༺ Nine Dragons Day (1) ༻
The martial artists responsible for taking out the demons that rush out from the gate of demons were given that moniker.
It was necessary for groups like the Ten Sect Alliance, the Four Noble Clans, and other prestigious clans to have possession of them.
Swordsmen had the most important task amongst martial artists in the current day, as they were in charge of clearing the gates of demons, after which they would be rewarded by getting support from and fame among civilians.
The Gu Clan had their own swordsmen, and they formed five different groups.
The Nine Dragons Day was a time when everyone in the Gu Clan came together to celebrate the hard work of the swordsmen who gave their all in their fights against demons and the sealing of the Gates that spawned said demons in Shanxi.
It was a ceremony that occurred twice a year, and was also a day set aside for the Gu Clan to pick new swordsmen.
Both small and large sects would participate in the celebrations alongside the Gu Clan, so it was mandatory for the blood of Gu to be present for the event.
“Would dying save me from going?”
“Isn’t dying way worse than participating in this event…?”
“What about pretending to die?”
“Wouldn’t the Lord of Gu kill you if you really missed the event with such a lie?”
Basically, the only way to evade the event was to actually die.
I have no solutions, damn it…
Muyeon continues to speak.
“This upcoming Eternal Dragon Day is being organized by the second elder, and he said he will break you into pieces if you miss the event again.”
“Fuck… So it was him…”
The Second Elder was known to be the most stubborn and strict of the elders ever since I was young.
He believed that the only way for the clan to reach a status that rivals the Four Noble Clans was for the one and only son of Gu Clan to be taught and trained well to become a great influence in the future.
‘Not even father believed in that.’
I was grateful for him, but he was still an annoying man to deal with because he would always chug education and training down my throat whenever he was free.
“It’s actually kind of impressive that I still managed to live like a retard even with all that.”
“Just talking to myself, so when do we leave?”
“The event is going to be held at Heaven market, so it won’t be too far away if we take the carriage.”
“The event is being held at Heaven? Wow.
Second Elder really put in a lot of work for this.”
Heaven market was the most famous market in Shanxi, and it had continued to be a supporter of the Gu Clan since three generations of Gu Clan lords.
‘What happened to Heaven market in the future?’
Did they keep their status as the greatest market in Shanxi? I don’t remember them having any problems.
I put aside my thoughts.
I couldn’t afford to think about the market when I had other things to worry about.
“Anyways, why aren’t we ready to leave yet?”
Shouldn’t everyone else be ready by the time I finish getting ready?
I went to the servants to scold them.
“What’s making you guys take so lon-”
I couldn’t finish my words.
I saw Wi Seol-Ah in the midst of the servants.
It didn’t look like the Wi Seol-Ah that had an almost perpetually dumb look on her face with her bangs covering her eyes and face,
However, she resembled the Wi Seol-Ah who was looking at me coldly during my final moments.
They were one and the same, yes, I know that much.
It was just hard to see the similarity previously because of the way Wi Seol-Ah had looked and acted since she and her grandfather had come under me.
Her face was visible now that her hair was organized.
She had beautiful, clear pale skin and bright red lips.
Her black eyes, which had a slight bluish tint, would make her stand out in any crowd.
Now that her hair was organized…
“You are so pretty Seol-Ah…!”
“How can a person be this pretty? You’re going to make so many men cry when you grow up.”
“Honestly, if I have the chance, then I would make my son—uh, young master!”
The servants who were complimenting Wi Seol-Ah paid their respects to me when they noticed my presence.
One of the servants who was doing Wi Seol-Ah’s hair came forward and spoke to me.
“I apologize… We thought that we should at least make Wi Seol-Ah look good for the event.”
She was basically saying she had lost her mind when she saw how pretty Wi Seol-Ah was.
The only thing they’d done so far was adjust her hair.
‘But even then, she looks so different.’
They knew they couldn’t do anything even if I complained since they knew they were at fault.
Wi Seol-Ah walked towards me in the middle of that.
I almost instinctively avoided making eye contact with her diamond-like eyes, but I held myself at the last second – there’s no way that Wi Seol-Ah could know what I was thinking.
Her eyes now were very different from the eyes that I had seen in my previous life.
All the emotions in her eyes were completely different from those cold eyes.
“Young Master, the senior servants said I’m extremely pretty.”
My heart skipped a beat when she said that with a subtle smile.
The fact that the face she currently had was completely different from that cold face that I hoped to never see again, made my heart beat even faster.
I tried to calm down my beating heart, but it wasn’t easy.
“Do you also think I’m pretty?”
At the end, I couldn’t give a response to the Wi Seol-Ah who looked at me with a sincere smile on her face.
* * * *
We were a little late but, thankfully, the carriages were already ready to go.
They had set up everything that we would need for our journey during the time I spent speaking with Muyeon, Wi Seol-Ah and the other servants.
Luckily, only Muyeon and a few servants including Wi Seol-Ah were going to go with me, so we were able to board and depart quickly.
However, an image that burned itself into my memory as we departed was that of Wi Seol-Ah displaying her appearance to her grandfather, who then patted her head with bitter eyes.
With everyone on board, the carriage set off for Heaven market.
“Woah! It’s so cool! It’s moving!”
