Light Novel: Volume 10 Episode 24
“What a mess.”
Hong Yushin muttered as he looked at the streets of Runan.
As soon as he entered Runan, the first thing he heard was the incident that occurred at Jin manor last night.
“To think that the Shaolin Temple’s goons attacked the reaper of Chengdu? That’s crazy!”
He wasn’t simply saying this because he was unaware of the power of the Shaolin Temple.
No matter how strong Pyo-wol is, he cannot destroy the Shaolin Temple alone. It was a fact that could never be changed. However, if Pyo-wol made up his mind, he could still inflict great damage to the said sect.
Pyo-wol is an assassin.
To be specific, an assassin who had reached an unprecedented stage.
Those who belonged to that kind are at their best during an ambush rather than a direct confrontation.
If Pyo-wol decided to thoroughly conceal his tracks and conducted a surprise attack, even if his opponent is a high monk of the Shaolin Temple, they would still end up in a dangerous position.
If Hong Yushin had been a monk of the Shaolin Temple, he would never have attacked Pyo-wol so recklessly.
Pyo-wol is the type of person who would chase to the end until he kills off his opponent. There would be no end to the aftermath once he is provoked. If they had information about Pyo-wol beforehand, they would not have rushed to attack him.
The Shaolin Temple’s actions were too hasty.
In a moment of fervor and agitation, they made an enemy of someone great.
“It’s them who made Pyo-wol their enemy, so it’s their job to solve it. There’s no particular reason for me to worry about them. That’s not my problem.”
Even up to now, Hong Yushin and the Hao clan are still trying to keep Pyo-wol’s identity a secret. Because of that, warriors other than those who belonged to the eleven great sects, who had their own intelligence, remained oblivious of Pyo-wol’s existence.
Although Pyo-wol’s name started to become known little by little as he left Sichuan, his fame is still limited to some regions. His reputation was not that great enough for everyone in the world to have heard of him.
But when Hong Yushin arrived at Runan today, everyone was talking about the assassin who stayed at the Jin manor.
“I heard that he assassinated Monk Seong-un of the Shaolin Temple.”
“They say he’s a very vicious man. I’ve heard rumors that he’s the one responsible for the bloodshed in Sichuan.”
“I can’t believe he’s an assassin with his beautiful face. Oh, how scary!”
What transpired in the Jin manor had already spread throughout Runan.
And that wasn’t all.
Pyo-wol’s appearance and even his identity as an assassin were known.
This was absolutely not natural.
It was clear that some invisible force was at work.
‘Someone’s intentionally spreading rumors in hopes of ostracizing him.’
With Pyo-wol’s identity being revealed to the whole world, the range of his movements was bound to narrow.
Perhaps the person who disclosed and spread Pyo-wol’s identity was aiming for such an effect. But there was something he failed to consider.
That is, Pyo-wol is more accustomed to hiding his face and identity more than anyone else.
Although Hong Yushin had no clear physical evidence, with his in depth understanding of Pyo-wol, he knew that he was active in Chengdu under various identities.
If Pyo-wol couldn’t move with his original face, he would change it and disguise himself under a different identity.
The Pyo-wol Hong Yushin knew didn’t care too much about his real face. Rather, Pyo-wol thought of his beautiful face as cumbersome. So by now, Pyo-wol might as well think that it’s good that things have turned out like this.
Hong Yushin suddenly looked around.
Many people were walking in groups of threes and fives, and there were also those walking on the streets alone.
One of them could be Pyo-wol.
When he thought of it like that, goose bumps came up all over his body.
‘Because of their hasty judgement, the Shaolin Temple turned the most troublesome person in the world into their enemy.’
Hong Yushin did not know how Pyo-wol would respond. But he was sure that Pyo-wol would never sit still and suffer.
That had always been the case with Pyo-wol.
Even in his fight against the Qingcheng and Emei sect.
Or his war with the Xiaoleiyin Temple.
No matter how big his enemy was, he never backed down.
He made sure to make them pay irrespective of the means and methods he had to do.
As a result, the Qingcheng and Emei closed their gates, and the Xiaoleiyin Temple was destroyed.
Pyo-wol was not just an assassin.
He is something more than an assassin.
“The question is, who is responsible for revealing and spreading his identity. Is it the Snow Sword Manor?”
The Snow Sword Manor is the only party that would benefit the most from isolating Pyo-wol.
