༺ Long Time No See, Brother-In-Law (2) ༻
Namgung Cheonjun walked towards us, his lightning Qi no longer on display.
I’d have to assume that he was showing off his Qi on purpose, judging by how he was able to hide his Qi effortlessly.
‘He sure enjoys being the center of attention.’
I wasn’t going to see that as a bad thing, though.
After all, this trait wasn’t unique to him and he was from the Namgung Clan.
[It feels just like when I met Myung for the first time.]
‘Are you talking about the Thunderous Sword?’
[Yes, he pulled the same shit when he was younger, and I had to teach him a lesson …]
How could this old man say something so violent as if it was a fond memory?
And if the Thunderous Sword had a similar attitude, then I would have to assume that annoying personality was just Namgung Clan’s trait.
While I pondered this, I noticed that Moyong Hi-ah was also keeping an eye on Namgung Cheonjun, just as I expected.
That wasn’t strange at all.
Since the two were engaged back in my past life.
[Wait, so you did ‘that thing’ with a woman that was already taken? This guy is an asshole…!-]
‘I had a good reas- Wait, why do you always change the subject to this every time?’
Was it just me, or did it feel like Elder Shin only spoke about that woman for the past few hours?
To be more specific, Moyong Hi-ah, at that time, still wasn’t engaged.
Their engagement was initiated after coming out of the Abyss.
I wonder if Moyong Hi-ah would’ve still gone through with the engagement if she had her memories from the Abyss.
‘She probably would’ve.’
She was just like that.
A person that could easily ‘make feelings’ for someone if it meant achieving her goal.
– What are you saying? What’s with this ‘make feelings’ instead of ‘acting’?
– …A dumbass like you wouldn’t know even if you die. Are you sure that you really don’t have a rock in your head?
– You crazy bitch… Why insult me when you were the one that spoke to me first? You wanna die?
– You were on all fours during your last attempt to confront me, but strangely, the fire in your words remained unextinguished. Even though it vanished so quickly during our duel, like a candle’s flame.
– Hey, you piece of…!
– Jeez, they are fighting again! Hey, someone stop them!
– Let go of me! I’m going to burn that bitch to a crisp for real this time!
– Where is the Young Sword Master!? We have to hurry and stop those two!
My head ached whenever I thought about this past.
Why was I like that back then?
It was a memory filled with irony and embarrassment.
And now, it was a memory that only I had.
For a very long time at that.
No survivors of the Abyss had any memories of the Abyss.
What had happened…
What they did for years and what they had to survive and endure…
What kind of relationship they made, and whose tears were shed for whom…
No one remembered a thing.
That was the deal.
Namgung Cheonjun spoke to Namgung Bi-ah as soon as he came towards us.
Namgung Bi-ah greeted him like usual, slightly waving her hand.
But thanks to that, the area around me became rowdier.
“Sister? Did the Lightning Dragon just say ‘sister’?”
“Does that mean she’s a blood relative of the Namgung Cl- woah…”
“What’s going on ?”
Thanks to him, all eyes turned in our direction.
Ugh, this really wasn’t an ideal situation.
‘…Now the barrier I put up was all for nothing.’
I let out a sigh.
It wasn’t some great barrier.
Since I would get caught if I tried to put up a large-scale barrier at my level.
Instead, I created a barrier that concealed our presence a little more than usual.
My goal was to attract less attention to us.
I had to do that since we had girls who naturally drew many eyes,
‘But now that has become pointless.’
There was no going back once we already attracted the attention of others.
To prove that, I felt many eyes fixed on us from everywhere.
Most of them weren’t focused on me but elsewhere besides me.
Their nasty gazes filled with greed could not be more obvious.
It made sense since most of them were still young and hadn’t learned how to hide their intentions.
I couldn’t really talk shit about them for it.
Since I might have acted the same way in their shoes.
Namgung Bi-ah then inched closer to me.
Tang Soyeol and Moyong Hi-ah might have been used to this, but it was likely new for Wi Seol-Ah and Namgung Bi-ah.
I flowed my Qi around.
I didn’t want to attract attention from others yet, but I couldn’t stand idly by any longer.
A pressuring wave of Qi scattered throughout the building.
Those who had been watching and chatting suddenly cleared their throats and looked away.
They understood it was a warning.
A slight bit of heat mixed into that wave made it a bit stronger,
But that wasn’t my doing.
I looked at Gu Jeolyub, my eyes slightly widened.
Gu Jeolyub, who noticed me looking at him, spoke after hesitating for a second.
“…Is this also a problem?”
The Qi wave just now was done by Gu Jeolyub.
Judging by the strength of that wave, he must’ve used an extreme amount of Qi.
I responded to Gu Jeolyub, who seemed slightly nervous.
“No, you did good.”
I would’ve done it myself, if Gu Jeolyub didn’t.
