༺ Sword Phoenix (3) ༻
Why does Wi Seol-Ah just need to appear at the worst possible time…?
And as if to make things worse, she was holding dumplings…
“Young Master! I brought you dumplings!”
Oh, she’s holding them because of me.
Did she hear me when I mumbled about wanting to eat dumplings on our way back home?
If that was the case, I felt proud, although I was still unhappy with the current situation;
Because I still had to deal with the raging boar before me.
“Young Master…? Why are you kneeling down like that?” Wi Seol-Ah inquired.
Yeah… I’m also curious about why I’m kneeling…
Just as I sought to get up,
Gu Huibi spoke, as if she had been waiting for that moment.
Thanks to that, I froze mid-rise; my knees half bent.
“That, over there, who is that?”
Gu Huibi’s eyes were focused on Wi Seol-Ah while she spoke.
I don’t know what this fiery woman will do to her…
Gu Huibi took one step closer to Wi Seol-Ah.
And I instantly charged up my destructive flame art.
I didn’t expect Gu Huibi to do something dangerous, as with memories from my previous life I knew that she always made sure she didn’t jump to violence right away.
But even then, I had to be prepared; it was always better to prepare for the worst.
Gu Huibi’s eyes suddenly shook.
It looked like she was going to do something; I first had to protect Wi-
She was too fast.
She was way faster than I’d expected.
In a flash, Gu Huibi went towards Wi Seol-Ah and… grabbed her cheeks.
Wi Seol-Ah let out a weird screams after she was caught, but Gu Huibi just kept massaging her cheeks as if she was charmed by them.
“…How can one’s cheeks look so soft? And it’s even softer than it seems…?”
“Ahh… Ahhh! Help me, Young Mas-”
I didn’t know what to say in the situation unfolding before my eyes. Should I be relieved?
Or do I need to stop her…?
Thankfully though, Gu Huibi seemed to have no intentions of harming Wi Seol-Ah.
…Unless that’s her way of harming her.
While Wi Seol-Ah’s cheeks were being stretched by Gu Huibi’s hands, I ignored Wi Seol-Ah and stood up.
Once Gu Huibi was satisfied, she let go of Wi Seol-Ah’s cheeks.
“This girl, is she your servant?”
“You wanna give it to me?”
I accidentally snapped back at her.
Gu Huibi seemed initially surprised upon hearing my brief but decisive answer.
Then she smiled slightly.
It was scary seeing her smile, she resembled father way too much.
I didn’t notice when she did it, but I suddenly and once again felt the blistering heat that accompanied Gu Huibi possessed.
The difference between hers and Gu Yeonseo or Gu Jeolyub’s heat couldn’t be mistaken.
Simply feeling the heat made it hard for me to keep my eyes open.
Her being in 5th realm clearly shows the gap between us.
If my physical body was trained a bit more such that I reached the 4th realm of the destructive flame art, I’d be able to go to certain places without a fear of getting beat up.
The real problem though, was the training needed to reach the 5th realm.
The 5th realm meant that one had to show their true worth as a martial artist.
Reaching that realm required not just intensive training, but also a lot of enlightenment.
It was at that point that one could truly swathe their body with visible red Qi, the point where their eyes and hair started to become red as they became one with the art.
Gu Huibi was already at that point.
Her hair was slightly red and her eyes brightly dyed in the color red.
I could somehow manage to hold myself against others with my pathetic Qi, but going against Gu Huibi who was a bonafide 5th rank practitioner would be me asking too much of myself.
“It’s really strange, for my little brother to decline my request.”
Gu Huibi’s hair was being blown away by her own heat.
It felt like I was going to melt because of the heat, but I was able to withstand it by surrounding myself with my own Qi.
Gu Huibi quietly stared at me after speaking.
I wondered what she was thinking.
But I quickly rerouted my thoughts to my first priority at the moment: quietly retrieving Wi Seol-Ah.
Gu Huibi’s eyebrow flinched at my words, visibly unhappy with my response.
She then released more Qi, further intensifying the pressure.
I didn’t lose to it however, and continued to withstand the heat.
The weird thing was that, while I should have been struggling to even breathe at the moment, let alone stand up, I was somehow able to easily push away the pressure.
