Chapter 16: When Relationship Ends, No Resentment Remains (1)
Light Novel: Volume 1 Chapter 16
Manhwa: Chapters 20-21
Episode 6. When Relationship Ends, No Resentment Remains (1)
A gust of wind whipped across the clearing in front of the dormitory. At the center of the wind was a sharp straight sword.
The owner of the sharp straight sword was none other than Lee Gwak.
Like a dragon soaring through the clouds, Lee Gwak swung his sword across the courtyard.
The Eight Sects Sword Art unfolded from his hands.
Mountain Splitting Slash.
Raging Tidal Force.
Three sword techniques flowed effortlessly.
Through months of hard work, Lee Gwak was able to skillfully perform these three techniques.
The Eight Sects Sword Art was remarkably straightforward and simple. At the very least, it wasn’t too difficult to master the first three.
However, mastering these techniques does not mean that it would lead to greater breakthroughs or achievements.
To truly harness their power, he had to understand the deeper meanings within each technique and synchronize his inner energy with the techniques.
Only then could he unleash their true power.
Lee Gwak performed the Eight Sects Sword Art, combining it with the Eight Snakes Art.
The Eight Snakes Art and the Eight Sects Sword Art seemed to meld seamlessly as if they had always been one. In fact, it felt more like the Eight Snakes Art had a greater capacity, allowing the Eight Sects Sword Art to blend effortlessly.
Still, he couldn’t help but be cautious.
This was a path no one had traveled before.
No one had shown him the way, nor had anyone taught him. He had to figure everything out on his own.
Had he used another internal energy method to utilize the Eight Sects Sword Art, his qi would have been tangled, and his blood vessels twisted, possibly leading to qi deviation. In that sense, the Eight Snakes Art was surprisingly flexible.
With his knowledge and mastery of Yoga techniques, he knew how to turn back when faced with obstacles, thus preventing any strain on the body.
When his qi did not flow as needed, Lee Gwak would contemplate, searching for alternative paths. This was how he systematically applied the Eight Snakes Art to the Eight Sects Sword Art so far.
It was an incredibly grueling time, but he still found the experience both precious and enjoyable.
The experience of sacrificing everything for the sole purpose of becoming stronger was not something anyone could easily do.
Lee Gwak trained, and trained, and trained.
He repeatedly performed the same techniques over and over again, constantly refining and executing them.
He forgot everything around him.
Whether it be his memories of lying down paralyzed for a year, the pain of being abandoned by Geum Yul-seon, and all the other circumstances he found himself in– he had forgotten all of it.
The only thing that exists in Lee Gwak’s eyes right now is none other than the sword in his hand.
The trajectory traced by the finely tempered sword looked beautiful.
Suddenly, the back of his neck tingled.
Specifically, in the hollowed area at the back of his neck, commonly known as the Dazhui acupoint.
At first, it was as faint as an ant’s bite, but as time passed, the itch intensified. Nevertheless, Lee Gwak unfolded the Eight Sects Sword Art without giving it much thought.
He was in a complete trance.
Suddenly, it felt as if the Dazhui acupoint had completely opened, swirling and beginning to rotate.
The first snake stirred and woke up the second one, and the two snakes roused the third and fourth, moving as one.
The conjoined four snakes then completely surrendered to the whirlpool of the Dazhui acupoint.
Lee Gwak felt a tremendous sense of pleasure at that moment.
The four snakes twisted and rotated together, merging into one large snake.
‘The fifth snake!’
Only then did Lee Gwak realize that the fifth snake had awakened.
The newly awakened fifth snake slithered around inside Lee Gwak’s body.
Thump, thump, thump!
A continuous humming reverberated within him. It was the sound of the fifth snake bursting through the blocked blood vessels.
When his entire body was paralyzed, many of Lee Gwak’s blood vessels were damaged. They were all twisted and blocked, hindering the normal flow of qi.
But, now the fifth snake corrected all those blood vessels, breaking through the blockages and racing wildly like a madman.
Lee Gwak let the fifth snake run free.
He continued to unfold his Eight Sects Sword Art.
As the Blood Dragon Roar was unleashed, he prepared for the Lone Scorch Demon.
It was then.
Lee Gwak’s sword body began to tremble.
A faint mist appeared. It was so faint that one couldn’t see it unless they were looking closely.
Lee Gwak’s sword technique shifted from the Lone Scorch Demon to Phantom Shadow Assassinate.
