Light Novel: Volume 11 Episode 14
Pyo-wol looked around.
He somehow managed to get out of the island between the canyons, but all he could see were mountains. There were no roads, nor any houses in sight. There were also no signposts.
It was his first time coming here, so he didn’t know where to go. But Pyo-wol remained unfazed.
He had been through this kind of situation before.
The easiest way out is to follow the river. If he goes the opposite direction and follows the river then he will eventually arrive in Runan.
The only problem is that the path of the river curves down, making his commute even further than when on a straight road.
It was an inefficient method, but he had no choice.
The best thing he could do was go back along the river and hope that a road leading back to Runan would appear.
As Pyo-wol walked along the river, he thought about Mok Hanseong and the Ghost Brigade.
‘What a frighteningly efficient organization. They are more vicious and disciplined than most assassins.’
Even when they knew that their captain, Mok Hanseong, was going to die, they still followed his orders and retreated without complaining.
In the process, they were not able to leave any evidence behind.
In the end, all Pyo-wol found out about them was their name, Ghost Brigade, and that they had secured an object called the Demon Transformation Pill from the Snow Sword Manor.
Pyo-wol recalled the movements of the Ghost Brigade.
He studied their movements and martial arts, trying to figure out how to deal with them efficiently.
He may have wiped some of the members out, but more than half of them still made it out alive, unharmed. For sure, they will never forget what he had put them through, and the day will come when they will seek revenge.
Pyo-wol had to prepare for when the time comes.
Pyo-wol believed that the Ghost Brigade was part of Kowloon.
‘Kowloon Assassin Guild.’1
When the Ghost Brigade brought the Demon Transformation Pill at the river, they mentioned something about the Assassin Guild.
Combining the word Kowloon, it becomes Kowloon Assassin Guild.
Pyo-wol assumed that Kowloon Assassin Guild was their real name.
He had only just figured out their names.
He still had a long way to go.
The point of contact with the Kowloon Assassin Guild was Lee Yul.
While sneaking around in the Snow Sword Manor, Pyo-wol investigated Lee Yul in various ways.
He mingled with people to get information about him, and killed his own men to make him feel uncomfortable.
As a result of such endless shaking, he managed to learn about the Ghost Brigade.
Lee Yul was a strange man in many ways.
The time when he came to the front of the Snow Sword Manor coincided with the time when Jin Geum-woo was tracking down the Kowloon Assassin Guild. And when Jin Geum-woo sent a letter to Pyo-wol saying he found a clue, the Snow Sword Manor managed to return to Runan.
Shortly thereafter, Jin Geum-woo, Won Ga-young and the others lost their lives.
Given the timing, Lee Yul had no choice but to be the prime suspect.
He doesn’t know Lee Yul’s exact identity, but he was definitely part of the Kowloon Assassin Guild.
It was clear that his mission was to eliminate Jin Geum-woo, who was tracking the Kowloon Assassin Guild, and to completely eliminate any possible aftermath by exterminating the Jin family.
The question was how much weight Lee Yul carries in the Kowloon Assassin Guild.
He had to find out for himself whether Lee Yul is the head, the body, or just the tail.
With that, Pyo-wol organized what he needed to do next.
He had to grasp the current situation calmly and decide which tasks he should prioritized.
As he walked along, he saw a wooden bridge in front of him. The bridge was built at the narrow part of the river.
The appearance of the bridge was evidence of the existence of a conduit.
Pyo-wol climbed onto the bridge.
As he suspected, there was a fairly wide conduit leading to both sides of the bridge.
Without further ado, Pyo-wol entered the conduit.
Finding the way was not that difficult. All he had to do was choose the direction that led upstream.
Pyo-wol walked along the conduit.
By sunset, he was finally able to reach a small village.
Fortunately, there was an open shabby inn in the village.
Pyo-wol did not hesitate to enter the inn.
The innkeeper greeted him with a friendly smile,
“Do you have a room?”
“Of course. Shall I prepare it together with your meal?”
“Please sit and wait for a while. I can show you to your room once you finish eating.”
The innkeeper was very kind.
Pyo-wol nodded and sat down in an empty seat.
Everything was shabby since it was an inn operating in a small town.
Just then, the door opened and another customer came in.
The new guests were four boys and one girl.
Given the thick dust on their shoulders, they must have travelled a long way.
“I think we can rest here today, Young Master!”
