Chapter 500: Then Make Sure To Remember (5)
Seol Chun-Sang lifted his head, displeased by the urgent tone of the speaker.
Soon, the door to his office swung open, and an elder entered.
“What’s going on?”
Seol Chun-Sang asked, his tone cold.
Normally, regardless of his mood, he wouldn’t greet an elder in such a manner. The elders of the Ice Palace were the ones he needed to look after.
However, after learning that the information about the Ice Palace was being leaked to the Demon Sect, he found it difficult to articulate his thoughts.
“I-it’s a significant matter.”
“Quit causing a commotion and get to the point. What is it?”
The elder’s face turned red as he spoke.
“W-warriors are attacking the Ice Palace.”
Seol Chun-Sang furrowed his brows.
It was an unpleasant surprise, but Seol Chun-Sang remained calm. However, his calmness was shattered by the words that followed.
“Well, it appears that those who supported the former Palace Lord are mobilizing and launching attacks…”
Seol Chun-Sang struck his desk with his fist and leaped up. The marble desk shattered, dust scattering in all directions.
He gritted his teeth, his expression contorted with anger.
“How dare they…”
He knew that there were still survivors hiding around the North Sea.
The reason he hadn’t hunted them all down and eliminated them wasn’t because he was merciful but because he didn’t have the energy to search the entire North Sea.
Besides, as the primary reason for any resistance was no longer present, he believed it was unlikely for these dispersed individuals to reunite unless Seol So-Baek took the lead.
“How did they manage to unite again?”
“Oh, it appears that the previous elders fled from the mines and brought everyone together with the assistance of the son of the former Palace Lord.”
The moment Seol Chun-Sang heard about the former lord’s son, anger boiled onto his face.
“Who is leading them?”
“The elders who work at the forefront… ah no, Yo Sa-Heon is there.”
“I felt pity for those rats who were living like they were dead, so I let them live. And now they dare to invade my palace? How dare they not know their place?”
Seol Chun-Sang yelled in anger.
“Get ready to face the enemies now! Now!”
“Yes, Palace Lord!”
“Gather all those who went searching and close the gates.”
The elder, unable to respond, rushed out. Seol Chun-Sang was left alone, breathing heavily and unable to overcome the anger.
‘Now, is it Seol So-Baek?’
Just in time to report that the people who went missing during the search had returned and that the disciples of Mount Hua interfered with the opportunity to capture the former lord’s son.
“What are they….”
Seol So-Baek and Yo Sa-Heon.
The disciples of Mount Hua intervened and brought them together. It seemed unbelievable how such absurd situations kept occurring in such a short time.
“… no, this is fine.”
Seol Chun-Sang started walking briskly.
Wasn’t he planning to deal with the Mount Hua disciples?
“I will seize this opportunity to kill that bastard Seol So-Baek and those Mount Hua bastards as well!”
A fierce determination glimmered in his eyes as the thirst for killing consumed him.
A massive horde of warriors raced across the snowy expanse with unrelenting purpose. With each passing moment, the gathering swelled in size. Latecomers merged into the crowd, bolstering their numbers.
“Amitabha. This is the consequence of encouragement.”
The disciples of Mount Hua observed with astonishment as those ahead continued running. They could sense the enthusiasm from the beginning, but it only grew stronger as time went on.
“However, should we be concerned? More and more supporters are joining us.”
The precession began with 200 and then increased to 400 as those who escaped the mine joined and then reached 500.
Even the disciples of Mount Hua, observing this from a third-party perspective, thought, ‘Now it might be something’.
“There are so many of them, so why did they live like that?”
Baek Cheon replied to Jo Gul’s question quietly.
“No matter how much firewood you have, if you can’t light it, it will remain firewood.”
“Has the fire been ignited now?”
“This is different from the Central Plains. Even though he is the son of the former Palace Lord, no one would have expected this many people to gather for a kid who just made himself known.”
Baek Cheon did not respond and stared ahead, wearing a bitter expression.
If he had been the past version of himself, he might have shared Jo Gul’s thoughts. However, as time progressed and he spent more time with someone who had such a negative and pessimistic outlook on life, he no longer trusted his own observations.
Seol So-Baek had been alive before this.
Even so, Han Yi-Myung had a simple reason for waiting for the right time without revealing the truth.
He knew that it would be impossible to confront the Ice Palace even with the support of those who would stand with Seol So-Baek.
“Without any survivors from the mine, no matter how much word got out about the kid, people wouldn’t have come together. But now they see it as a chance worth taking.”
“It certainly is.”
Baek Cheon glanced to the side, his expression filled with bewilderment.
‘If we view it from that perspective, it’s all because of him…’
This situation would never have happened if it weren’t for Chung Myung’s interference in the mine. Even if they had somehow managed to flee, it would have been meaningless if Chung Myung hadn’t released their dantian seal.
And this fact instilled fear in him.
Who would have imagined that one person could do such a thing in a nation without any allies?
‘He is truly a great….’
“What are you staring at?”
Baek Cheon shook his head and looked forward.
‘In many ways.’
Thousands of thoughts raced through his mind, but Baek Cheon pushed them all away.
This was because the white castle wall, which had become quite familiar by now, had finally been revealed.
Baek Cheon replied with a grunt.
“The Ice Palace.”
The first time he faced this wall, he felt something different.
At first, he admired this place for its amazing, pure white look. But now, it felt so intimidating.
