Light Novel: Volume 11 Episode 25
Pyo-wol opened his eyes to the sun tickling his face. He was the only one in his bed, disheveled as if to prove how steamy last night was.
Hong Ye-seol had quietly left his room at dawn.
Although they had spent quite a passionate time together, not once did they whisper sweet nothings to each other.
They yearned for each other’s bodies, while remaining cautious and vigilant at all times.
They couldn’t help it.
It was in their nature to be distrustful of others.
Their suspicions kept them from giving in completely to their desires. They would always tend to hold onto their reins of reason.
That’s why, despite spending a steamy night together, their bodies felt heavy and exhausted afterwards.
Pyo-wol got up from the bed and put on his clothes.
Only when he put on the leather waistband that held the phantom daggers did he descend to the first floor.
It did not take long for him to notice the strange atmosphere in the inn.
“Is that true?”
“Oh, it’s definitely true. How many times do I have to say it?”
“I don’t believe it.”
“I don’t either. I thought it was just a rumor.”
“What’s going to happen now? I’m sure the Snow Sword Manor won’t just sit still.”
“They’ll probably go all out now that they’ve lost their one and only heir.”
“Perhaps. Who would have thought that their Young Master would die such a miserable death…”
The guests were talking about the death of Seol Kwang-ho, the successor of the Snow Sword Manor.
Pyo-wol continued to listen intently to their conversation, his face tense.
“The Heavenly Guardian Association is truly powerful. It’s incredible that the third son of the Heavenly Guardian Association managed to kill the young master of the Snow Sword Manor.”
“Isn’t the Heavenly Guardian Association one of the Three Clans? No matter how much the Snow Sword Manor is said to be a force to be reckoned with in Henan, they could not be compared to the Heavenly Guardian Association.”
“This just makes the situation even more complicated. I can’t really tell what would happen next.”
“Indeed. How could the sect leader of the Snow Sword Manor stand idly after losing his one and only successor?”
“At times like this, it’s even possible to be killed by a stray sword.”
“Be careful. Don’t do or say anything that could be misunderstood.”
“It’s you, of all people, who should be careful instead.”
The faces of the people were filled with anxiety and worry.
The Jin family and Snow Sword Manor had been as careful as possible in preventing civilians from getting harmed. But with this single incident, it was impossible to predict what would happen next.
Parents who have lost their children sometimes lose themselves in anger, leading to unimaginable situations to an ordinary person. Even more so for Seol Kang-yeon, the sect leader of the Snow Sword Manor, who just lost his son.
No one knows what Seol Kang-yeon would do once he’s blinded by grief.
‘So Seol Kwang-ho lost his life to Namgung Wol?’
Pyo-wol tapped the table with his finger, lost in thought.
It wasn’t within his expectations that Seol Kwang-ho would end up dying at the hands of Namgung Wol.
It wasn’t strange at all that Namgung Wol managed to subdue Seol Kwang-ho.
Although Seol Kwang-ho’s fame had risen to the point of earning the nickname of Bloody Axe of Hell, his popularity was still limited to Henan Province.
He fell short against Namgung Wol, whose fame had spread throughout the entire Jianghu.
It was a natural result, but the repercussions were not simple.
Sitting here and thinking wouldn’t give him the answers he needed.
He needed to gather as much information as possible.
Pyo-wol stood up from his seat and went out of the inn.
* * *
Seol Kang-yeon looked at the lifeless body of his son, Seol Kwang-ho.
Seol Kwang-ho had always been a dutiful son.
He was a son whom he could always trust and rely on, even with his violent and quick temper. People might often say that his son was too wild, but to Seol Kang-yeon, his son was still his most trustworthy relative.
He even returned to Runan for his son, so they could go back and reclaim their roots in Tianzhonshan. He abandoned their stable life and chose to fight the Jin family to regain their homeland, but he only ended up losing his heir.
While he still had his other children born from his daughters and concubines, they could not compare to his son.
No matter what anyone says, for Seol Kang-yeon, his son, Seol Kwang-ho, was the only one who could succeed him.
He called out in a trembling voice, but Seol Kwang-ho couldn’t answer his call.
