Invincible Teacher Chapter 83
84 Chapter 83
A sign with the words 'Hwagyeong Inn' written on it caught his eye.
Although he had been sold as a slave owing to the fall of his family, he had belonged to a prestigious noble family. In other words, he had learned to read and write in preparation for a governmental role.
He had hidden this fact thus far for the sake of his family's honour.
His eyes widened all of a sudden.
He had caught sight of a man in a blue uniform, standing near the rear-end of the inn.
Despite it being night, he had a clear vision of the man's clothes due to the light shining from the inn window.
'Th-those clothes? There's no doubt! It's the academy uniform!'
He was instantly able to recognize the Hwacheon Academy's teacher uniform since its appearance was quite widely known.
He abruptly prostrated at the feet of the young man.
"Daehyeop! Please help me! Daehyeop!"
Kang-hyuk looked at the man who was prostrating at his feet.
'He reeks of blood.'
The smell of blood that Kang-hyuk had sensed since he had first entered the village was rather concentrated on this man.
He had just spoken about smelling blood in the village, while Byeok Ae-rin had just spoken to him about the source of that smell.
She asked him whether he wanted to pay a visit to the source of the blood, but Kang-hyuk shook his head in response.
Kang-hyuk's main reason for entering the village was for the students' public service, and so, he felt as though there was no reason for him to take interest in other matters.
His only priority was the students' safety.
'Butseeing as this fellow appeared in front of me, what on earth am I meant to do?'
A crease was forming at the centre of Kang-hyuk's forehead.
"He couldn't have gotten that far!"
The roar of dozens of warriors echoed out from behind them. The man, whose face had now paled, spoke, "I'm a blood fighting slave!"
Kang-hyuk's expression drastically changed in an instant.
"You're a blood fighting slave?"
"Yes! I escaped to seek your help after I heard of your arrival in the village. Please help me!"
Kang-hyuk was well aware of what a blood fighting slave was.
There wasn't a chance that he would be unaware.
Kang-hyuk had been called to the palace, and after having a personal audience with the emperor, had received an imperial edict.
'I thought I had completely wiped that out, but I guess blood fighting is still happening here and there?'
He had initially been reluctant to get involved, but things had now changed. This matter was now an important one.
The issue of addressing blood fighting was one officially under the Clan Leader's jurisdiction, but Kang-hyuk had been the one that had personally received an imperial edict on the matter from the emperor.
He also swore an oath to the emperor that he would remove all traces of blood fighting from the land.
'I didn't just promise him, I swore an oath. This isn't something I can ignore.'
He looked into the eyes of the blood fighting slave, Blood Ghost. They were the eyes of someone who was telling the truth.
Kang-hyuk then turned to look at Byeok Ae-rin.
"Take this fellow and hide him somewhere temporarily.'
She immediately escorted Blood Ghost away, disappearing off far into the distance within a few moments. Almost as soon as they had left, a group of warriors approached Kang-hyuk.
"Look here, has there been.?"
"What's the matter?"
The warrior became startled as he noticed Kang-hyuk's clothing.
"I-it can't be, that uniform?"
"I'm Kang-hyuk, a teacher of the Hwacheon Academy. And this man over here is an elder of the Hwacheon Clan."
The warriors immediately prostrated in front of Shim-gu.
They had heard that a teacher of the Hwacheon Academy and an elder of the clan were in the village, but they did not expect to actually meet them.
'N-noticing it now, this is the Hwagyeong Inn!'
'Damn it! We shouldn't have come this way!'
Shim-gu spoke, after receiving an eye signal from Kang-hyuk.
"Ahem ahem. Who are you fellows?"
One of the warriors spoke up, stammering his words.
"The thing is, we arejust passing by"
The warriors were well aware that their job involving blood fighting was dangerous.
The nearby southern Hanam branch of the Hwacheon Clan had secretly given them their backing, and because of that, they hadn't had many issues thus far. Of course, an elder of the Clan, as well as a teacher of the Hwacheon Academy were important figures that wouldn't turn a blind eye.
