Jin Cho-Baek clenched his fists tightly.
Everyone here must be nervous, but he would be the only one watching this spar with such complicated feelings.
Well, one of his sons was trying to overpower his younger brother, who had joined Mount Hua. On the other hand, the younger brother was trying to overthrow his older brother, who had joined the Southern Edge Sect.
Jin Cho-Baek had no choice but to wear a bitter look watching this spar.
They were thrown back faster than their speed on approach. Recovering, they once again rushed at each other, swords first.
Jin Cho-Baek bit his lip, watching his sons disengage and stare each other down. It might not be visible yet, but on the surface, there was no major difference in their skills.
‘When did that child get so strong compared to his hyung?’
He knew that Baek Cheon had become stronger. He had a good performance so far, so how could he not know?
However, he had thought that no matter how much Baek Cheon struggled, he would never be on par with his older brother.
Just a few years back, there had been no competition between them at all, so it was only natural for him to have this assumption.
Since their childhood, Baek Cheon had never once defeated Jin Geum-Ryong. Even considering his age, he would never see Baek Cheon show at least half the talent of Jin Geum-Ryong.
‘What did you experience on Mount Hua, and what did you gain?’
Right now, in front of him, Baek Cheon was able to tackle Jin Geum-Ryong without being pushed back.
It was so dazzling to his eyes.
Jin Cho-Baek bit his lower lip firmly.
‘I made a mistake.’
Talent wasn’t one-size-fits-all. Some talents shone brilliantly from the start, while others bloomed over a long period of time, like a flower that shines during the long winter after enduring the cold.
Parents and teachers were the ones who needed to recognize both types of talents and nurture them.
‘I wasn’t a proper parent to him.’
He thought it was enough. He thought since Baek Cheon couldn’t be compared to his brother, he shouldn’t expect much from that child and hurt him.
His eyes now turned to the disciples of Mount Hua, who were cheering for Baek Cheon.
‘Mount Hua has raised that child.’
They did what he couldn’t do.
Hyun Jong, who spoke without shame that Mount Hua needed Baek Cheon, resounded in his mind.
‘Could I have said that?’
Jin Cho-Baek closed his eyes.
He was here as an elder of the Southern Edge Sect. If he considered his duties, of course, he should be supporting Jin Geum-Ryong and not Baek Cheon.
However, as the father of Baek Cheon and not an elder of the Southern Edge Sect, he had no choice but to look at his younger son.
What you have.
What I let go.
“Sahyung, sasuk will win right?”
At Jo Gul’s question, Yoon Jong couldn’t answer.
Of course, his belief in Baek Cheon was firm.
‘Sasuk is different from us.’
Before Chung Myung appeared, Baek Cheon was superior to anyone on Mount Hua.
The delicateness, his leisurely movement, and his skills. If one was a disciple of Mount Hua, then one would admire him. Baek Cheon was so overwhelming that even the same Baek disciples couldn’t compete with him.
That man was so persistent with his work and training. Baek Cheon was one of those who truly tried to defeat the Southern Edge Sect and constantly pushed himself to the limit.
So how could they not trust him?
‘His opponent is Jin Geum-Ryong.’
Although that man shone a little less after losing to Chung Myung, he was still one of the best talents of the Southern Edge Sect. He was a talented person who was widely known to be the premier candidate for the next sect leader of the Southern Edge Sect. One who could bring back their heyday, something that had never truly happened before.
Of course, since Chung Myung had entered the scene, Mount Hua had become stronger. But…
‘Have we really managed to cross that gap?’
Baek Cheon would have to prove it against Jin Geum-Ryong.
“Believe in him,” said Yoon Jong firmly, not taking his eyes off the stage.
“Believe in sahyung. Believe in the training we have done so far. We have become strong.”
Jo Gul didn’t continue.
‘It isn’t like Jin Geum-Ryong was playing around either.’
If he had to choose between the two, he would pick the elder brother over Baek Cheon.
‘Jin Geum-Ryong seems to have trained to the point where he doesn’t look like his past self at all.’
Anyone could guess that from his look now. Just how much he was pushing himself to the limit.
But could Baek Cheon really defeat Jin Geum-Ryong? Could it be possible to close the gap between the two?
“Sahyung will win.”
Jo Gul shook his head at the voice from behind. Yu Yiseol looked at the spar happening with a cold and stiff face,
“Cause he trained to the point of death.”
Contrary to her calm voice, Yu Yiseol was clenching her fist under the sleeve. She was nervous too. Jo Gul, who looked at her, bit his lip, looking back at Baek Cheon.
The two swords aimed for the other again.
The swords constantly fell with the sharp sound of metal each time they met. Baek Cheon was clenching his teeth as he felt the force being transmitted through the hilt.
He thought that he had surpassed his brother in terms of strength. He thought that no matter how much help Jin Geum-Ryong had received from his elders, he couldn’t overpower Baek Cheon, who had taken the Purple Sky Pill and the Soul Vitality Pill.
However, Jin Geum-Ryong didn’t seem much inferior to Baek Cheon. Once again, he realized just how much effort the Southern Edge Sect has put into Jin Geum-Ryong.
The force of each movement seemed to cause a small implosion of air. At the same time, a small explosion of qi occurred between the two.
Baek Cheon was pushed back and noticed that Jin Geum-Ryong was running for him. And his brother’s sword fell like a ray of light right toward his head, making Baek Cheon raise his sword up, clenching his teeth.
Baek Cheon felt a huge shock pass through all of his body at the collision. Jin Geum-Ryong immediately kicked him in the chest without giving him time to recover.
