Childhood Friend of the Zenith Chapter 141

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༺ Harmonic Sword Jang Cheon (3) ༻
 
 
  That meeting was quite a storm. 
 
  It felt as if I had just swallowed a fruit filled with spikes. 
 
  [Your grandpa always seems to like giving you a bomb.]
 
  “…What do you mean Grandpa!” 
 
  I barked back at Elder Shin.
 
  Why did he always think I was related to the Second Elder?
 
  There was not even a single thing we had in common. 
 
  Though it was possible we shared a drop of blood. 
 
  [You got involved with a treasure again. Your life really is a tragic comedy.]
 
  ‘What scary words are you saying? I’m not involved this time.’
 
  To say I almost got involved would be more accurate. 
 
  I had many questions after that.
 
  If the Dishonored Venerable really did write the letter for me, then why did it contain such puzzling content? 
 
  Did he really have to bother writing any of those when he could have just written my name on the letter? 
 
  The letter left ample room for misunderstanding. 
 
  So it should’ve been more logical for him to write me a whole new letter if it wasn’t meant for me in the first place. 
 
  Though thinking about the Dishonored Venerable’s personality, he would be the type to just send it…
 
  ‘Did the Dishonored Venerable ever have a disciple anyways?’
 
  The disciple that he mentioned in the letter, I tried my best to think of anything from my memories,
 
  But I had no memories of such a thing.
 
  Among the three Heavenly Venerables, only the Sword Emperor had an official disciple. 
 
  The Lord of Heaven was from the Namgung Clan and while Namgung Jin and Namgung Cheonjun could be considered as his disciples…
 
  He didn’t actually have any official disciples. 
 
  And it was the same case for the Dishonored Venerable. 
 
  Then did he maybe try to get the Second Elder in trouble?
 
  ‘…It certainly could be possible.’
 
  Considering all the troubles that old man caused, it did make some sense that the Dishonored Venerable would try to get him back with this. 
 
  But was the Second Elder really unaware of the contents inside the letter?
 
  My thoughts lingered on the last line. 
 
 
  The treasure delivery.
 
  I felt like I had heard and experienced this before.
 
  Memories of the Second Elder handing me a treasure to deliver before my departure for Mount Hua flashed before me. 
 
  And along with that, another thought came to mind. 
 
  “Nah, no way.”
 
  I had a bad feeling, so I quickly searched my pockets. 
 
  I pulled out a purse tucked deep within my pocket. 
 
  It was the purse that the Second Elder gave me before leaving for Hanam, saying that it was an allowance. 
 
  The purse still emitted the same sound as before. 
 
  I opened the purse from time to time whenever I bought snacks for Wi Seol-Ah and it really did seem like an ordinary purse with money in it. 
 
  [What’s wrong?]
 
  Elder Shin asked, wondering what it was.
 
  However, instead of answering, I flipped over the purse in silence. 
 
  Clang-! 
 
  The silver coins inside spilled out, making a harsh sound every time they fell. 
 
  During that time, my eyes darted around in search. Only after all the coins had fallen did I manage to breathe a sigh of relief. 
 
  [Brat.]
 
  “…Yes?”
 
  [Did you really think that there would be a treasure inside that purse?]
 
  “You never know.” 
 
  I checked it just in case because of all the times I had been manipulated by the Second Elder. 
 
  Thankfully, it seemed like there wasn’t any treasure inside. 
 
  Yeah, even the Second Elder wouldn’t stoop to such levels. 
 
  I could overlook the incident regarding Mount Hua’s treasure since he won it fairly. 
 
  [What do you mean you could overlook it! He won it through a freaking drinking bet!]
 
  “Why are you the one that’s mad- …Oh wait, you have a good reason to be.”
 
  I forget from time to time that Elder Shin had once been the leader of Mount Hua.
 
  Anyways.
 
  ‘I was too paranoid this time.’
 
  I might have fallen for the Second Elder’s tricks a few times, but there was no way that he would just pass onto me the Murim Alliance’s treasure associated with the Dishonored Venerable…
 
  Clang-
 
  While picking up the silver coins, my outstretched hand stopped. 
 