The destruction of blood fighting venues was still a task of the Hwacheon Clan.
They had somehow managed to sweet-talk the Hanam Branch Head into not reporting them, but this was unlikely to work in the case of a clan elder.
'We've gone to the dogs!'
Shim-gu glared at the warrior in response to his timid reply.
"If you all just happened to be passing by, you should have gone on your way quietly. Why did you stop to ask us something? There must have been a reason, no?"
Shim-gu began to drive the warriors into a corner, rendering them speechless.
"Are you unable to speak because you actually approached us in an attempt to commit robbery? Did you think of us as weaklings? You bastards!"
"Th-that's not it!"
"That's not the case at all!"
"What do you mean that's not it? Why would you approach us with such a vicious energy about you if that wasn't your intention?"
The warriors felt so wronged by Shim-gu's 'misunderstanding' that they felt as though their insides were going to burst.
They approached him and Kang-hyuk with the intention of finding out the whereabouts of the escaped blood fighting slave, but had now been caught up in an unfortunate situation.
Confessing the truth wasn't an option if they wanted to stay alive.
"Seeing as all of you aren't replying, there's no doubt! I guess I'll have to hand you over to the government office!"
The warriors felt a sudden relief.
Their employer, the owner of the blood fighting venue, had connections within the government, so they would most likely have to spend a maximum of a night in discomfort until they were released.
"No! No! I can't bother the government office with such a trivial matter. Not only that, even though you all look weak, you are still fellows that have martial abilities, and therefore, you should be treated with the laws of Moorim."
Shim-gu placed his weapon, his fan into his waist belt.
"All of you should repent. Each and every one of you will be receiving a blow, one-by one."
Before they could question further, Shim-gu's body had already moved into action.
*Pok!* *Pok Pok Pok!* *Pok!*
As Shim-gu's foot lodged into their shoulders, they let out a groan of pain, falling onto the floor.
Shim-gu lifted his hand in warning.
"All of you can get lost now."
"Do I have to beat all of you up again for you to get out of my sight?"
The warriors immediately got up and ran off. Shim-gu burst into laughter at the sight.
After having made sure that no one was in the vicinity, Kang-hyuk hit the back of Shim-gu's head.
"Argh! Th-that hurt."
"Your voice is loud! Are you intending on waking up the people who are sleeping in the inn?"
"Leave it. I'm going to Ae-rin now, so I'll leave the responsibility of the students' safety with you. It is my responsibility, but seeing as this blood fighting issue has come up, nothing else can be done."
"I'm trusting you."
"Don't worry, I won't let you down."
Kang-hyuk nodded, and began to move, his destination being Byeok Ae-rin and the blood fighting slave. Despite Byeok Ae-rin being the former head of Jimilgak, and a frequent user of the invisibility technique, Kang-hyuk was aware of exactly where she had gone.
A few minutes later.
Kang-hyuk entered the surrounding forest.
"I'm here! Seonsaengnim!"
Byeok Ae-rin waved Kang-hyuk over, alerting him of her presence.
Kneeling in front of her was the blood fighting slave, Blood Ghost.
Kang-hyuk looked at him.
"Lift up your head."
As he looked up, Kang-hyuk began to question him.
"I-I'm known as Blood Ghost."
"Blood Ghostthat's a rather bloody name. So? What are you intending to do now?"
Blood Ghost replied, "My intentions are to leave and find my younger sibling. It's my younger sister, who has been sold somewhere."
"Is that so?"
Kang-hyuk thought that he would give the man some silver and send him on his way. The protection he had offered him thus far was more than enough.
'Now that I think about it, why is his face familiar?'
Kang-hyuk retracted his hand from his sleeve, and questioned Blood Ghost once more.
"Blood Ghost isn't your real name though, is it?"
Blood Ghost bit his lip and clenched his fists.
He was worried that if he revealed his real name, it could potentially be misused.
His family was a prestigious family, and even though his household had fallen, the prestige of their name still remained.
