༺ It Won’t Happen Just Because of that ༻
On the day that I visited the basement for the first time, I asked my father what they were, if they were even humans in the first place, and why they were down in the basement of our clan in the first place. These were the questions that gnawed away at me. His response was:
– These are all offerings, and we are the bowl.
What were we the bowl for?
I didn’t know the answer. Even when I faced the truth after Father had forced me to do so, I still didn’t know.
Only after I had met the Heavenly Demon, and lived with others in the Abyss was I able to find some fragments of the truth.
‘I dare say that my father was wrong.’
We weren’t the bowl.
I, myself, couldn’t hold anything. How could I be called a bowl when I was broken and in pieces? Everything slipped right through the cracks.
I had to realize this earlier and give up.
It wasn’t something I could run away from in the first place.
– I’ll bring it out for you if you desire.
Which was why I shouldn’t have let myself get convinced by those words.
– Your burden is too heavy? I’ll carry the burden for you. It’s not too hard for someone like me.
I shouldn’t have grabbed its hand. However, I didn’t know better back then.
I wasn’t in the right mind at the time, so my decision was somewhat justified
Now that I looked at it, I guessed it would be more correct to say that rather than the Heavenly Demon cutting off my burden, it took it for itself to deal with.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the fact that I was able to manipulate time was related to this.
At least, that was my suspicion.
Since I had run away from my responsibilities, unable to handle them, it was punishing me for it. Something like that, I assumed.
I woke up after a long sleep, barely able to open my heavy eyes. My head was aching like crazy, as if I had had nightmares the whole night.
Whether it was sleep paralysis or something else, I couldn’t move my body easily.
Thankfully, I was still able to talk.
I could break through sleep paralysis easily with the use of Qi, but for some reason, I felt a strange sensation on my body.
Something was touching my hands, something soft.
I also shook my head after feeling a tickly sensation on my nose. I was able to smell a familiar scent.
When my mind cleared, I realized that something else was holding my body down on both sides, not sleep paralysis.
The tickly sensation I felt on my nose was hair.
Blue white hair…? I also noticed some brown hair mixed in as well.
I didn’t have to think much more. There were only so many people who would do such a thing.
I tried many ways to move my hand, but even with a tiny movement, I was able to feel a sensation of soft skin.
‘Hmm…? What am I touching right now?’
Because I was trying to move, both sides began to tighten further.
‘…I’m screwed, aren’t I?’
How did I end up in this state again? I tried to remember what happened last night before I fell asleep.
I remembered that when I entered the room, Namgung Bi-ah and Wi Seol-Ah were already there.
I felt like Namgung Bi-ah said something to me when I came in.
I remembered now.
“Umm, uh, father… He said I should come here…”
She came here because Namgung Jin had told her to do so. ‘Wait, why was a father sending his daughter to my room at nighttime? That crazy old fart…‘
Obviously, I was also at fault for falling asleep like that, no matter how tired I was.
‘How can I escape this?’
Because they were both holding onto me tight, it wasn’t easy to find a way to escape.
｢Why try to escape? Just stay like that.｣
Hearing Elder Shin, I responded as if to welcome him.
‘Oh, you were awake.’
｢What do you mean awake? I don’t sleep in the first place.｣
He had actually told me that he didn’t need to sleep before.
｢You’re enjoying that soft jelly-like sensation, so why are you bothering to leave?｣
It seemed like Elder Shin was angry again, as his tone wasn’t the merriest.
‘Well, that’s frustrating; it’s not like I’m doing this because I like it.’
He had good hearing for an old man…
‘I’ll say this now since you mentioned it, but I’m not doing this because I’m enjoyin-‘
｢Then do you hate it?｣
｢Y-Y-You rotten piece of shit. See? You can’t even respond to my question. You are enjoying it!｣
‘W-What do you mean enjoy? How could a taoist say something so indecent!?’
｢Indecent my ass, your face is more indecent!｣
‘You old codger…!’
In the end, he always used my face as a finisher.
How handsome did he think he was for him to always pick on my face like that?
