Episode 129

Just The Two Of You (1)
1 week ago
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The Gobi Desert boasted an endless horizon.

It was a place where the heavens and land meet under the scorching sun.

Two kids were struggling atop a camel.

“This has to be insane.”

Yu Jinsan sighed behind his granddaughter, who was clutching the reins.

This was because the camel was too slow. It would have been better if they were walking.

“Cheer up, Chorang!”

No matter how loud Yu Seol was, the speed remained the same.

Why go through all this trouble? If they had traveled on foot, it would have only taken them around two days.

“Isn’t that why Grandpa told you to pick the strong one?”

“Chorang is the prettiest one.”

He was in shock.

No wonder she chose such a weak one.

“Let us just set it free. It must be hard for her to carry us.”

“No! You promised!”

A promise not to abandon the camel but to hand it over to a merchant they come across.

But no matter how much he looked around, he couldn’t find a single ant, let alone a merchant.

He felt resentful at the thought of the camel being sold at a low price.

“I am a fool for underestimating the desert. I regret agreeing to buy the camel.”

Yu Jinsan had faced many trials, but the desert was a new challenge. He hadn’t anticipated it to be so vast and desolate.

The two dismounted from the camel.

Apart from looking weak, it seemed fine.

It just had a drooping posture and half-closed eyes.

Because camels had a different structure than humans, they couldn’t be treated carelessly.

“I guess it’s hurt.”

“…Chorang, drink some water. Mom will help you get better.”

Yu Seol held Chorang’s mouth and poured out the last of the water from the sheepskin.

“When did you give birth to such a huge baby?!”

“That is my baby!”

Yu Jinsan looked at the sky to calm his mind.

Then he slowly patted his granddaughter on the shoulder again.

“Yes, yes. I think my great-granddaughter is a little sick. What do we do now?”

“Let us wait till it stops hurting.”

It seemed like they wouldn’t move an inch in this state.

Yu Jinsan, seeing that, could only sigh.

But he couldn’t blame his granddaughter for being sad.

There was just one way.

“It cannot continue like this. Listen first.”

“Uh?”

Yu Jinsan was already grabbing the back of the camel.

“If you cannot let it go, should we pick it up and run?”

This was when Yu Seol’s gloomy face brightened up.

And without a word, she lifted the front part of the camel.

“As expected, Grandpa is a genius.”

“I have heard things like that since I was young. Let’s go now!”

Contrary to his shout, his heart felt heavy.

This was the middle of the Gobi Desert, and there was still a long way to go until their destination.

In this situation, it could be frustrating because the owner and the camel have been reversed.

‘I never thought the day would come in my life when I would carry a camel.’

Still, it was a hundred times better than crawling like a slug.

Yu Jinsan put the camel on his head and began to run.

But this was just the start of their hardships.

“Woah!”

When he saw his granddaughter running ahead and screaming in surprise, he felt uneasy.

“Child, what are you so surprised about?”

“Look there. It is really amazing.”

Was it true that misfortunes never come alone?

Yu Jinsan, looking ahead, was shocked.

“I-it cannot be…”

A huge sand wall was approaching them, gulping down everything.

“Grandpa, what is that?”

“It’s a sandstorm. If we’re trapped in there, we might get lost, so we need to break through quickly.”

It was enormous. If they hadn’t learned martial arts, they would have had to worry about their lives.

The sand waves came in quickly.

Kukukuku!!!

The land shook, and the sky turned yellow.

The hems of their clothes fluttered constantly in the strong wind. Despite the additional weight of 1,000 pounds, there was no risk of them being carried away, yet they felt weary.

He couldn’t even open his eyes, holding his breath for extended periods.

Yu Jinsan, concerned for his granddaughter, squinted and peered ahead.

Unlike himself, the sand couldn’t even approach her.

Observing her clothes remain undisturbed, it appeared as though she was unaffected.

However, this was just the beginning of their troubles.

Suddenly, the intensity of the sandstorm surged.

“Ugh, child! Don’t you have any skills to use? Try something, be it Shaolin or others.”

Yu Seol glanced back and nodded in apparent understanding.

Upon her utterance, her entire body began to glow.

Wheik!!

A radiant and dazzling curtain of qi enveloped them.

It acted like a giant water bubble, repelling everything in its path.

Despite being in the heart of the storm, it felt like being in another realm.

“You did well. Now, let’s move quickly.”

And so, the two dashed for a while, evading the sandstorm.

No further incidents occurred.

Yu Jinsan pledged that he would never return to the desert again.


In the Gobi Desert, there were no distinct paths or signposts.

One simply moves in the direction of the sun.

However, due to the weather, the sun had not been visible for several days.

They had been traveling for half a day without pause, with the camel bearing their load.

