Episode 130

Just The Two Of You (2)
1 week ago
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Yu Jinsan usually struggled to fall asleep, but on this particular day, he managed to rest soundly for the first time.

After carrying the camel through the desert all day, he was bound to be exhausted.

He was so tired that he only opened his eyes early in the morning.

Upon glancing to the side, he noticed his granddaughter sleeping peacefully on his arm.

“Child, wake up for a moment.”

“…I’m not sleeping.”

Despite her response, her voice sounded weak, and her eyes remained closed.

“Try to wake up. I have something to tell you.”

At that moment, Yu Seol turned over and placed her hand on her grandpa’s shoulder.

Tak!

“…I’m not sleeping, just resting my eyes.”

Observing her relaxed expression and the saliva trickling from the corner of her mouth, it was evident that she was asleep.

Could it be that by learning Buddhist scriptures, one could talk in their sleep? This was fascinating.

Yu Jinsan attempted to move his arm from under his granddaughter’s head, but she wouldn’t budge, as if firmly wedged.

“Is this little one using all her strength on Grandpa?”

Ultimately, he resorted to using internal qi, but no matter how hard he struggled, she remained unmoved.

The only response he received was the sound of her breathing.

“…”

There seemed to be no way to outmatch her strength.

If she were conscious, she should be able to release her hold at any moment. Based on her reaction, it seemed like she desired more sleep.

For now, his main focus was to rouse his granddaughter by any means necessary, as she clung to his arm and refused to let go.

“Don’t you find something odd here?”

“…Yes, I understand.”

It was unclear whether she was responding consciously or in her sleep.

Given the circumstances, he had no option but to try a different approach.

Yu Jinsan took a deep breath and lowered his voice to a whisper.

“Chorang is in danger.”

That was when Yu Seol jolted awake.

“Huh? What did you say? What’s going on?”

Waking the child was not an easy task, but it proved effective.

Yu Jinsan pointed with his index finger and spoke.

“The people here don’t seem normal. Don’t you feel something odd?”

Yu Seol, pondering the situation, nodded and replied.

“I felt it, too. They are suspicious.”

“Uh? Let’s go out and take a look. What are they doing?”

Yu Jinsan had been curious about the nomads’ identity since yesterday.

He could have ignored them and left, but for some reason, it didn’t feel right. He felt uncomfortable, and couldn’t leave.

The tent where they stayed overnight was the smallest in the center of the camp. So, as soon as they came out, the surroundings came into view at a glance.

“Hmm…”

The two, keeping their presence low, glanced around with their heads turning.

Around 20 tents were gathered near the lake.

Yu Jinsan didn’t find anything particularly special about it.

However, Yu Seol, with the sharpest eyesight, didn’t miss even the smallest detail.

“I knew it would be like this.”

“What?”

Yu Seol pointed in a specific direction.

Under the bush next to the lake, she noticed a bone protruding from the sand.

“I guess they caught something over there.”

Yu Jinsan hurried over and started digging into the ground with his hands.

His expression turned cold.

There were not just one or two bones, but skeletons of familiar shapes.

It wasn’t hard to guess what type of bones they were.

“Grandpa, what is all this?”

His granddaughter asked, tilting her head.

Yu Jinsan covered the traces in the sand.

“They are really bad people. They caught and ate a monkey.”

“Monkey? Where is the monkey?”

Yu Seol wasn’t as easily deceived as before.

It would be strange to believe it. The only animals they had seen on the way here were wolves.

However, as the child grew, Yu Jinsan’s storytelling skills also improved.

“You didn’t know? Monkeys live in the lakes of the desert. Don’t you notice that the trees here are unlike those in other places?”

“Yes. So, are all the monkeys dead? I want to see them too…”

“Most likely. Grandpa will show you later.”

“Okay. But what do we do now, Grandpa?”

He knew what it meant.

A dozen feet behind her, tall men were glaring at them with frowns.

Among them was the Chief they had talked to last night.

He had a completely different expression yesterday when he was smiling kindly.

“Such spoiled kids. After feeding you and providing you with a place to sleep, you repay us by digging our land?”

Was it because her grandpa was criticized? Yu Seol, who was in a bad mood, shouted.

“We were just curious, so we took a look! Why did you kill and eat the monkeys?!”

The Chief looked at her and smiled.

“Haha. Monkey… If you can fill your hungry stomach in this barren land, is there anything you shouldn’t eat?”

Yu Seol turned her head and looked at her grandpa.

Those deep eyes. They were asking if she could go.

And Yu Jinsan shook his head. He wanted to see how they would act out.

At that moment, a fierce-looking middle-aged man came to them, leading a horse.

“You, come with me.”

A hand the size of a human head grabbed the back of Yu Jinsan.

He was immediately flung into the air and flopped onto the horse’s saddle.

“…?”

“Don’t worry. I will give you a wonderful life from today on.”

Yu Jinsan realized it. He was about to be sold elsewhere by these people.

And this made him confident.

‘As expected, they are bandits disguised as nomads.’

Apparently, they had business partners nearby. If so, it would be a good chance to make up for the lost time and travel expenses wasted on the camel.

Thinking so, he sent a message to his granddaughter.

-Grandpa has to follow him for a moment and look. Let me know if you want to come together.

Yu Seol knew her grandpa was pretending to be captured, and those thieves posed no threat.

If she goes along, nothing good will come of it.

-Can I swim and play in the lake?

Since she hadn’t had the chance to play near the water yesterday, she seemed eager not to miss the opportunity this time.

