I haven’t seen many Unorthodox Factions that kill their subordinates like this.
The fight begins messily after I said I would only spare one person and ends after Dokgo Saeng kills all his subordinates. He looks back at me with blood on his face and fringe.
“I killed them all. Will you spare me as promised?”
This guy doesn’t believe me to the end. He might even jump into the river after weighing the situation.
I think Dokgo Saeng’s psyche is impressive.
“I’ll spare you.”
Only then did Dokgo Saeng slump down on the deck and exhale a sigh of relief.
“How is the Black Hurricane Castle these days?”
Dokgo Saeng replies in his usual sharp voice.
“How else? It’s full of idiots. Can I run away now? Or should I keep cleaning up after you?”
“Where do you think you’re going? I kept you alive to guide me.”
“All right. What about the sailors?”
Dokgo Saeng points at the trembling sailors with his bloody sword. He is asking me if he should kill them all.
Of course, I shake my head.
“Don’t kill those who are doing their job.”
Dokgo Saeng nods, gets up as if the break is over, and throws the dead men into the river.
A series of thumps sound continuously.
I have one question about Dokgo Saeng’s strange way of handling things.
“You said there are 600 people? Did you expect me to survive in the Black Hurricane Castle?”
Dokgo Saeng replies as he throws the bodies into the river.
“How will I know? As soon as I saw you, I knew you were crazy. I thought you would kill us all. I don’t know what will happen next.”
Indeed, admitting not knowing what will happen next is an answer by a true man.
A while later, the ship docks near the Ancient Black Sand Fortress (黑砂古城). After Dokgo Saeng and I get off the ship, we head for the Black Hurricane Castle.
The quarters of the Black Hurricane Castle are laid out like a clan village inside a massive wall built by ethnic minorities to fight against foreign powers.
It is said that old sailors and fishermen gathered in twos and threes and spent time gambling during days of rough weather. Surprisingly, the Black Hurricane Castle started from that small gambling den. At first, the founder of the Black Hurricane Castle operated to protect fishermen before focusing on the gambling business.
Their intention to protect the fishermen is similar to why I created the Low-Down Sect.
However, the business that started as a gambling den has expanded to include control of auctions, gambling, and blocking waterways to collect tolls. So, the Black Hurricane Castle is both an Unorthodox Faction and a pirate crew.
Looking back to the beginning of the force that now extorts the powerless shows that they were once powerless as well.
Dokgo Saeng holds out his sword to his subordinates who are guarding the fortress’ gate.
“I brought Lee Zaha, as the leader ordered. Open the door.”
The gatekeeper hurriedly opens the door without saying a word. Dokgo Saeng must be quite the big shot in the Black Hurricane Castle.
As he enters the precincts of the Black Hurricane Castle, Dokgo Saeng asks.
“How long should I accompany you? I’d like to leave in advance.”
“Do it until I leave the Black Hurricane Castle.”
Dokgo Saeng replies with a frown.
The unusual thing about Dokgo Saeng is that while he is afraid of me, he never speaks formally and maintains an attitude of a man who would keep his word unconditionally.
When someone talked to me or asked me who I was, Dokgo Saeng would draw out his bloody sword first.
“We’re busy, so mind your own business. Get out of the way before I carve up your faces, go, shoo!”
Dokgo Saeng goes through the precincts of the Black Hurricane Castle in a straight line, much like how Guan Yu overcame all obstacles.
There are certainly a lot of people inside the Black Hurricane Castle.
People keep asking who I am and sometimes ask me to stop, but Dokgo Saeng makes them step back by drawing his sword and swearing.
It is true that there are 600 people, but not all of them are warriors. If all 600 people in here were Kangho warriors, the Black Hurricane Castle would’ve become one of the most powerful Unorthodox forces in the central district. But the 600 mentioned by the dead man on the boat include those who simply make a living in the precincts.
Dokgo Saeng finally points to a building ahead and says.
“I’ll go ahead and report first, so take your time. I won’t run away. If you survive and escape the Black Hurricane Castle, you must save me as promised.”
