Return of Mount Hua Sect (Novel) Chapter 1653

Chapter 1653. It’s a Beautiful Day (3)

Woosh.

The sword sliced through the air.

It was a very clean slash. However, the tip of the sword wasn’t as sharp as before.

Had the sword become dull?

No, it hadn’t. The essence of the sword was just softness.

The Wudang Sword is a sword that embodies softness, not sharpness.

The fact that the swift strike of the sword contained a fluid softness meant that the skill of the person wielding this sword would soon reach its peak.

Woosh.

The sword swung once again.

Tuk.

But the attack this time wasn’t as smooth as before. The swordsman struck a few more times, as if something was bothering him, then shook his head.

Then.

“Sahyung! Sahyuuuuung!”

The swordsman turned his gaze to the side. The agitated Sajae ran towards him.

“Why are you making such a fuss?”

“We're in big trouble, Jin Hyeon-sahyung! Have you heard the rumors?”

The person called Jin Hyeon frowned slightly.

“What rumors are you talking about? Speak clearly….”

Jin Hyeon was about to say something sharply, but his sajae interrupted and shouted urgently.

“Jang Ilso is coming here leading the Evil Tyrant Alliance!”

Jin Hyeon’s slightly open mouth closed tightly again. Unlike before, there was coldness in his eyes.

“Is that true?”

“Yes! The rumors have spread. They’re moving towards us, and this news came from the Beggars' Union that controls the Evil Tyrant Alliance.”

“Is that so?”

Jin Hyeon nodded heavily.

But that was all, he didn’t say anything else. His sajae, Jin Song, asked frustratedly due to the unexpected response.

“Then, what do we do now, sahyung?”

“....What’s the matter?”

“It’s the Evil Tyrant Alliance after all. They’re not an opponent our Wudang can fight alone, right?”

“.....”

“I heard Shaolin was also destroyed… We should leave this place before they come….”

“Shut your mouth.”

Jin Song was startled by the sudden warning and shrank back.

“Once something is said, no one can take it back. So don’t speak carelessly.”

“P..... pardon me, sahyung.”

“The sect leader will decide how to handle this situation. We just have to follow orders.”

Who could deny those words? Jin Song nodded.

“But.”

“Yes?”

However, Jin Hyeon couldn’t contain his thoughts either and added words he shouldn’t have said.

“If we were going to run away at a time like this, we wouldn’t have bothered to go into seclusion.”

Jin Hyeon's sword, hanging from his waist, briefly revealed a black light.

Tuk tuk tuk tuk.

The sound of urgent footsteps resonated in the extremely silent Wudang courtyard.

“We gather with the sect leader.”

“Sect leader, may health and wellness accompany you!”

Several people walking around quickly greeted when they saw the group moving hastily. They were busy walking quickly, not even noticing that the students bowed to them, showing how urgent they were.

They had white hair. They were the highest current generation of Wudang, the Heo generation. At their head, with a stern face, was Heo Sanja, the current Sect Leader of Wudang. (Note: It seems Heo Dojin resigned from the sect leader position. I don’t quite remember haha)

After passing the Sangcheong Palace, the residence of the Wudang leader, they only stopped walking when they reached a small, distant house.

Observing the dilapidated and uninhabitable hut with a heavy gaze, Heo Sanja spoke sternly.

“Wait here.”

“Yes.”

Heo Sanja took a deep breath, walked towards the door, and opened his mouth with a polite tone inappropriate for his position as sect leader.

“Sect leader. Are you inside? It’s Heo Sanja.”

If others saw this, they would find it strange.

Of course, the current Wudang sect leader should be Heo Sanja. However, Heo Sanja actually called the person inside the prison the sect leader. It’s impossible to have two sect leaders in the same sect.

However, those who followed Heo Sanja to this place ignored these strange words and actions, as if they were used to such situations.

“Come in.”

When given permission, Heo Sanja opened the door without wasting time and entered.

Seeing the scene inside, his expression suddenly hardened.

It is said that simplicity is fundamental for a Taoist, but this gloomy house is so old that it is cracked here and there and exposed to strong winds. It almost looked like a place for repentance rather than training.

Heo Sanja’s gaze turned to the corner. There sat an old man with white hair, dressed in an old and dull robe.

Heo Sanja bowed courteously.

“Heo Sanja greets the sect leader.” - said Heo Sanja

The old man also calmly expressed his respect. But soon, a reproachful look appeared on his face.

“How many more times do I have to tell you that I am no longer the Sect Leader of Wudang?”

“Don’t say that, sect leader. How can a person without privileges like me become the Sect Leader of Wudang? Heaven and earth know that due to unfavorable circumstances, I temporarily assumed the position of sect leader, which is not really suitable for me.”

Heo Sanja’s humble response made the old man, Heo Dojin, let out a long sigh. He had reminded Heo Sanja many times, and even got angry. However, not a single elder had listened to his words, not even Heo Sanja himself.

The black hair that once looked like a crown and the severe eyebrows had suddenly turned white, making it difficult to see how he looked in the past, but his face and cold eyes were not much different from before.

