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Chapter 78. Choosing Ranks
Cho Ryu Hyang looked down at his hands with a slight smile. There was a symbol that slightly resembled lightning imprinted on both of them, which signified that Cho Ryu Hyang had inherited the Shura Environment.
So in the end, he did acquire the Shura Environment. He managed to realize why he inherited it only after he actually got it.
The Shura Environment was completely different from any other martial art techniques. The user did not have to spend any time practicing and familiarizing himself with the technique. The power of the technique just changed according to the user’s talent.
Cho Ryu Hyang’s head already contained all the techniques and the stances of the Shura Environment.
What was surprising to him was that when he thought of the Shura Environment, the verses of the technique instantly rose in his mind, and just by thinking about them, he would be able to cultivate qi.
It was this simple? This was no different from having a cheat. The side effect that came with the technique seemed insignificant.
What worried him was the fact that the Shura Environment worked a little differently compared to what his teacher had told him.
Normally, the canine of the Ashura, the Shura Essence Crystal that would be embedded into the body, was what the user used to control the Shura Environment.
But in Cho Ryu Hyang’s case, the Shura Environment was being controlled by his dantian. It was different compared to how the technique was normally used. Strangely enough, Gongson Chun Gi seemed to have great hopes about this.
–Perhaps this will help supress the side effects of the Shura Environment.
Cho Ryu Hyang stood up as he thought of his teacher’s words.
He learned the two techniques that were said to be the strongest in the world, the Moon Edge Blade Technique, and the Shura Environment. Now, he just had to become more experienced in using the two techniques.
He looked at the two men in front of him with shining eyes.
“My Lord, are you feeling alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
Cho Ryu Hyang answered Un Hui’s question, and turned to No Jin Nyung, who was sitting with a confident expression on his face.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes, My Lord.”
No Jin Nyung had been glancing at Un Hui for quite a while. Today, he would fix that bastard’s rude attitude.
‘You’re just easy prey……..’
The man didn’t actually seem like an easy opponent. But No Jin Nyung didn’t think he’d lose. That was enough.
There were obviously power differences when it came to Harmonious experts. But when it came to Un Hui and No Jin Nyung, that power difference was tiny.
‘I’ll punish him.’
Unlike No Jin Nyung, who was thinking of taking down Un Hui and taking him in as a minion, Un Hui was looking at Cho Ryu Hyang without really thinking anything.
Cho Ryu Hyang had set up a time to let Un Hui and No Jin Nyung see who was stronger.
‘I have high expectations for this match.’
Cho Ryu Hyang touched his glasses, and gulped.
Harmonious experts were humans that exceeded human limits. As a fight between them was quite rare to behold, Cho Ryu Hyang was very excited.
This would be something beneficial to watch for Cho Ryu Hyang. Cho Ryu Hyang set up a seat far away from his subordinates.
This was a fight between harmonious experts. If he didn’t distance himself enough, he would be swept away.
Un Hui and No Jin Nyung began to intensely glare at each other once Cho Ryu Hyang settled down.
After quite some time, No Jin Nyung rushed at Un Hui.
* * *
Sunwu Cho Rin was looking in front of her with a pout. In front of her was Gongson Chun Gi, who was looking through various documents with a tired face.
Gongson Chun Gi massaged his shoulders subconsciously. It’s only been a day since he passed on the Shura Environment.
He was exhausted, but he couldn’t rest. There was a lot he had to do, due to the church’s expansion into Sichuan.
“Why aren’t you leaving? Are you that free?”
When Gongson Chun Gi said this, the awkward air between the two got a lot heavier. Sunwu Cho Rin, who had been staying quiet till now, opened her mouth.
“……..Are you serious about this? You will truly let her get out into the martial world?”
“Yeah, I told you. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Sunwu Cho Rin frowned.
This wasn’t right. Wasn’t this too risky a decision? Sunwu Cho Rin opened her mouth.
“We won’t be free enough to protect the young master. The martial alliance will definitely keep us busy. If someone who can’t fight comes along with us on the trip, it would hinder us greatly.”
Gongson Chun Gi finally looked up from the documents he was working on.
He put his two hands on the table, clasped them, and tucked them under his chin. He opened his mouth.
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
“Can’t you see I’m busy?”
“Are you going to keep annoying me with the decision I made already?”
“Eh? Seeing how you’re talking back to me, you must be prepared to stake your life on this matter, right? Or do I just seem like that easy of a target?”
It was a playful voice. But Sunwu Cho Rin could not bring herself to smile.
Instead, she felt like she was struck by a bucket of cold water. Who was the person in front of her? It was the Pope himself.
No matter how laid back he was, he was still a man who held absolute power in the church. He wasn’t a person she could go on arguing with.
When she realized this, Sunwu Cho Rin immediately bowed down. She felt cold sweat run down her back.
Even if the Pope was usually very friendly and playful, one must never forget about his actual status.
He was like the sun in the sky, the living god of the Heavenly Demon Church.
“I was foolish. Please forgive me…….”
Gongson Chun Gi clicked his tongue, and leaned back on his chair. He was tired. But there were a ton of documents he had to look at.
