At the accommodations in the Heavenly Martial Arts Academy.
Yu Jin-sung, a royal inspector and the older brother of Mumu and Jin-hyuk, spoke out in surprise.
He looked at Oh Muyang, who was a supervisor, with a puzzled expression. Although Yu Jin-sung was the inspector, Oh Muyang was the one sent as a supervisor here at the academy.
However, it was shocking that the man wanted to return to the palace
This situation was clearly turning for the worse as four of their men had been killed while they were still in the middle of an investigation.
If anything, Oh Muyang should request the Imperial Palace to send him more manpower. Instead, the man said he wanted to return with his remaining men?
And the reason for it was…
‘Sa Muheo of the academy needs to be transported to the palace?’
That was what he said.
As Oh Muyang had a higher rank, Yu Jin-sung could not even ask for a reason. Still, it felt strange to take the most relevant and dangerous criminal behind the academy’s situation without even finishing the investigation.
‘What the hell is he hiding?’
There was something about Sa Muheo. Otherwise, Oh Muyang wouldn’t be acting like this.
‘Did he make some kind of deal during the interrogation?’
Yu Jin-sung felt very confused as there were too many possibilities that he could think of.
But he could not come to a clear conclusion. Still, it was apparent that Oh Muyang’s real purpose in coming here wasn’t to investigate but to create an incident so that the Imperial Palace would have a pretense to become directly involved with the academy’s inner workings.
Oh Muyang, who was packing his things for the return, said.
“Ah… one more thing.”
“If the investigation is done, there is a student you will have to escort.”
“It is confidential, so if the information is leaked, everyone’s life will be in danger.”
“… just who could that be?”
At Yu Jin-sung’s question, Oh Muyang smiled and said,
“She is the county princess of His Majesty Jin Wang’s family. You will need to escort her to the palace..”
In an unremarkable forest near the West Wind Pavillion.
Ma Yeon-hwa was sitting on a rock with both her swords unsheathed as she polished them. She then heard a voice calling out to her from behind.
When she heard a familiar voice, she asked in return.
“What is it?”
“Are you going to continue staying in the academy?”
At that question, Ma Yeon-hwa continued to wipe her sword without answering, signifying that she planned to stay here. And the owner of the voice sighed.
“Things have changed.”
“Since a member of the Imperial Palace Inspectorate died here, the search for the spies will be exposed alongside your identity.”
“So, what do you want to do?”
“It will be wise to take a step back.”
At those words, Ma Yeon-hwa put her swords back in their sheaths with a stiff face and then turned her head.
“We haven’t gotten what we wanted yet.”
“For the revival of the sect, the safety of the young lady is more important.”
Ma Yeon-hwa approached the owner of the voice and patted their shoulder.
“Don’t worry. I won’t die until I bring the sect back up.”
“Instead, did you bring that?”
At her question, the other person looked up, and Ma Yeon-hwa smiled
“It’s been a long time since I listened to your hymns.”
At her words, the other person exhaled and then blew. A faint melody immediately filled her ears.
Oh Muyang was near the western gate of the academy with his belongings all packed up. He looked towards the east for a moment before a faint whistling sound came, making him turn back to the wagon behind him.
Deputy Headmaster, Dan Pil-hoo.
That man was such an annoyance. Sa Muheo was in the detention wagon, with the reason behind it being Dan Pil-hoo.
As if he wasn’t satisfied with utterly destroying his plan, he even broke Sa Muheo’s dantian.
He had taken up the academy’s request because of Sa Muheo, but this was a mess.
‘He was a step ahead.’
A broken bone might take time to recover, but a dantian, once broken, was forever lost. Perhaps if you met the right person, even broken bones could be restored to normal, but a dantian was impossible to restore.
Oh Muyang shook his head.
‘I shouldn’t have taken him lightly. After all, he was someone who was known to be a deadly viper. And he is still strong even now.’
Oh Muyang decided to deal with this later.
