Invincible Teacher Chapter 8
8 Chapter 8
Someone from the Dark Medicine Valley would doubtlessly be aware of what would cause the Blood Eye Snake to awake into action.
That's why Kang-hyuk was a little taken aback.
Hadn't Chang Il-mun even considered the repercussions when he ingested the eggs of the Blood Eye Snake?
The eggs of the Blood Eye Snake were unusually large, and someone who was well versed in poisonous substances would instantaneously be able to recognize them.
Those who ingested the eggs were usually under coercion, and it was due to the fact that they were made aware of secret information, but couldn't be fully trusted.
However, Chang Il-mun had said that he had eaten these eggs in order to come to Nakyang. Kang-hyuk still had a few remaining queries.
'For what reason did he have to come to Nakyang?'
Kang-hyuk looked at Chang Il-mun's corpse. He knew that Chang Il-mun's death would give a lead to who was behind him.
"Those Blood King Valley bastards"
He sensed that the Blood King Valley clan had begun moving once more.
Another reason came to his mind as to why it would be beneficial to enter the Hwacheon Academy as a teacher.
Under the impression that he was in retirement, the reckless bastards had their eye on Hwacheon Academy.
He took out the bottle of Traceless Smoke he had obtained from the Ten Tigers.
Kang-hyuk shook his head after the thought of using it came to his mind.
Whilst it had ten times the potency of ordinary Bone Acid powder, it wasn't known as a Dark Elixir for nothing.
As soon as the liquid was sprayed, everything within a 3 metre radius would disappear. This meant that even the building that one was in wasn't safe from its effects.
'That's why it's called Traceless Smoke.'
Kang-hyuk sprinkled his Bone Acid powder over the corpse of Chang Il-mun and the head of the boss of the Ten Tigers.
Through a window in the room, he gazed at the starry sky.
'I'd better hurry up.'
After some time, Kang-hyuk arrived at Mu-jin's lodgings in the Northern Mountains.
He was standing near the entrance of the secret passage that led to Mu-jin's room.
However, his actual destination was deeper into the mountains. Kang-hyuk scaled the mountains, almost flying up.
Soon, he had reached a large and rocky mountain boulder.
"It's been a while."
Closing his eyes, he touched the rocky boulder, infusing his energy into it.
A ringing sound began to emanate from the boulder, and a small door appeared in its crevices.
This was a place that only responded to Kang-hyuk's energy.
Kang-hyuk opened the door and proceeded to enter it.
After he entered, the door disappeared without a trace.
Inside, a spacious room came into sight. In its ceiling, one could see hundreds of embedded Ya-myeong-ju(1) crystal beads, and on the floor of the room shone a mountainous stack of gold.
Next to it stood a stack of piled up silver, twice as large as the stack of gold.
He passed through those piles and walked down a passageway. At the end of the passageway were rooms to both the left and right.
In the left room, it contained various kinds of weapons and martial objects. In the right, various kinds of elixirs and precious medicinal substances could be found.
This space was Kang-hyuk's personal warehouse.
None of these riches and materials had been obtained in an untoward manner.
It was an unspoken law of Moorim that 'the man who finds it first is the owner'. This was how he had chanced upon a lot of the items.
However, some of the items were payments or gifts of thanks in return for the various favours he had done for people.
Kang-hyuk went back and forth from the various rooms, collecting the materials needed for the blooming of the Radiant Golden Lotus.
There was only one other condition needed for one to be able to cause the blooming of the Radiant Golden Lotus.
That was...a pure heart.
This was why in a situation where a monk was suspected of having an impure character, to confirm the suspicion, a drop of the monk's blood was used to try to bloom the Radiant Golden Lotus. If it failed to bloom, their guilt was proven.
'In that case, how on earth was the son of the Dark Medicine Valley Family planning on blooming the flower?'
Whatever method it was, it most likely wasn't an honest one.
After bundling all of his gathered materials up, he left the warehouse.
The morning of the next day had arrived.
The largest building within Hwacheon Academy was the Cheongpungwan, and it was the location of the teacher appointment test.
A beautiful woman could be seen standing in front of the building.
