The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 55

The Warrior's Rebirth

Chapter 22. The Weight of the Leader – 03

The first thing that caught my eye as I looked around was the prominently high flag.

The four characters “Seokpung Express Agency” were beautifully embroidered on the large flag, eliciting a hollow laugh from Seok Jin-ho.

He did not expect such an abrupt visit.

“Uncle.”

“I stopped by on my way. Have you been well?”

“Me? Well… But did you really just happen to stop by?”

“Do you think I’m lying? Come on. I’m not so leisurely. I am the head of the Seokpung Express Agency.”

Following Seok Deok-wol, the messengers and bearers looked around with curiosity brimming in their eyes.

To everyone’s surprise, Seok Jin-ho, who had been at the center of attention, had set up his own martial arts hall.

Some faces bore significant expressions.

“It looks like you’re on your way back after an official journey.”

“Why would I lie. There’s nothing to gain from it. But you’ve started a martial arts hall? That is a bit surprising.”

“There’s no way I could just frolic about. I have to work, and my best skill is martial arts.”

“You do teach well. After all, you raised Yoon and Ma-ryong.”

“Good day!”

Seemingly having heard the commotion in the front yard, Jeong Ma-ryong and Tak Yoon, who had been helping So Ha-jung in the backyard, came out and greeted the arrivals warmly.

However, Seok Deok-wol was taken aback when he saw the two.

They had changed so much since he last saw them at the Seok family estate.

“What happened to the two of you?”

Tak Yoon had mastered external energy to an unmeasurable level, but Jeong Ma-ryong had not.

In just a few months, his internal strength had deepened significantly, to the point of disbelief for Seok Deok-wol.

“What do you mean?”

“You seem to possess deeper energy than most second-tier messengers.”

“Ahaha.”

Jeong Ma-ryong, who had initially had a puzzled look on his face, responded awkwardly.

In fact, he was the most shocked.

But he couldn’t brazenly boast about it.

It was something that could be considered a top secret.

“Please come inside first. Have you eaten?”

“It would be nice if you prepared something. I often skip lunch when on duty, but now I’m on my way back.”

“Understood. Ma-ryong, go to the restaurant and buy some food. With so many visitors, it would be too much for the housekeeper alone.”

“Yes! I’ll be right back!”

Watching Jeong Ma-ryong hitch the cart to the ox and hurry out, Seok Jin-ho turned to Seok Deok-wol.

Though the residence at the Seok family was so small it barely had a separate parlor, the situation at the Ascension Martial Hall was different.

They had a consultation room that also served as a reception room, so Seok Jin-ho led Seok Deok-wol upstairs.

“Not bad. From the outside, it looked rather old.”

“It’s been renovated.”

“That must’ve cost a tidy sum?”

“When you pull everything together, it’s workable.”

After offering Seok Deok-wol a seat, Seok Jin-ho joined him.

Then, as if on cue, So Ha-jung brought in a tray of snacks.

“It’s been a while, Ha-jung. But it seems quite a difference being outside. Your skin has completely changed, hasn’t it?”

“Compliments won’t get you anything from me.”

“Hey, do you really think I’m praising you just to get something?”

“The desperate ones will cling to anything.”

“Why does the conversation always go that way?”

Seok Deok-wol wore an expression of futility.

It seemed that every time they met, the conversation steered in that direction.

“I’m worried about you.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’m happy. Lately, I have absolutely no worries.”

“Please feel at home.”

So Ha-jung left the room with an inscrutable expression on her face.

Even after she left, Seok Deok-wol’s expression remained somber.

“I don’t understand why you do this to me.”

“It’s because I’m worried about you. You’re a bachelor.”

“Do you think you’ll never reach my age?”

“One day, I will.”

Seok Jin-ho took a sip of tea.

The age of forty was not particularly remarkable for him.

He had experienced a hundred years in his past life, so age held little significance to him.

“You haven’t changed. Still such an old soul.”

“But really, why are you here? You must have a reason beyond just looking around.”

“Do I need a reason just to visit?”

“That’s not it, but…”

“I was curious how you’ve been doing. I wanted to visit earlier, but then all these other issues came up.”

Seok Deok-wol replied with a genial smile.

He watched Seok Jin-ho with a proud gaze.

Once dismissed and neglected by his own clan, Seok Jin-ho now sat before him as a respectable owner of a martial arts hall.

Yet Seok Deok-wol’s chest swelled with pride to see him now.

“But didn’t you come too empty-handed?”

“Hmm! It was a rush. I’ll send a gift later.”

“I’m just joking. So far, there’s been nothing I’m lacking. There are no problems… no official troubles yet.”

“It’s greedy to expect to be satisfied with the first cup. After all, you just started. But looking at those two, I guess I don’t need to worry.”

Seok Jin-ho took another sip of the tea provided as he thought of Tak Yoon and Jeong Ma-ryong.

With the ability to advance them so rapidly in such a short period, there seemed to be no danger of failure.

‘Not so.’

Recalling the two, Seok Deok-wol’s eyes suddenly sparkled.

Something flashed through his mind.

Boom!

Just then, a heavy sound of a fist striking firm ground echoed from outside the window.

Simultaneously, cheers erupted from the people.

“What’s happening?”

In response to the crisp sounds of combat, Seok Deok-wol quickly rose and moved to the window.

He was concerned there might be a fight.

But what he saw outside was far different from what he expected.

“They must be sparring.”

“How can you tell?”

“There’s no intent to kill.”

“Wow.”

In response to Seok Jin-ho’s easygoing answer, Seok Deok-wol looked at him with admiration.

He knew Seok Jin-ho had outstripped him long ago, but to this extent was unexpected, prompting renewed intrigue.

