To the southeast of Guizhou. There was a manor on the western outskirts.
An emergency report had come into the parish hall of that manor.
Baek Ryeon-ha, and the Bloody Hand Witch, Han Baek-ha, were seated in chairs, while the warriors of the Blood Sect were kneeling on one knee in front of the table, and Seo Kalma stood to the side of it.
“Both the Ikyang So family and the Jonhang province Song family have handed their permissions down.”
The faces of the three people who were trying to hide their anxiousness inside instantly relaxed. Had they failed the very first step, they would have been in deep trouble.
But then the next report changed their mood,
“There was a problem on the side of Deputy Commander So Wonhui.”
“Problem? Of what kind?”
She didn’t want to show it, but Baek Ryeon-ha was quite worried and at her questions, the warrior continued,
“After he took over as representative, the head of the Ikyang So family informed him that the Mangok-ri and Heuk Hyung-jong bar had been commissioned by the lord of the family, so the Deputy headed there to find details about it.”
“… that was against the plan.”
The Bloody Hand Witch, Han Baek-ha, said with a frown to which Seo Kalma defended him,
“If it was a task commissioned to them, then it wouldn’t be easy to miss what exactly was asked of them?”
Irrespective of their talks, Baek Ryeon-ha asked the man to continue his report,
“The Deputy Commander found the place, but decided not to move further with the issue in that place, as it had to do with his time at the sect, but he encountered Warrior Na Yuk-hyung.”
At those words, all their expressions changed.
Wasn’t that man the most notorious man of the Forces of Evil?
They knew that he was someone skilled enough to survive even after fighting with the South Heavenly Swordsman.
“If there was no special need to get in contact… was it a… fight?”
The thought of the South Heavenly Swordsman passed through Baek Ryeon-ha’s mind.
Now, So Wonhui was claiming to be a member of the Ikyang So family and a disciple of the South Heavenly Swordsman to participate. Which meant he showed most of his cards.
Baek Ryeon-ha stood up with eyes wide open,
“…. And now?”
An ominous thought flashed through her mind. She was worried that something had happened.
Na Yuk-hyun was a warrior who could not be dealt with by anyone other than the Blood Star or the Elders. The warrior opened the box he pushed ahead, a box in which a head would fit,
And everyone who saw what was in it looked shocked,
Inside the wooden box was a pale head without eyes.
Seo Kalma, who was acquainted with Na Yuk-hyung, couldn’t even understand this,
“What happened? Hae hyung? Did that man intervene?”
“No. When Fourth Elder had arrived it was after the Deputy and the two warriors with him had already taken down the man, and his disciples were there.”
“Oh! Then they dealt with him alone?”
Even the Bloody Hand Witch who always put on an expressionless face to most things couldn’t hide her shock.
She wasn’t sure how he did it, but the one thing she was sure of was that even she would fail in front of Na Yuk-hyung.
Even if the three kids fought together, catching him would prove to be quite tough.
“How the hell did you say that he was killed?”
“We were told that the Vice Commander had used a trick to deceive him. We were told that he could be killed because he was careless and that the Vice Commander risked his life by putting himself as the bait.”
“Ha! He threw himself as bait?”
Han Baek-ha chuckled.
She wondered how such a strong warrior was killed and when she heard that he had used himself as bait, this felt like something that went beyond simple guts.
‘Young master So. You…’
Baek Ryeon-ha bit her tongue as she slumped into the seat. It was fortunate that he was safe, but she didn’t expect him to do this.
Come to think of it, this man always exceeded their expectations. Quite a peculiar one. Then Seo Kalma spoke up,
“And the three are safe?”
“If Fourth Elder didn’t arrive on time, he would have been in danger of injury, but he is safe now. Fourth Elder told us to inform you that the rest of the remaining time will be given to the Vice Commander to devote himself to recovery.”
Taking the rest of the time meant that the injuries that were accumulated weren’t light, and Seo Kalma nodded as if he understood.
And looking at the head they sent, they sighed,
“They don’t lose to nothing.”
They were talking about their disciples.
Even if they had been kidnapped, these kids were still raised with great care, and Baek Ryeon-ha was relieved.
“Sure. If we are headed to the tournament, then they need to truly recover, the judgment of the Fourth Elder is correct.”
