Chapter 168 - Still, I will walk together with you (3)

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As if possessed, Chung Myung walked back to Nanyang.

The direction he was heading in was towards where the Sword Tomb had collapsed.

Walking neither fast nor slow, he arrived at the mountain and began to climb the path with a blank expression.

“Yak Seon. Untraceable Seizing Sword. Yak Seon. Untraceable Seizing Sword. Disciple…”

He was constantly muttering something.

Think.

Think about it.

Thinking wasn’t a huge thing, but Chung Myung was the only one who could solve this riddle now. Chung Myung’s mind was jumbled with countless clues in his mind.

‘What did I try to get?’

The Soul Vitality Pill. And the method of making it.

‘Where did I hear it?’

Sword Tomb. The Tomb of the man.

It was all wrong from the start.

Yak Seon was the Untraceable Seizing Sword, but the Untraceable Seizing Sword wasn’t Yak Seon. It was his fault for not seeing that subtle difference.

If Yak Seon had been the Untraceable Seizing Sword, he wouldn’t have tried to hide that fact, and he wouldn’t have made a Sword Tomb which screamed out his other identity to the world.

So, even if Yak Seon wanted to leave traces, they would have never been in the Sword tomb.

As a result, the only thing they found inside the Sword Tomb were rusted swords, right?

Then.

Then where are the traces of the pills of Yak Seon?

‘The road to outside.’

It was said that there were several trails on this mountain in the past. But at some point, it was said that those paths were abandoned due to the occurrence of natural disasters.

And the only path which was left led people right to the place where the Sword Tomb was located.

A vast and deep pit entered the eyes of Chung Myung as he climbed up the mountain. He stood there in front of the pit and looked around.

‘The Sword Tomb.’

This was the Sword Tomb.

Anyone who climbed the mountain would eventually reach this place.

“Tao… Anti-Tao… Path. A place with no path.”

No one who walked on a path that was different from this would ever reach here, and only those who took the right path could come here.

“…did you realize something?”

At the words of Baek Cheon, who asked softly, Chung Myung shook his head. Baek Cheon felt startled at the burning eyes of Chung Myung.

“Sasuk.”

“Yes.”

“What did those who found the Sword Tomb do?”

“What is that?”

“I asked what did the ones who enter the Sword Tomb do?”

“That…”

It was a random question, but he had to answer it. Because it was clear that Chung Myung had come here in a process of neatly organizing his thoughts.

“They went inside.”

“How?”

“No, what are you meaning to say? Of course, the entrance was opened and we went in…”

Baek Cheon went silent.

They opened the door and entered.

“Entrance.”

A word which can have several meanings. However, the entrance here meant one thing.

“A door with swords aimed at each other.”

“Right. As if we were entering a martial arts place.”

Chung Myung frowned.

“What came after it?”

“A long and narrow road. There was a trap in the middle.”

Jo Gul clapped his hands.

“Right! It was training!”

“Yes. Training… Because training is like walking on a narrow path. Everyone starts on a wide road but in the end, they cannot handle how the path turns narrow and they start falling behind. Only those who overcome it can move to the next level.”

“In the midst of going through obstacles…”

Chung Myung nodded his head.

Now it was becoming clearer.

“In other words…”

Baek Cheon cleared it.

“The Sword Tomb is placed in such a manner that it embodies the process of a person entering a martial arts sect and cultivating martial arts.”

“It has to be that.”

Only then did Baek Cheon understand the bizarre things that had occurred inside the Sword Tomb.

“But the road split halfway through.”

“It is the same with learning martial arts. Even if the entrance was the same, everyone chooses a different path according to their own inclinations. But what happens in the end?”

“… the path merges into one again.”

“Countless streams of water finally join the bigger water body. Even if we go down different paths, in the end we have no choice but to follow the one with the greatest will.”

Baek Cheon groaned.

“…completion of martial arts.”

“Right.”

The huge space where Chung Myung fought against the second group.

The road which split into several had joined into a single path there. It represented the warriors who made different choices to grow but were still moving towards a single goal.

“What was before that?”

“… a long dark cave. And Gangshi.”

Yoon Jong groaned.

“The Evil within.”

“Right. It represented the darkness that comes over the heart before the completion of martial arts. Evil.”

“Then the cliff? After we went through the dark place, we climbed up…”

The answer didn’t come from Chung Myung but Baek Cheon.

