Chapter 3. Success or Failure?
“Have you come to your senses, my Lord?”
“Yeah, but I have a splitting headache.”
Yunmun was shaking his head in pain.
“Do… Do you recognize who we are?”
“What do you mean, Hwan-Noh. Are you messing with me?”
What? Did I fail?
“What’s wrong, you two.”
The two of them stood stupefied. To think they would fail after all that trouble… the Heaven is too cruel.
-Hey, can you hear me?
“What’s wrong, my Lord?”
When Yunmun crouched down holding his head in pain, the two of them yelled out in surprise.
-You bastard. I said, can you hear me?
“Ugh, where is this voice coming from?”
“Someone dares to insult my name…”
-If you can hear me, why don’t you answer, you f*cker?
“Agh. Who is it?”
“M-My Lord, you said you could hear a voice… could it be?”
The two exchanged a glance. We-Noh quickly measured Yunmun’s pulse but other than slightly fast heartbeat, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Hwan-Noh stepped in, grabbing Yunmun’s hand and flowing his Qi inside.
“What? Did we succeed?”
Hwan-Noh’s face became pale.
“H-How could this have happened…?”
“It seems he entered, but was unable to overtake him. He’s been set aside in his mind.”
-Hey, host-boy. Are you going to answer me or not? You’re the one who wanted me in here and now you’re just going to put me aside and ignore me?
“Ah, not you, We-Noh. I was talking to Chun Ma.”
“Chun Ma? Your highness! Please repeat to us exactly what Chun Ma is saying.”
-Shut up, you bastard.
“Shut up, you bastard.”
This time, Hwan-Noh was the one to reply in surprise, only understanding the situation when We-Noh poked him.
“What is this? I take it back!”
“Let me out, right now! It’s too stuffy in here!”
Yunmun furrowed his brows and repeated Chun Ma’s words.
“Quit repeating after me! You cheating bastards.
What do you want from me? Did you just want to steal my powers? If that’s so, you already have it.”
“W-What did you say?”
Hwan-Noh yelled out in surprise.
“Chun Ma, can you hear me?” asked Hwan-Noh.
“I can. Why?”
Yunmun responded in his stead.
“It seems the technique failed.”
“I already know that, you fool.”
“I don’t know why it failed, but is what you said just now true? Your powers have been transferred to his highness?”
“Why don’t you ask this bastard?”
“Is he telling the truth, your highness?”
“Your highness, you can stop repeating after him.”
-I already said it’s true. Why don’t you believe me?
“It seems he’s really telling the truth. My head is filled with things I’ve never seen or heard before.”
“Ha. Isn’t this even better than we hoped for?”
Such was We-Noh’s opinion, but Hwan-Noh disagreed.
“No, this is a failure.”
“A failure? How?”
“Chun Ma got suddenly quiet…”
-I’m listening to you two.
“Hwan-Noh, what do you mean?”
“If Chun Ma completely takes over his highness’s mind, then there’s no problem. But if this continues, it is likely that his mind will split to two. In worst case, it can drive him to insanity. Imagine what would happen if a psychopath with Chun Ma’s powers was let loose into the world.”
“Is that true?”
“Yes, your highness.”
“Then is there a solution?” said We-Noh while staring at Hwan-Noh.
“Can’t we just send Chun Ma back?”
“I don’t know if that’s possible…”
-What, I can’t go back? You goddamn bastards. I’ll kill you all. Agghhhhhhhh
“Shut it. Ugh…”
Holding his head, Yunmun rolled around in pain.
“Your highness! Your highness!”
“Damn it. It seems Chun Ma is causing him to have a seizure.”
“What should we do? Well, for now, let’s put him to sleep.”
We-Noh held Yunmun up in his hands, and his head quickly bent backwards. Drops of sweat continuously formed on his forehead.
How could we have made such a mistake… what do we do? ‘
“Is there really no way?”
“For now, no…”
“Is there a way to restrict Chun Ma from causing more seizures?”
“Mm, that might be possible. But it still doesn’t offer a permanent solution. If we leave it like this, his mind will start to split in less than 6 months.”
“But how could Chun Ma’s power have transferred to his highness so nicely?”
“I don’t know… but it must have been caused when the Chun Ma’s demonic attribute and his highness’s mind collided during the fusion. This is the only possibility I can think of.”
“Then is watching his highness go insane all we can do?”
The two of them had a gloomy expression. Suddenly, Hwan-Noh’s eyes sparkled.
‘Ah, that’s it!”
“What? Have you thought of something?”
It seemed like their role switched places. Hwan-Noh and We-Noh’s personality reflected each other’s.
“It’s worth a try at least.”
“What is it…? Tell me already!”
