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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy Chapter 17

A Conversation (Physics)

『Because of that kuso Joseon-jin……』

Takahiro angrily muttered from the back seat.

For Takahiro, who had been at the side of Lady Shimazu for such a long time, it wasn’t the first time he had ever seen the Lady get fixated to something. However, this time it was to a greater magnitude than usual.

Lady Shimazu had suddenly gotten obsessed with a Joseon cadet, and asked Takahiro to do a background check on him and bothered Takahiro, asking how she could get him to like her,

And now, she had asked Takahiro to test a man named Ham Won-sam, a rickshaw puller that happened to own the boarding house the Joseon cadet lived in.

Lady Shimazu had even gone as far as saying that this man might even be a Master who is just hiding his power.

It was a ridiculous order, but Takahiro couldn’t disobey.

So, now, Takahiro was driving around Gyeongseong with her subordinates, having put his duties with the Shimazu Gumi Gyeongseong Branch to the side.

All of this just to find that rickshaw puller, Ham Won-sam.
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‘She just suddenly asked me to find that man out of nowhere……’

Of course, Takahiro had done a background check, so he knew the man’s name, face, and the rickshaw company he worked for, but this didn’t mean he knew where the man was at any time.

Even if he went to the rickshaw company, they would just repeat that he would have to wait until later in the evening, when the rickshaw puller was back to return the rickshaw.
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So, to find the rickshaw puller, he had no choice but to carry a photograph and look around Gyeongseong.

Therefore, he spent the whole day looking around Gyeongseong, asking any rickshaw pullers that passed by if they knew the man in the photograph……. But then,
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『Vice-branch leader! I think it’s that man.』

The subordinate that was sitting in the passenger shouted as if he had found something.

『Hey! You! Kora!』

The subordinate put his body through the window and called the rickshaw puller that was passing by. The rickshaw puller, having heard him,
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“Yes, sir. You called?!”

He said in Joseon language as he approached running, and checking the photograph, it was indeed Ham Won-sam. The subordinate told the rickshaw puller, 『Omaega Kangen Sanka』, but the rickshaw puller didn’t understand.
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So, a subordinate that knew how to speak the Joseon language asked the rickshaw puller if he was Ham Son-san, and the rickshaw puller answered,

“Ah? Yes! I am! I am indeed Won-sam of the Ham family! I am indeed but…… sir, why do you ask……”
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He was afraid. This mas was the Ham Won-sam they had been looking for. However, he just looked like an ordinary Joseon village man, unlike the Master that the Lady had said he surely would be.

‘…….’

Takahiro sighed out loudly, and he took out a cigarette from a cigarette case in his coat inside pocket and bit it. The subordinate that was right next to him took out brass lighter and lit the cigarette for him

‘Phew…….’
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Because of this guy. They had been wandering all around Gyeongseong all day just to find that nobody, all the way into the evening, and they had finally found him.

Takahiro, annoyed, crushed the cigarette out, and told his men.

『Get your tools and get off. I think we need to talk a bit.』

***
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Swoosh!

The blue edge of the training sword swinging!

Shirabayashi, Baek Cheol-yeon, narrowly avoided the blade.
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However, Murasaki continued to attack!

Moving his feet, attack! And attack again!

『T-Teacher! Is this fine?』
『If we don’t stop them……!』
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From the point of view of the cadets who were watching the duel, Baek Cheol-yeon seemed to only be able to stop Murasaki’s continuous attacks. So the cadets shouted urgently at professor Keneryu Gonzaemon, the white-haired, middle-aged swordsman sitting at the end of the dojo. However professor Kenryu,

『Hmm!』

He slapped his thigh and dismissed the cadets’ concerns. The cadets were judging from only what they could see on the surface, but in Kenryu’s view, the situation was completely different.

At first glance, Murasaki, who one-sidedly was throwing a barrage of attacks, seemed to be dominating, however in professor Kenryu’s opinion, it was the opposite.  Baek Cheol-yeong was the one who had the upper hand.

It was clear from the movements of both duelists.
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In Murasaki’s case, despite being the only one attacking, he did not deviate from his fixed “kata”, that is, a fixed posture. On the other hand, Baek Cheol-yeon, who was only defending, didn’t get tied up on postures and moved like flowing water.
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As a matter of fact, you could tell just from looking at their faces. Murasaki looked flustered, with his teeth clenched, but Baek Cheol-yeon had a relaxed expression.

