Chapter 69 - Today's Failure?

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I look at the kneeling people and order my men.

“From now on, we’re the Cloud Rain Society.”

“What?”

“Let’s get dressed first. Change into the attire of the dead. If there isn’t enough, you can undress the heavily injured ones. Or you can find fresh ones inside the buildings. Go get changed.”

I specifically exclude Dokgo Saeng.

“As for you, you don’t have to change.”

“Why?”

“You stand out too much. Clothes won’t work either. Clean up the place with your men.”

When I say this to Dokgo Saeng, the other subordinates finally understand what I mean.

I will turn the Cloud Rain Society into a defeated enemy and attack Elder Hornless Dragon immediately. And those on their knees will act as the vanguard.

I briefly explained to So Gun-pyeong with a phrase.

“It’s Use Poison To Cure Poison (以毒制毒), Gun-pyeong.”

“Understood.”

I call Hong-shin over while the subordinates are busy changing.

“Red Sister.”

“Yes, Big Brother.”

“Girls know each other best, right?”

“Right…?”

“That lunatic Dokgo Saeng can kill anyone. You stay and look after the hostages. You can kill the suspicious ones, but leave out the weak ones.”

“All right.”

“Send the women who suffered here back to Ilyang. We’ll release them, so make sure to take care of it.”

Hong-shin nods.

“Yes, I will.”

Then, I approach the hostages again and begin lecturing.

“You freeloader bastards that are just like Sung-tae…”

“…….”

“All of you deserve to die just from being part of the Cloud Rain Society, but I’m indecisive, so I’ll be your light of hope. Raise your hand if you don’t want to die. Or you can bite your tongue here and die. I won’t stop you.”

“…….”

“Anyone? If you don’t answer me properly, I’ll send you to Mister Su as an example.”

The hostages answer in unison.

“No.”

I point my finger at the hostages and say.

“Now, you and I will join forces to kill Elder Hornless Dragon. You are the scoundrels who kidnapped women, undressed them, watched the performance, and sold them elsewhere. Am I correct?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

I draw Black Hare’s Tooth out in a sudden fit of rage.

“I might as well kill all of you and have you sit in hell…”

Before I know it, White Tiger approaches and stops me.

“Calm down, Big Brother.”

“Let me go. I’m sending them off to burning hell.”

“We can get rid of them after using them as human shields. We have too many of them. Now that Mister Su is dead, please give them another chance to live. Like you did for us.”

I look at White Tiger, who hasn’t talked so much in a long time.

I think White Tiger has also suffered much under Dae Na-chal, so he must understand the hostages’ feelings well.

I sigh and force myself to put the blade back in.

“The fiery pits of hell might not be the best place.”

Baek-in says with a calm look.

“Yes, Big Brother, I will supervise these guys well.”

Since Baek-in said he would take care of them, I am reminded of Moyong Baek’s words.

I remember that he said I shouldn’t do it all alone but with my subordinates, though I can’t remember the exact words.

“You take care of it.”

“Thank you, Big Brother. Please continue your speech.”

“Where did I stop?”

“You said they were morons. And before that, you said they were like Sung-tae.”

“Ah, I did. Anyway, these idiots.….”

Baek-in speaks coldly to the hostages.

“Answer.”

“Yes!”

I scratch my nose with my finger and explain to the hostages what the plan will be.

“All you have to do is put up an act. I don’t mean joining forces with my men and attacking them. We are going to pretend to be the Cloud Rain Society. The goal is to spread the news that Mister Su is dead and infiltrate the mountain cabin that Elder Hornless Dragon set up like the pervert he is. Understood? From now on, we are the defeated faction.”

White Tiger steps in.

“I understand the strategy, Big Brother. I’ll give them specific instructions.”

“Great.”

This is how convenient it is to be the commander in chief.

I whip my head around with my hands behind my back and call for So Gun-pyeong.

“Gun-pyeong.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Let our excellent subordinates who have had difficulty running all the way here get some rest. It must’ve been hard to run here. They should rest up.”

“Yes.”

