Return of Mount Hua Sect (Novel) Chapter 1664

Chapter 1664 - Wherever That Place May Be (4)

Baekanam. An impressive white cliff halfway up Mount Wudang. The Taoists gathered upon it.

"Elder!"

The Wudang Sword Masters, having received the signal, shouted as they looked up at the sky from Baekanam.

The soot stains on their martial robes spoke of the hardships they had faced.

Those about to speak to Heo Gong fell silent, as if it were a signal. From the top of Baekanam, the fiery spectacle of Mount Wudang was painfully clear.

It was as if a scene from hell had come to life.

The blackened trees peeked out from the red flames. The way the burnt trees swayed in the wind created by the fire seemed like people writhing in agony in the fires of hell.

How had Mount Wudang, the sacred mountain of the Taoists, come to this state?

The Wudang Sword Masters clenched their fists until they turned white.

It wasn't just about losing their homes. It was about losing a place that had been a part of their lives for generations. Watching it burn so quickly was indescribably tragic.

Wudang would likely not recover in years; no, it would take decades to regain its former self. The scars of this war would remain clear and haunt them for a long time.

"Gather and form ranks."

"Yes, Sasuk!"

Those grinding their teeth in rage nodded firmly at Heo Gong's words. He was right. Now was not the time to be consumed by rage; they needed to retaliate with cold determination.

"Where are they?"

"They are advancing with the flames."

Heo Gong's eyes darkened.

Though the fire weakens as it advances, such intense heat would surely cause casualties.

It seemed as though the Evil Tyrant Alliance was ravaging Wudang, but in reality, only the Evil Tyrant Alliance was suffering losses.

"And they don’t care?

His eyebrows twitched uncomfortably. What did they think of human lives?

But he quickly calmed his turbulent emotions with a sigh. There was no time to worry about the lives of the Evil Tyrant Alliance.

"Then they will arrive soon. What about those who have not yet gathered here?"

"Some were delayed and have been surrounded. The casualties are..."

"Then we must save them! What are you doing?"

"Attempting a rescue in this situation could lead to the rescue group being surrounded as well. This could escalate the battle."

In other words, their strategy to occupy Baekanam would be useless. Heo Gong, understanding this immediately, bit his lip slightly.

"They are also disciples of Wudang. I understand, but..."

"I understand."

Heo Gong was about to nod slightly when

"Heo Gong!"

A loud voice called to him from behind. Heo Gong turned respectfully toward the familiar voice. Heo Sanja, who held the interim position of Wudang Sect Leader, was flying over with a stern face.

"I greet the Sect Leader."

Heo Gong bowed respectfully, but he ignored the courtesy and shouted.

"Is it true you have camped here? Why?"

"Because it is a suitable place to face the enemy."

"Because it’s a cliff?"

"Yes."

"This...! This place may be a cliff, but there is a way to be surrounded from the rear. Have you not considered what would happen if the rear were taken? We could be attacked with the cliff at our backs!"

" ... "

"Immediate retreat! This place will not do!"

Despite Heo Sanja’s shout, Heo Gong responded calmly.

"It doesn't matter, does it?"

"...What?"

Heo Sanja stared at Heo Gong as if surprised.

"Isn't it better than having flames behind us? At least the cliff won't come toward us."

For a moment, Heo Sanja’s beard quivered.

"Are you crazy...?"

"Sect Leader."

Heo Gong, still calm, watched the burning Mount Wudang.

"Here, there is no place for common sense."

" ... "

Following the simple truth of not cutting off one's own retreat would only lead to retreating without even fighting. Even if three sides are engulfed in enemies and flames, if there is even one place behind us that we can defend, we can still fight.

Heo Sanja dared not argue.

He knew that even if they retreated from here, it would be difficult to find a better strategic place.

"...Heo Gong."

"Please, do not even mention retreat. Anyone who knows what it means to make a last stand would not sully their disciples' determination with such words."

An indelible sadness clouded Heo Sanja's eyes.

They spoke of the last battle and even of death.

Though no real battle had yet begun, they had already resigned themselves to die. More than fear, a burning desire for revenge against the Evil Tyrant Alliance surged within them.

"How severe were the injuries they received at the Yangtze River?"

This was clearly Heo Sanja's error, as well as Heo Dojin's.

He had only considered the weight of the decisions he had to make as a leader, but had not accounted for the injuries his disciples would suffer because of those decisions. He had simply felt relieved that their valor had saved their lives.

Realizing too late that this mistake had led to the current situation made him feel as if his heart were being torn apart.

"Is this place really good?"

"The path to Baekanam is steep. Even without climbing the cliff."

Heo Gong looked toward the cliff with cold eyes.

