Everyone looked back and forth between the large pavilion and Jo Gul.
The unfocused gazes alternated between the two of them. Jo Gul, who became the star of their strange gazes, put his mouth to the fist and coughed low.
“I said yes!”
Chung Myung opened his mouth wide.
“… sahyung Jo Gul is their son? You must be the servant’s son, right?”
“This is my house.”
Chung Myung shook his head and placed his hand on Jo Gul’s shoulder.
“No. Think carefully about this sahyung.”
“A person’s life is revealed on their face. When I see the face of Jo Gul sahyung, who would ever think you’re the son of a wealthy family? No matter who sees you, you look like the son of a laborer….”
Unable to bear it, Jo Gul kicked Chung Myung.
“Why? Is it really so strange that I’m the son of this family?”
“Really. It is strange, Jo Gul.”
When he looked into the eyes of those who didn’t believe him, even Baek Cheon, Jo Gul bowed his head.
‘And these people are my sahyungs.’
Tears were stinging his eyes.
“Jo Gul. Be honest. Is this really your house?”
Even Yoon Jong couldn’t believe it. Seeing this, Jo Gul grabbed his own head in distress, and Yoon Jong spoke with a flustered expression.
“Ah-no. But didn’t you tell me that you were from a small house?”
“…I couldn’t bring myself to tell you.”
“Huh. It just fits so well without you in the picture.”
“No, do I look that weird? Is it that strange?”
“Ah no. It isn’t strange….”
“Your eyes are saying that it’s strange! Now!”
“Uh… you can see that?”
Yoon Jong was visibly embarrassed, which made Jo Gul even more depressed.
Chung Myung, who had been kicked away, returned at that time.
“No. No. It could be possible. Such things are common. The disrespected son of a successful family couldn’t stand it any longer and left home….”
Baek Cheon grunted through his teeth.
“Ah, I wasn’t talking about sasuk.”
“Then why are you looking at me when you say it! You damn bastard!”
It seemed like the people inside could hear their chattering and spoke up.
“Who dares to speak like this in front of the door of the Four Seas Merchant Chamber?”
The massive door opened, and an old man with a sharp face emerged. With a harsh glare, he looked at the disciples of Mount Hua and…
“Huh? Oh? Y-Young master!”
Young… Young master.
Chung Myung whispered to Yoon Jong.
“Did I hear him right?”
“Looks like it. It makes me want to tear my ears out.”
The old man hurried to Jo Gul.
“No! no! It is the young master! No, young lord! The young lord is here! Welcome back!”
Chung Myung whispered again.
“It seems like ‘welcome back’ is used differently in Sichuan?”
“I think so too. Maybe it’s a dialect thing?”
“I can hear you; I can hear everything!”
Jo Gul frowned as he looked at the two. However, it seemed like the other disciples of Mount Hua were invisible to the old man. He embraced Jo Gul with tears flowing down his face.
“Young lord! It is truly wonderful that you came back! Really!”
“S-Sam Jong-Gwan. Calm down!”
Chung Myung whispered again.
“It feels like he is a real family member. Why is he talking informally to the old man?”
“Um. Really…. Ah, wait. That’s not what you’re supposed to say, is it?”
Even in the midst of this, Yoon Jong was too shocked to maintain his composure.
“You! Here! Spread word that the young lord is back! Go now!”
The servants rushed inside at the old man’s command.
Chung Myung looked at Jo Gul, who was busy calming the old man and clicked his tongue.
No matter how difficult it may be, a person shouldn’t be judged by their appearance. It seemed like Jo Gul must really be the son of a wealthy family.
“Yoon Jong sahyung. Sahyung, would you happen to have any hidden family, too? Like you’re the hidden child of some high-ranking official or something?”
“…. I’m an orphan.”
“Right. Usually, that’s how it should be.”
It was strange how they welcomed Jo Gul, but the tearful reunion didn’t last long as the old man began to notice the others.
“And? Who are these people?”
“The sect’s sasuk and sahyungs.”
Baek Cheon took the lead.
“I am Baek Cheon, a second-class disciple of Mount Hua. We ended up visiting my sajil’s family due to an unexpected situation. I apologize for the sudden visit without giving any notice before we came here.”
“No! How can you say that? Thank you for coming.”
Sam Jong-Gwan wiped the corner of his eyes with his sleeve.
“Since the young lord went to Mount Hua, we have been worried sick because we haven’t had any contact for a long time. I would have visited him several times if it hadn’t been for the lord’s orders.”
Jo Gul became awkward as he waved his hands at the old man.
“Let’s go in first; it isn’t polite to have my sasuks stand around here.”
“Ah, I must have been so excited that I didn’t notice. Let’s head in!”
Sam Jong-Gwan led them in. The disciples shared the same thoughts as they entered through the large main gate.
‘I think it’s bigger than Mount Hua’s gate.’
‘Look at this. This is the first time I’ve seen such a splendid home.’
‘Oh my, he looks different now.’
Mount Hua’s disciples were all quite sensitive to money since they had lived in poverty for so long. As a result, it felt like a bright light was shining from Jo Gul. The child of this wealthy family.
The group soon saw two people running out. It was a middle-aged woman in a silk robe and an older man in red silk.
