The weaklings are bound to join the silence when the person in power is silent.
I made Dong Bang-yeon, who is still alive, and all the present spectators shut their mouths, and pick up Pyeong Gun-sa’s handheld fan on the floor.
When I open it, blood is smeared on the white fan.
Flapping the fan slowly, I scan the crowd.
I then address everyone here.
“You pathetic bastards.”
What a wonder. The words echo throughout the fighting pit and prick my heart.
“I was pathetic, too.”
When I glance at Dong Bang-yeon, his left arm is bleeding after getting hit by my previous attack.
After clearing my throat, I recite the song’s first words, known to all gamblers here in monotone.
“I spent 30 years at a gambling house.”
Pyeong Gun-sa sang occasionally. The songs that are often sung by gamblers, those who lost their money, debtors, bystanders, and everyone working nearby are flowing out of my mouth.
“Hold onto the cards when I was young and put down the cards as I grow old.”
The gamblers in the audience respond by singing the following line.
“I gambled away my fortune.”
I also nod and mutter.
“I gambled away my fortune.”
Pointing to this and that guy with a fan, the song continues.
“Was it only my money?”
The gamblers follow in like a bell chime.
“How can I throw away my friend’s money and relative’s money without hesitation? No one welcomed me even though I haven’t been home in a long time. I took out the money hidden in the closet and headed to the gambling house. Everyone in the neighborhood looks at me with contempt.”
The gamblers sing the final line.
“Everyone I meet looks at me with contempt.”
I stood still, holding the handheld fan, and continued singing.
“If I don’t show up again, tell them I died gambling. Today, the cards were especially lingering before my eyes.”
Making eye contact with the Narak Society scumbags, I repeat the chorus.
“I will be in luck today. I will be in luck today.”
Following my lead, the gamblers sing along.
“I will be in luck today. I will be in luck today.”
After the song, I speak to the gamblers in my usual voice.
“But you’re not in luck today.”
“We’re closing today, so pack up and leave, dimwits. The show’s over.”
I yell at the audience and the Narak Society scums who are watching me wordlessly.
“Fuck off, dickheads!”
I go up to a Narak Society martial artist, whack his head, kick his butt and say.
“Get out of here, you punk. Didn’t you hear? We’re closed. Pathetic bastard.”
As I randomly beat up two or three people and cursed at them, only then did the gambling addicts disperse.
“Go home if you have a roof, scumbags, and if you don’t, go beg for money. The last guy to get out of here will have their wrist broken.”
I run up to the dawdling bastards and kick them in the ass once more.
When the man who had rolled on the ground also jumps up and hurries away, the remaining Narak Society is also dismissed.
As I look around the room while fluttering the handheld fan, only a few people remain. They must be gambling officials who can’t leave because they have piled up a fortune here.
I look at Ouyang Bok, the King of Gamble, sitting alone in the audience.
“Do you think you’re screwed now?”
Ouyang Bok stares at me without saying a word.
“Did you think you’d win if all your subordinates came at me? Didn’t I say this is a fraud gamble? Any thoughts, Dong Bang-yeon? Isn’t it refreshing to meet someone like me after beating up those squirming dudes after drugging them aphrodisiacs?”
Ouyang Bok, who is seated in the audience, opens his mouth.
“Look, young man. Before coming here, I sent a letter to the Nanming Society (南明會).”
“Ah, Nanming Society.”
“It will be difficult to pay bribes in the future if we have a troublemaker here. It’s a simple letter, but the Nanming Society will look into it. I’ve paid a hefty amount, you know.”
“I suppose so.”
“Did you expect the money would go to you if you made a mess here? It’s not that simple. Even if you run around recklessly, you will eventually get caught by the Unorthodox Factions. That’s why I’m satisfied with this gambling house.”
Ouyang Bok puts a stick of daylilies in his mouth in his seat and breathes out smoke.
I hit the fan on my palm, fold it, and throw it at Dong Bang-yeon.
When Dong Bang-yeon, whose pressure points blockages had worn off, crosses his double sword to block the fan, sparks fly. At the same time, I strike forward with Black Hare’s Tooth.
The weapon containing the Fiery Fragrance slices the upper body of Dong Bang-yeon at an angle.
Three startled members of Narak Society all flee, each heading north, east, and south.
What confidence did they have to stay all this time? Looks like they had faith in the unwavering Ouyang Bok at the audience seat.
Putting Black Hare’s Tooth away and picking up Dong Bang-yeon’s double sword, I throw it eastward and then southward.
Two swords penetrate the escapee’s body and then stick in the wall.
The man who runs north shoots toward the audience seat and says to Ouyang Bok.
“Leader, let’s go!”
Startled awake, Ouyang Bok grabs and pulls the official to find a safe place. He then suddenly grabs and smashes his head on the chair.
Thud! Thud! Thud! After hitting three times, the official’s body collapses under the chair.
Ouyang Bok raises his voice, kicking his subordinate-turned-corpse.
“Who said we’re running away!”
I leap lightly into the air, and I am standing behind him when Ouyang Bok shouts out his words.
As soon as Ouyang Bok, who is still attacking the body, notices that I am behind him, his movements slow down significantly.
Ouyang Bok says as he turns around.
“Was it called the Zaha Inn…”
At the same time he raises the question, Ouyang Bok shoots double palm forces. I don’t deflect Ouyang Bok’s palm forces but extend my hands to challenge him.
Ouyang Bok’s palm forces that must have taken a relatively long time to hone are overpowered by my own.
