Prince Zhu Taikhan had received his initial treatment for his broken legs in the Imperial palace’s infirmary and then moved over to his palace.
As he entered his bedroom, Zhu Taikhan smirked to himself.
He'd never been treated by a doctor before, but to enjoy such luxury had a different feeling.
Not long after, Yon Namgun, the Southern Commander, visited his bedroom.
As soon as Yon Namgun entered, he immediately asked.
“Your Highness. Are your legs alright?”
“How would they be alright? That was the first time I felt pain in my life.”
Zhu Taikhan showed his two legs which were wrapped up in bandages.
When his legs got broken, Chun Yeowun looked resentful.
[This will hurt a little.]
Hearing his voice, Zhu Taikhan was like ‘Ah, he wants me to act, so I’ll do it in moderation’.
But he hadn't imagined that Chun Yeowun would break both of his legs.
Because of that, the doctor said that it would take a month for his legs to heal.
Besides, he wouldn’t be able to walk properly for a week.
It was fortunate.
If only it was a different body part, it would have been fine with him.
However, a broken leg could result in limping or losing his ability to walk.
Nevertheless, the doctor examined his wound and said he was lucky.
[I don’t know how you hurt your legs like this, but surprisingly there was no damage to the cartilage or the ligament. So once you heal, your bones will heal stronger than before. I thought that I had to further break the bones to fit it back in, but I’m glad that I didn’t have to, Your Highness.]
‘Should I feel grateful for it now…’
At that time, just looking at Chun Yeowun had terrified him.
Until the moment he'd telepathically sent him messages, Chun Yeowun had been fully entrenched in his role.
Thanks to sacrificing his legs, he had gained something enormous.
During the entire time the doctor was treating his leg, the Emperor hadn’t left his side, and had stayed next to him looking at him with eyes filled with concern.
‘This is the best kind of luxury.’
The Emperor had always been kind to the eldest son, Zhu Taiyoon, but always cruel to the other children.
Therefore, the fact that he'd managed to earn some affection, was already a great achievement.
‘It was the first time he called me son.’
It felt weird.
It was because he was the son of a concubine that the Emperor never called him ‘son’.
“Anyways, until the Dano festival, I just need to recuperate in the palace.”
“Thank goodness. I was worried that Your Highness wouldn't be able to walk again. Besides… I was nervous as I didn’t know what Lord Chun would do to you.”
Contrary to what had initially been planned, a variable that turned out to be the Emperor, had appeared.
Zhu Taikhan had been worried to death as he could never have guessed that the emperor would come and mess up the whole plan.
In particular, he felt sorry for Yeongjo, the Northern Commander, who was the strongest swordsman in the palace and a close person to him.
Even if he wanted to let him know in advance, the Northern Commander had to escort the Supreme Commander all the time, which had made it impossible to talk to him about the plan, that had been told to them by Chun Yeowun earlier in the morning.
“It would have been nice if these were only broken slightly. Lord Chun is surely good…No, to call him good would be wrong. To be called as… Huh? Southern Commander, why do you look like that?”
Seeing the expression of Zhu Taikhan who was mumbling to himself, Yon Namgun’s face hardened.
“Why are you so stiff?”
“… Your Highness, in front… Your Highness…”
“Front? What could… ugh!”
Zhu Taikhan turned his head without much thought, and his face turned stiff.
Chun Yeowun was standing there looking at him.
It wasn’t like his martial arts skills were low, but the difference between him and Chun Yeowun was too high for him to detect his presence.
“Lord, Lord Chun?”
“I didn’t expect you to think about all those things.”
His voice was low, yet concerned.
‘Ekkk! Even so, it’s the prince’s bedroom, you can’t come up here like you wish!’
He didn’t say it out loud, but he was scared that this man would listen to his thoughts too.
In a cold sweat, Zhu Taikhan waved his hand.
“Ha… hahahaha Lord Chun. I didn’t mean anything by that. Ah! I just wanted to say that with a little less force, the situation would have been resolved easier!”
He made excuses to defend himself.
He could understand why the officials looked dumbfounded at the emperor who declared defeat in front of Chun Yeowun.
He realized that when facing an embarrassing situation, people tend to spit the words and fix the problem.
“Yes~ yes~. It is thaaat.”
“Yes yes, Lord Chun, believe in m…”
“Did you tell His Majesty what I asked you to say?”
