༺ The Little Prince of the Gu Clan (2) ༻
The Gu Clan could be called a clan with a fairly high status, and it was based in the district of Shanxi.
There were currently four noble clans in the world;
The Namgung Clan that resided in Anhui,
The Peng Clan that resided in Hebei,
The Tang Clan that resided in Sichuan,
The Moyong Clan that resided in Liaoning.
The Gu Clan, early on, did not have such a prestigious status that it could be compared to the four noble clans, but many believed that the Gu Clan would eventually reach such a level that they would enjoy a similar status to the four noble clans.
Gu Cheolun, the Tiger Warrior, was the current head of the Gu Clan and was regarded as one of the top 100 masters in the Murim alliance. Not to mention,, he was known to be one of the stronger masters amongst the top 100.
Gu Cheolun himself was well known among many for his righteousness, and this belief of his was shared amongst the martial artists and laymen that constituted his Gu Clan.
The martial artists of Gu in particular always did their best to ensure that they protected civilians from danger, bearing no thoughts of using their martial arts to rule over or control them.
They weren’t called the ‘Guardians of Shanxi’ for nothing.
Gu Cheolun’s children were already showing outstanding prominence as martial artists.
The first daughter, Gu Huibi, had showcased a level of potential and now ability that led to many believing that she would become one of the greatest of her generation, and was known as the “Sword Phoenix” amongst fellow martial artists.
As if that wasn’t enough, the second daughter, Gu Yeonso, showed a level of talent that rivaled that of Gu Huibi, and was expected to inherit the praise of Gu Huibi as well as follow in her footsteps.
The status of the clan seemed destined for the top with the emergence of these two overwhelmingly talented daughters. Many believed that the clan’s status would only grow stronger as time went by, as the blood of the greats would definitely be passed onto future generations.
Everybody had thought that that would be the case.
I myself had also thought of it that way.
Until the young Lord, the one and only son of the Gu clan, turned into a demon.
* * * *
I woke up to the voice of my escort hinting that it is already morning.
After I get up and look around, I realize that sunlight is already seeping through the window.
“I’ve woken up,” I responded with a slightly hoarse voice.
I hadn’t slept in a while to begin with because I couldn’t understand what was happening.
‘Sigh.’ I washed my face after letting out a brief sigh.
‘… So this really isn’t a dream.’
It’s already been three days since I went back to my younger self after dying.
“How did this happen?”
There was no way that I was going to get an answer by asking the empty space in front of me.
‘How did this happen?’ I couldn’t find the answer, no matter how much I thought about it.
On the first day, I just felt empty inside, thinking that I was dreaming about a past that I couldn’t go back to, an illusion of some sort where my actions made no difference.
I ate and slept with that feeling on the first day.
In hindsight, I should have realized in the first place that something was wrong the moment I found that I was able to taste the food.
But, instead, I stupidly went ahead and spent the second day the same way I’d spent the first.
“What a retard.”
How did it take me three days to realize?
I turned around and looked outside the window.
Instead of seeing the iron prison in the cellar of the Murim Alliance, I could see the sunlight brightly shining through the window.
After I finished blaming myself for being too slow to realize my current situation, I felt my body heating up little by little due to joy.
I had somehow come back to the happiest time of my life from the life that was ruined and utterly destroyed.
I didn’t know what caused this to happen, but if this was real and not a dream-
‘No, it has to be real.’
I prayed that it was real.
I suppressed the thought of it not being real by going through the feeling of how real my body felt.
‘Now that I have returned to the past, what am I supposed to be doing? What should I be thinking?’
I had to think about all of the notable events that would happen in the future.
There were way too many things to think about.
Thousands of thoughts began circulating in my head until someone called my name from outside the door.
Because of that, I lost my train of thought.
“-The Lord of the house will arrive soon.”
I got goosebumps after hearing that.
I had been so numb in the head for the past three days that I didn’t even think about that.
“Father is coming…”
My father, who had probably left the clan for work, was coming back. It may have only been a few days in this timeline, but for me, this was the first time that I would be seeing him in many, many years.
And I could feel my head already starting to hurt.
Rather than feeling excited or happy about seeing my father for the first time in so many years, I instead felt afraid.
The way he looked at me with those cold eyes of his, and the sharp words he’d said to me in my previous life had scarred my heart.
Remembering the harsh things he said to me only brought pain to my mind.
‘How long are you going to live like that? Do you intend to remain a disgrace to your family till the end?’
This was what my father had said to me. I don’t resent him for it because I deserved it to the fullest.
Because of the way I had lived.
It was understandable.
Understanding the reason behind them, didn’t make the words sting any less than they did. And it definitely didn’t change the fact that those words would haunt me forever.
And now, after all those years and everything I’d been through, I now realize that,
I was still afraid of my father.
The servant outside called me once again because of my silence.
“I’ll be outside after I get ready. How much time do I have left?”
“-He will arrive in approximately 30 minutes.”
“I need to wash my face, so prepare the water.”
I noticed the puzzled tone of the servant’s voice. He probably didn’t expect me to actually get ready.
In the past, whenever such an event was due to occur, I would throw a tantrum and throw everything around me because I would get mad that I was woken up in the morning.
I couldn’t even count how many things I had broken in the house.
The fact that I did such a thing without any good excuses was probably because I didn’t feel comfortable seeing my father.
It wasn’t any different now, but I couldn’t afford to run away given this opportunity.
After washing my face, I changed into my formal clothing.
I noticed that the servant who was helping me get ready was shivering in what seemed to be fear.
Does he think that I’m going to throw everything everywhere again?
I mean, only a 10-year-old kid would do such a thing…
‘…Then again, I did do such a thing.’
After finally finishing my preparations, I stepped outside and was greeted by numerous gazes.
