A rift was forming between the Murim Alliance and the warriors.
The stone thrown by So Wonhwi was causing a bigger ripple than he had predicted. Within just one month, the news had spread to all the groups in the Blood Sect, all of which were scattered around. The earliest place to receive the news was the Jiangxi Province, which was adjacent to the northern part of Guangdong, where the Six Blood Valley was located.
When the news arrived there.
This was a place deep in the middle of the mountains.
A hermitage that looked normal from the outside, but inside there were numerous cavities connected like the tunnels of an ant hill, and the base was hidden there.
There was a place that was decorated with an old feeling. Numerous shapes of bright colors were on the wall.
Below it was the names of the people who had died while gaining fame in the Central Plains. This was a commonplace of the land.
An old man with grayish hair curled behind him was reading a book.
The old man who seemed involved in the book exuded a weird dignity that would make others a bit wary of approaching him.
This old man was one of the Four Venerable Dignitaries, Seo Kalma
There was a person waiting with a respectful attitude in front of Seo Kalma; it was commander Hak Jung-gyeom.
After reading the book in hand, Seo Kalma smiled. As soon the book was clenched, it was torn to shreds, showing just how strong he was.
“Things seem to be getting interesting.”
Seo Kalma got up, and he looked at the numerous paintings hanging on the wall with eyes misted with emotion. And he said,
“This was faster than expected.”
“What do you mean?”
Hak Jung-gyeom, who hadn’t read the contents of the book, didn’t know what he meant by that. Without taking his eyes off the paintings, Seo Kalma responded,
“The time has come for our sect to rise again.”
Hak Jung-gyeom’s eyes trembled.
If one was a member of the Blood Sect, wouldn’t they dream of this moment? Seo Kalma also couldn’t hide his excitement.
“The time has come, but our sect is still scattered and not as one, so this must be fixed.”
Hak Jung-gyeom understood what he meant by this.
Seo Kalma was preparing for the revival, but no one had supported it until now. However, he said to make sure that this gets processed now.
“Please command me.”
“Call Geum Won and Eunjae. And get ready to head to the Six Blood Valley.”
“What are you saying?
Geum Won and Eunjae.
They were the disciples of Seo Kalma. The fact that he even called his disciples to head to the Six Blood Valley… Did it mean that Seo Kalma was running for Baek Ryeon-ha’s side?
Hak Jung-gyeom was puzzled.
Wasn’t it supposed to be Baek Hye-hyang? Whatever his thoughts were, he had to follow his master, Seo Kalma.
At the entrance of the northeastern part of the Henan province located in the middle of the country.
Kaifeng was a place that boasted a large populace, especially for being outside the capital.
Many murim sects were taking root in Kaifeng.
Like the proverb, “just below the lamp is the darkest,” there was a force moving in the shadows of this place. It was Jang Ryong, the First Blood Star’s Thunder Blood Sword.
The main place is at the top of Kaifeng.
Behind the Place of Flame, the Flower Merchant Group was stationed in a mansion that boasted its wealth.
The mansion was full of gardens and had flowers all around the year.
There was a woman with red hair in a light dress who was reading a booklet in the flower garden. The woman who was reading opened her mouth.
“Have you read this?”
Behind her stood a middle-aged man who was 6 foot tall and had a sharp look. He was actually the Flame Flower Merchant Group’s head, and Jang Ryong, the Thunder Blood Sword of First Blood Star, ranked first among the Seven Blood Stars of Sect.
“I read it as it arrived before my lady came.”
“It would have taken quite a while if we got this from the Six Blood Valley.”
“It probably took around twenty days or so.”
It would have taken longer if it was a public route that was being used. The man who called her my lady smiled.
“And Elder found this information?”
“Elder seems to be doing good. It seemed like he wasn’t that interested in the working of our sect.”
“Not anymore, I guess.”
Hae Ack-chun’s promise to raise his own group and compete had reached the ears of all the people in the sect because of the commanders who participated in the selection ceremony.
The red-haired woman folded the booklet and put it down.
The blood-red eyes which were hidden behind the book were now shown. And with her cherry lips forming a smile, she said,
“What do you think?”
“I am only here to follow my lady’s orders.”
“Orders. Put that nonsense aside; you said you were going to be someone with an advisor position; give me some insight you have.”
Despite the harsh tone, Jang Ryong spoke with a smile,
“The First Elder and myself, as well as the Fourth Blood Star and Seventh Blood Star, are currently serving the lady, and recently the second elder has been showing a favorable interest too.”
It meant that she was getting the support of equivalent numbers.
“On the other hand, ‘she’ only has the Third Blood Star and the Sixth Blood Star.”
“Huh. They should be dealt with once the sect has risen.”
“You are right. But do you remember what we have told you?”