As I was frowning, Elder Shin spoke with utmost confidence.
｢Hmph, back when I was young, it wasn’t my sword that was the sharpest, but my nose. It was suuuper sharp. And to see that nose of mine, women from the area lined up all the way to the bottom of Mount Hua from the main entrance, you brat!｣
‘Then how come you weren’t in any relationship?’
｢You piece of…｣
I asked since I was truly curious, but Elder Shin disappeared after cursing at me.
I asked a few more times after this, but Elder Shin didn’t respond as he was sulking.
For some reason, I felt like Elder Shin’s tone was getting rougher as the days went on. Was it just me?
‘But seriously, what do I do?’
It seemed like they were moving in their sleep because I could feel their breathing getting closer to me.
I decided to get up by force if need be, as I couldn’t let anyone else see such a sight, but-
“Young Master Gu, I apologize for suddenly-“
The one that barged into my room was Tang Soyeol. When the girl witnessed what was going on inside, her face instantly turned red, and she quickly covered it with her hands.
“I-I’ll be leaving now, sorry…”
Without giving me a chance to say anything, Tang Soyeol closed the door and disappeared.
When only awkward silence remained…
I heard Elder Shin’s evil laugh.
* * * *
To recount what happened after, I quickly got up and went outside, but Tang Soyeol had already left the area.
When I asked a maid, they said the girl had come for something. Why did she leave so fast if she had something to say?
Although it seemed there was something she needed my help with, I had other priorities.
Wi Seol-Ah and Namgung Bi-ah still seemed like they hadn’t woken up fully as they were constantly dozing off, so I scolded them by giving them both a bonking.
I almost smirked when they both avoided my eyes. I told them I would have a serious talk with them once I came back, somehow managing to not blow up at them first thing in the morning.
｢Thanking them wouldn’t even be enough, so why scold them? You bad man…｣
I let Elder Shin’s words pass through one ear and out the other.
The place I first visited that day was the medical rooms of the Gu Clan.
To be more accurate, I went to the place where martial artists of the Namgung Clan were being treated.
Since it was me who had made them end up in such a state, they weren’t too happy when I arrived.
The one who gave me the sharpest stare was none other than the Immortal Healer who was treating them.
“The hell are you doing? Why is a kid like you going around beating up adults… Tsk tsk.”
What he said might sound weird, but I couldn’t argue with him as I had caused that trouble.
“Furthermore, you beat the shit out of them very cleanly too. That’s also a coincidence?”
I couldn’t do anything but stay silent after hearing the Immortal Healer’s question.
“Not even the trained guards could do this. But thanks to that, it was easy for me to treat them…”
“Was there anyone who suffered a long-term injury?”
“The one that lost their teeth, they’ll probably suffer for around three months, but there won’t be any major problems. Your father did spend big after all.”
‘That’s good news.’
I assume that was what Father meant by ‘enough compensation to satisfy them’.
He probably added other herbs as well in addition to the money.
“And thanks to you, this old man stayed up the whole night.”
“No need for that. I don’t know what the situation was, but I doubt that you’d beat them up without a good reason. Plus, I didn’t like how I was able to sleep and eat here for free, so I at least feel like I did something to make up for that.”
After talking with the Immortal Healer, I went toward the men that were lying down.
They couldn’t express their dislike toward me with words, so their eyes weren’t all that happy to see me. Nonetheless, they felt better after I talked with them a bit about compensation and apologized with a bowed head.
I even saw some smiling after they heard about the money. Clearly, my father had splurged on compensation.
I guessed it was worth it to have gone to the butler early in the morning to learn how much they would get.
The Namgung Clan took most of the blame upon themselves, so the Gu Clan decided to compensate the victims.
I didn’t know who the bastard that caused this whole thing was, and all I could do was wait since both the Namgung and the Gu Clans were on the lookout.
I doubted they would be able to capture the criminal, especially if the criminal had the same ability as “him.”
I heard a very clear sound of a sword slashing through the air.
After meeting with the Namgung Clan’s martial artists, I went toward the training area. The slashes I had heard were Namgung Jin training.
