Chapter 62 - A Flower that Blooms in Winter (3)

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‘Did it choose him because he put in effort?’

Dan Baek-yeon had a blank expression with her mouth slightly agape.

What kind of sword was it?

It was one of the three sacred items of the North sea Ice Palace. Only those who could handle Yin and Yang and had reached an energy level of five could draw it out.

Those were the needed qualifications. She couldn’t believe that it could simply be drawn by force.

Kiiiiik!

‘The sword is howling.’

This wasn’t a normal reaction when the sword was drawn. If one usually gets chosen by the sword, this kind of scream wouldn’t come out.

‘Is it suffering because of being pulled out?’

Jjkkk!

And an intense chill began to emanate out from the sword. This chill covered the entire office in a white frost, causing Dan Baek-yeon to shout out,

“Put the sword back in the sheath right now!”

Unlike her, who had learned a martial art to handle the iciness, Mumu was just forming his dantian. It was impossible to endure this cold. Mumu didn’t even have enough internal energy to handle the sword. So Baek-yeon moved to help Mumu.

It was then,

Swish!

A stronger chill flowed from the sword. And at Baek-yeon’s cry, Mumu’s hand, which was trying to put the sword back into the sheath, began to freeze.

‘This!’

She didn’t know how Mumu had managed to draw it, but what was happening now was the sword going wild. The sword had been crafted from cold iron, which was trapped at the bottom of the North Sea for hundreds of years. The chill from the sword was enough to freeze an entire district.

Pang!

Baek-yeon flew to Mumu, who was being pushed back by the wave of frost as he continued to grasp the sword. Even those who knew the sword's power couldn’t help but be shocked.

‘He will lose his hand to frostbite.’

Mumu’s hand was the priority for her rather than the sword. It was then,

“Ah, cold.”

White steam escaped from Mumu’s hand. The skin, which turned white, turned red, and the frost melted.

Swosh!

‘This?’

What is this?

This wasn’t something that happened when internal energy was being used. However, Mumu was doing something to push away the chill from the sword.

And as Mumu did that, the Confessional White Sword responded with an even colder wave of frost and tried to freeze the hand again.

“As master said this sword is so picky,”

Mumu stuck his tongue out and quickly put the sword into the sheath. Then, the chill which was spreading disappeared like a lie.

“Ah… it is done?”

The surroundings were still frozen. When the chill stopped, Baek-yeon sighed in relief and asked, unable to understand.

“You still cannot handle the energy how did you do that?”

“Ah, this?“

Mumu showed his warm hand. Once the frost had melted, she realized that his hand was trembling. It wasn’t just the hand, but the arm was shaking too.

“What’s happening to your arm?”

“I did the same thing I did when I’m exercising in the cold during winter, when you shake your muscles like this the body warms up.”

‘!?’

Baek-yeon was surprised at his words. She didn’t know about others, but this was a different approach for her, who researched many things; she had never seen anyone do this before.

‘Rapid vibration generates heat. And he did that with muscle?’

It might look simple, but even the trained Murims could not do this. This was possible only by those who could control their muscles as easily as breathing.

‘Who is this child…?’

His abilities seemed beyond common sense. Dan Baek-yeon looked at Mumu.

It wasn’t that he pulled out the Confessional White Sword and controlled it, but it was the first time she saw anyone do this.

‘It might be possible.’

Pound!

Her heart trembled.

Maybe this child could really learn it?

Unlike the past ones, if he learned to balance yang and yin, there is a chance. If that happens, her long wait will be over.

[Find the man… who can… pull out… the Confessional… Sword. That Man….]

Dan Baek-yeon bit her lower lip and turned her head, looking at the flower.

Maybe the flower was waiting for it too. The only other medium which made her feel nostalgic for her hometown…

Jjkkk!

‘!?’

A frozen flower broke down. Although it is a flower that blooms in winter, it too couldn’t handle the chill from the sword.

Dan Baek-yeon felt like she had lost her mind.

“Master?”


Noon the next day.

In the dining hall of the Academy…

Mumu and his friends were having their meal. Mo Il-hwa was puzzled by the appearance of Mumu, who typically eats his food in a hurry and with gusto.

“Maybe the sun will rise in the west today, why are you acting like this?”

Mumu looked unusual.

Wasn’t Mumu someone who had no worries? It was strange that he was eating with a troubled look.

“Right. Why are you like this?”

Jin-hyuk was curious as well. Mumu has been in this state since last night.

“Mumu?”

“…”

Mumu did not answer the questions and kept eating rice with a blank look.

“… yah.”

Clench.

“Ah?”

Only when Mo Il-hwa pinched him on the cheek did Mumu come to his senses, and she re-asked her question,

“Why are you like this? You have been like this ever since you came back from the office of Master Dan Baek-yeon. Are you…”

“Il-hwa.”

“Uh?”

“When tears flow it means one is sad, right?”

At his question, Mo Il-hwa tilted her head.

Why was he asking this? She nodded and asked,

“Then you are sad? Or crying in happiness? Rather, maybe it was crying because it cannot be held back. But, in general it is because one is sad. But why?”

At her question, Mumu remembered yesterday.

Master Dan Baek-yeon, captivated by the broken flower, was in tears when she touched the broken petal of the flower.

Mumu, who saw someone crying sadly for the first time, felt heavy.

Was he feeling sad?

“Yah. Just tell me what happened.”

In the end, under Mo Il-hwa’s urging, Mumu briefly talked about what happened yesterday. About the one flower that Baek-yeon loved and how it had died after he had touched the sword.

Mo Il-hwa simply responded,

“You did something wrong. How can you make a woman cry?”

“I did wrong?”

