Invincible Teacher Chapter 39
40 Chapter 39
Oh-Tae massaged Namgoong Min's shoulders.
"It's okay. Today's loss is tomorrow's victory. Use this experience as a stepping stone."
"Go and get some more firewood."
As their previous camping spot, where they had already stacked up firewood, had been taken, they needed to procure some more.
The three other students that were to accompany Namgoong Min sighed. They were all heading towards the mountains to collect firewood, with Oh-Tae following behind them.
He was accompanying the students due to the potential dangers lurking in the mountains.
"Kang Seonsaeng, could you set up camp?"
Kang-hyuk nodded his head and watched Oh-Tae as he left.
Observing the way he cared for his students, Oh-Tae really didn't seem to be a bad person.
Kang-hyuk felt that it was a shame that such a man was on a path of self-destruction.
What he felt was more pitiful were the reasons behind why he was on this path.
Kang-hyuk knew many people like Oh-Tae. They were people that wanted to protect the last bits of pride they had remaining.
He remembered that none of those people had a particularly pleasant ending.
'If he continues like this, his ending won't be pleasant either.'
This was why Kang-hyuk felt that it was necessary to show him what the true meaning of self-worth and pride was.
Filled with the hopes that Byeok Ae-rin's plan would assist Oh-Tae in realizing this, Kang-hyuk walked over towards their camping spot.
"I'll get started on setting up!"
Holding a tea cup, Byeok Ae-rin seemed to be gazing at something. The object of her stare was Kang-hyuk.
"Erm, would you like another cup of tea?"
Baek-gap, who was sitting next to her, spoke up cautiously. She nodded her head.
He poured the boiling tea into her cup.
"It looks like the sun is setting. We'll be seeing a starry night soon."
"I've heard that the view of the stars from here is incredibly beautiful, is that really the case?"
Byeok Ae-rin nodded her head at his query.
"It's true. Whilst the landscape of the mountain is famed for its beauty, the true gem of this place is the view of the night sky. But alas, we won't have a chance to see the stars tonight."
"What? Why not?"
Byeok Ae-rin pounded her legs in response to Baek-gap's question.
"Aigoo, my joints. Being old isn't very easy"
"Judging by how my joints are aching, it's definitely going to rain tonight."
"A-ah, I see. Shouldn't we inform Seonsaengnim of the rain?"
Byeok Ae-rin shook her head.
"He most likely already knows. He has the Rain Bead in his possession."
Baek-gap's eyes widened.
"I-it can't be. The Rain Bead?"
Byeok Ae-rin grinned, then looked over to where Kang-hyuk was again. She then looked up at the sky and muttered under her breath.
"Coming here again reminds me of the old days. I wonder where the cave is. I'm sure there was a cave somewhere around here?"
"How do you know there's a cave here?"
"We had a mission in this area before. If I hadn't been here before, how would I know about the beauty of its night sky?"
"I-I guess that's true. What kind of mission were you on?"
Byeok Ae-rin smirked at his question.
"Why? Are you that curious?"
"Well, it's just"
"We were fighting a group known as the Blood Horse Thieves. We killed all of them in the end, not a single horse was left alive."
Kang-hyuk looked over at the campsite and began to think about how he could set things up in a way that they would be able to have a decently comfortable night.
'We'll have to start with the uneven ground.'
He then began to look over the small stones littered all over the ground.
All of a sudden, a bead hanging from Kang-hyuk's waist began to change in colour. The bead was known as the 'Rain Bead'.
It was an artefact that could predict rainfall. When the bead's original colour of white changed to blue, it indicated that rain was going to fall within two hours.
The bead had turned blue.
'The spring weather is usually fickle in nature, but rain, and now of all times!'
He acknowledged that encountering rain whilst camping could be a useful experience for the students, but it didn't change the fact that it was very uncomfortable and annoying.
Sleeping on ground saturated with rainwater would be unpleasant, and starting a fire with damp firewood would also be quite difficult.
