Light Novel: Volume 14 Episode 9
A customer arrived at Lake Tai’s First Pavilion.
He was an old man with shabby clothes and disheveled hair.
The old man’s body emitted a faint scent of blood, causing the people who were nearby to hold their noses and stepped back.
“Eugh! What’s that smell?”
“Is it blood?”
The people looked at the old man with disgust written all over their faces. But, the old man just calmly looked around the inn, as if he was used to receiving those kinds of reactions.
The old man’s eyes soon lit up.
He finally found the person he was looking for.
Pyo-wol was sitting by the window, where he had a clear view of Lake Tai.
With the combination of the picturesque scenery of Lake Tai and Pyo-wol’s handsome face, the sight looked like it came out of a painting.
‘The world is truly unfair.’
He thought that he had grown out of emotions like jealousy as he grew older, but upon seeing Pyo-wol, he realized that such feelings still lingered within him.
The old man sighed as he approached Pyo-wol.
He cupped his fist and greeted,
“Oh, you came in person.”
Pyo-wol turned his head to look at the old man.
The old man was none other than the manager of the Hao clan’s Lake Tai branch.
“I was afraid that if I sent a messenger, he would make a mistake because of your appearance. And even then, I also wanted to take a look at the scenery of Lake Tai. The view of Lake Tai from this place is truly exceptional.”
“Have a seat.”
The old manager sat down opposite Pyo-wol.
Pyo-wol personally poured tea for the old man.
“What an honor. To be served tea from the Reaper himself, hehe!”
“You didn’t come here to exchange such meaningless pleasantries, did you?”
“Of course not. I just said it as a way to relieve tension, but it seems that I have irritated you.”
“I’m not particularly fond of beating around the bush.”
“Is that so? Then take a look at this. Everything I’ve gathered is summarized here.”
The old manager took a small booklet from his bosom and handed it to Pyo-wol.
The booklet contained everything about the Cheolsan manor and their workshop.
It was filled with information about why Tang Cheolsan’s grandfather left Sichuan Province and settled in this distant place, how he established the workshop, and how ambitious Tang Cheolsan was. It also detailed the actions he took to elevate the workshop’s status to where it is right now.
Pyo-wol read every single word in the booklet without skipping anything.
When there was nothing more to read, Pyo-wol closed the booklet.
This confirmed that it was indeed Tang Cheolsan who commissioned the Hundred Wraith Union to steal the vision of the Tang clan from Tang Sochu and kill him afterward.
The booklet even described the circumstances of Tang Cheolsan’s contact with the Hundred Wraith Union.
If Tang Cheolsan hadn’t made a request to the Hundred Wraith Union, the timing of Pyo-wol’s emergence in Jianghu might have been significantly delayed.
“Where does Tang Cheolsan live?”
“As it says there, he usually stays in the Taeyul Pavilion of the Cheolsan manor. He also had hired martial artists to guard the area.”
“What is the structure of the Cheolsan manor?”
“I anticipated that you would ask that so I brought here with me a blueprint of the manor from the time of its construction.”
The old manager took out a neatly folded piece of paper from his bosom and handed it to Pyo-wol.
As Pyo-wol unfolded the paper, a blueprint of the Cheolsan manor’s structure was revealed.
“As it is a request from Master Pyo himself, it’s only natural for us to pay special attention.”
The old manager said honestly.
When the old manager first heard the news that the one who had brought down the Sword Blossom Pavilion in just half a day was Pyo-wol, he was stunned.
It was because the Sword Blossom Pavilion was not the kind of faction that would easily crumble like that.
Although the sect had the disadvantage of being composed of entirely female members, the unity within the sect was still incredibly strong.
Their influence, which was centered around Go Yeonsu and Eum Yujeong, was so formidable that neither the Nanjing clan nor Changjiang Fortress could deal with them easily.
In particular, thanks to Eum Yujeong, who had the ability to skillfully manipulate men, there was no sect or martial artist in Lake Tai who dared to oppose the Sword Blossom Pavilion.
Even the old manager himself didn’t expect that the Sword Blossom Pavilion, which enjoyed such great power and influence, would collapse so suddenly.
‘Not only is his martial arts exceptional, but his mental fortitude is also remarkable. For him to be able to create a rift within the Sword Blossom pavilion and cause internal turmoil in such a short time…’
People may think that Eum Yujeong safely made it out of Lake Tai, but the old manager knew that it wasn’t true.
After destroying Eum Yujeong’s dantian and kicking her out of the sect, Go Yeonsu secretly placed a request with a slave trader.
She couldn’t forgive her disciple for abandoning her and attempting to escape on her own.
It was certain that Eum Yujeong would be reduced to a miserable and pitiful existence once she gets sold in a brothel somewhere.
And the one who orchestrated all of this was none other than Pyo-wol.
