'By the sound of my breathing?'
Yeowun became shocked, and Nano spoke to him.
[The average breathing count for a fifteen to twenty-year-old human male is about sixteen per minute. Your breathing just now was about eight times in one minute, showing your effort to hide your nervous state.]
'I don't need an explanation.'
Yeowun never imagined a mere person could sense such things. Submeng laughed, "Hahaha. I didn't think kids these days had guts like you."
He thought Submeng was here because he noticed Yeowun faked his damage, but it seems like that wasn't the case. Instead, he seemed to be pleased.
"Kids these days have no endurance. They always pick the easy way!"
Yeowun felt bad. He didn't endure anything at all. He just stood there because Nano had cut off all the sound.
"So, what I mean is that you have the guts that no other kid has these days."
Yeowun didn't feel comfortable listening to all the compliments that he didn't deserve. He was going to heal himself after fooling Jongmeng, but listening to all this made him feel his pain again. His face began to go pale.
"Guardian, our patient is not in good condition. We should tend to him first."
Submeng then noticed the discoloration on Yeowun's face. He then let go of his internal energy and allowed Yeowun to lie down on the bed again.
"Let me cut to the chase, kid. I'll take you in as my apprentice."
Yeowun's eyes grew wide, and so did Jongmeng's. Submeng the Crazy Blade was one of the top ten most powerful warriors in the Demonic Cult. He was also famous throughout all of Wulin.
"What are you talking about?"
Yeowun wasn't convinced as he had lived a lifetime in banishment and danger. Yet, Submeng looked very serious, if not considering the smell of alcohol.
"I am talking about taking you in as my student."
"Guardian. Do you not know who I am?"
Everyone knew about Yeowun in the cult.
"Is there someone who doesn't know about you?"
"The six clans will not be happy if you take me in."
Submeng didn't seem to care. He spoke as if it was nothing.
"Hah, what will those women do? With or without you, they have to compete against themselves anyway."
Unlike Hameng, Submeng always did what he wanted. The one he feared and followed was the Lord of the Cult. Yeowun became tempted by the offer.
'But what if this is a trap?'
Yeowun had gone through too many threats so he was suspicious. Jongmeng, who was looking at him from the side, also became interested.
'So, this is the famous prince.'
He then made a conclusion about Yeowun's internal energy.
'So that's why they went too far then.'
He couldn't understand the reason for the amount of blood at first, but if the six clans involved in this, it didn't seem all that impossible. And Baek Jongmeng's conclusion was fortunate for Yeowun.
"I don't know what to say to that offer, especially since I'll have a teacher in the academy."
"Ugh, this sounds like I'm begging you to be my apprentice!"
Submeng then chugged his bottle.
'He's still not convinced.'
He had never taken any apprentices until now, but seeing Yeowun enduring the sound energy tempted him to take Yeowun as his apprentice. Yet, Yeowun didn't seem so eager.
"Okay. If you are still unconvinced, I will offer you something you can't put down."
He then took out some wrinkled old paper and it placed down on the bed. However, Yeowun couldn't move so he couldn't check what it was.
"Heh, are you curious about what this is?"
"What is it?"
"It is what you need most if you are to survive here."
"You took internal damage on your first day at the academy. Don't you think you will be left behind?"
The Academy Chief was Hameng, but Submeng also had experience as a student in the academy. The academy progressed differently each time, but everything worked in similar ways.
"You can take the first test through sheer will, but you can't pass the second step with that."
"And you are already behind. Are you still going to be stuck inside the medical room for two weeks? That will push you back even further."
Submeng's words were correct. Yeowun had ways to heal in hours if needed, but that would cause the six clans to be suspicious, so he had to stay here for a few more days.
"Do you know why the redhead sent you here?"
"Redhead? You mean the Left Guardian?"
"Is it because I took internal damage?" Yeowun asked awkwardly.
"Of course, but isn't it weird? There are other kids who took internal damage, but why aren't they here?"
