For a moment, I was so surprised that I couldn’t even say thank you.
The horror that was this monster in front of me was so terrifying that it couldn’t be described in words. The bare face looked so skeleton-like, so pale as if it had never seen the light, and veins clearly visible through their skin.
Besides, there was no hair on the body at all.
-… no one could be a match for this.
Even Short Sword clicked her tongue out at this appearance. It was a face anyone would feel intimidated by.
When such a person looked at me with his yellow teeth exposed and laughed, I could only get more scared.
But there was something more surprising.
I didn’t know because of the face but this being didn’t have legs. Even the right arm was just to the elbow. Does that mean that with such a crippled body and only left arm it brought me in?
The monster let out an unusual laugh, its voice was hoarse like metal scraping together. And as I coughed up all the water inside me, I got up to greet him.
“Thank you for helping me, Elder.”
From the forehead and cheeks which looked wrinkled, he seemed to be someone around 60 years old. And he looked similar to Hae Ack-chun.
The monster raised his hand.
-Look at its nails.
Short Sword trembled as it was said. The nails on the hand were too long, like some kind of clawed weapon.
It looked like the nails had been sharpened like that.
With the fear of being stabbed with it, I tried to avoid them, but the monster traced my cheek and then he smiled as he said,
“Your flesh is fresh and plump.”
What did this being say? I was too shocked when Iron Sword told me.
-Wonhwi don’t be too shocked and look down.
At that, I carefully looked down and at that moment I felt my heart die.
Numerous bone fragments were scattered at the bottom of the cave, all human bones.
In the middle, I could see some fish bones too, but they weren’t many.
-I think you need to get out. This is dangerous.
-He might just eat you like this.
I was thinking the same thing. Even if I wanted to think positively the situation all pointed to me being eaten.
Otherwise, such a number of bones couldn’t possibly be here. The monster looked at me and licked his lips.
What I thought was coming true. Thinking that I might get eaten by it, I hurriedly swung my sword at the being.
It was fortunate that I had Iron Sword in my hand.
At that moment, I felt too shocked. It was a surprise attack, but the monster caught my sword with its bare hands.
It wasn’t the internal qi of the lower dantian but from the middle one.
At that time, the monster struck my wrist and took away the sword and threw it at the wall of the cave.
The sword penetrated almost halfway into the cave wall. It took amazing strength to do that.
And it didn’t end there, the monster grabbed my wrist and tried to break it.
I hurriedly aimed for its neck with Short Sword, who was in my left hand. But the monster tilted its head, avoided the sword, and pulled something with his right arm, which was only a stub after the elbow.
At that moment, Short Sword in my left hand got pulled into it.
There was something wrapped around its wrist. Previously I was so shocked by the incident that I couldn’t see it, but it was a fine thread.
-Wonhwi, cut it off!
At Short Sword’s cry, I bent my wrist and tried to cut the thread.
But it wasn’t a normal thread. Even though there was no strength behind it, the sword should have sliced right through it. But, despite the fact that I tried to do it, the thread didn’t get cut.
And the monster grabbed my neck and pulled me in tightly. I tried to hold on, but the strength it had was far greater than mine.
The monster who pulled me in opened his mouth wide and shoved his teeth into my left shoulder.
As the teeth dug into my flesh, it felt like my whole body went stiff. Frustrated at the thought of being eaten alive, I grabbed Short Sword with my left hand and tried to break away from him.
However, the reaction of this monster was as fast as a ghost. The monster pulled out its teeth to avoid being hit and broke my right hand which was holding Short Sword.
My wrist was clearly broken. It looked like it was a compound fracture, seeing how the bone bulged out.
“Do not resist, Meat.”
This skinny monster smiled at me. Damn, this monster was using humans as his meal?
The monster opened his mouth again and tried to bite me again, but then—
A faint voice.
It was heard through even the sound of the water splashing outside.
-Such a crazy old man!
Short Sword recognised the voice right away.
-… that damned disciple!
One after another, the shouts could be heard from outside and without even thinking, I decided to scream to announce my location.
The monster hit me on the head, and I felt my vision turn to black.
