Settled beneath Mount Hua, it was one of the largest villages in Shaanxi.
In the past, when Mount Hua’s name echoed loudly throughout the world, the village was full of energy, and the harmonious relationship with the sect played a vital role in that. The peddlers continued to line up to visit Hua-Um village, and those who wanted to see Mount Hua arrived unceasingly.
Thanks to that, Hua-Um village never had a shortage of customers to buy their wares, and it made a name for itself by depending on Mount Hua.
But time makes fools of all men.
Mount Hua began to decline, and its name faded from memory; as such, the life in Hua-Um village began to bleed out. However, the Tae-Hua Pavilion, the main base, still held firm. And now, on the top floor of this esteemed location, dozens of merchants were gathered.
Huge smiles broke out.
“Sect Leader seemed flustered. Did you see that face of his?”
“Very flustered. After all, we’ve finally issued an ultimatum.”
“Of course, it was too much! The coins they took alone was 100,000 nyang! Many sects would double over at such wealth; their operations should have increased at least two-fold! We extended our hands to help because of our ancestors’ relationships, but they should have at least had some conscience and paid it back!”
“Right. A man should have a sense of propriety.”
The owner of Tae Hua, Kong Mun-Yeon, nodded as he smiled.
“Even though I am a merchant here, I must admit that it was unpleasant having to issue such commands to a place with deep connections to my ancestors.”
“What do you mean, owner Kong! Owner Kong did as much as he could. In the first place, despite breaching the contract and missing the reimbursement date several times, you still offered them several extensions and opportunities to repay their debts.”
“Right. No one can blame you for that. We should be praising you for the mercy you showed.”
“I am glad to hear such support.”
Owner Kong leaned and drank from his glass. But inside, he was ridiculing those around him.
Well, thankfully, he could live such a simple life.
‘Mount Hua is full of potential.’
The true power of Mount Hua didn’t come from its present force. The most important thing about Mount Hua was the history it had.
When such a clan continued to exist for hundreds of years, there were people who would build relationships with it whether they wanted to or not. At least in Shaanxi, it was difficult to find people who had no connection with Mount Hua.
The current Mount Hua is but a speck compared to its former glory; even if it disappears, few people will so much as give a damn.
But the most important thing is what would happen next.
Once people realize that Mount Hua disappeared, more and more will want to find out ‘why’. If the cause is unjust and they can’t show adequate reasoning, then this Hua village could be destroyed instantly.
Most of those connected with Mount Hua were people of high status.
‘But it will be fine.’
Because his plan was a prolonged and effective one. Mount Hua has reached a simmering boil over time, like a duck whose flesh can be torn with mere chopsticks.
“But owner Kong.”
“What do you plan on doing with Mount Hua?”
Owner Kong smiled.
“Mount Hua is more meaningful than you might think. It may be old and fallen, but it’s a good deal.”
“I don’t get it.”
Owner Kong’s expression was nearly distorted, but he succeeded in keeping an amicable appearance.
“Don’t underestimate the power that Mount Hua’s name holds. Even if it is used as a tourist destination, many people will want to visit.”
Yu Jong-San, who sold silk, had a crumpled up expression as he spoke.
“How much does it cost to rebuild Mount Hua? Wouldn’t it be better to get something else?”
“We don’t need anything more.”
Owner Kong pursed his lips.
“You don’t have to worry much. I don’t wish to disclose it now, but there is certainly a place which will offer enough compensation for that location even if there’s nothing left of it.”
“You think so? For Mount Hua to be loved like—”
“It is the other way around.”
Yu Jong-San nodded as if he understood.
A sect that would want to erase the presence of Mount Hua would buy it for a high price just to destroy it. And they could think of a couple sects already.
“So, don’t worry. We will get our money.”
“Kuahaha! As if I was worried. We always believed in you, Owner Kong.”
“Of course! We merchants always believed and followed you!”
Kong Mun-Yeon nodded with a smile.
But his heart held different thoughts.
‘I can’t handle doing business with these people anymore.’
This was a dying land. When Mount Hua rose to fame in the world, this place flourished, but there was nothing left anymore. Because of their deep connections to Mount Hua, they had stayed, now they were slowly decaying husks, soon to be empty shells of their former selves.
In the first place, Hua-Um village wasn’t the main attraction here, so not many people came anymore. Nevertheless, the only reason they were able to stay and live was because of the money they earned when Mount Hua flourished.
If Mount Hua vanished entirely, this village was as good as dead.
‘Before it is too late, I need to organize and leave.’
If he can try and get a lot of money by selling Mount Hua, he could move and establish himself elsewhere. To do that…
At that moment, Kong Mun-Yeon turned his head.
“Who is it?”