As professor Kenryu had analyzed, Murasaki was getting more and more frustrated.
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‘Damn it! Why can’t I hit him even once?!’

Even facing an attack that should surely land, an attack that was impossible to block, that damned Joseon boy was easily dodging or slipping by.

He was the one who was attacking, but it felt like he was the one that was falling deeper into a pit.
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‘How come!’

Although they had decided to duel only using their swordsmanship and not their Awakened abilities, Murasaki had started to attack by using his Awakened ability at some point.
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His Awakened ability was strength. Literally, this ability allowed him to infuse the muscle fibers in his body with mana to increase muscular strength,

It was almost like a passive ability, so no matter whether it was banned during the duel, the skill would come into use unconsciously if he moved his body more violently.

Through strengthening his body using his Awakened ability, his speed and power were far above the capacities of an ordinary person,

But this cocky Joseon brat was narrowly dodging his attacks, just like a weasel, and this was making Murasaki even more hotheaded.

And professor Kenryu, who was observing the duel from a distance, could also tell that Murasaki was doing his utmost effort, even using his ability.

However, Baek Cheol-yeon, who is dodging his attacks so easily, definitely is-

‘He’s a move ahead of Murasaki! No, how many moves ahead is he……!’

The attacker was in a hurry, but the defender was relaxed, and this started to get noticed even by the cadets that didn’t have any particular knowledge of swordsmanship.

『But still, that guy Shirabayashi is really good as well?』
『You’re right. He’s dodging all of Murasaki’s attacks…….』
『But why isn’t he attacking?』
『Is he so busy dodging that he doesn’t get a chance to attack?』
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No. In professor Kenryu’s opinion, Baek Cheol-yeon could strike back as much as he wanted. He was just not doing so. Professor Kenryu found this curious.

‘Why is he not attacking……!’

As professor Kenryu was wondering,

『Hmm!』
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When professor Kenryu saw Baek Cheol-yeon, he shifted his posture and tilted his upper body forward, eyes wide open. There was no mistaking it. Baek Cheol-yeon was holding his sword with a reverse blade! In other words, he had the blunt edge facing his opponent…….

‘What……?’
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Then, like lightning, Baek Cheol-yeon starts moving!

For a moment, the reflection of the blade flashed wildly, and before anybody knew it, Murasaki was kneeling down, with the reverse blade on his neck. The cadets were surprised and started murmuring.

『W-What? What was that? Did you see that?』
『So sudden…… What the hell happened?』
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The only person that had been able to completely capture that instantaneous movement in his eyes was professor Kenryu.

In that instant,
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Baek Cheol-yeon hit Murasaki in the wrist so that he would drop his sword,
Hit him in the back of the knee to make him kneel,
And finally put his sword to his neck.

『……!』
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The cadets were confused by the unexpected result, but there was no mistake about what they were seeing. Baek Cheol-yeon had completely dominated Murasaki.

The duel was decided. Professor Kenryu got up, lifted his hands and said,
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『Shobu, owari-!』

To announce the end of the duel. The result naturally was Shirabayashi, or rather Baek Cheol-yeon’s victory.

Baek Cheol-yeon swung the sword he was holding as a reverse blade, making a big circle, and sheathed it. He bowed at the loser and professor Kenryu to show his respect, and then returned to his seat.

However, Murasaki was still on his knees, mumbling to himself, completely dumbfounded.
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『How come, how……』

***

‘……Phew. That was close.’
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After the first day of classes, I went back to the boarding house and rolled around as I thought.

‘One wrong move and I would have hit him in the neck.’

I wasn’t used to swinging my sword against a person. All of my swordsmanship training had come from slaying monsters coming out of Gates after I had awakened and become a Hunter.
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So, when dueling Murasaki, I couldn’t recklessly attack him as I was afraid I might cut his arms and legs.

This is why I couldn’t help but hold my sword reversed, but even with the blunt side, I almost broke his neck. It was fortunate I stopped myself right before I did.
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‘But still, did I go too far?’

I hit his wrist to drop his sword, even made him kneel down, and put my sword against his neck. Murasaki, having been defeated, seemed to have been shocked at losing against me, and I felt bad for him as he stayed down, muttering to himself for such a long time after the duel.

But someone like Murasaki wouldn’t admit defeat unless I went this far, so I had to leave it without beyond doubt.