At this point, the identity of these two could be easily guessed, even if they didn’t want to know.
The woman rushed to Jo Gul and hugged him.
“You ignorant child! Why are you so late to come home!?”
“I am sorry, mother.”
The middle-aged man leaned back and turned his head. He was probably holding back his tears.
It was so colorful, between the flashy clothes and wide house, it was an unexpected scene… but it was a warm sight.
Three people and a runaway child stood there looking at each other.
‘Life is unfair, I mean it!’
‘Look at him, doing so well!’
Even Chung Myung trembled at the sight.
’Look at this guy! Why was I reborn as a beggar!?“
If Chung Myung had been born into this family, then everything would have been ten times easier!
Like this, a member of Mount Hua reunited with his family.
And the other four disciples looked on at their happiness with hurting stomachs.
Chung Myung looked at the rare and richly plated dishes in front of him and glared at Jo Gul.
Jo Gul recoiled from the sharp gaze.
“You must have had a lot of money?”
“Kuak, I didn’t even know this! The young master of a wealthy family! Right, you are a young master! I had no idea!”
Jo Gul coughed.
“When it comes to a sect, everyone is on the same level. Does it matter what family we came from?”
“It matters! I have no home!”
“I don’t have one either.”
When Baek Cheon slightly hesitated to speak, Chung Myung said,
“It’s fine, sasuk. Because you were kicked out too.”
“On my feet! I left with my own feet!”
Chung Myung neatly ignored Baek Cheon’s words and continued to make a fuss.
“You had so much money but didn’t give a penny while Mount Hua was ruined, right?”
“Ah-no! I’m not old enough to spend my family’s money! Do you think this is my money? Is that my money?”
“You can request a favor! Even enemies can give each other food when requested!”
Jo Gul’s stomach flipped at their sharp gazes.
They didn’t know the situation as well as they thought.
At that time, Jo Gul knew Mount Hua was suffering, but if he had asked his father to support the sect with his family’s money, then his father would have run to Mount Hua right away and dragged him back home.
His father is a merchant.
He would never spend even a dime on a failing sect that held no value as an investment.
Seeing that Jo Gul was troubled, Baek Cheon intervened.
“Let’s not overdo it. We just misunderstood each other, and it doesn’t seem like you were hiding it intentionally.”
But the public opinion wasn’t good.
“Look at how the children with families help each other!”
“We’re all orphans here.”
Baek Cheon coughed with a flushed face.
“No! It isn’t like that! That isn’t important right now. What is important is finding a way to Yunnan! Right?”
Chung Myung, who was worried there wouldn’t be a Mount Hua to return to if they did something bad or failed to get to Yunnan, eventually held back a sigh and spoke.
“So, what did your father say?’
“I haven’t spoken to him yet.”
“That is a little….”
Jo Gul took a deep breath.
“The deadline I originally promised to stay in Mount Hua has already passed. I should have already returned to the family last year to help with work.”
“Then why didn’t you go back?”
‘Because you showed up.’
But Jo Gul couldn’t possibly say that to Chung Myung.
“Anyway, things happened. So now my father thinks I’m back here for the family’s sake. I need to clear up that misunderstanding first.”
“No, it’s fine. We just need to go.”
“What are you saying! I am a disciple of Mount Hua! Even if it means death, I will follow you to Yunnan!”
“Oh my, what can we say to a man of high status?”
Chung Myung shrugged his shoulders while Yoon Jong whispered and secretly asked.
“Is Jo Gul’s status very high?”
“Tch tch. Sahyung, can’t you tell despite seeing him this close? I don’t know what it means but looking at the scale of this place, it doesn’t seem to lag too far behind Eunha Guild, right? Then, Jo Gul sahyung is at least on a similar level as the young master of Eunha merchant guild!”
Chung Myung spoke firmly and pointed to Jo Gul.
“So, Jo Gul sahyung is at the level of a young master to the guild… wait. Thinking about it, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal?”
“I feel the same way.”
When they thought of Hwang Jongi, who would always bow until his head touched the ground upon visiting Mount Hua, Jo Gul’s status seemed to plummet in their minds.
“Ah, this isn’t such a big deal.”
“Eh, how great can you be?”
“Ha. Jo Gul looks friendly again.”
If Hwang Jongi had heard the disciples of Mount Hua talking like this, he would die of a heart attack.
And in response, Jo Gul also began to tremble.
It was burdensome that they began to look at him differently, but when he was ignored again like this, he felt strangely angry.
Jo Gul sighed and spoke.
“I’m going to have dinner with my family later, so I will ask about Yunnan, sasuk.”
Baek Cheon nodded.
“It won’t be easy, but please take care of it. Whether we negotiate with the Nanman Beast Palace or we hide and pilfer from their land, we need to know about Yunnan and everything about it.”
“If there is anything we need to do, just tell me.”
Jo Gul looked at them and turned around as he sighed.
“Have someone downstairs fetch me some alcohol.”
“Tch. Come on, young master, don’t ignore me. Why not ask for alcohol? Normally I wouldn’t ask, but after they served us this much food, we need something to drink on the side. Something expensive!”
“Sahyung. I will tell you again!”
Chung Myung spoke with a serious face.
“Make sure they bring expensive ones!”
This sly ghost…
No one can catch him.
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