Whispers followed their gazes.
“-I’m surprised that he is willing to see his father.”
“-He would always throw a tantrum because he didn’t want to wake up in the morning…”
I was able to hear all their whispers toward me.
To be honest, they were probably being nice when they called my outrage a tantrum.
When my eyes met those of two people who were whispering, they tried to get down on their knees in shock, but I simply waved, dismissing them both.
What would I have done if it had been me in the past?
‘Let’s not put too much thought into it…’
I probably would have admonished both of them.
And then they would probably be gone from the clan by the next day.
While walking, I noticed beautiful flowers that had just bloomed.
Compared to my dreary and complicated thoughts, the outside world was showcasing the beautiful season of spring.
The world of the Murim Alliance was going through either the fall or the winter season right before I passed away.
Well, to be honest, I don’t even know what season it was when I died.
I don’t know if I’m reminiscing because I’ve suddenly found the time to be aware of what season it is, or if it’s just because I’m staring at flowers with a stupid look on my face that I’m doing so.
“It’s probably the latter.”
The escort next to me inquired.
After walking for a while, passing through a number of manors and flower gardens, I arrived at the front gate of the clan.
A lot of people were already here by the time we arrived, and a majority of them were people that I had only seen for a few days.
They, just like the others I walked by on the way here, have a surprised expression on their various faces at the fact that I am here.
The crowd, however, didn’t forget to bow their heads and greet me.
I felt awkward since it had been a while since I was treated like this, but I didn’t show it.
After passing through the crowd that bowed to me, there stood the people who didn’t show me courtesy.
One of them approached me and started talking to me.
“…I certainly did not expect you to be here.”
The one who’d just spoken was a girl with long, tied hair.
The girl’s age was, at most, 20 years.
It was clear that she would be called a beauty wherever she went, but the demeanor of a warrior was also visible from her eyes and her standing posture.
There weren’t many people in the clan who were exempted from showing me respect.
But if we narrowed that down to girls below the age of 20, then there would only be one person.
The Flaming Sword, Gu Yeonseo.
This girl, a blood relative from the clan, and a sister of mine.
Gu Yeonseo would grow to become a prominent female swordsman who would be praised by many people by now.
But, that was far in the future.
After seeing her for the first time in so long, I said.
“It’s mandatory for me to be here.”
Gu Yeonseo scoffed at my response. “And you, all this time, didn’t bother to come out while knowing this?” and replied to my words with a cold tone.
She was right.
I would always run away, even though it was mandatory for me to come here as a blood relative of the clan.
“I wonder why I did that too.”
“I admit I was wrong. I’ll apologize to the Lord of the clan later.”
After hearing what I said, Gu Yeonseo had a puzzled expression.
Not long after, however, Gu Yeonseo says to me,
“I don’t know what kind of act you are trying to pull off, but if you are trying to mess with others, I would like you to stop at this instant because I’m about to get really mad.”
She turned her head away after what she said.
Sigh… This isn’t going to be easy.
I wanted to speak with her more, but it couldn’t be helped right now.
“The Lord of the clan is arriving.”
After hearing the servant’s words, I turn to the front gate and see a carriage coming towards it from a distance.
The red horse pulling the carriage, seeming at first glance to be at least twice as big as normal horses, runs non-stop towards the gate.
It reached the gate rather quickly, particularly considering how far away it was when I’d first laid eyes on it.
As the red horse comes to a stop, a person comes down from the carriage.
A middle-aged man with a long scar across half his face, draped in the red that symbolized the clan of Gu.
Many people did not dare to raise their heads to the man with sharp red eyes.
He was the Lord of Shanxi and the head of the Gu Clan, my father, Gu Cheolun.
The man known to be among the few top experts still alive among the countless people of Murim Alliance was standing here.
My father looked around, his gaze momentarily stopping when it reached me.
I stared back at him, not avoiding his gaze.
Those sharp eyes of his, I remember how scary they were to me during my younger years.
After a short while, my father shifted his gaze from mine and continued to go through everyone currently present. That was all there was to it.
To be honest, his action wasn’t surprising. My father was always like that.
“My Lord. I’m glad you returned without any problems.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Are there any swordsmen on standby?”
“The first team has just returned and is currently resting. The fourth team is currently on standby.”
“Then tell the chief of the fourth team to come to me before the night passes.”
“Yes sir. Congratulations on your return, my Lord.”
After their brief conversation, the Lord of the clan started to take silent footsteps into the clan and the crowd parted in accordance, following behind him afterwards.
I followed along as well.
Looking at my father’s back, it still seemed just as big and heavy.
My return to the past was a miracle, but there were a lot of problems.
‘Regardless, I’m glad that I’m at where I’m at now.’
If I had returned to the past that was just a few years after this, then I definitely wouldn’t have been able to change anything.
I would have been too late.
This was definitely a miracle.
But, even now, I’m still not sure what to do to solve all of this.
My father’s footsteps stopped.
“Third son will come to my room after dinner,” said my father without turning around.
However, now I was puzzled.
‘Third son’ implied that he was calling for me.
But, why me? What reason was there for my father to call me and me alone?
‘…There are so many potential reasons why he would do that, that I can’t think of one in particular.’
While my thoughts were all around the place, I managed to utter a timely response.
Father’s footsteps continued after my reply.
Before dinner, I had chosen the first thing I needed to do. This was the first important task after returning to the past.
I called my escort with a small whisper.
“Yes, young master.”
“Bring me to a medic before dinner.”
My escort puts on a worried face after hearing what I said.
“D-Do you perhaps not feel well?”
“…No. If I eat in my current state, then I’m bound to get sick, so I plan to prepare myself some digestive medicine.”
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༺ The Little Prince of the Gu Clan (2) ༻