“Why is he so late?”
Jo Gul looked around nervously.
Dawn approached as the sun was rising in the distance, but there was still no sign of Chung Myung’s return. If Chung Myung didn’t make it before the morning, the elders would discover his disappearance.
And then there would be a riot.
The disciples of Mount Hua are forbidden from leaving without permission. What if they find out that Chung Myung snuck out while wearing a suspicious full-body black outfit?
‘It will be hell.’
He hoped that he would never have to see that.
Yoon Jong shook his head.
“He isn’t that stupid. He’ll be back before it’s too late, as long as there was no accident.”
And no matter how much he thought, it didn’t seem like anything could happen to that monster. At worst, he would be a little late.
“Still, doesn’t he know that people are waiting here for him?”
If it’s him.
As soon as Jo Gul voiced his concerns, the door swung open.
Jo Gul and Yoon Jong swiftly turned around.
Chung Myung opened the door and entered the room.
Chung Myung, carrying his cloth mask in one hand, began to take off his mysterious clothing as soon as he closed the door, quickly changing into Mount Hua’s uniform.
“Nothing happened, right?”
“That’s what I was going to ask. Did anything happen?”
“What would happen?”
Chung Myung had a mischievous grin.
“I was treated well and even treated others well too.”
“What was his name? Yu… whatever, it was the fabric shop owner.”
Jo Gul and Yoon Jong were shocked at his words. Seeing their reaction, Chung Myung remembered what had happened a while back.
‘It wasn’t funny, seriously.’
Yu Jong-San, who mistakenly believed Chung Myung came from the Southern Edge Sect to clean up the remnants of Mount Hua, willingly released all the information he had.
He was trying his best to leave a good impression and gain favor.
It was good that everything worked out so easily, but at the same time, he felt bitter.
Although it was no longer among the Great Sects, Mount Hua still had a formidable history; yet Yu Jong-San clearly held no regard for it. Even after witnessing Chung Myung’s sword arts, Mount Hua’s name never so much as crossed his mind.
Regardless of whether the Plum Blossom Sword technique was lost in recent years, it was still iconic as a symbol of Mount Hua. But he lived in Hua-Um all his life and couldn’t recognize it?
Considering Mount Hua’s recent history, no one could even remember it; however, the bitterness in his heart didn’t go away.
‘Well, something bitter will always remain bitter, and it helps me see things clearly.’
He was glad that he didn’t expose his identity.
At Jo Gul’s question, Chung Myung clicked his tongue.
“It isn’t something for kids to know.”
“… you are a kid too.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just go gather everyone. We need to train.”
Chung Myung rolled his eyes.
“Whether pouring rain, freezing snow, or violent winds. Starting today. We won’t miss a single day of training! Heavy snow or cold winds! We will not rest for a single day even if Mount Hua collapses around us!”
Jo Gul nodded with a stiff face.
After all, It was his decision to follow and help Chung Myung, right? If he can get strong through training, then he would do it. Truthfully, training without rest was what he was hoping for.
“We will gather everyone. Then you will—”
“Oh, I won’t be coming.”
Chung Myung looked at Yoon Jong and continued.
“You know how to train, right?”
“Then do it right.”
“I have other work to do.”
Yoon Jong sighed as Chung Myung waved his hand.
“Right. Today we will go and practice ourselves. But you are only exempt for today.”
Yoon Jong had a slightly serious face.
“Don’t forget that this training is possible because of you. If you don’t plan to end it halfway, then you need to set the example and join in.”
“I get it.”
The third-class disciples of the White Blossom dorms were training without complaint due to their fear of Chung Myung. Even though Yoon Jong was the Great Sahyung, there was a limit to what he could do if Chung Myung was absent.
Chung Myung lay flat on the bed as the two left the room.
“Now, what do I do?”
His head pounded and ached.
He was dumbfounded.
It wouldn’t be difficult to merely wipe out the enemies, but anyone who learned about it would naturally link it to Mount Hua.
If it was only Chung Myung’s reputation at stake, then there would be no reason to hesitate, but he was a disciple of Mount Hua.
And if he tried anyway, people would say it was impossible for a kid like Chung Myung to act alone. The sect would receive all the blame, and it would carry the crime of forcing children to carry out unspeakable acts.
Chung Myung wanted a better result than that. He needed justification.
“Reason… a reason… ugh.”
Chung Myung tore at his hair in frustration.
“Does any of this make sense? Damn it!”
All those businesses belonged to Mount Hua. But now they were trying to make Mount Hua pay them? His stomach was boiling in rage.
