Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 142

April 24, 2024 • 11 min read • 251 views

The Disciple Resembles the Master (2)

Swish!

Lee Gwak became a whirlwind, rushing towards Gwang Noh ya.

Before he could even swing his sword, Gwang Noh ya vanished from sight.

Lee Gwak’s eyes followed the afterimage of Gwang Noh Ya.

No matter how advanced a martial artist’s qigong was, movement always altered the flow of air.

Lee Gwak’s eyes followed the flow of air, eventually catching the faint remains left behind.

‘Left!’

Lee Gwak leaned forward, extending his right leg.

Instead of slowing down, he used his right leg as a pivot to turn his body. Naturally, this put an enormous strain on his right leg. However, the muscles and bones trained by the Yoga Secret manuals withstood the immense pressure.

Swish!

Like a swallow gliding over water, Lee Gwak’s body rotated low to the ground, creating a gust that raised dust from the floor.

Tap!

Having successfully changed direction, Lee Gwak increased his speed.

He quickened his steps.

His stride wasn’t wide, but his footwork was so fast it was almost invisible to the naked eye.

Lee Gwak closed the distance to Gwang Noh ya in an instant.

Gwang Noh ya stepped back.

The human body is designed to move forward more easily. Unless one has eyes on the back of their head, retreating is naturally slower than advancing.

However, Gwang Noh ya’s movement defied such common sense. His speed, whether moving forward or retreating, showed no difference.

Even as he retreated, Gwang Noh ya kept his eyes on Lee Gwak.

Lee Gwak clenched his teeth, further speeding up, yet he couldn’t catch Gwang Noh ya.

It was as if he was dealing with a ghost.

‘This won’t work.’

Lee Gwak desperately thought of a strategy.

The string still bound his legs, restricting his movement. It meant he couldn’t widen his stride any further.

He needed to think of a way to increase his speed without widening his stride.

‘Acceleration.’

He had to add speed.

Simply quickening his footwork wouldn’t increase his speed any further. Therefore, he needed to find another method to add speed.

A hypothesis suddenly popped into Lee Gwak’s mind.

‘If I add explosive power at the moment I push off the ground…’

The thought was brief, and his action swift.

Lee Gwak directed his energy into his legs. But since he was not used to sending energy in this unfamiliar way, it often went awry.

Lee Gwak fell several times, tumbling across the ground.

His body was covered in dust and his clothes were torn like rags. But Lee Gwak did not rest for a moment and continued to attack Gwang Noh Ya.

Gwang Noh ya did not attack Lee Gwak. He did not offer any specific guidance either.

Understanding through experience was the essence.

One had to grasp the beginning on their own, ponder, and then comprehend. Only then could progress be made and the lessons be truly absorbed.

Days passed without count.

During this time, Lee Gwak fell countless times, only to rise and charge again and again.

His circulation of qi and blood was repeatedly disrupted. A small mistake could have led to his being possessed by the devil. If Gwang Noh Ya had not untangled his qi and blood each time, Lee Gwak might have fallen victim to such possession.

Lee Gwak continuously refined his technique.

Pop!

And finally, he achieved explosive acceleration.

Leaving behind a faint afterimage, Lee Gwak’s figure vanished due to the explosive acceleration.

Suddenly, Lee Gwak was within arm’s reach of Gwang Noh Ya.

A faint smile appeared on Gwang Noh ya’s lips, proud that Lee Gwak had found the answer on his own. However, it was still not enough.

Bang!

Suddenly, an airburst exploded right in front of Lee Gwak’s face.

Gwang Noh ya had caused a shockwave by impacting the air.

“Ugh!”

Lee Gwak’s face rippled with the direct hit from the shockwave.

He was sent flying backward, tumbling to the ground.

His head rang so loudly he couldn’t gather his thoughts, merely shaking his head in a daze. Gwang Noh ya then spoke,

“Retreating must be as swift as advancing. Complacency after a single step forward is a fool’s behavior.”

He was right.

Wiping the blood from his nose with his sleeve, Lee Gwak stood up.

His head still rang, and objects appeared to double or triple in his vision.

Lee Gwak activated the Eight Snakes Art. The sixth serpent moved, tickling his brain.

It was the Eight Snakes Art that had seen no progress since the opening of his heart’s eye. However, fighting against Gwang Noh ya was causing subtle changes to occur.

Lee Gwak believed that a transformation would soon manifest itself. Yet, for now, his priority was mastering how to retreat in response to Gwang Noh ya’s attacks.

Pop!

Lee Gwak pushed off the ground once again, charging at Gwang Noh ya.

In order to retreat, one must master how to advance.

With explosive acceleration, Lee Gwak swiftly closed the distance to Gwang Noh ya. At that moment, another airburst exploded in front of him.

Boom!

With a loud bang, Lee Gwak was thrown backwards again.

He had failed to react in time again.

“Heugh! Heugh!”

Lee Gwak was sprawled on the ground, breathing heavily.

Seeing him, Gwang Noh ya spoke, “How long do you plan to lie there? If I were your enemy, you would already be dead. Your enemy will never wait for your rest.”

Lee Gwak had to get back up again.

***
Swish!

Lee Gwak’s body, low to the ground like a swallow, approached Gwang Noh ya.

In an instant, Gwang Noh ya’s figure vanished as if into thin air.

It was a footwork technique derived from the legendary Unmoving King Step. To those unfamiliar with its principle, Gwang Noh Ya appeared to be able to teleport, such was the extent of his mastery.

Lee Gwak’s eyes followed Gwang Noh ya’s trajectory, activating his heart’s eye in the process.
Simultaneously, his body moved.

There was a violent spin accompanied by rapid acceleration.

Gwang Noh ya reappeared, and Lee Gwak surged towards that spot.

