A dark cave.
A bandaged hand, covered in tattered cloth, pulled itself up to the lightless cave’s entrance.
Soon after, a face which couldn’t be more distorted suddenly appeared.
Chung Myung, who reached out and grabbed the floor with both hands, crawled into the cave.
“Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Plum Blossom Sword Saint, my ass!”
What was he thinking hiding in such a place? Did his head go mad after all that training in the mountains?
‘Ah, right, the Plum Blossom Sword Saint is me.’
“Ahhhh, I’m dying.”
Chung Myung, lying flat on the floor, began to curse. When he realized that he had somehow made it into the cave, he strangely felt as if he would cry.
‘It was really close.’
Climbing up a cliff with broken wrists wasn’t an easy task. Any person with common sense would have known how dangerous it would be and given up.
Unfortunately, Chung Myung was a man who had a brain but no thoughts.
“Right! If I didn’t climb up now, it would have just wasted more time!”
Chung Myung yelled as he kept trying to make excuses for what he did as he lay on the floor, suffering and shifting around.
“Ah, this old man is dying.”
Actually, he is a child now. He gets so confused at times.
Still, somehow, he managed to live. He made a stronger rope this time; if the rope had broken again this time, he would have really gone to see the King of the Underworld.
If that happened, he was sure that the King of the Underworld would have a hard time holding back his laughter. Now he felt glad he didn’t die.
Chung Myung, who forced himself to straighten his crooked waist, looked around.
He couldn’t see anything.
Not because his body hurt that much, but because it was too dark to see anything.
“Tch. This is probably….”
He stretched out his hands and caught on to some form of fabric.
Pulling the cloth held in his fingertips, it was easily swept away, revealing a light that brightened the inside of the cave. Looking at the glowing light, Chung Myung smiled.
“Really, I was something else.”
The light was clear and brilliantly shining.
One cannot light a fire inside a cave. Since the cave inclined with the entrance at the bottom, it would quickly fill with smoke if a fire was ignited. No one could drink alcohol with such acrid smoke permeating the air.
To be precise, it would be possible for Chung Myung, but who would want to drink in such a place?
‘Which is why I brought night light lamps and put them here.’
How costly they were.
‘It’s one of the offerings I slipped away from Mount Hua.’
In the past, so many things came in and out of the sect; even if one or two things went missing, nobody would notice.
Of course, his sahyung and the finance minister, who had to settle the book-keeping, would have vomited blood if they’d heard his thoughts.
“What good would remembering the past do?”
Once again, with a calm feeling, he realized how ruthless the Plum Blossom Sword Saint was.
‘Ah, that’s me. I keep forgetting that.’
Chung Myung looked around at the brightly lit cave.
Inside, which was neither large nor small, there was only one bed to lie down on, a small tea table, and a chest.
Something felt wrong. It was weird how these things stayed the same despite the years that had passed.
“Ehh. Is this how things end up?”
Suddenly, he came to a realization.
What if he had died without being revived? And someone from Mount Hua discovered this place in the future? Wouldn’t it have caused an uproar, thinking this was a secret master practitioner’s hideout?
What if someone fell off the cliff and stumbled into it?
“Ugh! The bloody cliff!”
All Chung Myung wanted was to hang out in a quiet place and drink, but the people of the later generations wouldn’t understand that and might think there was some secret hidden here.
They would think that the hidden cave was the personal hideout of a man going against the principles of Mount Hua.
“But aren’t all cliffs used for such purposes?”
Chung Myung walked towards the chest. With his hurting hands, he carefully opened the lid. The dust, which had accumulated over a hundred years, scattered through the cave as the lid was lifted.
“Cough! Cough! Cough!”
Waving away the dust, Chung Myung looked inside the chest.
The first thing which caught his eye was a bottle of alcohol. When he saw various liquor bottles stored inside, he began to salivate.
‘No, no! Alcohol isn’t important right now!’
He despairingly pushed the bottles out of his sight and then looked at the small box remaining in the chest.
‘This is it!’
Chung Myung quickly grabbed the box and pulled it out. It was a bit heavier than he remembered.
Taking a deep breath, Chung Myung carefully opened the lid. At the same time, the strong scent of the Plum Blossom Pills spread throughout the cave.
It felt as if Plum Blossom trees in full bloom filled the surroundings.
When the lid opened completely, he could see round objects filling the box. From the bottom, the box was filled to the brim with pills and sitting on top we five perfectly round snow-white items.
An overwhelming sense of excitement caused tears to flood Chung Myung’s eyes.
What was filling the box wasn’t just some random cushioning materials, but actual Plum Blossom Pills!
No matter how common the Plum Blossom Pills were, who would use them as cushioning? How greedy can a person be to covet them and use them like this? If Sahyung had seen this, he would have grabbed Chung Myung by the neck.