Wi Seol-Ah was enjoying herself while watching the swiftly moving background outside the carriage.
She had been commenting about how the trees were moving fast, which then led a servant to correct her by saying, ‘It’s not the trees that are moving, the carriage is what is moving quickly.
You only think that it’s the tree because you’re sitting inside the carriage.’
After uttering a soft ‘ohhh’ in response to the piece of information she’d just received, Wi Seol-Ah returned her excited eyes to the passing background.
I couldn’t help but chuckle internally at her behavior.
Wi Seol-Ah, who already received the affections of the servants, seemed to be getting even more love than before now that her looks had changed.
It would usually take around 4 hours to reach Heaven market in a carriage, so I planned to sleep a bit during the ride.
I lacked sleep because of the training I usually did at midnight, and the planning I did before.
After a few minutes of being unable to fall asleep due to Wi Seol-Ah being too loud, I placed a yakgwa in her hand, allowing her to stuff her mouth for just long enough for me to fall asleep.
* * * *
The carriage soon arrived at Shin Weol-hyun, the street that led to Heaven market.
The street was brimming with a huge crowd of people, further emphasizing the fact that this was probably the biggest ceremony held in Shanxi.
The event made the street livelier and gave more opportunities to numerous merchants.
Of course, to me, it was a day of hassle.
‘…I was thinking of training.’
It was to correct the lack of training I had felt ever since the day of my father’s return.
My entire body was aching to the sudden training, but it was necessary for the future.
‘I might die if I don’t, so I have to.’
When I arrived at Heaven market after passing through the busy street, the people in front greeted me.
A chubby middle-aged man in a golden silk outfit with the word “Heaven” stitched on it, came to greet me, introducing himself as a representative of Heaven market.
“I’m the representative of Heaven market, Cheon Eeshil.
It is an honor to meet the little star of the Gu clan.”
“I’m Gu Yangcheon from the Gu Clan.”
Cheon Eeshil while looking around me noticed Wi Seol-Ah and immediately widened his eyes in surprise, but he speedily recovered from his shock and returned his gaze to me.
As an experienced merchant, he was good at adjusting his expression as needed.
“Second elder hasn’t arrived yet, but the lady of Gu has unpacked her belongings and is currently resting.
I would like to bring the Young Master of Gu to a place where you can unpack and rest.”
“…Hmm, that would be nice.
Please lead the way.”
Cheon Eeshil himself offered to bring us.
I knew that the Heaven market was big, but to experience its size again after returning only made me realize how big it truly was.
‘Could it be even bigger than the Gu Clan?’
Of course, the lord of Gu’s personality played a part in why the land of Gu didn’t increase in size.
However, Gu Yeonseo is already here, huh.
She won’t come outside until the ceremony begins, as she has already unpacked.
Gu Yeonseo definitely hates me.
If I were to face her, I felt like some annoying events was bound to happen.
It was relieving to know that she wouldn’t come out.
‘There’s no way I’m unlucky enough to see her.’
…There was a way.
While I was going to the guest’s room, I ran into her, forgetting the fact that I had always been unfortunate.
“Can’t believe I have to see such a disgusting face right upon my arrival.”
Said Gu Yeonseo the moment she saw me.
“Hello there, elder sister.”
“Don’t talk to me, you are annoying.”
Gu Yeonseo not satisfied with my greeting, responded to me in an annoyed tone,
“You better refrain from causing trouble on a day like this, as it would be pathetic for the blood of Gu to ruin the ceremony.”
“Don’t worry about me, I’ll quietly run away after a little while.”
“Who said I was worried…” Gu Yeonseo while talking to me noticed Wi Seol-Ah and was astonished.
Soon she frowned.
Then she looks at me, somehow seeming even more disgusted than before.
“They say that you can’t get rid of old habits, and you are the perfect example of that.”
“…What are you suddenly talking about?”
“I thought you would have changed a little, but it’s evident that people don’t change.”
When she finished talking, she quickly passed by me.
What made her suddenly go off like that…?
Cheon Eeshil, who was watching this, had cold sweat on his face.
Cheon Eeshil said to me,
“Well, yeah, it’s common for siblings to bicker.
I myself, when I was young, would fight with my sister….”
You don’t need to console me…
I arrived at the guest’s room not long after.
It was a room that was not any smaller than my room back in the clan, and it was clean as if it were cleaned every day.
I wanted to rest more, but there was little time before the ceremony started, so I hurried up outside.
The conference hall for Heaven market showed pride in its enormous size.
It was made to be that big to judge the magnitude of each merchant.
‘Even then, isn’t it still too big?’
“Woah…! It’s so large, it’s the first time I’ve seen something so large!”
I agree with Wi Seol-Ah here.
Some people might suspect that the host of this room would be the Murim Alliance themselves given the sheer size of the room.
The first day of ceremony would be dedicated to rewarding the swordsmen of the Gu Clan.
And on the second day everyone would be eagerly waiting for the competition to determine the next generation of swordsmen.
Thankfully, the Gu Clan’s bloodline didn’t have to participate in the competition.
My only job here was to spectate and observe.
“I’m only spectating, so nothing bad will happen, right?”
Please tell me that would be the case.
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