Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 312
Light Novel: Volume 13 Episode 12
When they returned to the inn Yul Ayeon and Tarha looked at the two of them.
“Who is that young fellow?”
“But isn’t it your first time here too? How come you have an acquaintance?”
“We happen to meet by chance.”
“Is that so?”
Tarha’s gaze was fixed on Tae Musang
His gaze while seemingly normal was not as light as most people could handle. Yet Tae Musang did not avert his gaze gritting his teeth in response.
Seeing Tae Musang’s bloodshot eyes as he glared at him Tarha exclaimed in admiration
“Heh this guy has a lot of venom.”
Tarha had encountered quite a few formidable individuals in his life. Among them were children who possessed venom. However none of them gave off as intense a feeling as Tae Musang.
Tarha couldn’t take his eyes off him.
He seemed to appreciate Taemuhsang’s venomous appearance.
“Did you ever learn martial arts?”
Tae Musang shook his head.
“Hmm… To think that you’d have such a gaze without even learning martial arts…”
Tarha stood up from his seat and walked over to Tae Musang. The old man then began to examine and touch the child’s body.
Tae Musang grimaced as he tried to pull away from Tarha’s grip. But as if he had entered a deep abyss an immense pressure took over his body rendering him unable to move.
Only then did Tae Musang realize that the elderly man in front of him was an incredibly skilled martial arts master.
A stifled groan escaped from his lips.
He could feel a tremendous amount of heat coming from the areas where Tarha was touching him.
The pain was so excruciating that an ordinary person would have passed out but Tae Musang endured. He did not lose his composure.
Instead he glared at Tarha with determination. At this Tarha seemed to appreciate Tae Musang’s demeanor even more.
As he removed his hands from Tae Mussang’s body Tarha said
“You have very good muscles so even if you’re a bit older you’ll make quick progress if you learn martial arts.”
“Damn it! What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”
Despite experiencing some pain Tae Musang only cursed and glared at Tarha.
“Hehe I really like this guy.”
Tarha remained unperturbed by Tae Musang’s rough response. In fact he looked at the child with even more amusement than before.
Tae Musang clenched his fists tightly. He looked as if he was going to pounce on Tarha at any moment but when he saw Yul Ayeon behind Tarha his eyes widened.
He had seen quite a few women in his time here but he had never encountered a woman as mysteriously beautiful as Yul Ayeon.
The young boy instantly fell in love.
Tarha noticed the change in the kid’s emotions and said
“Hehe! You seem to have taken a liking to my granddaughter.”
“That’s right! Well she’s my great-granddaughter to be exact.”
“Will you be my disciple?”
“I said I will become your disciple.”
“If you become my disciple you will have to go to the Western Region.”
“Okay. I’ll come with you to the West!”
Tae Musang replied without hesitation.
Tarha looked at the child perplexed by his response.
It was only then did Tae Musang realized what he had said and looked embarrassed.
“Western Region you say?”
“Yes. The Western Region.”
“Isn’t that place far across the sea?”
“That’s right! That place.”
“I don’t want to go! I won’t become your disciple!”
“It’s too late. A man’s word is worth a thousand gold coins. If you take back your words now it is like denying that you are a man.”
At Tarha’s words Tae Musang looked at Pyo-wol helplessly asking for help.
Ignoring Tae Musang’s pleading gaze Pyo-wol spoke to Yul Ayeon.
“Did you just return?”
“Yes! We came back about half an hour ago.”
“You’ve been moving around quite often.”
“We don’t have much time. Still thanks to Master Pyo things have been shortened a lot.”
“Because of the Red Bandana Association?”
“Yes. They were of great help. Very useful indeed.”
Yul Ayeon smiled subtly at that remark.
Seeing that Tae Musang’s expression fell again.
Tarha placed his arm around Tae Musang’s shoulders and asked
“So you’re really not going to be my disciple?”
“No it’s just—”
“You’re not taking your words back now are you?”
“I will become your disciple but–”
“Please give me some time. I need to seek my revenge first.”
“Yes! I need to avenge my siblings.”
Tae Musang’s expression which had softened hardened once again.
Although he had been temporarily enamored with Yul Ayeon he hadn’t forgotten about his siblings’ deaths.
The final moments of his siblings who had to die tragically because of him haunted him and tormented him.
At Tarha’s question Tae Musang looked at Pyo-wol.
He was asking for permission to speak about the recent events.
Pyo-wol nodded silently.
Only then did Tae Musang tell Tarha what he had experienced.
Tarha’s expression turned grave as he listened to Tae Musang’s story.
“So about twenty or so martial artists sneaked in?”
“Are you sure you didn’t mistake them for fishermen?”
“I’ve lived here long enough to know that there are no fishermen here with such a terrifying aura.”
Tarha’s gaze turned towards Pyo-wol.
“Do you happen to know who they are?”
Pyo-wol didn’t answer.
From his attitude Tarha realized that Pyo-wol didn’t fully trust him.
Tarha sighed softly.
He didn’t fully trust Pyo-wol yet either. But they couldn’t stay this way building walls between each other forever.
“At this point perhaps it’s better for us to honestly reveal our purpose for coming here. That is if we want to build trust between us.”
“You go first.”
“I suppose so. We have come to this faraway land the Central Plains to retrieve a lost treasure. During the war we lost one of the treasures of the Mara Sect the Demonic Soul Blade.1 At first we thought it was simply lost but we soon realized that it was stolen. We searched for the blade everywhere and the trail led us here.”
