The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 20

Chapter 9. Skyrocketing Value -02

However, he did not simply back down.

For a merchant, to passively watch such an opportunity would be unthinkable.

Moreover, maintaining a good relationship with the Habeok Pang family could never be a bad thing.

‘I was already starting to think about matrimony, too,’ he mused.

Seokjin-ryong’s gaze shifted subtly towards Pang Na-yeon, who was amiably conversing with the fourth son.

Although she was tall for a woman, her proportions were so exquisite that she seemed less large and more like a statue.

Furthermore, her slender yet well-defined figure managed to stir his heart.

It was also known that Pang Na-yeon surpassed her two older brothers in martial arts talent.

‘The Habeok Pang family has been known for its sturdy physique since ancient times. In other words, their strong foundational body could alter even the Seok family’s weaker constitution.’

The Habeok Pang family had long been renowned for their robust constitutions.

On the other hand, the descendants of the Seok family had consistently suffered from poor physical strength.

Despite using their immense wealth to marry daughters of prestigious martial families in hopes of changing their constitution, there had been no significant improvement so far.

Hence, Seokjin-ryong desired Pang Na-yeon even more.

‘With the financial power of my family and the addition of martial prowess, it wouldn’t be impossible to become the supreme family under the heavens. Initially, among the ten great families, then the five great clans, and eventually surpassing the Nangong family to become the very best.’

Ambition burnt fiercely in Seokjin-ryong’s eyes.

He, too, had painted a grand vision just like the head of the Seok family.

But the inkling of his ambition vanished as quickly as it surfaced.

He thought it unnecessary to reveal his thoughts at this moment.

“I shall consider it.”

“The family head will surely wish to meet both Master Baek and Miss Pang.”

“I will take it into consideration.”

Baek Sang-gun did not provide a definite answer.

The two had come to find Seokjin-ho, not to meet with the head of the Seok family or Seokjin-ryong.

Moreover, the choice was not theirs to make; it rested in Pang Na-yeon’s hands.

“We look forward to hearing good news then.”

With a consistent smile, Seokjin-ryong bowed his head politely.

At the same time, he did not forget to cast a resentful glance at Seokjin-ho.

To him, the sight of Pang Na-yeon conversing with Seokjin-ho was quite objectionable.

‘What is going on between them to warrant such a debt of gratitude?’

Watching Baek Sang-gun walk away without a word, Seokjin-ryong’s brow furrowed.

His expression was utterly different from the affable one he maintained moments earlier.

“Hey.”

“Yes, young master.”

“Find out what’s going on between that fellow and the Habeok Pang family.”

“Excuse me?”

The bodyguard at Seokjin-ryong’s side opened his eyes wide in surprise.

Within the Seok family, he was an outstanding martial artist, but in the grand scheme, especially compared to the whole of Habeok Province, he was nothing special.

Meanwhile, Baek Sang-gun was a martial artist known as the Bungsan Iron Fist, one of the top ten experts even within the Habeok Pang family, which left the bodyguard visibly perplexed.

“So, are you saying you can’t?”

“…I will try my best.”

“Don’t just try; bring back results that I will be satisfied with. Let me know if you need anything. I’ll provide you with full support.”

“…Yes.”

The bodyguard’s expression turned sour.

He knew all too well that the promise of full support was usually of little actual help.

As guests had suddenly arrived, the Soha Manor became bustlingly busy.

Since this was the first time someone from outside had specifically come looking for Seokjin-ho, the manor reacted with unusual excitement.

Furthermore, since the guest was the renowned Habeok Pang family from the martial world, the staff of Soha Manor hastily prepared refreshments.

“Please have a seat.”

Contrary to the fuss of the Soha Manor, Seokjin-ho led the two guests into his quarters with a calm demeanor.

Because there was no separate reception room in the otherwise small building, Seokjin-ho led the guests into his own quarters.

“Excuse us.”

“It’s humble here so feel free to get comfortable. The place is quite clean since the housekeeper takes care of it daily.”

“We’re not all that tidy ourselves, heh-heh!”

“Oh, Uncle.”

Pang Na-yeon glanced disapprovingly.

Even if it was just polite conversation, she thought there was no need to go that far.

Nyaa-ong.

At that moment, through the open window, a black cat named Heukhwi made its entrance, having completed a lap around the place, it followed Seokjin-ho inside.

It then settled itself comfortably next to Seokjin-ho’s legs.

“Oh my!”

Pang Na-yeon’s eyes sparkled at the sight.

Unlike Baek Sang-gun, she couldn’t take her eyes off Heukhwi.

Woong-yaang~.

Despite the somewhat oppressive gaze of Pang Na-yeon, Heukhwi simply yawned languidly.

As the cat did not consider anyone within the Seok household to be particularly strong compared to itself, it showed no particular interest.

“We know each other, right?”

Pang Na-yeon spoke with a face that clearly expressed her desire to touch the cat.

However, Heukhwi remained nonchalant.

Aware that its master, Seokjin-ho, was not greatly interested in Pang Na-yeon or Baek Sang-gun, the cat saw no need to show affection.

Perhaps to someone like Soha or Tak Yoon, but not to Pang Na-yeon.

Closing its eyes, Heukhwi brushed its head against its front paws.

“Meow…”

Pang Na-yeon let out a disappointed sigh as Heukhwi seemingly ignored her.

She didn’t expect the cat to show much affection but, having a prior acquaintance, she had hoped for a bit of interest.

But Heukhwi, true to its nature, did not meet her expectations.

“He’s a bit shy.”

“Did you raise him since he was little?”

“No, I met him on Taesan Mountain. Our paths crossed by chance, and a bond formed.”

“Taesan Mountain.”

