The only person who can view this fight objectively is Jang Deuk-soo.
He is surprised when grayish energy flashes like a gust of wind from So Gun-pyeong’s sword.
But the sword of the neighborhood guy who was an errand boy until not long ago is even more remarkable.
The kitchen knife he had used to cut garlic into thin pieces shreds off the gusty wind with a wave of red energy, like that of marinated sauce.
In Jang Deuk-soo’s eyes…
Is it because the kitchen knife won?
The sight is beautiful.
The sight Jang Deuk-soo, who didn’t master martial arts, sees at the end of due is So Gun-pyeong getting knocked out by a kitchen knife while holding onto his bizarre Nanman sword.
At the same time, Jang Deuk-soo drops the pot lid and covers his ears with both hands.
So Gun-pyeong’s body shoots off like an arrow due to the shock, hits the ground, and rolls around.
It is an incredible sight for Jang Deuk-soo.
‘That was so cool.’
Jang Deuk-soo will not have found it surprising if the fight ends right there.
Unexpectedly, So Gun-pyeong is still alive.
The errand-boy-turned-clan-leader rushes in like a bull and proceeds to beat up So Gun-pyeong, who had managed to get to his feet.
Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch…
The battle of the great masters degrades to a fight between local thugs.
“He sure is beating him to a pulp.”
Jang Deuk-soo then notices that something strange is happening.
Jang Deuk-soo has an eye for it now.
The reason why such a strong-looking Unorthodox Faction master is now being beaten unilaterally is probably because he is suffering from internal injuries, as the Kangho warriors say.
In the meantime, his neighborhood brother, a former errand boy, continues to rough up the Unorthodox Faction master mercilessly. He is muttering something to So Gun-pyeong while beating him, but Jang Deuk-soo can’t hear him from this distance.
‘He’s out of his mind, too. What’s he doing?’
Having no understanding of the unfolding situation, Jang Deuk-soo steps forward and says.
“Jeez, Zaha. You can stop now. He’s gonna die.”
His attempt to stop him is also due to thinking that his neighborhood brother might have fallen into hysteria (狂症).
However, it is not an everyday sight for the owner of the Chunyang Restaurant, which sells rice soup, to try and stop the fight between a former errand boy and an Unorthodox Faction master.
I grab onto So Gun-pyeong’s hair and pull him up.
“Pretty tough, huh?”
Meanwhile, So Gun-pyeong looks at me with an expression that seems to ask what the heck am I talking about.
I tighten my grip and say.
“Unorthodox Faction jackass, do you want to come to your senses?”
I sweep my hand across his cheek when he does not respond, and Jang Deuk-soo comes close and says,
“Are you trying to kill him?”
I find Jang Deuk-soo’s words funny, as he worries about the Black Rabbit Union master and a man later known as 18,000 Years.
This is how most people who are only busy making a living are. They are people far detached from the world of Kangho.
Being able to dodge the Fiery Fragrance proves So Gun-pyeong is indeed a professional. However, this guy survived because I intentionally reduced the force injected into the Fiery Fragrance.
“Gun-pyeong, do you feel like surrendering now?”
So Gun-pyeong grins at me.
“Give up? Do I look that pathetic to you?”
“You look super pathetic.”
“How can I surrender to an errand boy? Hit me as much as you want.”
I grin as I grasp So Gun-pyeong’s cheeks.
‘What an amusing dude. Did he survive so long because he always held his head high?’
I use the hand clutching So Gun-pyeong’s cheek to slap him.
With a loud smack, So Gun-pyeong’s face slams on the floor, and then he faints.
“Strong-willed, I see. I like him.”
Jang Deuk-soo asks me as he watches the unconscious man.
“You beat him up, and yet you like him?”
“I beat him up and he still didn’t back down. A man’s true worth is shown after being beaten up.”
“And a person is about to die from revealing that true worth. How are we going to do business now? He looks like an official of the Black Rabbit Union.”
At that, I make eye contact with Jang Deuk-soo and say.
