ear sarcastic remarks about Joseon people.

She has punished a guy that despised Joseon people in front of Baek Cheol-yeon, someone who had great pride in being from Joseon, and this would have increased his trust in her.
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『And, anyway, he is just the son of the police chief? He’s not even the son of the head of the Government General Police Department.
What can he do?』
『Well, I guess you are right, my Lady.』

Takahiro nodded in agreement.
To be honest, it was exactly as Renka had said.

Compared to Shimazu Gumi, an association that was so large it had branches in Joseon and Manchuria, not to mention the status of nobility of the Shimazu family in the Empire, the Jongno Police Station was nothing but a small precinct station that was in charge of a part of Gyeongseong, a small city in the Empire.
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A thug that hung out with such petty bullies, on the back of being the son of the chief of such a small police station, was not even something she would ever be interested in.

The only thing that interested her was Shirabayashi, Baek Cheol-yeon.

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‘Shirabayashi-san, I’ll uncover your secrets.’

Renka thought, looking at her reflection on the car window.

‘Even if I have to use your strong sense of pride as a person of Joseon against you…….’

***

‘Maybe I should just hurry up, escape Joseon and move to America, damn it.’
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It had been 10 minutes since they started walking up the mountain path in the warm spring weather of early April.

I kept on cursing ‘why did they have to build a school in such a mountain?’, and as if I was getting dragged to the reserves troops training grounds in a military uniform, every step felt heavier than the last.

Even if I graduate from this school, it won’t change that this is still hell-Joseon.
What kind of dream am I supposed to be chasing, walking up and down this path every day for three years…….
And getting bullied by Japanese kids as well.

‘Maybe just going to America three years earlier and starting a laundry……’
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As I thought this,

“Wow!”

At this moment, the slope began to become gentle, and as the panoramic view of the school built deep on Bukhansan was revealed, I forgot about how hard it was to get there and couldn’t help just admiring it.

“That’s rad.
How did they build this so deep into the mountain? This is crazy.”

It was deep into the mountain, and because of the era I was in, I thought it would just be a few buildings made out of cement bricks like military barracks, something that just said “I’m a school”, but what I encountered was just something else.
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First of all, the main building.
The magnificent brick coloured building, with ivy creeping on its walls, looked majestic.
Other than that, there was a large auditorium, several smaller detached buildings, and to add to that, the other several buildings like the dormitory or the research buildings all over the site made this look like a historic university campus.

Of course, in this era a “vocational school” was more of a quasi-college-level higher education institute, but it was impressive that a vocational school, which was obviously more of a technical school than a university, was this big.
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It was simply a scene that was worthy of the dignity of the Hunter Academy.

“I’m nervous……”
“You say that as if it were your first time here.
Stop looking around! You’re embarrassing me…….”
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Song Byung-oh, walking beside me, gave me a talking to whilst pulling his hat down, but I couldn’t help looking around and admiring everything.
I mean, I can’t help it.
I don’t remember coming to school on the day of the preliminary call-up.

“And anyway, now that we’ve come through the school gate you should,”
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Song Byung-oh continued, straightening his clothes up.
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『start speaking in Japanese.
Obviously you’ll do well by yourself, but I’m afraid you’ll get caught speaking in the Joseon language.』

Ah.
We were in the Japanese occupation period, and nearly towards its end.
It may not be so outside of school, but it was an era when the use of Japanese was forced in schools.

‘The pain of losing your country, again…….’

Even so, such a periodical tragedy was not something that would bring me down.
To be honest, I was too full of anticipation to feel like that.
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Looking back, in the 21st century I had a normal and boring school career.
That’s why it was so exciting to be able to come back to my youth and start school all over again……! And on top of that, this time it wasn’t just a regular school, it was a Hunter Academy!

Even though my mental age was well over 30, and no matter the fact that this was a world where the Japanese ruled, I couldn’t help but look forward to and feel excited about my future school life.

