The leader of the spies was a Master Level martial artist. He had pride in his skills, but when he was grabbed by the neck and unable to move, he was left with nothing.
‘Wh-who the hell is this man?’
Generally, spies are not trained in martial arts. The energy that he was able to feel from Chun Yeowun was no different from an ordinary criminal. However, the concentrated energy he sensed from the right hand of the so-called spy was beyond imagination.
As Chun Yeowun slightly lifted the leader’s head, the robe that was covering his face came off. His appearance caught the eyes of Chun Yeowun.
The one inside the striped robe leading the group of spies was none other than a eunuch. Seeing the white-painted face used by the eunuchs in their blue attire, it seems that he is still in his training phase.
Chun Yeowun felt, as he tightly grabbed onto the eunuch’s neck. It was completely different energy from what a member of the Blade God Six Martial clan must use.
‘This is weird.’
Chun Yeowun gazed, as he considered this to be an abnormal finding. Naturally, he turned towards Yoon Baek Ho. Yoon Baek Ho, who witnessed the overwhelming power of the opponent didn’t know what to do and stood still. Chun Yeowun asked Yoon Baek ho.
“Aren’t you the spies of Blade God Six Martial clan?”
Hearing the question, Yoon Baek Ho managed to answer through his trembling body.
“Blade- blade God Six Martial clan? What are you talking about?”
His attitude changed after recognizing that a superior martial artist was right in front of him. He spoke politely to Chun Yeowun.
‘Are they unaware?’
Chun Yeowun lowered his right hand, pretending to press something. The tremendous energy that just a moment ago suppressed all the spies in the warehouse disappeared like a sham. Yet, those who already suffered severe internal injuries were in a state of fainting.
‘Alumni’s Masters are no different from beginners.’
It was clear that they don’t know anything. Chun Yeowun reached out and pulled Yoon Baek Ho with his hand. Without possessing any will to rebel against a strong opponent, he got drawn helplessly.
Forcibly making Baek Ho kneel on the floor, Chun Yeowun questioned him.
“Why did the Golden Council contact the eunuchs of Alumni?”
“Well, that is…”
Even though the question was simple and straightforward, Yoon Baek Ho struggled to answer.
No matter how strong and overwhelming the opponent was, if he opened his mouth, he would be betraying his comrades. Dying seemed to be a better option.
“You are a funny guy. Are you saying that you’d stay loyal with the spies?”
At the silence of Yoon Baek Ho, Chun Yeowun waved his hand. That was when Yoo Baek Ho’s right wrist, which was placed on the ground got bent back, allowing the bone in the elbow to pierce through the skin.
Imagine how painful it would be for a healthy bone to get broken and pierce through the skin. However, Yoon Baek Ho was unable to scream out in pain. All because of the energy that was blocking his mouth.
‘He, he doesn’t seem to be a telltale.’
While Chun Yeowun’s other hand was still holding onto the neck, he looked over at the eunuch who had turned pale at the sight. What’s more terrifying about Chun Yeowun was his cold eyes, he didn’t even blink when torturing the man in front of him.
Since he couldn’t scream, Yoon Baek Ho began to shed tears forgetting that he was a military officer. Not giving a damn about it, Chun Yeowun continued with his questions.
“If you don’t answer me again, your other hand will meet with the same end.”
Humans are truly unique beings. Until a moment ago, he seemed righteous and has chosen death, but after tasting pain and suffering, his will easily collapsed. Once the intangible energy that was blocking his mouth disappeared, Yoon Baek Ho spoke.
“I am a spy for the Alumni.”
“Alumni? Like the eunuch?”
“I was trained in the Alumni, but I am no eunuch.”
Despite what the facts indicate, Chun Yeowun’s gaze turned disappointed. He thought that the ones in the warehouse were all spies of the Blade God Six Martial clan, but unexpectedly, they were spies from the Alumni. They were of no use to him.
‘Shall I just kill him?’
Chun Yeowun, while thinking, decided to ask one more thing.
“Why are you positioned as an Imperial Palace guard? Were you asked to keep an eye on crown prince?”
The eunuch’s eyes widened at the question.
‘Are they keeping an eye on Zhu Taikhan?’
At first, he thought that the spies were sent by the Golden Council or a person from the Imperial palace, like Joo Tae Gyeom.
“… We were ordered to find out if the prince had formed any kind of arrangement with the Lord of the Demonic Cult.”
‘To find out if he made an agreement with me?’
