Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 289
Woon Seong’ apology was frankly unexpected.
Even Jin Wol-myeong’s eyes widened in surprise.
The Shaolin master he knew was a proud and noble person.
They acted and ruled Jianghu as the North Star for so many years while simultaneously living detached from the secular world.
As a result they never once admitted to making mistakes let alone apologizing for them.
This is the pride of an orthodox sect with a long history.
The Shaolin Temple’s pride was particularly sky-high.
They don’t make any mistakes and if they do they don’t easily admit it.
This was why seeing Woon Seong apologizing to Pyo-wol who was reputed to have a strong sense of pride in the Shaolin Temple came as a big shock to Jin Wol-myeong. But he couldn’t open his mouth even if he had a lot of things to say because he was still taken aback at the sight.
Woon Seong said to Pyo-wol
“I have learned a lot since entering the Jin Family. To be honest the disciples of our sect have done nothing but harm. If we had been quicker to recognize the situation we could have prevented so many people from dying.”
Seongam was the biggest problem of all.
His explosive and impulsive personality had gotten them into a lot of trouble. Because of him he caused the Shaolin Temple to have a fall out with Pyo-wol and Namgung Wol thus greatly tarnishing the Shaolin’s honor.
As soon as Seongam returns to the Shaolin Temple he will be asked to reflect on his actions and undergo training in seclusion. No one knows how long that period would be.
“If you’re done talking I will leave.”
“What are your plans for the future?”
“I don’t think there’s any reason for me to tell you that.”
“I’m telling you this out of genuine concern and I hope you don’t take it personally. Your body emits a strong stench of blood which must mean that you have killed a lot of people. I hope you would refrain from killing anymore since the more you kill the more you will be consumed by demon-like thoughts. As the years go by you will one day be consumed by a heart demon and be unable to control your bloodlust. I hope you will stop before that happens.”
Woon Seong’s words were sincere.
From the moment Pyo-wol entered the room Woon Seong could not bear the foul stench of blood emanating from him. He couldn’t even fathom how many people Pyo-wol must have been killed to have such a potent scent of blood.
Perhaps this was the emergence of an unprecedented malicious aura. But Pyo-wol’s gaze was too profound to dismiss as mere bloodlust.
It couldn’t be said that he was clear of evil spirits but at least there were no signs of being consumed by them. However this didn’t guarantee that he would remain uncorrupted in the future.
“If you were to go mad and kill I would be the first one to act. I will stop you from killing with my own hands. Do you understand?”
“Are you done talking?”
“If you’re done I’ll leave.”
Pyo-wol rose from his seat.
Woon Seong could only watch as Pyo-wol stormed out the door with a disappointed expression. He had wanted to grab Pyo-wol’s hand right then and there but he couldn’t move since he was still injecting his qi to Jin Wol-myeong.
Even Jin Siwoo who brought Pyo-wol followed him out leaving only Woon Seong and Jin Wol-myeong in the room.
In the end Woon Seong could only sigh.
That wasn’t what he originally wanted to say but he ended up saying something useless again.
All because of the smell of blood emanating from Pyo-wol’s body.
The scent of blood which he had never experienced before paralyzed his reason and senses in an instant.
If this was his reaction even after so many years of training how would the other warriors who hadn’t gone through the long training he had react?
It was then.
Jin Wol-myeong also let out a sigh.
Woon Seong stopped injecting his qi once he knew Jin Wol-myeong’s body and mind had stabilized.
With a calmer expression on his face Jin Wol-myeong asked him
“Why did you let him go? If you leave him like this many people will surely die.”
“I didn’t have the confidence to subdue him.”
Jin Wol-myeong looked at him incredulously
“It’s true. I didn’t have the confidence to subdue him. If I had tried to subdue him I would have to make a life-or-death decision and I didn’t want to risk my life fighting him.”
Woon Seong smiled bitterly.
Although he possessed martial arts skills worthy of being the First Book of Shaolin his fundamental identity was still that of a Buddhist monk. He didn’t have the same fighting spirit or the same willingness to endure any kind of damage unlike Pyo-wol.
