༺ Mount Hua (2) ༻
I felt like I needed to say something one more time. However, time never listened to me.
Instead, I always found myself in situations where I had to adapt to its passing and whatever it brought.
I was reemphasizing that statement because the 10 days I’d been given went by way too fast.
In those days, I had to train with the little time I had, and I also had to squeeze out all the memories I had of the events that would happen in the future.
Plus, I also had to deal with the Second Elder and Gu Huibi visiting me all the time.
The only thing that gave me some form of entertainment was teasing Wi Seol-Ah after she was done with all the housework.
Seeing her face morph into despair as if the world was collapsing whenever I took and ate her yakgwa would never not be funny.
Plus, when you think about it, it’s my money anyways, right?
The servants would sometimes spend their own money to buy her snacks, but most of the snacks came from me.
Well, to be more specific, it was the clan’s money, but that’s pretty much the same thing…
It’s my money until I’m out of the clan.
I’d always had the thought of leaving the clan for good, but that was something for the future.
I needed to take advantage of the clan for at least five more years.
– Thud! Thud!
I let go of my sandbags after a session of training.
Their weights could easily be discerned just by hearing the sounds they made as they fell onto the floor.
“Not yet, huh.”
Ten days was definitely not enough time for me to reach the 4th realm of the flame arts.
I may have been at the peak of the 3rd realm, but the final wall to jump over in order to get to the 4th realm was a bit tall.
If I wanted to use this destructive art whilst also being fluid in my movements, I first needed to hone my physique.
The Gu Clan’s destructive martial art may have been easy to learn, but the Qi management required was tough to balance things out.
The wild flame that formed around the martial artist’s body consumed a ton of Qi, and in order to withstand the flames, the user had to have a strong physique to begin with.
Speaking from the experience of my previous life, I knew more than anyone just how important it was to have a strong physique.
“…It’s also why I couldn’t reach the highest realm.”
The highest realm.
The ultimate form of the destructive flame art.
The realm that would allow the martial artist to claim they had ‘mastered’ it.
Some compared mastering the art to mastering one’s own will.
But I’d never reached that realm, so I didn’t know the answer.
The Demon Sword in my previous life reached the point where she became one with her sword.
If we were speaking solely about realm, then I believe she reached a higher realm than I did.
When I asked her how she felt after reaching such a realm, she replied.
I hadn’t even been disappointed because I’d expected she wouldn’t give me a detailed answer anyways.
If I had to decipher that answer, it would be something along the lines of transcending to a new level.
It was pretty difficult to explain.
As one transcended to a new level, they became more accustomed to it, allowing them to perceive it more clearly.
I was currently at a level so pathetic that I couldn’t even feel such things, but if I was in the shoes of the martial artist that was right in front of me, it would be a completely different story.
“I am great at driving carriages, Young Master!”
“…No need, elder, we already called people to drive the carriage for us.”
So why was this man here living like this…?
I always wondered about that…
* * * *
It had been 10 days already.
It didn’t even feel like I’d had enough time to rest, but the day when I would be going to Mount Hua came regardless.
Fucks sake… I still can’t believe that I would be going to Shaanxi when I just returned from Sichuan.
I wondered how long the trip would take, it would probably be fall season by the time I came back home.
“…How long do you think this trip is going to take?”
“I would assume it’ll take more than how much you think it’s going to take.”
“How could you say such a thing, are you still mad at me?”
Because of me teasing Muyeon with the silver coin last time, it looked like he was still in a bad mood.
Well… I also never paid him back.
Oh, maybe that’s why he’s mad? I was going to pay him back after I got my pay for this trip.
Putting aside Muyeon, I took a look at the carriage that was being prepared for our trip.
A lot of things were being moved into the carriage.
And compared to when I went to Sichuan, it looked like more resources were being carried.
I assumed that I was getting better treatment as this was a carriage sent by the Lord himself.
In the middle of that, I noticed Wi Seol-Ah who could barely walk forward as she was carrying huge things that blocked her vision.
She was moving heavy things that even grown-up males struggled with.
…Maybe she already possesses some Qi in her.
I had no other explanation for her monstrous strength.
My eyes automatically looked in the direction of the horse sound.
Wi Seol-Ah carrying all that was one thing, but the Sword Emperor chatting with the horse…
…How am I supposed to feel about this situation?
…How did they end up coming with me?
When I first heard that the Sword Emperor and Wi Seol-Ah were coming along on my trip, I was very shocked.
Furthermore, the Sword Emperor insisted that he was going to be the one driving the horse.
