Chapter 9. Inviting Jo Gi Chun
After his lecture ended, Jo Gi Chun called out Peng Ga Ho to talk to him.
Peng Ga Ho wasn’t very fond of talking to the teacher, thanks to a certain event, but once he learned that the teacher wanted to talk about Cho Ryu Hyang, his expression quickly changed.
“You say he is resting because he’s unwell?”
“Yes, didn’t he send a message?”
He did indeed receive a message.
But that was over 5 days ago.
Was Cho Ryu Hyang too sick to come out to the lecture for 5 days?
“Did you go visit him?”
“Yea. I peeked inside, and his face was no joke. He was really pale and worn. Didn’t look like he slept for a few days.”
Peng Ga Ho barely stopped himself from saying “He looked a little insane”.
Jo Gi Chun thought a little when Peng Ga Ho answered him.
But he didn’t realize that Cho Ryu Hyang was unable to sleep because of the homework he had given him.
‘I should go visit him.’
This was his first disciple.
He got worried when this disciple got sick. Jo Gi Chun was surprised at himself, for actually getting worried over someone else. He never got really worried for someone, after all.
“Why are you trying to find that boy?”
When Peng Ga Ho cautiously asked him this question, Jo Gi Chun answered with a casual voice.
“I was talking about mathematics with the boy.”
Math? Again? Peng Ga Ho complained in his mind about how incomprehensible these fellows were. But on the outside, he had an extremely polite expression on his face.
“May I leave now?”
“Yes. You’ve done well.”
When Peng Ga Ho quietly exited, Jo Gi Chun revealed an anxious face. He wanted to visit the child immediately, but he couldn’t just go as he pleased, as it would attract unwanted attention. No one knew that he took on a disciple, after all.
And he didn’t have any intention of revealing this to the public, either. Looking at Peng Ga Ho’s actions from earlier, it seemed that Cho Ryu Hyang, too, was kept this fact a secret.
‘This is for the best.’
Jo Gi Chun had a glimpse of a smile on his face. The fact that Cho Ryu Hyang would work with mathematics as a profession in the future already brought satisfaction to him. But if that information was sent to the public, it would be troublesome. It would bring some obstacles to Cho Ryu Hyang in life.
Right now, the view on math wasn’t very positive.
A useless subject.
Something that only merchants learnt.
That was how mathematics was viewed to the world.
(TL: According to confucianism (which a lot of Asians followed) merchants were viewed as the lowest class in society, even lower than artists and craftsmen.)
Jo Gi Chun kept studying math only because he enjoyed the art. He didn’t care one bit about what others said about him. But Cho Ryu Hyang was different.
‘You can’t predict anything about the future…….’
Cho Ryu Hyang.
His disciple was still young.
Because of that, his mind might change any moment.
Right now, his clan dealt with government matters, so the child was naturally interested in math. But this interest could be snuffed out at any given moment.
And since he had a good head on his shoulders, he could either advance as a high ranking government official, or advance in the world of martial arts by practicing it. The paths the boy could take right now were endless. So even though the boy was studying under Jo Gi Chun right now, there was no need to tell anyone about it. It would only serve to become shackles for the boy.
If you think about the boy’s young age, it wasn’t right to try to decide the boy’s future on his own. After sorting out his complicated feelings, he walked slowly to his house. He was going to leave his baggage there, and was going to think of a way to approach his disciple quietly.
Although Jo Gi Chun didn’t realize it, there was someone who was watching him from far away from a while back. No, to be specific, the man was watching Jo Gi Chun from afar for the whole day.
‘He’s finally alone. But……’
The man in red had a troubled look on his face.
This mission was on a different scale from all the other jobs he received before.
(TL: Man in red appears in Chapter 3)
First of all, the man he was about to approach was not a martial artist. He was an old man who was devoted to a field that wasn’t even recognized by the world. And instead of killing the man, he had to take the old man safely to the base. This was what troubled him.
