Chapter 99 - The Unknown Trial (2)
“Take your sword and try to attack me.”
Now I really had no idea what his intention was.
Someone who treated me like a child even after I opened my middle dantian was now beckoning me to attack.
Was he testing me
-What do we do
Short Sword, stuck on the floor, asked in a worried voice.
Honestly, there was no chance for me to win against him.
There had to be a sure way to counter his attack, but it’d likely cost me more.
Running away… well, I tried that and failed.
“You seem to have a lot of thoughts.”
The man wearing the black robes stomped on the ground lightly, forcing a cracked wooden board to rise up.
The man caught a shard that was of a good size.
He then whipped it around a couple of times and the wooden plate transformed into a sword-like thin sheet.
And he then said to me,
“You better do your best.”
He wants to fight me using that thin wooden sword
Did he forget that Iron Sword was a treasured blade no matter how skilled he was
-Wonhwi, my former master, said weapons are meaningless once a person has reached the peak.
Then I had no other choice.
It looked like the only way out was to pass this man’s test, and even then, I was not sure.
‘I need to unlock the 6th level of power.’
Although it was still the start of the fight, I realized I needed to use the 6th level of my internal qi.
A sharp energy rose from my body.
When he noticed this, the man exclaimed a little.
Have you reached a level where you can directly release any amount of qi you want”
Was he actually praising me Well, I don’t think that it was intentional.
I tried to calm my breathing to refine my natural instincts as I moved towards the man.
In terms of speed and technique, I was confident in at least unleashing it.
The best answer I could give to this man who excelled in everything was to cut him directly.
I stepped hard on the ground and pulled my sword back into a stabbing position.
I then turned my hand to the left.
I gathered an intense amount of qi and concentrated it on the tip of my sword.
‘Sword of True Chase Until the End.’
I was unsure how this technique would work since I pushed myself to the 6th level of internal qi in one go.
The wooden boards cracked in the direction that I moved to.
It was the same phenomenon that appeared when he had begun to release his qi.
It might be a good sign if such things were happening before I fully unfolded the technique.
I rotated my sword with all my might and pushed it forward.
Sharp, tornado-like energy rushed forward like a wild storm.
Yet, in the face of such a powerful attack, the man simply stood still with his wooden stick.
‘What is he trying to do’
He seemed to have no intention of avoiding or countering it.
However, as soon as the technique got close enough to his nose, the stick in his hand moved.
He made a large rotation in the opposite direction of my attack and curled it up with a stick that acted as if it had its own life.
Even the sharp qi radiating from the attack seemed as if it was nothing to him.
It was as if he was embracing it all.
At that moment, the tornado was pushed in the opposite direction from where I had directed it to.
‘W-with my sword’s force’
He had done it with that wooden stick without even touching my sword.
This man was even superior than I had thought in every way.
He was a monster whose limits I couldn’t even fathom.
It felt like I was witnessing a miracle happen right in front of me.
He had bent my attack to the other direction to ensure that not the least amount of qi touched him.
I… this was completely beyond my expectations.
‘Countering by reversing the direction’
This idea popped into my mind.
If the opponent was trying to deflect everything, shouldn’t I try to adapt to his reversal movements
I take another step forward again.
‘Reverse, Chasing Till the End Sword!’
As my sword rotated in the opposite direction to the man’s movement, it felt as if the power behind the sword had doubled.
Again, he sounded excited, but this only made me feel ridiculous.
I clenched my teeth as I pushed my sword forward.
The wooden board once again was ripped apart by my whirling sword technique, and my eyes became clouded with dust.
A clear sensation could be felt on my sword.
Did my attack work
My body was thrown back by an invisible force.
After being thrown back with such force, I crash directly into the wall.
It felt like my entire body was broken for sure now.
Using the technique in reverse didn’t seem to have worked at all.
The dust had obscured the vision in front of me, and it took a bit before I could see the man in the bamboo hat.
Numerous sword marks were clearly visible on the surface of his wooden sword, but that was it.
There was no significant damage.
Nothing I did worked on that thin wooden sword.
The man said this as he looked at his weapon and pointed it at me.
“The attack was good.
But what about the defense”
With those words, he began to walk to me.
It felt like he was giving me time to get up.
After struggling to get out of the wall that I had been pushed to, I held Iron Sword and took up a stance with a nervous face.
Was there any chance for me to use the silver string here
Even as I tried to simulate a plan of action in my mind, I couldn’t see the man missing any of his attacks.
-Aren’t you supposed to do something
I would like to do something, but it felt so unreasonable.
If this monstrous person was on the side of the Forces of Evil, then I couldn’t even use the technique Hae Ack-chun taught the twins.
It would be a trump card that would take me to my death.
“You are thinking a lot.”
The man said again.
It was like he kept pointing it out.
“Thinking a lot can be advantageous, but it can also be disadvantageous.
Your teacher should have pointed that out.”
At that moment, the stick in his hand coiled like a snake as it aimed at my head.
