“Tsk. This is too much work.”
Chung Myung climbed the mountain with an expression that clearly showed his annoyance.
“It’s so slow.”
Chung Myung sighed.
He had never raised a disciple in his previous life.
Even his sahyung, who always desperately searched for reasons to nag Chung Myung, never once dared to ask that he take in a disciple.
His sahyung held discussions with the other elders who were worried about whether Chung Myung’s unparalleled swordsmanship would be passed onto future generations.
What he told them was,
– I am worried about that as well. However, I am still a human. I feel sympathy and love just as anyone else does. I cannot ever request a disciple to be sent under him. Chung Myung is the sort of man that would beat a dog for not walking upright. Of what sin did the children partake to deserve such punishment? If we are Taoists who cultivate the Dao, we cannot commit such acts of cruelty.
Since then, no one ever asked Chung Myung to accept disciples.
‘Now that I think about it, it feels pretty bad. Those bastards just spoke about me however they wanted.’
What’s so bad about his methods? They are growing up so well!
Of course, it took a lot of work.
Chung Myung raising the third-class disciples was no different from an adult teaching an infant to walk.
If it was anyone else, they would coddle the child and hold them at every step. However, the toddler can only truly stand independently by being thrown off their feet and figuring it out for themselves.
“Ugh. I really would rather die than to suffer like this.”
As a result, it took more time than expected, and as the training dragged on, there wasn’t enough time left for Chung Myung’s own practice. He was almost at the point where he was ready to sacrifice his sleep in order to train.
Chung Myung took a deep breath and looked up at the sky.
“Sahyung. Do I have to go this far? It’s easier for me to just try and grow myself instead of waiting for them to catch up.”
– Well, do that then.
Chung Myung sighed.
He was well aware that it would be impossible to recover Mount Hua’s former glory on his own.
Sure, Chung Myung could make Mount Hua famous alone, but he couldn’t live forever, right? Then, wouldn’t Mount Hua disappear once he dies?
What Chung Myung had to create was the spirit of Mount Hua, which would never disappear.
A flower with beautiful petals is nice, but it fades and rots quickly. The spirit of Mount Hua must be like the roots of a great tree, it may not be seen, but it keeps the being alive.
How can life be so easy?
Chung Myung felt dizzy at the task ahead of him.
He continued organizing his thoughts as he climbed the mountain. Upon arriving at his training ground, he quickly scanned the surroundings.
‘She won’t come here again, right?’
He was an hour early. It was time for everyone to be in bed. No matter how driven a disciple was, they wouldn’t come to train at this hour.
Of course, he would have to meet her later, but that would be when she officially comes back to Mount Hua.
Chung Myung, who gazed around, raised the wooden sword wrapped around his waist.
His eyes, which looked at the sword, were serious as he stood tall. The playful eyes he had when teaching the children faded away; replacing them were the eyes of a swordsman who had been through countless battlefields with his sword.
‘Return to the old me?’
No, that won’t be enough.
Chung Myung broke his entire foundation. He denied the history he had built up in his previous life and started a new foundation.
To go further.
But that alone won’t be enough. Chung Myung changed the foundation of his strength, but he couldn’t change his swordsmanship. If the sword wasn’t changed, then he would have to make his sword stronger.
A little bit stronger, faster. No, it wasn’t enough.
‘Did I defeat the Heavenly Demon?’
If the Heavenly Demon hadn’t exhausted his energy after the joint efforts of those who climbed the mountain, Chung Myung would have never been able to take him down.
Chung Myung had claimed that he was the greatest swordsman in the world, but he was just a loser that was unable to defeat the Heavenly Demon in frontal conflict.
‘What if I could have defeated the Heavenly Demon alone?’
If that was the case, no one else would have died.
Both the Sahyungs and Sajaes would have returned to Mount Hua safely. They would have lived their lives peacefully, and his Sahyung would be back to nagging Chung Myung while he secretly drank alcohol.
Then Mount Hua wouldn’t have collapsed, and no one would have died on that mountain with the Heavenly Demon.
It’s not exactly like that.
Chung Myung wasn’t the kind to hold onto the past and weep. The problem was what lies ahead.
‘Where is the guarantee that someone like the Heavenly Demon wouldn’t appear again?’
Perhaps a more frightening character than the Heavenly Demon might aim for them.
To protect Mount Hua from all possible crises, he had to become strong. Greater than anyone in the world, more than Chung Myung of the past and the Heavenly Demon!
To do that…
Chung Myung’s sword, which was nearly perfect in the past, couldn’t hurt the Heavenly Demon.
Because he hadn’t tried to sharpen the sword further?
“No matter how sharp a tiger’s claw is, it cannot catch a flying bird.”
There is a limit that cannot be crossed.
The Heavenly Demon’s martial arts shattered everything Chung Myung believed was right. As if ridiculing Chung Myung, who thought that the end could be reached by following the path paved by the ancestors.
Just like a person with his feet on the ground looking at a bird flying freely in the sky, he had no choice but to stare at that unachievable dream.
If Chung Myung wanted to reach the Heavenly Demon’s level, then he would have to jump beyond his past self first.
Chung Myung’s eyes narrowed.
‘I’ll have to throw it away.’
But to discard everything?
