The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 62

The Warrior's Rebirth

Chapter 25. Grand Opening. -01 >

With a tense look on his face, Chae So-Gang climbed the stairs.

Summoned abruptly by Seok Jin-Ho, Chae So-Gang pondered over whether he had made a mistake.

No matter how casually he was treated, Seok Jin-Ho was an employer to the siblings.

Therefore, Chae So-Gang couldn’t approach Seok Jin-Ho with ease.

Knock knock knock.

“Patriarch, it’s Chae So-Gang.”

“Come in.”

At the calm voice coming from inside the room, Chae So-Gang swallowed once before opening the door.

There, Seok Jin-Ho was seen gracefully sipping tea.

Together with him, lying comfortably across his lap as if it was her designated spot, was the black cat, Heukwhi.

“I heard you called for me.”

“Yes. There’s something I wanted to ask you. It’s nothing serious, so don’t be tense.”

“Yes.”

“Is this the first time we’re having a one-on-one conversation?”

Peering at the visibly tense Chae So-Gang, Seok Jin-Ho let out a slight chuckle.

The young fellow seemed to be thinking too much unnecessarily.

Yet, it was also pitiable.

It meant he had grown up too fast.

“Yes.”

“First, have a drink.”

“Thank you.”

Chae So-Gang received the tea handed personally by Seok Jin-Ho with both hands.

While doing so, his eyes constantly observed Seok Jin-Ho’s face.

“How do you find living here? Speak freely if there’s anything uncomfortable.”

“It’s great. So-Seol is also satisfied. It’s more comfortable than when we were living with our grandmother. We’ve also put on quite some weight.”

“You do seem better for it.”

The mention of Chae So-Seol brought a smile to Chae So-Gang’s face.

His expression resembled that of a typical doting younger brother.

“It’s all thanks to you, Patriarch, and the landlord of the inn.”

“It’s partly that, but it’s also because you guys do good work. The circumstances would have been much different if you hadn’t.”

“I will work even harder in the future.”

“I didn’t say that to get that answer. You’re already doing well enough, so don’t overdo it. The real reason I called you here is to ask you something.”

“Is that so, sir?”

Chae So-Gang inquired, setting down his tea cup, a hint of puzzlement on his face.

“Do you want to learn martial arts?”

“Ah, no. How could I presume to…!”

“No need to hide it. It’s obvious to the eye.”

“I, I’m sorry!”

Chae So-Gang bowed so deeply his forehead nearly touched the table.

Yet his heart didn’t stop pounding.

All sorts of thoughts filled his head.

“Why apologize? You haven’t committed a crime.”

“I, I was shameless…”

“No reprimand intended, straighten up. I don’t fancy conversing with the back of someone’s head.”

“Yes…”

Assured by the unchanged, calm voice, Chae So-Gang cautiously raised his head only to find that Seok Jin-Ho was not looking at him.

Leisurely stroking Heukwhi, Seok Jin-Ho simply sipped his tea.

“I told you, I had something to ask. Why do you want to learn martial arts?”

“Uh…”

“Speak honestly. I’m just curious about your thoughts.”

“I thought I needed strength. The strength to protect and raise So-Seol. There are limits to earning money, and power was never granted to someone like me, so I thought martial arts might be the only possibility. If I learn martial arts, I could work as a courier or a bodyguard, and those jobs pay well. It seemed feasible that after a few years of hard work, I could marry off So-Seol in comfort.”

With a trembling voice, Chae So-Gang steadily revealed his thoughts, none of which concerned himself but rather his plans for his sister. As So-Gang spoke, Seok Jin-Ho felt a heaviness in his chest.

Despite his youth, Chae So-Gang felt the weight of being the head of the household.

“A life for his sister.”

“She’s all I have now.”

“I understand. She’s your only family in this world. But the problem is how to learn martial arts, isn’t it?”

“……”

Chae So-Gang’s expression stiffened.

After all, a plan was just a plan.

And life never flowed as planned.

“I’ll teach you martial arts. In return, protect the wet nurse with that martial arts.”

“Pardon?”

“Become the wet nurse’s bodyguard. In exchange, I will teach you martial arts.”

Brrrr!

Caught off guard by such an unexpected offer, Chae So-Gang’s eyes widened.

He also wondered for a moment if this was all a dream.

But his trembling hands and the warm air told him that this was indeed real.

“You’re not obliged. Think about it, and you can refuse.”

“I’ll do it.”

“Don’t decide too rashly. What if I’m trying to put a lien on your life?”

“My grandmother used to say that an opportunity must be seized when it comes. Of course, there might be better opportunities later. But, what if this is the last one?”

Not a hint of hesitation showed in Chae So-Gang’s eyes.

No one can predict what lies ahead in life, and it’s uncertain whether a better opportunity will come his way.

But that’s just a possibility.

If he passes up a definite opportunity for an uncertain possibility, he might regret it bitterly later.

And Chae So-Gang had not made his decision lightly.

Though only a short while, his time at Seungcheon Martial House had given him insights into Seok Jin-Ho.

He knew how meticulously Seok Jin-Ho cared for his people.

“He definitely takes care of his people.”

That was illustrated when Seok Jin-Ho generously gifted an entire inn to So Ha-Jeong as a token of his gratitude.

Having witnessed him looking out for Tak Yun and Jeong Ma-Ryung, Chae So-Gang didn’t hesitate.

“You’re clear about your decision.”

“I’ve observed the landlord and the brothers.”

“You’re perceptive. Then you also know that learning martial arts isn’t going to be as easy as you think?”

“I’m ready to puke my guts out every morning with the brothers.”

Chae So-Gang spoke with determination.

Seok Jin-Ho always prioritized physical strength.

