Invincible Teacher Chapter 26
26 Chapter 26
Baek-gap had once again come to the realization that the Horticulture teacher, known as Kang-hyuk, was no ordinary person.
'No wonder! Seeing as Elder Byeok Ae-rin was using honorifics with him.'
He recalled a fact that he was aware of.
'Wait a minute! Doesn't Elder Byeok not use honorific speech with anyone other than the person she serves.'
He knew that there was only one person Byeok Ae-rin served. It was none other than the god-like Retired Clan Leader, Kang-hyuk.
He couldn't understand why he had only just realized this.
His eyes began to roll around, causing Kang-hyuk to raise his fist at him again.
"Tsk tsk, it seems as though your senses haven't returned yet!"
"Ahem! No, not at all! I'm completely fine!"
In that moment, Baek-gap had decided what he was going to do.
He had realized that his awareness of Kang-hyuk's true identity as the Retired Leader would make no difference in the frequency of the life-threatening situations he would be in.
'Well at least, he won't kill me.'
Baek-gap, feeling more relaxed, pointed to the Mountain and spoke, "Th-then we should get going. Where should we go?"
"Let's go to Eumwolgok."
"Yes, I understand. To Eumwolgok.wait what? Did you just say...Eumwolgok?"
Baek-gap's eyes widened in surprise.
There was only one place in the Mu-dang Mountains that was known as Eumwolgok. It was the place where the yin energy of the moon gathered.
Unlike the White Sun Valley, the yin energy of Eumwolgok was so powerful, that unless you were a master with transcended cultivation, one would not be able to withstand being there, unless they had an artefact from the polar seas.
If not, one would most likely die from freezing to death.
Despite this, Kang-hyuk was still confident in visiting the place.
"Seonsaengnim, why do you keep on searching out forbidden places and visiting them? Isn't this place also forbidden?"
"I'm going there because there's something I need, what's the big deal even if it is forbidden?"
Baek-gap was now able to understand where Kang-hyuk's obstinate will stemmed from.
'Then again, I heard there's nothing that's impossible for the Retired Leader.'
He tentatively began to walk, fearing that his head might be slapped once more if he didn't.
Around an hour of travelling through the mountains went by. This was when Kang-hyuk finally cast his eyes upon the entrance of a valley.
The valley that was wreathed in misty clouds and fog was none other than Mu-dang Mountain's Eumwolgok.
The mingling of the powerful yin energy of Eumwolgok with the outer energy of the mountain caused a perennially thick fog to permeate through the entrance of the Valley.
The place also fostered all kinds of plants and animals that thrived on Yin energy.
The orchid that Kang-hyuk was searching for was among those plants.
"Anyways Seonsaengnim, what kind of orchid are you looking for that made you come all the way to Eumwolgok?"
Baek-gap, still carrying an A-frame on his back, questioned Kang-hyuk. Kang-hyuk steadfastly replied, "Have you heard of the Moon Orchid?"
Baek-gap's eyes seemed to have almost popped out of their sockets.
"You, you can't possibly talking about the Moon Orchid I'm thinking of, right?"
"What's the Moon Orchid you referring to?"
"Well, it's known as the most mysterious flower in the world that's in bloom all year round. I know that the appearance of the flowers also reflect the cycles of the moon."
Baek-gap continued, "The leaves of the plant have the same appearance all year round, and they have the property of heat absorption. The roots are also extremely effective at curing internal injuries caused by Ice Qi energy. Furthermore, I've heard that you feel neither warm nor cold when you're near the Moon Orchid plant.
"You know about it in detail, I see."
Baek-gap replied carefully, "Are we really going to dig Moon Orchids up? How are we going to survive the cold of Eumwolgok."
Kang-hyuk threw an object at Baek-gap, who just about caught it.
It was a Jade Ring, tinged with red, that was meant to be worn on the arm.
"What, what is this?"
"This is the Eternal Fire Ring."
"Eeek! Isn't this a treasure from the Chuk-Yung Palace?"
Kang-hyuk grinned widely.
"You know quite a lot, don't you!"
"Of course. I'm a rank seventy three of Jimilgakah!"
