A flustered look was evident on Yoon Jong’s face when he saw the numerous Wudang swordsmen rush at him.
“Uh? It shouldn’t be like this!”
“Are you going to call me a coward?”
“N-No, that’s not it!”
‘Let’s see. There are four of them?’
“No! This is unreasonable!”
Yoon Jong stepped back. Since he was the first to win his fight, the enemies all flocked to him.
“You shouldn’t do this!”
“You talk a lot….”
“No! Not that!”
Yoon Jong groaned.
“I’m not the strongest of us! I’m the weak link!”
“Baek Cheon sasuk is the strongest! If he’s busy, then go to the second strongest person!”
Yoon Jong’s reaction was so intense that the disciples of Wudang could only blankly stare at him. They couldn’t even feel angry when they saw his face, which seemed to shamefully curse his unreasonable circumstances.
“Who’s the second strongest?”
When someone asked that question, Yoon Jong immediately pointed to a person.
“There! Over there! See that!?”
Suspicion arose, and the expressions of the Wudang disciples turned strange as they looked at the person Yoon Jong had pointed out.
Their sword was cutting through space.
This person displayed Mount Hua’s swordsmanship, but it was clearly different from what the others had shown.
Their steps flowed seamlessly and softly as if swimming through the sky. It wasn’t as fancy but much more graceful.
Yu Yiseol’s sword flitted through the air.
The space where her swordsmanship was unfolded felt too distant for the observers to pursue.
The eyes of the Wudang disciples trembled.
“So, it’s not me!”
Yoon Jong couldn’t stand the injustice of being the one targeted and spoke out.
Yu Yiseol was originally strong.
Normally, Yu Yiseol should have had a position as one of the second-class disciple representatives in the last Southern Edge conference. Although she was young, she took to the sword quickly and showed exceptional talent.
To be honest, except for Baek Cheon, there were very few who could beat her.
Such a person then came under the tutelage of Chung Myung.
‘She’s insane too!’
While others were desperately trying to hide away from him, she eagerly chased after Chung Myung to learn as much as possible.
And unconditionally absorbed and mastered everything he had to teach.
After two years of that, she had reached a level where her swordsmanship was unmatched.
Yoon Jong couldn’t accurately gauge whether or not she could defeat Baek Cheon, but he at least believed that she wouldn’t be pushed back easily.
The disciple going against her eventually collapsed.
A hushed calm spread and dominated the hall.
A sharp scream then broke the cold silence.
The disciple tasked with defeating Jo Gul grabbed his leg and screamed; blood was dripping down from a long gash along the man’s right thigh.
In an instant, four people had collapsed.
Most shocking of all was that Jin Hyeon was among the four that had fallen.
‘To a single man.’
The disciples of Wudang bit their lips.
Jin Hyeon was a step above the others. In other words, if Jin Hyeon was defeated, none of them could defeat Baek Cheon one-on-one.
And… Everyone else would suffer too.
Six disciples remained.
Four had fallen.
A lot could be inferred from the results. As long as Jin Hyeon was among the fallen, it was safe to say that the six still standing were weaker than those four on Mount Hua’s side. What’s more, Mount Hua’s disciples had defeated their opponents and remained completely unscathed.
Could the six of them change the result then?
It wasn’t a difficult calculation to make.
The remaining Wudang disciples couldn’t bring themselves to move and trembled in place.
Baek Cheon, who immediately recognized that they had lost their motivation, quietly asked.
“Do you want to continue?”
A cornered rat would even bite a cat. Baek Cheon had no intention of driving the Wudang to the edge.
“If we keep going, you may stand a chance. But if the wounded don’t get medical attention right now, they might be in severe trouble. Is this matter enough for you to sacrifice the future of your sahyungs?”
“Stand down. We won this time. Take your sahyungs, heal them, and leave Nanyang before the night is over. Your sahyung made this promise on his honor, so the Wudang shall no longer involve themselves in Huayoung Gate’s affairs. Your Path’s Edge training hall will be rooted out too.”
Jin Mu bit his lip as he looked at his sahyungs gathering around him.
Once Jin Hyeon was down, he became the one in charge. Something needed to be done in this situation. But…
‘We already lost our chance to win.’
Continuing to fight would increase the damage suffered. So, after much thought, Jin Mu put his hands together.
“We thank Mount Hua for its kindness. Today we will admit our defeat.”
Baek Cheon nodded.
“I won’t see you off.”
Jin Mu winced seeing the healthy disciples supporting the wounded. He took one final look at the disciples of Mount Hua and headed out the main gate.
The Wudang disciples pushed aside the audience that had gathered to watch the event as they hurried to their sub-sect’s main building.
The people of Nanyang that watched everything unfold were left in awe, unable to say anything.
They couldn’t follow martial arts at that level. All they saw was something flash and flicker before seeing people collapse.
However, anyone with eyes could see that Wudang’s retreat signaled Mount Hua’s victory.
‘Oh my god, the Wudang sect….’
‘Mount Hua took them down.’
Who here could have predicted this outcome?
Mount Hua defeating the Wudang?
Of course, the outcome of one fight doesn’t mean that Mount Hua is stronger than Wudang. It was impossible to discuss the differences between the two sects based solely on a fight between their disciples.
Although it wasn’t much, it was still clear that, at this moment, Mount Hua defeated Wudang.
“Huh. They say Mount Hua is regaining its former glory. It seems like it’s really true.”
“Right. Isn’t that great? They fought the Wudang to save Huayoung Gate!”
“Going to such a place is worth it! Ah, it’s worth going!”
The crowd that watched the fight from outside the collapsed wall began to mumble and murmur amongst themselves. Baek Cheon glanced at them briefly and then turned away.
