“Do it harder.”
“Yes! I will do my best!
The strength in the hands which were massaging the shoulder increased.
“What’s your name?”
“It is Yoon Jong.”
“And you are the Great Sahyung?”
“Yes, that’s right!”
Chung Myung slightly turned his head, as Yoon Jong’s swollen face came into his view.
“Still, since you are the Great Sahyung, I will treat you well.”
Yoon Jong returned to rubbing as Chung Myung turned his head back.
The other Sahyungs were all on the floor with their heads bowed to the ground.
When Chung Myung opened his mouth everyone flinched. It was a strange sight to see kids above his age trembling on the floor.
“… shouldn’t you be helping out in living a quiet life? Shouldn’t you? Sahyungs?”
“We were short sighted!”
Chung Myung sighed at those words.
Who was Chung Myung?
He was one of the three great swordsmen, and was recognized to be of the highest level among the three except for Chun Ma!
Wouldn’t he be able to easily handle these people?
No matter how weak he had become, these people were little kids, and Chung Myung could easily handle 30 of these kids.
“Since this was your way of accepting me, I will let this go this time. But from now on, such things should happen in a humane way. There are things which can and cannot be done.”
Everyone groaned without answering.
‘Why am I like this?’ One of them thought.
‘It feels like a Sasuk is yelling at me.’
It didn’t feel like they were on the same level as Chung Myung, as if they weren’t his peers.
Chung Myung clicked his tongue.
‘I need to deal with them.’
The more he thought about it, the more ridiculous the situation felt.
As soon the word rang out, the kids got up.
“No matter how bad Mount Hua’s current state is, the kids of the most disciplined Mount Hua shouldn’t be like this.”
Chung Myung clicked his tongue.
“You need to get back to the sect’s initial state!”
The children exchanged glances.
‘I don’t get it, how did this worm crawl in!’
‘Who was the bastard who claimed that this kid was a loser?’
‘We’re ruined! Now we all have to live together.’
Now they were staying together in a dorm.
If only they could live with their masters, like the old tradition, they could have escaped from Chung Myung. But now they were all living in a single dorm. It was like a wild tiger was thrown into a cage of rabbits!
Chung Myung opened his eyes.
“Now, who in here is the most aware about the situation of Mount Hua, hands up!”
No one said anything.
But all their gazes turned to one side.
Seeing the gazes of the others directed towards him, Jo Gul’s eyes widened.
“Raise your hand!”
Jo Gul’s hand moved upwards.
‘I’ll see you later you bastards!’
It’s been many years that they had been living together. How could they sell out their own? Did they have no conscience?
Jo Gul gritted his teeth and stepped forward.
With a stiff head he looked at Chung Myung.
“Sahyung Jo Gul.”
“Even if you are a Sahyung, aren’t you being too stiff with me?”
“N-Not at all.”
Jo Gul hurried and touched his neck.
“My neck felt too stiff so I couldn’t move it like usual.”
Chung clicked his tongue and got up.
“Follow me to this room.”
“The others can rest for today. We’ll do what we need to tomorrow.”
“Sahyung follow me.”
As Chung Myung moved his hand, Jo Gul followed him like a cow being led to the slaughter house.
As soon as the two disappeared, the remaining disciples rushed to Yoon Jong.
“Great Sahyung! Are you fine?”
“Do I look fine?”
Yoon Jong caressed his swollen eyes. The sad thing was that his swollen eyes would be fine by tomorrow, so he couldn’t even complain.
‘If only Sasuk was in these dorms, he could have stopped it.’
With his pride he couldn’t go to the man and show him the wounds. And by tomorrow morning everyone would be healed with no traces of the abuse suffered today.
In other words…
‘He planned this beforehand and as he hit us.’
The more he thought about it the more terrifying the new kid became in his mind.
“Now what do we do?”
“Should we attack him once he goes to bed?”
“… will you do it?” He retorted.
Everyone went silent at that question, the image of Chung Myung running wild like a tiger roamed in their minds.
‘No. we shouldn’t do that.’