With her blue uniform complimenting her appearance, her beauty was undeniably radiant despite her long hair being bundled up.
A strong morning breeze blew through, causing the woman's tied hair to be released.
"It's nearly 4 a.m"
The woman was holding a list. It was a list of the candidates who had gotten through to the second part of the appointment test.
Her eyes widened, confused at only seeing two people walking towards her in the distance.
"I can clearly see the one named Kang-hyuk and the candidate next to him named Choi Woo-ra, but why is that Chang Il-mun nowhere in sight?"
Soon, the two men had reached her. Kang-hyuk bowed in greeting.
"Good morning. It's good to see you Ok Hae-mi Seonsaeng(2)."
"It's good to see you as well. Could you wait for a moment? It seems as though the last candidate hasn't arrived yet."
Kang-hyuk had no choice but to nod his head at her words.
'There's no chance of him arriving.'
After a couple of minutes had passed, the sound of a drum could be heard. The sound was to mark that the time was 4 a.m.
"It seems as though the other candidate was unable to complete the task. Please follow me."
Kang-hyuk and the other remaining candidate then followed Ok Hae-mi into the building.
They entered the room they had been interviewed in yesterday. Waiting in the room was the principal, the Gyoro Elders, and the clan leader. Eun Myeong-myeong, the principal, spoke first.
"We shall now examine the results of the second part of the test. Choi Woo-ra, would you please show us your flower?"
Choi Woo-ra stepped forward. He took out a bowl filled with soil that he had brought with him.
"What kind of soil is this?" Mu-jin, the Clan Leader had asked this question. Choi Woo-ra then replied, "It's soil from the grounds of the Shaolin Temple. I chose the soil as the Radiant Golden Lotus only blooms where there is no impurity in heart."
Choi Woo-ra then placed the seed of the Radiant Golden Lotus into the soil. All eyes in the room intently watched the bowl.
Within moments, a stem sprouted from the seed, a bud then formed and the bud began to open.
"What on earth?"
Choi Woo-ra spoke in alarm. It was because the bud only half opened, leaving him with a half bloomed flower.
Seeing his disappointment, all present in the room felt a little sorry for him.
The principal then looked at Kang-hyuk.
"It's your turn now."
Kang-hyuk spoke a little out of turn.
"The reason why Choi Woo-ra's flower failed to bloom is because he didn't consider an important characteristic of the plant."
"An important characteristic of the plant?"
"Whilst the Radiant Golden Lotus is a sacred plant with a spiritual nature, at its core, it is still a type of lotus. A lotus is a flower that will only bloom in water."
Kang-hyuk brought out his bowl, whilst Mu-jin, the principal, and the Gyoro Elders looked on with widened eyes.
"No way, that bowl!"
"Isn't that a vessel that cleans impure water, the Pure Energy Vessel?"
"Where on earth did you obtain such a vessel?"
Kang-hyuk replied, "I hope you will excuse me but I have only borrowed this vessel. The person I borrowed it from specified that I mustn't reveal his identity, so I cannot say anything further."
The group nodded in understanding, but their astonishment didn't end there. Kang-hyuk had taken out a bottle which he then proceeded to pour water from into the bowl.
A fragrance began to diffuse from the water.
It was the kind of fragrance that seemed to melt away all the impurities and stresses of the body. It was a refreshing and cool aroma.
"What kind of water is this?"
Kang-hyuk swiftly answered Taoist Eun-San's question.
"It's known as Ice Essence."
"Are you referring to the icy waters of the North Sea Ice Palace?"
"Where on earth is that"
"Again, this is something I have borrowed and I cannot reveal who from."
In truth, the items were his own, but he didn't wish to needlessly attract attention.
'I'm already receiving a lot of attention as it is.'
However, to Kang-hyuk, even the attention he was receiving didn't matter as long as his true identity as the Retired Leader remained concealed.
Kang-hyuk placed the Radiant Golden Lotus seed inside the bowl.
Upon being bathed in the Ice Essence, the seed had an almost immediate response.
It began to sprout instantly. A stem then came up, followed by a flower bud. The flower had started blossoming.
