.
Still, they devoted their youth to Mount Hua. With the collapsing sect on their shoulders, they constantly overcame the hardships and persevered through suffering. After such a long period of darkness, they were only now seeing the light.
‘We aren’t fully out of trouble yet.’
Although Un Geom could finally see the light at the end of the long tunnel, he was all too aware that there was still a long way to go.
Even so, he couldn’t erase the smile on his face. It was all thanks to the third-class disciples, who started to grow strangely quick in recent times.
The elders and the sect leader seemed to find the greatest joy in the fact that Mount Hua was financially stable and had found its lost martial arts, but it was different for Un Geom.
As the head of the White Plum Blossom Boarding House, the growth of his disciples was what brought him the most satisfaction.
‘They’re different from us.’
The second-class disciples tried their best, but unfortunately, Mount Hua didn’t have an appropriate environment to train or improve. To be honest, they didn’t have much passion for martial arts either.
But the third-class disciples are more passionately devoted to their personal training than any of Mount Hua’s previous disciples.
Un Geom smiled, put the sword on his waist, and left the training hall with light steps. It was time to train the children.
His imagination was overflowing with pleasant thoughts.
Mount Hua’s desperate situation had been resolved. With their recovered martial arts and the third-class disciples showing a vigorous desire to grow their martial talents, it seemed that the hour of Mount Hua’s resurrection was growing near.
And the main characters of that revival will be the third-class disciples.
“I’ll have to work harder for that to happen!”
How could he call himself their mentor if he couldn’t even lead his students, who were working hard by themselves?
Un Geom turned and entered the disciples’ training hall before shouting with a flushed face.
“Okay, let’s do well today to—what is this!? Fuck!”
Un Geom stepped back in shock.
What was in front of his eyes could only be described as pure chaos.
“Ahhhh. Arm… my arm!”
“B-back… my back is down… broken!”
“S-save me… save me….”
Unknowingly, Un Geom rubbed his eyes.
What had happened in this training hall? Suddenly, Un Geom felt that his dreams of teaching Mount Hua’s future leaders had been set ablaze and were crashing down around him.
All the third-class disciples were lying on the floor, groaning while holding their wooden swords. Their shoulders trembling and mouths drooling.
“What the hell happened….”
At that moment, a sound erupted from somewhere nearby.
Un Geom turned his head and saw Jo Gul’s figure using his wooden sword with his shirt off.
“Uhhhh! Uhhhh! Hmmmmm!”
Sweat was pouring down his body like rain. Each time the sword was swung, sweat scattered, and a hot breath could be seen exhaling from his mouth.
Blazing red eyes, full of focus, and trembling shoulders told the story of a boy pushing himself past his limits. Even Un Geom felt his entire body tremble at the sight.
“Okay, one more.”
At those words, Un Geom’s eyes turned.
‘What is with him?’
Next to Jo Gul, Chung Myung was slowly holding his sword. Unlike Jo Gul, who was sweating profusely, Chung Myung seemed rather refreshing.
His hair was neat, not even a single strand out of place. He wielded his sword smoothly in a relaxed fashion, unlike the sahyungs scattered around on the verge of death.
“Just swinging your sword isn’t enough! If you are going to swing once, imagine squeezing out all your strength. From the tip of your toes to your head, and through your sword! Once more!
What was this situation?
Wasn’t Chung Myung the youngest of the third-class disciples? So why is he teaching Jo Gul?
However, everything Chung Myung said was correct.
“Okay, one more….”
In the end, Jo Gul, who couldn’t stand it, fell to the floor. Seeing that, Chung Myung clicked his tongue.
“Tch tch. You people are seriously weak.”
Chung Myung sighed deeply.
“You’re just overworking your body. You aren’t a cow! Use that head of yours! Use your brain! Think about how to swing the sword so that you can utilize all the strength in your body and then swing it!”
Un Geom’s eyes trembled.
The other elders might be unaware, but Un Geom knew that Chung Myung could control the third-class disciples to some extent. It may be difficult to understand, but weren’t there always talented people whose skills transcended their age?
However, what Chung Myung was discussing now wasn’t something that could be waved off as simple talent or ability.
‘Does this mean that he has a higher understanding of the martial arts?’
The more he observed this kid, the more amazed he felt.
Un Geom, suddenly awoken from his thoughts, shook his head.
This wasn’t the time for such things.
“What is this!?”
Chung Myung shook his head when Un Geom asked.
“Oh my! Teacher!”
