Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 30
Light Novel: Volume 2 Episode 5
People often thought that assassins move alone.
But that was a misconception.
An assassin had to go through a lot of steps in carrying out assassinations.
First of all there should be a person who receives the request and another person who can collect the information. There should also be someone who can carve out assassins’ infiltration method and another person to figure out the escape routes.
A minimum of four personnel were required for one assassination.
That was just the case for the minimum.
On average more than a dozen personnel actually have to move organically and assist in executing a single assassination. Because of that assassin groups like the Blood Phantom Group have been able to prosper until now.
For nearly two hundred years Jianghu has been involved in great wars such as the Battle of Blood and the War of the Demons and Heaven. Assassin groups such as the Blood Phantom Group expanded their power by taking advantage of such chaos.
After the two battles the assassin group became more and more professional and systematic.
If the Blood Phantom Group had been fine Pyo-wol would have been able to receive systematic support. However Pyo-wol did not think that the Blood Phantom Group would be okay.
The client was meticulous and cruel. There was no way for them to feel any remorse.
Pyo-wol had to do both assassination and escape by himself.
Even with his injured body.
The escape route Pyo-wol chose was the Min River (岷江 Minjiang).
The Min River was a huge river flowing behind Mt. Qingcheng and passed through the Sichuan Basin. The richness of the Sichuan Basin was due to sediments brought from upstream by four great rivers including the Min River.
Four rivers hence the name Sichuan. The four rivers were connected through numerous tributaries and connected the entire Sichuan province like a spider’s web.
That was why Pyo-wol chose Min-gang as his escape route.
Similarly the martial artists of the Qingcheng sect knew this so they built a security network on the escape route leading to the Min River.
The warriors who discovered Pyo-wol attacked.
Pyo-wol chose to avoid them rather than confront them head-on. Pyo-wol made a big detour and ran towards the Min River.
A field of reeds could be seen in the distance.
Once he hides himself in the reed fields and enters the Min River the pursuers will not be able to find him easily.
But before Pyo-wol could even enter the reed field a large axe flew.
A crater the size of an adult’s torso exploded in the place where Pyo-wol had just been. If Pyo-wol had been a little late to avoid it he would have been smashed like fish meat.
Blood Dragon Blade Lighting (血龍强夫).
He was a master who had no opponent if he only had an axe.
As soon as he heard that Gunsang was assassinated by an assassin he ran to this place with his axe.
When he found Pyo-wol he swung his axe with all his might.
“How dare an assassin dare to kill Qingcheng’s Woo Gunsang! I will punish you by offering your corpse as a sacrifice on the altar of the Qingcheng sect!”
He was genuinely angry.
Although he had no relationship with Woo Gunsang the fact that the young disciple who carried the future of the sect had his life ended in vain because an assassin made him angry.
It wasn’t just that.
Most of the warriors who supported the Qingcheng’s call and formed the inescapable net had similar feelings.
A huge axe flew with a vicious momentum.
Pyo-wol did not dare to face the axe and fled. Then this time something invisible flew aiming for Pyo-wol’s blood.
Pyo-wol almost instinctively bowed his head. Then something invisible ran through his hair and back.
A handful of hair was cut off and the hem of his clothes was torn revealing his bare skin.
It was a fishing line that was so fine that it was indistinguishable by the n.a.k.e.d eye that attacked Pyo-wol.
The owner of the fishing line was an old man in his sixties dressed as a fisherman.
The old man’s true identity was So Tae-myung the Min River’s Fish (眠江漁翁).
So Tae-myung’s weapon was a fishing rod called a Dragon Pole [용간조(龍竿操)]. The fishing rod itself was ordinary but the fishing line used was made of a material called Cheonjamsa (silk thread).1
The Cheonjamsa was so thin that it was almost invisible to the n.a.k.e.d eye and its sharpness was comparable to that of a famous sword.
Jo Pyeong-gwang and So Tae-myung were old friends.
One attacked from a close range with an axe and the other attacked from a distance using a fishing rod.
Their collaboration was truly perfect.
Pyo-wol realized that he couldn’t get to the Min River until he defeated them.
Pyo-wol ran towards So Tae-myung.
“Heh! This will be easy. Someone who’s an assassin baboon…”
So Tae-myung snorted and recovered the dragon pole. Then the fishing line returned and aimed at Pyo-wol’s back.
