“I’m about to explain the strategy, so clean up and take a seat.”
The chaotic hall dies down in a flash. After clearing the table and arranging the surroundings, an official brings the strategic board Manager Byuk uses.
I wait calmly until the officials are settled.
Once everything is in order, So Gun-pyeong says.
“Please go ahead, Leader.”
He points to a large piece of paper that is used by Manager Byuk.
“Lay it out on the table.”
The white paper is laid on the table, and the officials at the end row hold out a damp brush with ink. I grab the brush and get up, drawing a dot as I watch the blank paper.
“Black Rabbit Union.”
I write Su (水) one span above.
I drew a simple triangular mountain (山) between the Black Rabbit Union and Mister Su.
The pointy top points exactly at Mister Su’s name, and the Black Rabbit Union is right below.
“We are going all out.”
“Do you mean a raid?”
“Indeed. Only those who can use footwork nonstop until we reach Mister Su’s can come with me. So Gun-pyeong.”
“You get what I mean, right?”
So Gun-pyeong asks for confirmation.
“Arrive at the Cloud Rain Society with footwork instantly. Those who can’t catch up don’t have to come, is that right?”
“Exactly, but that’s not all. You need to follow the details. This is purely a footwork match to keep up with me. I’ll start with the officials. I’ll take the lead, but I won’t check if you’re keeping up. Of course, the gap will widen depending on your individual footwork skills. It doesn’t matter. Jump over the wall in the order of arrival, and we’ll keep moving. Until we arrive at Mister Su’s residence, don’t stop.”
So Gun-pyeong’s eyes grow wide.
“We will still run after arriving at Cloud Rain Society?”
“Same goes to all of you, don’t stop until you find Mister Su. I’m the definition of straightforward, the apex, and the awl. Slash them, throw your weapons, get rid of the guys behind me, and keep moving. Don’t chase after those who are running away. Kill the people blocking the way, and advance, advance, advance… Follow me and charge forward until I see Mister Su.”
I check the faces of my men.
“You understand what I’m talking about, yes?”
“Everyone except the slow ones can come.”
“When are we leaving?”
I answer Cha Sung-tae’s question.
“Right this second.”
As soon as I say ‘right this second,’ everyone jumps from their seats.
Even Yoo Sa-cheong, listening and watching the crowd, eventually stands up.
I tell Yoo Sa-cheong.
“Sung-tae, watch over the hostage.”
Walking past, Dokgo Saeng pats Cha Sung-tae on the shoulder.
“Good luck, Manager.”
The Four Generals also address Cha Sung-tae comfortably.
“Good work, Manager Cha.”
“Thanks for the help.”
“Jeez, now I have to earn my keep.”
So Gun-pyeong speaks in a hurry.
“Leader, I need time to explain to our men…”
“We don’t have time for that. Just tell them to keep up behind us. Think of it as footwork training for the slowpokes. I just need you guys to deal with Mister Su.”
Last night, the Green Mount Sect and Lady Iron Toad stopped by, and the last victim involved in this fraud was the Cloud Rain Society. Their vice leader died by an ax that I swung last time. This is why we are trampling on the weakened Cloud Rain Society instead of going for Elder Hornless Dragon.
I pause at the front gate and look back at the officials.
“I’m curious who will arrive first. Run like it’s a ranking match. Let’s go.”
When I say let’s go, Dokgo Saeng kicks the gate open and speeds off like the wind.
So Gun-pyeong scowls at Dokgo Saeng.
I say to the officials and generals.
“Why are you so relaxed? Go on. I’m faster anyway.”
Perhaps the quick-witted Hong-shin worries about the ranking and bolts after Dokgo Saeng. Baek-in, Cheong-jin, and Baek-yu also take off at the same time. Only then do the other officials, including So Gun-pyeong, unfold their own movement skills.
I walk three or four steps and belatedly unfurl my own footwork.
As I pick up speed, I soon catch up with the officials of the Black Rabbit Union, including So Gun-pyeong.
I tell So Gun-pyeong as I pass him by.
So Gun-pyeong concentrates on his footwork without replying.
Cheong-jin and Baek-yu are running ahead. I see Baek-in when I get ahead of those two. After seeing Baek-in behind me, Hong-shin and Dokgo Saeng are the two competing for the lead in front.
I sneak up behind the two and whisper.
“You, catch up to him already.”
Hong-shin suddenly screams and speeds up even faster, taking the lead.
I laugh as I run alongside Dokgo Saeng.
“You’re pretty good, Dokgo Saeng.”
Dokgo Saeng lets out an inexplicable scream. Leaving the shrieking Dokgo Saeng behind, I chase after Hong-shin.
I tell her as soon as I catch up to Hong-shin.
“Red Sister, are you in a hurry to go to the bathroom? You’re pretty fast.”
Hong-shin is too busy to even answer. She is maintaining a reasonably fast pace as if she’s been born with talent in this field.
Deep internal Qi doesn’t always equal speed.
Hong-shin has great internal Qi and a talent for running.
However, the person who has greater internal Qi and a physical advantage in running is me.
Remembering the Nimble Guild masters after a long while, I speed up and outpace Hong-shin.
“Red Sister, you’re the fastest. Maintain the speed. If you keep it up, no one will be able to surpass you.”
As I run in front of Hong-shin, I think.
Hong-shin may be eligible to become a member of the Nimble Guild. It may be difficult at her current level, but if she continues to amass Qi and train harder, she will have enough qualities to catch the attention of the Nimble Guild masters.
Though the distance with my men has widened, I don’t bother to slow down.
