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Manhwa: Veritas
Veritas is a martial arts sonyun Manhwa written by Yoon Joon-sik and illustrated by Kim Dong-hoon. It is published in Booking magazine. The official website can be found here. The manhwa is about a hard headed high school student who seeks to become the strongest and find out who killed his master.

Gangryong is a high schooler unlike others. He has always had a dream of being the strongest. One day he meets Youcheon aka ''Lightning Tiger'', who saves him from a bunch of thugs. Gangryong begs Lightning Tiger to teach him. Lightning Tiger teaches him a powerful skill and then disappears. One year later, people come to see him and announce that his "master" is dead and show him the only body part they managed to recover was his charred, broken remains of his arm. Because he was his only student, Gangryong has to follow them and go to a school where everybody has supernatural powers. He accepts this as a way to farther his training and to find out why his master was killed. There, he endears himself to the student body with his reckless and cocky attitude.

Part 1 has just ended and Part 2 is in Development Hell.

Tropes:

  • A God Am I: The goal of Yuri Linus, head of Reunion. It's also the goal of Vera
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Guesong Chun
  • Absolute Cleavage: Madoka's battle outfit, of all things.
    • Not to mention Park Hyunmi's half-unzipped leather jacket.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Vera Linus, as its president, can organise death duels between students. Talk about absurdly powerful...
    • Not to mention that there's an obscene amount of backstabbing, deal-making, side-changing, and outright spies and conflicts of interest. The manga is half political drama, with interactions more suited to high-level corporate espionage and control than a freaking school council. Granted, this one IS backed by a multinational corporation...
  • Alpha Bitch: Shinra
  • Arc Words: Veritas
  • Ax-Crazy: Muyong seems a little too unstable even for a BloodKnight.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Honse's specialty. Gangryongs capable of it too, though to a much lesser extent.
  • Baddie Flattery: Inverted, good guy Gangryong compliments his oponent, Smug Snake Eunhwa, that she has pretty eyes. While slamming her head on the ground.
  • Badass Normal: Honse Gu Subverted as of chapter 75, where we learn Honse was never normal, and it was all a ruse.
  • Bald of Awesome: Honse
  • Beast and Beauty: The cute Yuhwa, and the clearly Ax-Crazy Muyong, why she cares so much about the guy completely boggles the mind.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted with several characters.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • The Big Guy: Honse.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Gangryong
  • Black and Gray Morality
  • Blood Knight: Gangryong. His idea of a good time is a fight. He spends most of his time at the school picking fights with people. He's jumped right into the middle of a feud every side takes as Serious Business simply because that's where the good fighters are. Hell, the only reason he even picked a side was because his teacher was a Traditionalist instead of being a member of Reunion. He has very little loyalty to anyone but his master.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Gangryong
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger / Bolivian Army Ending: Gangryong is fighting Vera, Yuri is awake, and the few people who've survived the Kill 'em All portion of the manga are actively being hunted by the Traditionalists. If the artist and writer get around to doing Part 2 for reals, this will be the first one. If they don't, it's the second.
  • Book Dumb: Gangryong is completely incapable of understanding anything that anyone tries to teach him.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Pretty much what the series is all about. Martial Arts = Superpowers.
  • Combat Pragmatist
  • Clothing Damage
  • Cool Mask: Guesong
  • Covers Always Lie: In stark contrast to her Emotionless Girl nature, we get things like this image of Vera.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Listing them all would take too long, but the most notable ones have been Vera vs Guesong, and LT vs the entire student council!
  • Cute Bruiser
  • Determinator: Gangryong, once he gets into a fight, he won't stop until he wins or loses.
  • Development Hell: The only thing keeping this series from being really marked as finished or cancelled is Yoon Joon-sik's willingness to write the 2nd Part of Veritas, but everything including the valuable artist Kim Dong-hoon are against his wishes. The series in its final chapters was undergoing through an unpleasant decline in popularity, Booking Magazine's editorial from the publisher Haksan demanded Yoon Joon-sik and to rush the story because the series was given its forced date to be finished with already; that said both men gave their best and fast paced many events in the final volumes to at least try a decent closure, and yet Veritas still ended with open threads for the planned Part 2. Nowadays Kim Dong-hoon is focused in drawing other series and Haksan doesn't seem interested in picking Veritas up again, only Yoon Joon-sik expressed his wishes to continue and thanks to the readers in notes contained in the final volume for the series.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Hayato is generally wearing a smile, even during his fight with Gangryong.
  • Double Entendre: The entire scene where Lightning Tiger "removes Vera's seal".
  • Elaborate University High: The school has a labs, a hospital, an arena for matches, and isolation rooms for training.
  • Emotionless Girl: Vera, most of the time.
  • Executive Meddling: Fans thinking the series suddenly went through some unexpected fast paced events and twists in its final chapters are not entirely mistaken, Yoon Joon-sik does mention in the 10th Volume about being concerned and insecure about the editorial decision to shoehorn all plot progression that he peviously planned to explain in more detail and in a more moderate pacing given that Veritas would go beyond the 10th Volume mark; the series was declining in popularity and Haksan decided that either they would progress with Veritas as fast as possible or it would eventually meet its cancellation.
