The carriage Geum-hae is riding in is intercepted by the Black Rabbit Union lackey’s carriage.
In the entangled chaos of people soothing the surprised horses and yelling, some guy is slapping my subordinate, who is disguised as a coachman.
I’m infuriated not because my subordinate is being slapped.
But because coachmen are also a part of the Low-Down Sect.
Therefore, instead of a Black Rabbit Union’s lackey, it feels like an ordinary coachman is getting beaten up.
Without losing speed in my footwork, I leap into the air.
The Flying kick is an attack skill ordinary boys between 7 and 8 can learn and a tactic that can be easily used until the age of 80.
No wonder it is called the representative martial arts of incompetent people.
And as the representative of the incompetent, of course, I use the flying kick.
Extend the right leg while your body is flying in the air.
Fold the left foot slightly to shift your weight to maintain balance.
It is better to stretch your right arm parallel to your right foot.
With the fist of your left hand slightly curled, pull it like a bow as if you are preparing for a counterattack.
Getting into this position will become a perfect flying kick that can render even Murim Alliance instructors speechless.
With a sound of a slap, the guy slapping my subordinate across the face is hurled far away, capturing everyone’s attention.
Geum-hae is wearing a mask, so I can’t see his expression, but he is looking at me anyway.
“What’s a stinky servant doing here?”
“Stinky servant… You’re right. But I can’t stand your mockery, especially when I came here after washing up.”
“What are you going on about? You think I’ll let you off just because you’re Brother’s servant?”
Then, the man who got hurled by my flying kick that had no internal Qi approaches me.
“I will take it from here, young master.”
With my arms crossed, I move tremendously fast and kick the approaching swordsman sideways. The swordsman manages to draw his sword out halfway but gets kicked once again. He soars through the air and lands on the floor.
Perhaps he’d passed out this time as he lays there quietly.
No internal Qi was injected into the flying kick, but internal Qi was channeled in the side kick.
That’s the difference.
If he didn’t understand that I let him off the hook, I’d have to hit him for real.
Geum-hae scratches his cheeks that are sticking out of his mask. He seems to be worried about something upon seeing my skills.
“I’m going to report your antics to Brother.”
Sensing something is off, Geum-hae carefully scans the coachmen’s faces and atmosphere and says.
“So you’re doing this on purpose. You must know that I am Master Dae Na-chal’s disciple and a member of the Gold Mountain Guild (金山商團). If you are Brother Rabbit’s men, the whole Black Rabbit Union will have to bear my master’s wrath. If you are paid to do this, our guild will find out. I have an appointment today. Just know you’re lucky to get away today. Now leave.”
Geum-hae points his finger at me.
“And you, you don’t seem like a servant at all. I can easily find out who you are with money anyway.”
Geum-hae must think I am a spy who infiltrated the Black Rabbit Union from the outside. If he’s smart, he would’ve come up with various variables.
I nod as I approach Geum-hae.
“Do as you please.”
“Don’t come near me. You stink.”
I say as I walk nearer to Geum-hae.
“I told you I washed up. You’re clearly asking for it. Corner him, don’t let him get away.”
The men back away and get in position at different corners.
In the meantime, Geum-hae and I have a staring contest.
If Geum-hae’s martial art skills are at about the 7th or 8th place, it means he ranks around the middle amongst the Twelve Generals.
Geum-hae looks at me and quickly stretches his right palm.
Instantly, I also extend my left palm in response.
With a tearing sound, the palm duel begins.
The two of us withdraw internal Qi forcefully at the same time, unleashing gusts of wind. The hem of Geum-hae’s flabby clothes expands instantaneously as if filled with air.
The reason why Geum-hae decides to go for a palm duel is that he’s the son of the merchant group.
What I mean by this is…
He’s the young master of a well-off family, so he is more confident in a fight using internal cultivation than a physical one.
Of course, that is a grave mistake as he doesn’t know who I am.
The problem is Geum-hae doesn’t expect it, and I didn’t see it coming either…
The Heavenly Pearl’s absorption phenomenon is happening.