At Chun Yeowun’s straightforward question, Zhu Taikhan nodded with an uneasy heart.
Whilst threatening the Emperor, Chun Yeowun had revised the plan and changed a few things.
Seeing Chun Yeowun act so swiftly, Zhu Taikhan couldn't help but think of him as a real monster.
‘Even so, there aren’t many people by your side, how do you plan on dealing with so many palace guards at the same time?’
Well, whilst suppressing the Guards and eunuchs, he had even managed to have a conversation with the emperor.
In the meantime, he'd sent a telepathic message, it was strange that Chun Yeowun was able to do so many things at once.
Of course, nano was assisting him.
“Yes, I did what Lord Chun asked me to do.”
The emperor had accompanied the prince to the infirmary and had been furious when he returned to the palace.
It was worth it because the emperor now knew that all this mess happened in the palace because of a faction called the Blade God Six Martial clan.
Of course, some of the evidence had been fabricated by Chun Yeowun, and as a result the Blade God Six Martial clan, which had grown into a powerhouse within the imperial palace by using Crown Prince Zhu Taiyoon as its puppet, fell under the unfavourable eyes of the emperor.
“I informed His Majesty that Lord Chun was trying to save the Imperial palace from the Blade God Six Martial clan. Even if His Majesty doesn’t believe it right away, I hope he will come to understand the Lord.”
“Well, he doesn’t have to understand me.”
The plan was just to destroy the conspiracy of the Blade God Six martial clan and pass punishment onto them.
It didn’t matter if the emperor had a positive impression of Yeowun or not.
Looking at Chun Yeowun, Zhu Taikhan asked very cautiously.
“But, Lord Chun, if it is okay with you, could I just ask one question?”
“I am curious about what you’re going to ask His Majesty in two days. Can you tell me?”
In fact, the prince knew that what Chun Yeowun wanted, had been obtained.
Even if he didn’t ask for it, the Blade God Six Martial clan would be driven to its demise by the Emperor.
After all, because of the non-aggression treaty between Wulin and the empire, it was the only thing that could be done.
“It is more like a suggestion than a request.”
Zhu Taikhan was puzzled at what Chun Yeowun said.
The Emperor had said that he would grant any request, but making a suggestion meant that he was giving the Emperor a choice to refuse.
When Chun yeowun explained his proposal, Zhu Taikhan grew even more nervous.
“… Lord Chun. That is no simple suggestion, do you think that His Majesty will accept that offer?”
No matter how much the Emperor saw the Blade God Six Martial clan as culprits, he would never forget the humiliation he'd faced in the underground hall of the Royal Shrine.
‘You even killed his escort…’
He was wondering if the suggestion would be accepted.
If it was him, he would never accept the suggestion put forth by Chun Yeowun.
But Chun Yeowun’s reaction was different.
He seemed confident.
“The Emperor won’t refuse.”
Two days later.
As agreed, Chun Yeowun visited the throne room in the palace.
The Emperor, who considered it a shame to make an official document whilst stamping it with the seal, hadn’t called for the other officials.
Chun Yeowun had told Zhu Taikhan that it was a suggestion and not a request.
“… Ugh. If Your Majesty refuses, we can proceed with the non-aggression treaty as spoken about before.”
The emperor had a strange expression after listening to the unexpected proposal.
‘…This isn’t a request but a suggestion that I can refuse?’
The Emperor was silent for most of the time, and after thinking deeply about it, he answered.
At the end of the long deliberation, the corners of Chun Yeowun's lips rose with satisfaction.
Two days have passed since the incident at the Royal Shrine.
A meeting was being held in Henan Province in the main building of the Forces of Justice.
Recently even the Forces of Justice had suffered huge damage because of spies, and due to the threat from the Blade God Six Martial clan, only the leaders with selected disciples from their clans were allowed to enter the building, thus only half the seats in the hall were filled.
The person who'd requested to convene this meeting was none other than Elder Cheong-su, a long-time member of the Forces of Justice.
“I don’t get it, Elder, is it really true?”
A middle-aged man with a short grey beard, seated on the farthest seat, opened his mouth and spoke in a serious voice.
He was one of the seventeen leaders of the Forces of Justice, Peng-gyu.
Elder Cheong-su was reporting the incidents which happened in the Imperial palace during his journey as Yulin’s envoy.
