Baek Cheon looked at Chung Myung with a puzzled expression on his face.
He did expect that something like this would happen, but…
‘No, he disappeared for a while when we were eating, and this is what he says after he comes back? A tale of an alliance?’
‘And that too, an alliance between the Mount Hua Sect and the Tang family?’
Yoon Jong had his mouth open as he said.
“Ah-no. Wait a minute. Can we just make such decisions on our own?”
To be precise, the Sect Leader had told them that they could make decisions as they pleased, but Yoon Jong wasn’t able to calm himself.
“Why can’t we? We have sasuk here, don’t we?”
“Baek Cheon sasuk? What about the sasuk?”
“Did you forget? When we were on our way out, the sect leader said that he entrusted the power of Mount Hua to Baek Cheon sasuk.”
‘He did. He obviously said it.’
“You used that in here?”
Baek Cheon’s eyes widened.
“Ah-Wait. We don’t even know what will happen in the Nanman Beast palace!”
Hyun Jong’s intention to entrust all the authority to Baek Cheon was so that the disciples of Mount Hua could move with confidence, especially since the communication between the two places wasn’t that smooth.
Forming an alliance with the Tang family couldn’t have ever been in the calculations of the sect leader.
“Yah! What would the sect leader say if he knew we made an alliance like this?”
“He will be happy? Hehehe!”
“Right. Of course, he will… no! Damn it! He wouldn’t!”
Baek Cheon grabbed his head.
‘Please! One step at a time, Chung Myung! Don’t keep jumping up! Just one step!’
‘The people who are following you, you should think about them too! What kind of alliance are you signing up for after just having a meal?’
Baek Cheon took a deep breath.
The disciples of Mount Hua were all dumbfounded.
This was an alliance with the Tang family.
Who would have imagined things would come this far? Who here didn’t know that the Tang family had a good view of Chung Myung?
If Chung Myung did something bad, Baek Cheon would have to fix it. Putting off the shock aside, he took a deep breath to digest the news.
‘The results aren’t that bad.’
‘No, it isn’t just that. This was a huge benefit.’
‘If the Tang family, one of the Five Great Families, can be obtained as an ally, Mount Hua can truly grow wings.’
To be honest, it was hard to understand why the Tang Family forged an alliance with Mount Hua. So, welcoming them with two hands wasn’t enough…
Baek Cheon frowned.
‘Things in this world cannot be this simple.’
Baek Cheon, who had thought that, opened his mouth in a serious tone.
“First of all, you did well.”
Baek Cheon looked at Chung Myung and nodded his head.
“I don’t know if you talked this through with the Lord, but it is a good thing that we managed to get this kind of result. It was an outcome of your hard work.”
“Sasuk. Did you eat something wrong?”
“Maybe the food of Sichuan didn’t sit well with you? Or did you get hit with poison from the Tang family? Why are you saying things you have never said before?”
‘Can’t this stupid brat take a compliment?’
Baek Cheon, who was walking back, took a deep breath and suppressed his anger, and spoke as calmly as he could.
“But there is something off.”
“Mount Hua has traditionally been alone for generations, even in the past. It means that there is no history of them holding hands with any of the Five Great Families. It isn’t like you don’t know about the subtle conflicts of the Nine Great Sects and the Five Great Families.”
“Well, that’s right.”
Chung Myung shrugged his shoulders.
There was no way he didn’t know.
Wasn’t that why he decided to hold hands with the Tang family in the first place? To break down the conflicts? Although they weren’t officially a part of any of the factions, the Nine Great Sects and the Five Great Families, who had no enemies in this time period, were always aiming for one another.
“If we work with the Tang family, it may be of great help to the present Mount Hua, but it may become a problem for Mount Hua one day when we go back to being a part of the Nine Great Sects.”
Baek Cheon looked at Chung Myung and said,
“Have you thought that far before you did this?”
Chung Myung looked at Baek Cheon with strange eyes.
“Sasuk, I have something to ask you.”
“What is so good about returning to the Nine Great Sects?”
Baek Cheon looked at Chung Myung like he couldn’t understand his question.
