The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 7

The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 7

Chapter 4. Presence Born from Experience – 02

Seok Jinho let out a snort through his nose.

To anyone watching, it was clear that the jealousy in the young man’s eyes was the reason he had come to pick a fight.

He tried to disguise it as something more benign, but from the very beginning, the premise was flawed.

Moreover, it demonstrated the youth’s lack of intelligence.

‘Real crafty ones actually smile. Managing one’s expressions is the basics of the basics.’

Countless figures from Seok Jinho’s past life flitted through his mind, naturally coming to the forefront of his thoughts.

“Well, then there’s no need to hide it.”

“You’re really jealous that the two Elders took an interest in me, aren’t you?”

“Jealous? Not at all!”

The young man, a scion of the Northern Ye Clan named Ye Jung-ak, bellowed with rage.

Though he’d practiced diligently from a young age, cultivating a solid physique, in Seok Jinho’s eyes, he was nothing but a novice.

“Your face might as well be etched with the word ‘jealousy’ for all to see.”

“Gah!”

Taunted by Seok Jinho’s words, Ye Jung-ak’s face flushed with a mix of red and blue hues.

Seok Jinho had struck a nerve, leaving Ye Jung-ak momentarily speechless as a result.

So instead, he reached out his hand.

Given his prior research on Seok Jinho, there was no hesitation in his movements.

‘To think that a mere servant, scorned even by the servants, could!’

Ye Jung-ak couldn’t believe it, not even when he saw it with his own two eyes.

He couldn’t accept that the inconsequential Seok Jinho was receiving fervent interest from the Mount Hua and Southern Edge factions.

‘And all for someone who’s done nothing but waste time until recently!’

Ssshhh!

Blinded by jealousy, Ye Jung-ak’s hand shot fiercely toward Seok Jinho’s collar.

His intention was to grab him and prevent escape.

Next, he planned to show everyone just how insignificant and lacking Seok Jinho truly was.

Of course, this was more than a mere outburst of excitement.

Ye Jung-ak had already calculated the cleanup after pinpointing Seok Jinho’s current position.

‘I’ll pummel him and then apologize if need be. He’s no better than an unwed son anyway.’

If Seok Jinho had been the true heir to the Seok family, Ye Jung-ak wouldn’t even dare entertain such thoughts, but the stigma of his illegitimacy made Ye Jung-ak’s deliberations short.

Not to mention, Seok Jinho was being treated as nonexistent within the clan’s boundaries.

Woong!

However, Ye Jung-ak’s plan was doomed from the start.

Seok Jinho easily dodged the surprise attack, moving just half a step to the side.

Ye Jung-ak’s brutish hand cut nothing but empty air.

“You swung first, so self-defense seems appropriate now, especially since we’re in front of my house, right?”

“Huh?”

Ye Jung-ak was more shocked that his attack had failed than by Seok Jinho’s cold retort.

Unlike Seok Jinho, who was new to martial arts, Ye Jung-ak was a seasoned warrior who had dedicated over a decade to training.

The strength of his cultivation was on an incomparable level.

Yet Seok Jinho had dodged his attack with astonishing ease.

“So don’t feel wronged when you get hit. Life always harvests what you sow. Even if not right away, you’ll eventually reap the consequences.”

Before he could finish speaking, Seok Jinho’s foot plunged into Ye Jung-ak’s abdomen, bending him at the waist though not quite like a shrimp.

Even so, Ye Jung-ak wasn’t someone who would just take it lying down.

He swung his left arm, trying to catch Seok Jinho’s swiftly retreating foot as if it were a hook.

Swish.

But Seok Jinho glided away too gracefully—almost as if allowing Ye Jung-ak to release him on purpose.

Pat pat pat!

As Ye Jung-ak wore an expression of utter frustration, Seok Jinho’s hands blazed with motion.

He pounded upon the exposed chest and face of Ye Jung-ak without mercy.

“Aack!”

While Seok Jinho’s cultivation was indeed low, he had used every possible moment of his day for martial arts training—a dedication that would seem madness to others.

However, unlike a body’s quick response to training, building up cultivation required time.

Without consuming elixirs of strength, one couldn’t become a peak master overnight.

‘But that doesn’t mean my hard-earned experience is for nothing.’

In terms of mere power, Seok Jinho couldn’t compare to Ye Jung-ak.

But what Seok Jinho possessed was an unmatched wealth of experience that others couldn’t even begin to compare with.

Whish!

Accordingly, Seok Jinho effortlessly redirected Ye Jung-ak’s flailing blows that seemed to smack the air with desperation.

No matter how powerful a strike, if it never lands, it’s useless.