'If we can't start a fire, the cold weather of early spring will make it hard for the students to maintain their body temperature.'
The news of the Academy being on a field-trip had spread. Thanks to it, there had already been an attempted attack on the students.
In the worst case scenario, if they were suddenly attacked, they could be defeated.
'In this sort of situation, it'd be best to take shelter in a cave, I wonder if there's a cave around here.'
Kang-hyuk began to scour the surroundings, until he remembered that there was indeed a cave near where they had set up camp.
The Goseon Mountain had in truth, been Kang-hyuk's private property.
After having a mission in the area, he had become smitten with the spectacular mountain scenery, managing to purchase the mountain for a large sum.
When Mu-jin had become the new Clan Leader, he had given the property to him as a congratulatory gift. Kang-hyuk's experience of the mountain meant that he had a good idea of its topography.
'Alas, I am taking part in a group activity right now.'
He realized that he would have to accept outer help.
He chose to speak to the teacher who had a more pleasant personality and a bit of influence, Ok Hae-mi.
He ran over to her as soon as he located her.
Ok Hae-mi turned around in response to his call.
"Ah, Kang Seonsaengnim, what's the matter?"
"It's going to rain around two hours from now."
Ok Hae-mi looked a little perplexed at Kang-hyuk's sudden proclamation.
"Rain? But the sky looks clear at the moment though?"
"The spring weather is known to be quite unpredictable."
"But if I tell the Principal about this"
Ok Hae-mi was in need of some form of evidence if she were to inform Eun Myeong-myeong. However, giving the Rain Bead as evidence wasn't an option for Kang-hyuk, since it would most likely give rise to multiple questions.
As Kang-hyuk agonized over what he could say, he had a sudden inspiration.
'Right, there's that!"
In a mood of elation, he pointed at something. It was a small plant.
"Look at that."
"Are you referring to that grass?"
"It isn't an ordinary weed! It's a sacred herb known as the Angwolcho."
"So.it's a grass that observes the moon?"
"Yes, it's a grass with an affinity for the moon. On days where the moon will clearly be seen in the night sky, it blooms a yellow flower before the sun sets. However, on days where the moon won't be seen, there will be no bloom."
"So, what you're trying to say is. there won't be a clear sight of the moon today?"
"Exactly. It's not the day of the new moon today, therefore we can ascertain that its lack of bloom means that there will be clouds obstructing the moon, and continuing through this train of thought, there will be rain!"
Ok Hae-mi was flustered.
It was already late in the evening, and rain within the span of two hours would be a big problem.
"What do you suggest we do?"
Kang-hyuk spoke, pointing towards a forested area.
"I was entering the forest as I had some business to attend to when I happened to see a cave in the area. Maybe that would be a good place to shelter within."
Ok Hae-mi nodded, understanding what Kang-hyuk was trying to suggest.
"I'll let the Principal know. Please come this way."
Kang-hyuk followed Ok Hae-mi to Eun Myeong-myeong, and explained the situation of rain to him.
Eun Myeong-myeong was aware of the properties of the Angwolcho Grass. He had been the former head of Hyeonmugak after all.
"So you know what it actually means when the Angwolcho doesn't bloom a flower! You are indeed a horticulture teacher."
"You flatter me."
"Not at all, you are fully worthy of the praise. Anyway, we'll have to hurry before it rains. You can take Ok Seonsaeng and Yun Seonsaeng to go and investigate the cave to see if it is suitable to take shelter under."
Kang-hyuk looked at Ok Hae-mi and Yun Ha-seong.
'It would have been better if I could have gone alone'
He accepted their accompaniment as a small inconvenience. Then again, since their level of skill wasn't low, they could potentially be of some help.
After instructing Cheon Hae-gwang to look over the students of his group, Kang-hyuk soon disappeared into the forest with Ok Hae-mi and Yun Ha-seong by his side.
Eun Myeong-myeong's eyes sparkled as he gazed over at them.
