Childhood Friend of the Zenith Chapter 51

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༺ The Plum Blossom Dragon (1) ༻
  The Namgung Clan, the pillar of the Orthodox Factions, is a clan that specializes in sword art and had reached the pinnacle.
  To have endlessly trained their body and put all of their learnings into their sword,
  And to have never stopped their training even after they’ve reached their peak,
  That was what it meant to be a wielder of the sword. 
  The Qi that the descendants of the Namgung Clan used and all of the sword arts they had invented proved that they were masters of the sword,
  And they were known as the greatest until the Sword Emperor made his appearance into the world, which caused the clan’s reputation to take a hit. 
  ‘Sword Emperor’ was a title that belonged to Wi Hyogun.
  And although Namgung Jeolcheon, the Lord of Heaven and another one of the Heavenly Venerables, had gotten a title for himself as well, it wasn’t the one he desired.
  He wanted to walk above the sky as a sword wielder, but since that title had already been given to Wi Hyogun, it was all meaningless to him.
  Furthermore, while Namgung Cheonjun may have gotten the title of ‘Lightning Sword’ as one of the world’s young prodigies, 
  He still wasn’t the greatest among them despite his talent. 
  That was Gu Huibi, the Sword Phoenix.
  To make things worse, Namgung Cheonjun wasn’t even able to earn the title of ‘Sword Dragon’. 
  He was only called the Lightning Dragon because that was the element he used, but he wasn’t able to earn the title of Sword Dragon despite being from a clan known for their sword arts. 
  Because of that, Namgung Cheonjun had done all that he can change that, but the result ended up the same.
  The title of ‘Sword Dragon’ belonged to Mount Hua rather than the Namgung Clan in this generation. 
  The Plum Blossoming Sword Dragon of Mount Hua, is the youngest sword wielder in the sect and a man who would be later known as the Plum Blossoming Sword Emperor in the future. 
  He was a man with endless talents when it came to the sword, a genius who could already make plums blossom at a young age, setting a good future for himself in the process.
  And that man was now standing right before me. 
  He appeared to be around two or three years older than me with his hair tied up neatly. 
  And although he was a handsome man with eyes that gave an innocent impression, there was still a bit of seriousness mixed in as well.
  “Young Master.”
  The Sword Dragon asked me a question.
  “How come I can feel Mount Hua within you?”
  And it was then that I knew I was f*cked. 
* * * *
  This happened not too long ago.
  It’s been a week since I reached the 4th realm of flame arts, and it’s been 15 days since I left for Mount Hua.
  I remember Muyeon’s eyes shaking like crazy when he saw me in the morning suddenly at the 4th rank of flame arts. 
  To put a comparison to before, I now felt like I could beat someone like Namgung Cheonjun easily if we were to duel again. 
  Of course, it would be different if he also improved during this time as well.
  I now felt like I reached the power akin to the young prodigies of the world by this point.
  From Muyeon’s perspective, it was a huge achievement for me to reach that state at such a young age.
  And although this all happened thanks to some miracles of some sort…
  In the end, what mattered was that I had reached the 4th realm of flame arts. 
  I was now able to strengthen my body while also keeping the heat inside my body rather than putting it outside,
  Which made it much easier for me to continue using my Qi without putting a significant toll on my body.
  Of course, this technique ate up a ton of Qi, so I probably wouldn’t be able to use it for long periods of time. 
  A demon collapsed on the ground after letting out a cry.
  Because such a big body fell to the ground at once, dust spread out everywhere.
  When I looked at the demon on the ground, it was a demon that resembled a horse.
  Green Demonic Horse was the name of it I believe. 
  “This thing came out of nowhere, and scared the hell out of me.”
– Blaze!
  After the hunt had ended, I withdrew the Qi I covered my body with. 
  The reason why I killed a demon out of nowhere was that while I was taking a walk, a gate of demons had appeared right in front of me. 
  And since I wanted to test my 4th realm of flame arts, I went ahead of the escorts to fight the demon myself.