“Be grateful I didn’t use the truly precious pills. Sahyung!”
Chung Myung was making excuses to his dead peers from embarrassment.
But he couldn’t touch the most precious pill, the Supreme Pill. Like any other sect, it was a treasured pill that could only be handled by the highest-level authority in Mount Hua.
The Supreme Pill can only be taken out with the permission of a medical practitioner and the Sect elder.
On the other hand, any of the elders in the sect can take out the plum blossom pill. Of course, there were other pills more precious than plum blossom pills, and those too could only be handled by powerful elders.
Elders like Chung Myung! The strongest and most powerful in the sect!
-The strongest troublemaker of Mount Hua!
It felt like he was hallucinating and hearing voices from somewhere.
For now, Chung Myung needed to get these things. With this, he would be able to heal his body.
Chung Myung took the white pills, the snow plum blossom pills, from the box very carefully. He used these as hangover pills in the past, but now they were precious medicine for him. To Chung Myung, these pills were more precious than money.
“Ah! I am nervous!”
Chung Myung placed the box in the chest and looked at the snow plum blossom pill in his hand.
A pure scent constantly flowed from this white pill. Just smelling it made his body feel more comfortable.
“It is said that people don’t know the importance of things until they’re gone.”
When Mount Hua stood at the top of the world, no one would even look at these pills. Only higher-tiered pills held value then.
Wasn’t that why Chung Myung was able to bring so many plum blossom pills with him?
Not just Chung Myung, it happened all over Mount Hua. It was a natural thing. There was no shortage of pills in Mount Hua, so who would pay attention to the lesser valued ones?
But now, he’s in such a precarious situation. The pills he regarded so lightly have come back with a crushing weight.
“Oh, my God. How did my life come to this?”
He’d rather die than suffer like this.
Chung Myung gathered his thoughts and sat down quickly. He would surely have enough time to lament over things once the task was done. Now, he had to recover his weak body and build more strength.
He crossed his legs as he sat down and threw a snow plum blossom pill into his mouth. The moment it entered his mouth, it melted without even giving him a chance to chew.
A fresh scent filled Chung Myung’s mouth as he began to meditate without letting such thoughts distract him.
Merely eating a pill doesn’t automatically increase your strength. Your strength can only be improved if the qi in the pills is properly absorbed into the body.
So, a subtle problem arises here.
When you’re young, you can’t fully absorb the energy even if you eat a powerful pill. This is because children lack the ability to properly operate their qi.
On the other hand, what about once you’re old enough to manage your qi?
The effects would be weakened because your body had already developed and created its own energy reserves.
Pills are only made to fill in the qi lacking in the body, not to add to what’s already full.
‘If people could get stronger from pills, then the Shaolin sect bastards would have been at it and become the best in the world.’
A young body couldn’t absorb the full extent of the qi in the pills, so what about Chung Myung?
‘I will suck it deep into the core!’
He knew how to perfectly manage his qi.
He knew the teachings of the past and had experience.
Once the pill entered the stomach, the qi began to release.
The energy was pulsating within Chung Myung’s body. He felt the great flow of qi which he hadn’t felt in a long time.
Fill the dantian with qi and prevent the excess qi from breaking out? That shouldn’t be difficult for Chung Myung. However, what Chung Myung had to do now wasn’t so simple.
He had to fill the qi into his body to repair his innate true qi.
Chung Myung’s thick and dull mind had to act sharp like a blade. But he decided to go a step further, sharpening his mind like a needle; he perfectly controlled the pill’s qi and pushed it into the dantian.
Soft and delicate, as if he was handling a baby.
Inside Chung Myung’s mind, he held the qi in his hands and guided it.
However, the goal wasn’t just his dantian. It was the deepest core of the dantian. Where a pure internal qi is held in every human since birth.
‘No, I can’t!’
Chung Myung, who was about to push it into the dantian, suddenly pulled it back.
Pills were created by refining the excellent energy of spirit medicines found in nature. In other words, it can be said that these pills seek to extract and concentrate pure qi.
However, although this pill was Mount Hua’s pride, it was too impure to be used in Chung Myung’s dantian. If the qi inside his dantian was like pure water coming from the mountains, then the snow plum blossom pill would be akin to stagnant water.
So, he decided.
“I’ll filter it!”
If he could filter the qi, most of the impure qi could be discarded. Accepting the qi as it was, seemed meaningless. Hadn’t he come a long way to create the most complete and perfect foundation? He couldn’t ruin his progress by being hasty now.
‘Keep what’s pure and discard the rest!”
Qi circulated through his body. Gradually, it was shaved off little by little. Impurities in the pill mixed with impurities within his body and were slowly pushed out of him.
Soon, thick, dark sweat began to seep out of Chung Myung’s body.
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