Chapter 66: A Swordsman Speaks with a Sword; A Blacksmith Speaks with Iron (1)

 

 

By FoodieMonster007 1/17/2022 08:09:00 PM

CRACK! CLINK!

Pieces of a broken sword were scattered across the ground.

“Haa…” A man’s sigh of despair went unheard in the wind as he looked down at his broken sword.
It was the Taoist from Kongtong Sect, Mu-Jin.

“How did you…
I even went so far as to use Sword Flux…” he muttered, puzzled.
He hadn’t felt any chi surrounding Jin Mu-Won’s sword, and yet, his own Bamboo Blade was the one that was broken in half.
This defied common sense.

He lifted his head and glanced at the black sword resting against his neck.
There was no doubting his defeat.

“What happened? How did you break through my Sword Flux…?”

“Sword Flux is simply a technique for emitting and condensing energy on the outside of one’s blade.
What I did instead was increase the density of chi inside my blade.”

“Did my sword break because of the difference in chi density?”

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“From my point of view…
Yes, it did.”

“Is that so? I can't quite accept your explanation, but I’ll admit my defeat, “Mu-Jin said through clenched teeth, his shoulders trembling with frustration.

As Jin Mu-Won withdrew Snow Flower from Mu-Jin’s throat, the sword throbbed as if it were upset at not having cut anything.

Mu-Jin looked up at the sky, sighed again, and mumbled to himself, “Mu-Jin, you’re an imbecile.
To think that you were satisfied with your current strength! Just how arrogant were you? Shame on you! You’re a weakling who can’t even last one second against your opponent.”

Jin Mu-Won watched Mu-Jin silently.
If he tried to comfort Mu-Jin now, it would probably backfire.
Patiently waiting for Mu-Jin to come to terms with his defeat was the best option.

Finally, Mu-Jin looked at Jin Mu-Won again and said, “I may have lost to you today, but my defeat doesn’t mean that the Kongtong Sect has also been defeated.”

“I know.”

“As agreed previously, with this, our disputes are settled.”

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“Thank you.”

“After I have solved the problems in my sect, I will return to training in seclusion.
The next time I come out, I will challenge you again.
Swordsman from the North,[1] would you be willing to accept my future challenge?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you.”

Mu-Jin stared at Jin Mu-Won with a complicated expression.

This feels like something out of a nightmare.
How could a swordsman this young and skilled exist? I’m already over forty, but this guy is definitely in his early- to mid-twenties.
And yet, he’s much stronger than me.

If this is what true genius is, then life is just too unfair.
This man’s strength is even more ridiculous than the Seven Young Skies.

The Seven Young Skies were the most promising youths in the gangho.
They were barely over twenty, but they had already proven their abilities to the world.
Even more aggravating was the fact that not only did they possess talent blessed by the heavens, they also came from powerful sects and families that provided the best environment for them to grow and develop.

If you see this line, you're reading at the wrong site.
Bahahaha.

Mu-Jin may be the strongest disciple in the Kongtong Sect, but neither his talent nor background could compare to those seven youths.
Thus, he may have felt jealous of them, but it was not to a point where he would give up all hope of catching up to them.
He always felt that as long as he worked a little harder, he’d surely be able to reach their level.

However, Jin Mu-Won was different from those people.
Mu-Jin had a feeling that this young man was far beyond his reach.

He may even be as talented as the Lone Star of the Azure Sky…

Mu-Jin recalled a boy he met many years ago.
The child was so outstanding, he didn’t feel an ounce of jealousy.
After all, one could only be envious when one believed they could have what the other person possessed.

“Haa…” Mu-Jin sighed once more.
Deep down, he swore to himself that this defeat would become his motivation to become stronger.
His eyes filled with a mixture of emotions, he slowly bent down and picked up the broken pieces of his sword.

Jin Mu-Won watched him silently.
This long and eventful night had finally come to an end.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The next morning, several Kongtong Sect Disciplinary Council members showed up to take Mu-Hae’s group back to Mount Kongtong.

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Before leaving with them, Mu-Jin said to Jin Mu-Won, “The White Dragon Merchant Association informed me about your situation.
I heard that you’re going to Yunnan to search for a missing family member?”

