The tip of the sword trembled.
This delicate trembling gradually turned violent, and soon, it transformed into a movement that could shake the world.
Accompanied by the sound of fire crackling with the addition of firewood, red flowers began to emerge from the sword tip, spreading out and coloring the world red.
After a moment, the world was filled with waving flowers. The bandits were filled with shock at this sight.
‘What kind of harmony is this!’
It was a truly beautiful and horrifying sight. Soon, the petals began to pierce bodies with an eerie sound echoing around. It was the sound of flesh being cut to the bone.
“Ack! My arm! My arrrmmmm!”
The sword with plum blossoms pierced the mouths of the bandits, who were screaming in pain.
The bandit’s body, which had been shaking and trembling, soon turned limp and fell to the sword. Even though he had felt this weight so many times, it never felt lighter.
Chung Myung pulled out the sword and rushed into the center of the bandits with blood-soaked hands.
Flowers scattered, and the blooms surged.
A look of discomfort appeared on Chung Myung’s face as he mercilessly cut open the opponent’s heart.
‘Not enough yet.’
Actually, the sword felt several times sharper and several times more precise than before.
Since he was reborn, he had never been able to swing a sword as perfectly as before. He felt trapped as if he was caged in something.
The more he moved, the more intense the thirst within him became.
Hot blood splashed on Chung Myung’s face. Even if he wiped the blood off with his sleeve, the feeling didn’t go away; the blood was that well spread.
He wanted to get closer to the sword technique he lost. He wanted to regain it, a little faster if he could.
His nervousness dulled the tip of his sword. Chung Myung’s face, which had been expressionless until then, slowly distorted with frustration.
His sword, fueled by his raging emotions, pierced and tore through the body of a bandit.
Blood and flesh splattered around him, but Chung Myung could only grit his teeth in frustration. His body wasn’t moving as he wanted it to.
‘I couldn’t fight the high priest alone.’
There were stronger people in the world. If he had been even a tad bit weaker, not just he but all his companions would have died in the North Sea.
If that were the case, then the future of Mount Hua was clear.
The world was full of strong people, and the actual Demonic Sect would rise to power one day.
‘I need to get stronger, much stronger than before!’
It was at this moment when Chung Myung was gripping his sword so tightly that his knuckles turned white, and he was about to charge forward.
“Crush their heads!”
Chung Myung turned his gaze, drawn by the voices he could hear from all around him.
The disciples of Mount Hua, who had been oppressed by the force of their opponents, were now pushing ahead, their morale higher than ever.
Jo Gul, who was leading the charge, swung his sword swiftly and simply. His style was strikingly similar to Chung Myung’s.
Yu Yiseol, who had jumped into the enemy lines, was trampling her opponents with her exceptional skills. Her incredible focus and obsession with perfection hadn’t changed since they first met.
While the two of them pushed their opponents back, Yoon Jong and Baek Cheon stood by the sahyungs, assisting those in crisis.
Hae Yeon, with his powerful fists. At this, Chung Myung’s tightly shut mouth opened.
At that moment, one of their enemies stabbed a disciple in the shoulder. However, instead of recoiling from the injury, the disciple glared at the man and counterattacked with furious eyes.
Plum blossoms began to bloom once more.
They weren’t pristine, and it seemed almost laughable to call them plum blossoms, but they were still plum blossoms in any form. Their essence couldn’t be lost just because they didn’t resemble the expected appearance.
The plum blossoms that bloomed sporadically soon painted the surrounding area red. It was reminiscent of Mount Hua.
Chung Myung, who observed this, bit his lip.
‘Such a nuisance.’
He hadn’t even asked them to follow him, but Chung Myung sprinted ahead while the others persistently kept close. Even the sahyungs of the past had eventually given up on tailing him, but these individuals, who couldn’t even compare to them, were fearlessly pursuing him.
“Do not let that scoundrel charge in alone! We are Mount Hua!”
In response to Baek Cheon’s shout, which sounded more like a scolding, Chung Myung gripped his sword with a twisted expression.
‘Those who don’t even know their place.’
Don’t they know who he was?
‘… No, actually, I am the foolish one.’
He couldn’t do everything by himself. Hadn’t he already learned that no matter how powerful one was, it was impossible to accomplish anything alone?
But every time his blood boiled, he felt as if he was back in the past.
‘What I need to do now.’
Chung Myung, who silently watched them, bellowed.
“Your waist is off balance, Jo Gul, you fool!”
“I am your sahyung, you imbecile!”
Chung Myung grinned at Jo Gul’s immediate retort.
‘Right. One should do at least this much.’
It was true that their foe was formidable. Of course, the Five Swords of Mount Hua could handle them, but it was clearly challenging for the other disciples.
But now wasn’t the time to blindly shield them; it was the time to trust them.
In order for plum blossoms to bloom properly, they had to endure their fair share of wind, rain, and cold.
Chung Myung took a deep breath. Then his usual playful expression appeared. He tilted his head crookedly as he looked at the bandits who were hesitating around him.
“Tsk. This is why you’re all bandits.”
“It seems like there are people who take care of you when you’re scared like that, but I’m sorry, I’m not one of those.”
“Instead, I’ll give you some advice.”
Chung Myung smiled.
