Invincible Teacher Chapter 3
3 Chapter 3
"I appreciate your offer, but I have an acquaintance in Nakyang that I'm planning to stay with."
Whilst this wasn't entirely truthful, Dang So-mun believed it.
"Ah, I see. Well, that's a relief."
Dang So-mun bowed to Kang-hyuk farewell.
"I'll be leaving now. Thank you for your accompaniment thus far."
"It is I who is grateful for your kind invitation to travel together! I hope you will continue in your martial cultivation, I am sure you will be greatly successful on this journey."
"Thank you for your encouragement Kang Dae-Hyeop (1)!"
"Dae-Hyeop? It is unfitting for me!"
"No, not at all. There isn't a more fitting way of addressing you other than Dae-Hyeop. Moreover, you are someone who saved my life when I was in danger."
Dang So-mun smiled brightly.
"I guess I will have to bid you farewell for now. Have a safe journey forward."
"I wish you a safe journey as well."
As Dang So-mun and his party headed towards a wealthy quarter of Nakyang, Kang-hyuk headed in the opposite direction towards the Hwacheon Clan's headquarters.
"Right, let's go to the headquarters!"
His intention of travelling to Nakyang was to visit this very headquarters. The headquarters also housed the leader of the Clan.
However, Kang-hyuk wasn't headed towards the front entrance of the Hwacheon Clan's Headquarters, but in the north direction to the mountains.
There was a secret passage into the Headquarters through the mountains, and Kang-hyuk intended to use it.
It was due to his transformed appearance. Even if he presented his identity tag to the guards at the front entrance, they wouldn't be able to recognize him as the Retired Leader.
He would most likely be declined entry into the headquarters, let alone allowed to meet the leader of the Clan.
'There is the other method which involves smashing my way through, but that would be rather loud. It's also unreasonable to disturb the poor guards so late into the night.'
Having entered deep into the mountains, Kang-hyuk was lying down, gazing at a cool flowing waterfall.
Even at night, it was still a beautiful scene as it was in the past.
Kang-hyuk got up, and slowly walked in the direction of the waterfall.
The Hwacheon Clan.
Known as the protector of the harmony of Moorim, the clan's rule and influence over Baekdo, Moorim was like the sky.
In the past 60 years, Kang-Hyuk and his clansmen had experienced unparalleled glories but before that, the Hwacheon Clan had also endured numerous humiliations throughout its history.
These humiliations caused the Hwacheon Clan's Headquarters to have an impenetrable guard.
The most heavily guarded place in the Hwacheon Clan's headquarters was the Museongjeon.
It was the place where the head of the Hwacheon Clan, the person who was as great as the sky to the people of Baekdo Moorim, stayed. This place was commonly known as Museongjeon.
It was a place which was unknown even by the high-ranking men of the clan.
Inside the leader's bedroom, a wardrobe that was placed against the north wall of the room was slowly pushed to the side.
Emerging through the door that had appeared from pushing aside the wardrobe was none other than Kang-Hyuk!
Though Kang-Hyuk had entered in this manner, the old man sleeping on the bed was in an undisturbed deep sleep with a peaceful expression on his face.
This was to be expected due to the extreme stealth with which Kang-Hyuk had entered.
Furthermore, before entering the leader's bedroom, he had sent all of the guards, who were protecting this secret house, to sleep.
Kang-hyuk walked towards the old man sleeping on the bed and looked upon him with a benevolent smile. He then spoke ruefully, "Ah! That cute young lad has gotten pretty old!"
That old man was none other than the head of the Hwacheon Clan, the Hwacheon Leader.
He most likely had been up late at night reviewing a pile of documents, therefore Kang-Hyuk was reluctant to wake him but the situation couldn't help it.
He tapped the leader, causing him to suddenly open his eyes. The leader, upon seeing an unknown young man in front of him, let out a scream.
However, before he could even make a noise, Kang Hyuk blocked his mouth with his hands.
It was a rapid movement that even the leader couldn't block in time.
Kang-Hyuk put his index finger on his lips and told him to be quiet, causing the old man to be panicked.