In a way he might have been overwhelmed by Pyo-wol’s qi.
Woon Seong cautiously said to Jin Wol-myeong
“That child has already surpassed the level of a late-stage powerhouse. So please treat him with care Lord Jin.”
“I cannot accept that.”
“I am Jin Wol-myeong the Sunset Sword God. Even though I have suffered such disgrace because of poison once I recover my true strength I will never lose to that brat.”
Jin Wol-myeong gritted his teeth.
When the Jin family was in the most danger he himself was lying there like a corpse unable to do anything. That fact shamed him to no end.
He had deliberately raised his voice against Pyo-wol to hide his shame.
It was a sentiment that young people wouldn’t understand but Woon Seong perfectly understood Jin Wol-myeong’s feelings. It was the stubborn resistance of an old man trying to protect and maintain his dignity at all costs.
Jin Wol-myeong’s behavior continued for a long time afterward.
Woon Seong waited for Jin Wol-myeong to calm down before asking
“Now tell me. Who did this to you? Who would dare to treat Lord Jin like this?”
“He called himself the Poison King.”1
“The Poison King?”
* * *
The horse whinnied as if it was happy to see Pyo-wol.
Most of the Jin manor was in ruins but the stable remained unharmed.
It was lucky enough to be spared from destruction.
Pyo-wol patted the horse on the nape of the neck and communicated with it for a moment.
Jin Siwoo stared at him wordlessly.
Just then a young warrior walked into the stable.
“Ah! There you are!”
The young martial artist’s face lit up when he saw the two of them.
Jin Siwoo quickly greeted him.
Namgung Wol smiled and patted Jin Siwoo on the shoulder.
“You did well.”
“You’re the one who did all the hard work. Thanks to you we were able to come out unharmed.”
When the Snow Sword Manor invaded Namgung Wol took the lead and fought them off. If he hadn’t stopped them the damage to the Jin family would have been even greater.
Because of this Jin Siwoo thought of Namgung Wol as their benefactor.
Namgung Wol’s gaze turned to Pyo-wol
“Are you leaving?”
“I have to.”
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“You don’t have a specific destination do you?”
“Well why don’t you stay here in Runan for a few more days?”
“I think there will be some interesting things to see.”
“Don’t you want to know what will happen to Jianghu in the future? You’ll probably find out if you stay in Runan a little longer.”
Namgung Wol looked at him with a meaningful expression.
* * *
Pyo-wol left the Jin manor and returned to the inn.
He asked the innkeeper to give his horse plenty of food and rest.
Since the Jin family was in the midst of a crisis they could barely afford to pay attention to horses in their stables causing the horses to become thin and weak.
Even if it wasn’t necessarily for the condition of his horse Pyo-wol would still have decided to stay in Runan for a few more days to recover his strength.
After leaving the horse in the inn’s care Pyo-wol returned to his room.
If he was going to stay in Runan for a few more days he needed to make sure his injuries were fully healed.
Pyo-wol immediately sat down with his crossed legs and began to meditate.
Using Thunder-Splitting Snake Spirit Cultivation Technique Pyo-wol examined the condition of his body. For a master of his caliber examining his own inner self was not a difficult task.
As he used the Thunder-Splitting Snake Spirit Cultivation Technique heat rose from his body and his inner strength surged through his veins like boiling blood.
One thousand two thousand…
Pyo-wol locked himself in his room for two days focusing solely on his meditation.
By the time he left his room on the third day his injuries had been completely healed. However since he had been meditating for two days straight his body became completely thin from not being able to eat for the past few days.
Pyo-wol talked to a servant and asked him to bring food into the room. Since Pyo-wol paid the servant for doing him an errand he happily delivered the food to his room.
He had not been able to eat for two days so he needed to eat a lot of food to regain his strength. Pyo-wol chewed every last morsel of the food that the servant brought him.
Once his stomach was full his complexion returned to normal and his skin began to glow again.
Pyo-wol pushed the plates aside and thought to himself
As he regained his strength his mind drifted back to his fight with the Black Cloud Corps.
