Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 308
The sect leader of the Sea Dragon Sect, Jang Hamun, paced around mindlessly.
He should have been asleep at this time but his mind was too troubled to fall asleep.
He let out a sigh involuntarily.
What Lee Seong-hak brought back from his journey was constantly bothering him.
After contemplating for a while Jang Hamun headed to the warehouse behind the Sea Dragon Sect.
The warehouse at the back of the Sea Dragon Sect was incredibly small. It had been built in the early days of the Sea Dragon Sect and while it was once useful nowadays it was no longer used.
Currently there were many warehouses that were many times larger than this one. Therefore this small warehouse served as Jang Hamun’s personal use.
Just a few days ago the warehouse was completely empty. Since there were no valuable items there was naturally no one guarding it.
But now things had changed.
Two men stood guard in front of the warehouse.
“What brings you here at this hour?”
When the men recognized Jang Hamun they eased their guard.
“Is everything all right inside?”
“He made a ruckus during the day but he’s calm now.”
“Yes he seemed to have settled down.”
“Let me take a look inside.”
“You check him personally?”
The men opened the door to the warehouse.
Jang Hamun entered holding the torch the guards have handed him to light the way.
The inside of the warehouse was so dark to the point that he couldn’t see a thing without the light coming from the torch.
Inside the warehouse which hadn’t been used for a long time was a room made of large iron bars. It looked like a prison cell.
Inside was the cell was a bed and a small table. And in one corner a person could be seen crouching. The shadow of the crouching figure was severely emaciated.
His body was as thin as a skeleton and he was covered in scars.
His eyes also lacked unfocused and saliva constantly dripped from his mouth. It was evident to anyone that he had suffered greatly.
That person was the source of Jang Hamun’s troubles.
Lee Seong-hak claimed to have rescued the man from the sea during his journey here.
The man was floating n.a.k.e.d in the sea and was completely exhausted. Lee Seong-hak tried to feed him porridge to make him restore his strength but the man would go berserk. He behaved exactly like a madman making it impossible to tend to him.
Despite being so thin the man still had great strength. He was so strong that he managed to cause injuries to the guards who tried to subdue him while they were on the boat.
Without thinking Lee Seong-hak forcibly administered a hallucinogenic drug to him and put him in a box. Then he brought him here.
Even after coming here the man’s condition did not improve.
The man would have seizures at varying intervals and every time he had a seizure the guards of the Sea Dragon Sect would face difficulties as well. In the end Jang Hamun had no choice but to confine the man within iron bars just like Lee Seong-hak.
The man let out a series of bizarre breathing noises while crouching down.
Jang Hamun stared at the man wordlessly.
The man kept his head lowered as if he was afraid of something.
Jang Hamun asked
“Who are you? And why were you wandering in the sea?”
Naturally the man did not respond.
Jang hamun glared at him his brows furrowing deeply. But even then the the man did not answer.
In his heart Jang Hamun wanted to deal with this man right away.
He could sense an ominous aura coming from the man. Based on his intuition someone with such a foreboding atmosphere would bring a disaster.
If it were the usual Jang Hamun he would have taken action without hesitation. However the precious looking dagger placed on one side prevented him from doing so.
Jang Hamun looked at the small dagger placed on the table outside the iron bars.
The curved blade and crescent-shaped handle of the dagger were unfamiliar objects not seen in the Central Plains.
Jang Hamun had never seen a dagger of this shape before.
But what caught his attention more than anything else were the various and colorful gemstones embedded in the dagger’s hilt and handle.
The red and blue gemstone embedded in the crescent-shaped dagger itself were treasures beyond measure.
It was too priceless that the man had an obsessive attachment to the dagger.
He tightly grasped the dagger in his hand even when he was drifting in the sea or experiencing seizures on the boat
The dagger was also incredibly sharp.
It can cut through everything it touched which made it even more challenging to subdue the man. But once they manage to subdue the man and take his dagger away the man noticeably became more docile.