It was impossible for a martial artist to solve everything by simply relying on brute force.
The reason why Pyo-wol willingly released Eum Yujeong was not due to his generosity.
The old manager knew all too well how miserable the ends of those who had been Pyo-wol’s enemies in the past.
There was no such martial artist like Pyo-wol in Jianghu these days.
Many people simply considered Pyo-wol a mere assassin, but he was more than that. He was someone who couldn’t simply be defined by the term, assassin, alone.
‘How could Jianghu have created such a monster?’
The old manager thought that the will of heaven was unfathomable.
Just then, Pyo-wol’s voice broke through the old man’s reverie.
“Is there still no word from Hong Yushin?”
“Is that so?”
“Hoo! We’re doing our best, but I can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to find Lord Hong at this point.”
“Are you giving up on the search, then?”
“Of course not. I’m just expressing my frustration, saying that it’s hard.”
The old manager soon stood up from his seat.
He felt that if he continued talking to Pyo-wol any longer, his old heart wouldn’t be able to handle it.
The old manager cupped his fists and said,
“I will take my leave now.”
He immediately opened the door of the inn and went outside.
Left alone, Pyo-wol shifted his gaze to the paper containing the blueprint of the Cheolsan manor.
Like most manors, the Cheolsan manor had a highly complex structure. It seemed impossible to completely memorize the layout by simply looking at its blueprint.
However, Pyo-wol was able to imprint the blueprint into his head without difficulty.
After a while, Pyo-wol used Samadhi Real Fire.1
In an instant, the paper and booklet in his hand burned to ashes.
Pyo-wol blew the ashes into the window before standing up.
* * *
Tang Cheolsan’s expression was extremely serious.
“The Sword Blossom Pavilion collapsed just like that?”
Under normal circumstances, he would have enjoyed watching the Sword Blossom Pavilion’s downfall with delight. After all, there’s nothing more enjoyable than witnessing the downfall of a powerful rival.
But, the emotion he felt right now was closer to fear than joy.
If the Sword Blossom Pavilion was ruined just like that, then it also meant that their manor and workshop could easily become destroyed as well.
Tang Cheolsan stared grimly at the paper in front of him.
The paper roughly contained a few bits of pieces of information about Pyo-wol. While obtaining detailed information about him was difficult, figuring out where he had come from and how he had gotten here was easy.
What caught Tang Cheolsan’s attention was the place where Pyo-wol first revealed himself.
“Chengdu, Sichuan. He couldn’t be related to that guy, can he?”
Tang Cheolsan didn’t think it was possible, but an ominous feeling still gradually crept into his heart.
Tang Cheolsan was not just a man of means. He also had a well-developed sixth sense, and an exceptional ability to detect danger.
His intuition was telling him that there might be some connection between Pyo-wol and Tang Sochu, who he had commissioned to be killed.
He believed that Pyo-wol coming all the way here was by no means a coincidence.
“Damn it! What the hell are the assassins of the Hundred Wraith Union doing?!”
Anxiety caused sweat to break out on the palm of his hand.
He received no contact from the assassin who he commissioned. Even if the assassin was taking his time and dragging his feet, there still should have been good news by now.
However, the fact that there was no contact from them meant that there was a high probability that things had gone wrong at some point.
It was then.
The window opened without a sound, and someone stealthily entered his room. Yet, Tang Cheolsan didn’t notice and continued to mutter to himself,
“Was it a mistake to trust the Hundred Wraith Union?”
At that moment, a voice came from behind him.
Goosebumps immediately crawled all over Tang Cheolsan’s spine.
Turning around, he saw a man dressed in black, wearing a strange mask. The design of the mask was a ghost with its tongue stuck out.
At the strange appearance, Tang Cheolsan was once again startled.
“W-Who are you?”
“I’m someone from the same organization where you made the request.”
“The Hundred Wraith Union?”
“That’s right. I’m called the Blood-eyed Demon,2 and I’m ranked fifteen among the Hundred Wraith Union’s assassins.”
“I, I called for a middleman–-“
Tang Cheolsan stuttered.
Even when he had placed a commission before, he hadn’t actually met with the assassin of the Hundred Wraith Union in person. There was some kind of middleman or intermediary who served as the bridge between him and the assassin.
It was also the middleman to whom Tang Cheolsan sent a request. That’s why Tang Cheolsan never had the opportunity to meet one of the assassins of the Hundred Wraith Union in person.
Meeting even one of the assassins from the Hundred Wraith Union was a daunting task, let alone someone ranked fifteenth.
Tang Cheolsan swallowed his dry saliva and asked,
“Why has a high-ranking member of the Hundred Wraith Union come here in person?”
“Ah, to apologize.”
“Huh? What for–?”
“It’s about the request you made before. I looked into it, and it turns out your request was assigned to Baekrok.”