Seol Kang-yeon stood up from his seat and approached Seol Kwang-ho.
Seol Kwang-ho was lying on the ground with his belongings. His whole body was covered in numerous wounds, the most fatal of which was the slash on his neck.
His neck, which was as thick as a log, had been sliced nearly in half, causing his head to look as if it might fall off his body at any moment.
Seol Kang-yeon shed hot tears as he held onto his son’s head.
Seol Kang-yeon was often called cold-blooded, but he was no different from an ordinary person in the face of his son’s death.
The martial artists of the Snow Sword Manor looked at him with sorrowful and mournful faces.
Seol Kwang-ho, who led the Secret Shadow Group out on his own, returned to Snow Sword Manor this morning as a cold corpse.
According to the testimony of the survivors, he had fought Namgung Wol for over three hundred seconds.
Seol Kwang-ho unleashed the full power of the Eight Great Wild Axe Technique, while Namgung Wol countered him using the techniques of the Heavenly Guardian Association.
At first, it looked like Seol Kwang-ho had the advantage, but as time went on, Namgung Wol slowly gained the upper hand.
Namgung Wol also suffered considerable injuries, but he never backed down. He just kept pushing Seol Kwang-ho until he was able to claim victory.
The young martial artists, led by Oh Jugang, also won a great victory against the Secret Shadow Group. This in turn caused the surviving members of the Secret Shadow Group to barely return home with Seol Kwang-ho’s body.
The crushing defeat left everyone speechless.
They had fought many battles against the Jin family. They would sometimes win and other times they would lose, but this defeat was the most devastating one yet.
It wasn’t a simple defeat.
While Seol Kwang-ho had been feared by many because of his explosive personality, he was still the one who had led the war against the Jin family at the forefront.
In the face of his death, many warriors of the Snow Sword Manor felt helpless.
The word “defeat” kept on dancing in their heads.
Their morale had hit rock bottom.
After a long time, Seol Kang-yeon stood up. He had finally regained his composure.
His robes were dyed red with his son’s blood, but he paid it no attention.
His eyes were now as cold as ice.
Extreme anger can sometimes make a person’s reason sharper than ever, and that was what Seol Kang-yeon was feeling right now.
He ordered his subordinates,
“Clean up Kwang-ho’s body and place it in the Hall of Great Purity.1 We will give him a proper funeral after we destroy the Jin family.”
The subordinates replied, before carrying Seol Kwang-ho’s body away.
Seol Kang-yeon left them behind and headed for his quarters. He was followed by Lee Yul and the other leaders.
“Everyone else, wait outside, only Lee Yul will enter.”
The other heads remained outside, while Lee Yul entered Seol Kang-yeon’s quarters.
Once they were alone, he glared at Lee Yul.
“Why did you let Kwang-ho rush there alone?”
“The young master acted on his own accord. By the time I found out about his plans, he had already left the manor.”n)(O𝑽𝖾𝓁𝑩In
Lee Yul replied calmly.
“I trusted you.”
“Even though there was no reason for me to come back in Runan, I came back here because you asked me to.”
“I gave you full power and authority.”
“I know that, too.”
“And this is the result. Do you understand?! This is the result–!”
Seol Kang-yeon slammed his fist down on the table.
The thick table made of rosewood split apart, causing it to scatter across the floor.
It felt like a storm was raging in the room.
And its source was none other than Seol Kang-yeon.
His anger was directed at Lee Yul.
A subordinate would normally be trembling right now, unable to stand up straight in such a situation, but Lee Yul just stared back at Seol Kang-yeon without as much as blinking an eye.
This was unthinkable in a normal master-subordinate relationship.
Seol Kang-yeon struggled to control his anger and spoke,
“Since all of this happened because of you, you should be the one to fix it.”
“You must pay for the death of my son. If you fail, I will not forgive you. Do you understand?”
“Do what you have to do. I don’t care how many people will end up dying in the process. Even if all of Runan’s residents die, I don’t care. Even if Jianghu criticizes me because of it, I don’t care. Do you understand the meaning behind my words?”
