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

“What do you think about the quality of this year’s applicants?”

In front of the seat closest to the stage in the students’ area of the spectator stands, there was a signboard that read: [Student Council President]. There, an impressive-looking young man with thick eyebrows was watching the duels on the stage. He was Dokgo Jun, the current student council president.

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“Most of them are not up to par, but some of them are quite good,” replied Tang So-So, the vice-president of the student council.

The student council members sat around them, sifting through the list of applicants. Starting this year, student evaluations were included in the new instructor examinations at the Azure Dragon Academy, which meant that the applicants would be screened by the students, especially the influential student council.

Dokgo Jun crossed his arms. “Who are the ‘some’? Please give me their names.”

Tang So-So handed over the highest scoring evaluations to him and said, “So far, the top applicants are Ak Yeon-Ho of the Shandong Ak Clan, Myeong Il-Oh of the Myeong Clan, Jaegal So-Yeong of the Jaegal Clan, and Kwak Du-Yong of the Kwak Clan…”

“Kwak Du-Yong, the vice principal’s nephew?” Dokgo Jun asked, bewildered.

Tang So-So shrugged. “Strangely enough, his evaluation isn’t bad, although it’s below my standards…”

“The students gave him good ratings?”

“Yes, especially the boys who were thrilled to see him stand up to a clan elder.”

The student council had handed out new instructor evaluation sheets to the students in the audience before the start of each duel and collected them back afterwards for score tallying.

Dokgo Jun sighed, “This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s a new instructor selection exam.”

“We can’t ignore popularity though. The more popular a teacher is with the students, the more they’ll want to learn.”

“Good teachers will naturally be popular.”

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“You aren’t wrong, but it’s hard to find teachers that good, so we have to consider other factors as well.”

If Dokgo Jun was an idealist, then Tang So-So was a realist. It was her personality and role to make rational judgments in any given situation. However, she wasn’t always cool-headed…

“Of course, that means that the key person we need to watch out for is…” Tang So-So carelessly tossed aside the stack of papers in her hands and pulled out a long scroll that she kept hidden in her bosom. She unfurled it in one smooth movement, only to reveal… a portrait of a handsome young man in blue robes.

“Him. Mr. Baek Su-Ryong, a man who is the very definition of perfection… Aaaahn…” Tang So-So’s icy demeanor melted away as she lovingly rubbed the portrait of Baek Su-Ryong against her cheeks.


Embarrassed for his vice-president, who had pressed her nose against the painting and was sniffing it, Dokgo Jun used his sleeve to shield her face from the audience.

“Vice-President! I beg you, please come back to your senses!”

“Haaaahn, he’s so handsome… and so strong… and from what I heard earlier, he’s also an expert in murim history…”

Dokgo Jun sighed, exasperated at the fact that he was getting used to Tang So-So losing her mind every time she saw Baek Su-Ryong or a painting of him.

“Her condition is serious. I think it might be a terminal disease.”

“How on earth did our Vice-President end up like this…”

“Why…? Couldn’t it be me instead?!”

The student council members mumbled, faces twitching.

Tang So-So glared at them. “Not only is he good-looking, he’s also a master of both the pen and the sword. Have you all forgotten the flawless technique he showed us during his demonstration lecture? Could there be a more perfect candidate?”


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“If any of you have objections to my analysis, please say it now, hmph!” Snorting, Tang So-So then turned toward the twins in charge of the student council’s discipline committee, the Azure Dragon Twins, and added, “Make a list of the students who gave low scores to Candidate Baek Su-Ryong. They might be spies from another school.”



The Azure Dragon Twins looked at Dokgo Jun with expressions like they were begging him to revoke Tang So-So’s ridiculous orders.

Dokgo Jun placed a hand on his forehead and sighed, “Enough, Vice-President. You sound so serious about this that you’re scaring me.”

“President, you know that I’m always serious. Have you thought about how much we stand to lose if Mr. Baek Su-Ryong went to another academy?”


Hell froze over once again as Tang So-So coldly said, “Do you really think I’m not being rational about this? With Mr. Baek’s skills, he would be welcome at any of the Five Great Academies. The only reason he applied to the Azure Dragon Academy is because he doesn’t have enough connections.”


“If the Vermilion Phoenix Academy, the White Tiger Academy, or the Black Tortoise Academy were to give him an offer, why would he choose us over them?”

“……” Dokgo Jun couldn’t say anything in his defense. Tang So-So was right.

