So what basically happened was that I traveled to Busan (Southern South Korea) from December 25 to December 29, then I started to binge watch Ghibli movies all the way from then to January 1. …which was why I didn’t upload any chapters. Sorry about that. Also, the story will pick up pace starting from chapter 70 or so, so be ready for that, I guess.
Chapter 67. The Start of a Bad Relationship
Cho Ryu Hyang couldn’t say anything till the cup of tea in front of him turned cold.
It was same for Cho Mu Ryung, Cho Ryu Hyang’s father. The two stayed quiet for quite some time.
How much time had passed? The one to speak first was Cho Mu Ryung.
“I should……. congratulate you.”
He had opened his mouth with some difficulty. It was impossible to hide the small tremble that was contained in his voice. Cho Ryu Hyang made an awkward face.
Was it because he came here right after being crowned? The clothes he had on him felt extremely uncomfortable. It was enough to impede his breathing.
‘This is hard.’
He knew how much his father disliked evil. That fact alone made Cho Ryu Hyang feel uncomfortable.
‘But I don’t feel that I made the wrong choice in doing this.’
To his father, the Heavenly Demon Church probably looked evil. He could understand that perfectly well. That was how the church was portrayed to be to the general population, after all.
Everyone saw the people of the Heavenly Demon Church to be those who enjoyed murder and rape.
But in reality, it wasn’t like that at all. The church had its own set of rules and standards they strictly followed. One could easily see that from Gongson Chun Gi himself. Just what would the subordinates be like if the leader was so disciplined in the first place?
Cho Ryu Hyang wanted to tell his father that. He wanted to show that his choice was not wrong. But he just couldn’t bring himself to say anything.
That was because the only thing he saw from his father’s eyes were not only regret and sadness, but rage and anger. When Cho Ryu Hyang saw this, he knew that everything he was about to say would be useless.
He just couldn’t say a thing. All the things he prepared to say in advance just melted away like snow melting from the spring warmth. When his father spoke, his father’s words flowed straight into his molten heart.
“It must’ve been hard for you.”
Cho Mu Ryung was just worried for his son.
He wasn’t thinking about where he was, or his safety. He was just worried for his son.
Cho Ryu Hyang couldn’t lift his head. He thought he knew what his father was thinking, and he thought he understood his father, but that was just an illusion. Now, all he was just feeling sorry.
“I was able to visit the church thanks to you…… this is a nice experience.”
Cho Mu Ryung quickly changed his topic when he saw his son’s gloomy expression.
He thought his son was mature, but that was only among children of his age. His son was still young.
That was why he didn’t know about the violent and the dark side of the world. Well, it wasn’t like he was saying the Heavenly Demon Church was evil or anything.
Honestly speaking, Cho Mu Ryung was extremely mad at the church.
Who wouldn’t get mad if the church decided to trust a child’s decision, and not even consult the parent about it?
‘It’s too late now.’
Cho Mu Ryung decided to bury his anger within himself for now.
He knew he couldn’t do anything to reverse everything at this point, and also knew that the situation would only get worse if he tried to do anything.
Cho Mu Ryung was not an idiot.
“Your mother is worried. It would be good to come home at least once to talk, but…. that seems a little hard for you at the moment.”
He had a rough idea of what had happened thanks to Um Seung Do telling him the whole story during the carriage ride.
He had heard that the position of the Heir was not just symbolic, but had strong influence within the entirety of the church. This made it very troublesome for the Heir to actually leave the church whenever he wanted. The Heir wouldn’t be able to leave the church alone till he became able to take care of himself.
It would be extremely troublesome if anything happened to the Heir, after all.
“I had hoped that you would become a merchant.”
Cho Mu Ryung bitterly smiled as he looked at his son. His son was talented at calculations from a young age. He also had talent in reading the flow of money.
He had thought that his son would become an extremely successful merchant, thanks to his ability to instantly solve complex equations.
“But to think you’d become a martial artist…….”
The world never moved as anyone wished. Something that someone wanted to do could change at any time.
But a sense of frustration still swept over Cho Mu Ryung.
“How is the Pope? I had hoped to meet him, but he seemed quite busy.”
“……He told me that he would come as soon as he gets done with work.”
Gongson Chun Gi was in charge of the entire coronation event. Somehow, Gongson Chun Gi was managing to control the entire event by himself.
He was doing that just so he could let Cho Ryu Hyang and Cho Mu Ryung have some time alone with each other.
“How is he, in your eyes?”
Cho Ryu Hyang readjusted his glasses. This was a similar question that his teacher had asked him a while back. Thanks to that, he was able to answer the question immediately.
“He’s someone I wish to become.”