“The Path of Immortality” 1

Baek Cheon could now understand it all.

“The dazzling light that was coming from the ceiling onto the cliff was a sign that the cultivation of martial arts is done. In Taoism, it is like ascension and for Buddhism it is liberation.”

But there was still something unsolved.

“Then? What about the Divine Weapons and the empty wooden box?”

Chung Myung said,

“There were none.”

“Uh?”

“From the entrance, since there were people fighting and killing each other, it meant that there was nothing ever placed in it. Learning martial arts in the first place has no meaning. The Sword Tomb wasn’t a place where Yak Seon was testing the people, it was a place that embodies his idea of martial arts and cultivation.”

Yu Yiseol’s words were the driving factor to him realizing this.

Yak Seon was a healer.

There was no way a person who helped injured soldiers would make something to kill people. No, maybe it was the principle of cause and effect. The more he loved and cared for people, the more the hatred grew within him because of their actions.

“So, he must have become a swordsman and decided to let the powerful people of his time know that their martial arts had no meaning. Taking away their weapons which they used for martial arts. Even with his lack of strength, he was able to defeat very strong people.”

“… but nothing changed.”

“Right. Because the obsession with martial arts that warriors have is beyond imagination. Yak Seon wanted to let people know that their martial arts were hurting people, killing them. But no matter how hard he worked to get this message out to the world, in the end, nothing changed.”

Baek Cheon grabbed his shoulders as if a chill ran down.

Terrifying tenacity and madness. To convey that one thing, he created this entire Sword Tomb? Just how tenacious was this Yak Seon?

“Then you mean that there was nothing in this place from the start?”

“Right.”

“… everything was in vain.”

Now that they realized the truth behind the Sword Tomb, everyone sighed.

“But why are we here? To check it out?”

“No.”

Chung Myung shook his head.

“I told you. Yak Seon was not the Untraceable Seizing Sword. This is the tomb he made for the other version of himself. It was true that he didn’t consider himself a true swordsman. Because that was the fake side of him. Compared to his role as a healer and the help he did for people, the other identity was fake.

“…”

“What will people do if they are unable to achieve their goals no matter how hard they try?”

“… they will try to find a new target again.”

Chung Myung looked up.

Everyone couldn’t take their eyes off the collapsing ceiling, and even Chung Myung was looking at the light which was pouring in from the sky the moment the cave began to collapse. The light being there meant hope.

“But those who had discovered the end looked at the bottom. At the bottom… you could live if you reached the bottom room before the collapse and most warriors wouldn’t have seen what was above them. Because then, it was just survival. People were doing their best to just live.”

Chung Myung continued.

His words weren’t for his sahyungs. He just said all his thoughts out loud without trying to stop them.

“Then the enlightened ones? What about them?”

“Will they go back?”

“No.”

Chung Myung moved.

“No… they move ahead. His message was to the people who set the wrong goal from the start. The people who learned martial arts and hurt people with it. He wanted to say, ‘If you are alive, then keep moving ahead’.”

The place he was headed to was the mountain path which went over the pit.

No one had gone there before.

Thousands of people gathered here, but none of those who discovered the Sword Tomb had even tried to move around it. They didn’t even find it strange.

Because their goal was right in front of their eyes.

“There were countless clues around. A land in the middle of the mountain with no trees or grass. To those driven by greed, this was a land made of gold… but this was actually just a dead land.”

“Ah…”

And when the words ‘dead land’ came out, everything became clear.

As Chung Myung said, there were clues, and each clue was being given to them very generously. The desire and greed for the pill and the Divine Weapons were what blinded all the people.

Even the disciples of Mount Hua had jumped in with their swords drawn as soon as they came here, and when the tomb collapsed didn’t they turn back with regrets just like everyone else?

For those who valued only the Sword Tomb, there was no meaning in this journey.

Chung Myung proceeded to move as if he was possessed.

The place had now become a pit in the dead land. He walked past the place where everything collapsed…

To another spot.

He walked up to the overgrown bushes which were right in front of the pit.

‘What you wanted to say is this.’

The ascension of martial arts wasn’t everything.

Chung Myung walked.

And he kept walking.

‘Even if you lost the goal which you risked all your life to achieve, without despairing on what had happened, if you find out what lies beneath your feet… it isn’t too late, so keep moving forward with those two feet that work for you.’