“Is the Demonic Soul Blade that of an important object?”
“On the surface it looked like a beautiful piece of art nothing more nothing less. Moreover it has an extremely twisted form that deviates from the typical shape of a sword so someone unfamiliar with it wouldn’t be able to wield it properly.”
“It’s unlikely that you would come all this way just to find a mere piece of art. There must be a hidden utility in the blade.”
“You’re right. The Demonic Soul Blade is used for rituals. Its value lies more in its political and symbolic significance than its function as a weapon. After the Demonic Soul Blade disappeared turmoil arose within the Mara Sect. To quell the chaos within the sect we must retrieve the Demonic Soul Blade at all costs. That’s the reason why both I and my granddaughter have come to this distant place. Now it’s your turn.”
“I don’t have any special reason for coming to this place. I simply wanted to see the sea. Then I encountered this guy here and got swept up in this matter.”
“You mean you just happen to be here by coincidence?”
Tarha gave him an incredulous look but Pyo-wol looked at him without a change in his expression.
“They’re called the Phantom Fleet.”
“What do you mean?”
“The ones who killed this kid’s siblings. They secretly infiltrated the harbor as a group of anonymous individuals.”
“Wait! Did you just say Phantom Fleet?”
Tarha’s face suddenly stiffened.
It was the same with Yul Ayeon.
“The Phantom Fleet?”
The grandfather and granddaughter pair looked at each other’s faces.
Pyo-wol asked them
“Do you know of them?”
“I’m not sure if it’s the same group but there is also a group in the West that uses the same name Phantom Fleet.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’ve never seen them myself but I’ve heard stories about them for decades. No one has actually seen the Phantom Fleet firsthand that’s why they’re just dismissed as a legend.”
Unsurprisingly it was in the coastal areas where stories about the Phantom Fleet were most prevalent. For the coastal people of the Western Region the Phantom Fleet was a terrifying presence.
Just hearing the name Phantom Fleet made many people shudder. However those living in the inland did not believe in the Phantom Fleet.
Not only because the stories about them were too far-fetched but more importantly they never had the chance to verify their existence with their own eyes.
The Mara Sect was also deep in the inland.
Therefore they regarded the Phantom Fleet as nothing more than a fanciful legend or a fabricated existence born from people’s fantasies.
The same was true for Yul Ayeon and Tarha.
They had heard of the Phantom Fleet many times but it was mostly in passing so they didn’t pay much attention to it. However hearing the name again here they couldn’t help but think differently.
Even if the Phantom Fleet in this place and the one in the West were different entities it still made a difference.
“I’ll have to check them out for myself. If they are indeed the same group as the Phantom Fleet in the West then it’s no coincidence that the treasures of the Mara Sect ended up here.”
Tarha’s eyes already gleamed with malice.
The lengths the members of their sect had gone to in search of the Demonic Soul Blade were beyond measure.
They had killed and tortured every smuggler trader and bandit in the West before they’d learned that Demonic Soul Blade had been taken out of their territory and that the ship carrying the blade had departed for somewhere in the Central Plains.
At that time dozens of ships had left the Western Region to go to the Central Plains. They had meticulously confirmed the routes of all of those ships and in the end the only one remaining was a ship that came near Haimen.
However upon arrival and confirmation to this place they found out that there was no such ship. That’s why Tarha was at a loss. But to think he would hear the name Phantom Fleet here in this distant land.
“Where could they be hiding? I’ll go and check myself.”
Tarha was ready to rush in immediately.
“How could I calm down?! It took us almost a year to come all the way here. A whole year—!”
“I know. I was there with you. But acting like this would only violate the principles of the Taoist tradition. Besides there’s no guarantee that the Phantom Fleet is indeed the culprit. We need to find out more to be sure.”
Yul Ayeon’s calm words left Tarha with no choice but to extinguish his anger.
It was then.
Suddenly someone screamed from the outside.
The first person to react was none other than Tae Musang.
Tae Musang quickly got up from his seat and rushed outside.
There was no way he couldn’t recognize the voice he had known since childhood. Although it was only a short scream Geomyeon’s voice was unmistakable.
Tae Musang who had rushed out of the inn looked around and spotted Geomyeon leaning against a wall.
He hurriedly ran towards Geomyeon.
“What happened are you okay?”
Geomyeon’s face suddenly contorted in pain.
Tae Musang quickly examined Geomyeon’s entire body and found the stab wound on his shoulder. Blood was pouring from the deep gash on his shoulder.
Tae Musang quickly wrapped a cloth around Geomyeon’s wound.
“There were… some suspicious individuals lurking and waiting for an opportunity.”
“Then you should have gone inside!”
“Ha! F*ck. I approached them asking who they were… But they suddenly attacked me without warning. I’m sure they must have been one of them.”
“Damn it! I thought we had erased all traces…”
Tae Musang looked around with red bloodshot eyes. But he couldn’t see any signs of the attacker anywhere. It looked like they had already fled.
Yul Ayeon who had come out late said to Tae Musang
“Unless you’re going to treat his injury then get out of the way. I’m much better at treating people than you are.”
Tae Musang eventually stepped aside and Yul Ayeon took over the task of tending to Geomyeon’s wound.
After a while Tae Musang suddenly realized that Pyo-wol and Tarha were nowhere to be seen.
“Where are the two of them?”
“They have already gone to track them.”