The first of many that will follow. Winter break truly is glorious, is it not?
Chapter 65. I just don’t like men.
The Heavenly Demon Church was a massive organization with more than ten thousand members.
Because of that, the church was naturally split into four subgroups. These groups were the four families that led the Heavenly Demon Church.
Tian (天), Long (龍), Duan Li (段里), Sunwu (鮮于).
These were the names of the four families.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that these families were the ones that controlled the whole church.
The four families (四大家門).
They were the families which had produced countless Guardians and Popes. They were extremely powerful because of this.
But once Gongson Chun Gi appeared, they weakened considerably.
Gongson Chun Gi.
He was from the Gongson family (公孫世家), which was a small family no one really bothered caring about located in the outskirts of the church grounds.
Gongson Chun Gi was simply a product of luck that came about within the tiny family, so the four families didn’t worry about anything too much.
They just decided to aim for the next spot as the Pope. But something unexpected happened: Some kid called Cho Ryu Hyang appeared out of nowhere, and became the Heir.
This was a little different. The situation was turning a little dire at this point.
At a giant round table inside a certain building, were four chairs, each facing North, South, East, and West. There was an old man sitting in each of the chairs. They were the leaders of the four families.
“We can’t just let this one pass.”
When the old man on the North spoke out quietly, the man on the South nodded.
“Our family agrees.”
“The fact that the Pope took in a disciple is a good thing. But the fact that the boy he took in isn’t from the church…… We really can’t let this happen.”
Even if someone from a different family other than the four families gets chosen as the Pope, they would just grind their teeth and aim for the next spot.
But to think the Pope would bring in someone from outside……. wasn’t this much too dangerous? They could be practically handing over the whole church to a different power.
“Did you talk to the Pope?”
When the man on the South asked this, the man on the North smiled bitterly.
“What did he say?”
“He said that it wasn’t a topic even worth talking about.”
“…….That’s not good.”
The leaders of the four families simultaneously sighed. Since their opponent here was the Pope himself, normal methods won’t work when taking him on.
The man never listened to anyone around him, and always got his way. The problem was, most of the decisions he had made so far were good ones.
They had nothing to say against the Pope because of that fact.
“This is serious. What if the power of the church gets used by an external force? How terrifying would that be? And if we manage to make a single mistake, the main church itself could get in danger.”
“That can’t be allowed to happen.”
The man in the West opened his mouth.
“We don’t have a way to change anything, though, am I right? There’s no way the Pope would revoke his decision of taking in a disciple from outside.”
Everyone nodded with a dark expression on their faces. Gongson Chun Gi. The man didn’t turn back on any of his decisions. The Pope surely won’t respond lightly if they suggested to him to get a different disciple.
The one who had the most authority in the history the church after the passing of the Heavenly Demon was Gongson Chun Gi. If anyone were to provoke him, their whole family could get destroyed.
“The fact that this Cho Ryu Hyang would become the Heir would not change. But that doesn’t mean that he would become the Pope, am I correct?”
“What do you mean?”
“We will have to employ our final method of resisting.”
“We will have to use assassination.”
The day the Heir becomes an adult.
Unless anything happens to the Heir on that day, anyone other than the elders of the church can challenge the Heir, and he would have to take on that challenge without question.
It was the tradition that was made to prove the Heir’s strength. Gongson Chun Gi went through this, as well as all the other Popes that went before him.
It was seen as one of the responsibilities the future leader of the church had to take on.
“Who are we sending out?”
Everyone closed their mouth as soon as someone asked this. Who should they send? Wasn’t this a problem in itself? Just who would go out in order to kill the Heir?
This was a huge problem. The family that would go out would have to take on the wrath of the Pope himself, and they had to have someone talented enough to take on the Heir in the first place.
The four families didn’t take Gongson Chun Gi’s disciple lightly. The child Gongson Chun Gi chose would definitely become immensely powerful in the future.
Was there someone strong enough to kill an expert like that instantly?
“Recommend someone that is able to take on this job. First of all, it has to be a person from our family. We can’t afford to take any chances with this.”
The man on the South stood up and spoke.
“I recommend the Hou (后) of our family.”
Everyone in the room turned towards the man at the Southern seat.
