Baek Sang let out a low sigh as he looked at Mount Hua.
‘I feel like the atmosphere is rather restless lately.’
To be more precise, it felt like something was floating around.
Thinking about it, the atmosphere had been strange ever since Chung Myung entered Mount Hua, but it suddenly got worse after Chung Myung, and his party returned from Nanyang recently.
It was clear that the elders were excited about something.
‘Well, he must have done something great.’
None of the second-class disciples would deny the power Chung Myung had. After two years of experience under him, they had no choice but to understand it, even if they didn’t want to know.
Besides, he also received something from Chung Myung.
Quite frankly, how could the days when all they had to eat was grass, and all they had to wear were worn-out uniforms even be compared to now when they wear fine clothes and eat meat until they’re tired?
No matter how hard they trained, even masters couldn’t sustain themselves on dew alone. It couldn’t be denied that these days were a hundred times better than when the sect was suffering from financial difficulties.
Sometimes, he missed the silence of the past Mount Hua.
At that time, Mount Hua had a feeling of purity.
“Maybe I am thinking too—”
Baek Sang looked up at the sudden sound.
“Is it about to rain?”
There was thunder…
Baek Sang, strangely, felt like it came from the side.
Well, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to hear thunder nearby when they lived so high up on the mountain…
Baek Sang turned his head.
No. I don’t think it’s thunder…?
Baek Sang’s eyes opened wide as he looked around for the source of this sound.
“W-what is that?”
Dust was rising from the residence of the sect leader.
It wasn’t just an expression; dust was literally rising.
As the thunderous sound rang again, the entire residence shook.
‘Uh? I can’t just go there, right?’
It was definitely coming from the residence of the sect leader.
“No. What’s going on!?’
“Please! Please, don’t overdo it! Please!”
Baek Cheon, Yu Yiseol, his juniors, Hyun Jong, and an elder escaped from the residence at the speed of light. Baek Sang was stunned by the unexpected sight.
“… What now?”
He didn’t have much time to think.
The sound of thunder came crashing down as the entire building collapsed. The roof tiles scattered in all directions, and the pillars fell over.
That was a place that should never collapse like that. That…
…Was the house of the sect leader. It was the most important…
Baek Sang murmured to himself unconsciously as he looked at the ruined residence with blank eyes.
“… Maybe the sect is really going well.”
Really well. Disgustingly well…
Hyun Jong’s eyebrows convulsed at the sight of his pavilion collapsing.
He had nothing to say.
“Ehhhh! Cough! Cough! Ah!”
Hyun Young, who was coughing next to him, frowned.
“What kind of forefathers does that bastard have to take down something like this!”
‘My house is the one collapsing. Do you have to act like this?’
“Tch, it looks like we have to build a new one.”
Hyun Jong’s ears, which had been slightly irritated, twitched.
A new house?
‘Oh…. That sounds good.’
Getting a new house was definitely a good thing. But Hyun Jong couldn’t determine if he should be sad that the old house collapsed or happy that he would be getting a new one.
That wasn’t important now!
Hyun Jong shook his head and straightened his neck.
“What happened to Chung Myung?”
“Are you getting old? There! In there.”
Hyun Jong narrowed his eyes and looked to where Hyun Young was pointing to.
The wreckage of the collapsed house shook a couple times as a man crawled out from it.
“Hey, why did this collapse!? Who was it!? What kind of bastards did this?”
‘It was you, you brat.’
‘You did it, you did!’
Chung Myung emerged with a fit of tantrums and clicked his tongue at the collapsed house.
“How weak did the building have to be for this to collapse!? The builders must have skimped on some materials!”
Hyun Jong sighed as if there was no way he could answer that.
“Sect leader, sahyung. Wasn’t that the Five Qi Chaoyuan.”
Hyun Jong drooled a little at those words.
“It felt a little different from what I know of it. I’ve heard that when it happens, five-colored circles appear when the person has gone into performing the Five Qi Chaoyuan. There was a five-color glow, but it wasn’t quite the same, right?”
“… then something similar to that?”
Hyun Jong smiled bitterly.
“Anyway, it seems to have come from consuming the Soul Vitality Pill.”
Looking at Chung Myung, Hyun Jong smiled.
After consuming that pill, Chung Myung’s body began floating in the air, then he emitted a five-colored light. At this point, wouldn’t that mean that he was at the peak of absorbing and cultivating?
“Well then, sect leader.”
“Just how much stronger is he now?”
Hyun Jong shut his mouth.
How much had he grown?
Seeing Hyun Jong unable to speak, Hyun Young’s eyes narrowed.
“Even the sect leader doesn’t know?”
“Ahem. As if that could be true!”
“Then why aren’t you speaking?”
‘No. Come on, man! How could I possibly know that!?’
He had never witnessed or even heard of such a thing in his life. The same guy who fought an elder of Wudang to a standstill took a pill and became even stronger. How could Hyun Jong understand what his level was?
He couldn’t even ask for a match with Chung Myung.
“Very… um, extremely strong… I am certain.”
“So, um… huhuhu. It will be tough for me to put it into words.”
‘D-don’t look at me with those eyes.’
Hyun Young sighed as Hyun Jong carefully avoided his gaze.