Suddenly, the fifth snake, which had been swirling inside Lee Gwak’s body, rushed out through his arm and into the sword. Then an unbelievable spectacle unfolded.
A layer of energy almost a character-length long enveloped Lee Gwak’s sword.
It was sword qi.
It was what is commonly referred to as a state of consonance, or a peak state.
A state where internal and external qi communicated with each other, and the emitted qi took a distinct shape. Lee Gwak had stepped into the realm of top masters.
Lee Gwak felt immense pleasure.
The fifth snake swirling inside his body felt like mercury flowing throughout his body. A feeling of clear comfort and an unbroken flow of qi gave Lee Gwak boundless confidence.
He continued to unfold his Eight Sects Sword Art until all his energy was exhausted.
From the first to the sixth techniques, he was now able to perform them flawlessly. However, he had yet to master the formula for the Heaven Shattering Iron Blood and Eight Gateways of Destruction.
Still, Lee Gwak was not disappointed. He knew it was only a matter of time, and that if he continued to practice martial arts in this way, he would soon be able to master them.
Lee Gwak sprawled on the ground, taking deep, ragged breaths.
Though completely drained of energy and physically exhausted, he felt utterly fantastic.
He looked up at the unblemished blue sky, smiling.
It was then.
“What are you doing? Why are you lying on the ground, laughing?”
A familiar face suddenly interrupted.
The one looking down on Lee Gwak with a frown was none other than Seo Jong-myeong.
“You’ve been obsessing over your training again, haven’t you? You really are remarkable. Incredibly persistent.”
Seo Jong-myeong shook his head in frustration.
Lee Gwak forcibly sat up.
“Where have you been? I haven’t seen your face for days.”
“I know right? I came here to rest, but I ended up being busier.”
“What are you busy with?”
“Your life would be in danger if you knew.”
“I’ll mind my own business then.”
“Good thinking. Think positively. Thanks to me being busy, you get to relax.”
Lee Gwak nodded his head.
Seo Jong-myeong was not a man who fit in with the Outer Hall.
Though it was unclear why he was here in the Outer Hall, it was certain he would leave someday. There was no point in becoming deeply involved with such a person.
Lee Gwak liked his life the way it was.
It was quiet, and he could focus on his martial arts.
He didn’t know how long he would live this way, but he honestly wanted to enjoy it for as long as possible.
“But don’t you seem a little different?”
“What do you mean?”
Seo Jong-myeong suddenly stared intently at Lee Gwak.
Lee Gwak tried to maintain a nonchalant expression.
Since he didn’t have any lingering attachments to the Jade Heaven Alliance, he wanted to keep his martial arts level a secret if possible.
A thoughtful sound came out of Seo Jong-myeong’s mouth.
Something definitely seemed to have changed, but he couldn’t pinpoint what exactly.
‘Ah! Must be my imagination.’
Seo Jong-myeong shook his head.
Although he was staying in the Outer Hall due to circumstances, his martial arts level was far superior even compared to the Outer Hall’s leader, Maeng Hee-cheon. The idea that someone like him could be deceived by a mere martial artist of the Outer Hall was impossible from the start.
Lee Gwak’s devotion to martial arts was commendable, but his martial arts level was too low in the first place. Even if he gained usable martial arts from the vault, in his opinion, it would take at least a decade of continuous training for Lee Gwak to achieve any significant progress.
The Eight Snakes Art that Lee Gwak mastered was different from other martial arts in Jianghu. In particular, the way it circulated qi starting from the perineum or Huiyin acupoint and along the spine was something that could not be known unless one had directly experienced it.
“You, come with me.”
“We’ve rested enough. Time to earn our keep.”
Lee Gwak nodded his head.
Although it was regrettable, he was a martial artist of the Outer Hall, who had no choice but to follow orders.
Lee Gwak brushed off his bottom and stood up from the ground.
Seo Jong-myeong led the way.
Lee Gwak did not ask where they were going.
He would know once they arrived at the destination anyway.
The place Seo Jong-myeong was headed to was a large hall within the outer fortress.
The large hall, named Qingming Hall,1 was a place where the dignitaries of the outer fortress enjoyed banquets.
“Today, we will guard this place.”
“Just the two of us?”
“Are you kidding? Three groups have already been dispatched from the Outer Hall. You’ll see many familiar faces, so just stick with them.”
“Who is the team leader?”
“Understood. I’ll mind my own business.”
At Lee Gwak’s response, Seo Jong-myeong gave a faint smile.
