Invincible Teacher Chapter 53
53 Chapter 53
All of a sudden.
*Woof!* *Woof woof!*
Accompanied by the sounds of a barking dog, came the appearance of a large crowd.
Ji Cheol-mok immediately hid himself using a martial technique.
"Kang Seonsaeng's dog is pointing us in that direction!"
"I felt an energy in that direction too!"
The group consisted of people from Hwacheon Academy, all clothed in their distinctive blue uniform. Guiding them was some sort of animal that looked like a small white puppy.
Amongst the crowd was a face familiar to Ji Chol-mok. It was none other than the ex-head of Hyeonmugak, Eun Myeong-myeong.
'So that young lad has become the Principal of Hwacheon Academy?'
Two boys that looked like students came out of cave, along with two teachers. Then soon after, a young teacher that was carrying a woman in his arms emerged.
Ji Cheol-mok couldn't believe his eyes.
'It-it's alive! I can feel elder Hyung-nim's energy once more!'
The energy he felt so intensely in one moment, then disappeared all of a sudden.
Ji Cheol-mok was greatly perplexed.
However, he regained his composure and began to observe each person within the crowd closely. He suddenly clenched his jaw.
His anger was from seeing a particular accessory hanging from the waist of a young man.
'Th-that! That's the Rain Bead! That accessory is something that is only worn by my elder Hyung-nim!'
Ji Cheol-mok was a man that was talented with his hands.
His skill in construction work and blacksmithing was a given, but he was also skilled in ornament making.
Therefore, one day, after having woven some threads together to make an ornament, he decided to present the ornament to Kang-hyuk as a gift.
Kang-hyuk, delighted at the gift, had spoken, "Thank you! I'll always keep this on my person. Could you weave my Rain Bead into it?"
Ji Cheol-mok then wove Kang-hyuk's Rain Bead, and the ornament together.
There onwards, as he had promised, Kang-hyuk wore the ornament on his clothes wherever he went.
Therefore in Ji Cheol-mok's mind, there were only two possibilities as to why that young man was wearing the ornament. He was either extremely close to Kang-hyuk, or he had stolen it from him.
The group of people standing outside the cave soon began to move in the direction of Goseon Mountain.
Ji Cheol-mok followed behind.
More precisely, he was tailing the young man who had the Rain Bead hanging from his waist.
However, the small white puppy that was following the man, kept looking back at Ji Cheol-mok.
'That puppy has good instincts!'
He hadn't considered Deuk's true identity at all.
Ji Cheol-mok began to wonder how much further they were going.
But, luckily for him, the young man seemed to have changed routes, and was just walking along, separate from the rest of the group.
The young teacher, then suddenly stopped at a clearing of the forest, clenching his fists. He seemed to be enraged about something, and was grinding his teeth in anger.
However, Ji Cheol-mok wasn't a man with much foresight, and immediately came into sight of the young man.
At the sound of the rustling vegetation, the young man turned to look at Ji Cheol-mok.
He was straight to the point, pointing at the young man's waist with his pipe.
"That Rain Bead, where did you get it from?"
Kang-hyuk sighed at his question.
There was no possibility that he wouldn't recognize the old man.
'This fellow, Ji Cheol-mok! You're finally crawling out now! You were watching me since I was at the cave. Tsk tsk!'
However, Kang-hyuk didn't have the intention of revealing his identity so easily.
Most Elders of the Hwacheon Clan chose to go into retirement.
They no longer wanted the burden of having to be involved in the organizational affairs of the Clan, and wanted to live out their old age in peace.
Whilst they were obligated to show their faces twice a year at important events of the clan, generally speaking, there were no more than around three Elders within Nakyang at a single point in time.
Kang-hyuk had a feeling that if Ji Cheol-mok became aware that he was in Nakyang, it was likely that he'd try to follow him there.
'If that fellow comes to Nakyang, it'll most definitely cause the people of the Clan to become unnecessarily nervous!'
Whilst he wanted to give him a good scolding about not taking good care of the surrounding area of his place of retirement, he decided that now wasn't the right time.
