Chapter 27 - Ignorant Beginners
“This is ridiculous!” Chung Il Hoon screamed.
He had never stopped Ahn Hyundo’s decisions before but this time he couldn’t stand by.
“The opponent is a beginner. Beginner swordsmen do not know how to properly use a sword in a fight!”
“Argh, Hoon! I did not ask you. I was talking to my opponent! You’re going to interfere with my duel!” Ahn Hyundo’s voice rang throughout the dojang.
Honestly, nobody could stop Ahn Hyundo. If they tried, then they would be subject to a severe repercussion.
They could not afford to take that risk.
The instructors were silent, glancing to Lee Hyun to reject the proposal.
‘It is better if you flee now than to get beaten.’
Competing with real swords...
When fighting with real swords, literally anyone, no matter how skilled, would be scared witless.
However, Lee Hyun stood his ground.
Ahn Hyundo applauded him.
“That’s good. You didn’t back off. Just like a real man. Sun Hoon, go up to my room and bring the two swords on the wall. Do you know where they are?”
The matter had gotten worse. Those steel swords were great at cutting.
Chung Il Hoon sensed that the outcome of the fight would be relentlessly horrible.
Lee Hyun stood holding a real sword. He felt as though his mind was clear and he had just woken up.
‘Huh, why am I here?’
Lee Hyun had come from the hospital to go to the bookstore.
Then he saw the dojang. He was not there to fight, he just wanted to clear his mind of a little frustration.
Training and working up a good sweat was refreshing.
Challenging the dojang.
To compete with the sword.
Lee Hyun did not object.
Wooden sword vs. wooden sword.
It was a fair match.
There was no reason to refuse.
The first opponent was a little weak, as he felt that the opponent’s technique was a bit lacking. Strength training was not necessarily the path to become stronger.
One should use the potential power of the muscles properly. It emerges when one utilizes breathing and core body flexibility.
The first opponent was lacking in that area.
Another challenger had appeared after the first opponent had lost. Against a sword expert with a lot of experience, Lee Hyun looked for weak spots.
However, it was not perfect. In that very moment, he was able to find the flaw.
Considering the speed of the movement of the opponent’s sword, Lee Hyun used that difference to attack the weak point.
‘It’s thanks to Royal Road. I’ve been in fights over tens of thousands of times.’
Virtual reality games.
In Royal Road, if everyone became a sword master, then the world would be full of strong people.
Most users typically relied on skills and the game mechanics instead of their own bodies to fight. Someone like Lee Hyun who had earnestly learned the sword to play the game was a rare find.
So he knocked down the second practitioner.
But then another challenger appeared.
‘Why don’t you want me to win? Why do they want to beat me?’
He was angry. He didn’t know that his eyes were like those of a hungry wolf, provoking the others.
Tough like a beast!
Using all his strength until they were cornered.
He grasped the sword.
Lee Hyun shook his head as he took the sword.
As he took the sword, he could not remain still. At that moment, it felt as if every cell in his body was latching onto it.
Until now, he had felt as if he had been seeing everything at about 20%, about 5 times less than he was now.
Early in the morning, his body was normally extremely sensitive to everything around, he was stressed and in an agitated mood.
Lee Hyun calmly collected his breath.
He felt as if by simply holding the sword his mind had been cleaned.
Ahn Hyundo did not attack immediately.
Thanks to that, he was able to rest for a brief moment.
A very short moment.
He rested his muscles and blood vessels. The heart spread oxygen throughout his entire body.
In his hand, the sword felt very cold, but heat in his chest kept rising.
‘So this is how it feels to hold a real sword.’
He did not seem to know why he was here and in this situation. He had just come to have a sweat and could not believe what had happened.
It was not worth it. There was no need to fight without having something to fight for and he could easily get injured holding the sword.
He apologized and admitted defeat, laying down the sword.
Then Ahn Hyundo examined Lee Hyun’s eyes and said.
“Are you scared? Don’t have the courage to fight? That’s okay. The law of nature states that in the wilderness, wild beast turn tail and run when they meet someone stronger than them.”
