The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 17

Chapter 8. In the End, I Came Myself -03 (Revised)

“It has been a while.”

“I’ll lead you to Grandmaster Taesang.”

“Thank you.”

Hwanggeom’s expression grew complex in the face of a greeting that was neither too much nor too little, but just politely formal.

He had many questions he wanted to ask, but it was an awkward time to do so.

And since he could not just leave Grandmaster Taesang and go off on his own, Hwanggeom merely twitched his lips in response.

“It seems you had some good fortune on your recent outing.”

“Nothing bad happened.”

“You don’t seem keen on sharing.”

“I just don’t think it’s something worth boasting about.”

At Seok Jin-ho’s decisive response, Hwanggeom, who had been trying to probe subtly, clicked his tongue.

Indeed, the current Seok Jin-ho was a tough nut to crack.

‘This is frustrating.’

He was very curious, but since a clear line had been drawn, he could no longer inquire further.

Not to mention, it would have been inappropriate to force answers from Grandmaster Taesang’s grandson and a subject of particular interest like Seok Jin-ho.

Even if he tried to forcefully ask the questions, it did not seem like Seok Jin-ho would respond willingly.

‘Is he really a late bloomer talent?’

His stride and even his breathing seemed far too refined for a beginner. If one just looked at his movements, hiding his face, they might think he was a seasoned martial artist.

What was even more surprising was his steady flow of energy.

At a glance, his cultivation seemed to be between the first to a hundred years’ worth, but for Hwanggeom, it seemed wrong to judge purely based on energy alone.

Knock, knock, knock.

Lost in thoughts, Hwanggeom found himself already in front of Seokbi Gang’s study.

“Grandmaster Taesang, it’s Hwanggeom. I have brought young master Seok Jin-ho to you.”

“Come in.”

“Yes.”

Responding to the deep voice coming from inside, Hwanggeom opened the door himself.

Yet he did not enter.

He thought it was not his place to intervene in a conversation between grandfather and grandson.

But before closing the door, he didn’t forget to send a message through a voice transmission to Seokbi Gang.

“How have you been?”

“Not well. How can I be when my grandson left the house without a word to me?”

“What if I had contacted you, would you really have come?”

“Are you making fun of your grandfather again?”

Seokbi Gang chuckled wryly at Seok Jin-ho, who did not hesitate to make candid remarks even in his presence.

But to Seokbi Gang, this attitude did not seem bad.

As a man should have a certain level of courage, especially those who handle big affairs.

“I merely spoke the truth.”

“There are many who can’t say even that, you know?”

“Is that so?”

Seok Jin-ho responded with an ambiguous expression.

He felt there was no need for him to say more than necessary.

“So, something good has happened outside? You seem different. Even Hwanggeom mentioned it.”

“I was lucky.”

“What kind of good fortune was it?”

“Just a fortunate event.”

Seok Jin-ho grinned broadly.

It was clear he didn’t feel like going into the tedious details.

But this fresh attitude struck Seokbi Gang as intriguing.

No one else within the household would dare speak to him in such a manner, so it was both surprising and amusing.

“Don’t you even want to tell your grandfather?”

“It’s not that important.”

“So, you’ve decided on the martial world after all.”

“Yes.”

“You haven’t made your final decision, have you?”

While holding a tea pot brought by the attendant, Seokbi Gang personally poured tea into Seok Jin-ho’s cup.

However, at his words, Seok Jin-ho did not respond.

He just silently took a sip of the tea.

“I am somewhat decided.”

“···You’re not thinking of leaving, are you?”

“There’s nothing I want to do here.”

“This is your home.”

Seokbi Gang’s expression changed.

He had always hoped Seok Jin-ho would stay, hence he spoke with resolve.

Had it been before, he might not have cared, but now many things had changed.

“Just because it’s home doesn’t mean I have to stay. There have always been departures.”

“You are different.”

“It is so now. But had it been in the past, could I really have sat across from Grandmaster Taesang like this?”

“Hmm!”

Taken aback by Seok Jin-ho’s direct words, Seokbi Gang was momentarily at a loss for words.

At the same time, he realized that Seok Jin-ho had never once called him grandfather in their conversations spanning from his seventieth birthday to now.

He had always respectfully addressed him as Grandmaster Taesang.

“Honestly, you’re showing interest now because I seem useful.”

“I can’t deny that. But my wish for you to stay is genuine.”

“Thank you for saying so, but I’m sorry.”

“Are you truly going to leave?”

Seokbi Gang could not hide the regret in his voice as he spoke.

The grandson that he had taken a liking to was Seok Jin-ho, and Hwanggeom, known for being stingy with praise, even wondered if he was a genius.

Seokbi Gang sincerely hoped Seok Jin-ho would stay for the betterment of Seok Clan.

“Yes.”

“There is no room for consideration?”

“No.”

“Think it over one more time. I’ll personally create a position for you. And I’ll fully support whatever you wish to do.”

Seokbi Gang had laid all his cards on the table.

He figured nothing less would sway Seok Jin-ho’s decision.

He had not planned to go to these lengths at first.

But Hwanggeom’s voice transmission had changed his mind.

“I’ll graciously accept your good intentions.”

“Hah!”

Seokbi Gang exhaled a long sigh.

He had believed that this much would make Seok Jin-ho waver.

There had never been such support for a clan member in the history of the Seok Clan.

Yet Seok Jin-ho seemed to be thinking differently.

“I don’t believe I’m quite the outstanding individual you make me out to be.”

“Swallow your spit before you tell lies like that. Who would believe those words?”

“I expect quite a few might.”

“You don’t plan on just staying cooped up in here, do you…?”

Seokbi Gang’s gaze sharpened.

He pondered whether all this was a clever ploy to smoothly fade from memory and leave the Seok Clan.