Cho Mu Ryung nodded when he read the emotion held within his son’s eyes. He saw admiration and determination in those eyes.
“I look forward to it.”
“I hope so.”
Cho Mu Ryung made a surprised face when he heard his son’s confident response.
Since his son was extremely calculative, he never really opened up to others. The child tried to hide it, but the boy would always consider his choices for a long time before talking.
If the Pope was a person who the boy admired to this degree, then the Pope definitely had something special about him.
‘Would I be able to trust the rumors?’
Cho Mu Ryung fell to deep thought. The rumors that floated around in the martial world portrayed the Pope as some kind of a ‘God’. Of course, they weren’t exactly talking about a “Good God”.
Even when he gathered up all the rumors and picked out the really useful information from them, what he found was quite hard to believe.
Walking on thin air… blasting enemies away with a palm of his hand… these bits seemed a little believable. After all, the rumors regarding this was extremely descriptive.
But the part about turning younger and whatnot was simply unbelievable.
‘Come to think of it, how old is the Pope?’
Martial artists aged relatively slower than normal humans. Of course, the rate in which they actually aged depended on their martial skill. When he thought this much, Cho Mu Ryung’s mind was filled with even more questions.
When he decided to somehow accept the whole situation, curiosity had overtaken his mind.
‘I hope I get to see the Pope quickly.’
On the other hand, Cho Ryu Hyang was waiting for the Pope for a different reason. He believed that his teacher would be able to explain everything he couldn’t at once.
Cho Ryu Hyang believed that his father would accept Cho Ryu Hyang’s decision once he saw the Pope’s way of thinking.
‘I trust you, teacher.’
When he thought that much, a sense of discomfort shot up in his mind. Cho Ryu Hyang immediately frowned, and began thinking.
He suddenly thought of the playfulness Gongson Chun Gi possessed, and became wary of it. Like that, the two of them just sat there waiting for Gongson Chun Gi.
* * *
The coronation of the Heir was one of the most important events within the entire church. Everyone was extremely happy during the event, but amongst the happy crowd were two pairs of eyes observing the event with cold eyes.
“What do you think?”
“Don’t pretend to be ignorant. What do you think of the boy you have to kill?”
No, the teen who seemed a little too old to call a boy smiled, and responded.
“To think a child like that is my enemy, it’s sad. He just looks cute.”
“Do not underestimate him. He’s the boy the Pope chose himself.”
“Of course I won’t underestimate the boy. After all, the great Pope himself chose him.”
He flipped his hair back with his hand, and faintly smiled.
“Can I tell you something?”
“What is it?”
“I don’t want to be used as a tool for your dirty little plans.”
Danli Muhan, the head of the Danli family, frowned.
Danli Hou, the most talented child of the Danli family, smiled when he saw his grandfather’s enraged face.
“I’m not a toy, like that little child over there in fancy clothes. If you think you can control me so easily, you’re making a big mistake.”
“Even when we were related by blood, you locked up my father just because he was sick. And now you’re pretending to treat my father nicely because of my talent…… you’re disgusting.”
Danli Muhan trembled in rage, but he didn’t dare act out in public.
If he did anything during the event, he would lose much face.
Danli Hou knew that better than anyone, which was why he was grinning ear to ear as he talked.
“I’ll do what you want, since our interests align for now. But don’t expect anything more than that.”
Danli Hou looked at his grandfather with a grin on his face.
“We’re honestly not that close, right?”
Danli Muhan suppressed his rage. Then, he looked at his grandson calmly, and spoke.
“…….You’re confident that you can win?”
Danli Muhan’s voice was filled with suppressed rage.
But Danli Hou just smiled. Brightly. He knew fully well that his grandfather couldn’t do anything to him.
“You know how skilled I am, don’t you?”
Danli Muhan smiled.
“Fine. I knew that you had some grudges with me from the start. It was my mistake for not knowing that the hatred you harbored for me was this big. Let’s go with whatever you want to do. This is a contract. It would be better for both of us if we don’t think about blood relations, am I right?”
“Yes. That just makes everything so much better. We wouldn’t have any more bad feelings about each other that way.”
Danli Hou crossed his arms with a smile. His insides were twisting in rage, but he smiled. It was hard for him to do anything other than smile, anyway.
Every one of the family head in the four families emitted a disgusting odor from their body. A disgusting plan was taking place.
But he couldn’t do anything to stop it. He already stepped into the whole thing himself. No matter how much he hated these people, he couldn’t deny the fact that they were on his side.
‘Please, grow as much as you can until you become a man, Lord Heir.’
Danli Hou looked at the heir Cho Ryu Hyang, who was currently going through the biggest coronation in the history of the church.
Once that child, that flower, blooms, he would snap it in half.
That was the fate of Danli Hou.