The abrupt proposal about the cancellation of the alliance by the Great Leader of the Forces of Justice and Yulin.
It was enough of a shock so that every leader in the hall was confused.
It was natural for the Great Leader to be furious as Yeon Buso was none other than his eldest son, but his decision seemed too extreme.
“Amitabha! Great Leader. That request seems premature.”
2nd leader Guk-yeon didn't directly oppose Yi Mok’s decision, but he thought that the timing wasn’t right.
If they did cut ties with the Demonic Cult, they would be ending up surrounded by enemies.
“Heavenly God! Great Leader. Although I share the same opinion and understand you in regards to the Lord of the Demonic Cult provoking us too much, it still is an unreasonable proposal to break the alliance.”
The 6th leader, Poon Chungwun, objected the Great Leader‘s proposal too.
Things would have been different if the Lord of the Demonic Cult was a kid lacking in politics like they originally judged him to be, but with the change in the State Religion, he proved that he was a monster with power.
In a situation like this, it was risky to turn someone stronger than the Blade God Six Martial clan into their enemy.
“Please, I request that you withdraw that proposal.”
Even in the Yulin, the opinions of the two leaders who just spoke would never get ignored because of their reputation.
Moreover, being the brain of the Forces of Justice, they had no choice but to discourage and decline the excessive action which would only bring war into their lands.
“Does everyone think like that?”
All eyes naturally turned towards the 3rd leader Nam Gung-kyong at the question of Yi Mok.
It was always necessary for any proposal to have two sides.
‘Nam Gung-kyong is a person who has an extreme tendency to go against alliances.’
It was a concern for the people.
Even when the truth about the Blade God Six Martial clan was revealed, he was the person who took the lead in opposing the alliance along with Peng-gyu and Dang Pil-ho, the head of the Dang family.
Besides, he was one of the leaders who taught Yeon Buso.
Surprisingly, the 3rd leader Nam Gung-kyong looked very worried.
‘...Is that the correct decision?’
It was natural that he was worried.
Even within the Yulin, only a few people knew his true identity.
He was one of the five families in Jianghu who were believed to be Extremists hoping for a clean world.
From the viewpoint of those who were trying to create a world of Justice, the break in the alliance would be welcomed with open arms.
‘Even if Yeon Buso’s arm was cut off, this is an extreme reaction considering the character of the Great Leader.’
Even though Yi Mok’s clan wasn’t that famous or the most flourishing one, he was able to become a member of the Forces of Justice with his skills.
However, the means to how he was able to become the Great Leader of the Yulin weren‘t because they were passed down from the elder generation, but because he himself was full of energy and smart enough to achieve the title.
And such a Great Leader was coming up with a rash decision.
Nam Gung-kyong’s mind was turning into a mess.
In a way, this was an opportunity he shouldn’t miss.
‘At this year’s festival, everyone from the Demonic Cult and the Blade God Six Martial clan will be gathered. It has always been said that the mass killing was barely successful by the books left by the elders, but if the Empire supports us, we might be able to eliminate the leaders of both factions at once!’
Ten days left until the Dano festival begins.
At that time, the leaders of the three major powers and the new clan, the Blade God Six Martial Clan, will gather to renew the non-aggression treaty between the Wulin and Imperial family.
Opportunities for the heads to gather were very rare.
Just the Lord or the main leader of the faction had to be removed. That would be a great opportunity for the Yulin to show their true power.
Nam Gung-kyong raised his head and looked at the Great Leader.
His eyes seemed focused on going through with the decision of Yi Mok.
‘I guess he is serious.’
If a person like Peng-gyu had placed such a proposal, then Nam Gung-kyong would have avoided getting involved in it, thinking of it as a proposal for personal gain, but for the Great Leader himself to put it.
Nam Gung-Kyong couldn’t stop feeling suspicious, so he finally decided to ask Yi Mok himself.
“Could you let me know why you had to make such a decision?”
At that question, Great Leader Yi Mok opened his mouth without any hesitation.
“In the beginning, I promoted this alliance in the hopes of outwitting evil with the help of the Demonic Cult. But I was wrong.”
“I have come to realize that if we compromise with one evil in order to get rid of another, it will go against the noble ideas of the Forces of Justice, which have been established since ancient times! Even now, I should correct what I did wrong so we don’t create even more problems in the coming days.”
Nam Gung-kyong’s eyes lit up at the words of Yi Mok.
At first he was skeptical of the abrupt break in alliance, but it didn't seem like he had to worry.
This was surely an opportunity he wasn’t supposed to miss.
‘This is the chance the leaders should take. I need to put an end to this discussion before the Great Leader comes to change his thoughts.’
Pondering for a while, Nam Gung-kyong opened his mouth.
“I heard the resolve of the Great Leader. That nobility of thinking for justice moved my heart. As someone who once opposed the alliance, I am in favor of the Great Leader’s proposal.”
A sigh escaped from the 2nd leader’s mouth.
This was an expected reaction from Nam Gung-kyong.
[Elder Poong. This could be a really long day. Amitabha.]
[We need to stop them from going ahead.]
6th leader, who judged that the situation wasn’t turning out well, spoke.
“Great Leader! All the decisions need to be made after a fair meeting, so it won’t be possible to proceed unless more than half of the leaders are present. If you are going to make such a proposal, shouldn’t you be summoning all of the leaders?”
Poong Chungwun only wanted to buy time.
