Abolition of the Wicked - Chapter 7
“Please keep practicing.”
Yeon Geum-hong hurriedly ran to the yard.
Standing in line, they were looking at their respective breweries with tensed looks all over their faces.
“There is no change in the event, right?”
Three of them nodded at the same time as a response to Seo Seok-san’s question.
“Hahaha! Who knew that the day I hear you guys being called as abolitions would come.”
Yeon Geum-hong accepted Do Pyeong-su’s words.
“What an absurd thing to say. Address us as priests or practice all night.”
They opened the doors of their respective breweries.
The delicate smell of liquor spread out all over the place.
Four of their keen sense of smell not only recognized their liquor but also recognized the aroma of others’ liquors instantly.
If the drinkers/liquor experts reached their area, they’d be able to check the state of the liquor without even having to taste it.
When they checked the state of their liquor, all of them wore a smile around their lips, and soon they put on a sour face on the liquor aroma of the remaining three.
“I don’t think this is going to work out.”
“Yeah. It might take a little while.” Said Seo Seok-san.
Although it was expected that at least one person would drop out, seems like the four of their matches will continue.
“Keep this as a secret from the abolition. As it can be burdensome for him.”
Yeon Geum-hong accepted Seo Seok-san’s words.
“Of course. If we get caught to the abolition that we’re bluffing, we are dead.”
“What are you lying to me about?”
As they were paying so much attention to the liquor, they couldn’t even sense the presence of Geom Woo-bin.
“Did you brew the liquor well?”
Do Pyeong-su let out a laugh.
“Hahaha! If we release the liquor, every liquor in Hangzhou will feel like dirty water.”
Yeon Geum-hong asked Geom Woo-bin.
“Have you gotten familiar with the ‘Art of Memorization’?
“Now I’m at a point where I can aim close to wherever I want.”
“Sorry? Close to wherever you want? How close?”
Geom Woo-bin held a needle in his hand.
“I’ll throw it over there.”
What Geom Woo-bin pointed at was a two-span wide post that was about five fields away.
Geom Woo-bin’s arms moved.
Although the movement was not great, the needle that flew out pretty much with a force thudded into the post.
The needle belongs to the light axis among the memorization.
While training the easiest art of memorization is the dagger method, because not only you can throw it randomly but also because it weighs heavily. On the other hand, until one gets the hang of the needle, thudding it would be tough and since it’s light it will be difficult to fly it far.
However, Geom Woo-bin only practiced it for an hour, but he has already reached the level of throwing the needle up to five fields and thudding it.
But the blood lion’s astonishment was early.
After that, ten needles left Geom Woo-bin’s hand, but the place it struck did not exceed three inches to up, down, left, and right.
It means he aimed not just at the post, but precisely at one place of the post. Yeon Geum-hong who went closer to check did nothing but open her mouth wide.
The depth of the needle that thrust into the tree was close to the end of a finger.
‘Did you put so much power into this level of accuracy in just an hour?’
Yeon Geum-hong looked at Geom Woo-bin with a fresh look in her eyes.
They already knew that his physique wasn’t bad. However, it is impossible to judge the achievements of martial arts just by looking at the physique. No matter how great one’s physique is, if their mind doesn’t keep up with them, there is bound to be a limit.
However, Geom Woo-bin was a possessor of rare talents with an excellent physique and intelligence.
‘We are not seeing the ‘Art of Memorization’ as the only natural talent, are we?’
There is a sign that shows genius abilities only in most parts.
“Until I become an expert in this I shouldn’t use this. If something goes wrong, it can even take away one’s life.”
Yeon Geum-hong said while pulling out the needle that was stuck to the post.
“Of course, you should. But if you don’t kill your opponent when you have to, Moorim will be the place you will come back to when you become angry.”
“I might not even become a Moorim person. I think staying here, brewing liquor with the priests, and selling it would also be great.
‘That’s not bad either.’
The four of them looked at each other’s faces and thought about the same thing at the same time.
Seo Poong-sik was proud of the name habitual drinker.
“There were thirty types of liquor sold in his boarding house, and there will be no less than three hundred kinds of liquor he has had so far.
He who reads widely about liquor starting from cheap spirituous liquors to the finest Maotai wine believed that there were no more liquors to amaze him.
But today that belief was broken.
“What did you say… the name of this liquor was?”
