Roaring, Jong Seohan rushed into the plum blossom forest in front of him and clenched his teeth tightly, gripping the sword in his hand.
It seemed that all the plum blossoms around had a mind of their own as they moved.
A single swing.
However, the flowering plum blossoms swayed back with his swing but quickly floated forwards again. No matter how much force he used, he couldn’t stop their approach.
This could not be.
This made no sense.
Jong Seohan almost lost his mind in anger.
The Southern Edge-Mount Hua conference.
That terrible memory was still ingrained in Jong Seohan’s mind.
That moment when he was completely annihilated by the disciples of Mount Hua, who they had failed to see in the shadow of Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.
After that day, the mood of the Southern Edge Sect changed.
The number of sahyungs, who were happy, decreased, and everyone became nervous. A feeling of defeat had sunk into them as they had never failed before.
The more they did, the more Jong Seohan clung to his sword.
The humiliation suffered there had to be paid back in full. He believed that a chance for this humiliation to be repaid would show itself to him if he religiously practiced his sword, his proper sword.
‘Why did this happen?’
He couldn’t understand.
He would have accepted this if he had neglected his training, even just once. If he hadn’t given up the thought of ignoring Mount Hua after the last conference, he would have blamed himself and let his hopes be broken.
But he didn’t; he fought with his mind and stuck to practicing.
Then why were such results forming?
Jong Seohan clenched his teeth and swung his sword.
His sword wasn’t the wrong one!
The sword of Southern Edge could not be wrong!
His sword with pure white petals. The pure white flowers were all blooming and a dazzling sight that was more beautiful and lively than the plum blossoms of his opponent!
This was a story where he pushed himself to his limits and went all in.
The moment he bumped into Baek Cheon’s plum blossoms, his strength was sapped, and he collapsed.
Jong Seohan’s eyes began to tremble.
Why couldn’t he tackle those plum blossoms?
The Twelve Movement Snow Flower Technique was a martial art that the Souther Edge Sect’s elders had created after decades of research. It was the result of them finding their own older techniques lackluster and unsatisfying.
And this was the same technique that had defeated the disciples of Mount Hua, which felt good for nothing.
This made no sense!
This was unreasonable.
“Damn it! This is nonsense!”
Jong Seohan cried it out. And Baek Cheon’s eyes turned cold.
He could hear what his opponent was saying.
The cry resembled the scream of Baek Cheon, who once shouted in front of Jin Geum-Ryong.
Just three years
During these three years, their positions were changed.
Where did this difference come from?
Baek Cheon glanced away from the stage and looked at Chung Myung, who was in his chair.
‘Don’t laugh, you idiot.’
It was like Chung Myung was asking him,
‘Do you now realize how valuable the last three years were?’
Baek Cheon clenched his sword.
Even if they spent the same amount of time and put in the same amount of effort, it was meaningless if they didn’t go in the right direction.
Now, Baek Cheon had to prove that fact. Through this man.
Beak Cheon swung his sword, which still had a subtle red glow. The plum blossoms of Baek Cheon grew again and covered Jong Seohan.
Before he could fully comprehend what was happening, his world had turned into red petals.
His eyes widened with shock.
Did this mean he was feeling this desperate in the face of Baek Cheon, someone who wasn’t even Chung Myung?
“Damn it! Woahhh!”
Desperately swinging his sword again and again. He had forgotten about his expression, and like a madman, he just kept swinging at the red plum petals, which seemed indifferent to him.
The plum blossom petals that flew with the warm spring breeze instantly slashed his body.
And as soon as they did, the plum blossoms of Mount Hua disappeared as if they had been a lie.
Jong Seohan shook his head and looked at Baek Cheon.
Baek Cheon was sheathing his sword.
“A tree without roots will wither and die.”
No matter how colorful the petals were, they would still be empty.
“I don’t know if you will understand, though.”
Jong Seohan had fallen over. A cold silence seemed to settle on everyone. Baek Cheon looked at his brother.
Their eyes met.
Brothers who walked down different paths were now looking at each other.
And it wasn’t hostility.
A person who bears a sword must prove themselves through to the end.
Both Baek Cheon and Jin Geum-Ryong know that in order to prove themselves, they have to defeat their opponent.
After a while, Baek Cheon finally turned his gaze away and started coming down the stage.
At the sight of a swordsman walking down draped in a black robe and with a valiant look. Hot cheers poured in,
“Woaaah! The best!”
