Hwang Mun-Yak sat opposite Chun Myung and sipped his tea.
Chung Myung frowned slightly as he looked at Elder Hwang.
It was Hwang Mun-Yak who began the conversation.
“How is it?”
“You say the strangest things from time to time.”
“There is nothing wrong with asking.”
Hwang Mun-Yak’s eyes shone as he gauged Chung Myung’s reaction. He felt a subtle sense of incongruity as he looked at Chung Myung.
‘I, Hwang Mun-Yak, am speaking on equal footing with a child like this?’
It wasn’t a matter of arrogance, but considering what Hwang Mun-Yak had achieved in life, sitting like this with a third-class disciple would usually be unthinkable.
Nevertheless, Hwang Mun-Yak was now alone with Chung Myung. Not as a benefactor who saved his life, but simply because he wanted to deal with Mount Hua’s third-class disciple, Chung Myung.
“Aren’t we in the same boat now?”
Chung Myung smiled brightly.
“It was luck that I saved Elder Hwang. Being on the same boat is a bit too much.”
“I have no desire to be on the same boat as Mount Hua.”
Chung Myung narrowed his eyes and looked at Elder Hwang.
‘Look at him?’
Isn’t he being a bit too honest?
“To be precise, without you, Mount Hua is of no interest to me.”
“You are overestimating my worth.”
Hwang Mun-Yak curled his lips at Chung Myung’s modesty.
“Young disciple. I am a merchant. I have been a merchant all my life, and I will be one until the day I die. As a merchant, the only weapon I possess is my eye for people.”
“If my eyes were wrong, I would have already been in ruin. Even if I have merely been lucky enough to avoid failure till now, I would surely fail one day. There is nothing more upsetting or regrettable than that, but if my eyes are correct….”
Hwang Mun-Yak looked at Chung Myung.
“Wouldn’t good fortune be in the future for both Eunha and Mount Hua?”
Chung Myung lightly scratched his cheek.
“Well, don’t say anything about being on the same boat. I’m not fond of such phrases.”
“People who speak such words are often the first ones to put a knife in others’ backs.”
Things like this happened in the past.
Countless people praised and shed tears for Chung Myung and Mount Hua as they went to save the world. But none of them had shown kindness to Mount Hua in the end.
So how could he like these words now?
“I don’t like such phrases either. From a merchant’s perspective, a boat is something you can get on and off at any time.”
“Yes, I suppose so.”
Hwang Mun-Yak smiled.
“Although, if our destination is the same, then there is no need to get off the boat. After all, if both parties row the boat together, won’t it be easier to reach our destination?”
Chung Myung looked at Hwang Mun-Yak with serious eyes.
“Yes. There is nothing wrong about that.”
Hwang Mun-Yak’s eyes shone.
‘I am sure.’
He confirmed this.
It didn’t matter what the outcome of this conversation would be. It would be great if Chung Myung would cooperate, but even if he didn’t, as long as the negotiations with the sect leader were completed, Eunha Guild would support and take advantage of Mount Hua.
Nevertheless, Hwang Mun-Yak wanted to speak privately with Chung Myung to confirm this point.
‘In this child’s head, Mount Hua is already developing. He has already determined that Mount Hua will develop, without fail.’
What tremendous confidence.
However, this self-confidence didn’t feel like it came from simple child-like pride, ignorant of the world. Rather, a sense of senility could be felt from Chung Myung.
“The Eunha Merchant Guild will do its best to support Mount Hua. You know what that means, don’t you?”
“What, you are breaking up with the Southern Edge Sect?”
“I think it is a bit disrespectful to expect a reward for something we didn’t request from you.”
“I want nothing in return. I just want you to know.”
‘You just wanted to let me know, sure.’
It wouldn’t cost a thing.
“I’ll be sure to come and visit you often in the future.”
“Yes. Sect leader said that if there was a need to send someone to Eunha, I’d be the one to go.”
“That’s quite the good news. I hope to see and speak with you soon. Haha.”
“Yes, of course. Hahaha.”
Both people chuckled at the same time and looked at each other.
In their hearts, both had completely different thoughts.
‘This quick-witted little prick!’
‘How dare you try and take advantage of me. I’ve handled countless fools like you in my past life!’
They were facing each other with smiles, but sparks were flowing between them.
“This is the gamble of my life.”
“That’s something a young man should say.”
“Well, I think I’ve gained a new life after you helped me. It wouldn’t hurt to bet on a new life.”
“But you don’t really care about that.”
“Perhaps I just wanted to say it then.”
Hwang Mun-Yak stood up. Then he looked at Chung Myung.
“I will only say one word of advice in return for saving my life.”
“Young disciple. You certainly are excellent. Even if you searched every crevice of the world twice over, you might not find someone more capable at your age.”
