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0011 ———————————————-
Millennium Snow Ginseng (千年雪蔘)

“Whoop…!”

A violent scream burst out through my vocal cords.

It was still vivid as the cold iron sword sliced off my head with the clarity of a bronze bell echoing. I felt a sense of frustration and horror as my eyes were watching my soul parting from the dead body.

How many times do I have to yell like this?



I noticed that I was now crying alone under a bleak night sky.

“Is this… This…?”

I cautiously stroked my nose and throat. My clothes being in tatters were just fine, and the stench of cow dung was overflowing around me. It was a familiar smell, so I stared carefully and gawped around again to make sure.

The familiar bitter cold..
The familiar bleak darkness..
The familiar stench of cow dung..

Yes!
This is the barn!

It also seemed to be the place and the time when I was first revived.

“…?”

I could not believe it, so I opened my mouth.

Does it mean the second death?

By the bright and early morning, I will need to know more, and it will probably appear to be.

The feeling was very similar. I felt around my body with trembling hands, but it was also the body of a child. I was silent for a very long time. Then I started to fume in a rage all over.

A fervent joy that I can start once more!
The misery of being alive again after two deaths!
After that, a vicious anger almost overwhelmed me to seek out vengeance.

My mouth immediately shouted out with hateful anger.

“The village chief… He broke his promise…"

It was the village chief who commissioned the unit of assassins from Black Night Faction! Even though he had mentioned about forgetting everything, he still sought revenge against me again!

As a result, I was at a loss, and as I had been actually killed, there still boiled the violent murderous spirit inside me. Only through sheer willpower, I managed to force my feelings to eventually calm down and breathe out. I was almost about to become crazy.

Heavy breathing sound.

I was sweating because of the power of Neigong (內功:internal energy) which was rising from Low Dantian (下丹田:point two inches below the navel where one’s Qi resides).

'Also, my Neigong was passed down as well!'

Thunder Dragon One Qigong (雷龍一气功)!

It was the secret Qigong of Blue Dragon Martial Academy (青龍武館), and it was named as one of the most prestigious ones in the world. I melted the Neigong of the traditional Three Talents Breathing Method (三才心法) completely by using Thunder Dragon One Qigong to do so, and I worked hard for three years.

My Neigong is not comparable to others in my age. Initially, I now have the even stronger Neigong compared to the successors of great factions in the late teens, and I come back to the much younger age.

Age is very important in the world of martial arts. In particular, it is absolute in the case of Breathing Method. The younger the age is, the easier it is to penetrate the blood vessels, and it increases the ability of the body to perform better and recover easily.

If I start training hard to build Thunder Dragon One Qigong, it will be possible for me to become a high-grade martial artist within ten years.

But now it is a bitter sweet taste as my situation hangs precariously, and I can even die because of Thunder Dragon One Qigong. As my emotions shake so rapidly, the energy of Thunder Dragon One Qigong is churning back and forth, strongly stimulating the blood vessels.

If this were the case, I might fall into the state of a deadly coma.

I desperately suppressed my feelings and bit my teeth hard to refocus on the blood flow again.

“Huh… uh… uh… ah…!”

I spat out beastly screams, I placed my head on the pile of straws, and I stretched out my fist to the stone wall of the barn.

Bang!

When a child hits a stone wall with his soft hands, it is normal that his hands are covered with blood and pain.

But once I completed the form, my palm left a hand-shaped scar on the stone wall. It was evidence that the power of my Neigong became so great that the inside of the stone walls was broken with my bare hands.

A deadly silence passed for a long time…

Barely controlling my emotions and Neigong, I sighed loudly.

“Whoa… I lived.”

If I were caught in a deadly coma here, it would be far worse than if I had died. I could not accumulate Neigong again, and I would live as a crippled person.

Once I stabilized my emotions, my thoughts tempered down. I slowly meditated, sweeping my focus roughly around with a lingering aftertaste of my bleeding lips.

‘Yeah. Let’s calm down for now. Now, this is my third life. If I fail this time again, I won’t be able to live a proper life. Let’s calmly plan out my future.’

My Neigong has been transmitted, and revenge is always possible.

At the same time, I couldn’t conceal the question that was looming over me.

