Hong Dae-Kwang’s eyes stayed focused on the teacup in front of him.
Cheap green tea was poured into a dirty glass. However, the other party drank it rather well, as if nothing was wrong.
‘He doesn’t seem to be picky with things.’
In his position, Hong Dae-Kwang met many people from various sects, quite a few of whom would frown upon seeing this shabby teacup.
‘It’s strange to see them come to a branch of the beggar’s union and still expect proper treatment.’
In that respect, the person in front of him was amazing. He understood how to read the atmosphere well.
But the problem is…
Hong Dae-Kwang looked at Chung Myung with a slightly bewildered expression and spoke.
“You’re a third-class disciple from Mount Hua?”
“It’s Chung Myung.”
“So, you must be Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon, right?”
“It’s not a title that I like, but that’s what everyone calls me.”
Chung Myung let out a sigh.
‘Divine Dragon? What Divine Dragon? Who came up with such an embarrassing name?’
There are many classy and elegant names to choose from, but they had given him such a weird and childish name instead.
“Uh, so, uh….”
Hong Dae-Kwang, who glanced at Chung Myung, nodded. His eyes were slowly drawn to the report in his hands.
‘It’s like poking a sleeping tiger.“
It’s not exactly the same, but it felt unavoidable.
The plum blossom pattern engraved on Chung Myung’s chest showed that he was truly a disciple from Mount Hua.
So, Hong Dae-Kwang nodded and continued.
“I understand that you are Mount Hua’s third-class disciple, the Divine Dragon Chung Myung. So, why have you come to our branch?”
“I’m here to sell something.”
Hong Dae-Kwang frowned.
‘Does this little brat know where the hell he is?’
Chung Myung was the first person to come to the Luoyang Beggars Union branch offering to sell something.
“… then you’re here to make a sale? Was tossing my men around a part of that sale?”
“It couldn’t be helped. I came to see the branch leader, but they wouldn’t let me in.”
Hong Dae-Kwang took a deep breath.
This wasn’t something Chung Myung could be blamed for. Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon had a good reputation, but he was a person that one would normally never be able to meet.
The guards tried to send him away just because the opponent was young.
“I do apologize for what happened.”
“It’s fine. What could a beggar know?”
Hong Dae-Kwang narrowed his eyes and looked at Chung Myung.
‘He’s certainly not ordinary.’
Not that it was surprising.
It would be more difficult to find an ordinary person among those who have made a name for themselves. Of all the powerful people, those who stand out are often unusual in their own ways.
In addition, the geniuses of this era each had their own quirks. If it was Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon, who had the greatest reputation among them, then it was understandable that he had some sort of personality disorder.
“So, you said you came here to sell something?”
“Disciple. You don’t seem to understand since you don’t have much experience, but this isn’t that sort of place. If you have things to sell, go to Nanjeon1.”
“Ah, is that so?”
Chung Myung nodded and rose from his seat. It was such a relaxed reaction that Hong Dae-Kwang felt embarrassed and began to panic.
‘Should I catch him?’
First of all, he wanted to hear what Chung Myung had brought to sell…
Before Hong Dae-Kwang could finish, Chung Myung asked.
“Where is the local branch of the Lower District sect?”
Hong Dae-Kwang’s eyes widened.
“Why are you looking for them?”
“Because I have something to sell.”
Hong Dae-Kwang’s eyes trembled.
Reaching out to the Lower District sect as soon as he was rejected by Beggars Union meant that Chung Myung did not come here naively.
“What is it that you want to sell…?”
“Do I need to tell that to someone who isn’t going to buy it?”
“Wait, Wait, disciple. I feel like I may have made a mistake!”
Hong Dae-Kwang quickly grabbed Chung Myung and spoke.
“You’ve already come all the way here, just because some of the beggars blocked you doesn’t mean you should leave so hastily. Tell me, the branch leader, what you have.”
‘Do you understand how great of a leader I am?’
Well, it didn’t matter.
