Light Novel: Volume 13 Episode 15
Tae Musang had done everything he can to survive.
He had begged, pickpocketed, and even worked on boats.
None of these jobs were kind to the orphan. Among them, the most brutal job was working on a boat.
The captain and the crew members were eager to exploit orphans like Tae Musang who had nothing. They would assign Tae Musang all the tasks they were supposed to do.
As a result, Tae Musang was treated more like a slave throughout the whole voyage. Every day felt like hell. He would suffer from muscle pain and all sorts of illnesses. That was why after three months on board, Tae Musang decided to quit.
He felt like he was going to die if he continued working in such horrible conditions. But getting off the boat wasn’t easy either.
The captain had no intention of letting go of a slave who was easy to control. He believed it would be foolish to let go of someone who could be used for free labor for a lifetime, which was why the captain even tried to put shackles on Tae Musang’s feet.
The captain wanted to tie Tae Musang to the boat so he couldn’t escape.
Tae Musang eventually realized that he couldn’t get off the boat in the normal way, so he sneaked out a knife he used to clean fish, hid it, and stabbed the captain while he was off guard.
The incident left the captain with a severe wound, and he was labeled by the sailors as a dangerous troublemaker that could not be trusted.
Although Tae Musang gained his freedom, he was never allowed to board a boat again. Moreover, he didn’t get to receive a single penny for all the work he had done.
After his traumatizing experiences, Tae Musang decided that he would never board a boat again for a second time.
He didn’t want to experience being exploited on the boat again. He just wanted it to remain a memory he wanted to erase.
But if there was one good thing, it was that he had learned all the ways to handle a boat thanks to the intense exploitation he had suffered. He was skilled enough to navigate the boat alone.
Now, Tae Musang was steering the boat of the captain who had ruthlessly exploited him. Of course, he didn’t have permission to sail it. He had secretly stolen it. Still, Tae Musang didn’t feel guilty.
The cost of his exploitation could easily buy a boat ike this.
Tae Musang adjusted the sail to catch the wind and looked ahead.
On the boat’s deck, there were a man and a woman.
Pyo-wol and Yul Ayeon.
When Geomyeon’s condition recovered to some extent, Yul Ayeon ordered Tae Musang to look for a boat.
At that time, he didn’t know why Yul Ayeon instructed such a thing. But Tae Musang, who had fallen for Yul Ayeon, stole the boat of the captain who had exploited him without any hesitation.
As the two of them were waiting on the boat, Jin Yoo-gun and his men appeared in the harbor. Tae Musang instantly recognized Jin Yoo-gun. After all, there was only one man with white-gray hair that glistened under the moonlight in Haimen.
Jin Yoo-gun and his men stole a fishing boat just like Tae Musang before sailing away into the sea.
Just when Tae Musang was unsure of what to do, Pyo-wol appeared. He boarded the boat Tae Musang and Yul Ayeon were on as if he knew they were waiting.
To Tae Musang, neither Yul Ayeon, who asked him to steal a boat and wait, nor Pyo-wol, who ordered the chase in a boat as if he knew this would happen, seemed like ordinary people.
‘These two are definitely not ordinary people.’
Tae Musang had already witnessed Pyo-wol’s strength with his own eyes, but he hadn’t expected even Yul Ayeon to be this exceptional.
Compared to them, Tae Musang felt like nothing, yet here he was now, recklessly acting without knowing how vast the world was, like a frog in a well.
He wondered, how ridiculous must he have appeared in their eyes?
The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to bury his head in a mouse hole.
Then he heard Yul Ayeon’s voice.
“We’re falling behind. We need to speed up.”
Tae Musang quickly snapped out of his reverie and replied.
Now was not the time to wallow in self-pity.
He had an important job of keeping up with the departing boat.
Tae Musang made fine adjustments to the sails to increase the speed of their boat. It didn’t take long for their boat to narrow the distance and chase after the boat Jin Yoo-gun boarded.
The boat carrying the three of them sailed out into the open sea.
Everything around them was dark.
The darkness of the sea created an indescribable sense of terror. No one knew what dangers lurked in the depths of such darkness. Because of this, even seasoned fishermen feared venturing out to sea at night.