The man didn’t seem to be lying. He was certain that he was a spy of the Alumni and not the Blade God Six Martial clan. They were all spies who were asked to only keep an eye on the prince of the Imperial Palace.
It was to know whether prince Zhu Taekhan was trying to cross over the others. Yun Baek Ho, who had told all the facts leaned on the floor and prayed with his head down.
“Pl-please let go of me. If you show mercy on me, I will not cause any trouble for Your Majesty.”
He decided to betray the Alumni. And it was useless to kill him.
‘Begging for his life. Ugh. This spy wasn’t trained properly.’
He must have voluntarily reached out to be a spy, but no one would have thought that he would succumb so quickly. Of course, he was afraid. However, the words that Chun Yeowun uttered weren’t what Yoon Baek Ho was expecting at all.
“Did I tell you that I’ll let you go?”
Even before Yoon Baek Ho could say anything his neck was snapped.
As a result, the eunuch, whose neck was being held, couldn’t hide his fear. Until a moment ago, they assumed that Chun Yeowun would let them go if they answered the truth, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
‘Is, is he really going to kill me? This is bad. No matter what I say he will kill me.’
And he was indeed right. Chun Yeowun wasn’t the kind to spare people. But that didn’t mean that there were no exceptions.
‘It would be better to get rid of them, but if I kill them all, the Imperial Palace’s vigilance will intensify.’
No matter how many thousands of guards or eunuchs and officials were in the palace, if more than 20 people disappeared at the same time, an uproar was bound to happen.
If that happens, finding the spies of the Blade God Six Martial clan that are hiding in the Imperial Palace will turn out to be more difficult. Even if they are disguising themselves in other ways, they are all beasts wearing human masks. So, if the mask couldn’t be taken down, they couldn’t be caught.
The leader, the eunuch, thought that he would be killed next.
“Well… kuak… hold on… hear… me… for a second… I’ll speak.”
Nothing was worth listening to anymore. Chun Yeowun ignored him and tried to stun the eunuch by grabbing on to him tightly until he said.
“Ah, if you spare me. I would serve you as a scrounger of the Alumni. Kuak… I, we care about talented people.”
Scrounger. It is also called a Feeder. A custom that had been widespread since the Sengoku period. It is where the nobles prefer to treat the talented individuals are their guests, like customers, and instead of feeding them, the noblemen are to be treated as their masters. It was amusing to hear it from a eunuch, but, a completely different idea popped into his mind.
‘Should I go along with this?’
The fact that he expressed his wish to serve under him as a feeder wasn’t something that a Martial Artist would do. Loosening his hand a little around his neck, Chun Yeowun spoke.
“It’s interesting. You want to serve me as a feeder? Do you think that I would believe your words?”
The eunuch turned anxious at Chun Yeowun’s words. For Chun Yeowun, it was like an adventure.
‘I expected this much. Since this person failed to perform his task as the spy, he thinks that I would just accept his requests.’
Carefully thinking, the eunuch opened his mouth.
“I am the leader of the group. And I have sufficient authority to recommend talents.”
Chun Yeowun thought that the man would be of a higher position, just as he thought he seemed important. Nonetheless, he had heard that the spies descended upon the order of the admirals like Deadang-Du and Dang-Du.
“I am Daedang-Du…”
Chun Yeowun hesitated at the word of Daedang-Du.
“If you won’t believe me, you can ask around.”
“What are you talking about?”
“This is a request you received from the West Spear unit, right.”
Those words made Chun Yeowun puzzled. It was a simple question, but Chun Yeowun was able to understand two things from it. Firstly, the Alumni unit struggled with not just the Golden Council, but also the West Spear, a group made up of the same eunuchs.
Secondly, among the spies the elder found out, one could have been a spy of the West Spear and not the Blade God Six Martial clan.
‘This isn’t turning out any easier.’
The task was turning more difficult as the Imperial forces were getting involved. If this was going to continue, then the probability of his task ending up in vain intensifies.
‘I have no intention of diving into muddy water, but…’
He had to check. He had to get the doubts out of his mind to proceed further. If there is a spy of the Blade God Six Martial clan, then, there is a high chance of the spy collaborating with an Alumni who has power in the Imperial Palace.
“… I don’t need to answer.”
Chun Yeowun deliberately answered as such.
Thanks to that, Daedang-Du was convinced that he was the man who received the order from the West Spear.
