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

“…And with that, let’s give a warm welcome to our new instructors,” Noh Gun-Sang concluded his lengthy welcome ceremony speech.

The audience erupted in applause as the ten new instructors, including myself, took the stage, the sound of clapping hands echoing throughout the auditorium filled with hundreds of students and existing instructors.

Jaegal So-Yeong, the valedictorian, stepped forward. With a polite bow, she thanked everyone, and we all followed suit, expressing our gratitude.

Noh Gun-Sang smiled. It must have been heartening for him to see that we, the new instructors, felt a sense of pride for becoming a part of the Azure Dragon Academy.

“Now, just one more thing… a piece of advice…” Noh Gun-Sang continued speaking, but my attention was slipping away.

I suppressed a yawn and muttered, “What’s taking so long? Isn’t this all just a formality?”

My annoyance must have shown on my face because Ak Yeon-Ho poked me in the side and whispered, “Hyung-nim, control your expression. The students are watching.”

I rolled my eyes and let out a huge yawn. “I’m constantly being stared at anyway. Why bother?”

Suddenly, I saw Namgoong Su, who was standing in front of me, raise an eyebrow in irritation.

…Oh, I finally found something fun to do: Piss off Namgoong Su. Yay! Entertain me some more! welcomes you.

Myeong Il-Oh chimed in, “Hang in there, Hyung-nim. Compared to the other academies, the Azure Dragon Academy already keeps the welcome ceremony short.”

I looked at Myeong Il-Oh, who was all dressed up with nicely oiled hair, and shook my head gloomily. “Sigh, typical orthodox faction. They love their ceremonies,” I grumbled.

“Why are you talking like you’re not part of the orthodox?” Myeong Il-Oh teased.

“What are you implying!? Of course, I’m from the orthodox! Born and bred in it,” I replied with a smirk. Well, I was a member of the Blood Cult in my previous life, but that didn’t count.

As we chatted away, the ceremony finally wrapped up, and the students were dismissed. Ten of the senior instructors then approached us. Due to the sheer size and disorganized construction of the Azure Dragon Academy campus, losing one’s way was a real risk if one didn’t have a clue where they were headed. Because of that, it was customary for senior instructors to team up with the newcomers during the first month to help them settle into the academy.

“Ms. Jaegal So-Yeong,” Namgoong Su said with his usual cold expression.

“Yes?” Jaegal So-Yeong stood up straight and attentive.

“You’ll be working with me from now on. Pack your things and follow me.”

“Sure thing! I got it!” Jaegal So-Yeong replied eagerly as she picked up the large book she had placed to the side and hugged it tightly.

Oof, she’s in for some hard work, I thought, and from the sympathetic expression on the other new instructors’ faces, it seemed like they shared my sentiment.

After Jaegal So-Yeong, the next one called up was Ak Yeon-Ho, who had surprisingly ranked second in the exam.

“Mr. Ak Yeon-Ho.”


“You will be joining me,” a middle-aged man with a soldier-like appearance and a square jaw said. It was clear that he was one of the top instructors after Namgoong Su.

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“Mr. Jin Eui-Hyeop?”


“Ms. Seol Su-Yeon.”


“Mr. Myeong Il-Oh!”

“Me! Me!”

I’d heard that the senior instructors were typically chosen based on matching specialties, but it seems like that’s just bullshit. They’re picking based on grades.

Finally, only I, Kwak Du-Yong and two instructors were left. My palms broke out in sweat, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was really happening.

“It can’t be…” I murmured, my heart pounding as I gulped and exchanged an uneasy look with Kwak Du-Yong. What were the chances of such a thing happening randomly? Zero. It was obvious that this academy was putting us through a nerve-wracking ordeal on purpose.

“Mr. Kwak Du-Yong,” Vice Principal Kwak Cheol-Woo said.

“Y-Yes, sir?” Kwak Du-Yong stammered in reply.

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Kwak Cheol-Woo’s looked at his nephew with a complicated expression, hesitated for a moment, then said, “You’ll be coming with me.”

Kwak Du-Yong left with a dejected look, and I was left alone, dreading what was about to happen. There was only one senior instructor left.

“No…” I muttered under my breath, my expression sour.

Yes, the last instructor was none other than my maternal grandfather Mae Geuk-Lyom, the Headmaster of the Azure Dragon Academy.

Mae Geuk-Lyom raised an eyebrow. “Is there a problem?”

“Uh, no, not at all. I’m just so thrilled that I can’t control my facial expressions, haha…” I replied with a nervous laugh.

Mae Geuk-Lyom clicked his tongue and broke into a brisk walk, while I followed close behind him.

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Looks like I’ve been assigned to work with the Headmaster for the next month. Damn it, I’d rather have gone with Namgoong Su!


“Starting today, you are a member of the Discipline Committee.”


“All instructors should know their way around the academy, but members of the Discipline Committee should be especially familiar with every nook and cranny. Do you know why?”

“So we don’t get lost on our way to class?” I hazarded a guess.