I am running with the mindset of barging into the place alone.
Even if Mister Su had set a lookout near the Black Rabbit Union, I’m faster than the spy anyway. He won’t be able to stop this raid.
As I run, I imagine what Mister Su would be doing.
He probably has a lot on his plate.
He will be anxious, so he’ll start with siphoning off his fortune.
And urgently reaching out to the masters he’s close with.
If Mister Su had gone to Elder Hornless Dragon, I’d use this opportunity to burn down the Cloud Rain Society. Whether Mister Su is at Cloud Rain Society or not, I run with the determination to destroy the Cloud Rain Society no matter what.
As soon as I spot the walls of Cloud Rain Society, I soar high into the air.
I can’t see my men, but I can see Mister Su’s men.
Is it because I jumped too high in the air?
While I land after crossing over the wall, people who notice me stand dumbfounded while uttering ‘Uh?’.
When I sprinted after kicking off the ground, only then did I hear cries of “Intruder!”
However, it seems they didn’t recognize the intruder as the Moonlight Executioner.
As a commotion rises in the background, those wary of me begin to follow me.
I pass through the nearby pond by the incinerator, then smash open the door to the main building with a kick.
The main building is mainly a performance space, so the place is empty.
I jump over the audience seats in one go, step on the stage, and enter the back aisle. Only then do the attacks of the dregs appear from the aisle.
Since I am constantly on the run, I fend off the harmless attacks. I move past the guy blocking the front with kicks or jabbing their pressure points. After passing the aisle, climbing the stairs, and slapping the protruding men on the cheek, I advance and pull out Black Hare’s Tooth in front of the room blocked by guards.
I respond to the guards’ obvious yells.
“It’s me, the Moonlight Executioner…”
As the startled guards scramble to reach for the swords at their waists.
I shoot out blade energy (刀氣) horizontally and kick the big door open.
In a flash, the guards’ necks are slashed by the blade energy, and their heads roll down from their bodies. As I enter the room, I greet the people inside abruptly.
“Mister Su, it’s me. Did you sleep well last night?”
The room is big, with a large bed at the far end. Mister Su, who is just putting on his pants, flounders for his sword on the table in a hurry.
There are other people, but my eyes are only fixated on Mister Su.
As I narrow the distance in an instant and wield Black Hare’s Tooth, Mister Su manages to grab his sword to block my blade and finally looks at my face.
For a moment, we clash our swords without saying a word. I swing Black Hare’s Tooth wordlessly. Mister Su resists by swinging his sword aggressively without being able to put on his clothes properly.
I wield my sword as I stare into Mister Su’s eyes, shooting out palm force with my left palm, swinging Black Hare’s Tooth, and shooting blade energy one after another. I then release both finger wind and the Fiery Fowl Great Handprint, striking Mister Su’s sword, then grabbing Mister Su’s neck in a flash with the Great Absorption Method.
I lock eyes with Mister Su.
At the same time, I stab Mister Su’s abdomen with Black Hare’s Tooth and back him to the wall. With another stabbing sound, Black Hare’s Tooth pierces Mister Su’s abdomen again as it is stuck in the wall.
I grab Mister Su by the jaw and look around his face.
“This is how you look?”
I finally pulled out Black Hare’s Tooth.
Mister Su slumps against the wall.
I shake off Mister Su’s blood and sheathe Black Hare’s Tooth.
After tidying my disheveled hair, I look around. Only then did I spot young women covering themselves with blankets on the large bed. Both of them are in a daze.
I crouch down and look back at Mister Su.
Mister Su looks like he has something to say,
“What? I can’t hear you.”
“Fuck? Do you want your last words with a curse? Pathetic. Why didn’t you come to surrender? Didn’t I tell you that you won’t have another chance to live? Believe in what people say. Don’t think you’re right all the time. What are you doing in broad daylight? Mister Su?”
He must have stopped breathing.
I tell the women who are still staring at me.
“Who am I talking to? I talked to a body.”
The women reply.
I answer before the ladies can finish their sentences.
“Oh, yeah, I’ll help you.”
Only then did my subordinates show up at the door. Blood is dripping from the weapons they are holding.
The generals look at the dead Mister Su in astonishment. They look puzzled that their master’s long-time rival died so easily.
Dokgo Saeng, who appears last, asks as he looks inside.
“Is it over?”
I order my men.
“Go downstairs and clean up. Tell them Mister Su is dead. Don’t kill those who beg on their knees, but kill all those who continue to attack.”
The crowding officials band together and go down the hall.
I also go down the stairs to wrap up. As I descend slowly, the shouts and sounds of weapons clashing subside.
When I reach the front of the main building, several people are kneeling.
Now that the party is over, many of the Black Rabbit Union lackeys have yet to arrive. Some of them are gasping and showing up one by one at the main gate of the Cloud Rain Society.
I watch the gasping subordinates entering and say to So Gun-pyeong.
“We have to increase the intensity of the training. At this rate, do you think they can stand against a powerful faction?”
So Gun-pyeong answers with a nod.
“I will train them harder.”
I take a slow look around the kneeling men and our troops. Everyone is looking at me.
“……I waited after a night’s sleep, ate a filling breakfast, and drank during the day, but Mister Su still hadn’t surrendered, so I came to kill him myself. Those who still haven’t come to their senses can come at me. I’ll send you to your leader’s side. Try cooperating with my men as much as you can. The Cloud Rain Society is ruined.”
My subordinates expect me to say something else, so I am forced to add another word.
“But I can’t be ruined. Do you think I’m gonna screw up?”
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