The start was grand, but the ending was pretty sloppy.
There were several reasons.
First of all, Mount Hua had never imagined they could win, so they never made any plans to celebrate if they did. Even if they wanted to celebrate, the feeling seemed vague.
Secondly, since Sama Seung had already left, the disciples from the Southern Edge Sect had no choice but to leave Mount Hua in a hurry.
“Sect leader! Can we talk for a moment?”
“Don’t push! Didn’t I come here first?”
“Sect leader! Wait for a second, sect leader!”
As soon as Sama Seung left, the officials of Shaanxi, who had seen the events, rushed for Hyun Jong. They had set their sights on Mount Hua’s potential, and they couldn’t just leave empty-handed.
‘I need to make a deal!’
‘I need to secure some business with them!’
‘We can’t let the Eunha Guild soak up all the profits!’
Mount Hua may have won the conference, but that didn’t mean they had completely overpowered the Southern Edge Sect. Still, it was undeniable that Mount Hua was growing stronger at an incredible rate.
Such is the logic of the world. Where there was power, money was bound to flow. The people of Shaanxi had seen the results of the conference for themselves, and they hoped that the money that would soon flow into Mount Hua could trickle down to themselves as well.
“What is wrong with all of you!?”
Hyun Young shouted so loudly that the officials flinched and looked at Hyun Young.
‘Did I overdo it?’
‘Right. Still, he is a sect leader. I should behave politely….’
‘Everyone arrived at once, so he must be flustered.’
However, the words that followed were different from their expectations as Hyun Young spoke.
“You should be discussing the matter with me, the finance head of the sect. I’ve prepared refreshments, so please come this way. I will prepare enough time for you all, so we don’t need to rush through this.”
“Ah, and I’ve prepared rooms for you to stay, just in case. If anyone wants to stay, let me know.”
As the crowd watched Hyun Young humming as he headed toward the finance office, they realized that there would be a difficult day of negotiations ahead of them.
Just before all the Southern Edge Sect’s disciples headed home, Chung Myung found himself face to face with a certain disciple again.
“Thank you for the guidance.”
“Thank you, young disciple.”
Chung Myung looked at Lee Seong-Baek with a stiff expression.
“All your other sahyungs must be gnashing their teeth right now. Is it alright for you to come and say this to me?”
Lee Song-Baek scratched his head with an awkward face.
“We’re already halfway distant.”
Should he be called optimistic? Or simply stupid? The disciples of the Southern Edge Sect were clearly glaring at Lee Song-Baek with eyes full of hatred.
It was only natural that they’d feel that way.
A traitor is always more hated than the enemy. From the Southern Edge Sect’s point of view, the most terrifying enemy was Chung Myung. So, how could they think positively of Lee Song-Baek when he so openly fraternized with the enemy?
Although, it seemed like Lee Song-Baek didn’t care about that at all.
“Before, I couldn’t understand what the young disciple was saying.”
Lee Song-Baek spoke with determined eyes.
“But now I think I understand what you were trying to tell me and the path I need to take.”
“… hey, I am from Mount Hua, you know?”
Lee Song-Baek smiled brightly.
“What does it matter which sect you belong to? Anyone can be a teacher as long as you have something to learn and are willing to listen.”
“Excuse me, you…”
“Do you want to join our sect?”
‘He should just join Mount Hua.’
‘He’s way more like a taoist than me!’
“After all, you’ve already made an enemy of the Southern Edge Sect.”
Lee Song-Baek smiled humbly and looked over at Jin Geum-Ryong, who was still unconscious and being carried out.
“Sahyung must have felt a lot from today’s match. Be careful. Sahyung is an amazing person. He’ll surely train with the young disciple as his goal from now on. He’ll become much more powerful and frightening.
“Yes, well, whatever.”
Seeing Chung Myung’s response, Lee Song-Baek smiled bitterly.
“It might be meaningless for you, young disciple.”
Chung Myung will become stronger much faster than Jin Geum-Ryong. As time passes, the gap will only widen, never closing. Lee Song-Baek was also well aware of that.
“I just wanted to thank you again. Then, until we meet again….”
This time, Chung Myung called for Lee Song-Baek.
Chung Myung and Lee Song-Baek stared at each other without exchanging a word for what seemed like a long time, then Chung Myung began to speak in a different, more serious tone.
“It will be a difficult road.”
Lee Song-Baek looked at Chung Myung and sighed.
“Young disciple really seems to read people’s minds. I can’t hide anything from you.”
“You’ll still stay with them?”
Lee Song-Baek nodded.
“I didn’t choose this path because I wanted to. I need to take this path, so I will follow it.”
Chung Myung nodded.
Chung Myung was struck by a strange emotion as he watched Lee Song-Baek return to his fellow disciples.
Lee Song-Baek will probably have to fight a lonely battle from now. The Southern Edge Sect’s disciples would never be able to forget Chung Myung’s sword and would live with that as their goal.
It would be difficult to protect the Southern Edge Sect’s techniques in that environment. People reject those that are different from themselves.
It will be a lonely and difficult battle, but…
“If he can do that, maybe he will become the hope of the Southern Edge Sect.”
Chung Myung turned and looked at Mount Hua’s third-class disciples.
Seeing Jo Gul and the others smiling, he couldn’t help but sigh.
‘At least one sect seems to be doing well.’
Why was his sect made of such people!?
