“Huh, uhh? Huu–hahaha….”
Hyun Sang was breathing heavily as a strange windy sound leaked from his mouth.
There was nothing he could say.
It took all of his effort not to burst into laughter.
The victory was a great pleasure, but it wasn’t appropriate to express it openly since the opponent had suffered horribly.
‘If I was a first-class disciple, I would have run over there by now!’
This was the first time Hyun Sang felt so heavily burdened for being an elder.
‘We really beat them!’
To be precise, Chung Myung had won, not Mount Hua. But who cares? Hyun Sang’s only regret was that he couldn’t join the children in celebrating because of his dignity as an elder.
“Uhahahaha! We won! We won! Did you see that? Sahyung! Chung Myung raised our wealth again!”
“… raised the sect’s name, is that what you meant?”
“Didn’t I say that!? Hahaha! Where did that golden pig even roll in from? Hahaha!”
“S-Sajae! Think of your words….”
“To shit with that! Why should I care about dignity in this situation!? This is the first victory I’ve had to celebrate since I entered this damned Mount Hua!”
“L-let’s calm down….”
“Hahaha! Look at the faces of those Southern Edge bastards! It pissed me off every time I had to watch them leave so triumphantly! Ugh! I couldn’t even eat! Their whole journey home is going to be hell! Hahaha!”
Hyun Sang gave up trying to control Hyun Young and smiled.
‘He’s right. Who cares about decency right now?’
What good ever came to Mount Hua when they kept up their appearances and stayed polite? All they received was applause for being well-mannered.
“Kuhahaha! Sect leader! Sect leader! Did you see!? That Chung Myung… sect leader?”
Hyun Young, who ran to Hyun Jong, flinched the moment he saw the gentle expression on Hyun Jong’s face.
“Everything… has been achieved….”
“No! This idiot keeps trying to pass on anytime something good happens! Come to your senses! Sahyung!”
Hyun Jong shook his head.
‘I feel like my soul escaped for a bit. Wait, that’s not important now.’
“This wasn’t a dream?”
“There’s no dream that’s as absurd as this!”
“Right, you’re right.”
Hyun Jong looked at Chung Myung with a proud smile. Chung Myung, who was surrounded by other disciples, appeared to be screaming and scolding them for their harassment, but all the Sahyungs were embracing him regardless.
‘This is it.’
How long had it been since the disciples of Mount Hua gathered and rejoiced?
Hyun Jong was more satisfied to see the disciples so happy than he was at the fact that they’d defeated the Southern Edge Sect.
Un Geom approached him with a brilliant smile.
“The joy is indescribable, but why don’t we end this now? It wouldn’t be good to keep making the Southern Edge Sect watch this.”
“I suppose so.”
Hyun Jong smiled and looked at Un Geom.
“Did you know this would happen?”
“I didn’t expect this much. But...”
Un Geom looked at Chung Myung and said,
“I expected that kid to raise the name of Mount Hua.”
“You have high hopes for him.”
“Right. He’s someone that exceeds all expectations in many ways.”
“R-right, I see.”
It was true that there were many doubts surrounding Chung Myung, but what did that matter right now?
“We should go. Let them be; we need to greet the other side.”
Hyun Young quickly jumped to help out as well.
“Shouldn’t you bring them some gifts? That way, they’ll be sure to spread this story, Sahyung! Let’s open our wallets! We have some money left, so let’s use it! We need to use the money to bribe these people into complimenting Mount Hua and—um! Um!”
Hyun Jong sighed and shook his head as Hyun Sang grabbed Hyun Young and dragged him away.
Sama Seung kept silent.
It was often said that a person driven to the extreme doesn’t feel anger; it would seem that was correct. The anger that had dominated Sama Seung’s mind before had vanished. In its place, there was merely a hollow feeling of disappointment.
‘Why did it turn out like this?’
The Southern Edge Sect had never been defeated in the conference until now. Of all times, it happened now. At the very last conference, they suffered a devastating defeat that could never be washed clean by future generations.
The Southern Edge Sect, a member of the Nine Great Sects and One Union, lost to a crumbling sect that they sought to destroy.
What happened here was unbelievably ridiculous.
This was no simple defeat.
This defeat would change the flow of power in the surrounding regions. Anyone who knows will regard the Southern Edge Sect as a loser in Shaanxi. The future of the sect would be unknown.
Sama Seung looked at the disciples standing in front of him.
Some were unconscious, while others were caring for the fallen. However, most just seemed bewildered.
As he watched the vitality drain from their eyes, he felt something prick his heart.
‘They will also fear Mount Hua.’
Just like their ancestors did.
After the Demonic Sect’s attack, Mount Hua’s disciples felt the same despair that the Southern Edge Sect felt. They must have also experienced frustration and hopelessness when faced with a wall that could never be overcome.
It was all because of him.
Sama Seung’s eyes shone.
‘We didn’t lose to Mount Hua.’
They lost to one man.
Had it not been for Chung Myung, such an outcome would have been impossible. What the third-class disciples achieved could be written off as an accident. After all, the Southern Edge Sect’s third-class disciples are younger when compared to Mount Hua’s anyway.
