Reincarnation - Chapter 13
Translator: Sin | Editor: Nebosuke
“Two local examiners from the Cheonryong Pyoguk passed the exam!”
“The third and fourth Gongja passed the examination together.”
“I heard that the third one won first place in the exam?”
“What are you talking about? It’s the fourth Gongja.”
“The fourth Gongja…….”
“He jumped into the lake not long ago…….”
“That idiot thug……？”
“Ay, what nonsense!”
Rumors spread rapidly. The Cheoryong Pyoguk was crowded for celebrating Lee Byung-ryong all day long, especially young martial artists.
After a wave of martial artists went away, the Confucian scholars came to visit. The Confucian scholars of Yedang Confucian Academy, the noblemen, and government officials from the school came to celebrate their school fellow passing the exam.
Yedang Confucian Academy was the best school in Hangzhou, where Yi Gap-ryong, Eul-ryong, and Byung-ryong studied.
And Lee Jeong-ryong, whose body I borrowed, was also graduated from Yedang Confucian Academy. But none of my guests did win the first place. Really not a single one.
“He is not ashamed of himself. His brother, who has taken the first place, is so prudent, but he barely passed the exam and received so many guests. If I were you, I’d say ‘no visit’. I don’t understand what he is up to.”
Jang-sam comforted me when I was practicing my skill with five wasps sitting in a corridor.
But I didn’t really care, and now I’m busy training my eyesight based on this ability.
After a few days of practice, there were some important rules in this ability.．
“The problem began from that you let go of the book seven years ago and stopped going to the academy. It wouldn’t have done this much if you had shown up sometimes and bought some food for your juniors…….”
First, the ability is automatically activated when a person is in a state of extreme tension. Second, the skill lasts only 10 breathes at maximum. So, I have to take a break and try again to continue. Third, my hands and feet slow down as much as time goes by.
“There’s nothing to envy. It’s all vain personal connections. Mrs. Chunghua, the mother of the third Gongja, has been supporting Yedang Confucian Academy with paper, brush, and ink for 10 years. That’s why they’re here.”
So all I could do with my powers was to watch the trajectory of the opponent’s hands and feet, and think twice as fast to prepare for it.．
Furthermore, in order to beat the opponent, I had to learn the martial arts that would make my hands and feet faster than now.
“If you’re unhappy, I’ll let you go only today, so would you like to go out to the adult amusement district? I’m sure a thousand girls, swordsmen, gamblers, and so on will come to congratulate you on your passing, and how much they’ve taken from you. ”
“Go and steal some leggings used for messengers’ training, made of leather and sturdy.”
“What are you going to use them for?”
I can’t live with only this ability. If I become a messenger, I have to go for delivery. When I have time, I have to build up my strength and stamina.
“I am going to run around the mountains with them wrapped.”
“Bring yours, too.”
While Lee Byung-ryong was receiving guests at his residence, I ran around the mountain with leggings on my hands and feet.．
On the fifth day, when I heard the news that the identification card had been issued, I went with Jang-sam to the government office.
Along with an identification card to prove he was an exam applicant, I received 50 pieces of high-quality silk and a pass.
On the way back, I sold 50 pieces of silk to a dry goods store.
I carried 20 pieces of silver coins in a sturdy moneybag and spent them excitedly in downtown Hangzhou.
We ate expensive food, bought things we wanted, and had my own celebration with Jang-sam.
When the coin dropped in the broken pot, the beggar, who was sleeping in the shade of the persimmon tree, flinched and opened his eyes for a moment.
But after yawning, he turned back to sleep.
“Why are you giving a silver coin to a beggar? If you feel sorry for him, just throw him some copper coins.”
A beggar sprang up at the word silver coin and picked up the silver coin in the pot.
“It’s a common ritual for the porters who are about to join the delivery. If I happen to be killed by a fall or a sword, it’s a prayer for the beggar to take all of the bad luck and let me come back safely. Of course, porters give beggars coins, but I’m a messenger now.”
The beggar, who had put a silver coin in his mouth, looked at me with a wistful look.．
“Are you really going to go on a delivery?”
“You don’t take the public exam?”
“The exam is in a month. Do I take a rest until then?”
“Why do you think so? You have to study hard with determination. Only a month is left.”
“Why would I study for ten years if I could just keep it tight for another month, just like you said, right?”
“I think you are right. Is this the dignity of a first winner?”
