Drawing is the same as martial arts.
Countless drawings have to be thrown away to craft the perfect piece.
The same applies to a wanted poster.
Manager Byuk has drawn the Left Hand of Illuminating Light’s face but didn’t like any of them, so I had to throw this and abandon that.
Whatever happens, to gain a better outcome, I have to keep throwing them away.
When the neighbouring Unorthodox Factions gather in Flower Villa to discuss how to defeat me, I am working hard to make a wanted poster with Manager Byuk.
“Manager, his cheekbones aren’t that high. His jawline is quite similar to mine. Do it again.”
Manager Byuk examines my jawline and says,
“Hair also determines the impression. It’s important whether it’s curly or hair as smooth as a woman’s.”
“What is his hair like?”
“His hair was smooth. How about the eyebrows?”
“Overall, it’s straight like a straight line, and the tip is curved like a feather.”
“He trimmed his eyebrows carefully with a knife. It’s a very serious womanizer fashion.”
Manager Byuk recapitulates all he has heard so far and proceeds to redraw. Not long after, a wanted poster with a face very similar to the Left Hand of Illuminating Light is finally completed. Manager Byuk then asks me with a grin.
“Do you like it?”
“Nice. Let’s find him with this. I only know he’s a collateral descendant of a family clan. He should be in his late 20s.”
“It’s simple for family clans.”
“The martial artists of family clans care about their appearance and never walk around in shabby clothes. If he’s a womanizer, he’ll stand out. Once we narrow it down to the prestigious family clans. We can narrow it down further by age and judge them by their clothes using the wanted poster. It won’t take long. How are his martial arts skills?”
“He’s strong, even among prestigious family clan elites of similar age.”
It is only then Manager Byuk’s eyes widen.
“Then he must be a great master.”
“So just find his whereabouts and let me know. He’s a guy none of the subordinates can deal with.”
Come to think of it, not only is he from an indirect line of a prestigious family clan, but he’s also strong in martial arts and causes trouble. He must have been hated by the masters of his family.
If the masters of the main family thought of the Left Hand as the next leader’s main competitor, they would have repressed him perfectly so he could never resurface. Naturally, he can only throw his lot with the Demon Cult.
“Focus on finding this guy, Manager. Leave the fighting to me. I’m more comfortable with that.”
“As you wish.”
I look at the board that Manager Byuk has drawn.
“By tonight, the leaders will be sharing their opinions in Flower Villa, right? They will also likely be drinking.”
“Most likely so. If they bring up matters on territory division and what to do with the money, the meeting won’t become any shorter.”
Should I say this is a chronic disease of Unorthodox Factions?
In fact, an Unorthodox Faction that doesn’t discuss these matters would only be the powerful, high-ranking Unorthodox Factions.
Regardless of men and power, it’s all the same.
Those with real skills are not very interested in money.
Sitting in the hall, I scratch my head for a moment.
Some of my men have left for Ilyang and the Black Hurricane Castle. I also have to wait until evening to gather all my troops.
As I become lost in thought, Manager Byuk says to me.
“Leader, may I say something out of line?”
“We’re an Unorthodox Faction. People in the south will be familiar with our faction anyway. They’ll welcome us even more, especially since we’ve stopped all of Dae Na-chal’s doings. If other Unorthodox forces take over, many things will change again. More people will die or get hurt. Fortunately, many of the Twelve Generals are still alive, and Leader’s forces aren’t small either. So please consider the figurehead’s responsibility and deal with this carefully.”
Did he catch a glimpse of the unprovoked rebellion of youth from my eyes?
I nod with a firm look, but the word ‘carefully’ enters through one ear before flowing out of my other ear.
“Of course, I need to be careful. Just because the enemy’s heads are gathered in the Flower Villa, I shouldn’t rush in and raid by myself. Am I right?”
Manager Byuk bows slightly as he looks at me.
“Thank you for your understanding.”
“You mean I shouldn’t commit an immature act like shooting a fire arrow at the Flower Villa and starting a forest fire, like how I organized an archery competition with the Twelve Generals? Is that right? Flowers and trees are precious.”
