A room located on the first floor of the main building.
On a chair close to a desk was someone wearing a white mask with an antique pattern on it.
The name of the person whose age, face, and gender couldn’t be determined is Baek Woo-gi.
He’s known as Ghost Face among Murim people, and he’s a member of the Audit Committee and a six-person special education department.
Among the committee and department, he’s the oldest and the longest-standing member.
And since the people of the Audit Committee were from the most prestigious families, they were called the Heavenly Upbringing Members.
However, he isn’t just famous in Murim, but it isn’t because of a grand title like that.
It’s because the Four Great Warriors respect him.
Moreover, Baek Woo-gi was staying at the academy with this thought and sense of duty in mind,
‘Nurture the new talents who will come to protect Murim.’
He was currently in his office because he took over as the General Inspector in charge of this year’s entrance tests.
And something quite troubling happened.
On the other side of the desk was a large man with bandages and splints all over his body. He suffered a major accident and seemed to have a broken arm and a neck injury.
He was a teacher, Byeok Yimun, who was assisting with the final test.
After a moment of silence, a man in his mid-twenties who was next to Baek Woo-gi spoke.
“What, this too is because of that Mumu kid?”
The man who asked that was Oh Seong-yun.
He was an aide to Baek Woo-gi, a member of the committee.
Oh Seong-yun, who was helping him, was just as confused as Byeok Yimun.
Just a little while ago, Yeon Nam-kyung asked for help saying that three gates were torn off, and then came Tang So-so saying that water was needed and that the test couldn’t proceed.
And this was the third request.
“Isn’t this too much? Director, I really think this Mumu character is intentionally doing this.”
At those words, Byeok Yimun frowned and asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Does teacher Byeok not know? All three entrance tests were delayed, thanks to Mumu. And because of that, the test takers are complaining like crazy.”
“Is that true?”
This was a first for Byeok Yimun.
Oh Seong-yun said that the tests were delayed, and the students who wanted to take the tests were complaining.
[No, if it’s this level of damage, then it has to be intentional, right?]
[I don’t know how great that candidate is, but this is too much!]
[Isn’t it necessary for the organizers to take disciplinary action or something?]
[The Heavenly Martial Arts Academy trains righteous people. If they do nothing about this, they’d be forgetting that.]
Those were examples of the test takers’ complaints.
The situation was bad.
And the test schedule was significantly delayed.
Then Oh Seong-yun clicked his tongue and spoke to director Baek Woo-gi.
“Sir. This isn’t something that will just go away. Even if he passed all of the tests, he has a personality problem.”
“Isn’t this academy a place where people are taught righteousness? If a test taker has a personality problem and is causing issues intentionally, they should be disciplined appropriately or be denied admission.”
At his words, Baek Woo-gi rested his chin on his hands.
It wasn’t an unreasonable opinion.
In fact, among all of the Heavenly Martial Arts Academy graduates, a few were exceptionally talented, but then they walked down the wrong path.
And because of that, the academy had suffered a great deal of damage a few times.
Teacher Byeok Yimun spoke to Baek Woo-gi.
“It didn't seem like he had a personality problem to me.”
“He didn’t have a personality problem?”
“He just looked a little naïve.”
“Yes, he seemed naïve, but it’s wrong to reject such a talented individual who passed the three tests without even learning martial arts.”
“What would you like me to do?”
“If you’re concerned that he has a personality problem, how about you talk to the child and judge him yourself? If you really think that there’s a problem with him, at least watch him and then make that decision.”
‘Such an unfortunate child.’
Byeok Yimun was hit and hurt by him, but seeing the boy’s muscles, he actually wanted to teach him.
A child who had trained his body to such a degree was an amazing sight to see.
Just the thought of teaching him thrilled Yimun.
And rejecting such a child just because they were overly cautious didn’t sit well with him.
In any case, he said what he wanted to.
And the decision rested with the director, who was in charge of the entrance tests.
After thinking for a moment, director Baek Woo-gi opened his mouth.
“First of all, we need to resume the tests which were halted as soon as possible. And we’ll make a decision on Mumu’s admission through a direct interview later.”
Mo Il-hwa grabbed Mumu’s head harshly.
She was pissed.
“This kid, you did all of that on purpose, right? Right?”
Thanks to Mumu, all of the tests were delayed by a few hours, and Mo Il-hwa had to suffer the wait.
That was why as soon as she saw Mumu, she pounced.
