Chapter 10

Light Novel: Volume 1 Episode 10
Manhwa: Chapter 9

The Third Sword threw a booklet in front of the children.

“Learn this from today.”

On the cover of the booklet, four characters were written: 分需心法 Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique1

As the children looked at them with puzzled expressions, the three swords continued.

“I’ll give you three months. You must learn this within that time. After three months I’ll check your progress and if you still haven’t mastered it, I’ll cut your throat off with my own hands.”

The children did not answer.

Because they were commanded to remain silent in any case.

The three swords looked around the children with cool eyes and said.

The Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique is a cultivation  method that the corps obtained with much difficulty. The main characteristic of this method is that it is easy to learn. No matter how dull you are, if you use it consistently for a year, you can feel qi and build up your internal energy. So it’s perfect for a beginner like you. A person who has achieved outstanding achievements in Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique will be given an even better mind method, so it would be better to work hard.”

The children’s eyes lit up.

The more you get a better mental method, the more likely you are to become stronger. The children listened to the words of the Three Swords, knowing that the stronger they became, the higher their chances of surviving.

The Third Sword explained to the children how to operate the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique in an easy-to-understand manner.

The biggest feature of Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique is that it is easy to learn, just like the three swords mentioned a while ago. Even if one did not read the booklet containing the method of cultivation but knew the overall gist, a person could already execute it immediately.

The children listened to the explanation of the three swords.

The Third Sword explained it in detail so that children could easily understand it.

More than half of the children did not know how to read. They couldn’t even read the booklet after it was handed out to them so they didn’t pay it any attention at all and just focused on the voice of the Three Sword.

Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique was a fearsome weapon that a soldier who had been assassinated by the Blood Shadow Group. 

The warrior himself assassinated by the Blood Shadow Group was only a second-rate martial artist, but the method of cultivation he possessed was exceptional. The uninhabited man also obtained the method of cultivation by chance, so even he did not know its origin.

The reason why the Blood Shadow Group left the cultivation method unattended even after acquiring the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique is because it was judged that this method is only suitable as an introductory method for those who do not know any martial arts techniques at all.

The Blood Phantom Corps will not accept those who have not mastered any skill. To become accepted as a member of the group, they have to be verified to possess a certain level of skill so they did not feel the need to learn the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique, which is a method for beginners. Hence why it has been neglected until now.

Complex methods could not be used to make children a tool to use in the next six years. The idea is to create a foundation using the simplest method as possible to let them acquire the necessary skills fast. 

Learning skills quickly is possible, but instead the path to ascension (常勝) was blocked.

There are many sects and warriors in Jianghu, but there are not many clans who possess the deep cultivation method that can reach the mystery of ascension. 

It is because it deserves to be called a prestigious political faction of a strong man just because he has a mental method that embraces the mystery of ascension. (상승의 묘리를 품고 있는 심법을 가지고 있다는 것만으로도 강호의 명문정파라 불릴 만하기때문이다.)

Even within the Blood Phantom Corps, there were only a few who had learned the technique of ascending. It was all about the Blood Phantom Corps’ Captain and the Seven Ghost Swords. (혈영단의 단주와 귀혼칠검(鬼魂七剣) 정도가 전부였다.)

Even that was only possible because the Blood Phantom Corps had been active for a long time and obtained quite a number of strange books (奇書 kisho). 

First Sword, Second Sword, and Third Sword were all members of the Seven Ghost Swords. 

However, they were old enough to retire from the front line. The Blood Shadow Group Captain had ordered them to train the new batch of assassins.

While the children were fighting in the underground cavity, the three swords studied the method of cultivation. This is so they can pass on the method to children and to smoothly move on to the next step. 

The Third Sword explained to the children the details of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique that he had studied so far.

The children were fascinated by his words.

“…Okay, that is all. If you have any questions, read the booklet and study it on your own.” 

The Third Sword forced the children to sit cross-legged, and then to breathe according to the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. The masked men surrounded the children and watched to see if they were doing as instructed. 

The masked men were also assassins, acting as custodians and guards. No matter how simple the method was, there was no one who could execute it properly from the beginning.

Not to mention, none of the children here had learned martial arts outside.

No, there were a significant number of children who didn’t even know that cultivation even existed.

