‘Before that, check the surroundings first.’
Chung Myung shook his head and turned away. He had to make sure that he was ready to avoid any traps that might activate when he opened the door.
Knowing his Sahyung, he was sure that the old man would have traps if anyone other than himself tried to enter. That man was one careful bastard.
‘I don’t see anything strange.’
Chung Myung’s gaze was drawn to a hole at the top of the corridor; it seemed to confirm that some device that should have been there was missing.
It was a hole big enough to fit a child’s fist. And it wasn’t just one; there were dozens of these holes separated a fixed distance apart from each other at regular intervals.
Originally, there must have been lights placed there. This hallway should have been a brightly shining one, not a dark hallway like now.
Each time the sect ran low on money, they must have taken and sold another lantern to cover their growing debts. The corridor steadily dimmed and lost its light with each challenge they faced.
What was the sect leader thinking as he looked at the dark hallway each time he entered? Was Mount Hua’s hope fading with every light sold? Did he feel that as this corridor’s light gradually faded, another path for Mount Hua’s revival would be severed?
Chung Myung scratched his head.
“It would have been better not to see this.”
Heavy. So heavy.
He knew it. Because he wasn’t stupid.
Although the sect leader and the sasuks never let the weight of their burdens show, Chung Myung could still guess how they felt. Everyone likely had trouble even sleeping properly; the weight of Mount Hua’s declining name gradually rotting away during their generation weighed heavily on their minds.
And they must have been under this kind of pressure all their lives.
It wouldn’t be enough to do something alone. In fact, it was true that Chung Myung alone had raised the name and reputation of Mount Hua back when he was known as the Plum Blossom Sword Saint; but even then, the glory of Mount Hua had echoed in the ears of the people long before Chung Myung’s time.
Chung Myung clicked his tongue and moved to the door.
He was done sitting around complaining; now it was time to try and open the door.
“But… how do I open this?”
Chung Myung tilted his head.
There was no handle for the door. The long dividing line in the middle was what made him guess that it was a door; without that line, it would simply be a wall.
“And what are these lines?”
A long split in the center was a sign of the door interlocking. Then what about those jumbled horizontal and vertical lines? It looked as if someone had used the wall to practice their swordsmanship.
“… is this really a door?”
Chung Myung, who placed his hand on the unknown wall or door, quietly infused his energy into it. But he soon let go of it and backed off.
The energy wouldn’t enter. With an ordinary wall, such a thing couldn’t happen. Which meant that there was something behind this door.
‘Thousand-Year-Old Cold Iron.’
At least an inch thick too.
“… all the money must have gone to this.”
It must have been incredibly expensive to bring in that precious piece of iron and use it as a warehouse door.
“That’s why the sect leader couldn’t even think of opening it.”
This was the best metal in the world. A sword forged from this ore would be a treasured blade; an armor made of this material would turn into a priceless garment with impenetrable defense.
It’s a rare treasure that holds far more value than gold at the same weight. So how was a warehouse made of such a material?
Depending on what you think, it may seem foolish. However, just from this act alone, you can gaze into the sect leader’s personality. To use such an expensive metal like this.
But Chung Myung could understand why the sect leader couldn’t open this place; Thousand-Year-Old Cold Iron was the most rigid metal in the world. Even Chung Myung wouldn’t be able to cut it.
If such metal was an inch thick, it would take Chung Myung at his peak in the past utilizing all his techniques to cut through it all. So, if he wanted to cut this now, he would have to be the best swordsman in the world or bring someone equally strong.
But would such an expert just kindly open the door to the treasury and walk away without touching the contents inside?
A toothless Mount Hua would be easy to exploit. And those with power will take away what they want without any consideration for Mount Hua.
Mount Hua could face absolute destruction if robbers and outsiders were clumsily asked for help.
‘Sect leader’s choice wasn’t wrong. Calling in a master to avoid immediate downfall would be like calling in a tiger to avoid the wolf.’
What is inside the warehouse is essential, but even the material it is made of could attract calamity. Items that could bring in thousands of gold would incite thievery if the information was made public.
“The problem is, even I can’t cut it….”
Chung Myung’s face distorted slightly.
If it was him from the past, he could even cut it open with his bare hands. He reached the peak of the sword in the past!
He put aside all thoughts of his past life.
Chung Myung looked at the patterns on the wall. This was a door, and as his Sahyung could enter and come out, there had to be a way to open it.
His Sahyung wasn’t stronger than Chung Myung. So, his method would be…
“Uh? This is?”
Twenty-Four Plum Blossom Sword Technique?
The pattern on the wall! No! It was from a sword!
Some of the patterns resembled the Twenty-Four Plum Blossom Sword Technique. And once a clue was found, the other patterns could be recognized as well.
“This is the Equilibrium Sword technique, and this one is also the Plum Blossom Sword.”
There were lines from shallow cuts to deep marks.
Engraved on this door were the techniques unique to the disciples of Mount Hua.