Pang Na-yeon’s eyes lit up.

Since that was the same place she had met Seokjin-ho, her reaction was instinctive.

Knock, knock, knock.

“Young master, I have prepared a simple snack tray.”

“Come on in.”

As the conversation seemed to be turning more natural thanks to Heukhwi, the voice of Soha from outside the door called in.

Shortly after, Soha entered carefully with a modest tray of refreshments.

“Please continue your conversation.”

“Thank you, housekeeper.”

“Don’t mention it. Then I’ll be going.”

Upon hearing the news that the distinguished Habeok Pang family had come to visit Seokjin-ho personally, Soha couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear as she left without making a sound.

Seokjin-ho watched her leave for a moment and then picked up the teapot.

“The temperature is just right now. Please drink.”

“Thank you.”

“It may not look fancy, but it should taste good. The housekeeper is quite skilled.”

Seokjin-ho said confidently.

Although not expensive or luxurious, the taste was assured, which made Seokjin-ho confidently recommend it.

“It really tastes good.”

“Your housekeeper is skilled.”

“Right? Haha!”

Seokjin-ho took a satisfied sip of tea at their genuinely positive responses.

Then he looked at them alternately with calm eyes.

“Allow me to formally apologize once again, my benefactor. We are sorry for appearing so abruptly.”

“It’s okay. I understand that the Habeok Pang family has its circumstances.”

“I couldn’t just let it pass. I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself.”

Pang Na-yeon spoke cautiously, gauging Seokjin-ho’s reaction.

Yet, surprisingly, Seokjin-ho showed no sign of being shocked or displeased.

“It’s understandable from Miss Pang’s perspective. I fully comprehend.”

“I just hope I haven’t caused any trouble by coming here unexpectedly.”

“It seems Lord Seok and his son were taken aback, but I have no issues with it.”

Baek Sang-gun smoothly joined in the conversation.

In doing so, he reaffirmed his belief.

Seokjin-ho was not like an ordinary advanced martial artist.

In particular, he was of an age full of youthful vigor, yet he treated Pang Na-yeon not as a woman, but like any other person.

‘Instinct is inevitable, isn’t it.’

Baek Sang-gun thought of Seokjin-ryong, whom they met just outside.

He had tried to mask his feelings, but it was hard to escape the discerning eyes of a veteran like Baek Sang-gun.

Pang Na-yeon must have noticed as well.

“I’m sorry for any inconvenience.”

“It’s nothing serious.”

“Well…”

Grinning slightly and shaking her head, Pang Na-yeon reached into her bosom and pulled out a small object.

It was wrapped in luxurious silk, which she then offered to Seokjin-ho.

“What is this?”

“Coming empty-handed would be rude, according to my upbringing. I also wanted to properly thank you for saving my life. And, honestly, I wanted to have this opportunity to talk.”

Pang Na-yeon’s face flushed lightly, and she swiftly averted her gaze.

The last part of her confession was too difficult to make while looking directly at him.

“I don’t deserve such a gift…”

“My father insisted. We simply could not overlook the life debt.”

Pang Na-yeon declared firmly.

It was not just any debt but a life-saving one.

Moreover, she had barely escaped a terrible ordeal, so she vigorously shook her head as if to say that she could not simply let it go.

“Hmm.”

Nevertheless, Seokjin-ho did not rashly accept the gift presented by Pang Na-yeon.

Although he understood their position, he didn’t feel the need to accept it.

Moreover, accepting it felt as if he would become inadvertently entangled with the Habeok Pang family. Thus, Seokjin-ho merely gazed at the silk-wrapped package instead of taking it.

“Our family has quite a collection of fine weapons, and it seems you mainly use fist techniques, so I prepared this for you.”

“Would it be impossible not to accept it?”

“I really hope you would accept it.”

Pang Na-yeon’s large eyes stared directly into Seokjin-ho’s.

They held a peculiar warmth as she looked straight at him.

“It’s not as significant as you may think. So, please, don’t feel any pressure.”

“Shall we just check it out then?”

Seokjin-ho reached out and picked up the object before him.

Carefully, he unfolded the luxurious silk to reveal its contents.

The sight of the item caused Seokjin-ho’s pupils to dilate slightly.

“This is a status token identical to the one I use. Utilizing it can grant you various benefits. It includes financial support as well. Although there’s a limit, it’s certainly not an insignificant amount.”

“…This is far from a small gift.”

As Seokjin-ho gazed at the elegant gold token, he couldn’t help but show a bitter smile.

One could tell that it was not an item distributed just to anyone.

“But it’s not as important as Miss Pang herself.”

“That may be true.”

“The head of the family has also approved it.”

Baek Sang-gun spoke up, noticing Seokjin-ho’s reluctant expression.

It seemed he was feeling burdened, whereas, in the same situation, another advanced martial artist would’ve happily accepted it without hesitation.

“So, you can use it without worry.”

“If I don’t accept…”

“Miss Pang will probably stay put until you do. She can be quite stubborn, you see.”

With a chuckle, Baek Sang-gun made a teasing comment.

However, given Pang Na-yeon’s look, Seokjin-ho could tell that it was no mere jest.

“For now, I will keep it.”

“Thank you.”

“I think I should be the one to say thanks, though.”

Seokjin-ho offered a wry smile.

It was hard to tell who was giving or receiving the gift.

But there was one certain thing: it was not entirely a bad thing for him.

It might turn into a shackle, yes, but…

‘Better used with moderation, just with moderation.’

For Seokjin-ho, the issue of money had been a crucial concern for his future plans.

So the prospect of having a means to manage funds was not unwelcome.

End of Chapter 9. Skyrocketing Value -02



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *