Silence swept through the area.
Mak Hwi couldn’t open his mouth.
He couldn’t believe that Dae Ra-Geom, one of Sam Sal-Gwi’s men, could be defeated this easily. Even he couldn’t guarantee such an easy victory; rather, he would have to put his life on the line if he had been the one to battle Dae Ra-Geom.
But the child standing before them had killed him as easily as snuffing out a bug.
Instantly, all sense of reality seemed to collapse and fade away.
Losing one’s grip on reality on a battlefield was an unacceptable error.
However, what just happened was almost too absurd to believe.
Mak Hwi was about to speak but quickly fell silent. Any words he wanted to speak felt meaningless at this time.
Dae Ra-Geom’s severed head had fallen to the ground with eyes that would eternally reflect his disbelief. That expression accurately echoed the sentiments of those present. It represented everyone’s current emotions.
Cho Myeong-San’s grip tightened around his blade.
He couldn’t have imagined this, but his senses were right!
This young man was no beginner or newbie.
Rather, he was a Killing Spirit.
This wasn’t an issue of the young man being strong or not.
It was clear that this young man had been through countless battles, and in the process, he must have created a river of blood beneath a mountain of corpses.
There wasn’t even a flicker of unrest in his actions. As if he was thoroughly accustomed to it, there were no ferocious or wild emotions that escaped his stoic visage.
Seeing this only confirmed Cho Myeong-San’s thoughts.
He made beheading a person look as natural as plucking leaves from a tree.
Clearly, that bastard…
‘…is so used to killing.’
Cho Myeong-San gulped.
‘Maybe this will be my grave.’
Upon realizing that his back was drenched in a cold sweat, he firmly came to a decision.
“Let’s work together.”
“W-… what did you say?”
“I said we should work together.”
Everyone’s eyes were stolen from Chung Myung as they darted to Cho Myeong-San. Their gazes were a mix of shock, dismay, and anger.
“Did you just say we should work against that kid?”
“It would be better if you shut up. Age doesn’t mean anything in Kangho. What matters is strength, and that man there is definitely strong. Also…”
Cho Myeong-San closed his mouth.
It was meaningless.
No matter how hard he tried to explain, there was no way to make the others understand Chung Myung’s casual familiarity with murder. This was no longer a matter of logic but rather an issue of senses and instinct.
‘How could I explain to them that my senses are screaming about how dangerous he is?’
“If we don’t work together, we’ll all die.”
It sounded absurd.
But everyone present knew that those nonsensical words were the truth.
They all saw the head rolling on the ground. If they failed to grasp the opponent’s strength even after seeing that battle with their own eyes, they would never have been able to survive until now.
‘Doesn’t even seem to be out of breath.’
The young man had taken no damage at all from the beginning until Dae Ra-Geom’s head was separated from his neck. Therefore, the difference between their skill levels was too great to judge.
If Chung Myung had decided to use his full strength without conserving anything, perhaps he could have finished him off before he even had a chance to retaliate.
At least those still alive were all able to grasp the situation.
“How can such a demon exist….”
Son Myung let out a moan.
He lacked the ability to accurately gauge the young man’s power, but it obviously extended far beyond his own reach.
Son Myung bit his lip.
“Let’s work together.”
Everyone stayed silent at those words.
“Throw your pride away. This is something we need to do to protect our lives. Who would know we joined forces here anyway, right?”
If the outside world came to know that these men had cooperated in fighting a single disciple from Mount Hua, a young one at that, they would become laughing stocks.
For strong men living in Kangho, ridicule was intolerable.
However, this was an underground room with no eyes around to see what would happen.
As long as the ones cooperating kept silent, how would anyone know how Chung Myung died?
Their concern was short-lived as they quickly made their judgment.
Those who actively sympathized stepped forward without a word, and those who were passive couldn’t back down either. Regardless of whether they ganged up or not, Chung Myung needed to be killed here in order for them to survive.
Chung Myung’s eyes sank, and his momentum shifted as he looked at those around him.
Was he angry?
It seemed like Chung Myung was angry when he looked at the corpses, but he wasn’t. Rather, he could agree with them.
They had entered the Sword Tomb armed with their own weapons, which meant that they came prepared to risk their lives. It was meaningless to separate right from wrong when people were actively throwing themselves into life-or-death situations.
Hong Dae-Kwang didn’t seem to agree with that, but for Chung Myung, this felt natural. This was nothing for him, who had experienced hellish wars in the past.
He had seen countless sights more terrible than this.
The anger that threatened to penetrate through one’s flesh and the heart that passionately burned with righteousness was meaningless on the battlefield.
The reason he killed Dae Ra-Geom was simple.
Because that man tried to kill him first.
After being reborn in this new body, Chung Myung hadn’t once set foot on a battlefield. Fighting with children, stealing money, or bullying others could not be considered battles.
Only when one is filled with the malicious desire to kill their opponent, even as their limbs are torn from their body, could it truly be called a battlefield.
