Chapter 102 - First Qualifier (1)
When I returned to the dorm, there was an unexpected guest.
My younger sister, So Yong-yong.
I hadn’t been able to see her due to our conflicting schedules, so she had decided to come here.
It would be difficult once the tournament started in earnest too.
Yong-yong coughed and shifted her gaze from me to Sima Young.
It seems like she hadn’t realized that Sima Young was a woman.
She couldn’t hide her feelings for her.
-What can you say Sima Young also sticks to you like that
Sima Young was also secretly trying to get close to me.
But wasn’t this different
They’re both women.
-Then tell her.
Or pull off the mask.
That would make things complicated.
I also wanted to speak the truth, but it was too early.
I also needed to protect Yong-yong first if I decided to tell her the truth about what I’d been through.
It’s better for her to not know about anything until then.
I am glad that she has had Mount Hyeong supporting her until now.
“We’re meeting after a long time.
Would you like to have lunch”
“Ah… we already had plans to have lunch with people of other sects.
I just came to meet with my brother.”
On the other hand, at least Yong-yong was out there socializing.
She had led people well before, and now she handles it for her sect.
Well, she was always a better child than I was.
“Are you teasing me”
“Teasing My sister is doing well, so why won’t I like it”
“You are funny.”
The funny one was here, and Cho Sung-won also looked happy.
Anyone who saw this would have thought he was our parent.
Sima Young, however, had a bit of a faint look on her face.
Was she thinking of her family
-Are the Four Great Evils kind to their daughters
Even the wildest beasts still like their children, right Maybe she was his only daughter
“You talk as if you know about the Dragon and Phoenix Union, but do you know what they talk about”
“They talk about you, brother.
The disciple of the disappeared South Heavenly Swordsman!”
The rumors were spreading quickly.
It had been intentional to some extent, but it seemed like it had become an open discussion.
If it was being talked about like this, then the whole of Murim would have already heard of it.
“Brother is being called as part of the Three New Stars.”
“Three New Stars”
Three New Stars
It was a name I had heard occasionally in the past.
If my memory was correct, the name referred to those who were favorites to win the tournament.
Then it would include Moyong Soo and Seo Ilju.
“They think it’s Jin Gyun’s grandson, you, and the North Brave Blade Star’s disciple.”
-What There’s not much mention of the Eight Great Warriors.
Baek Hyang-muk’s successor had to be among the favorites.
His identity wouldn’t be revealed until much later, near the end of the tournament.
Until that moment, the Alliance had kept him hidden.
‘To maximize the effect.’
Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if he was shown off first and then failed to win That’s why they had hidden him thoroughly throughout the tournament.
They then displayed like a genius who was born once every hundred years after he defeated all the contestants within ten seconds and was nicknamed invincible.
This happened in the past, and I didn’t even participate in it.
Now, however, it was difficult to predict how the tournament would go.
“I actually wanted to invite brother to this.”
Yong-yong must want to show off her presence to the vice commander.]
Sima Young told me silently.
However, I was sure that my sister was aiming for her instead.
Yong-yong then continued.
“But I think it would be better not to.”
She doesn’t want us there
“There are some annoying men with masks.”
“People from the Hunan side are spreading rumors about brother using any means possible.
That’s probably why Moyong Soo, Pang Woojin, and the others are busy trying to take brother down.”
“Did you say Moyong Soo”
“You know him”
Know him He stabbed me through the stomach with a sword! How could I forget him
I was waiting for the day to pay him back.
He was the guy who had shown clear excitement when he cut me down.
“Who will cut whom”
Sima Young turned her eyes and asked Yong-yong.
It felt as if she was going to run over right now and take care of them.
And Yong-yong smiled.
“It is fine.
It was in front of me, so I slapped Pang Woojin in the cheek in front of everyone.”
Did she actually do that
-Your sister is cool.
[Vice commander, your sister is amazing.]
Both Sima Young and Short Sword said the same thing.
Yes, I agree that she’s cool, but I was worried that she might get hated for doing this.
“Umm… thank you, but is that fine”
“It is fine.
They are annoying idiots who stick to me.”
“What do you mean”
“That idiot got his first slap from a girl, so he is now clinging to me.
I would have slapped him again if there weren’t so many people around.”
Did she say he was sticking around after a slap
-You need to protect her.
I had to agree with that.
