The negotiation between the Orthodox faction and the Demon Cult.
The group heading from the Martial Arts Alliance to Mount Kunlun was divided into two.
The original plan was for everybody to move at once, however, it was no longer an option.
Chief Eunuch Wi looked toward the tea-drinking Cale as he spoke.
“Apparently two of Sima Pyeong’s children are coming.”
“Is that so?”
Cale sipped the tea with a relaxed look on his face. He then flinched.
I haven’t had bitter tea since coming to the Central Plains!’
He slowly peeked to his side. Ron had a gentle smile on his face as he spoke.
“I finally found the flavor you used to drink a lot, young master-nim. Isn’t it great?”
“…Yeah… great. Very great.”
He was smiling gently but something made it uncomfortable. Cale avoided his gaze as he nonchalantly answered.
Click. He placed the teacup down and asked Chief Eunuch Wi a question.
“Then will the Chief Advisor’s group head out first?”
Chief Eunuch Wi nodded his head and handed Cale a document.
“The Chief Advisor, the Cleave Saint, the Wudang Sect, The Hebei Peng Clan, the Chivalry Corps, the Justice Corps, and the others will head out first tomorrow, young master-nim.”
Cale was planning on going with them, but Cale’s group had to stay here because the Divergent Coalition was coming to get that trash, Sima Jung, back.
Cale had made the suggestion to Zhuge Mi Ryeo who had been contemplating what to do.
‘Why don’t we split into two then? The group is quite large to move all at once anyway, don’t you think so? We might as well split into two and meet up at the Kunlun Sect.’
Cale, who understood why Zhuge Mi Ryeo could not answer, continued to speak.
‘You must be hesitant because of the living jiangshis?’
‘Yes, young master-nim. It is obvious that I need to be with the leading group. We can’t leave someone who doesn’t know the situation in charge. In that case, what will we do about the living jiangshis-’
‘I’m not so sure about that. Do you think anything will happen?’
Zhuge Mi Ryeo was confused but Cale was being serious.
‘The entire Central Plains and even the Outlands are probably extremely alert right now about this negotiation between the Demon Cult and the Orthodox faction. If the living jiangshis they’ve planted are a part of that negotiating team, wouldn’t the Blood Cult order them to figure out the contents of the negotiation?’
Zhuge Mi Ryeo immediately nodded her head and mumbled.
‘If we don’t show any signs of knowing, it is unlikely that the living jiangshis will reveal themselves and go berserk?’
‘Don’t you think so? Why would the Blood Cult, which has only moved under the surface until now, suddenly change that?’
Cale started smiling and Zhuge Mi Ryeo stopped frowning.
‘That is true. The Blood Cult will probably try to hide themselves even more with the rumors about the Sword Demon, Blood Cult, and Namgung Clan running rampant.’
Cale nodded his head at Zhuge Mi Ryeo, who figured it out on her own.
‘That’s correct. But if you are still uncomfortable with it, you can put all five of them with our group, Chief Advisor-nim.’
‘Mm… That might also seem abnormal so we will take three while your group takes two, young master Kim-nim.’
That was the end of that conversation with the Chief Advisor.
Chief Eunuch Wi delivered the rest of the information to Cale later.
“The group leaving with us is about two-fifths of the whole group. Elder Ho-nim, Namgung Ma Hee, Peng Yu and other important figures are with us.”
“The Hebei Peng Clan is going with the Chief Advisor but Peng Yu is going with us?”
“Yes, young master-nim. The Chief Advisor let us know that it seems like he is trying to dig into your identity, young master-nim.”
Cale nodded his head. Peng Yu of the Hebei Peng Clan. Although he understood why that guy would be curious…
“There isn’t much to dig up.”
He openly shared his inner thoughts.
He turned his head after hearing a chuckle to see Choi Jung Soo looking away from him.
Cale got annoyed and nonchalantly commented.
“What are you doing here?”
“Huh? What am I doing? Nothing?”
“You’re not going to go help your paternal cousin once removed?”
Choi Jung Soo tightly closed his mouth and avoided Cale’s gaze at that comment.
