Chapter 10. Vanished Cho Ryu Hyang.
Following Jo Gi Chun to meet his disciple.
Um Seung Do’s face at the moment was very ugly.
He wasn’t able to come up with a reason to decline Jo Gi Chun’s request.
Of course, that was one of the reasons that annoyed him, but there was still an even bigger reason that made him angry.
He was unable to predict something like this, even though he was a person who handled information in the first place. This fact bothered him very much. He sought perfection in his work, and found satisfaction from it.
Eventually, he couldn’t hold it back, and asked.
“When did you take in your disciple?”
This was actually a very shameful question, at least for him.
That was because he usually knew the answer to his questions before he even asked them. Jo Gi Chun, unaware of the man’s complicated feelings, answered immediately.
“About four days.”
Um Seung Do’s face brightened a little when he heard Jo Gi Chun’s answer.
Four days was a little tight for information to arrive properly, wasn’t it?
This wasn’t an extremely urgent mission, either, so there was a possibility of a 4 day gap of information happening.
‘But it is a problem we’ll have to address properly.’
Um Seung Do arrived where Cho Ryu Hyang stayed, as he was thinking that.
The moment Jo Gi Chun and Um Seung Do arrived in front of the place.
Um Seung Do put his hand on his sword hilt immediately.
At the same time, a strange humming noise ringed in his ears.
He reflexively jumped backwards, and looked at his surroundings.
Um Seung Do narrowed his eyes, and tried to find something. His face soon crumbled in irritation.
‘A mistake? No way.’
Um Seung Do’s face wrinkled even more.
He was an extremely strong expert.
While he didn’t reach the harmonious state yet, his senses were far above those of normal people.
With these senses, he felt something.
A very ominous energy.
‘What was that?’
He kept himself alert, but there wasn’t anything particularly strange in the surroundings.
But the strange feeling was still in his mind, and it annoyed him.
Jo Gi Chun, who was staring at the man as if he was observing an insane person, spoke up.
The man wouldn’t know even if he said anything.
Um Seung Do kept observing his surroundings. Making an irritated face, he fiddled with his sword hilt.
Something mysterious was provoking his senses, but he didn’t know where, or what it was. This made him feel very uncomfortable. Jo Gi Chun looked at him strangely for a while, then turned around, and spoke up.
“I came here to meet Cho Ryu Hyang. Can you bring him out?”
The old manservant in front of him, who looked very troubled at the moment, looked at Jo Gi Chun and spoke.
“The yo, young master isn’t here right now.”
Jo Gi Chun made a puzzled face.
Wasn’t the boy supposed to be sick?
Then why was he not in his living quarters?
After analyzing the old servant’s face for a little, he opened his mouth with a serious voice.
“Is there something going on?”
The servant opened his mouth anxiously when Jo Gi Chun asked him.
“Tha, that is…….”
Grandpa Jang’s face twisted a little bit, and he closed his mouth.
Jo Gi Chun, noticing that something was wrong, immediately asked him.
“This is an important matter. If he’s not here, can you at least tell me where he is?”
“Well, I thought the young master was in the back yard…… He suddenly disappeared, so I was trying to find him.”
Jo Gi Chun tilted his head in curiosity.
In normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have thought much about it, but wasn’t this boy sick? Where was he going with a body like that?
Um Seung Do, who was thinking by himself till now, stepped up and asked Grandpa Jang something.
“Old man, is there something behind the house?”
Grandpa Jang, pressured by the young man’s aura, opened his mouth with a weak voice.
“…….Th, there’s nothing special at the back. Just a back yard is all.”
“Yard? May I have a look at it?”
“Yes, of course. Please follow me.”
When they followed the small path at the side, they reached a small yard with a big tree.
“The young master was here just now…… When I prepared his meal and came to look for him, he just wasn’t there.”
Jo Gi Chun took a look at Um Seung Do.
The man was observing the yard from a while back. Soon, he found a rope tied to the tree, and asked something.