"Why do you ask? And who are you?"
"Ahem, ahem ahem! You don't need to know my name!"
Kang-hyuk bowed in response to Ji Cheol-mok's answer, and spoke.
"If I don't know who you are, how can I inform you of the origins of the Rain Bead? If you think about it rationally, it doesn't make sense, does it?"
"I apologize if you feel that I've been rude, but I request your understanding! It's only because a few things have happened along the way that are causing me to be cautious."
Ji Cheol-mok couldn't argue Kang-hyuk's point.
"I see! I guess I didn't think that much about what I was saying properly! My name is Ji Cheol-mok, and I'm an Elder of the Hwacheon Clan."
"So you're not a Dark Cultivator?"
"Of course not."
"Then, I apologize for my behaviour thus far. I'm Hwacheon Academy's Horticulture teacher!"
"Is there anything wrong?"
Ji Cheol-mok cleared his throat.
"Not at all. So, will you tell me how you obtained that Rain Bead exactly?"
"I apologize, but I cannot say. I just can't believe that you are an Elder of the Hwacheon Clan."
Kang-hyuk quickly put his hand out at Ji Cheol-mok's roar, in an attempt to calm him down.
"Please understand where I'm coming from! I've just undergone great trouble with the Black Snake Sect, and I can't trust just anyone!"
"The Black Snake Sect? The bastards that have a black snake tattooed on the inside of their wrists?"
"Do you know of them?"
"Of course. What on earth are they up to now?"
Kang-hyuk smiled inwardly at his question.
'Are you curious? Then I'll tell you!'
He made a disturbed face.
"I'll tell you if you show me evidence that you're an Elder of the Hwacheon Clan."
Ji Cheol-mok then took an identity tag out of his sleeve, and presented it to Kang-hyuk.
"Here! Are you satisfied?"
It was unmistakeably the identity tag of the Hwacheon Clan that couldn't be forged.
"Oh! You're really an Elder of the Hwacheon Clan? Ji Cheol-mokah! I've heard of you! Aren't you the ex-head of Kwaepungdae?"
"Ahem, ahem ahem. You know well! Now are you going to tell me what on earth happened with the Black Snake Sect?"
Kang-hyuk sighed deeply.
"In truth, the Hwacheon Academy was here in the Goseon Mountains for a field trip, owing to the grace of the Clan Leader. But"
"The Black Snake Sect kidnapped a group of students, along with two teachers."
Ji Cheol-mok's complexion grew more pale as Kang-hyuk continued narrating the events of the day.
"Th-that, is that really true?!"
"Indeed! I almost died in my fumbling attempts to rescue the kidnapped group! If it wasn't for a man that showed up just in time, that is."
Ji Cheol-mok gulped down his saliva nervously.
"That man dealt with the kidnappers in one ferocious blow, saving us all!"
Ji Cheol-mok had nothing to say in response.
Indeed, the energy he had felt was definitely that of Kang-hyuk's. He was sure that his elder Hyung-nim had been present in this location.
He recalled some words Kang-hyuk had said just before he had gone into retirement.
"You're retiring, it's good! But you're still an Elder. So, you must make sure to deal with any trouble in the area surrounding your place of retirement. Around a fifty metre radius of where you are must be free of all troubles!"
Sweat was dripping down his back.
Kang-hyuk then continued.
"The man who saved us said something when he gave me this Rain Bead."
"Wh-what did he say?"
"To find the man who made the accessory, and after asking him why he didn't manage his retirement area well enough, to leave him half-dead.."
"But then, he felt a little bad for giving me the task, so he left the Rain Bead with me for some time in return."
"He also said to convey to that man that he wouldn't let him be if he still didn't manage his area well enough in the future."
Beads of sweat began to drip down from Ji Cheol-mok's forehead.
"What's wrong? Are you feeling unwell?"
"No-not at all! I need to leave now!"
Ji Cheol-mok rushed back into the forest, and at hearing him screaming a few minutes later, Kang-hyuk began to clap in laughter.