“Are you confident, Danli family head?”
“Of course. But there’s a condition.”
The head of the Danli family, Danli Muhan (段里無限), took a look at everyone around him, and quietly opened his mouth.
“The next Pope shall come from our family.”
Everyone’s mouth closed up. What the man had just suggested was something hard to take in. As a leader of a whole family, such a condition was hard to agree to.
“This matter’s worth about that much, don’t you think so?”
When Danli Muhan said this, the other three began to think carefully. Was it truly alright for a Pope to come from the Danli family? After a while, they nodded.
“It’s better than having the church being taken over by an external force, isn’t it?”
When Yong Muhwa (龍武化), the head of the Yong family, responded positively, everyone else nodded.
“Alright. If the Danli family manages to succeed, the next Heir of the Pope shall be from the Danli family.”
Danli Muhan faintly smiled.
“Then the matter has been settled.”
Like this, the dark power within the church began to make its move.
* * *
The moment Cho Ryu Hyang woke up, Un Hui took away his blade and sat next to the bed.
He was worried. Un Hui didn’t sleep for several days, and guarded Cho Ryu Hyang during that time. His worried emotion were clearly displayed in his voice.
Cho Ryu Hyang took a look at Un Hui, and calmly opened his mouth.
“I’m sorry for worrying you.”
Cho Ryu Hyang was able to imagine just what Un Hui was doing while he was unconscious. That made him feel sorry. Un Hui did nothing wrong, but still felt guilty about it.
Cho Ryu Hyang stood up Un Hui, and turned to Sunwu Cho Rin.
“Let’s get some light in here, first.”
Since it was almost night time, the room was dark. When Un Hui turned on the light, Cho Ryu Hyang made a surprised face.
The woman in front of him was surprisingly beautiful. The same went for Un Hui. Sunwu Cho Rin coldly smiled inside when she saw their surprised faces.
It was an obvious reaction. After all, her beauty was enough to make anyone, regardless of age or gender, fall for her. Everyone made the same face when looking at her for the first time.
‘Men are all the same.’
Whether it be a boy, or an old man, all men went crazy when looking at something beautiful. Sunwu Cho Rin simply hated it.
She hated men with a passion. She was able to see their intent much too clearly. The fact that these men tried to conceal it, disgusted her.
Cho Ryu Hyang was surprised by something other than Sunwu Cho Rin’s beauty, however.
It was an extremely high number. The strange thing was, Cho Ryu Hyang didn’t even focus, and yet was able to see the number instantly.
He just ‘thought’ that he would like to see it, and he was able to see the person’s number. The body adapted naturally to his thoughts.
Cho Ryu Hyang didn’t show it, but he was quite happy at the moment. He had finally managed to understand something completely.
The Moon Edge Blade technique really was strange. The moment he understood Ryun, he was able to understand everything that came after it. Out of the thirty verses of the technique, he was able to understand ten of it.
Once he understood one thing, the rest followed. Only then was Cho Ryu Hyang able to agree with Ak Jung Pae’s statement in the book.
‘So he really didn’t know any martial arts.’
Martial arts, according to Cho Ryu Hyang’s knowledge, started off easy, and became harder as time passed.
But it was the opposite when it came to the Moon Edge Blade technique. The starting point was the hardest, and the rest was easy. Of course, he didn’t understand everything about the Moon Edge Blade technique just yet, but the last 20 verses would be very easy after this.
Everything would come together if he understood just a single thing. When he thought about this, he could only smile.
This was only a start, but he had already understood a significant portion of the Moon Edge Blade Technique.
‘As expected, I can’t trust this guy.’
Sunwu Cho Rin bit her lips when she saw Cho Ryu Hyang smile. She misunderstood the meaning of the smile. She initially came here to see what the boy Gongson Ahri fell for would be like.
As she had already expected, the boy was already tainted. That was the conclusion Sunwu Cho Rin had reached.
“The assistant Palace Master of the Ruling Fire House, Sunwu Cho Rin, greets the Heir. This one heard that the Lord Heir was resting here, and decided to come over.”
Coming over to greet him, at such a late time? Cho Ryu Hyang became a little confused when hearing that, but decided to not think about it. Since he was in an extremely good mood, he was very lenient at the moment.