I knew that idiot Pang Woojin was an unusual guy from the moment I met him.
He’s so similar to Song Jwa-baek.
Anyways, I knew that weird people would stay around even when one grew.
I came to tell brother about this.”
“The Murim Alliance had a meeting in the morning, and the process of the 2nd qualifying round was changed.”
“2nd qualifying round How do you… ah.”
Mount Hyeong held a good position with the Alliance.
The information would inevitably make it to Yong-tong if there was a meeting.
But what did she mean by a change in the qualifiers
“Originally, there were 2nd and 3rd rounds to qualify.
But they said they reduced it to just one.
This was to give more chances for people.”
“How will they do that”
“That is absurd.”
“Have they lost it”
“Everyone will be competing in a single wide podium.”
Were they saying they would throw everyone in like bugs to kill each other
I wonder if this was being done to reduce the time or to increase the chances of people pushing ahead.
“The method is unique.”
“In what way”
“In order of the results of the 1st qualifier, the most outstanding and unique competitors would go up first and compete.”
“The fight will happen one after another.”
No, what the hell is this
Do they want the victor to continue fighting over and over
“Isn’t this too much But it is for fairness in the qualifier.
Since there are more than 4000 people, they deduced that the small and medium sects would be too weak to progress much into the tournament.
And if they do this, the actually skilled warriors will be put at a disadvantage.”
This method would be bad for every one skilled.
She was saying that the best fighters might end up going out first and failing due to a constant stream of opponents.
“What if they group up”
“They are making a rule that says it will be forbidden to work with more than three people against those considered as skilled warriors.”
It was a rule made to prevent people from ganging up on one fighter.
Even so, it still doesn’t look that good.
The strong fighters would struggle and continue standing as they had a face to uphold.
-This is odd.
-It’s definitely disadvantageous to certain groups, but it seems like this is a chance given to the medium and small sects.
Iron sword thought this wasn’t a bad idea.
-Isn’t there a clear difference It limits the chances of the strong while the weak get theirs.
However, it is also proof of a strong fighter when they are flexible enough to overcome such adversity.
If you put it that way, it made sense.
If they managed to pass, then the spotlight a single person would get would be exceptional.
But doing that would be a huge ask.
It was also difficult to say that this format was unfair since the rule only applied to the strong.
If you take this method, you will have no choice but to showcase all your skills.
Iron Sword’s words gave me a flash of clarity.
I think I know who devised this plan.
“Do you know who came up with this”
“Commander Zhuge suggested it, and everyone agreed.”
As I thought.
That man was always up to something like this.
I now understood the meaning behind such a qualifier system.
It was to ensure that all skills were shown in the open and that every sect’s roots were revealed.
He really has a great mind.
Once that happened, then it would be easier to identify the spies.
In addition, it was also possible to increase the chances for small and medium sects to appease the public.
With a head like that, no wonder that man was a commander.
Early the following day.
The tournament began.
Starting with Baek Hyang-muk, other people spoke in turn as part of the opening ceremony.
Of course, the biggest concern was the number of warriors participating.
Rounds 1 to 3 would take place over ten days.
A large performance hall had been made just for this.
The crowd watching it was also large.
It felt like tens of thousands had gathered to witness this tournament.
I almost fainted when I first stepped inside due to the number of sword voices assailing my head.
I thought I would get used to it, but it was a new sensation every time.
It was probably because everyone here was a warrior with their preferred swords.
The four thousand people and their swords here felt very real.
The hall was filled with men and women.
Those who qualified from here would only be a fraction of this number.
“Cheer up, sahyung!”
Sima Young and Cho Sung-won cheered me on before the qualifiers and were now on the benches.
Now was the start of the mission to successfully get the sword.
I felt tense as such things didn’t happen in my past life.
I was being given a chance to aim for a victory in a tournament I would have never dreamed of being able to participate in.
Wonhwi, I have wanted to ask.
Why are they not calling this a spar
Short Sword asked as she continued to listen.
‘What do you think is the most famous form of a warrior’s duel’
Iron Sword replied before I said it.
-Mount Hua’s Sword on Top.
The largest form of a warrior’s spar.
Hundreds of years ago, it didn’t involve this much politics.
It had only involved warriors of Mount Hua who had fought to see who was on top.
-Sword on Top Which sword is the best
‘It is, but the sword was not just a weapon in the past.’