Baek Cheon was almost pushed off the stage, but he managed to kneel down and hold his ground as he looked at Jin Geum-Ryong.
And his older brother was looking down at him with arrogant eyes.
‘It has always been like this.’
Trampled on countless times.
Fought countless times.
Yet the result was the same.
Baek Cheon, who was pushed back, couldn’t understand it. Jin Geum-Ryong would always look down on him.
If there was anything that had changed, it was that his older brother, who at least showed a bit of concern in the past, was now staring at him with cold eyes.
“For sure… you look like someone who belongs to Mount Hua.”
Jin Geum-Ryong looked down and said,
“If it was in the past, you would have collapsed already, and your face would have anger written all over it.”
“I admit that the gap between us has narrowed. However, no matter how much you strive to close the gap, as long as you cannot overtake me, the results will always be the same.”
-I will forever be your wall.
That was what he was saying.
Baek Cheon got up and shook the sword in his hand as he said,
“I don’t know much. But a wall is always there.”
“Like I said.”
Baek Cheon explained,
“As long as you try to be a wall, you will be waiting to be overtaken by me. The wall just stays in that one place while I will move ahead.”
And he raised his sword aiming it at Jin Geum-Ryong,
“No matter how high a wall is… if you climb it, one day, it can be crossed, and eventually the top will be reached. I learned to get over such things from some damned idiot.”
“Today, I will break you down.”
“You speak well.”
Jin Geum-Ryong looked at Baek Cheon with cold eyes.
In the past, he would have laughed at these remarks from Baek Cheon. For him, Baek Cheon was more or less nothing than an opponent who could never catch up to him.
Jin Geum-Ryong looked at the sword he was holding. His palms were turning a bit slippery around the handle. This shouldn’t be happening.
‘Seems like I am nervous. Me…’
Against Baek Cheon.
Jin Geum-Ryong wasn’t ignoring this fact. He wasn’t pushing ahead, nor was he showing pride.
Just acknowledging it.
Baek Cheon has become incomparably stronger than in the past, and the gap between them had been narrowed by a lot too.
But there was one thing he was sure of.
“Even if what you say is true…”
Jin Geum-Ryong looked at Baek Cheon. His cold face was there, but it still showed the confidence he had in himself.
“That will not be today. Right now, you cannot overtake me.”
Soon, It would come to an end.
“And I will prove that such a day will not come either!”
Jin Geum-Ryong rushed for Baek Cheon.
His sword pierced through the air sharply. The sword made a sound like it was splitting the air as it created dozens of sword shadows.
The force was so strong that it looked like it would tear down one’s soul too.
However, Baek Cheon clenched his teeth and clearly looked at this.
‘Do not avoid it.’
No matter how strong or fast it was. He has been through so much more than this, so there is no need to be afraid.
‘I see it.’
Baek Cheon smiled subtly without even realizing it.
His body moved before his head could control it. The Plum Blossom Sword he grabbed struck the sword of Jin Geum-Ryong.
The swords, covered with qi, collided, creating a noise that seemed to pierce the ears of the crowd. Baek Cheon, who deflected the sword, gripped his tighter.
‘I am looking at the sword of Jin Geum-Ryong.’
A sword he never had seen in the past. A technique he lost to without even understanding it.
But at this moment, Baek Cheon could clearly see the sword he was going against. The feeling of pleasure made his head rush ahead.
But blocking alone wasn’t enough.
He immediately took a step ahead and slashed Jin Geum-Ryong on the throat and looked carefully.
For the first time, his older brother was looking a bit embarrassed.
The rushing sword of Baek Cheon bounced back, but that didn’t mean that this was meaningless.
What I have achieved!
I can finally reach out to Jin Geum-Ryong!
‘I have grown.’
It may sound obvious.
He had become stronger than his past self, and he had even taken down the disciples of some famous sects.
No one would admit the growth of Baek Cheon.
But strangely, it was difficult to realize this. He pretended to be dignified in front of his sajaes, but in the meantime, Baek Cheon had suffered from impatience all this time. Even to this very moment.
And now he knew the reason for this anxiety.
In the end, unless he surpassed Jin Geum-Ryong, he couldn’t truly grow up.
In fact, Jin Geum-Ryong was a wall for Baek Cheon.
‘I cannot move ahead until I jump over it.’
Sympathy? Jealousy? Desperation?
In order to move ahead as a swordsman, he would have to jump over this wall, Jin Geum-Ryong of the Southern Edge Sect!
Baek Cheon didn’t miss the single second of victory he managed to grasp.
‘I will show you.’
What Baek Cheon accomplished?
After a long winter, like patience and perseverance, what has bloomed!
Baek Cheon’s sword struck Jin Geom-Ryong. The tip of Baek Cheon’s sword, which had a strong intent to slash his opponent, had been pushed away. Yet, it began to shake delicately.
At the same time, red plum blossoms shone from the sword.
His own plum blossom.
One by one, the plum blossoms which were blooming began to spread around in an instant.
At that moment.
“Don’t get too excited.”
Jin Geum-Ryong’s body seemed to stretch out, and in an instant, he narrowed the distance between him and Baek Cheon.
And with a formidable sword movement, he slashed the sword of Baek Cheon, which was blooming plum blossoms.
Baek Cheon was pushed back with a loud noise. At the same time, the blooming plum blossoms exploded and disappeared.
Jin Geum-Ryong’s sword moved with his cynicism. A dark blue light as cold as his eyes moved for Baek Cheon’s wrist.
With a terrifying noise, blood splashed everywhere…
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