Chapter 47. The Secret Between The Two
Rin approached the two people stealthily, but hesitated along the way.
Did the young lady ever talk with someone she saw for the first time as naturally as that? Rin quickly scrolled through her memories, but there didn’t seem to be a case of that ever happening.
Should she really ruin this moment? Did she have the qualifications to do that?
Rin’s mind was filled with chaos.
‘Uu, what do I do?’
Rin glanced at the other side of the artificial pond.
She couldn’t sense it, but the administrator was probably watching her from the other side. She didn’t have the courage to face the man’s cold gaze again.
Rin thought for a while, then bit her lips and steeled her heart. If she delayed things longer, things might get really troublesome.
“Rin from the Ruling Fire House comes to take the young lady.”
When Rin suddenly made her appearance, Gongson Ahri made a surprised expression.
Rin spoke before Gongson Ahri could say anything.
“…….The elders in the house will get worried if you stay out this long, young lady.”
A frustrated face.
Gongson Ahri stared at Rin’s face with a helpless expression, then soon turned to Cho Ryu Hyang with a sad face.
“It looks like I have to go back now.”
Cho Ryu Hyang didn’t reply. His meeting with her was quite interesting, but that was it.
‘There’s no need to pay attention to anything else.’
That was how Cho Ryu Hyang stabilized his trembling heart. For some reason, whenever he looked at Gongson Ahri, he felt a little weird.
Cho Ryu Hyang fixed his glasses, and looked at the two people in front of him. At the same time, he could see the number floating above Gongson Ahri’s head.
It looks like you really can’t fool blood.
Gongson Ahri. Her talent had an astronomical value of seventy three.
Cho Ryu Hyang looked around, and scratched his cheeks. He hadn’t noticed it before, but there happened to be an immense number of people hiding in the shadows around him.
It looked like they were there to protect the garden. And amongst them, there was a single man who stood out of everyone else.
‘Who is that?’
Cho Ryu Hyang’s interest was no longer on Gongson Ahri, but rather that person. That person who was hiding on top of a single tree.
This person, who had a gray mantle on his face, possessed a number that far outstripped everyone else’s.
Who is that? Cho Ryu Hyang became curious.
Right then, Gongson Ahri stood up from her spot, and took off the bracelet around her arm.
“It was good seeing you. Here, this is a present from me to you.”
Cho Ryu Hyang looked at the bracelet in front of him. The bracelet was made of dark jade. At first glance, one could tell that this object was something very precious.
Cho Ryu Hyang, after taking a good look at it, looked back up at Gongson Ahri and spoke.
“I have no reason to take this from you.”
Gongson Ahri shook her head.
“You’re wrong. You do have a reason to take this from me.”
“And what would that reason be?”
“You said you are dad’s disciple, right? That means you’re like family to me.”
While Cho Ryu Hyang was wondering if that really was a valid excuse, Gongson Ahri looked down and spoke.
“Thank you for becoming dad’s disciple. Please take care of him well.”
Gongson Ahri forced the bracelet into his hands while he was frozen in place, not knowing what to do.
“I hope we meet again in the future.”
Cho Ryu Hyang simply stared at Gongson Ahri, while she quickly walked away. He soon came back to his senses, then started to look at the top of the tree next to him.
He was doing that because on the tree was a man in gray, who was looking down at Cho Ryu Hyang. Cho Ryu Hyang could feel a strong sense of distrust in that man’s eyes.
‘He can see me?’
He quickly dispelled the thought that came up in his mind.
It just wasn’t possible. Other than the Pope himself, there was no one in the church who could find him if he hid himself. Even the strongest of the eight guardians, Guardian Wu and Ju, wouldn’t be able to find him, unless, of course, he was caught off guard.
The administrator. He was actually a hidden harmonious expert.
‘But then, that gaze…….’
Wasn’t the boy clearly staring right at him? A feeling of suspicion slowly crept up in the administrator’s heart.
While the administrator was caught in something of a dilemma, Cho Ryu Hyang opened his mouth.
“I want to talk to you.”
“Can you come down?”
The administrator opened his mouth, and closed it again. His impossible suspicion was actually correct.
* * *
“Rin, how was I? Did I look weird?”
“Yes. You looked weird.”
“Really? What do I do….”
Rin didn’t immediately respond to Gongson Ahri. She just made a bitter face.
