A middle-aged man with red hair brushed his hair back as he raised a glass and said.
‘Sect leader, how can I…’
‘Didn’t you often get sick when you were young? Do you think the world will notice the Ghastly Monster and me drinking together?’
The middle-aged man was sitting across from the Ghastly Monster, Hae Ack-chun. He smiled as Hae Ack-chun scratched his face shyly.
‘Aren’t you the sect leader, though?’
‘You are an old friend today.’
‘This is… cough.’
Hae Ack-chun quietly acceded to the man, lifted his own glass from the table, and drank it in one shot. The two of them drank while not saying much to each other.
Hae Ack-chun then cautiously opened his mouth.
‘Sect leader, will we be fighting them tomorrow?’
‘Anxious about it? That isn’t like you.’
‘… Anxious! I don’t know what that means.’
Hae Ack-chun huffed up his chest and thumped it with a fist twice the size of a normal person.
The man smiled as he looked at him.
‘Among my counsel, aren’t you the one who never looks back?’
‘… the situation is different this time. Aren’t other factions joining them?’
‘I should have realized it when the Blood Moon troops were defeated. It was my negligence.’
‘How can you say it was your negligence?’
‘Is the Ghastly Monster trying to lift the spirits of the sect leader?’
‘As long as we have you, the sect will move forward again. And sometimes avoiding a fight is a wise choice.’
‘If that happens, the eyes of those on me will move elsewhere.’
‘Those who are at the top do not live for the sake of enjoyment. It is a position where I need to take responsibility.’
‘And it is also your responsibility to survive.’
At those words, the sect leader smiled.
Hae Ack-chun, who couldn’t handle the conversation, picked up the bottle and drank it until it was nearly empty. He then set it down and said.
‘Didn’t you say we are old friends? If so, can you not listen to my words?’
‘Look here, Ack-chun.’
‘Yes, sect leader.’
‘The sect leader is the face of Blood Sect. No matter how disadvantageous the situation might be, I must move first and stay calm. What good am I if I cannot lead the people who follow me?’
The man’s words weren’t wrong, making Hae Ack-chun’s face bitter.
‘This is what it means to be on the top.’
With those words, the sect leader took something from under the table.
The sword’s sheath had letters carved in its entirety. The handle and neck of the sword were also wrapped with black cloth inscribed with red letters.
As Hae Ack-chun looked puzzledly at the sword, the sect leader said.
‘Are you going to borrow its power?’
‘I should do what I can.’
‘It is dangerous! Sect leader! Have you forgotten what happened to those who tried to borrow its power? They died.’
Hae Ack-chun opposed this.
But the man touched the sheath as he said.
‘Borrowing the power of demonic spirit means to pay the price.’
The spirit in question was the first leader of the sect. For the current leader to call him a demonic spirit was nothing short of heresy.
Hae Ack-chun looked shocked as the sect leader pointed up.
‘His soul is over there.’
‘But the Blood Demon Sword is his…’
‘How can a thing full of anger and resentment be him? If it was him, would he have killed his own blood?’
‘This is just a spirit.’
‘But this time, I need to borrow its power.’
The sect leader sounded bitter. He then looked at the sad-looking Hae Ack-chun and smiled.
‘Shouldn’t a spirit be used too?’
Hae Ack-chun recalled what happened twenty years ago.
He recognized the Blood Demon Sword in So Wonhwi’s hand the moment he saw it.
The spirit of the Blood Demon had taken over his body.
Looking at the sword’s blade, the incantation-covered cloth that served as a suppressor was nowhere around.
‘How did this…’
He couldn’t understand this. Ordinary people shouldn’t be able to handle the Blood Demon Sword.
Hae Ack-chun raised his head with a groan.
It seemed that Sima Young, who was being held by the throat by Wonhwi, could die at any moment.
Song Jwa-baek was worried and tried to move toward them.
“Fuck. Wonhwi, that insane bastard, have…”
“Uh? But teacher…”
“I told you not to move!”