“Was that always there?”
“No. I think the young master put it there, but I don’t know what it’s for.”
Um Seung Do started pondering a bit when he saw the rope.
When Um Seung Do came to the yard, he became certain.
It was here.
The thing that kept provoking his senses.
When he came here, his muscles tensed, and his neck grew stiff.
And that feeling just became a lot stronger.
This was much too clear to be false.
‘What’s this? Why am I feeling something so ominous here?’
Um Seung Do looked around with a frown, but there weren’t anything significant around. But his senses kept warning him of something.
This place is dangerous.
So don’t carelessly move around.
His senses were telling him this repeatedly.
Um Seung Do trusted his senses.
Thanks to his senses, he was able to survive multiple times, after all.
And in front of him, there was some kind of invisible danger.
Because he didn’t know what the danger was just yet, approaching it any more would be foolish.
When he made this conclusion, Jo Gi Chun was, at the moment, also searching for something with a troubled face.
‘Could it be?’
It shouldn’t be possible.
But the signs on the floor soon turned his assumption to absolute certainty.
After looking at the signs on the floor multiple times, Jo Gi Chun’s face became filled with concern. Without realizing it, he started to hum in worry.
It was certain.
This was a formation.
A formation that he gave to Cho Ryu Hyang as homework.
‘Eight Gates Restraining Formation (八門禁鎖陳).’
The question is, why is it here?
He could technically say that the boy just drew it there on a whim.
But that would be impossible.
Activating a formation was actually quite tricky, since there were a lot of requirements that had to be met.
And even if you meet all the requirements, the formation would not activate. That is because the formation would need a core.
‘Then how’d he activate it?’
Jo Gi Chun became confused here.
If you want to activate a good formation, typically you’d need a giant diamond as its core.
If you wanted to keep the formation active for long, you’d need to have a diamond that matched the element of the formation in large amounts.
Only the imperial palace was able to maintain a good, large formation, since the cost of it would be beyond measure.
“Don’t move. There’s something in front of us.”
Jo Gi Chun’s eyes revealed a surprised expression.
He thought that Um Seung Do was a typical martial artist, but it seemed that the man was more outstanding than he realized.
Formations usually twist the energy of nature by a miniscule amount to create an artificial dimension. But since the dimension is completely isolated from the world, it would be extremely difficult to feel anything.
‘He was able to detect that miniscule change?’
That meant that the man was an expert among experts.
“You can feel the energy of the formation?”
“Formation? Aha! So this is a formation?”
Um Seung Do’s eyes reflected wonder.
Everything became clearer to him now.
This strange feeling and the ominous aura.
This is what he feels when he approaches a formation.
“Do you know what happened?”
Jo Gi Chun, hearing Um Seung Do’s question, stroked his beard and fell to deep thought. It was hard to believe, but the one who created this formation was probably Cho Ryu Hyang.
‘So the person trapped inside would be him.’
Jo Gi Chun’s face stiffened.
The Eight Gates Restraining formation was a formation that activated when ‘something alive’ was inside.
That was the requirement.
Jo Gi Chun walked forward.
“Will you be alright?”
The formation exuded a magnificent aura.
And seeing that the air was moving about strangely, there should be something happening inside. Because of that, Um Seung Do had a worried expression on his face. He then thought of something, and nodded.
The man is an expert.
Worrying about him would simply mean that Um Seung Do didn’t trust Jo Gi Chun’s skills.
“I’ll wait here.”
Jo Gi Chun walked forward.
Um Seung Do was watching Jo Gi Chun from the back with bright eyes.
‘This is good.’
He would be able to witness Jo Gi Chun’s power with his own eyes. Although Jo Gi Chun was pushed off by Ju Ho Yu, his skills were still rumored to be unmatched.
‘Would those rumors actually be true?’
Um Seung Do sat down on the ground, and looked forward.
And he just watched.
He just watched Jo Gi Chun disappear into thin air……
* * *
Cho Ryu Hyang, who was trapped in the formation, sat down.