“Our forces will weaken if they come with us to the fight. We’re growing weaker even as our numbers grow. What kind of shitty situation is this?”

“I got it.”

As if something is funny in the midst of this, the officials are walking about with smug faces. Everyone seems to have a hold of my personality after capturing Mister Su in the fastest time possible.

I whistle and stroll around while my men prepare for today’s second battle.

I am a little bored since there is nothing I can interfere with.

Sometime later, a man I have started to recognize as one of the Black Hurricane Castle chiefs approaches me and hands me Cloud Rain Society’s attire.

“Please get changed, Leader.”

Upon close inspection, the chest area is torn apart, and the clothes are smeared in blood.

“Get me something clean. Do you see me having a chest injury? I’m normal as it is.”

“Yeah, okay.”

“Motherfucker.”

“Why are you cursing me? I brought this for you.”

The chief grumbles and goes to look for other clothes. Come to think of it, that chief is one of the most tactless guys in the Black Hurricane Castle.

I murmur as I click my tongue.

“We’ve come this far. We’ve come this far…”

I stand around looking at the decorative fish after changing into some decent clothes. Moments after, my subordinates come to inform me.

“We’re ready, Big Brother.”

“Let’s go, Leader.”

I say goodbye to the fish I had reunited with and turn around.

“Let’s go.”

I head to the main gate of the Cloud Rain Society and say.

“Give some food for the fishes next time. They’re starving to death. They’re just trying to live on. We can’t starve them to death.”

So Gun-pyeong replies plainly.

“Will do.”


Did White Tiger choose the right actors?

The hostages, who are volunteering to play an important role, slowly stagger alone toward the main gate of the mountain cabin of Elder Hornless Dragon.

I watch the play (演劇) from a distance away with the other subordinates.

The hostages are doing a realistic performance of having been stabbed. Their outfit, posture, and movement are perfect. However, he suddenly collapses in front of the gates of Elder Hornless Dragon’s cabin.

“…….”

I stare for a long while at White Tiger and ask.

“Isn’t he overdoing it?”

White Tiger shakes his head with a grave look.

“It’s a promised action. And he was actually stabbed.”

Baek-in is so serious that I can’t refute it. When I turn my head again, the guy who had collapsed is struggling to get up again.

‘That’s a great performance.’

This is how strong the human will to survive can be. The hostage actor, performing his best even though no one is watching, takes a difficult step and knocks on the door of the mountain cabin.

Knock… knock… knock.

Moments later, an old man comes out and helps the dying man from the Cloud Rain Society.

I can’t hear what they are saying.

Afterward, the other committed volunteer actors also gasped with blood all over their bodies. At least they have strength in their voices.

“We are fighting an all-out war with the Black Rabbit Union. We are here to ask for aid from the Elder.”

“Come on in.”

The other hostages ignore the previous words of Elder Hornless Dragon’s lackeys.

“Give me some water.”

.

.

.

As I watch, my mouth curls up in an ‘O’ shape, and I whisper softly.

“Good script.”

White Tiger’s lips go up slightly next to me.

“Big Brother, it’s time for us to go.”

I give a final warning to the Cloud Rain Society members.

“If you want to die, you can go in and side with Elder Hornless Dragon. I’ll kill you for real this time. Let’s go.”

I am the first to get up and raise one hand.

“Wait a minute.”

I listen with furrowed brows. If there had been news that Cloud Rain Society was under attack, a commotion would have naturally occurred. However, even though three injured people have entered, the mountain cabin is still quiet.

I leave my ears open towards the cabin and look at the faces of the Four Generals. They are not wearing masks now, of course. I also glance at So Gun-pyeong and the Black Rabbit Union officials’ faces one by one.

“…….”

Finally, I looked around the hostages from the Cloud Rain Society.

No one seems to have snitched or betrayed the raid, but somehow it feels like the raid has already failed.

Things can’t always go smoothly in Kangho.

I’m used to failure.

And, it wasn’t that strange either.

One possibility is that the scout sent from the Cloud Rain Society noticed the mishap and followed us, changed directions, and reported it to Elder Hornless Dragon.