"Because it is so steep, the flames will not spread easily. That means we can focus on fighting the enemies without worrying about anything else."

"Heo Gong."

"And for Wudang Sword Masters, that is enough."

Heo Gong lightly grasped the sword hanging from his waist.

One of the things that pained him the most was that he had not been able to fully display the sword skills he had perfected over his lifetime during the battle on the Yangtze River cliff.

He could accept a defeat due to lack of skill. He could accept dying for not being strong enough.

But having to accept defeat or death without even having the chance to fight was something he found intolerable. The other Wudang Sword Masters standing shoulder to shoulder with him probably felt the same.

"Heo Gong, I..."

"I know. I know that neither you, Sect Leader, nor Heo Dojin meant to disrespect us. You said those things because you care about us."

Heo Gong spoke calmly.

"But, Sect Leader, all of Wudang are not just your disciples, but also Wudang Taoists and, furthermore, swordsmen. We do not want to find the value of our lives as mere pawns in another's strategy. Allow us to think and decide for ourselves."

With these words, Heo Sanja had nothing more to say.

To convince Heo Gong one last time before it was too late, he had prepared some words, but he did not dare to speak them. He knew that any words would only serve to insult Heo Gong.

"I don't think you are wrong, Heo Gong. And that's why... it pains my heart even more."

Heo Gong simply shook his head at the heartfelt voice.

There were many things he wanted to say, but now was not the time for idle chatter. Even now, the flames were approaching the white Baekanam.

"Sasuk! We are ready."

Hearing this voice, Heo Gong nodded.

Though Heo Sanja was there, it was natural that the report was directed to Heo Gong, who accepted it naturally. This scene vividly displayed the current state of Wudang.

"Prepare yourselves. They will come soon."

"Yes!"

A tense silence spread over the cliff.

The positions were completely reversed. But because of this, the Wudang disciples had to feel it deeply. Waiting and preparing for the enemy were not comfortable situations either.

The feeling of something scratching at their insides with a needle made their entire bodies tremble.

"Sahyung..."

"Shh."

When someone tried to speak out of anxiety, a voice immediately silenced them, fearing that their wavering voice might shake the others' determination.

Noticing the subtle and unusual agitation, Heo Gong spoke in a low voice.

"The Kangho remembers the Yangtze River."

Everyone's ears caught this sudden statement.

"Even if we all die, the names of Evil Tyrant Alliance and Jang Ilso will not disappear from the world... No, they will not disappear until the name of Wudang disappears. What happened once cannot be undone, and we will never be able to erase that record."

It was a story of disgrace. A story that would forever tarnish the proud name of Wudang and plunge all its disciples into the abyss of shame.

"But Kangho will also remember today."

Heo Gong's voice, now filled with inner strength, spread further and further.

"Just as it remembers the Yangtze River, it will remember the burning Wudang of today. A swordsman proves his worth not with life, but with death. I ask you: What kind of death do you desire?"

The eyes that had been trembling with anxiety returned to calm and serenity.

Among them were Mu Jin and Jin Hyeon, whose hearts were not very different from Heo Gong's.

Chaaang.

Hu Gong drew his sword.

"Today I will not fight. I am leaving behind a memory. A memory that Wudang was not a coward. A memory that I was not a coward. With that memory, I will prove that the mistakes we made were not evidence of cowardice and weakness!"

Chaaang!

The swords of the Wudang Sword Masters were drawn simultaneously.

At that very moment.

As if in response, the flames that seemed ready to engulf Wudang finally reached Baekanam.

Whooosh.

The flames wavered, unable to overcome Baekanam. Like a ferocious beast roaring hungrily at its prey out of reach.

Even the experienced Wudang Sword Masters were momentarily stunned by the scene.

However, there was something else they truly needed to fear.

Uuuuung!

The sound of the burning mountain resonated like a demonic roar. To this majestic and eerie sound, another began to overlap.

Something that sounded like a scream, which could also seem like a lament, or even a sob.

The flames that rose did not surpass the cliff and extinguished. And from that place where the red light faded, something else emerged.

What at first seemed like just soot left by the fire, or a shadow, began to take shape.

Those black shadows... were continuously moving, climbing up the white surface of the cliff.

"They’re coming!"

Surprisingly, the huge black wave climbing up the cliff was none other than people clinging to the rock like ants.

"Aaaaaah!"

The warriors of the Evil Tyrant Alliance, half-burnt and dressed in their attire, climbed the cliff while screaming. Their eyes shone with terror and madness.

"Climb at all costs! Kill everyone up there!"

The warriors, filled with hatred, slowly advanced upwards with the flames rising below them.

The battle that would stain Wudang with blood began at the base of the white cliff.

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