Light Novel: Volume 11 Episode 21
Jang Noya swallowed his dry saliva and looked at the man in front of him.
He had a beautiful appearance that could hardly be considered a man. His appearance was so unreal that if sodomizers saw him, they would pounce on him with drools in their mouths.
Indeed, there were sodomizers among Jang Noya’s men. But, none of them dared to pounce on the man in front of them.
The man in front of them was none other than Pyo-wol, who was also responsible for turning over their gambling house once.
The memory of that time was still horribly vivid in their minds.
For Jang Noya, who clearly remembers what happened at that time, he was still afraid of Pyo-wol.
Jang Noya lowered his head and said,
“I’ve already done what you ordered. The Black Cloud Corps is now in pursuit of a woman named Hong Ye-seol.”
Pyo-wol shook his head.
It was Jang Noya who spread the rumor that Hong Ye-seol had killed Heo Ranju. He secretly spread the rumor through the customers of the gambling hall, and made sure it reached the ears of the Black Cloud Corps.
It was also his work that informed them of Hong Ye-seol’s whereabouts.
Thanks to him, she was now being hunted by the Black Cloud Corps.
No matter how good she was at hiding and concealing her presence, it would take quite a bit of effort to completely shake off the pursuit of the Black Cloud Corps.
Furthermore, Jang Noya’s people continued to identify her whereabouts and inform the Black Cloud Corps.
As much as he felt sorry for Hong Ye-seol, her acting as bait has prevented one of Lee Yul’s main forces, the Black Cloud Corps, from doing its job. Lee Yul will have quite a bit of trouble since it was as if one of his limbs had been cut off.
Pyo-wol asked Jang Noya,
“What is the current situation in Runan?”
“It’s a mess. There are so many people coming in that it’s hard to keep track. From those who want to participate in the battle between the two factions to those who simply want to observe. There are also people from all walks of life, from ordinary citizens to martial artists. There’s truly a lot of people coming in.”
Just as Jang Noya said, more people had come to Runan in the past few days.
Inns were completely full, and there were even people renting private houses.
All of the world’s attention was focused on Runan.
No one expected the fight between the two sects to attract this much attention.
Not even the two parties involved, the Snow Sword Manor and the Jin Family.
It was the news of Shaolin Temple’s participation in the war that sparked interest.
Word had gotten out that Un-hae was enraged by Bo-kyeong’s death that he had asked the Shaolin Temple for reinforcements.
The news of Shaolin’s participation was something else entirely.
The Shaolin Temple had been called a sleeping giant.
They had always shown a propensity for moderation. Unless the world was in turmoil, they usually refrained from making any sort of overt movements.
So the fact that they might make a full-scale move had spread to other factions.
In particular, it was rumored that even the Two Factions and the Three Clans were keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
Pyo-wol knew that these were not just mere rumors.
Namgung Wol of the Heavenly Guardian Association had already joined the Jin Family, and he had met Dok Gohyang of the Martial Sword Sect.
There was no way a man of Dok Gohyang’s stature would travel thousands of miles just to take a vacation. It was obvious that he would try to gain something from the conflict between the two factions.
The same was true for the other factions.
They would be weighing in with their spoons to see which side had the advantage.
Jang Noya said cautiously,
“With so many people coming in, we don’t have enough surveillance personnel.”
“What about asking the Hao clan for help?”
“They look at us like we’re pigs.”
“The Hao clan? But aren’t you one of them?”
“We certainly used to be. After all, the Hao clan was originally founded to protect humble people like us.”
“Too many years have passed. There are only a few people remaining left who remember the original purpose of the Hao clan when it was first established. As of now, the Hao clan is no different than any other sect.”
A dark shade fell across Jang Noya’s face.
He too had once cooperated with the Hao clan. But the Hao clan only treated them like servants and did not protect them properly. So he broke away from the Hao clan and ran his own gambling house.
He wasn’t the only one.
Quite a few others also left the Hao clan. Nevertheless, the Hao clan did nothing to punish them.
The Hao clan was an organization with the largest number of members in the world.
Even the head of the Hao clan couldn’t tell exactly how many members they had.
Under these circumstances, members of the Hao clan, except for major figures, were free to join or leave.
If a few people left, the organization was confident that it could quickly make up for it.
As a result, those who were marginalized often leave the Hao clan.
Jang Noya talked about it for a long time. When he had finished, Pyo-wol asked,
“Are there many people like that?”
“Yes! The trend has accelerated in recent years.”
“As far as I know, the chief inspector of the Hao clan is quite capable.”
“Are you talking about Lord Hong?”n-)𝑜).𝒱.-𝓮)-𝐥-.𝕓-/1..n
“Do you know him?”
“I’ve met him from afar, and he’s certainly a capable and reliable man. But no matter how hard he tries, he can’t handle the entirety of the Hao clan, and his gaze is more towards the outside than the inside. So he is naturally left in the dark about the Hao clan’s internal affairs.”
Pyo-wol looked intrigued, because this was his first time hearing about this.
“It’s not my place to say this, but the Hao clan needs to change its waters. It’s been too long since the water stopped flowing and stagnated, but the heads of the organization don’t know that.”
“So you’re saying that there are quite a few people like you who have left the Hao clan, right?”
Jang Noya shook his head.
Pyo-wol stroked his chin with his hand.
It was not easy to know this kind of information.
It might not be of much use now, but he could find some use for it later.
