A truly rare sight.
There were around four thousand men of the Yulin still standing, unhurt.
However, despite the enemy being just one person, they all lost their will to fight.
It was natural for them to act as such, they just witnessed the incredible abilities of the man in front of their eyes.
Everyone was confused at the words of the man in the bamboo hat.
‘Does he mean that?’
‘Is he really going to let us leave?’
It could be that the man was showing generosity, but it was hard to believe.
“I told you all to get lost quickly.”
As the man took one step, the ground beneath his feet cracked.
‘Is he leaving?’
Everyone looked at each other puzzled.
At that time, several clan leaders, who were unharmed despite being hit by the gust of wind, looked at the conditions of those on the ground and noticed something.
‘Ah! He didn't die!’
They thought that at least seven to eight hundred men would be dead in an instant.
They checked out of fear, apart from those who were swept up by the wind and landed on their necks, the others still seemed to be breathing.
‘That is why he asked us to take them.’
Contrary to their expectations, the man showed mercy.
If so, there was a high probability that the leaders who fell down were also unharmed.
‘If that monster has shown mercy, we need to back down.’
After all, they knew that they had no chance of winning.
Yu Doji, the leader of the White Rock Sword clan, decided to accept the mercy they were being granted.
“Thank you for showing us mercy. Lord, God of the East. We will do as you said.”
Despite him speaking so politely, the man didn’t even look in his direction.
It wasn’t because he was arrogant, it was because he didn’t want to talk to them.
“Understood. Warriors of the clans, pick up your own comrades.”
All the major leaders were down, making him the only one in command.
The clans, who were ordered by Yu Doji, hurriedly picked up their fallen leaders and comrades.
And in unison, they straightened their formation and changed direction.
The clans who were able to lift up the injured hurriedly retreated with a look of relief.
Their fear, which was created by the man’s overwhelming power, made them hurry back to their clans.
‘We should all be happy here. Sigh.’
It was no different for Yu Doji, the leader of his clan.
He was fortunate to be going back to his clan.
There was a strong sense of murder that stimulated the five senses.
Goosebumps rose all over his body, and in a brief moment, his entire body began to get drenched in cold sweat.
For a moment, he wondered if the man had changed his mind, so he quickly looked back.
However, the man in the bamboo hat was nowhere to be seen.
‘What is with this murderous intent even after the God of the East disappeared?’
The entire forest of Changbai looked like a ferocious demon.
The more he stayed, the more suffocating it felt.
Yu Doji, who felt a vague fear rise because of the murderous intent, urged the people to hurry.
Likewise, the warriors who sensed the murderous intent moved faster.
The forest which leads to Changbai Mountain wasn’t large.
But because of the overgrown greenery, even the slightest sunlight wouldn’t enter the place, making it dull.
The man in the bamboo hat, who headed into the mountains, was moving.
He looked to the bushes.
The bushes trembled violently as if they felt fear.
The place which was giving out the murderous intent that was sensed by the retreating unit was here.
A voice came from the place, which was obscured by the bushes and the darkness.
“Isn’t this different from what you promised?”
The language didn’t seem like the native language of Jianghu.
The man in the bamboo hat shook his head left and right as if he understood the words, and the man spoke again.
“Didn’t you decide not to interfere with the crawling ones?”
“Ah!... your expectation of finding a suitable person is truly tearful. I see that you went further from the beginning of the mountain to block them. But how long will this be possible?”
“Keeping the oath.”
“Oath? Hahahaha, you bastard. What was it? Six days until the ten years are completed. Look forward to it. Look forward to dying by my hands.”
With those words, the murderous intent spread in all directions subsided.
The existence of the person hidden in the shadows disappeared.
After staring at that place for a long time, the man in the bamboo hat had disappeared as well.
At the same time, a mountain peak about five miles from the beginning of the Changbai Mountain.
Above it, a man with bandages covering his face and body, a man who looked like a thief, was looking in the direction of Changbai Mountain.
He looked at the mountain while clicking his tongue.
“… even though it has been over 20 years, he’s still undefeated. That monster still protects the place.”
He was here to observe if the monster still lived, and he did.
The man, too, had participated in the battle which took place in Changbai mountain with the leaders of the Blade God Six Martial clan, and it was a nightmare he would never forget.
The monster in the mountain was the one who managed to delay their plan by twenty years.
“That isn’t the problem. I didn’t expect the other factions to move first. Did information leak?”
They had come from the Potala Palace without rest.
All to prevent the Demon God from reaching the mountain first.
But this was unexpected.
‘With that number of people, around 4 to 5 major clans had joined in. Did such a huge army try to enter Changbai mountain?’
It was hard to think of it as a simple coincidence.
The fact that the Yulin brought in such numbers to enter the mountain.
There was only a guess he could form.
“Master Hwang-heol! Isn’t it possible that the Yulin too are aiming for the spirit beast?”
“… it seems very likely.”
