Invincible Teacher Chapter 35
36 Chapter 35
Byeok Ae-rin sighed as she spoke.
"Why don't you just call me Noonim (1)? I don't want to be called 'Elder' by you as well."
"Then you should just call me Mu-jin if that's the case."
"I can't do that."
"My lord has ordered against it."
Nothing more could be done.
Byeok Ae-rin took out the bottle of liquor.
"You have some time to have a glass of liquor, don't you?"
Mu-jin quickly nodded. He had been craving alcohol for a while now.
They sat down, facing each other at a small tea table that was in the centre of the office. Byeok Ae-rin took out two glasses and poured liquor into them.
The edges of Mu-jin's mouth rose up at the fragrant scent of liquor diffusing throughout the room.
"This is expensive liquor, isn't it?"
"That's right. I bought it, thinking about my health. Now that I'm getting old, I don't want to be drinking cheap liquor. Go and get drinking."
They both lifted their glasses, drinking the alcohol in one glug. After finishing two glasses, Byeok Ae-rin spoke up and asked.
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"About my lord becoming a teacher at the Academy?"
Mu-jin pounded his chest, as though the alcohol he had just drank gave him intense indigestion.
"You should drink more carefully! It's dangerous to get something stuck in your windpipe when you're old, you know!"
"I know, I know!"
Mu-jin looked at Byeok Ae-rin with a dumbfounded glance.
'You're the reason why I'm choking anyway!'
Byeok Ae-rin had served Kang-hyuk, who was widely known as 'The Dragon' Leader for fifty years.
She was also notorious for her wrath. This was why Mu-jin held back on what he had wanted to say.
"I apologize Noonim. I couldn't tell you that because I was afraid that the Retired Leader would find it quite bothersome."
Mu-jin looked up. Her face was plastered with an icy smile.
"You'll have to cooperate with me."
"I'll need your cooperation to finish things up a little faster, silent, and without bloodshed."
"H-how can I help you then?" Mu-jin asked nervously.
"You'll need to order that there should be a field trip."
"A-a field trip?"
"Yes. The early spring weather is quite nice."
However, unlike the expression of most people when speaking about early spring weather, Byeok Ae-rin's expression had traces of brutality.
It was the next day.
"A field trip?"
The teachers' morning meeting had gone on as usual until the Principal, Eun Myeong-myeong, had thrown a random spanner in the works.
In the Academy, there were many spring events, but field-trips weren't part of the spring itinerary, and usually occurred later in the term.
But surprisingly, Eun Myeong-myeong had announced that there would be a field trip much sooner than expected.
"Why is there a field trip?"
One of the teachers raised a query. Eun Myeong-myeong replied, "The Clan Leader said that it would be good for us to have a field trip."
The teachers realized that they had no room for compromise, since the owner of the Academy was the Clan Leader.
"Therefore, we'll organize the trip to be held tomorrow. Is it too soon for you all?"
"No, not at all."
Of course, their reactions were feigned. It was indeed far too soon, considering the amount of preparation that a field trip needed.
"The location will be in the mountains. Seeing as there is limited time, the Clan Leader personally chose the location. Anyway, I hope you'll all work hard at organizing it."
"Are there any other items on the agenda?"
There was no response.
"In that case, this concludes the meeting."
As Ok Hae-mi, sitting next to Eun Myeong-myeong, was finished speaking, Kang-hyuk stood up.
'The Clan Leader instructed this?'
He felt as though the matter had a definite connection with Byeok Ae-rin having asked permission to leave the evening before.
'She doesn't have the intention of using her traditional methods, does she?'
The thought subsided as soon as it entered his head. He was aware of how well Byeok Ae-rin knew him, and so, his concern dissipated. 'You used the excuse of not wanting to work. I've discovered you now.'
Kang-hyuk also had confidence in his ability to resolve things if anything got out of hand.
He hurriedly headed back to his residence to prepare for his next lesson.
'Isn't today. the first-year students' lesson?'
Dang So-mun was walking in the direction towards Yeongyowon.
His recent lessons weren't within the classrooms, but within the practice plot.
Walking alongside him was his best friend, Baek Mun-ji.
He looked over at Baek Mun-ji.
He felt that Baek Mun-ji's behaviour as of recent was a little...odd.
He couldn't put his finger on what exactly was off, but he knew that something was definitely off.
'What is it? Is he ashamed of being seen with me?'
After considering a variety of possibilities, he came to a conclusion. He sighed, looking down at his legs.
Whilst the foundation of martial arts was within energy, and one's cultivation, what was most important besides that, was one's stance.
Unfortunately, his legs would never move as he wished, and as a result, his stance would always become twisted in some way.
He had always felt confident in his skills in all other aspects, and felt that he had great potential, but the only issue were his legs.
This was why he was constantly ridiculed during his martial classes, where even the teachers clicked their tongues at him.
He bit his lips and raised his head to look up at Baek Mun-ji.
"Well, I was wondering do you dislike being with me?"
"What are you talking about?"
Baek Mun-ji gave him a puzzled look.
"You've been acting weird recently. You keep on blanking out you were doing that just now as well."
".Ah, sorry about that."
"Do you have a problem of any sort?"
"Pro-problem? What problem!"
"If that's not it, I thought you might be embarrassed being seen with me."
Baek Mun-ji sighed, and slapped the back of Dang So-mun's head with the edge of his hand.
"Oi, stop saying such ridiculous things!"
