‘Three hundred people?’
For a second, Yeon Buso doubted his ears.
There were two hundred eunuchs from the Cardinal Spear right in front of them.
They were people who surely had learned martial arts. They were at least third-class warriors.
‘Is it even possible to suppress all of them at the same time?’
If one was a Supreme Master, and a member of the 17 leaders of Yulin, they should be able to subdue the eunuchs without taking too long.
However, it was a completely different matter to make them all kneel with just a single gesture.
‘Even if we give it our all, we can only subdue a hundred or so.’
Even making them kneel for long would be difficult.
Normally one would use their energy to subdue others when they were fighting each other. It was a way to earn a bit of time for a defense.
No matter how much they thought about it, it was absolutely impossible to heed the emperor’s words.
It could have been an exaggeration to say that three hundred people had been forced to kneel all at once.
They could both see the emperor looking at them with anticipation.
‘Ah, Your Majesty is testing me.’
Yeon Buso thought that he'd figured out the Emperor's true intention.
It must have meant that he was indirectly asking Yeon Buso to showcase his ability to subdue the Lord of the Demonic Cult.
What was even more interesting was that Yeon Buso still didn't think that Chun Yeowun had reached the Divine Master level.
[His Majesty seems to be exaggerating about that gesture.]
Suddenly Peng-gyu's voice entered Yeon Buso’s ear.
He nodded in agreement.
[It seems like His Majesty wants us to show our capabilities.]
Peng-gyu could show his skills, but it was much better for Yeon Buso, who was stronger than him to do so.
In order to fulfill Great Leader Yi Mok's order and to satisfy the Emperor, they had to show overwhelming force. However, the task they'd been given wasn’t easy.
That was when the emperor opened his mouth.
“Can’t do it?”
His subtle look of disappointment was clearly visible from afar.
Yeon Buso was wrapping his head around the concept of victory.
‘This man is quite clever. It was never my intention to showcase a power which could instil fear in the Emperor’s mind. Is this an opportunity given by the Emperor?’
Yeon Buso strongly believed that he and Chun Yeowun, the Lord of Demonic Cult, must have some fated relationship.
In the future, if he became the Great leader of Yulin and led his faction, he would be known as a warrior who had competed for the sake of Yulin in the Emperor’s eyes.
‘I cannot lose to him.’
Yeon Buso placed his hands together and said.
“Of course we can, Your Majesty! However, I will show you something different, because my pride doesn’t let me copy someone else’s performance.”
Yeon Buso looked at the Emperor who was puzzled.
That was when swords hidden in the belts of the three eunuchs nearby got pulled out.
“Ugh! How-how did my sword...?”
The three eunuchs couldn’t hide their embarrassment when their swords got pulled out.
No matter how skilled the man from Yulin was, they should have felt at least some kind of energy around them.
The Emperor’s eyes lit up.
The three swords floating in the air moved as if they were alive.
Among the eunuchs, the three people who'd lost their swords were shocked.
It was a technique used to make a sword fly, something which only a Supreme Master could do.
The other eunuchs mumbled and whispered amongst themselves, the Emperor looked over at Admiral Seo Tae-sik, of the Cardinal Spear, who was standing on the other side.
Seo Tae-sik, who understood what he meant, sent a telepathic message to the emperor.
[Your Majesty. That technique is considered to be one that could rival a member of the five strongest warriors in Wulin.]
In Wulin, the only people who were officially known to have achieved the Supreme Master level were the five strongest warriors.
Of course, even in Yulin, several people preferred to hide their skills. It was shocking that a man in his 30s could use this skill.
“Five strongest warriors?”
Even the Emperor was aware of the five strongest warriors in Wulin.
The Guardian escort, who had died while protecting him, was also someone who had shared that title ninety years before.
Even in the Yulin faction, he'd heard that only the Great Leader of Yulin could do it, but to see the eldest son perform it in the throne room was a surprise.
“… is the Lord of the Demonic Cult one of the five Strongest warriors?”
The Emperor asked in a low voice.
Seo Tae-sik shook his head and sent another telepathic message.
[No. As far as I know, the former Lord of the Demonic Cult was one of them, but not the current one.]
‘The five strongest warriors are said to be warriors who are the best in what they do, then how could Lim Gyu-hwa, someone who formerly held that same title, get killed in a couple strikes?’
