Wei Lishan, unable to sleep all throughout the night, stared up at the sky with bloodshot eyes.
The sun was already in the middle of the sky.
‘This is insane.’
Yesterday, Wei Lishan found himself swept along by the atmosphere Chung Myung’s party had created and nodded his head along with them. It should have been impossible for a man his age to lose himself and fall into the rhythm of some children as young as his son, but these weren’t any ordinary people.
In the end, Chung Myung fell asleep after raiding Huayoung Gate’s warehouse and emptying all their liquor bottles. It was even scarier that his sahyungs were there, yet no one stopped him.
‘Is this really alright?’
Mount Hua’s disciples had clearly behaved excessively yesterday.
Hadn’t they hurled such venomous words at the Wudang disciples? Even Wei Lishan would be unable to escape retribution after such insults.
If a fight occurs, the disciples of Mount Hua will not be safe.
Wei Lishan opened the window. He looked out and saw the disciples of Mount Hua, who had come out early to bask in the sun.
Jo Gul, who was yawning heavily with droopy eyes, looked at Yoon Jong.
“When are they coming?”
“Didn’t they say they would come today?”
“The sun’s already up.”
“They said they would come at the same time as yesterday, so there’s still a lot of time left. If you have nothing to do, go and sleep.”
“I made a habit of waking up early, I can’t sleep now.”
“… What a sad story.”
It was unknown how he felt about it, but Jo Gul’s body had become faithfully accustomed to Chung Myung’s methods. The sad fact was that it wasn’t just him; Yoon Jong was the same.
“What about Chung Myung?”
“Sleeping. It’d be even weirder if he was awake after drinking that much.”
“… go and wake him, the Wudang will be here soon.”
“Would he even wake up if I asked him to?”
“Pour water on him.”
Wei Lishan quietly closed the window.
‘Father. I don’t know anymore.’
It felt like his deceased father was looking down at him from the sky.
Suddenly, Yeom Pyong and Wei Soheng entered as the door opened.
“… what is it?”
“What should we do?”
“The Wudang will attack us soon. Shouldn’t we fight together?”
Wei Lishan took a deep breath.
Actually, he hadn’t yet decided what to do. In fact, it was Mount Hua who provoked the Wudang, not Huayoung Gate. In the worst-case scenario, as long as they are prepared to leave Nanyang, they could withdraw without participating in the battle. At least then, Huayoung Gate might not suffer much damage.
If they say they will leave Nanyang on their own, even the Wudang sect will not persecute Huayoung Gate.
But if they fought, then everyone would need to be prepared to suffer some damage. Wei Lishan and Wei Soheng, in particular, would need to be prepared to shed their blood.
‘What should I do?’
A deep sense of agony tormented him.
In the end, Wei Lishan was unable to decide and looked at his son.
“What do you think we should do?”
It wasn’t a question asked with high expectations. It was just a light question, released in a moment of overwhelming confusion, but his son’s answer was more serious than he thought.
“I think we should fight.”
“… and the reason?”
“They are the guests, and we are the owners. It would be unacceptable for the owner to flee the battle and watch from the sidelines while the guests who came to help are fighting for them.”
Wei Soheng spoke again.
“The reason I respected my father and cherished Huayoung Gate is because my father and I were equally proud of this place. Father never felt bad for supporting the ruined Mount Hua, nor did you expect anything for it. Because we belong to Mount Hua.”
“Even if we are a simple sub-sect, a disciple is a disciple. How can we just stay by and watch them fight?”
Wei Lishan turned his head.
He found it difficult to look his son in the eyes at this moment.
“I met the sect leader. Without any hesitation, the sect leader sent the disciples to help us. Their method may not be right, but their hearts aren’t wrong. Even if I die today, it will be at their side. I will fight.”
‘I’m ashamed of myself.’
This was what Wei Lishan thought.
While Wei Lishan turned away and hid from the crisis, Wei Soheng was alone in defending the virtues his father had taught him to uphold.
How could he not feel ashamed?
“Yes, Gate leader.”
“Tell the disciples. Those who want to fight can stay, and those who don’t may return home.”
“… gate leader.”
“We will not hold anyone responsible if they leave, and if Huayoung Gate survives today, we will accept them back without any conditions.”
“Then no one will stay.”
Wei Lishan smiled.
“I will stay, and so will Soheng.”
“That’s enough. We will fight for the name of Mount Hua.”
Yeom Pyong shook his head.
“You two should do that.”
“Will you leave?”
“I will fight for the name of Huayoung Gate, not for Mount Hua.”
“The weather is fine today, gate leader.”
After falling silent for a time, Wei Lishan smiled and nodded.
Wei Lishan, who was looking at the sky, seemed determined.
“Such nice weather.”
“Kuaaak. I don’t feel well.”
“… stop drinking so much!”
“You drunk bastard!”
Chung Myung grabbed his head.
“Ah, don’t shout! My head is ringing.”
“Did you have to drink alcohol amid all this? We need to fight soon.”
“I can just sober up.”
Chung Myung snapped his fingers, and a translucent haze rose from his fingers.
He cleansed the alcohol poisoning his body.
Baek Cheon watched this scene and stood up. With a more serious tone than ever, he spoke.
“Until now, no matter what you did, I didn’t speak up. But it’s different now. Today’s fight isn’t just our fight, don’t forget that we fight with the name of Mount Hua on our backs.”
