The coldest eyes ever.
Chilling eyes gleamed in the dark like a hungry beast looking for food.
A voice as if longing for something spread in the darkness,
“Do you think we should get closer?”
“I can hear it.”
“That is because it is you!”
“Then you go.”
“… won’t I get noticed if I go there?”
Chung Myung used his qi to sense what was at his side.
“What if we get caught?”
“They won’t trust me.”
Yoon Jong nodded his head lightly.
It wasn’t known why, but when Chung Myung said they wouldn’t get caught, he could trust him because this guy hated getting caught.
“Come on, sahyung.”
As Jo Gul urged him, Yoon Jong advanced with his stance lowered.
In the distance, they could see three people standing.
“If it is like this…”
Yoon Jong shut his mouth at the warning.
He made a strange expression as he watched Yu Yiseol crawl behind him.
‘Was sago also such a person?’
At first glance, the expressions of Chung Myung and Yu Yiseol were the same.
‘Ah indeed. She is the most affected by him.’
A sad reality. Just sad.
“I hear it now.”
And he mumbled,
“I should have brought jerky and alcohol. My mouth feels bare.”
“… you are here to mess around?”
Yoon Jong couldn’t refute it and looked ahead with his ears on alert. In front was Baek Cheon with two more people.
“You have gotten stronger.”
At Jin Cho-Baek’s words, Baek Cheon bowed his head.
How could he answer?
The most obvious answer came up. He didn’t like the answer, but he couldn’t find anything else to say.
He raised his head and looked at Jin Cho-Baek. The expressionless face resembled his.
Baek Cheon sighed.
In the past, he would have felt too afraid to look into his father’s eyes. Despite being his father, he hardly ever felt any affection from this man.
The father he remembered was someone who looked at him with displeasure.
“I understand why you left the house.”
Baek Cheon smiled very lightly.
How irresponsible was this?
Understanding something was meaningless if it wasn’t accompanied by action. If Jin Cho-Baek understood, then he should show it through action. But the man never comforted him. He simply disliked everything about Baek Cheon, who was inferior to his brother.
“It must have been a big burden for you as a young child. It is something you might want to say, but I discriminated against you…”
Baek Cheon cut his father’s words short.
And he said in a calm tone,
“It doesn’t mean anything to Father just because I could stand back up. If I was better than hyung, Father would have loved me more than him.”
“You didn’t do anything for me to resent, but Father is just that kind of person. And I know.”
Jin Cho-Baek frowned.
It would have been easier if he spoke with his resentment or anger. But this didn’t come to pass; Baek Cheon felt too calm.
He wasn’t trying to be conscious or anything. Just…
‘I feel like it was all my fault.’
Whether because he was aware or didn’t do anything after recognizing it.
Jin Geum-Ryong, who listened to them, couldn’t hide his displeasure.
‘I shouldn’t have been blind.’
If he knew Baek Cheon would grow up this much, he would have paid him more attention. And things wouldn’t have come this far,
Baek Cheon smiled,
“I am not Jin Dong-Ryong but Baek Cheon.”
Chung Myung frowned,
“Kuak. He is a lot calmer than I thought?”
“What did you expect then?”
“I thought there would be jabs thrown in.”
“No, do you want our sasuk to be an idiot?”
Chung Myung’s eyes shone on Jo Gul’s face.
“He already had a fight with his brother, so does throwing jabs not work?”
“… once in a while, I step back thinking you are a Taoist when it comes to your mouth.”
“I sympathize with you.”
“Uh. Me too.”
When Yoon Jong and Yu Yiseol joined in, Chung Myung frowned,
“There is no other person in the world as calm as me!”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“What is Tao? Isn’t that following the path your heart wants?”
Chung Myung laid back with his stomach pushed out.
“Where else can you find someone who does that as well as me?”
I don’t think Tao means that…
If Laozu comes back to life,
‘Those are my words, you rotten bastard!’
It was clear that he would even strike Chung Myung on the head for destroying his concept of Tao.
But despite all that, Chung Myung stopped bragging and, with his ears pricked up, listened to the conversation of Baek Cheon.
Baek Cheon’s father looked at him with sunken eyes,
“That should be the name Mount Hua gave you.”
“Are you going to bury your bones on Mount Hua?”
At the answer with no hesitation, Jin Cho-Baek’s expression changed for the first time, and he said in anger,
“It isn’t too late yet. No, it might be late, but I can fix it all. As you know, I have the power to do that.”
Baek Cheon just looked at his father,
“Even the sect leader would not object to it. A person cannot live without his roots. There may be no doubts now, but as time goes on you will regret not coming back. Make your choice now.”
