“You did well, Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.”
“… you said you would take one day off and move but how many days did you stay?”
“The food here is delicious and the bed is comfortable and the drinks… Ah, no. It isn’t any of that, it is my body which didn’t recover.”
Chung Myung looked at Hong Dae-Kwang with narrowed eyes.
‘How did the Beggars Union turn into this?’
In the past, the Beggars Union were made of people who risked their lives for information. In the final battle, in terms of loss of power, it was Mount Hua who suffered the most damage, but in terms of the dead disciples, the Beggars Union was the first.
He thought that the Beggars Union would be strict and working hard but this man looked so lazy…
‘No, was the Beggars Union always like this?’
He didn’t know it. Because people change on the battlefield.
“Anyway, Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon. Are you going back to Mount Hua now?”
“We should be moving soon.”
Hong Dae-Kwang’s eyes changed. He bowed to Chung Myung.
“I, Hong Dae-Kwang, the Luoyang branch leader of the Beggars Union would like to thank Mount Hua for the help they have given me in the Sword Tomb incident. And the Beggars Union will never forget the grace shown to us.”
This time Chung Myung decided to not speak snarky things.
“It was nothing.”
The two of them bowed to each other and looked at each other with awkward faces.
What was it?
A feeling of camaraderie.
“And now you better be careful.”
Hong Dae-Kwang spoke in a whisper.
“Whether you like it or not, this incident will make your name known everywhere. Because everyone saw you act with their own eyes. After two years since the conference with the Southern Edge Sect, your reputation which had faded a little is going to spread again like wildfire.”
“It isn’t necessarily a good thing to get fame in Kangho. More and more people will start to turn envious of you and more and more people will try to use that to get fame for themselves.”
“Such an obvious fact.”
Chung Myung said.
He had been through something like this before. And all those who came at him went back with their tails between their legs.
He had received the title ‘Plum Blossom Sword Saint’ only after defeating everyone who had attacked him.
“I am giving advice!”
Hong Dae-Kwang was furious when he saw Chung Myung nodding reluctantly. Well, he wasn’t the Plum Blossom Sword Saint now, but Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.
“Thank you for letting me know then. And from now on, please send information about Mount Hua’s feats to us regularly.”
Chung Myung’s eyes lit up.
Sending information and people to anyone meant that the Beggars Union wanted to be in contact with them… that they wanted to continue this relationship and exchange information with Mount Hua.
“We have nothing to give though?”
“We will decide that.”
Hong Dae-Kwang chuckled
“I plan to reinstate the branch in Hua-Um village. So, if you need information from the Beggars Unions, please contact us through them.”
“And you will take the information about Mount Hua from the Hua-Um branch?”
“Haha. That is how we all help each other and live.”
Chung Myung smiled.
This wasn’t a bad suggestion. Rather, it was what he was hoping for. One of the things that Mount Hua lacked right now was the flow of information.
In fact, the information power that Mount Hua possessed was inferior compared to even medium-sized sects. Until recently they had just lived on a mountain and only worried about money, so why would they care about how the world worked?
Chung Myung nodded and said,
“In addition to that.”
“Those who come to the Hua-Um branch have to be smart kids because there is a lot of information I want.”
“And leave a couple of beggars in Nanyang for Huayoung Gate. Also, keep in contact constantly for information.”
“Let’s do that then.”
The decision was quick.
‘It isn’t like we won’t gain anything.’
They didn’t get what they were aiming for, but this wasn’t worthless at all. After Mount Hua was kicked out of the 9 sects, this was the first time that Mount Hua was able to reconnect the path of information from the Beggars Union which had been cut in the past.
If Hyun Jong found out about it, would he be in tears?
“Anyway, thank you Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.”
“Yes, you stay good too. Though we probably won’t meet each other again.”
“Maybe we will get to see each other.”
Hong Dae-Kwang left those words and waved his hand.
Chung Myung grabbed Hong Dae-Kwang who was about to turn back.
“Don’t forget the promise.”
“To send that beggar to Mount Hua.”
Hong Dae-Kwang’s eyes trembled.
