I will mess with these bastards for a bit with some alcohol.
“By the way, do you have plenty of time to drink today? We have a lot to discuss, and you’ll have to put in a lot of good words to the Black Rabbit Union.”
Han Go-wook smiles.
“I see you’re not as stiff of a guy as I thought! We have plenty of time. We were mainly hosted at the Pear Blossom Brothel, but it’s not bad here either.”
I take the initiative.
“Let’s look at the flowers after drinking.”
The flower refers to the entertainers. Forget the entertainers, though; I will get them drunk.
How much alcohol am I going to make them drink? I am going to make them drink until the point of death.
I’m a good drinker.
I have always been the best at drinking, even without needing to purge the effects of alcohol using internal energy.
Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook also turn out to be quite good drinkers.
However, as they successfully gulp down alcohol with some poor conversation in the first hour, the two are slowly having a hard time. The third-rate liquor that the two are drinking also doesn’t help. Additionally, the fact that I keep making the atmosphere solemn and somber probably makes them unable to digest any of the food they are eating alongside.
Jeon Pung shakes his head and says.
“The Dukuang liquor is pretty strong today.”
That’s just stating the obvious.
It’s poor-quality liquor, after all.
I laugh as I look at Jeon Pung.
“Stop being so fussy.”
Han Go-wook, whose face is turning red, also guffaws and says.
“I’m not exaggerating. Call the ladies over. I heard Chae-hyang and So-Ok are pretty and good at singing and dancing. Bring them here.”
I shake my hand and say.
“It’ll only ruin the mood. Here, take this.”
I pour more liquor into their glasses.
Only then did their expressions become bitter. They are already very drunk, so they reject the drink.
“Don’t you think we’ve drunk too much?”
“I’ll have to take a break.”
I laugh out loud again and say.
“Are you going to die or drink? Choose. There’s no other choice.”
Jeon Pung widens his eyes and says.
“You’re drunk, you punk. Zaha, stop drinking. You’re very drunk. Rude bastard. You’ve got a bright future, but what a bad drinking habit.”
Han Go-wook also thumps the table with his hand and says.
“That’s right. That attitude of yours is the problem. Even when you drink with the Black Rabbit Union executives, you’ll be killed if you use that tone. Remember that.”
I answer back while eating a snack.
“Is the Black Rabbit Union Leader that great?”
“You’re crossing the line.”
I look at the two serious faces with a calm expression.
“Are you two drunk?”
“As you can see, I’m not drunk. If the Black Rabbit Union Leader is such a great man, he could probably save you two right now. Let me make this clear. I’ve never lived my life thinking about the consequences. Would you like to die in my hands or drink the liquor? Choose between the two. Miss Son!”
At the end of the sentence, I raise my voice and summon Miss Son. The door suddenly opens, and Miss Son looks at me for orders.
“Bring me my sword.”
Miss Son disappears again after nodding her head.
I point my finger at them before they can say anything.
“I’ll give you some time until Miss Son brings the sword. If you don’t drink it, I’ll take it as you two choosing to start a fight right here. I assume the two of you have better skills than the Cho brothers right? Of course, you do since you’re the masters from the Black Rabbit Union.”
The two of them turn white as I speak. They are people who are not confident of beating me even if they are not drunk, but now they are even more intimidated because they are drunk.
I glare at them with sober eyes.
“Decide now. I hear footsteps. Thud, thud, thud. She’s almost here.”
They can hear Miss Son’s footsteps approaching. The door opens with a swish, and the two quickly down their drink.
Their faces scrunch up in pain. It is understandable since the Dukuang liquor burns their throats as it hits.
I put the sword Miss Son brings on the table and pour the liquor again.
“Good job, Miss Son.”
Miss Son looks at me with her hands politely folding forward.
I point my finger at Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook and say.
“My precious guests are looking down on me. Still, an errand boy does tend to get ignored. Miss Son was like that, too, I think?”
Miss Son nods.
“Maybe it’s because you believe that the Black Rabbit Union has your back. If I were afraid of the Black Rabbit Union, I wouldn’t have taken down the Cho brothers. Don’t you think so?”
Miss Son nods.
I point again to their glasses.
“Let’s have a drink. Miss Son, tell this to Cha Sung-tae. Gather the warriors of all three pavilions and have them wait downstairs. If our brothers Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook try to run away, kill them on the spot or bring them back to me. Then I’ll punish them.”
Miss Son nods her head knowingly and leaves.
Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook are so drunk that they can barely stand. In the meantime, they know very well they will die if they try to attack me.
Jeon Pung says.
