I walked for a long time on the dark path.
Walk, run, walk, run all night.
I couldn’t open my mouth because no one complained. We’re moving south at a fairly high speed since we’re also using footwork.
Im So-baek, who confirms the terrain from the front, says,
“Please explain about the One Sword Formation, Major Chil.”
‘What type of sword formation are they referring to?’
Without any explanation, Major Chil continues,
“As Leader Im’s adjutant1, Heo San will watch and report on all the actions and surroundings of the lord.”
A man named Heo San replies,
“From now on, Elder Gwan will watch over Low-Down Sect Leader, and Elder Cheon will watch Lord Mong.”
The two elders respond,
Major Chil follows,
“The target is the headquarters of Namak Green Forest Sect. The sword formation will be maintained until we get to the main quarters. The speed, direction, advance, and retreat of steps are determined by Leader Im.”
Im So-baek replies briefly,
“The rest of the team maintains the current formation as it is now and will not chase enemies who are more than 30 steps away. In special situations, act first and report later. Once it is over, rejoin the formation.”
Then, everyone answers,
Major Chil coughs and re-emphasizes,
“In summary, the sword tip is Leader Im, and the sword blade are the troops in the center that supports Leader Im. The elders, Low-Down Sect Leader, and Lord Mong will watch the overall situation and provide support as the sword handle. Are all of you in position?”
“Yes, all done.”
I make brief eye contact with Pervert Demon.
Major Chil asks again because neither of us answered.
“Leader, Lord Mong. Are we all clear?”
Major Chil nods.
“Alright. Doesn’t matter if it’s 10 or 1000 people in front, our goal is the same. Stab, cut, and pierce with a sword to advance to the main quarters of Namak Green Forest Sect.”
It was a unique sword formation.
The defense and marching steps differ entirely from faction formations in terms of purpose and operation.
It would be better to see this as a breakthrough type of sword formation refined through real wars.
Looking at the sky, the dark clouds scattered, and now the moonlight is shining down
In the meantime, Leader Im increases and decreases his pace as if he was trying to coordinate the examination, and, at some point, he unleashes footwork and halts.
Participating in a sword formation is a fascinating experience.
This is because I have never joined any formation before.
Anyway, everyone seems used to it except for me and Pervert Demon.
As we resume walking again until midnight, Leader Im suggests we camp out. The men set up a bonfire in the center of the open space, and those who look like the youngest men clean the floor.
It was an absurdly empty camp.
A while later, we lay around the bonfires lit in places.
Im So-baek says briefly,
“You have four hours. If you want to sleep, sleep.”
I scratch my head once and fall asleep with ease as soon as I close my eyes.
When I wake up, it’s dawn. I can see the alliance members putting out the bonfire here and there. Im So-baek, who is walking around while stretching, tells me,
“Leader, you were sleeping soundly. It’s a skill to sleep that well.”
I nod with drowsy eyes and kick the Pervert Demon who seems to have lost all consciousness.
“Wake up, the bandits are here.”
Pervert Demon springs to his feet with a strange cry.
The alliance members, who were getting ready to leave, are startled and look at the Pervert Demon in unison.
Pervert Demon turns his head here and there.
“Where? Where are they? The bandits.”
“Did you have a dream?”
Im So-baek says with a smile,
When Im So-baek takes the lead, the alliance members quickly follow and maintain the formation like a stretched-out sword.
Witnessing this scene at dawn, Im So-baek and the Alliance look formidable.
While I’m yawning, Im So-baek tells his men,
“We will soon enter near Namak, and we will skip breakfast because there is a possibility that Green Forest may have poisoned ordinary residences, guest inns, and wells.”
“When we arrive at the bottom of the mountain, we will invade according to my signal, and eat breakfast in the main camp of Namak Sect.”
Major Chil says.
“Leader, breakfast is too much.”
“Let’s have breakfast and lunch.”
Major Chil says,
“Jong-chan, distribute the beef jerky.”