  I felt some unknown sensation on my other hand that was holding the purse.
 
  I checked inside the purse to see if there were any silver coins left inside. 
 
  “…Hmm?”
 
  [Woah…]
 
  Rip.
 
  Something caught my fingers, so I ripped it off with my strength. 
 
  The thing that came out along with a few remnants of thread was…
 
  “…Haha, fuck me.”
 
  A ring so old it was practically rusting. 
 
******************
 
  “Young Master Gu is running late. It’s about to start soon.”
 
 
  Tang Soyeol spoke while sipping her tea calmly. 
 
  Wi Seol-Ah, standing behind her, flinched after hearing that.
 
  It was because Hongwa warned her about the poisonous herb in Tang Soyeol’s tea. 
 
  “Maybe it takes him a long time to prepare?”
 
  Moyong Hi-ah spoke with her hand on her chin, looking around the area. 
 
  She noticed that many people were quickly glancing towards them. 
 
  The Dragons and Phoenixes tournament had always felt like this.
 
  The nasty stares from all these people always felt disgusting and uncomfortable. 
 
  But even so, Moyong Hi-ah maintained her smile, knowing that all those scrutinizing gazes  had a use for her. 
 
  She raised her lips a little and changed her expression slightly…
 
  To the most charming and seductive expression that she could possibly make.
 
  When Moyong Hi-ah smiled, all those people who had been secretly peeping at her, lost their composure. 
 
  “You are still as impressive as ever.”
 
  Tang Soyeol commented, genuinely impressed. 
 
  “Lady Tang can also do this.”
 
  She replied, not entirely insincere. 
 
  Tang Soyeol also had a charming face of her own with her unique cuteness. 
 
  And there was no doubt that she was aware of it. 
 
  “…That became pointless when my charm didn’t work against someone that I wanted it to.”
 
  Moyong Hi-ah felt like she knew who Tang Soyeol was referring to.
 
  There was no way that she didn’t.
 
  She did see Tang Soyeol blatantly go after him throughout this trip. 
 
  “…You still have the same unique taste as before.”
 
  What did Tang Soyeol see in that scary boy’s face?
 
  ‘He was rather unique, to be fair.’
 
  It was the first time Moyong Hi-ah saw someone that seemed so indifferent about her. 
 
  The Gu Clan’s Young Master had a feeling of a great wall around him…
 
  Which told her not to get too close. 
 
  ‘Is it because he has all these girls around him already?’
 
  Moyong Hi-ah looked in a different direction.
 
  To the woman who seemed to be the center of everyone’s attention. 
 
  ‘Namgung Bi-ah… was it.’
 
  She was the blood relative of the Namgung Clan and the older sister of the Lightning Dragon.
 
  It was the first time that Moyong Hi-ah saw her.
 
  Despite her clan’s connections with the Namgung Clan, she had never heard much about her beyond the fact that there was a daughter in the Namgung Clan. 
 
  ‘She’s beautiful.’
 
  Just like the handsome Lightning Dragon, his sister possessed the same allure.
 
  Moyong Hi-ah didn’t mind that she took most of the attention.
 
  Namgung Bi-ah’s beauty more than justified it. 
 
  She did feel a little bit of jealousy, but she couldn’t afford to think about such a thing.
 
  Moyong Hi-ah then carefully spoke to Namgung Bi-ah.
 
  “Your little sibling is nowhere to be seen either.”
 
  Namgung Bi-ah shifted her hollow eyes after hearing Moyong Hi-ah.
 
  “…He’ll come soon.”
  
  “Pardon?”
 
  For some reason, Moyong Hi-ah felt that Namgung Bi-ah looked way more tired than usual. 
 
  ‘He’s coming soon?’
 
  Maybe they had been in contact because they were siblings? 
 
  ‘She’s not easy as I expected.’
 
  Moyong Hi-ah let out a sigh.
 
  She tried to get closer to Namgung Bi-ah in recent days, but she couldn’t read her thoughts one bit.
 
  Namgung Bi-ah had almost no change in her expression, and the only thing she did besides training and sleeping was spending time with her fiancé, the servant behind her, or Tang Soyeol. 
 
  ‘What a waste with a face like hers.’
 
  Some could say that she was living an eventful life, but realistically it was more of a laid-back life. 
 
  Moyong Hi-ah couldn’t help but feel very envious of her. 
 
  ‘I don’t have time.’
 
  She didn’t have the time to improve her martial arts or indulge in the emotions of love. 
 
  ‘Where is the Lightning Dragon?’
 
  Which was why she had to get help from the Lightning Dragon as soon as possible.
 
  As well as the Namgung Clan.
 
  Namgung Bi-ah stared at Moyong Hi-ah. 
 
  Then she asked Wi Seol-Ah, who was standing behind her, in a careful tone. 
 
  “…Your legs, do they hurt…?”
 
  “Hmm?”
 
  “Do you want to sit…?”
 
  Namgung Bi-ah was concerned about Wi Seol-Ah, who stood behind her.
 
  “Sis, as I mentioned earlier, that’s not allowed.”
 
 Tang Soyeol spoke to Namgung Bi-ah while letting out a sigh.
  “But…”
 
  “I understand Sis’s feelings, but it doesn’t look good for Young Master Gu if we let a servant take a seat.”
 
  Usually, Gu Yangcheon would let servants, including Wi Seol-Ah, and escorts sit and dine with him.
 
 However, they couldn’t afford to do such a thing, at least not in this spot. 
 
  “…Alright.”
  
  Namgung Bi-ah reluctantly relented only after hearing Gu Yangcheon’s name. 
 
  It seemed like she would say yes to anything as long as it was related to Gu Yangcheon. 
 
  ‘I can’t believe a person could change that much.’
 
  In just a few months, Namgung Bi-ah became much brighter and more talkative. 
 
  However, to think that it was solely due to Gu Yangcheon…It made her feel bittersweet.
 
  Tang Soyeol continued to stare at the entrance while poking her lips out.
 
  “Seriously, when is he going to arrive …”
 
  She was worried about Gu Yangcheon’s tardiness. 
 
  Because he was way too late. 
 
  “Thankfully, the Alliance Leader is also running late too…”
 
  It seemed like there was a delay in the event. 
 
  And thanks to that, Gu Yangcheon might arrive in time for the gathering event. 
 
  “But it’s strange for the Alliance Leader to be late, too.”
 
  Tang Soyeol nodded her head upon  hearing Moyong Hi-ah.
 
  Every year, the Alliance Leader would come out to give a speech at the beginning of the gathering,
 
  And the Alliance Leader was never late. 
 
  Sometimes, he would even arrive early. 
 
  Considering that this was a spot where the blood relatives  of the Orthodox Faction’s noble clans gathered, it wouldn’t look good for the Alliance Leader to be late. 
 
  “Maybe he had something come up- “
 
  “He should be here soon.”
 
  Tang Soyeol frowned after hearing a voice that interrupted her.
 
  It was because it wasn’t a member of their group speaking, but an outsider. 
 
  Tang Soyeol turned to the voice with a slightly piercing gaze.  
 
  When she looked back, there was a boy wearing an awkward smile. 
 
  He looked kind and handsome, with eyes that made him look like he was smiling even when he wasn’t.
 
  “I’m sorry. I had no intention to cut you off… But I happened to hear about a matter that I’m well aware of.”
 
  “Before talking, I hope that you’d introduce yourself first.”
 
  Even with Tang Soyeol’s annoyed tone, the boy maintained his smile on his face. 
 
  While showing respect to Tang Soyeol, the boy started to introduce himself calmly. 
 
  “I apologize for my rudeness and disrespect, I am… “
 
  It felt as if a breeze was blowing whenever the boy spoke.
 
  “Jang Seonyeon.”
 
  A very cold breeze at that. 
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