Chapter 2. Dream Awakening (2)

Song Dae-Woong was in his mid-thirties and was definitely not a child, but he had no issues with the daoist calling him that. He quickly went inside the inn after hearing the old man’s words.

"Yes! I'll inform the cook to prepare your order. Woo-Moon, show him the best seat."

"Alright, Daddy! Follow me, sir!"

In the eyes of the young Woo-Moon, the daoist was undoubtedly an immortal. If he had been a human, there was no way he could have walked in the sky like that.

Woo-Moon guided the old daoist to the cleanest and warmest place in the inn and provided him with the most comfortable chair available.

With a kind smile, the daoist said, "Thank you, child."

"Don't mention it, sir!" answered Woo-Moon.

Even after speaking up, Woo-Moon didn't leave the daoist's side. He didn't dare to start a conversation either. However, he watched every action of the daoist with sparkling eyes.

As the daoist ate the noodles that Dae-Woong had diligently prepared and served him, he gave Woo-Moon a soft smile from time to time. After eating the noodles and the free dumplings that Dae-Woong added, the daoist stood up.

"It was a delicious meal. How much is it?"

"Oh, no. You don't have to pay for the meal, sir. I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve you food! I won't accept your money, so please don’t worry about that!"

Embarrassed, the daoist answered, "Huh… Even though I'm tight on funds, I don't wish to cause trouble. Hmm… Can you get me some paper and a fine brush?"

Dae-Woong's eyes sparkled. He thought the daoist would write down a blessing for the inn and himself.

'The writings of a famous daoist in exchange for a bowl of noodles? I’m definitely the one profiting!'

"Yes, please wait! I'll be right back!"

Dae-Woong searched quickly and found some paper in the house, but he couldn't find a brush. He tried to send his son out to buy a fine brush, but seeing how mesmerized his son was over the daoist, he headed out with a bitter smile.

Dae-Woong rushed as fast as he could, afraid that the old daoist would leave while he was away. Although he was afraid to ask the daoist about his identity, what really mattered was that the man was clearly an immortal.

'If he's an immortal, does his name even matter?'

Meanwhile, the old daoist nodded at Song Woo-Moon, who was sitting next to him. "You really wanted to learn martial arts, huh? You even cried."

At that moment, Song Woo-Moon's face turned red. Rather than being perplexed over how the old daoist knew about it, he was more embarrassed about his actions.

"Oh, no! I didn't cry. How can a man show tears over such a thing?"

A smile appeared on the daoist's lips. He found Woo-Moon's prideful response adorable.

Just then, Dae-Woong returned.

Huff, huff! "Here… Here you go!"

"Thank you. Since you don't wish to accept my money, I'll draw you a landscape painting with my poor skills instead."

The daoist then spread the paper out on the table and started to paint.

Swoosh… Swoosh.

The brushwork was fluid. At first, it seemed like the daoist was painting without much thought. However, as time went by, Dae-Woong and Woo-Moon stood there with their mouths agape.

The scribble-like lines gradually changed, forming distinctive mountains and water. Various trees and animals then came alive in the painting.

Just then, Woo-Moon noticed something unusual.

'Huh? I'm sure the brush never went there.'

Ink appeared in places the brush had never touched.

'Wow! Is this yet another skill of an immortal?'

After a while, the landscape painting was completed.

"There we go. The drawing is complete. I hope you cherish it, because I drew it with affection and gratitude. I shall take my leave."

After his remarks, the old daoist left the inn without hesitation.

Dae-Woong rushed out and shouted, "Sir, wait a minute! Please tell me your name!"

“Ha-ha, you don’t need to know the name of a forgotten old man. I’m just a member of the Celestial Sect."

Meanwhile, Song Woo-Moon was engrossed with the landscape painting. Soon, he heard a voice, “The Path is neither beneficial nor harmful to anyone, but it is also equally beneficial and harmful to all things in existence. Knowing many things does not mean that you have understood them, and understanding many things does not mean that you actually know them. And even if you understand and know many things, it does not mean you have become a saint."

Only Woo-Moon heard the old daoist’s words. As he stood in front of the landscape painting and was lost in thought with a blank expression, he heard the last sentence, "... now I have completed my task in this world.”

The words Song Woo-Moon had heard earlier were phrases from Laozi's Dao De Jing [1]. Laozi was the sect master of the Celestial Sect, also known as the Five Pecks of Rice Sect.

Woo-Moon understood neither what it meant to be a member of the Celestial Sect, nor the meaning behind the phrases of Dao De Jing. He was just immersed in the ecstatic movements within the landscape painting, but he woke up after hearing the last words the old daoist had left.

