Having witnessed many riches and possessions entering the Plum Blossom Pavilion, Cha Sung-tae appears with an ashen face.
“What’s that stuff that’s moving from outside? Where did you get all that? Have you started stealing, too?”
“It’s the funds hoarded by the chief of the Golden Phoenix Pavilion. That money will also go into construction of buildings, like the inn.”
“You brought the money from the Black Rabbit Union here?”
Cha Sung-tae is puzzled.
“Because I wanted to. As an errand boy, the leader of the Low-Down Sect, and a thief.”
“I understand where you’re coming from, but what if the Black Rabbit Union invades Ilyang Province because of this? The Black Rabbit Union takes money, they’re not the ones to be stolen from. They’re the type of people that beat the money out of thieves.”
“I’m good at beating, too, wouldn’t it be okay?”
I have killed the Cho brothers, the Black Hurricane Castle scums, and the Golden Phoenix Pavilion Leader, but I have yet to break a sweat.
Furthermore, now is a time when the Black Rabbit Union Leader could not be bothered with the Ilyang Prefecture. He probably doesn’t even have enough time to train.
But the situation will only become stranger if I have to make long explanations about this, so I need to change the topic.
“If the Black Rabbit Union marches in, I’ll just beat up their leader.”
“Beat up? Sounds good.”
“I can also bind and torture the Union Leader. Or make the Union Leader work under me.”
“Work under you? What a great idea. Torture? Woah, that’s brilliant. I shouldn’t have been worried.”
“Or I can kill him. I have many ways to handle him.”
While everyone who overhears me sighs and avoids my eyes, Cha Sung-tae mutters blankly.
“At least say something sensible to put us at ease. Sigh…”
I look at Cha Sung-tae and reply briefly.
“I can do it.”
I’m used to getting doubtful stares, but there’s a need to reassure people.
“Very well. Our pitiful peasants must be worried. I understand. Tell the heads of the Low-Down Sect sub-sects to meet me at the empty space of the inn. I’ll have to ease your anxiety.”
“Wait, who are the heads? I’m still not quite sure yet.”
In fact, just like Cha Sung-tae, I still have no idea who the heads are in the future. I’ll be busy walking around and recruiting people from the lower class. The Low-Down Sect will be composed of working people. In that sense, it’s also a Labor Sect (勞動門).
There is no distinction of class (貴賤) in work.
However, there are many class and power distinctions in Kangho, so it is regarded as the norm.
That’s why most of Kangho is my enemy.
“First is Jang Deuk-soo, head of the Vendor Sect.”
“Huh? Brother Deuk-soo?”
“Are you looking down on him?”
“Oh, not at all. His rice soups are delicious.”
“Mister Geum Chul-yong of the Blacksmith Sect, and Yeon Ja-seong of the Architectural Sect. Bring these three.”
“Hm, then who’s in charge of the procession earlier?”
“Forget it. We have to wait and see.”
A bonfire is lit in the empty lot of Zaha Inn, where construction is taking place, and the sub-sect leaders and I sit in a circle.
Geum Chul-yong says.
“I heard you have something to tell us.”
I choose to speak formally because Geum Chul-yong is present.
“I’d like to tell you the code of conduct of the Low-Down Sect. Please excuse me if I ramble on. This is not me trying to play nice. I just hope everyone can share the same sentiments with me.”
As I watch the firewood crackle, I say.
“Going forward, anything that happens in the Low-Down Sect will be my responsibility. If a problem arises, say that it was your leader’s doing. If someone comes and asks about my whereabouts, just tell them. If someone interrogates you about something, say that only the Low-Down Sect Leader knows. This is the first rule of the Low-Down Sect’s code of conduct.”
In short, everything is my responsibility.
I finish speaking and look at the leaders for a moment. As I expected, they are glancing at each other with expressions that say, ‘what the hell is he talking about?’.
Geum Chul-yong, the eldest of the bunch, asks for confirmation.
“You want us to blame you for everything?”
Geum Chul-yong then tilts his head and says.
“How can you possibly call that a code of conduct? Explain.”
“Okay, hear me out. I’m no good at making chicken noodle soup, so I devoted myself to training martial arts.”
“Is that true?”
“Let’s move on. Mister Geum, who runs the smithy, and Deuk-soo hyung, who runs the Chunyang Restaurant, will have no business in Kangho. Not now, and not in the future. Isn’t that right?”
Both of them nod.
“Why would we be involved with Kangho?”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
I then look at Yeon Ja-sung and Cha Sung-tae and say.
“The same goes for these two.”
Cha Sung-tae thinks to himself, ‘Not me?’ but he doesn’t open his mouth because of the atmosphere.
“This also applies to the majority of the Low-Down Sect. But I’m different. With that being said, errand boys of the world, bodyguards, wagoners, those who make weaponry, food, and daily necessities, and merchants have died endlessly in the hands of the warriors of Kangho. The injustice is immeasurable. And it will probably be the same in the future. Through the Low-Down Sect… not just one or two people but I want to stop all the killing if possible. Whenever people die unjustly, I will face the adversaries, whoever it might be.”
When I was still the Crazy Demon, countless innocent people died whenever a fight broke out between the Demon Cult and the Murim Alliance or the Unorthodox and Orthodox Factions. In many cases, they were just collateral damage.
