After I change out of my bloodstained clothes and clean my face, I sit around with the chiefs and start drinking.
When I start losing count of how many glasses I have been drinking, Dokgo Saeng, who has been drinking with a tense look, begins to laugh alone.
I watch Dokgo Saeng with a deadpan look.
“Are you out of your mind? Why are you laughing all of a sudden?”
The officials shake their heads as if they don’t know.
“I don’t know.”
“It’s our first time seeing it, too.”
I am witnessing a strange scene.
Dokgo Saeng laughs so awkwardly. He is forcing himself to make a sound. It is as if he is practicing how to laugh. The view is so bizarre that I swallow back my curse.
‘Gosh, crazy bastard.’
After bursting into laughter several times, Dokgo Saeng resumes drinking with his usual tense look.
In the end, he doesn’t even say half a word about what he is thinking and why he laughed.
I don’t ask either.
You can laugh if it’s funny. It’s not a big deal.
Perhaps he is feeling embarrassed for no reason, but then he says.
“I was brought here when I was kidnapped at a young age. I can’t believe this day has come.”
I look at Dokgo Saeng and the chiefs.
“All the people captured alongside me are dead. Some sank with ships in the sea, and some were killed. My only goal was to survive. My wish was to survive longer than the geezers. If I were lucky enough to be stronger, I’d kill them with my own hands. I feel like someone snatched that purpose from me, but in the end, I won.”
If surviving is winning, then Dokgo Saeng is right.
Dokgo Saeng asks me.
“What kind of force is the Low-Down Sect? I’ve never heard of it.”
I take a sip of my glass and reply.
“People work in brothels, errand boys, restaurant owners, smithies, architecture, even Unorthodox Factions. There are people who have nothing to do, as well as people who have a lot to do.”
“What a total mess.”
“Of course it is.”
The stupid chief interrupts.
“We’re a mess, too.”
Everyone nods and admits it.
Even I, who is talkative, listen to many stories from the chiefs while I drink. Dokgo Saeng seemed to be a lonely leader, much like his last name, Dokgo (獨孤). If the people he killed on the boat were on the same side as the elders, he wouldn’t have hesitated to kill. But I don’t bother to ask.
This is the kind of person Dokgo Saeng is.
I stand up as soon as I decide it is the right time to leave.
“You should drink moderately, too. Elders who had their wrist cut off may have other ideas.”
Dokgo Saeng shakes his head as if it is impossible.
“You have already cut off the wrist of all the next strongest elders anyway. They won’t win even if they bring all their lackeys,”
So he had this all planned out. That’s why he went to the elder who was cut off earlier and mocked them.
Dokgo Saeng stands up and dismisses the drinking party before telling the chiefs.
“I’m going to see him off.”
No one stops him.
I watch the compound and realize I have to take a boat if I want to get back quickly.
Dokgo Saeng says he would see me off at the lower stream of the Hornless Dragon River and boards the boat with me.
“…Can I come to Ilyang to report the situation when it’s sorted out?”
“Come to the Black Rabbit Union first, then Ilyang if I’m not present.”
“The Black Rabbit Union?”
“I am the Black Rabbit Union Leader.”
“Are you a member of the Twelve Generals?”
“No, I’m pretending to be one.”
Dokgo Saeng asks.
“To kill Dae Na-chal?”
When I nod, Dokgo Saeng’s face lights up.
“I suppose so.”
“What happens if you die? Can we really open up the precincts and live, just like you said?”
“Do you think I’m going to die?”
Dokgo Saeng glances at me once and replies dryly.
“I don’t think so. You have to return the favor if you receive one and pay it back twice over if you have a grudge. If you need help facing Dae Na-chal, you can call me up.”
“You’re going to help me?”
“Are you looking down at me?”
“It’s better if you stay alive. If you die, the Black Hurricane Castle will be in chaos. Survive in your own way. I’m going to survive on my own.”
I get off the boat downstream of the Hornless Dragon River, and Dokgo Saeng remains.
On the boat, Dokgo Saeng does not utter a word of goodbye.
“Would our lives improve if we broke down the ramparts?”
