Chapter 104 - The Secret Behind The Jade Plaque (1)

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[Mumu]

[Mui]

Two jade plaques with two names written on them.

Jin-hyuk and Mo Il-hwa, who saw this, were shocked. Their shock was because they had been shown these plaques without explanation and the implication that Mumu was somehow related to Hae-ryang’s clues.

“… what is this?”

Mo Il-hwa asked, looking at the jade plaque in Mumu’s hand.

“The plaque with Mumu written on it is something I had since I was a child, and the one with Mui was with Kang Mui.”

“You stole that from senior Kang Mui? Didn’t you say that he was trying to kill you earlier and that he is the real culprit behind the student’s death?”

“Yes.”

“Then why did he have this?”

Mo Il-hwa stared at both the plaques. This was too much evidence to call it a coincidence. The only difference between the two was the letters engraved on them.

“Mumu, did you find out anything from senior Kang Mui?”

“Not yet.”

“Uh, well…”

Mo Il-hwa couldn’t say anything more. The pattern of writing on both plaques was simply too similar. Jin-hyuk then asked Mumu.

“Did Father give this to you when you were a child?”

“No. I heard it was around my neck since he picked me up.”

“What did father say?”

“That my biological parents must have given me this.”

At Mumu’s words, Jin-hyuk’s expression became stiff, and he groaned. Hae-ryang was still in a deep sleep, and no one knew when he would wake up.

And all of this was because of the plaque. Silence fell as Jin-hyuk spoke again.

“You… Do you think your biological parents have something to do with the criminals behind the academy incident?”

“…”

Mumu couldn’t answer. Even if he wanted to deny it, all the evidence clearly pointed towards a positive answer.

‘… so he was worried about this.’

He could understand Mumu’s feelings. It must be confusing to be dragged into such a situation suddenly.

Moreover, this wasn’t something that could simply be dismissed. He could have been pushed into that group regardless of his will, and, depending on the secrets behind the plaque, it would make a massive difference in Mumu’s thinking.

“Does anyone else know about the jade plaque?”

Mo Il-hwa asked Mumu, who thought about it for a moment before replying.

“Ha-ryun, Senior Kang Mui, and Master Baek Woongi have all seen it.”

“And we too are included in those who saw it.”

As she sighed, Jin-hyuk asked.

“Why?”

“What do you mean by why? If too many people know about this, Mumu will end up pushed to a corner over nothing.”

“… right.”

“This is really bad. Then both the parties involved in the arson and a teacher in the academy have seen it.”

“Ahh.”

Jin-hyuk sighed at those words.

This was definitely a bad situation, and even if it wasn’t intentional, hiding this was the right move at the moment.

“Wow… but this is amazing.”

“Uh? What is?”

Mo Il-hwa clicked her tongue at Mumu’s question and said,

“I thought secret birth origin stories only come out in books, I guess not.”

“Miss!”

Jin-hyuk yelled at her.

Mumu was the one who was forced to be a party to what happened, and he didn’t like how she openly said it.

“I didn’t mean to consider this in a bad way. And if it is a problem for Mumu, then it’s a problem for all of us.”

“…us?”

“Yes. Aren’t we all together?”

At Mo Il-hwa’s words, Jin-hyuk looked at her. Others couldn’t see it, but she was talking like this with his brother in her mind, right?

Well, even if that was her true intention… Jin-hyuk sighed.

“This is a serious matter for Mumu.”

“Right. But first, it is a problem that we have to calm down and think about.”

“You are right, but how do…”

“Mumu’s thoughts are important for this.”

“Uh?”

“Right? Mumu.”

At Mo Il-hwa’s question, Mumu tilted his head.

“My thoughts?”

“Right. Yours.”

Mumu then replied to her words with a question.

“…. What if I had a close relationship with the people who tried to kill the students?”

“Is that your biggest concern now?”

“Yes.”

“In the current situation, there is a high chance of you being pulled in.”

“… I see.”

“Let me ask you one more thing. If you become sure of your birth being linked to such people, do you want to be with them?”

Mumu frowned at the question and shook his head. He couldn’t take the side of those who tried to harm his fellow students.

“I do not like them.”

“It doesn’t matter. But what if they have the right reason for it?”

“Reason?”

“Right. I think this kind of action needs to have a reason. Of course, there will always be an exception where there are idiots who just like to harm and harass others because they like it. But, what if they have reasons and a cause for it?”

Jin-hyuk couldn’t agree with her words and said,

“Even if there is a reason or cause behind it, killing people cannot be justified.”

“Seriously, you are stubborn.”

“It isn’t that I am stubborn, but because there is a fine line between right and wrong.”

“That is what I said. Historically, some kingdoms fight with each other, invade or kill people. One kingdom takes all the damage, and the victims suffer. Those who feel wronged would then try to take revenge in the future. So would you call that wrong?”

“It isn’t revenge, which is wrong. But…”

“Then let’s put it like this. The invaded nation had lost all the elders involved in the war. For revenge, they retaliate by killing the elders of the other kingdom in the same way. This would be considered fair so far because their revenge was equivalent. But then, they return and kill the young people as well as they do not want the cycle of revenge to come back. Is that wrong?”

“…”

Jin-hyuk was speechless at this. It was because he could understand what she meant.

In such a relationship, there was reason to act; in the end, it was impossible to know which side was right or wrong.

