Chapter 9 - Evil Moon (9)

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‘Well. Did I do something?’

Seol Young didn’t know either. He was cornered, and he tried the last thing he could do in order to live.

He couldn’t figure out what the broken wooden tablet was. But he wasn’t going to be questioned about it by the madman.

“Why do I need to tell you that?”

Seol Young asked calmly.

He took a good look around. It was the only weakness.

When this unknown thing hit him, the man who felt unstoppable no matter how hard he fought was hit back and staggered.

At that moment, some serious reactions occurred in his body.

‘Too bad…’

If it had been a more proper attack, he could have used another spell and knocked the guy down, but that didn’t happen.

Seol Young didn’t miss the quick hand movements that the man used.

It was as if he couldn’t control the evil energy, so he did something.

The moment his hand moved, objects that seemed like an assassin’s needles and daggers moved. And a very thin golden light came up through the black haze and suppressed it.

‘That light…?’

Seol Young’s eyes widened.

It surely had to be a Taoist object. Taoist objects were utilized by Taoist practitioners, and they held a unique qi in them.

The fact that spiritual energy was contained within this golden light was…

…a very important thing to remember.

“Now I know what you are.”

Seol Young’s expression turned cold.

“A person who practices the righteous path yet has fallen into the demonic path! Such a shame for a Hwarang, right? Do the Golden Ring Troops know about this?”

“…?”

At those words, the man’s expression darkened.

“Golden Ring Troops? Who would want to do anything with them?”

… then he wasn’t?

Seol Young was puzzled.

The cultivation mentioned was known to be yellow, and as the training reached the highest stage, it would turn golden.

This was a fact everyone knew, which was why Seol Young was confident.

‘But he wasn’t?’

There was nothing that a person who had fallen down the wrong path would not lie about.

But the man didn’t deny that. He was just offended that Seol Young got it wrong. Did he have to react as such?

Did this golden light really have nothing to do with what he was thinking?

Seol Young was confused for a moment.

“Answer me. What did you do? I clearly asked.”

The noble madman asked again.

There was no trace of carelessness underneath his arrogant demeanor.

He seemed to think that Seol Young would once again summon it. He didn’t know that there was only one piece of wood.

‘This is a gamble.’

Seol Young decided to take the risk.

“The position where the Sun, Moon, and Stars meet across the sky in…”

He pretended to recite an incantation as he randomly moved his hand. A thick wind rose, with dark smoke covering his vision.

He tried to run but…

As soon as he turned around, he was grabbed. In the blink of an eye, the Blue Rainbow Sword slipped out.

“What is all this now? I really cannot let my guard down near you!”

The madman spoke as if this were absurd.

Seeing the Blue Rainbow in his hand, Seol Young felt his blood go cold.

Was he stealing his sword?

This was a gift from his teacher and the most precious thing to him.

How dare he!

He tried to take it back, but he was pushed down. The man pressed down on Seol Young’s shoulder.

It seemed like a thousand pounds of iron were pressing down on him so hard that his knees wouldn’t budge. As he struggled, the man warned.

“Your shoulder bone will break.”

He didn’t say it was broken, but he did say that it would break, and that made Seol Young angry.

And the man continued.

“I will ask you one last time. What was that?”

“I don’t know either. I tried that for the first time, and I only had one of them.”

“Is that so?”

He glanced at Seol Young.

“Seeing how you tried to run, it cannot be a lie. You don’t even know what it is… then I don’t have to worry about it.”

And he smiled softly.

“Any last words?”

“None.”

Seol Young glared at him.

If the day of his death arrived, he expected to fight until the end and die covered in blood, but he never expected to be driven into a corner and die silently in the hands of a powerful opponent.

‘I will watch until the very end how he kills me. And after watching that, I will become a ghost. Wouldn’t that be better for me? To be a ghost and reunite with him?’

He vowed to take revenge even after death, but the thought of death felt odd to him.

If he had to say something….

“Even if I fulfilled my mission, no one will know about it and will say that I failed, so it feels unfair…”

“Mission?”

“In that village there, I promised the Governor that I would solve the mysterious incident where blood was raining.”

“Governor….you mean Jin Rim?”

The man asked for a moment and then said,

“Ah! Now I know! I see it all now. Even though you are a demon, he must have said he would be lenient on you if you did good things for people.”

“What nonsense! I am not a demon but a Hwarang!”

He looked at Seol Young with eyes that were asking, ‘What bullshit are you talking about?’

But…

A white robe. A sword without a Yin-Yang plaque and all kinds of talismans and summoning spells.

All of this wasn’t very Hwarang-like.

And the madman said.

“Explain. From the start.”

“Why should I? Do you think I will obey your words even if you break my bones?”

“I don’t have to break your bones.”

He calmly raised the Blue Rainbow Sword.

“…”

Seol Young felt so enraged that he wanted to kill the man.

He wouldn’t mind dying, but he wasn’t going to sit still and watch his cherished sword break.

And he said.

