Chapter 103 - First Qualifier (2)
I looked troubled as I stood in line.
How would this help the mission
As Yong-yong said, the second round was where the actual results would emerge.
At first glance, this was a place where the more you did, the more you would lose.
But it wasn’t without its own loopholes.
We could also do some tricks.
-Leave an appropriate mark.
Just to be the center of things.
Just as Short Sword said.
All we needed to do was add a few traces to ensure I was not ranked too high.
If I could do that, I could avoid the unfortunate possibility of ending up first to take the stage in the second round.
And being perceived as the weaker side would help with the mission.
-Wonhwi, I have a different opinion.
-Everyone thinks of you as the disciple of South Heavenly Swordsman.
-If you intentionally hide your power, you will be misunderstood.
It is better to show strength worthy of your fame, even if it ends up being tougher.
-Sigh, so messed up.
Short Sword mumbled a minor complaint at this complicated situation.
Actually, what Iron Sword said was right.
The other spies would benefit from hiding their level, but I am not in a position to do that.
Besides, everyone’s skills would be displayed in the second round anyway.
Considering that, I cannot act too strategically to hide my own skills.
‘It will be shown to some extent.’
At least some of it.
I will show off something around a first-rate warrior’s capabilities to look similar to the others.
At that moment, I heard the murmur of the crowd.
Hearing it from behind me, I turned to look at the top of the podium.
There was a flat square that had been cut in a unique shape.
It was no simple slash, but the sword had cleanly cut down the stone.
The person who did such a feat was none other than Jin Young, grandson of Jin Gyun, the Flame Emperor Great Blade.
As he did not need to hide his skills, he created a spectacle for everyone to see.
He then raised the blade in his hand.
Everyone could hear the crowd shout in fascination at his shocking skills.
But there was also a commotion on the other side.
The qi measuring stone there had a hole in the middle of it.
‘Who is it’
His face was unfamiliar.
Every participant looked with interest at this unfamiliar person.
-Do you know him
But somehow, I felt they would likely be someone from Baek Hye-hyang’s side.
I knew the faces of all the powerful people, after all.
And there was a chance it was someone from her side due to how much attention was being drawn in.
-Why Shouldn’t they also be holding their skills
That was my opinion as well.
If he showed his all here, he would be disadvantaged in the second round.
Did that mean he wanted to take this seriously
Well, I need to remember that face.
-Uh Wonhwi He is there
Song Jwa-baek had stepped up to the podium with a grim expression.
It would be better if he didn’t get swayed by the performance of those around him and did just enough to qualify.
Shouts erupted from Song Jwa-baek’s area.
His right fist pierced through the stone that hadn’t been cracked yet.
He displayed a level of power that was much better than in the past.
‘He is hitting the goal.’
Feeling elated, he raised his hand to the crowd.
He loved this.
He wouldn’t be dropped out after this and would likely end up on the skilled warriors’ list.
He would inevitably qualify now, but Song Jwa-baek was looking around instead.
He turned to the other side that had erupted in cheers earlier and made eye contact with a certain man.
‘The man from Baek Hye-hyang’s side’
Unlike the other side, our identity wasn’t exposed yet.
So maybe he was trying to provoke him
‘Why would he stare’
I was concerned.
Unlike me, he had no training to be a spy, so it was impossible for him to skillfully control his emotions.
I need to warn that idiot once we’re done with the qualifiers.
-Your turn isn’t too far now.
As Short Sword said, there were only three people ahead of me.
Then a familiar face came on the stage.
-Who is it
‘… Lee Jung-gyeom!’
-He looks weak
I had to agree with her this time.
It was my first time seeing him in this life.
He looked younger, but his eyes looked like he had just woken up from this far away.
It was as if he was unmotivated.
Even so, he was a genius who came once every hundred years.
He was also the biggest milestone for everyone in this mission.
So what was his level
Lee Jung-gyeom stood in front of the stone.
No one paid attention to him as he slowly drew his sword.
After that, he casually made a single slash before putting the sword back in his sheath.
The stone was split in half as the top half fell back.
Those who witnessed it had their eyes grow wide.
The cheers soon followed.
