Chapter 95 - I Underestimated The Dumplings

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Two people are facing each other in a pavilion at a sparsely populated location.

The man wearing black sitting on the right side places gold coins on the table. He slowly builds a tower by placing coins on top of one another. As his tower reaches the height of ten coins, he says.

“This time, the leader of the Bajian Society will be quite angry.”

The ordinary-looking man who is facing him responds.

“Let’s hear it first.”

“That man’s name is Lee Zaha. He is said to be the leader of the Low Down Sect. Have you heard of him?”

“Continue.”

“That place was fixed up. It looks like he took over from the Black Rabbit Union and took the spot for himself. I also heard he has a lot of subordinates. Do you know of Dae Na-chal?”

“I know.”

“They are saying that this man, Lee Zaha, was the one who killed him. This Unorthodox master and his subordinates died. Anyway, remember that this young man’s skills are great enough to kill such a warrior.”

“What should I do to prove the kill?”

“Bring me his head. No, I just want to confirm that the former leader was really killed.”

The man in black then looks at the man across from him.

“Does this Lee Zaha have a title?”

“No.”

“Then we should send someone to check his skills and give us details, right?”

“That will cost more.”

The man in black nods and points to the ten gold coins on the table.

“… how much more?”

“I will do it for one hundred gold coins.”

“Isn’t that too expensive? He isn’t even that well known in Kangho.”

“It isn’t expensive. If we fail, a hundred coins will be returned to the Baijian Society.”

The man in black responds with some surprise.

“It will be returned?”

“Anyway, that would only happen if we fail. Instead, you can use us again. After considering the skills of any of our comrades who died on this mission, a more skilled one will be dispatched. You are free to leave the task to us or someone else.”

“What will be the cost when the task needs to be repeated?”

“Double the amount.”

The man in black opens his mouth again.

“Woah, that is expensive. 200 gold coins?”

“It isn’t expensive. If the second attempt fails, the 200 gold will be returned to you again.”

“Ah, is that the way? But with 200 gold coins, wouldn’t it be possible to kill even the best?”

“It isn’t like that. There will be many guarding this person day and night. As a man who would be wary of being attacked, the cost associated with the task will be higher. Of course, we also have to be careful of possible deadly retaliation against the Baijian Society in case of failure.”

The man in black nods.

“Fine, let’s do it. A hundred gold for Lee Zaha.”

“It has to be paid upfront.”

The man in black snaps his finger, signaling to his subordinate, who is waiting outside the pavilion, to come in with a box that is then placed on the table.

As the man who serves as the negotiator for the contracted organization checks the gold coins, the man in black speaks to his subordinate.

“Describe clearly what he is like.”

“Yes.”

The man in black instructs for something to be placed on the table. It is a painting roughly describing the appearance, clothing, and everything else about Lee Zaha.

The man in black points his finger.

“This is him, the guy who pissed off our busy leader. Doesn’t his face already look disgusting at first sight?”

“I will keep it in mind and take the painting.”

“What about the atmosphere around this man?”

“You will have to see it in person.”

The man in black picks up the painting and stares at it. He then twirls his finger near his temple.

“I see some possible things, but this man looks crazy. The person who drew this put so much emphasis on his hair and eyes. Don’t his eyes look like crazy eyes?”

“… then, we will get started and let you know the results.”

The man nods.

“Take care. Ah, by the way, I also contacted the leaders of our side since I don’t know everything happening around us clearly. Your organization name, I am not sure what it is… I am giving you money like this, but I need something in return. I need to report it back to our leaders. You don’t expect me to keep this a secret, too, right?”

“The River-Crossing Reed.”

“Such a dignified name for an assassination and information-gathering group. I wish you well. We also have a very strong fortress here. A lot of money is being put…”

As the man in black continues to speak, the man he commissioned stands up.

“Then we will contact you later.”

The man lightly bows his head and walks out of the pavilion with a box of gold.

The man in black then mutters.

“Be careful.”

Once the man has moved quite a bit away, he turns to his subordinates and asks.

“What do you think? Do you think it can be done?”

“Yes.”

“Why so?”

“They must not want to return the money, so they will do it.”

“Ah, I see.”

The man smiles and nods.

