Hyun Jong frowned.
Coming from Nanyang, enough time had already passed to return.
Hyun Jong sighed.
According to Huayoung Gate’s message, the disciples who went to Nanyang had likely entered the Tomb and come out without getting anything.
Hyun Jong had been informed of how dangerous the Sword Tomb was. Without realizing it, he had even yelled about why the kids had to enter such a place.
But after thinking about the reason those kids decided to risk entering such a dangerous place, he felt sorry instead.
Hyun Sang looked at him and spoke.
“You need to rebuke the children when they return.”
Hyung Sang’s face was slightly stiff.
“I’m not saying this because I’m displeased with what they decided to do. We are a sect that has nothing. The glory and honor of the past is just a memory, now we’re a sect that started again with a clean slate.”
“And for us, such children are precious. The children need to know that their own safety is several times more important to us than any benefits they could earn for the sect.”
Hyun Jong nodded his head.
“Let me tell them that.”
Un Am, who was listening to the two of them, smiled brightly.
“But they also need to be praised. The kids have accomplished so much this time.”
“Right. That is true.”
The voice was different this time.
Hyun Young, who was depressed about the children being criticized and scolded, was excited when something good was said about them. Hyun Sang smiled bitterly at this.
‘Well, those children really did a good job.’
They fought with the Wudang and won.
Even after entering that dangerous Sword Tomb, they managed to return alive and well. Since the time Hyun Sang entered Mount Hua, not once had such a monumental task been taken by the sect.
Although Mount Hua’s conference with the Southern Edge sect had spread their reputation, since it was an event that was isolated within the sect, many people didn’t believe the rumors or felt they were exaggerated.
In any case, it was important that the disciples who left were proudly making a name for themselves in Kangho.
It was also a great achievement to be able to rebuild and help the nearly collapsed Huayoung Gate and preserve the legacy of Mount Hua.
That piece of information was so good that Hyun Sang couldn’t even bring himself to eat anything because he was so happy.
Hyun Jong kept glancing at the sect.
His hand, which had always been heavily resting on his lap, was fiddling around.
Hyun Sang smiled.
‘He must be happy.’
Why wouldn’t they be happy?
They weren’t simply happy because of the benefits brought to the sect. It was more joyful to see Mount Hua’s disciples going out into the world of their own will and making a name for themselves.
Only a few years back, they were in a desperate position, nearly losing the sect and their home.
Compared to that time, they were now in a state of bliss.
‘Chung Myung has really spurred a lot of changes.’
Not all of this was achieved by him alone. There was no denying that the efforts of the other second and third-class disciples played a great role.
But it was Chung Myung who made the initial effort.
Just as a stone thrown into a calm lake creates ripples, the presence of Chung Myung caused a great ripple throughout the previously stagnant Mount Hua.
‘Rather, it’s more like a massive boulder that crashed into a pond rather than a stone thrown into a lake.’
The shape of the pond had changed completely.
“Where did Hyun Young go?”
“… Sect leader asked us to prepare for a banquet when the children arrive, so he must be there.”
“Please do that. Also, Hyun Young is an elder. If we keep entrusting an elder with such trivial tasks, the prestige of the sect will falter.”
Hyun Jong looked at Hyun Sang with an absurd expression.
“I told the Un disciples to go and get it done, but he said he would do it. What am I supposed to say to stop him?”
‘Ah, that happened?’
“He’s a bit too excited to feed those kids something delicious, how could I stop that?”
“… I apologize.”
‘I didn’t know.’
Hyun Sang was thinking of Hyun Young and shook his head. Considering the past, when Hyun Young seemed to be dying under the pressure of the sect’s finances, he looked a lot better now…
‘Maybe he’s a bit too…better?’
Looking at Mount Hua these days felt weird. Whether it was the elders or the disciples.
Suddenly, Hyun Jong’s eyes widened slightly.
“Doesn’t it seem like someone’s coming?”
Hyun Sang quickly turned his head. He also felt that someone was quickly approaching them.
“It does look like it.”
“huhuhu. I don’t know why it is that they’re running so fast.”
Hyun Jong smiled broadly and walked ahead with a fluffy smile.
It might not be considered appropriate for a sect leader to personally meet the disciples when they return, but Hyun Jong didn’t care about such things.
Wasn’t it natural to want to openly express joy?
As Hyun Jong stood in front of Mount Hua’s gate, the disciples that were passing by also began to gather around. They didn’t know what was happening, but they didn’t want to miss it.
Hyun Jong looked at them and smiled.
Now, the day has come to congratulate the disciples who achieved results for Mount Hua.
Hyun Jong, who could sense the approaching disciples as they quickly reached the gate, opened his mouth to speak with a gentle smile.
“Come on in. You have been through….”
“We’re being attacked!”
Hyun Jong’s warm greetings were buried in the blast of the freshly shattered gate.
Looking at the ruined gate, a thin mist formed in Hyun Sang’s eyes.
‘It hasn’t been long since this was built….’
Although the gate was smashed, a strange crowd of people could be felt rushing in.
Instinctively, Hyun Sang gulped and grabbed his sword. But he soon realized that the people who entered were the disciples of Mount Hua. They were so dirty and ragged that he could not recognize them immediately.