'Huh? That's true!'
As Submeng said, more than half of the students fell and most of them had taken internal damage during the first test. Yet none of them had been brought here.
"Most people of Wulin can heal themselves from internal damage through meditating. Moreover, they heal faster with help from a doctor or medicine."
"Yes. The other kids didn't need to be sent here because they can heal themselves."
Yeowun then realized what he meant. It meant Hameng verified that Yeowun did not have any internal energy, meaning he couldn't heal himself and had to be sent down here.
'Let's finish it then.'
Submeng then decided to put an end to his offer.
"Do you think a boy who can't even meditate can heal in a few days?"
He could heal in a day thanks to Nano, but that was top secret.
'Yes, he is right. If I'm to move forward onto the next step, I will need internal energy and oh!'
He then thought of something he had forgotten up until now.
"I forgot. I heard that if I pass the first test, I will be given the medicine ball and access to the first floor of the academy's library."
There were various books on the first floor of the library that would be pretty helpful.
Submeng then burst out in laughter and Yeowun was startled.
"I would do that too, but it seems like the redhead skipped real important one there."
"What? What did he skip?"
"It doesn't mean that you are always allowed to enter the library. You can only enter once after every test."
That was far from having full access to it.
"All those important books are in there. Do you think you will be able to freely access such a place?"
Submeng was amused by Yeowun's shocked reaction and continued, "You can only stay on the first floor for two hours. And as you move higher up, you will be given more time because the books on those floors are complicated, but you still don't have enough time."
"So, there's a time limit too? How exciting."
"Not to mention, you cannot copy any of the content down. It'd be good if you could memorize maybe one book or two. Most use all the time available trying to find the book they want."
This was vital information that Hameng did not share. If people entered the library without knowing this, they'd frantically waste their time until it was over.
'But I have Nano.'
Yeowun then realized he had the Nano Machine, which could scan a book in seconds.
'This actually works better for me!'
Two hours was probably enough for him to even scan hundreds of books. The information Submeng gave to Yeowun so that he would feel discouraged actually worked in the opposite way. Submeng did not know this, so he thought it was about the right time.
"So, a kid like you has a limit to how far you can go without any help."
Most students who entered the academy were trained in their family martial arts at least. Yeowun thought for a second and asked, "The paper is it the Breath of Internal Energy?"
'I threw the bait, and you bit it!'
He was glad that Yeowun had caught on, but he acted like he wasn't excited.
"Heh, so you are not all that dumb."
"Why are you"
"If you become my apprentice, I will teach you the Breath of Internal Energy for the first lesson."
Yeowun was tempted. He had longed for it, but he couldn't learn it because of the oath. Submeng then knew his offer had worked.
'Does this man really want me as his apprentice?'
Yeowun looked at Submeng. He looked like a drunkard, but he was still a Right Guardian. Yeowun also felt that he really wanted to help him out.
'Then I should make him on my side.'
He knew how helpful it was to have one ally when everyone else was an enemy. He then barely got up with a pale face and got down from the bed.
Submeng looked at him intriguingly and Yeowun bowed deeply to the ground.
"I accept Right Guardian as my teacher. Please take my bow."
Yeowun bowed, shivering from the pain. Submeng became satisfied. Yeowun tried to continue bowing, when suddenly he was pulled up by internal energy.
"Stop. The blood of Chun does not bow to anyone other than the Lord himself."
That was the law of the cult.
"Heh, my apprentice."
Submeng then felt embarrassed for saying such words and he held up Yeowun with his internal energy to put him back on the bed.
"You will need to rest today. So until I come back, look through that note and learn."
Submeng then grinned and walked out. It was unexpected, but it was fortunate that Yeowun had gotten such an ally in the academy.
And at the training ground, squad forming was taking place. And when it was almost over, Chun Mukeum of the Loyal Clan grinned ominously.
'We are in the same squad, you peasant. Hehehehe'