‘Has he lost his mind?’
Baek Cheon couldn’t help but feel flustered.
Chung Myung was walking with his head tilted to the side. It looked like some back-alley gangster walking in to threaten innocent civilians.
There were two reasons why Baek Cheon was flustered.
First, was that Chung Myung acting like a gangster seemed to suit him too well. Second, the person Chung Myung was currently intimidating was none other than Baek Cheon himself.
‘Did he really lose his senses?’
Baek Cheon was Chung Myung’s sasuk.
Of course, that wasn’t important because they both agreed beforehand that they would leave their titles behind for this battle.
What truly mattered was that Baek Cheon was different from Chung Myung, who had just entered the sect.
Baek Cheon entered Mount Hua when he was even younger than Chung Myung. In other words, he had already spent over 15 years learning martial arts.
But what about Chung Myung?
‘It’s only been half a year since he started.’
Even if Chung Myung began training within his mother’s womb, he would still have spent less time practicing than Baek Cheon. Even if Chung Myung was talented enough to become the world’s greatest master, right now, it was impossible for him to defeat Baek Cheon.
Even those with talent need time to properly develop.
If talent alone could surpass the walls of time, then would anyone even try to master martial arts?
‘But…what is with his reaction?’
However, Chung Myung acted as if he truly believed he could defeat Baek Cheon.
Baek Cheon was so confused that he couldn’t even speak.
“… you’re really crazy.”
“No. Not at all. The crazy one here is you.”
“If you weren’t crazy, then why would you try and challenge me?”
If those who were entangled with Chung Myung in the past were present, they would all vigorously be nodding their heads.
The Southern Edge Sect called him the devil that descended from Mount Hua, and the Wudang sect used to say that Chung Myung’s name reached the sky, but his evil deeds covered the earth.
Chung Myung raised his hand.
Surprisingly, Chung Myung wasn’t someone that liked resorting to violence.
What about all the things he’d done so far?
That was all because the others wouldn’t listen otherwise.
For Chung Myung, violence was just a means to an end. He ultimately wanted everyone to do well on their own, without Chung Myung having to force them again.
Why would anyone use violence if everything could be settled peacefully? People only got beatings because they refused to listen.
But now, Chung Myung started to think it might be better to use violence as an end rather than means.
“Your self-indulgence knows no bounds. My hands are heavy and full of resen—”
“—what did you say?”
Chung Myung just shrugged his shoulders,
“I usually don’t like talking before a fight but listen well. In a little while, you won’t be able to speak even if you want to, so just come at me.”
“Arrogant until the end, you bastard!”
Baek Cheon grabbed his sword.
He also didn’t want to waste any more time.
‘I was going to go easy on him.’
Baek Cheon ground his teeth.
No matter how angry he was, he couldn’t actually cut down his own junior. But Chung Myung could be overwhelmed with swordsmanship. Baek Cheon intended to beat Chung Myung so thoroughly that he would piss himself in fear whenever they crossed paths.
Baek Cheon grasped his sword and rushed towards Chung Myung.
The sword quickly cut through the air towards Chung Myung. It was a sword that seemed different from Yu Yiseol’s. At first glance, they may look similar; however, Baek Cheon’s was heavier and fiercer.
In a way, it was the same as the Southern Edge Sect.
A sword that minimizes the colorful changes that were the basis of Mount Hua’s art to take advantage in a sword fight. With only a moment of inspection, Chung Myung had firmly understood the essence of Baek Cheon’s style.
The Southern Edge Sect abandoned their swords and tried to emulate the splendor of Mount Hua. However, Baek Cheon reduced the splendor of Mount Hua’s sword to achieve the simplicity of the Southern Edge Sect.
Thinking about it, it is normal.
All sword arts undergo constant changes, and those changes are always seeking to advance the style. Naturally, one would seek inspiration for their swordsmanship from those who are in a better condition than themselves.
In Mount Hua’s heyday, the Southern Edge Sect was crushed by Chung Myung and would have thought that a flashier sword was the answer.
On the other hand, the second-class disciples of the current Mount Hua were crushed by the Southern Edge Sect through the conference and desperately recognized the gap between their skills. They must have considered the sword of the Southern Edge Sect to be the right answer.
It was understandable that both sects would resemble one another.
Chung Myung narrowed his eyes.
Does that mean Baek Cheon learned the style of the Southern Edge Sect because there was nothing more for him to learn here? Well, Chung Myung didn’t like this bastard from the start.
‘An idiot who doesn’t even understand what he has now covets someone else’s art?’
Chung Myung must let him know. What Mount Hua has.
Baek Cheon rushed in.
“I am going to change your attitude today.”
Chung Myung clenched his fist as he watched Baek Cheon rushing towards him.
He put the right foot back.
“That habit of yours!”
And tilted his back a little.
The fist pulled back and then extended forward.
“No one fixed till now, you son of a bitch!”
Chung Myung’s fist penetrated through the changes made in Baek Cheon’s sword. A fist that stretched out at an accurate angle and appropriate speed, aiming between the changes and transitions.
Baek Cheon was shocked as he saw the fist of Chung Myung piercing through the sword technique.
It was easy to say that it could be done. However, it was absurd that Chung Myung could accurately shove his fist through a sword art that could easily slice his arm off.
