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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!


“I see, since the very beginning…Cough!”

Every time I opened my mouth, I’d cough up some contaminated blood. I knew that with my internal injuries, I shouldn’t talk, but I just couldn’t stand not venting my frustrations.

“…you were already planning to kill us all.”

I grit my teeth and glared at the old man in front of me. Argh, I wanted to rip him into pieces so badly.

“Kukuku, to think the man once known as the Ironblood Instructor would one day make that kind of face.”

The Second Elder of the Blood Demon Cult, the Demon Strategist, grinned. His hands were stained with blood from using the Claws of Black Death.

DRIP, DRIP…

I shoved my innards that were about to spill out back into my body and growled through clenched teeth, “Liar! I will drag you down to hell with me.”

“You never trusted me to begin with… Isn’t that the reason why trash that should’ve been dead a long time ago is still standing behind you right now?”

ROOOOOOOOOAR!

Four terrifying auras appeared behind me. The four masters behind me had clearly lost their tempers upon hearing the word “trash”. Every single one of them was a martial artist who could challenge the title of the Strongest Under Heaven.

The Bandit King, Maeng Ho-Ak.

The Crazy Demon, Hyon-Won Hu.

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The Ice Moon Goddess, Eun Ye-Rin.

The Sword Saint, Mo-Yong Hon.

Decades ago, these four absolute masters disappeared from the murim.

However, the truth was, they had been caught up in the Blood Demon Cult’s schemes and ended up getting captured, then locked up in a dark underground prison for all this time.

As for me? I was the martial arts instructor responsible for learning and analyzing their martial arts, and then teaching the newly researched martial arts to the disciples of the Blood Demon Cult.

VOOOOOOM!

A large man that reminded one of a giant tiger stepped forward and roared, “GRAARH! I’m gonna kill you bastards, and destroy the Blood Demon Cult!”

SLASH!

A messy-haired man moved next to the Bandit King, swung his dao1 through the air, and said, “…Today, the Blood Demon Cult will disappear from the murim.”

This man, Hyon-Won Hu, was known as the ‘Crazy Demon’. He was once the most outstanding disciple in the orthodox sects, but he was so obsessed with martial arts that he betrayed his sect and challenged a hundred warriors to duels. Although he won every single duel, the injuries that he had inflicted were so cruel that the Murim Alliance started hunting him down everywhere he went.

WOOOOOSH!

The blistering cold of the northern wind enveloped a woman’s body.

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“Finally, the time for revenge has come.”

She was the Ice Moon Goddess, Eun Ye-Rin, the former successor to the Ice Palace of the Northern Sea. Unfortunately, it was only after her disappearance that the Ice Palace started to become wary of the rest of the murim.

“Is my son…truly already dead?”

The last person to speak was an old man. Unlike the previous three, he did not step forward but instead took a step back.

“If you can show me proof that my son is still alive, I will leave quietly without blaming you or your cult. However, if he is dead, then…”

SCHLIIIIIING!

The Sword Saint released his formless sword qi, which quickly surrounded the Demon Strategist as well as the hundreds of Blood Demon Cult experts behind him.

As expected, these masters…

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After being locked up in this prison for many years, these four could not possibly be in good shape. Even so, they were currently emitting energy far beyond their limits.

The Demon Strategist first looked at the four masters and sneered, “Kukuku, the pieces of trash are trying to fight back.”

He then turned toward me, saying, “I knew that you would betray us eventually.”

Well, he was right. The four masters had only escaped from prison because I let them out. Still, there was no way I’d willingly let that old man kill me.

“I betrayed you? No, it was you who betrayed me first.”

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My childhood memories are kind of foggy, but when I was orphaned, the Blood Demon Cult kidnapped me and forced me to become one of them. Luckily, I was pretty talented at martial arts, and quickly gained both power and prestige.

If my qi center hadn’t been destroyed, I might have become one of the higher-ups in the Cult.

Regrettably, my qi center was destroyed in an accident, rendering me unable to use qi.

To survive as a martial artist without any qi in the Blood Demon Sect, I had no choice but to become a martial arts researcher and instructor. I researched countless kinds of martial arts, beginning with the fundamental techniques of the Blood Demon Cult, then taught them to the children kidnapped by the Cult.

I did all of this for the sake of survival…but to think that it would end up being the reason for my death.

