I didn’t jab them with much force in the first place, so their pressure points will soon be released.
“If you scream or say anything unrelated to my questions, I will pull this dagger. If your hands are faster than mine after your pressure points are undone, you could pull them out too. I’ll accept this as a death challenge. Blink if you can’t speak yet.”
Heuk So-ryeong, who got jabbed first, opens her mouth while Baek So-ah blinks.
“Only my face can move.”
Heuk So-ryeong’s breathing is rugged, like a drunken person.
I ask Heuk So-ryeong.
“Did Pyeong Gun-sa make you do this?”
Heuk So-ryeong looks at me with regret now that her throat is free.
I tilt my head and say.
“Have you not come to your senses? All right. I get it. You still can’t decipher who is scarier. That’s plausible.”
I place my index finger lightly on the handle of Moonlight Dagger and ask conclusively.
“Did Pyeong Gun-sa make you do this?”
If there is no answer, the only gift I can give is the dagger. Heuk So-ryeong then replies urgently.
I pull my finger off the dagger and say.
“That’s a close call. Your name is Heuk So-ryeong, right? You shouldn’t be mistaken. If I kill you, Baek So-ah will still be alive. Once you die, she’ll get scared and tell me more than you do, won’t she? Get your act together.”
Heuk So-ryeong answers immediately.
“Yes, I understand.”
I suddenly look at Baek So-ah. Then Baek So-ah hurriedly opens her mouth.
“My throat is released, too.”
I flick my finger and say.
“Good. From now on, let’s answer the questions on a count of 3. Answer my question at the same time. The one who hesitates will get stabbed by the dagger and ascend. I wonder who will die first. First question, who is Pyeong Gun-sa’s boss? 1, 2, 3.”
The two reply in unison.
“King of Gamble (賭博王).”
I give them an insincere round of applause.
“Bingo. Your lifespan is extended. The second question, if the King of Gamble is higher-ranked than Dong Bang-yeon, say up, and say lower if he’s lower. Do you get what I mean?”
I give an additional explanation while moving my fingers around.
“Up and down, up and down, so close to death. 1, 2, 3.”
The two reply simultaneously.
I smoothen my chin. I know the answers up until now. The problem is the third question.
It’s something I don’t know. I have a feeling that Heuk So-ryeong and Baek So-ah will know. However, I have doubts whether they will give a proper answer.
“I’ll count to 3 slowly for the third question. Answer carefully. Who is the King of Gamble? One, two, three.”
“Mister Ouyang Bok.”
I reply to their answer nonchalantly, despite being slightly perplexed internally.
“Mister Ouyang? The Narak Inn Owner?”
Heuk So-ryeong and Baek So-ah answer at the same time.
I touch my hair for a moment. One thing pops into my mind as I think of Ouyang Bok in my past life.
‘A man who makes no enemies.’
In addition, he was a generous man who often gave away free alcohol, did not pester people for their tabs, and lost money all around since he enjoyed gambling.
Still, Ouyang Bok was a good man who never frowned. Come to think of it, everyone addresses him formally since he’s quite elderly.
‘This is surprising.’
Is this a match between the Zaha Inn and Narak Inn?
It suddenly occurs to me that Dong Bang-yeon might be Ouyang Bok’s disciple.
I then say to Heuk So-ryeong and Baek So-ah.
After jabbing their throats again, I lay them down one by one on the bed. I leave the center space empty as if I will be lying there, and this time I inject quite a lot of power into jabbing Heuk So-ryeong and Baek So-ah’s shoulders.
I pinch Heuk So-ryeong’s cheek and tell her.
“Since you ate aphrodisiacs, you’ll have a racy dream.”
Lowering my foot from the top of the bed, I cover the two women. I then head for the Narak Inn after picking up Moonlight Dagger.
When I suddenly appear in the Narak Inn, the customers all look at me in unison. A short silence follows before the conversations continue again.
‘That’s a meaningful moment of silence.’
When I sit down, the errand boy, Jo-pal, approaches me.
“What can I get you?”
Jo-pal is an acquaintance, but I can’t pretend to know him. I then tell Jo-pal, whom I haven’t seen in a long time.