Jang Hamun held the dagger on the table but once he did the man behind the iron bars blinked.
Sensing that the man might have another seizure Jang Hamun discreetly put down the dagger.
“Where on earth did he get such a precious object?”
Lee Seong-hak who had rescued the man suggested Jang Hamun to search the nearby sea.
No matter how they look at it the dagger didn’t seem to belong to the man. The man must have stolen the dagger from somewhere and Lee Seong-hak believed that there must be more treasures at the place where the man stole it from.
They had no concrete evidence. It was only Lee Seong-hak’s rational speculation. But nonetheless Jang Hamun agreed with him to a certain extent.
After leading the Sea Dragon Sect for a long time he began to developed the ability to sniff out gold. With just a brief glance he could determine whether the other party would bring profit or harm.
The man smelled strongly of gold. But he also carried with him a calamituous aura.
That was why Jang Hamun couldn’t easily get rid of him.
The greed in his eyes deepened.
* * *
Tae Musang sat on one side of the harbor and looked out at the night sea.
The place where he was sitting was not where the regular merchant ships or large vessels enters but where the fishing boats usually docked.
The fishing boats were small barely big enough to fit in two or three adults. Furthermore such boats could easily overturned in the event of high waves. In fact several boats were lost at sea every month never to be found.
Naturally the fishermen who boarded the boats becomes missing.
It wouldn’t be strange to witness bodies being washed up in the shore by the water. These were the bodies of fishermen who had gone out on their boats only to to never return.
Seeing dead bodies like that was a common occurence in this area.
Everyone risked their lives by boarding on the boat.
Tae Musang’s father was one of those fishermen who lost their lives. The only difference was that Tae Musang’s father had never been washed ashore.
His mother died of illness and their meager possessions were divided among relatives.
After that Tae Musang was on his own.
Having lost everything Tae Musang drifted into poverty-stricken neighborhoods and naturally became the leader of the children.
There was nothing he wouldn’t do to keep them alive.
He stole and pickpocketed.
He even once took a severe beating from a stranger until he was on the verge of death.
After going through several near-death experiences he became extremely daring. He no longer blinks an eye at anything.
But the same couldn’t be said for the events that transpired yesterday. Even for him yesterday’s memories were simply too shocking.
He could still vividly recall the nine pieces of phantom daggers floating around him.
He had never imagined a martial art that could unleash all nine daggers simultaneously without lifting a finger.
“I want to become strong too.”
For the first time such a strong desire arose within him.
He had seen countless martial artists in his life but never once had he thought of such a thing.
Pyo-wol’s martial art had shocked him to that extent.
It was like a big crack in his little egg-like world.
He didn’t know Pyo-wol’s true identity.
He didn’t know why Pyo-wol was staying in their area but nonetheless he wanted to learn his martial arts.
If he could learn even a fraction of Pyo-wol’s martial arts then he would be able to save and take care of many more children than he have now. And he would be able to give them a much more prosperous life than they have now.
“Hmph. To achieve that I guess I’ll have to fulfill his orders first.”
Even now his siblings were scattered monitoring Tarha and Yul Ayeon’s every move.
Though they were young their instincts were so sharp that there was no need to worry.
Adults tend to look down on younger children. They don’t consider them as threats or someone they should be wary of.
Tae Musang’s siblings knew this fact very well and know how to take advantage of such weakness.
Just when Tae Musang was about to pat his butt and stood up
A puzzled look suddenly appeared on his face.
He could see several fishing boats coming into the harbor.
“At this time of night?”
No matter how experienced the fishermen in this region were they never ventured out to sea after sunset. It was because treacherous reefs were scattered everywhere.
If they sail out into the pitch-black ocean and ended up hitting a reef then that would mean they would meet their deaths– especially for a small boat like a fishing boat.
Even fishermen who were accustomed to the waters of Haimen would tie up their boats at night and stay away from the harbor.
