Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 12
Light Novel: Volume 1 Episode 12
Manhwa: Chapter 10
First sword approached after hearing the scream of the Gok Soo-chang. He looked at the Gok Soo-chang lying around while holding on to his broken wrist with cool eyes.
The First Sword’s gaze quickly turned to Pyo-wol.
“Did you do this?”
In an instant a sharp sound resounded. When Pyo-wol saw that something was glinting up in front of his eyes a sword was imperceptibly drawn pointing at his neck.
Pyo-wol’s shoulders trembled.
Even with his eyesight he could not catch the moment when the sword was drawn.
It was a terrifyingly quick sword.
It was Pyo-wol’s first time witnessing how a human could draw a sword and wield it so quickly after seeing the First Sword skills.
It was a mind-blowing feeling.
As he perfectly adjusted to the darkness Pyo-wol thought that he had already become a pretty strong person. This is because he has the ability to see what other children cannot see with their own eyes and is one step ahead of them.
The First Sword’s quick sword shattered his arrogance into pieces.
He realized that the skies are high and there are many more stronger people in the world.
Pyo-wol does not know how strong the swords are as compared to the others in Jianghu. However he knew that assassins were not treated as human beings in Jianghu.
The real masters of Jianghu said that they can break large rocks with just one swing of their hand. Even if you hit it high it didn’t seem like the single sword had reached that level. (아부리 높게 쳐줘도 일검이 그 정도 경지에 도달했을것 같지는 않았다.)
But even such a single sword could kill Pyo-wol as easily as an ant if the First Sword made up his mind.
The sword that was now touching his neck proved that fact. A cold sweat ran down the back of Pyo-wol.
First sword applied strength to the sword that touched Pyo-wol’s neck. Pyo-wol clenched his fists involuntarily at the cold feeling that penetrated his skin. Those eyes without any emotion were crazily terrifying.
‘Am I going to die?’
For the first time Pyo-wol remembered the word death. At this moment in his eyes the First Sword appeared to be a reaper. The god of death who has the right to decide his life or death.
Pyo-wol bit his lip until it bled.
‘Did I make a mistake?’
He thought that if he wounded the Gok Soo-chang they wouldn’t punish him. Because that’s what they’ve done so far.
They decided that what they wanted was only a useful tool and that the life and safety of the children were not so important so he acted like this.
‘No I’m not sure yet.’
Pyo-wol tried his best to maintain a calm expression. If he revealed his anxiety he decided that they might swing their sword in disappointment. The pressure applied to the neck grew stronger and stronger. At this rate the sword will soon pierce through his flesh and enter his muscles.
Blood gushed out from Pyo-wol’s lips.
The sword pressure came in through the neck and hurt his internal organs.
That was then.
The pressure on his neck disappeared like a dream. First sword had quickly withdrawn. He said as he put the sword into its sheath.
“An assassin leaves no traces under any circumstances. Breaking the wrist like this and leaving a mark is no different from telling the opponent your military power and identity.”
“Keep in mind. Never leave a mark.”
Pyo-wol could not easily decide how to respond. So he remained silent. Because he knew that sometimes silence is more effective than giving out a ten-word answer.
Perhaps he liked Pyo-wol’s reaction the First Sword turned around without saying anything more.
In an instant Pyo-wol was about to let out the breath he had been holding back.
‘No not yet. I must not relax.’
Fortunately he gave out a good look so he passed but he didn’t know what kind of reaction he would get if he showed a relaxed appearance.
Pyo-wol kept his nerves sharp for a long time.
* * *
Gok Soo-chang eventually died.
It was an underground cave where it was difficult to survive even with the best physical condition.
The other children did not leave Gok Soo-chang alone who had broken one arm and could not use his strength properly. Just as Gok Soo-chang did to Pyo-wol the other children also aimed at Gok Soo-chang under the guise of training.
For the first time or two he somehow managed to survive a difficult incident but the situation was not easy enough to survive without injuries.
In the end Gok Soo-chang could not survive the attacks of the other children and died. The death of Gok Soo-chang has alarmed many children.
It’s okay to attack other children but if they get hurt they’ll be beaten up by others.
