Invincible Teacher Chapter 21
21 Chapter 21
Byeok Ae-rin also had the nickname of 'Leg Destroyer'.
After she had retired from being the head of Jimilgak, she became an Elder, usually paying a yearly visit to the Hwacheon Clan.
The senior gate-keeper had forgotten to mention this to his junior. Not only that, but he had also forgotten to mention her occasional use of the Red Youth Technique.
"Seonbae-nim (1)! What am I going to do? I'm basically screwed at this point."
"Get up. Nothing will happen to you."
"How can you be so sure?"
"I am sure, alright. Because the Elder."
He couldn't finish his sentence.
As Byeok Ae-rin stepped into the Hwacheon Clan Headquarters, her movements were headed towards a direction she seemed to be very familiar with. That direction was towards Jimilgak.
"Is the head of Jimilgak in?"
The moment she spoke, a man jumped out from behind the door.
"Elder, you're here!"
"Are you doing well?"
This man was none other than the Head of Jimilgak, Hong-man.
"Of course. What made you come here after such a long time, Elder?"
"I had some business in Nakyang, and I thought I'd come see you while I'm here."
"Please, come inside."
He hurriedly ushered her into his office while his assistant immediately brought out tea.
Byeok Ae-rin brought the tea cup up to her mouth and took a sip. Hong-man, who was clearly nervous, gulped his saliva. Droplets upon droplets of sweat were running down his back.
His nervousness was due to his awareness of why she had visited after such a long time.
Hong-man had known Byeok Ae-rin for many years, since he had first become a warrior of Jimilgak before becoming its head.
This was all due to Byeok Ae-rin being the Ex Head of Jimilgak.
Ever since Hong-man had become a Jimilgak warrior, there was a famous saying that went around the Hwacheon Clan. Amongst the twelve animals of the Hwacheon Clan, one had to be careful of three in particular- the Mad Dragon, the Mad Snake, and the Mad Fox.
The Mad Dragon was the Clan Leader, Kang-hyuk, the Mad Snake was the Blue Dragon Leader, Mu-jin, and the Mad Fox was the Jimilgak head, Byeok Ae-rin.
Despite Kang-hyuk retiring, Mu-jin becoming the Clan leader, and Byeok Ae-rin retiring to become an Elder, this saying lingered in the minds of those that still remembered the past.
Hong-man was the most familiar with Byeok Ae-rin. Her famous nickname of 'Leg Destroyer' had been obtained from her destruction of countless Magis and dark cultivators with the use of her well-renowned smooth and svelte legs.
This nickname however, paled in comparison to what had earned her second nickname of 'Mad Fox'. One of the reasons for this nickname being made was due to the intelligence and courage she had towards fulfilling the aims of her goals, even if it meant dirtying her hands.
Nonetheless, there was a more frightening reason for the nickname.
"I recently heard something rather unpleasant."
Byeok Ae-rin was able to forgive, but she wouldn't forget. She was known for meticulously remembering every tiny detail of an incident.
Hong-man was already aware of what she was going to say next.
Byeok Ae-rin continued speaking in a slow and calculated manner.
"I heard that the Clan Leader's quarters were broken into recently, and that his five Jimilgak guards were found lying unconscious outside. Is this true?"
The Clan Leader had no way of explaining the events of the night, plus he was unable to disclose the culprit. It would be unthinkable to have confessed that the ninety eight year old Retired Leader had broken into his residence as a fresh faced youth after having undergone reverse aging.
Whilst this situation had been kept mum, it hadn't escaped the notice of Byeok Ae-rin.
She was an Elder that was aware of each and every happening within the Hwacheon Clan, and as the previous Head of Jimilgak, she had the duty of advising its operations.
Hong-man was rather resentful of this fact.
He felt a sudden and fiery pain. It was the pain from Byeok Ae-rin kicking his shin.
Of course, being Byeok Ae-rin, this pain wasn't one that would end in one go.
"Kang-hyuk Maengjunim (2) always said that one should reprimand the person in charge first."
"Ah, I-I apologize."
"Are the standards of the newer recruits dropping or something?"