During the challenge, I call out to him using the name I did in the past.
“Mister Ouyang, I knew you were a generous person. I don’t know if the owner has to be generous to run a successful gambling house.”
Ouyang Bok looks at me in astonishment as his eyes become wide as he continues to release his palm force. Of course, it is only natural for him to be confused since the person he’d met for the first time is talking like they’d known each other for years.
“Who are you?”
However, I don’t intend to resolve the suspicions of someone dying soon.
“An errand boy.”
Ouyang Bok interprets that as confessing that I used to work as an errand boy here.
After overwhelming Ouyang Bok’s palm force with the Fire Chicken energy, I switch to the Great Absorption Technique to extract Ouyang Bok’s Qi from his Dantian. Ouyang Bok’s desperate screams fill the fighting pit.
As soon as I confirm that Ouyang Bok looks like his life force has been sucked out of him, I hurriedly retrieve my hand.
Sinking down to his knees, Ouyang Bok looks up at me with an exhausted expression as if he is about to die.
“Forget about them. I’ll take care of the rest. Does our generous Mister Ouyang have any last words?”
Facing death, Ouyang Bok looks to have completely lost it and asks.
“Do I get a share of your winnings?”
“No, you asshole.”
I lift my right foot and step down on Ouyang Bok’s windpipe.
“Winner’s share my foot.”
I deliver the results of today’s duel while looking at the empty audience seats.
“Everyone, listen up. The owner of the Zaha Inn has won.”
I am walking around clapping on the railing of the fighting pit, picking out a torch, crumpling abandoned papers, and setting it on fire. It is a bundle of documents with the gamblers’ names and betting amounts.
While looking around, I throw the torch to a place that quickly catches fire, pulls out more torches, and gift fire to Ouyang Bok’s corpse. The fire catches on Ouyang Bok’s clothes, engulfing his entire body.
A man who sets fire everywhere he goes, that’s me.
As I walk around picking up and throwing torches, the place is going up in flames. Most of the audience seats are made of wood, hence the blaze turning this place rapidly into a colossal brazier.
Walking through the blazing fire, I sing the gambler’s song to myself.
I spent thirty years in a gambling house.
Hold onto the cards when I was young and put down the cards as I grow old.
I gambled away my fortune.
Was it only my money?
How can I throw away my friend’s money and relative’s money without hesitation? No one welcomed me even though I haven’t been home in a long time. I took out the money hidden in the closet and headed to the gambling house.
No one welcomed me even though I haven’t been home in a long time.
I took out the money hidden in the closet and headed to the gambling house.
Everyone I meet looks at me with contempt.
If I don’t show up again, tell them I died gambling.
Today, the cards were especially lingering before my eyes.
My luck will be good today.
I will be in luck today.
Feeling a sense of satisfaction after burning down the gambling house and singing, I let out a long guffaw.
Riding on the high, I burned his body and spread the flames as if pissing on his dream.
Pulling out Black Hare’s Tooth, I dance between the scorching flames. The Magic Fire Technique wrapped around Black Hare’s Tooth shoots forward, making the fire burn stronger. As the fire joins the flame, the area is lit ablaze as if Acalanātha has descended.
I space out as I look at the flame.
How great will it be if this powerful, beautiful, ruthless flame becomes my power?
I lay on the warm ground where the flames haven’t yet reached and look up at the night sky.
“I want to sweep the stars in the night sky and drop Buddhist statues over the cult fanatics hunting me down. Talks and gossip stop whenever I go, stomp on those who cut mountains with swords, and slap the faces of masters called the Three Disasters. That’s me. Not yet. Ugh, it’s hot.”
The moment I sit up, I am surrounded by a sea of fire.
A man who comes back to the past and gets burned to death, that’s not me.
I draw Black Hare’s Tooth vertically and shoot Blade Wind in front of me.
The flames are split to the side but begin to creep up again. I swing my blade around in place and, after injecting the Fighting Chicken’s energy, use the Cut In Half Technique (一刀兩斷) that is used by every faction.
The fire splits into two branches, and the entire audience seat beyond it is completely separated into half, making a path crafted by the slash of a sword.
Slashing the fiery hell caused by the burning gamblers, I escape.
I leave the burning fighting pit behind and look at the town of hectic gamblers.
“What a beautiful night.”
A ruckus is taking place, and someone shouts out loud.
I reply in a monotonous tone to the remark.
“It’s a fire show.”
“It’s a fire show. Okay?”
Suddenly, I dash off like someone who has forgotten something and scream upon arrival near the Phoenix guest room.
“Miss So! Miss Heuk! Are you in there?”
I chuckle and look around. People are shouting “Fire.” here and there, so it must’ve been like hell for the ladies. A weak murmur can be heard in the Phoenix guest room.
I pull back the tent curtains and ask while heading to the bedroom.
“Are you there? No? I guess not.”
“He… he… h… ere…”
A desperate scream comes from the bed as their pressure points haven’t worn off. I dance my way to the bed.
“You’re still here… when the sun sets, and the moon is shining?”
Sinking my feet on the bed, I look down at Baek So-ah and Heuk So-ryeong. The two cry for a long time and look at me with bloodshot eyes.
Outside the tent, someone is rushing past, yelling.
I stare at Baek So-ah and Heuk So-ryeong with a stiff expression and say in a low voice.
“… it’s a fire show.”
Soon, Baek So-ah and Heuk So-ryeong’s eyes roll up, and they both faint at the same time.
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