The hooks on the fishing line were so sharp that once caught it was impossible to get out.
Pyo-wol knew that too.
Still he ran away without blinking an eye.
Both the number of years of learning martial arts and the level of skill was quite different. Still the reason Pyo-wol rushed to the front was because he had an intuition that the opportunity would not come if he didn’t go for it now.
Pyo-wol’s nerves were at a standstill.
As his sight smell and hearing expanded beyond my limits he felt the trembling of the air.
The movement of the fishing line sharply piercing the air was vividly pictured in my mind.
Pyo-wol stretched out his hand.
The fishing line was caught on his thumb and index finger.
At that moment So Tae-myung pulled the fishing rod with all his might.
His fishing line was made of silk yarn. By injecting the internal energy it can become sharper than any other famous swords.
Human skin could also be cut in half like a fish body.
So Tae-myung had no doubts that he could cut off Pyo-wol’s hand. However the thumb and index finger of Pyo-wol who grabbed the fishing line were still intact.
So Tae-myung opened his eyes wide in surprise.
The unthinkable happened to him.
Pyo-wol’s internal strength could hardly keep up with the depth of So Tae-myung. Moreover the piece called Cheonjamsa was added so his finger should have been cut off.
Nevertheless his fingers remained intact because he concentrated all of his internal strength on the two fingers holding the Cheonjamsa.
In other words it was a matter of efficiency.
While the depth and vastness of the action did not need much internal energy the delicateness needed for the operation was different.
Pyo-wol possessed a more sensitive sense than anyone else.
As he struggled to survive in the dark his senses expanded. Such expanded senses were so sensitive that the average person could not even imagine.
When So Tae-myung pulled the fishing rod he came closer and when he swung it he followed him like a scarecrow.
Pyo-wol was like a ghost hanging from a fishing line.
He had killed a lot of warriors with the dragon pole so far but this was the first time this has happened.
Jo Pyeong-gwang suddenly attacked Pyo-wol’s waist with an axe. At that moment Pyo-wol let go of the fishing line he was holding in his hand and jumped forward.
Because of the action of Jo Pyeong-gwang Pyo-wol used his momentum to go for So Tae-myung’s chest.
So Tae-myung hurriedly tried to block Pyo-wol’s attack with the handle of the dragon pole. But before the dragon pole’s handle reached Pyo-wol gently pushed it away with his palm.
In an instant So Tae-myung’s body was out of balance. Without missing the gap Pyo-wol’s hand pierced his throat like tofu.
He executed the Seventy-Two Swords with his bare hands like a blade.
After listening to So Yeowol’s advice Pyo-wol concentrated on his handiwork. And he was able to get some results.
He can make his fingers reminiscent of a sharp blade at will.
The result was right before his eyes.
Pyo-wol’s hand stopped So Tae-myung’s breathing. So Tae-myung collapsed in his blood.
A voice close to the scream of Jo Pyung-gwang the Blood Dragon resounded in the Min River. He never could have imagined that he would lose a close friend in such a vain way in front of his eyes.
Pyo-wol ignored Jo Pyeong-gwang.
There was no time to deal with Jo Pyung-gwang now.
He picked up So Tae-myung’s dragon pole and flew into the Min River.
In an instant his figure disappeared into the river.
Jo Pyung-gwang’s desperate cry echoed through the Min River.
“He jumped into the river!”
The soldiers who joined late followed Pyo-wol and plunged into the river.
Jo Pyung-gwang cried while holding the body of his dead friend.
“Damn! I will never forgive you!”
* * *
The Qingcheng sect organised a tracking team of about 100 men to pursue Pyo-wol. However the rest of the warriors were not idle. They coordinated in achieving their goal by closely liaising with the warriors of other sects.
The people who led the pursuit from the Qingcheng sect were Mu Jeong-jin and his disciple Qing Ming.
If Mu Jeong-jin was the number one martial artist in the Qingcheng sect Qing Ming possessed an unparalleled force among his fellow disciples.
Although he was not as famous because of his brilliant talent his martial arts skills were among the top three of his great disciples.
Qing Ming had another talent besides martial arts which was that he was good at hunting.
Before entering the Qingcheng sect he lived with his father who was a hunter.