It was impossible for such children to feel the inner workings from the beginning. Still, as the three swords taught, the children tried to breathe and feel qi. 

Pyo-wol was one of them.

He frowned heavily and breathed as the three swords had told him.

Inner Qi or internal energy (Naegong) is not created by practicing cultivation for just a day or two.

The human body is at its purest right after it comes out of the mother’s womb. If you utilize the breathing method at this time, you will be able to get a tremendous amount of internal energy. 

Because it is impossible to do so, the prestigious clan sects instead performs a practice of cleansing the bone marrow and cutting their hair (二伐毛洗蘭  fá máo xǐ suǐ) to put the children’s bodies in an optimal state for building internal energy.

The achievements of children who have been subjected to bone marrow cleansing are unmatched by those who do not.

That was the difference between those coming from prestigious sects and the not-so-famous ones.

Differences in birth have created a gap that is difficult to overcome.

The fortunate thing is that bone marrow cleansing is not something that everyone can achieve and that only a few selected people in the whole of the stronghold of Jianghu are blessed.

If Pyo-wol and the children had undergone bone marrow cleansing, they would have felt and accumulated inner qi at once, but it was impossible in the first place.

First of all, they had to create a state of the body where they could feel the inner air.

They had to nurture a field in which seeds called qi (氣) could gather by stroking the dantian (丹田) with their breath.

The breathing method, which they are now practicing, was the very first process. The process of cultivating a field is tedious and laborious, because it is impossible to know when the seeds of qi will germinate.

Those who have developed a sense of qi can feel it completely in a month or two, but those without talent wouldn’t be able to feel the presence of inner qi at all, even after years of learning.

Now they’re in the process of cultivating the dantian that could contain ki.

The three swords watched with sharp eyes to see if the children were using the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique properly.

Fortunately, all of the children were immersed in the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. 

The three swords said to the custodians. 

“If there is a guy who is fooling around or has other thoughts, kill him immediately.”

“Yes!”

The custodians responded in unison.

Their eyes as they looked at the children were full of life.

Although they are serving as custodians because of the orders of the Blood Shadow Group Captain, their main occupation was actually being an assassin.”

A person who kills others for money.

With no cause or belief. 

To them, money was their belief and cause.

Even though they were promised to be paid a decent price, there was no way they could be happy nurturing young children in such a dark place, when they can be strolling outside.

Because of that, their faces were full of poison.

The thought that they would not let it go if even one small twig was caught was revealed on their face. Under their bloody surveillance, the children were forced to immerse themselves in the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique.

The custodians pushed the children harshly.

They split the day in half doing two things, except for sleeping, in the morning they spend the time learning how to do the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique, and in the afternoon they train their physical strength.

The custodians made the children run nonstop.

“The final battle over there is your goal. I will give the person who arrives the earliest to take a break. Conversely, I will let the person who arrives last know what hell is.”

At the words of the three swords, the children all started running in unison.

There was no time to think.

When it was time to roll their heads, they had to run toward the target at least one step faster than the other children.

“Uaah!”

“Damn it!”

Shouts erupted from the children’s mouths.

They ran with all their might.

The terrain where the children were was clearly visible.

Some children jumped over the fence, while others tried to shorten the distance by using a hole they had identified in advance.

However, the children’s attempts were in vain.

This is because the custodians attacked from unexpected places. 

Pak!

“KUAGH!”

A wooden sword struck his leg.

The beaten child fell to the floor screaming. The child screamed like he was going to die, but the expression on the custodian’s face remained cool.

“Who told you to scream at will? If you don’t shut up right away, I’ll pick you up.”

“Hiiik!”

At the threat of the custodian the child covered his mouth with both hands, got up and started running again.

The same thing happened all over the place.

The custodians were secretly hiding and attacked the children running in front of them.

The children’s eyes were several times more sensitive than they were before they came in, but they can’t detect assassins who have trained professionally for a long time.

They can’t. 

‘It’s not just about getting to the battlefield quickly. Its true purpose is to detect the location of the hidden custodian and secure a safe infiltration route.”

Pyo-wol realized the true purpose of this training.

He slowed down a bit.

