Chapter 27: My Beginning Is (2)
I was even more surprised, as I’d just been thinking about him on my way here.
“Has the owner changed?”
Hearing my shaky voice, Baek Pyo replied to me with a smile, “Indeed. I took over this place a couple of days ago, and today happens to be the opening day. You’re my first customer.”
“Now then, please take a seat wherever you find comfortable.”
I sat down where I always sat, causing Baek Pyo to say with a chuckle, “That’s my favorite spot too. Ha Ha Ha.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, why is this your favorite spot?”
“There’s no particular reason.”
He gave an awkward laugh.
“What can I get you to drink?”
I decided to order some wine and the snack that I’d always order here. When Baek Pyo heard my order, he was truly surprised.
“These… both happen to also be my favorites. I never expected my first guest to not only take a seat here, but to also order these specific things.”
I truly wanted to just tell him that I was the Strongest Under the Heavens. Since it was Baek Pyo, the one who’d been in charge of protecting me,, there were many ways to prove to him that I was the previous Mengju. There had been many private conversations between the two of us that no one else knows about.
If I did, he’d more than likely choose to leave this place to follow me
But I won’t tell him. The Strongest Under the Heavens has already passed on. He’s already passed on from both his life and this one. As of now, I’m Byuk Lee Dan. If there ever comes a time that I have to help him, I’ll help him as Byuk Lee Dan, not as the Strongest Under the Heavens.
At that moment, a new guest arrived.
“Here’s my grand opening gift to you.”
The new guest, a middle aged man, gave Baek Pyo a small pot.
I almost dropped my wine glass when I saw who it was. I was even more surprised than when I saw Baek Pyo.
The person who’d just entered was Kal Sa Ryang.
Worried that I might be seen, I quickly turned my head away. However, my heart was still racing.
I’d never even dreamed of meeting Kal Sa Ryung here.
What were the odds of meeting both Kal Sa Ryang and Baek Pyo, here, at the same time?
Baek Pyo greeted him with a face full of emotions. It seems that he hadn’t expected Kal Sa Ryung to personally visit him.
“The atmosphere here seems very cozy.”
“I was just lucky, that’s all. The previous owner sold the place and went back to the countryside.”
“Ah, so that’s how it is.”
“What can I get you?”
“Whatever you feel like.”
Baek Pyo proceeded to offer him a drink.
Kal Sa Ryang looked my way a couple of times, but didn’t mind me in the end.
He looked tired.
I wanted to go over to him; to ask him what had happened. I wanted to ask him why he was in such a state.
Kal Sa Ryang went out the back door.
“Let’s get some fresh air.”
“All right then.”
Baek Pyo followed him.
I heightened my sense of hearing, and was barely able to make out their conversation.
“This was the place that he’d occasionally visit, right?”
“So you already knew.”
“He told me many times that there was a place he knew with a good atmosphere. He said that he was going to take me here with him next time… why was he in such a rush to go?”
Kal Sa Ryang let out a sigh.
I also regretted what had happened. I’d wanted to spend more sincere time with him.
“Don’t you want to stay in the Alliance?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t plan to guard the new Mengju, as he isn’t worthy.”
“No, it should be me who shouold be saying sorry.”
“You did your best. It’s just that the Moonlight Sect and the Iron Cavalry Sect betrayed us. There was no way for you stop them.”
When I heard what Baek Pyo had said, my heart sunk. The Moonlight Sect and the Iron Cavalry Sect had betrayed them?
This… I couldn’t believe this. If it was from some random passerby, I would’ve never believed them, and would’ve shouted at them ‘stop with your nonsense’.
But these words had come from the people I trusted the most.
I remembered that the leaders of those two sects weren’t people who’d easily betray anyone.
Kal Sa Ryung spoke in a disappointed tone.
“Technically speaking, they didn’t betray us, considering the fact that they were only loyal to the Mengju.”
No, this was betrayal. How could they just abandon the people that I cared about because I was dead? And how could anybody in their right mind allow someone like Ma Bong Gi to succeed me?
“So, Chancellor Kal, what are your plans now?”