… as expected, he was a monster.
Perhaps everyone who recognized this also knew it
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call him at least a peak-level warrior.
He had slashed that large stone without the slightest effort.
‘… surely he has crossed the master level.’
Lee Jung-gyeom was a disciple of one of the Eight Great Warriors.
A man who was known to be a peak-level warrior.
Someone who had already gone beyond the level of the participants here.
-Isn’t he already going to the second round
He looked unmotivated for a person with exceptional strength such as him.
He would probably only be excited to display what people his age could not.
‘It will be tough.’
In order to win all this, I would inevitably have to face him.
It would also be a situation where I would need to show off my true skills.
Lee Jung-gyeom yawned as if this whole thing was a bother as he went down the podium.
He didn’t even care about the cheers from the audience.
-Now it is your turn.
When I turned forward, the person in front of me had reached the podium.
This guy seemed to be a first-rate warrior.
As expected, he only managed to leave a few scratches and came down with a sad expression.
This tournament itself was already quite different from my past life.
“No 84 So Wonhwi.”
As my name was called, I slowly climbed up.
I could hear whispers around that were talking about me.
-This is quite a difficult situation.
As I climbed up, I spotted a man from the side where Lee Jung-gyeom had left from.
It was a face I knew, Moyong Soo.
One of the two faces I saw before dying.
I could feel the anger inside me begin to rise up.
He wore the facade of a hero while hiding his arrogance in the dark.
He had a hidden side that didn’t hesitate to kill people for his greed.
He was also staring at me.
People were showing clear interest in him.
He even bowed to the audience before he started.
-He is pleasant to look at.
That was also why I got fooled.
Fortunately, he was still young.
I could tell by his gleaming eyes that he was enjoying this.
He looked at me and pointed to the stone as he winked.
-I think he wants to compete with you.
Seems like it.
His eyes were clearly indicating that he wanted to compete with me.
He then raised his sword and aimed toward the stone.
He then utilized his sword technique.
The clean trajectory of the sword was aimed at tearing down the stone.
‘The enhancing technique.’
What he was using now was a technique to enhance the performance of his sword.
It was also known to be one of the best martial arts.
It was also known as the Heaven and Earth technique, where the forces of yin and yang were harmonized to display a perfect skill.
The stone was then cut as if it was carved.
This guy… what was he showing
His level was also already too high.
This was similar to what I could do when I used my lower dantian.
“As expected of the Moyong family!”
The participants shuddered as they witnessed his skills.
Once he was done, he looked at me and extended his hand in challenge.
As a result, everyone’s eyes turned toward me.
“Are they fighting now”
“An indirect fight”
Thanks to this, a misunderstanding was born.
However, there were only so many times that I could act.
I put my hands together politely toward him.
It was a sign that I accepted his invitation and raised everyone’s interest.
I stood in front of the stone and pulled Iron Sword out.
“That is the sword of the South Heavenly Swordsman!”
Those who recognized it were becoming excited.
-It is a popular sword!
Whatever the looks were now, I simply aimed for the stone.
Everyone hoped that I would leave something on the stone.
With qi layered on the tip of the sword, I simply thrust it in.
The sword pierced the stone as if it was loose stone.
The man grading stood there in confusion.
I could easily handle such things even if I didn’t open my dantian.
As soon as the sword entered the stone, I stepped forward and applied a little force.
At that moment, the stone was split as if a whirlwind had exploded inside it.
The stone burst apart as if a tornado had shattered it, and its center was caved in.
I was a bit skeptical about it working, but the man grading me looked quite shocked already.
-Wonhwi, isn’t this that
Iron Sword asked me in slight surprise.
What I did was use the 6th form of the Chasing Until The End Sword technique.
I only partially used it when I did.
I realized the technique after experiencing it dozens of times as I peered into the memory of the swords that contained Baek Hyang-muk’s techniques.
Although it wasn’t something I had practiced perfectly, it was simple enough to use on objects that would not move.
The cheers erupted forward as I looked at Moyong Soo, whose expression was becoming hard.
He confirmed that our skills were at very different levels regardless of qi.
-And you are the one who is above him.
Short Sword commented.