Two people were running within the Tang family compound.
“Disciple Chung Myung! Stop there!”
Tang Soso was holding her skirt and rushed behind Chung Myung. But Chung Myung ran without even looking back.
“Let’s talk for a moment! Wait! If we talk, you will change your mind! I will give you alcohol! Look here!”
“You drink it!”
Chung Myung spoke resolutely.
‘What is this!’
‘Ahh, this is so freaking annoying!’
“Stop and just stand still! Yah, brat! Why are you running?”
Chung Myung, who rushed straight to the door, closed it behind him. And then after closing it, he looked around.
‘She must have stopped.’
No matter how much she was following him, she couldn’t have come this far. And as he sat on the ground, Chung Myung sighed.
The eyes of Tang Gunak and Chung Myung met.
“You are here?”
A subtle emotion was exchanged between the two.
“For now… take a seat.”
Chung Myung sat across Tang Gunak. And the man pushed the teapot towards Chung Myung.
“Would you like some tea?”
“It is fine. My body is hot.”
“It will help you cool down.”
Chung Myung poured the tea into the glass and drank it.
He put the cup down and looked at Tang Gunak.
“… all this is good.”
“What kind of person tries to get his daughter married to a taoist? No, regardless of how blood is thicker than water, aren’t you being too blatant about this?”
Tang Gunak’s expression crumbled.
Seeing that, Chung Myung tilted his head.
“Isn’t this something the Lord aimed for?”
“I wouldn’t give you my daughter even if I was blind!”
The atmosphere changed.
“Wait! Then why is she like that?”
“How can I know?”
Tang Gunak grabbed his thigh.
-Ah, I will do it! Please introduce me! Only an introduction! Or would my father rather have me go ahead and marry an old man on his deathbed? All you have to do is close your eyes and introduce me!
Tang Gunak grabbed his head and looked at Chung Myung.
Sure, he was Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon. From the point of view of the Tang family, there could be nothing better than being related to such a person. First, wasn’t Chung Myung aiming to be the best? Wasn’t that why the Tang Family was ready to extend their relations with Mount Hua?
‘He is young now, but in 10 years, even my grandfather will not be able to take him down if he comes back alive.’
And it was rare for a young person have so much power.
Besides, wasn’t the background of Mount Hua good for the Tang family as well? Now it was a place which would make any merchant’s mouth water.
But from a father’s point of view.
‘Will I give my daughter to him?’
As a human being, giving his daughter to Chung Myung wasn’t an option.
‘Unless my eyes go blind, I will never see that happen by my own vilition!’
Tang Gunak’s eyes shone.
His daughter had been nurtured carefully and wasn’t it any father’s wish for their daughter to meet a nice man and live happily ever after?
Even when other sects had visited him for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and even when the elders of the family nagged at him, he had protected her.
But now? To Chung Myung?
“Don’t even dream.”
“No, you brought her to me and introduced her!”
“I did it because she asked me to!”
Chung Myung was puzzled.
“I feel like dying as I am saying this! How can I even do introduce her to you willingly?”
He had no intention of doing it, but now that he was angry, he even began to berate Chung Myung.
And Tang Gunak looked cold.
“You really are a good warrior.”
“But you aren’t a good human.”
How many times in both his lives had Chung Myung have to hear this statement which he found so hard to refute?
“Uh… that… uh…”
He was a sharp man.
“A father doesn’t want his daughter to be with a strong man, but a good man. But at the same time, my position as the Lord of the Tang family prevents me from saying no.”
Tang Gunak shrugged.
“So, I believe that Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon will handle this properly. So, are you ready?”
“Then let’s head into the topic. What do you want from Tang family?”
Chung Myung didn’t come here to avoid Tang Gunak’s daughter. He was here to negotiate with Tang Gunak.
He wiped the smile off his face and looked at Tang Gunak seriously.
“I think I should call sasuk.”
“Then we should move to a more appropriate place, but…”
Tang Gunak smiled.
“…but coming in here wouldn’t be easy with the person outside.”
Chung Myung shook his head.
‘Such a funny one.’
He seemed supremely pragmatic in nature, and he clung to the concept of sacrificing things for the sake of the family name, but was still ready to play with words.
‘He is different from Tang Bo.’
Well, the person in charge of the Tang family couldn’t be someone like Tang Bo. Because of his immense talent in martial arts, Tang Bo had held the position of elder in the Tang family, and it wouldn’t be strange if he had been expelled from the family for not doing his role right.
“Well, fine. First of all…”
Chung Myung looked at Tang Gunak and said,
“Let’s do it right. Do you want to form an alliance with Mount Hua?”
“It is not with Mount Hua but you.”
“But I am inseparable from Mount Hua.”
“I know. I know that truth very well. If I can get you, I am ready to form an alliance with Mount Hua.”
Tang Gunak smiled.
“Supporting Mount Hua isn’t difficult. Don’t forget that the Tang family has a high status.”
Chung Myung smiled while watching Tang Gunak.
“So, you will support the entire Mount Hua Sect for just one person?”
“It is overkill. But it is worth it.”
