Chapter 33 - Heavenly Demon’s Disciples (1)

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From the Lingering Garden Palace, one of the sect’s largest gardens, you could look up and see the frosted peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains. If you looked around, you could see the beautiful wetlands, and all the natural beauty of the garden; in particular, the endless flowing of the artificial ponds over stone, the bonsais, and the plants.

And the three-story wall that blocked everyone else from seeing it.

A noble figure in neat clothes sat in the garden, savoring his tea. He felt a breeze and opened his mouth.

“What happened?”

Cheon Gwang, the Earth Demon’s man, appeared in front of him.

“We have a problem.”

“A problem?”

“Right. We’ve been discovered.”

“Did… we leave traces?”

“Don’t worry. We used the Bone Crushing Powder; their existences were erased.”

“Hmm.”

Bone Crushing Powder would dissolve a body without leaving so much as a drop of blood behind. The fact that he used it indicated the situation’s urgency.

“I can’t believe it.” The Earth Demon’s expression hardened. “We had expert warriors suffer…”

The experts he spoke of were the Earth Demon’s core troops; all of them were skilled at tracking and stealth, so it was unlikely they would be caught.

“There were masters who cannot be found in the Supreme Pavilion.”

“I know.” Obviously it wouldn’t be possible without the higher ranks involved.

“It really is odd, My Lord. After all, why would people take the Supreme Pavilion’s side right now?”

“I think we have a leak.”

“Is that possible? We’ve been so careful all this time.”

“Careful…” The Earth Demon smiled. “How many people are with me right now, Cheong Gwang?”

“My Lord, I…” There was nothing he could say. Rumors had spread that the Earth Demon was the weakest of the Heavenly Demon’s four disciples. Some thought that was good, others, bad. Regardless, finding out who spread the rumors was meaningless now.

“I feel sorry for you all for making you follow such a weak lord.”

“No. We have no doubt that our Earth Demon will be the Heavenly Demon’s heir.”

“Heir…” The Earth Demon didn’t hide his expression. It showed weakness, in a way, but Cheon Gwang understood.

The Heavenly Demon’s disciples—the power they held, the officials they bribed—everything about them was superior to the Earth Demon. Sometimes the officials bowed to them.

“By the way, what happened to the guy who gave me information?”

“We sent a 2nd grade escort. There will be a martial arts test today.”

“Hm.” The Earth Demon looked towards the wide mountain peaks.

The Tian Shan Mountains were known as the Ever-Snow Mountains because their peaks were white year-round. The Earth Demon wanted to go and rest there.

“I am concerned,” Cheon Gwang said. “The book the man handed over—if it’s wrong…”

“Cheon Gwang, have you seen this Seol-Hwi person?”

“I only know what I heard from My Lord.”

“Right.” The Earth Demon set his teacup on the table. “After some research, I found out that he has a grudge against the Supreme Pavilion Lord. He snuck into the Pavilion Lord’s man office and got caught trying to steal martial arts.”

“Wha—he’s a low-level member.”

That wasn’t bold, it was just crazy.

“However, something doesn’t add up. The Supreme Pavilion Lord found out but didn’t punish him immediately. Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you know what happened to Seol-Hwi’s squad members? They’re all dead. The Mount Hua bastards got them.”

Cheon Gwang was shocked. Not long ago, he’d heard that some 3rd grade group was attacked by Mount Hua. Apparently they were Seol-Hwi’s subordinates.

“So the book is credible?”

“Maybe. But what if this is all the Supreme Pavilion Lord’s plan?”

Seol-Hwi was the only survivor, and he somehow brought them this book. Who’s to say this wasn’t a setup?

“We can’t pick a side yet.”

“Huh? What do you…”

The Earth Demon sipped his cold tea and stared into the ripples on the pond.

“The book Seol-Hwi gave me had a note in it, written by the Supreme Pavilion Lord. It contained many things about the sect—secrets, too. An incident like this will shake the sect to the core; it’s too much for a single person to handle.”

If Seol-Hwi’s subordinates were really dead, then the accusations had to be true. They couldn’t afford to overlook this—it was too big of an opportunity for the Earth Demon.