Though Jeong Ma-Ryung particularly found morning training excruciating, Chae So-Gang wasn’t afraid.

He knew too well that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, despite his young age. He was prepared to endure whatever it took.

‘For So-Seol. Any suffering is bearable. Compared to when we shivered from cold and hunger because we had no money, training is nothing.’

Chae So-Gang’s eyes sparkled.

Compared to the days when they feared wasting away from hunger or the cold, rigorous training seemed like nothing.

That’s why Chae So-Gang wasn’t afraid.

“I do hope that determination lasts.”

“I will show you with actions.”

“Alright.”

While Chae So-Gang might have grown up too early, Seok Jin-Ho didn’t make an issue out of it.

He understood why it had to be so. Instead, Seok Jin-Ho began considering which martial arts to teach Chae So-Gang.

Given that he was going to be trained to be So Ha-Jeong’s bodyguard, the martial arts techniques would inevitably differ from those taught to Tak Yun or Jeong Ma-Ryung.

“Excuse me, Patriarch.”

“If you’re curious, speak openly. This is about your life.”

“How much martial arts will I be able to learn?”

The caution in Chae So-Gang’s question made Seok Jin-Ho inwardly smile.

He caught on to the motive behind the question right away.

But considering the time Chae So-Gang spent mostly with Ma-Ryung, it was natural for him to ask.

“Your potential is higher than Ma-Ryung’s. No, it’s just that Ma-Ryung’s is exceptionally low. Now, he’s barely reached average.”

“So then…?”

“Assuming you work really hard, reaching the pinnacle shouldn’t be difficult. Beyond that depends on you. Well, that’s true for all martial arts.”

At the word “pinnacle,” Chae So-Gang’s eyes could barely grow any wider.

He would have been grateful to even become a first-rate fighter, but the possibility of going beyond made Chae So-Gang tremble.

“I will train very hard!”

“We shall see. Whether it’s a three-day resolution or not.”

“I won’t disappoint you!”

Looking at the spirited Chae So-Gang, Seok Jin-Ho quietly smiled and mulled over the numerous martial arts he knew, pondering which to teach him.

In the late afternoon, a group of people arrived at Seungcheon Martial House.

Seok Deok-Wol, leading the way, as the people from Seokpoong Courier Agency had finally arrived at Seungcheon Martial House.

“This is Seungcheon Martial House!”

“The name has a nice ring to it. Seungcheon, as in ‘ascending to heaven.’”

“I wish the owner would lift me to ‘ascension’ as well.”

The couriers from Seokpoong Courier Agency, arriving at the quaintly atmospheric Seungcheon Martial House, surveyed their surroundings with eyes full of anticipation.

“Welcome, representative Deok-Wol!”

“Where’s the Patriarch?”

“Inside.”

“You’ve grown stronger again.”

Seok Deok-Wol let out a dry laugh upon seeing Jeong Ma-Ryung who came to greet him – it was apparent that he was getting stronger by the day.

Although the difference wasn’t vast, what mattered was the continual improvement.

“Of course. You know how thorough our Patriarch is.”

“I do.”

“Yun, please guide the guests. Show them to their rooms too.”

“Yes.”

While attending to Seok Deok-Wol, Jeong Ma-Ryung gave instructions to Tak Yun.

Looking at the luggage they brought, it seemed best to sort out the lodgings first.

“Let’s go inside.”

“Indeed.”

Knowing that Seok Jin-Ho had acquired an inn, without any further questions, Seok Deok-Wol followed Jeong Ma-Ryung.

Shortly after, Seok Deok-Wol faced Seok Jin-Ho, seated in the parlor.

“You must’ve had a hard time coming here.”

“I heard about it. You bought an inn.”

“It’s inconsiderate to start building from scratch. Although using it as part of training is a possibility, it would be too cruel since you’ll be sleeping rough countless times in the future.”

“You’ve made a good decision. The kids were worried about that, too. While we’re accustomed to rough sleeping, it’s still better to have a nice place to rest when it comes to training.”

Seok Deok-Wol smiled and sat down, genuinely relieved, as rest played an essential role in training.

“It’s expensive training, so such a provision is only natural. How many people exactly did you bring?”

“Twenty-one. It’s one more than we discussed last time. Is that alright?”

“The inn has enough rooms for everyone. But how long are you planning to stay?”

“We’ll start with a six-month course first. Since it’s our first time, we can’t overdo it. Besides, it’s not a small sum. However…”

Seok Deok-Wol, who had been speaking so candidly, trailed off at the end.

Seeing some problem, Seok Jin-Ho gestured for him to continue.

“In our position, this is a kind of investment. So, those I’ve brought have signed a contract to work for Seokpoong Courier Agency for at least five years once the six-month course ends. The two- and three-star couriers accepted these conditions easily, lacking substantial savings, but it’s not the same with the one-star couriers. A one-star courier can manage well enough on their own. The expense is the same, but it’s not something they can’t cope with.”

“So, there’s someone like that then.”

“Exactly.”

Seok Deok-Wol’s expression darkened.

As a result, he naturally began to pay attention to Seok Jin-Ho’s response.

While not strangers to Seokpoong Courier Agency, there was no obligation for Seok Jin-Ho to uphold any sense of loyalty.

Moreover, Seok Jin-Ho had refused his father, the Seokga clan leader’s request, and left without a backward glance.

“For that matter, you needn’t worry. I have no intention of making separate contracts for now. Besides, you’re my first guests, and I should give some benefits.”

“Thanks!”

“It’s just for now. Don’t get the wrong idea that it will always be the case.”

“That’s enough for now. It will keep those who might have other ideas in line for a while.”

Chapter 25. Grand Opening. — 01 The end



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