“Yes, my lord.”
When he is told to give out beef jerky, a young man approaches me and Pervert Demon and hands us a piece of beef jerky wrapped in paper.
I walk while chewing beef jerky. When I look around, everyone was chewing beef jerky taken out from their waist or arms.
I chew beef jerky and spit it out with a stream of consciousness.
“This is sweet, somewhat sweet, bittersweet, sweet, yet salty. Sweet and savory.”
Saekma, who was looking at his beef jerky next to him, asks me,
“Should I change it?”
“It’s the same thing, so just put it in your mouth.”
The nearby Elder Cheon approaches Pervert Demon and gives out his beef jerky with a naive expression.
“Lord Mong, would you like to have this? Taste it.”
“Oh, yes, sir. Thank you for the food.”
As Pervert Demon chews the beef jerky, I tease him in front of Elder Cheon.
“It’s the same thing. Beef jerky is all the same.”
Suddenly, Elder Gwan and Elder Cheon burst into laughter. It wasn’t a big deal, but the two elders were dying of laughter.
Pervert Demon trudged with a sullen and complex expression.
Major Chil says,
“Elder, you’ll wake all the bandits watching nearby.”
“I forgot. This is the perfect place for a watch station.”
Sure enough, it is a mountain road with cliffs towering on the left and right, so it was a perfect place to raid.
However, before that, the sound of horns sounded a little away, as if Namak Green Forest was already watching the alliance approaching.
As if extremely familiar with the place, Leader Im explains while moving,
“Ambushes might take place on the left and right. They might also block us from the front and rear, so be prepared for attack soon.”
The morning sun was rising so bright that I wonder if we are really invading the Namak Green Forest.
The scenery of the tranquil mountain looks more unrealistic.
After a while, as Leader Im walking in the lead stops in his tracks….
Green Forest Sect appears in front of the wide mountain path.
Green Forest Sect blocks a place that looks to be its entrance…
The Green Forest Sect, dressed like cavemen with spears, emerge on both sides of the mountain path with a scrubby appearance.
I hear a Qi-infused voice from the Green Forest Sect’s side.
“Leader Im, what brings you all the way down here? Are you going to surrender to our leader with those humble troops?”
Im So-baek replies,
“Is Leader Ya Yul inside?”
“Of course, he’s still asleep. If you have any business with him, I’ll help you convey the message to him.”
“It’s not too late, so tell him to surrender now.”
The bandits laugh.
“You’re asking us to surrender when you only brought 100 men?”
Then, Im So-baek raises a finger on the front line.
Even before he could finish the word, Im So-baek’s body starts ahead first. The hundred members then sprint after Im So-baek.
As soon as the front detect the confusing atmosphere, stones, arrows, and assassination weapons rain on the left and right cliffs.
But it is far too delayed in comparison to Leader Im’s speed.
It didn’t even reach the fiercely charging alliance members.
Like a lightning strike…
Before I knew it, suddenly in the air, Im So-baek pulls out his sword, and slashes down his weapon and sends sword energy to a group of 100 bandits.
Following the body, when the sword energy hits the ground, the Green Forest Sect flies in all directions with an explosive sound. An astonishing scene even though I’m watching with my own eyes.
Subsequently, the escort defending Leader Im rushes as a group, and the Seven Sword Squad led by Major Chil charges with swords drawn.
Seven Sword Squad, who is advancing while slicing the Green Forest without killing the enemy, rushes after Leader Im.
It is literally a combination of charge, rush, advance, and onslaught to clear the path.
Actually, I have nothing to do at the rear.
It is my first time playing such a comfortable role as a supporter.
Elder Cheon and Elder Kwan, who are on standby from left and right, wave their hands several times and flying weapons deflect into the air.
This time, a huge stone that seems as if the moon is about to descend to Earth is shaking on the right, and about a dozen Green Forest people are struggling to push the huge stone.
