Heo Do Jinin quietly placed the teacup in his hand on the table.
"You came back after being humiliated like that by Mount Hua's children?"
Heo Sanja just closed his eyes without answering.
"Yes, sect leader."
"It's strange. This is something to be ashamed of, but I don't see any shame on your face. What am I supposed to make of this?"
Heo Sanja let out a low sigh.
"The reason I'm not ashamed is that I did the best I could."
"If I had been careless or stupid and experienced such failure because of that, then I would ask the sect leader to punish me right away. But…"
"I did my best, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I just lacked the necessary strength."
Heo Do Jinin frowned.
Heo Sanja had the confidence and power to lead people. That was why this man was one of the most trusted in the sect. For such a man to make this statement meant that his opponents were anything but easy.
"Even though I went to the sword tomb and returned with nothing but humiliation, I am not ashamed…."
Heo Do Jinin took the teacup in his hands, took a sip, and sighed.
Then he placed it back on the table.
"If you say so, then I get it."
"… Sect leader."
"If there was nothing in the Sword Tomb, then there was nothing you would get from it anyway. This isn't your fault."
"There is nothing to apologize for."
A bitter smile hung on Heo Do Jinin's lips.
"Excessive greed breeds anger in the body. Even though our Wudang Sect shouldn't succumb to such feelings, we keep wanting more. It's good enough that we all don't obsess over this. And forgive me for sending our disciples down there to suffer needlessly."
"How can that be the Sect leader's fault?"
"I was terribly lost in greed. I was too enchanted by the reputation of the Soul Vitality Pill and Yak Seon. I never could have foreseen that man making such a place."
Heo Do Jinin laughed at the thought of being fooled by someone who died two hundred years ago.
"Did he mean to say that martial arts are meaningless? Those are the final words of a man that left nothing behind."
Heo Sanja tilted his head, unable to understand.
But, Heo Do Jinin didn't explain it to him. Sometimes not knowing was better. He just closed his eyes and gathered his thoughts.
Finally, he opened his eyes as he asked Heo Sanja.
"But just one thing."
"There's something I'm struggling to understand. Did you say that child from Mount Hua could stand on equal footing with you?"
Heo Do Jinin frowned.
It could not be said that Heo Sanja had exceptional strength compared to all the Wudang's elders. Rather, it could even be said that he was a bit lagging behind.
However, even if he was lacking, he was still an elder of Wudang. A child couldn't match his level; it could never happen.
But wasn't Heo Sanja himself saying that it happened?
"He was a monstrous genius."
Heo Do Jinin sighed.
Heo Sanja continued.
"I'm confident I would have won the fight if we continued. But that means nothing.'
"Right. It's natural for you to win."
"The problem is… I have no idea how much time it would take to subdue that child. Which means…"
"He is on par with you."
Listening to what Heo Sanja said, depending on their physical conditions at the time and a little luck, the fight could have gone either way. If that was the case, it could be said they are on the same level.
"Huhu, are you saying that a third-class disciple of Mount Hua is equal to an elder of Wudang? And you laughed when I said that he defeated Mu Jin."
This was no longer a laughing matter.
"There is a genius in Mount Hua… a monstrous genius."
Heo Do Jinin's hand trembled as he thought. His fingertips, which tightly held the teacup, repeatedly pressed down on the cup as he poured tea into it.
Heo Sanja felt a series of complicated emotions rise when he looked at his sect leader and kept silent while waiting for the sect leader's complex thoughts to be organized.
Only after the cup of tea began to cool did Heo Do Jinin speak.
"Leave it alone."
"Will that be alright?"
"I know what you are trying to say. In the past, Mount Hua was a great Taoist sect. At one time, it even came close to standing above the name of our Wudang too. It isn't something we should ignore, but…"
"There is a limit to what one genius can do. Especially in a collapsed sect, like Mount Hua, the child will one day fall from exhaustion while dragging the sect called Mount Hua behind him.'
"He wasn't an ordinary child. Aside from his talent in martial arts, he had good judgment and boldness too."
"I see that you look at the boy with respect."
Heo Sanja nodded his head.
"I tried to convince him that I would take him in as a disciple of Wudang if I could."
"… to that extent?"
"I said that he could even have a seat among the second-class disciples and right below the sect leader."
Heo Do Jinin frowned.
Heo Sanja's offer clearly exceeded the authority of an elder. Even so, to speak about it so proudly in front of him meant that if the sect leader saw that child for himself, he would say the same thing.
'Could there be any better evaluation of the child?'
This was tough.
This was more of a compliment than an analysis.
"Even then, the decision won't change."
"He can only raise his own reputation. It's impossible for a sect to be led entirely by one person. The power of many people walking together with a strong sense of brotherhood is what determines a sect's position. This isn't something they can do."
Heo Do Jinin shook his head.
"Let's settle this by strengthening our surveillance of Mount Hua for now."
