Jo Pyung was in disbelief.
He had won.
His son, Jo Gul, had won against Tang Zhan.
But Jo Pyung couldn’t accept what he had seen.
Who was Tang Zhan?
The Sichuan Tang family ruled Sichuan. Tang Zhan was the direct descendant of that family, where only blood was valued.
Their ability wasn’t something that needed to be further verified, and it was a family with a name outside Sichuan.
But now, his son had defeated him?
‘How did this happen?’
He didn’t send his son to Mount Hua because he had some hidden talent in swords.
‘He must have had talent.’
‘Wasn’t that why he sent his son, who was supposed to be a merchant to a sect? He did indeed have talent.’
But was that talent enough to defeat a direct child of the Tang family?
Jo Pyung wasn’t convinced at all. He couldn’t help but underestimate his son. A merchant was a person whose job was to accurately judge the value of others.
Although Jo Gul was his cherished child, Jo Pyung knew that Jo Gul didn’t have amazing talent.
But this son of his had struck down his opponent.
And that too… Tang Zhan.
He knew he had to say something now, but it wasn’t that easy.
At that moment, Jo Gul retrieved his sword and put it back into the sheath, and then turned around.
And Jo Pyung looked in the direction he walked towards with a smile.
“Sasuk. I won.”
“Right, Jo Gul!”
“I, I won… ah, what is… this? When did I bleed… so much… sasuk I feel a little dizzy…”
“Eik! Sasuk! Blood keeps coming out of Jo Gul’s neck! Isn’t he going to die from this?”
“Practitioners! Healers! Come here and help right now!”
While Baek Cheon and Yoon Jong were worried about what they had to do, Yu Yiseol hurriedly stepped ahead and grabbed Jo Gul’s neck to stop the bleeding.
“Ah, sago, I am fine…”
“Don’t talk. You will faint.”
Jo Gul’s face was pale. Although he did win, he bled too much from the injury to his neck. It seemed like the last blade had cut a blood vessel.
Chung Myung approached him by clicking his tongue and pressed two places in Jo Gul’s neck.
And the blood began to stop flowing.
“Oh my, an inch more, and you would have died.”
“What are you saying!”
“Always saying something evil! You evil bastard! Ghost!”
Chung Myung pouted at the intense reaction to his words.
“I was just stating the truth.”
Baek Cheon and Yoon Jong groaned, but Jo Gul laughed.
“You like this?”
“Like it that much?”
“Then give me a nyang.”
“Right, I will lend… yah, idiot!”
“Ehh. Didn’t fall for it.”
Chung Myung clicked his tongue.
He wanted to have a little more fun, but seeing Jo Gul smile like he had won everything in the world, his motivation to tease him dropped considerably.
Even when he defeated the Wudang disciples, even when they obtained the pill, Jo Gul hadn’t looked this happy.
‘For Jo Gul sahyung, this had to have been a big wall.’
As long as he manages to get up the wall, Jo Gul will continue to grow.
When it came to talent for the sword, Jo Gul was second to none in Mount Hua. In the absence of Chung Myung, the reputation of Mount Hua’s First Sword would have been passed from Baek Cheon to Jo Gul.
‘It would be nice if he could bloom a bit more.’
It wasn’t just the sword that had to make the plum blossoms bloom. The people of Mount Hua also had to bloom.
Chung Myung shook his head.
The three people of the Tang family. Among them, Tang Zhan, was still unable to process the defeat and stood staring at the air.
“You won’t go?”
“Or do you need another verification?”
Tang Zhan bit his lip.
He had a lot to say. But it made no sense to speak anything in this situation.
Neither Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon nor the Righteous Sword of Hua was behind it. He was defeated by Jo Gul, who didn’t even have a title yet.
This was an utter defeat.
Tang Zhan clenched his fist. He felt humiliation and defeat. A number of unknown emotions were swirling within him.
When he thought about how his position in the family would fall because of this, he felt dizzy.
It was then.
Tang Zhan raised his head.
He saw the figure of Chung Myung holding out a bottle towards him.
“It is best to have a drink when you feel down. Gulp it down.”
Tang Zhan looked shocked.
‘Is this one making fun of me?’
He thought this guy was unusual, but he didn’t think he would go to this extent…
“Did you think you’d never even once lose in your life?”
Tang Zhan’s eyes widened at those words.
Chung Myung’s words struck his heart. But Tang Zhan wasn’t going to admit to it right away.
“What are you talking about? I am not that arrogant. Even in my family, there are plenty of older brothers who are stronger than me.”
“Right. Older brothers.”
Chung Myung smiled bitterly.
“You never thought that you’d lose to someone younger than you. Or even to someone who was close to your age.”
“There are a lot of people stronger than you right now, but you thought that you’d always be able to catch up to them, didn’t you?”
Tang Zhan didn’t say anything and stayed silent.
Seeing that, Chung Myung grinned.
‘Why wouldn’t he?’
All the people who were his age would have similar thoughts. The dream to become the best in the world someday was attainable if their growth was like this.
Of course, Chung Myung was the same.
‘I will really not lose, but….’
However, most of those who think that they couldn’t lose… One day they would experience defeat. One day they would learn to accept their limitations. But…
“Do you think someone who has never lost can ever become stronger?”
Tang Zhan looked at Chung Myung and flinched.
He no longer looked like a playful figure. The light in Ching Myung’s eyes as he was looking at him from the side had the power to make even the most powerful person in the world hold their breath.
“When a wound heals, the flesh gets stronger. Conversely, an uninjured body doesn’t grow.”
Chung Myung shrugged.