“That's right.”

“I’m sorry for making you waste a day here because of us.
It won’t make up for what my junior brothers have done, but I’ll introduce an old friend of mine to you.
When you arrive at Kunming City in Yunnan, search for the “Scholar with Three Brains (三腦書生)[2]”, Ha Jin-Wol.
He kind of stands out, so finding him shouldn’t be too difficult.
Just tell him my name, and I'm sure he'll help you.”

“Thank you.”

Mu-Jin then turned to face Kwak Moon-Jung, who was standing next to Jin Mu-Won, and said, “The Kongtong Sect owes you a great debt.”

“No, I didn’t do anything…”

“For as long as I live, the Kongtong Sect will not forget what you have done for us.
You will always be welcome there.”

Ham Seo-Ryung, who was going to leave with Mu-Jin, suddenly asked, “Oppa, will you come visit the Kongtong Sect when you’re free?”

“Of course, I will!”

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“Then, I'll be waiting for you, okay?” Ham Seo-Ryung smiled brightly, but the tears welling up in her eyes betrayed her true feelings.

Jin Mu-Won quietly watched the two young lovebirds say their parting words.
Their appearances reminded him of the events of seven years ago.

His heart twinged with pain and bitterness.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

After crossing the river with their horses, the White Dragon caravan continued their journey south to Yunnan.
The relaxed atmosphere they had when they first started out from Gansu was gone, replaced by silence and tension that hung heavily in the air.

The cause of all the uneasiness was the young man driving a wagon at the very back of the caravan.
The strength Jin Mu-Won displayed the previous night had shocked not only the escorts but also the mercenaries of the Iron Brigade.
The mercenaries had prided themselves on their skills, but before Jin Mu-Won willingly revealed himself, none of them had any inkling of his true abilities.

In just one night, Jin Mu-Won had gone from being an inconspicuous freeloader to a martial arts master who had easily overpowered six first-class disciples of the Kongtong Sect as well as their future sect leader, Mu-Jin.
The Kongtong Sect had tried very hard to conceal this fact, but it was impossible for them to stop all the information from leaking out, especially to the caravan members who had been resting in the village.

Although the Kongtong Sect was the weakest of the old and established sects, it was nonetheless a powerful faction with hundreds of murim experts.
Among those experts, Mu-Jin and Mu-Hae were known to be the best and most talented disciples.

And yet, Jin Mu-Won had crushed them without sustaining a single scratch.
That could only mean that he was above the so-called peak-level experts in skill.
To the escorts, who were mostly second- or third-class warriors, he was in a different league altogether.

If you see this line, you're reading at the wrong site.
Bahahaha.

Naturally, the escorts began to distance themselves from Jin Mu-Won, as if there was an invisible barrier separating them.

However, the escorts were hardly the ones most affected by Jin Mu-Won’s abilities.
Their shock was nothing compared to what Jong-Ri Mu-Hwan of the Iron Brigade and Yoon Seo-In of the White Dragon Merchant Association had to go through.

On Jong-Ri Mu-Hwan’s end, although he had fully expected for Jin Mu-Won and the Kongtong Sect to come to blows, he never predicted that things would end as peacefully as they had.
Still, all things considered, it wasn’t a bad result for him and the Iron Brigade.

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He exceeds my expectations time and time again.
This is upsetting.

Jong-Ri Mu-Hwan was a strategist.
To people like him, unexpected situations, even if they were beneficial, were something that couldn’t be tolerated.
Each time Jin Mu-Won had exceeded his expectations was one time he’d failed as a tactician.

If Jong-Ri Mu-Hwan was upset, then Yoon Seo-In was utterly devastated.
She clearly remembered venting her anger and hurling a multitude of insults at Jin Mu-Won.
As a civilian disciple of the Kongtong Sect, she hadn’t doubted for a moment that Jin Mu-Won would be harshly punished, but…to her astonishment, not only had the whole mess been resolved peacefully, even her aloof and distant Senior Brother Mu-Jin had acknowledged Jin Mu-Won.

Since Mu-Jin was the successor to the Kongtong Sect, that meant that the sect itself had acknowledged Jin Mu-Won.