“Do you think they’re on a similar skill level and benefitting from each other?”

“Do you think Yoon will win?”

“I don’t believe he will lose easily. Yoon still lacks experience, after all.”

Flap, flap, flap!

Tak Yoon’s full body was pummeled just as Seok Jin-ho predicted, but there was no animosity in the strikes.

Despite the intense onslaught, Tak Yoon neither backed down nor showed fear.

Instead, he pushed forward.

‘Ha! To have developed this much in just about a year?’

Gyeon Jung-deok, who had witnessed the match and had the intention to teach at least one lesson, stared in dismay.

Once he actually engaged, he realized Tak Yoon’s skills were not ordinary.

Even with almost ninety percent of his energy utilized, Tak Yoon was parrying his blows without much trouble.

Zoom!

Not just parrying, but at times, even pushing back with a powerfully brute punch.

Simple as the move was, when coupled with immense strength, it wasn’t easy for Gyeon Jung-deok to handle, even with his prowess.

“Phew!”

Despite the disparity in physique and the power derived from it, what stunned Gyeon Jung-deok more was the external energy expressed by Tak Yoon.

External energy use had almost disappeared from the martial world.

Yet here was Tak Yoon, countering all attacks with just that.

‘I should aim for the weak point.’

Facing head-on attacks, Gyeon Jung-deok carefully examined Tak Yoon’s body while countering.

When mastering external energy, a weak point—called the “specific point” or “acupoint”—invariably developed, and targeting it was a crucial vulnerability of the technique.

No matter how invulnerable the skin became, this specific point would always remain a weak spot, hence Gyeon Jung-deok searched while attacking.

He was looking for that critical point.

‘Why can’t I find it? Could it possibly be absent? But that’s impossible.’

However, no specific point emerged no matter how much time passed.

From the armpits to the popliteal, every likely spot was checked, and although Tak Yoon’s balance was slightly disrupted, he did not seem to be in any particular pain.

‘Maybe…’

Gyeon Jung-deok’s gaze momentarily fixated on one area.

There was no other suspicious point, making that the likeliest option.

‘No. There is still one place left. And it’s not without a method.’

With effort, Gyeon Jung-deok redirected his thoughts and intensified the power at his dantian.

Finding the specific point and targeting it was ideal, but it wasn’t without alternative methods.

It was just that, at his level of mastery, it was impossible to execute perfectly, so he had aimed for the specific point.

Twitch!

A strike infused with the subtlety of the Inner Core Crushing Technique landed on Tak Yoon’s shoulder, causing him to flinch for the first time.

Unlike typical attacks, the Inner Core Crushing Technique directly impacted the internal body, making it particularly effective against practitioners of external energy, resulting in Tak Yoon suffering an internal injury, evident by the trickle of blood from his mouth.

“Stop!”

Seeing this, Bae Ryeong, the most senior person present besides Seok Deok-wol and also the referee for this match, raised his hand, calling the match to an end.

He thought it unnecessary for them to continue harming each other.

“You’ve worked hard.”

“You too. You’ve grown so strong; had we continued, I might have lost.”

“I doubt that.”

“First eat this.”

Respectfully exchanging pleasantries, Gyeon Jung-deok hastily handed Tak Yoon the wound medicine.

It wasn’t particularly expensive but was supplied by the Seokpung Express Agency, making it more effective than most other wound medicines.

Prompt action was necessary to prevent injury aftereffects, so Gyeon Jung-deok pressed him to eat it quickly, even handing him a cup of water.

“Thank you.”

“What’s there to thank me for? You got hurt because I was forceful. But if it weren’t for the Inner Core Crushing Technique, I’d have had no options. Ha ha.”

“I learned a lot.”

Tak Yoon smiled as he took the wound medicine.

It was genuine gratitude for a truly beneficial experience; he was content with the outcome of the match.

“Once your injury heals, spar with me too.”

“I’d like to have a go at you as well.”

Crowds of messengers converged around Tak Yoon.

Not only did Gyeon Jung-deok’s peers gather, but even the bearers approached in hinting manner.

Knowing that Tak Yoon was just a mere servant until last year, they hoped to glean some advice, impressed by his current prowess.

“I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”

Returning from the window to his seat, Seok Deok-wol wore a stunned expression.

He couldn’t believe his eyes.

Tak Yoon’s growth was that astonishing.

“If you knew how much effort Yoon put in, you wouldn’t say that.”

“Of course, he must have worked hard. Without effort, such growth is impossible. No matter the talent, without diligent refining, it’s useless in this line of work. But more astonishing is that you turned him into this… in barely a year and a half.”

“It’s actually closer to a year and a half.”

“Year or year and a half.”

Seok Deok-wol gazed at Seok Jin-ho with an amazed look.

He was aware of Seok Jin-ho’s profound martial arts capabilities, but did not expect him to be equally skilled as a teacher.

“Yoon and Ma-ryong are prime examples. Also, they are set to become the future leaders of martial arts here. Naturally, they demand my attention.”

“What’s the secret?”

“Do you think I would tell you?”

“Sly guy.”

Seok Deok-wol glared at Seok Jin-ho.

But Seok Jin-ho remained relaxed, simply sipping his tea under his glaring gaze.

“Secrets aren’t secret for no reason.”

“You’ll take in official disciples, won’t you?”

“Of course.”

“How about making a formal contract with us?”

Swoosh.

At Seok Deok-wol’s suggestion, Seok Jin-ho smoothly placed a document on the table as if he had prepared it in advance.

Seok Deok-wol swiftly perused the document laid before him.

As time passed, his expression increasingly puzzled.

Chapter 22. The Weight of the Leader – 03 End



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