Childhood Friend of the Zenith
Chapter 178: Pieces (4)

༺ Pieces (4) ༻

Crack-! Rustle!

The cracks in the sky broke into pieces, landing on the ground.

“Young Master Gu?”

As I turned towards the direction of the voice, I saw Moyong Hi-ah staring at me with a confused expression.

I shook my head to break out of my dizziness.

I could feel the breeze.

I could hear the sound of grass moving due to wind.

The time that had stopped, was flowing once again.

‘…Did time really stop?’

It might not have been necessarily that.

Judging by how my mind was faltering and I felt spaced out, it would be best to assume that I was brought into a different kind of space.

I looked away from Moyong Hi-ah’s sky-blue eyes and checked the lake.

And in the middle of it, there was the White Fish of Purity, staring at me.

‘The color returned back to normal.’

The fish’s scales that had lost its colors in the space where time had stopped were back to its original lustrous white again.

The white fish stared at me for a moment, but shortly after, swam to a different spot of the lake.

“Sir, is there something wrong?”

I shook my head at Heeyoung’s concern.

“…It’s nothing. I was just feeling lightheaded for a secon… “

Stopping in the middle of my words I stared at Heeyoung.

Heeyoung looked confused, most probably wondering why I was staring at him that way, but as I observed Heeyoung for a moment.

‘What’s this?’

Something felt strange.

It was as if I had entered a different world.

[What’s wrong.]

I heard Elder Shin’s voice.

Thankfully, this told me that what I had just seen wasn’t an illusion.

“Young Master?”

I fixed my expression to Heeyoung’s call.

“It’s nothing really… Anyway, where shall we go next?”

The thing I had just seen…

It felt like I had gone through a change…

Because I could now see things that I couldn’t before.


Heeyoung’s tour around the place continued.

All the houses and beautiful buildings that came after the lake and the breathtaking scenery serving as a backdrop was as if paintings had come to life.

One could truly get a glimpse at the bright history of Shaolin.

As we walked through that path, Moyong Hi-ah suddenly spoke up.

“It’s really beautiful, isn’t it?”

This was our first proper conversation since we entered Shaolin.

I responded as I turned towards Moyong Hi-ah.

“Is this your first time in Shaolin?”

“No, I have previously visited a few times for business.”

That made sense, it’d actually be weirder for a blood relative of a noble clan to not visit Shaolin at least once.

“What about you?”

“What about it?”

“Isn’t this place beautiful?”

“Sure it is, I do have eyes too after all.”

An environment that had been decorated was bound to look beautiful, after all.

But my clan didn’t really care too much about how it looked.

Well, it was pretty clean though.

“But I’m not really a fan of things like this.”

I glanced at Moyong Hi-ah when she spoke.

I already knew that she didn’t like these things.

She wasn’t really fond of beautiful scenery.

Especially so, if it was in the middle of the cold, chilling winter.

“Is that so?”

“Yes, I know that it’s beautiful, but it’s not something I can sympathize with.”

She came slightly closer to me, while saying such words.

I let her be, but couldn’t really understand why she was doing this, even with all the memories of my past life.

I remember her shuddering in disgust, if we were to become the tiniest bit close.

Right as I was about to ask her reason for walking closer to me,

[…You got another woman huh.]

I had to shut my mouth when I heard Elder Shin.

I was very used to those words, but it had been a while since I had heard it from him.

‘I was wondering when you were going to say that.’

[Well if you know already, then why do you keep trying to get more?]

‘When did I ever try…’

[HAH. Right, it’s not that you tried to, it just happened. Right? Right?!]

Elder Shin was technically correct, so I couldn’t really argue against him.

‘…How about you tell me why you were asleep for so long, instead?’

I ignored Elder Shin’s first question and asked about something actually important.

Time wise, he was asleep for around a week and it didn’t really make sense for him to be asleep for that long because the shock that led him to fall asleep wasn’t even that big.

‘Did something happen?’

Elder Shin responded with an apathetic tone.

[Don’t even ask. I had to go through all kinds of hassles.]


I wonder what kind of hassle he was talking about.

Wasn’t he just asleep?

He explained what happened, reading my thoughts.

[…The beast inside your body, you have no idea how much it rampaged.]

‘A rampage?’

[Yes, it was so wild. It finally calmed down not too long ago, and hasn’t come out ever since.]

If it was not too long ago, then was it because I had absorbed energy from either that Pissing Dragon or Jang Seonyeon?

‘The beast huh…’

During my last fight of the tournament, I remember Dok Gojun saying that the beast inside me was the owner of the void.

