“Oh. Young master, you’re here again. Come this way. We’ll guide you to a good seat.”
“I’m not asking too much of you, right?”
“Oh my. Why would it be like that? Thanks to your frequent visits, business is going well, and life is worth living. Hahaha!”
Chung Myung headed to a window seat at the guidance of the restaurant owner.
“Here is a cold wet towel. Wait just a moment more and I will bring the alcohol that you always have. What would you like to eat for today?”
“Just give me whatever you recommend.”
“Yes. I will talk to the chef and ask for the best food to be prepared.”
‘I don’t want the best, I want the most delicious, you bastard!’
Who was he trying to fool!?
However, the man ran to the kitchen and brought two bottles of chilled alcohol.
“Here you are.”
Chung Myung opened the lid without delay and poured it into his glass as soon as he received the bottles.
From the sound of pouring alcohol to the act of drinking alcohol, everything was delightful.
‘People live for this taste.’
No matter how much privilege Chung Myung had earned, and no matter how little he cared for the rules of Taoists, it was still unacceptable for a third-class disciple to drink alcohol in Mount Hua.
Alcohol wasn’t banned completely, but it was strictly prohibited within the sect grounds.
But who was Chung Myung?
He was the sort of man who must do exactly what he is told not to do; especially tempting are the acts that are forbidden.
‘Oddly, if you tell me not to eat, I end up eating more.’
The two bottles Chung Myung had stored in his cave were long gone, and now it had become a daily routine to change out of his uniform and stop by this place to have all that he wanted because of the permission the sect leader gave him.
How often did he frequent this restaurant? Well, only the owner of the place would know that.
Chung Myung gulped one glass down and looked at the other glass as if he had left the mortal plane and entered paradise.
“Taoists are supposed to go with the flow in life, so why do they have all these silly restrictions!?”
Aren’t Taoist rules stupid?
Chung Myung is a Taoist, too?
No. He was a bit different.
Chung Myung poured another glass and brought it to his lips. Without holding back, he looked at the glass and then softly gulped with a smile.
“It isn’t the same as it used to be, sahyung.”
’Alcohol tasted the best when hiding from the watchful eyes of that nagging Sahyung. ’
“I am still here like this.”
There was no one there.
Chung Myung looked at the glass and smiled.
It felt strange.
He never missed anyone in his whole life, but now he was feeling sentimental while drinking.
But it wasn’t like he was too deep in his thoughts.
The past is the past. If the sahyungs saw this side of him, they would laugh at him.
In this world, whether they were called Taoists, Saints, or Deities, his Sahyung was innately just a playful old bastard.
The same went for Chung Myung.
“Now, here is the leopard fish skin, and here is the pig feet fry.”
The leopard fish skin was made with oyster meat, pork, and jellyfish, and the other one was made with onion and pork feet. Both were Shaanxi foods.
“What about pork belly?”
“It’s coming soon.”
Chung Myung raised his chopsticks, smacking his lips.
Weren’t the things on his table the best delicacies? After drinking a glass of alcohol, having a delicious piece of meat feels no different from entering nirvana.
‘This is paradise.’
‘Sahyung, sorry, but I plan to live. So, I hope you live happily wherever you are.’
The door opened, and a group of men entered.
The owner ran and greeted them.
All those who entered were young men and women.
‘Wait, maybe they’re too old to be considered young men?’
The men seemed tall, strong, and well-developed, but the women were certainly a bit younger than the men. In any case, Chung Myung observed them from the side.
Those who came inside sat at the table next to Chung Myung. Chung Myung didn’t pay any more attention to them and went back to eating.
“We get to eat food after such a long time.”
“We don’t have to eat those fasting pills anymore, Sahyung.”
“Isn’t that why we’re here? Our priority is to go up the mountain as soon as possible and greet our elders, but I’m sure they will understand us stopping here first.”
Chung Myung frowned and looked at the group seated next to him. All of them had black uniforms, and on the chest was a plum blossom pattern.
‘The Baek disciples?’
They had an embroidered plum blossom, so they all had to be from Mount Hua. Since Chung Myung had never seen them before, and their ages seemed to fit, they had to be the Baek disciples.
Chung Myung bowed his head.
He hadn’t committed any crimes, but he didn’t want to see them here. Nor did he want to get involved with them. Fortunately, he wasn’t in uniform, so as long as he didn’t get tangled up with them, there wouldn’t be any problems.
‘I can’t even eat properly. Ugh. I need to quickly leave after gulping the food down.’
Meeting these people here would be a pain in the ass right now. It was best to not get involved at all.
“But where is Samae Yu?”1
“I think she went up Mount Hua first.”
“Didn’t we decide to meet in Hua-Um?”
“When did Samae Yu ever listen to us?”
“Hm. Then the masters might already know that we’re here.”
“It’s fine. Everyone knows that Samae Yu is unique.”
“Then we’re lucky.”
The young man sitting in the middle finished placing a simple order as he requested food and alcohol for everyone at his table.
‘Look at that. Tsk. Tsk.’
Chung Myung frowned.
‘These little second-class disciples are openly drinking in the middle of Hua-Um! Even if the sect is failing, this is too much!’