“We will keep that in mind.”
Jo Gul, Yoon Jong, and Yu Yiseol looked determined. Even Chung Myung nodded with a smile.
“Sect leader said that this would signal to the world that Mount Hua has resumed external activities.”
Baek Cheon looked at Chung Myung.
“I know. I know. Gently—”
Chung Myung looked at Baek Cheon with wide eyes.
“If you are going to do it, do it perfectly.”
It was strange to hear such words from Baek Cheon.
“It’s inevitable that they will lose. If that’s the case, it’s better to do it perfectly and cleanly.”
“Sect leader told me not to.”
“Wasn’t it you that said the sect leader probably wants to see those Wudang bastards get their skulls cracked before he crosses the river?”
Chung Myung smiled
‘I like this.’
In the past, Baek Cheon was a man that was overly obsessed with fairness and impartiality. However, after a short couple of years of Chung Myung’s corrosive influence, he had begun to ignore the sect leader’s words… no; he learned to interpret them better.
“Wow, the sect will be running wild!”
Chung Myung smiled.
“But do you understand what that means?”
“What do you mean?”
“That Mount Hua is ready to resume external activities.”
“… Isn’t it literal?”
Chung Myung smiled bitterly.
“External activity means that we’re interested in the world outside the sect. But what kind of action can Mount Hua take?”
“Didn’t you see Huayoung Gate?”
“You mean the sub-sects?’
Chung Myung nodded.
“Right. We are going to increase the sect’s influence. Then, the same thing that’s happening now will happen again, but with the positions reversed.”
“That means the good old days, where our only concerns were training, are over.”
“By ‘the good old days’, you mean that training?”
“Wasn’t that training the best time?”
“You’re crossing the line.”
Chung Myung flinched at the intense backlash over his comments.
It was then…
With Wei Lishan at the head, Wei Soheng, Yeom Pyong, and roughly ten disciples of Huayoung Gate approached them with grim expressions.
Wei Lishan, who arrived right in front of Chung Myung, moved towards Baek Cheon.
“Disciple Baek Cheon. I was so distracted that I couldn’t properly tend to my duties. I bow my head to express my gratitude to you, your party, and even Mount Hua for rushing to assist us in Huayoung Gate’s time of need.”
As Wei Lishan bowed his head, Baek Cheon immediately reached out and made him stand tall.
“Don’t do this, Gate leader. We just did what we had to do.”
“I don’t know what the outcome of today will be, but I will lead Huayoung Gate and fight alongside you all.”
There was no hesitation to be found on Wei Lishan’s face. Seeing that good expression on his face, Baek Cheon also felt at ease.
It seemed like it was true that this man had the qualities of a great leader. It made sense; if this man was lacking, then he would never have been able to rouse any support to fight alongside him.
“Thank you, gate leader.”
Chung Myung applauded.
“As expected of such a loyal person.”
Baek Cheon had the distressing thought that the word ‘loyal’ sounded like ‘money’ when it came from Chung Myung…
Chung Myung scratched his head.
“Those who want to leave have left.”
“Still, this many chose to stay.”
Chung Myung nodded his head.
“It’s a good place, and they’re good people.”
Chung Myung spoke in a distant manner that seemed a bit faint as the others focused on him.
Chung Myung, who was about to say something, just smiled and laughed.
‘It was the same with Mount Hua, in the past.’
Maybe it was just Chung Myung’s idea of the sect.
But even the current Mount Hua is the same.
“Well, it doesn’t look like you can do anything special though.”
“Hm. How do I explain? Just watch and you’ll know soon enough.”
Chung Myung turned his head and shrugged.
Soon after, his eyes centered on the sect’s main gate.
“Looks like they’re coming.”
“You can feel them already?”
“They are coming from the front, aren’t you a bit too relaxed?”
“… monstrous bastard.”
Baek Cheon shook his head. He still couldn’t feel anything yet, but Chung Myung already seemed to have the entire situation within his grasp.
‘Hell, he was drunk until just a moment ago!’
Baek Cheon, Yoon Jong, Jo Gul, and Yu Yiseol stepped forward and put their hands on the swords around their waists. Since everything that needed to be said had already been discussed, the Wudang would come rushing in, ready for battle.
“There’s nothing to be nervous about.”
Baek Cheon spoke softly.
“Don’t forget your training. We won’t lose to anyone. We are disciples of the Great Mount Hua!”
The disciples’ each had a determined look in their eyes. The playfulness that was present just a short while ago had faded. Only the cold demeanor and resolve of a swordsman remained.
Baek Cheon now sensed the enemy’s qi as well.
Everyone’s eyes were locked onto the main gate.
Reflected in their eyes was the sight of Wudang’s disciples, dressed in black robes, jumping high over the main gate.
Three of them!
‘Take them one by one….’
There was an ominous sensation that something crazy was happening from behind before something hazy flew out towards the disciples of Wudang that were crossing the sect’s wall.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The Wudang disciples were thrown back out at twice the speed they had charged in.
The four disciples of Mount Hua felt their tension deflate, and their qi began to dissipate as if it was running away.
When he saw their reactions, Chung Myung tilted his head.
“Should I have let them in first?”
‘You brat! Are you going to do it all yourself!?’
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