“I was originally from the White Tiger Spirit Troops of Hwarang. I was the fourth member, but something happened which made it difficult for me to stay there…”

And the man continued to listen to the story while holding his sword. He wasn’t just listening. He even asked questions.

Finally, Seol Young told him everything.

Riding in a wagon with his parents and being attacked by people. Being an orphan at the young age of two and being all alone in the mountains.

The grave ghosts taking pity on him and raising him. How he learned all kinds of spells and rituals from the ghosts, and spirits around him and was called the Ghost Demon King.

The conflict with the five groups of the sect and his father’s friend Baek San taking care…

The man continued to listen to the full story with a frowning face. It was as if he didn’t know a single thing.

Seol Young considered this strange.

‘How can he know about the Governor but not the commotion that happened inside? Was he locked somewhere for ten years or something?’

Eventually, the story about the flute came up.

The revelation came out, and how the entire place was shaken by the words it said. Then, what happened within the office.

At this point, his face changed.

“It shouldn’t have happened.”

It felt like he thought Seol Young was lying.

“What do you even know? You threw away everything and fell into the path of evil!”

When he said that, the man laughed.

“Well, I think I have heard enough.”

The man gripped the sword tightly, and Seol Young realized that this was it.

Puak!

Seol Young’s hair fluttered in the sharp wind.

There was no time to do anything. He thought he was really dying.

But no.

With a thud, the sword fell in front of his eyes.

The Blue Rainbow Sword.

“…?”

He raised his head in wonder.

The man turned around and examined the sword.

“I don’t like it, but for the time being, I am forced to do this.”

It seemed like he lost interest in Seol Young. He seemed really fickle.

But this was good.

Seol Young stood up, taking the sword. He was thinking about putting it back in its sheath.

“Anyway, thank you for helping me kill those evil spirits.”

He nodded once and turned around. It felt like he had just entered the mouth of a beast and managed to escape. It was just one day, yet it felt like ten years had passed.

‘Let’s head back.’

Seol Young quickly moved.

But…

After a while, he stopped.

When he heard footsteps following behind him, he turned around only to see the man.

“Why are you following me?”

“Following?”

The man looked shocked.

“I am going in this direction.”

Was that so?

But it felt odd.

If he went right, the madman went right, and if he went left, the madman went left too.

And he wasn’t following him?

Seol Young went on, and the man continued to follow him.

He moved into a busy street, and if he lost track of Seol Young, he inquired around and found him again.

“The warrior in a white robe went there.”

And when Seol Young entered an inn, he followed him there. He sat casually on a nearby table.

“…”

Seol Young ignored it as much as he could and ordered rice with bamboo shoots and paid for it.

Meanwhile, the madman said.

“I will have the same as him.”

He fumbled around to get some money and stopped. His face had gone pale.

“Customer?”

The server asked as politely as he could, and noticing it, he asked.

“Please, do you not have money? In our place, even if the truest nobles come, they have to pay before a meal. We thought you would pay for the food, so we gave you water and a towel. What should I do now? At least pay me for the towel.”

Everyone stared at him.

Seol Young stood up while watching that and went close.

“I will pay for the meal.”

“Ah.”

The man looked pleased.

“It has been a while since I came out, so I must have forgotten to bring money with me. It is fortunate for me to meet such a good person here.”

Seol Young glared at the man and told him to be silent as he sat across from him.

“It would have been simpler if you had just killed me! Why keep me alive and stalk me all throughout my journey to harass me like this?”

He didn’t answer, and when Seol Young was about to get up, he smiled and said.

“I will pay it back.”

“Enough.”

Seol Young put down the money bag and said.

“You just disappear.”

And he turned, a cold wind blowing in his face.

When Seol Young put up the most disgusting expression, not many would dare to talk or even bother getting close, but this man was different.

As soon as he left the inn, the man followed him again.

Seol Young was taken aback.

What could he do after finishing the mission? Well, he could hang out with this strong demon on his way back and take him to the city.

And that was when it struck him.

‘Middle Rock Hermitage.’

He made a promise when he left for the mission that on the way back, he would bring it.

Things were going well.

In the mountains, there were sacred places for Buddhists.

Furthermore, there were monks with incredible strength and power present, and the number of monks was huge, implying that nothing evil could enter.

A person full of demonic qi could never enter.

‘No matter how strong he is, he cannot follow me there.’

Seol Young thought.

It could work.

The madman followed him closely until he reached the mountain, but his pace decreased as he climbed it.

It was a place filled with clean energy along the steep mountain slope and smiling Buddha statues everywhere.

The qi would collide with his and make him suffer.

Seol Young was deliberately walking closer to the places full of pure qi.

And as expected, things turned quiet, and as he turned back, he couldn’t find the man. Suddenly, he didn’t exist anymore.

‘As I thought.’

For the first time, he felt relieved since completing the mission.

Seol Young ran as if he were flying toward the Middle Rock Hermitage.

But…

An unexpected sight awaited him.

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