It was impossible to guess how they knew or if the information had leaked, but it looked like the Yulin was aiming for the spirit beast too.
This was bad.
Not just the Demon God, but another faction was involved.
“If that is true, we are out of time. Are we supposed to wait for the Blade Lord to arrive?”
There were currently two leaders and two hundred people.
Even if their individual abilities were superior, the number of Yulin warriors was too great.
“Right. That would be better. But… maybe this is good.”
The man in bandages smiled as he spoke to the man beside him, who seemed curious.
“Well, we now know that the monster in the mountain can collide with the Demon God, so we won't have to deal with it.”
That was their purpose in the first place.
Their purpose was to make the monster and the Demon God collide.
It would be better if both of them died, but even if that didn’t happen, the one who lives would be too injured to fight them.
“They are the problem.”
The man in bandages looked at the retreating army of Yulin.
They were trying to quickly get out of the mountain, yet they still had the power and number to march into the mountain at any time.
“Will they stay here despite losing like that?”
“If their purpose is the core, they will simply retreat, but if the information that their leaders lost spread, they would try to fight back, as that is their best solution.”
If the man in bandages hadn’t arrived on time, he wouldn’t have been able to guess what happened.
In that sense, it could be said that he was fortunate.
“Then what do we do?”
“If possible, we should take out the power of the Yulin.”
So that they could get rid of all nuisances at once.
If that happens, he will regain the trust of the Blade Lord, which he lost.
The man next to him nodded his head and agreed.
“… but, Master, who do you think will win?”
He knew what fight the man was referring to.
The man in bandages pondered for a moment and then answered.
“God of the East.”
It has been four days since the Yulin had failed to enter Changbai Mountain.
Although the Yulin was devastated by the confrontation with the powerful man, they didn’t withdraw from the worst outcome.
They established their camp around 200 miles to the north.
Originally, they intended to head west or northwest, where establishing a food supply would be easy because of the Moyong clan.
[Northeast would be the best, but…]
The mountain to the northeast was rugged and made up of country people, so entering that place didn’t seem like a plausible choice.
The army of 5000 wasn’t just noticeable, but it could also create friction between the residents of the clans.
Fortunately, they managed to find a place surrounded by mountains on three sides.
For two days, they were in dire straits.
It was because the wounded leaders had to recover.
Fortunately, by the fourth day, most of the leaders woke up and even recovered from their internal injuries.
Those who recovered the fastest were the leaders of the Forces of Justice.
Of course, not all.
Unfortunately, there was one casualty among them, leader Ho Hyeon-ja.
Unlike the others, his neck was broken, and he died.
In the barracks, which was put up for temporary meetings.
The leaders who had gathered were sighing with a heavy feeling.
Since they had 5000 warriors, they all thought that they could take down the God of the East.
But the results were absurdly disastrous.
They gathered for a meeting, but not a single person could open their mouth.
“Amitabha. There is one thing I can’t understand.”
Gak-yeon was the one who spoke first. Making the others look at him.
“There were unfortunate casualties, but four days ago, the God of the East managed to push us out without causing much harm to the troops.”
Everyone nodded at that.
If the man had made up his mind and attacked them, it was definite that the Yulin troops would have died.
Almost half of the troops could’ve been annihilated.
“Actually, even I have the same thought.”
At that time, Yu Doji joined the conversation.
Then Hong Palwoo asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Like Saint Gak-yeon said, it seemed like the God of the East was trying to prevent us from entering the mountain rather than trying to fight us.”
At that time, Mu Gu-cheon spoke as if he remembered something.
Before the battle, he looked around the mountain, as the God of the East was conscious about something.
Peng-gyu, who was frustrated, burst out.
“What nonsense is that? How could that monster annihilate so many people of the advance squad if he had no intention of harming us?”
At that, Gak-yeon spoke.
“Amitabha. That is what I am trying to point out. Why did he let us go after annihilating the advance squad?”
It was absurd.
The leaders only suffered injuries.
At the very least, it meant that the God of the East tried his best not to kill anyone.
“Perhaps the one who annihilated the advance squad…”
At that time, someone interrupted Gak-yeon’s words.
“Hold on. Aren’t you taking this matter too lightly?”
He was the commander of Black Shadow troops, Mak Wijong.
When he suddenly interrupted them, leader Yeon Young-in spoke in a displeased manner.
“Even if you took the position of Commander Kang in recognition of your achievements, do you think you have the right to intervene in the leaders’ conversation?”
It was a warning.
Not a single person in the barracks regarded Mak Wijong as a true commander.
No matter what clan they were from, the position of commander was based on the skills of a warrior.
However, Mak Wijong was given that position in haste because he managed to find the Blade God Six Martial clan’s base.
‘Just watch, you pathetic men.’
Although his intentions were different, Mak Wijong bowed his head.
“I apologize if I offended you. I am saying this because it seems like many of you leaders are taking this sacrifice lightly.”
“Surely, the loss of troops was moderate. But they were all valuable comrades and family members.”