From the moment he started walking he went with his father so he inherited his father’s talents.
Knowing the nature of the beast tracking and hunting skills were at a level that even hunters could not match. Thanks to his talent he was able to catch the eye of Mu Jeong-jin early and became his disciple.
Knowing the talent of Qing Ming Mu Jeong-jin set out to pursue Pyo-wol with him in the lead.
After examining the traces left on the floor Qing Ming opened his mouth.
“He’s a great guy. He’s bold and fearless on the subject being chased.”
“If he wasn’t he wouldn’t have dared to assassinate Woo Gunsang. Can you track him down?”
Qing Ming answered in a confident voice. It has been more than ten years since he gave up on hunting but his skill was still there.
Rather than worrying about not being able to track him he was rather excited about hunting after a long time.
‘Now that Woo Gunsang has died this is a golden opportunity.’
Qing Ming was very ambitious. However it was difficult for him to express his ambitions since the position of Woo Gunsang or his older brother Qing Yeobeun was so strong.
In particular Woo Gunsang was younger than him and he was loved by the elders for his superior talent.
Qing Yeobeun his older brother received the full support of the disciples for his outstanding martial arts and gentle personality.
Because the two had the love and attention of the entire Qingcheng sect there was no room for him to intervene. So Qing Ming was giving up on it to some extent. But suddenly the opportunity came.
Qing Ming did not want to miss the opportunity that suddenly came.
“Let’s go! We must catch him to lift up the spirit of the sect!”
Qing Ming took the lead and ran.
He tracked down Pyo-wol recalling his memories of hunting with his father.
Where Pyo-wol had passed traces remained.
Pyo-wol preferred to get out of hiding if possible and he did so. However it was near impossible to get out of the inescapable net that was spread out like spider webs throughout Sichuan Province without any trace.
Pyo-wol fought a few fights used his wits and escaped but he left a trail each time.
Qing Ming found the ghost like traces left by Pyo-wol.
“He turned around here.”
“Where will he go after coming here?”
“He will end up in Danba (丹巴). If you go further west from Danpa you will find the highlands.”
“He’s a clever guy. The other guys died trying to escape out of Sichuan but he’s doing the opposite of trying to escape by going deep into Sichuan.”
“Hmm… If his destination is really the highlands we will have to catch him before he gets there. The mountains there are too steep and deep and if he made up his mind to hide we will never be able to find him.”
Mu Jeong-jin nodded his head at Qing Ming’s concern.
The Sichuan land was basically a basin.
The vast plain which provides enough grain to feed hundreds of millions of people was protected by mountains high enough to reach the sky like a folding screen.
Among them the highland in the west was famous for its rugged and dense mountains. Even in broad daylight it was as dark as night and it was notorious for having first-time visitors to get lost and wander for days and days eventually starving to death.
Mu Jeong-jin gave another disciple an order.
“Make an announcement to the sects that have made up the inescapable net. Since his destination is the western highlands tell them to concentrate and fully prepaare their forces there especially for those sects in that direction.”
“Understood. I’ll tell them that.”
The disciple lowered the large box he was carrying on his back as he answered.
Inside the box were dozens of well-trained carrier pigeons.
The disciple took some of them out of the box then threw them away.
The carrier pigeons flew in different directions with a letter containing the orders of Mu Jeong-jin on their feet.
It was time for the warriors of the Qingcheng sect to start moving again after a brief rest.
Suddenly a red hawk appeared in the sky.
The red hawk hovered in the sky for a while then swiftly descended and landed on the forearm of the disciple who sent out the carrier pigeons.
The disciple hurriedly delivered the letter tied to the carrier pigeon’s ankle to Mu Jeong-jin.
“This is a letter from the Emei sect.”
Mu Jeong-jin hastily read the letter.
“Master why did Emei send a letter?”
“They say they want to participate too.”
“Emei? What are their intentions…”
Qing Ming frowned.
His perception of the Emei sect was not good.
Mu Jeong-jin crumpled up the letter and said
“It doesn’t matter what their intentions are. What matters is that the number of cards we can use has increased. We will surely catch the assassin and soon have him taste the pain of hell.”
Even if the translated chapters hasn’t caught yet with the manhwa it’s nice to see some events here in the web novel which was not shown in the manhwa~
Cheonjamsa. 천잠사. Silk thread.