“It is a brilliant plan, but it’s a little far from what a general with a group of troops can do. They have a number of masters on their side, so you’ll end up fighting with swords. Flowers and trees are precious, too.”
I look at Manager Byuk and nod.
“I’ve been itching a little, but Manager Byuk is giving me insight. This is why our Manager Byuk is living up to his role as the pillar and the great general of the Black Rabbit Union. If you find the womanizer, you will receive a bonus. You can write it down in the ledger and take the money yourself.”
Manager Byuk gathers his hands with a pleased expression on his face.
“Thank you, Leader.”
“It will take some time for the troops to gather, so I will drop by the Moyong Clinic for a while. To see the face of our doctor.”
“Oh, did you become friends with the young doctor of the Moyong Clinic?”
“We’re like brothers.”
“I see. Then I’ll pay attention to the Moyong Clinic from time to time. And Leader, please use a carriage in a time like this. I’ll have it ready for you.”
As I head to the waiting carriage, I mutter under my breath.
“If you’re going to tell me what to do, why don’t you be the leader yourself.”
The waiting coachman must think I am talking to him and answer with a question.
“No, it’s nothing.”
Once I enter the carriage, the coachman, who has received word in advance, announces the destination.
“Leader, I’ll take you to the Moyong Clinic.”
As soon as the carriage begins moving and takes a corner, I say to the coachman.
“I changed my mind. Since the wind is cool and refreshing, let’s not go to the Moyong Clinic.”
“You can come back after dropping me off near the Cloud Rain Society.”
The leader of the Cloud Rain Society is Mister Su, who should be in the Flower Villa now. The coachman does not answer for a moment.
The coachman asks me again as if to double-check.
“Leader, can I go back and report this to the officials and Manager Byuk and take off? The Cloud Rain Society is dangerous. Maybe we should inform them.”
Thinking that I should not scold those who are simply saying what is right, I reply.
“Let’s go to the Cloud Rain Society, the faction that uses ‘cloud and rain’ derived from the Joy of Cloud and Rain in its name. I’m offended that they keep copulating without me.”
Riding a carriage is always fun.
While enjoying the outside scenery, I head for Ihwa Prefecture, where the Cloud Rain Society is located.
On a day when the spring sunshine feels warm, my madness is blown away by the cool wind. My mood is good as it feels like I am going on vacation.
The coachman still seems worried, so I try to relieve his mind.
“Mister Su is busy attending work matters in the Flower Villa, so don’t worry too much.”
In the carriage, I imagine the incident that may have happened between Mister Su and the Murim Alliance in my past life.
What crime could he possibly commit to the alliance members that he ended up being decapitated in the streets? An alliance member was also imprisoned for that crime?
Was that alliance member someone I know?
I don’t know.
During my time as the Crazy Demon, the alliance member would already have been out of prison. A Murim alliance member would not have been imprisoned for long for killing a member of an Unorthodox Faction.
Though I am back in the past now…
There are times when I only know the process without knowing the result.
In other cases, only the results were known, and the process was completely unknown.
Since I’m curious and bored, I’m going somewhere near the Cloud Rain Society.
“Leader, we have arrived in Ihwa Prefecture.”
When I get off, the coachman tactfully parks in a quiet place.
I warn the coachman.
“You parked in the right place. It’s boring to wait here, so go back. Instead, tell them I’m over at the Moyong Clinic.”
I take off my black robe and hand it to the coachman. I am wearing plain martial art attire, so it isn’t a very noticeable outfit.
It is an instinct for Kangho warriors to wear black robes even on a sunny day. You can hide a few weapons, and the clothes offer camouflage even if you get stabbed. Wearing fluttery clothes like a robe might cause hidden weapons to lash out suddenly if internal Qi is injected, so it is useful one way or another.
However, the black jangsam certainly stands out because it is clearly a combat uniform.
After I send the coachman off, I walk around Ihwa Prefecture.
I am also curious about the fact that Mister Su’s power is at the same level as the late Dae Na-chal’s. I wonder what kind of business the Cloud Rain Society does to make money?
