Light Novel: Volume 11 Episode 20
Lee Yul looked at Heuk-ho with a frown.
“What did you just say?”
“I said that I killed a guy named Bo-kyeong.”
“Are you joking with me right now?”
“No, I had no choice. He was following me and I couldn’t just run away in that situation.”
“Do you realize how big of a mistake you’ve made?”
“How could you blame me? There are a lot of things that could happen unexpectedly in a mission.”
“You could have restrained him without killing him.”
“Hmph! That’s easier said than done. He’s a genius even among the Shaolin Temple. It would have been different if I had ambushed him like I did with Seong-un, but do you think it would have been easy for me to suppress him in a direct confrontation? His martial arts are said to be quite formidable so I could not help it.”
“So you killed him?”
“I had no choice.”
Lee Yul’s persistent questioning angered Heuk-ho.
Heuk-ho had been somewhat polite to Lee Yul up until this point, but he couldn’t hold his anger in the face of Lee Yul’s repeated questioning.
Even if he was a client, there was a line to be drawn, and right now Lee Yul was crossing that line.
“Damn it! I’m just fulfilling my contract. What more do you want?!”
Heuk-ho glared at Lee Yul.
His eyes were glowing red with bloodthirst.
Heuk-ho had always been willing to go above and beyond for his clients. But Lee Yul’s repeated questioning made him furious.
Even in the Hundred Wraith Union, the Ten Blood Assassins1 held a very special position. Even the Hundred Wraith Union’s leader could not force the Ten Blood Assassins to do his bidding unless it was absolutely necessary.
But now, a client who was not even the leader of the Hundred Wraith Union was blaming him for improvising, so he could not help but be furious.
Lee Yul’s eyes grew even colder as he met Heuk-ho’s fierce gaze.
“Don’t think. Don’t act on your own. Just kill the ones I’ve marked.”
“Don’t think? Am I a puppet?”
“Isn’t an assassin supposed to be that kind of existence?”
“Don’t cross the line, Mr. Client.”
“Don’t you think you’re the one who’s crossing the line?”
When Heuk-ho was about to explode in anger,
Suddenly, a figure appeared behind Heuk-ho without making a sound.
It was Baek Do-kyung, Lee Yul’s close aide.
Baek Do-kyung’s eyes were calm.
His eyes were fixed on Heuk-ho’s back.
Besides noticing Baek Do-kyung’s presence, Heuk-ho also realised that Baek Do-kyung’s strength was not to be underestimated.
Baek Do-kyung emitted such intense energy that even his own body trembled. If he drew his sword here, then Baek Do-kyung would not hesitate to attack him immediately.
He might be able to take Lee Yul’s life, but at that moment, there was also a high probability that he would lose his own life to Baek Do-kyung.
Heuk-ho threw up his hands.
“Alright. I’ll do as my client wishes.”
“I said I’d listen to you. Trust me.”
“You better keep your word.”
“Don’t worry. Once I make a commitment, I always stick to it.”
“I’ll put my trust in you one more time. Now, go outside and wait for my orders.”
Heuk-ho nodded and turned around.
He could see Baek Do-kyung, quietly staring at him.
His face was like a pool of blood, indicating that he had fought many battles.
He may be able to sneak upon Baek Do-kyung, but he was not confident he could win against him in a direct confrontation. If he would compare Baek Do-kyung to his opponent yesterday, Bo-kyeong was just a child.
Heuk-ho was not afraid of martial artists belonging to the orthodox sects, rather, he was more afraid of martial artists who had been trained in countless real battles.
Such individuals possessed a wildness and sharpness that orthodox warriors, who grew up as fine as plants in a greenhouse, lacked. So they were truly Heuk-ho’s greatest enemy.
For a moment, Baek Do-kyung and Heuk-ho stared at each other. But it was Heuk-ho who averted his gaze first.
He stealthily walked out, avoiding Baek Do-kyung’s gaze.
