In an instant, the number of attacks that were exchanged between the two went past 12 all the way to 16.
The warrior, perhaps forgetting that this was just a test, became greedier in his effort to defeat the trainee, prompting Gu Sang-woo to call out.
Go Jin-chang stopped at his commander’s order. The result might have been much worse if he didn’t stop there.
Typically, one had to calm their expression and bow to the trainee who did well, but all the trainee got was an annoyed look.
On the other hand, the trainee bowed to the warrior, prompting the other trainees to shout.
Although the number of trainees was small for this test, not being pushed around by a warrior was significant enough for the trainees to lose their minds.
Hae Ack-chun mumbled.
“Kulkul. Such a nice one. The source of his martial arts seems to be the Lower District Sect.”
After saying those words, Hae Ack-chun’s throat trembled. A message to someone. Perhaps the other person was…
‘The Blood Wolf leader.’
Said leader’s eyes were also looking at Hae Ack-chun. As he was in charge of the trainees, he seemed to be asking for the child’s details.
Hae Ack-chun nodded.
He looked satisfied as if his prediction was on point. Was Cho Sung-won using the martial arts of the Lower District Sect?
-Didn’t you say it was the Beggars Union?
This kid had to be from the Beggars Union.
The Blood Cult issued an order to kill him, and that was information known to all. That, at least, I remembered.
-Couldn’t he have hidden his martial arts? If he is of the Beggars Union like you said, why would he openly show it?
Iron Sword’s words were also valid. Obviously, there was no way he could use those martial arts here.
In order to hide his identity, even the appropriate martial arts should be used.
‘The Lower District Sect.’
Even if he was doing this to deceive, he was doing it with the Lower District Sect’s martial arts. The Beggars Union and the Lower District were known to be top information-gathering places.
And they might have had a competitive relationship.
‘He was daring enough to use the Lower District’s name here. The Lower District is on the side of the Forces of Evil and Unorthodox Sects.’
While the Beggars Union was on the other side.
Since the time of its creation, the Beggars Union at least had a sense of national patriotism and a general feeling of justice. Meanwhile, the Lower District Sect consisted of gamblers, thieves, and bandits, all typical of any evil sect.
From the point of view of the Blood Cult, the Lower District Sect was the more favourable one.
“Kuak, he would be in high demand.”
What was this old man saying? A spy was a talent to covet? I was too flabbergasted.
“Who will take the next test?”
Gu Sang-woong asked, his eyes looking at us and Han Baekha. The trainees, too, were looking over at this side.
Now it was the turn of us disciples.
“Teacher, I will go…”
Hae Ack-chun stopped Song Jwa-baek from going out again and shouted at Han Baekha.
“Hehe, I yield. You can send your disciple first.”
I thought he would send one of us to show a better form to the trainees, but the old man had different thoughts. Perhaps this was from an experience he had.
Dam Yehwa had to take the test first, and he probably was trying to figure out what level a warrior she trained could end up being.
Indeed, if Dam Yehwa was trained, she would be able to fight correctly, unlike the trainee before. But an unexpected answer came from her teacher instead.
“No. This time, I will yield to your disciples.”
Hae Ack-chun raised his eyebrows. Still, this man had a higher position, and I didn’t understand how she could refuse him.
Was she telling him to show off the skills of his disciples first?
Perhaps she said it with the same thoughts and aims that Hae Ack-chun had.
But you see, my teacher wouldn’t just accept that.
“Huh! If I said I would yield, just accept it… uh?”
Hae Ack-chun, who was speaking, went silent. He looked at Han Baekha but said nothing. It seemed like they were using Voice Transmission.
What are they talking about? He then frowned as he looked at me.
“Did you make a bet with the Bloody Hand Witch?”
I never thought I’d have to explain that in such a place. Since the honour of her disciple and myself was on the line, I didn’t think the woman would be foolhardy enough to talk about it.
-Ugh? Such an evil one. Planning to win the bet like this?
Some decided to attack the players to gain an advantage. But, this was intended to instill awareness within me. Well, this woman wasn’t an average person.