"I-I'll make sure to rectify the situation."
Hong-man stuttered as he inwardly planned a hell-like training drill for the Jimilgak warriors.
When the truth of the situation was revealed, Hong-man and the Warriors were most likely going to feel wronged.
The main culprit of this incident was the 'Invincible Warrior' Kang-hyuk, who had always had a habit of going in and out of places. It didn't matter whether they were forbidden or otherwise, he waltzed through as though they were his own residences.
"I'll trust your words for now. Also, keep a close eye on the situation henceforth."
Hong-man instantly bowed his head.
The pain where he had been kicked felt so fresh that it most likely wasn't even bruised.
It had been a long time since he had given up the possibility of not being beaten by Byeok Ae-rin, but he was grateful that she had kicked him out of sight to save his honour as the Head.
Whilst she had a notorious reputation, she showed great consideration in appropriate situations.
This was why she had yet another nickname. This was the nickname the gate-keeper was referring to mentally, but had been unable to say.
'That's why she's known as the Kind Crazy Bitch.'
Byeok Ae-rin finished the remaining tea in the cup, as though she had been aware of Hong-man's thoughts.
"By any chance, has the Retired Leader come by?"
Hearing this, Hong-man cocked his head to the side.
"The last time I recall seeing him was four years ago at the Autumn Moorim Tournament."
"Is that so?"
Byeok Ae-rin felt that this was a little odd. The Head of Jimilgak was a man who was aware of all of the happenings within the Hwacheon Clan, yet he was unaware that the Retired Leader, Kang-hyuk, had visited.
'How could someone going in and out of the Clan Headquarters not be known by the Jimilgak head?'
She intuitively felt that something was off.
'He would have no reason to lie about this.'
The only event he came out of his retirement for, the Autumn Moorim Tournament, was eight months away. As such, Byeok Ae-rin came to a conclusion that the only remaining reason Kang-hyuk could have come to the Clan was to meet the current Leader, Mu-jin.
She was aware that Kang-hyuk had cherished Mu-jin in the past, when he was the Leader and Mu-jin served under him, and also to this day.
The best option in her eyes would have been to ask Mu-jin directly, but as luck had it, he was out on a visit to the Shaolin Temple.
Byeok Ae-rin arose from her seat.
"Ah, are you leaving now?"
"I am. This old woman's been here for too long already."
"It was nothing!"
Byeok Ae-rin suddenly caught sight of a journal placed on the desk of the office.
In Jimilgak, logs were kept of the daily happenings and movements within the organization. The logs were then transferred on a monthly basis to a secret library.
This meant that the journal on the desk contained all of the happenings of the month thus far.
Byeok Ae-rin walked towards the desk and picked up the journal, flicking through it page-by-page until she came across some unusual logs.
'The Clan Leader has recommended a twenty four year old man from his martial sect named Kang-hyuk to be the Horticulture teacher at Hwacheon Academy.'
'Kang-hyuk passes the test for recruitment. The final test was to bloom the Radiant Golden Lotus. He used Ice Essence and a pure spirit to bloom the Lotus.'
'The Clan Leader has ordered a Jimilgak Warrior of rank seventy three to serve Kang-hyuk at his residence.'
Her suspicions had grown further.
She wasn't suspicious of Mu-jin requesting a Jimilgak Warrior to be sent to serve the new Horticulture Teacher, but instead of the claim that the man was from his martial sect.
Mu-jin's martial sect was known to be Yeonghamun, and Mu-jin was the older cousin of the previous head of Yeonghamun, who had died thirty years earlier.
In truth, Mu-jin was an orphan. This background had been concocted by her and Kang-hyuk in order for him to be the Blue Dragon Leader. This was because it wasn't possible for one to be a Blue Dragon Leader if one had an unknown or non-existent familial background. This was already fifty years ago, and his false background had become as good as truth.
This was why Byeok Ae-rin, who was fully aware of the truth of Mu-jin's background, found the entry in the journal rather peculiar. Moreover, the name of this Horticulture teacher, although his age was twenty four, matched the name of the Retired Leader Kang-hyuk.