“I told you, code of conduct. All of this…”
“Is the Clan Leader’s doing? It would be nice if that would make things easier for me.”
Then, hearing that a fight had broken out, Cha Sung-tae approaches us and asks.
“Leader, who are you beating up in daylight this time?”
I watch Cha Sung-tae blankly for a moment.
Is it because this town is small?
This guy always appears like a ghost at the end of every fight.
“Do you know him?”
“No, who is he? He looks pretty hot-tempered. It’s the Unorthodox Faction, isn’t it?”
“He’s the Golden Dragon Pavilion Leader of Black Rabbit Union.”
Cha Sung-tae mutters.
“If he’s the Golden Dragon Pavilion Leader, then he ranks pretty high. But why did he come alone? His face is squished flat.”
I look at the man who passed out and predict.
“He must have come alone under the leader’s order.”
“It’ll be embarrassing if he came with support. Because I’m an errand boy.”
“And he’s probably testing the waters. How notorious would the men of Ilyang Prefecture be?”
Perhaps Cha Sung-tae has grown some guts these days. He sticks out his foot and touches So Gun-pyeong’s body.
“He’s still breathing. Should we kill him?”
I look at Cha Sung-tae.
Now that he asked me to kill him, I suddenly didn’t want to kill him anymore.
Fate is mysterious.
And it just feels somewhat awkward to kill the guy with the nickname 18,000 Years with my own hands.
It would feel like killing a turtle that lived for hundreds of years. If he’d survived so long in his previous life, doesn’t it mean he had a life worth living? The life expectancy of Unorthodox Faction warriors is short, after all.
“Take him to an empty pavilion room.”
“Ah, you’re going to torture and kill him?”
I hit Cha Sung-tae on the head for the first time in a while.
“Why does the chief of the Rebirth Sect (生門) keep talking about killing?”
Cha Sung-tae replies with a deadpan look while rubbing his head.
“Ah, that’s what the Rebirth Sect is? I got it.”
“Drag him. Also, take his sword.”
When Cha Sung-tae disappears with the unconscious So Gun-pyeong and his sword, Jang Deuk-soo picks up the kitchen knife on the floor, looks at it, and says in a surprised voice.
“Gasp! Look at this.”
Jang Deuk-soo says as he holds out the kitchen knife.
“He’s indeed a great master.”
I look at the crooked kitchen knife and say.
“Not bad. I’ll buy you a new kitchen knife.”
“It’s fine. I can fix it at the smithy. It’s not like Mister Geum and I don’t know each other.”
“Do whatever you want.”
Jang Deuk-soo says worriedly.
“Isn’t Ilyang Prefecture doomed?”
“No way. The Black Rabbit Union will be doomed. Just focus on yourself.”
“I’ll do that.”
I look around the Zaha Inn construction site after parting with Jang Deuk-soo. To not bother the workers on site, I watch Yeon Ja-seong supervise the construction from a distance and head towards the Plum Blossom Pavilion.
At this point, I wonder if I should barge into the Black Rabbit Union first.
I don’t want to cause damage to those who are just busy making ends meet.
Not all of the Black Rabbit Union know how to pay for their meals like So Gun-pyeong.
I say to Cha Sung-tae, who is standing watch by So Gun-pyeong’s bed.
“Wake him up.”
Cha Sung-tae kicks the bed and says,
“Wake up, asshole. You think this is your house?”
The unconscious So Gun-pyeong opens his eyes quietly as if he is waking up and suddenly sits up, startled.
So Gun-pyeong looks around with astonished eyes and gulps down his saliva.
‘Why am I alive?’
I ask the guy who hasn’t come to his senses yet.
“Gun-pyeong, where is that insane Dae Na-chal?”
“I have no idea. How would I know? Even our master doesn’t know.”
So Gun-pyeong frowns and touches his face while talking. His cheeks are swollen.
“What about the leader of the Black Rabbit Union?”
“He watches over his own clan.”
“I’m asking what he’s up to these days.”
“He’s in training.”