“You remember. She was also someone who had inherited his blood. Small actions will cause big consequences.”
“Don’t give even a small room?”
“You mean to bring in the Fourth Elder, Hae Ack-chun to our side and destroy her hope?”
“Yes. That was clever.”
“But will that old man come here?”
She had met the man several times in the past 5 years. But all that came back was cold refusal.
After all, he was a loner who had great pride and would never back down. With a fishy smile, Jang Ryong said,
“That is when the Third Elder has nothing to lose.”
20 days had passed since I had learned the technique Bloody Hand Witch had shown me.
Contrary to the expectations that there would be a change in the daily routine I had, only the location was changed to the main hall of the Sixth Blood Valley.
We were all still honing our martial arts with Hae Ack-chun.
As the commander, Jang Mun-wong was entrusted with the middle and upper-rank trainees, and there was no concern for me, Song Jwa-baek, and Song Woo-hyun.
According to Hae Ack-chun, after completing the basic training for our group, they would move to the new base. Meanwhile, we were given another mission.
To go above our leader and become a commander.
‘Did you think that the disciples of mine will end with being just leaders?’
That was true. Even the disciple of Bloody Hand Witch was a commander. If this man’s disciple was just a leader, it would hurt his pride.
But becoming a commander from a leader was just too tough!
The most basic qualification that a commander should have was to go beyond a first-rate warrior and to the master level.
Of course, my skills did surpass the first-rate warrior level. But they were all hidden skills, and the skills that were public hadn’t all been shown to be first-rate skills yet.
So, now I am struggling.
It looked like I would puke up what I ate in the morning. One kick from Hae Ack-chun and I was already feeling like I would die.
“You cannot even stand 3 attacks!”
Hae Ack-chun roared like the crazy old man he was. It would be nice if the level was set right, but he was really showing off his power here.
At that time, someone was aiming for Hae Ack-chun from behind. It was Song Jwa-baek, whose upper body muscles and body-stained copper were being shown as he took off his shirt. His body had become stained copper due to falling to the ground repeatedly and the usage of the True Blood Diamond Body.
It was good to aim for the back while he was focused on me…
Hae Ack-chun turned around at the speed of light and grabbed him by the neck, only to throw him down.
Song Jwa-baek, who had his head stuck to the floor, went limp as he fainted. Seeing that, Hae Ack-chun clicked his tongue.
“An idiot. If you are going to attack from behind, don’t scream!”
I wanted to say the same.
He should have just moved, but that wasn’t the end yet.
There was the sound of someone running in. Hae Ack-chun frowned and turned his head,
Bald Song Woo-hyun came flying in like a squirrel. The momentum was too much as Hae Ack-chun reached for him.
Hae Ack-chun blocked the headbutt with his bare hand despite being pushed back around 4 steps.
That was the end. Hae Ack-chun, who was pushed back a little, hit him on the head.
At that moment, Song Woo-hyun’s body bounced back. Truly the man was a monster.
He used Song Jwa-baek and me as bait and ended this. And he had only been pushed back four steps throughout all of this.
“Tch, the three of you working together only to move me four steps. So embarrassing.”
I was angry.
I wanted to challenge my own skills. Because even if I did my best, it would change nothing. Hae Ack-chun was a monster that I could never surpass with these meager skills.
In order to fight on equal footing with him, it would be possible to do when I reached a little closer to him or when I was able to use the 6th level of internal energy.
-I am not sure of that.
-Hae Ack-chun. He has become too strong. It seems like he achieved a development equal to or beyond that of my former owner.
South Heavenly Iron Sword thought highly of this man. The last time his former owner fought with the old man was 15 years ago.
There was no way Hae Ack-chun was sitting idle all the while till now.
If so, could I defeat him by being able to reach the 7th level of perfecting the Xing Ming technique?
It was said that even the South Heavenly Swordsman couldn’t do that. As I thought of it, Hae Ack-chun shouted at us.
“Continue! Keep coming!’
Catching my breath, I got up. Relieved the qi, which was hit into my stomach, and I began to feel more comfortable.
As I adjusted my form to run in, Hae Ack-chun looked somewhere and signaled a stop.
On the hill stood a woman with a white cloth covering her face.
Short Sword recognized her.
Baek Ryeon-ha, the woman who I passed by a month back in the plot near the main hall. I was right, but why did she come here alone?
The two seemed to be talking with Voice Transmission…
“… follow along.”
Her purpose wasn’t Hae Ack-chun but me.
I followed her without a word.
I wanted to go to the main hall, but we went to a place away from there. It seemed like they didn’t want anyone noticing us.
When the warriors of the Blood Sect were nowhere to be seen, she opened her mouth.
“Let’s talk here.”
Ha Yeon’s voice could be heard. Although she lost weight, this Miss Ha Yeon was Baek Ryeon-ha.