Gu Jeolyub then awkwardly looked away, seemingly surprised by my compliment.
[Even with you cursing at him so much, he didn’t let that get to him.]
Just as Elder Shin said, my perception of Gu Jeolyub began to shift slightly.
‘I guess he’s not entirely a bad person.’
It seemed like I judged him too much just because he was the grandson of the First Elder.
“Lady Tang is here as well.”
“It seems that you’ve only gotten more beautiful.”
Namgung Cheonjun said this with a smile on his face. Any girl would’ve liked hearing that from a handsome guy like him.
However, Tang Soyeol’s smile seemed unusually strained.
It seemed like she was trying her best to maintain that smile.
Tang Soyeol may have failed to hide her shaky voice…
But this would still seem like she was charmed by Namgung Cheonjun’s face in the perspective of other people.
“And you are…”
“My name is Gu Jeolyub.”
Gu Jeolyub got up instantly and greeted Namgung Cheonjun.
Namgung Cheonjun paused when he heard Gu Jeolyub’s surname, but fixed his expression right away.
“Nice to meet you.”
It seemed like he was happy to meet the Lightning Dragon, as Gu Jeolyub looked excited.
From this, I was able to truly see how ordinary young prodigies looked at Five Dragons and Three Phoenixes.
However, I wondered if Gu Jeolyub would still hold Namgung Cheonjun in high regard once he discovered his true nature.
Finally, Namgung Cheonjun turned his attention to me.
He still had a smile on his face.
“It has been a while.”
While Namgung Cheonjun was speaking to me, I had my eyes on Moyong Hi-ah.
He asked who Gu Jeolyub was, but ignored Moyong Hi-ah.
I didn’t think he was greeting all of us in a specific order. Instead, it seemed like he wanted to talk to me last.
‘Is he ignoring Moyong Hi-ah on purpose?’
Moyong Hi-ah seemed unfazed, as if she was accustomed to this treatment.
They aren’t engaged at this point, but had they met before this?
To be fair, the four noble clans probably did meet each other frequently.
Namgung Bi-ah was the weird one, hiding herself almost all her life.
“…I heard you were engaged. Congratulations.”
Putting aside that thought, Namgung Cheonjun spoke to me.
It was such an insincere congratulations.
I noticed a slight twitch in his smile that confirmed it.
I was glad that he still was the same as ever.
Then, was he trying to be friendly to me now?
‘Nah, no way.’
That was something I would never believe.
I, too, returned a smile while responding to Namgung Cheonjun.
Namgung Cheonjun’s eyebrow frowned a little because of my short response.
But oh no, I didn’t just plan to stop there.
“Long time no see, brother-in-law.”
After hearing my words, Namgung Cheonjun’s mask came off for an instant.
“Oh wait, is it sister-in-law, actually?”
Namgung Cheonjun’s expression entirely changed after hearing my words. After all, I was implying that he lost his balls after the incident when I kicked him in his genitals previously.
However, he quickly returned to his normal demeanor.
This was pretty unexpected.
He would’ve done something about this if he was the same as last time.
However, Namgung Cheonjun only continued to smile.
“Yes, since we will become family soon.”
‘What’s with him?’
He seems like he’s holding it in with everything he’s got, but I didn’t know why.
It was in my best interest if no problems arose, but still…
Did Namgung Jin talk to him about something, perhaps? But it didn’t seem likely, considering that Namgung Cheonjun wouldn’t have been around when Namgung Jin returned to the clan.
“Let us become good friends, and leave our past behind.”
Those were good words, but could it really be that easy?
Even I struggled with that.
I’m not looking down on Namgung Cheonjun… I mean I am, but…
The look in Namgung Cheonjun’s eyes told me that he hasn’t changed one bit.
I prayed that Namgung Cheonjun could keep his emotions in check till the end.
‘I don’t think I could go easy on you the second time, my little Cheonjun.’
So I really hope that you can hold it in.
The meal time ended after that incident.
It was already pretty much over by the time Moyong Hi-ah joined us.
I was worried that Namgung Cheonjun might try to join in on the meal…
But unexpectedly, he only glanced at Namgung Bi-ah briefly before going up to his room.
After that, Moyong Hi-ah gave us a respectful farewell and followed Namgung Cheonjun.
‘Her goal was Namgung Cheonjun, after all.’
I was curious as too what Moyong Hi-ah’s intent was.
Despite her goal being Namgung Cheonjun, her reaction to seeing him was oddly subdued.
To be more specific, it looked as if she didn’t want to react.
It could be just my misinterpretation, though.
Moyong Hi-ah now was much younger than when I first met her in my past life.
Back then, Moyong Hi-ah seemed like a person devoid of emotion, but perhaps she had some naiveness in her at this point of time.
And the reason why I couldn’t even be sure of this…
Was because I had been screwed over by that scary bitch too many times.