As soon as he shouted, the guards who were there ran out.
“Who is there?”
“Is someone there?”
Kon Mun-Yeon didn’t answer and waited for the guards to come back.
Eventually, the guards returned.
“No one was there.”
When Kong Mun-Yeon didn’t say anything, Yu Jong-San spoke with a smile.
“Owner Kong. Aren’t we on the top floor of the Tae Hua Pavilion? Who could even come here?”
“Right. And if there was someone, they would have been found. Where would they even hide up here?”
Kong Mun-Yeon nodded his head.
‘Was I being over cautious?’
It could be. He wouldn’t need to wait much more until his long-cherished wishes were going to come true.
“I seem to be tired. I want to enjoy it a little more, but I think it would be right to end my enjoyment here.”
Everyone agreed with those words and got up. However, once the nerves were raging, they would rarely subside easily.
It seemed like he needed rest.
Yu Jong-San staggered as he walked down the street.
“Feels so good!”
It looks like he had a bit too much alcohol for the night. And his excitement hadn’t stopped.
‘So much money is about to come my way!’
The money they could get from Mount Hua is immense. The interest on the loan given to them has been compounding for so long that the initial amount is minuscule in comparison.
If just that could be recovered, he would never have to work again and could rest and play around for the remainder of his life.
Kong was an unreliable person, but he was serious when it came to matters of money. Regardless of what he planned behind the scenes, getting paid was what mattered for Yu Jong-San.
“The moon is bright… What? There is no moon? Eh.”
Yu Jong-San smiled and looked around. Instead of walking in a wide street, he had drunkenly stumbled into a dreary and lonesome alley. It was creepy.
He wasn’t thinking straight. If a robber came over now…
“You, wait there.”
Yu Jong-San closed and opened his eyes repeatedly.
Someone was blocking the dark alley. From the black clothes to the mask. Truly…
‘Like a robber.’
He was quite small for a robber, not too scary, but his intentions were clear. Still, do robbers usually commit robbery in those clothes? Wasn’t it too obvious?
‘The clothes are screaming that he is a robber.’
Yu Jong-sang smiled and opened his mouth.
“Am I being mugged?”
“I don’t care about money.”
The robber steps forward.
“If you answer my questions, I will send you away nicely.”
Yu Jong-San laughed.
“It isn’t that I don’t want to give you an answer, but I feel like it would be a bit difficult.”
With those words, he raised his head.
“You see, I have a lot of people with me. Because it isn’t safe to go around alone anymore.”
A group of men carrying swords appeared with a slight sound. They were guards secretly escorting the man.
“I’d love to answer your questions, but I don’t think doing so will make the merchants union happy.”
The robber just looked at the man. Yu Jong-San, who had sobered up, closed his mouth, and this time, one of his escorts spoke.
“What should I do? Kill him?”
Yu Jong-San stroked his beard.
“If he came here wearing those dark clothes, doesn’t that mean he came here with a purpose and not to rob me?”
“I believe so.”
“Then, we need to hear the purpose. Capture him for me so I can have him speak.”
With that, the escorts rushed forward.
“Wait a moment!”
The robber showed his palm to stop them.
“See, if possible, I would like to not cause a scene. So, if you just answer what I need to know, everything will end well. So…”
“How long are you going to listen to his shit? Bring him!”
The escorts surrounded the robber in an instant.
Seeing that, Yu Jong-San turned his head away as he was uncomfortable with seeing violent scenes.
They had a contract with a large sum of money involved. So, the escorts he was handed were more capable than average. This time, the robber was unfortunate…
Oh my, that poor robber.
Yu Jong-San frowned. It seemed too violent for one man to be hit so much.
“Didn’t I tell you that he needs to speak?”
“Right. I’m sure… huh?”
Who answered that?
Yu Jong-San looked back.
His guard escorts were sprawled out before him, foaming from the mouth like crabs. The robber had clearly crushed them and was steadily approaching him now.
“Language is what separates men from mere animals, yet when given a chance to speak, you chose to prove yourself a beast.”
The robber wiggled his finger.
“Come here, come on now.”
Yu Jong-San silently approached the masked man as if possessed.
“Once again, if you answer well, nothing will happen. Understood?”
The answer came immediately.
“If you had answered like this in the first place, I would have just left, but since you tried fighting me, you need to be punished, right?”
“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you’re able to speak.”
It was a dark day in Yu Jong-San’s life.
We're looking for editors, and Korean and Chinese translators, you will be PAID per chapter.
You can use these forms to apply:
This translation is made by fans and while the chapters on our website are free, they cost money to produce. Thus, any form of support would be much appreciated. Also, join us on discord to get release notifications and chat about our series.
Enjoying the series? Rate or review it on Novel Updates