༺ Things One Shouldn’t dare to Touch (2) ༻
“You piece of shit.”
Gu Jeolyub at first thought he misheard, but he did hear the curse thrown at him.
“What did you say, young master?”
“…Haa, why am I always getting bothered when I just want to live a quiet life. I just want to live in peace, so why don’t you all leave me alone.”
The heat that passed by Gu Jeolyub had gotten intense. This meant Gu Yangcheon’s fire Qi was getting stronger.
“Lord Second Elder.”
Gu Yangcheon calls to the Second Elder.
“May I start the duel?”
Was it a mistake? To Second Elder’s ears, it sounded as if Gu Yangcheon was asking him for permission to kill Gu Jeolyub.
‘Did he become stronger again? In that short amount of time, there’s no way that he had gotten that much stronger.’
That probably wasn’t the case, it’s only been a few days. No matter how talented you were, being able to grow that much in that time was just impossible.
‘Then is this the strength that he always possessed?’
How efficiently you used your Qi was all dependent on your training and experience as a martial artist. But the appearance Gu Yangcheon had at the moment was only possible for people who had trained for decades.
‘This… is quite strange. How is this possible?’
Gu Yangcheon’s Qi and power are way lower than Gu Jeolyub’s. That’s what the Second Elder saw, but he wasn’t getting pushed back at all. In fact, it seemed to almost be even.
The one who was most shocked about this was Gu Jeolyub. While the training area was getting heated up from both of their Qi, he could feel that it wasn’t one-sided.
The disgrace of the Gu Clan, an arrogant son of Gu who had collapsed in front of him puking last year. He was now standing in front of him only one year later and on equal footing.
His thoughts were dismissed with a voice.
“Duel starts now.”
With the Second Elder’s signal, the duel has begun.
Gu Jeolyub raised his wooden sword and decides to first observe Gu Yangcheon.
Red Dragon Sword, was the sword that was used by the Gu Clan. It was a good complement to Gu Jeolyub’s martial skill, swift flame arts. This was a fighting style that utilized sharp and fast Qi also known as Sword Draw Art.
Gu Jeolyub looked at Gu Yangcheon who was just staring at him with a dumb look and thought to himself,
‘What am I even worrying about?’
He looked clumsy from head to toe, I bet he is using all of his power just to push my Qi back. Just after a few exchanges I’ll be in range to strike him down with my sword.
It’s impossible for Gu Yangcheon to beat me, he just started to learn how to fight with his fists. I was just distracted by that servant Wi Seol-Ah. I can’t forget what my main target is right now.
No matter what I do, I just need to target his vitals and Gu Yangcheon won’t even be able to block. I need to make him lose in the most pathetic manner possible. I will achieve my goal of coming here while also taking his beautiful servant away.
To Gu Jeolyub this was a total win-win situation.
However, Gu Jeolyub started to become a little confused a little after the duel started.
‘Why in the hell? Why can’t I get close to him?’
Gu Jeolyub couldn’t understand himself. All he had to do was quickly attack him, it was simple. Qi, speed, strength, he had the advantage in all aspects; yet he couldn’t even get close.
Sweat trickled down to the ground from Gu Jeolyub’s cheek.
‘It’s all this damn heat.’
Gu Jeolyub blamed the heat as the problem. Him getting pushed back by Gu Yangcheon? There was simply no way, or so he thought.
Gu Jeolyub flinched at Gu Yangcheon’s voice.
“What are you doing?”
“…What do you mean?”
“What the hell are you doing standing there, are you not going to attack?”
“…It’s common sense that in a duel the stronger person lets the weaker person attack first.”
“Weak? Who? Me? Is that why you’re scared?”
Gu Jeolyub bit his lips upon hearing Gu Yangcheon’s words. He couldn’t even understand his own actions at the moment.
Then Gu Yangcheon spoke,
“You told me I was bedridden for a month in our last duel, right?”
Gu Yangcheon cracked his neck.
Every time he moved his neck, cracking sounds reverberated which was oddly scary.
“What… makes you ask that all of sudden?”
“I thought that’d be enough.”
Suddenly, all the heat that was coming from Gu Yangechon disappeared.
‘Why did he remove it?’
Gu Jeolyub came to a realization and smiled as he thought to himself.
‘He ran out of Qi. He can’t use it anymore, what an idiot.’
It would be hard for Gu Yangcheon to take even a single step now that he was out of Qi, not to mention he was getting compressed by my Qi.