Two martial arts could be obtained from the landscape painting. They were the Celestial Sect’s Forbidden Divine Art and the Gentle Celestial Sword Art. These two arts invited Woo-Moon into another world—one of limitless knowledge.

That world of joy had not given up on Woo-Moon, and Woo-Moon himself did not plan to let go of that world either. The mysterious power of the landscape painting forcibly occupied over ninety percent of Song Woo-Moon’s brain cells, and he could only think, study, and learn about the two martial arts.

Since then, Woo-Moon’s health rapidly improved, which brought joy to Dae-Woong and his wife. On the other hand, Woo-Moon also appeared to become more and more foolish, which caused his parents even greater anxiety than the poor constitution he used to have.


The Deungpyeong Inn, which also served as Woo-Moon's and his family’s residence, was located in Unhan, the area of Guangdong Province farthest from the sea. Forty kilometers away from Unhan and further inland was a huge sorghum field called Goryang Plains.

Ten days after Song Woo-Moon’s twentieth birthday, a confrontation between two masters would be held there, on a level that caught the whole murim's attention. One was the Palm Martial Emperor Baek Sang-Woon, one of the Eight Heavenly Martial Emperors, and the other was the Night Spear Devil Gyeong Hong, one of the Six Rising Challengers.

The confrontation between Absolute Masters representing the old generation and the new generation would set the stage for a new era.

Therefore, the attention of all martial artists was focused on Goryang Plains. In addition, many masters who rarely appeared in the public’s eye were also heading toward Goryang Plains.


"Sigh. What are we going to do now…" Dae-Woong lamented while looking at the accounts and calculating with his abacus. He continued to groan, repeatedly trying to make more sense of the figures while pushing the abacus beads.

On the contrary, Woo-Moon had no thoughts to speak of, and he was staring at the landscape painting with his mouth blankly open, as always.

Dae-Woong was grumbling about the inn’s financial issues.

"Why are we at such great losses? We’re in big trouble."

Sales had been on a decline, and this month, they had finally gone into the reds. Thinking about the cost of his wife’s medicine, Dae-Woong felt dejected. At this rate, the future only looked bleaker and bleaker.

‘We don't have much money left, and if we continue to incur losses like this, we won't be able to survive the winter...’

Song Dae-woong sighed. These financial problems were making it very difficult for him to make a living for his family. Inevitably, Dae-Woong looked at Woo-Moon with resentful eyes.

Despite being a grown man, his son still couldn’t take care of himself. At sixteen years old, a man was supposed to be starting a family and taking responsibility beyond his own health, yet his twenty-year-old son was still living off him.

Dae-Woong glared at Song Woo-Moon and his gaze then naturally landed on the landscape painting on the wall.

‘That damned thing! If it weren't for that!’

He couldn’t throw it away despite wanting it too many times due to the fear that the daoist might be a real immortal.

‘No matter how much I think about it, everything leads back to that painting. Ever since I hung it up there, Woo-Moon has turned into a fool. The daoist’s definitely a scam.’

Solidifying his determination, Dae-Woong stared fiercely at the landscape painting.

Seemingly sensing his father’s murderous intent toward the painting, Woo-Moon looked back at the former in surprise. He then stood in front of the painting, and shook his head at his father.

"Get out of my way, kid! I'll tear it up and burn it!"

"No, Daddy!"

Dae-Woong pushed Woo-Moon away and reached for the landscape painting. However, Woo-Moon desperately grabbed onto Dae-Woong’s pants, so Dae-Woong couldn’t stretch out and grab the painting. His arms were quite short, so that played a role as well.

"Let me go! You damn punk!"

Dae-Woong had been famous for his strength since his youth. Now that he had gotten older, he could no longer demonstrate the same power as before, but he was still much stronger than the average man.

However, Woo-Moon had just managed to pin him down.

‘Huh? Has he always been this strong?’

Dae-Woong failed to shake off Woo-Moon no matter how hard he tried.

At that moment, the door of the inn suddenly opened and two people came in. They were an old daoist in a white uniform and a pretty teenage girl in red. The fight between Dae-Woong and Woo-Moon took them aback.


It was embarrassing to be seen fighting with his grown child. Dae-Woong’s face turned red as he coughed awkwardly.

"Ahem, ahem. Welcome!”

1. Dao De Jing (also spelled Tao Te Ching) is a fundamental Taoist text considered to be written by Laozi around 400 BC


Related Novels