Invincible Teacher Chapter 37
38 Chapter 37
He put on a fake smile.
He felt a little ashamed that despite being the former head of Hyeonmugak, he hadn't been able to obtain this information.
He was also unable to obtain information of the field trip as the day before, he had been in the outskirts of Nakyang to collect his Hidden Qi Stone so that Kang-hyuk wouldn't be able to pick up on his traces of energy
Shim-gu sighed a deep sigh.
'Why didn't Myeong-myeong inform me of this earlier?'
Eun Myeong-myeong was following behind the students leisurely. But of course, walking leisurely didn't mean that he was moving at a slow pace.
'Hm, why am I feeling a little uncomfortable?'
He tilted his head, and mentally went through a list of the preparations he had to finish.
After doing so, he realized that there was definitely nothing he had missed out on doing. But for whatever reason, he still felt a little uncomfortable, as though he had left the door of his personal safe open.
"Principal, is there something wrong?"
Ok Hae-mi asked carefully. Her role was to give instructions by Eun Myeong-myeong's side. He quickly shook his head.
"It's nothing. By the way, how much time has passed since we first set out?"
"I think it's been around four hours."
Eun Myeong-myeong looked up at the students walking in front of him.
A Hwacheon Academy field trip literally meant to increase one's learning at a particular location.
As Hwacheon Academy had a focus on martial arts, the method of travelling to the site of the field trip was through Gyeonggong.
Students who had less cultivation, and therefore less Qi, were already out of breath.
'The time's flown by already!'
Eun Myeong-myeong felt that four hours of decreased breathing capacity for the students due to the use of Gyeonggong was enough for now. He then turned to look at Ok Hae-mi.
"Stop everyone to have a meal and a short rest."
"I understand. Where would be a good place to stop?"
"That boulder just ahead would be a good place."
Ok Hae-mi went through and informed the teachers in charge of each group of students of Eun Myeong-myeong's instructions.
Eun Myeong-myeong could have used a sound transmission to deliver his instructions, but he chose not to do so.
In the near future, when the students were all dispersed in Gang-ho, it was possible that they would be unable to hear sound transmissions.
He was training them for that time.
As Oh-Tae looked at Kang-hyuk, he almost automatically clenched his jaw.
When he heard that Kang-hyuk was joining their group, he assumed that Kang-hyuk must have some martial skill, how little it may be.
'So he knows some Gyeonggong!'
Despite Kang-hyuk seeming to cope with the situation for the time being, Oh-Tae predicted that soon, he too would be out of breath and panting like the first-year students.
Kang-hyuk noticed Oh-Tae's condescending looks, but didn't respond, knowing his attention would only exaggerate the situation.
He simply moved his legs slowly, step by step, as if he was taking a walk.
And like this, a couple of hours had gone by.
Oh-Tae's face began to contort. His prediction hadn't come to fruition.
After having used Gyeonggong for a mere four hours, the students had become weak and breathless.
At this point, the first-year martial teachers were also beginning to feel the strain. Kang-hyuk, however, seemed perfectly fine.
In fact, his expression looked beyond feeling fine. His face was serene, as though he was walking through a field of blooming flowers.
'Da-damn it! What is this? Is he not a normal Horticulture teacher?'
It was only then that Oh-Tae realized that something was strange about the situation.
He noticed that his assistant too seemed to be travelling without experiencing any difficulty.
In all honesty, this was due to Kang-hyuk having dissolved a powder within Cheon Hae-gwang's water bottle that would restore his Qi.
Unaware of this, Oh-Tae became increasingly displeased at the situation.
All of a sudden...
"Ah! You're here!"
A refreshingly sweet voice was heard coming from behind them. Smirking at Oh-Tae's astounded expression, Kang-hyuk turned around.
"It's Ok Seonsaeng!"
As usual, Ok Hae-mi had a gentle smile on her face.
"I've come to convey the Principal's instructions. Do you see that boulder coming up front? We're going to take a break and have a meal there."
"I see. Thank you for letting us know."
Having said what she had come for, Ok Hae-mi gently used a form of Gyeonggong to move to inform the other groups.
Kang-hyuk tilted his head as he observed her movements.
'Hmm that form of Gyeonggong looks like'
Whilst the Gyeonggong she used didn't seem to be too different from the usual form of movement, Kang-hyuk could clearly identify the family she came from by observing it.
He found it a little peculiar.
'Looking at her Gyeonggong, she is doubtlessly a member of the Ok Family, but why is she at Hwacheon Academy as a first-year teacher, hiding her cultivation?'
He thought that it was best not to inquire about her background as it may be a sensitive topic, but decided to keep an eye on her henceforth.
They soon reached the boulder where they were to take a break, and after eating their packed lunch, the students and teachers were all drinking warm tea.
As this was happening, Kang-hyuk took something out of a drawstring bag. Curious as to what it was, Dang So-mun spoke up.
"Seonsaengnim, what is that?"
Dang So-mun and his friend, Baek Mun-ji, were among the group of students that Oh-Tae, Kang-hyuk, and some other teachers were guiding.
"This is a tea which is beneficial for the body. Would you like to drink some with me?"
Dang So-mun and Baek Mun-ji nodded their heads. Kang-hyuk then poured them a cup of tea.
Dang So-mun tentatively sipped the tea.
His exclamation was due to the tea being sweet and more delicious than he had anticipated.
"This tea is wonderful, Seonsaengnim!"
"Is that so?"
Dang So-min's reaction piqued the curiosity of the other students in the group. Therefore, Kang-hyuk distributed the tea from person to person.
"Seonsaengnim, would you like to have some?"
Kang-hyuk offered Oh-Tae a cup.