One of the men looked around inside the inn and said,
“Looks like this is the only inn here in the village anyway.”
“You have nothing to apologize for. Who would have thought that there wouldn’t be a proper city while coming here? Still, this is better than sleeping on the street, so let’s stay here.”
It was a young man who answered.
He had tanned copper-colored skin, unusually dark hair and thick eyebrows. He wore a blood-red robe made of fish leather, his body smelled like the sea.
At his side was a woman of about his age, quietly standing.
Her eyes were half-lidded, staring at the floor. Although she had a very beautiful appearance, she did not seem to have great interest in what was happening around her.
The woman also had the same scent of the sea just like the young man.
The young man looked around inside the inn and soon spotted Pyo-wol.
“Ho! There is another customer.”
He walked straight up to the table where Pyo-wol was sitting.
“Isn’t it considered fate for us to meet here? So why don’t we sit together?”
Without even waiting for Pyo-wol’s answer, the young man plopped down in the opposite chair.
When Pyo-wol looked at him, he introduced himself with a smile,
“I’m Dok Gohyang. What about you?”
“That’s a nice name. Are you from here by any chance?”
“Really? What a shame. Since it’s our first time here, we wanted to ask a lot of questions.”
Dok Gohyang’s voice was filled with arrogance.
The habit of looking down at others was naturally ingrained not only in his voice, but also in his eyes and gestures.
Dok Gohyang called out to the woman and gestured to the seat next to him,
“Sit here, Soso.”
“I’ll stand behind you, I’m more comfortable that way.”
“I asked you because I’m uncomfortable. You can leave the guarding to the Three Swords of the South Sea. You should just sit next to me.”
In the end, a woman called Soso sat down next to Dok Gohyang.
Dok Gohyang introduced her to Pyo-wol,
“This is Um Soso, my escort.”
“Don’t approach her just because she’s beautiful, getting tangled up with her is dangerous. Even I sometimes get scared of her.”
Dok Gohyang laughed and shook his head, while Um Soso looked at Pyo-wol without saying a word.
Her eyes had a faint blue tint to them. Her eyes reminded Pyo-wol of the blue sea.
Seeing their interaction, Dok Gohyang laughed,
“Hehe! Why are you interested in this fellow? Well, if you don’t pay attention to her face, you can’t see her as a woman.”
Pyo-wol did not use reverse magic and was revealing his true face.
Um Soso immediately denied Dok Gohyang’s words,
“It’s not like that.”
“Ah! But it doesn’t matter. If I a woman, I would still want to be held by him.”
“Don’t spout such nonsense.”
“Ah! Okay. Damn it! I’m scared to death.”
Dok Gohyang raised his arms and trembled. Still, Um Soso’s expression remained unchanged.
Dok Gohyang clicked his tongue and looked at Pyo-wol.
“Tsk! She doesn’t know how to joke around so please understand. In my hometown, she’s famous for being blunt.”
“By the way, where are you going? You don’t seem to be from around here.”
“Runan? Oh! What a coincidence. Wour destination is the same as ours.”
“Jin family or the Snow Sword Manor?”
“What? Ah! You want me to tell you which side I’m on? Well, I don’t want to take either side.”
“Then why are you going there?”
“Isn’t watching others fight to death the most interesting thing in the world? It also just so happens that I have some errands to run that is why I’m going there.”
Dok Gohyang grinned.
His voice and demeanour were unruffled.
“How about you? Why are you going to Runan?”
“I know someone there.”
“So you have an acquaintance. Are they from the Snow Sword Manor or the Jin family?”
This time it was Dok Gohyang who asked,
Pyo-wol answered honestly,
“The Jin family.”
“Ho! So you have a connection with the Jin family. This is getting more and more fun.”
“What’s so fun about it?”
“Didn’t I tell you? Watching other people’s fights is the best, and besides, the person in question is in front of me, shouldn’t I be able to watch the fight with more interest? I pray for the Jin family to rise. Whoo!”
Dok Gohyang chuckled to himself.
It was a pretty strange sight.
There were clearly five people in the party, but only Dok Gohyang was talking and laughing. The others just watch him without saying anything.
In particular, the three men standing behind Dok Gohyang’s back were completely silent, watching their surroundings warily.
Dok Gohyang called them the Three Swords of the South Sea.n/-O𝓋𝗲𝐋𝕓In
There is a lot of information that can be obtained from their nickname alone.