My master had told me that the Qi of swift flame arts would make even the first-rate martial artists struggle to move. He also told me that once enough time passes, I’ll become the Gu’s greatest genius rather than the Sword Pheonix.
Therefore, there was no way that Gu Yangcheon would be able to withstand my Qi.
That must be the case.
‘Was it all a bluff after all? That means that I can-’
“You told me I can go first, right?”
Gu Jeolyub’s eyes widened. Gu Yangcheon was looking at him unperturbed, the signs of struggle Gu Jeolyub expected Gu Yangcheon to exhibit weren’t present.
“Let me ask once more, I can really go first, right?”
“The stronger person-”
“Right, here I go then.”
Gu Yangcheon didn’t let Gu Jeolyub finish.
The vision of a martial artist was much more advanced than an average person. Gu Yangcheon disappearing right in front of Gu Jeolyub, who was about to become a first-rate martial artist could only mean a few things:
‘He either went into the ground, shot up at the sky… Or that he was faster than me-’
The direct family members’ flame arts mainly focused on their explosive power. On the other hand, the swift flame arts focused more on speed rather than the power of fire.
So there’s no way that he’s faster than me-
His sight became blurry from the sudden impact on his face. He also lost all the focus he had on his Qi because of it.
Gu Jeolyub wobbled and collapsed on one knee.
He felt a stream of liquid flowing down his face and dripping to the ground. Taking a glance down he notices the color, red.
Gu Jeolyub roughly wiped his face and noticed that his nose was bleeding.
“What in the world…?”
My vision is still blurry. What just happened?
“You want to duel, but you have the balls to think about something else? How dare you.”
In front of Gu Jeolyub stood Gu Yangcheon. Rather than continuing his attacks, he just stood and stared down at Gu Jeolyub.
“I purposely didn’t aim for your chin, so why are you acting all weak, get the fuck up.”
Gu Jeolyub came back to his senses and quickly swung his wooden sword, but a sword with no power or Qi held no threat.
The arm swinging the wooden sword was grabbed by Gu Yangcheon.
Without any hesitation, Gu Yangcheon struck Gu Jeolyub’s face again.
Gu Jeolyub’s head jolted upwards from the strong strike to the bottom of his chin. Gu Yangcheon flung him away causing him to roll several times before coming to a stop.
Gu Jeolyub’s body shuddered, unable to withstand the attacks.
While persevering he stood up with his face bloodied from his nosebleed.
“I’ll ask one last time, are you sure I can go in?”
Gu Jeolyub’s eyes started to shake after hearing his words.
The Second Elder who was watching it all thought to himself.
‘…You went in already.’
He didn’t say it out loud though.
* * * *
Martial arts were taught in order to save people. I don’t know how it is in other places, but that was the case for the Gu Clan. Ever since I was young I was told that martial arts were taught to protect the people of Gu, that was the reason it was taught to us at a young age.
But my opinion of that stupid saying never changed even as I got older.
To me, martial arts exist to kill. To rip apart and shatter your enemies completely. It was up to the person whether they used it for good or for evil.
However, I’ve experienced so much of what I think martial arts is created for. In its raw form, martial arts is all about ripping and shattering enemies apart. I’ve experienced it so many times that I never wanted to experience any more of it.
That piece of shit. Gu Jeolyub’s face is telling me that he thinks I’ve run out of all my Qi or something.
But the heat never actually disappeared. I instead pulled all the heat into my body.
Qi that was sucked into the body forcefully makes the user stronger and enhances their body strength. This was a skill that was only achievable by reaching the 5th realm of flame arts.
This didn’t necessarily mean that I became stronger than Gu Jeolyub thanks to the skill. It was just that I had more understanding of Qi than he did.
This generation is focused mainly on killing demons.
It meant fighting humans with martial arts was harder because of the lack of understanding. This was another reason why I was able to easily go against Gu Jeolyub and Gu Yeonseo.
While using this skill it felt like the insides of my body was getting blended up and broken down, but I didn’t let it show.
‘…This skill is a bit tough for me who just reached the 2nd realm.’
With every breath I took I heaved a sigh of steam. It wasn’t cold outside, it was the skill.
I have at most 7 minutes, that’s my limit. If I go any further than that I’ll get seriously injured.
‘That should be enough.’
I saw Gun Jeolyub staggering, he was breathing heavily and the impact made him lose all focus.
“Get up when I give you the chance. Don’t give me bullshit like ‘It was a sucker punch’ after the duel ends.”
