The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 9 Chapter 8
Chapter 8 : Korean University
Hye Yeon went into the Kumdo dojang.
Inside the dojang, there were hundreds of trainees swinging swords. Men who seriously focused on swinging wooden swords while proudly wearing the dojang uniform.
She came during afternoon, while it was sword skill training time.
Usually, they would show a casual side of themselves, but when holding a wooden sword, they would become as serious as if they had met a life threatening enemy. They were people who dedicated their lives to the sword.
Choe Jongbeom who was teaching trainees saw Hye Yeon and approached.
"Come on in. But your brother already left, after finishing his morning training."
"I'm not here to meet my brother."
"I have something to discuss."
"Really? I'll listen. Wait in the lounge. I'll go as soon as their training ends."
Hye Yeon headed to the lounge where guests could wait. Immediately after, Jeong Ilhun, who only has his strength to trust, dropped his wooden sword.
"I don't feel good today so..."
"Can I rest in the lounge for a bit?"
As if he's dizzy, Jeong Ilhun held his forehead.
It had never happened before. Then, other trainees started to speak up.
"Ah, nowadays I feel like crying just from watching a leaf fall."
"Since even a gust of wind can shake this body, the sword cannot find its path. Master, can't we rest for a bit?"
"I think I now understand what the sword is trying to tell me. In order to listen to its story, I want to rest my head inside the lounge for a bit."
"Actually my body's a bit weak..."
Their eyes burned with passion!
The trainees made excuses, wanting to get to the lounge no matter how!
Hye Yeon would be surrounded by 500 males in a moment.
In the end, Choe Jongbeom personally brought Hye Yeon to the instructor's room.
Jeong Illhun prepared tea for her.
In the instructor's room, other than Hye Yeon and Jeong Illhun, three other instructors and 20 trainees have gathered.
Because the trainees liked Hye Yeon like their own little sister, they didn't want to be left out.
Hye Yeon finished the tea.
"The tea's very tasty."
"A former student of mine sent me this. Before that, you had something to say?"
"Could it be about Lee Hyun?"
Jeong Ilhun asked sharply.
Ahn Hyun-do was thinking of taking Lee Hyun in as a disciple.
Then, next after Jeong Ilhun, Lee Hyun would become the youngest disciple.
But, since it would mean they would become like family, he was sensitive towards it.
Hye Yeon nodded.
"It's because of brother's birthday."
"Yes. Brother's birthday is only a month away. I want to hold a birthday party for him."
Hye Yeon was planning her brother's birthday party and came to the dojang to get assistance.
Lee Hyun never cared for his birthday before. With their difficult life, remembering his birthday itself was a luxury. But his sister and grandmother never forgot his birthday and even prepared a small gift.
This time, Hye Yeon wanted to prepare a surprise birthday party for Lee Hyun.
Jeong Ilhun, Choe Jongbeom and Ma Sangbeom's eyes became huge.
"Birthday party? Like the ones on television?"
"Don't you just celebrate your birthday by eating Seeweed soup?"
"After I became eight, I never did anything special on my birthday."
"Birthday is, when the insurance company makes a thank you call...."
Those who dedicated their life to the sword!
They almost never have spent their birthday in a proper manner.
Even Jeong Ilhun, who looks after members as the eldest, was being pessimistic as well.
"Celebrating birthdays doesn't suit us."
Choe Jongbeom agreed.
"True. Rather than a birthday, victory in a sword skill competition is a better reason to celebrate."
Ma Sangbeom nodded.
"Winning a competition is more important than one's birthday. Since you can show off the sword skills you trained by yourself to the whole world."
Everyone spoke their opposition.
Although Hye Yeon, whom they liked like their own sister, was making the request, celebrating an occasion like that didn't fit them.
It was an example as for why they weren't popular with girls.
Like this, it seemed the birthday party plan would end as nothing.
But after Hye Yeon´s next sentence, everything changed.
"I will introduce you to my Unni´s when I get into college."
"A F-Female college student?"
"Yes. I'll introduce pretty Unni´s. How about a blind date?"
"Blind date. The ones you can see in a drama?"
Jeong Ilhun gritted his teeth. Then, he looked around his companions.
Choe Jongbeom firmly nodded his approval.
"Instructors, let's throw a birthday party! Can't we do at least that much for Lee Hyun?"
