“... Sect leader.”
Hyun Jong just closed his eyes without saying anything.
“... Shouldn’t we stop this?”
Hyun Sang spoke with a trembling voice. But Hyun Jong couldn’t answer him.
How does one stop this?
They were in the presence of so many influential leaders.
‘We can’t handle the Southern Edge Sect. If we continue, the children will only get injured, so it might be better to end this now.’
Was that what he should say?
That would be a complete disgrace to Mount Hua’s name.
Even if Mount Hua was on the verge of collapse… no, since they were on the verge of collapse, they have something they must absolutely protect. Their name and their pride.
If they were unable to safeguard their pride and the reputation of their name, then Mount Hua would no longer be a top-class sect facing ruination. They would truly become a third-rate sect undeserving of respect.
That would be the moment that Mount Hua truly collapses.
Hyun Jong couldn’t allow that. Not for the sake of his own honor but to protect the possibility that Mount Hua could someday be revived. So, as the sect leader, he could only remain silent in this situation.
However, the circumstances were so bad that even Hyun Sang, who understood Hyun Jong’s plight, couldn’t help but speak out.
Nine times in a row.
They had already achieved the worst outcome of any conference yet. But the biggest issue wasn’t about winning or losing, but the content of the battles.
Nine disciples went forward, and not a single one of them could even touch their opponent. It was like watching a child challenge an adult. No, maybe that would be less tragic than this.
All the important leaders of Shaanxi were watching.
‘How can we handle this disgrace?’
Hyun Jong’s eyes trembled.
It felt like his five viscera were being torn apart inside his body. It wasn’t the humiliation that bothered him; it was the despair his disciples were experiencing.
Unable to gauge the strength of their opponent, they pushed these children into this hopeless battle. Thinking of the emotional impact this would have on the children, who suffered because of the incompetent elders, the sect leader wanted to chop himself to pieces.
Hyun Jong opened his eyes as he let out a sigh.
“… this is saddening.”
“Aren’t you upset with me?”
It was then.
The last of the second-class disciples fell to the floor as his sword fell from his hand.
For a swordsman to lose their sword is a greater disgrace than death. The Southern Edge Sect’s disciple was so skillful that they only aimed for the wrist until they achieved their desired results.
“I don’t understand how a swordsman could let go of his sword. Doesn’t Mount Hua teach you what that means?”
Even with such insulting ridicule, no one could speak out.
Ten consecutive losses.
There was no result more disastrous than this. The faces of Mount Hua’s elders were horribly contorted.
‘Did it have to turn out like this?’
They thought they had finally gotten the opportunity to resurrect Mount Hua. Good things had constantly been happening lately.
But they were too immersed in their dreams; they forgot how cruel reality is. In the end, Mount Hua is a martial sect. Any luxury is meaningless if it isn’t supported by strength.
Everyone there became keenly aware of this harsh fact.
Sama Seung patted Ark Ho on the shoulder.
This result was satisfactory.
Not only did everyone win, but every battle was entirely one-sided. The most encouraging aspect was that this was accomplished in full view of Shaanxi’s officials.
‘Now Mount Hua’s fame will fall to the ground and never rise again.’
Hadn’t they dreamed of this situation countless times over the past few generations? Sama Seung felt honored that he would be present to witness the sect’s long-cherished desire be fulfilled.
Perhaps by now, the audience understood the situation.
Unsurprisingly, murmured gossip could be heard.
“This is too one-sided.”
“Still, I had some expectations for Mount Hua… it seems that the past is the past, and the present is the present. Mount Hua can no longer be thought of as it was in the past.”
“Didn’t we already know that?”
“Still, this is too miserable… in fact, I really can’t tell if the Southern Edge Sect is strong or if Mount Hua is just too weak.”
“Isn’t it both?”
“A pity. So unfortunate. It seems like Mount Hua is really finished. All in vain….”
Sama Seung smiled as he heard it.
Public opinion had shifted towards the Southern Edge Sect. However, Sama Seung’s purpose here wasn’t to elevate the name of his sect; his goal was to send Mount Hua plummeting into the abyss.
To do that, even the sprouts needed to be burned to the ground.
“Now, it is time to end this. Did you see what your seniors did?”
The third-class disciples of the Southern Edge Sect looked determined.
“Do not hesitate.”
Sama Seung’s eyes shone.
“A lion does its best even when hunting a rabbit. Do not show mercy. You need to destroy them so horribly that they never think of learning martial arts again.”
“Yes! I will keep that in mind!”
Sama Seung looked up at the sky with a sly grin.
‘Such a clear day.’
And such a good day too.
Yoon Jong was at a loss for words.
He couldn’t bear to look at the second-class disciples gathered on the side. Even without seeing their expressions, he could tell how much despair they were drowning in.
And it was the same for the third-class disciples.
