The points that resembled the Big Dipper on the back of my hand were formed by blue flames.
I was sure that these points somehow were related to the Sword Immortal. Come to think of it, even when Moyong Soo tried to kill me with his sword, the blue flames were what shot up from my body and made me regress back 10 years.
What secrets did it have for this to happen? At this time, no one would have been able to find the Sword Immortal, so if there was a chance, I need to look for it.
It had already been an entire month since I’ve been stuck in this moving wagon. Typically, we should have arrived in less than a week, but there was a delay along the way. From the sounds outside the wagon, it was probably bandits.
At first glance, it seemed like the unit was arriving late back to the Blood Cult.
The wagon door opened. A subtle light flowed inside, which made me close my eyes.
All the boys and girls who were tied up began to tremble in fear.
The light that came into the wagon was covered by a person’s shadow. It was Leader Oh. He had a scary face to look at.
‘He seems to be hurt.’
It seems like I was in for a ride. But it didn’t matter. After all, from here on out, Leader Oh wasn’t the one in charge.
-Have we arrived? I don’t see anything.
The Small Short Sword in my arms begged for me to take it out.
-It’s stuffy here.
Taking the sword out would only bring more suspicion to me. This would obviously be a very awkward thing to happen to me.
Leader Oh glanced at the others inside the carriage and shouted.
“Come out right now.’
The boys and girls inside began to crawl out at his strong words. I was the first one to get out. As I left the wagon, I could see a space that was surrounded by large mountain peaks outside.
‘I am here again after such a long time.’
The moment I saw this place, the sight of which was firmly seared in my mind, I could feel a chill run down my spine. Memories of the truly hellish time I had here came rushing back.
This place was a hiding place for the Blood Cult known as the Six Blood Valley. A new home for the Blood Cult after the war.
After being defeated by the Murim Alliance in the war, members of the Blood Cult had scattered all over the central plains.
It was safe to say that they are operating as an information organization.
“Uh. So Wonhwi.”
Leader Oh called me.
I bowed my head to not bring in too much attention, and a low voice warned me.
“I will keep watching you.”
He was really suspicious of me.
Meanwhile, the other girls and boys were dragged out of the wagon by force. Among them were Song Jwa-baek and Song Woo-hyun.
The twins, still stunned from having their blood points sealed, looked angry.
In addition to the wagon we rode in, there were two more wagons with children inside. Among them, one face caught my eye.
The face was still young and beautiful, but it was someone I knew well.
That girl had distinct concave facial features and was white as a sheet. No one would think that she, Dam Yehwa, would be the disciple of the infamous Blood Witch…
The Blood Witch was the Sixth among the Seven Blood Stars. Dam Yehwa possessed an innately cold body and was destined to become the Blood Witch’s disciple.
‘I am lucky.’
Someone like me ended up being a third-rate spy. It was hard to decide if I am lucky or not. Even being selected as a disciple happened without considering the disciple’s will.
Leader Oh pointed his hand somewhere. There was a podium at where he was pointing to with a man in gray robes who stood with his back to us.
“I will give you 5 seconds. Run there.”
Everyone was hesitant at the sudden command to run and unsure what to do. But upon hearing the command, I immediately ran there.
The twins who saw me run also began to run after me. I began to move faster, knowing what was coming.
“If you don’t want to die, run!”
A loud voice shouted this from behind. Knowing that this would happen, I ran.
The others, too, began to run behind me. I arrived at the podium first and knelt down on one knee.
The man with his back to us seemed a bit curious at my reaction. In fact, this was part of the basic things which were taught to people after being brought here.
“Shit. What is this!”
“Right. What are you doing here?”
The twins stood in stunned confusion for a moment before kneeling down like me. What I did was being followed by the others since I arrived first, and this was the right choice for them.
The other children who rushed in looked at me and then did the same thing.
“It is the first time I am seeing this.”
The man on the podium mumbled. I know who he was.
‘Gu Sang-woong, the Tyrannical Blood group commander.’
He was a man who stood above the group leaders and had the head position here. A single commander who led five leaders.
Gu Sang-woong was tasked with the role of selecting new members for the sect.
Four men and women appeared next to the podium. The kids around me felt intimidated by their appearance as they all seemed like high-ranking people.
The woman smiled and said,
“Well, this is a first. Someone is taking the proper greeting form before teaching has even begun.”
Thank me for that! I made them do this before you by setting an example for the rest of these kids.
-Are you so proud of this?
Short Sword laughed at me.
‘I just did what I had to do.’
Right. This wasn’t something to be proud of.
In the middle of my short argument with Short Sword, people of the Blood Cult surrounded us. It was to prevent us from escaping.
“What do we do?”
“They might kill us.”
The kids were all anxious as they whispered among themselves.
Everyone covered their ears at Gu Sang-woong’s shout. It was so loud that even my ears were in pain. When we all turned silent, Gu Sang-woong smiled proudly and says,
“Rejoice, children. You have been chosen.’
Chosen my ass! Since when did kidnapping turn into being chosen?!
“The will of the great Blood Demon has led you all into the Blood Cult.”
As soon as the name of the Blood Cult emerged, it became noisy, and the kids forgot the warning to be silent. Even if this wasn’t Murim, there is no one who did not know the name and cruelty of the Blood Cult.
The group fell into silence at the sound of someone screaming. It was from a boy who reacted the most out of everyone.
“I think I told you all to be silent.”
