Mount Hua was in chaos.
No, it was already in a state of turmoil, but now it was in a fuss for a completely different reason.
“Elder Hwang was saved?”
“Who is elder Hwang?”
“The greatest merchant of the Eunha Guild. Even if all the merchants of Hua-Um gathered, they wouldn’t be able to go against Elder Hwang.”
“Huh? Is he that great of a person?”
“That’s what I’m telling you.”
The third-class disciples were all in either disbelief or shock as they spoke.
“Chung Myung saved someone that important!?”
“Wow! This is really….”
“Why would he….”
It was good news, but the third-class disciples were all confused.
With this, Chung Myung’s position was bound to rise, and it was clear that the adults in Mount Hua would favor him more. Wasn’t Chung Myung already being protected by Un Geom and the sect leader?
And now he’s going to get another level up?
Jo Gul smiled.
“I wondered what he was getting himself up to.”
He is really a ghost-like man. Maybe the heavens were helping him?
“Isn’t this too much, Sahyung?”
“Doesn’t he have too much luck on his side?”
Yoon Jong looked at Jo Gul and spoke.
“You think it was luck?”
“… you think it’s something else?”
“It isn’t luck. It’s skill.”
Jo Gul titled his head. Yoon Jong started to explain when he saw his companion’s confusion.
“It was Chung Myung’s skill that gained him the authority to go down to Hua-Um village, that’s why he got picked to deliver the letter. What would we have done in that situation? All we could have done was inform our elders of the situation and perform our usual duties in Mount Hua.”
“What’s more, there was no guarantee that Elder Hwang would survive his treatment either, but he took a chance because of his skill. If things had gone poorly, Elder Hwang might have died, and Mount Hua would have been ostracized as a sect that tried to take advantage of a wealthy guild only to cause a catastrophe instead. It’s a situation in which even the sect leader can’t move about recklessly. “
Jo Gul nodded his head. What Yoon Jong said was true.
“Everything looks easy when you see someone else do it. You only realize how difficult something truly is when you must do it yourself. Focus on developing your skills instead of discussing luck. Luck may provide you with opportunities, but if you lack the skill to capitalize on that moment, then it’s all a waste.”
Jo Gul sighed low.
‘Sahyung is starting to nag more and more these days.’
In the past, Yoon Jong was the kind that would step aside from any situation.
Although he was sitting in a symbolic seat as the eldest of the third-class disciples, he wasn’t someone outstanding and never tried to make use of his position.
Like water, he would often just go with the flow. Lately, though, he felt more and more like a Sahyung.
He’s changed since he decided to achieve something in Mount Hua.
It was the same with Jo Gul.
The others went silent and fell into contemplation at Yoon Jong’s words.
However, Yoon Jong’s words weren’t finished.
“But I am worried.”
“The process and result were achieved through his skills, but it is also true that his position has increased….”
Chun Myung had already made several contributions to Mount Hua. Now, he made another major one, so what level would his status rise to?
“I am sure that something else is bound to happen.”
Chung Myung being vicious like a snake isn’t the problem here.
The problem was that this vicious person was diligent.
“Just what sin did I commit in my previous life?”
The White Plum Blossom Boarding House was filled with sighs.
“Elder Hwang decided to take over the businesses in Hua-Um.”
“If it’s Elder Hwang, we can trust him.”
Hyun Jong tried to suppress his excitement.
‘I am so glad that I can’t even make tea!’
It wasn’t easy to stabilize his hands, which were trembling in excitement.
Hwang Mun-Yak offered to manage their business without any charge. He even promised a huge amount of compensation, saying that he would repay the favor he had received.
He simply placed two conditions.
Instead of accumulating wealth inside Mount Hua, the money earned would be utilized for the development of Mount Hua.
And the other was to give preference to the third-class disciple, Chung Myung.
The first condition was no problem.
Hyun Jong had no intention of storing the wealth away. Mount Hua wasn’t in a position where it could leisurely accumulate wealth. They would have to pour money down the well before it would become stable enough to hold water.
