Before the feast, I had a long conversation with Yong-yong for the first time since childhood.
Thanks to this, the relationship which had felt strained since my mother’s death seemed to fade away into a distant and obscure memory.
Yong-yong asked what had happened but I couldn’t just tell her the truth, so I told her what I had told So Ik-heon.
I didn’t want to lie to her but no good would come from knowing about the Blood Sect.
It felt like I was lying to her in the guise of doing it ‘for her sake,’ just like how So Ik-heon had kept similar things from me.
But if the truth was ever leaked out, she would become linked with the Blood Sect. It wouldn’t be right to hastily speak about something like this.
-From your point of view, your sister wouldn’t believe it either, right?
I guess she would feel the same way.
Was it because Short Sword was a woman too? She could sympathize.
Yet Yong-yong seemed to be aware that I was hiding something.
-She has good instincts.
She was a much more mature child than me.
-What do you mean mature child?
I didn’t know how to tell her.
In order for Yong-yong to not be caught up in the affairs of the Blood Sect, the path I needed to take was clear.
In order to do that, Baek Ryeon-ha needs to rise up.
-Even so, do not lose your focus, Wonhui
‘At the center..’
-Strength and power are addictive. If you get caught in the eddy, you will lose control over yourself and sink down. In the end, you need to ground yourself.
I was grateful for Iron Sword’s advice and as they were the ones that were the closest to me, I never lost focus in the hard times.
-If you know, that is good enough.
It felt like they were complimenting me, but their reactions seemed very different.
Slowly the feast hall was turning noisy and the guests seemed to be going in one after another.
My hyungs couldn’t join, since they had been severely injured. The feast would begin in earnest when the guests from Mount Hyeong arrived.
As soon as Jo Sang-nam entered, he glanced over at me and Sima Young.
I knew that the fight only hadn’t happened because So Ik-heon had intervened, but I could tell that he didn’t care for me much.
-Seems a bit stupid
Was there any older brother who would give their little sister to such a man?
Ik-heon, who was seated at the top of the banquet hall, came forward and greeted the guests from the Jo family.
“Hahaha. Come on in.”
He greeted them with a smile, but in a way, I thought he was amazing. I thought he would rest since his injuries hadn’t healed
How could I ever think of this man as my father? After making the deal with him, I asked Blue Decree Sword something before leaving the training room,
‘Blue Decree Sword’
‘Before my mother passed away, did she tell the lord about my biological father?’
This was the thing I was most curious about.
This man surely took her in, but what was the real identity of my mother?
And who was my real father? My mother never mentioned this, even on her deathbed.
I was young at the time and she thought it could hurt my innocent heart. But shouldn’t she have told So Ik-heon?
-I am sorry.
But he didn’t know either.
Despite meeting my mother before her death, even So Ik-heon wasn’t told of their identity. Did that mean she left not wanting to cause any slight disturbance in my family?
I didn’t know my mother or father’s identity and only knew half the truth.
-It must be frustrating
Before and after my rebirth, the complexity of this life had never changed.
Finally, the guests from Mount Hyeong arrived. It was Cho Jeong-un and Cho Il-hye.
“Oh! Great warrior Cho! Lady Cho!”
As soon as they arrived, Jo Sang-won, the head of the Uipung Jo family, greeted them. Cho Jeong-un, who was shy by nature, appeared rather stiff.
“Sajae came here first.”
“You are here, sahyung.”
“If you are fine, can we sit together?”
At his question, I turned to the table.
So Ik-heon and his wife were sitting at the head position of the table and couldn’t hide their shock.
Because the seats of Mount Hyeong were set at the top too, meaning that I would be sitting at the same table as the head of the family, but then Cho Il-hye stepped in to resolve the issue.
“Sahyung. The fest has a set seating area. You can change places later, but for now, the right seats should be taken”
The guy looked seriously sad. And this was a good atmosphere so I didn’t want to say anything.
I also didn’t want to sit there. I wasn’t sure of the answers I would have to give if he asked me anything, and as Iron Sword always said, even lies have rules.
He said that lies should be based on the truth, and one should be the most careful when creating a lie based on no truth.
I took the initiative,
“Please do what Miss has said. The Lord will be disappointed.”
“Don’t we have other chances to sit together?”
Cho Jeong-un said that he would drink alcohol with me later. When it came to alcohol, mistakes were often made so avoiding this issue ahead of time was the right move to make.
-I thought you were just born to lie.
‘If I have no truths to base it on, I will be exposed.’
I had to be careful because I wasn’t sure what he would ask me. I would have to depend on Iron Sword to fill me in.
‘Are you fine?’
-Well. It is fine as long as your intent isn’t evil.
That was all Iron Sword said about that. But I kind of felt bad for using his information like this.
