I Became the Youngest Disciple of the Martial God
[Translator – Jreaming]
[Proofreader – Gorm]
I woke up the next day to an awkward smell piercing my nose.
What is this scent? A rose?
I looked around with my half-open eyes and quickly discovered the origin of the scent.
Atop the table next to the bed, there was a vase with a bright red rose in it.
Luan Bednicker and the smell of roses. There might not be a bigger mismatch.
“So stupid,” I muttered.
Of course, the rose wasn’t meaningless.
One of the symbols of House Bednicker was a rose.
In fact, the outer walls of the main house were covered in rose bushes.
I stumbled a little as I sat up.
It got a bit chilly as I left the warmth of my blanket.
I couldn’t remember properly if this was at the end of fall or the beginning of winter, but it was somewhere around there. The room was still a bit cold.
Seeing how I was still tired, it seemed I hadn’t slept for the entire day.
“...Is it still early in the morning?”
That was the feeling I got. The period when, even though I wanted to sleep more, my body was waking up out of habit. A weird time when, although I was a bit tired, it would be hard to fall back to sleep.
Doing so would only be a waste of time anyway, so I got up out of bed.
But then my entire body, from my head to my toes, screamed in pain.
Why were my muscles so sore?
I probably forced myself too much yesterday.
This body truly could only make me sigh in disappointment.
But I could bear with it, so I waddled up to the mirror.
It was a historical moment, my first good look at myself since my return...
But a dead fish was staring back at me in the mirror.
Of course, the dead fish was me.
“This is worse than I thought.”
I had platinum blonde hair and pale skin, so I looked pretty weak to start with, but since I was also skin and bones on top of that, I practically looked like a patient.
I was honestly surprised I’d even been able to use the White Sun Form with such a thin body.
I needed to deal with this body somehow, but it wasn’t an easy problem to fix by any means.
As a baseline, I didn’t like eating a lot, and my constitution didn’t allow me to gain weight easily.
On top of that, I was also stupidly picky with my food.
Somehow, I knew how to act like a food critic, so I’d ended up becoming sensitive to the smell of the raw ingredients and the texture of the dish.
Food was the one thing I’d never been able to let go. Even after getting beaten up by Master all day and having my bones broken, I would still spend time cooking.
A sensitive palate was one of the most noble traits one could have in high society...
But for the path I needed to walk in the future, it was but a stumbling block, a talent that met the wrong master.
Thinking about food made my stomach growl. It was only natural, I hadn’t been able to eat anything since the commotion yesterday.
In any case, I would once again be able to eat the food of my hometown.
I guess I should go to the dining hall.
It was early in the morning, but the kitchen started its work even earlier. They’d probably give me something if I asked.
I went to leave my room to fill my appetite, and also to take a look around the mansion.
Someone met me at the door.
It was someone I was familiar with.
One of the servant girls that had been standing in my room when I woke up yesterday.
She looked like an easily-scared squirrel, and I remembered that she was the one who had reacted the most when Kayan appeared.
“Y-young master. Have you woken up?”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Liza.”
The servant girl named Liza lowered her head. I just nodded without care.
“So, Liza, what are you doing here so early?”
“I... I came to check on your condition, young master. When I saw you yesterday night, I wasn’t able to see any particular symptoms with my naked eye... Are you perhaps uncomfortable somewhere?”
“Other than being hungry right now, I’m fine,” I said. “Since the topic has come up, could you get me something to eat?”
“Ah, yes. I’ll prepare your breakfast now.”
“Right. Also, what about Mother?”
Liza suddenly looked a little startled.
“Mistress returned to the main house three weeks ago.”
I’d been wondering why I hadn’t seen her even when a collector came. So, that was the reason.
Thinking about it now, Arzan wouldn’t have been able to beat me up if my mother had been here.
“All right. You can go now.”
“Yes.” Liza lowered her head, came into the room... and switched the flower in the vase.
“Hey, that rose...”
“...No. Return to your work.”
Not long after, Liza returned with a simple breakfast.
Perhaps my appetite hadn’t returned yet, because it tasted terrible.
I ate just enough to stop being hungry, then went to wash my body. I suspected I had been covered in far too many medicinal herbs, because I smelled foul.
When I finished washing myself and stretching my stiff body, the day was fully bright. As the sun swept away the darkness and chill of the house, my mood returned as well.
Maybe it was because of the martial art I had learned, or maybe because it was just human nature, but I really liked the day more than the night.
“Young master, have you awoken?”
“Are you uncomfortable anywhere...”
...I liked it a lot more before these guys started to approach me.
I looked at the employees of this house with cold eyes.