Is it because the opponent’s palm (掌心, the center of the palm) and my palm are precisely facing each other?
Geum-hae’s internal Qi is absorbed in a moment through my palm.
Startled, Geum-hae swings his left palm, causing me to counter it using my right palm.
The speed at which the internal Qi is being absorbed becomes faster.
Both of our feet sink in the aftermath of the shock.
In the process of two powerful palm forces being interlocked, fused, and absorbed, even if he’s about to faint from the shock, Geum-hae has no choice but to go all out.
As Geum-hae’s body trembles, b-zak — the golden pig mask cracks with a tearing sound.
Only then am I able to see Geum-hae’s face.
His face, which looks like it never went through any hardships, is pouring with sweat. He finally opens his mouth.
“Let… Let go!”
Here I notice the selfish nature of the Heavenly Pearl.
It is simply inhaling the opponent’s internal Qi mercilessly.
However, if I halt the process on a whim, I might sustain internal injuries from Geum-hae’s extended palms.
Because of that, I can come to my senses.
If I don’t stop this soon, Geum-hae will lose his life. I did say I would get rid of the Twelve Generals, so killing Geum-hae isn’t a big deal.
But I don’t want this guy’s spirit or ghost to be stuck in the Heavenly Pearl.
If that happens, I’ll be no better than the Demon Cult Leader.
All I am is a man who wants to live my way. I don’t want to be a monster like the Demon Cult Leader.
Fortunately, when Geum-hae’s internal Qi is absorbed into the Heavenly Pearl to some degree, the palm force Geum-hae unleashes weakens significantly.
Without much effort, I cease Heavenly Pearl’s absorption on my own. Then, staggering backward, Geum-hae falls on his butt.
I scratch the back of my head for a moment.
‘I came here to steal money, but I ended up stealing internal Qi.’
Geum-hae looks at me like he has just lost everything.
“What the heck did you do?”
Does he even know that I kindly went out of my way to save him?
Can there be another hero as chivalrous as me, I wonder?
I tell Geum-hae.
“You were the one who attacked first. And I blocked it. You would have died if I hadn’t pushed you away because of my unique martial arts. You should know better that I stopped the palm duel on purpose. Do you want me to absorb the rest of your Qi?”
I squat down and look into his eyes.
Geum-hae looks at me with a rattled expression.
I order my subordinates.
“Check the carriage. We should see it to the end now that we’re here.”
“Stop! There are things in there that go to General Baek Yu. Do you think you can handle the consequences?”
“To General Baek Yu?”
Is Geum-hae trying to threaten me, or is it a slip of the tongue?
I reply while listening to the reports from my subordinates.
“Bring me that little box.”
A guy runs over with a small box and opens it even though I don’t ask him to.
It has the same century-old White Flame Herb I bought, but four roots are inside.
I say with a startled look.
“You have a nasty way of doing business. Sell three roots to Black Rabbit, and sneak four roots to the White Rooster. So you’re going to kick start the sparring gamble and destroy the Black Rabbit Union once and for all. Is that it?.”
Geum-hae responds with a smirk.
“Do you have proof?”
I say as I slap Geum-hae across the face.
“I don’t, you jerk. What do you guys think?”
My subordinates answer.
“Isn’t that match-fixing, instead of determining ranks with martial art? I can’t believe there is a merchant who would play such a sick joke. This is despicable even if we’re part of the Unorthodox Faction.”
My subordinates hit the nail on the head.
I say while scowling at Geum-hae.
“I was just going to rob you. But at this rate, you’ll infuriate the leader of the Black Rabbit Union and Dae Na-chal. And the Gold Mountain Guild will be thrown into chaos. Suppose the Black Rabbit Union Leader finds out. In that case, he will mobilize the entire clan to exterminate Gold Mountain, and Dae Na-chal will do nothing. Do you know why?
A smart subordinate replies.
“Wouldn’t he stay still if you offer him half the Gold Mountain Guild’s assets?”
Geum-hae is more afraid of damaging his family’s Gold Mountain Guild than getting humiliated.