He tried to make a sense of what just happened, while scratching his head.
‘How did this…’
The formation activating was a good thing.
No, it wasn’t a good thing, it was a very satisfactory result.
That was because this whole thing meant quite a bit to Cho Ryu Hyang.
That was because all the information he’d been absorbing till now finally saw practical use.
But he got too excited.
Cho Ryu Hyang, after coming up with multiple excuses as to why he ended up here, sighed.
What kind of an idiot trapped himself in the formation he made?
That idiot was here.
‘I’m an idiot!’
Cho Ryu Hyang stopped himself from saying it out loud, and made a depressed face. When he was putting down the last stone, he realized where he was, but it was too late by then. He wanted to cry.
The bigger problem wasn’t this.
Although he knew how to activate a formation perfectly well, he still didn’t know how to destroy it. This was bothering him very much.
‘I don’t even have time to regret.’
It was troublesome.
Then someone’s voice rang inside his head.
[Well, you’re in quite the situation.]
When the voice rang in his head, Cho Ryu Hyang looked around.
Then he thought of something, and closed his eyes.
‘Elder, is it you?’
[Yes, it’s me.]
What’s going on?
How could he hear the old man even if his eyes weren’t closed?
When Cho Ryu Hyang made a confused face, the old man talked.
[There’s nothing to be confused about. This just means that your power just rose. Anyways, I’ve been enjoying your little spectacle here. Quite an interesting approach. Idiotic, too.]
Cho Ryu Hyang scratched his cheeks with an awkward expression.
He didn’t think the old man would observe his actions.
While he was trying to see if he did anything weird before, the old man talked.
[Well, that’s that. So, how are you going to get out of here?]
Cho Ryu Hyang came back to his senses.
It wasn’t time to chat idly with the old man.
But he became a little relieved. Was there not the best formations expert under the heavens, Zhuge Liang, in his head? It didn’t matter if the old man was Zhuge Liang or not, this formation should still be easy for him.
‘Please help me, elder.’
Unexpectedly, he got a cold response.
Cho Ryu Hyang couldn’t hide his confusion when he heard the old man’s response. The old man smiled at him.
[I can’t just help you like that. You did this, so fix it yourself.]
Cho Ryu Hyang asked for help with a distressing voice, but the old man didn’t reply.
He was actually enjoying the current situation.
It was very interesting.
He wanted to watch for a little longer.
‘The boy managed to open the Mystical Door (奇門) without being taught anything? A 11 year old at that?’
If the old man didn’t see it with his eyes, he would’ve found all this hard to believe.
The Mystical Door was something extremely complex, and ever-changing. It required an immense amount of calculation to open.
It was arguably the hardest field in the subject of mathematics. But the boy managed to solve it on his own. He knew the boy had talent, but this was just outrageous. That’s why Cho Ryu Hyang’s existence became a relatively fresh experience to the old man.
‘Just how far will you go?’
It was the same in the past, but activating formations really does have lots of requirements.
The person has to find out the variable’s value, based on the ever-changing surroundings, and must put in the answer at the perfect time. Only then will the variable become the core of the formation, and be able to create a dimension of its own.
The old man stroked his beard a bit, and laughed.
To be able to understand that at that age, the boy’s surely going to become a monster in the future.
He wanted to see it.
How far the boy would go.
He wanted to see where the boy would stop.
‘Well, right now, seeing if the boy would get out of this or not would be more important.’
The old man carefully observed Cho Ryu Hyang’s every movement.
The surroundings suddenly started to change.
Unlike Cho Ryu Hyang, whose face was turning pale, the old man was feeling quite comfortable at the moment. He knew very well what kind of formation it was. He knew about every nook and cranny. And of course, he knew how to destroy it.
‘Well, I made it, so it’s obvious.’
The old man faintly smiled.
He wanted to see how the boy would destroy the formation that he made a long time ago. The old man was feeling quite joyous as he watched the boy with a hushed breath.