Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 152
Light Novel: Volume 7 Episode 2
Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan Province where there are a lot of people.
The streets were as complicated as a maze so many of those who come to Chengdu for the first time would often find themselves lost.
Moreover there were a lot of streets which were either burned or collapsed from the recent catastrophes. The streets were fortunately restored over time but it became completely different from what it used to be.
At the completely different appearance of the streets people who recently visited Chengdu again after a long time often lost their sense of direction and wandered around the area.
Tae Yongha was one of them.
The first time he arrived in Chengdu was about ten years ago.
At that time he thought that he had already completely memorized the streets and corners of Chengdu but as soon as he entered Chengdu again recently he could not hide his embarrassment at how much things had changed.
Tae Yongha looked around and moved.
“All the information I’ve gathered so far turned out to be useless.”
He pretended to be dead in order to enter Chengdu secretly.
After pretending to have fallen into the river he dived and went into hiding. After a while he went into the shore took off all the clothes and changed into the new clothes he had prepared before entering the city.
He also didn’t forget to change his face to show off a different atmosphere.
Unlike his identity before which was the youngest porter of the Xuanwu Merchant Group he now looked like a Confucian scholar.
His real name was Baekrok.
Tae Yongha was just an alias he used for the people of the Xuanwu Merchant Group to call him by.
He had dozens of such aliases. And once a fake name is used he would never use it again. Such as in the case of Tae Yongha.
Baekrok was an assassin.
He doesn’t accept assassination requests from insignifiant people nor of low commission rates. Most of the quests he received were dangerous missions that would earn him large sums of money.
That shows just how outstanding his abilities were.
His area of activity was originally on the east coast of Jianghu. This would include areas such as Shandong Jiangsu and Zhejiang which are the opposite of Sichuan.
When he was still a young chick who knew nothing he had once done a quest in Sichuan. But since he suffered so much at that time he never again accepted a request that involved visiting Sichuan.
The only reason he came back to Sichuan was naturally because of another request he received. It was a request from an opponent that he could not reject so he had no choice.
It was a wise choice for him to follow the Xuanwu Merchant Group to Sichuan Province. Thanks to them he comfortably followed the Xuanwu Merchant Group and successfully carried out the quest.
He used poison under the disguise of qi deviation.
No one doubted him.
But Baekrok remained vigilant.
He knows that no matter how perfect his plan was there were bound to be loopholes somewhere. Furthermore the world is full of unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes a small variable that he didn’t even care about is capable of ruining his whole plan.
Baekrok didn’t want that to happen.
So he faked Tae Yongha’s death and changed his face.
This was to completely exclude even a small variable that might exist.
Baekrok walked the streets of Chengdu and captured the scenery.
On the surface he looked like an ordinary scholar leisurely enjoying the scenery but in reality he was meticulously remembering the topographic features of the area.
Just because he hasn’t been caught up to now doesn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t be found out in the future.
Baekrok made sure to thoroughly familiarize himself with the topography before proceeding with his assassination. Only then can a safe escape route be secured.
In particular it was important to secure a safe and secure escape route in a more complex city like Chengdu.
As Baekrok walked down the street he pictured an escape route in his head and became familiar with the atmosphere. The atmosphere was especially important. It was because his atmosphere had to change depending on the atmosphere of the street.
He had to melt into the streets.
If he stands out other people will be bound to notice.
It was important to keep people from recognizing him.
To do that he had to completely blend into the street.
It was for the same reason that Baekrok was dressed as a scholar.
‘It can’t be said that they live very well but it is a place where people who earn above average income still live. Even if a scholar passes by no one will think it strange.’
That was then.
“Put one kid over here.”
A group of people appeared on one side of the street.
A man who seemed to be the leader made his subordinate stand on one side of the street.
Baekrok recognized their identities at a glance.
‘The Hao clan?’
The Hao clan members had a unique atmosphere.
Although they could be said not to be a significant threat due to their shabby clothes and weak strength there were many people who had excellent observation skills.
The same was true for the Hao clan member who stood in the street he was passing by.
