“W-what is this?”
Un Geom, who was shocked, stared blankly at Hyun Jong. Hyun Jong gazed off at the distant mountain, seemingly at a loss for words.
“Equilibrium of Six…”
As if his mind was tangled, things seemed out of order.
The Equilibrium of Six technique is the most fundamental lesson taught in Mount Hua and was supported for many years. Just as those who hold a sword for the first time must learn to grip it, just as those who learn to read must memorize the characters first. All the martial arts in Mount Hua began with The Equilibrium of Six.
But time has passed, and things have changed. Mount Hua was no longer in a situation where they could afford to teach a slow technique with a methodical approach. They had to prepare things faster and advance quickly.
Wasn’t that why everyone put their heads together and invented the True Equilibrium of Six Sword?
Unlike the Equilibrium of Six, it can be learned faster and is more practical for new recruits.
“Sect leader. Haven’t we all come to a conclusion together that we had to move faster for Mount Hua?”
Hyun Jong let out a sigh.
“That’s why I came here to hear your opinion. As you said, it was the will of Mount Hua which redefined our foundation into the True Equilibrium of Six Sword. But the words of our ancestors are also important, right?”
Un Geom nodded his head.
It wasn’t some advice given randomly, but the words of their ancestors which laid the path for them. All sects work hard to follow the path set by those who came before.
So, how could they deny the clear will of those who built the sect?
“What do you think?”
“How can I—”
“You teach the children of Mount Hua. When it comes to their future, I can’t help but consider your opinion. Don’t think about anything unnecessary; simply speak from your heart.”
Un Geom took a deep breath.
‘It is difficult.’
Whether to follow tradition or choose to change was something people always contemplated. Because it wasn’t a question that had a correct answer.
“Sect leader, the reason we created the True Equilibrium of Six sword technique was that we didn’t have much time in Mount Hua.”
In the end, the original method took time. Who didn’t know the superiority of the original technique? However, Mount Hua didn’t have the time to leisurely raise their disciples. Right now, they were on the verge of collapse, so they couldn’t opt for a slow method.
“Which is why I ask you. Do you believe Mount Hua has a future now?”
Hyun Jong frowned; this was a difficult question too.
Mount Hua has just solved one of the most horrendous problems. Although it was the most urgent issue, many problems still remain.
“There isn’t an easy answer. Please understand that it cannot be answered clearly.”
As if he had made the decision, Un Geom opened his mouth.
“Then, I am against it.”
“Because it isn’t easy.”
Un Geom sighed.
Although the two techniques came from the same root, they were still different. In the first place, the fundamentals that they taught were different.
The Equilibrium of Six was slow and methodical, gradually developing the individual’s foundation by advancing one step at a time. On the other hand, their new technique allowed rapid advancement and quick growth, but it lacked stability.
“Children learn quickly; these children have already learned the martial arts with their bodies. It will be difficult to overwrite what’s been taught and re-teach them from the ground up. Failure to do so properly may have disastrous results. Above all else, it takes a stable lower body and strength for the past technique. It’s too late now.”
Un Geom shook his head.
“I don’t think that the words of our ancestors were wrong. If possible, I would also like to follow their instructions. But realistically, that is impossible.”
“That’s what you really think?”
“Yes, sect leader.”
“What did you say was necessary for the Equilibrium of Six?”
“A stable lower body and strength….”
Un Geom blinked dumbfoundedly as Hyun Jong turned his head to observe the childrens’ training.
“Stable lower body?”
“Their training seems to have gone well, hasn’t it?”
He didn’t train them like that.
That… Did that child do it?
Un Geom looked at Chung Myung, who was swinging his wooden sword in the back.
No. This situation was complicated, but it seemed too unreasonable. Chung Myung wasn’t from a martial arts family, and there was no way he could have predicted it in advance.
“It seems to me that the children wouldn’t have much difficulty in re-learning their techniques, right?”
“… Well… but the children might get confused.”
“Un Geom, isn’t it our job to manage the chaos and confusion as we lead them down the right path?”
Un Geom nodded his head.
“Is it the children who are confused, or is it you?”
“S-sect leader. Could you give me a moment?”
“I want to ask one of the children.”
“One of the children?”
“It isn’t me who will be learning the technique. To truly know the best way, I think it is better to directly ask the children who will be learning the martial arts.”
“That’s a good idea.”
Teaching is something that flows from top to bottom. The ones receiving the teaching would be the children. What they think is also important.
“Then, Yoon Jong—”
Before Hyun Jong could finish, Un Geom called loudly for Chung Myung. Chung Myung, who was swinging his sword, flinched at the sudden call.
At those words, Chung Myung lowered his sword and approached the elders.
“I have something to ask you.”
Un Geom exhaled and opened his mouth.