“Give me anything that’s white wine (白酒).”
“Sorry, we don’t have ‘anything.’”
“It’s not funny. Just bring me anything.”
Moments later, I look at the needlefish that came out as a dry snack with the white wine. Come to think of it, the inn uses expensive fish as the basic side dish. It gives me a strange feeling.
As I space out after pouring out a glass of white wine, Ouyang Bok, the owner of Narak Inn, walks out with a sleepy gaze and looks at me.
“I’ll pay for that drink, so pour me a glass. I’ve never seen you around before.”
I pour the drink immediately for Ouyang Bok, who is sitting across from me.
Ouyang Bok takes out a stick of daylilies uniquely shaped like a finger and lights it up. It is my first time seeing it, and it is even made of jade (玉). Ouyang Bok takes a deep hit of the daylilies and drinks a sip of the white wine while looking at my glass.
Since I’m not drinking, he can’t help but look.
Ouyang Bok then says.
“Give me another glass.”
Feeling lazy, I beckon with my chin at the white wine.
I speak to him informally on purpose and then watch the other customers. Initially, they aren’t looking my way, but I laugh when I see some of their expressions becoming stiff.
Jeez, what a complicated world.
In my past life, I innocently thought I had managed to survive.
Ouyang Bok then says while drinking.
“You’re not drinking.”
When I don’t give him a reply, Ouyang Bok finally says.
“I apologize about So-ryeong and So-ah. Pyeong Gun-sa must have got busted.”
Seems like Ouyang Bok has no choice but to tell the truth because he noticed I already know everything. Still, I never expected him to reveal his identity so quickly.
Ouyang Bok suddenly looks at the other customers and waves his hand.
Then, all the customers in the inn stand simultaneously and leave.
Ouyang Bok gives me a wrinkly smile when all the customers have left.
“Young man, it doesn’t look like you came to ruin my business. It costs 10,000 nyang in challenger fees and 50,000 nyang in dividends from gamblers. This is my token of appreciation, so take it and go back. I have sent off some Unorthodox Faction masters who came without sparring, but I never sent them back by giving them 50,000 nyang.”
Ouyang Bok smiles and nods.
I reply to Ouyang Bok’s words.
“Aren’t most of the people who competed with Dong Bang-yeon dead? Some who win against him either die within the next few days or go missing.”
Ouyang Bok’s drowsy gaze begins to look more alert.
“You… Why are you doing this? Did I kill your acquaintance? Did Dong Bang-yeon kill your brother or master? You’re young. You wouldn’t lose a lot of money in gambling. Why do you say that? Plus, think of the fact that I’m treating you kindly.”
Ouyang Bok holds up his hand when someone barges into the inn from outside.
Glancing sideways, I see a tall man, who looks like a fierce warrior from the battlefield, staring at me with hostile eyes. It is the King of Sparring Gambles, Dong Bang-yeon, who is trained in both internal and external martial arts.
Dong Bang-yeon brings over a chair, sits next to me, and folds his arms as if he is going to watch over me.
Ouyang Bok extends his hand and says.
“I haven’t changed my mind. 50,000 nyang. I’d like to hear what you think.”
Dong Bang-yeon opens his mouth.
“Why are you giving him 50,000 nyang?”
Ouyang Bok interrupts Dong Bang-yeon.
“Be quiet. He’s still our customer.”
I look at Ouyang Bok and Dong Bang-yeon and say.
“What you’re doing is a scam, not a sparring gamble.”
Ouyang Bok replies.
“Isn’t that what business is all about? The difference is whether it’s small or large. Most in this business are frauds.”
“Your schemes make the bandits and pirates look innocent.”
Ouyang Bok asks me.
“My business didn’t cause you any trouble. If it does, I will raise the negotiating fee.”
I tap the table with my finger and say.
“The biggest problem with gambling is that it’s addictive. It’s hard to quit. People who find something more interesting than gambling will quit, but not much in this world is more interesting than gambling. Would I give my entire fortune and cut off my hands and feet to stop?”
When I suddenly bring up the subject of gambling, Ouyang Bok snickers in response.