From Baek Cheon’s point of view, it felt as if the arm of a ghost had emerged from the abyss.
But there was no time to be surprised.
Baek Cheon’s jaw was hit.
And he heard a squeaking sound behind his neck. In an instant, his consciousness flew away, then swiftly returned.
When he came to his senses, his body had been knocked back repeatedly, bouncing off the ground.
What just happened?
His senses had dulled for a moment. Baek Cheon didn’t realize what had happened to his body when he bounced back. He was overtaken with a distant understanding of reality.
The moment his body settled on the ground, an indescribable pain shook him to the core.
His back was fine. But searing pain radiated from his jaw, where Chung Myung had struck.
Grabbing his chin, Baek Cheon groaned.
Learning martial arts meant that one had to get used to suffering. It wasn’t simply pain from pushing the body to its limit but also frequent injuries from training and sparring.
But this was unlike any pain Baek Cheon had suffered before. It really felt like a new world of pain had opened up for him.
“Wake up, you bastard.”
Chung Myung said while tilting his head and approaching Baek Cheon.
Seeing that, Baek Cheon got up.
Chung Myung seemed a bit surprised.
“Oh? You actually got up?”
Obviously, he got up!
While he was enduring the pain in his jaw, Baek Cheon felt like his heart was being rent as Chung Myung mocked him. Baek Cheon struggled to comprehend the current situation.
He desperately tried to calm his trembling legs and raised the sword again. The bitter taste of blood in his mouth clearly reminded him of reality.
Baek Cheon was not stupid.
The earlier exchange was no accident. No one in this world would risk losing their arm to a sword technique for a chance at a lucky strike.
In other words, Baek Cheon’s sword was clearly visible to Chung Myung’s eyes.
“How did you do that?”
Chung Myung looked at Baek Cheon as if he were pathetic.
“Your technique reduces the myriad changes and flows between changes depending on how you choose, but so what? Did you think that your technique was flawless? Really, for every one thing that you know there are two things you don’t. Of course, there are gaps in your sword art!”
Baek Cheon stood there wide-eyed.
“N-No one managed to find them till now.”
“Obviously, because the people you were dealing with were stupid. Any elder could have figured it out immediately.”
Wait, maybe not?
Uh… what was the level of the current elders? Huh?
Leave that aside.
“You mean my sword is wrong?”
Chung Myung spoke as if he didn’t even need to think about it.
“For now, you must be able to stand ahead of your peers by a little bit. But as time passes, your sajaes will start to outpace and overtake you.”
“How can you know that!? You only recently joined the sect! I can’t believe your words! I won’t!”
“Ah. Do whatever you want.”
Chung Myung smiled bitterly.
The disciples of Mount Hua were committing the same mistake the Southern Edge Sect did, and Chung Myung could even understand their reasons.
‘It isn’t that strange.’
Perhaps, even in Chung Myung’s time, something like this happened countless times. At the time, however, Chung Myung simply didn’t know what consequences such a change could bring.
Due to Chung Myung’s vast experience, his eyes could see how someone’s sword would develop. Seeing young disciples who were only beginning to develop their style, things that had never been noticed before began to appear.
“Be grateful that I am a disciple of Mount Hua.”
Chung Myung raised his wooden sword.
Honestly, Chung Myung still wanted to crush Baek Cheon, but wasn’t he also one of Mount Hua’s cute disciples? Even if he was going to be crushed, it would be nice to beat him in a way that would help his development.
“Don’t worry. I’ll take you down with a sword instead of a fist. Ah, I’m so kind.”
Is Chung Myung crazy?
No, he really is crazy, right?
Seeing the bewildered expression on Baek Cheon, Chung Myung took a deep breath.
“Some say that the purpose of Mount Hua’s sword was to resemble plum blossoms. But that is only what those who are unfamiliar with Mount Hua’s sword say. Mount Hua’s sword doesn’t imitate plum blossoms. The sword of Mount Hua aims for….”
Chung Myung, who had been speaking seriously, suddenly frowned.
“Ah, never mind. Do you understand what I am saying? Sometimes it’s easier to understand when your body gets beaten rather than with your brain. I’m coming!”
Without realizing it, Baek Cheon took a step back.
However, the speed at which Chung Myung rushed toward him was twice as fast.
Baek Cheon swung his sword and tried to stall Chung Myung. Even if he was injured, his instincts as a swordsman still allowed his body to react before he had time to process what was happening.
At that moment, Baek Cheon noticed.
The image of Chung Myung’s fingers slightly trembled, then the wooden sword multiplied into dozens or more and filled his vision.
‘W-what is that…?’
The wooden sword hit Baek Cheon’s thigh, and he opened his mouth with tears brimming in his eyes.
But it didn’t end there,
Chung Myung’s sword precisely struck Baek Cheon’s wrist, which was holding the sword. From wrist to hand, it felt like his arm went numb for a moment, and he lost grip on his sword.
At that moment, Baek Cheon’s ears were filled with a sound he dreaded hearing.
“Head! Head! Head! Head! Head!”
Why not just once, you bastard?
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Baek Cheon was hit by a series of blows, feeling like his head was going to explode; his mouth fell open as his eyes rolled back.
Even as he collapsed, his mind was obsessed over a single thought
‘Why did you say head five times but hit me six times?’
It was a question that was left unsolved as his consciousness flew away.
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