“I need to go to the bathroom for a moment.”
Looking at his expression, I ask.
“You’re going to throw up?”
“Seeing how you still have the will to go to the toilet, you’re not drunk enough. You sure don’t know how to take the lead. Miss Son, bring more alcohol before you go tell the men.”
Miss Son, who had returned to the hallway, appears again, nods intently with her mouth shut, and closes the door.
Perhaps because Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook are drunk, they think Miss Son, who never opened her mouth, is terrifying. Maybe they are scared because they believe Miss Son’s mouth might get ripped open one day.
The two are in a state of confusion.
Miss Son enters the room a while later with two more bottles of third-rate Dukuang liquor. Putting down the alcohol, Miss Son frowns and communicates to the two with hand gestures.
[Please, do not, vomit here.]
When Miss Son goes back out, I pour a drink and say.
“Come, let’s drink.”
The two men hurriedly shut themselves up at this remark. They are on the verge of passing out.
I also drink the same amount of alcohol as the two.
This time, I am forced to drink alone and say to them.
“Brother Jeon and brother Han. Please put in good words for us in the Black Rabbit Union.”
The two keep nodding their heads even though it is unclear what they are asked to actually say good words about.
“I’ll be sure to tell them.”
“It won’t be a big deal.”
“It doesn’t matter if you say anything bad. It’s alright for a Union Leader to ignore me. But if things go wrong and we fight, I promise you this one thing. If I catch you two again, I’ll make you drink until you die. I won’t hit you nor order my men to assassinate you. Keep in mind that the day I catch you, you’ll have to drink way more than you have today until you die. I know I should be mindful of the Black Rabbit Union Leader, but not you. So let’s make our differences clear first before we part.”
Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook nod enthusiastically.
I cheekily poke at the two with my fingers as I say.
“Now it looks like we’re on the same boat. So… last glass?”
“Oh, that’s okay.”
Han Go-wook says pleadingly.
“I think we can stop drinking. We had enough. What should I call you from now on? Oh, I’ll put it nicely to the superiors. So please stop drinking, owner… please.”
I like the change in their attitudes and tone.
“All right. I’ll try to create a nice sect in Ilyang Prefecture. I’ve already decided on a name. We’re also building a pretty good place for it.”
Of course, it’s at the Zaha Inn.
“Until then, I don’t want the Black Rabbit Union to ask us to pay dues.”
“Is that happening right away?”
I nod my head.
“The sect door is not even built, but paying dues already? What kind of bullshit is that? Let us grow quietly. I’ll tell the Black Rabbit Union when we meet. This is great news. So, another glass?”
“No, what you said is definitely a good idea. We shouldn’t collect payment when there isn’t even a main door. That’s not the principle of Kangho.”
I nod with satisfaction.
“Well said. Let’s live according to Kangho’s principles. All people should live by Kangho’s principles. Here’s what I want you to say about the killing of the Cho brothers.”
“Lee Zaha of Ilyang Prefecture killed the three brothel owners because they didn’t follow Kangho’s principles.”
“I’ll be sure to deliver the message word for word.”
I drink again while the two of them begin to sober up. Now they are frowning every time I drink. A severe headache must be flooding in.
I mutter like a drunk.
“That’s how I’ve begun my journey of being a hero. I think you’re drunk, so go home now. I’ll have another drink as a mouth refresher.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“It was a very pleasant drinking party today.”
As the two help each other stand, I say out the door.
“The guest is leaving.”
At this time, Miss Son appears, looks at me, and draws a hand gesture around her neck.
[Should we kill them?]
I shake my head.
“Why kill them? They’re valuable guests, so treat them well. Guide them politely to the entrance.”
Miss Son nods and holds out her hand as if she will guide the two.
I suddenly think Miss Son doesn’t seem to be in her right mind.
Maybe those bothered a lot of young ladies in the pavilion in the past, but I chose to not ask.
Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook barely reach the Plum Blossom Brothel entrance with staggering steps.
Two people who are carefully going down the stairs stop at the same time.
A large number of young men from the Ilyang Prefecture, each wearing different clothing and carrying various weapons, are crowding the bottom of the stairs.
Some are squatting, laughing, and playing around, but when the two appear, all look at them with murderous eyes.
Cha Sung-tae walks out of the paved passageway and asks toward the Plum Blossom Pavilion entrance from the gap.
“Did he say to kill them?”
Jeon Pung and Han Go-wook look back, wondering who he was talking to. Behind them, Miss Son stands scarily, looking like the ghost of an old maiden who forgot how to speak.
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