Lee Hyun was enraged.
He wanted to fight.
In a moment, he picked up the sharp sword and held it close to his chest.
He had unwittingly decided to pick up the sword despite having fought over nine times.
The sword let out a metallic sound.
The metal sword let out incredibly clear sounds.
Ahn Hyundo also took his sword lightly as he stepped back a step.
“It is better to put down a sword that you cannot swing. You have swung it once already but you swung it too hard. Care to try a second swing?”
Instead of answering, Lee Hyun swung the sword. It was about 60 percent the speed of the original swing but it was a good attack.
Gripping the iron, he could feel the subtle vibrations flowing to his fingertips.
Lee Hyun could hear the good, clear sound of the sword in his hand.
‘This is a good sword.’
From listening to the sword, he felt as if it was part of his body. To some extent, he could tell how sharp the sword was and the small difference that made it a good sword.
Ahn Hyundo blocked Lee Hyun’s attack very gently, and then raised the speed of his sword to attack.
However, because of the concern over bodily harm, it was possible for Lee Hyun to prevent the attack.
If there were swords flying towards the body from the front, then there was plenty of room to let them graze past.
Ahn Hyundo struck away Lee Hyun’s sword like a tyrant.
His sword swung away from him. He pounced towards Lee Hyun as if he was a wild beast to kill.
Ahn Hyundo’s sword came stabbing towards Lee Hyun’s heart.
‘I do not want to die!’
Lee Hyun struck Ahn Hyundo’s sword to interfere with its path.
His consideration toward his opponent’s well being had disappeared.
He struggled to avoid being hit with his colossal will to live.
A clear sound of the wind.
A flash of light would appear over their chests as the iron swords clashed.
The practitioners had their mouths hanging from their fierce attacks.
“In..instructors! This needs to be stopped, doesn’t it?”
The practitioners asked anxiously.
Chung Il Hoon could not believe the current situation that was watching.
It was very difficult to subdue Lee Hyun without injuring him.
However, for Ahn Hyundo’s level of proficiency, it was possible.
For him, it was a simple task of hitting the wrist, the sword hilt, or by temporarily immobilizing him by hitting a vital point on the forehead.
It was simple for Ahn Hyundo to put Lee Hyun in that state, but he did not have the slightest intention of doing so.
With goose bumps all over his skin, he was barely managing to survive.
‘Instructors, think of something! Surely you have an idea of what to do…?’
‘I don’t think so. But why am I so anxious?’
Chung Il Hoon had not known what would have happened once the swords were brought into the situation. Once they were brought out, it was dangerous to try and stop the situation.
But soon he was able to relax and watch. The swords continued their exchanges.
Lee Hyun’s strength was being dragged out by pushing his will to live in front of a strong opponent.
More vigorously, stronger, faster.
These thoughts gradually awakened.
Lee Hyun had complete control over his own body. This caused his body to rebel.
Chung Il Hoon watched as Lee Hyun changed by beginning to penetrate deeper into the way of the sword.
The skilled practitioners could see it with their eyes but soon even the others began to feel something.
“It’s a little different.”
“What has changed?”
Ahn Hyundo cut a path to prevent the attacks.
Diagonal slicing sword.
Lee Hyun lowered his body at the same time to avoid being stabbed by the sword, moving on instinct rather than thought. Lee Hyun struggled against Ahn Hyundo’s outrageous sword fighting skills without hesitation.
‘Why are you having fun? This is a dangerous moment…!’ Lee Hyun thought as the corners of his mouth curled into a smile.
Not knowing why himself, he decided to focus on the duel.
Sword fighting. Challenging others to a fight. The fight itself was good.
‘I’ve been thinking too much. When I’m faced with a fight, I do not need to think…’
Swinging the sword felt good; when Lee Hyun moved towards Ahn Hyundo he swung his sword. His body began to show an unsteady reaction.
Lee Hyun let go of his sword completely exhausted, he had terrible muscle pain and his legs gave out and he could not stand.
“Drink this. It will calm your body down a little.”