However, Chung Myung defeating the second-class disciples left no room for excuses. From now on, whenever the Southern Edge Sect’s name is mentioned, Chung Myung’s name will surely follow.
‘What kind of humiliation is this?’
A disgrace that will never be repeated.
Seeing Sama Seung grinding his teeth, the disciples bowed their heads.
‘This… damn it!’
Now that he’d realized the situation, his eyes shone with anger and humiliation. His heart began to pound as if it would explode as his eyes turned distant.
“How do I face the sect leader?”
The faces of the disciples turned a ghostly pale when they heard Sama Seung's murmuring.
In the eyes of Sama Seung, who was grasping for a way to explain this, he saw the sect leader of Mount Hua approaching.
He bit his lip enough to make it bleed again. But he couldn’t allow his pain to be shown to Mount Hua. They would only mock him further.
Sama Seung controlled his expression and spoke to Hyun Jong.
“Congratulations, sect leader.”
“You did well too.”
Hyun Jong smiled.
“We were lucky this time.”
“… then we must be out of luck.”
Sama Seung’s eyes flashed.
Hearing Hyun Jong’s words, he wanted to scream out, but he spoke coldly.
“You can rejoice as much as you like, Sect leader. Isn’t victory a rarity for Mount Hua? You never know if this will be the last time you experience it, so you should be happy! Ah! Be happy!”
Hyun Young was about to yell, but Hyun Sang quickly pulled him back.
Sama Seung continued to speak as his tone began to shift.
“I admit that we lost the conference today, but don’t forget that Mount Hua didn’t win against the Southern Edge sect! Only the third-class disciples won, not the second-class! The fact is that you haven’t changed a thing.”
Hyun Jong smiled brightly as he listened to Sama Seung.
“We think the same too.”
“I am grateful for your comments. I would appreciate it if you could send my regards to the Southern Edge Sect’s leader.”
Hearing those words, Sama Seung’s eyes went wide.
‘How dare he say this!’
Hyun Jong didn’t even dare to look him in the eye just the other day. But now he was acting so defiantly, just because he won once…
“Ha. Cheap stuff never goes very far.”
Sama Seung turned his head.
It was a familiar voice now. A voice that he would never forget in this life. Chung Myung approached the elders, along with his sahyungs.
Sama Seung’s eyes were bloodshot as his gaze pierced Chung Myung.
‘All because of him.’
Sama Seung seemed to be holding back a belly full of raging fire as he glared at Chung Myung. Receiving the elder’s gaze, Chung Myung punched Jo Gul, who was standing next time him.
“Sahyung! Cheap stuff!? Huh? Cheap! How could you say that!?”
“Hey! I’m the Sahyung here!”
“So? If you are the Sahyung, you should at least try and protect my face. How can you act so rudely!”
“… are you really talking to me right now?”
“Who else? Sahyung!”
Chung Myung kicked Jo Gul once again and turned to Hyun Jong.
“Sect leader. The conference is done, so I felt that it would be polite to come and greet the other side.”
“Huhu. I see.”
‘Don’t be polite to them, you bastard.’
Seeing that he had the sect leader’s permission, Chung Myung shifted his focus to Sama Seung.
Seeing a disgustingly wide smile on Chung Myung’s face, Sama Seung’s body trembled to its core.
‘This is all his fault.’
Perhaps this man will be the biggest obstacle for the Southern Edge Sect in the future.
Then, he’d rather…
Inside his sleeves, Sama Seung’s hands twitched.
As long as he was prepared to live in infamy, a contribution of unprecedented importance could be made to his sect. He may never be able to return to the Southern Edge Sect, but for the sake of their future…
At that time, Chung Myung smiled and said,
“Would you like to take a swing at me?”
Sama Seung’s eyes shook.
Sama Seung’s face turned white upon realizing that Chung Myung discerned his intentions.
‘What young man could….’
If Chung Myung’s guard was down, Sama Seung might be able to kill him in a surprise assault. However, with the strength that he’s shown, it would be impossible to slay Chung Myung in one stroke as long as he was prepared to defend himself.
And if Sama Seung failed to kill Chung Myung, then he would be stigmatized and hated without accomplishing anything. In fact, his sect’s reputation would suffer for having raised a villain.
Chung Myung smiled at the elder who couldn’t do anything to him.
“I think we’ll see each other often in the future. Next time, I’ll greet you first.”
Sama Seung stared at him for a long period and then turned away with bloodless eyes.
“We’re going back!”
Without even waiting for his disciples, he quickly left Mount Hua.
Hearing the sighs that freely flowed from the crowd around, Chung Myung laughed.
‘Why act like that?’
He couldn’t understand.
Chung Myung turned to the voice that called for him.
Hyun Jong was looking at him with a very complicated expression. There was a complex mix of affection, pity, pride, and regret all at the same time. Recognizing that look, Chung Myung closed his eyes without realizing it.
In this case, Hyun Jong had the same expression as his Sahyung.
He would also have that same expression when looking at Chung Myung.
Chung Myung didn’t understand what that face meant in the past, but now he did. He naturally came to understand when he led Mount Hua.
After a long time, Hyun Jong’s voice cut through Chung Myung’s ears.
“… you’ve worked hard.”
Chung Myung smiled brightly.
“It was nothing, Sect leader.”
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