He was panicking due to the fact that all of a sudden, even a peep of noise was unable to be heard from his mouth, let alone his voice.
He felt as though he had gotten into a completely helpless situation. He felt a little ashamed at his easy defeat.
The man who appeared before his eyes seemed to be a youth of merely twenty years of age.
He wondered how such a novice could have entered his room without him noticing at all. Even now, he was unable to discern what kind of character he was.
His movements were so subtle that it was as though he wasn't there at all.
'He looks as though he's a novice, but he isn't a novice? Where could such an impressive assassin come from? The Magi's? The Valley of the Blood Kings? The forest of beasts?'
But he wasn't the leader for nothing.
He thought to himself, regardless of who sent him- he wasn't going to let the man in front of him leave alive.
But in that moment, he realized that something was strange. It was because he was unable to feel the energy that he should have felt by now.
It was the soldiers who were meant to be protecting his quarters.
As if he could read the leader's mind, Kang-Hyuk quietly whispered, "Don't worry about the guards. I thought they would unnecessarily cause noise so I sedated them."
"What did you just say?"
"By the way, in the years we haven't seen each other, you've aged quite a bit, dear Mu-Jin."
His voice was had no malice whatsoever. Instead, it was filled with pure concern and pity for the old man.
That's why it felt even weirder.
"What on earth is this? Why is this lad in the pink of his youth speaking to me in this way?"
Kang-hyuk sighed at the old man's expression which still held anger and suspicion for him.
"Are you still unaware of who I am?"
"What kind of rubbish are you spew"
The leader couldn't finish his sentence. It was due to Kang-Hyuk lifting up his hand and smacking the leader's forehead.
"Oh dear me, how could I have left, entrusting the position of leader to a fellow like you?"
"The position of leader? Entrusted?"
Upon hearing these words, Mu-jin, the current leader of the Hwacheon Clan, became completely mortified.
When the old man came to think of it, the young man's face and voice were familiar and so was the method with which he had slapped his forehead.
He then started to carefully look at the young man before him.
"It..It can't be are you the retired leader?"
"Yes, you punk!"
Mu-jin's eyes widened from shock.
In retrospect, there couldn't have been anyone else who could have so effectively subdued him in this way.
He was none other than his superior that had thrown him onto the position of leader and had quickly left thereafter.
He was also the only person who would call his name in such an affectionate manner.
There were some who called him a madman, however couldn't do so to his face from the fear of his wrath. But the retired leader Kang-hyuk was most commonly known as the 'Dragon Lord'.
But the man that appeared before him was far too young.
'Could he have undergone some sort of metamorphosis?'
Noticing the leader's inner confusion and turmoil, Kang-hyuk spoke in a hushed voice, "I have experienced reverse aging."
At these words, Mu-jin's eyes became so wide that it seemed as though they were going to burst.
"Shall we go for a walk?"
A little while later.
Kang Hyuk and Mu-jin sat beside the waterfall where the secret passage began.
Mu-jin's questions were many, and they all came out at once.
"Re-Retired Leader! How on earth did this happen? Reverse aging? Is something like that really possible?"
At his question, Kang-Hyuk nodded his head.
"It is indeed."
"I cannot believe this! Are you not playing some kind of prank on me? Are you wearing some sort of magical mask?"
Mu-jin reached out his hand and pinched Kang-Hyuk's face. Kang Hyuk immediately pushed Mu-jin away from him.
"Don't come so close to me! You used to have such a cute face and now it's all old and wrinkly- it's disgusting!"
Kang-hyuk inhaled sharply. "Didn't I tell you to call me Hyung-nim (2) ?"
It was truly a sight, seeing the leader who was nearing 80 calling a fellow who looked twenty Hyung-nim.
If anyone had overheard this conversation, they would have definitely doubted their hearing! Thankfully, aside from the two of them, there was no one else to be found.
"Either way, the reason I showed up like this and told you of my experience directly is because I didn't want to cause you any panic or anxiety. Am I not such a considerate older brother?"
"Haha, is that why you showed up in a manner that nearly gave your deeply sleeping younger brother a heart attack?"
"If I had been under the impression that such a small matter like this would have caused you to have a heart attack, I wouldn't have passed on the leadership position to you."