“It’s ‘Yeogeum’ (Barmaid) wine.”
“Yeogeum wine? Did you mean Yeogeum w…”
Although it’s a name he’s hearing for the first time, he will never forget it until the moment he dies.
“Try having this one as well.”
Geom Woo-bin poured the liquor of a different calabash into a small glass.
“I think I don’t even need to try other liquors.”
No liquor would please his tongue as much as Yeogeum wine. He thought he didn’t have to drink any more liquor today. Seo Poong-sik’s thought was to not drink any poor liquor and remove the aftertaste of what Yeogeum wine had left.
However, he changed his mind as he sniffed the scent of the liquor Geom Woo-bin was pouring.
A different liquor named Pungryu (Tasteful Leisure) wine, gave him pleasure as if listening to a singer sing on a calm lake.
He was struck by a different feeling from Yeogeum wine.
After that, Geom Woo-bin offered him two more glasses of liquor, and all of the four types of liquor led Seo Poong-sik to another world of liquor.
For the first time in his life, he knew that drinking liquor can make him happy.
“Is this seriously a man-made liquor?”
He felt like he became a human being who was lucky to taste the liquor that the Shinseons accidentally left behind.
“Will you be able to buy them?”
“What do you mean? I have to plead with you saying please sell it to me! No matter how many are there, I’ll buy them all!”
“I cannot give it exclusively for one place. I want as many people as possible to taste this. Also, since they’re expensive you won’t be able to buy them all.”
“Honestly, if it’s a drink like this, it’s worth the price. How much is in your mind?”
Geom Woo-bin said pointing at the one-span-long calabash he was wearing on his waist.
“I think it’s reasonable to sell one of these bottles at three silver taels. (ancient Chinese currency)”
“Uh, three silver taels? Isn’t that the price of the finest Maotai wine?”
“Is that so? If there is liquor at that price, then of course the priests’ liquor should also be paid at that price. No, at first it will just be three silver taels and later it could rise.”
Although it was expensive at an absolute price, the aroma of wine that’s still lingering inside his mouth made him think, ‘If it’s a drink like this, three silver taels are not expensive’.
“Since we have a relationship, I’ll particularly receive the payment later. Please sell everything and settle them later.”
“Still, will that be alright?”
“For you, it should do about that much.”
“I’ll bring them tomorrow. You should not drink it all just because it’s delicious.”
He cannot make a promise.
“Can I just look at the liquor?”
Seo Poong-sik was staring blankly at the glass that already hit the bottom.
Geom Woo-bin headed straight to Hangzhou town.
As the city of pleasure, Hangzhou was filled with famous brothels. It is also said that among the ten great brothels of Zhongyuan, five are located in Hangzhou.
Among that, Geom Woo-bin went around looking for the biggest brothel.
However, the eight-year-old one’s liquor sale wasn’t taken seriously.
“I’m busy, stop annoying me and get lost.”
He was treated the same way in brothels of four places and he couldn’t even take out the liquor.
“Indeed, it’s not easy.”
The reason Geom Woo-bin stepped forward saying he’d sell the liquor was as it’s something that a blood-lion cannot do. If they’re rejected for their personalities, in all likelihood, their fists would reach out first.
However, the age of eight also held them back from doing so.
The place where the disappointed Geom Woo-bin stopped was the Wol-ha brothel.
The three-story pavilion was one of Hangzhou’s three great brothels, which was in the shape of three houses and was adorned with a beautiful garden.
As the sun sets, the streets of Hangzhou were lit up with artificial lights one by one.
It’s a time the impatient drinkers look for bars and diligent prostitutes move busily to welcome the customers.
Geom Woo-bin headed to the back door of the Wol-ha brothel.
He saw the staff who were moving around busily as they were all set for the business. Geom Woo-bin conversed with the person who seemed to look like a waiter.
“I want to see the manager.”
A pin-eyed waiter who’s around twenty said absentmindedly.
“For what purpose?”
“I came to sell some fine liquor.”
The waiter’s reaction was no different from the previous four places. Even the following words were the same.
“I’m busy, leave without annoying me.”
“I just want the manager to taste this.”
“He’s not a person who’s free to deal with a weird kid like you.”
“It will not take long.”
“Hey! Get out of here!”
The waiter shrugged Geom Woo-bin away.
