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Dream Breaker - Chapter 80

The Swimming Emperor(24)

"Argh...!"

Thwack!

My left heel struck the head of the world's second-ranked Taekwondo practitioner.

A sound that echoed through the skull.

But even though he staggered, he didn't fall yet.

"Hanging in there?"

The second-ranked person was definitely different.

However, it was only because he didn't fall with just one blow like others.

Thud!

A front kick on the face of the second-ranked practitioner, who bent his waist and leaned forward.

'I'll spare your handsome nose.'

If I sincerely kicked with full force, even a sturdy athlete could die, so I went easy on him. He was also a candidate for the next Olympic national team!

No matter how legitimate it was, I couldn't avoid criticism if I sent all the first-class players to the intensive care unit.

"Who's the first rank?"

"..."

"..."

There was no one who kindly answered my question.

"Is there no one?"

"The number one is a foreigner..."

"Aha!"

The tension was completely absent from the match.

At first, it felt good to win, but now there was only an uncomfortable feeling, like I was tormenting the weak.

'Well, now...'

Let's hear the evaluation of the master.

"What are you, with that reaction speed and agility...?"

In the old days, Taekwondo practitioners became masters or opened their own dojos when they got older.

However, after the advent of the P's aptitude tester, Taekwondo also had professional educators instead of retired athletes!

The difference between athletes and me?

The biggest difference I felt while being active as a swimmer was 'observational power'.

"Master, have you already forgotten? I'm a shaman."

"How can a shaman...!"

"A shaman who catches ghosts shouldn't be weaker than humans, right?"

"Nonsense! Yoo Il-am, who is Yoo Il-chung's brother, is also a shaman, but he wasn't a monster like you!"

The master vehemently denied it.

He must have noticed.

He meant that the skills of his proud disciples, whom he had raised, were not insufficient to be defeated by me.

"Don't compare me to him. I just called him my senior out of courtesy because he became a shaman before me."

"Huh..."

"I don't intend to interfere with the training of other athletes. Just guarantee my participation in the Olympics."

"...If I don't?"

"I'll spread the rumor that you lost to a swimmer."

"Didn't you say you're a shaman?"

"Then I'll say you lost to a shaman. It seems like it would be a bigger blow to you since shamans aren't athletes, but if that's what you want, Master-"

"Don't do it!"

The negotiation went peacefully.

Confirmed as an Olympic national representative!

At that moment, Yoo Il-chung, whose face was swollen from being hit by me, exclaimed.

"You're nothing compared to Go Yoon-kyung!"

"Go Yoon-kyung?"

"Yeah!"

"It sounds like a girl's name."

"That's right! She's my girlfriend! Go Yoon-kyung is the first-ranked female Taekwondo practitioner!"

"But she's a girl."

"Are you being sexist!"

"Do you want to die? Don't provoke me. I meant that girls should compete against other girls."

Go Yoon-kyung.

It was natural for me, who had no interest in Taekwondo until recently, not to know who she was.

First-ranked female Taekwondo practitioner.

But so what?

The second-ranked male couldn't do anything and was defeated by me. Would the result be different if she was the first-ranked female?

However,

"That's right. If it's Go Yoon-kyung...?"

"Yoo Il-chung has a girlfriend!"

"Go Yoon-kyung can't be defeated."

The players who had been defeated by me seemed to agree with Yoo Il-chung's claim!

It didn't seem like a bluff.

"Kang Moon-soo."

"Yes."

The master, who thought there was nothing more to see, called me.

"I admit it. You are strong. But Go Yoon-kyung is stronger. First-ranked female? No. That girl is the world's number one."

"..."

"Do you want to try a match?"

"No."

I refused without hesitation.

"Are you running away!"

"It seems like the master misunderstands, so I'll tell you. I don't like unnecessary violence."

"Huh! You hate violence after making the players look like that?!"

The master was furious.

"I can't just be beaten because I hate violence, right? Am I wrong?"

"Tsk!"

"If you have nothing to say, I'll be on my way..."

"Wait!"

"..."

The master, who still hadn't given up, called me again.

"What would you do if it was necessary?"

"There's no use in provoking me. What's the benefit for me in defeating the first-ranked female Taekwondo practitioner? It's fortunate if I don't get criticized for hitting a woman."

Even if I win, I lose.