And Ye Jung-ak’s attacks, untested in actual combat, were clumsy and simplistic—so much so that Seok Jinho could dodge them with eyes closed.

Crack!

Ye Jung-ak might have considered his fist lightning-fast, but to Seok Jinho, it was nothing of the sort.

The predictability of his movements, borne from a simplistic approach, made it easy for Seok Jinho to counter with a yawn and deliver a powerful punch to Ye Jung-ak’s chin.

“How? How could you dodge that?!”

“Because I can see it all coming. Would I be an idiot not to dodge?”

“Arrghh!”

Bored and seemingly listless, Seok Jinho responded just as Ye Jung-ak, overwhelmed by embarrassment and anger, drew his sword.

His disgrace had turned into intention to kill as he had lost his reason to rage.

Sensing the possibility of a serious accident, the Seok family’s guards, who had been on standby, quickly leapt into action.

Clang!

Yet there was no need for them to intervene.

Seok Jinho, previously wearing an expression of ennui, now moved like lightning, seizing the sword from Ye Jung-ak’s hands.

“My lord!”

“Ha!”

Onlookers, subtly watching the scene, were taken aback by the sight.

Especially notable were the reactions of the late-stage disciples who were among the most shocked.

Ye Jung-ak had been practicing martial arts for a long time, despite his low proficiency.

Yet Seok Jinho, who seemed weak in cultivation, was playing him like a child, prompting the disciples to struggle hiding their surprise.

“If you’re upset, come at me again. But next time, it won’t end like this.”

However, Seok Jinho himself seemed oblivious to these looks as he bent down to whisper to a shivering Ye Jung-ak, still twitching in pain from the impact.

Begrudgingly unable to deal him a proper blow amidst so many eyes, he instead provoked in the hopes he would return for a private confrontation.

But despite hearing Seok Jinho’s words, Ye Jung-ak displayed hardly any reaction.

“We’ll take care of him.”

“Much obliged.”

“No trouble at all. And you did well.”

The highest-ranking guard smiled wryly as he gave a thumbs-up to Seok Jinho.

Though the others did not take action, their expressions bore a unanimous approval.

After finishing his business, Seok Jinho’s attitude was noticeably different from before, yet he himself remained unperturbed as he turned to leave without a second thought.

“Let’s go together, my lord!”

“Hurry and follow.”

“Yes!”

“I hope you saw how I handled that, right? You should be able to do the same by the end of this year.”

“What?”

Tak Yun, who had hurriedly followed Seok Jinho’s brisk stride, blinked with wide eyes at the absurdly high expectations set forth.

“Why? You think you can’t do it?”

“I… I’m afraid it might be difficult.”

“Nothing’s impossible. It just requires effort.”

Gulping, Tak Yun felt a chill run down his spine.

Not just the voice, but Seok Jinho’s eyes, his expression, they all seemed off.

As though a gateway to hell had opened before him, Tak Yun’s face paled.

“You can do it. Because I’ll make sure of that.”

“I’ll… I’ll try my very best.”

“That’s the spirit. That’s all you need.”

Content, Seok Jinho left the banquet hall.

Having attended to every matter, he had no reason to linger, returning to his quarters without a backward glance.

Yet, in contrast to his initial appearance, there were now many eyes fixed upon him.

“He’s changed a great deal, hasn’t he?”

“It seems people really do change when they come close to death.”

“Worth considering?”

But a cautious man in scholar’s clothes, fanning himself, indicated that it might be premature to make a decision just yet.

While the change seemed certain, he considered the possibility of a regression.

“Caution has its place, but sometimes boldness is called for, don’t you think?”

Seok Mi-ryung, the third daughter of the Seok Family Head and a contender in the current succession battle, hinted to those around her that there were more than just their eyes on Seok Jinho as he walked away from the gathering.

“Hmm!”

“Why not secure him now and worry about the details later?”

“He might not be so easily caught.”

“That’s why we need to act before the others, don’t we?”

Licking her lips, Seok Mi-ryung’s bright red lips shimmered even more vividly.

“I personally believe it’s not bad to watch a little longer.”

“But you know the decision ultimately falls to me, right?”

“Of course.”

“I think he may be worth keeping an eye on after all.”

At Seok Mi-ryung’s words, the middle-aged man nodded.

He quietly signaled to an attendant who then discreetly departed—to gather every shred of information available.

“It would be great if that guy could create a variable.”

“Just enough would be perfect.”

“But a man without ambition is as unattractive as it gets.”

Seok Mi-ryung shrugged casually.

However, her words belied her true intentions; she had no plans of relinquishing her claim to the throne of the Seok family.

Her aim was to surpass her brothers and ascend to the pinnacle of power as a female ruler, like the Empress Wu of old.



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