“But how did senior manage to come to this place?”
Han Jisang’s expression darkened at the question.
But now, even if he went crazy, I had nothing to worry about, so I wasn’t too afraid to ask.
Sighing a couple of times, he replied,
“It doesn’t matter. It was a simple matter of vain greed.”
He didn’t speak of the full story. But he didn’t seem ashamed of what he had done either.
“… rather, I want to ask you something.”
I frowned at his sudden words. Was he doing this favor because he wanted something from me?
Still, he did help me.
“What kind of request is this?”
“If you are the descendant of the South Heavenly Swordsman, I think you will walk the right path. Surely there must have been some trust, right?”
What do I answer now?
I am the successor to the man, but I was closer to the Unorthodox Sect, so I was reluctant to respond.
He asked in a bitter voice,
“Is it difficult?”
“… it isn’t that. but I am afraid that your junior might not be able to fulfill the request.”
“You don’t have to worry about that. It isn’t a difficult request.”
Not difficult; that is why I was feeling anxious. Hesitating, I nodded.
“If it is something within my power, I will listen.”
Han Jisang took a deep breath at my words,
“I cannot remember how long I have been here. But surviving in this cave without legs is a painful task.”
Come to think of it, Iron Sword said that the man with golden eyes only cut his legs and not his arm. Then, the arm was an accident? Continuing, he answered my silent question,
“I couldn’t overcome the hunger and ended up cutting off my arm to eat it.”
Han Jisang pointed to his hand, making me frown.
It wasn’t an accident; he had just happened to do it.
-He ate his own body? Eik!
Even Short Sword couldn’t understand this. That was what it felt like, not understanding why he had to sacrifice the arm he used so often.
“It wasn’t the left arm but the right…”
“I am left-handed.”
Ahh… so that is why he ate his right arm. If that was the case, I could understand it.
It must have felt like a body part he could sacrifice. Han Jisang continued to speak,
“You will not know how painful hunger and loneliness are.”
His eyes shone, making me shudder.
“It slowly gnaws at the hearts of people. That is a terrible thing.”
The voice clearly made me feel his pain; he was desperate.
“Is that why you lost your mind?”
I didn’t want to ask him directly if he had gone crazy, so I asked him in a polite manner.
“I struggled desperately to survive and live, but the more I did, the more my mind began to break down. At first, it was just brief moments, but then it turned into one, two, and at some point… it lasted for days, five days. Now I don’t know if this is the true me or my crazy self.”
He himself called himself crazy. He couldn’t deny what he had been through.
“I… don’t know when I will completely lose it.”
He was afraid of losing himself.
“… before that happens, I want to ask.”
“What kind of request is it?”
I decided to listen to him first.
I didn’t like him due to what he did to my self-proclaimed teacher, the South Heavenly Swordsman, but didn’t he help me?
If not for the man, I would have died, so he pointed to his chest.
“Take the thing inside my arm.”
As he said, I looked inside the arm and found a piece of leather with something on it.
The moment I saw it, goosebumps rose on my skin.
It looked like human skin no matter how I looked. Was it his own skin?
At my shocked face, he said.
“I put everything in there. Can you pass it on to my son?”
Iron Sword sighed.
This couldn’t be more of a coincidence; he was doing the same thing he did to the South Heavenly Swordsman.
“Instead, I don’t mind if you learn it… and I will give it to you if you want. It is a treasure made with human skin. I think this much should work.”
He blinked at the brown guard he had on the right elbow. It was the thing that looked thin and had the thread attached to it.
Han Jisang’s expression had too many emotions in it.
-… doesn’t it seem like he is testing you?
-You, the successor of South Heavenly Swordsman, to confirm if you will make the same choice or a different choice from him.
It is a thought which came to me, but this Short Sword was really sharp.
It isn’t like she had a sharp blade, but more like her thoughts were different from humans.
I looked into Han Jisang’s eyes, and his eyes were shining with longing.
Did he want to justify his greed in the past?
-What are you so worried about? There is no reason to reject it.
At Short Sword’s words I sighed. Of course, the guy was right.
There was no need to complicate it, pondering whether it was a test or not; if it was helpful to me, I should do it.
I just didn’t want to let him justify his past actions. I wanted to protect the honor of my teacher.
I told him.
“I have already received too much. I will take the item that the senior wants his son to have, like asked.”
Han Jisang sighed at my words. Unlike before, this was a sigh of disappointment.
Disappointment as I made a different choice than him?
He chucked and laughed as he said.
“You make me feel worthless till the end.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have no children. I just wanted to check one last thing with you.”
-Uhuh. He isn’t as great at lying as you.
You don’t have to compare me with everyone!
I was yelling at Short Sword when Han Jisang smiled timidly and said,
“Now that there is no master, you can have all of them. It is up to you if you want to learn it. It would be karma if I get mine taken at this point.”