Tae Musang, himself also had limited experience sailing at open sea at night. He even had less less experience sailing the ship himself. That’s why he felt more tense.
Squinting his eyes, Tae Musang chased after the boat Jin Yoo-gun was on. Luckily, the boat the three of them was chasing had a torch lit at their deck, aiding their navigation. That made the pursuit relatively easier.
Pyo-wol stood on the deck, staring at the boat Jin Yoo-gun was on.
The boat Jin Yoo-gun was on continued sailing on a straight path without changing direction. They were heading straight towards its destination. This was evidence that they hadn’t yet realized they were being pursued by Pyo-wol’s boat.n(/0𝑽𝓮𝑙𝚋In
Yul Ayeon stared at one side of Pyo-wol’s face without speaking.
‘What an interesting person.’
Yul Ayeon had made a rational judgment that Jin Yoo-gun and his men might return to the harbor. After all, the only place they could escape to was the harbor.
Pyo-wol, on the other hand, had gone as far as the Sea Dragon Sect in pursuit of them. He wouldn’t have had the luxury to think otherwise.
Although Tarha, her maternal grandfather, couldn’t come due to being held back by Jin Yoo-gun’s men, Pyo-wol naturally boarded the boat as if he knew she would be waiting.
This behavior struck Yul Ayeon as peculiar, yet fascinating.
At least among the people she knew so far, there was no one like Pyo-wol.
As if sensing Yul Ayeon’s gaze, Pyo-wol turned his head to look at her.
“What is it?”
Yul shook her head slightly.
It was then.
“Oh, the ship they’re on is slowing down. It seems like they’ve reached their destination.”
Tae Musang spoke in a loud voice.
Pyo-wol and Yul Ayeon hurriedly turned their gazes towards the boat Jin Yoo-gun was on. Just as Tae Musang had said, the speed of the boat Jin Yoo-gun was on was noticeably decreasing.
A small island could be seen where the boat carrying Jin Yoo-gun was headed. The island that had been shrouded in darkness finally faintly revealed its shape.
“From now on, approach the island slowly.”
Tae Musang replied as he slowed down the speed of the boat.
The boat carrying Jin Yoo-gun appeared to be circling around the back of the island.
Tae Musang also steered the boat, following their trail.
As they neared the island, the waves became quite fierce. The small boat swayed from side to side, threatening to tip over at any moment.
Tae Musang had to exert all his strength to stabilize the boat, barely navigating through the waves as they approached the back of the island.
The moment they reached the back of the island, Yul Ayeon and Tae Musang let out a collective astonished gasp.
There was a large ship anchored behind the island.
Yul Ayeon blinked in surprise.
She had boarded a ship from the Western Region to come here.
Considering the thousands of miles they had sailed, it was natural for the ship to be of considerable size. However, the ship in front of her now appeared to be easily twice as large.
Even at the bustling harbor of Haimen, where numerous ships gathered, she had never seen a ship of this size.
It was like a small mountain floating in the water.
Compared to that ship, the boat they were on seemed no more than a tiny leaf.
Jin Yoo-gun and his group got off from their small fishing boat and boarded to the giant ship.
The abandoned fishing boat floated in the sea for a while before being swept away by a huge wave and smashihng into a reef.
In an instant, the fishing boat disappeared into the sea.
Pyo-wol said to Tae Musang,
“Can you get close to that boat?”
“I can’t. The waves are too strong. If we get close, we’ll end up being swept away and smashing against the reef.”
Tae Musang shook his head.
Although Tae Musang boasted of his considerable courage, it was not easy to approach a ship surrounded by such turbulent waves in the middle of the night, and to do that too without getting seen, much less heard.
Pyo-wol then said to Tae Musang,
“Then you should wait here.”
As Tae Musang made a puzzled expression, Pyo-wol immediately launched himself onto the island.
His sudden departure caused the small boat to sway violently.
At that moment, Yul Ayeon also flew after Pyo-wol.
“Ah! Let’s go together.”
The two of them flew swiftly through the night sky and landed on the island.
They spread out and crossed the island.
When they reached the top of a cliff, they saw a massive ship anchored at the bottom.
They both launched themselves toward the ship at the same time.
* * *
The ship that Jin Yoo-gun was on was truly gigantic.
