Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 293
Jang Mugeuk’s gaze was ordinary.
He didn’t have the same intensity in his eyes as the others nor did he seem to be pressuring with his qi. But the moment Jin Siwoo who was standing by Pyo-wol’s side looked him straight in the eyes he froze and couldn’t breathe properly .
It was as if a giant rock was weighing down on his chest making it impossible for him to even breathe.
Jin Siwoo’s face instantly turned white.
Since Jin Siwoo had Jin Geum-woo as his elder brother who was among the top ranked warriors in the world the standards by which he evaluated warriors were high.
He had the tendency to compare them to his older brother whether they would be above or below Jin Geum-woo.
Until now there were only a few people whom Jin Siwoo thought were clearly superior to Jin Geum-woo.
One of them was Pyo-wol.
While he couldn’t exactly tell how strong Pyo-wol was he still vaguely thought that Pyo-wol might be stronger than Jin Geum-woo.
However when he met Jang Mugeuk today he was shocked in a different way from Pyo-wol.
He felt a mountain-like pressure coming from Jang Mugeuk’s body.
The force was pressing him down so much that he couldn’t even move a muscle.
Jin Siwoo raised his qi as he tried to continue looking at Jang Mugeuk.
‘What the hell is this–’
People often evaluated Jang Mugeuk in the same rank as Jin Geum-woo. However the Jang Mugeuk whom Jin Siwoo had seen today with his own eyes could not be said to be equalled.
Jin Siwoo felt his entire body tremble.
He looked away from Jang Mugeuk and looked at Pyo-wol instead.
He thought that Pyo-wol would definitely feel some pressure as well. However contrary to his expectations Pyo-wol didn’t seem to feel any pressure even as he met Jang Mugeuk’s gaze head-on.
On the contrary it was the people around them who felt suffocated.
Not only Jin Siwoo but also all the other members of the Golden Heaven Society watched the confrontation of the two with their mouths shut.
They all thought that Pyo-wol would simply accept Jang Mugeuk’s proposal just like they did.
They were all impressed when they saw Jin Geum-woo before but Jang Mugeuk was even more overwhelming. So they all thought that it was only natural for Jang Mugeuk to become the new master of the Golden Heaven Society.
Jang Mugeuk had the skills character and incredible background as a member of the Heavenly Military Sect.
He had all the makings of a great martial artist.
But contrary to their expectations Pyo-wol was not overwhelmed by Jang Mugeuk nor did he give him the answer they expected.
Jang Mugeuk was not surprised by Pyo-wol’s words.
He didn’t think Pyo-wol would accept his proposal in the first place since it was indeed presumptuous. His question was rather rhetorical for the sake of showing it to Dok Gohyang who was right next to him.
As he expected Dok Gohyang looked disappointed.
He said to Pyo-wol
“Why don’t you think about it again?”
“No matter how many times I think about it my answer will be the same.”
“So it’s really a no…”
Dok Gohyang’s expression turned as hard as a stone.
There was no more kindness in his eyes as he looked at Pyo-wol.
“What a shame! We could have been good friends.”
“Not friends but rather tools.”
“Isn’t that the case?”
Dok Gohyang couldn’t answer properly. He hadn’t expected Pyo-wol to see right through him.
Dok Gohyang stared at him for a moment.
If Jang Mugeuk’s eyes were like mountains Dok Gohyang’s eyes were like a stormy sea. His eyes were as frightening as the waves rushing in.
“I hope you don’t regret your decision today.”
“That will never happen.”
“There is nothing as meaningless as the word ‘never’ in this world. I’ve learned that as I’ve lived.”
“That may be true. But I don’t think I’ll regret today’s decision.”
Pyo-wol’s voice was very dry devoid of any emotions.
The lack of emotion in his voice sent a chill down the spine of Dok Gohyang and even Jang Mugeuk.
Jang Mugeuk then spoke in a low voice so that others wouldn’t hear
“Um Soso made the mistake of inviting you here. She shouldn’t have called you here at all.”
“Is it because you can’t get rid of me with everyone here watching?”