The fact that there was a beast inside my body, I wonder why he knew that.

Because even I hadn’t known about the beast inside me.

And more than anything,

‘Dok Gojun.’

According to the Light of Might, the Blood Demon’s name was Dok Gojun.

Which meant that the unknown energy lingering around inside my body belonged to the Blood Demon.

It also seemed like Dok Gojun had some relations with the Murim Alliance.

Was he really the Blood Demon?

‘Elder Shin.’

[Well, no need to worry too much about me, I held myself rather wel- ]

‘I have something to ask about Dok Gojun.’


When I brought up Dok Gojun, Elder Shin’s tone of voice changed instantly.

I calmly explained to Elder Shin about the incident on that day.

The suspicious energy in Namgung Cheonjun, my fight against Jang Seonyeon, and the appearance of Dok Gojun.

Elder Shin didn’t mutter a word as I told him about all of these things.

Only when I was finished telling him everything,


He let out a light sigh.

‘What do you think of this?’

[It’s strange.]

It wasn’t really a direct answer.

He only said that it was strange.

‘What do you mean by strange?’

[The name and the situation definitely point to that bastard, but the problem is that it also feels like it doesn’t at the same time.]

It seemed like I still lacked information to confirm that it was indeed him.

[If it was the bastard that I knew of, then he wouldn’t have used such a method…]

‘Are you saying that it doesn’t seem like the Blood Demon then?’


Elder Shin responded to my question resolutely.

[The thing you saw was most likely the Blood Demon.]

Elder Shin’s voice seemed extremely calm as he said those words…

But I could feel it.

The heat that was held inside that calm voice of his; it was bubbling hot, ready to explode at any moment.

[Cheolyoung was right to be nervous, it seems that bastard has already planted its roots in this land.]

Cheolyoung had said this; the Blood Demon’s body and soul had been cut into pieces and sealed at different corners of the world.

He had also said that the Blood Demon was dreaming of resurrection, but it seemed that the Blood Demon had already somewhat resurrected.

[However, doesn’t it seem strange?]

Elder Shin spoke.

[Considering the bastard’s personality, he doesn’t really have a reason to hide his identity like this.]

‘What do you mean by that?’

[How strong do you think the current top martial artists are?]

Hearing Elder Shin’s question, I thought about the ones that had reached the top of the martial world, the current strongest.

It included the Three Heavenly Venerables without a doubt, and also the five masters of the Unorthodox Faction.

Each of them were individuals that had reached the peak as a martial artist.

[But all of them died in the future.]

At the Heavenly Demon’s hands.

[Its power was utterly unreasonable, didn’t you also think so?]

The Heavenly Demon was so powerful that it had killed all three of the Heavenly Venerables, while killing the rest of the five masters of the Unorthodox Faction, or putting them under its control.

Its power definitely didn’t make sense. Especially if it was a human like everyone else.

[And it was the same case for the Blood Demon.]

An existence that couldn’t be killed even with all Five Masters of the Central Plains fighting against it.

That was what the Blood Demon was.

[That bastard’s power was domineering. Even if I were to compare with the Heavenly Demon that will appear in the future, I could assure you that the Blood Demon was around the same level if not more.]

‘…It’s that bad huh.’

If the Blood Demon was really powerful enough for it to be compared to the Heavenly Demon, then it was indeed very strange for Dok Gojun to hide his identity.

[This most probably means that the bastard hasn’t fully regained its full power yet.]

If the Blood Demon had got all its power back, then it wouldn’t have left the world alone at its current state.

Cheolyoung did say that the Blood Demon was cut into pieces and scattered all over the world, so it probably couldn’t resurrect too easily.

Instead the problem was that the existence of the Blood Demon was related to the Murim Alliance.

‘And judging by how I was able to learn this only after my regression, it meant that they did a very good job hiding it. Or maybe there was a problem?’


‘Did the Heavenly Demon not know about all this?’

I didn’t think that was the case.

There was no possibility that the Heavenly Demon hadn’t known of such an unbelievable existence.

‘Perhaps, the reason the Heavenly Demon decided to strike against the Alliance was somehow related to this?’

Elder Shin had once said that the Blood Demon, and the Heavenly Demon seemed similar.

I had the thought that maybe these two were somehow related to one another.

[Hmm, it seems if we want to learn more about this, we have to listen to that old baldie and go find that Myung bastard.]

‘You say that, but he couldn’t even tell us the location because he didn’t know it himself.’

How was I supposed to find him if I wasn’t even told the location?

At my words, Elder Shin responded with a scoff.

