Chapter 45 - The Bloody Hand Witch’s Ability(1)

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When I managed to arrive at the vacant lot, I could hear the buzzing of insects around me. The Bloody Hand Witch hadn’t yet come.

She could be a little late, or maybe she was trying to hide her presence before suddenly popping up.

Or maybe she was staying in the main hall instead of the guest hall.

-Why?

‘What do you mean why?’

It must be to protect the descendant of the sect leaders. Baek Ryeon-ha will be staying in the main hall, so the Bloody Hand Witch and her followers would have to be there–or maybe they were still in talks?

-Because of the information you gave away?

I don’t know. It should have been more appealing because the name of Beggars Union was attached.

In order to convince the suspicious Hae Ack-chun and Jang Mun-wong, who were only recently active outside, I had to give out three pieces of information I knew.

Both of these things were good, but the information about the alliance between the Murim Alliance and the warriors was something that could shake the future.

As the sun went down, I watched Hae Ack-chun and Jang Mun-wong enter the main hall.

It was speculated that this information wasn’t held solely by Hae Ack-chun, which meant things needed to be discussed with each major person in the Blood Sect, so I assumed that was what they were heading in there to do.

Something which had to happen in about half a year, but what effect would come from the small ripple I had just created now?

This could not be a simple ripple that will be ignored. Strangely, my heart was pounding.

-What is making you do that?

Before coming back to life again, I was only a simple pawn.

A third-rate spy who was being swept back and forth by the tides, but I now am different. Knowing the flow, able to affect the calm waters.

-That could be considered real strength.

‘Right.’

It may be even more terrifying than the strength of the experts out there.

While I was having a conversation like this, I suddenly felt a presence approaching. Judging from the fact that they didn’t seem to be bothering to hide their presence, it could only be the Bloody Hand Witch or her followers.

-Three.

Small Short Sword said that it was three people who came from the vacant lot. It was Han Baek-ha and two other women with their noses and mouths covered by a cotton cloth.

The cotton cloth left their eyes revealed, and it felt like I partially recognized them.

‘Dam Yehwa? Baek Ryeon-ha?’

Those were the two who followed the Blood Hand Witch

But why did she bring them?

No.

To be precise, it has to be just Dan Yehwa she brought along. Since Baek Ryeon-ha was higher than the Bloody Hand Witch, she could do whatever she wanted.

-But why wear that cotton cloth? Didn’t she lose the bet?

At Short Sword’s words, I clicked my tongue. Was every person around me like that crack old man?

Tak!

I clasped my fist into my palm and bowed,

“I greet the Sixth Blood Star.”

She nodded and approached me,

“I am a little late.”

“No, I had just arrived.”

I waited for over half an hour, but that wouldn’t be the right thing to say. Suddenly, Han Baek-ha complimented me.

“It seems like the young master is filled with quite a lot of talents; the sect appreciates you.”

‘Ah….’

-What is with her?

‘The old man must have talked.’

It did seem like Hae Ack-chun had shared some information. I wonder if he talked about Cho Sang-won as well.

It will become messy if someone else tries to covet him. He is someone I still have use for.

-You did expect that the old man would move, right? Didn’t you say that yourself?

‘I did.’

While I was talking with the short sword, Baek Ryeon-ha looked at me. The way she was staring felt strange.

I didn’t know what she was thinking, but it seemed like maybe this was in my favor.

‘Hmm.’

I was still puzzled when Bloody Hand Witch simply stated,

“I need to keep my promise.”

It was good to hear her say it so directly. I couldn’t ask her to teach me with my own mouth. But then she continued,

“I thought about what I should teach you, Young Master. However, most of my skills are related to my group, so it would be difficult to teach them without taking one in as a disciple.”

‘…’

About the same as what I expected. Perhaps she would pass down the most useless talent. Still, it would be good to learn something, right?

“But as the Sixth Blood Star, if I teach useless tricks, I don’t think I will have a face to show people.”

‘Uh?’

What? So she would teach me something good?

-She has to be playing with her words. Do you really believe her?