Ahn Hyundo gave him a cup of tea that had a deep and profound smell.
“This is good.”
“Yes. This is wild ginseng tea from Baekdu Mountain.”
“The price would be expensive…”
“There is nothing more precious than the body, don’t you agree?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
Lee Hyun unreservedly drank the tea. He mixed a bottle every day.
It was good for the body.
“That’s some good drinking. Have some more.”
“Thank you. I’m thirsty and tired.”
Lee Hyun drank five cups of the tea.
Ahn Hyundo took the time to start a conversation.
“Ahem, I’m curious. This is the first time you have held a sword, correct?”
“You did not panic very much. However, for the dignity of the nine men you beat, did you learn the sword anywhere else?”
“That’s not it. I learned the sword…”
He brought up the story of Royal Road.
How he mastered the sword while hunting monsters and how he had hit the scarecrow.
Lee Hyun did not trust others easily. He did not open up to others because of the memories of how he had lived up till now. However, he seemed to somehow trust Ahn Hyundo.
During dark times, people tried to hide their problems. Ahn Hyundo helped people in need and people came to trust and rely on him. A man who believed that training was more valuable than a thousand words.
“I see. You must have had a difficult struggle to develop your swordsmanship.”
“However, thanks to it, I have managed to learn the basics up to this extent.”
“So you’re telling me that there are really monsters? Living, moving monsters that you can catch for items and money…and you gain experience? Are there dragons?”
“Yes, yes there are...”
“For now, you’re tired, so go rest. I hope that you can come by the dojang sometime later so we can spar again sometime.”
Lee Hyun finished his break and then left the dojang. Then Chung Il Hoon was surprised.
“Master you don’t want to get him? So you have changed your mind of having him be your successor then?”
“No, he’s busy with his game.”
“So you’ll just let him leave?”
“Leave him be for now. In time his skills will mature. I will watch him for the time being and guide him. However, this thing called Royal Road…”
When Ahn Hyundo was young, the idea about a fantasy world had been rampant. The idea of modern people traveling to another dimension to establish a fantasy kingdom!
Or meet the talented hero of legend. His story as he travels the world with only his chivalry and practice his swordsmanship.
“There are monsters…and Wyverns and Dragons! So there are even Dragons too?”
“Yes? At least that’s what I’ve heard. Nobody has managed to catch one yet though.”
Chung Il Hoon replied a little nervously. He seemed to have guessed what Ahn Hyundo was planning to do.
“Go into a fantasy world, become a hero of men, defeat Orcs, slay the dragons. Emperor? Becoming the Emperor? …hmmm!”
Ahn Hyundo’s chest rose arduously.
It was the best place to learn the sword. The real question was how useful the sword actually was. Having learned the sword did not meet the desire for fame and riches.
“To fight monsters…Monsters threaten the humans so…Hoon!”
“It requires a capsule right?
“Yes it does.”
Chung Il Hoon quickly took out his phone and ordered to have the capsule installed, which usually took two to three days most of the time. He made them install it the same day.
The capsule was installed just as he had demanded.
However there were 5 capsules instead of one.
“What is this?”
Under Ahn Hyundo’s sharp gaze, Chung Il Hoon confessed.
“It is the duty of the disciples to follow the Master, is it not?”
“So you mean that you and the other guys are going to follow me into Royal Road?”
The instructors replied courageously.
“What about the dojang?”
“It’s not like we’re going off to a foreign country, and aren’t there the secondary instructors?”
Ahn Hyundo chuckled.
“So it’s such a nice game that you want to play as well huh?”
“Master! Please give us permission!” They said as they bowed.
“Then my name will be Geomchi, so Il Hoon you’ll make yours Geomchi2.”
“And you will be Geomchi3. Next, you can be Geomchi4 then.”
In the Republic of Korea, the username of the disciples of the sword style was in numerical order.
“So I’m called Geomchi4…”
The other instructors tried to conceal their bursts of laughter, but they also couldn’t avert their fate either.
“Then the next name will be Geomchi5.”
They all leaned forward in a bow and gave thanks to their Master.