I could still clearly remember how they all ran away as soon as Kayan entered the room. Honestly, I had no intention of criticizing them for that.
My personality had been pretty trash around this time, but they should at least be consistent. It hadn’t been that long since they ran away like they didn’t care. Now that the collector was no longer here, however, they swarmed me and spoke empty words.
In any case, since I was also to blame, I couldn’t just beat these guys up and kick them out.
I waited until their false worries ended before speaking.
“I got it, so leave for now. I’m going to rest for a little longer.”
“Yes. But, young master...”
“How did the collection go?”
“Can’t you tell?”
Even though I waved my two arms in front of them, they just stood there blinking.
“The collection didn’t proceed.”
“I asked him nicely and he went away.”
“H-how could that...”
“That’s what happened, so get out. While I’m telling you nicely.”
They seemed to want to ask me more questions, but I forced them out of the room. As I closed the door, I didn’t forget to say one last thing.
“No one can come in for the time being. Don’t even knock.”
Boom. The room finally became silent as I closed the door.
I enjoyed the peacefulness for a second before opening the window wide.
“It’s the middle of winter, but the day is good.”
Strong sunlight but cold winds. I liked it.
It was just the right amount of cold to awaken a drowsy mind.
I smiled a bit as I sat in front of the window, facing the sun.
This was the first time I’d been able to be alone since returning to the past.
I straightened my back and sat in the lotus position.
I closed my eyes...
And started to do the first thing I should’ve done upon returning to the past: practice the Strongest Technique in History.
The creation of the Strongest Under the Heavens, Baek Nogwang.
The Strongest Technique in History was a breathing technique.
By the concept of this world, it could be called a refinement technique.
The best time to practice the Strongest Technique in History was when the sun was highest in the sky.
The Strongest Technique in History had its roots in the Five Elements. According to this breathing technique, most humans could be divided into five elemental attributes.
They were either wood, fire, earth, metal, or water...
Whether by my master’s intention or simple coincidence, all five of his disciples possessed different elemental attributes.
The attribute I possessed was fire, but Master told me that it would be unbecoming if I only aimed to become a simple match, so I should aim to become a great existence that could swallow the sun.
Anyway, the surrounding environment was very important when practicing the Strongest Technique in History, though this was probably true for all breathing techniques.
Just having dense ki in the air wasn’t enough, one needed to find a place that resonated with one’s attributes.
To put it simply, someone with a wood attribute would be able to practice more efficiently when inside a forest.
For me, it was better to focus during the day. It was most effective if I practiced when the sun was highest in the sky.
In truth, the most effective place was a landmass with dense yang energy like a volcano or the historical site of a fiery calamity, although that was a little extreme.
It’s not like I can go to those places in my current state anyway.
So, after a few moments of meditating while sitting in the lotus position on the floor, I ended up opening my eyes with a frown.
“Wow,” I instinctively exclaimed.
I’d been able to see that the state of my body was terrible just from looking in the mirror, but it was even worse inside. Even a six-year-old kid was probably healthier than me.
It wasn’t that the innate constitution I was born with was bad. Rather, after living like an idiot for so long, and maybe because I had been beaten up recently, this body was no different from a patient on their deathbed.
Will I be able to recover in a month?
It felt like it would take at least half a year to turn this body into something usable, especially because the outer body was a lot more important for the Strongest Technique in History than for other techniques.
I’ll need to cut back on my sleep...
* * * * *
[Translator – Jreaming]
[Proofreader – Gorm]
Join our Discord for updates on releases!
* * * * *
I focused my attention on the warm rays of the sun between the cool winds, on the warmth that I felt over my clothes.
This warmth would become my foundation, the foundation for the fire-attribute branch of the Strongest Technique in History, or Strongest Fire Technique for short.
I would need to absorb the heat from my skin and change it into fire ki within my body before I could use it.
A fire that I could control as I pleased.
I spent a long time sitting perfectly still just to obtain a flame the size of my fingernail.
If I moved even a little, all the fire ki I had accumulated would dissipate.
For me, training this technique was like trying to maintain a candle flame in the middle of a raging storm.
But even though it was extremely difficult, it wasn’t impossible.
More time passed.
My entire body became drenched in sweat, and the moment I felt a bead of sweat drop from the bottom of my chin...
Fwoosh. A small spark of fire lit up within my inner core.
Of course, it wasn’t a literal fire. Rather, my internal energy now held a trace of fire ki.
I let out a deep sigh and took a short break.
That light breath exuded heat like a warm breeze, and this was proof that I had succeeded in taking the first step along the Strongest Fire Technique.
It would get easier from here on out.