If I lose, I lose even more!

There's no gain for me.

"Kang Moon-soo. What's your Taekwondo rank?"

"I don't have one yet."

"Oh, no! What should I do? You can only participate in the Olympics if you have at least a second-degree rank in Taekwondo!"

"..."

I hadn't heard about such a rule in Nam Hae-soo's dream.

Is it a new one?

It didn't seem like a lie.

"To take the first-degree test at Kukkiwon, you have to wait a year from the day you started. And to get the eligibility for the second-degree test, you have to wait another year."

"...So?"

"If you defeat Go Yoon-kyung, I'll help you participate in the next Olympics."

"By illegal means?"

"Legally."

"Hmm..."

The master and the players wanted to somehow make me lose.

Interest arose because of their attitude, which was confident in Go Yoon-kyung's victory even after seeing my skills.

'How strong is she?'

I wanted to check if it was an overestimation or a bluff.

"Alright."

"You've made a good decision!"

"But do we not need to ask Go Yoon-kyung's opinion?"

"Don't worry about that. Will she leave you alone after you made her boyfriend look like that?"

"Aha!"

I forgot that Yoo Il-chung was her boyfriend.

"Tell me the day because it's difficult to have a match due to prior commitments."

"Is it not possible now?"

"Go Yoon-kyung mainly trains at a Taekwondo academy run by her relatives, so we need to make an appointment."

"She's busy."

"But if she hears that her boyfriend is hurt, she'll come running right away."

"Just let me know a day in advance, by text or phone."

"Oh! I'll contact you soon!"

"...Wait a moment."

"Why?"

There were texts from Manger Seo Hye-joo on my smartphone.

「Missed calls: 3」

「Seo Hye-joo: Do you remember the patient I told you about before?」

「Seo Hye-joo: The vice-director is trying to pass it on to me again.」

「Seo Hye-joo: Save me!」

"...I think I'll be busy too. I'll text you the date when I have free time."

The policy has changed.

'New patients are always welcome!'

* * *

A few days before leaving for joint training in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I received a request from Manager Seo Hye-joo.

The patient had been asleep for about 3 years.

During that time, she had moved to various hospitals around the world and came to Elmorangs Hospital after hearing that a patient (Choi Kang-min) with the same symptoms had been cured...

"Do you want to try?"

"Yes."

"...You've changed. I haven't even talked about the specific treatment costs yet."

Manager Seo Hye-joo looked at me suspiciously.

"Isn't it about saving people? We can't judge patients by money."

"You can be honest."

"It seems that the experience gained in dreams is partially reflected in reality."

I decided to tell her right away, thinking that she would eventually find out since we were working together.

"...Really?"

"Yes. Yesterday, I went to the Olympic national representative Taekwondo dojo and knocked down all the players. All with one shot - ah! The world's second place took two shots."

"You said you learned from a legendary Taekwondo player in a dream, right?"

"Rather than learning, I was unilaterally beaten."

Gomusin.

I thought he was a slightly skilled Taekwondo player from the old days, but after coming out of Nam Hae-soo's dream, I laughed bitterly when I researched it for fun.

He only won one Olympic gold medal.

However, the disciples who were beaten by him every day had swept all the Olympic gold medals in history.

'What a difference.'

Nam Hae-soo monopolized Olympic medals after pushing competitors away by any means necessary.

But the grandmaster, despite his skills, devoted his life to fostering the next generation, giving up honor and pension...

He was a flawless great man, except for the smell of his feet.

"I've heard a similar story from the coach who cherishes you like a son-in-law. I thought it was strange too."

"My performance has noticeably improved since before entering the dream."

"Instead, if you die in a dream, it will noticeably decrease. Right?"

"That's right."

Manager Seo Hye-joo understood very quickly even without a long explanation. Or maybe she had predicted it to some extent before I spoke.

Anyway, it was convenient for me.

"I have to be careful in the future."

"That's right. If I die in a dream, I can't even break even. Wasting time, losing abilities..."

It was a bit risky.

"It's a dilemma. Even if you know what kind of dream the patient is having, the risk would be significantly reduced."

"That's right."

"To be blunt, if you encounter a monster that transcends human boundaries like Magical Boy Choi Kang-min, you'll die without a chance."

"Oh? Are you worried about me?"

