Hwadaerang looked at me with eyes filled with anticipation.
After thinking for a moment, I sighed and said.
“As you all know, I am just a branch manager.”
“I don’t mean to break my promise. However, as I have no authority over personnel affairs, I cannot make the Hwa Small Cooperatives my leader or assign them to the Sacheon branch.”
“I will take the entrance exam myself. “From now on, the cooperative will only take care of the matter of my being assigned to the Sacheon branch.”
“Small cooperative. As I said a little while ago…”
“I don’t think it was a coincidence that the Dam Sohyeop was assigned to the Sacheon branch.”
It was a sharp point.
The reason Damun was able to follow me and be assigned to the Sacheon branch was thanks to the support of Sohyeongeom, an elder of the Maeng, behind the scenes.
It would not have been impossible to assign Hwa Daerang to the Sacheon branch in the same way.
“Is there any reason to join the union in such a hurry?”
However, I could not understand why Hwadaerang made such a request.
It was in the same context as when Dang Seo-yeon announced her intention to join.
It was wartime.
There was no way Hwadaerang did not know that there was nothing good about joining the club right away.
“Don’t they say to remove the ox’s horn as quickly as possible?”
“With the capabilities and background of the small cooperatives, we will be able to achieve success even if we join after the end of the Great War.”
“I don’t want to take advantage of my status as the son of the Hwayang merchant. “I will build up my achievements step by step and be recognized by everyone.”
“There is a saying that three years of misfortune are unknown.”
Three years of bad luck and unknown.
The meaning is, ‘Do not fly or cry for three years.’
It contained the meaning of waiting for the right time to fly farther and cry louder in the future.
Hwadaerang shook his head with a bitter smile.
“On the other hand, there is also a saying called Mansijitan.”
The meaning is ‘belated lament.’
When I asked the meaning with his eyes, Hwadaerang sighed and explained.
“There are people who want me to follow in my father’s footsteps and lead Hwayang Sangdan.”
“Are you saying that the owner of the Hwayang Sangdan is trying to force the Sohyeop to take the position of the head of the Sangdan?”
“no. “My father said he would understand and respect my wishes.”
“There are a lot of different people at the top. “There are some who think it is better to entrust management to a capable agent rather than me, who is not interested in the affairs of the upper management, while there are also those who think that they can only preserve their position if I take over as the upper management.”
“…I understand what you’re saying.”
“In the worst case scenario, you may find yourself in a top position against your will. “I want to leave the top and become independent before that happens.”
“Even so, there is no need to apply to the Sacheon branch.”
The current Hwadaerang was a talented player who could be heard and treated as a drummer no matter where he went in the midfield.
Among late-stage indices, it was easily ranked at the top.
I thought that it would be better to apply to a department where I could fully utilize my abilities, rather than an assignment that was avoided, such as the Sacheon branch.
“I like the Sacheon branch.”
“Is it because I work there?”
“You may be disappointed. “The pay will be low and you won’t be treated very well.”
“Not only that. “It’s a little better than before, but basically the public’s perception of the Sacheon branch is not that good.”
“It doesn’t matter. “I still have a lot of money, and things like status and fame will naturally follow as I accumulate merit.”
“Are you serious?”
“Even though I was more interested in martial arts than the family business, I also have merchant blood flowing through me.”
“The persimmon I inherited from my father is telling me this. “The investment now will return with great benefits in the future.”
“Invest… … .”
I crossed my arms and laughed.
It seemed like it would be difficult to break Hwa Dae-rang’s will.
‘Well, I have no reason to object if a talented person of this level wants to come under me on his own.’
Military status background.
He was the person who was missing nothing.
The more capable subordinates there were, the better.
Moreover, it would be possible to maintain a close relationship with Hwayang Sangdan just by having him by his side.
“Have you conveyed your intention to negotiate with the owner of Hwayang Sangdan?”
“I haven’t told you yet.”
“In that case, please ask permission first.”
Hwadaerang jumped up from his seat, looked at me with a burdened expression, and asked.
“Are you consenting?”
“Shouldn’t you keep your promise? However, if we do not receive proper permission from the owner of the business, we will pretend that this story never happened.”
“Do not worry. We will make sure to get permission. If my father says, ‘I can’t allow it until dirt gets in my eyes,’ even if I sprinkle dirt…!”
“Please don’t do that.”
I waved my hands and laughed.
It couldn’t have been a truly scary joke.
‘After learning the fire technique, I have become a good child of the fire attribute.’
* * *
“Is there a problem. “Dam Seogi.”
“A messenger has been sent from the Maeng’s headquarters to the Hwayang Merchant Marine.”
“It seems that the branch manager found out that he was staying at Hwayang Sangdan and sent someone to contact him.”
“Are you saying you came to visit me and not the owner of Hwayang Sangdan?”
I slowly narrowed my eyebrows and got up from the bed.
After putting the martial arts book that I read over and over again on the table, I followed Damun out of the dorm.
“What did the messenger say?”
