“I sent him to the dorms. I think we can just proceed with the ceremony right away.”
Un Am stared at his feet. Hyun Jong, seeing that, gently smiled.
“You don’t seem to like this.”
“Rather than not like…”
Un Am hesitated a little, then opened his lips with a sigh.
“Sect leader, I just don’t seem to understand the meaning of your actions. Why was the child taken in? Now is the time for us to reduce the mouths we need to feed.”
“Yes. That’s true.”
“And he isn’t just some child, but one who doesn’t even have any talent for martial arts.”
“Above all, I don’t feel even a single once of kindness from him. That child doesn’t seem to fit the standards of our sect. So why bring in such a kid into our Mount Hua?”
At Un Am’s points, Hyun Jong smiled.
“You think so?”
“… sect leader.”
Un Am took a deep breath. Sometimes this old man was confusing.
‘I can never understand him.’
Even after assisting this man for over 10 years Un Am still couldn’t understand him. Hyun Jong’s thoughts were too deep for him to understand.
“Yes, sect leader.”
“Sometimes relationships come unexpectedly.”
Hyun Jong smiled brightly.
“Maybe that child could turn into a light for Mount Hua?”
“… that child is too young to be the light of Mount Hua.”
“He could be.”
Hyun Jong’s face darkened.
The current state of Mount Hua was similar to a wind chime. Holding itself up was hard and no one would bat an eye if it fell.
That was the reason why Un Am didn’t want Chung Myung to join.
How much sadness would Chung Myung feel if he was left alone right after joining? How would he feel suffering so much to get here only to be pushed back onto the streets?
“I know the situation is difficult.”
Hyun Jong opened his mouth.
“But Un Am-ah. Plum Blossoms are bound to bloom even in snow. The Plum blossoms in the harsh cold are bound to give off a sweeter scent than normally brought plum blossoms.”
“If we don’t plant seeds just because the winter has come, won’t that mean that the possibility of plum blossoms in snow will disappear?”
“Right. So go and see.”
As Un Am quietly closed the door, he shook his head as he sighed.
Each time he talked with Hyun Jong, he felt like his heart was being ripped open.
However, as of today, even after talking with Hyun Jong, his heart didn’t feel refreshed. At Hyun Jong’s words, his thoughts still stayed and mind was still fuzzy because of the current situation of Mount Hua.
The current Mount Hua couldn’t be saved.
Hyun Jong worked hard all his life but the situation just kept getting worse. If things went on like this, they wouldn’t last another year.
Whenever he thought Mount Hua, which had such a valiant history, was coming to an end, his heart would ache.
‘Where is our Mount Hua heading?’
Un Am closed his eyes.
Chung Myung blankly lowered his head looking at the clothes he was wearing.
A white robe which caught his eyes. Looking at the five petal plum blossoms engraved near the chest, he felt strange. It made his entire body tickle…
“No, this is really itching me!”
The material of the clothes was so bad that each time it touched the skin, it felt like it was grating on his skin. If he hadn’t experienced those rags on before, wearing this would have troubled him even more. The month of living as a beggar seemed to have helped him.
Chung Myung frowned.
In the past, Mount Hua wasn’t a clan with money overflowing like the Wudang sect or Shaolin sect, but still it had enormous wealth hidden in.
Of course, he couldn’t spend the money to his heart’s content because of Sahyung, whose greed for money never let anyone touch it. At the very least, he would dress the disciples of the sect with nice clothes and feed them good things.
But the clothes were all ragged now…
“What did these people do with all that money?”
There must have been heaps of money in that safe!
No, forget the safe. They even sold off the historically important items inside the sect for money, so why were they dressing the kids like this?
Not able to dress them properly, not able to teach them properly doesn’t this mean that they just wasted all the money they got?
Chung Myung took a deep breath.
“There is no such thing as a straight walking path.”
Sigh. The more he thought about it, the more his head hurt.
Expectations only lead to disappointment.
“Anyway, I joined.”
He managed to join.
The worst disaster happened, in which he ended up being the youngest of Mount Hua.
This wasn’t what Chung Myung wanted, but at least he managed to enter the sect.
There are a lot of problems which will have to be solved, but isn’t this just the first step in a thousand miles path?
No matter how difficult the task is, there is nothing that cannot be done if it is tackled one step after another. Most things in the world can be solved like this…
“But where is this place?”