“That’s right. He’s also one of our assassins. The only problem is that he got too greedy and tried to accept and carry out requests from both Sichuan and Runan. My theory is that he was going to travel upwards, from Runan to Sichuan, hoping to kill and finish his missions along the way. Unfortunately, however, he encountered a problem.”
“He died during his mission.”
“If he died, then what about my request–”
“It failed, of course. The problem is that the place where that idiot died was in Sichuan, which was quite far away. Moreover, since he acted independently, the Hundred Wraith Union was late in investigating the matter. If you hadn’t asked for an update, then we wouldn’t have known until the end. After all, we don’t really care or pay much attention to the other members.”
Tang Cheolsan gulped.
He had thought that things had gone wrong, but he never anticipated that the assassin he had entrusted with his request would die.
“In other words, my request was not executed.”
“That’s right. That’s why I came here instead of the middleman.”
At the Blood-eyed Demon’s answer, Tang Cheolsan saw a glimmer of hope.
“Then, are you saying that you will personally carry out my request on behalf of Baekrok?”
“If the price is right.”
“Haven’t I already paid the price before?”
“Heh! The difference in rank between Baekrok and me is tremendous. Naturally, there will be a significant difference in the cost of the commission.”
“So, if I pay an additional fee, will you personally carry out my request?”
“Even if the assassination target is the Reaper?”
“Hmph. Rumors in Jianghu often tend to exaggerate like a snowball.”
Behind the mask, the Blood-eyed Demon laughed.
Under normal circumstances, the Blood-eyed Demon wouldn’t be moved by such a request from Tang Cheolsan. This was because he only acted on much bigger jobs that offered more money.
Nevertheless, the only reason he had come here was due to his personal greed.
‘Because of Pyo-wol, there is now a vacant spot in the Ten Blood Assassins. If I can kill him, I’ll be able to join their ranks.’
That’s why, when Tang Cheolsan put in a request again, the Blood-eyed Demon skipped everything, even the middleman, and came to him directly.
It took undeniable merit to be one of the Ten Blood Assassins.
Especially for someone ranked fifteenth, he needed to make a strong impression to break through to the upper ranks.
Pyo-wol was a rising star in Jianghu.
Because of Pyo-wol’s formidable presence and recent activities, some people even regarded him as a more fearsome existence than the Hundred Wraith Union.
For the Blood-eyed Demon, it was like an attack on his pride.
He had lived his whole life as an assassin. He had tremendous pride in himself, and he even had a great ambition to become the leader of the Hundred Wraith Union one day.
For him, this request was a chance of a lifetime.
Tang Cheolsan cautiously spoke,
“Very well. I will entrust you with my request.”
“That’s a good choice. You won’t regret it.”
“One hundred thousand gold coins.”
Tang Cheolsan unconsciously let out a gasp, taken aback by the astronomical amount the Blood-eyed Demon asked. But the Blood-eyed Demon remained nonchalant, and explained further,
“I have to admit, that guy is a big shot. He’s the one who killed Baekrok, the guy previously in charge of carrying out your request. Do you think he will leave you alone? Sure, one hundred thousand gold is a big amount, but it’s still insignificant compared to the value of one’s life. Now, what will you do? Will you still cancel the request?”
“You’d better make a decision quickly, I won’t stay here for long.”
“If I agree to put in the request, will you definitely kill him?”
“I am the Blood-eyed Demon. Until now, there hasn’t been a single person who has managed to escape and live after being my target.”
“Very well. If you manage to kill him, I will give you one hundred thousand gold.”
“No need for explanations. I really dislike those who change their words.”
“O, Of course.”
“Then, I’ll come back tomorrow before sunrise with good news.”
Just a moment after the Blood-eyed Demon spoke confidently and stood up, Tang Cheolsan’s expression suddenly became pensive.
“What is it?”
Tang Cheolsan raised his finger and pointed it behind the Blood-eyed Demon.
In that instant, the Blood-eyed Demon felt a chill run down his spine.
He quickly turned around.
And, there stood Pyo-wol.
I looked back into it and Tang Cheolsan was actually mentioned in the novel even way before Pyo-wol arrived in Lake Tai (chapter 155). Anyway, thank you for reading!
Samadhi Real Fire. Raws: 삼매진화(三昧眞火). This is a method of burning objects using energy in martial arts novels. 三昧 sānmèi – Samadhi (Buddhist term) 眞 zhēn – really / truly / indeed / real / true / genuine 火 huǒ – fire / urgent / ammunition / fiery or flaming / internal heat (Chinese medicine) / hot (popular) Blood-eyed Demon. Raws: 혈안귀(血眼鬼). 血 xuè – blood / colloquial 眼 yǎn – eye / small hole 鬼 guǐ – disembodied spirit; ghost; devil / (suffix) person with a certain vice or addiction etc / sly; crafty; resourceful