'Look after your area well!'
He intended to seek Ji Cheol-mok out anyway, but it just so happened that he had found him first.
He was going to warn him that if he didn't want to experience any bodily hardships, emotional hardships, or any type of hardships in general, he should take care of the trouble in his area well.
All of a sudden, someone appeared at Kang-hyuk's side.
"You went too far, Seonsaengnim."
The clear voice was that of a woman. It was Byeok Ae-rin.
Kang-hyuk folded his arms and grinned.
"What's too far? I had already informed him to take good care of the area surrounding his place of retirement."
"When Cheol-mok Orabeoni finds out about this later.."
"It doesn't matter. He has really caused me such unnecessary trouble! It was such an awkward situation for me!"
"I know, but still."
"Not to mention that I'm busy right now! Are you going to take care of all the trouble in this area?"
"I'm your maid."
"That's what I mean. This job is for that rascal Cheol-mok to do!"
Byeok Ae-rin nodded her head.
"You're right. It is something that Cheol-mok Orabeoni should have dealt with."
"You took so long!"
Upon Kang-hyuk's return to the camp-site, Ok Hae-mi, who had been looking over his group, as well as Cheon Hae-gwang's faces, lit up.
The kidnapped group, and the teachers, which included Oh-Tae, had already returned.
Ok Hae-mi quickly sent Kang-hyuk a telepathic message.
-I heard that you found the students. Thank you.
-What do you mean?
-I don't know why, but I have a feeling that you were behind finding them.
The thought that Ok Hae-mi was indeed a woman with good intuition entered Kang-hyuk's mind.
Cheon Hae-gwang looked relieved after Kang-hyuk had relayed what had happened, then pointed at the students and spoke.
"Seeing as two teachers were late, we'll follow yesterday's night watching schedule. So, the first person on night watch is Ok Seonsaeng."
The students had just fallen asleep.
"That's fine. You've worked hard."
"Not at all."
"You should go to sleep now. You'll be busy tomorrow."
Cheon Hae-gwang got up from his seat soon after, and immediately fell asleep.
It seemed that his day had been difficult as well, having to mobilize the warriors.
Ok Hae-mi got up, and looked at Oh-Tae and Kang-hyuk.
She could guess the circumstances they had been through from the strong scent of blood on their bodies.
However, she found it strange that Kang-hyuk's clothes were completely clean, despite Oh-Tae's clothes being stained with blood.
However, as a woman with good intuition, she decided that it would be best to not bring up useless matters.
"You've been through a lot today."
"It was nothing, but just something that was our duty as teachers."
Oh-Tae could only hang his head at Kang-hyuk's response.
"Anyways, I'll be going for now. I'll see you both tomorrow."
Ok Hae-mi bowed and left.
The surroundings were completely silent not long after.
There was the occasional sound of whispering, as people discussed the affairs of the day, but still, the night was as quiet as it could be.
Kang-hyuk sat in front of the fire.
Kang-hyuk looked up at the sound of his name.
Oh-Tae dropped down to the floor in front of him, kneeling.
"For giving me that pill so I could save my honour, and for being so benevolent as to save my life. I don't know how I'll ever pay back this grace you have shown me."
"So you realized I've been benevolent towards you?"
"Of course! Even if"
Oh-Tae paused for a moment, then continued speaking.
"Even if I'm just a first-year swordsmanship teacher that is still lacking in many ways."
Kang-hyuk looked at him in a silent manner.
The silent atmosphere continued for a while.
The unending silence was finally broken by Oh-Tae, as he opened his mouth to speak once more.
"Please forgive me! I mistreated you Kang Seonaeng, with my foolish arrogance!"
"Are you trying to save yourself in advance, now that you've realized I'm stronger than you?"
Oh-Tae flinched at Kang-hyuk's bluntness.
He lowered his head to the ground.
"If that's what you think, I can say no more! That's how I've lived my life thus far, and I have no choice but to continue living like this in the future. And the reason for this is.because I'm weak."