“Thank you, Miss.”
The other warriors also nodded. Han Baek-ha who thought that the report was over told the warrior,
“If the report is done then take…”
“It isn’t over yet. Fourth Elder has asked me to deliver a… um…”
He was hesitating, so Baek Ryeon-ha asked him to spit it out,
“What do you want to say?”
“Since the man, Na Yuk-hyung has been taken down, the Fourth Elder wants you to acknowledge the achievement and promote Vice Commander So Wonhwi to commander…”
At those words, the faces of the three turned pale. After a pause, Seo Kalma couldn’t hold back his expression and grinned.
As expected of the Ghastly Monster.
Mount Anhui, late at night.
There was an ordinary-sized manor. If one looked at the gate, the manor and the gatekeepers looked peaceful. However, if one opened the door and took just a few steps in, they would see how horrific it truly was inside.
There were countless dead bodies, all with their limbs lopped off. A group of masked men draped in black were cleaning up the corpses.
If one walked through the room with the dead bodies, it would lead to the main manor’s hall, and there was a woman with a bamboo hat looking out the window.
How many people needed to be killed for that bamboo to be dyed red?
“The moon is bright. It is a perfect night to die, right?”
Looking out the window at the full moon, she turned to look at the middle-aged man with his knees bent.
The middle-aged man shook his head in a hurry. At this, she smiled, raising her hand.
And the masked man next to the middle-aged man unsheathed his sword and placed it next to the man’s neck.
The man had tears in his eyes.
The woman moved closer and grabbed the man by his chin and pulled him closer.
Her eyes were shining red.
The moment the middle-aged man saw this, his eyes widened and his body trembled.
She was Baek Hye-hyang, the woman close to becoming the next sect leader.
“Can your skills even cover these eyes?”
At those words, the man couldn’t answer right away, making her fingers dig into his thighs.
“You can do it, right? No?”
The middle-aged man nodded in pain, Baek Hye-hyang smiled and got up.
“It would be great if you had cooperated already. We wouldn’t have had to see blood on such a moonlit night.”
Seeing her like that, the middle-aged man turned stiff. The woman he saw was truly horrible. He had never seen anyone who could kill someone and smile this brightly.
“I will give you three days.”
With those words, she finally left the room.
One of the masked men approached her as she walked out. He was a person who could be assumed to be old from the fine lines around his eyes.
At her words, the masked man bowed his head and said,
“All five managed to infiltrate.”
What did it mean to infiltrate? At those words, her red lips smiled and she mumbled,
“How many are being inserted by Ryeon-ha?”
To this, the masked man spoke in a sneering voice,
“There won’t be much anyway. Even if they managed to infiltrate they can never win. Do not worry. The sword will be brought to you.”
20 days had passed since that full moon.
Wuhan City, Hubei province was considered the holy land of the Murim people.
Now we have entered the beginning of Wuhan city.
‘Long time no see.’
Before returning, this was my main stomping ground.
It was a place where I had spent around eight years of my life as a spy, without knowing when I would be caught.
-The atmosphere is different from Mangok-ri.
This was the sanctuary of the Forces of Justice.
Two of the Eight Great Warriors were protecting the Hubei province, so there were no sects of the Forces of Evil here.
The sect leader of the Wudang sect, Jong Seon, and Baek Yang-muk, the leader of Murim Alliance.
Two of the most powerful Eight Great Warriors were supporting the Murim Alliance.
-Are there a lot of monsters in the Alliance?
Short Sword seemed surprised.
Right. Only in the Alliance, there were two of the Eight great Warriors.
And that wasn’t enough, they had joined hands with the Double-Sided Martial Forces, who had produced another two warriors, so the Blood Sect had no choice but to lose.
-No, it is obvious that you will lose looking at the numerical advantage, right?
Short Sword asked like she couldn’t understand.
To this, Iron Sword who knew about the circumstances of Murim answered in my stead,
-At that time the Blood Demon was on the side of the Forces of Evil and was the closest to being the best in the world. And among the Six Elders and Twelve of the Blood Stars who supported him, one was one of the Five Great Evils. If it wasn’t for the alliance, I know that they wouldn’t have been far behind
-Uh? Six Elders and Twelve Blood Stars?