“What the hell was that?”
“Like a mountain full of flowers!”
“Mount Hua! Yes! It was Mount Hua! The plum blossoms of Mount Hua! I guess it was no metaphor when they say that Mount Hua’s disciples brought plum blossoms in their swords!”
“Amazing! For real!”
The cheers were strong.
It was a fact that everyone knew; the disciples of Mount Hua had been winning their matches till now. However, it had all been done without their swords. The swords of Mount Hua hadn’t been seen till now.
And now, Baek Cheon showed them the sword of Mount Hua, the plum blossoms within it, which was known to be the most splendid one of all. So it was natural that everyone was excited.
“Plum Blossom Swordsmen! Right?”
“What is that?”
“The swordsman who learns the plum blossom sword technique of Mount Hua! A thing of the past!”
“Hehe. What a funny name.”
“I don’t understand how that sect is called weak with such a technique? Isn’t this so fantastic?”
“Even though prestigious sects sometimes decline, they never fully go down! Look! Isn’t it coming back strong and blooming into life?”
“It literally is blooming! Hahaha!”
The people all looked at Baek Cheon and the disciples of Mount Hua with eyes full of excitement.
What do Murim people like?
Everyone has different tastes, but there were a few common things that everyone enjoyed.
One was the emergence of something new. And the other was when a warrior of an unknown sect defeated a much better-known sect’s disciples.
And the last was when a sect that was in the process of crumbling found new hope and regained its name.
Coincidentally, right now, Mount Hua was showing all three of these things at the same time. So for a moment, everyone was going crazy over Mount Hua.
When Baek Cheon returned, the disciples all rushed to him with excitement. All of their faces were red.
The fact that he had overwhelmingly defeated a disciple of the Southern Edge Sect in front of so many people held special meaning for Mount Hua.
“There was nothing arrogant about it.”
But Baek Cheon responded slowly as if it wasn’t such a huge deal.
“The good thing is he isn’t as late as Jin Geum-Ryong.”
His eyes sank low.
He had to defeat Jin Geum-Ryong to defeat the Southern Edge Sect.
“Let’s go then!”
“Of course, sasuk!”
The disciples of Mount Hua all seemed happy.
Although being their great sahyung, only now did he get to do his role properly?
Watching Baek Cheon break down Jong Seohan, even the slightest doubts these other disciples had were blown away.
If Baek Cheon broke Jin Geum-Ryong like this, Mount Hua would never be swayed again by the name of Southern Edge.
“The feud ends here. After this competition, the Southern Edge will no longer be a huge name for Mount Hua.”
Jin Geum-Ryong glared at the disciples of Mount Hua with cold eyes.
Not Dong-Ryong but Baek Cheon.
The name of the person who used to be his brother was now his enemy.
‘I don’t like this.’
Baek Cheon didn’t suit his actions. Pretending to be confident but trembling in fear was what suited him.
Jin Geum-Ryong took his gaze away. All the sajaes had gloomy eyes.
“Straighten your shoulders.”
“Do not show your disappointment to the people of Mount Hua. Are you afraid that something bad will happen? Still, you people are the disciples of the Great Southern Edge Sect!”
Everyone felt a chill run through them at those words and forcibly straightened their shoulders.
“The loss was unexpected, but it changes nothing. In the end, all I need to do is win.”
Jin Geum-Ryong’s gaze turned to Baek Cheon again, and his eyes looked colder when he saw that expressionless face.
‘Don’t be cocky.’
At first, he didn’t care about Baek Cheon. There was growth, but he didn’t think it was something special. And since they shared the same blood, he didn’t care. He was a weak kid who didn’t do anything properly because he had gone to Mount Hua.
The problem wasn’t Baek Cheon even now.
Jin Geum-Ryong’s eyes turned to Chung Myung, who was giggling in front of the gambling table.
‘You have time to do that?’
Jin Geum-Ryong mumbled,
“Don’t worry. I will defeat Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon and restore the honor of the Southern Edge Sect. And then those stupid people will know who the real heroes are.”
“Of course, sahyung!”
“Sahyung will win!”
Half faith and half fear.
Those soulless words weren’t really taken in by Jin Geum-Ryong. After all, it was enough to prove them with results.
But one was silent,
“Why aren’t you saying anything?”