He had caught sight of a bead hanging from Kang-hyuk's waist.
'That is most definitely the Rain Bead.'
Eun Myeong-myeong wryly smiled. Whilst Kang-hyuk was a man that entered the Academy under the Clan Leader's recommendation, he felt that Kang-hyuk was in possession of more precious artifacts than one would initially suppose.
The artifacts he had utilized during his test to enter as a teacher were not artifacts that could be easily obtained.
'His face looks so familiar.'
However, Eun Myeong-myeong had yet to grasp the truth of Kang-hyuk being the Retired Leader.
When Eun Myeong-myeong first joined Hyeonmugak, Kang-hyuk was already middle-aged. That was why he had no awareness of what he looked like in his youth.
'Where could I have seen him before?'
Regardless, he could feel an intuition of exercising caution around Kang-hyuk.
Yun Ha-seong followed behind Kang-hyuk, who was skirting through the forest with the use of Gyeonggong. He felt as though something was a little off.
He had assumed Kang-hyuk would be unfamiliar with the skill of Gyeonggong, seeing as he's a Liberal Arts subject teacher. But his fast pace and dodging of obstacles as though he was already aware of their presence proved otherwise.
Dodging obstacles usually proved to be the biggest challenge for beginners of Gyeonggong, due to their lack of intuitive development. Therefore, they weren't able to predict the arrival of obstacles in due time.
Yun Ha-seong felt that he could somewhat grasp Kang-hyuk's level of cultivation.
'Could he be a master? If so, then would he have a peak level of cutivation? Or is it a transcended level of cultivation? Whatever it is, based upon his skills, he's definitely a master. But if so, why is he a Horticulture teacher?'
Yun Ha-seong was unable to understand the situation.
'If he's such a skilled master, he could have a top level martial arts teaching position, why would he choose to be a Liberal Arts teacher?'
He then remembered that Kang-hyuk had been recommended by the Clan Leader.
'Could it be?'
There was an interruption as Yun Ha-seong's imagination was beginning to run.
"It's over there."
Kang-hyuk stopped and pointed towards a certain direction. Where he had pointed stood an unusually large cave.
The mouth of the cave was blocked by dry and live vines.
Yun Ha-seong began to cut the vines down with his sword.
After he wielded his sword a few times, the entrance to the cave had been cleared, and they were able to enter.
They lit a torch and stepped into the cave cautiously, in case of danger lurking within.
'Judging by the vines at the entrance, it's unlikely that anyone has entered. Nonetheless, we have to be careful just in case.'
Kang-hyuk looked at Yun Ha-seong, who was leading the way, and nodded.
'He's more cautious than he looks. I don't know whose disciple he was, but he must have been a good master.'
As they entered the cave, Kang-hyuk smelled the faint scent of blood, and could sense a presence of some sort.
The energy of the presence felt like that of an extremely strong person, but he could feel that it wasn't a human's presence.
'Could it be a Spiritual Beast that lost its way, and entered the cave?'
Yun Ha-seong and Ok Hae-mi however, had no inkling of the presence as of yet.
Kang-hyuk had a more honed intuitive sense, and so, would be able to pick this up faster than them.
'But judging by the entrance, it didn't seem as though anyone had entered for quite a while, how could it have come in?'
But he felt that they would have to venture deeper into the cave to precisely identify the presence.
Fortunately, the cave was straight, and its floor was flat and even, so there would be no problems in sleeping.
It was just as Kang-hyuk had remembered.
It was only when they travelled deeper into the cave that Ok Hae-mi and Yun Ha-seong began to sense the smell of blood.
"There's something up ahead!"
Ok Hae-mi nodded, as she too had sensed the presence.
"Please be careful!"
They nervously edged deeper within the cave. Their nerves were accelerated by the lack of lighting, with only a torch between them.
Even though they had improved their vision through Qi transmission, the atmosphere of the dark cave was completely different from being able to see in full daylight.
They then came face-to-face with the source of the bloody scent.
It was coming from a wolf.