However, Geom Woo-bin stood stock-still and the waiter who wasn’t strong enough took a pratfall.
“Huh? Did I drink too much last night?
The waiter stood up suddenly and caught Geom Woo-bin by his collar.
“You should’ve gone when I was being nice!”
The waiter was about to use all his strength, but a deep voice was heard.
“What’s going on?”
The waiter was startled, and as he left Geom Woo-bin’s collar he brought both his hands together politely in front of him.
“You’re here, manager?”
A middle-aged man with a stylishly grown black beard frowned.
“What are you doing grabbing a child during working hours?”
“That’s not it, since this kid obstinately asked me to allow him to see you…”
The manager Ha Seok-mun looked familiarly at the kid in front of the waiter.
“Ah! You’re the kid who came to me a few months ago looking for a job, I see.”
Geom Woo-bin bowed at him.
“I’m seeing you after a long time.”
“You said your name was Geom Woo-bin, right.”
It’s unusual to come here looking for a job at the age of eight, it was especially memorable that he even refused the coins Ha Seok-mun offered him.
I came to work, not to beg.
It was a sense of dignity that was hard to see in a little kid.
“What brought you here today? If it’s regarding a job, I already told you that you cannot do it.”
“Today I’m here on a different business. Please prepare only four clean wine glasses.”
“Why wine glasses?”
“If you prepare it, you will never regret it.”
His curiosity automatically rose.
“Go and bring four clean glasses.”
The waiter ran quickly and brought four white glasses.
Geom Woo-bin headed towards the workers’ resting area and sat on the chair. As Geom Woo-bin placed the four calabashes evenly on the table, Ha Seok-mun took the opposite seat.
The first drink Geom Woo-bin poured into the glass was Seo Seok-san’s Pungryu wine.
“Please taste it.”
Ha Seok-mun raised the glass taking it towards his lips and stopped moving.
His tongue didn’t even touch it, but it was the first liquor that made his heart pound just by the smell.
Ha Seok-mun slightly wet his lips with the liquor.
He comes across a lot of liquor because of his profession.
Most of the liquors he drinks in Zhongyuan are none other than the good ones. But, the liquor Geom Woo-bin handed out to him was entirely different.
Though he tried to compare it with other drinks, there was no liquor to compare.
Even the Shaoxing wine sold for ten silver taels per bottle, fell behind when compared to this liquor.
Geom Woo-bin poured a different drink into the next glass.
It was disappointing to pour the liquor little by little as much as the tears of a chick.
“It’s not the same liquor, right?”
“Yes. The previous one was Pungryu wine and this one is Hwagog wine.”
“Wait a minute.”
Ha Seok-mun took a glass of water and rinsed his mouth.
It was the first time he felt his heart pounding like this while tasting liquor.
The second Hwagog wine also had a taste beyond his thoughts. If the Pungryu wine reminds him of a singer on a lake Hwagog wine seemed like awakening the spirit of a man.
It was the first time he knew just a sip of liquor would make him feel this way.
The four drinks Geom Woo-bin brought were each special to the extent it made Ha Seok-mun realize four times.
“Wow! How come I didn’t know that this kind of liquor exists?”
“So, there must still be some money left in your pouch, right?”
Ha Seok-mun guffawed at Geom Woo-bin’s joke.
“Yes. You’re right! Hangzhou’s heavy drinkers will be squandering their family fortune, I see.”
“Fortunately, we cannot make that many. Of course, it’s expensive enough to worry about wasting money.”
Ha Seok-mun’s eyes narrowed when the talk about the price came up.
“How much do you have in mind?”
“How much are you going to sell it for?”
“It depends on the price you give.”
“Mmm… then how much is the most expensive drink in this brothel?”
The eight-year-old kid was playing hard to get.
“It’s the ten silver tael Shaoxing wine.”
“Will I be able to get it for a higher price than this?”
“Five silver taels per bottle.”
It costs less than three silver taels to bring the ten silver tael Shaoxing wine.
“I’ll give it to you for five silver taels only for a month. Starting from next month it will be ten silver taels. And next year it will be fifteen silver taels.”
“Hey, the only liquors that are expensive is the Maotai wine and Chilsung wine that they give the emperors”
“Is the liquor I brought better than what the emperors drink?”
Ha Seok-mun thought that it was an undeniable fact.