…I guess it would be more correct to say that I’m changing the direction of the heat rather than pushing it away.
However, I myself wondered how it was happening?
The Gu Clan’s Qi was rather violent and fierce.
But what I was doing currently was not breaking apart the Qi, but instead parting it in a way that it flowed to a different direction.
It was similar to the art of the Mudang Clan.
And it looked like Gu Huibi noticed this as well as shortly after, the air that was filled with heat cooled down.
Gu Huibi had retrieved all of her Qi back into her body.
“…This, is this your doing, Lord Second Elder?”
Gu Huibi asked the Second Elder while pointing at me.
How cruel of her to refer to me as ‘this’…
The Second Elder shrugged his shoulders and responded to Gu Huibi’s question.
“This old man didn’t do anything.”
“…And you’re telling me he changed this much in those few months?”
Gu Huibi’s entertained expression only pressured me more.
To be fair, it was a shock even for me to reach the 3rd realm in the span of a few months.
I didn’t see this coming either…
If my goal had been to reach the 3rd rank by this year, then it meant that I still had half a year to spare thanks to my trip to Sichuan.
Gu Huibi then spoke to me.
“The Lord is calling for you, so go quickly.”
“…Is your work here done?”
Did she really come here just to roar at me? Does she think that she’s some sort of a fighting machine…
Although she wouldn’t be completely wrong with that…
“I wanted to give you a lesson as we haven’t seen each other for a long time, but I don’t feel like it anymore.”
Gu Huibi beckoned me with her hands to go quickly.
Come to think of it, wasn’t this my place and my house?
I wanted to complain to her as I didn’t like the situation, but I felt that if I actually complained to the crazy fire boar I might actually die so, I just quietly walked away.
“Oh, little brother.”
I turned around to Gu Huibi’s call.
Then Gu Huibi flung something at me.
The thing I caught was a small lucky pocket.
“It’s a gift.”
“…What is this?”
“Make sure you put it on your waist. Or else I’m going to punish you.”
When I looked inside the lucky pocket, there was a yellow marble inside.
What is this? A demonic stone…?
I didn’t think that was what it was however, I didn’t feel anything within the marble.
Gu Huibi spoke to me while I was looking at the lucky pocket.
“Some peddler was selling it as a charm so don’t talk back and do what I told you to do.”
Basically, she bought me some trash and told me that she would punish me if I didn’t do what she ordered.
…I put it near my waist area.
I knew she didn’t have any bad intentions.
I knew that Gu Huibi wasn’t the type of person to do such a thing.
“Oh, if you lose it by any chance, know that I’ll bend you in half.”
After Gu Yangcheon left to go to the lord’s room,
Gu Huibi spoke to the Second Elder again.
“Are you sure you didn’t do anything?”
“I told you, this old man didn’t do anything.”
The Second Elder wasn’t the type to lie about most things.
That was one thing Gu Huibi was certain of about the Second Elder.
And she would usually believe everything that the Second Elder would tell her, however.
“The last time I saw him was in winter, and he was a child that only reached the 1st rank of the flame arts.”
The 1st realm, it was a realm that was achievable by just learning the basics of the flame arts.
Gu Yangcheon had still been at that level even after years of him learning the flame arts.
And that had continued to be the same even after Gu Huibi left for a mission.
His movements had been terrible to watch, let alone his actions of trying to wrap himself in Qi.
It had been like comparing the sky to the ground when it came to Yeonseo and Yangcheon.
But then what about now?
How did he reach his current realm so fast?
It was strange in the first place to hear that he had beaten Yeonseo in a duel.
When Gu Huibi had first heard it, she had thought that it was a coincidence.
‘Yeonseo was probably in a bad condition that day’, those had been her thoughts.
Coincidence combined with more coincidences had given birth to the miracle where Yangcheon beat Yeonseo; so Gu Huibi had believed.
However, when she heard of Gu Yeonseo not coming to greet her even though she had most likely heard of my return, Gu Huibi realized that perhaps things weren’t as simple as she’d initially believed.
And after taking a brief look at Gu Yangcheon she was able to see that he was the 3rd realm and was pushing for the 4th. He hadn’t quite reached the 4th realm yet, but he was basically at that level.