Lee Indo moved his butt as if he was about to get up in excitement.
"Of course. Since it's his first birthday party, shouldn't we do it properly?"
Enthusiastic agreement from the instructors. And there's nothing to be said about the trainees.
"To think I'd have a blind date with a college student during my life."
"I don't even need for it to go well. If I can just date for a day like others..."
The trainees were struggling with loneliness.
Since they trained in sword fighting, apart from their passion, they lived a life far from women.
Even sharing a word with girls was awkward and uncomfortable.
Rather, fighting yakuza was much more comfortable.
Others may be used to dating a girl and separating, but to them, those were moments that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Hye Yeon promised.
"If you help me with the birthday party, I will set up a group blind date."
Trainees cheered. Then they started to plan for Lee Hyun's birthday party one month later.
Absolutely in their own style!
* * *
"We welcome all newcomers."
In front of the front gate of the Korean University, there were clubs that were trying to have newcomers join them.
With his head lowered, Lee Hyun quietly headed towards the front door.
'No time for things like clubs. The time I use for school life is a waste in itself.'
After going to school, the time he can invest in Royal Road decreases accordingly.
So, even if he's a college student now, he can't do club activities like others.
The job of sculptor showed many good points as time went by, but it needed more time investment.
Lee Hyun was set on never joining a club, even if he goes to a university.
With his heart set, Lee Hyun quickly walked by.
But no one stopped him.
Most newcomers got caught by the seniors, but no one approached Lee Hyun.
'Phew! Thank god.'
Lee Hyun walked towards the main build, where a briefing for newcomers was to be held.
There he overheard a conversation.
"Unni, should we catch that person?"
"Leave him. Can't you tell from his face? He's probably a reject."
* * *
At Korea University a briefing session for newcomers was held to explain the basics before entering the university.
Since it was still two months away most newbies did not attend.
But Lee Hyun took his time to come here.
'I need to tell Hye Yeon about this.'
Like parents worrying about their child's education, it was purely for his sister.
The briefing took place in something like an auditorium.
A bit countryish style man seated himself next to Lee Hyun.
He talked to him first.
"Nice to meet you. Are you a newcomer?"
Lee Hyun nodded and turned to face him.
"Korea University is so nice. I came from the countryside to visit the school. I'm Bak SoonJo from virtual reality major."
"Is that so. My name is Lee Hyun. I choose virtual reality major as well. Since we're in same major, let's speak casually to each other."
"Is that ok? You seem older than me."
Bak SoonJo carefully asked Lee Hyun.
Lee Hyun shook his head.
"No way. I'm 20 too."
"Your face doesn't look like...."
Lee Hyun cleared his throat to show that he was uncomfortable.
Thanks to it, he could move on without much trouble.
"Yes, well. Lee Hyun! Let's get along."
Bak SoonJo lightly beat Lee Hyun's shoulder as he said that.
Almost at the same time, people started approaching Bak SoonJo and Lee Hyun.
"I'm also virtual reality major. My name is Lee Yu Jeong. Nice to meet you."
"Me too. I'm Min Sura."
"I'm Choi Sang Jun. Nice to meet you."
Lee Hyun and Bak SoonJo shared light greetings with friends of the same major.
Afterwards they listened to the briefing together.
On the first day, after attending the briefing session, they formed a "family".
During the briefing's break time, there was a hot debate among the friends.
"The virtual reality motion system used in Royal Road allows different level of physical movement depending on the user's level."
"Not only the basic five senses, but to be able to use potential above it. It must've used studies on brains as research basis."
"To save such an enormous amount of data..."
Lee Hyun didn't get involved in their conversation.
'It's a simple problem if you look at it.'
Before he started Royal Road, he read various research papers about virtual reality.
There were many words he didn't know, but he memorized everything in its entirety.
As such, Lee Hyun's knowledge about virtual reality was over normal students.
When Royal Road was first made consideration for safety was very high.
Lee Hyun was very considerate on this point as well.
It's fine for something to go wrong with him, but his family would have a hard time.
Therefore, he studied about virtual reality.
"But Sura, what job do you have?"
"Me? I'm enchanter. I am in charge of wind and electricity."
"Whoa! That's a rare job."
Enchanter is a job that gives strength to an object or a lifeform.
It's basic is similar to a priest's blessing magic, but it's better in a sense because the given strength doesn't disappear afterwards.