The Radiant Golden Lotus bloomed beautifully, and it began to emit a brilliant golden light.
He had succeeded.
The principal, who was close to tears after witnessing such a precious moment, cleared his throat, and spoke, "Congratulations, you have succeeded in passing the test. You are now the new horticulture teacher for Hwacheon Academy."
He had now officially been appointed as the Horticulture Teacher.
It was now evening.
Kang-hyuk was heading towards the waterfall of the Northern Mountains. It was because shortly after receiving the news that he had been appointed, Mu-jin had sent him a note to meet him there.
Kang-hyuk could see Mu-jin from afar, standing by the waterfall.
"Come quickly, Hyung-nim!"
Kang-hyuk lightly slapped Mu-jin on the arm.
Yesterday, Mu-jin had been sufficiently beaten by Kang-hyuk. However, as Kang-hyuk's skills were rather refined, he showed no outer signs of having been beaten.
His joints still ached despite this.
"So you were waiting for me."
"Of course I was waiting for you!" Mu-jin cried out, clutching his back.
"Anyhow, you were too hard on me! Did you really have to beat this old man so hard?"
"Aren't you trying to use being old as an excuse now?"
"Well, haven't you undergone reverse-ageing anyway? Ah, I'm quite envious. I'd like to have an age reversal as well!"
Kang-hyuk sat down on a rock nearby, and spoke, "Keep applying yourself and one day I'm sure this could be a possibility for you as well."
"But every day I feel pained at my old age, isn't there anything else"
"Shut up and take this."
Kang-hyuk threw a black bottle at Mu-jin, which he easily caught.
"What is this?"
He was about to open the bottle, but Kang-hyuk hurriedly prevented him.
"This isn't a bottle to be opened so casually."
"This is Traceless Smoke."
Taken aback, Mu-jin immediately placed the bottle on to the ground.
"Tr-traceless Smoke? Isn't that from the Dark Medicine Valley Family..?"
"Indeed. Yesterday, I met a bastard from that family."
Kang-hyuk narrated the events of the day before in detail to Mu-jin. Mu-jin nodded his head in response.
"So that's why he didn't show up for the test today."
"That's right, he's already a dead man."
Kang-hyuk sighed, then looked at Mu-jin. Mu-jin looked startled at Kang-hyuk's gaze.
"Wh-why are you looking at me like that?"
"What are you hiding from me?"
"What do you mean?"
"You are the leader of the Hwacheon clan that is aware of all the happenings within Moorim. You're telling me that you didn't know a member of the Dark Medicine Valley Family infiltrated the Academy? Say something that makes sense lad!"
Mu-jin looked from side-side evasively. Kang-hyuk sighed, and then spoke.
"Despite me telling you not to try and trick me yesterday, you've gotten worse! I won't beat you, so just tell me."
"You, you aren't going to beat me right?"
It was only after Kang-hyuk's confirmation that Mu-jin spoke the truth.
"Truth be told, I was already aware of Chang Il-mun's identity. I also knew about the Dark Medicine Valley Family and the Blood King Valley's joining of hands."
"Is that all you had to say?"
Mu-jin, dumb-founded, stared at Kang-hyuk.
"Whilst you tried to make my entry as a teacher easier by recommending me, I keep feeling as though there's a deeper reason for your actions."
Kang-hyuk continued, "Moreover, you even changed the final part of the test, which is uncharacteristic of you. You even tried to hide your actions from me, which was completely ridiculous."
Mu-jin deeply sighed.
"Truthfully, you are correct. There is another reason why I want you to be a teacher so badly. A lot of rats seem to have their eyes on the Academy nowadays. If I an old man like me attempts to deal with them, I feel like I'll age even more in the process."
"So you want to pass your burden onto me?"
"Could my young Hyung-nim help out his aged younger brother this one time? There's a saying; once a leader, always a leader."
Kang-hyuk bit his tongue thinking about Mu-jin's situation.
"Ah, there's nothing else that can be done. I understand. I'll help you."
"Thank you Hyung-nim!"
(1) A crystal that shines in the dark. Also known as Fluorite
(2) Seonsaeng - Korean word for teacher