Just remembering that, made a shiver run down the emperor’s spine.
However, what was even more shocking was that the people of Yulin didn’t seem to be aware of Chun Yeowun’s power, or his capabilities.
‘Those with great talent get known to the world even when they try to hide it… that could be how the Lord of the Demonic Cult becomes known.’
Being an Emperor, he couldn’t quite understand how the rankings within Wulin worked, but he was sure of it.
That one day, the name Chun Yeowun, a wise man, would hold the title of being the best in the world.
Maybe that was why he wasn’t so impressed with Yeon Buso’s power.
‘Who will become the best amongst the strongest warriors?’
Even if the leaders of the Forces of Justice or the leaders of other factions came over directly to showcase their power, the Emperor thought that they wouldn't amount to anything before Chun Yeowun.
Yeon Buso, who didn’t know what the emperor was thinking, was wondering what kind of things he had to show next to move the Emperor’s heart, and then decided.
It was to show the strongest technique one could use.
Yeon Buso walked three steps ahead and drew a circle around him with his toe.
The eunuchs were puzzled, suddenly, Yeon Buso spoke to the Emperor.
“Majesty, then I will subdue the people in this room without taking a single step from this circle.”
“That much even the Lord of…”
Yeon Buso waved his hand before the Emperor could finish his words, and the three swords which were in the air moved around the room.
Yeon Buso spoke to the eunuchs.
“If you manage to push me out of the circle, I will admit defeat.”
It was arrogance.
At that very moment, Yeon Buso moved his hand, and the three swords which were in the air accelerated and quickly passed between the eunuchs, drawing up numerous trajectories.
The sound of something passing by rang in the eunuch’s ears.
The swords which were moving around could stab them at any moment if they took another step.
Two hundred eunuchs drew their swords to stop the Air Sword.
In order to not get in the way, Peng-gyu decided to create some distance.
‘It is an Air Sword, so this will definitely work out in our favour.’
Originally, Yeon Buso had intended to use it right away, however, it took some time for him to collect the energy needed.
However, it wasn’t too long.
“Push him out of the circle!”
The eunuchs of the Cardinal Spear rushed towards Yeon Buso at once.
He had declared that he could accept defeat if he got pushed one step out of the circle.
‘Push him forcefully!’
No matter how well known he was in Yulin, there were two hundred people in the throne room, what could he possibly do to stop them?
That was what the eunuchs were thinking, but would a strategy made by a Supreme Master be that easy to breach?
“Brilliant Sky Sword!”
Yeon Buso muttered something and raised his hand to the sky.
At that moment, the three swords across the room began flying between the eunuchs.
Sharp sounds were created by the Air Sword passing through the gaps between the eunuchs, leaving behind a gust of wind.
It was almost like a blast of wind.
And the place where Yeon Buso was standing looked like the eye of a typhoon, the eunuchs who came to attack him bounced away and fell back.
The Emperor who was watching this seemed slightly impressed.
If the Lord of the Demonic Cult displayed a demonic spirit, Yeon Buso’s was more like a warrior’s skill.
What was even more shocking was that the uniforms of the eunuchs were being violently torn apart.
Which meant that Yeon Buso handled his swords so sophisticatedly that he made sure no eunuch was harmed.
Peng-gyu clicked his tongue.
‘I was thinking he would show something nice, but he just keeps proving that he is a monster.’
He hadn't expected Yeon Buso to possess such a high-level technique.
Even he, who had been active in Yulin for 20 years, was speechless, even the Emperor himself would have no choice but to admit it.
‘We have absolutely succeeded.’
Yeon Buso smiled slightly.
The technique he was using had been made with the help of his father, Yi Mok.
Yi Mok was the kind of person who preferred different ideas.
He'd made a new technique that could control the air freely, and what Yeon Buso was displaying was his father’s skill.
‘How was it? Your Ma….!?’
Yeon Buso’s expression hardened as he looked at the Emperor’s expression.
He'd thought that he had succeeded, but the Emperor looked strangely more disappointed than surprised.
“It is amazing, but is that all?”
The Emperor wasn’t satisfied with what he'd seen.
In fact, there was no particular surprise because what he'd just seen could be done by Lim Gyu-hwa.
‘What went wrong?’
Peng-gyu, who was sure that they would win the Emperor’s heart, was perplexed.
