“Where did you go?”
“I was looking around.”
“…Looking around?” Un Am eyes Chung Myung suspiciously. However, Chung Myung crossed his legs and turned to gaze at the sky as if he didn’t mind at all.
Was this child always like this? The first time he saw the kid, he’d seemed extremely polite. Now it seemed like his behavior had changed.
How should he put it—he was full of bad energy?
Well, he must be. Judging from his behavior, the kid must have been a beggar for quite some time. Expecting innocence from a beggar in this world would be naive.
“Have you eaten?”
“I’m not hungry.” Chung Myung was being sincere, ironically. The condition of Mount Hua stole away his appetite—how could he overcome the emptiness he felt from looking at this place?
“Then follow me.”
“The sect leader wants to see you.”
“Ah, yes.” Chung Myung nodded. He had to do this eventually; better sooner than later.
The door opened to reveal an old man sitting quietly. Chung Myung was shaken.
He certainly deserves to be called “sect leader”… The feeling of qi was enough to convince him that this man had devoted his entire life to this place. But…
But he doesn’t seem to have the courage to speak first. As a sect leader, he didn’t lack for anything, but he was lacking as a warrior of Mount Hua.
Is there anywhere as unhappy as this? Chung Myung sighed. After all he’d been through, this sect leader seemed like a toddler compared to the sect leader of his time. Here was the Plum Blossom Sword Saint, offering his greetings to a toddler.
I shouldn’t have been reborn. What was he supposed to do? Get sick and die?
Chung Myung didn’t voice any of his thoughts and just bowed.
“I am Chung Myung.”
“I am Hyun Jong.” The sect leader smiled and returned a simple greeting. “A guest has come, but we have nothing to treat you. I hope you can understand our current situation.”
Hyun Jong’s eyebrows twitched. Usually, you would reply, “Don’t worry,” or something like “How could an uninvited guest expect much?” But the look in his eyes and his gestures indicated this child didn’t seem to expect much from them in the first place.
“I heard you said something interesting in Okcheon Temple.”
“What are you talking about?” Chung Myung tilted his head. Hyun Jong narrowed his eyes, but it really seemed like he didn’t understand what was being asked.
He really doesn’t know? A child couldn’t lie so well.
No use trying to read me, you jerk! Chung Myung smiled to himself—he was Chung Myung, one of the best liars in the world! Even Sahyung wouldn’t see through his lies or find his alcohol.
Hyun Jong simply couldn’t find any evidence that the child was lying.
“Did you not say such words?”
“I don’t remember well. The only thing I remember was being so tired I fainted…”
“Hmm.” Made sense. He’d climbed Mount Hua with his young body—the kid must have reached his limits. However…
“If you were that tired, why didn’t you say anything?”
“It is said that, when entering the gate, it is necessary to pay tribute to the ancestors…”
Hyun Jong raised an eyebrow at Un Am.
The child came here all alone, and you dragged him off to make him pray? Huh?
Un Am blinked.
No! He was perfectly fine! The kid was perfectly fine until he entered the gate—and then he passed out from exhaustion? What kind of crazy story is that?
Un Am shot Chung Myung an accusatory look, but Chung Myung’s eyes were wide and innocent.
“Hmm.” Hyun Jong nodded. “That sounds reasonable. Apologies for our inattention.”
“Right. Another question.”
“Why did you climb all the way up this steep mountain? Don’t say you came here on a whim. Mount Hua isn’t something people climb for the novelty, much less a child.”
A sharp question. But Chung Myung had his answer prepared in advance.
“I want to enter the Mount Hua Sect.”
“You want to enter?” Hyun Jong’s eyes narrowed.
Hyun Jong stared at Chung Myung, but he couldn’t see anything from his innocent eyes.
“Does that mean you climbed up here with a purpose?”
“Hmm.” Hyun Jong nodded. Mount Hua wasn’t a place for tourists.
“You want to enter Mount Hua. This means you know of Mount Hua?”
“Enter.” Hyun Jong’s eyes narrowed. Chung Myung licked his lips.
It makes sense. Chung Jin was chased by the Demonic Sect and disappeared before the final battle. A missing person, not dead. Chung Jin fell off a cliff. A woodcutter found him and helped him heal; however, the injury was too severe for him to ever fully recover from. As gratitude, he took the man as his disciple and taught him the martial arts of Mount Hua—and Chung Myung is the descendant of that woodcutter!
Superb! A flawless script. The best thing was that Chung Myung had control of everything he said. This story had no loopholes, and he was guaranteed to be accepted as a member of the sect.
Even if I won’t get the same fame as in the past. He would at least be treated well, even if they didn’t think too kindly of him.
Now, ask me the reason. And then he would unfurl his script. It would be a breeze from—
“Yes? Of course, the entry… what?” Chung Myung boggled at Hyun Jong. Contrary to his expectations, the sect leader just nodded at him.
“If you want to join, we should let you.”
“Huh?” No, wait. Was it so easy to gain entry into this place? A totally unfamiliar child?
“S-sect leader!” Un Am was equally shocked. “Didn’t you way we won’t accept new students?”
Yes, ask him!
“I changed my mind.” Hyung Jong grinned. “Truthfully, we aren’t in a position to accept new students—but we cannot turn our backs on a child who came all this way knowing about Mount Hua.”
“Yes, sect leader.”
“Things go round and round. Whatever the child is, he came to us on his own two feet knowing of Mount Hua. Are we going to kick out those who searched us out, just because we aren’t as great as in the past?”
If someone else heard this, they might have been impressed. However, after all of Chung Myung’s preparations, it was just making his skin crawl.
What is this? Aren’t they supposed to be suspicious of someone they don’t know?
How did he even become a sect leader? No, he must have become a sect leader because he was like this.
“Ah, no… Before that, I live…”
“It’s fine.” Hyun Jong shook his head firmly. “It doesn’t matter what kind of life you lived before this. Whether you were a sinner of a thief, the moment you climb up Mount Hua your past disappears.”
Of course it did. But it couldn’t be that simple…
“I told you it was fine.”
Man! It isn’t okay! Listen to me!
“Give this child a place to stay.”
“Your name is Chung Myung?”
Chung Myung nodded.
“A very nice name. A very good name. Chung Myung of the Chung family.” The sect leader chuckled. “This must be fate, too. You don’t need to get a new name for him—you might not know, but your name means a lot in Mount Hua.”
Hyun Jong’s eyes narrowed.
“Would anyone be worthy enough for that name?”
“…Yes,” Chung Myung replied.
Chung Myung stood stiffly, and Un Am escorted him away with a sullen expression.
The landscapes of Mount Hua caught his eyes as he stepped outside.
Un Am interrupted his thoughts.
“The introduction ceremony hasn’t been held, but from this moment on you are a disciple of Mount Hua. You will become a vessel for the martial arts, and the youngest disciple of Mount Hua.”
“…Youngest.” Chung Myung’s eyes trembled. Youngest? Him? The Plum Blossom Sword Saint, Chung Myung, the youngest?
“Hehehehe!” When Chung Myung’s amusement leaked, Un Am couldn’t help but smile.
“You seem happy.”
“Yes. So happy. Hahahahaha.”
But why were tears falling?
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