He steadily approached Wei Lishan.
“Ah… ah? Yes!”
Wei Lishan suddenly came to his senses and looked at Baek Cheon. But he was completely speechless.
“Mount Hua has successfully defended Huayoung Gate.”
Baek Cheon and the sahyungs lined up together. Wei Lishan bit his lips; his eyes moistened as he looked at these young disciples.
“As leader of Huayoung Gate, I would like to express my gratitude to Mount Hua.”
When Wei Lishan bowed, Baek Cheon stood him up straight.
“You don’t have to say that. We only did what we’re supposed to do.”
Wei Lishan was unable to look him in the eyes, and the disciples of Mount Hua smiled while looking at him.
An emotional sight that would make anyone nod their heads.
“Woooow, such a touching moment, eh?”
‘Why do you have to spoil everything, you bastard?’
“Congratulations, Gate leader Wei.”
“It was so amazing.”
“Hahaha! You’ve been living as part of Mount Hua all this time. That Mount Hua! You’re finally getting rewarded.”
Wei Lishan’s smile reached his ears.
“Thank you. Thank you.”
Even after the Wudang disciples left, Wei Lishan couldn’t rest. The residents of Nanyang had come to congratulate him.
Most of these people had taken a neutral stance when both sub-sects began their quarrel. Yet now, they tried to curry favor with Huayoung Gate because they felt that the sub-sect had firmly taken control of Nanyang after defeating the Wudang sect.
Despite being fully aware of that, Wei Lishan greeted them with a smile.
This was also a privilege that only the victors could enjoy. It was a hundred times better to receive hollow congratulations and empty praises rather than lose everything and be forced to leave their home in defeat. Was there anyone that would disagree?
“I didn’t think Mount Hua would be this strong.”
‘I didn’t either.’
“This must be why the Gate leader was always so proud and confident!”
Weil Lishan forced a smile.
He only hoped that this smile looked a little confident.
After receiving greetings from the guests as well as the apologies of the disciples that had fled the sect, Wei Lishan was able to wrap up the situation and return to the main building of the sect.
His body still hadn’t recovered from his fight the other day, but his heart had lightened, and his mind felt refreshed.
‘For such a day to come.’
How could he not be happy? He received so much today.
First, he confirmed with his own eyes that his hallowed sect, which he thought was ruined, had finally been completely resurrected. What’s more, they rushed straight over to help him without hesitating for even a moment.
‘Father. What you said wasn’t wrong.’
It was thanks to the words of his late father that he was able to see this day.
Wei Lishan walked with a spring in his step. Heroes that defended Huayoung Gate were here now. Wei Lishan thought that perhaps they would also be celebrating their achievements and toasting over a feast.
‘I need to apologize!’
He felt that he should apologize for not trusting them and being annoyed at them. He also wanted to discuss the future of Mount Hua with them and make a toast.
Wei Lishan opened the door to the main building and shouted.
“You must have waited a long—”
But his voice faltered.
“No, no! You crazy bastard! Stop it!”
“What are you doing now, you brat!?”
“Catch him! Catch that bastard right now!”
Items were scattered all around. Chairs flew through the sky, and lanterns that were hanging on the ceiling had fallen to the ground and set the floor ablaze.
Only one thought passed through Wei Lishan’s mind as he bore witness to this chaos.
‘Did the Wudang attack us again?’
No, that wasn’t possible.
Then what was this situation?
He saw Jo Gul, who was charging at Chung Myung, get kicked and collapse screaming.
‘I’m sure he defeated one of the Wudang disciples earlier.’
A man like that was kicked away so easily?
‘Maybe I’m dreaming?’
‘No, this is really happening.’
Chung Myung, who pushed away his sahyungs, grabbed a bundle of luggage and began to take something out.
What kind of clothes could he be taking out in this mad situation? What clothes…
It was a completely black outfit. Clothing that tightly clung to the body and obscured the wearer.
‘Hahaha. That’s definitely the garb of thieves and assassins—No, what the hell are you doing wearing that, you brat!?’
In an instant, Chung Myung draped himself in this mysterious outfit and looked at his sahyungs.
Baek Cheon, sweating nervously, raised his hands in an effort to calm Chung Myung. It seemed as if he was trying to stop a mad dog from growling.
“Chu-Chung Myung. Calm down and think this over. The Wudang sect is gone. There’s no need to do this.”
“R-right, they left. Our work is done. Now, all we need to do is return to Mount Hua. Didn’t the sect leader tell you? Don’t create trouble.”
Chung Myung smiled brightly and nodded his head.
“Ahh, right. Sasuk, sago, and my dear sahyungs, your work is done. Don’t worry. There was a lot that happened in your fights that I didn’t like, but I’ll spare you the nagging since we won. Except for Jo Gul sahyung.”
“… why me!?”
Chung Myung smiled at Jo Gul, who was flustered.
“Only sasuk’s work is done. So...”
He put the cloth over his face and tightened it. Exposing only his eyes, which looked twisted as hell.
“Now my work starts!”
“Just wait here, I’ll tell you what kind of conspiracies those bastards have plotted!”
‘You’re the one making dubious plots!’
“Catch that bastard!”
“Stop! Stop him! Block his path!”
But despite the desperate rush of the others, Chung Myung managed to avoid their grasp and flew out the door.
Then Chung Myung winked at Wei Lishan, who was standing near the door before he vanished into the shadows.
“… we’re doomed.”
The hopeless voices of Mount Hua’s disciples, who stared into the distance where Chung Myung disappeared, made the situation seem incredibly bizarre.
Wei Lishan looked up at the night sky with a smile.
‘Father. Something seems seriously wrong around here.’
It felt like he could hear his father’s voice echoing the same sentiment back to him.
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