“Anyway, being strong is a good thing.”
“Right. That is a good thing.”
It was unknown if this was a good thing or not… for now, they were flying high.
While everyone was buzzing around, Chung Myung looked down at his hands.
‘I didn’t expect….’
There is a limit to the qi that can be extracted from a pill and absorbed. The qi accumulated in his body is the purest qi in the world. No matter how refined the pill was, it could not be compared to Chung Myung’s pure qi.
Wasn’t that why there was no significant growth in Chung Myung after taking the pill in the past?
However, the Soul Vitality Pill was different from what Chung Myung thought.
The qi it had wasn’t very high compared to the Supreme Pill. Instead, it was several times purer.
‘This is the most perfect item for me?’
Of course, he couldn’t absorb even half of the qi he received, and he had to discharge the rest, but where did the other half go?
When he ate the pill in the cave before, he couldn’t absorb even a handful of the qi! This time, he had gotten a full half of it!
Thanks to that…
Chung Myung clenched his fist and extended it.
His body felt full of vitality.
‘I still have a long way to go.’
It was still a long way off from regaining his power from the past. But thanks to this, it felt like he was finally at the starting line after a long time.
With a satisfied smile, Chung Myung slowly turned his head. His sahyungs all stood there watching.
‘That disgusting monster!’
‘He must have surely gotten stronger!’
‘There, look at that light in his eyes. Is that person human? Is he a human?’
The sahyungs, who were familiar with Chung Myung, noticed that the waves of qi emanating from his body were stronger than before.
“The heavens must be impartial. Why are the results so different despite eating the same pill?”
At this point, it was flustering.
Pills alone don’t determine a person’s success. Some people consume pills and get stronger, while some eat them and end up floating in the air and blowing up residences. Wasn’t that a little too unfair?
Hyun Young ran to Chung Myung.
“How is it? The effects?”
“Kuak, elder! This might actually make me live!”
“… T-then. Thank God!”
Chung Myung smacked his lips.
‘This is more effective than I thought, right?’
What Chung Myung lacked the most right now was internal qi. He thought that there was no way to increase his qi other than with the passage of time, as pure qi was hard to make. But now, he found another way.
‘If I eat more, will it increase further?’
Chung Myung glanced at Hyun Jong with shining eyes, and Hyun Jong tightly clenched the box of pills in his hand.
It was clear that he was aiming for the Soul Vitality Pill. But this needed to be saved for the future of Mount Hua.
Chung Myung walked toward Hyun Jong with an innocent smile.
“I don’t think it’ll be a big deal if we use a few more pills.”
Hyun Jong stepped back.
Before Chung Myung could say anything, Hyun Jong screamed.
“What do you think will happen in the future!? Mount Hua has yet to establish a functioning medical hall! If someone gets seriously injured, we have to use this to save them!”
Chung Myung exclaimed as if moved.
Chung Myung thought that the sect leader was just behaving pitifully by hoarding these pills, but his actions held such a deep meaning. Again, there was no one who cared about the disciples here more than Hyun Jong.
But Hyun Jong didn’t know.
That he had just made a massive mistake.
“Ah, so. You mean to say that you’ll keep it to use when someone gets injured or something?”
Hyun Jong sensed something was amiss from Chung Myung’s tone and flinched. He felt certain that the disciple must have misunderstood something.
“I would like to thank you.”
Chung Myung bowed his head; however, the polite reaction only further incited Hyun Jong’s anxiety.
Chung Myung raised his head and opened his mouth with a smirk.
“Yunnan is a dangerous place! This medicine will be a great help to the disciples who are entering that ‘dangerous’ place! Again, that dangerous place! A place where you never know what will happen! In a land ruled by terrifying barbarians!”
‘No, you just said you’d break their heads open….’
“Kuaa, sect leader! I’m fine! This Chung Myung will continue to constantly risk his life for the sake of Mount Hua.”
“B, U, T!”
Chung Myung shook his head.
“If the sasuks and sahyungs that are coming with me to that dangerous place get injured and die right before my eyes, I don’t think I will have peace even after death!”
‘Why did the story end up like this?’
“In that dangerous situation, just one pill… no, three! No, all we might need are five pills!”
“Why does it keep going up….”
‘You little mugger! Robbing me in broad daylight!’
“I think we’ll be able to return alive with just five of them! Just five! Haha… sigh… but that can’t be spared, can it? Because those Soul Vitality Pill are for the future of Mount Hua….”
Chung Myung looked at Baek Cheon.
“Sasuk! In sect leader’s eyes, Sasuk isn’t the future of Mount Hua!”
“Why are you dragging me into this!? You idiot!”
“But what I’m saying is right! My word! Oh my, this sect! The disciples are putting their lives on the line and walking right into deadly battles, but they think the pills are wasted on us! Pills are valued over men!”
At that moment…
Someone put their hand on Hyun Jong’s shoulder.
When he turned around, Hyun Jong saw Hyun Young with a weird smile.
“… just give it up.”
“Isn’t that better than dying from frustration?”
Hyun Jong grabbed his head.
“I-I will give them to you! You thief!”
As time passed, Hyun Jong’s words towards Chung Myung turned harsh.
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