But I was also glad that he could understand my position. Soon, the seats at the feast were soon filled in.
A feast always starts with words from the host so I looked at the Lord who had just risen from his seat.
Our eyes met and I nodded my head making him go stiff.
Now that he got the signal he would have to announce it
The guy took a deep breath as his expression changed and he looked at the faces of each guest as he smiled,
“I will send my greetings to the distinguished guests who have visited my home.”
When he said it, all the guests bowed their heads.
Being humble to one another.
As the guests sat straight, he continued,
“Before the feast begins, I have something to say to the guests. If it isn’t too rude please listen”
At his words, Jo Song-won, the head of the Jo family reacted unexpectedly.
“Hahaha. Lord So is so serious. You said you wanted to gradually talk about it, are you trying to make a public announcement here?”
At those words, Jo Sang-nam smirked.
It seemed like they misunderstood what he was talking about.
They thought it was about the Jo family’s engagement to Yong-yong, and he even glanced at her.
-This is a mess.
It seemed so.
Yong-yong, who was sitting at the same table sighed. She seemed worried about having her life tied down.
At that time, Lord So bowed his head and said,
“I have to apologize to you, the head of the Uipung Jo family.”
“What do you mean?”
“I do not think that my child is suitable for your son. Thank you for holding on till now. But I hope he finds a better match than her.”
Silence filled the hall.
Although he did put it politely, it was still a firm refusal.
The faces of the father and son who were expecting a different announcement were shocked and I looked at Yong-yong.
Her lips were very slightly raised.
As Short Sword said, this was rewarding.
And for the time being Lord So would not speak about marrying off Yong-yong. Unless his wife didn’t use her hand again.
The madam looked a bit uneasy. The marriage plan was actually set up by her.
A tactic to get rid of my sister who she didn’t want to be close to, and, build a relationship with the Jo family.
She looked at me.
[I hope that your nonsense acts will never enter my ears in the future. If a foul plan or act reaches me, be prepared for what happens that day.]
I wasn’t sure if it was from anger or fear, but I did my role and turned back to So Ik-heon.
Even before the guests could discuss the previous announcement, he continued,
“The purpose of this speech here is to inform you all that Wonhui, the third son of my family will represent my family in the Murim Tournament.”
The first step to reclaiming the Blood Demon Sword was taken. I had returned to my home and without even spending a day here I had achieved success.
While the feast was happening I quietly exited the hall.
My work here was done.
Cho Sung-won felt like he was missing out on food and alcohol as he had to follow me.
“Why are we leaving so quickly? It is too late to move now.”
We got permission to participate under this name so we were done here. But this guy seemed to think that we had time on our hands.
“We have work to do”
“Don’t stop when sahyung is speaking.”
Cho Sung-won went silent at Sima Young’s words.
It was because of that and another reason we stayed so long.
“Brother. Are you leaving now?”
“There are things my teacher asked me to do and I have already informed the Lord.”
“If we are going to the tournament, how about we both go together?”
This is why I wanted to leave in a hurry.
I felt burdened at the thought of her, and the Mount Hyeong people coming with me.
“Can we not go together? I will inform my teacher and we can leave early.”
Yong-yong glanced at Sima Young after saying that.
The face of Sima Young looked red. And it wasn’t because of the alcohol she drank.
-She likes it, shameless
said Short Sword.
My heart throbbed.
Yong-yong, that one is a woman!
“Miss. If you come to the Murim Tournament you can see sahyung there. Do not be too sad.”
Sim Young comforted her and the eyes of Yong-yong were twinkling!
Her voice was full of excitement. While she was doing that, Sima Young smiled brightly without realizing it!
That is it, we need to leave right now!
“Yong, see you later”
I led the two of them out with a hasty greeting. I hurried because I didn’t want her to follow me.
Sima Young looked like she didn’t understand. Man, this handsome man’s face is a problem!
-Do you really think it is because of the mask?
Short Sword mumbled
What else could it be then?
It was then.
As I was about to leave, I felt a familiar sword.
‘Blue Decree Sword’
I could feel it rapidly approaching, and when I looked back, So Ik-heon was coming from the hall.
I told him in advance that I would leave so why was he following me?
“Stay aside for a moment.”
At my words, Sima Young and Cho Sung-won continued walking out and So Ik-heon got closer.
“Why did you come? I said I would give the rest after the tournament.”
I gave him only two of the five techniques of the second half. I had to do it because he might change his mind.
“It isn’t because of that”
What did he mean then? If he isn’t there for that, was he here to see me off? No shot.
I might have thought it was possible in the start, but not anymore and So Ik-heon pulled something from his sleeve.
A round jade.
So Ik-heon handed it to me.
“What is this?”
“… the one thing your mom had when I first met her.”
The jade my mother had?
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