Chapter 3 - Evil Moon (3)

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Elegant Pavillion.

That was the name of the Hwarang main quarters in the Moon Palace. It was a term derived from the Wind Flowing Disciples1.

It was where the office of the Governor was.

And this sacred place had been noisy since morning.

“Governor!”

Someone’s voice resounded.

“It cannot be, right? You will not be making the decision, right?”

Among the four members of the White Tiger Spirit Troops, a handsome man with thick eyebrows and clear features shouted.

This man was Song Ok, who was ranked second in the troop. He had a reputation for doing what was right because he hated the concept of evil.

“I will believe in our Governor!”

He stared with blazing eyes and placed something on the desk.

A dagger blade.

“Second-rang.”

Another Hwarang beside him shook his head.

This young man with a sad face was Hyo Wol, the third member.

“Calm down. I doubt the Governor will do that? Will he drive out our youngest and most innocent member?”

Hyo Wol had an easygoing personality. So naturally, from a young age, he took on the role of stopping his older brothers.

This time, it seemed like he was ready to change…

He pulled out a dagger blade, too.

“If that is the case, then this place will have a new horrific change in our bond.”

Their clear eyes showed that they weren’t simply threatening him.

To carry out their will by talking about shedding blood.

“Governor! Please take a careful look into this!”

“I trust you!”

The voices of the two caused a commotion in the hall.

Despite their talent and high position, shouldn’t they be stopped?

When Seol Young was about to speak….

*Ting*

There came the light sound of a bell.

And Song Ok and Hyo Wol stopped speaking.

It was a bodily reaction. From a young age, they were always well-trained.

“You stay quiet.”

A gentle voice could be heard.

“Do you think the Governor would blink an eye just because you are speaking like that? I will speak instead.”

The person who spoke politely had a gentle expression on his face. Those who would see that face would also have a softened expression.

It was Baek Eon, the first of the White Tiger Spirit Troops. Since Baek Eon was respected for being virtuous and honest, Song Ok and Hyo Wol had no choice but to be silent.

Baek Eon then spoke softly,

“I looked closely, and there was no evil spirit in Seol Young’s body, and if that really did happen, then wouldn’t his sword, the Blue Rainbow, have noticed it first? I know that the Governor already knows about this.”

After a moment, the Governor finally spoke,

“Yes.”

“Surely our Seol Young has had a bad relationship with those priests in the past. But as you know, it has been a long time since he changed. Our group has entirely taken the lead in slaughtering the evil spirits after completing our training and turning into Hwarangs.”

“…”

“At the same time, we have always been exemplary in our duties. I guarantee it. Seol Young-rang has never done anything bad or unjust.”

Baek Eon spoke very clearly.

He didn’t take out his blade like the second and third. Nevertheless, he most strongly expressed his intention of never backing down.

The Governor evaluated the three as follows:

The second looked scary but was the most generous.

The third was weak but the most thorough of all.

And the first was the most formidable character, despite how he looked.

Although their personalities were so different, they stayed united, like right now.

The three stood side by side and stared at the man.

“Hmm.”

Governor Jin Rim looked at them.

“I knew you would come and make this fuss.”

He chose to speak in that manner first.

The Governor was known to be a serious person, and his appearance was the same as his character. His cheekbones and chin were all distinct, and his large features gave him a dominating vibe.

“This is a complicated issue. But it must not obscure the essence of the topic.”

Everyone stared at him.

“You must have heard the incident about the flute.”

“Yes.”

“The prophecy of the Great Heavenly Pavilion, which was delivered to His Majesty in the morning, was fulfilled even before the day passed. What if the same thing happened to me and not Seol Young? What do you think I would have done?”

Everyone was silent, thinking of the answer.

“I would have immediately given up my position as the Governor and walked out. Baek Eon, Song Ok, and Hyo Wol, wouldn’t you do the same? Even if you are proud of your achievements, how can you keep going when everyone who looks at you doubts you and is suspicious of you? Not to mention that Seol Young…”

The Governor turned to Seol Young.

“When this happens, everyone will be forced to remember the past.”

“…”

“Incantations. That is the problem here. Were the incantations in the world only done with good intentions? Isn’t a shaman known to bring demons and use amulets?”

The Governor spoke sternly.