Yeon Young-in, who was about to get angry, frowned and went silent.
If it was ignored that the sacrifice was small, then the other clans would find it unpleasant.
“Besides, leader Ho Hyeon-ja was also a leader of the troops. I just don’t think that it is wise to jump to the conclusion that we can’t deal with him and let the matter go.”
Hearing that, Gak-yeon looked at Mak Wijong and sighed.
“Amitabha. Right. Commander Mak is right. If you think about it, I was taking the victims lightly.”
As a monk, he was ashamed of it.
The others didn’t raise any objections either, as there was some truth in Mak Wijong’s words.
Of course, not everyone was of the same opinion. Yu Doji didn’t seem convinced.
“I’m assuming here, but there seems to be something other than the God of the East that’s dangerous in Changbai Mountain. Just because Commander Mak thinks that we are taking the victims lightly doesn’t mean that we head back into the mountain.”
He couldn’t still forget that murderous intent he felt from the forest when he was retreating.
And it was definite that God of the East wasn’t the one who was releasing that intent.
During the four days that they waited for the leaders to recover from their internal injuries, Yu Doji concluded that the God of the East had appeared to make sure that no one stepped into the mountain and they got killed by the murderous intent lurking inside the forest.
“Ha! Aren’t you being too pretentious here, leader Yu Doji? Who else could have touched the advance squad if not for the God of the East himself?”
Peng-gyu was the one who asked.
As a response to that, another master who was unharmed like Yu Doji spoke.
“You fainted at that time, so you mustn’t have felt it properly, right? Don’t you think you are taking the words of Master Yu too lightly?”
“What? Are you trying to put the blame on me?”
It was an emotional outburst.
Mu Gu-cheon, who was silent till then spoke.
“Please calm down! What matters isn’t that. We don’t have much time. The first and second plans have failed, so the last plan laid by the Military Commander needs to be implemented.”
They all nodded with the words of Mu Gu-cheon.
The purpose of their deployment was to prevent the spirit beast in the mountain from entering the hands of the Demonic Cult and the Blade God Six Martial clan.
“Amitabha. The commander is right. There is no point in arguing with each other. Right now, we need to go ahead with the other plan. We have to help our faction by taking down the God of the East who is guarding Changbai mountain.”
Monk Sathi said those words to help Mu Gu-cheon.
The plan that Yoo Beom-ryeo made was done in preparation for the worst possible situation.
Originally it wasn’t a plan made to deal with the God of the East, but rather, it had to be done because they couldn’t even enter the mountain.
However, seeing that the God of the East was enough to take them down, they were forced to implement the third plan.
“Even if God of the East blocks the leaders of the Demonic Cult and the Blade God Six Martial clan, with our remaining power, he can be dealt with.”
From the viewpoint of the Yulin, the core of the spirit beast was very important.
The Demonic Cult and the Blade God Six Martial clan, their plans had to be stopped.
Looking at Mak Wijong, Hong Palwoo spoke.
“Commander Mak. You returned from the North Sea, so I believe you, but this plan cannot be implemented until Chun Yeowun of the Demonic Cult comes into the mountain. And let's hope that your prediction is right.”
Like Yeon Young-in, Hong Palwoo emphasized the point several times during the meeting.
Not concerned, Mak Wijong responded.
“Don’t worry, leader. Despite coveting the core of the Flame Qilin, Lord Chun came all the way to the north to get the dragon core. He will definitely come to Changbai Mountain.”
Liaoning was a place where major clans of the Yulin stayed.
In order to enter Changbai Mountain, the Demonic Cult would have to enter the domain of the Yulin. There was no way that they wouldn’t get informed of the Demonic Cult entering Liaoning.
“If we prepare in that time, we may be able to kill the Demon God and not just for the sake of the core but for the future of the faction too.”
“That’s a fun plan to implement.”
“What’s fun about that… what?”
Mak Wijong looked around to see who said that.
However, no one in the barracks said that, as they all looked around to see who spoke.
“Who said that just now?”
A voice they heard somewhere.
It was then.
At the barracks entrance, the area shook, and in a place where no one was, an unidentified entity in black iron armor appeared.
A monster covered in black except for its radiating eyes.
All the leaders in the barracks pulled out their weapons.
“How did you break into the barracks?”
Among all the leaders in the barracks, not a single one sensed this unknown man’s presence.
Even Mu Gu-cheon, who was the strongest leader here, couldn’t.
Flustered at that, they all looked at the man with glowing eyes in shock, who soon revealed his identity.
The moment his face was seen, Peng-gyu, and even Monk Sathi, turned pale.
Lord Chun Yeowun of the Demonic Cult.
It would be strange if they couldn’t remember the face of the man who took away their precious arms.
It was the same with Mak Wijong.
‘Ho-how is… this person here?’
Chun Yeowun looked at Mak Wijong and spoke with a smirk.
“I wondered where you disappeared to. I see that you were planning trickery over here?”
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