  And Muyeon didn’t bother to stop me as he noticed the new level of power I had achieved. 
  I definitely felt different compared to before when I fought the demon.
  The toll that was brought on my body due to the heat was reduced by a lot.
  And the destructiveness and the speed of my attacks had also improved. 
  I believe I was now at the same level as first-rate martial artists. 
  And it was extremely fast considering my young age. 
  To give a comparison, Gu Huibi reached the 4th realm of flame arts at the age of 17. 
  And she was considered the greatest of the Gu Clan in history, so I can’t imagine all the attention I would get once I returned home. 
  ‘I would probably get the most attention from the Second Elder.’
  He would probably run at me with a monstrous smile. 
  And on the other hand, I would assume the First Elder would also be unhappy with this. 
  He didn’t make a move ever since the interaction between me and Gu Jeolyub, but I would assume that he is planning something behind the scenes. 
  I’m just hoping that it wasn’t anything bad.
  ‘If possible, I’d just prefer him just not do anything at all.’
  I hoped that he wouldn’t get even more greedy, and that he would maintain his current position. 
  It would be a hassle to get rid of an old wolf that tried to use its fangs. 
  “But if he does show his fangs, I would have to pull all of them out.”
  “Did you say something, Young Master?”
  “Nothing, I just have a tooth cavity, but it doesn’t hurt so I didn’t bother pulling it out.”
  “A cavity?”
  “Yeah, I hope that it stays painless, I would have to pull it out once it starts hurting.”
  If I let it stay even if it’s giving me pain, it would all rot so I had to pull them out. 
  “Investigation is done!”
  One of the escorts shouted. 
  I asked Muyeon with an interested expression.
  “What are you gonna do with the bones and the leather?”
  “We will bring a small portion of them, but I think we’ll have to leave most of it behind.”
  “What a pity.”
  The bones and the leathers of a demon sold for a good amount of money. 
  The leather of demons was much stronger and more durable than animal leather so they were more desired.
  And although this was the leather of the lowest rank of demons, it could still sell for a good amount so I was a bit disappointed.
  “And we are not even halfway there…”
  It felt like it’s been a long time, but we still had to go much further.
  I felt like such a retard to go on this trip after getting hooked by Heavenly Pill. 
  ‘Nah, this is Heavenly Pill we are talking about here… yeah, this is worth it for Heavenly Pill.’
  I was spending all my days coping with that thought. 
  Long trips definitely weren’t for me. 
  After sitting down in the carriage and waiting for us to start going again, Wi Seol-Ah who was next to me started to sniff me. 
  Huh, is she a dog now…?
  I flicked her head because of her strange actions. 
  Wi Seol-Ah backed off after letting out a short cry.
  And it was then that I remembered that the Sword Emperor was leading this carriage. 
  I hit his granddaughter right in front of him, and because of that, cold sweats flowed down my face while me also getting goosebumps.
  When I took a small peek at the Sword Emperor, he was still on the horse not really caring about what had happened. 
  “…What’s up, why are you sniffing me all of sudden?”
  I couldn’t ask ‘Why are you acting like a dog?’ in front of the Sword Emperor, so I asked her the nicest way possible. 
  Wi Seol-Ah spoke while rubbing her forehead.
  “I can smell the scent of flowers on the Young Master.”
  “What scent of flowers?”
  “I don’t know… I could smell it though.”
  To Wi Seol-Ah’s words, I pointed to the corner of the carriage. 
  “It’s probably coming from there, not me.”
  At the corner of the carriage, was a small box that had the treasure inside. 
  I had to look for a box because of all the scent that would linger around me if I put it in my pocket. 
  Thanks to that, it was easier for me to store without also having all that scent around me.
  I would look back at the box from time to time just in case anything happened, but that was fine.
  It was better than me accidentally absorbing the Qi of a treasure…
  “…No, it’s definitely coming from the Young Master.”
  I ignored Wi Seol-Ah’s mumblings.
  I saw her speak to herself while holding the box with the treasure in it earlier, so I was leaving her alone as I thought she was just acting weird today.