[It’s obvious. That bastard is also probably stuck in some sort of treasure, so all we have to do is look for that. And not only do you have your bride, but you also have the lord of the clan under your control, so won’t it be easy?]


[Don’t overreact, you look like a loser.]

I let out a few fake coughs as Elder Shin frowned in disgust.

The Namgung Clan’s treasure, huh…

Would the Thunderous Sword really be there?

[Even if he’s not, we will find him someway or the other.]

Meeting and being able to talk with Cheolyoung, seems to have strengthened Elder Shin’s spirit.

But feeling an ominous premonition, I immediately asked Elder Shin.

‘Wait, are you telling me to go and search for him?’

[Hmm, who else is going to?]

He was so blunt, that I couldn’t help but let out a fake laugh.

I was seriously going to go insane…

But still I didn’t really argue much against this.

After all, this was something that I was also concerned with.

The words that Dok Gojun had said to me and the fact that the bastard’s energy felt eerily similar to the future Wi Seol-Ah, the Celestial Sword.

There were more than just a few things that I was concerned with.


‘Hmm… I should probably go back to the clan and- ‘

“Young Master Gu!”

Something poked my cheek as I turned my head around.

It was Moyong Hi-ah’s finger.

“You finally turned around.”

She spoke with quite a refreshing tone.

It didn’t fit her at all due to her cold ambience and personality.

“…What are you doing right now?”

I spoke to her with a dumbfounded expression, but she still maintained her smile and even made her eyes form a smile as well.

“I kept calling you, but you didn’t even look in this direction.”

“You should’ve tapped my shoulders then.”

“That’s a bit disrespectful though.”

And poking someone’s cheek wasn’t…?

It seemed like she didn’t really care about the frown on my face, as she continued to speak.

“You seem to have a lot of things on your mind. You were spaced out the whole time we’re walking.”

“Well, I have some business to take care of.”

“Did you finish everything you had to do in Shaolin?”

I nodded to Moyong Hi-ah.

My business at Shaolin was only for Elder Shin.

I didn’t know if meeting Cheolyoung was what Elder Shin had wanted, but I had most probably done everything that I needed to do in Shaolin.


“Hah, I thought I was done here,”

I spoke while staring at the young monk yawning in front of us.

“But another matter seems to have popped up.”

Looking away, I spoke to Moyong Hi-ah.

“Lady Moyong.”


“Do you have something you want from me?”


She was way too blunt with her response.

To be fair, she had purposely given these hints away, so how could I not notice.

“What is it? Because there’s no way that you are interested in me.”

“Why do you think that way? It is certainly possible that I might just be interested in you.”

Moyong Hi-ah interested in me?

Even if the sun rose from the west, no, even if it rose from the ground, there wouldn’t be a day where she would be interested in me.


Elder Shin whispered quietly.

Was he mad that this was the first thing he had to see after waking up?

‘Oh wait, Moyong…’

I suddenly remembered Cheolyoung’s words.

He had said that Elder Shin used to chase after the Moyong Clan’s Young Lady, but she was instead taken by the Thunderous Swo-


I let out a grunt due to the twisting pain I felt in my dantian.

This old man I swear…!

[…You better forget about the lie that old fucker said.]

‘Why do I need to forget if it’s a lie…? Elder Shin, did you really chase after Moyo- ‘

[Won’t you shut your mouth?!]

I couldn’t see Elder Shin’s face, but I could clearly picture that his face was red for some reason.

It was definitely red.

“Young Master Gu? Are you feeling okay?”

“…No, I think the food I ate earlier wasn’t too good.”

I straightened my bent back, and went back to our previous conversation.

“Anyway, I don’t think that Lady Moyong has any interest in me.”

“Why do you think so?”

“Those eyes aren’t the eyes of someone being interested in another.”

Moyong Hi-ah’s eyes widened slightly at my response.

It might have seemed a bit much for me to come to that conclusion just by looking at her eyes, but I knew Moyong Hi-ah quite well.

“I don’t know what it is that you want from me, but if you do have something you want, you’d be better off just telling me straight. I’m not really a fan of dragging things.”

Knowing her real personality, the fake persona of hers made me feel rather uncomfortable.

When I responded by setting a clear boundary between us, Moyong Hi-ah didn’t say anything afterwards.


But it did seem like she had shrunk a little bit.

If I had to compare, she looked like a kitten drenched in the rain.

However, even that could be an act of hers.

I didn’t wait for her response and instead started to move.

After a few steps, I could feel Moyong Hi-ah’s presence behind me.