"Sect Leader, I'm still worried about that child."
"Don't worry; perhaps the next time you see him, you will understand what I mean by this.'
Heo Sanja nodded.
"Now, get yourself together. You have a lot of work to do."
"Yes, Sect leader…."
Heo Sanja nodded as he stood up. Standing in front of the door, as if he was ready to leave, he suddenly stopped and spoke again.
Heo Sanja turned back and looked into the eyes of the sect leader.
"What if that child already knows about what the Sect Leader said?"
"… about one man not being able to lead a sect?"
Heo Do Jinin thought and then spoke softly.
"That cannot be the case. And even if he knows, nothing will change. Talent isn't something that can be developed just because you've made up your mind."
"… I understand."
As he left the room, the sect leader picked up the teacup and brought it to his lips.
'What if he knew?'
The answer remains the same.
That cannot happen.
Because this has nothing to do with how exceptional that child is.
All of that can only be learned through experience. So, while the child is young and full of life, he would never realize these things.
By the time he finally gains the necessary experience, that child will not be as young as he is now.
But even still… What if he knew?
What if something like that really happens?
'The day may come when Mount Hua's name stands in front of the Wudang.'
Heo Do Jinin smiled.
'That is too much.'
Jo Gul, who was hit and fell over, kept stroking his neck with trembling hands.
It was a solid hit.
But it didn't break.
He was worried that his neck had been broken from how violently his body turned, but fortunately, nothing broke.
But then came the pain.
This pain was too extreme.
When Jo Gul grabbed his chin and rolled on the floor, Chung Myung clicked his tongue.
"Tch tch. Look at that, how shameful."
Jo Gul was stunned.
Look at that? What did that mean? He was seriously hurt!
He thought that he had lost his jaw for a second there!
"Stop being such a crybaby and get up. My love for sahyungs is still overflowing."
'I might change my mind about all this if I have to experience that damn 'love' twice, you crazy idiot!'
Jo Gul rolled his eyes and got up.
At some point, all the disciples of Mount Hua began to share a single thought.
'There's no way to escape from this bastard!'
He was more tenacious than a hound, more diligent than a horse, and once he made up his mind, he could do anything.
Running away or whining wouldn't make his fists any softer!
"Ahhhhhhh! Once! Just once! Just let me hit you once!"
Jo Gul closed his eyes and ran towards Chung Myung. Since he would get hit no matter what he did, the situation suddenly became a conflict. But Chung Myung smiled as if he was happy to be in this situation.
Of course, smiling and laughing couldn't suddenly turn him into a good person.
What kind of person smiles brightly in this situation?
"Right, right! Come running!"
"Next is your back!"
"Your feet, too!"
In the end, tears welled up in Jo Gul's eyes.
The foot that was being trampled on by Chung Myung began turning red in agony.
"Waist! Waist! Waist! Waisttttt!"
Jo Gul suddenly realized that so many parts of the human body could be called the waist.
There were so many waists in the body that it felt like everything was a waist.
Jo Gul tried to calm himself down. But Chung Myung immediately whacked him on the back.
The shrill scream of Jo Gul rang out.
Chung Myung's eyes shone in search of his next prey. Yu Yiseol, who was looking at him, stood confidently and spoke proudly.
"Don't go easy on me because I'm a woman…."
Yu Yiseol rushed to Chung Myung. Her sword was ready to pierce Chung Myung's throat.
Her sword truly had the force to sever Chung Myung's neck!
Chung Myung looked at the sharp sword and smiled delightedly.
"I see the killing intent!"
Dodging Yu Yiseol's sword, Chung Myung began to strike Yu Yiseol's entire body.
"You seem to have misunderstood what it means to be light-footed."
"You shouldn't sacrifice strength for lightness. It's only light when you can control your qi in both ways. But you swing your sword like a three-year-old playing around!"
Yu Yiseol held her sword and pulled back. Chung Myung's body seemed to flicker, and he appeared behind her.
"Yah, the back!"
Chung Myung fired a series of twelve shots instantly, tapped on her back, and turned around.
Yu Yiseol also fell to the floor with a trembling body.
"Now, I think we've done enough…."
Chung Myung smiled refreshingly as he looked at his sasuks and sahyungs scattered on the ground.
"Let's take a break and go at it again."
"Hey, you fucking bastard!"
"Are you even human? Are you a human!?"
"Oh my! My ancestors! What kind of sajae does this to his sahyung!"
Those who collapsed continued to curse him in any way they could imagine.
"Huh? What? Your voice is so weak that I can't hear you."
When Chung Myung put his hand to his ear and pretended to be deaf, the cursing only grew more intense.
Coach Lee Bo, who was watching this from afar, smiled as though he had attained enlightenment.
'This is completely disgraceful.'
Now he finally understood why his young master told him to be careful of Chung Myung.
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