Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 325
There wasn’t a single member of the Golden Heaven Society who didn’t know of that title.
But their knowledge didn’t stem solely because the owner of the title had a formidable reputation that shook Jianghu but rather because they have received a specific order from above.
[Avoid direct contact and conflict with the Reaper Pyo-wol.]
It was just a single line but the meaning contained within it was far from simple.
It meant that the newly appointed leader of the Golden Heaven Society Jang Mugeuk had a strong opinion of Pyo-wol.
Although Zhao Yiguang and Bok Hojin have yet to personally meet their leader they both knew well enough about his prowess which was why they willingly acknowledged him as the new head.
Among the martial artists of his age there were only a handful of warriors Jang Mugeuk recognizes as exceptional and skilled. Neither Zhao Yiguang nor Bok Hojin was among them.
Yet the two of them have no complaints because Jang Mugeuk was truly an outstanding martial artist. Jang Mugeuk was not just someone who can be confined within the boundaries of a late-stage cultivator.
And for an existence like Jang Mugeuk one of the people he acknowledges although begrudgingly was none other than the Reaper Pyo-wol.
Zhao Yiguang’s eyes sank deeply.
The significance of having a title in Jianghu was extraordinarily special. It contained all the information about the other person.
A prime example of this was the Three Saints.
The title War Saint was bestowed upon someone who had reached the pinnacle of martial prowess.
Then for the title of Wind Saint the person was given such a nickname because of his free-spiritedness.
And as for the title Sword Saint it was given to Han Yucheon because he had achieved unparalleled mastery of the sword.
Titles are more often than not symbolic that reflect the personality of their beholder and the characteristics of their martial arts. Just by knowing the person’s title one could discern the level disposition and temperament of the title holder.
The man in front of them possessed the title Reaper or the God of Death.
It was extremely rare for someone to bear the title of ‘God’.
It was a title that could only be bestowed upon someone who had reached the pinnacle in a certain field and reached a level of excellence that no one else could match.
Furthermore Pyo-wol had the word ‘death’ attached to his title.
This could only mean that Pyo-wol had reached a level similar to a god when it comes to killing people.
It was difficult to imagine how skilled a person must be at killing to earn the title of Reaper.
Usually those who bestowed such grandiose titles upon themselves often turned out to be braggarts with no actual skill to show for it.
But Pyo-wol was different.
It was the people of Chengdu who had first called him the Reaper.
At that time the title of Reaper was hardly known in Jianghu.
Of course those who were well-informed about the affairs in Jianghu or dealt with a lot of information knew of that title. However they didn’t pay much attention to it.
They all thought of it as a self-proclaimed title of a braggart.
This was especially true since Sichuan was a very closed province with its own independent martial system.
Many people believed that having the title God of Death in such a secluded province was of little value since it would be of no use once the title holder actually steps into the real world or in Jianghu.
And sometime later Pyo-wol appeared in Jianghu.
If he had truly been just a braggart the title of Reaper would have been a subject of ridicule. However his title continued to be consistently maintained even after that.
At the very least it meant that the title Pyo-wol obtained in Chengdu was not a lie.
What mattered was that everyone who encountered Pyo-wol in the Jianghu recognized him as the Reaper due to his unparalleled martial prowess and skill.
Zhao Yiguang was a very cautious man. He didn’t listen to the rumors circulating in Jianghu lightly.
‘Why did the Reaper come here?’
Jiangsu with its access to the sea and a major trading port called Haimen was more prosperous than any other province in Jianghu.
There were no absolute sects like the legendary Two Factions Three Great Sects or Three Manors. However various factions such as the Nanjing sect and the Changjiang Fortress maintained a delicate balance and exerted their influence.
In a sense Jiangsu Province could be seen as a peaceful lake.
There was an abundance of resources and there was only a minimal number of external threats. It was truly a place suitable for stable growth.
But now an external threat named Pyo-wol had entered this tranquil place.
Naturally Zhao Yiguang and the other members of the Golden Heaven Society couldn’t help but be on guard.
If Pyo-wol was simply passing through without any hidden intentions then there would be no problem. But if there was even a slight possibility of him settling here then that’s a different matter. Pyo-wol would end up becoming a serious threat.
Pyo-wol is someone who is so formidable that he could end up shaking the entire hierarchical system and power dynamics in Jiangsu Province if he decided to stay.