“Uh. Sure. Right. I didn’t forget.”
“Don’t think I will forget it if time passes. I won’t forget even if I die.”
What did that beggar even do to this guy?
“I will keep my promise! I am Hong Dae-Kwang!”
“If you don’t keep your promise, don’t consider putting up a branch in Hua-Um.”
“… I said I won’t forget.”
Hong Dae-Kwang smiled looking at the kid who was threatening him, but it was a forced smile because he knew that this child would never joke about such things.
Well, until he left Nanyang Hong Dae-Kwang was threatened about it.
After doing their last task, the disciples of Mount Hua stood in front of Huayoung Gate.
Huayoung Gate’s Wei Soheng and Wei Lishan were there to see them off with the disciples of the Gate.
“Thank you so much.”
“It was nothing.”
Baek Cheon responded.
Baek Cheon and Wei Lishan were already discussing how to operate Huayoung Gate from now on and how Mount Hua would support it.
As Wei Lishan was someone who considered Mount Hua to be his last resort, he felt grateful that they were initiating this relationship between them and the Beggars Union, and he even promised to help Wei Lishan solve his troubles and support the Gate as well.
“The work that the Huayoung Gate leader has to do is enormous. We have high expectations too.”
“Am I such a great person? I guarantee that I will do my best to renovate this place.”
Wei Lishan bowed. The disciples of Mount Hua also bowed their heads.
“Young disciple Chung Myung.”
Wei Soheng looked at Chung Myung with a face of regret.
“It feels a bit unfortunate…”
“You are bound to feel that. We will keep seeing each other from now.”
It was a nice way to put it, but it was worrisome too.
“Can I become a disciple of the main sect later?”
Chung Myung cut short his words firmly.
“You must be the leader of Huayoung Gate.”
“But it is alright for you to come to the main sect as much as possible and practice. Mount Hua doesn’t discriminate between the disciples.Jo Gul sahyung is also intending to descent Mount Hua one day to succeed his family.”
“Ah, disciple Jo Gul?”
Wei Soheng looked at Jo Gul as if asking for confirmation and Jo Gul waved his hand feeling a bit embarrassed.
“I-I’m not at that level yet!”
“Anyway, you can do it.”
Wei Soheng’s eyes turned bright.
“So, for now, help your father. You will have a lot of work to do for the coming days.”
As if his burdens had all been lifted, he smiled and backed away. As the situation settled, Baek Cheon bid farewell to Wei Lishan.
“Then we need to leave.”
“You are going a long way, so you must need money.”
“It is fine…!”
Chung Myung touched his stomach. Something was sticking out.
“…because we are rich!”
“Anyway, let’s meet again.”
“Look after your health.”
As the disciples of Mount Hua returned waving, the people of Huayoung Gate also waved their hands.
“They are gone.”
“Yes. They are.”
It felt like the storm had gone past them.
Wei Lishan felt empty and smiled as he looked at the backs of the disciples of Mount Hua.
‘Mount Hua will be different from before.’
No, it is already different.
And one day their names will spread all across the world along with the name of Mount Hua.
‘I cannot be acting like this anymore.’
“Let’s go inside. There is a lot of work to do. Even ten people will not be enough to do the task we were handed!”
The disciples of Huayoung Gate turned around. Their shoulders seemed to be full of confidence and pride which had never existed before.
The inscription on the signboard that said ‘Huayoung Gate, Mount Hua’s Sub-sect’, looked weirdly bright.
The street looked a bit gloomy.
All those who flocked to Nanyang had left, and the residents who were still bewildered by all that had happened finally felt at peace with the place going back to its quiet nature.
“In the end, we have to go back without getting anything.”
“It isn’t without anything.”
At Yoon Jong’s words, Baek Cheon shook his head.
“We took care of Huayoung Gate, and we formed a relationship with the Beggars Union. In the meantime, we fought with Wudang and made our Mount Hua’s name known. We cannot ask for more than this.”
“You are right, sasuk.”
But still, there was regret in their hearts.