The Jin family’s strength is significantly weakened while the Shaolin Temple lost its justification for intervening in the fight between the two factions.
“Seol Kang-yeon, the sect leader of the Snow Sword Manor, is not smart enough to think of such a scheme.”
Based on the Hao clan’s investigation, Seol Kang-yeon is a rough-and-tumble type of man.
If there is something he wants, he would obtain it by force. He was not the type to think of two or three layer strategy plan.
The same was true of his son Seol Kwang-ho.
Especially since he was said to be simpler than his father.
“Then, it must be Lee Yul, who serves as their attendant.”
Lee Yul was a very mysterious person.
He suddenly joined the Snow Sword Manor one day as if he had fallen from the sky.
The moment he joined, the Snow Sword Manor grew exponentially. They even became powerful enough to stand out against the Jin family.
No matter what anyone says, the core of the Snow Sword Manor is Lee Yul.
The problem is that little is known about him.
No, it would have been better to say that all that’s known about him is his status as the Snow Sword Manor’s attendant.
They know absolutely nothing about Lee Yul. Whether it be his whereabouts before joining the Snow Sword Manor, the sect he came from, or the martial arts he learned.
As soon as the Hao clan became aware of his existence, many were mobilized to investigate his identity. But they didn’t find anything.
The Hao clan’s information gathering power spans the whole world. So the the fact that no information about Lee Yul was found despite their arduous search meant that Lee Yul was serious in completely hiding his identity.
“For a person like that to be satisfied with only being the attendant of the Snow Sword Manor? That can’t be true. I’m sure there’s something more he’s after.”
Hong Yushin started to feel a strong sense of crisis.
The flow of air in Runan was making him feel like so.
* * *
It was late in the evening, but there were still quite a few people walking around the streets.
Many of those roaming around are warriors carrying weapons. Ordinary people could hardly be seen. They started to refrain from going out at night when the atmosphere in Runan became grim.
Many of those who stayed in the inns were also warriors.
In each inn, more than half of the guests consist of warriors.
At each table, warriors gathered in groups of twos and threes, talking about the current situation of Runan. They spat and shared about what they knew.
Because of them, the inside of the inn was noisy.
Everyone talked like they knew some big information, but what they’re saying is actually just a rehash of what was already known. Not a single information they shared was actually new.
In the midst of all the noise, there was a man sitting alone. He had an odinary face that could be seen anywhere on the street.
On his table were noodles and stir-fried pork. He still hadn’t taken a single bite of his food since he was busy staring out the window.
In his field of vision was a young man standing alone in the middle of the street.
A man with soft features and a smile on his face that didn’t quite reach his eyes.
Although he was not handsome enough to stand out, he still had an impressive appearance that is memorable.
The man sitting alone and looking out the window was Pyo-wol.
Just by changing the color of his Black Dragon Robe and slightly altering his face and atmosphere, his appearance changed drastically.
There were many people in the inn, but no one paid attention to Pyo-wol. This created an opportunity for Pyo-wol to watch the people coming and going out of the street without being disturbed.
That was when he discovered Hong Yushin.
Hong Yushin did not move for a long time, as if he was deep in thought.
The fact that Hong Yushin is here was proof that the Hao clan is closely monitoring the situation. The job must have become too much for a branch manager to handle that the chief inspector had to step up.
Hong Yushin muttered something, not knowing that Pyo-wol was watching.
‘Hundred Wraith Union, Black Cloud Corps, Namgung Wol of the Heavenly Guardian Association, Sword Saint Han Yucheon, the Shaolin Temple. And then the Hao clan…’
The Snow Sword Manor and the Jin family are at the forefront, leading the fight but that is only at the surface.
In truth, countless warriors and clans were entangled in the fight between the two factions. At this rate, it was beyond the level of a simple war for regional supremacy.
The Shaolin Temple and Han Yuchun might have a wait-and-see attitude for the time being, but if the fight continues to intensify, there is a high chance that they would inevitably get involved.
No one knows how many more sects and warriors would be swept away in this fight. One wrong move, and not only Runan, but all of Henan could be engulfed in the flames of a huge war.
Pyo-wol doesn’t care if many people will die if the war continues to escalate.
The problem is that Lee Yul had dragged him into this war.
Because of him, his information was spread widely in Runan. He also made the Shaolin Temple hostile towards him.
Lee Yul is the kind of person who manipulates and uses others to eliminate his enemies. He avoids getting a single drop of blood on his hands.
