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

On my way back from work, I stopped by the market street to pick up a few items that I had pre-ordered. Once I had everything, I headed back to the White Dragon Manor and gathered the students.

“What’s in the bags, Mr. Baek?” Gongson Su asked, eyeing my haul with interest.

Instead of answering, I threw one bag in front of each student.

They stared at me nervously, sensing that something was amiss.

“Students, you have two minutes to change into your new martial arts gear and report back here,” I said, putting some steel in my tone.


“The fuck is this all of a sudden?”

“Would you mind explaining…”

I ignored the barrage of questions, instead pulling out a red headband and securing it around my forehead. Emblazoned in the center were the words “Success or Death (必死)”.

This reminds me of the good old days.

Back in the Blood Cult, this red headband was my trademark.

“If I win… you’ll clean my room every morning and night.”

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Determined to smash Namgoong Su’s stuck up nose, I’d ordered a new red headband.

“I said two minutes, folks. Looks like you all have time to spare.” A smirk danced on my lips as I surveyed the clueless little lambs. “…Do I look like I’m joking?”

“Go! Move it!” Gongson Su, always the quickest on the uptake, darted off to his room with his bag in tow.

Hyonwon Kang and Wiji Cheon followed suit, vanishing into their rooms.

I hollered at the slowpokes, “Anyone who shows up late can kiss dinner goodbye tonight.”


“You scoundrel!”


Like mice with their tails on fire, they sprinted to their rooms.

I leaned back, arms crossed, and watched the chaos unfold with lazy amusement.

“One month…”

For one month, I was going to return to being a demon instructor.


“Student Hyonwon Kang. Is that all you can do?”

“I can still… keep going…” Hyonwon Kang wheezed from underneath my butt.

For the past hour, I’d been sitting on Hyonwon Kang’s back, riding him across the training yard while pointing out his every flaw.

“Martial artists have drawn inspiration from animal movements since time immemorial. Tigers, monkeys, wolves, snakes, dogs, and even birds.”

“Ugh…” Hyonwon Kang let out a groan as if he was about to drop dead.

Not surprising, considering I was using inner arts to gradually increase my weight as he crawled.

“Hyonwon Kang. Are you going to do this properly or not?”

“Am I not doing it already… OWW!”

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Hyonwon Kang yelped as I smacked him with my sword’s hilt. His limbs twitched, and sweat streamed down his body.

“How many times do I have to say it? Picture yourself as a tiger and move like a tiger. If you can’t do that, then pretend to be a monkey, a snake, an eagle, or a fish in the water.”

“If only you weren’t on my back…!”

“I never said you couldn’t try to shake me off.”

“AAAHHH!” Hyonwon Kang screamed, thrashing violently, but unfortunately for him, I managed to keep my balance.

This training method is turning out to be a better idea than I expected. I also get to work on my balance, killing two birds with one stone.


“Hyonwon Kang. Did you just curse your teacher? Do you have a character defect?”

“No!” Hyonwon Kang screamed, frustrated.

In response, I increased my weight even further.

After a while, Hyonwon Kang crumpled to the ground.

“Haa… I… can’t… go on…”

“That’s apparent.” I dismounted and kneaded his muscles with my sword’s hilt to ease the tension. Man, I’m such a generous teacher! Who else gives their students a post-workout massage?

Judging by Hyonwon Kang’s glare though, he didn’t share my sentiment.

I squatted down in front of him. “I’ve said it time and again. Ancient martial artists devised techniques mimicking animal movements, then tweaked them for human use.”

“Haah… Ugh… I’ve got a question.”


“Why do I have to mimic animal movements on all fours? Why not just learn the human-adapted versions?”

Though he looked drained, Hyonwon Kang’s eyes sparkled with curiosity. Oh? He’s not shunning the exercises, he’s genuinely intrigued.

“That’s because as techniques get passed down through subsequent generations, people weed out the tough and painful movements, leaving the easy stuff,” I explained, massaging his muscles as I spoke.

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“Hmm…” Hyonwon Kang seemed to grasp the concept.

That’d do for now.

“Some claim it’s progress, but I beg to differ. Comfortable and easy to learn isn’t bad, but it dilutes the martial arts’ essence.”

“Oh, I see… YOWCH!”

I bonked him on the head. “Don’t pretend to understand what you don’t. Even if you don’t gain any inspiration from it, crawling strengthens muscles you don’t typically use, tones your whole body, and amps up your martial arts prowess. It’ll serve you well in what you’ll learn next.”


I wasn’t lying, the Eighteen Strikes of the Viridian Forest that I would soon teach him was inspired by the movements of the animals I mentioned earlier. Of course, I only planned to teach him the basics of this martial art and toughen his body to the point where he could safely learn Master Crazy Demon’s Asura Blood Heaven Blade.

“Quit complaining and train hard. This is all so that you can master the Asura Blood Heaven Blade.”

