Return of Mount Hua Sect (Novel) Chapter 1655

Chapter 1655. It's a beautiful day. (5)

Tap! Tap!

Urgent but nervous footsteps sounded.

“S-Sect Leader...”

“Get out of the way!”

Those who were startled by the owner of the steps turned their heads left and right. Heo Dojin walked briskly along the open path.

After passing through the central gate of the area, an ancient Taoist palace appeared.

It was Josajeon (name of the temple). In the Wudang temple, where the commemorative tablets of their ancestors were kept, a dozen Taoists were bowing.

“This is...”

Unconsciously, Heo Dojin, who was about to shout, instead bit his lower lip and struggled to contain his anger.

This place is the worship place of the ancestors who have dedicated their lives to the cultivation of martial arts, and this place contains the most sacred ancestral tablets. This place was extremely sacred, and no commotion or fight was allowed. Even Heo Dojin was no exception.

“You...”

“Hmm.”

Heo Dojin bit his lip and tried to make a sound, but was covered by a firmer, solid, and calm voice. Subsequently, the disciples of the practice hall paid homage to the ancestors very respectfully.

Heo Dojin clenched his fists tightly.

Although the disciples were paying their respects, they should have known that Heo Dojin had arrived. But now, they seemed to ignore Heo Dojin's presence as if he wasn’t there.

What did this mean?

“Once!”

Nine times of honor.

The special ritual that only the chosen, the para and seniors, could perform was carried out impeccably, and the disciples only stood up when it was over.

Heo Dojin, who had been biting his lip while waiting for all these rituals to end, immediately let out a cold voice.

“What are you doing?”

All the temple disciples turned their attention to Heo Dojin.

“I asked what you are doing!”

“As you can see, we are paying homage to the ancestors.”

“You know I'm not asking that now!”

“Please lower your voice, sect leader.”

“...What?”

“Our ancestors are watching.”

Hearing those words, Heo Dojin's gaze reflexively went beyond the people standing in front of him and towards the commemorative tablet enshrined in the Josajeon Hall.

The incense smoke waved in front of the luxurious and well-kept monument.

“Heo Gong. Did you do this?”

When Heo Dojin asked, Heo Gong, who was bowed in front of the tablet, slowly turned. He looked at Heo Dojin silently and then bowed deeply, expressing his respect.

“We gather with the sect leader...”

“Answer me!”

In the end, Heo Dojin couldn’t stand it anymore and abruptly cut Heo Gong's words. His face looked bright red, making it difficult to imagine how it normally looked.

“I’m asking if you did it! Did you order this nonsense?”

“It’s hard to understand what you’re saying, sect leader.”

“Hard to understand?”

“Yes.”

Unlike the very excited Heo Dojin, Heo Gong was strangely calm. Despite facing sharp anger head-on.

“What is hard to understand? Can’t you give me a proper answer right now?”

“It is exactly as I said. It is hard for me to understand why the sect leader thinks that way.”

“...What?”

“Do I have the authority to force Wudang Disciples?”

For a moment, Heo Dojin shut his mouth as if he had no words.

“From the beginning, is the Wudang Disciple the type of person who listens to someone's words and lets himself be carried away by them to make his own decision?”

“Then what you’re saying is...”

“That’s right, sect leader.”

Heo Gong nodded.

“There is no such thing as giving orders. No one dares to do it. This is simply the result of the combined opinions of the disciples.”

The more Heo Dojin listened to that calm voice, the more frustrated Heo Dojin’s heart seemed about to explode. While glaring at Heo Gong for a long time with a deadly look, he looked at the other disciples.

And he asked.

“Is it true?”

“...”

“Answer me, Mu Jin. Is it true?”

Mu Jin exhaled deeply at the cold question.

“Yes, sect leader. There is no coercion. It’s just our will.”

“Jin Hyeon, are you the same?”

“Yes.”

Jin Hyeon also nodded without hesitation.

“These are my own thoughts and wishes.”

Grrtt.

Heo Dojin gritted his teeth in rage.

There was no change in his serious expression, but just by his voice, one could tell how angry Heo Dojin was.

“What are you thinking?”

“Sect leader.”

“What are you trying to do? Foolish children!”

“Sect leader, our ancestor is watching us.”

“Heo Gong! You-!”

Finally, Heo Dojin's anger exploded like thunder. The old hall trembled as if it would collapse at any moment due to the energy waves filled with internal force.

“I say this because our ancestors have realized it! What are you doing? Do you want to break the Wudang bloodline? What would the Wudang ancestors say if they saw you now?”

“They would say we did very well.”

“...What?”

“I think they would nod proudly, saying we did an excellent job. That's why I came to pay my respects to our ancestors.”

“You...”

Heo Dojin’s body began to tremble. He was so angry that he couldn’t control himself.

“Do you think our ancestors will praise you for breaking the Wudang bloodline?”

“Yes.”

“Is that something that makes sense?”

“Of course, it makes sense.”

Heo Gong’s calm response contrasted with Heo Dojin’s angry expression.

“Because it is the ‘right thing to do.’”

“...”

