I stayed in Black Rabbit Union and trained my new subordinates day and night. I wasn’t expecting their skills to improve immediately. Still, I hope their mental state would become similar to that of a Rakshasa1, a fiend, or an Asura2. In short, I want their mentality to be both elite and evil.
They mistakenly think I would eventually let them off to some extent.
I have no intention of easing off my training for them.
Gaining a name as a member of the Unorthodox Factions means they have committed heinous things. In the sense of atonement, I train myself, the officials, and subordinates with ferocity as if we are going to break our bodies over and over again.
The same applies to me.
External martial arts training is inherently painful.
Much like how life is all about pain and suffering.
I often exercise and train together with my subordinates. If the leader is in training, no subordinates will dare to express their reluctance.
With this, I’ve thoroughly integrated myself into the Black Rabbit Union.
I am so engrossed in training that I can’t remember whether I was originally the Low-Down Sect Leader, the Black Rabbit Union Leader, an errand boy, or a training instructor.
We are simply trash that is spending all our time practicing martial arts, training, eating, and shitting every day with the aim of eliminating monkeys like Dae Na-chal’s forces and the Black Hurricane Castle.
That’s who we are.
As I am taking a break in the main hall after wrapping up a long morning training session, Manager Byuk, whom I haven’t seen for a while, approaches me with a large number of documents.
“Leader, I have something to report to you.”
I reply while looking at the pile of papers in the hands of Manager Byuk.
“Why are there so many?”
“Please, allow me to explain.”
Manager Byuk sits down and explains the documents. In summary, the documents are reports that summarize the ledger, the current status of the workforce, and business. Honestly speaking, I am not very interested.
When did he take the time to do all this?
However, I compliment Manager Byuk in acknowledgment of his hard work.
“Formidable, indeed. Our Manager Byuk is an excellent talent that serves as the brain, the general, the administrator, and the financial head of the Black Rabbit Union. I need to add another position for you as the finance officer. It’s too much of a waste to leave you as a mere manager.”
I’ve done everything in my power.
I just say a few words of praise, but Manager Byuk’s expression brightens like a sunflower.
Even as the one who complimented him, I am puzzled.
“Thank you, Leader. I was able to work on this happily when you gave me an exemption from the training.”
I nod my head.
‘Hmm, no wonder…….’
But there is something else that Manager Byuk wants to report.
“Please take a look at this as well. I tried to summarize it extensively in one volume.”
I open the book Manager Byuk hands to me, and this time I am in shock due to the extraordinary title.
「Twelve General Strategy Guide (攻掠集)」
A volume is usually a book containing poems and paragraphs. Therefore, the title itself assumes that valuable information, methods, and recommended strategies regarding the Twelve Generals are contained within. I flip through the book with a serious expression and remain in awe. Not only does the volume have detailed writings, but there are also illustrations. The quality is as remarkable as a prestigious faction or clan’s secret scripture.
“Manager Byuk, you have excellent drawing skills.”
Manager Byuk briefly explains the strategy guide with a pleased expression.
“I figured that you might be curious about the physique, the masks, martial arts techniques, and weaponry of the Twelve Generals. I organized everything I knew and wrote it down. I included illustrations as well. It would’ve taken a long time to just write the information, but it wasn’t difficult to compile them all since I enjoy drawing.”
Listening to Manager Byuk, I study the strategy guide avidly.
The portraits of the Twelve Generals are drawn inside in the style of heroes and generals from the Water Margin and the Records of the Three Kingdoms3. In addition, their weaponry, their respective martial arts technique, and their characteristics are also described.
I know a lot about them, but there’s a lot here that I didn’t know about the Twelve Generals since I was never personally involved with them. In particular, I didn’t know that Hong-shin (紅申), the red monkey) is a woman.
“Hong-shin is a woman?”