‘Why? Why am I back? Is there something similar to like what happened the last time?’

I must think carefully…
What is the principle of my retrograde?

When I thought deeply about the question, I could set up a single assumption.

Heavenly Dark Secret Book (天暗秘書)!

Yes.

The common point of retrograde both times is that I died in possession of the book. Considering the first death, it seemed that its effect of the secret book had been triggered by simply placing my hand on it. When I was killed the second time, I was carrying it in my bosom.

I can only think of that as a common factor for both deaths. In that case, what I have to do in the future is simple.

Putting everything aside, I will travel to the cave first to obtain the secret book and carry it with me always. No matter how great this strange destiny is, it becomes a mandatory obligation to precede forward.

But there was one thing that captivates my heart. I frowned upon the nagging impression, which as yet remains unsolved.

“Why is the starting point of retrograde today? Why?”

I do not understand.
Why did I come back to the days when I was working as a servant, cleaning up cow dung at the house of the village chief?
Even if I returned to my twenties or thirties, I would be able to work more easily.
It is a painful thing to wait for a few years in the body of a child until physical strength and bones finally develop.

I realized that to solve this question I have to somehow interpret the strange language on Heavenly Dark Secret Book.
I couldn’t read it, but the contents were written in a strange language.
If I could interpret it, I would know more about the book.

I felt refreshed after organizing one thing and another. At the same time, I realized what I need to do first.

“Okay, I’m leaving the village.”

There is no need to flatter to the village chief and receive travel money to attend Blue Dragon Martial Academy. Since I already secured a first-grade Neigong, I can withstand the cold, the heat, and the hunger easily. I have the ability of self-defense as well. All I have to do now is to head to the cave in a hurry.

Walking sound.

When I was about to leave with a hook and a hammer from the barn, somebody barred the way with a flourish in the dark .

“Holy crap… Why are you making such a noise in the middle of the night?"

“Kim Man Jae!"

“Don't you call me young master?"

It was the son of the village chief. It was indeed the human garbage of Small Bird village, and it was the motherfucker. But in the present situation, I said rather calmly because he was an obstacle to me escaping the village.

“I’m in a bad mood right now, so you'd better get out of my way.”

“What? You bastard!”

He front kicked without any warning.

This offensive move is very good for young boys of the similar age to conquer each other, and it shows that they had some experiences in fighting.

However, I smiled while lightly warding off his attack.

"Oh, my God."

He lost his center of gravity and staggered, and I straightened him out.

“Uh…”

He struggled and tried to move, but he couldn’t move a bit because of my hand holding him by the arm. He would feel like he is clamped in chains.

I whispered in his ear from behind.

“Be quiet, fool.”

“….”

He had to stand still and tremble without even breathing because of my murderous spirit and the oppression he feels. It seemed easy for me to be able to emit the murderous spirit since my Neigong had been passed down. I hurriedly left Small Bird village.

This time, there is no reason to be pursued by the village chief.

Last time, I was about to annihilate the family of the village chief, and I ran away with all his silver bullion instead; therefore, he would have chosen an extreme measure of assassination.

However, it is not enough to hire a martial artist because of 'cow dung' escaping into the night after making Kim Man Jae nervous. Because of the character of the village chief, he will think that I would starve to death at best. Even if he chases after me, it'll be okay. If only I obtain Heavenly Dark Secret Book, I can start again.

At this point, no matter what happens, I will acquire the secret book first.

I looked down at Small Bird village which had sunk further behind in the dark, with a hateful look from the mountain ridge. I thought I’d calmed my simmering anger, but it did not still abate.

I looked at the house from afar and muttered about it.

“I’m too soft. At least I admit it.”

I clenched my fist. My eyes were shining with the murderous spirit. A stream of blood flowed from my fist.

“I will make it this time.”

It took three days to obtain the book. Having no money, I had to steal a copper shield from a blacksmith’s shop, and it was difficult to locate the cave because I was so young. With that reason, my point of view was restricted.

But anyway, I could acquire it, and I rested for a while within the cave.

"Ah… It’s hard. What am I going to do now? Will I attend Blue Dragon Martial Academy again?"