“I haven’t met you yet. I guess I immediately relayed the story I heard from the guard at the top to the branch leader…”
“I understand for now.”
As I entered the living room, a tall man stood up and greeted me.
The Hyeonmu emblem engraved on his chest suggested that he was a member of the Hyeonmu Troupe.
“My name is Peng Gang, and I am a member of the Seven Groups of the Xuanwu Dynasty.”
“This is Yeon-Woon, the head of the Sacheon branch. “I heard you came to see me.”
“yes. “I have come to convey the Lord’s command.”
I sat down opposite Peng Gang and tilted my head.
Why did the Murim Lord suddenly send a messenger to me and give me an order?
To summarize Peng Gang’s next words, they were as follows.
< Before returning to the branch, stop by the Maeng headquarters for a while. >
< I have something to say about the captured Demons. >
In short, a summons order had been issued.
I had doubts, but I couldn’t raise any objections.
Whose order would you reject?
After Peng Gang left Hwayang Sangdan after completing his errand.
I looked back at Damun and asked his opinion.
“What do you think?”
“It seems I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.”
“Didn’t you already pass on all the information you obtained from interrogating the film crew to the Meng? “It does not appear that the branch manager was simply called to hear the situation.”
“What Secretary Dam said is correct. “If they were going to call us about an issue regarding the Youngeumdae in the first place, they would have contacted us right away while we were staying at the Namgung House.”
“What would you like to do?”
“What can I do when I hear that the Lord himself gave a summons order while he was sleeping? In any case, there was a need to stop by the main body of the Hwa-Sohyeop to deal with the issue of joining the Hwa-Sohyeop.”
“But I guess we’ll have to hurry up the schedule a bit. “Nothing good will come from showing a lackadaisical attitude.”
* * *
After finishing all my errands in Zhejiang.
My group and I immediately set off on a journey to Honam.
With the addition of Hwadaerang, the number of people increased from eight to nine.
Hwayang Sangdan tried to provide an attendant, but it was canceled because Hwadaerang openly showed that he did not like it.
After traveling for five days, the group reached Jangsa, where the headquarters of the Murim Alliance was located.
“Should we say that this is the area where the headquarters of the Murim Alliance is located? “It’s more prosperous than I thought.”
“Is this your first time coming to the business?”
“I once came here with my father when the upper level was not yet large. “It happened when I was very young, so I don’t remember it clearly, but…”
Hwadaerang walked around the street with a very excited expression and looked around the street.
Perhaps because he had been stuck at the top for a long time, he seemed to really enjoy the act of traveling.
“Once you arrive at your destination and unpack, you can have some free time. At this point, it might be a good idea to look around the streets of other places. “I will take care of matters related to membership.”
As we moved around chatting about various things, we were soon able to reach Maeng’s headquarters.
Unlike the previous time when he defeated the Iron Blood Demon Army and delivered the martial arts books he had acquired to the headquarters, this time not a single leader came out to meet him.
I announced my arrival to the warrior guarding the entrance and waited. Soon, a man wearing a military uniform with the Suzaku (朱雀) symbol on his chest came out and guided me and my group.
‘It’s a face I’ve seen before.’
The face of the Suzaku agent was familiar to my eyes.
It was a middle-aged woman who informed the participants of the rules during the preliminary round of the Yongbong branch.
As he was a strong man who had reached the peak of his power, he remained clearly in my memory.
“Please use this place during your stay in Meng.”
“Thank you for the guidance.”
Unpack your luggage at your accommodation.
While the rest of the group was resting, I followed the member of the main team and headed straight to Maengjubu.
As I stepped into the spacious conference room, six pairs of eyes looked at me at the same time.
Compared to before, the number of people has become considerably smaller.
‘I heard that most elders don’t attend meetings often.’
I smiled to myself as I recalled the conversation I had with Painter Joo in the past.
Elders who are not interested in the big or small affairs of the people and only act for their own benefit.
It was a truly attractive title.
Originally, a big man’s butt had to be heavy.
Murim Lord Joo Hwabaek offered me a seat with a faint smile on his face.
“Sacheon Branch Manager Yeon-woon meets Master Maeng.”
Although the number of people was small, each person here was a giant that could not be ignored.
The middle-aged man wearing a military uniform with a blue dragon pattern on his chest was the chieftain of the Cheongryongdae, and the old woman wearing a military uniform with a Suzaku pattern on his chest was the chieftain of the Suzakudae.
In addition, the elders of the Ami faction and the communal faction, and the commander-in-chief Zhuge Huan, who I had seen before, caught my eye.
“I heard that you suffered a hardship after being attacked by assassins dispatched from the Demonic Cult.”
“They say that most of the demons who were escorted to the village have turned into idiots.”
“Immediately after capturing him alive, he was interrogated using dead soul poison. They kept in mind that if they did not take the antidote before a certain period of time, they might have taken a poison that could lead to death… … .”
“The reason I called you today is because I want to ask you a few things about them.”