After all, a nickname is often created by combining the words that best represent a person or a group’s characteristics.
They would not be called the Three Swords of the South Sea for no reason.
There is a high possibility that they are active in the South Sea area.
The smell of the sea coming from Dok Gohyang and Um Soso also furthered Pyo-wol’s guess.
Prayer and the South Sea. And the young man’s confidence as if he had spent his whole life looking at the world from above.
There was only one place where all these three things were exquisitely combined.
‘Martial Sword Sect?’2
A sect based in Hainan, near the South Sea.
Along with the Heavenly Dragon Valley and Heavenly Guardian Association, the Martial Sword Sect belongs to the Three Clans.
It was clear that Dok Gohyang is a member of the Martial Sword Sect. However, Pyo-wol did not make the mistake of blurting out his speculations.
Dok Gohyang said,
“Would you like to join me for a drink?”
“I don’t drink alcohol. But I wouldn’t mind joining you for a meal.”
“Heh heh! That will be alright too. I guess this is really fate. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could build a deeper relationship by having a meal together?”
Dok Gohyang’s smile deepened.
Seeing Dok Gohyang like that, Um Soso let out a faint sigh. But she soon looked at Pyo-wol coldly.
‘This man. I can’t read him at all.’
Um Soso had a special ability.
And that is reading people’s minds.
She had the ability to guess and deduce other people’s thoughts just from their eyes, gestures, and small habits.
But while she had extraordinary observation skills, those who didn’t know her were afraid of her abilities.
Hence her nickname, Blue Sea Witch.3
It was a nickname that did not suit a beautiful woman at all, but Um Suso had no qualms about it.
No matter what others say about her, her nature will not change.
She loved to observe others and understand their inner thoughts.
It was a great advantage to have a weapon that no one else has in Jianghu.
In particular, the benefits of grasping her opponent’s inner thoughts in advance and preparing for them were enormous.
That’s why she made a special effort to get to know people she met for the first time.
The same was true when she first saw Pyo-wol.
Even though he was more beautiful than a woman, Um Soso was not fooled by his appearance. She tried to figure out what he was thinking by looking into his eyes and analyzing his body language.
But so far she hasn’t learned a single thing.
All she could see was darkness. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking at all.
On the contrary, it felt like it was her who had been stripped naked and thrown into the snowfield with Pyo-wol’s eyes looking at her.
She felt as if her every thought was being read.
It was the first time this had happened, so she couldn’t hide her embarrassment.
It was then.
Dok Gohyang lightly patted her on the shoulder and said,
“Relax. What are you so scared of?”
“When did I say I was nervous?”
“I saw that you were nervous as hell.”
“Ah! Fine, just stop glaring at him and let’s eat. How can he eat when you are looking at him like that?”
Only then did Um Soso realize her mistake.
She was so focused on Pyo-wol that she didn’t even notice that a hearty meal had already been set up before her.
The table was filled with delicious food.
Dok Gohyang took a boiled fish with his chopsticks and said,
“Let’s see how delicious this Sichuan boiled fish4 is.”
He picked up a chopstick full of white fish and put it into his mouth.
“Well, it’s edible, come on, you should try it too.”
The way he ate his food voraciously reminded Pyo-wol of a tyrannical shark in the sea.
A ferocious beast that could smell the faint smell of blood and attack from hundreds of miles away.
‘Did he also smell the turmoil in Runan?’
Thank you for reading!
Kowloon Assassin Guild. Raws: 구룡살막(九龍殺幕). 九 jiǔ – nine 龍 lóng, lǒng, máng – dragon; symbolic of emperor 殺 shā, sà, shài, shè – kill, slaughter, murder; hurt; to pare off, reduce, clip 幕 mù – curtain, screen, tent Martial Sword Sect. Raws: 무검련(武劍聯). Previously translated as Military Sword. 武 wǔ – military; martial, warlike 劍 jiàn – sword, dagger, saber 聯 lián – connect, join; associate, ally Blue Sea Witch. Raws: 창해마녀(滄海魔女). 滄 cāng – blue, dark green; cold 海 hǎi – sea, ocean; maritime 魔 mó – demon, evil spirits; magic power mo1 女 nǚ, rǔ – woman, girl; feminine; rad. 38 Sichuan boiled fish. Raws: 수자어(水煮魚). 水 shuǐ – water, liquid, lotion, juice 煮 zhǔ – cook 魚 yú – fish; surname; KangXi radical 195