Chapter 3 - The Sword Talks (1)

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“Blood Cult? What nonsense are you saying?”

“R-right. That’s nonsense.”

“Yah! Shut it and follow me! The Blood Cult was cut off by the Murim Alliance a long time ago!”

This was a known fact to everyone. The Murim Alliance defeated the Blood Cult 20 years ago due to political strife, and the sect lost its leader.

However, thanks to their notoriety, the mention of their name still caused fear in the people of Murim.

“And how do you know the sound outside is from the Blood Cult?”

Of course, I knew. It was something I had already experienced once. Saying that it’s not surprising that they thought I’m speaking nonsense.

“Kuak!”

“Ugh!”

Song Jwa-baek’s face went stiff, perhaps not wanting to believe it. The screams from outside were telling them that something terrible was happening.

Kwang!

The doors on the inn’s first floor opened, and people in their rooms began to run out. They, too, seemed to have heard the screams. People were guessing that something was happening and were rushing down.

There was no time for this.

“Asong. Follow me!”

“Yes… yes! Young master!”

He followed me, but the place I was heading to isn’t the inn’s exit. Song Jwa-baek then shouted.

“Yah! Idiot! What will you do going there?”

They wouldn’t believe me even if I explained it, so I went ahead without answering anything.

“Dummy. You will die.”

Song Jwa-baek laughed before he and his younger twin went and followed the rest of the people from the inn. Anyway, in this situation, no one could take care of another. Everyone had to survive on their own.

“Young master. Aren’t we supposed to run that way?”

I shook my head.

“We are late. They are all around the town. How can we run from them?”

The probability of escaping from the Blood Cult’s hands with my damaged dantian and Asong, who had no knowledge of martial arts, was very low. If only I had regressed just half an hour earlier, I might have had a better chance.

“T-then what do we do?”

“We need to hide.”

“Uh? Where can we? There’s only the bathrooms and stables in the backyard.”

I didn’t answer as he mumbled.

“Ah… that.”

Unfortunately, his guess was correct. The place we were going to hide in is none other than there. In the backyard, there was a bathroom and a stable, and it was full of an assortment of colorful smells.

“Young master is it-.”

“It isn’t fine, but we need to do this.”

The only way of survival was by hiding from the vicious Blood Cult. I was convinced that there aws no other way than to hide.

They were all human and wouldn’t like to touch dirty things.

Kik!

Asong opened the door and looked in with disgust in his eyes. It was like he was seeing hell.

“Y-Young master. The stench of poop down there is tough. Do we have to hide here? What if we stop breathing?”

I looked around at his question. The bamboo around us caught my eye. I took an axe and cut one off before handing it to Asong.

“Bite onto one end and breathe through the mouth. You will survive.”

“Uh? But the bamboo is this thick?”

The bamboo was too thick, and Asong must open his mouth widely. I looked at him and asked.

“Are we in a position to choose between what we want now? Don’t you know that a poop-filled place is better than hell? Asong. You don’t know how cruel they are. All your limbs will be cut off…”

“Eik!’

Asong was frightened at those words. It was dirty and tough, but this was the only way to survive. Asong entered the bathroom’s pit.

“What is with this shit?”

“I will come inside too, don’t worry, the smell will stop after we clean up.”

“Uh? Young master, have you ever entered poop before?”

Enter?

I almost died of the shit smell I had to endure for an hour. But I didn’t have time to answer Asong as I also had to hide.

“Asong. Hold one. That is the only way we can live.’

“Uh? Huk!”

Pak!

I pushed the man inside.

“Young master!”

Plop!

Once all the shit was sorted, I quickly took a step back.

‘Sorry.’

There was no other way to relive this life apart from this. Don’t be sad and curse me. I was coming too.

“Damn it.”

What’s this? I couldn’t just step in. My mind was telling me not to.

‘Should I force myself in?’

He wanted to go in after Asong, but the pit was too narrow for the two of them. He just wanted to save his helper, and now he’s the one in trouble.

‘What do I do now?’