At Hae Ack-chun’s stern swords, Song Jwa-baek stopped but looked worriedly at Sima Young. She was slowly becoming weaker and had stopped struggling.
Hae Ack-chun spoke in a polite tone.
“Blood Demon. The child you are holding in your hands is a member of the sect.”
Sima Young turned to Hae Ack-chun. She smiled weakly at him as Wonhwi threw her to the ground.
Song Jwa-baek immediately moved and caught her before she could take more damage. She was already hurt, so there was no way she could protect her body properly.
‘Uh! This bastard really is! Ha!’
This wasn’t like So Wonhwi at all.
‘Is he really possessed by the sword?’
Even if that was the case, he couldn’t understand why Hae Ack-chun called him the Blood Demon. At that moment, Son Wonhwi put his hands behind his back and looked over.
“You look useful. Who are you?”
“I am one of the Four Venerable Dignitaries of the Blood Demon, named Hae Ack-chun.”
“Such a respectable person.”
Watching their conversation, Kwak Hyung-jik felt his heart burn. He felt it would have been possible to deal with just So Wonhwi, but this felt impossible.
He turned to his disciple, who had collapsed.
‘Can I take my child and run away?’
The opponent was the Ghastly Monster of the Blood Sect.
Others might not be aware of him, but he had seen Hae Ack-chun directly during the war. Dealing with that monster in this state was nothing but reckless folly.
‘… does this mean that the fate of me and my disciple end here?’
Even when he had lost his arm, he hadn’t felt such despair. It was as if the heavens had abandoned him.
‘Jang Myung. I feel bad that you met such a worthless teacher.’
He clenched his hands. Shouldn’t he just burn up his own body if he was destined to die?
As Kwak Hyung-jik stood up to get ready to fight to the death, he heard Hae Ack-chun say.
“Blood Demon. The body you are in now is also a member of the sect.”
“He is my disciple.”
Hearing Hae Ack-chun’s words, So Wonhwi smiled.
“Then this has to be an honor. How can a member of the sect not like this? I took the body that was needed, and he gets to serve me.”
Hae Ack-chun became stiff at those words.
He had been trying to say things in a roundabout manner, but the Blood Demon had instead taken it another way.
Hae Ack-chun raised his head and pointed around him.
“This is a place not far from the Murim Alliance. You could be in danger if you descend into the body like that.”
At this, Wonhwi smiled.
“Me? In danger? Who would dare be a threat to me?”
“Blood Demon. There are tens of thousands of enemies here.”
“Good. I have the chance to get revenge for those who imprisoned me for 20 years.”
“You must be foolish, seeing how you are speaking against me,”
Hae Ack-chun sighed as Wonhwi narrowed his eyes. Hae Ack-chun then said to himself.
“Demonic spirit… right. This is a demonic spirit.”
“What are you mumbling?”
As the situation began to take a turn for the strange, Kwak Hyung-jik was ready to use various defensive tactics to run. He then stopped as he noticed something strange.
“You, your attitude is getting on my nerves.”
As Wonhwi said those words, Hae Ack-chun clenched his fist and took a stance.
His body began to turn bronze as his muscles convulsed, and steam began to rise from them. He was using his Blood Technique, as Wonhwi proclaimed.
“You are being foolish again.”
In response, Hae Ack-chun spoke with a heavy voice.
“Give me back the body of my disciple.
So Wonhwi was shocked at this declaration.
“Are you going against the will of the sect leader?”
“I do not listen to the orders of a demonic spirit.”
“The only one who can give me orders is Baek Moo-young, the 15th sect leader.”
Hearing his words, Wonhwi shook his head.
“Then let’s do it.”
Moments later, his body vanished and reappeared in front of Hae Ack-chun.
In that instant, Hae Ack-chun crossed his arms and raised them.
His feet dug into the ground, and his crossed hands caught Wonhwi’s wrist.
“You are good. You blocked my sword.”