“You may not see instant change.”
“Is that so?”
“I saw a lot of children on my way to the main hall. They will be better off than you guys.”
Dokgo Saeng nods back.
“Then that’s fine.”
This may be sudden, but the force once known as the Black Hurricane Castle is now under Dokgo Saeng’s lead.
I nod as I look at Dokgo Saeng’s worried expression.
“See you again if I make it out alive.”
I turn around, walk for a time, and look back as I feel a burning stare at the back of my head. Dokgo Saeng is staring at me with folded arms while sitting on the bow of a boat.
‘That scared me.’
Dokgo Saeng releases his arms and waves his hand twice. I’ve never seen someone greet me so awkwardly. When the ship departs, Dokgo Saeng suddenly shouts.
Dokgo Saeng’s mouth goes up awkwardly.
“It’s okay to talk down to me from now on. Take care.”
As the ship moves further, Dokgo Saeng’s figure also disappears from the boat’s bow.
I murmur as I walk on the passage from the mouth of the Hornless Dragon River to the Black Rabbit Union.
As I arrive near the Black Rabbit Union, I sense something is off. Even though it is evening, I don’t hear any screams from the subordinates in training.
‘Is someone here?’
I try to get on the wall but stop.
A master will notice immediately.
I knock on the gate like when I first visited the Black Rabbit Union. Sometime later, a rectangular space opens with a rattle, and a pair of eyes appears. His eyes widen as soon as he sees me, and he opens the door without saying a word.
As I walk in, my subordinate looks me up and down.
The leader left dressed in pristine, white clothes and appears back in shabby clothes, so it can only come off as a surprise.
I ask in a low voice.
“Geum-hae (金亥) is here.”
So you’re saying the Gold Boar belonging to the Twelve Generals is here?
According to the strategy guide, no one knows if he was given the name Gold Boar because of his gluttony or if he’s gluttonous because he’s the Gold Boar.
A fellow who ranks 7th and 8th place back to back.
He is known to have become Dae Na-chal’s disciple due to his natural strength and physical abilities. Manager Byuk also added that he became a disciple because Geum Hae’s family is well-off.
His house is presumed to be a merchant group (商團).
In other words, Geum Hae is a young master who offers the most money to Dae Na-chal.
Perhaps because his interests are only food, there are no records of his causing ruckus like the Yellow Horse, Green Dog, or White Rat. Though the strategy guide is thoroughly organized from Manager Byuk’s point of view, it is also relatively objective. I know about most of them to some extent.
A surprise awaits me when I enter the main hall across from the outer and inner courtyard.
A feast is being served at the long table in the main hall.
A man with a golden pig mask over his head is eating.
The artist who performed Face-Changing (變脸, swipe mask instantly) seems to have taken off their mask for a while for a break, but it also looks like they were sitting down like Zhu Bajie in Journey to the West.
Geum-hae, who must have thought that I am a servant of the Black Rabbit Union, smacks his lips and says,
“Fetch me water over there.”
I answer immediately because pouring water is a specialty of a former errand boy.
As I approach with a kettle, Geum-hae, eating at the end of the table, pinches his nose.
“What is this fishy smell? Put the water down there.”
“Go away. Ugh, disgusting. What is your deal?”
You have to answer well at times like this, but I know the answer because I am an errand boy.
“Ah, that was shockingly unpleasant. Shoo, go.”
I back away.
“You also have no idea where Brother Rabbit has gone?”
“Yes, I don’t know.”
The answer that he went to heaven almost rises past my throat.
For a moment, Geum-hae puts down his chopsticks and covers his nose with his hands. A nasal sound comes out of his mouth.
“Do the servants here not wash up? This is why you end up as a servant.”
‘I can’t wash up if I’m busy, damn it.’
He waves his hand as if to tell me to get lost.
“Go inside and wash up. Tell the others to wait on you. Where did everyone go?”
“I suppose. Where are they? It’s dinner time, so they are probably gathered in the corner of the kitchen eating cold rice with the leftover side dishes.”
That’s what I used to do.
