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


“Il-Oh-hyung? What on earth happened to you?!”

“S-Stop shaking me, it hurts…”

In a state of shock, Ak Yeonho had grabbed hold of Myeong Il-Oh, who was lying on a bed covered in bandages from head to toe, and was shaking him violently while looking as if he was about to burst into tears.

“I just left for a little while and you turned into a mummy! Hyung-nim, please tell me who did it! I’ll get revenge for you!”

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“…Baek-hyung, do you think this fucker is doing this on purpose?”

“Who was the one who kept teasing him about his diarrhea?”

“……”

“By the way, Il-Oh-hyung, if you can’t get married and die a bachelor because of this…”

“Shut up, bastard! If I die, it’ll be because you shook me to death!”

Enraged, Myeong Il-Oh scrambled to his feet and flailed his arms, while Ak Yeonho desperately avoided his blows.

Being the only adult left in the room, I shouted, “Sit still, you idiots! Il-Oh’s wounds have reopened!”

“Sorry…”

“Okay…”

The two overgrown boys finally calmed down. I clicked my tongue and said, “Tsk tsk, you two are so immature…”

Myeong Il-Oh lay back on his bed and sighed, “Baek-hyung, you gave me so much help, and yet…”

“It’s not your fault. Who would have thought that Namgoong Su’s martial art was the Lightning Sword?”

“Still… I went in with some confidence, but I ended up completely disgracing myself.”

“No, you did not, and I doubt anyone who watched you would say that.” I smirked and patted Myeong Il-Oh on the shoulder.

Not to belittle Myeong Il-Oh, but he was nothing compared to Namgoong Su. The fact that he could even force Namgoong Su to use his signature technique, the Namgoong Clan’s famed Lightning Sword, was more than sufficient to impress everyone and put a huge dent in Namgoong Su’s pride.

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“Kekeke, he must be grinding his teeth in indignation now. Il-Oh, looks like you and I might be in for some workplace harassment.”

“Pfft!” Myeong Il-Oh chuckled. I guess hanging out with us clowns had changed him a bit. “Don’t worry, I’m prepared for that.”

Seeing the two of us are grinning at each other, Ak Yeonho did his best to imitate a cheesy villain and added, “Muhahaha… Me too.”

“Have you fully recovered from your diarrhea?”

“…I can still endure a little longer before I need to go.” Ak Yeonho coughed and wiggled his ass.

“YEAHHHHHH!”

Suddenly, we heard the students cheering. The current duel was still ongoing, so they must have hit an exciting moment in the match.

“It’ll be your turn soon, don’t you need to warm up or observe potential opponents?” Myeong Il-Oh asked.

“Nah, I’ll just head there when I’m called,” I replied dryly.

As long as my opponent wasn’t Namgoong Su, I didn’t give a shit who it was. It could be the Vice Principal or Grandfather… No, Noh Goonsang wouldn’t do something so boring. It’s probably ‘that guy’.

I had a good idea who my opponent would be, and considering how he’s been glaring at me the entire time, I’m guessing the principal already told him beforehand.

Tsk tsk.

Just then, the clinic door opened and a familiar face walked in. It was Jaegal Soyeong, the woman who went around hugging a large book.

“There you are.” She spotted me and approached us. “How’s the patient doing?”

“He’s fine. What about your exam?” I asked, puzzled that she was so free.

“It just ended.”

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Huh? Wait, if her duel just ended, then…

“We heard the students cheering loudly… Was it during your turn, Miss Jaegal?”

“Well, yes. I guess I got a little lucky, heehee…” Jaegal Soyeong avoided my gaze as she flicked her hair behind her ears in embarrassment.

I heard that she had only just turned twenty and graduated from the Heavenly Martial Academy, but… I can’t help but be interested in her.

…Not the romantic kind of interest, mind you, but interest in how she fights.

No matter how observant or skilled a person was, it was impossible to analyze an opponent’s martial arts just by looking at them. Jaegal Soyeong had a well-balanced body and strong fundamentals, as expected of someone from a prestigious family, but other than that, it was difficult to guess what martial arts she excelled in and what weapons she preferred.

Is the judge’s pen1 her only weapon?