‘I am sure that he belongs to the West Spear. To seek out such a great master… those bastards don’t spare any money because they side with prince Gan Tae-sik. But if I try to persuade this man.’
Not only will West Spear’s plan fail, but even the strength of the Alumni would grow stronger.
If that happened, the name Daedang-Du would be recognized by the public and get promoted to a high official position in the future, this made Daedang-Du try and convince him.
“Hear me out, please. I can be of huge help to you. I don’t know what they offered you in return, but we can offer you ten times of what those West Spear have told you.”
“Do you see me as someone who changes sides for money?”
If he changed sides too easily, it would lead to suspicion, so he deliberately bounced off the suggestion. And it seemed effective. Daedang-Du turned anxious at those words, not knowing what had to be done.
‘He is a real piece. Uh, uh, then…’
When Chun Yeowun didn’t change sides as expected, Daedang-Du drew out the last straw.
“Since you are such a talented person, with a little merit, the council may take you in as a recommendation to be placed under his majesty the Young King.”
Young King, Zhu Tae-Yoon. The first prince of the empire and the one closest to being crowned as the successor. Numerous officials were rooting for him and among the three forces of the Imperial Palace, the Alumni were acting as his limbs.
Earlier, he remembered when the gold guards were talking, they said something about the Young King having guards.
‘This has turned out to be more annoying than I thought.’
The worst and the most annoying situation is for the Blade God Six Martial clan to be related to the Young King. If so, then their purpose wouldn’t just be to hold the Moorim under their hands, but also the Imperial family.
Eventually, Cun Yeowun decided to play according to his own pace.
“… Can you really put in a word to the Young King?”
‘I did it!’
Although he seemed reluctant, Daedang-Du was pleased with the positive response. He was so happy that he didn’t even think of anything else.
“Is- isn’t it natural? If a word from someone like me is sent, even the Young King would be pleased. Even if that doesn’t go through, I’ll make sure you get some merit.”
Chun Yeowun took off his hands from Daedung-Du's neck. Relieved that he wasn’t going to lose his life, he sank to the ground. It was surprising that the force that was squeezing out the life from him disappeared just like that.
Taking pity, Chun Yeowun said to him.
“Then Daedang-du, follow up on your word.”
Meanwhile, on the left side of the Imperial’s Dragon Palace, was the Flower Palace of the court ladies.
The Flower Palace is the place where only the court ladies and the Emperor would enter. On its west side was a bamboo forest, where a person wrapped in a cloth secretly entered.
Even though it was dark because of the sun setting, appearing familiar with the path, the person moved without a light. However, during his walk, the person had no idea that his movement caught someone’s attention.
Someone wanted the person dead. Just like him, the follower also covered his face with something similar to a white cloth, if carefully observed, one could see the gold armor.
‘How far is that one going to move?’
The man wearing the gold shield armor was none other than a warrior from the Demonic Cult. It wasn’t just Chun Yeowun that sneaked into the Imperial Palace to find answers. His men too were infiltrating and chasing the suspicious ones to track down the five spies. They were all elite, made up of Grand Master or near to Superior Master Level.
The person who had been walking through the bamboo forest for a long time suddenly came to a halt.
Holding on to the bamboo, the Demonic Cult's warrior stopped. Holding his breath, he looked at the person. The person seemed like someone trained to assassinate, he was excellent in stealth when compared to ordinary trainees.
Half an hour after the person stopped, someone began to appear. It was dark, but the faint moonlight shining through the bamboo trees made the face vaguely visible. A dress the elite had seen countless times.
Shockingly, the one who appeared in the bamboo forest was an elderly court lady. As she wore a red silk robe, she seemed to be a high-class martial arts user among the court ladies.
At that moment he tried to focus on listening to their conversation by trying to breathe as silently as possible.
The image of the maid standing in front of the supposed spy disappeared. Judging from that, something strange was unfolding below. He moved closer to look but ended up hearing a woman’s voice from behind.
“There seem to be a lot of rats in this dignified Imperial Palace.”
He looked at her, perceiving a person full of confidence. Every cell in his body warned out loud that he had to get away, to run away as fast as possible.
Without hesitation, the Demonic Cult's warrior tried to escape from the unknown court lady by kicking a bamboo at her in an attempt to widen their distance. But.
Before he could do anything, he was stunned by the force which hit his bare neck. Losing consciousness, the man fell on the ground below.
“It is time to hunt down all the rats.”
At the end of her words, the eyes of countless human figures flickered deep inside the bamboo forest.
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