Chapter 30 - Plaque (2)

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The Bloody Hand Witch had cut her own fingers. This kind of behavior was enough to make even the crazy man speechless.

And then she said.

“I apologize to the elder for this. Giving up on one arm wouldn’t be enough, but please consider that I have been serving a very important person.”

“Ha!”

As if that wasn’t enough, she was also an important member of the cult. For her to take off two fingers, she had made a great sacrifice.

-That woman looks crazy.

Short sword said. I didn’t even think that she would apologize. Even that ferocious old man couldn’t criticize or ridicule her anymore. Seeing how it turned out, this woman played it well.

But…

‘Strange.’

-What is strange?

I wondered if her act of cutting off her fingers was a message to Ha Yeon for her actions. Telling her to cut off her fingers as well.

Just looking at her, she had been eyeing her own disciple for a while. And the fact that her disciple should apologize for it, but she only kept staring…

‘…?!’

-What is it?

‘No…’

I looked at Ha Yeon. She let out a shallow sigh and looked at her teacher. And there was a hint of disappointment.

‘The teacher cut off her own finger. So what would a normal disciple do?’

-Run and stop the bleeding. Anything.

As Short Sword said, they would take immediate action. However, Miss Ha Yeon was just watching. It was like she was ranked higher than the Bloody Hand Witch.

“I don’t think these are things you do in front of a doctor.”

The Great Doctor removed a salve from his waist and tried approaching the Bloody Hand Witch.

That man who had been so stingy with his treatment couldn’t bear seeing someone hurt in front of his eyes. However, Han Baekha showed that she was fine.

Tatata!

She stopped the bleeding by stopping her blood points. Someone as strong as her could do it perfectly.

“You are as merciless as ever, Bloody Hand Witch.”

Hae Ack-chun accepted her apology.

“Thank you for forgiving me.”

She was also one of the most important people in the cult, so ending it here was the right thing. But the Bloody Hand Witch was quite nervous as she failed to notice one thing.

-What didn’t she notice?

‘Miss Ha Yeon’s true identity.’

-Uh? True identity? Do you mean she’s someone important?

I wasn’t sure, but if my guess was correct, she wasn’t a simple disciple.

-What about her is telling you that she’s not a disciple? Is she like the daughter of that woman?

‘No. She is the granddaughter of the cult leader.’

-What? That fat one is the granddaughter?

-Huh!

Both my swords were shocked. Right. Even I was too shocked to think about it further.

-Then what about the woman behind the bamboo veil?

-Fake.

They could be a fake.

Such things happened in my previous life. In order to protect a precious person, they would often place a fake decoy.

-Right. It could be a fake.

‘If one is a descendent of the Blood Cult, then many people will be targeting them.’

If her identity was exposed, there would be an uproar. That is why even the truth about her being alive hadn’t even spread inside the cult itself.

-Then, who could have even noticed? Who would think that a fat kid like her would be a descendant of the Blood Cult’s leader?

Right. That was true. It was such an amazing thing.

It wouldn’t be easy to gain weight to hide their identity.

‘Hm?’

No. She was planning on losing weight, right? So what kind of fattening diseases does she have?

-That.

-It is a cursed disease for women.

These two could understand women better than I. Rather, being fat was a fatal disease for any warrior.

I’ve never heard of or seen a person among the warriors who gained so much weight. Gaining weight made the body turn dull and placed the person at a disadvantage during fights.

-Wonhwi. But isn’t it a bit strange?

‘What is?’

-Isn’t this the territory of the Blood Cult?

‘It is.’

-Then does she need to hide her identity and place a fake?

Short Sword replied to the words of Iron Sword.

-Yah. If it is like that, one should have pride in being the granddaughter of the cult leader. Would a person come out looking that fat?

-Short Sword. Wouldn’t she have tried to make herself look good if it is like you said?

-…

Short Sword went silent. Iron Sword had a point. I was able to understand one thing from the conversation.

‘…an internal problem?’

I couldn’t think of anything other than that. If not, there would be no reason to put up a fake even inside the Six Blood Valley.

And if a blood relation of the cult leader was here, then she or he would be the center of the cult as they will be the next leader. Could there be an enemy within?

I looked at Ha Yeon.

‘Ah…’

-What is it?

‘Ha!’

I was wrong. Why did I think that the cult leader had only one child?

-Oh! Right.

If there were two instead of one, then everyone would be careful.

For example, if there was a risk that people would break into factions or sides, hiding the identity of one is understandable.

-Sometimes, you look like a fool, but surprisingly your head is impressive at times

Just praise me properly, don’t be mean.

-Humans are hard to understand.

‘Why?’

-If your guess is correct, then this is so odd. To set up a fake just because people might fight with each other.

-I agree with Short Sword.

Right.

There are animals that fight each other as much as humans.

Small families fight, and rulers of large nations fight. There were also cases of hurting others to occupy the throne. As I continued to think, Hae Ack-chun reached out his hand to the Great Doctor and demanded.

“Kulkuk. Shouldn’t we keep our promises?”

It was a call for the plaque. The man smiled and said.

“I will give the plaque to your disciple and not to you, Elder.”

“Tch.”

Hae Ack-chun clicked his tongue.

“It doesn’t matter. There is only one possible request anyway.”

“I will keep my word. However, since there was a poor discussion, I will look at the disciple…”

At that time, the Great Doctor who was speaking frowned and changed his mind.