“Even though Seol Young is the son of a noble in Silla, he learned such things. At that time, several scholars considered this a shame and cut their hands off. And isn’t he also here because Young Master Baek San intervened and placed a seal on him, making sure he didn’t cast anything evil?”

When the name of the deceased teacher was mentioned, all the Hwarangs bowed their heads.

“And with the seal being broken now, what do we do? How do we act? Everyone saw the power seep back into his body right away! Those who learned to cast evil spirits never have a good end. And there is nothing I can do considering that this will bring peace to the Hwarang troops.”

The Governor went silent.

Did this mean that Seol Young had to be taken out?

Baek Eon, Son Ok, and Hyo Wol were shocked.

“…”

Seol Young looked at them.

All the words that the Governor said were indeed true. But this wasn’t a matter of reason.

His three hyungs would not back down.

And Seol Young was the same.

Ever since he climbed the mountain holding his teacher’s hand, this place, the White Tiger Spirit Troops, had turned into his home—a family.

How could he live without it?

He couldn’t even imagine that. So after thinking all night, he managed to find an answer.

So he opened his mouth.

“Governor. Is it fine if I get to say a few words?”

“Yes.”

What was he trying to say?

Seol Young looked at his brothers and said.

“First, I would like to ask something. Are there any rules in the Hwarang troops that prohibit one from using incantations?”

“Hmm?”

The Governor frowned.

“Even if it isn’t in the rules, it isn’t right. The Five Great Immortal Clans is a place only for spiritual practice.”

“But it still doesn’t exist in the rules.”

And he quickly continued.

“Second, according to the Governor, ‘all those who learned to control evil spirits didn’t end well.’”

“True. Blinded by the power they got, they summoned the evil spirits and died, or they lost their souls only to turn into spirits that wander the world.”

“But can we say that for all? There are surely exceptions. The first among us Hwarangs to cast a spirit. Surely, you remember.”

The Governor was silent.

“What about him? Does nobody know how it will end? But can he not have a good end? It could be and couldn’t be, too. But to say everyone who touched and tampered with it never had a nice ending is a bit of a generalization.”

Governor was silent.

He was a smart man, and he knew saying anything would be like giving the reins over to Seol Young, and he couldn’t object to clear evidence.

So he admitted.

“What you are saying isn’t wrong. There is no rule about summoning or incantations in Hwarang. Nor has it been said that all of them who touched it had a bad end.”

“Surely the Governor can give us some air to breathe in this incident.”

They were all asking him to give Seol Young a chance to prove that he had been falsely framed.

“Right now, strange things are happening one after another. In particular, I heard there was blood rain a couple of days ago elsewhere, and people are suffering. This incident wasn’t even solved. Everyone is alarmed if the chaotic future described by those in the Great Heavenly Pavilion is already in the works.”

Seol Young continued,

“But, what if I, who is suspected to be one with the evil spirits, solve this with my own effort? Then, wouldn’t everyone be able to let go of their doubts to some extent?”

Ah!

Baek Eon, Song Ok, and Hyo Wol finally understood what Seol Young was aiming for.

“Right. Right.”

Song Ok was back to normal.

“That can be done! The four of us will work to reveal the injustice done to our youngest! Until the flute is back to its original state, we will keep solving the strange things that are happening! What do you think?”

He shouted loudly.

He was already ready to pack his bags and move, the other two didn’t say anything, but they were ready too.

Seol Young felt moved by the friendship and loyalty they all shared.

But…

That way, his innocence would not be proven. Above all, if all of them leave, who would take care of this place?

Seol Young continued,

“I know that since the plaque has broken my identity, the trust around me has changed to doubt. So I will leave the troops.”

This time, all three of his hyungs were shocked.

This was unexpected.

Even the Governor was shocked.

‘Walk out of the clan and work alone…’

This made Seol Young’s plan more ambiguous.

The White Robe Hwarangs—this would mean abandoning the clothes that symbolized them. Instead, if he started from scratch and went to restore the belief and trust in himself…

Wouldn’t he be given the robe back?

He could see just how strong-willed Seol Young was to get over this issue.

“Fine.”

He nodded his head.

“I will approve the request with my power.”

“Thank you.”

The other three were still looking shocked, so Seol Young looked at them.

He was just going out for a while and would be back. Once he cleared up the doubts people had about him, he would be back.

There was such determination in his eyes.

‘… fine.’

The three brothers nodded their heads.

  1. TL/N: They use the same characters. ↩️

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