The Hao clan member might have looked plain ordinary with his shabby clothes but his eyes remained quite sharp. He was standing on the side of the street secretly watching all the passersby.
The problem was where he was standing.
It was the best location to observe people passing by at a glance. Anyone who passed through this street had no choice but to be noticed by the Hao clan member.
Baekrok had a gut feeling that something was wrong.
The Hao clan members were rushing around setting up a guard at the main point of the Chengdu.
‘Did they already know of the branch manager’s death? Even so this is too fast.’
After he obtained the information he wanted he killed off the manager of the Chengdu branch. He thought that he would be able to earn himself at least two more days after checking the schedule of the branch manager.
Furthermore even if the manager’s death was revealed sooner than planned it didn’t matter. Because Baekrok made sure to disguised the death of the branch manager as a natural death caused by overwork.
He thought that no one would figure out that the manager of the Chengdu branch had been murdered because he had completely erased his traces.
But judging by the reactions of Hao clan members now it was clear that they know that the branch manager was assassinated.
He was sure that he completely erased his traces.
The Hao clan members’ abilities should not be enough to be able to figure out what he had done.
Some external force must have acted for them to move like this.
Baekrok felt a strong sense of crisis.
After working as an assassin for a long time he developed his senses and intuition. But this was the first time he had felt such a strong sense of crisis.
The movement of the Hao clan members was simply not out of their own will. It felt like someone had encouraged them.
An invisible hand was obviously intervening in his plans.
Baekrok tried to keep a calm expression. If by any chance he shows his agitation here the Hao clan members will surely notice him.
He walked calmly.
He could see the Hao clan members scattered all over the streets of Chengdu.
‘I must hurry.’
He was trying to execute his assassination requests with certainty over time.
But things have changed.
If the situation changed his plan also had to change. The information he collected so far had to be reviewed again from the beginning.
Baekrok hurriedly returned to his residence.
His dwelling place was a guest house in Chengdu. He would like to find a much safer dwelling but it was not easy to find a home in this distant place without a single helper.
On the contrary his actions could be revealed while trying to find his own house. So for now it was best to use and stay in a guest house.
Baekrok stayed in his room and checked his tools. He mainly uses poison but that doesn’t mean his martial arts was weak.
He mainly used a rapier the length of a child’s forearm.
The rapier is only half the length of a normal sword and it is thin enough to be reminiscent of a skewer but if it gets stuck in the body of a person it causes a huge amount of bleeding and kills people in an instant.
However since the traces from the sword remain so clear he refrain from using it on a regular basis.
Aside from his sword he brought essential items such as hidden weapons and daggers in case of emergency.
The last thing he packed was poison.
A single drop of his poison was enough to kill a person instantly. He specially prepared this because the client wanted to ensure the death of his target.
But he also had other poisons prepared. He had a poison that could paralyze the heart making others think the cause was a natural death and another poison that has an effect similar to that of suffering from qi deviation.
All of those poisons were transferred to their own container before placing them into his bosom.
He wore loose-fitting clothing. People wouldn’t be able to guess that he had so many weapons and poison hidden underneath.
To break the preconceived notion that assassins would only wear black robes he wore a splendid hanfu.1
On the surface he only looked like an ordinary wealthy person.
‘No one would suspect that a person wearing such fancy clothing could be an assassin.’
People had preconceived notions. Those who wear good clothes must have grown up under precious care while those who wear shabby clothes must have grown up laboriously.
The same goes for an assassin. People often thought that assassins only wear black robes and move in gloomy places while avoiding people’s eyes.
Baekrok aims to take advantage of that loophole in people’s psychology.
The Hao clan members were still visible in the streets. Ordinary people might have failed to notice their existence but Baekrok could clearly detect them.
After walking for a long time Baekrok arrived on a shabby street outside the city. The area was far from the city center. And since it was late at night there were hardly any people on the street.
Baekrok thought he was lucky despite his recent misfortunes.
If Hao clan members had even reached this place he would have reconsidered doing his assassination tonight.
Baekrok looked at the target of his assassination.
