“They told me that when I walk on the mountain, I need to keep my knees straight.”
“I was told that if I wanted to get some water to drink, I needed to ask them for permission first.”
“Ah fuck. They’re acting so cheap and dirty.”
The second-class disciples tormented the third-class disciples in any way they could imagine.
Every time they trained, they would nitpick the tiniest details and make all sorts of new rules to torment them.
Today, even though their boarding house was clean, the second-class disciples demanded they clean it until not a speck of dust could be found.
“I’d rather take a beating.”
Jo Gul grunted.
He was someone accustomed to bullying others with his fists, so he couldn’t get used to this kind of abuse.
“I never imagined that the second-class disciples were such people.”
“I respected them!”
“We aren’t in some neighborhood brawl, are their actions even acceptable?”
Yoon Jong sighed.
‘There’s nothing that says they can’t do this.’
There was no doubt that the second-class disciples were harassing them. The malice and ridicule being directed at the third-class disciple were evident.
Despite that, their actions couldn’t be criticized. In the first place, everything that the second-class disciples demanded of the third-class disciples was rules and norms set forth by Mount Hua.
Then what was the problem?
‘Because such rules were established at least two hundred years ago.’
Inherently, old rules are modified and changed according to the current times.
But Mount Hua never did that.
Therefore, it was decided that the sect would pick and choose which rules to follow according to the times while ignoring the ones that were out of date.
However, the second-class disciples used such archaic rules to attack and control the third-class disciples.
Leaving everything else aside, the biggest problem was that there were common rules which gave the older ones the power to rule.
“No, they said Mount Hua’s disciples should never let go of their sword. Do they want us to hold our swords even when we’re bathing or doing laundry? What about when we use the bathroom!?”
“… I was told to hold it in hand even when I eat.”
“And hold it while sleeping!”
“What nonsense is that? Are we supposed to memorize every rule our ancestors came up with throughout all of Mount Hua’s history!?”
“… they don’t even know all of them.”
“That’s what I am saying!”
The third-class disciples gnashed their teeth.
It felt as if their nerves were going to split in anger because of this absurd abuse of power like their lives were shortening each time the second-class disciples approached them.
“I can’t even eat or sleep properly!”
“They gather us just because they’re bored, and they blame everyone and swear at us even if only one person made a mistake.”
“What the hell are they trying to achieve?”
“Ugh! Can’t we do something about this?”
Yoon Jong sighed.
“What can we do?”
“Isn’t this a bit harsh? To be honest, they aren’t even hiding that they’re bullying us, they are clearly crossing the line.”
“Right! I can tolerate anything else, but I can’t stand them disturbing our training time! Anyway, this is a martial sect, how can they dare to interfere with our practice!?”
The third-class disciples had bloodshot eyes.
Actually, until now, the second and third-class disciples had no reason to fight. The second-class disciples were too busy with their own training, and the third-class disciples would learn from Un Geom in the White Plum Blossom dorms. They had very little interaction with each other.
Still, before all of this happened. The third-class disciples felt a sense of admiration and longing towards the second-class disciples. But now that the seniors turned against their juniors like this, they were feeling an indescribable sense of betrayal.
Yoon Jong turned his head to the culprit behind this.
He looked at Chung Myung, who was leaning on a chair and said
“… shouldn’t we do something?”
Yoon Jong deeply sighed.
Everyone was yelling and cursing until now, but Chung Myung didn’t register a word of what was happening?
Right now, the second-class disciples wanted the third-class disciples to bow before them, especially Chung Myung.
‘Despite this being a boring way to get that done.’
But Yoon Jong could understand the second-class disciples in his own way.
In fact, it wasn’t the second-class disciples that were wrong for feeling disrespected by Chung Myung, but the path they chose to get them to submit was wrong. To be precise, the path wasn’t entirely wrong, but the way they were acting was.
Even if Yoon Jong was a second-class disciple, he would have a hard time tolerating a person like Chung Myung.
So far, there have been no problems with elders and the first-class disciples1. This was because Chung Myung never crossed the line when dealing with them. It was unknown what was going on in Chung Myung’s mind, but he would always show respect to the adults within the sect.
But the Baek disciples were different.
Didn’t Yoon Jong already see for himself how Chung Myung spoke with the Baek disciples?
“… isn’t it obvious what they want?”
Yoon Jong sighed.
“I won’t tell you to change your personality or bow to them. Just try backing down and comply for a bit….”
Yoon Jong’s eyes trembled at the way Chung Myung said it.
Shit, he chose the wrong word…
However, contrary to Yoon Jong’s expectations, Chung Myung didn’t throw a fit. Rather, he looked at Yoon Jong with bright eyes and spoke with creepy cheerfulness.
“I think I know of a better way to solve this! With this method, I can really solve everything!”
Seeing Chung Myung’s face bright with excitement, Yoon Jong felt anxiousness sink into him, but he couldn’t avoid asking.
“… what method is that?”
“Do you need to ask? I am going to destroy those sasuk bastards!”
As soon as Chung Myung answered, he got up from his seat, and Yoon Jong desperately yelled.
“Catch him! Catch that madman! If we don’t catch him, we all die! Get him!”
Perhaps the others felt the same anxiousness, but all the Sahyungs ran and prepared to catch him at once. While they all held onto Chung Myung’s limbs and pulled him back, Jo Gul jumped up and crushed Chung Myung’s body to the floor.