“Something feels off somehow.”

“Hm? What is it?”

“We should have reached our destination by now…”

The surroundings remained unchanged.

Had they lost their way? Perhaps the sandstorm had led them astray.

“It’s alright, Grandpa. Let’s retrace our steps.”

“Indeed. It must be nearby, so let’s search around.”

Locating it was only a matter of time.

Yu Jinsan commenced scouring the desert with his granddaughter leading the way.

And they ran for another 4 hours.

As their stamina was depleting, Yu Seol exclaimed,

“Grandpa, over there!”

In the desert, there were places where springs sometimes gush out and grass grows.

It seemed like they were lucky enough to find such a place.

Yu Seol could survive for more than a month without water, but Yu Jinsan could not.

His mind and body had been exhausted for a long time, and now his throat was burning.

He was bound to be exhausted after all the running with the camel on his back.

“That is nice. Let us get some rest.”

A few tents and horse ranches could be seen around the lake.

It was early in the morning, and no one was around, but they finally found a habitation.

They could even ask about the way to Dunhuang.

For now, the priority was to drink.

After putting the camel down, the two ran to the lake.

Tak!

The two of them rose three feet into the air and plunged into the water.

Plop!

The coolness of the water spread to their bones.

The smiles on their faces couldn’t be contained.

“Grandpa, did I do well?”

“Our Seol is very great. You did a great job finding such a place.”

“Hehehe.”

The two played by splashing the water.

Then, they filled a sheepskin bucket with water and fed it to the camel.

Perhaps because it was early morning, dozens of nomads came out with puzzled faces.

“H-How did you guys get here?”

“And where are your guardians? Is it just the two of you?”

It was natural to be surprised. Two children had come to this remote desert area.

After hearing the message from her grandpa, Yu Seol said,

“We are going to visit our relatives in Dunhuang.”

“Dunhuang? You have to go another half day from here.”

It seemed like they had taken the wrong direction.

The two briefly explained their situation in a plausible way.

At that moment, an older-looking man glanced at the camel and said,

“Truly amazing. What an exceptional one to bring its owners all the way here in this condition.”

Yu Seol went and stroked the camel’s head.

“This is our Chorang!”

“Yes, I have never seen such a magnificent camel in my life. It devoted all its energy to its owners until the end. How could the life of this animal not be considered noble?”

“If I leave it here, can you ensure it doesn’t get sick?”

“Right, right. You don’t have to worry about that. You must be hungry from your journey, so please, come this way.”

The old man appeared to be the chief of this place.

He took the lead, wrapped his arm around her grandpa’s back, and guided them to a tent.

Yu Jinsan silently surveyed the interior.

There was a long table that seemed to be used for meal preparation and some unidentified bone fragments.

But what truly caught his eye was the corner of the tent, surrounded by weapons.

Perhaps noticing Yu Jinsan’s gaze, the Chief smiled.

“Hahaha. Don’t be afraid. They are merely tools to protect us from desert thieves.”

“…I see.”

Behind the old man, two elders were holding hands.

Yu Jinsan observed them closely.

Their upper bodies were more developed than their lower bodies, and the calluses on their hands, clearly visible, seemed to have been formed through stabbing rather than cutting.

‘Could they be professionally trained in horseback arts? They are definitely not ordinary nomads.’

There was no attempt to hide it, and they seemed unconcerned about who noticed.

At that moment, a sturdy middle-aged woman approached, carrying two plates.

She looked the two up and down and smiled.

“You are so pretty. Eat plenty, and if it’s not enough, ask for more.”

“Thank you for the food.”

Fried meat, milk, and some fruits were served.

Although it wasn’t a feast, they were more than grateful, having been starving for several days.

“Grandpa, aren’t you going to eat?”

Despite Yu Seol’s question, the Chief simply nodded his head and smiled.

As soon as they finished their meal, a handsome man approached and said,

“Well, it is late at night, so let’s sleep first and discuss the details tomorrow.”

Yu Jinsan never mentioned staying there today.

Their reaction was so shocking. What could they do?

‘Well, taking a day’s rest isn’t bad.’

Even so, he needed a break after enduring the hardship of carrying the camel.

When the sun rose, he decided to leave after getting directions.

“Yes.”

Yu Jinsan and Seol were guided elsewhere.

Even after the two left, the old man stayed put, crossing his arms.

With his eyes closed, his expression began to change gradually. The way his lips curled up to his ears felt eerie.

And after a while.

One of the elders approached and whispered to the old man.

“It is a great profit, Chief. How should we handle it?”

“Hmm… considering the young man’s handsome face and muscles… take him out at sunrise and negotiate well.”

“And the girl? She is pretty, so we can get a good price.”

“Leave that child. No one touches her.”

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