“Thank you for your kind words.”
Do you want to find a person like Chung Myung? It’s not just those his age; there’s absolutely nobody like him in the entire world!
Who else could come back from the dead like him?
“But I think that young disciple needs to stay hidden a little longer. The world is a scary place. All sorts of ghouls and ghosts dance around, and there are many demons around us. As soon as you reveal yourself, they’ll rush towards you.”
Chung Myung had a bitter smile.
“You speak too highly of me; I am just a kid.”
“I told you all that I wanted to say. Okay then.”
Hwang Mun-Yak turned around and walked away.
“Ah, one minute.”
Hwang Mun-Yak turned around again; Chung Myung had a subtle smile on his face.
“I need you to find out a few things for me. Could you please help me out?”
Hwang Mun-Yak also had a subtle smile as he nodded.
Hwang Mun-Yak closed the door behind him and Hwang Jongi, who was waiting, approached him.
“Did you have a good conversation, father?”
“How did the discussions with the village below the mountain go?”
“From today on, we have decided to place subordinates within Hua-Um. If we support and distribute the goods, we will be able to stabilize the businesses before ten days are up.”
“That’s quite long.”
Hwang Mun-Yak said.
“Even if you take a loss, settle the matter within three days. Now isn’t the time to pursue profit. We need to show our abilities here.”
Hwang Jongi couldn’t hide his curiosity and asked again.
“The young disciple is…?”
Hwang Mun-Yak glanced back at the door he had left behind with a subtle expression.
‘That child is a monster!’
He couldn’t understand what that child was thinking. Even though he took on a child-like appearance, Hwang Mun-Yak began to doubt whether even that was real or fake.
Hwang Mun-Yak smiled.
“I’d rather call this place the Dragon’s Lair.”
“Nothing. Let’s move.”
Hwang Mun-Yak walked out whistling.
Where a dragon lives. There was no need to guess who the dragon was.
“I’ve changed my mind. Maybe we should put everything on the line in Mount Hua.”
Hwang Mun-Yak was strangely excited.
Merchants don’t live on money but information. Money was just the result of utilizing the information in the proper manner.
He realized before anyone else that a dragon resided in Mount Hua. This information was so great that even Hwang Mun-Yak couldn’t estimate its value.
‘If I use this information well, the Eunha Merchant Guild might very well rise to the top of the world!’
It won’t be easy, but wasn’t this worth a try?
“There must be a lot of work to do. Let’s go now.”
Hwang Jongi silently followed his father, unable to understand the situation.
At the small hill behind White Plum Blossom Hall, a pair of eyes were watching them.
Chung Myung watched the two adults as they set off from Mount Hua.
“That old man just doesn’t quit.”
Dealing with Hwang Mun-Yak was different from dealing with Hyun Jong or the other elders of Mount Hua. Of course, the elders of Mount Hua were diligent and wise, but they were Taoists who lived their lives away from the real world.
Hwang Mun-Yak lived in the secular world his entire life, so he was a lot more calculating.
“Whatever, it all worked out.”
He was able to solve the issue. Hwang Mun-Yak would continue to help Mount Hua in the future.
The weakest part of Mount Hua has been bolstered.
Hwang Mun-Yak will make sure that Mount Hua’s name is heard around the world once again. Since Mount Hua is a martial arts sect, it was necessary for them to claim their identity in the right way.
Chung Myung looked up at the blue sky and grinned.
“Well, one problem is solved, Sahyung! How was that? Do you think I did well?”
The visage of Chung Myung’s Sahyung could be seen smiling down at him from among the clouds.
As if to say,
‘You idiot. It serves you right! Now, do you understand how hard it is?’
That was what that old man seemed to be saying.
“This is still the first step.”
There was a long way to go.
Mount Hua’s biggest obstacle has been overcome, there was no immediate concern remaining that the sect would vanish, and they had even gained a fair bit of wealth. With that problem solved, the next focus would be their martial arts.
If the Southern Edge Sect has lost their identity and forgotten their roots, then what about Mount Hua, which doesn’t even have roots? He had to restore Mount Hua’s martial arts back to their peak.
Chung Myung raised his body up.
“Ugh. When will the kids grow up!?”
Looking down at Mount Hua, the scene seemed to leave him feeling pleased. Even though it was only a little, Mount Hua had begun to change.
Chung Myung laid down again.
“Sahyung, Sahyung. I should have listened more to Sahyung’s constant nagging. Now I understand Sahyung’s worries.”
Chung Myung closed his eyes.
He could envision the old days when he hid away from his Sahyung as he chased after Chung Myung, ready to discipline him.
His appearance had changed, but so did the years.
Mount Hua is Mount Hua.
Right. It was still Mount Hua.
It was a day when the long winter had passed, and the first spring plum blossoms bloomed in Mount Hua.
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