Right then, Un Hui messaged him from besides the bed.
(TL Note: Never really explained the “messages” that appear in the novel, did I? These are like telepathic messages that martial artists are able to send to a person nearby. It frequently appears in Korean martial arts novels.)
[This is the psychotic woman of the Sunwu family. Her martial ability is top-ranked. She should be the strongest female martial artist within the church.]
Cho Ryu Hyang nodded. Un Hui’s message made sense. After all, her innate ability alone was overbearing. If Un Hui had told him that this woman was at the harmonious stage, he would easily be able to believe him.
Sunwu Cho Rin had been looking at him with a disgusted gaze from a while back. Just why was she doing that?
When he thought of that question, it instantly popped out of his mouth.
“You don’t like me, do you?”
Cho Rin flinched, and looked at Cho Ryu Hyang strangely. She was unable to see through Cho Ryu Hyang’s intentions.
After thinking a bit, Sunwu Cho Rin decided just to be honest.
“Yes. I don’t really like you.”
Un Hui’s gaze instantly turned chilly. It was almost as if he was going to attack Sunwu Cho Rin with just a command.
Cho Ryu Hyang smiled when he saw that. He didn’t know why, but looking at the scene just made him smile.
‘Not everyone can like me.’
That was something he heard from his father a long time back. And Cho Ryu Hyang just had to agree with the statement. You couldn’t be nice to everyone in the world.
No matter what you did, there would always be someone who would disagree with you. After all, that was the nature of human beings.
But it was rare to find someone would state that she didn’t like you outright. Normally, one would hide that fact until a critical moment.
Sunwu Cho Rin was different. Just how many would be able to say ‘I don’t like you’ in front of someone without hesitation? To a person above you, at that?
That alone was a kind of courage by itself, wasn’t it? This made Cho Ryu Hyang unable to hate her.
“Would you tell me why you hate me?”
Cho Rin flinched a bit when she saw how calmly Cho Ryu Hyang responded to her. She was the type to act without much thought, so she just spat out whatever came to mind, and was just regretting her actions.
The person in front of her was the Heir of the church. If he felt like it, he could kill her on the spot. When she thought this much, she spoke with a much lighter tone.
“I just don’t like men. You’re a man, too, are you not?”
Cho Ryu Hyang widened his eyes. Her response was something that he didn’t expect at all.
But he decided to accept it. He didn’t know why a beautiful woman like her hated men, but he also knew that everyone had their own tastes.
This was something that Cho Ryu Hyang could try to fix, though, was it? After thinking a while, Cho Ryu Hyang nodded.
Understand? You? Just what do you know about me? Sunwu Cho Rin’s attitude suddenly turned a lot more fierce.
Cho Ryu Hyang kept talking as Sunwu Cho Rin struggled to prevent herself from saying that.
“So you can keep on hating me like this. As this quality of mine that you hate is not something that I can fix, I apologize.”
Un Hui and Cho Rin both made a dumb face once Cho Ryu Hyang said that. That was because they could clearly see Cho Ryu Hyang feeling truly sorry.
This kid was strange. She was treated as a psycho in the church, but this kid had something strange about him that was a completely different breed from what she possessed.
Cho Rin changed her thoughts about the Heir a little. Then, Cho Ryu Hyang looked at Cho Rin and opened his mouth.
The words that flowed out of Cho Ryu Hyang’s mouth didn’t carry any feeling of disgust. It was quiet, and monotonous.
“So, you’re done, then?”
Cho Rin nodded without saying anything, and then opened her mouth.
“You can leave, then.”
Cho Rin bid farewell with a dumb face and went out. As she slowly walked back to the Ruling Fire House, she fell to deep thought with a complicated face.
The kid was completely different from what she had initially expected. He might even be something much, much bigger than what she had imagined.
‘But I still can’t hand her over!’
The person Gongson Ahri fell for. In order to check this person out, Cho Rin had walked over to meet the Heir.
The fact that she had somewhat accepted the Heir bothered her. For some reason, she wanted to see Gongson Ahri.
Cho Rin walked over to Gongson Ahri’s place with a depressed face.