Return of the Mount Hua Sect - Chapter 405
Chapter 405 – Mount Hua Isn’t A Place For You To Protect (5)
He thought he was used to it.
He believed he knew everything about everyone.
But Hyun Jong’s appearance felt so unfamiliar, almost as if he was a different person.
Did this person have such a side to him?
Hyun Jong, whose face was stiff, showed a sense of burden like never before, a sense of domination.
“I think about it sometimes.”
“Am I really your sect leader?”
Chung Myung, unable to speak, stayed silent.
“What does sect leader mean?”
“… a person who leads the sect.”
Hyun Jong looked at Chung Myung and said,
“A sect leader is not the person who leads the sect, but the one who protects it. It is this role that protects the disciples of the sect.”
His voice was chilling,
“The disciples of Mount Hua are who I protect! Yet, you are trying to protect me! The disciple of Mount Hua whom I have to protect! You are trying to protect Mount Hua that I should be protecting!”
A voice that wasn’t too loud made Chung Myung’s heartthrob.
“… Yes, Sect Leader.”
“I don’t know you.”
Hyun Jong paused for a moment, and he said,
“I don’t know what life you lived before or what kind of backstory you have. I will not ask you. Whatever it was, as long as you joined Mount Hua and claim to be a disciple of Mount Hua, you are another disciple that I must PROTECT!”
Something felt odd within his chest, and Chung Myung bit his lip.
“Where are you going with your sword drawn?”
“Were you trying to break into the Ten Thousand People Clan with that sword? Did you think that if you went and killed everyone in your sight there, the resentment in your heart would vanish?”
“You pitiful bastard!”
Hyun Jong’s voice grew,
“Are you afraid that your sahyungs and sajaes will die if I lead them?! You have the confidence that you can convince me that moving together is wrong, that you had to handle this alone? So you decided to sneak out and vent your anger?”
Anger and rage.
No, it was closer to crying.
“Shouldn’t you have been confident then! Or should I have shouted that I cannot forgive that clan so let’s go together! It is hard to bear anger that never dies, and you are afraid of seeing your sahyungs and sajaes getting hurt again? Are you that scared now?”
“What were you trying to do?”
Chung Myung bit his lip. A lot of words were coming up his throat, but not a single one made its way past his lips. And when an answer didn’t come, Hyun Jong continued,
“What do you have left after you bear the burden of Mount Hua on your back to take us higher? The pride of protecting us? Contentment from leading us? Or the worthless pride of sacrificing your all for us?”
Hyun Jong shook his head,
“Do not get things wrong. Chung Myung, Mount Hua is not a place you need to protect.”
“It isn’t you who protects Mount Hua, but it is Mount Hua who protects you. You are also a disciple of Mount Hua. Then why are you so adamant about carrying Mount Hua alone?”
“Mount Hua also had the honor of stopping those people today, and you are here trying to take the thorny path alone once again. Then I ask you now, your sahyung and sajaes! Your elders and Great Sasuk! Have we become people who enjoy and revel in spilled blood? Do we look like such people?”
“…No. It isn’t like that, Sect Leader.”
Hyun Jong bit his lip.
This young disciple was ready to shoulder all the responsibility again,
“If you were going there to die, do you think your sahyungs-sajaes would have remained silent? Would they have spared their lives after hearing you were taken down by those evil bastards?”
Hearing this borderline scolding, Chung Myung closed his eyes.
He really didn’t think too deeply about it.
He just needed a place to vent his emotions. If not, he was going to feel horrible shame.
“Is what happened your fault?”
“The moment we made a name in Kangho, we knew such a thing was bound to happen. If we weren’t prepared for that, we would have never told the world Mount Hua was coming back. How can we decide to talk about glory without having such resolve!”
Hyun Jong’s shouting felt like ice.
“If you think that everything is your fault, and are trying to atone for it, then you are just a thoughtless brat. If you tried to run without thinking about what would happen to your sahyung and sajaes after you went into the base of the Ten Thousand People Clan, then you are even worse of a person!”
Chung Myung didn’t lift his head.
Hyun Jong’s eyes, which were usually gentle, were now filled with anger. Chung Myung had been familiar with those eyes.
He had seen them several times, on a different person.