“In that case, it is natural for the Supreme Pavilion Lord to send him to the library.”

So it was true that Seol-Hwi was tracing the Supreme Pavilion Lord’s activities. There was no way that the Supreme Pavilion Lord would remain silent if the secret documents went missing, and it would be even more heartbreaking if Seol-Hwi was in on it.

“Then why did My Lord send Seol-hwi to the test island?” Seol-Hwi was important but dangerous. Why send him to the island and give him a sword and pills, too?

“I promised him. He asked for a chance to be strong.”

“With his skills, isn’t it impossible to pass?”

“Well, that’s true.”

He gave Seol-Hwi a sword and pills, but that was bare minimum. It wouldn’t be enough to pass the test—everyone who attempted it was the best of the squads.

“It’s impossible, but still…” The Earth Demon stared into the sky. “If he can survive, then… maybe he’ll give me some energy?”

Ah! The weight of being a disciple of the Heavenly Demon, the fatigue of being at a standstill—that child, Seol-Hwi, seemed similar to the Earth Demon.

The Earth Demon felt another breeze—a signal to be alert. Someone was coming.

“Unpleasant guests are coming.”

Three people walked in: the End Demon, the Demon Lord, and the Fang Spirit. Juniors and seniors, disciples of the Heavenly Demon.


“Here…” Seol-Hwi shook his head. He remembered admiring the enchanting scenery, but it was a place he’d only ever seen in passing. This wasn’t the five pavilions, nor was it an office; this was an independent domain where only the Heavenly Demon and his disciples stayed.

“Grnnnk!” Goeun woke up and struggled to escape the sack Seol-Hwi had stuffed him in. Seol-Hwi shut him up with his fist.

The road terminated at a gate in the long wall, guarded by a warrior.

“Who are you?”

[Status]
Ban Gok
[Palace Gatekeeper]
Body: Normal
[Stats]
Health: 18,050/18,050
Internal Energy: 1,230/1,230
Combat Power: 110,000

What… Seol-Hwi sighed. What kind of guard… After all the life and death battles Seol-Hwi went through, this guard had a higher combat power than he did.

“I asked you a question!”

“I came to meet the fourth disciple.”

“What?” The guard’s expression softened. “Was this meeting arranged in advance?” He looked around, a little worried. “Follow me. But if you lied, your life is on the line.”

“Sure.” Seol-Hwi slung Goeun over his shoulder and followed the guard.


It wasn’t difficult to find the fourth disciple. They found him in a cluster of people at a pond.

“Seol-Hwi, was it? Stay here.”

“Yes.” Seol-Hwi waited while the guard carefully approached the group and then came back.

“Go.”

“Thank you.”

As Seol-Hwi approached, he felt something was wrong. When he got there, he couldn’t help but freeze in place.

Damn it! The first disciple! All six and a half feet of him examined Seol-Hwi with an expressionless face.

[Status]
End Demon
[First disciple of the Heavenly Demon]
Body: Normal
[Stats]
Health: —/—
Internal Energy: —/—
Combat Power:

No numbers—nothing, except the name. The Demon Lord and the Fang Spirit, even the Earth Demon—all of their statuses looked the same.

“Why are you here?” The Earth Demon looked more flustered than shocked.

How do I… His brain locked up. Seol-Hwi’s prisoner was the first disciple’s spy.

“I asked you why you are here!”

The Demon Lord, the second disciple, and the Fang Spirit, the only woman, became curious because of the Earth Demon’s loud voice. More importantly, he’d attracted the first disciple’s full attention.

“Um, I…”

“Sajae.1” The Demon Lord said. “Why? Who is it?”

Time froze—but Seol-Hwi felt it all going horribly wrong.

<Please select a choice.>
▶ It’s me, you fucking bastard.

A curse.

▶ Stay where you are, Demon Lord. Unless you wanna get beat.

A death wish.

▶ I brought the first disciple’s spy.

…and something worse than both.

▶ It’s me, you fucking bastard. [+3]
▷ Stay where you are, Demon Lord. Unless you wanna get beat. [+2]
▷ I brought you the first disciple’s spy. [+1]

He had no more lives left. And what were these +3, +2, +1 numbers?

  1. Junior. ↩️

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