I stoked the flame carefully to not put it out, and as its size became bigger, I spread the fire ki out into my entire body.
It spread through the many blood vessels and through the waste that had piled up within my internal organs.
After easily burning the first piece of waste I encountered, I opened my mouth a little.
A small bit of black smoke leaked from my mouth.
It was a little disgusting because of the smell, but it couldn’t be helped since this process was so important.
And compared to other breathing techniques, this outcome was preferable. Normally, when practicing these techniques, the waste inside the body would be forced out through the body’s holes.
What did that mean, exactly?
Filth would start to flow out of all of the mouth and all of the body’s pores, and as the stench began to fill the air...
I stopped thinking about it to avoid throwing up.
In truth, the Strongest Fire Technique was also the best of all the branches of the Strongest Technique in History at cleansing the body of filth. It could just burn the filth away.
Of course, if one’s proficiency with the technique was low, there was a risk of huge damage to the blood vessels and internal organs... but there was no way I would commit such a novice mistake.
This is more fun than I thought.
I’d expected it to be quite boring since I was basically just cleaning a vessel, but it was unexpectedly enjoyable.
Maybe it was because the cleaning process was much faster than when I first tried to practice the Strongest Fire Technique? It started quite slow, but the rate accelerated as time went on.
So this is why learning martial arts at a young age is good.
I realized again just how big of an opportunity this was.
A mature consciousness within an immature body. With this experienced mind, I was able to identify the problems that would hold me back and the measures I could take to improve this body...
Even if I had an extremely proficient teacher, they wouldn’t be able to discern these factors in my own body as sharply as I could.
In the end, the only one who could completely understand oneself was oneself.
My rate of accumulating internal energy will probably be multiple times faster than before. And the purity of the energy will also be multiple times clearer.
If I could recover the level of martial prowess I’d had when I was on Spirit Mountain but with my current body, I was certain that I would become much stronger.
I was beginning to understand why Master had sent me back into the past.
If I could properly lay out the foundations for a strong body, use that body to master the Strongest Fire Technique, and also complete the White Sun Form, then I would have a chance against Eldest Senior Brother.
Of course, that didn’t mean all my questions were answered.
Why had Eldest Senior Brother been exiled, and why hadn’t Master personally gone out to retrieve him? Why had he chosen me out of the remaining four disciples? And what did any of this have to do with sending me to the past?
...I’ll think about it later.
I forced myself to stop thinking about the questions that had instinctively resurfaced.
The answer to all these questions would be found with Master or Eldest Senior Brother; there was no point in trying to learn the truth at this stage.
It should be obvious, but my current body was far too weak to concern itself with other things.
Let’s get stronger first.
As the words that Master used to say echoed in my mind, I focused on practicing the technique.
I stayed in the room for a while to continue putting effort into the Strongest Fire Technique.
Even as I forced myself to eat the disgusting food, I gave my all to cleaning the vessel called my body.
It required a certain level of patience.
I had finally returned to my homeland after being stuck on Spirit Mountain for so long, yet I was staying in my room again just to train. It was understandable that my body itched to go outside.
Even so, this was a process I had to overcome.
So, after spending about a week in this state, this trash body of mine finally improved somewhat.
Of course, it was only an improvement. Nothing had fundamentally changed.
In that time, I figured out the biggest problem facing me in this situation: my internal energy reserves were too low.
Of course, since I was comparing my current self to my past self, my reserves felt even emptier, but even with that in mind, my inner core was too empty.
“I wish I had an elixir or something.”
I laughed to myself. It wasn’t like mystic elixirs grew on trees...
Especially in this era when the Great Houses were in fierce competition with each other, even low-quality elixirs were hard to find.
“...Should I look for one anyway?”
Even the lowest-grade elixir would be a boon, and I’d been thinking about going outside today anyway.
I wanted to scout out the area around the mansion, and if I checked the nearest city’s night market, wasn’t there a chance I could get lucky and find a low-grade elixir?
I was decently lucky with things like that.
I opened the door to my room with a light heart.
After taking light steps down the hallway, I walked confidently out the door of the mansion—
“Hello, young master.”
—or at least, I tried to. A group of knights in red armor were blocking my way.
I looked at the knights with a confused expression. The first thing I noticed was that they weren’t the mansion’s knights.
It wasn’t like I had memorized the faces of all of the knights in the mansion; rather, I had seen that distinct set of red armor elsewhere.
“I am Osel of the Fang Knight Order.”
The Fang Knight Order.
It was affiliated with House Bednicker and worked directly under the Lord of Blood and Iron.
“The family head has given an order to escort you back to the main house.”
That knight order had suddenly appeared in front of my door.
Join our Discord for updates on releases!