-I expected this. You’re not the type to back off. These days I am starting to feel like you resemble Hae Ack-chun a little too much.
What was this feeling of being praised yet not at the same time? Either way, it didn’t matter.
We were all prepared to be hated by the other faction and went under the weak Baek Ryeon-ha. Even if we don’t get anything, we will accept what is given to us.
-What? Do you want gold or silver? Or a position?
As Short Sword asked, curious as to my intentions. I thought to myself, what possible use would gold I could not use have? Moreover, right now, this woman doesn’t have a high position either.
[We don’t have time. Spill it.]
Baek Ryeon-ha urged me on. If we closed the deal before entering the match, it would give me a chance to ask for more. I knew that it wouldn’t look nice on me, so I said,
[Please give pardon to our teacher and his disciples.]
Her eyes looked a bit shocked by this.
She mustn’t have thought of this happening. Any pardon is a pardon. It was the right to receive forgiveness for any sin committed within the sect.
It might be of little use now, but if she turned into the sect leader, then she would not be able to hold us accountable.
For example, if we wanted to sever ties with the Blood Sect.
-You… are so well prepared.
Right. I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen next. Anyway, as long as it was the Blood Sect, escaping would not be easy, so I had to be prepared. And she responded.
[You are making excessive demands after taking my plaque.]
Did she read my intention? She seemed hesitant to accept my request. Giving this to one person was a lot, but asking it for four people was too high of a risk.
And Han Baek-ha said,
“… the young lady accepted the confrontation, so I have nothing to do.”
Time was running out. Frowning, she said,
[Giving it to everyone is too expensive.]
[You and Uncle Hae will be given a pardon each. Is that enough?]
She cut down the number by half. Well, good for her. I glanced at the twins. During our time in the cave together, we developed a bond, and I tried to take care of them, but it seemed like it wouldn’t work for now.
I cannot be greedy.
[I like it.]
[Good. Then in the battle…]
At my words, she exasperated.
[Are you saying that taking pardon isn’t enough?]
[Can I ask just one more?]
[You had a plaque of the Great Doctor with you?]
To my words, she didn’t respond right away. She must have thought I would skip it.
Did she think I would let it go?
“The lady and young master will do the same as before.”
And the Bloody Hand Witch continued to speak. As Baek Ryeon-ha walked toward Hae Ack-chun she said,
[Ha… that… it wasn’t me, but teacher, ah Sixth Blood Star who had it, the herb was a little ungrown, but he gave…]
For a moment, she spoke and stopped. But I already understood. This was the plant those two idiots stole, and the Bloody Hand Witch had handed them to the Great Doctor.
[Then, is that the plaque you were supposed to give me? Because I was the one who found it.]
The truth was spilled. If she hadn’t handed the plaque to Seo Kalma I would have never known. She sighed,
[… I gave my own plaque, so I unintentionally let it slip. I apologize to the Young Lord.]
I thought I would have to force it, but she apologized to me. Clearly, she was different from normal people.
[Fine. The plaque of the Great Doctor was already used. You will have to pay a price for what happened. But now it is time, so we can talk about this later.]
It was time.
Hae Ack-hun was sealing her blood points. Still, she agreed to pay the price after, so I didn’t mind it.
-What will you ask for?
‘Something like a pill?’
I felt it, the fact that I still lacked internal qi. Even if I had innate qi, I needed enough internal qi to stably show skills.
My body had absorbed all the qi which had been scattered in my veins, and that was my current limit.
-Will she listen to you?
At least she will agree to something similar.
Meanwhile, Seo Kalma was blocking my dantian and the flow of internal qi within me. He was pushing a lot harder than before.
Each time he touched me, it hurt. At that moment, Seo Kalma said to me,
[If you use tricks against the lady, no, Illusion Eye technique, even if your teacher comes to stop it, I will shatter your head.]
I was intending to use Illusion Eye. But looking back, this man had a unique personality too.
Aside from putting me down, neither he nor Han Baek-ha nor did my teacher think me taking up this fight was wrong.
This was because these are one of many unique people in the Blood Sect. Normally, most people in the unorthodox sects wouldn’t care about such things, but Seo Kalma seemed different.
-It is like seeing my former owner.
‘South Heavenly Swordsman?’
-My former owner was proud of his martial arts, so he despised abilities like Illusion Eye.
When Iron Sword said it, it seemed plausible.
If one had too much pride in their own martial arts, they would hate it. Anyone would hate it. In a way, I also seem to have changed my mindset in this new life.