The Bloody Hand Witch smiled as she looked at me. She deliberately pretended to be friendly.
Short Sword clicked her tongue. But there is one thing she didn’t know.
Hae Ack-chun spoke with an annoyed face.
“Huh. A bet to persuade me through you? You idiot.”
I told him about how the Bloody Hand Witch was trying to convince him through me. Through all this, Han Baek-ha continued to smile.
-You are being used. Hehe.
Short Sword grinned as she laughed. Well, apart from the bet, there is nothing else that can be said to my teacher.
If I lost, I would act according to her will. So I just told Hae Ack-chun. However, the bet was hidden, but she still decided to speak up and inform Hae Ack-chun while trying to overrule us. This was rather sad.
I told Hae Ack-chun what happened.
“Tch, well, if you have a chance to get something, you need to jump in.”
Unexpectedly, Hae Ack-chun didn’t seem angry.
He seemed to understand, it’s just like his personality, and I scratched my head.
“If you use your head again, I will break your hands and legs.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing either. But the man still smiled at me.
“Hehe. You made such an interesting bet. To make the girl who only wore black clothes come out and speak like this.”
With that, he pushed me on the back, and I stepped up.
Words which meant a lot.
He told us not to go first, but now he pushed me ahead, which left Song Jwa-baek looking dissatisfied. I didn’t want to do it either.
It seemed like I had to do this first. It would have been better if the twins went out first to bring more attention, but nothing I could do about it now.
I bowed to the commander Gu Sang-woong.
He, too, bowed slightly as I was a disciple of that old man before nodding to a warrior on the podium. The man, who had a scar on his eyes, stepped up.
“Now that we have a trainee let’s start the test…”
Then I said,
“I want to take the test for the position of a leader!”
Gu Sang-woong, the commander of the Six Blood Valley, went stiff.
It was the same case with the other leaders behind him. Mumbles could be heard all around.
“What does this mean?”
This reaction was natural. I came out to take the test for upper-rank warrior and requested to be made a leader instead.
Even Han Baekha, who had been smiling at me, seemed to be frowning now. Even Dam Yehwa had a similar frown on her face.
Hae Ack-chun was the only one who was laughing in this situation.
I was going to let Song Jwa-baek get the attention, but I received it instead. Gu Sang-woong, who first looked at Hae Ack-chun with a stiff face, then looked at me.
“Do you know what that means?”
Of course, I knew.
I heard it from Noh Songgu, the leader of Blood Wolf. There are three ways to become a leader.
First, if you fulfill the tenure of an upper-rank first-rate warrior and deliver both results and performance, the position will eventually be granted to you.
Second, there was also a chance of getting the position after receiving considerable merit.
“I know. You must win in less than a hundred seconds against two ranked warriors using a sword.”
The trainees were all roaring. The difficulty level had gone up.
This third method made sense. Even if they were first-rate warriors, not all of them would have the same strength.
In order to be recognized as a skilled warrior, one must have at least enough skills to deal with other first-rate warriors. I could feel Gu Sang-woong’s eyes pierce through me.
[The elder seems to have taught his disciples well.]
I heard something in my head.
It sounded like a compliment, but there was a hint of sarcasm in it. Well, I could understand his emotions.
Even if he was an elder, it is absurd to push a disciple who had only trained under him for just 6 months to the position of a leader.
Besides, unlike the twins, I was known to have a broken dantian that only healed just 6 months prior.
-That face is no joke.
As Short Sword said, no one seemed to be liking this. Perhaps the source of their hate was the fact that I had only been training for 6 months.
As they relaxed their bodies, I could feel their hatred toward me. They considered my act a disgrace, but they also seemed to think that a newcomer like me who had just started to learn martial arts was becoming cocky.
“Are you really fine?”
Gu Sang-woong asked Hae Ack-chun.
“Hehe, he has enough qualifications. That is why I sent him.”
“… I understand.”
Hae Ack-chun sounded confident, and the commander turned to me with cold eyes.
“Are you going to use… that sword?”
I could see why he asked that.