“Yes, as I have stated in there, she’s a kleptomaniac, so she’s probably stealing from somewhere right now. Hong-shin is a unique disciple who steals items Dae Na-chal commissions her for and uses the commission fee she earned to study martial arts. Hong-shin is known to only train on her movement skills, so you should be careful of her. Although her rank is lower than yours, all the generals take her seriously, as she’s agile and quick on her feet.”
“I see. Is she really that good?”
“There’s bound to be some prodigies who are very talented in one aspect. It seems Hong-shin has a natural talent in agility.”
At that moment, So Gun-Pyeong sticks his head out of the main hall, and I take the chance to say to him.
“Take over the afternoon training, Chief So. I’ll listen to the moans and cries from here.”
So Gun-pyeong replies.
As So Gun-pyeong closes the main hall doors and leaves, Manager Byuk says.
“Leader, allow me to be frank with you.”
“I think we’re starting to look more like a proper group of the Unorthodox Faction. And I’ve been working happily lately.”
I smile internally and reply.
“Our Manager Byuk is excellent as well. Today, I will thoroughly study this book inside out. Did you include information about Dae Na-chal, too?
Manager Byuk replies with a rather proud look.
“Information is typically saved for last (末尾). It’s at the end of the book.”
“As expected, the final boss is saved for last. Very well. I’ll reward you accordingly. Twice the amount from what So Gun-pyeong received.”
“Thank you, Leader. Though I didn’t gather information to get money, I gladly accept your gift.”
As I finish speaking to him, Manager Byuk and I break into laughter together.
I didn’t know Black Rabbit Union had such a talent in place. A talented man like him should be utilized proactively. As I finish organizing the documents, I give Manager Byuk his next task. He’s the type of man who would probably just roam around with a smile if I leave him idle.
Of course, it is a crucial issue, so my voice naturally turns serious.
“Manager Byuk, I have a task for you.”
“I am all ears.”
“I am a man of great ambition. Manager Byuk is like… the Zhuge Liang to my Liu Bei, the Guo Jia to my Cao Cao, and just as outstanding as Lu Su of Wu.”
Manager Byuk answers with a fist and palm salute.
“It doesn’t matter if money goes into this. After hiring more people to gather information, organize the current status of the forces surrounding the Black Rabbit Union, the map of the sect forces, as well as a list of important masters and their characteristics. Organize and write up a big plan for me to be the conqueror of the region. Now, the point here is to organize it however you like. Draw and write to your heart’s content without conforming to any format or structure. I’ll be the judge. I’m not a man who believes in information when I simply see it. But I think Manager Byuk’s skills will be of great help.”
Despite what I said, Manager Byuk grins without muttering a response.
“Why are you smiling again?”
At my question, Manager Byuk replies to me with a look of dignity.
“I am already preparing for it.”
Before realizing it, I let out a loud exclamation as if I had just downed a shot of alcohol. I then applaud him and say
“Good. That’s all for today. Ah, when you hire people.”
“Bring this with you to Ilyang and use it. There are many idlers there.”
This is why the hometown is always the problem.
“I’m quite adaptable. Let’s do that. I will report to you soon.”
It is not until Manager Byuk steps away that Ms. Son, who is waiting nearby, speaks to me in a nervous voice.
“Leader, this is Ms. Son.”
“Hm, yes. Our head maid, Son So-so. What’s the matter? Our eloquent Ms. Son, what brings you here?”
“Someone wearing a mask is waiting for you outside. They’re looking for you.”
“What sort of mask?”
At that moment, the main hall door opens, and So Gun-pyeong, who has come to make the same report, says.
“Leader, Hong-shin (紅申) is here to see you.”
“All right, I’ll be out soon.”
Before leaving the main hall, I quickly scan through the Hong-shin page of the strategy guide.
— Obsessed with movement skills
— Known to be a pathological kleptomaniac. Assumed to have substantial wealth in possession.
— The most recent general to become a disciple but is rapidly rising in rank by winning against some of the generals.
— Has the audacity to claim a draw by using her movement skill to run away from a fight if she is at a disadvantage.