At Jin Geum-Ryong’s question, Lee Song-Baek raised his head.
Jin Geum-Ryong looked at him, who appeared silent the whole time.
An indifferent face.
‘He doesn’t mess around with me.’
And he had a face like he wanted to say something.
“What do you think?”
“I don’t know what you are asking.”
“Do you think I can defeat Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon?”
Lee Song-Baek glanced back at Chung Myung and then looked back at his sahyung,
“I know one thing.”
“What is it?”
“The opponent for you is your younger brother.”
Lee Song-Baek said,
“Can someone who doesn’t see their opponent in front of him aim to be bigger?”
At his words, the younger disciples were enraged,
“How dare you say that to our sahyung!”
Jin Geum-Ryong raised his hand and stopped them,
“Leave him alone.”
And he looked at Lee Song-Baek coldly,
“He will know later… if I am right or wrong.”
Lee Song-Baek only bowed his head. The sharp eyes of his sahyungs didn’t leave him for a long time. He simply sighed,
Talks done with hotheads couldn’t really be called talks.
The Southern Edge Sect had already lost the time it had; it was now narrow-minded and unable to sympathize with others.
‘Disciple Chung Myung. What do you think?’
He looked at Chung Myung.
“This spar was won by Disciple Baek Cheon of Mount Hua. Those who bet on Baek Cheon, come and take your money!”
Chung Myung ran towards them. Wei Lishan smiled and took the token from Chung Myung.
“Let’s see. Disciple gave us 10,000 nyangs….”
Some of the money collected by Wei Lishan was pulled back, and the rest was all pushed to Chung Myung.
Since Chung Myung had given the highest stakes there, he got the largest cut.
“Hehehe! Here it is.”
Chung Myung flicked some back to Wei Lishan.
“Ah, no, you don’t have to give…”
“Eh. If I take all of this, I will get a stomach ache. Take some.”
“I am thankful then. But how am I supposed to take….”
Before Wei Lishan could finish speaking, Chung Myung took something from his arms and unfolded it,
He took a large cloth sack, and Wei Lishan opened his mouth.
Chung Myung started to sweep the remaining money into it.
He pushed the gold, silver, and any money slips into the sack and tied it.
And suddenly turned his head,
Jo Gul, who was looking at Chung Myung, flinched.
Chung Myung threw the sack at him.
Surprised by the heaviness, Jo Gul flinched.
“Yah! What is this supposed to mean?”
“Leave it in the middle of our group! No one can steal it then!”
“… can I keep this?”
Chung Myung laughed,
“This is just the beginning for us.”
I need to rob all the people in here!
“Wow, that is good. You got all that?”
“How much is that?”
“At the end of the day, it doubled my money. I had put up ten thousand.”
“You say you gave ten thousand at once and brought more back?”
Greed grew in the eyes of people who noticed. They realized that this wasn’t small gambling.
Even those who weren’t too interested in the sight of small Chung Myung, with his huge sack, became interested when they heard how much was in it.
Wei Lishan cleared his throat,
“Let’s start! This time, it is Mok Oh of the Beggars union and Mount Hua’s Jo Gul…”
“10,000 for Mount Hua’s Jo Gul.”
Another bet for 10,000. All the gamblers there were shocked.
Chung Myung, who had placed it, asked,
“What? You won’t take the bet?”
As soon as his words fell, the others began to pounce in like they were starving.
“500 for Mok Oh!”
“300 for Mok Oh!”
“Didn’t you lose a lot earlier?”
“Don’t be stupid! I can win it all back at once! I might get even more! No, I can earn dozens of it!”
Seeing this chaos, Chung Myung smiled,
“Making money will be so easy.”
He wished such competitions were held more often, then he would be the richest person in the world.
Seeing Chung Myung drenched in his own dreams, Jo Gul shook his head.
And now was his time to prepare, and Baek Cheon summoned him,
When Jo Gul turned to Baek Cheon, the man had a serious expression,
“Do not underestimate your opponent. They aren’t an easy one to beat. Do your best to win.”
“Are you saying to use the Plum Blossom Sword Technique?”
“Use it if you have to.”
Jo Gul’s eyes shone…
He did his best to defeat the opponent, and like Baek Cheon, he got cheered on by the crowd…
“Sahyung! Sahyung! I bet my money on sahyung! You knew you would die if you lost, right?!”
Not you! Not you, you brat! Stop cheering like that!
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