Dae Na-chal eventually laughs.
“That’s certainly not something a disciple of mine can say. Bastard, show your face. It’s no use covering your face anymore.”
I get an even stronger desire not to take it off when I hear his order.
The person who never listens to bossy demands, that’s me.
“I am not your slave. It’s not like I’ll take it off just cause I’m told to. Why are you making someone you just met take something off, perverted old man?”
Calling him a pervert is just a distraction. It’s calling him ‘old’ that is the trump card.
“Whether it’s the dead or the master, all of you think like morons.”
The way he smiles is quite revolting, so I mutter shortly.
“Ugh, so creepy.”
I’ve met many demonic factions in my past life, so I’ve seen a lot of people whose appearances become uncanny as they learn martial arts. Nevertheless, his laughter is enough to place him atop the list of the peculiar people I hate to see. Probably because he often orders people to kill after he laughs like that.
He’s not Dae Na-chal for nothing. His appearance and presence itself are menacing enough.
Sure enough, he announces my death sentence.
“All Four Generals, come forward.”
I reply before the Four Generals can even stand up.
“Dae Na-chal, are you really going to be this pathetic?”
“If the Four Generals cornered me all at once, I’ll run away. Just so you know, my footwork is better than my martial arts. Let’s play a game of tag through heaven and earth. But if you challenge me alone, I’ll take up this 1:1 match like a real man.”
Anyway, I’ll run away if his subordinates come at me.
I’ll fight if the ringleader challenges me.
Even I think that this is a nonsensical response.
But I am confident of breaking through the siege of the Twelve Generals. Thanks to the mask, they still don’t know my face.
If I change my outfit, throw my mask away, and am seen mopping up in a guest inn, at least the Four Generals and Dae Na-chal won’t be able to recognize me.
It’s a secret weapon (祕器) where the errand boy disguises himself as an errand boy.
“If I succeed in running away, I won’t show up for quite some time. I’ll have to at least gain a miraculous opportunity from falling off a cliff to reappear before you. Will it be Heaven’s Net or a 1:1 duel? Choose. Just so you know, rumors that you avoided the 1:1 duel will spread throughout the southern region. I’m quite the big mouth, you see.”
I giggle and scan the atmosphere of the Twelve Generals.
You should never let your guard down in Kangho.
There is a chance that the Four Generals will not try to stop their master’s death. Those who have endured under the wing of an abnormal master for a long time cannot be normal either.
Unexpectedly, Dae Na-chal does not make an immediate decision and tries to churn his thoughts.
Granted, it’s not like my mouth will miss this kind of timing.
“Twelve Generals, you guys better listen up. Why do you think your foolish master wants you to step up first? This is all so he can find out if I use palm techniques or whether I am skilled with swords. He wants to see the extent of my internal Qi, how I fight, and what weaknesses I have. Of course, if I fight with you, those pros and cons will be revealed. Instead, I’ll kill you like the Black Rabbit Union Leader. You have no idea how much your master geezer enjoys degenerate acts in wealth and honor after sending his disciples to hell.”
Suddenly I realize one thing as I look around at the low-ranking scumbag generals.
“All your disciples look young, yet the master is so old. Maybe he had previous disciples before you? Your mask and position will be passed on to someone else when you die. Hey, you Black Ox over there, how old exactly are you?”
The people’s eyes turn to Hyun-chuk, the Black Ox of the Twelve Generals, at the corner seat.
His face can’t be seen, but his physique clearly shows that he started training in martial arts not long ago.
“Of course, our master will not care about the death of his disciples. Raise your hand if you think I’m wrong.”
In order to lead them on, I also raise my hand. It’s bait for them to raise their hands silently, but no one falls for it.
Dae Na-chal smiles in a relaxed manner as if he is just watching his grandchild’s talent show.
“A crazy fellow is pretending to be my disciple.”
I reply in a serious voice.
“I agree. Masks can aggravate madness, so please beware, Brothers.”
The old man stands up from his chair.
“Very well, let’s do it. I’ll challenge you.”
While talking, Dae Na-chal glances at the Four Generals. It’s unknown if this is accidental or intentional.