Only when the vessel is empty can it be refilled with something new. However, Chung Myung already emptied everything when he was reborn anew. Now, he would have to refill it.
So, what should he fill it with?
Would it be Mount Hua’s teachings or Chung Myung’s own path? If not…?
“It doesn’t matter.”
Chung Myung’s sword begins to move slowly.
Protect the techniques and teaching of Mount Hua? Abandon Mount Hua’s guidance? Or create a new path as Chung Myung?
– It is all an obsession.
If filling it was natural, so was throwing things away. There was no need to decide right away what to fill and what to discard.
Isn’t the sword still moving as it did in the past?
Don’t set limits.
The moment you decide what to accept and what to abandon, the sword becomes bound by limits that have been created. Leave it alone. Let the sword travel as it pleases and as Chung Myung wills it.
The sword of Chung Myung drew soft arcs, cutting through the dark.
At the same time, it seemed like Plum Blossoms began to bloom in the sky.
Although it was the Plum Blossom of Mount Hua, it was different from what Chung Myung knew.
It was a little more lively and a bit gentler.
It stretched out and scattered and then descended.
From east to west and back to east.
The plum blossoms that began at the tip of Chung Myung’s sword bloomed. Soon after, white flowers encroached upon the night sky, bringing an early spring to the mountain peak where he was training.
Soft, fast, glamorous, and beautiful.
However, plum blossoms are bound to wither.
Atop the peak, the plum blossoms disappeared as if they had been a mere fantasy. Chung Myung stood alone amid the fading illusion with his sword stretched out and closed his eyes.
‘I feel like I learned something.’
He didn’t completely understand, but it felt like he took a solid step forward.
Although it was Mount Hua’s sword, it was a sword unique to Chung Myung that surpassed any of Mount Hua’s other techniques.
A sword that can go beyond his limits and the limits of Mount Hua too.
Chung Myung let out a low sigh.
‘It won’t be easy.’
It wasn’t about inventing a new sword art. It was about opening a new frontier and creating new opportunities. Still, it was a long way off. Just as Chung Myung’s history grows with him, this sword will grow too.
Now it was just the bud of a plum blossom.
Suddenly, a voice came from Chung Myung’s side, and he rushed away.
“Wow, Fuuuuuuuck! What!”
Before he could realize it, someone else had appeared. Chung Myung, frightened, repeatedly blinked as he scanned to see who it was.
‘… is she that girl from last time?’
Yu… Yu… Yu something.
Ah right! Yu Yiseol! That was her name.
Yu Yiseol was looking at Chung Myung with a blank gaze.
‘No, but how did she get so close to me? I didn’t even sense her.’
No matter how great her technique was, Chung Myung should be better than her! Even if he was deep in concentration, he could clearly feel the presence of those around him.
Last time too, this woman had done the same thing and suddenly popped up out of nowhere! What was with her?
‘Has she mastered the art of assassination? How can she keep doing this?’
Come to think of it, despite her being ahead of him right now, he could barely feel her presence.
It was one thing when you relied entirely on your eyes and ears, but it was unthinkable for this to happen to a Taoist who has mastered all five senses and utilizes their qi to sense their surroundings.
Seeing Yu Yiseol staring at him, Chung Myung was deeply concerned.
‘How do I fix this? How much did she see?’
For now, he needed to figure that out…
Yu Yiseol opened her mouth.
She clearly saw everything!
She tilted her head to the side as if she didn’t understand what she saw.
Right, yes! Do not understand it.
Chung Myung smiled brightly.
If it was anyone else, they would have been dumbfounded in this situation. But who was Chung Myung? The unprecedented accident of Mount Hua.
His Sahyung made sure to point out every time that there were more accidents after Chung Myung joined Mount Hua than in the entire sect’s history before his initiation.
For such an experienced Chung Myung, this situation was nothing.
First, he needed to act naturally.
He bowed his head to Yu Yiseol.
“How have you been?”
As Chung Myung took a step closer, Yu Yiseol flinched.
Why? Why flinch?
Yi Yiseol looked at Chung Myung with serious eyes.
“Are you going to kill me to silence the witness?”
“What the fuck, are you crazy?”
The words naturally escaped him.
Chung Myung, who cursed without realizing, covered his mouth in shock.
Another day wasted; just why did this woman have to come and bother him so much?
Now, there was only one way out.
Chung Myung waved his hand and quickly fled the scene.
“Well then, goodbye for now!”
Yu Yiseol tried to stop Chung Myung, but he ignored her pleas and left at full speed.
‘When you can’t make any excuses, it’s best to just avoid the problem altogether.’
Yu Yiseol stretched out her hand towards his back but lowered it as he was already gone.
She looked at the running child’s back with blank eyes and clenched fists.
“I was caught!”
This was obviously Chung Myung’s mistake.
Thinking about it, though, it won’t make a difference if only one person caught him. Even if she told everyone what happened, no one would believe it.
But he had to be careful from now on. If there’s just one witness, they’ll be written off as crazy. But if three or more people saw it, then everyone would believe it.
‘When the Baek disciples return, I need to be careful with my training.’
Not just the training, right?
Chung Myung nodded with a determined face.
“I have something I must do before the Baek disciples arrive!”
He quickly began to descend towards the sect.
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