『I think we should go stand there.
Let’s go.』
『Okay.』

We mixed in with the students that were headed to the field in front of the main building, and lined up facing the stage according to the teachers’ instructions.
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On top of the stage, a banner saying “The 34th Freshman Entrance Ceremony of Gyeongseong Yeopsa Vocational School” hung, and a line with various national flags were hanging down towards the field.

‘Alright…….’

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This was the start.

Starting today, I would be a student of the Gyeongseong Yeopsa Vocational School.
If we were using terms from the 21st century, I was about to become a student of the Hunter Academy!

Of course, I wasn’t the only one excited.
It was to be expected that the road ahead would be bumpy.

Although I hadn’t been able to attend the Hunter Academy of the 21st century in my past life, I knew that there were many cases of students getting injured along the way, or in some cases even getting killed.

Even if we were in a different period, this would be the same.
No, it could even be even worse.
The past being what it is, there would be no sense of security, and there would be no safety devices made through the advanced mana engineering that existed in the 21st century.
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But in my previous life, I was an active Hunter who had fought going through gates.

Compared to that experience the Academy would be nothing.
Monster response training? Practice that’s almost the same as the real thing? For someone like me, who had cheated death several times, it was nothing.

And, like in the morning, the national contempt and discrimination from my Japanese classmates would be at best just a joke from 17 year-old kids.
It was just something like child’s game to me, an adult who had endured a lot of discrimination and neglect from fellow Hunters.

It just meant that I had the confidence to overcome any difficulties and get my graduation diploma.

『Ah, ah-.
Before we begin the entrance ceremony……』

As the students had all line up and gotten ready for the entrance ceremony, a middle-aged teacher, who seemed to be the spokesperson of the event, finally stepped onto the podium and spoke to the microphone.

『Before the begin the entrance ceremony, there will be a kyujo-yohai.
Right face!』

Wait, what? We’re doing what?
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Kyujo-yohai(宮城遙拜)? That’s saluting by bowing to the Japanese emperor.
I knew that this was something that was done during the colonial era, but did I have to do this?

There was nothing I could do so I turned right at the instruction, 「migimuke migi (right face)」, and faced towards the east.
And as soon as I took off my hat according to the instruction,

『Kyujo-yohai, saikeirei-! (最敬禮)』

Was said, and I thought it meant to bow.
As the other students were doing, I stood at attention, both of my hands next to my thighs, and bowed my head 90 degrees.
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Solemn music flowed from the speakers.
I did as I had been told to do, but this was very uncomfortable inside, so I kept telling myself.

‘I pledge, in front of the proud Taegeuk flag, allegiance to the Republic of Korea (note: South Korean pledge of allegiance)……’

『Naore(at ease)!』

We finally got to get up, but it still wasn’t over.

『Next, we will hold a silent prayer for the fallen armed forces of the Empire.』
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This time I bowed my head.
Like earlier, music flowed for a bit and then I lifted my head at the 「at ease」 instruction.
Phew….
That was long.
At least it’s over.
They’ll surely now start the entrance ceremony…….

『Proclamation of the Oath as Subjects of the Imperial Nation!』

Now what’s this? At the teacher’s lead, the students repeated.

『One! We are imperial subjects, and we will repay our country with loyalty!』
『Two! We, imperial subjects, by cooperating with each other…』
『Three! We, imperial subjects…』
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Seriously, they do all kinds of things.
I just barely murmured, burying my voice in the compound of other students, the way a sergeant about to get discharged from the military would.
I didn’t even know the oath, and even if I did, I didn’t want to put it in my mouth.

The entrance ceremony hadn’t even begun, but I was already exhausted.
The worst part was that this was just an appetizer…….
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It just meant that this morning ritual would repeat, not only for this entrance ceremony, but for every morning assembly, or at the very least every time there was an event.
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My vow to overcome any hardship and graduate from this school had already become difficult.

‘I have to do this shit for three years……?’

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