Should I say he has a strong will to survive? Or should I say that it’s the eccentricity of a crazy bastard?
Dokgo Saeng picks up his pace. He is probably expected to give notice inside of my arrival, and so I stay nearby.
The guard at the entrance to the main quarters says to Dokgo Saeng.
“Chief Dokgo, what’s going on?”
“I brought Lee Zaha here. Tell the leader.”
“Who is Lee Zaha?”
“The one who killed Chief Wi.”
I look around and enter the largest building in the precincts. Perhaps because they are people who make money through gambling, the atmosphere inside the shabby fortress walls is brighter than expected.
The atmosphere seems to have been excessively built to save the leader’s face.
However, the main hall is as empty as looking inside a barracks set up on a battlefield. The head seat for the commander-in-chief is provided, with chairs lining up to the left and right. All kinds of weapons are also displayed on the left wall.
Perhaps a meeting has just ended. The Black Hurricane Castle officials are talking in hushed murmurs inside the hall. I scan the inside and say.
“They’re all a bunch of old geezers.”
It is an atmosphere of an elders gathering instead of normal officials. An official who has been briefed tells his subordinate.
“Inform the leader he has to come back here.”
The noisy atmosphere quickly clears up, and everyone sits in their chairs with their mouths shut or moves to the wall to wait like guards.
I am looking for a chair and will speak to the official at the very end.
“Give me your chair.”
I whack the guy looking up at me without a word and toss him out of his chair. With a crash, the man rolls to the floor and jumps up. As I drag the chair to the center, a man seated near the seat of honor speaks.
“You, stand at the back.”
The man whose chair was snatched gently backs away to the wall and stares at me silently.
As I remain in my seat and look around, I spot Dokgo Saeng leaning against the wall.
Not long afterward, the leader of the Black Hurricane Castle walks out.
Looking over the age of 60, he has dark skin and white eyebrows.
The officials look at me all at once, and the Black Hurricane Castle Leader also looks at me as he sits on the high seat.
“Lee Zaha, thank you for coming all the way here.”
I nod and reply.
“I said I’d come next time, but your men had to drag me here.”
“Who brought you here?”
Leaning against the wall, Dokgo Saeng replies.
“It’s me, Leader.”
The Black Hurricane Castle Leader looks at Dokgo Saeng and says,
“You’ve done well, Dokgo Saeng. Good work.”
To my surprise, Dokgo Saeng responds.
“Stop joking around. It’s lame.”
As Dokgo Saeng utters nonsense, the other officials curse at him in unison.
“Will that rude fellow finally come to his senses when his mouth is torn?”
The leader raises his hand and quells the commotion.
“Lee Zaha of Ilyang is here, so let’s hear what we should do about him.”
Everyone suddenly shut their mouths at the leader’s question.
“If you have none, I will take care of it.”
“Lee Zaha, you killed three Black Hurricane Castle members. I was told your house was burned down, is that correct?”
I, too, have a faint memory of the incident.
It’s not a big deal, so it doesn’t dwell in my memory.
The Black Hurricane Castle Leader says.
“Our men made the first move, so we will let you off after taking three of your fingers.”
What kind of weird judgment is this?
I lift three of my fingers and reply.
“You can’t just cut off the fingers my parents have given me. Pass.”
The Black Hurricane Castle Leader nods.
“Then let’s settle with one hundred gold pieces and one finger. Lee Zaha, you should repay us the damages under our supervision. That will be all.”
It seems that the Black Hurricane Castle Leader lives like a king.
He waves his hand a few times as if to motion me out since the ruling is over.
I let out a sigh.
Fellow Kangho comrades, this world is full of nutjobs.
The other officials comply with their leader’s ruling as if the small trial has ended smoothly.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
I sigh and say.
“I don’t have that kind of money. Even if I did, I wouldn’t give it to you either way.”
The officials raise their hips off the chair before sitting back down, glaring at me.