There was also Mumu, who had turned both Sa Muheo and Kang Mui into a mess, which led to Dan Pil-hoo figuring out Oh Muyang’s plans.
He needed a real force to take those two people down.
‘This isn’t my sphere of influence.’
Besides, he had to bring someone strong here, so it’s best to retreat for now. Of course, he wasn’t simply leaving as he had made a few arrangements.
[Bring the county princess back to the palace]
It was the first assignment he had given out. He had assigned it to Yu Jin-sung, who had started to get suspicious.
[If that is the order given by the…]
[The orders given by His Majesty are two. I will escort the criminal behind the incident and bring the lady back.]
[How can you do that?]
[But even if the culprit behind the incident is caught, aren’t there those who could have escaped? It is better to distract them with this.]
[I will be distracting them by taking the criminal. You will finish the remaining investigations and then bring the princess back.]
Since the cause was made clear, Yu Jin-sung had no reason to refuse. Oh Muyang had also said that he would become bait, so what more could be said?
Still, his mind couldn’t deal with it anymore due to the intensity of the given mission.
‘If something goes wrong with the princess’s safety, who will answer to His Majesty? Hehehe.’
This was his real goal.
At around the same time…
In the Demon Blood Sect, Mumu asked the gathered warriors,
“I am asking because I am curious, so was the martial arts of that man really that great?”
Ja Muk-hyun, who was next to Mumu, couldn’t answer. He was painfully aware of Mumu’s strength.
So how could he actually respond after seeing this? This was a strength beyond the realm of humans.
‘… is the competition between the plaque owners even needed?’
He thought about it objectively. Even if the young lords Mui and Muil were ready for it, would they even be able to stop Mumu’s power?
‘… he is untouchable.’
Ja Muk-hyun gulped involuntarily as he saw the clear evidence of strength.
What would happen if Mumu’s fists were directed at them? Just the thought was terrifying.
[… I will fill what is lacking and make the perfect lord!]
He had decided that but now felt utterly terrified.
Would the catastrophe he had planned to create by harming those precious to Mumu end with just the sects of the Forces of Justice?
Mumu’s power was close to causing utter despair.
He then heard the sound of someone kneeling and looked to see that it was Ja Hyeong-gyong.
The warriors of the sect were all shocked at this, and Ja Hyeong-gyong pounded his head on the ground as he shouted.
“The sect leader of the Eight Evil Families’ Demon Blood Sect swears allegiance to the lord!”
The oath of allegiance was made, surprising everyone there.
However, no one objected to it. If it wasn’t this monster, then who would they call their lord?
And immediately, guardian Gok-oh knelt down as well.
And the others all joined in.
“The Demon Blood Sect swears allegiance!!!!”
The sect leader of the Demon Blood Sect was seated inside a room in his hall of residence alongside Mumu, Gok-oh, and Ja Muk-hyun.
The atmosphere was different from before. Even guardian Gok-oh showed a more polite attitude to Mumu.
“Lord. This is the Pu’er tea imported right from the Yunnan province. I don’t know if it will suit your taste, but enjoy it.”
The anger inside him was gone, and Mumu shook his head at the words of Gok-oh.
At this, Gok-oh asked him.
“Is the tea not something you prefer?”
“No, my adoptive father, who raised me, liked to drink tea. So I drink a lot of tea.”
“Then you must have good knowledge about tea. So why?”
“I feel like it will break.”
“The jade plaque was hard to break, so it was fine, but…”
“The teacup looks too delicate.”
At Mumu’s words, guardian Gok-oh bit his tongue.
Did the boy refuse the tea for fear of breaking the teacup?
After all, Mumu, who created the hole in the clouds, was someone not with internal energy but pure strength.
“T-then how about…”
“No, before I head back, I have something to ask.”
At Mumu’s words, the sect leader was puzzled.
“Please ask your question. If it is anything I know of, I will speak.”
