The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 32

Chapter 14. Things Have Changed -02

Knock knock knock.

“It’s me, Young Master Seok.”

“Come in.”

As Seok Jin-ho was stroking the purring Heukhwi in his arms, he raised his head.

Soon, the door opened and Pang Nayeon entered the room with her modest steps. However, unlike usual, she was holding something full.

Seok Jin-ho’s eyes widened at the sight of the items that obviously looked like gifts.

“These are things I picked out myself. I hope they’re to Young Master Seok’s liking. Just so you know, they’re not expensive, so please don’t feel burdened.”

Despite his surprise, Pang Nayeon, with a flushed face, carefully offered the gifts she brought.

She glanced at Seok Jin-ho with a face filled with expectation.

“What’s this all of a sudden? A gift?”

“It seemed like you didn’t quite like the identity medallion. And I’ve only been on the receiving end so far, so I’ve prepared a little something.”

“There’s no need for you to do this.”

“Really, it’s nothing much. Please, have a look.”

Upon her repeated insistence, Seok Jin-ho, as if without a choice, reached for the silk-wrapped box.

He felt compelled to open it after all that was said.

“A martial robe, I see.”

“Yes. It seemed like you didn’t have one specifically, so I included a long coat as well.”

“This doesn’t seem trivial at all.”

Seok Jin-ho chuckled softly. It was clear that the clothes weren’t of a cheap variety.

“And yet you haven’t made use of the identity medallion I’ve given you until now.”

“That’s because there’s been no need to use it.”

As Seok Jin-ho was speaking, he suddenly glanced at his own sleeve, understanding why Pang Nayeon had brought clothes. They were well-maintained but obviously worn out. He naturally thought of the clothes worn by Soh Hajeong and Tak Yun. Both had been wearing the same outfit for years, and in Tak Yun’s case, some sleeves and pants were even getting too short.

‘I’ve been too indifferent.’

Seok Jin-ho muttered bitterly to himself. He had belatedly realized his own negligence.

“Um… Do you not like them?”

“No. I’ll wear them gratefully. I was actually considering getting new martial robes anyway.”

“Really?”

Pang Nayeon beamed at the sight of Seok Jin-ho, who had not said a word up until now. She felt a sense of achievement for having given the perfect gift at the right time.

“Open the others as well.”

“What’s this?”

“I was going to give you a dao, but my uncle said you would likely use a sword, so I prepared one instead. It’s specially crafted to suit your build, so it should be very comfortable to use.”

“Oh?”

The mention of a sword sparked a light in Seok Jin-ho’s eyes. Certainly, this kind of gift moved his heart more than the cumbersome identity medallion.

Weapons were no longer a necessity for him, yet it was still better to have one than not. It was time to imprint other martial arts into his body.

Sssk.

Contrary to the luxurious silk packaging, the sword was plain. It seemed to prioritize functionality over flamboyance, which was precisely what Seok Jin-ho preferred.

Unless it was one of the renowned ten great swords, other weapons were all much the same to him.

Clang!

Seok Jin-ho unsheathed the sword and flicked it with his finger, producing a clear, resonant sound in the room.

“How is it?”

“It’s a well-crafted sword. The balance is excellent too.”

“It was personally made by the top craftsman of our main house.”

“I wonder if I should accept such a sword. I’ve already received clothes from you.”

“It’s a sword crafted solely for Young Master Seok. Please, do not refuse me.”

Pang Nayeon bowed modestly, as if to say even this gift was not enough to suffice.

“I will use it well and gratefully.”

“I’m the one who should be thanking you for accepting it, Young Master Seok.”

Pang Nayeon’s face bloomed with a smile at Seok Jin-ho’s sincere gratitude. She was pleased that he liked the gifts she had given.

It felt like the first time she had given a proper gift.

“It feels strange. Thanking me for accepting it.”

“That’s my honest feeling. I was quite worried if I should give you a dao or a sword. I thought the martial arts you learned solely by hand at Heukochae might have been from the Raw Strength sect.”

“I am quite proficient with the sword. Even more so than with a dao.”

“That’s a relief.”

Pang Nayeon smiled sweetly, nodding subtly. She felt that following Baek Sang-gon’s advice and choosing a sword was the right decision.

Then she remembered the letter she received today from her father.

“Um, Young Master Seok?”

“Just speak comfortably.”

“Would you be willing to accept an invitation to visit the main house?”

Pang Nayeon asked cautiously, gauging Seok Jin-ho’s reaction. Her father had said to bring him at all costs, but her thoughts were different. She believed it was not right to treat her benefactor that way.

Moreover, she knew all too well what her father might do if she brought Seok Jin-ho there, so she mentally shook her head.

‘Not now. It’s not an urgent matter.’

Pang Jin-guk was notorious for his overprotectiveness, something she understood better than anyone else. That’s why Pang Nayeon couldn’t bring herself to take Seok Jin-ho with her.

“To the Pang family in the north?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t think I’ll receive such an invitation. But even if I do, it will be difficult to leave for the time being. I expect to be quite busy for the next few days.”

“Is that so?”

Pang Nayeon responded with a relieved expression, glad to hear that he didn’t seem particularly interested.

“But shouldn’t Miss Pang be the one to return? It seems you’ve been here quite a while.”

“It’s alright. I’m not just playing around—my skills are improving rapidly.”

“If that’s the case, I’m glad.”

Seeing Pang Nayeon waving him off, Seok Jin-ho didn’t press any further. It was not polite to keep questioning when she said she was alright. She would leave when it was time.

‘I might need to use it soon.’

Although it wasn’t one of the renowned swords, Seok Jin-ho acknowledged the quality of the weapon as he placed it on his lap. He murmured to himself, contemplating its use.

