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


I dubbed Elder Gong’s unique constitution “The Medicinal Body Constitution”.

Within him, a vast reservoir of impurities coexisted with an equal amount of medicinal qi. Over time, these two opposing forces had fused into an inseparable union. This intricate balance was disrupted when I employed the Heaven Defying Divine Art to extract impurities from his body, inadvertently causing me to absorb the medicinal qi as well.

For regular martial artists, this amalgam was nothing but poison, but as a practitioner of the Heaven Defying Divine Art, it was akin to receiving a divine elixir.

Why was I tutoring for money, you ask? It was all to procure the elixirs essential for refining my Heaven Defying Divine Art. However, it seemed the elixir had found its way to me on its own.

It seems that Elder Gong isn’t the only the only one who lucked out!

“Hoo…“I slowly opened my eyes and exhaled deeply, exhausted by the procedure. An unpleasant odor emanated from my mouth, a result of absorbing the impurities.

Elder Gong also regained consciousness and gazed up at the ceiling in a daze.

Shadow immediately rushed over. Meticulously inspecting every inch of Elder Gong’s body, she asked, “Old Man, are you all right?”

“…Hoho.”

“O-Old Man?”

“Hohohohoho!”

“He’s gone senile…! You! This is your fault!” Shadow shouted, sword in hand.

As she advanced towards me, a soft sigh came from behind her. “I’m fine, so stop making such a fuss. You’re embarrassing me again.”

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“O-Old man, are you really all right?”

“You would know it by looking at me,” Elder Gong said, pushing himself up from the bed. True to his word, his skin looked rosier than ever. “I feel amazingly refreshed. You really did it, hoho. You managed to draw out the impurities… But are you okay?”

“…What? Ah, I’m fine.” I replied hazily, not understanding why Elder Gong was asking such a question. I then looked at myself in the mirror nearby and…

Woah! I look as pale as a corpse! Is this because I haven’t digested half of what I absorbed yet… Eh?

Suddenly, my vision swam, and I realized that I was breathless. I hadn’t experienced something like this ever since learning the Heaven Defying Divine Art, so it took me by surprise. However, despite breaking out in a cold sweat, I felt exhilarated and grinned to myself.

I should quickly convert the remaining absorbed qi into my own qi in order to get rid of the symptoms.

I turned back to Elder Gong and Shadow, who were looking at me worriedly, and gave them a cursory explanation, since there was no way I could tell them about the Heaven Defying Divine Art, “This is a side effect of Elder Gong’s impurity purge. I’ll be fine soon… Also, I’ll have to repeat today’s cleansing process a few more times, but since the impure qi has merged with your medicinal qi, that will be removed as well. It’s not a bad thing for your overall health… but are you comfortable with it?”

“Of course I am, but… are you sure you’re okay?”

“Haha, don’t worry, I’m fine, I just need some rest… Huh?” Suddenly, I swayed to the side and lost my balance.

Shadow reached out and supported me, then peered at me with trembling eyes, asking, “A-Are you really alright?”

“I’m just a little dizzy,” I nodded, barely managing to steady myself. Sweat was beading on my forehead and I was feverish. Still, the thought of absorbing all that delicious qi I had just ingested brought a smile to my face.

“…Why are you smiling like that?”

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“What?”

“What you just did might kill you… No, it’s your choice and I won’t interfere.”

What is she talking about? I glared at her, and she averted her gaze.

After a moment of silence, she mumbled in a barely audible voice, “Thank…you.”

“Oh, you know how to say that. I thought you were going to go off on me again,” I said half-jokingly, but she hung her head as if overwhelmed with guilt.

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*Come on, you’re making this awkward… * Coughing, I turned my head to look at Elder Gong, but he was looking at me with an expression as complex as Shadow’s.

“You…”

“What?”

“You have a nosebleed.”

“Oh?” I dabbed at my nose with the back of my hand, revealing a thin line of blood. I chuckled awkwardly, blushing with embarrassment. “I didn’t even know I had a nosebleed.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

Just say it. What the hell? I was exhausted and my mind wasn’t as sharp as usual, so I couldn’t fathom their sudden solemnity. “Anyway, you two can rest now. We’ll start our lessons tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to take a nice bath and sleep,” I said.

“I see.”

“Okay…”

I turned and left the room, ignoring the grave expressions on their faces.

Eheheheheh… I’m looking forward to assimilating all those nutritious impurities and medicinal energy! If I can absorb all the turbid and medicinal qi accumulated in Elder Gong’s body… My mastery of the Heaven Defying Divine Art will be increase by leaps and bounds.

Suddenly, a thought struck me. Should I quit being an instructor and become a physician? The income would be pretty good.

For a fleeting moment, I seriously considered it.

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sep

After Baek Su-Ryong left the room, Gongson Su said incredulously, “I’m still in shock. If I hadn’t experienced it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it was possible. Not even the Divine Physician could do anything about my condition…”

Gongson Su hadn’t felt so invigorated in a long time.

Over a decade ago, he had collapsed from exhaustion in the wilderness and was found by the Divine Physician. Although the Divine Physician couldn’t cure him, he had prescribed a special medicine that relieved his symptoms.