“Is it another ranking match again?”
So Gun-pyeong looks at me, stunned as if asking how I knew that information.
“Why? Is it strange that I know?”
“Of course, it’s strange.”
“The Low-Down Sect knows everything, except the things we don’t.”
So Gun-pyeong furrows his brows because he can’t understand what is being said in his state of confusion.
I am a little proud after I said it.
I have known about it since I returned to the past. I will pass on all the future information and knowledge in my brain to the Low-Down Sect.
Only then will the Low-Down Sect become the strongest sect in Kangho.
It’s all thanks to my return anyway.
Cha Sung-tae echoes what I say while glaring at So Gun-pyeong.
“The Low-Down Sect knows everything.”
I correct Cha Sung-tae’s words.
“That’s not true. We don’t know what we don’t know.”
“The important thing is that we’re able to find out what we don’t know quickly.”
Cha Sung-tae suddenly nags at So Gun-pyeong.
“Do you understand? We find out about what we don’t know. In the end, there’s nothing the Low-Down Sect won’t know. The most powerful intelligence group, that’s us.”
However, So Gun-pyeong doesn’t know what kind of organization the Low-Down Sect is. So Gun-pyeong looked at me and said,
“Just as I expected, you’re no ordinary man. You’re a mole for the Low-Down Sect, right?”
“You said you were an errand boy.”
Cha Sung-tae smacks So Gun-pyeong’s head. With a slap— sound, Cha Sung-tae yells at So Gun-pyeong, who has sprawled on the bed again.
“How dare a rude bastard call our leader an errand boy? Are you out of your mind?”
Cha Sung-tae continues as he looks at me.
“Leader, this bastard has quite the talent.”
I suddenly look at Cha Sung-tae and worry briefly if he might become a stereotypical henchman later.
When So Gun-pyeong jumps up angrily, Cha Sung-tae steps back with a startled look.
“Ah, that scared me.”
So Gun-pyeong seems to have a robust natural body, but his resilience isn’t average either. So Gun-pyeong is not a man Cha Sung-tae can handle alone. However, Sung-tae, who is likely to become a typical henchman in the future, doesn’t back down because I am here as well.
“What are you going to do glaring at me like that? Do you want to die here?”
I then say to Cha Sung-tae.
“Leave us for a bit.”
Cha Sung-tae replies politely.
So Gun-pyeong looks me up and down with new consideration and says.
“You’re the Low-Down Sect Leader? I thought you were an errand boy.”
I look at So Gun-pyeong for a long time and then say,
“Gun-pyeong, cut the nonsense. Have you considered joining me?”
I ask him the question with no expectations.
So Gun-pyeong immediately replies.
“No. How can a wolf pup…”
Join a dog; knowing the end of the sentence, I immediately cut him off.
“Shut up, before I rip off your mouth.”
It is only natural because this is a sloppy sect, So Gun-pyeong had never heard of it. I glare at So Gun-pyeong for a moment without saying a word and then ask an emotionless and stiff question.
“You look like you’ll live a long life. Should I just kill you right now?”
I slowly approach So Gun-pyeong.
So Gun-pyeong can’t answer. He thinks he will die right away if he replies to my question.
I then say with a grin.
“No need to be formal. Answer me carefully. If you want to be killed, I’ll kill you right away. Wolf pup, what? Were you trying to say how you can’t go under a dog? Who made this up? I’ll go find and kill them.”
I think that this is a word that lingers in my mind.
I don’t know why.
I have secret know-how in making him my subordinate.
It is a very effective and historically verified method.
The prime method of collecting disobedient people as subordinates is inspired by when Zhuge Liang caught Meng Huo.
The so-called Capture and Release Seven Times (七縱七擒).
Capture, beat them, let them go, and beat them up again.
My conclusion is that So Gun-pyeong has only been beaten up once.
I utter the thought that is going through my mind.
“… This is why men should read the Three Kingdoms.”
So Gun-pyeong, who does not understand the context of the conversation, is looking at me with fear for the first time.
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