  What did she say? ‘Hello, stranger grandpa, who are you?’ Something like that.
  I didn’t want to talk to her since she was probably really tired today. 
  I was definitely not scared because she was talking to herself.
  ‘There are no ghosts in the world.’
  I didn’t believe in ghosts even after time resurrecting. 
  …I’m going to say it again, but I’m not scared of ghosts…
  No way a demonic human is scared of ghosts. 
  I ignored the cold sweats that for some reason flowed down my face, and closed my eyes. 
  The only thing in my mind was to reach Mount Hua as soon as we can.
  ‘This long of a trip, no way I’d do such a thing again.’
  After returning from this trip, I’m just going to stay home for at least one year, that was my promise to myself. 
  The carriage continued to travel a long way.
  While I was half asleep.
  Before it became night, we had to go as far as we could, so we continued to go without any breaks. 
  And after traveling for a long time, the carriage suddenly came to a halt. 
  And because it stopped so suddenly, my body shot out forward. 
  Wi Seol-Ah also was about to fall. 
  While I was still barely awake, I first put Qi around Wi Seol-Ah and blocked her with my arm so that she doesn’t get hurt.
  It wasn’t going to be a strong fall, but it was better to be safe than sorry. 
  Thanks to that, only Wi Seol-Ah’s hair was messed up but she wasn’t hurt anywhere.
  I then opened the door and got out of the carriage.
  “What’s up.”
  I spoke in a slightly angry tone without me even realizing it. 
  It was probably because my sleep was interrupted.
  When I left the carriage with a frown on my face, someone was standing in front of the escorts.
  My mouth shut right away when I was about to ask what was going on. The person that was blocking the carriage seemed familiar. 
  A white outfit with a red plum symbol. 
  And the sword on his hips that had the symbol of plum blossom.
  There was only one place where martial artists wore such clothing.
  The place which the Heavenly Demon and I destroyed.
  “I apologize for suddenly stopping you, but I came here as I was curious about something.”
  The young man spoke gently.
  The voice fit his soft appearance.
  It was a familiar appearance as well as a familiar voice.
  It belonged to none other than the person I finished off by snapping his neck…
  The last survivor of Mount Hua.
  “I am Yung Pung of Mount Hua.”
  He was the Plum Blossoming Sword Emperor, no, he was currently called the Plum Blossoming Sword Dragon. 
  “Is it really okay for you to do such a dangerous thing, as a martial artist of Mount Hua?”
  Muyeon complained to Yung Pung. 
  It didn’t seem like he came out of nowhere to stop us.
  I was supposed to be talking to Yung Pung right now as I was the leader of the crew, but since I was still confused about what was going on, Muyeon had to step in.
  Upon hearing Muyeon’s words, Yung Pung apologizes. 
  “I apologize. I did not want to block the road with such a method, but I had to do it as I had to check something.”
  “Check what?”
  “I wanted to check if that carriage had Mount Hua within it.” 
  The direction Yung Pung pointed to was the carriage I was in.
  What does he mean? Mount Hua within the carriage? 
  Everyone seemed to be confused at the random words Yung Pung put out.
  “I came to check since I felt a familiar feeling from far away, but it seems like there isn’t anything problematic here after all.”
  He really seemed to be relieved, as he let out a sigh of relief. 
  “Although, I am still curious about one more thing. If that carriage does not have Mount Hua within it.”
  Along with Yung Pung’s words, I noticed a familiar scent. 
  It was the scent of Plum Blossom I had to deal with for the past many days.
  The scent was very close.
  It was because Yung Pung came right in front of me in an instant even though he was far away just a second ago.
  “Young Master.”
  Yung Pung’s voice was tender, but also serious.
  With his voice, I was also able to hear the voice I heard from the destruction of Mount Hua along with it.
  「For what reason…!! Why are you doing this to us!!」
  “How come I can feel Mount Hua within you?”
  To Yung Pung’s question, my heart skipped a beat.
  Then I thought to myself.
  Sigh, it really seems like I’m…
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