The only missions he did so far was abduction, murder, and arson. He wasn’t used to such “peaceful” missions.
‘I don’t really want to do this, but whatever.’
This was an order from his master.
Orders were absolute.
He had to accomplish it by any means.
The man clicked his tongue.
He knew that he just missed his chance the approach the target properly.
The old man was about to leave the house after leaving his baggage.
‘If I let this go, I wouldn’t know how long I’d have to wait to find the right chance again.’
The man in red, after thinking a bit, revealed his body from the shadows.
The man stood in front of the door, blocking it.
Jo Gi Chun’s eyes held a tinge of surprise in it.
“You are Jo Gi Chun, yes?”
“…….Who are you?”
“This one’s from the Heavenly Demon Church. I came here to meet you because of a secret mission.”
Jo Gi Chun became surprised for a moment, but he immediately calmed himself down. Then he started to observe the young man in front of him,
The man’s probably a martial artist.
Jo gi Chun would’ve probably died already if the man wanted to kill him.
But seeing that the man was being polite to him, he probably had something else in mind.
‘The Heavenly Demon Church?’
Even though JO Gi Chun was unfamiliar with the Martial world, but he have heard of the Heavenly Demon Church countless times.
“The Demon Church…….”
Since he only heard bad things about the organization, he began looking at the man with a cautious gaze. As if the man read Jo Gi Chun’s thoughts, the man’s face became troubled.
“It seems you already know about us.”
“A little……. I’ve heard rumors about it.”
The man in red.
The leader of the Hidden Demon Corps (秘魔隊), Um Seung Do (嚴繩盜) swore in his mind. It would’ve been better if the man didn’t know about it. Since first impressions were actually very powerful, it would surely work against for Um Seung Do.
“Rumors in the martial world tends to get out of control easily. In a bad way at that……. We are not the evil organization that you think we might be.”
“…….That’s that, but what do you want with me, to appear just like that?”
The old man’s cautious gaze did not change, as he tried to change the subject. Um Seung Do gave up on changing the old man’s mind about how he viewed the church. Even if he tried to explain, the old man probably wouldn’t believe him, and he didn’t have time to explain, anyways. He was really tight on time.
“There is a matter that we need help with. Only you can help us in this matter.”
“…….This old man’s only good at mathematics…….”
Um Seung Do smiled in his mind.
The old man, as expected, knew next to nothing about the Heavenly Demon Church.
The Heavenly Demon Church isn’t a simple martial arts organization. They were a gigantic group, that was more careful and subtle than any other groups in the world. They made no mistakes in their work.
The same could be said with this mission.
Um Seung Do probably knew more about the old man than the old man did himself.
“We know that you are extremely skilled in formations, professor.”
Although Jo Gi Chun didn’t show it, he was extremely surprised.
He worked with formations in the imperial palace. It was done with absolute secrecy, too. He didn’t think anyone would know about it…… How could he not be surprised, when a man he saw for the first time in his life revealed his secret just like that?
“You’ve done your share of research, it seems.”
“This is basic.”
Looking at the smiling man in front of him, Jo Gi Chun felt that this man was not that simple.
It wasn’t possible to try to hide anything from someone like this. Thankfully, the man didn’t look like he came to harm him, so Jo Gi Chun decided to hear him out for the moment.
“I didn’t know a visitor would come, so please understand if the presentation is a bit subpar.”
After sitting in the seat offered to him, Um Seung Do looked around the room a little.
As expected, this man was very frugal. There weren’t any decor in the room, only a bed, desk, and some chairs.
‘Based on his personality, trying to slowly persuade him would just be a waste of time.’
After pouring cold tea from the teapot to his cup, Jo Gi Chun spoke up.
His question was rather straightforward.
“Is the request related to formations?”
“Yes. We’ve found the most complicated formation under the heavens, and need the best of the best to decrypt it.”
Jo Gi Chun thought a bit. This was a very troublesome request.
He never really liked getting involved with the martial world from the start, but this event gave out an ominous feeling, at that.