“Uh, would you like to sit down again?”
“Well, I don’t really want to.”
“Come on, don’t act like this.”
Chung Myung pretended to be reluctant as he retook his seat.
Meanwhile, Hong Dae-Kwang shouted out.
“Bring us some tea! The good stuff!”
“That’s enough tea. Just bring me Grain tea.”
Hong Dae-Kwang tilted his head.
‘Grain Tea’ was a euphemism for alcohol. It was tea made from the grains leftover from the production of alcohol.
“Yes, Grain tea.”
“Uh… right. Yes! Bring some alcohol here!”
Hong Dae-Kwang gave the instructions and turned his head to Chung Myung.
‘I don’t think he’s an idiot.’
Hong Dae-Kwang got the feeling that Chung Myung must have brought something really good if he had been here like this. So, he put on his most friendly smile.
“Right. So, what are you trying to sell?”
Chung Myung took the map out from his sleeve and placed it down without delay.
Hong Dae-Kwang frowned.
With just a glance, he could tell it was far from ordinary. It seemed like a map but was strangely encrypted. Although, as the branch leader, he had dealt with similar items in the past, what Chung Myung brought this time was more difficult than anything he’d seen before.
‘How complicated is this?’
The lines were chaotic, but they weren’t drawn randomly. It was an elaborately woven message. Hong Dae-Kwang couldn’t begin to fathom what sort of great man did this.
As Hong Dae-Kwang unconsciously reached for the map, Chung Myung slapped his hand away.
“Hey! You can’t touch it. Look with your eyes, not your hands!”
Hong Dae-Kwang looked at Chung Myung with blank eyes.
‘O-oh my, I thought my heart would jump out of my throat.’
Hong Dae-Kwang was unable to perceive any of Chung Myung’s movements until his hand had already been struck. If Chung Myung had held a sword, his wrist could have been severed before he even noticed.
‘This is the strength of Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon?’
He didn’t doubt the man’s ability. While dealing with information, he learned to distinguish between plain rumors and the truth. Looking at the Southern Edge Sect’s tight-lipped response to the story of Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon, Hong Dae-Kwang could tell there was truth in the legend. He simply thought it may be a bit exaggerated.
However, even if every bit of the rumor was true, it was shocking that Hong Dae-Kwang was completely unable to react to Chung Myung’s movements.
‘We need to drastically revise our evaluation of Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.’
Hong Dae-Kwang gulped and looked at the map. For now, this was the most important matter.
“What is this?”
“Ah… so, how should I begin the explanation?”
Chung Myung shrugged.
Hong Dae-Kwang, who patiently listened to the story, alternated between looking at the encoded map and Chung Myung.
“Ah, wait a moment.”
Hong Dae-Kwang, who had been silent for a while, tried to speak.
But Chung Myung raised his hand and stopped him.
“Things like ‘How can I believe this?’ and ‘What an absurd story’, you should refrain from saying such things. I’ve already heard enough, and isn’t it your job to investigate and judge whether it’s real or not?”
“… That’s true.”
Chung Myung smiled and spoke.
“Enough. How much are you going to buy this for?”
Hong Dae-Kwang felt his face heat up.
If everything Chung Myung said was true, that he had taken down Mu Jin and pilfered this map from him. Then this map belonged to the Untraceable Seizing Sword, and it contained knowledge of Yak Seon’s tomb.
‘There’s no way to estimate.’
This information was priceless.
To be precise, its value could be calculated, but it went far beyond Hong Dae-Kwang’s range.
Hong Dae-Kwang’s eyes swam around erratically.
“So, uh… hm….”
Suddenly, he looked at Chung Myung.
“You’re selling this?”
“…is that what you ask someone who’s selling something?”
“Ah, no, I mean….”
Hong Dae-Kwang’s common sense left him unable to comprehend this at all.
‘Why would he sell this?’