Short Sword yelled at me. But her words were right.

No matter how useless it was, wrapping words in plausible meaning would make the other person feel less bad.

“This talent I acquired over 20 years ago at the shrine of an unnamed ancestor. It could be more useful for someone as clever as Young Master than for someone like me.”

What was she planning to teach that she was dragging this out? And if she got this 20 years ago, what would her age be?

Right now, she only looked to be around her mid to late thirties.

“It was because of this talent that the title Witch was added to me.”

She suddenly pointed her finger to her face.

‘…?’

“Young Master, look me straight in the eyes.”

“Uh?”

What did she mean by saying look her in the eyes?

Despite the question, I was already looking into her eyes. Her black pupils. And the pupil was moving like a whirlwind.

For a moment, my mind seemed to go hazy, and it felt like my consciousness was drifting. It was then.

Ba-dump!

In the middle of this showing, warm energy surged through my chest, and my mind came back to life. It was all too spontaneous.

‘What just happened now?’

-Did you lose consciousness?

‘Consciousness?’

-It was just for a second.

It was a strange phenomenon. The moment I felt her look into my eyes, I could feel myself being sucked in.

But I had experienced this before. When I first met this woman and looked into her eyes, I felt the exact same thing!

And her reaction was just too similar. Han Baek-ha looked quite shocked,

“It was no coincidence.”

“…what was that?”

“To endure my Illusion Eye twice. Young Lord has strong mental power.”

Illusion Eye?

Did she notice that?

She did say I survived due to my mental power, but that wasn’t right; it was the innate qi that soared high and protected me.

“Puah.”

It was a very small sound, but there was no way we couldn’t have heard it. Dam Yehwa, who was behind Han Baek-ha, covered her mouth with her hand. I felt like she had fun watching me stumble.

“I-I am sorry, teacher.”

When everyone looked at her, she felt embarrassed, and to her, Han Baek-ha said,

“Come forward.”

“Sorry?”

“Hurry.”

Not knowing why she came and stood in front of Han Baek-ha. Han Baek-ha made eye contact with her, and Dan Yehwa, who flinched, then collapsed.

Tak!

I, who was behind her, quickly grabbed her shoulders. And when I grabbed her shoulders, her legs which seemed to be out of strength, suddenly moved, and she waved her hand away.

“W-what happened to me?”

Dam Yehwa asked, shocked.

“You almost fell.”

“I almost fell?”

She didn’t seem to believe me.

-… so strange?

I was quite surprised too.

She seemed completely unaware of what had just happened. Even if the light touch had brought her senses back, the skill the Bloody Hand Witch possessed was quite bizarre.

Seeing me shocked, Bloody Hand Witch said,

“It is a kind of suggestion.”

Suggestion?

What was that supposed to mean? Well, she was kind enough to explain,

“People who are in a state of confusion or forgetfulness are supposed to respond subconsciously to special stimuli.”

Did that mean she was forcing someone into a corner and defeating the opponent? In a way, it was terrifying.

In Murim, where the blink of an eye was enough for death to come, this was scary.

“Huhuhu. I know what you are thinking.”

“Uh?”

“It isn’t as easy as Young Lord thinks.”

“What do you mean?”

“Basically, Illusion Eye doesn’t do well on people who have strong mental strength. It will only be for a minute second, like what the young master did. And to do this, the caster will have to use a lot of concentration.”

It seems like the condition for using it was more difficult than expected. Han Baek-ha continued,

“And a light touch…”

Tak!

She clapped her hands.

“If an external shock like this or any other form is applied, one will wake up. In the end, it is difficult to use it in a chaotic situation or battles where life and death could be decided.”

“Ah…”

If one would wake up from the slightest stimuli, then this was a huge mess.

However, it sure seemed like a good skill to use when the opponent was being careless. If it was overused, though, the others would become wary of it.

-So, that was why the old man was blocking your path.

When I first saw her, he was trying to protect me. That meant he knew about Illusion Eye.

It was a technique that was exposed around him, so he was able to respond quickly, and I thought learning this technique would be quite good.