Baek-gap hurriedly blocked his own mouth with his hands. If on a mission, it was required for a Jimilgak warrior to keep their identity concealed, and even if that wasn't possible, it was forbidden to reveal their rank.
Baek-gap however, had just voluntarily revealed his rank.
"I already heard you were a Jimilgak warrior with a rank of seventy three from Ae-rin. Why are you acting so secretive? Tsk tsk."
Fortunately for Baek-gap, Kang-hyuk took no issue with him having broken the rules of Jimilgak.
Baek-gap cleared out his feelings.
"Anyway, you've worked quite hard, haven't you? You don't have a mind-blowing physique, but you already have a peak level cultivation and a rank of seventy three! I guess your knowledge must also be part of your efforts."
Baek-gap, highly touched by Kang-hyuk's praise, felt like bursting into tears.
As Kang-hyuk had said, he had indeed put in a lot of effort, and even more so to get to the position he was currently at.
As his martial skills were relatively weak, he had vowed to himself that if he ever came across a master, he would get onto his knees and ask for their teaching.
For the people of Moorim, martial skills had the same value as capital, and with that, it couldn't be directly learned, but learned through clues.
Thus, it was only after pain-staking efforts that one could reach a peak cultivation level.
As a Jimilgak warrior, he had even volunteered to work at the Hanjikin Library, where nobody else was willing to work, in an effort to become more knowledgeable.
In the three years he had worked there, he had studied all of the Jimilgak books, and various kinds of books on sacred herbs and medicine.
However, up to that date, no one had ever acknowledged his extended efforts.
There had only been some jealousy due to his rapid ascension in ranking.
This was why he had been so touched by Kang-hyuk's acknowledgement of him.
Kang-hyuk touched Baek-gap's shoulder.
"It's not easy to go beyond the base level of talent you're born with. It's still possible for you to increase your cultivation further, so keep on devotedly applying yourself as you have done so far."
Baek-gap's voice was filled with emotion. These were words that had come from the 'Invincible Warrior', the Retired Leader Kang-hyuk.
His words alone filled Baek-gap with the hope that his dreams were possible.
"Well then, let's get going."
Baek-gap slipped the Jade Ring Kang-hyuk had given him onto his arm. He could immediately feel a warm energy permeating throughout his chest.
The Eternal Fire Ring.
It was a treasure of the Chuk-yung Palace, which dealt with Fire Qi energy, and its unique feature was that it served as protection to prevent cold energy from entering the body.
It was a treasure revered by those in frequent dispute with the North Sea Ice palace, as an effective defence against their Ice Energy Balls.
As Baek-gap was aware that the Eternal Fire Ring would be effective protection against the chilly Eumwolgok, he unreservedly followed Kang-hyuk.
Entering Eumwolgok, the eerie sound of beasts crying rang out.
Trees filled the space in all four directions, blocking the light, pairing with the gloomy shadow of the surrounding canyons, which gave the place a dark and unpleasant atmosphere.
Despite this, Kang-hyuk had no hesitation in his pace, and after scouring all directions, stopped at a particular place.
Baek-gap followed Kang-hyuk's gaze. He was looking at the habitat where the Moon Orchid grew.
"We need to collect exactly thirty plants."
"Is that all you'll need?"
"Yes. Taking more than what you require isn't a good thing."
Baek-gap immediately squatted down, and began carefully prying out the orchid plants with a hoe.
All of a sudden, something began to move from the side. Baek-gap, sensing this, became alarmed.
Slowly moving towards them was a giant hairy creature.
The creature was covered in a mass of white fur, and razor-like teeth could be seen in its open maw.
"Huh? It is Eumwolgok, after all! That creature is here!"
Baek-gap began to mentally sift through his knowledge, and he had soon discovered the creature's identity.
It was the White Yin Beast that tended to reside within places that were high in Yin energy.
The White Yin Beast was known to like people. More specifically, it liked human flesh.
Therefore, it would always attack humans in an attempt to capture them for food.
This was why the White Yin Beast had rushed towards Baek-gap and Kang-hyuk as soon as it had sensed their presence in Eumwolgok.
