༺ Immortal Healer (3) ༻
Slowly, I told the Celestial Plum Blossom about my circumstances, however, I was not able to reveal everything to him for obvious reasons.
So, I decided to just tell him the necessary parts truthfully while omitting the rest.
“…I was in possession of the treasure for the first time when I left the clan.”
Without mentioning my demonic ability, I just told him that I found the power inside me one day while I was asleep during the night after a long day of training.
Honestly speaking, there was nothing more to it.
As that was what really happened that night.
I contemplated whether I should mention Elder Shin’s existence or not but decided not to, in the end.
It was because… I believed it would be better to ask Elder Shin’s permission than act on my own about matters related to the elder.
It didn’t take me too long to tell the Celestial Plum Blossom everything about my circumstance.
After I finished explaining everything, he just brushed his beard with his hands while keeping silent.
Would he really believe me? Even I myself thought that it was pretty much impossible to believe the contents of my explanation.
As expected, I heard the Celestial Plum Blossom say with a troubled expression on his face.
“That’s not very easy to believe…”
The Celestial Plum Blossom poured some tea; in the silent room, the sound of pouring tea resounded with a rather loud noise.
“Your claim to have absorbed that energy even though an outsider shouldn’t have that energy inside them, and you even being able to possess it, is rather hard to believe.”
“Yes, I understand.”
A completely different Qi altogether.
Its nature was completely opposite from my innate Qi as well.
Not only the destructive flame arts but rather any and all kinds of flame arts entirely differed from the Qi that belonged to the taoists.
Since one type of Qi represented peace while the other type represented destruction.
It was already pretty weird that I was able to reach the 4th realm of my flame arts with such an absurd combo of two different Qis,
However, the fact that I was completely fine and didn’t even enter the Qi overflow state was far weirder.
I didn’t know if my demonic ability played a part in this.
However, I was not able to come up with any other explanation other than that.
If this shitty ability, that latched onto me even after my regression, was not responsible for my current state then I didn’t know what else could be the cause of it.
The Celestial Plum Blossom still had his eyes on me.
“I can feel the power of plum blossoms within you that only a handful of my students have.”
The power that was inside me.
I wasn’t even able to feel it when Elder Shin hid the power within the depths of my body.
However, the Celestial Plum Blossom was able to instantly feel the Qi.
It didn’t matter whether I intended to create this current situation of mine or not. This was still a huge problem that I had to face with no way out.
To put it in a different perspective, if someone from the Mount Hua Sect had the power of destructive flame arts and to a higher degree at that,
It would be so big a problem that the clan leader would have no choice but to address it himself.
“I don’t think you are lying, but as a sect leader I still have to check it for myself even though it’s very hard to believe.”
“Thankfully, the treasure seems to have no problem…”
When did he check it after throwing it away like that?
Moreover, he wants to check himself?
What kind of method would he use to check it even?
I assumed that it wouldn’t be a method that would be harmful to my body,
Since I had already gone through the hassle of returning the treasure even though he was the one that lost it due to a drinking bet.
Moreover, as the Mount Hua Sect was part of the Orthodox Factions, I believed that he wouldn’t do anything violent to me.
In addition, I had faith in the people of the Mount Hua Sect.
After thinking for some time, the Celestial Plum Blossom clapped his hands with a bright look on his face, seemingly having found a solution.
“Okay, might as well do this then.”
The Celestial Plum Blossom drank the rest of his tea and swiftly stood up from his seat.
“I heard that you also came to Mount Hua for your sibling, correct?”
Why is she being mentioned all of a sudden?
The Celestial Plum Blossom nodded his head at my response.
“Good timing then, follow me.”
The sect leader told me to follow him suddenly.
I couldn’t help but ask with a confused look on my face.
“Where are we going?”
He just responded with a light smile stretching his lips.
“You should go and meet with your little sibling since you came to Mount Hua, right?”
I zoned out for a second after hearing his words.
…Now, all of a sudden?
* * * *
The sounds of the water mill echoed in the forest.
The chirping sounds of birds could often be heard in the surroundings, while sunlight descended through the gap of the trees.
In between this beautiful scenery was a road and at the end of it was a small hut.
It was a place that was located a bit far away from Huayin City.
And this very hut, built by the leader of the 10th generation of the Mount Hua Sect after his retirement, was now being used as a form of shelter.
“It’s all ruined.”
The elderly with a head full of white hair spoke inside the hut.
The elderly’s croaky voice was quite unpleasant, however, no one in the hut cared about that,
Due to the weight of the name that was given to this old man.