“Hmm. I will check the disciple’s condition when the sun comes up.”

His words changed.

I looked at Miss Ha Yeon. Did she do something? Why did his words change?

She seemed to be conscious of me and sent a message.

[I will hand over the plaque, so do not worry.]

I wasn’t worried about it since I would get it.

When I found out who she was, I felt mentally burdened. Should I just pretend like I didn’t know?


The next day, I headed to the main hall. I wanted to go with Hae Ack-chun, but the Great Doctor told me he would take care of me, so the old man didn’t come.

As for me, it was more comfortable to go alone than with the old man. As I went closer, I grabbed my head.

-Can you still hear me?

Short Sword asked anxiously. This was happening because of my condition.

It was the same as yesterday, but the voices were getting louder.

-…

Whispers, various sounds from everywhere around, the more conscious I became of them, the louder it got.

‘The sound is getting louder.’

It wasn’t like this yesterday. There were so many whispers.

Most were from the warriors in the valley using their swords or the disciples brought by the Bloody Hand Witch who were using their weapons to train.

-Wonhwi, don’t be too conscious of it.

Iron Sword advised me.

‘It is too loud to do that.’

-Do you consciously listen to what other people are saying?

‘That… no.’

-It is similar. Did you say the voices are like echoes in your head?

‘… Yes.’

-You should be more conscious of it as this is something known. Try to not do that.

It was easy to say, but how do I not think about the ringing sound in my head?

-…how about trying to cultivate the innate qi?

That should be the last resort.

As Iron Sword said, I decided to not cultivate but instead channel the innate qi to my head, and, miraculously, the headache that had bothered me gradually disappeared.

‘My headache stopped.’

I could still hear the sounds. But I wouldn’t hear as much if I didn’t care about it. It’s more like a passing sound that could be ignored now.

-But Wonhwi, you are right.

-There are many swords inside the main hall. Roughly 12… no 13 uh what?

-One sword is suffering.

-You can hear it too?

They were reacting strangely. Unlike how they were normally, they were showing interest in this.

I was curious as I could hear its voice and tried to focus on the sword.

-… suffering… I don’t want to die…

In an instant, I felt a chill run through my body. The sound of a dying person.

I didn’t know why such sounds were being made, but it sounded like it was in pain.

I didn’t have time to wait as the Great Doctor would be waiting for me.

So I hurried to the entrance and saw the guards looking inside.

‘What is it?’

Is something happening inside?

As I approached, the guard who stood there bowed his head and greeted me. Well, everyone knew whose disciple I was.

I passed through the gate and went in.

‘Uh?’

But when I went inside, something unexpected happened.

The front of the main hall was guarded by the disciples of Bloody Hand Witch, and in front of them were 12 men in bamboo hats, all with swords.

-Something doesn’t seem right.

As the short sword said, the atmosphere seemed strange. I could hear the swords of the bamboo hat men speaking.

-I want to see blood now.

-I want you to pick it up sooner than replace it later.

Each of the sword’s words could be heard, all of them eager to fight.

It seemed like I had arrived at a bad situation. The place where everything was happening was in front of the Great Doctor’s building.

Bang!

Someone came out of it by opening the door. It was a person in a bamboo hat with hair long enough to reach the waist and a thin woman-like body.

-I want… to die…

It’s this sword. The sword on this person’s waist was in agony. I didn’t know why.

“You are lucky.”

The woman in the bamboo hat came out and walked down the stairs.

Others also walked out through the door. After the woman came out, Han Baekha and three of her disciples were also there. Han Baekha’s expression was darker than usual.

“Let’s go!”

“Yes!”

At the woman’s words, the people guarding outside replied right away.

She and her group moved toward where I was standing.

To be precise, she was in the lead.

‘Eik.’

I felt like I was caught for walking in front of them and tried to move out of their way. I then bowed my head, trying to avoid eye contact.

Step!

They kept walking. They were definitely passing by, but,

“How did a trainee get into the main hall?”

This was bad!

She stopped when she saw my outfit. After all, trainees cannot enter this place until their training period is over.

Entering the main hall was something that only happened when one was a true warrior.

I didn’t know who she was, but I felt like I had to reveal I was the old man’s disciple.

“I…”

It was then.

“Even the trainees are slow.”

No, give me time to answer then!

Shh!

Something suddenly appeared in front of me with the sound of wind splitting. The moment I lifted my head to see, I saw a hand pass over my head.

‘…?!’

Was she planning to kill me?

Confused, I crossed my arms and, at that moment, felt a massive shock on my wrist.

Pang!

“Huk!”

My body was pushed back. What power!

Despite having 30 years’ worth of innate qi, and despite the confidence I gained, I felt my five organs burn once again.

“Can a trainee withstand this?”

She lifted the bamboo hat a little. I could see her red eyes in the dark shadow under the hat.

Those eyes were filled with killing intent.

What the hell is with that woman?

The woman in the bamboo hat tried to approach me with an expression that showed her interest in me.

Her white hands were ready to use the sword on her waist as I heard the cry of Miss Ha Yeon.

“Enough! He isn’t a trainee but a disciple of Elder Hae Ack-chun!”

“The elder’s disciple?”

Hearing that, the red-eyed woman’s lips curled into a smile.

This was my first time seeing such a smile.

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