‘Anyway, I’ll need to learn swordsmanship again.’
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At school, we would probably be dueling people constantly, and I couldn’t keep holding my blade reversed like I had today. So, I needed to learn counter-person swordsmanship, not the counter-monster swordsmanship I had learnt in the 21st century…….

I thought rolling around in my room, when

“Excuse me.”

The boarding house daughter, Ham Seo-ju, called out to me from outside my door. When I opened the door I saw Ham Seo-ju standing there, holding out a piece of paper.

“You got a telegram.”
“A telegram?”
“Here.”

It was a yellowed piece of paper, folded twice neatly into a square. I took the sheet and opened it up to read it.

送手|シラバヤシテツグウ
名宛|シラバヤシテツゼン
チチオヤキキフ ドヨウ キフライヨウバウ
(From: Shirabayashi Tetsugu)
(To: Shirabayashi Tetsuzen)
(Father in critical state, urgent request)

The person who sent it was Baek Cheol-woo, my half-brother according to the family register. Interpreting the contents of the telegram, he was saying that my father was in a critical state, and asking me to urgently come on Saturday.

‘I was planning on going tomorrow anyway, so that’s fortunate.’
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I was planning on taking the train back home right after my Saturday classes finished, but they had asked me to come first. What I liked most was what had been mentioned in the telegram, that the father, Baek No-pyeong was in a critical state.

‘When I saw the family register, his age was 69.’
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Was it old age? Well, he was at an age where he would start to have some health complications, whether it’s from a disease or old age. This wasn’t a period where the average life expectancy wasn’t as long as in the 21st century.

Whatever was the situation, it was good news to hear that the man that was forcing me into the Japanese imperial army, let alone a traitor, was in critical condition.
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If things turned out for the best, wouldn’t it be possible for me to get away from not enlisting in the army?

‘That’s lucky.’

I would have to go visit home to find out the details, but so far, this was a good sign. Ham Seo-ju, who had seen me smile wide as I read the telegram from the side, had a worried look in her face as she asked.
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“…Are you fine? I don’t know too much, but I thought this telegram mentioned that your father was unwell……”

Ah. She had read the telegram. That didn’t matter but……

She probably thought me strange as I smiled so brightly at my father being unwell. I quickly made up an excuse.
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“Ah, no, the thing is! My father has been sick for a while now, and I thought I might finally be able to help him if I go to visit! I actually happen to have a school friend whose ability is healing! I was thinking she might maybe be able to help him out……”
“Alright…….”

At that moment, the front gate opened and Ham Seo-ju’s father, Ham Won-sam came in. But Ham Won-sam looked beat up.

“Ouch, ouch……”
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His clothes were torn in several places and they barely hung onto him, and what was exposed of his face and arms was covered in bruises. Looking a Ham Won-sam struggling like that Ham Seo-ju,

“Father!”

She was surprised and ran up to him to help him walk as she asked.
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“Father! What happened? Oh my……”
“Some Japanese men wearing suits suddenly came up to me and, yeah,”
“What? Then what?!”
“What do you mean “then what”?! Sigh…… They came onto me with some blue swords and sticks, and I was asking “oh my God, what are you doing?”, standing still, and they started speaking in Japanese between themselves and……”

Japanese men wearing suits? Blue swords?

“They came up to me and punched me and hit me with their sticks…… They kicked me around and I continued asking why they were doing this, why are you doing this, but they wouldn’t listen to me and just continued beating me……”

At him mentioning Japanese men wearing suits with swords, there were some people that suddenly came to my mind. But I thought there was no way it would be them, so I cautiously asked Ham Won-sam.

“Those men in suits, were they by any chance wearing badges?”
“Lad! How did you know that? They absolutely did! I saw it with my very own eyes! I saw it…… Yes, indeed, they had badges hanging on their chest, and the badges were in the shape of swords arranged into a cross, like the ones those who believe in Jesus carry……”

Four Japanese swords arranged in the shape of a cross inside of a circle.
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I had seen that badge before, as well. And from very close, too.

‘……Shimazu Gumi!’

That badge was the emblem of the Yeopsa association Shimazu Gumi. But, why?

Would they beat up a Joseon rickshaw puller for no reason? Why? They wouldn’t do something like that without a reason. They had clearly received an order.
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Then, who would have made that order? The answer was obvious. The girl that was the branch leader of and directed the Shimazu Gumi Gyeongseong Branch, and that had been suspiciously meddling in every one of my affairs and pressuring me.