It was late at night but his assassination target was still busy working.
A bright light was coming out through the window and he could see people coming in and out from time to time.
The fact that people continued to visit even though it was late at night was proof that they were enjoying the services of the shop.
However no matter how booming his business was it could not continue its business forever. At one point the shop will close and his assassination target had to go to bed.
‘About half an hour at the most.’
It was already late at night. No matter how good the business is it won’t be able to continue doing its business all night.
Baekrok waited patiently.
In fact after about half an hour the customer stopped coming in.
And soon the lights in the store went out.
Baekrok didn’t move right away.
He waited patiently until he could no longer feel the presence of people moving inside the workplace.
Baekrok confirmed once again that there were no people around and flew away.
He landed on the roof silently like a cat. He placed his hand on the roof.
The roof tiles were warm. The heat was enough to burn his palms. Still Baekrok didn’t express a single displeasure and made a hole inside the shop by carefully removing the tiles.
Baekrok slid into the store like a snake.
It was hot inside the store.
It wasn’t just an expression the air was really hot. The cause was a brazier in the middle of the store. The business was over but the hearth was still burning.
It was no ordinary store.
The store was a workshop.
Homemade weapons were hung on the walls and metal scraps and hammers were strewn all over the workbench.
Baekrok looked around the inside of the workshop for a moment and then walked inside.
There was a small room inside the workshop. The assassination target was identified as person who stays in his room without going out.
Baekrok opened the door to the room without a sound.
There was someone lying in the small room. He was sleeping with his forearms covering his eyes. He looked like he had a hard time.
Baekrok pulled out a rapier from his bosom.
The rapier touched the workshop owner’s neck.
The owner of the workshop opened his eyes in surprise at the cold feeling he felt on his neck.
At that moment Baekrok opened his mouth.
“Tang Sochu right?”
“Who are you?”
“The one who came to take your life.”
The workshop owner slowly got up.
It was Tang Sochu.
Tang Sochu looked at Baekrok without showing a sign of surprise.
“It’s an honor to have an assassin take my life. This just proves my worth.”
“Tang Sochu pass over the Tang Family’s vision!”
“Yes! I know that you have inherited the clan’s vision. If you give up the clan’s vision I will kill you without pain.”
Tang Sochu frowned.
It was then that he understood why the assassin had come to him. The assassin was commissioned by someone who was greedy for his clan’s vision.
The problem is that he doesn’t know who is greedy for Tang’s vision.
The vision of the Tang Family is to not pass a secret skill on to a person who has personality problems2 so he could not pass it on to him.
Tang Sochu asked
“Who is your client?”
“Questions are not allowed.”
Baekrok inserted qi to his rapier. Then a sharp sword energy pierced the head of Tang Sochu. Even though his blood was flowing Tang Sochu did not panic and looked at Baekrok.
Baekrok felt something strange at the attitude of Tang Sochu.
Tang Sochu was too calm. His attitude didn’t fit someone who encounters an assassin. At least among his victims so far none of them had shown such an attitude.
An ominous foreboding came over him.
This kind of foreboding has never been wrong.
Baekrok swung the rapier with all his might.
Obtaining the Tang Family’s vision was secondary anyway. It would be nice if he could get it but it’s still alright if he didn’t get it.
The important thing was to take the life of Tang Sochu.
At that moment Baekrok’s body was suddenly pulled up to the ceiling.
The rapier lost its trajectory and missed Tang Sochu’s neck.
Baekrok hung upside down. He looked at his feet. Around his ankles was a thread so thin that it was difficult to distinguish them with the n.a.k.e.d eye.
Baekrok’s eyes widened.
With his ears hanging upside down he could hear the murmuring voice of Tang Sochu.
“Move faster next time. I really thought I was going to die.”
At that moment someone appeared from the darkness.
Thank you for reading!
Hanfu. Meaning: traditional clothing
Do not pass a secret skill on to a person who has personality problems. Raws: 비인부전(非人不傅).
非 not negative
人 man people mankind
不 no not un-
傅 tutor teacher