Every time he came back after shedding blood. His sahyung, his sect leader, would scold him. And the eyes he saw then, he was seeing again now.
“How long will you treat Mount Hua as an infant in your arms? Your sahyungs-sajaes are not weak. You don’t have to worry about running around in blood alone. You get what I mean?”
“Right. You know so, and yet you still went to bleed alone.”
Hyun Jong closed his eyes like he was catching his breath.
After being silent for a long time, his eyes opened as he looked at Chung Myung. He felt his anger subside, and only sadness remained.
“Chung Myung, trust me a little more.”
“I know how worthless I might seem in your eyes.”
“No. Sect Leader has never once…”
“Listen till the end.”
Hyung Jong sighed and continued,
“I might be worthless, I know. Without you, Mount Hua would have collapsed long ago. As a sect leader, it is natural that I am not trustworthy, as I couldn’t protect Mount Hua.”
There was no sadness in his voice. Rather he spoke boldly,
“But, just like my disciples grow, I am not stuck in the past either. I am working hard every day to become a leader worthy of taking Mount Hua further into the future. I am not bad. And it isn’t just me. All of Mount Hua’s disciples are working hard to be worthy enough to uphold the name of Mount Hua.”
“… I know.”
“Then why do you not believe me?”
Chung Myung couldn’t get himself to look at Hyun Jong.
“This is not between you and the Ten Thousand People Clan. This is a fight between Mount Hua and the Ten Thousand People Clan. Mount Hua will be the one to resolve this anger one day, and Mount Hua will make them pay. If you are willing to bear the pain of Mount Hua solely, then you are acknowledging that Mount Hua amounts to nothing. Why do you not understand what this means?”
His head was a mess now, Hyun Jong’s words were all right.
“Your heart is torn. How can it not be? But Chung Myung, sometimes it’s okay to bury your emotions. Now, if you go and try to kill them, what difference will it make?”
He knew that Hyun Jong wasn’t lying, but he wasn’t sure what to do about this pain.
“If you think of me as your sect leader, think about it for three more days. And if you still cannot stand this.”
Hyun Jong said in a calm voice,
“I, not you, will lead the way to go and destroy them.”
“Stay by the side of Un Geom till then. That kid would want this too.”
Saying that, Hyun Jong turned around and walked down the mountain.
Chung Myung just stood there as he looked at Hyun Jong walking back, and the dark sky seemed too lonely tonight.
“Sect Leader Sahyung.”
“…it is tough.”
It was a small and strengthless voice, very unlike Chung Myung’s.
“Will it be fine?”
“I don’t know.”
“….such a soft person.”
“Sahyung, that is a bit…”
At Yoon Jong’s words, Jo Gul pouted.
He was trying to lighten the mood by joking around, but no one could take their eyes off the infirmary.
They were worried.
Un Geom was now at the crossroads between life and death, and Chung Myung was not leaving his side.
This was the third day.
“I don’t think that brat has even slept.”
“He is also wounded.”
“…hasn’t eaten either.”
Baek Cheon sighed at this.
‘This is a sickness.’
He would rather not see Chung Myung worried, he would rather see him back to his old self of being angry and hitting people.
“It isn’t even his fault, this is so frustrating.”
Everyone, including Baek Cheon, sighed.
“What if something happens to Un Geom Great Sasuk, and Chung Myung decides to run after those bastards and kill them?”
“We have to stop him.”
“If we cannot stop him, then we go with him.”
Baek Cheon said so with a firm face,
“I cannot watch that brat die alone. I will have to stay by his side, and run behind him, holding his leash.”
“…does Sasuk realize that such things don’t work on him?”
Baek Cheon fixed his eyes on the infirmary hall and clenched his fists.
‘Such an idiot.’
He sighed nervously.
The sound of breathing becoming weaker.
Chung Myung continued to watch Un Geom without moving from his spot. No matter how much internal qi he infused, Un Geom’s condition didn’t improve. Day by day, Un Geom’s condition only continued to deteriorate.
He had seen this too many times.
Lost so many.
He didn’t want to miss anyone now; having lost everything, he wanted to hold onto everything.
Was such a wish in vain?
Tang Soso, who had approached him, spoke with worried eyes.
“Get some rest.”
“I am fine.”