“…Yes, Teacher.” Hyonwon Kang nodded resolutely.

Though not quite Wiji Cheon’s caliber, Hyonwon Kang possessed a keen martial arts intuition. He should grasp my intent.

This punk has zero connection to the entrance exam bet, but I refuse to skimp on his training. No, should I say, the reason I made a bet with Namgoong Su was for his sake?

“Hyonwon Kang is a failure. Do you really think you can win the Heavenly Martial Festival with a guy like that?”

“He is indeed talented, but he’s lazy and weak-willed by nature.”

Recalling that jerk ignited my anger once more.


“Ouch! What was that for?”

“Just remembered something that ticked me off.”

“Am I your punching bag…?”

“Hyonwon Kang!” I snapped, pulling the startled boy’s face close to mine.

He flinched under my gaze.

“Namgoong Su called you a failure. He said you’re lazy, weak-willed, and untalented. He said that even if you tried hard all your life, you would never be able to catch up to Peng Sa-Hyuk.”

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…Okay, I made up the last bit, but it’s not like Hyonwon Kang would ever know unless he checked with Namgoong Su.

“That bastard…!”

“Are you going to take that lying down?”

“Absolutely not!” The veins on Hyonwon Kang’s forehead bulged as he clenched his teeth tightly.

I slung an arm around him, whispering, “Good. Prove him wrong in your midterms, alright?”


“From now on, say ‘Yes’, not ‘Yeah’. You need to learn to speak properly.”

“YES!” Hyonwon Kang bellowed.

I grinned, giving his cheek a pat before stepping back. “That’s it for today’s guidance. Train by yourself till the end of the session.”

Leaving Hyonwon Kang grunting and staggering to his feet, I walked over to Wiji Cheon, who was meditating nearby.

“Student Wiji Cheon, are you recovering well?”

Wiji Cheon slowly emerged from meditation, his eyes flickering open. He bowed his head timidly, voice trembling as he replied, “Uhm… I’m not sure…”

“You too must learn to speak properly. Don’t mumble. Answer clearly and with confidence!”

“I-I’m sorry!” Wiji Cheon squeaked, his forehead glistening with sweat.

I observed him closely. Wait, he’s not sweating from fear or nervousness.

“Hold out your hand, let me examine you,” I requested, reaching out to feel his pulse and assess his physical state with my qi.

On the surface, he seems fine… but the effects of the qi deviation are lasting longer than expected. Although his qi centers and meridians have healed, he is still struggling with inner arts. Could the problem be psychological?

While suffering from qi deviation, Wiji Cheon had transformed into a bloodthirsty sword demon. He claimed to have no memory of that time, but traces of it must remain in his subconscious.

“What symptoms do you experience during inner arts training?”

“Cold sweats, trembling, heart palpitations, dizziness…”

Just as I thought. Subconscious memories of martial arts-fueled violence are triggering his fear of using qi.

“I’m sorry…” Wiji Cheon murmured in a mosquito-like voice, head bowed deeply.

I gently stroked his head. “No apologies needed. I’m sure you’ve given your all.”


Unlike Hyonwon Kang, who is more savage beast than civilized boy, Wiji Cheon’s a delicate and tender-hearted genius. If I push him too hard, he might break and fall back into qi deviation. I’m quite sure he can pass the Azure Dragon Academy entrance exam as he is right now, but he won’t be able to crush that mini Namgoong Su.

As a scion of the Namgoong Clan, that brat Namgoong Seok’s been trained well since childhood, and if Namgoong Su is confident that he’ll be this year’s valedictorian, he’s probably right…except for the fact that he remains unaware of Wiji Cheon’s existence.

Therefore, I need to fix Wiji Cheon’s mental issues and restore his inner arts as soon as possible.

“Student Wiji Cheon, I trust in your talent and dedication. Let’s find a way to overcome these hurdles together.”


My faith seemed to move him almost to tears.

What? Just because I’m a demon instructor doesn’t always mean I’m only going to torture the kids!

I offered Wiji Cheon a compassionate smile and patted his head. “No need to feel pressured.”

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“Should you fail to recover, worst case, I will be humiliated by Namgoong Su and fired from the Azure Dragon Academy.”


“Without a job, I’ll fall into debt, the White Dragon Manor will have to be sold for a pittance, and I might die hounded by debt collectors…”

“T-Teacher?” Wiji Cheon paled.

Nope, I’m not coercing him. I’m just encouraging him kindly, to make sure he would do his very best.

“So, no pressure, just do your best,” I assured.

Through gritted teeth, Wiji Cheon vowed, “I’ll do my best!”

“I believe you.”

Having strengthened Wiji Cheon’s resolve, I turned toward the real challenge of the day. Man, I’m the one who’s nervous now.

I took a deep breath, then asked, “…Student Gongson Su, how are you feeling?”

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