Return of Mount Hua Sect (Novel) Chapter 1677

C1677. Just Believe. (1)

Yoon Jong realized something. When one is truly overwhelmed by enormous confusion, they lose not only the ability to speak but also to think.

‘Why?’

His mind felt completely blank.

Why is Jang Ilso here? Why?

That question was the only thing in his mind. The figure of the man in the red robe before him seemed to consume his entire world.

"Ah..."

And it wasn't just Yoon Jong who was in that state.

Jo Gul, Hye Yeon, Namgung Dowi, and even Baek Cheon were all stunned, looking at Jang Ilso, not knowing what to say. It seemed as if the world had stopped.

The only one moving in that desolate world was a single person.

Step, step.

The sound of Chung Myung's steps echoed in everyone's ears like thunder, waking their frozen minds.

Chung Myung's voice, like icy water, struck Yoon Jong's mind.

"Good liquor, huh... Seems like you're very relaxed."

Yoon Jong realized belatedly. Chung Myung was standing in front of them, facing Jang Ilso.

Crack.

Yoon Jong's muscles, which had tensed unconsciously, suddenly relaxed. His halted mind began to function again.

‘Has he been waiting here to stop us?’

No, that's not it.

Jang Ilso hadn’t brought many people. As formidable as Jang Ilso was, trying to stop the Heavenly Comrade Alliance with so few men was more than reckless, it was a suicidal act.

Then why was he sitting there so calmly? What was he thinking?

At that moment, as if reading Yoon Jong's mind, Jang Ilso lightly brushed the liquor-filled cup with his fingernails and said:

"After all, I am a polite person."

Toc.

He gently pushed the liquor cup, which slid smoothly across the table until it stopped on the opposite side, as if waiting for someone to sit there.

"To welcome the famous Swordsman of Mount Hua, I thought I should at least prepare some good liquor."

Jang Ilso, with a broad smile, looked at Chung Myung. Chung Myung, with a twisted smile, looked back at him.

"You don't know how to treat a guest. You welcome me with just liquor?"

"Well, you're still very demanding. But don't worry. I have also prepared a gift."

"...A gift?"

"Bring it."

A mixture of doubt and caution appeared in Chung Myung's eyes. The men of the Evil Tyrant Alliance stepped aside in coordination, and one of them dragged something.

‘A person?’

It was a person, half-conscious and in a pitiful state.

"What...?"

"Huh?"

At that moment, someone from the Heavenly Comrade Alliance cried out in surprise.

"Heo... Heo Dojin?"

"What?"

Everyone, with wide eyes, closely examined the dragged person. An old man with knives stabbed into his limbs, as if his muscles had been severed.

It was undoubtedly Heo Dojin.

"Bastards!"

Jo Gul, full of rage, rushed forward, but Yoon Jong grabbed him firmly by the shoulder.

"Don't act impulsively!"

"But Sahyung!"

"Calm down!"

"Damn it...!"

Jo Gul trembled with anger.

Although he didn't have a good opinion of Heo Dojin, he had been the leader of Wudang. He didn’t deserve to suffer such humiliation at the hands of bandits.

Seeing Jo Gul, Jang Ilso chuckled.

"Well, well... I don't understand why you're so angry. It's a nice gift, isn't it? I thought it would move you."

"Shut up, bastard!"

"No need to get angry. It's just a fitting example."

Jang Ilso glanced indifferently at Heo Dojin.

"Those who don't know their place often believe that simply desiring something will make it theirs. But it's not so. You don't get what you wish for; you get what you take."

Jang Ilso's eyes fixed on Chung Myung.

"You... understand, right?"

No one said a word. Everyone silently watched Heo Dojin, barely alive, and Jang Ilso, toying with his liquor cup. An absolute silence fell among them.

It was Jo Gul who broke that silence with a voice full of determination.

"Let's attack."

"...What?"

"I don't know what that bastard is thinking by showing his face here, but we won't get another chance like this. Now is the time to cut off his head!"

"......"

"We just have to kill him! If we kill that bastard, everything will end, right?"

Yoon Jong's eyes wavered.

It was true.

Jang Ilso was there with few men. Although he had brought his best soldiers, they had almost the entire strength of the Heavenly Comrade Alliance.

"If we miss this opportunity..."

"And what about Wudang?"

"...What?"

Surprised by the unexpected question, Jo Gul turned his head. Namgung Dowi asked again.

"If we stay here fighting, what will happen to Wudang?"

"But... if we let Jang Ilso go, more people will die."

"Wudang is waiting for us..."

"Enough."

Before the argument could start in earnest, Baek Cheon's brief voice interrupted the conversation. He then looked at Jang Ilso with a cold face and spoke as if he were chewing his words.

"It's not that simple."

"What?"

"...It's not that simple."

Under everyone's watchful gaze, he pressed his lips together.

‘Jang Ilso.’

Could they catch him? If Jang Ilso fought them fairly, they could undoubtedly kill him. But what if Jang Ilso now tried to escape with all his might?

‘...It won't be easy.’

No matter how many they were, capturing a small elite group was always difficult, and Mount Hua had demonstrated it several times before.

