Chapter 4 - The Exile Ends (1)

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‘Hmph!’

Yu Yeop-kyung felt sick at the sight of the bandits who had been hit by the tree and died.

If they weren’t killed, this situation where the bandits panicked and did whatever they wanted wouldn’t have arrived.

Who could feel nothing, the father or Mumu

He couldn’t help but feel nothing when he saw the dead bodies.

‘Is he fine?’

Even though they were bandits, people were killed.

And he, who is older, was trembling and getting sick from killing one person.

‘Hm…’

However, Mumu’s condition was better than he expected.

While looking at the dead bodies, he calmly gathered them all in one place.

Yu Yeop-kyung asked with a frown.

“Son. If you are feeling uncomfortable, you can puke.”

“But I’m fine.”

“Are you really fine?”

“It smells disgusting, and the blood is sticky, but maybe because I caught a lot of wild animals, I might not puke like father. I’m fine.”

‘… when did he see me?’

He went back before Mumu to puke.

Yu Yeop-kyung frowned.

He said that it was like slaughtering wild animals, but were animals and humans the same?

‘Is it because he was brought up differently from normal kids?’

He knew that he talked to the merchants, but those were just small interactions.

Mumu never had any significant interactions with anyone other than his father, nor has he ever had a friend.

Still, he was the one who taught Mumu everything.

He had provided the knowledge and personality that a person should have, but his perception of life and death seemed duller than other kids his age.

‘Am I supposed to worry about this? Or… hm.’

He wasn’t sure.

It was a matter of growing up healthy and avoiding any significant accidents.

Mumu, whom he raised and watched for a long time, had a straight heart and wasn’t the type of kid who could have his heart shaken.

That was true.

At that time, Mumu pointed his thumb at where the bodies were piled up and said.

“I have collected them all.”

“Well done.”

Looking at the corpses, Yu Yeop-kyung thought.

First, they killed to protect themselves, but then what the bandit leader said comes into play.

[Y-You aren’t afraid of the outcome? If I, the leader of a bandit group, dies, people from my place will come here. Are you willing to handle all of those people]

Honestly, he was afraid of the outcome.

However, Yu Yeop-kyung boldly killed the man as he was angry when he saw them aiming for his son, but the result would be the same whether he was killed or not.

People would come for their comrades.

If he hadn’t killed the man, they would have arrived sooner.

‘This is troublesome.’

But the problem was elsewhere.

If they were ordinary people, they would have immediately run away after killing them.

But, Yu Yeop-kyung was in exile.

And it was also written on the signpost outside.

[Do not go within ten li of this place of exile.]

‘This is driving me crazy.’

He couldn’t even move because of that.

It wasn’t that ten li was short, but it wasn’t a distance that would let them escape from the bandits.

“Father. Can’t we just go outside of the ten li?”

Mumu was also aware of the situation.

At that, Yu Yeop-kyung bit his lip and said.

“Son.”

“Yes.”

“You can get away.”

“…”

At Yu Yeop-kyung’s words, Mumu’s expression became angry.

He didn’t really think much about it when he teased his father about leaving him.

But when his father said it. His heart ached.

“I can’t leave father here.”

“What kind of a father would ask his son to stay and die with him?”

“Can’t we just run past the ten li limit?”

“No.”

“No one has visited us in five years. Didn’t they all forget about father’s existence?”

As Mumu said, the officials who came for surveillance stopped coming five years ago.

That could be right.

They either stopped or just didn’t care.

But Yu Yeop-kyung shook his head.

“Son. Even though I live a life in exile, I have never violated any morals or did anything shameful.”

“But father…”

“Your father will become guilty if I come out of exile. And if they find out, the verdict will be passed on to you and your family.”

Yu Yeop-kyung was concerned about that.

As there was no official pardon, he didn’t want his son to be harmed.

Making up his mind, he said.

“Son. Your father is fine. Leave the mountain…”

“Father.”

“What?”

“How about we hide the bandits’ corpses away for now? And when Mr. Oh comes over to buy wood, ask him to talk to the nearby office and ask for help with the bandits since we are in exile?”

“Uh…?”

“In the meantime, we can hide.”

‘This kid!’

Yu Yeop-kyung’s face brightened at Mumu’s words.

He was prepared to save his son by dying, but then his son came up with such a clever plan!

“Son, I see that you have a plan.”

Did he come up with a plan that his father would like?

He knew that being honest with his father was the right way out.

Mumu didn’t just spit out the plan. He immediately went to hide the bodies which were piled up.

Even though there were five bodies, Mumu lifted them as if they weren’t heavy.

“Father, clean up the bloodstains around here.”

“Are you trying to hide them alone?”

“Won’t it take a long time if I work with you? Since your leg is injured?”

“… hm. That is true.”

“Well, Mr. Oh from the top will come down, so wait here, father.”

He was worried, but what his son said was true.

In the end, Yu Yeop-kyung nodded in response.

“I get it.”

“I’ll hide there and come back soon.”

With those words, Mumu headed for the mountain with light footsteps, carrying all the corpses on his back.

Looking at him, Yu Yeop-kyung mumbled.

“Son. If you encounter any bandits over there, run away and come back here.”

“Okay!”

Tak! Tak!

With that, Mumu carried the corpses.

Yu Yeop-kyung bit his lip looking at Mumu’s back.