He didn’t want to stop her. After all, she was still at an age where having fun was important.

Yu Jinsan was inclined to accommodate whatever his granddaughter wished to do.

-Are you okay?

-Yes. But what about the people who eat monkeys? What if they try to eat me?

-Just do what Grandpa told you, within limits.

Although he wasn’t worried about leaving her anywhere, the thought of leaving her alone, even for a moment, still made him uneasy.

Yu Seol smiled and gestured for him to return quickly, as if to say she wouldn’t worry.

The thieves observing this scene were taken aback.

“Smiling? Your younger brother is being taken away.”

Could this really be Yu Seol’s reaction? Even Yu Jinsan didn’t resist.

Normally, children would cry and beg for help. Yet, there he was, fine on the horse, as if urging them to leave quickly.

It was a scenario they couldn’t make sense of.

Could it be that he was so scared that he’d lost his senses?

It was when the thief, carrying the boy and his two companions, were almost out of sight.

“Uh?”

“Are you really waving goodbye to your younger brother?”

The Chief, who had been quietly observing the scene, sighed and scolded his subordinates.

“Didn’t I tell you not to frighten the children? Don’t you know that if they become traumatized, we won’t get the full price?”

The middle-aged man with a beard resembling a goat’s protested as if he felt wronged.

“Uh? But we didn’t do anything!”

“Forget it. Let’s eat first. Though it was skinny, it looked plump. Has the cleaning been done?”

“It’s probably being done, so let’s head in first. Isn’t it better to eat the meat while it’s fresh? Hehe.”

The Chief nodded and glanced at Yu Seol.

“Come on. Let’s fill our bellies first.”

Why would she have any reason to decline a meal?

Yu Seol suddenly found herself caught in the gap between the elders and moved towards the tent where the food was being prepared.

The thought of eating meat was pleasing, but that feeling lasted only for a moment. For some reason, she sensed something ominous.

As she approached the tent, a familiar scent drifted towards her.

As expected, the thief leading the way cleared the entrance.

“Ch-Chorang…?”

A camel that looked familiar stood to the side.

Yu Seol’s eyes trembled as she saw Chorang’s lifeless form.

In front of the camel stood a stout middle-aged man, holding a dagger.

“I was just about to take care of it. Come and sit down quickly.”

As they all hurried inside, Yu Seol moved towards Chorang.

She embraced the camel, tears already streaming down her face.

“Chorang… Mom is sorry…”

The thieves, witnessing this, burst into laughter.

“Puahahaha! She claims to be the mom!”

“A camel’s mom? Puahah!”

“Ahahah!”

The interior of the tent erupted into laughter.

However, their laughter only fueled her anger.

After a moment, a soft voice quietly emanated from Yu Seol.

“…Dead.”

The Chief, seated at the head of the table, responded, trying to suppress his laughter.

“Yes, Chorang is dead. But it died on its own.”

Was it said that the concept of freedom is an illusion? The being Yu Seol referred to as dead was not the camel.

“Do not lie!!”

“…?”

In an instant, a golden light emanated from her entire body.

The tent was blown away by the wind, and the thieves were pushed back.

“Ack!”

“Kual!”

“Wh-what?!”

The bandits, sprawled on the ground, looked ahead, bewildered by what had just happened.

Before them stood Yu Seol, now a manifestation of fury, her fists clenched.


Meanwhile, Yu Jinsan rode his horse between the man’s legs and glanced at the sky.

A small cloud transformed into the image of his granddaughter with bright eyes.

‘Our Seol must be swimming there, right?’

Was it because he always observed her from the sidelines? Though it had only been an hour, he felt a sense of loneliness.

Despite the presence of ruthless individuals, in the eyes of the Yin Yang Twin Monsters, they were insignificant.

It wasn’t even worth worrying about; he could just ignore it.

Lost in time, the man spoke.

“As I mentioned earlier, you should be thankful to us. The Chief has taken notice of you and wishes to pave a prosperous path for your future.”

What absurd talk was this? It wasn’t even worth a response.

“…”

“When an adult speaks, you should reply, right? Young ones shouldn’t act arrogant.”

Yu Jinsan pondered. Should he twist this guy’s neck and return to his granddaughter?

His patience was wearing thin.

“Hyung!!!!”

The man behind waved and shouted.

Approximately thirty meters ahead.

At the entrance to the cave, visible beneath the rocky mountain, stood a figure holding a sword.

Clad in light garments with black fabric, displaying signs of martial arts training.

He waited for their approach and inquired.

“Only one person?”

“Don’t sound so dejected. This one equals ten. Our Chief himself proclaimed his exceptional physique.”

Yu Jinsan was forcefully pulled down from the horse.

The masked man stuttered, his face serious.

“I-I can hardly believe it. His bones are flawless, as if he underwent Body Reformation.”

“Hahaha. Indeed. What’s my share? At least…”

He halted, his mouth agape. The other party extended three gold coins.

This exceeded his expectations by tenfold.

“This is all I have on me. If it’s insufficient, do let me know.”

The thief swiftly took the coins from the masked man.

“Oh, I never doubted the price. I’m simply grateful!”

“Well then, I suppose the transaction is complete. Once you’re finished with your business, you may proceed.”

“Of course, of course. Until next time, Hyung!”

He turned his horse and shrugged, eager to return and boast to the Chief about the successful trade.

As soon as the thieves departed, Yu Jinsan was dragged into the cave.

A moment later, he couldn’t close his mouth due to the shocking sight he witnessed.

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