It was a time when the sword was the king of all weapons and symbolized martial arts.
At a time when the sword was everything, they named their fights the Sword on Top.
When they used the name now, it no longer referred to how effective their swords were but how skilled their martial arts were.
‘This is a format unique to the Forces of Justice.’
So they held the Sword Martial Arts on Top to showcase their skills.
I then heard a voice.
It was from Song Jwa-baek.
I looked around to find him not far from me.
[Do not be too nervous about this; do your best.]
He was saying such nice things.
His skills had improved, yet he was worried someone better than him would lose Well, I was more scared of him overdoing it and getting caught up with Baek Hye-hyang’s troops.
[Don’t be cheeky and do well.
This is a mission.]
It is starting.]
He turned his head at my words.
The person conducting this round walked up to the large podium.
He was an old man with white hair and an indigo uniform.
The Second Elder of the Murim Alliance, the Plum Blossom White Sword, Elder Hoyang.
A swordsman who was said to have cut down a hundred plum petals with a single slash.
With the exception of the Eight Great Warriors, he stood at the pinnacle of martial arts.
Elder Hoyang then said.
“From now, we will start the qualifier round, Martial Arts on Top!”
His voice resounded through the arena as he amplified his voice using qi to reach the whole place.
In response, everyone who came here to watch cheered loudly.
Elder Hoyang’s opening words were enough to cause anxiety and excitement simultaneously.
The first qualifier was easy.
This was something that I had experienced in the past.
We just needed to leave subtle traces around the arena.
“Based on the traces left behind in the fight, different grades will be given, and those who pass will qualify for the second round.
So do not fail, and I hope you don’t hide or preserve your skills.”
His words implied that if you were controlling yourself, then you’d likely fail.
How many people would pass
“This is a preliminary round with a total of 500 players moving on to the next round.
I hope that everyone does their best and gets their best results.
We start now.”
Wasn’t that too many people getting dropped If one was conscious of the 2nd qualifier and took this round easily, then they would never be able to qualify.
There were around 4000 skilled warriors here.
The place I was standing in was marked as zone B, and around 200 people were lined up in two lines.
As it progressed through the two lines, we were close enough to almost touch the line next to us.
Coincidentally, Hwangbo Dong-hyun of the Hwangbo family was next to me.
I pretended to not care as he spoke first.
The trash of Yulang County.
You were lucky to become the disciple of the South Heavenly Swordsman, huh”
What was with this guy I had no intention of talking at first.
“Isn’t it embarrassing to be treated so highly just because you are the disciple of a skilled person”
He was deliberately trying to drag this out.
The Hwangbo clan was similar to the Hubei Peng, people with war-like attitudes that only cared about fighting by provoking other people.
“Why aren’t you answering You can insult your own friends in the inn, but you cannot speak in front of the great Hwangbo clan”
Did those guys tell him
I couldn’t understand why he would even talk to me, but now I knew.
He grunted as I decided to not answer him.
The focus then turned to us as I turned to him with cold eyes when he said.
“So Would you like to make a bet”
Do you see that stone over there How about getting down on our knees and granting the request of the person who leaves the most marks”
Was this his purpose
He wanted to provoke me to make me do something The other people were watching us, so he probably thought I couldn’t deny it.
“Why Not confident”
I chuckled as I looked at him and said.
“How can I make a bet against the Great Hwangbo family Please stop saying such things.”
He snorted, and my eyes widened as he shouted while pulling out his sword.
“Fucking coward! Let us fight right here!”
As this guy wielded his sword, the people around him panicked and grabbed him as his eyes returned to normal.
He looked as if he didn’t understand what was happening as a shout came through the crowd.
“What is all this”
Hwangbo Dong-hyun, who was still holding his sword, was shocked.
“I-I didn’t mean for…”
He had taken his sword out but didn’t know why.
The people around him then said.
“Hwangbo hyung was provoking So hyung and attacked him.”
“Even though So hyung politely said no, he was ready to attack…”
Hwangbo Dong-hyun was shocked at this.
The decision was then made.
“Hwangbo Dong-hyun is disqualified!”
He looked confused at this as I put on the expression of a victim.
“Wait for what! You leave right now!”
The end result was that he was dragged out.
Short sword clicked her tongue.
Why am I supposed to deal with ** People should learn to act nice.