Yoon Jong looked up at the sky and thought.
‘I want to cry.’
‘Why is the sky so clear today?’
Chung Myung clapped his hands and then suddenly stretched out his shoulders with a proud expression. He then began to imitate Yoon Jong from a while ago.
“I don’t know! Does a human need a reason to help others?”
And Jo Gul, who was standing in front of Chung Myung, became very surprised at Chung Myung’s childish actions.
“I do what my heart leads me to do! That is Tao!”
Chung Myung and Jo Gul laughed, and Yoon Jong continued to look up at the sky. He then looked at them from the corner of his eyes.
‘Why did I do to get such people?’
Just move over. Why on earth did he have to go through so many hardships just because he told what he wanted to?
“Kuak! Mount Hua has Taoists!”
“Chung Myung… we do have Taoists. We are Mount Hua because of our Taoists.”
“Ah. Right, sorry. Of course our Mount Hua has fine Taoists.”
“Kuaaaaak! Sahyung! This sajae is so impressed by you!”
‘I’d rather just die.’
‘I think I would be more grateful to have my fist on his face rather than just words.’
Yoon Jong wiped his tears and looked back at Baek Cheon with earnest eyes. Baek Cheon, who understood that, coughed and looked at the two of his juniors.
“You should stop it now!”
“Yes. I understand sasuk.”
When the two of them who were joking around had gone silent, Baek Cheon nodded his head and said.
“A great Taoist has been born in Mount Hua, so you shouldn’t be teasing him like this! You cannot make fun of Yoon Jong; you shouldn’t imitate his Tao… Puahh!”
Baek Cheon covered his mouth as he burst out laughing.
“Ah, sorry. I kept thinking… Puahaha!”
Seeing Baek Cheon’s walls collapse, Chung Myung didn’t miss his chance.
“That is what Mount Hua teaches its disciples!”
“Ah! I said don’t!”
Chung Myung was excited. Yoon Jong fell into contemplation about life and the Tao, as Chung Myung wiped his tears away
Baek Cheon put his hand on Yoon Jong’s shoulder and said after a couple of coughs.
“There is nothing you have to be ashamed of.”
“You were amazing. And it isn’t like you did anything wrong. Moreover, we would never be able to do it.”
“Kuah! Right. To know that I had such a great sahyung! This disciple, Chung Myung, feels amazing! Sahyung! Now I believe in sahyung alone…”
Baek Cheon rubbed his hands and pushed Chung Myung to the side.
“He is right.”
“…is sasuk doing to make fun of me as well?”
Baek Cheon once again covered his mouth trying to not laugh.
‘Is this hell?’
‘This is hell.’
Seeing Yoon Jong in embarrassment, Baek Cheon had a sorry expression on his face. Actually, what Yoon Jong had done today was really wonderful. No matter how perfect his words had been, it wouldn’t have been easy to convince the people of the Beast Palace
But Yoon Jong convinced them not with logic, but with his understanding of the Tao.
‘You have done a wonderful task.’
Thanks to this, Mount Hua was able to strengthen their friendship with Yunnan. In comparison to this, obtaining a monopoly on Yunnan tea was considered trivial.
Just building a friendship with the Nanman Beast Palace was amazing in itself.
‘We have obtained a lot of unexpected things on our trip this time.’
The Beast Palace was one thing, but they formed an alliance with the Tang family as well. Along with that, they also laid a great network with many powerful forces.
And above all…
“Are you taking good care of the Purple Wood Grass?”
“Look at this.”
Baek Cheon turned his head and noticed that Chung Myung still had the sack wrapped on his back. It seemed as though he would never let anyone else get a hold of it.
“…At that point, it seems safer than the Imperial Palace treasury.”
“I think the same.”
Baek Cheon smiled and cleared his throat.
Jo Gul, Yoon Jong, Chung Myung and Yu Yiseol gathered around.
“First of all…it might be a little early to say this but, you all went through so much.”
“Not at all, sasuk.’
“But it is too early to feel reassured yet. Our goal isn’t to save the grass but to bring it back to Mount Hua safely.”
Chung Myung said firmly.
“We will transport it as fast as possible.”
Baek Cheon nodded.
“Everyone has done a lot and have gone through a lot until now. So, let’s rest together for a while after we reach Mount Hua.”
“You’re saying such obvious words sasuk!”
“Right. Then first… I guess we need to meet with the merchant group again.”
“Uh? Why them?”
At Chung Myung’s words, Baek Cheon frowned slightly.
“Isn’t that the only way to get out of Yunnan?”
“What? We can just buy a carriage. We even have horses.”
Baek Cheon was a bit shocked.
“I-I am too hungry.”
“I will really die from this.”
“I can’t even beg. The people here are heartless….”
“It looks like my skin will start to sag from now… I have nothing to depend on.”
At the pouring complaints of his accomplices, Bangyo sighed.
A few days had passed since Chung Myung had left them after a warning. They were left in a remote place with nothing to do, so they decided to just pass their time there.
“What can we do? There is no other way.”
“Why don’t we try stealing?”
“I don’t have the qi to do anything like that.”