I didn’t know much because I lived for ten years here and another year running from here.
“What are you doing? Go ahead,”
Seo Kalma pushed me to the middle. After cutting off his disciple’s arm right in front of him, he had many reasons to hate me.
I will have to be careful not to run into him, and then I heard Hae Ack-chun.
[Do you like the Lady for real?]
For a moment, I coughed a laugh at the question. No matter how beautiful that woman was, her position was a dangerous thorn.
And there is nothing more vulnerable than to be her partner.
[I don’t know why I decided to ask that, but I don’t know a clever guy like you will not understand the intention I have.]
Of course, I knew.
I noticed it long before he decided to support her.
He kept talking about legitimacy and worth for a while, but I was curious as to what the real reason was for him to choose the weaker of the two factions.
[Well, I entrust this to you, so I trust your judgment.]
He nodded like he wouldn’t speak again. And I hoped he would be surprised to know we got a pardon guaranteed for the future.
I cleared my breath and looked at Baek Ryeon-ha, who was standing opposite of me.
It was our first time facing each other. To be honest, I cannot even imagine what level she has reached. Even when she was fat, she was cornering the two leaders and me, so she had to be higher now.
-Even if you lose, it would be better not to be careless. If she is the granddaughter of a sect leader, she will have not just the blood of the man but even the martial arts of the Blood Demon within her.
Iron Sword pointed this out to me. He was right.
The Blood Demon was once called one of the Five Great Evils with great martial arts. If this woman was learning that, I should be careful.
However, the fight hadn’t even started, but Baek Ryeon-ha bowed her head, not wanting to look me in the eye.
I made a promise not to use it, but it felt like she was being careful.
“Now that, let’s begin!”
The initiation came from Han Baek-ha again. Instantly, she ran at me.
It looked like it would be a fight before I had the chance to pull out Iron Sword.
Still, it was a good attempt, so I spread the distance by moving back. My footwork worked without using anything.
The movement was dull due to my internal qi being sealed.
I spread the distance, and without putting the sword, I used my sword with its sheath on. And with a very subtle difference, she bent her head back to avoid being hit.
The sword glided in an elegant manner, it was a movement that would be difficult for any warrior. Her balance was near her stomach.
As soon as I felt like she was handling this well, I couldn’t take it.
I raised my left arm to stop her movements. Because of my internal qi flow being halted, my arm turned numb at the jab she threw.
It did look like she had lost weight, but the strength in her hands was too much! I would have to dodge sideways so as not to get hit and pressure her…
She suddenly grabbed the wrist with her hand pulled in, my body did move a bit ahead, and she threw her left fist at my face.
At that moment, I used Iron Sword to support my body, rotated it, and then kicked her on the shoulder.
She hurriedly moved to block it; however, the weight of my body was higher than hers, so the force behind the kick was bound to have an impact, and as expected, she got pushed back by 5 steps.
There was a gleam in her eye.
“You have great instincts.”
“I was lucky.”
After praising me, she took a strange form and opened her palm and opened her index finger on both hands.
‘A finger technique?’
If it was a martial art that used the fingers, it was a finger technique. I didn’t realize it, but her index fingers were filled with calluses. I heard that finger techniques were hard to learn.
This was because the ones learning these arts needed to be prepared to have their fingers broken.
‘… martial arts of the Blood Demon?’
Finger Technique wasn’t a martial art of the Bloody Hand Witch. The thought of this being Blood Demon’s martial arts tormented my mind.
Even if my dantian was blocked, for now, she wasn’t someone I could carelessly handle. This was the martial arts which had once dominated the entire land.
At that moment, her finger technique moved dazzlingly and reached for me. It was surprising even though it wasn’t a technique used with internal qi.
I could see no gaps.
‘Loach-Shaped sword technique.’
Against it, I used the third form, Loach-shaped sword techniques.
Although there was no internal qi and the sword was covered with its sheath, I thought it would work. The sword, like a bending willow branch, dug between her movements.
“Why aren’t you drawing your sword?”
No matter how much she wanted to fight, she seemed to want to know why the sword wasn’t drawn. I didn’t say anything as I was too absorbed in the movement.
In fact, her finger technique was so fierce that it was difficult to do two things at once.
-It had to be the Blood Demon’s technique. This is my first time seeing such a good finger technique.
Iron Sword was a bit surprised, and so was I.
If she could use the same thing with internal qi, then it would be terrifying.
And then her finger technique was digging into the gaps in my sword techniques. It was dangerous, so I pulled out my other sword with my left only to block with it.
