Chapter 5 - The Exile Ends (2)

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Yu Yeop-kyung wiped off the sweat running down his forehead with his sleeve.

He gasped and went over to another place to wipe off the bloodstains.

No matter how much his body improved during the exile, it wasn’t easy to wipe off the bloodstains.

‘I’m not a person who was born in farmlands. Mumu said that this would be easy.’

If it was the kid, then surely the task would have been done a long time ago.

No, he would have finished it without even sweating.

In fact, comparing the kid’s physical strength with his own was no different from comparing a bear to an ant.

‘Is he still there?’

The sun was setting.

Soon the sky will turn scarlet, and then dusk will envelop them.

It wasn’t long until it turned dark.

The merchants usually come around the late afternoon, but now he was getting worried since they seemed to be running late.

‘Why is the kid so late?’

The kid was someone who could run with loads of firewood behind him.

But now he was worried as the kid hadn’t come back.

It was then,

Thud! Thud!

The sound of horse steps.

Yu Yeop-kyung looked at the yard with nervous eyes.

At that moment, he saw a familiar face that appeared on a horse.

‘Ahhh!’

It was Oh Ji-kang, the owner of a shop, who he had been waiting for.

A procession of horses followed him.

Yu Yeop-kyung, who saw him, ran towards him.

“Chief Oh!”

“You seem well, Yu Hakjeong.”

Oh Ji-kang was the chief of the mountain.

Seeing Yu Yeop-kyung limp, he frowned.

“Wait, why is your leg like this?”

Below the thigh, the pant leg was soaked in blood.

Oh Ji-kang, who had come to see Yu Yeop-kyung and his adopted son after a long time, was shocked.

“What happened here?”

“Oh, Chief! Please help us. Something huge has happened!”

“I see that. Don’t get too excited and talk slowly. What happened to your leg?”

And then, someone stepped forward.

A middle-aged man with a mustache and a long sword on his waist bent down and saw the wound the cloth was tied around and asked.

“It looks like you were stabbed by a sharp object. I see that the bleeding has stopped. Am I right?”

“Right, but who are you?”

Yu Yeop-kyung knew everyone who accompanied the Chief.

But this person’s face was unfamiliar.

“You seem pale, and there must have been quite a lot of bleeding. May I take a moment and inspect the wound?”

“No, the most urgent thing right now…”

“I apologize, but this is more urgent.”

Tear!

There was no time to refuse.

The middle-aged man ripped Yu Yeop-kyung’s pants.

Except for the cloth used to tie the wound, his entire pants were torn.

Yu Yeop-kyung blushed from embarrassment.

“No, please…”

“This… you must have been stabbed with a dagger.”

“How did you?”

Yu Yeop-kyung was shocked.

The middle-aged man grabbed something like a calabash from his horse and poured it over the wounded area.

“Euk!”

“Because there could be poisoning from the metal, I lightly disinfected it.”

And then, he took out a small vial from his pocket and opened the lid.

It contained a yellow powder.

The middle-aged man warned him before pouring it on the wound.

“This will hurt a lot.”

“Euk!”

It was as if a hot fire was being applied to the wound.

Yu Yeop-kyung almost screamed but then he clenched his teeth to stop himself.

That was when he felt a refreshing feeling in the wounded area.

“It’s a Jinchuang medicine. I have extras with me. You can use this and pour it on the wound in the morning, afternoon, and evening.”

“Ah, thank you.”

Yu Yeop-kyung was a bit taken aback when he was given the medicine.

The middle-aged man looked at the cloth tied around the wounded area.

“How did you tie this so tightly?”

As blood wasn’t passing through, the color of the flesh under the thigh turned white and purple.

Yu Yeop-kyung was about to say that his son was strong but then decided to keep quiet.

As if pleading, he spoke to the chief.

“Chief Oh! Help me out. My son is about to die!”

“What do you mean by die? And our Mumu, why am I not seeing that child here?”

“He has gone to hide the bandits’ bodies.”

“Bandits?”

Yu Yeop-kyung explained what happened.

The sudden appearance of the bandits, and he said that with some ideas and cooperation from his son, he killed them.

Actually, most of them were killed by Mumu, but he didn’t mention that.

A groan escaped from Chief Oh’s mouth.

“Huh. For bandits to hunt in this place, which has been clearly forbidden.”

“I, too, have been living here for a long time, but this was the first time. Chief Oh. Please help me out, please go to any competent authority and ask for help.”

“Are you talking about the office?”

“And if possible, please take my son with you.”

“What?”

“I’m in exile, so nothing can be done, but I can’t let my little kid die here.”

At those words, Chief Oh looked at the middle-aged man.

He scratched his head, flustered.

Yu Yeop-kyung was nervous inside, wondering if the request was too difficult since he was in exile.

“Please help him. Chief Oh!”

In the end, Yu Yeop-kyung was about to kneel on the ground.

Hastily, Chief Oh stopped him.

“You don’t seem to get it. Actually, we came all the way here to bring you good news, but I never expected that you were going through something like this.”

“Good news?”

“It’s urgent to bring Mumu back here. Once we bring him back, we will let you know the full thing. Prefect Jang.”

“Yes, Chief.”

“Prefect?” (In Ancient China, prefects looked after a prefecture or province, like police)

Yu Yeop-kyung’s eyes widened.

A prefect wasn't a government official in charge of any investigation, but they practiced under the provincial decree of a government office.

Even so, the person they actually needed was the prefect.

Oh Ji-kang smiled at Yu Yeop-kyung, who was shocked.

“Prefect Jang is from a prestigious Murim family, with excellent martial arts, and he is courageous, so he will be able to bring Mumu back safely.”