However, cold sweat had broken out on their backs.
‘What a childish name…’
‘I would be so embarrassed to tell anyone my name wherever I go!’
Ahn Hyundo entered his capsule and made his account and character. Then he told his disciples his name and that he was starting in the Citadel of Serabourg of the Rosenheim Kingdom.
“Oh, this is surprising.”
Geomchi accessed the world and stood in a single spot for a while.
“I’ve never had this feeling before.”
He could feel everything. He could see and hear the people chatting and laughing in the completely medieval city.
All sorts of talk could be heard.
“Need to find four more people of the same level.”
“Selling steel axes for cheap!”
“Leaving to the southern villages to trade, looking for other merchants to come along.”
Geomchi’s stomach growled as the smell of delicious food reached his nose.
He turned his head and saw someone making food.
“Selling delicious food made with beginner cooking skill level 7, delicious Mung Beans!”
Geomchi swallowed. He wanted to eat it but he didn’t have any money.
Then the others logged on.
Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, Geomchi5!
“Master, so you logged in first.”
“So you’re here!”
“Yeah, you’re here as well!”
He had enjoyed teaching his disciples how to use the sword, but seeing them in Royal Road left a different impression.
Geomchi4 was startled when he looked inside his pockets.
“What is it?”
“I have 10 pieces of bread and a canteen in my pocket!”
“Yeah, that is incredible. Let us taste the taste of bread here, shall we?”
Geomchi2, Geomchi3, and Geomchi5 pulled out the bread from their pockets and took a bite.
The bread was very stale and hard to chew, like a stone.
“Twe, twe! It’s not very edible. They eat this when they go out to hunt?”
“I did a little research on the internet; there are large numbers of different types of food. Advanced level foods are so delicious that it almost melts in your mouth. It’s supposed to be heavenly.”
“As expected of one that I named Geomchi4! You’re a very bright kid.”
“Hehe, I get that a lot.”
Geomchi4 laughed, pleased because of his teacher’s praise. Back in the dojang, he was well liked by the other practitioners for being somewhat blunt and eager to help.
The mood of the Geomchi’s that logged into Royal Road was unusually pleasant and lighthearted, they often smiled.
“So to eat it, we just have to keep chewing it? Even though it’s hard, it’s like eating a biscuit.”
“It looks like it’s made of barely. Barley bread?”
“Geomchi2 and Geomchi3 ate their bread and took a drink of water from their canteen.”
“So, let’s get started?”
“What do you mean? We have to go to the training center.”
“Lee Hyun, no, Weed said that you can’t go outside for 4 weeks.”
“Well, let’s go see whether or not the training center is any good!”
The five Geomchi’s found the training center. There was an incredible amount of people wandering around in the Citadel of Serabourg so they had to ask around a few times to find the training center.
Inside the building a small number of people were using their skills on a scarecrow.
“Oh! So this is the way they do it.”
“What an outdated training method they have in this dojang. It seems to be a systematic training in order to improve stamina.”
“Geomchi2, it’s not the facilities that matter is it? That is not important to a man that follows the way of the sword.”
Geomchi2 and the other Geomchi’s began to hit the scarecrows with the wooden swords. They had also listened to Weed’s story.
“So it’s a must to do this?”
Geomchi2 and Geomchi4 felt a bit of nostalgia from swinging the sword like this again.
Constantly hitting a fixed object was like the training method practiced ten years ago, a training method that had long been discarded.
“Argh! Shout louder!”
“Yes! One million twenty one! One million twenty two!”
The Geomchi’s eagerly beat the scarecrows. Doing so left a good feeling inside them. Though the other users would think they were crazy, they did not rest.
Learn the sword first.
Later on the sword could be used to slay exciting monsters.
Their strength and other abilities continued to grow.
‘I will kill the monsters of Royal Road with my sword.’ With that thought, their eyes grew brighter and brighter.
“By the way, I’m starting to get really hungry.”
“Master, we have two pieces of bread left!”
“So it seems. Can I eat it?”
