After the second year, most of the cadets had now had taken the fourth test. Among the 120 cadets that passed the third test, only 71 cadets passed the fourth test and the others were expelled after failing the test. A total of 19 members from Yeowun’s crew were expelled. They were sad that they couldn’t follow Master’s orders and promised to grow in power for the future. But it was still a great feat that 34 members of the crew had become masters. The one who had grown the most was Hu Bong. In two years, he was now an established master-level warrior.
‘Master is still not satisfied with his progress yet?’
‘I hope he comes out soon.’
Yeowun still hadn’t come out yet, as well as all the others who had entered the closed room, but it seemed like it was longer since Yeowun had entered earlier than any other cadet. And with 80% of the cadets all entering the closed room, the academy was now very quiet. Therefore, the Six Sword duel for the second year was skipped since most of the members were missing.
And on the third day, it was back to fall. There had been a lot of incidents during the third year. All cadets who entered the closed room had gotten out of it, but among the 70 cadets who had gone through closed room training, only 40% of them entered the grandmaster level. In the second and fourth month, Chun Muyeon left the closed room and passed the fifth test on the same day. This showed that he was an established grandmaster level warrior. And during the second and sixth month, Chun Kungwun, Sama Chak, Guk Shin, Mun Ku, Ko Wanghur, and Bakgi all passed the fifth test. Seven more cadets also tried, but failed. What was surprising was that Chun Mukeum was one of those who failed the test.
Among those failed cadets, three of them were killed in the process. Therefore, the other cadets were hesitant on challenging the test. During the third year, the duel for the Six Swords was held again. Unlike before, the cadets had become much stronger for the challenge.
First Sword. Ko Wanghur.
Second Sword. Mun Ku.
Third Sword. Bakgi.
Fourth Sword. Hou Sangwha.
Fifth Sword. Wu Sojung.
Sixth Sword. Ja Wumin.
As shown in the results, Ko Wanghur had become really powerful after the closed room training. His fist skill increased his physical strength as he trained, so he had gotten so powerful that no one could damage his body. Wu Sojung tried hard to defeat at least Hou Sanghwa, but she had grown much larger and she threw Wu Sojung of with one swing of her axe.
And then two more months passed. It was now the harsh, cold winter. Snow fell on a weekly basis and on the mountain at the back of the dormitory, thirteen cadets had gathered together. They were all Yeowun’s members. Three years were enough for these young teenage cadets to have matured. They always gathered here to train together. Ko Wanghur had grown a long beard, and that made him look much older than his peers.
“Huh? Aren’t we all here yet?”
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Ko Wanghur became confused as he couldn’t find everyone. Ja Wumin answered him.
“I think they went there again.”
Bakgi sighed at Ja Wumin’s words and shook his head. The two cadets who weren’t here were Mun Ku and Hu Bong. After three years passed, the two of them often visited the closed room building, hoping their master would come out soon.
“At least they aren’t alone,” Hou Sangwha commented.
But Ko Wanghur shook his head.
“Two is not enough.”
“Mun Ku isn’t someone we shouldn’t be worried about,” Bakgi answered and the other cadets nodded. Mun Ku, who had passed the fifth test, was now within the top 100 warriors out of the entire Demonic Cult. There was no need to worry about such an experienced warrior.
“…Yes, but the competition to the throne is much more fierce. Didn’t Chun Kungwun make an offer to you at the cafeteria the other day, Bakgi?”
This was what Ko Wanghur was worried about. With the academy entering the fourth year, the candidates were now pushing to increase their influence and power. Chun Muyeon, who didn’t do much until he had passed the fifth test, was now aggressively recruiting cadets. And the problem was that they were also approaching Yeowun’s crew.
“Do you think I will go to the other princes?”
“No, I’m just worried because we don’t know what they might try to do.”
Chun Yeowun had been missing for three years, so it was natural for the others to take advantage. After all, they were warriors without a master. Ja Wumin also agreed.
“Ko Wanghur is right. Chun Kungwun is no different than Chun Yuchan. We have to be careful.”
“…That’s why we stick together like this.”
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This was why they always stayed together unless they trained at the private training rooms, but it was becoming more serious. Ko Wanghur then became worried and said, “We should go get them.”
They then moved out to go pick the two of them up.
At the northwestern corner, in front of the closed training room, over twenty cadets had circled around two cadets threateningly. The two cadets were Mun Ku and Hu Bong. Ko Wanghur’s worry had come true. It was Chun Kungwun who had brought these twenty cadets. Mun Ku glanced around at the cadets with their weapons. They were ready.
“I will say this for the last time. I am not here to hurt you, so why don’t you consider my offer very carefully? Mun Ku?” Kungwun asked.
Hu Bong shouted back, “You bring weapons and circle around us. Then you say you are not here to hurt us?!”
“I’m not talking to you. Shut up.”
Chun Kungwun was not interested in Hu Bong. He wanted Mun Ku who was a member from the Black Dragon Clan, which was as large and almost as powerful as the six clans. Kungwun had approached Mun Ku multiple times already.
“Didn’t I refuse many times already?”
Mun Ku refused again. Kungwun already knew that Mun Ku, as always, would refuse this time around too.
“Then there is no other way. I will do it my way.”
“…What are you talking about?”
“I just think it’s necessary to educate my future pawn.”
Chun Kungwun did not hesitate to use force. After all, they were in the Demonic Cult where power trumped everything. Kungwun pulled out his sword.
“Let’s do this. You duel me, and if you lose, you become my servant.”
“This is outrageous.”
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“If you win, I will let you go.”
Chun Kungwun was already ready to strike. Mun Ku narrowed her eyes. There were too many experienced warriors surrounding them, giving her no choice to run away. She also took steps to ready herself.
“This is going too far, even for a prince!” Hu Bong shouted and raised his sword. He couldn’t take this rude approach.
“I warned you not to interfere.”
Kungwun then signaled his men, and three cadets attacked Hu Bong.
Hu Bong bit his lips and tried to fight back with the Sword of Illusion. It was then, when the three cadets stopped in place. They were stuck as if the time around them had stopped.
“W-what is this?!”
“I can’t move!!”
They couldn’t move, even when they brought up their energy. A tremendous invisible force was pushing them down.
“What is going on?!”
Chun Kungwun shouted in anger. Before the three cadets could speak, they were thrown into the air toward the back.
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The three of them rolled on the ground as they were thrown away like trash. And these cadets felt the giant power from behind them. That’s when Hu Bong and Mun Ku shouted in unison at the man in the back.