My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 63

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 63

Once I concluded that the author of the “Mumyeongbo” was indeed my master, the scent of his presence seemed to permeate more intensely from the pages of the book. Although I was yet incapable of understanding even a fraction of his martial arts philosophy, I could intermittently sense his emotions seeping through certain parts of the text. Now, I could see why this stepping technique had combined so seamlessly with the “Muyeongchuwhongeom.” His words echoed in my mind,

-It is truly regrettable that due to our contract with the tower, I can only teach you swordsmanship!

I could now guess what he must have felt at that time. He likely wanted to teach me “Mumyeongbo” first, as it was undoubtedly foundational to “Muyeongchuwhongeom.” With every practice of the latter, I felt certain those parts where I had been stuck could perhaps be alleviated a bit through “Mumyeongbo.” The real trouble was how damnably hard it was to understand the latter part of “Mumyeongbo.”

Thinking of my master, I started to reread “Mumyeongbo” once more. Trying to understand the manual from my master’s perspective seemed to yield some progress. First and foremost, it was important to conceptually understand it. There will be plenty of time to practice even if I’m not in the martial world.

‘Besides, in two days…’

I would receive brief assistance from Jinchun. The astonishing opportunities in the martial world continued. Once I’ve completed the 10th floor, I would have become much stronger.

* * *

“Mumyeongbo?”

Jo Mugun and his party had located where I was. They deliberately came to see me on their way to the practice field—clearly, they were spying. He was curious to know which stepping technique manual I had chosen. On the contrary, I was aware that he had chosen the “Sasinbo.”

“How is ‘Sasinbo’?”

“It is a fine stepping technique. But most students can’t even grasp the meanings of the movements.”

Jo Mugun’s tone almost seemed to lump me into that average category. He still regarded me warily while refusing to acknowledge my ability. Probably because of my humble origins. Both on Earth and in the martial world, pedigree mattered a lot.

“It seems like you are on your way to the practice field. Have you finished studying the theory already?”

“Well, to a certain extent. I finished memorizing the content of the book a long time ago.”

They say Jo Mugun is a genius, and it seems his memorization skills are indeed extraordinary.

“I’m envious.”

“So, ‘Mumyeong Simbeop’ with ‘Mumyeongbo,’ huh. Quite the fitting combination.”

Jo Mugun’s slight sneer was aimed at me. If only he knew that the author of “Mumyeongbo” was the current Lord of Cheonmashin Church, I wonder what his expression would be? Although curious, I had to hold back.

“Thanks for saying we’re a good match.”

“Arrogant bastard. That leisurely attitude of yours won’t last much longer. Haven’t you forgotten? I told you I’d pick you as my opponent for the third gate of Cheonmajiro.”

“I haven’t forgotten. Conversely, if the chance to choose came to me first, I’d make the same choice.”

“The opportunity comes to you first? Ha! That will never happen.”

Jo Mugun remained overconfident—his confidence wasn’t unfounded, though. If he and I were to face off now, I’d likely lose nine out of ten times. At this moment, all I could do was prepare diligently for the time remaining. Even though I might be weaker now, I can’t afford to lose to him, as I am a descendant of Cheonma.

* * *

The meeting with Left Protector Jinchun was today at this very hour. We hadn’t set a formal appointment, but I was sure he’d be at the summit of Shibmandaesang Cheonyoungbong, enjoying his time as an immortal. It was only proper for a junior like me to arrive first, but considering I was in the middle of Cheonmajiro, he would understand.

My progress had been slower than expected. Before meeting him, I had hoped to have completed “Mumyeongbo” as much as possible, but it hadn’t gone as planned. Damn that master. Why did he have to write such a complicated book?

I hastily prepared to climb. Not that there was much to prepare.

“Kaengsu!”

I summoned Kaengsu at the base of Cheonyoungbong. If I were to climb and descend with my own legs, it would waste too much time.

Kaeng!

With a cheerful cry, Kaengsu responded to my summons. I felt sorry for neglecting Kaengsu in the tower while I was absorbed in “Mumyeongbo.”

“Feeling cramped all this time, Kaengsu?”

Kaeng!

“Then, let’s run to our heart’s content today.”

Kaeng!

Being a monster by birth, he was evidently more attuned to the wild. Despite being set to work, he was overly excited. This creature especially enjoyed the landscape of Shibmandaesang.

“Let’s go!”

Kaeng!

Thanks to consuming a spirit medicine in the martial world, Kaengsu could easily reach the summit of Cheonyoungbong nonstop. Of course, to avoid misunderstandings, I’d have to climb the last third of the way myself.

Whoosh—

Cutting through the wind alongside Kaengsu, I was glad that Cheonyoungbong was relatively deserted, minimizing the risk of someone spotting Kaengsu.

Kaeng! Kaeng!

It had been a long while since Kaengsu ran to his heart’s content, and he seemed thrilled. After consuming the spirit medicine, he turned into an inexhaustible source of energy. He maintained nearly the same speed until the very end, and would have done so even up to the summit.

“I apologize for being late, Left Protector.”

I thought I would die climbing the remaining third, but I managed.

As expected, Jinchun was waiting for me at the summit of Cheonyungbong, his cheeks flushed as if he had already had a drink.

“Late? When did we ever set a time to meet? Hic!”

Jinchun let out a hearty belch, and the smell of alcohol wafted through the air. If I had known he’d be like this, I would have ridden Kaengsu all the way to the…

“You seem to have already had quite a bit to drink.”