They wanted that Soul Vitality Pill, but they couldn’t get a single thing from the Sword Tomb.
“Yak Seon… Yak Seon, that fucking two-faced bastard!”
Chung Myung also kept grinding his teeth as if it bothered him.
But what could they do? It was highly unlikely for the pill to fall from the sky just because they did some good deeds. They had to go back now.
Baek Cheon began to walk faster. He thought that if they stayed any longer in Nanyang they would start to regret it even more.
At that time, Yu Yiseol, who was silent, spoke.
“Why did a person called Yak Seon become the Seizing Sword?”
Yu Yiseol looked at Chung Myung.
“You said before. The start of the tomb looked very much like something the Untraceable Seizing Sword would do.”
Baek Cheon, who was silently listening, nodded and added.
“Now that I think about it, you did say something like that Chung Myung. What was the reason?”
“How can I know? It just felt like that to me.”
Baek Cheon shook his head.
The answer to that came from Jo Gul.
“It must have been to hide his identity.”
“Thinking about it, it becomes quite obvious that it was something that someone dealing with medicine should do. He must have been walking around into sects, defeating their best masters and taking away their swords. If it was known that Yak Seon was the one who was doing it, it would have been a complete mess.”
“That is the obvious answer…”
Baek Cheon frowned.
There had to be some other reason. Like something which couldn’t be explained.
“No. It’s not that.”
This time Yoon Jong spoke.
“It was said that he was someone who stole the swords of people after their matches and never disclosed his identity.”
“Why did he do that? It didn’t seem like he coveted them with pride or something, it was more like stealing it and throwing it into the Sword Tomb.”
Jo Gul frowned.
Thinking about it, it did seem weird.
Yak Seon didn’t need Divine Weapons. However, he took away the weapons with the other identity he created. In retrospect, all Yak Seon did in his other name was nothing but nonsense.
So why do all that?
Why make the Sword Tomb at all?
“Maybe he hated things?”
“Maybe there is no need for a reason. He simply hated things.”
Yak Seon was a warrior?
Baek Cheon titled his head.
“Yu samae, can you say it in detail?”
“Yak Seon basically had to be a practitioner.”
“It would’ve been more accurate to call him a healer, but he was someone who did even more righteous deeds. He was famous in the Kangho for the pills he made, and he was someone who spent his whole life treating the sick and injured.”
“Because he was that kind of person, I think he hated things that had to do with violence. The warriors who uselessly wielded their swords to kill people. Even if he treated those warriors, they would go to kill someone the next day.”
“Do you think he did all this with such simple feelings? Then the Sword Tomb?”
Yu Yiseol continued with a subtle expression.
“A warning maybe? To the people in Kangho. If it wasn’t for the disciples of Yak Seon, no one would have ever known what his other identity was.”
Yoon Jong titled his head.
“Yak Seon did have disciples, right? Then why didn’t he pass down the teachings for the Soul Vitality Pill to them? Was it not passed down to his disciples?”
“I heard that Yak Seon didn’t teach them by choice. Maybe they weren’t qualified?”
“The more we think about it the stranger he becomes.”
“So, according to this discussion, this was all a whim on the part of Yak Seon?”
It was then.
Chung Myung, who was walking slowly, stopped.
Everyone turned and looked at him.
“What is it, Chung Myung?”
Chung Myung muttered something looking up at the distant sky as if he couldn’t hear them.
“Yak Seon. Soul Vitality Pill. Martial sects. Untraceable Seizing Sword. Healer. Disciples. Test… test… sect.”
Muttering something as if he was possessed.
“Continue. Leave. Test… Kangho. Then…”
Soon his body trembled.
It was as if he realized something in that possessed state, and he quickly turned around and started to walk in the opposite direction.
“W-where are you going?”
As soon as Yoon Jong moved to catch Chung Myung, Baek Cheon stopped him.
“Let’s follow him. Silently.’
After a while, everyone began to carefully follow Chung Myung who was walking while muttering something.
‘What did you find out! You monster!’
An expectation which couldn’t be hidden bloomed in Baek Cheon’s eyes.
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