As soon as the door closed behind him, Baek Do-kyung said,
“Do you intend to give him more missions?”
“He’s not an easy man to control. He might cause more trouble.”
“It’s too late to hire another assassin now.”
“If the Shaolin Temple tracks him down, they might realize that the Snow Sword Manor is behind him.”
“We have to eliminate him before that happens.”
Baek Do-kyung shook his head at Lee Yul’s answer.
This was not the first time they had done this.
It was a waste to kill Heuk-ho given his abilities, but in the end, he was just an assassin.
As long as Heuk-ho dies while carrying out his missions, then no one would be able to dig deeper.
They’ve killed countless people this way before, and they’ve managed to cover up any evidence of their involvement.
Lee Yul closed his eyes for a moment.
Things were getting more and more complicated.
He could not even begin to imagine the ramifications of what Heuk-ho had done.
Even with his exceptional intellect, he could not easily predict how far this situation would escalate.
In the end, he gave up trying to calculate and opened his eyes halfway.
“Where is the Black Cloud Corps now?”
Baek Do-kyung could not answer easily.
“Where are they?”
“We have lost contact with them for now.”
“Lost contact? Why?”
“I haven’t figured out the reason yet. I haven’t been able to reach them since yesterday.”
Lee Yul clenched his teeth.
Unlike Heuk-ho, the Black Cloud Corps was a group he could control.
Jang Muryang, the leader of the Black Cloud Corps, was a very ambitious man. Lee Yul knew exactly what he wanted so he did not find it hard to deal with a person like him.
As long as the reward was certain, Jang Muryang would keep his word.
So while he does not trust Heuk-ho, he trusted Jang Muryang and the Black Cloud Corps.
“Find them quickly. We must find out what happened.”
Baek Do-kyung replied and then disappeared.
Lee Yul, who was left alone, murmured to himself,
“One unexpected variable after another. Where did it go wrong?”
It was obviously a perfect calculation.
He calculated dozens more times, accounting for every possible variable, but no matter how hard he thinks, his perfect plan was bursting at the seams.
* * *
Jang Muryang looked at the front with disbelief written all over his face.
Dozens of corpses were sprawled out in front of him.
They were all martial artists of the Black Cloud Corps.
His own men were lying on the ground, dead and cold.
Jang Muryang walked towards them, barely holding back his anger.
They were warriors who would rush in without hesitation with just a single order from him. After spending a long time together, they were more like brothers than subordinates.
“Cheonggwang, Imha, Juyeong…”
The names of his subordinates flowed out of his mouth one by one as he confirmed their faces.
But at one point, his footsteps suddenly stopped.
There were two bodies that caught his eyes.
“Heo… Ranju, Daoshi… Goh.”
Heo Ranju and Daoshi Goh.
Their deaths were incomparable to the deaths of the others, causing Jang Muryang to feel a tremendous sense of shock and despair.
Jang Muryang’s desperate voice echoed in the sky.
If Daoshi Goh was like a father figure, then Heo Ranju was like a lover to him. The reason why Jang Muryang could walk such dangerous paths without hesitation was because he had the support of these two.
He would gladly give his life for them, and conversely, these two were also ready to give up their lives for him at any moment. But he never thought that such a moment would come.
Death was a faraway thing for them.
They believed they could always count on each other to protect each other, which was why he was willing to send them on a mission to track down Pyo-wol.
Jang Muryang trembled as he held Heo Ranju’s body in his arms.
Her blood stained his body, but he did not care.
Jang Muryang gritted his teeth.
These two were in pursuit of Pyo-wol together with other members of the Black Cloud Corps, so it was obvious that it was Pyo-wol who killed them.
Just then, vice-captain Yang Woo-jung, ran up to him,
“Find Pyo-wol! I’ll chew his bones to pieces!”
“It seems that Pyo-wol was not the only one involved in their deaths.”