“That’s a shame isn’t it?”
“It’s a pity but since my friend has finally given up in trying to lure you in it’s not a complete loss. I guess we’ll have to settle with this for now.”
“Are you going to absorb the Golden Heaven Society and use it to dominate the world?”
“I don’t know.”
Jang Mugeuk didn’t give a definite answer but it was as good as giving an answer since Pyo-wol already knew what he was thinking.
It was clear that everyone present here in the room would be the ones leading Jianghu in the future even if their abilities might be a bit lacking at the moment.
In five or ten years their status would be drastically different from what it is now. And if they still all decided to support Jang Mugeuk it wouldn’t be too difficult in taking control of all of Jianghu.
It’s not necessary to rule others by force.
As long as Jang Mugeuk could gain the agreement and support of those who would lead the next generation he could easily dominate.
Pyo-wol thought that Jianghu was changing.
In the past many factions tried to solve everything with force.
Such was the case with the Celestial Demon Order and the demonic cult who tried to establish their power in Jianghu in the previous generations. But they all had failed causing Jianghu to undergo significant changes during the upheaval.
But now Jianghu warriors do not simply comply with those who have a strong influence or powerful military might.
They are more exclusive towards those they do not feel an emotional connection to. Jang Mugeuk knew this fact which was why he wanted to get his hands on the Golden Heaven Society.
It was clear that Jang Mugeuk wanted to spread his own ideals by taking over the Golden Heaven Society that Jin Geum-woo had created.
Pyo-wol believed that Jang Mugeuk was more dangerous than any other.
Jang Mugeuk already had a strong ally who is Dok Gohyang and adding the Golden Heaven Society to the mix would be like giving him wings.
Jang Mugeuk and Pyo-wol stared into each other’s eyes for a while.
It was Pyo-wol who stepped back first. He then turned to Jin Siwoo
“Let’s go back.”
“It’s best to leave now.”
Jin Siwoo’s face twisted at Pyo-wol’s words but he soon nodded.
Part of him wanted to grab Jang Mugeuk by the throat and argue with him right away but he knew it wasn’t a good idea.
No matter what he said right now the people in the room wouldn’t listen to him. Jang Mugeuk already had complete control over their minds.
As frustrated as he was he had to step aside now.
That was the only way to preserve the honor of the Jin family.
Jin Siwoo retreated with Pyo-wol. As he did so Jang Mugeuk said to him
“As soon as this meeting is over I’ll go to the Jin manor to pay my respects to Geum-woo. I’ll see you then.”
Jin Siwoo gritted his teeth but didn’t say anything in return. He didn’t think anything good would come out of his mouth if he spoke right now.
Just as Pyo-wol was about to lead Jin Siwoo out the door Jang Hoyeon approached him
“I was able to meet these people because I followed you. They are all good friends. I’ve made a valuable connection because of you so I’ll cherish them well.”
“Where are you going to go now? Take care of yourself until we meet each other again. You won’t be able to walk out of here unscathed next time.”
“I have some advice for you too. It’s not good to get too close to them. You might end up getting hit by a blind sword for no reason.”
At that moment Pyo-wol walked out and slammed the door of Celestial Origin Pavilion at his back.
Once outside Pyo-wol and Jin Siwoo walked through the streets of Runan without saying a word.
Pyo-wol had already guessed this would happen so he wasn’t shocked but it was a different case with Jin Siwoo. He staggered down the street dazed.
Understanding what Jin Siwoo was feeling Pyo-wol didn’t try to comfort him.
After a while when Jin Siwoo had recovered his emotions he spoke with difficulty
“Jianghu is truly a heartless place.”
“I thought that at least a few of them would be able to argue back against Jang Mugeuk’s words but not a single one of them did.”
Even though he had no choice but to come to Yunan at the height of the fight with Snow Sword Manor he should have come to the Jin family first because of his relationship with Jin Geum-woo and then he would have accepted whatever path they took.
Today’s incident would remain a huge scar on his heart for the rest of his life.