“Then it is good. But they might be losing on purpose to double the amount too.”

“But it will cost a lot more to bring up another skilled person in their group.”

The man in black gets up from his seat.

“True. Let’s go. First, Lee Zaha will be dead anyway, so we don’t have to worry about it.”

“Yes.”


Two days after that meeting, a man pulling a cart passes by the front gates of the Black Rabbit Union. The morning after, a young man selling rice cakes passes by. In the afternoon, a group of people who claim to have lost their way also linger around.

Rain falls on the same night.

The next day, a man wearing plain clothes looks through the wide open gates of the Black Rabbit Union as he passes by. Since the fortress is usually filled with the loud shouts of men training, passersby inevitably glance over as they pass.

In the evening, the main gates are closed.

On the afternoon of the third day.

The assassin, who has been watching all of this from a room in a building quite far away, puts down the jerky that he has been chewing and looks at the gate.

“…”

A man presumed to be the Black Rabbit Union leader, Lee Zaha, is stretching in front of the door. Someone else then pokes out their head from inside and asks.

“Where are you going?”

“Walk.”

“Shall we go together?”

“I don’t want to.”

As he listens to their conversation, the assassin writes down Lee Zaha’s characteristics.

-Good at refusing.

-Has a knife at his waist.

-Young.

-Face which looks like it lacks sleep.

-Bloodshot eyes.

-Handsome.

-Expected to have a bad personality.

After confirming the direction that his target disappeared to, the assassin places the paper on the table and exits the building.

After a few moments, he slowly begins to walk in the direction that Lee Zaha had walked to. He passes the market road and waves away the smoke from the dumpling shop with his hand.

This…

Lee Zaha is in front of him with a large dumpling in his mouth. The assassin walks down the path calmly.

He can hear Lee Zaha’s words from his position behind the man.

“Uh, oh, so delicious.”

The young owner of the dumpling restaurant looks at him and asks.

“Leader, shall I pack more for you?”

Lee Zaha gulps down his dumpling and replies.

“Why? I am going to have it alone.”

“Ah. I see.”

As the assassin continues walking down the road, he hears Lee Zaha’s absurd ramblings.

“I always eat alone, I eat dumplings by myself, I sing by myself.”

“I actually can see that.”

“Yes.”

The assassin walks past four to five other street vendors before entering a fairly quiet inn and sitting outside.

He then suddenly thinks.

‘… is he insane?’

The inn’s errand boy comes to him and asks.

“What can I get you?”

The assassin asks the boy.

“Do you have any jerky?”

“Yes.”

“Beer?”

“We have Dukuang and Wuling alcohol.”

“Wuling alcohol then.”

“Please wait.”

In the olden days, assassins would have needed to wait inside bathroom septic tanks or dig a hole in the ground to hide in. Things aren’t like that anymore.

The most important thing now is to naturally blend into the surroundings.

When the time is right, an assassin would eat, drink and dance while monitoring their target and assassinating them at the most appropriate time.

The errand boy brings the beef jerky and the Wuling alcohol before speaking to a passing man.

“Leader, where are you going?”

“A walk.”

“A walk?”

“Inspection, spying, wandering, prowling, sightseeing, and searching.”

“Wow, you are doing several things at once. As expected of our leader.”

“That is me.”

The assassin knows that the voice belongs to Lee Zaha, but he doesn’t turn around to look.

“…”

The server asks Lee Zaha another question.

“Leader, aren’t you having alcohol? How about having a cup before going?”

“I stopped drinking.”

“Don’t lie.”

The assassin looks at the errand boy with surprise. That is an unexpected tone of voice, considering who the boy is talking to.

‘Is he insane too?’

As the assassin pours himself another glass of alcohol with a calm expression, the conversation between the two continues.

“Uh, it has to be what happened a few days ago. I had a huge drinking party with my subordinates, and I almost died.”

“Why?”

“Everyone was drunk and passed out, fainted, and puked. It was a mess.”

“Leader too?”

“Everyone except for me. I had been on the watch all night.”

“Wow, is it okay for the morality of Kangho to be messed around like this? Does it make sense for the leader to stand guard over his own sect?”

“Those were my words exactly.”

“But didn’t you declare war? I’ve heard about it too. What did it mean to bring in such a large amount of alcohol then?”

