Light Novel: Volume 13 Episode 22
Upon hearing Do Yeonsan’s confident words, Pyo-wol became intrigued.
“You’re carrying on the legacy of the Tang clan?”
“But the place where the Tang clan existed is far beyond a distance of four thousand li from here. Are you really claiming to have carried on the legacy?”
“Our clan leader is a direct descendant of the Tang clan, so fortunately, we were able to carry and pass on the legacy.”
“Yes! Since the clan leader said so himself, it must be true.”
“Then, is this item also made based on the Tang clan’s legacy?”
“Yes! It was made using the method taught by our clan leader.”
Do Yeonsan nodded.
Pyo-wol carefully observed Do Yeonsan’s face.
Although Do Yeonsan was in his late teens, his eyes looked excessively dreary. Looking into his deep sunken eyes, there was a hint of madness in them.
Do Yeonsan’s appearance reminded Pyo-wol of Tang Sochu.
Pyo-wol had felt and noticed the same thing when he first met Tang Sochu.
The two of them naturally possessed and exhibit that particular madness only geniuses who are deeply immersed in their respective field have.
Pyo-wol asked to Do Yeonsan,
“Can I see more of the items you’ve made?”
Do Yeonsan brought out several items.
There were sabers, swords, and even daggers of various kinds. But none of them matched the uniqueness of the cow hair needle that Pyo-wol was holding.
It was a well-known fact that the smaller the object, the greater the attention to detail and concentration required. Therefore, most artisans found it more challenging to create small objects.
However, Do Yeonsan was the opposite.
His concentration level seemed to increase when creating small, and lightweight weapons.
Even the way he made the cow hair needle also seemed different from the Tang clan’s vision.
Pyo-wol might not be familiar with the art of forging, but he had spent enough time with Tang Sochu to know the kind and level of quality that could be achieved when the Tang clan’s legacy was fully expressed.
The weapons created by the blacksmiths claiming to have been made with the Tang clan’s vision fell short of Pyo-wol’s expectations. Although they were similar, there was something inexplicably lacking in each of them.
On the other hand, the cow hair needle made by Do Yeonsan was different.
With this level of skill, it was not that far behind Tang Sochu’s.
“I’ll buy the cow hair needle.”
“Really? There are much better items available—”
“This is the only one that meets my standards.”
Upon Pyo-wol’s words, Do Yeonsan’s face showed a grateful expression.
He felt as if his efforts were being rewarded.
It had been over four years since he entered and joined Cheolsan Workshop. During that time, he worked with iron as instructed by the blacksmiths at Cheolsan Workshop.
Although those blacksmiths taught him the ways of handling iron, boasting about how they were imparting the legacy of the Tang clan, Do Yeonsan wasn’t at all impressed.
The more proficient Do Yeonsan became in handling iron, the more suspicious he became.
The rumored legacy of the Tang clan was not merely at this level.
In the past, the Tang clan’s creations, such as their hidden weapons and poison, were considered to be the best in the world in terms of quality.
On the other hand, while the items created using the vision and techniques taught in this workshop were slightly superior to ordinary goods, they were still far from being overwhelmingly exceptional.
However, Do Yeonsan couldn’t reveal his true feelings when the workshop’s owner and blacksmiths are saying otherwise.
It was hard to find a workshop around Lake Tai that treated its craftsmen as well as the Cheolsan Workshop. Furthermore, even if Do Yeonsan decided to go to another workshop, they probably wouldn’t accept him.
The Cheolsan Workshop, affiliated with the Cheolsan Family, held the greatest influence in the Lake Tai region. Their power was considered to be much stronger than that of any other faction.
It was unlikely that they would allow a craftsman who had learned their vision to join another workshop.
No faction would allow its own vision and legacy to flow outside its walls. Even if the said vision is considered inadequate or inferior.
If Do Yeonsan tried to forcibly leave the Cheolsan Workshop, they would undoubtedly take his life or leave him in a state where he could neither live nor die.
Knowing this, Do Yeonsan concealed his doubts and devoted himself only to the work of handling iron.
Weapons commonly used by martial artists, such as swords and daggers, had predetermined standards and strengths.
No matter how skilled he was, Do Yeonsan had no choice but to meet and adhere to the standards of the Cheolsan Workshop.
On the other hand, small items like cow hair needles were different.
Since there were hardly any craftsmen who made such items in the workshop, there were no predetermined standards.
Thanks to that, he could freely demonstrate his skill.
The cow hair needles that Pyo-wol was holding now were one such item.