After following Heeyoung for a while, I found myself back at the entrance that I had come from.

Heeyoung then put his hands together to give us a farewell.

“I hope that your visit here was satisfactory.”

“Thank you for your work.”

“You may continue walking around, if you wish to look around more. I shall be taking my leave now.”

With those parting words, Heeyoung left.

Looking at the young monk walk away, I started to walk down the stairs as well.

Moyong Hi-ah too walked down the stairs slowly, following me.

I asked her a question.

“Is there a servant waiting down there?”

Whether it was because I had suddenly spoken to her or something else, Moyong Hi-ah was late with her response.

“…Oh, yes. A servant should be waiting.”

Looking back I could see that Moyong Hi-ah’s ears had turned slightly red.

She didn’t like the cold, so why did she even decide to follow me I wonder.

‘She’s not even giving me a reason.’

I didn’t know what she wanted, but if she wasn’t going to tell me, then I had no intention to dig any further to figure it out.

Still… staring at her with hesitant eyes, I decided to ask.

“Could you give me your hand for a second?”


At my words, Moyong Hi-ah reached her hand out with a confused expression.

I remembered how Namgung Bi-ah also reddened up whether it was her hands, ears, or whatever.


I grabbed her hand and circulated some heat into her.

“I don’t know why you went out of your way to do this especially when you are weak to the cold, but do refrain from doing things that would make you exhausted. It’s more work for others around you as well.”

I knew little of her condition, but I knew that a Flame Art’s heat wouldn’t do much to help her.

-When you are by my side, the cold doesn’t affect me as much.

But I did it anyway due to that pointless memory that just popped up in my head.

Feeling the heat in her hand, Moyong Hi-ah flinched.

Still, I knew that she wouldn’t feel warm on the inside.

I didn’t know how many seconds it had been of me holding her hand, but after feeling that I had given her enough heat, I let go of Moyong Hi-ah’s hands right away.

“You may leave first. I need to go back to Shaolin, I seem to have left something there.”

“Ah…! Wait!”

Moyong Hi-ah tried to say something to me, but I ignored her and ran back up to Shaolin.

Because of that…

“I knew it…”

I couldn’t hear what Moyong Hi-ah had whispered.


Heeyoung was a child monk.

Ever since his birth, he had been picked up by Shaolin’s martial artists and lived his life as a monk.

He had a good nature, while also having a good amount of talent for martial arts. So he was a child that received a lot of love in Shaolin.

He was also quite good at giving people a tour, and Heeyoung liked meeting people as well, so he worked hard at the job.

He was so good in fact, that some people even visited Shaolin just for Heeyoung.

After Heeyoung was done, he picked up a small broom and made his way.

He had to sweep the ground and go train his martial arts after.


While moving with a broom in his hand, Heeyoung turned around feeling a presence from behind him.

“Oh? Young Master Gu.”

Behind him, stood Gu Yangcheon, to whom he had just given a tour.

Heeyoung thought that he had gone down as he had given him a farewell, but it seemed like the Young Master had something left to do, as he was back.

Heeyoung, after looking at Gu Yangcheon for a while, spoke with a small smile.

“Perhaps, you have something you have lef- “


Heeyoung flinched hearing Gu Yangcheon’s voice that had cut him midway.

It was fair, because to young Heeyoung, Gu Yangcheon’s voice was way too scary.

And more so the hostility held inside his words made Heeyoung’s legs shiver.

“Y-Young Master Gu…?”

“Where is it?”

“What are you even sayin-, Ugh!”

As Heeyoung asked with a shaky voice, Gu Yangcheon ran towards him at lightning speed and grabbed his neck.

“Cough… Cough cough…!”

Heeyoung coughed being choked with such great pressure, but Gu Yangcheon only glared at Heeyoung with fiery eyes.

“Youn… ghhh… Mast… Hel…p…”

Heeyoung begged for his life, feeling immense fear.

“We’ve met before, right?”

Heeyoung stopped shivering and ceased his screaming, hearing the words that had come out of Gu Yangcheon’s mouth.

“You, you have seen me before, isn’t that right?”

A few months ago in the Gu Clan that was.

Hearing Gu Yangcheon speak with certainty, Heeyoung’s scared expression instantly changed into an emotionless one.

And all of a sudden Heeyoung’s face started to change shape, as well.

It was a sickening display.

What used to be Heeyoung, spoke to Gu Yangcheon.

“How did you know?”


At those words, Gu Yangcheon twisted the bastard’s neck without hesitation.

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Chapter 178: Pieces (4)
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