That was the problem.
Where Chung Myung was located now was a hall in the past. However, it was changed in the meantime, the past appearance of the hall was turned into a dorm.
If Chung Myung’s memory hadn’t failed him, there was no concept of accommodation in Mount Hua. Those who were newly admitted into the sect would start living with their Master.
Then what was he doing now?
‘I can’t see this as a place where I stay before I enter the wings of another Master.’
No matter how he looked at it, it was a place made for the sake of humans to live.
‘Am I the only one here?’
Chung Myung came out of his room.
The rooms were lined side by side around the narrow hallway. It was different from the appearance of the past.
Chun Myung opened the door to the next room. And show clothes and other items in it.
‘is someone staying here?’
Chung Myung titled his head. ‘Who would dare to live in such a messed up room?’
“Who are you?”
Chung Myung turned his head.
He didn’t even notice that someone was approaching him! He had made a mistake.
‘Ah. I forgot, I don’t have martial arts now.’
Even though he came to Mount Hua, he didn’t learn martial arts yet. Thanks to that, only his body got stronger after qi cultivation, which was the foundation…
Realistically speaking, the only thing he could do right now was gather the internal qi which was as small as a fingernail. Which meant it was impossible to be anywhere close to where he was in the past.
“Who are you, you bastard? Spying in on someone else’s room? A thief?”
A rough mouth.
A child who seemed to be the same age as Chung Myung. As the child yelled, more kids rushed out.
“Jo Gul! What is it?”
The child called Jo Gul pointed to Chung Myung.
“This jerk was spying into my room.”
“Who is he?”
“Looks like a newcomer?”
Chung Myung looked at the ceiling.
‘Why did I have to come back alive?’
Was it to witness such a cruel situation?
It was heart-breaking to see the young people point fingers at him and call him what-not. In terms of age, Chung Myung was their great-grandfather.
Of course, they couldn’t possibly know that.
But how should he reconcile the meek and disciplined students of Mount Hua, to the current disciples who were using their mouths like neighbourhood gangs?
As he opened his mouth to speak to the guy with messy hair.
“What is happening!”
“Teacher Un Geom!”
At the low voice from behind, the kids began to move left and right. And a huge person came down the stairs.
Clumsiness which reflected on his face and gestures. And it was evident that this kid hurt not a single person till now.
As he was called, Un Geom glanced around with his sharp sword-like eyes, befitting his name.
“Why are you all making a fuss during your training time? Who said it was fine for you to do this?”
“No, it isn’t like that…. My uniform was dirty so I came to get a change of clothes.”
“How dare you give me excuses!”
The frightened children all backed up a step. In the meantime, they all looked at Chung Myung.
“You must be a new member of the White Plum Blossom Boarding House.”
“White Plum Blossom Boarding House?”
“This is the White Plum Blossom Boarding House. These are the dorms where the disciples of Mount Hua live. Didn’t you hear about it?”
The man frowned.
“Don’t you know that you should speak in a respectful manner?”
“Ah, yes. I apologize.”
… damn it.
Once again, he didn’t think it through. The children who hadn’t even entered Mount Hua during his time would be Masters now.
‘This is so messed up.’
To have the position of a teacher, this man must be really skilled. He was sure that he would be forced to work for his life here.
“You too, come along.”
“Whether you are late or early, you need to practice. It wouldn’t make any difference. It is the job of a disciple to never waste time in vain.”
Chung Myung could help but agree to the statement.
In order to change the terrible situation, Chung Myung had to strengthen himself even a day sooner. For that, an environment where he could focus on training was necessary.
The problem was that what they were trying to teach him would be basic martial arts which are useless to Chung Myung.
The man left first, the children followed after him. However, one of them turned back.
It was Jo Gul.
“I’ll see you tonight.”
“I’ll fix that head of yours.”
“… right, right.”
“Don’t bother thinking about running away.”
“You really are…!”
“What are you doing!?”
The child, startled by the shout of Un Geom, responded.
“I-I am coming teacher!”
Seeing the child run ahead, Chung Myung sighed.
“I need to treat them well.”
They were all the descendants of the sect.
Of course, the way Chung Myung showed favor to the kids would be different from others.
“They deserve it.”
Chung Myung smiled as he moved.
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