Just then, my eyes fell upon the heavy book in her arms. Judging by its tough-looking leather cover and murderous thickness, it was heavier and more durable than most weapons.

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She isn’t wielding a book like a blunt weapon, is she?

Sensing my gaze, Jaegal Soyeong wrapped her arms around her book even more tightly and asked warily, “Why are you staring so hard at my book?”

“I was wondering if there were any bloodstains on the corners…”

“…What?”

“It’s nothing. Anyway, didn’t you come here to see the patient?”

“I did, but more importantly…”

Huh? Was Jaegal Soyeong always such an oblivious scatterbrain? How on earth could she say something so insensitive in front of the patient with a smile on her face?

“About the results of our bet.”

“…Bet?”

“What bet?”

Myeong Il-Oh and Ak Yeonho, who had been in shock at the sudden appearance of a cute young lady, simultaneously snapped their heads around to glare daggers at me.

I felt cold sweat drip down my back. That hadn’t happened even when I was facing Namgoong Su.

“Wh-What do you mean, bet…” I feigned ignorance while simultaneously sending Jaegal Soyeong a telepathic message, [Look Miss, how about we talk about that later…]

Before I could finish my line, unfortunately, Jaegal Soyeong widened her eyes in disbelief, saying, “Didn’t we bet that Candidate Myeong Il-Oh would defeat Namgoong-oppa2 within fifty moves? Have you already forgotten?”

“……” The room was bathed in an awkward silence.

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Finally, Myeong Il-Oh mumbled, “Hyung-nim… Did you only give me all that advice because of a bet?”

“No… That’s… I’m sorry…”

Myeong Il-Oh looked away, hurt.

As if to show his support, Ak Yeonho stood beside him and sprinkled salt on the wound, “So while Il-Oh-hyung was fighting for his life, Suryong-hyung was happily gambling away?”

“Uhh… He wasn’t fighting for his life…”

“Wow, Hyung-nim isn’t reflecting on his actions at all…”

“……” I shut my mouth. Anything I said now would only be used against me.

The two bastards grinned victoriously.

Jaegal Soyeong asked timidly, “Did I… say something I shouldn’t have? If so, I’m sorry. People have always told me that I’m tactless, especially when I get engrossed in something…”

Jaegal Soyeong’s face fell. Ak Yeonho and Myeong Il-Oh immediately stopped getting back at me and tried to cheer her up.

“No, you didn’t!”

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“Please don’t blame yourself! Suryong-hyung is the one who’s guilty, not you!”

…I can’t believe that I actually considered these two as my younger brothers even for a moment.

Anyway, in consideration of Jaegal Soyeong’s feelings, they had no choice but to give up making fun of me. Too bad.

“I’ll be careful next time, but about that bet…” Jaegal Soyeong said. Aiming to become a more considerate person and collecting her winnings were two separate issues.

She was a rational person like that.

I sighed at her tenacity and admitted, “I understand. Since Il-Oh couldn’t defeat Namgoong Su within fifty moves, I’ll acknowledge my…”

“I lost.”

“…Huh?” I blinked at Jaegal Soyeong, confused.

Staring straight into my eyes, she explained, “Namgoong-oppa went overboard with his final technique. This is merely a test for new instructor applicants, but that technique was one that aimed to cause serious injuries.”

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She then turned toward the heavily injured Myeong Il-Oh and said apologetically, “At that moment, if Namgoong-oppa hadn’t used the Lightning Sword, he would have lost his balance and fallen backwards. That’s why, I wouldn’t be so insensitive as to say that I won this bet.”

“Uhm…”

Jaegal Soyeong’s reasoning didn’t really make sense to me. However Namgoong Su did it, it was a fact that he had won, and yet, she declared her loss.

To each their own, I guess. Winning and losing can be subjective.

In any case, I had no reason to argue with her, especially since my prize was…

“Since I’ve lost, as long as it’s within my power, I’ll grant you one wish!” Jaegal Soyeong said, her eyes glittering excitedly.

Just as I was about to nod, two busybodies sent me telepathic messages.

[…A wish?]

[You can wish for anything?]

[As long as it’s within her power…]

[Anything…]

I glanced at Ak Yeonho and Myeong Il-Oh, only to see them blushing and desperately gulping down their saliva before they drooled.

