Return of Mount Hua Sect (Novel) Chapter 1659

C1659 - I Like Dumb People (4)

"Rest!"

"Huff! Huff!"

As soon as the word "rest" was spoken, the warriors who had been running came to a sudden stop, gasping for breath. However, they didn't relax. Rather than relief, their eyes showed evident signs of caution.

Jo Gul opened his eyes and turned to Yoon Jong.

"Huh? Everyone seems more energetic than I expected. I thought everyone would collapse the moment we stopped."

"Not everyone is like Mount Hua."

"Isn't that an insult to Mount Hua?"

"That's just the way it is. You can't cover the sky with your hand. With so many eyes watching, it's hard to show any sign of weakness."

"Hmm."

Jo Gul scratched his cheek.

Indeed, Mount Hua was an unconventional sect. If there were people from Mount Hua here, they would have collapsed to the ground, groaning, regardless of who was watching.

"And there's also the sense of crisis that the Evil Tyrant Alliance could attack at any moment."

"But didn't the Beggars' Union scout for us?"

"Would you completely trust that?"

"If Hong Dae Kwang hears that, he'll scratch the ground."

"That's what we call self-inflicted."

"That's true."

If Hong Dae Kwang heard this, he'd scream 'What did I do wrong!' at the top of his lungs. But what can he do? It's his fault for inheriting the position of Leader of the Beggars' Union.

"Is it already time for a break?"

"Not everyone is like Mount Hua."

Though it was the same response, this time it had a different meaning. Jo Gul looked around. Though they pretended to be calm, many seemed to be struggling with their breathing.

"Already?"

Jo Gul lowered his voice a bit.

"Maybe it's just my feeling, but..."

"You're right. It's not just your feeling."

Yoon Jong agreed, even before he finished speaking. Jo Gul blinked.

"Indeed..."

If they were disciples of Mount Hua, this wouldn't have bothered them at all. This implied that the disciples of Mount Hua were physically superior to the disciples of other renowned sects mixed here.

It was hard to believe... It felt strange.

Of course, endurance isn't everything for a martial artist. Still, it meant that Mount Hua had a clear advantage over other prestigious sects in one area.

"When did this happen..."

Although Jo Gul wasn't a sentimental person, he clearly remembered the days when Mount Hua was on the brink of collapse. This brought mixed emotions.

Feeling somewhat embarrassed, Jo Gul muttered.

"Maybe it just looks that way now?"

"Amitabha. That's not the case, siju."

At that moment, Hye Yeon, who had approached, shook his head.

"We may not realize it because we've been with them for a long time, but the endurance of the Mount Hua disciples is abnormally high and goes beyond common sense. It's not something that can be achieved just by practicing martial arts. It's probably due to..."

"Is it the result of hard and prolonged training?"

"In a way, yes."

Jo Gul felt a bit dejected.

So, the result of Chung Myung's hellish training was that the disciples of Mount Hua gained unmatched endurance, unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Should he laugh or cry about this?

"It's a bittersweet feeling."

"What is?"

"Uh..."

Receiving Yoon Jong's gaze, Jo Gul scratched his head lightly.

"Anyway, it's a joy that Mount Hua has something to boast about over other sects."

"And?"

"...Never mind."

Jo Gul, who was about to say something, shook his head. Yoon Jong, looking at him, chuckled.

He probably wished that the people he was about to fight with were a bit more reliable. After all, taking people into battle who don't have enough endurance is a heavy burden.

"Endurance isn't everything for a martial artist."

"Yes, I know."

"And..."

Yoon Jong slightly lifted his head and murmured something incomprehensible.

"Not everyone in Mount Hua has good endurance."

"Yes?"

"Some are infinitely foolish too."

His gaze shifted in a direction, towards the dense thicket a short distance away from where they were.

-----------------

Sweat dripped from the tip of his chin.

"...Hoo."

Baek Cheon took a deep breath and wiped the sweat with his sleeve.

'Damn it.'

He could suppress the sweat through his internal energy, but even that had its limits. No, to be honest, even that was becoming difficult.

As he quietly wiped the sweat, Baek Cheon slowly lifted his head. Just as he was about to take another deep breath, a low voice sounded.

"Here."

When he looked towards the voice, Yoo Iseol was standing there, having approached quietly.

"Take this."

Baek Cheon looked at what she was holding out without saying a word. It was a clean cotton cloth. Something he hadn't been able to prepare.

"You can use your energy to dry your clothes too."

After a moment of silence, Baek Cheon took the cloth Yoo Iseol offered. He used it to wipe the sweat from his pale face.

Yoo Iseol, who had been watching him indifferently, slowly opened her mouth.

"You look exhausted."

"...."

"It would have been twice as fast if only Mount Hua had moved."

Baek Cheon nodded his head. After wiping off all the sweat, he hesitated for a moment before tucking the cloth into his sleeve instead of returning it to Yoo Iseol.

With a calm face, he spoke to her.

"Then there would have been other methods."

"What methods?"

"Do you say that because you think I'll fall behind, Samae?"

Yoo Iseol stared at Baek Cheon with an unreadable expression.

She knew it. Baek Cheon wouldn't have fallen behind. Even if it were only Mount Hua's sect moving, even if his lungs were tearing apart, he would have run to the end, pretending everything was fine.

Because that's the kind of person Baek Cheon was. But that was exactly the problem.

Yoo Iseol asked.

"Why?"

"...."

"You could make an excuse and step back. You're not the vanguard of Mount Hua, so there's no reason to push yourself."