Furthermore, the items he had used to bloom the Radiant Golden Lotus were very well known to her, since it belonged to a certain person she knew very well.
'I'm going to have to meet this Horticulture teacher.'
She closed the journal.
A new day's dawn had risen.
The current time was around the time when a rabbit would wake and wash its face with a dew drop, around five in the morning.
Kang-hyuk was standing in his practice plot, Yeongyowon.
His hands contained a book, a brush, and an ink stick holder.
Kang-hyuk smiled as he sensed movements in his direction.
The first-year students, Dang So-mun and Baek Mun-ji, came closer.
"I hope you are well, Seonsaengnim."
"Good morning to you."
Kang-hyuk smiled as they bowed politely in greeting.
"You're the first arrivals! After tending to the flowers and watering them, you may go and do your Qigong practice."
Dang So-mun and Baek Mun-ji walked over to the flower bed onto which they had sown seeds, and then checked the condition of the soil.
They had planted a water-loving variety of flower that needed to be watered once every two days.
Today was a day to water, and so they were headed towards the banks of a stream to collect some water.
The rest of the first-year students arrived not long after, crowding the practice plot, with Kang-hyuk repeating the same instruction he had given to Dang So-mun and Baek Mun-ji to them.
By the time the rest of the students had arrived, Dang So-mun and Baek Mun-ji had already collected their water. Baek Mun-ji looked at Dang So-mun and spoke.
"I'll water the flowers so you can head off first."
"What do you mean?"
"You should go and get a good spot for Qigong practice. You walk slower than me, and you know that very well."
"That...that's true but still"
"You have to think realistically. Get going now."
Dang So-mun, finally persuaded, began to walk towards the training grounds where Qigong practice was held.
Baek Mun-ji looked in the direction of the sound, and bit his lip.
'Damn it! I should have come even earlier'
He sighed as he sprinkled water over the location where they had sown the seeds. He sprinkled enough that the soil was slightly moist, and poured the rest of the water away.
He then looked at how far Dang So-mun had walked, and ran over to him after bowing his head at Kang-hyuk.
As Kang-hyuk gazed at Baek Mun-ji's back, a strange feeling arose.
After his age reversal, he was able to feel the truth behind the behaviours of people without having to have seen anything directly.
Therefore, he was aware of why Baek Mun-ji had suddenly ran off. It was due to him having met the eyes of the second-year student, Dang So-mun's half-brother, Dang Cheol-mun.
'Well...it's not strange for them to have looked at each other due to the close connection of the Baek and Dang families, but his actions after having seen him are rather peculiar.'
Baek Mun-ji had purposely sprinkled water very slightly on the surface of the soil.
This would mostly likely cause the seeds to dry out, and also result in a lower grade.
'Why would he do that when he's in the same group as his best friend?'
Kang-hyuk felt that it would be best to keep a close eye on the situation.
Kang-hyuk had returned to his residence with a few unanswered questions.
"You're back! I'll get you some breakfast right away."
Kang-hyuk lightly slapped Baek-gap, causing him to hurriedly prepare breakfast.
It was a simple breakfast, but Kang-hyuk was unconcerned by this, picking up his chopsticks.
Whilst Kang-hyuk had tried all sorts of expensive and exquisite delicacies throughout his long life, to him, Ilmibanjeon's noodles that cost a mere copper coin were the most delicious.
"I'm going to be making a brief trip to Jungcheon today."
"Should I come with you?"
Kang-hyuk shook his head.
"I'm only going to order something."
Baek-gap looked a little troubled at his answer. He was recollecting the issues with the martial teachers and the banquet that had occurred when he hadn't accompanied Kang-hyuk.
A potential punishment would also depend on his actions.
"It-it is my duty to accompany you Seonsaengnim!"
Kang-hyuk grinned at Baek-gap's desparate cry.
"Well, before that, have you finished candying all of the Baby Ginseng roots?"
"Anyways, you can follow me or whatever, but only after you've finished candying."
Baek-gap wanted to cry.
(1) Seonbae= Korean honorific term for addressing a senior in work or education.
(2) Maengjunim= Korean honorific term for addressing someone in a Leadership position.