“So… you came alone?”
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
Struggling to understand what was happening, Hwang Jongi looked back at the entire situation.
Repeating the same words and the same questions in his mind. He awkwardly makes eye contact with his subordinate.
‘Didn’t he say that just now?’
And then nodded with a slightly awkward face; it seemed like the child did come alone.
Hwang Jongi turned his head and looked at the child in front of him.
He had all sorts of thoughts racing through his mind.
Was Mount Hua looking down on the Eunha Merchants?
Or was there a reason they sent this child? If not…
At that moment, a peal of loud laughter was heard approaching from behind.
“How ridiculous! Young master, didn’t I tell you? There is no need to meet with Mount Hua!”
He had followed Hwang Jongi to the front gate and continued to speak while struggling to stifle his laughter.
“What were they thinking by sending a little boy for help? They knew nothing but wanted to make use of this opportunity. They were too embarrassed to come in person, so they sent a child instead. Such petty tricks!”
Hwang Jongi’s face hardened.
It was obvious that Ki Mok-Seung disliked Mount Hua just from his words, but now Hwang Jongi was beginning to think the same.
‘Is Elder Hyun Jong of Mount Hua a man who would do such a thing?’
The Hyun Jong that he knew was always a gentleman, despite being in trouble. It was unlikely for that man to send in a child alone.
But was this a new reality?
“Young man. Did you really come here alone?”
“… you mean that Mount Hua has sent you, a young Taoist, alone?”
Chung Myung sighed deeply.
‘To be treated like this, because of this young body.’
There was a time when Chung Myung was Mount Hua, and Mount Hua was Chung Myung.
‘Eh. I’d rather die than suffer like this.’
But he could understand the reaction. A child, who isn’t even a physician, comes and says they’ll cure diseases that the best doctors in the world failed to treat.
So, he controlled himself.
“My name is Chung Myung, a third-class disciple of Mount Hua. I received the letter the young master sent to Mount Hua. I have a clue about the symptoms which were written in the letter, so I came to visit.”
“It was an urgent matter, so I couldn’t wait for the others to come. Isn’t the elderly in critical condition?”
That was true…
Hwang Jongi, who stared at Chung Myung, couldn’t bring himself to trust that face. But he recalled a part of Chung Myung’s words and hardened his face.
“You said you have a clue about my father’s condition?”
“Yes. That’s right.”
Hwang Jongi clenched his fist.
‘This is the first time someone said it outright!’
So far, so many people had come, but not one person had an idea of what was happening.
At that moment, he heard a snort from behind.
“Huh. That young child is already misleading you. How can a child know something that the great masters of the world don’t? Young master! You can’t listen to him any longer.”
“Young master, do you believe that little brat?”
Hwang Jongi bit his lip.
At that moment, Chung Myung, who was listening, spoke out.
“By the way.”
“Who the hell are you? To keep referring to me as a brat?”
Ki Mok-Seung looked at Chung Myung with blank eyes.
“Are you asking me?”
“Is there anyone other than you who used the word brat?”
“Huh. You arrogant brat! Does this mean that the disciples of Mount Hua can’t even recognize the uniform of the Southern Edge Sect? I know that Mount Hua isn’t doing great, but I didn’t think they would be taking in such idiotic disciples.”
“Ah. Southern Edge Sect.”
Chung Myung just shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, you were speaking as if you knew what you were talking about, so I thought you were a physician. So, do you have a cure for Elder Hwang’s condition?”
“Elder Hwang has fallen ill because he went against the Dao. If we can perform the Taoist Ritual to relieve the anger of heaven, he will be healed cleanly.”
Chung Myung smiled at it.
“Oh. That could be true.”
Hwang Jongi’s face contorted at it.
But the words which flowed from Chung Myung’s mouth were completely different from Hwang Jongi’s expectations.
“Then we need to hurry up and call for the Wudang sect or the Kunlun sect.”
“Isn’t this ritual thing what they specialize in?”
Ki Mok-Seung frowned as he spoke with a slightly flustered face.
“T-there is no need to go that far. Isn’t the Southern Edge Sect right here?”
“Ehh. Everyone knows that both the Southern Edge and Mount Hua Sects aren’t good with rituals. If you are going to do a ritual, it would be better to get a proper expert. If it was me, I would prefer the Wudang sect.”
Hwang Jongi’s face darkened.
‘Who is this child?’
The child then whispered to Hwang Jongi.
“The Wudang sect tends to value trust, so donate a little and they will come to you right away. If you want to do something, then aim for the best quality. From a good place. A place that’s cost-effective too.”
Ki Mok-Seung let out a furious bellow from his anger-flushed face.
“Shut up! This brat is constantly making fun of adults! Did your elders teach you this?”
“Ah, yes, yes. Sorry.”
Chung Myung calmly picked his ears.
It was blatantly disregarding Ki Mok-Seung, but the man could do nothing but tremble in anger.
If he was the elder and he couldn’t even bear the anger and lashed out, then it would be a disgrace for the Southern Edge Sect. Wouldn’t that be enough for the people of the world to point their fingers at them?
No one could tell if the child was doing this intentionally, but he was adept at pulling on every nerve.
“Young master. Kick this brat out right now!”
Hwang Jongi sighed at those words.
