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    A World Beyond / So We Are Told
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    The fifth leopard does not hide its claws.
    There was no need to go far for hunting.
    The mountain behind our school was famous for being dangerous, with fortified defenses and traps installed everywhere, making it an inaccessible place for anyone. It was just my father, me, and those who have cut off ties with humanity.
    “Ah, there must be three of them.”
    Father’s personal bodyguard, Hwi, must be secretly following us from somewhere.
    I called him Uncle Hwi. I used to see him often when I was young, but as I grew older, I had fewer chances to see him. Hwi, the bodyguard whom my father believed in absolutely. If I have Ian, then my father has Hwi.
    I raised my senses and surveyed the surroundings, but I couldn’t detect Hwi’s presence. He truly reached the highest level in stealth techniques. Of course, even Hwi…He died that day in the skirmish.
    The first thing my father said to me that day was this.
    “What stubborn baggage do you have?”
    I was carrying a backpack almost as big as my body.
    “These are the things I’ll need for a few days.”
    “A few days? I intend to come down after just one day.”
    “You never know, do you? Maybe you find hunting with me fun and want to do it for a few more days.”
    My father openly showed his skepticism at the thought that it might be a reasonable thing to do.
    “What a dream.”
    Although it had only been half a year since I was with my father, I realized one thing. It was that my memories of my father were distorted to a considerable extent.
    I remembered my father as someone who rarely spoke. But it turned out that my father spoke more than I thought.
    “More competent than I thought.”
    It was a comment evaluating his movements against someone like Gupyeongho. It was a movement without inner energy, but it was a skill that showed the accumulated skills from his previous life. For that reason, I didn’t try to deceive my father.
    “I was hiding my skills.”
    “That seemed so.”
    A joke added on to the atmosphere.
    “I’m not a whimpering cat, but a leopard with hidden claws.”
    Father stopped walking and looked back at me.
    “Why hide your claws when you’re a leopard?”
    “Oh, I hadn’t thought about it from that perspective.”
    “So, you’re just a cat.”
    Father turned around and asked abruptly.
    “What level have you reached in the Bi-cheon Swordsmanship?”
    Bi-cheon Swordsmanship is a martial art passed down only to the bloodline of the Heavenly Horse. It cannot be compared to the Guhwama Gong (Nine Calamity Devil Technique) that is exclusively passed down to the Heavenly Demon, but it is a high-level martial art that is evaluated to be similar to the martial arts learned by the Heavenly Beings.
    Of course, just because you learned a higher-level martial art doesn’t mean you’re stronger. Depending on who uses it, a person who possesses a powerful martial art even with a weak one can kill someone.
    Because I judged that I couldn’t deceive my father, I answered honestly.
    “I have achieved the Great Success stage.”
    In that moment!
    A gust of wind grazed my cheek as it shot out from the tip of my father’s finger. If I hadn’t instinctively turned my face away, there would’ve been a hole in my cheek.
    Father asked in a surprised expression.
    “You really achieved Great Success!”
    Rubbing my stinging cheek, I yelled.
    “Oh my goodness! Even though you didn’t believe me, you threw out gust of wind. What if I hadn’t dodged it?”
    “It means paying the price for lying. If you achieved Great Success, you’d be able to dodge it.”
    “Scars don’t suit this handsome face that resembles you!”
    After chuckling once, my father moved on without looking back.
    “I must have been scared of you back then.”
    Which father would throw out a gust of wind without hesitation towards his own child? And on the face, no less! I wouldn’t have died, but if I hadn’t dodged it, it would’ve been a severe attack.
    Father, who was walking ahead, spoke without turning back.
    “Great Success at your age… It’s impressive.”
    Since I achieved Great Success after passing my thirties in my previous life, it was natural for my father to be surprised. Anyway, since my father was sincere when it came to martial arts, that praise was a great compliment.
    “Thank you.”
    After that, we climbed the mountain without exchanging a word for a long time.
    If this were in a room with no conversation like this, I would’ve felt suffocated. But climbing a mountain was different.

    ✧˚·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥·̩̩̥͙✧·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥˚·̩̩̥͙✧ 𝑔𝓇𝒶𝓋𝒾𝓉𝓎𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 ✧˚·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥·̩̩̥͙✧·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥˚·̩̩̥͙✧

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