Chapter 105 – Opening Act (3)

“Did you call for me?” Yeon-woo went to the Martial King’s side.

“It’s hard dealing with all those oldies, isn’t it?”

“No, it’s fine.”

“Well, it seemed like it. People like you and me don’t care about what other people think of us.” The Martial King chortled as if he’d heard a funny joke. “Anyway, I called you over so I can start teaching you the Eight Extreme Fists before the siege on Kuram. I’ll be teaching you one movement at a time, and as I said before, you’d better pay attention because I won’t teach you the same movement twice.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes glowed. It seemed like he would be able to learn earlier than he had expected since he thought the Martial King’s lessons would start only after the battle had ended.

“First, before you start learning anything, why do you think I am trying to teach you this since you’re already a pretty good fighter? Do you know the reason?”

Yeon-woo answered without any hesitation. “Isn’t it to increase the efficiency of the release of magic power?”

“Oho. You’ve already thought about it?” The Martial King nodded, satisfied. “You’re correct. In addition, Mugong is a word that combines “mu” or “to fight” with “gong” or "to build up”. This means building up your fighting skills, but the concept of building involves many other things, as well.”

Yeon-woo nodded. He already learned this from making Heaven Wing Mana Control. Mugong wasn’t something you could pick up from Inner Cultivation. You had to have a vessel—a body that could endure the accumulation of magic power. But he’d also been thinking about how Mugong also involved releasing magic power. “Mugong consists of three things: Shim, Gi, and Chae.”

‘Shim, Gi, and Chae.’

“Shim is Naegong. It’s what you guys call ‘magic power’. Chae is the vessel. Gi is the string that connects the two, and allows Mugong to be used properly.” The Martial King grinned. “Sword skills, spear skills…doesn’t matter. The Eight Extreme Fists I’m going to teach you is one of the most superior types of Gi. Why? Well, because I’m the one who created it.” The Martial King was laughing as he bragged. “You should be really thankful since only two other people have learned the Eight Extreme Fists.”

Yeon-woo immediately thought of the Martial King’s disciples who carried on the Martial King’s powers.

“Anyway, the Eight Extreme Fists isn’t a simple fist skill. It works with any kind of weapon because I don’t like to be choosy when it comes to weapons.” The Martial King couldn’t help bragging some more. “It means that the eight extremes are all focused on me, and senses are disregarded. Doesn’t matter if you’re facing one or a hundred opponents, the skill will work each time. That’s the goal of the Eight Extreme Fists.”

Yeon-woo nodded.

“I’ll show you it one step at a time, so look carefully. First, Qian Step.” The Martial King took a big step forward and at that moment, his aura suddenly increased.

Yeon-woo clenched his fists. The movement was like the one he’d done before he split the sun.

“Next is Taegak, then Li Fist...” He moved slowly so Yeon-woo could see the steps.

Yeon-woo used his Draconic Eyes to follow the movements, and he was suddenly struck with the realization that the Martial King’s movements were very familiar. ‘Imperfections!’ Yeon-woo’s eyes widened once he realized what was going on. Was it only a coincidence that the Martial King was moving along the imperfections? Every spot his feet landed on and everything his spread arms touched was along the stream of imperfections.

Yeon-woo realized that imperfections signified the center of objects, and so it made sense that the best Mugong would follow the stream of imperfections.

[You have understood the significance of ‘Imperfections'.]

[‘Draconic Eyes’ skill proficiency has increased. 27.6%]

He began to understand what the Martial King was showing him.

“There. This is the first out of the thirty-two steps in the first section of Eight Extreme Fists. It’s called Qiangonjinjin. Do you think you can do it?” The Martial King smiled mischievously. The first step was composed of sixty-four different smaller steps, and there was no way a beginner would ever be able to memorize it just by looking at it once. He’d only been teasing Yeon-woo about showing it once, and he was waiting for a chance to show off some more if Yeon-woo didn’t memorize the steps right away.

However, Yeon-woo nodded confidently. “Yes. I’ve memorized it.”

“What?” As the Martial King made a baffled exclamation, Yeon-woo repeated the movements the Martial King had demonstrated. They were exactly the same.

‘What is this nonsense!’ It was easy to copy the basic steps but not the tiny details. Still, Yeon-woo had managed to imitate the Martial King so perfectly that it was as though he’d copied and pasted the moves.

To the Martial King, who didn’t know about Yeon-woo’s Draconic Eyes, it was a mind-blowing sight. ‘He’s more of a monster than I thought!’ Of course, he didn’t let Yeon-woo know his thoughts, and instead, he feigned a laugh as though everything was normal. “Good job. You wouldn’t be my disciple if you were confused by this simple part, right? Now, let’s move on to the next step. It’s called Gonisungsan.” The Martial King was curious to see whether Yeon-woo could copy the movements again.

Ding!

[You have started training in the Mugong Eight Extreme Fists. With ‘Draconic Eyes’ supporting you, you are able to learn at a fast pace.]

[You have learned the form perfectly.]

[You have learned the style perfectly.]

[You have comprehended the move.]

....

[Congratulations! You have successfully learned ‘Eight Extreme Fists’. A skill is being created.]