“Ahem… listen closely. I have one more magic pill. In other words, we can use the technique one more time, and we’ll use it to suppress Chun Ma’s demonic attribute.”
When did this guy get so dumb? Could it be Chun Ma entered him as well?
“What do you mean how… someone who can suppress Chun Ma’s demonic energy… if we can find someone capable of doing this, then their two attributes will neutralize each other.”
“I-Is that… possible?”
“What if something goes wrong again…?”
“It can’t be worse than this. Let’s give it a try.”
If this can really turn his highness back to normal…it wouldn’t hurt to try.
Thus they once again began the Soul Binding Technique.
They performed the exact same ritual as before. This time, however, Hwan-Noh wore a white robe and held a flower-patterned bell. At a glance, it looked like a stage play than a ritual for a great technique. This, only Hwan-Noh would know.
“What is your name?”
“I am Dae-Ma.”
“Dae-Ma and not Dharma?”
“Sorry for the trouble, but can you go back?”
“Tsk. You were the one who called me, and now you tell me to leave? That pisses me off.”
“Is he really someone from the Jung Do*? Dae-Ma, my ass.”[TN: Lit. the path of justice. Here, referring to someone from the Jung Pa]
Four hours passed without any sign of success.
“Dharma might be too tough… is there anyone else?”
The exhausted Hwan-Noh threw the question at We-Noh.
“What about Huineng or Huike?*”[TN: Wikipedia them if you’re curious]
“Those Shaolin Temple Monks?”
“Yeah. Huike is Dharma’s disciple anyways, and Huineng was the great sixth patriarch.”
“Who do we choose then? Wouldn’t Huineng be slightly better?”
“Let’s try it first.”
Another two hours passed.
“Who are you and why do you seek me?”
“Are you the sixth patriarch Huineng?”
“I may or may not be. Does wordly names matter so?”
“No, you’re right. The reason I called for you was… so and so.”
“Ho, so that’s why you called me.”
“So and so?”
Hearing this, We-Noh was dumbfounded. These two were too similar.
“If that is the case, then I shall sacrifice myself for the good of mankind. This must be part of my training, so for what reason must I refuse?”
“Then, you accept?”
“Yes. However, even I may not be able to completely suppress Chun Ma…. But I shall teach you a sutra. This sutra contains laws of nature. It can help to ward off evil. Write it down.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“One begins that has no beginning…. This is the Scripture of Heavenly Code. Although its forefathers originate from a small country of the East, they are the ancestors of us all. Have you finished copying it down?”
“Yes, I have.”
“Then shall we start?”
When Huineng lied down on Yunmun’s body, it started to trash about violently. Black smoke started flowing out of Yunmun’s nostrils, trying to prevent Huineng from entering. Seeing this, Hwan-Noh hurriedly fed Yunmun the magic pill. Immediately, We-Noh started his acupuncture, while Hwan-Noh began chanting the sutra. As a result, the energy that tried to push the needles off was suppressed and Huineng’s energy started to flow into the body. After a little, the needles started to push themselves out.
The two stared at Yunmun’s face from above, waiting for him to open his eyes.
“I hope nothing went wrong this time.”
“It should be fine. I can feel it.”
Yunmun opened his eyes and stared blankly at the two of them. Oh no, could he have turned into an idiot?
They were afraid to call him. After sitting unresponsive for a bit, Yunmun suddenly stood up and grabbed his stomach.
“I’m hungry! Nohs, is there anything to eat?”
The two of them embraced each other in joy.
-Success, my ass. F*ck. How can you throw in a monk in a narrow place like this?”
=Are you Chun Ma? You’re more handsome than the rumors make you out to be.
“Tsk. What’s this? Can you guys quiet down? It’s getting annoying.”
-Huh? You’re okay?
“What do you mean?”
-You don’t feel anything when I talk?
“No, but you’re still annoying.”
“I said, shut it.”
-This doesn’t work either… this is all your fault, you stupid monk. Because you entered…
=I had no choice. This was for the good of mankind.
“Good thing you have someone to talk to now… at least you won’t be bored. So Nohs, what’s going on? Why is there another one inside me?”
“His name is Huineng, the sixth patriarch of the Shaolin Temple and the one who led Zen Buddhism its peak of fame.”
“What? You summoned someone like that? So is everything fine?”
=Yes, Shizhu*.[TN: Shizhu is the title that monks call people with.]
“You’re Huineng? Thanks*, it’s a pity I can’t buy you a dinner as compensation.”[TN: He says this in an unusual way, as explained below]
The Nohs started at each other in disbelief. They couldn’t believe the well-mannered Gunmun Emperor would speak in such a lowly way… the emperor had changed.