Kang-hyuk nodded his head at the rejection, and didn't attempt to persuade him otherwise. He didn't feel the need to offer again to those who had already declined once.
The tea was in fact the Hundred Year Snow Lotus Tea.
The Hundred Year Snow Lotus was found deep in the sea, with its bloom having the colour of white snow. It was a precious elixir like medicine which had the property of maintaining Qi, preventing its decline as well.
Kang-hyuk had given it to the students to ensure their safety.
The various potentialities of a field trip couldn't be predicted. Up until now, they hadn't ventured far from Nakyang, but from this point on, extra caution had to be taken.
Whilst the Academy had hired warriors to accompany them on the trip, there was only so much they could do.
'You never know what will happen.'
Kang-hyuk stood up.
"Where are you going?"
Kang-hyuk turned and looked behind at Oh-Tae's question.
"I need to relieve myself."
"Well, it's not surprising, considering how much tea you drank. Come back quickly! The resting time will be over in a few minutes!"
Kang-hyuk entered the surrounding forest.
'A few minutes eh'
Kang-hyuk thought about it again. He had more time to spare than that.
In a moment, Kang-hyuk's movement form upgraded. His movement was so rapid that it didn't even leave a shadow.
His eyes twinkled.
'I had doubts, so I came. I guess I was right!'
Kang-hyuk stopped in his tracks, staring at the figures standing in front of him.
They were a group varying in their appearances, carrying all kinds of weaponry.
They were clearly identifiable as bandits.
'Why would they choose Hwacheon Academy as their opponent?'
Even if the students of the Academy weren't taken into consideration, the teachers and their assistants were masters of martial skill and all had high levels of cultivation.
The bandits wouldn't be able to overpower such a group.
Something strange then caught Kang-hyuk's eyes. The bandits were holding dozens of nets. From the energies of the nets, he sensed that they were not ordinary.
'Oh! They're planning to take the students for ransom, huh.'
In the chaos that would ensue if they attacked, it would be easy for them to capture one or two students.
But seeing as Kang-hyuk had chanced upon them, and ascertained their intentions, their plan had essentially been foiled.
'It's an impossibility that I would let the students of the school I work at be kidnapped by bandits!'
Kang-hyuk looked at a tall pine tree in front of him. The pine needles were dyed a vibrant green with spring's arrival.
"I'm sorry, but I'm going to need your needles."
Reaching out his hand, he gathered up the energy of thousands of needles of the pine tree. He then threw the ball of pine needle energy at the bandits.
"It-it's an ambush!"
The bandits screamed.
'We've secured the safety of this location, I'd better check out some of the other locations!'
There was plenty of time left.
Ok Hae-mi was working diligently.
The hours of resting had finished, and she was in the process of informing the groups of teachers to prepare their departure.
In the midst of her being busy, she noticed that someone was walking towards her. When she looked closely, the person had a familiar looking face.
He bowed his head slightly upon seeing Ok Hae-mi. The route from which he had approached her seemed to be leading out of the forest.
"It seems like you were doing something within the forest?"
"It's a little embarrassing to say though."
Ok Hae-mi's face flushed bright red. She felt as though she had unnecessarily spoke out of turn.
"Ah, I apologize for asking."
"It's no problem...but where are you going in such a hurry?"
"I'm letting everyone know that it's time to depart."
"You're working quite hard."
"It's nothing really. You should head back to your group. We're going to set off again when you hear the sound of a drum."
Ok Hae-mi then departed.
She could not help but smell a certain scent off of Kang-hyuk. It was a scent she was familiar with since childhood, and so, she was instantly able to recognize it.
The scent was faint, but it was the unmistakable aroma of pine needles. She could also sense another scent mixed in with the pine.
'The smell of blood?'
She turned her head and looked at Kang-hyuk, who had his back to her, leisurely walking back to his group.
'How can there be the smell of blood?'
Ok Hae-mi's queries became deeper.
Dang So-mun turned his head at the sound of rustling vegetation. Beyond the thickets emerged Kang-hyuk.
"It's a relief that you're not late."
"I tried to be as fast as I could."
"You should get ready to leave now. Ok Hae-mi Seonsaeng said that we would be departing when the drums sounded."
Most of the group had nearly finished packing up to leave.
Oh-Tae then spoke bluntly.
"If you've returned, you'd better start getting ready to leave. What's with all the chatter!"
He wasn't a man with the habit of speaking courteously. Kang-hyuk paid no notice, and picked up the luggage that Cheon Hae-gwang had already packed up for him.
At that moment, the resonating sound of the beat of a drum rang out from afar.
They began to move in their groups.
"What are these bloodstains?"
Some of the teachers and warriors were almost half of the way ahead of the majority in the trail to the site of the field trip. They were taken aback at the sight before them.
They had discovered a trail of blood whilst walking, and this was not just a trail of blood of one person.
It was clear that not even dozens, but hundreds of people seemed to have been wounded in this particular location.
What they found strange, was that there wasn't a single person to be seen in the surroundings.
Perplexed by this, they decided to investigate what had happened. A teacher then spoke up.
"This is definitely a sign of bandits."
The teacher was Yun Ha-seong, a third-year swordsmanship teacher, and an affiliate of the Wu-dang sect.
"There are traces everywhere. If you look at the left and right sides of the path, you can see imprints of feet, indicating that people were standing, waiting here for a while. This is a sure sign of bandits."
The other teachers and warriors nodded in agreement. Then, another teacher spoke up.
"Doesn't that mean that the bandits were going to launch a surprise attack on us? Haha! They were quite brave to have such an ambition!"
"Huh? What's that?"
A warrior spoke, pointing at something.
(1) Gyeonggong= martial technique of moving with a certain fast pace, almost weightlessly, using Qi energy.