Chapter 28: My Beginning Is (3)
I ended up recruiting twenty men for my Sword Sect.
There must’ve been some rumors going around about the Byuk Clan, as more than a hundred people showed up. However, when they were told that I was recruiting for the Lesser Sword Sect, fewer people showed up than last time.
However, this was still more people than I’d expected. There were many familiar faces, as well as several new faces.
When Kwang Du saw all the people who’d shown up, he became excited.
“Young Master! There seem to be over a hundred people here!”
There were people from different age groups, as well as even a few women.
“Are we going to pick women too?”
“If they have what it takes to join.”
“Oh! You should pick them all!”
“Do you like womens that much?”
“‘Do I like them? Well, it’s much better than only having men around at least.”
That wasn’t the reason I was picking women. When I’d been in charge of the Murim Alliance, I’d learned of their importance. During an important mission, it was much easier to disguise a woman. They could be disguised as a girlfriend, a mother, or even a daughter.
Because of this, I decided that I’d pick two of them. Of course, they’d still have to be picked fairly, based on their skill.
“Now then, let’s begin.”
One by one the recruits came up to me and showed off their basic skills.
I was able to shorten the testing process through this method. Just by seeing the way they held their weapon, I was able to tell how skilled they were.
I was able to eliminate more than half of the applicants through just this test.
There might be some people who’d question how I could evaluate someone’s skill just like that, but I had years of experience to back me up.
After I finished evaluating everyone, I proceeded to interview the remaining people.
“Why do you want to join the Lesser Sword Sect?”
There were various answers to my question, ranging from earning money, to wanting to make a name for themselves, to them simply doing it out of respect for my father. However, I wasn’t testing their answers, but their truthfulness. The people who lied usually exposed it with some sort of movement or expression. Thus, I picked those who’d been truthful over those who hadn’t.
Even if one of them had a great amount of skill, if they didn’t have a decent character, than they weren’t any better than trash.
As I’d told Kwang Du before, the most important thing about the Sword Sect was a sense of belonging. If everyone had a sense of belonging, they’d inevitably develop a closer bond with one another.
Of course, I planned to expand the Lesser Sword Sect. Of these twenty yet-to-be-chosen members, those who had excellent achievment in the future would become future sect leaders and chiefs. I planned to have not one, but ten, maybe even twenty, lesser sword sects.
Later that day, I stood in front of the twenty new recruits who’d passed. There were a total of eighteen men and two women.
I decided not to try and hide my strength. I decided to show my overbearing strength to them. Since this was our first meeting, I didn’t think that it was necessary to hide my strength from them.
In most Murim organizations, the best leaders weren’t the best kind of people. The best leaders were usually cold and skillful, so that they were able to protect their subordinates. These leaders were the best type.
“I know that you’ve all heard different things about me.”
There were so many different rumors flying around about me that I’d stopped caring.
“There’s only one thing I want to say to you; never forget it. From now on, I want you all to see my strength, and evaluate it for yourself.”
““Yes, we understand!””
Their voices were full of excitement. They could tell from our first meeting that I was different than what I’d been described as in the rumors.
SInce I was someone who had the most subordinates in all of Kang Ho, this was the first time that I was actually interacting this closely with my subordinates. Since I’d been the Strongest Under the Heavens before I’d become the Mengju in my past life, I hadn’t had the time nor the need to closely interact with them.
Could I actually lead them well? Even I felt nervous about this.
If teaching Kwang Du martial arts was my first time teaching someone, then this was going to be my first time leading my subordinates personally.
“I’ll never forget about our meeting today.”
They might think that this was just another pep talk that I was saying, but it truly came from the bottom of my heart.
Today will go down in history as my beginning.
“Now then. I’ll pick the chief.”
Everyone was nervous, as this would most likely affect their daily life.
I walked up to one of the youths.
He was someone that I had on mind.
He was twenty three, and had previously worked as an instructor for a martial arts school. Thus, his foundations were very solid.
However, the thing that had caught my attention was his reason for joining.
“Why do you want to enter our sword sect?”
“Because I want to become a successful martial artist.”
“And you think that you’ll be able to become successful by joining our Lesser Sword Sect?”
“...can I tell you the truth?”
“I’ve heard about you. About how you’re a ‘changed’ young master. About how you went from being a terrible person to a pretty decent one. The truth is, I want to learn your secret. I believe that I’ll definitely become a successful martial artist if I learn from you.”
It was both a rash and bold statement.
But that wasn’t everything. He had a solid foundation, considering the fact that he was only twenty-three, and he’d answered the other interview questions really well. He’d gone straight to the point, without saying anything unnecessary.
“You are now the chief of the Lesser Sword Sect. Do you think that you’ll be able to do it?”
“Yes, sect leader! Please trust me!”
Kwan He answered without any hesitation.
“Good! That’s it for today then.”
I took them around and assigned them living quarters. There was plenty of living space available still. When our Clan was at its peak, many more people had lived here.
When I left the living quarters, Kwang Du was waiting for me.
“How does it feel?”
What could I say to describe how I felt?
“Let’s have a drink.”
Just like how my father had drink with Seo Jung, I drank with Kwang Du late into the night.
This was an excellent start.
The next day, I began to lay down the structure for the Lesser Sword Sect. I was only able to plan everything due to the advice that Seo Jung had given me.
Since everyone already had their own techniques, I only had to lead them down the right path to ensure that they were able to fully utilize their strength.
I made sure that they were clear about how rewards and punishments worked. This was one of the most important aspects of leading a sect.
If they made vast improvements, I‘d compliment them and reward them with either gold or a weapon. On the other hand, if they fell behind in their training, I was going to punish them. But I wouldn’t do anything to humiliate them. It would only be to make them train harder and become an even stronger martial artist.