He couldn’t understand at all what Chun Yeowun had done to make the Emperor’s heart not move even once to his marvelous show of supreme strength.
“Your, Your Majesty?”
The Emperor’s tone sounded like he'd lost interest in them, which made Peng-gyu unsure of how he was supposed to deal with the situation.
“Your… Your Majesty! The skills which the leader has just shown you are something that even the five strongest warriors in Wulin…”
Before he could finish, the Emperor’s eyebrows rose.
“Do you think that I don’t know the five strongest warriors?”
“I-I didn’t mean it…”
“He isn’t present now, but my personal Guardian Escort was one of those five strongest warriors too. Even you people must know about it. Was it Wave Sword?”
There was no way they wouldn’t know.
Ninety years ago, he'd been called the Sword Emperor, someone whom no one else could match.
“You are Yeon Buso?”
“… yes. Your Majesty.”
“I know that you are good. Then, would you be able to defeat the guardian with three strikes?”
Yeon Buso’s eyes fluttered.
No matter how much his skills improved, he was still a Supreme Master.
Could he defeat someone of such great power in three strikes?
When Yeon Buso hesitated without saying anything, the Emperor waved his hand.
“My decision hasn’t changed. You can leave.”
They knew that it would be difficult to convince him, but they didn’t expect that it would be this hard.
They simply didn’t know it.
But Yeon Buso’s skill was what had made the Emperor grow even firmer in his decision.
‘This is a problem. If this goes on, the Sky Demon Order will be fully instated as the State Religion!’
The greatest disgrace to the Forces of Justice.
Peng-gyu, who didn’t want to give up, fell to the ground and pleaded with the emperor.
“Your Majesty! I know that you are very disappointed with the last incident, but we Forces of Justice can do as much…”
“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”
Before Peng-gyu could even finish speaking, a shout was heard from outside the room.
It was close to howling, but it could be heard inside the throne room, the Emperor frowned and looked at Admiral Seo Tae-sik.
“What is all that fuss?”
“I will find out.”
When Seo Tae-sik looked over, he saw a couple of eunuchs rushing out of the throne room.
Not long after, they came running back in, one after another.
Their faces, blue, and their clothes were soaked in sweat from running.
“Your Majesty! we have critical information.”
“How many times have I told you people not to make a fuss inside the palace grounds? What happened this time?”
Judging from the Emperor’s tone, it seemed that this was something that happened quite often.
Since the announcement about the abolition of Taoism, the number of teachers who came in to complain had been troublesome.
“Your Majesty! Please let us continue the talks! Wasn’t the very Empire the one who let Taoism flourish from the days of the first Emperor? How could we allow those evil Demonic Cult to enter and dismantle our temples?”
Peng-gyu’s face hardened at the words of one of the people who'd come in.
He'd thought that something must have happened to delay Monk Sathi’s entry into the throne room, but it seemed like something had definitely happened.
That was when Yeon Buso grabbed the teacher who'd come in and asked.
“Hold on. Did the Lord of the Demonic Cult appear in the temple too?”
“Ugh, how did you know?”
Yeon Buso’s eyes widened at the teacher who questioned him back.
He'd asked out of curiosity to know if the Demonic Cult’s Lord had appeared in the Imperial palace or not.
‘Wait! The Lord of the Demonic Cult came here? Then wouldn’t we have a better solution?’
Whilst contemplating, Yeon Buso came up with an idea to persuade the Emperor.
‘The emperor seems smitten by the Lord of the Demonic cult. If I can’t persuade them, then it might be better to prove myself to be superior to him.’
This was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.
Yeon Buso explained his plan to Peng-gyu who was still kneeling on the ground.
Hearing that, Peng-gyu was hesitant for a while and then agreed.
It seemed like a waste of time to stand in the throne room trying to convince the Emperor, so they decided to opt for another way.
They decided to make the Emperor know that they had given up.
“Your Majesty! We are taking a step back!”
The emperor clicked his tongue as he looked at the two people who had every intention to return here.
What they wanted to do was clear to everyone present.
Everyone noticed how Yeon Buso’s eyes twinkled when he heard that the Lord of the Demonic Cult was in the Imperial Palace.
‘They are stupid. These are the kind of people who have to taste defeat in order to know that they are nothing but insects.’
They wanted to stop them, but what could be done?