— Rumored to have accumulated Qi by stealing and consuming panaceas.
— Entered into an agreement with Dae Na-chal to help him steal desirable goods in exchange for a secret martial arts scripture of her choice
— Assume that her movement skill is on par with the Four Generals.
I slowly close the strategy guide and put a cold smile on my face.
As I expect, there is not a single factor that can drive me to defeat.
I walk up to the podium and look at Hong-shin, who has come alone without fear.
Hong-shin is dressed in a red-colored attire with a thin piece of outerwear. Since she is wearing a monkey mask, I can’t confirm whether her real face is as ugly as a monkey.
However, her natural body curves and pelvis make clear the fact that she is a woman.
Hong-shin speaks in a stiff voice from under her mask.
“Brother Rabbit, are you doing well?”
I reply with information from the strategy guide without much thought.
“It’s been a while, you thieving bitch.”
“Excuse me? Thieving bitch? That’s rather offensive.”
I guess they didn’t have that kind of relationship. I put my hand inside the mask momentarily and scratch my chin.
“That came out wrong. I must be tired from training lately. Please understand.”
Judging from her sharp voice, it is evidence that Hong-shin is ambitious, competitive, and does not easily open up to others.
“By the way, are you here to challenge me?”
“I came to say hello. Why? Are you afraid that I’ll challenge you?”
I tilt my head.
Hong-shin continues to run her mouth.
“Of course you’re scared. You’ll be up against the shrewd Brother Baek Yu soon. If you give me a hefty allowance like last time, I’ll step down for today.”
I’ve just realized Hong-shin’s method of extorting money is very strategic. It seems like she’s well aware that this isn’t the time for me to overexert myself before my showdown with Baek Yu.
A Junior Sister that extorts money from her Senior Brother, how ridiculous. The Unorthodox Faction is a total mess.
Hong-shin crosses her arms and says,
“Isn’t my skill similar to Brother Rabbit to begin with? You’ll go up against Brother Baek Yu soon, and if you get hurt fighting me, your chances to go up the top four will go up in smoke. Isn’t that so?”
“Are you a beggar? Why do you keep talking about money?”
“You’re going too far today. Ha! I guess we’ll have to settle our score with a fight.”
Hong-shin cheekily holds her hands together and cracks her knuckles before saying.
“Are you ready?”
“Junior Sister, how much do you want?”
Hong-shin’s tone changes instantly at my question.
“Hm, since you earn a lot…….”
“Is this how you rob off all your brothers?”
Hong-shin tilts her head and says.
“Brother Rabbit, you have spoken rather harshly to me today. Your voice sounds off.”
I come up with a random excuse.
“Recently, I have been trying to learn an extreme Yang martial art style, but I injured my throat because I couldn’t control the Qi in my body. My voice has become like this after coming down with a fever.”
Indeed, this woman has an incredible side to her. I can only see her eyes since she’s wearing a mask, but those two eyes are smiling. She must be happy to hear that I have been injured.
Hong-shin suddenly changes her demeanor.
“Since I came all the way here, I have to challenge you myself. If you don’t want to face me, I’ll take 30 silvers (銀子) instead! I won’t even show my face around here in a while. Your stupid subordinates can’t catch me even if you order them to. You know that.”
I snort and slowly loosen the muscles around my mouth.
“Monkey Sister, did you fully understand? I said I mastered an extreme Yang martial arts style.”
“What does that have to do with anything? Master told us to use all means to become stronger. Congratulations on learning a new martial arts style.”
“The extreme Yang martial arts style I’ve learned are literally flames. Everything I touch can be set ablaze. Your thin coat and form-fitting red attire will be burned and expose your naked body. It will be a feast for my men. How dare you challenge me?”
At the threat of burning all her clothes if she challenges me, Hong-shin stares at me for a long time.
The men standing around nearby also look at me with anticipation.
‘So what? I’ll be rooting for you.’
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