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Yoon Seo-In's gaze shifted toward Kwak Moon-Jung, who was now following Jin Mu-Won around everywhere.
Before Mu-Jin had left, she’d heard him saying that he owed the boy a great debt.
That meant that even Kwak Moon-Jung was now under the Kongtong Sect’s protection.

I’ve really made a mess of things.
It’s probably too late to apologize, and as the leader of this caravan, I cannot be seen lowering my head to the people under me.

Yoon Seo-In sighed.

Meanwhile, Jin Mu-Won, the man responsible for messing with everyone’s emotions, was happily driving his wagon.
Thanks to the events with the Kongtong Sect, he had finally decided on his path in life.
He felt that his decision would probably land him in a lot of trouble and drag him into many future conflicts, but he knew that as long as his heart was set, he would keep moving forward.
That was the kind of person he was.

As he smiled to himself, Kwak Moon-Jung suddenly approached him on horseback and cried out, “Hyung!”

“What's up?”

“Err…nothing.
Never mind.” Kwak Moon-Jung grinned bashfully.
His excitement from the previous night had not yet subsided.
Although he was still young, he understood the fact that what happened at the South Sea Inn would change his life forever.

Although Kwak Moon-Jung told Jin Mu-Won not to mind him, for a long time, he stared at Jin Mu-Won with sparkling eyes.

When Jin Mu-Won, who didn’t feel like he had done anything deserving of the boy’s admiration, reached the limits of even his composure, he turned toward the boy and asked, “Why are you staring at me like that?”

If you see this line, you're reading at the wrong location.
Bahahaha.

“Because I respect you.”

“Me?”

“Yeah! How did you get so strong, Hyung? I never thought that you would be able to defeat those guys.”

Kwak Moon-Jung had frequently heard Hwang Cheol boasting about Jin Mu-Won, but like everyone else, he’d always thought that the old man was just exaggerating.
After the events of the day before, though, he now knew that Hwang Cheol had in fact been telling the truth.

Not only was Jin Mu-Won strong enough to disregard the Kongtong Sect’s threats, but above all, his courage and integrity were unequaled.
Kwak Moon-Jung took pride in the fact that such a person was his “Hyung”.

However, when he suddenly thought about his own situation, his expression quickly became sullen.
Ultimately, Jin Mu-Won had only gotten involved in the affair because he was too weak to defend himself.
He didn’t dare dream of becoming as strong as Jin Mu-Won, but he at least wanted to be able to protect himself and do his job as an escort properly.

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“Hyung, how can I become as strong as you?” he asked.

Jin Mu-Won smiled.
He understood how Kwak Moon-Jung felt, as he had once been in the boy’s shoes.

“Moon-Jung.”

“Hmm?”

“The Three Origins Meditation Technique that Uncle Hwang taught you is no ordinary martial art.
You might not see any marked improvements when you first start practicing it, but once you reach a certain level of mastery, you’ll suddenly start getting stronger at an unbelievable rate.
That’s why, as long as you keep training hard, I believe that one day, you’ll surely become a master.”

“Yeah! Thanks, Hyung.”

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“By the way, I suggest you get a heavier sword than the one you’re using right now.
Practitioners of the Three Origins Meditation Technique are most suited to using heavy weapons.”

“A heavier sword? How much heavier?”

“For starters, you should get one that is twice as heavy as the sword you currently have, but once you get used to that one, you’ll need to get a true greatsword that is four times heavier.”

“Okay! I'll definitely do as you said!”

Kwak Moon-Jung didn’t doubt Jin Mu-Won’s words for a second.
After what they had been through together, he now had complete faith in Jin Mu-Won’s advice.

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FoodieMonster007, TheGreatT20

Footnotes:

[1] Swordsman from the North: Don't ask me how he knows this, I'm guessing the Kongtong Sect did some sort of a background check on Jin…

[2] Scholar with Three Brains (三腦書生): Literal translation – Scholar with Three Brains (i.e.
has the combined intelligence of three people).
If anyone can think up a better nickname for this dude, please comment as he’s important enough to be the deuteragonist.
Err…Tripled Scholar? Trinity Scholar?

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