If only Mount Hua had a single person like Lee Song-Baek, Chung Myung’s job would have been twice as easy!
Chung Myung shook his head.
What could he do?
‘Even if I die, I’m still a man.’
Humans do their best in a given environment. There’s no point in blaming others or being envious of what they have.
Chung Myung turned around to watch the Southern Edge Sect leave.
With this, the matter with the Southern Edge Sect was concluded. From now on, Chung Myung would no longer take the initiative to strike at the Southern Edge Sect. They might not know, but he had already taken enough revenge.
So, did his relationship with the Southern Edge Sect end here?
‘Of course not.’
Now, for the Southern Edge sect, Chung Myung went far beyond just being a thorn in their eyes and had become their number one enemy.
It was understandable. At least, if Chung Myung was the Southern Edge Sect’s leader, he would do anything to avenge this humiliation.
Because that is only the way that they can survive.
“Then they’ll get what’s coming to them.”
Chung Myung smiled.
Then someone quickly rushed in looking for him.
It was Yoon Jong.
“What is it, Sahyung?”
“Come here. The sect leader is looking for you.”
Chung Myung didn’t feel like going.
He raised his head and looked up at the distant sky.
‘I should have held myself back.’
Actually, the series of events was far from over.
After all, didn’t Chung Myung take down all of the Southern Edge Sect’s second-class disciples and make plum blossoms bloom from his sword?
Naturally, the elders had no choice but to harbor doubts about him. Until now, the conference had been ongoing, so they couldn’t concentrate on him. However, now that the conference had concluded, they were bound to have questions they wanted to be answered.
‘What kind of excuse would work here?’
Should he say that he’s their ancestor?
No, he couldn’t say that.
How about saying that he just happened to pick these techniques up by chance?
No, no one would believe that.
While Chung Myung scratched his head and struggled to devise a way out of this scenario, Yoon Jong just tilted his head in confusion.
“What are you up to? Come on, let’s go.”
Chung Myung took a deep breath.
‘Ah, my life.’
Now, even after winning, he would have to make up some excuses.
‘My sahyung! Are you watching? Should I really live like this?’
- Then just die.
‘No! You bastard’
‘You’re just saying that because you are dead!’
In the end, Chung Myung headed to the sect leader’s residence like a cow being led to the slaughterhouse. Given that there were quite a few shoes in front of the room, it seemed like the elders and the first-class disciples had all gathered.
“Sect leader. I, Yoon Jong, brought Chung Myung.”
Yoon Jong beckoned Chung Myung inside.
And he beckoned again.
“What are you doing, brat! Get in!”
Chung Myung sighed and entered.
Now that he was entering, he would have to deal with being questioned…
“Oohhh! Chung Myung!”
“Oh-ho! You did well! Very well! My Chung Myung did well!”
As soon as he entered, the elders and the first-class disciples waiting for him all applauded.
It was strange to see all these men that should be doubting him clap for him.
‘What is wrong with these people?’
When he looked up, everyone was smiling and full of laughter. Even though they couldn’t bloom plum blossoms from their swords, they seemed like they would bloom at any moment from these men’s smiling faces.
Seeing Hyun Jong, who was seated in the middle with a smile so wide that it reached both ears, Chung Myung realized one thing.
‘Ah, they never felt this.’
Seeing the adults of the sect smiling and laughing as if it was nothing important, Chung Myung felt both a bit dreary and emotional at the same time.
‘What was it?’
It was a bit like a child seeing his father fail to live up to his expectations…
Hyun Jong began to speak while trying to calm himself.
“Right. Chu—ugh! Right, Chung Myung….kuk!”
Hyun Jong lowered his head and covered his mouth with his hands. Even the word ‘Chung Myung’ seemed too good for him to say.
The old man seemed to cough. However, his face turned red, and it seemed like he was still struggling to hold back his laughter.
“Right. Are you hurt anywhere?”
“Just a slight cut.”
“The wound might fester. So, after leaving here, go straight to the medical practitioner.”
Hyun Sang spoke with dazzling eyes.
“Just call the medical practitioner here! Why ask such a busy man to go to them?”
“… I feel like that’s a bit strange. Who’s busy?”
“That child is busy! What work does the practitioner even have to do?”
Hyun Jong looked at Hyun Sang with blank eyes, but he simply puffed up his chest feeling proud.
And everyone gathered there nodded their heads as if it was the natural course to take.
“…then let’s do that.”
“Yes, Sect leader.”
“You’re Mount Hua’s—”
It was then.
The door burst open as Hyun Young sprinted in.
“Sect leader! Money is pouring in! Hahaha! A lot of money is rolling in! I’ve never even heard of a story where we make money without doing anything! That guy is the God of Wealth! God of Wealth! Earning money… Chung Myung, this child! You are here!”
Hyun Young rushed to Chung Myung and grabbed his cheeks.
“What a cute child! Hahaha! If I had a grandson like you, I wouldn’t wish for anything more in the world!”
Chung Myung, whose cheeks were stretched out, looked like he was going to pass out.
‘Look at how I have to live.’
‘Now, a child that’s too young to even be my grandson is stretching out my cheeks. Huk! Do I really have to live like this? Huh?’
“Look at you. You seem quite happy.”
“Uhahah! What? Right. I am happy too. Uhahahah!”
All the adults in Mount Hua seemed to have lost their minds.
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