“Having arrived, you should be pouring drinks instead of just standing there dumbfounded, shouldn’t you?”

I offered Jincheon a drink and immediately received one in return from him.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had alcohol.

Since coming to the tower, and even before that when preparing for the end times, I had completely abstained from drinking.

But was alcohol always like this?

The moment the drink passed down my throat, I felt a discomfort.

[The Indomitable Poison Resistance is in effect.]

Poison!

And not just any poison, but a deadly one.

The heat from the detoxification process was substantial.

Roughly twice the intensity of what I had experienced when I consumed it during the Thousand Demon Purgatory.

This man had tampered with the drink.

“How is the taste of the drink?”

“It’s good, Left Protector.”

Since Jincheon had consumed the same thing, the poison was already infiltrating his body.

However, he was not exerting any internal energy to reject it.

He knew about the poison, yet he did nothing to expel it.

“Are you immune to all poisons?”

Jincheon asked with an expression that suggested he knew beforehand.

“…Yes, I am.”

“Such an enviable thing. To have such immunity at your age.”

There was no point in hiding it from Jincheon.

There was no need to lie and engender distrust when dealing with someone practically convinced of the truth.

After all, I was in a position where I needed his help.

“You’re not asking me how I became immune to all poisons.”

“Why would I care to know what I would use that information for?”

“Normally people would be curious, wouldn’t they? A mere student like me has obtained a boon given by the heavens, possessing a body immune to all poisons.”

“Don’t care! Now that I’ve confirmed your immunity, that’s enough for me.”

He was truly a cool-headed elder.

This was very much in line with the philosophy of the Heavenly Demon Cult.

In a cult where the principle of survival of the fittest prevails, the means of becoming strong are irrelevant.

The only value pursued is the result of having become strong.

The process of how I became immune to all poisons did not seem to matter much to Jincheon.

“Hah! The mix of drunkenness and the rush of poison makes me feel excellent.”

Clearly a master of extraordinary skill, but also undeniably an abnormal elder.

Jincheon’s face was growing increasingly redder.

If he didn’t activate his internal energy to expel the poison immediately, it seemed likely he would be in danger.

Even for experts, the unmitigated spread of poison could be fatally equal.

“Why? Do you think I’m in danger?”

“No.”

Indeed, worrying about a supreme expert is perhaps the most useless thing to do in the martial world, let alone for Jincheon, who was a peerless master.

“Then let’s see how much progress you’ve made over the past two days.”

“Yes, Left Protector.”

I demonstrated the Shadowless Steps at the peak of Mount Heavenly Spirit.

The gap in my footwork mentioned by Jincheon—though not completely filled, I had managed to address it some.

Given the profound depth of the Shadowless Steps, even the minor improvements I made were considerable, and I believed someone of Jincheon’s caliber could recognize them.

Whoosh! Whoosh!

My sword, guided by the Shadowless Steps as if it were lubrication, transformed into a more graceful dance than ever before.

I could feel it.

My swordsmanship had now far surpassed the beginnings of intermediate-level techniques.

If my master saw this, he would surely be pleased.

Though he would probably chastise it as rubbish verbally.

“Trash.”

“What?”

I unintentionally stopped my sword in response to Jincheon’s unexpected remark.

“Just as I said. Trash.”

I believed that I had made significant progress, even though it had only been two days.

The lower stances of the Shadowless Steps had enriched the framework of the upper stances.

But now, Jincheon’s words were entirely to the contrary.

“I honestly thought you would praise me.”

“Did you climb all the way to the top of Mount Heavenly Spirit and go through all that hardship just to receive some praise?”

Jincheon guzzled down another bottle.

He should have been driving out the poison with his internal energy, or at least the drunkenness.

“One more time for you. It’s trash, trash.”

It wasn’t a trending phrase specific to the Heavenly Demon Cult, but now even the Left Protector, following the Grandmaster, called it trash.

Now that I think about it, I was also called trash by Elder Taemu Jeong.

“Is it unusable?”

“That’s right. Rather than filling the gaps, you’ve crammed it full of trash. Such a waste of potential, such a waste. Do you understand why I’m telling you this?”

“I don’t.”

“I thought you wouldn’t understand, you fool.”

Jincheon put down his bottle and continued.

“It was indeed more polished than two days ago, but now it’s all show and no substance. What I mean is your footwork is smothered with unnecessary rubbish. You said this footwork is called Shadowless Steps, right?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Ever wonder why the creator named it as such?”

I simply thought my master named it as a joke.

To underestimate it and learn the hard way.

“Shadowless Steps. Although I haven’t read it, the creator must have intended a formless and flowing movement akin to water. I could see that in your movements two days ago. But now? What have you done? Your movements are laden with unnecessary trash.”

Jincheon spoke with such lucidity despite his drunkenness.

They may not seem significant, but these were words that should not be taken lightly.

In martial arts, an epiphany can lead to exponential growth.

And now, I was completely convinced by Jincheon’s words.

What I thought was decoration turned out to be trash.

A one-liner summary of today’s display of my footwork.

An earnest desire to return to the archives and thoroughly study the lower stances of the Shadowless Steps welled up within me.

“By the way, once the Thousand Demon Purgatory is over, I must personally verify who conceived this martial art. It seems to be of a higher level than my own.”

With a face flushed red, Jincheon simply shook his head in disbelief.

– To be continued in Chapter 64 –



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