Chung Myung titled his head.
“Can’t you find any good reason?”
Baek Cheon hesitated.
It wasn’t that he didn’t think about it. It was because he couldn’t think of what to say.
“The reputation of being one of the Nine Great Sects has more of a ripple effect than you think. Even if everything is set aside, we can gather excellent disciples, and speaking of our power, it will definitely increase in the world. And…”
“Is that worth more than the alliance with the Tang family?”
“Right now, the benefits with the alliance are huge. However, if you choose to have an alliance, it is probably something to be done with a member of the Nine Great Sects rather than one of the Five Great…”
“Does sasuk have no pride?”
Baek Cheon narrowed his eyes.
“What are you talking about?”
“Who kicked us out of the Nine Great Sects?”
It was the Nine Great Sects.
It was those bastards!
“Those bastards kicked us out of the union. But now that we are getting stronger, will they come and ask us to take our seat in the union again? As if they want us to forget everything they did to us in the past?”
“No! I am not that kind of person!”
Chung Myung’s eyes were shining brightly as he spoke.
“Are you going to bow your heads to those bastards?”
“Don’t joke around!”
“After risking my life! No! After giving up all the lives in our Mount Hua to save other people, those bastards are the people who didn’t even reciprocate the grace we had shown to them!”
If Daode Tianzun had experienced something like this, he would have struck Baek Cheon on the back of his heads with his staff. But because it was Chung Myung, he was holding back. 1
“Don’t have strange thoughts, sasuk. If those old men were in a state where they helped those who needed help, Mount Hua wouldn’t have been like this.”
Baek Cheon shut his mouth.
There was nothing wrong with Chung Myung’s words. If the Nine Great Sects had helped them even just a little, Mount Hua wouldn’t have fallen this far.
Chung Myung had no intention of rejoining their union. He knew the sects were all a façade.
‘I don’t care if they call themselves the Nine Great Sects One Union.’
The important thing was to have people who help you when you need it, and not a superficial relationship that always aimed for the others’ backs.
“Then you mean, unlike the Nine Great Sects, the relationship with the Tang family can help us in our time of need?”
“We should make it so.”
Chung Myung said firmly.
“There is no such thing as a relationship which only gives gains. There are only relationships of equal exchange. And the Tang family are people who will help Mount Hua when we need them the most.”
Baek Chen looked at Chung Myung and nodded his head.
‘If he thinks like that, then…’
Baek Cheon sighed.
It wasn’t easy for him to accept Chung Myung’s opinion. Because for him, Chung Myung was the most trusted person but, at the same time, the most untrustworthy one too.
“There is nothing we lose from this, right?”
Chung Myung looked at Baek Cheon.
“What can we lose from an alliance?”
“Aren’t you being too overconfident in the sect? Mount Hua is a sect that has just made its way out of the shithole we were in. A beggar doesn’t get rich just because he picked up a couple of gold ingots.”
Baek Cheon groaned.
He was right.
Although good things have happened recently, Mount Hua is still a sect that is on the verge of ruin. It hadn’t regained its former glory yet. If one looked at it calmly, it made no sense for even the Five Great Families to reach out to Mount Hua.
Baek Cheon, who was constantly in thought, soon nodded his head.
“Let’s go ahead with it then.”
“Are you fine?”
Yu Yiseol and Yoon Jong raised their voices at Baek Cheon’s decision.
But Baek Cheon was adamant about his decision.
“Calm down. I was scared because he was the one who brought up the alliance. If it is like this, it is still good news.”
It doesn’t matter how much they gained from this alliance.
“Is it really okay for us to decide this on our own without asking the elders?”
Baek Cheon frowned.
“It isn’t that I haven’t thought of that. But the timing is also an important thing. If we waste our time here, then we will ruin the alliance.”
“After all, I have the authority that was given to me by the sect leader. Nevertheless, we should quickly write the alliance terms and send them to Mount Hua! Chung Myung will check if what is written is right.”
“Is this really fine?”
“I will take all responsibility.”
Yoon Jong nodded at Baek Cheon’s words.
