Hyun Jong pressed his forehead as if it was in pain. And then he opened his eyes and yelled.
“Can’t you raise your hands straight?”
Chung Myung gently raised the arm he had been discreetly lowering.
Sadly, Chung Myung was being punished at the moment and was being made to kneel in the corner of the guest house with his arms raised.
“Yah, you bastard! You’re the one who couldn’t hold back and made this happen!”
“No… it is because those idiots cursed Mount Hua!”
Hyun Jong grabbed the back of his neck and tried to relax when Hyun Young came and helped him.
“Are you alright, Sect Leader?”
“Kuak… my life seems to be shortening.”
Hyun Sang looked at Hyun Jong with a worried expression, but Hyun Young, who was watching it from the side, had a sad face.
“Your vitality must have increased a lot after you took the pill, so it is fine if it reduces a bit. Rather, do you want to starve the child? Even if you want to punish him, at least feed him right. Chung Myung, get up and eat!”
But Hyun Jong yelled.
“I am punishing him right now…!”
Suddenly, Hyun Jong flinched and stopped. It was because Hyun Young was looking at him with blood-red eyes.
‘That is… is he going to eat me?’
Hyun Jong responded with a trembling tone.
“Did you forget? The Sect was running out of food… do you still have memories of us hunting wild animals and digging up food on the mountain with the other children?”
“…yes, I haven’t forgotten it.”
“Do you know what kind of decision I made when our Mount Hua, which I was proud of, had nothing to eat that we were forced to dig things up?”
Hyun Young spoke with clenched feet.
“I promised myself that when we earn enough money to feed them… I promised myself that I would never starve our children no matter how much money it costs.”
Hyun Young, who loosened his clenched teeth, looked back and smiled at Chung Myung.
“Chung Myung, let’s go and eat. Come.”
Chung Myung jumped up and ran to the table full of meat. Seeing that, Hyun Jong touched his forehead in pain.
‘What sin did I do in my previous life…’
‘Why is such a person my sajae and another one like that my disciple?’
Taking a deep breath, Hyun Jong slowly turned his head and looked at Hyun Young and Chung Myung.
“Right… well, it was such a hard time…”
It was then.
“Elder! Can I bring them drinks?”
“Yes! Yes! Eat whatever you want, and if you are going to eat, eat only the best stuff!”
“Good! Good! My brat!”
Hyun Jong closed his eyes tightly as he heard those voices. He covered his ears but could still hear everything.
‘I should cut off my ears.’
Seeing this sight, he felt like the vitality that had increased in his body because of the pill was steadily reducing.
Hyun Jong observed everyone with a stiff face.
And he looked at one of them.
Seeing him with his purple lips and tears in his eyes, Hyun Jong had nothing to say.
Cho Mal-Saeng, who was beaten by Chung Myung, spoke with a humble face.
And the other man, with the horse face, spoke with a bitter smile.
“Don’t worry, Sect Leader. On the days we meet a strong sect, isn’t it normal to have our necks chopped off for talking bad about them? We are thankful it ended like this.”
“I am sure my friend must have learned something from this. I always thought that one day the harsh things he said would come to bite him back…”
Mun Pyeong, the horse-faced man, glanced at Cho Mal-Saeng.
He, too, had nothing to say and just pouted.
Mun Pyeong clicked his tongue.
‘Right, I knew something like this would happen at some point.’
Above all, Kangho was a place where everyone had to be careful with their words. Those who spoke recklessly would get their necks handed to them.
Since Mount Hua was a place that was known to be righteous and acclaimed as a Taoist sect, the result of the entire fiasco was just this. If they had met some other man, they would have been killed right away.
But the surprising thing was…
Mun Pyeong slowly looked to another direction. He looked at Chung Myung sitting at the table and drinking alcohol.
‘Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.’
He had heard the rumors, but he never expected it to be like this.
Actually, Cho Mal-Saeng, who was sitting next to him, was quite strong despite his rabid mouth, but even he got his ass handed to him.
‘A surprise attack?’
There was nothing uglier than saying it was a surprise attack. And when living in a world where there were warriors all around you, it was basic to be ready at all times.
Since Cho Mal-Saeng wasn’t a person who didn’t know that, it could only mean that his skills were too low in comparison to the young man.
‘The power of Mount Hua is more than what I heard.’
Maybe Mount Hua would bring a storm upon this competition.
‘It isn’t just Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.’
He looked at all the disciples of Mount Hua who were eating meat next to Chung Myung.
“Server! Bring more meat!”
When Baek Cheon looked at the disciples with wide eyes, the Baek disciples who had asked for alcohol bowed their heads.
“There has to be someone who knows to hold back.”
The disciples then continued devouring the food.
Mun Pyeong smiled.
‘This is different from the Mount Hua that I imagined…’
When it came to Mount Hua, what did he think…
‘A sect comprised of swordsmen with great pride in their swords but weaker Taoists when compared to the Wudang Sect.’
But the Mount Hua he was seeing now…
“They are like bandits.”
“Right. You… shut it!”
Cho Mal-Saeng, who said it, pouted and went silent.
‘Right, they really do look like bandits.’
If they changed their robes, they would look like real bandits who had come to rob this place.
If it weren’t for the plum blossom engraved on their swords, Mun Pyeong would have doubted if they were really from Mount Hua.
Mun Pyeong coughed and politely approached Hyun Jong.
“Then you are participating in the Worldly Murim Competition?”