Pyo-wol also watched Gok Soo-chang die.
Although it was not visible on the outside the attack of the First Sword inflicted a major internal wound on him. Because of that Pyo-wol had to suffer for several days.
Every time he took a deep breath he felt the pain in his lungs as if its tearing apart. Because of that Pyo-wol was unable to breathe properly.
He couldn’t breathe properly so of course his energy was weak. Yet Pyo-wol never showed a painful expression. He endured with all his might and continued to endure again and again.
As he held on with his strength his internal injuries began to improve little by little and now he is completely back to normal.
After going through a series of events Pyo-Yeol realized once again.
In this hellish place the only thing you can believe in is yourself. And to be strong.
There was a high probability of surviving here if he could afford to reach the level of the First Sword’s quick sword.
Pyo-wol bit his lip.
The goal was clearly set but the problem was how to get there.
Even with his eyes trained underground he couldn’t see how the single sword was drawn and wielded. Only the cold feel of the sword was engraved on his neck.
‘I have to be more aware and responsive. Otherwise I can’t get out of their grasp forever.’
Pyo-wol looked at the Thunder-Splitting method in his hand. It was the only weapon he currently had. He had to find a way using the in the Thunder-Splitting technique.
He didn’t spare a glance at the Poisonous Dragon Heart method.
Pyo-wol frantically delved into only one method of cultivation.
The training became more severe.
The bridgeheads pushed the children to their limits.
There were children who suffocated while learning the Turtle Breathing Technique (귀식대법을 Gwisik Daebeop)1 and there were children who lost their lives by using poison incorrectly.
Children have always had to fight death.
The custodians took special care in teaching the children swordsmanship and assasination techniques. The martial arts they were teaching them were the martial arts of murder that pursued extreme efficiency. There was no such thing as depth in such a void.
If you don’t kill your opponent in one hit you die.
Because of that they had to risk everything they had on the first hit.
The children’s personalities became colder and tougher. Their eyes were like a beast always full of vigor.
The custodians pushed the children to death again.
“You must not outwardly show your desire to live. Kill the look in your eyes. Don’t express your will to live.” (“살기를 겉으로 드러내서는 안 된다. 눈빛을 죽여라. 살기를 절대 표출하지 마라.”)
Children who are already full of life are killing to survive again. It never got easy. But they had to. If you can’t do it it’s because the custodians have been brutally driven. (이미 살기가 가득한 아이들이 다시 살기를 죽이는 것은 절대 쉬운일이 아니었다. 하지만 해야 했다. 해내지 못하면 영락없이 교두들이가혹하게 몰아쳤기 때문이다.)
Again many children died in the process.
Now there were only about thirty-five children left. They didn’t know how many more of them would die.
A bond was formed between the surviving children. They didn’t completely trust each other but still a sense of camaraderie was created.
* * *
The masked instructors looked around with sharp eyes.
Now the children simply called him instructor but his original name was Geum Pyeong.
Geum Pyeong was one of the assassins belonging to the Bloody Phantom Corps. He possessed great skills to the extent that more than thirty people had lost their lives at his hands.
Geum Pyeong was particularly good at stealth and Turtle Breathing technique.
His knack for hiding his presence through the Turtle Breathing technique and aiming for the optimal moment of assassination was unmatched.
But he soon retired.
Because he was seriously wounded in the process of killing his last assasination target Go Han-wi (青平修士) an investigator from Cheongpyeong .
It was such a big wound that his knee should have been cut off. Fortunately the knee was preserved but it took years for the wound to heal.
Even after the wound healed it was impossible to regain his former ability. Eventually he retired from the front lines and took on the task of teaching the children.
He was accustomed to seeing the blood of others.
At first he had no choice but to start killing to make a living but eventually he became accustomed to seeing blood and carried out asssassinations with his own will.
Then he taught the children trapped in a narrow cage-like underground cave.
There was no sense of duty in him to raise juniors. He just couldn’t do assassination missions so he had no choice but to do this.”
Naturally his heart was filled with anger.
At first the feeling was shrouded just like that but as time went on it started to erupt little by little to the surface.