Until they left for the Demon Cult, Choi Han was studying martial arts in the underground training ground the Martial Arts Alliance allowed them to use.
‘Cale-nim, if it is possible, may I look through the Sky Sword until we leave?’
Cale obviously said yes and Choi Han had been in seclusion ever since.
Cale was telling Choi Jung Soo to go see Choi Han while Choi Jung Soo was pretending not to hear him.
Of course he was fidgeting his fingers as if he wanted to go, but Cale just looked away because it was annoying to see that. He made a comment as he did that.
“Go make sure Choi Han is eating properly.”
Choi Jung Soo got up as if he had no choice but his steps and voice made it obvious he was excited. Cale was about to sigh before he stopped.
He saw Raon sigh and shake his head.
‘Has he done something like this before?’
Cale felt a bit unsettled that Raon acted exactly as he was about to act.
However, he did not have the time to maintain such feelings.
“Then I will inform the Chief Advisor that she can proceed as planned.”
“Yes sir. Then the living jiangshis going with us are Zhuge Eun So and mm… Jeong Chan?”
Zhuge Mi Ryeo put Zhuge Eun So, someone who was basically her disciple, with Cale.
“He is a member of the Martial Arts Alliance dispatched from Shaolin.”
A monk had ended up as a living jiangshi as well.
Cale nodded his head and asked.
“Which of Sima Pyeong’s children are coming?”
Sima Pyeong’s second child was the Unorthodox faction’s greatest trash. Fighting Lunatic Sima Jung.
Chief Eunuch Wi hesitated before responding.
“Umm, the third and fifth are coming.”
He awkwardly avoided Cale’s gaze as he answered.
“Both of them are a bit famous.”
Cale recalled the information recorded in his mind about the Divergent Coalition leader’s children.
The first and fourth were said to be talented individuals who are called the future of the Divergent Coalition.
In comparison, the second child, Sima Jung, was called the trash who went around causing any and all issues possible.
As for the third, Sima Dan… And the fifth and youngest, Sima Gong…
“…Alcoholic and a gambling addict.”
Apparently they were not called trash thanks to the Fighting Lunatic.
Chief Eunuch Wi awkwardly laughed as he spoke.
“But the fact that the Coalition leader sent two of his children because he could not personally come seems to be his way of showing sincerity.
Cale responded seriously to him.
“Are you sure he is not just trying to pass off all of his baggage to me?”
His face turned serious.
Sima Jung, who was similar to Toonka, the alcoholic Sima Dan, and the gambling addict Sima Gong.
The fact that he sent the three of them to the Orthodox faction or more so to Cale…
“…Is the Coalition leader planning on going to war with the Martial Arts Alliance? Or maybe he plans on fighting the Imperial family?”
Chief Eunuch Wi could not say anything as Cale looked extremely serious.
He then calmly responded.
“In the Unorthodox faction’s point of view, while Sima Dan and Sima Gong do have some minor flaws, they do not cause issues outside of the Unorthodox faction. As a result, they are considered to be decent members of the Unorthodox faction.”
People like the two of them were common in the Unorthodox faction.
Cale looked unsettled before he accepted it.
“I guess there was a time when I was a damn alcoholic too.”
Cale didn’t care whether Chief Eunuch Wi was confused or not and just recalled his past. Cale Henituse’s life before he transmigrated into the body…
“Yes, I was an infamous trash too.”
Chief Eunuch Wi looked completely baffled but Cale paid no attention and placed the document on the table.
“They are supposedly arriving tomorrow, so I guess I will find out once I meet them.”
Chief Eunuch Wi looked serious again as he responded.
“Yes, young master-nim. If things go well, we might have a great connection to the Unorthodox faction.”
The reason the Chief Advisor and the Martial Arts Alliance allowed for the Coalition leader’s children to enter the Alliance was largely because of the Blood Cult and the living jiangshis.
Of course, the excuse they gave was that they could not stop the children of the Unorthodox faction from coming to meet Cale, a member of the Imperial family.
“Yes, young master-nim.”
