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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
GLUG GLUG GLUG…
I turned around at the sudden sound of someone’s stomach rumbling only to see Ak Yeon-Ho clutching his stomach in a slumped position, his face pale.
“H-Hyung-nim, I can’t hold it in anymore…!”
“…I’ll be back before Il-Oh-hyung’s duel!” Ak Yeon-Ho grabbed his butt with one hand, got into a very strange running stance and dashed off using his movement arts.
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I clicked my tongue as I stared at his quickly diminishing backside. “Tsk tsk, as expected of a peak level expert, he can use martial arts even with diarrhea…”
Still, a peak expert getting diarrhea in the morning just because he had a few drinks the night before? Why on earth does he like drinking so much when he can’t handle his alcohol at all? That guy is not normal.
I looked at the huge crowd of students who had filed into the audience seats. Since there was nothing more entertaining in the world than watching a fight, it seemed that most of the students wanted to watch the new instructors’ practical exam. To meet the high demand, the Student Council had set up an entire grandstand so that they could personally evaluate the new instructors. This made them all the judges who would decide our fate.
…Most importantly, I could feel my skin burning under the passionate gazes of numerous students.
“Teacher, please look this way!”
“Over here, too! Please wave at me!”
I waved my hand thoughtlessly, and some of the girls screamed like they were dying.
“I feel like some kind of an exotic animal in a zoo…” I mumbled, shaking my head and shifting my gaze away from them.
I next observed the other instructor candidates. They either nervously watching the stage where the duels would take place, or trying to calm their nerves in their own ways.
“Hoo…” Myeong Il-Oh, who was next in line, sat cross-legged next to the stage and took deep breaths. Calm down, I just need to do my very best and show everyone my strength, he told himself.
Out of the three of us, he was the one with the lowest chances of passing. Not long ago, Ak Yeon-Ho had just won an easy victory against one of the current instructors despite suffering from a stomachache (he attacked like a crazed maniac in order to wrap the fight up quickly and dash to the toilet), and I was confident I would win no matter who my opponent was.
That was why last night, I gave Myeong Il-Oh some advice. As long as he took my words seriously, and his opponent wasn’t one of the stronger instructors, he could probably win…
“Oww! Ugh! Eek!” the candidate currently being examined screamed and groaned in a weird voice.
“…Hurry up and end this ridiculous farce already,” I complained, looking at the stage.
There, a pathetically one-sided fight was taking place.
“U-Uncle! Please stop hitting me so hard…”
“Look at you! Do you know where you are? Call me Vice Principal!”
Kwak Du-Yong ran around the stage like a headless chicken, dodging as many attacks as he could, while Vice Principal Kwak Cheol-Woo chased after him, swinging his dao wildly.
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The speed and power of the vice principal’s blade were extraordinary, and every time he blocked or dodged, Kwak Du-Yong felt like he was walking a fine line between life and death.
“Can’t you fight properly? You’re bringing shame to our family!”
“B-But… I’m already trying my best…”
…Anyone who sees this scene would know that Kwak Du-Yong is being scolded and punished by his relative in public.
Even I, who had a slightly antagonistic relationship with Kwak Du-Yong, felt sorry for him.
“At this rate, he’ll be caught soon.”
“He should just surrender already…”
“I’m lucky my opponent wasn’t the Vice Principal.”
The other applicants seemed to be thinking the same thing, because they all looked at Kwak Du-Yong with pity.
Suddenly, I glanced at Noh Gun-Sang, who was sitting in the center of the stall gallery.
The root cause of all this chaos sure looks like he’s having fun.
Kwak Cheol-Woo, the Vice Principal, and Kwak Du-Yong, the instructor candidate were relatives, and Noh Gun-Sang had pitted them against each other for this very reason. Regardless of how badly Kwak Cheol-Woo beat up Kwak Du-Yong, no one would say anything about it.
Kwak Cheol-Woo was aware of this, so he mercilessly did whatever he wanted.
“Nephew! If you’re not determined to do this or you’re only here because you’re drunk, give up now! Do you think being a teacher is easy?”
“I really want to do this, and I’m sober!”
“Will you quit drinking in the future?”
“No way… I mean, I’ll try!”
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As if he was genuinely angered by his nephew’s vague answers, Kwak Cheol-Woo’s released even more of his qi.
“Looks like you haven’t been beaten enough to come back to your senses!”
Kwak Cheol-Woo’s dao burst into flames. It was his signature technique, the Blazing Blade.
