Chapter 54 - Lord of the White Dream Hall (1)

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The Demonic Sect consisted of four pavilions and eight halls. The pavilions each wielded major power, while the eight halls were equally balanced against each other.

One of the eight halls was the White Dream Hall. Unlike the others, this one took orders only from the sect leader himself. Its leader was ranked 29th in the sect and was not only privy to the most sensitive affairs of the sect, but had the power to influence how they were handled.

And Seol-Hwi came to meet him.

“This is the first time we’ve met. Let’s greet each other: I am the Lord of the White Dream Hall, Myriad Tribulations Asura.” He had a tiger’s mane of hair, eyes that seemed to glow, and a hoary white beard that stretched down his neck. An eye-catching polearm slung over his back.

His appearance was very impressive, but that wasn’t what Seol-Hwi’s eyes were fixed above him instead.

[Cooperation x2]1

Cooperation? Life, insight, love, and now cooperation? And what did that “x” mean?

“What brings you here?” Seol-Hwi asked as humbly as he could.

Unfortunately, the reply he got did not seem receptive.

“What does bring me here?”

Seol-Hwi felt like he was going to have to pry the answers out of this man.

“I don’t know.”

“If you don’t know, then guess. I’m sure you can figure it out.”

This seems bad. He had a feeling that, somehow, the man knew it was him who’d stolen the plant.

It didn’t make any sense, though. Seol-Hwi couldn’t have tracked himself with any of the techniques he knew about.

“Guess?” He didn’t know what to think.

▶ What do you mean? Stop speaking gibberish. So fucking annoying.

▷ I ate it. Got a problem with that?

9… 8…

Huh?

For the first time in a while, the choices had appeared.

He only had two, and they were downright bizarre. This was just like when he met the Earth Demon—this was not a real choice at all.

4… 3…

His only hope was that picking the worst-looking option would lead him to the way out. There certainly was a worse option here.

[“What do you mean? Stop speaking gibberish. So fucking annoying.” has been selected.]

- Continuing.

Come on…! Seol-Hwi stared at him.

He would have been deathly afraid of this situation in the past, but not now. Even if he died here, he still had lives left.

The Lord’s smile had vanished.

Why isn’t he saying anything? The Asura was just staring at him—Seol-Hwi couldn’t tell if he was shocked, or just trying to calm down.

“You are a daring one.”

Did it work? Honestly, he was expecting to get punched any second now.

However, the Asura began to talk more comfortably. It seemed like Seol-Hwi had made the right choice.

“Sometimes, I walk around and I see my subordinates looking a little embarrassed. It usually happens because they’ve got an herb.”

“...Huh?”

“It’s fine. You can try to hide it if you want, but it’s some kind of herb, right?”

Just when he was about to reply, Seol-Hwi realized that the Lord had his neck in his hands.

“Look here, young one. If you thought I wouldn’t kill you, you’re wrong. I didn’t come here as a disciple, so…”

“Ahh!” Seol-Hwi was blinded by pain. It felt like his chest had caved in.

“It doesn’t matter if I kill you.” He chuckled softly.

And that was it.

<3 chances left.>


◼ Year 95 of the Heavenly Calendar, Chapter 3-8 [Became a Core Warrior] Year One of Bonus Story.

“Ahhh! My life—!” He died so suddenly that he didn’t even get a chance to react. Seol-Hwi was furious.

“That damned mission.” It was fine until he got that herb, but then he was crushed. Seeing as the Lord was there, it seemed he was aware that the herb had fallen into Seol-Hwi’s hands.

“Is this the right choice?” He’d seriously considered his other save points. If he was on the wrong path, maybe he ought to try a different direction?

Nevertheless, this is what he chose. He really wanted to find out what “Cooperation” meant. Besides which, he wanted to live.

“The first choice was wrong.” Thinking it was right in the first place was ridiculous. Now he knew that the “worst” choice wasn’t always the “best” one.

So it turns out the other choice was the answer? By process of elimination, telling the Asura that he ate the flower was the right choice.

However, Seol-Hwi was thinking of other things.

“If I hadn’t eaten it in the first place…” He’d done something he shouldn’t have. Perhaps taking the herb directly to the Earth Demon, like Hong asked, would have been the right answer. Fortunately, Seol-Hwi had put the herb in the Toolbox just before he saved. Now he had a choice on how to use it.