“By the way, I have to attend the meeting for delivery allocation this evening, but how can I get in there……”
The meeting for delivery allocation refers to the distribution of the requested items during the day to the heads of each party and tower in the evening after categorizing them according to types, destinations, and importance.
Because profits and safety are directly linked depending on which delivery they are in charge of, the heads are eager to get good ones from each other.
However, the meeting was strictly restricted only to messenger heads to attend.
“Why don’t you just ask the lord to permit you to attend the meeting? You have passed the exam in the first position, so I think he will accept your proposal.”
“Isn’t he going to be mad at me for not getting ready for the show like you? Maybe the moment I say that he will lock me in the library and let the guards watch me.”
“Oh, come to think of it, last night, the Lord order to clean up the Pyowang-bu’s library and put a few more lights in the hall. He said that if you get stuck studying, you may come late at night.”
“Look at that.”
“If you’re going to be a messenger anyway, you’ve got to tell him. Are you confident you can get through it?”
“That’s when I encounter and fix it.”
“Surely you’ve become someone else. In the past, the Lord used to say something and you shuddered like a goat handed down by a tiger…”
“You are also dead once and then come back to life. There’s nothing scary in the world.”
“I’m going to decline it. If I really die, only I’ll be a loser. Is there a reason why you should attend the meeting? It doesn’t mean you can’t join the delivery because you can’t attend it, can you? Furthermore, that’s happening right now.”
If my expectations are not wrong, there’s a huge request coming in during the meeting tonight. The departure is tomorrow morning.．
However, dozens of the messengers and porters will be killed by a master of martial arts, and all of the delivery goods will be lost.
The Cheonryong Pyoguk will suffer tremendous losses of human life, delivery goods, horses, and wagons.
As a result, the Lord and General of messenger lead the partisans to search for the killer throughout the whole of China and finally succeed in revenge.
But once a dead man does not come back alive. They had been good friends both in joy and in sorrow.
Some pointed fingers at me and despised me, but there were many more who acknowledged and helped me as colleagues, among whom there was a newcomer who went on behalf of me with a boil on my foot.
I really wanted to save them. To do that, I must attend the meeting and let them refuse the request itself.．
When I returned to the Cheonryong Pyoguk, wagons were carrying the goods busily.
In between, a man was carefully snooping inward, pulling his neck out.
He was the scholar I met a few days ago at the government office with a bean-sized spot on his nose. Of course, he’s a different person.
She didn’t notice that I approached her back, perhaps because so many people around her came and went.
She must have been really surprised. She swept her chest down with round eyes. He that commits a fault thinks everyone speaks of it because he has something hiding.
“What are you doing here?”
Oh, look at her. You argued with me at the Baeksun restaurant and now you pretend you don’t know me. I didn’t want to be beaten.
“I was mistaken for someone else. Then.”
“Oh, you are the Confucian scholar.”
“Then I borrowed a brush from you in the examination room…….”
“Well, at first I thought so, but the Confucian scholar I know had a mole on the left side of his nose, and you have it on the right side of your nose…….”
“Well, it can’t be. You must be mistaken.．”
“Of course, I do. Unless you’re that Confucian scholar, and every time you wake up, the moles are moved from side to side like flies on the back of your nose. But what brings you here?”
“In this exam, the genius Confucian scholar who won the first-class place is the fourth Gongja of the Cheonryong Pyoguk. I just snoop around here for a moment on my way. What brings you here?”
“This is Lee Jeong-ryong.”
Jang-sam cut in. Namgoong So-so said deliberately with a surprised look on her face.
What is it? Did you really come to see me? With those clothes? For what?
“Oh, congratulations. The only Confucian scholar I know in Hangzhou is the first winner in the government exam. It’s an honor.”
“Isn’t it kind of weird to say we know each other?”
“I’m Pung Jin-yang. You’re Lee Jeong-ryong, the fourth Gongja of the Cheonryong Pyoguk, right? Now we know each other. Hahaha.”
No matter how perfectly she wears a disguise, her unique pretty expression, which was made when ㄴhe smiled with her white teeth, remained unchanged.
I’m sure she doesn’t know. I’ll let her know when the right time comes.．
“If you do, keep going your way.”
“Wait a minute.”
“Why don’t we go eat rice soup together?”
“Suddenly, why rice soup?”