Just as Seo Jong-myeong had said, familiar faces appeared as they arrived in front of the Qingming Hall.
“Hey? Isn’t that Gwak?”
It was Seok Yi-cheon and Gok Chae-bong.
Upon seeing Lee Gwak, they came over.
“This guy, he’s really all better now.”
Gok Chae-bong was especially happy to see Lee Gwak.
Seok Yi-cheon had personally seen Lee Gwak’s condition improve, but Gok Chae-bong had only heard about it.
Lee Gwak asked,
“Are you two in the same squad?”
“We were assigned to Squad 8.”
“That’s good, at least you two are together.”
“What’s so good about that? I still have to follow brother Yi-cheon’s lead even here.”
Gok Chae-bong grumbled, but there was a smile on his lips. Seok Yi-cheon grabbed Gok Chae-bong’s head and scolded him,
“Who’s following whom, huh? Do you know how much trouble I go through cleaning up after you? Why are you so careless?”
“Hehe! What can I do? It’s your karma.”
“Hmp! Things were better when Gwak was the youngest.”
Seok Yi-cheon shook his head and bickered with Gok Chae-bong. Watching the two, a smile also crept onto Lee Gwak’s lips.
“Anyway, it’s good that you’ve recovered enough to stand guard.”
“Where’s your squad leader?”
“He’s gone somewhere.”
“You obviously don’t know where, right?”
“Goodness, he’s like a ghost. Have you heard anything about him?”
“You don’t know, either? No one in the Outer Hall seems to know about him. I wonder where he came from.”
Seok Yi-cheon shook his head again.
Lee Gwak looked at him for a moment then changed the subject.
“So what’s happening here today?”
“A VIP has come.”
“The Berserk Dragon from the Martial Sword Alliance.”2,3
A look of reverence appeared on the faces of Seok Yi-cheon and Gok Chae-bong.
The Martial Sword Alliance was one of the Ten Supremes.
The said sect was founded by the old Hainan faction in the south, hence they are also known as the Southern sect.
The founder of the Martial Sword Alliance was Empress Hae So-wol, who had made significant contributions during the Great Heavenly Blood War a hundred years ago.
Standing proudly at the pinnacle of Jianghu in a woman’s body, she recognized the need to unite the martial forces of the southern region and thus established the Martial Sword Alliance.
The nickname, Berserk Dragon, was bestowed upon Woo Mun-pae, the great disciple of the current leader of the Martial Sword Alliance, Southern Sea Martial Emperor Yu Mun-sang.4
Woo Mun-pae was also one of the Ten Young Heavens,5 a term referring to the successors of the Ten Supremes. This term signifies their status as the most talented individuals in the current Jianghu.
Given his important position in the Martial Sword Alliance, he was not one to casually wander outside.
Therefore, the fact that he had come to the Jade Heaven Alliance itself indicated that today’s event was of utmost significance.
Lee Gwak looked at the Qingming Hall with renewed interest.
It was then.
The sound of a pipa came from inside the Qingming Hall.
For a moment, Lee Gwak’s pupils trembled.
The familiar sound of the pipa was bringing back memories that had already been fading.
Here is also a list of changes or differences between the manhwa and the novel:
- Clear Pavilion → Qingming Hall.
- Martial Sword Troupe → Martial Sword Alliance. This sect also appears in Reaper of the Drifting Moon. I used the same translation for consistency.
- Ten Lesser Skies → Ten Young Heavens.
Thank you for reading!
- Qingming Hall. Raws: 청명전(靑明殿).
- 靑 qīng – blue
- 明 míng – bright, light, brilliant, clear
- 殿 diàn – palace hall
- Berserk Dragon. Raws: 광룡(狂龍).
- 狂 kuáng – mad / wild / violent
- 龍 lóng – dragon
- Martial Sword Alliance. Raws: 무검련(武劍聯).
- 武 wǔ – martial / military
- 劍 jiàn – double-edged sword
- 聯 lián – (bound form) to ally oneself with; to unite; to combine; to join / (bound form) (poetry) antithetical couplet
- Southern Sea Martial Emperor. Raws: 남해무제(南海武帝).
- 南 nán, nā – south
- 海 hǎi – sea, ocean
- 武 wǔ – martial / military
- 帝 dì – emperor
- Ten Young Heavens. Raws: 십소천(十小天).
- 十 shí – ten
- 小 xiǎo – small / tiny / few / young
- 天 tiān – day / sky / heaven
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