“How much is it?”
“T, Three silver coins.”
Do Yeonsan replied in a trembling voice.
Pyo-wol willingly paid him the said amount.
The cow hair needles were worth that much.
‘The materials cost very little. For three pieces of silver, I can make the thing I want.’
Do Yeonsan clenched his fists.
No one knew that he had sold the cow hair needles for three pieces of silver. As long as he deposited the right amount, all the remaining money was his.
Do Yeonsan bowed his head in gratitude.
Pyo-wol noticed a small pattern on the sash that wrapped the needles. It was a distinctive pattern of two intersecting circles.
“What is this pattern?”
“Oh that… that’s my mark.”
“When I become famous, I plan to put that mark on all my items.”
Do Yeonsan replied, blushing as if he was embarrassed.
Renowned craftsmen often leave distinctive traces or marks to prove that they had made the item.
Do Yeonsan also created his own mark following the footsteps of such craftsmen.
“Is that so?”
“Hehe! It’s a pattern that my younger sibling likes. That’s why I also engraved the same pattern on my younger sibling’s necklace.”
“Hehe! I don’t know if it’s truly cool, but my younger sibling likes it.”
Do Yeonsan scratched his head.
“Let me ask you one last thing.”
“What’s the name of the owner of the Cheolsan Workshop?”
“The owner shares the same name as the workshop. The owner is Master Tang Cheolsan. He’s a direct descendant of the Tang clan.”
“A direct descendant of the Tang Clan? I see.”
Do Yeonsan looked at Pyo-wol with a puzzled expression.
There wasn’t a single person in the entire region who didn’t know who Tang Cheolsan was.
Since his surname was Tang, he claimed to be a descendant of the Tang clan.
In Sichuan and its surrounding provinces, the Tang clan was feared, but in this place which was thousands of miles away, they were treated as a mysterious sect.
Since this region never had any direct contact with the true Tang clan, they only knew of their good qualities. Tang Cheolsan’s family took advantage of that fact and established themselves here. They emphasized their lineage as the descendants of the Tang clan and dominated the neighborhood’s market.
There wasn’t a person in the Lake Tai area who didn’t know that.
‘This person is an outsider.’
Do Yeonsan immediately realized that Pyo-wol was someone who had come from the outside, but he didn’t find it strange.
Lake Tai’s landscape was unparalleled, and people from all over the world would often come and visit to see it.
It was then.
“Hey! You beggar!”
Suddenly, a fierce voice came from inside.
In an instant, Do Yeonsan’s shoulders shook as he answered,
“What are you doing here, you punk? Where’s my sword? I told you to clean it!”
A man who appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties came out from the back of the workshop with a grunt.
His eyes were slanted upwards and his thin lips resembled a swallow’s beak.
The man slapped Do Yeonsan across the cheek.
The blow was so hard that Do Yeonsan’s body staggered from the impact. His lip burst open, and blood flowed. His cheek also swelled up instantly.
“Where’s my sword?! Huh, you bastard!”
“I placed it on the left rack in my room.”
“Why did you put it there? I told you to bring it to me!”
“At that time, you clearly said to put it there–”
“You son of a bitch! Are you saying I lied to you?”
“No, I must have been mistaken.”
Do Yeonsan quickly shook his head.
“To think that I brought a beggar like you here, fed you, taught you skills, and you can’t even handle a simple task–”
“I’ll work harder, Master!”
“Forget it, you brat! Get out of the way!”
The man punched Do Yeonsan on the shoulder and went back inside.
He was truly unruly, acting as he pleased without even giving a glance to Pyo-wol, who was a customer.
Only after the man had disappeared entirely did Do Yeonsan wipe the blood from the corner of his mouth.
Red blood stained his sleeve.
His head was still throbbing from the shock, but Do Yeonsan tried to force a smile.
“I showed a customer an unpleasant sight. I apologize.”
“That man seems to hold a high position.”
“He is Young Master Tang Ik-gi of the Cheolsan Workshop.”
“Young master? Then is he the son of the owner?”
“Yes. He tends to be a little selfish, but he’s not a bad person.”
Do Yeonsan made an effort to defend him. But, contrary to his words, his eyes were shining coldly.
* * *
Pyo-wol left the Cheolsan Workshop and returned to the inn.
The streets were lit up with red lanterns as darkness descended. The shops that had been open for business during the day had closed, and brothels and pubs had taken their place.
As night fell, more people came out onto the streets.