“You promised me then. There’s a rice soup restaurant you know very well. When we meet again, let’s go eat together. How about now?”
I’m sure she has come to see me. Because I’m wearing Lee Jeong-ryong’s mask, but I’m 52 years old in my head.
On the other hand, Namgoong So-so is twenty-six at most. I don’t know what she means, but I don’t have time to play with a child now. I must quickly get back to Pyoguk and find a way to attend the upcoming meeting.
“Noodles, not rice soup.”
“But I’m a little busy today.”
“I’ll buy it.”
“Let’s do it next time.．”
“I’ve been waiting for half a day.”
“You said you were just passing by?”
“I’ll be blunt with you. I’d like to know the secret of how to win first place in the exam.”
I told her all about this at the Baeksun Restaurant. What else does she want? Is she asking me to write an answer sheet or what?
“I heard that all of the judges unanimously chose your answers as the best answer. There must be some kind of perspective and insight that no one else could see. I want to learn.”
When you ‘want to learn’ something from someone who is a martial artist, it means a lot.
For whatever reason, Namgoong So-so was lowering herself as much as she could now.．
“You must not know me well because you’re from another province, but I’m a well-known fool in Hangzhou. It’s pure luck to win first place.”
“To be exact, you are called ‘sucker fool’. But by winning the first place, you’ve made all the nonsense of what people have said.”
It seems to be no big deal, but my heart heated up. Even in my previous life, I was pointed at by countless people for my limping feet.
In particular, when I came to the Cheonryong Pyoguk, everyone laughed at me, saying, “How can the leg cripple do the delivery?”．
But I have done much better than normal people by using my own merits, and I have made a lot of those ridicule people have made to me in vain.
“Why are you so obsessed with the past exams? I think you were born and raised in a rich family where meat never runs out at every meal, but if you want to be successful, there are other ways.”
“Let’s say I am the type to end anything once I start. Can’t you relate to this?”
I sympathized and remembered. I’ve never met Namgoong So-so in my previous life.
But I’ve heard of her reputation.．
Especially, I think I heard that she has a strange habit of not being able to do other things until she sees the end of everything.
“Let say I have extraordinary knowledge and insight by conceding 100 times. But I can’t teach it while sharing a bowl of noodles…….”
I’ve been talking for a long time, and from somewhere I could hear the sound of horses’ hooves.
Turning my head to look at it, Lee Jong-san was coming from the entrance of the alley with a large number of guards, including Kwak Seok-san, the General head of messenger.
He seemed like going out somewhere and coming back. For a moment, I thought of a way to attend the meeting in an instant.
“Let’s eat. Noodles.”
“But I have a condition for you.”
“I don’t know if you know, but that’s my father coming over there. He will ask me about you, and please remember only three things. We know each other at the exam. You came to give back the book I lent you, and you asked me to show you the meeting, but I rejected it. If you don’t deny it, I’ll take care of the rest of it.”
“What do you mean you’re on your own?？”
“I don’t have time to explain now. If with your help, I’ll take some time to eat noodles with you soon. I’ll answer your questions with all my heart, though it is not a secret.”
Even in a moment, Lee Jong-san was more than half-close. Namgoong So-so smiled looking at me and Lee Jong-san and said.
“Looks like you’re in a more urgent situation than I am. That’s a little different.”
“How many times can you buy me noodles?”
It means how many times I will meet her, and furthermore, I buy the noodle.
“I don’t have time for a scuffle right now.”
“Then we’ll have to hurry.”
I got a hit. Let’s take care of the matter at hand.
“I don’t think lovers will see each other that much.”
“I’m lying to the Lord of the Cheonryong Pyoguk. No matter how small a lie is, it usually needs a lot of courage for a coward like me.”
“Five bowls. It’s up to you to take it or not.”
“Okay. I’ll give it up. Nine bowls.”
“Why did you give in?”
“Do you want to do it or not?”
Namgoong So-so held out one hand.
“What is this?”
“Stretch out your hand like me.”
When I did the same thing, she suddenly held my palms and her palms together and shook them up and down.
“It’s a handshake. Westerners who come and go in and out of the eastern port are fighting loudly, but when they reach an agreement, they reconcile by holding each other’s hands and waving each other’s hands.”
“What a strange custom.”
“I’m usually interested in strange and new things such as people and things. So, what’s the meeting for delivery allocation? Are they handing out rice or something?”