However, Mumu couldn’t get hurt by her strength.
Rather than feeling pain, he was bothered by her breasts which were touching him.
‘If one doesn’t train their body often, do they become this soft?’
Mumu thought deeply about it and felt sorry for her.
Yu Yeop-kyung, who was a gentleman, never explained the differences between men and women to Mumu.
Instead, he had Mumu stay in shape by cutting wood.
Seeing that, Jin-hyuk, who was unaware of what Mumu was thinking, clicked his tongue.
‘… is he enjoying himself?’
While he thought that, Mo Il-hwa was still trying to squeeze Mumu’s head, and then Jin-hyuk, who was now embarrassed, turned away.
He wasn’t sure if he would meet another woman so free-spirited.
To put it simply, there was no way that a civil servant’s daughter should act like this.
After those thoughts, Jin-hyuk decided to ask,
“Hmm, by the way. Is this fine? You were asked to wait here alone.”
Most of the test takers who passed were given temporary rooms.
However, Mumu alone was asked to wait in another room.
But no specific reason was given, so there was room for speculation.
‘Since he messed with all three tests and delayed them, it would be weird if they left him alone.’
If it was one test, then they would consider it an accident.
But it was all of the tests.
As a result, everything was delayed, including the introductory ceremony, which was supposed to be held today but was postponed until tomorrow.
And as one would expect, the test takers and other people complained.
Jin-hyuk wanted to say a lot.
Couldn’t Mumu have restrained himself?
No one would overlook a situation where all three tests were delayed because of one person.
‘He passed with that absurd strength, but he’s going to fail here?’
He wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad about that.
Thinking that Jin-hyuk said,
“… don’t do anything, and tell the supervisors.”
“That it wasn’t on purpose.”
At those words, Mo Il-hwa smiled and asked.
“Before, you were saying that it didn’t matter if he failed, but now you’re worried?”
“I-It isn’t like that.”
“What? You are brothers, right?”
“Sigh. It isn’t like that… and don’t look at me with that expression.”
When Mumu made a face that asked, ‘are you worried about me?’ Jin-hyuk suddenly left the room.
Seeing that, Mo Il-hwa grinned.
“He. He’s shy.”
“Huh? What? You want me to leave? No chance.”
“No, it's not about that; maybe you should try to train your chest muscles?”
What the fuck was he talking about?
Mo Il-hwa, who was confused, turned beet red and shouted.
“You! You! You are…”
That was when someone knocked on the door.
The door opened, and a young man, Oh Seong-yun, the aide, appeared.
And while looking at Mumu with a disgusted face, Oh Seong-yun asked,
“Are you the test taker, Mumu?”
How could he look so innocent yet cause the entire entrance test to be delayed?
It had to be a fake expression.
“You have a meeting with the director now. Please follow me.”
In an indoor hall with lanterns lighting it up.
There was a man wearing a white mask waiting for someone, it was Baek Woo-gi.
Mumu, who was guided by Oh Seong-yun, entered the hall.
And Mumu's expression brightened when he saw the equipment and weapons in there.
He looked like a child discovering a new toy.
Seeing Mumu’s eyes, Baek Woo-gi thought,
He had a preconceived notion that the kid was nasty, but he was handsome and looked different from his brother.
‘… he looks nothing like his brother.’
Baek Woo-gi had taught Yu Jin-sung.
And these two brothers didn’t look alike, but he could feel their kindness through their eyes.
Baek Woo-gi, who was trying to find out what happened during the entrance test, was a bit puzzled.
While Baek Woo-gi was thinking, Mumu bowed his head and said hello.
Baek Woo-gi's mouth twitched at the simple greeting.
But after calming himself, he said.
“Do you know why we put your admission on hold?”
At that question, Mumu apologized.
“I heard that the other test takers were troubled because of me. I’m really, really sorry.”
He said that with a sincere expression and voice.
Looking at that, Baek Woo-gi knew that the kid didn’t do it intentionally.
However, making a decision based on his expression was wrong.
‘I need to look at his actual self to find out the truth.’
Baek Woo-gi, who stared at him, said,
“The goal of this academy is to nurture outstanding talents with a sense of justice in line with the will of the warriors who founded it. Did you know that?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Honestly. Talents were produced in keeping with this tradition, and many people want to enter this place because of its reputation.”
“Hmm… that sounds about right.”
Mumu did see the thousands of people gathered at the entrance.