-Yah! Wake up! Wake up!
Loud noises echoed in the mind. It was the voice of Iron Sword and Short Sword. Did I faint?
-You are awake!
As I was about to open my eyes, Short Sword suddenly shouted,
-Do not open your eyes! Keep acting.
I stopped opening my eyes. I couldn’t figure out why I was told not to open them.
I suddenly remembered my teacher. I should have told him I was alive but I was hit in the head and passed out.
My head where I was hit still hurts. And I felt something sticky on the head which probably seemed like blood.
My broken wrist felt painful.
-We have to wait for the time when the monster is careless. Stay still.
For now, I followed what Short Sword told me.
The sound of water resonated through the cave, so I couldn’t tell where the monster was.
Why was such a monster even in this place?
-After you passed out, that monster acted all weird.
‘What do you mean?’
-He dragged you as you passed out inside and he went to the corner of the cave and he held his breath like he was terrified.
-Yes. He is still in the corner.
‘Why is he doing this?’
I couldn’t understand. Could it be that the location of the cave would be discovered?
There was no reason for it to go to a corner.
But even if its body wasn’t strong, it had the most absurd strength, so why tremble in fear?
-I don’t know. He has been doing it for half a day already.
Half a day? That is why the place felt dark.
Even if one’s eyelids were shut, one could know if it was bright or dark outside.
‘And the old man?’
This was the most important thing.
-… don’t be disappointed; we heard the shouts for a long time but not for a while now.
Iron Sword’s words made me lose hope. In the end, I would have to get out of here all on my own.
I wasn’t even sober enough to handle what just happened before passing out. Now, all this felt too desperate.
So let’s summarize this.
The monster has only a left arm, but it was good with it. It was difficult to judge, but if he was normal, like a human, he would be on the same level as Hae Ack-chun.
However, looking at the situation, it seemed that he wasn’t fine.
His tone was slurred and he was hiding in the dark and shivering, so he didn’t have a healthy mind.
-Obviously the monster will eat you.
-Aim for that time.
They were thinking about the same thing as me. For now, that was the only way out.
In the left hand was a thread still tied to my hand.
Calm down. I carefully touched my innate qi.
I tried to check if the monster sealed any blood points, but it didn’t.
Just made me faint? If he was reasonable, he should have done that to me first. Maybe he didn’t know how to do this.
I had to take him down with just one hit. To do that, I will have to aim for the main points.
And the most effective would be the chest, thigh, or neck.
The part will differ based on how he positions himself.
-Wait. I will let you know when it moves.
The time that passed as I waited made the blood near my head go dry.
One, two, three hours…
I could feel my body begin to stiffen as I continued to wait for it in a tense state.
-It is moving!
Short Sword told me. Since it didn’t have legs, I could hear scratching sounds as it dragged itself.
It was getting closer and closer, and my heart beat faster. If I missed this chance, I would be eaten.
The closer it got, the more obvious its movement felt.
It groaned and crawled to my chest, and it was heavy because all its weight was bearing down on my body.
I felt goosebumps rise.
This was my first time experiencing such a horrifying thing, both in the past and now.
His breathing was clearly audible to me.
-It opened its mouth. It might bite you.
Short Sword exclaimed. If I aimed now, it would notice.
At the moment, the teeth dug to the top of the right clavicle.
It was painful, so I raised my innate qi and then aimed at the right rib. It seemed to have noticed and grabbed my right hand.
My broken wrist hurt much, but this was the time.
As soon as it grabbed my right hand, I closed my left hand and smashed at the center of his forehead with all my might.
The monster went mad and screamed.
Damn it, what happened? I hit it in the right spot, so why didn’t it die!
The screaming monster pushed me away with one hand and rolled to the ground. Now was the chance.
‘Where are you?’
Iron Sword told me where he was, and I moved right there and pulled him out. And swung the sword at it, but it was then.
The monster suddenly moved to the other side, making my attack deviate. Realizing I couldn’t hit him with the sword, I kicked him in the face, but then he grabbed my foot with his left hand.
And he shoved me with the caught foot, making my body rise up and crash down!