"I've just been a little tired recently, that's all. It' not that I dislike being with you, don't worry."
"Th-then, that's a relief."
"What's the reason behind your delusional thinking?"
"Well, the thing is."
Dang So-mun hesitated, looking down at his legs. Being well aware of the meaning behind Dang So-mun's movement, Baek Mun-ji bitterly smiled.
"Don't worry about that."
"One day, when the time comes, you'll be able to practise martial arts unhindered, just like everyone else."
There was a whirlpool of emotion hiding behind Baek Mun-ji's gaze that Dang So-mun was oblivious to.
They had soon arrived at Yeongyowon.
They saw Kang-hyuk with an unknown young man standing beside him. Upon seeing their arrival, Kang-hyuk addressed them.
"Right, I'll introduce you to a new person. This is my assistant, Cheon Hae-gwang. You can call him Cheon Jo-gyo ok?"
"Yes! Understood, Seonsaengnim."
"Today's class will be on theory. You can go and sit down at the pavilion."
"Why aren't we in the classrooms if it's a theory class today?"
Kang-hyuk pointed at the sky in response to a student's question.
"Why have a class indoors when we have such beautiful, clear weather! Maybe you can't appreciate the charm of it yet!"
"Now, go ahead and take your seats."
The students headed to Yeongyowon's pavilion. The pavilion hadn't always been a feature of the place.
However, needing a place of shade to rest under when he was initially creating Yeongyowon, Kang-hyuk personally made the pavilion out a tree.
Whilst most thought it had always been there, he actually made it within a few moments.
"Today's theory will be the seasons in which flowering plants bloom."
Kang-hyuk continued on in his explanation, whilst the students listened intently.
The reason for this was because there would be a big issue if one happened to miss even a small detail of what was explained.
Time had gone by, and Kang-hyuk had finished the contents of the lesson.
"Also. I don't know if you all know, but tomorrow is the spring field trip."
The students nodded. They had heard the news in the morning, during their swordsmanship class.
The notice had also been pasted on every bulletin board of the Academy.
"Therefore, I'm going to give you all a special assignment."
"A special assignment? But we already have so many assignments to complete from our martial subjects as well"
Kang-hyuk simply grinned at the student's protests.
"Are you saying that this is a useless subject and this is why I shouldn't give assignments?"
"N-no, that's not it."
However, Kang-hyuk had perfectly grasped the student's thoughts.
"Within Moorim, survival is of the highest importance. Whether its martial arts or a liberal art, if it is needed for your survival, that is what is of the greatest priority.
"Therefore, don't try and judge the importance of either martial or liberal arts. There's nothing more foolish than that!"
Kang-hyuk wasn't impressed by the discrimination of Liberal Arts subjects within Hwacheon Academy.
When he was still the Clan Leader, he had put in much effort in an attempt to reduce this discrimination.
Nonetheless, things still seemed to be of no difference.
Before Kang-hyuk had become the Leader, the Liberal Arts teachers hadn't even been allocated residences, they didn't have the right to have more than one teaching assistant, and their salary had been a quarter of that of the martial teachers.
He quickly scanned through his students.
He was satisfied that the students had quietened down, so he continued speaking.
"If all of you fully understood what I said, I shall give you the assignment."
The students began to focus on the contents of the assignment. A warm feeling rose up in Kang-hyuk at the dark eyes of his students twinkling in concentration.
"The assignment is to uproot and collect the plants that take your fancy at the site of the field trip."
"It's crucial to make sure not to damage the roots of the plants when collecting them."
"I have a question!"
A female students raised her hand up.
"What is it?"
"Does it matter what plants you choose?"
"It doesn't matter at all. We shall now conclude the class with this."
After Kang-hyuk handed out the candied Baby Ginseng roots to a few students, the class then dispersed. Kang-hyuk began to work on cultivating some more land that he intended to turn into flowerbeds.
"Ahem. Ahem ahem."
Cheon Hae-gwang coughed to get Kang-hyuk's attention.
Kang-hyuk turned around.
"What is it?"
"What's the significance of the assignment you set?"
Whilst he had been a little taken aback at Kang-hyuk's identity as a Horticulture teacher, this was because Kang-hyuk had not only saved his life, but could also immediately identify the Silver Ice Sword and know who the attackers of his family were.
He had even given the precious artifact that was the Eternal Fire Ring to his servant to wear, and had gone to Eumwolgok to dig up Moon Orchids!
Not to mention the Thousand Year Red Rose, Ten White Flower and Tranquil Smile of Yellow Nectar Flower seedlings!
He hadn't anticipated that there would be more to the seedlings than what Kang-hyuk had already explained, but that night, when Baek-gap had expanded further on the special properties of the Sacred Herbs, he was so shocked that his heart had almost stopped.
It was precisely due to these factors that Cheon Hae-gwang had an intuition that there must be some particular significance behind Kang-hyuk's assignment.
Kang-hyuk bluntly responded to Cheon Hae-gwang's query.
"There's no special reason."
Kang-hyuk stroked his chin. It was a lingering habit from when he had a beard.
"Well, if you're so curious, then I'll let you know. You should have seen the mess the students made when I told them to weed out their individual plots."
"What do you mean?"
"They simply cut the upper parts of the weeds and left its roots in the ground. That's why I've set this assignment. They might learn how to weed more effectively after this trip."
There really was no special reason after all.
(1) Noonim= Korean honorific term for a male addressing a close older female.