So how come someone is entering the harbor right now at this without even lighting a torch? And it’s not just one but several boats.
This is definitely not normal situation.
Tae Musang lowered his body getting a bad feeling about this.
The boats docked in a secluded area of the harbor.
People jumped off the achored boats.
The number of people was as many as twenty. They had filled the small boat to capacity.
Tae Musang swallowed dry saliva.
Even from a distance the atmosphere of those who disembarked from the boats was unsettling.
Even in the darkness their eyes seemed to glow.
Tae Musang knew very well what that kind of look meant.
And they weren’t simply the kind of martial artists commonly found in Haimen.
He had never seen such chilling eyes from the martial artists of the Sea Dragon Sector the Red Bandana Association.
‘What the hell? What is going on at Haimen?’
Tae Musang instinctively realized that something unusual was taking place.
It was the instinct of someone who had survived at the bottom.
It was not normal for twenty people of that caliber to secretly enter Haimen.
Tae Musang held his breath as he watched the men get off the boat. He paid attention in particular to the man who was last to disembark.
Even in the darkness Tae Musang could see the man’s white snow-like hair.
The gaze of the white-haired man was so terrifying that it couldn’t be compared to others. Even from a distance Tae Musang felt his heart sink.
The moment Tae Musang saw the man’s eyes he swallowed his dry saliva once again.
It was then.
Suddenly the white-haired man’s eyes turned to the place where Tae Musang was hiding.
Tae Musang instantly realized it.
The man had noticed him.
He instinctively jumped to his feet and ran.
At that moment one of the men who had been beside the white-haired man began to pursue him.
The man managed to close the distance between him and Tae Musang in no time.
Tae Musang clenched his teeth and ran.
He could tell by the speed at which his opponent was approaching.
From the speed at which his pursuer was approaching he could tell that there was no way to shake him off using conventional means.
If things continued like this he would be caught by them before he could even reach halfway.
‘Who said I would let myself be caught without a fight?’
The back alleys of Haimen were like his own backyard.
He navigated through the maze-like alleys as if he were following a carefully drawn map.
Tae Musang ran through the alleyways changing directions here and there. But even then he couldn’t shake off his pursuer.
He didn’t know what methods they were using but the pursuer was like a ghost relentlessly tracking his every move.
It was impossible to shake him off in the usual way.
In the end Tae Musang had to make a decision.
His choice was the underground passage in the slums where filth flowed.
The underground passage where all sorts of filth flowed emitted a stench so strong that ordinary people could hardly bear it. However not the entire underground passage was filled with filth.
There was a clean area in the middle like an island where the stench was almost non-existent. It was a hiding place where children and he occasionally stayed.
Although the path to the hiding place was straightforward beyond that it became intricately tangled like a labyrinth. The back alleys above ground were so complex that newcomers would almost certainly get lost.
In fact there were quite a few who carelessly entered there got lost and ended up dead.
As long as he could make it to the hideout then he’ll be able to shake off his pursuers.
With that in mind Tae Musang ran through the underground passage.
Just when he was finally out of breath did Tae Musang finally reached the hiding place.
“What are you doing at this hour?”
However there were a few young children in the hiding place.
“Why are you all here?”
Tae Musang’s pupils shook.
Playing here was only allowed until sunset.
It was a rule among them to leave when the sun went down. That’s why Tae Musang decided to come here.
“We just wanted to play with brother…”
“Sorry big brother.”
The children answered with expressions of guilt knowing they had done something wrong.
“Damn it! Come on follow me.”
“Stop talking back and just come with me. Now!”
With how unusually angry and tense Tae Musang was being the children instinctively realized that something was wrong.
“Damn it! Damn it!”
Taemusang cursed continuously as he ran ahead. The children followed him with their short legs doing their best to keep up.
Behind them the footsteps of Tae Musang’s pursuers were getting closer and closer.