However, I didn’t know she would go as far as touching the people around me. Even if she was Japanese royalty, and the leader of a huge Yeopsa association,

No matter how I thought about it, she had crossed the line by assaulting such an innocent and powerless Joseon person.
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I gritted my teeth and mumbled, crumbling the telegram in my hand.

“That fucking bitch……!”

***

『How did it go with what I ordered?』

Somewhere in Gyeongseong, Renka’s house. Standing in front of Takahiro, who was kneeling down, Renka, dressed in traditional Japanese clothes, asked.

『Was the man indeed a Master?』
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Takahiro answered, bowing his head.

『No, my Lady. He was not. We “tested” him, but he ended up just being a regular middle-aged man.』
『Hmm, is that so…….』
『Yes, my Lady. His ability was a useless one, as well.』

Renka, who had received Takahiro’s report, thought. So the owner of the boarding house was not a hidden Master. Then, did this mean that Baek Cheol-yeon gained such combat experience through his own efforts……?

‘So, should I approach this in a different way?’
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Was as far as Renka thought, when she suddenly got worried about something and asked Takahiro.

『Takahiro-san. I hope that you did not unnecessarily bother that man more than was needed.』
『Ah, yes. Of course, my Lady. He was just a regular middle-aged man, so we just lightly tested him and let him go, however……』

Takahiro changed the flow of the conversation and brought up a different subject.

『However, we managed to get a different result.』
『A result?』
『Yes, my Lady. Just in case, we went to Siksan Bank and checked the Joseon cadet’s bank account records……』
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After Takahiro and his subordinates had released their frustration at having to go all around Gyeongseong on the rickshaw puller, Takahiro felt he would be too ashamed to face the Lady because he hadn’t been able to get any results. So he decided to check on Baek Cheol-yeon on his own way.

Takahiro continued, with a confident tone.

『We could see that he had not been getting much financial support from his family. It seems that, perhaps, he does not have good relationships with his family.』
『Oh…….』
『So, I think that this is the reason why he is living in such a run-down boarding house.』
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This was a satisfactory report for Renka.

‘So, he does not have a good relationship with his family. And he is living in that boarding house because he does not receive much financial support. So the reason why he is so good at handling a sword…… It must be a result of his blood, sweat and tears, training alone to be able to succeed as a Yeopsa, as he will not be able to benefit from his family.’

And, according to Takahiro’s report, Renka had finally found a very effective way to finally get close to Baek Cheol-yeon.

‘That is, I can support you!’
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No matter how much Baek Cheol-yeon tried to push her away, if he were to receive financial support from her, he would have no choice but to get tied up.

Renka was pleased. She smiled and told Takahiro.

『Thank you for a good job, Takahiro-san.』
『Yes, my Lady! Then, I shall come to you in the morn-』
『No. You worked until so late at night, we cannot have that. I will ask a different member to drive me to school, so Takahiro-san, I want you to take a break and go directly to the office.』
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In fact, taking the Lady to school was a great honor, but it was also true that it would be a struggle to wake up early in the morning, having worked so late into the night.

At Renka’s merciful treatment, Takahiro bowed his head and replied.

『Thank you, my Lady!』

.
.
.

The next day, Saturday morning.

After getting to school in the morning and taking attendance, Renka left her classroom to meet and talk to Baek-Cheol yeon before the first period started. Renka was about to head out to the class where Baek Cheol-yeon was in, when,

『Renka.』
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Baek Cheol-yeon was coming towards her. She wanted to go meet him, but he had saved her some trouble.

And for some reason, Baek Cheol-yeon had a stiff expression in his face…… To her, it seemed clear that Baek Cheol-yeon was about to make her a difficult request, something that his pride wouldn’t allow him.

According to Takahiro’s report from the last before, Baek Cheol-yeon is in a difficult financial situation because he doesn’t get along with his family.

So, was he about to swallow his pride and extend his hand to her for help?

This was a rather great sign for Renka. After all, she had wanted to try to get close to him by taking advantage of his situation.

‘This will only make it easier.’
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Renka smiled at Baek Cheol-yeon, and opened her mouth.

『Huh? Shirabayashi-san? What is it? Why did you come-』

Slap-!

She couldn’t continue speaking. Her head was suddenly turned to the side, and she could feel a numbing pain on her left cheek.

‘Eh……?’


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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

경성의 헌터 아카데미
Score 9.2
Status: Ongoing Type: , Author: , Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
I woke up during the Japanese Colonial Era. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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