He had used Body Substitution to deceive Jang Muryang and take his life. At the time he had done it out of improvisation but as he looked back he realized it was a subtle and clever move.
‘If I can improve the technique a little more it will definitely become even more powerful.’
The key to this move was to trick the human eye.
He would have to move quickly and use the afterimage to lure and surprise his opponent.
Jang Muryang had been one to fall for such a trick.
Jang Muryang’s martial prowess was undoubtedly great but because of his subordinate’s deaths his composure was massively shaken leading him unable to make proper judgments and ultimately be killed helplessly.
The problem was if he found himself against real masters.
They would not be easily shaken or distracted by ordinary psychological warfare.
Just using Body Substitution is not enough to deceive them.
He had to add something more.
Pyo-wol sat cross-legged and began immersing himself thinking about Body Substitution.
Once he thought up a subject he would see it through to the end.
This was also how the Starving Demon the martial art that he created was born.
Pyo-wol continued to ponder how he could develop the Body Substitution technique.
‘I need to strengthen the afterimage to make it feel more real.’
The first method that came to mind was adding internal energy.
By infusing internal energy into the residual image he would be able to make it as if the afterimage was tangible as if it had substance.
If others knew what he was thinking they would have thought he was crazy and told him to stop right away because of how unrealistic his thoughts were.
There was a concept in Taoism called the primordial spirit.3
A person who has reached the state of spiritual enlightenment can cultivate a primordial spirit which is a condensed form of qi or energy. It would start off at about the size of a child around six or seven years old but would eventually grow larger according to the level of cultivation.
But Pyo-wol was not planning on cultivating a primordial spirit.
He just wanted something similar enough to fool his opponent for a moment.
Pyo-wol operated his internal energy and released it outwardly.
The objects in his room instantly exploded as if struck by lightning.
The excessive release of inner energy caused a shockwave and explosion in the room.
“Oh no! What happened?”
At that moment Pyo-wol heard the urgent voice of the servant from outside. The servant had rushed over alarmed by the loud noise coming from Pyo-wol’s room.
Pyo-wol told the servant
“Don’t come in I’ll compensate for the broken items later.”
The servant replied and then retreated.
As soon as the servant was out of earshot Pyo-wol released his internal qi again.
It was weaker than before but the energy began to flow more freely and smoothly.
Pyo-wol suddenly thought that this method was similar to how his Soul-Reaping Thread is being dispersed.
Now that he thought about it the Soul-Reaping Thread is also a formidable martial art technique that did not exist before in the world.
As of now he hadn’t seen anyone who could unfold martial arts the way he does.
‘What if I could extract and compress the Soul-Reaping Thread more finely?’
It did not have to maintain its shape for a long time. As long as it stayed together instead of scattering it would be effective enough.
Pyo-wol plucked out a bundle of qi threads and tried to form them into the same shape as himself.
This time the bed broke.
Still Pyo-wol didn’t give up and continued to experiment with his method.
This time the window exploded.
But Pyo-wol kept trying.
‘One more time.’
His attempt naturally ended in failure.
But he still tried again and again.
Yay! New martial arts for Pyo-wol! Anyway thank you for reading!
Poison King. Raws: 독왕(毒王). 毒 dú dài – poison venom; poisonous 王 wáng wàng yù – king ruler; royal; surname Body Substitution. Raws: 이형환위(移形換位). This is a martial arts technique often referred to as “body shifting” or “body exchange.” It involves the use of quick movements and precise positioning to evade an opponent’s attack and then counterattack from a different angle. 移 yí chǐ yì – change place shift; move about 形 xíng – form shape appearance 換 huàn – change exchange; substitute 位 wèi – throne; position post; rank status; seat Primordial spirit. Raws: 원신(元神). When I searched this the term that appeared is actually Genshin Impact haha. There are many possible translations for this: Original Spirit Essential Spirit Fundamental Spirit Ancestral Spirit Original God etc. 元 yuán – first; dollar; origin; head 神 shén shēn – spirit god supernatural being