Or, a scout from Elder Hornless Dragon noticed the mishap in advance.

Anyway, Elder Hornless Dragon’s cabin is still tranquil, and even the main gate where the hostages entered is still wide open. As if Zhuge Liang is waiting for Sima Yi with the door wide open.

I click my tongue.

“Looks like we’re busted.”

Baek-in gives a suggestion.

“Let’s go in and end this.”

“No, I think I underestimated the Kangho veteran too much.”

Feeling curious about Elder Hornless Dragon, I head to the cabin alone.

“Leader?”

“Big Brother.”

I wave my hand.

“Stay there.”

“What do you mean to stay?”

“Just wait.”

In front of the main gate, I suddenly feel ashamed of the Cloud Rain Society attire. I don’t exactly know why I am feeling ashamed. I remove the outerwear, throw it aside, and put on a jangsam.

When I walk inside, the cabin is as quiet as I expected.

I walked along the trail for a while because it is a fairly spacious mountain cabin.

There is one table in the vast garden where Elder Hornless Dragon sits alone.

As I approach, Elder Hornless Dragon asks me.

“Welcome. Is our truce over?”

I look around and approach.

“Have you done the arrangements?”

Elder Hornless Dragon nods after taking a sip of tea.

“As you can see, I’ve arranged everything. I only have one old servant who opened the door earlier, but I sent him out through the back door. He’s a commoner. There’s no need to involve him and die.”

“What about your subordinates?”

“I sent back those with places to go. Gave some money to those who have nowhere to go. I sent them away yesterday and today.”

I replied without approaching the table.

“You’re quick-witted.”

Elder Hornless Dragon looks at me and smiles.

“How old are you?”

“That’s none of your business.”

“Hey, you and I are 40 years apart. I stepped into this place when I was your age. I had 40 years of experience in Kangho.”

“Experience doesn’t build up like internal Qi.”

“That’s true. Have a seat.”

I don’t sit when I’m asked to. As I stand still, Elder Hornless Dragon asks.

“Don’t you have time to relax and have a cup of tea?”

“I am a man who doesn’t have the luxury to relax.”

I’m not one to have tea with a person like him, either. I am just smiling because I think how ridiculous this situation is.

Elder Hornless Dragon tells me.

“You’re quite the skeptic.”

“Old geezer, what do you have for me? I’m bored. Let’s hear it.”

Elder Hornless Dragon speaks calmly.

“Other than martial arts, is there anything else for Kangho warriors to prepare for? We have learned martial arts all our lives, so we don’t prepare anything new.”

“I know your schemes.”

Elder Hornless Dragon looks at me.

“You? You killed Dae Na-chal 1:1. I’ve seen guys like you. Your behavior, your way of speaking. As soon as I saw you, I recognized your depth and personality. This fight is not about us anyway. It won’t be necessary to spill the blood of my men. So I was waiting alone.”

“You were close to Dae Na-chal…”

Elder Hornless Dragon reaches for his cup as he listens to my story.

As soon as I feel something awkward with his hands and intentions, I push my left foot to the ground.

Elder Hornless Dragon presses the teacup almost at the same time.

With a click and the sounds of machinery, the place where I had been standing disappeared. Not only where I was standing, but everything around the round table sunk. It went down about 18-21 meters.

I’m somewhat experienced, but I’ve never seen a garden that was set as a trap itself.

I glide over the ground and escape using the One Jump (一步跳躍) tactic and look at the hole.

It is deep and dark, so I can’t see anything.

It’s like Elder Hornless Dragon’s black heart.

I speak to Elder Hornless Dragon, who seems to be sitting on a circular pillar.

“Geezer, this is not the end, is it? The chairs and tables were also part of the trap, the tea must have been poisoned, and the ground of the area must have been set as a fire pit trap. I’m a little inexperienced, be sure to remind me next time.”

Elder Hornless Dragon stands up with his mouth tightly closed and stares at me.

“…….”

I speak in an indifferent voice.

“That surprised me, you piece of shit.”

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