  • Fauxreigner: Madoka, she's really Korean using a Japanese name as an alias. For all we know she could be of mixed race, But Not Too Foreign.
  • Fanservice: the Manhwa starts with a pin-up-poster picture of Vera and Shinra in bikinis. In fact these two are Ms. Fanservice incarnate.
  • Flashbacks: Used extensively. Veritas takes place near the climax of a bunch of conflicts that have been developing for years. The plot involves as many flashbacks to explain the current state of affairs as it does new events. One event in particular is the subject of multiple flashbacks from multiple perspectives, to show how important it's effects have been: Lightning Tiger's attack on the Reunion school
  • Foreshadowing: Guesong's conversation with Vera after his failed rape attempt.
  • Generic Cuteness: Subverted. Despite using a fairly glamorous art style, and having almost every character in peak fighting shape, the artist actually managed to make Gangryong believably uglier than everyone else without resorting to Gonk. It's noted many times in story, including by Gangryong himself.
    I might not have heard that I was attractive before, but still!
    • He's just much too Hot-Blooded to be yet another lame-ass pretty boy. Many readers think he looks just fine.
  • Good News, Bad News: Honse when he was told that he had to watch over Gangryong.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Gangryong
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: This is about as close as it gets to describing the Hate Dodecahedron that is the plot of 'Veritas'.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Madoka
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: A main theme. Everyone but Gangryong have taken Ki transfusions that exceed what would usually be gotten through a lifetime of training multiple times. A good deal of the plot is Gangryong trying to bypass his obvious and extraordinarily bad disadvantages through sheer hard work, pain, and dirty, dirty fighting. Also shown in that many of the students give up their own family's style to take up Reunions, which is far easier to use and train with, rather than master their own intricate and hard to use styles.
    • It's worse than that. The students never really learned how to fight, choosing to rely on flashy techniques, speed, and power, while glossing over the basics, such as proper stance and breath control. In a straight up fist fight, even some of the most powerful students make rookie mistakes, like dropping their guard, a fact Gangryong gleefully takes advantage of.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Lots of the students in Reunion are the heirs of their respective dojo.
  • Herald: Zerar
  • Hidden Eyes: Guesong
  • Hot-Blooded: Gangryong
    • Guhoo as well.
  • Identification by Dental Records: A skull believed to be Lightning Tiger's was IDed this way.
  • Idiot Hero: Gangryong and his master, Lightning Tiger. Both get caught up in schemes quite beyond their understanding and only interfere because things are literally shoved into their faces.
  • It's Personal: Between Rud and Guhoo, after Guhoo stuffed Anichella in a fridge.
    • It would appear that Guhoo is only partly responsible, as it was revealed, that Yuri secretely gave him a hand in winning, since Anichella became a threat to Veras position as the student council president.
  • Jerk Ass: Gangryong, at least, when he's trying to pick a fight. Hayato, who is by FAR the calmest and least volatile of the cast, still manages to get riled up after a little while.
  • Jerk Jock: Guhoo
  • Joshikousei
  • Ki Attacks: The Martial Arts may use Ki. This basic idea is a bit different from the norm in that Gangryong is trained to use attacks that use pure ki while all the strong students at Reunion use artifical ki transfusions to augment their ki attacks.
  • Kill 'em All: As of chapter 79 most of the cast is dead by Vera's hand. If Heaven's Riches has its way, the rest of the cast (barring Gangryong) will soon follow.
    • Done by Yuri to Heaven's Riches in a Laser-Guided Karma. One moment they are an unstoppable killing force and the "True succesors", beating Fire Dragon to an ich of his life in their moment of thriumph ... the next they are blood stains in the rocks
  • Made of Iron: Subverted with Gangryong. Guhoo is the more literal example.
  • Male Gaze: Oh yeah.
  • Manly Tears
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. Oh, Honse.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: So the amazing defensive technique everyone is shocked by is.. a half step to the left or the right? That seems like kind of a no-brainer.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Ma Gangryong certainly likes to give Gu Honse copious forgiveness for his antics.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Guesong to Vera. He backs off when he realizes that even in those circumstances, he's still completely and utterly insignificant in her eyes.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Reunion has it's hands in everything, all with the goal of making it's leader into a god.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Madoka, she chastises Mu-Young for dissing Guesong's death.
  • New Transfer Student: Gangryong
  • Ninja School: Reunion runs one of these, and it is the location of most of the story.
  • Non-Action Guy: Subverted. Gu Honse used to be one of the three most powerful students in the school, but he deliberately destroyed his own Ki system to save himself. He still is one of the most intelligent combatants, and it seems that he's using his fall to the background to become the Chessmaster.
    • Averted with chapter 76. He completely faked it.
      • He's still the weakest, having fallen behind due to spending all his time practicing a martial art that is useless on everyone but Vera.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: A popular Gangryong tactic. As seen here.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Gangryong admits that part of the reason he went around picking fights that had no chance of winning is that no matter how powerful he gets, nobody will be able to shake their first impression of him as a weak loser.
    • As of the climax of chapter 75, Honse proved that he's godlike at this.
    • As of the final chapter of this part of the Manwha, Ganryong, for some time. Especially due to the fact that he was powerful enough to release Lightning Tiger's seal on Yuri will no effort, after chasing Fire Dragon deep into the forest. And even then, he still had more than enough power to pick a fight with Vera.