The castle gate and wall were incredibly thick and towering, making it impossible to see the top even if one strained their neck. It was clear that they were facing the Palace, which ruled over the North Sea.
It seemed as if he wasn’t the only one who was intimidated. It was clear that the crowd’s pushing force had diminished in front of them.
No one commanded it, but the running speed gradually decreased. Finally, when they arrived at the wall, everyone’s footsteps slowed.
The sound of someone gulping could be heard. Even the storm went still, and the small sounds spread, making everyone feel tense.
“It is the Ice Palace…”
Baek Cheon was a little shocked as the attacking force became still as if it had ceased to exist.
‘Is dealing with the Ice Palace as a North Sea person this burdensome?’
He couldn’t tell if this was because of their loyalty to the palace or because they knew the power of the Ice Palace better than anyone else.
Just as no one seemed to be willing to step forward.
“What is this?”
Baek Cheon turned his head, confused.
The most ignorant guy in the world stepped ahead as if he couldn’t understand why his path forward was being blocked.
Baek Cheon spoke in a quiet voice.
“We’ve reached the Ice Palace.”
“Then hurry up and attack, will you?”
When Chung Myung asked the question, Baek Cheon was at a loss for words. He could hear but couldn’t say that the people around him were intimidated.
“What? Are they doing this to decide who will take the lead? Do you want to lead?”
Chung Myung smiled and trudged forward.
The place where his steps stopped was in front of Seol So-Baek, who was nervous and looked at Chung Myung with a pale face.
Chung Myung spoke with a smile.
“Why are you making that face?”
“Tsk. It isn’t good for a child to be this smart, you know. A child should be dumb.”
Chung Myung put his hand on the child’s head and tousled it.
“Didn’t I tell you? You don’t have to do anything.”
“Let the older people do it.”
Chung Myung smiled and pulled his hand back.
“You did well by coming here. So gather strength in your shoulders. Look proud. And from now on, we adults will handle it.”
From behind them, Jo Gul walked forward.
“The map hasn’t been made yet.”
“Gul, shut up now.”
Yoon Jong spoke softly and cleared his throat. Chung Myung glanced at the walls of the Ice Palace and raised his sword.
“Get ready. We’re moving.”
Baek Cheon stood beside Chung Myung. Yu Yiseol also stood beside Chung Myung, and Tang Soso stood on the other side.
“Ugh. I always end up being the vanguard.”
“So what? It feels familiar and good.”
Jo Gul and Yoon Jong stood by Chung Myung.
Hae Yeon stood behind Yoon Jong, looking determined.
Seeing the disciples of Mount Hua already organized, Yo Sa-Heon questioned them.
“W-what are you doing?”
“Haha. This old man likes to joke. What’s our plan after arriving? We’re going to barge right in.”
The old man pressed his lips together at Chung Myung’s calm words.
This was what he had to do originally.
“Wait… for now….”
Chung Myung smiled at him.
“When it comes to war, if you hesitate, everything is lost. Fear grows as time passes. And once the fighting spirit is gone, it cannot be brought back no matter what.”
Yo Sa-Heon looked worried.
“Do not worry.”
Chung Myung smiled.
“I am the one who ignites the flame.”
Baek Cheon, who listened to him, nodded.
“He is more of an arsonist than a Taoist.”
“Dong Ryong, be quiet now.”
Yo Sa-Heon looked at Chung Myung with a blank expression.
‘Is this guy not afraid at all?’
It was a situation where their troops were lacking compared to the Ice Palace. No matter how much these kids were unaware of the Ice Palace, they could not be this fearless.
Moreover, not only the person called Chung Myung but the entire group had no hint of fear.
‘What is this Mount Hua sect….’
Chung Myung firmly said,
“Well, if you are afraid, stay here. We will take care of it.”
“You cheeky kid!”
Roars erupted around.
Those who had been imprisoned in the mine and were assisted by the disciples of Mount Hua could understand, but those who didn’t know Chung Myung and Mount Hua had their pride wounded.
“What? Did I say something wrong?”
Chung Myung smiled as he saw them angry.
“The people of the North Sea have a temper and are like fire and water, but now that I see it, you all seem timid. Are you afraid to fight against the Ice Palace? I suppose we are superior, then.”
The sound of gritting teeth was unmistakable.
“Ah, that’s enough.”
Someone attempted to speak, but Chung Myung raised his hand and silenced them.
“It makes no sense to say things like that. If you’re not a coward, then come up and prove it. We will go ahead.”
Chung Myung turned around.
Baek Cheon drew his sword without hesitation, and so did the rest of the disciples.
As Baek Cheon took the lead, the disciples of Mount Hua and Hae Yeon followed without looking back. They rushed ahead towards the white wall like black stones. The others were surprised, their mouths wide open.
The warriors of the North Sea seemed almost terrified. At that moment…
“What are you all doing!?”
Yo Sa-Heon yelled.
“This is our fight! Are you planning to make people without a connection to the North Sea the first ones to cross the Ice Palace walls?”
His eyes burned as if they had never known fear.
“People of the North Sea shouldn’t be ashamed even in death! Let’s go!”
The warriors of the North Sea had their faces stained with anger and then burst into cheers.
As he spoke this and ran forward, the ones who also stopped began to follow.
“Don’t get left behind!”
“Make sure you catch up!”
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“We’ll be the first to cross the wall!”
There was no hesitation at all. Everyone ran without losing their momentum.
The war that would determine the future of the North Sea had begun.