“Then Sahyung will be the first to fall.”
“I am fine.”
She was about to say something more, but only shook her head. It wasn’t worth talking to him now. She could only just continue to watch him in turn.
Even as she left, Chung Myung didn’t take his eyes off Un Geom.
Maybe death wasn’t so bad. For Un Geom, who lived for the sake of his disciples, dying to protect them might be the happiest ending.
Chung Myung had yet to do everything he could for Un Geom. Just as Un Geom wanted to protect his disciples, Chung Myung also wanted to protect the disciples of Mount Hua.
Chung Myung calmly grabbed the hand of Un Geom.
Then, as if praying, he leaned his head onto the bed and let out a low breath.
Suddenly Chung Myung opened his eyes.
It seemed like he was drifting off to sleep.
Normally, this wouldn’t have happened, but it seemed like he couldn’t stand it; having been in the same place for three days directly following such a series of horrifying battles.
Chung Myung raised his head with a scared face and wide eyes.
The bed where Un Geom was resting was now empty.
For a moment, Chung Myung’s mind went blank, and he looked at the bed, getting up.
And as if possessed, he walked out.
The only sound was that of his footsteps in the infirmary. The early morning sunlight was coming in through the front door.
Chung Myung hesitated as he opened it.
It felt like his mind had gone blank once he left the infirmary. Soon, he had to stop walking. His mindless walking had led him to the White Plum Blossom House.
The place where his feat took him to was the White Plum Blossom House.
He arrived there without using footwork, and headed to the training hall.
He stopped walking.
Chung Myung stared blankly at the person in front of him without saying anything.
A man in a pure white robe wielding a sword.
His stance was fine, but the movement of Un Geom’s sword was awkward.
It wasn’t just the sword that was awkward, the sleeve of his missing arm was fluttering behind him.
But, Chung Myung didn’t hate this.
And the light swinging of the sword stopped.
The sword drew back again, and repeated the same motion.
Once. Twice. And then again.
A simple slashing movement.
The man continued to swing down without changing his stance, before pushing his sword into its sheath as if he had finished.
And he slowly turned around,
The man’s face was drenched in sweat. Light blood stains were visible through the bandages he was wrapped in. Chung Myung, who was watching this scene blankly, asked without knowing why,
“…what are you doing?”
The man, Un Geom smiled as he answered,
“Didn’t you see? I was training.”
Chung Myung had no response to this.
Rather, he wanted to say so much, but nothing was willing to come out. All he could do was stare at the man.
Un Geom shrugged his shoulders, as he if knew what Chung Myung meant.
“Since my right arm has been lost, I need to learn to wield my sword with my left hand.”
Un geom was speaking so calmly.
“It is the role of the swordsman to learn endlessly. Of course, it is a pity that I lost something, but in a way, it can be a good thing. Starting from the beginning.”
Chung Myung stopped smiling.
No, he cried.
His face was distorted so badly that one could not tell if he was smiling or crying, and Chung Myung spoke in a trembling voice,
He bit his lips countless times to endure the trembling feeling, and he tried his best to say,
“… you really are a person who cannot be countered.”
Un Geom smiled and said,
“Will you help me?”
“It is not easy for me to learn left-handed. So how is it? I think it would be a bit easier if you help me.”
Chung Myung raised his head and looked at the sky.
It was early morning. Mount Hua’s sky felt cold and blue.
“You shouldn’t see me as a disciple then.”
“Let’s see. How strict is the child once I have given permission.”
Chung Myung entered the training hall with a face that had so many emotions running through it.
Un Geom threw the sword at his waist at Chung Myung, and when Chung Myung took it, he smiled,
“Now, let’s see your sword.”
“…it is a sword that isn’t that good in the first place.”
Chung Myung wielded the sword in his left hand. Staring at Un Geom, he turned his head away. The more he looked, the worse it seemed.
“Look carefully. Doing it twice is bothersome.”
“You are like a snarky old man.”
Time flowed through the place where light laughter passed through, and before long, Chung Myung moved along with his sword.
The young disciple swung his sword, and the old one watched.
The young ancestor was teachings his sword to his older descendant.
A small stream of tears flowed without anyone realizing, as Un geom smiled. Only blooming plum blossoms moved between the two.