‘One, two, three, four… five.’
Baek Cheon looked around. The people of the Nanman Beast Palace were approaching them.
‘Can we handle this?’
Beak Cheon thought about it for a moment, and then he realized that such worries were meaningless. The important thing was to not let it escalate into a fight. They hadn’t come here to fight but to achieve their main objective.
“What are you doing?”
The man from the Nanman Beast Palace approached them and brushed past the children. After a while, he stood in front of the Mount Hua disciples. When he saw the sack of dumplings, he frowned.
“Who are you?”
“We are merchants from the Peace Merchant Group. We saw that the children were hungry so we were giving them some food.”
“You were handing out food?”
The man’s face was distorted. It was like he had heard some insult directed at him. Baek Cheon titled his head. He really thought that it was strange.
‘Why is he reacting like this?’
All they had done was to hand food to those who needed it. Shouldn’t they be thanked? Even if they were angry… even if they didn’t welcome outsiders, especially ones that did something like this, shouldn’t they have been glad someone was giving out food?
“Do the people from the Central Plains think that the people of Yunnan are beggars! How dare you do such things!”
The man’s face looked furious.
“This isn’t any sort of medicine. Yunnan is devastated because of what you people did! And now you make fun of us by handing out food!”
Baek Cheon didn’t even think of hiding his expression.
‘H-how did it get to this?’
‘Their hostility is beyond imagination.’
The man in front of them didn’t seem ready to logically talk things out. So, he took the easy way out and bowed.
“I am sorry. We didn’t think that far.”
Baek Cheon bowed despite finding the whole situation distasteful.
‘Come to think of it.’
‘Even though we were giving out food to the children, it makes no sense that only a few adults showed up.’
‘Why would the hungry people not come?’
‘I should have taken into account the fact that the people of Yunnan do not like outsiders.’
They were too late to realize this, but he had to fix this now. Baek Cheon spoke right away.
“I really do apologize.”
Baek Cheon lowered himself even further and the man clicked his tongue.
“Where are you from?”
“We are part of the Peace Merchant Group.”
“Peace, Peace merchant…”
After a moment of silence, the man smiled.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in their group?”
Baek Cheon’s face became stiff. He hadn’t thought for a moment about the possibility of the man knowing them.
But it was impossible for the guards of Kunming to not know who was coming in and going from their city. So, Baek Cheon chose the easiest answer.
“I am new to the group.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“Then all the ones with you must be new recruits too.”
“Yes, that is true. You can check it with the merchant group.”
“Um. I see.”
The man smiled.
“So you mean to tell me that rookie merchants who came here to learn are actually doing charity work instead of learning?”
“Ah, I see. You wanted to check it out. So…”
The man smiled
“You will be fine with being held captive as long as we can check your identity, won’t you? That is… if you truly are part of their group you wouldn’t mind.”
Yoon Jong’s eyes went wide.
The merchant group would obviously say they were their people. But the problem was, the Nanman Beast Palace guards already had doubts about their group.
Baek Cheon didn’t drag it further and agreed to it.
As Baek Cheon nodded his head, the man had a strange expression and moved.
At the same time, a voice that came from behind and spoke to them.
“Though they are the people of the Central Plains, they were giving food to the needy. So why don’t we just listen to these people and just offer them some grace?”
“… I know sahyung”
Baek Cheon sighed. It was nice to have someone take their side.
It was then.
As if he had changed his mind, the man who turned around returned in a flash and pulled out the sword on his waist at the speed of lightning and drew it at Baek Cheon.
And Baek Cheon reflexively pulled out his blade and blocked it.
Even though the fierce attack was blocked, the man smiled.
“That too, one that is good enough to block my blade, and yet you act like a merchant.”
Baek Cheon bit his lip. Excuses wouldn’t work anymore.
“They are suspicious. Catch them!”
Baek Cheon backed away holding his sword. And the men of the Nanman Beast Palace who were present there, slowly began to gather around them.
“What do we do?”
They only two choices they had was to either fight or run away.
Baek Cheon gave strength to the hand holding his sword. Less than a day had passed and they had already been found out. They had underestimated Yunnan too much.
At that time, Yoon Jong bowed his head with a sad face.
“I am sorry sasuk. Because of me…”
But Baek Cheon continued.
“We decided it together. So, we will all bear the responsibility together as well.”
It didn’t matter if it was right or wrong. Baek Cheon had given them permission and from that moment, it had become his sole responsibility.
At that moment, he cried out.
Jo Gul drew his sword and Yoon Jong put his hand on the side of his waist.
‘I sold it.’
Yoon Jong’s face turned white when he realized he didn’t have his sword. Jo Gul looked at him and said,
“Pick up a wooden stick from somewhere.”
“F-fists can be used too.”
“Find a bloody wooden stick.”
He had learned the basics of fist martial arts, but how could he use that to deal with a blade?
Chung Myung had told them that using their fists or any other close combat art was just part of the basics. He had said that they were to be used only when weapons weren’t used.
Baek Cheon’s face went stiff when he realized that Yoon Jong was handicapped.
‘I don’t think it will be easy.’
The pressure put on them from the guards was increasing and they were coming closer. It was said that the people of the Nanman Beast Palace weren’t far behind the disciples of the Nine Great Sects. If that was true, then worrying was right.
“Break Through! Yoon Jong! Stay right behind me!”