Pyo-wol suddenly spoke
“Maybe it’s for the best.”
“What do you mean?”
“Rather than continuing to be in the company of people who are neither here nor there it might be better to separate early. It’s understandable for you to feel upset right now but there will come a day when you’ll think it was better that you parted ways with them today.”
“Do you really think so?”
“I understand. I’ll try to think that way too.”
Jin Siwoo responded with a relieved expression.
As he directed the battle with Snow Sword Manor Jin Siwoo had grown even stronger and mature.
He gritted his teeth and vowed.
“I will make them regret their decision today.
To do that he needed to increase the power of the Jin family.
He needed to build up their strength to a level that no one could ignore.
By making deals with numerous merchants and influential figures the Jin family became financially prosperous. Furthermore his grandfather Jin Wol-myeong had finally regained his senses and was slowly recovering his martial arts skills.
As long as Jin Wol-myeong got back his original strength the Jin family would become a force to be reckoned with.
‘I will definitely raise the Jin family with my own hands. I won’t let our sect suffer such adversity again.’
Pyo-wol could feel Jin Siwoo’s determination.
‘Siwoo will continue to grow even more.’
Trials can make people feel frustrated but they can also make them grow.
There may be cases where other people falter in the face of difficulties but some rise with even greater strength.
Jin Siwoo’s case was the latter.
Pyo-wol had no doubt that Jin Siwoo would grow even stronger.
Suddenly Jin Siwoo said
“Hmpf! If I knew this would happen I wouldn’t have invited a theater troupe.”
“A theater troupe?”
“Yes. We invited a troupe to celebrate the victory and boost the morale of the people but now they might misunderstand and think that we prepared it for them.”
Jin Siwoo smiled bitterly.
It wasn’t his idea to call in the troupe.
It was actually the suggestions of the Jin family elders. They believed that after going through a difficult situation they should hold a big celebration to show off their strength.
Jin Siwoo’s grandfather Jin Wol-myeong agreed with the elders.
News came that a famous theater troupe was visiting the area so the Jin family hurriedly sent someone to invite them. However the date of their arrival would coincide with the arrival of Jang Mugeuk and the Golden Heaven Society in the Jin manor.
With this it would look as if they invited a theater trope to welcome Jang Mugeuk and the Golden Heaven Society.
“Well I don’t know what’s going to happen next but I’m going back to Jin manor.”
Jin Siwoo cupped his fist in goodbye before going off in the direction of the Jin family.
As he walked away his back seemed particularly lonely.
He seemed more alive back at the time when he picked up his sword and fought against the Snow Sword Manor. At least then he didn’t have to worry about human relationships.
In a way it seemed like maintaining human relationships was more difficult and exhausting than experiencing life and death situations.
Pyo-wol shook his head slightly and walked to the inn where he was staying.
When he arrived it was already late at night.
He ate a quick meal and returned to his room.
When he returned to his empty room Gwiya who had been twisting around his arm began to squirm and move. The snake climbed up Pyo-wol’s body and peeked out through the collar at the nape of his neck.
Gwiya used Pyo-wol’s body as a playground roaming around to its heart’s content.
The snake loved the smoothness of Pyo-wol’s skin.
Pyo-wol opened the window.
A cool breeze blew in and caressed his body.
Then his eyes caught sight of a parade of carriages entering the city.
Wagons loaded with goods and carriages carrying people made their way into the city.
People who were walking up and down the street looked at the procession with curiosity.
The lead carriage carried a large red flag.
The red banner had the words “Heavenly Flower Variety Theater Troupe”1 written on it in gold thread.
It looked like the troupe Jin Siwoo had been talking about was coming in.
“It’s a troupe!”
People in the streets began cheering.
Thank you for reading!
Heavenly Flower Variety Theater Troupe. Raws: 천화잡극단(天華雜劇團). 天 tiān – sky heaven; god celestial 華 huá huā huà – flowery; illustrious; Chinese 雜 zá – mixed blended; mix mingle 劇 jù – theatrical plays opera drama 團 tuán – sphere ball circle; mass lump