After a long period of hardship, peace had come to Mount Hua.
The financial problems which plagued Mount Hua the most were resolved through Chung Myung, and new martial arts were provided, allowing the sect to move forward.
Just as spring comes when winter passes, Mount Hua’s vitality was blossoming like a vibrant spring, and everyone was lost in blissful happiness… at least that’s how it should be.
“Peace my ass!”
Chung Myung’s face contorted.
The broom he was holding bent as if broken as he clenched his hands tightly.
It is chaos!
“Uh? Calculation? T-this… wait. Jo Gul Sahyung! Jo Gul Sahyung! How much is this?”
“That! That! be careful!”
“It all depends? Huh? It depends on the items. A refund? Huh? Ah.”
The third-class disciples of Mount Hua, who had white robes on, were profusely sweating as they dealt with a rushing influx of customers.
It was pure chaos.
It was good that the ledger was found, and the businesses returned to Mount Hua. Since they acquired ten new businesses that were profitable and doing well, wasn’t the only thing left to do just sit back and make money?
… that naïve thought was the beginning of all the problems.
Chung Myung hadn’t even thought about it, but these people had no experience running a proper business for nearly a hundred years. So, an awkward situation arose where greenhorns who have never earned a single penny on their own were now in charge of running ten businesses.
And the result?
“No! I already said I ran out of ingredients a while ago! Why aren’t more coming?”
“What the hell are you doing?”
“What is that idiot doing grabbing the customers? Hey! Hey!”
Chung Myung tried to smile.
‘Do well. Do well.’
The disciples of Mount Hua, who did nothing in life but train their bodies and swords, came down to Hua-Um and were sweating hard dealing with customers.
If the ancestors saw this scene, they would have a few stern words… no, they would have grabbed the elders by their necks and flung them around wildly.
Among the disciples was Chung Myung. The customers, of course, did not respond well to his performance.
“No! What kind of tea is this!”
“Tea comes from leaves! Don’t you know what tea is? How can you call this tea?”
“How can you just mash the leaves in the pot? Where is the owner of this place?”
It was a living hell.
Chung Myung sighed as he looked around.
Well, this was better.
The third-class disciples, who began working for the first time, experienced hell. No, the people who were here to do business were going through hell as well.
A guy selling silk accidentally rips the cloth.
A man asks for a rod and gets a pickaxe.
The third-class disciples, who were only serving customers, were enough to torment the flow of business; and the upper-level staff of Mount Hua felt like they were losing their heads.
Those who have spent their whole lives on the mountain teaching now lacked the common sense of how things worked outside of Mount Hua.
“Hey, you! What are you doing! Get to work!”
“Kuak! Ah! Yes!”
Chung Myung soon began to sweep the pavilion again.
‘Sweep this, sweep that. All the customers are going home anyway!’
In Chung Myung’s eyes, he saw all the guests storming out the doors stamping and throwing dust in their wake.
Seeing their displeased faces, as if to spite his hard work, he wanted to yell.
‘Crush them completely!’
But he couldn’t do as he wanted because he was the youngest of Mount Hua.
Chung Myung just brushed dust aside with the broom and slowly fell back. Jo Gul, who was busy carrying refreshments, stood out.
He didn’t listen.
Jo Gul continued to act as if he couldn’t hear.
Were his ears blocked?
“Jo Gul, you bastard!”
“Yes! The third-class disciple Jo Gul… what?”
Jo Gul glared at Chung Myung. He was still just a Sajae and the youngest at that. Talking nonsense and insulting a Sahyung wouldn’t be tolerated…
Jo Gul glanced around and then approached Chung Myung.
“Let’s just speak as humans, with no ranks dividing us. I’ve heard that you are the youngest son of a famous merchant. The youngest son of the continent’s greatest…something or other?”
“Continent my ass. We’re just a small merchant family.”
“Still, you have to be able to see what’s going on and understand. The youngest son of an influential family is an immature problem child, but secretly harbors an otherworldly talent just waiting to be utilized. Isn’t that how it usually goes?”
“… what the hell are you talking about?”
Jo Gul took a deep breath. He couldn’t understand what Chung Myung was trying to say.
Chung Myung pointed to the scene of chaos.
“How the hell did this happen?”
Jo Gul sighed.
“Do you remember the people who used to be in charge of this place?”
“It turns out that they had pretty good reputations. As those people moved or quit, a lot of their employees quit with them.”
Those scamming bastards seemed popular with their employees.
“Reputation? What sort of dog shit is that Sahyung?”
“To be precise, it seems that they were too thorough with their relationships and ties. Most of the employees who worked for them were their relatives or family members, so they immediately quit.”