Kang-hyuk grabbed Baek-gap by the nape of his neck, flinging him away from the creature.
The White Yin Beast's efforts went in vain.
Baek-gap cried out.
"Seonsaengnim! This bastard has the ability to become invisible!"
As he spoke, the White Yin Beast disappeared. However, Kang-hyuk was unconcerned and simply smiled.
"Even if he can't be seen with the eyes, there are many ways that he can be seen. One of those ways is by feeling the wind."
Kang-hyuk stretched his fist out above his head.
The sound of something bursting echoed through the wintry air as the figure of the White Yin Beast reappeared with a roar.
Kang-hyuk only gave second chances to those that had the ability to reform.
Whilst the Giant Cow of the White Sun Valley, and the White Yin Beast were both spiritual animals, unlike the Giant Cow, the White Yin Beast was known to be harmful to humans from the beginning of its existence.
In the past, being unaware of this, Kang-hyuk had given it three chances, which he had regretted all three times.
But since then, he had no regrets about his actions towards the White Yin Beast.
Kang-hyuk reached his hands out in front of him.
White energy poured out from his hands, which then melded into the shape of a sword.
Kang-hyuk then made a move.
Within moments, the creature's head was separated from its body. It then ceased to breathe.
Baek-gap's mouth had dropped open.
He was aware that decapitating the White Yin Beast wasn't as easy as Kang-hyuk had made it seem, and that the 'simple movement' must have required great strength and dexterity to execute.
He wondered what the outline of a form in Kang-hyuk's hands was.
The skin of the White Yin Beast was known to be so tough that even a warrior of peak cultivation wouldn't be able to even slightly tear it.
'O-of course, he is the Invincible Warrior!"
The body of the decapitated beast was slowly melting away like snow. Indifferent to this, Kang-hyuk spoke.
"Let's quickly dig up the rest of the Moon Orchids and head back."
It was noon of the next day.
Kang-hyuk and Baek-gap were returning back to Hwacheon Academy. The A-frame on Baek-gap's back was overflowing with Moon Orchids.
The gatekeeper greeted Kang-hyuk upon his arrival.
"Keep up the good work."
After hurriedly greeting the gatekeeper, Kang-hyuk rushed to the practice plot, Yeongyowon.
Readily stacked, there were exactly thirty flower pots waiting.
Baek-gap felt weak in his knees at the mere sight of the stacked pots.
'All of these stacked pots can only mean that I'm going to have to plant the orchids into them!'
Kang-hyuk burst into laughter at Baek-gap's disturbed expression.
"Don't worry, you aren't going to be doing it alone."
"What? Then, who else is coming?"
Kang-hyuk picked up a fallen leaf, and tossed it into the air where it then flew away.
"They'll be here very soon."
Within a few moments, a figure rushed towards Yeongyowon.
Clothed in red, it was Byeok Ae-rin, who was holding a fallen leaf in her hand, the very leaf that Kang-hyuk had just tossed.
"I came to see if there was anything I could help with Seonsaengnim."
An unfamiliar figure was standing next to her.
He was an old man wearing black clothes, holding a black fan. Baek-gap automatically bowed his head in greeting.
Considering the events that he had endured thus far, he wasn't surprised in the least at the identity of the old man.
Kang-hyuk looked at the old man, and exclaimed.
"It's been a while, Gu-ya!"
The man clothed in black sighed. It was Shim-gu, the ex-Head of Hyeonmugak.
"Damn it! It's really true! Don't you think this is too much, Hyung-nim? Were your martial skills enough that you can undergo reverse aging as well?"
"I guess it just happened by itself. Anyways, Ae-rin-ah."
Kang-hyuk's gaze diverted over to Byeok Ae-rin. She looked coy, as though she knew what he was about to say.
"You didn't explicitly say that I couldn't tell anyone."
"Also, we needed Orabeoni's skills to effectively deal with Oh-Tae. Didn't you say this to me before?"
"You don't have to do everything well. If there's something one lacks, you can always lean on another. There's no such thing as a perfect person. You said that, right?"
"Well...I guess that's true."