Maybe it’s just a harmless glance.
But there’s no way that look is unintentional at this moment.
Things will get complicated if Dae Na-chal deals with me directly and then have the Four General ambush me during the fight.
Thus, it is dangerous to have a silent battle using internal Qi.
Now I understand a little bit about Dae Na-chal’s true nature. He is a man who uses his head to plot insidious acts.
If this continues, my list of opponents will become a bigger mess.
That means I have to face Dae Na-chal, White Rat, Blue Dragon, Red Snake, and White Rooster all by myself.
After scratching the back of my head, I fling myself towards the wall where Baek Yu is positioned.
I dash in the air and pull Black Hare’s Tooth from my waist.
As I wield the sword at Baek Yu with a terrifying momentum, Baek Yu is clearly surprised and takes a defensive posture with his War Fan (鐵扇, fan made of steel iron).
I only use a method of fakes and truths and wield my sword, pretending that I am about to shoot out sword energy.
While Baek Yu is on the defensive, I step on the ground and put Black Hare’s Tooth back into its sheath. I then execute my movement skill at lightning speed.
Baek In, Cheong-jin, and Jeok-sa spring over on the wall from behind.
Then Baek Yu and the other Twelve Generals who are deceived by me also fly over the wall and follow me.
Again, another war of nerves.
If I run too far, Dae Na-chal’s squad may give up on pursuing me altogether.
I slowly turn my head and look at the fiercely dashing Twelve Generals.
As I stand with my hands behind my back, out of the blue…
Baek-in, Cheong-jin, and Jeok-sa, who have been running side by side as if they were in an agility race, also halt simultaneously.
I ask in a serious voice.
“Brothers, where is our master? Oh, he’s coming out now.”
Dae Na-chal stands above the wall.
As I look at Dae Na-chal, I whisper in a low voice to the Four Generals.
“Brothers, you don’t have to worry. I’ll kill the master. So react accordingly.”
The whisper sounds very tiny to even the sharp-eared Dae Na-chal. It is as if I’ve been conspiring with the Four Heavenly Generals from the beginning. In fact, it is hilarious since the Four Generals are just looking at me.
Sure enough, Dae Na-chal raises his voice.
“Don’t just stare at him!”
At that moment, Jeok-sa attacks first. Subsequently, the rest of the Four Generals pull out their respective weapons and rush in.
I race through the tight alley I initially aimed for like a bullet from a gun.
The reason why I’m good at footwork is simple.
I was dragged from the central district to Tibet and from Tibet to Zhejiang for absolutely no reason.
Initially, those who are excellent in martial arts often use their movement skills because they feel frustrated during the traveling process. My skills were inept compared to the Crazy Monk, so I had no choice but to run fervently.
If you had to travel across the world just to go see fish, your skills would inevitably improve.
Turtles ran. They keep running and get lost in the flower scent. Fishing rods twirl in the air when you’re bored, so you run while tapping at a wooden table. I couldn’t run away from the Crazy Monk, to begin with, so I followed him against my will.
Wanting to check my brothers’ footwork and avoid causing trouble to ordinary people, I soar into the air by kicking both walls of the narrow alley.
As I step on the roof, I can see the whole area of the southern region at a glance.
As I gesture my hands to my forehead to look afar, I find Ilyang.
Looking from high above, it feels like I am unexpectedly close.
Once again, I whistle as I run across the roofs.
Maybe they think that it is stupid to follow me in a straight line, and after a while, my masked brothers spring up from various places across the roofs.
I make small talk with my brothers for a moment.
“You’re doing well, guys. Hang in there.”
Maybe it is hard to bear, but hidden weapons surge from different places.
Pointy, round, ugly, and needle-shaped weapons that are so small that they are hardly visible fly under the sunlight.
I’m such an oppressed man.
This is why I am being chased in 80% of my dreams.
The remaining 20% have beautiful women in them…
Dreaming is not a crime.
Anyhow, a man who is always chased, a pitiful man, a man who eats and throws hidden weapons. This man is chased by his brothers. A man who is pursued in his dreams by a monk twirling a fishing rod… Poor thing, this human me.