“I plan on sticking around a bit longer. Even though I know that quite a few people want me gone.”
“...will you be all right?”
“They won’t be able to do much to me, as there will be people watching. I’ll probably be demoted from my position, but I’ll hold out as long as I can.”
“That’s not what I’m saying…”
“I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have to worry about me, I’ll take care of myself.”
“I hope so, but...”
I knew what kind of person Kal Sa Ryung was. He could be fooled once, but he wasn’t the type of person who could be fooled a second time. If he’d said something like this, it have meant that he had some sort of lifeline.
“It might be rude of me to ask, but… why aren’t you leaving?”
“The Alliance is his home.”
“I feel bad when you say that.”
“You shouldn’t feel that way. You left your position as the head of security because of him. To be honest, I feel ashamed for staying behind.”
“Whether it’s me or you he’s still the reason that we’re—respectively—staying behind and leaving the alliance. In the end, our reason is the same.”
“I really do miss the previous Mengju.”
“I also miss him. However, we have to move on. Now, we have to live our lives our way. I’ll be off now.”
“Please take care of yourself.”
“Just take care of your own business. I’ll visit occasionally.”
“You’re welcome anytime.”
After saying that, Kal Sa Ryang left. Since he left immediately after his conversation with Baek Pyo, I wasn’t able to see him before he left. However, I knew that he wasn’t depressed about the recent events.
Sa Ryung-Ah... please be strong.
Baek Pyo came back into the store, trying to hide his disappointment with a smile. He proceeded to ask me, “How was it?”
To which I answered with a smile, “It was very good.”
I emptied the bottle and left the shop.
On my way back to the inn, I was deep in thought.
I couldn’t get over the fact the both the Moonlight Sect and the Iron Cavalry Sect had betrayed me. Thinking about it made my blood boil.
But why had they done it?
When I entered the inn, I calmed myself down, and decided to head back home. I wasn’t going to make any rash decisions due to my emotions.
I’ll go back home and raise my strength. I’ll become strong enough that I can back up my word, and protect everyone.
Sa Ryang-Ah, Baek Pyo-Ya…
You guys have to stay alive until that day.
I returned home.
“How did it go?”
He must’ve been curious about what happened.
“Were you able to accomplish what you wanted?”
I shook my head.
Kwang Du burst out laughing.
“Why are you laughing?”
“You'd be inhuman to accomplish everything you set out to do.”
I knew that Kwang Du was trying to comfort me.
“Train hard, so that you can do the things I can't, and accomplish everything I tell you to do."
“Ho ho! So you want to trust me with the things that you can’t solve huh. It seems like this inhuman person has become normal once again.”
“You must be tired. Go and rest, young master. I’ll have the cooks prepare your favorite dishes.”
Seeing Kwang Du walk away, I felt the comfort of being back home once again.
I decided not to pay much attention to the Murim Alliance anymore. Not to Kal Sa Ryung and Baek Pyo, not to Ma Gi Bong, not even my death.
Nothing was going to change even if I just thought about it.
The first thing that I needed to do was raise up the Byuk Clan.
Thus, I made my decision. I was going to take an active role in raising my clan.
Something about Kang Ho made me suspicious. Someone who shouldn’t have become a Mengju had become one. There were bound to be some disturbances soon, and I wanted our clan’s strength to be high enough to be able to overcome anything that happens in the future.
My plan was to be prepared for whatever storms might come.
And a storm is coming.
I decided to raise my personal training regime.
The most important thing to do was raise my strength.
Even though I might not have to reveal my full strength, there may come a time where I have to unleash all of my strength to wipe the enemy out.
The most important thing was my internal energy. It would be best if I could obtain some profound elixirs or medicine, but that would depend on both my luck and money.
Thus, there was only one thing that I could do at the moment: Cut back on my sleep and cultivate while raising my external strength.
I was preparing for when I’d need to fight while conserving my energy. The most important factor of using the least amount of energy whilst utilizing my sword art is my external strength.
And I had reached a bottleneck.
I remembered one of the things that Kal Sa Ryang had said.
‘You can’t do everything alone.’