With that, he shut his mouth, and I heard something chewing as he groaned.
I hurriedly opened his mouth. He had chewed his tongue and swallowed it.
His face, which turned white due to the tongue blocking his airway, turned red as if it would explode. He forcibly opened his eyes and moved them to the left and right.
He didn’t want me to interfere with his death.
-… leave him alone. Wonhwi.
Iron sword told me.
But if left like this, he would die.
-Let him rest now. He has already suffered way too much, so even my former master would want this.
I turned sober at his words. He was forgiving this man.
After releasing his blood points, I placed him on the wall of the cave and bowed down to him.
I wanted to convey my feelings of gratitude for what I received from him. When I lifted my head, his head was slightly tilted. But blood was dripping from his lips, and the corners of his lips were a bit raised.
-He looks like a monster but dies like a human.
Short Sword mumbled.
The night passed, and morning came.
All night long, I read what was written on the skin left by this man.
It described in detail what martial arts he used and instructions on how to learn them, and the human skin thread he used.
‘Shadow Flying Sword technique.’
His defense martial arts and the Shadow Flying sword technique, which used a silver thread, were more unique compared to the other martial arts I had learned, so it took me a while to comprehend them.
There wasn’t much time for me here.
I put the silver thread on my right wrist. And the band holding the thread immediately shrunk and fit around my wrist.
As I went to the entrance of the cave, the flowing rapids were shaking.
I don’t know if this would work or not, but I had to give it a try. I pulled Short Sword and tied the thread around it.
-Do you have to do this?
‘I should, and the thread only works on daggers or short swords.’
Knowing what I was going to do, Short Sword was scared, and it seemed like she was scared of being lost if something happened.
This thread was too strong to lose what was tied to it.
Standing at the entrance of the cave, I aimed for the cliff. And threw her.
Short Sword moved fast and stuck to the wall of the cliff.
I wasn’t sure how long this silver thread could extend, but it went quite far. And if I use innate qi…
My body got sucked to the other side.
When it worked out how I wanted, a smile burst onto my lips.
The Shadow Flying sword technique could be used in so many different ways, and it could even use its elasticity to pull things closer too.
I grabbed the cliff where Short Sword was. If Han Jisang had strong arms and legs, then he would have gotten out of that cave long ago.
-I am not sure about that.
-IF one is crazy, and hearing the voices from outside made him tremble and fear, then how would he even get out, even with a healthy body?
That made sense.
Despite the suffering and hunger, he didn’t once step past the entrance of the cave.
I don’t know if he was inside for a reason, but it was certain that he was afraid of going out.
-Anyway, just climb up.
‘Yes. Though it isn’t necessary.’
There is a good way to move.
I grinned as I pulled out Short Sword from the wall and threw her to the cliff on the other side.
I could even hear her swearing at me.
She never screamed when I threw her at people, so why are you so scared now?
I immediately fastened the thread and went closer to the sword. As soon as the weight moved, the thread began to get sucked in on its own.
This was good.
Cause this felt more like flying. I hadn’t gotten used to it yet, but if I moved to the lower points of the valley and used it like riding rope, then I would eventually get used to it, and then I could get out of here.
Instead, Short Sword would die of fear.
-Leave me aloneee!
Downstream, in the valley.
A group had surrounded a handsome young man carrying a long sword sheathed on his back.
Judging from the fact that they had flags with them, they were of the Murim Alliance.
The man who had a beard and seemed to be the leader of this group shouted at the young man.
“What? You were heading into the mountains to join the Blood Sect? You must be insane! As expected, you must be of the Unorthodox Sect!”
At his words, the young man slightly pouted and said,
“No. What does it matter if a stranger joins the Blood Sect or not? And since I am not against you, does it make sense to corner me like this?”
At the words of the young man, the man with a beard snorted,
“Why wouldn’t it matter? Do you not know that the Blood Sect and its people are the targets of the Murim due to their nature?”
“Who decided that?”
“The Murim Alliance!”
“Isn’t the Murim Alliance just a gathering of sects? Is that the rule that the nation follows?”
“You don’t seem even to be a novice in Murim. Stop playing with…”
“We are meeting for the first time, but I don’t think you have the liberty to act all ignorant.”
The man with the beard was angry as he shouted at the young man,
“You will come to your senses right now. Catch him!”
“It was bound to happen from the start.”
The young man only grinned at this and grabbed the sword in the sheath.
Even with such a group of 10 surrounding him, he was confident. And at the time, the swordsman of the group shouted,
“Leader! L-look there!”
Everyone was startled and looked at the place being pointed to. It was the same with the young man.
Everyone was wide-eyed. On the side of the cliff where the mountain ranges spread.
They saw a figure flying across the air.
“Ah, no, maybe Void Movement.’
The method which only the legends found in stories were told to perform?
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