Kwak Du-Yong’s face immediately paled as he stuttered, “U-Uncle, wait!”
“If you want to be a teacher here, you’ll have to show me your resolve.”
“Ugh…” Kwak Du-Yong’s legs were shaking like crazy, but he didn’t give up. He moved into an attack stance and kicked off the ground at the same time as his uncle.
The result of the collision was obvious. Kwak Cheol-Woo didn’t take a single step back, while Kwak Du-Yong dropped his weapon and rolled on the ground painfully, blood trickling from the torn skin on his palm.
Kwak Cheol-Woo looked at the fallen Kwak Du-Yong coldly and said, “You disappoint me. Go home now.”
“This again? Looks like I should continue…”
“Vice Principal, that’s enough,” Noh Gun-Sang interrupted, suddenly appearing in between the two fighters like a phantom.
“W-Was that teleportation?”
“I couldn’t even see how he moved.”
“As expected of one of the top hundred martial experts…”
As the watching instructors and students gasped in astonishment and admiration, Noh Gun-Sang helped Kwak Du-Yong to his feet, then gave Kwak Cheol-Woo a knowing look and said, “I think we’ve seen enough of Candidate Kwak Du-Yong’s skills. Any more would be overkill.”
“Principal! With this brat’s meager strength and bad personality, he’ll only cause trouble for the Azure Dragon Academy…” Feeling the temperature around Noh Gun-Sang dropping, Kwak Cheol-Woo abruptly shut his mouth mid-sentence.
“You’re not the only one who decides whether he gets hired or not. How much longer are you going to let your personal feelings affect the integrity of this exam?”
Kwak Cheol-Woo bowed his head and returned to the audience seats. Behind him, Kwak Du-Yong also staggered offstage.
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Noh Gun-Sang looked around and waited for the crowd to quiet down, then announced, “We will take a short break to clean up the stage before starting the next exam. Candidate Myeong Il-Oh, please warm up now.”
“Hoo…” Myeong Il-Oh stood up and began stretching his muscles.
Meanwhile, Noh Gun-Sang turned toward the instructors. “The instructor who will duel with Candidate Myeong Il-Oh is…”
If it’s Myeong Il-Oh, he won’t lose easily, no matter who his opponent is. Show them your strength! I silently cheered him on from afar. I knew that he stood a good chance of winning, seeing as the Vice-Principal wouldn’t be asked to fight back-to-back duels and Mae Geuk-Lyom wasn’t taking part as he needed to watch over the students.
Logic says there’s nothing to worry about, so why… am I getting a sinking feeling?
“…Mr. Namgoong Su,” Noh Gun-Sang said.
The audience roared with anticipation at the sound of Namgoong Su’s name, as this was the first time he was taking part in today’s exam, while Myeong Il-Oh’s face crumpled in nervousness.
“Understood.” Namgoong Su stood up and began to warm up.
I stared at Noh Gun-Sang in disbelief, and he smiled wryly back at me.
I grumbled to myself, “Damn old man… Even though he wouldn’t let me fight Namgoong Su…”
“…Are you talking about the Principal?”
“Who else could I be referring to but that fucked up old bastard… huh?” I replied thoughtlessly, thinking it was Ak Yeon-Ho, but when I turned around, I realized that the person who had spoken was a woman I had never met before.
Is she a student? She looks about twenty, so I guess that would make her one of the seniors?
The young woman clutched a book so large and thick it could be used as a weapon, and a large judge’s pen hung from her waist. She had a slender figure and seemed like she could fall over anytime from the weight of the book, but her gait and breathing were steady.
She must be from a prestigious family.
The woman frowned, as if offended by my crass language. Unfortunately, pouting only made her face look more childish.
“You might be older than me, but aren’t you being really rude to someone you’re meeting for the first time…?” she complained.
“I’m sorry, I thought my younger brother had returned from the restroom.”
“Are you saying I sound like a man?”
“No. I’m saying my brother sounds like a woman.”
She seemed to be shocked into silence now, but still, she was quite the spunky woman. Besides her, no one else dared to come near me after what I had done in the demonstration lecture.
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The problem was, her talking to me attracted attention from the students and jealous glares from the instructors. Well, they’d probably do the same if any other female approached me.
However, being the subject of countless death stares didn’t seem to bother her at all.
“…Anyway, can I help you with something?”
“This may seem rude, but I’m a little curious about you. Would you mind answering some of my questions?”
I thought for a moment, then nodded. “If it’s something I can answer.”