Geum Pyeong knew that the negative emotion that sprouted in his heart was anger.
His unwillingness to admit that he was pushed out as an old man in the back room and his jealousy towards children are combined and expressed in the form of anger.
He did not hide his anger.
After all this place was completely enclosed. Only food was delivered through the baskets they were riding in but no one came in.
There is no way to know from the outside what he is doing here and there’s no actual boss in this place.
The only thing they were interested in was raising children strongly and they didn’t care how many people died.
And because of that he treated the children more harshly.
He looked around with keen eyes.
Now was the time to practice the Turtle Breathing Technique to hide their presence.
First they use the terrain to hide their body and then they spread the Turtle Breathing Technique to hide their presence.
The essence of the Turtle Breathing Technique is to artificially stop most of the vital functions by slowing the heart rate as much as possible. The natural body temperature would drop and become like a dead person.
They are not dead but they are in a state similar to that of a dead person.
Once you spread the Turtle Breathing Technique you will never be able to detect any uninhabited person. However the extent of mastery is different.
Being well versed in the Turtle Breathing Technique means learning the trick of understanding your body.
Even the seemingly perfect Turtle Breathing Technique had one drawback.
It is a feeling of discomfort that cannot be described in words.
In particular the more vital it is the deeper the sense of disharmony.
Because the human body is forcibly made to resemble a dead state foreign parts inevitably stand out in a lively place.
For that reason even if the same Turtle Breathing Technique were used those who did not have enough experience would inevitably be detected.
Geum Pyeong suddenly stabbed the floor with a knife.
Suddenly someone came out yelling. It was a child who had been caught hiding since his eardrums stood out. A sword of Geum Pyeong was stuck in his shoulder.
“If I were an enemy you would already be dead.”
The child couldn’t even make an excuse and clenched his teeth.
A look of anger was evident on his face.
Obviously he did his best to practice the Turtle Breathing technique but he’s’ angry that he’s been exposed like this in vain.
Geum Pyeong passed by such a child and looked for the next prey.
Every time he stabbed something with a knife the children who were practicing the stealth technique came out wearing scars.
There are five children hiding in his area. Four of them were already caught.
Now there is only one last person left.
Geum Pyeong looked around with sharp eyes.
He believed he could catch the last one soon. Although his legs were paralyzed his eyesight and sense of detection were more developed.
He mobilized all of his powers to find the remaining child.
However as time passed no traces of the child were found anywhere.
‘Is he not here?’
After coming to the underground cavity he opened up all his senses wide for the first time. However no trace of the last child was found anywhere.
No matter where he looked there was no sense of incongruity.
For the first time a puzzled expression appeared on his face.
It might not be possible to find a person if they reached the peak of the technique. But he couldn’t believe that the children here had already reached that level.
He looked around again closely.
Instead of looking around he tried to find a place where he felt a sense of incongruity by mobilizing all his senses. However no matter how hard he tried there was no place where he felt uncomfortable any longer.
‘Aren’t you hiding somewhere else?’
Eventually he doubted that the last child who was missing was here. But he knew best that that couldn’t happen. The children were aware that those who break the rules will be killed.
It was inconceivable that such children would break the rules and leave this place.
Geom Pyeong wandered several times in search of the last remaining child. But he couldn’t find the last child at all.
Eventually he gave up looking and opened his mouth.
“I can’t find you so you can stop and come out now.”
As soon as he finished speaking the ground shook right next to where he was standing.
‘He was hiding this close to me!’
Geom Pyeong was astounded.
The fact that he couldn’t find him even though the last child was right next to him frightened him.
귀식대법을 Gwisik Daebeop is the MTL version.
Meaning: How to stop breathing. Gwisik Daebeop does not simply stop breathing but stops the beating of the heart and lowers the body temperature to eliminate presence. People who have mastered martial arts know other people’s location mainly through the sound of breathing.
In the manhwa I think they refer to this as Turtle Breathing Technique. It’s the artificial cessation of most vital functions without dying to hide your presence. The name is from the nature of turtles who can hold their breath for a very long time underwater. I’ll be using this for consistency.