In anger, Yi Mok wasn’t facing reality.
With Yi Mok’s personality, if the 6th leader could buy even one day's time, there was a chance that he would withdraw the proposal the next day.
“There is no need for that. All the leaders are busy with their duties. Since this was a proposal made by the Great Leader, how about we just go ahead placing our belief in him?”
“No! leader Nam Gung!”
In Nam Gung-kyong’s opinion both Gak-yeon and Poon Chungwun looked at him with shocked expressions.
The greatest authority in the Forces of Justice was in the Great Leader’s hands.
As Poong Chunwun said, since the Forces of Justice were made up of numerous clan leaders, all leaders had to meet to decide any matter, but there are possibilities for exceptions.
The decision made by the Great Leader, the Great Leader’s Order.
The Great Leader could use his authority and process his proposal three times.
That was the maximum number of times he could use his authority, and everyone had to follow him without any disagreement.
“Leader Nam Gung! How can you talk about invoking the Great Leader’s Order on such an important matter!”
Even Poong Chungwun, who would never lose his cool, raised his voice.
It was because everyone would lose their right to vote on the matter if the Order got triggered.
However, since the Order was such a tricky thing, the past Great Leaders have been extremely careful when using it.
The current Great Leader, Yi Mok, had never used it before.
“Great Leader, choose this carefully…”
“This is good. Following the 3rd leader’s opinion, we’ll go ahead with the use of the Great Leader’s Order in this matter.”
“Huh! Great Leader!”
“How can you make such a… Amitabha! Amitabha!”
The two leaders couldn’t hide their displeasure at the words of Yi Mok, who seemed dead-set on going through.
On the other hand, Nam Gung-kyong couldn’t stop smiling.
‘This is not a lie! This is definite!’
All the concerns he had disappeared.
Finally, an opportunity rose for him to work as a member of the extremist group.
‘He will be very pleased with this.’
Late at night.
In the office of the Forces of Justice.
A single candle in a white porcelain lamp was illuminating the dark room.
The man in the room opened up a crumpled paper, which seemed more like a booklet, and read it.
[The Lord of the Demonic Cult. Call me Chun Yeowun.
First of all, I would like to apologize to you for hurting your son and the other leaders inside the Imperial palace.
However, I thought that if I didn’t do it, the leader of the Forces of Justice wouldn’t believe me, so I couldn’t help but make all the lords feel a little uncomfortable.
The Great Leader’s Oath will have to be made.
If that is done, I will safely release your son and the two others.
And I will also ask the emperor to consider Taoism in regards to diplomatic relations, in return I expect the Great Leader to do one thing for me.
Due to the incident in the Imperial palace, the succession plan may have failed and the leaders of the Blade God Six Martial clan might not appear at the festival.
Just like our academy, I heard that your faction is struggling with the problem of spies too.
This is why I came up with a good plan.
And for that, the Great Lord should…]
It was written in a crumbled booklet.
In order to deceive the enemies who placed spies, it was written that one should deceive the allies too, along with a message to cancel the alliance for a while.
Yi Mok was angry, but he wasn’t interested in taking such extreme steps.
However, while reflecting on the contents in the booklet-like letter, he thought that the Lord of the Demonic Cult was rather reasonable.
‘… this is no different than a gamble.’
Yi Mok, who read the contents once again, burned it in the candle.
The booklet crumbled and disappeared into ashes.
His eyes gleamed strangely as he looked at it.
A deep valley of the Yeongja Bong peak, a mountain not far from the southwest of the main building of Forces of Justice.
A cave, deep in the dark valley, was covered with bushes.
It looked like a cave where wild beasts lived. It was quiet inside.
In front of the entrance of such a cave, an unidentified black long-haired man appeared with a bamboo hat.
The bamboo hat wearing man knelt down on the entrance of the cave which was empty and opened his mouth.
“I have a message for your orders.”
As soon as those words fell, a figure moved within the cave.
This figure, which gave out no energy whatsoever, was wearing a black mask which completely covered the eyes.
One wouldn’t be able to see what’s ahead, but the person didn’t seem comfortable.
“How did it go?”
A part of the lips, which were covered by the mask, moved.
To the question of the masked person, the man answered in a confident voice.
“Was the break of the alliance declared?”
At those words, the man took off the bamboo hat which was covering his face.
Shockingly, the man was none other than Peng Yeo-suk of the Peng family.
“As expected, everything went perfectly fine. No one spoke about anything, no one in the Peng family was suspicious either.”
Peng Yeo-suk pulled up the skin that stretched like rubber.
At that moment, the masked man spoke.
“Stop it. It was made from a dead body. If you pull it like that, it’ll tear.”
Flustered, he let go of the cheek skin he was pulling at.
The masked man asked Peng Yeo-suk.
“Did the Extremists move?”
“Just as the leader expected, he took care of it. If we make good use of this opportunity, I think we will be able to find out the identity of the person called Hoe-ju in the near future.”
The masked man nodded his head in satisfaction.
“Good. Three leaders. Until the day that the festival begins, see if they are moving according to the plans of the Forces of Justice.”
As soon as the masked man’s order fell, Peng Yeo-suk wore his bamboo hat and went back in the speed of light.
The masked man mumbled looking in the direction he went.
“Lord of the Demonic Cult, Chun Yeowun! I have been hiding my appearance all this time because you interfered in my matters. This time you will pay the price!”
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