"An excuse?"

"I'll make one for you. Right now."

Baek Cheon's gaze lowered slightly. Yoo Iseol was gripping the Plum Blossom Sword at her waist. Baek Cheon chuckled.

"Are you going to hurt me?"

"...."

"I'm fine, Samae."

"...."

"It's not worth complaining about, so I appreciate your concern, but you don't have to worry."

Yoo Iseol seemed to want to say something but stopped. After a moment, she slightly lifted her head and looked directly at Baek Cheon.

"Right now, I'm not the vanguard of Mount Hua."

"...."

"Then there will be no one to protect you when you're in danger."

Baek Cheon's face showed a bitter expression of silence. Even the usually quiet and inarticulate Yoo Iseol speaking so much showed how worried she was. No, leaving that aside, such feelings were conveyed without words.

Yoo Iseol pressed him.

"Still?"

Baek Cheon's answer didn't change.

"Yes."

"Why? What you need to protect..."

"Samae. Do you wield your sword only for Mount Hua?"

Yoo Iseol closed her mouth. After looking into her eyes for a long time, Baek Cheon nodded.

"Yes. Maybe. But..."

Baek Cheon's gaze moved beyond her towards the distant sky.

"I'm a bit... Yes, I think I'm a bit different from you. It's hard to explain."

Baek Cheon muttered to himself for a moment and then smiled. Unlike before, there was a playful glint in his eyes.

"Still, it seems I haven't lived such a pathetic life. Having someone like you worrying about me."

"Pathetic. That's more than enough."

"Oh, really?"

Baek Cheon smiled, patting Yoo Iseol's shoulder. He then walked past her and headed to the front.

"I'll go ahead since we might be late."

"Sahyung."

"If you're so worried, then help me, Samae."

Baek Cheon spoke without looking back, standing in his place.

"I always thought I had to become an outstanding person who could lead and help others. I believed I could be superior and remarkable more than anyone in the world."

Yoo Iseol carefully watched Baek Cheon's back.

Indeed, Baek Cheon had those traits in the past. No, perhaps until recently, Baek Cheon hadn't changed much. He simply realized the vastness of the world and found something more important than himself.

"Do you remember what I told the disciples back then?"

"...No."

Baek Cheon turned to Yoo Iseol with a small smile on his lips.

"I told them: 'Don't be afraid to fight because I am behind you.'"

"...."

"An individual may have shortcomings, but Mount Hua is not weak. Any deficiency can be compensated for, and any disciple of Mount Hua can stand at the front."

Yoo Iseol bit her lower lip gently. Baek Cheon smiled even more brightly.

"How can someone who once said that step back just because they've become a bit weaker? If I did, I'd become a braggart. So... so..."

Baek Cheon scratched his nose.

"It seems I can't finish my story well, but anyway, that's all. Samae, I don't think you need to be strong to fight. It's not that you fight because you're strong, but those who fight are strong."

"...."

"It's hard to understand when I say it this way, but anyway, don't worry too much."

Baek Cheon turned around and started to walk away, and Yoo Iseol's calm voice reached his ears.

"...Right."

"Hmm?"

"You're still a braggart."

Baek Cheon didn't look back.

Seeing him walk away to join the others, she gripped her sword tightly.

--------------

"Are you really going to do this?"

Heo Sanja's voice burst out as if his throat was about to tear. But the disciples standing in front of him didn't flinch, despite his anger.

"You stubborn, foolish idiots..."

Heo Sanja rubbed his flushed and trembling face with his hand.

If there were only a few, he might try to subdue them by force, but that wasn't the case. There were too many disciples standing obstinately firm in front of him.

Moreover, even if he subdued them by force, how could he drag them from here to Shaolin?

"Are you really planning to end Wudang's history with your own hands?"

Although Heo Dojin had said it would be useless, Heo Sanja couldn't give up so easily. He couldn't let them die in vain here.

"Heo Gong! Idiot!"

As his despair grew, Heo Sanja's anger naturally turned towards Heo Gong, who seemed to be the leader among the disciples.

"How can an elder of a great sect act so foolishly? A gentleman's revenge..."

"Can wait ten years."

"..."

"Isn't that right?"

Before Heo Sanja could respond, Heo Gong spoke with a resolute face.

"But we are not gentlemen, Sect Leader. We are Martial Artists. Revenge can wait ten years, but a warrior's broken spirit cannot be rebuilt even in ten times that span."

"You, you..."

"Instead of being wise, we will be brave. That's what we learned in Wudang."

"Do you call this courage, this..."

Just as Heo Sanja was about to burst into a fit of rage, a few Wudang disciples ran towards him, their faces pale with fear. Seeing their urgent expressions, Heo Sanja could predict the next words that would come.

"The Evil Faction! They've appeared!"

Despair fell like a rock in Heo Sanja's eyes.

"And... it's already too late to escape."

At that moment, Heo Gong turned and looked at the disciples. They all stood with the same determined look as Heo Gong.

"Those who fear death, step back. No one will blame you."

Silence fell, but no one moved. Not a single person stepped back.

Courage is something that unites people, but sometimes it first blooms in someone's heart.

Wudang had been the central pillar of Taoism in the Kangho. Despite the old doctrines and faded rules, the disciples understood the weight of the swords they wielded.

"Those who do not fear death, follow me."

Heo Gong slowly drew his sword.

"Today, we will etch the name of Wudang forever in their minds."

The swords drawn by everyone gleamed in the sunlight, just as Wudang's spirit had shone when its name first emerged in the world.

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