The Immortal Healer.
That was what the world called him.
He couldn’t revive the dead, but he was blessed by the heavens with the ability to heal anyone as long as they breathed.
The wandering man that never stayed in one place for long, making the act of finding him an extremely arduous task, was currently inside his hut.
“Your body and airflow are all messed up. How did you withstand the pain when your body is rotting away like this?”
“It wasn’t that painful…”
The woman responded while gazing at her disciple.
However, her action only made him frown.
“You are acting like that even when you are in this condition? The child must also know about your condition someday.”
“…Lord Immortal Healer…”
“Do not call me that.”
The student, listening to everything next to her master, couldn’t help but flinch.
Then, she directed her eyes filled with tears toward her master.
The Immortal Healer clicked his tongue.
It had been some time since he had started doing the checkup on the patient, so he was now sweating on his forehead.
Seeing that, the boy, sitting quietly next to the Immortal Healer, took out a towel and wiped the sweat off of the Immortal Healer’s forehead.
The carefully held arm of the sickly woman was gently put down by the Immortal Healer.
He had finished checking her pulse but his expression didn’t get any better.
The woman’s body was slowly rotting away.
She looked like a normal elderly woman from the outside, but she looked far older compared to her age.
Something like this should never happen with the level of martial excellence she had attained.
The Plum Blossom Sword.
The woman that played a huge role in the world as the Lord of the Mount Hua Sect, was now slowly rotting away.
The Immortal Healer concluded that the only reason she was able to still move around and breathe was due to the level of Qi she wielded.
‘But if that runs out.’
The Qi that was the primary force in sustaining her life was slowly rotting away too.
And the biggest problem here was,
“…I’ve never seen such a disease.”
Someone coughed at the Immortal Healer’s words.
As those words were delivered by none other than him— the best healer in this world, incomparable to anyone else.
“How long has it been since you became like this?”
The Plum Blossom Sword spoke after glancing at her disciple.
“It has been around… 4 years.”
The Plum Blossom Sword suddenly clenched her trembling hands tight.
She was unable to say anything after that, moreover, blood started flowing down from the corner of her quivering lips.
The student lent a helping hand to her master.
And along with her, the boy next to the Immortal Healer also handed a towel to the Plum Blossom Sword just as he did before to the Immortal Healer.
The boy nodded to the Plum Blossom Sword’s words.
The Immortal Healer brushed his beard while he gazed at the Plum Blossom Sword wiping the trail of blood off her face.
An unknown disease, moreover, a forbidden formation was attached to it.
A formation that made it impossible for the person to say anything about the disease by harming them internally; it was the first time he had seen something like this.
‘I would have noticed during the checkup if it was a forbidden formation.’
Usually, there should be a trace of the forbidden formation left on someone’s body if it was cast on them,
As forbidden formations are known to leave a dense trace of it on a person’s body.
However, the Immortal Healer couldn’t find a single trace on the Plum Blossom Sword’s body.
The only thing he could feel was her body slowly rotting away.
It felt like his 80 years of studies and acquired knowledge were utterly useless at this moment.
The discomfort of the unknown.
And the nervousness he felt at the mere thought of not being able to save someone’s life due to the unknown.
In the first place, he had become a healer because he was unable to deal with the feeling of loss.
‘Dohwa, you piece of shit…’
The Immortal Healer wouldn’t have gone to Anhui if it wasn’t for the Lord of Heaven’s calling,
And he wouldn’t have responded to the Celestial Plum Blossom’s call either if he wasn’t in Anhui.
…The way these martial artists handle things.
“Lord Immortal Healer…”
“I told you not to call me that.”
“I apologize… Elder.”
“May I ask how much time I have left in me?”
The Immortal Healer let out a sigh at the Plum Blossom Sword’s question.
He knew the answer to that question more than anyone else.
And he hated relaying those words to a person.
“Two months at worst, and if you are lucky… you will live until the winter.”
But you probably won’t make it to the end of this year.
Was something he couldn’t say, so he just swallowed back those words before they could leak out.
Since he could already see the young girl crying next to her master.
He hated it.
He hated seeing such a scene.
And there was nothing he could do about it.
‘Life is still sickening as ever.’
No matter how much he studied and no matter how much knowledge he gained, there would always be someone he was unable to save.
That was the sole reason why he hated being called the Immortal Healer.
The boy sitting beside the Immortal Healer slowly came toward him and pulled his clothes.