Baek Cheon glanced at Chung Myung.
He really was one.
What would the grownups do?
-Hmm. This isn’t normal. I might have to take some time and think about… *
-Think what? It says that the Tang family wants an alliance with Mount Hua! Who are we to even worry about the damned conditions! Chung Myung is helping us out again! Don’t get too caught up with your stupid questions, and say yes right away!
Baek Cheon smiled as he thought about what would likely happen.
‘Even if there is a problem, elder Hyun Young will solve it!’
Once he comes to know Chung Myung was the one who did it, he would make sure to go all out in support of him! So, this shouldn’t be too far from it.
“Then, is the work with the Tang family done?”
“Yes. Now we need to head to Yunnan.”
Chung Myung looked at Jo Gul.
“Sahyung. Are the preparations for heading to Yunnan done?”
Jo Gul’s face changed in an instant.
“C-Chung Myung. The thing is.”
“Uh? Why? Did they leave?”
Cold sweat formed on Jo Gul’s forehead.
“There is no one going.”
“… what? Last time we were told to join the group heading to Yunnan, right?”
“That… my father lied to us to get us out of Chengdu.”
“It is said that he gathered the merchants and asked them to accompany us till the top and then make us come down. So…”
“To fake the climb?”
Jo Gul glanced at Chung Myung.
Knowing that Jo Pyung had lied, he knew how ruthless the words from Chung Myung would be. But the words from Chung Myung were different.
“A real merchant. Even in that situation, he was trying to avoid it by lying.”
‘A compliment? Or was it an insult?’
“Well. He was worried for his son. It can happen. Anyway, are there no groups heading to Yunnan?”
“No, no! There are. But because heading to Yunnan is a huge thing and there is a limit to it, it is said that it would take a month before a new group forms.”
“Can’t we bring it forward?”
“Even if we do try, it wouldn’t be too fast.”
“Um, then we will be late…”
Chung Myung scratched his head.
A lot of time was wasted because of the Tang family. Delaying it anymore would become difficult, and the sect leader and the elders in Mount Hua must have already started waiting for them to come back.
Baek Cheon also frowned at this and was perhaps thinking the same thing.
“Can’t we use another group heading there?”
“It won’t be easy. The ascent to Yunnan is for limited people. Only a handful of merchant unions have the rights to participate, and if anything goes wrong, they can never ever trade with Yunnan again.”
It was unreasonable to put this pressure on Jo Gul’s father.
“Well, then there is nothing we can do but solve it ourselves.”
Everyone turned to Chung Myung.
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t worry. We don’t have to worry.”
Chung Myung smirked.
“Wouldn’t friends help us at such times?”
Jo Gul looked at Chung Myung with blank eyes.
Tang Gunak closed his eyes tightly.
He was in his own office.
He wondered if there were any people with such a temper in the family, but no one could dare open the office of the Lord like that. Especially without even announcing who it was.
“I have one more condition!”
Tang Gunak, who was shocked when the door was kicked open… no, at the person who came in, asked.
“No, it isn’t a condition but a request! Please find a way for us to head to Yunnan! We need to go to Yunnan!”
“Since we don’t have much time, hurry! Please!”
Apparently, the word ‘please’ was used differently in Shaanxi than in Sichuan.
The person requesting him for a favor was shouting at him as if he had the upper hand!
“…just until Yunnan?”
“No. We need to go deeper. To the Nanman Beast Palace!”
Chung Myung smiled as he looked at the man.
“I heard that it wouldn’t be easy. Still, if it is the Tang family, it can be done, right? Eh, you are the Tang family, so it should be fine.”
“It is possible, right?”
Tang Gunak’s face seemed as if he had his soul drained from him.
“… better you kill me. You rotten human!”
For the first time in his life, Tang Gunak regretted having the position of the Lord.
Daode Tianzun, also known as Taishang Laojun is a high Taoist god. He is the Taiqing which is one of the Three Pure Ones, the highest divinities of Taoism. Laozi is regarded to be a manifestation of Daode Tianzun, who authored the classic Tao Te Ching. ↩️
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