“Which do you think is better, going slower and higher or faster with certainty?”
Hyun Jong, who listened from the side, had an expression of disapproval. The question was too cryptic. It wasn’t asked in a way a child would understand.
‘Ah. Right. It’s Chung Myung.’
This child certainly had a unique side to him, so maybe he could understand and come up with an answer.
As if in deep thought, Chung Myung frowned. Then, as his thoughts cleared up, he raised his head and looked at Un Geom.
“Going higher is the better choice.”
“Because it’s Mount Hua.”
Un Geom looked at Chung Myung with a stiff face. The corners of his eyes twitched as if the answer was shocking.
Because it is Mount Hua.
Un Geom slowly turned his head and looked at Hyun Jong. Hyun Jong had closed his eyes. It wasn’t difficult to guess what he was thinking, although his thoughts couldn’t be entirely understood from just his expression.
It didn’t matter if the answer was right or wrong. The important thing was that the answer came out of this child’s mouth.
‘Right. We are Mount Hua.’
What they lost.
Mount Hua’s pride.
Fragments of that distant past were now flowing from the mouth of the youngest child in Mount Hua.
“Any other sect can choose the latter, but not Mount Hua. In order to restore the glory of the past and make Mount Hua’s name resonate around the world, we cannot compromise with reality.”
It was an answer which cut directly to the heart of the matter. Although Un Geom asked a cryptic question, Chung Myung answered while revealing his hidden intentions. It was something the adults should be ashamed of for trying to directly avoid.
“You mean we shouldn’t compromise because it is Mount Hua?”
Un Geom nodded.
“Go back and train.”
As Chung Myung went back. Un Geom sighed. But before he could speak, Hyun Jong spoke.
“I am ashamed.”
“Yes, sect leader.”
“To hear such words from a child. Hehe hehe. Because it is Mount Hua. Because it is Mount Hua… who in Mount Hua could even say such a thing in our current situation?”
Hyun Jong closed his eyes.
Even he, the sect leader of Mount Hua, was unable to say anything. He had hesitated to answer when questioned about the future. Perhaps, he could answer so innocently because he was a child who didn’t know.
But the important thing was that the answer had left him feeling ashamed.
“Mount Hua. Mount Hua.”
Un Geom said.
“It may be the words of a child. But a child is someone who can’t be swayed aside by reality.”
“It may be difficult, but I don’t want to fall short of the child’s expectations.”
Hyun Jong let out a sigh.
It wasn’t a small matter. Determining the basic techniques of the sect was vital. But even more important was selecting the direction Mount Hua would take in the future.
The small conversation grew like a snowball urging Hyun Jong to make a choice.
A decision of which path Mount Hua should follow.
“Listen, Un Geom.”
“Yes, sect leader.”
“In the name of Mount Hua, as of this moment, the basic technique of Mount Hua will be changed to Equilibrium of Six Sword.”
“I will follow your orders!”
“I will give an official order in consultation with the elders, but before the official order comes, I want you to understand it and pass it on to the children.”
Un Geom’s eyes turned sharp.
Mount Hua is Mount Hua.
It can’t stay as a poor sect anymore. If they are under the name Mount Hua, they should be the best and aim for the best. Even if one is trapped within a small stream, they must wait for the day that they can ascend to heaven and become a dragon.
That was the duty of those who bear Mount Hua’s name.
“Not just that one technique. You need to consider all the martial arts of Mount Hua. Your role as the head of the White Plum Blossom dorms will be more important than ever.”
“Yes, sect leader. If we can repay the kindness we received from Mount Hua, what more could we wish for?”
Hyun Jong smiled as he looked at the kids.
‘These children are the future of Mount Hua.’
Perhaps not in Un Geom’s generation, but by the time these children take the lead, they may be able to redeem Mount Hua’s name.
For that ideal, there was nothing that Hyun Jong wouldn’t do. Perhaps, the ancestors were watching from above and smiling at him with pride.
Chung Myung, who had returned to his training spot, clicked his tongue.
It seems like two elders couldn’t even come to a simple decision on their own.
‘Did you really have to ask me that? THAT? I put rice in front of them, and now they are asking me how to chew it!’
“Why are you sighing all of a sudden?”
“Do you know what I mean?”
In response to Jo Gul, Chung Myung frowned.
‘I need to think. These idiots can’t do anything right.’
He decided to head down to Hua-Um.
He was worried about how these people were handling the businesses down there. If he left it to the sect leader, Chung Myung was certain Mount Hua would die for sure.
“Haaa. This sect would never make a comeback if not for me.”
“…what is with him, sahyung?”
“Leave him be. This isn’t the first or second time he’s been like this, right?”
It was a moment that caused everyone to sigh in unison.
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