Mostly, it was job that takes necklaces, earrings, rings, etc and uses magic on them.
Even if it's hard to raise the level in the beginning, it's a job that brings in lots of money when successful.
"What about you?"
"I'm just a normal warrior. Level is 216."
"That's not normal at all. The level's really high. I'm still only 140."
"It can't be helped since enchanter isn't really a job for battling . But let's go hunting together later on."
After the girls revealed their level and jobs, boys started to reveal theirs as well.
Choi Sang Joon spoke first.
"I'm a warrior too. Thanks to hunting with a guild, I'm 278."
"Wow! The most famous guild in Thor Kingdom!"
Lee Yu Jeong didn't hide her surprise.
It was very difficult to join a huge famous guild.
Your activities are limited while in a guild, but everyone still wanted to join a good guild.
It's because of the benefits. Such as entering a guild war to take over a castle or hunting ground and the chance to borrow items easily.
Especially being able to borrow good items was a great advantage.
Not only that, if their activity is beneficial, they can receive some gold for monthly payment.
But even if there weren't such benefits, famous guilds had their own pride.
When going to a field, city, or a castle, everyone will recognize their guild mark.
They get respected and commented by people and they can even get good amounts of giveaway items.
Sometimes, even if someone does a great thing, they may not even get a comment.
Versailles continent is a world where strength rules and the famous guilds were the source of it´s strength.
"It's nothing. My brother is Black Lion guild's founding member. He was one of the first 30 members, so I could join."
"Then your brother's level must be insane."
Lee Yu Jeong looked at him as if she was jealous of him.
Choi Sang Joon nodded.
"He doesn't tell me his level, but he should be at least over 340. I was able to raise my level easily following my brother around."
While girls were jealous of him, Lee Hyun thought otherwise.
'He trained his character like all the others. It'll only get harder once he gets further along.'
In Royal Road the skill level was very important.
If he just gathers up exp fast and levels up, he'll only go through hardships later.
Especially if he raised his level tagging behind someone else, then he'll be barely able to do his share of work if a really dangerous hunt began.
Min Sura and Lee Yu Jeong approached Lee Hyun and Bak SoonJo who hadn't revealed their job yet.
"Soon-jo what's your job?"
When Min Sura asked blinking her eyes, Bak SoonJo answered, scratching his head.
"Me? Level 342 and the job is thief."
The level of Bak SoonJo who had a naive appearance caused great ripples.
Royal Road couldn't be understood from it´s cover.
It depends on how many monsters you´ve slayed and how much time one spends in a dungeon.
Although Bak SoonJo looked like the quiet type, because he had competitive nature, he caught monsters while almost living in a dungeon.
Lastly, Min Sura looked at Lee Hyun.
"Lee Hyun, what's your job and level?"
He didn't really want to hide it.
But he didn't want to show off either.
To those who who simply enjoy virtual reality, level may be something to show off, but to dark gamers, it was just exposing their cardsl.
'They wouldn't ask in detail anyway.'
Looking at the experience until now, they probably wouldn't.
Expecting what would happen, Lee Hyun slowly opened his mouth.
"My job is sculptor."
It was only a split of a second for people's eyes to be full of pity.
Choi SangJoon beat Lee Hyun's shoulder in encouragement.
"Try hard. I heard people choose sculptor a lot nowadays."
Chatting from time to time like this, they listened to the briefing.
Lee Hyun wrote down important details in a notebook he prepared separately.
They were mostly subjects that would be helpful to study before school life, information about study abroad and financial aid.
He parted with studying after dropping out of high school.
Although he passed the GED test, it's impossible to get financial aid in the middle of university life.
Still, he wrote them down just in case.
When the briefing session ended, the friends stood up.
* * *
"Ah, it's over. I'm hungry."
"Let's go eat something."
"Yeah. Let's eat at the school cafeteria."
Lee Hyun followed his friends.
'It wouldn't be so bad to experience what the school cafeteria is like.'
The cafeteria was within the campus.
Korean and Western style food came out depending on the days of the week.
Girls chose Korean and boys chose Western style.
In case of Korean style, there was rice, soup, and about five types of Banchan.
In case of Western style, there was fried pork or fish with salad and noodle.
Min Sura smiled after trying rice and Banchan.