The nearby soju tavern, known as Sexiang, was right around the corner.
Just like the taverns in Lake Tai, Sexiang was famous for its liquor.
Enjoying the fresh fish dishes made from the fish caught in Lake Tai, accompanied by music, alcohol, and courtesans, was an essential path that any hedonist had to take.
Even today, the streets of Lake Tai were packed with pleasure-seekers, talking about courtesans.
“Hehehe! Let’s go to Donghae Pavilion today. The new prostitute there is so amazing.”
“Donghae Pavilion? I’d rather go to Seochang Pavilion. That’s where the best courtesans in Lake Tai can be found.”
People who were somewhat intoxicated were boasting to each other about how the brothel they knew was the best.
The streets were full of such people.
A city where people become drunk on alcohol and women.
This was precisely the place.
Amidst it all, it seemed like Pyo-wol was the only one walking to his lodgings with a clear mind.
Pyo-wol didn’t even bother to look anywhere else. He just headed straight to the inn he had booked.
The name of the inn he was staying at was Lake Tai’s First Pavilion.
It was an inn beloved by countless revelers because they could see a panoramic view of Lake Tai when the windows were open.
Lake Tai’s First Pavilion was also crowded with drunkards.
There were no empty seats on the first floor.
‘Should I join them?’
As Pyo-wol was thinking about it, an inn servant approached him.
“Have you returned?”
The inn servant smiled brightly at Pyo-wol.
The inn servant had an excellent memory, so he knew that Pyo-wol had booked a room here. No, even if his memory wasn’t all that good, it was unthinkable that he wouldn’t remember a man with such a striking appearance.
That was how memorable Pyo-wol’s appearance was.
“If you’re worried that there are no empty seats, you can come up to the next floor.”
“Are there seats on the next floor?”
“The next floor is only for guests who made a reservation, but it’s an exception for guests staying in our inn. You can consider it a kind of privilege.”
“I’m glad to hear that, then I’ll go up to the next floor.”
“Oh, by the way! There’s an important gathering of guests on this floor tonight, so if you can, avoid looking in their direction.”
“What kind of gathering is it?”
“It’s a gathering of the young talents in this neighborhood. I don’t know why they’re gathering though, hehe!”
The inn servant smiled as if he was excited just by seeing them.
Although he was currently working as an inn servant, he also had ambitions of mastering martial arts and gaining recognition from people one day. For the inn servant, the gathering of renowned talented martial artists in the area was a rare treat.
Such an opportunity to see renowned martial artists in Jiangsu Province was extremely rare, so his excitement and expectations were at an all-time high.
But despite the inn servant’s excitement, Pyo-wol was unimpressed.
When it comes to renowned talents in Jianghu, Pyo-wol already met enough of them to feel nauseous. That was why he didn’t have any expectations for them.
The inn servant suddenly clapped his hands and said,
“Oh, by the way, if you’re going to have a meal on this floor, you have to try our inn’s high-end cuisine. But since only a few guests avail it, we have to adjust the prices.”
“I see. Bring me something appropriate.”
“What about alcohol?”
“No, it’s okay.”
“Well then, I think the steamed carp from today’s catch would be suitable. I’ll place an order in the kitchen, so you can go up first.”
The inn servant grinned before dashing off to the kitchen.n𝐨𝒱𝔢-𝔩𝑏/1n
With a personality as tough and lively as the inn servant’s, it seemed like he would succeed in anything he did, not just in being a waiter.
Pyo-wol went to the second floor of the inn.
There were several tables set up by the window, which offered the best view on this floor. It looked like the tables were set up for today’s meeting.
Pyo-wol chose a seat farthest away from where the gathering would take place.
He wasn’t the only one on this floor, there were several others.
They briefly glanced at Pyo-wol, but they soon lost interest as they sat in a different area unrelated to the gathering.
Like the inn servant, it seemed that they had also come here today to catch a glimpse of the renowned talents. That meant that the gathering of talents was a major point of interest here.
Pyo-wol sat down and looked out at the view of the street.
The sight of people stumbling under the red lanterns seemed somewhat unfamiliar. He couldn’t quite grasp how it felt to live freely while being thoroughly intoxicated like that.
It was then.
“It feels good to go to the countryside for a while. Is it true that the alcohol here is so delicious?”
“You won’t be disappointed. Among all the drinks I’ve had, this place is undoubtedly the best.”
“Hehe! If you guarantee it, then I’m sure it’s true. I’m looking forward to it.”
With a loud bang, the two people ascended to the second floor.
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