Unlike the other children, he adapted perfectly to the dark. The assassins’ hiding was of no use to him, who could see the night as day like an owl.

If he wanted to, he could reach his destination in the shortest time by using the only infiltration route where the assassins were not hiding, but Pyo-wol did not.

He deliberately passed near where the assassin was hiding.

As if waiting, the custodian attacked him.

Pak! 

“Kugh!”

Pyo-wol bent over like a shrimp after being hit in the back by the surprise attack by the custodian.

The chilly voice of the surprised bridgehead poured down the back of his head.

“If you move poorly like what you did just now, you won’t survive until the end. Hurry up and run.”

“Ugh! Yes!”

Pyo-wol struggled to endure the pain and ran again.

The custodian looked at Pyo-wol’s back with a contemptuous gaze and then hid again.

First and Two Swords watched the training of such children from the highest point of the fortress.

Most of the children were beaten by the custodians, but some were not.

Instead of running blindly like other children, they ran away from where the bridgeheads might be hiding.

The sword opened his mouth.

“As expected, So Yeowol is the best.”

“Her intelligence is outstanding. Judgment, courage, and execution are all top-notch.”

First Sword nodded at the supplementary explanation of the other sword.

So Yeowol was the person who stood out the most so far. She overcame the physical disadvantage of being a woman and arrived at her destination at the fastest speed.

So Yeowol was never attacked by the custodians.

Following her, Song Cheonwoo and several children arrived.

They, too, were commended.

“What about the Pyo-wol?”

“He’s mediocre. Right now, he’s not particularly prominent.”

“Hmm… Was I mistaken?”

A light of disappointment passed through the sword’s eyes.

He had high expectations because Pyo-wol was the only survivor in the area, but he was disappointed that Pyo-wol couldn’t stand out in the first training.

But he didn’t completely let go of his regrets.

“Still, we don’t know, so let’s wait and see.”

“Understood.”

* * *

All the children were exhausted from the continuous forced march.

As soon as the day was over, the children started falling asleep.

It was the same with So Yeowol, who stands out by far.

Although her qualities were superior to anyone else, her physical strength was clearly inferior to that of boys, so she had to struggle most of the time. However, even when she was exhausted, she showed that she took care of the children who followed her. 

Because of that, the children’s trust in her had further strengthened.

On the other hand, Pyo-wol always maintained only moderate grades.

Average grades that are neither too outstanding nor too lacking. 

Because of that, the interest that had been focused on him from the beginning had long since disappeared. A lot of people think he survived in sector one through luck. 

This was what Pyo-wol wanted.

In his hand, he held the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique booklet. 

At first, there were children who read the booklet because they did not understand the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. However, when the method of cultivation became familiar to them at some extent, they stopped reading the booklet.

Even the custodians didn’t force the children to read the booklet of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. 

The method was nothing more than an introductory mind method to move on to the next stage anyway.

Thanks to this, Pyo-wol was able to monopolize the original copy of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique.

Everyone thought of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique as a passing stepping stone, but Pyo-Wol had a different idea.

Some time ago, something was sprouting in his dantian.  The tickling thing gradually increased in size each time Pyo-Wol used the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique.

Pyo-wol thought it was a qi (氣).

The other children didn’t seem to feel qi yet.

Even So Yeowol, who is the most highly regarded of the custodians,  did not feel the internal energy and was confused.

On the other hand, Pyo-wol clearly felt the energy. 

That was the reason why Pyo-wol brought the original Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique.

Pyo-wol thought that maybe he was more sensitive to qi than the other children, or maybe he had a particularly good compatibility with the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique

There was only one way to confirm his conjecture.

It is directly checking the original copy of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique So, he dared to bring the original copy of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique

Pyo-wol sat cross-legged and began to read the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique.

Learning to write was the only legacy of his deceased father.

Palag! Palag!

In the darkness, only the sound of the paper flipping resounded.


SoundlessWind21’s Notes:

  1. 分需心法 Splitting the Mind Cultivation Technique is the MTL version. In the Manhwa it’s referred to as the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique so I’ll be using this instead for consistency. 

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Adam

loreee

Reaper of the Drifting Moon
Manhwa = Novel
Chapter 88 = Chapter 137

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Chapter 10
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