He had to prove that the businesses belonged to Mount Hua and that the merchants tried to steal them away by manipulating the ledgers.
In that case, what about the hundred thousand nyang? It could be paid back.
No, Mount Hua wouldn’t even have to pay because every nyang originally belonged to them anyway. They were the owners who made and used the money; who would ask them to pay?
So, all he would have to do was prove that the businesses belonged to Mount Hua. Then everything will be resolved…
“If it was easy, I wouldn’t be here.”
If Mount Hua still had its business ledgers, there would be no suffering now.
If there was evidence, someone would have found it; the disciples of Mount Hua aren’t fools; rather, they’re quite smart.
Looking at the situation, when the Demonic sect attacked, the ledgers and everything must have been destroyed…
“Is this also because of me?”
It hurt. His stomach hurt.
Chung Myung rolled over in his bed.
“No! Sahyung would always keep the most important things in a safe place. Safely!”
Money and ledgers! A place—
Chung Myung jumped up from his bed.
‘Could it be?’
Would Sahyung ever keep his books in a place that could be easily targeted?
‘Try to remember.’
Chung Myung wasn’t really interested in his Sahyung’s matters. He knew that money was needed to run a clan, but he thought that a warrior shouldn’t be attached to such things.
But seeing these kids in Mount Hua struggling to survive, he felt bad thinking of how he’d behaved in his past life.
Since Chung Myung wasn’t interested in such a matter, his Sahyung had never shown him any books. In fact, whenever he was organizing, he would often ask Chung Myung to leave before he began.
Hazy memories began to resurface.
At most, there were no more than three ledgers in Sahyungs room. There must have been dozens of ledgers for a sect the size of Mount Hua. So, where were the others stored?
‘There’s somewhere else!’
There was no place to store it in Sahyung’s room.
Although he was the great elder and sect leader, his room was strangely empty; Chung Myung remembered that. There was no shelf to even keep books.
Besides, he would keep the books in a box, and there were only three held in that room. So, where were the other ledgers?
“Then, is it true?”
The rumor was that there was a secret warehouse that only the sect leaders knew about. It was a famous rumor.
Normally, Chung Myung would have investigated that rumor to know the truth, but he didn’t check it because he had no interest in it.
Mount Hua used to be a prestigious sect in Shaanxi, and sometimes strange things would arrive at the door. For example, forbidden martial arts, which none should learn, or secrets that only the sect elders know. Occasionally, legendary swords and treasures were obtained.
So, where did they all go?
If those items were here, Chung Myung wouldn’t have overlooked them.
And they weren’t sold. Some things in this sect could cause a storm if released. If the current sect leader sold them, then word would have spread widely.
‘There must be!’
A secret warehouse where books and treasures are stored.
It can’t be far from here.
The warehouse wouldn’t be placed out in the open. So, it had to be in Mount Hua. A warehouse which no one knew about.
But could that be possible?
How would you build a secret warehouse in a sect where martial artists swarmed all over like ants?
Chung Myung slammed the door and stormed out.
There could only be one place.
First, the entrance had to be near the sect leader’s residence. If the entrance was outside, it couldn’t go unnoticed.
No one could enter without the permission of the sect leader, so it had to be there.
‘The residence of the sect leader hasn’t changed from the past at all.’
Then, is that it?
Chung Myung, who ran outside, opened his eyes wide.
There is a gentle ridge behind the residence of the sect leader.
‘If a warehouse had to be built, it would have stood out in the eyes of the people.’
However, there is one way to avoid the eyes of others.
An underground warehouse.
If they had dug out an underground warehouse near the living quarters, martial artists with keen senses could have discovered it. However, what if they had made a passage starting here and built the warehouse under the mountain?
“Other than a ghost, no one would know of it.”
Chung Myung smiled.
When he thought about it, it was strange.
Usually, in other sects, the sect leader would live in the most central area.
Wouldn’t it be strange if the emperor’s palace was placed in a corner?
However, the residence of the sect leader of Mount Hua was in such a place. And there is nothing after that.
That’s all there is!
Seeing the small garden behind the sect leader’s residence, Chung Myung grinned.
“It looks like this treasure hunt won’t be too complicated.”
He felt as if he could see his Sahyung biting his lip and clenching his fist from the afterlife.
“Please understand. My dear Sahyung! Shouldn’t our top priority be saving Mount Hua? If possible, I will hand this treasure over to the current sect leader without touching it.”
If possible…If possible.
Of course, only after he got what he needed.
‘If it makes you sad or angry, then come back to life!’
Chung Myung smiled triumphantly.
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