I have no sympathy for the mad monkeys fighting and dying among themselves.
However, I cannot accept the senselessness of an errand boy who only serves alcohol and snacks that gets beaten to death for no particular reason.
Geum Chul-yong asks.
“I do get what you mean, but what does it have to do with Kangho?”
Geum Chul-yong still seems confused at my explanation.
I continue my words.
“It does. I’ll know if the injured or the dead are part of the Low-Down Sect. If someone is killed by the Unorthodox Faction, I will kill them in return. If he killed them, I would kill them before they can bring it up to the Murim Alliance. That’s how I’ll guard over ordinary working people. It’s just that…”
I take a look at those in front of me.
“I know that by protecting the weak we will inevitably run into problems with established factions. No matter who I fight against, I can make a name for myself. Because I will be a spokesperson for the weak.”
In my past life, I gained the name ‘Crazy Demon’ without much pretext.
Thanks to this, I was too easily criticized and blamed for no reason.
People said I was insane no matter what I did, and I was accused of crimes I didn’t even commit.
To be honest, there are many times when I didn’t even bother to clear my name.
On top of that, I had quite a temper and became an enemy of the alliance in no time.
But I don’t want that anymore.
Who could understand why I was training to kill the Demon Cult Leader while running away from the Murim Alliance?
Things are different now.
If you don’t seize the rare opportunity, you’re a fool, not a madman.
Yeon Ja-seong replies first.
Cha Sung-tae raises his hand and says.
“There’s something I don’t understand… Wouldn’t the leader have to be incredibly strong for the code of conduct to mean anything? Let’s say the Black Rabbit Union comes marching in tomorrow. According to the code of conduct, we must confess that this was all done by the leader. No, forget about the Black Rabbit Union. How will you deal with all the sects and masters out there?”
I hold my breath, glance at those waiting for my answer, and blurt out something rather outrageous.
“As long as I am unrivaled, there won’t be any problems.”
Grave silence falls over the group.
Cha Sung-tae hurriedly covers his hand over his mouth but fails to conceal the ‘pfft’ sound from his mouth.
As a signal, Geum Chul-yong bursts into laughter, Jang Deuk-soo laughs as he hugs his stomach, and even Yeon Ja-sung smiles. Subsequently, as Cha Sung-tae bursts into laughter as if he had gained courage, the sub-sect leaders break into a huge fit of laughter.
“In the Ilyang Prefecture… Unrivaled…”
“An errand boy bastard… Ah, I’m sorry.”
I smile gently as I watch the leaders laugh.
Actually, I find it funny, too.
An errand boy becoming unrivalled…
Eventually, I burst into laughter with the leaders.
I laughed for a long time before turning dour at Cha Sung-tae.
“You should laugh moderately. Do you have a death wish? This bastard even teared up.”
Geum Chul-yong says as if he’d felt better from just listening to me.
“You’re still young, so if you work hard every day, you’ll be a master famous throughout Kangho in a few decades. After all, a man should have great ambitions. I support our leader.”
Yeon Ja-seong says with innocent eyes as if he held no doubts.
“I’ll support you too. Be unrivaled. I will be a loyal supporter of the Low-Down Sect and its leader.”
Since Yeon Ja-seong’s ambition is to be the best in architecture, I am determined to support this mindset.
My eyes turn to Jang Deuk-soo, who is staying silent.
This is how Jang Deuk-soo felt.
‘It’s not like being unrivaled is a child’s joke.’
I watch Jang Deuk-soo’s complicated expression and say,
“Looks like Brother Deuk-soo thinks it’s impossible.”
Jang Deuk-soo is an honest man, so he answers with a nod.
“Don’t you think so?”
“What do you mean?”
“There are countless sects, powerful masters, and established clans in Kangho, not to mention martial art prodigies. I heard most of them train in martial arts before they could even walk.”
“That’s generally true.”
Jang Deuk-soo expresses his thoughts in words he must have heard from somewhere.
“They say that he who is unrivaled is sent by the heavens.”
The unrivalled is the man who has descended from heaven.
And the man picked by the mysterious man in the sky is me.
The mindset is more important than the outcome.
“Actually, it’s not important whether I become unrivaled or not. The only thing that matters is how hard I work for it. A true man sets his goals and sticks to them. Lee Zaha, the errand boy, will strive to be the best in the world, but what will you all aim to become?”
I point my finger at the leaders and say.
“Please give it some serious thought.”
I suddenly wonder if I am still the man called the Crazy Demon at this point.
However, I am who I am.
I didn’t have any plans in my past life, but this time I do.
I have to take good care of the Low-Down Sect, so it is ready to fight the Murim Alliance and take on the Demon Cult. If I represent the weak, I will not become the alliance’s enemy as I did before.
Only with a purpose…
I can fight alongside the Orthodox Faction for justice.
And go against the crazed monkeys of the Demon Cult.
I can then either beat those in the Unorthodox Factions to death or keep them as my subordinates.
This is the power of having a purpose.
When someone pushes a different belief from the rest of the world.
Success leads to revolution, and failure leads to madness.
In this lifetime, I will become a successful madman.
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