“Of course. It is the flower which reminds her of her home and she lost that because of you, obviously you did something wrong. Ugh, seriously.”

“… what do I do?”

“What can you do? A flower only found in the North Sea? There is nothing you can do. How can we even get seeds or flowers like that here….”

“Ah!”

At that moment, Mumu clapped his hand. Yesterday, Dan Baek-yeon was mumbling something.

[Is there one in the old building? But it is closed…]

She was trying to speak about something, but it was more akin to blabbering, and Mumu couldn’t understand it, and Dan Baek-yeon eventually just asked him to go back.

Mumu remembered it just now,

“Seeds in the old academy”

“Uh? Old academy? What is that?”

As they were freshmen, they knew nothing about this old one. Hae-ryang, who was listening to their conversation, frowned and asked,

“Old academy?”

“You know what it is?”

At Mo Il-hwa’s question, he nodded.

“Of course I do. The old academy is the academy building with research and lecture rooms which was closed at the end of last year.”

“Academy building?”

“Yeah. I heard something from the second-year senior who I was sharing a room with.”

Hae-ryang was great when it came to collecting information as he was from the Lower District clan...

Hae-ryang put the chopsticks on the rice bowl and said,

“No one will be able to enter that place. I heard from a senior in the room that there had been some accident.”

“What accident?”

“Even the senior didn’t seem to know about it. However, they said that in the middle of last year, an academy teacher and three students died.”

“What?”

Mo Il-hwa’s eyes widened.

The academy didn’t take too many students, so one teacher dying wouldn't be much of a problem. However, if the accident was enough to close the building, didn’t it mean a huge thing had happened.

Jin-hyuk asked,

“Only a couple people died, so why are they shutting down the entire building?”

“I too thought it was strange, so I asked a senior….”

“What did he say?”

In response to Mo Il-hwa’s question, Hae-ryang whispered,

“They say there are the ghosts of the dead students roaming about.”

“What?”

Mo Il-hwa was startled at it. Seeing her like that, Hae-ryang smiled. And said,

“Lady Mo… do you believe in ghosts?”

Mo Il-hwa was taken aback.

“W-what are you asking? Where in the world do ghosts exist? Such nonsense rumors.”

“Right? However it wasn’t just one or two students who witnessed it. They had said that more than 20 students passed out and were sent to infirmary.”

“… really?”

Mo Il-hwa gulped, and Hae-ryang nodded,

“Ah… then.”

At her trembling eyes, Hae-ryang smiled and laughed,

“Puahahaha! You look so scared Lady Mo?”

“W-what?”

“You took it so seriously….”

Grab!

Mo Il-hwa grabbed Hae-ryang by the neck.

“You want to die today?”

Hae-ryang shook his head.

“Then don’t joke around and tell me.”

“Now… it wasn’t a joke. A senior told me it is the truth, so I did a little investigation on my own.”

“Investigated?”

“Yes.”

“And was it just a rumor?”

“The rumors are true. But aside from that, it seems like the building was closed to reduce the damage after the accident.”

“Reduce the damage?”

Hae-ryang whispered the answer,

“They said that a master who taught poisons had died.”

“Poison?”

“Right. I don’t know for sure but my guess is that the master by mistake leaked poison when giving a class.”

“Really?”

“I don’t know. But I wonder if a poison really did leak then the fatality rate should be higher, or maybe it was closed assuming kids would linger a long time in there,” Hae-ryang guessed.

Otherwise, there was no reason to close it down.

It was absurd to shut it down because of ghosts. It sounded more reasonable that a potent poison that could kill people had accidentally leaked, forcing them to close the building.

“Anyway, if my guess is right, even if the flower seeds are there, it will be better to give up.”

“Hae-ryang…”

“Yes?”

“Can you give me a detox pill?”

“… detox pill?”

“Right. They say that if we have a detox pill we can stop the poison.”

“That, well…”

Hae-ryang couldn’t help but feel flustered at Mumu’s request. He didn’t think Mumu would even ask such a request.

It would be correct to say that it was something that could only be obtained after spending a thousand gold. Jin-hyuk was surprised.

“Why detox? Do you really want to enter the place even after hearing all this?”

“Yes. To find the seeds.”

Jin-hyuk clicked his tongue at Mumu’s words. It is also very bold to see someone enter it despite knowing it was dangerous to fix the accident he caused.

“Can I borrow it?”

“That… young master, it isn’t something which can be borrowed so easily.”

“Can you not give it?”

Hae-ryang grabbed his head in a desperate voice. He thought something,

‘… information being provided for free is fine, but asking for a precious detox pill is too much.’

He almost said it, but he wanted to maintain a good relationship with Mumu.

‘Right. This can be an investment.’

Hae-ryang, who was worried, said,

“Okay.”

“Really?”

“Because it is young master Mumu, I am lending it to you. Don’t forget what I did, it is a precious thing.”

“Uh! Thanks!”

Mumu smiled broadly, and Jin-hyuk said.

“Do you think you have more? I think it would take him too long if he went alone to get it.”

Mumu stared at Jin-hyuk after he asked the question. Jin-hyuk avoided that burdensome gaze and saw that Hae-ryang shook his head,

“Sorry. There is only one poison detox pill. And that too is a pretty hard one to find.”

Mo Il-hwa breathed a sigh of relief. She was skeptical about the ghosts which would appear, but even if they weren't, she thought one person going in was dangerous. And she wanted to help Mumu but also to not be called a coward for not helping him.

“Oh my, Mumu. I want to help too, but there is only one….”

And then they heard it.

“If it is a poison detox pill, then I have a few spare ones.”

When they looked at where the voice came from, the second-year student, Tang So-so, a member of the Tang family, stood there looking at Mumu with a smile.

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