“Hahaha. As expected from the Lord.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means you are good at lying.”
Tang Gunak’s face changed.
“… what does that mean?”
“Ahh. Don’t look at me with that expression. I’m not talking about the alliance that the Sichuan Tang family will form with Mount Hua. But the attitude you have as if you are doing us some charity is offensive.”
Tang Gunak looked at Chung Myung.
“You are still young, so you don’t seem to see the full picture of the situation. Of course, you have excellent strength, but there are a lot of possibilities which can happen in the future.”
Of course, for Chung Myung, he knew what would happen, but Tang Gunak couldn’t be sure of it.
“Considering that, Mount Hua cannot be on the equal footing with the Tang family. And even if you become the best in the world, it won’t change.”
“Sure, that is the right way to think.”
“But you expect us to treat you as equals? For what?”
Chung Myung smiled.
“Why are you doing this? Tang family’s Lord. Negotiations aren’t made between equals. It is between those who have needs.”
“Mount Hua doesn’t need the Tang family. It is Tang family which wants Mount Hua.”
Tang Gunak frowned.
‘What did the child know to say this?’
Chung Myung, who looked at him, got up. And then walked around, leaned back onto the wall and pulled down the map of Sichuan which was hanging there.
He took the map and spread it out on the table and pointed to the Sichuan Tang family.
“This is the Tang family.”
“I have eyes.”
“And down here is Emei Sect.”
“And on the top, there is the Qingcheng Sect. If you go to the right, there is the Wudang Sect. Above that is the Southern Edge sect. Ah, of course, we have the Diancang sect too, but that is pretty far away. Having the Diancang sect doesn’t really matter.”
Tang Gunak looked at Chung Myung in a different light.
There was no playfulness in the expressions of Chung Myung, and he had a face that said that he was being serious.
“Are you serious now?”
And Chung Myung was looking calmly at him.
‘There is no way the Lord of the Tang family can be this lax.’
He didn’t like how Tang Gunak displayed his conviction that his family came first, but like Tang Bo, Tang Gunak was also handling things too lightly.
But once the position of Lord was handed down to him, he changed to become someone who couldn’t be overtaken.
And what Tang Gunak wanted was clear.
If he had nothing to gain, he wouldn’t have shown such favor to Chung Myung.
“What are you trying to say?”
“Aren’t you being crafty?”
“You are blocked from all sides. The old sects have power equal to the Tang family and some of them are greater than your family. And with the beggars all around Sichuan…”
Chung Myung looked at the map and said,
“You aren’t able to breathe.”
Tang Gunak tried to stay calm.
“You seem to be misunderstanding something. Our relationship with our hometown isn’t bad. Rather, you can call us colleagues.”
Chung Myung shrugged his shoulders.
“That was until the Demonic Sect was defeated.”
In an instant, Tang Gunak’s eyes changed.
Chung Myung continued to speak.
“When there is a common enemy people unite. But when the enemy disappears? Those who have united will have no other choice but to go their own ways according to their interests and find a new enemy… even if they had been allies they had previously fought with.”
“The other sects cannot be a problem. The Southern Island Sect, the Peng family and the Moyoung family are in the east. And they can help each other. But what about the Tang family?”
“… in the west.”
“Yes. And the old sects are taking the path to lead new generations. In other words, no matter what the Five Great Families are, in the end, the Tang family is bound to be alone, right?”
Tang Gunak didn’t answer.
It was because what Chung Myung said was accurate and it was absurd how this child could interpret it, but Tang Gunak remained silent.
And with a heavy sigh he said.
“In a way the Tang family is under siege.”
“Calling you the local ‘gods’ is a good way to put it, but from another persepective, you have no way out of this place. Everyone will band together for Sichuan.”
Chung Myung pointed his finger to the middle of the Central Plains.
“Am I wrong?”
“It doesn’t matter if you say no. It doesn’t matter if you are surrounded and is under pressure from all sides, because this isn’t a situation that the Tang family would willingly bring upon itself. This is why you need a friend. A friend to keep them in check. But wait! Just there…”
Chung Myung moved his finger.
The place he pointed to was an isolated place.
Behind the Southern Edge and Wudang Sects.
“Hehe. Quite clever, right? Why is Mount Hua there? It is shockingly nice to have Mount Hua here so that it can keep the Wudang and the Southern Edge sects in check, right? It is so strangely convenient.”
Tang Gunak’s face went stiff at Chung Myung’s calm words.
‘How is this child able to know that?’
Seeing Tang Gunak go stiff, Chung Myung smiled.
“Ehh. Don’t get so nervous. This isn’t such a huge thing. Well.”
“Can I ask one thing?’
“When did you know all this?”
Chung Myung shrugged.
“When Lord Tang came to know we had come to Sichuan.”
Only then did Tang Gunak realize.
‘I saw this guy in the wrong way.’
He wasn’t a muscle-brained monster.
This guy was a sly snake hiding in its hole
And perhaps, at this place today, the snake had caught Tang Gunak by the neck.
Tang Gunak felt a chill run down his spine as he realized he was in the palm of Chung Mung all along.
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