If I travel to Blue Dragon Martial Academy and become accepted, then this time I can aim to rise to a peak-grade martial artist within ten years. Since the foundation is firmly established in my Neigong, it is possible to jump beyond a certain genius by preempting advantageous hindsights.

But I smiled bitterly and denied that idea.

“No, it’s impossible. I just have to practice my skills again with self-studying.”

If I attend Blue Dragon Martial Academy, I will experience hardship that I cannot imagine.

I am equipped with their secret martial arts and Thunder Dragon One Qigong is one of them. But Three Absolute (三絶), Lee Kwang, and a head teacher, Jin So Chung, have no memories to teaching me. So, they would think of me as a stray cat who had stolen their martial arts, and in severe cases, I would be most likely to be executed.

Of course, they could teach me martial arts solely, being interested in. However, in case, I do not want to die again. My soul slowly experienced every single minute details of my death, and it was an excruciating psychological pain that no one has ever experienced before.

I don’t want to die in any way!
I don’t want to die, even if I can come back to life!

Fortunately, being a little child, remembering my acts of valor, getting rid of troublesome people, and training for three years, gave me a step forward. I took comfort in the fact.

'I need a place where I can live while training and where I can cut my time aside…'

That is only my option.

I came up with just one solution and smiled.

“That would be great if I would become a guard of a courier company again, wouldn’t it?”

Even this child’s body is much stronger than my first life. At least now is three times as strong as the previous. If I practice as such, I will surpass the level of a head guard within three years. A courier company is a place where I can earn money and legally train with my martial arts.

Of course, Samsong or Plum Blossom around here should not be even considered. The village chief’s sly whispers are involved in there, so it is immediately crossed off.
If someone were to uncover my past from a barn servant to suddenly performing secret martial arts skills, it would plague my new life forever.

I could decide after much consideration.

'I will get a job as a guard at a courier company near Huangshan. And when the time is right, I will search for and consume Millennium Snow Ginseng!'

There is no better way than this. It is possible to save time and stay as far away from the village chief’s influence.

As soon as the plans were made, I tried to move.

Starving.

“….”

I was so hungry.

I simultaneously realized the biggest problem of the plan.

Since there was no house and there was no money, I had to travel to Huangshan while eating sweet grass. It was the first setback of many.

“Wild animals… ”

It was the start of my hunting excursions. I broke branches nearby and crudely crafted an image of a spear instead of a sword.

Luckily that day, I caught a roe, gathered roots, and ate it.
The next day I ate bark. But the small animals were not caught very often, and there were much more days of eating bark and sweetgrass.

My body was gradually declining, but I kept on moving.

If someone sees a child in the middle of teens, who forces to work in the mountains to eat animals, he will say the child is crazy.

The reason for intentionally crossing mountains and rivers was to avoid leaking news of me into the village chief’s ears as much as possible, but it was a very difficult process.

For about eight days, I ate bats and roots or mushrooms in a cave. I felt tears running down my face as I lay face down on the side of a cave.

'What is life all about?'

Yet, I couldn’t answer this question.

About a month passed when I finally reached Huangshan. I was a perfect beggar since a cold had left me haggard and a bit weak.

Coughing…

My head was slightly muddled, but I struggled to regain consciousness.

'Don’t fall like this. Somehow, I must not fall before becoming a guard.'

There were villages and streets near Huangshan, but strangely no courier company was found. As I was wondering around, an owner of a dry-goods store bought me a plate to eat whether he felt sorry.

"Oh, poor boy. This is all skin and bones. Don’t you have any parents or brothers?"

“No….”

“Eat slowly. Eat a meal and keep your chin up.”

“Thank you….”

I was sympathetic but I wasn’t so bad. Rather, it would be more correct to say that I was so pleased with the meal. I stuffed myself with rice and vegetables in a frantic rush. After I finished eating, I carefully asked the dry-goods store owner.

“I want to enter a courier company in Huangshan, where is it?”

The look on his face turned strange. He shrugged his shoulders.

“Dear boy, there is no courier company in Huangshan.”

“….”

Oh, fuck…!

“Huh! Hey! Are you okay?”

“….”

I was so upset, I fainted!!!

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Translator: Khan
Editors: T0ngan, Calvis

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