“Which is why I don’t want it now.”

“Ah… have a good walk then!”

“Good work!”

“Yes.”

“If you see anything strange, report it.”

“If I do that, will I be able to enter the Black Rabbit Union?”

“Do it right first.”

“Yes.”

After hearing no more words, the assassin drinks another glass of alcohol and turns his head to look at Lee Zaha’s moving back. The errand boy approaches him with a strange look and asks.

“Are you seeing our leader for the first time?”

“Ah, he is the leader of the Black Rabbit Union? I heard he wears a mask?”

“That is the dead former leader.”

“I see.”

The assassin then says to the errand boy.

“Don’t look at me like that, and go back to work.”

“Yes. Ah, customer, I have one question for you.”

“What is it?”

“If the South Horizon Sect and Bajian Society fight, who will come out as the winner? I have been hearing a lot of stuff. Lately, I am curious.”

“What are people saying?”

“Well, there are opinions that both have similar power. Don’t they have rich sword techniques and lots of battle experience? In terms of power, isn’t it known that the South Horizon Sect leader is stronger? So people are saying that the South Horizon Sect will win.”

The errand boy naturally pulls out a chair and sits across the smiling assassin.

“Everyone is so interested in the matters of others.”

“Isn’t it obvious what one talks about when drinking? One more glass?”

“Um.”

Unable to resist the temptation, the assassin nods as the errand boy pouts another glass.

“Thank you.”

“What do you think? Who will win?”

“Wait. I will take a sip and then say.”

The errand boy also takes a sip and wipes his mouth on his sleeve before saying anything else.

“Firstly… I can think of the end despite whoever wins or loses.”

“Why?”

“We heard the rumors that the leader of the Bajian Society, who had just passed away, wouldn’t leave anything attended.”

“Why do you think so?”

“The quality of their sword technique is known to be bad. They have a lot of money, so they buy people. Fucking trash.”

“….”

“Assassinations are happening everywhere. On the other hand, it seems like the leader of the South Horizon Sect is a veteran of Kangho and holds to the principle of one on one fights. So that is why our leader said that the Baijian Society would fall. Do you know? The Unorthodox Factions around here were taken over by our leader. Have you heard about that?”

“I didn’t know.”

“Uh, do I have to tell you this too? This is the story.”

“Still, the Black Rabbit Union is a small group. The Baijian Society is a place where several factions are united together. I wonder if the two can even be considered equal opponents?”

“Ah, is the Baijian Society that big? I didn’t know.”

The assassin, who wants to give more of an answer, becomes silent and looks ahead as Lee Zaha seems to be returning from his walk. The errand boy notices the assassin’s gaze and turns his face.

“Leader, is the walk already done?”

“Yeah.”

“I see.”

“Give me some booze. The dumplings are stuck in my throat. I underestimated the dumplings. I shouldn’t do that again.”

“I understand.”

As the errand boy heads inside, the assassin can’t help but stare at Lee Zaha, who is standing still in front of him.

Luckily, the errand boy comes out again as the assassin couldn’t find a good way to speak in this situation.

“Leader, will you have it here? Ah, I was talking with this person about South Horizon Sect. Would you join us?”

“Is that so?”

“Ah, yes. It is good for everyone to know.”

The server says this as he places the bottle on the table without asking the assassin.

“Now, now sit down. Is the customer fine with this?”

The assassin can only sigh, which prompts Lee Zaha to say.

“Cheer up.”

“Yes.”

“You go in.”

“Ah? I-I understand.”

After seeing Lee Zaha’s expression, the errand boy quickly heads back inside.

The assassin raises his gaze and looks at Lee Zaha, who is sitting across from him.

“…”

The assassin, who is becoming worried, tries to speak.

“Join me. I heard from the errand boy that you are the leader of the Black Rabbit Union?”

The assassin watches warily as Lee Zaha smiles.

“Why… are you smiling?”

“Where are you from?’

“I am from Seokpyeong. I came here to meet some acquaintances…”

“No, no, no.”

“…”

“Who sent you?”

The assassin looks at Lee Zaha and becomes silent. The target, who he is drinking with, pulls the knife from his waist and stabs it through the table.

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