As I am jumping between the gaps of the roofs, a dagger flies in.
I strike away the dagger with the Black Hare’s Tooth I had pulled out as I turn and land.
It is a sunny day with beautiful white clouds floating above. It is also a day when the laundry dries well, nice and smooth.
“Wow, the clouds…”
I memorize and trace all of the positions of my brothers from where they are throwing their hidden weapons. I memorize everything, the location of the building and the laundry. I then cross the roof again and fall as if I’d lost my footing.
As soon as I snatch the laundry from the air, I kick the wall and enter the open window across. Twisting my body, so I don’t get stuck between the windows is the basis of escape.
In a small empty bedroom, I put the black robe and the Black Rabbit mask under the bed and changed into nicely dried and fuzzy clothes.
Fuzzily, brightly, confidently.
Judging from the room’s atmosphere, this is not a man’s room.
When I open the drawer, I hide the Black Hare’s Tooth in a sea of women’s underwear.
This doesn’t mean I’m a pervert.
It can happen if you’re preoccupied.
Red Sister will take care of the retrieval later. She should use that skill of hers at times like this after learning how to steal.
I walk out of the room like a thief and hear someone’s voice.
“Where are you off to, not studying at this hour?”
I see an old lady weaving with her back facing me. Praying that this house was home to a pathetic guy who only plays and eats, I answer.
“I’ll be back early, Grandma.”
Grandma says in a worried voice.
“Drink moderately, alright?”
I reply in a calm voice before leaving the house.
After observing the street for a while, I slowly walk over to the guest inn on the opposite side. Sensing a fight somewhere, the errand boy’s eyes are darting rapidly from roof to roof.
I take a seat after patting the errand boy on the shoulder. It is an outdoor seat where passersby can be seen.
“Do you have Dukuang liquor?”
“Yes, of course. Please wait a moment.”
The errand boy admires the masked masters flying on the roof and exclaims.
“Wow… I’ll bring it to you soon.”
He is a rude fellow who is watching the fight while finishing preparing orders at the same time. After a while, the errand boy half-heartedly places down the Dukuang liquor and free, complimentary dried snacks and glances around again.
I pour the Dukuang liquor into an empty glass and say.
“Did a fight break out?”
The errand boy nods.
“It looks like a huge fight. So many of the Twelve Generals are here.”
After drinking Dukuang liquor and chewing on the dry snacks, I tell the errand boy, who is busy spectating.
“Have a drink.”
The errand boy naturally sits across from me and holds out an empty cup. I pour the liquor for the errand boy and say.
“The neighborhood is so boisterous.”
“Yes, I suppose so.”
We both down a shot of liquor in one go and watch the streets with slanted postures as we chew on the dry snacks.
The errand boy also complains about the Unorthodox Faction members wandering around while he chews on his snacks.
“Look at them. The disciples are overexerting themselves. Pathetic bastards, doing dumb shit day in and day out.”
Suddenly, when the masked people appear before them, the errand boy, who was chewing on snacks, naturally looks down.
I stare at a man who is of the same kind as me. He is a master of survival and worldly matters.
Meanwhile, the scumbag generals glare at us and walk past. I mutter as I look at my desperate brothers.
“People have to live with ease.”
While chewing on dry snacks, the errand boy holds out the empty cup to me without an ounce of awkwardness. This errand boy has reached the highest proficiency (爐火純青) in the art of naturally bludging off his customer’s alcohol. I have no choice but to pour him a cup because I understand perfectly how he feels.
The errand boy whispers after drinking.
“The whole neighborhood gets quiet when Dae Na-chal is fuming. Look at this. It’s already quiet. Oh, please don’t talk about it anywhere. Just keep it to yourself. General Yellow Horse has been assassinated.”
I also reply in a low voice.
“Wasn’t it the Green Dog?”
“Oh, right. It was Green Dog. How did you know?”
“Yellow Horse just walked past us just now.”
Suddenly, the errand boy looks into my eyes, and his expression grows tense. He then swallows once and straightens his posture. This guy is really quick-witted.
I look at the errand boy and put a finger to my mouth.
The errand boy and I both give a knowing nod as we look at each other.
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