“What if it doesn’t change much even after giving it to the Earth Demon?” The idea was deeply troubling. The Lord of the White Dream Hall wouldn’t sit still, even if he knew the Earth Demon had it. No, the Earth Demon might even abandon Seol-Hwi in order to avoid butting heads with the White Dream Hall.

Seol-Hwi couldn’t predict where the Purple Dragon Grass would go, and that left him right back where he started. He decided it would be best to evaluate based on the things he knew for certain.

“Cooperation must mean something…” That was the clue here. He wasn’t actually sure if it meant something. He wasn’t sure it would work, but he was sure of one things: it had something to do with the Purple Dragon Grass in his possession.


Seol-Hwi spent twenty days alone in his room.

Actually, it only took him a day to reach a decision. He wasn’t going to give it to the Earth Demon, he was going to give it to the Lord of the White Dream Hall. He knew there were risks, but he couldn’t just give up.

“Cooperation”. It was a whole new possibility.

[Lord of the White Dream Hall, Myriad Tribulations Asura, wants to see Seol-Hwi.]

Just like before, the text interrupted his morning.

“This is the first time we’ve met. Let’s greet each other: I am the Lord of the White Dream Hall, Myriad Tribulations Asura.”

Contrary to his calm appearance, Seol-Hwi was frozen stiff inside. He knew how powerless he was in front of this man. Still, he kept hoping for more choices.

“I have something to tell you. Please, come inside.”

The other man seemed shocked.


When they entered the room, Seol-Hwi got even more nervous. Once the choices popped up, there was no going back. That made it increasingly hard for him to act calm.

“Seems you were waiting for me.” The Lord settled into his chair. His voice was as calm as a lake, yet powerful as a wave.

“There’s a reason for that.”

The Asura gave him a questioning look.

“I know where the Purple Dragon Grass is.” Seol-Hwi rolled the wheel of fate, not knowing where it would lead him.

“Oh.” The other man stroked his beard. His lips twisted subtly—Seol-Hwi didn’t know if that meant he had his attention, but it didn’t matter.

If you don’t have the confidence to stand up to someone, you just have to crawl.

“However, I cannot just tell you.”

Seol-Hwi tried to be as polite as possible. Rather than making a deal, he wanted it to look like he was helping the other party. That was his homeground—the place where he’d have the biggest advantage.

“The Earth Demon knows about this too.”

Seol-Hwi stared at the table and waited for the other man to make his intentions known.

It didn’t matter what the choices were. This was his life, and he wanted to save it.

He was waiting for a long time.

“Take it. It wasn’t ours in the first place. I’ll tell my disciples as well—let’s work together.”

Cooperation…?!

This was unexpected. It wasn’t like he was totally positive, but Seol-Hwi had never expected that the Lord would bring it up first.

They made eye contact for the first time. Somehow, the air seemed to be filled with the spirit of cooperation.

“Great. I’ll turn it over then.”

There was no need to hesitate. Cooperation was absolutely beneficial for Seol-Hwi. It was just a shame that he has to give it back to the Lord so he can give it to the Earth Demon.

“Right, where is it?”

Seol-Hwi produced it from his sleeve, where he had stored it earlier.

“Oh, thank you. You did well.” The Asura grabbed it and turned around.

Seol-Hwi felt relieved, until he realized: Why isn’t it disappearing?

They’d established a cooperative relationship. They said the right words, so the text over the Lord’s head should disappear.

[Cooperation x2]

But it still floated above his head.

“Ah, one more thing.” The Lord stopped. “I forgot… there was something I needed.”

“What do you mean?” Seol-Hwi tilted his head. Was he saying that there would be no more cooperation?

“The price…” The Lord turned around. “...of my subordinates’ lives.”

[Warning! The Lord of the White Dream Hall has discovered a weakness in Seol-Hwi! How would you like to respond?]

Ugh! Seol-Hwi thought he would just leave, not do this.

▶ Counterattack

▷ Defend

▷ Run Away

To attack him out of the blue like this! Seol-Hwi felt so dumb—he’d never even imagined this.

  1. The original text is: [협력 x 2]. This is actually the first time that the author has used an “x”; all the other times you’ve seen it we added it to make it look better in English. Presumably the author is trying to make it look more alien to his Korean readers. ↩️

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