The situation was now reversed.

They could try. And if they succeeded, they would achieve an incomparable victory.

But if they failed...

They would lose everything. The Heavenly Comrade Alliance would lose the opportunity to save Wudang, Wudang would be annihilated, and they would even lose Jang Ilso.

That would be a mistake that couldn't be compared to any previous defeat they had suffered.

A sect, after all, is made up of people. Could the members of the alliance still trust their leaders after something like that? Would the fragile unity remain intact after that?

The most painful thing at this moment was that the alliance had just restructured its organization a few days ago. They were a group of warriors barely gathered. Was it really possible to pursue Jang Ilso with this disorganization?

Baek Cheon, quickly calculating in his mind, felt his fingers tremble.

'Damn it!'

Now he too saw it. How much was at stake in this seemingly absurd move. How much poison was in this unexpected maneuver.

Baek Cheon looked at Jang Ilso, who was calmly filling his cup. Yes, above all, he was the problem.

'He's crazy.'

No matter how calculated the move was, how could someone face so many enemies and remain so calm? How could he face all of them without changing his expression, as if he himself were placing a sword at his neck to intimidate the enemy?

'...Have we been fighting against someone like this all this time?'

He felt all the blood in his body turn cold. The red of the blood seemed to increase until it covered his field of vision.

And at that moment...

“There are common sayings that contain a universal truth.”

Chung Myung's calm and serene voice woke Baek Cheon.

“They say that those who like to gamble eventually lose everything.”

“Ha ha. It’s true. It’s true!”

Jang Ilso burst out laughing and then looked at Chung Myung with a soft smile.

“However... it's a bit ridiculous for you to say that, don't you think?”

Chung Myung smiled. Undoubtedly, that statement had impacted him deeply. Without turning around, he spoke backward.

“Sasuk.”

“...Yes.”

"You understand, right?"

Although many things were omitted, Baek Cheon silently nodded. In general terms, he understood the situation. He knew what kind of situation they were in.

“Go.”

“What?”

However, this order was difficult to understand.

“We can't waste time trapped here. That's exactly what he wants.”

“But Jang Ilso...”

“He wants me.”

“...”

“Then, let's give him what he wants.”

Without saying more, Chung Myung walked towards Jang Ilso.

“Chung Myung!”

Baek Cheon tried to stop him but then lowered his hand and clenched his teeth.

‘Those who like to gamble eventually lose everything.’

Now Baek Cheon understood. That statement wasn't directed at Jang Ilso but at himself.

Chasing Jang Ilso with all his effort was a risk. He couldn't risk the fate of the alliance on a gamble.

The best decision was to ignore the bait that Jang Ilso had laid for them. No matter how tempting it was.

But they couldn't just let Jang Ilso and his men go. If they did, they would follow them and attack them from behind.

Therefore, the best strategy for the Heavenly Comrade Alliance was to leave bait that would keep them occupied while the rest retreated.

That bait was the Swordsman of Mount Hua, Chung Myung.

It was a conclusion that Baek Cheon had reached after much deliberation. One that Chung Myung and Baek Cheon had understood without even looking at each other.

“...Yoon Jong!”

“No.”

When Baek Cheon was about to order Yoon Jong to stay with his unit, Chung Myung interrupted him.

“Me alone.”

“You're crazy! Does that make sense?”

Baek Cheon exclaimed, but Chung Myung offered no further explanations. He simply uttered a few more words as he continued walking.

“Go.”

In the past, Chung Myung might have tried to explain the situation to Baek Cheon. But now, he trusted that Baek Cheon would understand with just a few words.

A grinding noise could be heard as Baek Cheon clenched his fist so tightly that his nails dug into his palm, drawing blood.

Despite this, Chung Myung continued to advance toward Jang Ilso, step by step, without hurry.

‘Truly...’

But Baek Cheon saw it. The calm march of Chung Myung made the men behind Jang Ilso shudder and show their hostility.

Just as the Heavenly Comrade Alliance felt the pressure and fear from Jang Ilso, they also felt the same towards Chung Myung.

Chung Myung walked past the fallen body of Heo Dojin and sat down in front of Jang Ilso. He dropped into the chair that had been prepared for him.

With a small table between them, Jang Ilso and Chung Myung stared at each other. It was an unprecedented sight.

Chung Myung took the wine cup that was on the table. He drank without hesitation.

Tac.

He placed the empty cup back on the table and commented briefly.

“Good wine. It's too good for someone like you.”

“I’m glad you like it. I have plenty prepared, so drink as much as you want.”

The orthodox world and the demonic world.

The north and the south.

No, perhaps beyond those borders, mortal enemies.

The two men were quietly sharing a drink. It was such a surreal sight that the members of the Heavenly Comrade Alliance and the men of Paegun could barely comprehend it.

Only Baek Cheon, who was intensely observing the scene, broke the silence.

“Let’s go.”

“Sasuk?”

“What? Deputy Sect Leader! What does this mean?”

“Don’t forget what we must do.”

Baek Cheon's gaze was no longer on the strange scene but on Mount Wudang in flames. His nails dug into his palms.

“Save Wudang. That’s what we must do.”

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