Invincible Teacher Chapter 22
22 Chapter 22
The Hwacheon Academy's gatekeepers were nervously looking back and forth at the gatekeeper's cabin behind them.
If the person in the cabin had been a normal Warrior, they wouldn't have been nervous to the point of fearing for their lives.
'Ah.my back.it has no feelingwhy does it have to be this way!'
'Damn, why did it have to be someone from Jimilgak'
They kept their complaints to themselves. There wasn't a place with a more feared reputation other than Jimilgak.
It was widely said that if one interfered with the matters of Jimilgak, the next day, that person would have disappeared to a place where neither birds nor rats could find.
It was also known that within the torture chamber of Jimilgak, there was an array of ghastly torture tools lined up and used to spill out confessions.
The man, who was sitting inside the gatekeeper's cabin, was none other than the Head of Jimilgak.
This was also why they had to bite their tongues, keep their complaints to themselves, and endure.
They had to endure and keep a composed and straight posture, even if their backs were aching and their feet felt as though they were melding with the ground.
Two hours had passed like this.
"Keep up the good work."
A person had written their name in the exit log, greeted the gatekeepers and passed through the gates.
The Head of Jimilgak, who was sitting in the cabin, called out.
"Who was the person that just left?"
The gatekeeper immediately looked at the log. All of the people that entered and left the Academy had to register their details in the log.
"It is the Horticulture teacher, Kang-hyuk Seonsaengnim."
"Where is he leaving to?"
"It says Jungcheon."
The Jimilgak head rushed out of the cabin, and the messenger bird, that was sitting on his shoulder, immediately flew away.
He tapped the shoulders of the two gatekeepers.
"You've worked hard. After your shift finishes, you should go and moisten your throats with a drink."
The gatekeepers' mouths went agape from the excessive amount of money the Jimilgak head had given them to pay for drinks.
"If anyone finds out that I was here, or of my actions then."
"H-how could that happen?"
"We will make sure to keep our mouths tightly shut."
"Very well. I will leave you two alone then."
As the Jimilgak head disappeared, the two gatekeepers collapsed down to the ground.
It had been an extremely excruciating two hours for them.
The current location was the Jimilgak headquarters.
There was an old woman standing in the courtyard. She was fully dressed in red, and she was the ex-Head of Jimilgak, as well as an Elder of the Hwacheon Clan, Byeok Ae-rin.
A hawk flew towards her. It had a blue tail, and was Byeok Ae-rin's personal messenger bird. It was the bird that the Jimilgak Head had sent from the Hwacheon Academy gate.
She had intended to send an ordinary warrior of Jimilgak, but she wanted to be certain, and so, she sent Hong-man instead. After the hawk settled onto her arm, she untied a note from its leg.
'Headed towards Jungcheon.'
The note was short, but she smiled in thought after looking at it.
"Should I go?"
Within a few moments, a red energy came out from her body, and her appearance had changed to that of a young twenty year old woman. She flew towards Jungcheon with her transformed body.
She had arrived in Jungcheon within a short span of time.
Jungcheon, as always, had an exuberant and busy atmosphere.
Byeok Ae-rin initially considered looking for Kang-hyuk at the academy, but felt that it would attract too much attention, and so, she decided to wait until he had left the Academy.
She was looking at the streets of Jungcheon from its tallest building.
"Ah! There he is!"
Her eyes fell on a man that seemed to look like Kang-hyuk from the written description of his facial features she had been given. Both of them grew wide as she focused on his face. She felt as though she was dreaming.
His appearance wasn't that of the old man she had known, but the face of a youth. Memories of the past flooded into her mind.
"These are all of the orchids we have."
"I understandthank you."
He had been unable to find an orchid within his expectations.
Orchids were one of the plants Kang-hyuk felt were essential to cultivate, and that there was no plant more superior for character building than orchids. Therefore, he had the intention of teaching his students the method for their cultivation.
He too had raised orchid plants before.
The orchid plant wasn't an easy plant to cultivate.
Like other plants, it needed water, sunlight, wind, soil, and sufficient heat. However, if any of these factors were not in equilibrium, the orchid plant would show a marked difference in its appearance.
When he was growing orchids, he had wanted to quit many times due to its difficulties in cultivation. But, after five years of growing them, he had obtained a deep realization of balance and the equilibrium of life. Kang-hyuk wished for this realization to likewise occur within his students through the cultivation of orchids.
He had been wandering through the various flower shops of Jungcheon for a while, but had been unable to find the particular orchid he was looking for.
As the hours had gone by, he realized that it was already time for lunch.
'Should I go to Ilmibancheon?'
His footsteps however, walked towards a dark alley rather than Ilmibancheon.
It was a completely empty alley, but Kang-hyuk spoke out towards the nothingness.
"You should know very well that I don't like being followed."
"I'm going to count. You'd better come out before I reach three. One, two."
Before Kang-hyuk had reached three, a person almost immediately appeared. She had red hair and red clothing. It was Byeok Ae-rin.
"It's been a while, Retired Leader."
"I'm now a teacher of Hwacheon Academy. Call me Kang Seonsaeng instead."
Byeok Ae-rin brought her hands to her mouth and laughed.
"Hahaha, but how did you know it was me?"
"I'd always been able to feel the energy of a member, even in my sleep."
Kang-hyuk had been able to feel the presence of Byeok Ae-rin's energy the very moment he had stepped into Jungcheon.
"Haha, I guess that's true."
"Don't laugh, it doesn't suit you. You never laughed that much before."
Byeok Ae-rin sighed.