However, due to the unexpected details of his report, the people present were quite confused.
“The Lord of the Demonic Cult? He appeared in the Imperial palace?”
It was absurd to hear that the Lord of the Demonic Cult had appeared in the Imperial Palace.
Although they had formed an alliance, free passage was only allowed within Wulin. This act of entering the palace had been done without prior notice.
“I'm not absolutely sure, but it seemed like the second prince was the one who brought him in.”
“I thought he wouldn’t know such things since he is still young.”
“Amitabha*, rather than that, isn’t the fact that the Blade God Six Martial clan infiltrated the Imperial palace using the crown prince a more serious matter?”
A middle-aged woman in a monk's robe, sitting in the fourth seat, interrupted.
She was the Monk Sathi of the Hangsan clan, made up of only nuns, and followed the teachings of Buddhism.
Although she was a woman, she was a sword expert of the Double-edged sword.
“There is truth to the situation. According to the report from Elder Cheoun-su’s disciples, the Blade God Six Martial clan have crossed the line.”
At the words of Elder Sathi, another man, also a monk and who sat in the second seat, agreed.
Along with the teachings of Buddhism, Monk Gak-yeon was the ambassador from the Soorim Temple, a symbolic existence in Wulin.
He was someone who had mastered the rare use of internal energy and force qi and one of the ten people who could control qi with just a finger.
“Amitabha, if they can move so swiftly and unnoticed, Wulin will end up getting thrown into chaos.”
“… The alliance might also get shaken.”
The only faction in Wulin which had a close relationship with the Emperor were the Forces of Justice.
In such a situation, if the Blade God Six Martial clan used the crown prince to control the Empire, then the Forces of Justice would have been pushed away.
It was something that couldn’t be overlooked.
“If we think like that, then we should be grateful to the young Lord of the Demonic cult. Since Lord Chun Yeowun has stopped it from happening, hasn’t the worst been avoided?”
The person who answered the words of the ambassador was an old man with a long beard, and a beautiful sword which lay next to him.
It was Poong Chungwun, the eldest leader in the Yulin clan’s group.
He was someone who saw Chun Yeowun in a favorable light, ever since visiting the Ten Thousand Mountains.
“Elder Poong is always kind towards him since you have a close acquaintance with the young Lord.”
One of the seventeen leaders, Peng-gyu, spoke sarcastically.
He was someone who despised the members of the Demonic cult and their teachings to the core.
He had even opposed the alliance with the Demonic Cult till the very end.
Of course, his words had been rejected later because of the majority system.
“God. The head of the elder is always war-like. I really respect you for keeping your duty as a warrior.”
Elder Poong gracefully spoke back to the sarcastic remark from Peng-gyu.
The reports weren’t done, and seeing elders quarreling over such matters, Elder Cheong-su couldn’t hold himself and banged the table.
“Ugh! I am still not done!”
Everyone was puzzled by the serious attitude of Elder Cheong-su.
Most of them thought that the report was done.
However, Elder Cheong-su was still holding back something important.
The things which had happened after dealing with the Blade God Six Martial clan members, and taking down Admiral Lim and crown prince Zhu Taiyoon.
“Looks like Elder hasn’t talked about the main point yet. I hope the leaders here will listen to him for a moment.”
The man seated at the head of the table spoke.
Strangely, even with his eyes closed, the man was radiating a noble vibe.
This man, who looked like a civil servant of the Imperial Palace, was the Great Leader of the Forces of Justice, and one of Wulin’s Five Strongest Warriors, Yi Mok.
“Hmm, as said, we should let the Elder complete his report.”
As the crowd grew silent, Elder Cheong-su began speaking about what happened next.
People's surprised reactions grew gradually into serious expressions.
“Is that true? Ugh… The emperor’s Guardian Escort, Lim Gyu-hwa.”
Lim Gyu-hwa, the Wave Sword.
At one time, more than ninety years ago, he'd been one of the Five Strongest Warriors and had been called the Sword Emperor.
There was no way that the people of Wulin wouldn’t know his name.
It was shocking enough to believe that he was alive, and even more shocking that he'd been working for the imperial palace.
But what was even more surprising was.
“WH-What did you say?”
“The Lord of the Demonic Cult killed him? With only three strikes?”
It was hard to believe.
He was an excellent swordsman.