“The choice is yours. Will you use these wounds of defeat as a stepping stone to get stronger? Or will you be bullied by this wound which has hurt your pride?”
Chung Myung held the bottle.
“What is your choice?”
Tang Zhan looked at Chung Myung and snatched the bottle from his hand, and gulped down its entire contents without hesitation.
Frowning at the taste of it, he returned the empty bottle to Chung Myung.
Chung Myung smiled and took the bottle from him.
Chung Myung, who drank from the other bottle, spoke.
“Well, this is nothing to be embarrassed about. Maybe it will be embarrassing for now, but you will grow out of it.”
Chung Myung glanced at Jo Gul.
“Soon, the world will know that losing to that man isn’t a shame.”
Tang Zhan bit his lip.
“I hope it happens like that.”
When Chung Myung turned away, Tang Zhan called him.
“Can I ask you one thing?”
Chung Myung looked back with a frown, and Tang Zhan asked.
“How strong are you?”
Chung Myung smiled.
“With your skills now, it will be difficult.”
“But we never know.”
Chung Myung spoke with a playful face.
“If the number of blades had been twelve instead of eleven, I would’ve had to be careful too.”
Tang Zhan looked at Chung Myung with a shocked face.
“How did you… know…”
“Well, that will also be known in the distant future. Anyway, try your best. Even if you cannot win over me, you can become the best in your family.”
Chung Myung waved his hand and turned around.
“The guests are going!”
And went inside the room he came from.
Baek Cheon, who watched it from the side, approached Tang Zhan.
“Excuse him. He is an unpredictable one.”
Tang Zhan shook his head. Strangely, he felt at ease.
‘It is unknown.’
He got his mind to ease with a few short words.
Tang Zhan looked at Baek Cheon.
“I apologize for our rudeness.”
“It is nothing.”
Baek Cheon also spoke back and bowed.
Still, Baek Cheon didn’t miss the look in Tang Zhan’s eyes.
‘It is strange.’
This was the first time Chung Myung had shown interest in someone other than his sect members. It wasn’t like he met many people of other sects, but…
All of a sudden, Baek Cheon’s eyes went to one place. The handd of Tang Zhan as he took off his glove.
He didn’t know it from afar, but when he looked up close, there were countless small wounds on his hands.
‘Was it because he worked hard?’
It was unknown. No one could ever know what went on in Chung Myung’s mind.
“We will head back for now.”
“Will it be fine?”
“Well… I don’t know. As I said, this is a family thing. I’ll just go back and report that I lost to Jo Gul. The family will decide what happens after that.”
Baek Cheon nodded.
Tang Zhan picked up the blades which had fallen to the floor and stored them.
Tang Myung lifted up the fallen Tang Ho and followed his brother.
The people of Mount Hua who watched it, sighed.
“It was like a storm.”
“Will the Tang family stand still, sahyung?”
Baek Cheon scratched his chin.
‘It is said that the Sichuan Tang family doesn’t forget even the smallest grudges.’
Tang Zhan seemed to have found peace, but his will couldn’t represent the will of his family. Regardless of what he wanted, the lord would be the one deciding things.
Baek Cheon took a deep breath.
“He caused trouble again.”
Jo Gul and Yoon Jong looked at Baek Cheon as if it was absurd.
“The trouble was caused by sasuk…”
“Let’s head in. We need to heal your wound.”
“No. The one who made this… sasuk…”
“Ugh. You shouldn’t talk. Your wound is a grave one.”
Baek Cheon coughed and walked inside.
Yu Yiseol and the other disciples looked at each other,
“Doesn’t sasuk seem to be getting a little weird these days?”
“… these days? A little?”
“Ugh. What will happen to Mount Hua?”
The other three sighed at the same time.
Chung Myung, who went into the room to escape from the chaos, poured a drink into the glass in front of him.
And he quietly set the glass on the other side. Well, there was no one there. Chung Myung pretended to raise the bottle and smash it down on the glass as if someone was there.
“It was similar.”
Chung Myung smiled.
The appearance of Tang Zhan reminded him of the old days.
A long time ago. A very long time.
Right. A very long time ago.
-No, taoist hyung! I asked you to leave me a share too! Because there is no one better at sticking knives in the backs of those demons than me! *
-Because of this damn bastard, Sichuan has been devastated! I am never going to send them back nicely! *
-Hyung, are you seriously a taoist? No, what I mean is the more I see hyung with me, the more you feel like a hypocrite… no, put that sword down for a second! What kind of person speaks with a sword and not with a mouth! Ack!
-Hyung… Tang family…. Tang family… my family… look after… them…
Chung Myung put the bottle down a little rough and closed his eyes. Mount Hua risked everything to fight the Demonic Sect.
But in the long run, was it only the lives of Mount Hua’s disciples that had been risked?
‘I am sorry.’
‘In the end, I couldn’t keep your request to take care of your Tang family. Because Chung Myung also died. It can be said that the Tang family was protected because he died by defeating the Heavenly Demon, but…’
Chung Myung knew. That alone couldn’t be considered to have kept the promise he had made.
“Your technique continues.”
It was still eleven in the hands of the kids, but the day will come when the twelfth one would be used by the hands of the Tang family.
“Of course, for me, Mount Hua is the priority.”
“Don’t worry. Even if the Tang family ends up getting hit this time, I will be here to take care of it at least once.”
I promise this to your face.
Chung Myung picked up the glass he put to the side and drank it. Then he put it down and immediately refilled it.
“Let’s have a drink. Though it doesn’t taste the same as in the past.”
A bitter smile appeared on the corner of Chung Myung’s lips.
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