Hae Ack-chun was known for his close combat fighting style, so having a sword might be weird.
Gu Sang-woong frowned. Then, he looked at the warriors under his podium.
The warriors were all looking at me with zealous eyes. Then he called out two of them.
“Dae Jong, Hoyun!”
Both men had swords on their backs. They were swordsmen, and this looked like it would be a battle of swords.
-But you are the disciple of an elder.
Gu Sang-woong’s intentions were clear. As both warriors approached me, I could see their gazes moving to the iron sword on my back.
“You two will test him.”
They bowed and then widened the space between us to prepare to engage. Coincidentally the two also seemed to be talking to me.
[If you came out because of the elder’s orders, there is no need to covet the leader position. You will have a lot more chances.]
[Since you are the elder’s disciple and wield a sword, I ask you to learn humbly from us.]
Their expressions and words were so different! Their eyes were like they wanted to eat me and were burning with determination.
As soon as the signal to start was sounded, they would move. So I said,
“Do take good care of me.”
I said it politely, but that only brought displeasure into their eyes. They clearly wanted to start right away.
I grabbed my sword, and the crowd went silent. The eyes of the trainees didn’t leave the warriors on the podium or me. At that time, Go Sang-woong said,
As soon as the words were said, their feet instantly moved away from the ground as they came for me.
Were they skilled in light footwork?
The two warriors drew their swords and came for me, swinging them towards my head and left leg, hoping to end this at once.
I stretched out my legs and stepped back. As first-rate warriors, the two also narrowed the distance.
I drew out Iron Sword and clashed with the warrior Dae Jong’s sword as he blocked my blade with his.
At that moment, the other warrior, Hoyun, stabbed at my right chest, making me use my footwork to widen the distance.
Hoyun too hurriedly moved back. To prevent me from following, Dae Jong appeared from the left to stab me in the shoulder.
I rotated the sword to bounce his attack upwards, making Dae Jong frown.
It seemed like he was shocked by how well I responded to his attack without showing signs of fear.
This was a matter of course. For nearly 4 months, I fought 100 mock battles with Hae Ack-chun over and over.
They were almost real battles for me, so how could my body not respond? Dae Jong and Hoyun glanced at each other. It looked like they decided to change their tactics.
Dae Jong ran to me and used a proper sword technique rather than just a simple movement. A fierce technique flew to me like a tiger running wild.
There was a way to receive it with the same force, but I chose a softer sword technique to respond to it.
By using a technique that was like a soft loach, I aimed an attack at the gap in the warrior’s sword technique. This shocked him as he didn’t seem to expect me to come close.
It was unfortunate, but the sword techniques we learnt were innately different.
My sword went for his sword and pierced his shoulder and chest twice. He panicked at the light stabs but managed to move back.
I followed him with the intent of getting rid of him as he moved back, causing him to smile.
“You are still young.”
It was then that I bent my body as low as I could.
A sword which could have cut my head off instead cut nothing but air.
I pulled out the short sword and stabbed at him without looking back.
A muffled shout could be heard. Without stopping, I turned around while holding Iron Sword in my hand. At that moment, I rotated my body like a whirlwind and slashed my sword upwards.
It was the Maneuvering Dragon Slashing Sword.
Dae Jong, who was in front of me, couldn’t control the force of my sword and bounced back. As I rotated while soaring in the air, I held both swords in my hands.
I then struck both of them down using the Falling Meteor Sword.
Hoyun, startled at the force of my attack, tried to block it, but his sword got cut in half instead.
Hoyun fell to the floor. If he tried to get back up, he could die.
I stopped the technique right in front of his nose.
Hoyun’s face was nervous as he looked at the Iron Sword in front of him. I pulled my sword back as I said to him.
“You are bleeding. Look at the dagger.”
The dagger was stuck in Hoyun’s thigh, and he mumbled as he didn’t seem to perceive the pain until I pointed it out.
“H-How can you not…”
I looked at his sword, which was split in half. No matter how much I killed his spirit, the sound of his sword being broken must have been a blow to him.
And deafening screams came from the side of the trainees.