The path to the Namgung Clan could be described in one word.
This carriage ride was extremely smooth.
“Human, this is delicious!”
Candied fruits and other snacks were on one side of the carriage, and all of them were delicious.
‘I don’t need to do anything.’
Nobody in Anhui Province had the balls to mess with a carriage with the Namgung Clan’s flag.
That was why the carriage, ever since it left Huángshān, had provided Cale with lots of pleasant feelings and stability, giving him time to rest.
The carriage suddenly stopped.
“Human, I think it is time for lunch!”
Cale nodded his head.
The carriage opened and the Sword Saint was there.
“Young master Kim. We are thinking about eating lunch here.”
A dazzling restaurant could be seen outside the door.
This inn was much better and larger than the inn Cale had stayed in at Huángshān.
– H, human! I want to eat there!
The invisible Raon gulping echoed in Cale’s mind.
Cale felt the same way. ‘What would be good to eat at this inn?’ It was quite the concern.
The Sword Saint let out a fake cough at the silent Cale’s serious expression before speaking.
“Thank you for understanding our slow pace. We will arrive at the clan before night time at the latest.”
The Namgung Clan was not very far from Huángshān.
However, they were controlling their speed because of Namgung Tae Wi on the other carriage.
“It is not really something to be thankful about.”
Cale just said whatever came to mind because he wanted to hurry up and eat.
He was decently nice in tone because this old man would work hard for him from here on.
“Although I am looking forward to spending tonight at the Namgung Clan.”
This was true.
Cale’s family was wealthy as well, but it was different visiting another wealthy person’s house.
He was curious about what might be there and how they lived.
– Human, are you looking forward to looting them? Me too! Human, let’s loot some things for our cookie-giving crown prince as well!
Cale simply let Raon’s comments in one ear and out the other.
A faint smile appeared on the Sword Saint’s face.
Chief Eunuch Wi, who was on the carriage as well, flinched at the Sword Saint’s smile.
“…I see. You can definitely look forward to it.”
The Sword Saint continued to speak.
“However, it looks like I will need to head to the clan first. I apologize for not being able to travel with you.”
Chief Eunuch Wi was shocked that the Sword Saint was someone who could say thank you and apologize so well like this. On the other hand, he nodded internally after hearing that the Sword Saint would be leaving first.
‘Yes, I’m sure there are a lot of things he needs to go and say first.’
Namgung Tae Wi, the Blood Cult, young master Kim…
All of them were serious issues, so he was probably planning on going first to organize the situation before outsiders showed up.
“The leader of the Heavenly Guardians will escort you without giving you any reasons for discomfort, so please feel free to tell him if there are any issues.”
“Thank you very much, Sword Saint-nim.”
“…Ahem, it is nothing.”
The Sword Saint seemed to have nothing else to say as he left with a few members of the Heavenly Guardians.
Cale then got off the carriage.
“Is anything causing you any discomfort, sir?”
Namgung Ji Hyuk, the leader of the Heavenly Guardians, immediately approached Cale and asked.
“…No, sir. Not at all.”
He really didn’t have anything making him uncomfortable right now.
However, he was thinking that what they were doing was not right.
In the affluent city of Anhui Province…
This dazzling restaurant…
Located in this three story building…
There were two rows of Heavenly Guardians members creating a path from the golden carriage to the entrance of the building.
People were whispering.
They kept peeking at Cale.
He hesitated for a moment before speaking to Namgung Ji Hyuk.
“You don’t need to do all this, sir.”
“That is not true, young master-nim.”
Namgung Ji Hyuk was like a sword.
“Our Heavenly Guardians must open the path that our benefactor is to walk.”
Cale felt extremely uncomfortable about this but nodded his head for now.
“…Yes sir. I understand.”
“Now then, please let me lead the way.”
Cale followed Namgung Ji Hyuk to the restaurant. He continued to peek around as he walked.
Choi Jung Soo and Lee Soo Hyuk were smirking while keeping a distance from Cale. Beacrox and the Fist King were doing the same. Even Chief Eunuch Wi was a bit away from Cale, walking a different path than the one the Heavenly Guardians created.
“Young master-nim, you must look forward when you walk. You are going to fall.”
Cale flinched after hearing a benign voice at that moment.
Ron had a gentle smile on his face while looking at Cale.
Choi Han was silently standing next to him as well.
“Oh, as expected, the path of our esteemed purifier is……!”
Durst was visible as well.
“How long do I need to hold this damn extra weight for? Can’t we just rip this bastard into shreds?”
Toonka was also there with a burlap sack that had Number 7 inside.
Cale just looked forward and followed after Namgung Ji Hyuk.
Nothing got in front of Cale even after entering the restaurant.
All the way to a spot on the third floor with the best view.
Cale walked up without any hindrance to the completely empty area that was set up for Cale’s group.