Pretending to cry wasn’t even hard for her.
And even with her cold voice and words, she was better than anyone at concealing her true feelings.
If I had to list one problem, it was probably because of her body.
That also played a big role in Moyong Hi-ah ending her life in the future.
I didn’t know what specific disease Moyong Hi-ah had.
‘She herself said that it wasn’t the Nine Darkness disease.’
The Nine Darkness disease was one of the most common diseases.
It used to be incurable in the past; it caused a person’s Qi to flow improperly due to excessive dark energy within, thus obstructing the flow of Qi.
But nowadays, that disease had become curable through remedies derived from the beaks of Firebirds, a type of Red Demon, or any other medicines that held similar energy as such beaks.
Of course, these treatments were expensive, but it wasn’t like the Moyong Clan was just a small clan from some backwater town. They definitely had the money.
Which meant that her disease was a different problem entirely.
Elder Shin spoke as I was thinking of such things.
[Judging by how you speak of her, it sounds like your relationship with her was a mess, yet you are so concerned about her. Do you perhaps harbor feelings for her without realizing it?]
“…Of course not.”
As Elder Shin said, our relationship was a mess. Or even worse than that.
It was just that there was one glimmer of light.
– I needed your flame. Though that was pointless now that I look at it.
Moyong Hi-ah, who spoke bitterly that night, spoke no lies.
– This is not something you’d call a sacrifice. And even if this… is a sacrifice, I’m saying that you don’t have to be the only one who should bear it!
Her shouting at the last moment probably wasn’t a lie either.
Yet, I couldn’t say her words had left a lasting impression on my heart.
Forgetting her words due to the overwhelming tasks I had to deal with after surviving the Abyss probably was one of the reasons why.
“I’m not here to help her.”
I already had my hands full with protecting everyone around me.
It would be nice if Moyong Hi-ah became my ally, but that wasn’t the goal of this trip in the first place.
And it was weird to categorize her as either a friend or foe this early on.
‘Too many unnecessary thoughts came into my head because of her.’
I put everything aside and lifted my body up.
Since thinking about it now wouldn’t give me an answer anyway.
I just had to do what I came here for.
“Should I go training?”
Those words were aimed at Muyeon, who was waiting outside the door.
Muyeon seemed surprised, as if he did not expect me to go outside.
I then continued to speak to him.
“I already told you that you don’t need to keep watch right outside of the door.”
“…Young Master, an escort normally- “
“Don’t even think about giving your speech. Look around you, who else has their escorts stationed right outside the door?”
To prove my words, the area outside the door was devoid of any escorts other than Muyeon.
This was a young prodigy’s way of showing pride.
It was to symbolize that they weren’t weak and that they didn’t require protection.
But in my eyes, all that seemed pointless.
Nevertheless, it did help me come up with an excuse to use against Muyeon.
“Instead of thinking about nagging me, how about you come train with me?”
With that, Muyeon ceased his objections and followed me.
As Bacheonmaru was a place for young prodigies to stay, there was a training area at the back of the building.
I probably can’t use any martial skills there due to the prying eyes, but physical training should be fine.
Moving my body had always proved to be the best way to get rid of any complicated thoughts in my head.
On my way to the training area with Muyeon, I also brought Gu Jeolyub, who had been lounging in his room.
Gu Jeolyub asked me in confusion.
“It’s nice to train together. Am I wrong?”
To be honest, I just wanted to make him suffer because I didn’t like his excited eyes when he saw Namgung Cheonjun.
Gu Jeolyub followed along since he was serious when it came to training.
As we approached the training area,
“Oh, Young Master,”
“I heard this earlier- “
“Young Master Guuuuu!”
Before Muyeon could share what he wanted to say, a loud voice echoed from a distance that shook the nearby area.
Was that voice perhaps calling for me?
Just in case, I asked Gu Jeolyub.
I asked since we both shared the Gu surname, but Gu Jeolyub also seemed like he had no idea.
As I turned to identify the source of the voice, someone was standing right in front of my eyes already.
Before Muyeon could even pull his sword out at that.
And fast enough to even catch me off guard.
“Ahh! I really wanted to see you, it has been a really long time.”
The young man spoke with a bright face as he shook me by the shoulders.
I get that he was really happy to see me, but this was a little too rough.
This felt familiar.
I’m talking about this situation that’s about to make my mind explode. It wasn’t hard for me to figure out who it was.
Why was this person here? I thought he already graduated from young prodigy status.
The man I met after a few months still possessed that slender frame, which didn’t fit his surname.
And his black uniform and the distinctive ring on his finger left no room for doubt.
He was the Heavenly Dragon and the future Sword King.
And in the present time, he was the young lord of the Peng Clan.
“Young Master Peng… Could you please let me go first… Jeez, stop shaking me already!”
It was Peng Woojin.
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