Nonetheless, he had been taken aback by the martial skill of the woman who had taken him to hide in the forest.
He had seen many who had learned martial skills, but in comparison to them, her abilities were god-like.
Blood Ghost felt that such a person, along with a teacher of the Hwacheon Academy, wouldn't mar his name.
Therefore, he decided to reveal it.
"My name is Ha Go-jun."
Kang-hyuk felt as though he had heard the name somewhere.
"Seeing as I've heard of the name, you must be a child of a well-known family."
"I'm the eldest son of Nakyang's Munyun Ha Family."
Kang-hyuk was taken back by surprise from his response.
"What did you just say? The Munyun Ha Family?"
"Yo-you know of my family?"
There wasn't a chance of Kang-hyuk not knowing the family.
The family was known for their academic prowess. Their prowess was so amazing that the emperor himself called upon them when he had an academic query.
Therefore, there wasn't a scholar that wasn't familiar with the Munyun Ha Family.
The family's fame had slightly declined after its head, Ha Du-gyeong had died, but nevertheless, the family was still a well-known prestigious family.
When Kang-hyuk had been in retirement four years earlier, Byeok Ae-rin brought him news that Ha Du-gyeong's son had passed away as well.
This was why he was so amazed to hear that Ha Du-gyeong's grandson was a blood fighting slave.
Kang-hyuk wanted to find out why.
"How did you become a blood fighting slave?"
"Our family's financial situation became dire after my mother and father became ill, so I had to take out a high-interest loan."
"Tsk tsk. I understand what you mean."
'Such a mighty family crumbled like this within moments!'
But he still couldn't wrap his head as to how the family fell so easily. The family didn't have a great number of offspring to assist in matters, as they wanted to raise each child preciously.
Although that was the case, they surely must have had other relatives that could have helped them.
'There must have been someone behind this!'
Kang-hyuk didn't disclose his thoughts verbally, and gazed at Ha Go-jun.
He had gotten on quite well with his grandfather, Ha Du-gyeong, to the point of even drinking along with him.
Kang-hyuk began to recall those times.
When Kang-hyuk had gone to the palace to receive the emperor's edict, the person who had informed him of his summoning, and who had accompanied him to the palace, was Ha Du-gyeong.
It was a trick of the emperor to send writers with guests he had summoned as opposed to sending gold, or other gifts.
It meant that the person should let go of trying to fight, as well as abandon bringing weapons with them.
The body of a writer wasn't one that was trained in martial arts, and so, if one was too vigorous with their energy or movements whilst being in their presence, they could easily be inflicted with an internal injury.
But the emperor showed Kang-hyuk favor by sending Ha Du-gyeong, a beloved writer of his, to accompany him.
However, Kang-hyuk found this bothersome.
Nevertheless, there wasn't much he could do, as it would be even more bothersome if he went against the emperor's will.
The thought of killing the emperor had also briefly ran through his mind, but he soon rejected it, since handling the aftereffects of that would cause a ridiculous amount of extra work for Kang-hyuk.
And so, Kang-hyuk decided to accept the emperor's summons.
The imperial palace wasn't something of concern to Kang-hyuk, unless he was to aim for imperial power. Of course, he knew that the emperor would have only summoned him, the leader of Moorim, if there was a significant reason.
But he didn't feel like going that obediently.
He staged his own mini protest by making the imperial messenger, Ha Du-gyeong, wait in his reception space for an extended period of time.
This wasn't really something most would have dared to do, but Kang-hyuk had always been gutsy.
"ErClan Leader, I don't know if you should make the messenger wait for so long. What if the emperor gets angry"
Kang-hyuk lifted his hand, dismissing Byeok Ae-rin, the then Jimilgak Head's words of concern.
"It's okay. Do you think he would be so petty as to complain to the emperor?"
As Kang-hyuk had said, Ha Du-gyeong wasn't a petty man, on the contrary, he was rather open-minded and witty.
In conclusion, his mental acuity was as sharp as his lofty academic prowess.