“Young master. Do you know who I am?”
Without taking the veil off, she asked. An ambiguous question, so I couldn’t tell if she was asking me whether I knew if he was Ha Yeon or the possible head of the sect.
But it didn’t matter, since I knew this voice for sure, so I pretended to be surprised.
“This voice? Aren’t you miss Ha Yeon?”
Seeing me like that, she shook her head and said,
“You know I am not asking about that.”
It was the other one.
She looked at me with clear eyes.
“Young master seemed to be smarter than the other people I met. But I think it is weird if you don’t know who I am.”
She seemed convinced that I knew her true identity. Well, I do know.
There were a lot of things I could guess from what she had shown me. And all she did was cover her face a little.
“You really don’t know?”
She asked, looking at me.
Was the right answer saying I knew? After thinking, I tried to be honest. But then–
She and I turned our heads at the same time. There was a presence of qi. With the rustling sound, someone appeared.
A young man with thick eyelids, wearing a grey robe around and a long sword.
-He looked like a goblin.
Well. That was accurate.
The face did remind me of a goblin.
It was the face I was seeing for the first time, but the fact that he was able to act like this meant that he was a member of the sect.
“Haa. I finally found you.”
The young man’s face brightened as if he found something, and mumbling, he looked at us.
“You are from the Six Blood Valley?”
Knowing this place must mean that he was a member of the sect. Baek Ryeon-ha didn’t seem to answer, so I moved and said,
“You are right.”
To be precise, we are staying in the Six Blood Valley for now.
“Thank god. I was lost on the mountain road because it was my first trip to the Blood Six Valley.”
He was speaking like getting lost was a natural thing. Was it because I looked younger than I really was? Or is it because he had a higher status than me? This man looked so much like a goblin sucking other people’s blood.
My eyes widened as I slightly recognized the name.
“I am Go Eunjae, the second disciple of Second Elder, Seo Kalma of. I wanted to ask for directions.”
As he revealed his name and said he was the second disciple of the second Elder, I thought of something.
10 years later, he would be a human who would gain a name for himself, being called the Toad Blood Swordsman
He hated the title because it made fun of his appearance, his eyelids which looked thick, and he was villainized for killing everyone who called him that.
“Why aren’t you answering?’
Perhaps because of his status, he seemed to have a pretty good attitude. If he was going to come to the Six Blood Valley, then he would come to know me, so saying it now would be better.
“It is an honor to meet young master Go Eunjae. I am So Wonhwi, the first disciple of Third Elder.”
He looked shocked.
Was I a famous enough person for him to act like this?
The man who was staring at me suddenly smiled.
“Ahhh. You are So Wonhwi!”
There was something off about the way he talked. It felt far from nice.
“Teacher did something useless.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Still, let’s see your skills!”
Go Eunjae pulled out his long blade and flew to me, ready to fight. If I didn’t stop him, he would take me down.
-Wonhwi. Pick me up!
I pulled out the South Heavenly Iron Sword. And to not let Baek Ryeon-ha get hurt, I moved ahead of her and blocked his blade.
The blade and sword collided, making my stomach hurt. Well, I did expect this much from the disciples of Second Elder, but this guy surpassed the wall of first-rate warriors. The strength around the blade was nothing short of amazing.
He wasn’t someone who I could handle with only my internal qi.
“This is the Fourth Elder’s disciple? Tchtch.”
He giggled, looking at me. I didn’t like him. Right away, I wanted to splash his body.
“What is this?”
Baek Ryeon-ha’s hands were dyed in red.
If she didn’t decide to do it, it felt like he would come further ahead.
“Oh. A disciple of the Sixth Blood Star. I knew from the face being covered, so what is your name? There seem to be so many beauties around here.”
With that, he wiped his mouth like he liked this. It was disgusting.
This bastard was hiding his skills and messing around. It was the very moment I was ready to attack.
Someone appeared behind Go Eunjae.
Flustered by the large shadow which fell on him, he swung the blade to the back.
But the blade was blocked by a thick palm.
Being shocked, he asked,
“W-who are you?”
It was Hae Ack-chun. He was the only one who could stop the blade with his bare hands here.
The man, noticing that, asked in a trembling voice. Hae Ack-chun opened his mouth,
“You are the Third Elder’s disciple huh? Such interesting words you said.”
“I-it wasn’t like that…”
The guy was too shocked and tried to explain.
But the opponent was the Ghastly Monster.
“Oh. Let’s look at your skills then.”
Hae Ack-chun grabbed his head, and then without caring about what the guy was saying, he hit his head on the ground.
The body hit down so hard that he bounced back up. In that state, Hae Ack-chun clenched his fist.
Startled, the guy tried to use internal qi to protect the body, but the fist collapsed into him, and he bounced off like a cannon.
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