‘That’s why the sect leader couldn’t open it.’
Because the Plum Blossom Sword calls for the Twenty-Four Plum Blossom Sword technique, which has been lost to the sect. Although it’s possible to recognize a sword technique from the patterns it leaves, the sect leader couldn’t learn and understand the technique just from these markings.
Chung Myung let out a sigh.
The marks started with the Equilibrium Sword and Bamboo Leaf technique, followed by the Twenty-Four Plum Blossom Sword technique.
That was the way to open this door.
If the technique was spread precisely along the path, it would make the door open by itself. Chung Myung couldn’t understand how such a thing was created.
But the problem was solved.
Now, only one problem remained.
“… how am I supposed to do this?”
If it was the past, there wouldn’t be any problem. Not just him, but any disciple of Mount Hua in the past would be able to open this door without much trouble. However, the current Chung Myung was a child who didn’t properly learn the sword technique.
He could still follow the sword lines. However, it was impossible for him to put in the energy needed to unfold it at once.
Chung Myung sighed deeply.
‘Nothing is impossible!’
If it was impossible, then make it possible! There were no problems in the world that couldn’t be solved.
Chung Myung gritted his teeth and put his hands together on his dantian.
“… I really didn’t want to do this.”
He didn’t want to resort to this. He didn’t want to overdo it. But this was the only method left that he could think of.
“I think I’ll end up recuperating for about a month.”
Chung Myung thought and then used his strength to tap into the innate qi, located in the deepest part of the dantian.
The true internal qi.
The power that every human has since birth.
It was different from the inner energy trained through cultivation. Even if your energy is used up or vanishes, the person wouldn’t die. Although they would feel a great sense of helplessness and weakness, it wouldn’t interfere with their life. This is because this energy is artificially cultivated by humans.
However, the true internal qi is different.
Humans who lose their true internal qi can no longer sustain life. In other words, it can be said that the true internal qi is vital for human life.
Those who have reached the peak of martial arts can use the true internal qi as their own strength. However, the true internal qi exists to sustain life; a price must be paid to utilize its power.
Excessive consumption of it would result in death.
Even if cautiously consumed, the energy will be significantly damaged, and one wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life for several months.
‘I am only going to use a little. Right, just a little.’
Wouldn’t it be meaningless if Chung Myung died before he saved Mount Hua?
Right now, Chung Myung was probably the most crucial figure hidden within Mount Hua.
Stimulate the true internal qi. Make sure not to bring out too much. Just enough to use! Just enough to use!
The true internal qi, roused from its slumber, began to rage. It was then pushed into the dantian.
‘It is a little more than I thought.’
Chung Myung blew away his thoughts and grabbed the sword.
Is it possible?
A magnificent power was created by mixing the internal qi with internal energy and letting it flow throughout his entire body. As this energy began to flow through his unfamiliar body, his entire being shook.
A groan escaped from behind his lips. A terrible pain that made Chung Myung doubt his mind.
‘Just once! I need to do it just once!’
A black, purple color began to form on his fingertips.
He didn’t learn martial arts in this life. It was nothing more than a clumsy imitation of what he remembered from the past, and it felt even more unfamiliar because of the child-like body.
Chung Myung’s hand cut through the air like a beam of light.
A vivid trail of illusory purple light pierced the wall.
The sound of scratching the wall resonated in the empty hall. It was a door that had to be opened in one go since Chung Myung couldn’t handle doing it another time, but even his imitation was slow, thanks to his body’s condition.
Each time he moved, it hurt.
But Chung Myung didn’t stop and kept moving his hand. As the excessive movements continued, he could feel his muscles tearing as if they would snap at any moment; and his face was flushed and burning as though it would explode at any moment.
‘I am the Plum Blossom Sword Saint!’
If he didn’t have the ability, then he would move his body on pride alone!
Biting his lip to drive his consciousness forward. Chung Myung unleashed his final struggle.
His hand stopped in the air.
His legs were trembling, and his heart pounded erratically as if desperately trying to keep his body together, but he didn’t have time to pay attention to his current condition. If the door still didn’t open after this, he would truly be facing a disaster.
It was then.
He thought he heard a strange squeaking sound! The sound of something opening.
And, the huge door ahead moved.
He thought that the door would open fully, but only the lock on it seemed to have been released.
But it was…
Suddenly, Chung Myung curled forward, grabbing his stomach.
Blood poured out of his small mouth. It came out with a force that couldn’t be swallowed back.
He wiped the lips with his sleeve.
It seemed that his body was injured more than he thought.
If this was the case, he would have to take at least two months rest for his internal injuries to recover.
“Haaa… reviving Mount Hua is horrifyingly tough.”
Chung Myung spit out the blood remaining in his mouth and pitifully pushed the door open in a disgraceful way using the little might he had left.
The door, sealed for ages, finally opened wide from side to side.
“Now, shall I check what Sahyung was hiding?”
With a cunning smile, Chung Myung confidently walked into the warehouse.
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