Before losing to the orthodox sects, the Blood Sect had 12 Blood Stars. Nearly half of them had died, and the others became present-day Elders and Blood Stars.
And with the death of two of the Five Great Evils, and the emergence of one new Evil, the term Four Great Evils began to come into use
-And they were still at a disadvantage? There are two of the Eight Great Warriors on the side of the Alliance. The Blood Sect has none.
‘No. it isn’t like that.’
I know that one of the Four Elders had entered the realm beyond humans. The person who hid the information from the Blood Sect would never come to me, a low-level spy.
I am guessing that it is the First Elder, but I wasn’t sure. Unlike the Seven Blood Stars, there wasn’t much difference between the others.
In addition to this, a major incident occurs just six months later.
‘Because the Eight Great Warriors change’
Ten years before my return, two of the Eight changed. One of the fastest among them, was Jong seon, the sect leader of Wudang.
-How does he die?
He dies at the hands of the Ruthless Heart.
What was more surprising was that he was to die within Wudang itself. As a result, it could be said that the power of the Blood Sect and the Murim Alliance were somewhat equal.
Before my return, the power of both sides was almost balanced.
-… Wonhui. According to what you said, the peaceful period so far is probably the eve before the storm.
The eve of the storm is right now.
The abolition of the alliance between the Double-sided Martial Troops and the Murim Alliance and the death of the Wudang sect leader brings the time of chaos back.
Of course, some events were happening much faster.
Hae Ack-chun, who was at the forefront, pointed to a cup with his hand.
A small bug flew through the wind.
The guest house we were staying in was on the outskirts of the Alliance region, and we had decided to make contact with our spies inside the Alliance.
“Shit. Still hot.’
Hae Ack-chun wobbled as he moved to the guest house. He was probably feeling the worst headache as he had reduced his skeletal structure and covered his muscles with thick clothes.
-It is hard for that crazy old man.
This was Wuhan city in midsummer and the heat was nothing less than boiling water. Originally this mission was to be given to Seo Kalma.
The task was to wait outside the Murim Alliance, preparing for the last day of the tournament, and prepare an emergency route.
Since Hae Ack-chun’s body and clothing were too well known, Seo Kalma had to take over, but then this man was stubborn in wanting to take the role.
“Phew. Truly hot.”
When I looked to the side, even Cho Sung-won was drenched in sweat. It was because his face was covered in a human skin mask.
The heat could be dissipated with cultivation. However, how many people can practice cultivation while walking around?
Even Hae Ack-hun didn’t bother doing it.
-There is one, right beside you
Looking to the left, it was Sima Young, who wasn’t sweating a single drop despite also wearing a mask.
When I looked at her she smiled.
Well. Was it better to consume internal qi than be hot? Turns out, I hardly sweated.
It wasn’t because my body was protected from the head, I just normally didn’t get too hot.
-Because of your innate qi. My former owner used to say that the innate qi protects the body from any harm without the body being conscious of it.
Despite not being aware there were times when I would feel warm in cold areas.
When I went to the guest house, my teacher and the twins took up seats and began to drink water.
It had to be a table for six people to sit at, but there was no space after three large people sat.
If possible we had to take any wooden chairs which were empty, but the guest house was full.
Even though this was outside Wuhan, there were a lot of visitors due to the tournament being announced.
More than half of them were people of Murim. But none looked famous or strong.
Rather, looking at the atmosphere it felt like we would have to stand until more chairs arrived. Hae Ack-chun was conscious of it and said,
“We will be here, so you people go and find a place.”
As I was about to answer came the voice of someone,
“There is no other place, so if you are fine with it, why not let the young people join us?”
I looked at them and saw two people sitting under the awning a little further away.
Of the two, an old man with gray hair and fine lines spoke to us.
The old man was looking at us, a black cloth wrapped around the back of the one sitting ahead of him.
Hae Ack-chun nodded and said,
“Thank you for your consideration.”
And I went there with my people and tried to sit down.
When I saw the man with his back to me, I became shocked.
-What is it?
Short sword asked.
‘F- Flame Emperor Blade.’
The middle-aged man with strong impressions and thick eyebrows with a short beard.
He is one of the Eight great Warriors of Forces of Justice.
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