Pyo-wol thought he had gotten some good information.
As it turned out, he knew very little about Jang Noya. He had simply thought of him as the owner of a gambling house, but from the way Jang Noya spoke, it was clear that he had risen to a very high position in the Hao clan.
At that time, Jang Noya seemed to have a sudden thought,
“Speaking of Lord Hong, he also entered Runan not long ago.”
“Did he see you, too?”
“No, I’m the only one who saw him. I don’t think he would even know I was there.”
Pyo-wol thought that they must have a pretty tough relationship.
It was because they keep on getting involved with each other one way or another.
Jang Noya has not finished talking yet.
He hesitated for a few moments before he mustered up the courage to speak,
“And this is purely my opinion, but…”
“What is it?”
“I detect a suspicious gaze around Lord Hong.”
“Tell me more.”
“I haven’t confirmed it with my own eyes, but according to the children, there are strange figures prowling around Lord Hong. Their movements were so stealthy that it seems like even Lord Hong did not notice them.”
Hong Yushin was the chief inspector of the largest intelligence organization in the world.
Naturally, he was skilled at spying on others. It was hard to believe that such a person did not notice that someone was spying on him.
“Are you sure?”
“We wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t been watching Lord Hong. That’s how stealthy they were.”
“Who are they?”
“I don’t know.”
Jang Noya said honestly.
It was more of a coincidence that they found out that there were people watching over Hong Yushin. If they had set their minds to it and approached the people spying on Hong Yushin, they would surely have been eliminated like mice and birds.
“We stopped following Lord Hong after that. I don’t know where they’re watching him from, but if we were to get involved with them, we’d be killed in an instant.”
Pyo-wol shook his head wordlessly.
Jang Noya looked terrified, as if he was afraid that Pyo-wol would ask them to continue spying on Hong Yushin, but Pyo-wol had no intention of demanding more from Jang Noya.
There was a fine line for everything.
Jang Noya had done his job. It wasn’t a good idea to ask for more.
Pyo-wol stood up from his seat and said,
“I’ll be the one to figure it out from now on.”
“What other orders do you have for me?”
“I’ll call you if I need to, but for now, stay put.”
“I’ll do that even if you don’t say it.”
Jang Noya looked relieved.
Now that so many martial artists had entered Runan, it was almost frightening to go outside.
If people with weaker martial arts like them got into a fight with the martial artists who had entered Runan, they would easily be killed.
At a time like this, it was best to be as cautious as possible.
Pyo-wol left the gambling hall right away.
As he walked down the street, he thought to himself,
‘Who else is there? Are they related to Lee Yul?’
He couldn’t rule out that possibility.
Lee Yul hadn’t revealed anything about himself other than his status as the attendant of the Snow Sword Manor.
Nothing was known about his birthplace, age, or even the sect where he studied martial arts.
Even the name he was using now, Lee Yul, could not be said to be his real name.
There was no need to go to all this trouble if his goal was simply to kill Lee Yul. After all, it would be easy for him to sneak into the Snow Sword Manor and kill him.
Of course, Lee Yul would be prepared for such an ambush, causing his defenses to be up, but Pyo-wol’s patience was endless.
Whether it would take him a month or a year, he would just continue circling around him, waiting for an opportunity. The perfect opportunity would eventually reveal itself, and Pyo-wol would use that chance to kill him off.
But doing so would not reveal anything about the people behind Lee Yul.
The situation might have been different if the war hadn’t started, but now that it has begun, it’s crucial for him to thoroughly understand their origin and eradicate them from their roots.
Pyo-wol thought and thought and thought.
His thoughts branched out and stretched endlessly.
Like a tree growing indefinitely, his thoughts grew in size.
It was a tree with countless possibilities.
He began to prune the branches.
He cut off the branches that he judged to be the worst.
Cut, cut, cut…
He kept cutting until there was only one branch left.
Pyo-wol raised his head.
It now has become clear to him what he needs to do.
He changed direction.
His destination was a red light district not far from the slums.
It was a place where pubs, inns, and brothels gathered.
Unlike the Jin family and the Snow Sword Manor, which were deteriorating day by day, the red light district was at its peak.
The streets were full of warriors, wandering the red-light district in search of either accommodation or a woman for the night.
The air felt sticky.
It was like a whole different world.
As Pyo-wol entered the red light district, he got the attention of many.
His inhuman appearance stood out like a sore thumb.
“The guy is—”
While most people were preoccupied with his inhuman appearance, there were those whose eyes lit up when they saw him.
His distinct features made him easily recognizable, even to those with limited knowledge or information.
‘That man is Pyo-wol…’
‘The most dangerous man in the world.’
There was an unmistakable glint of wariness in their eyes.
Pyo-wol could sense their feelings, but he didn’t care.
He just continued walking, attracting everyone’s attention.
Many people looked at him with disappointment.
“Is he looking for a brothel?”
“Hmpf! He’s just like any other man.”
Female warriors in particular looked at him with disdain.
The courtesans, on the other hand, welcomed him.
“Oh my! Welcome!”
A competition broke out among the courtesans.
The final winner was a courtesan named So-ok.
She was the most popular courtesan in the brothel Pyo-wol came in. She had a petite figure and a cute face.
“My name is So-ok.”
“I won’t say much.”
“Bring me Hong Yushin.”
“I know this is a branch of the Hao clan. Don’t waste my time and call Hong Yushin.”
The smile vanished from So-ok’s face.