…Fuck these bastards.

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[Traitor!]

[You get to be alone with such a pretty girl!]

I sighed at the two delusional perverts. “Get a grip, you two. You’re making me so embarrassed in front of Miss Jaegal that I can’t even look her in the eyes.”

“What? What do you mean, embarrassed?” Jaegal Soyeong asked innocently.

I didn’t dare tell her and quickly changed the topic, “Ahem! Anyway, I’ll tell you my wish later. I don’t have anything in mind right now.”

Okay, it wasn’t that I didn’t want anything of her, but there was no way I could say it in front of those two assholes.

“Oh, okay, well, just let me know when you think of one!”

“Sure. Also, you really didn’t have to take the trouble coming here just to say that…”

“Actually, I came here for another reason as well… there’s something else I wanted to ask you.”

“What else do you want to know?”

Jaegal Soyeong hugged her book tightly and twiddled her fingers together. “I know you’re applying to be an external arts instructor, but are you also well-versed in murim history?”

“Murim history?”

“Earlier, when you were comparing the Moyong Clan’s and Kunlun Sect’s martial arts, you seemed very familiar with their history…”

“Well… I’ve always been a bit interested in that kind of stuff…”

As a martial arts instructor of the Blood Cult, I needed to study the martial arts and history of the Five Great Families and the Nine Sects One Gang so that we could destroy them.

Jaegal Soyeong smiled. “That’s right, everyone just wants to learn martial arts nowadays, but they’re not interested in its origins or history! The murim history classes I majored in at the Heavenly Martial Academy were even canceled several times because not enough students signed up, and the only ones who did were either really interested or just needed the credits… Does this make sense? I want to tell them this: Without learning of the past, it is impossible for martial arts to progress forward!”

I nodded, dumbfounded by Jaegal Soyeong’s flurry of words that she somehow managed to rattle off without taking a single breath in between.

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“Uh… well, yeah…”

“I’m both surprised and glad to hear that you’re just as interested in murim history as I am… I really am!” Jaegal Soyeong’s face flushed red with excitement.

If I were a woman, I would have clasped my hands together and jumped up and down just to humor her, but unfortunately I’m not.

“Can we talk again next time? Like, you know, we can have a more in-depth discussion…”

Seeing her eager face, I couldn’t bring myself to tell her no. “Well, I suppose that’s only possible if we both get hired as new instructors, right?”

“Oh, I don’t think you have to worry about that at all,” Jaegal Soyeong said, relieved that I didn’t refuse her outright.

She looked like she wanted to talk to me a bit longer, but when she glanced at Myeong Il-Oh and Ak Yeonho, she blushed.

“Oh no, I got all excited and started blabbering again although there’s a patient here who needs rest… I’d better get going.”

“Take care.”

“Okay, I’ll see you later.” Jaegal Soyeong bowed like a student bowing to a teacher, then left the clinic.

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Her steps were so light and cheerful that I couldn’t help but smile. “Maybe it’s because she just graduated?” I mumbled to myself.

For some reason, whenever I talked to her, I felt like I was talking to a student rather than a colleague. I grinned and shook my head to clear my mind, but suddenly, several eerie voices like ghosts sent a shiver down my spine.

“Hyung-nim…”

“Hyung-niiiiim…”

The two guys who hadn’t been able to say a word in Jaegal Soyeong’s presence whined.

“Why is it just you? We should all hang out together!”

“When did you get acquainted with such a beautiful lady…?”

“Did you go flirt with girls while I was in the restroom and Il-Oh-hyung was getting the shit beaten out of him?”

“We’re supposed to be the drunken bachelor trio, but now you’re leaving us…”

“Hey, invite us to your meetings with her, too!”

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…Man, these two are hopeless. They can’t be saved anymore. I clicked my tongue and pushed them away.

“Candidate Baek Suryong, are you here?” shouted one of the Azure Dragon Academy’s instructors as he entered the clinic.

When he spotted me, he sighed and said, “There you are. Hurry up and prepare, you’re up next!”


Footnotes:

  1. Judge’s Pen: A large and sharp writing instrument that also doubles as a camouflaged stabbing weapon. It is used like an awl or stake. 

  2. Oppa: Korean honorific (females) for elder brother. 

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