Considering Seok Jin-ho’s behavior to this point, it wouldn’t be surprising if such a meticulous plan were indeed possible.

“I have business to attend to.”

“I’ve heard you’ve taken in a new servant.”

“It’s not so much taking in, but rather keeping an eye on. The more people I can command, the better off I’ll be. And it’s not the time to worry about fixed costs.”

“Let me be frank. What do you plan to do once you leave? You’re shunning a smooth path laid out before you.”

Seokbi Gang stared at Seok Jin-ho with intense eyes.

It was the same look he had as a former clan leader, one that could subdued hundreds of family members with just a glance.

But Seok Jin-ho simply brushed aside Seokbi Gang’s imposing look.

“It may be a good path for others, but to me, it doesn’t have much appeal.”

“You don’t want to be a dragon’s tail?”

“A dragon?”

Seokbi Gang was bringing up a potentially sensitive topic.

However, Seok Jin-ho’s reaction was far different from what he had expected, even laughing as if to dismiss the idea that the Seok Clan could be called a dragon.

“What does that laughter mean? That it’s not a dragon?”

“I believe Grandmaster Taesang already knows the answer without my having to say.”

“···Then you could be the one to raise it into a dragon.”

“Such is not my responsibility. That belongs to my older brothers and sisters.”

“You also carry the blood of the Seok Clan.”

Seokbi Gang sighed as Seok Jin-ho coldly drew a line with his words.

The conversation hinted at it, but Seok Jin-ho had no attachment to the Seok Clan.

That was something Seokbi Gang came to understand clearly this time.

The bitterness was that he found himself agreeing completely.

“Only half.”

“Hmm!”

“It doesn’t mean I will sever ties by leaving. It’s just that what I want to do lies beyond the home.”

“Do you plan on returning?”

Seokbi Gang asked with a glimmer of hope in his expression.

However, the answer was opposite to what he had hoped for.

“No.”

“···It might change later, couldn’t it?”

“Maybe. But it seems unlikely.”

“Just like someone from our line, so very stubborn.”

In the end, Seokbi Gang grumbled in resignation.

He realized that no matter what, it was impossible to change Seok Jin-ho’s mind.

But that didn’t mean he had given up.

If it were about tenacity, he was second to none.

“The tenacity of the Seok Clan is great, isn’t it?”

“Even so, come see me now and then. It seems there’s a little more than half a year left.”

“I may leave earlier.”

“Leave after your birthday. That’s my request—an old man’s wish. You can at least do that, right?”

“Hmm.”

Seok Jin-ho did not immediately respond.

He dragged out the moment, as if biding his time.

But even knowing this, Seokbi Gang could do nothing but acquiesce.

Seok Jin-ho held the upper hand as soon as he showed any willingness to engage.

“Can’t you at least honor that much of a request?”

“Understood.”

Under Seokbi Gang’s urging, Seok Jin-ho answered as if he couldn’t help it.

For now, he would agree, but he planned to come up with various excuses later on.

Even after parting with Seokbi Gang, Seok Jin-ho couldn’t go straight to his quarters.

Now, Seok Mi-ryong’s bodyguard was waiting for him at the entrance of the wall-gate, so he had no choice but to head in that direction.

“Our Jin-ho is quite impressive. Even earning favor from grandfather.”

“I’m not sure when I started being referred to as ‘our Jin-ho’.”

“Don’t be so touchy. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other, isn’t that a bit too cold?”

“Is it?”

Seok Jin-ho gave an indifferent response, stroking Heukwih, who had climbed up onto the bridge.

Turning with the bodyguard, the cat followed without hesitation, even going so far as to enter Seok Mi-ryong’s office.

But Seok Mi-ryong looked at Heukwih with a rather peculiar look.

“Where did you pick up that cat?”

“It followed me more than me picking it up.”

“It followed you?”

“Yes. It’s quite a smart little thing.”

Meow!

Pleased by Seok Jin-ho’s hand scratching his brow, Heukwih started to wag its tail, and then closed its eyes as if enjoying the sensation.

“Cute, can I pet it too?”

Seok Mi-ryong’s pupils dilated at the sight of the cat’s shiny fur and adorable size, coupled with its charming behavior.

Despite the ongoing succession dispute, she was still a woman—and still barely twenty, making her susceptible to cute and adorable things.

“I think it wouldn’t like that.”

“Huh? Aren’t you the owner?”

“It’s no ordinary creature.”

Haahk!

As Seok Mi-ryong cautiously reached out hand on the table, Heukwih immediately reacted, growling at her as if it never had a merry moment.

Faced with this, Seok Mi-ryong recoiled reflexively, her face tinged with sadness.

“That’s mean.”

“It’s very loyal.”

“Make it sound even more desirable why don’t you. Would you sell it to me?”

“I can’t sell what isn’t mine to sell.”

“Pout!”

As soon as she withdrew her hand, Heukwih resumed its tail wagging and closed its eyes again, to which Seok Mi-ryong was unable to look away.

The more she looked, the more she coveted the creature.

However, with the owner unwilling to part with it, even she was helpless.

Especially now, as she needed to win Seok Jin-ho’s favor, she could not indulge her desires so openly.

“I want to touch it. I really just want to pat it once.”

Seok Mi-ryong mumbled, a despondent expression on her face, longing to easily pet it as Seok Jin-ho did.

For that reason, she gazed at Heukwih as if mesmerized.

“He’s a bit shy around strangers.”

“Would it be alright if you held him? No, on second thought, it’s better to try and entice him.”

Her eyes sparkling, Seok Mi-ryong called for the attendant.

Then she ordered something and when the attendant returned, the tray he carried was filled with small fish and various types of jerky.

Perk!

Chapter 8. In the End, I Came Myself -03 (Revised) End



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