At those words, Yu Yeop-kyung patted his chest.

“If that’s true, then I’m glad. Ahh. I was worried that Mumu might run into another group of Yang-ho bandits who were like that…”

“Did you just say Yang-ho?”

At that moment, the man asked.

Yu Yeop-kyung nodded.

“The bandits said something like that before they died. Is there a problem?”

“Chief. We must hurry.”

“Is it something bad?”

“The Yang-ho aren't just bandits. They’re from the Forces of Evil and they belong to the Green Forest’s Seventy Two Warriors who are active in this area.”

“No. If it’s the Forces of Evil, aren’t they dangerous?”

“Yes. And your son might be in danger now.”

“Ugh. Please hurry.”

“I understand. Stay here and guard this place. I will go and grab the kid.”

The people on the horses took out their weapons, got down from the horses, and shouted.

“Yes!”

Yu Yeop-kyung was stunned.

How did the people working under the chief suddenly turn into disciplined soldiers?

He had no idea what was happening.


Tatatak!

A person was running through the forest as fast as an elk.

It was Mumu.

He was running in the forest as if it was his backyard. Mumu glanced at the band on his right arm.

The number was restored back to the number 8.

‘This is unexpected.’

Mumu was surprised by his own power.

His father always told him to not touch the bands.

In fact, he wanted to turn them but he couldn’t.

‘It was as if a lock was on.’

But one day, something changed.

A few months after his father Yu Yeop-kyung set the mark on the last one, changing it became possible as he overcame the weight with enormous weight training.

So he turned it out of curiosity.

‘It’s different.’

The lower the number, the lighter his body felt.

He could even feel the muscles on his body come to life.

Mumu, who learned the secret behind the band, often changed it when hunting.

‘There were a lot of bandits, so I had to remove half of the turns.’

He never expected to see the results he saw.

Now he understood why his father asked him to not touch the bands.

It seemed best to not turn back more than two numbers as much as possible in the future.

‘Uh?’

Mumu stopped for a moment when he arrived near his house while thinking about himself.

He saw people standing with weapons.

‘Bandits?’

Seeing that, Mumu, who was skeptical, quickly looked at their faces and then rushed towards them with a smile,

“Uncles!”

Those who were guarding the house recognized Mumu.

It was strange to not know him. They come down every year.

“Mumu-yah!”

“It’s Mumu! You have grown so much!”

“Chief! Come here! Mumu has arrived!”

Yu Yeop-kyung, who had been waiting anxiously, limped his way out.

As he was anxious, he ended up hugging his son and sighed in relief.

“You idiot. Why were you this late?”

“That… I’m late since I was checking if there were any more around.”

He didn’t tell them about his side trip.

He knew that his father would worry.

Oh Ji-kang, approached him with a smile.

“Mumu-yah. It has been so long. You have grown a lot.”

“Uncle!”

“I heard you had to do a lot of hard work. I’m sorry we arrived late.”

“It wasn’t hard. My father was the one who was hurt…”

“That isn't what we should worry about. Rather than that, did you leave the prefect alone? Didn’t you meet him?”

“Huh? Prefect?”

Oh Ji-kang frowned at Mumu’s question.


At the same time.

The prefect was looking for Mumu’s whereabouts for a long time and ended up seeing something terrifying.

Traces of a storm that destroyed everything.

Among that, there were broken trees and plants along with humans.

There were even stranger sights such as people hanging from tree branches or those whose lower body was sucked into the ground as if buried.

‘What the hell happened here?’

Nothing seemed sane around him.

The broken trees and dead bodies weren’t in the way he was used to.

The creepy thing was that everyone seemed to be dead from a single blow, with very few wounds on them.

As a Murim warrior, he looked at the bodies one after another.

‘No way.’

The bodies were all the result of one person.

There were no other types of wounds or any other weapon traces on the bodies.

It seemed like all of them were attacked by one strong person.

The prefect, too, had the confidence to deal with them all to some extent if he had a sword, but to annihilate them all with his bare hands was impossible.

Which meant,

‘… a strong warrior.’

Prefect Jang had no choice but to draw such a conclusion.

It’s unlikely that there would be such a warrior in the area, and he was curious to know what kind of a genius or talented person did such a thing.

With that, he walked a couple more steps into the place.

‘!!!’

There were almost a dozen huge pits on the ground as if there was an explosion.

‘What the hell is…’

He was shocked.

If his guess was correct, then the unknown person must be a warrior who mastered internal energy.

It was then.

“Cough… cough…”

A struggling cough.

Hearing that, the man moved towards the sound.

Over there was a large, bald man with his chest falling and rising.

‘Byun Yang-ho!’

The prefect, who was well aware of him, recognized him at once.

The man was Byung Yang-ho, the leader of the Yang-ho bandits.

He heard that this man was a talented one who reached the Master Level, so how did he turn into this?

He approached the man and called out to him.

“Byun Yang-ho.”

“Ugh!”

At the sound of the voice, the man was terrified.

For a warrior like him to be so terrified.

The prefect clicked his tongue and asked.

“Who the hell made you like this?”

He didn’t know about the other bandits, but a warrior like Byun Yang-ho was dying with one side of his chest caved in from a blow.

He was curious as to who the unknown warrior was.

However, the details given by Byun Yang-ho were of no use.

“Cough.”

‘He is going to die.’

Before he died, the prefect wanted a single clue.

He grabbed the dying man and asked.

“Yah! Byun Yang-ho. I’m from the government. Who made you like this…”

Before the question was finished, the dying man said something with all his might.

“Co… companion…”

He gasped and died.

At those words, Prefect Jang had serious doubts.

‘… what nonsense was that?’

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