“So? Would you like to learn?”

Tak!

“I would!”

I bowed and thanked her. As soon as I accepted it, she told me about the Illusion Eye and how it worked.

Unlike martial arts, it was kind of like a mental trick, and according to her, this needed a lot of concentration.

Obviously, the conditions were difficult. She taught me the procedure and method to use it and also told me its secret.

[The book I previously mentioned told me that this technique could be divided into four stages. The first step is to steal of consciousness of the target. It is said that if that can be done, the opponent will feel confused or lose their thoughts.]

[Then, will there be other effects if it can be mastered?]

[Right. But that is impossible.]

[What?]

[Unfortunately, the book didn’t include a way to make the Illusion Eye stronger. It was torn in half.]

Ah…

That was sad.

But even if she knew, I doubt she would teach that to me. This was a talent that could only be used only occasionally when making eye contact or if the other conditions were met.

Besides, I knew part of it. Still, I tried my luck and asked,

[Then what would the effect of the other 4 steps be?]

[It was written that the second step is to make the target do what we intend to. Of course, that isn’t as effective as the previous one.]

Interesting. If the suggestion was strong enough, it seemed possible.

[Even hurt themselves?]

[That might not be possible.]

[Why?]

[As I said in the description, it is a technique to make the other person unconscious and act. People protect their own bodies even when they are unconscious.]

In other words, they could not harm themselves. Actually, if that was possible, the Bloody Hand Witch would have had a more notorious name.

[They say that hallucinations can be shown in the third form]

[Hallucinations?]

[Some poisons cause hallucinations. In the same way, reaching the third stage will show the target such things; it will make them see things.]

The more I got to know about this technique, the more frightening it felt. Be it an effect for a long or short period, it was something that would terrify the enemy.

If the three stages are like this, then what about the last one?

[Last one?]

[Unfortunately, the book didn’t speak of it; the book was torn starting from the last stage. The previous verse says that the illusions happen by influencing the five senses, but I have no idea what it means.]

Influencing the five senses?

It seemed like an abstract expression, so I didn’t understand what she was trying to say. Well, the Illusion Eye was a scary technique.

As a result, I regretted it a lot.

-Do you still want to learn it? With just one stage?

I agreed with the short sword’s words.

“Now. I passed on everything I knew. Would you like to try?”

I nodded at Han Baek-ha’s words. I had to check right away if it would work.

“Yehwa.”

“Uh. Yes?”

When she was called, she looked startled. Short Sword added,

-I was wondering why she brought her, but she brought her for this purpose.

I agreed with her. The other disciples of Baek-ha were skilled, so she brought the weakest one for me to use.

This was so pitiful.

One loss, and this girl was pushed through all sorts of hardships. Dam Yehwa looked at me with a half-crying face.

“Do it.”

Han Baek-ha pointed at her with her hand. I felt sorry about it, but what could I do?

I looked into her eyes.

And I memorized all she had told me and focused only on the eyes. It took me a while since I wasn’t familiar with such techniques.

“Phew.”

It was a lot harder than I thought.

Dam Yehwa laughed at the thought of me struggling with this. Seeing this, I suddenly had a thought.

Even if Illusion Eye’s first stage was the only part that could be used, it seems like it had to be…

It was then!

Shh!

Dan Yehwa suddenly looked blank and took her veil off.

‘…!?’

The Bloody Hand Witch and Baek Ryeon-ha were also puzzled by her actions. But that wasn’t the end.

Shh!

She unwrapped her top and tried to take it off.

Shocked, I hit her on the forehead in a hurry.

“Ahh!”

Dan Yehwa’s dazed eyes returned to their normal state.

As she blinked, her face turned red, and she tried to scream, being aware of what he had just done.

“Kuaaa….up!”

Baek Ryeon-ha shut her mouth and looked at me.

-What did you do?

Short Sword asked me.

How could I know?

When I opened my eyes wide, intent on making it work, I only wanted her to faint.

Confused about what happened, I looked to the Bloody Hand Witch, who too seemed to be in disbelief.

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