Choi SangJoon and Bak SoonJo sliced fried pork and put it in their mouth to savor the taste.
"School lunch isn't bad at all."
"It'll be fun to go to school."
When everyone was enjoying it, Lee Hyun alone ate with his expression wrinkled.
'Food materials are terrible.'
It may be obvious, but the fried pork wasn't made there.
Additionally, because it's been long since it has been cooked, the freshness was very low.
'If it'll be like this, it's better to bring lunch.'
The price was 2500 won, it wasn't very cheap. [$2.5]
It'll be much healthier to make lunch with freshly bought ingredients from the street market and bring it with you.
Lee Hyun finished lunch thinking of packing the best lunch.
At that moment, bulky men gathered in the student cafeteria.
They were martial art major students.
The man with great built and sweat came to eat and found Lee Hyun.
Then they bowed.
"We greet hyung-nim!"
When a student in the front bowed, other tens of students bowed as well.
"We greet hyung-nim!"
Lee Hyung sat still with an expressionless face.
He turned his face the other way as well.
He was using ignoring-by-doing-other-stuff skill learned from Seoyoon.
But the martial art major students did not leave and stayed bowed.
Friends next to him were surprised and sat with their mouth dropped open.
A fly could've flew into Choi SangJoon's mouth.
Since martial art major students with healthy body build bowed, they could do nothing else but become confused and surprised.
And although it seemed like Lee Hyun didn't like it, he was taking their bow very naturally.
The four people there were so surprised, they took turns to look at Lee Hyun and then at the martial art students.
Lee Hyun responded to the bow as he sighed.
Lee Hyun and his friends relationship changed. Since an upperclassman bowed to him, he had to be the same age or older. Not 20 like he had claimed.
Finally the martial art students walked away from Lee Hyun.
"SangChual Hyung, who is he? Just who was he, for you to bow like that?"
Truthfully, most of the students bowed without knowing why. Since their senior Han SangChual suddenly bowed, they bowed along with him.
Han SangChual had sweat running down his forehead.
"I told you before."
"I told you which dojang I go to right?"
"Yes. Don't you go to that one?"
The one they were talking about was the dojang where Ahn Hyun Do was working as the master.
The famous dojang that produced world swordfight competition winners.
It was a place where monsters that had nothing to be afraid of with a sword gathered. Not counting the official trainees, just the beginner trainees numbered over 5000.
Han SangChual was one of the beginner trainees.
"He is the place's trainee, no, he´s master's official best disciple."
"Gasp! The best disciple?"
"Probably. Almost sure. Mostly the instructors teach him, but sometimes he fights against the master, so it should be."
"But he looks younger or similar to our age, there shouldn't be any need to be as formal as you were, is there?"
The students tilted their heads.
Those who train the martial art have a very strong sense of pride.
Even if someone was higher in status in a dojang, there was no need to bow one's head to him.
Han SangChual shook as if he felt a sudden chill.
"You should've seen it. You think I treated him like this from the beginning? In the beginning I didn't admit his strength. Just one year. It felt very unfair for a person who only learned sword for a year to become master's best disciple. Even I, who went to Kumdo dojang for over 3 years, couldn't become an official trainee. I thought he was an arrogant bastard."
"Then shouldn't you have beat him up to put some sense into him?"
"I was going to! Seeing how a newcomer was pushing aside all original trainees. But I saw him fighting with a wooden sword."
"Just what was it like...."
"He fought, fought, and fought. Even in front of the wooden sword that could easily break his bones, he showed no fear. And the sword he swung had life stored inside."
"Is it that great? Isn't it normal to not be afraid of a sword when swinging and to bet one's life on it?"
"It's great. It's very great. I realized then. Although physical strength could be build up by training, mental strength you have to be born with. Truthfully, just how many would really fight with their life on the line in a world like this?"
"A person who can throw one's life away for a belief. A mentally strong person. Leaving physical conditions behind, I then realized that his heart was the strongest in the world. After that, my sword skill became much stronger."
Han SangChual's freshman finally understood.
A sword swung with sincerity.
If it was a person who could swing such a sword, leaving the time spent for learning aside, they could bow to him.
'A ridiculously strong minded person.'
'Memorize the face and never touch him.'
Han SangChual told the freshman to pledge to him.
"There has been word from the dojang's Sahyung. From now on, if you meet him, bow to him. If you don't, I'll be killed."