When I finished setting up this system, the mood of the recruits became better.
Through my experience, the most important thing for a sect was structure. Many sects fail simply because they don’t have a proper structure to nurture their subordinates with.
While training them, I ensured that I didn’t neglect my own training.
I’ll never forget that the most important thing is myself.
I knew that, if I fell, everything would end in an instant.
No matter how strong my Sect becomes, everything will end in an instant if I die.
I began to recall countless fights from my previous life. No matter how well trained and disciplined a group was, when you cut off its head it crumbles easily.
As such, I have to get stronger; not just for myself, but for all of them too.
“Why is your physique so amazing?”
Kwan He, who I was currently training with, asked me whilst gasping for breath.
“If you wake up at dawn and both run and train for about an hour every day, you can achieve this level of physique.”
“You train your body for an hour every day?”
“If you want to be successful in life, you have to devote an endless amount of time and effort into whatever you wish to achieve.”
“Devote an endless amount of effort? What do you mean?”
“There must be a time, every day, where you focus as much as possible on one thing that you’re devoted to, and put everything you have into it. Then, when you look back on it, you’ll be able to think about that time when you devoted everything to it. You said that you wanted to become a successful martial artist, right? Then put endless time and effort into it. The more you devote yourself, the greater the reward will be.”
Kwang He’s eyes lit up. I knew that he was going to start running in the mornings from now on.
He bowed to me and left.
I gazed at his back with a smile on my face as he left. After he’d left, Kwang Du came up to me.
“Aren’t you being too friendly with him?”
“What you said earlier; you never said anything like that to me.”
Kwang Du gave me a jealous look.
“You’re too much.”
“Are you jealous?”
I think I’ve hit a nerve.
“Jealous? I’m a man! I’m a real man who does everything!”
“Don’t worry. Look at how serious he is.”
“Do you mean that if I become serious…”
I turned around and left without saying replying. I already knew what sort of expression Kwang Du would make.
“You know what, young master? You’ve changed! A lot!”
I planned to make Kwang Du compete with Kwan He.
The friendlier one becomes with another, the more relaxed they are around each other. And because of that, accidents are bound to happen. Thus, no matter how close they were to each other, it would be beneficial to have some competition amongst them.
Being forced to compete with Kwan He would make Kwang Du stronger.
Being able to improve themselves would be beneficial for everyone.
The next morning, Kwan He started to train in the morning just like I’d expected. Since he’d been dissatisfied with himself during the group training, he’d decided to start training on his own.
I knew what type of person Kwan He was. He had a strong will and a fire in his eyes. In addition, he was striving to become a better chief.
My other prediction was also right.
Kwang Du also came out to train.
I had a small smile as I watched them train.
Yes, become crazy. You can only become successful at something if you become crazy for it.
Three days after Kwan He had started training in the morning, another person from the Lesser Sword Sect joined. Two days after that, another two joined.
It seems that, because of Kwan He, the Lesser Sword Sect’s atmosphere had become better.
Everything was going the way I wanted it to. That was, except for our finances.
Currently, I only had three thousand five hundred nyang left. Considering how much I needed in order to maintain the lesser sword sect, I wasn’t in a position where I could just sit around.
While I was deep in thought about our financial problems, Elder Jong visited.
I knew that he’d only visit me if he had something to say to me.
“How’s it going with your new lesser sword sect? You’re not wasting any money, right?”
“How could I not if I’ve never had any experience with money?!”
“I knew it.”
Even though he might seem cold, he was softer than before.
“It isn’t easy both feeding and taking care of all these people, is it?”
“Now that I’m leading them, I’ve realized that it isn’t as easy as it looks.”
He proceeded to tell me various things. He could’ve said it nicer, and in a faster manner, but he had to drag things on and said unnecessary things. When I heard what he was saying, I felt like I’d become a pile of bone.
Then he answered the question that I’d asked him a while back.
“You asked me about it I had a disciple or something, right?
This was something that I’d asked him quite a while ago.
“Do you still need someone?”
I could tell that this was the real reason that he’d come here.
“I know someone who might be suitable…”
“He might be useless, but...”
I knew that they wouldn’t be. Since Elder Jong was willing to personally introduce him, he was bound to be an excellent person.
“Go to Fort Chu and ask for someone named Kong Su Chan.”
Fort Chu was located to the north of us.
He left right after saying, “Make sure you save some money.”
The next morning, I took Kwang Du, and left for Fort Chu.
“If Chief Kwan catches up to me because I missed my practice today, it’s your fault young master.”
“Are you worried?”
“Of course. It’s said that the hunting dog is boiled and eaten after the rabbit has been hunted down by it.”
“You should be saying no! Why are you laughing?”
You punk, don’t worry. The martial arts that most people use aren’t comparable to the The Seven Stances of the North Sea. You just don’t have any real experience. You’re already stronger than most members of this sect.
Before leaving, I bought him a martial artist’s robe.
“I’m buying this for you since you’ve been training diligently.”
With a large smile, Kwang Du said, “Thank you. Thank you very much, young master.”
As he was hopping with joy, I told him that I’d bought him a lighter colored robe than mine.
“This robe is too good to wear. I’m going to hang it in my room!”
“Is it really that good?”
“This is the first time I’ve ever received a robe as a gift.”
Even though he moved my heart, I didn’t show it. So he first shared a drink with me, had first shared a room with me, and now had, had even received his first gift of clothing from me.
Yes. I’ll help you do things that you’ve never done before.
I’ll let you experience everything that you want to.
“By the way, who are we going to meet?”
“Someone who’ll take care of our finances from now on.”
“Ah! So they’re an important person!”
Yep, they’re a very important person.
I was also curious about the person that elder Jong had recommended.