As I looked around, I saw the stable.

Heeing!

A horse in the stable was screaming, and I approached it. I guess it was noticing that something was wrong. The guests in the Inn already ran away on horses, and they left one here.

I took down the leash that it was attached to and let the horse go. If there were no horses, then the men of the Blood Cult would have no reason to search the stable. There was also a high pile of hay inside.

‘Enough to bring attention.’

I hoped that no one would come here. It’s unlikely with the third-rate and second-rate warriors, but first-rate warriors tended to have amazing hearing abilities. If they realized where I’m hiding, I would die.

I hoped it wouldn’t happen. I went into the stable, covered myself with the straw, and touched the dagger wrapped in cloth. I became troubled.

If I’m caught, shouldn’t I put up a fight? However, just like when I touched the dagger before, I felt a scream through my heart. But my life could be at stake now, and it was ridiculous to be afraid of a weapon.

In the end, after much deliberation, I removed the cloth from the dagger.

And the moment I touched the dagger…

-Kiiick!

‘Shit! What the hell is this!’

I forced myself to hold on despite the shock.

-Don’t touch me. I hate it.

‘…!?’

I doubted my ears for a second. There was a voice telling me not to touch it…

‘Did that come from the dagger?’

I was shocked and confused, but then I heard it again.

-No! You, you can hear me?

The dagger was really talking! To be precise, its words were ringing in my head and not my ears. Similar to a hallucination?

‘How can this be?’

And then the absurdity continued.

-No way. How can this happen…

The dagger was in shock too.

-A human can hear me?

Okay. I was going crazy. That was what I was feeling.

Was it possible for a dagger that wasn’t alive to speak?

-What? Is there a law saying that daggers shouldn’t speak? Oh my god. Then do I need to constantly make clack clack sounds like swords?

I was getting nervous. It felt like I was really losing it. My nervous thinking might mean I wouldn’t be able to do my best now.

-Wow… turning a dagger’s words into hallucinations.

My head was going numb from the situation. Trying to figure out how to deal with this kind of situation for the first time left me shocked and perplexed.

It was then that I heard…

Step!

I could hear footsteps. I held my breath and sighed softly. I could hear the steps, and if I could hear them, then their owners could not be skilled.

-Yah! Yah! Answer me!

The sound of the dagger kept resonating in my head. I was nervous. I might either die or go crazy.

‘This is an illusion, hallucination. Go away, just go away.’

-… Go away? Do you think I am a ghost who grants things?

‘Ah!’

Now I knew. This was not a hallucination. Then I heard something else.

Whoo!

My mouth felt dry. Unlike the wind, the sound of footsteps was getting closer. The stable was empty, so I thought no one would come to check, but this was unexpected.

‘Damn it.’

-Your heartbeat is louder, afraid?

‘Shut it!’

I was about to die from the anxiety, but the dagger’s voice distracted me. The sound of footsteps kept getting closer, and I held onto the dagger tightly.

If the person tried to touch the hay, I would slit their throat right away.

Step.

The sound of footsteps approaching was right in front of me, and soon I could hear the sound of the haystack being touched.

Pak!

As soon as I got up, I saw a man in a mask. The masked man who suddenly saw me jumped back, but it was too late.

Anticipating his movement, I moved the dagger to stab his neck.

Whoop!

“Kuak!”

The masked man died in an instant without a huge scream. It was no exaggeration that this was a surprise attack, something he did when he was a spy. Its success was only possible because the man was only a third-rate warrior.

-Right. On a fictitious day, I thought the young man was just an idiot and only drinks alcohol, but you are pretty good. It has been a while since I tasted blood.

The voice of the dagger continued to comment in my head. I grabbed the collar of the dead man who was about to fall. This was to reduce the noise as much as possible.

If this guy had come this far, there was a high chance the other people would be inside the inn.

And third-rate warriors moved in groups.

‘Ha.’

The plan was in tatters. I didn’t know I would die instead of being kidnapped by the Blood Cult. Since this had happened, I had no choice but to risk my life and try to escape.