An ominous feeling.
The words from the man in front gave Jo Gi Chun plenty of it.
Did the man sense his hesitation?
The man opened his mouth again.
“The payment will be bigger than you would imagine.”
“I’m not worried about the payment.”
“Is there something else you want?”
To be truthful, Jo Gi Chun was equally interested in formations as much as he was interested in mathematics.
The most complicated formation under the heavens?
He wanted to see it for himself.
“…….Aren’t there more talented people than I when it comes to formations?”
Um Seung Do shook his head.
He then spoke with an adamant face.
“No. That’s because we need someone talented in mathematics and formations both.”
Jo Gi Chun thought for a little bit, thought of someone, and opened his mouth.
“I know another person that will suit this job more. How about taking him instead?”
Um Seung Do already knew about who this man was.
“Is it perhaps Ju Ho Yu from the imperial palace?”
“…….You already knew this much?”
“Contacting him was impossible, which is why we came to you.”
Ju Ho Yu.
He was a person who pushed down Jo Gi Chun with skill. He could be considered the very best in mathematics in the world. He was a strange person who pursued mathematics, even though he was born in a rich family, with a clever head.
Jo Gi Chun put on a troubled face while Um Seung Do was thinking about Ju Ho Yu. He didn’t realize the man would even know about Ju Ho Yu.
“I’m sorry, but I do not think I can perform what you are asking me to do.”
Um Seung Do glared at the old scholar.
Was it because he was a scholar?
It seems the old man didn’t know how scary he could be.
Should he educate the old man?
‘No, now’s not the time to do this.’
This mission required full cooperation from the subject. The importance of all this was far too great to just use threats or lures.
Using force will only be used when all else fails. After calming himself a bit, Um Seung Do thought of something.
This was strange.
According to his sources, when Jo Gi Chun made his move, there were no real obstacles that prevented him from doing it. He had family, but they lived apart, and he wasn’t a person to be attached to such things. He was a strange person that wanted to be alone.
A person like this, who’s crazy for math and formation, rejecting this sort of a request? There was something else here going on that he didn’t know.
‘What would it be?’
The Heavenly Demon Church’s information network was far bigger than even the martial world realized. They were able to learn about anything they deemed useful in an instant. But Jo Gi Chun didn’t have it. He didn’t have anything that would restrain him from refusing this.
Um Seung Do even thought that Jo Gi Chun would go crazy when he told him about the formation. His calculations were far off. He decided to be a little more honest.
“If there’s anything on your mind, you can tell me. Anything you want other than the payment is fine, too. We aren’t one of those stingy organizations you might think we are. We know how to repay a debt.”
He stopped himself from saying that they didn’t forget betrayals, either.
Jo Gi Chun was thinking.
He didn’t realize that he was actually standing on the fine line of life and death, but there were actually quite a lot of things that he was worried about. And the biggest worry on his mind.
He wasn’t sure if he should actually tell the man in front of him about this.
‘The most complicated formation…….’
If he said he wasn’t interested, it would be a lie.
Like Um Seung Do thought, Jo Gi Chun indeed was a person who’d go crazy over math and formations.
But this mission was dangerous.
It was an extremely enticing, yet equally dangerous offer. After thinking for a long time, Jo Gi Chun thought up something.
“Is it really the most complicated formation under the heavens?”
“You want me to decrypt it?”
Jo Gi Chun nodded.
“Then I want to bring one more person with me. That is the condition.”
“…….Like I said before, this is an extremely secretive mission, so it would be better if little to no people knew about it.”
Um Seung Do never realized a loner like Jo Gi Chun would request something like this. So that’s why he said he would grant almost any condition. If the person Jo Gi Chun wanted to bring was really outrageous, he would’ve refused immediately, and started threatening the old man a little, but the words out of the scholar’s mouth was something unexpected.
“I have a disciple. I wish to bring him with me.”
Um Seung Do’s face hardened.
He felt that this was a hard request to refuse.