“Elder. This is the Eunha Merchant Guild. Not the Southern Edge sect. it is up to me to decide how I will treat my guests.”
“Are you still saying that after seeing how this child acts?”
Hwang Jongi ignored Ki Mok-Seung and looked at Chung Myung.
‘I want to believe him.’
If he came here to cheat them, then the child wouldn’t be acting so proudly. But there was a bit of suspicion.
“I am not saying this because I don’t believe you….”
“It is fine. You can’t simply believe someone outright.”
“… thank you for understanding. May I ask a few questions?”
Hwang Jongi asked right away. Chung Myung also felt that it was understandable for the other man to be suspicious.
“Yes, by all means.”
Hwang Jongi gulped and continued.
“Young man. You said a while ago that you had some clue about my father’s condition, can I hear a little bit about it?”
“It will be a bit hard to say.”
Afraid that Chung Myung would say something, Ki Mok-Seung snorted. Hwang Jongi felt embarrassed at the absurdity.
“Instead, can I ask something?”
“What is it?”
Chung Myung asked.
“I heard that Elder Hwang often traveled for the sake of business, right?”
“Then, he must have stopped by the Qilian Mountains before growing ill. Right?”
Chung Myung spoke brimming with confidence.
Hwang Jongi was taken aback, his eyes opened wide, as he looked at Chung Myung and said.
“No, he didn’t.”
Chung Myung tilted his head slightly.
“That never happened. Father had never gone up those mountains.”
“… Ah, is that so?”
Chung Myung seemed flustered, and Hwang Jongi’s expression began to turn gloomy, so Chung Myung hastily said,
“Then, he must have been attacked in the upper parts of the Mountains before, right? Did he experience a crisis of some sort?”
“My father hasn’t been attacked at all in recent years. At least, not for five years.”
“Uh? Not that too? Ah, shit, then what?”
Hwang Jongi narrowed his eyes.
“Really? That can’t be right.”
Hwang Jongi could hear Ki Mok-Seung laughing from behind.
“That’s strange. Where did he get beat up?”
Beat up? This crazy bastard!
Was this child even in his right mind?
It was at the moment the hope Hwang Jongi saw in Chung Myung disappeared, Hwang Jongi’s eyes turned cold.
Chung Myung spoke in a panic.
“W-wait! Is that true? Well, I can still fix him.”
“… Young Taoist.”
Hwang Jongi sighed, and without missing the moment, Ki Mok-Seung came in.
“Didn’t I say that they were nothing now? Mount Hua was always made of rookies who liked to dazzle the others’ eyes. Isn’t that something you can see from this one’s overconfident form?”
“Please refrain from speaking like that, elder.”
Hwang Jongi dissuaded Ki Mok-Seung and spoke to Chung Myung.
“I understand the will of the young Taoist to come and help, but my father is very ill right now, and I don’t have the time for this. I hope you can understand my current position too—”
“His entire body turns red as if he’s boiling but his body shivers as though it’s cold. When you press his skin with your finger or hand, the pressed part turns white and then quickly turns red again. Until he lost consciousness, he complained about the cold as if he was in a frozen cave because of the uncontrollable chills! Furthermore, the black spots are not only the glabella, but also the back of neck and crown of his head.”
“Should I say more?”
Chung Myung smirked.
“H-How did you know?”
Hwang Jongi’s eyes widened. The face and form of Chung Myung were so confident that he couldn’t doubt him anymore.
“Ah… I came from a long way; I am a little thirsty.”
“What are you waiting for! Get water right now! No, get cold water! Right now!”
The subordinate didn’t even answer and ran inside with all his might. Hwang Jongi’s gaze and attitude had changed towards Chung Myung.
“We can’t do this here, please come inside.”
“Haha. What a great person has come.”
Chung Myung inflated his chest and followed Hwang Jongi inside. Ki Mok-Seung, who was watching from the side, exclaimed urgently.
“Young master! Those are typical symptoms of those who suffer from harmful qi! Knowing that doesn’t change anything!”
Hwang Jongi narrowed his eyes.
“Are you saying that a black qi gathers on the crown and back of the neck of those who have been affected by harmful qi flow?”
“This is a matter of the Eunha Merchant Guild. We will not tolerate any more interference than necessary. If you interfere one more time, I will personally have to take this up to the Southern Edge Sect.”
Ki Mok-Seung sighed and took a step back.
His eyes looked at the child; Chung Myung had puffed up cheeks, clearly trying to hold back his laughter.
Ki Mok-Seung felt heat rising all over his body. He wanted to tear the child apart, but what could he do? As Hwang Jongi said, this wasn’t the Southern Edge sect but the Eunha Guild. No matter how much of an elder he was, he couldn’t act arrogantly here.
“You brat! If you cannot treat Elder Hwang properly, I will personally strike you down!”
All he could do was shove Chung Myung and walk away furiously.
After a little while, Hwang Jongi spoke with a bitter smile.
“I am sorry. Young Taoist. Strangely whenever Mount Hua comes up, the Southern Edge Sect seems to lose all reason.”
“Ah- please understand….”
“Who’s to blame? It was all my sins to begin with.”
Chung Myung shrugged.
‘Maybe I shouldn’t have beaten them so much?’
At this moment, the perpetrator from a hundred years ago sympathized with the victims a hundred years later.
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