However, the preparations to head toward the Martial Arts Alliance moved quickly without any regards to the chill Cale had.
“Let us leave immediately if we are ready.”
Cale looked at Chief Eunuch Wi with confusion. Chief Eunuch Wi hesitated for a bit before speaking.
“Will it be okay to move right away, young master Kim?”
“…Are you talking about me?”
‘Of course I’m okay.’
After coughing up blood and eating a couple plates of food, he was feeling completely refreshed and fine.
It felt as if new blood was moving throughout his whole body.
“Of course I am okay.”
Chief Eunuch Wi hesitated despite Cale saying that he was okay, so Cale thought he should say that they should leave right away.
‘I need to quickly finish things here and go home.’
However, Cale ended up staying a day and a half at the inn at the bottom of Huángshān.
It was because of what Ron said.
“Young master-nim. Namgung Tae Wi is not awake yet. Wouldn’t it be dangerous to head to the Namgung Clan with him like this?”
Cale asked Chief Eunuch Wi.
“Was that the reason?”
“Excuse me? Ah yes, yes sir!”
Chief Eunuch Wi looked past Cale’s shoulder before urgently nodding his head.
Cale had no idea about this as he calmly responded.
“Then we will stay in the inn a little longer before heading out.”
Honestly speaking, they could have left Namgung Tae Wi here to rest while Cale’s group headed out first.
‘But I need to confirm Namgung Tae Wi regaining consciousness.’
Whether he was truly purified and returned to being human… Whether there were any mental side effects…
Cale needed to check a couple of things in order to make a plan to handle living jiangshis in the future.
There was also one other reason.
“The Sword Saint will feel at ease leaving once Namgung Tae Wi wakes up.”
Then the Sword Saint would be able to help Cale without any lingering doubts.
He suddenly heard Chief Eunuch Wi release a gasp of admiration.
“What is it, sir?”
“N, no, it was nothing.”
Chief Eunuch Wi shook his head before walking out of Cale’s room.
“Then I will share the details of this decision to the others.”
“Yes, thank you very much. Also-”
Cale pointed next to him.
“This guy is a secret for now.”
Choi Jung Soo smiled toward Chief Eunuch Wi. Chief Eunuch Wi slightly bowed his head before heading out.
“Now then, shall we get some rest?”
Cale leisurely leaned back on his chair. He then nonchalantly commented toward Choi Jung Soo.
“Finding you will be a secret even to the Dokgo Clan.”
“By the way, why do they consider you as a benefactor?”
He just casually asked the question he had wondered for a while.
Choi Jung Soo then responded back as if it was nothing.
“The Dokgo Clan patriarch’s youngest sibling has some physical ailments. I saved him when he was about to be killed by some Unorthodox faction bastards.”
“You indeed are their benefactor.”
“Yeah. Oh, and I looted the safe of those Unorthodox faction bastards and they had more money than I expected. I didn’t want to carry it all around with me, so I just took what I would use and sent the rest with that youngest sibling.”
“Yeah. That just happened to be when the Dokgo Clan was struggling economically. Ah, we ran into the Dokgo Clan’s merchant guild when I was taking that guy back and they just happened to be attacked. So I just destroyed those attackers. It was just a light stretch.”
“…I see. Good job.”
Cale placed a candied fruit Raon gave him in his mouth and looked away from Choi Jung Soo. Now that things were like this, he decided to get some good rest.
Chief Eunuch Wi walked across the wooden hallway of the guest house deep in thought.
He had a lot of things to do, but… He could not stop his thoughts.
“…How could he be so firm?”
Young master Kim. Does he not fear death because he is a grim reaper?
He wanted to push forward despite coughing up so much blood and struggling.
However, it could not be said that he doesn’t know fear as he cherished other people’s lives.
Furthermore, he was considerate of others.
He was like that despite the fact that he had this heavy burden of protecting the Central Plains.
“…I will have a lot of messages to deliver.”
His gaze made an informant of the Eastern Depot, who was waiting in a corner, approach him.
“Send this to the Imperial Palace.”
The Empress Dowager… And the Emperor will receive this message.
Chief Eunuch Wi did not include any personal feelings or opinions in this message. It was only about what he had seen and heard.
However, he was certain that the people who saw this would feel the same way as him.
Chief Eunuch Wi looked at the ceiling and mumbled to himself.
“A lot of history will be written on this trip to the Martial Arts world.”
He stopped thinking and started walking.
* * *
The next day.
He opened his eyes after hearing Ron’s voice.
Cale took a cup of warm water from Ron as usual and slowly woke himself up.
“I was told that Namgung Tae Wi had woken up.”
