Episode 232

Epilogue (7)
2 weeks ago
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Lotus Field World.

From beyond the window, the loud sound of an owl hooting in the trees could be heard.

Only then did Seol Young raise his head. It was already late into the night. It seemed like it was about time to close his eyes and rest.

He arranged the scattered papers and books on the table. Then, in an instant, his hand stopped.

A large flower was visible on the paper. A painting of a lotus flower with Buddha on each of its petals, blooming in the middle of the sea, where a huge wind wheel was submerged.

The Lotus Field World.

Seeing the image reminded him of the Three Thousand Worlds, making him feel lost for a moment.

It was all over, but there was one thing he couldn’t understand. It was the drinking bet.

The Seol Young from that world—how could he have lost to the High Governor Zaha in a drinking contest and ended up being taken away from the White Tiger Troops?

Seol Young also learned to drink from Song Ok, so he wouldn’t be easily defeated by anyone when it came to alcohol, so how could he lose like that?

“No way.”

After cleaning the surroundings, Seol Young washed up and laid down on his bed. But even when he closed his eyes, that thought still lingered in his mind.

‘It is weird right from the start. Why did they make such a bet in the first place?’

The faces of Baek Eon, Song Ok, and Hyo Wol, who were shining brightly in that world, came to his mind.

How much would he have wanted to kick himself for leaving their side and being taken away? It was insane, no matter how much he thought about it. He shouldn’t have fallen to the bet in the first place…

‘Why did he have to come and make a bet?’

His mind was doubting it. Then, perhaps without even realizing it, he seemed to toss and turn, and his head hit something hard with a thud.

Did he move near the table?

Seol Young opened his eyes. Wondering.

Zaha was sitting on the other side, staring at him.

…High Governor?

His mouth didn’t move. Instead, he said horrid words.

“Bet? No. I would never. The Governor always wins them oddly.”

The Governor?

Seol Young was confused but then he realized. The Zaha in front of him wasn’t the High Governor he knew.

At first glance, they were similar people, but the atmosphere around them was different. It was hard to pinpoint exactly where and how it was different, but…

Well, he could guess from the title too.

‘Governor.’

This was one of the Three Thousand Worlds he visited before—a world without the God of Cataclysm. And right now seemed to be the moment they were discussing the drinking bet.

He was wondering how he was seeing this, but maybe it was because he was thinking too hard about it.

He observed the situation with interest.

“The Governor always wins?”

Zaha raised his eyes.

“Winning is just winning. Where’s the strangeness in that? So did Seol Young-rang lose oddly?”

“Don’t twist my words.”

“Anyway, even if you refuse, listen to the end before rejecting. Do you know what this bet is about? It’s a drinking contest.”

“Uh? For real? It cannot be like that…”

“No. That’s how it’s decided. If I win, you will immediately leave the White Tiger Troops and enter the Sun Moon Troops to be my aide…”

“Ah, no. I won’t. Absolutely not.”

“And if you win, I will come to your troops as the one under you, 5th Hwarang.”

Dung.

Seol Young felt his heart pound. And he let out a wry smile.

‘I see. I couldn’t help but fall for it. I acknowledge it.’

But even if he fell for such a bold condition, he still couldn’t shake off the feeling. Hadn’t he been stabbed in the back by Zaha twice?

Even if he agreed, he must have felt odd about this, right?

As if to answer that question, the face of a woman, cool and elegant yet firm, appeared before him.

Zaun.

Seol Young-rang asked her.

“There is no one in the capital who doesn’t know that the Governor is a horrible drinker, so it is quite suspicious that he proposes this first. If Zaun-rang knows something, will you please let me know? Please give me an honest answer. Has he been acting like he couldn’t drink? He could drink, but did he deliberately hide it?”

“No. The people in our family are naturally weak to alcohol.”

Zaun flatly denied it.

“Of course, I know it can be corrected with training. But he didn’t bother. First, he has a huge responsibility on his shoulders, so he needs to let loose at times, right? Second, he has to show a drunken look at the drinking party when dealing with high ranking officials. And the third and most important reason. As the child of a great noble family, what reason is there for him to do something like that? Who would dare say anything, even if he acted up? It’s all an expression of power.”

“…”

At Zaun’s shameless wods, Seol Young was speechless for a moment.

“Um, right. Anyway, then, if there is a competition in drinking, he will never win…”

“Yes, yes.”

“Then why did the Governor propose a bet he couldn’t win?”

“It is obvious. He is up to something. The outcome of this bet depends on preventing that.”

Zaun said that and patted him on the shoulder.

“You need to do well. I had already bet a fortune on you.”

“I understand.”

Her figure blurred and transformed into another person. An official with a playful face.

It was Seo Jun.

“A trick used by people who cannot drink? Okay. I’ll teach you everything I’ve seen and heard while going to drinking parties.”

“Thank you. I will repay all this favor.”

“Enough. Make sure to win. You need to win. If I could see the Governor in the White Tiger Troops under the youngest, I could even sell my soul!”

Seo Jun giggled as he said everything, and the day of the bet came.

The location was in front of Zaha’s house. A platform was built in the middle, and everyone stood around it.

And alcohol jars were lined up at the back.

“The Governor will finally pull out his tigers claws.”

“But honestly, doesn’t the Ghost Demon King drink well?”

“He must have a strategy.”

Seeing the two people sitting face to face, the leaders of each troop spoke, while the White Tiger Troops stood apart and whispered.

“Isn’t it possible that the Governor is tired of his work and has decided to retire in this way?”

Amidst the murmurs, Jin Rim, who was appointed as the judge of this competition, stepped forward and declared.

“Let us start the drinking competition.”

Seol Young raised his hand.

“Wait. I have something to say first.”

Zaha also said,

“I have something to say too. If you get caught cheating, it will be a defeat.”

“Ugh? I was going to say that too.”

At the words of the two, Jin Rim nodded.

“That doesn’t have to be said; it is natural. Now then, let us really start the match.”

The Hwarangs opened the first jar. On the table were two jade cups to be used for today’s competition. Made of jade, they were adorned with rings on both sides and were large enough to hold with both hands.

As the Hwarangs poured the clear and strong alcohol, its thick scent spread in all directions.

“So strong!”

Hyo Wol felt dizzy and stepped back.

“First one!”

Seol Young carefully checked the glass and raised it. Then he noticed something strange.

“Wait! What’s that towel on the Governor’s seat?”

“I just put it there without thinking. Is there a problem?”

“Of course, there’s a problem. You could secretly pour alcohol into the towel while pretending to drink. Please confiscate that towel.”

Zaha said they could do what he wanted, and the Hwarangs removed it.

Then both of them simultaneously lifted their cups and drank.

“Second one!”

“Third one!”

They drank three cups in one breath, yet both were still fine.

Seol Young continued to look at Zaha with sharp eyes.

‘Why is he drinking this well today?’

And then he saw something strange.

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