Although the Azure Dragon Academy was officially classified as one of the murim’s Five Great Academies, it was in decline, having placed dead last in the annual Heavenly Martial Festival for ten consecutive years.

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“Tsk tsk, it seems that the Azure Dragon Academy has fallen on hard times.”

“Back then, we were top contenders for the Heavenly Martial Festival…”

“The quality of the students and teachers aren’t what they used to be.”

Every year, they would hear such gossip from the graduates who visited the academy, and this trend had already continued for more than a decade. As a result, many promising young talents and skilled instructors hesitated to choose the Azure Dragon Academy.

No one understood this fact better than the Student Council, and by bringing it up, Tang So-So had touched the dragon’s reverse scale.1

“Contrary to what you seem to think, I am aware that this isn’t the time to play around. That’s why, if there is a good instructor, we have to hire them at any cost. After all, isn’t our biggest goal to help the Azure Dragon Academy regain its former glory?”

Finally understanding Tang So-So’s argument, the student council members nodded, and even Dokgo Jun looked at her in a new light.

“Still, Vice-President, I think it’s a bit much to make a list of people who give Mr. Baek bad scores. Why don’t we wait and see what happens first? His duel hasn’t even begun yet.”

“…Fine,” Tang So-So replied darkly.

There was a moment of silence as everyone was absorbed in their own thoughts until finally, Dokgo Jun looked back toward the stage.


There, an unknown new instructor candidate was fighting hard, but Dokgo Jun wasn’t interested in him.

Is Baek Su-Ryong the last one in line? His performance in the demonstration lecture was certainly remarkable. He drew a small circle and successfully withstood the attacks of ten students including Peng Sa-Hyuk, Hyonwon Kang, and Tang So-So without moving out of it. Even if they weren’t allowed to use their qi, that wasn’t something an ordinary martial artist can do. No matter who his duel opponent is, he’s already displayed enough skill to pass the exam.

Still, we’re talking about the guy who taunted Namgoong Su for injuring his friend. If Noh Gun-Sang hadn’t interfered then, they would definitely have clashed. I wonder who the winner would have been?

Dokgo Jun tried to play out the hypothetical confrontation in his head, but it was beyond his skill level.

In any case, having more great teachers can’t be a bad thing. With excellent education and hard work…our generation will definitely restore the academy’s reputation!


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Dokgo Jun gritted his teeth. His eldest brother, who was much older than him, his second brother, who was three years older, and his father were all graduates of the Azure Dragon Academy.

For generations, the Zhejiang Dokgo Clan had been proud to call themselves graduates of the Azure Dragon Academy. However, that pride had since turned to shame.

“You’re going to the Azure Dragon Academy? Erm…”

“Why didn’t you take the entrance exam for the Vermilion Phoenix Academy or the Black Tortoise Academy?”

“I heard that only kids who are not good enough for the other schools go there…”

Whenever he heard someone ridiculing the Azure Dragon Academy that his father and brothers were so proud of, Dokgo Jun would burn with rage. In the end, with his skills and talent, he could have chosen any other academy, but no, he chose the Azure Dragon Academy.

If they won’t change themselves, I’ll change them myself!

If they came in last again for the next two or three years, the Azure Dragon Academy would henceforth be excluded from the Heavenly Martial Festival.

This time will be different. I won’t allow us to be last again!

While Dokgo Jun was renewing his resolve, the duel ended. The applicant he couldn’t be bothered to remember the name of did his best, but realized the gap in skill between him and his opponent and declared his loss.

Noh Gun-Sang stepped onstage and smiled, saying, “It’s time for the final duel of the day, and I think that many of you are very much looking forward to it, am I right?”

“Yes, we’ve been waiting all day for this!”

“Please hurry up and start already!”

Noh Gun-Sang chuckled at the students’ impatience, then called out the names of the two people who would be competing in the final duel.

“Candidate Baek Su-Ryong and Mr. Yang Yi-Rak, please come on stage.”

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“Yang Yi-Rak?”

There was a brief murmur from the audience as they objected to Noh Gun-Sang’s choice of Yang Yi-Rak over Namgoong Su, but as soon as Baek Su-Ryong entered the stage, there was silence.


Baek Su-Ryong relaxed gait captured everyone’s attention. When he reached the center of the stage, he turned to face the audience and said, “Greetings, I am Baek Su-Ryong.”

Several of the female students swooned and covered their mouths with their hands.