But the unfamiliar sword intrigued Heukhwi, who had been crouching between his legs, and it poked at the sword with its front paws.

After Pang Nayeon returned to her quarters, Seok Jin-ho called for Tak Yun and Jeong Maryung. It was time to take action immediately, as the saying goes, ‘Strike while the iron is hot.’

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see when we get there.”

“But where did this sword come from?”

Unlike Tak Yun, who followed silently, Jeong Maryung couldn’t keep his mouth shut. His eyes, full of curiosity, kept glancing at the long sword at Seok Jin-ho’s waist.

“It’s a gift.”

“From Miss Pang? Wow!”

Jeong Maryung’s eyes shone with genuine envy. A plain-looking sword perhaps, but the maker was what counted. A long sword from the Pang family in the north was certainly worth its name as a fine weapon.

“I’ll get you one as well once you reach the first-class ranking.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Once you reach the first-class level.”

Gulp!

Jeong Maryung swallowed hard. The realm of a first-class martial artist was not easily attainable, but somehow it didn’t seem impossible. If it were yesterday, he would have deemed it a distant fantasy, an unimaginable realm. But now, it was different.

Though still a third-class martial artist, he had subdued a formally trained opponent in less than half a year. It was unbelievable, especially since he was once considered utterly devoid of talent.

‘The pinnacle of first-class status is wounding with sword energy (剑气伤人)! Since I’ve trained in dao, perhaps it would be injuring with dao energy (刀气伤人) for me.’

Jeong Maryung was lost in his own daydreams. He imagined himself standing majestically with a dao enveloped in dao energy.

However, his daydreams didn’t last long.

“Stop daydreaming and focus.”

“Yes! Uh, but this place is…”

Jeong Maryung’s pupils dilated with surprise. They had arrived at a completely unexpected location.

“We must be decisive in handling matters. Leaving things half-done only invites trouble later on. Besides, you need to understand the world you will live in from now on.”

“But… but…”

Unlike the resolute Seok Jin-ho, Jeong Maryung stumbled over his words. They were at the lodging of the tiger-head guards, the most unlikely place for Seok Jin-ho to visit, bringing uncertainty into Jeong Maryung’s wavering eyes.

“What? Scared?”

“No, I’m not. Just surprised. I didn’t expect you to personally take action.”

“How lightly did you think they would take me for them to insult you?”

“That’s true.”

Everyone knew that Jeong Maryung had joined Seok Jin-ho’s ranks. It was also known that Seok Jin-ho had changed, even single-handedly destroying half of the Black Crow Clan.

Despite this, the fact that Jeong Maryung was attacked implied that Seok Jin-ho was not considered a threat.

“This is a matter of my pride. Moreover, such occurrences are quite common in the martial world.”

Thud thud thud.

Having said that, Seok Jin-ho walked boldly towards the complex allotted to the tiger-head guards.

The changing guards, surprised by the three men, looked at them curiously.

“What brings you to our quarters?”

“Call for Noh Chusam.”

“Excuse me?”

“Bring Noh Chusam here.”

Confronted by the unyielding aura of Seok Jin-ho, dressed in a casual outfit, two of the members looked perplexed, unsure why he was suddenly asking for Noh Chusam.

“Don’t you know?”

“Ah, yes!”

Reacting to Seok Jin-ho’s low voice, the two quickly regained their senses and ran back into the wooden building they had come from. They could only imagine that Seok Jin-ho was here for a reason.

“You little punk!”

But there was no need to look for him. Noh Chusam, seeing Jeong Maryung through the window or by some other means, with a face twisted like a demon’s, came charging out at full speed.

However, Noh Chusam, who was advancing with a murderous momentum, suddenly hesitated. Surprised by the sight of Seok Jin-ho standing next to Jeong Maryung, he stopped in his tracks.

“What? You?”

“That is, well…”

Noh Chusam faltered. Just by making eye contact, he felt a chilling fear, and his words stumbled out of his mouth unintentionally. This reaction was the same for the surrounding tiger-head guards, all of whom felt overwhelmed by Seok Jin-ho’s presence.

“Hey.”

“Yes, yes! Young Master.”

“Do you take me lightly?”

“No!”

Noh Chusam responded hastily. The former Seok Jin-ho might have been taken lightly, but the current one was a master martial artist, far beyond Noh Chusam’s ability to challenge.

“So, you claim not to take me lightly, and yet you attack Maryung? And from behind?”

“That’s…”

Noh Chusam tilted his head slightly and glanced around him, searching for a way out. He struggled to come up with a proper excuse, but none came to mind.

Remembering the scene in which he was caught, Noh Chusam bit his lip.

“What? Can’t think of a good excuse?”

“It’s not that…”

“But you see, an explanation will change nothing. You laid hands on Maryung, and I have no intention of letting that pass.”

Noh Chusam’s eyes widened in shock. He felt an intense pain striking his abdomen, and his eyes, along with all seven orifices on his face, opened wide.

But this pain was nothing compared to what was to come. Seok Jin-ho relentlessly trampled on him, as if to show how severe pain can be.

“Argh!”

Unable to even scream properly due to the excruciating pain, Noh Chusam frothed at the mouth.

He was losing his mind in the face of this unprecedented, brutal violence.

“Young Master!”

“Just wait! Calm down first…!”

“Be patient? With this scum who disrespected me and my man?”

Shudder!

The tiger-head guards approaching to stop Seok Jin-ho trembled, freezing in place like frogs before a snake the moment they made eye contact.

Furthermore, Seok Jin-ho was on solid ground with his claim.

End of Chapter 14. Things Have Changed -02



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