“There is a legitimate side to sparring gamble, but fraudulent gambles are different. You regularly bribe the nearby Unorthodox Faction master to ask them to turn a blind eye. You’re rich, so you have plenty to spend. Even if the breadwinner of someone else’s family dies out of bankruptcy, it’s a given. The neighboring Unorthodox Factions expand their power with your money. This is not daylight robbery, so the Orthodox Faction can’t do anything to you. You guys are formidable in many ways.”
Ouyang Bok then asks me.
“Don’t you want to negotiate?”
“Tell me what you want.”
“What started as a gamble should end with a gamble. Let’s play a round of fraud gamble.”
“What kind of fraud gamble?”
I suggest to the King of Gamble and Dong Bang-yeon.
“All of you, to the fighting pit.”
“Be my opponent. If you guys win, I will die. If I win, I will have everything here.”
I observe Ouyang Bok’s expression.
“So? Narak Inn Owner, King of Gamble, Ouyang Bok. Are you dumbfounded because it’s in your favor? Or are you scared of losing everything overnight? It’s hard to choose, right? Whatever it is, this ridiculous proposal is a gamble.”
Like the King of Gamble he is, Ouyang Bok examines the conditions.
“What if I say no?”
“If you refuse, you’ll get a more unfavorable hand.”
I reply while slightly scratching my cheek.
“Tomorrow, my men will arrive as a group. Tonight is your best bet.”
Dong Bang-yeon tells Ouyang Bok.
“He’s insane, so let’s do it.”
As the King of Gamble, Ouyang Bok does not readily agree as he takes these matters seriously. In a way, this prudence is only natural. Ouyang Bok never fights in a losing game.
But that’s the part I hate the most.
“King of Gamble… concealing your identity, provide alcohol to challengers, using honey traps, using aphrodisiacs, using whatever means to make the opponent fight Dong Bang-yeon in a weakened state, ambushing the winners, burying the dead, buying alcohol for the gamblers with the money you make, pretending to be a good person, and regularly bribing the powerful Unorthodox Factions. And then you earn the nickname King of Gamble after living such a pathetic life?”
I call out to Ouyang Bok like I used to in a previous life.
“What a great gambler you are, Mister Ouyang.”
“I don’t understand. Why don’t you kill us right now if you’re so confident? That’s more beneficial to you.”
“Beneficial to me?”
I insult them with a serious face.
“You still haven’t got a grip. Do you think we’re on the same level because we both run inns? I live in Kangho, and you guys live in the gambling house. We’re on a different level, a different kind. If you’ve ripped off somebody your whole life, why don’t you gamble properly for once? Master Gamble King. Stop trying to use your brain.”
Dong Bang-yeon is getting riled up, and I stare at him.
Ouyang reaches out to stop Dong Bang-yeon and asks me.
“You’re from an inn? Who are you?”
That is a slip of the tongue, but I still just exposed my identity.
“I am the owner of the Zaha Inn.”
I swallow these words internally.
You’re right, I’m insane, but I’m not the Crazy Demon yet.
Ouyang Bok replies.
“I’ll do that. Gather your men and go to the fighting pit. It’s in my favor, no matter how hard I think about it. As long as you don’t regret it.”
“Living without regrets is a Kangho warrior’s virtue. Let’s get going, pests.”
When I stand up, Dong Bang-yeon follows suit. He stands one head taller than me.
Dong Bang-yeon looks down at me and says.
“There are guys out here trying to die, unusually.”
“Wow, the way you talk is a little dignified? Is it because you’re the King of Sparring Gambles? Strict, stern, serious. Something like that. Hey, that’s cool.”
As Dong Bang-yeon, who is suppressing his anger, sucks in a deep breath, Ouyang Bok stops him with a subdued tone.
“Go warm up in the fighting pit.”
I look at their faces and turn around.
We're looking for editors, and Korean and Chinese translators, you will be PAID per chapter.
You can use these forms to apply:
This translation is made by fans and while the chapters on our website are free, they cost money to produce. Thus, any form of support would be much appreciated. Also, join us on discord to get release notifications and chat about our series.
Enjoying the series? Rate or review it on Novel Updates