Pervert Demon’s body shakes briefly, and he shoots up the cliff vertically launching his palm force. When the Green Forest Sect freezes without making a sound, Pervert Demon hits the stone with finger technique and lands on the cliff again. Then, the Green Forest Sect that had been stuck to a huge stone, freezes altogether.
But the most impressive of them all was not Pervert Demon, but Elder Cheon.
He jumps on the cliff at the same speed as Pervert Demon, catches up with him, and returns together as if blocking Pervert Demon’s rear.
When Pervert Demon and Elder Cheon return and join the formation again, the speed of the charge increases again.
As Leader Im said, they were the elite of the alliance.
Instantly, Leader Im runs through the mountain path and runs up the hill where the enemies are blocking him.
Instead of blocking us, there are more enemies that we pass by leaving them to follow us from behind.
Only then did I have something to do, so I often shoot palm force or wield a sword. However, I don’t have that many opportunities since the alliance elders are running wild like young people.
Im So-baek’s calm voice penetrating the front is heard.
Major Chil repeats,
As I climb the hill, I see a wide space as if there was a plain in the middle of the mountain, and a mountain range comes into sight. There is a long line of wooden barricades made along the mountain range.
There were indeed many bandits.
They look like bandits from another world. Their outfit and the color of their attires are extraordinary. Is it because they were made of animal skin? It was as if we traveled back to ancient times.
So, it would be impossible to talk it out…
I have a hunch that the only thing that is going to happen is a massacre.
Only then did I think of the Capture and Release Seven Times (七擒七縱) tactic. In order to not kill them all, I feel like the only method would be to capture and release them about 7 times.
Based on Im So-baek’s personality…
In his past life, he must’ve killing everyone in the alliance no matter if they were injured or killed during the attack in Namak Sect.
Thinking it was unnecessary, he might have staged a cruel massacre.
I step aside mindlessly and look around.
It is too easy to get into the main camp.
Leader Im and the alliance are great, but is the Green Forest Sect really this foolish? I wonder.
The number of troops surrounding us is increasing. Looking around the faces of the Green Forest bandits, I move alone with my hands behind me and stop.
A bandit with gray hair is staring at me.
I sigh while looking at him.
Im So-baek, who is facing off from the front, replies,
“What’s the matter?”
“The demonic cult is among the bandits. Not just the Green Forest Sect.”
“They’re all the same, so you don’t have to worry about it.”
The alliance members, including myself, look around the siege. Only then did the front door of the wooden barricade split from side to side to have a tall man and a skinny man walk out.
As if the Namak Sect Leader is here, he has an argument with Im So-baek.
Regardless of if they are arguing or not…
I wrap Fiery Fragrance around my right hand with a calm expression.
Fwhoosh— as soon as the sound was heard, Pervert Demon looks at me.
“What are you doing?”
I make eye contact with Pervert Demon and raise my left hand with blank eyes. This time, Shadow Moon Martial Art’s Waning Moon palm force is wrapped around my left hand.
Pervert Demon approaches with a panicked expression
Pervert Demon yells at the alliance members.
In an instant, those around me moved away like waves spreading in a circle.
Combining Waning Moon and Fiery Fowl. I think, am I hungry because I’m mad, or am I mad because I’m hungry?
Regardless, I am pissed.
‘…Let’s kill first.’
I might die if I’m hit by this, so I forcibly combine the red Fiery Fowl and the white Waning Moon with clenched teeth, in the shape of Taegeuk2.
An adjutant is a military officer who acts as an administrative assistant to a senior officer. ↩️
The Taegeuk is a symbol most prominently displayed on the center of South Korea’s national flag. The Taegeuk is a Confucian icon symbolizing cosmic balance and represents the constant interaction between the yin and yang (eum/yang in Korean). Rather than taking a black and white color scheme, the Taegeuk symbol is blue and red with a horizontal separator as opposed to vertical. Read more here. ↩️
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