Approximately ten years ago, the Demon Strategist who was in charge of all the martial arts instructors summoned me in secret and entrusted me with researching the martial arts of the four masters who had been imprisoned underground. I would then teach the researched martial arts to the young disciples of the Cult. However, I turned out to be the one and only instructor chosen as a researcher.

“Back then, I had already guessed what you were planning. Once you were done using me, you’d kill all five of us in order to silence us permanently.”

“Is that why you worked with them to restore their martial arts?”

Technically, the martial arts of the four masters hadn’t been restored. The qi centers of the four masters had been destroyed, their blood circulation forcefully impaired, and the tendons in all of their limbs cut. Thanks to a book that I found in the library, I could help them restore their strength, but that was only temporary.

“I might be a dog of the Cult, but I won’t die just because my master orders me to die. Not without at least taking a bite out of said master.”

“…I had you figured for a stupidly straightforward bear of a man, but you were actually a cunning fox.”

The Demon Strategist smiled and nodded to himself.

I had nothing left to hide, so I replied, “You’re right. I’m just a piece of trash whose body is unable to store qi, and the four strongest masters in the murim cannot be allowed to live. Knowing you, you’re the kind of shitty old man who’d kill us all the moment I finished recording down the researched martial arts into manuals.”

I already predicted this ending beforehand, so I secretly changed the contents of the most important parts of the martial arts manuals. Haha, in the future, anyone who attempts to learn those martial arts will suffer through hell.

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With just the slightest hint of anger, I smirked and asked, “Are you regretting not finishing me off earlier?”

“Don’t remind me. Yes, I regret it. Because I misunderstood your personality, I ended up paying a hefty price.”

The Demon Strategist looked around him with a pained look on his face. It was a massacre. Corpses were piled up in mountains, and the blood on the ground could form a sea. That was the price the Demon Strategist had paid in order to stop our attempt at jailbreak.

I smiled bitterly and announced, “The Demon Blood Cult will forever remember today as the day most of their members were killed. We will go down in history.”

“…No, that won’t be happening. All of you will die here, so it won’t be remembered as a failure. Do you honestly think that I would give you enough time to recover from your internal injuries?”

“Don’t we both need time to recover?”

I locked gazes with the Demon Strategist and grinned.

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Damn it. I hate to admit it, but that old man looks a lot like me right now.

As if he shared my opinion, the Demon Strategist laughed, “In that case, I should take this opportunity to test out the new tools that you’ve created.”

The warriors surrounding us moved to open up a path, revealing the presence of four familiar young men and women. When the four masters saw these four people, their expressions turned bleak.

“No way…”

“…Haha. We taught these children.”

“This is too much.”

“……”

The four expressionless people walking toward us emanated the same auras as the four masters.

…Well, this is the way things work in the Blood Demon Cult, after all.

These young men and women were my best ‘creations’. I was the one who had researched the masters’ martial arts and taught them to these four when they were still children. These children had then undergone training to rid them of their emotions and turn them into perfect killing machines. Even though we were their teachers, they would not hesitate to kill us.

To think that these four would end up being the ones to kill us.

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These four people had now become the secret weapons of the Blood Demon Cult.

I see. The reason the Demon Strategist decided to kill us now was because their training has been completed. He doesn’t need us anymore.

The instant we die, the Blood Demon Cult will declare war on the whole Murim.

The Demon Strategist grinned and said, “Isn’t watching their disciple surpass them the greatest joy a martial artist can feel?”

“Crazy old toad.”

“Kukuku.”

As if it were fated, the four young warriors clashed with their respective masters.

ROAAAAAAAAAR!

Just the pressure from the clashing of their auras made me choke.

I watched the battle from behind the fighting masters, frowning.

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If this goes on any longer, we’re going to lose.

The young warriors practiced the martial arts that I had researched and even improved upon. On the other hand, the masters were exhausted, and their bodies were hardly in fighting condition. The result was obvious.

I didn’t want to do this, but…I still have one card left to play.

I took my hand off my injured abdomen. The blood was still flowing freely, but I didn’t have a choice.

“Oi, Demonic Strategist. You should know that, if someone practiced all four of the martial arts I researched, they’d have the potential to become the Strongest Under Heaven, right?”

Although the Demonic Strategist looked like he didn’t understand my question, he still nodded.

“Of course. There may be some differences depending on the practitioner’s talent, but if one person practiced all four of these martial arts, then they could challenge the title of the Strongest…”

“What if I tell you that I actually know a fifth martial art of equal standard?”

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“…What?”