‘Did they go to a war or something?’
He wondered what kind of situation the children witnessed for them to run in like this, covered in dirt, with bloodshot eyes.
Unlike Hyun Sang, who was shocked, Hyun Jong calmly maintained his dignity as the sect leader and spread his arms wide as he smiled.
“You all worked hard. Now come…”
Chung Myung screamed as if something terrifying had happened and ran into Hyun Jong’s arms.
Hyun Jong smiled broadly despite being taken aback. A disciple who was working hard to express his affection, as if he was looking at his father after a long time, what kind of sect leader would say no to him…?
‘What are you doing?’
But it didn’t take long for him to realize something was wrong.
Chung Myung, who had rushed to Hyun Jong, lifted him up and put him on his shoulders before rushing toward the sect leader’s residence.
“W-what are you…!”
Hyun Sang was shocked and tried to stop what was happening.
A familiar face came into his sight.
“Ba-Baek Cheon! What are you doing! Uh? What?!”
But without a word, Baek Cheon merely picked him up and started to chase after Chung Myung while carrying Hyun Sang. Un Geom was standing there, confused and in a daze when he suddenly realized he was also being carried on Yoon Jong’s shoulder.
All three of them were being taken to the sect leader’s residence, and the disciples of Mount Hua were frightened as they tried to follow them.
Jo Gul had his sword unsheathed and was threatening his own sahyungs!
“Don’t come any closer! Anyone who approaches will be cut down.”
Hearing Jo Gul’s threats and seeing Yu Yiseol support him, no one dared to move or approach.
Anyone who wanted to say something quickly shut their mouth when they met Jo Gul’s maddened eyes.
‘What is with them?’
‘Did something go wrong?’
‘Act in moderation, please! One Chung Myung is enough!’
The others sighed when Jo Gul and Yu Yiseol stepped back and followed the group that had already gone ahead.
“…what are those crazy people up to now? They’re even kidnapping the sect leader!”
Not a single person objected to the word ‘crazy’ being used.
“This, this, thi…. This? What is this?”
Hyun Jong’s hands trembled as they held the box.
Sitting next to him was Hyun Sang and Un Am, who had been kidnapped by the others, and in front was Chung Myung and his party, who truly looked like beggars.
“I feel like I’m going to die… I might really die this time.”
Normally, it was basic manners for disciples to show an upright and decent appearance in front of the elders regardless of their stress. But the children didn’t have the strength to do so right now.
It was quite simple?
‘Everyone in the world looked like a thief.’
‘Damn it, I couldn’t even sleep knowing that the Soul Vitality Pill was right next to me!’
‘I almost stabbed someone for bumping my shoulder.’
What kind of treasure was the Soul Vitality Pill?
Within Kangho, a single pill couldn’t be exchanged even for a thousand gold. This was a pure and priceless treasure.
Moreover, they didn’t simply get the pill. They had the secret formula for refining it as well.
Didn’t they get their hands on how to make it?
No matter how great the pill was, its value couldn’t be compared to the method of making it. If rumors spread that Mount Hua had obtained the pill’s secret formula, it wouldn’t stop at just one or two people or even sects that would attack Mount Hua with full force.
In the end, the disciples began to travel in a constant state of panic, concealing that they had obtained something so valuable.
The problem was that once they started to journey with such a precious treasure, even people minding their business in the distance began to look like plotting thieves. Fortunately, the items were in Chung Myung’s reliable hands. If it wasn’t for Chung Myung, it wouldn’t have been strange for them to have stabbed a few people along the way.
With such a nervous and tense atmosphere continuing over time, Mount Hua’s disciples concluded that rushing to the sect as fast as possible would be better for their minds. That was why they had run non-stop all the way here.
“Wh–what did you say this thing is?”
“Soul Vitality Pill.”
“Soul… Soul… Soul Vitality? The Soul Vitality Pill? This is that pill? The pill with amazing effects?”
“Yes. The Soul Vitality Pill and the Secret Formula.”
Hyun Jong was unable to think.
‘What are these kids talking about?’
The pill that Yak Seon made two hundred years ago? The pill and formula for Yak Seon’s pill are right here?
‘How? Just how the hell?’
“What, what… is this? What is this”
Un Geom was also shocked.
For Hyun Jong, who didn’t know anything about the connection between Yak Seon and the Sword Tomb, this was like being struck by a bolt from the blue…no, it was like being struck by a bolt of gold.
Out of nowhere, they had acquired the pill and its recipe.
“Check it out.”
Hyun Jong gulped.
Following the sound of the lock opening, a breathtaking scent filled the room in an instant.
“Oh! My! God!”
Hyun Sang and Un Am showed strong reactions that they normally never showed. Hyun Jong was also unable to hide his passion as he examined the contents of the box.
“This. This is… this is really….”
Right when the eyes of the sect leader began to blur with tears.
“Ack! You scared me!”
The door swung open, and someone walked in.
“No, if you’re already here then you should have come to eat something….”
He stopped talking and looked at the box in Hyun Jong’s hands and Chung Myung’s face alternately.
Then with the warmest smile in the world, he spoke.
“What did you earn this time?”
This quick-witted person!
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