There was a small village on the peak of Dengfeng, which was in front of Mount Song, where Shaolin was located.
On this peak were many people who came to visit Shaolin.
Although Shaolin itself accommodated visitors and gave them most necessities, those who wanted to see Shaolin but did not follow the temple rules of Shaolin, flocked to the village below it.
Also, the Murim competition was currently ongoing, meaning Dengfeng was having a prosperous time.
“Here! Here is the tea from Luoyang! And warm bottles of wine! Come in quickly!”
“Here, one somen noodles!”
“Right! One minute!”
The staff took orders and carried food while running on their soles, all the while becoming sweaty.
The people who were seated together at the tables were all busy talking. And, of course, the topic was Mount Hua.
“Who could have imagined this at all?”
“Right. When the competition started, I thought Shaolin and Wudang would be the only fierce competition. If I had to add another sect, it would have been the Namgung family?”
Those who were talking nodded their heads.
“But Shaolin has only one person remaining, and Wudang too, just one, and Namgung has none.”
“Hehehe. Everyone must be shocked.”
Subtle emotions flashed across their faces.
Watching the huge mountain, the Nine Great Sects, shake gave the people a weird feeling. It was a mixture of pleasure and anxiety.
Two emotions were now coexisting.
“But what if it goes on like this? Shouldn’t Mount Hua win?”
“Ah. As if that could happen?”
“It isn’t wrong to be optimistic. And Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon cannot not be called the best in the world. He is a monster.”
“Well, even if one was an elder of any sect, they couldn’t have taken down Namgung Dowi like that. The reputation of him being the best was no lie!”
“Then, wouldn’t Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon be the winner?”
When everyone was talking in an excited voice, one man cut them down,
“Still, he cannot win.”
Those who sat at this table looked at the fat man on the other side.
“Why do you think so?”
“Well, it is simple. Because this is Shaolin.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
The man shrugged his shoulders and said,
“You don’t think that Shaolin actually put this competition together for the sole purpose of bringing all the sects together, right? If Shaolin hadn’t been confident in winning this competition, they wouldn’t have organized it. Think about it. Lose now. What a disgrace that would be for them.”
“I have heard it.”
The fat man nodded and continued,
“It is true that the performance of Mount Hua is surprising but winning is a whole different thing. Perhaps the victor will be by Shaolin’s Hae Yeon.”
“Isn’t that too arrogant, though? It seems like you are outright ignoring Mount Hua. Of course, it would be an exaggeration to evaluate Mount Hua with just one competition but isn’t it clear that the strong ones are on the side of Mount Hua?”
The fat man clicked his tongue,
“You don’t get it. I never ignored Mount Hua. I am just saying that Shaolin cannot be taken down easily.”
“Of course. Mount Hua is doing a great job. There are many talented people in that sect, but Shaolin is Shaolin. There are many kinds of those talents within Shaolin too. Isn’t Shaolin called ‘The Stable Star in Kangho’? No matter how great Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon is, Shaolin cannot be defe…”
At that moment.
Suddenly the door burst open, and a man walked in.
“Who is reckless enough… that person is?”
Silence settled into the diner, and the crowd was wide-eyed.
‘Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon?’
‘Is that Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon!’
‘Why is he here…?’
All those gathered here came to Shaolin to watch the spars. There was no way they wouldn’t be able to recognize the person who was the most discussed contestant in this competition.
If there was only one problem…
‘He looks angry?’
‘He seems to be upset about something.’
‘No, did he hear this conversation?’
The face of Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon, who had burst through the door, was distorted. Chung Myung’s eyes looked left and right, and those who met his eyes immediately bowed their heads.
‘If you make eye contact, we will be destroyed.’
‘Pretend to be asleep. Pretend to be asleep!’
Even those who weren’t interested in Mount Hua couldn’t be ignorant of the rumors spreading around.
-The nature of Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon is first class.
-Everyone would leave the seat in his face.
-Nothing good comes from being tied to him.
It was a case of undermining the popular man, so rumors like that weren’t paid attention to, but the rumors surrounding Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon tended to be accepted like that.
Didn’t those watching have eyes?
There were so many eyewitnesses, and they all said he was equally vicious and evil regardless of being on or off the stage.
In the end, the rumors about Chung Myung were accepted without a doubt. So everyone had no choice but to avoid his eyes.
Chung Myung looked around with bloodshot eyes making everyone flinch,
Chung Myung flew into the diner and took a seat in the corner,
“Yes, yes! Coming!”
“Here! First off, meat! Give me meat dishes and alcohol too! What’s there for drinks?”
“We have all you can think off!”
“Then, only five bottles of beer!”
“Yes! Just one minute, please! I will bring it right away!”
As the server ran into the kitchen, Chung Myung sighed,
“No, why are there so many people in this small town!”
Then, the door opened, and more people came in.
“…how many times do I have to tell you the door is opened with hands and not legs! You rotten idiot!”
“Just give up now, sasuk. He isn’t the kind to fix his bad habits.”
“… samae! I will get you some somen, so calm down!”
Baek Cheon covered his face with his hands.
‘There isn’t a single decent human around me.’
Jo Gul smiled bitterly,
“Well, I am glad we at least have a table. Why are there so many people in town…”
“Right. That too. I don’t know what that guy would have done if he had gone around a couple more places.”