“Ahhh… it isn’t something strange. It was something that senior Muk-hyun didn’t know.”
“What is that?”
“My senior said that during the war, Musam died, and there were only four of my half-brothers who survived. Then what about me?”
Even the sect leader couldn’t answer this. This was a topic that he wasn’t sure about.
Strictly speaking, the Eight Evil Families were like guardians to the lord candidates. Even if he knew a lot about what happened, he had never once heard of another child surviving.
‘He doesn’t know either?’
Mumu couldn’t help but be disappointed at the visible response.
Mumu wanted to know about his mother at least. Even if he shared a father with his half-siblings, their mothers were bound to be different.
Ja Hyeong-gyong stroked his chin and said,
“First, I would like to apologize to the lord. I was completely unaware of your existence.”
“To be honest, there could be people who knew about you.”
“Who knew about me?”
“As you might know, many of the sects on our side were destroyed near the war’s end. As far as I know, only one person who has survived may know about this.”
Ja Muk-hyun was shocked at those words as he did not know of this.
After the death of their leader, all the sects under the Forces of Justice united to attack the base of the Dominating Hegemony. Was there anyone who survived?
“Who is that?”
“It has to be Seo Yongju, the Incomparable Giant.”
“Is he alive?”
Ja Muk-hyun was further shocked.
Seo Yongju was called the Overlord of the West of the five Guardians in the Hegemony.
He was also widely known as The Giant due to his strength. He was the most physically powerful in their faction. Stories of his power were to the point where it was said that his predecessors and even masters in the Forces of Justice would have their necks blown away in one blow.
It was surprising that this legend of their faction was still alive.
“But how could anyone…”
“Only the sect leaders of the eight families know about it.”
Ja Hyeong-gyong relieved the curiosity of Ja Muk-hyun while looking at Mumu.
“If it is him, then he might have known what happened during the war and any secret behind the jade plaque.”
Mumu’s expression brightened at this news. That meant that his mother’s existence could still be known.
“Then where is he?”
“…I am sorry. But he is a great guardian whose current whereabouts are unknown.”
“You don’t know?”
“Although he survived, he is living like a dead man, he is now in hiding to recover, and no one knows where he is.”
“No one knows?”
“… At the end of the war, the leader of the Heavenly Killing Valley took the Great Guardian to safety, so he would be aware.”
“And where is he?”
“I am sorry, each of the locations of the heads of the eight families is kept confidential in case of emergencies, so even the other members don’t know.”
At his words, Mumu looked disappointed. This was not hope or torture, but just vague information. Ja Muk-hyun then said to Mumu.
“A descendant of that sect will know.”
At that, even the sect leader nodded.
“Uh? Then in the academy?”
“They aren’t there?”
“The Heavenly Killing Valley supports the young master Muil so they must be in the Imperial Palace.”
Mumu scratched his head and asked.
“Imperial Palace? Then if I go to the Imperial Palace, can I find them?”
“Then, are there any seniors who know of Muil?”
At Mumu’s question, Ja Muk-hyun shook his head with a puzzled face.
“The only people to know the exact appearance of Muil is the other plaque owners of the Mu.”
At the same time, in another place.
Dan Pil-hoo clicked his tongue as he looked at the guard with a hole in his head.
He had received a report that a suspicious guard was near the old building and ordered No. 4 to secure him, but this was too much.
The source of the attack was traced back, and it had gone through numerous obstacles.
‘… a monster.’
The distance from this place to the east gate was too much. Was it even possible to move like this?
Considering that this was done from such a considerable distance and had killed someone was shocking.
Who could do such a terrifying thing? Was this sniping?
He couldn’t understand how such a monster was hiding within the academy.
‘This is troublesome.’
He found the spy, but now they knew nothing.
And if a person who could kill people from far away like this lurked in the academy and sided with the enemy, it was even more dangerous.
‘… Mumu, maybe even that child cannot handle this.’
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