“I learned another one behind your back. Hahaha!”

I roared with laughter as I forced qi out of my broken qi center.

RUUUUUUUMBLE!

My aura instantly overshadowed every expert in the area, including the eight people still fighting.

“Cough!”

“Argh!”

The experts of the Blood Demon Cult around me started shivering as if they had caught a cold. Some of them also started having nosebleeds, while others sustained internal injuries.

“I-It can’t be. This aura is…!”

The Demon Strategist’s eyes widened, as if he couldn’t believe what he was currently seeing. Even though the martial art that I had just revealed was powerful, just that reason alone wasn’t enough to give him such a huge shock. It was because the martial art I had just used was the strongest one in existence.

“H-How is this possible! That is the Heaven Defying Divine Art!”

The Heaven Defying Divine Art.

A martial art that only the leaders of the Blood Demon Cult were allowed to learn.

And I learned it.

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Not even the Demon Strategist was aware that a copy existed. However, I somehow chanced upon one that was left behind by a sect member from many generations ago. The problem was, I hadn’t learned the complete martial art yet.

If only I had a little more time…

The Demon Strategist looked a little uncertain about his conclusion, but I quickly dispelled his suspicions for him.

He definitely knows that Heaven Defying Divine Art is not a martial art that can be learned within a short time. If I could remember this martial art in my next life, maybe I’d be able to master it…** But now’s not the time for stupid thoughts. ‘That guy’ should be here soon.

“H-H-How…!?”

As I walked toward the shivering Demon Strategist, I said to the four masters, “We don’t have much time. Before the Blood Demon gets here, we have to escape from this encirclement.”

The Blood Demon is the absolute authority in the Blood Demon Cult. Just the sound of his name will make the experts here shake in their boots. The moment he senses the energy from the Heaven Defying Divine Art, he will break out of the cave where he’s been training in seclusion and rush here as fast as he can. If he gets here before we leave, we’re fucked.

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“…We will definitely escape from this place alive. Don’t we all still have regrets left unfulfilled?”

I concentrated the Heaven Defying Divine Art and charged at the Demon Strategist. The four masters nodded at each other, then resumed attacking their respective opponents. We gave it our best.

In the end, everyone died.

This is a story that was never written down in murim history.

sep

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“Master!”

“……”

“Master! Are you dozing off again?”

“……”

I slowly turned my head around. A small hand had grabbed my arm and was shaking it. The small hand belonged to a brown-haired boy around ten years of age. Said boy was currently staring at me with huge, innocent, puppy-dog eyes.

“Master! Hey, Master!”

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“…What’s up?”

“Master, all the kids have gathered in the training plaza and are waiting for you to get up!

“Today is a self-study day. Look, there’s a ball over there. Go play soccer or something.”

“Yesterday was also a self-study day! And the day before! How are we going to learn martial arts if all we do is play every day?”

“What’s the point in you guys learning martial arts?”

The kids who had come to wake me up puffed up their cheeks.

“If you keep being like this, we’ll tell the Grandmaster about you!”

This little runt… For a moment, I wanted to beat him to a pulp, but I restrained myself.

I can’t behave the same way I did when I was in the Blood Demon Cult.

Interestingly, after I died, I woke up in a different era, in a place far, far away.

“Okay, okay, I get it. Let’s go.”

“Hurry up!”

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The kids grabbed my hand and hurried me along to the training plaza where the other kids were waiting. There, the little brats stared at me with sparkling eyes, each and every single one of them dressed up in the martial arts uniform that the school had provided them with.

“Master! Please teach me martial arts!”

“Sigh…”

I looked at the sniveling brats, scratched my head, then looked up at the signboard near the door.

[Hundred Martial Arts Academy]

We teach a hundred different martial arts, so we called ourselves the Hundred Martial Arts Academy, or Baek Academy2 for short… Er, at least, that was the idea.

It’s already been a month since I woke up in this body, huh.

About a month ago, I, the great martial arts instructor of the Blood Demon Cult, died and woke up in the body of a young martial arts instructor of a small academy in the sticks.

By the way, I also heard that the Blood Demon Cult was annihilated decades ago!


Footnotes:

  1. Dao: Dao are single-edged Chinese swords, primarily used for slashing and chopping. 

  2. Baek Academy: The “baek” here uses the hanja for “hundred (百)”, but it also sounds the same as the MC’s last name, Baek (白, white). 

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Chapter 2: What Should I Do Now?