"If it was any other man, they would have said that I'm pretty when I laugh, but you"
"Why are you going around with a young body?"
"Well, Retired LeadeKang Seonsaengnim, what are you doing with those kids?"
"I'm teaching them how to cultivate plants."
Byeok Ae-rin looked puzzled.
"What on earth possessed you to become a teacher? And you're going around, pretending to be a young man using Ju-Ansul (1)."
Her speech had become sharper and more direct. However, this was her true manner of speaking.
"I'm not using Ju-Ansul."
"Then is it Inpi-myeongu (2)?"
"Not that either."
"Well, that's true. If you were using Inpi-myeongu, you wouldn't look too different to your original form."
"I guess I'll just tell you."
"It's reverse aging."
"Ah.it's reverse aging. How wonderful. Reverse aging wait a second, WHAT?!"
She looked at Kang-hyuk in total astonishment.
"Th-that can't be. Are you sure that it isn't Hwangoltaltae (3)?"
"It's reverse aging."
"The reverse aging that you only hear in legends?"
Byeok Ae-rin moved closer to Kang-hyuk and looked at his hands. She then carefully looked at his teeth.
From what she had heard of reverse aging, if one didn't have a high level of cultivation, certain minute signs of the previous age could still remain. This could be seen in places such as the hands and teeth. However, Kang-hyuk had no such sign. It was a completely perfect age reversal!
Kang-hyuk looked at Byeok Ae-rin, who was still in shock.
"Anyways, I'm starving. Let's go and eat some noodles."
Byeok Ae-rin blankly stared at Kang-hyuk as he was eating noodles.
'Huh! Reverse aging!'
It was something she couldn't have even dreamt up of.
Kang-hyuk lifted his head up and looked at her.
"Why are you staring at me?"
"Of course, it's because I'm jealous."
"I'm using all my efforts to maintain a youthful appearance with the Red Youth Technique. But you've become young with no effort at all! I'm so jealous that my stomach aches. Damn it!"
"What's with the 'damn it'?"
"Couldn't you let it slide this time?"
Byeok Ae-rin wasn't actually too surprised about Kang-hyuk's reverse aging, and thought that it was natural.
He was strong to the point that it wouldn't be surprising to her if he became an immortal.
It was why he had the nickname of Invincible Warrior.
"Why aren't you eating? Noodles aren't good when they get soggy."
"I love soggy noodles, don't you know?"
Kang-hyuk went back to eating, while Byeok Ae-rin stared at him again.
She was recalling an old memory of Kang-hyuk while they were still young.
Kang-hyuk had joined the Hwacheon Clan as a warrior of the lowest rank, and had made outstanding achievements one after the other to the extent that at the age of thirty two, he was qualified to be a leader.
Kwaepungdae, meaning fast wind.
As the name meant, the aim of the group was to resolve problems as fast as possible. However, that was only half of their actual work, the other half was somewhat fishy.
Byeok Ae-rin had always been aware of the truth behind Kwaepungdae. Its members could die, and there would be no concern whatsoever.
'We are like cards that can be discarded whenever.'
She hadn't been the only person aware of this truth. Kang-hyuk and Mu-jin also knew of this.
She recalled Kang-hyuk's past words.
"My name is Kang-Hyuk. I am your leader. Although the clan have treated us in a way where we may be used and then thrown away when our use is complete, I will change this. I will make us into a group that cannot be thoughtlessly discarded."
He had been true to his words.
'Reflecting on it, those were the happiest days.'
Byeok Ae-rin began to wonder whether it had been Kang-hyuk's dream to be a teacher.
"What made you want to become a teacher?"
"It was nothing much. I came here to inform Mu-jin of my transformation, and I thought that it might be good to try my hand at a dream I had given up on in my youth. But, I couldn't remember what my dream was, so I decided to fulfill my deceased brother's dream instead."
"So that's why you became a teacher?"
"Indeed. Also, Mu-jin recommended that I teach at Hwacheon Academy."
Byeok Ae-rin smirked.
'Haha. So it's Mu-jin who instigated all of this?'
She felt compelled to visit Mu-jin, who had been aware of all these happenings yet had been mute and to give him a good blow.
'I had to reprimand Hong-man because of you. I feel a bit bad. Should I buy him a drink?'
Kang-hyuk spoke as though he could read her mind.
"Don't be too hard on Mu-jin."
"How did you know what I was thinking?"
"Because whenever you're planning on beating someone up, your left eyebrow starts twitching."
"You are the Retired Leader indeed!"
"Haha! It's Kang Seonsaenim!"
"Oh yes, sorry."
She continued questioning him.
"How long to do you plan on being a teacher?"
"Until my energy is exhausted."
Thoughts of joining him to be a teacher at the Academy entered her head, but she quickly discarded them.
Byeok Ae-rin wanted to be by Kang-hyuk's side, but being a teacher would mean a greatly restricted freedom of movement.
She recalled Hong-man telling her that a warrior from Jimilgak was stationed at Kang-hyuk's residence as his servant.
This meant that the three assistant positions and the position of a maid for him were empty.
'Shall I be an assistant?'
In principle, an assistant had to commute to and from the Academy. In exceptional cases, they were allowed to stay with the teacher for two months to gain familiarity with them, but following that, it was required that they stay in separate accommodation.
By then, she had made her decision.
"Seonsaengnim, do you need a maid? I'm quite good at making rice."
(1) Ju-Ansul- a martial technique that causes the disappearance of wrinkles, and gives a youthful appearance but is not permanent.
(2) Inpi-myeongu- A human skin mask that changes the appearance of the face.
(3) Hwangoltaltae- A type of body metamorphosis