Chapter 23 - Nirvana Painting (6)

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Seol Young decided to stop the bleeding.

But the moment he touched the wound, he felt something strange from it.

“…?”

He wanted to take a closer look, but it wasn’t the right time. After quickly wrapping it up, he looked up.

The Hwarangs from the Black Tortoise Divine Troops were looking at him in complete shock.

Why were they looking at him like that?

Seol Young had a cold gaze.

Was it because he helped them? There was nothing else he could do in that situation. He immediately held his sword to pierce the core of the Avalokiteshvara.

A horrid scream rang out as it was hit.

But the power of the Blue Rainbow Sword wasn’t enough.

Seol Young shouted at the Hwarangs,

“Use your swords right now!”

Everyone was shocked, so they couldn’t react immediately.

“What are you doing? Do you want to be eaten by the painting?”

Zaha sighed.

“Ah… yes.”

All the Hwarangs came to their senses and drew their swords. All of them radiated purple energy and moved.

The painting’s mouth fell open. The scream intensified and echoed in all directions.

And they felt it at that moment.

When the core of the evil energy took control, the entire space trembled.

“Help!”

“There are people trapped here!”

A voice was heard from somewhere deep in this space, and there was a banging sound too.

“Mom!”

The families were in disarray and were trying to find their children.

“No!”

Seol Young stopped them.

“We haven’t subdued the painting yet. I just stopped it for a while, but we can’t hold on for much longer. You need to get out of here immediately.”

“But my kid is in there!”

“I will make sure to rescue them. For now, move. Don’t you see? We can’t let it harm any more people!”

At that time…

Swish!

Something moved swiftly through the wind and flew at them with great force. It was Mo Cheon’s sword.

The painting deflected it, and Mo Cheon picked up his sword and ran.

“We do not have time!”

He turned around, dragged the people, and persuaded them.

“We need to move now! It is dangerous to stay here!”

“Right. Let’s get out of here together.”

They were also persuaded by Ji Oh and Beom Hyun, and everyone moved quickly to get everyone out.

In the meantime, Hu Myung, the eighth Hwarang, and Ji Hae, the seventh, moved as well.

‘So fast.’

Seol Young tried to escape. There was no time to feel the pain. Soon, he could finally see the door.

People were waiting outside, and the landlord’s family was also there, being protected. When they ran out, they ran after them.

“You are safe! But what happened?”

“The painting appeared!”

“What?”

They were all shocked, and only then did they notice Seol Young’s wounds.

Seol Young spoke without hesitation.

“Jeong Pung! We have subdued it for now, so we need to leave quickly.”

At that moment, Beom Hyun and Ji Oh moved. The blades of their swords were trembling.

“We don’t have time to talk now! I heard that protecting the people is your mission.”

He was right.

“Let’s go!”

Jeong Pung turned.

The gate that had vanished had finally appeared. And they evacuated the people right away.

“Everyone run.”

Seol Young turned around at that voice and looked at Zaha.

“Thankful, right?”

If he had put his sword into the painting, then he surely would have felt it…

Anyway, there was no time to fight, so he just took out a bundle of talismans and hurriedly headed into the house.

Then a sign of something lighter than wind followed.

Zaha also came along.

The moment they entered, the Blue Rainbow was trembling.

It seemed like it was struggling to make them stay out.

Seol Young instilled qi into his sword and looked up.

Woong…

He could feel something shaking.

There was evil energy moving around. The painting, which had become immobile, was now back to life.

Countless tree branches began to spread around the walls, moving around like whips, and they all came crashing down.

Seol Young swung his sword to block them.

Srrnnng!

The moment his sword collided with them, his wrists shook.

The branches were as hard as steel but as flexible as snakes. They wrapped themselves around his sword.

And at the same time, all the petals opened up and flew toward them like needles.

This was dangerous.

Seol Young threw away the talisman. The Killing Ghost talismans flew around and spread out like a circle.

Yet the small petals managed to penetrate through the energy shield and become embedded in the talisman. And as they clumped together, the talisman exploded.

A bundle of talismans exploded.

Why were they so strong?

He wondered about it.

But it wasn’t too hard to cut them.

Meanwhile, a pair of phoenix birds were attacking Zaha. Every time they flapped their wings, flames rose, and even Seol Young could feel the heat.

“So interesting.”

Zaha frowned.

“Is it trying to hurt me too?”

“I love hearing that.”

Seol Young said while swinging his sword.

“Even if I die, I will be able to close my eyes feeling good.”

He could have said more, but he wasn’t in a situation where he could freely speak.