It instantly got him completely awake.
“Yes, young master-nim. The Heavenly Guardians also arrived early this morning.”
If the Namgung Clan’s strongest sword that the Namgung Clan had to capture the Sword Demon, someone whom they thought was connected to the Demon Cult, was the Sword Saint…
Their greatest strength was the Heavenly Guardians.
The Monarchs of this Namgung Clan, the Guardians of the Heavens.
Cale handed the cup to Ron.
“I will need to check on Namgung Tae Wi first.”
“Of course, young master-nim.”
Cale got up and suddenly had a thought.
“…This is weird.’
Ron was suddenly extremely nice. And, after not doing so for a while, was attending to him again.
‘Did I do something wrong?’
Cale felt iffy despite it being so early in the morning.
That feeling became even stronger once he went to Namgung Tae Wi’s room.
“Noble Warrior Namgung, please don’t push yourself too hard.”
“N, not at all. Young master-nim.”
Namgung Tae Wi looked completely pale.
“No, you don’t need to do this-”
“That’s okay, young master-nim.”
Cale tried to stop him.
However, Namgung Tae Wi used his shaking arms and legs to do whatever he could to move his body to kowtow toward Cale.
Yes, he kowtowed.
“Noble Warrior Namgung-”
“I am lacking in too many ways to be called a Noble Warrior.”
“Thank you very much, young master-nim.”
‘Wait, you don’t need to do all this.’
Cale urgently looked around at the people in the room.
The Sword Saint, Namgung Yoo Hak, and even Chief Eunuch Wi…
All of them had different expressions, but they didn’t say anything as if Namgung Tae Wi’s actions were to be expected.
Furthermore, the Sword Saint was looking at Tae Wi with a proud look on his face as if this was the right thing to do.
“Please stand up.”
Cale extended his hand and touched Tae Wi’s shoulder, which made him finally stand up.
Namgung Yoo Hak quickly came over to support Tae Wi.
“Young master-nim, I’m sorry for showing such an unsightly appearance to you.”
“N, not at all.”
It had been a while since Cale stuttered like this.
Tae Wi’s demeanor was so respectful that it was giving him chills.
The Namgung Clan’s famous trash, Namgung Yoo Hak, was looking at Tae Wi with a pitying gaze. He must have been up all night as he did not look good.
‘Yes. Even trash should take care of their family.’
Cale was slightly nodding his head at Namgung Yoo Hak’s actions when the two of them made eye contact. Namgung Yoo Hak flinched and looked away before making eye contact with him again and lowering his head.
“I, I apologize, young master-nim!”
Cale was confused at this unexpected apology.
“Please forgive me for my disrespect in the inn.”
Namgung Yoo Hak’s explanation made Cale subconsciously say his thoughts out loud.
“I had forgotten about it.”
He had completely forgotten about it.
It wasn’t a big deal and the issue with the living jiangshi and Choi Jung Soo all happened right after. Honestly, this trash in front of him was basically gone from his memories.
“…As I expected.”
Cale felt something was off after hearing Namgung Tae Wi mumble in a low voice. However, he forgot about that the moment he looked at Namgung Yoo Hak again.
‘What is up with him?’
Namgung Yoo Hak was sniffling.
His eyes were teary as well.
“Young master-nim, I will never forget your grace that is as deep as the sea!”
Namgung Yoo Hak felt embarrassed after seeing young master Kim brushing off his rude actions by saying he forgot about it, but he was deeply touched as well.
‘This is how the strong should be!’
Namgung Yoo Hak had received a great enlightenment.
The Sword Saint, who was smiling with satisfaction thinking that his trash of a grandson was finally coming to his senses, would gasp if he knew what Yoo Hak was thinking, but nobody knew.
It was because of what Cale said after letting out a fake cough.
“Noble Warrior Namgung, is your body doing okay?”
Namgung Tae Wi felt admiration toward Cale, who was calling him noble warrior despite his comment about how he was lacking to be called one, as he responded.
“Yes, young master-nim. It is great thanks to you.”
He placed a hand over his left chest. He could feel warmth underneath the clothes.
The red cover…
The power protecting him…
“Young master-nim, I heard that you were seriously injured because of me.”
“Not at all. I am totally fine.”
Cale spoke the truth.
Namgung Tae Wi nodded his head. As Cale was a bit shocked that Tae Wi believed what he had said…
“Young master-nim, you truly are amazing. Your character is as deep as your martial arts.”
Cale just ignored it.
He then focused on what was said next.
“I’m sure you have heard already, but my memories are not fully there.”
“Yes, I heard from Chief Eunuch Wi.”
“It feels as if I am walking through fog.”