“Wudang doesn’t exist to maintain its lineage. Wudang exists to uphold justice (to do what is ‘right’). If maintaining justice means breaking its bloodline, isn’t that something more noble?”

“You, you...”

Heo Dojin’s hands trembled with anger.

“Do you know what you’re saying?”

“Yes, I know. Sect leader, no... ex-sect leader-sahyung.”

“...”

“We can’t repeat the same mistake. I’m very sure of that.”

“Heo Gong!”

“Even our ancestors will know. We must not retreat.”

“...”

“We should not retreat, but we do. Like spilled water that cannot be picked up again, the things we lost due to our wrong decisions cannot be recovered. How can we make the same choice again?”

“It’s not your responsibility! It’s my responsibility! I have to bear that burden! But why you...”

“Why is it only the sect leader’s responsibility?”

Jin Hyeon, who was silently listening to the conversation, spoke in a cold voice.

“It’s Wudang’s responsibility.”

“That’s my choice.”

“Yes. The ex-sect leader. In fact, it was chosen to be made by the sect leader. However, just because you made the choice doesn’t mean you can bear all the sins. If you think so, it’s arrogance and overconfidence.”

“...What did you say?”

“I said it’s arrogance.”

Jin Hyeon looked directly at Heo Dojin with clear eyes.

“No matter what you think, we are the ones who accepted the sect leader’s choice. We can’t escape that sin either. But are you telling me to make the same mistake again with the same order? Are you going to give us an excuse that doesn’t even look like an excuse, like saying that the sect leader ordered us to limit ourselves to following his orders?”

“...”

“I also live as a Wudang disciple. And there is no cowardice in what Wudang taught me.”

“You, you...”

“If the sect leader is truly my teacher, then don’t make me beg for my life through cowardice disguised as loyalty. That’s not a way to save me, but rather a way to kill the rest of my life.”

Heo Dojin’s face changed several times in a short period. The voice that came out trembled slightly.

“So you want to die?”

“...”

“Are you willing to throw away your life even though you know an enemy is coming that you can’t handle? Just because you think it’s the ‘right thing’! To carry out a stubborn attitude that you’re not even sure is right? Do you think you’d feel relieved if you, your master, and all your sahyungs were forced to become dead souls with only cold bodies left?”

“No one is forcing anyone, sect leader.”

“...”

“Only those who choose themselves. As you said, they are the ones who will give up their lives in the name of the ‘truth’ they stubbornly believe in.”

Jin Hyeon’s gaze went beyond Heo Dojin and returned his look. Unconsciously, Heo Dojin followed his gaze and looked back.

He could see many disciples lined up outside the central gate.

Each one had eyes that shone with determination. They were the eyes of those willing to die. This was probably similar to Heo Dojin’s conversation with Heo Sanja not long ago.

The distribution and position had no meaning. The first and second-year students looked at him with the same eyes.

Heo Dojin, who had been looking at Jin Hyeon, who was standing with a face full of determination, and Mu Jin, who firmly closed his mouth, for a moment, turned his gaze to the sky again.

“Gong-ah...”

“Don’t say anything, Sahyung.”

“...”

“I know what you’re going to say. Maybe you want to take all the responsibility and free us. Because that’s the way of a sect leader.”

“Heo Gong...”

“But sahyung. That way may relieve sahyung’s mind and deceive the world, but it cannot deceive my own heart.”

Heo Dojin bit his lip.

He knew it.

Maybe Heo Dojin could free them with his violent death. There was a possibility of freeing them from the world’s criticism.

But he also knew. What did Heo Gong say?

Even if everyone in the world accepts Wudang’s atonement. No, even if the time comes when the world praises Wudang again, the scars left when they fled from the enemy by Heo Dojin’s order will not disappear.

Not even someone who could deceive everything in the world could deceive his own heart.

He hadn’t realized it before, but when he did, they had no other choice.

“...Is that your answer?”

“Yes, sect leader. And this is my answer, your answer, Wudang’s answer, and the sect leader’s answer too.”

“My answer?”

Heo Gong smiled weakly for the first time while looking at Heo Dojin, who didn’t understand his meaning and asked again.

“If the sect leader were in our position, you would have done it too.”

Heo Dojin closed his eyes as he felt the world darken for a moment.

“This is what we learned from Wudang and what we learned from the sect leader.”

Unconsciously, he let out a heavy and sad sigh.

‘How could...’

He thought his wounds would deepen at the funeral.

However, he couldn’t imagine that the deepest wounds and the deepest thoughts would make them grow.

They were no longer the old Wudang disciples who were humble and blindly followed their orders. Now, they had become self-confident Taoists that even Heo Dojin couldn’t handle carelessly.

‘...But why does this have to happen now in this situation!’

Their growth, their justice, and their Taoism would lead Wudang to extinction.

It was the growth of these people that Heo Dojin had been waiting for.

It seemed that a bad end was being drawn before his eyes. A heavy emotion, he wasn’t sure if it was despair or sadness, took hold of him like a huge wave.

‘Yuanshi Tianzun... This... Isn’t this too cruel...?’

Heo Dojin closed his eyes tightly. His eyelids trembled.

It was a sad and painful feeling.

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