“Is priest Durst busy tomorrow?”
“Not at all. It should be fine.”
“That’s good. I guess Durst and I will be moving together tomorrow.”
“Yes, young master-nim. I will let him know.”
Chief Eunuch Wi subconsciously touched his nose as he listened to Ron and Cale’s conversation.
Sniff. Sniff. It felt as if Durst’s sniffing sound echoed in his ear like an auditory hallucination.
* * *
Cale had this thought for the first time in a long while.
Is a mess.
A group of about ten people visited the guesthouse Cale was staying in.
They were currently in the training ground within the guesthouse.
“Khahahaha! My siblings, it’s been a while!”
The Coalition leader’s second son, the Fighting Lunatic…
He looked quite refreshed as he approached the ten visitors.
“I made a friend here!”
Toonka opened up his shoulders at that comment.
“I am that friend!”
“Khahahaha! That’s right! This is my extremely broad-minded and dependable friend! And over here-”
Sima Jung pointed to Cale.
“This is our boss!”
‘…When did I become your boss?’
Cale wanted to ask that question but looked at the mess that was Sima Jung and closed his mouth.
Maybe he fought with Toonka starting early in the morning and messed around because he looked extremely dirty with the dirt from the training ground all over his body.
Toonka must have been pummeled continuously as he was a mess, but he was still happily laughing.
It made his face look even more heinous.
He heard a quiet chuckle at that moment.
Cale turned his gaze.
There were the seven members of the Unorthodox faction that the Coalition leader had sent as the representatives. Then there was Zhuge Eun So, as well as two people from the Martial Arts Alliance.
There were two people in the front of the group with Zhuge Eun So. They were Sima Dan and Sima Gong.
The person who just laughed was the youngest, Sima Gong.
He smiled timidly as he spoke.
“I guess I won the bet. Noonim.”
However, his eyes were sparkling underneath his glasses.
“I knew it, my thoughts were right on the mark. This is what I live for.”
He was licking his lips with his tongue while speaking in a timid voice.
The gambling addict, Sima Gong.
“I heard that your name was young master Kim-nim. My name is Sima Dan.”
The third child, Sima Dan, ignored Sima Gong and respectfully greeted Cale.
“It is an honor to meet an esteemed sir of the Imperial Palace. I apologize for all of the trouble he may have caused until now.”
Cale silently looked at her.
Sima Dan… She had a gentle smile on her face as she spoke.
“Our side also did not believe that he was truly abducted. I am even more certain of it after seeing that my older brother looks fine. In fact, thank you very much for looking after my brother until now, young master-nim.”
All while holding a bottle of alcohol in her hand.
Yes, she was politely clasping her hands together but there was a bottle in between her hands.
Sima Dan’s cheeks were flushed red.
Her eyes were half glazed over as well.
She reeked of alcohol.
Despite that, her voice was extremely normal and gentle.
“Then we shall quickly leave the Martial Arts Alliance with my older brother.”
Cale had nothing to say.
Sima Jung shook his head at that moment and approached Cale and the group from the Unorthodox faction.
“No! I cannot leave!”
Cale wanted to ask him about that.
Why don’t you just go?
Cale wanted to say that but Sima Jung was quicker.
He looked toward Cale as he spoke.
“I decided to go around with our boss! Kahahahahah!”
When the hell did I ask you to go around with me?
No, more importantly, why am I your boss?’
Cale was flabbergasted. He tried to open his mouth but Toonka interjected in a loud voice.
“Khahahaha! That’s right! Young master Kim is my friend so the three of us are friends!”
“What crazy nonsense is this?’
Cale looked toward Toonka and Sima Jung in disbelief.
“Hooooo. This seems like an entertaining bet too. Noonim, shall we make a bet? How much do you want to bet? Ah, my heart is beating wildly.”
“Mm. I heard that you are headed toward Mount Kunlun? There is a famous distillery there.”
Cale got a headache as soon as he heard what Sima Gong and Sima Dan said.
This was not the image he had in mind when he thought about secretly contacting the Unorthodox faction.
These Sima children are all so… crazy.
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