This was a map leading to Yak Seon’s tomb. In other words, there was a high chance that there would be treasured swords stolen from various sects, Soul Vitality Pills, and maybe even his pill-making recipes.
If news of this spread, it would raise up a storm of blood. No matter who got their hands on this, it could change the fate of any individual or sect, and perhaps, it could even shift the fate of the entirety of the martial world.
Yet, Chung Myung was selling it? Why?
Hong Dae-Kwang looked at Chung Myung, unable to understand.
“Wouldn’t you rather try and decipher this?”
“You won’t buy it?”
“Ah. No. It isn’t like that, this….”
Chung Myung smiled bitterly.
“If I could solve it, I would have done so. What’s the point in holding onto something that can’t be solved? I’d rather earn some money from it.”
Hong Dae-Kwang nodded his head.
Surely, he made a good point. Many people spend their lives obsessing over treasures without ever benefitting from them. This was a tempting fortune that many would abandon everything to acquire. Perhaps Chung Myung was making a wise decision.
‘He is bright and seems quick-witted. Not like a Taoist. Rather, he seems more like a merchant or something. Considering that he’s a disciple of Mount Hua….’
Hong Dae-Kwang felt that this disciple was more dangerous than he first thought.
Those who faithfully abide by their sect’s rules conform to the laws of the world, no matter how strong they are. However, those who remain unshackled by such tenets would shake up the world in their pursuits.
‘Within thirty years, Mount Hua will be famous again.’
As Hong Dae-Kwang was lost in thought, Chung Myung frowned.
“Yes, what is it?”
“We’re both busy people. Let’s get this over with quickly. How much will you pay?”
Hong Dae-Kwang stared at the map and then glanced at Chung Myung.
‘His head seems to be working fast, but his experience with such things isn’t good.’
The man had a troubled look on his face.
“If this really is the Sword Tomb of Yak Seon, then it’s priceless.”
“But there are many things to consider.”
“First, this map came from the Wudang sect. Since it belonged to the Wudang, the number of people willing to buy it would be cut in half once they learned about that.”
“Another thing is that it’s unclear whether or not this can actually be deciphered.”
“Aside from that, we also need to hide the purchase history and find someone who can buy this in secret to avoid any rumors. Above all else though, there’s no evidence the information you claimed about this Sword Tomb is accurate.”
Chung Myung stared at Hong Dae-Kwang.
He coughed slightly and continued.
“Considering all that, the fair value of this map would be about one-hundred thousand nyang. But I’ll give you another twenty thousand nyang because of the friendship I share with Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon. How about a hundred and twenty thousand?”
“A hundred and twenty thousand?”
“Is that so?”
“Hahaha. It is special.”
When Chung Myung smiled, Hong Dae-Kwang smiled back.
‘Uh, maybe he’ll say yes?’
No matter how quick-witted or talented they may be, there was no way that swordsmen who isolated themselves in the mountains could be familiar with wealth. For a merchant, these sorts of people are pushovers.
So, the current situation was rolling in the branch leader’s favor…
Chung Myung grabbed the map off the desk and shoved it back into his sleeve.
“Where was the nearest Lower District branch?”
Chung Myung smiled brightly.
“The price doesn’t seem right, so let’s end it here.”
“Di-disciple. What do you mean? The price is good!”
Why was he suddenly leaving?
At that moment, Chung Myung glared at Hong Dae-Kwang with a gleam in his eyes and asked.
“One hundred and twenty thousand?”
“Right… if you don’t like it, we can make it one hundred and fifty thousand….”
“A hundred and fifty thousand?”
Hong Dae-Kwang faltered as a hunch crept into his mind.
‘I was wrong!’
He understood this thing’s value.
So, Hong Dae-Kwang would need to fix this…
“You bastards keep doing this.”
Chung Myung’s eyes changed!
The table was flipped as Hong Dae-Kwang was mesmerized by the tea that was scattered all around.
“How dare you hit someone back! You bastards!”
It really felt like everything was messed up.
Selling district ↩️
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