Namgung Tae Wi’s memories seemed to be missing pieces.
“I cannot remember when I was abducted by the Blood Cult nor how I became a living jiangshi. I also do not remember what I have done as a living jiangshi.”
That was why Namgung Tae Wi was apologetic to young master Kim in front of him.
This man had worked so hard to save him but he was completely useless.
Cale spoke with a stoic gaze at that moment.
“It is possible that not remembering it is to your benefit.”
“I’m sure they are not good memories, so please just live with them forgotten. That will be for the best.”
Memories that cannot be forgotten…
Cale, who knew how terrible that could be, was sharing his honest thoughts.
‘I already know where the Blood Cult is located and I’m sure information will pop up as I keep investigating.”
It was disappointing that he could not get information from Namgung Tae Wi, but that was it. It was not a big deal.
Cale had heard from Chief Eunuch Wi on his way here that Namgung Tae Wi was struggling with the memories that popped up every so often.
“Noble Warrior Namgung. Just forget the memories that pop up every so often as well. They are all things you do not need to recall.”
Namgung Tae Wi opened and closed his mouth a few times without being able to say anything.
He then asked the man, who looked much skinnier than him.
“…Will that be okay?”
“Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?”
Namgung Tae Wi let out a quiet laugh. Cale didn’t know because he was looking at him with confusion, but the Sword Saint was sighing.
“The number of favors is piling up.”
The Fist King heard that comment and peeked at the Sword Saint.
The two old men heard Cale’s voice at that moment.
“Please go home and get a good rest. It will be bad if your body gets harmed pushing it too hard to get revenge. Your health is the most important.”
The two old men saw Choi Han’s face stiffen and Ron’s demeanor turn colder the more Cale talked, but they pretended not to see it.
However, the two old men’s faces turned solemn after hearing what Cale said next.
“You will hear it if you wait. You will hear that everything has been resolved.”
Cale wanted to quickly go back home.
“It will not take very long until you hear that news.”
Namgung Tae Wi called out to Cale in a shaking voice.
The time he had lost…
The memories he could not remember…
The fear of not knowing what he had done…
The fear that he might have also done something to his family and the entire clan…
There were also the chopped up pieces he vaguely remembered. His actions of trying to kill his grandfather, the Sword Saint.
He was angry toward the Blood Cult who had made him like this.
He was doing his best to suppress it, but this emotion could not be suppressed.
He asked in a voice that was shaking because he was doing his best to suppress his emotions.
“Will it really be that way?”
Cale answered him without any hesitation.
The Fist King and the Imperial family were on his side. The Martial Arts Alliance was basically on board as well.
Furthermore, if he drags in the Unorthodox faction and the Demon Cult as well?
Cale thought about the reliable allies he would have as he answered.
“It will definitely be that way.”
The Blood Cult will soon be destroyed.
Namgung Tae Wi clenched his fists.
‘This is something an esteemed individual who has reached the Nature Realm is telling me.’
Furthermore, this was a guarantee from the eldest senior of the Imperial family.
It was also the words of someone who had harmed himself to save him.
‘Tae Wi, let’s trust him.’
This sir will take care of everything.
‘So trust him and wait.’
“Noble Warrior Namgung, you can relax and take care of your body.”
‘Yes, let’s do as the young master-nim says and heal.
Even if I cannot live as a martial artist anymore, let’s live.’
Namgung Tae lowered his head.
“Yes sir. I will do as you say, young master-nim.”
He then added on.
“I will never forget your grace until the day I die.”
Namgung Tae Wi raised his head to see young master Kim avoiding his gaze with an oddly stiff look on his face.
“It is okay if you forget it.”
Namgung Tae Wi smiled after hearing Cale’s quiet comment.
He could feel this person’s character through his embarrassed reaction.
But there was something he did not know.
Cale’s face was not like this from embarrassment, it was from feeling unsettled.
He truly wanted Tae Wi to forget about it.
“Young master Kim.”
The Sword Saint commented at that moment.
“We can head out now.”
“Then let’s go.”
* * *
He could see the rising stars as well as the martial artists who came to Huángshān to find the Sword Demon all blankly standing around.
He heard a loud voice at that moment.
“We greet young master Kim-nim!”
“We greet you sir!”
The Heavenly Guardians, the core of the many individuals supporting the Namgung Clan…
All of the members of the Heavenly Guardians, which numbered close to 300, knelt down on one knee.
The martial artists all gasped in astonishment.
“It is an honor to be able to escort our benefactor.”
The Sword Saint, who was famous for his pride, bowed to Cale in front of everybody.
A grand procession for Cale…pfffft
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