“You seemed quite busy yesterday,” the man said.
“I had something come up.”
I had left for my father’s chambers while Namgung Jin was trying to say something to me, so it would be understandable if he was mad at me for it, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
｢Doesn’t he look like he’s holding it in? Sure looks like that in my eyes.｣
“…Anyway, you sent your daughter to my room?”
“May I ask why you did that?”
Namgung Jin put on a strange expression after hearing my question.
“Isn’t this what you wanted in your bet?”
‘Are you craz-’
Was what I was going to say, but I did remember saying something like “I want your daughter” to the man, so I shut my mouth.
“I believe I paid my price for this bet.”
I was going to ask how he could do such a thing since it was his daughter we were talking about, but decided against it. They didn’t seem to have the best relationship, judging from what Namgung Bi-ah had done to her clan in my past life.
It wasn’t like Namgung Jin was a good person either.
“The marriage is pretty much confirmed, and don’t you also like my daughter?”
I could’ve denied this part, but I didn’t.
I already knew the answer myself.
“It seems I’m correct if you aren’t denying it.”
As soon as he said that, Namgung Jin went back to his training, not caring too much about my interest in his daughter.
I was able to feel Namgung Jin’s power just by hearing the sound his sword made.
Namgung Jin really was a martial artist who deserved the title of Sword King. Too bad, his opponent was one of the legendary heroes of the past.
Namgung Jin spoke up again, noticing me staring at him.
“Does it seem pathetic? Of course, to you, it may seem that way.”
It wasn’t like that. I was actually pretty impressed.
The Namgung Clan had a sword art that didn’t require the use of Qi. It was called the Azure Heavenly Tidal Sword and was the pride of their clan. It was also the one the lord had used against Elder Shin before being quickly shut down.
｢How could I not shut it down when there are that many openings in it?｣
Staring at Namgung Jin’s sword, I asked, “Do you mind showing it to me?”
Namgung Bi-ah was a weird girl that didn’t mind showing anyone her sword, but Namgung Jin was different.
Furthermore, people who belonged to noble clans usually refused to show their martial skills to others.
When I asked, Namgung Jin stopped his lightning-quick movements and looked at me.
“Is there any reason to hide it from someone like you? I’m trying to achieve what you showed me anyway.”
What Namgung Jin was doing just now was certainly different from what Elder Shin had shown.
But it did seem like he was getting there, slowly making progress toward Elder Shin’s movements.
Not that it was going well for him, though.
“Is that why you dragged me all the way here?”
“Drag you? Someone might think that actually happened.”
‘Think? Even though you were the one that was waiting for me outside the entrance as soon as I left the medical room?’
“Like I said last time, I could go on my knees if that meant I could achieve your realm of sword art.”
Namgung Jin’s eyes were serious. Of course they were, since he had already put aside his pride and arrogance and was treating me as his master.
｢Coming to an awakening is indeed important, but that child is rather desperate.｣
What Elder Shin meant was that Namgung Jin wasn’t acting this way because he truly wanted to reach the next level.
“So please, tell me how I can achieve it. I’ll call you master if you so desire.”
“I’d rather you not do that.”
‘I don’t think it’s good for someone my father’s age to call me master.’
Namgung Jin kept asking me to teach him the way of the sword, but I didn’t know it myself.
‘Seriously, what am I supposed to do now?’
｢I can’t be happier to see you suffer like this.｣
‘Elder Shin, did you really do this without a backup plan?’
｢What do you think?｣
‘So this old man did think of something after all.’
His playful tone of voice was enough of an answer.
｢I don’t know everything about their sword art as I’m not from their clan. However, I do know how to open the path for him.｣
‘And are you going to tell me that?’
｢I think I’ve played around enough, and I do have to keep the promise I made to him. What, is there something stopping you?｣
There wasn’t just something, but quite a lot, actually.
I was glad to know that I could tell him something, but…
Namgung Jin’s expression was pretending to be serious, but it also had desperation mixed in it.
It seemed like my leaving him without any explanation the day before had also added more fuel to the fire.