Meanwhile, no one paid attention to Yang Yi-Rak, who climbed up the other side of the stage.

“Yang Yi-Rak. Aren’t you the popular one, huh?” Yang Yi-Rak said, glaring daggers at Baek Su-Ryong.

Everyone watching immediately knew that Yang Yi-Rak wasn’t interested in testing Baek Su-Ryong’s skills, he just wanted to destroy him completely.


Tearing off his robes, Yang Yi-Rak showed off his muscle-filled body and smirked, “Since we’re fellow outer arts instructors, shall we put down our weapons and fight like real men?”

Fight like real men? What nonsense… Dokgo Jun thought. Yang Yi-Rak was a ripped giant and one of the most renowned barehanded fighters in the murim. Baek Su-Ryong, on the other hand, was an excellent swordsman. In essence, Yang Yi-Rak was telling a swordsman that he should fight without a sword.

“Don’t you dare fall for such a lowly provocation…” Dokgo Jun muttered.

Unfortunately, Baek Su-Ryong did exactly what he feared.

“Very well, let’s settle this with only our fists,” Baek Su-Ryong said, nodding in agreement.

Yang Yi-Rak’s expression immediately brightened. Baek Su-Ryong had taken the bait!

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“Hahaha, I wouldn’t expect any less of a manly man! Good, good!”

“Can we start now?”

“Let’s take our time and enjoy this. We’re the last ones, after all…”

“Principal, may we begin?”

“…I think you’re both ready, so go ahead.”

“Oi! You…!” Yang Yi-Rak growled, the veins on his neck popping out from the rage of Baek Su-Ryong ignoring him and talking directly to Noh Gun-Sang. He flexed his muscles and stomped toward Baek Su-Ryong, threatening, “Damn punk, I’ll knock you off your high horse and show you who’s boss…”

Suddenly, as he was talking, Baek Su-Ryong disappeared.

“W-What? Where…”

Yang Yi-Rak looked around in panic, only to hear Baek Su-Ryong’s voice from right behind him.

“You know, I was thinking. If my opponent turns out to be trash, then no matter how I win the duel, it won’t leave much of an impression.”

“Ugh…” Yang Yi-Rak froze, unable to move. Baek Su-Ryong’s palm was resting on his back. He had the feeling that if he so much as twitched, the young man would instantly break his spine in half.

“So I’ll just make it quick, okay?”


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“Ahh, don’t worry so much. In my previous job, I would have killed or crippled you, but this is not the time or place for that.”

“Phew…” Yang Yi-Rak let out a sigh of relief.

However, Baek Su-Ryong chuckled devilishly and whispered in Yang Yi-Rak’s ear, “Why do you look so relieved? I said I wouldn’t kill you, but I didn’t say I wouldn’t beat you up.”



With a tremendous boom, Yang Yi-Rak flew offstage and landed right in front of Namgoong Su. He convulsed several times, and then went limp.

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“…What’s the meaning of this?” Namgoong Su asked, eyes burning with unbridled fury as he glared at Baek Su-Ryong. He knew that Baek Su-Ryong was avenging what he did to Myeong Il-Oh.

Baek Su-Ryong shrugged and nonchalantly replied, “Why are you so surprised? As you can see, he’s still alive, and he has a sturdy body, so none of his bones are broken. He might have a few torn muscles, but after a few months of rest, he’ll be right as rain.”

“A few months? Don’t you know that Mr. Yang has an ongoing class…”

“Isn’t it fine if I just replace him then?”


As the two men’s eyes met, sparks flew.

Noh Gun-Sang stepped between them and shouted, “That’s enough! Again, the two of you…!”

“There’s something I want to say to everyone here.” Baek Su-Ryong spun around and looked at the audience. His gaze swept over the students in the stands before finally settling on Dokgo Jun. “As I made my way here, I heard all sorts of stuff about the Azure Dragon Academy.”

“……” Dokgo Jun heart pounded. He felt like Baek Su-Ryong’s words were targeted at him.

“That it’s not what it used to be. That it’s in decline. That it should no longer be part of the Five Great Academies.”

“……” Each and every one of the students fell silent.

Looking at the students, Baek Su-Ryong clicked his tongue and said coldly, “How in the world are all of you quietly putting up with that bullshit?”


  1. Reverse Scale: A scale under a dragon’s chin that grows in reverse and causes the dragon to enter a fit of rage when touched. Also refers to triggering someone and pissing them off. 

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