He had heard this quite often. These words were truth and religion for him. But it was impossible to follow up to it just because he knew it in knowledge. On top of that, Namgoong’s sword was fast and heavy at the same time but also capable of being used in many ways. This didn’t suit Namgoong, as he was of a prominent martial arts lineage.

It seemed the only thing the sword wanted was victory. Even though Namgoong Heewon was using a wooden sword, it was a sharp blade and Sung-Min was afraid to even dare get close.

Sung-Min needed to distance himself.

With every step back, Namgoong stepped forward.

Rod in both hands, Sung-Min didn’t use the lunge technique yet. He turned the rod over his head and brought it down over Namgoong’s head. A spear wasn’t always used for stabbing.

Namgoong ducked forward, avoiding Sung-Min’s attack. The tip of the rod in his right hand, he twisted his right hand downwards and let the weapon slip in his hands. The rod changed in distance in a split moment. Namgoong Heewon reacted quickly to the rod aimed at his temple.

Swoosh.

He twirled the wooden sword and both weapons clanged.

No. The weapons didn’t clang.

They met. It was ‘Assimilation’. It was as if the wooden sword and rod had been glued together.

This was proof that Namgoong controlled his inner strength well. With every move of Namgoong’s sword, Sung-Min’s rod moved with it. Sung-Min summoned more of his inner strength and rotated his rod in the opposite direction.

THWACK!

The weapons broke apart with a loud sound.

Sung-Min then performed the Separating Thunder Spear Technique, the second one of the Nine Heavenly Techniques. The rod broke off to several branches, aimed at Namgoong. Namgoong lunged his sword.

THWACK!

Sung-Min’s rod was deflected with a loud clang and shot upwards.

No matter how quickly he consecutively attacked with stabs, Sung-Min only had one rod. Namgoong’s movements were simple and accurate.

Sung-Min needed more.

He bit his lower lip. He decided to use the Step Methods and Spear Techniques together. Not just attacking straight, but from different directions.

Namgoong deflected those attacks, too. Namgoong responded to Sung-Min’s attacks perfectly with nothing to criticize. His sword seemed to be a lot sturdier and light but heavier at the same time. Sung-Min couldn’t think of any other way to describe this ironic situation.

The Sword of Namgoong.

Namgoong’s attacked this time, and this was the first time Sung-Min had experienced this famous traditional sword technique of the Namgoong household. The Nine Heavenly Techniques Sung-Min had mastered didn’t help him. Sung-Min started to yield. He was being pushed back, unable to fend off Namgoong’s sword techniques despite having a long weapon.

Sung-Min’s hand was starting to sweat and the lip he had bit on nervously was starting to bleed.

At that moment, Namgoong’s sword penetrated through Sung-Min’s defenses.

“Agh.”

Sung-Min swallowed. The tip of Namgoong’s sword was at his throat.

“I win.” Namgoong said, smiling mischievously. “Address me as your senior from now on.”

“Ummm…”

“Or if you want, we can go again, this time with a real sword and spear. I think that will be a lot more fun.”

“No.. no sir.” Sung-Min sighed and shook his head. “I lost… sir.”

Namgoong smiled.

“You’re very special, young one.”

Namgoong’s tone changed as soon as Sung-Min addressed him as his senior. Namgoong dropped to the ground and looked up at Sung-Min. Sung-Min hesitated and sat on the floor across from Namgoong.

“What’s so special about me?”

“Your Spear Techniques are already the level of a master. Yes. Only your Spear Techniques. But it’s hard to say.”

What did Namgoong mean, that he was a master in Spear Techniques but it was hard to say?

He frowned and looked at Namgoong.

Namgoong chuckled at Sung-Min’s look.

“The Rana Spear Technique. It’s the basic three techniques all spearsmen are familiar with. You are a master in those techniques, but you lack in techniques other than the Rana.”

“…what are you trying to say?”

“From what I see, you, my little brother, lack real life experience. You know the basics, but high quality techniques aren’t something that can simply be performed only with theory. You look like you don’t have much experience fighting high level masters.

Sung-Min couldn’t argue. After all, Namgoong Heewon was right.

“Also, you lack in controlling your inner strength.”

“My inner strength?

“That’s right. Your body is physically capable, but your inner strength can’t seem to keep up with it Not that I think you lack inner strength… In this case, your Cultivation Level is either low or your blood flow isn’t penetrated properly yet. Could it be because your Qi Flow isn’t penetrated properly yet? Or is it an overhaul?”

“An overhaul?”

“Once your flow is penetrated and the breakdown gets bigger, the physical body changes according to that. This is very strange, however. Your inner strength can’t keep up with your body but you haven’t had an overhaul. Your heart, strength and body are all a mess. What’s with your body?” Namgoong Heewon murmured with curiosity.

At that moment, Sung-Min thought of something .

The black heart. The black heart that had assimilated with the body… it seemed the heart had messed up his body

“Well… I suppose you will make up for it if you work on training your inner strength. Same with experience. Do you understand why I wanted to take you in as my junior?”

“No, sir. “

“One day, you will be at the threshold of reaching your High Peak Level. I’m not sure when that will be, but that’s an undeniable fact.” Namgoong Heewon said and smiled.

“It won’t be bad to take you in as my junior.”

“You don’t care about my character, background, or my past?”

“What do you mean?”

“Just because I become your junior, it doesn’t mean I will look up to you faithfully.

“You do whatever you want.” Namgoong said, shrugging. “Not that I care. I just want you to call you my junior and you to call me your senior. That’s what’s important. It’s good enough for bluff.”

“Are you taking me in just for the sake of what others see?” SungMin asked, bewildered.

Namgoong nodded.

“Did I not tell you? I have to go to Shaolin at Mount Song to send my greetings to the High Monk with the other successors from other households.” Namgoong said, hoisting himself back on his feet.

“It’s important have bluff.” He said, looking quite joyful.

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