The eunuchs were able to understand the saying, too much curiosity shortens one's lifespan.
Some people were rushing to the southeast of the Imperial Palace.
The one at the forefront was a eunuch of the Cardinal Spear, followed by Peng-gyu, Yeong Buso, and the Peng family warriors.
[He will surely deal with you too.]
When they were leaving the throne room, the Emperor said something incomprehensible.
They didn’t know what he meant, but this was the only chance they had.
‘If we subdue the Lord of the Demonic Cult, we can change the Emperor’s heart.’
The Emperor wasn’t showing any signs of it, but he was afraid of the Lord of the Demonic Cult.
Even after seeing Yeon Buso's skills, he'd stuck with the Demonic cult.
“Sir. Have you seen the Lord of Demonic Cult before?”
At Peng-gyu's cautious question, the eunuch who was leading them nodded his head.
“I guess you can say that. To be honest, I don’t think that this eunuch will be able to feel what I felt that day from the Lord of Demonic cult from anyone else.”
Even though he said that, the eunuch shuddered at the memory of what had happened.
Because of the Emperor’s interest, the eunuchs had seen various factions of Yulin, and the eunuchs would compete with them too, but the man they'd met in the underground shrine made those other people seem worthless.
“He is not a person. He should be called a monster, or a Demon God.”
Yeon Buso frowned.
This eunuch was speaking in the same way that Elder Cheong-su had.
It made him wonder how strong the Lord of the Demonic Cult really was.
‘I am getting excited. The fact that I finally get to meet the man who can stand against me!’
His right hand, which held his most beloved sword, trembled.
He couldn’t help but be disappointed when he was informed that the Lord of Demonic Cult had left, but when he heard that he was back, Yeon Buso couldn’t hold back his excitement.
The eunuch pointed to a building that looked like a temple.
They'd thought that the battle would be in full swing since Monk Sathi hadn’t returned, but the place was quiet.
But through the gap in the temple gates, they could see nuns kneeling.
They were none other than the female disciples of the Hangsan clan.
“How could that happen?”
Peng-gyu’s face grew distorted.
Those women had gone over to stop the dismantling of the temples, however, they appeared to be the ones who had been subdued instead.
What exactly happened to Monk Sathi?
Anger rose in Peng-gyu’s heart, but he quickly calmed himself.
He'd thought that all his efforts would end up making Yeon Buso the star of the show, but it seemed like he had a chance to prove himself.
‘I will lead the members of the Demonic Cult to Yeon Buso and aim for the Lord.’
All he wanted to do was to build enough prestige as a member of the Forces of Justice, and then he’d get the arm of a true gentleman.
Thinking up to this point, Peng-gyu pulled out his Thunderbolt Blade, a family heirloom.
“Warriors of Peng. Draw your swords! The time has come to save the brothers and sisters!”
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Twenty-five elite warriors of the Peng family had their morale raised at the words of the clan head.
In the Peng family, Peng-gyu was the only one who had achieved the Superior Master level.
The one who followed was a lieutenant, a Super Master. He prided himself on being strong enough to never get pushed back by the enemy.
“Leader Yeon. I will be the first one to strike.”
“You can do what you want!”
Yeon Buso happily nodded at Peng-gyu's words, as he showed great determination.
He was determined to do his best from the beginning after having failed to restore the Emperor’s trust.
Peng-gyu passed through the temple gate in an instant.
Yeon Buso tried to follow in, but something suddenly gave him chills.
“What was that? Energy?”
It was then,
A sudden ear-piercing scream erupted from inside the temple.
Shocked, Yeon Buso and the warriors of the Peng clan passed through the gate and entered the temple, only to see Peng-gyu, who had entered the temple with unbounded enthusiasm, kneeling in front of someone.
However, something was weird.
As he knelt before the man, Buso realized that his right arm was nowhere to be found, and that blood was gushing from the fresh cut.
The warriors of Peng Clan shouted.
Yeon Buso hurriedly stopped them from moving further into the temple in anger.
At the same time, Yeon Buso looked at the person standing in front of Peng-gyu.
A young man with long hair and fair white skin stood there, and to his surprise, Peng-gyu's missing right arm was being held in his hands.
The young man brushed his long black hair and spoke.
“Huhu, there is so much arguing… there seems to be a lot of people getting their arms cut off today.”
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