Even in the vast open sea where waves as high as houses crashed, the well-built ship could safely navigate for a long time.
It was like a floating fortress in itself.
And as if to prove that fact, the massive ship remained steady amidst the raging waves surrounding the island.
“Oh, you’re back, my lord!”
As soon as Jin Yoo-gun stepped onto the ship, an middle-aged sailor approached him and greeted.
He was a deck officer in charge of guarding the deck.
Jin Yoo-gun nodded and asked,
“Where’s the captain?”
“He’s waiting inside.”
“I’ll go see him myself, and set up a guard on the deck.”
“We had a collision back at Haimen, so set up a perimeter and keep a close watch just in case.”
The deck officer bowed his head in response.
Jin Yoo-gun pushed past him and entered the cabin.
From behind, the sound of the deck officer giving orders to the crew could be heard.
“Keep an eye out for any suspicious ships approaching.”
The crew members on this ship were all skilled martial artists, highly trained elites who could exert their maximum power on both land and sea.
They were trained to be as powerful as they could be on land.
Over two hundred of these skilled individuals were on board.
Jin Yoo-gun walked through the narrow corridors of the ship.
Numerous cabins lined both sides of the cramped hallway, and at the deepest part was the captain’s quarters.
“Sir, it’s Jin Yoo-gun. May I come in?”
Jin Yoo-gun knocked on the door and said.
After a moment, a harsh, muffled voice sounded out.
It was a chilling voice that sent shivers down one’s spine, as if scraping a steel plate with one’s nails.
Jin Yoo-gun cautiously opened the door and entered.
The cabin was easily three times larger than other cabins, and in the center of it was a large table, with a man was sitting in front of it.
The man’s face was completely wrapped in white cloth. Only his eyes and mouth were visible, but just looking at him emitted an eerie aura.
He was the captain of this ship.
Upon seeing the captain, Jin Yoo-gun kneeled on one knee and greeted him.
“Your subordinate Jin Yoo-gun reporting back from the land.”
“What about the goods?”
Jin Yoo-gun took out a dagger from his waist and placed it on the table.
The captain grabbed the blade with a hand wrapped in pure white cloth.
He examined the dagger from various angles and said,
“There were casualties during the retrieval process.”
“We encountered an old monster. Judging by his knowledge of the item, it seems he is from the Mara Sect.”
“The Mara Sect manage to track us all the way here?”
“It seems that way.”
“To be able to track us here, are they highly capable? Or was there a leak of information on our side?”
“I will investigate and find out.”
Jin Yoo-gun felt a cold sweat trickle down his spine.
He had spent his entire life on the battlefield, with strong bones and a resilient spirit, but in front of the captain, he couldn’t even move an inch. He was like a mouse facing a snake.
He didn’t even know the captain’s face, let alone his name. But he was well aware of how fearsome of an existence he was.
No one had ever survived after being the captain’s target until now.
He was given the nickname, Shadow Reaper,1 for his ability to kill like a shadow without leaving a trace.
Although most martial artists in Jianghu didn’t know of such nickname, the captain’s reputation for leaving no blade of grass behind in the places he visited was notorious.
Jin Yoo-gun was also infamous in his own right, but he dared not compare to the Shadow Reaper.
The captain placed the blade in the storage compartment beside him.
“I’ll will keep this until it is sent to the headquarters.”
The safest place on this ship was the abode of the Shadow Reaper. If the item had been stored here in the first place, then the escapee wouldn’t have the audacity to steal it back then.
“What will we do with him?”
“Feed him to the sharks.”
Jin Yoo-gun had come to capture the escapee, intending to make him pay the price.
The area was infested with sharks.
The scoundrel who dared to steal from them would meet a miserable end, being torn apart and devoured while still alive.
Thank you for reading!
Shadow Reaper. Raws: 무흔살귀(無痕殺鬼). 無 wú – not to have / no / none / not / to lack / un- / -less 痕 hén – scar / traces 殺 shā – to kill / to murder / to attack / to weaken or reduce / to smart (dialect) / (used after a verb) extremely 鬼 guǐ – disembodied spirit; ghost; devil / (suffix) person with a certain vice or addiction etc / sly; crafty; resourceful (variant of 詭｜诡) / one of the 28 constellations of ancient Chinese astronomy