As soon as he finished speaking, So Wonhwi kicked Hae Ack-chun in the chest, and his body moved back more than ten steps.
This shocked Song Jwa-baek. This was the first time he saw his teacher being pushed back.
This was really a So Wonhwi that he didn’t know.
He looked at his twin, Song Woo-hyung.
“Let’s help our teacher.”
As they tried to move, they heard from Hae Ack-chun.
“Stop! Didn’t I tell you to not intervene!”
Hae Ack-chun was no longer smiling. This made the twins realize how serious the situation was.
Wonhwi clicked his tongue.
“Late. You venerable one. If you had a heart about caring for your disciple, then you cannot go against the sect leader.”
Tremendous killing intent rose from Wonhwi, enough to stop an ordinary man’s heart. Even so, Hae Ack-chun looked calm as he said.
“I’ll show you the final stage of True Blood Diamond Body. Look at me.”
He wasn’t saying this for Wonhwi, but for the twins.
The amount of steam that was released from Hae Ack-chun’s body increased.
His copper-colored skin turned clear and soon took on a glossy look.
“This is the Red Blood Diamond Body technique.”
As soon as those words came, Hae Ack-chun’s body moved towards So Wonhwi.
So Wonhwi swung his sword at the onrushing Hae Ack-chun.
His fist and the Blood Demon Sword collided.
The moment the two collided, their bodies bounced back simultaneously. Their strength seemed to be equal.
So Wonhwi, who had been thrown back by ten feet, looked at Hae Ack-chun with wide and twinkling eyes.
“To make the sect leader see blood. You… you have some unique things up your sleeve.”
Blood was dripping from the palm of So Wonhwi’s sword-wielding arm. Cho Sung-won, who was watching this, clicked his tongue.
‘That man really is Ghastly.’
He didn’t expect Hae Ack-chun to be able to put up a fight with the now-possessed So Wonhwi.
However, the man was fighting on equal footing and pushed the Blood Demon back with his bare fists.
In return, Hae Ack-chun’s right fist was also damaged.
“It must be difficult to punch with your bare hands.”
Hae Ack-chun, seemingly not caring, clenched his fists tighter and ran toward So Wonhwi.
His fists moved quickly, seemingly appearing like dozens of punches, as he closed in on Son Wonhwi like a storm.
His appearance truly seemed like a Red Storm.
In response, So Wonhwi slashed with the Blood Demon Sword.
The sword managed to skillfully block the seemingly-endless fists and pierced through Hae Ack-chun’s red storm.
Such shocking sword skills!
“And there is a gap.”
The Blood Demon unerringly aimed toward the center of Hae Ack-chun’s chest. At that moment, someone kicked So Wonhwi right above his wrist.
It was Kwak Hyung-jik.
So Wonhwi, who was annoyed by this, used his left hand and infused qi into it.
Kwak Hyung-jik twisted his body to the side to avoid it but was stabbed in the thighs.
But thanks to that, Hae Ack-chun found a chance.
His punch made direct contact with So Wonhwi’s chest, sending him flying back.
Hae Ack-chun, who had sent So Wonhwi flying, harshly barked at Kwak Hyung-jik.
“North Brave Blade Star. This is not your place to intervene.”
Kwak Hyung-jik, who hurriedly stopped the bleeding in his thigh, replied, “Ghastly Monster, you cannot take him down with just your strength, right?”
“Huh! You are meddling.”
“I am not helping you.”
“I am indebted to your disciple. I want to pay off the debt.”
“You are a funny one.”
Hae Ack-chun clicked his tongue as Kwak Hyung-jik seriously asked him
“Even if he let go of the sword, he didn’t escape from its possession. Is there any way to make your disciple back to normal?”
Hae Ack-chun let out a raspy breath at this.
Hae Ack-chun looked at Wonhwi, who had gotten up after the blow to his chest, and immediately said to Kwak Hyung-jik.
[… you, will you really help?]
[Good. I will allow you to help.]