Gongson Ahri’s red face didn’t disappear, even after leaving the garden. The reason for that was obvious. It was so obvious, it was startling, even.
“Did you fall for him?”
Gongson Ahri stopped moving, and looked at Rin.
“Eeh? What does that mean?”
“Did you fall for Cho Ryu Hyang?”
Gongson Ahri made a dumb face when she faced multiple questions from Rin.
“Did I really……. I don’t know…….”
Rin became a little worried when she saw Gongson Ahri become confused like this.
Gongson Ahri was a person who was scared of human relationships. Cho Ryu Hyang may have not known this, but the attitude Gongson Ahri showed to Cho Ryu Hyang while talking actually took her a lot of courage.
‘I really hope she gets rewarded for doing that…….’
Cho Ryu Hyang was probably the first person ever to look at Gongson Ahri straight in the eye while talking. That was probably what made Gongson Ahri so social…….
“Would he not like me?”
A depressed void came out of Gongson Ahri. Rin took a look at the girl next to her, and opened her mouth.
“No way. There’s no one capable of not liking you.”
Rin combed Gongson Ahri’s hair, which had turned messy while running, and spoke.
“After all, you’re prettier than anyone else in the world, right? You should have some confidence.”
Rin smiled when she saw Gongson Ahri’s toothy grin.
“By the way, just what do you like about him?”
Gongson Ahri began to think seriously when she heard this question. Just what did she like about him? After thinking for a bit, Gongson Ahri looked at Rin, and answered.
“Eyes. I’ve never seen someone with eyes that pretty.”
Rin squinted her eyes when she heard that. Then she smiled mischievously, and spoke.
“Looks like you really did fall for him.”
Gongson Ahri finally figured out that she had been tricked, but before she could do anything else, Rin quickly pushed in.
“That’s good. Girls turn pretty when they fall in love. You’re definitely going to get prettier in the future.”
Gongson Ahri let out a nervous shout.
Rin smiled, and spoke.
“I’ll keep it a secret from others.”
“Yeah. But you’ll have to listen to me from now on, alright?”
Gongson Ahri hugged Rin tightly. Rin pat Gongson Ahri in return, and decided to help the girl in her endeavors.
* * *
“You’re probably not going to believe the prophecies that this old hag’s going to talk about.”
Gongson Chun Gi’s answer was frank. However, the monk wasn’t surprised. Perhaps she already expected something like this to happen? She simply smiled, and opened her mouth.
“I knew it. You’re that kind of a person, after all.”
The oracle. The old female who used to be called that hesitated for a moment, then began to talk.
“Contrary to what others think, I don’t actually hate you. In fact, I’m grateful towards you. Do you know that?”
Gongson Chun Gi looked at the oracle, and smirked.
“Of course I do.”
“Did you also know that I was in love with you from a young age?”
It was a question that strayed from the main topic. Gongson Chun Gi stroked his beard, and smiled.
“You looked at me all the time. There was no way I wouldn’t have noticed.”
The oracle smiled. She was finally able to confess her feelings after several decades. It felt good.
“There really are some good things that happen later in my life. I thought I would never be able to say it. I was too embarrassed.”
The oracle said this, and stared at Gongson Chun Gi’s face. She spoke.
“I hated this job from the first moment. My position was quite high, but I was able to do nothing on my own. It was a frustrating life. You were the one who set me free from those chains. I’m thankful for that.”
“It needed to happen anyways. There’s no reason for you to be thankful.”
The oracle nodded. Gongson Chun Gi became a Pope at too young an age. It was probably necessary for the young him to push off the oracle in order to secure his position.
The oracle looked down at her wrinkled hands, and opened her mouth.
“Martial arts are really quite unfair. To think that I’m dying already, and you didn’t even change from the past……. It’s unfair.”
Gongson Chun Gi didn’t say anything. He just looked at the oracle for a while, and frowned. There was a black energy surrounding the oracle. It was the cloud of death.
“You really are dying.”
The oracle confirmed it.
“I’ll probably last 15 days at most.”
“Is that a prophecy?”
Prophecies. Gongson Chun Gi felt a sense of rejection at the very word. Therefore, he made a very uncomfortable expression.
The oracle grinned when she saw Gongson Chun Gi’s expression.