‘We’ll die if it goes wrong.’
Yoon Jong shook his head. The image of Chung Myung made his mouth turn dry.
Someone who was lost in thought asked.
“Why was Jo Gul taken away?”
“… I will stand here.”
“Don’t worry and sit, I won’t hit you.”
“It wasn’t because of that.”
Jo Gul hesitated and opened his mouth.
“I can’t seem to bend my back after being hanged from the ceiling. So standing is fine.”
Chung Myung coughed.
“Why did you call me…”
“Talk comfortably, Sahyung.”
“It is strange to see Sahyung talk so respectfully. So speak comfortably.”
Chung Myung gave up.
Well, as long as they live, one day the kid would open up.
“So why did you call me?”
“Ah. I have a few questions for you. First, I’d like you to answer in as much detail as you can.”
Chung Myung opened his mouth.
“So, are the children here mostly from merchant families?”
Chung Myung tapped his chin with his finger.
In the past there were many children of merchants who wanted to enter Mount Hua. However, Mount Hua never accepted anyone from merchant families as disciples.
Was it because merchants were bad?
Of course not.
They could accept beggars into the sect, a merchant wasn’t a huge deal. The problem was that the children of merchants didn’t come to become disciples. They came only to learn the martial arts of Mount Hua.
In the case of descendants of Mount Hua they would come here with the intention of burning the teachings of Mount Hua into their bones. After initiation, training and receiving guidance, one of them would become the leader of Mount Hua and lead the sect.
However, those who enter from merchant families remain solely as disciples of the sect and learn only the martial arts, after which they return back to their families.
Even out in the world, they would be respected for being a disciple of Mount Hua, but it was nothing compared to those who stayed back. The disciples who sunk down the teaching of the sect into their lives were always of support, and they would protect Mount Hua.
‘Most of them leave…’
Which meant even the three great disciples who were teaching today, would eventually leave Mount Hua.
‘What is this situation?’
If the number of disciples decreased in Mount Hua, then its name and reputation would in turn decrease.
“But Sahyungs are here?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, there should have been rumors going around, you should have known that Mount Hua isn’t in a good shape. Why come all the way here?”
Jo Gul scratched his head.
“Actually, my father originally didn’t like the idea of sending me to Mount Hua. However, there weren’t many sects which would accept me. Although Mount Hua has collapsed, it is still one of the many sects in the world. The connections which come from this would give me great strength and freedom.”
According to Jo Gul the kids of the merchants who came in here were common. It wasn’t bad. Ultimately it was to make themselves be valued.
If they had money or talent, there was no way kids like Jo Gul would enter Mount Hua, they would have gone to other better sects.
‘Which means even the past disciples of Mount Hua don’t have money. Which means everyone around Mount Hua is in a mess too.’
His bones felt sore.
It reminded him of the old days, with his Sahyung holding up a book and tying up his hair. At that time, he was obsessed with making money and Sahyung was a mastermind in gathering it. Thinking back, Mount Hua could have come out of the situation if they had those ledgers that Sahyung had.
People need money to live. Just because one is a martial artist doesn’t mean they could lived on eating dew.
“Are you planning to go back to your family after learning martial arts?”
“Is that why this place looks so sleazy?”
There was no way anyone could love this place when they came here to fulfill a temporary goal.
“I get it. Go away now.”
“When does the morning training start?”
“It starts at 7.”
“Tell everyone to prepare by 5 and gather them in the hall.”
“And have the Sahyungs know what I said.”
“To prepare for tomorrow morning and get them together?”
“What, don’t like it?”
“Why would I not like it? Trust me.”
“Yeah. I like that attitude.”
After a while, Jo Gul left the room with a subtle expression, but sadly his room was right next to Chung Myung!
Hearing the footsteps leaving, Chung Myung laid flat on the bed.
‘Even a thousand miles start with a single step.’
He didn’t remember who said that in the first place.
But the road Chung Myung had to take was a thousand miles with all kinds of messed up roads!
‘Still, it will start with one step.’
And that one step would be with these kids.
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