Her eyes were wide. It looked like she wanted to end the fight now.
“You practice with your left hand too?”
She seemed surprised that I could wield the dagger with my left hand. This was recommended by both my swords and I had learned it but had never thought I would use it.
I could hear the mumbling from Seo Kalma. He seemed to have appreciated my move. Although he despised me for the trick I used, he was honest when it came to my skills.
“Aren’t you going to draw your sword?”
“I only wanted to properly block the finger technique of Young Lady.”
At my words, her expression darkened. She seemed to know my intentions. It wasn’t that I didn’t draw the sword for fairness of battle since this was a battle I was supposed to lose.
I just wanted to face the true martial arts of the Blood Demon.
“Young master is a confusing person.”
She said with a smile.
And took a different position. The atmosphere changed with her taking large strides. It was surprising that such an intimidating feeling could be felt from such simple movements.
-That movement isn’t normal. Be prepared.
Iron Sword warned me. I also put Short Sword back at my waist and corrected my form. It would be something used only at the moment of crisis. And I extended my sword to her.
At that moment, she dodged it from underneath it.
The moment I was about to slam the sword that had been stretched out, she kicked the sheath from below and backflipped!
It was all so quick that I missed her swift movements.
Iron Sword told me where she was.
If I drew my sword up, that attack of hers would be canceled. But the time had come to end this, and I shouldn’t be doing that.
It will hurt, right? And then I heard her voice.
“It will hurt.”
With warning, her finger technique hit my head.
No matter how much it was a technique without internal qi, a hit to the head was bound to hurt as the head was the most vulnerable part.
As soon as her attack touched me, I lost consciousness.
When I opened my eyes, everything was dark around me. Maybe it was night.
I looked around to see beds around and someone lying next to me.
When I narrowed my eyes for a better look, I could see the face clearly.
This guy was the one whose arm I cut down, and he was asleep with bandages on his hand. Seeing the smell of herbs and medicine around it felt like his arm had been joined.
My head hurt badly. The head was a dangerous part to get hit on. Besides, it was surprising that she hadn’t done her best when hitting me.
-Are you up?
The voices of Short Sword and Iron Sword could be heard. Where were they?
-Under the bed!
I got down and looked down, and both of them were placed together, and next to them were my shoes. Putting on my shoes, I asked,
‘How long was I out?’
-You’ve been down for 6 hours. You didn’t wake up, and we thought you had died.
As if I could die.
But I was out for too long. Even when my sealed dantian was released, my body didn’t feel right. Well, as expected from the martial arts of the Blood Demon.
But it continued to hurt!
She could have done it in moderation, but it looked like she hit me this hard on purpose. Well, it wasn’t a bad deal since I would get my end of it all.
‘I passed out, and what happened?’
-Well, as expected.
-Hae Ack-chun pledged his allegiance to her.
A natural outcome since I had lost the fight.
-After that, I don’t know. You were moved into the room right away. Yah, the physician had put his arms around you, and it was really creepy. While touching each and every…
No need to say it, please. My head already hurts from the medicine smell in the room.
I left the room quietly, not wanting to wake up Ho Geum-won.
No wonder the structure looked different. Most of the lights were turned off, and it was quiet.
Well, if I was down for 6 hours, it was past the normal time, so it could be either late night or early morning.
‘I need to go to my room.’
It was late, and I was trying to move. However, in one of the rooms in the building, I saw someone walking out.
-He is Go Eunjae?
I see that too.
The second disciple of Seo Kalma. But why is he coming out at this time?
Something felt suspicious. I was about to head back, but now I was feeling too curious, so I followed him.
As I mastered the art of stealth, I could avoid being noticed and followed silently behind. He headed into the forest not far from the main hall of Six Blood Valley.
I didn’t know where he was headed. But he didn’t go too far. He stopped and looked around and suddenly took off the shoes he was wearing.
-What is he doing? Why take off the shoes here?
He took something from the shoe and suddenly sprayed it. and the white powder was spread around.
I thought I knew what he was spraying. The guy did that, and tried to put his shoes back on.
I pulled out Iron Sword and went for him. This guy who felt my presence pulled out his long blade instead of putting on his shoes.
“Who are you?”
I asked the flustered guy,
“What is your identity?”
The guy who recognized me frowned.
I pointed the sword at him and asked again,
“… why care what I do?”
The guy was too much! Did he think I didn’t see what he did?
I pointed to the shoes and said,
“Thousand Miles Chasing Fragrance?”
At those words, his eyes flashed.
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