The Immortal Healer hid the negative emotions swirling in his mind and patted the boy’s head.
“Since it’s Dohwa’s request and we know each other for a while too, I’ll give it my all.
“But don’t have high hopes.”
To his words, the Plum Blossom Sword just slowly nodded her head.
And seeing that the Immortal Healer spoke to the children while rubbing his face.
“Grandpa and the patient have something to talk about, so you children go play outside. You too.”
The boy nodded to his words.
However, the disciple of the Plum Blossom Sword refused to go out and just dug herself deeper into her master’s arms.
“I-I want to stay with my ma—”
The Plum Blossom Swords muttered in a serious tone.
Her disciple couldn’t help but flinch at that tone.
She looked toward her master with tears brimming in her eyes, but her response didn’t change.
The boy had already gone outside and the disciple followed his steps with disappointment in her eyes.
* * * * *
After leaving the hut, she could feel a cool breeze, unbefitting of the summer season, blowing in the air.
Gu Ryunghwa wiped the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes with her palm as she closed the door of the hut.
She didn’t want to cry.
However, losing someone was something that was still too hard for her to deal with.
She was about to use her clothes to wipe the tears that were on the brink of flowing out of her eyes once more.
However, someone handed her a towel from beside her.
It was the boy that was next to the Immortal Healer.
She had heard that he was his grandson…
Due to his sudden action, Gu Ryunghwa could feel goosebumps on her back.
Even if he was around the same age as her, a boy was still a boy.
And Gu Ryunghwa hated men.
That included young boys as well.
Moreover, she especially hated boys around her age.
She wanted to slap away the hand that reached toward her, but since the boy was the grandson of the man who came to heal her master…
She just couldn’t act recklessly with him.
Gu Ryunghwa had no choice but to hold in the feelings of disgust inside of her and try her best to deny him in the nicest possible way.
“I don’t need—”
She didn’t even finish her words, but the boy understood what she was trying to convey to him and just sat near the hut without saying a single word.
She couldn’t help but sigh…
She was already missing her master… who was now laying down inside the hut.
And when she was reminded of the fact that she couldn’t make it to the end of this year, tears kept streaming out of her eyes on their own.
‘What to do… What do I do…’
The Immortal Healer was known to be the greatest healer in the world.
If even he was unable to find a solution, then there was nothing left to be done.
So there was no way that she, as a disciple, could do anything for her master.
“Why are you acting like this?”
Surprised by the voice that suddenly reached her ears, while she kept crying, Gu Ryunghwa quickly raised her head.
“Ryunghwa I see, why are you outside?”
It was the current lord of the Mount Hua Sect, Celestial Plum Blossom, who now stood in front of her.
She quickly wiped away her tears and bowed her head.
“Gr-Greetings, My Lord.”
While she was still bowing down, she stopped herself after noticing the boy that was standing next to the Celestial Plum Blossom.
A face with a sharp expression and black hair greeted her sight as well as the characteristic red uniform that represented the Gu Clan.
The boy was a pure-blooded descendant of the Gu Clan, unlike her who was only considered to be a half-blood.
He was the person Gu Ryunghwa despised the most in the world.
Gu Ryunghwa quickly became infuriated at the presence of the boy.
Why is that guy here?
Why is that guy here when he’s supposed to be causing all sorts of troubles back in the clan…?
Gu Ryunghwa couldn’t calm herself down as the person she hated the most in the world was now standing before her— in the place she considered to be a safe shelter for her.
“Why are you…”
Gu Yangcheon cut her words off.
Then he suddenly inched closer toward her.
Gu Ryunghwa’s breathing got heavier the closer he came.
What was he going to do?
She was different than before.
She believed that she could easily beat this piece-of-shit of a lazy brother of hers who only knew how to play and eat all day long without putting any effort into anything.
She didn’t bring her wooden sword along but she still believed she could beat him up as is.
She believed she could easily defend against anything he could throw at her.
Gu Ryunghwa finished preparing mentally after thinking like that.
However, Gu Yangcheon just walked past Gu Ryunghwa without even glancing at her.
She turned around, dumbfounded by his behavior,
And she saw the sight of Gu Yangcheon standing in front of the Immortal Healer’s grandson.
The boy looked up towards Gu Yangcheon.
“Why are you here?”
Gu Ryunghwa’s eyes became bigger at those words.
A threatening aura…
She was able to feel a dense threatening aura emanating from Gu Yangcheon’s body when he spoke to the boy.
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༺ Immortal Healer (3) ༻