Baek Cheon pointed his sword ahead. The men there were laughing.
“Do you think you can really get away? This is Yunnan. You have just two options left. One is to die here quickly while the other is to suffer and die slowly.”
“I don’t like either of them.”
As he said that, Baek Cheon searched for a way out.
‘For now, they had to get out of Kunming.’
They could think about the aftermath later. When Baek Cheon looked back, the people laughed.
“You are having vain dreams. I will show you what the Nanman Beast Palace is like! Attack them!”
As soon as the order was given, the guards rushed for them at once.
Baek Cheon clenched his teeth and ran ahead. He was charging at them.
But before he could reach them, he saw a strange sight.
Kwang! Kwang! Kwang!
With a huge noise, the men running towards them suddenly bounced back.
“Who is that!”
Baek Cheon stood there and felt the hair rising on his body and the cold sweat running down his back.
He lowered his sword and in an incredibly quick motion, he turned around.
He saw the devil standing in front of him.
“…made this mess?”
The demon was of course, their lovely sajil, Chung Myung.
Chung Myung’s head was tilted to the right. Baek Cheon closed his eyes. He’d rather get caught by the guards than this man.
“Uh, the person who said I’d make an issue has ended up so doing so now! Damn it, how messed up does someone have to be to cause such a massive mess in less than half a day since coming to Kunming?”
“Say something. Ugh! Sasuk! At this point, I feel like it is my duty to go behind the backs of my sahyungs. Ah!”
Baek Cheon, Jo Gul and Yoon Jong trembled at it.
‘Do you have no conscience even now?’
‘No, why did you have to pop up like a ghost at this time!’
‘I’d probably have an easier time making friends with those guards!’
This was bad.
But even as they felt cornered, their expressions had loosened a bit. Still, since Chung Myung had come, they thought the situation would be cleared up to some extent.
But that didn’t last long. The gaze of Chung Myung turned to one certain place.
“Where in the fucking world did you sell the Plum blossom sword!”
Yoon Jong shook his head trying to fight the right answer. Unfortunately, unlike him, Jo Gul didn’t think for long.
“The food trader. A food trader.”
“…did you really sell it?”
Chung Myung looked at Yoon Jong and Jo Gul.
“No… you’ve done it now… hu… hu… uh/”
Seeing his gaze, they both bowed their heads. Actually, they could have explained it better if it was to someone other than Chung Myung.
“Forget the sect and get lost! Just get lost!”
It was funny that it was none other than the Nanman Beast Palace guards who ultimately saved the two from Chung Myung who was becoming more and more furious.
“Who are you!”
Chung Myung looked at them as they shouted loudly.
“No, for real, who are YOU? How dare you shout at someone you are seeing for the first time? What kind of fucking bastard are you! Idiot!”
The guard’s eyes went wide at the profanity.
‘W-what is he? That man?’
How could a person have such a reaction from just asking who he was? The guard was shocked rather than angry.
“Still, you are one messed up bastard. So, I will deal with you later.”
Chung Myung looked back at his sahyungs. All three of them were looking at him but they were constantly avoiding his gaze.
And he looked at Baek Cheon and said.
“Don’t worry sasuk! I have not created any trouble this time!”
“…we have made a mistake.”
‘Enough, stop rubbing it in you idiot!’
Chung Myung smiled.
“I am talking about this situation here, but on the way here I had a conversation with someone This isn’t a place where we can do anything actually.”
“Um? What do you mean?”
“We cannot help but talk to the Nanman Beast Palace about the purple wood grass.”
“The medical practitioner said that.”
“…what do we do?”
“What do we do?”
Chung Myung smiled raising his sheathed sword
“After catching them, we should go to the palace and meet the people there. Isn’t that the fastest way?”
“Right, that’s the fastest way to die.”
“It is just another day in our life, don’t be so obsessed with living for too long.”
“Idiot, don’t quote Buddha here!”
Chung Myung grinned and pulled out his sword.
Chung Myung cracked his stiff neck and smiled as he looked at the guards.
“Are you going to meekly guide us to the palace? Or are we going to have to beat you to get that done?”
It was a situation where anyone would be angry, but the guards who had the highest status here, didn’t show much reaction. However, one person who was staring at Chung Myung, asked.
“You want to meet the lord?”
“And we need to just guide you?”
He nodded his head.
“You are a guest of Kunming after a long time, so we have to guide you.”
“Such a good man you are. Take the lead then.”
“Ah! The thing is, I can guide, but my way of guiding might be a little different from what you think?”
It was then. Sounds could be heard from behind them.
Chung Myung turned his head to see dozens of people walking out from the alleys.
He smiled and turned his head as he looked at the dozens of Nanman Beast Palace guards appearing from the other side.
“Ah, this looks like a lot? Today’s training is…”
The appearance of so many people.
The people walked out of alleys, shops, and some even came out of walls too.
“…coming out of the ground shouldn’t be too shocking at this point?”
Fortunately, they didn’t come from there.
Seeing so many people come, even Chung Myung’s expression faltered.
“Uh, so you will guide us?”
The man smiled.
“Because we’ve been taught to keep the intruder alive and then lead them to the palace lord.”
“Ah, is that so?”
Chung Myung looked at his sahyungs as if it was a good thing and said,
“They are saying they will take us there?”
‘They aren’t taking us there, but catching and presenting us, you bastard!’
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