“Who else is involved?”
“An assassin named Hong Ye-seol.”
Yang Woo-jung replied with a firm expression.
“How did you find out?”
“We received a tip.”
“Yes! The wounds on Ranju’s body match the technique used by that assassin.”
Jang Muryang’s face instantly twisted like a demon’s.
“Did you say Hong Ye-seol?”
“Ttrack her down from now on. Since she is travelling with Pyo-wol, they must have a deep relationship. We will kill her cruelly to give Pyo-wol the same despair as us.”
Jang Muryang’s greatest strength had always been his cool head, but the deaths of Daoshi Goh and Heo Ranju took away his rationality, replacing it with blazing anger.
Intense anger paralyzed his reason that he was not able to think clearly in his desire for revenge.
He knew that Hong Ye-seol was an assassin hired by Lee Yul, but soon had broken her contract with Lee Yul on her own accord.
He didn’t know why she was accompanying Pyo-wol, but right now, it seemed as if the only way his anger could be appeased was by killing her and bathing in her blood.
“Pyo-wol is next on the list after Hong Ye-seol. Track down their whereabouts.”
Yang Woo-jung answered with a heavy expression.
Like Jang Muryang, he was outraged by the deaths of his colleagues. But unlike Jang Muryang, he still had a bit of cold reason left in him, so he was able to judge the current situation a little more calmly.
The Black Cloud Corps was originally a large army consisting of over three hundred fifty warriors.
Among them, over seventy lost their lives to Pyo-wol in Chengdu, and more members lost their lives here in Runan.
Now, there were less than two hundred members of the Black Cloud Corps left.
It was almost half of the number of their original force.
Someone might say that they were still strong enough, but Yang Woo-jung thought that the Black Cloud Corps had already completely collapsed.
The main force of the Black Cloud Corps was its cavalry.
The cavalry was at its greatest when they could overwhelm their enemy with numbers. If they could not outnumber their enemy, then they are not as powerful or intimidating as they could be.
Above all, it takes a lot of time and money to train cavalry. While ordinary warriors could be replenished quickly, it would take over a decade to produce a proper cavalry.
So until then, it was uncertain whether the current Black Cloud Corps would be able to survive.
If it was possible, Yang Woo-jung wanted to break their contract with Lee Yul and focus on restoring the Black Cloud Corps immediately, but he could not.
Jianghu was a place where it highly regards gratitude and resentment.
If they chose to go into hiding without avenging their grudge, then many people would look down on the Black Cloud Corps and see them as weak.
Yang Woo-jung knew very well how devastating the downfall of a sect or a martial artist who was once looked down upon could be.
No matter what the consequences were, they had to get revenge.
“We fell into a trap.”
Yang Woo-jung bit his lips.
All of this happened because of their ill-fated relationship with Pyo-wol.
If they hadn’t met him, the Black Cloud Corps would not have been so thoroughly destroyed.
“He is our natural enemy. If the Black Cloud Corps wants to survive then we must do our best to eliminate him.”
When Yang Woo-jung was able to made up his mind,
“We’ve found Hong Ye-seol.”
One of the Black Cloud Corps warriors came up to him and reported.
“Where is she?”
“We found her staying at an inn in Runan.”
“We’re going to hunt her down now.”
Jang Muryang pushed himself up.
Heo Ranju’s blood was still all over his body, making him look like a vampire.
The Black Cloud Corps moved in pursuit of Hong Ye-seol.
Their movements were disrupting Lee Yul’s perfect plan.n-/0𝒱𝑬𝓵𝑏In
Thank you for reading!
Ten Blood Assassins. Raws: 십혈살(十血殺). This refers to the top ten assassins in the Hundred Wraith Union. I will soon making the changes in the s. Shí – ten, tenth; complete; perfect xiě, xuè – blood; radical number 143 shā, sà, shài, shè – kill, slaughter, murder; hurt; to pare off, reduce, clip