I thought it wouldn’t reach me because he was quite far away, but I was wrong.
I had to hurriedly use footwork to move back.
But his weapon extended and followed me as if it was alive.
I felt like I could not do much now, so I swung my body back and immediately used the True Loach-Shaped Sword technique.
I tried to keep his weapon in check by countering it with gentle sword movements.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The sound of metal clashing against each other filled the air.
His weapon had surprisingly blocked the flow of my sword.
They collided three times, and his attack didn’t seem like a light movement.
‘Is this possible’
What I was using now was the Xing Ming Sword technique.
Yet this man managed to find loopholes in my technique after just one clash
His weapon suddenly reached my neck.
“You died once.”
His weapon twisted back as he tapped me on the chest.
That was enough to send my body back ten steps.
“Let’s try again”
The man asked me again.
Until now, that wooden sword had only felt like an item he was using.
However, it was now being used to unleash a technique.
The moment I saw this, I felt blown away.
I’ve seen this sword path before.
I’ve seen this movement dozens of times.
‘The Clear Vivid Great Sword!’
He was a warrior who had reached an incomprehensible level of swordsmanship.
This technique was just a grain of what I had seen.
This was his sword path.
Having seen this martial art in my visions many times, I have experience in how it should move and what it would do.
This sword technique was surely what I thought it was.
And there was exactly one person who could do this.
‘Martial First Sword, Baek Hyang-muk!’
The man in front of me was the Alliance Leader.
Right now, I was clashing my sword against one of the Eight Great Warriors, the Apex Warriors of the Murim.
I had some doubts, but this cleared them up for me.
This was quite clever.
It wasn’t enough for me to just meet this man.
I had to fight him inside a forge as well
The wooden sword was aimed toward one of my blood points.
It didn’t seem like the complete sword technique but was instead just a part of it.
This left me confused about what he wanted to do.
But he didn’t know that I’d seen this countless times already.
At that moment, I remembered what this man had told me.
[A lot of thinking can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage too.]
‘… let us not do the unneeded calculations.’
I utilized my footwork.
And surrendered myself to Bake Hyang-muk’s sword.
Instead of thinking about how the sword moved and how to avoid it, I decided to trust my intuition instead this time.
The wooden sword simply swung past me.
I leaned slightly over to slip myself past it.
His eyes, faintly visible through the gap in his hat, betrayed his shock.
I barely managed to lean back enough to avoid the weapon aimed at my neck.
At the same time, I aimed my Iron Sword at his chest.
This immediately made him reach out his left hand to grab the blade of my sword.
I trusted that he would hold my sword stiffly and turn my body.
I rotated my body into a jump using my sword and immediately kicked him in the face.
At that moment, my kick was about to make contact with his face.
My body flew up.
He suddenly redirected his qi into my sword, which created a wave that pushed me upwards.
As my eyes soared high, the wooden sword came towards me.
I held onto Iron Sword firmly and unleashed a technique without overthinking.
This was the Meteor Falling Sword technique.
For this moment, I tried my best to not create distractions for myself.
I only thought of one thing.
Baek Hyang-muk raised his stick to strike down my sword.
I could feel just how much energy was in his weapon.
The anticipation missing from all the previous exchanges could now be felt as my mind was freed from all distractions.
My heart raced in excitement.
For me to be able to go against someone like this.
Using the synergy I had created, I clashed with his weapon.
The wooden sword was split in half at my blow, and my sword made its way down to cut him down.
He had caught my blade again with just two fingers.
It was simply amazing.
The best sword technique I knew in this life was blocked with just his fingers.
My body was trapped in that position as he held onto my sword.
At that moment, Baek Hyang-muk spoke.
This is how a sword needs to be handled.”
After saying that, his left hand reached for my forehead and my vision became dyed black.
As I lost consciousness, I could hear him say.
“You raised your disciple really well.”
Baek Hyang-muk was walking in the back alley of the blacksmith street.
On either side, two men in bamboo hats appeared.
They stayed silent, as Baek Hyang-muk said.
The craftsman has vanished.
Ask around and find who came and went out from here.”
The one on his right immediately vanished.
They continued to move even after letting him go as the one on his left became startled and asked.
Your hand is bleeding”
There was blood between the index and middle fingers of his right hand.
“It is a small scratch.”
To shed the blood of one of the Eight Great Warriors of Murim.
Even if it was just a scratch, it wasn’t something to be taken lightly.
Baek Hyang-muk raised his left hand and smiled timidly.
“I was there to teach but took two more steps than necessary.
I did something that doesn’t fit me, Baek San.”
“Who is it This Baek San will deal with them right now!”
Baek Hyang-muk raised his hand to indicate he was fine and said.
“I don’t know if Jeong Gyeom should be nervous about this now.
At those words, Baek San became a bit shocked.
The Jeong Gyeom mentioned was a student that the Wudang Sect leader, Jong Seon, taught personally.