The bastard got up staggeringly upon hearing my words. He endured his pain and got into his battle stance once again, concentrating his Qi.
The heat compared to before was much smaller, but Gu Jeolyub’s Qi was definitely well-trained.
“I apologize for underestimating the young master. I let my guard down.”
Gu Jeolyub apologized to me as he came to his senses.
“I don’t need any excuses, should I attack again?”
“…This time I will attack.”
Gu Jeolyub wiped the blood on his face and got into his stance. The red dragon used the style of Sword Draw Art. The movement had to be flawless and natural without any mistakes. This meant that one needed to have a good understanding of the swift flame arts to even begin to use the sword.
Gu Jeolyub swung his sword, heat spreading around the area from his sword.
With my eyes locked onto his sword, I moved my torso slightly and dodged his attack.
The slight heat told me that the second attack was the real one. Gu Jeolyub swathed his sword with Qi for the upcoming attack. He then did a half spin before coming closer.
He was empowering his sword further.
He had deliberately spun to store Qi of the swift flame arts into his sword. While it lacked destructive power, he made up for it with tremendous speed.
‘He has a good understanding of the basics.’
His flawless movement told me he trained quite a bit, but the basics were still only the basics. Movements that had to be flawless had a disadvantage. Once broken the advantage of being flawless would disappear.
Without hesitation, I charged in at Gu Jeolyub. His eyes shook as he thought I was going to dodge his attack rather than come straight at him.
But Gu Jeolyub doesn’t stop his sword.
It was about to strike my head, but I channeled the fire Qi to its maximum output. I also released all the heat that was inside my body in one go.
The heat that came out instantly engulfed the entire training area. It was bound to disappear after a short time though.
But there was no way Gu Jeolyub was fine after being hit directly with such heat at close proximity.
It might not have done a lot of damage, but I was able to make him blink for a moment. This was plenty of time for a martial artist to finish the duel.
I drove my fist enhanced with Qi into Gu Jeolyub’s guts.
I didn’t hold back like last time. Even with Qi surrounding Gu Jeolyub’s body, my fist was able to drive rather far into his body.
Gu Jeolyub collapsed down onto his knees and started to puke.
“Cough… Cough… Blegh…”
“Do you know what pisses me off the most?”
I thought to myself while looking down at Gu Jeolyub.
Should I kill him?
That was the thought I had throughout the whole duel.
I knew I shouldn’t, but the struggle to calm down the torrential wrath was vexing.
Fixing my toxic personality was a rather hard thing to do. But this guy kept taunting me.
“Whatever you say to me, behave towards me, desire to take the Lord’s position from me, I don’t care about any of that.”
Gu Jeolyub who was puking on the ground stopped and looked me in the eye while shuddering in fear.
I just didn’t like how he reached for something he shouldn’t even dare to think about getting.
I couldn’t kill him. I wanted to, but my reputation was more important.
Instead, I just wanted to cripple him for a month. Make him bedridden for a month like he did to me, nothing more and nothing less.
What should I go for? A leg? No, an arm would be much better. He wields a sword so breaking his arm would be the best.
As I was reaching for his arm I was stopped by a hand.
“And it ends here.”
It was the Second Elder.
I looked at him dumbfoundedly.
“Why are you stopping me? The duel hasn’t ended yet.”
“Jeolyub… is not in a state where he can continue to duel further. You know this more than anyone.”
He was bleeding from his nose and had vomit all over his mouth.
I had directly drilled my fist where his liver was, so he’s probably struggling to even breathe at the moment.
But even then, ending it here like this wasn’t anywhere near satisfying enough for me.
｢There are a lot of eyes watching.｣
I had to stop after hearing the Second Elder’s telepathic voice.
I heaved a sigh and walked away from him.
The first elder definitely didn’t send him alone.
I forcibly calmed myself down. I can’t make stupid decisions driven by emotion.
“Tell the First Elder That if he does shit like this again, I might want to become the Lord.”
Don’t bother me further. With that warning, I turned away and went towards Wi Seol-Ah.
Wi Seol-Ah didn’t even give a single glance towards Gu Jeolyub who was half dead and only focused her sights on me.
“Young Master… you won?”
She asked nervously.
Was it because she would be sent away if I didn’t win?
“Yes, I did.”
I stared at Wi Seol-Ah who smiled brightly upon hearing the news. While also smiling to myself I patted her on the head.
Just this, is enough for me.
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