The words which came out of Elder Cheong-su's mouth were shocking, the leaders present couldn’t understand what they'd just heard.
As far as they knew, the Lord Chun Yeowun was just a kid who was still growing.
They'd heard that he was highly skilled, strong enough to make people bow before him and that he could be considered one of the strongest.
“Even if he was a skilled swordsman, to be alive till now means that he must have reached the peak right?”
“Uh, yes. He must be extremely skilled with all the experience he gathered, but to lose to the Lord of the Demonic…”
“God. In the past, I saw Lord Chun Yeowun within the Demonic Cult, but he wasn’t strong enough to be compared to the Five Strongest Warriors at that time. Could it be that Elder Cheong-su has made a mistake?”
People were reluctant to accept such unbelievable words.
They couldn’t accept that Chun Yeowun could do that. Besides, the only person who could vouch for Chun Yeowun’s skills was Elder Cheong-su.
‘What did he see to make him tremble like that?’
The Great Leader of the Forces of Justice had noticed that the Elder’s hands were trembling.
Whilst talking about the Demonic Cult’s Lord, his hands had been trembling.
“I have seen many Demonic Cult members, but this person is different.”
“The current Lord is someone beyond the realm of human beings, maybe we should call him as God. Yes, Devil God.”
“Amitabha. Devil God? Elder Cheong-su, I honestly think you are confused since a lot of things happened, have a sip of tea…”
Elder Poong tried to calm the man who was speaking, but Elder Cheong-su got up from his seat and yelled.
“How can you people take this matter so lightly! I saw the Lord of the Demonic Cult use an invisible sword with my own eyes! Using it, he beheaded the Emperor’s Guardian Escort. He also subdued three hundred soldiers with his…”
He managed to get their attention with one word.
When he said that one word, all the faces inside the room hardened.
It was impossible for a martial artist to not know about the invisible sword.
A high-level technique that could only be achieved when one has achieved the legendary Divine Master level.
“Elder… are you saying that the Lord of the Demonic Cult is in Divine Master level?”
At the serious question from Yi Mok, the Elder nodded his head.
“Exactly. Chun Yeowun, the Lord of the Demonic Cult, is at the Divine Master level.”
Divine master level.
A Legendary state that every martial artist dreamed of reaching.
It was only natural for everyone to be shocked.
They'd just heard that the Lord of the Demonic Cult was at such a legendary level when no person from Yulin was.
But that shock didn't last for very long.
An Uproar ensued almost instantly.
“Divine! What nonsense is that!”
“It is impossible to achieve the Divine master level!”
Well, it was hard to comprehend.
Even Yi Mok, the leader of the Forces of Justice, Yulin's strongest, was experiencing an indescribable shock.
As the commotion continued, someone suddenly knocked on the door of the meeting room.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
During the meeting, everyone had been informed not to interfere unless it was urgent.
It was Gam Woon-seo.
“Gr-great leader! We have an urgent message!”
Gam Woon-seo, cleared his throat and looked at the Great Leader of Forces of Justice, Yi Mok.
“At noon today, the Imperial palace announced a change of State Religion.”
“What? What kind of nonsense is that?”
The current State Religion was Taoism.
And the ceremonies of the Imperial Families were held by different clans belonging to Yulin.
For the Imperial Palace to change the religion without even informing them beforehand, was incomprehensible.
“Wh-what do you mean by that?”
Elder Poong asked with a frown.
At this, the foreign affairs leader, Gam Woon-seo, opened his mouth.
“Haaa… say it already!”
“Don’t just stand there and answer!”
Gam Woon-seo finally answered the leaders, who were being quite insistent.
“The imperial palace announced that the Empire’s official Religion will be changed to the Demonic Cult’s Sky Demon Order.”
At the shocking answer from Gam Woon-seo, everyone jumped out of their seats, their eyes wide in shock.
You should have noticed the use of Yulin and Forces of Justice in this chapter, I'm just following the author's style, he seems to use both terms. From my undersating Yulin = Forces of Justice + other factions of similar ideas.
Amitabha, (Sanskrit: “Infinite Light”) also called Amitayus (“Infinite Life”), and particularly in the so-called Pure Land sects, the great savior Buddha. It's used as a way to greet before you start a sentence implicating that you speak with peace, so it's obvious that some people from the Forces of Justice that follows the teachings of Buddha speak like that.
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