I’d thought that we already had a person for that job, but when I asked about it I was told that they had gone on vacation after getting paid silver coins from our Sichuan trip.
…Now of all times? When it is the time for me to go to Mount Hua?
I smell something fishy.
I felt like the Lord did something fishy in order for this to happen.
And in the middle of all those fishy things, was me who was walking into the storm.
Was this really alright?
It was Gu Huibi’s voice.
When I looked in the direction of the voice, Gu Huibi was holding a familiar dish of dumplings.
“Why are you holding that?”
“Little brother, I heard you skipped your meal again.”
“Uh… I did eat, but only a little.”
“Little brother, are you crazy? How could you miss out on your meal when you’re in your growing phase?”
“As you can see, I’m just fi- Ough!”
Without letting me finish, Gu Huibi forcefully shoved a dumpling into my mouth.
As much as I wanted to spit it out, I couldn’t do that to a precious dumpling.
I barely gulped it down and drank the water she handed me afterwards.
Gu Huibi looked happy and satisfied after watching me gulp down the dumpling she gave me.
Which in turn made me dissatisfied.
“Sister, when are you going to leave?”
“Why? Do you want me to stay longer?”
“No, I want you to get out of here alre- Woah!”
I dodged the punch that quickly flew at me.
This crazy woman is now choosing violence over words first!
“Hey! Let’s talk with words, please!”
“I knew that you were gonna dodge it anyways. I swear the way you speak to me.”
When she shook off her hands, a bit of red Qi also came out.
Wow, so she even infused Qi into that punch?
Putting aside the shocking thing she just did, Gu Huibi spoke with a smile.
“I think I’ll be leaving the clan in 10 days.”
10 days huh, so that means that she would be here for a total of 20 days… that was a very long time for the swordsmen to be off-duty.
Was it because they had just finished a long mission? It seemed like their last mission was especially hard considering that the 5th swordsmen squad was always assigned long-term missions.
“Once you’re done resting, where are you headed to after?”
“Woah, what is this? Are you worrying about me?”
How annoying, I should’ve just stayed quiet.
Gu Huibi chuckled, finding my reaction funny.
“It’s a bit disappointing though, being able to see you for only this long.”
Gu Huibi ruffled my hair with her hand.
My head bobbled around every time Gu Huibi moved her hand. It reminded me of the Second Elder.
It was unfortunate, the fact that she resembled him…
“The next mission will take longer than usual. I was assigned to the abyss.”
The abyss was an area where numerous gates of demons would appear.
It was also an area that was directly overseen by the Murim Alliance, and it was agreed upon within the Orthodox Faction that the clans would take turns sending their troops to that area.
It seemed like it was now the Gu Clan’s turn.
“It’ll be a long trip for you.”
“Wouldn’t it be fun? I heard that many demons appear there… I already feel excited.”
“…I hope you enjoy your time there.”
I was worried for nothing… She was excited about that?
The Mad Flaming Sword… She was truly crazy.
While we were having a conversation, Muyeon came towards me and said,
“Young Master, we are ready to leave.”
“Are we going right now?”
“Not right now, but in about 5 to 15 minutes. Lord Second Elder said he had something to give you…”
“…I wonder what it’s going to be this time.”
Anything related to the Second Elder made me nervous.
It wouldn’t be weird for him to say something like ‘Give this to the Lord of the Clan’ to me.
“Give this to the Lord of the clan.”
…I didn’t expect him to actually say it.
“…What did you say?”
I asked again, however, just in case I’d heard him wrong, as the Second Elder had spoken those words to me out of nowhere after appearing.
The Second Elder responded as if it wasn’t significant.
“Hmm…? Oh, just give this to that Do-Hua bastard-”
“No…! Wait wait, I wasn’t asking for the nickname you gave to the Lord of their clan.”
“Huh, then what were you asking for?”
This crazy man, did he just call the Lord of the Mount Hua a bastard? How can he be so fearless…?
“Anyways, they will let you meet him if you mention my name, so give this to him.”
“What is this anyways?”
“It’s nothing. I was supposed to give this to him a while ago, but this old man forgot.”
The thing the Second Elder handed me was something that was wrapped loosely with a piece of cloth, so I guess it really wasn’t anything important.
I felt pretty good while touching it, so I kept fidgeting it with it, and the Second Elder spoke shortly after.
“It’s called the Great Plum Blossom Stone, one of the four treasures of Mount Hua.”
I stopped fidgeting with the stone the moment I heard the Second Elder’s words.
Furthermore, I heard Muyeon hiccup next to me.
…What did he just say? Surely this time I must have heard him wrong, right?
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