He had seen Mumu run with firewood or tree branches on his back. Still, he wasn’t used to how fast the kid could run.

It was strange to be able to run so far with that heavyweight.


About 2 li from the thatched house.

Mumu, who was carrying the load, put them down.

He grabbed one corpse after another and then placed them on top of each other.

Thud!

The top body was the hairy bandit with a broken nose and a bloody face.

Mumu bowed his head to the fallen body and,

Slapped it.

Slap!

“Ack!”

In an instant, a scream erupted.

The hairy bandit didn’t die.

No, to be precise, he pretended to be dead and was looking for an opportunity to escape.

He was trying to get away from the monstrous little boy and somehow run back to bring more men and get revenge.

‘D-Dammit, he figured it out.’

He tried his best to not get caught, but he failed.

And the realization that he was caught felt bitter.

Mumu looked down at the bewildered bandit and said.

“Why are you pretending to be dead?”

“Shit!”

“More than that, bandit uncle. Didn’t you say something about the head bandit or something?”

“Haha… haha… you and your father should be prepared.”

Now that he was found, his hope of surviving disappeared, so he decided to spit out his rage in words.

Not caring, Mumu asked.

“Where are those people?”

At those words, the bandit was puzzled.

And then he realized.

It seemed like they were planning on escaping in the opposite direction of the bandits’ head.

“Huh. Do you want to know where they are so you can run away?”

“No. I want to have a good talk.”

“Talk?”

“My father always told me to be tolerant. So, to uncle’s people, I’ll try talking it out. There is nothing wrong with having a talk.”

“So, you want to negotiate with us?”

“Yes.”

At those words, the bandit’s eyes narrowed.

He wasn’t sure if that would happen, but he wanted to get away from the kid.

At that, the bandit hid his true intentions and spoke with a smile.

“Hm. With such good intentions, I think I can act as a bridge between you and them.”


After that,

Not too far away, there was a nice house.

It didn’t seem like it had been long since the house was built.

It was no coincidence that they found the house of the bandits, with the smoke rising above.

It was quite a large place, it could house fifty people.

Byun Yang-ho, the house’s owner, a bald, middle-aged man sitting in a chair with his arms crossed arrogantly, was in front of Mumu.

Around him, the other bandits were looking at the scene.

‘That idiot.’

The hairy bandit laughed.

Even though Mumu was strong, he didn’t seem smart.

Byun Yang-ho, the head of the Yang-ho bandits, is a first-rate warrior who reached the Master Level, and there was another bandit who was a first-rate warrior.

In addition, More than half of the bandits seemed to be third-rate and second-rate warriors.

‘He won’t even be able to pick a bone now.’ (1)

There was no escape.

It was like stepping into a snake’s jaws with his own feet.

As the head was involved, the battle was won.

Byun Yang-ho, the head, said while stroking his chin.

“I don’t know if this is courage or plain stupidness. Are you trying to ask for a talk after killing my men?”

“Yes. My father said that the difference between a man and a beast lies in understanding each other or not, so talking should be prioritized over fighting.”

Smile!

“Where is the smell of stupidity coming from? Is it here?”

“Pauahaha!”

“Yes. Leader.”

“It’s something that anyone with money can pay for and learn from books. Hahaha!”

At Byun Yang-ho’s words, the bandits around laughed.

Mumu didn’t care about it but rather pointed his finger at the head and said.

“Your training isn’t right.”

“What?”

“Your chest muscles are all tight and stiff.”

‘!?’

Byun Yang-ho was confused by those words.

Was the kid making fun of the old man?

Or was he deliberately provoking him?

The young man was quite competent, but he couldn’t believe that he killed someone from what he heard.

‘This foolish one.’

That’s right, the kid was still sixteen or seventeen.

And there was a limit to the strength that could be accumulated through strength training.

But Mumu continued to speak.

“The balance and thickness of your muscles need to be matched equally by doing right and left side workouts.”

“… didn’t you say that you’re here to negotiate?”

“Ah… sorry. Seeing your clumsy chest bothered me unknowingly.”

“This one, clumsy clumsy… maybe he has a death wish. Ha! Get your maces and kill him right now!”

“Yes! Leader!”

As the order fell, some bandits raised their mace.

Mumu, fiddling with the metal band around his right wrist, said.

“You were going to do this no matter what I said.”

“Phut! You came here knowing that, no, you wouldn’t have come here if you knew that, right?”

“No. I just came here to be compassionate to you.”

“Compassionate? What kind of bullshit are you spewing right now?”

“I thought that it would be faster to deal with you all than to run away with my father… and I was curious.”

Kkkkr!

Mumu turned the band on his wrist.

The number on the metal band turned from eight to seven to six and five.

The sleeve on his right arm was torn, and his muscles bulged out, as well as the neck muscles on his right side.

The head of the bandits gulped as he saw that.

‘N-No! What kid has such muscl…’

Anxiety surged as he saw something strange happen.

Byun Yang-ho urgently yelled.

“Kill him!”

At that time, Mumu clenched the fist of his right arm, which muscles were inflated, and slammed it hard into the ground.

Kwang!

With that, the floor shook violently as if there was an earthquake, along with shudders and cracks on the ground. The dust and rocks on the floor were thrown away because of the shock wave.


Editor’s Note -

(1) It’s a play on words, referencing the idiom “a bone to pick.”

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