I just wondered if there was any benefit to me teaching the way of the sword to Namgung Jin. That was why I still had reservations about it.
I didn’t know what Namgung Jin’s situation was, nor did I care. I did think about using him, but the biggest reason was Namgung Bi-ah.
‘If only it were not because of that.’
I could’ve likely manipulated Namgung Jin for my own benefit, but I couldn’t do that when I thought about the girl I had seen in the morning, soundly sleeping in my arms.
That girl who killed all her blood relatives by herself in my past life. But would the future of this timeline be the same as the past?
I prayed that that wouldn’t be the case.
If possible, I wanted to make sure that wouldn’t happen.
“Lord,” I uttered as I stared at Namgung Jin.
“How about we start with a contract?”
I put on my most genuine grin and said. When the man saw my smile, he frowned as if he had seen something he shouldn’t have.
* * * *
While Gu Yangcheon and Namgung Jin were having a friendly conversation, Namgung Bi-ah went out to see someone with Wi Seol-Ah by her side. Usually the girl next to her would be chattering away about anything and everything, but today she was nervously sipping tea.
Someone slid open the door while she was sipping her tea and entered.
It was none other than Tang Soyeol.
The Tang Soyeol was shocked to see Namgung Bi-ah after carefully coming into the room.
“Sis… Did you do your makeup?”
She was so shocked that her voice was shaking.
Namgung Bi-ah looked different compared to the last time Tang Soyeol had seen her do her makeup.
Coloring her already stunning face made her look even more radiant.
“…A little,” Namgung Bi-ah responded while avoiding eye contact, somewhat embarrassed.
“What made you do that…? You always told me you were too lazy to look nice, even though I always told you to try.”
Namgung Bi-ah once again responded to Tang Soyeol, avoiding eye contact, “…He said I looked pretty…”
Her ears became red from embarrassment.
No one asked who that ‘he’ was. All three girls were thinking about the same person.
“R-Right. You are pretty… very pretty.”
It wasn’t sarcasm. Tang Soyeol genuinely thought that Namgung Bi-ah was beautiful.
It was an understatement to call her a beauty among the beauties. Tang Soyeol thought that someone like Namgung Bi-ah could honestly be called the zenith of beauties.
‘But the servant next to her is also crazy pretty…”
Gu Yangcheon’s servant, was it? The girl that was sitting quietly next to Namgung Bi-ah was leagues above others as well.
Even though she was still young, she had the beauty to catch everyone’s eye.
‘Is that why Gu Yangcheon keeps her next to him?’
Tang Soyeol thought. She also wondered if their relationship wasn’t as simple as a master-servant relationship.
Since Tang Soyeol had also seen that girl during the incident in the morning.
Tang Soyeol cooled her reddened cheek with her hand as she recalled the embarrassing incident.
Tang Soyeol was well-educated in “that,” but it was her first time seeing it with her own two eyes, so it was difficult for her to deal with.
Tang Soyeol asked, “A-Anyway, what brings you here…?” while concealing her steamy inner thoughts.
After hearing Tang Soyeol, Namgung Bi-ah focused her attention. Her ears, which had turned red earlier, had also cooled down.
“I… had something to say.”
Tang Soyeol sat on the opposite side of Namgung Bi-ah, biting her lower lip while Namgung Bi-ah bore a solemn expression.
The girl realized her throat was getting dry and started sipping her tea.
“…I slept with him last night.”
Just as Tang Soyeol started to sip her tea, she heard something very shocking that made her spit it out.
“Hey… it splashed on me!”
“Ahhh…! I-I’m sorry.”
Wi Seol-Ah complained when she spoke.
“Sis… What did you just say?”
Even after Tang Soyeol’s reaction, Namgung Bi-ah continued to speak seriously.
“…I slept with him while holding his hands.”
Tang Soyeol was not happy to hear this. The emotion she was experiencing was not a pleasant one.
It was chilly and cold. Tang Soyeol did not want to have this kind of feeling toward Namgung Bi-ah.
“Sis, I don’t really want to talk abo-“
“I might bear his child…”
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