The woman’s eyes lit up with delight. “The sword technique you used at the end of yesterday, is it by any chance the Moyong Clan’s technique?”
“……” I froze, taken aback by her mention of the Moyong Clan.
What is up with this woman? How did she know? It should be almost impossible to recognize the traces!
The sword technique that I had used at the demonstration lecture was derived from the Unlimited Sword, and the creator of that martial art, the Sword Saint, was from Moyong Clan.
“No, it isn’t. I’ve never even been to Moyong Clan,” I answered.
I wasn’t lying. It was true that I had never gone anywhere near the Moyong Clan. Also, Master Sword Saint severed his ties with the Moyong Clan before he was captured and imprisoned, so technically the Unlimited Sword couldn’t be considered a part of the Moyong Clan swordsmanship.
The woman tilted her head as if she wasn’t satisfied with my answer, then continued pressing me, “Then, how about the Kunlun Sect?”
“……” Boy was she was one sharp woman. She wasn’t wrong, either. Master Sword Saint was old friends with a hermit of the Kunlun Sect, and the Unlimited Sword was undoubtedly also influenced by the Kunlun Sect swordsmanship.
Even so, who the hell was she to be able to detect traces of both the Moyong Clan and Kunlun Sect’s swordsmanship from just one look at my technique? Her powers of observation must be nothing short of extraordinary.
“…No, it’s not the Kunlun Sect’s sword style either. I learned swordsmanship from my father and perfected it on my own through practice,” I lied blatantly.
My lie must have been painfully obvious, because the woman clearly didn’t believe me at all.
“No way, you taught yourself that kind of sword technique?”
“Like I said, I learned most of it from my father.”
“Is your father the world’s strongest martial master?”
“No, he’s an insignificant countryside martial arts teacher.”
“…If you don’t want to answer me, just say it up front. That’s better than lying.” She stared at me incredulously.
I let out a small sigh and explained, “Just to clarify again, my sword technique is neither the Moyong Clan’s nor Kunlun’s. In the first place, those two sword techniques are completely different in nature.”
“…What do you mean?”
Wow, seriously? I’m quire sure that she already knows the answer, but wants to test me. Well then, as the highly experienced former head martial arts instructor of the Blood Cult who has never let a trainee’s question go unanswered, I’m not about to break my streak now.
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“The Moyong Clan’s sword is slow and gentle. It focuses on parrying and counterattacking. To put it simply, the Moyong Clan swordsmanship is based on waiting for the opponent to make the first move and utilizing their strength. The sword of Kunlun, on the other hand, is a practical sword that has been perfected over centuries of bloody war with the Heavenly Demon Cult and its successor, the Blood Cult. Despite being the sword of Taoists, it is wild, ferocious, and emphasizes killing the enemy before they can act. From this basic premise, the Kunlun swordsmanship can then be split into several different styles…”
“……” The woman’s eyes widened at my detailed, in-depth lecture.
Not to brag, but having faced the Kunlun Sect many times back in the Blood Cult, I could talk all day about their swordsmanship.
“…Therefore, it can be said that the swords of the Moyong Clan and the Kunlun Sect are polar opposites, and it is impossible for them to be merged. Did I say anything wrong?”
Ordinarily, merging the two sword styles was impossible, but Master Sword Saint was one of the greatest geniuses I have ever seen, and he made the impossible possible through countless debates and fights with his friend the Kunlun hermit. The result was the Unlimited Sword.
“W-Wait! Let me write that down!” The young woman listened intently to my every word with her mouth agape, then crouched down, placed the book she was holding in her lap, opened it, and started scribbling furiously.
She’s taking notes? I didn’t expect her to be one of the rare model students!
“Hey, I was just wondering about something you said earlier…” she started, but unfortunately, I had no intention of continuing the lesson.
The stares were getting to me.
“I’m sorry, but I think I’ve said enough for today. If you want to learn more, please attend my class.”
“What? I’m a new instructor applicant, not a student!” the young lady shouted, enraged.
Wait, she wasn’t a student…?
“I thought you were a student because you looked so young.”
“Well, I am a fresh graduate of the academy…”
“By academy, do you mean the Azure Dragon Academy?”
“No, I’m from the Heavenly Martial Academy. Come to think of it, it seems that I forgot to introduce myself.” The young lady finished writing, stood up, and placed her hands together in greeting.
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“My name is Jaegal So-Yeong, and I’m applying as an instructor of engineering and murim history,” she said, looking at me with sparkling eyes.
Translator’s Note: I’ve been playing too much Diablo lately…
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