Mu-jin looked at Kang-hyuk sitting in front of him with a concentrated gaze. He then began to recall Kang-Hyuk's words to him when they had first met.
"My name is Kang-Hyuk. I am your leader. Although the clan have treated us in a way where you may be used and then thrown away when your use is complete, I will change this. I will make us into a group that cannot be thoughtlessly discarded."
At the same time however, Mu-jin also recalled the hell-like training he underwent. Thinking of this, his hands curled into fists.
'Damn it! Even thinking of it right now makes me feel sick!'
However, not wanting to betray his thoughts to Kang-Hyuk, he quickly changed the topic of conversation.
"Hyung-nim, did you come to see me in regards to the Autumn Moorim tournament?"
Kang-hyuk nodded his head in response to Mu-jin's question.
"Martial artists from all over the land will be gathered there to show off their prowess from the masters in retirement to the young ones. All will be flocking to this festival. How would you reckon they would react to me in this form?"
"I think we both know the answer to that. It would obviously create a lot of ruckus and excitement. So, are you meaning to say that you won't be attending this years tournament?"
"Ah my younger brother, you sure are quick to catch on. Hahaha."
Mu-jin felt like a headache was going to come on.
He was thankful that Kang-Hyuk had come and revealed this truth to him first.
'The Autumn tournament is one that a Retired Leader would have to attend. What kind of excuses would we have to come up to satisfy the fastidious old men who will ask for his whereabouts?'
He decided that he would worry about that later.
"So Hyung-nim, what are you thinking of doing now?"
"What am I going to do? What do you mean by that?"
Mu-jin scratched his head.
"Well seeing as you have restored youth and vitality, I was wondering whether you had any unfulfilled dream that you had abandoned and could now work on fulfilling."
"An abandoned dream?"
"I heard it a while ago. That you didn't originally have the intention to enter Moorim. So you must have had something you wished to do then."
On hearing these words, Kang-hyuk's expression turned dark.
"Yes, yes I did."
"That's why I'm saying this. Seeing as you've undergone reverse aging, no one would be able to easily recognise you, therefore if there was something you wanted to do before you could"
"The thing is, I can't actually remember what my dream was."
Mu-jin's eyes completely widened upon hearing this. Kang-hyuk however just giggled.
He could see Mu-jin's cute, youthful face through his current aged appearance when Mu-jin's eyes widened in this way.
He wondered why he wanted to keep seeing Mu-jin's widened eye appearance. He then realized that it was because it reminded him of his dead brother.
"Whilst I don't remember my own dream, I can still remember my brother's dream."
"Are you speaking of your twin brother? Wasn't it when you two were coming up to the capital and encountered bandits and then"
"Yes, then he died. And then I was also able to avenge him through becoming the Hwacheon Clan's leader."
Mu-jin nodded his head.
He could still remember all of the things Kang-Hyuk had done in order to carry out his revenge.
His beating to death of a Poison-Claw Witch who were frightening men in the central districts to death was only the beginning.
He cut the heads of Double-Axe Blackhead, who was the King of Nokrim, and the Dragon Blood King, who was the ruler of the Black Island. He also fought the old foe of the Hwacheon Clan, the Dark Demon, who was the leader of the Temple of the Heavenly Horse. After fighting for seven days and nights, Kang-Hyuk had him drove him out to the Hundred Thousand Great Mountains.
Now, any little influence the Temple of the Heavenly Horse had, extended only to the Hundred Thousand Great Mountains.
Whilst the Dark Demon was still alive and sharpening his sword in hopes of a recovery, it was an impossibility that they would return to the central districts of the land for the rest of Kang-Hyuk's lifespan.
For such a feat, a nickname that stuck to Kang-Hyuk from then on was Invincible Warrior.
He was seen as the ultimate leader of Moorim, both in name and in reality.
Mu-jin asked Kang-Hyuk, "So what was your brother's dream?"
"My brother's dream?"
"It was to be a teacher."
(1) Dae-Hyeop - An honorific title in the land of Moorim for an older accomplished/respected man
(2) Hyung-nim - Korean honorific term for older brother