“He looks young, but he seems to be quite achieved…” the monk murmured, fascinated. The trio walked past the monk and entered the temple.
“You said you were here to return the books of Shaolin. Since you’ve come all the way here, why don’t you come meet Grandmaster Bul-Young with me? I think he will award you with a fair price.”
“I am not here to be awarded.”
“Come now, brother. I have my insights. Who do you think you’re kidding? You have three manuals with you, so don’t you want to receive the book of Summoning in exchange?”
It was a fact, so Sung-Min simply let out a cough instead of arguing.
“Monk Bul-Young is quite ill-tempered. A piece of advice for you brother… don’t kid around Monk Bul-Young. That old man? Maybe it’s just from memorizing Buddhist scriptures but he sure knows when someone is lying.”
“If I do kid around… I mean.. lie, what will happen?”
“He’ll beat the crap out of you.” Nangong said without smiling.
“He’s not called a ‘monster monk’ for nothing. He’s the type who acts before he speaks. Sometimes, I think he has dementia. I don’t know how that old man even became the head of Shaolin. Maybe because he’s so old?”
Sung-Min was seriously concerned about him talking behind the head monk of Shaolin but didn’t find it necessary to stop him.
“Rude, just as always.” An annoyed voice interrupted. Nangong Heewon stopped dead in his tracks.
“Tang Ahee.” Nangong Heewon murmured. A girl wearing a black martial arts uniform that stuck to her body strode over to Nangong. She glanced over at Sung-Min and Scarlett, then glared at Nangong Heewon.
“Are you aware that yesterday was the day we were supposed to gather?”
“Something came up so I was late.”
“Why should we take responsibility for your problems?”
“No one asked you to wait for me.” Nangong counterargued confidently, and Ahee was dumbfounded. Nangong snorted as if to say See? and simply strode past her. Her face turned red.
“How rude you are.”
“Why should I be polite to you when you were rude to me first?” Nangong answered, his expression unchanging. Sung-Min immediately followed after Nangong and stole glances at Tang Ahee. Their eyes met when she suddenly turned in their direction.
“And… who is the young master?” Tang asked piercingly. It was a question for Sung-Min At this, Nangong burst into laughter before Sung-Min could even reply.
“Hahahah! Funny you should call someone who is at the edge of reaching his top level a ‘young master’.”
“Looks like the heir of Tang doesn’t have good insight. Perhaps you have been a little lazy with your training?” Nangong said mockingly, and Tang Ahee’s face turned even redder. She breathed hard, then snapped.
“So, who is he?!”
“You’re now a human-turned master. Young master Tang, you do care about the smallest things don’t you.”
“I asked who he was!”
“He’s my younger brother.” Nangong answered, smiling. Sung-Min gulped and looked back and forth from Nangong to Tang. This was why Nangong had took Sung-Min in as his brother. Whatever the case, he had exceeded the Top Level and reaching the point of Super Top Level at the age of eighteen and this meant he had the potential and abilities of someone that nobody would be able to look down on. Keeping Sung-Min as his younger brother made himself worth more.
‘Not sure if he’s smart or simply rude.’
Perhaps it was both. Whatever the case, it wasn’t bad for Sung-Min. Just as Nangong was using Sung-Min himself, Sung-Min could use the fact that he and Nangong had made a brotherly bond. His background of being the heir to the Nangong household was overwhelming enough for Sung-Min to consider him his brother.
“My name is Sung-Min.”
“Sung-Min? Don’t know that name…”
“Of course you don’t. So, where are the other heirs?” Nangong asked , hoisting the bag he was carrying. Tang Ahee chewed on her lips and whisked around. She didn’t tell Nangong to do so, but he chased after her as if it was what he should do.
There was a man and woman standing in a well-kept garden. Nangong first introduced them to Sung-Min in an undertone.
[See the one over there looking high and mighty? That’s Zhuge Taeryong. He’s the heir of the Zhuge household and has the nickname of ‘Flying Silver Dragon’. The rash girl we met just now ‘Poisonous’ Tang Ahee. And the fair lady over there, as beautiful as a bouquet of flowers… is ‘Snowy Flower’ Murong Seo-Jin.]
They were all nicknames Sung-Min was familiar with – Zhuge Taeryong, the ‘Flying Silver Dragon’, ‘Poisonous’ Tang Ahee, and ‘Snowy Flower’ Murong SeoJin.
It was a strange feeling, standing in front of legendary figures whom he had not even had any encounters with in his past life.
“You’re late, Heewon.”
“Something came up.”
“It’s no big problem for us waiting for you. But you will have to apologize making Grandmaster Bul-young wait.”
“I’ll do that myself.” Nangong answered, and Zhuge Taeryong glared at him. Nangong Heewon didn’t look away. Murong Seo-Jin, who had been silent, spoke up.
“The Grandmaster is waiting.”
Nangong Heewon nodded. He had been rude to Zhuge Taeryong and Tang Ahee, but he shut up and nodded as if he were quiet when addressing Murong. It seemed what he had told Sung-Min in an undertone about being in love with Murong Seo-Jin was true.
“Well, then, younger brother.” Nangong said, addressing Sung-Min as he turned around to face him.
“I’ll be off to greet Great Master Bul-Young, so why don’t you take a look around Shaolin with Scarlett? I’ll let him know about our pledge.”
“Yes, Senior Brother.” Sung-Min replied, and Zhuge Tae-Ryeong and Murong Seojin looked slightly dumbfounded. They had sensed Sung–Min’s mage level as well so they were quite surprised to see him treat Nangong Heewon with respect.
“I do hope temple food is good enough to eat.” Scarlett muttered once they were left alone.
Come to think of it, Sung-Min realized, they hadn’t even eaten breakfast.