Hyun Jong didn’t know when his smile would leave his lips.
He smiled while walking, while turning the doorknob, even while eating, and often he would cover his mouth.
He couldn’t help but feel it.
Since he was the leader of a martial arts sect, he should be more restrained, but it was difficult to deal with his lips which were constantly turning into a smile.
Again, Hyun Young was the calmest.
“Take care of your body. What do we do if you cannot even handle your face in front of the kids?”
Hyun Jong and Hyun Young looked at each other.
“I don’t want to hear that from you of all people.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
Hyun Jong groaned when Hyun Sang asked.
“Aren’t you surprised?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean the kids are doing great, isn’t that surprising?”
At that, Hyun Young smiled,
“It is quite shocking. But what could be more shocking than when Chung Myung declared that he would break all their heads?”
“Have you ever seen Chung Myung say something he wouldn’t do? Isn’t he a guy who often says nonsense but never things that don’t make sense?”
Hyun Young smiled.
“If such a guy says he will break their heads, he will do it. But what do you have to worry about?”
Hyun Jong rolled his eyes.
Hyun Young said in a cold voice,
“Now is the time when even sect leaders feel it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Mount Hua is strong.”
Hyun Jong was silent. It was the same thing he was feeling. Hyun Young looked at the two of them and smiled.
“It would be surprising if a child broke a beautiful tree, but would it be surprising if they broke a small sapling instead?”
“At least, the children of Mount Hua make it a strong sect. It is different from our time, Sect Leader. So, there is no need to be shocked at what the children do. It is a natural thing.”
Hyun Jong grabbed his thigh a little. These words were shaking his heart.
Was Mount Hua ever called that in the past hundred years?
Until now, the word ‘strong’ was used solely for the other sects. But for a day to come when his sect would be called as such.
“Other sects will soon recognize Mount Hua. Is there any reason for them to not do that? If we ignore the children of Mount Hua who smashed the disciples of other sects, we are idiots.”
“So we just watch and protect them.”
Hyun Jong nodded.
“We should be good manure for those children.”
Seeing his expression, Hyun Young raised his eyebrows.
“Sect leader, I have a question to ask.”
“How was the face of the Southern Island sect leader?”
“I think the rest of the Southern Edge Sect was probably watching it too. Please tell me! I cannot sleep because I am too curious about this.”
“Uh. How could a Taoist look for happiness in other people’s misfortune!”
Then Hyun Sang asked,
“I am curious too, Sect Leader.”
“Don’t be like that, just talk. How was the expression of the sect leader of the Southern Island?”
It was rotten.
“Southern Edge! The Southern Edge? Jong Rigok. That man must have been unable to get to sleep tonight!”
“His stomach must be hurting so bad from the good words he said.”
“Right? Hehehehe. Thinking about what it must have been like to say such praise. He must be having the congestion of a ten-year-old! Heheheh!”
Seeing Hyun Young enjoying this like a child, Hyun Jong smiled.
‘So very unlike you.’
To be a Taoist and rejoice in others’ pain and smile like this.
Where was Mount Hua going…
The next day.
The disciples of Mount Hua, who arrived at the hall, walked in at different times.
There were no spars for Mount Hua in the morning, so they had shuffled out slower.
Chung Myung who clung to the door of his room, said he wouldn’t come, and the others had to pull him out. Anyway, it was almost noon when they all arrived at the hall…
“What is with the mood?”
The disciples of Mount Hua looked around. It was natural for everyone to look at them with such vigilant eyes.
No, not just that.
Of course, it was true that this much attention was unfamiliar, but that was only to be expected.
Mount Hua’s disciples weren’t fools. What they did yesterday was bound to bring in such reactions. The problem wasn’t their eyes, but the situation overall.
“Get out of my way! Out of my way!”
The disciples of Mount Hua blinked their eyes, looking at the spar happening on the stage.
“What is this?”
“Did they bring in bandits?”
The atmosphere of the competition was different from yesterday.
Yesterday there was a warm atmosphere.
The disciples of Mount Hua had finished their spars without even seeing the others spar at all, but today, in one way…
“It looks like a dog fight?”
Jo Gul’s mumbling was right.
A bloody fight between dogs. The lively techniques weren’t seen today; instead, they were aiming for the life of each other, and their eyes were full of poison.
“What is with them?”
At Baek Cheon’s words, Chung Myung smiled,
“Why are you like that? If they came this far with a sword, they wouldn’t only fight by sucking their thumbs and watching others play an active role.”
“Among those who won, were there any memorable ones?”
Baek Cheon thought about it and shook his head.
“… none? But because I had to keep an eye on the spar of our people…”
“So you weren’t watching others spar?”
“… It isn’t that.”
Chung Myung shrugged his shoulders.
“Yesterday, there were quite a few people who would have made a name for themselves if it had been a normal spar. There were ones with extraordinary skills.”
“If the competition was happening in a calm atmosphere, usually, these guys could make a name for themselves and raise the reputation of their sect…”
“They were buried because of us?”
Chung Myung chuckled.
“They fought to the death and managed to win, but everyone spoke only of Mount Hua. How many people can endure that?”
“Even I cannot tolerate that…”
The gaze of Chung Myung moved over.
“These are all people in different positions.”