  • Ojou: Vera
  • Panty Shot: This happens often.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Guesong
  • Rebellious Spirit: Gangryong
  • Retro Upgrade: After spending long periods training to purify his Ki flow, Gangryong discovers that he gets much better results if he deliberately clogs the flow until it bursts and washes out his system. Overlaps with Dangerous Forbidden Technique, since timing it wrong could kill him.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Fire Dragon.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Park Hyunmi wears one of these.
  • School Of Hard Knocks
  • Shout Outs: Several.
  • Sidekick: Honse
  • Sequel Hook: Despite Executive Meddling to force a fast paced progression for its plot and almost facing cancellation, Veritas still ended in a note for a possible Part 2, even after the series' decline in popularity, Yoon Joon-sik (the writer) still expressess his will to someday continue Veritas with the previously planned Part 2.
  • Shock and Awe: EOTL, Ganryong's style.
  • Stepford Smiler: Madoka
  • Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: Heaven Riches at hands of Yuri. Worst of all, it happened offscreen.
  • The Stoic: Vera
  • Stone Wall: Guhoo
  • Super-Deformed: Used for jokes. Usually includes Honse.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Subverted, when Madoka wanted to take out Gangryong after finding out that he will be helping Rud to take over the student council. Instead of slamming him to the ground instantly, she got into a discussion with him. While she was talking, Gangryong had the time to make a few attempts to use a new technique, although he managed to fire it off successfully, only after she stopped talking, and was about to waste him.
  • There Can Be Only One: In order to be recognized as the leader of Reunion and Heaven's Riches, Vera kills every other student at the school barring the Nine Dragons who were away at the time. The twisted logic behind this is that the power of Reunion can only belong to one worthy successor, and the "traditionalist" students at the school were still "tainted" by Reunion and had to die as well. Gangryong is the only person Heaven's Riches will allow to live since he never participated in Reunion's experiments and his training under Lightning Tiger was "pure".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gangryong, several times. When he gets to the school at the beginning of the Manhwa, he's just a punk kid with the very basics of his master's style and is considered so pathetic that Vera thinks he's only going to be good for passing the style down to someone with potential. By the tenth volume of the series, despite the fact he's only really been practicing for a few years, he's stronger than people who've been born and raised as martial artists.
    • Rud also counts, having taken a martial art considered so pathetic that Reunion didn't even bother to copy it into one of their styles and grown strong enough to be one of the strongest, most powerful fighters in school.
    • This is the reason Shinra hates Gangryong so much. It really upsets her that some punk who has only been seriously practicing martial arts and ki channeling for a few years can match people like her who have spent their entire lives training and, in the case of Reunion members, risked their lives using experimental ki fusions.
  • Tragic Keepsake: LT's charred arm.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: One of Gangryong's main fighting styles.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Subverted, Gangryong has lost a few fights but when he wins it tends to be a shock for his opponent.
  • Waif-Fu: Many (read: ALL) of the female fighters that have shown up so far do not have the physique one would expect of someone who has both trained in martial arts for their entire life and participates in (sometimes) rather bloody fist fights using said martial arts (the most obvious examples being the aforementioned Vera and Shinra, who have the bodies of bikini models rather than fighters). Contrast this with most of the male fighters that have shown up, who are ripped and generally have the physique of someone who regularly trains in hand-to-hand combat (e.g. Gangryong). However, due to the ability of ki to drastically augment the strength and power of the user, developing muscle tone is not quite as necessary as it is in real life.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Funnily enough that's what Gangryong is in comparison with the other fighters at school. Since he's been training properly for only about a year, and has a miniscule amount of ki, with low purity, his attacks are really weak. To compensate for that, he has obscene amounts of real fighting experience he earned in streetfights. It was most obvious in his fight with Eunhwa who was much stronger than him. He won by using superior tactics and having more experience, he even lampshades it here.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Guhoo killing Anichella to protect Vera's status.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 79.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: EOTL is supposed to be able to call lightning from anywhere and can decimate even Vera's style, which is supposedly the end-all-be-all to martial arts. Gangryong doesn't know how to do that yet, so he instead would like to beat your face in with an electrified fist.
  • Worf Had the Flu: It was revealed that the only reason that Guhoo manhaged to kill Anichella, was because Yuri helped him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Gangryong WILL hit a girl or at least tries to, if she pisses him off.
    • Everyone else, as well. Gender holds absolutely no sway over brutality in combat in this manga, and two of the three strongest characters introduced are sisters.
  • Wuxia: Uses many wuxia tropes but the story itself is more on the cynical side and the main hero is a Blood Knight rather than a traditional noble wuxia hero.
  • The Worf Effect: Anichella was supposed to be a genius, and Vera's rival, yet she was killed in a fight with Guhoo, who isn't really all that impressive, and seems to be one of the weakest peaple in the student council. Rud even lampshades, how unbelievable that is.

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