“Please enjoy your meal, young master-nim.”
“…Thank you very much, leader-nim. It looks like you’ve done many things to be very considerate.”
Cale was blanking out a bit as he answered with whatever came to mind.
Namgung Ji Hyuk stopped for a moment in response before smiling and responding.
“Not at all, young master-nim. Please enjoy your time here.”
Namgung Ji Hyuk then headed toward the stairs.
‘…His character is stellar.”
That was the thought he had about Cale.
He had not seen it and could not believe that this person was at the Nature Realm. The only thoughts on his mind were that such a feeble person could not be at that level.
However, despite being the eldest senior of the Imperial family, he had thanked him for providing a meal at this restaurant, which was probably just like a street vendor in his eyes.
Even if it was just empty words, it must not be easy for someone with such a position to thank a mere leader like him.
‘He does seem to have the character suitable for the benefactor of the Namgung Clan.’
A small smile appeared on Namgung Ji Hyuk’s face.
He then flinched.
– Human, human!
Cale was listening to the endless excited voice of the invisible Raon at that moment.
– The view here is great too! It is even better because we are by ourselves!
Can I order and try everything?
Cale nonchalantly nodded his head.
“Do as you please.”
Cale had been having quite the appetite these days.
– I’m hungry… As much as possible… As much as possible… Must stock up as much as possible……
The Vitality of the Heart in his mind…
The crybaby old man was speaking in a solemn tone.
– …Must keep alive… in order to do that… must eat as much as possible… So that he can wake up quickly even if he faints……!
He sounded as if he was slowly going crazy, but Cale ignored it for now. He couldn’t help it because he felt extremely iffy about it all.
“Young master-nim, should I order?”
“Yeah. First, some meat and n-”
Cale stopped in the middle of the sentence.
Choi Han stood up.
Ron turned to look toward the stairs. Cale could see that daggers had suddenly appeared between Ron’s fingers.
‘What the hell?!’
This vicious old man became even more vicious after getting to the Central Plains!
As he was about to have that thought…
There was a loud noise in the stairs.
There was a dust cloud and Namgung Ji Hyuk was flung backward.
Someone then appeared.
‘What the hell?’
He could not see well because of the dust.
However, those with high levels of martial arts raised their eye strength to look at the person’s face.
– Young master-nim!
Chief Eunuch Wi urgently shouted in Cale’s mind.
– The trash of the Divergent Coalition has appeared!
As Cale flinched…
The Divergent Coalition’s coalition leader, Sima Pyeong’s second son!
Cale knew as well.
He recalled the records of the Martial Arts world he received from the Imperial family.
< He is well-known as the greatest trash of the Martial Arts world. His nickname is Fighting Lunatic. >
They heard someone laugh.
“Kahahaha! The damn Namgung Clan dares to stop me from eating? I heard that the Sword Saint is here. Where is he?! Get the hell out right now! Come fight me, Sima Jung!”
A man who seemed to be in his thirties with lion mane-like hair was laughing with a bottle of alcohol in his hand.
He then made eye contact with Cale.
“…What the hell? Where is the Sword Saint?”
The Fighting Lunatic.
Someone who was crazy for fights.
Or maybe someone who was crazy and only knew how to fight.
The Fighting Lunatic Sima Jung’s face instantly scowled as he let out some drunken hiccups.
“Who the hell are you?”
Cale smiled brightly at that moment.
He had been wondering what kind of bastard had appeared like a cliché, but…
The Divergent Coalition, the central force of the current Unorthodox faction, was divided into two factions.
One was the faction with the Green Forest at the center while the other faction centered around the coalition leader, Sima Pyeong.
He had a way into the former through the Carnage Demon, who was a part of that faction.
However, a way into the other faction had just appeared in front of his eyes?
Cale spoke to the person who looked extremely disgruntled.
“Hey, that bastard likes to fight. What do you think?”
Toonka stood up. Of course, he was holding the chair that he had been sitting on in his hand.
“He likes to fight?”
Toonka, no, Du Kang’s face filled with a bright smile.
“Yeah. You can fight him.”
Toonka laughed out loud as soon as Cale said that.
He then charged toward Sima Jung without saying anything.
Cale had a thought while looking at him.
‘Crazy bastards are perfect for taking down crazy bastards.’
“Young master-nim, what kind of meat and noodles would you like?”
He looked at the casually ordering Ron and asked.
‘…Yeah. This side is scarier.’
Toonka swung the chair at Sima Jung.
“What the hell? Who is this crazy bastard?!”
What the Fighting Lunatic was saying…
“Kahahaha! Fight! I finally get to fight!”
Toonka did not hear at all.
Cale stopped paying attention and ordered his meal as Ron watched.
* * *
The Heavenly Blessing Palace, located at the center of the Namgung Clan.