The power of the painting was too much.

The birds attacking, the branches coming out like steel, and petals as sharp as needles…

‘Slaying Ghost!’

In the end, Seol Young used a sorcery trick to melt away the flowers from the branches.

At that time, a huge lotus flower in Avalokiteshvara’s hand opened up slightly, and then smoke came out.

Hundreds of seeds from within rained down on him.

He finally found out why the corpses of the ghosts had so many holes in them.

It was because of these seeds.

Seol Young swung his sword to block them.

When he turned his body, his left shoulder throbbed, and blood gushed out again.

It made no sense to continue attacking now, so Seol Young stepped back.

Zaha also retreated right away.

The two of them went back to the garden.

“Such strong killing intent.”

Zaha looked a bit amazed at the house.

“Hatred, anger, and stubbornness to kill… a genius painter who drew something so shocking.”

“To be precise, he didn’t paint it.”

Seol Young corrected his words.

“It was more like stuffing it. All of the emotions are coming out of the painter’s soul.”

He undid the cloth wrapped around his wound.

“I came into contact with it, and I was convinced. Everyone has been wrong until now. The disaster that occurred that night wasn’t caused by a demon. It was a premeditated massacre.”

“Is that so? Why?”

Zaha just brushed off the stains on his sword.

The stains seemed to be from the paint.

But it didn’t look like that. Was it a mixture of paint and blood?

“Actually, I have something I am more curious about. Why do that? Your expression after being hit by that fake monster was bad.”

“I am checking it now.”

He took the bandage off and put his finger on his wound. And he read the evil qi that remained there.

‘As I thought.’

What he felt right then was correct.

Seol Young said,

“Two things are different.”

“What two?”

“A soul filled with rage and hatred and intent on killing. That is the soul of the person who made this painting. But this is different.”

Seol Young took out the plaque and showed it to Zaha.

Zaha frowned.

“The person who drew the painting and the one who is sealed here are different?”

“I am sure.”

“Isn’t it possible that its ego split away from the soul? The good side and bad side?”

“No. Can’t you tell the difference? They feel so different.”

“But didn’t the soul that was imprisoned inside claim that it was the one who painted this?”

“There are two odd things about this. First, it is unable to absorb the qi of people despite capturing them for several days. Second, there are two painters. There is obviously a mysterious part of this case that no one knows about.”

Seol Young wrapped the wound with a new cloth and swallowed the pill Baek Eon gave him.

The pain went away immediately, yet it was strongly ingrained in his mind.

“A painter who died one hundred years ago. How do we find…”

Seol Young bit his lip, and Zaha stared at him.

“That is why I said you couldn’t do this.”

“…?”

“I knew it was impossible, yet I thought you could do it, but it doesn’t seem like you can find out about it.”

“What?”

He pointed to the inside of the house, and Seol Young asked,

“What is there?”

“A shrine.”

“A shrine?”

“A space to soothe the spirits. Think about it, Seol Young-rang. A painter collapsed and died after completing the painting in this house, right?”

“I did hear that.”

“The landlord at that time must have been shocked. He must have hated something like that happening in such an expensive house. So he must have built a shrine or something to appease the dead. Wouldn’t there be something like that here? Like a keepsake.”

“But there was no shrine.”

“There is.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because I saw it myself. Do you remember when I said I would let the Black Tortoise Divine Troops out?”

Seol Young was speechless. So this wasn’t an excuse, but something real?

“Anyway, I am someone who keeps my word. I said I would tell you something about this house if you told me a part of your past.”

There was no way to know if his information was right or not. All he could do was judge it for himself.

Those were his words.

‘Let’s check out the facts first.’

Seol Young looked inside the house and focused all of his spiritual energy into his eyes.

He could feel something.

The aura of the dead was shining. Meanwhile, the aura of the shrine was so weak that it was so hard to notice it, but it was there.

And he looked at Zaha.

“Thank you for giving me such information.”

“Well. You cannot just get in because I told you, right?”

“You told me that with those intentions? Why? I thought you were being kind.”

Seol Young turned away from him. He had to find a way.

It was the biggest obstacle for him now.

What is this ghost’s point in life?

He recalled what the people told him.

How did it work?

And as he thought, his eyes wandered around and stopped near the tree in the garden.

Something popped into his mind.

‘There.’

An evil smile formed on Seol Young’s face, and Zaha frowned.

“Uh?”

“You made a mistake.”

Seol Young said.

“You thought I wouldn’t be able to get in and gave me such good information, but there is a way to get in.”

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