“This isn’t a matter of right or wrong.”

“I don’t think your words are wrong.”

“… there is truth to what Miss has said. I agree that my thoughts have been shallow.”

Jin-hyuk now saw Mo Il-hwa differently. Unlike other women, she had a deeper side that sought justice alongside her clever tricks.

“It is a difference of opinion, a different kind of insight. Anyway, what I am trying to say is if your birth has something to do with them and they claim to have a cause for doing this, what will you do?”

“Me? Umm.”

Mumu couldn’t answer right away. Mo Il-hwa looked at Jin-hyuk and said,

“This is what I meant.”

Jin-hyuk felt frustrated at those words because she was correct.

The methods used in the arson incident were similar to how sects belonging to the Forces of Evil acted. The collapse of the Dominating Hegemony 17 years ago had also led to the loss of many lives in the Forces of Evil.

He even heard rumors that innocent children were killed to eliminate any potential for revenge.

‘What if Mumu’s parents were one of them?’

If Mumu’s birth had anything to do with them, they would be enemies. If so, there would be no reason to criticize Mumu even if he joined them.

Like Mo Il-hwa said, this was a complicated relationship.

But,

‘… if that happens, all the other sects will consider Mumu their enemy.’

Then it would be the worst-case scenario. It would be a cruel situation for Mumu, his biological parents, and even Jin-hyuk’s family.

‘I… what do I do? If that is the case…’

Jin-hyuk felt complicated. He thought that this was just another simple matter for Mumu.

But hearing Mo Il-hwa’s words, he couldn’t think of it like that.

‘If Mumu has his own reasons and understands it, do I have to fight Mumu in the future then?’

This thought didn’t sit well with him. It was Jin-hyuk who regarded Mumu as his brother. However, it was difficult to judge what would be the correct choice if this brother of his turned into an enemy.

‘Ahh…’

He never thought deeply about their relationship. But as he thought deeper, he couldn’t think of what was right or wrong.

‘What would hyung do? What would Father do…’

Thud!

For a moment, it felt like Jin-hyuk was hit by a hammer.

‘Father…’

His father, Yu Yeop-kyung.

The man who was unfairly framed and went into exile. Everyone in the world had thought of his father as a sinner until his brother, Yu Jin-sung, cleared his name.

[Even if my father had really sinned and everyone in the world is his enemy, we shouldn’t be acting like this.]

That was what his brother told him. Thinking about that, Jin-hyuk’s heart warmed up. Right or wrong wasn’t necessary.

‘Why am I obsessed with this?’

Tak!

Jin-hyuk grabbed Mumu’s hand.

“Uh?”

“Mumu.”

“What?”

“Whoever you are doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what choice you make either.”

“What are you saying?”

“You are my brother.”

“…”

“And I respect your decision, even if you are related to them and want to join them. I will continue to believe in you.”

“Jin-hyuk…”

“Hyung too and father too, even mother will do the same. We will all support you till the end. Even if the world turns into our enemy, we are still a family. You are never alone.”

It was a firm voice. Mumu’s eyes turned red after seeing the bottomless trust that Jin-hyuk had in him.

“Really?”

“Yes. I promise.”

Mumu realized that his chest had felt heavy. He now knew why he felt bad after finding out the truth behind the jade plaque. It was because he was caught up with the ominous feeling of being separated from his cherished people.

Clench!

Mumu held Jin-hyuk’s hand.

“Thank you. You and our family are important to me too.”

The two confirmed their affection and trust. Mumu felt grateful for this, and Jin-hyuk said,

“But…”

“But?”

“… I know it feels good, but hold my hand gently.”

The hand being clenched was trembling in pain. At that, Mumu released his hand.

“Is this fine?”

“… right. Well, don’t worry. I will be with you no matter what your birth secret is. And our family doesn’t have any relationship with the Forces of Evil or Justice sects anyway.”

“Ah, our family is the same!”

Mo Il-hwa intervened with those words as Jin-hyuk’s eyes shone.

In truth, she was a member of an Imperial Official’s family, so she wasn’t related to martial arts people. Perhaps this, too, was fortunate for Mumu.

“Il-hwa. Thank you.”

“If you are thankful to me, be grateful all your life.”

“Yes.”

Mumu smiled broadly.

“Anyway, we need to stop confirming our trust and devise measures to deal with this.”

“Measures?”

“Right. We still haven’t figured out what relationship exists here.”

“Right.”

“Isn’t it important to know that? I don’t know how things would change if your birth secret comes out, but it really is something which needs to be known.”

Jin-hyuk agreed with Mo Il-hwa’s words.

“Miss Mo is right. Only you or we can devise a plan to deal with the situation.”

“Uh. Okay.”

Mo Il-hwa then asked Mumu a serious request.

“Mumu, make up your mind.”

“Make up my mind?”

“If your birth has something to do with them and they have a reason, then everyone will be your enemy, regardless of your will or decision.”

Mumu smiled at those words.

“You are smiling now?”

“It is fine.”

“What is fine?”

“Well, Il-hwa and Jin-hyuk believe in me, so it is fine.”

“Look here. Even if we said that, isn’t it scary to have enemies?”

“No. It isn’t scary.”

Mumu raised his chest and clenched his fist.

Clench!

He then said casually,

“I just have to be scarier than the enemies.”

‘!?’

Jin-hyuk and Mo Il-hwa’s faces sported identical frowns.

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