“Ah yeah, so I’m hungry. Got anything to eat?”
“Yes? Oh, right away.”
The two ran outside to find something to eat, deciding to worry about the consequences of the Soul Binding Technique later.
Yunmun asked while chewing on a piece of meat!
“Oi, Nohs. What should my name be?”
Oi Nohs? This is serious.
“Name? Are you referring to his highness’s title?”
“Title? No, just a name. Plus, didn’t I tell you to call me Lord? Hey, Huineng, you got any name for me?”
=A name? Does a name really matter?
-You shut up and stay in the corner. Hey, host-boy, don’t you think a name has to sound cool? I’ve got just the perfect thing. How’s Chun Ma Reincarnate? After all, that’s who you are.
“You stay out of this, Chun Ma. Huineng, you must have some ideas, right?”
=How does Mu Sang* sound?[TN: 無想. It means no thoughts, no brain etc.]
-Mu Sang, my ass. That sounds like shit… What if you die a meaningless* death like your name suggests? This is why your name has to sound cool.[TN: ‘meaningless’ here is Mu Sang (無常). Note the different Halnja.]
-How does Iron Blood Asura sound?
“Chun Ma, a name, not a title! Do you know what I’m saying, you idiot? I don’t understand how someone like you could be the mighty Chun Ma.”
-What did you just say? You wait right there, I’ll show you my strength firsthand.
“As if you could. Stop screwing around.”
“So? Nohs, what should I do? Do I just go with Ju Yunmun? But what if rumor spreads and uncle comes to find me?”
… The two of them were speechless.
“Mm, I probably can’t use the same surname, Ju. I need a new one. Jegal, Peng, Dang, Jung, Lee… what do I go with?”
-Pa Chun. Not bad right?
-Pa Chun? As in ‘Breaking the Heavens’? That’s pretty good! Sadly, it doesn’t go well with any surnames. Ju Pa Chun, Lee Pa Chun, Jang Pa Chun…”
-Screw that. Just go with Pa Chun…. All my skills contain the word ‘Pa Chun’ or ‘Chun Ma’.
“Oh yeah, I was thinking of changing that too.”
-No, anything but that! You can do whatever else you want. Please, I beg you. You can change the other parts, but please leave the ‘Pa Chun’ or ‘Chun Ma’ in. Please, I beg of you.
“Well, I’ll think about it.”
Yunmun talking to himself made him look like a lunatic. Even though the Nohs knew who he was talking to, it was still confusing. What if someone else heard it?
“Excuse me, my Lord. When do you plan on leaving here?”
“When? After finishing this meal. Why?”
“What? So early?”
“What, is there a reason I should stay?”
“W-Well… shouldn’t you take some time to practice and master your skills?”
“Geez, wake up, Hwan-Noh! You’re the one who made this technique. I already have full understanding of their skills. I just have to activate them when I need them… nothing more.”
-If you’re going out, go visit the Chun Ma School first.
“The Chun Ma School? Is that even there anymore? Ah, I guess it should be. That’s not a bad idea, Chun Ma. It’s always good to have as many minions as possible. Even better, should I just take this chance to take over Murim? What do you guys think?”
No one knew for sure who he was talking to. Even so, the barrage of answers rained down.
-That’s good to hear.
=Shizhu, don’t lose yourself to your desires. That is the shortest path to self-destruction.
“My Lord, that’s outrageous!”
“Are you serious?”
It was easy to tell which answer belonged to whom. Even so, listening to so many people at once made it confusing.
“Hey, Nohs. Do you know how to put these guys to sleep?”
“Ah, try chanting this.”
“What’s this? One begins that has no beginning…”
-Agh, stop! Please!
“Oh? Now, this is interesting. Are you in pain?”
“One begins that has no beginning …”
“That’s right. You should know your place, got it?”
“Oh, no answer? One begins that has no beginning …”
-Aagh, got it. I got it…
“One begins that has no beginning. One parts to three crowns…”
-What is it that you want? I’ll do anything you want, so just stop!
“That’s right. We’re buddies now, aren’t we? Doesn’t it feel great to cooperate? Hey, monk!”
This was absurd! To think his highness has changed so much… he’s a complete street thug!
=What is it?
“You don’t seem affected at all. There must be a way to hurt you as well, though I doubt you’d tell me. Well, you’re not that loud anyways, so I guess it’s fine. Since I’m tired, I’ll sleep and take my leave tomorrow.”
With this said, he fell on his back.
“Huhu. Murim, just you wait. I’m coming to see you. Hahahaha.”
Is this really okay? Can we allow this walking bomb to wander Murim?
The two Nohs’ heads began to ache.
Alas, what’s done is done….