“I’ll keep an eye on you. Now, go.”
“I will not disappoint you. Then…”
After bowing to Seol Kang-yeon, Lee Yul left the room.
Once outside, Lee Yul’s expression changed drastically.
Lee Yul cursed at Seol Kwang-ho, for leading the Secret Shadow Group without informing him.
If he had known about Seol Kwang-ho’s plans and actions beforehand, Lee Yul would have stopped him by any means necessary.
The consequences of Seol Kwang-ho’s arrogance were devastating.
The morale of the Snow Sword Manor had plummeted, and the warriors were expecting nothing but their impending defeat.
Lee Yul knew that it would take more than ordinary means to raise the people’s morale.
If left unchecked, the Snow Sword Manor would surely collapse.
Something extraordinary needed to be done.
Returning to his quarters, Lee Yul spoke up,
As always, Baek Do-kyung appeared without a sound, but the expression he had on his face was quite serious.
It was rare for Baek Do-kyung to make such a serious face in front of Lee Yul.
“What’s going on?”
“I received a message from the Ghost Brigade.”
“How long has it been since they left?”
“They say that Captain Mok has passed away.”
Lee Yul thought he’d misheard. The news was that shocking.
“They say that shortly after leaving Runan and arriving at their temporary base, they were ambushed by someone. Many people were killed or wounded, including Captain Mok.”
“Who did it?”
“It’s him again… I’m getting really tired of this.”
Lee Yul clicked his tongue.
The damage caused by Pyo-wol seemed to be greater than the damage he suffered while fighting the Jin family.
Pyo-wol was like a mosquito, constantly hovering around and annoying him. But since his destructive power was incomparable to that of a mosquito, his presence made it all the more frustrating and troublesome.
“In the worst case scenario, the Ghost Brigade might force you to escape.”
“That will never happen.”
“But as you know, we have no choice if the Ghost Brigade decides to intervene.”
Baek Do-kyung looked at Lee Yul with a worried expression.
The Ghost Brigade was not above Lee Yul, but in some special cases, they could intervene without his permission.
One of which was Lee Yul’s safety.
If they thought his safety was in danger, the Ghost Brigade could intervene and force Lee Yul to escape, regardless of his permission.
Lee Yul bit his lip.
The Ghost Brigade would do what he ordered them to do, but if they intervened, then his status would plummet to the bottom.
The only reason Lee Yul was able to act so independently like this was because he had never once failed before.
A single failure would be a fatal stain on his career.
If that happened, he could lose all the autonomy and authority he’s been given.
He had to prevent such a worst-case scenario.
“Call in the Ten Thousand Man Slayer.”
“We need a game-changing move. The current situation can’t be reversed with just ordinary means.”
“But he’s impossible to control. He might even make things worse if we’re not careful.”
“That’s what I’m calling him for.”
“We even dragged the Shaolin Temple into this, so how come bringing the Ten Thousand Man Slayer a big deal? Who knows, maybe this is for the best.”
Lee Yul was never the type to be easily consumed by anger.
He had a sober grasp of the current situation.
What he needed the most right now was a mad dog that would tear and bite everyone apart.
The Ten Thousand Man Slayer.2
No one knew his real name or identity.
But everyone feared him.
It was because he was one of the Eight Constellations.
A demon who had killed countless people that he had earned the moniker.
Under normal circumstances, he would never move under anyone’s orders. But since he owed Lee Yul a great debt, he has no choice but to pay it back by doing him a favor.
In fact, the strongest card that Lee Yul could play was none other than the Ten Thousand Man Slayer.
End of Volume 11. Thank you for reading!
Hall of Great Purity. Raws: 대소전(大素殿). 大 dà, dài, tài – big, great, vast, large, high 素 sù – white (silk); plain; vegetarian; formerly; normally 殿 diàn – hall; palace; temple The Ten Thousand Man Slayer. Raws: Maninsal, 만인살(萬人殺). 萬 wàn – ten thousand; innumerable 人 rén – man; people; mankind; someone else 殺 shā, sà, shài, shè – kill, slaughter, murder; hurt; to pare off, reduce