I am also utterly curious as to why it is named the Cloud Rain Society.
I’m a person with many questions.
Rather than coming here with specific plans to deal with the Cloud Rain Society, I just came here out of curiosity.
The street’s scenery is no different from the view in the southern region.
The larger the Unorthodox Faction force, the greater the population in the region tends to be. Basically, an Unorthodox Faction is a group of people who somehow extorts money from those who make a living.
In a heartbeat, I feel unpleasant when I think about how the Black Rabbit Union I control was also like that once upon a time.
I walk around Ihwa with the thought of doing a simple cross-inspection. It’s a simple inspection. I can tell by the expressions of the owners. Whether a business is going well these days and if there are no bullies around, I can see it.
This is a matter of pride.
If ordinary people in the south walk around with worried faces after I become the leader of the Black Rabbit Union, then it’s my fault.
What kind of Unorthodox Faction does Mister Su have here?
I snoop from place to place. I go to the guest inn and also go into the tea house. There are especially many street vendors here. These people tend to work hard even in tough times, so I can’t find out much.
This is what happens when you look down on the working class.
After I finish my tour of Ihwa, I head to the Cloud Rain Society.
I stand in thought as I look at their main gates.
Those who do bad things tend to have a little window on their gate, similar to when I saw the Black Rabbit Union’s main gate for the first time.
Thud thud thud!
A small door opens with a rattle when I knock with my fist.
“Who is it?”
I look at the man who is speaking with only his eyes showing. He looks like a prisoner.
“I asked, who is it?”
I make a ‘tsk’ sound and then reply.
“I’m here to collect a debt.”
With a loud thud, the small door closes, and the front door opens wide with a squeak.
This makes me realize that these guys didn’t pay their bills well. The door opening process is quick, accurate, and repetitive. Furthermore, irritation is mixed in even when the door opens or closes. I understand this mentality. A mentality that serves to half-threaten the person who came to collect a debt.
The man who opened the door looks at me with a tilt of his head.
“Come on in.”
I respond with a stiff expression.
“If I came in at a bad time, I can come to get it next time.”
He answers right away.
“I said come on in, you punk.”
“Yes, of course. I should go in.”
This is the difference between Orthodox and Unorthodox factions.
Just as how the words ‘came to collect debt’ is sometimes used as a secret code (暗語) in Unorthodox factions.
However, orthodox factions do not give out credits in the first place.
Here, orthodox factions can be classified into factions and murim clans.
Murim clans are rich in the first place, so they don’t need to borrow credit. Hence there’s no way this kind of secret code will work there.
In the case of prestigious sects, they live and die by honour, so if they’re broke, they’d rather dig up wild vegetables and eat them, but they won’t eat anything on credit.
So, that’s why many large sects are based in the mountains (山).
This is why Orthodox factions are a more terrifying force no matter how bad Unorthodox factions are.
Whether you live in a mountain or a city, you have endless pride and esteem.
The gatekeeper interrupts my thoughts.
“Whose debt is it? Don’t tell me it’s the society leader. Is it for the vice leader’s drinks?”
I follow the gatekeeper and murmur softly.
“So damn scary.”
The gatekeeper turns around and looks at me with a mixed expression of anger and fluster.
“What did you just say?”
I reply in a calm voice.
“No, I was talking to myself.”
Has the gatekeeper been training confidently? The palm of the hand aimed at the face of the person who came to collect debt swings in a curved line and arrives.
I grab the gatekeeper by the wrist and tell him nicely.
“I said I was talking to myself.”
I let go of the gatekeeper’s hand and started a staring contest with him.
“…the one who blinks first loses. The loser gets a flick on the forehead.”
“For your information, I also learned Finger Techniques. My finger flicks aren’t just finger flicks. It’s a wake-up flick. It is called the Violet Mist Finger Flicking Technique (紫霞彈指功), one of the big three finger flicking techniques in Kangho.”
The gatekeeper glares at me. Whatever the current situation, his gaze contains his determination to not close his eyes first.
He then asks me with his bloodshot eyes.
“Where did you come from?”
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