"Of course! It may sound uncomfortable, but doctors must take good care of their medical tools."

"Aha!"

Medical tools.

It's not the wrong expression. Even if they know the cause of the patient not waking up, they can't treat them without me.

"Hmm... I think I need to hire a detective for your safety."

"A detective?"

"Because we could meet a patient who has a different appearance and nature, like Nam Hae-soo. We need to do a thorough background check."

"That's a good idea."

If we understand the patient's regrets or complaints, we can also predict the worldview and purpose of the dream.

I felt like my ability was becoming more systematic as the information piled up.

I liked it.

"Since we're talking about it, should we do a thorough background check on this patient?"

"Yes."

There was no reason for me to refuse.

* * *

Starting as a swimmer, I virtually dominated domestic Taekwondo!

Even though it was an unofficial match to test my skills, the rumor was bound to spread.

That fact,

"Kang Moon-soo! Wait a moment!"

"When did you learn Taekwondo?"

"Is the rumor true?"

"Just a moment of your time...!"

The reporters who were waiting for me at the entrance of the sports college dormitory informed me as they asked questions.

'This is... a familiar scene.'

I had received attention when I defeated fencing and swimming national representatives in Nam Hae-soo's dream.

I calmly answered their questions briefly.

"I'm sorry. I have training in 5 minutes, so I'll hurry."

"Kang Moon-soo~!"

"Ah! Kang Moon-soo?!"

Whoosh~

As soon as I started running, the distance between me and the surrounding reporters widened in an instant.

The destination was the sports college swimming pool.

Usually, I would run a big lap around the sports college for morning exercise and then go in, but today I skipped it.

However,

"It's Kang Moon-soo!"

"Ah! Kang Moon-soo~!"

"Just a moment for a conversation...!"

There were reporters waiting for me in front of the gym where the swimming pool was located.

'What a mess!'

I expected that the rumor would spread eventually, but I didn't know it would happen like this overnight.

Avoiding their pursuit, I went through the back door of the gym, which was hardly used...

"Moon-soo!"

"Oh! Coach. You look busy."

"If you know, help me out!"

The coach's personal room, where only the athletes and staff in charge can enter.

Today, there were many guests in the personal room of Coach Jang Seon-young, who was ostracized for having a different aptitude.

Police officers, gym managers, Taekwondo masters, swimming coaches, Taekwondo players...

Their professions were diverse.

"Nice to meet you. Are you Kang Moon-soo?"

"Yes."

The police officer was a mixed-gender duo, and the man behind the woman talking to Coach Jang Seon-young asked me a question in a businesslike manner.

"We received a report that you knocked down four Taekwondo players at this university yesterday. Do you admit it?"

"I admit it."

I answered while glancing at the coaches and players I had seen at the Taekwondo dojo.

"Since it was an agreed-upon match, Kang Moon-soo is not at fault."

"Then why..."

Why did you come here anxiously?

"Please excuse us, even if it's bothersome. There are often cases of abuse in matches, so we have no choice."

"Ah, I see."

I understood immediately.

The P’s aptitude test only looks at the physical abilities of athletes. Morality is not considered at all.

Murder, prostitution, assault, drugs, drunk driving, swearing, gambling...

That's why coaches always monitor to make sure that athletes don't cause social problems. The coach also educates the athlete's character like a parent.

On the other hand,

"The most common complaint is assault by athletes. Athletes protest that they were slightly touched, but that slight touch can often hurt ordinary people."

"Yes. I'll be careful-"

"And there's an important issue that we must address. Kang Moon-soo went to the Taekwondo dojo first and provoked them, is that correct?"

"That... yes."

"In this case, you can be punished even if it was agreed upon. It went quietly because there was a pretext for verifying Taekwondo skills, but be careful in the future."

"......"

For police officers, responsibility and integrity are very important mental indicators.

"And this is just my personal opinion..."

"Yes."

"I'm very proud to see a young man who used to work late at a convenience store grow up so wonderfully."

"Ah... Thank you."

"I knew it! I wasn't mistaken."

"Yes?"

"Kang Moon-soo will be 20 years old this year. But the time I saw you at that convenience store was quite a long time ago. How old were you when you started working part-time at the convenience store?"

"......"

'Coach! Please save me!'

The crisis of my life came out of the blue!



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