This palace was small compared to the other palaces and for being a building of the Namgung Clan.
Furthermore, the flow of time could be felt from it as it gave off an old vibe.
However, this was the palace that the Namgung Clan had protected and maintained since they first settled down in the Anhui Province.
This place was always full of people whenever the Namgung Clan needed a meeting for something big.
This was the same right now.
The Heavenly Blessing Palace.
The inside of it was quite chaotic right now.
“Patriarch-nim, the Namgung Clan’s benefactor? What is this all of a sudden?”
Patriarch Namgung Ma Hyuk scowled as if he had a headache.
However, the other person was not someone who would submit because of that.
“Our Namgung Clan has lived on our own for hundreds of years. However, a benefactor without even being approved by the Assembly of Elders? Even if it is a decision made by the Ancestral Patriarch, I cannot accept it!”
The Second Elder raised his voice.
The other Elders around him nodded their heads in agreement.
“…It sounds like the Martial Arts Alliance and other places have heard the news and are trying to scope it out.”
Namgung Ma Hyuk held back a sigh at the comment from the intelligence agency.
“…Hyung-nim, no, Patriarch-nim, have you really not heard anything?”
He raised his head at the question posed by his younger brother who was in charge of the clan’s finances.
Everybody was looking at him.
Starting with the Assembly of Elders, to the people in charge of the inner disciples and the outer disciples, and all of the battalion leaders who had not gone out to other areas…
They were all swept up in the chaos caused by the sudden news spreading through the Anhui Province about the Namgung Clan’s benefactor as well as the message sent from the Sword Saint.
At that moment, the person in charge of the other disciples… He called out to the patriarch.
“I heard that the Ancestral Patriarch has made the decision to name someone a benefactor of the Namgung Clan on his own. This is not right. Our great Namgung Clan must remain dignified above others.
“I agree as well.”
The Second Elder…
The Ancestral Patriarch’s young brother, who was leading the Assembly of Elders in place of the First Elder who was out of town, spoke up.
“I do not know why hyung-nim proclaimed this person a benefactor, however, I believe it would be better to cancel this and reward that person handsomely with gold or other monetary things. We all know that benefactor means something different to us from what those Sichuan Tang Clan bastards use it for.”
The Second Elder spoke with a serious look on his face.
“The Namgung Clan treats their benefactors like blood.”
The patriarch groaned.
“According to what my informants have told me, this so-called benefactor is feeble and does not look like a martial artist. That means that the Sword Saint must have been helped in some other method.”
The Second Elder calmly spoke.
“Since he was the one who received help, we will tell him to pay it back himself. There is no reason to drag the entire Namgung Clan into it.”
Groans could be heard all around.
The Sword Saint’s younger brother… The Second Elder could speak his mind because of that position, and nobody dared to say anything back.
“I’m certain that hyung-nim’s lofty pride made him only feel at ease at naming someone who has helped him as a benefactor of the entire Namgung Clan. That stubborn old man’s personality, ugh!”
However, the Second Elder could not finish his sentence.
He put a hand on the back of his head and looked up.
The great figure who came and went like the wind…
It was obvious that it was his hyung-nim, the Sword Saint.
There was a fire in the Second Elder’s eyes as he looked back, and, as expected, the Sword Saint was standing there.
“We are discussing how to take care of your mistake, hyung-nim-”
The Sword Saint shouted.
The Sword Saint. The people of the Namgung Clan who knew of his stubborn personality looked as if they were about to have a headache, when the Second Elder, whose personality was just as dirty, jumped up from his seat.
“Of course it is a mistake! Based on what I heard, the Namgung Clan’s Ancestral Patriarch lowered his head to some bastard who looks like he has starved for ten days or something! If that is not a mistake-”
“You stupid bastard!”
The entire Heavenly Blessing Palace shook at the forceful shout.
The Sword Saint continued as the Second Elder’s eyes opened wide.
“Our esteemed young master Kim is not that kind of person!”
‘What the hell is this old man saying?’
The Second Elder looked at the Sword Saint and commented in disbelief.
“Did you get brainwashed by a cult or something?”
“You crazy bastard!”
The Sword Saint’s hand moved like the wind and smacked the Second Elder in the back of the head.
As the extremely old Second Elder shouted back in annoyance…
“Our young master Kim saved Tae Wi! He saved Tae Wi! My grandson Tae Wi!”
Unlike the Second Elder who was blanking out, the patriarch jumped up in shock.
“Father, what do you mean by that?”
“What do I mean?!”
The Sword Saint pounded his chest as if he was frustrated before speaking.
“Tae Wi was turned into a living jiangshi! Our young master Kim put his life on the line to save him! You bastards, if that is not a benefactor, then what is?! Huh?”
The Heavenly Blessing Palace.
Silence filled the area full of the Namgung Clan’s top executives.
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