“Hoho, if you don’t like that expression, let’s just call it the wisdom of life.”
“Wisdom of life. That’s not a bad way of putting it.”
Gongson Chun Gi brought a cup of tea to his mouth, and spoke.
“Honestly, you were quite a fine woman.”
“You should blame me for having such high expectations for everything.”
The oracle looked at Gongson Chun Gi, and cheerfully smiled.
“Hoho, but I really didn’t think you’d fall in love with a foreigner.”
“Aah, she really was amazing. The best woman in my life.”
When Gongson Chun Gi gave a thumbs up, the oracle smiled.
At the time, there was an immense amount of rejection from the members of the church, but no one could get Gongson Chun Gi to change his mind. At the time, a marriage with a foreigner really was too abnormal.
And to think a person like the Pope of the Heavenly Demon Church would try to marry a foreigner. Such a thing has never happened in the course of history itself.
But it still happened. After all, the Pope really was set on marrying the woman.
“Seeing you try to learn the foreigner’s language and culture really touched me. Even if you had to learn everything again from the start, you still looked happy.”
“Aah, I was indeed happy.”
Gongson Chun Gi licked his lips as he said that. Even if the time he spent with her was small, his regret of having to see her go lasted to this day. But he was still satisfied. After all, didn’t his wife leave him with something that he wouldn’t even be able to trade with the world?
The oracle, who had been observing Gongson Chun Gi think of the past, spoke.
“You know, even if I never was able to say what I had in my mind, I still got satisfied with just looking at you every day. It was the only thing that I really enjoyed in life.”
Gongson Chun Gi rested his head on his hand, and grinned at the oracle.
“You’re saying all this at this age, of all things? There’s a lot of women who do the same thing as you, you know?”
The oracle smiled. Gongson Chun Gi’s brazen attitude still hadn’t changed from the past.
“Looks like you just brought me here to say everything you wanted to say before you died. I’ll let you off for once, damned hag.”
The oracle nodded. Then, she straightened her back, and put on a serious face, contrary to before.
“Just think of what I’m about to say as an old woman’s nagging.”
“An old woman’s nagging……. is it something like a wisdom of life?”
Gongson Chun Gi looked at the oracle as he leaned back on his chair even more than before.
The oracle nodded and spoke. It didn’t matter what the Pope thought. She just wanted to have the Pope listen to her words at least once. That would be sufficient.
“I got a prophecy about ten days ago. Of course, you wouldn’t believe this.”
A prophecy was something very uncertain. After all, even God is something that people doubt exist, don’t they?
From the moment the church stopped worshipping the sun and the moon, ‘God’ lost its power.
But she got a prophecy despite that? Was she telling him to believe in something that he didn’t know where it came from?
Gongson Chun Gi didn’t complain, though. From the start, he didn’t believe in either God or prophecies.
But he was still kind enough to listen to what a old woman had to say.
“A darkness will descend from the North. It’s going to be dangerous.”
What was up in the North again? While Gongson Chun Gi was thinking of such things, the oracle spoke again.
“You can’t see the danger now, but it’s already near, so you’ll have to get ready for it. After all, this danger is so great, that it might be a threat even to you.”
Gongson Chun Gi smiled. The only thing that could threaten him was time.
Age. Even Gongson Chun Gi couldn’t stop the terrifying power of time.
But other than that, there was no one in the entire world who could be a threat to him. The oracle should know this better than anyone. But since it was the oracle, who knew of his power, saying this in the first place, he became quite amused.
A martial artist’s life was full of dangers. Since the Alliance was significantly weakened, the Heavenly Demon Church had no enemies under the heavens.
But he still had to be on guard? He didn’t believe in prophecies in the first place, but this was actually quite interesting.
“I’ll be looking forward to it, hag.”
The oracle smiled. This was good. As long as the Pope was aware of this situation, all would be well.
The Pope she knew was a person strong enough to destroy the heavens. As long as such a person knew of the dangers that might befall him, he should be able to deal with it properly.
“Hoho, now I can die in peace.”
Gongson Chun Gi refilled the oracle’s empty cup with tea, and spoke.
“I pray that you go to a good place.”
This was the end. Speaking any more than this would just make things awkward. This would be the last meeting between Gongson Chun Gi and the oracle. After exactly 15 days, the oracle died.
It was all according to her prophecy.