“If you want to live, run away! You fucking bandits!”
Meanwhile, Go Hong was observing the situation with a cruelly distorted face.
“Why can’t you handle those brats properly!”
The Blood Hounds he had called, who had an amazing momentum, were now blocked by Mount Hua’s defenses and weren’t able to do their best. Their strength was higher, but Mount Hua, who were now standing shoulder to shoulder, were fighting back with incredible strength.
On top of that, even though they barely managed to take down one side, some particularly notable guys tried to save them like shadows, but nothing worked.
As a result, more and more people were falling. On the other hand, Mount Hua’s disciples were avoiding a situation where they would lose lives by retreating to the back of the formation before their wounds turned fatal.
And so the number of bandits was bound to decrease.
And there was someone more problematic to them.
“How dare these bandits look at me! I will rip those eyes out!”
Seeing Chung Myung running wild like an animal among the bandits in the sect, Go Hong’s stomach churned, and his eyes rolled back.
All the problems began with this guy.
Right from him.
“L-leader! This situation…”
He kicked Lee Jong-Bang, who was trying to speak. Holding the scimitar in one hand and the spear in the other, he roared.
“Get out of my way! You useless beings!”
At a voice that sounded like a bear howling, the bandits were frightened and retreated to the left and right to clear the path. Then, the path opened wide between Chung Myung and Go Hong, who were running wild.
After cutting down the bandits, Chung Myung straightened his back and glanced at Go Hong across from him.
Go Hong spoke first.
“The young man is running wild without knowing the difference between you and me!”
“I wish you were older, you bastard!”
In response to the unexpected counterattack, Go Hong grabbed his long spear with a smile on his face, then twisted his upper body, flipped his waist as if it were a rubber thread, returned to his original position, and threw the spear.
The long spear, rotating fiercely, raged with qi. Chung Myung’s eyes widened when he saw the long spear being fired like a cannon.
Soon, the swung plum sword struck the front part of the long spear. However, Chung Myung couldn’t ignore the qi felt at the touch of the sword.
The dark, fragrant plum sword couldn’t overcome the force of the spear and bounced back. Chung Myung gritted his teeth and bent his waist to the side.
The spear, with amazingly strong qi, narrowly grazed Chung Myung’s shoulder. The sword slowly touched the spear and roughly clawed it out, tearing the shoulder and cheek a little.
Soon, the long spear fell to the ground, making the ground explode.
Chung Myung raised his hand and lightly stroked his cheek. Blood began to flow profusely from the torn skin.
Chung Myung licked the blood from his finger and laughed.
“A lot different than I thought?”
He had forgotten for a moment.
The Green Forest bandits might not be much, but their leaders were not weak people. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that of the 72 Green Forest bandits, the Great Star Bandits had amazing strength, and their leaders were the best in Green Forest.
Go Hong, gripping the scimitar, strode towards Chung Myung with determination.
Each step he took seemed to shake the entire mountain, a testament to the internal qi he possessed.
“Someone who doesn’t know their place!”
His eyes were filled with murderous intent.
“I will make you regret trying to show off in front of me! I will show you why I am known as Go Hong!”
“Ah, is that so?”
Chung Myung casually shook the blood off his hands.
“Is it so terrible to be without fame?”
A smile tugged at his lips.
“Well, it doesn’t matter.”
He raised his sword, aiming it at Go Hong, and laughed.
“If I behead this madman, wouldn’t that earn me a more respectable title than the odd one like Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon?”
“Come and see for yourself. I will cut you down cleanly!”
“I will truly kill you!”
Living up to his title of Crazy Dog, Go Hong charged at Chung Myung with brutal force.
Chung Myung, spinning his sword and gripping it tightly, ran to meet Go Hong with an intrigued smile.
Go Hong’s scimitar came crashing down, threatening to split the mountain itself.
In response, Chung Myung’s Dark Fragrant Plum Blossom sword sliced through the air, carrying with it a burst of explosive qi.
Soon, the two weapons, sword and scimitar, clashed.
The sound of a mountain cracking echoed, and a massive gust of wind pressure rose around the two combatants, sweeping everything in its path.
The bandits, caught in the storm of qi, screamed in terror and were flung down the mountain slopes and over the cliff.
The two combatants gripped their weapons and used their internal qi to push each other back.
Their arm muscles bulged, and their bones ached with strain. But Chung Myung didn’t back down even slightly, pushing his sword harder.
Go Hong also seemed flustered by this unexpected force, gritting his teeth and pressing the scimitar harder.
Sparks flew between the two weapons.
The upper bodies of the two men gradually tilted towards each other. After a significant struggle, their weapons finally reached their chests, causing their heads to collide.
There was a loud, dull explosion that was too loud to be the sound of heads colliding.
Strength versus strength.
As if there was no need for techniques, they used pure strength. The two men put their foreheads together and growled like animals.
Blood trickled down their broken foreheads and wet their faces, but neither of them tried to back down first.
In the end, the huge shock wave created by the collision of internal qi violently pushed the two men’s bodies.
At the same time, the two men who were pushed back and fell down jumped up without even thinking about who was first and shot toward each other like lightning again.
The sword that split the sky and the sword that shattered the ground clashed again under the heavens and earth.
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