Yep, he was right.
I couldn’t just make a hundred clones of me. Thus, I needed my own personal organization. One that will listen to my every command. But organizations like this aren’t made overnight. It takes years of investment to make an organization like this.
Thus, my idea led to yet another surprise for my parents.
“I want to have my own Sword Sect.”
Both my father and mother’s mouths opened at the same time. I think this was the biggest surprise I’d given them yet.
“Do you even know what it means to have your own Sword Sect?”
“Of course I know, father.”
“Do you also know what it means to lead one?”
My mother proceeded to ask me carefully,“Don’t we already have one?”
“Yes, we have an excellent Sword Sect. You can consider this one a subsidiary Sword Sect.”
I said it like this so that it wouldn’t be in conflict with the main branch.
“I will call it the Lesser Sword Sect, to honor the main one.”
My father agreed with me after hearing that I’d thought it through this much.
“If you truly want to do this, I won’t stop you. However, you’ll have to provide for both their housing and their food yourself.”
“Thank you, father.”
“How many people do you plan on picking?”
“At first, I plan to start with around twenty men.”
My mother gave me a light smile. It was a smile that made me instantly want to repay her for everything she’d done for me.
“You can do it, right son?”
I answered her with a bright smile.
Before I started recruiting, I met with Seo Jung and discussed the situation with him.
Even though I might have more experience, and be more proficient, at running an organization, he was still better than me at running a Sword Sect.
I took Kwang Du with me and had him teach us both together.
How to train the men. How to set up the hierarchy. Who to appoint as the chief. The dignity and pride that each and everyone has towards the Sword Sect.…
He left after saying one last thing, “The most important thing about a Sword Sect is its people.”
He said the same thing I’d said to Kwang Du.
“In Martial Arts, the most important thing is people.”
After Seo Jung had left, I was left alone with Kwang Du.
“What did elder Seo’s last sentance mean?’
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?”
“That’s… it’s hard to talk to elder Seo.”
“And I’m not?”
“You’re more friendly, young master.”
How could I come to hate someone like him?
“The most important about any Murim organization is their skill. Not anyone can become your subordinate. Will you take in someone who’s strong, yet have a bad personality? Or, as another example, what would happen if it was full of people like Yang Gi Kang?”
“I don’t even want to think about that.”
“That’s what elder Seo meant by what he said. Sword Sect is a place where people gather. Thus, the most important thing is to know what they think, and what kind of character they have.”
“I’m sure that everyone will be loyal to someone like you.”
“You can never expect anyone to be loyal to you from the beginning. Loyalty takes both ample time and experience to build. The most important thing is to give them a sense of belonging.”
“How are you so knowledgeable about this?”
“Jealous? You can also…”
...become like me with time and age. You’ll probably be able to have more profound thoughts than me, who was encaged in the Murim Headquarter.
“Can I also join this Sword Sect?”
“Why? Please include me!”
“You still have ways to go.”
Not only that, but I have greater plans for you.
“If I get better, you have to include me.”
“We’ll see when the time comes.”
“However, young master, why are you making your own Sword Sect?”
He asked with a curious look.
“To make money, you need an organization.”
The bigger your organization, the easier it is to make money. Strength is money, and money is power.
“But why do you need to make money?”
“To increase our strength.”
“What about after that?”
“I want to make the Byuk clan the number one clan in all of the Central Plains.”
It seems that Kwang Du was surprised to hear me say number one clan in all of the Central Plains.
However, this was my resolution. Even though I might only be saying it to Kwang Du, I also meant for the whole world to hear me.
“The Byuk Clan will become the strongest clan. I’ll make it such that no one will be able to even touch us.”
Kwang Du replied with a shaky voice, “Is this for real?”
“Yes. I’m serious. This is just the beginning of my dream.”
Kwang Du’s face became full of determination.
“I’m sure that you’ll be able to achieve it. I’ll help you achieve it with all of my strength.”
Even though my beginning only started with twenty people, my goal was to make it the top of the Central Plains.
This is where it all begins: Underneath the warm and breezy springtime sunlight.