He was already exhausted with such things, and when someone came to argue with a decision he had already made, he would simply get extremely annoyed, and no one would really get anywhere. It was just a waste of time.
But Gongson Chun Gi still had to explain his decision carefully to the dissatisfied subordinate.
‘Should I just give up on the Sichuan operation?’
After thinking over this matter carefully for a bit, Gongson Chun Gi smirked, and opened his mouth.
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
“I know how much you treasure my daughter. And I’m very thankful for that. Because of this, I’ll just ignore your rude attitude from before.”
“And about the thing you’re worried about, it’s actually something you don’t really have to worry about at all.”
Sometimes, one had to take his time to explain things to his subordinate. Gongson Chun Gi knew that well.
Sunwu Cho Rin made a complicated face. She wasn’t sure of what Gongson Chun Gi meant.
“I’m planning on sticking the strongest bodyguard next to her.”
Did the Pope have any spare soldiers available?
‘It should’ve been obvious.’
Was he planning to move his own bodyguards? Or did he have a different plan?
Gongson Chun Gi was someone who treasured his daughter more than his own body. There was no way that he’d send his daughter on such a dangerous mission without even thinking about it.
‘It would’ve been better if he told me that in advance, though…….’
When Sunwu Cho Rin made a regretsul expression, Gongson Chun Gi glared at Sunwu Cho Rin for a bit, then opened his mouth with a lazy expression.
“You’re misunderstanding something here, aren’t you?”
“I’m not planning on expending someone else as her bodyguard. The number of people going into this mission isn’t going to change.”
What? Then who was going to be Gongson Ahri’s bodyguard? Gongson Chun Gi answered this question immediately.
“Cho Ryu Hyang. I’m planning on putting him next to Ahri. She’d be safe that way.”
“This mission will continue for at least a few years. After all, it won’t be easy to set a solid foundation in Sichuan. During that time, my daughter and Cho Ryu Hyang would naturally have a lot of encounters together, and will get close to each other. This would be good for both me and Ahri in the long term.”
This was what Gongson Chun Gi wanted. But this was far from what Sunwu Cho Rin wanted.
She couldn’t give Ahri to anyone. That was how she felt. Right then, Gongson Chun Gi calmly opened his mouth.
“I know how you think of Ahri. And I’m thankful for that. No matter who the subject is, love is something one should be thankful for, after all.”
Sunwu Cho Rin’s face grew pale. She didn’t hold just simple affection for Gongson Ahri.
Did the Pope notice that? Didn’t she hide her feelings quite well? She needed to come up with an excuse. She needed to tell Gongson Chun Gi that this was just a misunderstanding.
Before she even managed to say anything, Gongson Chun Gi opened his mouth.
“Just watch her from the sidelines like you always have. This is what you must do.”
Sunwu Cho Rin felt something snap in her chest. While she was standing dumbly on the spot, Gongson Chun Gi spoke again.
“You should know as well, that this would be the best thing we could do for Ahri. After all, you’re someone I chose personally.”
He was giving her a chance. A chance to pick everything back up.
After trembling for a little bit, Sunwu Cho Rin became calm again. She had stopped trembling quickly, but there was something quite heavy weighing in her mind.
But she still had to answer the Pope’s question. There was only one thing she could say here.
“I will take your advice and treasure it. Thank you for your generosity.”
Gongson Chun Gi made a defeated face after looking at Sunwu Cho Rin for a bit.
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
“Don’t be too disappointed with my words. This was something I had to do some day anyway, and it’s a request from me as a father, not the Pope.”
She knew. After all, Sunwu Cho Rin knew what type of a person Gongson Chun Gi was. She smiled faintly because of that.
After looking at her sad smile for a bit, Gongson Chun Gi turned his attention back to his documents. This wasn’t a very enjoyable experience for him either.
“Get going. You should be busy, too, right?”
After saying farewell to the Pope and getting out, Sunwu Cho Rin lost her balance and leaned against a wall.
She calmed herself after a bit, and bit her lips.
Right. Nothing changes. Sunwu Cho Rin still liked Gongson Ahri. It wasn’t like she wanted to get anything out of that.
It was just that having her feelings discovered by someone made her feel confused.
‘Right, that’s it.’
She would keep observing Gongson Ahri quietly from the sidelines, and be with her at all times. That would be enough. She had always thought that this would be the way everything would play out.
But when she was faced with the fact that there would be someone else other than her standing next to Gongson Ahri in the future, she became pained.
‘Cho Ryu Hyang…….’
That strange child. He was someone who exceeded her expectations right in their first meeting. But that child was the Heir. He was qualified to be next to Gongson Ahri.
He was the second most powerful being next to the Pope in the church. Sunwu Cho Rin bit her fingernail with a cold gaze.
‘I want him to disappear.’
She was prepared to see someone else other than her with Gongson Ahri, but she didn’t want it to happen now. After thinking a bit, Sunwu Cho Rin’s eyes sparkled.
‘They wanted a chance, didn’t they?’
The thing the four families wanted was a chance. A single chance.
They wanted a chance to assassinate the Heir. Sunwu Cho Rin was originally uninterested in this matter, but not now.
Cho Ryu Hyang had gained a new enemy without knowing it himself.