His face turns pale white.
Geum-hae doesn’t seem to know how to make threats, so I show him an example.
“Should I rat you out to the Black Rabbit Union Leader? Or should I tell Dae Na-chal? You choose. I don’t mind both. How about you guys?”
The subordinates retort here and there.
“We like it, too.”
“What if we tell both?”
I shake my head.
“It would be boring that way. I’m trying to live a fun life, but doing that will spoil the fun. General Geum-hae, time’s up. Which is it.”
I say as I pretend to tap a little drum with my hand.
“Drum roll, hurry up, and choose.”
Geum-hae continues with a troubled look.
“If you hold a grudge against me, I’d already be dead by now. You’re humiliating me not because of hate but my family’s fortune. Let’s be honest about what we want. If you don’t tell the master, I’ll bring you as much money as you want.”
Before I can answer, I hear an exhausted voice across the street.
“Brother, I’m back.”
The eyes of the subordinates shift in unison.
Hong-shin is walking with a tired face and holding someone’s mask in her hands. Hong-shin doesn’t look well. Blood is stained on the forearm and parts of her clothes.
Even Geum-hae looks at Hong-shin with astonishment.
“Why are you here?”
Hong-shin replies as she looks at Geum-hae.
“Did you get caught, too?”
Hong-shin hands over the blood-stained mask of Green Dog (綠戌).
“The raid failed, but I fought him and sorted the ranks. He’s in heaven. Can you take pity on your poor sister and give me the antidote? I couldn’t fight him properly because I had to use the bathroom. Please have mercy. Diarrhea keeps…”
I reply as I stand up.
“Good work, Red Sister. I’ll keep my promise.”
Geum-hae glances at me again and asks.
“Who are you?”
As soon as I glower at Geum-hae, Hong-shin, who has dark under-eyes from diarrhea, slaps Geum-hae.
“How dare you talk down to your brother?”
I nod as I look at Hong-shin.
“Good job, Sister.”
I look around and wrap up the situation.
“Good. Now load all the boxes back into Geum-hae’s carriage. Clean up the rest and head back. Take the unconscious guy with you and free him later. Red Sister, Geum-hae, and I have somewhere to go, so let’s part here.”
I kick Geum-hae’s butt and say.
“Call your coachman over. We have a place to go.”
When Geum-hae tries to retort with that mouth of his, I look at Hong-shin.
Then Hong-shin raises her hand without saying a word.
“Gold Pig, don’t ever question your brother.”
Despite not saying a word as he stands up, Geum-hae gets another slap from Hong-shin.
I look back and forth between Geum-hae and Hong-shin.
Was Geum-hae always under Hong-shin’s thumb? Or is he holding back after having his internal Qi stolen?
In any case, Hong-shin is lashing out at Geum-hae after what she’d experienced from me.
I interrupt the childish duo with a gentle voice.
“Disciples shouldn’t beat each other so much.”
Geum-hae looks at me with his hands on his cheek while Hong-shin lowers her head slightly.
“I will keep that in mind.”
The three of us enter the carriage. Hong-shin and Geum-hae sit side by side while I sit across them.
The coachman asks.
“Where would you like to go?”
I reply in a dignified tone.
“Red Sister just used her sword, and Gold Brother is injured. Of course, we should head for the clinic.”
“Which clinic should I go to?”
“I’m sure there’s one your young master frequents.”
“Oh, I will take you there.”
I reach out to Hong-shin, and she places Green Dog’s mask on my hand. Has she reached the point of knowing what I want by looking at my eyes? She gets it right away.
I wear Green Dog’s mask slowly on purpose.….
Hong-shin bows in a fist and palm salute and says.
“Greetings, Green Brother.”
Having witnessed the scene, Geum-hae’s eyes are shaking.
Still, in the same fist and palm salute, Hong-shin stares at Geum-hae with a frown. Thinking he might get slapped again if this keeps up, he wriggles himself into an awkward position and salutes.
“Greetings, Green Brother.”
I reply with a stern face and an authoritative voice.
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