Geomchi ate the bread that was left. The last two pieces of bread were now depleted.
“I feel full thanks to the bread now!”
“Oh, yea! Geomchi4 you look quite proficient now.”
“Master, when we feel hungry the satiety falls!”
“Geomchi3, you’re right.”
“But what happens when the satiety keeps falling, now that we have no more bread?”
Silence surrounded the group after what Geomchi3 had just said.
The atmosphere became tense after those words had been carelessly said.
The Geomchi’s began questioning.
“This is a serious situation. What do we do?”
“I think I know.”
“Geomchi2, tell me your idea.”
“What would you do? For example, when we hunt we can pick up items and make money. Then, if there is nothing more delicious, we can eat barley bread.”
“Oh, so we could do that…”
The rest of the Geomchis were smiling, but Geomchi4 shook his head.
“We can’t leave the city for four weeks so it looks like we’re going to starve.”
All of the Geomchi’s lowered their heads. They did not have an answer to this frightful situation. Usually others with more gaming experience would go do a quest. However, they did not even imagine that they could go do a quest for NPCs. Their only solution was hunting, but they could not exit the city.
Then Geomchi held out his wooden sword and exclaimed.
“We will continue swinging our swords. Only concentrate on swinging the sword!”
“Yes Master! We will focus on the sword!”
“Oh, Master how admirable!”
Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, Geomchi5 applauded.
Then the five of them continued to beat on the scarecrow. Even though they were hungry, it gave them more willpower.
The Training Center Instructor smiled heartwarmingly.
The Training Center Instructor was glad to see such enthusiasm from the practitioners.
“Hey, would you like to join me for a meal?”
The instructor invited them to have lunch. However, Geomchi swallowed his saliva and refused the invitation.
“No! Don’t we have our pride and self-respect that we do not need the charity of an NPC? Isn’t that right men?”
“That is correct! We live only for the sword.”
(P/R: The sound of their tummy rumbles)
“Now that I look at these scarecrows, they look pretty tasty.”
They started to sound ridiculous. Their satiety level was forced to drop since they had no more barley bread.
Less than 3% satiety! Moving to hit the scarecrow became arduous as they no longer had any stamina.
Warning: You have died of hunger!
You cannot sign in for 24 hours.
Since it was a simple state of death, no items or levels will decline.
Death, they died due to hunger…like dogs.
It was difficult to die in the starting state so it was extremely rare to die in the first four weeks.
To have the self-respecting Geomchi’s die in such a way and in front of so many people, they died such a humiliating death.
Ahn Hyundo, with Chung Il Hoon’s help, held a meeting in the dojang.
“Royal Road is an entirely new form of civilization, but we were too indifferent to its influence.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“If more practitioners spend more time training in a place where they can fight monsters, then their motivation will increase and inspire them further.”
“I think that’s true. Fighting monsters and proving their skills will draw out their attention.”
Ahn Hyundo and Chung Il Hoon had also died the same death as the other instructors.
“Direct combat could be a good opportunity for them to realize the true power of the sword!”
“We will get the disciples to volunteer and they will easily get enlightened on the way of the sword. To travel an unknown continent with nothing but their sword, this is a good idea Master.”
However, the only female and secretary of the entire place, Ahn Hyundo’s niece, put both hands on her waist and said to them.
“Effort is all that matters! You said that having an opponent was a tool that helps you grow. That’s what you always used to say!”
“Argh! What else is there then? What have we overlooked?”
“So, our plan was to let all the formal practitioners join in so how many people is it?”
“With an order of 500 capsules…they can discount it right?
“They will be able to install it tomorrow, it should be fine.”
Chung Il Hoon replied confidently.
The capsules for the 500 disciples were received from the Immigration Control and Refugee Bureau. Ahn Hyundo’s dojang had a reputation all over the Republic of Korea. They received funding from the World Kendo Federation and the Athletic Association. They received a large amount of money from the disciples and among them were several that were in the Immigration Control and Refugee Bureau.
Geomchi4 smiled and muttered quietly.
“That means that we are going to get 5000 more barley bread.”