Mae Geuk-Lyom sighed disappointedly and shot me a cold, piercing look, like a predator assessing its prey. “That’s obvious. The real reason we need to be aware of every dark corner and hiding spot is because there are students who smoke, drink, and/or engage in improper relationships in those places.”

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My jaw dropped. “Isn’t that unrelated to teaching?”

Is he a disciplinary enforcer or a teacher!?

Mae Geuk-Lyom straightened his posture and looked straight at me. “Teaching martial arts is not the only duty of an instructor. Ensuring that your students stay on the right path and redirecting them if they stray away is equally important. Tell me, why did you choose to come to Azure Dragon Academy?”

“To become a Star Instructor,” I replied.


“…Because I want to be a good teacher.”

Mae Geuk-Lyom nodded in approval. “It is my belief that a good teacher guides their students on the right path and corrects them when they go astray.”

Wow, those words hit differently when they came from someone who has spent decades teaching.

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“That’s why I specifically requested that you be assigned to the Discipline Committee.”

“…What?” I was taken aback.

Mae Geuk-Lyom sighed and gave me a stern look. “Don’t argue and follow me. It will be faster if I show you.”

And so, I spent my entire day being led around by Mae Geuk-Lyom and forced to memorize not only the layout of the Azure Dragon Academy, but also every little nook and cranny of it.

“This is the Movement Arts Training Center, where we’ve built various mock environments for movement arts practice. See that trap hidden over there?”

“Yes,” I replied obediently.

“People often hide in traps like that to smoke. Keep your eyes peeled for them.”


“This is the Student Council building. Don’t let your guard down just because it’s the Student Council. They’ve abused their positions to sneak alcohol into the academy before.”


“This is the Club Union building. It’s a hotspot for illicit activities, and most secret rendezvous happen here. If you catch anyone in the act…”


“You should administer physical punishment on the spot.”


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“That’s the Seclusion Training Wing. It’s usually used by senior students for meditation or seclusion training. Occasionally, some students will attempt to sneak drugs or alcohol inside. If they’re caught, their punishment is doubling their time in isolation.”


This man is absolutely ruthless! Completely merciless! Utterly heartless!

By the time we completed our tour of the Academy, it was already dusk.

“It’s dinner time.”

We headed to the cafeteria and sat right smack in the middle. No one dared to approach us, and even the other instructors kept their distance.

“Any questions about what we went through today?” Mae Geuk-Lyom asked, maintaining his stern posture and piercing gaze even at the dinner table.

I knew he wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I thought for a moment before responding, “I need some time to digest it all, but I’ll ask you when I think of something.”

“Make sure you remember to do so.”

As we ate, I reflected on the day’s events. After spending the entire day together, I felt like I had gotten to know Mae Geuk-Lyom a little better. Despite his icy exterior, which gave the impression that you could stab him and he wouldn’t spill a drop of blood, the old man turned out to be quite thorough and kind in giving me a tour of the academy and explaining things.

He never held back, even when it came to the more illicit aspects of the academy, like where the troublemakers usually hid to smoke and drink, their tricks to outsmart the instructors, and what sort of punishments were meted out for different misdeeds.

Despite his perpetually stern demeanor, it seems like Mae Geuk-Lyom’s tough exterior is just a façade he puts on as the Headmaster. I wonder if there’s a warm-hearted person hiding beneath it?

“You care a lot about the Azure Dragon Academy, don’t you, Grandpa?” I remarked.

“Quit talking nonsense and eat,” Mae Geuk-Lyom replied curtly.

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Well, maybe I was wrong.

We continued to eat in silence, but then Mae Geuk-Lyom suddenly asked, “Why did you mention winning the Heavenly Martial Festival during the exam? Did you think it would give you an advantage?”

I casually played with my chopsticks as I replied, “No, I thought it might actually put me at a disadvantage.”

He raised an eyebrow, intrigued. “So why did you do it?”

I picked at my bean side dish. The cafeteria food tasted like shit. I thought about it for a moment, then answered in a nonchalant manner, “Because it’s not something I can achieve alone, and I want to give the students and instructors time to prepare.”



Wondering why there was no immediate response, I looked up at Mae Geuk-Lyom, only to find that he was wearing an inexplicable expression.

Is that… a smile? He probably hasn’t smiled in decades.

“The way you like to do reckless things is so similar…”

I chuckled. “To my mother?”

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“No, to that son of a bitch you call your father.”


Mae Geuk-Lyom’s face, which had briefly resembled a smile, hardened again as he glared at me. I tightened my grip on my chopsticks nervously, ready to defend myself if side dishes were hurled at me like projectile weapons.

Fuck you, Dad! Why did I have to inherit your face, damn it!

Not to be rude, but anyone would curse their own father in such a situation. Mae Geuk-Lyom had evidently not forgiven him for eloping with my mom.

After what seemed like forever, Mae Geuk-Lyom let out a heavy sigh and said, “You know, that fucking bastard… I mean your father. Thirty years ago, he was the one who led the Azure Dragon Academy to its best ever showing at the Heavenly Martial Festival.”


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Chapter 51: Exam Results
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Chapter 53: The First Day of Work (2)