Baek Cheon, who listened, smiled,
“You haven’t changed at all.”
At his calm voice, his father looked impatient.
“I have one thing I am curious about…”
Baek Cheon looked at his father and asked,
“If I hadn’t been so strong on Mount Hua, would father have come for me?”
And Jin Cho-Baek didn’t answer.
He hesitated and then sighed,
“Yes. You may be right. If you hadn’t shown such skills, I might not have come looking for you. But that is because you are too young. Even a parent-child’s relationship cannot be free from capabilities.”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you going to blame your father?”
“No. Father, do not get me wrong.”
Baek Cheon said with a cool smile,
“I understand you. And I don’t think you are wrong.”
“I just hate it.”
It wasn’t a loud voice. But there was a lot of strength in it.
“You don’t have to force yourself to fit into something that isn’t you.”
“Are you saying you want to end our relationship?”
Baek Cheon shook his head,
“It must be my father and not me who wants to end it. If I do not live according to the will of my father, do you think you’d want me as your child?”
Jin Cho Baek’s eyes trembled.
“I don’t have feelings of hatred for my father. Wherever I am, Father will be Father and hyung will be hyung. I just walk on a different path.”
Jin Cho-Baek, who was about to say something, finally went silent and sighed,
“… right. Baek Cheon, think carefully. This is your father’s advice first and a senior who walks the path of martial arts. I cannot watch your talents rot in Mount Hua.”
“There is no problem now. But as you get older, Mount Hua will turn into a burden for you. It is very difficult to carry everything alone in a place where no one else can pull their weight except for you.”
Jin Cho-Baek looked at Baek Cheon.
“But the Southern Edge sect is different. If you come, the Southern Edge Sect will actively support you. And then, being in that sect is the dream that anyone…”
But Baek Cheon cut off his father’s words with a firm voice.
There was no anxiousness as he looked at the face of his father.
“I am the one who longs to be the sect leader of Mount Hua.”
“Did you say that there is no one to lead it? No one to protect it?”
Baek Cheon spoke as he smiled.
You really don’t know anything.
It was on Mount Hua.
That was where he had people who would protect him.
“Even if that were the case, it wouldn’t make any difference. Because…”
Baek Cheon smiled,
“The person I want to resemble so much has already walked that path. So I cannot start wailing now, right?”
Jin Cho-Baek stared at Baek Cheon with cold eyes.
“Are you really going to choose that path? In front of your father?”
“I am sorry, Father.”
Baek Cheon bowed. But he showed no sign of regret.
“But, this is my path. This is the path I want to walk. Even if the Southern Edge Sect can make me the best person in the world, I don’t like it. I don’t want it. My wish isn’t to become the best in the world but for Mount Hua to be the best sect in the world.”
“… that is foolish.”
Jin Cho-Baek, who had sharpened his teeth, looked at the sky and said,
Baek Cheon looked around in surprise, and Jin Cho-Baek spoke coldly,
“I told you to come out. Since when did Mount Hua turn into a place with mice who listen to other people’s stories?”
“… he heard it.”
“Seems like it.”
Chung Myung flinched at the pouring criticism.
‘This cannot be!’
Did this mean that Jin Cho-Baek was more powerful than he thought?
‘Kuak, Dong-Ryong’s father! You are someone who can get through my majestic works and feel this one’s presence.’
With a feeling of admiration and half shock, Chung Myung moved.
“What do we do?”
“What? If he finds out we come out.”
Chung Myung got up, and at that moment, Jin Cho-Baek’s voice rang.
“You won’t come out even now?”
Chung Myung said,
“Ah, I am…”
Everyone was shocked.
However, there was no turning back because the bodies that rose were already halfway out of the bush. The crowd on the other side met their eyes.
Chung Myung’s cheeks trembled.
Yoon Jong, Jo Gul, and Yu Yiseol, who followed Chung Myung, were shocked.
Hyun Jong, Hyun Young, and Hyun Sang had come out with stiff faces and met their eyes.
The sect leader and elders were all confused and said nothing.
“No. Why are Sect Leader and elders here?”
“Why are you coming from there?”
“We are here to listen in.”
Seeing the two groups answering with awkward expressions, Baek Cheon covered his flushed face.
This was messed up.
This sect was ruined!
In the middle, Jin Cho-Baek, who saw them both, sighed.
“To listen in on other people’s words, so it seems like Mount Hua isn’t a gentleman’s sect.”
Hyun Jong’s face turned red.
He was hiding like a thief, eavesdropping, and was caught, so he had nothing to say.
“I am sorry. I have nothing to say.”
Jin Cho-Baek looked at Hyun Jong and bowed,
“Southern Edge Sect’s Jin Cho-Baek greets Mount Hua’s sect leader.”