As I babble for a long time for a servant, Geum-hae becomes flustered.
“Then I’ll go wash up.”
“You don’t have to come. Don’t ever show up in front of me again.”
Geum-hae gobbles down enough food for 10 people to eat heartily, almost non-stop.
I go straight to the private bathroom, wash up, head to the changing room, and change into fresh clothes.
I have an idea where my men had disappeared to.
If So Gun-pyeong had teamed up with a few officials, they would be able to handle Geum-hae. With my absence and seeing as Geum-hae is Dae Na-chal’s disciple, they must be hiding somewhere after cooking up a storm for him.
Curious about Geum-hae’s purpose for this visit, I wear the Black Rabbit Union Leader mask, take Black Hare’s Tooth, and head back to the main hall.
Letting out a loud burp, Geum-hae proceeds to look at me.
“Long time no see, Brother Rabbit.”
What is the relationship between the Black Rabbit and Gold Boar like? Gold Boar doesn’t seem to be afraid of Black Rabbit at all.
I point at the food with my chin and then say shortly.
I don’t bother to ask what brought him here because he seems talkative. Geum-hae mumbles words while shoving food in his mouth at the same time.
“Your maids are great cooks. I always eat so much whenever I come here.”
Hearing this out of the blue, I think I should move the maids to Zaha Guest Inn in the future and put them under Jang Deuk-soo. The inn is enormous anyway, so they’ll be short of staff.
Geum-hae drinks water and makes a gulping sound as he swallows.
“You haven’t fought with Brother Baek Yu yet, have you? Our merchant group has obtained a herb. It’s from the West.”
“No buts. He’ll snatch them away if this reaches the master’s ear. Your battle with Brother Baek Yu is approaching. I thought I’d ask if you have any intentions to buy them at an affordable price.”
“What is it?”
“We bought White Flame Herbs (白炎草) in bulk, wow… Some 100-year (百年) White Flame Herbs are also included. I have called an expert for an inspection, and they think it is around 300~400 years, not 100 years.”
Rather than the herb, my ears perk up at the word ‘expert.’
“Who’s the expert?”
“There’s a smart guy in my town.”
“So, who’s the expert?”
“No, why are you interested in a practitioner but not the herbs?”
“How do I know if the man who tested the drug is a quack or not?”
“You think business is run in a day or two? You’re pissing me off. Don’t buy it if you doubt it. Many people are willing to buy it. But I came here to ask you first because I think you’ll need it the most. You don’t even recognize my sincerity.”
“How much is it?”
At my question, Geum-hae pulls the mask over his head and his face.
Geum-hae answers with a smile inside his mask.
“A 300-year White Flame Herb would skyrocket off the roof. You’ve been a trustworthy customer, so let’s settle nicely at 50 gold pieces. I’ll throw in ten boxes of regular White Flame Herbs for you. Give them to your subordinates.”
“Bring them to me.”
Geum-hae answers as he stands up.
“Great choice. I’m sorry to say this, but I was going to make the same deal to Brother Baek Yu if you refused. I’ll help you delay the battle no matter what, so make sure you eat it and fight.”
Geum-hae suddenly mimics fist punches with his hands, making whoosh whoosh sounds with his mouth.
“Go ahead and get the Qi breathing technique ready.”
Perhaps because he’s the son of a merchant group, he is rather persuasive. I look at the table after Geum-hae disappears. It feels like a piglet trampled all over the table.
Plus, I don’t have any money.
I just don’t.
Even if I do, I don’t.
Though it’s not a public organization, I am an underpass beggar when it comes to calculating.
I close my eyes briefly and erase the wealth in Ilyang and the Black Rabbit Union assets from my mind.
The errand boy is a beggar.
A mindset of not giving money even if I have them.
My heart feels at peace.
We're looking for editors, and Korean and Chinese translators, you will be PAID per chapter.
You can use these forms to apply:
This translation is made by fans and while the chapters on our website are free, they cost money to produce. Thus, any form of support would be much appreciated. Also, join us on discord to get release notifications and chat about our series.
Enjoying the series? Rate or review it on Novel Updates