‘Not for martial arts, but for life.’

That was what Yak Seon wanted to say. Chung Myung’s steps turned serious.

Chung Myung didn’t agree with the thoughts of Yak Seon. But he couldn’t help but pay tribute to the formidable arrangement the man did by pouring his life into it.

And.

They arrived at another wide-open space.

But, unlike the first place, everything here looked to be in harmony.

There was water flowing through the rocks, and the area was filled with lush green grass. There were naturally grown trees and animals freely running among them. And the blue sky behind it made the entire scene look amazing.

It was a normal and natural place.

But Chung Myung was sure that this was the place Yak Seon chose. Because it was the perfect contrast to the dead land behind.

“Those who do not know the meaning of Yak Seon’s work will not realize it even if they arrive here.”

“Right. This is just… a simple mountain.”

Chung Myung’s gaze was fixed on one place from the start.

On one side of this place, there was a crevice in the rock where water was flowing. That place was probably the water source of the mountain.

“Water seems weak.”

Chung Myung mumbled slowly.

“The thin, shallow water soon merges with other water sources and then into a river and then finally into the sea. In doing so, it helps sustain countless lives.”

And that was Tao (path).

And it was benevolence.

“If Yak Seon was really trying to convey his own feelings, he would have had to overcome his pride to do so.”

The Sword Tomb was indeed concerning.

Then the pride of Yak Seon?

“I…”

Chung Myung mumbled as if he was Yak Seon.

“What I have accomplished will spread like water into the world and will become something that will save countless starving people.”

It was an absurd thought.

But…

If the person who made all this was Yak Seon, then he deserved to be appreciated.

Chung Myung walked to the crevice from where the water came from.

If he was thinking right…

This was the place!

If what Yak Seon was trying to pass on to his descendants in the future was what Chung Myung was thinking of.

What he was trying to convey was…

Right here!

Chung Myung pushed his hand into the crevice of the rock where the water was coming from. It was a narrow gap into which a human hand could barely enter. He pushed his hand in and began to search.

As the water came, Chung Myung’s body turned wet.

This was a fountain.

A source of life.

If it is there at all, then it should be in this place! No! It has to be here!

‘Those who were too narrow-minded and consumed by their own desires cannot know.’

Those who do not know how futile martial arts was couldn’t understand what Yak Seon was trying to say. At the end of his life, Chung Myung had felt a deeper sense of emptiness than anyone, and despite that, he was trying his best to try and understand Yak Seon who was trying to say that people should move ahead.

And here!

Right in here!

It was then.

Tak!

Chung Myung’s fingertips touched something.

The feeling of the object he was touching… it was no rock. It was definitely…

‘Metal?’

Chung Myung pushed his hand further inside. He could feel a very cleanly cut metal inside.

He used qi to pull out the lump of metal that he held onto.

Rumble!

Water gushed out along with a square ingot-shaped metal that was pulled out from the cracks!

Chung Myung couldn’t breathe as he looked at the iron box he had pulled out.

‘This box.’

His hands began to tremble.

Even his sahyungs couldn’t open their mouths and kept looking at Chung Myung as if they had turned into statues of stone.

A metal box of the right shape which remained sealed despite two hundred years passing.

Looking at it, it was clear that the object was unusual.

Chung Myung’s fingertips touched the box.

Click.

Chung Myung clipped the lock and took a deep breath. With a trembling hand, he slowly began to open the box.

Kiik!

The box made a creaking sound.

Before his eyes could even check its contents, a smell wafted to his nose.

“Uh…”

Soon the box was fully opened.

Chung Myung looked at it with wide eyes.

In that small box, there were twenty odd small pills and an old book.

“Gulp.”

His legs trembled.

He checked the booklet title by narrowing his eyes which were tearing up.

Soul Vitality Secret Formula.

“Soul Vitality…”

He was losing it.

“F…Fo…Fo… Fo!”

“Fo?”

“Found ittttt!”

“Achhhhhhh!”

“Crazy! We found it! found it!”

Chung Myung shouted very loudly.

“Ahhhhhh! Yak Seon you bastard! I found it! I found ittttt!”

Chung Myung slowly moved back.

Sahyung!

My sect leader sahyung!

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! I did it!

He could see the face of his Chung Mun sahyung smiling brightly at him.

  1. This is not to be taken in literal sense ↩️

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