As I bumped two times, I fell limp, and the monster came up on my back and grabbed me by the neck.
Damn, I might fail this way. At this moment, a monster’s voice could be heard in my ear.
“You, what is this? How did you learn to use innate qi?”
These weren’t the slurred words like before; it spoke with clear words.
How did this thing even know about the innate qi?
Innate qi wasn’t something which could be detected by infusing internal energy.
It grabbed me by the neck more tightly.
“Can you not speak… now? That sword… isn’t that the South Heavenly Iron Sword?”
Just who is this? He recognised the sword despite it being rusted?
Maybe if he knew the South Heavenly Swordsman, then he would know it, but I didn’t know who he was, so I stayed silent.
Still, this could be my way out. He can even speak normally here.
“I… I am the successor for the South Heavenly Swordsman.”
“What? His successor?”
Could this guy be an enemy? From the way he spoke, it seemed like it.
Is he crying?
-H… he is crying.
Short sword said, unable to understand him. I thought he was an enemy, but he was crying at the mention of this man?
The monster continued to sob as if overcome by emotions.
This is insane.
How long do I have to be held by the nape of the neck?
The monster who cried for a long time suppressed his emotions and said,
“Weird. So weird. Senior… this doesn’t understand… what you are saying… I guess this is fate.”
The monster took its hands away from my nape, and then it came down from the back.
He didn’t seem to want to fight anymore. Not being careless, I stood up.
Even though the monster had no legs, it sat properly and looked at me.
If he was a madman before, now he was a watcher. I felt so curious about him.
“… senior, isn’t it disrespectful to not introduce yourself to junior?”
The monster sighed at my question,
“I am Han Jisang.”
I felt like I had heard the name before, but not at the same time.
Who is this?
I was puzzled when Iron Sword replied,
-No! How is he still alive?
‘What are you saying? You know him?’
Even the reaction seemed a bit serious. And he said to me like he was biting his teeth.
-The Slaughtering King!
‘… Slaughtering King?!’
I was shocked. This skinny monster was that Slaughtering King?
-Why are you so shocked?
Short Sword who didn’t know about it wondered. She told me her former owner was a warrior, but she knew nothing.
He was called the Slaughtering King.
The King of Slayers.
-There seems to be something. Was he so great?
It was words. As far as I knew, he is a legendary man who killed many and excelled at killing techniques.
-Exceeded the normal abilities of killing techniques?
He was no ordinary man.
His martial arts were widely known to be excellent, and that was what had made him famous. Unfortunately, he got called a murderer later in life.
He targeted the Eight Great Warriors. And he wasn’t referred to with that horrendous title for nothing.
Naturally, he couldn’t kill the Eight Great Warriors.
However, the Slaughtering King was one who managed to live despite many attacks on his life.
-Wonhwi. This guy… is a coward who likes hitting one in the back of the head. You can never believe him.
At that time, Iron Sword warned me with anger.
What the hell happened for Iron Sword to react like this?
As I wondered, something happened.
Han Jisang suddenly fell on his face. And spoke with a determined voice.
“Successor of the Southern Heavenly Swordsman. Please let me pay back my debt.”
I didn’t know why he was saying it. But the warning of Iron Sword was still fresh in my mind, so I didn’t answer.
Still, wasn’t he looking like this?
“Senior. Your younger one does not know what you are talking about. If you could tell me…”
“I don’t have much time left, so let me pay back my debt.”
At that moment, Han Jinsang pulled his elbow back up.
The thin thread around his body pulled my body. I was startled and tried to move, but then he held the top of my head.
He was aiming for my head, the midpoint of my head. Was this revenge?
I tried to shake him off with innate qi.
“Even if you refuse, I need to pay back the debt.”
Qi entered my body.
At that moment, hot qi from Han Jisang’s hand flows into the midpoint of the head. But this wasn’t internal qi.
It was innate qi!
Shockingly, this guy also knew how to use innate qi! As I sat there shocked, Han Jisang said,
“The midpoint of the head. It is known to be the best point to accept innate qi. Concentrate.”
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