The problem was the second condition.
‘Preference is too vague of a term.’
It was a natural request to expect from Elder Hwang, Chung Myung had saved his life. As Chung Myung is a disciple of Mount Hua, it can be said that Elder Hwang was repaying the favor by investing in Mount Hua. Yet, he had a special interest in Chung Myung himself.
The problem came from the term ‘preferential treatment.’
‘What are some ways we can give such treatment to a third-class disciple?’
That was what made Hyung Jong’s head hurt.
If he soberly evaluated the achievements made by Chung Myung, it was strange that he hadn’t been rewarded properly.
But wasn’t Chung Myung already receiving privileges that even the great disciple couldn’t have?
‘At a time like this….’
Hyun Jong looked at Un Am.
Un Am looked at Hyun Jong too and opened his mouth.
“Hmm, this is a good thing.”
Un Am drew in the crowd’s attention, looked around at them, and continued.
“The reason Elder Hwang asked is because Chung Myung has saved him from a horrible end.”
“He’s such a good child. How does he choose to only do good deeds? Is he a spirit?”
“He’s truly on the path of Dao.”
“Tell me about it.”
Un Am coughed once to gather attention from those talking about the child.
“Then, shouldn’t we reward that child again?”
“Well, yes. He should be rewarded.”
“He does deserve it.”
“Hmmm, so what kind of reward do you think would be fine? Let’s all give our opinions.”
Seeing that things had gone the way he wanted, Hyun Jong smiled.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a disciple that only brings fortune to Mount Hua and receives appropriate rewards in return? Of course, such things were a blessing to Mount Hua.
“Considering that he’s a third-class disciple, why not teach him a martial art which he normally couldn’t learn as a third-class disciple?”
Hyun Jong looked at Hyun Sang.
This was certainly preferential treatment for the child.
“After I finish studying them, why not let Chung Myung learn the Seven Sages Sword and the Falling Flower Sword? That would certainly make him happy.”
“That’s a great idea. Sect leader?”
It was a very warm atmosphere. Hyun Jong smiled and nodded his head.
“Then, as we discussed….”
At that moment, someone interrupted Hyun Jong’s words.
Hyun Jong slowly turned his gaze and looked at the source of the voice.
Finance head, Hyun Young.
He decried with a face full of anger.
“Sect leader! It makes no sense to give that child this kind of reward!”
‘Ah, what now!’
This discussion was going to be another pain in the ass.
Although Hyun Jong was the sect leader of Mount Hua, Hyun Young was also an elder and a member of the financial side. He couldn’t easily ignore the words of Hyun Young and do what he wanted.
“Finance head, what now?”
“That’s your reward? What kind of reward is that?”
“Do you think that if you give that child martial arts, he’ll be happy? He’s already busy training every day at the dorms, and you want to give him more to learn? That’s not a reward; it’s punishment!”
What is this?
Why did it seem like the conversation went in a strange direction?
Amid everyone’s confusion, Hyun Young looked at them with fire blazing in his eyes.
“That is no reward! A reward must be something that you give another person wholeheartedly. What kind of reward is this!? When you give a reward, it needs to be significant enough to feel a certain reluctance to part with it! Do you understand what I’m talking about?”
What was this man even saying?
Hyun Jong looked at Hyun Young with eyes that were full of bewilderment as he couldn’t figure out what was happening. Wasn’t Hyun Young the one who hated Chung Myung’s the most and said he had to be punished at all costs in the previous meeting?
Why did he suddenly change his position?
At last, an excitable voice erupted from Hyun Young’s mouth.
“Do you think this is some normal contribution!? Thanks to that child, Elder Hwang was saved, and the money is flowing into Mount Hua—No, Mount Hua is being supported! Elder Hwang even said that he would even manage the businesses for free… FOR FREE!”
Only then did Hyun Jong understand why this was happening.