“Don’t let him go! Never let go!”
“Let go! Aren’t you going to let go!”
The third-class disciples clung to him like dogs holding onto food. In their desperate eyes, there was only one thing going on ‘Don’t let this mad dog loose outside of the boarding house!’
“Chung Myung! Calm down! Chung Myung!”
“I will smash them all!”
“There are rules to seniority in the sect! if you ignore that, you will be excommunicated if you beat the seniors!”
Chung Myung’s eyes lit up.
“Fine! I won’t smash them completely! I won’t! I will just hit one person! Just one I am telling you!”
“That’s still fighting someone from a level higher than us, you idiot! Ugh! Just hold him tight!”
“Ah, how can this bastard be this strong!?”
Chung Myung grunted through his teeth.
“Those bastards are doing things that we didn’t even do a hundred years ago! I’ll just teach them a short lesson!”
A Taoist home needs to be pure and natural. In other words, it is a place unbound from norms and classes created by society.
Wasn’t there a famous story of how Confucius came to greet Lao-tzu and he said to not do such things?
However, the disciples of such a sect were doing such things?
“Calm down, Chung Myung! We will be in huge trouble if you beat the sasuks!”
“All the things you did till now won’t matter anymore!”
“Stay still will you!”
“Let go! Let go of me!”
The third-class disciples all built a giant human tower and pressed Chung Myung to the ground. Yet each time he wriggled, the massive tower reeled.
Seeing that, Yoon Jong broke out in a cold sweat.
‘No, does this even make any sense?’
Baek Cheon is the strongest of the second-class disciples.
Until Chung Myung arrived, Baek Cheon naturally stood first among the disciples. Everyone had no doubts that he would continue to be first for a long time and eventually become the greatest master within the sect.
Jo Gul wasn’t inferior to him, but learning martial arts like the second-class disciples would take time. It was virtually impossible for Jo Gul to catch up with Baek Cheon, who had already trained in martial arts for nearly a decade.
Even if it was possible, it would take decades for it to happen.
That was why the disciples were accepted with large age gaps. No matter how talented they were, it would take enough time to accumulate their skills. Therefore, the different disciples’ groups couldn’t overcome one another easily.
But what was happening in front of Yoon Jong now?
The youngest of the third-class disciples, who only recently entered Mount Hua, was talking about destroying all the second-class disciples.
‘The real problem is that no one here thinks it’s impossible.’
What if it was thought about rationally?
He couldn’t understand.
No matter how strong Chung Myung was, it was unlikely that he could win against Baek Cheon. Even if Chung Myung had learned martial arts since birth, Baek Cheon would still have more years of training under his belt.
Moreover, Baek Cheon was not a man that lacked talent.
It would be impossible to overcome such a difference. A person who could do such a thing would be a genius. However, even if Chung Myung was a genius, he couldn’t overcome a ten-year age gap.
If Yoon Jong thought about it rationally, it was impossible for Chung Myung to defeat Baek Cheon.
‘But the problem is that it still feels like Baek Cheon sasuk will get beaten quite a lot.’
In the first place, common sense and rationality didn’t apply to Chung Myung. Has anything that this guy did till now made sense?
Yoon Jong sighed and said,
“I understand how you feel, but not now.”
“The conference is coming soon.”
“What about it?”
“… Baek Cheon sahyung is the person who will represent the second-class disciples. What will happen if you beat him so badly that he can’t participate?”
“Come on. You don’t think I will beat him like that, do you? I just need to beat him so that it hurts without leaving any visible signs, that’s my specialty! Don’t you know?”
Yoon Jong knew very well because he had been hit like that countless times.
“But you can’t do that. Baek Cheon Sahyung is our sasuk. Will he be able to perform properly after having his confidence shattered like that?”
“Let’s hold on a little longer. It’s better for us to be harassed by the Baek disciples than to be humiliated by the Southern Edge sect.”
Chung Myung frowned.
“I think it would be better to just hit him.”
“Just this once, I am asking you to let this go. Please. The conference is a huge deal for us. Please.”
Chung Myung turned his head and spoke in a dull voice.
The sahyungs looked at Yoon Jong, and when he nodded, they very slowly let go of Chung Myung and moved to the side. Still, they stayed close enough to be able to catch him if he suddenly ran.
“Then we need to just wait until the conference is over, right?”
“… don’t have to wait till then, but….”
“What is with you!? Say it clearly!”
Yoon Jong tightly closed his eyes and spoke as if he was quelling a raging fire.
“Yes! Only till the conference!”
Chung Myung nodded his head.
“This is something the great Sahyung requested, so I have to listen.”
“… thank you, so much.”
“Why are you crying?”
‘These aren’t tears. It’s the sweat from my heart, you bastard!’
“But what should I do if they come to me for a fight?”
“… would that even happen?”
“Just, what if?”
Yoon Jong sighed.
“Then you can handle it however you want. I wouldn’t know what to do if that happened anyway.”
The corners of Chung Myung’s mouth curled into a devilish grin, and seeing that smile, Yoon Jong’s heart suddenly felt a hundred times more uncomfortable.
First-class disciples are given the name Un, e.g. Un Am and Un Geom are first-class disciples and one generation older than the Baek disciples. ↩️
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