Shhh!

I wiped the blood on the dagger on the clothes of the masked man. The dagger was rusty as it hadn’t been maintained for a long time.

‘Of course.’

The blade and the tip looked blunt, so I had to use a lot of force when stabbing. It would be challenging to use this without sharpening it.

-How can someone who knows that neglect me?

The dagger complains to me, but I don’t respond.

‘Tch.’

I saw a black-clothed man walking from the inn. He had to be in one team with the man I killed.

I put down the corpse and left the stable while trying to hide my presence. I tried to move as much as possible without being noticed.

‘Shit. I made a mistake.’

I should have searched the body and taken another weapon from him, but I was too nervous and didn’t do it. Now I had to use this possessed dagger.

-Again! Again!

‘Shut it!’

It would be better to kill this new one and take his weapon, but I was close to losing focus.

“You. Is there anything there?”

‘No!’

The moment I saw the leg near the opening, I kicked it as hard as I could, and at that moment, something unexpected happened. The leg that I aimed for slipped back.

‘Oh!’

He then kicked my leg in response. A loud cracking sound from the contact made me groan in pain.

“Kuak!”

“I asked why you were hiding, and you came out instead to prove it.”

A masked man came into view as he spoke in a relaxed tone

‘This..’

When I saw him, I was surprised.

I thought this man would be a low-ranked one like before, but…

‘Brown belt.’

He had a brown color band around his waist, which meant he was at a higher level. Unlike the third-rate warriors who could only use techniques, this man could utilize internal qi.

And with a body that had received training in everything, how could he be taken down with a simple surprise attack?

‘What do I do?’

I was confused as he spoke.

“Look at you, you don’t seem to even know about qi, but you are quite confident. You know how to survive.”

None of these compliments were appreciated. Being born a child of a warrior family and not learning their techniques was a disgrace, and because of that, I had to live as a spy.

“I think I can put you in the secondary level.”

‘Secondary?’

The words reminded me of the past. In that past life, when I was taken by the Blood Cult, I was ranked similarly.

They judged me to be of the lowest level then.

“I will give you a chance. Kid, you cannot get out of here. If you want to live, surrender now.”

“You aren’t going to kill me.”

“How do you know that?”

“There is no reason to rate me if you wanted to kill me.”

They were planning to kidnap people from the start.

“You are a smart one. If you use your body as well as your brain, then you could be an upper-level product.”

His eyes turned sharp.

Pat!

The man rushed at me as he didn’t want to talk anymore. There was nothing more to do. If I didn’t want to be kidnapped, I had to either die or run.

Pak!

He aimed a kick at my head. Unable to get up in time, I jumped backward with a bounce.

Pak!

“This suits you.”

He smiled and swung his sword as if he was just playing around. The sarcasm and killing intent dripping from his words and actions were all directed toward me.

‘Damn it.’

Then a voice echoed in my head.

-Turn your upper body slightly to the left and stab him in the arm.

Without even thinking about it, I turned around and avoided his attack. In this state, I aimed the dagger in my right hand toward his exposed arm.

“Uh!”

He tried to avoid it, but the dagger managed to stab him slightly. Since the blade was dull, I couldn’t make a proper stab.

-What are you doing! Get up!

I quickly stood up and took my stance, holding the dagger to stay alert.

“This bastard!”

The masked man was slowly becoming more enraged with me.

-One step left. A wide one.

I spread my left leg wide as told.

Shh!

The masked man barely passed by as I moved, avoiding his attack with minimal movement.

“No!”

-Stab the thigh!

In this position, I stabbed at his thigh and managed to put the right amount of force as the dagger went in.

Puck!

“Kuak!”

-Push with your body!

And then I head butted him, and the man fell back, losing his balance. After that, I didn’t have to do much else. I just used the dagger to cut his throat.

“Kuak!”

The masked man whose throat I slit trembled and died soon after.

I did what I was told, but I was still in shock at how I had come out on top. Then, in my head came the triumphant voice of the dagger.

-You owe me your life now.

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