Hyun Young was the head of finances.
Someone who had to take care of the maintenance of Mount Hua. To put it bluntly, it was a position that needed to manage the money within Mount Hua.
Really, it could be expressed in one word,
How horrible must it have been to manage the finances for a ruined sect? However, thanks to him, Mount Hua was able to survive until now.
There was no one willing to aid a ruined sect, and debtors kept coming to collect.
Then, when the situation became dire, Chung Myung solved the problem.
Although a large chest of money was found, money would disappear quickly once it found a use.
What the finance head wanted wasn’t money, which would run out when used, but stable income, which could be invested each month with the businesses running well.
How happy must he be? After all, Chung Myung saved Elder Hwang, the person Mount Hua needed the most in order to steer them towards the best outcome. From his perspective, he would support Chung Myung even if he needed to wait on him hand and foot for over a month.
Hyun Young was red when he shouted.
“Give him a proper reward! That way, he will bring more nice things to us!”
“A reward isn’t an investment to earn back later….”
Hyun Young, who was excited, even stopped Hyun Jong from speaking.
“Sect leader! That child, he is a God! He’s the God of Wealth! You need to give him a proper reward and keep using him to earn more money! Do you get it! Huh?”
“Do you know just how much money he’s earned this time? All these other idiots are gathered here, but not a single one among them has even brought in a penny! Such bastards! But this child is a wonderful bastard! Right? Do you understand? Say yes?”
Hyun Sang got up from his seat and then hugged Hyun Young from behind and started pulling him out of the room.
“Sect leader! Reward him right! A huge reward!”
As he was dragged out, Hyun Jong sighed.
“I hope you all understand. He’s gone through some tough times.”
“… we understand.”
“Actually, there isn’t anything we can do. Considering the hardship that he’s endured.”
“How difficult must it have been….”
Un Am cleared the atmosphere and spoke.
“Finance head is right. Chung Myung needs to be rewarded properly. I especially like the idea of giving him what he really deserves.”
“Well, that’s right.”
“If we look at this situation calmly, Chung Myung’s achievements this time cannot be compared to what he did previously.”
Hyun Jong nodded his head.
“But last time, it was pure coincidence. So, the disciples will also try to see what kind of reward Chung Myung receives this time.”
“I want Chung Myung to be given a proper reward so that all disciples understand that those who achieve great deeds for Mount Hua will be awarded appropriately.”
Everyone nodded their heads, and Hyun Jong said.
“Then, what should be the reward?”
No one could answer.
“First of all….”
It was Un Am who spoke.
“He likes going down Mount Hua, so I think it might be good to have him be our liaison with the Eunha Guild.”
“But wouldn’t that just be turning him into an errand boy? Is that even a reward?”
“Elder Hwang is fond of Chung Myung, so he will treat him favorably each time.”
“Ah, that is true.”
Hyun Jong nodded his head. It was a good idea.
As soon as one opinion came out, the others began to express their thoughts as well.
“Why not give him a Plum Blossom Sword in advance? Wouldn’t the child like that?”
“What use would the Plum Blossom Sword be to a child who still trains with a wooden sword? Why not give him a new uniform? Embroidered with golden thread.”
“What’s the point of wearing gold-lined threads when food is scarce? Let’s just give him something to eat or let him take something from the library.”
“Do you think Chung Myung is like you! You think we should just give him food as a reward?”
“Then we’ll give him pills!”
“There are no pills in Mount Hua!”
“Then buy some! We have money!”
It was then.
Hyun Young kicked the door open and shouted.
“Just give him money! What are you all racking your heads for when we have money to give! You frustrating old bastard! Shut up and give him money for… um! Um! Um!”
Hyun Sang covered Hyun Young’s mouth and dragged him out again with an awkward smile.
Hyun Jong closed his eyes.
‘It is true that good things have constantly been happening lately….’
But the more Mount Hua grew, the stranger it became.
Maybe it was just his imagination?
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