Chung Myung quickly ran up to Un Geom.
“How was last night?”
Seeing him act like a child, the third-class disciples gritted their teeth.
‘That sly son of a bitch!’
‘If he was in the Imperial palace, there would have been books written positively about him!’
‘He’s a demon with no spine, constantly changing sides!’
Why wouldn’t they be upset? Chung Myung was the youngest and should have shown respect to them as his sahyungs, but he only showed respect to Un Geom and the other elders.
In particular, Jo Gul and Yoon Jong, who were the biggest victims, dejectedly looked at Chung Myung with narrowed eyes.
“What happened here?”
“We were training.”
“Training? This is training?”
No, it certainly was training. Un Geom witnessed Jo Gul swinging the sword with his own two eyes. But the result was…
“Too… too difficult. I might die….”
The third-class disciples looked at Un Geom like puppies who found their master. Without realizing it, Un Geom ended up raising his voice upon seeing their expressions.
“Training is a part of the process to develop the body and mind. Don’t you know that too much training is poisonous? And you—”
“I know, teacher.”
Un Geom’s eyes narrowed as Chung Myung’s words interrupted his lecture. Did this mean that he had a proper response to give in this situation?
“But this training wasn’t started by me. The Sahyungs, who didn’t want experience disgrace in the Mount Hua and Southern Edge Sect conference, have—”
Right. The conference was approaching soon. That was true…
“Sahyungs were upset with the humiliation they faced last time….”
Un Geom slowly turned his head and looked at the third-class disciples.
The children were desperately waving their hands behind Chung Myung. Seeing their reaction, Un Geom said.
“Looking at the children, that doesn’t seem to be the case.”
“What? Is that possible? Sasuk! How could one be proud to declare themselves a disciple of Mount Hua if they’ve suffered defeat at the hands of those Southern Edge bastards!?
He was right.
“We can lose once. But losing twice is unforgivable! A disciple of the Great Mount Hua should never accept such results.”
Confusion beset Un Geom as he began to nod his head.
There were only two things he valued most in the world. One was the pride of Mount Hua, and the other was to raise the disciples correctly.
Now, it seemed that both of his values had turned their blades towards one another and conflicted.
Chung Myung, who read the confusion in Un Geom’s eyes, approached and whispered.
“Sasuk, think about it. The best way to raise Mount Hua’s honor is to strengthen the Sahyungs and break apart those Southern Edge Sect bastards, right?”
“The elders will also appreciate and praise Sasuk’s hard work.”
‘This sly bastard!’
Un Geom wasn’t oblivious; he could tell that Chung Myung was manipulating him, but such sweetly honeyed words were too enticing for Un Geom to ignore. He wasn’t interested in receiving praise for his efforts, but to beat down the Southern Edge Sect was….
“Do you think it’s possible?”
Unknowingly, Un Geom had asked for Chung Myung’s opinion.
Hearing that, Chung Myung smiled.
“I am Chung Myung.”
Un Geom looked at Chung Myung and coughed.
Looking back, it was none other than Chung Myung who had changed these children. Weren’t these children training because of Chung Myung?
Perhaps this process was more necessary than learning a new sword art. No matter how lucky he was, it was impossible to teach that new sword technique in a short period and overcome the Southern Edge Sect.
‘Just once more….’
Un Geom looked at everyone and opened his mouth to speak.
“Disciples! Listen to me!”
The third-class disciples set their full attention on Un Geom, desperately pleading with their tired eyes. Their last hope…
“There’s a limit to how proud I can be that you are showing such enthusiasm in your training. After all, it is my responsibility to be the one who guides you all. However, it wouldn’t be right for me to disturb your ambitions when you’re voluntarily training so vigorously.”
… what is this?
Oh? Is that the sound of hope crashing into pieces?
“Until the conference, I will leave the training to you all. In the meantime, you don’t have to come to the training hall and are free to train anywhere. However, you must be careful not to hurt yourselves.”
… this isn’t right! Sasuk?
“Ahem. You may all continue now.”
Un Geom turned his body away.
Some third-class disciples unwittingly stretched out their hands to grab hold of their fading hope. But upon seeing the look in Chung Myung’s eyes, they quickly pulled back.
Eventually, Un Geom walked away, and Chung Myung turned his body and twisted his head toward the abandoned disciples.
“Who was the one that told Sasuk that you were having a hard time?”
“Say it quickly.”
The eyes of the third-class disciples were dyed with despair as they watched Chung Myung pull out the wooden sword on his waist.
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