Zhao Yiguang made a concerted effort to maintain a calm expression as he cupped his fists
“You must be Master Pyo-wol. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“You don’t seem like it at all—”
“I apologize. I have been rude to you upon our first meeting. I hope you would be so open-minded to forgive me of my fault.”
Zhao Yiguang’s tone instantly changed.
With Pyo-wol being much older than him and above all his great reputation in Jianghu there was no doubt about his superiority.
No matter how capable and skilled Zhao Yiguang was he could only exercise his authority and power within Jiangsu Province. On the other hand Pyo-wol was a master encompassing the entire Jianghu.
The difference between the two was so stark that Zhao Yiguang couldn’t help but show deference and respect to Pyo-wol.
Bok Hojin who finished tending to Tang Ik-gi’s wounds also rose from his seat and cupped his fists
“It’s a pleasure to meet the famous Master Pyo. If it’s alright with you I would like to invite you to visit our Changjiang Fortress.”
Bok Hojin’s eyes were burning with strong ambition.
Pyo-wol knew what that meant.
The next person to greet Pyo-wol was Eum Yujeong.
She flashed him a bright smile as she similarly cupped her fists
“It’s truly an honor to meet you Master Pyo. I hope you’ll take the time to visit our Sword Blossom Pavilion as well.”
Among them the only one who remained stunned and confused was Tang Ik-gi. He was staring blankly at Pyo-wol almost forgetting the piercing pain in his shoulder.
‘Oh my goodness! The Reaper!’
Tang Ik-gi was not oblivious to the current events in Jianghu.
On the contrary due to his strong ambition for success he was more knowledgeable about the current state of affairs and information in Jianghu than anyone else.
Therefore Tang Ik-gi also knew that Pyo-wol was undoubtedly the most exceptional among the high-level experts who had recently emerged in Jianghu.
But since Tang Ik-gi had attacked Pyo-wol without knowing his identity he would have to bear the brunt of the consequences.
‘What should I do–! Oh I should apologize first–!’
It was not a time to be concerned about one’s pride.
Tang Ik-gi tried to kneel enduring the pain in his shoulder. However someone moved before him.
It was none other than Zhao Yiguang.
Zhao Yiguan stood in front of Tang Ik-gi blocking his path.
“I’m revoking your temporary membership position.”
“Since you attacked Master Pyo-wol recklessly and tarnished the honor of the Golden Heaven Society I will strip you of your membership position.”
“How could you do that to me?!”
“Just accept your expulsion obediently. If you continue to deny or resist then you will never have a chance to be reinstated.”
Zhao Yiguang’s voice was as cold as ice.
Tang Ik-gi’s face twisted in anger but he didn’t act rashly.
It was because of the word ‘reinstated’ that Zhao Yiguang had mentioned.
Although it was Tang Ik-gi who directly confronted Pyo-wol it was Eum Yujeong who manipulated him behind the scenes.
As long as he shoulders all the blame now and not mention Eum Yujeong then there’s a possibility that he would be accepted back as a member in the future.
‘Son of a b*tch!’
Tang Ik-gi trembled in great anger towards Zhao Yiguang.
He wanted to scream and get rid of him right away but Tang Ik-gi managed to keep his temper in check.
He realized that he had no choice in the matter anyway.
Tang Ik-gi slammed his fist hard into the floor before standing up. Giving Pyo-wol and the other members of the Golden Heaven Society one last resentful look he soon left the room weakly.
The members of the Golden Heaven Society secretly smiled as they watched Tang Ik-gi’s back descending the stairs like a defeated dog.
‘What an idiot!
‘Well it’s better this way. We can easily tame him if we use this opportunity well.’
Although the members of the Golden Heaven Society tried their best to hide their thoughts and intentions Pyo-wol could clearly deduce what they were thinking.
‘There are no demons like them.’
* * *
Lake Tai has long been known for its scenic beauty since ancient times. As a result there were many manors and gardens built on hillsides and mountainsides providing an overlooking view of the lake.
Powerful sects and wealthy merchants often used the said manors and gardens as their vacation homes.
The Bluefield Estate was one such manor.
Built by an unknown merchant the Bluefield Estate had been purchased by the Zhao family a few years earlier to use as their vacation home. However the current head of the Zhao family Zhao Sumok rarely visited this place.