Children these days, seriously!
What about Chung Myung?
Well, he is different. He’s close to a hundred years old, after all…
“Everyone worked hard and overcame the training really well.”
“Who among us could say they’ve suffered more than Sahyung? We just followed you.”
“Right. Sahyung had the most difficult time.”
A tall young man sitting in the middle with a smile.
‘Isn’t he handsome?’
Chung Myung was quite good-looking himself. But the black robe on this man and the presence he evoked,
How should it be put? Didn’t he seem to appear like the legendary heroes in fairy tales?
“We’ve all trained hard, together. I know better than anyone just how hard everyone has worked. So, I will treat you all to this alcohol today. Don’t feel burdened and drink as much as you want.”
“Thank you. Sahyung.”
“Just don’t get too drunk. We need to climb up to Mount Hua in the evening.”
Laughter filled the table.
So, they finished their training and settled on having a drink in Hua-Um upon returning? Then, the one being called Sahyung must be the Great Sahyung of the Baek disciples, and the rest are the second-class Baek sahyungs.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to enter this place without a second thought.
‘I can imagine how the sect will turn out.’
Chung Myung snorted at the scene.
When he was a second-class disciple, he wouldn’t have dared to even think about drinking with others. If anyone had been caught drinking, they would have been placed in the repentance room for an entire week!
That was why Chung Myung had to be stealthy when he drank!
Yeah. He did drink. How could he not drink?
But it was fundamentally different! He drank in secret! Not openly like them!
Unaware of Chung Myung’s poisonous thoughts, the disciples clinked their glasses and began to drink. As soon as the snacks were served and the table was filled, the atmosphere heated up.
‘I should quickly eat and get out of here.’
Chung Myung moved quickly in a hustle. Yet, the moment he poured himself another glass, he heard some words that he couldn’t ignore.
“Baek Cheon Sahyung.”
“What is it, Sajae?”
“After all this hard work, we’ll be able to get good results in the conference, right?”
The one called Baek Cheon folded his arms and nodded.
“Sajae. To be honest, I don’t know. But there is one thing I do know.”
“What is that?”
“Effort never betrays a man.”
Baek Cheon’s eyes had a brilliant shine in them.
“We’ve done our best. We made it through that arduous training and constantly beat ourselves up. Even if we don’t win, isn’t it true that we’ve made commendable progress in this time?”
“Don’t get too hung up on winning or losing. We’re in this for the long game. If we lose our eyes in the present, we’ll never be able to see the future.”
“Ah… I was short-sighted.”
“However, I do want to win.”
Baek Cheon smiled softly. When a smile appeared on that handsome face, the surroundings seemed to brighten in response. The disciples there looked at him with absolute trust.
But there was one person nearby who had a rotten mien in response to his speech.
‘Does he put oil on his lips?’
Chung Myung gulped down alcohol with a sour expression as he listened to those smoothly flowing disgustingly sweet words. He wasn’t the kind who would enjoy such cringe-inducing speeches.
‘I think there’s something hidden about this man.’
He was the same as the others, but something felt a bit off about him. Although, it didn’t feel like he was a bad person…
“Then, where do we stand? Can we fight against the Southern Edge Sect on equal footing now?”
Baek Cheon opened his mouth with a sullen face.
“The Southern Edge Sect is strong. Isn’t it one of the Ten Great Sects?”
“In the past, Mount Hua was also one of the Ten Great Sects. However, to be honest, the difference between us and the Southern Edge Sect has grown beyond comparison.”
Everyone’s faces darkened at those words.
“But that’s just what others believe.”
Baek Cheon raised his voice as he spoke, refreshing the atmosphere.
“Skills aren’t necessarily proportional to fame. We lost to them in the last conference, but the difference wasn’t that large. During all this time, haven’t we focused on our training while even reducing our sleep? We’ll be able to contest against them well this time.”
“With the Southern Edge sect?”
“Was Southern Edge this great from its inception? Was Mount Hua always the Mount Hua that we know? Nothing is set in stone. If we work tirelessly, it’s not impossible for us to one day look beyond our current position.”
He spoke with a voice full of determination that attracted the hearts of those who listened.
As everyone gazed at Baek Cheon with admiration and respect, it happened.
A low chuckle from beside.
The heads of the six people sitting at the table turned in unison.
Realizing that their gaze was on him, Chung Myung covered his mouth.
‘Shit, I didn’t mean to react.’
Hearing such absurd words, he ended up laughing.
Receiving everyone’s attention, Chung Myung came up with a solution to the situation as usual.
‘Just act natural.’
And he started to cough.
“Puah! Ugh! Puah! Cough! Puaah!”
Chung Myung frowned when he saw that the disciples didn’t go back to talking with each other.
‘Why aren’t they deceived? My acting was perfect.’
Cough more violently!
Baek Cheon slowly rose from his seat and spoke to Chung Myung.
“Young man, who could you be? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen your face in Hua-Um before. If it isn’t too rude, may I ask your name and what family you belong to?
Why does it suddenly seem like Chung Myung was screwed?
A woman with the same master that joined at a later time, feminine equivalent to sajae ↩️
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