Is this the downside of a family-owned business? This was why professional managers… no, forget it.
“So, this is an employee issue, right?”
“That’s only the first thing.”
“Huh? Do we have more?”
Jo Gul subtly frowned and then looked around, confirming that there was no one listening in, he said.
“As you can see, the biggest problem is that the adults of Mount Hua don’t have the ability to run these businesses.”
“Is that a problem?”
“Those who live without studying and those who spend their lives on the martial arts tend to have difficulties making a living. It isn’t as easy as people want it to be. If it was easy to make money, then everyone would be rich.”
“Yeah, that is right.”
Chung Myung took a deep breath.
“So, now Mount Hua is incapable of managing these businesses?”
“That’s a bit of an over-exaggeration, but it is like tying a pearl around a pig’s neck. I didn’t expect it to be this bad….”
It was then.
A loud voice was heard.
“No! I asked for Pu’er tea! Why would you bring this instead?”
“Isn’t that what it is?”
“This is Oolong tea! Sahyung! I am already in a ton of trouble; do you want me to die! How can you suddenly change it?”
“Why are you raising your voice! As if I’ve ever had to deal with such an expensive tea before! I obviously wouldn’t know anything about it!”
“Who here would have ever had the chance to drink it?”
Chung Myung shook his head.
People were fighting merely over the change of tea leaves.
Jo Gul clicked his tongue.
“You have to choose a good product, then you need to have good materials to make the product. If your materials are too expensive then the cost may exceed the returns, and if you choose to use cheap materials then your customers won’t trust the product.”
“… and if we start learning the business now?”
“Would you want to teach a forty-year-old geezer, with no experience, martial arts?”
Jo Gul shook his head and continued.
“Honestly, I think that if it continues like this, we will be ruined in less than half a year. I don’t know what the old Mount Hua was like, but the current Mount Hua doesn’t have the ability to operate these businesses.”
“But wouldn’t learning it make a difference?”
Jo Gul looked at Chung Myung with a blank face.
“Chung Myung. Look, do you know the characteristics of our current businesses?”
“It is all about bringing things in and selling them off.”
“Silk, cloth, metals, tea etc. all of them require materials so they can be made into a product to be sold. Do you know where I am going with this?”
“If I could figure that out, wouldn’t I be rich?”
“It’s said that each material chosen can influence the prosperity of a business. Consider that. Then, if a naïve disciple, who knows nothing of the world or money, tries to purchase the raw material from a wholesaler, what do you think would happen?”
“We’ll be ripped off.”
“Not just that. They would suck the bones dry too.”
“Forget it. This was bound to fail from the start.”
Chung Myung turned his head, looked at the distant sky, and smiled.
He only now realized his Sahyung’s greatness. All these businesses operated effortlessly with him in charge.
‘Eh, damn it. I’d rather die than suffer.’
Chung Myung thought.
“Then, what’s the solution?”
Jo Gul looked at Chung Myung.
“Why are you asking me!?”
“Sahyung is the child of a merchant family! There must be some solution, right?”
“You idiot! If there was one, would I be sitting around like this! If I had the ability to do it, I wouldn’t be at Mount Hua at all! I would have already inherited the family business and made a fortune.”
“… is this situation that severe?”
“There’s no solution.”
Jo Gul had a bitter smile.
“At least, I would have tried to contact my home. But it’s too far away and my household couldn’t afford it. To smoothly run an operation like this we would need a giant, knowledgeable in all kinds of goods. But there isn’t anyone like that in Mount Hua.”
There used to be one.
Jo Gul spoke with a wry smile.
“If only Elder Hwang was fine, we wouldn’t have to worry about this.”
“Yes, Elder Hwang.”
Chung Myung tilted his head.
“Come to think of it, this man called Elder Hwang gets mentioned frequently. Who is he?”
Jo Gul nodded his head.
“He’s one of the merchants based in Shaanxi. He handles things from Yunnan and the west too.”
“But what does that person have to do with Mount Hua?”
“He’s supported Mount Hua for a long time. It is a famous story. Because of him, Mount Hua wasn’t completely destroyed and could keep afloat.”
“…I don’t see him here.”
“Well. I don’t know but….”
Jo Gul shrugged his shoulders.
“I heard that he supported not just Mount Hua, but also many other places. Anyway, if it were him, there wouldn’t be any problems. We could have requested advice and gotten a lot of help.”
“Then, we just need to ask him for help.”
“No. Elder Hwang has been sick for a year now. There’s even a rumor that he’s in a coma.”
“Chung Myung! Where is Chung Myung?”
Chung Myung raised his head towards the voice that was looking for him.
A familiar face came into Chung Myung’s gaze.
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