“Can we even be called bandits without our qi?”
“…who got us into this position?”
Bangyo had tears in his eyes.
“If rumors start to spread that a thief has suddenly appeared in Kunming, everyone is bound to get suspicious… Do you have the confidence to handle that?”
As soon as those words came out, a man’s face popped into the minds of everyone there.
“A man whom even a dog wouldn’t bite.”
“He is worse than most bandits!”
Just thinking about it made them groan.
They were the bandits.
Bandits were just a collection of normal thieves and thieves were people who lacked morality.
Those who could think right would never turn to becoming a bandit regardless of how hard their lives were. No, even if they stole things when times got hard, they will never do that task again.
To put it simply, it meant that nobody who had even a little bit of sanity in this world would willingly jump into this. And even in the eyes of such men, the man called Chung Myung had gone too far. It made them wonder what the heavens were thinking when they sent him into the world.
“…then what do we do?”
“What else do we do? We wait!”
“And what if we starve to death?”
“That is better. A whole lot better right!”
They were all wondering how they had come across such a devil.
“Ugh. In my opinion, he will beat us to death with a smile on his face if we ask for it.”
“I wonder what he saw when growing up…”
One of the bandits looked at Bangyo with tears in his eyes.
“But what do we do? Can we get released?”
“How can I know that!”
“You are our head! If he comes back from this place, we have to go through a lot more hardships and eventually be beaten to death right? It is better to run now….”
“How do we live without internal qi?”
“But shouldn’t we head back to Sichuan?”
“Sichuan? Did you say Sichuan?”
“Yes, it is still our place…”
“What are you, an idiot?”
“How many grudges have we accumulated in Sichuan? Do you think we can even survive if rumors spread about the fact that we lost our strength and turned into normal people? There will be over a hundred people chasing after us with axes in their hands!”
“Still, if we ask for protection from the Green…”
“Do you think they will protect us? That man is someone who throws a healthy man to a tiger as food because of the loss of a single arm. Do you think that such a person would protect someone with no internal qi?”
No one spoke as they heard that.
Bangyo clicked his tongue as he looked at them.
“Ahh, ahh, for now, it is best to just hold on here. Do you think that man will free us if we go to him? No… they would just make us work and hit us even more. And if we make a mistake, we will surely be killed.”
“I know that well.”
“Right. It is obvious. It is obvious how vicious he is.”
“I don’t think he is that bad.”
“What are you even talking about! I’ve never seen a vicious person like him in my life. I’d rather get hit by someone else! I have always been proud of my profession but once I saw him, I had to let go of that.”
“Hooo. Then it is a good thing.”
“Right. It is quite goo…d?”
Bagyo slowly turned his head to the direction of the voice.
His subordinates who also became shocked when they heard the voice, also slowly turned their gaze.
And Bangyo felt something inside him causing him to turn pale.
When he finally turned his head to the side where the voice had come from, a familiar smiling face could be seen.
It felt like the world had stopped.
Bangyo, immediately began to have cold sweat running down his body. He eventually opened his mouth with a trembling face as if he had seen a ghost.
“W-when did you…”
“Then who talked….”
“Yes, it was me”
Bangyo’s face turned black after a while. Chung Myung smiled brightly.
“W-what I just meant now was…”
“It is fine. Totally fine.”
Chung Myung reached out and tapped Bangyo’s shoulder.
“Such things can happen. In places where I don’t exist, people are free to swear at others.”
“I-I am sorry.”
“I said it is fine.”
Chung Myung smiled happily.
“I am not a very bad person. I am a Taoist after all. I understand everything.”
‘This bastard is a Taoist?’
‘You are talking so much shit that no one would ever speak if they heard you! Where in the world has there ever been such a Taoist!’
Bangyo rolled his eyes as he heard it.
Seeing those eyes, Chung Myung smiled delightedly.
“Do you why a Taoist is a Taoist?”
“Even if you hear bad things from others, you have to be able to give things to others. I learned that from my sahyung. So, I have prepared a present for you.”
Chung Myung moved back and came back carrying something and threw it at Bangyo.
Bangyo titled his head. What Chung Myung brought was hay.
‘But what is the use of hay in Yunnan…?’
Seeing Bangyo puzzled, Chung Myung smiled happily.
“As you can see, it is hay.”
“I do, but why…”
“No matter what, presents are great if it is something to eat.”
Bangyo looked at Chung Myung with blank eyes.
“H-how can people eat this…”
Chung Myung, who frowned, opened his eyes wide.
It was difficult for Bangyo to look into his glistening eyes.
“Is there anyone who is a person here? You are all horses right?”
“A horse… It is strange for me to get angry when a horse talks behind my back. But if it is a human…”
The stone in Chung Myung’s hand was crushed.
“They need to get pay up for their sins.”
“Do you want to eat or get hit? Do you want to eat or turn into humans?”
The answer came right away.
“I will eat it!”
“We love hay!”
“Thank you! You have thought so far for us!”
Chung Myung smiled happily.
“Right? Eat a lot.”
Tears flowed from their eyes as they grabbed the hay. It was the price of meeting someone they shouldn’t have met.
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