After Mumu said that, Baek Woo-gi continued to speak.
“Unlike the average admission, many people come to ours, and sometimes we run into problems because of that.”
“What do you mean?”
“No matter how well we test potential students, it’s difficult to identify those who harbor malicious intent.”
After saying that, Baek Woo-gi pointed to the center of Mumu’s chest.
And Mumu asked,
“Those who harbor malicious intent?”
“That just means those who might deviate from the right path and choose the wrong one.”
When he understood that, Mumu nodded his head and said.
“My father taught me to act as a man should, and I try to do so, but sometimes accidents happen because of my mistakes.”
It was something Mumu always felt bad about.
Whenever an accident happened, he felt like he was violating his father’s teachings.
Seeing Mumu with a gloomy expression, Baek Woo-gi narrowed his eyes.
“What was your purpose in taking the entrance test and trying to enter this academy?”
Baek Woo-gi frequently interviewed kids who wanted to enter the academy.
And most of their responses were the same.
[I came here to inherit the will of the academy by following righteousness and justice.]
[I came here to get the best teaching and become the best.]
Most of them spit out pretentious words in order to do well in the interview.
But in reality, what they wanted was simple.
Receiving the best teaching was good, but most kids only wanted to gain fame by graduating from here.
Perhaps, Mumu too had the same reason.
“I’d appreciate it if you were honest.”
Mumu, who hesitated for a second, spoke.
“What I say here will be kept a secret, right?”
What an odd kid, and what a strange question to ask in this situation.
After taking a deep breath, Baek Woo-gi said,
“Yes, I promise.”
“I promise you in my honor.”
At that, Mumu scratched the back of his head and said,
“I accidentally broke someone’s arm. And since I did that, I came here to fix what I did there.”
“Whose arm did you break?”
“Mo Il-seo’s arm. The son of the Minister of Criminal Affairs.”
At those words, Baek Woo-gi couldn’t understand it.
He thought there would be some huge secret behind him trying to join, but this kid was forced to.
And when he felt disappointed that there was no particular reason, he heard,
“… and because of this.”
What did this mean?
Baek Woo-gi couldn’t hide his curiosity.
Then, Mumu grabbed something that was hanging from his neck and hidden beneath his shirt and pulled it out.
It was a necklace with a jade plaque on it that was circular and flat.
And this was engraved on it,
It was the test taker’s name.
Mumu turned it around, and on the back was an unusual pattern and two lines drawn across a triangle.
While frowning, Baek Woo-gi looked at the pattern, it was a pattern he had surely seen somewhere, but he couldn’t remember where.
To him, Mumu said.
“This is what I was wearing when my father picked me up in the woods when he was in exile.”
"… you aren't the real son of Yu Yeop-kyung?"
According to the reports, he heard that the real brother of Yu Jin-sung was taking the entrance test.
However, Mumu shook his head and said,
“No. I was adopted.”
It made sense that he’s adopted; he thought that it was weird how Mumu didn’t look like his brother.
Mumu then put the jade plaque back beneath his shirt and continued.
“I’m grateful to my father for raising me, and I didn’t say it out loud because he would worry… but I’m curious.”
“My real parents.”
“I like my father… but I’ve never seen or met them, so I’m curious about them.”
Mumu ruffled his hair as if he was embarrassed about saying that out loud.
This image of Mumu crushed Baek Woo-gi’s heart.
And he asked in the softest voice possible.
“And what does that have to do with joining this place?”
“It’s said that those who graduate from here with high grades become famous.”
Mumu found it strange that Yu Jin-sung was mentioned everywhere.
Everyone knew his name, despite never meeting him.
And with that thought in mind, he truly decided to join this academy.
“I wondered if my parents who abandoned me would come back if I became famous.”
Originally, Yu Yeop-kyung gave Mumu the name Yu Jin-hak.
However, Mumu insisted that he wanted his own name.
Because this unusual name was the only connection he had with his parents, who abandoned him.
Mumu was telling this sad story with a bright expression.
And seeing that made Baek Woo-gi’s eyes turn red and fill with tears.
‘This kid is so kind.’
How could such a pure kid take the wrong path?
It would never happen.
While thinking that, Baek Woo-gi blinked a couple times and held Mumu’s hand tightly as he said.
“The interview is over. Pass! You have passed.”
Baek Woo-gi had made up his mind.
He would protect this kind child from those who would harm him.
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