Hae Ack-chun said he would allow it as if he was giving permission.
Nevertheless, Hae Ack-chun continued.
[There are two blood points on the sides of the head.]
[The heavenly blood points?]
[I guess you aren’t stupid]
[… for me to hear such a thing.]
Kwak Hyung-jik’s face expressed the absurdity of this comment. But it didn’t last long.
It was because So Wonhwi began moving again.
Even though they were concentrating on him, the moment he moved, all they could see was a blur.
[I will try to trap him and aim for the heavenly point. You will have to aim for him.]
Those blood points were located below the back of the brain. Kwak Hyung-jik’s eyes betrayed his anxiety.
The two blood points Hae Ack-chun referred to could lead to death if pressed wrong.
[The internal energy applied to it shouldn’t go past the 10th level.]
[And at the same time, you need to do it on the other side. Don’t forget.]
As soon as he said this, Hae Ack-chun slammed his fist to the ground.
A hole was dug out into the ground before him as stone and rubble flew up into the air. So Wonhwi, who was stretched forward, laughed and swung his sword.
Before the rubble could touch him, he disappeared.
“Look at you cheating.”
So Wonhwi turned back and thrust his sword forward.
The Blood Demon Sword pierced through Hae Ack-chun’s palm.
The sword continued unerringly in a straight line toward Hae Ack-chun’s face.
Hae Ack-chun tilted his head to the side as the sword pierced deeper into his hand. He then grabbed So Wonhwi’s hand.
Hae Ack-chun grinned.
So Wonhwi launched a qi blast to his chest with his left hand, but it didn’t even graze Hae Ack-chun.
The Red Blood Diamond Body was infinitely close to a perfectly hardened body. It wasn’t something that could be pierced easily. No matter how strong So Wonhwi was, anything he did without a sword was useless.
“If you cannot use the sword, you are just a demonic spirit. Hehe.”
So Wonhwi began to use his internal energy to prepare a counter, but…
Hae Ack-chun’s left hand and Kwak Hyung-jik’s left hand both moved to press the blood points at the same time.
A scream erupted from So Wonhwi.
As two dangerous blood points had been pressed at the same time, it looked like the blood vessels there were under pressure. Blood gushed from his face.
‘Did it work??’
Kwak Hyung-jik looked at Hae Ack-chun.
Hae Ack-chun himself wasn’t too sure of it, so he wasn’t saying anything. This method had only been done to try to release Wonhwi’s body from the possession.
At that moment, Wonhwi’s eyes became redder as he said.
“You! I will kill all of you!!”
At the same time, tremendous energy exploded as both men were pushed away. Both of their faces hardened at this.
They had no other method to bring Wonhwi back. The boy then glared at them.
“Abandon the thought of a graceful death.”
An even more intense killing intent filled the air, and a red haze emanated from Wonhwi’s body as he raised his sword.
The red haze flowed into the Blood Demon Sword and took on an intangible shape.
Kwak Hyung-jik couldn’t contain his shock. This was a realm that only the Eight Great Warriors could achieve.
“I really tried to conserve my strength until I got used to this body, but you people brought this upon yourself… kuak!”
At that moment, So Wonhwi staggered.
“Did it work?”
Both men looked at each other in shock as So Wonhwi’s expression became stiff.
His body was no longer moving as he wanted.
He was shocked as a voice rang in his head.
-This is my body.
He had been convinced that he had taken over both the body and soul. Yet, the body’s original soul was revealing its presence now.
‘Your body and soul are mine!’
-I told you it is my body.
And then a completely different voice could be heard.
[Even flames can be controlled if reasoning works. And with the heavenly blood points opened…]
‘What is this?’
At that moment, blue flames flickered on the back of Wonhwi’s right hand. The blue flame, closer to a spark, entered the existing Big Dipper dots as his hand turned blue.
At the same time, Wonhwi screamed.
An odd scene happened as the red haze that had swirled around his body quickly seeped back inside and into his heart.
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