This time, the Black Hurricane Castle Leader also stares at me with an unpleasant look.
“Lee Zaha, did you come here without knowing what this place is?”
“I didn’t. That’s why I came by boat.”
“The Black Hurricane Castle will get our money, one way or another. Your family is going to have to pay for it. Is that alright with you?”
“I don’t have a family. I long for family. And some noodles, too.”
“If you don’t have a family, we will take it from the people of Ilyang. Is that what you want?”
I call out to Dokgo Saeng, who is leaning against the wall.
“Dokgo Saeng, you son of a gun, come here.”
Dokgo Saeng replies with a frown.
“Why the heck did you call for me?”
I extend my hand to Dokgo Saeng and say.
“Give it to me.”
Dokgo Saeng strides up and hands me the sword while grumbling before returning to the wall.
I speak to the Black Hurricane Castle Leader while holding Dokgo Saeng’s sword.
“Old man, are you crazy?”
These guys are crazy to the point where I am slightly flustered despite having lived as the Crazy Demon in my past life. I look at the officials and say/
“You’re just a whole bunch of whackjobs.”
Meanwhile, Black Hurricane Castle Leader says calmly.
“It’s been more than a decade since the officials and I saw blood in person.”
An official interrupts.
“Shut up. But I was never one to back down from a fight. Without making other suggestions. Do you want to end it like this?”
Looking at it now, all the people in the official chairs look well over 40. Most of the guys waiting near the wall are young.
Is this an Unorthodox Faction that respects elders? It seems they have thoroughly blocked the outside world and made laws to follow among themselves.
“How many officials are here?”
Dokgo Saeng replies instantly.
“Including the leader, 21 people.”
I get up with the sword and say to Black Hurricane Castle Leader.
“Old man, you can either crawl over with your knees or lick my feet. Or all 21 people will die. Make your choice.”
I suddenly feel irritated that my past life memories are a blur. The Black Hurricane Castle was exterminated by a master while studying martial arts, but I can’t remember who it was.
It wasn’t me anyway. At that time, I was dragged around by a problematic person to learn martial arts.
These guys are a force worthy of being exterminated.
Their ancestors built walls near the river to block foreign invasion, which is unique and unusual.
It is safe to say that these people’s attitude of convicting outsiders naturally was not an Unorthodox Faction’s attitude but of a small dictatorship.
I feel like I’m in a kingdom full of crazy people.
When the Black Hurricane Castle Leader rises, two waiting subordinates approach and hold out a gourd each.
The leader clicks his tongue after holding a gourd in both hands.
“Young man, is it really necessary to see blood?”
The rest of the elders get up from their chairs and walks to where the weapons are displayed before taking one each. I watch the weapons the elders are holding with a blank face.
Three Spike Sword, Ring Blade, Saber, Long sword, Judge’s Pen, Cheolgon, Nangabong Peak, Gu Gyeomchang…….
As most of them turn around, they are holding onto something like an iron skewer. That is probably a harpoon.
Dokgo Saeng says.
“This place is small as heck. Do you have to fight here?”
At this time, an elder holding a steel skewer throws it toward Dokgo Saeng’s forehead. As Dokgo Saeng dodges to the side, the stick is stuck in the wall with a thump.
Dokgo Saeng says with his eyes wide open.
“You bloody old man.”
The elder who threw the skewer replies with a calm expression.
“Shut up. Before I kill you.”
Then, Dokgo Saeng says the words that are sent straight to my ears.
“Try me. You’ve only got seven fingers left anyway.”
If the Black Hurricane Castle kills one of their own, they cut off one finger. I can’t tell whether this is the right decision or not.
Anyway, I am greatly impressed by all these Black Hurricane Castle shenanigans.
“Wow, you guys are seriously nutjobs.”
As many as 20 old Kangho warriors rush toward me while the Black Hurricane Castle Leader stands still like a chief commander.
As the weapons come crashing in, Three Spike Sword, Ring Blade, sticks, swords…….
I wield the sword, too.
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