And those that stand on the battlefield should understand that matters rarely go as planned.
That was all.
That was what Chung Myung realized in the wars of the past.
Blood dripped to the ground from Chung Myung’s plum blossom sword.
Chung Myung coldly observed as the group approached with weapons drawn.
Nine in total.
He needed to kill all nine while preserving as much stamina as possible.
“Kid… damn it, I can’t even call you kid.”
Mak Hwi, who took the lead with a contorted face, held out an ax with blue qi on it.
“You should feel honored. If you weren’t this strong, we never would have joined forces like this.”
Chung Myung looked at him and spoke.
“If you’re done talking, come.”
Mak Hwi gnashed his teeth.
It was shameful.
But he knew. Even if he had to live in shame, it was a hundred or even a thousand times better than dying while holding onto his pride.
Moreover, this was a place where dying left one in an unrecognizable open grave. In this place, pride wasn’t worth a single cent.
“I’ll admit that you have guts. Even if you die here, Mount Hua’s name will spread throughout the world.”
As this happened, Chung Myung was calmly analyzing his opponent’s strength.
He wasn’t going to blame them for that.
So many people in Kangho hold onto those antiquated ideals and feel that it’s shameful to unite to survive. But if the opponent is too strong, are people expected to just rush headfirst into death?
This was no game.
There were no second chances after death. Whether it be poison, cooperation, traps, or even needing to clench their opponent’s crotch, anything was acceptable if it meant survival.
But some would disagree.
“Not just one or two, but nine people ganging up on a child so much younger than themselves? More than strength, I suppose a thick face is what’s needed to survive.”
A man slowly walked forward and stood next to Chung Myung.
Chung Myung glanced to his side to see who it was.
He stood there with a faint smile.
Perhaps, he had come forward to assist.
Chung Myung’s response to such a kind Sasuk was…
“What? You’re in my way. Move.”
“… I was helping….”
Baek Cheon sighed. Then, ignoring Chung Myung’s words, he drew his sword and aimed it forward.
“Even if I’m in your way, deal with it.”
“I am your sasuk and your brother in the sect. How can I stand aside while my sajil is risking his life in battle?”
‘No, I would prefer that over you disturbing me.’
“You’re right, Sasuk.”
Perhaps impressed by his valiant words, Yoon Jong quickly approached and stood next to Baek Cheon.
“Sajae is fighting with his life on the line. As his sahyung, I cannot just watch from the sidelines.”
“Uh, I agree with that.”
“Let’s fight together.”
Chung Myung sighed as he looked at the disciples of Mount Hua, who filled in the gaps to his left and right.
‘Well, they are young kids.’
Seeing them rush into this fight without even knowing what kind of situation this was felt annoying.
“Then you had better be prepared to sever an arm or cut their head off. Do you think it’s going to be easy?”
“We know this is no easy feat.”
Baek Cheon whispered coldly.
“But if we continue hiding behind you whenever a strong opponent emerges, we will remain behind you forever. We might be a hindrance now, but if we fight like this, we’ll be able to support you properly one day.”
“If you want to push me away, you’ll have to knock me out. If I die, then I die, but I refuse to continue watching from behind.”
Chung Myung sighed deeply.
‘This guy is saying all the right things.’
Chung Myung knew that Baek Cheon’s words were correct. In order to grow up, one had to experience real battles. The more dangerous the battle, the greater the potential growth.
In other words, for the growth of Mount Hua, Chung Myung needed to trust the others and let them participate, even if he could solve the problem on his own.
‘I know it in my head.’
Chung Myung never had children, nor did he raise any kids, but now felt as though he understood a bit about a parent’s heart. Even though he understood that they needed to overcome adversity and survive difficult situations, he would step up first to shield them whenever he felt there was danger.
Chung Myung glanced at the kids and spoke.
“I won’t help you, even if it looks like you’re going to die.”
“That’s what I hoped for.”
“I never even thought you’d come to help! Once in a while, you seem to overestimate your own character!”
“Jo Gul sahyung, let’s have a talk after this.”
All of them looked at Jo Gul with pitiful eyes.
He always seemed to say something that crossed the line when he got excited.
Finally, Chung Myung clenched his sword and looked ahead.
How could he explain this?
‘It’s a strange feeling.’
He couldn’t believe it. It felt like the burden increased.
- Let’s go, sahyung!
- Let’s go sajae! Let’s show them all the power of Mount Hua!
- Please leave something for me to do, Chung Myung sahyung!
Chung Myung bowed his head a little.
This feeling was not reliable at all…
The Mount Hua of the past no longer existed.
No matter how hard he tried, he would never be able to bring that back.
Chung Myung shouted.
“Let’s go! Break those bastards’ heads!”
His sahyungs shouted and charged.
Marching in step with them, Chung Myung bit his lip.
My Sahyung, My sect leader sahyung.
My Mount Hua…
Is right here too.
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