It meant that it wouldn’t be long until he reached the 4th rank.
It hadn’t taken Gu Huibi a long time to progress from the 3rd realm to the 4th realm, but the problem was Gu Yangcheon’s progression rate.
Not even she herself had progressed at such a startling pace, let alone Gu Yeonseo.
But then that kid, in only the span of a few months…
“Isn’t it shocking?”
The Second Elder asked.
“How can it not be?”
“This old man is also shocked. I didn’t know that child had so much potential inside him.”
When the Second Elder spoke to Gu Yangcheon about the marriage arrangement, he had to hide his shock.
The Qi he possesses is immensely stronger now.
What happened in Sichuan in order for him to change that much?
It was already shocking enough to see the change in Gu Yangcheon before, but now he was a completely different person, as if he had cleared a whole dungeon by himself.
The quantity of his Qi had increased, but not by much.
It just looked like a lot since he didn’t have much Qi to begin with.
However, the quality of his Qi was a completely different case.
The Second Elder was able to notice this when he saw Gu Yangcheon change the flow of Gu Huibi’s heat.
Just what exactly happened?
The Second Elder had wanted to follow Gu Yangcheon to Sichuan, but he couldn’t neglect all the work he was given.
Such as the marriage arrangement.
And other businesses as well.
“It feels like I’ve missed something huge.”
“Also, this kid…”
Gu Huibi looked for Wi Seol-Ah who was supposed to be next to her.
“Where did she go?”
Wasn’t she here in front of me just now?
“Oh, I was looking for the servant.”
“She’s a girl that just started working as a servant. She doesn’t know much about the world, so don’t be too harsh on her.”
“Yes… but that child.”
Gu Huibi wasn’t the type to care about servants.
But she’d felt something strange with Wi Seol-Ah.
She had felt a strange feeling that, one that she couldn’t explain in words, which had made her keep touching her, but in the end Gu Huibi failed to find its cause.
“Maybe it’s a mistake…”
It was truly strange.
Gu Huibi had been swinging her sword for the past few months.
That meant that she still had quite the acute sense.
But then she had failed to notice the servant disappearing in addition to her sensing something strange within her.
…Maybe it’s a mistake since I’m too sensitive.
Maybe she was overreacting because she was used to always being on guard.
The Second Elder, meanwhile, tried to hide his shock.
There was no way that Gu Huibi should have been able to notice anything weird about Wi Seol-Ah at her current level. But surprisingly, her improved senses was able to enable her to catch the weirdness that lay within Wi Seol-Ah.
“Such monstrous talent, both you and Yangcheon.”
“You said something?”
“No… You are still the same as ever, for you to look for Yangcheon as soon as you come back.”
“I don’t think I should be hearing this from you…”
Gu Huibi scratched her cheek.
Almost everyone in the clan had turned their back on Gu Yangcheon at this point.
The Lord of the clan, the Tiger Warrior had never seemed to care about him to begin with, and his second sister Gu Yeonseo had already turned away from him a while ago.
The last born though…
Let’s save that for later.
The only people that had tried to fix Gu Yangcheon in the clan were Gu Huibi and the Second Elder.
“Would it hurt for you to be gentler with him?”
“You know better than me that being gentle doesn’t get through to him.”
He was different these days, but the Second Elder couldn’t deny that fact.
Gu Yangcheon may have become more mature, but he still had that crappy personality within him.
Still, the Second Elder still felt that Gu Huibi went a bit too far.
The Second Elder continued to speak after letting out a fake cough.
“But even so, isn’t it a bit much for you to punish your little brother for a marriage arrangement?”
“Of course, to you, it may have been just an act…”
“Yes, yes! Of course it was all an act.”
Gu Huibi who responded with a smile had eyelids twitching.
The Second Elder saw this and decided to think that she was just tired.
There’s no way that she truly gave her own little brother a punishment for a marriage agreement.
No way is she so narrow-minded.
Yeah, no way…
The Second Elder ignored Gu Huibi who looked shaken for some reason.
Meanwhile, in the Lord’s room.
“I heard that you destroyed the Lightning Dragon’s arm.”
“No, I didn’t destroy it. I simply broke it-”
Gu Yangcheon felt like he was f*cked.
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