[The skill ‘Eight Extreme Fists (Superior)’ has been created. 0.0%]

[Eight Extreme Fists (Superior)]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: An art that combines the Eight Points of the Compass and the Eight Trigrams. It can be used with swords and spears. It is a high-ranking Mugong.]
[*Step of the Palgwae
Every step you take increases the power of the Eight Trigrams (Qian, Dui, Li, Zhen, Kun, Gen, Kan, Xun) by 5%.]
[*Mana of the Eight Points
Strengthens senses and protects blind spots. You can use your mana more thoroughly.]
[**The second and third sections of the ‘Eight Extreme Fists’ are incomplete. Please find the rest of the pieces and complete the skill.]

By the time they could see Kuram in the distance, Yeon-woo finished learning the thirty-two steps of the first section. The Martial King, Edora, Phante, and the other warriors looked on with their mouths agape. “Ahem! As I expected. Any disciple of mine can do this.”

However, the others felt extremely satisfied seeing the Martial King’s ego deflate like a balloon.

‘He’s flustered.’

‘He’s extremely uncomfortable.’

‘Whoa. Our patriarch can make an expression like that? Wow, this is great. Hyung-nim, you’re doing great!’

‘Wow, it feels like I’ve resolved ten years of indigestion in one go. Hehehe.’

‘How did Lady Edora find such a monster?’

Those who had pulled their hair out because of their frustration with the Martial King wore expressions of delight.

Yeon-woo felt as if his mana circulation had grown smoother. If it had just been a decent sedan before, it was now a sports car whose speed he could control at any time. Of course, since he’d just learned the basics, it would take some time for everything to move naturally, but he felt it could be solved with more training. ‘I want to try using it.’

Yeon-woo could feel that he had changed quite a lot over the span of a few days, and he wanted to test the changes for himself. He looked at the silhouette of Kuram which was still ignorant of its impending doom. “Your Majesty.”

“Seseung-nim.”

Yeon-woo was taken aback.

“Call me Seseung-nim.” It was the formal address for “teacher”, which Yeon-woo found rather awkward. However, since the Martial King was actually teaching him things, it made sense to address him that way even though it was a little embarrassing. “OK. Seseung-nim.”

“What is it? Is there something else you want?”

Yeon-woo looked at the Martial King seriously. “Can you leave Kuram to me?”

“What? Huh!” The Martial King wasn’t even surprised anymore at Yeon-woo’s ambitions, and he guessed that Yeon-woo wanted to try out the Eight Extreme Fists. The Martial King understood because he’d been the same way as a youth, but he had to refuse. “Nope. Other members of the One-horned tribe want to have a go, too.”

The Martial King looked at the other warriors pointedly. They all nodded enthusiastically as thought they weren’t about to let their prey go. Even if the Martial King gave his permission to Yeon-woo, they would probably get involved anyway—that was how excited they were to be outside. It was a wonder how they managed to stay in the tribe’s territory for such a long time.

“It’s the same for me.” Yeon-woo looked at the Martial King’s gleaming eyes. “But you’re right, we need to see how much Mugong you’ve learned. Hmm.” He stroked his chin, curious to observe the power of Yeon-woo’s new Inner Cultivation and the Eight Extreme Fists together.

He was planning on adjusting some things if Heaven Wing Mana Control and Eight Extreme Fists didn't fit well together, but he had to figure out a way to keep the warriors happy at the same time. Suddenly, he had an idea. “How about this?”

***

The city of Kuram had been under the control of the Nau clan, a subordinate of Red Dragon, for quite a while now. However, the confrontation between the Hoarder and the alliance of clan had destroyed half of the Nau clan’s forces, and so Red Dragon decided to send some forces to the eleventh floor to search for more materials.

White Draconian was one of the eighty-one groups of Red Dragon, and they were considered the hunting dogs of the clan, and Team 8 of White Draconian had been dispatched to take control of Kuram. The citizens of Kuram had to watch what they did in case they got on Team 8’s bad side.

The Leader of Team 8, Shanon, didn’t like the situation at all. ‘Foolish creatures. They’re only friendly to our faces and curse us behind our backs. Well, they’re just bastards who can’t climb any higher anyway.’

He hated the players on the lower floor. He despised them so much that he felt like throwing up when he saw their weakness in front of strong players and their strength in front of weaker ones. He thought that the residents who smiled at him were pathetic.

However, he was very interested in the Hoarder, whom the Nau clan promised to kill. ‘He’s messed with them despite knowing we’re behind them. Someone with that much confidence is worthy of joining us. Even Bahal-nim said he was interested in the Hoarder.’ Shanon respected Bahal and wanted to be in Flame Beast one day and so his obsession with finding the Hoarder grew. Unfortunately, he seemed to have disappeared without a trace.

Shanon didn’t know whether the Hoarder had cleared the stage and gone on to the twelfth floor or if he was still on the eleventh floor. There were plenty of others looking for him, but they couldn’t find any trace, and the Hoarder’s disappearance only made the rumors grow. No one knew what he was planning to do next. ‘It would be nice to see him before the war starts.’ Shanon licked his lips.

Boom!

His ears almost fell off from the loudness of the explosion, and he lost his balance. However, he quickly got to his feet with his cane, a hard expression on his face. That didn’t sound like an ordinary explosion.

He turned to look out the shattered window behind the collapsed desk and saw flames and black smoke rising to the sky. “Who dares…?”

At that moment, the door burst open, and his subordinate rushed in saying in an urgent voice, “Bad news, sir! Our enemies have attacked, but…”

“Who is it? Cheonghwado?”

“I-it’s the One-horned tribe!”

“What?” Shanon’s expression turned grim at the unexpected response.

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