“Yes. We sent that child to order the food in advance for us, but for something like this to happen during that short time… I have no excuses.”
When Hyun Jong didn’t know what to do, Mun Pyeong thought.
‘This man is naïve; he doesn’t fit the position he has.’
If he was a true Sect Leader, he would have asked Cho Mal-Saeng to apologize for ignoring his Sect.
Instead of rewarding Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon, who had condemned them, he punished him.
And he looked really apologetic to them as well.
‘A Sect Leader very much unlike the disciples…’
Mun Pyeong glanced at the disciples and smiled.
‘This is a completely different combination. I wonder what this Sect will look like.’
And he lowered his posture.
“Sect Leader. Although he committed a wrong, I want to apologize for the trouble we did. I apologize on behalf of this man too, so please understand us.”
“In a place where there is none, how can you say you have committed a mistake? You were speaking your mind, and that is no sin.”
“Regardless of where you are when I curse you, wouldn’t it be natural for me to be killed?”
Mun Pyeong smiled.
“In Kangho, we are often called the Horse-Mouse Twin. We are quite quick to hear about things around here, so let us know what you need regarding the spars and the competition… Please consider this our way of paying off our sins. We will do it whole-heartedly.”
“I would greatly appreciate it.”
Mun Pyeong smiled brightly and said.
“Then, if you allow it, we will now leave.”
“You weren’t staying?”
“No. We just stopped by.”
Actually, they had been planning to stay here, but they didn’t want to do it now. When Mun Pyeong glanced back, Cho Mal-Saeng sighed and got up.
“I really apologize again, Sect Leader…”
“No, it is really fine.”
“We will make sure to repay this favor.”
Cho Mal-Saeng took a deep breath and turned around with an awkward face, and followed after Mun Pyeong.
When the situation was finally settled, Hyun Jong sighed and looked back at the Elders.
“I am worried.”
“What do you mean?”
“We are already apologizing… I wonder if I can have free time in Mount Song.”
Hearing this, Hyun Young laughed.
“What can we do if he keeps doing this?”
Hyun Young’s face softened a little.
“It is said that when a weak person causes an accident, it will be called an accident, but when a powerful person does something like this, it is called the law. And what did they say? Wasn’t what they said too arrogant?”
“Leave it alone. After we die, our disciples will be the ones leading Mount Hua. It isn’t a bad thing to bow down.”
“…you’re asking me to leave all this to Chung Myung?”
At Hyun Jong’s words, Hyun Young turned around and looked at Chung Myung.
Chung Myung was stabbing Jo Gul with his chopsticks, aiming for his meat.
“…I think he should be restrained a bit.”
‘I am worried. So worried.’
Contrary to Hyun Jong’s concerns, the remainder of the journey went smoothly.
Of course, Chung Myung did something absurd in the middle, but thanks to Baek Cheon and Hyun Young, the situations were handled well.
A few days passed.
The disciples of Mount Hua finally arrived at the foot of Mount Song.
Each of the disciples looked at it in admiration. Although it alone was a famous place, Mount Song was worthy of being called the most famous mountain in Kangho.
The reason was simple.
It was because the Shaolin Sect was located here.
Thousand Years Shaolin.
The Buddhist Sect, called the Shaolin Sect, which was located in the Shaoshi Peak of Mount Song, had many strong people.
It was natural for everyone to be filled with excitement as they came to visit the Shaolin Sect on their own ground.
“Can you feel something from the mountain?”
“All mountains are the same. What else can they look like?”
“No. Still, it feels different from Mount Hua.”
If Mount Hua was lofty and high, this looked soft and gentle. It was as though everything was warm and embracing.
That alone was enough to give the disciples of Mount Hua a different feeling.
“Why are there so many people?”
“They don’t seem like warriors?”
The road to the Shaosi Peak was filled with a sea of people with incense burners in their hands. There also seemed to be quite a few merchants present here as well.
For the disciples who had always been accustomed to the silent path, this was different.
Seeing all this, Yoon Jong asked.
“Elder. Does Mount Song normally have so many visitors?”
“Um. Well. It is my first time coming here too.”
The Elders had done nothing special in Mount Hua either. They lived for the sake of the disciples. Realizing the status of the Shaolin Sect once again, the Elders felt suffocated.
It was then.
“It isn’t usually like this. It is probably because of the competition that so many people have come.”
“Is that so?”
Yoon Jong looked back at Chung Myung, who answered.
“How do you know that?”
“… Uh. I’ve lived as a beggar here once.”
“Why come here when you can get nothing from mountains?”
“I came here to eat.”
Chung Myung looked at the people going up and said.
“This should have been happening in Mount Hua in the past.”
The low voice he said it in pierced the hearts of the disciples.
Baek Cheon, who was calm, said.
“After this competition is done, will Mount Hua become this crowded?”
Hyun Jong smiled brightly.
“Of course, it will be.”
Chung Myung said it out.
“Let’s go and take a look at how great these elite sects are.”
The elders nodded their heads at the same time, and a thought flashed through their minds.
Of course, it was the first time they would properly see a prestigious sect.
‘It is the first time for them too.’
For them to go against people like Chung Myung…
Thinking about it, the Elders felt bad again.
The disciples of Mount Hua started to climb up Mount Song with determined eyes.
‘The Shaolin Sects.’
Chung Myung, who was following behind, smiled.
‘The competition you want to conduct is already over.’
‘This is going to be a competition exclusively for Mount Hua to show off.’
‘Because I will make it that way.’
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