“If you continue to live like this, you’ll only have five years left at the most. If you want to live a long life, you should retire from the front lines and recuperate.”

“Forget it, just give me some medicine.”

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At that time, the Divine Physician had advised him to retire, but Gongson Su had scoffed at the advice and instead chose to maintain his health by consuming an abundance of elixirs and medicinal herbs and revisiting the basic martial arts he had neglected since childhood.

It was only recently when the Emperor, in an act of genuine concern, ordered Gongson Su to return to his hometown to recuperate, that he looked back on his decisions.

I thought that I would die surrounded by the familiar sights and sounds of my childhood, but…

On a whim, he had applied for martial arts tutoring for the Azure Dragon Academy entrance exam. He never expected Baek Su-Ryong to take his request seriously, as even he thought it was just a fun way to waste time.

But… he said that it was possible. He even cleansed my body thoroughly, leaving me feeling refreshed and much younger. Perhaps… I can finally learn martial arts?

“Hoho… I’m not dreaming right now, am I?”

“Elder,” Shadow bowed before him.

Gongson Su looked at her. His mind was filled with burning questions, and right now, she was the only martial master he could comfortably talk to, so he asked, “Is it possible for any martial arts master to do what Mr. Baek did?”

“No, that is impossible,” Shadow shook her head vehemently. “What he did has nothing to do with martial arts prowess. Martial arts are based on absorbing qi from nature and expelling impurities, but he did the exact opposite by absorbing the impurities instead. It’s completely unheard of.”

“…Wasn’t there a martial art called the Cosmic Absorption Technique?”1

“The Cosmic Absorption Technique involves stealing an opponent’s qi and forcibly merging it with your own. However, over time, the foreign qi becomes unstable, causing one’s blood vessels to burst. For that reason, it is now considered a demonic art.”

“A demonic art?”

“Yes, and that’s why I doubt the technique Baek Su-Ryong used is related to it. He may be arrogant and thuggish, but he has no bloodlust and his eyes are clear. Those are not the traits of a demonic practitioner. Most importantly, even masters of the Cosmic Absorption Technique wouldn’t consider absorbing impurities. It’s suicidal.”

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“Poisons can be neutralized, but impurities must be gradually expelled over time. While there are special techniques that can help mitigate the side effects, it’s still lethal. Right now, Baek Su-Ryong is likely engrossed in deep meditation…” Shadow bit her lip grimly. “No, but even then… he might have lost a good chunk of his lifespan today.”

“What?!” Gongson Su’s eyes widened in astonishment. Baek Su-Ryong sacrificed part of his life for me? Why? Over a mere ten thousand silver?

While ten thousand silver was a considerable sum, far beyond the reach of most commoners, Baek Su-Ryong didn’t appear to be in dire need of money.

“This is a side effect of Elder Gong’s impurity purge. I’ll be fine soon…”

Gongson Su recalled Baek Su-Ryong’s demeanor as he wiped his nose and grinned smugly, his body drenched in sweat.

“Why on earth would he do that for me…”

“I think… he might have done it out of a sense of responsibility.”

“Sense of responsibility?” Gongson Su was perplexed. Why would the word “responsibility” come into play here?

Shadow calmly explained, “Mr. Baek pledged to get you admitted to the Azure Dragon Academy, but it was only afterward that he learned of your condition and understood that it would be challenging for you to even sit for the entrance exam.”

“So?”

“The only solution was to somehow restore your health, even if it… even if it meant sacrificing his own lifespan,” Shadow sighed deeply.

“You can’t mean…!”

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Shadow had spent her life following orders, even if it meant endangering her life. Her worldview was colored by this mindset… and Gongson Su shared a similar perspective.

Hence, he understood the meaning of her words instantly. “I’ve been misjudging him all this time…!” he exclaimed, feeling as he had been struck by a hammer.

“The same goes for me.”

Both of them had misjudged Baek Su-Ryong, one overestimating his abilities and the other his malevolence.

Shadow, in particular, felt terrible about herself. She had verbally threatened Baek Su-Ryong and even brandished her sword at him. I assumed that he was a swindler based on his casual demeanor, but…

When the realization dawned that Baek Su-Ryong had selflessly sacrificed part of his life to keep his promise (at least that’s how Shadow perceived it), she was overwhelmed by a deep sense of shame.

“Heh… I owe him a considerable debt…”

“Yes…”

Thus, their misunderstanding of Baek Su-Ryong deepened.

Undoubtedly, this misunderstanding worked in Baek Su-Ryong’s favor, thought he didn’t know it yet.


Footnotes:

  1. Cosmic Absorption Technique (吸星大法): A martial art from the classic wuxia novel, “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer”. It is the ultimate martial art of Ren Woxing, the former Cult Leader of the Sun Moon Demonic Cult. Using the technique, one can absorb qi from others, but the recoil from absorbing foreign qi will eventually result in exploding from the inside. FYI: Author-nim seems to really like this novel as Dokgo Jun’s Nine Swords of Dokgo also came from this work. 

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