“Nice to meet you, Elder Jin.”
As the situation already came to pass, Hyun Jong greeted him humbly.
However, Jin Cho-Baek’s words weren’t over.
As if he had already expressed his greeting, he began to corner Hyun Jong as if he had something to say.
“I didn’t think Sect Leader would be like this. Didn’t you think this shouldn’t be done for someone in your position?”
“Of course, it isn’t… but…”
Hyun Jong looked at Baek Cheon with a bitter smile. A smile filled with complicated emotions.
“How can I think about saving my face when my descendant of Mount Hua is on the line? If this means losing my name, I won’t hesitate.”
Jin Cho-Baek looked at Hyun Jong in disbelief.
Baek Cheon and Hyun Jong, too, felt that his way of thinking was strange.
‘Is this the changed Mount Hua?’
Mount Hua wasn’t like this not long back, so why did they change?
“What will happen to the sect if the sect leader doesn’t save his face?”
“Right. It wouldn’t be good for the sect.”
Hyun Jong nodded softly,
“But to me, Baek Cheon is a thousand times more important than my face. So why would I care about my face?”
A bold and sure statement.
Jin Cho-Baek looked at Hyun Jong and bit his lip.
“That is good. Now that this happened, I will ask Sect Leader. Does Sect Leader really want Dong-Ryong to forsake the heavenly Rule?”
“It is impossible to forsake the Heavenly Rule.”
“I expected that you would be…”
Hyun Jong shook his head,
“But just because Baek Cheon became a warrior of Mount Hua, it doesn’t mean that he has forsaken the Heavenly Rule. A relationship is a relationship, and the Tao is the Tao.”
“And above all, as the sect leader of Mount Hua, I do not want to lose a talented childlike Baek Cheon. This child is so talented that he will become the pillar that leads Mount Hua one day.”
Jin Cho-Baek’s face twitched at this. Anger was in his eyes.
But Hyun Jong didn’t care.
“There is no need to give Baek Cheon to the Southern Edge Sect. Even if needed, even if it means fighting, even if the fight leaves Mount Hua a single disciple, Mount Hua will protect Baek Cheon. That is Mount Hua. That is our relationship.”
Hyun Jong’s every word had unparalleled love.
It was the moment when Baek Cheon lowered his head, multitudes of emotions rattling through his brain.
“No. That is a bit too…”
“No. Wait. That is too much…”
“Sect leader is talking you idiot!”
“No, but still…”
Baek Cheon sighed, watching Chung Myung being punished.
‘Still, that damned man.’
Everything turned noisy with him, and Jin Cho-Baek had to shut his eyes.
The words of Hyun Jong were warnings.
What really made him change was the eyes of Baek Cheon, looking at the disciples of Mount Hua.
‘Your family is here.’
Remorse flooded in. However, he didn’t give himself up to this sentiment.
He looked at Baek Cheon and said,
“I understand your words. If that is the case, then with this I…”
“Do not talk about severing the bond with that child.”
“It isn’t something you can end by thinking you want it to end. It took me a lot to figure that out.”
Jin Cho-Baek’s lips trembled.
Isn’t this just like him acting like a father would?
“I get it.”
Jin Cho-Baek nodded his head and looked at Hyun Jong.
“Sect leader. There was a lot of rudeness.”
“Excuse me for what I did.”
Jin Cho-Baek gave a light salute and glanced at Baek Cheon.
“Make sure to come home at some point.”
And he walked without looking back.
However, Jin Geum-Ryong didn’t follow his father and stood still, looking at Chung Myung and Baek Cheon.
“It would be nice if you could become Mount Hua’s sect leader.”
A cold killing intent flowed from him.
“I hope Mount Hua stays standing till then.”
Baek Cheon looked at Jin Geum-Ryong and sighed,
“Hyung. Don’t lose yourself.”
There is a little bit of redness in his eyes.
“I will repay the humiliation you showed me in the Southern Edge-Mount Hua conference. The disciples of Mount Hua who meet me won’t even get a chance to do their earnest.”
“You talk a lot.”
Jin Geum-Ryong looked at Chung Myung,
“What? Want to go at me?”
Jin Geum-Ryong watched Chung Myung stick his stomach out and smile.
“There is no need to do so here. I will destroy everyone in Mount Hua with my own hands.”
With that, he turned around.
Baek Cheon, who looked at him until he disappeared, sighed,
“Chung Myung, you…”
“There is only one way to correct a messed up family.”
“Shut it down.”
“You know. A person needs to get hit to get their conscious back.”
At that sincere advice, Baek Cheon smiled,
“I am glad you don’t have a family.”
This was sincere.
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