No, on the contrary, the deeper gaze of his eyes made the observer feel a detached attitude not found in the previous Heo Dojin.

“Alright. Why are you here?”

“Have you not heard that the Evil Tyrant Alliance is coming here?”

Heo Dojin did not respond well, but the look in his heavy eyes showed that he had heard the news.

“What should I do, sect leader?”

Receiving no answer, Heo Sanja opened his mouth again and urged.

“The elders are discussing our numerical defeat. It’s really difficult to stop them with just Wudang’s power.”

“Difficult….”

“Yes. Then, how about doing the ‘golden cricket leaving its shell’?” (i.e., a deceptive escape plan)

“‘The golden cricket leaves its shell’. In the end, it means we have to escape.”

“That’s what the elders meant.”

“Do the sect leaders have the same opinion?”

“I... don’t know. What is the right path for Wudang….”

Heo Sanja fell silent.

This would definitely be a difficult decision.

Fighting the enemy directly was akin to suicide. Today’s Evil Tyrant Alliance was different from the past. They had become the rulers of this era, able to trample Shaolin, the Peng Family, and Kongtong.

It was almost impossible for Wudang to handle these people alone.

But they couldn’t retreat either. Wudang had not been involved in worldly affairs since they went into seclusion. However, if they withdrew now, they would be harshly criticized for breaking their seal and fleeing.

Nothing can be easily removed, whether by reason or practicality according to the situation.

That’s why Heo Sanja had no choice but to realize.

How difficult a decision He Dojin had to make at the Yangtze River in the past. Regardless of right or wrong, it was a decision with great weight.

“For me... this is too difficult. Please guide me, sect leader.”

“...‘The golden cricket leaves its shell’.”

Heo Dojin, who was repeating it calmly, nodded slowly.

“The most important thing is not to lose Wudang disciples in vain. Go to Shaolin. If we join forces with the remaining Shaolin disciples there, we can hold out until support from the Heavenly Comrade Alliance arrives.”

Heo Sanja, who was about to nod, almost completely froze. For a moment, he felt a strange sensation from Heo Dojin’s words.

Something was strange.

“....Did you say ‘go’? And you?”

Heo Sanja asked curiously, but Heo Dojin did not respond. Heo Sanja became a little nervous.

“Of course, isn’t the sect leader the one who must lead? But how can you say something like this?”

“.....”

“Sect leader?”

Heo Dojin smiled faintly while being urged to respond.

“We can retreat once.”

“.....”

“But we cannot retreat twice. When we retreat for the second time, the meaning of our first step back is also judged. In the end, Wudang will be criticized for fleeing from the enemy twice out of fear of losing lives. That shouldn’t happen.”

“N-No, sect leader. But....”

“Then we have to prove it. That Wudang did not just retreat. We have the will to fight against them.”

“.....”

“Take the disciples and go to Shaolin. I will stay here and protect what I couldn’t protect in the past.”

“What do you mean? What couldn’t you protect in the past? What exactly?”

For a moment, coldness seeped into Heo Dojin’s eyes.

“The honor of Wudang.”

The weight of those short words seemed to instantly press down. Heo Sanja also gasped as if being strangled. The energy he felt from Heo Dojin was so sharp that even

 his own sajae trembled.

“Sect leader...”

“I alone threw away that honor and no one else, to drown in the deep waters of the Yangtze River.”

Heo Dojin’s voice was like a sword meticulously forged over a long time.

“I was just trying to protect it. This time, for sure.”

Heo Sanja felt suffocated.

He wanted to stop him desperately. He wanted to stop him, to tell him it didn’t make sense.

But how could he?

He knew. What kind of life Heo Dojin had lived since the chaman performed the bongmun. What painful penance he had endured, bearing the price of what he had done.

What could Heo Sanja dare to say in front of such a Heo Dojin? Heo Dojin spoke in a calm voice.

“Gather the disciples. The sooner you make a decision, the better.”

“S-Sect Leader.”

“Sajae.”

While Heo Sanja was still hesitating, Heo Dojin’s tone changed. Due to the total change in mood, Heo Sanja didn’t even dare to respond and ended up just nodding his head.

“Lead the disciples and go to Shaolin. And leave here only those who share the same goal as me.”

Heo Dojin slowly rose from his seat.

“I don’t need anyone to die with me. But it’s alright if some people die for Wudang’s honor. I will make sure their deaths are not in vain.”

“Sect Leader…”

“There is no need to stop me.”

A terrifying smile appeared on Heo Dojin’s lips.

“Because from that day and that moment, I have only lived waiting for this moment.”

Heo Dojin murmured silently and stared at the old ceiling.

He wasn’t lying at all if he said he had been waiting for this day.

Only one thing.

As he closed his eyes, someone’s face appeared in his mind. A young man grabbing his neck and unleashing his anger. Along with Jang Ilso, who laughed at him that day, it was a face he would never forget.

“It’s a shame I didn’t have the chance to apologize. But…. it doesn’t matter anymore.”

The smile on his lips softened slightly.

“Because an apology is not something done with words.”

Its meaning would be conveyed in the end.

With his death.

Even to him, who was far away.

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