‘The difference between our sects is this big?’
The conferences held until now also ended in defeat, but it was never like this. It was never so one-sided. This conference gave off the feeling of a man casually stepping on a gathering of ants.
That was when they realized that Mount Hua had never dealt with the true Southern Edge Sect.
“… is it our turn?”
The faces of the third-class disciples darkened.
It was true that they trained under Chung Myung, but the gap in abilities that they witnessed completely crushed their confidence.
No, everyone has probably given up…
That wasn’t even the main problem…
Yoon Jong looked at Chung Myung, who was sitting next to him.
And gasp! He held his breath.
The sound of teeth gnashing made his heart sink. Chung Myung’s face was boiling red like it would explode.
Every time one of the seniors was defeated, Chung Myung’s face would turn a slightly deeper shade of red; he now looked like a red plum.
Seeing Chung Myung’s face, Yoon Jong grabbed the hem of his uniform.
‘This bastard is going to lose control soon.’
Three years in the temple, and one becomes good at reciting scripture. Three months next to Chung Myung, and one will become a master of reading the room!
Yoon Jong spoke with a trembling voice.
“Chu—Chung Myung, let’s calm down.”
“… calm down?”
When Yoon Jong heard Chung Myung’s crooked voice, he felt his heart sink… no, he couldn’t give up! This was a conference between two sects! Not just the sect leader, but the people of the Southern Edge Sect and Shaanxi are watching!
If this guy had lost control, something even worse than the second-class disciples losing would happen.
Yoon Jong began to look at Chung Myung as if trying to soothe a rabid dog.
“Ch–Chung Myung. Think carefully. Remember what you said yesterday. In order for a person to accomplish great things, patience is the most important thing!”
“Yes, Chung Myung. I remember those words well….”
“I’ve been thinking.”
Chung Myung turned his head slowly, very slowly, to the side and matched Yoon Jong’s gaze.
Yoon Jong saw him.
Chung Myung’s eyes were half out of control.
Chung Myung growled like an animal and stood up.
“Don’t have any sense of patience in me!”
That isn’t something to be proud of.
Un Am took a deep breath. His face was pale, no longer able to handle this. He wanted to walk out and leave. But, unless the sect leader instructed him, he couldn’t stop.
“Next… we will hold the exchange of the third-class disciples. Of them—”
It was then.
“Catch him! Don’t ever let go of him!”
“Chung Myung! You’re supposed to go last!”
“People are watching! People are watching! Please! Don’t do this!”
Un Am was bewildered as he looked at the third-class disciples.
It seemed like they were united in trying to block someone as that person continued to push forward with glistening eyes.
What’s wrong with that kid?
Un Am had his doubts, but he had to finish his speech. This was his role, and there were many people watching.
“So, the vanguard is—”
But Un Am’s words were cut off once again.
As soon as he tried to announce the competitors, Chung Myung escaped from his sahyungs’ clutches and jumped forward.
Chung Myung stepped into the arena and took a deep breath. Then he looked to the Southern Edge Sect’s side and spoke.
“One of you, quickly get up here!”
“Anyone works. Come up quick.”
Sama Seung spoke.
“… that crazy bastard!”
He knew that this child was crazy, but this was a whole different level. Not just the Southern Edge Sect, but he even dared to speak such arrogant words in the presence of Shaanxi’s officials!
“Elder, calm down.”
Jin Geum-Ryong quickly stopped Sama Seung from losing his composure.
“We can’t run around and fall into his pace. He’ll be in pain soon enough.”
Seeing that Sama Seung was still greatly displeased, Jin Geum-Ryong coughed and called out.
Seon Woo-Ryang, the disciple chosen to deal with Chung Myung, resolutely nodded his head.
“The schedule has changed, but it doesn’t make any difference to us. Complete your role.”
“Yes! Sasuk! Don’t worry!”
Seon Woo-Ryang grabbed his wooden sword and quickly arrived in front of Chung Myung.
Then, he aimed his sword at Chung Myung.
“I will crush that arrogant mouth of yours. I’m Southern Edge Sect’s…”
Instantly, Chung Myung disappeared from where he stood and manifested in front of his foe.
He saw it.
A furious Asura-like visage appeared in front of him. The figure seemed like it was coated in darkness.
In broad daylight…
Ah, it wasn’t dark; something covered his sight. Since it was right in front of him, this…
‘Is a fist?’
At that moment.
Unlike anything the crowd had heard since entering Mount Hua, an explosive sound echoed throughout the hall.
Seon Woo-Ryang’s body spun through the air more than a dozen times before falling to the ground.
Seon Woo-Ryang’s body, which was plastered to the floor, convulsed pitifully as if he had some medical condition.
Seeing his collapsed enemy, Chung Myung spoke as if dumbfounded.
“I’m not joking around.”
I am going to make you all beg for death.
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