This was a story that went hand in hand with the shortcomings that Chung Myung saw from the sects of the past.
No one understood that the basics were important.
However, when one senses that their disciple is starting to fall behind others, the one who teaches them is the first to immediately get into techniques and not focus on the basics.
Comparison was always the main culprit that ruined people.
“Isn’t it only human to like something and attempt it, despite not understanding it?”
“Right. Still, you brat!”
“Right. But the guy I hate the most comes to me and starts to brag. And he was the guy who was called a great scholar and was called a prodigy. The day the pillars of that house are pulled from underneath it, is the day that house collapses.”
Baek Cheon shut his mouth.
It was such a perfect way of putting it that he couldn’t not understand it. Even if Baek Cheon was currently in that situation, he would feel the same.
“In that sense, I mean.”
Chung Myung grinned and gestured to where the sect leaders had gathered.
“What could those people have told their disciples when they went back to their residence?”
“Right. ‘It is okay to not stand out, but make sure to show your skills’ right?”
“R-Right. Still, they are all the sect leaders of prestigious families?”
“Do you really think so?”
Chung Myung smiled.
‘You might not understand.’
Most people think that the sect leaders were some flavor of noble being1.
But were they really?
Sect leaders were more secure than anyone.
Leading a huge sect meant they had to feed, dress, and shelter so many; while they must be strong, they can’t destroy their sect’s reputation, and they needed to accept new disciples.
As their reputation rises, disciples with better skills will come to them, and those with such skills will grow up and raise the reputation of the sect again.
Sect leaders knew the importance of this snowballing cycle, leaving them no choice but to cling to the reputation of their sect.
Isn’t this what had happened to Mount Hua, which had lost its reputation?
Chung Myung smiled.
Perhaps, they might not understand it yet.
How impatient and obsessed the people who had experienced this cycle could get.
He shrugged and said,
“Do you think the kids will run wild without them saying anything?”
Baek Cheon could say nothing.
“See. Now, when we go up to the spar, everyone will be desperate to try and extend the length of the spar.”
“Then what do we do?”
“What do you mean?”
Chung Myung smiled,
“It changes nothing. The atmosphere has changed, but as long as we break some heads, it is fine.”
And he looked back toward the spar.
“Ahhh! My arm!”
A disciple’s arm had been cut from a sword and was groaning in pain. When the sleeve stained with blood could be seen, it looked horrifying.
But the winner looked happy. A spar was a task that needed one to be injured, and this atmosphere was especially overheated,
“A good atmosphere.”
Chung Myung smiled.
“A place to build friendships between sects? That is so fucking funny. What made it this way?”
Glory for Mount Hua was enough.
And glory could not be shared with others. The only thing left for others was disgrace.
Baek Cheon nodded his head. Chung Myung turned away from what was happening and looked at the sect leaders.
‘You still have time, right?’
Being able to continue watching this means they had time on hand. If they were in a corner, they would be down here advising their disciples.
“Now, how long can you remain carefree?”
I have no grudges against you.
Sure, the Nine Great Sects One Union and the Five Great Families had ignored Mount Hua when it was in crisis, but they weren’t obliged to help it either.
Besides, those who made that choice at that time had already died.
He wasn’t going to hold the descendants responsible for the actions of their ancestors. Ancestors were ancestors, and descendants were descendants.
But one thing.
“Look, over there.”
The place where Chung Myung pointed to was the podium where the sect leaders were sitting.
Baek Cheon, who didn’t understand, looked confused.
“Doesn’t that look annoying?”
Baek Cheon’s expression stiffened, and he looked closely.
The sect leaders and the lords of the families were sitting on luxurious chairs. And in the back, with a small chair behind them, was their sect leader Hyun Jong.
The seats behind the Nine Great Sects One Union.
Although they were all the same sect leaders, they were differentiating between the sects with well-known names.
“Definitely annoying,” mumbled Baek Cheon, his eyes still focused over there.
Chung Myung relaxed his neck. It made a cracking sound each time.
“Our sect leader over there is being treated like that because of them. I am a little curious. What if we broke the heads of their precious little kids today? Will they be able to come and sit there tomorrow as comfortably as today?”
Baek Cheon replied coldly and smacked his lips.
“Then, shall we run around until the position changes?”
“It has been a while since you said something I like. This is more like my sasuk.”
Their sect leader smiled broadly as he looked at his disciple as if he enjoyed the seat he was in.
When they saw that, their stomachs twisted.
‘Parents will think of their child to be beautiful even if they are an idiot.’
However, to Chung Myung, Hyun Jong wasn’t a lacking child. If Mount Hua had stood upright, he could have raised its reputation.
“I need to get it back up.”
It seemed like nothing, but it was actually the most important part.
At that time, Gong Cho, who was in charge, shouted,
“Next! Baek Cheon of Mount Hua!”
As soon as the name was called, everyone there turned to the place where Mount Hua’s disciples were.
Then, while holding his sword firmly, Baek Cheon glanced at Chung Myung and said,
“I will come back gloriously. It was a mistake to have dared put the sect leader of Mount Hua in the back.”
Seeing Baek Cheon move forward, Chung Myung smiled,
“Well, once in a while you say things I like.”
You have learned well.
ED: flavor just means type here, tried to be cute with it, sue me ↩️
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