Baek Cheon, knowing that Chung Myung could not be controlled, decided to get him a meal. As a result, he couldn’t help but be confused by the crowd that had gathered in the meantime.
It was literally heartbreaking to watch Chung Myung, with his bloodshot eyes, confirming that every diner they went to turned out to be full.
Baek Cheon walked over to the table where Chung Myung was and sat down as he sighed in relief and a little sense of shame.
Soon after him, the other disciples took their seats.
The server came running with a bottle. Afraid to put it down, he was hesitant, and Chung Myung grabbed the bottle and then opened it, drinking from it.
Gulp. Gulp, Gulp.
They all smiled, watching his cheeks move so fast.
“How can he be this twisted?”
“He is a true bandit. Maybe he picked the wrong mountain and ended up here? He should go to a mountain with bandits, but it seems like he stepped into Mount Hua.”
“Actually, Mount Hua now isn’t much different from bandit…”
“Even if that is true, there are things in the world which shouldn’t be spoken of.”
“…I was short-sighted.”
After paying close attention, Baek Cheon sighed again.
Chung Myung put down the empty bottle, though it was closer to tossing it. This was a spectacle worthy of applause that anyone could relate to. Unless it was a Taoist doing it.
Normally no one would pay attention to such acts. Because there were too many things one would notice around them, and yet everyone was looking at Chung Myung.
Those who glanced at their table began to mumble,
“Aren’t those people the disciples of Mount Hua?”
“Yes. The one in the center is the Righteous Sword of Hua. And the one to the side of him is Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon.”
“And the others are all those who did well in the competition, right? That disciple Yu Yiseol is the great disciple of the second class, and next to her is Jo Gul, the other third class disciple.”
“Ah. Doesn’t this seem like a dream?”
The disciples of Mount Hua’s eyes and ears began to twitch at those words.
“Seeing the people who lead Mount Hua gathered in one place. It feels eye-opening.”
“Not just leading Mount Hua. Aren’t they the ones who will lead Kangho too?”
“Such unusual force they have.”
Baek Cheon coughed at it with a blush on his face.
Of course, it was.
Had he ever received so much praise far from Mount Hua? Wherever they went, the Nine Great Sects were praised, but the disciples of Mount Hua had never experienced this before.
Of course, they were sparring in Shaolin and receiving cheers, but this and that felt different.
“The Righteous Sword of Mount Hua is truly handsome.”
“Isn’t Yu Yiseol’s sword technique beautiful too? And it is my first time seeing such beauty in my life!”
“Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon is as good as his name.”
Baek Cheon bowed his head.
‘I can hear everything, you wonderful humans.’
They were whispering to each other, but there was no way they couldn’t not hear it. Jo Gul and Yoon Jong were blushing, and seemingly Yu Yiseol was the only one who didn’t care.
Uh? Chung Myung?
Chung Myung was now taking down his second bottle… Chung Myung?
“I don’t know who the one next to them was, but the other five have already started to be referred to as the Five Swords.”
“Mount Hua’s Five Swords or the Plum Blossom Five Swords? Actually, aren’t Mount Hua’s Divine Dragon, Baek Cheon, Yu Yiseol, Jo Gul, and Yoon Jong already considered to be the strongest ones out there?”
“It seems like the Three Swords of Wudang.”
Baek Cheon was a bit shocked at this.
‘What? How come I never heard of this?’
In many cases, the person doesn’t realize the fame and words going around. Thanks to their performance in the spar, the fame of Mount Hua’s disciples skyrocketed.
“But isn’t Five Swords a bit strange?”
“Only three of them went further up in the competition, so Five Swords is a bit…”
“… no. Baek Cheon withdrew from the competition due to an injury, but he is said to be one of the strongest in Mount Hua.”
“I did hear that.”
“Anyway, don’t question it. There is no logic when the title is already spreading around. Soon, they will all get nice titles too.”
Yoon Jong and Jo Gul’s lips were twitching.
‘It is nothing.’
Something felt weird.
Getting a title meant that the person they were talking about was strong. In other words, Jo Gul and Yoon Jong had become strong people who could stand up for themselves.
When Chung Myung asked, both of them coughed,
“I can guess by looking at it.”
“…I might die from happiness.”
Seeing this, Chung Myung smiled.
‘You still have a long way to go, you brats.’
Actually, considering what they had done, the spreading rumors were too late. After the competition, their fame will spread even faster.
At that time, the server brought the dishes, and seeing that Chung Myung nodded,
“Let’s fill our stomachs. And server! Bring five more bottles of kaoliang alcohol!”
“Why did you order five and drink three by yourself!?”
“Why are you acting as if you’d die from not drinking?”
“One glass. One glass! One for me!”
It was the time when the disciples were drinking and feasting on chicken legs,
The door opened with a group of people walking in.
Baek Cheon, who looked at them, was shocked.
The ones who came were people from the Beggars Union.
Usually, they get their meals by begging, but when such events happen, they often pay.
Of course, it wasn’t a pleasant sight for dinner, but it was impossible to kick out a customer.
The beggars Union who entered inside looked around for a table.
Baek Cheon went back to focusing on his food.
But then one of the beggars who was looking around strode ahead with wide eyes,
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