Leader Oh just simply killed the boy. He smiled bitterly as he pulled the sword from the dead boy’s neck, causing everyone’s minds to race.
-What? Did someone die?
Even though it couldn’t see, the short sword still noticed when someone died.
‘As an example.’
-Wow. That is brutal. Who kills a person to set an example?
This was the way of the Blood Cult. They aimed to select a few useful jade stones and abandon the others.
Of course, most of them would be made to pledge loyalty to the Blood Cult.
-How did you last in such a place for 10 years?
‘You just need to obey them like a dog.’
-… Ah. As if being called trash wasn’t enough, you turned into a dog. A piece of dog shit.
‘You are taking a shortcut to make me break you.’
This was insane. This sword’s ability to use words in strange and harsh ways was evolving daily. At the same time, people of the Blood Cult approached with wooden boxes and set them in front of the podium.
Ah, this too had to come. Everyone must be wondering what the boxes were for.
When Gu Sang-woong gestured, one sect member opened the boxes’ lid. As soon as they were opened, something red immediately crawled out.
The disgusting red worms inside the wooden box were bloodworms. The Blood Cult used them as a means to control its members.
I frowned at the sight of the bloodworms I had seen for the first time 10 years ago in a different past. I had that thing inside of me for 10 years.
“Uhh. There. Right, you.”
Gu Sang-woong, the commander, called for me. He grinned and asked.
“What do you think this is?’
“… A bloodworm.”
“Oh! Truly a descendant of a member of the Blood Cult.”
At his words of praise, everyone’s attention turned to me. With a single word, the seed I sowed sprouted and I became a member of the sect. The ripples caused by his words were significant.
All the other children looked at me like I was an evil person.
“What do we do with this child?”
Song Jwa-baek, next to me, mumbled those words after hearing Gu Sang-woong’s statement. What else can be done since this already happened?
If this was of any benefit, they too should start using this. Gu Sang-woong looked at everyone and says,
“You chosen children, listen to me. If you want to truly become a member of the Blood Cult, come and accept the bloodworm of your own will.”
The children began to turn anxious as what they had feared became a reality with his words. They can’t run nor scream. I know what they were feeling a lot better than anyone else here. Then someone raised their hand.
Just like what happened 10 years ago, if there were a lot of people, there were bound to be those who couldn’t understand their situation.
“W-what if we refuse?”
Again, it happened. As soon as he asked the question, a nearby sect member slammed his sword down on his head. The effect was immediate. No one could refuse, not unless they wanted to die.
If you don’t want to die, then don’t speak.
-They will kill everyone here if they think killing is the right way to set an example.
‘… They are doing this because there are many left here.’
Two people had died, but around 50 were still left. It was brutal but still an effective way to subdue the rest of them. Killing two wasn’t a loss when compared to that.
-It is amazing that you endured like this.
‘This is just the start.’
A blood parasite was a means to control the new recruit. The Blood Cult placed the bloodworm into the body before pushing the children into a hell-like training. They are then gradually transformed into loyal members of the sect.
“Now. Who will accept this first?”
Gu Sang-woong pointed to the wooden box. Everyone hesitated, even though they were scared. No one would willingly step up to touch that poisonous worm.
Not knowing anything else, I knew there is no way to skip this event. I moved first, deciding that I should get something out of this. Again, everyone looked at me.
“I want that glory.”
“Ah! As expected.”
When I walked up first, Gu Sang-woong showed a satisfied expression.
On the other hand, Leader Oh clearly still disliked me. He was still doubting me. Did he see any gaps in my acting?
I got up and picked up the blood parasite on my own with chopsticks and brought it to my face. The worm was wriggling between the chopsticks.
“With water, it would be easi-…”
I hate this!
The wriggling feeling inside my mouth. I hated this fucking sensation so much that I even asked for water.
As if the parasite was waiting, it moved down my throat and into my stomach. I wanted to frown at this foreign feeling of something sliding down my throat, but I tried to stay as calm as possible and raised my fist.
“Indeed from the descendant who inherited the blood of the sect. See that… Uh?”
Gu Sang-woon praised me or tried to as he looked at me with strange eyes. It’s not just him. Anyone who had an affiliation with the Blood Cult looked at me.
“Why are you looking at… uh!”
A sharp pain right in my chest.
Something wrong seemed to be happening within my body. As I was in a strange state, the woman who stood next to the podium rushed to me.
“Why is his face this blue? Did the worm become pinched by the chopsticks?”
“N-No. He ate it down like normal…”
What they were saying was only throwing me into despair. Did I take the wrong blood parasite? The pain in my chest made it hard for me to breathe.
It was burning inside.
The female woman hastily placed her hands on my back. It seemed like she was injecting qi into my body to prevent the poison from spreading. Warm energy radiated from where her hands were.
But something felt strange. The burning pain I felt in my chest was slowly going down. Down to the stomach. This… no….
“What is it? Is that side hurting?”
“Ugh… miss! Wait for…”
Without even listening, she continued to infuse qi into me, and I tried to hold on but,
The woman who infused qi into me hurriedly took off her hands and covered her nose.
And my short sword laughed like it would pass out.
How unpleasant it must have been for this female leader. Her face turned red as she stared at me in disgust. I could say nothing as I had just farted right in front of her.
Ah… I am done.
But after the fart escaped me, the pain in my stomach subsided, and my stomach felt comfortable.
Instead, I felt energized.
‘What is this?’
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