His kind is the type that is very difficult to deal with since they’re meticulous and cautious.
Pyo-wol had no choice but to now be careful in whatever he plans to do. So he disappeared.
Fortunately, Pyo-wol had a knack for changing his face, so he was able to stay comfortably without leaving Runan.
Pyo-wol recalled his fight against Seongam.
He had used all 10 phantom daggers and 10 Soul-Reaping Threads.
After drinking the alcohol offered by Il-gum, a big change occurred inside his body.
It wasn’t as if his qi had drastically increased, but rather, the energy inside of him had become so harmonized to the point that it made it possible for him to operate it as he desired.
There was a huge difference between using three or four Soul-Reaper Threads and using all ten.
Now, Pyo-wol is able to operate the Soul-Reaping Thread close to a skill that he could not even dare to try in the past.
In addition, he was inspired to take it a step further.
Inspiration is just as important as insight to a warrior.
Pyo-wol thought that imagination is the biggest asset for a warrior.
The moment a person sets a limit on himself, their growth stops and stagnates.
The limit would become a wall that remains as a challenge they would have to face throughout their life.
The characteristic of such people is that they learn martial arts as they are taught, without having to imagine it for themselves.
Fortunately, Pyo-wol did not learn martial arts from another person.
Everything he learned came from his own realization.
He put no limits to his imagination.
He never thought that he couldn’t do this or that because of a particular reason,
When he got some inspiration, he let his imagination run wild without any restrictions, and he did his best to make what he had imagined come true.
It was the same even now.
As soon as he confirmed that he could use all 10 Soul-Reaping Threads, he thought of dozens to hundreds of ways to use them.
Pyo-wol let the imagination explode to his heart’s content.
As he was busy with his thoughts, Hong Yushin disappeared. It didn’t matter though. He could find Hong Yushin at any time if he decided to.
What he finds more important than anything else right now is expanding his imagination and finding the right path.
Pyo-wol continuously imagined.
He remained motionless like a stone statue as he immersed himself in his imagination.
It wasn’t until a long time later when he moved again.
“What are you thinking so deeply that you didn’t even realize I’m here?”
The moment he let out a light sigh, he heard a woman’s voice right next to him. However, Pyo-wol turned and looked at the woman without a hint of surprise.
The woman was staring at him.
She had an ordinary appearance similar to Pyo-wol’s current appearance. But he knows she was in no way ordinary.
“As expected, you recognized me right away. Doesn’t this mean we’re a match made in heaven? I also recognized you right away.”
The woman who smiled while looking at Pyo-wol was Hong Ye-seol.
Just as Pyo-wol changed his face to stay in Runan, she also did the same.
Her way of changing her appearance is not the same as Pyo-wol. Instead of using a technique that moves facial muscles, she used makeup, so the sophistication was far behind. However, it was almost impossible to see through her make-up unless the other person had a good eye for it.
Pyo-wol frowned as he thought of how she might have recognized him.
He then smelled his own wrist.
“You sprayed the Thousand Miles Chasing Incense on my body as well.”
“Hoho! So you only noticed just now.”
Hong Ye-seol laughed.
She was happy that she managed to one-up Pyo-wol this time.
When Pyo-wol burned the Strength Grinding Demonic Martial Arts booklet, she secretly buried another kind of Thousand Miles Chasing Incense in Pyo-wol.
Just as a cunning rabbit prepares several exits, she also prepared several types of Thousand Miles Chasing Incense.
Each Thousand Miles Chasing Incense had a different scent and concentration.
The concentration of the Thousand Miles Chasing Incense buried in Strength Grinding Demonic Martial Arts booklet was the strongest, while the concentration of incense buried in Pyo-wol’s body was the weakest.
Pyo-wol’s nose got used to the concentration of the Thousand Miles Chasing Incense scent buried in the booklet, so he couldn’t smell a much weaker scent.
All of that was Hong Ye-seol’s meticulous calculations.
“You have a lot of confidence. I can’t believe that you still haven’t left Runan even after what happened in the Jin manor.”
“Because there is no reason for me to leave.”
“I knew it. You’re the kind of person who won’t silently take a beating.”
“You talk as if you know me well.”
“It’s a woman’s nature to want to know everything about the man she’s interested in.”
“I don’t like it.”
“I’m very interested in you. What about you?”
Hong Ye-seol glanced at Pyo-wol.
There was a strange heat in her eyes.