This in turn caused the real owner of the Bluefield Estate to be Zhao Yiguang the successor of the Zhao family.
Zhao Yiguang would often use this place as his residence whenever he came to Lake Tai.
Naturally all of the warriors guarding the estate were his loyal subordinates.
Zhao Yiguang opened the gate of the Bluefield Estate and walked in.
“You’ve arrived Young Master!”
The manager in charge of the Bluefield Estate hurriedly came out and bowed his head in greeting.
Seeing Zhao Yiguang who didn’t say a word the manager sensed that Zhao Yiguang was in a very bad mood.
His cold eyes that seemed to be plotting something tightly sealed lips and rigid expression– all of them were signs that appears whenever Zhao Yiguang was in a bad mood.
“I’ll go to the annex. Make sure no one approaches.”
“The annex sir?”
“Is there a problem?”
The manager quickly bowed his head.
If he were the head manager of the Zhao family in Nanjing he might have the power to reject Zhao Yiguang’s orders. However since he was merely a manager of a manor he had no such authority. Plus he didn’t have the strength or courage to disobey Zhao Yiguang’s orders.
As the manager stepped aside Zhao Yiguang moved forward without hesitation.
His destination was the innermost room of the Bluefield Estate the Star Chamber.
The Star Chamber was surrounded by high walls and had only one entrance making it inaccessible to others.
Only Zhao Yiguang himself could freely enter and exit this place.
As soon as he closed the door to the Star Chamber Zhao Yiguang began to speak
“You son of a b*tch! How dare you refuse my request and tarnish my reputation?! Damn it!”
He unleashed vulgar curses without hesitation.
He pretended to be so polite in front of others but it was all just a facade.
He had invited Pyo-wol to have a meal with him but Pyo-wol flatly refused his offer in front of everyone.
Externally he pretended not to be bothered but inside his anger boiled.
Zhao Yiguang struggled to suppress his anger but as soon as he entered the empty Star Chamber his raging emotions erupted like a volcano.
“F*ck you! You damn b*stard! You spineless lowly b*stard!”
He punched and smashed every piece of furniture in the Star Chamber. But Zhao Yiguang still couldn’t get rid of the sick feeling in his stomach.
This wasn’t enough to relieve his frustrations.
He needed a stronger stimulus.
Zhao Yiguang pressed a hidden mechanism on the wall. As a result a large bookcase moved to the side revealing a hidden room.
As he descended the stairs leading underground a subtle fragrance wafted through the air.
Zhao Yiguang proceeded down the stairs without hesitation.
Below the stairs there was a fairly spacious underground space.
The walls of the basement were adorned with various torture tools such as small knives hooks and needles. However Zhao Yiguang paid no attention to the tools hanging on the wall.
He just continued passing by.
His footsteps only came to a halt when he reached the corner of the basement where there was a small bed. On the bed a young girl could be seen curled up with her arms and legs bound in chains.
As she sensed someone’s presence the girl raised her head and looked up.
The girl’s face was streaked with tears a clear sign showing how terrified she was. Her lips were also dry and cracked.
She looked to be only about sixteen years old.
Until this morning she was going about her daily routine in peace unaware of the misfortune that would befall her.
Her family was extremely poor. But when her older brother started working their living conditions gradually improved. They no longer had to struggle to make ends meet and she could finally wear proper clothes albeit modest ones.
She was finally happy.
The girl lived each day with a smile on her face.
People around her would even often comment on how beautiful she was.
She was so happy until this morning…
“Who are you sir? And where is this place?”
Now her heart was filled with nothing but fear.
At that moment Zhao Yiguang’s large hand struck the girl’s cheek.
The girl collapsed screaming in pain.
“Don’t you dare say a word. Your breath stinks.”
“You’re nothing got it? You’re nothing.”
Zhao Yiguang grabbed the girl’s chin forcing her to lock eyes with him.
The girl’s eyes were filled with terror.
Her eyes resembled that of a helpless rabbit unable to muster any resistance.
This is exactly the kind of gaze Zhao Yiguang wanted.
He didn’t want a gaze that look down on him like Pyo-wol’s. He only wanted eyes that look at him either in fear or in awe.
Zhao Yiguang roughly tore the girl’s clothes apart.
The girl’s pure white n.a.k.e.d body was immediately revealed before his eyes. Without any means to resist the girl could only cower and huddle up like a bird caught in the rain.