Suddenly, the air burst right in front of him.

A shockwave swept the area, but Lee Gwak was nowhere to be seen; he had already retreated.

His retreat was as swift as his charge.

Whizz!

With a sound like gears turning, Lee Gwak turned and used the centrifugal force to rush back to Gwang Noh Ya.

Not only did he dodge the shockwave, but he also used the force of his retreat to increase his speed.

A faint smile appeared on Gwang Noh ya’s lips.

After countless hits and tumbles, Lee Gwak had finally found the answer he sought.

Low-centered rotation, sudden acceleration and deceleration. This was the solution that Lee Gwak had found.

Revolving Steps.

It was the name Lee Gwak gave to his technique, uniquely his own.

Born out of his necessity, it was a footwork technique that only he could perform.

With the ability to execute the Revolving Steps, Lee Gwak finally matched Gwang Noh ya’s movements.

Now he had earned the right to swing his sword at Gwang Noh Ya.

Screech!

His wooden sword sliced through the air, aiming for Gwang Noh ya’s neck.

Clang!

However, Lee Gwak’s attack was easily deflected by Gwang Noh ya’s simple move.

Lee Gwak stumbled.

“Would such a weak attack even catch a fly?”

Boom!

With Gwang Noh ya’s mocking remark, a loud explosion followed.

“Ugh!”

Lee Gwak groaned, staggering.

The handguard of Lee Gwak’s wooden sword was torn. He had almost instinctively blocked Gwang Noh ya’s strike, but the immense force tore through his grip.

The intense pain nearly made him drop the sword.

Gwang Noh ya’s casual strike contained enough force to pulverize a massive boulder.

Gwang Noh ya didn’t use any special techniques, just casually flicked his fists. Yet, Lee Gwak felt as if every bone in his body shattered under those light punches.

Gwang Noh Ya had long since reached a realm where he could defeat those who relied on forms without using any himself. His simple actions were more powerful than the peak techniques of the Jianghu.

Swish!

Gwang Noh ya threw another casual punch, but Lee Gwak sensed a lethal threat.

Unable to counter, Lee Gwak raised his sword to block.

Clang!

With a metallic sound, Lee Gwak was sent flying backward.

At that moment, Gwang Noh ya’s furious voice burst out.

“Why aren’t you using the footwork you’ve learned? Is footwork merely for dodging? What’s the meaning behind your steps? Avoidance shouldn’t just end with avoidance; it’s preparation for an attack. Remember this.”

Lee Gwak, rolling on the ground, hurriedly executed the Revolving Steps.

His body spun low, barely deflecting Gwang Noh ya’s attack.

Whoosh!

The shoulder of his clothes disintegrated into dust.

Even after deflecting Gwang Noh ya’s strike, this was the outcome. A direct hit would have resulted in more than just torn clothes.

Lee Gwak felt a chill down his spine.

Despite trembling with an extreme sense of crisis, Lee Gwak did not retreat. Instead, he charged at Gwang Noh ya with the Revolving Steps.

Pop!

With acceleration, Lee Gwak lunged forward like lightning.

His wooden sword aimed for Gwang Noh ya’s vital points.

Screech!

The sword cut through the air, but this attack too was neutralized by Gwang Noh ya’s effortless move.

Blood trickled from Lee Gwak’s lips. He had sustained internal injuries.

“Do you think I’m using too much internal energy? The force I’m using is just about your level. Yet, you’re injured, and I’m not. What do you think the difference is?”

Lee Gwak couldn’t respond to Gwang Noh ya’s question.

His insides felt churned up, as if he would vomit blood if he opened his mouth. Even if that weren’t the case, Lee Gwak wouldn’t have had an answer.

Gwang Noh ya claimed to use the same amount of internal energy as him. If he said so, it must be true. There was no reason for Gwang Noh ya to deceive him in this context.

No matter how much he thought, Lee Gwak couldn’t find the answer. But he wasn’t discouraged.
If he couldn’t figure it out with his mind, he’d learn by continuing to clash with his body.

Though his martial arts couldn’t compare to Gwang Noh ya’s, Lee Gwak had perseverance, a strong fighting spirit, and he wasn’t afraid of injury.

He had been a vegetable, lying motionless for a long time, and had been on the verge of death from severe injuries inflicted by Gwan Il Hyeon. But he overcame all that to stand here again.
Such experiences had fortified Lee Gwak’s resolve.

Falling down was okay, collapsing was fine.

Lee Gwak was always ready to rise again.

Swish!

Lee Gwak swung his sword.

Zhan!

He sliced.

With all his might, he sliced.

Lee Gwak infused his sword with his wishes and all his strength.

He hadn’t expected this strike to affect Gwang Noh Ya, a figure too lofty and distant for him. Worrying about such a person was a waste of time.

Clang!

An explosive sound and metallic clash erupted.

Lee Gwak’s body was repeatedly knocked back.

He rolled on the ground several times, but without a single moment of yielding, he kept charging at Gwang Noh ya.

His body ached as if beaten with a giant hammer, yet a faint smile lingered on his lips.

Lee Gwak found this moment intensely enjoyable.

He had learned the Eight Snakes Art alone and awakened the Eight Sects Sword Art by himself.
It was like navigating a pitch-black night without a torch, feeling out the path ahead.

Uncertain which way led to salvation and which to a cliff, he could only rely on his intuition on this tough and perilous journey.

Lee Gwak didn’t know if the path he had taken was right, as he had no master to teach him.

But now he had Gwang Noh Ya as a clear guide.

Like a great star shining alone in the night sky, Gwang Noh ya showed Lee Gwak the definite path.

All Lee Gwak had to do was move even a step closer to the giant star that was Gwang Noh ya.

“Master!”